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

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Photo: Debra Reid, Sparks Tribune

   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 the scene is dead
   But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
   What everybody knows...
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   and a long red rose.
   Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
That's how it goes.
Everybody knows.

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

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

Abandon hope all ye who enter here
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 2-22-2023 / Updated 3-10-2023 / 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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The Nevada Legislature has started its retro-19th Century, every-other-year scramble to adjourn with minimal damage to the body politick.

This year, the lineup is stocked with starry-eyed newbies proposing windmills of laws worthy of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. It's all a hangover of President Ronald the Vague's fabled and fatuous pronouncement that "government is the problem."

Nevada Reaganauts pushed a lot of "reforms" to damage government as badly as possible. Even some otherwise intelligent Democrats voted to limit legislative sessions to four months every two years in addition to other strictures.

The Republican Party backed a constitutional amendment imposing political term limits. Critics noted that once experienced dinosaurs had been expunged, lobbyists would be more powerful than ever. They don't suffer from term limits.

Most lobbyists serve a very valuable function. They are experts on their issues and provide important information to legislators and staffers in the shaping of the law. But term limits arguably tilt the playing field in favor of big money which can afford the staff, time and money to outgun unpaid private citizens.

Nevada voters cemented term limits into the state constitution in 1996. The GOP's real purpose, of course, lay in the usual: power.

Most of the time since WW2, Democrats have dominated the state legislature largely due to the growth of Gomorrah South. The membership has always turned over every two years but some lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans, had careers that were decades-long. There is something to be said for the value of experience.

Conservative money interests funded the campaign to place term limits on the ballot. As usual, the issue first ended up in the Nevada Supreme Court which cut the baby in half. Instead of one term limit amendment, the blackrobes imposed two.

The first, which passed, established term limits for state and local legislative and executive offices. The second, imposed by the court, applied only to the judiciary. It failed and Nevada's judges were permanently spared the embarrassment of forced retirement save at the polls, which rarely happens. Judicial races are usually very low profile and most incumbents run unopposed.

The independent judiciary independently thus awarded itself job security.

In Washoe County, term limits have just resulted in lots of new faces on elective bodies. Same with the legislature.

One Carson City freshman (are we supposed to say freshpersons now?) wants a state lottery to fund mental health care, a laudable goal. Noting the success of the California state lottery which began in mid-1980s, the gambling-industrial complex got lotteries banned on this side of the state line.

As an alternative, the casino overlords established the Megabucks progressive slot machine program, whereby one-armed bandits all over the state would be electronically linked to offer a very handsome payday for one lucky winner. It apparently failed. Witness the long lines of Nevadans traveling to play the national lottery in California.

Earmarking funds for a worthy cause seems noble. Alas, reality has proven otherwise. California lottery proceeds were earmarked for education, an attempted remedy for the destruction wrought by Ronald Reagan's two terms as governor followed by the Proposition 13 permanent property tax cuts in 1978.

The California legislature indeed devoted all lottery proceeds to education. And deducted the same amount to fund other budgets so the net effect for schools was zero. I guarantee gambling lobbyists will bring up that history if the newbie lottery bill even gets a hearing.

Nevada's schools will remain underfunded because the gambling and mining industries want it that way. In 2016, Washoe County voters were presented a punitive and regressive sales tax increase versus nothing to fund new schools and maintain old ones. Education "activists" thus carefully avoided pissing off the gamblers. It worked, so a people like a low-wage Sparks Nugget dishwasher or fixed-income seniors take the worst hit.

The gross gaming tax on the largest, most profitable casinos has not been raised since 2003 and even then, the hike was small. The 1931 deal to legalize Silver State gambling was that casinos would fund government services. Not anymore. Sales taxes on dishwashers long ago became the principal source of funding for Nevada government services like parks, roads, schools and first responders.

Freshperson Gov. Giuseppe Lumbago has made a big deal of increasing per-pupil funding by about two grand annually. That won't dig our schools out of the sub-basement.

He touted spending lots of money in many places, conveniently ignoring that much of it came from that despicable federal government. Speaking of sins of omission...

