Sell us this day our daily bread
Expanded from the 7-25-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award
Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
That's how it goes. Everybody knows.
The program premiers were available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.
The shows appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the events, commercial TV greatly expanded distribution.
Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.
Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV.
You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.
Your contribution will help fund the distribution of the Dec. 6 and Feb. 21 programs as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station.
You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.
Be well. Raise hell.
Barbwire column on the depredations of Charter Communications and the Reno City Council wins 2009 Nevada Press Association first-place award
Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest TV programs. You may also search by date M-F for the past year save holidays.
15-year overnight success
Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008
The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
What if I told you that the price of food you pay every day is 80 percent higher than it should be?
But what do you care?
You can still get a taco for a buck almost anywhere, so what's the big deal?
What if I uttered the magic words that Wall Street caused it? Would that get your attention?
Regular Barbwireites have seen or heard me carp about this kind of stuff for four decades.
To deflate the ooey-gooey phony patriotism that often accompanies the annual furniture sale and fireworks nostalgiafest called Independence Day, last July 4 I ran a column headlined Red, White and Screwed. (Title courtesy of wiseman Lewis Black.)
I printed a checklist of the usual suspects, all of whom have their own war rooms at NevadaLabor.com: The megamillion-dollar corporate PR machine designed to keep the lower classes fighting each other; the elimination of true competition allowing corporations to charge artificially high prices for just about every consumer product or service (gasoline, electricity, natural gas, medical care, medicine, cable and satellite TV); and as always, the cold, hard fact that the average American worker has not had a raise, adjusted for inflation, since the magical year of the Arab-Iranian-OPEC oil boycott, 1973.
Meanwhile, as our high-paying jobs were being exported to third- and fourth-world countries, the American worker's productivity (output per person per hour) more than doubled. We are, indeed, working more and more for less and less.
It is thus not surprising that Americans of all political, religious and philosophical stripes collectively feel this vague anger. They are red in the face at being bled white of the fruits of their labors red, white and royally screwed.
Now, corporate America is on a renewed campaign to get at the last remaining big pot of money not already under its control: the Social Security trust fund. Moonhowler senate nominee Sharron Angle is correct that the money in the fund has been diverted.
The federal government has long been borrowing from itself at a lower interest rate than it could get from international bankers or the Chinese. If you don't think our politicians quake in fear at the thought of all those senior citizen voters dis-electing those who might not want to pay it back, you're in the wrong country. Social Security checks have never stopped coming, irrespective of internal accounting entries.
The bad guys are also looking for ways to further loot public and private pension plans, not that they haven't done enough damage already via the deregulated speculation of recent years. We have not seen the worst of it yet.
Wall Street is going about business as usual, selling people's futures and lives with speculation upon speculation. The odds are better in just about any Nevada casino. At least those have some degree of lapdog regulation.
The United States could be well on the way toward a double-dip depression right after the November elections.
The federal government is very good at sprinkling goodies on the great unwashed before November of an even-numbered year. I've printed the story several times of how the Reagan administration loosened up welfare guidelines so that anyone with a middle class income could qualify for commodity foods and food stamps. The liberalization expired on Nov. 15, 1984, right after King Ronald the Vague had been resoundingly re-elected.
Now you can add food to the above checklist of consumer ripoffs. Because of Wall Street speculation, "The worldwide price of food (rose) by 80 percent between 2005 and 2008. Unlike other food catastrophes of the past half-century or so, the United States was not insulated for this one as 49 million Americans found themselves unable to put a full meal on the table."
So wrote Harper's Magazine contributing editor Frederick Kaufman in his cover story in this month's edition. (The Food Bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it.)
"Bankers had taken control of the world's food, money chased money and a billion people went hungry," he noted.
"The wheat harvest of 2008 turned out to be the most bountiful the world had ever seen, so plentiful that even as hundreds of millions slowly starved, 200 million bushels were sold for animal feed. Livestock owners could afford the wheat. Poor people could not," Kaufman reported.
A few days ago, President Obama signed a moderate Wall Street reform bill. It's not much, but it's a start.
As U.S. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, said awhile back, the banks own Washington.
The only thing left is their selling our bodies as fertilizer after we die. Watch for some sharp young Harvard grad at Goldman Sachs to come up with a futures market for that, too.
So what are you going to do to get unscrewed before you die, citizen-voter?
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, second vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of NevadaLabor.com. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.
Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced
The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?
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 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008
From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP
TOLJASO LONG TIME AGO
BP/ARCO: The greasy root of our evils
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-10-2006
The awful truth Read it and weep, fellow suckers
Labor Day 2009: Rise of the Vampire Corpobots
Expanded from the 9-6-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
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.
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.
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
Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966
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Copyright © 1982-2010 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration 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 email@example.com.
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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