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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 69
    More: Asinine, U.S. Customs, customs officer, Measuring instrument, virtuoso, Canadian citizen, disc injury, John F. Kennedy International Airport  
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14322 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Jan 2014 at 11:20 AM (47 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-01-01 11:21:53 AM  
7 votes:
Assholes.
2014-01-01 11:37:12 AM  
6 votes:
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.
2014-01-01 10:21:41 AM  
6 votes:
Barbarians at the gates.
2014-01-01 12:30:33 PM  
5 votes:
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."
2014-01-01 11:48:15 AM  
5 votes:

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?


Well found some stuff:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1166

Finished, manufactured, or naturally weathered products including carvings, driftwood, furniture, picture frames, and musical instruments, and plywood are allowed into the U.S., but you need to declare them so the items can be inspected by CBP.

So it looks like they destroyed his flutes for no reason and probably violated their own rules in doing so.
2014-01-01 11:41:37 AM  
4 votes:
FTFA "The ney flute could be made from bamboo, is that agricultural?".  Actually, yes http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/lawn-garden/4323342 .  The thing is, right then and there the reader should realize that there's more to this story than meets the eye (that, and the story is actually a press release from the alleged victim, no axe to grind there, amirite?).  First, misrepresenting bamboo as non-agricultural raises a BIG flag: dude doesn't even know about the woods he's allegedly using, which brings us to the second part: he said they COULD be made of bamboo, not that they were, sounds a LOT like a CYA.  There are a lot of woods that WILL get destroyed at the border, regardless of what it's been carved into, by Customs, most of which are because the wood in question is either an endangered species or the wood is harvested in a horribly unsustainable method, like clearcutting rainforests
2014-01-01 11:26:41 AM  
4 votes:
Hurray for zero tolerance.

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


He claimed to have traveled with them many times. And really, who would think musical instruments would be grouped together with agricultural products?
2014-01-01 11:25:18 AM  
4 votes:
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.
2014-01-01 11:24:24 AM  
4 votes:
So the same applies to guitars? Man, what a bunch of dicks.
2014-01-01 11:21:59 AM  
4 votes:
It's almost as if you have to consult customs laws when you travel abroad.
2014-01-01 12:31:42 PM  
3 votes:

redmid17: 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?

Well found some stuff:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1166

Finished, manufactured, or naturally weathered products including carvings, driftwood, furniture, picture frames, and musical instruments, and plywood are allowed into the U.S., but you need to declare them so the items can be inspected by CBP.

So it looks like they destroyed his flutes for no reason and probably violated their own rules in doing so.


From your own link: "Please note that all items made from wood, feathers, or bone may also be subject to endangered species regulations. See our Q&A entitled: Endangered species, CITES, endangered wildlife, plants, exotic skins, animals https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/64/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS 8xMzg4NTk3MTA4L3NpZC9OaTR1Z2lKbA==">Answer ID 64."

Since the article has no information on what wood species the flutes were made from, there's a possibility that this was the problem.
2014-01-01 11:58:11 AM  
3 votes:

voodoohotdog: So TSA gets to pretend the U.S. is Turkey?


TSA != Customs.
2014-01-01 11:42:35 AM  
3 votes:
pueblonative:
So his ignorance of what is in the laws should be an excuse.  Wonder if that's ever been ruled on by the courts?

all right, i'll give you that one. now let's hear you defend the fact that they destroyed his priceless and harmless life's work on the spot.
2014-01-01 11:38:15 AM  
3 votes:
Well, the dude is brown afterall.  His own damn fault to be flying while brown.
2014-01-01 11:37:51 AM  
3 votes:

Mrbogey: Sorry folks. It's the law of the land. Nothing can be done.


Yep.  It's not like we have a method of changing laws with the times.and with experiences.  Heck, that could make a great profession.  We could have people who's job it is to write and update legislation.  We could call them. . .wait, I've got this one. . .legislators  And since they're writing the laws for us, we could select them by popular vote!


pyrotek85: Hurray for zero tolerance.

He claimed to have traveled with them many times. And really, who would think musical instruments would be grouped together with agricultural products?



So his ignorance of what is in the laws should be an excuse.  Wonder if that's ever been ruled on by the courts?
2014-01-01 11:26:55 AM  
3 votes:
4.bp.blogspot.com
2014-01-01 03:06:42 PM  
2 votes:

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 01:53:24 PM  
2 votes:

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 12:31:39 PM  
2 votes:

redmid17: I don't have to read up on invasive species. I'm well aware of how pervasive they can be (asian carp, zebra mussels, pythons in south florida, et al). My point is, they'd have at least told him if they saw evidence of any of that (or should have told him).

So CBP destroyed his flutes. Possible explanations have been 1) Lacey Act violation or 2) Invasive species, but we haven't seen any proof CBP suspected or proved either. Basically we have a guy whose livelihood has been ruined because CBP had a reason but was too sickish to explain why or just sickish.

Does this strike anyone as acceptable?

 

Given this story is as one-sided as any story could possibly be, I don't see enough information to make any kind of informed opinion of the situation.  All you have is the complaint of the person.  There's no information about what actually transpired at JFK beyond what he says.  I know people who work for Customs, and they're not the kind of people who just fark with people just for giggles.  I've also lived in a part of the country that spent billions of dollars trying save pine trees that got infected by an invasive species.

For me, this is all sound and fury signifying nothing as there's not enough factual information to know what really happened.  I can't say it's acceptable or unacceptable at this point.  I do know that it's best to declare things to avoid losing them when you enter the US.
2014-01-01 12:20:58 PM  
2 votes:

redmid17: Brosephus: r1niceboy: 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.

I've been to lots of countries, none of which took perverse pleasure in enforcing asinine laws. Now, please, explain the harm that a carved piece of wood could do. Please feel free to compare it to, say, a species of invasive fish.

http://www.emeraldashborer.info/#sthash.dZwYnM8p.dpbs

http://www.ohiochapterisa.org/news/87453/

How exactly would it be difficult for CBP to examine carved wooden flutes for the presence of beetles? It's not as if they were being brought into the country by truck because they weighed several tons.


It's not difficult at all.  They would be visually inspected, and if one even has a hint of damage by pest, they would all be destroyed to prohibit the possibility of any pests being introduced into this country.  Likewise, if there are any indicators, such as exoskeleton that has been molted, they will be destroyed even without the presence of the pest.  After pouring several billions of dollars into fighting invasive species, the government thought it would be better to prevent them from entering as opposed to spending billions fighting them after they arrive.

Check out information on the Khapra beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Gypsy Moth, and other invasive species that has cost us billions of dollars.
2014-01-01 12:15:41 PM  
2 votes:

redmid17: g4lt: 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?

You didn't look very hard....  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacey_Act_of_1900

Now explain how the Lacey Act of 1900, which isn't new or unknown to me, would affect this particular "import of wood" given that none of it is alive and is actually permitted under CBP guidelines?

I'll wait.


Oh, I don't know, how about the entirety of section 8204, the section that gets its own special webpage at CBP?  Just because you weren't aware of things doesn't mean they don't exist.
2014-01-01 12:14:02 PM  
2 votes:

redmid17: Finished, manufactured, or naturally weathered products including carvings, driftwood, furniture, picture frames, and musical instruments, and plywood are allowed into the U.S., but you need to declare them so the items can be inspected by CBP.

So it looks like they destroyed his flutes for no reason and probably violated their own rules in doing so.



'I told them I had these instruments for many years and flew with them in and out,' he said. 'There were 11 instruments in all. They told me they were agricultural products and they had to be destroyed. There was nothing I could do. The ney flute can be made with bamboo. Is that agricultural?'
Bouzemaa was both upset and unwilling to risk a confrontation with the US authorities.  We did not press him for further particulars. He does not know what to do next. But he does appear to be the victim of state injustice. What do the lawyers among our readers think he should do?

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/12/jfk-customs-destroyed -1 1-of-my-instruments.html

I bolded the important part for you, it seems like the guy never declared the items.  He then never argued so they probably assumed he didn't care much about them so they took them.

Look people I know we don't want to have to declare shiat and have people digging into our suitcases but if you don't this can happen.  I've never declared my alcohol and shiat when I come back but if they catch me they will take it and I wont sit here and biatch about people doing their job when I wasn't willing to fill out the stupid form that would allow me to just walk in with the stuff.
2014-01-01 12:03:53 PM  
2 votes:

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?


Possible pest contamination due to not being properly finished or fumigated.  If you don't have the paperwork to show that the wood has been treated, the wood may not be permitted into the country.
2014-01-01 12:03:16 PM  
2 votes:

Crid: Shouldn't this sort of decision have been made by Customs, not the TSA?


It was.
2014-01-01 11:59:42 AM  
2 votes:

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?


You didn't look very hard....  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacey_Act_of_1900
2014-01-01 11:56:00 AM  
2 votes:

pueblonative: r1niceboy: RussianPooper: pueblonative:

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 TSA gets to pretend the U.S. is Turkey? Seriously. You guys used to be cool.

TSA are out of control. The rest of the world knows it, most of your citizens know it, and you should probably wake up to it sparky.
2014-01-01 11:52:25 AM  
2 votes:

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.


https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1166

Finished, manufactured, or naturally weathered products including carvings, driftwood, furniture, picture frames, and musical instruments, and plywood are allowed into the U.S., but you need to declare them so the items can be inspected by CBP.

Also checked this: the USDA wood import guidelines  http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/download s /miscellaneous.pdf

didn't find anything there either
2014-01-01 11:46:29 AM  
2 votes:

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.
2014-01-01 11:42:44 AM  
2 votes:

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.


It's just idiot customs agents being idiot customs agents.
2014-01-01 11:39:11 AM  
2 votes:
Accept it, flautist fella. America is the greatest country in the world, and if you came here not realizing it's full of retards and bureaucrats that would require forms filled in triplicate and notarized before summoning an ambulance for their bleeding mother, that's your fault.
2014-01-01 11:36:15 AM  
2 votes:
Are we lining in a country with a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" anymore? We find so much to be outraged about in our government, when are we going to affect some change? We certainly don't o it at the ballot box, we annually return 90-95% of our elected representatives to office. How, then, can we complain that our government farks us over? We practically beg them to do it.
2014-01-01 11:22:31 AM  
2 votes:
I was outraged until I saw the "Islamic scholar" part

Btw, why saw 10 in a million instead of 1 in 100,000?
2014-01-02 06:58:14 PM  
1 votes:

lohphat: They effectively are when they steal things from your luggage without repercussions.


Difference between customs and the TSA is customs steals your sh*t in your face.

snocone: Always amazed me that the hottest girls always went for the "bad" guys.


There are two basic strategies. Pro-social and anti-social. Pro-social involves gaining status by developing a social network you can call in to have your back. The other is being a dick with a hair trigger so that no one farks with you. Smart women go for the former, dumb chicks go for the latter. And smart women know being over attractive is a liability.
2014-01-02 03:28:48 PM  
1 votes:

g4lt: FTFA "The ney flute could be made from bamboo, is that agricultural?".  Actually, yes http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/lawn-garden/4323342 .  The thing is, right then and there the reader should realize that there's more to this story than meets the eye (that, and the story is actually a press release from the alleged victim, no axe to grind there, amirite?).  First, misrepresenting bamboo as non-agricultural raises a BIG flag: dude doesn't even know about the woods he's allegedly using, which brings us to the second part: he said they COULD be made of bamboo, not that they were, sounds a LOT like a CYA.  There are a lot of woods that WILL get destroyed at the border, regardless of what it's been carved into, by Customs, most of which are because the wood in question is either an endangered species or the wood is harvested in a horribly unsustainable method, like clearcutting rainforests

So? destroy the wood without getting more background information about the items. BRILLIANT !

2014-01-02 03:59:44 AM  
1 votes:

gibbon1: You think you could deal with that and be happy? A decent person couldn't.


Fortunately for CBP, TSA, etc, right-wing authoritarianism and blind submission to authority are commonplace personality traits.   Not to mention that most people seem to have an innate tendency to abuse authority.
2014-01-02 03:02:55 AM  
1 votes:

serial_crusher: counterpoint: I drove from the US to Canada with beef jerky from a grocery store in the car once. Canadians took it. Even though they sell the same brand in their grocery stores, made in the same factory in the US.


countercounterpoint: My Mexican friends tell me that customs officers are always confiscating 'treats' that they like. Just ask yourself what kind of person would work as a customs officer. The answer is a lazy scumbag who can manage to show up to work on time and reasonably sober.

