Monthly Archives: September 2007

Barbados One Armed Bandits – A Little Bit Of History Remembered

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Tom Adams, Nathaniel Natty Greene And The 1977 Slot Machine Scandal

When Senator Aaron Truss was arrested and then…

UPDATED: July 22, 2010

How many slot machines are there in Barbados? Who imports them? How much money do they make for the owners and the government? Is there any audit procedure actually used to confirm revenues and taxes owing? Do any government officials have shares in slot machines or gambling establishments?

We’ll be looking at some of those issues in a later article, but to get us in the mood here’s a story we first published in 2007… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, History, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Sex, Love And Betrayal At The St. Lawrence Gap

Auntie Moses Pretends Not To Read Cheese-On-Bread!

Matthew was taken aback. “I don’t mean to hurt you, Tasha, but face it. We haven’t been on the same page for a long time.”

“Stupid me, I thought we were on the same page for the last eight years,” she retorted hotly. “Do you know I actually thought you were going to propose to me tonight?”

By this time, couples at nearby tables were staring in their direction. Out of the corner of her eye, Natasha saw the hostess approach and she waved her away. The woman gave Natasha a worried look and retreated.

Matthew had the decency to look ashamed. “I’m sorry, Tasha. I didn’t mean to mislead you. Things just…happened.”

… A scene at the St. Lawrence Gap from the novelette “Trading Hearts” by Bajegirl (link here)

Caught Out!

Yesterday morning, Shona caught Auntie Moses reading some romance fiction at Cheese-On-Bread! blog.

After years of warning Shona about her collection of softback romance novels, saying “Not a ting good be come a dem”, this makes twice that Auntie has been caught out reading romance stories by Bajegirl at her Cheese-On-Bread! blog.

Give it up, Auntie Moses… You can’t resist the hotty stories at Cheese-On-Bread! any more than Shona and her friends can!

🙂

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Filed under Barbados

Opera Telecom – Fraudulent Operations In Barbados

Personal attention of the
Hon. Lynette Eastmond
Minister of Consumer Affairs

Fair Trading Commission

Opera Telecom
In early July I became increasing concerned over a series of TV ‘ads’ that were being aired at almost saturation frequency on CBC Channel 8.

The ‘ads’ invited viewers to respond by text or telephone at a cost of BDS$2.30 per call with a selection of possible answers to various questions. A classic example was: ‘What is the capital of Barbados?’

While the conditions of the competition were shown in very small print and literally flashed on the screen, it was absolutely clear that the operators were a company called OPERA TELECOM.

I emailed the company in the United Kingdom and an Ms Joanne Nugent responded as GM (General Manager) of Opera Interactive Caribbean showing a local (Barbados) telephone number (230 6742) and a UK Fax Number (44) 0870 046 9668, which is in fact the FAX number of the Birmingham headquarters of Opera Telecom and the website address of Opera Telecom (www.oitg.com).

Ms Nugent’s email address is joanne.nugent@oitg.com

The current CEO of Opera Telecom is Garry Corbett who’s email address is garry.corbett@oitg.com

I was unable to find any Barbados registered company under the name of Opera Interactive Caribbean but through the CAIPO office found a company listed an Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd under the number 27987.

As you may be aware Opera Telecom has recently been fined a record GBP 250,000 for rigging a premium rate competition phone line on behalf of GMTV.

Media reports estimate ‘callers were cheated out of GBP 20 million over four years’.

‘Opera Telecom was ordered to pay a full refund to complainants and banned for managing competitions for a year’.

You can get some idea of media response to the events simply by typing Opera Telecom on GOOGLE News.

In the last but one email response Ms Nugent has categorically stated that Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd has absolutely no connection to Opera Telecom.

Frankly, I find this difficult to believe as the TV ‘ads’ shown on Barbados clearly display Opera Telecom and you will see by the four separate emails I am forwarding that Ms Nugent has on at least one occasion copied our emails to the CEO of Opera Telecom, Garry Corbett.

