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Aug. 2012-Aug. 2013: the Barbwire's Silver Anniversary Year
Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Bagging black bucks in the Gunshine State
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-18-2013 Sparks Tribune
Updated 7-20 and 7-24-2013

   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

"The law doesn't care what's right or wrong, only what's legal or illegal."

— A line spoken by actor Bo Hopkins in an episode of the 1970's James Garner
TV series The Rockford Files. Life imitates art.

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



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Updated 8-30-2011
Reruns 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


George Zimmerman often went out hunting and finally bagged himself a young black buck.

Had there been no public outcry, he could have done like more than 500 fellow killers in the 22 states with "Stand Your Ground" laws: Just say he felt threatened, then walk away to wash off the blood.

And maybe look for a good taxidermist to mount the trophy.

Zimmerman pales in comparison to an angry white guy named Michael David Dunn.

Nine months after Trayvon Martin was murdered, Dunn pulled up to a Jacksonville, Florida convenience store.

A Dodge Durango with four black teens occupied the adjoining parking place, loud music playing.

"I hate that thug music," Dunn told his girlfriend.

Dunn ordered the teens to turn it down.

The driver did.

Jordan Davis, a passenger in the back seat, turned it back up.

An argument escalated.

"You're not gonna talk to me like that," Dunn shouted and pulled a gun.

The Durango driver yelled "duck" and sped a short distance under a hail of bullets, nine of which hit the vehicle, three of which hit and killed Jordan Davis.

Dunn left the scene but bystanders got his license number.

"No!" Ron Davis sobbed when informed. "My son's dead because his music was too loud?"

Ron Davis told Rolling Stone writer Paul Solotaroff that when Dunn was arrested, he said "They defied my orders. What was I supposed to do if they wouldn't listen?"

Dunn is currently being held without bail and may well become the next George Zimmerman.

Everywhere but Ohio, prosecutors must be able to prove a defendant was not acting in self defense.

The accused need only assert that he/she felt threatened.

Looks like a bull market for mind readers.

"I don't have to prove the threat, just that Mike Dunn believed it," Dunn's lawyer says.

The Zimmerman jury was instructed to follow Gunshine State law.

"Stand Your Ground" is the latest in a long line of masterful National Rifle Association handgun marketing ploys.

"In the eight years since the passage of Stand Your Ground, self-defense killings have more than tripled in Florida, and prosecutors sometimes have little choice but to accept the shooter's story: The only other witness is in the morgue," Solotaroff wrote. [Read the entire story.]

"It's been a godsend for violent ex-cons who're adept at gaming the system."

Led by former NRA President Marion [irony alert!] Hammer, Florida has loosened its gun laws every year for the past 19 or so. Here's Solotaroff's synopsis:

"So loud and bullying was the pressure from pro-gun zealots that, by 1987, Florida's legislators buckled, overhauling the law. It became a shall-issue state, meaning that authorities must grant permits to carry concealed, loaded weapons to anyone who doesn't fall into a narrow category of exceptions, including convicted felons or those with prior commitment to mental institutions.

"This meant, for instance, that men arrested for stalking their girlfriends were free to show up on their doorsteps with enough stopping power to drop an ox. Women pulled over for a DUI? Approved. Psychotic college students who were symptomatic but not committed? Approved.

"For the crazed and criminal-minded, it was spring break meets jailbreak.

"Y'all come down and see us – we're one-stop shopping!

"Several things happened next in quick succession. State residents applied for permits in droves (at last count, Florida was granting 15,000 a month) and flooded Walmart for stylish Sig Sauers to slip into their purses or blazers. Gunmakers, bereft about the rifle business, which had tanked with the decline of deer hunting, saw a huge upside in pistol sales and avidly began funding NRA efforts to rewrite the carry laws in other states. Working under the noses of the mainstream media, which, to their disgrace, did little reporting on this putsch, gun lobbyists fanned out across the nation racking up triumph after triumph.

"Today, you can carry a loaded semiauto in 37 states in America.

"But gutted gun laws are only useful to shooters if they know they won't be charged for opening fire. In Florida, where gun activists were toasting 18 years of wins and would soon add others to their column (the right to bring loaded weapons to work, so long as you kept them in your car; the right to bar doctors from asking their patients if they had loaded guns around the house; the right to buy rifles used by Army snipers to kill people at a distance of a mile), the state's prolific gun lobbyist, Marion Hammer, rammed home legislation in 2005 that limited the ability of law enforcement to prosecute shooters who had evidence of provocation, no matter how slight.

"Hammer, an ex-president of the NRA and a musket-toting grandma who proudly enrolled her grandkids in the NRA at birth, is a single-issue force field whose mission in life has been the expansion of Second Amendment rights. (Quoth author and gun lobbyist Richard Feldman: 'There is no single individual responsible for enacting more pro-gun legislation in the states than Marion Hammer.')

"Her Stand Your Ground bill, which passed with ease despite being built on a convenient tale – Hammer claimed to have been stalked in a parking garage by six men, one of whom wielded a "long-necked beer bottle" before she pulled out her .38 and aimed – gave anyone who deemed himself under attack the right to fire first and explain later.

"Yes, you'd have to tell your side to the authorities, but it'd be on prosecutors to prove you weren't acting in self-defense, and once covered you couldn't be charged for your part in the shooting or be sued for damages by the victim's family."

Homicides are up in all the SYG states and down almost everywhere else, Solotaroff noted.

The law has provided drug gangs with get-out-of-jail-free cards.

An SYG bill passed in Nevada's 2011 legislative session.

What do you get when you cross SYG with well-funded defense teams adept at jury selection?

An entire generation of well-armed OJ's like George Zimmerman.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.


HONOR YOUR DON. Keep sending comments supporting legendary Nevada photographer Don Dondero (1920-2003) for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.

His life's work appeared worldwide, including this newspaper.

Enlist in the campaign to install Big Don.

Please send me your memories and endorsements via e-mail or to P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

The Barbwire got the late Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Guy Richardson elected last year.

Let's go for a repeat.

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
                              — Jimmy Breslin



BARBWIRE.TV. Support the return of community TV to these parts.

If last year's elections didn't convince you of the need, the 2013 legislature certainly should have.

Join up. You may donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me.

This is important.

Thank you.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)


Andrew Barbano is a 44-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 presence of all colors gives you black
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-25-2013 Sparks Tribune

Justice for Trayvon rallies scheduled for July 20 in Reno, Las Vegas and nationwide

A Most American Way to Die
If you're an unarmed black teen in Florida, someone can gun you down – and they might get away with it
Paul Solotaroff / Rolling Stone / 4-25-2013

Irony Alert: In one of author Mickey Spillane's best-selling 1950's mystery novels, hard-boiled New York private eye Mike Hammer informs a bad guy whom he is about to execute in cold blood that "I've got it all figured out, right down to the self-defense plea." Could Marion Hammer be a long-lost relative? Life imitates art.

Death panels hard at work right here in River City
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-4-2013 Sparks Tribune

Clarence Thomas, Little Anthony & the Imperials
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-27-2013 Sparks Tribune

Rosy the poll dancer's destructive seduction
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-20-2013 Sparks Tribune

...and more ammo...

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing Barbwire series

The Post-Dated Recession: Pay me now or pay me later
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Post-dated Recession
By Joshua H. Silavent / Daily Sparks Tribune / 5-3-2011

Union decline and rising inequality in two charts
by Colin Gordon
Economic Policy Institute / 6-5-2012

Used in
journalist Mark Robison's extensive Hard Labor: Nevada unions tout role in helping workers, firms, economy (Sunday 2 Sept. 2012 Reno Gazette-Journal, page one, Reno Rebirth section of the print edition). Union men Jim Burrell, Paul McKenzie and Guy Louis Rocha did the movement proud. Not included in the RGJ online edition.

The Barbwire Labor Day column
Reno Gazette-Journal / 9-3-2012

Nevada Press Assn. Better Newspaper Contest
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 | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
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Copyright © 1982-2013 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 44-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 moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

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