You can't have your war and eat it, too
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-26-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 6-27-2011, 6-29-2011

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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

No country has suffered so much from the ruins of war while being at peace as the American.
— U.S. Author and Critic Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977)

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

In 2011, we go for the Sombrero


Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

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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 as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station and the return of community television to Reno-Sparks-Washoe.

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, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire TV archives

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
In 2011, we go for the Sombrero

War is the single worst thing you can do to your economy.

The myth of magic warbucks started after World War II. How often have you heard that the big slaughter finally pulled us out of the Great Depression?

You can make a pretty good argument that the excess industrial capacity of the United States doomed the bad guys to defeat, but by 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt had long been implementing the economic recovery tools that would later make Briton John Maynard Keynes a household name.

Keynesian economics is a simple concept: governments must pump money into the system during times of contraction. Call it a kick-start. Call it priming the pump. It works pretty well for everyone except moonhowlers who barf and snarl at anything resembling a government solution to a problem. (See below.)

Regular readers have often seen me quote conservative Republican economist Pierre Rinfret (1924-2006).

He committed heresy during the Vietnam War by challenging the orthodoxy that war spending constitutes sound economic policy.

"Rinfret believes we have come quietly to an economic pivot point...We have at last broken...the ancient bond between war and prosperity," Look Magazine reported on May 31, 1966.

"War is bearish. Peace is bullish," Rinfret insisted.

"War, once a shot in the arm to lagging business, now throws a shock into a smoothly functioning system set for peak long-term growth," wrote Look Senior Editor T. George Harris in a Rinfret interview.

"To compound the shock, war also wastes resources, human and material, that would otherwise flow back each year to expand the economy and, through it, better the lives of men," Harris reported.

"In practical terms, wealth invested in war goods might as well be sunk in the ocean," Rinfret said.

"Tanks and fighters do not produce new wealth. Teachers and factories do. Peace is the environment in which the flower of free enterprise grows, flourishes and bears fruit. Peace is now the stable ground of prosperity."

The military-industrial complex was not about to let such thinking hurt its fat profits. Corporate America fielded tanks — think tanks — to sell the idea that less government is more. They even besmirched the name of President John F. Kennedy in proselytizing the recurrent religion that tax cuts bring economic heaven on earth.

If that were true, we should all be rolling in holy gold today. We've got three wars, Bush the Lesser's hemorrhagic tax cuts have been extended and the fat cats are happy.

The full Look article and Herbert Stein's insider insight on the JFK tax proposal (signed into law by President Johnson) will be linked to the web edition of this column at

MARKING AMODEI. Former State Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Moonhowlers, urgently needs to see a veterinarian and get checked for U.S. Sen. Dean Heller's bitemarks on his arse.

Like Heller, Amodei used to be a pretty level-headed state lawmaker. Now that he's running for congress, he's living in the past like the rest of the retro-modern GOP.

With Osama dead, the fearmongers apparently need new bogeymen, not that the white sheet sympathizers don't have enough to motivate them.

With all the toxic fact-manufacturing that Fox News and Lush Rambo can exude, it's rather disappointing that Mr. Amodei can do no better than 1950's-vintage red scare.

Somewhere down in the seventh circle, Sen. Joe McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, burns with pride.

Amodei is now running a TV spot justifying his opposition to an increase in the national debt ceiling by threatening that it will lead to Red China invading Washington, DC.

Amodei may be a good propagandist and fearmonger, but he's a dreadful economist. No nation makes war on its best credit customer.

Lawyer Amodei is also a dunce when it comes to constitutional law. A default on our national debt happens to be unconstitutional: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties or services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." (Amendment XIV, Section 4)

MEMORIES OF MARIA. A memorial service for Mary Valencia Wilson will be held in Sparks at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 7, at American Legion Duby Reid Post No. 30, 730 4th Street. That's next door to the Sparks post office, across from city hall. The great Nevada civil, human and labor rights leader died earlier this month at age 66.

Any of Mary's many friends who would like to volunteer to help with the event should write the Barbwire or contact her sister, Joan Treptow, 775-560-0318.

MARY WOULD PICKET THIS GUY. Gov. Brian the Brutal has vetoed Assembly Bill 137 which would "would have required some schools to provide free breakfast to low-income students," according to Anjeanette Damon in the Las Vegas Sun.

"Democrats decried the veto, saying the legislation would have brought more than $40 million in federal money to the state. (Gov.) Sandoval, however, said the decision about which schools should provide the nutrition program is better left to the school districts."

That decision should be easy.

Without any money, they can't provide food.

Morally obtuse El Bruté strikes again.

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, Charter Channel 216 came back to life broadcasting live legislative hearings and floor sessions fed to Reno-Sparks-Washoe from AccessCarson. (An obscure East Reno newspaper columnist got it started.)

We have acquired new volunteers and we're going to have a working group meeting soon. Spread the word.

Go to Barbwire.TV for more information, to sign up and/or contribute to the cause.

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.
This 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
War Rooms:
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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