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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)

ToddBQ '18

The Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO roasts Brother Todd Koch into retirement on Saturday, 24 Feb. 2018 at Circus Circus-Reno. Mandalay Ballroom doors open at 5:30, Dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Click here for sponsorship, table and ticket information.

Show up and make it hurt!

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

Circus Circus Reno / Doors open 5:30, Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Sponsorship, table and ticket information

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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

Recognizing the red flags of instant replay
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune / Updated 2-22-2018 and 1-23-2019 / Expansions in blue /More graphics and links to come

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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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You learn to recognize the red flags of instant replay as you get older.

BIG DREAMS AND FLYING MACHINES in pieces on the ground: Activists are decrying Reno City Council approval of a huge new housing development in the flood plain at the base of Peavine Mountain. Be patient.

Developers smoked environmentalists in 2006 when county government chickened out on acquiring the sprawling Ballardini Ranch in southwest Reno and handed some Minnesota bandidos over $15 million in taxpayer money to drop legal action. The last pristine open space in the Truckee Meadows had bulldozers onsite, then came the Great Recession. The streams, birds and bunnies still run free. (See below.)

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS. Reno-Sparks NAACP matriarch and former president Dolores Feemster has made a miraculous recovery and has returned home feeling and looking great.

Alas, if stories could always end that way. All Nevada labor mourns the loss of longtime Sparks resident and union leader Tony Mayorga who died Feb. 19 at Renown Med. The good man, just 65, worked with his hands all his life and earned his way to the top. He spent 18 years in the field on construction jobs before becoming Laborers' Local 169 training director in 1997 and president in 1999. He held both positions until his 2015 retirement.

"He was a strong and proud union man throughout his working life," stated Local 169 Business Manager and State Assemblymember Richard "Skip" Daly, D-Sparks.

"Beyond his family, colleagues and friendships, Tony's impact will be felt for decades to come through the thousands of women and men he educated in skilled construction," Daly added.

Mayorga received the César Chávez Distinguished Labor Educator Award at the 2015 Nevada César Chávez Celebration. He will be inducted into the César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame on César Chávez Day '18 on March 31, thus becoming only the second posthumous honoree in the event's history. Fred Ross, Sr. the legendary "Organizer's Organizer" and mentor of César Chávez, was inducted in 2013 by Fred Ross, Jr. Watch

WHOM TO BLAME DEPT. America Online (AOL/Netscape) e-mail addresses are the most coveted by marketers and politicians because their longtime owners tend to be very established homeowners, officials, activists and voters. For the high-sounding reason of cutting down on spam, AOL has recently been blocking tons of e-mail addressed to its clients, much of it legit. Some of my paid subscribers have been blacked out.

I sniff greed. With Czar Donaldov's industry-dominated Federal Communications Commission, net neutrality is dead. Corporations can now put express lanes on the information superhighway. Pay to play or sluggish you stay.

It is in AOL's interest to get people complaining about delivery so that its sales department can begin offering expensive preferred access to the most coveted e-mail addresses on the web.


CRYSTAL BALLGAMES. I don't resemble Princess Cassandra warning about that big wooden horse outside the gates of Troy, but keeping an open mind like a good liberal, I often see history about to repeat. Over five years ago, I wrote that long-term historical cycles foreshadowed a GOP presidential win in 2016. (Barbwire Nov. 29, 2012) I followed up with additional forecasts going back to 1992, all flinching toward Vladimir's victory.

The rule of thumb has long been that the stock market is six months ahead of the economy. Last Dec. 27, I predicted that we would start a slide into Great Depression 2 in the third quarter of this year. The stock market crashed a few weeks later.

WHOM TO BLAME DEPT. PART DEUX. Stumbling thru legal notices, I found the name of one Bruce William Marr, recently deceased. I've called the law firm handling his estate as well as a listed phone number. No response. The Bruce Marr I communicated with in the late 1980's was a Reno resident and nationally noted radio programming consultant. He discovered an obscure Nebraska disc jockey and recommended him to news/talk KFBK in Sacramento. His name: Rush Limbaugh.

Detail from "The American Experience"

STILL EXPLOITED AFTER 107 YEARS: A human life was worth less than 75 bucks in 1911. I uploaded a bulletin to e-list subscribers before last month's state of the union speech. I suggested watching a meaningful alternative, the PBS "American Experience" rerun of America's labor holocaust, the infamous 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire which claimed 146 lives and injured 71 others.

Most of the dead were young, immigrant Italian and Jewish women.

Some passed thru Ellis Island in the same years as both sides of my family.

There was something eerily familiar about the recurring still photos of the greedy owners of that firetrap New York sweatshop.

One looks identical to the smirky guy in the bowler hat with the drink in his hand on the Emmy-winning opening credits of the popular "Cheers" TV sitcom.

Judge for yourself. Photos at Smoking Guns, hereinbelow.

According to the US Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, $75.00 in January, 1913 (the oldest date available), adjusted for inflation, is worth a whopping $1896.94 in January, 2018. I have contacted American Experience producers in Boston and have yet to receive a response.

I'm a cheery guy. Why won't people talk to me?

UPDATE: The murderous 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire gets NY Philharmonic treatment and a Barbwire exclusive
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-23-2019 Sparks Tribune

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

Web Extras —> 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 me. Hurry. Time is tight.

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.

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

Metastatical Statisticals

Trump FCC chair investigated for Sinclair ties / 2-15-2018

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.)

Peruse the Underbelly of the News —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

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!)

Smoking Guns—>

$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners Max Blank and Isaac Harris. Is not Mr. Harris eerily familiar to television junkies?

From the Emmy-winning opening slate of the blockbuster "Cheers" television series. Combined with its "Frasier" spinoff, it lasted 20 years.
The "shirtwaist kings" immigrated from Russia and made a fortune manufacturing "Gibson Girl"-style blouses. (Photo, "The American Experience")
The Emmy-winning opening slate of the "Cheers" television series before the "slate" of creators is superimposed. Looks like Mr. Harris' dead ringer (at left) is having a bloody good time.

"Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx disguised as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup" (1933)
Back up to the Triangle Shirtwaist story

UPDATE: The murderous 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire gets NY Philharmonic treatment and a Barbwire exclusive
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-23-2019 Sparks Tribune

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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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