Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


ATTRACTIVELY ACTIVE CAMPAIGN — Laws of Attraction and Titanic star Frances Fisher campaigning for Bernie in Nevada with her chauffeur and chaperone, Annalise Gardella of Reno. (Frances Fisher photo)

Reno 2-20-2016 — My one brush with stardom and I was dressed for it in my CWA 9413 Rosie the Riveter t-shirt which declares "A woman's place is in her union!" Ms. Fisher, a longtime union member, of course agreed. More important, she agreed to be seen with the likes of me.

Je Suis Charlie

¡Viva Chávez!
César Chávez Celebration XIV / Celebración de César Chávez XIV
Wednesday 30 March 2016
/ Miércoles 30 de Marzo 2016
Circus Circus Reno

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   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...
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   and a long red rose. That's how it goes.
   Everybody knows.

— Leonard Cohen

Nevada caucuses: Star-studded or star-crossed?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 2-23-2016 Sparks Tribune / Updated 3-8-2016

Democrats for Trump
Running Mate Revealed

At last Saturday's Democratic beauty contest, I became quickly transfixed by a petite redhead wearing sunglasses and working her i-Phone.

I knew that face, but from where?


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Note: Alas and alack, Dondero did not make it in 2015.
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Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

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Be well. Raise hell.


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Wow. A-list actress Frances Fisher who starred in two best-picture Oscar winners, Titanic and Unforgiven. She played Kate Winslet's mother in the latter and Julianne Moore's mom in Laws of Attraction with former James Bond Pierce Brosnan.

I told her she looked too young to have played either mother (all three are actually close in age). That's why she's a great actress — and an active union member, too. What's not to like? (Dick Van Dyke and Susan Sarandon also campaigned for Sen. Bernie Sanders in these parts last week.)

Ms. Fisher had just traveled across Nevada's northerly tier, introducing Sen. Sanders in Elko and making campaign stops in Winnemucca and Fernley. Bernie carried nine Nevada counties to six for Hillary Clinton with two ties, a classic Nevada election with Gomorrah South eclipsing a northern edge.

Ms. Fisher sent me photos of her travels which I will upload with the expanded web edition of this column at (I also scored a selfie!)

She found that Bernie is cool with rural cowboys and NRA-types who simply cannot abide Hillary's candidacy.

Given that Donald Trump cracks the liberal base by appealing to angry blue collar Democrats, that's a very bad sign. Bernie can hold those Dems, Hillary cannot. And two of five union members are already suicidal Republicans — dammit.

Reacting to the Hillaryesque canard that as a former non-partisan senator, Sanders could not accomplish anything in the White House, Ms. Fisher noted that his record demonstrates he has gathered legislative support from all points of the political spectrum.

She noted how young people embrace him. I related my longheld observation that in three areas of American life, people want daddy to reassure them that everything's going to be alright: Governor (not U.S. Senator), network news anchor and president.

I ventured as much on a TV newscast in 2006 wherein I accurately predicted that square-jawed Congressman Jim the Dim would defeat 90-pound soakin' wet State Sen. Dina Titus for governor. I added that the recently appointed Katie Couric would fail anchoring CBS News. People prefer a grandfatherly Walter Cronkite to tuck them in from the newsroom or oval office.

I told Ms. Fisher that Bernie could thus become the most popular president since JFK.

Ms. Fisher told me that she recently received an invitation to an upcoming Beverly Hills fundraiser for Mrs. Clinton, admission: $2,700 per person, the max. The hosts can also apparently bundle $27,000 above the per-person limit. Ms. Fisher recognized the high irony in the fact that the average Bernie contribution remains a paltry $27.

In her victory speech in Henderson, Mrs. Clinton noted that most of her contributors have given "under $100."

I get at least four e-mails a day from the Clinton organization asking me for $1.00 and often adding that Sen. Sanders' lofty goals cannot be accomplished.

The 2016 Democratic primary thus needs a good Hollywood working title. Borrowing from the best advertising campaign ever launched (Volkswagen Beetle 1959-69), how about "Big Dreams vs. Think Small."

On to Beverly Hills.

