American Elephants

The Great Gibson Guitar Raid. by The Elephant's Child

It was back in August, last year that armed federal agents raided Gibson Guitar’s Nashville headquarters, seizing wood, instruments and creating a national outcry over the high-profile persecution.  Now, more than six months later, the Department of Justice still has not filed any charges.

At the time of the raid, agents were supposedly working from a tip that Gibson had broken laws in India and Madagascar, two countries that supply Gibson with ebony and other scarce woods for its guitars. Both India and Madagascar say that Gibson has done nothing wrong.  Federal agents seized more than $1 million of Gibson’s property, Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz has testified before Congress, but no charges from Obama’s Justice department.  Power grab.

It’s Not Human Error, but “Pedal Misapplication” by The Elephant's Child
February 12, 2011, 8:03 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Law | Tags: , ,

One of the big news stories of 2010 was announced by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “Toyotas are unsafe.

Congress leaped to respond.  Hearings were held.  Accusations.  Rep. Henry Waxman (D–Hollywood) and Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) featured anecdotes about lethal acceleration. They accused Toyota executives of lying about the problem.  They accused Toyota executives of deliberately concealing what they knew.  Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill) referred to Toyotas as “killing machines.”  The mainstream media concocted stories based on the “killing machine” theme.  Toyota was fined a record $48.9 million for what the Obama administration considered its” inadequate response” to the crisis — three recalls involving some 12 million vehicles.  Toyota’s stock price and market share declined.

Um, Nevermind.

After an exhaustive ten-month $1.5 million investigation, assisted by the engineers at NASA (who apparently don’t do space any more) the United States government has officially concluded that there is no evidence whatsoever that there is any mechanical or electronic defect in Toyotas that would cause sudden, unintentional acceleration.  No killing machines.   No cover-up.  No comment from Henry Waxman or Bobby Rush. And no apologies!

Secretary Ray LaHood insisted, for the record, that his department’s findings did not suggest even the possibility of “human error.”  He even got testy with a reporter who used the human error term.  It was apparently a case of “pedal misapplication.”  Toyotas, he admitted, are safe to drive. This administration is really big on euphemisms.   “Pedal misapplication” indeed.

Toyota, a Japanese-based manufacturer of safe, efficient, popular and high-quality vehicles, had the misfortune to be conducting a successful, law-abiding business at the time when the  government was engaged in a financial takeover of General Motors.  The destruction of a major competitor couldn’t hurt.  The tort lawyers were looking for clients, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration head and the Center for Auto Safety planned to set the stage for years of litigation against Toyota. And of course Toyota is not unionized.

This seems to be another example of an administration that operates on a Chicago-style basis.  If they decide that they don’t like you, they can bring to bear the full weight and power of the federal government to make your life unpleasant.

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