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Gibson Guitars Settles

by Moron
posted 08-06-2012 07:05 PM


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57 replies

57 replies so far

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Mainiac Matt

3998 posts in 984 days


#1 posted 08-06-2012 07:28 PM

I’ve been following this suit for some time and I think this is disgusting…. a total abuse of power by the Feds and a perfect example of why our gub’ment is both brain dead and failing.

The way this idiotic law was written, Gibson could have purchased fret boards pre-cut from China and the Chinese could have used any source of Ebony they wanted… sustainable or not… because the law does not apply to the import of finished parts… only lumber.

But because Gibson chose to employ people in the USA and also satisfy their customers desire for guitars made with the best materials for the application, they’re getting smacked with $300 K fine, $50 K extorsion fee for environmental protection and the loss of over $50 K in Ebony.

For no reason at all!!! because Gibson bought the wood from India and the wood had a pedigree as having come from sustainable forrestry practices… but they were lied to and the wood actually came from Madigascar.

Now the Feds will destroy the wood…. and Gibson will just buy finished fret boards from China, who are free to buy the lumber from Madigascar without restriction….

So the end result of this action to “protect the environment” ?

The Feds will destroy a valuable natural resource…
Repalcement wood will be hacked down in Madigascar and shipped to China
More American jobs will be shipped to China
More American workers put on the dole
And the brain dead Feds and environmentalist will all pat each other on the back for saving the world.

The Feds sent in armed agents to “raid” Gibson, like it was a drug bust…. (I’m suprised some trigger happy Fish and Wildlife agent didnt’ shoot someone dead by accident as they played Rambo at a well respected business).

Gibson settled, because the Feds were going to bleed them dry with attorney fees…. as this has dragged on for years. The Feds don’t care how much money they waste to prosecute this kind of case…. becasue they can always just borrow more…. (from China, of course).

The BBC article is short on hard facts and long on their slanted interpretation of what went down (note the loose use of the term “right wingers”).... which is to be expected from the state funded mouthpiece of elitist statist.

There’s an age old principal that will not be denied….

“the stupid shall be punished”

hang on for the ride… it’s not going to be pleasant.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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sarahss

254 posts in 1305 days


#2 posted 08-06-2012 07:30 PM

well said ssnvet

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gumper

7 posts in 982 days


#3 posted 08-06-2012 07:32 PM

350 grand, plus giving up stock, to avoid further issues with the gov. Cheaper than fighting it.

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Moron

4666 posts in 2549 days


#4 posted 08-06-2012 07:43 PM

Interesting perspective ssnvet. Never really thought about it and thanks for the input.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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madts

1261 posts in 996 days


#5 posted 08-06-2012 08:00 PM

ssnvet: I totally disagree with your comments. We as a whole are robbing our enviroment blind. If it were not for the EPA and the Fish and Wildlife, we would still have burning rivers and no animals left for all you bambi-blasters to hunt. The gun manufacturers would be out of business. The NRA would have to fold because of no members. No fish in the rivers to fly-cast for. I could go on and on.

So when Gibson needs to buy frets from china, all they have to do is ask for proof of where this thingies were made. It is not that hard.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1724 days


#6 posted 08-06-2012 08:26 PM

madts-
I think that you missed the part about Gibson being told that they were buying sustainable ebony but were lied to. If, however, they buy finished frets from China – or anywhere else – they’re home free since there’s no sustainability regulations for finished parts.

Just for grins, why don’t you read up on the history of wildlife conservation funded by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. It’s a practice that far predates the formation of the EPA.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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CL810

2017 posts in 1644 days


#7 posted 08-06-2012 09:56 PM

The look of ebony may be changing!

This is a link to a Youtube video by Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars.

In the video Bob Taylor explains what his company is doing about ebony. VERY interesting.

It was posted last fall so it may be old news to some.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

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Moron

4666 posts in 2549 days


#8 posted 08-06-2012 10:45 PM

Really enjoyed that video. ….thks for posting

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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krisrimes

99 posts in 1191 days


#9 posted 08-07-2012 01:48 AM

I don’t quite understand why if they were lied to it somehow ended up as Gibson’s fault. Madts, not to derail this thread, but most of the folks that I know that are bambi blasters and fish killers are very concerned with conservation and the environment as a whole. They are very aware that in order to continue to enjoy the things they do in the outdoors, they have to not only abide by the limits and quotas, but also preserve the habitat they live in.

