Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sustainability, UN Agenda 21, ICLEI, Private Property Rights #3201 - Guitar Frets: Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear - Wall Street Journal (2) Regulators Gone Wild!! - Two Lessons in How to Kill An Economy and Ruin Enterprise - Hot Air

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. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.  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."  The question in the first raid seemed to be whether Gibson had been buying illegally harvested hardwoods from protected forests, such as the Madagascar ebony that makes for such lovely fretboards. And if Gibson did knowingly import illegally harvested ebony from Madagascar, that wouldn't be a negligible offense. Peter Lowry, ebony and rosewood expert at the Missouri Botanical Garden, calls the Madagascar wood trade the "equivalent of Africa's blood diamonds." But with the new raid, the government seems to be questioning whether some wood sourced from India met every regulatory jot and tittle.

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.........The tangled intersection of international laws is enforced through a thicket of paperwork. Recent revisions to 1900's Lacey Act require that anyone crossing the U.S. border declare every bit of flora or fauna being brought into the country. One is under "strict liability" to fill out the paperwork—and without any mistakes.   Read more........  AW:  Be sure to read this article in its entirety and learn what has happened to individuals who have been bullied by Obama and Eric Holder's Department of Justice, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Interesting how all this began in 2009, was someone we know elected President ......

Regulators Gone Wild: Two Lessons in How to Kill an Economy and Ruin Enterprise - Hot Air - Earlier today, I wrote about Ben Bernanke’s punt back to Washington on job creation and the need to roll back regulatory regimes in the US to spark real economic growth. We have two small but trenchant examples of how overregulation hurts businesses and people and destroys wealth. The first comes to us from the Wall Street Journal’s report on how federal regulators came to conduct a raid on a world-class manufacturer of musical instruments: 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. STORY IN ARTICLE ABOVE...... It’s not the only question when it comes to these regulations. Thanks to an overeager regulatory environment, musicians are now afraid to travel with instruments built before any of the restrictions on wood products were put into place. It’s no longer enough to just not buy wood from sanctioned sources, but to prove your innocence repeatedly against a presumption of guilt.........
IN THE VIDEO: Reason TV -  looks at the regulatory war being fought against residents of Antelope Valley, where the county of Los Angeles appears to be making a concerted effort to push residents out of their homes through harrassment — and armed raids: The Antelope Valley is a vast patch of desert on the outskirts of Los Angeles County, and a segment of the few rugged individualists who live out there increasingly are finding themselves the targets of armed raids from local code enforcement agents, who’ve assembled into task forces called Nuisance Abatement Teams (NATs).  The plight of the Valley’s desert dwellers made regional headlines when county officials ordered the destruction of Phonehenge: a towering, colorful castle constructed out of telephone poles by retired phone technician Kim Fahey. Fahey was imprisoned and charged with several misdemeanors.  Read entire article......... AW: I have posted a video of what is happening in Antelope Valley before, but this video is more complete, and details what may be the reason this is happening to people who may not know their rights or be able to defend themselves legally due to lack of funds.  This video has received 23,968 views already, please watch.

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