BARBWIRE
by
ANDREW BARBANO
Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream
The Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames


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SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades)

Je Suis Charlie
"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." — Joseph Pulitzer

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

 

An Alternative National Anthem
By Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Sharon Robinson
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.

   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 that the boat is leaking.
Everybody knows that the captain lied.
   Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died.
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   And a long stem rose.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that you love me, baby.
Everybody knows you really do.
   Everybody knows that you've been faithful,
Give or take a time or two.
   Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
   Without your clothes.
Everybody knows.


   Everybody knows that it's now or never.
Everybody knows that it's me or you.
   And everybody knows that you live forever
When you've done a line or two.
   Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
   For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that the plague is coming.
Everybody knows that it's moving fast.
   Everybody knows that the naked man & woman —
Just a shining artifact of the past.
   Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
   That will disclose
What everybody knows.

   And everybody knows that you're in trouble.
Everybody knows what you've been through
   From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach at Malibu.
   Everybody knows it's coming apart.
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
   Before it blows.
And everybody knows.

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


"The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you'll never have." Kierkegaard

Deus Ex Machinations
Barbwire June 16 and 23, 2021 / Updates and expansions in blue.
The series hereinbelow treats related items dating from May 12, 2021.


Greatest Hits Dept.

WE WON: BIG NEWS FROM THE NEVADA PRESS ASSOCIATION CONFAB IN GOMORRAH SOUTH —> BARBWIRE NOMINEE GUY RICHARDSON INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME ON FIRST BALLOT

Barbwire nominee Dennis Myers elected to NPA Hall of Fame

Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton next.

Send endorsements

10 the Hard Way
Barbwire wins 10th Nevada Press Association award

GOLD 2017-18

2018 First-Place Winners

From the depths of despair to the den of iniquity & holy of holies

"Excellent work. These are some of the most moving columns I've read."
— NPA contest judge/9-29-201
8

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly

9-6-2017

Kicked off the Ledge
4-18-2017

NATIONAL NEWS FIRST-BREAK
Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada

10-18-2017

Gold 2017
Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo

10-4-2016
We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

12-13-2016
Kate Smith & Lady Gaga
2-14-2017

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
4-28-2015
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
11-24-2015
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders
1-19-2016

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
4-18-2013
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
5-30-2013
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism
3-20-2014

More statewide and national award winners

We Don't Need No Education—>
Neverending Barbwire Series

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

Barbwire.TV:
15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
BEATING LUSH RAMBO AT HIS OWN GAME: Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

Tomorrow's news today —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential
TOP SECRET— HushHush!

 

Children of lesser gods
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 6-23-2021 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

"Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man, living in the sky who watches everything you do every minute of every day. The invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do ANY of these ten things, he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever till the end of time! But HE LOVES YOU." — George Carlin

There's just about nothing wrong with basic Judaeo-Christianity or just about any religion. They mostly try to arc toward justice and teach people to get along with each other, even if only within one's tribe.

So what's the problem? Me. And PR guys like me going back four or five thousand years.

Religion is both a product and a service. As such, it has to be sold to new believers.

That's where the sales crew comes in.


To cut yourself a slice of the market pie, you have to show enough people that your product is better.

How do the best salesmen become successful? Hype. Over-promising. Whether messianic politicians, used cars or recycled gods, the pitch is basically the same.

"Get in now for the greatest sale in our history this weekend at Savin' Sam's Used Cars! Supplies are limited. Get in now-now-now before they're all gone. First 25 people to take a demo ride get two free New York steaks. Free hot dogs and soda. Bring the whole family. Never before, never again, this is it. It's on right now. Don't miss it!"

Your god may be great, but mine is new and improved. Think it was any different a few thousand years ago?

"Why should I believe in your god?"
"Our guy could walk on water."
"So what. That's why we invented ice skates."
"Our guy healed the sick and raised the dead."
"We have an excellent shaman, too."
"Our guy was murdered, rose from the dead three days later, then magically ascended into the heavens."
"Wow. Tell me more."

At that point, it didn't take the likes of St. Paul to close the deal and director John Carpenter could start writing the script for his 1984 Jeff Bridges sci-fi flick, "Starman."

Like me, George Carlin grew up in Catholic school. Like me, his teachers had a sense of humor and cultivated it in the kid.

