Nevada government's license to kill
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-5-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune / Updated 6-7 and 6-10-2011

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


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Updated 3-21-2011
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.

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Be well. Raise hell.


Click here for on-demand re-runs from the 2009 and 2011 Nevada legislative sessions

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

Nevada government has a heart of gold: cold, yellow and hard.

It kills people.

Like 2003, the Nevada Supreme Court broke a legislative impasse, this time by barring the governor and his fellow moonhowlers from skimming millions in bond money from cities, counties and school districts. Some localities got so spooked by the state's horse thievery that they blew their cash reserves before they needed to do so.

"What compromise?" an insider groused. "All they ended up doing was pretty much passing the governor's budget."

Liberal lobbyists are much more angry at Democrats than Republicans. You don't expect your friends to throw you under the bus.

"None of us believe the Democrats should have gone to the Republicans to negotiate after the supreme court decision. The governor had to balance his budget and the only way was to extend the sunsets, so why negotiate?"

In exchange for their support, former Reno GOP senators Randolph Townsend and Bill Raggio required that 2009 tax hikes "sunset" (expire) as of next month.

Their legislative swan song became a figurative and literal funeral dirge.

For the former, death by a thousand cuts of whatever progress Nevada has made toward becoming a civilized society.

For the latter, Carson City's inaction will literally kill lots of people.

As I write this, Assembly Bill 571 is slithering its toxic way thru the halls of the legislature. It would overturn the 2006 statewide initiative to ban smoking in bars that serve food.

In order to buy the neutrality of the gambling-industrial complex, proponents conceded an exception to the casino industry.

Like good drug dealers everywhere, the gamblers know their customers.

The bedrock casino denizen, the gambler who will lose his paycheck and his house, is afflicted with an addictive personality. All available addictions must be assuaged in order to keep such sick people coming back for more.

On March 2, 1990, I printed that fact as the real story behind the failure of Nevada's first non-smoking casino, Reno's Ponderosa. It will be linked to the web edition of this column at

Now, despite substantial evidence that strokes and heart attacks have dropped because of the ban, our lawmakers are processing "emergency legislation" to loosen the law.

Sure, employees can choose to work elsewhere. But what if you need the job?

Indentured servitude by another name doesn't stop there on the High Desert Plantation.

Gov. Brian the Brutal vetoed a couple of consensus bills developed by business, government and labor after publication of a damning Occupational Safety and Health Administration report about Nevada's failure to protect workers from dangerous conditions.

The Las Vegas Sun won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for its exposé of construction deaths and injuries on the Las Vegas Strip.

Under Gov. Dudley Do-Right and his successor, Jim the Dim, Nevada's worker safety apparatus was so deficient that the feds were about to take over. AB 253 and 254, vetoed by El Bruté, were attempts to remedy the shortcomings.

But who cares? Workers are cheap and disposable. You can always get more for less.

The rumble in Carson is that Gov. Sandoval will scuttle anything with union fingerprints on it, no matter if the chamber of commerce also supports it. He may yet accrue the dubious distinction of eclipsing Jim the Dim's execrable record for veto volume.

Roll in budget cuts on dozens of programs keeping people alive and this legislative session should be indicted for voluntary manslaughter.

If you like institutionalized bad health and ignorance, Nevada's your little slice of the seventh circle of hell.

As cartoonist Walt Kelly's Porkypine told Pogo in the comics of long ago, "we have met the enemy and he is us."

We elect these clowns, often because we are given about as much choice as paper or plastic.

Nevada union leaders are so spitting mad they are not only talking about an initiative petition on taxes but also abandoning some Democratic lawmakers.

One told me that the needless compromise after the supreme court decision echoed the congressional sellout on health care.

With a Donkeyite president, a filibuster-proof senate and a huge majority in the house, the Dems criminalized health care by forcing penniless people to buy insurance from the usual bandidos with no regulation of the industry.

A license to steal and kill.

"It's driving our trust fund costs through the roof," one union man seethed.

PIMPS AND THIEVES. Last Friday, a legislative report rubbed salt into labor's wounds.

Auditors pretty much concluded that Joe Conforte would have been a better labor commissioner than current appointee Mike Tanchek.

At least Joe made sure his girls got paid.

Assisted by creative neglect from Democratic Atty. Gen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, Mr. Tanchek and local governments (including Sparks and Reno, see have intentionally failed to enforce labor law and wage standards.

Tanchek has refused to collect about $3.9 million in fines and back pay owed to Nevadans.

Time to form a new political party if anybody's got the guts.

NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME. Barbwire e-list subscribers already know that last week's TV program was banned from network prime time because some corporate censor termed it "political," not "public affairs." Somebody explain the difference to me. Watch or get on my mailing list for rerun times and webstreaming links.

BACK FROM THE ASHES DEPT. Support the return of community radio and television stations.

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. (An obscure East Reno newspaper columnist got it started.)

Charter cable victims can watch on digital channel 216 or over the air on digital 80-295.

If you harbor a morbid interest in witnessing the assassination of the Nevada education system and most public services, turn on and tune in.

We have acquired new volunteers to work on returning community radio and television to Sparks-Reno-Washoe.

Go to Barbwire.TV for more information, to join the club and contribute via the web.

It's important.

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 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 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:

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

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
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Copyright © 1982-2011 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 42-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.

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