My crooks are better than your crooks
Expanded from the 8-1-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Barbwire wins second 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.

— Leonard Cohen

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

Currently rerunning on Boulder City cable. Go to and then go to the BCTV link.

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.


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

When you get to the top levels of politics, there are no virgins.

As Bob Dylan sang so long ago, "you've got to serve somebody."

In 1982, Travus T. Hipp memorably said "If voting mattered, they wouldn't let us do it."

Apparently, voting does matter because the bad guys are increasingly trying to stop the great unwashed from casting ballots.

GOP operatives have refined voter suppression to both an art and a science, all the way to using the moonhowler noise machine to blame Democrats for GOP sins.

Do a websearch for 2004 Ohio voter suppression.

Voting machines in GOP-leaning areas were plentiful and there was no waiting. In minority and Democratic areas, people stood in the rain for an entire day and never made it inside where two or three antiquated machines were available when dozens were needed.

Bush the Lesser won Ohio and with it, re-election to another four years of running a criminal enterprise disguised as a government — kinda like the regimes we still support in Iraq, Pakistan and Affergrandstand.

The United States is an adolescent, puritanical nation and will remain so for about another 20 years. The vaunted Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are now morphing into senior citizens, bringing true generational change.

Mary Cheney, lesbian daughter of the 2001-2009 shadow president, was asked how she got along with her gay-hating parents.

She wisely sidestepped the question by noting that the solution to oppression of the disfavored would be generational. The younger the person, the smaller the ingrained societal prejudice.

Indeed, while people of alternative procreative proclivity are still victims of legal discrimination in most states, including Nevada, kneejerk hatred has dipped by more than 20 points in national polls over the past decade or so.

American voters nonetheless are easily swayed by plastic emotionalism. Like the adolescents we are, we often love the one we're with and react to the last thing we've heard.

When it comes time to vote, too many punch tickets according to the last lie seen on TV.

I wish the well-informed a happy trip to the polls this fall and urge the uninterested or easily swayed to stay home.

Just remember, you will find no saints or virgins on the ballot.

Everybody serves somebody, so take a lighthearted approach.

The greatest philosopher I have ever met is one John Hanks (a distant relative of Tom), who operated the Pauline's Sportswear franchises in northern Nevada many moons ago, including one at Greenbrae Center in Sparks.

The old bush pilot and aircraft designer, still kicking strong in retirement in wacko Arizona, used to live in Washington state where he became a fan of a certain thoroughly corrupt but very popular governor.

"Governor, I have confirmed that state workers are having people at DMV and other state offices make out checks payable personally to you," once inquired an enterprising young reporter.

"Is that true and what do you do with the money?"

Not skipping a beat, the old pol said "That's right. I put the money in my personal account and I keep some of it. They don't pay the governor much here and people are always hitting me up. But I spread it around wherever I see the need, like meals for the poor or kids who need schoolbooks. I give most of it away."

He was eventually defeated, but the public rather liked their honest crook.

There ain't no virgins at the top level.

OOPS, DEPT. Nobel-winning economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman recently asked "where’s this administration’s Frances Perkins? As F.D.R.’s labor secretary, Perkins, a longtime crusader for workers’ rights, served as a symbol of the New Deal’s commitment to change. I have nothing against Hilda Solis, the current labor secretary — but neither she nor any other senior figure in the administration is a progressive with enough independent stature to play that kind of role."

Solis contributed a guest editorial to the Reno Gazette-Journal during the mining rescue competition held here a few days ago. She vaguely noted the death of a 30 year-old miner in June of 2007 with no other details. She needs to fire her PR person.

The man in question was Dan Shaw of Winnemucca who worked at Newmont's Midas Mine in Elko County. He left a wife and baby.

In 2008, the Dept. of Labor found that Newmont knew of its unsafe conditions beforehand and closed the mine for four months. Several other Nevada miners have been killed under similar circumstance in recent years.

Regular Barbwirites know that I favor the death penalty (total liquidation) for corporations that knowingly kill workers through criminal negligence and jail for guilty individuals.

In California, a judge is hearing the case against the murderers of farm worker Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, a two-months pregnant 17 year-old girl who died of heatstroke after being denied water in killer heat. Last year, the San Joaquin District Attorney filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the labor contractors involved.

Big mining in Nevada deserves similar treatment.

NEAL 75. As a birthday present to former State Sen. Joe Neal, D-N. Las Vegas, I published his oral history at Read it for a funny and fascinating glimpse into how one individual really can change a system without virgins.

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 41-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 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...

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 Corporate Welfare Archive

From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP

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

Angry Americans and Freudian fraud
Using war to market cigarettes
from the 8-23-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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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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