My greatest high school teacher was Brother Hugh Kennedy. (Yes, part of that family of famous and notorious Massachusetts Catholics.)

Brother Hugh was a hardassed taskmaster. Geometry was a bitch but he used it to teach us reason and logic. My classmates nicknamed him "Fungus Hugh." As you got to know the man, you slowly got the idea that you were in the presence of great wisdom. Depth with a sense of humor. Kinda like George Carlin.

At the beginning of junior year religion class, he articulated the official position of the Catholic Church: Every word in the Bible was divinely inspired and absolutely true.

Uh huh.

We kept encountering the number 12, multiples of 12 and 12 times 12.

"That's one of the ancient Hebrews' magic numbers," he once smiled.

He never asserted that Methusaleh lived more than 900 years, just that the term translated as "year" might have meant something different three or four thousand years ago.

Long after I was a record-setting altar boy, they began passing around the muscatel during mass. And perhaps contract whatever flu is most popular at the moment.

Anybody can now french kiss that sacred chalice that we weren't allowed to touch because our hands were not anointed. Reminds me of the old saying "God protects small children and drunks." Faith can move mountains but perhaps not microcrobes.

Turns out there's a First Amendment exception to health codes that would get any restaurant closed.

Brother Hugh never glossed over petty contradictions and absurdities, but nonetheless taught us how to focus on great issues.

Which is more than I can say about the current U.S. version of the church and its manufactured Biden Communion Crisis.

DR. LECTER, CALL YOUR OFFICE. Church dogma sez you have to believe in "transubstantiation," meaning that once a priest at mass has said the magic words (they really sound better in Latin), the very essence of an unleavened wafer and a slug of wine have changed into the actual body and blood of a union carpenter from Nazareth, Galilee. (About a third of Catholics believe this.)

Right after I got to Reno in 1971, I worked in an ad agency with a recent seminarian who had decided the priesthood was not for him. He was qualified. Preaching and marketing remained a good fit after lo, those many centuries.

Father Tom told me that the U.S. church was the money machine for Rome and as such, no matter what New York's Francis Cardinal Spellman and his fellow magenta-robes did, Vatican City would sit shiva.

So now, Pope Francis is besieged by a Trumpist arch-conservative church that wants to ban President Biden from taking communion for not wanting to — what? — shoot any card-carrying Planned Parenthood member on sight?

As George Carlin once put it, they are acting like the all-time hall of fame champions of bullshit.

Led by newbie U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney-Barrett's hometown bishop Kevin Rhoads, the moonhowlers are running wild. President Biden said a ban will never happen and he's right. Sen. Joe Manchin, sorta D-West Virginia, will marry Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, in a Buddhist ceremony before that happens.

First, only local prelates have such power. Biden's Delaware hometown and his DC church ain't playing. Worse, it will be easier for an AK-47 ban to get through the U.S. Senate. A national mandate would take a unanimous vote by the country's 433 bishops.

Biden can always find work-arounds. Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, Catholic eastern rite (Uniat) and Anglican churches all have valid communion.

Catholic Congressman Ted Lieu, D-Calif., has been similarly threatened by a Fort Worth Texas holy man. "Your very soul is in jeopardy," said Rev. Jim Gigliotti.

Mr. Lieu had simply asked why the bishops were not going after Republicans who support the death penalty, a practice anathema to pro-life Catholic zealots.

The answer is obvious. This is not a matter of morality but of marketing. Six in 10 white Catholic voters are registered Republicans.

"About 56 percent of U.S. Catholics support legalized abortion, but about two-thirds who attend mass regularly do not," according to a Pew Research Center poll. (New York Times 6-19-2021)

As with campaign contributions, the Sunday collection plate rules, just as Father Tom told me half a century ago.

Would not all this vitriol and energy be better spent doing the work of Jesus, helping the least among us?

Which reminds me: Brother Hugh Kennedy died young at age 53 from a disease contracted somewhere in Africa while doing the work of the Lord.

Requiescas in pace, frater mei.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡Sí se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

___________________
Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.com, Rentvolution.org , MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>

Deep-fried minds bobbing for french fries
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 6-16-2021 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue


     They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
     But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?

