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Call 775-882-TALK (882-8255)
Streaming at Barbwire.TV, reruns statewide.
What may well be the first marriage of talk radio, talk TV and webcast webchat

Holy men, studpuppies and quackups
Expanded from the 6-21-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 6-23-2009 and 10-1-2009

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.

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

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
Updated 11-14-2008

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
Reuters 1-15-2009

Website predicts 2009 Charter Communications bankruptcy
Moody's downgrades Charter on reorganization talk



I deny all accusations of psychic awareness for leading off last week's column with "Sen. Ensign the Swinger."

I was only talking about his playing hooky from work to go golfing.

I'll leave it to others more in contact with matters spiritual to flesh out matters about his recently admitted scandal which has gone from personal peccadillo to the cusp of criminality.

Alas and alack, voters get what they deserve.

What did we expect from a guy with Vegas hair?

Should we be surprised when the veterinarian we elected morphed into a stud puppy?

ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION, PART DEUX. I respect the people of Iran as I do those of Ukraine and the Philippines – they fight back and take control of their government when they know an election has been stolen.

Like obedient little puppies, we rolled over and played dead in 2000. People in other countries put their lives on the line to right the ship of state.

DUCKING BULLETS. Back in my Gomorrah South days, a longtime media exec told me a story.

"The official position of Las Vegas is that we were honored to have the American Legion hold their national convention here. In reality, we never want them back. They don't spend any money and cook in their rooms."

Only the war has changed.

Vietnam helicopter vets are currently conventionizing hereabouts. Many are disabled due to the cancer-causing Agent Orange pesticide or other horrors of man's greatest folly.

Those on fixed incomes can't spend a lot of money.

My spies report that the Vietvets are not pumping up the food, beverage and gambling volume of the Truckee Meadows. No reports of any cooking in their rooms, but many hotels provide microwaves. So if you hear of any small-alarm hotel fires in the next few days, say semper fi.

DUCK A'LA AGENT ORANGE. Speaking of local cuisine, a year or so back, some guests at a local hotel called the front desk to report loud quacking in the room next door.

After checking with room service to make sure that the caller had not recently ordered a whole bottle of Jack Daniel's, they sent security.

Shades of Donald and Daffy, there in the bathtub was one whole duck on the hoof and boy, was he pissed.

With good reason.

Next to the bathtub lay a machete on a spread of newspapers. The duck was eventually returned unharmed to Virginia Lake where the perps had procured him.

Don't know what happened to the guests – or the machete. I hope the duck got therapy for post-traumatic stress.

IN SEARCH OF WWII. The wonders of the web brought this inquiry from Ed Cavallini: "While researching the net for the whereabouts of a long lost friend, I ran across one of your Barbwire columns.

"My friend's name is John Clifford Millspaugh. I was shocked to read that apparently Millspaugh shot himself in the restroom of a bingo parlor at John A's Golden Nugget.

"He was 76 per your story which would be about the correct age. I tried to retrieve an obit from the Sparks Tribune but had no luck.

"I thought an obit might give enough background to see if it was the same Millspaugh.

"We were students at USC in 1942 when Jack was drafted into the Army and I joined the Marine Corps. We kept in touch occasionally but lost contact in the 1950s.

"I would certainly appreciate your taking the time to locate and forward the obit. It is a very sad story if it is the Millspaugh I know. However, either way it would put my mind at ease," Mr. Cavallini concluded.

In the Barbwire of 28 Feb. 1999, I wrote about "the slightly noticed death of one John Clifford Millspaugh, 76, in a restroom off the bingo parlor at John Ascuaga's Nugget last Tuesday. A Sparks resident for 11 years, Mr. Millspaugh apparently took his life with a gun at about 4:00 p.m. He thus joined that lonely 62 percent of Nevada victims gunned down at their own hands."

Next time I'm at the Trib, I'll look for news coverage.

Anyone who might have known Mr. Millspaugh, please contact me.

