Health care in prime time, ready or not
Expanded from the 12-6-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 12-13-2009
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions —new power to the people on the public airwaves

The program will be available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The show will appear on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity will produce the event, commercial TV will greatly expand its distribution.

Thus begins what I hope will become an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word, watch the show and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV. You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your contribution will help fund the distribution of this program as well as a new regional, non-corporate community radio station.

You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.


Be well. Raise hell.


Barbwire column on the depredations of Charter Communications and the Reno City Council wins 2009 Nevada Press Association first-place award

The Barbwire TV/web simulcast will return as soon as new studio construction is complete. Your contribution will be most welcome. Keep an eye on the Barbwire print edition for updates.

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest. A button for older shows is being installed. You may also search by date — M-F for the past year save holidays.

Click here for on-demand re-runs
from the 2009 legislative session

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

Sen. Harry Reid and President Obama are working on health care this weekend, so why not us?

Sunday night, a lot of thoughtful people from these parts will have their say on live local television.

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions -—-->>>
will be cablecast live at 6:00 p.m.(02:00 ZULU/GMT) for local victims of Charter Communications. The show will re-run at 9:00 p.m.(05:00 ZULU/GMT) throughout the region on KRNS, the area CW Network affiliate. We were originally scheduled to go live on both systems, but some last-minute technical gremlins have forced a change of plans.

Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT) will cablecast the show in Reno-Sparks-Washoe on Charter digital cable channels 16, 216 and 80-295.

The 9:00 p.m. prime time edition will be available to every TV household in the region via telecast, cablecast and satellite. A coverage map will accompany the web edition of this column at

Basically, anyone east of Sacramento to the Lovelock city limits will be able to view the program. Likewise for a broad swath of Nevadans swooping south from Lyon County down to Hawthorne.

CW network affiliate KRNS covers a big chunk of California and Nevada via two over-air channels (digital 27.2 and analog 46That's right, any old-fashioned TV with rabbit ears can get the show on channel 46, no pesky and expensive digital converter necessary).

KRNS is also carried on cable channel 6 throughout the region.

Viewers in Susanville, Calif., can watch on over-the-air analog channel 29, no digital converter needed. Satellite (Dish, Direct et al.) and AT&T UVerse subscribers should check their systems for KRNS TV-46 and the CW Network Reno affiliate.

We will take phone calls during the live session from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 775-828-1211. If you want to submit questions in advance, please e-mail them to me at the address, below.

Anyone in the world will be able to view the program live via computer. The webstreaming access point will be linked to the front page of and to the expanded edition of this column at that website.

Click here to see the show live on your computer. NOTE: This link will not be hot until 5:30 p.m. PST / 01:30 ZULU/GMT, a half-hour before showtime on Dec. 6. {UPDATE 12-13-2009: The latter live webcast link is now dead. Click here to view the archived show on your computer.}

Panelists will include Paul McKenzie, executive secretary-treasurer of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO; Rudy Viola, president of United Auto Workers Local 2162/AFL-CIO; Larry Matheis, executive director of the Nevada State Medical Association; and Linda Costa, chief operating officer of HAWC Community Health Center, which provides affordable care to an increasingly crushing caseload of the uninsured.

This show will address the worst case scenario. What if the dark warnings in the December edition of Harper's Magazine come true? (See the Nov. 22 Barbwire.) What if phony reform engineered by the insurance industry passes? What if big money wins again?

As I noted last week, this will not be a partisan rant but a thoughtful discussion.

I have heard Mr. Matheis address this issue and he brings the most reasoned voice I have heard on the local, state or national levels.

Health care costs were a principal contributing factor to the fall of General Motors. Mr. Viola will enlighten viewers. Mr. McKenzie is on the front line of unemployment with two of three northern Nevada construction workers are now idle. A recital of HAWC caseload increases is mind-boggling.

All of this underscores the importance of non-corporate community media. My goal is to make this program the pilot for an ongoing series that addresses issues critical to the besieged family at the street level, trying to survive in brutal economy,

Please consider donating what you can afford to the community radio-TV project at ReSurge.TV. You may contribute online or send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your support will help fund the distribution of this program as well as a new regional community radio station.

MAKING UP IS HARD TO DO. Award-winning documentary director Darryl Roberts is my kinda guy because he doesn't pick small enemies.

His latest film, America the Beautiful, has been playing to sellout crowds across the country.

He showed it at UNR earlier this year.

I was honored to escort one of the stars of the show, former Harrah's bartender Darlene Jespersen, who was fired for refusal to make her face up like a hooker when the company moved to a girls-under-the-streetlight ambience. Her court case made new law which will benefit oppressed employees for a long time to come. (Darryl also interviewed me but I properly ended up on the cyber-cutting room floor.)

Darryl has become the leader of a movement, crusading against cancer-causing chemicals found in just about every kind of makeup. At 1:00 p.m. PST Sunday, Dec. 6, he takes on none other than Ralph Lauren on CNN. [UPDATE: Ralph Lauren successfully kills CNN confrontation. UPDATE PART DEUX: Dec. 13 Barbwire.]

"An executive at The Ralph Lauren Company has been spending the last two days trying to keep me off CNN," Darryl says. "It would have worked, but the grass roots campaign that all of you have mounted by spreading my letter around was way too awesome...

"Someone told me that Ralph Lauren is personally thinking about coming on to debate the issue with me," Darryl wrote.

"I will give him a lot of credit if he does."

Roberts' boycott of Ralph Lauren has been endorsed by a wide range of womens' organizations. The current dustup is over heavily photo-shopped ads featuring images of young girls whose arms have been reduced to pipe-cleaner width and whose waspy waistlines make a four year-old look thick.

I will post examples with the web edition of this column at

THE BOTTOM LINE. Without meaningful health care reform, the American economy will not recover and job growth will not begin.

Women buying cancer in their makeup will become just more victims of a system based on denial of health care.

The choice is yours.

I suggest that you turn on and tune in this Sunday, and be sure to tell a friend.

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, second vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Sun, 6 Dec 2009 15:36:16 (EST) / 12:36:16 PST / 18:36:16 ZULU/GMT


As you know, I was supposed to appear on CNN News today with Dr. Maria Rago of ANAD and former supermodel Emme at 4pm Eastern Time to announce the nationwide boycott of Ralph Lauren that thousands of you signed up for.

Well, The Ralph Lauren Company orchestrated a very savvy move and the segment was just cancelled. 30 minutes ago. 2 hours before we were to go live.

Tomorrow morning I will send out a newsletter with the full details letting you know what happened. Every single gory detail!

The boycott will continue, but even stronger now.

I've started the America the Beautiful Action Network which will fight any ad or condition that harms the healthy self-esteem or overall emotional and mental well being of young women and girls.

When I sent out the newsletter yesterday announcing the CNN appearance, hundreds of teenage girls emailed me, saying they would watch the segment knowing their voice would finally be heard by many.

You should be proud of yourselves because your voice was heard. Imagine the top executives at Ralph Lauren scurrying to keep me off of CNN. They won that battle but together we will win the war.

I fully understand now that these companies aren't going to change their ways unless you make them with how you spend your money.

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced 9-19-2009

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


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 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008

...and more ammo

BARBWIRE Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
Barbwire 8-14-2005

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

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.

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
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Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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Copyright © 1982-2009 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 second vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

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