Robert Frost

President Lyndon Johnson's favorite quote was "Come now, let us reason together." (Isaiah 1:18)

I gave up trying to live that Old Testament aphorism long ago. Alas, the ill winds of the past week admonish me to sally forth into another exercise in moralistic futility.

Don Quixote, your windmills are ready.

The anemometer of animosity has been blown off its moorings by a smokescreen of acrid emotion.

All this has just plain made life smell bad of late.

A Reno ambulance chaser whose brains were apparently scrambled in his final boxing match has been passing out flyers for local school students to give to their parents. His trite allegations would never pass muster in a script meeting for a bad TV sitcom.

Alas and alack, he's just going whichever way the wind blows and will probably cash in as the great unwashed look for a new savior. (The old one is busy golfing.)

Moonhowlers have been showing up at school board, county commission and city council meetings to read Republican Party fantasies into the record. Can't blame the ambulance chaser for trying to drum up a little business. His flyers even carry a plea for donations to his PayPal site.

He wants to take back our schools. So maybe he's just an overly-educated repo man.

I'm mostly a flaming liberal but I'm quite conservative when it comes to categorizing the obvious. I still wear a mask on any of my few public forays because the 21st Century Plague will apparently be with us forever. Us macho Americans just can't put up with any inconvenience or gov'mint telling us what to do. (See last week's Barbwire, "Accepting Acceptable Deaths.")

Reasoning together just isn't much fun in our bumper sticker (aka meme-soaked) society.

IBM has finally won. Decades ago, Big Blue's ad agency came up with a catchy slogan to tell the world what it wanted to hear: "Simple solutions to complex problems." That still sells like hotcakes on a frosty morning.

So zealots threaten and bully public officials because of boorish bumper sticker zingers and slogans. Can we have a discussion about our underfunded public schools? No, better to accuse the school board of commie conspiracies. Let's put Big Brother bodycams on all teachers to make sure they say nothing which could possibly make class interesting.

Want to talk about college that is unaffordable for most unless they undertake a lifetime of indebtedness to Ebenezer Scrooge? Nah. Let's bitch about liberal professors teaching free sex and socialism. (Moonhowlers who truly hate socialism should pledge to never collect dime one of Social Security and return anything they may have received so far. Any takers?)

Anger, emotion, demagoguery, fascism, cultish caudillismo (Spanish for dictatorial strongman rule) — just some of the buttons that opportunists love to push to cash in. Soft on crime. Soft on communism. Soft on drugs. Please don't squeeze the Charmin. Send a check to save your soul.

It's just not profitable to be reasonable. We have devolved into a sitcom society selling predictable jokes to hook viewers into sticking around for a predictable shoot-em-up where the good guys almost never get hit. Guns don't create problems, guns solve problems. Usually in 22 or 44 minutes, depending on the commercial spot load. Any other perspective is flat un-American.

Sparks should be proud to have a native son who was just arrested for not only taking part but apparently helping plan and manage the murderous January 6 treasonous Trump riot and assault on the nation's capitol.

A few years back, when one Robert Morss was attending Spanish Springs High, I tried to bring attention to widespread racism at Shaw Middle School and SS HS. Nobody showed much interest. Turned out that the school district was very good at making sure that complaints didn't get into the media. You know, student confidentiality and all that sort of rot. (See the Barbwire of October 4, 2016, and the 2012 "We Don't Need No Education" archive at NevadaLabor.com/)

Mr. Morss is apparently going to plead insanity. Can't argue much with that. He can blame the school district for teaching boring civics classes.

Rather than listen to Robert Frost or Isaiah, it's easier to preach the gospel according to Nazi Army Chief of Staff Hermann Goering: "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

Hunter S. Thompson put it more succinctly: Fear and loathing sells.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡Sí se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

___________________
Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.com, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>

Accepting acceptable deaths
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 6-9-2021 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue


Greatest Hits Dept.

WE WON: BIG NEWS FROM THE NEVADA PRESS ASSOCIATION CONFAB IN GOMORRAH SOUTH —> BARBWIRE NOMINEE GUY RICHARDSON INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME ON FIRST BALLOT

Barbwire nominee Dennis Myers elected to NPA Hall of Fame

Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton next.

