Piss up a rope: Vote
Expanded from the 9-11-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Updated 9-12 and 9-18-2011
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 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

Here's a cold shower for a warm weekend: We deserve what we get.

How could one sick bastard get an assault rifle to gun down all those people in Carson City? Because we want it that way.

How could Wall Street charlatans game the system to crash the world economy and put so many Americans out on the street? Because we want it that way.

How could the national government be so unresponsive to the needs of a hurting country? Because we want it that way.

America is an adolescent nation, still playing cowboys and Indians. All too often, one of our pimples pops and blood runs in the streets.

Anybody remember the late Fermin Mancilla?

He went on a shooting rampage in a Sparks trailer park just before Sept. 11, 2001. Three thousand murders trumped just a few and the case never made the news again.

The American public can be forgiven a nihilistic mentality. No matter how they vote, things don't seem to get better. The average worker hasn't had a raise since 1973.

As Travus T. Hipp said three decades ago, if voting mattered, they wouldn't let us do it.

Republicans must think it matters, as they are implementing voter suppression techniques across the country — all in the name of combating wholesale voter fraud, a problem that does not exist.

Voters are understandably frustrated at the corporate dominance of both parties. President Obama's jobs speech last Wednesday was a checklist of past Republican positions which now have no chance of passage because Obama endorsed them.

With no viable third parties, perhaps 2012 will be the year when incumbency is finally fatal. Without public financing replacing corporate control of campaigns, nothing else will work to help us as we devolve into Great Depression 2.

And so I offer the above fatalistic bumper sticker for 2012. Piss up a rope: Vote.

Otherwise, we maintain the conservative status quo.

As Porkypine told Pogo in Walt Kelly's comic strip of so long ago, "we have met the enemy and he is us."

DEMOCRATS AND GIANTS FADING FAST. Like the San Francisco baseball team, the Donkeykongs are taking a beating.

In Archie Bunker's New York neighborhood, the congressional seat formerly held by Democrat Anthony Weiner is trending Republican despite a heavy Democratic registration. The Republican unknown is getting the protest vote.

Last year was the third straight general election wherein the voters sent the same message: We're hurting. Do something for us.

Like the Democrats in 2006 and 2008, the Republicans were the only protest vote available in 2010. Once in office, they returned to their old enrich-the-rich and grease-BigOil ways.

If you want a definition of irony, look no further than the half-trillion price tag of the, "jobs" proposal President Obama presented when the Republicans and the NFL would let him.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has long said that the 2009 stimulus was —> drum roll, please — half a trillion too small.

As a result, Obama's case for re-election is basically "it coulda been worse." Not very convincing slogan.

His only chance lies in a slight modification: "You can do worse."

Looking at the likes of Gov. Rick Perry, that just might work. Perry and Rep. Michelle Bachmann share a common attractive trait: They seem committed to their beliefs, even if those viewpoints merit commitment to an asylum. Voters like fighters.

Therein lies a lesson for my friend Kate Marshall. Volunteers calling voters for her campaign have reported a common complaint: "Why won't Kate fight back?"

Republican Mark Amodei has fraudulently accused State Treasurer Marshall of losing $50 million "gambling" the state's money with the bankrupt Lehman Bros. investment firm. Marshall's response has amounted to "he's lying" and not much more.

Several factual defenses have apparently eluded Marshall's consultants.

Marshall, like her New York counterpart, has resorted to trying to scare the hell out of old people. Doesn't look like it's working, and Marshall is up against a congressional district gerrymandered to exclusively elect Republicans since it was established in 1981.

She would be better positioned for a rerun next year had she run a populist campaign offering solutions that voters could relate to.

The cold reality is that both Tuesday races are for little more than bragging rights and it looks like the moonhowlers have the burros at bay.

SCREW THE LAW DEPT. Laborers' Union Local 169 has filed separate legal actions against Washoe County and the Regional Transportation Commission over illegal bid-shuffling.

The union has asked the courts for writs of prohibition mandating re-bidding of two road contracts according to law. That's going to be especially difficult since one of the jobs is due to start on Monday.

The union asserts that both entities were informed that the winning contractors' bids were illegal but still allowed them. A law passed this year forbids bid-shuffling, wherein a general contractor lists subcontractors in its proposal and then replaces them, often doing the job in-house, thus substantially altering the original bid and jacking up profits.

Judge Janet Berry has ordered Washoe County to respond about a Spanish Springs road project. Judge Brent Adams has not yet ruled on the RTC job slated to start Monday in the Plumb Lane area of Reno. Stay tuned.

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 — > unless you think corporate-controlled media is all you need. Stay tuned for updates.

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

POWERFUL PUNDITORY PANJANDRUMS: Compelling guest commentary

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