I'll back that up by saying this. If you weren't lazy, you'd improve yourself and be able to get a better job. Scumbag. Think it through, you're a US CBP agent and you find 6 oz of coke in a 50 year old Mexican housekeepers stuff. You know a drug gang is forcing her to be a mule. And that if you don't overlook it, she's going to jail for ten years and the drug gang will kill one of her relatives or maybe kidnaps and sell her daughter into prostitution. You think you could deal with that and be happy? A decent person couldn't.
2014-01-02 02:47:08 AM  
1 votes:

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

Agricultural products...


media-2.web.britannica.com

This too.
2014-01-01 02:44:54 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:04:08 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:38:24 PM  
1 votes:
content6.flixster.com
2014-01-01 01:37:47 PM  
1 votes:

redmid17: Well they were definitely right to destroy the raw material. The picture in your link shows sealed wood as far as I can tell, so I doubt any pests would go after them. Wouldn't CBP need to destroy the rest of the contents of the suitcase if there was a suspected bug infestation though?



I would think so. But, I don't know enough about it to know what should be destroyed and what shouldn't be destroyed in regard to any of it.

I don't know what the law is, what the flutes where made of, what the "raw" material was or exactly how "raw" it was, whether any of it (instruments or material) was rare or endangered. I don't know what pests may have posed a danger, what sort of danger they pose, or what the likelihood is that any of those possible pests might infest what materials or to what degree, nor how difficult it is to conclusively rule out the presence of such pests.

In short, I can't make a determination regarding the justifiability of the actions of the customs agents because I am an untrained, uninformed layman who lacks the necessary expertise to offer an informed opinion with any semblance of knowing what the hell I'm talking about, and neither so is everyone else in this thread.
2014-01-01 01:14:13 PM  
1 votes:

redmid17: technicolor-misfit: Oh, and he also says there was "raw" material to make other flutes in the case. (I put raw in quotation to denote the fact that we don't know what state the material was in, only that it was not yet carved into an instrument.

"Boujemaa adds some specifics of the case:
What was in the case? they called Bamboo case
1)     11 nays (flutes) made by me some of them in Canada some in US
2)      material to make new nays in the case
3)      flight  AA 0095    Madrid to JFK
4)      time : 12/22/2013   (notice : on 12/23/2013)
5)      Reason :   nays from plants which is agricultural items (so l can't play nay)"


http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2014/01/my-smashed-instrument s- brought-peace-and-joy.html

Neither TFA, the linked article within TFA, nor any other source I've read said he had raw materials in the bag with him. Those should have been destroyed. The carved flutes should not have been destroyed. Got a source for that?


It's there in the link I posted... right there above your reply.

"The flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui, whose instruments were seized and destroyed by US Customs at JFK Airport, has been in touch with us again to thank Slipped Disc for its support. His English is not fluent or precise - it may, perhaps, have perplexed Customs agents - but there is no mistaking Boujemaa's sincerity or his pain when writing about his hand-crafted neys (or nays).

Here's what he writes, sharing with us a unique picture of the precious, lovingly crafted neys:

'
I have  such great memories with these nays through the past years, from culture to any moment that I remember.
Of course l will not hurt any body  with nays. They were my huge art connection with North America and Europe, through churches, synagogues (all of them in Montreal and almost all in Toronto), universities, colleges, theaters, com.centers , mosques, all kind of ceremonies , marriages, helulas , barMetzvahs, you name it.
Crossing the US in my travels, l got to educate myself, meet other people and exchange ideas.
Boujemaa adds some specifics of the case:
What was in the case? they called Bamboo case
1)     11 nays (flutes) made by me some of them in Canada some in US
2)      material to make new nays in the case
3)      flight  AA 0095    Madrid to JFK
4)      time : 12/22/2013   (notice : on 12/23/2013)
5)      Reason :   nays from plants which is agricultural items (so l can't play nay)'"


According to the site HE is the direct source for that information.

