Unfortunately, there's no indication that our governments are set to mend their evil ways anytime soon. One recent bump in the long and winding road to freedom is the raiding of the Gibson Guitar Corporation this past summer by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The government claims that Gibson violated the Lacey Act, an animal conservation law adopted in 1900 and amended in 2008 to protect tropical forests from deforestation, but the company is fighting the rap and seems convinced that it can beat it.
The Gibson Guitar Corporation is no fly by night operation. Born in the
U.S.A. at the turn of the last century, Gibson is an iconic American
manufacturer, maker of the popular Les Paul solid-body electric guitar,
among others. But on August 24, 2011, employees at the company's
Nashville and Memphis facilities were all shook up by "armored SWAT
teams with automatic weapons"
who threatened luthiers and other employees. Suspicious minds might
be forgiven for thinking that this was a drug raid of the kind that has
too common in the United States in recent years, but federal agents
were after something else: computers, records, and over 10,000 guitar
"Welcome to the machine that is government, hiding behind well-intentioned regulations like the Lacey Act to throw its considerable weight around, to the detriment of the rest of us."
Welcome to the machine that is government, hiding behind well-intentioned
regulations like the Lacey Act to throw its considerable weight
around, to the detriment of the rest of us. Juszkiewicz actually has
great respect for the conservationist principles behind the Lacey Act,
as he recently wrote, "As a user of tropical woods it just makes
economic sense to buy our materials from sustainable forests, and it
makes moral sense to do so in a way that ensures the survival of these
resources." You might think the fingerboards seized during the raid were
made from illegally harvested wood, but the government instead alleges
that Gibson violated "an Indian export restriction designed to keep wood
finishing work in India," i.e., a protectionist rather than an
environmental measure. Worse still, the Indian government actually
certified that the law in question was respected, but it seems that
nothing else matters when the U.S. government decides it's your time to
Song titles in this article: Wouldn't It Be Nice (The Beach Boys), Every Breath You Take (The Police), Evil Ways (Santana), The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles), Beat It (Michael Jackson), Fly By Night (RUSH), Born in the USA (Bruce Springsteen), All Shook Up (Elvis Presley), Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley), What's Going On (Marvin Gaye), Do It Again (Steely Dan), Mysterious Ways (U2), No Reply (The Beatles), Welcome to the Machine (Pink Floyd), Respect (Aretha Franklin), You Might Think (The Cars), Nothing Else Matters (Metallica), Won't Get Fooled Again (The Who), Crime of the Century (Supertramp), Get Up, Stand Up (Bob Marley), Don't Stop (Fleetwood Mac), Break on Through (The Doors), Do You Feel Like We Do? (Peter Frampton), Bad to the Bone (George Thorogood & the Destroyers), No Time (The Guess Who), What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong), and We're Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister).