Pipeline pigs, oily vultures and flying swine
Expanded from the 12-18-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

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Corporate Propaganda Research Archive

   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.
— Leonard Cohen

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


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Updated 8-30-2011
Now rerunning on Carson-Dayton 226

Additional programs
on Boulder City cable. Go to and then
go to the BCTV link.

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions — new power to the people on the public airwaves

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.

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Be well. Raise hell.


Click here for selected on-demand re-runs from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire.TV archives

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award

The Iraq War was well worth it. For the oil industry. Mission accomplished.

All you really need to know came as a footnote to recent stories about our camo-pawns coming home. Petroleum production in Iraq today remains below pre-war levels.

Just as common stones called diamonds would be worthless if the DeBeers syndicate didn't control supply, oil and gasoline prices would crater without the clever manipulations of BigOil. (See the Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive at

To ignite the passions of your loved ones like a BP oil rig, give them the world's greasiest Christmas present, Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.

All you need to know about author and L.A. native Greg Palast is that he can't get work as an investigative reporter in the U.S. (Kinda like Travus 'n' Andy on Nevada radio.)

Palast has made the UK Guardian newspaper a must-read in the states. Most urgently, he reveals a deadly intentional software flaw in the program managing oil and gas pipelines.

"The pipe is only safe if the PIG inside it can squeal," Palast says.

"Federal law requires the industry to run a diagnostic robot PIG, a Pipeline Inspection Gauge, that will squeal when something is wrong: a crack, dangerous corrosion, anything that might lead to a spill or explosion. But PIGs are only as good as the software that tracks and analyzes their signals. And the software used by Big Oil has been compromised — deliberately. Insiders told this reporter that the software was designed to fool safety inspectors."

Among other depredations, Palast accuses the myopic PIG of causing the PG&E gas line explosion that recently killed nine and nuked a Bay Area neighborhood.

"A few million in fines and payments to bereaved families adds up to a cheap license to pollute," Palast says.

He warns federal lawmakers of the inherent dangers in the major midwest pipeline now pushed in Washington.

"The XL Pipeline will benefit BP, Shell Oil, Chevron (and) the Koch Brothers' Flint Hills Resources," he asserts.

"Just as BP swore to Congress in November 2009 that all was A-OK with drilling in the Gulf of Mexico's deep water, we have good reason to fear the PIG in the XL Pipeline and, given the history of this crew, even more reason to fear the pigs that own it," Palast reported last week.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., says that "Vulture's Picnic" reads like a spy thriller. It's more.

The book is the latest call to blunt the increasing corporate control that sickens, weakens and kills more of us every day.

MISS PIGGY, PART DEUX. In 2009, I procrastinated on getting a flu shot. Miss Piggy's vicious relatives made me pay. I was down for several weeks. Last year, I got a flu shot and was flu-free but not pain-free. My right arm has since been sore at the site of the injection. I related this to my doctor who suggested a kosher flu shot, vaccine minus the mercury-based preservative thimerosal.

The Centers for Disease Control website says "Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930's. There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure."

I got the kosher shot and shortly thereafter, I suppose, a kosher edition of Swine Flu. It's not as bad as two years ago, just milder versions of fever flashes, achy-breaky joints, sleepiness and weakness. Kinda like the Sandoval administration.

Why isn't the kosher vaccine in general use? It costs more than the sore-arm varietal.

On the bright side, the Swine Flu diet is the most effective weight loss program this side of death.

MALE CHAUVINIST PIGGY DEPT. If you don't want BigOil under your Christmas tree, get Casino Women: Courage in Unexpected Places by UNR sociology Profs. Susan Chandler and Jill B. Jones. They tell many tales, including how the tobacco industry secretly funded a phony study, publicly sponsored by the Reno and Las Vegas chambers of commerce, in order to keep casino workers exposed to cancer.

It also liberally quotes the Barbwire archive about Darlene Jespersen, the courageous bartender who brought the landmark and world-famous lipstick lawsuit against Harrah's. She became the first inducted into the César Chávez Hall of Fame.

SWINE SANDWICH. If you want to learn how big banks arrogantly ignored local, state and federal laws to facilitate illegal foreclosures, get the January edition of Harper's Magazine. Without the system they put in place to circumvent the centuries-old system of property titles, the real estate bubble would not have happened. Like Enron with electric power, they turned it into an electronic game that caused a worldwide depression when the casino inevitably crashed.

CLARIFICATION. Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson provided last week's information regarding the federal firearms database.

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Help give the gift of non-corporate TV to your community.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 43-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first 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 As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Economist: This is a true depression
Elliott Parker Guest Editorial / Las Vegas Sun / 11-27-2011

POWERFUL PUNDITORY PANJANDRUMS: Compelling guest commentary

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.

The winning entries:

Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck
Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Click here to view the show on your desktop

RED flags flying low over Sparks
Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The wrath of self-righteous racism
Expanded from the 11-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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

...and more ammo

The plight of the paper pushers
The great recession made bashing public workers a national sport
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 11-23-2011

Bury the Bad News with Rose-colored Reporting
How urgent can economic troubles be if leaders say things are getting better?

Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 11-23-2011

Fact-free nation: Inside the lie machine
Mother Jones Magazine May-June 2011 / Cover story and in-depth analysis

Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Plutocracy
Money fights hard and it fights dirty
Speech delivered at Boston University on 29 Oct. 2010
Part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series

Barbwire Corporate Welfare Archive

From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP

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

Angry Americans and Freudian fraud
Using war to market cigarettes
from the 8-23-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

BARBWIRE Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
Barbwire 8-14-2005

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

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 © 1982-2011 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 43-year Nevadan, editor of and; 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 first vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

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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