And if the instruments were packed with "raw" materials, that likely gives (at the very least) greater concern that if the raw material is contaminated by pests, then the instruments may well be contaminated by those pests too.
2014-01-01 01:13:58 PM  
1 votes:
Something doesn't quite pass the smell test here. Very few finished wood products are prohibited by the USDA, unless they are very specific species or from very specific countries. And CBP only enforces USDA regs with respect to agricultural products. Just because it was wooden wouldn't trigger destruction.
2014-01-01 01:02:16 PM  
1 votes:

redmid17: technicolor-misfit: redmid17: I don't have to be a psychic. I'm expecting the government to follow some sort of method, a due process maybe, to determine whether or not these instruments violated some import law, which by CBP guidelines are to allow these kind of instruments into the country.

And yet, you have no way of knowing that they didn't. You have a one-sided story that's long on outrage and short on facts and details... which you are conveniently filling in with your imagination according to your own bias.

The government has been given a chance to comment. They haven't. I'm haranguing them for not providing a reason. That's entirely their doing. If they had a legitimate reason, they were in the right.



Well, given that the story broke on New Years Eve, well after business hours, and it's been a whopping 19 hours since it was published, I can certainly see why it's reasonable to conclude that they're being evasive as a clear sign of guilt, rather than you know... it's a very busy time for them, and they probably have a lot of irons in the fire, and even in the best circumstances, something like this would generally require a fair amount of time for an organization to investigate, gather the relevant details, make an assessment of what transpired, and respond to.
2014-01-01 12:53:51 PM  
1 votes:
Oh, and he also says there was "raw" material to make other flutes in the case. (I put raw in quotation to denote the fact that we don't know what state the material was in, only that it was not yet carved into an instrument.

"Boujemaa adds some specifics of the case:
What was in the case? they called Bamboo case
1)     11 nays (flutes) made by me some of them in Canada some in US
2)      material to make new nays in the case
3)      flight  AA 0095    Madrid to JFK
4)      time : 12/22/2013   (notice : on 12/23/2013)
5)      Reason :   nays from plants which is agricultural items (so l can't play nay)"


http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2014/01/my-smashed-instrument s- brought-peace-and-joy.html
2014-01-01 12:52:46 PM  
1 votes:

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.


If you're traveling with a guitar and not going to play a show you're a douchebag.
2014-01-01 12:49:25 PM  
1 votes:

redmid17: I don't have to be a psychic. I'm expecting the government to follow some sort of method, a due process maybe, to determine whether or not these instruments violated some import law, which by CBP guidelines are to allow these kind of instruments into the country.



And yet, you have no way of knowing that they didn't. You have a one-sided story that's long on outrage and short on facts and details... which you are conveniently filling in with your imagination according to your own bias.
2014-01-01 12:47:04 PM  
1 votes:

badhatharry: pueblonative: badhatharry: pueblonative: badhatharry: Rules are rules. Just followin' the rules.

Yeah, we should all break the rules whenever we want or because we think it's dumb and know better than the people who put together the laws in the first place.  I mean it's not as if these laws aren't put together after gathering the input of interested parties and through a formalized system anyway.


/anarchy ain't freedom
//anarchy is slavery
///slashies is free

Yes, stupid rules need to be ignored. Who decides which rules are stupid? We, the people. Specifically, the people on my jury.

Hate to break it to you, but usually there's this process when seating a jury called voir dire that weeds out people who are incompetent or who like to use things like jury nullification.  So no, you don't get a jury of good ol' boys who think they can decide what the law is or isn't.

Criminal trials do weed out free thinking individuals. I am sure this guy will sue for a lot of money. We will see what the civil jury has to say about these rules.


Same exact thing that they will say in a criminal trial.  Assuming, of course, the government doesn't get it bounced because of sovereign immunity.


Elegy: For thos of you saying "he didn't even argue," here is a little more information.

Customs took them out of his bag without him being present and left a note saying his property had been confiscated, call this number. When he called the number, they told him his property had already been destroyed.

So yeah, he didn't have a chance to argue with customs over it.


So in one article, he's saying that he got a note.  In another he says that the customs official took it out in front of him.  Hmm, seems we have an unreliable narrator here.
2014-01-01 12:43:14 PM  
1 votes:
To add to my last post, why is the guy being coy about what the flutes were made of?

If it were me, and I were launching an internet outrage party, I'd lay my farking case out like Matlock, listing each and every flute and the type of wood or bamboo that they were made from and the pertinent import laws showing that they should NOT have been subject to any sort of ban.

