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ANDREW BARBANO
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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

 

 

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

Rittenhouse in Reno & rationality in Sparks?
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 1-26-2022 / Expansions in blue

I first saw an online post about Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooter Kyle Rittenhouse having moved to these parts. Ho hum, another Internet rumor.


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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

Tomorrow's news today —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential
TOP SECRET— HushHush!

 

Then last week came a tip from a reader saying someone identifying himself as Rittenhouse has been shopping big ticket items around town.

The teen who shot two men dead during riotous mayhem was acquitted of murder charges. Unlike the three crackers who executed black jogger Ahmed Arbery, gunny Rittenhouse had a defense fund that topped $2 million.

Perhaps he still has some left. Anyone having a Rittenhouse sighting, please contact me.

National news reports say that he has requested return of the 99-percent machine gun he used to kill two men. Not to worry. He can replace his firepower and a whole lot more just about anywhere in Nevada. He's old enough now that he won't even need to illegally employ a straw buyer to pass a background check. Or go to a Nevada gun show to be welcomed as a hero or in Groucho goggles to be anonymous. An eyewitness informed me that the guy saying he's the killer makes it very clear who he is but is trying to start over In Nevada. Red flag.

If it's him, so be it. If not, he won't be the first to skate on someone else's fame in a faraway small town. I've seen a few.

OUTBREAK OF REASON AT RAIL CITY HALL? Who'da thunk it?

I was mildly surprised when Sparks councilcritters recently started a version of a diversity commission (see below) which their predecessors passed on Jan. 22, 2007, then let drift for 15 years. (Former Reno-Sparks NAACP Presidents Lucille Adin and Dolores Feemster attended with me.)

I was shocked when Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson, who represents the city on the Regional Transportation Commission, said "We need to blow the thing up and…build a better system" at last Friday's RTC meeting.

He was talking about our collapsing mass transit system. I could not agree more and I've been beating that drum for 30 years.

Bus system mismanagement has its roots in a three-tiered structure built to bounce blame to somebody else. The five elected commissioners (two each from Reno and Washoe County, one from Sparks) sit atop the pyramid. Below them, a large RTC staff responsible for the bus system and a lot of road stuff.

Tier three is the for-profit foreign contractor hired at an exorbitant fee to mismanage the system. Tier four at the back of the bus are the passengers, drivers and support staff.

“We are subsidizing something that is failing,” Washoe County Commissioner Bob Lucey echoed. “Why are we continuing to chase a broken model?”

I never thought I'd say it, but he reminds me of me. I've been chronicling RTC mass transit abuses since the 1990s, including four strikes and a few close calls.

RTC Executive (?) Director (?) Bill Thomas fell back on the same old excuses. He is not responsible for the cruel winds of fate that have sore abused his psyche while scoring $220,000 a year plus cushy benefits. See NevadaLabor.com for how he spawned a COVID-19 superspreader.

Bob Conrad at ThisIsReno.com reported that "RTC has seen a drop of about 10,000 riders per day since the start of the pandemic."

Actually, it's worse. Ridership nosedived from the first day the current contractor, France-based Keolis Transit, took over on July 1, 2019, fully eight months before the pandemic.

For 30-plus years of chapter and verse about this government boondoggle, see NevadaLabor.com/

OOPS DEPT. Last week, I printed an item about open seats on the newly formed Sparks Police Citizens Advisory Committee. SPD Chief Chris Crawforth has since let me know that I had been misinformed and that there are no slots available.

The first meeting of the Rail City panel is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31 at Sparks City Hall. It will not be livestreamed.

"We are utilizing PD personnel to manage the meeting and it is all new to them. We have it on the radar to implement live stream" on April 4, the chief noted.

COURTHOUSE BEAT. Stormy Daniels and Sarah Palin are both heading for court in the Big Apple. In case you've forgotten, one is a faithless, shameless opportunistic hussy and the other is a porn star. More next week.

SECESSIONIST SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK. Republican operatives in Gomorrah South are threatening an initiative to allow small communities to secede from larger school districts. Civics optional, book burning mandatory.

Before anyone starts singing that siren song, I refer you to my extensive coverage of Lyon County's racist small town Yerington High School. Details at NevadaLabor.com/

NEWS ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE, as it's known in Reno, or the Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board in Sparks.

"The Mayor’s and Councilmembers’ appointments to the EIAB will be included on an agenda for one of the Council’s regular meetings but the date has not been set," stated Assistant City Manager Alyson McCormick. I have received info on the Sparks applicants and will publish them next week.

Pre-pandemic, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve tried to start a countywide human rights commission. Washoe County was not interested and told her they'd watch Reno. Sparks simply said "we're broke." So what else is new?

I can't assert cause and effect, but the profile that I and former Reno-Sparks NAACP President Lonnie Feemster raised about the Sparks PD killing of suicidal 18 year-old Miciah Lee may well have played a role in thawing city hall. That, and getting a responsive police chief.

Look out, guys. Some moonhowlers may accuse the all-Republican mayor and council of (gasp!) liberalism.

SPARKS FAMILY UPDATE.
The GoFundMe campaign to help local bus operator Michael Lansborough and his family has risen to $2,870 since last week's paper. The announced goal is $4,000 but that remains quite modest when lost work and post-op recovery time are factored in.

My Sparks union brother faces mega-major surgery next week. He is sole support of his wife and son, Logan, who has no lower legs due to a genetic flaw. In his wheelchair, the intrepid 10 year-old supported his dad on Teamsters Union picket lines during last summer's Hot August Strike. (Photos on the front page of NevadaLabor.com/)

Here is the link <https://gofund.me/7eae2ed0> Be generous. If you would like to help by check, make it payable to Michael Lansborough and send to his attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100, Reno NV 89512.

Join me in donating. Please. And tell your friends.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ se puede!

Próspero año y felicidad

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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com 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 <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

What black people won't say
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 1-19-2022 / Expansions in blue

But I will. Democrats made a mistake supporting Joseph Biden over Bernie Sanders.

I forgave Mr. Biden for Clarence Thomas and a host of other sellouts to the corporate good ole boy system and voted for the president anyway —  as did Sen. Sanders.

In recent decades, the bedrock of Democratic strength has always been unions, African Americans and women. Both Barack Obama and now Mr. Biden have failed to move long-sought legislation to level the union election playing field which has resulted in the lowest union numbers among first-world nations.

Organized labor has become co-dependent. We're so used to getting abused by our friends that the only excuse for sticking around is "without us, he wouldn't have anybody like us to beat up."

Is there a Committee to Aid Abused Unions somewhere?

Over MLK weekend, media veritably dripped with bile over Mr. Biden's shilly-shallying, dithering and dilatory dilly-dallying over voting rights while the party of Godhead Trump the Ultimate subverted democracy in dozens of states.

How bad has it gotten? As you have already heard, the conventional wisdom holds that the Trump cult will sweep this fall, re-taking the House and Senate. Combined with their dominance of a royalist supreme court, Biden may as well not show up for work a year from now.

Without naming names, I've heard the same dark warnings from the mouths of professional Donkey Party operatives.

FREE TICKETS ON THE TITANIC. America seems hellbent on suicide both at the ballot box and the bloodstream. I saw a META (aka Facebook) post from a retired union guy who bought into the idea to stop fighting and learn to love the plague. Go get it, get over it and go on with your life as usual.

No photo accompanied the post so I couldn't tell if his head showed evidence of having been buried in the sand or other dark dirty places. The comment was in the right place. "Meta" is Hebrew for "death."

Conspiracy lovers are apparently again pimping the sci-fi fantasy that John F. Kennedy, Jr., will soon return to right the ship of state.

I think some mischievous teenager, perhaps in Russia, came up with that one during a game of how low can you go.

"Hey, Tovarich. I'm go to see just how stupid are American. Let's see if who believe a Kennedy back from grave."

"Give it a try, Ivanov. They already believe that about their Jesus and E.T., the Extra Terrestrial. How about a side bet on how many Google returns we'll get? Czar Vladimir will be so pleased by our work."

So the joke gets quickly transmuted into reality by the Internet gullible.

Alas and alack, thereinbelow lies a gnawing hunger for true inspirational leadership, the kind JFK the Elder embodied. Millions of Americans are so desperate that they have even embraced an anti-JFK who trashed everything Kennedy stood for.

Bernie has been the only unyielding leader who fit the bill in recent years, motivating the young and disgruntled, but the corporate system quashed him.

I will brook no accusation of being personally disgruntled. I have never been gruntled in my life, drunk or sober.

ENGRAVE ON YOUR PSYCHE: "This will always remain one of the best jokes of democracy — that it gave its deadly enemies the means by which it was destroyed."Hitler propaganda boss Joseph Goebbels.

BACK TO REALITY. At last week's Reno-Sparks NAACP meeting, I was informed that the City of Sparks is forming an Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board. Excellent.

Former President Lucille Adin and I find this welcome news, as the council passed a resolution to form a diversity commission on Jan. 22, 2007, but it never happened. (We were in attendance at Sparks City Hall along with late President Dolores Feemster.)

