The Punitive Bureaucracy’s Day Off

 

 

 

 

” I wrote two weeks ago about two New Hampshire teenagers having their bagpipes seized at the northern border by US Customs & Border Protection. This would be the same “border” “protection” agency that has turned the southern border into an express welfare check-in for any of the world’s seven billion people minded to show up there.

  My fellow Granite Staters – 17-year-old Campbell Webster and Eryk Bean, of Concord and Londonderry, New Hampshire – understood that if you go to a highland fling a couple of hours north in Quebec you’re now obligated to get your bagpipes approved by US Fish & Wildlife.

  Because that’s just the way it is in the Land of the Free.

  So Messrs Webster and Bean got their CITES certificate and presented it to the US CBP agent at the Vermont border crossing.

  Whereupon he promptly confiscated their bagpipes on the grounds that, yes, their US Fish & Wildlife CITES paperwork was valid, but it’s only valid at 28 ports of entry and this wasn’t one of them.

  Nor is any other US/Canadian land crossing. So, if you’re a piper in, say, Pittsburg, New Hampshire and you want to play in a competition in La Patrie, Quebec 20 minutes north, you have to drive four-to-five hours south to Logan Airport in Boston, fly to Montreal and drive two hours east to La Patrie.

  Because that’s just the way it is in the Land of the Free.

  When the CBP agent seized Messrs Webster and Bean’s bagpipes, he told them – with the characteristic insouciance of the thug bureaucracy – that they were “never going to see them again”. But thanks to the unwelcome publicity the Homeland Security mafiosi were forced to cough ’em up.

  The two pipers are now heading to a competition in Scotland. So they’ll be flying back via Boston, which is one of those 28 valid ports of entry. They’ve called Fish & Wildlife to arrange for the mandatory “inspection” of the bagpipes upon landing at Logan Airport.

  Unfortunately, the official Fish & Wildlife bagpipes inspector is taking a day off that day – she’s visiting her Auntie Mabel, having a seaweed wrap at the spa, whatever. So she won’t be available to inspect the pipes. So she’s told them they’ll have to drive back to New Hampshire and then drive back to Logan the following day for the Fish & Wildlife bagpipes inspection. So she’s taking a day off on Wednesday, and the bagpipers will have to take a day off on Thursday – just to comply with the diktats of the Department of Paperwork.

  Because that’s just the way it is in the Land of the Free. “

 

 

 

You can’t make this stuff up . As always Mr Steyn is today’s required reading