Send endorsements

10 the Hard Way
Barbwire wins 10th Nevada Press Association award

GOLD 2017-18

2018 First-Place Winners

From the depths of despair to the den of iniquity & holy of holies

"Excellent work. These are some of the most moving columns I've read."
— NPA contest judge/9-29-201
8

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly

9-6-2017

Kicked off the Ledge
4-18-2017

NATIONAL NEWS FIRST-BREAK
Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada

10-18-2017

Gold 2017
Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo

10-4-2016
We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

12-13-2016
Kate Smith & Lady Gaga
2-14-2017

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
4-28-2015
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
11-24-2015
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders
1-19-2016

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
4-18-2013
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
5-30-2013
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism
3-20-2014

More statewide and national award winners

We Don't Need No Education—>
Neverending Barbwire Series

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

Barbwire.TV:
15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
BEATING LUSH RAMBO AT HIS OWN GAME: Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

Tomorrow's news today —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential
TOP SECRET— HushHush!

 

I witnessed a mass suicide last Friday and I was the only one who noticed. I was also the only dork wearing a mask (actually two) on a hot, sunny afternoon.

The occasion was a bit of a family reunion on the corporate welfare riverfront of downtown Reno, across the street from the taxpayer-subsidized movie theater.

Pretty coffins all in a row.

"You've been vaccinated, how come you're wearing a mask?" asked a father sitting with his unvaccinated kids.

I patiently informed him that more than ten thousand COVID-19 "breakthrough infections" have been documented among fully vaxxed Americans

" ' Very likely a substantial undercount,' according to a CDC report issued May 25." (New York Times, 5-26-2021).

Zounds.

What's the vaunted Centers for Disease Control going to do? Stop counting, that's what.

Damn.


Unless the fully vaccinated "become so sick that they are hospitalized or die," the Times noted.

WTF.

The Times told the story of Julie Cohn, a gorgeous 43 year-old soccer mom who has recovered but endures lingering side effects like "fatigue, headaches, brain fog and vertigo so severe and sudden that she crashed her car into her garage."

She still suffers from shortness of breath and no longer runs three miles a day.

Some 995 have been hospitalized and 160 have died, although some had contributing complications. Again, likely substantial undercounts.

Separately, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that two fully-vaxxed middle-aged women contracted mild symptoms of America's newest hot import — COVID-19 variants.

"One had twice the transmissable viral load number in a pinhead drop of saliva," said the paper's senior author.

MAYDAY!

So there I was, the masked man among legions of happy people celebrating the end of the plague last week.

Two types of countries have stomped out the Terminator: Dictatorships (China, Hong Kong) and responsible democracies (Iceland, New Zealand, S. Korea).

We are neither unless Czar Donaldov makes good on his most recently announced coup coming up this summer.

Instead, we have decided on "a bearable level of death," according to USA Today reporter Elizabeth Weise.

"We as a country are willing to tolerate a certain level of risk," says Indiana University doctor/professor Aaron Carroll. "We are going to have to learn to live with it," he added, with what I trust was an unintentional irony-soaked pun.

Two of my visitors typified his observation. Like madcap M.D. U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-MitchMcTucky, both contracted the plague and lived.

Like their Mar-a-Loco idol, they consider themselves immune and immortal. (Texans!) I rudely but wisely insisted on outdoor accommodations and have avoided my neighbors for the past few days.

Americans just can't bear inconvenience. True patriots should be prepared to make the supreme sacrifice for commerce and tourism.

TOL'JASO DEPT. I've noted several times that Sparks would have no defense if the lawsuit filed by the late Miciah Lee's family ever got to court.

The suicidal 18 year-old black kid was killed by Sparks cops in January of last year.

His mom called and asked them to save her son.

One cop turned her plea into a hunting license.

If you watch Law & Order or just about any shoot-em-up, you know "I've got hands" means the threat is over.

Thus with Mr. Lee and so shouted one cop who also had the drop on the young man.

Suffused with buck fever, a late-arriving officer sicced his dog on Mr. Lee, then shot him dead.

City Hall may have to defund the police to pay the damages incurred by this macho negligence.

Sparks PD had access to a de-escalation team but chose not to call it.

I guess Miciah Lee is just another acceptable death.

Lee family attorneys have asked Washoe DA Chris Hicks to re-open his kneejerk exoneration of the officers. Stay tuned.

