BARBWIRE
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ANDREW BARBANO
Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream
The Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames


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SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades)

Je Suis Charlie
"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)

An Alternative National Anthem

   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 that the boat is leaking.
Everybody knows that the captain lied.
   Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died.
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   And a long red rose.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that you love me, baby.
Everybody knows you really do.
   Everybody knows that you've been faithful,
Give or take a time or two.
   Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
   Without your clothes.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that it's now or never.
Everybody knows that it's me or you.
   And everybody knows that you live forever
When you've done a line or two.
   Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
   For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that the plague is coming.
Everybody knows that it's moving fast.
   Everybody knows that the naked man and woman —
Just a shining artifact of the past.
   Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
   That will disclose
What everybody knows.

   And everybody knows that you're in trouble.
Everybody knows what you've been through
   From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach at Malibu.
   Everybody knows it's coming apart.
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
   Before it blows.
And everybody knows.

Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
   That's how it goes. Everybody knows.


By Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson.
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.

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



Alfred E. Neuman for Washoe school superintendent
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 7-10-2019 Sparks Tribune
/ Expansions in blue


Greatest Hits Dept.

WE WON: BIG NEWS FROM THE NEVADA PRESS ASSOCIATION CONFAB IN GOMORRAH SOUTH —> BARBWIRE NOMINEE GUY RICHARDSON INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME ON FIRST BALLOT

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The 9th Muse
Barbwire wins 9th Nevada Press Association award

GOLD 2017-18

2018 First-Place Winners

From the depths of despair to the den of iniquity & holy of holies

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The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly

9-6-2017

Kicked off the Ledge
4-18-2017

NATIONAL NEWS FIRST-BREAK
Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada

10-18-2017

Gold 2017
Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo

10-4-2016
We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

12-13-2016
Kate Smith & Lady Gaga
2-14-2017

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
4-28-2015
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
11-24-2015
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders
1-19-2016

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
4-18-2013
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
5-30-2013
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism
3-20-2014

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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

Tomorrow's news today —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential
TOP SECRET— HushHush!

 

Last week came news of the corporate assassination of another American cultural icon. Mad Magazine will soon cease publication and go into perpetual re-runs.

Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury has been there for years save for current work in the Sunday color comics, another endangered species.

Believe it or else, I went to high school with a kid who was a real-life double for the mythological Mad cover mascot Neuman. A curly-haired Italian kid named Angelo was possessed of a wicked sense of humor. Which was his downfall.

He wrote a scathing satire of my Catholic high school's sadistic football coach who would beat kids senseless for minor infractions. My ears rang after Coach Cruello slapped me upside the head one day. In all fairness, every guy in my class got the same thing for the sin of talking with each other because Coach was late for history class, as usual. (Most of the time, he just ordered us to "take a study period" while he worked on important things like pass plays.)

Angelo's composition was screamingly funny. Alas, poor Alfredo-Angelo was stopped in mid-presentation and sent to the principal's office by screaming Brother Ernest. Angelo did not return the next school year. He worked his way thru Fresno State moonlighting as night attendant at a funeral home a block from my house. Notta lotta laughs.

Brother Ernest found one of my classmates reading Mad and made a big deal of tearing it to shreds. He also caught me reading Spartacus in study hall and promptly confettied it.

Those are some of many reasons I have never attended a reunion of my Catholic high school class.

As with all youthful cultural phenomena, Mad mag was criticized for corrupting kids. Not always. I remember reading one credible review that said Mad was a much better purveyor of old fashioned morality than most. William Gaines and his "usual gang of idiots" punched holes in pomposity and rooted for the underdog. They also warned us that underdogs often lose.

Mad was acquired after AT&T ate Time-Warner which had acquired the magazine in another Wall Street deal. Soulless corporations treat great art as expendable.

In 2008, the master recordings of a cross section of the greatest American music was lost forever in a Hollywood warehouse fire. The Universal Music Group conglomerate stashed the treasures on a studio backlot and lied to the media about how much had been lost. They swore they had mostly non-existent digital backups. Any engineer will tell you that something gets lost in every copy. (See "The Day the Music Burned," New York Times Magazine, 6-6-2019)

BB King's "The Thrill is Gone" is gone forever along with hundreds of thousands of others. I could fill an entire column with the artists whose greatest works went up in corporate smoke.

Author Franz Kafka delivered the greatest insight about the dehumanizing effects of large institutions. It's the same anywhere. People are standardized, replaceable components, round pegs for round holes.

