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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

Circus Circus Reno / Doors open 5:30, Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Sponsorship, table and ticket information

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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

A world in fear: It's always 9/11 somewhere
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-14-2018 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

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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.


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Osama bin Laden remains the most powerful man in the world.

He permeates every society as this monster mannunkind increasingly lives in fear and suffers from exploitation for power and profit.

The malady is simple to diagnose but impossible to cure as long as human weakness trumps human kindness, as long as greed triumphs over respect, as long as ignorance subsumes love.

We remain an adolescent nation still playing cowboys and Indians, shooting at TV. Our vanity knows no bounds. We are demonstrably much more interested in butt control than gun control.

Ronald Reagan was right: Government is the problem. The feds are our biggest drug dealer for better (VA, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare) or worse.

BigPharma got Congress to pass a law neutering the Drug Enforcement Administration's power to stop wholesale distribution of opioids, making them more available than Girl Scout Cookies. At the same time, our failed "war on drugs" acts as a price support system for all the illegal potions on our streets.

We've been breaking bad and it's breaking us.

THE BIG FIX: MONEY AND WOMEN. I've preached for decades that economic opportunity is the Holy Grail. Lack of a foreseeable future hurls young people into the molten maw of violence worldwide.

The solution requires just two ingredients: Thousands of women in power and trillions invested in modern health and education. Worldwide.

Otherwise, the festering miasma of fear and violence becomes a death spiral consuming us all.

IMPORTANT DATES: National student walkout for gun control March 14. Stand by for detention, you rambunctious little protestors. The University of Nevada-Reno says OK. The Washoe County School District says you're busted, you truant juvenile delinquents...Ides of March and St. Patrick's Day with the Reno Bighorns, March 15 and 17, NAACP scholarship benefit; info: Christin Smith 775-544-2288...March for Our Lives — and against guns — March 24 in front of the Thompson Federal Building, W. Liberty at S. Virginia, 11:30 a.m., concluding at the Reno City Hall BELIEVE PLAZA at 1:30 p.m. Info: Nnedi Stephens, 775-338-4561...FREEBIE ALERT: Same day, 11:00 a.m. March 24, stylish hat party and free lunch for womens' rights; Evelyn Mount Center, Valley Road...April TBA: Washoe County sheriff candidates forum sponsored by the Reno-Sparks NAACP, ACTIONN and other community organizations. Watch this space.

MAYORGA CHANNELS JANIS JOPLIN. The late labor leader and my good friend Tony Mayorga threw one helluva party in Sparks last Saturday. Upwards of 150 of his closest friends joined his large family to say adios.

Rock legend Janis Joplin left money in her will to throw a killer bash should she meet an untimely death, which she did at 27.

Tony Mayorga, 65, didn't want a tearful funeral. He wanted joy and fiesta. Last Saturday, he got his last wish.

Family, union sisters and brothers and friends from throughout the region showed up in a continual stream at Walton's on Sullivan Lane. Other than an invocation, only three spoke briefly: His son-in-law Carlos Gomez, Assemblymember Skip Daly, D-Sparks, and The Barbwire Man.

Tony was a member of Skip's union for four decades, moving up to training coordinator and president of Laborers' Local 169. I represented my union, Sparks-based Communications Workers Local 9413, as well as the Reno-Sparks NAACP. Former NAACP President Lucille Adin also paid her respects. Ex-Harry Reid aide Yolanda Garcia drove in from Carson City, accompanied by her lovely mom.

Former Operating Engineers Local 3 Apprenticeship Administrator Greg Smith attended. Following the political path paved by his late wife, Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, he's seeking the north valleys county commission seat.

Rich Houts, longtime Local 169 member and retired Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO, attended with Mrs. Houts; as did retired Local 169 Office Manager Michelle King and her husband.

The food catered by Nico's Tacos of Sun Valley was primo but only the most daring sampled his nitro salsa. (My sinuses are still clear.) Nico is a very gregarious guy who insisted that I print his phone number.

I would never be so crassly commercial as to include 775-379-2008 in a newspaper column. Sorry, Nico.

If anyone tells you Barbano went crazy Saturday, blame Nico. A guy watching him cook was wearing a "Zacatecas" baseball cap.

Somehow, we communicated that the band might know the song.

Titled after a state in north central Mexico, it's the greatest concert march ever written. (I still have the solo cornet part stashed with my trumpet from lo, those many years ago when I played in the VFW Post 8900 Marching Band that performed that magnum opus throughout central and northen California.)

Needless to say, I went nuts when the three-piece group named Calibre Norteño not only knew it but played it pretty well (save for understandably bypassing the killer fanfare intro that's a challenge for even the best horn men). The guitar/accordion trio specializes in what they call the "Ranchero" sound. To me, I heard a cross between northern Mexican and Louisiana Cajun. They said I got it right. Bueno.

Sparks PD was not called to calm down the Italian who jumped up dancing and screaming.

In lieu of flowers, Tony's family asked for contributions to the Domestic Violence Resource Center (formerly the Committee to Aid Abused Women).

A few years back, Tony led the crew that re-paved their big parking lot for free. He was like that.

We will induct Tony Mayorga into the César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame on Chávez's 91st birthday, March 31. (

Adios, old friend. Thanks for all your work, the cerveza and the music.

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

Web Extras —> César Chávez XVI happens on the great man's 91st birthday on March 31. Ticket/table/sponsor info for César XVI may be accessed via the Barbwire expanded web edition at Barbwire.US/ —> Hurry.

ANTE INTO THE GAME: Support the new season of Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is.

Metastatical Statisticals

Trump FCC chair investigated for Sinclair ties / 2-15-2018

Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News
Its mix of terrorism alerts, right-wing commentary and “classic propaganda” could soon reach 3/4 of the US.
By Andy Kroll/Mother Jones Oct.-Nov. 2017

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news
By William Brangham/ PBS NewsHour 10-10-2017

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

  A thousand thanks to those who keep sending show suggestions.

  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 pontification by subscribing to the Barbwire Confidential News Service. Scandalous bonuses for new subscribers.

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 soon. Thank you kindly for your support.

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

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, 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 and received its 8th Nevada Press Association award and 5th first-place at the 30 Sept. 2017 NPA annual convention in Carson City. (That trophy and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.)


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All the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now: Tell your friends and friendly enemies to subscribe to Barbwire Confidential for warm laughter, cheap thrills, hot scoops and occasional cold logic at BallotBoxing.US/ Cheap at twice the price. (Hush Hush!)

Smoking Guns—>

West Virginia teachers: Strike one, strike won
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-7-2018 Sparks Tribune /

$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years
A mass murderer becomes famous on TV a century later

How come nobody noticed 'til now?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners Max Blank and Isaac Harris. Is not Mr. Harris eerily familiar to television junkies?

From the Emmy-winning opening slate of the blockbuster "Cheers" television series. Combined with its "Frasier" spinoff, it lasted 20 years.
The "shirtwaist kings" immigrated from Russia and made a fortune manufacturing "Gibson Girl"-style blouses. (Photo, "The American Experience"/PBS)
The Emmy-winning opening slate of the "Cheers" television series before the "slate" of creators is superimposed. Looks like Mr. Harris' dead ringer (at left) is having a bloody good time.

"Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx disguised as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup" (1933)
Back to the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist holocaust

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Copyright © 1982-2018 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is the executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president and political action chair 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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