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Joseph Jossem

384 posts in 924 days


#10 posted 08-07-2012 02:07 AM

thats a good chunk of change could be worse.looks like the lacey act has finally put a high price tag on lumber theft. they just nailed the wrong guys they should be focues on the harvesters and others associated.

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Moron

4666 posts in 2549 days


#11 posted 08-07-2012 02:24 AM

I was once a hunter with a fair arsenal of weapons but have since traded them in for a camera and only shoot through a lens. I think Bob Taylor said it clearly. We, as the worlds biggest consumers and more importantly, woodworkers, have an obligation to preserve as much of the worlds natural heritage as possible.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1289 days


#12 posted 08-07-2012 02:33 AM

I don’t know much about the particulars of this case, but where is the US EPAs dog in this race?? The wood was imported.I didn’t realize EPA’s charter extended beyond US Borders. I would have thought that Customs had jurisdiction.

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1724 days


#13 posted 08-07-2012 03:26 AM

krisrimes-
Gibson was in possession of unsustainable material. They probably could have beaten the charges, but at what cost? Like someone else said, the government doesn’t do a cost/benefit analysis – they just keep throwing money. No business can keep up with them for long.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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Rick M.

3975 posts in 1036 days


#14 posted 08-07-2012 06:55 AM

Gibson broke the law, admitted to it, were warned about it two years ago and continued breaking the law until the government stepped in.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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Howie

2656 posts in 1579 days


#15 posted 08-07-2012 11:13 AM

So when Gibson needs to buy frets from china, all they have to do is ask for proof of where this thingies were made. It is not that hard.

It’s a well known fact China will lie about anything as far as where it came from. Try baby formula and drywall for a start.

-- Life is good.

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dhazelton

1186 posts in 952 days


#16 posted 08-07-2012 12:45 PM

Reminds me of all the regulations to recycle electronics – they end up getting sold to Chinese companies who pay villagers to just burn things over open fires to get the metals. Everything else goes up as toxic smoke or into the water supply. Our govt. is messed up.

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guitchess

82 posts in 2364 days


#17 posted 08-07-2012 01:01 PM

Typical government skewed logic. Punish a company for buying from a country that doesn’t have a problem with harvesting the wood is like winning in Vegas then being arrested in your home state that views gambling as illegal. We as a country have no right to force our moral views on anyone else. We are down on China because of their “unfair” human rights standards, but our own country was just as bad, if not worse, a hundred years ago. We have no right to hold the rest of the world to our current standard when we went through the same phase in our growth.


What if the rest of the world refused to sell us oil because we are harming the environment? We consume 25% of the world’s oil use by ourselves. Which means if we hold ourselves to the same measurement that the government is holding Gibson, we would have larger issues than a truck load of ebony.


Then watch Ax Men on the history channel. You will see glimpses of old growth, or at least natural, balanced forests that are clear cut for nothing more than dimensional lumber. I’ve been a carpenter for 22 years, and am well aware that I have profited from this action. It does make me cringe because I love outdoor recreation. But it sounds like I, and every other carpenter, should be fined. We bought lumber from a company/government that is harming the earth.


If the government will actually destroy this wood, then the gates should be stormed and they should be b-slapped. At least auction it off to make money to fight the evil earth destroyers. Or give it away to non-profit furniture/cabinet makers like the ones at LumberJocks

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guitchess

82 posts in 2364 days


#18 posted 08-07-2012 01:15 PM

Plus the government would have made more of a difference, and probably done it cheaper with a pr campaign that let the public know that Gibson was using unsustainable lumber. As usual, the government taking the people out of the loop.

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lysdexic

4839 posts in 1279 days


#19 posted 08-07-2012 01:35 PM

I am sad for my children.

