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

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Photo: Debra Reid, Sparks Tribune



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


Eve of Destruction
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 3-2-2022 / Updated 3-3 & 3-4-2022 / Expansions in blue

"God gave Noah the rainbow sign. No more water, the fire next time!"from a traditional spiritual

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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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Last week, Czar Vladimir the Last raised the specter of nuclear weapons in his personal war against Ukraine.

Somewhere in North Korea, Kim Jong Un is jumping up and down screaming "he's stealing my act!"

Several days earlier, NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd raised that exact question, might Vlad the Impaler launch a tactical nuke?

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' legendary doomsday clock was set at 100 seconds to midnight in January before the despot rode out to join the other three macabre horsemen, his paranoia peaking just as murmurs of the "Julius Caesar solution" circulated. [UPDATE 3/4/22: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, just called for "someone close" to the Czar — meaning the rare person who can get close enough — to off him as a humanitarian service. I have a better suggestion: THE HAND OF GOD, a convenient outbreak of a new or existing Coronavirus strain to disable the Russian war machine. It's pretty well-known that Russian vaccines are substandard and thus may already be quite vulnerable to all viral permutations. Red Army soldiers have been living like superspreader sardines for weeks. So, let us wish for a humane but rampant plague causing no deaths to mercifully end this slaughter. Alleluia. Amen.]

Things have reached a point that the gloomiest doomsday forecast since the 1964 films "Fail Safe" and "Dr. Strangelove" is now hopeful by comparison. (See below.)

I've been down this road many times, especially after 9/11/2001.

From the 11-11-2001 Tribune:

"Imagine yourself a total stranger in the strangest of lands, a star-traveler from a distant galaxy. You are charged with examining the denizens of this small planet and reporting back.

"Dear Boss: I recommend that we steer well clear of the major tribes of this world. They are constantly at war killing their own kind and other life forms. The whole planet seems locked in a neverending orgy of consumption. The stronger eat the weaker as they do on many other primal orbs, but this place seems to suffer from inverse evolution. The higher the intelligence of the species, the more often I have witnessed killing for no reason at all.

"The most numerous life forms, single-celled organisms and their close relatives, have learned to survive by inhabiting larger creatures either as parasites or symbionts.

"In sheer numbers, the dominant species, by far, are viruses and bacteria. These are followed by various vegetable life forms and exoskeletal, multi-legged animals.

"The most intelligent inhabitants have evolved in very divergent ways. Dolphins prefer the simple life of the sea. Although humans do not differ from each other to any appreciable degree, they nonetheless group together in primitive and illogical ways. They ostracize and exploit their own based on the superficial and the imagined.

"They often kill each other in slavish devotion to this superficiality. Such concentration on the meaningless produces so much pain and suffering. They have invested great volumes of treasure and work in order to traverse this small globe faster and faster. Apparently, only speed matters.

"They are addicted to placing themselves into flimsy, portable canisters filled with high explosives. Then, in an ongoing orgy of bravado and arrogance, they hurtle the canisters toward each other at great speed. On land, sea and air, most usually miss by at least a few inches. Nonetheless, every year tens of thousands are killed and hundreds of thousands become seriously and painfully injured whenever these shells encounter a maloccurrence.

"The crude fuel for these devices pollutes and endangers the entire planet when burned. As a semi-scarce and hard to extract natural resource, possession of the fuel has become the source of endless war.

"Recommendation: avoid this planet until the current dominant life forms evolve into more interesting species or are replaced by others. End report."

From the 10-28-2001 Tribune:

"GOV. GLOOM'S CRYSTAL BALL. In 1985, a series of short stories on nuclear disarmament were solicited from prominent people. Gov. Richard Lamm, D-Colo., co-authored one. The scenario: a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan causes such macabre destruction that the world puts down its nukes.

"Every time India and Pakistan rattle their glowing sabers, I am reminded that life imitates art. Such a result would prove perfectly consistent with the history of the tribes of mankind. Genetically almost identical, people nonetheless kill and maim each other over superficial, superstition-based tribal differences.

"Will some god or superior extra-terrestrial send some future Lot to our big blue global Sodom and Gomorrah? Will that emissary again prove unable to find 10 just men? Would that almighty feel justified in raining fire and brimstone down on such a corrupt place? We've been warned many times."

Lamm beat out more than 1,300 entrants in that 1985 essay contest sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

"I feel with an Old Testament certainty that we cannot continue indefinitely the way the world is now going with the world's weapons set on a hair trigger and the doomsday clock at five minutes to midnight," the late Colorado governor stated when informed he'd won.

There's the prelude. We may be living (and dying) through the sequel. Barry McGuire's 1968 anthem will be a hit all over again.

       Don't you understand what I'm trying to say?
Can't you feel the fear that I'm feeling today?
       If the button is pushed, there's no running away
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
       The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don't leave a trace
       Hate your next door neighbor but don't forget to say grace
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend
       You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Bye bye Miss American Pie.

When will we ever learn?

THE ROLLING LOGANS. Sparks RTCRide transit operator Michael Lansborough survived major heart surgery and even attended a Teamsters Union meeting last month (chauffeured by fellow Teamster Tim Radley.)

Mike is sole support of his wife and son, Logan, who has no lower legs due to a genetic flaw but nonetheless took to his wheelchair and joined his dad in downtown Reno picket lines during the Hat Trick Strikes of 2021. (Photos at the front page of

A GoFundMe page has been set up by friends  <>

Be generous. If you would like to help by check, make it payable to Michael Lansborough and send to his attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100, Reno NV 89512.

Thanks to all the Barbwire readers and union members who have anted in, the most positive news I've seen recently.

Join me in donating. Please. And tell your friends.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ se puede!

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

Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 53-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 <


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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 © 1982-2022 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 53-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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