Corporate bake sales for broken governments
Expanded from the 9-18-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Updated 9-20-2011
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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

I've lived too long on the High Desert Plantation.

Everything old is new again and none of it works. Instance in point: the Reno Gazette-Journal ballyhooing of the Ready for Life Community Compact.

It must be important because advertising is running in the RGJ.

The idea is to involve lotsa people to support education. Their website, all the publicity and all the ads make no mention of Nevada's grotesquely underfunded education system.

It's the equivalent of having a bake sale to try to reduce the national debt.

But at least they are passing out free t-shirts.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. In 1986, two or three guys got drunk at lunch and decided to form what became The Biggest Little City Committee. The RGJ publicized the hell out of a formative meeting at the Peppermill. Several hundred showed up. Task forces were appointed to try to fix whatever ailed us.

Former Tribune columnist Orland T. Outland and I served on two task forces each. When the late great OTO brought up educational deficiencies caused by starvation budgets, guess what happened? (He talked about raising taxes on the gambling industry, fergawdsakes.)

When I came up with a borderline ingenious (and cheap) idea that would help both tourism and economic diversification at the same time, guess what happened?

After one year, BLCC faded away, put on the back burner by the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce. Mssrs. Barbano and Outland were informed, after a long silence, that their respective task forces had been eliminated.

Unlike Ready for Life, we didn't even get t-shirts.

Or kissed afterward.

SAME OLD SONG. As former Tribune writer Dennis Myers has observed about similar undertakings, the concept depends on the idea that the people causing the community's problems can be depended upon to solve them.

Band-Aids slapped on gushing gunshot wounds once again. The Nevada way.

AMODEI LOOSELY TRANSLATED: OMG! Newbie Nevada Republican Congressman Mark Amodei's first vote came in support of union busting.

Based on substantial smoking gun evidence, the National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that Boeing is starting a new plant in non-union South Carolina in order to break its unionized Washington state workforce.

That's illegal.

The bill Amodei supported would basically legitimize the longtime employer technique of moving work away from unions. If Boeing's barons thought they could get the work done in Bangladesh, they would.

A lot has already been transferred to China, which insists on transfer of full information. In other words, if you want our cheap labor, you have to commit slow suicide by giving us your technology.

Much of our heavy industry has already been exported. Perhaps national security is the only concern keeping Boeing in the U.S.

GOP Light:
How the Democrats lost their way and screwed the working poor

By Dennis Myers
Reno News & Review 6-17-2010

Anatomy of a failed presidency
By Jake Highton
Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-14-2011

CAROLINA ON MY MIND. A few weeks back, I noted that the Democratic National Convention would be set up and torn down using non-union labor in Charlotte, North Carolina. Organized labor expressed righteous rage. Things have gone from bad to worse.

A passel of building trades unions have announced that they will not be attending the event in the least-union state in the country. The choice of Denver in 2008 created similar problems but this is much worse.

Most people don't know it, but organized labor was recently served with notice not to criticize the Obama administration or face recriminations. That's a helluva way to treat your best friend and ATM machine.

Adding insult to injury, the Donkeydingdongs scheduled the convention on Labor Day weekend.

WONDER WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THIS GUY? "Committed to reversing the shrinkage of the American middle class," a long-forgotten Nevada Democratic congressional candidate in 1984 said
"current domestic policy is unfair. Eleven percent of the nation's families have left the middle class in the past six years, three percent have moved up, eight percent moved down. Lower- and middle-wage earners have seen their after-tax income hurt the most. We need fairness in the tax code, not more help-the-rich schemes."

He lost badly in the year of re-coronation of King Ronald the Vague. "Morning in America" became mourning in America soon enough. At least he ran as a Democrat and not GOP-light.

"We can't let the middle class slide into poverty," stated last Friday's editorial in the same Reno Gazette-Journal that ridiculed him and endorsed his properly conservative Reaganaut opponent.

SCARE RACES. What happened at the Reno National Championship Air Races last Friday has been feared forever. The only darker forecast lay in what would happen if one of those planes crashed into a nearby residential neighborhood or school.

GOING POSTAL. A couple of items were missing from alarms about the basic shutdown of Reno's main post office. First, under one scenario Reno loses its postmark. Second and more important, reports ignored the longtime money-losing subsidization of junk mail, newspapers and magazines. Like expensive long distance used to keep Ma Bell's local rates low before AT&T's big breakup 30 years ago, first-class postage subsidizes cheap third- and fourth-class services. What's needed, as they say in the public utility regulatory racket, is a fully-allocated cost of service study.

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.

THE RIGHT TO ARM BEARS. On the Idaho-Montana-Canada border last Friday, a grizzly killed a hunter and the hunter's partner killed the grizzly. Philosophically, ethically, morally and especially symetrically, that's fair.

May their spirits rest in peace.

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
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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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