Expanded from the 1-20-2008 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
He was a Turkish Nevada cowboy who taught himself Greek so that he could read the bible in original transcription. His radio name was Ted Romero and for many years he was the voice of the Lahontan Valley on Fallon's KVLV radio.
Ted would occasionally call our talk shows when Travus T. Hipp and I were busy removing most of KKKOH's audience back in 1988-89.
Just before Bush the Elder won the third term of the Reagan administration (Michael Moore said Bill Clinton served the fourth and fifth), Ted called me to relate what his father had told him.
"Boy, listen. No matter who wins that election, you gonna dig a ditch. Democrat, Republican, no matter. They gonna get rich and you gonna dig a ditch tomorrow just like you did today."
I write this as I'm about to leave to join the sheep at some frigid local schoolhouse to participate in a totally undemocratic process called a caucus.
It will not be an exercise in democracy, it will be an exercise in futility, a mirage like a Hollywood movie, something for the great unwashed to do to make them feel that they have a say in how their lives are manipulated.
In fact, our decisions are pre-made for us by guys in my business, PR men and media mavens who know how to push the right buttons to get us lab rats to depress the right levers in hopes of some crumbs.
If you want to learn about the real America, websearch some foreign media for coverage of Dubya's recent visit to Saudi Arabia. See for yourself how the leader of the American royal family was treated by the Saudi royal family.
So today, I go to participate in the disappointment tango which every even-numbered November becomes the danse macabre.
FULL FRONT HILLARY DEPT. The latest dustup over Sen. Clinton's remark that it took a president to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed is unfortunate since she was entirely correct. JFK tried and failed. Only a former senate majority leader with outstanding favors, political muscle and an intimidating ego could have gotten that law through the very racist congress of 1964.
LBJ followed up with the Civil Rights Act of 1965, which allowed Richard the Rotten in 1968 to begin turning the KKK south into the Republican stronghold it remains today. The whole idea that Mrs. Clinton's statement somehow denigrates the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is ludicrous.
King applied the very necessary political pressure, but without LBJ in the Oval Office, the landmark legislation never would have made it.
This is the analysis of someone who lived through it as a poly-sci student at Fresno State where we discussed and analyzed it to the exclusion of all else, including girls and football.
All Americans should defend Mrs. Clinton against this irrational, unreasoned criticism.
NBC BLACKED OUT DENNIS THE MENACE. If you were among the many non-pay TV subscribers who could not watch last Tuesday's Democratic presidential love fest from Gomorrah South, here's what happened. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, filed legal action to be included after NBC changed the rules in the middle of the game and revoked his invitation.
GE-owned NBC had given permission to its Nevada affiliate stations to air the program.
In his court filing, Kucinich brought forward that the public airwaves were being used. So NBC removed the broadcast from the public airwaves, resulting in KRNV TV-4 being inundated with angry phone calls from viewers who had been promised the political forum.
In a harsh lesson of political pay-to-play, only cable and satellite ratepayers were allowed to see the pablumfest on MSNBC.
Kucinich would have forced the three frontrunners to confront some hard issues, such as why Clinton and John Edwards want to make lack of a policy from a private health insurer a criminal offense, just like with auto insurance.
I have confronted Edwards and Clinton representatives on this and they have had no answer.
WOULD'A COULD'A SHOULD'A DEPT. "If voting mattered, they wouldn't let us do it." So said Travus T. Hipp in 1982. Well, it apparently does because they are trying hard to stop us.
The critics are entirely correct that the caucus system is an anachronism. Nevada will probably never have another presidential caucus. If we do, it should be updated from the 19th Century. Those with computers should be able to vote via the Internet. Those without should be able to vote via U.S. Mail.
With voter suppression the Republican weapon of choice again this year, mail-in and web-based voting need to be developed because access to polling places is going to become increasingly difficult with Karl Rove still on the loose. Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 are the best examples of keeping senior citizens and minorities in particular and Democrats in general from voting.
If the caucus was supposed to make Nevada a bellweather, we should use it in the future to change the system to circumvent Dubyite strategies to keep Americans from voting.
Be well. Raise hell.
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.
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 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 cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
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
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Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; 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.
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