In case you missed it the Department of Justice raided an old American company this week, Gibson Guitar. I would venture a guess that many of you over the years have either owned and wanted to own a Gibson guitar.
Gibson is a privately held company and has been in business for many years. Gibson guitars are still manufactured in Tennessee. That would be in the United States. Thank you Gibson!
So here is what happened. Gibson imports ebony and rosewood from various foreign countries and uses that wood in the manufacture of its guitars. This is nothing new. What creates challenges for Gibson and other United States based manufactures of musical instruments is the Lacy Act.
"The law ensnaring Gibson is the Lacey Act of 1900, originally passed to regulate trade in bird feathers used for hats and amended in 2008 to cover wood and other plant products. It requires companies to make detailed disclosures about wood imports and bars the purchase of goods exported in violation of a foreign country's laws. Gibson's predicament, which raises concerns for musical instrument makers and other importers of wood, illustrates the pitfalls of complying with U.S. law while dealing with middlemen in faraway countries whose legal systems can be murky."
"Andrea Johnson, director of forest programs for the Environmental Investigation Agency in Washington, says the Lacey Act requires end users of endangered wood to certify the legality of their supply chain all the way to the trees. EIA's independent investigations have concluded that Gibson knowingly imported tainted wood."
So what as a business owner do you do when face with regulations that make it more challenging to operate your business? "Leonard Krause, a consultant in Eugene, Ore., who advises companies on complying with the Lacey Act, is telling clients they should hire lawyers in countries where they obtain products. "How many people know the statutes in India?" Mr. Krause said. "The net effect is that it raises everybody's cost of doing business." Hmm.. let's see we are beating U.S. businesses to death with regulations, increasing their costs and expect them to be competitive on the world market. Does anyone else see a double standard here? I bet the Chinese are doing the same thing! Right..
Henry Juszkiewicz, chief executive officer of the closely held company, said in an interview that a broker probably made a mistake in labeling the goods but that the sale was legal and approved by Indian authorities. He was also quoted as saying ""We had a raid," he said, "with federal marshals that were armed, that came in, evacuated our factory, shut down production, sent our employees home and confiscated wood." The raid cost Gibson Guitar over a $1M dollars.
Gibson and it's CEO has served on several boards to preserve the forest. Even Greenpeace is quoted as saying "Scott Paul, a Greenpeace official in New York responsible for forestry issues, said Gibson for years has done "great work" to promote better forestry practices. The question, he said, is whether Gibson did everything possible to avoid buying wood from dubious sources. "We have no idea," he said.'
Let's discuss how the raid was conducted and what happened to the employees. According to CEO Juszkiewicz, the federal agents told one of the employees "You going to jail for five years' and what you do is sort wood in the factory?" said Mr. Juszkiewicz, recounting the incident. "I think that's way over the top." Gibson employees, he said, are being "treated like drug criminals." Now these are hard working Americans. They have job and I bet they even pay taxes. Why would the Federal Agents threaten a person who just came to work that morning to earn a living for his family? It sounds like Storm Trooper mentality to me. I found one article on this topic that was titled "Gestapo Raids Gibson Guitar." I have a lot of respect for law enforcement Officers. What is out of control is zealot Administrators and environmental regulations that make it almost impossible to run a business. It is also important to note that Gibson HAS NOT been charged with a crime and DOJ will not comment as of this date.
So the President is going to give another "Jobs" speech next week. I can't wait! What these people cannot seem to get through their thick heads is when business is overregulated, persecuted as in the case of Gibson Guitar, slammed with Obamacare with its costs, have to hire any Army of Lawyers in every country they deal with and have no idea what the taxes will be in the future then they don't hire new employees. How can they? And "The Beat Goes On".
What is going to happen to our businesses? How are they going to survive?
G-d Bless U.S. business and G-d please save Rock N Roll from the Feds! Where is my Eric Clapton CD?
If you would like to send Gibson Guitar a note of suppot here is the link.
News References and quotes for forum include:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2011/08/31/140090116/why-gibson-... (yes you have to read both sides of the argument)
WOULD THIS RAID HAVE TAKEN PLACE IF EVERY GIBSON EMPLOYEE WAS ARMED?
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.
People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)
I agree, are you aware of the Marine who's house was raided by the Sheriff's SWAT team in Tuson Arizona on 5 May 11, and was killed defending his family? They did'nt have a warrant, and where trigger happy, you can see the video. What would Smedley Butler Do?
YOU ARE CORRECT SIR, AND THAT TIME HAS COME FOR AMERICANS TO STAND UP TO THESE GESTAPO UNCONSTITUTIONAL INFRINGEMENTS ON OUR RIGHTS-
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS IN ORDER AND REMOVE THE IDIOTS FROM THE OFFICE.
OUR FOREFATHERS WOULD BE SHOOTING BY NOW-
Brilliantly stated sir! And to prove your point, I recently applied for and finally received my carry permit. They told me that it would take 3 monthes to receive it because it seemed like the entire county was applying for permits! The gun store was busier than the local gas station, but I finally purchased a hand gun for protection. I have never before in my life felt as threatened by anyone as I do now! People react to leadership weather it be reasonable or forceful, although I don't call what we have now leadership!
I don't expect this tyrant's speech (teleprompter) to mention one d**n thing about cancelling any of the now 700+ EPA regulations stifling businesses from hiring, as a way to increase jobs. I won't know because I don't intend to watch this liar....but millions of union thugs, illegals (for the votes) and those drooling for more gov'ment handouts will hang on every word.