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(The Raw Story)   You're an internationally renowned flautist from Canada who lovingly crafts your flutes by hand. U.S. Customs officials: These are made of wood, which makes them agricultural products and therefore must be destroyed   (rawstory.com) divider line 313
    More: Asinine, U.S. Customs, customs officer, Measuring instrument, virtuoso, Canadian citizen, disc injury, John F. Kennedy International Airport  
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14351 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Jan 2014 at 11:20 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-01 01:43:59 PM  

redmid17: Sticky Hands: redmid17: http://www.boston.com/names/2013/12/31/customs-officials-destroys-flu t e-virtuoso-instruments/fBlZdUpxw3EKWOzdyyvwXM/story.html

The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York's JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. Razgui, a Canadian citizen who lives some of the time in Brockton, had flown last week from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, an official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments - 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. "They said this is an agriculture item," said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. "I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life." When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. "They told me they were destroyed," he says. "Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible. I don't know what to do. I've never written letters to people." -

Sweet. Love to see pre emptive enforcement of a regulation THAT DOESN'T APPLY. Even if it was bamboo, guess what CBP says about that:

Bamboo that is thoroughly dried and split or cut lengthwise (rendering it incapable of propagation) will be inspected upon entry and released.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1359/~/importing-bamboo -i nto-the-us

Now I am not Nick Offerman or Bob Vila, but I imagine a carved instrument that has existed for several years would likely be thoroughly dried and cut/split, even if it weren't made out of bamboo.


now I'm not flutegenieer, so I may be wrong,  but I suspect that  if you split it or cut it lengthwise, it's going to let all the flutey goodness out.

Bamboo grows up to 3" a day. You're going to have to trim or split it to get the rough size you want to carve. Otherwise you are going to be making a gigantic flute.


Swing and a miss.
 
2014-01-01 01:46:36 PM  
So we have to worry about imported wood products.
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-01-01 01:46:39 PM  

machodonkeywrestler: redmid17: Sticky Hands: redmid17: http://www.boston.com/names/2013/12/31/customs-officials-destroys-flu t e-virtuoso-instruments/fBlZdUpxw3EKWOzdyyvwXM/story.html

The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York's JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. Razgui, a Canadian citizen who lives some of the time in Brockton, had flown last week from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, an official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments - 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. "They said this is an agriculture item," said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. "I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life." When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. "They told me they were destroyed," he says. "Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible. I don't know what to do. I've never written letters to people." -

Sweet. Love to see pre emptive enforcement of a regulation THAT DOESN'T APPLY. Even if it was bamboo, guess what CBP says about that:

Bamboo that is thoroughly dried and split or cut lengthwise (rendering it incapable of propagation) will be inspected upon entry and released.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1359/~/importing-bamboo -i nto-the-us

Now I am not Nick Offerman or Bob Vila, but I imagine a carved instrument that has existed for several years would likely be thoroughly dried and cut/split, even if it weren't made out of bamboo.


now I'm not flutegenieer, so I may be wrong,  but I suspect that  if you split it or cut it lengthwise, it's going to let all the flutey goodness out.

Bambo ...


Please explain if I'm wrong. I've carved a few things, never a music instrument. Generally when I want to carve something I make sure the source material is roughly of the same size, maybe slightly larger. If I have a 3' piece of bamboo for a 12" flute, I am going to cut a good size chunk of it off before I start carving.
 
2014-01-01 01:48:38 PM  

alexjoss: Welcome to America, flautist--love it or leave it.  Customs agents are just a step above security guards


Actually in my experience, I'm pretty sure that US border patrol agents actually failed the mall security IQ test.

/almost worth hiring a lawyer when crossing the border to put these asshats in their place
 
2014-01-01 01:48:47 PM  

Day_Old_Dutchie: edmo: So much for traveling with my guitar.

Seriously, I'm with the "These guys are assholes" crowd here and you "it's the law" types should just go back to your bedrooms and let the NSA continue filming you or whatever.