I was further informed that the application period to apply has closed. As I did with the citizen police advisory committee, I have asked for the names and applications of the candidates and will publish them as before. Watch the Trib or NevadaLabor.com for info about the council appointment timeline.

I also learned that the police committee has had several departures although it has yet to meet due to a long training period.

The first meeting of the Rail City panel is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Monday Jan. 31 at Sparks City Hall. I don't know if it will be livestreamed.

The City of Reno's Human Rights Commission is once again showing signs of life. Perhaps local governments will start talking with each other. That might be pro-gruntling.

Stay tuned.

KEEP IT UP. The GoFundMe campaign to help local bus operator Michael Lansborough and his family has risen to $2,565 since last week's paper. The announced goal is $4,000 but that remains quite modest.
My Sparks union brother faces mega-major surgery soon. He is sole support of his wife and son, Logan, who has no lower legs due to a genetic flaw. In his wheelchair, the intrepid 10 year-old supported his dad on Teamsters Union picket lines during last summer's Hot August Strike. (Photos on the front page of NevadaLabor.com/)

Here is the link <https://gofund.me/7eae2ed0> Be generous. If you would like to help by check, make it payable to Michael Lansborough and send to his attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100, Reno NV 89512.

Join me in donating. Please. And tell your friends.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ se puede!

Próspero año y felicidad

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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com 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 <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

Ghosts of Mississippi, Lani Guiniere & U.S. Grant
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 1-12-2022 / Expansions in blue

"This will always remain one of the best jokes of democracy — that it gave its deadly enemies the means by which it was destroyed." — Hitler propaganda boss Joseph Goebbels

Herr Goebbels would recognize Trump's Start the Steal, Part Deux.

As I mentioned last week, Barbwire predixions often come true, too often to my regret.

On Feb. 16, 2016, with 17 candidates in the Republican presidential primary, I moved a piece entitled "History foreshadows a GOP November win." Lots of my friends didn't like my projection based on well-founded historical research by minds far greater than mine.

Later, I published this quote from an LA Times cartoon by David Horsey: "As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete moron."H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun, 7-26-1920.

Republican Warren G. Harding won that November, creating the most corrupt presidency until that of Czar Donaldov. Had he not died of a heart attack, Harding would have become the first president impeached, convicted and removed due to the infamous Teapot Dome oilfield leasing scandal.

On the good side, back in February 2006, I also noted that the cycles of history forecast a Democratic win in 2020. Which also came to pass for all Americans, including the burgeoning Trump Evangelical Church of God in Donald.

This week, a longtime Barbwire reader forwarded this: "If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence,” that war would not be waged between regional factions, but “between patriotism and intelligence on one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.”  (Snopes.com)

That purportedly came from our 18th President (1869-1877), Hiram Ulysses (aka Ulysses Simpson aka US) Grant. Is it correct?

Jawohl. Snopes.com fact checkers verified it from a Grant speech at Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 29, 1875. (Link with this column's expanded web edition at NevadaLabor.com/)

SIDNEY POITIER RISKED HIS LIFE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS. On August 4, 2020, Jerry Mitchell of the Center for Investigative Reporting wrote "On this day in 1964, the same day the FBI found the bodies of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andy Goodman and Mickey Schwerner, singer Harry Belafonte heard that the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee needed at least $50,000 to survive. His friend and fellow activist Sidney Poitier delivered $70,000 raised in the Mississippi Delta. When they landed at the Greenwood airport after dark, a pickup filled with white men pursued and rammed them. The two performers made it to their destination, delivering the money to keep Freedom Summer going.

" 'We knew if we never did another thing together,' Belafonte recalled, 'this was to be forever cherished.' "

The Dallas Morning News picked up the Poitier/Belafonte story so it appears credible and has been lighting up anti-social media. Speaking of which...

TAKE MY WIFE, PLEASE! Meta (as in "I never META white person I didn't like"), fka  Facebook, is rife with stories that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' wife, Ginni, posted a Tweet endorsing the treasonous Jan. 6, 2021 attempt to crown Trump king.

"God bless each of you!" she effused. Snopes.com verified the story. See NevadaLabor.com/

I regret that I must remind readers that Justice Thomas is black, his wife is white.

Given his record and her support of the murderous MAGA rioters, I am on firm ground when I say they are a match made in heaven: both white supremacists.

(Columniator's note: "meta" in Hebrew means "death.")

MORE UNENLIGHTENED MAGAMANIACS. In last week's Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate debate, one guy actually said that government should task law enforcement to tax homeless panhandlers.

Others typified Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau's definition of the oxymoronic GOP PR spin "compassionate conservatism."

"Compassionate" means "we care," where "conservatism" means "you're on your own."

Wacko former Democrat John Lee actually said something borderline sensible. The North Las Vegas Mayor trashed homeless people, then advocated for increased mental health care. By doing so, he agreed with the GOP's boogeyman, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, who recently lamented how mental health care in Nevada has been underfunded "for decades."

As someone who's been in that fight since the 1970s, both are correct. But just words.

CRACKERJACK: GEORGIA 33, 'BAMA 18. A Blue State collegiate football champion at last.

GHOST OF GUINIERE. Last week came news of the death at 71 of Harvard law professor Lani Guiniere. Bill and Hillary threw her under the boss when GOP moonhowlers trashed and smeared her as a "quota queen" when Friendly President Clinton nominated her to become chief deputy attorney general for civil rights in 1993.

She had proposed ideas to make voting more fair, like open primaries and ranked-choice voting. The latter idea just won a round in Carson District Court, opposed by (drum roll, please...) Democratic Party interests.

Can't blame them too much. Our last two legislatures have been historic in American history: Majority female. We're on a good trajectory despite ourselves.

The state teachers' union is also in court opposing its own initiative petitions to raise mining and major casino taxes. (They called the petitions legislative bargaining chips.)

To rewrite a cliché, if Lani Guiniere and State Sen. Joe Neal, D-N. Las Vegas, were alive, they'd be turning over in their graves.

THANKS FOR THE HELP. The GoFundMe campaign campaign to help local bus operator Michael Lansborough and his family has gone from $1,400 to $2,225 since last week's paper. The announced goal is $4,000 but that's quite modest.

My Sparks union brother faces mega-major surgery in a couple of weeks. He is sole support of his wife and son, Logan, who has no lower legs due to a genetic flaw. The stalwart 10 year-old was ubiquitous in his wheelchair supporting his father on Teamsters Union picket lines during last summer's Hot August Strike. (Photos on the front page of NevadaLabor.com/)

Here is the link <https://gofund.me/7eae2ed0> Be generous. If you would like to help by check, make it payable to Michael Lansborough and send to his attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100, Reno NV 89512.

Join me in donating. Please.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ se puede!

Próspero año y felicidad

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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com 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 <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

STORIES WITH LEGS
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 1-5-2022 / Expansions in blue

"Whatsoever you do to these, the least of my brethren, you do also to me." — Yeshua of Nazareth, Galilee

Barbwire predixions usually come true. I herewith predict that you will be hearing more and more about the following for many, many years to come. Read on.

SUE THE BASTARDS. Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County bus system has scheduled major cutbacks starting January 8, blaming driver and passenger shortages.

Orwellianly, they call it "planning to rebuild." I guess it ain't planning if it don't hurt the peons.

The RTC passenger count dropped thru the floor the day Keolis-19 took over in July 2019, fully eight months before the plague hit. (Official smoking gun stats at NevadaLabor.com/)

They proceeded to intentionally run a virus Superspreader, refusing to enforce mask mandates. I can't blame passengers and workers for not wanting to patronize an overtly unsafe system. Dozens of drivers and even some support staff were infected and hospitalized, at least two admitted to intensive care. Only heaven knows how many passengers fell.

RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas unilaterally and secretly waived all performance penalties in March, 2020, so France-based for-profit contractor Keolis-19 screwed up with impunity, drivers and passengers be damned.

The five RTC Commissioners (Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson, Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung and Bob Lucey, Reno Councilcritters Neoma Jardon and Oscar Delgado) turned their backs and walked away. [RTC Commissioners contact info]

Ironically, one of the affected bus routes serves the front door of the Community Health Alliance on Wells Ave., Delgado's day job in the heart of the Latino community.

Another eroded route serves the 9th Street/Silverada area.

I've heard from top gun lawyers about this. The RTCRide bus system not only gets local sales tax money but also millions in federal funds.

If RTC has not performed a study on how these cuts will affect minority and economically stressed communities, well, that makes work for top gun lawyers, several of whom I've heard from about this.

If RTC can't be transparent, the Barbwire always operates that way. So before I ask the bureaucracy, I'm asking RTC here in the Tribune: Show me a detailed pre-January 8 analysis on how these cuts affect the least among us. Or you can get the request via subpoena.

The mass transit system serves the weak — the poor, the sick, the very young and very old, the homeless and the disabled, speaking of which...

HELP DAD AND THE KID. Logan Lansborough was the poster child of the Hat Trick Strikes, all three won to national acclaim against Keolis-19 last year by Teamsters Local 533.

Logan is 10 and picketed the mass transit system from his wheelchair last summer.