Soon the G’ment will be in control of your healthcare. It is sad but inevitable.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

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Moron

4666 posts in 2549 days


#20 posted 08-07-2012 01:44 PM

Say what you may, but please watch the video from Bob Taylor of Taylor guitars.

An old wise native american said “What ever befalls the earth, befalls the children of the earth”

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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JAGWAH

929 posts in 1740 days


#21 posted 08-07-2012 02:23 PM

Again as said before you need to watch Taylor’s video.
A showing of courage and responcibility.

I agree it’s dissapointing the regulations out there. But they’re there for a reason. Men do not act responcibly unless forced by law or regulation. If everyone had the ecological concerns Taylor does we wouldn’t have created a shortage thus requiring the regulations.

As to the burning, it is a sad thing. But just like ivory no one should benefit from this theft. I would have hoped the ebony would be archived somewher for future generations to see. Like the last of a species found killed I think they would have stuffed the sucker for posterity.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

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Mainiac Matt

3998 posts in 984 days


#22 posted 08-07-2012 02:30 PM

My comments and concerns have nothing to do with protection of the environment…. I’m all for that…

Due Process and the Rule of Law have been tossed out the window by several Federal agencies in recent years….

Here’s how it works…

1. The Federal agency “suspects” wrong doing.
2. The Federal agency gets a warrant and raids the suspects business…. they can sieze computers, they can freeze bank accounts, they can sieze assets, they can revoke permits and licenses and then walk away…. all of this is done with NO CHARGES BEING FILED AND NO PROSECUTION AND NO CONVICTION.

Whatever happened to PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY ???

If you had been following the Gibson case, you would know that over a year after the FWS raided them and siezed their property… no charges had been filed.

And when Gibons attorneys made formal inquiries, they were stone walled. No charges, no explanation…no nothing. Gibson went to the FWA and said… “tell us what we did wrong and we’ll fix it” and they got nothing! No explanation of what they supposedly did wrong… nothing. They purchased the wood from sources in India and had documentation that it was harvested from sustainable sources…. THEY MADE EVERY EFFORT TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW!!!!!

The only legal actions that happened after the raid was Gibson attempting to get an explanation as to what they had allegedly done wrong…. and trying to get their property returned to them.

BUT…. if you are not charged with a crime…. you never get to defend yourself in a court of law!

What did Gibson actually do that was illegal? Fill out a form incorrectly?

The threat of legal action hanging over your head does not bode well for running a business. Your reputation can suffer irreparable damaged, your line of credit can get pulled, suppliers may not be willing to extend you normal credit terms….

In short…. they can drive you under very easilly, just by telling you “talk to the hand”.

Read up on the interesting case of Cavalry Arms. The were raided by the ATF and hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets were seized. Dozens of legally owned customer rifles that were in their shop for custom service or repair were also seized. None of this was ever returned. These people had their property stolen by the ATF. Two years later, the ATF had not made any charges against Cavalry… and they hadn’t even pulled Calvary Arms Federal Firearms License… why? Because theirs an appeal process set up and Calvary could then have gone before a judge.

Rather, the ATF just sitting on their hands waiting for them to go under.

But what they didn’t expect was that loyal customers started and internet buzz and set up a legal defense fund for Calvary and started placing orders and buying everything they still had on the shelf. They even went back into manufacturing product, which sold like hot cakes. They were able to generate over a $100K to fund their legal defense.

So eventually the ATF charged the owner with some idiotic technical violation (they had moved a molding machine into a larger facility and had failed to add that address to their license) and pulled his FFL.

Or then again, read up on the Sackett vs. EPA case, in which an Idaho family, persecuted by the Federal EPA for building on their own property (after receiving permits from the town and a ruling by the state EPA saying their property was NOT a wetland)... took the EPA to court …all the way to the Supreme Court of the Untited States…. AND WON… only to have the EPA continue to issue daily admin. fines against them.

THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABIILITY IN FEDERAL AGENCIES AND THEY NO IT!!!

Just look at the parties and multi-million dollar bonuses that were just exposed at the GSA.

