Bullshots and bum watches
Expanded from the 8-14-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
/ Updated 2-24-2015

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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

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

Washoe County District Attorney Dick Gammick is a magician.

Little Richard flew apart like a bum watch over last week's column and did so on camera.

Damning ACLU letter to Washoe County Commission in .pdf format

ACLU letter in text format

Washoe County staff recommendation

Nevada D.A. tries end-around play

On Thursday's statewide Nevada Newsmakers show, Sam Shad asked us about reinstitution of the once-banned "Early Case Resolution Program." (Barbwire "Red, White and Screwed", July 3.)

Sold as a way to save money, it pushes defendants to plead guilty within 72 hours of arrest.

No muss, no fuss, no rights no mas.

Gammick keeps stats favorable to himself but doesn't think it important to track brown, black, undereducated, young and poor people, those most jeopardized by such quickie convicting. Judge for yourself. Click here for reruns and 24/7 webstreaming.

THE BLAME GAME. Now the tale can be told. The person most responsible for the Barbwire was just named poet laureate of the United States.

Philip Levine has won both a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. In his younger days, he labored at the fabled Ford River Rouge Plant and later became an English professor at Fresno State where the son of Italian farm workers took every class he taught.

His wicked sense of humor kept me coming back. If he hadn't made it in literature, he could have scored The Tonight Show as a standup comic. Maybe he'll get there now as the bard of the working class.

Somewhere among all the laughs, us kids learned something.

One day, we were going over the work of some famous writer when Levine came across a particularly poorly composed passage. The comedian left and the slight man with a bird's nest of curly hair and Coke-bottle-bottom spectacles turned gravely serious.

"Bad writing is bad writing," he said, no matter who wrote it. The biggies don't deserve any slack because of who they are.

I didn't know it at the time, but that was the day the Barbwire was born.

BULLFIGHTING IN TONOPAH, PART DEUX. The conquistadores building a 2,764-acre, taxpayer-subsidized solar power array have applied for all the usual Nevada charity: 20-year sales, use and property tax breaks of 75 percent, corporate welfare that drains funds for schools, roads, parks, police and fire protection.

Last February, Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed a member of his transition team to the Nevada Commission on Economic Development.

Steve Hill is founder and senior vice-president of Silver State Materials, a Gomorrah South outfit which will supply concrete to the Tonopah solar project as a subcontractor to Cobra Energía, the Spain-based company building the thing.

One of the state agencies that will review the applications: the Nevada Commission on Economic Development.

Mr. Hill is rumored to be Gov. El Bruté Obtusé's frontrunner to head an expanded economic diversification apparatus which will give him even more clout over corporate welfare goodies.

These guys make Judge James Russell's conflicts of interest in the congressional race seem picayune.

Russell did not disclose that GOP nominee Mark Amodei was both his former law partner and current business partner in a $500 mining claim.

Hizzoner didn't think this worthy of disclosure when he kept a large number of candidates of all persuasions out of next month's congressional election, geometrically increasing Amodei's chances.

Apologists say the conflicts are small potatoes, but they don't know how law firms peddle juice.

SNAKES ON THE HIGH DESERT PLAIN. Spain-based Cobra Energía will break ground shortly on the Tonopah solar extravaganza even though the project has yet to jump through a passel of regulatory hoops. Serious questions about adequate water remain. A required wage determination study has not been done. The developers have failed to obtain required permits for their materials pit or concrete batch plant.

But hey, it's Nevada and business is business.

MORE GROUNDHOG DAZE. On Thursday, August 18, at 6:00 p.m., the Storey County Planning Commission meets at the court house in Virginia City. Comstock Mining, Inc., will make another run at a special use permit to allow drilling 12 hours a day, seven days a week in a largely residential area.

For info, call 775-847-0321. You may also watch the TV show I did about it. Check the expanded web edition of this column at for th latest statewide Barbwire.TV schedule, viewable 24/7 online.

This is but one reason to support the return of community radio and television to these parts. Go to ReSurge.TV to volunteer your time or treasure or both.

GRIND SIERRA. As reported last week, the new regime at northern Nevada's largest hotel are hiring wholesale temps to replace union and non-union workers. Some soon-to-be-fired longtime Grand Sierra employees are being forced to train their replacements.

The Nevada State AFL-CIO and Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans have scheduled conventions Aug. 21-23 at the property.

Will delegates picket the place? Word is that the culinary union has reached agreement on a new contract, but they don't cover everyone.

At least four other unions represent GSR workers and some have no union at all, including clerical and front desk staff.

For reservations, call India.

MARSHALLING FORCES. The aforementioned Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed Democratic State Treasurer Kate Marshall for Congress on Aug. 11. A GOP operative showed up after most people had left...The California Nurses Assn. will spearhead a demonstration in front of Reno's Bruce Thompson Federal Building at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. The theme: Fix what's broken by taxing the guys who broke it — Wall Street's pimps and thieves. Info at communications and electrical workers national strike against Verizon came to Nevada this past week when Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO showed up at a Verizon retail store in south Reno with handbills advising "Don't Shop@Verizon Wireless". More soon...United Auto Workers Local 2162/AFL-CIO will bring a new GM Chevy Volt all-electric automobilis to the Virginia City Labor Day Parade. The union's boxing coach, George "Battling" Nelson, served as last year's grand marshal and will make an encore appearance in said machine.

BEST HOPE FOR AN OBAMA SECOND TERM: Make sure that a batshit crazy church lady becomes the GOP nominee. Sen. Harry Reid and Newsweek editor Tina Brown may be available to consult.

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
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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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