Idiocracies and skullduggeries of the season
Expanded from the 12-17-2006 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
It is certainly not the season of peace on earth, especially if a fat profit for the U.S. war machine is involved.
This adolescent nation has been playing cowboys and Indians so long that even those who claim to be adults continue to live inside Hollywood bang-bang movies.
LVCityLife sends Beers to 666
Teachers sound off about arming themselves in class
Columnist Jane Ann Morrison
LV Review-Journal 12-21-2006
CORY FARLEY: A test of conservative logic
Arming teachers increases likelihood of school violence
Lahontan Valley News Editorial
Keep guns out of school
Reno Gazette-Journal editorial
Let's hear from teachers
Columnist Jane Ann Morrison
LV Review-Journal 12-18-2006
Students need protection
from Bob Beers
Las Vegas Sun editorial
Editorial: Beers off target
Carson City Nevada Appeal
State Sen. Robert T. Beers, R-Gomorrah South, wants teachers to carry guns to school. My old friend Bob has made the mistake of watching TV news, probably on FOX. Schools are among society's safest places. It's just that when a gun scare happens, the response provides great video, justifying it as a big story.
I was recently contacted by residents of a Sparks neighborhood who had reported suspicious activity. They busted a crack house. The residents now live in fear of both retaliation and the continuing parade of strange cars pulling up to the now-vacant rental. The Sparks Police Department said thanks, then basically informed the residents that they are on their own.
One asked me about acquiring a gun. I repeated what I saw on Oprah: A law-abiding citizen will first challenge, for instance, a burglar. At that point, the advantage goes to the outlaw who, if armed, will be prompted to shoot if he sees that the homeowner is packing. A citizen with a gun just increases the likelihood that a situation will spiral out of control.
However, the alternative of calling the cops is getting increasingly chancy.
The Tribune recently reported on a city council meeting where Sparks police chief John Dotson lamented his dwindling resources in the face of growth. The mystified mayor and council groped for solutions and mused about raising taxes notwithstanding last month's public vote against exactly that.
No one dared whisper that the city is taking in plenty of money to provide proper services to its citizens. City hall is just wasting it on ever-expanding corporate welfare programs.
Nevada's skewed priorities on the state and local levels allow fearmongers like Beers to gain traction. Freshman Reno GOP Assemblycritter Tyrus Cobb III is working on a bill to prevent all them there subversive illegal aliens from looting the public treasury by scamming public services meant for us gun-toting citizens.
My Las Vegas colleague in columny Jon Ralston asked the greenhorn if he has any evidence that immigrant workers represent a net loss to the public purse. Answer: No.
Government officials remain masters at self-promotion while promoting the delusion that they are good stewards of the public trust. Reno has spent millions trying to put lipstick on the pig of downtown redevelopment.
Those who point out that the emperor is naked do so at their peril. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling weakened whistleblower laws nationwide.
More on the Supreme Court whistleblower decision
St. Petersburg Times, 5-31-2006
Washoe District Attorney Richard Gammick last week lost a court ruling in his ongoing attempt to stifle a whistleblower lawsuit against his wonderfulness and the county. KRNV TV-4 and KOLO TV-8 reported the story. The Reno Gazette-Journal has remained curiously silent.
Some Sparks whistleblowers are currently being tailed by ex-cops.
We are not enjoying a holiday season filled with good will. Instead, fear and loathing infect the land and that's just the way the Dick Cheneys of the world want it. As long as they can keep the lower classes bickering with each other, the true causes of our very real problems will remain unaddressed as the oligarchy above spawns idiocracy below.
Pahrump tries to turn itself into a police state with concentration camps for brown people as the only remaining step. The Dept. of Homeland Security, unable to find many terrorists, is turning to criminalizing work, much as the Sparks City Council did a few years back by trying to stop day laborers from finding a job.
Recent BARBWIRE Media Hits
and Ego Trips
The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006
BARBANO: Nevada's newly-hiked minimum wage is nowhere near enough
Reno Gazette-Journal, 11-11-2006
Next year, the elements are in place for a national strike which must be led by the Teamsters and the Longshoreman's unions, both of which have expiring contracts which crosscut the shipping industry. Let other workers join them in sympathy. After Dubya has deported all of the nation's non-union immigrant meat packers and gut shovelers, see how fast your favorite cuts disappear from grocery store shelves.
Restructuring our priorities should start at the top, but it won't. All levels of government are too beholden to conservatism, defined at its simplest as maintaining current conditions. When spying, fear and intimidation become too much, the people will rise up.
Our educational system starves as the feds spend half a trillion a year on war and the locals subsidize bandido corporations that don't need the money.
We need not worry about too much government brutality if citizens and aspiring citizens again take to the streets. Dubya has sent the National Guard to Iraq and warmongering Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wants to send more.
Sparks cops may be able to bust an occasional black kid for being dark after dark during Hot August Nights, but that's about all.
The solutions are simple: Stop giving away the store and everyone will have more, starting with good jobs at good wages and get ready to be called a socialist health care.
The political compass to correct the course exists among the citizenry. Electing people with the courage to make it happen remains the stumbling block.
BUILDING BLOCKS. Speaking of health care, Kawasaki of Reno will raffle a 2006 Eliminator 125 this Saturday for the benefit of the Tribune's poster child for what's wrong with the U.S. health care system, William Albiniano A member of the Sparks ironworkers union narrowly averted death at UNR last Thursday when a 700-pound steel beam came loose from a crane. He is recovering at the former Washoe Medical Center. The union at 1110 Greg Street is taking up a collection for the single father's children. Call (775) 331-8696 to contribute Charter cable, fearing the apparently delayed entry of competition from AT&T, has hired some schmoozers to romance big clients like apartment complexes. These guys serve the same function as airline employees specializing in fawning over the families of crash victims in order to minimize chances of being sued.
As Lily Tomlin once so wisely opined, "no matter how cynical you become, it's hard to keep up."
Be well. Raise hell.
Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007; (not available online for several months, if at all). I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.
Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate. For additional comments on the work of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning team, use the NevadaLabor.com search engine and sweep for "Barlett."
The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below
ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press
SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.
By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)
Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.
Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required
BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey
BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy
The sands of time do not affect the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Rinfret, Pierre A.; "Peace is Bullish"; Look Magazine, 5-31-1966
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Copyright © 2006 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 38-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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