Next recent


The crying game
Expanded from the 1-13-2008 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Updated 1-15-2008

I don't know about you, but I'm like most American consumers who currently seem to prefer escapist fare — c'mon Indiana Jones IV — to the various offerings of reality. Recent films about our empire's current military adventures have bombed at the box office. Movie moguls, like casino operators, always cry poor boy when a bet fails.

We, the people, have a lot to cry about. As Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi told satirist Bill Maher last week, it is the height of irony that the Democratic and Republican presidential frontrunners are both pro-war.

Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2008 19:23:18 PST
From: Kucinich for President

Breaking News: Judge says MSNBC debate must include Kucinich

     A judge in Nevada has just ordered MSNBC to include Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Tuesday's Democratic Party presidential debate in
Las Vegas or he will cancel the forum.
     Senior Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson vowed to issue an injunction halting the nationally televised debate if MSNBC failed to comply. Kucinich had filed a lawsuit seeking to be included just this morning.
     The judge ruled it was a matter of fairness and Nevada voters would benefit from hearing from more than just Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama.
     Kucinich had been invited to participate in the 6:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time debate Tuesday, but that invitation was rescinded last week...So set up a fourth podium.

—Andrew Malcolm, correspondent
The Los Angeles Times

MSNBC later issued a statement promising an immediate emergency appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.


Once again, test marketing and media saturation may narrow our November choices to the standard corporate alternatives of paper or plastic.

Will it much matter who "wins" the demonstrably undemocratic Nevada caucuses this Saturday?

It's already a rigged game.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, is properly complaining about having been bumped from this Tuesday's candidate debate in Gomorrah South. After meeting the original criterion of polling at least fourth in a national survey (in this case, Gallup/USA Today), General Electric-owned NBC informed the former Cleveland mayor that it was now changing the rules in the mid-game.

So the peacock network flipped him the bird.

Dennis the Menace is the only Democrat left standing who advocates single-payer national health care, the same type of plan pushed by President Harry Truman in the late 1940's.

Alas and alack, it fell victim to doctors and racists.

The American Medical Association attacked it as creeping communism and southern Democrats quaked in fear that it might mean black people would (gasp!) be treated in the same hospitals as whites.

We thus continue to suffer from the lingering depredations of apartheid America and doctors still worry about first doing no harm to their cash flows. Witness the phony medical malpractice insurance crisis — swallowed guts, feathers and all by the mainstream media — which the Nevada medical lobby created in 2004 in order to facilitate passage of an initiative capping malpractice awards.

"Kucinich is the only remaining Democratic presidential candidate who voted against the original Iraq War authorization in 2002 and every war-funding measure since; voted against the so-called Patriot Act…has called for the repeal of NAFTA and withdrawal from the WTO (job-exporting programs); and proposes a national back-to-work program (Works Green Administration) patterned after the Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA)," his campaign stated in a news release.

Only one thing will get NBC's attention — calls to local, regional and national advertisers objecting to the unfairness. Just a sprinkling of complaints to major brands has been enough to move network pirate ships in the past. Big advertisers run like rabbits before any negative publicity.

It's worth a shot. Start contacting your friends to give NBC a case of restless leg syndrome.

Sierra Pacific's Pinon Pine plant, right, 1995 (Don Dondero photo)

Associated Press: Failed plant costs millions

SOMETIMES I HATE IT WHEN I'M RIGHT. I have not been alone in my longtime carping that a new great depression will soon be upon us, but the formerly lonely bandwagon is starting to get crowded. The February edition of the venerable Harper's magazine lays it out in stark terms.

Venture capitalist Eric Janszen traces the history of economic bubbles from the South Sea speculative crash of 1720.

New York Times columnist and Princeton University economics professor Paul Krugman noted more than a year ago that the real estate bubble replaced the dot-com bubble but that no bubble looms on the horizon to replace the housing collapse.

Janszen thinks he has found one: alternative energy and the potential perversion thereof.

Without a new round of mindless speculation helped along by compliant media, Janszen concludes that "Given the current state of our economy, the only thing worse than a new bubble would be its absence."

Substantial taxpayer subsidies for new energy experiments passed under Bill Clinton have been expanded under Dubya. One of the most disastrous adventures of Jimmy Carter's administration involved coal gasification.

Northern Nevada currently suffers from a Clinton-era instant replay with Sierra Pacific's Pinon Pine power plant east of Sparks. The coal-gasification aspect has never worked and has been shut down, but SPP is now before Nevada utility regulators asking for more money to pay for it.

Alternative energy is a laudable pursuit, but you can bet that the buzzards will prostitute it for private profit.

Janszen warns that the likes of Halliburton and Bechtel will be looking for new scams as their war profiteering winds down in free, democratic and peaceful Iraq.

Janszen also makes a convincing case that it will take until roughly 2014 for housing values to rebound and that our economy must make up an additional $12 trillion (that's trillion with a big "T") in lost equity or a huge crash looms.

I read his analysis in the same week that western governors cried their latest tears over budget shortfalls. Nevada's Gov. Jim the Dim used his DC experience well and announced his bad news budget cuts late Friday in order to diminish public attention
Of course this nation has plenty of money to take care of all its needs and those of much of the developing world: the two-thirds of a trillion (that's trillion with a big "T") we annually spend on our killing machine.

But the war wagon is big business and has all of the states hooked up to this make-work corporate welfare program.

President Eisenhower's 1961 warning of the growing power of the military-industrial complex went unheeded and has come grotesquely true.

The question is how long can we survive with that kind of drug addiction and is there any potential president who can speak truth to such power?

The network owned by a major military contractor will not allow the loudest voice to cry out this Tuesday.

Be well. Raise hell.


UPDATE: Teachers union sues Democrats to help Hillary
Special "at large precincts" for on-duty hotel workers challenged
New York Times 1-13-2008 (Free registration may be required)

Culinary Union endorses Obama

Statewide Communications Workers Union endorses Edwards

...and more ammo

NAOMIKLEIN.ORG: The Shock Doctrine Short Film
A Film by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein, directed by Jonás Cuarón

An official selection of the Toronto Film Festival
An official selection of the Venice Film Festival
The Shock Doctrine short film is cleared for Internet use but not for broadcast,
so feel free to share it with your friends.

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

Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. 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 search engine and sweep for "Barlett."

Review of Alex Carey's Taking the Risk Out of Democracy:
Propaganda in the US and Australia

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 cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Barbwire 9-10-2006

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

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


Annual César Chávez Celebration March 31, 2008 | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
War Rooms: Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV/Telecom, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy,
Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2008 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of and; a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO, and the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.


Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins