Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


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Je Suis Charlie
"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." — Joseph Pulitzer

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

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¡Viva Chávez!
César Chávez Celebration XVI / Celebración de César Chávez XVI
Saturday 31 March 2018
/ Sabado 31 de Marzo 2018

Highlights from the record-breaking 2017 event at Circus Circus Reno

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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...
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   and a long red rose.
   Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
That's how it goes.
Everybody knows.

I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016

Condemned at Birth
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 6-13-2017 Sparks Tribune / Updated 6-14 and 6-20-2017 / Expansions in blue.

Beautiful little Hailey was bequeathed the entire family inheritance at birth.

Greatest Hits Dept.


Support Don Dondero next
Note: Alas and alack, Dondero did not make it in 2015 or 2016.
Make this the year!

Barbwire wins 7th Nevada Press Association award


6-pack: BRONZE 2014
Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake / 4-18-2013

The 2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon / 5-30-2013

The politics of media ga-ga boosterism / 3-20-2014

We Don't Need No Education—> Neverending Barbwire Series

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

Support the project at

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 Barbwire.TV archives

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

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She was born with Type-1 Diabetes, diagnosed at the ripe old age of four.

The odds against it were perhaps in her favor but the DNA casino beat her.

One of the few things I remember from Fresno State statistics class is how to make book on family diseases. If your mother's side experiences a malady but your father's side does not, your chances of getting it are one in four.

My brother and I won the lottery, although the U.S. Army reversed God's decision in his case. My mother was afflicted by the dread disease, as were her brother, mother and father, who died of it.

Unlike my mom and the Sicilianis. my father's family from Maschito on the heel of the boot was diabetes free. So far, so good.

Then my bro spent a year in Vietnam drenched in Agent Orange. He now has diabetes. Some of his former comrades-in-arms whose families were diabetes-free have since succumbed to that plague.

Hailey's elders have understandably long been active in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I even sent JDRF a small contribution earlier this year and got a nice letter of thanks from New York.

As regular readers know, I have recommended Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal's new book An American Sickness: How healthcare became big business and how you can take it back. (Penguin Press, New York, 2017) [Barbwire 6-6-2017]

The eminent physician/journalist has composed a tour-de-force documenting the dastardly depredations of the for-profit medical industry which perpetually perpetrates plethoras of pain perverted for profit. I strongly suggest that you read all about it. The research is available cheap at locally-owned Grassroots Books.

Dr. Rosenthal tells the sad story of Dr. Denise Faustman, an eminent Harvard researcher who has been on the trail of a Type-1 cure for a decade.

She scrounged for funds and had to launch a crowd-funding website to augment seed money from retired Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca's family foundation. Dr. Rosenthal reports that after a decade of scrambling, the online appeal allowed Dr. Faustman to begin clinical trials in 2015. JDRF repeatedly refused assistance.

The problem: her promising potential cure is based on an old generic tuberculosis vaccine.

"Tell us how it will make ever make us money," Dr. Faustman said, quoting the typical response of drug companies she approached. Alas and alack, JDRF has become like so many other institutions, partnering with for-profit corporations in exchange for a piece of the action.

"By 2013, JDRF research grants hit a ten-year low, down 30 percent since 2008," Dr. Rosenthal writes, "while nonresearch grants increased. Dr. Faustman's work didn't make the cut....In late 2013, JDRF announced it was 'going the equity route,' joining with PureTech Ventures, a for-profit venture capital firm, to create a fund to fuel new diabetes startups."

Nevada has a major ante into this game. After originally balking, Gov. Brian Sandoval has announced that he will sign a bill mandating transparency in insulin pricing, an attempt to dampen profit-gouging. (Nevada State Senate Bill 539)

Versions of life-saving insulin have risen from between 127 to 325 percent this decade. Humulin, the most popular form, went from $258 to almost $1,100 a month from 2010 to 2015, Dr. Rosenthal reports.

All this brings new impetus to contacting the guv to sign Assembly Bill 374, principally sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle, D-Sparks. "SprinkleCare" establishes a basis for continuing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Nevada should President Trump be successful in destroying the federal program. [UPDATE: Reverting to his reactionary roots, Gov. Veto El Obtúsè vetoed the bill on June 16. As usual, he runs with the moonhowlers.]

References, including JDRF's actions and reactions, may be accessed with the expanded web edition of this column at Barbwire.US/

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


Nevada consumers consumed again
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 6-6-2017 Sparks Tribune / Updated 6-8 and 6-14-2017


GREAT SCOTT. Rev. William C. Webb will come out of retirement to conduct the memorial service for Nevada civil rights legend Eddie Scott. the 2015 University of Nevada Distinguished Nevadan honoree.
It's scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 30, at Reno's Second Baptist Church, 1265 Montello Street. Arrive early. Nevada's best journalist, former Tribunite Dennis Myers, published an outstanding and touching obituary of my friend Eddie in the current Reno News & Review. Please read the very hopeful story of the grand accomplishments of a very humble man.

END OF TIMES SURVIVAL KIT. Defend yourself with humorous or humorless but always-peerless predictions for 2017 by subscribing to the Barbwire Confidential News Service.

Last year's dark foreshadowings unfortunately became reality. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/ It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment.

THE GOOD DON. Nominations are afoot for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.
Time to ramp up for world-famous Tribune photographer Don Dondero. Here's the compelling case for his induction.

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY: FEEL UP YOUR FIRE METER. The Reno Gazette-Journal did big spreads on three consecutive Sundays (Sept. 14, Sept. 21 and Sept. 28, 2014) on NV Energy smart meter fires. Welcome aboard. Barbwire readers were two years ahead on the fire meter issue. (Touch a Smart Meter, Go to Jail — 11 October 2012)

FIRE METER UPDATES: THE NEVADA FIRE MARSHALL'S INVESTIGATION concluded "don't worry, be happy." I'm still worried and will continue fondling NVE's precious equipment —> If your smart meter feels very hot, not just from sunshine, call 911. In its Sunday 21 Dec. 2014 front page headline major story, the Reno Gazette-Journal published results of the NVEnergy-commissioned "don't worry, be happy" echo study. On 1-27-2015, the RGJ published an analysis based on veteran reporter Anjeanette Damon's review of more than 1,000 pages of documents.

bottom line: NVE handles this like auto manufacturers handle defects —> It's cheaper to pay legal settlements after people are injured or killed than to fix the problem.

Don'tcha worry 'bout a thing! If you can't trust your power company, whom can you trust?

Smoking guns: Rooftop solar assassination Energy War Room

DIDN'T THEY MAKE A MOVIE CALLED "THE INCREDIBLES"? On 2-6-2015, the RGJ reported that the Public Utilities Commission has ordered NVE to hire an independent laboratory to review the material.

UPDATE: The report said all is well. I still recommend feeling up your fire meter on a regular basis.

ANTE INTO THE GAME: Support the new season of Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is. A thousand thanks to those who keep sending show suggestions.

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

  Stay tuned.

  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. We've got a lot of work to do.

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

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

Andrew Barbano
is a 48-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 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 Sparks Tribune since 1988.

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Copyright © 1982-2017 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 48-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.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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