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"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

West Virginia teachers: Strike one, strike won
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-7-2018 Sparks Tribune / Updated 8-19-2018 / Expansions in blue

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Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

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"How will labor come back? In a strike. That's not romanticism, that's a fact. It'll start with one plant. One plant. And they strike. And there'll be guys across the street at a second plant, and they see it, and they think 'Hmm, maybe we can do that.' And they win. Then somebody in Idaho does it, the same thing, independently. And then all of a sudden you're seeing some John L. Lewis again, a leader, but he gets thrown up, he's just riding the thing...That's not romanticism, that's a fact." — Ed Sadlowski [1]

Chicago steelworker Sadlowski made that wishful prediction during the darkest days of Reaganomics and Bushwhacking.

The teachers' strike in West Virginia might provide real spark after decades of fizzles. The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1980. He promptly fired them when they walked out. [UPDATE: Shades of Sadlowski — The West Virginia strike emboldened teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona. All were successful. The four striking states were among the 29 spending less on education than they did before the Great Recession.]

Reagan was indeed the first union president to win the White House, but PATCO didn't do its homework. They could have learned how Reagan sold out his fellow Screen Actors Guild members so that media mogul Lew Wasserman (MCA/Universal) could force them to work cheap on television. (The New York Times 10 June 2002)

Strikes work but have to be managed properly, which often means not managed at all. An organic, bottom-up work stoppage strikes fears into union busters and the politicians they own.

Coal country is looking plumb organic. The strike may be illegal, but who's going to jail every teacher in that stingy state? Have you met anybody who wants to move to a polluted backwater to strike-break for dog wages?

In a good strike, chaos is king. In the early 19th Century, Chile and Argentina verged on war over their north-south border.

Apparently having read the classic Greek play "Lysistrata," two presidential wives called for a national women's strike "before our husbands go to war over the rocks." No cooking. No cleaning. No sex! Aargh. Strike won. No war.

The Chileans, who installed the hemisphere's second-oldest democracy until we killed it in 1973, had a sense of humor. Looking at where the border was drawn along the crest of the Andes, they opined that God must have been an Argentine.

To symbolize everlasting peace, the countries decided to erect a huge statue of Jesus. Then they almost went to war over which way The Christ of the Andes would face.

Once again, the Chileans took the light side: "Let the statue face the Argentines. They need watching."

The fabled 1936-37 General Motors sitdown strike led to organization of the entire auto industry. Chaos works. No less than Czar Donaldov is a good example of creative (albeit cretinous) chaos. Admittedly, productive randomness is better than the destructive variety now in vogue, but look who's winning.

On March 14, local students will walk out of school for gun control. UNR has said OK. The Washoe County School District is once again shooting itself in spare body parts (it has no collective feet left).

In the 1960s, legendary cultural anthropologist Margaret Meade noticed that we had reached a turning point in history where the old had to learn from the young because the young are much closer to the future. Will we superannuated Baby Boomers now listen to our grandchildren? The future depends on it.

Chaos too, strike won.

TOLJASO DEPT. He who does not remember history is condemned to repeat it. A bevy of historians and economists believe that the Great Depression would not have been so severe had not Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. Welcome to déjà boob all over again. Great Depression 2 looms ever closer.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. This Friday evening, the ACCEPT community service organization hosts a fundraising dinner/roast at the former Airport Plaza Hotel (now SureStayPlus) on Terminal Way. Pastor Glenn E. Taylor, Sr., and former Reno-Sparks NAACP President Dolores Feemster will be guests of honor.

For tickets, call Gwen Taylor at (775) 233-1581.

Proceeds will go toward prevention and education services for northern Nevada young people and families living in poverty. Programs include youth, parenting and financial literacy education, support services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and more. Bell-bottom Bulletin: 1970's attire is optional in honor of Rev. Taylor's 70th birthday.

SATURDAY ADIOS. My friend Tony Mayorga will be inducted into the César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame on March 31. First, his family, friends, union sisters and brothers will have a high-hearted going-away fest for the good man who died Feb. 19 at 65. He didn't want tears, he wanted joy. So be it.

The Mayorga Adios happens at 3:00 p.m. this Saturday, March 10, at Walton's, 1745 Sullivan Lane in Sparks.

In lieu of flowers, his family asks 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.

OSCAR CODA. I didn't have time to watch the Academy Awards exercise in excess. I thus exult only this: Yay, Sheriff MargeYou betcha!

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

[1] From Geoghegan, Thomas, "WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON: Trying to be for labor when it's flat on its back" / Penguin/Plume Books, 1991, at 248)

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.


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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—>

$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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