July 4 Railroad Jobs: We're Red, White and Screwed
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-3-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 8-11-2011

Site map
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

In 2011, we go for the Sombrero


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 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


Over the past 10 days, we were thrown onto the tracks as the twin locomotives of money and power again crushed us — railroad jobs both physical and political.

Barbwire e-list subscribers got exclusive insight on the multiple fatality Amtrak rail disaster from the driver of the train.

Washoe County Commissioners rolled over for bullet-headed D.A. Dick Gammick and imposed a system to push defendants to plea-bargain within 72 hours of arrest.

And there is such a dearth of help for the oppressed majority of workers that government agencies are referring aggrieved employees to (aargh!) me.

The bottom line: Nevadans on this Interdependence Day weekend remain royally red, white and screwed.

RED BLOOD AND FLASHING LIGHTS. As usual, government regulators do nothing until people die in spectacular fashion with video available. The June 24 Amtrak train and semi-truck holocaust near Fallon fit the criminal profile. Six lie dead with many others injured. Lawyers circle like buzzards and, as always, the mostly likely scapegoat is somebody dead.

As noted by my union brother and friend Ron Kaminkow and fellow engineer Jack Rice of Sparks, that particular crossing has been a disaster waiting to happen for years. But who listens to disposable worker bees when corporate profits are at stake? Fingers have been pointed at the trucking company, Amtrak and the Nevada Dept. of Transportation, but the world has been strangely silent about the elephant fouling the room: Union Pacific.

Like mining companies, railroads have with impunity perpetuated unsafe conditions for well over a century. Where these two predatory dinosaurs are concerned, nothing much changes. The ancient law of the jungle will continue to consume the great unwashed.

With his permission, I posted Mr. Kaminkow's comments at It took tremendous courage for this good man to come forward and call it like he saw it in his rearview mirror when that tractor-trailer t-boned his train. He was immediately hit from so many directions that he asked me to take down the post. For only the third time in almost two decades, I did so. There has always been only one consideration: If asked by the producer of the work, I acquiesce.

He may give me permission to re-publish in the future. In the alternative, the United Transportation Union and Railroad Workers United provided an exclusive and harrowing account of the heroism of railroad staff in getting people off that burning train. It will be linked to the expanded web edition of this column at

WHITE GUYS WILL DO BETTER. With the ACLU and NAACP in opposition, county commissioners funded the DA's railroad job. It brings back a program previously 86'd by the courts. Those soft-on-crime sluggards actually insisted that defendants get vigorous legal representation. Imagine that.

I asked some experienced lawyers about it.

"The old Early Case Resolution program was created between Gammick and the old public defender with a 'wink, wink, nod, nod.' It may have been financially beneficial for the county, but justice was not often served," one attorney told me.

"Do the current PD and Alternative Public Defender know about this? This proposal will bring us back to the less expensive bad old days. Sometimes, you can't save money to subvert justice."

Another wrote "You are right, it will railroad defendants and eliminate a lot of hard working public lawyers. In the short run, it will cost the county more. In the long run, (Gammick's) end run around the public defender will just affect competent counsel representation."

Rebecca Gasca of the American Civil Liberties Union said "We believe (the program) flies in the face of the constitution. It will also disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities."
Which made it a cinch to pass here in Mississippi West. I could'a won bar bets on that one.

BLACK AND BLUE. Doing his part in the ongoing nationwide Republican voter-suppression campaign, Nevada Gov. El Bruté Obtusé vetoed legislation to restore the right to vote to ex-felons who have paid their debt to society. Screw civil rights, we're talking politics here.

UPDATE: 8-11-2011 Greatly expanded and updated edition of the 8-7-2011 column wherein the D.A. comes apart like a cheap watch

BLUE LAWS. A few days ago, a Latina hotel maid got fired as a result of what she asserts was ethnic discrimination. She went to a rural federal government office and asked for help. They gave her my live TV talk line number. I sent her an NAACP complaint form.

Only about one in six Nevada workers is represented by a union. The rest have nowhere to go. Like many of their predecessors, Nevada's attorney general and labor commissioner refuse to enforce state labor law.

Another abused worked called me last week and said that the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had bounced her claim. I could have told her to save the postage.

As a result, I have ordered the broadcast of reruns of my TV special on the Employee Free Choice Act. See the web edition at for times and channels.

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 sign up and/or contribute to the cause.

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
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 © 1982-2011 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.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins