The marshal is getting outta Dodge
Second in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Expanded from the 4-15-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Updated 4-16-2012, 4-17-2012, 4-22-2012, 4-29-2012, 5-7-2012, 5-13-2012, 5-20-2012, 6-24-2012
4-24-2012 Update Dr. Morrison is in Charlotte, NC, today signing his contract to accept the superintendent position.
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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.

Everybody knows the scene is dead
   But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
   What everybody knows.

— Leonard Cohen

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


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Be well. Raise hell.


Click here for selected 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

When your enemy is destroying himself, never interfere — Napolean

Last week, I advised that If you have kids, move someplace else. They will have a hard time getting a decent education here as Nevada plunges ass-first toward the 19th Century.

Somebody has already taken my advice. Washoe County School Superstar Superintendent Heath Morrison wants to get the hell outta Dodge.

The low-hanging fruit has been picked, the PR spin is glorious and his sandals have never gotten wet while walking across Virginia Lake.

Except that black kids are drowning. I can't find recent mention of them on the Washoe County School District's website.

Former Tribune writer Dennis Myers reported in the June 11, 2009, Reno News & Review that "in 2006, the African-American graduation rate nearly reached 50 percent. By last year (2008), it had dropped to a third."

Actually, it was worse. The rate for black males fell from 23 percent in 2006 to 17 percent in 2008 according to statistics developed by former Hug High Principal Debra Feemster, who personally interviewed almost every African-American senior.

These numbers were presented to the new superintendent at a Nov. 2, 2009, Reno-Sparks NAACP education committee meeting. New Deputy Superintendent Pedro Martinez attended (he left for Gomorrah South after a short tenure), along with WCSD elected trustees Estela Gutierrez, Barbara Clark and Dr. Barbara McLaury.

Dr. Feemster, who happens to be married to NAACP President Lonnie Feemster, seriously questioned numbers that had been published by the school district.

"We hired Heath's skill set to address these appalling statistics," Clark responded. "We will not settle for same-old same-old. We need new approaches...You can tell by his hiring, you will see that change. We guarantee you will see the light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

Then, as now, Dr. Morrison trumpeted his "strategic plan" to everyone who would listen. Awhile later at a meeting of the Truckee Meadows Democratic Alliance, I said "Dr. Morrison, this is the third time I've seen some version of your presentation. Tonight is the first time you've mentioned money. You actually used the word 'budget' in your PowerPoint slides. How do you plan to fund all this?"

He responded that he would develop the plan to show the state legislature what must be done to bring the district to excellence and it would be up to them to fund it.


During World War I, the great American humorist Will Rogers asserted that he had come up with a way to sink German submarines that were devastating allied shipping.

"Boil the ocean," he advised. Make it so hot down there that those U-boats would have to surface where they would be easy to pick off.

Which begged the question as to how to boil said ocean.

"That's a detail matter," Rogers winked, "I'm a policy maker."

Which pretty much explains why he who walks on water slid to North Carolina for a job interview.

The America of recent decades has become a moonscape of privatizing the public good for personal profit. Witness the hospitals right here in River City.

Public education is the enemy of private profiteering. So the bad guys starve the beast and get plenty of help from the education establishment.

Last week, I reported how the state teachers' union leadership turned on a dime and now refuses to support a Nevada State AFL-CIO petition to increase education funding through a broad-based business levy on the likes of taxscallion Wal-Mart.

On Sam Shad's NevadaNewsmakers show, recorded on Wednesday, April 4, Nevada State Education Association President Lynn Warne said "we're going to move that initiative forward."

On the same day, she gave an interview to David McGrath Schwartz of the Las Vegas Sun who reported that "the state’s teachers union said Wednesday that it won’t sign off on the latest version of the tax on business profits being proposed by the state’s largest labor union."

Lynn was for it just before she was against it.

Morrison looks smarter than ever. He's driven his hot lap and now he's steering for the east coast.

Nevada remains in great danger of being successfully sued for not discharging her constitutional duty to properly fund education.

Maybe the only solution is to change the state constitution and fold all public school systems. That would immediately solve every budget problem and we would finally own up to the fact that the gambling-mining industrial complex doesn't want or need an educated workforce.

Everybody would get a tax cut. Republican nirvana in the high desert.

Those who can afford schooling for their children could buy from the likes of Andre Agassi or Bishops Gorman and Manogue.

The rest can move somewhere else.

North Carolina, perhaps.

Update 4-24-2012 Dr. Morrison is in Charlotte, NC, today signing his contract to accept the superintendent position.

This year's WMD commemoration will be held at 4:30 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, April 25, at the Victorian Square Amphitheater in downtown Sparks, Nevada. Stay tuned to the Barbwire and tell a friend.

Past commemoration of friends lost

WMD DEPT. On the afternoon of April 25, Nevada will remember workers killed and injured on the job as local unions take part in the national commemoration of Workers Memorial Day.

If you want to participate, contact the chairman of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council's WMD Committee.


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Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 43-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 and 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...

The above column is the second in a current series on the collapsing future of Nevada education —>

We Don't Need No Education, Part VIII
th in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-24-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Morrison & Maurins: M&M's hard to swallow
Seventh in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-20-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

All that's missing is an enemies list
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-13-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Playing Dixieland - The shell game continues
Fifth in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Abandon hope, all ye who enter college
Fourth in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Expanded from the 4-29-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Barbwire 4-22-2012: The Mythological Morrison Miracle

UPDATE 4-17-2012: Teachers refuse to endorse LV Democrat Oceguera for Congress

Barbwire 4-8-2012: Breaking our own backs — If you have kids, move elsewhere

POWERFUL PUNDITORY PANJANDRUMS: Compelling guest commentary

...and more ammo...

Economist: This is a true depression
Elliott Parker Guest Editorial / Las Vegas Sun / 11-27-2011

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place three years in a row.

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 yet

The plight of the paper pushers
The great recession made bashing public workers a national sport
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 11-23-2011

Bury the Bad News with Rose-colored Reporting
How urgent can economic troubles be if leaders say things are getting better?

Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 11-23-2011

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 © 1982-2012 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 43-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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