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"Media is the plural of mediocre."
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An Alternative National Anthem

   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 that the boat is leaking.
Everybody knows that the captain lied.
   Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died.
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   And a long red rose.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that you love me, baby.
Everybody knows you really do.
   Everybody knows that you've been faithful,
Give or take a time or two.
   Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
   Without your clothes.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that it's now or never.
Everybody knows that it's me or you.
   And everybody knows that you live forever
When you've done a line or two.
   Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
   For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that the plague is coming.
Everybody knows that it's moving fast.
   Everybody knows that the naked man and woman —
Just a shining artifact of the past.
   Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
   That will disclose
What everybody knows.

   And everybody knows that you're in trouble.
Everybody knows what you've been through
   From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach at Malibu.
   Everybody knows it's coming apart.
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
   Before it blows.
And everybody knows.

Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
   That's how it goes. Everybody knows.

By Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson.
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.

I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016

Guns, gouging and guts: once upon a time in the west
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-20-2019 Sparks Tribune/ Updated 3-25, 4-3 and 4-8-2019/ Expansions in blue
Breaking News —> Culinary Union defeats decert at Circus Circus Reno

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Barbwire wins 9th Nevada Press Association award

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We Don't Need No Education
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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

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The gun lobby's worst nightmare just came true when the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School murder victims can sue the manufacturer, the wholesaler and seller of the Bushmaster machine gun (I'll call it what it is, dammit!) used in the attack.

The ruling allows a workaround of the 2005 "Runaway Jury" Law passed in 2005 to exempt profiteers from all product liability when one of their pieces is used in a crime. The law allows exceptions for sale and marketing practices that violate state and federal laws. Remington marketed the Bushmaster with incitement to combat-level violence and slogans stating "consider your man card reissued."

Lawyer/author John Grisham wrote "The Runaway Jury" in 1996. It was made into a 2003 A-list movie starring Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack, Rachel Weisz and a (pardon the expression) killer supporting cast. Hoffman played a New Orleans personal injury lawyer trying to win a hopeless product liability civil case on behalf of the widow and children of a mass slaying victim. When I saw it, I had a hunch the gunnies would go to Congress to (pardon the expression) build a wall. And they did.

THE ONLY "REASON": Why do pervs commit mass shootings? Because they can. It's easy.

RENT AND PILLAGE DEPT. The spirit of Barbara Bennett still guides us after lo, these many years. The only mayor to make the Reno Gazette-Journal's millennium list of 100 who made a difference in the 20th Century, she started a renters' rights organization that led to the biggest political upset in Reno history in 1979. The mobile home-dwelling grandmother who drove a little yellow Volkswagen beat several council incumbents and other good-ole-boys to become the city's first woman mayor.

Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, informed me this week that she has pulled her proposed rent control amendment to an apartment construction bill and awaits a new stand-alone draft. I will send all lawmakers a copy of this column.

I was there when the Reno City Council threw cold water on pre-mayor Bennett's proposal for a rent justification ordinance which would have triggered when vacancies fell below five percent. We are far below that figure now — 1978 all over again. As a realtor friend of mine told me that year, our capitalist system usually works pretty well but not in a speculative boomtown like then and now.

Speculators and their representatives were actually driving around Reno with suitcases full of cash looking for properties to buy at any price. They were betting that boomtown growth would facilitate quick flips and quick profits. Those who got out early scored big. Those who got greedy and held on until the Carter/Volcker/Reagan recession lost their buns.

When speculators buy apartments in a boomtown environment, they pay a high price and jack up rents to cover their mortgages. Other landlords notice their higher levies and charge what the traffic will bear, defending "market determined rates." In reality,existing landlords costs may have risen little or not at all. Ka-ching!

Bennett wanted landlords to document increased costs justifying higher rents while supply was close to zilch.

I remain unsure that local governments can't enact rent justification ordinances right now. That issue was never raised in 1978. Perhaps the locals want political cover from the ledge.
It's so bad now, as I reported last year (Barbwire 4-25-2018, The Guardian of London/UK 7-3-2018), landlords currently extort humongous application fees from potential renters. Some charge $50 per potential inhabitant, some $75 or more. I know one couple that paid $500 in such coercion until they found a small place. A credit background check costs less than a dollar. Google at will.

GOOSING GRANDMA. One Sparks complex is charging an extra $25 per month to pick up trash at the doors of disabled or elderly tenants. Watch for updates.

ONE VOTE AWAY. The Equal Rights Amendment is one state ratification away from making it into the U.S. Constitution. Nevada ratified in 2017, 40 years after legislative corruption killed it. I was there. Details online.

TICKET PRICES RISE THIS FRIDAY for César Chávez XVII, so hie thee quickly to, contact me at 775-882-TALK or drop me an e. Gov. Steve Sisolak will deliver the keynote address at the Grand Sierra-Reno on March 27. He will make history as the first Silver State chief executive to attend.

