Monday, January 26, 2015

We have a piper down, I repeat, a piper is down

Mark Steyn has had a great series (two, actually) of stories on the two boys who play the bagpipes and travel forty five minutes across the border into Canada to play in competitions.  On returning from their last competition they were informed that the paperwork they had properly completed in order to bring their antique bagpipes (ivory chanters) back into the United States was not valid at that border crossing.  Or any other land crossing from Canada into the United States.  Of course they had not been told this when they got the certificates.  A few choice quotes from Mark Steyn's articles and then you can go read the rest yourself.

There's a followup article here.


They can chisel that on the tombstone of the republic. On the northern border, bagpipers are "expressing their fear", while on the southern border gangbangers have no fear and stroll through the express check-in. Putin has no fear of American power, the mullahs have no fear of American power, the Chinese politburo has no fear of American power, ISIS has no fear of American power, but the world's bagpipers fear it, and with good reason.

 Why don't they just put a big sign up on the border? "US Government Paperwork Not Accepted At This US Government Border Post."

Turns out that the nearest port of entry that accepts the CITES paperwork to re-import ivory is at Logan Airport in Boston, a four hour drive from the boys' homes.  So a four hour drive to the airport, a flight to Quebec, a flight back, and a four hour drive back home, instead of a round trip one and a half hour drive to the competition just over the border.  And that, as Steyn points out, is assuming that the Fish and Wildlife Compliance Officer happens to be on duty the day you come back.  Otherwise you leave your stuff with the office and make the drive again the next day to clear it with her.

Anyone who doesn't see that this country is in a serious downward spiral is wearing a very large set of blinkers.  Welcome to the land of the free, but don't bring your antique bagpipes back with you when you come home.

By the way, in case you are wondering, they did eventually get their bagpipes back.

Oh, and also in case you were wondering, this was not due to a law passed by Congress or voted on by our duly elected representatives.  This was a regulation promulgated by yet another out of control bureaucracy.

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