You can't run from the awful truth
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-17-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Updated 11-15-2012

   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


The new season of Barbwire TV. The first show will be about (what else?) jobs. The lack of them is well documented. How we've blown them and where they can be regenerated, that's something else. I guarantee you'll get mad enough to want to get even. Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

Updated 3-21-2011
Lawsuit gains support

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.

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.


Click here for on-demand re-runs
from the 2009 legislative session

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

Civil rights legend Rev. Onie Cooper was laid to rest last Friday by a standing-room-only crowd at Reno's Second Baptist Church.

The great and exalted sat with the least among us and holy men and women of all stripes.

The highlight came with a rousing rendition of Onie's favorite song Lord, I Tried by awesome jazz and blues singer Pat Esters.

Onie thus left us all feeling uplifted. He would like that.

AWFUL TRUTH DEPT. Just in time for your annual clandestine rendezvous with the IRS, Pulitzer Prize-winning muckraker David Cay Johnston has published a killer chronicle of who's picking your pocket by rigging the tax system. It's in the current edition of the Reno News & Review and many other alternative weeklies nationwide. I'll link it to the web edition of this column at

AWFUL TRUTH DEPT., PART DEUX. Last Thursday, Rep. Dean Heller, R-Moonhowlers, responded by press release when his colleague, Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Gomorrah South, announced that she will also seek the hotseat being vacated by U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Mea Maxima Culpa.

"Heller said in a statement that voters will have to decide whether to continue on a path that has led to record unemployment and high gas prices," the Associated Press reported.

My, my — such slickly sly sophistry from the sickly high falutin'. Us less sophisticated High Desert Plantation refugees can tell when some slicker tries to draw a diversionary red herring across the path of hounds about to bite him on the ass.

Can't blame Mr. Perfect. As the only protest vote available against limpid Donkeyites last year, the Party of Nixon and Harding did real good. President Obama's stimulus plan was about a half-trillion too small to deal with joblessness.

As for gas prices, we are longtime victims of a domestic pricing cartel that I have been chronicling for two decades.

Mainstream media and major political parties just aren't much interested in screwing with the oil companies, freeing them to rape and pillage at the pump. For the awful truth, see the ever-burgeoning Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive at

AWFUL TRUTH DEPT., HAT TRICK. Former Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, once related his mother's advice: "You can't run from the truth."

So here's a lovin' spoonful from the best columnist in Nevada, Las Vegas Gleaner Hugh Jackson: "Shelley Berkley finally made it official and announced that for the next 19 months, every sentence coming out of her mouth will contain the words 'seniors' and 'veterans' even more than usual.

"Jon Ralston, Nevada's arbiter of political-industrial conventional wisdom, for months has been salivating over the prospective excitement of a 2012 election season headlined by a Senate race between Berkley and Dean Heller — 'looks like 2012 in Nevada will be as much fun as 2010 was' — that sort of thing."

Aw, c'mon Hugh, at least Jon calls Shelley the Congressman from Likud.

"'Berkley's Senate bid makes 2012 a political hot race for Nevada' gushed the Las Vegas Review Journal's headline. Yes. Hot.

"And the national political press is also delighted with a Nevada Senate 'showdown' that poses 'a stark ideological clash that could mirror many other races across the country.'

"Berkley has worked tirelessly to protect Paris Hilton's inheritance from the IRS and, enthusiastically echoing Republican lies, justifies tax cuts for big business by pretending big business is small business.

"America isn't broke. It's just that all the money belongs to the top one percent. Yet putting what they have calculated to be winning political strategy ahead of the nation's best interest, and facilitating America's rightward tilt in the process, Berkley, her fellow congressional Democrats and the president have completely surrendered to the right's demands to cut spending — now they're just negotiating over the price. Democrats in 2012 will be fighting, at best, a rearguard action, effectively promising that wealth will continue to be redistributed to the top, but at a slightly slower pace than if the Republicans controlled everything.

"The only 'stark ideological clash' on the 2012 campaign trail pits the reactionary party against the conservative party. The plutocrats are laughing at you, not with you. And a Berkley-Heller race does indeed promise to 'mirror many other races across the country.'


Damn, he's good.

Links to his blog will be included with the expanded web edition of this column at I suggest that you get on his e-mail list.

SHELLEY, PART DEUX. Her campaign is not yet exactly well oiled. She did not inform local leaders that she would be declaring her candidacy on Thursday morning, the same time that the Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans had scheduled demonstrations at Heller's Reno and Gomorrah South offices.

Here in the provinces, that "save Medicare from Heller" rally could have provided local news departments with pictures to back up Berkley's announcement. Opportunity lost. Not a fatal error, but one that should not be repeated. Berkley has almost no statewide base to work from and Heller must be pegged as the early favorite.

As I told him at the local white bread and mayonnaise GOP Lincoln Day dinner (March 20 Barbwire), he will do well against either Berkley or Sharron Angle because he's prettier than they are.

He sorta laughed.

BACK FROM THE ASHES DEPT. Support the return of community radio and television. Go to Barbwire.TV for more information, to join the club and contribute via the web.

It's important.

The first step toward restoration has been taken. After going dark for six months, the public access channels now broadcast live legislative hearings and floor sessions fed to Reno-Sparks-Washoe from AccessCarson. Charter cable victims can watch on digital channel 216 or high definition 80-295.

This presents a true opportunity to observe, as they simultaneously happen, your government in action and government inaction.

If you harbor a morbid interest in witnessing the assassination of the Nevada education system and most public services, this is your time.

Turn on, tune in and tell a friend.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 42-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

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced 9-18-2010.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.
Next year, we go for the sombrero.

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

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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Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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Copyright © 1982-2011 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 42-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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