30 LASHES WITH A WET NOODLE DEPT. Reno Fire Chief Dave Cochran just got hit with a state ethics violation for appearing in a 2022 campaign ad for Democratic U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto. At the same time, Republican Gov. Lumbago wallpapered the state with ads showing him in full Las Vegas Sheriff drag and apparently no one has heard a discouraging word. Speaking of discouraging outfits...

KEOLIS-19 LOSES AGAIN. The contractor mismanaging the local mass transit system just got fired by the Gomorrah South Regional Transportation Commission. LV even went with the highest of three bidders. Foreign-owned Keolis turned the Reno-Sparks-Washoe system into a COVID-19 superspreader and lost a hat trick of strikes by the Teamsters Union in 2021. RTCRide workers could again walk out anytime if strikers from Virginia come to town and establish picket lines.

Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson, current Washoe RTC chair, said the current system needs to be leveled and started over. Of course, money-wasting Keolis-19 is the place to start. So let's get it on. [[MUCH MORE]]

The $2 billion libel case filed by Dominion Voting Systems against the Fox Fake News Machine could destroy the First Amendment. Rupert Murdoch's outfit will appeal any loss and the moonhowler majority on the highest court, already under right-wing pressure to negate current standards, could use the Dominion action to place freedom of the press in a coffin.

Last Friday, conservative Republican NYTimes columnist David Brooks proposed radically changing local education by establishing "micro-schools" with smaller student bodies. Hmmm...where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, here, a few weeks ago.

Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and other currently war-torn lands, now up to 63.

¡ 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 54-year Nevadan and editor of,,, BallotBoxing.US,,,, and among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Gun—> Why the science is clear that masks work
By Zeynep Tufecki / The New York Times / 3-10-2023

Moonhowlers: Fix Social Security. Please die.
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 2-15-2023 / Expansions in blue

Life imitates art. The dystopian, polluted world of the Charlton Heston/Edward G. Robinson film "Soylent Green" (1973) has gone mainstream.

That's the net effect of what's being proposed both here and abroad. In Japan, a place where elders are supposed to be respected, some yayhoos have suggested that the elderly should off themselves.

Said yayhoos are not outliers and this is nothing new over there. Or over here.

Ten years ago, Taro Aso (insults based on his last name welcome), the Japanese government's finance minister, said he would refuse end-of-life care and would "feel bad" knowing that his treatment was paid for by the government. (Guardian of London/UK 1-22-2013)

"Hurry up and die," he demanded of his elders as a fix for the government paying for senior citizen medical care.

Actually, Mr. Aso was behind the curve. In 1984, Colorado Gov. (1975-1987) Richard Lamm (aka "Governor Gloom") said pretty much the same thing. Supporting physician-assisted suicide, he said elderly people had a "duty to die."

He was elected as a Democrat and later schmoozed billionaire Ross Perot's Reform Party for a presidential run. He made lots of friends in Nevada when he said that one in eight Las Vegas women under 45 were prostitutes. Several hundred thousand hookers? Not even brothel legends Joe Conforte or Dennis Hough were that ambitious.

The terminally ill have a "duty to die and get out of the way" instead of fighting to the bitter end, Lamm said.

"Let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life." (NYTimes 3-29-1984)

Lamm said "that the costs of treatment that allows some terminally ill people to live longer was ruining the nation's economic health," the Times reported.

Hmmm...what about Reaganomics, also practiced by the Bushmasters and Trumpistas who came later, robbing the poor to give to the rich? What about our bloated and wasteful war spending?

Nah. Just blame old people.

Lamm later said that that his views had been sensationalized by the media.

Fast forward back to the future. French folks today are rioting in the streets because President Macron wants to slightly raise the retirement age.

And echoing Lamm and Aso, a Yale professor has suggested mass suicide of the worst kind: seppuku, ritual disembowelment with a Samurai sword. (How Hollywood. Akira Kurosawa, call your office.)

Like Lamm, Dr. Yusuke Narita, an assistant professor of, Yale, said he'd been misinterpreted and that he was mainly addressing getting old guys out of business and political leadership positions. Uh huh.

