Oddities and Outrages
Expanded from the 7-16-2006 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Updated 8-11-2006

"Those who enter the country illegally are breaking the law."
– Dubya

Yes, Mr. President. And poverty is caused by people being poor. And when people are out of work, unemployment results. (Legendary circumlocutive redundancies attributed by a political cartoonist to Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge.) [1.]

Despite a longstanding tradition of electing guys with the mental acuity of slugs and the moral obtuseness of dung beetles, these fatcats remain in power and likely to stay there until Great Depression, Part Deux.

Dubya's charm for the lemmings who follow him lies in faithfully following his script. Ronald Reagan simply played the part of his idol, Franklin Roosevelt. Dubya's doing Gomer Pyle Goes to Washington. While people are having their pockets picked and their children slaughtered on streets from Phoenix to Baghdad, many take cold comfort in thinking that they are smarter than the president of the United States.

The great unwashed are easy to play for suckers. The eunuched opposition forgot how to play this game a long time ago.

Damon Runyon once warned against playing the other guy's game. If some sharp comes up to you and wants to bet he can pour cider in your ear without your knowing it, there's only one thing sure: You're gonna end up with an ear full of cider. (Thanks to the late Tribune columnist Orland Outland for that one.)

Once again, the Republicans have sucked the Democrats into a racist trap and the 2006 elections will be played on the GOP's bigoted turf.

Echoing Dubya, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Carter, who has demonstrated that he is not ready for prime time at every opportunity, told Sam Shad on Nevada Newsmakers last week that he wants "punishment" for illegal immigrants. After all, they broke the law by coming here or by staying here, reasoned the pseudocrat and attorney.

Mexicans are this year's version of gays, blacks or Jews of yesteryear, somebody to blame for whatever problems you have no matter who caused them, including you.

"Nuke 'em Well" Harry Truman put it best, if you give people a choice between two conservatives, they'll always vote for the real thing.

As I noted several weeks ago, immigration is just the vaunted conservative Republican deregulated free market at work. They made it this way, now they want to fix it? Who's kidding whom?

This is no more than a retreaded version of Richard Nixon's 1968 southern strategy. It still works better than white sheets and burning crosses by scaring small minds that we gotta do something about them uppity brown people coming here to take our jobs and rape our women.

Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.

INTERNET ILLITERACY. The web ain't rocket science, but you can't convince the Donkeyites. Awhile back, veteran newsman Johnny Gunn reported at that the state Democratic Party website required registration to enter. I just checked and they've apparently moved to open architecture. Local Dems are still good for a few laughs. The Washoe party's website notes that "We are currently working to get our online access for contributions set up....Your local Party is a lean, efficient (??) organization that operates on a shoe-string budget."

Making it hard for people to give you money is probably a big reason.

More than two years after Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean shocked the world with his Internet fundraising, the local Dems stand stuck in neutral.

SEN. JOE NEAL ROCKS ON. A few candidates have commendably been shooting around the edges of a health care plan this year, including Mr. Carter and Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Dina Titus. Even Reno mayoral candidate and occasional Tribune political cartoonist Erik Holland has anted into the game: "I would push for a city health clinic to ease the load on our emergency rooms," he states. When state and federal governments don't respond to basic needs, reform starts to ferment on the local level.

Perhaps some candidates have found the Neal Care plan proposed in 2002 by former State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas. It will be linked to the web edition of this column and is well worth reading for its elegant simplicity.

CWAZY WABBIT. I see that Gov. Dudley Do-Right has named Steve Martin as new state controller. Will Martin show up for work wearing his trademark white suit, bunny ears and an arrow through his head?

ODD BODKINS. Recent events have reminded me of the oldest oxymoron: Holy Land…Current TV ads offer a bogus dime with Franklin Roosevelt replaced thereon by Ronald Reagan. The coins sell for $10, one percent of face value – which is more than Reagan's presidency was worth…Anyone notice that the "Nugget Tonight" jingle currently on all local media is basically an upbeat soundalike of Eric Clapton's Cocaine?

LITTLE WHITE LIES DEPT. Is it too much to expect that when local TV stations advertise programs beginning at the top of an hour that they actually do so? Local news programs often start two minutes early in an attempt to rig ratings. Why should I believe a news department which says the news begins at 5:00 but really starts at 4:58?

Radio stations are even worse. Many beat the drum about always airing seven or nine or 12 songs in a row, when they actually run only one in row. Each piece of music is interrupted by an advertisement for the station or a commercial advertiser, but if it's not a sponsored spot, they apparently don't consider it as breaking their promise. I know that constantly bombarding those filling out rating books is important, but if stations need to lie to get us to listen, they're not worth tuning in.

See you on TV-4's Nevada Newsmakers this Tuesday.

Be well. Raise hell.

Smoking Guns

[1.] After years of searching (it's not on the web), I have found a credible reference for the exact Calvin Coolidge quote from 1930: "When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results." (Zinn, Howard; A People's History of the United States;" page 387; Harper Collins/Perennial Classics edition, 2001. | U-News | Bulletins
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Copyright © 2006 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 37-year Nevadan, editor of and webmaster of His opinions are strictly his own, as always. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.


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