Chickens, Chicky Baby and My Sharrona
Expanded from the 9-12-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 9-13-2010
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

    Ooh my little pretty one, pretty one.
When you gonna give me some time, Sharona?
    Ooh you make my motor run, my motor run.
Gun it comin' off the line Sharona
    Never gonna stop, give it up.
Such a dirty mind.
    Always get it up for the touch
of the younger kind.
    My my my i yi woo. M M M My Sharona...

—"My Sharona" by Burton Averre and Doug Fieger

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

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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.

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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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It's the dirtiest ditty in rock 'n' roll history and perfect theme for this year's Nevada follytix.

My Sharona by The Knack was both the number one rock song of the 1970's and number one for 1979, the year of the Iranian hostage crisis which ushered in the era of King Ronald the Vague.

And brought the nation and the world to its current sorrowful state.

This year, we denizens of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream have seen our political, social and governmental processes break down.

Nevada lawmakers may one day thank me for providing cover if I can finish putting together a coalition to sue the state in order to end chronic illegally underfunding of the public school system.

The waters of western Nevada have been administered by a federal judge since 1944. Could a judge do any worse than Nevada state government? In a 1987 column for a regional magazine, I suggested bulldozing our schools as a quick remedy for Nevada's ongoing crisis. The editor, a UNLV prof with a retarded sense of humor, refused to print it.

Several credible lawmakers have recently raised that possibility, if only to further hype current hysteria.

So who's laughing now?

If you would understand our current political environment, first abandon reason.

It's a show, a shine, a shuck, a shell game.

The American electorate is a dumb cow that follows the herd, is easily stampeded, gets milked for all she's worth and produces offspring for meat, muscle or cannon fodder to benefit the few. When all used up, she is sent to the slaughterhouse so that she may give her overlords the last full measure of devotion, bones for Jello and hide for belts. No stars and stripes for her grave because she doesn't merit one, having been totally consumed by our consumptive system.

"This is a sullen time. Only a spark, it seems, separates resentment from uprising," recently wrote Roger Cohen in The New York Times.

Can you say "Second Amendment remedies"? I thought you could say that, just like Sharron Angle.

Fellow Times columnist Bob Herbert, sounding a lot like a certain obscure Sparks Tribune writer, recently wrote that "voters do not feel that the administration and Congress have delivered the fundamental change they were seeking when they swept President Obama and huge Democratic majorities into office nearly two years ago...Democrats are in deep, deep trouble because they have not effectively addressed the overwhelming concern of working men and women: an economy that is too weak to provide the jobs they need to support themselves and their families. And that failure is rooted in the Democrats’ continued fascination with the self-serving conservative belief that the way to help ordinary people is to shower money on the rich and wait for the blessings to trickle down to the great unwashed below.

"It was a bogus concept when George H.W. Bush denounced it as 'voodoo economics' in 1980, and it remains bogus today, no matter how hard the Democrats try to dress it up in a donkey costume," Herbert wrote.

"The Democrats are facing an election debacle because they did not respond adequately to their constituents’ most dire needs. The thing that is really weird is that a strengthened GOP will undoubtedly make matters so much worse," he concluded.

So let's laugh. It's the height of irony that President Bush the Lesser announced in 2005 that he included My Sharona among the favorites on his personal IPod.

Former backbench Nevada Assemblycritter Sharron Angle knocked out the Chickens for Checkups Lady and Tark the Shark's kid in last June's GOP primary.

You underestimate little Sharrona at your peril. She sports hyper-wealthy John Bircherite funders who found true love with her: She is committed to making them richer.

I have met Nevadans of high education and great refinement who abandon reason to support Sharrona because all they really care about is maximizing their already fat trust funds.

Gordon Gecko is back, big time.

Where does it all lead?

Try Arizona, the legislature of which was described by Harper's Magazine (Tea Party in the Sonora, July 2010) editor Ken Silverstein as "composed almost entirely of dimwits, racists and cranks. Collectively, they have bankrupted the state through a combination of ideological fanaticism on the Republican right and acquiescence and timidity on the part of GOP moderates and Democrats."

These guys even sold off the state capitol building.

"Should the Republicans succeed in retaking power nationwide over the next four years, the country might start to resemble the right-wing desert that Arizona has become," Silverstein predicted.

Tax cuts as an economic stimulus qualify as religious belief down there, notwithstanding an Arizona State University study which concluded that they "have not had any perceptible effect on the state's economic growth," Silverstein reported.

By comparison, Nevada looks reasonable, but the insane and inane dash to Kafkaesque burlesque looms oh, so very near with the utterance of just one name: Chic Hecht.

Jacob "Chic" Hecht
("Chicky Baby" to his Nevada legislative staff) was an unassuming downtown Las Vegas dress shop owner, a fine, intelligent little man with a heavy lisp. I knew him rather well.

Because he was so unimpressive in person (the National Journal's Almanac of American Politics called him "the least prepossessing member of the senate"), his GOP handlers sent him to Nevada's rural Cow Counties for the duration of the 1982 general election against powerful 24-year U.S. Sen. Howard Cannon, D-Nev.

My old friend Chic might have had a lackluster record in the Nevada legislature and not been impressive on the stump, but he photographed like a million bucks. In his first election in 1966, my old boss Bob Brown sold him as James Bond and got a Republican elected to the state senate from Las Vegas.

Now you know why Sharrona is avoiding the press and playing only to friendly crowds.

Cute, cuddly and perky, she just needs to keep looking good on TV and fanning the vague flames of righteous rage at the rigged game that has dealt so many out of the American Dream.

You've been warned.

So what are you going to do besides laugh?

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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