Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Get the government off my guitars!

IBD revisits the Gibson harassment and shakedown:

Interestingly, one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood,” which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized?

Grossly underreported at the time was the fact that Gibson’s chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz, contributed to Republican politicians. Recent donations have included $2,000 to Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and $1,500 to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

By contrast, Chris Martin IV, the Martin & Co. CEO, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee over the past couple of election cycles.

Gibson, fearing a bankrupting legal battle, settled and agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty to the U.S. Government. It also agreed to make a “community service payment” of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation — to be used on research projects or tree-conservation activities.

The feds in return agreed to let Gibson resume importing wood while they sought “clarification” from India.

Juszkiewicz’ claim that his company was “inappropriately targeted” is eerily similar to the claims by Tea Party, conservative, pro-life and religious groups that they were targeted by the IRS for special scrutiny because they sought to exercise their First Amendment rights to band together in vocal opposition to the administration’s policies and the out-of-control growth of government and its power.

The Gibson Guitar raid, the IRS intimidation of Tea Party groups and the fraudulently obtained warrant naming Fox News reporter James Rosen as an “aider, abettor, co-conspirator” in stealing government secrets are but a few examples of the abuse of power by the Obama administration to intimidate those on its enemies list.

Precisely so. But when you’re ruled by a banana-republic style gangster government, this is the sort of thing you have to expect. And when they kick in your door and point their guns at your head, you shut up and pay up…or else.

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4 thoughts on “Get the government off my guitars!

  1. And if I recall, in the end, the only real “violation” the Gestapo could come up with was that Gibson had shaped and polished the wood in the US, whereas if it had been done in India first and then imported, it would not have been a “violation”. Something ridiculous to that effect. I remember trying to tell people about this, and they all had this sort of psychological block, as if merely hearing about it and talking about it would put them in the camp of the crazy conspiracy theorists. One guy I knew (no longer associate with) actually got angry. Not about the story, but by the fact that I was telling him about it. “I don’t want to hear about it!”, he yelled.

  2. Look, be reasonable. No one needs more than four strings on any guitar. No one should have amps that broadcast more than 30db. There’s no reason for anyone, except for Officially Licenced, Professionally Trained Musicians, to possess or play anything bigger than a ukulele.

    It’s nothing more than this. Just common sense restrictions. Anyone opposed to these is just some kind of tinfoil hat anarchist who wants to make all our children deaf.

    No ulterior motives here, nope.

  3. When you drink the Kool-Aid long enough “I don’t want to hear about it!” = “What difference does it make”.

    Guy drives into our condo complex today, with “IBEW for Obama” and “Right to Work is a Rip Off” window stickers. Wouldn’t want to associate with him….EVER!!!!

  4. A Les Paul would make a great, if not heavy bludgeon to apply to the skull of a government official. OTOH, you might damage the finish. Ah well, the wound ‘E’ string from a Les Paul would make a fine garrote…

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