Heroes are made, not born
Expanded from the 11-6-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 1-10-2012

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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

Additional programs
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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 as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station and the return of community television to Reno-Sparks-Washoe.

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.


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

My name is Andrew Barbano and I am a recovering racist, so schooled by my elders.

Men like Jack Kelley taught me otherwise. The Fresno State football star and retired police detective died in the city of my birth on Oct. 25.

In the year of my birth, Fresno State and the University of Nevada were confronted by America's apartheid. Jack Kelley was in the middle of it.

Jack's teams were 1-1 against the Wolf Pack, winning 33-0 in 1942 (against a Nevada team featuring future NFL Hall of Fame running back Marion Motley), losing 7-4 in 1945.

But the game changed forever in 1946 when they played against racism. Nevada won.

Both schools were scheduled against all-white teams in the Jim Crow south. Fresno had to play powerful Oklahoma City University. The Wolf Pack from the fabled Mississippi West faced Mississippi State.

The Fresno Bulldogs were coached by the legendary James "Rabbit" Bradshaw, who had become Nevada's football's first All-American in 1921.

Fresno's citizenry and student body became enraged when informed that OCU granted permission for "the colored players to play," but warned that it would not be responsible for what might happen. Bradshaw decided to suit up his star running back, Kelley, and first-string right tackle Millard Mitchell, but not play them. Fresno lost 46-7.

Students and some faculty voted to forfeit the game and a crowd of almost 2,000, many of them war veterans, demonstrated. Citizens even raised $5,000 to pay the cancellation penalty the college faced. All of this happened six months before Jackie Robinson broke major league baseball's color barrier.

Nevada chose not to go rather than dishonor black players Bill Bass and Horace Gillom.

“It is not the custom in the South for members of the Negro race to compete in athletics with or against members of the white race in athletic contests. I am sure you understand this traditional custom which Mississippi State college cannot under any circumstances violate,” a letter from Mississippi State officials informed the Wolf Pack.

"An unfortunate commotion would ensue if colored stars were allowed on the Starkville Field," they warned.

Local sportswriter Joe Santoro recently noted that "the Wolf Pack not only didn’t understand it, they refused to play without Bass and Gillom."

Keith Kelley, a Fresno businessman and Millard Mitchell's godson, told the Fresno Bee that his father was never the same after the Oklahoma City game.

"I think it took a little bit out of Dad," Keith Kelley said. "This was a long time before Martin Luther King."

Detective Jack Kelley was a regular at the Barbano family diner in west Fresno. Like the neighborhood, the clientele was a racial and ethnic melting pot.

Then, as now, I talked a lot.

One day, the teenaged me engaged the impeccably dressed Officer Kelley in a conversation about racial intermarriage. Jack's response astounded me.

"I don't know that I'd want my daughter to marry a white man," he stated in an offhand manner between bites of his sandwich.

I was shocked. Why wouldn't a black woman want to move up in class and marry white?

Was Jack reacting like an over-protective father but playing it cool? Or did he really mean it?

Maybe a little of both.

Either way, he had cleverly gotten me looking through the other end of the telescope, viewing the world without white blinders on.

It was the beginning of my shedding the racism I had been carefully taught.

How could you grow up racist in a world filled with blacks, Mexicans, Jews, Armenians, Slavs, Chinese and Portuguese? Our favorite hangouts were a black music store and a hobby shop run by Japanese Americans. Not even watching hateful World War II era movies could make us kids dislike the Maruko family.

Alas, some of the prejudices of some of my elder relatives had become mine. It took a long time to shed them.

I've written before about my old VFW band director, Paul Sauceda. I once told him this King guy wasn't out for racial equality, he was promoting racial superiority and violence followed him wherever he went.

A couple of years ago, I quoted a paper by Kate Smith Elementary sixth grader Aidee Carillo.

"César Chávez went to school and one day he spoke Spanish and the teacher put a sign on him that said 'I am a clown. I speak Spanish,'" Sparks student Carrillo wrote.

I couldn't understand such oppression until Sauceda told the 14 year-old me his very similar story.

"Andy, you've got to understand what Martin Luther King is doing. I was ridiculed every day: 'Why do you want to go to high school? All you'll ever be is a field worker.'

"I wish I had a Willie Mays to point to, so I could say, 'Look what he did.' I never had that."

Jack Kelley and Paul Sauceda gently got me thinking that my thinking might be wrong.

Paul went on to become an accountant and community leader, like Jack.

Kelley and Sauceda took time to educate kids not their own. Those are the seeds of greatness.

Jack played pro ball for the New York Yankees, a predecessor to today's NFL New York Giants, before joining the Fresno Police Department in 1949.

He became Fresno PD's first African-American sergeant and founded the city's African American Historical and Cultural Museum. He is one of only two officers honored with department statues. The other, Sal Mosqueda, died in the line of duty.

I was a teenage racist
Barbwire / 1-12-1990
Updated Jan. 14-15, 2012

The need for a César Chávez Day
Barbwire / 3-21-2009

Jack Kelley, 91, was laid to rest on Saturday.

He became a father to many, and that includes me.

Thanks, Jack.

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
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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Copyright © 1982-2012 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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