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St. Paul, sex and politics
Expanded from the 1-25-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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The math behind the move
Updated 11-16-2008

Charter Communications plans to illegally move four channels of analog to the digital tier.

One channel of analog bandwidth accommodates two to 10 channels of digital programming, depending on the complexity of the streams. High-definition movies eat up a lot of bandwidth.

A Charter statement quoted on TV-4's Aug. 4, 2008, 11:00 p.m. newscast said that Charter is doing this to "free up more bandwidth for high definition channels."

Charter thus gains bandwidth for between 8 and 40 digital channels by banishing community TV to the digital tier, a net gain of 4 and as many as 36, depending on content.

Charter VP Marsha Berkbigler, in her first speech to the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee in Dec. 2002, said each additional channel is worth $1 million a year to Charter — and that's at 2002 prices.

So Charter stands to make between $4 million and $36 million by doing this, unadjusted for inflation.

Michigan Judge rules for cable ratepayers

Carson City gets the facts
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 10-19-2008

Talks with Charter fruitless
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 9-7-2008

Sparks, Washoe, Carson and Douglas consumers urged to contact their local governments to join the fight against Charter
Surge.TV 8-25-2008, Updated 8-28-2008

Evil empire eats its appetite
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-24-2008

Bandwidth bandidos admit their greed
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-17-2008

Sue the bastards
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-10-2008

Deregulation means never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-3-2008

Last year's columns about skulduggery at the Nevada Legislature which led to this mess

MORE: Smoking Guns

Government contact info

Barbwire.TV: 15-year overnight success
Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

The big news this past week may have been all about President Obama, but it only started that way.

By Saturday, sex had trumped politics. Always has, always will.

The New York Times on Wednesday reported on the upcoming criminal trial of a Wisconsin couple who let their 11 year-old daughter die a horrible death from complications due to untreated juvenile diabetes. (More below.)

Thursday brought the 36th anniversary of the publication of Justice Harry Blackmun's decision in Roe v. Wade, the case which established the legal right to abortion.

Locally last Thursday, the region welcomed with open arms a major convention of rich guys who kill for sport. Now that be sexy, bwana. Bang away.

On Friday, President Obama wiped out the global gag rule that Dubya the Dense resurrected from the dead eight years ago.

The Reagan-spawned sop to religious fascists forbade any organization receiving federal money from mentioning abortion, let alone performing one.

In recent years, some aid organizations even stopped mentioning contraception just to cover (no pun intended) all the bases.

Some extremist apologists even pimped the position that condoms don't work.

While giving Africa a lot of money for AIDS prevention, Dubya's dunces displayed a decided preference for Nancy Reagan's answer to everything: Just say NO.

These people were world-class visionaries for producing programs that just don’t work.

Abortion does. The authors of the best-seller Freakonomics (HarperCollins 2005) pointed out that Roe v. Wade was a statistically probable major factor in the reduction of U.S. crime in the 1990's.

Most crime is committed by young men aged 15 to 24, a preponderance of whom are unwanted children born to harsh environments.

A more enlightened society would better provide for its citizens so that unwanted pregnancies don't happen, either because mothers get better support or assistance in avoiding pregnancy rather than using abortion as the crudest form of birth control.

But we are not that wise. We opt for worthless campaigns admonishing the young to just say no to sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

Much of this is rooted in the fine old religious and societal tradition of subjugating females.

All of our western potshots at Islam fall flat with a hard look at how we really are.

As a cherubic world-class altar boy, I once read in the Catholic Sacristy Manual a ceremony called "The Churching of Women."

It was a purification rite for women who had recently given birth and were thus deemed unclean.

Much of the Catholic Church's relegation of women to second-class citizenship goes back to Saul of Tarsus. And today is his day.

According to the new edition of Northern Nevada Catholic, today marks the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

"This change is appropriate because this is the Year of St. Paul, the commemoration of the 2,000th anniversary of his birth," writes Bishop Randolph Calvo.

Much of what has evolved into the church's rigid dogma started with St. Paul.

Carmel of Reno Sister Maria quotes the Gospel According to St. Mark in the same publication: "Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: 'Go into the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.'" (Maybe that's what motivates those horny big game hunters at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.)

