Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Expanded from the 8-29-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

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

Iconoclastic film director Oliver Stone is producing a sequel to "Wall Street," the film which brought Michael Douglas a best actor Oscar and ensconced "greed is good" in our national archive of useless clichés.

One over-used aphorism from the Sixties remains instructive today: You are what you eat.

And you are eating a lot of greed.

Back in the Stone Age Sixties when we used to have adequate government food inspection, you could use a raw egg in Caesar salad because you had faith in the system. People could even season fresh hamburger to make steak tartare.

As a kid growing up in an Italian family, I remember tasting both of the above while my mother and grandmother prepared meatballs for Sunday dinner. The heavily and heavenly spiced ingredients included raw eggs and raw beef. Nobody ever got sick.

Nowadays, you should not eat beef at all. The United States Dept. of Agriculture simply will not test for Mad Cow Disease. A few years back, an American rancher offered to screen each critter in his own herd so that he could resume exporting to the far east, which has much tighter standards. Doing the bidding of congress and the industry, the USDA threatened him with severe penalties and stopped the poor lout.

Brain-eating Mad Cow will only be sufficiently addressed after a major outbreak and lots of American burger eaters have been infected. Mad Cow is so insidious that burning meat down to the level of shoe leather doesn't kill the prions which cause the malady.

All the recent reports about salmonella-tainted chicken eggs present another instance in point.

As with labor and workplace safety laws, American food and drug regulations can be ignored with impunity. Getting busted is just part of the cost of doing business and you can always get the fines reduced on appeal. If you get away with it, you've won the game. Such are the ethics of Enron, Exxon, British Petroleum/ARCO, Massey Energy, Barrick and Newmont mining. Likewise for most of the multi-national money machine.

I got sick just reading news stories that the tainted eggs are still going to be used in a wide range of other products after heating them up to kill most — repeat, most — of the salmonella bacteria. Aaargh.

Adding insult to injury, now comes Eureka Assemblycritter Pete Goicoechea, R-19th Century, wanting to reimpose the sales tax on groceries.

To use a Yogi Berra-ism, if Sen. Mary Gojack was alive, she'd be rolling over in her grave.

The late, great Gojack, D-Reno, made the repeal of the sales tax on food a centerpiece of her upset 1974 election win. The legislature can do whatever it wants with sales taxes above the two percent floor mandated in the voter-approved Sales and Use Tax Act of 1955.

Getting rid of the remainder took a 1979 special election. Only Humboldt and Mineral counties voted against it. I can't imagine why.

And I can't imagine why the Democrats have failed to use the issue as a campaign club.


If Goicoechea gets his way, we will again be taxed for purchasing food that is increasingly likely to kill us.

Which brings out the conservative in me.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: Companies that knowingly kill people deserve the death penalty.

Superstar Brad Pitt last week called for capital punishment for BP executives.

"I was never for the death penalty before. I am willing to look at it again," he stated.

At least he got people thinking about the punishment fitting the crime. But Mr. Pitt also showed tremendous naiveté. All workers in a predatory corporation are considered disposable and replaceable, including the fat cats in the executive tower.

If you want justice and a deterrent, kill the company. If an outfit knowingly causes a worker's death after being forewarned, the company should die. That means liquidation, corporate assets auctioned off to the highest bidder. Money remaining after a handsome settlement for survivors should go to a trust fund to help future injured workers. The stockholders, including top executives with all their bonuses and stock options, would lose everything.

A strong public policy that greed is not always good is the only thing that will get the bastards' attention.

CORRECTION. Last week, I erroneously placed KTVN TV-2 boss Lawson Fox in a retro rock band called The Smokin' Bulldogs. Actually, he's a member of The Bad Neighbors, a slightly countrified outfit which shares two members with the aforementioned canine corps.

BUZZARD BULLETIN. The liquidation auction of Sierra Nevada Community Access TV will probably happen in a few days.

One kink might delay matters: Sparks and Reno city halls fighting over missing equipment. Sparks looted the place in late June by sending a crew of six to eight guys "like a plague of locusts," according to an eyewitness.

Reno officials claim a lot of their expensive hardware is missing.

Complicating all this is a serious legal question: Does equipment paid for by cable ratepayers and given to the public station become the station's property?

That's why God made lawyers.

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
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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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