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After reading both of the following articles, I cannot hold my comments inside any longer.  First of all, the picture below of Randy Travis is the picture of a man who is lost and has no idea where he is going or where he wants to go, but the best place for him would be in jail, not to sleep it off, but to get control of his life.  If he is needing publicity, this type is what we call negative publicity and it never helps, only hurts.  You would think a man that has had so much success in life would at least know enough to keep his clothes on. 

I wonder if he has read any news on a certain young lady whose continued negative lifestyle devastated her career forever.  Travis is a walking example of somebody who has become a nobody, by his own lifestyle.  He would do well to change his way of living to retain whatever career he has left. This is not the days of 1982 or On The Other Hand.  This is 2012, and if he continues on the path he is walking on, all of his past will be forgotten quicker than he can blink his eyes.  Seems he thinks he is beyond the law with his abusive threats, something that would jail others with no bond until a judge had the opportunity to make a decision on their crime.

His status in the country music industry is grinding Travis into the ground.  Maybe the town of Sherman gave him a break because of who he thinks he is, but he needs some guidance, which he has never had when he was single.  Naked, drunk, abusive to the law officers, crashing his “1998” Pontiac Trans Am, is a sign of rebellion, thinking you are above the law.  I would not be writing this, but back in February he was in trouble once again, and he is still going through issues with his ex-wife Elizabeth Travis.  Somebody needs to tell Travis that he is on the downside of his life and by the looks of it, it is only going to get worse for him, unless he changes his ways.  Also trouble in Canada, and an anger tirade in the green room of the David Letterman Show.  There is a higher judge he needs to ask for help.

The mug shot makes him looks angry with the world, and his mouth continues to get in trouble, but driving a car naked.  I am wondering if the weather was just too hot out there in Texas and he needed to cool down.  Where did he come from and where was he going, or does he know the answer to either of these questions.  There are more details coming out today regarding this new incident in the life of Randy Travis, which would serve no purpose for me to add them to my comments.  Travis has made his own bed, and now he will have to sleep in it.

Keep going the way you are Mr. Travis and you will end up 6 foot under and no one will give a damn.  At least when Johnny PayCheck stopped to smell the roses, he found that there was a sweet smell of the good life, and he changed his ways.  It is time to grow up Randy, get some professional help, and try smelling the flowers, and get your life in order.  Look and sounds like Travis wants to let his career go down the drain, and if he continues the time is getting shorter.  People have a tendency to forgive and forget a couple of times, but….

I am getting sick and tired of certain artists who think they can do whatever they wish, when they wish, and if it is wrong, they believe there will be no recourse, and by the look of Travis’s picture, it shows no remorse.  Money cannot and will not make his problems go away.

Marty Martel©

My comments on the Gibson Guitar Scandal are as follows.  First of all, please read both of the articles below regarding
Randy Travis and Gibson Guitar. 

I remember when the first problem began back in 2009 when Gibson Guitar factories were raided by agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service .  At that time I chastised our government for sticking their noses into our music industry business, believing everything that Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz was telling the media, was the truth.  I backed Gibson Guitar to the max.  Now I find out that Mr. Juszkiewicz was not telling the truth, and all they get for their lies and scandal is a slap on the wrist, and a $350,000 penalty.  Are you kidding me??

And everyone that I knew especially the musicians were up in arms because our government was accusing our wonderful Gibson Guitar Company of importing ebony wood illegally from Madagascar in violation of a federal law protecting endangered species.  Yes I believed every word Gibson was saying, continually denying all charges and getting all of us in the music industry and around the world, up in arms with our government.  Now we come to find out that Gibson was not telling the truth, and finally the government had them by the seat of their pants and the only thing they could do was finally come forward by admitting that what they had been accused of, was true, and now all they get is a slap on the wrist and a fine for being a liar.

The one other thing that bothers me and I do not understand, are those musicians who bought these instruments made with ebony illegally imported from Madagascar, did they not know that the guitars were being made illegally by Gibson Guitar, and they still purchased the instruments.  No one will ever be able to prove it, but there are certain guitarists who are owners of these precious guitars, and I am wondering what the price of this guitar with illegal wood, costs these artists.

