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Aug. 2012-Aug. 2013: the Barbwire's Silver Anniversary Year
Barbwire by Barbano moved to the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

   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.

Everybody knows the scene is dead
   But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
   What everybody knows.

— Leonard Cohen

Why rednecks didn't vote for Obama
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 11-15-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

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



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Updated 8-30-2011
Reruns 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.

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 as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station and the return of community television to Reno-Sparks-Washoe.

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 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


At the Democratic Party election night revelry at Reno's Grand Sierra Resort, I saw a couple of big hounds who didn't belong there.

Not the two-legged species.

One was howling and getting hard to control in the cacophony of the celebration.

I expressed my concern to a party official and related that I had recently been attacked by a beast who tore a piece out of my side (and shredded my treasured San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum t-shirt).

I was told that GSR is a "dog hotel" and to please keep quiet because the president was speaking.

There were children as young as seven weeks in attendance — toddlers, two year-olds and frail older people.

Hotel policy "allows well-behaved, non-aggressive dogs up to 50 pounds to stay in GSR rooms. Pets are not to be on the casino floor and really should only be out and about to be taken outside."

The big spotted critter causing the disturbance was not wearing service drag.

I later saw him trotting his master thru the arcade.

The guy was not impaired.

The hotel needs better security.

So do I.

A mountain lion was just sighted on my street in northwest Reno.

RALEY'S REDACTS REBELLION REDUX. Incline Village hosts the only Nevada Raley's store affected by the recent United Food and Commercial Workers strike.

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, the union announced a tentative agreement that keeps workers in the union health plan.

Save-Mart totally unionized about three years ago largely because UFCW health insurance was far better (and cheaper) than the for-profit competition.

Save-Mart put that good will to work. An expanding number of unions and community organizations now subscribe to Save-Mart's SHARES program.

SM issues cards to non-profits and rebates up to three percent of purchases by members and friends who flash the plastic at checkout.

That's a big reason Save-Mart was honored as employer of the year at the 2011 César Chávez event.

Raley's put out erroneous PR that this was their first strike.

I remember picket lines at every Raley's in northern Nevada about 30 years ago.

They eventually busted the union.

POLITICAL POSTMORTEMS AND SENATORIAL FUNERAREALS. As I forecast on Nov. 1, the biggest mistake the Dems made was not nominating Sheila Leslie for U.S. Senate.

I knocked on doors for Shelley Berkley, but Sheila would have easily carried Washoe and won Gomorrah South on the huge Democratic voter registration edge.

I just found a confidential memo I wrote in February projecting Berkley's loss. It will be posted at the expanded Barbwire web edition.

Alas, love's labours lost.


PHONE CALLER from Nevada State Democratic Party in Las Vegas (a young lady with an English accent): "May I speak to (Barbano's Number Four Son)?"

BARBANO: "Negatory."

ENGLISH LADY: "Oh. You need to speak with a Spanish speaker."

BARBANO (Laughing): "You're very young, aren't you? That wasn't Spanish, it was CB Radio."


Where are Johnny Cash and C.W. McCall when we need them?


Help re-establish a sorely needed non-corporate community channel in these parts.

In-depth investigation, discussion and analysis can only come from such an entity.

I defy you to find all of the above (and most of what's hereinbelow) elsewhere either in depth or in context.

I've been doing this awhile.

You may donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me.

This is important.

Thank you.

HIE THEE TO MY MAILING LIST. About half a dozen major news stories have originated in this column either in print or online over the past several weeks.

If you're into non-corporate filtered news, sign up.

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 and 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...


For your eyes-only

Dear ______________ :

Per our conversation, here is my perspective on the U.S. Senate race.

I printed my reservations about (Democratic Las Vegas Congressmember Shelley) Berkley's campaign long before Jon Ralston predicted a win for Heller at the end of December.

I commented months ago that Shelley never built a northern base in all her years in office. (She has held office almost continually since 1980, with only two general elections off after losing her state senate bid in 1984. She now has Jim Bilbrayitis, apparently convinced that all she needs is Gomorrah South, or that she can depend on the good intentions of good people like you to carry the burden for her.)

In November and December, I bugged Washoe Demo ExDirRedux Pam DuPre to give me the name of Shelley's northern manager. I ran into Pam at a union meeting on Dec. 20. She kinda gulped and informed me that Shelley still didn't have one.

I smelled toast burning. [Update: She never hired one until April.]

I told Pam that Shelley suffers from Titusitis. (State Sen. Minority Leader) Dina and (Congressman) Jim the Dim were running even in Clark County with about three weeks to go in the 2006 gubernatorial race.

It was over.

Dina Titus had been consistently weak in her home market all year, which means that she was and remains basically unpopular in her own home town. That's how El Dimmo could survive the burgeoning sex scandals of October 2006.

Early voting also hurt Dina, as many people had voted before the cocktail waitress assault happened. (My, my — how could Hughes Corp. have misplaced the surveillance tapes for weeks? How could they show nothing when finally viewed? Ah, the wonders of modern technology in the hands of experts.)

A couple of polls last year showed Shelley and Sen. Dean Heller basically even statewide. Christ!  Shelley since 19-freakin-80 has represented southern Nevada, where 70 percent of the voters live.

