Obama Plays Political “Gotcha”
With Second Gibson Guitar Raid
The same Obama administration – already threatening to kill thousands of airplane manufacturing jobs in South Carolina for being politically incorrect; and complicit in the 35% unemployment in and around Fresno, California (courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency’s stupid ban against farm irrigation) -- is now attacking the Gibson Guitar Company, maker of arguably the world’s most desired musical instrument. Gibson is not Stradivarius but its artisan-built, American-made guitars are in more hands the world over than any musical instrument short of the Hohner Harmonica, a mass-produced pocket instrument.
According to Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, his company, the iconic maker of the Les Paul and Firebird X electronic guitars, is being unjustly harassed by the federal government after an August 24th raid by armed agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on two of Gibson's Tennessee production facilities and its Nashville headquarters. According to Juszkiewicz the feds confiscated nearly $1 million in rare Indian ebony, finished guitars and electronic data the second time in two years that Gibson's factories have been raided by the feds because of unfinished rare woods used to build its guitars. Notably and gutlessly failing to make a presence in the raid were Eric Holder’s@@ Justice Department and the Federal Labor Relations Board who most probably were the initiators of the action . . . almost all U.S. guitar makers other than Gibson are union shops owned by Democratic sympathizers.
"It was a nightmare," Juszkiewicz said, "We had people sitting making guitars. We had no weapons” when the gun-wielding Feds crashed their business sites. Gibson Guitar has always made a good-faith effort to follow the law, he said. Juszkiewicz and virtually all other U.S. guitar makers all use the same woods in their products, there didn’t seem to be any reason for singling out Gibson for the raid. Politics may be behind the raid according to Gibson’s lawyers. Juszkiewicz, who has contributed to a few Democrats in the past, is a vocal anti-Obama Republican and he runs a non-union shop. The National Labor Relations Board loaded down with Obama appointees and union activists has already sought to twist the nation’s fair labor practices law by seeking to prevent Boeing Aircraft Company from creating a new plant and thousands of jobs in South Carolina, a “right to work state” by implying that the new plant would harm Boeing’s union workforce in Seattle, Washington.
It comes down to this: by purporting to uphold an Indian law about shipping unfinished Indian ebony (actually India freely trades in many types of unfinished woods from their country including this one and several variations of this one), the feds are in effect saying that only finished wood from India (creating Indian jobs and killing American ones) may be used in Gibson and other guitars. The federal agents involved have said that the wood involved “is too thick to be a veneer” and as an unfinished wood cannot be brought into the country.
Juszkiewicz and his Gibson attorneys insist the wood is legal under Indian law because it's a finished product -- a fingerboard that gets attached to the neck of the guitar and they have letters from the Indian government to prove it they told CNN. Certainly this appears to be carrying political correctness way too far . . . federal agents with guns raiding a well-respected company instead of using a subpoena to gain the information needed. Let us not forget the disruption in Gibson’s daily business and the confiscation of over $1 million in inventory; and confiscation of records. One other little detail, shutting down Gibson would put more than 700 workers out on the streets. Juszkiewicz is keeping the company running, "We have not been able to make some products, but I'm not going to lay people off," he said. The problem is, we have no recourse," he said. "These guys have investigated us for two years. They came in twice and shut the place down."
According to CNN, Juszkiewicz and Gibson await judgment on the earlier case, which involves rare wood from Madagascar confiscated from Gibson's factories in 2009. Meanwhile, Juszkiewicz has NOT been able to get the wood or guitars confiscated in that raid returned. Even if it were returned would it still be in usable condition after a two year hiatus?
"Why is big government spending our tax money to harm ordinary citizens and small businesses?" Juszkiewicz asked online yesterday. As it stands right now anyone in the country owning or selling a Gibson Guitar is in danger of arrest for violation of the law and/or obstructing justice. The Justice Department, through a spokesman said it only goes after the big companies selling “contraband products,” not the individuals or small businesses. Why is Rajjpuut not comforted by their reply?
On another front the TEA Party and other political conservatives opposed to big government interference are citing the two Gibson raids as further evidence that the Obama administration is killing American jobs. In 2009, the TEA Party cited the EPA for playing a role in the 35% unemployment around Fresno, California created by prohibiting vegetable farmers from irrigating their fields (saying they were endangering a three-inch fish, the delta smelt which tended to wander into irrigation piping**). Re-elect Obama for life in prison.
Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,
** Let us say for the sake of argument that this is a reasonable thing to do rather than bureaucratic nonsense. Two things come to mind:
1. No such action ought to be allowed without final Congressional approval
2. The EPA ought to be commanded to come up with a feasible, affordable alternative to save the damn dumb fish, for example
a. Installation of a wire or metal grid sufficiently far from the pipe intake that the little guys would run into rather than getting sucked into the pipe, OR
b. Some sort of chemical or audio device that would scare the little fish away: possibly by smelling like or sounding like a larger prey fish.
Killing jobs and driving food prices higher without first seeking a more common-sense cheap alternative is so reprehensible and so stupid that it’s hard to imagine anyone but a progressive nincompoop holding anything but utter contempt for the EPA. And notice that the responsibility must be the EPA’s and not the farmers’ who are NOT deliberately trying to make the damn fish extinct.
@@ Mr. Holder’s justice department is, as you read this,
1. Joined with HUD, also leading an attack upon Westchester County, New York, the most highly-taxed real estate in the country; calling the area “segregated and racist,” the Attorney General and other Feds are seeking to force Westchester banks, etc. to grant sub-prime loans to “racially diverse individuals.” Isn’t that what caused our recent financial meltdown?
2. Denying all knowledge (already proven to be a lie) of the Fast and Furious “sting” program that put 37,000 weapons in the hands of the Mexican drug cartels and allowed them to be taken freely across our southern border where they’ve been implicated in hundreds of crimes. “Justice” Department, Mr. Holder?