Abandon hope, all ye who enter college
Fourth in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Expanded from the 4-29-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Updated 5-7-2012, 5-13-2012, 5-20-2012, 6-24-2012
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


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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

The hits just keep on coming and they won't even kiss us afterward.

First came last week's Barbwire seriously questioning the accuracy of departing Washoe County School Superintendent Heath Morrison's miraculous graduation rates. (No official response yet).

Then arrived word of the dwindling of the program designed to keep our best and brightest high school grads staying home for college.

I was among the critics of Gov. Dudley Do-Right's Millennium Scholarship Program when he proposed it to the legislature in his first state of the state address in 1999. I was present on the floor of the Assembly chamber when he made the proposal in lieu of a hotly-rumored inclusion of major tax reform. His advisors, led by Chief of Staff Peter "Snidely Whiplash" Ernaut, got him to back off any tax discussion until his second term.

The program was funded by national tobacco settlement funds intended to reimburse states for billions expended fighting drug addiction caused by Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man.

A few years later, I changed my tune. A UNR professor told me that the late Gov. Guinn's program made a real difference to his students. Many more were able to get a real college education with more time for learning rather than rushing out of class for burger-flipping jobs.

Now comes the bad news that "77 percent of eligible students used their scholarships in 2000, but in 2011, with college costs much higher, the rate dropped to 51 percent," according to the Associated Press. [Reno Gazerre-Journal 4-28-2012]

"Today, the funds pay only $1,920, or 29 percent of the $6,954 annual tuition and other fees," AP reported.


Had I been confronted with those kinds of costs, I never could have gone to college. When I attended Fresno State back in the ancient Sixties, it boasted three world-class departments (agriculture, chemistry and music) and a future poet laureate of the United States —> my greatest teacher, Philip Levine.

It was affordable, under a hundred bucks a semester plus books as I vaguely recall. That was before the coming of Gov. Ronald Reagan who in 1967 began turning the greatest educational system in the history of the world into something rather average.

Providing election year cover for conservative moonhowlers, current Nevada Gov. El Brúte Obtúse recently announced that he would make no more cuts to education in the 2013 legislative session. As if he has such power.

Then legislative Democrats surrendered without firing a shot. They agreed with likely new Senate Republican leader Bullfrog Roberson, R-12th Century, that only "revenue neutral" changes to the tax code will be considered.

Translation: Mining and gambling get their taxes cut while yours and mine get raised.

The only hope for future education budgets lies with the Nevada State AFL-CIO petition for a broad-based business tax, something not even the flaccid teachers' union will back. That's OK.

Latest count shows 154,000 union members in Nevada plus tens of thousands of family members and retirees.

Labor has stood alone before and won.

Why should it be any different now?

MORRISON DEFLATION BLOWBACK. It's gonna get worse. Several readers told me of many insiders biting their tongues, worried that any negative comment might keep Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC, from hiring him away.

I was especially touched by a hard-working school district official, heartbroken that Morrison's skyrocketing graduation stats might be a result of cooking the books.

One longtime former reporter wrote "Wow. This is good, solid journalism. I'm amazed because the community as a whole has been deprived of that practice for much too long. Thanks."

Such encouragement makes worthwhile the bitter job of disappointing the good-hearted.

THE REAL LABOR DAY. The U.S. is unique in celebrating Labor Day in September when the rest of the world does so on May Day. Way back when, public officials were scared to be associated with them damn socialists. Nothing's changed.

May 1 falls on Tuesday this year, so local laborites will hold a rally on Saturday, which happens to be Cinco de Mayo. A worker demonstration starts at 11:00 a.m. in front of Reno City Hall, not to be confused by the commercial event on the Grand Sierra hotel parking lot.

SUPPORT THE NEVADA CITIZEN TV PROJECT to re-establish a people's channel hereabouts where education is sorely needed. 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.

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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.

RAIL CITY RANTINGS AND RAILINGS. According to last Monday's Sparks City Council Highlights, Hizzoner and the council issued a proclamation declaring April 23 as “Fred Horlacher History Day.” Mr. Horlacher, a 35-year classroom veteran and former Nevada State Teacher of the Year "recently held a lecture series as a successful fund-raising venture for the Sparks Heritage Museum."

Years ago, the distinguished educator testified in front of a legislative committee that because of his low salary, he could not qualify for a car loan after his auto was totaled in an accident. Now, the entire Nevada education system is being totaled and modern-day Horlachers still suffer despite doing a helluva job under very trying circumstances.

City of Sparks info guy Adam Mayberry also included this from the council meeting: "New Municipal Code to address properties that are a nuisance."

Wonder if that includes the Tribune?

God, I hope so.

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...

The above column is fourth in a current series on the collapsing future of Nevada education —>

We don't need no education

We Don't Need No Education, Part VIII
th in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-24-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Morrison & Maurins: M&M's hard to swallow
Seventh in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-20-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

All that's missing is an enemies list
Sixth in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-13-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Playing Dixieland - The shell game continues
Fifth in a series on the collapsing future of Nevada education
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Mythological Morrison Miracle
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-22-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The marshal is getting outta Dodge
So much for Nevada education's strategic plan + 4/25 Workers Memorial Day commemoration
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-15-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Breaking our own backs: If you have kids, move elsewhere
Have teachers made a deal with the devil? / St. Mary's firings begin
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-8-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Blast from the past: SUING FOR SCHOOLS
Barbwire 2-21-2010 / Updated 8-30-2011
Click here to view on demand plus other programs from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire.TV archives

...and more ammo...

Proper Education vs. Public Relations
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 4-26-2012

David Brooks, Diane Ravitch and the education wars
John Merrow / LearningMatters.TV / 7-6-2011

Gates, Broad: Who is running Americaís schools and are they running them aground?
Maureen Downey / Atlanta Journal-Constitution / 5-9-2011
"Interesting Charlotte Observer story this weekend on whether the schools there are under the control of philanthropist Eli Broad, whose foundation, the Broad Foundation, has given Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools almost $3.3 million in recent years. (Broad has been a big funder in Georgia as well, and recognized Gwinnett last year with its highly coveted prize for being the nationís top urban district.)..."

Who's the power behind Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools?
If you follow the money, you'll find the Broad Foundation. And skeptics are questioning its clout.
Ann Doss Helms / Charlotte Observer / 5-8-2011

The Broad Report
Make no mistake, "what is happening in large urban districts today has been carefully orchestrated by vulture philanthropists." — Susan Ohanian

How to tell if your school district is infected by the Broad virus
Seattle Education / 4-19-2011

Why Charlotte-Mecklenburg parents should sue Peter Gorman and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board
Schools Matter / 4-4-2011

Demonizing Public Education
Diane Ravitch / Education Week 10-26-2010

Ms. Ravitch reviewed the film Waiting for Superman for the New York Review of Books

POWERFUL PUNDITORY PANJANDRUMS: Compelling guest commentary

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

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

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
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Copyright © 1982-2012 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.

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