I along with many others, stood behind Gibson Guitar company throughout this ordeal-until now.  Gibson has been in existence for many, many years, and now we come to find out that they were hiding the truth, and the cookie jar that they had their hands in, is still filled with cookies for them.  All I can say is, “Mr Juszkiewicz, you got away a crime that makes Nashville and puts the music industry in a bad light.”  I wonder how Gibson Guitar Company lost so little, but caused so much harm with the loss of integrity for their company. 

Marty Martel© 


Randy Travis was charged with driving while intoxicated and threatening law officers after the country singer crashed his car and was found naked and combative at the scene, officials said.

A mug shot released by the Grayson County Sheriff's Office shows a battered-looking Travis in a gray T-shirt, with a black eye and dried blood on his face. He later walked out of the county jail wearing scrubs, a University of Texas ball cap and no shoes.
It was the second Texas arrest this year for Travis, who was cited in February for public intoxication.
The sheriff's office in Grayson County, located in far North Texas along the border with Oklahoma, received a 911 call at 11:18 p.m. Tuesday about a man seen lying in a road west of Tioga, where the entertainer lives.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers responding to the scene said a Pontiac Trans Am registered to Travis, 53, had been driven off the road and struck several barricades in a construction road.
Travis was not wearing clothes at the time of his arrest and made threats against the Texas troopers, said Tom Vinger, a DPS spokesman. He said the singer refused sobriety tests, so a blood specimen was taken.
Travis was released on $21,500 bond Wednesday morning from the jail in Sherman, about 60 miles north of Dallas. Blood test results are pending.
Grayson County Sheriff's Sgt. Rickey Wheeler said Travis faces charges of retaliation or obstruction in addition to driving under the influence.
"Travis had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath and several signs of intoxication," according to a statement from the sheriff's office. "While Travis was being transported, Travis made threats to shoot and kill the troopers working the case."
A Travis representative said there would be no immediate comment on the arrest.
A message left Wednesday afternoon with the Grayson County district attorney's office was not immediately returned.
In February, Travis was charged with public intoxication after being spotted in a vehicle parked in front of a church in Sanger, about 20 miles from Tioga.
He also has been involved in messy court proceedings with his ex-wife. Travis was divorced from Elizabeth Travis in 2010 after 19 years of marriage.
Earlier this year, Elizabeth Travis, who had been his manager for more than three decades, filed a lawsuit claiming that Randy Travis made it impossible for her to do her job and terminated her management contract without proper notice. She said her ex-husband sent several men, including an armed guard, to clean out her offices.
Randy Travis countersued in May, accusing his ex-wife of divulging confidential information about him in order to damage his reputation and career. The court documents don't say what information Elizabeth Travis is alleged to have betrayed.
Diana Heidgerd, Associated Press
Gibson to pay $350,000 in penalties over illegal wood
Nashville guitar maker was accused of importing banned ebony, rosewood
Written by The Tennessean

