Milquetoast, mice and macho men
Expanded from the 8-15-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Barbwire wins second 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

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

Every once in awhile, a letter from a reader encapsulates public opinion.

"I am 42 years old and my career position is warehouseman for a Reno third party logistics company. I wrote you way back when you were on television," stated Sparks resident Michael Webb.

"I listen to a lot of talk radio like NPR, KOH and 1230 AM. I have really gotten kinda sick of both sides since it seems that most of the radio hosts are trying to cause the people to start an uprising one way or the other. I am not a half-wit and also am not a wizard at politics. I know that these radio hosts are paid to say what they say.

"I am getting really strong feelings that something seriously is going to give in our social environmental system. I don't know if it is going to be major riots across the country or the states becoming policed like under military law. Maybe you feel the same inklings. I feel (it's) going to hit the fan soon, one way or the other.

"Since you are quite a bit older than I am (ouch!), I assume, and believe you probably went through the Vietnam age along with all the protesting. Do you have any advice for me so that I may prepare for any craziness that may occur in the near future? (Syndicated liberal radio host) Thom Hartmann has stated that we should take most of our money out of the banks in cash. I just heard that Reno wants to hire 60 more cops, which sure sounds like a sign that Reno is majorly paranoid, especially since we cannot afford any more cops with our current budget." (Ditto Sparks.)

"I am one of the lucky ones, still employed and have not missed any payments on my house, but I am getting worried and just thought I would ask your advice," Webb concluded.

I told him I'm not much into local talk radio. I find I don't learn anything from the likes of KKKOH's Bill Slanders or his flaccid competitors.

Mr. Webb needs to keep in mind that all the doomsaying on nutso radio reflects only a narrow perspective.

Industry research shows that only five percent of talk radio listeners will ever call a show at least once in their lifetimes.

That's not to say there are no credible red flags. I've been waving some for decades. If we go into a double dip depression, which now seems likely starting after the November elections, I fear that one of my long term predictions, dating back almost 30 years, may come to pass — the disuniting of the United States as we devolve into de facto regional city-states.

I referred Mr. Webb to The Nine Nations of North America links in the American Devolution Barbwire column of Sept. 3, 2006; also Sell us this day our daily bread (July 25, 2010) and The Enemy Within (May 29, 2005).

Washington is and remains a boomtown while the nation suffers. An obscenely prosperous capital when the empire is falling apart is one historically rock-solid sign of decline. (See the Atlantic Monthly, spring, 1984.)

The one bright light I see is that states and regions have always been pretty good at coming up with sensible policies when the feds fail. Witness the excellent state-level health care plans in Hawaii, Massachusetts and several others.

Even Oklahoma is better off than Nevada.


Then again, if we decentralize due to national impotence and political imperative, the south goes retro toward born-again slavery.

There are tradeoffs on everything.

I am often reminded of something that Paul Volcker said a few years ago. (Before certain knees start to jerk, yes, I remember that he caused the great Carter-Reagan recession of 1979-82.)

The former federal reserve boss said that the U.S. need only make some relatively minor changes at the margins to right the economic ship of state.

He was and remains correct.

As a nation, we are filthy rich.

Substantially cutting the budget of our wasteful war machine while stopping government support of the export of our jobs will go a long way toward making us well.

Which means that elections really do matter.

GAMMICKEY MOUSE. Last Monday, I notified online subscribers of what was shaping up as a dandy knock-down drag-out debate between 16-year incumbent Washoe County district attorney Dick Gammick and challenger Roger Whomes.

The Republican Jewish Coalition scheduled the event for this Wednesday evening at the Atlantis Hotel.

Negotiations apparently fell apart when the Whomes camp asked for a meeting about ground rules and who would form questions. Gammick also insisted on naming the moderator.

I object.

I believe in rough-and-tumble politics, not milquetoast meandering.

I challenge both of these legal studs to fight under simplified Barbano rules.

At the beginning of the evening, I will introduce both guys, ask them to shake hands, then leave the stage as they go at each other for an hour or two.

No ground rules, no moderator. Hell, moderation has long been absent from this contest and is likely to remain so for the duration.

Keep an eye on to see if either camp has the guts to respond.

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

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 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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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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