Reagan said it best “governmetn IS the problem”

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Mainiac Matt

3998 posts in 984 days


#23 posted 08-07-2012 02:32 PM

if it was theft… why wasn’t Gibson charged??

submitting to government extortion is not admission of theft.

it’s a desperate act of survival…

People need to stop believing everything the t.v. news tells them, and reed up on these cases and then wake up and realize how common this kind of abuse of power is.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Mainiac Matt

3998 posts in 984 days


#24 posted 08-07-2012 03:39 PM

I’ll give the ranting a break… but want to make sure that folks understand that I am NOT against responsible and affective environmental regulation…

My understanding of the Gibson case, which I’ve read at least a dozen articles on, is that they were never charged with a violation and were never given their day in court.

They “settled” with the FWS in a “letter of understanding” and agreed to pay the extorsion money, so they could go back to running their business.

We need to get Tennesee in here… he’s in the business and undoubtedly knows more about this than any of us who are limited to what the news spoon feeds us.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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lysdexic

4839 posts in 1279 days


#25 posted 08-07-2012 03:46 PM

My comment is concerning the over reach of government -not conservation.

I am a passionate conservationist but 16 years in the military makes one quite cynical concerning the federal governments abilities.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

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Mainiac Matt

3998 posts in 984 days


#26 posted 08-07-2012 03:54 PM

Oh come on lysdexic,

there’s no politics in the armed forces….. or is there? :^)

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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lysdexic

4839 posts in 1279 days


#27 posted 08-07-2012 04:01 PM

That’s why it is 16 years and not 20. I couldn’t stand it. I’d go on another 6 month deployment in a heart beat if I didn’t have to serve out the other 3 1/2 years comittment.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

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CharlieM1958

15698 posts in 2874 days


#28 posted 08-07-2012 04:07 PM

Thanks for the link to Bob Taylor’s video. He shows a good combination of business sense and common sense.

And speaking of Taylor guitars, watching that video prompted me to watch this one detailing the guitar building process at their California factory from start to finish. Quite interesting.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Doss

779 posts in 920 days


#29 posted 08-07-2012 06:04 PM

Sounds like they got what they deserved. From what I’ve read, I don’t think the government overstepped at all.

Man may conserve by himself, but some businesses don’t think about anything but their bottom line… and that’s the problem.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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Tennessee

1447 posts in 1170 days


#30 posted 08-07-2012 07:12 PM

I live two hours South of the Gibson plant, so we luthiers down here have followed this case carefully. We also followed with interest the first raid on Gibson, which revolved around rosewood. Many musicians thought they would have to give up their vintage instruments which contained Brazilian Rosewood, since it was on the endangered list. Flying with those instruments became dicey, since they did not want them taken away by TSA screeners. Luckily, a quick provision was introduced into Congress allowing previous ownership.

Make no mistake about it, Henry Juszkiewicz is a tough guy, and Gibson has regularly made the list of the worst 100 places to work in the United States for a number of years. But when Henry and his fellows bought up Gibson, they were almost dead, as was Epiphone, so in that sense, they saved a lot of jobs.

As far as the wood, they did make some clerical errors that probably should have been caught, but no one down here close to the proximity of the factory really believes that Gibson did anything different than the other four majors, Fender, Martin, Taylor, or Paul Reed Smith. They all import the same woods, in the same manner, and I would bet that they are all about as suspect to these mistakes as any other.

In addition, the Lacey Act provision that it will acknowledge other countries laws is a vague one, i.e. the provision that if the ebony fretboards would have been finished it would have been OK to ship. I believe if we followed all the laws of all the other countries, whether they follow them or not, soon not many manufacturers would be left in this country.

From my perspective, I align myself pretty much with ssnvet – Juszkiewicz has been very vocal about his opposition to the Obama administration, and he paid for that. If you really want a focus on what the Obama administration is like, read Edward Klien’s outstanding book, “The Amateur” which is factual in that he has taken his information from over 300 interviews from close friends and aides from all sides of the story concerning the Obamas, taken from the last 17 years. And Edward Klein is not a conservative reporter! Of course, if you are an Obama supporter, you will not bother to read this book and simply write it off as fiction.