Nashville-based Gibson Guitar Corp. will pay a $300,000 fine and make a $50,000 community-service payment for conservation in response to federal allegations that the company used illegally obtained ebony wood in the manufacture of its products.
The U.S. Justice Department issued the following news release about the settlement this morning:
WASHINGTON – Gibson Guitar Corp. entered into a criminal enforcement agreement with the United States today resolving a criminal investigation into allegations that the company violated the Lacey Act by illegally purchasing and importing ebony wood from Madagascar and rosewood and ebony from India.
The agreement was announced today by Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, Jerry Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee and Dan Ashe, Director of the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The criminal enforcement agreement defers prosecution for criminal violations of the Lacey Act and requires Gibson to pay a penalty amount of $300,000. The agreement further provides for a community service payment of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to be used to promote the conservation, identification and propagation of protected tree species used in the musical instrument industry and the forests where those species are found. Gibson will also implement a compliance program designed to strengthen its compliance controls and procedures. In related civil forfeiture actions, Gibson will withdraw its claims to the wood seized in the course of the criminal investigation, including Madagascar ebony from shipments with a total invoice value of $261,844.
In light of Gibson’s acknowledgement of its conduct, its duties under the Lacey Act and its promised cooperation and remedial actions, the government will decline charging Gibson criminally in connection with Gibson’s order, purchase or importation of ebony from Madagascar and ebony and rosewood from India, provided that Gibson fully carries out its obligations under the agreement, and commits no future violations of law, including Lacey Act violations.
“As a result of this investigation and criminal enforcement agreement, Gibson has acknowledged that it failed to act on information that the Madagascar ebony it was purchasing may have violated laws intended to limit overharvesting and conserve valuable wood species from Madagascar, a country which has been severely impacted by deforestation,” said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. “Gibson has ceased acquisitions of wood species from Madagascar and recognizes its duty under the U.S. Lacey Act to guard against the acquisition of wood of illegal origin by verifying the circumstances of its harvest and export, which is good for American business and American consumers.”
“The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing the laws enacted by Congress,” said U.S. Attorney Martin. “Failure to do so harms those who play by the rules and follow the law. This criminal enforcement agreement goes a long way in demonstrating the government’s commitment to protecting the world’s natural resources. The agreement is fair and just in that it assesses serious penalties for Gibson’s behavior while allowing Gibson to continue to focus on the business of making guitars.”
“The Lacey Act’s illegal logging provisions were enacted with bipartisan support in Congress to protect vanishing foreign species and forest ecosystems, while ensuring a level playing field for America’s forest products industry and the people and communities who depend on it,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Ashe. “We’re pleased that Gibson Guitar Corp. has recognized its duties under the Lacey Act to guard against the acquisition of wood of illegal origin from threatened forests and has taken responsibility for actions that may have contributed to the unlawful export and exploitation of wood from some of the world’s most threatened forests.”
Since May 2008, it has been illegal under the Lacey Act to import into the United States plants and plant products (including wood) that have been harvested and exported in violation of the laws of another country. Congress extended the protections of the Lacey Act, the nation’s oldest resource protection law, to these products in an effort to address the environmental and economic impact of illegal logging around the world.
The criminal enforcement agreement includes a detailed statement of facts describing the conduct for which Gibson accepts and acknowledges responsibility. The facts establish the following:
Madagascar Ebony is a slow-growing tree species and supplies are considered threatened in its native environment due to over-exploitation. Both legal and illegal logging of Madagascar Ebony and other tree species have significantly reduced Madagascar’s forest cover. Madagascar’s forests are home to many rare endemic species of plants and animals. The harvest of ebony in and export of unfinished ebony from Madagascar has been banned since 2006.
Gibson purchased “fingerboard blanks,” consisting of sawn boards of Madagascar ebony, for use in manufacturing guitars. The Madagascar ebony fingerboard blanks were ordered from a supplier who obtained them from an exporter in Madagascar. Gibson’s supplier continued to receive Madagascar ebony fingerboard blanks from its Madagascar exporter after the 2006 ban. The Madagascar exporter did not have authority to export ebony fingerboard blanks after the law issued in Madagascar in 2006.
In 2008, an employee of Gibson participated in a trip to Madagascar, sponsored by a non-profit organization. Participants on the trip, including the Gibson employee, were told that a law passed in 2006 in Madagascar banned the harvest of ebony and the export of any ebony products that were not in finished form. They were further told by trip organizers that instrument parts, such as fingerboard blanks, would be considered unfinished and therefore illegal to export under the 2006 law. Participants also visited the facility of the exporter in Madagascar, from which Gibson’s supplier sourced its Madagascar ebony, and were informed that the wood at the facility was under seizure at that time and could not be moved.
After the Gibson employee returned from Madagascar with this information, he conveyed the information to superiors and others at Gibson. The information received by the Gibson employee during the June 2008 trip, and sent to company management by the employee and others following the June 2008 trip, was not further investigated or acted upon prior to Gibson continuing to place orders with its supplier. Gibson received four shipments of Madagascar ebony fingerboard blanks from its supplier between October 2008 and September 2009.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case was handled by the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.

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