Ledge '11: Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Expanded from the 11-14-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 11-16 and 11-17-2010
HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins third straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

COMING SOON: The new season of Barbwire TV. The first show will be about (what else?) jobs. The lack of them is well documented. How we've blown them and where they can be regenerated, that's something else. I guarantee you'll get mad enough to want to get even. Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

SUING FOR SCHOOLS: Click here to view the show on your desktop

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

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

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

Thus began 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.

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 and Feb. 21 programs as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a 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.


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

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award

The 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature will be remembered for meting out cruel and unusual punishment to all who come before it.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter there. Gov.-elect No Huevos Sandoval is looking at raiding the coffers of cities and counties. This is the end of the chain letter started by Ronald Reagan's 1980's "New Federalism," where underfunded programs were forced upon the states, which wrecked the former repositories of fiscal rectitude.

The states then started passing the buck lower down the food chain. Nevada is the poster child of being at the end of that chain letter with nowhere to forward it. The retirement funds of school teachers and other public servants now stand more at risk than ever before.

Earlier this year, on my regional Barbwire TV special entitled Suing for Schools, I gave a brief synopsis of how to fix Nevada's broken governmental and educational systems. Here it is for the erudition and derision of lobbyists and lawmakers alike.


    1. Unwind the 1981 Tax Shift (aka the Tax Shaft) which reduced property taxes and made us dependent on unstable sales taxes, three of every four dollars of which are paid by Nevadans.
    2. Immediately close loopholes allowing the mining industry to pay at a far lower tax rate than an average non-union dishwasher. Long term: Change the mining tax from the zilch of today to a system similar to the way we tax casinos — on their gross revenue.
    3. Get state lawmakers to do what they promised and failed to do last year: Close many of the corporate welfare tax exemptions in state law such as the sales tax exemption for NASCAR teams at Las Vegas International Raceway. Remember casino mogul Steve Wynn's tax subsidy of his megabucks personal art collection? For more on that, go to
    4. Eliminate STAR Bonds, which have put the City of Sparks in serious financial jeopardy thanks to the underperforming Marina/Scheels development.
    5. Raise the tax on our largest, most profitable casinos, which, with minor exceptions, continue to enjoy the lowest taxes in the world. For more info go to
    6. Stop spending room tax and property tax money on casino promotion through convention authorities and downtown redevelopment agencies. The room tax was imposed to support local projects but has long since been skimmed by the gambling industry to promote with tax money what private enterprise should do for itself.
    7. Tax profitable businesses which pay nothing or next to it, such as Wal-Mart and the Hyatt Place hotel at the Reno airport.
    8. Keep in mind that Nevada can be successfully sued to raise taxes because of illegally underfunding education. On July 15, 2008, then-University Chancellor Jim Rogers published legal research noting that 27 other jurisdictions have lost in court. I am working to make the latter lawsuit happen. Perhaps only with such a litigious gun to their collective head will lawmakers do more than continue their chronic habit of putting band-aids on machine gun wounds.

REVOLTING DEVELOPMENTS. My only predictions of the past several years which have yet to come true are the bankruptcies of Sparks and Reno. I have stated that Sparks will go down first because Reno has a better cash flow. Nothing has caused me to change my mind, although I fervently hope that I will be proved wrong. As long as both cities believe in wholesale welfare giveaways to profitable corporations that don't need taxpayer help, I stand by my statements. Because of City Hall allowing bandit developers access to the public treasury, Sparks hasn't got enough police officers. Sparks citizens administered an election day spanking, rejecting a regressive and shameful sales tax increase in the name of police protection.

COMING SOON: The new season of Barbwire TV.

The first show will be about (what else?) jobs.The lack of them is well documented.

How we've blown them and where they can be regenerated, that's something else.

I guarantee you'll get mad enough to want to get even.

Help us get the word out and watch for show times.

You may support the project via

Remember, the 2011 Nevada legislative session is just around the corner.

A PROPHET IS WITHOUT HONOR IN HIS OWN COUNTRY. As I noted last week, former Tribune reporter and columnist Dennis Myers produced the best commentary on wacko church lady Sharron Angle and her madcap senate campaign. Myers objectively researched and analyzed Angle, concluding she did not have the capacity to serve in high office. (See Defeat Angle.)

His Reno News & Review cover article First Amendment vs. First Commandment went viral on the web and was excerpted by countless newspapers and websites, which allowed the Barbwire into the postmortem analysis.

According to their website, last Sunday's column was picked up by the religion section of the Daily Oklahoman, the newspaper of the capital city of Soonerland.

I surmise it happened because nobody else followed up on the impact Myers' work had in galvanizing the southern Nevada Mormon community to work for the re-election of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Reid has often been criticized by church traditionalists, but when they learned what Angle's Reno pastor said about their religion, they got really pissed off.

I was reliably informed that Myers' piece set the church afire for Reid, resulting in the Sparks Tribune making it to Great Plains where football is a religion and churches run follytix.

All I can say to the Tribune's Oklahoma readers is welcome aboard and...

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, second vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, 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 on Sept. 18, 2010.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.
Next year, we go for the sombrero.

The winning entries:

Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck
Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Click here to view the show on your desktop

RED flags flying low over Sparks
Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The wrath of self-righteous racism
Expanded from the 11-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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

Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Plutocracy
Money fights hard and it fights dirty
Speech delivered at Boston University on 29 Oct. 2010
Part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series

Barbwire Corporate Welfare Archive

From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP

BP/ARCO: The greasy root of our evils

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-10-2006

The awful truth — Read it and weep, fellow suckers

Labor Day 2009: Rise of the Vampire Corpobots
Expanded from the 9-6-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

Angry Americans and Freudian fraud
Using war to market cigarettes
from the 8-23-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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 © 1982-2010 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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