Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dispatches from the War on ... Koi?

Balko always comes up with the best stuff.

FREEPORT, Maine --Armed game wardens seized 10 exotic fish from the tank of a popular Chinese restaurant, leaving its owner shaken and outraged.

"They treated me like a criminal," said Cuong Ly, who escaped from Vietnam 25 years ago. "I lived under communism and I felt like I'm back there again."

Ly, 45, said his pet koi were like family members and their confiscation in what he described as a heavy-handed raid made him "want to explode inside."

After obtaining a search warrant, two uniformed wardens and a biologist, accompanied by Freeport police, visited China Rose on Wednesday, taking away the 10 fish that ranged in size from 12 to 14 inches.

The koi had been on display since Ly opened the restaurant nearly 15 years ago and he credited them for bringing good luck to the business in a way akin to the arrangement of articles in the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui.

A few years ago, however, Maine outlawed the importation and possession of koi, and Ly was charged with importing freshwater fish without a permit.

I learned something very poignant in this article. I had no idea that koi were such a hazard to the republic. It also appears that koi may be a gateway fish. I'm very disappointed that the Maine Warden Service spokes-bureaucrat didn't make it clear to the Boston Globe that in the post-9/11 world, we have to know that koi owners support global terrorism.

I want to do my part in this war! I hereby announce that Bloody Mary Breakfast will soon field the Koi Offender Registry. Why? Because I care about the kids!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tariffs & Quotas? Nah, we'll just kidnap your CEO!

This is one of those stories that you just have to read several times - and then STILL can't believe it!

Apparently, the CEO of BetonSports PLC a PUBLICLY TRADED AND LICENSED UK COMPANY, David Carruthers, made the mistake of changing planes in the United States. So, the US government kidnapped him. While the details from Reuters are less than complete, here are the facts as they seem now:

- David Carruthers is a UK citizen
- Carruthers runs a PUBLICLY TRADED AND LICENSED UK COMPANY (I know I already said that, it just bears repeating)
- BoS PLC maintains offices in the UK, Antigua, Costa Rica, and Malaysia
- While BetonSports PLC has a number of brands, their most well-known is BetonSports.com
- BetonSports.com allows customers to wager on sporting events online and over the phone
- The US government is working overtime to ensure US citizens cannot use services such as those offered by BetonSports.com
- Carruthers actively opposes such legislation (for obvious reasons)
- Enroute to Costa Rica, Carruthers changed planes in Dallas
- Though Carruthers broke no UK laws nor broke any US laws while on US soil, he was detained and is currently being held in Fort Worth, Texas

This action has been very effective (and not without precedence). Trading in BoS PLC has been suspended, and other companies in the sector are down by as much as 19% on the news. I imagine that thousands of shareholders are burning their stock certificates to destroy any evidence of their involvement with a PUBLICLY TRADED AND LICENSED UK COMPANY.

It's just the tip of the iceberg. Executives in banks and credit card companies who do business with BoS PLC will be next. CEOs of Canadian companies who produce and sell non-FDA approved drugs soon after that. This should be fun to watch!

On an unrelated note: rumor has it that the CEOs of Remington, Baretta, and S&W have all canceled summer trips to London. I can only assume that it's because of the unseasonably warm weather.

(Thank you Radley Balko for the heads up)