"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved," St. Mark continues.

"These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will speak new languages. They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover."

Somebody tell that to the parents of Kara Neumann of Weston, Wis.

They believe in some Internet doomsday outfit which advocates faith healing. So they let God decide whether their daughter lived or died. God apparently went with death. (New York Times 1-21-2009)

A world-class cancer doctor once told me that "one in four of our patients heal themselves and we have no idea why."

We primitives still know so little of how God and/or Mother Nature have programmed us to survive.

But simple minds seek simplistic answers and if it's in the Bible, it must be true, right?

Leviticus, the fifth book of the Pentateuch, says to kill children who sass their parents.

Ditto with adulterers. I don't think most judges would allow such defenses in court.

Leviticus also says "You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; have the same love for him as yourself." (Lev. 19:34).

Makes me wonder why so many God-fearing right-wingers bash immigrants.

So sue us: Charter tells Sen. Reid and Reno
Ratepayers group may sue Reno as well as Charter
Daily Sparks Tribune online 11-11-2008
+ Barbwire Special Edition 11-12-2008
Updated 11-14-2008

FCC investigates cable TV pricing
Associated Press 11-4-2008

FCC investigates complaints about moving cable channels and pricing
Orlando Sentinel 11-7-2008

Charter misses $74 million payment
Reuters 1-15-2009

Website predicts 2009 Charter Communications bankruptcy
Moody's downgrades Charter on reorganization talk


Perhaps they don't read their Bible very often. Or only follow it selectively.

St. Paul wrote that women should be subservient and quiet. That slaves should act likewise toward their masters. That men are better off not having relations with women.

Combine Paul with the ancient Hebrew search for portents and you have identified the roots of our subjugation of females.

Ancient Hebrews believed that someone who was sick all the time was being punished by God. Women bleed every 28 days, so they must be accursed of the Lord. Hence "The Churching of Women." Hence bans on female priests (a relatively recent taboo). Hence women permanently earning less pay than men for the same work here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

"It was St. Paul who carried the faith beyond the borders of the Holy Land," Sister Maria writes, "and by this vision of universality fathered the faith we have today."

The good sister thus tacitly ignores the worldwide work of the original 11 apostles and other disciples of the union carpenter from Nazareth, some of the latter of whom were (gasp) women.

As we should have learned in eight years of depredation by Dubya's dastards, dogma-driven decisions are disastrous.

Remember Kara Neumann in your prayers on St. Paul's Day.

Be well. Raise hell.

Smoking Guns...

Not even 30 pieces of silver
Reno City Council Signs Community TV Death Warrant

Contact Sen. Harry Reid for help
Sparks Tribune / 11-23-2008

Rise of the machines
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 11-16-2008

The devil and the deep blue sea
Charter cable deal and Reno "settlement" offers are all death warrants for community television. Court battle looms closer.

Sparks Tribune / 11-11-2008 + Barbwire special web edition, 11-12-2008

Wisconsin statewide franchise law has not dropped cable prices as promised
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 11-8-2008

Falling all over ourselves
When will Sparks, Carson City, Washoe and Douglas counties get mad over Charter cable's ripoff?
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-5-2008

Michigan Judge rules for cable ratepayers
Decision holds great importance for Nevada

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-5-2008

Charter in serious financial trouble
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-12-2008

Charter offer deficient
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-28-2008

Reno-Sparks NAACP opposes Charter channel switch

Charter negotiates Russian-style: Will accept 100% of everything
Daily Sparks Tribune 9-5-2008

Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund at our PayPal-enabled ReSurge.TV Consumer War Room

Reno city council votes unanimously to sue Charter to keep community TV accessible
Resurge.TV will also file

...and more ammo

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

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?

Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know
Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.

NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Alternet 5-20-2007

Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.

Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate.

Review of Alex Carey's Taking the Risk Out of Democracy:
Propaganda in the US and Australia

The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below

ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press

     SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.

     By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)

     Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.

Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.

      BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey

      BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy

The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Barbwire 9-10-2006

      Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966 | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
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Copyright © 1982-2009 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, editor of and, former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee and serves as second vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

He hosts live news and talk (775-682-4144) Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m., at
Barbwire.TV and Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter digital cable channels 16 and 216. Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988 and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

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