View Full Version : I'd bet my left little toe

08-05-2014, 03:38 PM
that people carrying any kind of instrument are going to be running into officious dunderheads a lot more often at border crossings into the US. It really seems the average US IQ has to be down around moron level now judging from evidence I find all around me, because the level of sheer ignorance and stupidity is at an all time high.

They had paperwork and still went through this CITES crap.

ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/Weird/wireStory/teens-bagpipes-seized-us-border-ivory-24853793)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) The skirl of their pipes had barely receded before two New Hampshire teenagers learned a hard lesson in cross-border musical diplomacy: If your bagpipes have ivory in them, leave them at home before traveling to Canada or risk having them seized at the border.

Campbell Webster, of Concord, and his friend Eryk Bean, of Londonderry, were returning from Canada on Sunday after a bagpipe competition that served as a tuneup for the world championships in Glasgow, Scotland. The 17-year-olds, fresh off winning several top prizes in Canada, got to a small border crossing in Vermont when they were told they'd have to relinquish their pipes because they contain ivory.

The U.S. prohibits importing ivory taken after 1976. Even though the boys had certificates showing their ivory is older Campbell's pipes date to 1936 U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized the pipes in Highgate Springs, Vermont. Well, not all of them: The boys took every other part possible and left the ivory with Border Patrol so nobody else could make a full set out of the parts.

"This has been an awful headache," said Lezlie Webster, Campbell's mother. "At one point at the Canadian border, they said, 'no way are we going to get our pipes back.'"

After contacting New Hampshire's congressional delegation and gathering more than 3,000 signatures on an online petition, the boys are getting their pipes back and were set to fly from Boston to Scotland on Tuesday. But the hassle is lingering like a sour note: Lezlie Webster said the boys had to shell out $576 in extra fees because they took the pipes across the border at a "non-designated crossing."

"It feels really, really silly," she said.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said late Tuesday that the agency was only enforcing the international ban against illegal ivory shipments.

"It is ultimately up to U.S. Fish and Wildlife to determine the origins of the seized ivory and authorize any release of these seized items back to their owners upon the completion of their analysis," spokeswoman Shelbe Benson-Fuller said.

A message left after business hours Tuesday for the Fish and Wildlife Service was not immediately returned.

Campbell has been playing the bagpipes for 13 years and this particular set belonged to his father, Gordon Webster, who was the 9th Sovereign Piper to her Majesty the Queen of England Elizabeth II. In other words, he wasn't playing "Amazing Grace" at the firemen's parade.

"I've been playing these certain pipes since around October of last year after he stopped," Campbell said. "His health went downhill. He gifted me those pipes and I've been keeping them going since then. You're judged on your pipes. And you can't find bagpipes like these anymore. They don't make them like this anymore."

There was a bright side: The change.org petition got hits from all over the world, and bagpipe makers and other musicians offered the boys the use of their instruments at the World Pipe Band Championships on Aug. 15-16 if necessary.

"Right now, I'm just trying to put it all behind me and thinking about how well this whole Scotland trip is going to go now that my friend and I have the pipes that we need," Campbell said.

08-05-2014, 04:35 PM
So many laws there's no way you can comply

08-05-2014, 04:39 PM
I'm pretty sure "they" don't really even know what the laws are. And here the kids had proper documentation too. Another slap in the face is that they have to pay $576.00 because they crossed at a non designated crossing. We are lost my friends!