Narita has even advocated mandatory mercy killing. And a cadre of congressional Republicans just leaked a strategy to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. (Barbwire 1-18-2023)

The only thing left is to use the bodies of the elderly for Soylent Green's grannyburgers. Not to worry...

COVID-19 WILL DO THE JOB FOR US. I have been chilled to the bone with moonhowlers, including our new Trumpista Nevada Governor, stating "the pandemic is behind us."

Thus spake Gov. Giuseppe Lumbago in his first state of the state address. His factually flawed sophistry was music to the ears of casinos and economic development/corporate welfare boosters. Party on down, business as usual.

Last Saturday, the fake news New York Times published the following warning: "For Older Americans, the Pandemic Is Not Over. Seniors are increasingly left to protect themselves as the rest of the country abandons precautions."

Japan and South Korea have long traditions of mask wearing. To not wear one indicates that you don't care for others.

"Americans do not agree about the duty to protect others,” the Times reported.

"About three-quarters of Covid deaths have occurred in people over 65, with the greatest losses concentrated among those over 75.

"In January, the number of Covid-related deaths fell after a holiday spike but nevertheless numbered about 2,100 among those ages 65 to 74, more than 3,500 among 75- to 84-year-olds and nearly 5,000 among those over 85. Those three groups accounted for about 90 percent of the nation’s Covid deaths last month.

"Hospital admissions, which have also been dropping, remain more than five times as high for people over 70 than as those in their 50s. Hospitals can endanger older patients even when the conditions that brought them in are successfully treated; the harmful effects of drugs, inactivity, sleep deprivation, delirium and other stresses can take months to recover from — or can land them back in the hospital," the Times noted.

"Nancy Berlinger, a bioethicist and research scholar at the Hastings Center, made a similar point: 'The foundational questions about ethics are about what we owe others, not just ourselves, not just our circle of family and friends.'

"Three years in, the societal answer seems clear: With mask and vaccination mandates mostly ended, testing centers and vaccination clinics closed and the federal public health emergency scheduled to expire in May, older adults are on their own. [[Emphasis added.]]

“Americans do not agree about the duty to protect others, whether it’s from a virus or gun violence,” Dr. Berlinger said.

Peerless predixion: Hollywood will re-make and updated version of "Soylent Green." With Samurai sword-style light sabers, perhaps.

Smoking Gun—> Why the science is clear that masks work
By Zeynep Tufecki / The New York Times / 3-10-2023

A MORE ATTRACTIVE PROPOSITION: MORE SEX FOR EVERYBODY. Magdalene J. Taylor's guest commentary in the Times took a happier stance.

"Sex is good. Sex is healthy. Sex is an essential part of our social fabric. And you — specifically — should probably be having more of it.

"Americans, in the midst of a loneliness epidemic, are not having enough sex. Across almost every demographic group, American adults old and young, single and coupled, rich and poor are having less sex than they have had at any point in at least the past three decades," she wrote.

Wow. Hollywood and television are not doing their jobs selling everything with sex. Perhaps they need to cut down on violence and start filming friendlier human interaction.

Sex is a lot cheaper than hospital care for gunshot victims.

As oldsters used to say when we were youngsters, make love, not war.

Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and other currently war-torn lands, now up to 63.

¡ 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 54-year Nevadan and editor of,,, BallotBoxing.US,,,, and among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Gun—>

Why the science is clear that masks work
By Zeynep Tufecki / The New York Times / 3-10-2023

Fatherly advice from the Holy See of Me
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 2-8-2023 / Expansions in blue

PUBLIC RELATIONS ADVICE FROM MAYOR QUARANTINO: Don't play dumb when public documents are requested.

Veteran KOLO TV-8 journalist Ed Pearce has been reporting on abuse of public workers injured on the job who have no recourse at law when governments won't pay.

Washoe County's Olivia Benson, former Sheriff's Detective Kim Frankel, was severely injured on duty by a drunk driver. She suffered whiplash, a concussion, and developed dystonia, brain damage causing involuntary spastic contractions of arms, hands and feet.

