Ledge 'X: The Deer-in-the-Headlights Session
Expanded from the 2-28-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 3-4-2010, 3-22-2010
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

I spent the past week clinging to the Ledge in Carson City. The skulduggery didn't really involve lawmaking or government but production of a TV show — and not a very good one at that. Herewith, early reviews.

DEER ME. Nevada news has recently been overloaded with government meltdown stories. Thousands of words and millions of tears have been shed. As usual, the Tribune investigative reporting team has spared every expense to find the smoking gun which tells the whole story in one delicious snapshot. (Sorry, Gov. Jim the Dim is not in it.)

Did you know that the Nevada Legislature has its own deer herd?

There's no punch line. The critters actually make the capitol grounds their home during part of the year.

POLITICAL ANIMALS — Law-abiding Carson City residents head for the ledge. The above comment of appreciation came from Legislative Police files.

At exactly 2:38 a.m. awhile back, Legislative Police Officer Ronald John was making his rounds when he saw something moving across the street at the Marvin Sedway Office Building. He witnessed the state deer herd gathered in the parking lot and beginning to cross Fifth Street toward the capitol grounds — single file and in the crosswalk! I guess they didn't want to risk a citation for jaywalking.

SUING FOR SCHOOLS: Click here to view the new Barbwire show on your desktop

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.

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.


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
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Officer M. Nicholas told me that tall tale (or tall tail) and produced surveillance photos to prove it. They will be posted with the web edition of this column at I will include some gag captions not suitable for a family newspaper. Look over the shots and send your suggestions. A grand prize equal to the amount of money we spent on this story will be awarded.

So after all the rhetoric, the political animals of the capital complex have named the latest fiasco after themselves: The Deer-in-the-Headlights Emergency Session.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. Follytix and government are all about big bucks. Accordingly, the legislative police gave me a shot of a four-point buck bedded down for the night on the capitol lawn at the same time a couple of legislative police officers were out somewhere freezing their butts off — deer hunting. Smart critter.

Can't say the same for some of the elected officials I've recently seen in action.

I KNOW WHEN I'VE BEEN BEAT. I try to stay away from commenting on our governor's personal peccadillos, but it's now time for the Barbwire to ante into the game.

As I did with Gov. Dudley Do-Right before him, I've hung Jim Gibbons with the appropriate new monicker of Jim the Dim for the past four years.

Last week, some of my union friends trumped me. He is now The Luv Guv.

[UPDATE: My formidable Las Vegas Review-Journal colleague in columny John L. Smith used the term in his slicingly hilarious Jan. 3, 2010, opus. Read it! ]

IN FLAGRANTE BACKSEATO. Gibbons made national news last week when a reporter from KLAS TV-8 caught him and his paramour deplaning and getting into a state-owned SUV at Reno-Tahoe Airport.

The Gomorrah South reporter asked Gibbons if the lady in question had accompanied him on his trip to Washington, DC. He denied it, cussed out the journalist, then issued an admission and apology the next day.

I don't care who's doing what, with which and to whom, but apparently Mr. Gibbons was in violation of both law and regulation. Page 13 of the Nevada State Employee Manual states "...only persons traveling on State business are authorized to ride in these vehicles." (SAM 1402.0-1417.0)

State employees are prohibited from giving rides to non-state employees. All state workers are warned about it. It has to do with lawyers and liability.

Nevada Revised Statutes Section 204.080 makes it illegal to use a state vehicle for private purposes and establishes penalties.

"A violation of any provision of this section by any person other than an officer or employee of the State of Nevada is a misdemeanor," the law states, adding that "a violation of any provision of this section by an officer or employee of the State of Nevada shall constitute malfeasance in office."

Unless Gov. Gibbons can prove that his lady friend was also on state business, he has violated very strict state law and regulation. (Thanks to Reno Gazette-Journal commentator Cory Farley for "In Flagrante Backseato.")

NO RESPECT AT ALL. My spies report that Gov. Gibbons escorted a lady to Reno DMV last Christmas Eve. While she took care of business, The Luv Guv decided to schmooze the growing lineup of Nevadans and also say howdy to DMV workers. He was taken aback when several refused to shake hands.

"Do you know who I am?"


HAIRY AND HARRY. On my TV show last Sunday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blasted Gov. Gibbons for not showing any interest in obtaining $175 million in Race to the Top federal education funds. (See the Feb. 21 Sparks Tribune Sunday front page.)

With all of Jim the Dim's recent blasts at Reid, my colleagues in columny around the state have wondered if Gibbons is confused as to whom he's running against.

Apparently, Gibbons plans to veto a bill changing Nevada law to facilitate application for those federal funds. What a guy.

Time to sue the state.

Statewide reruns of last Sunday's Barbwire program Suing for Schools begin this week on three Reno-Sparks-Washoe community television channels (SNCAT/Charter digital 16, 216 and hi-def 80-295): Tuesday, March 2, 10:30 p.m.; Wednesday, March 3, 1:00 p.m.; Friday, March 5, 11:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 6, 8:15 a.m.

Watch for additional scheduling statewide. The programming will be shortly available via webstreaming at and I'll place a link here. [UPDATE: SUING FOR SCHOOLS: Click here to view the show on your desktop]

I may have picked up some additional potential plaintiffs just hanging around the ledge, so it wasn't all a waste.

Stay tuned.

SUPPORT COMMUNITY MEDIA. The Sunday Barbwire Special program would not have been possible without community media. We originate in public access facilities and rebroadcast over both public and commercial television. Sierra Nevada Community Access TV needs your help with a critical grant program which matches public contributions dollar-for-dollar — and it's all tax-deductible. Thanks to all who have already jumped in. Please consider doing so yourself. Please contact me for more info. If you don't think corporate conglomerate TV provides all the news you never knew you needed to know, this is important to you.

So turn on, tune in and tell a friend.

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

COMING SOON. Nevada's annual César Chávez Celebration, March 31 at Circus Circus. See or contact me for sponsorship and event info.

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.

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   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
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Barbwire / 11-30-2008
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Barbwire / 8-3-2008
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Barbwire / 6-15-2008

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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
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The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
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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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