The Washoe County School District is no different. I have a personal stake in their latest depredation because the school board chair lied to my face last week.

At the press conference celebrating their firing of superintendent Traci Davis, I asked Board of Trustees Chair Katy Singlaub Simon Holland for the cost of the political campaign she and her buds ran against Davis.

Ms. Holland committed (I'll be gentle) a sin of omission. She sidestepped my query by asserting that school district PR people were all getting paid anyway, implying no additional cost.

A few days later, Reno Gazette-Journal education reporter Siobhan McAndrew reported that taxpayer money was indeed squandered to hire the ubiquitous KPS3 PR firm to write press releases for district staff and "consult." Cost so far is more than $8,000 at $175 an hour and the clock is still running.

The district has a large communications staff employing about 30 people and they are quite capable. So why was a political juice firm hired?

I'm still waiting for the costs of shutting down the district's administration building, which Ms. Holland promised on July 1. Employees were given two days off with pay because it was rumored that Ms. Davis might (gasp!) show up for work before her dismissal inquisition. God save us from short black ladies.

I served notice last week that I planned to apply for Ms. Davis' job because I am well qualified to screw up the education process and I'll do it for half price. That's fiscal conservatism.
I hereby withdraw my candidacy and will support Alfred E. Neuman.

He couldn't do much worse than these dissembling clowns. At least he'll bring us better and less expensive laughs.

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

¡Sí se puede!

Witness at the execution
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 7-3-2019 Sparks Tribune

Gang banging on 9th Street
Barbwire
by Andrew Barbáno
/ Special Barbwire Confidential Extra Edition / Monday 7-1-2019 / Updated 7-3-2019

NevadaLabor.com We Don’t Need No Education Archive
___________________

Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, superannuated labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of NevadaLabor.com and BallotBoxing.US and SenJoeNeal.org and DoctorLawyerWatch.com and Protect Our Washoe.org/ As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us. He has lived in both northern and southern Nevada during his half-century+ in the Silver State. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988 and received its ninth Nevada Press Association award (6th first-place) at the 29 Sept. 2018 NPA annual convention in Las Vegas. His multi-media road construction zone safety campaign for Laborers' Union Local 169 won a first-place award from the National Safety Council in a nationwide competition. (Such ephemera and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.) His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian of London/UK and more important publications.

WEB XTRAS & SMOKING GUNS —>

Veni, Vidi, Jockocracy?
Locker room rules: Caesars goes commando, union vows resistance to Eldorado empire
By Bryan Horwath / Las Vegas Sun 6-28-2019 / Reno Gazette-Journal 7-8-2019

Eldorado-Caesars merger means labor union battles far beyond Reno & Las Vegas
Culinary Union leader D. Taylor: "Where are they going to cut?"
Building trade union campaigns continue
By Ed Komenda / Reno Gazette-Journal / 6-27-2019

[UPDATE 4-20-2019] — About 100 demonstrators from almost all the region's unions, local community service organizations and political activists joined Culinary Union members picketing Circus Circus in the late afternoon of April 18. A couple of CC suits came out to see what all the fuss was about, as if theydidn't already know. In addition to the familiar union "contract now!" chants came calls for a strike against the Carano jocks. ¡Viva Huelga! ¡Sí se puede!

REAL NEWS DEPT. In January 2019, Culinary Union Local 226 defeated an attempt by Circus Circus-Reno to decertify (terminate) the union's representation of its workers. No word on whether management plans to appeal the result to the National Labor Relations Board which was recently put out of business for 35 days. Thank you, Czar Donaldov.

CONSUMER CONUNDRUMS: PINK SLIPS, PURGES AND PRUNING. I need to hear from recently purged Eldorado Hotel-Casino, Circus Circus-Reno and Silver Legacy employees. Barbwire spies report perhaps 100 workers got the ax just in time for the 2018 holidays. In the Tribune, at Barbwire.US and in the London Guardian, I have lamented the deepening desperation of renters here in Tesla boomtown. I'm now getting complaints about medical and dental practices purportedly pruning their patient loads, cutting loose the less-lucrative. That's de facto malpractice but medical professionals are lawsuit-proof under Nevada law — unless you're rich enough to personally pay a few hundred grand in legal fees. That's why TV lawyers only advertise for arrest or accident cases these days. If you've been cast adrift by patient pruning, call me at (775) 882-TALK or e-mail me.