SMOKING GUN: Washoe County's 552-page taxpayer-funded appeal of Detective Frankel's victories. How many lawyers logged $500-$1,000 per hour composing this abusive embarrassment? Perhaps their Caribbean law school professors graded by weight.

If Washoe County had paid for early care, she'd be back on the job investigating sex crimes. Washoe reneged. Sheriff Darin Balaam wouldn't even make a phone call. She and her family lost their house and moved to Oregon to live with relatives. She's finally getting treatment there, paying for it herself, but the bodily convulsions are permanent. She is working to change the abusive law.

She said that if the county had paid for her care instead of fighting and losing in court, taxpayers would be money ahead. I asked for an accounting.

Indeed, the $73,436.00 in legal costs to date is almost half of everything.

The state has also fined the county for the abuse in her case. How much? Officials play dumb.

"Washoe County is not in possession of responsive public record to the request. If there were responsive public records they would be subject to confidentially rules under (various state laws)," stated the county comptroller's apparatchiks.

Translation: Taxpayers have taken another hit and we don't gotta tell you nothin'.

"Uh oh, you must have hit a nerve," Ms. Frankel responded.

"They‘re too busy continuing to try and intimidate, harass and bully me by sending their 552-page appeal (<—at left) directly to me instead of my association or my attorney. Maybe you will hit less of a nerve asking them why they continue to tax injured deputies' non-taxable income, forcing deputies to overpay taxes when they’ve been asked repeatedly to fix the issue," she added.

Sen. Skip Daly, D-Sparks, is introducing legislation to fix the legal loophole which has caused thousands of public workers to be thrown away like litter on the roadside.

READ MORE ABOUT IT: Law & Order Special Victims — Nevada's Disposable Cops (Barbwire 12-14-2022)

. May the wonderful Rebecca Gasca score $250,000 from the City of
Reno's insurance fund this week. She sued after being shot three times by Reno Police during the May 2020 George Floyd riot in front of city hall. She was wearing clearly-marked attire as an ACLU observer and put her hands up when she saw rifles trained in her direction. Didn't matter.

Don't kid yourself about the danger of rubber bullets. Hard rubber buckshot hits your face and you're blind. That's happening all over the world as a prelude to live ammo. Aren't we supposed to be better than that?

Fortunately, she got hit lower. If Rebecca's trauma causes city policing to change, it's worth a $250k slap on the risk and kick in the balls to this retro town. City Attorney Karl Hall has wisely recommended the settlement. The new lady chief has her work cut out for her.

SPIRITUAL ADVICE FROM FATHER QUARANTINO. Separation of church and state is well on the way to the dustbin of American history. There have been many harbingers including the deadly case of the Dayton, Nevada, church that successfully sued to keep holding packed worship services despite the pre-vaccine 2020 COVID-19 shutdown.

Like the lawless Washoe County bus system, the church became a Coronavirus superspreader.

Several other recent cases have used religious dogma to allow discrimination against those of alternative procreative proclivity.

Corrupt Clarence and the Catholic Supremes are now poised to hammer the last nail into the coffin of the establishment clause. The hallowed First Amendment to U.S. Constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

The whole point was to keep government from imposing state-sanctioned religious beliefs. Freedom FROM religion.

James Madison
et al. saw the chaos and wars started because the state said somebody's god was better than somebody else's metaphysical concept. The world's major religions all offer simple moral admonition which can be oversimplified in two words: be kind.

Alas and alack, marketing departments always took over and began selling their product as better than another. Untold millions lie dead and we make more every day. (The current worldwide war count stands at 63, up from 53 a year ago.)

Those much wiser than me predict that the Catholic majority on the U.S. high court will mandate government by religious dogma this year. The moonhowlers will reverse longstanding precedent that a zealot cannot impose his will on his co-workers by pleading religious freedom. (Linda Greenhouse NY Times 2-5-2023)

In the current instance, a small town postal worker quit after refusing to work on Sunday during December, the busiest time of the year. That's perhaps no problem in a major metro, but in a small town, it leads to serious delays for medicines as well as Christmas cards.

A conservative think tank sued on the worker's behalf. As with Roe v. Wade, the current Catholic majority has already telegraphed its punch. So Justice Samuel Alito need not fear leakage of this draft.

I can make money off this travesty. Padre Barbano could register the Divine Church of What's Happenin' Now, sell a buncha memberships, and my parishioners could plead religious exemptions at any workplace. All while I get tax-free rich.

Don't wanna wear pants to work? Don't wanna be bound by blasphemous rules like showing up on time? Don't wanna get canned if you pinch your co-worker's can. Not to worry. Pope Andrew will write you an excuse for religious exemptions, especially during football season.

Don't wanna work Sunday so you can see how your NFL bets are doing? No problemo. Football is America's most popular religion and Sunday is sacrosanct. I'll sell introductory memberships for only $79.95 a year while supplies last. Guaranteed gluten-free. I bet I could get Donald Trump's endorsement if I cut him in on the action. He loves avoiding taxes.

Clarence and the Supremes, the gods of the new business paradigm. Call your broker and tell them to watch for my IPO.

RELATIONSHIP ADVICE FROM DR. QUARANTINO. Do you know the difference between a lie and diplomacy? Two examples will suffice.

When Czar Putin the Terrible tells a mediator he will not kill Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, that's a lie. When Vlad the Butcher said so to the former prime minister of Israel last March right after Russia invaded, he had in fact already dispatched a hit squad to kill Zelenskyy. Fortunately, the murder squad was intercepted.

Putin's statement was unimpeachably, verifiably a lie.

In contrast, when a husband replies to his wife that her lovely new dress does not make her ass look big, when it actually does (God bless her), that's not a lie. That's diplomacy!

HEALTH ADVICE FROM DR. QUARANTINO. A new strain of bird flu is coming and it's more deadly than anything we've seen during the current plague. Are the government and its drug profiteers working the problem? Yes. Will it be enough? Not likely. Short-attention span America only reacts to crises. Instead of building a better ship, we wait until the Titanic is within sight of the iceberg. (Zeynep Tufecki, NY Times 2-5-2023 and 3-10-2023) Be very afraid. Get all your current jabs. They provide some defense against the ugly new cousin.

Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and other currently war-torn lands, now up to 63.

¡ 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 54-year Nevadan and editor of,,, BallotBoxing.US,,,, and among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Gun—>

Why the science is clear that masks work
By Zeynep Tufecki / The New York Times / 3-10-2023

RIP GOP: Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 1-18-2023 / Updated 1-24-2023 / Expansions in blue

"The federal government is basically an insurance company with an army" -- old economics zinger