As some of my former cowboy clients would opine, she is weak in the chute. (A rodeo term if you haven't heard it before. It also applies to salesmen who can't close a deal. "The chute" is car- and mobile-home-salesman slang for a closing booth.)

Shelley is in bad need of competent advice, not ass-kissing. (Remember [2010 Washoe D.A. candidate] Roger Whomes?)

I don't think Shelley has the brains to hire same. She has morphed into a very affected, self-absorbed individual, concomitant and consonant with her longtime status as the richest member of Nevada's congressional delegation.

As my late wife said when she saw (former Las Vegas Mayor) Jan Jones, representing Harrah's, trash my friend Darlene Jespersen to Paula Zahn on the CBS Morning News: "Jan Jones came across as a Las Vegas rich woman."

Darlene was the plaintiff in the landmark lipstick lawsuit against Harrah's.

Her case developed worldwide attention. I got info and photo requests from Japan to Argentina to the UK, but most importantly, from U.S. law schools.

I still get the law school requests and my column, which grew into the history of her case, has been in the top 15 most-viewed at every month for the last dozen years. As they say in showbiz, the lipstick lawsuit story (pardon the pun) has got legs.

Nothing wrong with supporting Shelley. Her loss could cost Sen. Harry Reid his majority, not that congress will do much good as long as the single-senator filibuster-threat rule can still paralyze the entire government.

Shelley comes off like Jan Jones on TV — a Las Vegas rich woman unknown to us peasants up here in the provinces. And she has never made much effort to get to know the great unwashed, save for an address to the ledge every two years.

Shelley simply may not be viable for all of the above very obvious reasons.

Makes me wonder why Harry didn't find a more credible candidate.

Be well. Raise hell.


The shape of Shelley to come: Barbwire 9 March 1997

...and more ammo...

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing series

Please don't cook or eat the books
ITALIAN STEREOTYPE VALIDATED: Aiazzi and DiLoreto almost throw blows
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-27-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The flipside from an old fry cook
Legit media stenographers fail to pop the corporate welfare question
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-20-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

A great week for scandals
School district master chefs continue cooking the books
Tenth in a continuing series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Teachers' business tax petitions hit Nevada streets while Chicago teachers do likewise
Damning inspection report brings union call to oust Reno VA hospital leadership
State ignores voter registration lawsuit until the day after this column printed
I defy you to find all of the following elsewhere either in depth or in context.
NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER: New community TV channel

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-13-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune
Humongously updated on 9-14, 9-15 and 9-17-2012

Life and Death at the Reno Veterans Hospital
American Federation of Government Employees Local 2152/AFL-CIO Press Release
Union Executive Summary of Inspection Report
Office of the Medical Inspector Report
All Adobe Acrobat Reader (.pdf ) documents

The Post-Dated Recession: Pay me now or pay me later
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Post-dated Recession
By Joshua H. Silavent / Daily Sparks Tribune / 5-3-2011

Union decline and rising inequality in two charts
by Colin Gordon
Economic Policy Institute / 6-5-2012

Used in
journalist Mark Robison's extensive Hard Labor: Nevada unions tout role in helping workers, firms, economy (Sunday 2 Sept. 2012 Reno Gazette-Journal, page one, Reno Rebirth section of the print edition). Union men Jim Burrell, Paul McKenzie and Guy Louis Rocha did the movement proud. Not included in the RGJ online edition.

The Barbwire Labor Day column
Reno Gazette-Journal / 9-3-2012

Followed by a moon shadow

TRAVUS T. HIPP, 1937-2012

ADIÓS, COMPADRE — Our friend Travus, 75, passed away peacefully between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. PDT on 18 May 2012 at his home in Silver City, Nevada. The sun is in eclipse as I write this at 6:30 p.m. on May 20.

CHANGE OF VENUE (5-22-2012) — Adiós in Silver City, Nevada, Saturday, May 26, 2012 —> Updated 5-27-2012 — > The auld church where Travus lived and died proved too small for the expected multitude, so gathering, gnoshing and remembering commenced at the Silver City Community Center, 385 High Street, at 10:00 a.m. PDT. The graveside memorial service began at High Noon. Travus was buried next to his rock star companion Lynne Hughes, a short walk away. My remembrance of Lynne from the 3-21-1993 Daily Sparks Tribune has been linked to Travus' formal obituary at this website. All memories accepted for permanent posting hereat. Stay tuned for pictures and stories of the appropriately rainy day.

Thanks for all your kind words. Keep up the good work and the good fight.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano

Travus T. Hipp & Tales of Nevada's Futures Passed
Expanded from the 6-3-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

     At bottom, he was an artist who used his voice to soar and slice, a tenor for the tenor of our times. Many of his mourning California listeners talk about the vocal spells he wove, how he soundly organized the noise of daily life into music that entertained, engaged, enlightened, educated, enthralled and occasionally enflamed. [From the saga of Travus T. Hipp and contributions by The Barbwire to the May 25 Reno Gazette-Journal and May 26, 2012, Daily Sparks Tribune.]

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place three years 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 yet

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

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
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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Copyright © 1982-2012 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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