TV this week: Freedom Riders and wage defenders
Since they're blaming the victims, it's high time for the victims to fight back.
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-15-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Updated 5-16-2011, 5-17-2011, 5-19-2011, 5-25-2011
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Corporate Propaganda Research Archive

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The archived show is available at the above link.
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   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


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 and 2011 Nevada legislative sessions

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

The heavy political action happens in Carson City this coming week but you don't have to spend $4 a gallon to deal yourself in. Just watch my show.

This Tuesday, the Barbwire returns to TV with a one-hour live call-in special on area cable networks. The Barbwire livewire is the same as always, 775-882-TALK (882-8255). (Webstreaming via

So far, the guest list includes Paul McKenzie of the Sparks-based Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO, and former Assemblyman Danny Thompson, D-Henderson, now leader of the Nevada State AFL-CIO. (If his unpredictable schedule doesn't prevent him from attending.)

I am casting a wide net for other panelists, especially somebody from the chamber of commerce point of view. [UPDATE: Both the Reno-Sparks and Las Vegas chambers have scratched thus far. I have asked their high honchos for surrogates. The second banana refused, as did gubernatorial staffer Dale Erquiaga.)

The Gomorrah South chamber has been leading the charge to destroy organized labor, a classic case of Bush-Cheneyism: Don't solve problems, use them to further your longstanding agenda.

In the name of "reform," chamberites want to make the small percentage of Nevada workers who have rights as union members equal with the exposed 85 percent. That means fire-at-will for no cause at all.

It would allow more Wal-Mart and casino-style abuse with employees reduced to part-time and told to go on welfare and food stamps. Health care? Try the nearest hyper-expensive emergency room when it hurts too bad for aspirin.

In addition to weakening collective bargaining and arbitration rights, big business wants to kill the Nevada prevailing wage law that requires publicly-funded construction projects to pay area-standard wages.

As I have often documented, the pay scales of the skilled trades set benchmarks for all workers. The guy operating that road grader is helping your income. Wages comprise only about five percent of the cost of the average road project, but you'd never know it to hear the overlords cry poor-boy.

Any big biz heavy hitter with the guts to talk real issues, please call or e-mail me to participate in a truly (pardon the expression) fair and balanced (for a change) discussion.

Carson City and Dayton Charter cable victims can tune in digital channels 210 and 226. Barring unforeseen technical hangups, Reno-Sparks-Washoe viewers may tune in Charter digital 216 or high-def 80-295. (Webstreaming via

Don't worry if you miss it the first time around. Reruns will be scheduled both on cable and local network commercial stations statewide. Watch for times and dates or get on my mailing list. You may also e-mail questions in advance.

CLINGING TO THE LEDGE. At noon on Thursday, May 19, workers will gather in front of the Legislature in Carson City to educate lawmakers, media and the general public about the positive impacts of the prevailing wage law. That ride's worth the gasoline.

RIDERS ON THE STORM. Monday, Feb. 16, at 9:00 p.m. PDT/04:00 ZULU/GMT (rerunning Tuesday, 5-17, at 1:00 a.m. PST / 08:00 ZULU/GMT), KNPB TV-5 airs a PBS documentary on the legendary freedom riders, average citizens who risked their lives as passengers on integrated buses driven into the deep south to break America's apartheid half a century ago.

A couple of them still live here: Sparks resident Erma Fritchen and former Reno-Sparks NAACP President Eddie Scott, who organized Erma's freedom rides as part of her journey to the fabled 1963 March on Washington.

Erma joined about 20 locals who slept on the floor of a black church in Selma, Ala., where a seamstress named Rosa Parks brought food to feed the travelers. (Barbwire, Jan. 14, 2007)

CHEAP SHOT. Sparks City Manager Shaun Carey has reportedly recommended imposing on the few remaining city employees a high-deductible insurance plan which includes a seductively named "health savings account."

The monster was pioneered by J. Patrick Rooney, the race-baiting, union-busting head of the misleadingly-named Golden Rule Insurance Company.

The scheme has been rightly termed "anti-insurance," giving people cash incentives not to seek health care. Despite attempts to kill the cancer early, it remains popular in moonhowler conservative circles, largely because it can put Medicare into a death spiral. See the Barbwire of May 3, 1998, and several recent updates linked to the expanded web edition of this column at

REQUIRED READING. Don't miss the current edition of the Reno News & Review, largely written by Tribune alumni. Deidre Pike's column about the retirement of legendary University of Nevada journalism professor (and longtime Tribune columnist) Jake Highton is soul stirring.

The editorial entitled Gross Proceedings regarding Nevada's monumental governmental moral obtuseness is also well worth the read. (It parallels the Grotesque Receipts Tax history that I reviewed in detail last week. See also A Hard Place by Dennis Myers, 4-14-2011.)

EVIL INFLUENCE. Earl Ammerman IV is circulating a petition to get on the September congressional ballot as an independent.

Fair warning: As a child, the University of Nevada-Reno anthropology/poly-sci student was influenced by long-banned local talk radio subversives. His favorites: The Barbwire and Travus T. Hipp's Rawhide Realities Review.

He's thus undoubtedly twisted and dangerous, so call 775-843-9099 to sign.

DON'T COP OUT, SIGN UP. The annual Cops & Burgers Show 'n' Shine happens June 5 at Reno's Grand Sierra Resort. It will benefit Special Olympics Nevada. Call UAW member Gary Brown at 775-856-1459. Complete details at

CAN'T ANYBODY OVER THERE COUNT? Gary is a big classic car enthusiast, so maybe he knows somebody on the board of the troubled Hot August Nights outfit. A spokesperson recently said that the obsolete iron and moldy oldies nostalgiafest looks forward to celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. But 2011 is the 26th edition.

The Barbwire simple 60-second solution to cure all that ails us
Barbwire 1-23-2011

Slaves taxes, breadcrumbs and another brick in the wall
With friends like these,
who needs enemies?

Barbwire 5-8-2011

If they're that bad with numbers, do they know that 409 didn't start out as a cleaning solvent?

BACK FROM THE ASHES DEPT. Support the return of community radio and television stations. 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. (An obscure East Reno newspaper columnist got it started.) Charter cable victims can watch on digital channel 216 or high definition 80-295.

If you harbor a morbid interest in witnessing the assassination of the Nevada education system and most public services, turn on and tune in.

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

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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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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