Follytix for fun and prophet
Expanded from the 11-11-2007 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune

My union has been conducting an online poll of its national membership about the presidential race. The Communications Workers of America executive board will meet next week to consider early endorsement of a candidate. I think they should, and do so on principle, which is how I will vote in the Jan. 19 Nevada Democratic caucus.

The union's website has posted positions on three questions of importance to workers. All Democrats save former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel responded. NONE of the Republicans did, which is rather foolish, given that about a third of union members drink GOP Kool-Aid.

The website asked union members to name their top three choices and solicited comments. Here are mine.

NUMBER ONE: Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are the only Democrats talking like Democrats. The rest are basically corporate conservatives. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama pussyfoot around the war – they say end it, but leave permanent forces in Iraq, which is trying to have it both ways and perpetuating this game of loser's poker.

Kucinich, Gravel and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson say bring them home beaucoup quick. Clinton, former Sen. John Edwards and Obama all want to retain the for-profit health care system. Kucinich alone wants national, single-payer health care. No Dem can curb the long-entrenched powerful influences driving the bleed-us-white funding of our killing machine ($660 billion a year at last count, plus additional black ops and war add-ons), but at least Dennis the Menace would try to spread some of the money around on trifles like health care.

Here are Kucinich's responses to the union's issues.

   On the Employee Free Choice Act: The fight to get the Employee Free Choice Act past the hurdle of a Senate filibuster doesn't begin when I take office, it begins when I win the nomination. My campaign will be about building a coalition in the Congress, one that will return to traditional working-class Democratic values. (The act would allow union recognition if a majority of employees sign authorization cards.)

   On Good Jobs: My first act in office will be to notify the appropriate parties that the United States is pulling out of NAFTA and the WTO. We will return to a system of bilateral trade based on worker rights, human rights and environmental protection.

   On Health Care: I am the co-author and co-sponsor of HR 676, the Conyers/Kucinich bill, which will provide for true universal, single-payer health care. All residents of the United States will be fully covered for medical, dental, vision, mental health and long-term care. There will be no deductibles, no co-pays and no insurance company employees whose job it is to deny you coverage so their company makes more money.

NUMBER TWO: Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. I think he really believes and would try to enact the populist mantra he preaches. He's also electable. Political satirist Bill Maher got it right on The Tonight Show – Edwards/Obama would be a helluva ticket.

Last July, Andrew Barbano wrote this as part of his response to a former Nevada union president

I think Dodd, Richardson and Biden may be pliable. Hillary appears rather stuck in cement with respect to her positions and history.

Obama is keeping it as vague as possible while riding the wave. That's smart, but he risks letting others define him before he defines himself....

Look at government-paid health care like basic cable TV: all citizens would get basic at no charge. Anyone who wants HBO can pay extra. Canada allows that, as do other more civilized countries.


Edwards and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, want to make criminals of those who cannot buy health insurance under their proposals which have been likened to mandatory auto insurance.

We can't stop the ultimate corporate welfare, our addiction to weapons spending, but we can make American industry more competitive with national health care.

With enough political pressure, I think Edwards would try to take us there if he gets elected.

NUMBER THREE: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del. I met and interviewed Sen. Biden earlier this year. (I delivered a conciliatory message to him from the Reno-Sparks NAACP after his tempest in a teapot Obama remarks.)

Biden is a good labor Democrat and I'm willing to forgive his early termination of the 1991 confirmation hearing of Justice Clarence Thomas.

He certainly is qualified in the area of foreign policy, although purely looking at résumés, Gov. Richardson has no peer.

Alas, Mr. Richardson has proven not ready for prime time, too often trying to laugh off tough questions.

Putting Richardson on a winning ticket would lock up the emerging Latino plurality for a generation, but the Dems are not that smart. Democrats usually win or lose presidential elections by default.

Biden and Richardson both addressed the Nevada State AFL-CIO convention in Reno earlier this year. Biden did well, Richardson turned on the crowd.

Richardson would be a strategically smart VP nominee for somebody.

I feel today as I have always felt – that if Mrs. Clinton is the standard bearer, someone like former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., will probably win next year, once again by classic Democratic default.

Read complete candidate positions for yourself at the CWA website

Longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Everything You Need to Know About the Nevada Presidential Caucus and then some site



Perhaps that will be for the best, as it will be better to have an R in the White House to take the blame for the coming economic collapse.

Then, a new Franklin D. Roosevelt will rise.

I don't know who he or she will be, but that poor soul will have the unenviable task of rolling the rock back up the hill all over again now that the gains for workers and the middle class wrought by the New Deal, Fair Deal, New Frontier and Great Society have pretty much disappeared.

Hope springs eternal.

In Solidarity,

Andrew Barbano
CWA Local 9413
Sparks, Nevada

THE NEVERENDING STORY. America the Beautiful, director Darryl Roberts' award-winning film on our fixation with the physical, scored another award before opening the 4th Annual Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles last Thursday. Already given a best director honor at the Chicago Film Festival, Roberts scored another Windy City kudo by winning the Special Jury Prize for Best Representation of the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of a Child at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.

The prize went to the film best celebrating "the empowerment, encouragement and respectful treatment of children everywhere, for all time."

The largest children's film festival in North America, the event showed over 200 films from 40 countries. A thousand youngsters attended the screening of Roberts' film.

The saga of local resident Darlene Jespersen, fired from her bartending job at Harrah's after 20 years for refusing to wear makeup, is a featured part of America the Beautiful.

Be well. Raise hell.


NAOMIKLEIN.ORG: The Shock Doctrine Short Film
A Film by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein, directed by Jonás Cuarón

An official selection of the Toronto Film Festival
An official selection of the Venice Film Festival
The Shock Doctrine short film is cleared for Internet use but not for broadcast,
so feel free to share it with your friends.

NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Alternet 5-20-2007

...and more ammo


Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.

Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate. For additional comments on the work of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning team, use the NevadaLabor.com search engine and sweep for "Barlett."

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

The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below

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

     SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.

     By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)

     Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.

Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.

      BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey

      BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy

The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Barbwire 9-10-2006

      Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966

      Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
I've been telling you so for more than 10 freakin' year

Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Learn about the goodies which suffering profitmongers suck from the public trough

Nevada: Right to Work for Less
Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it

BARBWIRE Cable/Telecommunications War Room

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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Copyright © 1982-2007 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO,and the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.


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