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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
What's funny is that they're only making this guitar because the president of Gibson is a republican and Obama is a democrat. They're not just "sticking it to the powers that be" as so delicately stated on their webpage, they're sticking it so democrats. And why? Why waste all of that precious wood that caused such controversy in the first place by making a god awful looking and sounding edition? The Government II Series? Seriously? I would NEVER want to own any piece of material tainted with the presumptuous energy of political bias. Music is pure and non-political. It shouldn't be about these distractions. That wood was seized because it is precious, and yes I'm sure it had something to do with corrupt political overtones, but the point is there is alot of value to those trees because they are rare and precious sounding, and that is why Gibson, the best guitar company in the world, wants them for its instruments. So now they're just wasting it on a mockery of the government because the president of GIbson is a whiney little bitch? How many badass 2014 Gibson Custom Les Pauls could that have made? What about just donating the seized wood to little kids, in the form of free guitars, and turn something negative into a positive thing that never would have happened unless the government seized the wood.
The reason why Gibson got raided and Martin didn't is rather simple. Martin was smart enough to apply for the proper permits that allowed them to import the wood. It had nothing to do with one giving money to one political party or the other. Gibson is just whining because they have stupid people running it almost as stupid as anyone willing to pay a grand for this Les Paul. It's been at least 12 years since Gibson made a decent Les Paul.
The Government and Gibson acknowledge and agree that certain questions and inconsistencies now exist regarding the tariff classification of ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks pursuant to the Indian government's Foreign Trade Policy. Accordingly, the Government will not undertake enforcement actions related to Gibson's future orders, purchases, or imports of ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks from India, unless and until the Government of India provides specific clarification that ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks are expressly prohibited by laws related to Indian Foreign Trade Policy. The Government agrees to provide Gibson notice of any such clarification from the Government of India in the future and a reasonable period of time (60 days or as otherwise agreed) to address the potential change in the understanding of the law as it relates to shipments received by or en route to Gibson.
Intenninisterial Order 16.030/2006, Article 6, musical instrument parts, including "guitar fingerboards," were listed as one example of "finished products;" however, "fingerboard blanks" are not specifically listed.
Gibson vigorously denies these allegations, maintaining that all of its purchases from Madagascar have complied with U.S. and Malagasy law. A company attorney says Gibson has presented documents to support that claim and that the recent raid seized legally obtained wood from India. He adds that the company stopped importing wood from Madagascar in 2009.
Chris Martin, Chairman and CEO of the C.F. Martin Guitar Co. in Nazareth, Pa., says that when he first heard guitars built from Madagascar rosewood, he dreamed it might be the long-sought substitute for Brazilian rosewood, whose trade was banned in the 1990s due to over-harvest. Then the situation in Madagascar changed.
"There was a coup," Martin says. "What we heard was the international community has come to the conclusion that the coup created an illegitimate government. That's when we said, 'Okay, we can not buy any more of this wood.'"
The Lacey Act applies from “stump to shelf,” making it illegal “to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law.” Anyone along the supply chain, including the consumer, violates the act if a manufactured item contains a substance obtained illegally under the law of the country of harvest.
Yep, buy, say, a guitar containing a sliver of wood obtained illegally under the law of a country halfway around the world and even though you were unaware of its banned status, you acquired the instrument illegally. (Though, federal officials have recently announced that they won’t enforce the Lacey Act against consumers.) Now, criminal sanctions like big fines and jail time require an intentional circumvention of applicable law, but even innocent circumvention results in confiscation.
A guitar is an apt choice of an exemplary product. A number of guitar makers – those solo luthiers toiling in their one-person shops – have reported to me that their instruments have been seized, temporarily, as they cross international borders when traveling from maker to buyer. The most dramatic example, though, features a large scale manufacturer, the Gibson Corporation. The company has twice had wood and guitars seized. The first seizure occurred in 2009. Gibson and the other two of the “Big Three” U.S. guitar makers, Martin and Taylor, toured Madagascar in 2008 to view what environmental groups had deemed illegal logging operations. After the visit, Martin and Taylor stopped importing woods from Madagascar. Gibson, though, continued and the result was the intervention of federal authorities.
Overview Americans likely do not know about the look or origins of the tree called ebony (Diosyros ebenum), but may know it yields an amazingly dark blackish-brown wood used to make chess pieces, inlays for luxury furniture or the half-step keys on a piano. This wood is dense and hard and has almost metallic qualities. This tropical tree is appropriate to grow in frost-free regions, such as those designated U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10 and warmer.
Similar Species The ebony tree is sometimes called the Ceylong or Indian ebony; it is not the only tree that may be called ebony or provide wood that is called ebony. Other tropical species with dark heartwood include Bombay ebony (Diospyros montana), African ebony (Diospyros mespiliformis), Madagascar ebony (Diospyros haplostylis) and Macassar ebony (Diospyros celebica).
reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
Music is pure and non-political. It shouldn't be about these distractions.
As much as I like Gibsons, (I have a 77 LPC), they have been surpassed in all regards after 1981-1983, Now they are tons of brands that runs rings around them and its a pity since AMERICAN (meaning USA) guitar makers had such a good reputation.
Paul Reed Smith now imports a lot of rare woods and makes INCREDIBLE instruments, they truly carry the torch in American guitar making.
Gibson and Fender nowadays don't hold a candle against some Japanesse maker such as Hoshino ( Ibanez ), that is why Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, George Lynch etc etc.. and other virtuosos use japanesse guitars...
Even with exotic wood no guitar is good if quality control, intonation and manufacturing is done by bozos .
reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
I think the way your thread went from ' Government Abuse ' to whatever it is now... reminds me of something Frank Zappa once said.
In the end , we'll most likely just shut up and play our guitars.( wherever they are made ).
And , I'll have you know - we won't get fooled again...
Damn, I miss my 77 ' Pro ' reissue ( with P-90's