If you can't win, be spectacular
Expanded from the 8-28-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 8-30, 9-6, 10-16, 11-16-2011

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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

In 2011, we go for the Sombrero


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Updated 8-30-2011
Now rerunning on Carson-Dayton 226

Additional programs on Boulder City cable. Go to and then
go to the BCTV link.

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

Race driver Eddie Sachs (1927-1964) died in the most spectacular disaster in the history of the Indianapolis 500 and probably in the entirety of motorsports.

He perished in a wall of flame and smoke perhaps a hundred feet high. The extroverted Sachs remains best known for the high-hearted quip that became his epitaph: "If you can't win, be spectacular."

Which is an appropriate theme for Nevada's statewide congressional contest.

The Democratic Party should have taken Sachs' advice. Alas and alack, in the spirit of Obama-Pelosi unilateral surrender, they seemed to concede the contest early on.

As I noted on July 17, "while Democrat Kate Marshall has raised more money, Mark Amodei is running unanswered TV. Bad news for the state treasurer in a district gerrymandered to elect only Republicans for the past three decades."

There is nothing more powerful than stand-alone commercials. Sharron Angle agrees. The Church Lady might be crazy, but she's right about Sen. Harry Reid's crushing TV blitz that broke just 36 hours after the primary.

Angle did not get on the air for a month. By then, Reid had defined her before she could define herself, an affliction almost always fatal in follytix.

The GOP has done the same thing to Marshall. Although she reportedly had more money last June, her campaign sat shiva while Republicans launched an air war.

Marshall started strongly, voicing legitimate criticisms of the Obama health care law and the inadequacy of the federal stimulus program. She has backed off since.

During last Thursday's televised debate, when asked how she differs from her party, she noted that she favors continuation of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy as a spur to small business.

As Sarah Palin might say, how's that going so far?

Her party is not opposed to the cuts. Democrats supported continuation of the Bush red ink as part of the debt ceiling "Satan Sandwich." She added that she opposes a tax amnesty for corporations who repatriate overseas profits and instead favors tax breaks linked to specific job creation. Again, some Democrats favor the amnesty and some don't. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Las Vegas, wants jobs linkage.

The race has pretty much become a tuneup for Marshall's possible 2014 candidacy to replace term-limited Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto.

Were the Democrats serious about winning, they would take some chances, throw some changeups, make something happen. An aggressive and detailed jobs proposal would be a good start along with another hot pocketbook issue.

"Prior to being elected treasurer, Marshall worked in the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division and was also a senior deputy attorney general for the state assigned to protect small businesses and to prevent gouging at the gas pump," veteran Las Vegas Sun reporter Cy Ryan wrote last May.

Price-fixing at the pump angers everyone, especially when government officials say they are powerless against market forces. Readers of the Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive know otherwise.

Now, the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing the cost of groceries.

Food and fuel prices impact every voter.

The public pines for Joan of Arc and the Democrats offer Barbara Vucanovich Light.

Candidates who run poll-driven campaigns usually end up as pole dancers.

I am chilled at the thought of Congressman Mark Amodei in a g-string stuffed with hundred-dollar bills.

NONE OF THE ABOVE OPTIONS. Independent Helmuth Lehmann gave a good account of himself in last week's debate, making the most important point of all: Go after Wall Street because trillions in unsecured derivative paper can make the current depression look like the good old days.

Since this is not a fully statewide race (part of Clark County is out), Nevada's unique-in-the-nation "none of these candidates" is not available. (It was passed a few decades back because State. Assemblyman Don Mello, D-Sparks, had his shorts in bunch against Supreme Court Justice Al Gunderson.)

Voters can always go to the polls and not vote for any of the four names. Their choice lies between a dingbat from the party of white sheets, a GOP moonhowler who doesn't believe what he's saying, a politically inexperienced unemployed executive (further qualifications for Lehmann), and Ms. Marshall.

It really all boils down to parties — and bragging rights.

Vote for Amodei to further enrich the rich and rape the land as mining's bitch. Or you can vote for Marshall in spite of her weak campaign because she happens to be an excellent and capable public official.

I worked with her on the City of Reno's cable TV committee. She's over-qualified for just about every public office.

Don't penalize her for the sins of all the Obamites mismanaging her campaign.

OUCH! Best zinger of the week comes from "ColinFromLasVegas" on the Las Vegas Sun website.

Deftly skewering Rep. Joe Heck, R-Gomorrah South, and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., he notes "You vote in Amodei, it's even worse than Heck and Hell."


MONOPOLY WATCH. Rumbles in the medical jungle say that Universal Health Services, Inc., a Fortune 500 biggie, is about to acquire seventy percent interest in Reno's St. Mary's Regional Medical Center. Catholic Healthcare West will retain the rest. UHS already partners with CHW in a venture called Nevada Preferred Health Care Providers. Stay tuned. [UPDATE: Prediction comes true. New fraud and corruption charges, federal investigation.]

U-TUBE. Check the expanded web edition of this column at for the latest statewide Barbwire.TV schedule, viewable 24/7 online...Support the return of community radio and television in these parts. Go to ReSurge.TV to volunteer your time or treasure or both.

It's now more important than ever.

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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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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