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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.

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

— Leonard Cohen
God does not throw dice.
— Albert Einstein

Copyright © 2012 Woodrow Barlettani for The Daily Sparks Tribune

God looks nothing like Charlton Heston
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-8-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

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Be well. Raise hell.


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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

She doesn't resemble Morgan Freeman, either.

News circled the globe last week that scientists at the CERN supercollider on the French-Swiss border had confirmed the existence of the fabled Higgs Boson.

Nicknamed the "God particle," [1] the subatomic phantom is best described as the glue holding everything together from stardust to us.

In his bestseller A Brief History of Time, physicist Stephen Hawking noted that we have no idea what happened before the Big Bang or if there exist universes outside the one we inhabit. God could have snapped her ethereal fingers and popped existence into existence.

If there exist open-minded, liberal atheists and agnostics, they should pay attention.

We've apparently found God and nobody noticed, I wrote on 24 Dec. 2000.

Such apathy was forecast by none other than Oscar-winning actor Rod Steiger.

Back in college, he wrote a short story.

One day, the electronic readerboard above New York City's Times Square went out of control.

"God returns to earth here at noon on Friday," the sign repeated hour after hour. All attempts to fix it or shut it down met with failure.

Needless to say, by Friday you couldn't get near the place, Steiger wrote.

Promptly at noon, a huge black whale appeared above the readerboard.

"I am the Lord, your God. Bow down and worship me."

Stunned silence.

"I am the Lord, your God. Bow down and worship me," said a voice which came not from the whale, but from everywhere.

The multitudes emitted a murmur. Some lout cast the first stone.

After a few more demands by the whale, the murmur became a rumble, then a roar. Soon came shouts of derision, then ropes trying to pull the whale down. Cops fired tear gas into the crowd, then bullets at the behemoth.

God finally nuked the place in disgust.

Moral of the story: Man will accept no god not made unto man's image and likeness.

The supreme arrogance of our species lies in the conceit that God must look like us. God is the old long-haired white guy with the long nose and beard giving the magic finger to Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Once we establish that God looks like us, 'tis but a small step for some guy to step forward and say he's God or speaks for same.

Thus have millions of lives been lost in pointless wars.

Now come the scientists, age old rivals of the God-men, with a fascinating perspective.

Recent discoveries show a huge formation of impenetrable mass and energy taking up some 90 percent of the known universe. It validates a long-ago discarded Albert Einstein (1879-1955) theory which basically balances the books of the cosmos.

The huge unknown dark sector cross-cuts the entirety of everything. It can be argued that scientists have formed a picture of what some would call God — an entity bringing order to the universe, balancing the matter and energy equation first calculated by Sir Isaac Newton. (1642-1727)

French philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) said "God is a comedian playing to an audience afraid to laugh."

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) used the obvious orderliness of the universe as proof of the existence of God.

Both the saint and the philosopher are proving correct, especially about God's sense of humor.

Some time ago, physicists identified that the order of the universe proceeds from chaos, a miraculous and unlikely set of chances which produced all that you know and are.

So the joke's on Aquinas. The order he used as "proof" is really chaos which by happy happenstance brings the order we witness.

Physics, metaphysics, philosophy and theology thus share one common thread allowing everything to be viewed as inter-related with everything else. Christians will recognize the idea when termed "oneness with the Father."

Because God seems a comedian, humorists are often best at interpreting the unknowable.

Raised a Catholic, George Carlin (1937-2008) made a career of harpooning the pomposities of his church. He called God "The Big Electron," a vibrating, all-present, all-knowing entity.

"It doesn't judge. It doesn't punish. It just is," Carlin said.

Now, the missing link has possibly been found, the twain have met and nobody wants to admit it.

Does God have to put another star in the east to get everyone onto the same page?

Such cosmic calculations crash harder than whales on Times Square when we return to earth to witness the mess we primitive creatures have made of the sliver of God's creation we inhabit.

One Jesus of Nazareth got it right when he said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Like Steiger, Jesus tried to tell us something about ourselves.

Sometime in the next week, on a starry night, go outside and look up. See how small you are in comparison with the vastness of the God who suffuses you.

But rejoice that you are an integral part of it all and it wouldn't be the same or complete without you.

Then, remember to take better care of the little area over which you have been given responsibility.

Jesus and the Big Electron will very probably appreciate it.

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Thank you.

Be well. Raise hell.


1. Actually, some physicist got to calling it "the goddamned particle," which was not suitable for polite company or staid academic sensibilities. So they shortened it. Which probably made it harder to find since it was so damned small in the first place.

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...

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.

Andrew Barbano

Travus T. Hipp & Tales of Nevada's Futures Passed
Expanded from the 6-3-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

     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 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

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

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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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