Followed by a moon shadow

TRAVUS T. HIPP, 1937-2012

ADIÓS, COMPADRE — Our friend Travus, 75, passed away peacefully between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. PDT on 18 May 2012 at his home in Silver City, Nevada. The sun is in eclipse as I write this at 6:30 p.m. on May 20.

SLIGHT CHANGE OF VENUE (5-22-2012) — Adiós in Silver City, Nevada, Saturday, May 26, 2012 —>
The auld church where Travus lived and died is too small for the expected multitude, so gathering, gnoshing and remembering will commence at the Silver City Community Center, 385 High Street, at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Bring food if you want but most important, bring yourself and all your memories. Memorial service starts at High Noon. Travus will be buried next to his rock star companion Lynne Hughes, a short walk away. My remembrance of Lynne from the 3-21-1993 Daily Sparks Tribune will posted with Travus' formal obituary at this website. All memories accepted for permanent posting hereat. Thanks for all your kind words. Keep up the good work and the good fight.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano

Barbano remembers the artist
Reno Gazette-Journal 5-25-2012

NEW — Travus' life story and obituary
Travus' last column in the 5-20 Daily Sparks Tribune
Debra K. Reid photo / Sparks Tribune Jan. 4, 2009

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

Updated 5-25-2012, 6-24-2012, 7-17 and 9-17-2012
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.

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


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 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

Dumbness counts.

Rather than run away from his lack of Washington experience, former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter embraced it and made it the centerpiece of his successful presidential campaign. Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan knew a good idea when he saw one and stole it four years later, using Carter's own strategy against him.

The public relations brilliance of the ex-presidents has not been lost on outgoing Washoe County School District Superintendent Heath Morrison. Last Sunday, the North Carolina Charlotte Observer published three major articles on their new school boss.

The only public criticisms came from the Barbwire and Reno-Sparks NAACP President Lonnie Feemster. We both await feedback from the school district.

Feemster wants to review basic data used to produce Dr. Morrison's miraculous graduation rates.

I requested information on programs designed to allow students to make up lost ground.

Perhaps I already have my answer.

Charlotte Observer education reporter Ann Helms, who spent a week in Nevada researching the Morrison record, wrote that "Morrison introduced a door-to-door campaign to locate the hundreds of students a year who were listed as 'vanished,' along with those who had officially dropped out, and get them into school. If dropouts who are 18 or older enroll in the Washoe Adult High School, they are switched into the 'transfer out' category, which means they're removed from the calculation entirely, counting neither as graduates or dropouts. Morrison says it's better to have those young adults working on their education than sitting at home, but he acknowledges it's too early to say whether they'll be successful." [Reno grad rate jump too good to be true? 5-13-2012]

I have been contacted by longtime local educators who share a very different perspective.

One says door-knocking basically ceases in late September after enrollment numbers have been hyped to obtain maximum funding from the state. Another says door-knocking is a prelude to permanently wipe students off the books as though they never existed, thus artificially inflating the graduation rate, a Carter-Reagan spin from Morrison.

"Yes, in fact Reno's grad rate is too good to be true," an anonymous commenter wrote in response to Helms' blog.

"Charlotte will soon follow because...principals are putting students through APEX classes by the dozens, a computer program where students sit, answer questions and then are given full course credit," the reader stated.

A local teacher with more than 30 years' experience criticized similar Washoe programs where students work online for far less time than they would spend in class. Testing is also done online.

M&M PART DEUX. In this column last week and subsequently online, I have been working to keep the community libraries in Verdi and northeast Reno from being wiped out. Just who can act to save them becomes a circular firing squad.

"The Board of County Commissioners sets your budget," I wrote to Washoe County Library Director Arnold Maurins last week, "but, as you stated at the Library Board's May 17 meeting, the commission has no say on how that budget is allocated, including whether or not to keep Duncan/Traner and Verdi open for the few extra hours they now allow the public after school. If the partnership agreement between the county and library system is dissolved, how much will the two small libraries lose in resources like books and computers?

"I am informed that fully two-thirds of the resources at Duncan/Traner are Library System property, although overhead costs are covered by the school district.

