Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream
The Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames


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)

   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.

I hope you understand
I just had to go back to the island.

Leon Russell, 1942-2016

Striking sex: The only thing Trump understands
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-23-2019 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue / Updated 1-27 & 1-28-2019
Breaking News —> Culinary Union defeats decert at Circus Circus Reno

Triangle tragedy recalled as requiem
"The Fire in My Mouth," a new oratorio by Pulitzer honoree Julia Wolfe, premieres with the New York Philharmonic Jan. 24

By Michael Cooper / The New York Times 1-23-2019
BARBWIRE EXCLUSIVE: Murderous Triangle Shirtwaist owner featured on Emmy-winning opening credits of legendary "Cheers" TV series

Greatest Hits Dept.


Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton next.

Send endorsements

The 9th Muse
Barbwire wins 9th Nevada Press Association award

GOLD 2017-18

2018 First-Place Winners

From the depths of despair to the den of iniquity & holy of holies

"Excellent work. These are some of the most moving columns I've read."
— NPA contest judge/9-29-201

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly


Kicked off the Ledge

Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada


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

More statewide and national award winners

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

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

Tomorrow's news today —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential


"How will labor come back? In a strike. It'll start with one plant. One plant. And they strike. And there'll be guys across the street at a second plant, and they see it, and they think 'Hmm, maybe we can do that.' And they win. Then somebody in Idaho does it, the same thing, independently. That's not romanticism, that's a fact." — Ed Sadlowski, United Steelworkers leader

Czar Donaldov has finally done something right by accidentally starting a national strike. Last week, no less than NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd posited that only broader-based political pressure could end the government shutdown — Like expanding it into a national strike.

Strikes work. Starting in impoverished West Virginia coal country, teachers in several states walked out last year. They won. Los Angeles educators just taught anti-public education billionaire Eli Broad and his LA school board a lesson about picket lines and won their strike. ¡ se puede!

Winning involves solidarity and choke points. Mr. Todd recognized the obvious: All remaining TSA airport screeners can join their co-workers' sick-out. (Already in double-digits.)

Cowardly congresscritters can then finally pass a funding bill over any presidential veto. Meanwhile, the air over the country will clear up for a few days, just as it did after 9/11/2001 when all non-military flights were grounded. What's not to like?

Repentant union destroyer Martin Levitt once told me that of his 105 anti-union campaigns, he lost just five because workers refused to break ranks. (Get his book, "Confessions of a Union Buster.")

New Nevada Gov. Sisolak proposed a raft of good workplace proposals in his State of the State Address last week but even with a Democratic administration and legislature with female majorities both in the ledge and Nevada Supreme Court, the gambling-industrial complex still rules with an iron fist.

Without congressional action, workers must depend on state-by-state reforms which can take somewhere between forever and never.

Unlike anything else, strikes generate much quicker results.

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR. The idea of a national strike is more than 2,000 years old. Classic Greek playwright Aristophanes came up with the scenario in 411 BC in "Lysistrata," a satirical account of how one woman ended the Peloponnesian War by convincing the wives of Athens and Sparta to withhold sex until their men ceased hostilities.

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN. A real-life version happened in 19th Century Chile and Argentina (according to my erstwhile Fresno State Latin American history professor, Jose C. Canales). They were about to do battle over where to set their mutual borde when two first ladies pulled a Lysistrata. Before their presidential husbands declared war over the rocks, they threatened a general strike of all women in both countries. No cooking. No laundry. No sex.

War was avoided and the boundary was set along the crest of the Andes where it stands today. To celebrate, they agreed to erect the fabled Christ of the Andes statue. And almost went to war over which way it would face.

"Let the statue face Argentina," the Chileans chuckled, "they need watching."

Strikes work. That's one reason the NFL Players Association is so strong.

