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


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

Pardon me if I get all choked up
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 4-14-2021 Sparks Tribune
/ Updated 4-17-2021 GMT Expansions in blue

Back when I was beating Lush Rambo on the radio, I spent a lot of time talking about the murder of Charles Bush by Las Vegas Metro Police.

Greatest Hits Dept.


Barbwire nominee Dennis Myers elected to NPA Hall of Fame

Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton next.

Send endorsements

10 the Hard Way
Barbwire wins 10th 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
BEATING LUSH RAMBO AT HIS OWN GAME: 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


Casino exec Bush, 39, was asleep in bed when three cops burst in without a warrant, put him in a choke hold and killed him. By the way, he was black.

It took place in Gomorrah South on July 31, 1990, and eerily foreshadowed the deaths of both Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

The cops, of course, were exonerated.

It was "the 44th consecutive justifiable verdict handed down in coroner’s inquests since 1976," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last year.

"Two days later, then-District Attorney Rex Bell announced that he would not charge the officers. 'I would destroy the whole integrity of this process if I overturned it.' Bell said of the coroner’s inquest," the RJ noted.

"Twenty-seven years would pass before another LV Metro officer faced charges in connection with an in-custody killing," the report stated.

The hills around Clark County's Mummy (aka Sunrise) Mountain have been figuratively littered with the bones of black men dying at hands of LV cops ever since.

The department re-shuffled the deck after George Floyd sparked worldwide protests.

“I don’t think reclassifying it is enough,” said Wesley Juhl, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and a former crime reporter for the Review-Journal. “I think every cop knows what to say to avoid any accountability, and it’s just as easy enough for them to say, ‘I felt like my life was in danger.’ ”

“My first reaction in reviewing Charles Bush’s killing was how eerily familiar it is,” Juhl said.

“If you change some of the names, this could have happened yesterday. It’s the same thing: zero accountability, a district attorney that’s reluctant to act, questions about racial bias involving policing. It’s really sad that we haven’t made more progress.”

"In all, Metro paid out $1.1 million in settlements in Bush’s death."

A more on-point incident occurred right here in River City in the same time frame.

One night in the early 1990s, a 20 year-old white man went thru a red light near the University of Nevada-Reno. He was pulled over at a convenience store just south of the Little Waldorf Saloon, across from Lawlor Events Center.

The first autopsy said he died from a cocaine overdose while in the process of being choked by a Reno cop.
That's the same defense ex-cop Derek Chauvin's lawyers are using in Minneapolis.

The family's lawyers had a second autopsy done by a Las Vegas pathologist who stated the obvious, something like "Uh, no. He happened to be high on cocaine when he was choked to death by the officers."

The two officers involved did not intend to kill the kid. They were just not properly trained and the negligence went all the way to the top.

Ole fuss 'n' feathers Robert Bradshaw was Reno Police Department chief back then. His greatest claim to infamy was his first noteworthy act in 1982.

He ordered every cop in Reno, on duty or not, to show up at the Pioneer Theatre to listen to him make a speech.

If you wanted to rob a bank, that would have been the time because there were no cops on the street.

During questioning under oath by the family's lawyers, Bradshaw was asked what he knew about choke holds.

You know, little stuff like how long before brain damage starts to happen.

He proved blissfully ignorant, stating repeatedly "you'd have to ask a doctor."

Actually, brain damage can start after 10 seconds of oxygen deprivation.

"Would you feel comfortable applying a chokehold, chief?"


At that point, City of Reno defense lawyers asked for a break and posed the magic question: "How much do you want?"

They realized how Bradshaw's cavalier macho admission would look to a jury.

The City of Reno paid substantial confidential money to settle the case and RPD also agreed to stop using the chokehold which the family insisted as a part of the settlement. That's still the case today.

The city required that no transcript of the chief's deposition under oath would be prepared by the court reporter in order to keep the lid on Bradshaw's reckless arrogance.

I wonder if RPD today knows that chokeholds are banned under that settlement. I think I'll ask for the city's policy before this goes to press.

Stay tuned. (UPDATE: See Smoking Guns, hereinbelow.)

CLINGING TO THE LEDGE: Reno Republican Assemblymember Lisa Krasner's AB 268 was voted with a do-pass recommendation out of the lower house's Government Affairs Committee last week.

I testified in favor. Washoe Sheriff Darin Balaam supports it, as do Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and the Reno-Sparks NAACP.

Titled "Miciah's Law," it mandates that all counties adopt policies to de-escalate lethal situations before police start shooting.

Miciah Lee, age 18, black and suicidal, was shot to death by Sparks police in January of last year. His mom told the cops of his mental state.

Washoe County has long had a 24/7 rapid response team to mitigate such situations. Sparks cops never made the call and killed the kid. (Trust me, the official Sparks PD story will go down like the Titanic if it ever gets to court.)

It will cost the city a million or so but it won't bring the young man back.

The only negative vote on Mrs. Krasner's bill came from Assemblymember Annie Black, R-Neanderthal. Suffice it to say that Ms. Black makes former Assemblymember Sharron Angle, R-Reno, look reasonable.

¡Sí se puede!

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

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 52-year Nevadan and editor of,,, BallotBoxing.US, and among others. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <>

Web Xtras & Smoking Guns—>

KRNV TV-4 June 5, 2020: Say what? RPD announces ban on choke holds after Nevada Legislature responds to George Floyd's killing

RUMBLES FROM INSIDE THE POLICE STATION: Longtime officers have said that choke holds were "quietly brought back" about 2015. 


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!)

Barbwire 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.


$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

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 © 1982-2021 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, officer 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