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

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

¡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

Rewriting the Civil War and the Mexican War
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 9-27-2017 Sparks Tribune / Updated 9-28-2017 / Expansions in blue

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

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Help us get the word out.

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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
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mp3 file

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I'm not watching Ken Burns' new Vietnam series. PBS has already done two and that's enough.

Wags often quip that if you can remember the Sixties, you didn't participate. Well, I remember those times, part of an unbroken string of less-than-worthless wars.
Then as now, any criticism was presented as lack of patriotism endangering soldiers.

After Bush the Elder propagandized more than nine in 10 Americans into supporting Gulf War One, the Reno Gazette-Journal printed an early 1991 front page purportedly presenting both sides. One story was entitled "anti-war," the other "support the troops."

Apparently nobody was pro-war, not even the organizers who tied a yellow ribbon "for the troops" around the entire McCarran loop.

In a "making of" addendum to his 1990 Emmy-winning PBS series "The Civil War," Ken Burns hisself responded to the question of slavery as a cause.

Burns elegantly finessed it, stating that no matter one's perspective, slavery was like a snake curled up under the table.

Boo, hiss.

Apologists like the Confederate Brigade of the Comstock Civil War Reenactors (Barbwire Sept. 2 and Sept. 20) assert that slavery was not one of the major causes of the biggest shootout in cowboy American history.

Now comes another PBS show with questionable perspective. I wrote "Travelscope" host Joseph Rosendo earlier this week.

"On the local affiliate of the PBS Create Network, I watched your 2015 installment documenting fiesta week in San Antonio, TX. You included the Alamo within the program as well as on the closing credits. You also showed a plaque and voiced a narration stating that the plaque commemorates 'Alamo heroes.'

"Several times, your program showcased the Texas city's culture of inclusion. Mrs. Rosendo was noted as a onetime San Antonio resident.

"Did I perhaps miss something, or are you not aware that the 'heroes' of the Alamo started a war to secede from Mexico because Mexico had outlawed slavery?

"That may not fit nicely with 'Davy Crockett -- King of the Wild Frontier' a la Disney, but it's accurate.

"You close every edition with a quote from Nevadian hero Sam Clemens, 'travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.'

Non-slaveholders fought for God because the Bible sanctioned slavery
Address to Charleston Library
By Gordon Rhea / 25 Jan. 2011

"What did you find in auld San Antone regarding the Alamo myth? Did I miss any inclusion in your program?"

I sent a copy to KNPB TV-5 boss Kurt Mische. I have not only asked Mr. and Mrs. Rosendo for comment, but I've also asked the Washoe County School district how its textbooks treat the causes of the Civil War and the Mexican War. [UPDATE: About the same as Mr. Burns and the Comstock Civil War Reenactors.]

MAKE HISTORY. Attend the Reno-Sparks NAACP's second Reno-Sparks NAACP's second Community Policing Forum at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Northern Nevada HOPES, Third Floor Community Room, 580 W. 5th Street, Reno NV 89503. Admission is free. Get there early. Last year was SRO.

Two days later on Oct. 14, Circus Circus-Reno again will be the site of the Branch's 72nd Annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet. Make reservations early. Last year was a sellout. Buy tickets, tables and sponsorships at

THE ROBIN AND THE FIREBIRD. Last July 26, I noted the passing of former Sparks businessman John Hanks. I did not know that Robin Lynn Vonderheide Andrews had preceded him on July 4. Beautiful, effervescent Robin was an excellent actress who portrayed "Pauline" in the award-winning "Apparels of Pauline" tv commercial series, an homage to the classic "Perils of Pauline" silent movies.

Our Pauline was always having G-rated wardrobe malfunctions solved by Hanks' Pauline's Sportswear shops. Our Robin, a longtime Sparks resident, was 67.

Firebrand Democrat Virginia Cain died on Sept. 19 in Los Angeles at 95. She held just about every Nevada party office and was still able to bring the heat long after she attained the additional title of senior citizen. As someone on the receiving end of dear Virginia's fire more than once, I wish we had more fighters like her in today's toxic environment.

Adios, ladies. You done good.

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

ONLINE EXTRAS —> Freedom loving racists shoot to rewrite history
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 9-20-2017 Sparks Tribune
Rewriting History
Reno News & Review Editorial : Remove Klansman's sculpture at UNR / 9-14-2017
Virginia City Nevada celebrates Slave Labor Day
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Special online Labor Day edition 9-2-2017

NVEnergy SECURITY BREACH? After I paid my July power bill, I awaited the usual confirmation. Just before it arrived to an unpublished e-mail address, I got two pieces of spam to that same address.

The subject lines stated "Second Attempt Your July Electric bill is zero" and "Study Reveals The #1 Tiny Device SAVES Electricity Bills In Your Home."

Too close for coincidence. I contacted NVE. Stay tuned.

As of 9-28-2017, Warren Buffet's Electric Valhalla LaLaLand has yet to respond. (Maybe they're busy with Equifax.) In hizzoner, I continue to include the following warnings from the Barbwire Golden Oldies Monopoly File.

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.

Top-down Democrats haven't learned
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-10-2017

More Faux than Fox? Corporate octopus Sinclair moves to dominate Nevada and U.S. television
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-3-2017

  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.

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. Hush Hush!

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

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. I suggest coming aboard now. Subscription prices go up Oct. 1.

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, executive 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 BallotBoxing.US 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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