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Lipstick revisionism and toxic foreign affairs
Expanded from the 2-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
U.S. State Department muzzles visiting journalists from Kyrgyzstan
Thou shalt not speak Barbwire
U.S. Searches for Alternative
to Central Asian Base
New York Times 2-5-2009
Dispute mounts over military base in Kyrgyzstan
New York Times 2-4-2009
Save northwestern Nevada community television
The math behind the move
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.
Carson City gets the facts
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 10-19-2008
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
ReSurge.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
MORE: Smoking Guns
Barbwire.TV: 15-year overnight success
Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008
The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
FULL FRONTAL HILLARY DEPT. Hillary's minions at the State Department ordered my guests from Kyrgyzstan not to talk on my TV show last Thursday.
Three radio executives were slated to go live and take phone calls from the public and media. I made the mistake of being up front with the gestapo.
I told their handler at UNR's Northern Nevada International Center that I wanted their perspectives on the biggest news in the world last week.
Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev cut a $2 billion deal with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to kick the U.S. out of its rented Kyrgyz airbase.
The Russians also lease a nearby air facility. It could be viewed in terms of which playground bully won the turf battle.
It was no contest. Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet Republic and impoverished compared to its more resource-rich neighbors.
My visitors did inform me of some gripes you don't see in our garden variety media.
They were unaware that State had put words into their mouths that they should shut up.
They asserted that they lived nowhere near the base and were not good sources for my questions about the impacts of the base and the general economy of the country.
There was fear there, although I did find out some interesting things through the government interpreter at our meeting. (State Dept. plants are notorious for editing translations and I don't speak Kyrgyz.)
They informed me that the U.S. military dumps aviation fuel willy-nilly all over their landscape.
Our guys apparently want to land near-dry at the rented airbase. Avgas is extremely carcinogenic and toxic. (Witness the Fallon cancer cluster.)
I'd sell out to the Russians for $2 billion vs. $150 million a year and dumping over pastures, crops and kids.
The visitors complained of U.S. military people living in their own ghettoes, treating locals with arrogance, and of an incident in which a U.S. soldier shot and killed a local man and escaped prosecution.
More than a half-century after Lederer and Burdick wrote The Ugly American, warning of what would happen to us in Vietnam, we continue to make the same damned mistakes.
Turns out that Kyrgyzstan is the only Central Asian nation hosting both U.S. and Russian bases, a slightly uncomfortable position.
They went for the bigger bucks from the more powerful nation in the region, their former liege lord.
You will find the State Department's muzzling statement and other info linked to the web edition of this column.
WEB EXTRA. When the Kyrgyz visitors stopped by my studio for a photo op and to wave to the viewers (the State Dept. didn't ban gestures), they became fascinated by the music I was playing.
I wrote down the title and artists: The British group Chumbawamba doing The Land of Do What You're Told, which may soon be a big hit on the steppes of Central Asia.
I told them that the song certainly applies to the U.S. I hope they take to heart its concluding chant:
We're going on strike for 12 percent
We're not downhearted yet
They're filming it all for a reality show
And 12 percent we'll get.
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZING. It was thus both ironic and appropriate that I sent our visitors home with "Union Yes" lapel pins from Laborers' Union Local 169. Solidarity forever!
MEDIA INCREDIBILITY DEPT. Dubya the Dense and his dunces have been feverishly trying to rewrite history.
FOX Noise boss Rupert Murdoch actually stated last week that "we have never been a company that tolerates facts." [UPDATE: This was misreportage of the word "facts" from a video clip. He actually said "fat." Of course, if he had said "tact," we would have more easily understood.]
KOLO TV-8's Auburn Hutton could use her Friday report on Artown as a demo tape to go to work with Bill O'Reilly et al.
She produced a piece lauding Reno's annual summer entertainment as the driving force in downtown redevelopment, crediting it with all the new businesses and partially-sold condos on the riverfront.
"Reverse back 15 years and downtown Reno was a different place .There was no movie theater, no high-rise condos," she asserted, oblivious to the fact that the Arlington Tower has been there since the 1960s.
"A new festival, called 'Artown' entered the scene," Hutton stated.
"Tourists flocked to the area and locals began spending more time downtown. Businesses noticed, and began staying open later. More businesses moved in...and the arts in Reno were alive."
