Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck
Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 2-24-2010, 2-27-2010, 3-4-2010, 3-8-2010, 8-30-2011
Education funding lawsuit gains support
Daily Sparks Tribune/ AP 3-18-2011

Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

Suing for Schools TV
Rerunning on Carson-Dayton 226
Updated 8-30-2011

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

The programs 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 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

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest TV programs. 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

With the destruction of the remainder of the Nevada education system at hand in next week's emergency legislative session, the time is right to review legal remedies to force the state to live up to its constitutional mandate to provide for schools.

The news of late has been littered with the wails of the righteously aggrieved tempered only by timid responses from government officials who failed to heed ample warnings over many years.

Well, the planes have hit the monuments to man's inadequacy and Nevada doesn't have an Iraq for distraction.

As American black music seeded and cultivated the rock 'n' roll and relevance renaissance, so the NAACP now lights Nevada's way to a better future.

Join me for a Barbwire live television special this Sunday evening as NAACP leaders and I explore suing Nevada on behalf of public education.

Suing for Schools will air from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on interactive Reno television before a studio audience. Viewers may call with questions at (775) 828-1211 or send them to me in advance.

In 2008, then-university system chancellor James Rogers published research noting all the jurisdictions which have been successfully sued under circumstances similar to or worse than Nevada's. The study may be downloaded by accessing the Feb. 7 Barbwire.

Sunday panelists will include Lonnie Feemster, president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, Jeffrey Blanck, NAACP legal counsel, Prof. Howard Rosenberg, former university system regent, and Annie Alfano, organizer for the state employees association (AFSCME Local 4041/AFL-CIO).

I will also feature a recorded interview with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. (previewed on the Sparks Tribune Sunday front page).

HOW WE GOT HERE. I have long agreed with former State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, that Nevada gambling is grossly under-taxed. With the exception of a few California tribes, Nevada's biggies enjoy the lowest taxes in the world. Nevada's go-go growth stopped paying for itself more than a decade ago.

The mining industry had a crystal ball. With the help of the teachers' union and the Nevada State AFL-CIO, miners got a constitutional amendment passed in 1989 which gave them Hollywood movie accounting — a tax on net proceeds.

If you do it right, there's never a net to tax.

After all, doesn't the boss deserve a new Ferrari every year?

Nevada labor helped the foreign-owned industry sell the voluntary tax as help for education, crumbs from Marie Antoinette's cake.

A non-union dishwasher now pays taxes at a geometrically higher rate than mining.

Only the Barbwire and Travus T. Hipp called it for what it was on our radio shows, but Clark County carried the day.

Mining still refuses to pay its fair share after raping and pillaging since 1872 — and we never even get kissed afterward.

My simple proposals for fixing the tax system appeared in the Jan. 17 Barbwire. Mining and gambling taxes are major components, along with revisions to property taxation and elimination of corporate welfare.

We'll talk about it Sunday night.

HOW TO GET THE SHOW. Suing for Schoolswill cablecast live at 6:00 p.m. Sunday on three Reno-Sparks-Washoe community television channels (SNCAT/Charter digital 16, 216 and hi-def 80-295). Internet viewers may watch the program as it happens through a front page link which will activate when the show starts.

Suing for Schools TV
Rerunning on Carson-Dayton 226
Updated 8-30-2011

The program will rerun in prime time from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday on CW Network affiliate KRNS (through the airwaves on digital 27.2 or analog 46).

It is receivable over the air from just east of Sacramento, Calif., to Pershing County, Nev., and to the south through Fallon (Sen. Reid will offer Churchill County a water history lesson on the show), Yerington and Mineral County (Hawthorne), Nev.

The CW is available on Nevada cable systems at channel 6. Satellite (Dish, Direct et al.) or AT&T UVerse subscribers should consult their program guides for the dial position of KRNS from Reno.

Viewers with analog TV sets without digital converters, cable or satellite may access the program over the air with rabbit ears at UHF channel 46. Viewers in Susanville, Calif., may also receive CW-Reno over the air at
analog channel 29, again with no converter necessary. A coverage map will accompany this column at

The program will rerun on various public and commercial stations statewide. Check local listings.

Emergency legislative session updates

Correction to the Constitutional Crisis item at left

The governor has the power to add to the agenda of a special legislative session while it is in progress.

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS. Gov. Jim the Dim's proclamation calling the legislature into special session is both laughable (he actually uses an "etc.") and partially illegal.

Sen. Neal says "anything vague, the legislature is free to ignore." The 32-year legislative veteran is a respected authority on the state constitution and legislative procedure.

In the proclamation, Gov. Gibbons asserts that "the Legislature may also consider any other legislative business as I may call to the attention of the Legislature while in session."

Wrong, says Neal. A special session is not a general session. Once lawmakers convene this Tuesday, the enabling proclamation is set in cement.

If Jim the Dim wants changes, he must call another special session. Otherwise, Gibbons has declared himself a dictator in violation of separation of powers.

Constitutional confrontation, anyone?

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...

Notes on a morning with Sen. Harry Reid and several hundred of his closest personal friends

Sen. Reid arrived after his Hispanic summit at the University of Nevada-Reno.

The crowd of more than 200 was comprised almost entirely of hard core partisan Reid supporters. The closest to a conservative was a UNR student who asked a dumb leading question (see the Tribune's Sunday front page story) about Reid working with Gibbons, which elicited the slam-dunk from the senator noted in the paper.

I talked with the young man afterward, an African-American reporter for UNR Wolf Pack Radio who doesn't quite have his bearings straight on his personal philosophy, so he's experimenting with (oxymoron alert!) black conservatism.

I hope it's just a passing college phase.

Assemblymembers Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, Sheila Leslie (whose daughter works for Sen. Reid in DC) and David Bobzien, both D-Reno, were in attendance. Bobzien came loaded down with diapers and toddlers — a politician to a fault.

Former State Sen. Margie Foote, D-Sparks, attended, as well as former Assemblymember Vivian Freeman, D-Reno; former Democratic National Committeewoman Virginia Cain; current Reno-Sparks NAACP President Lonnie Feemster and his wife, former Hug High School Principal Dr. Debra Feemster; local civil rights legend Dolores Feemster aka Lonnie's mom; former Reno-Sparks NAACP President Rev. Onie Cooper and his wife, Mary; former UNR College of Agriculture Associate Dean Rupert Grant Seals; former Washoe County Assessor Bob McGowan, former university regent Nancy Price and her husband, former Assemblymember Bob Price, D-North Las Vegas/IBEW Local 357/AFL-CIO; Washoe County Commission candidate Garth Elliott; longtime Democratic stalwart Pat Brown; Pearl Miller, longtime administrative assistant to the late Gov. Mike O'Callaghan (1971-1979), Reid's mentor and high school teacher under whom Reid served as Nevada lieutenant governor from 1971 to 1975 — even a few talk radio fans who remembered the Barbwire from 20 years ago.

It really wasn't a luncheon — Port of Subs sandwiches and water with an announced time of 10:30. That's OK, I had soup for breakfast at the crack of dawn yesterday. Been a strange week, the sandwiches were good and the early morning coffee was bracing.

I haven't seen so many longtime Democratic stalwarts in one place even at a recent county convention. This was hard core support. Someone wearing a Gibbons button would have died of frostbite.

And Secret Service guys look simultaneously benign and thuggish.


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
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Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
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Copyright © 1982-2010 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, editor of and; 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

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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