Laws are generally dreamed up by overpaid, tiny-minded bureaucrats, who never have to actually be in the situations where their precious laws inconvenience them.

An example is those speed bumps that the municipal seat-warmers insist on installing in parking lots. There's zero evidence these are effective in reducing injuries (Just speak to paramedics how they hate driving their ambulances over these things!).

And those officials that enforce these sorts of rules generally know the rules are asinine, but they happily throw judgement to the wind when they enforce them, because, hey, it's so fulfilling just to harass people!


Unlike  Day_Old_Dutchie, whose expertise in the area of pest infestion and the legal framework surrounding agricultural importation is the stuff of legend... spoken of far and wide, by men, women, and children alike.

"Oh, that  Day_Old_Dutchie" they say, "if you want to know something about invasive species, or the necessary precautions needed to prevent them, he's your fella for sure!!! There ain't nobody in this whole country, east to west, or anywheres in between, what knows more about these issues and the laws that surround them!

He's like a walking 100% completely unabridged encyclopedia devoted solely to agricultural infestation... and a living, breathing legal library of U.S. customs policies and import laws! Whatever he says about such topics, boy, you can take it to the bank!!!"
 
2014-01-01 01:53:24 PM  

big pig peaches: There has to be more to this story. They don't routinely go around destroying everything made of wood.

Maybe this story was originally from the Onion or something.


Disclaimer:  I conduct agriculture quarantine inspections at a different major airport.

I'd like to know more.  The quarantine manuals on wood (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/downloa ds /miscellaneous.pdf starts at pg 3-135 but the relevant parts are on pgs 3-136 and 3-137) show that handicrafts are to be inspected and released if no pests are found.  If no pests were found and the wood already carved into flutes, they should have been let go.

/Quarantine inspection manuals are on USDA's public website.
 
2014-01-01 01:53:55 PM  
Interesting article about how these flutes are made:
http://www.umbc.edu/eol/tmq/tamer/
It looks like they are made out of reed plants, not hardwood.
 
2014-01-01 01:54:42 PM  
"Now I am not Nick Offerman or Bob Vila, but I imagine a carved instrument that has existed for several years would likely be thoroughly dried and cut/split, even if it weren't made out of bamboo."


I have no idea... But, I do know that being roughly 8 years old and spending all of that time outdoors in all manner of weather conditions did not prevent the adirondack chair I built from becoming completely infested by Wood-Boring Beetles.
 
2014-01-01 01:56:20 PM  
Guess US customs should confiscate every wooden baseball bat in professional sports. The wood comes from Canada.

Don't forget the furniture or building supplies.

Just pile it all up in Detroit and light it. I'll watch from Windsor as usual.
 
2014-01-01 01:57:24 PM  
Let's face it. This is a simple case of malicious compliance. The rules are there for a reason and this idiot either chose to maliciously enforce rules that clearly did not apply, or legitimately could not mentally distinguish between processed end products and raw materials.

As an amateur wood turner, I would hate to think that a piece of wood that I had spent hours turning into a piece of art had been destroyed by some idiot in a bureaucratic stupor. But border agents and TSA are not selected for being Harvard Valedictorians, are they?
 
2014-01-01 01:58:43 PM  

technicolor-misfit: "Now I am not Nick Offerman or Bob Vila, but I imagine a carved instrument that has existed for several years would likely be thoroughly dried and cut/split, even if it weren't made out of bamboo."


I have no idea... But, I do know that being roughly 8 years old and spending all of that time outdoors in all manner of weather conditions did not prevent the adirondack chair I built from becoming completely infested by Wood-Boring Beetles.


Even if you sealed the chair, you're comparing rotten grapes to raisins. An outdoor chair is hardly like a flute kept in good care and not exposed to the elements.
 
2014-01-01 02:01:00 PM  
These guys should take a class on nature and the city. EVERYTHING is made from nature. The computer you are using has plastics made from oil, which is a natural resources.
 
