The perils of playing the other guy's game
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-24-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
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.
The new season of Barbwire TV. The first show will be about (what else?) jobs. The lack of them is well documented. How we've blown them and where they can be regenerated, that's something else. I guarantee you'll get mad enough to want to get even. Watch NevadaLabor.com for show times. Help us get the word out.
Support the project at http://resurge.tv#donate
SUING FOR SCHOOLS
Lawsuit gains support
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.
Click here for on-demand re-runs
from the 2009 legislative session
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Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008
The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
The late, great Tribune columnist Orland Outland once quoted Damon Runyon in advising me to never, ever, play the other man's game.
One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to come up to you and show you a nice brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken, and this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the Jack of Spades jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not bet this man, for as sure as you are standing there, you are going to end up with an earful of cider.
And so we come to America's de-cider-in-chief.
Hizzoner the President made a whistlestop in these parts last Thursday.
Sharp reporters were quick to pounce on his earthshaking announcement that the feds are going to investigate gasoline price-gouging, better known as categorizing the obvious.
He added that the (oxymoron alert) U.S. Dept. of Justice is also going to investigate intentional manipulation of oil and gas prices or fraud. The AG in DC cited no evidence, although it's easily witnessed at every BP/ARCO station in the United States.
An American cartel conspires to fix pump prices every day. BP/ARCO sets the floor and everybody else marks from there. They never talk to each other, so conspiracy cannot be proven. They also engage in cut-throat competition, which used to be illegal but is apparently no longer enforced.
The result of this very successful 30-year strategy has been to drive independent discounters out of business or make them branded retailers.
A few independents have been allowed to survive to maintain the illusion of competition.
Retailers are blameless. They can only sell their product in a very narrow range dictated by their mother ship. Deviate too far and you get shut down.
Prices spike upward on any publicity and only ratchet down slowly afterward. More discounters die in every such cycle.
The Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive at NevadaLabor.com has been compiled over the past two decades from very publicly available information. No less than the pre-Murdoch Wall Street Journal and ABC News have run one-shot features about parts of this.
I guess I'm going to keep writing this story until the cows come home from jumping over the moon.
Remember how they told us that supporting the dirty Alaska pipeline would result in lower prices on the west coast, the region now leading us to six-dollar-a-gallon gas?
Remember how they said that the invasion of Iraq was not about oil?
The London Independent just published documents from former Prime Minister Tony Blair's government that indeed, it was.
BigOil execs consulted with high officials to make sure they got their greedy fingers into the filthy lucre of the toxic petroleum pool.
The president is blithely walking down the same old blind alleys which always result in "we looked into it and it's just the invisible, omnipotent and always fair hand of the free market in action."
Bull. It's a totally rigged game.
The corporate bandidos are putting cider in our ears and corn in our tanks while our elected officials tell us to just swallow hard, nothing can be done.
They know better than to screw with the oil companies.
We need a nationally recognized leader to step forward and get people talking about what's painfully on the public record.
Where is he? Or she?
DECIDER CIDER, PART DEUX. William Greider, the nation's best financial investigative reporter, recently wrote about the recent downgrading of the U.S. Treasury's credit worthiness by Wall Street shill Standard and Poor's, which lied to investors and encouraged them to buy worthless securities before the big meltdown.
"The deficit panic is itself bogus poor-mouthing America to avoid raising taxes on the folks who got the money," Greider wrote.
"Naturally, this reactionary approach was first promoted by Republicans, but has been tacitly embraced by the Democratic president and Congressional Democrats. No more talk from them about jobs, jobs, jobs or doing anything real to save millions of families from home foreclosures. Barack Obama promises to do the blood-letting more delicately than barbaric Republicans, protecting Social Security and Medicare and other much-loved programs. But can people believe him? They have been burned before by vague good talk.
"If you listen closely, Obama is setting himself up to fashion another 'grand compromise' with the right. He will explain this is the 'adult' thing to do. But his supporters may once again see betrayal. As the polls keep reporting, the populace is overwhelmingly opposed to any political deal-making that punishes them again for a catastrophe they did not cause. People seem to know it is wrong to dump more pain on them while the real malefactors are not held accountable for their sins," Greider concluded.
NPR reported last week that Obama's approval numbers have been tracking like those of previous presidents defeated for re-election. Once inside the DC bubble, they never seem to learn. Obama came and left Reno encased in a bubble wherein no such pesky issues were permitted.
Harry Truman used to say that if you give people a choice between two conservatives, they will always vote for the real thing.
The president proceeds at his political and our personal peril.
BACK FROM THE ASHES DEPT. Support the return of community radio and television. Go to Barbwire.TV for more information, to join the club and contribute via the web.
The first step toward restoration has been taken. After going dark for six months, the public access channels now broadcast live legislative hearings and floor sessions fed to Reno-Sparks-Washoe from AccessCarson. Charter cable victims can watch on digital channel 216 or high definition 80-295.
This presents a true opportunity to observe, as they simultaneously happen, your government in action and government inaction.
If you harbor a morbid interest in witnessing the assassination of the Nevada education system and most public services, this is your time.
Turn on, tune in and tell a friend.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 42-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 NevadaLabor.com. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.
Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced 9-18-2010.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.
Next year, we go for the sombrero.
The winning entries:
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
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
From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP
TOLJASO LONG TIME AGO
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
Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
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.
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.
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
Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966
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Copyright © 1982-2011 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 42-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; 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 email@example.com.
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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