Sharron Angle: Blast from the distant past
Expanded from the 8-22-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated and corrected on 9-27-2010

Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

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

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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.

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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.

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from the 2009 legislative session

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
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I can't speak for all my colleagues in columny, but I love GOP U.S. Senate nominee Sharron Angle. As they say in the biz, she's hot copy.

Even her greatest hits are news. I didn't know that black is the official color of Satan's team and should thus be banned.

The latter was brought to light by longtime Nevada newspaperman Bill Roberts in a recent edition of the Pahrump Valley Times. Roberts reported that Mrs. Angle, in her winning campaign for Nye County School Board, advocated against a one-time color change of Tonopah High School football team jerseys.

Wonder if she wanted the proposed black replaced with white for surrender? Wonder if she knows that white is the color of death and mourning in many societies. (UPDATE: Ironically, the traditional school colors are red and white. On religious grounds, Angle and her religionauts successfully objected to the one-time wearing of student-purchased black jerseys, as Roberts noted. Correction/clarification to 8-21/22 web/print edition, respectively, published 9-25, 26, 27.)

Since every random thought of Mrs. Angle is now fair game, I think it time that another of her golden oldies gets dusted off and taken for a spin. If you've been following the Angle-Reid media lovefest, you might have heard that getting the two together for a face-to-face debate has turned into a case of perpetual ring-around-the-rosy with a side of sanctimonious finger-pointing.

In 2008, Mrs. Angle scared the bejabbers out of Republican State Senator Bill Raggio of Reno by almost whupping him in the GOP primary. She refused to debate, probably because she saw herself closing in the polls and knew that Big Bad Bill has a secret weapon. No, not that he's a seasoned lawyer, but that he has a sense of humor.

Ubiquitous media maven Sam Shad offered his half-hour show for an Angle-Raggio faceoff. Angle refused, stating that Shad's puny 22 minutes of airtime were not enough.

"To fully discuss everything, respond to untruths with facts and have the continuity of a true debate will require three (3) hours of commercial free time," she wrote in a letter to Mr. Shad.

She also checked off the usual defenses, accusing Shad of bias, naming a biased co-host, accusing TV station owner Jim Rogers of favoring a state income tax and not being a fan of her failed property tax initiative petition.

Shad read part of the letter on the air one morning when I happened to be scheduled on the pundit panel segment.

I promptly offered to give Angle v. Raggio my entire two-hour local TV show, adding that I could very probably hustle a third just to meet her demand.

I never got a response.

I don't have a regularly scheduled show anymore, but I do produce statewide specials. Witness Suing for Schools from earlier this year, available online.

My offer still stands. If Sen. Reid and Mrs. Angle can find an agreeable date, I'll do the rest.

The full Angle letter to Shad will be posted with the web edition of this column at

As regular readers know, I favor no-moderator, no-rules debates. But there has to be a bathroom and coffee break somewhere in the three hours.

I hope that's not a deal breaker.

GIMME WHAT THEY'RE SMOKING. Local lawyer and folk/rock artist Geoffrey White unveiled his new retro-rock group The Smokin' Bulldogs at a recent political event. Maybe Mr. White and his killer Beatlesque band could play at halftime while Reid and Angle powder their by-then bloody noses.

One of the members of another of his groups, The Bad Neighbors, is KTVN TV-2 boss Lawson Fox (an ironic moniker for a guy who runs a CBS affiliate). Wonder if he'd come up with three commercial-free hours if he gets to be a rock star on the show?

I'll let you know if the players firm up.

HO'OPONOPONO. Impressive Washoe County Commission candidate Betty Hicks sent along a reminder of this Thursday's commemoration of the 90th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.

Yes, that's right. Without all them uppity women who made trouble for almost a century, Sharron Angle would not be on the ballot this November.

Nevada women got the right to vote four years before the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Mrs. Angle may want to repeal the 14th Amendment, but I think she probably wants the 19th to stay in place, even it was not drafted by the fabled founding fathers who are always messing with her mind.

The Northern Nevada Chapter of the National Organization for Women asks everyone to wear purple this Thursday, Aug. 26. That's long been the color of the women's movement.

The celebration starts at 4:00 p.m. in front of the federal courthouse at the appropriately named corner of Liberty and S. Virginia streets. Participants will adjourn to the Amendment 21 bar across the street at 6:00 p.m. "where we'll celebrate with notable women in Nevada politics, government, academia, business and the community." (To save Googling time, the 21st Amendment repealed prohibition on the sale of alcoholic beverages.)

Betty Hicks closes all of her communications with the Hawai'ian word "ho'oponopono," the gist of which means "if I or one of my ancestors offended you or one of your ancestors, please forgive and let us love again."

The warlike Big Blue Marble on which we reside would be a much better place if we would live by that simple sentiment. And it needs no constitutional amendment to be put into force.

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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