2014-01-01 02:04:08 PM  

redmid17: technicolor-misfit: "Now I am not Nick Offerman or Bob Vila, but I imagine a carved instrument that has existed for several years would likely be thoroughly dried and cut/split, even if it weren't made out of bamboo."


I have no idea... But, I do know that being roughly 8 years old and spending all of that time outdoors in all manner of weather conditions did not prevent the adirondack chair I built from becoming completely infested by Wood-Boring Beetles.

Even if you sealed the chair, you're comparing rotten grapes to raisins. An outdoor chair is hardly like a flute kept in good care and not exposed to the elements.



But, it does negate the idea that seems to be floating through this thread that just because something is cut and "dead" that it is no longer a potential danger for infestation.

No one else in this thread has any more expertise than I do on the threat posed by pest infestation nor the level of scrutiny required to eliminate it, and they are armchair quarterbacking the people who do.

I'm not saying that anyone is necessarily wrong. The customs agents may well have been overzealous and completely, but give everyone's lack of ACTUAL knowledge (as opposed to "pulled from my ass" theorizing and assumption-making) they might be a little more humble about their utterly uninformed opinions.
 
2014-01-01 02:05:18 PM  

technicolor-misfit: Since we're only hearing the guy's side of the story, I refuse to jump up and down in outrage.

Most times I've heard of something being refused entry or declared ineligible to bring on a plane, the traveler has the option to ship it home if it means enough to them.

I really doubt they snatched the flutes out of his hand and said "they're ours now and we're going to immolate them right before your eyes as tribute to our dearest holy one, the great and benevolent Barack Hussein Obama, all peace be upon him!!!"

I'll eat my hat if he didn't have some other options that he's conveniently omitting because they'll knock all the outrage right out of his "Big Brother run amok" story.

9 times out 10 these stories go from "OUTRAGE!!!" to "Oh, well that's actually pretty reasonable." within a day or so when all the details come out. Unfortunately, 9 out of 10 people who get "OUTRAGED!!!" by these stories have an ideological axe to grind and refuse to acknowledege the new information or have short attention spans and have already moved to the next "outrage du jour."


You've never dealt with border security, have you? If you have been fortunate not to deal with an asshat (they probably exist), try taking a bus across and back. Because you are on a bus, they feel that they can treat you as a second class citizen.
 
2014-01-01 02:06:16 PM  
technicolor-misfit - "The customs agents may well have been overzealous and completely farked up,but given everyone's..."
 
2014-01-01 02:06:54 PM  
You're an internationally renowned flautist

Ok, it's bad enough the guy had his work destroyed, why feel the need to point out that he passes gas?  However, something tells me his "flutes" had a carburetor.
 
2014-01-01 02:08:04 PM  

redmid17: machodonkeywrestler: redmid17: Sticky Hands: redmid17: http://www.boston.com/names/2013/12/31/customs-officials-destroys-flu t e-virtuoso-instruments/fBlZdUpxw3EKWOzdyyvwXM/story.html

The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York's JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. Razgui, a Canadian citizen who lives some of the time in Brockton, had flown last week from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, an official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments - 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. "They said this is an agriculture item," said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. "I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life." When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. "They told me they were destroyed," he says. "Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible. I don't know what to do. I've never written letters to people." -

Sweet. Love to see pre emptive enforcement of a regulation THAT DOESN'T APPLY. Even if it was bamboo, guess what CBP says about that:

Bamboo that is thoroughly dried and split or cut lengthwise (rendering it incapable of propagation) will be inspected upon entry and released.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1359/~/importing-bamboo -i nto-the-us

Now I am not Nick Offerman or Bob Vila, but I imagine a carved instrument that has existed for several years would likely be thoroughly dried and cut/split, even if it weren't made out of bamboo.


now I'm not flutegenieer, so I may be wrong,  but I suspect that  if you split it or cut it lengthwise, it's going to let all the flutey goodness out.

