Skip to comments.Virtuoso’s flutes destroyed by US Customs
Posted on 01/02/2014 1:34:54 PM PST by PJ-Comix
Before you whine about an airline temporarily losing your luggage, think of poor Boujemaa Razgui. The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New Yorks 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.
(Excerpt) Read more at bostonglobe.com ...
This is a crime and should be reported to the NYPD as such.
Welcome to Amerika comrade.
That gubmit idiot is of a type that you losers support.
Would that such stuff happen to you losers instead of a talented person.
15 years ago I was in the Bahamas. I bought some emerald earrings for my wife, and got myself a carved walking stick. At the airport, they had US customs. They were so concerned about the walking stick—which cost 25 bucks—that my wife could have been wearing walnut-sized emeralds, and they wouldn’t have noticed or worried about the duty (don’t worry, they weren’t walnut-sized).
I remarked at the time that if I had wanted to smuggle jewelry, it would be wise make sure to have something agricultural as a sacrificial diversion.
It turns out that they let me through—after convincing themselves nothing was alive in the stick to infect the homeland. Now, after reading this, I doubt that the walking stick would fly.
Total thugs. Done purposely and out of anger, jealousy and hatred for anyone more successful then the low life that did it. You’d have to be an absolute moron to mistake these flutes for anything else. (which is also entirely possible)
I have not set foot in one in eight years, and will never set foot in one again.
Soon the TSA will be establishing outposts in other places like shopping malls that I will also boycott.
They destroyed them before attempting to even identify what they were? Were they deemed guilty of being bamboo without evidence??
two kawalas. ....Jeezzz. Leave the poor things in the eucalyptus trees.
Just when you think the Goobmint can’t possibly get any more idiotic . . .
I hear Peruvians playing their flutes once in a while with their distinct Andean Indian sounds. What are those made from? And why is Bamboo considered to be such a precious item? That stuff grows fast.
In my line of work I have to fly with peculiar equipment. So far the TSA has removed perhaps $2500 worth of stuff from my suitcases, including electronic equipment, special bits of wire and adapters, and custom pieces they couldn’t possibly even identify.
The TSA are uneducated, power-hungry, panty-sniffing sadistic voyeuristic thieves to a one. I will be grateful when the balance of power shifts back to core constitutional freedoms, about which the TSA and Homeland Security know nothing.
IN THE MEANTIME...
When I HAVE to check bags I fly with something I know will be stolen so they avoid the other stuff. (Value $30.00)I have been right the last three of three times I “had” to check bags.
UPS is a good alternative if you can think ahead.
I seriously feel for him, but he’s learned the hard way that you don’t put valuables in your checked baggage.
...ever try to kill Bamboo?
Bamboo is never really dead.
Just when you think the Goobmint cant possibly get any more idiotic . . .
They were destroyed? - no way. (Check Ebay and the local pawn shops)
If they were destroyed, there should be photographic evidence and a chain of custody.
If I were him, I would report them stolen.
Not to excuse the demented stupidity of US Customs, but that was a serious lapse in judgment to let those flutes fly as checked luggage. Would a concert violinist check his Strad? I kind of doubt it.
Not exactly. The plants die when they flower, which depends on the variety. The seeds produced by the flowers then germinate and produce new bamboo.
I learned this trick years ago when I worked overseas and traveled regularly. These dorks LOVE their authority. I once declared and paid duty on shoe repairs to divert their attention from a far more expensive leather jacket (which was made in the U.S.A. anyway, I just didn't have the papers to prove it). The oaf was so proud of extracting $6 from me, he didn't even ask about the jacket.
If you have your choice of agent lines, I've found the best ones are old white guys nearing retirement age. They really don't give a damn but are the best detectors of drug smugglers or actual liars. The worst are young minority females who think they have something to prove.
I was going to say that one of my close friends travels to the UK all the time and she sends almost everything back and forth by FedEx and just brings along her purse.
And THEN they question her as to why she doesn’t have any luggage and she usually tells them it’s because she doesn’t care to submit to having it searched. It really pisses them off and they have to let her go because what she does is not a crime.
Better call Saul.
His mistake was calling them an Agricultural item. Flutes are not what Customs means by that.
Besides, any government agency’s collective intelligence is just below that of its stupidest employee.
Contraband is smuggled in many innocent looking objects. Take this little girl's doll, for instance. Our Customs protocol for dolls is to first twist the head off to see if there is anything inside. Then, take off the arms and legs and look in them. Finally, do a full body cavity search. If the doll is not anatomically accurate, a knife can be used to make the opening. Then, hand it all back to the girl, smile and wish her a nice day.
The Flutes were stolen. Plain and simple.
22 years for me. I have flown on general aviation aircraft a lot, but I will not put up with what goes on when one even thinks about boarding a commercial flight.
A one-month boycott by all all passengers in protest of the TSA would get rid of them.
