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

The Next Big Thing: Obamacare Bitcoin online vote exchange
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-10-2014 Sparks Tribune
Updated 4-12 and 5-22-2014

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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Don't decry money in politics. Embrace it. Elected officials do.

Recently, Clarence and the Supremes further morphed money into free speech.

Liberals burst into flames while conservatives licked their chops for donkey barbecue.

However, for dessert we can have our cake and eat it, too.

When Joan Claybrook headed the Ralph Nader-founded Public Citizen a few decades back, she called campaign contributions "legalized bribes."

The truth may hurt, but it's legal, so why fight it?

U.S. elections haven't changed since 1952 when Dwight Eisenhower's presidential campaign aired the first "I Like Ike" television commercial.

Since then, the only innovation has been more numbers to the left of the decimal point.

Local television stations don't generate much profit in non-political years.

In 2014, they will party hearty, remodel the executive suites and do Christmas in Tahiti.

Why can't us poor voters share in the bounty of all that political pirate booty?

Isn't our current system just vote-buying under other names?

If money equals speech, that means votes are now a marketable commodity.

So let's market them.

President Obama, the greatest insurance salesman in the history of the business, has paved the way.

We can iron out the kinks and turn our taxpayer-funded technology toward creating an online vote exchange.

It would work something like Bitcoins. The free market would set the value once the chips are in play.

A vote for school board would be worth less than a vote for governor (except for maybe Nevada where education flat-lines).

Republicans will love the risk-taking, free enterprise purity of this new system.

Democrats will finally get their level playing field and high voter turnout.

Once people realize that they can turn their votes into Koch Brothers cash, political participation will approach 100 percent.

Every citizen can launch his/her own small business, buying and selling votes.

Think of all the new jobs for telemarketers, oddsmakers, computer techs, news media, fantasy leagues, hardware and software retailers.

We will finally approach full employment.

Because everybody will be working, tax revenues will go through the roof.

The deficit and national debt will become endangered species.

We will end up with better government as a result.

It's amazing how involved people get when they have their own cash in the game.

All the new betting possibilities can rejuvenate a moribund gambling industry.

Sheldon Adelson might drop his opposition to Internet gambling.

He got nothing for the $93 million he trickled into the last election cycle. This is a sure winner.

Reformers will no longer be able to complain about secret money.

This system will be 100 percent transparent with no chance of voter fraud or Wall Street price-rigging.

Richard Nixon would hate the idea.

What's not to like, Ike?

Onward to the online voter commodity exchange, the bellwether of the new economy, where you really get what you pay for.

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


TOO LEGIT TO QUIT. The Barbwire's ongoing investigation of phony Nevada graduation rates, now in its third year, just got respectable. (Scroll down to Hiding in Plain Sight.) Read it and weep, then review the series for yourself.

TOAST ALERT. Teachers' union tax petition supporters and opponents would do well to review the Barbwire of Feb. 28, 2013.

Passage of the tax initiative could easily lead to a successful court challenge that would at the same time blow out not only the revenue hike, but also term limits and the state's worst anti-union laws. Something for everybody.

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 and keep sending show suggestions. Current frontrunners include (pardon the pun) wild mustangs as canned goods, education and  i-Guns with César Chávez in Nevada recently surging.

Now come queries about ballot questions. The Jan. 30 column brought a surge of inquiries 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.

Help me 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...

Barbara Bennett, Erik Holland and Václav Havel
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-22-2014 Sparks Tribune

Stabbing rock-sucking kangaroos on the Ides of May
Reno Gazette-Journal blatantly manipulates mayoral contest
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-15-2014 Sparks Tribune

BREAKING NEWS: State illegally uses tax money vs. teacher tax vote
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 3-13-2014

Nevada State Legislative Counsel Bureau Education Publications

2013 Nevada Education Data Book

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

[1] "In the five most regressive states (North Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nevada), the poorest districts receive at least 20% less funding than higher wealth districts." —> (January 2014)
Looks like Dr. Heath Morrison moved to a place well-suited to his vaunted talents.

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

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

Guilty as charged
Barbwire / 1-30-2014

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.

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