Gibson Guitar The New Terrorist

Discussion in 'Politics' started by bugscoe, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. CEO of Gibson Guitar a Republican donor; Democrat competitor uses same wood
    By ANDREW LAWTON - Fri Aug 26, 1:17 pm

    On Thursday, the iconic Gibson Guitar Corporation issued a press release ( stating that government officials raided their Tennessee manufacturing facility over warrants concerning the legality of the importation of wood purchased from India that they use in their world famous guitars. The wood–which is certified and regulated by the Forest Stewardship Council–is not illegal, but rather subject to a domestic law in India frowns upon the processing of this wood by non-Indians. (Gibson uses American labor for the processing.)

    Gibson’s press release claims that, while this incident marks the second raid of their facility in around two years, this is the first of the raids to cost the company time and resources, as they needed to shut down operations. It seems as though this was all for naught.

    The release read:
    The fact that the government would issue warrants based on their interpretation of another country’s laws is laughable–and scary–in and of itself, but that they would demonize an American, non-unionized (coincidentally, I’m sure) company for something that isn’t even a crime (especially not in the American lawbooks) is a gross misjustice. Keep in mind that the Indian government itself wasn’t involved in the Gibson warrants and raid.

    This unfortunate event begs the question, Why Gibson?

    Putting aside the presumably misguided motivation to enforce another sovereign nation’s laws, why would a homegrown American company be the target of the Department of Justice in the first place?

    It’s worth pointing out that Henry E. Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s Chief Executive Officer, is a donor to a couple of Republican politicians. According to the Open Secrets database, Juszkiewicz donated $2000 to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN07) last year, as well as $1500 to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Juszkiewicz also has donated $10,000 to the Consumer Electronics Association, a PAC that contributed $92.5k to Republican candidates last year, as opposed to $72k to Democrats. (The CEA did, however, contribute more to Democrats in the 2008 election cycle.)

    When warrants as ridiculous such as these are issued and executed, there appears no other reason than because the company or individual at hand is being targeted, not because there is any sort of wrongdoing. As a company, Gibson is a legendary. They’ve done nothing wrong, except, apparently, deigning to have a Republican CEO.

    The plot thickens, however.

    One of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Company. The C.E.O., Chris Martin IV, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood.” In case you were wondering, that is the exact same wood in at least ten of Gibson’s guitars.

    The Gibson facility wasn’t raided over allegations of tax evasion, charges of embezzlement, or even something as drab as child labor. Not even close. It was raided over what the DOJ deems an inability to follow a vague domestic trade law in India (one that apparently the Indian government didn’t seem too concerned about enforcing) regarding a specific type of wood. Not illegal wood, just wood with obscenely specific procedural guidelines.

    Stand with Gibson: They have the Law on their side, just not the government.
  2. Max E.

    Max E.

    Im not going to say anything about the possible motives portrayed in your article, but when i first heard this story, this was exactly what was going through my head. What could gibson have done to end up on Obamas shit list? Ridiculous assaults on businesses like this one dont just happen by sheer stupidity.
  3. This is just sick.
  4. Max E.

    Max E.

    After re reading the article, i dont believe the authors motive is correct. Even Obama is not brazen enough to shut down a massive company over like 20k in campaign contributions. There must be more to this story.
  5. True. But considering that no charges have ever been filed it would appear the motive isn't to shut them down. Just harass and cost them more money.

    Just like the mob works.
  6. pspr


    Obama can't reconcile the fact in his mind that it is businesses that create jobs. Obama hates businesses. In his mind, the only job creator is the government. Keep this thought in mind as he speaks next week and it will all be clear. Obama has deep rooted beliefs that are not just wrong but also illogical.
  7. Ricter


    There is a lot more to it, as I've indicated in the other thread on the same subject. DHS and US CBP have been "terrorizing" industry, both home and abroad, for about five years now.
  8. Can you link the other thread? I missed it.
  9. Ricter


  10. a little more info on it:

    Time to Repeal The Lacey Act
    Posted by Lee Stranahan Sep 1st 2011 at 4:58 am

    By now, you’ve probably heard a bit about the Obama DOJ’s two raids on iconic American manufacturer Gibson Guitars. The story has made headlines around the world as another shocking example of how far the current administration is willing to take their antipathy for successful businesses. If you need to get caught up, the Bigs have broken news on this story, including two exclusive interviews with Gibson’s CEO (one by me and a must-hear interview by Dana Loesch) plus an important piece by John Nolte (and this latest via RS McCain wherein Gibson’s CEO says the government told him not to use American labor.)

