Next recent


Live Streaming Barbwire.TV

2:00-4:00 p.m. PDT, 21:00-23:00 GMT/CUT/SUT
Charter cable channels 16 and 216 in Reno-Sparks-Washoe

Cleansing the soap opera of Follytix 2008
Expanded from the 10-19-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 10-22-2008 and 10-24-2008 and 10-28-2008

The legend of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst includes the story of his ordering a reporter to confront a politician with an extremely embarrassing question.

"He'll never admit that," protested the poor underling.

"You don't understand. I want him to refuse so we can print his denial," snorted Citizen Kane.

Follytix hasn't changed in the intervening century, so let's grease up and plunge in.

JUDGE IN THE SLUDGE. The open warfare between Washoe District Judge Bob Perry and District Attorney Dick Gammick came out of the closet yesterday as Gammick inserted a smarmy letter to Perry into the Reno Kazoo-Journal. It was paid for by the campaign of Perry's opponent, Gammick deputy Elliott Sattler, who started the media war by publishing the tabloid Sattler Tattler in the Reno paper. Gammick's surrogate accused Perry of all kinds of despicable things. (He stopped short of accusing the judge of unspeakable acts with barnyard animals, but otherwise left very little to the imagination.)

Let's put on the gloves and settle matters. I have a mere 10 hours of live TV available every weekday between now and Nov. 4. (Gammick's screed appeared on the first day of early voting.)

I thus invite hizzoner and the D.A. to duke it out head to head on my show, which reaches about half of Washoe County households.

It's time for each to put his mouth where the other guy can hit it. Let's see who's got the chops and who walks. [UPDATE: JUDGE PERRY ON THE BARBWIRE OCT. 30]

Save northwestern Nevada community television

Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund at our PayPal-enabled ReSurge.TV Consumer War Room

The math behind the move
Updated 11-16-2008

Charter Communications plans to illegally move four channels of analog to the digital tier.

One channel of analog bandwidth accommodates two to 10 channels of digital programming, depending on the complexity of the streams. High-definition movies eat up a lot of bandwidth.

A Charter statement quoted on TV-4's Aug. 4, 2008, 11:00 p.m. newscast said that Charter is doing this to "free up more bandwidth for high definition channels."

Charter thus gains bandwidth for between 8 and 40 digital channels by banishing community TV to the digital tier, a net gain of 4 and as many as 36, depending on content.

Charter VP Marsha Berkbigler, in her first speech to the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee in Dec. 2002, said each additional channel is worth $1 million a year to Charter — and that's at 2002 prices.

So Charter stands to make between $4 million and $36 million by doing this, unadjusted for inflation.

Michigan Judge rules for cable ratepayers

Talks with Charter fruitless
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 9-7-2008

Sparks, Washoe, Carson and Douglas consumers urged to contact their local governments to join the fight against Charter
Surge.TV 8-25-2008, Updated 8-28-2008

Evil empire eats its appetite
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-24-2008

Bandwidth bandidos admit their greed
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-17-2008

Sue the bastards
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-10-2008

Deregulation means never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-3-2008

Last year's columns about skulduggery at the Nevada Legislature which led to this mess

MORE: Smoking Guns

Government contact info

Barbwire.TV: 15-year overnight success
Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file


CABLE CHUTZPAH. At the invitation of Carson City Supervisor Pete Livermore, I updated Carson and Douglas County officials on the machinations of the region's cable monopoly to destroy public, educational and governmental (PEG) access TV stations.


The Reno City Council will consider a settlement with Charter (Item J-11) at its Oct. 22 meeting, 10:00 a.m., Reno City Hall.

Read the proposal at ReSurge.TV

Watch SNCAT TV-13

Stay tuned to Barbwire.TV

Charter Communications' point grease man George Jostlin offered Carson City nothing.

The capital's two analog community channels are slated for a slow death after banishment to the higher-cost, lower-audience, low-surfing digital tier so that the near-bankrupt cable operator can skim the bandwidth for lucrative high-definition channels.

