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Je Suis Charlie
"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." — Joseph Pulitzer

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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

Eternal reruns of toxic movies and PR spin
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from Sparks Tribune 8-18-2021 / Updated 8-21-2021 / Expansions in blue

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" — George Santayana

Greatest Hits Dept.


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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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Even if you paid to see the following films once, it's never enough. You have and will continue paying every day of your life.

ROGER & ME (1989), Michael Moore's directorial debut which critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert declared the best movie of the year — not best documentary, but best motion picture, period.

Moore used his hometown, still-oppressed Flint, Michigan, to illustrate the plight of American workers.

The head of the Oscar documentary committee saw to it that Moore's magnum opus was not nominated. Reportedly, she had her own film to shepherd. (The winner was "My Octopus Teacher.")

As a result, the Oscar lords changed the inside game and Moore finally got his gold statue for the school massacre doc "Bowling for Columbine" (2002).

Moore's film provides a quick thumbnail as to why the average American worker hasn't had a raise since 1973, adjusted for inflation.

It's well-documented that for every 10 percent unionization increases in a community, all wages rise by five percent.

Unions represent about 11 percent of workers in the U.S., down from about 35 percent right after WW2. Why? Corporate America is a damned good union buster, especially at recruiting help from a bi-partisan rogues gallery.

You may have seen news last week that the high-profile Sparks-Washoe-Reno bus strike is over.

I oughtta know, I broke the story, a horse since turned into a camel. You know the joke, a camel is a horse designed by a committee. (Mea culpa to the awesome ships of the desert.)

Actually, the foreign bus bosses who run the system only agreed to keep the Teamsters Union health plan, the last straw that caused the walkout.

All the rest remains to be negotiated. Hot August Strike 2.0 can thus best be described as on hold.

That's not how some media described it after Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) executive Michael Moreno spewed some spin which a few media greenhorns gulped down whole: "Formal negotiations will resume with the participation of a federal mediator, and the union has agreed not to stop work while negotiations continue with this third-party participation."

One inexperienced reporter even rewrote it as "RTC representatives confirmed that union officials signed a memorandum of understanding to maintain the health care benefits at issue and to not strike again in the near future."

None of that came from Paris-based Keolis Transit, the obtuse employer and principal cause of only the second strike in the 39-year history of the local transit system.

Remember how RTC elected officials and their highly paid staffers insisted that they were absolutely hands-off?

As the Marx Brothers once asked, "Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Read the actual three-page deal at

Union President Gary Watson said that he would not sign any "tentative proposal that includes language specifying that there will be no strikes or lockouts during negotiations."

Would the Tampa Bay Bucs sit Tom Brady so that the other team might score better?

Then came this: ""Foreign-owned Keolis Transit (on Monday) refused to bargain with Teamsters Local 533 on Thursday, August 19, despite having announced their availability this Thursday," Watson said.

"The union is considering all options."

Can you say Hot August Strike 3.0?

VIETNAM, A TELEVISION HISTORY (1983), journalist Stanley Karnow's painful 13-part re-telling of the war that ruined the modern United States. Particularly poignant even today.

Toljaso Dept.
Get out of Dodge

Expanded from the 8-9-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Sometimes I hate it when I'm right.

Ho Chin Minh loved America and was ready to intervene against the Japanese after unifying his country in 1945.

Alas and alack, another pompous ass from the land of Keolis-19, Charles deGaulle, persuaded President Harry Truman to ensure Vietnam would again become a French colony so that the Michelin Tire and Rubber Company could get its rubber plantations back.

Harry caved, Ho and Gen. Giap went back to the jungle and kicked French asses, then ours, then the puppet governments'.

Millions died and the carnage continues on all sides between lives lost, PTSD, Agent Orange and a plethora of physical and mental mayhem.

Interventionist jokes have been around for half a century. Remember "Nicaragua is Spanish for Vietnam," and now "Afghanistan is Pashtu for Vietnam."

Now, please step into the Wayback Machine.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962). Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Jose Ferrer, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Quinn. After World War 1, the Brits proceeded to carve up the oil-rich mideast to profit their corporations.

Bedouin nomads considered the idea of borders absolutely silly when invisible lines in the sand were described to locals who had no word for them.

Iraq and the buffer states along the Persian Gulf were created to ensure western power. They also coronated the House of Saud to rule over the Levant.

Our CIA and Britain's MI6 overthrew Iran's democracy in 1953 because British Petroleum wanted its refinery back.

U.S. played like a cheap fiddle
Sarah Chayes / The Ides of August / 8-15-2021

Taliban were invented in 1994 by Pakistani military intelligence
Sarah Chayes / PBS Newshour / 8-20-2021

"Pakistani officials, are crowing about the current results, the current outcome."

Like VP Dick Cheney marketing the lie that Saddam Hussein had nukes as an excuse to invade Iraq in 1993, BP told the idiot Dulles brothers who mangled foreign policy for President Eisenhower that Iran was going commie.

The results: Perpetual mideast war, speaking of which...

CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR (2007), Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman. In the early 1980s, Congressman Charlie Wilson, D-Texas, gets black op arms budgeted for indigenous Mujahideen tribes fighting the Russian Army in Afghanistan. U.S. Stinger missiles knock Soviet helicopter gunships out of the air and Afghanistan quickly becomes the USSR's Vietnam.

They leave. Our surrogates win. We leave a vacuum filled by Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and finally The Taliban. Which leads us to Vietnam 1975 on the news this week.

When will we ever learn?

Stay cool. Stay safe. Stay tuned.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡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 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 <

Web Xtras & Smoking Guns—>

SEE, HEAR & SPEAK NO EVIL DEPT. The current unaccountable politicians who seem content to provoke a strike are Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson (R), Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R), and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado (D) and Neoma Jardon, (R) board chair. Mr. Delgado and his wife both tested positive for COVID-19 in December. He is currently CEO of the (for real) Community Health Alliance of Washoe County. Go figger.

Regional Transportation Commission board e-mail <> / RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas who gets paid $220,000 a year to lookout the window while waiting to go to lunch.


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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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