Slaves taxes, bread crumbs and another brick in the wall
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-8-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Updated 5-10-2011, 5-17-2011
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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 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

There are no virgins in politics. The best you can hope for is that your friends treat you a little better than your enemies and promise to kiss you afterward.

Alas and alack, the devolution of the middle class, heralded by the coronation of King Ronald the Vague, is morphing from class war into uncivil war.

Brother fights sister for crumbs from the table of the rich, famous and powerful.

The grovelers down on the floor are too desperate to look up to see who's picking their pockets while pimping their daughters.

The moonhowler propaganda machine waxes magnificent in its ascendance over all that we are allowed to behold. (See the web edition of this column at for the history of how they not only got us to drink the Kool-Aid, but also convinced us to pay premium prices for it.)

Corporate greed, abetted by politicians of all stripes who sell too cheap, have given us Great Depression II. I am so sick and tired of hearing that governments are like families who must spend less when times are tough.

Governments are nothing like families and must expand during tough times to hold homes and families together. That's why we have them, the institutional equivalent of passing the hat to help when someone is in need.

But on the local, state and federal levels, the propaganda machine now perpetuates the Kool-Aid-fueled myth that taking money out of the economy will help the economy.

Here on the High Desert Plantation, it has apparently become necessary to destroy the education system in order to save it.

Last week, I had high hopes that the good guys would finally ride to the rescue. On May 4, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada produced a slickly-printed if poorly reasoned book with a series of proposals.

The next day, the Nevada Legislature's Democratic majority presented a 90-page Powerpoint dog-and-pony show at Western Nevada College in Carson City.

Alas and alack, the hope which springs eternal wilts quickly in thin Nevada air.

Both outfits advocated screwing the poor one more time by tacking a sales tax onto services. (Assembly Bill 569.)

PLAN, at least, called for a mining tax hike. The Donkeyites didn't even do that, perhaps offering it as a vote-buying carrot to rural Republicans. Several Cow County lawmakers will be redistricted out of politics anyway, so they can go home bragging that they kept their favorite corporate welfare queen impenetrable for a 140th consecutive year.

Sales taxes are regressive. The less money you make, the bigger the percentage of your income they take. We have pretty much the most regressive tax structure in the country.

At minimum, we are competitive with enlightened bailiwicks like Mississippi.

Adding insult to injury, the legislative proposal suggests a new business tax based on one now in effect in (Maalox alert) —> Texas!

Jawhol, a tax idea from the Bush leagues, the place trying to erase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Justice Thurgood Marshall and union leader César Chávez from its history books. Evolution and global warming stop at the Rio Grande.

Las Vegas Sun reporter Anjeanette Damon wrote on May 5 that "Democrats have never liked the broad-based business tax passed after an all-out battle in 2003. The modified business tax assessed on payroll, they argue, is a disincentive for businesses to hire people or increase salaries. They want to replace it with a tax on business revenue in a plan strikingly similar to the gross receipts tax proposal that brought the 2003 Legislature to a standstill."

The late Gov. Dudley Do-Right has been praised by liberals for signing the 2003 tax hikes into law. (The state rebated $300 million two years later, a major fiscal mistake. Most treated it as found money and Nevada casinos enjoyed a profit spike as a result.)

Nobody seems to remember that Gov. Guinn's original proposal, which I re-dubbed the Grotesque Receipts Tax, would have been a zero-tax windfall for his patroons and poltroons in the gambling industry.

Allowing for casino corporate welfare payments from the public treasury and the deductibility of state taxes on a federal income tax return, the net new liability of the entire gambling industry would have been a whopping $6 million a year. Dudley's GRT would have allowed the state's biggest welfare queen to escape for chump change.

Fortunately, one state senator and one clever lobbyist stopped the barbarians at the gate.

MGM Mirage dropped out of the Nevada Resort Association shortly thereafter. CEO Terrence Lanni complained that his taxes had just gone up $30 million a year.

What he didn't say is that an unheralded passage in the new law redefined top executive compensation, opening up guys such as his esteemed self to substantial new personal federal income tax liability. Poor, sweet babies.

My heart bleeds to this very day.

Lightening the load with levity, the legislative Democrats' proposal is unintentionally self-satirical.

Under the title of Reconstructing Nevada for the 21st Century, it shows a map of Nevada being encased behind a brick wall.

Guess what, children?

Looks like Pink Floyd got it right all those years ago.

    We don't need no education.
We don't need no thought control.
    No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teacher, leave those kids alone.
    All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.

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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