RAIDERS RAPE AND PILLAGE. AGAIN. Remember all the hints that the Oakland Raiders ("very well might, would seriously consider, it's almost a lock, trust us, trust us") would build an off-season training camp in northern Nevada? IF the state legislature granted them the second largest chunk of Nevada corporate welfare after Tesla, which still holds the world record. Said facility is now under construction in Henderson.

GOMORRAH SOUTH FUMBLES. In order to inflate its self importance, the NFL started using Roman numerals for each Super Bowl. This year's is Super Bowl LIII or 53. "L" equals 50, "i" means one and vees represent fives. Which means 2021's Super Bowl 55 will be Super Bowl LV. But there will be no LV in LV.

Robber-baron NFL high priests like to award our national religion's biggest feast day to cities with shiny new stadiums. Like, uh, LV. DAMMIT!

Alas and alack, 2021's Super Bowl LV has already gone to Tampa where it will be played in a facility more than two decades old. The overlords moved it from LA because the new Rams/Chargers palace would not be ready in time. Las Vegas would. DAMMIT!

We had only one chance for Super Bowl LV to actually be played in LV but the most promotable idea since "what happens here, stays here" was overlooked because nobody did nuthin'.

Before the advent of Czar Donaldov, the world's most powerful PR machine belonged to Las Vegas where legendary Mafia dons and their frontmen mainstreamed American sin.

We got old and we got shucked like fat corn.

Perhaps global warming can raise Tampa Bay and flood the game westward. Oh, I forgot, that's a hoax.

CORREXION from last week's print edition: Former Miss Wheelchair Nevada (and America) Donna Leslie Cline died in Texas in 1999 at age 40.

Be well. Raise hell.
Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, superannuated 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. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988 and received its ninth Nevada Press Association award (6th first-place) at the 29 Sept. 2018 NPA annual convention in Las Vegas. (Such ephemera and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.)


PINK SLIPS, PURGES AND PRUNING. I need to hear from recently purged Eldorado Hotel-Casino, Circus Circus-Reno and Silver Legacy employees. Barbwire spies report perhaps 100 workers getting the ax just in time for the holidays. In this newspaper, at Barbwire.US and in the London Guardian, I have lamented the deepening desperation of renters here in Tesla boomtown.

I'm now getting complaints about medical and dental practices purportedly pruning their patient loads, cutting loose the less-lucrative. That's de facto malpractice but medical professionals are lawsuit-proof under Nevada law — unless you're rich enough to personally pay a few hundred grand in legal fees.

That's why TV lawyers only advertise for arrest or accident cases these days. If you've been cast adrift by patient pruning, call me at (775) 882-TALK or e-mail me.

BREAKING NEWS AND THEN SOME—> Culinary Union Local 226 has defeated an attempt by the Carano Circus ringmasters to decertify (that means terminate) the union. No word on whether management plans to appeal the result to the National Labor Relations Board which just happens to be out of business today. Thank you, Czar Donaldov.

¡ se puede!

Sore-oppressed Soul-Sister Cities: Menlo Park and Reno-Sparks-Fernley share similarly sad high-tech stretch marks.
"All humanity has left the area": paying for Tesla's Gigafactory
Barbano and Nevada conservatives decry corporate welfare depredations

By Rory Carroll / The Guardian 7-3-2018

Editor's Note: The Guardian publishes 180,000 newspapers daily in London and environs and generates ONE BILLION monthly web page views.
(I should live so long.)

"Facebook is taking everything": rising rents drive out Silicon Valley families
Property companies advertising their proximity to Facebook’s campus are giving low-income residents a choice: pay a huge rent increase or move out
By Sam Levin / The Guardian 6-20-2018

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

For 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!)

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. Thank you kindly for your support.

Smoking Guns—>

Sands of time blast the milestones of life
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-16-2019 Sparks Tribune

Bob Price: Cowboy, lawmaker, union man and Elvis fan
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-9-2019 Sparks Tribune

Crystal Balls: Peerless Predixions 2019 & Beyond
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-26-2018 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

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
The Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames
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 © 1982-2019 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 50-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