"He couldn't wait to get back on the line even in the heat," his father Michael, a union coach operator and Sparks resident told me. (Photos at NevadaLabor.com/)

 "My son was born with congenital absence of the tibia. At 17 months, Logan had an operation to amputate his legs," dad Michael said. "When Keolis first took over the (bus system management) contract, I was trying to get Logan some new prosthetic legs when the company making the legs informed me that the insurance company informed them that I had been terminated while Keolis continued to collect my premiums. I had never missed work other than doctors appointments."

Alas, Michael Lansborough had little time to savor his union's victory. He's now on the beach and facing major surgery.

"One of my shop stewards has a serious medical condition and will be missing quite a bit of time from work," fellow bus driver Mike Humes informed me.

"Michael Lansborough is the sole provider for his family. Some of my (union) sisters have started a GoFundMe page to help him and his family during this difficult time. Please share this so we can help our brother out," Brother Humes added.

Here is the link <https://gofund.me/7eae2ed0> Be generous.

If you would like to help by check, make it payable to Michael Lansborough and send to his attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100, Reno NV 89512.

Join me in donating. Please.

JOIN NATIONWIDE GATHERINGS, TOO. At noon this Thursday, Jan. 6, a day which shall live in infamy, local groups will gather at the Believe Plaza in front of Reno City Hall downtown to mark the anniversary of the murderous and treasonous attempt by the Trump cult to overthrow the legitimately elected government of the United States.

"Masked attendees will bring signs and will be invited to sign jumbo-sized petitions to Nevada’s senators, urging them to pass four urgent democracy reform bills," stated organizers Kim Carden <klcarden@gmail.com> (775) 376-1267 and Carla Fells <cfells@charter.net> (775) 240-0888.

Speaking of treason...

PUT HOOVER IN THE DUMPER. You heard it first on the Barbwire. It's well-documented that FBI infighting stopped the feds from forwarding info about the 9/11 hijackers to the FBI New York City Bureau, so the World Trade Center fell. (See the PBS Frontline documentary "The Man Who Knew.")

Now comes an extensive Washington Post investigation that the FBI ignored red flags all across the nation about January 6. Why? J. Edgar Hoover's outfit is still flamingly racist.

They just could not believe that white guys would do such a thing. Had it been Black Lives Matter, there would have been tanks on the Capitol steps.

J. Edgar was every bit the megalomaniacal psycho that treasonous godhead Czar Donaldov is today.

So take Hoover's name off FBI HQ in DC and rename it for the woman who originated codebreaking, Elizebeth Smith Friedman (1892-1980). Her work saved countless lives from German U-Boats in both world wars. In the interim, she busted Al Capone's maritime bootlegging operation.

Her story was marked top secret for 62 years and she took her achievements to her grave.

Adding insult to injury, J. Edgar plagiarized her work under his name and took credit for all of it. His media hot-dogging destroyed our insights into Hitler's communications.

Mrs. Friedman rebuilt her network in time to warn the captain of the Queen Mary that U-Boats had his location. She saved the lives of 8,000 U.S. soldiers on just that occasion. (See the 2021 PBS American Experience documentary "The Codebreaker" based on the 2017 book "The Woman Who Smashed Codes" by Jason Fagone.)

Spread the word. J. Edgar Hoover belongs in the dustbin of history along with Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ se puede!

Próspero año y felicidad

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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com 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 <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 12-29-2021 / Expansions in blue

"Whatsoever you do to these, the least of my brethren, you do also to me." — Yeshua of Nazareth, Galilee


Greatest Hits Dept.

WE WON: BIG NEWS FROM THE NEVADA PRESS ASSOCIATION CONFAB IN GOMORRAH SOUTH —> BARBWIRE NOMINEE GUY RICHARDSON INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME ON FIRST BALLOT

Barbwire nominee Dennis Myers elected to NPA Hall of Fame

Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton next.

Send endorsements

Eee-yo-leven!
Barbwire wins 11th 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
8

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly

9-6-2017

Kicked off the Ledge
4-18-2017

NATIONAL NEWS FIRST-BREAK
Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada

10-18-2017

Gold 2017
Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo

10-4-2016
We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

12-13-2016
Kate Smith & Lady Gaga
2-14-2017

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
4-28-2015
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
11-24-2015
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders
1-19-2016

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
4-18-2013
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
5-30-2013
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism
3-20-2014

More statewide and national award winners

We Don't Need No Education—>
Neverending Barbwire Series

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

Barbwire.TV:
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
TOP SECRET— HushHush!

 

TRUE OR FALSE:
1. Jesus of Nazareth had blue eyes and blonde hair.
2. Buddha is a Christian saint.
3. Christianity existed more than 600 years before Jesus.

If you missed all three, you really need to read on.

Back in Fresno about 60 years ago, my very Catholic mother had a conversation with one of the regular customers of Mary's Regal Drive-In Cafe & Diner.

"You're Catholic, Mary, right?" asked Mr. Rappin, an insurance agent. "That's your religion. I'm Jewish and I respect it," he added.


"Religions all lead to the same place," ventured my mom many decades ago.

Subsequent scholarship has shown that dear Mrs. Barbano could not have been more correct.

The case for the unity of the world's major religions was made convincingly in former nun Karen Armstrong's tour-de-force of what she termed "spiritual archaeology." Her 500-page masterwork "The Great Transformation — The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions" (Knopf, 2006) chronicled the concurrent confluence of our four major belief systems.

"In this killer piece of exegesis," I wrote in the 12-10-2006 Barbwire, "the British authoress traces the roots of all the world's great religious philosophies which began to evolve about 3,000 years ago in four countries, China, Greece, India and Israel. Guess what? They all pretty much arrived at one guiding principal: take care of each other, aka the Golden Rule.

"Alas and alack, several thousand years of greed, egos and marketing have perverted them all. In order to sell something, you have to standardize and mass produce the product, in this case fear.

"The apocryphal Gospel of St. Thomas was excised from the New Testament for saying that you don't need a preacher to find God: The kingdom of God is within you, according to several great prophets, some of whom were executed for their trouble.

"The epistle of the Apostle James the Less was nuked from the King James Protestant Bible because St. James said that 'faith without works is nothing,' the wrong message for somebody selling faith-based salvation that lets Sunday true believers into the magic kingdom no matter what they've done Monday through Saturday.

"Take care of each other. Regardless of how often that simple message gets sent to us, in every medium imaginable, it gets ignored by those with the most capacity to help.

"Somehow, attaining political power makes most leaders deaf to the principles they espoused which rallied the support to get to the top.

"No matter whether stated by George Carlin, Jesus of Nazareth, Mohammed or Larry Gelbart and George Burns in the greatest movie ever made (Director Carl Reiner's Oscar-nominated 'Oh, God!', 1977), we're still killing each other in the name of some twisted version of The Almighty...."

The great director Frank Capra ("It's a Wonderful Life") once advised that "before you can preach, you must entertain." Writer Gelbart and legendary comic actor Burns taught great moral lessons with laughter in that film.


"...All we the weak can do is whatever we can in our little piece of the world to live up to the great admonition even if our betters will not," I wrote in 2006.

Discrimination and bigotry based on somebody's version of The Creator relentlessly plague the world.

The Chinese government's Mao & Xi Cult enslaves, abuses and exploits its largely Muslim Uighur minority. The military dictatorship of majority Buddhist Myanmar (Burma) has done the same to its stateless Rohingya Islamics.

The Jews of Palestine lived in harmony with their Moslem neighbors for millennia until western military powers needed to assuage their guilt for doing nothing about Hitler's Holocaust.

Myanmar and Israel/Gaza/West Bank/East Jerusalem now live in a chronic state of civil war as do so many other regions which incidentally prove very profitable for the world's arms makers.

The Hindu government of India, the world's largest "democracy," has institutionalized and authorized persecution of Christians and Moslems.


Here in the land of liberty and justice for some, synagogues get torched and black and brown people get lynched, although hung with other creative descriptives.

It's not really religious persecution. That's just the vehicle, the justification for such bloody tribalism. It's all really about this monster mannunkind's (props to e.e. cummings) basest motivations: power, greed, wealth and love of more stuff (props to George Carlin).

Which is why you need to get the January edition of Harper's Magazine.

In his commentary "Dangling Man," British novelist and author Hari Kunzru traces the curious and convoluted journey of Christian St. Josaphat, better known these days as Buddha.

Buddha?!

Jawohl.

This recovering Catholic altar boy has become sort of a Buddhist late in life. I consider myself quite religious and spiritual, though I identify with no organized denomination.

My Catholic schooling through high school, replete with Christian Brothers who pointed out the absurdities in the dogma, taught me the chinks in the armor. You can't get to heaven on your Mastercard (props to Betty J. Barbano), an example of which was published in newspapers nationwide last week.

The Hobby Lobby chain, which discriminates against employees who don't cotton to ownership's dogma, published full page ads mostly comprised of an illustration which shows St. Joseph at his carpentry bench with blonde-haired toddler Jesus playing at his feet.

