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UPDATE: Thursday, 5 Feb. 2009, 12:00 PST, 08:00 GMT/ZULU/SUT/CUT
U.S. State Department muzzles visiting journalists from Kyrgyzstan

Affairs of ancient and emerging states
Expanded from the 2-1-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

Updated 2-4-2009, 2-5-2009 and 2-8-2009

This Thursday, I get to dabble in international relations for the third time in the past several years when I play host to three journalists from the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan.

Save northwestern Nevada community television

Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund at our PayPal-enabled ReSurge.TV Consumer War Room

The math behind the move
Updated 11-16-2008

Charter Communications plans to illegally move four channels of analog to the digital tier.

One channel of analog bandwidth accommodates two to 10 channels of digital programming, depending on the complexity of the streams. High-definition movies eat up a lot of bandwidth.

A Charter statement quoted on TV-4's Aug. 4, 2008, 11:00 p.m. newscast said that Charter is doing this to "free up more bandwidth for high definition channels."

Charter thus gains bandwidth for between 8 and 40 digital channels by banishing community TV to the digital tier, a net gain of 4 and as many as 36, depending on content.

Charter VP Marsha Berkbigler, in her first speech to the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee in Dec. 2002, said each additional channel is worth $1 million a year to Charter — and that's at 2002 prices.

So Charter stands to make between $4 million and $36 million by doing this, unadjusted for inflation.

Sue the bastards
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-10-2008

Deregulation means never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-3-2008

Last year's columns about skulduggery at the Nevada Legislature which led to this mess

MORE: Smoking Guns

Government contact info

Barbwire.TV: 15-year overnight success
Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

In 2005, the Northern Nevada International Center at UNR asked me to meet with Dr. Khettai Langkarpint, dean of law at Payap University in Thailand. He was interested in U.S. labor law.

Last year, a group of journalists from throughout Africa toured Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT). I got all their e-mail addresses and asked them to be my TV show's Africa correspondents and I would return the favor. They can either keep in touch via e-mail or my daily show's chat crawl. (Stay tuned.)

"Kyrgyzstan (also Kirgizia or Kirghizia), officially the Kyrgyz Republic, is a country in Central Asia. Landlocked and mountainous, it is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east," succinctly states Wikipedia.

It's also damn close to Afghanistan.

"The name Kyrgyz, both for the country and the people, means 'forty girls' or 'forty tribes', a reference to the epic hero Manas who unified forty tribes against the Mongols, as symbolized by the 40-ray sun on the flag of Kyrgyzstan." notes the online encyclopedia.

Oksana Vasilevskaia, a native of Mongolia, is the director of Radio Tatina. She began her career in radio as a disc jockey, learned the radio business from the bottom up and created a financially stable and successful station.

Zharkyn Ibraeva is director of Radio Almaz-Naryn. "While working in very difficult conditions of a small and isolated market in the remote, mountainous town of Naryn, Ms. Ibraeva manages to successfully operate a private radio station, report for Azattyk Radio, a Kyrgyz service of the RFE/RL, edit an on-line news service, and serve as an activist for the Naryn Media Recourse Center," her biography states.

Sultan Artykov is executive director of Radio Salam. He "heads a remote radio station in a small town in the southern region of Kyrgyzstan which, due to its geographical location and a number of successful projects, became very popular and reputable in the Fergana parts of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan," his biography notes.

Fergana is in the southwest part of the country which has a new claim to fame.

BARACK, TOO. The small town of Barack, Japan, reveled in the election of our new president. Guess what? Kyrgyzstan has one, too.

Wikipedia tells of "the tiny village of Barak, Kyrgyzstan, (population 627) in the Fergana valley. The village is surrounded by Uzbek territory and located between the towns of Margilan and Fergana."

As they say in Hollywood, Barack Obama is box office worldwide.

STEELING ELECTIONS, PART DEUX. The Republican National Committee last week elected African-American Mike Steele as its chairman. The former Maryland Light-Guv warned that "those of you who are going to obstruct, get ready to be knocked over."


The GOP minority in congress is doing just that. House Republicans all opposed the president's economic stimulus plan even after Obama made significant conservative concessions.

Nevada Rep. Dean Heller, R-Cow Counties, voted with his fellow moonhowlers. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., even voted against health insurance for four million little kids.

I hope somebody asks Mr. Steele if he plans to bowl over such obstructionists.

MOONHOWLERS, PART DEUX. Last Wednesday, Sam Shad let his TV show get out of control.

My old friend Sam let two lobbyists interview an economist from the Cato Institute.

The fawning questioners got smoked by some suede-shoe named Gerald O'Driscoll.

Cato bills itself as libertarian but is really just another right-wing corporate front.

It's named after the great Roman orator Marcus Porcius Cato.

Loosely translated from Latin, Marcus Porcius means Mark the Pig, which accurately describes Mr. O'Driscoll.

He told Shad's interviewers, Scott Craigie and Paul Enos, that he favors eliminating the capital gains tax for a year as a way to spur the economy.

More tax breaks for the wealthy, that's to be expected.

But in the finest tradition of Karl Rove and his fellow revisionists of Dubya the Dense, O'Driscoll said that Ronald Reagan's tax cuts pulled us out of the 1981-82 recession which Reagan inherited.


The recession was started and ended by Federal Reserve chair Paul Volcker, who tightened up money under President Carter and opened the spigots in 1982 under Reagan, who then re-appointed him.

Mr. Volcker is now advising President Obama.

Mr. Enos was in diapers when those events occurred.

Mr. Craigie is old enough to know better, but neither challenged the lie propagated by Mr. O'Driscoll from the think tank of the pigs.

So sue us: Charter tells Sen. Reid and Reno
Ratepayers group may sue Reno as well as Charter
Daily Sparks Tribune online 11-11-2008
+ Barbwire Special Edition 11-12-2008
Updated 11-14-2008

FCC investigates cable TV pricing
Associated Press 11-4-2008

FCC investigates complaints about moving cable channels and pricing
Orlando Sentinel 11-7-2008

Charter misses $74 million payment
Reuters 1-15-2009

Website predicts 2009 Charter Communications bankruptcy
Moody's downgrades Charter on reorganization talk


WASHOE COUNTY CUT OFF. Watching your government in action is getting increasingly difficult in these parts.

In December, Charter cable cut off about one in five subscribers from getting Sparks and Washoe County channels. Reno goes down on Feb. 28 unless you've got digital service.

Because the county didn't pay its bills, Washoe County government Channels 17 and 217 went dark at 5:00 p.m. last Friday.

One ray of hope: SNCAT will be cablecasting legislative floor sessions and hearings on Channels 16 and 216 for those who have Charter digital service.

CUT OFF FROM LIFE SUPPORT. In another public relations coup for Nevada, the Wall Street Journal last week reported that cancer patients in southern Nevada are being turned out into the streets to die because of state Medicaid cuts.

"By early November, (University Medical Center) stopped accepting new patients at the outpatient oncology (cancer) clinic, and then canceled a contract for outpatient dialysis, saving $2.5 million a year," the WSJ wrote.

"It also ended routine prenatal care, leaving 600 women to find other providers, and it discouraged women with high-risk pregnancies from using the hospital by closing a unit that was losing more than $2 million a year.

"The transition hasn't been without risks, especially for the uninsured who can't afford costly oncology drugs," the newspaper stated.

Dr. Langkarpint of Thailand was shocked when I informed him of the repressive nature of U.S. labor laws.

I think I'll ask the Kyrgyz journalists what they think about our oppressive health care system.

Be well. Raise hell.

Smoking Guns...

Not even 30 pieces of silver
Reno City Council Signs Community TV Death Warrant

Contact Sen. Harry Reid for help
Sparks Tribune / 11-23-2008

Rise of the machines
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 11-16-2008

The devil and the deep blue sea
Charter cable deal and Reno "settlement" offers are all death warrants for community television. Court battle looms closer.

Sparks Tribune / 11-11-2008 + Barbwire special web edition, 11-12-2008

Wisconsin statewide franchise law has not dropped cable prices as promised
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 11-8-2008

Falling all over ourselves
When will Sparks, Carson City, Washoe and Douglas counties get mad over Charter cable's ripoff?
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-5-2008

Michigan Judge rules for cable ratepayers
Decision holds great importance for Nevada

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-5-2008

Charter in serious financial trouble
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-12-2008

Charter offer deficient
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-28-2008

Reno-Sparks NAACP opposes Charter channel switch

Charter negotiates Russian-style: Will accept 100% of everything
Daily Sparks Tribune 9-5-2008

Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund at our PayPal-enabled ReSurge.TV Consumer War Room

Reno city council votes unanimously to sue Charter to keep community TV accessible
Resurge.TV will also file

...and more ammo

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

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?

Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know
Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.

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

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.

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 | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
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Copyright © 1982-2009 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, editor of and, former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee and serves as second vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

He hosts live news and talk (775-682-4144) Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m., at
Barbwire.TV and Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter digital cable channels 16 and 216. Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988 and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

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