And yet, he's just:

"The ney flute can be made with bamboo. Is that agricultural?"

Which sounds like some high schooler's attempt to be clever. "Yeah, you saw me drinking out of a Jim Beam bottle. But, how do you KNOW it was Jim Beam? It might have been an empty Jim Beam bottle that I poured sweet tea into!"
2014-01-01 12:42:42 PM  
1 votes:

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.
2014-01-01 12:29:54 PM  
1 votes:

redmid17: pueblonative: redmid17: TNel: redmid17: Finished, manufactured, or naturally weathered products including carvings, driftwood, furniture, picture frames, and musical instruments, and plywood are allowed into the U.S., but you need to declare them so the items can be inspected by CBP.

So it looks like they destroyed his flutes for no reason and probably violated their own rules in doing so.


'I told them I had these instruments for many years and flew with them in and out,' he said. 'There were 11 instruments in all. They told me they were agricultural products and they had to be destroyed. There was nothing I could do. The ney flute can be made with bamboo. Is that agricultural?'
Bouzemaa was both upset and unwilling to risk a confrontation with the US authorities.  We did not press him for further particulars. He does not know what to do next. But he does appear to be the victim of state injustice. What do the lawyers among our readers think he should do?

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/12/jfk-customs-destroyed -1 1-of-my-instruments.html

I bolded the important part for you, it seems like the guy never declared the items.  He then never argued so they probably assumed he didn't care much about them so they took them.

Look people I know we don't want to have to declare shiat and have people digging into our suitcases but if you don't this can happen.  I've never declared my alcohol and shiat when I come back but if they catch me they will take it and I wont sit here and biatch about people doing their job when I wasn't willing to fill out the stupid form that would allow me to just walk in with the stuff.

I got that. He should have declared them, though I admit I probably wouldn't have thought twice about wooden instruments needing to be declared, but it's still grossly overreactive. They know he's traveled with them for years and how he makes his living. If they destroyed them because he didn't declare them instead of them proving a tangible threa ...


And I'm sure he gave an accurate and honest answer and didn';t twist it around to make customs look bad.  All the same, until we hear from customs we only have half the story.
2014-01-01 12:27:15 PM  
1 votes:

redmid17: g4lt: redmid17: g4lt: 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?

You didn't look very hard....  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacey_Act_of_1900

Now explain how the Lacey Act of 1900, which isn't new or unknown to me, would affect this particular "import of wood" given that none of it is alive and is actually permitted under CBP guidelines?

I'll wait.

Oh, I don't know, how about the entirety of section 8204, the section that gets its own special webpage at CBP?  Just because you weren't aware of things doesn't mean they don't exist.

So how exactly was this wood illegally harvested and did the CBP even assert, let alone prove, this before they destroyed? Typically even the US government likes to give some reason before dishing out punitive measures.


Ahh, so you're a psychic, knowing precisely what wood was used now?  The farkingflautist won't even say what they were made of...
2014-01-01 12:25:31 PM  
1 votes:

pueblonative: badhatharry: Rules are rules. Just followin' the rules.

Yeah, we should all break the rules whenever we want or because we think it's dumb and know better than the people who put together the laws in the first place.  I mean it's not as if these laws aren't put together after gathering the input of interested parties and through a formalized system anyway.


/anarchy ain't freedom
//anarchy is slavery
///slashies is free


Yes, stupid rules need to be ignored. Who decides which rules are stupid? We, the people. Specifically, the people on my jury.
2014-01-01 12:21:24 PM  
1 votes:

badhatharry: Rules are rules. Just followin' the rules.


Yeah, we should all break the rules whenever we want or because we think it's dumb and know better than the people who put together the laws in the first place.  I mean it's not as if these laws aren't put together after gathering the input of interested parties and through a formalized system anyway.


/anarchy ain't freedom
//anarchy is slavery
///slashies is free
2014-01-01 12:12:40 PM  
1 votes:

Voiceofreason01: pueblonative: It's almost as if you have to consult customs laws when you travel abroad.

bullshiat. It is perfectly legal to carry instruments made from wood in and out of the country, they are not "agricultural products", the custom officials were WRONG. What's more, you should be outraged that this kind of crap is becoming common place(and being done in your name) and Razgui should sue.


