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i'toon: Fertilizing apples with citizens as mushrooms
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-1-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 7-2, 7-5 and 7-10-2012

   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.

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

— Leonard Cohen

Copyright © 2012 Woodrow Barlettani for The Daily Sparks Tribune

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


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Updated 8-30-2011
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The program premiers were available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

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Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

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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

I've been gathering TV news Nielsen ratings to determine, among other things, if KRNV TV-4's conversion to an electronic supermarket tabloid format paid off.

Apparently not. KOLO TV-8 (ABC) leads in TV households in both morning and evening blocks.

I was also curious if KRXI-11's (Fox) venture into the late news market has won any audience (doing OK, tied with KOLO in some key demographics. KTVN TV-2 still wins at 11:00 p.m. because of the strong lead-in from CBS prime time).

Alas and alack, the numbers game this week has been superseded or, pardon the pun, superseeded (sic) by applesauce.

APPLE: HARD-CORED PORNO. The Washoe County School District, the Reno City Council and Washoe County Commission did their collective best to violate the spirit if not the letter of the Nevada open meeting law in approving millions upon millions in corporate welfare tax breaks for Apple Computer's proposed server farm and purchasing office.

The school board, which just hired a new superintendent sworn to maintain the fiction that the local graduation rate has actually increased (see The Mythological Morrison Miracle in the April 22 Barbwire at, listed the Apple agenda item as "Project Jonathan" (tee-hee).

The denizens of the downtown Reno black tower on the Truckee did 'em one better: "Item J.11, Staff Report (For Possible Action): Discussion, direction and potential approval of Amendment No. 1 of the Reimbursement Agreement dated June 8, 2011, by and between the City of Reno and Northern Nevada Urban Development and Management Company."


Franz Kafka, call your office.

Washoe County Manager Katy Simon blithely said "anybody who knew to look could have easily figured out what it was." (Reno Gazette-Journal 6-28-2012)

This was an intentional attempt to hide in plain sight.

Smarting at being hornswaggled, the Reno Gazette-Journal printed the awful truth. The Reno City Council usually makes staff reports available with the required open meeting notice three days ahead. In this case, the staff report was witheld.

Gov. El Brúte Obtúse told Sam Shad on Thursday's statewide Nevada Newsmakers TV show that all the secrecy was necessary and there was ample time for public comment at the three same-day public meetings.

Bullshit is good for mushrooms but bad for taxpayers.

The Apple deal reminds me of the 1985 theft of Washoe Medical Center (worth up to $120 million) for a mere $3 million. It was also ramrodded on short notice. At least that took place over several weeks, not 24 hours. Then as now, all info was tightly controlled.

The insiders intimated that their data showed that (notwithstanding the facts) the hospital was going to go bankrupt. The bandidos — who are now the renamed Renown owners —said they'd take the white elephant off the county's hands. Washoe Med was always profitable. Controlling the actual data was critical and they got a free hospital by doing so. (See the Washoe County Grand Jury report at the Health Care War Room.)

Things were much worse with the Apple coring. Apparently only self-styled government watchdog Sam Dehne stood up for the public interest about what is, no matter its merits, an overnight railroad job.

"Sam said in plain sophisticated English that he is not against people having jobs," he wrote in an e-mail, "but Apple will effectively be taking your taxes (the taxes Apple is NOT going to have to pay) and using your taxes to pay bloated salaries. Apple will take the taxes that moms and pops have to pay and use those taxes to drive the competition out of business. Shame on Apple, as if they couldn't afford to play fair. Shame on RGJ. Don't you dare ever write anything critical of welfare recipients again."

He has posted his full speech on YouTube.

Good job, old colonel.

The late, great RGJ columnist Guy Richardson told me that the profit-hungry Reno Gannett-Journal newsroom was and would remain understaffed. It was arguably the job of the major news source for the region to ferret out the Apple story. They failed, as did TV which busied itself with dogs, bears, bowling, Colorado forest fires, murder, mayhem and rape.

Schools, parks, roads, police and fire protection lose desperately needed financial support when corporate welfare is doled out. (See

It's not like this wasn't going to go thru anyway.

Intentionally keeping the taxpayers in the dark like mushrooms is shameful.

None of the elected officials on the three governing bodies are worthy of holding public office if they knowingly participated in the coverup.

Secrecy is bad public policy. Witness the Renown corporate octopus which once promised to lower health care costs and pay for all indigent care in perpetuity. Ha. Ha. Ha.

R.I.P. RON BELL. The former advertising and marketing director (1976-77) of the Gold Dust Hotel-Casino and Gold Dust West passed away in Las Vegas from cancer a few days ago. He leaves a wife, Tanzy, and two daughters, one of whom became a writer on "Saturday Night Live." Had he chosen to do so, he could have been one of the best standup comics in the world. I'm sure my old friend left 'em laughing. Adios.

SUPPORT THE NEVADA CITIZEN TV PROJECT to re-establish a non-corporate people's channel to supplement education and public information among other things.

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Thank you.

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...

Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Reno News & Review: Same color as apple butter

Deception: Should public officials give their allegiance to the public or to Apple?
By Dennis Myers, RN&R, 07.05.12.

Apple accused: Rights groups call for changes in discrimination policies.
By Dennis Myers, RN&R, 07.05.12.

EDITORIAL: One bad apple?
Our local government operated in bad faith. Not with Apple but with us citizens.
RN&R, 07.05.12.

We Don't Need No Education, Part VIII
th in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-24-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Morrison & Maurins: M&M's hard to swallow
Seventh in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-20-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

All that's missing is an enemies list
Sixth in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-13-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Playing Dixieland - The shell game continues
Fifth in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Abandon hope, all ye who enter college
Fourth in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-29-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Mythological Morrison Miracle
Third in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-22-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 4-24-2012 Dr. Morrison is in Charlotte, NC, today signing his contract to accept the superintendent position.

The marshal is getting outta Dodge
So much for Nevada education's strategic plan + 4/25 Workers Memorial Day commemoration
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-15-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Breaking our own backs: If you have kids, move elsewhere
Have teachers made a deal with the devil? / St. Mary's firings begin
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-8-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

NAGPAC's Ghost Riders Saddle Up Again
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-17-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

NAGPAC attacked
Romney and Heller campaigns seek victory by limiting voter choices
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 6-21-2012

The Ghostly Return of None of the Above
Barbwire by Barbano / Daily Sparks Tribune 11-9-1997

The None of the Above working people's platform
Barbwire by Barbano / Daily Sparks Tribune 11-16-1997

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

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
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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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