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"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." — Joseph Pulitzer

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"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

HAPPY NEW YEAR / Feliz Año Nuevo
Frohe Weihnachten und beste Wuensche fuer 2018

¡Viva Chávez!
César Chávez Celebration XVI / Celebración de César Chávez XVI
Saturday 31 March 2018
/ Sabado 31 de Marzo 2018

Highlights from the record-breaking 2017 event at Circus Circus Reno

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   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...
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   and a long red rose.
   Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
That's how it goes.
Everybody knows.

I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016

Mississippi West 2018: Sexy moral depravity abides
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-31-2018 Sparks Tribune and affiliated publications / Update 2-2-2018 / Expansions in blue

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Barbwire wins 8th Nevada Press Association award

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We Don't Need No Education
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Leading questions, lead-headed leaders

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism

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

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

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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.


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WHAT ELSE IS NEW DEPT. Alas and alack, recent revelations about state facility abuse of the mentally disabled is just instant replay.

I started fighting that fight in 1974 and have never stopped. Unfortunately, the greatest champions of Nevada's mentally afflicted are now all dead.

I don't know how many times I've written that whenever a budget crunch hits, Nevada balances the books on the backs of the physically and mentally disabled.
Immediately thereafter, this stingiest of states targets school kids.

Caring for injured workers and the mentally afflicted constituted the two crowning achievements of Democratic Gov. Mike O'Callaghan's tenure (1971-79). Mike lived to see both trashed by his successors. His rural mental health clinics program never recovered. There's bi-partisan blame. For example, Democratic Gov. Bob Miller called in future Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn to consult on budget cuts in the early 1990s. Guess what they did?

DOWN IN THE LYON LASSITUDES. The Reno Gazette-Journal just printed an editorial about overt racism at Yerington High School fostered by the town's establishment.

Taylissa Marriott, left, and Jayla Tolliver

They qualified their vitriol with "no member of the RGJ editorial board believes that Yerington as a whole is a racist town."

The same can be said about Selma, Alabama, or anywhere else.

There are always good people around, but societal sickness infects the righteous as well as the lax, the laconic and the lowlife.

I've received horror stories about Yerington racism that go back decades. It's systemic, endemic and execrable.

I broke the story more than a month ahead of the Reno paper which has since produced pretty good journalism.

But its vaguely critical editorial did not call for serious action like firings and resignations of racist administrators, teachers, law enforcement or elected officials.

Alas and alack, I guess racial abuse and death threats aren't in vogue like sexism. Nonethless, you may read recent federal filings (see left) in the case via the expanded edition of this column at Barbwire.US/

Stay tuned.

As I reported a couple of years ago, residents of Silver Springs continue to protest the overwhleming fumes emanating from a plant that preserves logs for use as power poles. Typical Nevada. Something that would never be allowed in a state that gives a dam about its residents can get approved here. Our politicians will do anything to cut a ribbon and pat themselves on the back for visionary economic development. (Hack. Wheeze.)

MR. WYNNDERFUL WANES. So Gomorrah South casino mogul Steve Wynn rivals his pal Tsar Trumpsky for assuming royal privileges on youthful bodies? Business as usual in these parts.
Sparks voters don't care if city hall wastes big taxpayer bucks settling sexual harassment claims. Perps remain on the payroll.

In case you haven't heard, the Wynn story was broken by Wall Street Journal LV bureau chief Alexandra Berzon. She won the most prestigious Pulitzer Prize, the public service medal, for the Las Vegas Sun in 2009. She led the team that exposed deadly working conditions on high-rise hotel construction. Vegas media have learned to stay away from Wynn. Like El Presidente Narcissio Grande, he has the financial might to sue anyone into bankruptcy if they irritate him. Hometown juries and Nevada judges favor gambling overlords. Wynn even got the Nevada Supreme Court to allow him to pay pit bosses out of dealers' tips and intimidated legislators into subsidizing his expensive art collection.

TARNISHED PULITZER. The Reno Gazette-Journal won Nevada's first-ever Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for editorial writing. The sexy series "let's get whoremaster Joe Conforte out of our community" achieved attention and accolades.
Not long thereafter, RGJ management discovered that one of its Pulitzer-winning editorialists was gay. And fired him. The tawdry post-script was ignored. Until today.

BRIGHT NEWS. Reno-Sparks NAACP matriarch and former president Dolores Feemster is making a miraculous recovery and has been moved for rehab to Advanced Healthcare, 961 Kuenzli (89502), next door to the Reno Gazette-Journal. The neighborhood just got upgraded. Send cards.

Web Extras —> U-NEWS. Culinary Union Local 226 beat back a decertification attempt by the Reno Grand Sierra and remains in negotiation. Another decert has been filed. Time perhaps for another Hot August Strike during Hot August Nights? (Every union that ever used that headline — my all-time number one — won.) The only other union hotel in northern Nevada is Circus Circus, which hosted last October's Reno-Sparks NAACP Freedom Fund Awards and has two majors coming up.

The Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO will roast Sparks labor leader Todd Koch into retirement at ToddBQ '18 on February 24. I'm editing the commemorative program and need choice insults about the man I first met many years ago when he was young, handsome and promising. Alas, Todd today stands 0-for-3. Send entries to the e-mail below.

César Chávez XVI happens on the great man's 91st birthday on March 31. Ticket/table/sponsor info for César XVI may be accessed via the Barbwire expanded web edition at Barbwire.US/ —> Hurry. Prices increase Feb. 1.

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

Smoking Guns—>
Awards season: bad bids, bad hits and bad attitudes

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-24-2018 Sparks Tribune and affiliated publications
Terrorism in the Nevada outback
Bizarro R Us: Win bar bets predicting the 51st state
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-17-2018 Sparks Tribune and affiliated publications
The spirits of MLK and Bull Connor live right here
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-10-2018 Sparks Tribune
Lyon/Yerington Racism Archive. Unjoy.

All the Money in the World: The greatest story never told
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-3-2018 Sparks Tribune
Blast from the past: Pierre Rinfret on the ill effects of war spending
Those with crystal balls should cover their glasses

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-27-2017 Sparks Tribune / Updated 12-28-2017
Princess Cassandra and perpetual war machines
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-20-2017 Sparks Tribune

Christmastime investment advice from Al Capone
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-13-2017 Sparks Tribune
Fake news Valhalla: Putin, my president and me
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-6-2017 Sparks Tribune

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

Metastatical Statisticals

Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News
Its mix of terrorism alerts, right-wing commentary and “classic propaganda” could soon reach 3/4 of the US.
By Andy Kroll/Mother Jones Oct.-Nov. 2017

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news
By William Brangham/ PBS NewsHour 10-10-2017

Top-down Democrats haven't learned
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-10-2017

More Faux than Fox? Corporate octopus Sinclair moves to dominate Nevada and U.S. television
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-3-2017

  A thousand thanks to those who keep sending show suggestions.

  Stay tuned.

  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 a lot of work to do.

END OF TIMES SURVIVAL KIT. Defend yourself with humorous or humorless but always-peerless pontification by subscribing to the Barbwire Confidential News Service. Scandalous bonuses for new subscribers.

Hush Hush!

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

Last year's dark foreshadowings unfortunately became reality. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/ It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment. I suggest coming aboard now. Subscription prices go up soon. Thank you kindly for your support.

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

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, executive 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 BallotBoxing.US 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 and received its 8th Nevada Press Association award and 5th first-place at the 30 Sept. 2017 NPA annual convention in Carson City. (That trophy and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.)

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All the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now: Tell your friends and friendly enemies to subscribe to Barbwire Confidential for warm laughter, cheap thrills, hot scoops and occasional cold logic at BallotBoxing.US/
Cheap at twice the price. (Hush Hush!)

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Copyright © 1982-2018 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is the executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president and political action chair 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.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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