Interdependence Day 2010: Red, white and screwed
Expanded from the 7-4-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 7-10, 7-27 and 8-8-2010
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award
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
How stands Lady Liberty at age 234? As always, where you stand depends on where you sit. So let's play the cliché game with the three items many erroneously think are found in the Constitution of the United States.
LIFE: Despite the de facto outlawing of abortion, the richest country in the history of the world sports an infant mortality rate on a par with some third- and fourth-world banana republics. Our health care system is ghoulish in its pursuit of profit. Added together, our guns and autos kill more Americans each year than all the dead of the Vietnam War.
LIBERTY: The United States is an empire. Like its predecessors, we imprison and execute people we don't like with impunity. Like children handed lollypops by burglars, we citizens have been allowed to keep our guns in exchange for our basic freedoms.
Twenty years ago, Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart paid for legal research to determine how much of the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution) remained intact. The result was depressing. Only the Third Amendment restricting the quartering of troops in private homes stood inviolate.
PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: Adjusted for inflation, the average American worker has not had a raise since 1973.
Which brings me to local welfare offices where physical confrontations are becoming more frequent as frustrated people wait in longer and longer lines at a seriously understaffed operation.
People know they are being forced to play in a rigged game. Competition, which is supposed to be the great equalizer in a free market system, has been largely eradicated even in elections where the choices are often between Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber (a zinger I first heard used by Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., D-NY, in a speech at UNLV in 1970).
I used Powell's howler in announcing the establishment of the None of the Above for Governor Political Action Committee in 1982 and have given serious thought to bringing back NAGPAC several times since, including this year.
The key to the continued exploitation of the land of the free and home of the brave lies with keeping the lower classes fighting each other. You will find a comprehensive history of corporate-funded propaganda linked to the web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com.
Over the years, I have uploaded a series of war rooms on all the consumer areas constituting the rigged game which vacuums our pockets while extinguishing our hopes.
Here are a few burrs under the public saddle.
GASOLINE: ARCO, long before its acquisition by British Petroleum, developed a deft marketing scheme whereby the major oil companies can now legally conspire to fix the retail price of gasoline.
CABLE TV: Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Newt Gingrich gushed with pride in passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which was supposed to unleash the power of free enterprise to usher in an era of expanded competition and low prices. The result: A deregulated monopoly with charges rising by five times the rate of inflation. Satellite is no competition at all, merely a discount from artificially high monopoly pricing. See ReSurge. TV.
ELECTRICITY AND NATURAL GAS: Government-granted monopolies with weak regulation. Can you say Enron?
MEDICAL CARE AND PHARMACEUTICALS. The Dubya administration law forbidding Medicare to get competitive bids on prescription drugs is still in place. The 2010 health care bill which narrowly passed congress is pretty much what the overlords wanted, as predicted by Harper's Magazine senior editor Luke Mitchell last December.
UPDATE: Food is a rigged game, too Surprise, surprise
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman has proven correct in warning that the economic stimulus package was too small. Now, all the talk is of double-dip recession while smug Republicans point to pseudo-proof that the stimulus has not worked while ignoring their engineering of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Democrats had to cut back in order to win a few GOP votes to get the skinny program passed.
It is thus understandable that unemployed Nevada construction workers exhibit righteous rage when they see so many stimulus-funded jobs going to out-of-state companies.
Direct your anger where it belongs. Blame the people who bust unions and keep employees in constant fear, thus willing to do more for less. It's working. The U.S. worker remains the most productive in the world based on output per hour.
Decry the guys who use your government to help export your jobs to foreign countries. A local labor leader calls this "social osmosis," our standard of living sacrificed to upgrade that of others.
Do not direct your anger at the other, no matter his or her color, political or religious persuasion.
Your family is in distress because the fight is fixed. I fear that this fall's elections will provide no safety valve and that the double-dip recession will be upon us next year.
The only long term benefit of a frustrating fall might be the emergence of at least two new political parties as the old system proves incapable of addressing modern needs.
Above all, remember that we are here to take care of each other.
Happy Interdependence Day, fellow members of the largest union in America: the Red, White and Screwed.
I salute you.
HELP WANTED. Regular readers know that I have been raising money to help Sierra Nevada Community Access Television fully benefit from a matching foundation grant of $40,000.
If you can help with a tax-deductible donation, give me a holler at (775) 882-TALK or drop me a line.
Be well. Raise hell.
COLUMNIAC'S NOTES: "Red, White and Screwed" in the title is borrowed from uber-comedian and wiseman Lewis Black.
Read up on the latest rigged game: How Wall Street speculators jacked up the world price of food causing millions to starve. See the July 2010 edition of Harper's Magazine, cover article entitled The Food Bubble by Frederick Kaufman.
SCREWED, PART DEUX:
Sell us this day our daily bread
Expanded from the 7-25-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
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 email@example.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.
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
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
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
NevadaLabor.com | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors | BallotBoxing.US
DoctorLawyerWatch.com | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms: Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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