Dr. Strangelove and Sen. Don the Dumberer
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-10-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

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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

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

Songwriter and math professor Tom Lehrer was right in stating that satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Killer K was the model for the title character in director Stanley Kubrick's wicked 1964 nuclear war satire, Dr. Strangelove — How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.

It's indeed difficult to lampoon those who harpoon themselves, but let's give it (ahem) a shot.

This Tuesday at the A+ Firearms Training Classroom, the man recently graded highest among all lawmakers by a corporate front think tank, Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, will attempt to speak.

The occasion allows Don the Dumberer to simultaneously play to several voter bases, or kill several birds with one blast. (Dick Cheney, call your office.)

It takes place at the "U.S. Nuclear Energy Foundation Meeting Room" inside the firearms place at 808 Holman Way "next to the Christian Book Store." (Are these guys lobbying God and Gustavson for nuclear weapon concealed carry permits?)

"Let's revisit nuclear energy, a viable alternative. Think about it," implores the nukies' website which is (ahem) shot through with illiteracy but unabashedly accepts tax-deductible contributions.

One might think that the virulently anti-tax senator might avoid an outfit funded at least partially at taxpayer expense.

One would be wrong.

According to its website, USNEF "is an independent foundation and not supported exclusively by any industry or nuclear association but by individual and/or business support in order to retain our independence of educational materials."

Did you catch the wiggle room?

They are not supported "exclusively" by any industry or nuclear association, which constitutes an admission that the nuke industry is among their backers — along with the U.S. Treasury. Their website pimps both nuclear power and dumpsites.

The proposed Nevada nuclear waste dumpsite has been debated to death, but it just won't die.

Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, presented the solution to the 1999 legislative session: transmutation. It's not reprocessing, which creates more nuclear material than it destroys. Transmutation involves bombarding with huge amounts of electricity, speeding up decay and reducing volume. (See the March 7, 1999, Barbwire linked to the web edition of this column at

"The basic technology has been around for a long time," I wrote back then. "If you want to make nuclear bombs, you have to transmute naturally occurring uranium into plutonium isotopes. By likewise bombarding with electrons some 70,000 tons of spent fuel rods from nuclear power plants, you can turn the stuff into roughly 230 pounds of lower level material."

With domestic and foreign commercial nuclear junk piling up nationwide, along with all the irresponsibly unregulated military waste, transmutation's day may come. The dangers of nuke transportation never have and apparently never will be adequately addressed. Trainloads of hazardous materials travel through the Rail City of Sparks every day.

Sen. Neal proposed a job-creating research program at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. Renamed as the Nevada National Security Site last year, it is looking for new business.

After the process is developed, building several strategically located plants would provide an optimal solution. Identifying the safest and shortest transportation routes must be the priority.

Tuesday might prove an interesting evening to see if one of the dimmest bulbs in the ledge can shed any light on Nevada's nuclear addiction and affliction.

Or you can picket the place.

AFTERGLOW. Nukies like to tout the pseudo-fact that outside of the 1979 Three Mile Island disaster in Pennsylvania, there has never been another major nuclear event in this country.

Residents of Arco, Idaho, might disagree. Arco likes to brag that it was the first U.S. community electrified by nuclear power.

Yes, but on Jan. 3, 1961, its reactor melted down, causing three deaths.

"It was the world's first (and only U.S.) fatal reactor accident," according to Wikipedia.

The official website of the oft-renamed Idaho National Laboratory all but ignores the disaster, but does trumpet its safety research after the Three Mile Island nuking.

BLAST FROM THE PAST. I had the honor of associating with eminent utility economist David S. Schwartz during the 1981 Nevada legislative session.

"Nuclear plants provide very low cost power — when they work," Dr. Schwartz once quipped, noting the huge amounts of costly downtime experienced by fragile nuke plants.

Travus T. Hipp was more pithy: "Nuclear plants are the most expensive way to boil water ever devised by man."

DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN. On Friday, a Gomorrah South judge stopped the North Las Vegas city council from holding a re-vote in one precinct where an ineligible voter cast a ballot.

On election night, the challenger beat the incumbent councilcritter by one vote.

That rang a bell.

In the 1980 Republican primary for a southwest Reno state assembly seat, Patty Cafferata likewise defeated Bob Kerns by a single vote.

Kerns went to court where a registered Democrat, who had mistakenly been given a Republican ballot, testified that she voted for Mrs. Cafferata.

Judge John Barrett ruled that there was no way to corroborate her assertion and he could thus not call it a tie. He added that he hoped whoever eventually won would address the gap in state law about such an issue.
That apparently never happened.

Kinda like the lack of rules governing congressional vacancies.

SHORT SHOTS. Check this column at for the Barbwire.TV schedule locally and around Nevada. I have included in the current flight reruns of my TV special on the Employee Free Choice Act, a campaign promise the president and congressional Democrats seem to have long forgotten.

You can also view on demand 24/7 by clicking here.

I sincerely hope you and yours find something joyful to celebrate on Monday.

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 volunteer your time or treasure or both.

It's important.

Be well. Raise hell.

Special thanks to wise man Lewis Black for "red, white and screwed." He oughtta know.

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
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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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