Bambo ...

Please explain if I'm wrong. I've carved a few things, never a music instrument. Generally when I want to carve something I make sure the source material is roughly of the same size, maybe slightly larger. If I have a 3' piece of bamboo for a 12" flute, I am going to cut a good size chunk of it off before I start carving.


You're wrong. The grain of bamboo runs lengthwise so by cutting with the grain. You no longer have a circular hollow piece of would. If you really have carved anything, you shouldn't need this explained to you.
 
2014-01-01 02:08:39 PM  

Electrify: You've never dealt with border security, have you? If you have been fortunate not to deal with an asshat (they probably exist), try taking a bus across and back. Because you are on a bus, they feel that they can treat you as a second class citizen.


I sympathize.

But that doesn't make the agents in this story wrong.

It's like saying "you've never been mugged by a black guy, have you?"
 
2014-01-01 02:09:02 PM  

smerfnablin: I was outraged until I saw the "Islamic scholar" part

Btw, why saw 10 in a million instead of 1 in 100,000?


Thread.  Wrong.
 
2014-01-01 02:09:34 PM  

pueblonative: It's almost as if you have to consult customs laws when you travel abroad.


Or rule out coming to Worst Germany in the first place. At least the Gestapo had snappy uniforms and weren't fat and stupid.
 
2014-01-01 02:10:00 PM  
There's got to me more to this story.
Even Australia with probably the strictest restrictions on foodstuffs and agricultural items allows people to pay a storage fee where your items are held in quarantine and returned to you as you board a plane departing Australia again.  Sounds as if this guy was as stupid as the lack-of-any-common-sense custom agent he encountered.
 
2014-01-01 02:13:23 PM  

Thallone1: But border agents and TSA are not selected for being Harvard Valedictorians, are they?


Most are fine. Some are petty assholes. This smells like someone pissed off at having to work New Year's Eve and looking to take it out on travelers.
 
2014-01-01 02:13:55 PM  

HindiDiscoMonster: machodonkeywrestler: You're wrong. The grain of bamboo runs lengthwise so by cutting with the grain. You no longer have a circular hollow piece of would wood. If you really have carved anything, you shouldn't need this explained to you.

/FTFY


Thanks. Saw as soon as I posted.
 
2014-01-01 02:20:44 PM  

technicolor-misfit: Electrify: You've never dealt with border security, have you? If you have been fortunate not to deal with an asshat (they probably exist), try taking a bus across and back. Because you are on a bus, they feel that they can treat you as a second class citizen.

I sympathize.

But that doesn't make the agents in this story wrong.

It's like saying "you've never been mugged by a black guy, have you?"


Fair enough. Just don't be too surprised if we are in fact getting the full story.

/saw them give a Chinese guy who barely spoke English a hard time because he brought some cooking knives with him...
//...packed away underneath in the stowaway luggage, where they could not hurt anyone
 
2014-01-01 02:21:06 PM  
they are for goat!
 
2014-01-01 02:25:02 PM  

machodonkeywrestler: redmid17: machodonkeywrestler: redmid17: Sticky Hands: redmid17: http://www.boston.com/names/2013/12/31/customs-officials-destroys-flu t e-virtuoso-instruments/fBlZdUpxw3EKWOzdyyvwXM/story.html

The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York's JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. Razgui, a Canadian citizen who lives some of the time in Brockton, had flown last week from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, an official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments - 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. "They said this is an agriculture item," said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. "I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life." When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. "They told me they were destroyed," he says. "Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible. I don't know what to do. I've never written letters to people." -

Sweet. Love to see pre emptive enforcement of a regulation THAT DOESN'T APPLY. Even if it was bamboo, guess what CBP says about that:

Bamboo that is thoroughly dried and split or cut lengthwise (rendering it incapable of propagation) will be inspected upon entry and released.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1359/~/importing-bamboo -i nto-the-us

Now I am not Nick Offerman or Bob Vila, but I imagine a carved instrument that has existed for several years would likely be thoroughly dried and cut/split, even if it weren't made out of bamboo.


now I'm not flutegenieer, so I may be wrong,  but I suspect that  if you split it or cut it lengthwise, it's going to let all ...


