Translating & unscrewing the politically inscrutable
Expanded from the 6-20-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

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

Currently rerunning on Boulder City cable. Go to and then go to the BCTV link.

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.


Barbwire column on the depredations of Charter Communications and the Reno City Council wins 2009 Nevada Press Association first-place award

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest TV programs. 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

The political primary season may be over, but the beleaguered body politick still needs all the help it can get.

Herewith is a guide to translating what candidates and officeholders really mean when they utter time-honored canards, clichés, conundrums, cockamamie cock and bull stories, bubbling bromides and impenetrably inscrutable non-sequiturs. (Please pardon that last phrase, but some people think they're reading something important if it includes a Latin phrase they have to look up. William F. Buckley made a career out of hifalutin' stuff like that.)

What they say is followed in parentheses by the translation.


1. I always run like I'm ten points behind my opponent. (I'm ten points behind my opponent.)
2. No new taxes. (I hope my colleagues have the guts to raise taxes.)
3. No new taxes. (How about increasing some old taxes?)
4. I'm a compassionate conservative. (I care, but not enough to do anything to help.)
5. I'm a progressive. (I'm too chicken to use the word "liberal.")
6. I am doing this (running, withdrawing, resigning or not seeking another term) so that I can spend more time with my family. (I'm about to be indicted.)
7. I don't believe in polls. (Hope nobody photographed me with that pole dancer.)
8. The only poll that matters is the one on election day. (I'm gonna lose.)
9. We need jobs, jobs, jobs. (That includes me. What other reason could there be to run for this doofus office?)
10. I stand for working people. (At least until I win this seat.)
11. I'll get government off your back. (And off the backs of my clients, cronies and contributors, not necessarily in that order.)
12. I believe in the Second Amendment. (It's only fair that women got the right to vote, right? Huh?)
13. I believe in the Second Amendment. (Couldn't they get it right with the first one?)
14. I believe in the free market. (No one should have to pay for sex. I have intimacy issues.)
15. I've never been involved in a sex scandal. (But I'd like to try.)
16. Evolution, gravity and global warming are only theories. (I hated science class.)
17. Education is the most important issue. (God, I hated science class.)
18. Education is the most important issue. (Even though Nevada spends less than all other states and DC, don't expect me to help.)
19. I am deeply religious and believe those values will inform my judgment. (Watch your wallet and hide the silverware.)
20. We need to take back our country. (I'll take that contribution in my back pocket.)
21. I will find and eliminate government waste and fraud. (I haven't got a clue on how the office I seek operates.)
22. Er, ah, make that waste, fraud and abuse. (I have intimacy issues.)
23. I dare my opponent to debate. (God, I hope she refuses.)
24. We need to diversify our economy. (Northern Nevada already has, but I'm too dumb to know it.)
25. We need to cut taxes to attract business. (Nevada is already a low-tax haven, so why haven't California businesses stampeded here in droves?)
26. I'll bring common sense back to government. (I'm about as common as you can get.)
27. I'm not a career politician. (But I can live with becoming one.)
28. I will reduce the size of government. (I have intimacy issues.)
29. I believe in term limits. (Until I get elected.)
30. I don't believe the damned liberal media. (I can't afford a TV budget.)
31. We need to eliminate voter fraud. (I need an excuse for losing by such a big margin.)
32. I believe in traditional family values. (Please don't use my family as an example, especially weird Uncle Ernie.)
33. I have never stolen anything in my life. (All I ask is the chance.)
34. I see nothing wrong with accepting campaign contributions from people I agree with. (They can buy me now or buy me later.)
35. I am running a grass roots campaign. (Anybody got a doobie? I'm stressed out. I have intimacy issues.)

The Barbwire welcomes all other contributions to the above alternative political cryptograph. (That's two words in one column that you have to look up. Buckle Billy ain't got nothin' on me.)

THE REAL MAYOR OF RENO. I called Reno City Hall and asked to be connected to the mayor's office by the nice lady who answered the phone (good to see that they still have a few employees working).

"May I tell her who's calling?"

"Her?" said I.

"I meant his assistant," said she.

No she didn't.

When I got through to Mayor Bob Cashell's major domo Marcia Morse, I informed her that city staff is now openly recognizing where the real power lies.

And the very capable Ms. Morse doesn't have to run for office or take the extreme heat.

I'd vote for her.

HELP WANTED. Regular readers know that I have been raising money to help Sierra Nevada Community Access Television fully benefit from a matching foundation grant of $40,000.

If you can help with a tax-deductible donation, give me a holler at (775) 882-TALK or drop me a line.

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...

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

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

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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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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