Irony cards, cat houses and catty censorship
Expanded from the 11-13-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

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Corporate Propaganda Research Archive

   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

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


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Updated 8-30-2011
Now rerunning on Carson-Dayton 226

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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.

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Be well. Raise hell.


Click here for selected on-demand re-runs from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire.TV archives

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award

Some people find it OK to screw over anybody they don't know. Bring it home and it magically morphs into a different story.

Years ago, Big John Miller, late editor of the Carson City Nevada Appeal, wrote a column completely reversing his longstanding opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment. It was fine in the abstract, but not when he thought about discrimination against his young daughter.

A few years back, a picturebook couple moved next door to me. He was a UNR medical student, she a beautiful young mother.

One day, the doctor-in-waiting knocked on my door and asked me to sign an anti-gay marriage petition, a rank piece of hateful bigotry now ensconced in the Nevada Constitution.

I felt a twinge. Should this man become a doctor if he considers a white hood an acceptable accessory to his white coat? Could he be counted on to provide objective medical care to someone he considers subhuman in the rights department?

For two reasons, I chose not to argue with him.

First, it was apparent that he would have a very large family. He had three children and I heard a fourth was on the way soon after he left for his internship.

The more babies, the higher the odds that one or more would be of alternative procreative proclivity. LIke Big John, the young doctor could soon see his own prejudice knocking at his door, oppressing his own family.

God, the eternal comedian, frequently plays such irony cards in the big game called life.

I instead used the opportunity to lecture him on my one-step cure for the ills of society: broadly-based economic opportunity.

I cited Timothy McVeigh as an example. If the late Oklahoma City bomber had a good job waiting for him after his beloved army mustered him out, might he have been less likely to get into freelance bomb making?

The Arab Spring sweeping Africa and Asia has much in common with our domestic Occupadista Guerrillas. The kids just want a fair chance to achieve a fair share.

The beauty of these bottom-up revolutions lies in their decentralization. Ask anybody who's in charge and the answer is "whoever your talking to." They present the ultimate moving target and confound conservatives who insist that the way things have always been is how they must always be.

Lord, have mercy! They be bastard children because they have neither think tank nor political action committee to lend them legitimacy. Some are homeless students so irresponsible that they will be burdened with college loan debt for the rest of their lives.

Lush Rambo recently called them human debris. Small minds think alike. In his first campaign, former Reno mayor Jeff Griffin termed the homeless as human debris, echoing the corpulent copious capsule consumer contaminating the public airwaves. Limbaugh became a national figure in part by trashing Reno homeless people in 1988.

Some of said human debris will demonstrate in downtown Reno this Thursday, gathering at 9:45 a.m. in the Mapes Hotel graveyard created by Griffin's ego in front of the black tower called city hall.

Local workers have invited Occupadistas to march from the Mapes scar to the nearby Virginia Street Bridge, part of nationwide demonstrations to convince Congress to fund infrastructure. The crumbling centenarian span is a flood hazard in sore need of replacement. Kinda like our unfair economy.

Irony cards, anyone?

JOE CONFORTE DEPT. Johnny Carson's favorite network censor, Miss Priscilla Goodbody, has apparently come out of retirement at the Reno airport. The bluenoses have banned Joe Conforte's autobiography from the airport bookstore.

Co-author David Toll said the issue first was a painting of a woman's shapely tush behind Conforte in the cover photo. After Toll suggested stickers to cover the drawings, Miss Goodbody objected to the title, Breaks, Brains & Balls: The Story of Nevada's Fabulous Mustang Ranch.

TRICS ARE NOT FOR KIDS. Joe's having a pretty good week on the publicity front. It looks like Storey County is going to close Lance Gilman's Wild Horse Brothel, a sister operation to Conforte's fabled Mustang Ranch, which Gilman acquired in a federal bankruptcy auction. Gilman is best known as developer of the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, or TRIC for short.

GOODBODY, PART DEUX. The censorship flap reminds me of legendary photographer Don Dondero's dustup with Sundance Books. (Barbwire 8-23-1992) The booksellers banned Dondero's Dateline Reno because they didn't like a mild comment about Mrs. Bing Crosby not gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy.

NOT GOODBYE. Former Assemblymember Vivian Freeman, D-Reno, is back home and recovering nicely from complications after a kidney transplant. Friends may call her at 775-827-0149.

NOT A PEEP. Apparently Sparks City Hall has found no flaw in Tribune reportage about Lowe's closing its Oddie Blvd. store when its new location at the publicly subsidized Marina is ready. City officials lied about being unaware.

U-TUBE. Check the expanded web edition of this column at for the latest statewide Barbwire.TV schedule, viewable 24/7 online.

Support the return of community radio and television in these parts. Go to ReSurge.TV to volunteer your time or treasure or both.

It's now more important than ever — > unless you think corporate-controlled media is all you need. Stay tuned for updates.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 43-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first 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

POWERFUL PUNDITORY PANJANDRUMS: Compelling guest commentary

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.

The winning entries:

Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck
Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Click here to view the show on your desktop

RED flags flying low over Sparks
Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The wrath of self-righteous racism
Expanded from the 11-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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

Fact-free nation: Inside the lie machine
Mother Jones Magazine May-June 2011 / Cover story and in-depth analysis

Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Plutocracy
Money fights hard and it fights dirty
Speech delivered at Boston University on 29 Oct. 2010
Part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series

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 © 1982-2011 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 43-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 first 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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