So how exactly does one trim  bamboo to length? At a certain point you need to go against the grain. You don't want to split wood, so you try to not to do it wherever possible, but you're going to be trimming, carving, or cutting against the grain at some point.
 
2014-01-01 02:25:13 PM  

RussianPooper: pueblonative: It's almost as if you have to consult customs laws when you travel abroad.

Only 4 posts to get to the asshole apologist.


How dare there be more than one side to a story!
 
2014-01-01 02:35:35 PM  
Going along with this line of thought, does that mean that a violin or guitar, being made of wood, must also be destroyed?  Just curious as if one goes along with the position that something made of an agricultural product must not be brought over the border, then cotton clothes would also be prohibited and must be destroyed as well as the wood dash appointments in your Cadillac, etc.  So there must either have been some self-appointed thug here at work or there must have been something else at work to cause these particular items to be singled out.  There must be more to this than meets the eye.
 
2014-01-01 02:42:42 PM  
mangocop:Disclaimer:  I conduct agriculture quarantine inspections at a different major airport.

I'd like to know more.  The quarantine manuals on wood (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/downloa ds /miscellaneous.pdf starts at pg 3-135 but the relevant parts are on pgs 3-136 and 3-137) show that handicrafts are to be inspected and released if no pests are found.  If no pests were found and the wood already carved into flutes, they should have been let go.


[bagpipe joke.jpg]
 
2014-01-01 02:43:27 PM  
I am inconsolably outraged by this 168-word article lacking in basic details! No further information will quell this outrage!
 
2014-01-01 02:44:14 PM  
The border guys are assholes when it comes to plants. They won't even let a plant/tree that sits on the side of the road across the border. Like there is some magical force field keeping the plant from spreading 2 feet.
 
2014-01-01 02:44:54 PM  

redmid17: Meanwhile nothing in the US CBP guidelines mentions wood at all:

http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/clearing/agri_prod_inus.xml

I suppose it could be under "other biological material" but that would is completely dead and maybe sealed. Anyone got a particular reason why CBP would destroy these?


Speaking as a former customs inspector, the wood must be sealed airtight, with paint, laquer, or varnish before importation. The purpose is to kill larvae in the wood.
 
2014-01-01 02:47:14 PM  
you know that stuff they use to print money on.... agricultural product...

OK  well, not Canada,  they use plastic...  guess they saw this one coming...   :)

/or maybe not...
 
2014-01-01 02:48:34 PM  

machodonkeywrestler: redmid17: machodonkeywrestler: redmid17: Sticky Hands: redmid17: http://www.boston.com/names/2013/12/31/customs-officials-destroys-flu t e-virtuoso-instruments/fBlZdUpxw3EKWOzdyyvwXM/story.html

The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York's JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. Razgui, a Canadian citizen who lives some of the time in Brockton, had flown last week from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, an official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments - 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. "They said this is an agriculture item," said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. "I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life." When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. "They told me they were destroyed," he says. "Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible. I don't know what to do. I've never written letters to people." -

Sweet. Love to see pre emptive enforcement of a regulation THAT DOESN'T APPLY. Even if it was bamboo, guess what CBP says about that:

Bamboo that is thoroughly dried and split or cut lengthwise (rendering it incapable of propagation) will be inspected upon entry and released.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1359/~/importing-bamboo -i nto-the-us

Now I am not Nick Offerman or Bob Vila, but I imagine a carved instrument that has existed for several years would likely be thoroughly dried and cut/split, even if it weren't made out of bamboo.


now I'm not flutegenieer, so I may be wrong,  but I suspect that  if you split it or cut it lengthwise, it's going to let all ...