She let the tail wag the dog. Artown was started by Reno city government to bring people downtown one month a year as a way to "prove" that corporate welfare was producing something.
Sparks now has two and Reno three "redevelopment" districts, which have taken property taxes away from parks, roads, schools, police and fire protection for nebulous returns.
Downtown condos would have come anyway as hotels aged, gambling proliferated elsewhere and the flow of retirees looking for a tax-free state increased.
The construction of both downtown theaters was subsidized by taxpayers and I walked picket lines when they tried to cheat workers out of their wages.
Combined with room taxes skimmed for casino promotion and the recent addition of sales tax anticipation revenue (STAR) bonds, corporate welfare programs in this little valley spiral toward the billions.
I've always supported government funding of the arts, even if it came from the Medicis.
But let's not rewrite history.
So sue us: Charter tells Sen. Reid and Reno
Ratepayers group may sue Reno as well as Charter
Daily Sparks Tribune online 11-11-2008
+ Barbwire Special Edition 11-12-2008
FCC investigates cable TV pricing
Associated Press 11-4-2008
FCC investigates complaints about moving cable channels and pricing
Orlando Sentinel 11-7-2008
Charter Communications hires bankruptcy lawyers
MultiChannel News 2-8-2009
Charter misses $74 million payment
Website predicts 2009 Charter Communications bankruptcy
Moody's downgrades Charter on reorganization talk
Artown is the very pretty lipstick applied to a lot of pigs.
PORKY AT THE NUGGET. American Federation of Musicians Local 363 is asking people not to patronize singer Wayne Newton's upcoming shows at John Ascuaga's Nugget.
"As Mr. Newton's travels the country, his non-union 'pick up' orchestras now work for substandard wages and no benefits. This includes the band performing at the Nugget on Feb. 15," states union president John Shipley.
"Newton is on the AFM's blacklist and has been for about four years. Newton owes money to musicians in Las Vegas for rehearsals that were never paid.
"He hasn't wanted to negotiate with Local 369 in Vegas or with International AFM President Tom Lee," Shipley adds.
CORRECTION CONNIPTION. Last week, I had a mystical experience while finishing this column. I termed Sen. John Ensign and Rep. Dean Heller as (gasp!) Democrats.
Some readers thought I was doing it for comic effect, and I hope it provided a few laughs.
Actually, it was pure typographical brain fade, but maybe there was something else at work.
Perhaps by terming Ensign the Retro-veterinarian a Democrat I was karmically wishing President Obama and Sen. Reid a filibuster-proof senate. Now there's a rationalization for a dumbass mistake worthy of the Bush administration.
ROAD TO RUIN. Ensign and his fellow travelers have apparently succeeded in watering down the president's stimulus bill to where it may not work.
Four in ten dollars will go to tax cuts, which do not churn the economy nearly as well as construction jobs.
Know what turns over faster than anything else? Food stamps. One hundred percent instant spending by hungry people.
Of course Ensign and his fatcats tried but failed to let babies starve.
Be well. Raise hell.
Not even 30 pieces of silver
Reno City Council Signs Community TV Death Warrant
Contact Sen. Harry Reid for help
Sparks Tribune / 11-23-2008
Rise of the machines
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 11-16-2008
The devil and the deep blue sea
Charter cable deal and Reno "settlement" offers are all death warrants for community television. Court battle looms closer.
Sparks Tribune / 11-11-2008 + Barbwire special web edition, 11-12-2008
Wisconsin statewide franchise law has not dropped cable prices as promised
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 11-8-2008
Falling all over ourselves
When will Sparks, Carson City, Washoe and Douglas counties get mad over Charter cable's ripoff?
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-5-2008
Michigan Judge rules for cable ratepayers
Decision holds great importance for Nevada
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-5-2008
Charter in serious financial trouble
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-12-2008
Charter offer deficient
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-28-2008
Charter negotiates Russian-style: Will accept 100% of everything
Daily Sparks Tribune 9-5-2008
Reno city council votes unanimously to sue Charter to keep community TV accessible
Resurge.TV will also file
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.
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.
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
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Copyright © 1982-2009 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 digital cable channels 16 and 216. 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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