TOL'JASO, TOO. Dumbass Washoe Assessor Mike Clark got elected on a lie in 2014 and we are all paying for it.

A judge has just issued a restraining order barring him from physically entering any county office because of harassment and threats in the workplace.

So he still gets paid for not coming to work, which will be nothing new.

He had no qualifications for the office.

When he won, he hired the man he defeated, incumbent fellow Republican Joshua Wilson, to run the place.

Clark has other business interests.

In the November 2014 general election, Clark put up a cleverly worded website that led casual observers to think that he could and very well might cut their property taxes.

Absolutely false. The assessor just determines the value of properties. Other entities levy taxes.

Mr. Wilson approached the late Reno-Sparks NAACP matriarch Dolores Feemster about placing a sign on her fence. (Dolores' endorsement was worth a lot of votes in northeast Reno and elsewhere.) She found Wilson a nice young man and allowed him space on her fence, the only non-Democrat there.

One day she woke up and found a Clark sign had been added.

Dolores was the nicest person in the world and asked me what she should do.

I did some research, found Mr. Clark unqualified and saw his misleading website.

Dolores called him to come get his sign.

Alas and alack, Mr. Clark has his cake and eats it too while we pay his tab.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡Sí se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

___________________
Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.com, Rentvolution.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO

Keepin' the young'uns moral after school
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 6-2-2021 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

"Don'tcha never do business with a preacher" — Sparks businessman, WW2 vet and cropduster pilot John Hanks (1926-2017)I witnessed a mass suicide last Friday and I was the only one who noticed. I was also the only dork wearing a mask (actually two) on a hot, sunny afternoon.

Early in life, I learned leeriness when it came to men who purported to speak for God. Nothing against God, but many marauders have gotten rich and powerful abusing Her good name.

Another such slithered into public view in the May 23 Reno Kazoo-Journal.

His name is Samuel Lair. Feel free to typo his last name at will because he's cut from the same cloth as Elmer Gantry, Amy Semple McPherson, Father Coughlin, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the legendary music man, Professor Harold Hill ("gotta keep the young ones moral after school").

Mr. Lair went to Spanish Springs High and the University of Nevada-Reno and is currently working toward his PhD at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Scary place. It bills itself as a "conservative liberal arts college founded in 1844 by abolitionists known as Free Will Baptists," according to its Wikipedia page.

As the old football saying goes, Hillsdale has forgotten to dance with who brung' em.

"Since the late 20th Century, in order to opt out of federal affirmative action policies and avoid admitting minority students, Hillsdale has been among a small number of US colleges to decline governmental financial support, instead depending entirely on private funding to supplement students' tuition." (Sources noted at Wikipedia)

Not to worry. Among their more distinguished alumni is one Erik Prince, megabucks Amway heir and boss of the since re-named Blackwater mercenary army provider, which tried and failed to build two full-blown private military bases in the US, one on each coast. Had that happened, the January 6 Trump treason might have been successful. Prince is the brother of former Trump Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the nation's highest profile opponent of public education.

Mr. Lair is going to college in the right place and it showed in his Reno newspaper guest editorial. Lair likes lies and wants public schools in Washoe County to lie to their students.

The school district is implementing a social justice curriculum from kindergarten thru fifth grade. He thinks kids are too stupid to understand about America's history of slavery, racism and genocide against native tribes. Instead, that should wait until much later. In the meantime, teach the kids to wave the flag while sending their older brothers and sisters off to war.

Mr. Lair wants teachers to accentuate the positive and erase the negative.

I prefer George Santayana, a wise man in the mold of
John Hanks.

"Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it," Santayana said in 1905, sixteen years before the Tulsa massacre —  figuratively and literally buried by Lair's soul brothers for a century.

Lair calls the WCSD curriculum "subversive." Welcome to Iran.

Mr. Lair, do you know what you get when men who abuse God lie to their kids?

Me.

Back in my Catholic high school, some of my classmates noticed that our church-approved history book suffered from "alternative facts" which differed substantially from the public school text used by another class.

In our church-filtered book, the notorious Cardinal Richelieu of France (1585-1642) was a righteous defender of truth and justice. The public school book said otherwise.