Because someone who carves maple or oak knows everything about bamboo right? They are quite different and while the structure may seem obvious, not everyone has had their hands on raw bamboo. Some people only experience bamboo flooring or cutting boards and they are laminated into blocks. Those blocks could be carved much like a normal chunk of wood.
 
2014-01-01 02:49:46 PM  

95BV5: redmid17: Meanwhile nothing in the US CBP guidelines mentions wood at all:

http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/clearing/agri_prod_inus.xml

I suppose it could be under "other biological material" but that would is completely dead and maybe sealed. Anyone got a particular reason why CBP would destroy these?

Speaking as a former customs inspector, the wood must be sealed airtight, with paint, laquer, or varnish before importation. The purpose is to kill larvae in the wood.


Would radiation and evidence of the wood being sterilized also work?
 
2014-01-01 02:55:54 PM  
Did they use the large scales to determine it weighed the same as a duck
 
2014-01-01 02:56:42 PM  

Oldiron_79: Did they use the large scales to determine it weighed the same as a duck


They could have just seen if the flutes floated. No need for the scales.
 
2014-01-01 02:58:51 PM  

pueblonative: r1niceboy: RussianPooper: pueblonative: It's almost as if you have to consult customs laws when you travel abroad.

Only 4 posts to get to the asshole apologist.

If there's one thing about natives of pueblos, they certainly know how to be submissive to the point of Ned Beatty.

Here's a experiment: go to another country bringing prohibited items and try out the "I didn't know the laws" excuse while asserting your rights and screaming about the fairness of the situation.  Then come back and tell us how many turkish prison cell rapes you experienced.


So have you ever been inside a Turkish prison
 
2014-01-01 03:05:15 PM  

Joe Peanut: AgentKGB: [images01.olx.com image 625x469]

Agricultural products...


That's an AK-47
 
2014-01-01 03:06:42 PM  

Electrify: technicolor-misfit: Electrify: You've never dealt with border security, have you? If you have been fortunate not to deal with an asshat (they probably exist), try taking a bus across and back. Because you are on a bus, they feel that they can treat you as a second class citizen.

I sympathize.

But that doesn't make the agents in this story wrong.

It's like saying "you've never been mugged by a black guy, have you?"

Fair enough. Just don't be too surprised if we are in fact getting the full story.

/saw them give a Chinese guy who barely spoke English a hard time because he brought some cooking knives with him...
//...packed away underneath in the stowaway luggage, where they could not hurt anyone



I'm not ruling it out. I've dealt with bad bureaucrats myself. I literally have no opinion on whether this was justified. I'm not saying what they did was right. I don't know what they did or why. I'm just saying that we don't know, and all of this conjecture has about as much realistic basis as middle schoolers talking about the inner-workings of the flux capacitor, or 50 year old oddballs theorizing about whether or not El Chupacabra is a carnivore or an omnivore.  

Also, I'm just very aware that a lot of things that seem arbitrary or capricious to laymen, often have a very reasonable explanation which just happens to be rooted in something they're unaware of or don't understand.

It's like a "police shut down children's lemonade stand!!!" story I saw where everyone was shiatting themselves with rage about jackbooted thugs terrorizing these poor children for the sake of strengthening the police state.

Well, turns out the "children's" lemonade stand was:

a.) set up right outside the gates of a fairground in which a huge car show was taking place and which was filled with licensed concession vendors (the organizers' rent the fairgrounds, the concessions vendors rent the right to set up at the show)
b.) was stocked with a couple hundred dollars worth of beverages, snacks, and candies in wholesale packaging

So, what you actually had was some asshole who tried to glom on to someone else's efforts and investment for his own profit without contributing, and who thought he could get away with it by using his kids as human shields which he hoped would prevent him from being busted.

Everyone was so jacked up on their outrage and their certainty that the story was exactly as they assumed according to their preconceived notions, that they didn't even bother to consider the possibility that MAYBE the little movie playing in their head wasn't actually documentary footage.
 