Thank goodness, though, the sequester doesnt mean any cutbacks to Napolitanos bagpipe corps. DHS just opened a bid request for Bagpipe and Drum Supplies for its Customs and Border Protection division (via Twitchy):
The DHS Customs and Border Protection requires the following items, Brand Name or Equal, to the following: LI 001: Carbon Bagpipe Drone Reed Set, 5, EA;
LI 002: Bagpipe Chanter Reeds-Easy, 12, EA;
LI 003: Bagpipe Chanter Reeds-Medium, 12, EA; LI 005: Drone Cords, 5, EA;
LI 006: Highland Bagpipe Tuner and Metronome with cases, 2, EA; LI 008: Black Polypenco Bagpipes w/ cases, 10, EA;
LI 009: Polypenco Bagpipe Chanter, 10, EA;
LI 010: Bellows Blown Blackwood Smallpipes in A w/ cases, 4, EA;
LI 011: Black waxed bagpipe hemp, 4, EA;
LI 012: Real Beeswax, 4, EA;
LI 013: Long Polypenco Practice Chanters, 10, EA;
LI 014: Bagpipe Tutor Book VOL 1 C.O.P., 10, EA;
LI 015: Practice Chanter Reed, 10, EA; LI 017: Tapered Reamer, 1, EA;
LI 018: PiobMaster 2.3 CD ROM-Bagpipe music writing software, 1, EA;
LI 019: Pipe Band Base Drum Carrier, 2, EA;
LI 020: Folding Bass Drum Stand, 1, EA; LI 022: Glengarry Plain, 15, EA;
LI 023: Snare Drum Stand, 4, EA;
LI 024: Pipe Band Snare Drums-Black, 4, EA;
LI 025: Snare Carrier-Silver, 4, EA;
LI 026: 16″ x 12″ Pipe Band Tenor Drum, 4, EA;
LI 027: 18″ Bodhran Pack w/ Beater, 4, EA;
LI 028: Deluxe triple function drum sling, 2, EA;
LI 029: Heavy Duty Tenor Drum leg rest, 2, EA;
LI 030: Drum-Mount Snare Drum stick bag, 4, EA;
LI 031: Heavy Duty Drum Key, 2, EA;
LI 032: Short Black Classic Tenor Mallets, 3, EA;
LI 033: Black Bass Beaters, 2, EA; LI 034: TyFry Tenor Tutor Tenor Instruction DVD/CDROM, 1, EA;
LI 035: Snare Stick Set, 10, EA;
LI 036: Square Tenor/Snare Drum Case, 5, EA;
LI 037: Spats Canvas-White, 20, EA;
LI 038: Hose-Blue, 14, EA;
LI 039: Flashes-Red, 14, EA;
LI 040: Leather Day Sporrans-Black, 14, EA;
LI 041: Horsehair Sporrans, 14, EA;
LI 042: Sgian Dubhs, 14, EA;
LI 043: Shipping/Handling/Delivery, 1, EA;
And for those not familiar with the legendary Sgian Dubhs...
Here is the pretender to the throne wearing one....see it sticking coyly out the top of his sock...(it's NOT a tyre pressure gauge)
I once saw an old Chinese gent taking a record player tone arm out of the country, carry on. The screener/customs guy (whatever at the time) was too young or provincial to even know what a conventional record player looked like. The old gent was obviously knowledgeable or he wouldn’t be buying one in the U.S. and taking it back. I had to speak up and tell the kid what it was.
When you staff with those hired for politically correct reasons instead of competence and smarts this is what you get.
That tells you pretty much all you need to know.
When I was teaching at West Point, my office mate taught a course that included a section on Environmental Law. He used to go to the Customs Warehouse at JFK and was allowed to sign out anything in the place which included stuffed endangered species, exotic plants, live snakes, alligator shoes, etc. etc.
They didn’t really want any of it back, they just needed a receipt that they had issued it to a government agency. All of it had been confiscated from incoming passengers and freight shipments. None of it had been destroyed, except the perishable stuff.
The fear extends online, where good, free, law-abiding (see?) people are afraid to say what they really want and feel.
Sounds like the Democrat vote on a committee motion to reduce some line-item pork spending.
“”...found 13 flutelike instruments...11 nays and two kawalas.””
Too bad he didn’t have vuvuzelas. The other ones are on the endangered species list.
The flutes weren't made of bamboo, but of a different reed that is apparently more rare than bamboo. Customs officials are very leery of agricultural items coming in, because of concerns about diseases, insects, etc. I can understand that, but they should at least have contacted the person before destroying the instruments.
I have seen Boston Camerata in concert several times, and they play beautiful 'Early' instruments from the Medieval and Renaissance eras. I imagine these flutes were fashioned after those from those same time frames.
I miss America.
BureauKaRATZ are stupid people. ALL of them. That’s why they are RATZ.
They COULD NOT hold a job in the private sector, for the most part. Its why they gravitate to the gov. like maggots to a rotting piece of meat.
The don’t HAVE to think. “Chust followink orders.” “Rules are Rules! Smarter people than me wrote them! I just have to apply them as I see fit.”
Find the air headed, room IQ clown who made this decision, put him/(most likely a her) and his family in the street. (After making them PAY for the guy’s instruments.) Its the ONLY thing that will penetrate a RATZ head and alter ITS behaviour.
perhaps stolen, not destroyed
watch for them on eBay
And when it finally collapses the MSM and Demo-rats and Liberals will look to blame Conservatism.
Dunno ‘bout malls, but they are already at train stations and look for them as bus stations, soon.
What is ironic is a bagpiper has to worry about his set being stolen by customs thugs and charged with a felon in posession of ivory and ebony.
You’ve just given me a great idea for a SciFi flick!
“Kudzu vs Bamboo - Green Monsters Fight to the Death!”
[It Cannot be Killed vs It Cannot be Stopped - which will WIN!]
(my money is on the Kudzu!)
Who the heck needs due process? Screw the 4th amendment. Looks like some government flack just enhanced their resume.
I’m glad this story turned up on a respectable news source like the Globe. I tried to post it earlier from Raw Story and got the Raw Finger.
I guess this guy failed to pay his TSA bribe, huh? We’re more like Mexico every day....
I'll one-up you by a year: nine for me.
I've loved flying all my life. Used to fly 20 or 30 times a year and never tired of it. But I won't submit to this particular humiliation ... that George Bush created.
To paraphrase something we often said after 9/11:
if an American can't travel freely in his own country, the terrorists have won.