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)

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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

Flint, Nevada: Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-2-2018 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

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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.


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15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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Yerington is the new state champion for meanest little town in Nevada.

The contest was close (see below) but the new title is richly and Richfieldly deserved.

I'm going to start a campaign to have the town revert to its legendary name, "Pizen Switch" because poison is now the official bi-partisan position of Lyon County, state government and Gov. Veto El Obtúsè.

In case you missed it (as of April 30, the story hadn't hit Sparks-Reno), British Petroleum has decided that the people of Pizen Switch should have worse drinking water than Flint, Michigan.

I found out last week but got scooped by the Associated Press. Bueno. (Appropriately and ironically, the Reno Gazette-Journal published the story on MayDay.)

BP aka British Petroleum aka ARCO aka "Atlantic-Richfield, owner of the former Anaconda copper mine, (suddenly halted) the free home delivery of bottled water it's provided since 2004 to about 100 residences on a neighboring Native American reservation in Nevada where scientists continue to track the movement of a poisonous plume of groundwater," wrote longtime AP northern Nevada bureau chief Scott Sonner.

"The Yerington Paiute Tribe alleges the abrupt change was retaliation for its fight against a recent move that puts the state and the company in charge of cleaning up the mine site instead of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Over the tribe's staunch objections, the EPA in February backed off plans in the works for years to formally elevate the mine to priority status on a list of the most contaminated Superfund sites.

" ' I believe that this dismissive, arrogant act means to punish us by cutting off our water in an attempt to pressure us to stop fighting for our legal rights,' Tribal Chairman Laurie Thom told the AP...

"Tribal leaders say the water dispute underscores their concerns that Gov. Brian Sandoval has negotiated away any ability to expedite the cleanup without the teeth of the EPA.

"Their fears grew earlier this month when EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he dropped the mine from a list of 21 Superfund 'emphasis' sites targeted for 'immediate and intense attention,' " Sonner reported.

"The mine's previous owner, Arimetco, left behind a 90-million-gallon (341-million-liter) toxic stew of uranium, arsenic and other chemicals — enough to cover 80 football fields 10 feet (3 meters) deep — when it abandoned the site in 2000, according to the EPA (which) first determined the site qualified for priority Superfund status in 1994 but didn't formally propose the listing until 2016 — 31 years after Nevada regulators first accused Anaconda Mining Co. of discharging pollutants illegally," Sonner wrote.

It only took two decades to clean up the infamous Love Canal. Nevada is now contending for a world championship.

Pizen Switch skulduggerers want to get their claws on a huge chunk of public land which Nevada congresscritters have been trying to score from the feds.

These days, greed comes naked, cloaked neither in platitudes nor piety.

The Superfund albatross would be bad for investment.

Not to worry. The bird would die immediately if it landed in toxic Anaconda Lake.

It's an update of Nevada's Eleventh Commandment: Nothing shall impede tourism or economic development. (Please ignore all the freedom-loving Yerington racists who teach their kids to hate brown and black people.)

BP is truly a public enemy. Those wonderful folks started our post-WW2 middle-eastern oil patch problems and continue to befoul the Gulf Coast after cosmetically declaring the Deepwater Horizon explosion remedied.

And they vacuum your pockets daily.

Ever wonder why gasoline is always the same price within pennies? As I've been writing for decades, ARCO pioneered the now industry-wide geographic price-fixing scheme that has flummoxed government regulators. John D. Rockefeller would be proud. (For the libretto of this danse macabre, see the Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive with the expanded web edition of this column at Barbwire.US/)

RUNNERS-UP ROGUES GALLERY: TARNISHED SILVER IN TESLA COUNTY. The height of irony has been achieved on the heights of the Comstock Lode where madcap Storey County Sheriff Gerald Cook-Antinoro doesn't know murder from a hole in the ground. An indicted killer may go free because the Virginia City laughing stock with a star is the defense's best witness. (Barbwire 10-31-2014 and followups) The latest twist in this bizarre B-movie aired on KRNV TV-4 (KENV-10 Elko) on April 30.

BACK TO THE BRONZE AGE. Intense competition created a three-way tie for least among us: Elko (Elko County), where they shoot Democrats on sight; Fallon (Churchill), a feudal fiefdom where your last name determines your social status, and often, your future; Minden-Gardnerville (Douglas), where, in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the DA has been accused of asserting that "it's no big deal the word nigger is used frequently."

Douglas and Lyon are adjacent.

Looks like it's rubbing off.

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

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

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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—>
$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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