Too old to work, too young to die
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 2-20-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 2-25-2011, 2-28-2011

    Who will take care of you,
How'll you get by,
    When you're too old to work
and too young to die?
— Joe Glazer

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


The new season of Barbwire TV. The first show will be about (what else?) jobs. The lack of them is well documented. How we've blown them and where they can be regenerated, that's something else. I guarantee you'll get mad enough to want to get even. Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at


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.


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

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

Welcome to the revolution.

Looks like the WikiLeaks-fueled fire that figuratively and literally started in Tunisia is spreading from the near- and middle-east to Main Street, USA.

It's about goddam time!

The hellfires of Wisconsin will reach Carson City and Gomorrah South at high noon on President's Day.

Demonstrators will gather in front of the state legislative building in the capital and the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas.

Great Minds Think Alike Dept.

State cutbacks damage children
Paul Krugman
NY Times / 2-27-2011

Cowboys and Indians
Barbwire / 2-27-2011

Lincoln took a powder to deny a legislative quorum in 1840
George Lakoff
Common Dreams / 2-26-2011

Nevada workers fight back
Dennis Myers / 2-24-2011
Reno News & Review

General strike is the only play left. Does labor have the chops to do it?
Jeffrey Summers / 2-23-2011
Counterpunch + The Guardian

Wisconsin: Reaganauts' End Game
Andrew Levine
Counterpunch / 2-22-2011


Let it lead to a national strike.

The union busters can't fire every teacher, every cop, firefighter, teacher, security guard, cook and dishwasher.

Thanks to last year's elections, I had no one to root for in the Super Bowl. My impossible choice was between one team led by Big Mac Rapistburger and another from the state that just fired the senator who tried to clean up politics.

The governor of Wisconsin's threat to call out the National Guard echoes the century-old lie from mining interests that convinced President Theodore Roosevelt to send federal troops to Goldfield in order to bust a union organizing campaign.

Wisconsin, O Wisconsin. Could you be the same place that birthed legendary progressive U.S. Sen. Robert La Follette, R-Wisc.?


The place where doofus cheeseheads later elected the paranoid Sen. Joe McCarthy over La Follette, Jr.?

Alas and alack, yes.

Wisconsin's new GOP governor has taken a play out of the Bush-Cheney playbook: Don't solve problems, use them to advance your corporate agenda.

"The number of American workers in unions declined sharply last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, with the percentage slipping to 11.9 percent, the lowest rate in more than 70
years," the Jan. 21 New York Times reported.

"In 2009, for the first time in American history, government employees accounted for more than half the nation’s union membership, but the percentage of government workers in unions fell to 36.2 percent last year, down from 37.4 percent the previous year," the Times noted.

A major reason for the reversed positions lies in the fact that governments, unlike corporations, rarely hire $500 per hour union busters to illegally fire organizers and conduct scorched earth campaigns to destroy worker organizations.

A contributing factor was 9/11. Although they were asleep at the switch, Bush and Cheney used the attack to deunionize large parts of the federal work force, making it illegal for employees to bargain collectively.

It is instructive that the only Saddam Hussein law kept by Bush-Cheney's Iraq Regent Paul Bremer was Saddam's ban on labor unions.

Dumb as ferns as usual, the Democrats failed to adequately support employment during our Wall Street-caused depression — depredations facilitated by Democrat- and Republican-backed Reaganaut deregulation.

The foxes ate the chickens and left the rest of us with Top Ramen.

Germany avoided a similar jobs meltdown because unpopular Chancellor Angela Merkel's government did everything it could to maintain employment.

The Obama stimulus package was about half a trillion too small, making it vulnerable to Republican election year rants that it was a failure. It contained a lot of tax cuts rather than job creation.

The bogus idea that tax breaks stimulate the economy is considered religious dogma by GOP moonhowlers. Not even recent statements by former Reagan budget director David Stockman can shake their faith in having your cake and eating it, too.

"An Arizona State University business school study, published in Nov. 2009, examined the past three decades of fiscal policy" in the sunshine state where a suntan can get you jailed and deported.

"Although tax cuts 'have lowered government revenues,' they 'have not had any perceptible effect on the state's economic growth,'" the study concluded. (Ken Silverstein, Tea Party in the Sonora, Harper's Magazine, July 2010)

Nevada state workers are not unionized. They have no collective bargaining rights and their salaries show it, but they are targeted nonetheless.

The brushfire in Wisconsin is simply the vanguard of nationwide Republican efforts to destroy a major part of the Democratic Party's base.

"How will labor come back? In a strike. That's not romanticism, that's a fact. It'll start with one plant. One plant. And they strike. And there'll be guys across the street at a second plant, and they see it, and they think 'Hmm, maybe we can do that.' And they win. Then somebody in Idaho does it, the same thing, independently. And then all of a sudden you're seeing some John L. Lewis again, a leader, but he gets thrown up, he's just riding the thing...That's not romanticism, that's a fact."

Chicago steelworker Ed Sadlowski made that wishful prediction during the darkest days of Reaganomics and Bushwhacking two decades ago. Today, he looks successfully psychic.

People from Arab countries have given their lives demonstrating for a fair share of the pie.

It's about time Americans showed some courage.

I'll see you on the picket lines.

HIGH NOON, PART DEUX: At 12:30 p.m. Monday on KRNV TV-4, Washoe DA Dick Gammick and I participate on Sam Shad's Nevada Newsmakers pundit panel. Go to the expanded web edition of this column at for statewide radio-TV rerun times.

NOT SINCE THE CARTWRIGHTS WALKED THE PONDEROSA: The inaugural Big Bonanza Days Dinner and Awards Ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 5, at Virginia City's Silverland Inn & Suites. It revives a traditional event last celebrated in the 1970s.

The Silver Strike Award will be presented to the Nevada Historical Society for 111 years of outstanding commitment to historical preservation.

For more information, go to

VIVA HUELGA! César Chávez Day IX takes place on what would have been his 84th birthday, Thursday, March 31, 2011, at Circus Circus-Reno. Dinner is at 7:00 p.m.

The new Nevada legislative Latino caucus has been invited. As always, we expect a large representation from César Chávez's immediate family.

Go to for news, ticket and sponsorship info.

BACK FROM THE ASHES DEPT. Support the return of community radio/TV. Go to Barbwire.TV for more information, to join the club and contribute via the web.

It's important.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 42-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

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced 9-18-2010.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.
Next year, we go for the sombrero.

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

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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Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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Copyright © 1982-2011 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 42-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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