Sore-oppressed Soul-Sister Cities: Menlo Park and Reno-Sparks-Fernley share similarly sad high-tech stretch marks.
"All humanity has left the area": paying for Tesla's Gigafactory
Barbano and Nevada conservatives decry corporate welfare depredations

By Rory Carroll / The Guardian 7-3-2018
Editor's Note: The Guardian publishes 180,000 newspapers daily in London and environs and generates ONE BILLION monthly web page views.
(I should live so long.)
[MUCH MORE TESLACIDE]
"Facebook is taking everything": rising rents drive out Silicon Valley families
Property companies advertising their proximity to Facebook’s campus are giving low-income residents a choice: pay a huge rent increase or move out
By Sam Levin / The Guardian 6-20-2018


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

For 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!)

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. Thank you kindly for your support.

Smoking Guns—>

The divine right of kings, casino gods & dingbat heirs
Barbwire
by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the Wednesday 6-26-2019 Sparks Tribune

The Barbwire Presidential Dirtiest Dozen
Barbwire
by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the Wednesday 6-19-2019 Sparks Tribune

Carson City, Transylvania County, Nevada USA
Barbwire
by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the Wednesday 6-12-2019 Sparks Tribune

Trumpeting tragedy as Great Depression2 descends
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 6-5-2019 Sparks Tribune

Nevada: Righteous results, wrongheaded reasons
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 5-29-2019 Sparks Tribune

Nevada Business Opportunity: Abortion Tourism
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 5-22-2019 Sparks Tribune

May 15: The Ides of Uncle Walter Cronkite
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 5-15-2019 Sparks Tribune

What if they gave a murder and nobody came?
BARBWIRE CONFIDENTIAL: Sheriff Balaam's icy hot patch
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 5-8-2019 Sparks Tribune

MayDay for renters, movie fans and avengers
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-1-2019 Sparks Tribune

Sen. Ira Hansen announces his pregnancy
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 4-24-2019 Sparks Tribune

Priorities for butt-, rent-, birth- and gun-control
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 4-17-2019 Sparks Tribune

DAY OF THE DEAD
Relieve Rent & Pillage: Save SB398 & AB399

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Special Online Legislative Edition / 4-12-2019 / Updated 4-13 and 4-14-2019 GMT
Fairness for tenants dies 4-12 unless lawmakers throw it a lifeline

Politics does not reward the shy
Rent justification and a death penalty for corporate depredation
Barbwire
by Andres Luis Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 4-10-2019 Sparks Tribune / Updated 4-11 and 4-12-2019 GMT
Fairness for tenants dies 4-12 unless lawmakers throw it a lifeline

A liberal case for a new, brutal death penalty
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 4-3-2019 Sparks Tribune

50 years in Nevada: Trying to outlive them all
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-27-2019 Sparks Tribune

Guns, gouging and guts: once upon a time in the west
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-20-2019 Sparks Tribune

Guv keynotes César XVII: 17-year overnight success
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-13-2019 Sparks Tribune

Judge not lest ye be judged — or misjudged
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-6-2019 Sparks Tribune

Even in Sparks, God works in mysterious ways
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-27-2019 Sparks Tribune

OF CRABS AND CLANS: White bibs or white sheets tonight
Barbwire Confidential by Andres Luis Barbáno / 2-23-2019 SPECIAL ONLINE HUSHhush E-EDITION

Trump's Wall: First step toward ending Nixon's War on Drugs
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-20-2019 Sparks Tribune

BLACK LIKE ME 2119: The problem as solution
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-13-2019 Sparks Tribune / Updated 2-14 and 2-16-2019
Breaking News —> Culinary Union defeats decert at Circus Circus Reno
Dear Readers: The above column served as the conclusion of remarks I submitted before the "Tahoe Talks: Racism in America" symposium at the Incline Village, Nev., Library on February 12, 2019. So you might want to read "FADE TO BLACK" before you read "Black Like Me 2119".



$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years
A mass murderer becomes famous on TV a century later

How come nobody noticed 'til now?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

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"/PBS)
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 to the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist holocaust

Triangle tragedy recalled as requiem
"The Fire in My Mouth," a new oratorio by Pulitzer honoree Julia Wolfe, premiered with the New York Philharmonic Jan. 24

By Michael Cooper / The New York Times 1-23-2019

SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades)

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Copyright © 1982-2019 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and SenJoeNeal.org; 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 barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us.

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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