Rep. Mark Amodei has a target on his back. In a good way.
The longtime northern Nevada Republican congresscritter is potentially one of five or so GOP lawmakers who can save the republic and perhaps the global economy.
Mark and his Carson High classmate Dean Heller were good public servants back when they did time in the Nevada Legislature. Alas and alack, both had to drink the Kool-Aid and become moonhowlers when they reached DC.
Fealty to the controllers is necessary for longevity and influence on the banks of the Potomac. It's gotten to the point that blood oaths are now required and soon, your firstborn. (Perhaps today's GOP can get some pointers on baby-sacrifices from that mythological Washington pizza joint where Hillary and her followers swear allegiance to Satan hisself.)
Newbie House Speaker Kevin McCarthyism has violated the first rule of Chicago-style politics: Never sign nuttin'.
They actually put their plan to destroy America in writing.
According to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman in the fake news New York Times via fake news CNN, "a screenshot of a slide presented to a closed-door Republican meeting on Tuesday (Jan. 10)...calls for balancing the budget within 10 years, which is mathematically impossible without deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. (It further) calls for reforms to 'mandatory spending' -- which is budget speak for those same programs. And the final point calls for refusing to raise the debt limit unless these demands are met."
The United States is due to run out of money this Thursday. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin told Congress last week that she could only keep the country afloat until June without further congressional action. If the US defaults on its debt, welcome to worldwide Great Depression II.
I see only two ways out of this Republican werewolfian horror movie. Biden must use the National Security Act to declare a national emergency and co-opt the moonhowler majority. Would Clarence and the Supremes go for it? You never know. If the government is out of money, supreme court justices don't get paid.
The other gambit avoids a constitutional crisis and financial meltdown: Amodei and a few others like Rep. Eli Crane, R-Arizona, must move for removal of the speaker. Under the new rules McCarthy allowed to win his job, it only takes one to move for a no-confidence vote and replace the gavel-wielder who controls what issues come up for a vote.
Crane was the only Republican to vote against McCarthy's ascension.
"I might wind up in the broom closet," he quipped.
The Fab Five can oust McCarthy and elect Democrat Hakeem Jeffies, D-NY, or a GOP-Democratic coalition choice. And save the nation and the world.
And Social Security. And Medicare. And Medicaid. And all those wondrous federal funds currently being dispensed by newbie Gov. Jose Lumbago, R-Clark County Jail.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END. As I noted last week, former Republican White House official and author Kevin Phillips predicted in 2000 that the restoration of the Bush family dynasty would result in the end of the Republican Party. He based his analysis on what happened after restorations in England and France.
When Dubya got re-elected after Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., committed suicide, Bush the Lesser considered it his mandate to privatize Social Security, the last big pot of federal money that Wall Street does not control. It was quickly slapped down.
Most Republican voters favor liberal social programs. I chuckled at one hillbilly woman who showed up at a 2010 Tea Party demonstration against Obamacare with a sign that read "Keep Government's Hands Off My Medicare."
That ship had already sailed. The US government became the biggest user of medical services the year before when it surpassed the 50 percent mark according to the Nevada State Medical Association.
HISTORICAL REALITY CHECK: The Boston Tea Party was a protest against a tax cut.
GIVE RITCHIE A CALL. After a sojourn at St. Mary's hospital, Nevada union stalwart Ritchie Haber currently resides at Alta Care. The Brooklyn native and longtime New York union transit operator is ailing and could use a friendly call or card from friends.
Ritchie and his union brothers in the local Industrial Workers of the World showed up on a freezing day when no one else would to protest non-union work at the heavily taxpayer subsidized downtown Reno movie theaters. They marched from UNR to the riverfront and generated a ton of media on a morning fit neither man nor beast. I"m serious. I was the only other union member there and I was covering it for the news in my car.
Ritchie drove for the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority for 27 years before moving to Nevada 21 years ago.
"My mama was a socialist," he proudly notes. If he can, he'll show up to picket the downtown Reno bus station if striking Virginia drivers demonstrate here.
Write Ritchie care of Alta, 555 Hamill, Reno 89511 or call (775) You can e him via <> or call (775) 828-5600.
He's in room 604 but go thru the switchboard during office hours as the voicemail hell system is not dependable.
SPEAKING OF STRIKES. The last union supporter at Sparks City Hall was the late councilman and Regional Transportation Commission member John Mayer over 20 years ago.
I have thus been pleasantly surprised that Sparks Mayor and current RTC Chair Ed Lawson has become the best worker advocate since John Mayer.
Hizzoner not only favors ending expensive subcontracting of management to for-profit foreign companies but also told last week that he supports the right of workers to picket.
The Teamsters Union's current contract allows workers to honor picket lines if current contractor Keolis-19 is struck anywhere in the U.S. That's happening now in Virginia.
Stay tuned. And Ritchie, keep your picket sign handy.
THE TERMINATOR is still out there. Get vaxxed, dammit! Two of my senior citizen neighbors who, unlike me, don't avoid rooms containing people, got hit with the plague for the second time. Gregariousness has its price. Although the wife got a stay in the most expensive hotel in town, they both survived. Get vaxxed, dammit!

¡ 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 54-year Nevadan and editor of,,, BallotBoxing.US,,,, and among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.


Web Xtras & Smoking Guns—>

Why the science is clear that masks work
By Zeynep Tufecki / The New York Times / 3-10-2023

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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 © 1982-2023 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 53-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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