Over the last few days yet another competition Barbados Lucky Numbers has started to appear both on CBC Channel 8 and half page print ‘ads’ in the press.

Again, respondents are requested to call or text at a cost of BDS$2.30, yet no company is listed as the operator of the competition.

As with the previous Opera Telecom competition, no list of winners has been published and the public has absolutely no idea what funds and profits were generated from this promotion.

I would be grateful for your comments.

Yours Faithfully

Adrian Loveridge

29 September 2007

Sent by email and printed letter and copied to Senator Lynette Eastmond, Minister of Consumer Affairs and the Office of Public Counsel.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Crime & Law

Barbados Government Triumph: Little Brass Bells Issued To Bedridden Hospital Patients!

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UPDATED: August 17, 2010

Queen Elizabeth Hospital staff contacted Barbados Free Press with the following that speaks for itself:

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I would like to provide an update to your September 29, 2007 story “Barbados Government Triumph: Little Brass Bells Issued To Bedridden Hospital Patients!”

The bells are gone having been taken or lost and the patient call system is still broken. Help!

signed, A concerned staff member

BFP replies… Okay, we’ll put the old article up at the top for a few days. Same old, same old ’bout hey!

Original Article first published September 29, 2007…

Improving Health Care In Barbados

Seriously ill patients at one ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital no longer have to moan or throw bedpans to attract a nurse. Each patient has been issued with a small bell.

Oh… wait a minute. The bells didn’t come from the government, they came from the Cardiac Support Group when the government decided that repairing the broken electronic nurse alert system was not a priority. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Health

Is Barbados Going Bankrupt? Part 78 Of A Continuing Series… More Late Payments To Government Employees: Teachers This Time

Today’s story of government workers not being paid is nothing special… just more of the same.

Like all the past articles on the same subject.

When you have spent all the rent money on booze and fast women, something has to give. It’s the same way with government: when you blow a third of a billion dollars on a cricket party, the teachers have to wait.

TEMPORARY TEACHERS who have not been paid should receive their salaries before the end of next week.

This assurance has been given by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Atheline Haynes, who told the WEEKEND NATION yesterday evening there was “a problem” regarding the payment of temporary teachers “at a number of schools”.

“The Ministry of Education is apologising for the delay,” she said. “Every effort is being made to ensure all teachers affected are paid by the end of next week.”

Tuesday was pay day and the WEEKEND NATION understands that teachers at more than 30 schools have been affected. Some of them have been working for more than five years.

The Nation News: Pay Soon For Temporary Teachers

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

Secret Order In Council Cancels Privacy Rights – Invokes Executive Powers – Barbados Government Takes The First Step Towards The Abyss

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Government Prepares To Win The Election Any Way It Can

The Government of Barbados under Prime Minister Owen Arthur may have already used a secret Order In Council to invoke far reaching executive powers to intercept the private communications of Barbados citizens – including the political opposition.

Two independent and previously-reliable sources inform Barbados Free Press that as early as July of 2007, senior government Cabinet Ministers held talks about intercepting private communications and sought legal advice about how to legitimize this action without informing Parliament.

We are told that some weeks ago Prime Minister Arthur announced his decision to a group of inner party members that his government would use a secret Order In Council “legalize” the tapping of phone calls and the interception of emails and other electronic communications.

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The purported intent is to stop leaks of government information that have recently been exposed on the internet, but our sources indicate that the government’s intent is far more sinister and wide-ranging.

Orders In Council – A Means To An End, A Means Of Getting Around Parliament

In Commonwealth countries, an Order In Council (OIC) is primarily used as a method for the government to create minor laws and regulations without going before Parliament each and every time a minor change is needed. For instance, increasing the fine for submitting late tax information might be done through an Order In Council.

According to Wikipedia and some other research we’ve done, OICs are created by Cabinet and must then be approved by the Governor General.

