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Je Suis Charlie
"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

Cutting your woke to spite your face
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 5-17-2023 / Expansions in blue

"Listen and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear.
"And it absolutely will not stop — ever — until you are dead!"
Actor Michael Biehn in the classic sci-fi drama "The Terminator" (Released appropriately in 1984)

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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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Woe unto the formerly United States of America. We continue to commit national suicide by succumbing to the myth that "the pandemic is behind us."

Both Big Joes have said so and they oughtta know, right?

President Biden and newbie Nevada Gov. Giuseppe Lumbago both used those exact words.

Forget the 1,100 Americans dying every week from the plague that's behind us. Let's party our behinds off.

We are perilously close to the pre-pandemic practice of suspecting that anyone wearing a mask must be a robber. Or worse (gasp) — a Democrat.

Largely thanks to early treatment of the plague as a liberal hoax, more than 1.1 million Americans lie dead. The World Health Organization estimates well over 21 million have succumbed globally.

In the immortal words of America's greatest philosopher, Yogi Berra, "It ain't over 'til it's over."

Some intrepid maskers don facial prophylactics to protect family members as well as themselves. Some people avoid rooms containing breathing people, especially cramped and crowded ones.

How anti-social.

I go to medical appointments and few other places. Even doctors' offices have told me "the pandemic mandates have expired and we don't mask anymore."

I called around and found just one provider masking its staff. Patients optional. The rest confessed to becoming barefaced buccaneers.

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, mateys.


We never learned the lesson of Japan which did just about everything wrong in pre-vaccine 2021. Every. Thing. Except one: As a society, the Japanese are used to wearing masks just about everywhere, especially in their overcrowded and polluted cities.

Breaking News —> Masks work!

As a result, Japan came close to getting a COVID-19 get out of jail free card, at least early on.

Researchers have recently identified several new strains of the Omicron variant but none have become widespread.


Not to worry. The pandemic is behind us, right?

Experts have warned that we have not learned. The country is unprepared for the next pandemic.

Americans do nothing until large numbers of people lie dead.

In the case of gun massacres, we choose to do nothing, period.

"That Terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop — ever — until you are dead!"

Alas, life imitates art.

PRIVATIZED PERDITION. Alas and alack, Medicare is becoming increasingly privatized for profit.

How much money can the big insurance companies who sell Medicare Advantage plans be making? Enough that one teases potential customers with a TV spot promising "as much as $300 a month in cash and extra benefits."

The weasel wording "as much as" is an eternal consumer red flag.

A 2010 TV story back when the moonhowlers were trying to kill Obamacare showed some woman carrying a sign advocating to "keep government's hands off my Medicare."

Poor benighted soul didn't know that Medicare has always been a taxpayer-paid big government program.

And about that dreaded "government takeover of health care."

That ship had already sailed in 2009 when the feds passed the 50 percent mark, paying for most of the nation's medical bills. Speaking of which...

SUICIDE WATCH. Last week, that scurrilous-dirty-commie-subversive-fake-news New York Times did something that Republicans appear unable to do.


But hey, arithmetic is woke and should be eliminated from schools as grooming kids for...adulthood, maybe? Jobs?

The Times
did a little math and calculated what will happen if Biden caves to our present-day wooden-headed puppet. Charlie McCarthy and his MAGA moonhowlers demand capping government spending increases at one percent a year.

That's well below what economic gurus consider acceptable inflation of between two and three percent a year.

At one percent, inflation eats us alive.

According to Congressional Budget Office data, if all federal agencies get cut equally, EVERYTHING takes an effective reduction of 18 percent a year for the next decade.

Exempting border security, the Pentagon and veterans health (but including other V.A. costs), all other departments will suffer slashes by a killer 51 percent a year — including Social Security, Medicare and you name it.

Hey, little kids don't need to eat lunch at school, right?

There will be other carve-outs because that's Washington.

As I recently noted, lawmakers representing farm states have already gotten a commitment to exempt corn-based ethanol gasoline additives.

Ethanol-mix gas pollutes as badly as the usual stuff, but as the late Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kansas, once noted "It doesn't have to make sense. It's a farm bill."

What a country.

ACCIDENTAL COMEDY DEPT. For some reason, KRNV TV-4's computers come up with the best unintentional laughers in this market.

A few days ago, a sports report featured a high school pitcher who stated "Like, Nevada is like my home."

The closed-captioning computer translated it as "the Vatican is like my home."

Silver State sports as a religious experience. Who knew?

NO RESPECT DEPT. In a report about petty theft and shoplifting, Channel 4 duly reported that smart thieves know that stealing anything under $1,200 is a misdemeanor but "anything over $1,200 is a felony."

The closed-captioning gremlins digested it as "anything over $1,200 is a Fernley."

Poor little Fernley, frequently feloniously flouted.

The one-time Wigwam Coffee Shop wet-your-whistle stop is now a full-fledged incorporated Sparks-Reno-Teslaville suburb.

Oh, well. Computers are human these days, filled with artificial intelligence.

To err is human, to forgive, A.I.

Besides, felony and Fernley are in the same section of the dictionary.

Close enough for artificially intelligent anti-woke ayatollahs.

Stay safe, get vaxxed and pray for those cruelly afflicted by the cruelly small minds on this small planet.

¡ 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.

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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 54-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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