Life imitates art imitates Chuck
Expanded from the 12-4-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 12-6-2011

Site map
Corporate Propaganda Research Archive

   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

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

Updated 8-30-2011
Now rerunning on Carson-Dayton 226

Additional programs
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 as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station and the return of community television to Reno-Sparks-Washoe.

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 selected on-demand re-runs from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire.TV archives

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

Hope fills the air this week. A great warrior has slipped the surly bonds of earth but his voice still echoes loudly and new amplification blows in the wind.

My friend Chuck Fisher is another in a long line of very human answers to the great question. While we mere mortals may never learn the meaning of life, we can infer why we migrated to these parts: the High Desert Outback of the American Dream needs all the help it can get.

Greatness cloaks those who stand up for their rights and those of others at great personal expense. Such a man was Charles Forrest Fisher.

In January of 1997, four months after signing the first security guard union contract in the repressive history of this state's gambling industry, the Reno Hilton pulled a Wal-Mart and illegally fired its entire staff. 

HOT AUGUST STRIKE AT HOT AUGUST NIGHTS Nevada United Plant Guard Workers of America Local 1010 members in the heat in front of the Reno Hilton during the 1996 Hot August Strike during the Hot August Nights rock'n'rods nostalgiafest, the region's largest special event. Left to right are Jack Stratton, Jay Vanderpool, Al Corral and Chuck Fisher. The outdoor arena where the Beach Boys appeared can be seen in the right background. Although they are members of three unions, the Beach Boys crossed the picket line and performed. [To read the inspiring story of the little union that could, click here.]

I walked picket lines with Chuck, Tom Stoneburner, Tom Stubblefield and their fellow workers during the fabled 1996 Hot August Strike at Hot August Nights.

I was personally involved in notifying Teamsters Union drivers to turn their trucks around and not deliver to the Hilton. No Teamster crossed the picket lines. To their everlasting shame, The Beach Boys did, although I pushed their Los Angeles unions to convince them otherwise.

HIlton chose to drag it out with lawyers and lost in every forum for years, finally forced to pay more than $3 million in back wages and benefits. Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America still represents guards at the renamed Grand Sierra Resort.

Tom Stubblefield didn't make it. He died young of cancer in 1999 before Hilton anted up.

These heroes not only put their jobs but also their futures on the line. They were blackballed by the casino industry.

Downtown Reno-Sparks casinos were eager to hire experienced staff. When informed that the applicants were ousted Hilton unionizers, all of a sudden no positions were available. St. Mary's Regional Medical Center employed Chuck until his 2003 retirement.

Former Fresno police officer Fisher died last Wednesday at the saddest address in Sparks, Renown Skilled Nursing on Oddie Blvd. No memorial service is planned. I will post his complete obituary with the expanded web edition of this column at Remembrances are welcome and will be permanently archived thereat.

The fighting spirit of these men survives both on the ground and in the air of the High Desert Plantation.

Reno-Sparks-Washoe may rise to its greatest level next year.

A FABLE FOR OUR TIMES. In 2005, Bush the Lesser had begun his second term and liberals had to content themselves with the virtual reality of The West Wing TV series, then in its final season.

In one of the concluding episodes, the fictional voters elected the first minority president of the United States played by veteran Latino actor Jimmy Smits. After a frustrating search for a secretary of state, he made an astounding choice: the Republican opponent he had just defeated, played by Alan Alda.

Life imitated art in 2008, as Barack Obama, the first minority president, likewise appointed his former nemesis Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Smits' fictional character won by a razor-thin margin when tight returns from the Silver State arrived.

All 2012 projections forecast a close contest with Nevada as a key swing state and Washoe as the critical swing county.

Reno-Sparks could thus decide the presidency next November.

Could life imitate art?

It's already happened once.

COMMUNITY MEDIA VICTORY. I serve as Reno-Sparks NAACP delegate to the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. Last Thursday's board meeting brought a long-awaited announcement.

After an eight-year struggle, PLAN has been granted a license for a full-power radio station at 89.1-fm.

The Federal Communications Commission stamped PLAN's ticket after a religious organization lied. In a very un-Christian act, a church asserted that it had built a transmitter. Untrue. The feds took a dim view of that conduct.

I don't even know if the congregation in question exists and will not use its name because I've been on the receiving end of such shenanigans. Regular readers may recall that I produced and hosted a live two-hour daily call-in talk show on area cable TV channels, simulcast over the web as KJIV. The plan was to have an off-the-shelf radio station ready to launch on non-profit 89.5-fm the moment the FCC approved.

Representing a non-existent religious school, the same Washington lobby that tried to scam 89.1 filed bogus objections. The TV-radio project expired before the right-wing appeals did. Those DC crooks file on everything, trying to turn the airwaves into a monotone Gabriel's trumpet. The good guys finally won one.

PLAN will not launch a liberal version of moonhowling KKKOH. It will be a non-corporate, non-formulaic community project featuring the broadest diversity of programming.

You can't prove it from listening or viewing, but the license of every radio or TV station says it has been granted use of the public airwaves to serve the community. Most don't, choosing instead to serve cookie-cutter corporate profiteering.

Chuck Fisher and the two Toms were powerful warriors on the ground and will undoubtedly be available to carry the good fight high into the air.

As always, you may support the rebirth of community television via Barbwire.TV.

U-TUBE. Check the expanded web edition of this column at for the latest statewide Barbwire.TV schedule, viewable 24/7 online.

Support the return of community radio and television in these parts. Go to ReSurge.TV to volunteer your time or treasure or both.

It's now more important than ever — > unless you think corporate-controlled media are all you need. Stay tuned for updates.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 43-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first 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...

Economist: This is a true depression
Elliott Parker Guest Editorial / Las Vegas Sun / 11-27-2011

POWERFUL PUNDITORY PANJANDRUMS: Compelling guest commentary

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.

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

The plight of the paper pushers
The great recession made bashing public workers a national sport
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 11-23-2011

Bury the Bad News with Rose-colored Reporting
How urgent can economic troubles be if leaders say things are getting better?

Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 11-23-2011

Fact-free nation: Inside the lie machine
Mother Jones Magazine May-June 2011 / Cover story and in-depth analysis

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
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2011 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 43-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 first 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.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins