Are the Crime Initiatives finally paying off?

Now I heard this break as a news story on Friday as I was returning to the Office from doing my banking which is another story... just know that First Citizens needs to hire more tellers... especially for month end...

suspended: Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday packs his briefcase as he prepares to leave the Parliament Chamber of the Red House, Port of Spain, on Friday. -Photos: MICHEAL BRUCEPM: We won't save Panday
Ria Taitt Political Editor
Sunday, March 30th 2008

Government is not prepared to encourage the importing of lawlessness into the Parliament, through the Leader of the Opposition, Prime Minister Patrick Manning said yesterday. And therefore his Government will not validate Basdeo Panday's behaviour last Friday by initiating or supporting a resolution overturning his suspension from the Parliament, the Prime Minister added. Manning said the lawlessness manifested itself in Panday's refusal to accept the authority of the Speaker.

The Prime Minister was responding to a question from the Sunday Express yesterday, on whether his Government planned to use its majority to bring a motion to end the suspension and "save the Opposition Leader".

Panday has been banned from the Parliament and its precincts for the rest of this parliamentary session, which runs until December. Panday was originally suspended under Standing Order 43 (3), for the remainder of the sitting, for defying the Speaker's orders not to use a laptop. But his refusal to leave the Parliament after this suspension, triggered a second suspension (under Standing Order 43 (10)), which extends for the remainder of the parliamentary session.

Noting that the Speaker transcends politics and is the symbol of authority in the House, Manning said Government supported the Speaker's attempt to prevent lawlessness from entering the Parliament and becoming a feature of parliamentary procedure. "The Speaker was entirely correct," the Prime Minister stated.

But yesterday as the reality of the suspension sank in, Panday was still unrepentant. "Why do you worry about what the Speaker says?" he asked the Sunday Express, when the issue of the duration of the suspension was raised.

"Why do you worry about that? Everybody knows why he (Speaker Barry Sinanan) is doing this. It has nothing to do with computers. He is trying to establish a regime in which we shall not be able to speak unless we have his permission. And it is our duty to ensure that he doesn't breach that fundamental democratic principle of being able to speak," Panday said.

Asked whether he would be prepared to accept the rescinding of the suspension by a Government majority in the House or whether he would take the same position he took when his seat was vacated in October 2006, Panday said he would accept a Government resolution terminating the suspension.

He said, however, that whatever happened, he was determined to go to the Parliament next week. "I was elected to represent the people and I am going to do that, at the cost of my life, if necessary," he said.

This, despite the fact that he has been banned from the Parliament and its precincts until the session ends? "But I must go! The people elected me for that purpose. And if it means, going to prison, then I'll go to prison," an adamant Panday stated.

Asked whether every UNC MP still planned to go to Parliament with their laptops next week, Panday retreated from his position taken on Friday that all 15 UNC MPs would defy the Speaker at the next sitting, saying: "I don't know what they will do. But I'll be there."

Parliamentary sources said yesterday that it was not clear whether Panday would be paid or not. Standing Order 43 (13) states: "Any remuneration or allowance to which a Member is entitled as a Member of the House of Representatives shall cease in respect of the period of his suspension."

However, Panday, who is the Couva North MP, is paid as Leader of the Opposition, which is a constitutional position. That position, based on an instrument of appointment by the President, has not been revoked and should not be affected by his suspension. And he is still fulfilling his duties as Opposition Leader, sources pointed out.

It is therefore likely that he will continue to receive his salary of $23,000 a month, plus travelling ($2,500), housing allowance ($5,000), and other perks. His constituency allowances would continue, since it is now accepted policy that unless the seat is vacated or the member expelled, constituency allowances will not be stopped.

Now I hope after they suspend MPs they start stripping the illegal tint from all Government vehicles... Stop and charge all those who use the PBR in Govt. vehicles... and all the like...


Sugar Shock

Ever since I read this article on the Sugar Industry I wanted to write on it but the whole JET fiasco was ongoing... and well I wanted to say put the money here instead but then Arthur Lok Jack told the Nation that the money wouldn't go here even if they eh buy the JET... so I didnt worry.... but flicking through the channels I happened upon Shelly Dass hosting the Big Story with guest Balliram Maharaj, owner of Arima Discount Mart and a former president of the Supermarkets Association, saying that SUGAR went up and he didnt know why???

