Déjà Vu Part Deux: Tap City Again and Again
Expanded from the 2-7-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 2-9-2010
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.

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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

What are the poor taxpayers to do? They got raped for years by lagging assessments and preferential tax breaks for the chosen few. Now that property taxes are low, state and local governments are falling apart. What to do?

The first step is for someone to say you can't have your cake and eat it, too. The time has come to make some hard decisions. Those decisions go to the core of Nevada life as we know it.

Perhaps anyone currently raising a family here should consider moving somewhere else.

Our school systems in Nevada – from kindergarten to graduate school – are shamefully
underfunded now and have been for years. The governor said that he has yet to receive a letter or postcard telling him that there is an alternative to cutting education budgets. Funny, he never said a word opposing new sports pavilions at UNR and UNLV. Now comes a report that Nevada ranks dead last among 51 states (behind DC, Puerto Rico or perhaps Guam) in the amount of state support for higher education.

Why let UNR and UNLV degenerate into Reno State and Las Vegas State colleges? Why don't we consider shutting both schools down altogether? Let's make Nevada live up to the reputation it already has all across the country – that of a 20th Century boomtown mining camp.

Let's forget all those wonderful plans for economic diversification. Hewlett-Packard wouldn't touch Reno a decade ago because of what they considered a substandard educational environment for high tech. More recently, Las Vegas lost a major new industry because it was viewed as a cultural wasteland – and they walked away even though all other conditions were right. It was just that the area was perceived as a poor place to bring up a family and the company thought that its people would not want to move their families to Las Vegas.

Maybe we should stop being such hypocrites, trying to change an image we really deserve.

Perhaps it's time to realize that we really don't have a state government and that we've never had one. Nevada's state government is still basically a territorial administration. We could probably rescind statehood, go back to territorial status and be better off. We'd probably end up with a better share of our federal tax dollars that way.

Monopoly milk and dairy pricing is currently happening with the full knowledge and acquiescence of the Nevada Dairy Commission. Insurance regulation in Nevada is non-existent. Health care costs are totally out of control. (The mentally disabled) are still left to die through improper care.

DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN. All of the above was lifted from an Oct. 5, 1982, speech I gave at the appropriately named Depression Deli, now a Reno topless joint.

More than a quarter-century has now passed. That economic crunch was followed by another a decade later in which the budget was again balanced on the backs of the physically and mentally disabled. Now, here we are again in the same damned place, only worse. Gov. Jim the Dim is every bit as weak and horny as his 1982 predecessor, List the Lustful.

Was I overstating the case when I said we might as well close the universities?

"We might just as well close the campuses down," said Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Gomorrah South, reacting to Gov. Gibbon's (2009) Rape of the State Address.

Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, has proven entirely correct when he said a decade ago that growth had stopped paying for itself and it was time for gambling to pay its fair share. Never happened. Ditto with mining.

The legislature will again fail to discharge its constitutionally mandated duty to adequately fund education. I am talking to people about preparing legal action, as has been done in 27 other jurisdictions, especially in the deep south. The Mississippi West of Nevada would then have a federal judge permanently running its educational system. Fine by me. The federal district court has run western Nevada's water system since 1944.

Nevada has gambled too often and lost.

We are now out of chances and plunging ass-first toward Tap City.

DÉJÀ VU TOO. All the above appeared in the Barbwire of Jan. 18, 2009. It ranks high among my dire predictions of the past year or so which have had a depressingly perfect record of coming true.

I printed a simple checklist of how to fix things last month in The Crabby Cure for What Ails Us. Details at and at this Saturday's Truckee Meadows Democratic Alliance Crab Feed at Sparks Parks & Rec, 98 Richards Way. Tickets are $50. Call (775) 323-VOTE for info.

Before the crustaceanfest, attend the Reno-Sparks NAACP Youth Martin Luther King, Jr., Talent Show at 3:00 p.m. this Saturday at the Sibayan Youth Center, Yori and Bresson across from Reno's Vaughn Middle School. Entries in various age groups are open through Wednesday. Cash prizes will be awarded. For tickets and more info, call Dolores Feemster at (775) 323-3677 or go to

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...

Don't say I didn't warn you

• Barbwire: How to Steal $100 Million (3-12-95)
• Barbwire: Lessons from grateful dead children of a lesser god (2-16-97)
• Barbwire: The ghostly return of none of the above (11-9-97)
• Barbwire: The Silver State — a suicidally cruel and unusual place (5-6-01)
• Barbwire: Wish I were wrong (4-29-07)
• Barbwire: Blasts from the past (1-6-08)
• Barbwire: Tap City all over again (1-18-09)
• Barbwire: Depopulating Nevada (5-31-09)

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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