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Je Suis Charlie
"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." — Joseph Pulitzer

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

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¡Viva Chávez!
César Chávez Celebration XVI / Celebración de César Chávez XVI
Saturday 31 March 2018
/ Sabado 31 de Marzo 2018

Highlights from the record-breaking 2017 event at 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.
   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

Authentic fakes, blonde flaks & grumpy old men
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 7-19-2017 Sparks Tribune / Updated 7-20 and 7-26-2017 / Expansions in blue

Trump spinstress Kellyanne Conway's alternative facts virus has gone viral. I just got a solicitation offering (oxymoron alert!) an "Extensive Range of Authentic Fake Documents."

     "If you have lost or damaged your precious degrees or vital documents and lost every hope in life, we at Superior Fake Degrees can do something for you. We think that you’ll find something in our catalog of services that can cater to your lost hope. Our array of fake diplomas, college degrees and passports are created by our expert team of printers and designers holding wide experience to ensure that these certificates are created to the highest level of quality."
    Looks can kill. An authentic fake appeared an attractive alternative to Hillary the Librarian.
    Corporate moonhowlers know that gruesome messages are best delivered by cute blonde babes. Copying Big Tobacco, conservatives hired Kellyanne, Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter. Last Sunday morning, the Koch-infested American Enterprise Institute fielded Danielle Pletka, a frosted blonde with an English accent. (Americans always think Brit-talkers are intelligent. She's Aussie but sassy.)
    Cosmetics decided the 2014 Reno mayoral race. Freshman Councilmember Hillary Schieve topped a 17-candidate primary over runnerup Ray Pezonella. Had third-place Idora Silver bought a TV schedule, things might have been quite different.
    Reno voters chose between a bubbly blonde businessperson and term-limited Mayor Bob Cashell's anointed successor. After Nuke-the-Mapes Jeff Griffin and Corporate Welfare Cashell, voters rejected a third straight grumpy old man.
    Ms. Silver would have been formidable and may be again because she touches all bases. Blonde and telegenic but capable of providing adult supervision, she's acceptable to the downtown establishment. Because of her longtime business connections, they won't hold her Democratic registration against her.
    Mademoiselle Mayor got 20 lashes with a wet noodle in last Sunday's Reno Gazette-Journal which devoted well over a full page to a shell game funneling tax money to the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada to plant puff PR in national publications. Reno City Hall and the Regional Transportation Commission each coughed up $10,000 of a $110,000 budget to retain the media firm which also runs Mlle. Mayor's campaigns.
    To their credit, Sparks and Washoe County refused.
    "It's not one entity's responsibility to do PR for the entire region," stated blonde flaktitioner Abbi Whitaker.
    Yes, it is, that of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority which also fessed up $10k. RSCVA's room tax subsidy, originally intended for local fairs and recreation since 1955, has long been skimmed to subsidize the promotional budgets of the gambling-industrial complex.
    The Regional Transportation Commission has been equally profligate, wasting taxes on foreign contractors and corporate welfare while grinding its workers and risking another regionwide transit strike. (See
    Veteran RGJ reporter Anjeanette Damon is the best they have but her story was narrowly focused. Six figures of corporate welfare will generate a few nasty letters to the editor, then fizzle. For the megabucks big picture, see, a rogues gallery of corporate welfare queens including Cabela's, Scheels, Tesla, Apple, Park Lane, the Reno Aceholes and many more authentic fakes.
    Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan and editor of E-mail <> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

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Union busters in town to disrupt bus system
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Special Online Edition 7-13-2017 / Updated 7-14, 7-15, 7-16, 7-20 and 7-26-2017 GMT

I've gone thru this every third summer for the past two decades.

Greatest Hits Dept.


Support Don Dondero next
Note: Alas and alack, Dondero did not make it in 2015 or 2016.
Make this the 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
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The foreign-owned contractor hired to oppress local bus system workers tries to provoke a strike to bust the Teamsters Union. Meanwhile, elected and appointed officials sit shiva while hiding under the sleazy skirt of plausible deniability. ("Not my department.")

Before you dust off your picket signs, contact the five elected members of the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) and tell them to stop this exploitation and allow workers a fair day's pay for a hard day's work. (Contact info below.)

Over the years, our elected officials have squandered millions hiring foreign (European and Texan) management corporations to run the bus system into the ground. You will find chapter and verse at my websites. Lesson: Never accept low-bid from Tejano bandidos.

New bus drivers while receiving training — and not much of it — get unadjusted-for-inflation minimum wage. When they hit the streets, they get minimum wage adjusted for inflation. Which means some live in weekly motels and can never afford the Tejanos' high-priced health insurance. Wonder how many have applied for welfare or food stamps? How many have to hit the ER for health care? You know who pays for that.

Two of three new-hires quit over wages and working conditions. This has wasted well over a quarter-million taxpayer dollars in just the past three years.

The Texans have already imported a crew of expensive, professional union busters hoping that the workers will strike so management can attempt to illegally fire everyone. Their minds seem made up either way. RTC and its minions can drop all pretense of fairness and lock out workers with or without a strike, then bring in the high-priced imports.

We taxpayers are already stuck with that cost along with posh salaries for RTC staffers, 35 of whom are compensated over $100,000 a year to a high of $322,510.59. They live high while some of their workers dwell in weekly motels. Or worse.

Stop it. NOW. A growing region with a shrinking transportation system lives in a strait jacket of exploitation and embarrassment. Senior citizens, low-wage workers, young people, students, the sick and disabled, among many others, depend on our bus system.

Contact your elected officials and demand that they fix it. NOW.

RTC COMMISSIONERS/Re-election year

Neoma Jardon
, 2018

Paul McKenzie, 2018

RenoDirect hotline 775-334-4636

Bob Lucey
, 2018

Marsha Berkbigler, 2020

Ron Smith 775-353-2311

David Jickling
, 775-335-1902
2016 compensation: $210,754.95

Lee Gibson, 775-335-1826
2016 compensation: $322,510.59

System Manager Gibson touts how he has cut costs 30 percent since 2009. His compensation has risen 17 percent just in the past three years. His workers got ZERO 2011-2013 and a generous 2 percent annually 2014-2016. Somebody please buy him a dictionary and bookmark "inflation." Then ask why he loves to give away corporate welfare: "EXCLUSIVE: RTC trying to give away $50 million+ in corporate welfare" / 21 Dec. 2012 and Please don't cook or eat the books, Barbwire 27 Sept. 2012.

Tell them that the buck stops with them, that you are tired of big taxpayer bucks being blown by bandidos from the land of the armadillo.

Should they argue, ask them why RTC paid a bogus $1.4 million bill last year for the Pyramid/McCarran construction project. Alas and alack, the wages of e-mail get expensive. (I hear that places like the Cayman Islands and Sochi are beautiful any time of year.)

If you're not registered to vote, please do so. And bring the family,

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

SMOKING GUNS —>14 July 2017 — Illegal worker intimidation 101: Foreign RTC contractor breaks the law by putting strikebreakers to work during employee voting on management's contract proposal. It was overwhelmingly rejected. Strike authorized.
Updated 7-15, 7-16, 7-20 and 7-26-2017 GMT

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ONLINE EXTRAS —> 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. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/ It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment.

THE GOOD DON. Nominations are afoot for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.
Time to ramp up for world-famous Tribune photographer Don Dondero. Here's the compelling case for his induction.

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 (1928-2017)

  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.

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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 BallotBoxing.US 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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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.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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