The butt-ugly rules of engagement for Follytix Y2K


From the 4-9-00 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune

Things have gotten so ugly so early for us political junkies that it's high time to remind the players of the basics. The following rules have been updated for the electronic age, but nothing much has changed in more than 2,000 years.

1. Get paid in cash. Upfront.

2. I only trust you and me, and I ain't too damn sure about you.

3. Say nothing on the phone you ain't ready to see on the front page.

4. Never sign nothin' and put nothing in writing. This now includes e-mail.

5. "You can never win a fight until you start a fight." (David Hawkins, Natural Resources Defense Council)

6. "Fighting for big ideas that seem hopeless can be the smartest politics in the long run." (Author William Greider) How to do it right: call Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas.

7. The team making the fewest mistakes wins. (Vince Lombardi)

8. Never say "no." If you make a promise, the matter is not fixed. It's for a future day. It affects only a few people. But if you say "no," you alienate many people right away. (Political advice given to the ancient Roman orator Cicero by his brother in 64 BCE)

9. Never play the other guy's game. If some sharp walks up to you and wants to bet that he can pour cider in your ear without you knowing it, you can only be sure of one thing---you're gonna end up with an earful of cider. (Author Damon Runyon, paraphrased, courtesy of Sparks Tribune columnist Orland T. Outland.)

10. Lie to pollsters. "Prediction is difficult, especially when it involves the future." (Physicist Niels Bohr)

11. Take care of the small stuff. There's nothing wrong with trying to save the whales or the world, but don't forget the person next door you might help right now.

EVEN THE SMALL STUFF TAKES MONEY. University of Nevada Prof. Ellen Pillard is trying to raise $2,000 for San Antonio de los Ranchos in the beleaguered Central American nation of El Salvador. The little community of 8,000 was ravaged by the country's longrunning civil war, a bloodbath with U.S. fingerprints all over it. Rebuilding was severely set back by the floods of Hurricane Mitch.

The local water supply comes from a solitary well now in danger of destruction by the rainy season.

Pillard has already generated $700 toward building a wall to protect the well. She hosts a fundraiser today beginning at 1:00 p.m. at 541 Sunnyside Drive which runs just north of Raley's off Keystone Ave. in northwest Reno (89503).

A $20 donation covers lunch and "a display of places and people we visited in El Salvador; music and stories about our trip," Pillard says.

If you can't attend but would like to donate, call Susan Chandler at (775) 746-4284. Make checks payable to the Romero Foundation, named for the Catholic archbishop killed 20 years ago by a right-wing death squad while he celebrated mass in his church. Your donation is fully tax-deductible. That's the least our government can do for the harm it caused that poor country.

Help out. It will make you feel good.

MESSAGE FROM THE MAHATMA. Speaking of Latin America, a letter to six year-old Elian Gonzales came in last week from director/producer Michael Moore.

"The worst that could be said is that, in Cuba, you were in jeopardy of receiving free health care whenever you needed it, an excellent education in one of the few countries that has 100% literacy, and a better chance of your baby sister being born and making it to her first birthday than if she had been born in Washington, DC."

The second season of Moore's internationally broadcast TV docu-comedy, The Awful Truth, begins May 17 on the Bravo Network.

DUMB AND DUMBER. Remember what I said a few weeks ago that you will always win if you bet on the teachers union to do the dumbest thing. Late Friday, they filed an initiative petition to establish a four percent business income tax. It would hit the gambling industry for only about $36 million a year. It also carries a provision killing Sen. Neal's petition, which would generate more than ten times that amount by raising Nevada's gross gaming tax, currently the world's lowest.

Guess which petition the gambling industry might support?

SANE PERSON RUNS FOR CONGRESS. So stated Las Vegas City Life in breaking the news that the Democrats have found a candidate for the statewide congressional seat. Sarah Winnemucca Elementary School teacher Tierney Cahill, 32, "has no money, no experience and 'a snowball's chance in Vegas' of unseating Jim Gibbons, R. For the Democrats, (she) is a step up," wrote Hugh Jackson, senior editor of the Gomorrah South alternative weekly. In 1998, the party fielded no candidate.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Workers Memorial Day, an interfaith commemoration of the five dozen or so Nevadans killed on the job each year; Tuesday, April 25, 4:30 p.m., in the downtown Sparks amphitheater. For info, call Rich Houts at (775) 355-9200.

DOWNSIZE THIS. The Progressive Leadership Alliance is planning an "Equal Pay for Equal Work Day" on May 9 in both Reno and Las Vegas. They will give away whole Payday candy bars to men, but women get only 75 percent. For info, call (775) 348-7557 in Reno or Melissa Hall at (702) 791-1965 in Las Vegas.

PLAN will officially dedicate its new Reno headquarters with an open house potluck and barbecue on Sunday, April 30, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Western Shoshone spiritual leader Corbin Harney will deliver the blessing at 1101 Riverside Drive on the banks of the Truckee River.

KISS MY FOOT, BOSS. The Alliance for Workers Rights plans a May 15 protest of casino requirements that female (not male) cocktail servers wear body-bending high heels. For info, call (775) 333-0201.

Be well. Raise hell.

NevadaLabor.com | U-News | C.O.P. | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors


© Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of U-News, where the past four years of columns may be accessed. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988 where an earlier version of this column appeared on 4/9/00.

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