Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


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The Barbwire's Silver Anniversary—>Now we go for gold
Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: 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

Education: The cure spawns an even worse disease
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 2-20-2014 Sparks Tribune
Updated 3-8-2014

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


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We Don't Need No Education—> Neverending Barbwire Series


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


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The plan to beat the teachers' tax petition is worthy of Karl Rove.

The onetime Sparks schoolboy would appreciate a strategy so smooth that it doesn't look like one.

TV spin for Gomorrah South: Nevada generates plenty of tax money for education. The problem lies with those greedy northerners and rural cowboys who take what should go to Las Vegas. Our lawmakers just need to get our money back.

TV spin for Sparks-Reno-Washoe: Ignore statewide statistics. Our local schools are among the best in the nation. Every time its budget gets cut, the Washoe County School District improves its graduation rate.

The outlines of this campaign emerged over the last few days.

At a meeting of an outfit imposingly named the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, its president, Tom Skancke, said “We’re fixing the wrong problem. We don’t need any more taxes. We’ve got to get our laws into the 21st century. This (education funding) formula is broken.”

The Las Vegas Sun reported this justification: "In 2011, Esmeralda County received $17,508 per student while Clark County received only $5,068 per student."

Remember the old advice that figgers don't lie but liars figger?

Newly appointed Clark County school boss Pat Skorkowsky was in attendance and agreed with Skancke.

Smart politician.

Nevada's smallest county, rural Esmeralda averages about 75 students total.

Clark County/LV has about 320,000, far more over whom to average the substantial fixed costs of running a school district.

Before this November's balloting, education tax opponents will spend millions selling LV voters on that very creative but false dichotomy.

Up north, the taxophobes will sing a different song.

Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) boss Mike Kazmierski pulled some stats out of his sales manual and turned them into a guest editorial for the Reno Gazette-Journal. (You know them, that friendly chain newspaper which last year complied with orders from Reno auto dealer/advertisers to kill the proposed tax increase for school repair and maintenance.)

Citing an EDAWN-funded study, Mr. Kazmierski asserted that Washoe schools rank among the best in the country.

"College readiness in all subjects: 18th in the nation, ahead of California and most other states."

Go to Smoking Guns (below) for some legitimate education research

  These guys are concocting a perfect storm of divide and conquer.

  Las Vegas just needs a bigger piece of the existing pie and Washoe can easily do with less because Sparks-Reno schools improve as budgets are slashed. (The local chamber of intercourse noted exactly that almost two years ago.)

No one will let the facts get in the way of a good story, like the fact that due to one of the late Sen. Bill Raggio's, R-Reno, worst screwups, Sparks-Reno has lost money to Las Vegas for the past 23 years. (See the 6 Nov. 2006 Barbwire/)

For details, go to the ever-expanding We Don't Need No Education section of

Nevadans love education. We just don't want to pay for it.

If you've got kids to educate, do them a favor and move somewhere else.

LIGHT-GUV LIGHTNING. Assemblymember Lucy Flores, D-Las Vegas, will announce her candidacy for lieutenant governor early next month, a move that Democrats spin as a pre-emptive strike against Gov. Brian Sandoval running against Sen. Harry Reid, D-Searchlight, in 2016.

"Sandoval has never shown any reluctance to quit a job in order to advance his ambition," said one cynical political veteran.

Indeed, Gov. Veto El Obtúse even quit his lifetime federal judgeship to accept gubernatorial coronation from the gambling-industrial complex.

"He doesn't care if it makes Lucy Flores governor," said the old warhorse. "He'll run against Harry Reid and beat him."

As Lily Tomlin once opined, "no matter how cynical you become, it's hard to keep up."

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


BARBANO BACK ON SAM SHAD'S STATEWIDE NEVADA NEWSMAKERS TV SHOW, 12:30 p.m. PST today and Monday, Feb. 24—>KRNV TV-4/RENO, KENV TV-10/ELKO. Click here for lineups, statewide TV reruns, on-demand, radio and webstreaming.

RENDER UNTO CESAR: Northern Nevada César Chávez Celebration XII happens on the great labor leader's birthday, March 31, 2014.

Commit for tickets and tables now at

I'm planning a TV special about César Chávez's days in Nevada.

Stay tuned.

ANTE INTO THE GAME: Support the new season of Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is.

PayPal monthly subscription software is now operational at the website.

A thousand thanks to those who already responded.

Keep sending show suggestions.

Current frontrunners include (pardon the pun) wild mustangs as canned goods, educationi-Guns and gay Olympics with César Chávez in Nevada recently surging.

Now come queries about ballot questions. After the Jan. 30 column came a surge of questions about the Nevada State Education Association corporate tax petition on this November's ballot.

Stay tuned.

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
                              — Jimmy Breslin

  Please forward additional ideas or vote on the above.

  I encourage you to donate to the cause at Barbwire.TV/

The medium that shapes public opinion needs at least one refuge where it is not filtered through the distorted green eye shades of prissy corporate accountants for whom profit is the only priority; where self-censorship is the journalist's normal work environment and where all sins of omission are tacitly encouraged and forgiven with the wave of a balance sheet.

This is important.

We've got work to do.

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 the Tribune and most probably every newspaper in Nevada.

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 in 2012.

Let's double down.

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



Andrew Barbano is a 45-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 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 Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Nevada State Legislative Counsel Bureau Education Publications

2013 Nevada Education Data Book

Study of a New Method of Funding for Public Schools in Nevada

The potential for success of an educational adequacy lawsuit against the State of Nevada
From then-Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Jim Rogers

The Smoking Gun: Leonard Cohen proven right again
2005-2007 Nevada legislative study documents what everybody knows

Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck
Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 2-24-2010, 2-27-2010, 3-4-2010, 3-8-2010, 8-30-2011
Education funding lawsuit gains support
Daily Sparks Tribune/ AP 3-18-2011

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing Barbwire series

...and more ammo..

Nevada Day Required Reading
The Lady in the Red Dress
The Barbwire's classic Nevada Day column written in 1983
The compleat history of the Silver State in 500 words

Sparks Tribune 10-31-2013 and previously

Barbano on the Barbwire plots new TV season
Barbwire Special Web Edition / 10-21-2013

Barbwire: Nevada not really a state
No, we were not Battle Born in Kenya
Top 10 reasons Nevada lives in the 19th Century

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-17-2013 Sparks Tribune

Low-income penalty: Nevada socks it to the working poor
BARBANO: Nevada is one big company town
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 10-10-2013

State of Health
National health care comes up against a very sick state. WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 10-10-2013

USA at crossroads: New Deal or new Confederacy?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-10-2013 Sparks Tribune
UPDATE—>Bill Moyers: Shutdown is simply secession by other means

...and more ammo yet

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

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We Don't Need No Education
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Copyright © 1982-2014 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 45-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 Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: 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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