Live Streaming Barbwire.TV

2:00-4:00 p.m. PDT, 21:00-23:00 ZULU/GMT/CUT/SUT
Charter digital cable channels 16 & 216 in Reno-Sparks-Washoe
Charter high-definition channel 80-295

New live shows this week on Carson/Douglas cable

Windows of stained glass and futures passed
Expanded from the 4-26-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 12-18-2010
and 4-25-2013

Save northwestern Nevada community television

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

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.

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

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 Communications hires bankruptcy lawyers
MultiChannel News 2-8-2009

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

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



I once foolishly thought the worst thing about windows would always be Microsoft.


A few days ago, KRNV TV-4 reported that motorists are being cited for window tinting that's too dark.

The law has been on the books since 1993 but was not enforced until somebody donated portable tinting testers. (Sounds like a job description from Hooters.)

Violations can bring a $107 fine in addition to the cost of removing the tinting.

Glass companies have been doing land office business.

Sparks Justice Court has been reducing the fine to $30 if car owners can prove they've removed the offending filters, News 4 reported.

Alright all you budding constitutionalists, help people fight this latecoming governmental fundraiser.

Let's see some legal briefs that this is an unconstitutional ex-post facto law.

Also, are governments estopped from enforcing this irritant since they have failed to do so for 16 years?

Can longtime car owners claim exemption if they can prove their vehicles were tinted before the statute went into effect?

The cops make a good point about needing to see inside cars they pull over.

But this issue has the potential of replacing the recent tea party farce, speaking of which…

KUDOS TO DENNIS MYERS. The former Tribune journalist made short work of the right-wing moonhowlers in his daily almanac by pointing out that the Boston Tea Party was a protest against a tax cut.

John Hancock and other smugglers used to make fat profits by smuggling tea to avoid the tariff. When the Brits removed the tax, Hancock and company were no longer competitive.

The same scam is alive and well on the east coast, only now the Mafia sells bootleg gasoline without the tax, which represents the profit on the deal.

Kinda makes you swell with pride for the free enterprise system, doesn't it?

DEATH STAR. The current edition of the Reno News & Review carries the second installment of Myers' series on Sales Tax Anticipation Revenue Bonds.

STAR bonds are a Nevada innovation in the sordid casebook of corporate welfare.

They take tax money away from parks, schools, roads, fire and police protection.

Myers STAR bonds exposés

Star bondage (4-2-2009)

Death Star (4-25-2009)

Revenue-starved cities thus resort to big things like wholesale annexation of county land to raise taxes on those residents.

And little things like fines for dark window tint.

The legislature is looking at tightening STAR bond requirements but existing projects like Cabela's and Scheels are grandfathered in.

Wish I could say the same about the windows on my old Pontiac which number four son long ago turned into a cozy lovemobile.

KUDOS TO OUR COLLEAGUES, PART DEUX. Congratulations to the Las Vegas Sun and reporters Alexandra Berzon, Patrick Coolican and Michael Mishak for winning the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the most prestigious Pulitzer of all.

I've posted their reports regularly over the past several years in the construction and safety sections of

They rightly ruffled lots of feathers by exposing unsafe working conditions on Las Vegas Strip construction projects which have killed 18 workers over the past several years.

Corporate crime is one of the few areas where I come down as a moonhowling conservative.

If an employer knowingly allows unsafe conditions resulting in a worker death, I favor capital punishment for the business.

The family of the deceased gets a handsome settlement, the company is sold off, the stockholders lose their investments and the rest of the money goes into a fund to enforce safety laws and educate employers and workers.

This Tuesday is Workers Memorial Day which commemorates those killed and injured on the job.

I will devote Tuesday's Carson City edition of my live TV show to that issue (capital city cable channels 10 and 26, reruns on the channels noted below).

On Thursday, we will concentrate on state employee issues and taxation.

Looks like a potential sales tax on services is dead for this legislative session because it would take over a year to implement and the state is broke right now.

BLOOD STAINS AND STAINED GLASS. The fourth quarterly commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be held on Saturday, May 16, from 1:00 to 7:30 p.m. inside the First United Methodist Church at First and West streets in downtown Reno.

Dr. King inspired Pastor John Auer to make religion his life's work.

Alas and alack, good Rev. Auer is retiring later this year, so this event will be his career swan song.

The community should make it a resounding success, both because King's labors are not yet done and in tribute to all the good things done by Rev. Auer over many decades.

Continuing to move forward in honor of these two outstanding men is worthy work.

Hence the theme: "Where do we go from here? Using the Arts to Cross Cultures and Create Communities So That We May Cooperate for Non-Violent Social Change."

For more information, call 775-322-4564 or go to

WEB EXTRA: SI SE PUEDE. Assembly Bill 301 by Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, and a bipartisan group of 18 others, orders the governor to declare the last day of March every year as César Chávez Day.

The late, great union leader was born on March 31, 1927.

The bill will not cost anything, as it does not mandate the closure of state and municipal offices or places of business.

It will, however, take us a step closer toward a national César Chávez commemoration.

Mr. Kihuen is looking for local citizens and former César Chávez associates to testify.

Call me.

Mr. Kihuen spoke at the annual Chávez Day celebration at Circus Circus the day after the bill's first hearing in March. It passed the Nevada State Assembly 40-0 on April 13. NAACP Reno-Sparks Branch No. 1112 has endorsed Kihuen's bill.

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
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
Search this site | In Search Of...


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 news and talk Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m., at
Barbwire.TV and Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter digital cable channels 16 and 216, high-definition channel 80-295. Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988 and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins