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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.

Visitors: Is America still tough enough?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 8-1-2013 Sparks Tribune
Updated 8-3-2013

   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

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
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


When ex-communists tried to kill Ukraine's leading presidential candidate and then steal his election, people took to the streets and wouldn't leave until the real winner took office.

When Bush the Lesser stole his election, somebody threw a tomato at his inauguration day limo.

That's what I told Ukraine's Svitlana Matiivienko last Monday at the Northern Nevada Labor Temple in Sparks.

At the request of the Northern Nevada International Center, the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council hosted a delegation here to learn about U.S. non-governmental organizations.

We informed them of the most tightly-regulated NGO's (unions) and the most lightly-overseen (secret tax-subsidized political fronts).

With Grzegorz Kot of Krakow, we talked of Lech Walesa, the Solidarity Union electrician who became president of Poland.

I told him how the Central Labor Council used a TV spot Walesa recorded on a 1989 U.S. visit to spark major northern Nevada organizing drives.

Ana Novakovic of Montenegro raised the question of union divisiveness, noting that in her country, some unions support the government and others oppose.

She wanted to know if American workers are willing to fight.

Are we courageous like the citizens of the Philippines and Ukraine when their elections were stolen?

Tough enough to take to the streets like the people of Dubai, Tunisia and Egypt?

George Mayamiko Jobe told us how his fellow Malawi citizens coalesced behind the country's largest labor union when the government wanted to oust its entire leadership.

"In many ways, we are victims of our own success," stated longtime Painters & Allied Trades leader Todd Koch, adding that so much is now taken for granted.

Many don't remember who gave them Social Security, retirement plans, health care, safety and overtime laws, the weekend, the increasingly endangered eight-hour day and 40-hour workweek.

You can read detailed U.S. labor history in schoolbooks in other countries but not here, Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada Executive Secretary-Treasurer Paul McKenzie told our six visitors (including Rotanark Soy of Cambodia and State Department representative Marcelo Gandaria from the U.S. embassy in Argentina).

Our young people today don't learn about workers' rights in school or in the media, he noted.

He cautioned our visitors to nurture manufacturing, the loss of which is a principal reason causing union shrinkage in the U.S. and "turning us into a third-world country."

In response to a question from Ms. Matiivienko, Koch noted that U.S. labor political action today is defensive, "trying to keep things from being taken from us as opposed to winning things for our members."

Like trade unionists nationwide, no Nevadans in the room disagreed with the palpable disappointment in President Obama for making broad promises in 2008 "and giving us nothing," then returning to labor for support in 2012.

Mr. Gandaria ask me to give a quick history of American unionism.

I strongly emphasized how the AFL-CIO was used as a conduit to support Walesa and future Pope John Paul II as communism crumbled in Poland a quarter century ago.

Paul Alan of the Industrial Workers of the World (aka The Wobblies) told them how organized labor in the western U.S. was born in Virginia City, which they had just visited.

I have been honored to participate in several such events and they always leave me with a feeling of hope for the world and a sense of foreboding about us.

Are we tough enough to fight back anymore?

If our fragile, fragmented, weak, selective and sporadic economic recovery turns into Great Depression II, we may find out the hard way.

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...

Other International Incidents

In 2005, I had the honor of educating a university law school dean from Thailand about the besieged state of American unions. Dr. Khettai Langkarpint was shocked to find out that the United States is far from being a workers' rights paradise.

In 2008 at the once and future Reno-Sparks community TV station, I got to meet with a group of journalists from throughout Africa. I obtained their e-mail addresses and still stay in contact with my "Africa Corps."

In 2009, I met with a group of radio and TV news people from the dictatorship of Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in south central Asia near Afghanistan.

They were afraid to say anything either thru a State Department interpreter or on-air. I was only able to convince them all to say "hello" and wave to the audience on my live TV talk show. I sent them all home with "Union Yes" lapel pins from Laborers' Union Local 169.

All of the July 29 guests spoke English and they all left with Northern Nevada Central Labor Council and Union-Yes pins.

Andrew Barbano

Read more about our 2013 visitors

...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
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 © 1982-2013 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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