Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


Site map
SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades)

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

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

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

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

Circus Circus Reno / Doors open 5:30, Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Sponsorship, table and ticket information

All the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now—>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

Lousy lawyering for pun and prophet
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-28-2018 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

Greatest Hits Dept.


Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton next

Send endorsements

8 the hard way!
Barbwire wins 8th Nevada Press Association award

GOLD 2017
Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo
We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

Kate Smith & Lady Gaga

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism

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

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

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

We're gonna get rich.

Today, I announce formation of the non-profit Barbwire Foundation which will provide legal, governmental, administrative, political and educational advice at half the price that the big boys charge. I can screw up every bit as badly as our major institutions and do it far cheaper.

Take the Rail City. Please. I could have put together those disastrous deals for the Marina and Scheels corporate welfare projects that have made Sparks competitive with Reno for insolvency. And saved the city tons of money.

Alas, poor little Sparks can't hold a candle to the Black Tower or the Green Monster.

In the emerald city of green eyeshades, the Washoe County School District has once again paid for legal advice from comedy writers. I cry foul. How am I supposed to make a living in competition with government?

A few years ago, the school board rightly fired crybaby superintendent Pedro Martinez. Gov. Veto El Obtúsè filled the hole on Pedro's rèsumè with a phony featherbed job while Pedro looked for real work. He's now trying to privatize the school system in San Antonio, Tejas. What an educator.

As journalist Dennis Myers confirmed, the school board never broke the open meeting law in firing Pedro. The trustees nonetheless caved to a Reno Gazette-Journal-stoked media frenzy which caught a local rich dork and Nevada Attorney General (now U.S. Senator) Catherine Cortez-Masto in its wake. It was a mass-hysteria precursor to our current kneejerk pitchforks-and-torches miasma.

Similar mass confusion was sown awhile back by the medical profession. (Barbwire 8-18-2015) As a result, Nevada victims can no longer sue for medical malpractice. A friend of mine was cut to ribbons after a doctor made a mistake in routine surgery. He couldn't get a lawyer to even call him back.

The Nevada State Medical Association created a phony malpractice insurance crisis and ran TV commercials showing people in white smocks walking down both sides of a desert highway toward California. "Doctors are leaving Nevada in droves," said the somber announcer, because them their dastardly lawyers are making malpractice insurance so expensive that physicians can't afford to stay here.

Such a bright, shining lie. The legal profession's response was too little, too late. The docs' initiative passed and now victims can just go die. As did my friend.

The defenders of our rights then cut a deal with the medicusers for a one-year truce rather than risk the momentum spilling over to the legislature.

Do lawyers ever abuse the system? Hell yes. That's why a return to the medical-legal screening panel would be a good idea. About 30 years ago, you could not sue for malpractice until that state-appointed body found smoking-gun negligence. It wasn't perfect, but it limited frivolous lawsuits while allowing relief for the aggrieved and occasional defrocking of incompetents.

A few years back, a law firm bought an older condo, tore it apart, documented every nit-picky detail and sued the few still around. A well-established painting contractor was pretty much put out of business. With that suit on his record, he could no longer qualify for bonding to bid jobs. He was blameless, but who cares? Our flawed construction defect law still hasn't been properly patched. (Barbwire 11-17-2015)

This week, Pedro must be laughing at his old school district for listening to the lawyers who made him a severance-package millionaire. They want to treat club sports like lacrosse and activities like debate as they would plague. I can understand litigation worries but where do you draw the line? Today, media ambulance chasers advertise for criminal or accident cases because malpractice doesn't pay.

School trustees and Superintendent Traci Davis are all highly educated pros with the best interests of their students at heart.

Doesn't anyone have the chops to question lousy lawyers? Will they next recommend cutting off water to all student restrooms because a kid could drown?

Which brings me to the Black Tower and Reno City Attorney Karl Hall. He seemed like someone who could show Sparks people that an elected lawyer doesn't have to be a sexual harassment doofus.

Well, sex has proven Mr. Hall's downfall. Mayor Hillary Schieve wants him off the defense of a lawsuit filed by two former female city employees. Mr. Hall's subordinate wants to grill one of the plaintiffs on her entire sexual history.

"Does the slut wiggle when she walks? Did she wear provocative short dresses at seven years old?" Interrogatory minds want to know!

Hall refused Mlle. Mayor's demand to walk away and the comedy continued during last Saturday's union retirement dinner at, appropriately, Circus Circus. (Sometimes, this schtick just writes itself.)

It was announced that Mlle. Mayor would be represented by Councilmember David Bobzien because Ms. Schieve was distraught at her beloved dog having been run over.

Only The Barbwire and one unnamed councilmember know the identity of the blackguard who posed the burning question: Was Karl Hall driving the car?

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

Web Extras —>

César Chávez XVI happens on the great man's 91st birthday on March 31. Ticket/table/sponsor info for César XVI may be accessed via the Barbwire expanded web edition at Barbwire.US/ —> Hurry.

ANTE INTO THE GAME: Support the new season of Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is.

Metastatical Statisticals

Trump FCC chair investigated for Sinclair ties / 2-15-2018

Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News
Its mix of terrorism alerts, right-wing commentary and “classic propaganda” could soon reach 3/4 of the US.
By Andy Kroll/Mother Jones Oct.-Nov. 2017

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news
By William Brangham/ PBS NewsHour 10-10-2017

Top-down Democrats haven't learned
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-10-2017

More Faux than Fox? Corporate octopus Sinclair moves to dominate Nevada and U.S. television
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-3-2017

  A thousand thanks to those who keep sending show suggestions.

  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.


END OF TIMES SURVIVAL KIT. Defend yourself with humorous or humorless but always-peerless pontification by subscribing to the Barbwire Confidential News Service. Scandalous bonuses for new subscribers.

Hush Hush!


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

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. I suggest coming aboard now. Subscription prices go up soon. Thank you kindly for your support.

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


Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, executive 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 and received its 8th Nevada Press Association award and 5th first-place at the 30 Sept. 2017 NPA annual convention in Carson City. (That trophy and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.)


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


All the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now: Tell your friends and friendly enemies to subscribe to Barbwire Confidential for warm laughter, cheap thrills, hot scoops and occasional cold logic at BallotBoxing.US/ Cheap at twice the price. (Hush Hush!)

Smoking Guns—>

$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years
A mass murderer becomes famous on TV a century later

How come nobody noticed 'til now?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners Max Blank and Isaac Harris. Is not Mr. Harris eerily familiar to television junkies?

From the Emmy-winning opening slate of the blockbuster "Cheers" television series. Combined with its "Frasier" spinoff, it lasted 20 years.
The "shirtwaist kings" immigrated from Russia and made a fortune manufacturing "Gibson Girl"-style blouses. (Photo, "The American Experience"/PBS)
The Emmy-winning opening slate of the "Cheers" television series before the "slate" of creators is superimposed. Looks like Mr. Harris' dead ringer (at left) is having a bloody good time.

"Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx disguised as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup" (1933)
Back to the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist holocaust

SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades) | 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 © 1982-2018 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is the executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president and political action chair 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

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

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins