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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

We have met the enemy and he is us
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 9-8-2021 / Expansions in blue

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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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The news this week is dominated by the 20th anniversary of the jetliners-as-cruise-missiles attack on the east coast.

Reams of forests and a gazillion megabytes have been expended on how the hell we got here.

As oft I have, you can get biblical and check off the plagues, pestilence, disease, fires and floods beleaguering what poet e.e. cummings rightly termed "this monster mannunkind."

Or you can simplify and trace what ails us back to old-fashioned human weakness. Just about any explanation can find substantiation in facts or alternative facts, depending on one's political proclivities and prejudices.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the roots of our middle eastern misadventures go back to World War One and Lawrence of Arabia. (Barbwire 8-18-2021) Winston Churchill and British Petroleum arbitrarily created countries from whole cloth where none but local tribes had dwelled for millennia. Afghanistan alone consists of more than a dozen.

The American public was content to fund all sides in various wars as long as they didn't interfere with our cable TV service. Funny how mass murder and mayhem can focus one's attention.

If you want to know the mechanics of how 9/11 happened, go to the PBS Frontline program "The Man Who Knew." (10-3-2002) It's the story of maverick FBI agent John O'Neill who was the bureau's foremost expert on Al Qaeda. He was not a corporate kinda guy. When tips came in about foreign guys taking jet pilot training not focusing on takeoff and landing, O'Neill's New York office was cut out of the loop.

On his last day in Hooverville, he predicted something big was coming from Al Qaeda. The next day, he took over as head of security at the World Trade Center. Firefighters found his body in the rubble.

Failure to control the FBI was soon listed as the major flaw that prevented the killers from being stopped.

A corollary to O'Neill's story appeared in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine, a frontpage profile of former FBI agent Terry Albury who blew the whistle on illegal FBI abuses of Moslems and went to prison for his trouble.

"There is this mythology surrounding the war of terrorism and the FBI that has given agents the power to ruin the lives of completely innocent people based solely on what part of the world they came from, or what religion they practice or the color of their skin, and I did that," he told the judge at his sentencing. "I helped destroy people for 17 years." (The NYTimes Magazine, 9-5-2021, at 20)

"There is no greater sin in the FBI than to embarrass the bureau," former agent David Gomez told Times reporter Janet Reitman. "That's a credo that goes all the way back to Hoover and it's taken very seriously...If you do something that casts the bureau in a negative light, it's going to be hard for you."

The FBI has 13,500 "special agents." (J. Edgar Hoover's term.) Nearly 70 percent are white and male. Terry Albury is black. His story will be linked to the expanded web edition of this column at

SPARKS CITIZEN POLICE ADVISORY COMMITTEE: 13 lucky people have applied to serve on Chief Chris Crawforth's new review board. He probably could have gotten more had it been better publicized.

Our society keeps forgetting that many people don't have cel-phones or computers. The city clerk's office informed me that no one applied in person or called to get a form. All 13 applied online, which may have brought its own snags.

Here are the applicants.

I owe a hearty shoutout to Reno-Sparks NAACP First Vice-President Patricia Gallimore for focusing me on this hyper-important issue. Chief Crawforth has actually gotten this off the ground. Previous northern Nevada attempts over the past 20 years have fizzled and Gomorrah South's record is shameful. (Barbwire 9-1-2021)

I will post a link to all 13 applications with the web edition of this column at Hurry. It will only stay on the city website for another three weeks or so.

DOROTHY PARKER COMES HOME. Some 54 years after her death, the great American humorist ("Brevity is the soul of wit. And lingerie."), has finally been laid to rest. A ceremony was held last month at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.

"Parker (1893-1967), a lifelong civil rights activist, bequeathed her estate to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. but failed to stipulate where her remains should rest," the New York Times reported on August 29.

As a result, Parker's ashes spent long periods in several places, including a lawyer's office and a memorial garden outside the NAACP offices in Baltimore. It took 15 years to get her to her Rothschild family plot in New York. She's in good company. Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington repose nearby.

She wrote her own epitaph, of course.

     Leave for her a red young rose,
Go your way, save your pity;
     She is happy for she knows
That her dust is very pretty.
Requiescata in pace.

Stay cool. Stay safe. Stay tuned.

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 Quarantino Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of,, BallotBoxing.US,,, and among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <


Hail to the Chief
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 9-1-2021 / Updated 9-2 & 9-6-2021 / Expansions in blue

Nothing will be off the table when Sparks Chief of Police Chris Crawforth convenes the city's first citizen police advisory committee.

He's got guts.

Citizen police review has almost zero history in Nevada no matter how disgusting the abuse, not even the 1990 execution of former UNR basketball player Charles Bush. (Barbwire 4-14-2021, 4-21-2021 and 4-28-2021).

Casino exec Bush, 39, was asleep in his apartment when Las Vegas cops illegally burst in and choked him to death. There were no cop cams back then, only the officers' assertions that he resisted. How would you react if you were asleep in bed and suddenly men in black invaded your home?

“I had no choice but to hold onto this man,” Gerald Amerson, the officer who placed Bush in a chokehold, said two weeks later in his testimony during a coroner’s inquest. “He was like a crazy guy."

Although the medical examiner ruled it a homicide, the coroner's inquest jury let the cops walk.

It was "the 44th consecutive justifiable verdict handed down in coroner’s inquests since 1976," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last year, updating its readers as Black Lives Matter became a worldwide phenomenon.

The Clark County DA pulled a Pontius Pilate so "in 1990, the Nevada attorney general’s office stepped in. The officers were indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and oppression under the color of office. A Clark County jury deadlocked 11-1 to acquit the men a few months later, and a mistrial was declared," the RJ reported.

"Then-District Judge J. Charles Thompson personally disagreed with the jury and said the officers had illegally entered Bush’s apartment. Thompson also said that had Bush survived and been arrested, he would have thrown out the case in court. Amerson was fired in March 1991" and his two colleagues were demoted.

Not even that debacle caused LV to try to rehab its credibility with an independent review panel. That took two off-duty officers using the public for target practice.

In 1996, Officer Ron Mortenson was charged with murder in a drive-by shooting for firing into a crowd from a pick 'em up truck. He is now serving a life sentence.

Despite the bloodshed, it took another four years to establish any independent review. More than two decades later, it's apparently been a bust. Of almost 900 cases received just since 2018, "only eight were referred to a hearing panel," the RJ reported on July 24, 2020. A former member dissed the panel as "chummy" with police.

Not long after LV started buying whitewash, a broad base of local union leaders and the Reno-Sparks NAACP met with officials at Reno City Hall about a citizen review board. The only person on the ad hoc committee asked not to attend was me. I agreed. My friends told me that my presence would make the Reno brahmins nervous.

I have never received a higher compliment. Didn't matter. Reno did nothing.

About seven years later, my NAACP colleagues and I convinced Sparks City Hall to start a diversity commission. The city council passed it unanimously on Jan. 22, 2007. It never got off the ground.

About six years ago, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve tried to get Sparks and Washoe County to help form a regional human rights commission. The county said they'd watch Reno's progress while Sparks simply said "we're too broke."

Enter new Chief Crawforth who wants a Rail City civilian panel to "look at the broader picture, focus on the community."

He apparently realizes that law enforcement doesn't operate as an island unto itself. Imagine that.

He told me that he's very aware of what's happening in other communities across the country. The chief says that those who take action often narrowly focus on use of force and leave many issues unaddressed.

The enlightened ones look at the big picture, like funding de-escalation training and having rapid response teams available to talk down suicidal individuals. Had Sparks PD used the already-operating RR team in January of last year, 18 year-old Miciah Lee might still be alive. (Crawforth was not chief at the time.)

The chief acknowledges that his personally screening applicants for the committee presents a conflict of interest. I can't blame him for wanting as much control as possible at the start. Too many hands on the rudder leads to kissing icebergs.

He has seen no heat generated so far, but the honeymoon will almost certainly be over soon. I applaud his efforts and will do what I can to help. I told him that I will be both a friend and a critic depending on the situation.

One of my few talents is making people nervous. But apparently not Chief Chris Crawforth.

CELEBRATE THE CONFEDERACY THIS WEEKEND. Little boys disguised as old men will camp and shoot and parade in Virginia City at a re-named "Heritage Days."

They used to headline Nevada's only Labor Day Parade but unions have withdrawn to do their own in Reno, now postponed until next year in the face of the latest COVID-19 surge.

Several years back, when organized labor was putting heavy time and people into the VC thing, I made some remarks to a meeting of union leaders that the Comstock might have a Labor Day parade on Mondays, but the whole weekend was actually devoted to Civil War re-enactors, most of them wearing gray uniforms.

I did not think that human rights organizations like labor unions should be helping to memorialize those who fought to retain slavery. Perhaps my words finally sunk in. Look for a real Labor Day parade in Reno-Sparks a year from now.

CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSCRITTERS. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, has stung the bad guys again, pushing for expanding Medicare to cover dentistry, vision, hearing and mental health. Some front group is saturating Nevada TV saying un-named blackguards want to drain Medicare by (gasp!) negotiating prices.

One of Medicare's greatest problems has been that when Bush the Lesser signed the Medicare expansion to include prescription drugs, he knew damn well that it barred Medicare — the nation's largest consumer — from negotiating prices. It's been a profit-gouging Christmas tree for drug companies ever since, at your expense.

Contact your senators and representatives and tell them to support Bernie. Polls show broad bi-partisan support in Congress. For a change.

HOT AUGUST STRIKE 3.0? There has been little movement toward a new contract between France-based Keolis Transit — those wonderful folks whose parent company transported Jews to the ovens — and Teamsters Local 533.

The union just won reinstatement and back pay for an unfairly fired bus operator, one of 18 cases now headed for federal court. Keolis is now trying to scuttle scheduled driver pay raises.

These guys are serious about busting the union and may find themselves facing another transit strike like last month's 10-day work stoppage.

DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP. As usual, elected officials on the Regional Transportation Commission and their minions pull a Pontius Pilate, probably with lots of hand sanitizer. RTC just fraudulently announced its compliance with mask mandates, something its superspreader bus system has never enforced. Would you be upset if you were a driver?

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is comprised of Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson (R), Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado (D) and Neoma Jardon, (R), board chair. RTC board e-mail <>

ED ASNER, 1929-2021. I was honored to have once met the great activist and actor ("Mary Tyler Moore," "Lou Grant," "JFK" and "Up" among many others) when he and actress Linda Lavin ("Alice") headlined a reception at Harrah's-Reno in support of liberal causes and candidates about four decades ago. Our lives are better because he once traveled this way.

Stay cool. Stay safe. Stay tuned.

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 Quarantino Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of,, BallotBoxing.US,,, and among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <


The bitter taste of positive PR
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from Sparks Tribune 8-25-2021 / Updated 8-26-2021 / Expansions in blue

"I expect my government to lie to me. I'm comfortable with that." — Satirical seer Lewis Black

Orange sun shines thru my windows and embroils earth. The four horsemen of the apocalypse ride high, bringing the plagues of Job and Pharoah Ramses II.

I am ready to concede. We have arrived at the end of times with Czar Trump as the new messiah. Who else but a god could turn the world into the color of his hair and daily makeup, truly his own image and likeness?

So while I still have time (and breath), I have a few insults to deliver.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF. Friday is the deadline for applying to serve on the newly announced Sparks Police Advisory Committee. It is limited to Sparks residents or those employed here. The online application form does not give guidance as to eligibility of residents within Sparks spheres of influence like Spanish Springs or Sun Valley.

It is also silent about how people without computers or smartphones may apply. The city clerk's office has informed me that they can get a paper application from the clerk’s office, 431 Prater Way.

All applicants agree to a broad background check, "including a criminal history...and drug screening."

I contacted city hall this week with two questions.

First, what are the criteria for disqualification other than residence or employment?

More important, all applicants will have to be recommended for council confirmation by Police Chief Chris Crawforth. So the new boss gets to screen membership of his own review board?

BACK TO THE FUTURE. On Jan. 22, 2007, the Sparks City Council voted to create a diversity commission at the request of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. President Lucille Adin, former President Dolores Feemster and I attended. We had several followup meetings with City Manager Shaun Carey but the idea was soon iced as the economy collapsed due to the real estate bubble recession. I have been reminding city hall ever since.

At the behest of Mayor Hillary Schieve, Reno made a start toward such an entity about six years ago, but it fell by the boards when the staffer in charge left. Mlle. Mayor approached Washoe County about starting a joint entity. The county said it would just follow Reno's progress. Sparks flatly said the city was too broke to participate.

Regular Barbwirites know that Sparks has long been in shaky financial condition due to all the corporate welfare city hall has doled out over the past half-century. The Rail City pioneered redevelopment red-line districts so that future downtown property taxes could be shunted to improve the Nugget's front door on "B" Ave.

Throw in STAR bonds freebies for the marina development and you have a pretty good idea why today the fast-growing city hasn't got enough cops. Speaking of which...

HAIL TO THE EX-CHIEF. Former Police Chief Brian Allen is apparently still employed by Sparks as an announcer. His voice is the one you hear when you leave Chief Crawforth a voicemail.

DENNIS MYERS, 1948-2019. Nevada's greatest journalist and former Tribunite Dennis Myers suffered a stroke at his home a few blocks from the old downtown newspaper building and was placed on life support two years ago right now. (Barbwire 8-25-2019) He never awoke.

I nominated him for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame that year and last year, when he won. He will be remembered at the NPA annual convention in Reno next month.

I have high hopes for my two additional nominees, former Trib columnist and longtime UNR journalism Prof. Jake Highton and legendary photographer Don Dondero whose work over a long career appeared in basically every newspaper in the world, including this one. (Google "Marilyn Monroe Sinatra Tahoe" and see what you get.)

I was successful in getting Frank Sinatra's favorite Nevada media foil, the Reno Gazette-Journal's Guy Richardson, inducted in 2012. Richardson, Myers, Highton and Dondero have long been ensconced in the much more exclusive Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames.

HOT AUGUST STRIKE 2.0 UPDATE. Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson addressed the Nevada State AFL-CIO Convention Monday at the Grand Sierra-Reno. He blasted local bus system bosses for trying to pit workers against each other and praised his members' unbreakable solidarity. The union went on strike for 10 days starting August 3 and only returned to work after signing a deal to save workers' health insurance. All other items remain on the table but foreign-owned Keolis Transit, the Regional Transportation Commission's hired gun, has not agreed to schedule any negotiations after more than a year of delay.

Can you say Hot August Strike 3.0? Monitor

THE DOGS OF WAR, Toljaso Department: In "Get Out of Dodge" (8-9-2009) I wrote one of many pieces (among untold thousands by others much more qualified) about the lessons of Vietnam as they applied to Afghanistan. Sometimes I hate it when I'm right. Read it for yourself linked to the expanded edition of this column at Barbwire.US/

MONGREL DOGS, PART DEUX. "U.S. Passed on Taliban Surrender (in November 2001), and 20 Years of War Followed." (NY Times 8-23-2021) I hope late "Defense" Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has learned the error of his ways from all the dead people he has now met. Read it and weep at Barbwire.US, as well as new smoking-gun revelations about how us taxpayers funded all sides of the war.

Also thereat, you may access the obituary of legendary Vietnam War reporter Joe Galloway who died last week at 79. This frontline civilian not only carried a weapon, he also won a Bronze Star — a civilian! — with a V for heroism for rescuing wounded soldiers under fire. Rumsfeld hated him.

"Someone once asked me if I had learned anything from going to war so many times," he once said.

"My reply, 'Yes, I learned how to cry.' "

When will we ever learn?

Stay cool. Stay safe. Stay tuned.

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. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <


Eternal reruns of toxic movies and PR spin
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from Sparks Tribune 8-18-2021 / Updated 8-21-2021 / Expansions in blue

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" — George Santayana

Even if you paid to see the following films once, it's never enough. You have and will continue paying every day of your life.

ROGER & ME (1989), Michael Moore's directorial debut which critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert declared the best movie of the year — not best documentary, but best motion picture, period.

Moore used his hometown, still-oppressed Flint, Michigan, to illustrate the plight of American workers.

The head of the Oscar documentary committee saw to it that Moore's magnum opus was not nominated. Reportedly, she had her own film to shepherd. (The winner was "My Octopus Teacher.")

As a result, the Oscar lords changed the inside game and Moore finally got his gold statue for the school massacre doc "Bowling for Columbine" (2002).

Moore's film provides a quick thumbnail as to why the average American worker hasn't had a raise since 1973, adjusted for inflation.

It's well-documented that for every 10 percent unionization increases in a community, all wages rise by five percent.

Unions represent about 11 percent of workers in the U.S., down from about 35 percent right after WW2. Why? Corporate America is a damned good union buster, especially at recruiting help from a bi-partisan rogues gallery.

You may have seen news last week that the high-profile Sparks-Washoe-Reno bus strike is over.

I oughtta know, I broke the story, a horse since turned into a camel. You know the joke, a camel is a horse designed by a committee. (Mea culpa to the awesome ships of the desert.)

Actually, the foreign bus bosses who run the system only agreed to keep the Teamsters Union health plan, the last straw that caused the walkout.

All the rest remains to be negotiated. Hot August Strike 2.0 can thus best be described as on hold.

That's not how some media described it after Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) executive Michael Moreno spewed some spin which a few media greenhorns gulped down whole: "Formal negotiations will resume with the participation of a federal mediator, and the union has agreed not to stop work while negotiations continue with this third-party participation."

One inexperienced reporter even rewrote it as "RTC representatives confirmed that union officials signed a memorandum of understanding to maintain the health care benefits at issue and to not strike again in the near future."

None of that came from Paris-based Keolis Transit, the obtuse employer and principal cause of only the second strike in the 39-year history of the local transit system.

Remember how RTC elected officials and their highly paid staffers insisted that they were absolutely hands-off?

As the Marx Brothers once asked, "Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Read the actual three-page deal at

Union President Gary Watson said that he would not sign any "tentative proposal that includes language specifying that there will be no strikes or lockouts during negotiations."

Would the Tampa Bay Bucs sit Tom Brady so that the other team might score better?

Then came this: ""Foreign-owned Keolis Transit (on Monday) refused to bargain with Teamsters Local 533 on Thursday, August 19, despite having announced their availability this Thursday," Watson said.

"The union is considering all options."

Can you say Hot August Strike 3.0?

VIETNAM, A TELEVISION HISTORY (1983), journalist Stanley Karnow's painful 13-part re-telling of the war that ruined the modern United States. Particularly poignant even today.

Toljaso Dept.
Get out of Dodge

Expanded from the 8-9-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Sometimes I hate it when I'm right.

Ho Chin Minh loved America and was ready to intervene against the Japanese after unifying his country in 1945.

Alas and alack, another pompous ass from the land of Keolis-19, Charles deGaulle, persuaded President Harry Truman to ensure Vietnam would again become a French colony so that the Michelin Tire and Rubber Company could get its rubber plantations back.

Harry caved, Ho and Gen. Giap went back to the jungle and kicked French asses, then ours, then the puppet governments'.

Millions died and the carnage continues on all sides between lives lost, PTSD, Agent Orange and a plethora of physical and mental mayhem.

Interventionist jokes have been around for half a century. Remember "Nicaragua is Spanish for Vietnam," and now "Afghanistan is Pashtu for Vietnam."

Now, please step into the Wayback Machine.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962). Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Jose Ferrer, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Quinn. After World War 1, the Brits proceeded to carve up the oil-rich mideast to profit their corporations.

Bedouin nomads considered the idea of borders absolutely silly when invisible lines in the sand were described to locals who had no word for them.

Iraq and the buffer states along the Persian Gulf were created to ensure western power. They also coronated the House of Saud to rule over the Levant.

Our CIA and Britain's MI6 overthrew Iran's democracy in 1953 because British Petroleum wanted its refinery back.

U.S. played like a cheap fiddle
Sarah Chayes / The Ides of August / 8-15-2021

Taliban were invented in 1994 by Pakistani military intelligence
Sarah Chayes / PBS Newshour / 8-20-2021

"Pakistani officials, are crowing about the current results, the current outcome."

Like VP Dick Cheney marketing the lie that Saddam Hussein had nukes as an excuse to invade Iraq in 1993, BP told the idiot Dulles brothers who mangled foreign policy for President Eisenhower that Iran was going commie.

The results: Perpetual mideast war, speaking of which...

CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR (2007), Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman. In the early 1980s, Congressman Charlie Wilson, D-Texas, gets black op arms budgeted for indigenous Mujahideen tribes fighting the Russian Army in Afghanistan. U.S. Stinger missiles knock Soviet helicopter gunships out of the air and Afghanistan quickly becomes the USSR's Vietnam.

They leave. Our surrogates win. We leave a vacuum filled by Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and finally The Taliban. Which leads us to Vietnam 1975 on the news this week.

When will we ever learn?

Stay cool. Stay safe. Stay tuned.

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. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <

Web Xtras & Smoking Guns—>

SEE, HEAR & SPEAK NO EVIL DEPT. The current unaccountable politicians who seem content to provoke a strike are Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson (R), Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R), and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado (D) and Neoma Jardon, (R) board chair. Mr. Delgado and his wife both tested positive for COVID-19 in December. He is currently CEO of the (for real) Community Health Alliance of Washoe County. Go figger.

Regional Transportation Commission board e-mail <> / RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas who gets paid $220,000 a year to lookout the window while waiting to go to lunch.


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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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