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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

Stay tuned for a complete event report, starting hereinbelow —>

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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

We Don't Need No Education Part LXXXVII—>
Marked for life for making a phone call
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 4-4-2018 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

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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.

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Be well. Raise hell.


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Teenager Noah Christiansen has been given a life sentence for making a phone call.

The McQueen High student committed a treasonous crime during last month's national school walkout for gun control: He called his congresscritter.

Arturo Garzon <> answered the phone at Republican Mark Amodei's south Reno office. Mr. Christiansen said something along the line of imploring Arturo to tell his boss to "get off his... [insert obscene seven-letter gerundative colloquialism for common occurrence of sexual pleasure and/or occasional procreation] .. ass" and do something about gun violence.

Arturo is a very personable guy. He was patient and charming when I walked in with a cadre of Culinary Union and Reno-Sparks NAACP activists last year to lobby his boss on immigration.

Alas and alack, in the case of young Mr. Christiansen, Arturo did not prove so affable.

Mr. Garzon called the gestapo at McQueen and had Noah busted for the sin of making a phone call while on school grounds. (That's not a joke.)

Noah got a three-day suspension and was thus banned from an upcoming debate tournament. The American Civil Liberties Union threatened. Washoe County School Superintendent Traci Davis backed down. (I stand by my 2017 prediction that she will soon seek greener pastures.)

The ACLU couldn't wait to crow:

"ACLU of Nevada Legal Director Amy Rose and our client, Noah C., issued the following statements celebrating the school district’s decision to overturn our client’s unconstitutional school suspension:

“ 'This is a major win for the first amendment. Noah will move forward with a clean disciplinary record. Students, like everyone else, have a right to criticize government officials. Now students will know they have a right to speak passionately about their political beliefs, free from retaliation,' said Rose.

“ 'I am so happy with this outcome. This has been a very stressful week, but I am glad I stood up for my rights and I hope other students will do the same,' said Noah.

"Noah was suspended on March 14 after Congressman Mark Amodei's office reported him to school administration for using colorful language in his passionate plea for gun reform. The ACLU of Nevada sent a demand letter to McQueen High School and the Washoe County School District seeking to have the suspension overturned. A letter was also sent to Congressman Amodei to remind him that students do have rights under the First Amendment and requested that he retract his office’s complaint and apologize to Noah."

Amodei sat shiva. School district apparatchiks played three monkeys, asserting that discretion was the cheaper part of valor. So pretty-please leave us alone.

On March 24, I wrote the ACLU: "Has McQueen High student Noah Christiansen's record of suspension been expunged as far as possible? If he is ever interviewed for a high security clearance, military (heaven forefend) position or any other pursuit (e.g., a scholarship) and is asked 'have you ever been suspended for any reason?', what now constitutes a truthful answer? He might even lose a teaching position for having once been censured in high school.

"The yes/no checklist has no 'yes, but...' box. As Bill Maher once said, 'Americans don't do nuance.'

"Do you have a comment on WCSD's grudging relent, citing only legal expense without addressing justice? Are you writing a settlement that covers every possible base, e.g., if WCSD is ever asked if he was suspended, what will their answer be and how far can you push it? Is WCSD using a 'never give a inch' (sic) strategy to force a better settlement with Christiansen's family for a looming federal civil rights case? Have you any leverage with which to push back? Otherwise, you risk their faux budgetary bargain basement offer turning your announced victory into a stalemate — or worse.

"Major damage has already been done to this kid. Once something is up on the Internet, it is there forever.

"I'm trying to get a real-world handle on how such a situation will affect this young person's (or any other's) future.

"Do you know the party registration of the principal who hung Mr. Christiansen with the scarlet letter or that of anyone else in the hierarchy who concurred?

"I will print your answer in next week's Tribune, publish it at et al., and read it at the César Chávez Day celebration.

"Finally, if you have contact information or can pass this along, I want to invite Mr. Christiansen and his family to be my guests at César Chávez XVI on March 31. Of course, I would like him to say a few words."

We Don't Need No Education
— The ongoing Barbwire investigative series

The ACLU has not responded.

Mr. Christiansen was otherwise engaged last Saturday evening with a Fox Noise Network interview. (Which means he is now in danger of vitriol from Czar Donaldov.)

However, Noah's mom, Stacie Lerma attended and addressed the crowd of movers and shakers gathered to celebrate the life of another man who wouldn't back down.

The fight will continue to fade the permanent stain on this young man's reputation and character.

¡ se puede!

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

Web Extras —> March 21 (Barbwire/César Chávez XVI Update) — On this date in 1806, Benito Juárez was born.

March 31 — Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight champion, was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1878. So we celebrated the birthdays of two giants last Saturday night. Stay tuned for a full report.

IMPORTANT DATES: April TBA: Washoe County sheriff candidates forum sponsored by the Reno-Sparks NAACP, ACTIONN and other community organizations. Watch this space.

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—>
From the den of iniquity to the holy of holies
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-28-2018 Sparks Tribune
What's harder: Finding a doctor or Stormy Daniels?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-21-2018 Sparks Tribune
A world in fear: It's always 9/11 somewhere
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 3-14-2018 Sparks Tribune
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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