[UPDATE 6-23-2009: FOUND.]

LIVING DEAD. On the second anniversary of his 2007 death, the family of Dan Shaw filed suit against foreign mining giant Newmont.

Shaw, then 30 of Winnemucca, was operating a loader about 200 feet below the mine's portal when the ground caved in.

Shaw was buried under 30 feet of rubble. It took 13 days to recover his body.

"The accident occurred because management failed to establish procedures to ensure that safe ground conditions were established and maintained," according to the official report of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Newmont "did not control the hazards and continued to require miners to work in hazardous areas," the report concluded.

Barrick Gold was similarly faulted by MSHA in the 2008 death of Kenneth Barbosa.

I hope his family sues those foreign pirates.

On this issue, I am a reactionary conservative.

If a corporation is found guilty of such negligent homicide, the company deserves the death penalty, total liquidation.

The family of the deceased should receive a handsome settlement when the company is broken up and sold off corporate-raider style.

Workers are not disposable.

[UPDATE 10-1-2009: Newmont kills another miner.]

AUER'S FINAL HOUR. Rev. John Auer retires on this Father's Day Sunday. The community leader's parishioners are throwing a going-away party beginning immediately after the 10:00 a.m. service. Everyone is invited. The church validates parking at the First and Sierra garage.

The congregation is collecting donations to give the reverend and his wife, Julie, a proper sendoff as they leave Nevada. You may send a check payable to First United Methodist Church, 209 W. First St., Reno, NV 89501.

For more information, call Noel Argall at (775) 322-4564 or e-mail

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, second vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and editor of As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Reruns of his legislative session TV programs are cablecast Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m. on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter digital channels 16 and 216 and high-definition channel 80-295, available on demand at Barbwire.TV. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

The Barbwire TV show will be in re-runs until SNCAT's studio move is completed. You may view them M-F 2-4:00 p.m. PDT on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16, 216 and high-def 80-295. 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

(775) 882-8255

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

Smoking Guns...

In Search of John Clifford Millspaugh

Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 17:27:28 (PDT)
From: Ed Cavallini
Subject: RE: John Clifford Millspaugh
To: Andrew Barbano <>

Dear Andrew Barbano,

Thank you for sending the obit for Millspaugh. It verifies that he was the guy I knew at USC because I remember the names of some of his kids. A very sad end.

I really appreciate your effort and thorough research.


Ed Cavallini

6/23/2009 2:45 p.m. PDT
To: Ed Cavallini
From: Andrew Barbano <>
Subject: RE: John Clifford Millspaugh
Cc: Sack, Lynn
X-Attachments: :Barbano:129133:22599millspaughobit.pdf:

Dear Mr. Cavallini:
I dug through the Tribune's morgue on Monday.

Attached in .pdf format you will find the obituary of Mr. Millspaugh from the Daily Sparks Tribune of Thursday, 2-25-1999. The news story by reporter Jimmy Boegle on the front page of Wednesday, 2-24, included no more information that what appeared in my column, other than police first suspected homicide then ruled it a suicide and the area near the bingo parlor was closed for awhile.

This obituary is probably very close to what would have appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal in the same time frame, prepared by a journalist, not the family. This was in the innocent era before the Reno paper caught the cancer of obituaries as a ghoulish profit center.

I hope this provides you with the information you need to determine whether or not this was your friend from WWII.

Best wishes,

Andrew Barbano

ec: Lynn Sack, Washoe County coroner's office


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?

Continuing cable depredations

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

Reno-Sparks NAACP opposes Charter channel switch

Charter negotiates Russian-style: Will accept 100% of everything
Daily Sparks Tribune 9-5-2008

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

Reno city council votes unanimously to sue Charter to keep community TV accessible

...and more ammo

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
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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

He hosts news and talk Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m., at
Barbwire.TV and Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter digital cable channels 16 and 216, high-definition channel 80-295. 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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