Agents of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service made a midday appearance and served a search warrant on company officials at Gibson's Massman Drive manufacturing plant, where it makes acoustic and electric guitars.Government harassment of small business, elimination of consumer choice, and limitation of product options while raising the costs of those that remain. That's the game, and the old and respected Tennessee guitar manufacturer, Gibson Guitars, is the latest small company to be called on the carpet. Like WHP, they are now being forced to spend an increasing amount of time and legal fees on government interference being brought down upon them by leftist fringe fanatics.
Let me start this by pointing out that Gibson has been run by folks who are at least modestly eco-freaks and almost certainly vote for Democrats. But that was not enough to innoculate them from this recent raid by the Feds. Apparently, "critics" decided that they were illegally using banned exotic woods in some of their guitars. We don't know who or what, because the complaint is contained in a "sealed affadavit." You can guess that it involves some type of rosewood or ebony (commonly used in guitar construction) and that it was the Communists in Greenpeace or their friends on the outer edges of the lunatic fringe who blew the whistle even though they had no hard evidence. Here's why:
Note the press' favorite device, "critics," which is usually used to cover up the identity of left-wing witch hunters. The article does refer to Greenpeace. But who are the "other environmental activists" (read "extremists")? Also note that whenever an "activist" makes an accusation, it is therefore true.
The government there [Madagascar] contends it is allowing only limited harvesting of rosewood, but critics that include Greenpeace and other environmental activists complain that the wood is being cut to near extinction.
Gibson has for years prided itself for years on its carefully checking the sourcing of its woods, and has often been cited as a model corporate citizen in this regard. Well, too bad. That was yesterday, "critics say." Even if you behave and obey the elites you're still not off the hook. If some nutcases decide they want to harass you, the Feds in this administration will jump.
Gibson Guitar Corp.'s top executive will take a leave of absence from the board of the Rainforest Alliance, an environmental group, in the wake of a federal search for banned wood products at the instrument maker's Nashville factory, officials said Wednesday.
For all I know, something fishy is going on here. That doesn't assume that Gibson is complicit, though. Whenever you're dealing with the Third World, where bribery and kleptocracy seems ingrained in the culture, you can never be totally sure that someone isn't messing with you no matter what safeguards you might take. "Critics," though, and the Feds, always assume malfeasance on the part of our guys, not the Third World kleptocrats. Gibson is probably profitable, which in this administration seems to be ample cause for disrupting its business. I really think that in this current economic disaster, the Feds have more important things to do than waste taxpayer money on marginal World Government crap like this.
Meanwhile, to the Democrats' staple Tax and Spend dogma, this administration has appended a new mantra: Harass and Punish. Expect more taxes and punishment in the coming year.