A walk with the giants
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-3-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune / Updated 10-14-2018 GMT, 1-9-2019
and 7-1-2019 GMT

   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


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

Updated 3-21-2011
Lawsuit gains support

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

Last Thursday's César Chávez celebration at Circus Circus was not outstanding for the presence of all those workers and officeholders.

The fun part came when we inducted three union giants into the César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame and not one saw it coming.

As we moved to the presentations, I faked a microphone problem and called an electrician to the stage. Al Davis (no, not the meanest guy in pro football) from Electrical Workers Local 357 in Gomorrah South responded. Needless to say, he tried and failed.

So I asked for someone with more experience, former 28-year Assemblyman Bob Price, D-North Las Vegas. (He and his wife, former university regent Nancy Price, moved to Sparks several years ago.)

Bob is a 55-year member of the union whose proudest possession is his old lunch pail signed by The King.

Bob was wiring the showroom of the new International Hotel (now Las Vegas Hilton) in 1969 when Elvis hisself arrived to inspect the place. He sat down with the workers at lunch.

"He was just as regular a guy as you could ask for," the new hall-of-famer recalls.

"He said when he finished his show he was going back to Tupelo, Miss., to work for Crown Electric. I went there years later. It turned out he didn't work as an electrician, but delivered materials for them before and after he became a big star."

How would you like to have had the king of rock 'n' roll dropping gear to your construction site?

President Obama's signature now adorns Bob's old lunchbox, alongside those of former President Carter, Hillary Clinton and the guy she married, Debbie Reynolds, Willie Nelson, Charo, Sen. Harry Reid, D- Nev., and Lisa Marie Presley.

I recounted how the gambling-industrial complex tried for years to knock Bob out of office because of his consistent introduction of legislation to level the playing field on the High Desert Plantation.

Nevada workers without a personal or union contract basically have no rights. Bob wanted to change us to a just-cause termination state rather than a fire-at-will dictatorship.

I wrote a column about him in 1990 which he distributed during the Democratic primary. He survived against a heavily funded casino candidate by 31 votes.

UPDATE in Memoriam
Bob Price, hall of fame Nevada lawmaker, union man and lifelong critic of casino corporate welfare, died 4 Jan. 2019
Las Vegas assemblymember tried to stop casino campaign contributions and paid the price.
Guitarist and friend of Elvis was 82

After the shellshocked Mr. Price left the podium, I asked Wendy Jones to bring up her husband, Stan, the last labor commissioner in Nevada history.

ALIAS SMITH AND JONES— Left to right, Wendy Jones, Nevada State Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, and former Nevada Labor Commissioner Stan Jones at a 2002 event at the Reno Hilton.

The office is supposed to protect workers, but has morphed into a protector of corporations since Stan left. He went on to become director of the Nevada Employment Security Dept. and is a longtime member of Sparks-based Sheet Metal Workers Local 26.

I had retired business manager Dave Peel say more than a few words about Stan, who preceded him in that post. The golden-voiced Mr. Jones didn't say much.

Then, we sprung the trap and handed another hall of fame trophy to Wendy, who worked for 50 years as office manager for Electrical Workers Local 401, where she met her future husband.

The icing on the cake: Last Friday was Stan and Wendy's 55th wedding anniversary and they spent it at a union event.

All the hall of fame awards were presented by last year's honoree, former Harrah's bartender Darlene Jespersen, plaintiff in the landmark lipstick lawsuit that advanced the cause of female workers' rights. Her case is taught in law schools nationwide.

Last year's organizer of the year, Liz Sorenson of Sparks-based Communications Workers Local 9413, was in Sacramento (surprise) organizing workers.

So I had union president Jim Burrell present the award to Dwayne Killgore of Operating Engineers Local 3, which represents Sparks city employees. OE3 business agent Steve Ingersoll related Mr. Killgore's astonishing record of organizing success.

The Project of the Year Award went to LS Power for the Southwest Intertie, the job-creating power line through eastern Nevada. Paul McKenzie of the Sparks-based Building and Construction Trades Council made the presentation. Brian Kulpin of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, last year's winner, passed the torch to LS executive Mark Milburn.

Employer of the Year honoree was MKD Construction, Inc., locally owned by the Grock family.

Local 3 Business Agent Rod Young gave their distinguished history. SaveMart Stores VP Ed Popke passed the torch on behalf of last year's winner.

The majority of the new Nevada Legislative Latino Caucus attended: Sens. Moises Denis and Ruben Kihuen, Assemblymembers Irene Bustamante Adams, Steven Brooks and Lucy Flores, all D-Las Vegas, and Teresa Benitez-Thompson, D-Reno. Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, rallied the crowd, as did Assemblyman Skip Daly, D-Sparks. Assemblymen David Ohrenschall and Richard "Tick" Segerblom, both D-Las Vegas, also broke bread with us.

Many of those heavy hitters will address the multitude expected at Western Nevada College at 4:30 p.m. Monday, part of the national unity rally on the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was shot while supporting striking union garbage workers in Memphis, Tenn.

Rev. Larry Holloway of Bethel AME Church in Sparks is also on the agenda of the protest against erosion of workers' rights and destruction of our educational system. To register, go to

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

It's important.

The first step toward restoration has been taken. After going dark for six months, the public access channels now broadcast live legislative hearings and floor sessions fed to Reno-Sparks-Washoe from AccessCarson. Charter cable victims can watch on digital channel 216 or high definition 80-295.

This presents a true opportunity to observe, as they simultaneously happen, your government in action and government inaction.

If you harbor a morbid interest in witnessing the assassination of the Nevada education system and most public services, this is your time.

Turn on, tune in and tell a friend.

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
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2019 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.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins