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1988-2013: The Barbwire's Silver Anniversary
Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on Earth
   But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin birth
   I remember one Christmas morning
A winter's light and a distant choir
   And the peal of a bell
and that Christmas tree smell
   and eyes full of tinsel and fire

   They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a Silent Night
   And they told me a fairy story
Till I believed in the Israelite
   And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes
   'Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise


  • was a radical, nonviolent revolutionary who hung around with lepers, hookers and crooks
  • wasn't American and never spoke English
  • was anti-wealth, anti-death penalty, anti-public prayer (Matthew 6:5)
  • but was never anti-gay
  • never mentioned birth control
  • never called the poor lazy
  • never justified torture
  • never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes
  • never asked a leper for a co-pay
  • and was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless community-organizing, anti-slut-shaming middle-eastern Jew.

I Believe in Father Christmas      
By Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield (1975)  

(as forwarded by Shayne del Cohen)

Warring tribes battle the great black whale
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 12-26-2013 Sparks Tribune
Updated 12-28-2013

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


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Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

Updated 8-30-2011
Reruns 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


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How go the ritual superstitions with your tribe this week?

That's what you're doing whether you realize it or not.

Christmas is Charles Dickens' updated version of ancient pagan winter solstice feasting after the crops have been stored for the coming cold.

The aforementioned first day of winter is the shortest day of the year.

"Since the event is seen as the reversal of the Sun's ebbing presence in the sky, concepts of the birth or rebirth of sun gods have been common," notes the ubiquitous Wikipedia.

Jesus as a recycled sun god? You betcha.

I have found mildly amusing the recent tempest in the moonhowler crockpot complaining about the label "holiday tree" when the Christmas tree itself is a hangover of non-Christian beliefs.

Reminds me of an oft-repeated story I learned back at Fresno State.

The Spanish conquistadores brought holy men to civilize the savages who remained after the initial slaughter, rape and pillage.

Rather than start from scratch, the anointed of God found it much simpler to put new labels on existing superstitious practices.

And so the fertility goddess of the native Andean peoples became the Blessed Virgin Mary without missing a beat.


When my brother came back from Vietnam, he gave me an enlightening lecture about the country's history that almost never appeared in the mainstream media: We got caught up in an age-old conflict between two native warring tribes, updated by weaponry from the superpowers of the day.

Despite all our vaunted scientific and sociological advances, we remain a world of warring tribes, which goes a long way toward explaining our violent primal proclivities.

Conflicts between religions, regions and supposedly sovereign nations can still be easily categorized as latter day tribal warfare.

Hebrews vs. Philistines is now Israelis vs. Palestinians.

Place a world map on a corkboard, blindfold yourself and throw six darts.

Odds are you'll hit at least five ancient tribal conflicts updated with modern labels.

As some of us succumb to the siren song of football over the next several weeks, take a moment to view the battles of our latter day gladiators as merely updated pagan tribal rituals draped in logos and commercials.

Mankind is a barely post-pubescent species among which the United States stands as its scarily most powerful pre-adolescent manifestation: the equivalent of a 13 year-old with nuclear weapons who has not outgrown the tribal taboos.

Don't look for civilization at an Oakland Raiders game.

Don't try to point out the absurdity of an anti-semitic klansman who worships a Jew as his god and savior.

The late Oscar-winning actor Rod Steiger once wrote a short story set under the moving letterboard above New York City's Times Square.

One day, the electric sign miraculously began flashing a single message: "God returns to earth at noon next Friday."

"You couldn't get near the place," Steiger later said.

Promptly at 12:00, a huge black whale appeared on the building atop the dancing letters.

"I am the Lord, your God. Bow down and worship me," came a voice from the sky.

Stone silence from the multitude.

Then a murmur.

Soon, stones and pop bottles were hurled upward.

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

The mob got ropes and tried to pull the whale down to street level.

God finally nuked the place.

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

Wish your tribe Happy High Holly Days.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)

Christmas 2000:
A scientific snapshot of God

Barbwire 12-24-2000




SUPPORT THE RETURN OF COMMUNITY TV. Support the cause at Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is.

Keep sending show suggestions.

Current frontrunners include (pardon the pun) wild mustangs as canned goods, educationi-Guns and gay Olympics

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
                              — Jimmy Breslin

  Please forward additional ideas or vote on the above.

  I encourage you to donate to the cause at Barbwire.TV/

The medium that shapes public opinion needs at least one refuge where it is not filtered through the distorted green eye shades of prissy corporate accountants for whom profit is the only priority; where self-censorship is the journalist's normal work environment and where all sins of omission are tacitly encouraged and forgiven with the wave of a balance sheet.

This is important.

HONOR YOUR DON. Keep sending comments supporting legendary Nevada photographer Don Dondero (1920-2003) for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.

His life's work appeared worldwide, including the Tribune and most probably every newspaper in Nevada.

Enlist in the campaign to install Big Don.

Please send me your memories and endorsements via e-mail or to P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

The Barbwire got the late Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Guy Richardson elected last year.

Let's go for a repeat.

Happy High Holly Days!


Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)



Andrew Barbano is a 45-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...

Liberal reasons to oppose liberal positions and policies
Guaranteed to irritate all points of the political spectrum


Let's persuade Apple to start making i-Guns here
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-24-2013 Sparks Tribune

Enron II: Nevada's Battle-Born Toxic Event
Indigence and indigestion from ingestion of Warren Buffett's buffet
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-6-2013 Sparks Tribune
Updated 6-7 and 6-17-2013

...and more ammo..

Nevada Day Required Reading
The Lady in the Red Dress
The Barbwire's classic Nevada Day column written in 1983
The compleat history of the Silver State in 500 words

Sparks Tribune 10-31-2013 and previously

Barbano on the Barbwire plots new TV season
Barbwire Special Web Edition / 10-21-2013

Barbwire: Nevada not really a state
No, we were not Battle Born in Kenya
Top 10 reasons Nevada lives in the 19th Century

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-17-2013 Sparks Tribune

Low-income penalty: Nevada socks it to the working poor
BARBANO: Nevada is one big company town
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 10-10-2013

State of Health
National health care comes up against a very sick state. WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 10-10-2013

USA at crossroads: New Deal or new Confederacy?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-10-2013 Sparks Tribune
UPDATE—>Bill Moyers: Shutdown is simply secession by other means

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing Barbwire series

...and more ammo yet

The Post-Dated Recession: Pay me now or pay me later
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Post-dated Recession
By Joshua H. Silavent / Daily Sparks Tribune / 5-3-2011

Union decline and rising inequality in two charts
by Colin Gordon
Economic Policy Institute / 6-5-2012

Used in
journalist Mark Robison's extensive Hard Labor: Nevada unions tout role in helping workers, firms, economy (Sunday 2 Sept. 2012 Reno Gazette-Journal, page one, Reno Rebirth section of the print edition). Union men Jim Burrell, Paul McKenzie and Guy Louis Rocha did the movement proud. Not included in the RGJ online edition.

The Barbwire Labor Day column
Reno Gazette-Journal / 9-3-2012

Nevada Press Assn. Better Newspaper Contest
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 | 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/cabellyup, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
We Don't Need No Education
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2013 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 45-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 moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

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