You would need a magnifying glass to read Hobby Lobby's name at bottom. (Are they ashamed to be associated with the fair-haired redeemer and his sandy-haired dad? Probably not, but why alienate non-Christian customers who may not know how you abuse your workers? Without the sponsor identification, the ad would probably have run [newspapers are quite hungry these days], perhaps under a front name, but the cost may not have been tax-deductible. Separation of church and state is a nice concept, but hey — business is business.)

Alas and alack, man will accept no god who is not made unto man's image and likeness. How many times have you heard that God is pure spirit? So why the depiction of a hairy old man with a beard who looks like Charlton Heston? Same reason as the Hobby Lobby ad. He looked like the targeted customer base.

Karen Armstrong's book tells the tale of the Axial Age, starting around 900 BC "in which the foundations were laid for Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as the later faiths of Christianity and Islam," noted Baltimore Evening Sun reviewer Charles Matthews.

Once upon that time, the warring dukedoms of ancient China actually practiced make-believe war, where fully armed forces charged each other, stopped, sat down and partied. The Axial Age was a magical era when peace broke out in many places. Alas and alack, it was eventually burned to the ground by greedy egos.

"The Axial sages put the abandonment of selfishness and the spirituality of compassion at the top of their agendas," Armstrong noted.

"For them, religion was the Golden Rule. They concentrated on what people were supposed to transcend from — their greed, egotism, hatred and violence."

Which is why Armstrong called that time "The Great Transformation."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu died on Sunday at 90. There can be no greater tribute than if each of us goes forward doing to others, especially the least of our brethren, as we would have them do unto us.

Can a great transformation come again? The answer lies within all of us. St. James and Ms. Armstrong might agree.

Happy High Holly Days to you and yours.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks Communications Workers Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
> Column title by José Feliciano.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

 

Death Panels for Christmas
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 12-22-2021 / Expansions in blue

"Every sperm is sacred." — Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" (1983)

Madcap former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did serious damage to Obamacare when she called its end-of-life counseling provision "death panels."

They would have been nonesuch and irony of ironies, the man who made her rich and famous, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., cast the deciding vote to save Obamacare years later. (To the good senator's everlasting credit, draft-dodger Donald still smears the war hero's name long after his death.)

Alas and alack, Mr. McCain's 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee's smear of a label is coming true, largely due to the Clorox Orange Crusher's cultish behavior.

Most nurses and teachers quit after their first five years, burned out. The plague that the Mar-a-Loco Messiah knowingly let get out of control turbocharged the exodus.

The US has four percent of the world's population but leads the planet in COVID-19 fatalities, more than 800,000, accelerating toward a million.

Trump hisself is both vaxxed and boosted. But he nonetheless opposes vaccine mandates. America's Righteous Republican Dad thinks government should stay out of people's bodies. Not necessarily. (See Supreme Court item, hereinbelow.)

Health care providers across the nation were forced to act as ad hoc death panels last year and swamped hospitals are now back in the biz.

Decades of conservative budget cuts made us unprepared for a pandemic. No less than Bill Gates warned us in 2015. We don't elect long-term thinkers in a country obsessed with quarterly profit and the daily stock ticker.

The wages of sin is death. Panels.

SKIP & JILL WENT UP A HILL. "Race ya down!"

Skip won twice, Jill won twice. There will be no rubber match.

As usual, the Reno Gazette-Journal got the biggest Sparks news of last week wrong.

Former Assemblymember Skip Daly, D-Sparks, announced his campaign to replace recently-resigned State Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, in next year's election,"ditching his biennial bout" with Assemblymember Jill Dickman, R-Sparks.

The RGJ's inexperienced political reporter contacted Ms. Dickman who "confirmed Friday that she did not plan to launch her own campaign for Ratti's former state senate seat."

The Kazoo-Journal added that Daly and Dickman had faced each other in five of the past six elections.

Just about everything in the above story is wrong, save for the names of the officeholders.

EIther the RGJ did not ask or Ms. Dickman did not volunteer that she and Daly could not have a fifth faceoff unless one of them moves.

Redistricting placed Daly, who lives a few blocks from Sparks City Hall, into the bailiwick of fellow Democrat Natha Anderson. Dickman lives on Disc Drive.

Finally, Skip and Jill have gone head-to-head four times, not five.

Reminds me of Democrat Ken Haller and Republican Bruce Bogaert, both well-remembered now-dead buds of mine, who traded the southeast Reno assembly seat four times in the 1970s.

The sprawling new Senate District 13 goes from Spanish Springs' Lazy 5 Regional Park in the north to Reno's Peckham Lane to the south. The eastern boundary is the intersection of Interstate-80 and the Truckee River, west to Kings Row almost to McCarran in northwest Reno.

IT NEVER ENDS. Reno City Hall just distributed a glowing story about Mayor Hillary Schieve "recognized for her efforts to address the climate crisis as part of the 2021 Mayors Climate Protection Awards." (Honorable mention)

This just does not square with the facts, especially that her Regional Transportation Commission appointees, Councilcritters Neoma Jardon and Oscar Delgado, have crippled the bus system for which they are allegedly responsible but choose to ignore. They did nothing to end the August-November Hat Trick Strikes, leaving 20,000 bus passengers a day to resort to autos. Which skyrocket carbon emissions.

The Jardon-led RTC plans to cut 15 routes after their January retreat, opting for some doofus dial-a-ride. Moving from transit buses to smaller vehicles geometrically increases greenhouse gas emissions.

Having a PRopaganda department means never having to say you're sorry.

Us unenlightened union guys are apparently incapable of appreciating the included kissy-facey shoutout to that bastion of workers' rights, Wal-Mart, sponsor of Mlle. Mayor's prestigious honor.

RECOMMENDED READING: Veteran law reporter Linda Greenhouse's "The Supreme Court, Weaponized" in Sunday's NYTimes. She notes that the current homotextual majority (my term) is ready to overturn longstanding precedents just because they can. Welcome to the schoolyard.

On my July 4, 1990, talk radio show, I actually got a prestigious Nevada lawyer, who had just won one of the biggest Nevada cases of the 20th Century, to grudgingly admit that law, history and precedent be damned, five of the nine Supremes can do whatever they freakin' please. Exactly Ms. Greenhouse's point last Sunday.


Stand by for taxpayer support of religious schools, Capone Chicago concealed shoulder holsters, the end of Roe v. Wade and affirmative action. Oh, yeah, and more anti-union decisions as "the court's conservatives hijack the First Amendment and convert it into a tool of deregulation."

How long before non-government supervised sex is banned? (The madcap GOP Texas governor says he's comfy with banning abortion in rape cases because his wonderfulness will stamp out rape. State sex supervision is the only way to get that done. Birth control? Fuhgeddaboutit with that court majority. )

DEADLY PREVIEW. You want deregulation, you got it. In his Sunday Times piece, Jamelle Bouie notes that without a union or personal services contract, American workers are stripped of almost all rights save for the few protected by law but usually ignored with impunity. Witness the Amazon and candle factory workers who died in the recent Kentucky tornado because their bosses threatened them with firing if they went home — even after sirens went off.

"Most workers are subject to an unaccountable 'private government,' " authoritarian and sometimes deadly in character, Bouie noted.

That's why we need more union people like my friend Skip Daly in government. I'm glad he's back in the arena.

Happy High Holly Days to you and yours.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks Communications Workers Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

aa

You will remember the Ides of December
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 12-15-2021 / Expansions in blue

"We have entered an interesting time, where apparently everyone has decided that if they don’t like a law, or even a constitution, they can simply ignore it." — I. Nelson Rose

I met the eminent law professor and attorney outside of a major Nevada gambling expo in Reno a couple of decades back.

A who's who of the casino elite attended but not him. He had been declared persona non grata by the convention because he dared say things they didn't like.

My kinda guy.

In his new blog, he made the above comment about New York acting outside the law to establish sports betting.

His point applies to a much broader swath of the land of liberty and justice for some.

You can sign up for his news service at GamblingAndTheLaw.com/ Tell him you heard about it on the Barbwire.

BTW: "May you live in interesting times" is an old Persian curse.

TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY DEPT. California Gov. Gavin Newsom this week threatened to pull a Texas on the gun lobby and do to the gun cult what the Tejanos have done to women's rights.

Newsom wants "a new law that would allow private citizens to sue manufacturers or distributors of assault weapons as well as ghost gun kits or parts," the LA TImes reported.

"If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that," Newsom said. (See John Grisham's book "Runaway Jury" and the 2003 film of the same name which probably led to Congress granting firearms fabricators blanket immunity from legal liability in 2005. Coincidence? I don't think so.)

When asked about his abortion ban's impact on rape victims, the madcap Texas governor said he would stamp out rape in Texas so it would cease to be an issue.

At minimum, Newsom just implemented the oldest debate trick in the book: Reduce your opponent's position to an absurdity.

Instance in point: The great American humorist Will Rogers once proposed a solution to German submarines sinking allied ships in World War One.

"Boil the ocean," he said. Make it so hot down there, the U-Boats will have to surface so we can pick them off.

How to boil the ocean?

"That's a detail matter. I'm a policy maker," Rogers quipped.

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE DEPT. I suggested exactly Newsom's strategy in this column on December 1 with the local COVID-19 superspreader bus system as the target.

Maybe the guv reads the Tribune.

JUSTICE DELAYED. Descendants of legendary comics Abbott & Costello have apparently found work at Sparks City Hall. In their immortal schtick, they posed the eternal baseball question: Who's on first?

I published a notice last month that applications for a new Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board would close on Nov. 26.

Apparently they didn't generate enough interest as the city put out another call Dec. 3.

I just got a copy which was distributed last Monday by the State of Nevada Dept. of Business & Industry via the Reno-Sparks NAACP.

I rejoiced when Sparks Police Chief Chris Crawforth recently established a Police Advisory Committee. (BTW, Chief: Us folks would appreciate an update.)

Along with former NAACP presidents Lucille Adin and Dolores Feemster, I was at City Hall when the council approved establishment of a human rights committee. Fifteen freakin' years ago! (Jan. 22, 2007)

We had a few meetings with city officials, then nothing.

In 2017, the City of Reno established a human rights "working group" (downgraded from a human rights commission), but it went sideways when a city staffer left.

"The desire to form a regional Human Rights Commission in the future remains," city staff reported.

"However, the hope is that this working group can help to further define how a future commission would be most effective for the community."

TRANSLATION: Let somebody else take the lead, let's have lunch and don't tell our lawyers.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve approached Sparks to work together, but Rail City fathers said "we're broke." (Too much corporate welfare given away to rich guys who don't need it.)

The Washoe County Commission told Mlle. Mayor that they'd let Reno do it. At last report, the Reno entity was getting back together.

Chief Crawforth generated enough applicants to get going right away.

Why is this so hard? Because human rights is the basic purpose of democracy.

We either establish a consensus government that defends individual dignity, or we go to war.

That ain't hyperbole.

I noted last week, and it bears repeating, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government just published a poll of 18-29 year-olds. More than half (52 percent) believe our democracy is either "in trouble" or "failing."

Worse, 35 percent peg the likelihood of a second civil war in their lifetimes at 50 percent or more.

Please, Sparks residents. Volunteer. It won't hurt and will make you feel like you're accomplishing something with your life.

Perhaps an application can be found at the city website. The web address in their e-mail is way too long to put in this column.

You can also find it on the city's (ahem) Meta, Twitter and Linked-In pages.

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. this Friday, December 17, according to Assistant City Manager Alyson McCormick. For more info, call (775) 353-2350.

WE DIDN'T START THE FIRE. The prestigious chroniclers of northern Nevada African-American history have just scored big.

Our Story Inc. has leased from Washoe County the historic former Black Springs Fire Department building to house a new Northern Nevada African-American Firefighter Museum on Kennedy Drive.

Our Story Inc. was founded by community activist Shayne DelCohen and retired firefighter and former Reno-Sparks NAACP President Kenny Dalton.

They plan weekly events throughout next year (COVID-19 permitting, of course). Watch OurStoryInc.com for updates.

Glad I could close this screed with a bit of good news. For a change.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com 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 <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

The Cure for What Ails Us, Part IV
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 12-8-2021 / Updated 12-10-2021 GMT / Expansions in blue

"We have met the enemy and he is us." — Walt Kelly's "Pogo" comic strip

In 2010, 2016 and last year, I presented the top 10 cures for what ails us. How are we doing? Not too damned good at all.


Greatest Hits Dept.

WE WON: BIG NEWS FROM THE NEVADA PRESS ASSOCIATION CONFAB IN GOMORRAH SOUTH —> BARBWIRE NOMINEE GUY RICHARDSON INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME ON FIRST BALLOT

Barbwire nominee Dennis Myers elected to NPA Hall of Fame

Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton next.

Send endorsements

Eee-yo-leven!
Barbwire wins 11th 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
8

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly

9-6-2017

Kicked off the Ledge
4-18-2017

NATIONAL NEWS FIRST-BREAK
Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada

10-18-2017

Gold 2017
Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo

10-4-2016
We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

12-13-2016
Kate Smith & Lady Gaga
2-14-2017

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
4-28-2015
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
11-24-2015
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders
1-19-2016

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
4-18-2013
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
5-30-2013
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism
3-20-2014

More statewide and national award winners

We Don't Need No Education—>
Neverending Barbwire Series

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

Barbwire.TV:
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
TOP SECRET— HushHush!

 

Maybe I'm demonstrably crazy for beating the same drum while banging my same head against the same wall. So sue me.

Learned professionals far wiser than me always advise that before healing can begin, the victim needs to recognize the problem, name the demon.

OK: Corporations.

I submit that the root of all our ills lies with the way we've allowed those greedy, soul-less zombie "people" to live forever. And evolve to a point where they are now making artificial cyber persons to do their bidding. Can the Terminator be far behind, Alexa and Siri?

It all started with a corrupt US Supreme Court justice and an equally corrupt court administrator during a previous Gilded Age aka the Robber Baron Era (late 19th/early 20th Centuries).

Cronies of Leland Stanford's octopus, the Southern Pacific Railroad perverted the 1868 14th Amendment passed to guarantee former slaves equal protection of the law. Instead, it was mostly used to give corporations the rights of actual living citizens. Most despicably, it even became the basis for the infamous 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson decision which sanctified the racial apartheid that still plagues this country today.

Between 1868 and 1912, the Supremes ruled on 312 cases involving the rights of corporations and a whole 28 regarding African Americans.

I wonder who dresses as a black-robed Humpty Dumpty at the court's annual Hallowe'en Party. Gotta be Clarence, the leader of the ludicrously literal-licking homotextuals.

"When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less." Humpty Dumpty (In Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland)

The law book Olympus has been in the news a lot the past week and I won't sully this space with much more about that den of iniquity.

I will simply warn of looming anarchy by quoting Czar Donaldov's favorite president, the first of the two despicable (alas) Andrews: "The chief justice has made his decision. Now let him enforce it."

Juxtapose that with the tens of thousands who tried treason last January 6 and you have a pretty good template for the nation's future.

More chillingly, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government just published a poll of 18-29 year-olds. More than half (52 percent) believe our democracy is either "in trouble" or "failing." Worse, 35 percent peg the likelihood of a second civil war in their lifetimes at 50 percent or more.

Zounds.

All of the above mayhem is quite predictable. Keep the lower classes fighting for crumbs that fall off the banquet tables of the mega-rich and their minions. And laugh all the way to the bank.

"Democracy without regulation becomes tyranny without mitigation." Prof. Jose C. Canales, Fresno State c. 1966 (quoting some scholar whose name I forgot)

How often have you heard of someone praising the wondrousness of globalization? John Naisbitt's 1982 best-seller "Megatrends" (ghost-written by his then-wife, Patricia Aburdene), praised companies moving production overseas while America provides "management."

They ignored the devastation left by outsourcing well-paid jobs to third- and fourth-world countries paying pennies per hour (or downright slavery like China, which we built into a superpower). By 1984, the vaunted American middle class had already shrunk by nine percent. Only an obscure Nevada congressional candidate made the mistake of pointing out that Emperor Ronald the Vague was naked.

Inequality provides fertile ground for revolutions. And dictators.

Think we got troubles now? The 2005 bestseller "Freakonomics" pointed out that the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973 correlated with a drop in crime starting 15 years later. While well-intentioned, Bill Clinton's 100,000 new street cops were thus a bit of overkill. (Most crime is committed by young men aged 15 to 25. If many unwanted children are not born...you get the idea, disquieting as it may be.)

Mother Nature knows when to curtail the birth rate if we let her. The number of children per family barely budged when the fabled Baby Boom exploded in 1946. Women in their thirties who had postponed pregnancy during the Great Depression starting having babies along with the usual teens and twenty-somethings.

We just need to support families better than we do, which is not much compared to other rich countries. Instead, corporations and their shills exploit everyone and everything to keep the stock price up and the equity options attractive.

And keep the lower classes fighting each other. (Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, lives on his own yacht.)

The Top 10 Cures for What Ails Us have remained festering since I wrote the first list more than a decade ago. You may access them online. I'm tired of re-printing the same old sins.

SPEAKING OF SINFUL BEHAVIOR. "The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is anticipating potential transit service changes beginning in January due to unprecedented staffing shortages of drivers regionally and nationwide, a consequence of the pandemic." So announced the overlords of the bus system and their France-based hatchet men last October, totally ignoring the second of three strikes.

Strike 3 ended last week. As of deadline, RTCWashoe.com has 22 (ahem) "temporary service delay" alerts thereon, a reality all but ignored by the legit media. The foreign operating corporation has proven so inept that passenger loads nosedived their first month on the job in 2019, eight months prior to the plague. Driver numbers are now down by half.

Would you want to work for a toxic outfit that would increase your chances of contracting the plague and bringing it home to your loved ones?

"It ain't over 'til it's over."Yogi Berra

The effects of the 2021 Hat Trick Strikes will be felt by the least among us for a long time to come.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com 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 <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

I want my $10,000.00, dammit!
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 12-1-2021
Updated 12-2 & 12-8-2021 GMT / Expansions in blue

MUCHAS GRACIAS, TEJANOS! Texas has shown us the way to prevent pleasure-seeking America from continuing to commit suicide.

Apparently in the age of Czar Donaldov, state legislatures, especially those that ignore the Civil War and its congressional antecedents, can do any damned thing they want. So why should Mississippi West Nevada sit on the sidelines? Let's ante into the game. We can all make some serious money. You remember money, don't you? Defined in Silver State statutes as "law of the land."

Look it up. I dare you.

All the work has already been done for us. Just rewrite the Tejano abortion ban by substituting "COVID-19" for "abortion" so that any simpleton or hammerhead (which includes me) can sue anybody and anything for endangering or infecting hisself, family, friends, pets — even mothers-in-law (finally good for something) — with the plague. And score $10,000 for the inconvenience.

We would need a good PR campaign to demonize those godless pro-choice anti-vaxxers. I am sure vaccine manufacturers, health care insurers and their lawyers would support the effort. I am available to consult on the campaign/media strategery (sic).

Forget the standard legalistic objections like "failure to state a cause of action for which relief can be given." We're talking media and money here. And one helluva lotta PR.

Nevada — leading the way to save America from its self-centered self. Hallelujah!


Lone Star lawyers had to suck up a lotta Lone Star Beer to come up with that universal standing to sue, sucker, and corralling COVID-19 is certainly more appealing than busting Uber drivers or putting doctors in penury.

Gov. Steve Sisolak needs some good PR with all those Republican midget moonhowlers nipping at his tushy. He can get on his white horse (they don't make rainbow horses, far as I know, but I've got a call in to Rainbow Coalition founder Rev. Jesse Jackson), and sally forth against the plague on behalf of all Americans.

Talk about economic diversification, Nevada can attract the best and brightest with this law. Certainly top gun personal injury lawyers and we're always short of doctors. We might even subsidize Texas physicians who want to bring their horses when they move here. We've given corporate welfare to billionaires and subsidized mining and gambling for a century or more, so it's about time health care workers share in the wealth usually reserved for the welfare queens who run our company town of a state.

NUMBER ONE ON THE HIT PARADE: The three local governments, their Regional Transportation Commission, their foreign-owned mis-management contractor and miscreant executive staff who have turned the now-defunct local mass transit system into a world class superspreader. Speaking of which...

MONITOR NEVADALABOR.COM/ As this screed is scribed on Monday, the liberal-woke fake news media (God bless' em) are reporting no progress in non-existent negotiations to end the third bus strike in four months.

If and when the strike is settled, there won't be much of a transit system left. The snail-sucking furriners who ran the system into the ground are down to half strength (under 90 drivers from 176). The Internet is loaded with help-wanted national ads offering great pay and benefits for bus drivers. Who'd want to work for the RTC French Conniption that has hospitalized dozens of drivers (at least two in ICU) and countless passengers because of illegally refusing to enforce mask mandates. MONITOR THE WEBSITE for serious bus strike developments later this week.

[UPDATE: TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED 11-30. ST. ANDREW'S DAY! MEMBERSHIP VOTED DEC. 2. CONTRACT APPROVED.]

HELP THE STRIKERS. PLEASE DONATE TO THE STRIKE FUND Online

TIP TO LAWMAKERS: Check out the recent federal court decision which held that a ban on school mask mandates violates the rights of students with disabilities. Where? Why Texas, of course.

This should really get the collective shorts of the local bus bureaucracy in a bunch. For two years, the furriners have hidden behind the Americans with Disabilities Act as their reason to avoid masking.

As soon as the ledge passes our COVID protection law, I want to file the first claim against local governments and our former bus system. The only evidence I would need is the blackguards' own written policies. Speaking of lawsuits...

YAY, SCENIC NEVADA. The ghost of founder Doug Smith is dancing on a cloud right now. Doug started the non-profit three decades ago to fight billboard blight. Attorney Mark Wray just sued the City of Reno for multiple violations of law, policy and previous settlements in giving away a ton of corporate welfare power to Ebenezer Scrooge's old partner, Jacob Marley. See the expanded web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com, speaking of which...

THE LAST HURRAH. If you missed "Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: One Last Time" on Sunday evening, go find it online. I was never more proud to be an Italian than watching my paisano and paisana conclude a magical collaboration. Benedicta.

MEA CULPA DEPT. I hereby abjectly apologize to readers and Democrats for my Nov. 17 Freudian typo terming Sen. Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, as a Democrat. It's not the first time I've done so. Perhaps I have yet to reconcile, after 17 years on the same editorial page with him, how can such an intelligent man and good writer be such a moonhowler? He really and truly believes the piffle he promulgates. We even agree on at least one issue: It's just flat wrong to skim taxpayer money to give corporate welfare to wealthy individuals and corporations. Mea maxima culpa, Ira, and may enlightenment illuminate your path.

Someday soon, I hope.

I'm always depressed when thinking about Ira, so here are a few zingers to lighten up a big Gaga-esque exit.

CAPTION CONNIPTIONS.
Some people collect stamps, I collect screwups, the more unintentional, the better. I've been hard of hearing most of my life so closed-captioning is always engaged on my TV sets. CC computers can come up with some bonafide bizarros.

The most frequent victim is the local ABC affiliate, "KOLO-8 News Now," which has been malapropped as "Callaway it's down" and "Cold Await News". BTW, they operate in "Washington County" Nevada.

Fox-11 ran a story apparently blaming doctors for "the surgeon Coronavirus" and we mustn't forget "Butt Valley Reservoir." Former Washoe School Trustee Kurt Thigpen was dissed as "Pig Pen." (Charlie Brown, call your copyright lawyer.)

The late Sparks Nugget owner John Ascuaga really drives computers nuts. Have you ever heard of "Jonas Quagga," as in the mussels infesting Lake Tahoe?

And then my favorite: "News 4 Andy Levin." Must be a new anchor on News 4 at 11:00 p.m.

Welcome aboard, Andrew. Happy St. Andrew's Day, Nov. 30 in Scotland and BarbwireLand.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com 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 <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

Happy Thanksgibleting: Grueling gruel from the cruel
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-24-2021
Updated 12-1-2021 GMT / Expansions in blue

Apparently, only God herself can come to the aid of local bus passengers and workers. I am thus sending this column to every religious organization in the area.

Please dispatch prayers/emanations/vibrations/meditations for picketing workers at bus garage central across from Wooster High and Reno's E. 4th Street bus station. Four of six were hit with BB gun rounds from a red pickup in a drive-by last Friday in the downtown casino district. No eyes blinded.

With catatonic local, state and federal governments sitting shiva, 200 or so RTCRide transit system strikers will be having Scroogey gruel for dinner this Thursday.

The foreign-owned managers apparently have no intention of ending Strike 3 anytime soon. Today marks the 16th day of the third strike in four months against the corpulent overlords of the local bus system. (The only other strike came in 2002.)


The Hot August Strike followed by Striketober ran for 35 days, so today marks day 51 of work stoppages not counting the additional day or two that the system always needs to get back to "normal."

ABNORMAL R US. We will not have normal bus service in Washoe County for the foreseeable future.

Because Regional Transportation Commission Executive(?) Director(?) Bill Thomas singlehandedly waived all cash performance penalties in March of last year, Keolis Transit of Texas, Boston and France can just sit back and clip coupons. Rumble in the asphalt jungle sez they want to starve out the union. They long ago broke their contract. Today, their required 176 drivers are down to about 90. Would you work for a COVID-19 superspreader?

Some have gone to freelancing for Uber or Lyft. Some have moved over to the Washoe or Carson school districts which have offering the same signing bonuses or more but without the cavalier attitude toward the plague. Some have simply found other jobs.

This situation is a throwback to the patriarchal plantation psychology of a Reno-Sparks that is now an endangered species itself. "The hired help" is not made up of interchangeable parts. Still, without a personal services or union contract, workers in fire-at-will Nevada pretty much have no rights under state law. (I wish I had a dollar for every time I've written or said that over the past five decades.)

Mass transit service went downhill from the moment Keolis took over. That's not an exaggeration, that's hard fact. Using RTC's own 2021 annual report (link and graph at NevadaLabor.com/), starting in July 2019 when Keolis took over, ridership nosedived for the entire eight months BEFORE the pandemic hit.

Same system, same Bill Thomas, same employees. So what was the only difference, the Giants losing?


That sound you hear comes from vultures vulching overhead. This is a conservative propagandist's dream: The current system cannot maintain service, so sell it at bargain basement prices and make it a totally capitalistic. What could go wrong?

Well, a for-profit conglomerate whose forebears transported Jews to the ovens for Hitler is already running the system to ruination, but that won't stop the buzzards from buzzing.

The malady's roots lie in an abusive layer cake structure. I have long termed the local Convention Authority, Airport Authority and RTC as Washoe's unelected empires. All enjoy earmarked funding which automatically insulates them from accountability.

All were created that way to better serve the gambling-industrial complex. I thus wonder why casino overlords have not brought pressure. Oh, yeah. They're dead.

Once upon a time, a call to John Ascuaga at the Sparks Nugget, Don Carano at the Silver Legacy or Mayor Bob Cashell at Boomtown and Reno City Hall would have brought quick results. The gambling patriarchs of yesteryear enjoyed supreme clout over governments within their fiefdoms. Today, the Carano kids may be so busy with their sprawling Caesars empire that the old hometown merits not an afterthought. None of them enjoy the juice of dear old dad.

RTC is a squishy four-layer pastry. At bottom are workers expected to show up and shut up. Next, the contractor hired to flog the peons. Above the dungeon, RTC staff, which should be running the system, and at far lower cost.

A few years back, RTC created a make-work job because they had a staff position that completely duplicated one of the contractor's. Rather than eliminate and save lots of money, they featherbedded a desk-filler to inflate their budget. (The Barbwire never forgets.)

As rancid prune atop this half-baked bizarro sits the elected five-member RTC, all of whom are direct descendants of Pontius Pilate. Whenever some controversy arises, they simply wash their hands and say "that's not my department," a perpetual game of ring-around-the-blame.

Mr. Thomas flails about because he captains a rudderless ship that can drift along just fine — everybody can go to lunch at 11:00 a.m. and leave early on Friday — until stormy weather hits.

What's that over there? Is that an iceberg?

ONLY the Teamsters and Reno Councilmember and mayoral candidate Jenny Brekhus have been standing for the least among us every step of the way. If the drivers and support workers did not have the union, Keolis abuses of passengers and employees (like continuing refusal to take COVID-19 safety precautions) would go all but unnoticed.

Frontline workers like casino and low-wage employees, the very young, the very old, the poor and homeless, the sick, the mentally and physically disabled — all would have no power. (Business as usual on the High Desert Plantation.)

Is the money there to pay for what the workers want? (Fair wages, health insurance and benefits.)

Hell, yes. Plenty. Since 1982, every time you buy a car or a flower, you pay a sales tax, part of which goes to support the bus system.

Strike 3 directly resulted from Keolis making a "last-best-final-non-negotiable" demand for a "pay raise" two or three percentage points below inflation. In other words, come back to work and take a 36-month cut in wages.

Why? Executive egos, bragging rights, "win-win-win" no matter what .

Keolis is looking for a scalp in a small market where you need not spend much money. That's why we've always been a good product test market. We're cheap.

However, an inexpensive win against the mighty Teamsters becomes a calling card to sell your services in a myriad of markets, liberal or conservative.

Alas and alack, screweth thee not with the Teamsters.

THE STRIKES HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD have generated heavyweight attention. This month, outgoing International President James Hoffa announced "Teamsters Local 533, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Amalgamated Transit Union will begin engaging in concerted activity [translation: union organizing] directed at roughly 3,000 transit authorities and other government entities that maintain public transit operations in the United States."

His just-elected successor, Boston's Sean O'Brien, said “We’ve got to negotiate the strongest contracts possible so that we can take it to workers at Amazon and point to it and say this is the benefit you get of being in a union. If we’re negotiating concessionary contracts and we’re negotiating substandard agreements, why would any member, why would any person want to join the Teamsters union?” (The New York Times Nov. 20, 2021)

As Sherlock Holmes said to Dr. Watson, the game's afoot. The largest private sector union in the country (1.4 million+ members) against a 16-country European vampire. Dr. Van Helsing, call your office and pack your wooden stakes.

While the minions of officialdom sit warm in their castles, their workers risk more violence on the picket lines. May Keolis soon join Mr. Thomas ($220,000 a year!) in the unemployment line — where they will probably apply for more federal assistance.


HELP THE FAMILIES of workers who have risked their lives (dozens hospitalized with COVID-19 over the past two years). Please send checks to United Labor Agency of Nevada, 1201 N. Decatur Blvd. Suite 106, Las Vegas, NV 89108; Attn: Teamsters Keolis Strike. You may also donate online at the web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com/

HELP THE STRIKERS. PLEASE DONATE TO THE STRIKE FUND Online

Sign the FIRE KEOLIS petition

I ask all people of faith and their organizations to push Gov. Steve Sisolak and every level of government with which they are acquainted to take the part of the passengers and workers for whom there is no room in the inn.

Happy Thanksgibleting to you and yours anyway.

¡ 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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Assemblymember Krasner is also a member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

Ghosts of Christmas past bite us on the ass
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-17-2021/ Updated 11-20 & 11-23-2021/ Expansions in blue

Sometimes the Barbwire writes itself and reduces your humble scribe to the role of stenographer. Herewith examples of self-satirical moral obtuseness.


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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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JUNGLE JIM'S GENDER GAP. I got an e-mail on Nov. 8 from (I'm not making this up) "Assemblywoman Jim Wheeler," R-Douglas County, Nevada's most high profile if not most intelligent freedom-loving racist. ("I'd vote for slavery if my constituents wanted me to.")

"This district has been a deep red one for a long, long time now. It's a true rural Nevada district and one that thinks a little bit different (sic) than your average big city. Send a message that this campaign is here to fight for your values."

He wants me to send him money so that he can whup them dastardly Democrats.

The Alabaster Bastion's favorite Dastard is apparently having an identity crisis. Either Ms/Mr. Wheeler, his campaign managers, his e-mail program or all of the above are unsure of his/her plumbing. (Plumbing is basically the theme of this column. See below.)


Wheeler is running for state senate in whatever the ledge decides is his new district and just got his shill appointed to the Washoe/Carson senate seat next door. Don Tatro was juiced into office to fill an unexpired term in Nevada's upper house over two eminently qualified candidates.

Mr. Tatro stated he's not interested in running for a full term next year. He may have an identity crisis of ambition and re-think.

Rich white Douglas County is as bedrock moonhowler as most of its fellow Cow Counties with one distinction: It's by far the richest, which makes the Alabaster Bastion doubly dangerous.

See my August/September 2020 series "Machine Guns & Racism in Nevada's Alabaster Bastion" at Barbwire.US/

With Tatro, son of Mr/Ms. Wheeler's longtime legislative secretary, Jungle Jim Wheeler is poised to control 10 percent of the Nevada State Senate for the next 12 years.

If they both make it, Nevada's new lieutenant governor may provide a serious case of karma. Douglas County Democratic Chair Kimi Cole just declared her candidacy for light-guv. If so, she would become Nevada's first transgender officeholder.

Kimi is a very brave person. In Dastardly Douglas, they usually shoot Democrats on site.

Although legislative police and the senate sgt. at arms threw me out of the State Assembly peanut gallery in 2017 for the crime of wearing a hat (turned out they lied, there ain't no such rule), I will be there, fedora and all, when Lt. Gov. Kimi Cole gavels the state senate to order in February, 2023. Just to see the look on Ms. Wheeler's face.

No hard feelings. My column about getting 86'd scored a Nevada Press Association first-place award. (Which, with about six bucks, will get you some foul Starbux caffeine concoction.)


MORE WHITE SPACE. The Zuckerman Empire just renamed Facebook to Meta, as in "I never META white person I didn't like." Trisha Melynkov-Ackerman, who as Patricia Ackerman was the 2020 Democratic nominee for the northern Nevada congressional seat, posted this in ZuckLand: "The whistleblower Frances Haugen has brought the evidence forward that Facebook is toxic and dangerous to well being. What compelled me to make this rare post is this Facebook name change. Meta in Hebrew means 'DEAD'. I find this amusing and even prophetic."

Mrs. Ackerman lives in Douglas County and is a constituent of — drum roll, please — Ms/Mr. Wheeler.

Oy vey.

SPARKS CITY HALL FUNNIES. WHO KNEW? In last week's Trib, the usually staid City Council Meeting Highlights contained a couple of gems about labor pains.

Councilcritters approved a $125k reimbursement to the CIty of Reno for the Rail City's share of a "construction contraction." Call the maternity ward.

You gotta hang around Sparks to appreciate the pain of that one. The council proclaimed this week as "National Apprenticeship Week" and extolled the virtues of apprenticeships as "a pathway to well-paying jobs in the City of Sparks and nationwide."

Well, except if a developer wants City Hall to approve construction with unskilled labor. Sparks long mandated that building within the city required journeyman electricians and plumbers — you know, workers trained thru...drum roll, please...apprenticeship programs.


But when they decided to bulldoze Victorian Square in 2015 so that a developer could turn downtown into rabbit warren apartments, the council, with Mayor Geno Martini and City Attorney Chet Adams' acquiescence, removed the licensing mandates. ("And we didn't even get kissed afterward," Barbwire 12-14-2015 et seq.)

Like I said, sometimes this column just writes itself.7

CORPORATE WELFARE UPDATE. Siegel Suites, which owns apartments everywhere, turned the former Sparks Nugget Roof Garden Motel into rentals. They are currently under congressional investigation for wholesale evictions during the pandemic "moratorium."

JACOB MARLEY SCROOGES RENO AGAIN.
Former Reno Gazette-Journal reporter Anjeanette Damon just published her first ProPublica investigative report about the predatory Jacobs Entertainment empire which has been bulldozing old motels and evicting poor people. (Great minds think alike. See "Jacob Marley's Freakers Ball @ City Hall," Barbwire 10-20-2021)

Anjeanette's magnum opus will be linked to the web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com/ The most egregious revelation of the series thus far: Reno City Manager Doug Thornley acting as point man for Jacobs by calling motel owners to pressure them to sell. Some have courageously refused. Somebody needs to file a complaint with the Nevada Ethics Commission.

[UPDATE: Anjeanette, too: What happens to the unfortunates displaced by Jacob Marley's greed? Her stories have been picked up by ThisIsReno.com, The Nevada Current, the Reno Gazette-Journal and many others. Another public relations coup for Nevada.]

NOW, TO BUSINESS. On Sunday morning, a bevy of politicos showed up to picket with striking Teamsters drivers and support staff at the downtown Reno bus station. Special thanks to Assemblymembers Natha Anderson, D-Sparks, Bea Duran, Michelle Gorelow and David Orentlicher, all D-Clark County, Democratic National Committeeman and Assembly District 27 candidate Alex Goff (a member of my union, CWA) and Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Director Susie Martinez.


The creme-de-la-creme, as always, was Reno Councilmember and mayoral candidate Jenny Brekhus, who biked there. Jenny's the ONLY elected official who has been by the workers' side every step of the way, now well into Strike 3 against the abusive, foreign owned bus mis-managers. Kudos.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, IRA. Thursday, Nov. 18, marks the seventh anniversary of the diminution of the ambition of overt racist Assemblymember Ira Hansen, R-Sparks. [1] He was slated to become speaker of the house in the 2015 legislative session until the Reno-Sparks NAACP (with a little help from me) and the late Hall of Fame ex-Trib reporter Dennis Myers started reminding people of his 17 years of weekly bigotry on the pages of this newspaper.

I started the landslide here, followed later that morning in my commentary on Sam Shad's Nevada Newsmakers TV show, then by Dennis in the Reno News & Review the next day. On Friday, I sent the story worldwide and Ira had to step down. He's never even said thanks that I got him a quarter-page with a photo in The New York Times and a writeup in The Guardian of London and multiple media from Maui to Miami.

He's now a state senator and should fit well with Tatro and Wheeler, especially when the moon's full.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Assemblymember Krasner is also a member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

[1] I APOLOGIZE TO READERS AND DEMOCRATS FOR MY FREUDIAN TYPO TERMING IRA AS A DEMOCRAT IN THE NOV. 17 PRINT EDITION. It's actually not the first time I've done that. Maybe I have yet to reconcile that, after 17 years on the same editorial page with him, how can such an intelligent man be such a moonhowler? Apparently, he really and truly believes the piffle he promulgates. We even agree on at least one issue: It's just flat wrong to skim taxpayer money to hand corporate welfare to wealthy individuals and corporations. Mea culpa and may enlightenment illuminate your path.

Strike 3: Washoe transit workers walk off again
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-9 & 11-10-2021 / Expansions in blue

Because this paper will hit the press in the wee hours of Tuesday, the Tribune will scoop most of the western world about the transit strike that's going to hit today.

Just before deadline on Monday, almost all unionized employees of the Washoe bus system voted down the foreign contractor/employer's deal with 9 out of 10 workers voting no.

The foreign contractor wanted the workers to take a three-year pay cut by voting for a below-inflation pay "raise." See you on the picket lines, dudes.

The blame lies squarely with the taxpayer-paid officials who always pull a Pontius Pilate and walk away. Contact and order them to protect the health, safety and livelihoods of their constituents. These bus bosses have refused to enforce mask mandates for two years. Dozens of workers and passengers have been sickened.

"This superspreader corporate virus has infected this community far too long in too many ways," Teamsters Union Local 533 President Gary Watson said.

"Keolis has been operating with a blank check authorized by RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas <bthomas@rtcwashoe.com>, which they kept secret until a few months ago," Watson added. "Their contract calls for substantial cash penalties for not providing service. For instance, $1,000 daily for every cancelled route. Acting on his own, Mr. Thomas secretly waived all penalties. How many people would hold their jobs if they didn't show up for work? Keolis can go fishing and still get paid. And they do, every day — at the expense of passengers, workers and taxpayers.

"We ask residents and transit system users to contact the responsible taxpayer-paid officials and order them to protect the health, safety and livelihoods of their constituents,. This superspreader corporate virus has infected this community far too long in too many ways," Watson concluded.

RTC Washoe Contact Information

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is comprised of 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. RTC board e-mail <rtcpubliccomments@rtcwashoe.com> , RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas

HIGHLIGHT, COPY AND PASTE
delgadoo@reno.gov (Reno Councilmember Oscar Delgado-D),
vhartung@washoecounty.us (Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung-R),
jardonn@reno.gov (Reno Councilmember/RTC Chair Neoma Jardon-R),
elawson@cityofsparks.us (Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson-R),
blucey@washoecounty.us (County Commissioner Bob Lucey-R),
bthomas@rtcwashoe.com (RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas),
rtcpubliccomments@rtcwashoe.com (RTC board e-mail),

The United Labor Agency of Nevada has helped arrange a strike fund. Please send checks to United Labor Agency of Nevada, 1201 N. Decatur Blvd. Suite 106,
Las Vegas, NV 89108; Attn: Teamsters Keolis Strike.

HELP THE STRIKERS. PLEASE DONATE TO THE STRIKE FUND Online

Sign the FIRE KEOLIS petition

The Teamsters International Union has launched a new website in support of Keolis workers in Nevada, nationwide and worldwide: French4Failure.com/

BARBWIRE DINGBATS. As many of you know, my Italian fantasy Machine Gun Michele Fiori, R-Gomorrah South, is running for governor. She has now joined Assemblymember Jill Dickman, R-Sparks, in pimping anti-masking as a fundraising tool. In a fundraising appeal to lesser lights, Ms. Dickman, just touted that she was kicked off the Assembly floor for playing Superspreader. She may not know it, be we are kindred. I got kicked out because someone told a lie to security that males could not wear hats in the gallery. Won the Barbwire a first-place Nevada Press Association honor. I don't think Ms. Dickman's gonna score any honors but many misbegotten miscreants will send her their hard-earned money.

Hey, the sky is falling! Haven't you heard? Speaking of fall guys...

WHEELING AND DEALING. Am I psychic or what? Last week's column, which I sent to the newspaper on Monday, Nov. 1, accurately predicted that someone would want to give a Nevada Senate seat to a seat-warmer. Faith & begorrah, Washoe County Commission Chairman Bob Lucey advocated exactly that on TV-4/TV-11 on Tuesday, Nov. 2, in an interview with reporter Ben Margiott.

Mr. Lucey said he favors a "placeholder until the 2022 election" as Washoe County's next state senator. Huh? A placeholder is somebody who takes your place in line to get concert tickets.

This isn't a buffet line and Nevada doesn't need a placeholder. We need a senator. A placeholder who has sworn not to seek election has no accountability to the public for the next year and will never have to face the voters. The new senator will have to hit the ground running not only at the redistricting special session which starts Friday but also by serving on important interim committees which will require participation in and reporting to the 2023 legislative session.

It is a sophistry upon the public to assert that whomever is chosen must commit to not seek election to a full term next year. That's a constitutional right and constitutional rights cannot be waived just to become a placeholder. It's rather morally obtuse to promise to waive a constitutional right when you can't be legally bound by the promise anyway.

I correctly called the two frontrunners. Long-retired three-term (1974-1980) Assemblymember Bob Weise, R-Washoe Valley, is now a Carson City resident. His home address won the non-binding support of Capital City officialdom last week.

Assemblymember Lisa Krasner, R-Reno, announced for the senate before Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, resigned to join the Nevada Gaming Commission.

They go into Tuesday's Washoe County Commission vote as the favorites. (The new senator who will fill the vacancy will be chosen Wednesday.) This paper will hit the streets as the selection process is underway. Stay tuned to NevadaLabor.com/

UPDATE: 2:08 P.M. PST 9 NOV. 2021— Wheeler's boy wins 4-1. Only Commissioner Jeanne Herman, who supported Melissa Clement, went against the grain in the first balloting. Commissioners Lucey, Hartung, Jung and Hill supported Don Tatro, son of Mr. Wheeler's longtime legislative secretary. The final vote was unanimous for Mr. Tatro. Because state law makes Washoe's vote pre-eminent based on population, Mr. Tatro can now start calling himself senator. Cowabunga.

I warned last week that flaming racist Jim "I'd vote for slavery if my constituents wanted me to" Wheeler, D-Douglas County, put his secretary's son into the race.

His name is Don Tatro, a Reno resident from an old Carson family. Nevada politics can be so incestuous.

Wheeler is running for senate in his Alabaster Bastion bailiwick and controlling the Carson-Washoe senator next door will make this troll mega-powerful for the next dozen years.

Stay tuned. Be very afraid.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Assemblymember Krasner is also a member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us
>

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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 © 1982-2022 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 53-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and SenJoeNeal.org; 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 barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us.

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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