Franz Kafka defeats Frank Capra

Expanded from the Sunday, 9-19-2004, Daily Sparks, Nev., Tribune
and the 9-24-2004 Comstock Chronicle


"I'll bend every effort to win, and I come from a long line of effort benders."

Legendary comic actor W.C. Fields

FRANZ KAFKA, CALL YOUR OFFICE. The jury has finally come in on this country's character. Franz Kafka has soundly defeated Frank Capra.

"Media is the plural of mediocre."

— Jimmy Breslin

Exhibit A: Citizenship on hold. The swearing in of new citizens around the country has been squelched until such time as Homeland Insecurity Czar Tom Ridge can print new stationery. Newly minted American citizens were turned away at the Reno federal courthouse last week with the ultimate bureaucratic excuse. None of those people really wanted to vote in November, did they?

Exhibit B. Need more evidence? In a rare sensible commentary, the Social Darwinists devolving daily at the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial page actually stood up for the little guy last week. It must have ground their nutso guts to praise a decision by the oft-trashed uberliberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

"John Gilmore is an Oakland resident who made millions as a founding employee of Sun Microsystems Inc.," the RJ wrote.

"On July 4, 2002, Southwest Airlines employees at Oakland International Airport barred Mr. Gilmore from boarding a flight to Baltimore after he refused to produce a government-issued photo ID. He also refused to allow security personnel — who had no warrant based on probable cause — to pat him down and search through his luggage.

"Mr. Gilmore went through a similar experience with United Airlines employees at San Francisco International Airport later that same day. Both airlines said they were following federal directives.

"Mr. Gilmore, who hasn't flown since, proceeded to sue the government and the airlines in federal court, alleging among other things that the identification requirement violates his right to freely assemble because he can't travel by air.

"The U.S. Department of Justice has refused to even confirm or deny the existence of the rule the airline employees said they were following. The department has argued that national security requires directives dealing with transportation must be kept secret…

"How is a law to be challenged if no one knows what it is? How could its provisions be tested for constitutionality in a court if those seeking to mount the challenge were not allowed to read its clear and concrete language?

"Are we even to be arrested for violating "secret" laws, which we couldn't possibly know existed?"

The full editorial will be linked to the web edition of this column at (Please see "Smoking Guns," below.)

PROPAGATING PROPAGANDA. The full text of my Labor Day 1994 column is now uploaded at It details how the power of expensive corporate-funded propaganda has turned us into Dubya World over the past 85 years. It has lots of links and references. Tune in, turn on and tell a friend.


Does Dubya have the guts to debate Michael Moore?

Stupid white men try
to bribe university

UN,R right place for controversial speakers
Reno Gazette-Journal Editorial

Michael Moore due in Reno on Wednesday October 13

Debate over controversial speaker welcome
Reno Gazette-Journal Editorial

Oscar time for Mike & Mel?

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 wins the Palme d'Or
at the Cannes Film Festival

Moore film tops $8 million
on opening day

Mike on the road with Crackers the Corporate Crime-Fighting Chicken.

YOUR CHANCE TO BE A TV STAR. Local activist Jan Chastain is looking for people to read portions of Kitty Kelley's new gossip bio of the Bush royal family for her cable television show.

"I need a few different faces to read, quote and discuss parts of the book" and to play Grandpa Prescott, Poppy, George W. and so forth. Her e-mail address is <> or you may leave a message at (775) 322-2349.

WALLPAPERING DEMOCRACY. The Saturday New York Times editorially praised Nevada for its first-in-the-nation touch-screen voting with a paper trail. What nobody seems to have noticed is that Nevada law has long mandated a paper trail to enable hand recounts of computerized elections.

For once, we really were ahead of the curve thanks to legislation passed decades ago. Alas and alack, we remain far from bulletproof and much of the rest of the nation is as susceptible to hackers as Troy was to wooden horses.


NEVADA NEWSMAKERS. I'll be shouting from the pundit gallery this Thursday on Sam Shad's statewide Nevada Newsmakers. The show airs at 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday on KRNV TV-4, repeating at 9:28 p.m. each day on Charter cable channel 12 in Carson City, Washoe and Douglas counties. Audio re-airs Sunday mornings from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on KKKOH 780 am radio.

This Thursday's guests are Assemblyman Robert T. Beers, R-Las Vegas, former newsman at Reno rock 'n' roll station KCBN during his UN,R days. Beers just knocked off longtime incumbent State Sen. Ray Rawson, R-Las Vegas, in a GOP primary. Alas and alack, Bob has turned into a grumpy old man while still a young man.

Also on Thursday's show, a representative speaking on behalf of Questions 4 and 5, which involve insurance rollbacks, trial lawyers and medical malpractice cases.

Joining me on the pundit panel will be Nevada Taxpayers Association President Carol Vilardo and Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association. For the full week's bombastic and iconoclastic tv-cable-radio program schedule, go to

BET ON DICK CHENEY NEVER COMING BACK TO RENO. Imagine how our sensitive vice-president felt when the announcement of Michael Moore's October 13 visit to UN,R got more ink than the ambassador from Halliburton.

Moore scored the above-the-fold headline on the front page of the Sept. 16 Reno Gazette-Journal while news of the vice-president's speech was reduced to little more than a sidebar.

If the shadow president had any lingering doubts about them dirty pinko commies at Gannett

Newspapers, they were removed if he saw the rather unfortunate juxtaposition on last Friday's front page: "Cheney rallies supporters. Authorities find body near Fallon."

Don't call us, we'll call you.

Be well. Raise hell.



The Silence of the Cows

A Blow Against the Secrecy State: Federal government
didn't even want to produce its photo ID law

Las Vegas Review-Journal Editorial 9-17-2004

Campaign 2004: Star Trek Virtual Politics

Father Diamond is Spinning in His Grave

Excerpt: All the President's Spin

The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey

Review of Alex Carey's "Taking the Risk out of Democracy:
Propaganda in the US and Australia"

ORDER "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy"
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press

CNN's Lou Dobbs' new book "Exporting America" quotes Carey

PBS/NOW with Bill Moyers: Outsourcing American Jobs

Apathy is never having to say you're sorry

Federal Election Commission: Voter Registration and Turnout 2000 | C.O.P. | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US
Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive


Copyright © 1982-2004 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 35-year Nevadan, a member Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of and Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.

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