Did Gibson mess up on some paperwork and probably ignore it? Yes. Did any other guitar company in the last four years do anything like this, or have they all been squeaky clean? We’ll never know. Taylor’s video is very touchy-feely, and I can see him being very heart-felt in his compassion for endangered wood. I believe that he believes in saving trees. But I have to wonder, do all of his purchasing agents? Do all of his buyers, scattered across the globe? How about his logistic suppliers from second and third parties? Somehow, with paychecks on the line based on performance, and no Taylor fortune behind them, I have to wonder.

We do know that the other four majors, Fender, Taylor, Martin and Paul Reed Smith all gave to the Obama campaign, where Gibson did not.
This shows a pattern in the Obama administration that is quite bothering. If you are for them, you are fine. If you disagree with them, and they find that you have some power, they look for an angle.
Just today the world found out that Tim Geitner was the driving force behind the elimination of 20,000 non-union pensions in the GM Delphi division, part of the “bail-out” of GM. We have a Delphi plant not too far from here, I pity those people who worked there for years as supervisors, only to find out they have no pension, when they thought they did. But if you are a union member, your pension is intact. Welcome to the new economy…

Henry Juszkiewicz made a very profound statement yesterday, “That it might be easier to just close down the Gibson plant, fire all the employees, and hire Samick and Cort, two renowned Asian manufacturers, to make Gibson guitars.”
They already make Epiphones, what’s a few decal and pickup changes? Don’t be surprised if pushed, he does simply that.

Lastly, I agree with the salvation of precious resources on this planet. It would not be too hard for the guitar industry to simply change up its tradition a little, and let other woods come into play. My guitars are not made from woods that are endangered. They sound fine. I just finished a lapsteel made of solid oak. The strings ring out forever. Oak is used to fry lobster at restaurants it is so plentiful. Tradition gets in the way of a lot of innovation.

But like when the Chinese had the world’s largest teak forest in the 1400’s, it was only teak that would suffice for their fleet of ships, and the Forbidden City, and the houses of the wealthy, and soon the forest was gone.
There are ways around the precious woods, people just have to give a little.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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lysdexic

4839 posts in 1279 days


#31 posted 08-07-2012 07:30 PM

Very interesting. Thank you Paul.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

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Doss

779 posts in 920 days


#32 posted 08-07-2012 10:08 PM

Don’t you “I hate [the government | Obama | liberals | conservatives | Cherry Coke]” people have enough threads already? Sheesh. Y’all need to go spout off somewhere else. (If it’s confusing, I’m not speaking about the original post. It’s the “Obama did it” or “The Guvment’s out to get ya” crazies that I’m referring to.)

From what I’ve read, Gibson had been warned about this before and did nothing about it. They even have internal emails where Gibson talked about their decision to try to circumvent the system. They knew they did wrong. They paid for it. I don’t see what the big deal is.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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J

48 posts in 803 days


#33 posted 08-07-2012 10:25 PM

I joined LJ’s because it is supposed to be a community of friendly people. Yet, another thread that moves past discourse into a less respectable format. :(
I do agree with ssnvet that it is wasteful, extorsion, and a coercive act against Gibson.

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Moron

4666 posts in 2549 days


#34 posted 08-07-2012 10:36 PM

Me neither. The problem with any thread, any forum, is that anyone can be who ever they want, they can be an scholar and dole out all the paradox’s of expertise, turning a simple thread into a land of a never ending war.

I really like the Quail that run around only feet from where I work in my outdoor office.

Sarcasm

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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AandCstyle

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#35 posted 08-07-2012 11:11 PM

ssnvet: +1 Thank you!

-- Art

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juniorjock

1930 posts in 2421 days


#36 posted 08-07-2012 11:29 PM

I think Gibson will be able to survive this. They would have probably paid the fine at the start and be done with it. I was wanting to read this thread because I’m interested in this stuff. Problem was that most post were just too damn long….. way too damn long. A lot of “cut and paste”.

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madts

1261 posts in 996 days


#37 posted 08-07-2012 11:31 PM

I am sorry Mark. I am not old enough to be your father, but more like an older brother.

What up with all this vitriol, Bro

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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Rick M.