In return, George of the Jungle threw the supervisors a bone: Charter will run delayed broadcasts of supervisor meetings on its infomercial channel.

At least they offered the City of Reno a phony deal to provide free digital receivers for one year to the 20,000 or so Washoe County viewers without them.

I noted to the Carson officials that on this issue, Charter is like tobacco companies when they fund teen anti-smoking campaigns: they are all in favor of doing anything that they know won't work.

Charter's proposal would put the onus on customers to apply for the digital receivers, a guarantee that few would do so.

Another 15,000 ratepayers outside Washoe can't view programs on the digital tier.

Most of those are in Carson City, where Charter enjoys a monopoly of about six in 10 households.

Two Douglas County commissioners and the county manager were in attendance on another matter. Carson Mayor Marv Texeira suggested that they stay for the cable debate, which they did.

The regionwide battle from Washoe to South Lake Tahoe is now joined. So join my consumer organization, ReSurge.TV, which looks increasingly like the last line of defense against this exercise in corporate greed. And that means suing Charter for its illegal conduct.

Watch this space and my daily show for updates.

Mike makes a house call with Checkers, the corporate crime-fighting chicken.

PUBLIC ACCESS FREEBIES. Not even over-the-air TV gives you free first-run Hollywood films.

Once again proving the value of PEG channels, Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT) premiered Michael Moore's new feature Slacker Uprising earlier this month.

The Oscar-winning director's latest opus is a full-length documentary shot during Moore's 62-city tour leading up to the 2004 election.

One stop was a standing room-only speech at UNR's Lawlor Events Center, some of which is included.

The next broadcast comes at 8:30 tonight on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 and 216.

The film airs again this Friday at 5:00 p.m.

YOU'LL BE BUSY FRIDAY EVENING, so catch the Mahatma's film tonight. On Oct. 24, Rev. John Auer (named by Reno News & Review readers as the area's best spiritual advisor), begins the next installment of his quarterly Martin Luther King celebrations.

Rev. Auer started them in April, the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination.

This weekend's theme is Citizen Action Conference: Global Justice and Hope for the Earth.

The headliners are Rev. Sharon Delgado, author of the new book Shaking the Gates of Hell: Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization, and her husband, poet

Guarionex Delgado, author of Being Human: Poems of Resistance and Renewal.

I have read his work on my daily program and will voice more this week. I have asked Rev. Auer to make either available for a live appearance. [UPDATE: They will be my guests on Friday, Oct. 24, at Barbwire.TV]

"The system is designed to extract money from the earth and from human society to turn as much as possible into commodities in order to generate profits. The system is designed for the results it is getting."

— Sharon Delgado

The full weekend of activities commences at 7:00 p.m. Friday at the First United Methodist Church at First and West streets in downtown Reno, across the street from Java Jungle. Details at

Stay tuned.

GOOD NEWS FOR WORKERS (at last). This Wednesday brings the groundbreaking of the Ironworkers Union's new apprenticeship training center in Stead. The finished facility will encompass about 12,000 square feet on two acres at Alpha and Mt. Bismark.

Q&D Construction of Sparks is the general contractor. The $3.5 million facility is scheduled to be up and running by next June. Ironworkers Local 118 is celebrating its centennial year and has 1,600 members in Nevada and California, 400 of whom are based out of its Sparks offices.

Former business agents Al Van Tress and Richard Ciesynski, a longtime Sparks resident, will attend.

As Barack Obama learned on a recent visit, you haven't participated in politics as a contact sport until you've been grilled by Ciesynski.

Also, the union will hang the first steel at the new downtown Reno ballpark on Oct. 28. [More]

Be well. Raise hell.

...and more ammo

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

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?

Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know
Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.

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 | 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
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, 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 40-year Nevadan, editor of and, former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee and serves as political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP.

He hosts live news and talk (775-682-4144) Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m., at Barbwire.TV and Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 (for at least the next 90 days) and 216. E-mail As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988. Tempus fugit.


Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins