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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.

You're not worth much dead or alive
Impose the death penalty on co
mpanies knowingly causing worker deaths
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-25-2013 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 5-7-2013 with Robert Reich commentary
Death on the job: Nevada workers remain cheap and disposable
Barbwire 11-7-2013

   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

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



Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

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


Do you think your life is worth more than $566 a year?

How about $1,483?

Still not enough?

Don't tell that to the government of the people.

That's the value placed on NV Energy lineman Herbie Dempsey Goforth III, an electrical worker killed in a training accident near Las Vegas last September.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined NVE $43,000 for unsafe conditions and ordered the octopus to make changes by April 15.

That date could not be more bloody ironic.

NVE can't write off the $43,000 against taxes, but might be able to charge the picayune sum to us ratepayers.

The total is too small for state regulators to screw with.

Back when I was tilting at power company windmills, the best Nevada Public Utilities Commission accountant told me that he didn't review anything that wouldn't make a penny a month difference on the average bill.

Mr. Dempsey just didn't amount to much.

Even humongous fines against major corporations get negotiated down by clever lawyers to 10 cents on the dollar or less.

Legal fees are both tax-deductible and chargeable to ratepayers.

We live in the age of the disposable worker.

Injury and death are just minor costs of doing business.

In 2009, the Las Vegas Sun won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing grotesquely unsafe construction sites on the Las Vegas Strip.

Nothing much appears to have changed.

Several more have already died in Gomorrah South this year, one just last Tuesday.

At current manpower levels, it would take OSHA 55 years to inspect every Nevada jobsite.

California would take 156 years.

Florida is second-worst at 230, sandwiched between the Dakotas (243 north, 218 south), both in the midst of a fracking death spiral.

Louisiana down in British Petroleum cajun country is fourth at 209.

Looks like the closer you are to energy production, the nearer you get to death on the job.

Mr. Goforth was apparently in a very dangerous business.

Had he lived the U.S. average of 76 years for males, his existence would have been worth $566 per year.

Since he only made it to 29, your government and mine says he was worth a whopping $1,483 when he got cashed in.

How does your state stack up?

What are misleadingly labeled as workers compensation laws were imposed to indemnify employers from liability for negligence.

Mr. Goforth's family might get a few thousand from an insurance company.

There is usually not much left after families pay lawyers to fight "third party administrators," hired guns whose job it is to beat the injured and the dead out of the crumbs they have coming.

This Sunday is national Workers Memorial Day.

Say a prayer for union brother Goforth, then adjourn to a saloon of proper jurisdiction to sing my favorite labor song, Anne Feeney's "We just come to work here, we don't come to die."

[MUCH MORE in Smoking Guns, below]


HONOR YOUR DON. Keep sending comments supporting legendary Nevada photographer Don Dondero (1920-2003) for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.

His life's work appeared worldwide, including this newspaper.

Enlist in the campaign to install Big Don.

Please send me your memories and endorsements via e-mail or to P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

The Barbwire got the late Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Guy Richardson elected last year.

Let's go for a repeat.

BARBWIRE.TV. Support the return of community TV to these parts.

If last year's elections didn't convince you of the need, the 2013 legislature certainly will.

Join up. You may donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me.

This is important. Thank you.

VOTE FOR THE LUCKY 13, the most powerful Nevadans of 2013. Send nominations to <>

Last year's rogues gallery will be linked to the expanded web edition of this column at

LET'S GET IT ON. E-me to get on the Barbwire News bulletin list for information not filtered through corporate lenses.

I broke a bushel of major stories last year which the above lead item will very probably top.

Turn on, tune in and tell a friend.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)


Andrew Barbano is a 44-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...

We just come to work here, we don't come to die.


Death on the job: Nevada workers remain cheap and disposable
Barbwire by Barbano / Daily Sparks Tribune 11-7-2013

The Hollowing Out of Government
By Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich / Nation of Change / Cinco de Mayo 2013

The West, Texas chemical and fertilizer plant where at least 15 were killed and more than 200 injured a few weeks ago hadn’t been fully inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 1985. (A partial inspection in 2011 had resulted in $5,250 in fines.)

OSHA and its state partners have a total of 2,200 inspectors charged with ensuring the safety of over more than 8 million workplaces employing 130 million workers. That comes to about one inspector for every 59,000 American workers....[READ THE FULL COMMENTARY]

OSHA: Dead NVE worker's life worth only a $43,000 fine
Las Vegas Review-Journal / 3-26-2013

Barbwire: Give the death penalty to companies knowingly causing worker deaths
Barbwire by Barbano / Daily Sparks Tribune 4-26-2009

Click here to see how long it would take OSHA to inspect every site in your state.


...and more ammo...

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing Barbwire series

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

Nevada Press Assn. Better Newspaper Contest
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 | 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 © 1982-2013 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 44-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 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.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

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