Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Cowardice of Rock

     Over the last 3 years, Gibson guitar has been, in the words of CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, stalked by the Department of Justice. The basic gist of the DOJ case is that Gibson illegally imported ebony and rosewood, used in the fingerboards of their guitars. But this is based on the DOJs wild misinterpretation of Indian law, where the wood originates. The Indian government approved the transfer of the wood and the United States Customs department did as well. The importation of the wood was also approved by Forest Stewardship Council, which has the final word on these matters. The entire process used by Gibson in securing the wood was completely legal and followed the laws of both countries. The process, by the way, is the same one used by other guitar manufactures, who for some reason have escaped the DOJs attention. Gibson, to date, has not been officially charged with a crime but has had a half million dollars worth of their product confiscated by the U.S. government as well as losing one million dollars in productivity.
     The reason for this selective prosecution (or what some may call persecution) of Gibson guitar might be found in the political realm rather than the legal. Gibson guitar is a non-union shop and has donated money to conservative causes. This wouldn't be the first time the Obama administration has used the power of government to silence its political opponents. It started after the administration took control of GM and closed profitable car dealerships owned by Republicans. It continued when the administration tried to ban Fox News from White House press briefings. This move was roundly criticized, even by the left-leaning mainstream media and the administration was forced to reconsider its decision.
     It seems to me that no matter what the reason for the DOJs selective prosecution of Gibson guitar, there is a blatant injustice in it. I'm wondering when we will hear from the rock stars who claim to abhor injustice. Country music stars have come out in support of Gibson, but as of the date of this post, the only rock musician to come to Gibson's defense has been Ted Nugent. It seems as though his fellow rockers, like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, et. al., don't have the courage to stand up for injustice when it conflicts with their politics. Their courage only extends to causes for which their Allys on the left won't criticize them. The cowardice of these rockers is defined by their unwillingness to stand with true justice against the slings and arrows of an out-of-control administration and its sycophants in the mainstream media.

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