I dont know why either... didnt we used to produce this? and I thought the most essential part of being 'FIRST WORLD' is being able to adequately provide for yourself... so if these guys only need a lil help to FIX/Refurbish the Refinery so we can provide enough for ourselves and also export/sell a little isnt this a good thing...

Being the GREAT businessman he is, Mr. Lok Jack could certainly recognize that while the money doesnt mean new hospital beds it can certainly aid the SUGAR industry that still seems viable... at least on a National Level...

If we can't see about ourselves... what is your purpose... or is it that this is the exact thinking of the Government or those who have been charged with the responsibility of seeking the Nation's interest... they only seeing about themselves... and not the Nation...


major linque

I was requested to post this here for my readership to comment on.... I didn't think I had that many readers ;)

I personally find that the song did well enough... I hear a slight AutoTune/Melodyne and I dont really like hearing it... makes me feel that the artist cant really sing... me still rate the lyrics and production...


SOCA on iTunes

I decided to express my opinion on this after reading, commenting and visiting the related websites found within a post on Saucy's Trinidad Carnival Diary.

Now I am all for promoting Trinbagonian culture and content but not when the artistes don't do their part. What the writer of the email doesn't realize is that we (Trinidad & Tobago) are not players within this iTunes/Music industry. We have setup our own Music portals and should probably support them instead of supporting the iTunes Music service. Is there a problem with them... as far as I have seen they have properly grouped by Genre... and thats what the writer seeks... grouping by genre...

I just tried to log into the iTunes store and guess what... I can't... maybe the should allow people from T&T use their locally based international Credit Cards in the store.... instead I have to work around the system if i really want content from ITunes... or get it elsewhere...

I have used emusic before and only cancelled because I was getting most of my music from other sources.... I got Kitchener and Sparrow albums from there... and some other real old Kaiso albums too...

Why this need to see SOCA as a genre... the Mighty Sparrow was featured on Wyclef Jean's The Carnival but guess what it wasn't Calypso he was singing... it was some R&B/Soul vybzzzz...

The music of TNT is genius, you know what it takes to make not one but a few hit songs every year, year after year consistently that is what Calypsonians and Soca artists do - and this ability has to be respected. Damn even the Beatles stop making music after a few years.

HITS... where in the Caribbean for Carnival... yeah tru... they get played in all the world's Carnivals for two days and many steal melodic structure from the Top40 on a regular basis... if they dont borrow their own riddim from before... sorry if i seem synical... but if we (Trinbagonians) and the artists dont mind this... and call it our culture then we deserve the recognition that the world affords us...

I have always marvelled at this clip from Machel Montano HD...

(edit while watching the T&T Sports Person of the Year Awards)
the background music of the video production features dancehall and hip-hop... genres that were born out of calypso... what a laugh... did First Citizens approve the audio used in these videos? did they consider that it was an award ceremony for Trinbagos best? and we want iTunes to give us a genre... sheeeeeeet



I over heard this today...

child: Why yuh give me 4 ICE?

my brain was like... 4 ICE... something sounding wrong...

child: I mean 4 ICES...

this definitely releases the stress of the day but can definitely pose more questions for me to worry even more...

now ICES is the plural of ICE but the reference was made about blocks of ICE... am I over-analyzing?
ICES also describes...

the reference was made to ICE that isn't countable... i mean we eh talking about smoothies here...



RCMP Raid Shuts Down Massive Alleged Music Counterfeiting Operation in Winnipeg, Following Investigation by Canadian Recording Industry Association
Toronto, Mar 06, 2008

Police file criminal charges against four people and seize more than 200,000 music CDs and DVDs

Following a year-long investigation by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), the RCMP has shut down Audiomaxxx.com Ltd., a major alleged music counterfeiting operation in Winnipeg, and filed criminal charges against four individuals.

Raj Singh Ramgotra, the principal behind Audiomaxxx, was among those arrested during a raid yesterday at the organization, which for three years has allegedly manufactured pirated compact discs and hard core pornographic videos, and distributed them throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Jamaica. More recently, Audiomaxxx's offerings have also included allegedly pirated digital downloads.

In addition to the arrests, police seized an enormous volume of suspected counterfeit goods. This includes more than 200,000 music CDs and DVDs, numerous movie DVDs and hundreds of thousands of blank discs. Police also seized five CD/DVD burning towers, each with 12 burners, which together are capable of burning well in excess of 10,000 CDs and DVDs a day. The raid also netted several computers and hard drives, two commercial CD printers, four colour copiers and other office equipment.

In the past 10 years, the raid closest in scale to the action against Audiomaxxx involved the seizure of about 10,000 counterfeit music CDs and DVDs - one-twentieth the volume netted yesterday.
More than 10 police officers were involved in yesterday's raid.

"We sincerely thank the RCMP officers who have worked so hard to bring Audiomaxxx to heel, and to the federal prosecutors who have worked closely with them," said Graham Henderson, President of the Canadian Recording Industry Association. "Today's arrests send out a clear message that commercial piracy will no longer be tolerated in Canada."

Audiomaxxx is suspected of being one of Canada's leading music counterfeiters. In Toronto alone, approximately 30 percent of the pirated CDs seized allegedly originate from the operation. CRIA estimates that, at minimum, Audiomaxxx has been shipping tens of thousands of allegedly pirated CDs each month.

CRIA has received dozens of complaints concerning the operation from artists, music associations and music labels around the world, including numerous small, independent labels. In the past, when faced with demands by rights holders to cease its activities, Audiomaxxx has consistently ignored the demands or failed to fully comply.

The operation appears to be highly developed, with a significant catalogue of allegedly pirated CDs and music downloads offered for sale via the website www.audiomaxxx.com, including copies of tracks by famous artists like Shania Twain, Lionel Richie, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige and Nelly Furtado.

"The RCMP has again demonstrated that it stands side by side with artists and rights holders in the fight against intellectual property crime," said Randy Lennox, President and CEO of Universal Music Canada Ltd. and Chairman of CRIA. "CRIA has a longstanding partnership with the RCMP and other police forces in fighting piracy, and today we have taken a big step together to stop one of the most flagrant examples of its kind in Canada."

Audiomaxxx's alleged piracy affects not just famous artists, but also new and independent artists - largely in the reggae, soca and hip-hop community - who are struggling to build careers. For example, Vancouver's Utopia Records, one of the many independent labels to voice concerns, has seen new artist albums appear on the Audiomaxxx website on the day an album is released in stores or even before the legitimate launch date.

"The harm done by music piracy is especially troubling when it undermines a promising artist's burgeoning career," Henderson said. "We will continue to work with police and lawmakers to give these artists, and the organizations behind them, the opportunity to succeed."

CRIA began investigating Audiomaxxx as part of an ongoing program to deter music counterfeiting and piracy. The operation came to CRIA's attention because of the large volume of suspected counterfeit products openly offered for sale on the Internet and the owner's failure to stop selling these products after the issuance of cease-and-desist orders.

Since CRIA began dedicated anti-counterfeiting operations more than a year ago, the association and police have seized more than 400,000 CDs and issued 80 cease-and-desist orders against retailers of illicitly copied music. The Impact of Piracy and Counterfeiting on Canadian Artists and Rights Holders

Piracy and counterfeiting exact a steep toll on artists and rights holders in Canada. This is reflected in significant music sales declines since the advent of widespread unauthorized file-swapping in 1999 and the proliferation of CD and music DVD counterfeiting in recent years. In that time, retail sales of pre-recorded audio products (CDs, digital tracks, etc.) declined by 47 percent, from $1.3 billion in 1999 to $703.7 million in 2006.

For the 11 months ended November 2007, net wholesale shipments of CDs, music DVDs, and other "physical" recorded music formats dropped 16 percent to 37.9 million units from 45.1 million units in the year-earlier period, while the related net wholesale value dropped 20 percent to $382.4 million from $476.3 million.

A 2007 national POLLARA survey found that purchases of counterfeit goods such as music CDs displace legitimate commerce. About half of those who bought counterfeit music, movies or software would have purchased the genuine version had they not purchased a copy (for music, the figure was 43 percent; movies, 45 percent; and software, 44 percent).