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Andrew Barbano:
César Chávez Day will remind us what we can become

From the 3-21-2009 Reno Gazette-Journal
Updated 1-10-2012

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

I recently got an angry response to a bulletin I posted at about the March 31 César Chávez birthday celebration at Reno's Circus Circus.

"A César Chávez holiday would be just another excuse for not working, like Martin Luther King Day and Nevada Day," a guy named Matthew wrote, concluding by politely asking me to "Please go to hell!"

Americans are the hardest-working people in the world.

Our productivity has doubled since 1973, while the average worker hasn't had a raise, adjusted for inflation.

We have gone to hell.

If the market rules, then hard work has been devalued while gambling at the world's biggest casino on Wall Street represents the new American Dream, now diminished as delusion.

Matthew aims at the wrong target.

César Chávez inspired us to look higher.

Here are excerpts from last year's Washoe County School District essay contest:

"César Chávez is an example that anyone can help the less fortunate." (Camille Carter, fourth grade, Mamie Towles Elementary School).

"Reading about César's achievements inspired me and I'm proud to say that when I'm older, I want to be a Hispanic activist. I think that having a national holiday to honor these achievements is a terrific idea" (Brenda Rodriguez, eighth grade, O'Brien Middle School).

"Many farm workers and their families were exposed to dangerous pesticides. They were victims of abuse and racism. It was a form of slavery! César Chávez was determined to expose corrupt labor contractors and change the meager wages workers were paid for backbreaking work. He was a unique and humble leader. He never earned more than $6,000 a year. He never owned a house. Many of his pacifist ideas were inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." (Xiomara Valencia, seventh grade, Our Lady of Snows).

This year's writing competition asks students to look for commonalities between King and Chávez.

"César went to school and one day he spoke Spanish and the teacher put a sign on him that said 'I am a clown. I speak Spanish'" (Aidee Carrillo, sixth grade, Kate Smith Elementary).

I couldn't understand this oppression until my band director, Paul Sauceda, told me his very similar story almost 50 years ago.

"Andy, you've got to understand what Martin Luther King is doing. I was ridiculed every day: 'Why do you want to go to high school? All you'll ever be is a field worker.'

"I wish I had a Willie Mays to point to, so I could say, 'Look what he did.' I never had that."

Paul went on to become an accountant and community leader who started this 14-year-old kid on the path to overcome the prejudices of apartheid America.

Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced Assembly Bill 301 to permanently establish March 31 as César Chávez Day in Nevada.

It won't cost a dime, and nobody will get the day off.

But it will remind future generations of what they can become.
Andrew Barbano chairs the Nevada César Chávez Committee.

I was a teenage racist
Barbwire / 1-12-1990
Updated 1-15-2012

Heroes are made, not born
Barbwire / 11-6-2011


SI SE PUEDE. The César Chávez holiday bill will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Government Affairs at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, March 30, in legislative hearing room 3143, third floor.

AB 301 by Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, and a bipartisan group of 18 others, orders the governor to declare the last day of March every year as César Chávez Day.

The late, great union leader was born on March 31, 1927.

The bill will not cost anything, as it does not mandate the closure of state and municipal offices or places of business.

It will, however, take us a step closer toward a national César Chávez commemoration.

Mr. Kihuen is looking for local citizens and former César Chávez associates to testify.

Call me.

Kihuen will speak at the annual Chávez Day celebration at Circus Circus the day after the hearing.

BURN THE MIDNIGHT OIL. Washoe County School District students who want to enter the annual César Chávez essay contest have until noon Tuesday to get their entries to

Sue Davis, Director
Teaching American History Project
P.O. Box 30425
Reno, NV 89520-3425

All submissions must be received by 12:00 noon on Tuesday, March 24, via school mail or regular mail.

The top three in each age category will receive their prizes at the annual César Chávez celebration at Circus Circus Hotel-Casino in downtown Reno.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. on March 31.

See for more information or just call or write me.

CONSTRUCTION CASUALTY UPDATE. The TV version of the Barbwire will be in reruns until at least the middle of next week due to major construction at Sierra Nevada Community Access Television.

Watch Barbwire.TV for updates.

Be well. Raise hell.

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 Communications hires bankruptcy lawyers
MultiChannel News 2-8-2009

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

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


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
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
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Copyright © 1982-2009, 2011, 2012, 2023 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 Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m., at
Barbwire.TV and Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter digital cable channels 16 and 216, high-definition channel 80-295. 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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