The madhouse of irreconcilable differences
Expanded from the 12-26-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune / Updated 7-12-2017
HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins third straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

   Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
   Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
   Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
   That's how it goes. Everybody knows.
— Leonard Cohen

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

A distinguished author once noted that good stories involve the conflict between people.

If you look for the meaning of life, that's as good as any. If what matters is not the destination but the journey, then conflict serves as the learning tool.

So in this season of peace on earth (which has almost never existed) to those of good will, herewith are harsh lessons of irreconcilable conflict.

First, the easy ones: Is an early-term embryo in the womb alive? Arguably, yes.

Should anyone but the potential mother have any say regarding said embryo? Arguably, no.

So the neverending battle is joined. As I've written for decades, the answer lies in embryo transplant research, but that there science stuff is too much of a highfalutin' ratings killer for most news and talk shows.

Gun control advocates have a point that ready availability of firearms is a very dangerous thing.

The gun sales industry counters that potential dictators have real problems attaining power in a country with more guns than people.
After all, hasn't society made a choice in allowing millions of explosive pressurized gasoline containers (better known as motor vehicles) to be aimed at each other at high speed billions of times a day? And with a resultant loss of more than 30,000 lives a year, about three times the number of gun deaths?

Alas, the hard lessons of irreconcilable differences.

Smart dictators get people to submit by wrapping themselves in the flag.

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," Samuel Johnson noted in 1775, the corollary to which came from author Sinclair Lewis in 1935.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross," Lewis said. [ 1 ] I give you the criminal enterprise run from the White House for eight years by one Richard Cheney and acolytes, including his figurehead president.

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship," Nazi leader Herman Goering once mused.

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country," Goering noted.

Fear and ignorance are great motivators. Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyoming, once said that nothing moves in Washington, DC, unless fueled by some combination of fear, guilt, money and racism.

All four of the latter were in play in the recent but hardly concluded debate over military membership by those of openly alternative procreative proclivity.

I never had a problem with Native American mascots until Native Americans said it offended them. They oughtta know, so now I agree that the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves and Washington Redskins should look for new labels.

I likewise didn't question homosexuals serving in the armed forces — until now.

I'm a flaming liberal Democrat and lifelong advocate of equal rights under the law for all God's creatures.

But as in all great stories, "gays in the military" brings forward a true moral dilemma apparently overlooked by everyone, especially liberals.

With all due disrespect to bigots who applaud killing queers by whatever means necessary, if you are anti-war, how can you support something which expands the American empire's murderous war machine?

I cringed at recent news that an increasing number of the country's young people can't pass military educational or physical aptitude tests, something which public school-hating conservatives probably applauded.

But there is a good argument for dumbing down our young and banning homosexuals: Both practices shrink the pool of bodies for use as sacrificial cannon fodder by our increasingly fascist government as it imposes corporate will on weaker nations.

I have often said that the American electorate may be likened to a dumb cow who follows the herd, is easily stampeded, milked until dry then cut up for dog meat, leather and Jello after her children have been sold to slaughterhouses.

The United States is just past puberty as a nation. We still glorify the mythical American cowboy who uses guns to solve all problems in one hour minus 16 minutes for commercials. We react viscerally and emotionally, thinking neither long-term nor constructively, usually avoiding complex questions.

So if you purport to be anti-war, how can you support expanding military recruitment by making it easier for another oppressed minority to join its black and brown counterparts in the empire's perpetual wars?

Why must military service be one of the conditions of citizenship for resident non-citizen children?

Were we to modestly shave the Pentagon budget, we would have all the money we need to return this country to prosperity, the natural consequence of peace.

I want to see well-educated homosexuals, blacks and browns living in unconflicted harmony with their equally well-educated fellow citizens in an America fulfilling her elusive promise.

I long for divorce from our irreconcilable differences.

I can dream, can't I?

Happy High Holly Days.

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.

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.

1. says this exact quote is not attributable to Lewis, although he did write similiar statements.

Smoking Guns

Trump converts flaming liberals into gunfighters
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 7-12-2017 Sparks Tribune

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
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Copyright © 1982-2010, 2017 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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