Labor Day 2010: The Last Hurrah?
Expanded from the 9-5-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 9-7, 9-13 and 10-4-2010
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

The warnings have been out there for decades but no one listened.

Only murder, mayhem, rape, death and destruction seem to motivate Americans, then we demand an instant solution just like a TV movie.

As New York columnist Jimmy Breslin once opined, "media is the plural of mediocre."

Don't blame me.

I've been raising the storm flags for four decades.

On Labor Day weekend 1994 I printed People vs. Corporate Con-Job, which detailed big money's century-long campaign to degrade and intimidate workers. It's been available online since then and will be linked to the web edition of this column at, as will other references to items below.

In 2005, I compiled various warnings of impending economic collapse and printed The Enemy Within, also available online.

A minority of heavy hitters with much wider reach and credibility than me warned that payback time was coming. The herd of dumb cows decided to continue to be milked, butchered, skinned and sold.

Then came last year, the dawn of that hopey-changey thing so aspishly derided by Sarah Palin.

Alas and alack, the president failed to seize the moment. He was warned by the venerable Harper's Magazine, among many others.

Labor's Last Stand — The corporate campaign to kill the Employee Free Choice Act: So was dubbed a cover story in Harper's July 2009 edition.

View the Barbwire TV special on the Employee Free Choice Act. Click here and scroll down to Program 103 / April 21. Spread the word.

It was secondary to Barack Hoover Obama — The best and the brightest blow it again. The cover illustration showed Obama as the tragic President Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), complete with rounded collar and fat tie.

"The question is not what can be done, but what must be done," writer Kevin Baker noted in the latter.

He accurately predicted that President Obama's desire to reach across the isle to toxic Republicans would prove fatal.

In 1991, my column psychoanalyzing future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was picked up by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Legal Journals. It correctly forecasted his behavior on the bench.

Michael Moore and Crackers the Corporate Crime-Fighting Chicken receive their usual warm welcome.

Livid Labor Day message from Mike the Mahatma to the White House — Dear Rahm Emanuel: Happy Fuckin' Labor Day!

I updated that analysis with a look at President Obama on Dec. 20 of last year.

I noted that Obama and Thomas share a critical character trait: the desire to please everyone.

In Thomas' case, sucking up to power put him on the court. In Obama's case, he reached across the isle looking for peace in the family and got back a bloody stump.

"The common thread running through all of Obama's major proposals is that they are labyrinthine solutions designed mainly to avoid conflict," Baker wrote.

Baker predicted that, like Hoover, Obama will fail to overcome the prevailing economic thinking of the time and thus fail as a president.

Baker pointed out that Hoover tried many of the programs that his successor, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945), eventually put into practice, but "keep the government off the back of business" doomed him to failure.

Hoover even signed a tax increase into law to balance the budget.

"Just as Hoover could not, in the end, break away from the best economic advice of the 1920s, Obama is sticking with the 'key men' of the 1990s," Baker wrote.

"Just like another very good man, Barack Obama is moving prudently, carefully, reasonably toward disaster," he concluded.

Organized labor will not get its key legislation anytime soon.

There is no economic quick fix available before November. The critics were right that the 2009 economic stimulus package was about a third too small.

Sunburned Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is now poised to become Speaker of the House in January, which means government will do nothing but harm for the foreseeable future.

As I state in former Tribunite Dennis Myers' current Reno News & Review story about the proposed reimposition of the Nevada sales tax on food, the Democrats aren't even organized enough to protest a tax increase which will mostly damage their blue collar base.

Great Minds Think Alike Dept.

Thomas Friedman predicts a third party a month after the Barbwire
(He's just one short.)
New York Times 10-3-2001

Organized labor will mostly support Democrats this November because the working class has nowhere else to go.

Afterward, the potential of four major parties really looms.

In the past, grass roots movements have always been taken over by one of the majors, essentially giving us a four-party system under two brands. Perhaps no more.

The Tea Party nutsos are not enamored with Karl Rove's Republican religious right. Labor, still the bedrock of the Dems after decades of infidelity, will be worth about 25 percent of the vote, as always. A new Labor Party has been trial-ballooned in bygone years and allowed to deflate. It will come back with a Donkeyite drubbing this fall.

We can't say we weren't warned.

Other than all of the above, Happy Labor Day.

Go organize some people!

WAVE AT THE MAN. Spanish Springs resident and longtime (62 years) United Auto Workers organizer George "Battling" Nelson will serve as grand marshal of the traditional Nevada Labor Day parade in Virginia City Sept. 6.

The boxing aficionado and community activist richly deserves the honor. My advertising guru friend Jim Webster, who will be doing double duty at Hugh Roy Marshall's SilverLand Inn & Suites, promises to deliver my greetings and congratulations to the marshal hisself.

Look for George among classic cars, motorcycles and, of course, union banners.

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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