We asked our class counselor about the discrepancy. Young and macho Brother George (think Russell Crowe) admitted that we would be fed lies and sins of omission until we were seniors and better able to accept the truth. Otherwise, our faith in the church might be damaged. (Brother George left the Christian Brothers order at the end of my freshman year.)

He told us that when we got to senior year, we would have a class called "apologetics," setting the record straight. When we asked about it three years later, we were told that the church had decided we didn't need it.

When I got to Fresno State, I found I could not defend the lies I was taught. As Irish singer Sinead O'Connor put on her famous t-shirt, I became a lifelong "recovering Catholic."

Don't lie to us kids, preacherman. We will remember. And question the morality of those who advocate apologetics.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡Sí se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

___________________
Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.com, Rentvolution.org, RenoSparksNAACP.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO

Nominations open for the Doofus Awards
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno /
Expanded from the Wednesday 5-26-2021 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

I are confused. I can no longer tell which Nevada elected body is the most madcap. Maybe we need an annual red carpet extravaganza. The Doofus Awards, perhaps?


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The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

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TOP SECRET— HushHush!

 

Our Democratic-controlled legislature has been busily proving what everybody already knows. No matter who's in charge, big business is in charge. Witness bargain basement gambling taxes and non-existent mining taxes. Tenants' rights? Go back to California, pilgrim! Profits are at stake.

We love our guns and we love our money. In honor of Area 51, we keep our schools funded as 51st among the 50 states plus the oughtta-be state of DC. Public option health care? Whadda you, a commie?

I loved the cockamamie guest editorial in the Reno Kazoo-Journal a couple of weeks ago. It was co-authored by a Republican moonhowler and an otherwise sane but corporately sensitive Democrat. They decried a government takeover of health care. I guess research means never having to say you're sorry.

Larry Matheis, the longtime executive director of the Nevada State Medical Association, informed a luncheon meeting of union officials more than a decade ago that the government takeover had already happened. For over 10 years now, the feds have paid for more than half of all U.S. health care. Socialism means never having to say you're sorry.

How come so many moonhowlers say they hate socialism but love Social Security?

Back when the inchoate Trumpistas were demonstrating against passage of Obamacare, one woman actually growled "I'm here to keep government's hands out of my Medicare!" Welcome to Planet Doofus. Was Donald Trump born in Kenya?

As I warned last week, the local the overlords of the local mass transit plantation voted to hire strikebreakers should organized labor, led by Teamsters Union Local 533, strike for the first time in almost 20 years. A vaguely-worded item on last Friday's Regional Transportation Commission agenda modified their agreement with their foreign-owned, for-profit bus system contractor.

As Justice Clarence Thomas might say, it was Kafkaesque. The current mismanagers who ignore their duties with morally obtuse aplomb are Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson
(R), Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado (more hereinbelow) and RTC Chair Neoma Jardon (R), plus Regional Transportation Commission Executive Director Bill Thomas (SeeNoEvil). Contact info at NevadaLabor.com/

At least Mr. Lucey didn't waste his time by attending. His peers voted 4-0 to allow France-based multinational Keolis Transit to make expenditures for "special services" for "unforeseen circumstances" like cleaning. Huh?

Perhaps at long last we have the reason that Keolis has never enforced President Biden and Gov. Sisolak's mask mandates. Unforeseen COVID-19 was merely predicted by no less than Bill Gates in 2015. And I'm sure the new blank check has nothing to do with the Teamsters Union contract expiring in June.

The board members praised their courageous bus operators, over two dozen of whom got COVID-19 with at least two hospitalized in ICUs. (Two Las Vegas drivers, African-American women, lie dead, so I guess we're lucky so far.)

RTC won't fess up with detailed numbers but Keolis admitted that 13 percent of their roughly 220 workers got the plague. That means about 30 got sick risking their lives for a paycheck.

Athena Duffy with Teamsters Local 533 Business Agent Ross Kinson

RTC overlords insisted that the contract modification had nothing to do with union members. They said it with a straight face for the US Keolis boss in attendance, direct from France. And they circumvented the spirit of the Nevada Open Meeting Law by allowing no public comment until AFTER the vote had been taken.

A bevy of e-mails and voicemails from the public were likewise ignored. With the room limited to 42 warm bodies, union members, joined by Reno City Councilmembers Jenny Brekhus and Devon Reese, demonstrated outside in the cold.