    As much as the Obama Administration deserves scorn for their overzealous prosecution, I’ve been researching the background of this story and have found that there’s another culprit – the entire United States Congress and their passage of an amendment to The Lacey Act back in 2008 that’s a prime example of an awful, anti-business law done in the name of environmentalism.

    When you learn the details of the Lacey Act Amendments I think you’ll agree that they need to repealed as soon as humanely possible.

    The amendments were passed in 2008 as part of the behemoth omnibus Farm Bill. The problem they were trying to address was the deforestation in countries like Madagascar, where ‘exotic woods’ like rosewood and ebony come from. Some of these problems resulted from political instability in the country, which created a grey market for these woods where the new ruling governments looked the other way and profited from the illegal wood harvest.

    Where is all this wood going? Interestingly, 95% of it is going to China – not for re-export but for domestic use. The wealthy in China love rosewood and ebony furniture. In fact, the next time you hear a liberal attack the Koch Brothers or whatever rich-person-of-the-moment that they want to attack, picture someone in China who sleeps in an $800,000 bed. That’s not a misprint – if you want to see a picture of what a nearly million dollar bed looks like, you might want to check out this stylish report – it’s on Page 11. There’s a million dollar Chinese bed on page 16, too. And the report makes mention of the first Gibson raid on page 9.

    So how have papers like The New York Times reported on this? Do you think they might possibly use misleading or even blatantly false reporting to try and guilt out their environmentally hip urban left wing readership? This is from a 2010 article on their ‘Green Blog’…

    Let’s parse those three short sentences.

    It’s true – it’s not ONLY the Chinese who like rosewood. They are only responsible for a mere 95% of it. And when the Times says ‘much of the furniture’ gets exported to the U.S. and Europe…well, that’s not at all what the report says. Go look at top of Page 5, which uses the phrase ‘small quantities’. And to finish – they mention guitars. You know, guitars like the ones Gibson makes.

    So, we have the New York Times providing false ideological cover and justification for the Lacey Act amendments and their enforcement. The goal is to create a smokescreen of false equivalence when, in fact, this is almost exclusively a problem caused by the Chinese – and China doesn’t seem to have passed any laws or made any agreements related to this issue at all. I looked and I couldn’t find any.

    Meanwhile, the United States Congress passed Amendments to the Lacey Act to put the hammer down on whatever small part of the 5% that anyone in the United Starts is responsible for. If the penalties weren’t so draconian it would be another laughable example totally ineffective environmental symbolism. Remember, even if the U.S. were to stop every single import of rosewood, it wouldn’t actually solve whatever problem may exist in Madagascar at all.

    How bad are the Lacey Act Amendments?

    While China does nothing, the U.S. Congress saw fit to punish U.s businesses with fines of $500,000 and jail sentences of 5 years. This can’t be emphasized enough because it’s a real human consequence – the Federal Government is on the verge of possibly putting the CEO of Gibson Guitars in prison and doing enough economic damage to shut down the company for good.

    I’m not even mentioning the new bureaucracy and paperwork requirements. I’m not going into the fines of $100,000 and a year in prison for unknowingly violating the Lacey Act Amendments. I’m ignoring the cost to the taxpayers of this enforcement. You can read all about those disgusting elements in the cartoony Primer that your tax dollars paid for and you’ll see I’m not joking about the cartoons.

    The consequences of this awful, ineffective law are no joke, either. It’s happening to Gibson Guitars right now. I don’t grant the government the facts for second; Gibson is innocent until proven guilty and they haven’t even been charged. But remember what’s at stake. A man might go to prison. People will lose their jobs. And the rosewood of Madagascar will still be sent to China to make $1,000,000 beds.

    Unless …

    Unless we do something about it. Unless we draw a line in the sand and say enough. Unless some politician or Presidential hopeful picks up on this as the perfect example of government versus U.S. business. Herman Cain? Rick Perry? Rep. Bachmann? Mitt Romney? Thad McCotter? Anyone?
    #10     Sep 1, 2011