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

The good, the bad and the ugly
Expanded from the 10-5-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 10-7-2008 and uploaded to e-mail subscribers
Further updated 10-8-2008 and 1-12-2009

The Nov. 4 election will be illegally conducted.

"Right now, there is not a single voting system on the market or in use anywhere in the country that meets current federal voting standards, and very few people realize it," New York State Board of Elections Commissioner Douglas Kellner recently said.

Most New York voters will use ancient lever machines with six jillion moving parts. Here in the High Desert Outback of the American Dream, we're stuck with uncertified electronic junkers which provide the cold comfort of a paper trail. 

Anyone who saw the HBO special Hacking Democracy knows that the printout is an analog Band-Aid covering a digital gunshot wound.

On Sept. 28, The New York Times editorialized that "no state or locality should be using machines that have not met rigorous certification standards. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office concluded that the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which is in charge of certification, has improved the system, but it still identified serious problems."

Alas and alack, the Times overlooked the most serious problem. According to EAC, there are apparently NO certified voting machines available in the United States, reinforcing Kellner's statement. EAC's website provides for a page entitled "EAC Certified Voting Systems." The page does not exist.

These facts were additionally confirmed by a personal call to an EAC official last week by local activist Patricia Axelrod, who sued Sequoia, manufacturer of Nevada's machines, along with the state and Washoe County in 2004.

"My goal was to ask the court to order the testing and possible fix of Nevada's voting machines and Washoe County's voter registration system as well as to order the state and county to conform with Nevada and Federal election laws," Axelrod says.

Although not an attorney, Axelrod represented herself against a rogues gallery of powerful lawyers. Washoe District Judge Jerry Polaha dismissed her case stating that she lacked standing to sue.

She was merely a registered voter, so what the hell.

Nevada law requires that a system "meet or exceed standards established by the Federal Election Commission pursuant to federal law." (Nevada Revised Statutes 293B.063)

The discredited and unaccredited Sequoia voting machines remain in use.

We are now a month away from a presidential election and it appears that the only legal voting method is old-fashioned pen and paper.

Good. And very, very bad in that we won't be able to use them.

[UPDATE 10-7: Palm Beach County's ballot-counting machines off by dozens in tests
Rejected under-votes and over-votes tallied; totals off by dozens

By Brian Haas | South Florida Sun-Sentinel / /October 2, 2008
Palm Beach County's high-speed ballot counting machines couldn't count the same ballots the same way twice in tests performed Wednesday evening….]

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.

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

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

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


SUE THE BASTARDS. Ms. Axelrod found a way to confirm that her vote had not been counted in 2004 and presented the evidence as part of her litigation. This year, Karl Rove and his cronies are once again fanning out nationwide to prevent Democratic-leaning voters from casting their ballots.

If you are denied your right to vote, demand that you be allowed to cast a provisional ballot and keep careful notes and records.

If you can prove your right to vote has been violated, you can sue for some serious money. That tends to get the attention of public officials.

You might want to review what happened to local residents Eric and Tracy Amberson for daring to want to vote in the last presidential election. See the 2004 archive at my political website, BallotBoxing.US.

[UPDATE 10-8: A man who would not identify himself got in the face of people turning in voter registration documents at the Washoe County Registrar's office on Oct. 6. My labor friends were not intimidated by his harassment, looking over people's shoulders and heckling the staff, but your dear old Aunt Tilly might be. We have just seen the early shape of things to come. Thanks, Karl Rove. Please report all incidents to me IMMEDIATELY.]

WHEN THE CURE IS WORSE THAN THE DISEASE. I got a piece of spam e-mail from Merck Pharmaceuticals asking "Dr. Andrew Barbano" to participate in a webcast touting the wonders of Gardasil, the horrible drug recently promoted by the Food and Drug Administration as a cervical cancer preventative. Gardasil purportedly provides protection against the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Young girls were injected with the vaccine nationwide. At least 18 are now dead. One broke out in bodywide warts. Many suffered seizures and blood clots.

