Cowboys and Indians
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 2-27-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

    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

Some eminent sportswriters assert that pro football has surpassed baseball as our national sport.


This adolescent country's principal pastime is playing cowboys and Indians.

If anything crosscuts all that is American, it's our perpetual perpetuation of childhood games.

Life is a neverending movie of good guys solving all the world's problems by shooting them.

I got into an argument with a conservative friend of mine about the Wisconsin wildfire.

"I've always depended on myself and not anybody else doing things for me," the longtime business executive said.

My friend is a victim of the cowboy myth.

President Reagan lolled away the hours watching endless reruns of Gary Cooper in High Noon, roundly considered the greatest western of them all. The bad guys are coming back to town and the recently-resigned sheriff sticks around to face them alone.

Like most, Ronald the Vague missed the point.

The sheriff wasn't alone. His wife, played by porcelain doll Grace Kelly, joins him in battle and the most beautiful woman ever filmed takes a shotgun to one of the would-be assassins

I reminded my friend that America was not built by solo heroes but by teamwork.

When every man is an island who needs no one, you end up either with dictatorships or Italy, which got used to having its government dissolve every couple of months because all the mama's boys playing in parliament took their balls and went home.

Somehow, we've lost the fire that now burns brightly in the young of the near- and middle-east.

Earlier, when the people of the Philippines and Ukraine saw their elections stolen, they took to the streets and threw the bums out. After a 5-4 partisan vote of the U.S. Supreme Court inserted Bush the Lesser into the presidency, a few rotten tomatoes were hurled at Dubya on inauguration day.

We so love the cowboy myth that it's easy for the likes of Lush Rambo to whip up the weak-minded.

At last Monday's Carson City demonstration in support of Wisconsin workers, anti-unionites were outnumbered about 300 to 12. Two carried their signs in front of the labor gathering. One read "unions equal depression."

I asked them to inform me which union caused Great Depression II. They had no answer. I got several e-mails echoing them.

"Far sited (sic) folks like you have brought this nation to this point. With your help the unions will finish the job. Thanks for the motivation to end my union membership," wrote one couple.

"Please let me know which union brought us Great Depression II," I responded.

"It’s not about who caused this down turn," (sic) they wrote.

Oh really? Dubya the Elder played that gambit perfectly. "Mistakes were made" but nobody was responsible or accountable.

"It is about those among us who look at self first and not at the prospect for economic collapse," the couple continued.

"Lets just clear this up, the states do not have the money to continue with the status quo, the Federal government will continue to borrow until it spins this economy into a generational malaise with debt all of us will spend the rest of our life’s (sic) to pay off. We have never seen this type of challenge before. Good luck with the riots," they concluded.

Even President Obama has fallen for that dimbulb thinking. Cutting government spending and rich people's taxes will solve all our ills, despite eight decades of conclusive evidence to the contrary.

Duke John of Orange Boehner, Retro-Ohio, and his fellow moonhowlers are threatening to shut the federal government down unless major spending cuts are enacted and signed into law by our appeasement-minded president.

The single dumbest thing you can do during a depression is drain the economy of money.

Herbert Hoover learned that the hard way.

The teatards of 2010 had very legitimate gripes. The average American worker has not had a raise since 1973.

Productivity (output per hour worked) has doubled while corporate America, with the help of both political parties, exported our best jobs.

"With unions declining, the Democratic Party turned to the only other source of money and influence available in large enough quantities to replace Big Labor: Big Business," writes Kevin Drum in the cover story of the March-April edition of Mother Jones Magazine.

And so we are treated to the spectacle of President Obama prostrating himself before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in preparation for a re-election run as a moderate conservative.

Great Minds Think Alike Dept.

State cutbacks damage children
Paul Krugman
NY Times / 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


"With labor in decline, both parties now respond strongly to the interests of the rich — whose institutional representation is deep and energetic — and barely at all to the interests of the working and middle classes," Drum concluded.

Which is why Wisconsin is so critical. It's made labor stand and fight.

In his ancient tome The Art of War, Sun Tzu warned of the danger of fighting a cornered enemy.

Last Sunday, I advocated a national strike as the logical consequence of the Wisconsin wildfire.

Last Monday, local members of the venerable Industrial Workers of the World (aka The Wobblies) passed out flyers calling for that national strike.

The first of a wave of meetings was held this past week in Madison, Wisc.

Stay tuned.

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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