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#38 posted 08-08-2012 12:26 AM

THEY MADE EVERY EFFORT TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW!!!!!

Apparently not. Let’s be clear… this was NOT a clerical error or some form they forgot to sign and they did have reason to believe to wood was illegal. They didn’t check, didn’t care, thumbed their nose at the law and the authorities but some of you are trying to make them out as victims; they are not. At least read up on the subject before spewing your nonsense and maybe you’ll have a different perspective.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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juniorjock

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#39 posted 08-08-2012 12:34 AM

Some strong words there wormil. Exactly who are you referring to as “your” or “you’ll”?

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Tedstor

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#40 posted 08-08-2012 12:36 AM

1- This thread makes me want to plant a few trees this fall. I might go to the local nursery and pick up few hickory saplings.

2- Is there an area of the US where ebony might be able to grow??

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Rick M.

3975 posts in 1036 days


#41 posted 08-08-2012 12:41 AM

Exactly who are you referring to as “your” or “you’ll”?

some of you are trying to make them out as victims

Seems pretty clear doesn’t it? I get irritated when people just make up nonsense to twist an issue into a political discussion.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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Moron

4666 posts in 2549 days


#42 posted 08-08-2012 12:43 AM

Why don’t you gentlemen, just kindly agree to disagree…………and walk away.

As with every story, their is yours and his, yet the truth most often lies in-between.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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juniorjock

1930 posts in 2421 days


#43 posted 08-08-2012 12:45 AM

Sorry, you didn’t answer my question. If you were referring to a certain LJ, you should say so. If not, you should say that you screwed up by addressing everyone of the site….........

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Rick M.

3975 posts in 1036 days


#44 posted 08-08-2012 12:51 AM

I quoted ssnvet but my comments were not restricted specifically to him. I am addressing the people who are just making up stuff to twist this into a political conversation. Does that apply to you?

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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juniorjock

1930 posts in 2421 days


#45 posted 08-08-2012 12:52 AM

No…... it don’t mean shit to me. I’ve got my Les Paul…... and they can’t take it back.

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Moron

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#46 posted 08-08-2012 01:02 AM

Sorry Folks, I never posted this expecting such strong opinions, one way or the other. I tried to delete it but I dont think I can.

You know a society grows strong when men plant trees knowing they will never enjoy its shade

Officially on “Unwatch”

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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madts

1261 posts in 996 days


#47 posted 08-08-2012 01:10 AM

On a completely different note.

I would like to make an electric guitar for my son-in-law. He has his own band in Austin Texas. What would be the best model, style and wood to use for this endeavour. I am in the process of putting together a kit guitar from Grizzley, just to get an idea of whats involved.

On second thoughts I will start a post on this.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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Doss

779 posts in 920 days


#48 posted 08-08-2012 05:16 AM

Of course they didn’t go to court. Why would they want to? So it would cost them more money and so they could run the risk of racking up even more fines or criminal charges? Sheesh.

To answer your question, I’m reading the actual case closing letter thank you very much.

Yes, I will bash Gibson all I want. They’re a major corporation with the power to do simple checks and they refused to do them. In not doing so, they got burned. It’s their own fault. Deal with it. Does it mean I hate them? No, I don’t have anything against them. I just stated that they got what they deserved as any lawbreaker would. Hell, I think they got off lighter than they could have.

‘Mericuh! ‘Mericuh! ‘Mericuh! <sigh>

Here’s my contribution and what it boils down to (condensed from the case closing letter from the DOJ to Gibson):

- Madagascar set a law in place in 2006 (Madagascar Interministerial Order 16.030/2006) which banned all harvest and prohibited export of ebony not declared to the government of Madagascar prior to February 15, 2006 (except in finished form which fingerboards are a part of (sort of)) .

- Gibson uses a foreign supplier (from Germany, T.N. GMBH) to obtain wood (fingerboards). This supplier was certified as forest-friendly and received some of its wood from a forest operator (R.T.) in Madagascar.

- 2007: Gibson’s documentation reveals that it was receiving ebony after the 16.030/2006 was in effect.

- June 9, 2008: A Gibson representative attends a fact-finding trip to Madagascar with a group called the “Music Wood Coalition.”