Should Sen. Sanders lose, I fear that the young people he motivated will fall into the same abyss as the Baby Boomers after the Kennedy-King assassinations and largely drop out of politics.

I wrote last week that the cycles of history portend GOP November victory.

So get out the old 45's, cue up Crosby, Stills and Nash and get ready for "tin soldiers and Nixon comin', we're finally on our own."


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


Black History Month in word and dance: Feb. 26 6:00-8:00 p.m.—The Swan Soars Again
L. Martina Young, PhD, internationally noted dance artist, writer and scholar on myth, will sign her new Swan Book 3 — a poetical inquiry in dance, text & memoir at Verita Black Prothro's Veritas Empowerment Boutique
Reno Town Mall, S. Virginia Street across from the Atlantis Hotel and the Reno-Sparks Convention Center

Reno Black History Month Slow Roll Bike Tour 10:00 a.m. Feb. 27
Contact: Genevieve Parker (775) 323-4488

Reno-Sparks NAACP Black Lives Matter Poetry Contest
3:00-5:00 p.m. Saturday Feb. 27
Paradise Park Community Center, Oddie Blvd. at El Rancho Drive
First Prize: $100 cash / 2nd: $50 restaurant certificate / 3rd $25 movie theatre gift pack
Additional prize donations gratefully accepted
Open to all poets / Please bring three pieces on political/racial issues.
Original work only, please keep presentations to five minutes or less.
Information: Branch President Patricia Gallimore (775) 846-2952
Branch Youth Advocate Christin Smith (775) 544-2288






And don't forget César Chávez Celebration XIV March 30.

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

The Underbelly of the News—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

BARBWIRE WEB EXTRAS... TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY: FEEL UP YOUR FIRE METER. The Reno Gazette-Journal did big spreads on threeconsecutive Sundays (Sept. 14, Sept. 21 and Sept. 28, 2014) on NV Energy smart meter fires. Welcome aboard. Barbwire readers were two years ahead on the fire meter issue. (Touch a Smart Meter, Go to Jail — 11 October 2012)

FIRE METER UPDATES: THE NEVADA FIRE MARSHALL'S INVESTIGATION concluded "don't worry, be happy." I'm still worried and will continue fondling NVE's precious equipment —> If your smart meter feels very hot, not just from sunshine, call 911.

In its Sunday 21 Dec. 2014 front page headline major story, the Reno Gazette-Journal published results of the NVEnergy-commissioned "don't worry, be happy" echo study. On 1-27-2015, the RGJ published an analysis based on veteran reporter Anjeanette Damon's review of more than 1,000 pages of documents. Barbwire bottom line: NVE handles this like auto manufacturers handle defects —> It's cheaper to pay legal settlements after people are injured or killed than to fix the problem.

Don'tcha worry 'bout a thing! If you can't trust your power company, whom can you trust?

Smoking guns: Rooftop solar assassination Energy War Room

DIDN'T THEY MAKE A MOVIE CALLED "THE INCREDIBLES"? On 2-6-2015, the RGJ reported that the Public Utilities Commission has ordered NVE to hire an independent laboratory to review the material.

UPDATE: The report said all is well. I still recommend feeling up your fire meter on a regular basis.

ANTE INTO THE GAME: Support the new season of Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is. A thousand thanks to those who keep sending show suggestions.

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

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  I encourage you to donate to the cause at Barbwire.TV/ The medium that shapes public opinion needs at least one refuge where it is not filtered through the distorted green eye shades of prissy corporate accountants for whom profit is the only priority; where self-censorship is the journalist's normal work environment and where all sins of omission are tacitly encouraged and forgiven with the wave of a balance sheet. This is important. We've got a lot of work to do.

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

Andrew Barbano is a 47-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 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 Sparks Tribune since 1988.

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History foreshadows a GOP November win
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 2-16-2016 Sparks Tribune / Updated 2-19-2016

Psycho-spying the presidential pretenders
Psychological profiles of candidates and presidents
Previous analyses of Justice Clarence Thomas and President Obama proven correct
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 2-9-2016 Sparks Tribune

Donald Trump: from ivory tower to Hightower
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 2-2-2016 Sparks Tribune

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Andrew Barbano is a 47-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.

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