"It appears that county commissioners and administrators could utilize the resource data as they take into consideration passing a final annual budget at their Monday, May 21, meeting, which in turn will drive your decision and that of the library board as to the survival of the two libraries,"
I concluded.

Commissioners and the county manager say they don't want to lose the facilities and that the impetus for gutting them is coming from Maurins who can cover his ass by saying that he's acting on recommendations from a now-defunct citizens advisory committee, a member of which told me last week that they only made up a list of options.

All this ignores that Duncan-Traner is located in the most underprivileged part of town.

Maybe gutting libraries will eventually improve the overall high school graduation rate if many of these kids never enroll in the first place.

A longtime teacher recently informed me that nobody tracks eighth-graders who never make it to high school.

I am again reminded of the timeless observation of former Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas: "A library is a poor man's university."


May 27 —> Memorial service for former Teamsters Local 533 business agent Don Bouma (1945-2011) in Sacramento, Calif. For info, contact Dawn Bouma Eimer.

June 16 —> Reno-Sparks NAACP 67th Annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet, Mandalay Ballroom, Circus Circus-Reno, 6:00 p.m. For sponsorship and ticket info, go to or call Patricia Gallimore (775) 746-9453 or contact The Barbwire.

SUPPORT THE NEVADA CITIZEN TV PROJECT to re-establish a people's channel hereabouts where education is sorely needed. You may donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me, especially if you think great issues like the above demand extensive and rational discussion.

Help give the gift of non-corporate TV to your community. We are making progress toward returning a citizens station to these parts. Your support is both needed and appreciated.

Keep up the good work and the good fight.

Thank you.

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 seventh in a current series on the collapsing future of Nevada education —>

We don't need no education

If you give it away, you can't sell it
How the Beehive State bested Nevada by investing in education rather than prostituting to corporations
High-tax Utah has now surpassed Virginia on the Forbes list of most business-friendly states
Tax-the-workers Nevada is at the bottom of the barrel, as usual
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 7-12-2012

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

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
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Abandon hope, all ye who enter college
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-29-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Mythological Morrison Miracle
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-22-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The marshal is getting outta Dodge
So much for Nevada education's strategic plan + 4/25 Workers Memorial Day commemoration
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-15-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Breaking our own backs: If you have kids, move elsewhere
Have teachers made a deal with the devil? / St. Mary's firings begin
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-8-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Blast from the past: SUING FOR SCHOOLS
Barbwire 2-21-2010 / Updated 8-30-2011
Click here to view on demand plus other programs from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire.TV archives

...and more ammo...

Proper Education vs. Public Relations
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 4-26-2012

David Brooks, Diane Ravitch and the education wars
John Merrow / LearningMatters.TV / 7-6-2011

Gates, Broad: Who is running Americaís schools and are they running them aground?
Maureen Downey / Atlanta Journal-Constitution / 5-9-2011
"Interesting Charlotte Observer story this weekend on whether the schools there are under the control of philanthropist Eli Broad, whose foundation, the Broad Foundation, has given Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools almost $3.3 million in recent years. (Broad has been a big funder in Georgia as well, and recognized Gwinnett last year with its highly coveted prize for being the nationís top urban district.)..."

Who's the power behind Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools?
If you follow the money, you'll find the Broad Foundation. And skeptics are questioning its clout.
Ann Doss Helms / Charlotte Observer / 5-8-2011

The Broad Report
Make no mistake, "what is happening in large urban districts today has been carefully orchestrated by vulture philanthropists." — Susan Ohanian

How to tell if your school district is infected by the Broad virus
Seattle Education / 4-19-2011

Why Charlotte-Mecklenburg parents should sue Peter Gorman and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board
Schools Matter / 4-4-2011

Demonizing Public Education
Diane Ravitch / Education Week 10-26-2010

Ms. Ravitch reviewed the film Waiting for Superman for the New York Review of Books

POWERFUL PUNDITORY PANJANDRUMS: Compelling guest commentary

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

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

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
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 © 1982-2012 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.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins