The crabby cure for what ails us
Expanded from the 1-17-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 2-7-2010
, 3-8-2010
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 was available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The show appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the event, commercial TV greatly expanded its distribution.

Thus began what an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV, where you may also access the show on your desktop.

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 the Dec. 6 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

Lately, I've noticed a bland sameness in the statements of people declaring for state and local office. They all support education and all say our broken taxation system needs fixing. Nobody gets any more specific, so allow me.

1. Unwind the 1981 Tax Shift (aka the Tax Shaft) which reduced property taxes and made us dependent on unstable sales taxes, three of every four dollars of which are paid by Nevadans.

2. Close loopholes allowing the mining industry to get away with murder.

3. Get state lawmakers to do what they promised and failed to do last year: Close many of the corporate welfare tax exemptions in state law. My favorite is the sales tax exemption for NASCAR teams at Las Vegas International Raceway. Casino mogul Steve Wynn's tax subsidy of his megabucks art collection was another.

4. Eliminate STAR Bonds, which have put the City of Sparks in serious financial jeopardy thanks to the underperforming Marina/Scheels development.

5. Raise the tax on our largest, most profitable casinos, which, with minor exceptions, continue to enjoy the lowest taxes in the world. Don't believe it when big casinos cry poor boy. For more info go to

6. Stop spending room tax and property tax money on casino promotion through convention authorities and downtown redevelopment agencies. The room tax was imposed in 1955 to support local projects but has long since been skimmed by the gambling industry to promote with tax money what they should do for themselves.

7. Tax profitable businesses which pay nothing or next to it, such as Wal-Mart and the Hyatt Place hotel at the Reno airport.

8. Keep in mind that the state can be successfully sued to raise taxes to support education. On July 15, 2008, then-University Chancellor Jim Rogers published legal research noting that 27 other jurisdictions have been successfully sued for failing in their legal duty to properly fund education.

It's that simple. But will any candidate have the guts to propose this very obvious fix? Don't hold your breath.

RELAPSE DEPT. I've been fighting some version of generic flu for a month, which means I'm asking my doctor for a refund of the price of my seasonal flu vaccine which obviously didn't work. I'm over it now, but I have days when I don't want to do much more than watch TV. Last Monday was such a day and the Sparks City Council provided a whole afternoon of hilarious entertainment.

City hall is re-hiring the same consultants who previously screwed up the wages for the workers on the RED Development/Scheels/Marina project. Knowing full well that only the tip of the iceberg has been sighted by the Titanic, embarrassed city staff noted "we've only had nine complaints filed." Just wait awhile. See

COMMUNITY MEDIA UPDATE. The baby I helped birth 20 years ago is undergoing some growing pains. Les Smith has left Sierra Nevada Community Access Television, replaced by interim executive director Larry DeVincenzi, who brings decades of local media experience.

Steve Halliwell, a longtime mainstay at commercial TV stations, has joined SNCAT as production director. I've worked with both of these gentlemen over the years and the community will be well served by their involvement.

The monthly producers potluck happens at 5:30 p.m. this Wednesday, Jan. 20, at SNCAT's fancy new digs in Meadowood Mall, between Macy's II and JC Penney, across from Bully's Sports Bar.

Details of my next regional Barbwire TV program will be announced soon. The subject will be —- what else? —- jobs. The Dec. 6 pilot is in reruns statewide. Check your local listings or go to the web edition of this column at to view it online.

The goal is to expand public affairs programming on non-corporate airwaves, including a new full-power fm regional radio station.

If you would like to donate to the community radio and TV project, go to ReSurge.TV or send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno, NV 89510. If you are in business, I can provide deductible advertising expense options. If you need to donate through a non-profit organization, that option is also available.

WEDNESDAY, PART DEUX. Immediately after the SNCAT producers meeting, Washoe County's new education czar will address the Truckee Meadows Democratic Alliance. Dr. Heath Morrison will speak on his reform agenda for the Washoe County School District. The location is Reno Democratic HQ, 1465 Terminal Way, Suite 1. I wanna know what he plans to reform without any money to do anything here in the stingiest state in the nation.

