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Streaming at Barbwire.TV, reruns statewide.
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Night music and daily dissonance
Expanded from the 7-12-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Barbwire TV show will be in re-runs until SNCAT's studio move is completed. You may view them M-F 2-4:00 p.m. PDT on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16, 216 and high-def 80-295. 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

(775) 882-8255

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

I was reunited with three old friends last Thursday evening.

While I will never meet Frederic Chopin or Franz Josef Haydn, I was able to carefully shake the magical hand of Dr. Ron Williams after his virtuoso presentation of their work.

He brought the old masters to life for a near-capacity audience of well over 100 who packed the showroom of the Reno Steinway Piano Gallery on Moana Lane. Ages ranged from roughly seven to senior maximus.

On several selections, the lovely white-haired lady sitting next to me played air piano on her lap in perfect sync with Dr. Williams. I wondered what stories she could have told about her musical journeys.

I first heard Ron Williams back in the 1970s when we both had darker hair and more of it. I think he's gotten much better with age.

Perhaps it was because I was much further away from him during those concerts, while the Steinway Gallery is like a large living room.

No matter.

Any music student in the audience got a textbook lesson in shading and dynamics.

I don't have the best hearing in the world, but I had no trouble picking up and appreciating the master's deft nuances.

Like several of my fellow attendees, I often closed my eyes for short excursions to other times and places.

Dr. Williams also turned the event into a bit of a music appreciation class, delivering short lectures about the selections and their composers.

He even noted that the Steinway grand upon which he performed was likewise an old friend with which he had first made music in 1960.

Those who attended got in for the price of phone reservation. If you want to see the very worthwhile reprise at 1:00 p.m. at the Nevada Museum of Art next Sunday, July 19, it will cost a modest amount — $10 for adults, $8 for museum members.

"The program features Haydn’s last piano sonata and the Variations in F-minor paired with select preludes, nocturnes and etudes by Chopin. Dr. Williams has appeared extensively in recitals and (with) various orchestras throughout the Great Basin and Bay Area," the museum website notes.

Dr. Williams is an emeritus professor of music at UNR. I'm more than 40 years removed from the world class Fresno State music department and am certainly no qualified critic, but I think you will appreciate what Dr. Williams termed Chopin's "finger busters."

You will also be treated to many of Haydn's surprises, musical tricks which violate the expectations the sly old musical fox has carefully engineered.

Williams noted that Haydn's Sonata in C Major, No. 60, was his last smaller composition before he moved on to more grandiose work all the way up to full symphonies.

But he never lost his sense of humor.

I recall that in his famous Surprise Symphony (No. 94 in G major), Haydn described one passage chuckling "this should make the women jump."

We jumped many times last Thursday night, jumping up at the end to give Dr. Williams (and his lovely wife, who turned his pages) several standing ovations.

Go see him.

DAYTIME DISSONANCE. Truth comes out of the closet on Monday at Sparks City Hall.

At least I hope so.

Item 6.3 on the city council agenda is "consideration, discussion and possible ratification of the purchasing manager's rejection of all bids for the federally funded Spanish Springs Sewer Phase 3 Project."

Sparks labor leader Richard "Skip" Daly has filed legal action on the issue, noting that city purchasing manager Dan Marran had no authority to make any bid decision over $25,000. The Spanish Springs construction project is now in the $8 million range. New bid specs have just been published and are not substantially different than the one at issue, validating the suspicion that Daly caught city hall in flagrante delicto.

City Attorney Chester Adams has changed his description of what Mr. Marran did several times. Were bids rejected or withdrawn? (A major legal distinction.) Was the low bidder awarded a contract despite operating illegally in Nevada? Can said low bidder now sue the city?

It's hard to tell who is using the fire extinguisher to cool whose smoking tail feathers. Is the council hiding behind Chester the Harasser's fluffy pink boa in this political version of La Cage aux Folles?

Or is the council covering for an administration hiding under frilly skirts fluted with pages and pages of extraneous legal dicta?

Washoe District Judge Janet Berry has been no help. Despite an obligation under court rules to act promptly on a filing for a writ of mandamus, Berry has sat shiva.

Mr. Adams' opposition to Daly boiled down to 18 pages of non-responsiveness, never refuting the central point that Mr. Marran had no legal authority to do what he did.

The very wording of Monday's agenda item concedes Daly's point: only the council can decide on large contracts.

Federal tax money which should already be flowing into the community pipeline for this pipeline job has been hung up thanks to bureaucratic ineptitude and defensiveness.

You gotta love Nevada — from classical gas in Reno to political tap dancing in Sparks, we get world-class entertainment for free.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, second vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate and editor of As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Reruns of his legislative session TV programs are cablecast Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m. on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter digital channels 16 and 216 and high-definition channel 80-295, available on demand at Barbwire.TV. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

The 6-28-2009 Barbwire about the latest Sparks City Hall caterwaul has been getting pretty heavy chatroom commentary at the Tribune website. Check it out for yourself by clicking here.

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?

...and more ammo

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
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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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