What's the ugliest part of your body?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-31-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 8-3-2011

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   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

In 2011, we go for the Sombrero


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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.

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 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
In 2011, we go for the Sombrero

Remember the old saw that your body is worth about two bucks when reduced to basic chemicals?

That's been replaced by another corny saying that has lately become ghoulishly true: Most people really are worth more dead than alive.

The used-human business is so lucrative that a person "parted-out," as they say at auto wrecking yards, can yield $100,000 or more.

The vaunted free market has resulted in all the ads you see imploring you to donate your old car or boat to some charity. For-profit companies now even broker the deals.

Why? Because the whole is worth less than its parts. Hearts or fuel pumps. Gaskets or gall bladders. Lug nuts or livers. Ball joints or...well, you get the idea.

There have been enough body parts brokerage scandals that I have removed organ donor permission from my driver's license. The profit motive has permeated and perverted U.S. health care and I will not allow my husk to help some thieving bastard benefit from human misery.

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it got worse. A few years back, a patient sued a University of California doctor. The man had received life-saving treatment but unbeknownst to him, his tissues, and thus his genes, were later used to develop lucrative new therapies. He was not informed and received no royalties.

He sued and lost not only the lawsuit but also the rights to part of his body. Some judge said he had been compensated enough because he benefited from the experimental treatment.

About 20 years ago, Assemblyman Bob Sader, D-Sun Valley, introduced a macabre bill to regulate the human body parts business.

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it got worse. Again.

"In a closely watched case, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday that genes can be patented, overturning a lower court decision that had shocked the biotechnology industry," The New York Times reported.

"Critics say it is unethical to patent something that is part of the human body or the natural world...Myriad, which holds the patents on the genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 with the University of Utah Research Foundation, charges more than $3,000 for its breast cancer risk test," the Times noted.

The definition of slavery is ownership of a human being as property. Guess what that makes you and me?
In the USA today, all must serve commerce and profit. Every part of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights (save the ban on forcing people to quarter troops in their homes) has been seriously eroded.

In our current toxic political environment, sooner or later, every public official gets accused of being owned by someone or something. In the real world, we all serve masters who figuratively possess a piece of us. Now, soul-less corporations can literally hold title to our bodies at the most basic level.

Decades ago when I volunteered at the Las Vegas VISTA Center, a group of kids started a band featuring a signature song: "What's the ugliest part of your body?"

"Some say your nose, some say your toes," they opined.

After all these years, I can now answer that musical question. The ugliest part is the body of law.

EARLY WARNINGS. Watch this week for news before it's news. Remember, my website and e-list were the exclusive sources for a statement by the engineer driving the Amtrak train in the fatal tractor-trailer crash a few weeks ago. I've got more hot stuff on the front burner. If you're not on my e-list, I suggest that you sign up.

SIERRA PACIFIC POWERFUL, aka NV Energy, submitted 500 pages of largely irrelevant fluff and kerfuffle in its ongoing battle with the electrical workers union. IBEW Local 1245 filed an action last year complaining about dangerously inadequate staffing levels at the hyper-profitable utility. The Public Utilities Commission refused to dismiss the case which appears headed toward a full hearing this fall. Stay tuned —> if you can afford electricity.

BAND OF BROTHERS. Last week, local resident Ramon Chávez, son of Librado and nephew of labor legend César Chávez, notified me of the death of his uncle, Richard.

"He helped César Chávez build the United Farm Workers into a political and agricultural force. He organized the California grape boycott in the late 1960s...and later boycotts in New York and Detroit," the Los Angeles Times reported.

A former union carpenter, he oversaw construction of the UFW headquarters in Delano, Calif., a project that happened because of United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther, the greatest labor leader of the 20th Century.

A rare photo of the union legends at the HQ dedication will appear with the web edition of this column at, courtesy of George "Battling" Nelson of Nevada UAW Local 2162/AFL-CIO.

REMEMBERING ANOTHER LEGEND. Mary Valencia Wilson, who died of cancer last month, marched with César Chávez. Her memorial service will be conducted in Sparks at 3:00 p.m. next Sunday, August 7, at the American Legion building next to the Sparks post office across from city hall.

Volunteers, food and financial assistance with Mary's final expenses are needed. Contact her sister, Joan Treptow, 775-560-0318. Complete details at

Support the return of community radio and television stations.

The first step toward restoration has been taken.

After going dark for six months, Charter Channel 216 came back to life broadcasting live legislative hearings and floor sessions fed to Reno-Sparks-Washoe from AccessCarson. (An obscure East Reno newspaper columnist got it started.)

We have acquired new volunteers and we're going to have a working group meeting soon. Spread the word.

Go to Barbwire.TV for more information, to volunteer your time or treasure or both.

It's important.

METUBE. Click here for the latest Barbwire.TV schedule around the state. I have ordered the Employee Free Choice Act program into rotation. It's high time that President Obama and Sen. Reid honored that particular campaign promise.

It's very 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.
This 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
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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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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