Parliament and the public are notified about most OICs, but the most controversial use of Orders In Council happens when a government wishes to cross the lines of democracy, but wants to keep to the “letter of the law” in case they get caught. The solution: make a new, secret law that Parliament and the people don’t know about – that lets the government do as they please, but provides them with a “get out of jail free card” in case things get exposed.

An Order In Council could make an otherwise illegal wiretap “legal” – with no judge’s warrant necessary. (As long as the government is willing to say “to Hell with democracy”)

For examples of controversial uses of an Order in Council you can check Google or read a bit on Wikipedia here.

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“No Warrant” Communication Interceptions Have Already Started

Our sources are not in a position to know if the secret Order in Council has already been signed, but one source reports that the interceptions of communications without warrant have already started as if the OIC had been signed.

Our sources state that the Owen Arthur government will be intercepting the private communications of opposition party members, government workers and others who are suspected of being behind the leaks and the various Barbados blogs that have been causing the government so much concern.

The skills and interception equipment gained during Cricket World Cup are now being used to implement the intent of the Order in Council. It is believed by one of our sources that at least some police officers and or defense personnel would have to be working closely with the government. In other words, while most of the communications interception team would be told that their purpose is to identify persons leaking confidential government information, at least SOME of the personnel would have to be part of the larger agenda to gather information about the political opposition.

Barbados Free Press Was Notified Four Weeks Ago Of Nation Newspaper Server Downtime

In the early hours of September 15, 2007, the servers at both the Nation News and the Barbados Advocate were taken offline simultaneously. BFP had been notified of this several weeks ahead of time so it came as no surprise – although several comments by readers showed that this strange occurrence did not go unnoticed by some of the public.

BFP can now let our readers know that the reason the newspapers’ servers were taken down was to install new monitoring software to facilitate the government’s efforts to identify the writers of Barbados Underground and Barbados Free Press. This was done with the cooperation of the senior management at both news organisations.

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Barbados Free Press Responds

As must be obvious to everyone by now, some of the sources who provide BFP and Barbados Underground with information probably work for or within the BLP Owen Arthur Government.

While we must all be careful of the agendas behind any news organisation or information (and that includes BFP – we expect our readers to question and think about everything and that includes BFP), it is apparent to the writers at BFP that some within the government are appalled at this latest Owen Arthur government assault upon democracy.

Barbados Free Press has taken the steps we needed to maintain our privacy. In the end, Owen Arthur’s problem is that many in his own organisation are appalled at what is happening to our democracy and our country.

So, Mr. Prime Minister, the next time you are talking about intercepting private communications and abusing your power, just remember that some of the folks in the room might actually care more about their country than their political affiliation.

Because such good people exist, we have four words for you and your thugs, Sir: “Private Data Network Uplink”

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Dear Mr. Thompson

This article should serve as confirmation about some of the things you have been hearing from your own sources. During the past year, you and your party have not been an effective opposition. When the government wanted to change our constitution with four days’ notice and zero debate – and empower foreign troops on Bajan soil – you and your party allowed that to happen.

Time to stand up in public, whether in Parliament or not, and ask the question directly of the Prime Minister. Time to refuse to accept non-answers.

Time to see what you are made of. Time for us all to see if you have what it takes.

Next Article In This Series…

Blank Search Warrants Pre-Signed And All Ready To Go

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Myanmar Cuts Internet To Shut Down Bloggers and Independent News

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The government of Myanmar (Burma) is killing people on the streets again this morning, and they have shut down all internet service to the country.

You see friends, despots everywhere fear a free news media, but most of all they fear ordinary people discussing corruption, freedom and democracy.

That is true in Myanmar, and it is true in Barbados.

No, the Barbados government is not shooting people in the streets – but all the other danger signs are there.

Especially now.

While we ready our breaking story, you can read about Myanmar here…

Myanmar Government Shuts Down The Internet

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Blogging, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption