The hits just keep on coming
Expanded from the 1-31-2010 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

BROKEN RECORD DEPT. Two more construction liens have been filed for unpaid work at the RED Development Sparks Marina project.

“It is very typical to have liens in this size of a property,” RED spokesman Dave Claflin told the Tribune earlier this month.

But almost all liens filed since last July are still in effect and there have been no recent releases. Why is RED not paying its bills?

The corporate welfare queens who drove the City of Reno to insolvency are now applying for STAR bonds. Sales Tax Anticipation Revenue bonds are the taxpayer construction subsidy at the root of Marina project problems. Sparks taxpayers are on the hook for millions if things continue to sour.

The bandidos who got a free baseball stadium, millions in taxpayer funds and huge chunks of choice downtown Reno property now want STAR bonds like Cabela's and RED.

It sure is easy to pick the pockets of Nevada governments if you fly in from out of town and wear an expensive suit.

WE DON'T NEED NO EDUCATION. There's been a splendid dustup in dusty Fallon over a teachers union attempt to censor a story in the Churchill High School newspaper. A music instructor apparently failed to send all demonstration tapes to a state choir competition, which understandably ticked off more than a few students and parents.

Editor Lauren MacLean composed a story which the union representing the teacher tried to quash. Our brethren in the media interviewed learned professors, including UNR journalism dean Jerry Ceppos, who screamed "prior restraint." This came from a guy who caved to pressure to retract the most important story ever printed by the San Jose Mercury News.

You can Google the details for yourself, but one key piece remains missing and it is emblematic of the current state of the news business. Did any reporter bother to look at the law? Back in 1990's, a student got busted at Reno High for publishing a pamphlet lampooning teachers nicknamed The Slam Book. The teacher in charge of the school paper disciplined him and censored stories in the school paper about it.

Back then when reporters reported, it was noted that the law in such cases has long been settled. The publisher of a student newspaper is not the students, but the school administration, which has the final say on what goes in.

To her credit, Churchill County school superintendent Carol Ross allowed publication. Union president April Chester properly noted that student newspapers do not have the same legal rights as the privately produced variety.

I don't blame Fallon or Reno reporters for not knowing that, although some are probably j-school grads.

But Dean Ceppos?


TAX HELP FOR STATE EMPLOYEES. Carson City-based tax preparer Rebecca Montero is offering discounted services to Nevada state employees. They need all the help they can get under the undistinguished leadership of Gov. Jim the Dim.

Ms. Montero offers a mobile tax service and refund anticipation checks within the Washoe-Carson-Douglas strip. You may contact her at (775) 741-0267. She tells me her prices are better than chain stores. As a union man, I'm all in favor of buying local and going around that China syndrome known as Wal-Mart.

TOLJASO DEPT. A reader recently reminded me of Rise of the Vampire Corpobots from last Sept. 6 in which I wrote "a demonstrably pro-business U.S. Supreme Court may engrave the headstone marking the final resting place of our former representative democracy."

Well, the Five Billygoats Gruff so etched with the recent 5-4 decision that corporations are not only people, but have the right of free speech which the court defines as money. Worse, it appears that foreign corporations can now ante into the game.

The only question unanswered by our fearless colleagues in the lemming mainstream media: Will corporate expenditures for political purposes be tax deductible? If so, you and I will be subsidizing the final submersion and subversion of democracy.

The mind boggles at the possibilities. Can corporations now vote and run for office? I suppose if The Terminator could get elected governor of California, his corporate constructors should have the right to vote.

I've written about the history of corporate control and propaganda since the inception of this column. You will find a complete compendium with this installment at

The now-entrenched supremacy of corporations foreign and domestic geometrically increases the need for and value of non-commercial community media. So....

HELP OUR AWARD-WINNING COMMUNITY RADIO-TV SYSTEM. As I noted last week, Sierra Nevada Community Access Television is on the verge of doing some great things, including the launch of a new full-power fm community radio station. But times have been tough all over.

New management is beginning a long delayed and very necessary fundraising campaign. I'm aboard, as are the station's many longtime producers and supporters. We need all the help we can get. If you'd care to volunteer, please let me know. Watch this space and ReSurge.TV for details.

If you would like to donate to the community radio and TV project, go to ReSurge.TV 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's also available.

This is important.

Fewer and fewer communities are blessed with non-commercial grassroots media. And now, we've suffered another loss...

Remembering Howard Zinn

Boston Globe

New York Times

MOMENT OF ZINN. The great populist historian Howard Zinn is gone at age 87. His magnum opus, A People's History of the United States, became a bestseller and is still in print.

If the invisible hand of the free market is god to capitalist America, then the market has judged pinko socialist rabble rouser Howard Zinn very, very favorably.

The book has sold upwards of two million copies over the past three decades.

Read it to bring yourself up to speed on the depredations of corporations and cartels using the government to maximize their greed.

Zinn's legacy can be summed up in six words, the first three courtesy of Frederick Douglass: Agitate, agitate, agitate. Organize, organize, organize!

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 41-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

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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Copyright © 1982-2010 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration 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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