2014-01-01 03:11:51 PM  

ReverendJynxed: machodonkeywrestler: redmid17: machodonkeywrestler: redmid17: Sticky Hands: redmid17: http://www.boston.com/names/2013/12/31/customs-officials-destroys-flu t e-virtuoso-instruments/fBlZdUpxw3EKWOzdyyvwXM/story.html

The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York's JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. Razgui, a Canadian citizen who lives some of the time in Brockton, had flown last week from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, an official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments - 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. "They said this is an agriculture item," said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. "I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life." When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. "They told me they were destroyed," he says. "Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible. I don't know what to do. I've never written letters to people." -

Sweet. Love to see pre emptive enforcement of a regulation THAT DOESN'T APPLY. Even if it was bamboo, guess what CBP says about that:

Bamboo that is thoroughly dried and split or cut lengthwise (rendering it incapable of propagation) will be inspected upon entry and released.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1359/~/importing-bamboo -i nto-the-us

Now I am not Nick Offerman or Bob Vila, but I imagine a carved instrument that has existed for several years would likely be thoroughly dried and cut/split, even if it weren't made out of bamboo.


now I'm not flutegenieer, so I may be wrong,  but I suspect that  if you split it or cut it lengthwise, i ...


This more or less illustrates my point. This guy is walking through how to make a bamboo flute and clearly cut across the grain...to size the bamboo properly, which was the entire reason I cited in the first place.

http://jpdery.com/S-flute.html

i.imgur.com
 
2014-01-01 03:19:06 PM  
While I feel sorry for the guy for loosing his flutes , he should have checked the US Customs website to see if there would be any issues with his wooden flutes and if it seemed their might be , he should have emailed them to see what could be done to legally bring them in the country.

The law is the law and in this case its for a good reason.
 
2014-01-01 03:21:45 PM  

aleks14: God Bless America in all its glorious idiocy.



I think the US should declare EVERY PERSON and EVERYTHING from Canada as an agricultural product and BAN ALL OF IT!!


Cheap bastards.   fark Canada.
 
2014-01-01 03:31:02 PM  
See that's the regulation they use as a pretext because you start blowing those love craftian flutes and this guy starts showing up.
img.fark.net
 
2014-01-01 03:35:21 PM  

phamwaa: ChewbaccaJones: I read "flautist" and instantly pictured a guy that eats flautas for a living.
Now I'm craving flautas.
Thanks a farking heap, subby.

As long as they're the real thing and not glorified taquitos, I'm in.


Yes.
+ guac
 
2014-01-01 03:36:32 PM  

whiterrabbit: It does appear that the TSA agents where correct.  Agricultural products must be destroyed.....if the person who wishes to fly is a p*ssy and is too dumb to mail his precious goods.  He DID have options.   TSA is right about some things...stop the witch hunt.


Which reminds me.  Considering that they're destroying everything made of wood, she's lucky they didn't accuse her of witchcraft.
 
2014-01-01 03:52:32 PM  
I'm too lazy to make a good flatulist/fart joke today.
 
2014-01-01 03:58:07 PM  
It is illegal to destroy ANYTHING prior to giving notice to the property owner... that and it is illegal to just randomly destroy agricultural products to begin with,  just throwing fruits on the ground and stomping on them would release the bugs inside.   There are procedures for destruction of property and "stomping on it" is NEVER one.

If they'd stomped on a Strad there would be a massive shiatstorm.  It's an agricultural product too!
 
2014-01-01 03:58:39 PM  

smerfnablin: I was outraged until I saw the "Islamic scholar" part

Btw, why saw 10 in a million instead of 1 in 100,00


Which article are you commenting on?
 
2014-01-01 04:02:04 PM  

95BV5: Speaking as a former customs inspector, the wood must be sealed airtight, with paint, laquer, or varnish before importation. The purpose is to kill larvae in the wood.


Lacquer? I hardly knew her!
 
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