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

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An Alternative National Anthem
By Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Sharon Robinson
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.

   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 stem 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 & 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.


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

"The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you'll never have." Kierkegaard

OBIT: The formerly United States of America
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno /
Expanded from the Wednesday 5-5-2021 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

WARNING: This English translation from state-sanctioned Mandarin was prepared from memory by people who read the original stolen by the spy who was executed for his crime. Do not be caught with this in your possession. Memorize and destroy. Anyone using anything but the official language may be executed.

Greatest Hits Dept.


Barbwire nominee Dennis Myers elected to NPA Hall of Fame

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10 the Hard Way
Barbwire wins 10th Nevada Press Association award

GOLD 2017-18

2018 First-Place Winners

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

"Excellent work. These are some of the most moving columns I've read."
— NPA contest judge/9-29-201

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly


Kicked off the Ledge

Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada


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

We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

Kate Smith & Lady Gaga

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders

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

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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

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APPROVED BY THE PEOPLES' BUREAU OF TRUTH, an introduction to western history class presented by Prof. Zoroaster Chang at Formosa University, July 4, 2121.

Good morning students. Welcome to western history.

This course will focus on how China, under the leadership of our eternal and holy leader Xi Xin Ping, brought China to world dominance over the last century.

As you probably already know, it all began when the nation once known as the United States developed the most lethal virus the world has ever known at Fort Dietrich in an area called Maryland.

The capitalists transported the disease to Wuhan, China, and with the help of counter-revolutionary Moslem Uighurs and decadent Christians, released it in a popular marketplace. It spread worldwide and killed hundreds of millions.

Fortunately, our eternal and holy leader Xi was first to recognize the threat and immediately took steps to stop its spread in China while at the same time developing the Xi Victory Vaccine which saved millions of lives.

Variations are still in use today, including that one you received on your first day here.

China's greatest rival a century ago was a North American nation once known as the United States.

They did not have the vision of our eternal and holy leader Xi, and refused to enforce measures to eradicate the virus and keep their citizens safe.

Rather than developing mass immunity through countermeasures and vaccinations, they impatiently pursued their decadent lifestyle.

The virus resurged many times, killing tens of millions and sapping the American empire of its vitality.

This came at a time of great political unrest.

After a rare liberal victory in 2020, reactionary capitalists again took control of the government, developed a siege mentality and banned all immigration.

Critically needed workers were never admitted in order to fill the many gaps in society left by the plague.

Our eternal and holy leader Xi recognized the potential of those who wanted to live in an enlightened industrial society and he gladly welcomed immigrants from all over the world, not only to China but to our many new colonies in Africa, Asia and South America.

The last vestige of what was once known as liberal democracy came in 2029 with the assassination of newly-elected President Jacqueline Aretha Kennedy.

By then, the devastated capitalist state was a nation in name only.

A national referendum was held in 2032 and by a large margin, Americans approved a template to dissolve.

LIFE IMITATES ART DEPT.     Seventy to 80 percent of adults in the counties of northwestern Nevada along the California border (Douglas, Carson, Washoe and tiny Storey, along with Clark County on the southern tip), are projected to "definitely" or "probably" get a COVID-19 vaccination. Call them Ecotopians.
    Meanwhile, only 60 to 70 percent of adults in the remaining 12 rural counties say the same. The 12 comprise about 80 percent of the state's land mass. Hail the Valhalla of New McConnell. (Source: US Dept. of Health and Human Services / The New York Times 5-3-2021)

For a good example of the results, we will review the history of one of the worst regions of the country, a place once known as Nevada.

The northwestern part of that arid region opted to become part of the new nation of Ecotopia, comprised of northern California through western Canada.

Southern Nevada, once known as Las Vegas, cast its lot with MexAmerica, which merely restored historical and cultural ties of the southwestern United States with Mexico and Central America.

Most of the northeastern United States became part of Canada, from Illinois to Virginia, with the exception of southern Ohio.

The southern climes made common cause with the mountain west, save for the state of Colorado, and became the nation of New McConnell.

Our eternal and holy leader Xi quickly recognized tremendous opportunities for the International Peoples Republic.

He renovated deposed U.S. President Joseph Biden's infrastructure plan and turned it over to Chinese construction companies.

Our eternal and holy leader Xi's leadership brought economic prosperity to most of the world while outliers languished.

He was once asked about taking control of the dissenters by force. He wisely demurred, noting that all would soon come to Beijing. He was, of course, correct as always.

Today, there remain very few pockets of resistance to the new order, again, all caused by the formerly united states.

Biden withdrew from Afghanistan which left a power vacuum.

Our eternal and holy leader Xi considered filling it but determined that it would be too costly.

Biden took a lesson from the potent womens' militia of Syria and trained Afghan women to organize their own army.

They defeated the Taliban in 2037. Today, the female-dominated elected governments of Syria/Lebanon and Afghani/Pakistan remain the two biggest obstacles to the prosperity brought by the Century of Our Eternal and Holy Leader Xi.

Afghani/Pakistan President Benazir Thunberg O'Brien will meet with our exalted and praiseworthy foreign minister Gingrich Yangtze in Beijing next week.

I look forward to your becoming fully immersed in the enlightenment of the paradise on earth created by our eternal and holy leader Xi.

As he always admonished us to remember, Mao is Great.


Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡Sí se puede!

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.)

Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of,, BallotBoxing.US,, and among others. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <>

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$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

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Copyright © 1982-2021 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 52-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 a longtime member 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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