Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


Site map
SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions

Je Suis Charlie

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

¡Viva Chávez!
César Chávez Celebration XV / Celebración de César Chávez XV
Wednesday 29 March 2017
/ Miércoles 29 de Marzo 2017
2017 info and highlights from the record-breaking 2016 event at Circus Circus Reno

All the news you never knew you needed to know—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

   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.
   Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
That's how it goes.
Everybody knows.

I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016

Smoot, smut and stash
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 1-31-2017 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

Buy gold and silver. Stash with cash in coffee cans. Bury same in your backyard.


Support Don Dondero next
Note: Alas and alack, Dondero did not make it in 2015.
Wait 'til next year!

Barbwire wins 7th Nevada Press Association award


6-pack: BRONZE 2014
Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake / 4-18-2013

The 2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon / 5-30-2013

The politics of media ga-ga boosterism / 3-20-2014

We Don't Need No Education—> Neverending Barbwire Series

Watch for show times.
Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

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 Barbwire.TV archives

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

Tomorrow's news today —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

Such was the advice people from the old country gave their American-born offspring as the Great Depression metastasized. I heard it from my mother and I'm passing it along to you.

There's a bad moon on the rise. The moonhowlers are back from the dead and ready to party. Smoot and Hawley ride the Kondratieff Wave once again.

SMITING SMOOT AND KEEL-HAULING HAWLEY. The infamous duo sponsored the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff.

The two Republicans started out with piece of agricultural protectionist legislation but by the time it hit President Hoover's desk, it was festooned with penalties for thousands of other products. Henry Ford hisself almost convinced Hoover not to sign it but he did so to his everlasting ignominy.

"Not since Herbert Hoover has a US president been so down on free trade, and Hoover was the man who signed off on Smoot and Hawley’s bill," wrote London Guardian correspondent Dominic Rushe last Sunday.

"Hawley, an Oregon congressman and a professor of history and economics, became a stock figure in the textbooks of his successors thanks to his partnership with the lean, patrician figure of Senator Reed Smoot, a Mormon apostle known as the 'sugar senator' for his protectionist stance towards Utah’s sugar beet industry," Rushe noted.

"Before he was shackled to Hawley for eternity, Smoot was more famous for his Mormonism and his abhorrence of bawdy books, a disgust that inspired the immortal headline 'Smoot Smites Smut' after he attacked the importation of Lady’s Chatterley’s Lover, Robbie Burns' more risqué poems and their like as 'worse than opium … I would rather have a child of mine use opium than read these books.'

"But it was imports of another kind that secured Smoot and Hawley’s place in infamy," Rushe noted.

Just as Saint Ronald Reagan scores eternal conservative cred for many initiatives started by the still-scapegoated Jimmy Carter, President Hoover started programs that President Franklin Roosevelt continued.

Alas and alack, Hoover was hamstrung by his secretary of the treasury, Andrew W. Mellon, who felt that government had no place tinkering with the economy.

Legendary economist John Kenneth Galbraith called Mellon "a passionate advocate of inaction."

Six decades later, two-time Pulitzer Prize winners Donald Barlett and James Steele noted that the economic speeches of Andrew Mellon and Ronald Reagan were the same.

"The reality of Reagan, not the Republicans' legend, assigns all blame for the early-1980s recession to Jimmy Carter and all credit for the subsequent recovery to the sainted Ronald Reagan," Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in the Jan. 27 New York Times.

"In fact, that whole cycle had almost nothing to do with Reagan policies," he added.

He's not far off. The triple-dip recession was caused by the tight-money policies of Carter Federal Reserve boss Paul Volcker. He succeeded in finally breaking the back of inflation rooted in the deficit spending for the Vietnam War, but he broke the American economy as well. Reagan did more harm than good in his first year. The economy began to recover only when Volcker opened the monetary flood gates in early mid-1981.

"What Reagan did do, however, was blow up the budget deficit with military spending and tax cuts," Krugman continued.

"This drove up interest rates which drew in foreign capital. The inflow of capital, in turn, led to stronger dollar which made the US manufacturing uncompetitive. The trade deficit soared — and the long-term decline in the share of manufacturing in overall employment accelerated sharply. Notably, it was under Reagan that talk of 'deindustrialization' and the use of the term 'Rust Belt' first became widespread.

"It's also worth pointing out that the Reagan-era manufacturing decline took place despite a significant amount of protectionism, especially a quota on Japanese car exports to America that ended up costing consumers more than $30 billion in today's prices," Krugman noted.

"The biggest losers, as with health care, will be white working-class voters who were foolish enough to believe that Donald Trump was on their side," Krugman predicted.

Economists and we of lesser intellectual and moral gravitas have long debated the impact of Smoot-Hawley protectionism. Many assert that the Great Depression was made worse and elongated thanks to Smoot-Hawley.

The law arguably kept the US economy in the doldrums until WW2 finally pulled us out.

Now comes Tsar Donald Vladimirovitch Trump with patrician protectionism promising instant replay.

Don't say I didn't warn you. Twice.

A dozen years ago, I wrote about Nikolai Kondratieff (1892-1938), a Russian who identified world economic cycles of roughly 75 years.

"We are now at the edge of the fabled Kondratieff Wave which forecasts a cyclical tsunami, a major economic contraction followed by a flood of widespread destruction," I stated on 29 May 2005.

Presidents Bush the Lesser and Obama stuck stopgap fingers in the dyke but the continuing sideways slide helped install the Orange Tsar into his very white White House.

Our big banks remain the biggest casinos in the world, funded with low-interest money that they loan back to the government at a profit, with any losses insured by taxpayers.

The wave looms. Bury your coffee cans deep.

IMMORTALITY. Smoot and Hawley have their immortality, I'll take another.

"Thank you for (last week's) editorial on wonder! You articulated exactly my thoughts over the years. I cut out the sentence about mystery, surprise and fear and put it on my refrigerator! Thought you'd like to know you really touched my soul!"

So wrote a Sparks reader named Karen.

I'll proudly hang with the refrigerator magnets rather than the smutty strumpetry of Smoot and Hawley.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan and editor of E-mail <> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.


END OF TIMES SURVIVAL KIT. Defend yourself with humorous or humorless but always-peerless predictions for 2017 by subscribing to the Barbwire Confidential News Service.

Last year's dark foreshadowings unfortunately became reality, so I suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/

Subscribe today to get the exclusive End of Times Retrogression, a Procession for Progression, an Obsession to relieve Depression, Proselytizing Prayer for Divine Intercession at the Legislative Session. Don't wait— procrastination is the devil's dislocation. Hie thee hence to BallotBoxing.US/

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY: FEEL UP YOUR FIRE METER. The Reno Gazette-Journal did big spreads on three consecutive 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.

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

  Stay tuned.

  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.

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

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

Andrew Barbano
is a 48-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.

Peruse the Underbelly of the News —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions | 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/cabellyup, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
We Don't Need No Education
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2017 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 48-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

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins