Corporate Propaganda Research Archive
Ghost Riders Saddle Up Again
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-17-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue
Updated 6-22-2012, 9-8-2012 and 7-13-2013 and 6-20-2018
Everybody knows the dice
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If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions new power to the people on the public airwaves
program premiers were available to every television set in the region
because of a high-mileage media hybrid.
Barbwire's Greatest Hits
lowlife swine has gone to court to remove
"None of These Candidates" from Nevada statewide ballots. Ain't
Nicknamed "none of the above," the goofy idea began right here in the Rail City with a lawmaker held in such high regard that there was no public protest when the sports complex named after him was bulldozed for a shopping center.
So let the defense begin here with the return of NAGPAC, the legendary None of the Above for Governor Political Action Committee.
It all started in 1982 as a reflection of public perception that there wasn't much difference between our incumbent governor, Republican Robert List the Lustful, and his Democratic challenger, then-Attorney General Richard "Gold Dust" Bryan.
Both were colorless lawyers, unable to get a suntan. They ran conservative, bloodless campaigns. Voters expected a banquet and found two pieces of dry white toast on the menu.
As an exercise in futility, I called a few guys and offered to buy the beer at Del Mar Station fern bar. After enough liquid courage to sooth their seething political apathy, we formed NAGPAC.
I was appointed chairman because nobody else wanted the job.
The Nihilistic NAGPAC Manifesto
Our slogan: Apathy is never having to say you're sorry.
Our only rule: There shall be no regularly scheduled meetings.
Our philosophy: We believe only in what's right, not whether something is right or left.
Our purpose: Electing the whole horse for a change.
We held a "What? Me Worry?" press conference at the old Depression Deli on E. Fourth Street. (Even more depressing, these days it's a second-tier titty bar.)"Now can I get out my Lifesavers?" she smiled.
In honor of the Reagan Ranch homeless encampments then meandering the country toward DC, free food was served via soupline: white bread, water and anemic-cream-of-nothing broth.
The turnout was surprising, the media coverage overwhelming. We placed a NAGPAC mobile billboard on President Reagan's route to a speech at UNR with Gov. List in the car. Suspicious U.S. Secret Service agents hovered nearby. One even grabbed my wife's arm as she reached into her purse for a camera as the motorcade swept past.
We made NBC News and ESPN, which suggested None of the Above for baseball commissioner. Things have since improved neither for baseball nor politics.
The provision was placed into law in 1975 by former Assemblyman Don Mello (D-Sparks) and former Assembly Speaker Joe Dini (D-Yerington). They pointedly excluded themselves.
Animosity was the real motive. During the 1975 legislative session, Mello raked Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Al Gunderson over the coals to the point of personal insult. The late judge happened to be up for re-election the following year. Anticipating that Gunderson would get no opposition, Mello fielded the ghost rider against him.
The weird new law put even unopposed candidates in the position of raising and spending money to keep the "None" vote to less-than-embarrassing proportions. Gunderson was its first victim. He drew no opponent, but "None" scored 27.43% in the November '76 election.
The Ghost Rider had claimed its first victory in the September primary, winning the Republican congressional nomination. (Back then, Nevada had only one statewide seat.)
By the time I chaired NAGPAC in 1982, many people felt that a loss to the mythical "None" should disqualify all flesh-and-blood losers and force an election re-run.
I disagree. The seat in question should be declared vacant with the next officeholder appointed by random drawing of all eligible citizens, not just voters, within the affected district.
One of the 1982 NAGPAC planks advocated just such a lottery system. (I didn't think of it. My late wife, Betty, did.) Could we do worse today? In the year of the superpac, that question is more appropriate than ever.
NAGPAC caught the public's imagination in '82 because the average Nevadan knew he/she was royally screwed no matter who won. Things have not gotten better in the intervening years.
Workers have acquired no rights, only more obligation and discrimination under our punitive, medieval state laws. We continue to fracture families with the active help of government as pawned by heavy payments from the gambling-industrial complex and its cronies. We continually top the charts in suicide and teen pregnancy while promoting ourselves as a tax-free workers paradise. In reality, we are not lowly taxed, just selectively whacked. In Nevada, the less you make the more you pay in hidden levies and user fees.
I wrote much of the above in 1997. It is little wonder that voter turnout last Tuesday approached record lows.
Apathy means never having to say you're sorry about voting for the wrong guy.
THE BRIGHT SIDE OF NOT VOTING. About one in five registered voters showed up this month, which means everybody who cast a ballot actually had five votes. Trying to motivate the disinterested is often counterproductive.
Is it really worth sobering up your no-account brother-in-law and driving him to the polls with the hope he'll remember how to vote right?
Nah. I like the idea of representative democracy with motivated voters doing a better job of choosing than slackers.
Apathy means never having to say you're sorry.
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You may donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me, or (drum roll, please) none of the above.
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 NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail email@example.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.
Appellate court throws out Republican attempt to nuke nihilistic None of the Above
Las Vegas Review-Journal / 7-10-2013
Federal appellate judges put None of the Above
back on the November ballot. Alleluia!
Daily Sparks Tribune/AP 9-6-2012
Romney and Heller campaigns seek victory by limiting voter choices
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 6-21-2012
The Ghostly Return of None of the Above
Barbwire by Barbano / Daily Sparks Tribune 11-9-1997
The None of the Above working people's platform
Barbwire by Barbano / Daily Sparks Tribune 11-16-1997
Followed by a moon shadow
TRAVUS T. HIPP, 1937-2012
ADIÓS, COMPADRE Our friend Travus, 75, passed away peacefully between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. PDT on 18 May 2012 at his home in Silver City, Nevada. The sun is in eclipse as I write this at 6:30 p.m. on May 20.
CHANGE OF VENUE (5-22-2012) Adiós in Silver City, Nevada, Saturday, May 26, 2012 > Updated 5-27-2012 > The auld church where Travus lived and died proved too small for the expected multitude, so gathering, gnoshing and remembering commenced at the Silver City Community Center, 385 High Street, at 10:00 a.m. PDT. The graveside memorial service began at High Noon. Travus was buried next to his rock star companion Lynne Hughes, a short walk away. My remembrance of Lynne from the 3-21-1993 Daily Sparks Tribune has been linked to Travus' formal obituary at this website. All memories accepted for permanent posting hereat. Stay tuned for pictures and stories of the appropriately rainy day.
Thanks for all your kind words. Keep up the good work and the good fight.
Be well. Raise hell.
Barbano remembers the artist
Reno Gazette-Journal 5-25-2012
At bottom, he was an artist who used his voice to soar and slice, a tenor for the tenor of our times. Many of his mourning California listeners talk about the vocal spells he wove, how he soundly organized the noise of daily life into music that entertained, engaged, enlightened, educated, enthralled and occasionally enflamed. [From the saga of Travus T. Hipp and contributions by The Barbwire to the May 25 Reno Gazette-Journal and May 26, 2012, Daily Sparks Tribune.]
Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place three years in a row.
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
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
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 © 1982-2012 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 43-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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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