Gov’t raids strike a controversial chord (

Gov’t raids strike a controversial chord

Russ Jones and Jody Brown – OneNewsNow – 8/31/2011 8:55:00 AMBookmark and Share

Gibson Hummingbird guitarThe legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson was recently raided by the U.S. Department of Justice. On Wednesday, August 24, heavily armed agents from the federal agency executed four search warrants on Gibson’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis in what some are calling an extreme abuse of power.


Reports claim Gibson is violating the Lacey Act with its guitars produced from rosewood and mahogany imported from India that are crafted by American workers in U.S. facilities. The intent of the law combats trafficking in “illegal” wildlife, fish, and plants, but Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz tells OneNewsNow that the company has been using the wood for years.
“We have letters from a very high-level government agency in India that says that this product was allowable export,” he notes. “And in fact, we have been buying the same product for well over 17 years, regularly.”
Henry Juszkiewicz (CEO, Gibson Guitars)This is the second such raid in two years where Gibson employees were evacuated and computers and pallets of wood were confiscated. Gibson reports no charges have been filed from that 2009 raid, and that the government still holds the company’s property.
Meanwhile, competitor C.F. Martin & Company uses the same wood product, but has not endured similar investigations. “Wood that we are buying is being bought by other companies in the industry, and they have not had any kind of action — not so much as a letter or a postcard,” states Juszkiewicz.
In addition to questions about application of the Lacey Act, some are voicing concern about possible political intimidation. Chris Martin IV, CEO of the Martin guitar company, is a long-time Democratic supporter, donating tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates. In contrast, Juszkiewicz has a long history of supporting Republican candidates.
In an interview with The Daily News in Memphis earlier this week, Juszkiewicz stated: “The federal bureaucracy is just out of hand. And it seems to be there’s almost a class warfare of companies versus people, rich versus poor, Republicans versus Democrats …. We feel totally abused. We feel the arrogance of federal power is impacting me personally, our company personally, and the employees here in Tennessee — and it’s just plain wrong.”
Juszkiewicz argues that the U.S. Lacey Act is only applicable when a foreign law has been violated. He believes his company is innocent of any wrongdoing.
In April 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama presented France’s first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, with a Gibson guitar as a gift. The Gibson “Hummingbird” acoustic guitar’s construction incorporates mahogany and rosewood from India.

Leftist tactics becoming routine and ever more “in your face” under the Obama administration. This is NOT the America the vast majority of Americans desire.. this is Tyranny.

The American Spectator : Preventive Care, Obamacare Style

The Right Prescription

Preventive Care, Obamacare Style

By on 8.24.11 @ 6:07AM

While President Obama rests up at Martha’s Vineyard, people
whose lives should be saved by new and existing cancer drugs are
driving from hospital to hospital in search of medicines in short
supply thanks in part to Obamacare’s implementation.

Over the past two years shortages have developed for over
180 drugs, including cancer treatments. The shortfall is the result
of stricter FDA regulation, government price controls on already
discounted but complex drugs, and policies that discourage the use
of new medications. Companies, facing lower prices, tighter
regulation and increasing government control over what drugs will
be used and when, are exiting the U.S. market and investing in
product development in China and India where, sadly, it is easier
and cheaper to produce next-generation medicines.

Stockpiling will only add to people’s suffering by replacing
market reforms with government micromanagement. Government planners
require months, if not years, to produce regulations, bids and
supply estimates that are usually overgenerous to compensate for
paltry prices. Government bungling was behind the failure of the
smallpox and H1N1 vaccine program and responsible for billions of
dollars in flu vaccines and antibiotics being dumped. The
same forces pushing stockpiling also
commercializing medical discoveries is evil. It’s part of a larger
effort to nationalize the development of medicines that under
Obamacare is become institutionalized.

Indeed, the drug shortage is a product of a more troubling
trend. At a time when medical research could yield breakthroughs in
the treatment of obesity, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and stroke, among
others, innovation has all but dried up. Most of the medicines
being used today were developed 30 years ago. Most of them have
generic competition. They have contributed greatly to increased
wellbeing but as the return on generic drugs fall, price controls
and regulation have created shortages.

Obamacare is making the commercialization of newer drugs
and devices more difficult.

Though new and faster methods to determine a technology’s
safety and effectiveness exist, Obama’s FDA still demands evidence
collected with science and statistical methods developed in the
19th century. To be sure, in the last two years new medicines for
AIDS, cancer, lupus and hepatitis have been developed. Yet, these
products should have been available sooner if not for FDA

And now that they are finally approved, patients are
finding it next to impossible to access several new drugs and
genetic tests that would transform the quality of life and extend
survival for such illnesses as lupus, prostate cancer, and organ

Provenge, the first cancer vaccine, stalled at the FDA for
years. Once approved, it faced 18 months of additional delay while
the Obama administration figured out whether to pay for it. The
gauntlet cancer patients face with Provenge is being extended to
everyone waiting for a medical breakthrough under Obamacare. Before
a medical innovation can be used or paid for, the government will
now demand additional research demonstrating that a new product
will be more effective and cheaper than existing technologies.
Since most new products come from small start-ups with limited
cash, such a requirement means life-saving innovations will not be
available at all.

