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High-definition channel 80-295
2:00-4:00 p.m. PDT M-F, 21:00-23:00 ZULU/GMT
NEW! LIVE 4:00-5:00 p.m. PDT (23:00 ZULU) Tuesdays and Thursdays on Carson City Charter digital cable channels 10/210 & 26/226 — Call 775-882-TALK (882-8255)
Streaming at Barbwire.TV
What may well be the first marriage of talk radio, talk TV and webcast webchat

Melting down just in time for summer
Expanded from the 5-24-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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



It appears that the biennial petting zoo better known as the Nevada State Legislature has succeeded in once again placing a leaky Band-Aid on a gushing gunshot wound.

As always, they have balanced the books on the backs of the weakest, some of whom have been given a death sentence by their own government.

Because of the insistence of Washoe County Republican senators Bill Raggio and Randolph Townsend, new taxes expire in 2011.

Senate Taxation Committee Chair Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, predicts that this shortsightedness leaves the 2011 ledge with a deficit of more than $1 billion.

Lawmakers have funded K-12 education at pretty much current levels, which means "We’re racing to the bottom" Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Sun.

"He introduces a bill every session to bring Nevada’s funding of public schools to equal or surpass the national average, but the bill never gets approval," veteran Sun reporter Cy Ryan wrote.

"'Good high-quality companies turn their back on Nevada because our education funding is so low,' Schneider said.

"'Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, complained that state employees are not being treated equally. 'There are winners and losers and K-12 folks are winners,'" he told the Sun.

"He said state workers are going to get hit with a double-digit drop in salary and benefits. Amodei was the lone dissenting vote."

THE TARNISHED SILVER LINING. As soon as lawmakers override Gov. Jim the Dim's veto of the tax and budget plan, the door will open wide for a lawsuit to force Nevada to raise taxes to properly fund education.

Mental health advocates should review right-to-treatment litigation.

University Chancellor Jim Rogers' legal research will be linked to the web edition of this column.

It notes that 27 other jurisdictions have been successfully sued for failing their legal mandate to pay for schools.

Nevada has lots of experience with federal judges running large parts of our government. Federal Watermaster Garry Stone, who manages the waters of the Truckee, Carson and Walker rivers, works for the U.S. District Court, which has administered the regional watershed since 1944.

A federal judge can do no worse than lawmakers and governors over the past 30-something years.

SOGGY BLACKMAIL. The Truckee Meadows Water Authority raises rates by $1.10 a month for metered users as of June 1.

Non-metered homes get hit for more than nine dollars a month.

Full conversion to metering was in the pipeline very soon anyway.

Odds are your house already has one installed even if you're not being billed at the metered rate.

It's all done in the name of saving water, which is an oxymoron.

Much of the water serving this valley exists only on paper.

Nevadans know how to conserve in dry years and have always done so.

Water meters are merely a pretext for providing paper permissions for pasting over our paucity of proper planning.

DRINKING TO YOUR UNHEALTH. Looks like we're going to get royally screwed on health care once again. First, read Paul Krugman's Blue Double Cross in Friday's New York Times.

Then go to for the transcript of the May 22 edition of Bill Moyers' Journal.

The only national health care plan that will work is government as single-payer and that's the only plan not being considered by top congressional leaders or their corporate controllers.

Krugman notes that the vampires are ramping up the usual red-scare campaign which has been used to kill universal health care since the 1940's when Republicans destroyed President Truman's proposal.

It looks like the states will have to do it themselves.

Nevada once had effective hospital cost controls which the industry wiped out 20 years ago.

You may access a brief summary of the results with the web edition of this column.

ON THE AIR: One of the major sponsors of that health care cost containment, former State Sen. Joe Neal, D-N. Las Vegas, spent an hour with me last Thursday.

You may access it on demand via Barbwire.TV.

It's the best insight you will get on our current fiasco of a legislative session.

Retired state archivist and noted historian Guy Louis Rocha will be my guest this Tuesday.

The ledge should hire him and Mr. Neal to provide institutional memory for the 2011 legislature when we will have a huge influx of virgin lawmakers.

Fat chance.

MEMORIAL DAY OF THE DEAD. Local peace activists will commemorate America's war dead on Monday with a name-reading and flag-planting ceremony, 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Reno's Bruce R. Thompson Federal Building, 400 S. Virginia St.

Names of soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan will be read aloud.

The ceremony will also give special tribute to the more than 50 Nevadans who lost their lives in the recent Bush-Cheney wars.

For more info, go to or call 775-784-1945.

NADER'S RAIDERS REDUX. This just in from one of my long-ago talk radio kids who is now all grown up and kicking ass: "Ralph Nader has launched two new public interest groups , and

"Both are committed to end the current 'pay or die' healthcare system and replace it with single-payer, not-for-profit, universal healthcare. Everyone in and no one left out.

"Join the Northern Nevada Chapter every Sunday at 2:00 p.m. as we rally for universal healthcare on the sidewalk in front of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield's offices, S. Virginia and McCarran Blvd.,across from Best Buy.

"Help us raise funds by giving us your used aluminum cans for recycling.

For more info, contact Earl Ammerman IV, 775-843-9099 or"

Nicely done, young man.

Be well. Raise hell.

Smoking Guns...

From: Chrystal Main
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 8:07 AM
To: DCFS - ALL.DCFS (Restricted)
Subject: FYI

The Governor's Office has asked that the following information be shared with all DHHS agencies:

It has come to the attention of the Governor's Office that some agencies may have concerns with the budget bills proposed by the Department of Administration. These bills were drafted to support Governor Gibbons' executive budget and have the full support of his office.

Please do not testify against Administration bills in committee as those bills support
the Governor's agenda.

If you wish to testify on other bills that you have a personal interest in, please insure that you are either at the Legislature during your regularly scheduled time off or have taken annual leave.

Please do not identify yourself as an employee of DCFS, rather you may identify
yourself as a state employee if the Committee asks you where you work.

Chrystal C. Main, Social Services Chief
Systems Advocate
Division of Child and Family Services
4126 Technology Way, 3rd Floor
Carson City, NV 89706
(775) 684-4453
(775) 684-4457


From: Office of the Governor [mailto:nvg@GOV.NV.GOV]
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 11:19 AM

Subject: Press Release - Governor Calls on Citizens to Demand Openness From the Legislature

For Immediate Release:  May 13, 2009


Legislators need to hear from Nevadans immediately



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?

Continuing cable depredations

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

...and more ammo

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
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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 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.

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