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An Alternative National Anthem
By Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Sharon Robinson
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.

   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 stem 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 & 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.


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

"The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you'll never have." Kierkegaard

Ripoffs, Riches, Riots, Rhymes and R-ratings
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 10-27-2021 / UPDATED 11-3-2021 / Expansions in blue

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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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"We don't care. We don't have to. We are the phone company and we are omnipotent." — Lily Tomlin

So intoned the great comic actress in her star-making turn as Ernestine the obtuse switchboard operator on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968-1973).

Last week proved nothing has changed in half a century.

As of Saturday, only two Reno-based TV stations and had run recent stories about Sunday's midnight switch to 10-digit phone dialing.

When Aunt Susie tried to call Uncle Charley to pick her up for church, she may have panicked that his phone was disconnected.

It's part of a multi-year rollout of a suicide hotline number, 988. Like 911, it "will be available nationwide by July 16, 2022." In the interim, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number of 1-800-273-8255 will remain in effect.

The system certainly needed tweaking. In recent years, I have made "local calls" from Reno to, e.g., Yerington or Minden and found that I often needed to use 775 and sometimes 1-775 before the 7-digit number.

The Federal Communications Commission website says that California and Illinois 708 will have to dial a "1".

Once again, Nevada stands erased from the big picture.

AT&T inserted a bill stuffer in February. Nothing appeared in last week's U.S. Postal Service billings.

So why not some flak from their public relations apparat?

Why did I have to build a fire under local media?

All Nevada area codes are affected. I don't get around much anymore and didn't even know we now have three (775, 702, 725).

As of Monday, I got thru dialing seven, 10 or 11 digits for the same number.

Go figger.

Good luck, Aunt Susie.

RIGHTEOUSLY RIGHT MA BELL. With the expanded online edition of this column you will find links to extensive Reuters and Washington Post investigations about AT&T pouring millions into a new "fake news unless it's ours" TV network.

It's amazing what good reporters can find in court records.

"Without AT&T, the conspiracy-spreading outlet that trafficks in election (fantasies) and horse de-wormer miracle cures would not exist," opined

That sure don't sound like the once-benevolent Ma Bell to me.

Or as Ernestine might ask, "Is this the party to whom I'm speaking?"

RIOTOUSLY RAUCUS REPUBLICAN CAUCUS. At presstime came word of a new Rolling Stone exposé accusing five Republican congresscritters and more of conspiring with the January 6 traitors to overthrow the government.

How come nobody ever uses the word "treason" while talking about these bastards?

RHYMES WITH RICH. Move over Sharron Angle, my Italian fantasy madonna Machine Gun Michelle Fiore has thrown her bra into the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

That's not male chauvinist oinkery. With the web edition of this column, I will link R-rated photos the former state assemblymember and Gomorrah South city councilperson published of herself.

Any publicity is good publicity, right?

The shortest-tenured editor in my 33 years with this here major metropolitan newspaper perpetrated the only censorship I've ever suffered in a column (Barbwire 3-10-2015) about the Italian girl I would have brought home to mama (and driven her crazy).

It didn't even have pictures or dirty words.

As adman Jerry DellaFemina once said, "censorship is somebody's hangups."

I wonder if Gov. Sisolak is consulting with former U.S. Senator Harry Reid about helping the braless bandoliera advance to the general election.

Reid hatcheted former newslady Sue ("trade live chickens for medical care") Lowden in the primary and wound up with madcap Sharron Angle as his 2010 GOP opponent.

Even Republican gray eminences supported Reid.

Michelle makes Sharron look reasonable.

That's entertainment!

RICHLY DESERVED. Last Monday, the Sparks City Council declared October 25 as Marsy Kupfersmith Day "and congratulated her on becoming the 2021 Nevada Senior Citizen of the Year. They also thanked her for all of the great work she does for our community," stated City Hall types.

Sweet, energetic Marsy, who looks about 25 and ready to lead Wolf Pack cheers, uplifts everyone she meets and has used that natural talent to become a local public service dynamo.

Long may she run.

RAJAN'S RUBRIC REDUX. In Sunday's Reno Gazette-Journal, Hindu religious leader Rajan Zed asked his peers "Is it too late to build a better world?"

Everybody answered positively in accordance with her/his mythology. I've yet to detect a sense of humor among any of the auguste holypersons in all the years that column's been promulgating piety.

So here's my take from my favorite holy man, George Carlin: "Save the planet? Save the planet? We can't even save ourselves!" Carlin soared and roared.

"The Earth is fine. The Earth has been around for four-and-half-billion years. The earth isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!"

Like the late great Carlin, I grew up in Catholic school and if that doesn't get you thinking outside the book and the box, you weren't paying attention.

Carlin wondered if God had forgotten to make plastic when he created the world and now that we've made it, perhaps mankind has served its purpose, the Earth plus plastic.

"Some pray to God. That's OK," Carlin once said, noting that God answered about half the time. "I pray to Joe Pesci and get about the same results."

Human lifespan isn't the geologic time equivalent of the eyelash bat of a bantamweight flea.

Artists have been showing us our self-destructive nature for eons.

"When will they ever learn?" Pete Seeger once sang.

I can visualize an archaeologist a few million years from now digging deep and finding the only surviving mysterious remnant of a lost civilization.

Wonder what he'll think about an encrusted rotary telephone?

Made of plastic, of course.

I'm sworn to secrecy, but monitor as the recent Teamsters Union victory over the blackguards who run the local bus system goes national.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ se puede!

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

Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of,, BallotBoxing.US,,, and among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <

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$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 © 1982-2021 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 52-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 a longtime member 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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