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

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

The infamous Koch Brothers have perverted the system of non-profit charity to accomplish something liberals have failed to implement for decades: taxpayer financing of political campaigns, albeit for their twisted royalist vision of plutocracy.

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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Likewise, the healthcare system fattens the few to the jeopardy of the many.

I can't blame people for losing hope. Encouraging signs are hard to find. As you are besieged by cyberbabble, remember this: automatic acrimony abrogates power to those who would arrogate all to themselves.

The rapacious Kochtopus remains the best example. The power elite know that they win when the great unwashed fight among themselves.

Don't say that's not you. If you don't make a million-plus a year before taxes (remember them?), welcome to the streets.

Back in my talk radio days when I was whipping Lush Rambo's ass (see right), I labored under the conceit that the American people had smartened up after Vietnam. God, was I wrong. It took just a few months of self-righteous propaganda for Bush the Elder to gin up support for war.

In January of 1991, just before he pulled the trigger in Kuwait, his approval rating hit a stunning 91 percent. Thinking he was doing his patriotic duty against the fellow travelers of Hanoi Jane, a twisted old man actually assaulted me at a peace rally at Plumb Lane and S. Virginia. I didn't respond to his bump-and-run.

A couple of years ago, the biased liberal media exposed the Pentagon spending millions of taxpayer dollars paying pro sports teams for flag-waving demonstrations at games. War is the easiest but by no means the only product best sold when wrapped in a flag.

Very legitimate anger seethes throughout this huge, rich country, but it's mostly misplaced. Authors write detailed exposés and make the media rounds but I wonder who's listening, let alone reading.

Today, the only words worth attention appear to be only those which fit in the postage-stamp size window of an iPhone. Those so benighted can thus disregard the rest of this column and repair to latter day Pong and Pac-Man while adults return to harsh reality.

What Jane Mayer's Dark Money is to the Kochtopus and follytix, Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal's new An American Sickness is to the health care debacle.

Dr. Rosenthal brings you inside dark machinations of greed and price fixing, some legal and some not, but who cares? It's other people's money, right?

Subtitled "how healthcare became a business and how you can take it back," the book is loaded with outrageous inside baseball about how the rich get richer by gaming the system and exploiting human misery for fun and profit.

For instance, the feds allow an American Medical Association committee to fix prices of services. The committee "is actually asking (doctors) whether or not they want to be paid more," she writes.

One former member termed it "26 sharks in a tank with nothing to eat but each other." is the sole source of the Washoe grand jury report on how Washoe's county hospital was stolen through political corruption in 1985, birthing the rapacious Renown conglomerate.

The most recent local scam came last month when for-profit St. Mary's sold its adjacent "health care and fitness" complex for $66 million to a real estate investment trust. The crusading news media failed to note that REITs pay no income tax.

St. Mary's will now launder your health care dollars into a tax-free corporate front.

Bucking hard for a Trump cabinet appointment, Gov. Veto El Obtúsè just killed Senate Bill 265, an attempt to dampen price gouging for insulin. What a guy.

I strongly suggest that you read all about it. The research is available cheap at locally-owned Grassroots Books.

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.

WONDER WHERE THE YELLOW WENT? Years ago, Ma Bell made the phone book almost useless without a magnifying glass. As of 2017, phone books are no longer delivered in these parts. To get business white and yellow pages, you have to call India or the Philippines. Residential numbers are no longer available except on the internet. That eliminates roughly one in four Washoe County residents without web access.

COW COUNTIES BEWARE. Nevada made international news last week in a BBC story about AT&T phasing out dependable landlines. Ma Bell got a law passed in the 2013 Nevada Legislature opening the door to dropping service altogether in many communities. (Barbwire 31 May 2016).

JUNE 6, 1944. When will they ever learn?

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


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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