Pretty Elle's trip to hell
Expanded from the 12-27-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions —new power to the people on the public airwaves

The program was available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The show appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the event, commercial TV greatly expanded its distribution.

Thus began what an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV, where you may also access the show on your desktop.

You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your contribution will help fund the distribution of the Dec. 6 program as well as a new regional, non-corporate community radio station.

You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.


Be well. Raise hell.


Barbwire column on the depredations of Charter Communications and the Reno City Council wins 2009 Nevada Press Association first-place award

The Barbwire TV/web simulcast will return as soon as new studio construction is complete. Your contribution will be most welcome. Keep an eye on the Barbwire print edition for updates.

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest. A button for older shows is being installed. You may also search by date — M-F for the past year save holidays.

Click here for on-demand re-runs
from the 2009 legislative session

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

She was as beautiful as life and scared to death. God saved her on a chilly night in downtown Reno.

Darkness was starting to fall. Young "Elle" (so termed herein for the first letter in her real name) had only small change and some condoms in her pocket.

Her feet hurt from circulating through the streets of Reno in cheap three-inch strappy heels.

I walked out of the just-concluded Reno-Sparks NAACP meeting and was greeted by a shout from one of my fellow members.

"Do you know where the Shell station is?" she yelled from across the street.

A scantily clad young woman in high heels had approached her for directions.

"Two stoplights up and three blocks down," I responded.

Then the girl in the low-cut jeans ambled across the street to the NAACP storefront office.

She wore a thin t-shirt, cut high in Britney Spears style to expose midriff, which revealed more than usual due to her low-cut jeans.

Other NAACP members emerged as she told her story while nervously looking up and down Sixth Street every time a vehicle neared.

A man and woman had approached her in Sacramento and asked her if she'd like go to Reno with them to make some money.

Lost and lonely, she got in their car.

They gave her the contents of her pockets and told her to walk around downtown Reno, turn some tricks and call them from a pay phone when she had some money for them.

It was their car she was scared to see.

I asked her what she wanted to do. She said go back to Sacramento. I asked if she had bus fare. She did not answer.

NAACP President Lonnie Feemster then asked me to accompany him as he drove her to the offices of the Committee to Aid Abused Women on Vassar Street across from Channel 4.

Once there, we found our adventure had barely begun.

First of all, CAAW does not do kids. We couldn't even get in the door because of a group therapy session in progress.

The lady in charge, who apparently had some experience in these matters, told us to call RPD.

Elle still showed terror every time a car passed, even though I assured her that we were far from where her exploiters were cruising.

The rapidly increasing chill made it seem longer than it actually did for a black-and-white to show up. The young officer interviewed Elle and told us he would take her to an overnight shelter until her parents could be contacted in California. This was nothing he had not seen before.

I had missed dinner. Lonnie Feemster had missed an important meeting.

I think both of us knew we had found a more important assignment.

Lonnie took the opportunity to deliver his standard fatherly stay-in-school lecture, eliciting a commitment from Elle that she would do so.

All that happened on May 7.

Christmas week got me thinking about Elle again.

I hope she's OK.

She had the mind of a 12 year-old at 15, totally innocent and trusting.

As the old saying goes,
God protects small children and drunks.

This little black stick figure washed up on the lonely back streets of downtown Reno.

Was it just coincidence that she happened to be walking by just when the NAACP had adjourned?

The Sixth Street office had proven very uncomfortable —cold in the winter and hot in the summer. We moved not long thereafter.

I like to think that we put up with that place just to catch that poor girl from falling to a fate I can only imagine.

Coincidence? Butterfly wings? Predestination? Free will? God taking care of a lost child?

I know which explanation I like.

I'm glad I can tell a Christmas story with a happy ending.

BETTY JOYCE BARBANO, Feb. 7, 1941-Dec. 27, 2005. This column will hit the streets of Sparks exactly four years after my wife's death. At, you will find the story of the witty and generous lady who gave me the rest of her life.

COMMUNITY MEDIA UPDATE. Looks like the next regional Barbwire TV program will happen on Jan. 24. (The Dec. 6 pilot is in reruns statewide. Check your local listings.) The subject next month — what else? — jobs.

If you would like to donate to the community radio and TV project, go to or send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno, NV 89510. If you are in business, I can provide deductible advertising expense options. If you need to donate through a non-profit organization, that option is also available.

The goal is to expand public affairs programming on non-corporate airwaves, including a new full-power fm regional radio station. The public/private character of the TV Barbwire will remain — produced by the non-profit, but more widely distributed through commercial channels.

Happy High Holly Days.

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, second vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced 9-19-2009

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


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 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008

...and more ammo

BARBWIRE Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
Barbwire 8-14-2005

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

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
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
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Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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Copyright © 1982-2009, 2013 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

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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