GETTING CRABBY. If you're a citizen and not crabby, you haven't been paying attention. The Democratic Alliance hosts its annual crab feed at the Sparks Parks and Recreation Center, 98 Richards Way, on Feb. 13. Assemblymember Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, will serve as mistress of ceremonies and I will be suggesting some ideas to make the evening more, er...humorously aggressive. For more info call (775) 323-VOTE.

SONGS FROM THE LABOR SIREN. The late great U. Utah Phillips called her the greatest labor folk singer working today. Peter Yarrow and Pete Seeger number themselves among her fans, as do I. Smithsonian Folkways has distributed her songs, many of which you heard on my once and future radio-tv simulcast.

The legendary Anne Feeney comes to Reno's West Street Market at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21. The event is being underwritten by my brothers and sisters at the Reno General Membership Branch of the hallowed Industrial Workers of the World union, better known as the Wobblies. Admission is free (the place seats about 75), but "donations are suggested from those currently employed."

I can't overly praise this country girl's talent. Favorites on my show included "Get the Bosses Off Your Back," "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" and my personal pick, "We Just Come to Work Here, We Don't Come to Die."

For more info call (608) 358-7751 or (775) 233-8522; e-mail

Be there, dammit.

FROM WHARF RATS TO LORDS OF THE DOCKS is a one-man play by Ian Raskin, a film of which will be shown by the Wobblies at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Mountain Mike's Pizza on Kietzke at Vassar, across the street from KRNV TV-4. It's also free.

It presents the story of firebrand labor leader Harry Bridges of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. In December of 1958, Bridges came to Reno to get married to his Japanese-American fiancee. They were informed that an ancient Nevada law forbade it. Bridges made it an international cause celebre and hired lawyers who got the statute struck down in just four days. As I recall, they were wed at the Mapes Hotel with Charles Mapes hisself in attendance.

For more info, call Rich Haber, (775) 746-5720, e-mail

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 41-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...

Construction liens against the RED Development Sparks Marina project


3784840 -------- ACOUSTICAL MATERIAL SVS Released 7/27/2009
3777920 7/2/09 ACOUSTICAL MATERIAL SVS $12,903.00
3777921 7/2/09 ACOUSTICAL MATERIAL SVS $14,230.29
3793221 -------- ACOUSTICAL MATERIAL SVS Released 8/19/2009
3806627 9/29/09 BERGER BUILDING SUPPLY $9,718.00
3794489 -------- CASTRONOVA LAW OFFICES Released 8/24 /2009
3787768 7/31/09 CHICAGO HOLLAND DBA DKM HOLDING $32,021.94
3817206 11/2/09 F RODGERS CORP $30,187.05
3802003 9/15/09 FAST GLASS $40,058.70
38186554 11/5/09 LEGENDS LANDSCAPING $21,054.21
3799808 9/8/09 MAC ARTHUE CO $32,599.09
3814375 10/23/09 MERIT ELECTRIC $191,222.20
3818567 11/5/09 MERIT ELECTRIC $191,222.20
3814098 -------- MSI HVAC Released 10/22/2009
3800303 9/9/09 NELSON ELECTRIC $154,693.20
3800304 9/9/06 NELSON ELECTRIC $49,742.08
3818844 11/6/09 NORTHEAST MASONRY $265,593.30
3818845 11/6/09 NORTHEAST MASONRY $10,653.07
3818846 11/6/09 NORTHEAST MASONRY $18,851.91
3810604 10/12/09 OAKCREST LANDSCAPING $198,561.60
3802183 9/16/09 OVERHEAD DOOR $12,063.00
3815316 10/26/09 REP PLUMBING $194,878.10
3801016 9/11/09 SCHINDLER ELEVATOR CORP $15,760.00
3792583 8/18/09 SIERRA NEVADA ELECTRIC $26,446.10
3814527 10/23/09 SOUTHLAND INDUSTRIES $32,654.00
3818952 11/6/09 STITSER DRYWALL $97,539.28
3818954 11/6/09 STITSER DRYWALL $30,962.76


Information from Sierra Contractor's Source (formerly the Reno Builder)

08/07/2009 08:41:47 AM

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced

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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Copyright © 1982-2010 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 41-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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