Marchers included driver Athena Duffy (see left), a young Latinx nursing mother illegally denied lactation breaks or sanitary facilities by sensitive Keolis management.

Does motherhood qualify as an unforeseen circumstance, I wonder?

SCHOOL DAZE. Just in at deadline: Two Washoe County School District trustees have resigned. Kurt Thigpen, elected last year, quit for undisclosed health reasons. Andrew Caudill, a Sharron Angle acolyte whose disdain for public education dripped from every pore, did what I expected.

Just after he was elected in 2018, I predicted that Caudill would not serve his full term because of his profession. He was then a 20-something graduate assistant in the University of Nevada-Reno athletic department.

To further a career in the jockocracy, one must hold a series of jobs in various educational venues. Mr. Caudill is on his way to exciting Wisconsin where voting is becoming increasingly illegal.

The remaining five members of the board will choose successors. Good luck with that.

School board and Washoe County Commission meetings are now reminiscent of banana republic parliaments with narcissistic and oft-seething Trump Cult werewolves presenting non-stop Republican talking points for the cameras.

Rather than fall back on Zoom, maybe the school board should just budget for garlic cloves to decorate their meeting hall. Now that would be fiscally conservative.

And it would make great spaghetti sauce for student lunches.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡Sí se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

___________________
Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.com, Rentvolution.org, RenoSparksNAACP.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO

Hot August Strike: Déjà vu all over again
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno /
Expanded from the Wednesday 5-19-2021 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

This Friday, the overlords of the local mass transit plantation will vote to hire strikebreakers should organized labor, led by Teamsters Union Local 533, strike for the first time in almost 20 years.

Why? Me. The Barbwire never forgets. Not only does NevadaLabor.com have all you need to know about the current depredations of the Washoe bus system, but my archives are a Wayback Machine.

I've been fighting the various incarnations of the Regional Transportation Commission almost since its 1982 birth. Nothing ever changes, dammit. For exorbitant fees, they hire non-Nevada for-profit pillagers to run the system. Into the ground. The current contractor is a multi-national based in gay Paree. Whee.

Subcontractors allow politicians to pull a Pontius Pilate. They wash their hands of any crisis, blaming the furriners for futzing up.

The current mismanagers who ignore their duties with morally obtuse aplomb are Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson (R), Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado (more hereinbelow) and RTC Chair Neoma Jardon (R), plus Regional Transportation Commission Executive Director Bill Thomas (SeeNoEvil).

The Teamsters first struck the system in 2002 after coming close in 1999 and several times more over the years. The 1999 contractor, Ryder/ATE, imported strikebreakers without RTC authorization. Even though no walkout happened, they asked to be reimbursed by the taxpayers.

The late union driver and shop steward Eileen Wiley stated this in a Reno Gazette-Journal guest editorial on Sept. 6, 1999: "The employees of the Citifare bus system have asked the Regional Transportation Commission to restore unauthorized and unnecessary expenditures which we feel were deducted from our paychecks. Without notifying the commission, Ryder/ATE, Inc., the foreign-owned for-profit contractor which manages the system, committed $113,841.32 to import 36 Cincinnati strikebreakers for a work stoppage which never happened. Dividing $113,841.32 by 36 means each strikebreaker cost $3,162.26 for no work."

Imagine what the Parisian party animals will spend this time.

The late Teamsters CEO Lou Martino sent me to present the union's case before the elected officials. They voted to pay the blood money anyway.

Current for-profit contractor multi-national Keolis Transit of France is now asking for an upfront blank check. Item 4.13 on this Friday's RTC agenda does not mention strikebreakers at all, just "flexibility." Union busters always use that word, complaining that unions impair management "flexibility."

Keolis and RTC's Bill Thomas have been so flexible that drivers have been hospitalized in intensive care units and upwards of 20,000 passengers a day have been forced to board COVID-19 superspreaders.

The bus system serves the least among us: the young, the elderly, the disabled, low-wage workers, minorities — many of whom cannot drive or don't own cars.

RTC and Keolis have simply refused to enforce masking and safety orders. In a written order to drivers last Feb. 1, local Keolis boss Taquan Jackson reiterated "our drivers are not to enforce this (mask) policy whatsoever."

In the almost four decades of RTC existence, cause for a strike has never been more glaring or more in the public interest.


MICIAH LEE'S LAW KILLED. Assembly Bill 268, sponsored by Assemblymember Lisa Krasner, R-Reno, and Sen. Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, was killed last Friday by the Nevada State Senate Judiciary Committee.

Police officials and the Reno-Sparks NAACP stood in support of the mild measure which resulted from the killing of suicidal black teen Miciah Lee by Sparks police in January, 2020.

Washoe County already had a rapid response de-escalation structure in place but Sparks PD chose not to use it. This bill effectively said "ask questions first, shoot later."

So what message does this inaction convey?

LATE-BREAKING UPDATE 5-19-2021: Today came announcement of a sex workers rights initiative petition being kicked off in Oregon (semi-ironically on my birthday this summer). As a committed union man, I will of course support it. As the latter item demonstrates, us flaming Nevada liberals identify with sex workers because we long ago became desensitized to getting screwed by our friends.

GREAT WRITING, PART ONE. If you can afford six bucks, pick up the Sunday (May 16) New York Times at a news stand. If not, go to NYTimes.com and read reporter Susan Dominus' magnum opus about surviving high school during the plague.

She profiled an advanced placement class of sophomores in Columbia, Missouri, for the Times Sunday Magazine. It's not only superbly written, it will teach you a lot you may not know about how Donald Trump's negligence has affected so many families and will continue for a century to come. (I don't believe the lowlife's name was even mentioned in the piece, so I will mildly make up for it with the latter mild insult to the psycho who knowingly ignored the reaper.)

I will link Ms. Dominus' piece to the expanded web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com/ I predict a George Polk Award and a Pulitzer.

GREAT WRITING, PART DEUX. The Nevada Press Association will hold its annual convention in Reno this fall. I have been successful in getting two great journalists elected to the NPA Hall of Fame, the Reno Gazette-Journal's Guy Richardson and former Tribunite (and longtime Reno News & Review News Editor) Dennis Myers. (See right.) Both stand ensconced in the much more exclusive Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniators Hall of Flames.

There are only two qualifications for the latter: You gotta be dead and your work must have had max impact.

I will renominate two of the Barbwire/Ivins Nefarious Nine for NPA honors this year: Longtime Trib columnist and University of Nevada-Reno journalism Prof. Jake Highton and high-hearted WW2 fighter pilot and world-class photographer Donald Dondero. Please send me your endorsements and personal memories of those two giants. I have built websites for all of the above and will add your comments so that the judges may see them.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡Sí se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

___________________
Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.com, Rentvolution.org, RenoSparksNAACP.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO

From the 5-12-2021 Barbwire: SPEAKING OF SILENCERS...AND SUPERSPREADERS: This just in from a guy figuratively and literally sitting shiva.

"District Board of Health Chair Oscar Delgado (stated) ' I appreciate the diligence of the Board of County Commissioners in approving the Washoe County COVID-19 Local Mitigation and Enforcement Plan today...This gradual approach of reopening for the month of May is reasonable, responsible and protects the health and safety of our community.' "

Mr. Delgado (D) is the CEO of the Community Health Alliance and in his capacity as a member of the Reno City Council, sits on the Regional Transportation Commission board.

He and his fellow RTC directors have lifted nary a finger after a year of complaints and legal actions regarding lax enforcement of COVID-19 safety standards on the RTC Ride bus system. Drivers have been hospitalized, some in ICU. Another Hot August Strike looms large while Oscar and his buds issue press releases.

Other morally obtuse RTC bosses include, but are not limited to, Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson
(R), Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmember and RTC Chair Neoma Jardon (R), plus Regional Transportation Commission Executive Director Bill Thomas (SeeNoEvil).

I am disappointed but not surprised by Mr. Delgado's disingenuous statement advocating "reasonable, responsible" protection for "the health and safety of our community." (Perhaps he's a big fan of Queen Marie Antoinette. Who knew?)

Me, I prefer Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. At least you always know where he stands.

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$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

Triangle tragedy recalled as requiem
"The Fire in My Mouth," a new oratorio by Pulitzer honoree Julia Wolfe, premiered with the New York Philharmonic Jan. 24

By Michael Cooper / The New York Times 1-23-2019

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Copyright © 1982-2021 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and SenJoeNeal.org; 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 a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us.

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.

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