Forced to play against a stacked deck
Expanded from the 12-19-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins third straight Nevada Press Association first-place award
Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
That's how it goes. Everybody knows.
COMING SOON: The new season of Barbwire TV. The first show will be about (what else?) jobs. The lack of them is well documented. How we've blown them and where they can be regenerated, that's something else. I guarantee you'll get mad enough to want to get even. Watch NevadaLabor.com for show times. Help us get the word out.
Support the project at http://resurge.tv#donate
If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions new power to the people on the public airwaves
The program premiers were available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.
The shows appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the events, commercial TV greatly expanded distribution.
Thus began 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.
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 and Feb. 21 programs as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a 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.
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
Perhaps it has taken Great Depression Part Deux for many to realize that Wall Street is not running the biggest casino in the world.
That dishonor falls to the United States of America.
We, the great unwashed, are being forced to play in a rigged game. At least the Nevada casino industry gives you a small chance of winning once in awhile.
Not so the perverted plutocracy that rules the former land of the free and current home of the foolhardy brave.
I have written until my fingers and guts cramp about all the ways the little guy gets stuck: Gasoline, electricity, natural gas, health care, insurance, food, cable and satellite television, you name it. (See the NevadaLabor.com war rooms under the latter headings.)
Competition, which is supposed to keep the free market honest, has been quietly assassinated wherever discovered. In its place, we are forced to consume a toxic brew of artificial shortages and spiraling prices.
Alas and alack, home values provide the current exception that proves the rule: Somebody will get stuck on the end of a chain letter and be forced to pay for an orgy of deregulated speculation.
Our political system provides no relief. What do the Democratic and Republican parties have in common with the latest box of New and Improved Chocolate-Covered Sugar Bombs? The answer lies in the lack of choice at both the ballot box and your friendly local big box store.
Before the products hit the shelves, all risk has been removed through careful culling and test marketing. The consumer/voter is allowed to select from the wide range spanning all the way from A to B.
A kid's senses are assaulted hourly by overly-salted, sugar-suffused and fat-saturated products that he or she is ordered to purchase by friendly, smiling cartoon characters.
Parents and schools are helpless in the face of America's well-honed marketing machines.
How many times have you heard that no education reform is possible without greater parent involvement? Sounds good, but it's a shuck.
The average American worker hasn't had a raise since 1973. The working wife was only thing that kept U.S. households anywhere near even in the 1970s.
These days, family members are taking whatever jobs they can wherever they can find them in order to maintain food, shelter and clothing. Some fail in their quest: Witness the streets and riverbanks of Sparks and Reno.
The phony Time Magazine has named Facebook.com founder Mark Zuckerberg as its "person of the year," a designation that lost all credibility when Time-Warner gave it to the bumbling Rudolf Giuliani in 2002.
The award, which has included Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin among its more dubious honorees, is supposed to go to the individual or entity most affecting the world for good or evil.
If they didn't have the guts to follow their own rules by giving it to the cold-blooded terrorist who has ruled as the most powerful man in the world for the past decade, they could have symbolically honored the people of New York City.
This year, they even overlooked the most powerful man in America, an immigrant named Rupert Murdoch who rules through his worldwide media empire. Lord Rupert selects prime ministers and presidents as he pursues the ultimate power trip.
The American people appear powerless before the media moguls and their minions who tell us how to think, look and act.
Formerly formidable mass movements like organized labor, consumerism and environmentalism can now be successfully ignored by those who can afford enough television spots to shout down the dissidents.
We are left to take only the Pepsi Challenge or prove that we love to break the rules by buying a cookie-cutter Dodge truck (both examples of successful marketing campaigns).
To borrow a phrase from feminism eulogizer Susan Faludi, we are witnessing "the unfortunate convergence...of a mass movement's collapse with the mass market's ascendancy." (American Electra, Harper's Magazine, Oct. 2010)
I lament the demise of the idea and loss of the ideal once known as America.
What do you intend to do about it?
Everybody knows the deal is rotten.
Old Black Joe still picking cotton
For your ribbons and bows.
BACK FROM THE ASHES DEPT. Support the return of community radio and television to Sparks-Reno-Washoe. See Barbwire.TV for more information, to join the club and contribute via the web. It's important.
COMING SOON: The new season of Barbwire TV.
The first show will be about (what else?) jobs.The lack of them is well documented.
How we've blown them and where they can be regenerated, that's something else.
I guarantee you'll get mad enough to want to get even.
Help us get the word out and watch NevadaLabor.com for show times.
You may support the project via http://resurge.tv#donate
Remember, the 2011 "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" Nevada legislative session is just around the corner.
Have as good a holiday as possible under current conditions, then...
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 42-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, second vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of NevadaLabor.com. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.
Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced on Sept. 18, 2010.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.
Next year, we go for the sombrero.
The winning entries:
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
Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Plutocracy
Money fights hard and it fights dirty
Speech delivered at Boston University on 29 Oct. 2010
Part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series
From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP
TOLJASO LONG TIME AGO
BP/ARCO: The greasy root of our evils
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-10-2006
The awful truth Read it and weep, fellow suckers
Labor Day 2009: Rise of the Vampire Corpobots
Expanded from the 9-6-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
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 © 1982-2010 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 42-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration 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 email@example.com.
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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