Renown 150: Profiting at taxpayer expense
Expanded from the 3-18-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune
/ Updated 3-22-2018 and 3-28-2018

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.

Everybody knows the scene is dead
   But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
   What 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

Earlier this month, the proprietors of the Renown medical octopus announced a year-long celebration of the institution's 150th anniversary.

I am only too happy to do my part. For their part, Renown management has always wished me well — they wish I was at the bottom of one.

The bandidos now in control of the sprawling former Washoe Medical Center stole the county hospital from the taxpayers through lying, skulduggery and political chicanery.

"The people of Washoe County were promised reduced patient costs, more efficient and effective health care delivery and deliverance from the financial doom that was predicted," the Washoe County Grand Jury stated in 1995.

"The most effective cons are those driven by a true or false sense of urgency," I added in the Barbwire of 5 Nov. 1995. "There never was a crisis, the hospital was always profitable. The promise to reduce costs was the unkindest con of all."

To this day, the Health Care War Room at remains the only source of the grand jury report on the Internet and consistently generates substantial readership.

The poltroons promised to take the burden of paying for indigent care off the backs of the taxpayers and iced the cake with a commitment to reduce health care costs.

Instead, they built an empire by handsomely profiting off human misery while continuing to score a fat subsidy from Sparks-Reno-Washoe taxpayers.

This continues in the finest Nevada tradition. The legislature actually passed a law in 1987 to regulate and contain hospital costs. It worked, so the industry got it killed. (See Nealcare at

The Renown octopushers have established a new website,, for people to send warm memories of Washoe Med and its current bastard descendant.

In the spirit of celebration, I'll rock 'n' roll with Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. I have thus spared almost every expense in launching, dedicated in perpetuity to countering the PR spin of one of the most forever shameful inflictions of Nevada corporate welfare (for which there is also an ever-expanding section at

Send me your warm and fuzzies and keep this in mind: In 1985, Renown acquired our county hospital, worth up to $134.2 million in 1985 dollars, for about $3 million, a 98 percent discount from fair market value.

"After the health system's giveaway, U.S. taxpayer subsidies were used to further the scam. Washoe County taxpayers have by now paid four or five different times for the same health care system," I wrote in 1995.

These blackguards are so good at rape and pillage for fun and profit that it's probably only a matter of time before they expand with a Pirates of the Caribbean theme park. Get discount tickets just by showing your insurance card.


What's harder: Finding a doctor or Stormy Daniels?
Sucking up money: The ever-expanding tentacles of the voracious Renown medical octopus
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 3-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

TRIBUNE ALUMNI NEWS. Doug Oakley got his start in these parts over 20 years ago. I remember feeding him news tips generated by my radio show and then promoting the stories on the air. We scored more than a few front page scoops.

Now 45, Doug works for the Bay Area News Group, publisher of the Oakland Tribune, among others. Late on March 8, Doug's report about a raucous community meeting hit the paper's website.

Berserkley Police Chief Michael Meehan was not amused and ordered his public information officer to pound on Doug's front door at 12:45 a.m. Doug, his wife and young children awoke terrified. He told the San Francisco Chronicle he suffered a panic attack afterward.

The chief personally continued the harassment into dawn's early light, making more demands for changes in the story.

His beef: He denied having apologized for police misconduct.

The issue at the meeting: Why did the cops ignore a Feb. 18 call from Berkeley Hills citizen Peter Cukor who was in the process of being murdered by an intruder?

Nice to see Doug still kicking some serious ass.

AMERICA IN DECLINE. Chatting in the checkout line, I recently exchanged sports wisdom with a youthful grocery clerk who at one point noted "It ain't over till it's over."

My response of "Okay, Yogi" produced surprising insight.

"I mentioned Yogi Berra to my significant other and she asked if he was named after Yogi Bear."

I advised the young man to gently inform his lady that she had committed a big Boo Boo.

LOST VERIZONS. My union, Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO, will demonstrate at S. Virginia and McCarran starting at 5:00 p.m. PDT this Thursday, March 22, part of a national day of action spotlighting Verizon corporate greed. Info: 775-322-9413.

In Las Vegas, workers will rally at the Verizon retail outlet, 3825 S. Maryland Parkway, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. PDT.

SAME TIME, SAME OLD STATION. Also on Thursday 22 March, in Gomorrah South, Culinary Local 226 will rally against Station Casinos' institutionalized maltreatment of workers; 6:00 p.m. PDT at the Red Rock Casino Resort, 11011 West Charleston Blvd., Summerlin. (Ushers will escort participants to parking.) Info: Cecil Kofford, 702-495-1414.

NEVADA'S 10th CÉSAR CHÁVEZ DAY / EL DÍA DE CÉSAR CHÁVEZ happens at Circus Circus-Reno on Saturday, March 31, 2012, the great union leader's 85th birthday. The 2011 event featured a who's who of state and local officials and this year will prove even more interesting. Doors open at 5:30, dinner at 7:00 p.m.

Contact me for ticket and table information, 775-882-TALK.

SUPPORT THE NEVADA CITIZEN TV PROJECT to re-establish a people's channel hereabouts. You may donate at donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me, especially if you think great issues like the above demand extensive and rational discussion.

The Barbwire TV show is still in reruns. Check the expanded web edition of this column at

Help give the gift of non-corporate TV to your community. We are making progress toward returning a citizens station to these parts. Your support is both needed and appreciated.

Thank you.

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 and 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...

POWERFUL PUNDITORY PANJANDRUMS: Compelling guest commentary

...and more ammo...

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

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place three years 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 yet

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 © 1982-2012, 2018 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