Grand Sierra Tahoe Ballroom doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for conservative booze and liberal schmooze. Dinner's at 7:00. Seating is limited and I strongly recommend early reservations via the website. People have asked me how I could top last September's NAACP tribute to Aretha Franklin complete with a 1965 Pink Cadillac convertible. This is how I try.

Long before he became an international figure, César Chávez traveled to northern Nevada, according to the late Reno-Sparks NAACP President Dolores Feemster, who met with him at his request in the early 1960s. The event will pay tribute to the memory of NAACP matriarch Feemster, who died in 2018, as well as to former Nevada Attorney General and Chief Justice Charles Springer, who died Feb. 19. Springer rightly stands with the giants for his lifelong human rights advocacy. We will also remember the late former business manager of northern Nevada IBEW Local 401, Jerry David.

Former Nevada Labor Commissioner Stan Jones, the courtly gentleman with the mellifluous voice who could kill anti-labor legislation with just a short speech, died last year. A sheet metal worker (Local 26/AFL-CIO), Jones served under Republican and Democratic governors. He was arguably the last labor commissioner to take seriously his legal mandate to advocate for workers.

Sen. Joe Neal, D-N. Las Vegas (ret.), will memorialize his fellowésar Chávez Hall of Famer and longtime colleague Bob Price, D-NLV, who passed away in Sparks on January 4. Price, former business manager of Las Vegas IBEW Local 357/AFL-CIO, represented North Las Vegas for 28 years in the Nevada State Assembly. Bob and his wife, former University Regent Nancy Price, retired to the Rail City more than a decade ago.

Nevada Press Association Hall of Famer John L. Smith will attend to autograph copies of his new book "The Westside Slugger: Joe Neal's Lifelong Fight for Social Justice." (University of Nevada Press 2019, $34.95) John resigned after more than three decades as an award-winning columnist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal when he refused to allow the new owner, virulently anti-union Trumpista casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, to influence his writing.

Maria Zamora, anotherésar Chávez Hall of Famer, will speak and auction for charity a United Farm Workers Union flag which she hand-sewed and carried aloft while marching with César Chávez throughout California a half-century ago.

By popular demand, Ballet Folklorico de La Sierra will perform an encore as will noted Reno artist Erik Holland who will unveil his new César Chávez memorial portrait, latest in a series.

Chávez family members, some of whom are longtime Nevadans, are expected.

Reno's first César Chávez Day was declared on July 15, 1986, by then-Mayor Pete Sferrazza. Chávez spoke before a regional gathering of the International Association of Machinists, then to a general meeting of Nevada union members. In his later years, Chávez often visited southern Nevada, frequently rallying Culinary Union members on the Las Vegas Strip at the Frontier Hotel in what became the longest strike in U.S. history. (The union won.)

In 2013, President Obama issued a proclamation for César Chávez Day. Gov. Sisolak will do the same later this month.

¡Sí se puede!

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 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.)


REAL NEWS DEPT. In January, Culinary Union Local 226 defeated an attempt by Circus Circus-Reno to decertify (terminate) the union's representation of its workers. No word on whether management plans to appeal the result to the National Labor Relations Board which was recently put out of business for 35 days. Thank you, Czar Donaldov.

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 got 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.


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

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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—>

Guv keynotes César XVII: 17-year overnight success
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-13-2019 Sparks Tribune

Judge not lest ye be judged — or misjudged
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-6-2019 Sparks Tribune

Even in Sparks, God works in mysterious ways
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-27-2019 Sparks Tribune

OF CRABS AND CLANS: White bibs or white sheets tonight
Barbwire Confidential by Andres Luis Barbáno / 2-23-2019 SPECIAL ONLINE HUSHhush E-EDITION

Trump's Wall: First step toward ending Nixon's War on Drugs
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-20-2019 Sparks Tribune

BLACK LIKE ME 2119: The problem as solution
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-13-2019 Sparks Tribune / Updated 2-14 and 2-16-2019
Breaking News —> Culinary Union defeats decert at Circus Circus Reno
Dear Readers: The above column served as the conclusion of remarks I submitted before the "Tahoe Talks: Racism in America" symposium at the Incline Village, Nev., Library on February 12, 2019. So you might want to read "FADE TO BLACK" before you read "Black Like Me 2119".

Andrew Barbano, former governor of Nevada
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-6-2019 Sparks Tribune

Downtown Sparks: New taxes, gun controls & a wall
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-30-2019 Sparks Tribune

Striking sex: The only thing Trump understands
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-23-2019 Sparks Tribune

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

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

By Michael Cooper / The New York Times 1-23-2019

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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

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