Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


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Barbwire Silver Anniversary 1988-2013 —>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

"If voting mattered, they wouldn't let us do it."Travus T. Hipp, 1982

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A cold shower for the NY Times Tesla gusher
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-10-2014 Sparks Tribune
Updated 7-17-2014—Migrant Laborers: Your folks and refugee kids

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


Support Dondero next

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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If Cleveland can lose Lebron James but win the Republican National Convention, then the Reno 911 economic engine can put a Tesla in its tank.

Reno Rolls the Dice on High-Tech headlined the New York Times biz section last Monday.

Local economic development divas have fallen all over themselves since the eminent gray lady served the Kool-Aid.

As with any puff piece, legit media must include at least one negative swipe as proof of objectivity: "In Reno, where many workers traditionally have been employed in some aspect of the gambling industry, the workforce is less educated than in more populous cities, economists said. Tesla, for instance, might have to recruit from elsewhere to find enough trained workers for its battery plant, should it decide to build here."

UNR will save us, retorted local boosters.

Almost on cue, the Sunday Reno Gazette-Journal published an extensive piece about the University of Nevada-Reno's plan to spend $123 million over the next seven years to become the next Stanford.

How? Raise tuition.


Reminds me of H.L. Mencken's grouse about the social-climbing tendencies of "every freshwater college."

Beating the low-tax drum, the Times totally ignored the teachers' union gross profits tax initiative on the November ballot.

Not to worry.

A Sparks Tribune alumnus ambushed the city slickers with a bucket of ice water already on news stands.

Bad Grades: Sweeping look at Nevada shows state getting worse, not better headlined the Reno News & Review.

Some execrable eastern eggheads just published their second research paper showing that Nevada has joined rustbelt Michigan at the bottom of the opportunity barrel.

Worse, we've been going downhill for 40 years.

"One paragraph of the report summed up many of its findings," RNR News Editor Dennis Myers noted.

“In education, important gains have been made across the nation in meeting the new requirements of today’s knowledge economy, but Nevada saw the slowest progress. And in the area of community life, the decline in Nevada was extreme. In fact, Nevada was the only state with a decline in this set of indicators from 1970 to 2010, mostly in the last decade of this period due to a rise in youth disconnection—one in five young people in Nevada ages 16 to 24 were neither in school nor working in 2010—and a dramatic increase in violent crimes.”

The gambling-industrial complex tacitly opposed economic diversification for decades because the overlords wanted no competition for the low-wage labor pool.

The shallow end may look attractive to business puff writers, but the view below the surface remains muddled, indeed. (Links and references with the Barbwire expanded edition at

CANDIDATE DEADLINE. In two weeks, the 19,000-member Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans conducts candidate endorsement interviews in Sparks and Las Vegas. See BallotBoxing.US for info. Submission deadline is July 16.

And while we're on the subject of serious bloodsport...

BRAZILIAN SOCCER DIEHARDS now know how San Francisco Giants fans feel.

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


HONOR YOUR DON. Campaign season is upon us. I'm working to elect 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 deadline is this month, so lets' get it on.

The Barbwire got the late Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Guy Richardson elected in 2012.

Help me double down

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 gross profits 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. [UPDATE]

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.

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...
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Migrant laborers: Your folks and refugee kids
What do broke Baby Boomers and Central American refugee children have in common?
The future of the U.S. workforce.

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-17-2014 Sparks Tribune

Ask Hobby Lobby to take in refugee kids
So five uptight old Catholic guys in grim reaper robes don't like contraception.
Wonder if they thought that way back in college?

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from
the 7-3-2014 Sparks Tribune

The Status Quo Ante versus the Status Quo Uncle
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from
the 6-26-2014 Sparks Tribune

Tesla plants PR slants to get into the public's pants
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-19-2014 Sparks Tribune

...and more ammo...

Washoe school boss Martinez should resign or get axed
Reno News & Review Editorial 7-10-2014

The hardest and fairest questions yet asked of proponents of the teachers gross profits tax initiative
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 7-10-2014

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing Barbwire series

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

IMF Head Says Inequality Threatens Democracy. Here Are 7 Charts Proving She’s Right.
By Erika Eichelberger / Mother Jones/ 5-30-2014
“The behavior of the financial sector has not changed fundamentally…since the crisis.
The industry still prizes short-term profit.”

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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