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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

Alabaster Bastion bucks up superspreaders
Dirty words to remember on the Ides of September
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 9-15-2021 / Updated 11-3-2021 / Expansions in blue

"The distinguished gentleman is very acrobatic. He can straddle the fence while keeping an ear to the ground." — An old rejoinder from the UK House of Commons

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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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As I write, a beautiful 14 year-old Reed High student lies in an emergency room. Her family has been exposed to whatever ails her and they fear for the worst.

She feared needles and didn't want to get jabbed. I hope she lives to tell the tale.

Moonhowlers keep threatening school boards all over the country, including right here in River City.

Serious seven-day sinners all of a sudden embrace religion and claim faith-based exemptions from having their kids wear masks at school.

Last Monday, the Sparks City Council "approved a payment of $430,565.00 to the Renown Health Foundation representing the City of Sparks portion of regionally shared expenditures related to the expansion of hospital services capacity in response to the COVID-19 patient surge," according to a city hall statement.

America is attempting mass suicide with New Messiah Donald Trump as the latter day Rev. Jim Jones telling his flock to drink the Kool-Aid.

Instance in point: the Nevada lawmaker who famously said he'd vote for slavery if his constituents wanted him to do so.

Assemblymember Jim Wheeler, R-Alabaster Bastion, has been sending fundraising solicitations for his state senate campaign. Incumbent Sen. James Settelmeyer, also R-Minden, is term limited.

You may remember Douglas County's machine-gun toting confrontation with a few Black Lives Matter demonstrators last year. (See for nonesuch coverage.)

Believe it or else, Mr. Wheeler is pro-choice.

Witness this e to his fans: "No Nevadan should ever have to fear being fired over a decision between them and their doctor, and no employer should have the right to violate the individual freedoms of their workers. This is why I have asked the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau to look into new potential legislation that would protect workers against discrimination from their employer involving personal medical decisions between them and their doctor."

Zounds. Ole Jim is so stupid, he doesn't realize that his argument against mandatory vaccines is identical with the case for legal abortion.

"Friends, I will always fight for you and your individual freedoms and against the risk of having them taken away. If you agree, I’d certainly appreciate any contribution you can give."

Gloria Steinem, call your office.

"Both the individual freedoms of every American and businesses being able to set policies for their employees are rights worth protecting....To be clear, I am not for or against a vaccine. I would never tell you or anyone else what they should do with their own body. This is your right as an individual...While I have my own opinions, I’d never want to force those on another individual and take away their liberties."

Mr. Wheeler is in good company when it comes to fuzzy thinking.

Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson sits on the Regional Transportation Commission which does not give a flying fig about bus passenger or worker safety.

He and his cohorts have allowed a foreign-owned transit system management outfit to allow any maskless lout aboard.

Drivers who try to enforce safety mandates risk the ax.

RTC commissioners can pull a Pontius Pilate and say it's not their problem, a prime example of perfect political cover.

Perhaps fewer Sparks tax dollars would have gone to the Renown octopus this week had Hizzoner worked to keep the bus system from becoming a superspreader.

President Biden has placed the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) in charge of mandatory vaccine enforcement of every American employer of more than 100.

Good luck.

The Teamsters Union went to OSHA last year and complained about an unsafe work environment. OSHA said they only have jurisdiction when buses are stationary. When rolling, it's somebody else's problem.

Franz Kafka, call your office.

Two hundred workers went on strike last month because the furriners wanted to kill participation in the very advantageous union health plan.

The contractor has continued stonewalling negotiations even after caving to the insurance deal to put the strike on hold.

The furriners avoided negotiations for more than a year and continue to play delay, divide and dissemble.

Since the strike was hiatused, the bandidos have refused scheduled wage increases and tried to force drivers to work 14-hour split-shifts for only eight hours' pay.

In a conference call this week, the contractor's human(?) resources manager told two union representatives “I don’t give a fuck about the union, its members or you. It wasn’t one of our people who were sick, it wasn’t a manager. I am the HR manager. Are we going to get on with this stupid fucking grievance meeting or what? I don’t need to listen to this union bullshit anymore!”

Not a very sharp lady.

Teamsters Shop Steward Amanda Nelson had merely asked about an employee who tested Coronavirus positive.

Union President Gary Watson witnessed the exchange, as did new bus system manager Philip Pumphrey.

In addition to Mayor Lawson, (R), the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is comprised of Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado (D) and Neoma Jardon, (R), board chair. Mr. Lucey announced his candidacy for a third term on Sept. 16.

Democrat Delgado voted with the GOP majority to hire the current superspreaders a couple of years ago. (Lawson did not sit on the board at the time.) Like the biblical Roman governor, all wash their hands regularly. The buck stops elsewhere. RTC board e-mail <>

Pray for the little girl in the ER and write Mr. Wheeler about his ardently pro-choice position.

The RTC appears a lost cause and their constituents suffer.

Tell them so at this Friday's meeting, 9:00 a.m. at Ninth and Wells in Reno.

Stay cool. Stay safe. Stay tuned.

¡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 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 <


Web Xtras & Smoking Guns—>

SEE, HEAR & SPEAK NO EVIL DEPT. The current unaccountable politicians who seemed 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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