"Merck invites you to an Exclusive Live Web Cast to get a firsthand look at new data and information on GARDASIL® This exclusive Web cast will provide you with the opportunity to learn more about helping to protect against cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases," my invitation read.

If I get another one, maybe I'll put some local activists into the mix.

A Nevada organization is forming to question the likes of Gardasil and other heavily promoted vaccines. (Do a web search on what vaccines contain, including mercury, fergawdsake.)

In the wake of 9/11 hysteria, first responders were injected with a hastily prepared smallpox vaccine. Many were sickened and several died. The vaccinated first responders and medical personnel became infectious and thus able to spread the disease for up to three weeks after injection.

Some medical professionals fear a potential pandemic could arise from such action in the future.

Stay tuned.

[UPDATE 10-7-08: Dr. Harald zur Hausen, who proved that the human papilloma virus causes cervical cancer was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine this week. Needless to say, the news flow on NPR decried the vaccine's $350 per dose cost and noted hopes that Merck's price could be reduced so that every young girl in the world could be injected.]

[UPDATE 1-11-2009: Planned Parenthood pimps Gardasil.]

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS DEPT. A federal judge in Michigan has kept in place a temporary restraining order preventing giant Comcast cable from moving its public, educational and governmental (PEG) access channels to the higher-cost, lower audience digital tier.

Charter Communications is trying the same maneuver in northwestern Nevada. (See ReSurge.TV.)

In good news for Nevada, Judge Victoria Roberts ruled last Friday that federal law preempts state law regarding PEG channel placement.

She is referring major portions of the case to the Federal Communications Commission.

The Michigan case is the most-watched in the country as cable companies seek to destroy community television stations in order to free up bandwidth for lucrative high-definition channels.

[UPDATE 10-7: The Reno City Council will consider a settlement offer from Charter at its Oct. 8 meeting. Reno must not sign off before all cards are on the table. We don't know the nuances and Reno City Hall has not provided complete information on legal ramifications. A regional deal must be hammered out with all players in the game at the table, including Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., SNCAT producers, ratepayers and local governments. I am scheduled to testify before the Carson Board of Supervisors next week at the invitation of Supervisor Pete Livermore.]

[UPDATE 10-8: The Barbwire Show will be in reruns today while I'm at Reno City Hall.]

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

MIKE'S MILITIA REPORT. Reinforcing its value as a community asset, Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT) last week premiered Michael Moore's new film Slacker Uprising last week.

The Oscar-winning director's latest feature 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 in the finished product.

The next broadcast comes this Saturday, Oct. 11, at 9:00 p.m. on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 and 216.

Watch this space and my TV show for additional run times.

AT THE MOVIES, PART DEUX. A Single Woman, the motion picture about Rep. Jeannette Rankin, R-Montana (1880-1973), is available for showing only at a university or museum. She was the first woman elected to congress and voted against both world wars.

Late in life, she became an icon for women's rights, the Susan B. Anthony of the modern feminist movement. I can show the film at UNR on Oct. 19, but it's a very expensive proposition.

The film stars actress / playwright / screenwriter Jeanmarie Simpson, who conceived of her one-woman play while with the Nevada Shakespeare Company. A Single Woman premiered in Reno then was taken on a national tour. Women everywhere were both motivated by Rankin's story and outraged that they had never heard of her before.

The movie co-stars Judd Nelson, features the music of Joni Mitchell and the voices of narrator Martin Sheen along with Patricia Arquette, Karen Black, Peter Coyote, Frances Fisher, Mimi Kennedy, Margot Kidder, Kamala Lopez (who also directed), Elizabeth Pena, Cindy Sheehan and Chandra Wilson.

We need a deep-pockets sponsor to show this film and, more importantly, use it as a vehicle to bring women home to progressive causes in this year's election.

Any takers, please call me ASAP at (775) 786-1455.

This is important.

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