Valor employed in an ill quarrel, turns to cowardice; and virtue then puts on foul vice's vizor.
- Philip Massinger, English Dramatist (1583-1640)
Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson’s chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company’s manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company . . . It isn’t the first time that agents of the Fish and Wildlife Service have come knocking at the storied maker of such iconic instruments as the Les Paul electric guitar, the J-160E acoustic-electric John Lennon played, and essential jazz-boxes such as Charlie Christian’s ES-150. In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in a case with the delightful name “United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms.”
It isn’t just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next . . . It’s not enough to know that the body of your old guitar is made of spruce and maple: What’s the bridge made of? If it’s ebony, do you have the paperwork to show when and where that wood was harvested and when and where it was made into a bridge? Is the nut holding the strings at the guitar’s headstock bone, or could it be ivory? “Even if you have no knowledge—despite Herculean efforts to obtain it—that some piece of your guitar, no matter how small, was obtained illegally, you lose your guitar forever,” Prof. Thomas has written. “Oh, and you’ll be fined $250 for that false (or missing) information in your Lacey Act Import Declaration.”
You better know where every single bit of wood and ivory on that classic guitar of yours is from and you better have the papers to prove it, because the E-P-A is G-O-D and environmentalist stormtroopers are in full force under this administration.
From a comment by R. Fine over at Lonely Conservative blog, some insight into what might be inspiring the forces behind this jackbooted thuggery:
Using federal agents [as] political thugs is an impeachable offense. The Gibson CEO is a major GOP donor; the Martin Guitar CEO is a major democrat donor. Both use the same woods – in fact, Martin uses more “endangered” woods than Gibson, and brags about it in their advertising. Yet only Gibson alone was targeted by the federal government. Did you ever think such political thuggery on the part of the federal government this would ever happen in our country? No surprise Obama is a fan of Hugo Chavez.
source: Lonely Conservative