Rebels, heroes and mavericks are made, not born
Expanded from the 12-12-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
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

Most political pundits missed the message of the last three general elections: People are really, really, really freakin' mad!

Republicans benefited this last go-round because they were the only protest vote available. (Before anyone accuses me of partisanship, yes, I know that current conditions would never have gotten this bad without substantial cooperation from those of the Donkeykong persuasion for the past 30 years.)

It makes me wonder whatever happened to guts, muscles and other choice bodily parts that serve as metaphors for courage. Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, is long retired and no one has emerged to take his place to call 'em like you see 'em.

Until now.

Enter willowy Assemblymember Peggy Pierce, D-Gomorrah South. The cancer survivor just spoke the unspeakable in announcing that she will introduce a bill to tax the likes of Wal-Mart and other big businesses that exploit Nevada and take their profits out of the state or country.

"The governor-elect has called for shared sacrifice," Pierce said.

"The middle class has already stepped up and is paying a higher sales tax. Seniors, people with disabilities and children have already endured four rounds of cuts to vital services and education. State workers have deferred merit increases and taken forced unpaid furlough days. Shared sacrifice is a good idea. It is time for big business to share in the sacrifice," she added.

Nice to hear a Democrat talking like a Democrat and not a lukewarm Republican.

I think Chuck Fisher would like her.

HOT AUGUST STRIKE AT HOT AUGUST NIGHTS Nevada United Plant Guard Workers of America Local 1010 members in the heat in front of the Reno Hilton during the 1996 Hot August Strike during the Hot August Nights rock'n'rods nostalgiafest, the region's largest special event. Left to right are Jack Stratton, Jay Vanderpool, Al Corral and Chuck Fisher. The outdoor arena where the Beach Boys appeared can be seen in the right background. Although they are members of three unions, the Beach Boys crossed the picket line and performed. [To read the inspiring story of the little union that could, click here.]

REMEMBERING THE LITTLE UNION THAT COULD. Chuck is one of the dwindling Fearless 40 Reno Hilton security guards who made tortillas out of a corporate behemoth.

"True heroes and heroines emerge when ordinary men and women rise above themselves to do something extraordinary. The greater the self-sacrifice, the greater the heroism," I wrote eleven years ago today.

"The wishy-washy rarely rise to such heights because they are unwilling to risk the high cost. The greatest are those who have shown the wherewithal to pay the price of heroism. This truly rich few spread the wealth by becoming walking textbooks on how to live...

"The fearless 40 took on the biggest, baddest casino company in the world and won at the polls, on the streets and in the courts. They took a casino strike to the sidewalks of Reno (the 1996 Hot August Strike at Hot August Nights) and scored a victory, something which had not happened here in a generation or more.

"By so doing, they serve as a shining example to all who get stepped on by the boss every day. They demonstrate that there is a way to prevail against the odds. It's called solidarity. True friendship. Taking a stand and staying there, regardless of the cost...They won an election to form a union, went on strike when Hilton stonewalled on a contract, won the strike and a contract (then prevailed in court).

"Hilton was ordered to pay more than $3 million in back wages and benefits. The victory comes too late for Tom Stubblefield, who recently died of cancer at about age 40. He was the sole support of his family. I hope Hilton will finally do the right thing, obey the law and send the first check to his widow.

"Most of the union members want their old jobs back, complete with union representation. Having largely been illegally blackballed by casinos in Sparks and Reno, some have not worked a day in three years. Several have lost homes and marriages. One suffered a series of strokes,"
I wrote on Dec. 12, 1999.

Chuck Fisher endured with his brothers and sisters and finally won. He was recently discharged from a hospital and is recovering at Hearthstone of Northern Nevada. He'd like to hear from his old friends. The address is 1950 Baring Blvd., Sparks NV 89434. You may e-mail messages to me and I'll get them to his family.

Tell him the Barbwire remembers.

REMEMBERING MOM. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., recently remembered departed Democratic stalwart Velma Bishop via the congressional record. You may read his stirring tribute to Mrs. Bishop with the web edition of this column at The local chapter of the Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans is named in honor of Velma's late husband, Gail, a longtime member of Operating Engineers Local 3/AFL-CIO.

MOM, TOO. Local super-activist Dolores Feemster is recovering at home after gall bladder surgery at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno. Give her a call to wish her well.

NEW ON THE FIRING LINE. The association representing Nevada state workers has a new leader. [Read the complete announcement.]

Just in time for the cruel and unusual punishment of the 2011 legislative session, Vishnu Subramaniam has been named chief of staff for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 4041/AFL-CIO.

"This legislative cycle will tell us what Nevada as a state stands for and what its citizens care about," Subramaniam stated in a news release.

"I believe that this anti-tax, anti-government rhetoric will fade as Nevadans commit to improving the state's social safety net, infrastructure and education."

Got a hunch he'll be talking to Peggy Pierce.

BACK FROM THE ASHES DEPT. Support the return of community radio and television to Sparks-Reno-Washoe. See Barbwire.TV for more information, to join the club and contribute via the web. It's important.

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 "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" Nevada legislative session is just around the corner.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 42-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
War Rooms:
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 42-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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