During this trip and in a follow up, the representative learns that export of ebony is illegal and also that the fingerboards as specified by Gibson are illegal “finished” products as well. He also learns of the connection between Gibson’s supplier (T.N. GMBH) and the forest operator (R.T) and the fact that the forest operator’s stock is under temporary seizure.

The representative and the president of Gibson receive an email detailing the fact-finding trip’s results. This email along with other information is forwarded to a Gibson wood purchaser and others.

- 2008: The operator is given “exceptional authority” to export rosewood which was deemed legal from its stockpiles.

- The supplier, T.N. GMBH, received wood from its forest operator (R.T.) in Madagascar (rosewood and ebony).

- June 20, 2008: Gibson places an order for ebony fingerboard blanks despite knowledge that it is illegal.
- December 22, 2008: Repeat order.

- February 25, 2009: The representative reports to his superiors that because of the instability and violence in Madagascar, the opportunity to purchase Madagascar ebony with ebony “for the grey market” from R.T. through T.N. was optimal. In other words, they knew this was a great chance to score some illegal ebony.

- April 2, 2009: Repeat order.

- September 28, 2009: Repeat order. This time though, they reported that the wood was “builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood”... flooring panels, shingles, and shakes. (Honestly though, I think this was their supplier’s fault).

- June 20, 2008 to November 17, 2009: Gibson did not ask for or obtain paperwork or official assurances from Madagascar officials that the wood it was purchasing from Madagascar was legally harvested or exported despite information that they had gathered earlier to the contrary. It also did not ask for or obtain this from their supplier as well.

Also, Gibson is getting back the wood that was seized that they legally obtained.

I can put this in a timeline if all these words are hard for you to understand. I can even use pretty colors and pictures too.

I guess if I hate American companies by your logic, you must hate facts as they were presented. I guess I should ask what you were reading now in fairness… an op-ed? What I find odd is that I didn’t see anywhere in that report where Obama was leading the charge on this. Can someone provide me with that part?

Here’s what I know, if you’re a company that deals with other countries moving around any item that is “sensitive” (information, materials, personnel, etc.) then you must do your due diligence. Never leave anything to chance.

I only write this in this fashion because you have taken it upon yourself to use an accusatory tone in some of your responses and seem to love attacking non-relevant positions such as political party affiliation or allegiance to country rather than actually addressing the topic at hand (let me remind you: A business breaking the law to obtain illegally harvested wood). It’s a shame I can’t depend on our elders to at least stay focused… I have enough problems trying to stop our interns from staring at their dang phones and work. I thought you guys were supposed to be the ones we looked up to for guidance… it’s starting to make sense now. I’ll have to apologize to my nephew next time I yell at him for not paying attention and instead yell at his grandparents. See? I can wander off topic too. It makes reading this long post even worse doesn’t it?

Questions?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View JAGWAH's profile

JAGWAH

929 posts in 1740 days


#49 posted 08-08-2012 11:42 AM

A gallant effort DOSS. I applaud you.

But you should have known it wouldn’t matter. It’s like trying to convince a hoarder that they live in filth or a bulimic they are to thin. Logic and irrefutable proof doesn’t work.

And no Mark I didn’t call you a hoarder or a bulimic. But what I have to say to you is you have way to much pointless vitriol to be considered seriously.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

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Doss

779 posts in 920 days


#50 posted 08-08-2012 06:14 PM

And again, proving my point. You asked, you received, and you didn’t like it so now you’re taking your ball and going home. And to be blunt, you can take what I did as a contribution to this site. None of this was intended to be a fight with you (at least on my part). I just handled it matter-of-factly with a little color thrown in for humor. And yes, I do feel like I’m watching a 12 year old.

Also, to be succinct, I don’t hate Gibson. I just think they got caught doing something wrong and paid the price. I don’t hope they go out of business, but I believe if you do something wrong you should be prepared for the consequences.

I truly hope you’re not done with LJ because it seems you do have some expertise in certain areas. Maybe you should just stay away from posting things that are political in nature or off topic and instead focus more on the woodworking and technical aspects of such.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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