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Charter digital cable channels 16 & 216 in Reno-Sparks-Washoe
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New live shows this week on Carson/Douglas cable

Fearless forecasts, computers and counterspins
Expanded from the 4-12-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 4-14-2009 and 4-15-2009, 11-19-2015 and 4-12-2016

Save northwestern Nevada community television

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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

Two big things happen in Carson City this week.

I will originate my TV show from the capital twice a week for the rest of the legislative session.

It will air live (4:00-5:00 p.m. PDT/23:00-24:00 ZULU-GMT, Tuesdays and Thursdays) on Carson Charter channel 10 and sometimes on channel 26.

We will also feed it to Douglas County viewers and stream to the web.

It will rerun in my regular Sparks-Reno timeslot between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. later in the week, as well as on other Nevada stations.

My first guest will be longtime community activist Theresa Navarro, newly appointed head of President Obama's campaign for national health insurance.

At 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, she will rally support with a town hall summit in legislative hearing room 1214.

"The event is one of more than 90 happening in 44 states and sponsored by Health Care for America Now during the April congressional recess," the organization announced.

Out in the political wilderness, crypto-fascist right-wing moonhowlers are predictably crying "socialized medicine."

Can't they think of anything better than 1950's red scare?

We've already got socialized medicine with Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration. And what about that other commie-pinko program called SOCIAL Security?

The New York Times editorialized last Tuesday that "a new public plan is neither the cornerstone of health care reform nor the death knell of private insurance.
It should be tried as one element of comprehensive reform.

"If, over, time, a vast majority decides the government plan is superior, so be it," the editorial stated.

For more information, call Ms. Navarro at (775) 560-1300.

UPDATE 4-15-2009: Ms. Navarro was joined by Assemblyman Moises Denis, D-Las Vegas, for the inaugural program. Click here to read the resolution they discussed on the air which she presented to him at the legislature on April 15.

BIG BUX VS. US. Big business is spending big dollars to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised a vote on the bill by this summer.

It will give workers an alternative to the current situation of sham union elections which stack the deck in favor of management.

The moonhowlers have been propagating the lie that the bill means the end of secret ballot union elections, not that the boss doesn't know how everybody's going to vote well in advance due to the current tainted setup.

The bill allows workers the option of secret ballots or majority card signings, just like in Canada which has far fewer economic problems than we do.

One in three Canadian workers is a union member, where only one in eight Americans are. And they have an awesome national health care program.

Current law would stay the same. An employer can ask for a secret ballot election at any time. Unions would still have to get authorization cards from 30 percent of the employee group to trigger a vote.

The proposed law adds a higher hurdle, giving workers automatic union recognition if more than half sign authorization cards.

Congresscritter Dean Heller, R-Nev., canceled a speech before a large group of personnel managers last Wednesday at Reno's Atlantis Hotel.

I was asked to represent organized labor at the event and got to see firsthand all the disinformation being promulgated by the union busters.

I won the argument in my first minute by calling one glaring omission to the attention of about 140 executives present.

In the reams of propaganda wallpapering the place, the actual proposed law was conspicuously absent – because it doesn't say anything about eliminating secret ballots.

Nonetheless, Sen. Reid and organized labor are losing the PR battle over this chance to revitalize America's shrinking middle class and need new approaches.

UPDATE 11-19-2015: Triple-turncoat union traitor Jason Guinasso, who organized this union-busting event, has declared his candidacy in the June 2016 Republican primary for the southwest Reno/Incline Village Assembly District 26 seat held for three terms by the 2015 legislature's worst union buster, Randy Kirner. Mr. Kirner only retained his seat over fellow Republican Lisa Krasner by 11 votes in 2014 and apparently had no stomach for a rematch. Mr. Guinasso has the support of both Mr. Kirner and his soul brother, Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Reno, also retiring. Mr. Guinasso is actively soliciting union support for his candidacy. Go figger. Buyer beware.

[UPDATE 4-8-2016/U-News Exclusive] —> On Thursday, 14 April 2016 at 1:45 p.m. PDT in Washoe District Court Dept. 7, 75 Court St. in Reno, Judge Patrick Flanagan will consider disqualification of Republican Jason Guinasso's candidacy in Assembly Dist. 26 (southwest Reno/Incline Village). Stay Tuned.

Karmic fowl, fox paws and other freakin' f-words
Peter "Snidely Whiplash" Ernaut and Jason Guinasso's other puppetmasters push the panic button
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-17-2016 Sparks Tribune

Deconstruction, carpetbaggers and hall-of-famers
District attorney's court filings in the Guinasso candidacy case available with the above column
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-12-2016 Sparks Tribune

PHONE HOME. My fellow union members of the Communications Workers of America are now working without a contract because they've refused employer demands for huge givebacks.

AT&T only made upwards of $10 billion in profits last year.

Perhaps as a weird sign of things to come, the phone company's Vassar Street office has been closed until April 18 "due to unforeseen circumstances," according to a sign in the window greeting frustrated customers.

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


PEGGY PIERCED. Redoubtable Assemblymember Peggy Pierce, D-Las Vegas, made some compromises but her paper ballot bill, AB 435, still got killed on Friday.

I've been speaking and writing about flaws in computerized vote counting since 1978. I wrote a four-part series in this newspaper in 1988, parts of which appeared in other Nevada publications, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

After the 2000 installation of His Royal Accidency Dubya the Lesser, people finally started paying attention.

Entire motion pictures and a library full of books and articles have since been disseminated, but the problems persist.

So our legislature chose to ignore them, largely because most of the people down there need to preserve the quasi-religious myth that our vote counting system is rock-hard Romano rather than holy Swiss cheese.

Either way, it smells moldy.

Ms. Pierce is also primary sponsor of a resolution (AJR 3) to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, killed in 1977 by a dirty deal between then-state senate majority leader Jim Gibson, D-Henderson, and lobbyist Jim Joyce.

TWO DOWN, THREE TO GO. My easiest prediction for 2009 has already come true, the bankruptcy of the bandidos at Charter Communications.

The second was almost as easy, the resignation of Reno City Manager Charles McNeely.

Next up: bankruptcy for Sparks, followed by Reno – which leads me to forecast number five: wholesale retirements at both city halls next year.

Look for lots of statements like "I need to spend time with my family and thus will not seek re-election."

The environment will be similar to Sparks in 1975, when the Joe Conforte-controlled majority was ousted, and Reno in 1979, when underfunded underdog Barbara Bennett won the mayorality in the upset of the century.

The chain letter of local government finances is coming to an end and we're going to be stuck with the postage due.

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, 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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