Keep your face powder dry
Expanded from the 6-3-2007 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune / Updated 11-1-2016

"Nevada is politically retarded," remarked a longtime local human rights leader after the 2006 elections.

He was too gentle. We have moved from Gov. Dudley Do-Right, a man of no conviction, to Gov. Jim the Dim, who may face conviction.

As with Dubya, removal from office does the public no good with an even worse potential successor waiting in the number two spot.

Last year, I criticized now-Gov. Gibbons at every opportunity because I had seen firsthand what a lightweight he is for a man with several college degrees. Proving that pundits can't win, I am still getting grief from die-hard Democrats for stating both in this column and on TV that the 2006 gubernatorial race would be decided on cosmetics.

As with Warren G. Harding, the worst president of the 20th Century, Gibbons was elected because he looked like a governor and Sen. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, did not.

Are we that shallow? Yes. High school elections, notoriously hormone-popping popularity contests, are perhaps more representative today than the grownup version. At least a goodly portion of the student body has a chance to actually know the candidates.

As I have oft-stated, modern politics has come full circle to where we were about 4,000 years ago. The warrior Saul was named King of Israel by acclamation because "Saul stood head and shoulders over any other man." (Old Testament, Samuel, Book One)

The default position of our politics is to put the protector of the tribe in power. And that usually means the biggest, tallest stud on the block. Like the estimable but petite Sen. Titus, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, whose positions are consistently the best for the little people, is too much of a pixy to be picked for president.

Wisdom from the candidate with arguably the best presidential credentials

Bill Richardson Officially Enters '08 Democratic Presidential Race
by Leslie Wayne
The New York Times

    Breaking with some of his fellow candidates, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the war, Mr. Richardson pledged to "leave no troop behind in Iraq."

    "No airbases," he said. "No security patrols. No embedded soldiers training Iraqi forces."

    ...One of Mr. Richardson's big political frustrations is that he has perhaps the strongest résumé but is one of the least-known candidates.

Our primal prejudices for practitioners of violence are reflected in both our political and economic systems. The United States profits mightily from its killing machine. We are the world's biggest arms supplier. As has often been noted, we are funding both sides in our latest crusade against the infidels. Profits from our oil purchases get funneled to Osama's boys to kill the people we pay to put in harm's way in Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere else Americans might travel.

Them dirty Russkies are reacting to our renewed cold war missile "defense" moves in Europe by beefing up their nukes. That's not progress, but it's good for the armaments biz.

Big boys bearing big sabres to rattle are usually rewarded by the voters. Peace may be good for the economy [1] but not at the price of corporate and political profits.

I must compliment Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for at last showing himself to American voters as the unprincipled opportunist that he has always been. About 1981, Phoenix New Times, the best newspaper in the United States, printed a column from a longtime McCain watcher who noted that the man moved to Arizona after shopping for the best place to cash in his prisoner of war mystique for a political career. By complete abdication of his own principles, he has now proved that commentator correct.

McCain has seen the horrors of war but has sold out to his ambition and now pimps for the president. If the career makes it necessary to keep killing, the career wins.

If you never have expectations of Democrats, you will never be disappointed. Both Barack Obama [2] and Hillary Clinton [3] have stated that a minimum garrison of U.S. troops will have to remain permanently in Iraq. These good people are trying to have their cake and eat it, too, and the legit news media are letting them.

No wonder Cindy Sheehan said to hell with it and dropped her anti-war crusade. As always, the candidates with the best positions for the people are not among the frontrunners and are not given much hope of winning the DonkeyKong Party nomination.

Republicans are in worse shape, apparently turned on by none of the current field. Swooshing in to fill the vacuum is former Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson, R-Law & Order. He is telegenic, fatherly, engaging and possessed of the southern drawl required for successful modern presidential candidates. He's been a motion picture and television star for more than two decades, during which time he managed to squeeze in eight years in the U.S. Senate from Tennessee.

His political positions would place a burkha over American women and civil rights, but who cares? As Ronald Reagan, Warren Harding and Jim Gibbons have proved, you don't have to be a good leader if you can play one on TV.

If the election debacle of 2000 had happened in Ukraine or the Philippines, the people would have rioted in the streets until the truth prevailed. In 2004, Bush the Lesser and Karl the Contaminator kept enough blacks and senior citizens from voting to win another four years of screwing up the country.

It's official

    On Comedy Central's Colbert Report earlier this year, Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean advocated a permanent presence of about 25,000 troops outside the main urban areas.

Unlike foreigners who care about democracy, we meekly accepted the decisions of our betters on the supreme court and the woosie Mssrs. Gore and Kerry.

Given Democratic proclivity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I make Walter Cronkite-ish Fred Dalton Thompson a narrow 21-20 favorite to win the presidency next year with the help of another donkey default.

Are we collectively that stupid? The evidence on the record says yes and I both await and solicit countervailing witness to please prove me wrong.

CHUTZPAH INCARNATE – KroSlicki sticks the public purse again. Last Monday, the Reno Gazette-Journal published a paid, full-color 12-page tabloid insert for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, which is chaired by law-breaking Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki. Page two of Connecting Nevada Companies consisted entirely of a self-serving message from Krolicki complete with a color campaign photo. All it lacked were his children who appeared with him on his scholarship-wasting, million-dollar statewide TV campaign of a couple of years back. [CORRECTION AND UPDATE 11-1-2016: He left the impression they were his children. Actually, they were expensive professional models. See the 11-1-2016 Barbwire for a bad instant replay.]

You might think that after recent investigations found that he broke three laws in mismanaging the state's Millennium Scholarship fund [4], he would not be so brazen. You would be wrong.

This guy has a bright future in politics if he can stay out of jail. Fortunately for him, the Republican power structure has a very high batting average for helping its officeholders avoid justice. Witness the cases of the late State Controller Kathy Augustine and Sen. Maurice Washington, R-Sparks.

Be well. Raise hell.


1. Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966

2. Obama speech before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 11-20-2006

3. Clinton Says Some G.I.'s in Iraq Would Stay, The New York Times
    Ides of March, 2007

Mrs. Clinton has said she would vote for a proposed Democratic resolution on Iraq now being debated on the floor of the Senate, which sets a goal of withdrawing combat forces by March 31, 2008. Asked if her plan was consistent with the resolution, Mrs. Clinton and her advisers said it was, noting that the resolution also called for "a limited number" of troops to stay in Iraq to protect the American Embassy and other personnel, train and equip Iraqi forces, and conduct "targeted counterterrorism operations."

(Senator Barack Obama, a rival of Mrs. Clinton, has said that if elected president, he might keep a small number of troops in Iraq.)

4. Krolicki investigation broadens, Las Vegas Sun, 5-23-2007 (11-1-2016 update: The latter link is stale. See the 11-1-2016 Barbwire for updates.)

...and more ammo

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I've been telling you so for more than 10 freakin' years

NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Alternet 5-20-2007

The Dean's List

   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


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Andrew Barbano is a 38-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.

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