Similar regulations have been used to delay and deny
access to cancer drugs in England, Canada and Australia. Drugs such
as Avastin, Revlimid and Herceptin are barely used in Britain’s
cancer wards because government decided they were not valuable. The
people who could not use them are dead. Those — mostly in America
— that did are alive.

But now this de facto rationing is coming to America.
Before the cancer drug shortage there was the decision that women
under 50 should not get mammograms. Both Provenge and Benlysta, new
treatments for prostate cancer and lupus respectively, are hard to
come by because of uncertainty about reimbursement by health plans
and government.

The death and suffering flowing from such delays are the
result of policies promoted by those who want to use the FDA and
increased government control over medicine to slash access to new
technologies. In their mind, rationing of cancer drugs frees up
money to expand the welfare state. The shortage of old drugs is
simply one side effect of this malevolent strategy.

It would be simpler to claw back regulations and let
markets work. But stockpiling is part of a larger effort to
centralize the development and use of medical services. The
administration has gone silent on the wonders of Obamacare even as
it issues regulations and hires bureaucrats to replace free choice
with government edict. But it will emerge as a campaign and
social issue. In America no one should go without medicine
because they can’t afford it. And this shouldn’t be a nation where
people are denied treatments because their government makes
medicine impossible to produce or obtain.

Letter to the Editor

Think about it. This is the direction the current government intends to prod us… like sheep to slaughter. This is driving the average American into the ditch.. a Grand Canyon size ditch…

Pro-Al Qaeda brigades control Qaddafi Tripoli strongholds seized by rebels

Our accomplishment in Libya?


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 28, 2011, 11:47 AM (GMT+02:00)

Tags:  Libya   Muammar Qaddafi   Al Qaeda   Tripoli   NATO   NTC 
Abd Al-Hakim Belhadj, pro-Al Qaeda LIFG chief

Members of the Al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – LIFG, are in control of the former strongholds of Muammar Qaddafi captured by Libyan rebels last Sunday, Aug. 21, debkafile reports from sources in Libya. They are fighting under the command of Abd Al-Hakim Belhadj, an al Qaeda veteran from Afghanistan whom the CIA captured in Malaysia in 2003 and extradited six years later to Libya where Qaddafi held him in prison.

Belhadj is on record as rejecting any political form of coexistence with the Crusaders excepting jihad.

His brigades were the principal rebel force in the operation for the capture of Qaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya ruling compound on Aug. 23. Saturday, Aug. 27, those brigades overran the Abu Salim district of southern Tripoli taking it from the last pro-Qaddafi holdouts in the city. Many of the prisoners released from the local jail belonged to al Qaeda.
The LIFG chief now styles himself “Commander of the Tripoli Military Council.” Asked by our sources whether they plan to hand control of the Libyan capital to the National Transitional Council, which has been recognized in the West, the jihadi fighters made a gesture of dismissal without answering.

According to US and British media, at least half of the members of the NTC have moved from Benghazi to Tripoli, the key condition for the receipt of Qaddafi’s frozen assets and international aid. But there is no confirmation from our sources that this has happened. Tripoli is rife with disorder, awash with weapons and prey to reciprocal allegations of atrocities. Our sources doubt that the council will be able to assert control of – or even a presence in – Tripoli any time soon. US intelligence sources in Tripoli see no sign that the NTC will be able to persuade the Islamist brigades to relinquish control of the city in the near future – or even lay down arms.
Those arms are advanced items which British and French special operations forces gave the rebels, said a senior American source. Had those NATO contingents not led the Tripoli operation, the rebels unaided would not have captured Qaddafi’s centers of government.

A week after that dramatic episode, Tripoli’s institutions of government have wound up in the hands of fighting Islamist brigades belonging to al Qaeda, who are now armed to the teeth with the hardware seized from Qaddafi’s arsenals. No Western or Libyan military force can conceive of dislodging the Islamists from the Libyan capital in the foreseeable future.

Libya has thus created a new model which can only hearten the Islamist extremists eyeing further gains from the Arab Revolt. They may justly conclude that NATO will come to their aid for a rebellion to topple any autocratic Arab ruler. The coalition of British, French, Qatari and Jordanian special forces, with quiet US intelligence support, for capturing Tripoli and ousting Qaddafi, almost certainly met with US President Barack Obama’s approval.

For the first time, therefore, the armies of Western members of NATO took part directly in a bid by extremist Islamic forces to capture an Arab capital and overthrow its ruler.
An attempt to vindicate the way this NATO operation has turned out is underway. Western media are being fed portrayals of the rebel leadership as a coherent and responsible political and military force holding sway from Benghazi in the east up to the Tunisian border in the west.

This depiction is false. Our military sources report that the bulk of rebel military strength in central and western Libya is not under NTC command, nor does it obey orders from rebel headquarters in Benghazi.
This chaotic situation in rebel ranks underscores the importance of the effort the NTC has mounted to capture Sirte, Qaddafi’s home town, where most of his support is concentrated. Control of Sirte, which lies between Benghazi and Tripoli, will provide the NTC and its leader Abdul Jalil, with a counterweight for the pro-Al Qaeda brigades in control of the capital.


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