Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


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

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"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
Stay tuned for a complete event report, starting hereinbelow —>

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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

Flying machines in pieces on the ground, part deux
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 4-18-2018 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

Greatest Hits Dept.


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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

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Additional programs
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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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NEWS THAT AIN'T NEWS. YET. By the time you read this, I will be the worse for wear.

On Monday and Tuesday this week, the Nevada State AFL-CIO met to endorse primary election candidates.

The biggest fireworks were expected between Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls Christina Giunchigliani and Steve Sisolak, both Clark County commissioners.

Northern Nevada unions have not endorsed in that race. The Southern Nevada Central Labor Council endorsed Sisolak probably because of his support of the Oakland Raiders taxpayer-subsidized stadium construction. Giunchigliani is the jockocracy's harshest critic.

Chris G has been doing voter outreach which Sisolak is now beginning in these parts.

Sisolak started TV during the NCAA basketball tournament and has never stopped.

He's got about $4 million which is great for a governor's race but not if you're the power company.

UPDATE: The assembled multitudes decided not to cut the baby in half and voted to endose both in the June primary.

POWER TO THE POWERFUL? NVEnergy and its allies will spend $30 million and perhaps much more to defeat Question 3 on the November ballot.

They bought $12 million in TV just last week. They call the proposed constitutional amendment Enron2 and with some reason. I'll be delving into it further. Watch the Energy War Room.

My biggest lament is that some of Nevada's earliest advocates for consumers have sold out to the dark side of the force and the Darth Vader of Enron2, Gomorrah South casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

MAD HATTERS. I plan to wear my hat all week as usual. I probably won't get kicked out of the labor convention at Circus Circus or come close to arrest.

I couldn't say that 53 weeks ago. April 11 brought the anniversary of the lowest point of my checkered career: I was thrown out of the Nevada State Assembly Chamber for the crime of wearing a hat, then threatened with arrest for hanging around the press room. (Barbwire 4-18-2017)

So let's see, which places must I permanently avoid? The ledge for sure. Haven't been back since. And Tesla County until they replace that madcap sheriff. (Barbwire 10-31-2014) Ditto all them freedom loving racists in Yerington.

CESAR CHAVEZ XVI on the great labor leader's 91st birthday featured the best entertainment since inception. However, we did not break the all-time attendance record.

I told people that if they wanted to complain about Chávez's March 31 birth date, call his mom but I don't think her number's listed.

A still-substantial Saturday crowd enjoyed a good time despite heavy competition from five major religious events: Passover, Easter, spring break (big with pagans and Druids), the NCAA basketball Final Four and the Giants vs. the Dodgers.


DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN. My old boss Bob Brown, now a member of the Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Fame, once editorialized that it's time to disband the US Air Force Thunderbirds.

He ventured that opinion in The Valley Times just after the entire team had flown into the ground while practicing near Nellis Air Force Base in 1982. Earlier this month, we lost one pilot plus a humongously expensive aeroplane.

A couple of years back, a story broke that the Taiwanese military was having trouble meeting its recruiting goals because Formosan politicians don't glorify the military.

We've since seen revelations that millions in taxpayer money has been paid to billionaire United States pro sports operators for flag-waving demonstrations at games.

They serve the same function as the Thunderbirds: propaganda supporting enrichment of the military-industrial complex.

How out-of-control is our empire? Read Dennis Myers' tour de force "Bloat," the cover story in the January 11 Reno News & Review.

You'll be shocked if you remain at all shockable.

And remember the recent news that within a decade or so, our ever-expanding national debt will be bigger than the annual value of the entire U.S. economy.

Social Security and Medicare are thus endangered species.

So what the heck? Let's have a military parade in Washington with a flyover by those Thunderbirds who survived last week's fatality.

We're number one! Let's go bomb some brown people and party on.

We Don't Need No Education
— The ongoing Barbwire investigative series


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

Web Extras —> IMPORTANT DATES: Washoe County sheriff candidates forum sponsored by the Reno-Sparks NAACP, ACTIONN and other community organizations. Watch this space.

UPDATE: Looks like there will be two, one on April 30 and another on May 15. Stay tuned.

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

Metastasizical 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.)


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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—>
Flying machines in pieces on the ground
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 4-11-2018 Sparks Tribune
From the den of iniquity to the holy of holies
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-28-2018 Sparks Tribune
What's harder: Finding a doctor or Stormy Daniels?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-21-2018 Sparks Tribune
A world in fear: It's always 9/11 somewhere
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-14-2018 Sparks Tribune
West Virginia teachers: Strike one, strike won
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-7-2018 Sparks Tribune
$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

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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

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