Didn't know we had a Fark Lawyer on.  Please give your bar number and the cite of the law that states this.
2014-01-01 12:11:06 PM  
1 votes:

TemporarySanity: Odoriferous Queef: Considering the source of the story is RawSewage, I'm sure there is more to this story.

it's not hard to find another source y'know.

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/12/outrage-at-jfk-as-cus to ms-men-smash-flutes.html


And a very well written article including points of view of both the artist and the customs officials who destroyed these flutes. . .oh wait.
2014-01-01 12:11:02 PM  
1 votes:

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


bullshiat. It is perfectly legal to carry instruments made from wood in and out of the country, they are not "agricultural products", the custom officials were WRONG. What's more, you should be outraged that this kind of crap is becoming common place(and being done in your name) and Razgui should sue.
2014-01-01 12:07:05 PM  
1 votes:

r1niceboy: 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.

I've been to lots of countries, none of which took perverse pleasure in enforcing asinine laws. Now, please, explain the harm that a carved piece of wood could do. Please feel free to compare it to, say, a species of invasive fish.


http://www.emeraldashborer.info/#sthash.dZwYnM8p.dpbs

http://www.ohiochapterisa.org/news/87453/
2014-01-01 12:05:00 PM  
1 votes:

Crid: Shouldn't this sort of decision have been made by Customs, not the TSA?


Customs did call it. They out-TSAed the TSA in douchebaggery.
2014-01-01 11:58:03 AM  
1 votes:
If we have all learned anything at all in 2013*, it is that any story someone tells on the Internet is completely true exactly as told and there is no further information that could be of any use no matter what, ever, so there.

*also 2012, 2011, 2010. But not 2009 - buncha dirty liars the lot of 'em.
2014-01-01 11:51:55 AM  
1 votes:

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.


I've been to lots of countries, none of which took perverse pleasure in enforcing asinine laws. Now, please, explain the harm that a carved piece of wood could do. Please feel free to compare it to, say, a species of invasive fish.
2014-01-01 11:47:45 AM  
1 votes:

pueblonative: So his ignorance of what is in the laws should be an excuse.  Wonder if that's ever been ruled on by the courts?


I agree with that in principle, but how far can you take it when we have tens of thousands of laws? Yeah, laws that are  malum in se in nature you don't have an excuse for not knowing, but most of this crap is  malum prohibitum. There's no way to know about every obscure law, or when TSA is suddenly to going to interpret the law differently on the spot.
2014-01-01 11:43:33 AM  
1 votes:
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?
2014-01-01 11:43:16 AM  
1 votes:
Inconsolable:

malialitman.files.wordpress.com
2014-01-01 11:43:13 AM  
1 votes:

g4lt: FTFA "The ney flute could be made from bamboo, is that agricultural?".  Actually, yes http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/lawn-garden/4323342 .  The thing is, right then and there the reader should realize that there's more to this story than meets the eye (that, and the story is actually a press release from the alleged victim, no axe to grind there, amirite?).  First, misrepresenting bamboo as non-agricultural raises a BIG flag: dude doesn't even know about the woods he's allegedly using, which brings us to the second part: he said they COULD be made of bamboo, not that they were, sounds a LOT like a CYA.  There are a lot of woods that WILL get destroyed at the border, regardless of what it's been carved into, by Customs, most of which are because the wood in question is either an endangered species or the wood is harvested in a horribly unsustainable method, like clearcutting rainforests


Please, Don't get in the way of the "gubm'nt is eeebil end of story" crowd with a bunch of little things like facts and evidence.
2014-01-01 11:42:46 AM  
1 votes:
Screw that guy for not sticking up for himself.

Fark that - make them call a supervisor.  Create a ruckus.

If you just go "Oh Well" and give it up,,,
2014-01-01 11:38:38 AM  
1 votes:
Might have something to do with the Emerald Ash Borer. We're not even allowed to haul firewood from one county to another in most areas.
2014-01-01 11:26:37 AM  
1 votes:
This is not a very poplar law.
2014-01-01 11:23:07 AM  
1 votes:
Welcome to America, flautist--love it or leave it.  Customs agents are just a step above security guards
 
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