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ANDREW BARBANO
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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Photo: Debra Reid, Sparks Tribune



   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.

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


I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016


UNDER CONSTRUXION

EXPANSION, LINX AND REFERENCES TO FOLLOW

Underwater at Crunch Time
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
/
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 10-5-2022 / Expansions in blue

BARBWIRE BY ANDREW BARBANO
FOR THE 10-5-2022 SPARKS TRIBUNE
986 words including bio note.
Editor: "BigOil" and "Oilogopoly " and "PREDIXION" are intentionally so expressed.
Please italicize "Esté bien. Haga infierno." at the end if possible.
Thank you.
AB
======
TITLE: Underwater at Crunch Time
Props to Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve for her new TV commercial, a wet t-shirt contest starring herself.
It's all sweetness and light, including computer effects that miraculously turn the mucky Truckee into a shallow Sea of Galilee. Her Honor walks on water, pulls a Jonah and submerges, followed by quick pix of municipal achievement rah-rah.
In the concluding scene, she pulls a Venus, rising from the depths, wet and slightly bedraggled but nonetheless in proper executive posture.
Standing half underwater with downtown Reno in the background, she asks for your vote. Next stop, a hair dryer.
Did some ad agency, itching to use new computer software, convince her that this is a cute way to cut thru media clutter to create buzz? Probably.
Send that producer wilted flowers because, for the first time in decades, Reno City Hall has told the truth, albeit quite unintentionally. The irony is deliciously unavoidable to those of us who've lived awhile in these parts. Both Reno and Sparks are financially underwater and have been for half a century, the result of blowing billions on corporate welfare tax giveaways since 1973. (See for yourself at the NevadaLabor.com corporate welfare archive. The Barbwire never forgets.)
Officeholders and their apparatchiks have refined cosmetic coverups to a fine art. By the mid-1990s, the list of Nevada corporate welfare queens took up a dozen legal-size pages of fine print. A decade later, the state had to expand it to a half-inch thick bound book. If you wonder why we always come up short in so many areas including health, parks, schools, roads, first responder, police and fire protection, look no further.
In their zeal for buzzy TV, Mlle. Mayor and her media minions have stumbled onto the truth and are spending big bucks advertising it. Bueno.
Now come the new Washoe County school superintendent and UNR President Brian Sandoval to pour salt into the old wounds. School boss Susan Enfield has treaded lightly, noting that Nevada schools need new sources of revenue. Former Nevada Gov. Sandoval needs no such circumspection. Last week, he dared to say he wants his institution's budget restored to pre-pandemic levels and then some.
Dream on, my precious snowflakes. The only way to properly fund education in a state that has topped fastest-growing lists for decades is to raise mining and gambling taxes. All the rest is cheap talk.
Then again, if our elected officials refuse to spend tax money wisely, why should the two major industries in this company town of a state want to ante in their fair share? Let the little people subsidize the greed of other companies. Gamblers and miners stand pat, clip their coupons and dare any dumb candidate to say otherwise.
Mlle. Mayor, a vote of thanks for showing us what we are.
PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS DEPT. Is somebody putting truth serum into our drinking water? Eldorado/Caesars Palace heiress Cindy Carano last week said "we have given the Democrats a chance for the last two years to turn this country around. They failed."
Hmmm...Exactly who left the country in need of all that salvation two years ago?
She really needs to hire better political consultants.
We've never met, but I herewith take this opportunity to express belated thanks for her support after she reportedly complimented my founding of the None of the Above for Governor Political Action Committee (NAGPAC) in 1982.
GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE DEPT. On the PBS News Hour a few days ago, megabucks Melinda French Gates said the answer to our problems lies with putting women into positions of power. Same thing I've been saying for 40 years or so. Welcome aboard.
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE. I am revolted by the U.S. Army's new media campaign attempting to allay the fears of fathers who oppose their teenage daughters' enlistment. Army recruitment goals recently fell far short. They obviously have market research which shows that fathers are the biggest impediment to acquisition of fresh female cannon fodder. The new TV spots are soooo heartwarmingly and disarmingly cute.
They mask the military's abominable record of sexual exploitation and abuse with impunity. The Pentagon goes from scandal to scandal but little changes.
GASOLINE ALLEY. As always, major media have missed the mark regarding exorbitantly expensive western U.S. gasoline. For four decades, we have all been victims of an ingenious BigOil price fixing scheme, hidden in plain sight on every gas station readerboard. I've built a whole website proving it. See the NevadaLabor.com Oilogopoly Archive. How do they get away with it? The monopolists hire better lawyers with humongously bigger budgets than government "regulators." Alas, much of what they do remains legal.
PEERLESS PREDIXION. BigOil wants deregulation-minded Republicans elected. Gasoline prices will thus begin a steep decline starting around Nov. 9.
HEAVY HEARTS FOR HEAVYWEIGHTS. Nevada has lost a gathering of giants this year. Now add radio legend Bruce Van Dyke, 69, and former federal judge David Hagen, 90. Mr. Hagen's memorial service happens at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday at Our Lady of Snows. My condolences to his lovely wife, Peggy, and his family. Obituaries linked to the expanded web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com/ Adios, brave warriors.
IT COMES IN THREES: MIKE GUERRA, 1956-2022. The longtime union activist and RTCRide transit operator died at 65 on August 31 due to complications from Parkinson's disease. That didn't stop him from frontline picket duty, helping win all three of last year's Hat Trick strikes.
Thanks to all who have responded to help his family. Please go to gofund.me/c1fed539/ or send checks or money orders payable to Mike's mother, Olivia Baker, addressed to her attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive No. 100, Reno 89512. Formal obituary at NevadaLabor.com/
Rest in peace, my brave guerrero union brother.
Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
__________________
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 54-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>
CWA 9413/AFL-CIO
BRWR Z10/5 Crunchtime/brwr/opsn22
-30-

BARBWIRE BY ANDREW BARBANO
FOR THE 9-28-2022 SPARKS TRIBUNE
963 words including bio note.
Editor: "yayhoo" and "guerrero" are intentionally so expressed.
Please italicize "Esté bien. Haga infierno." at the end if possible.
Thank you.
AB

Fight like a Guerrilla Gorilla
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
/
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 9-28-2022 / Expansions in blue


Maybe I just look like a bank robber or mad bomber.
All I know is that in recent years, I've been treated as a probable terrorist, drug dealer or stick-up man purely on cosmetics.
It all started awhile back when I walked into my friendly neighborhood Bank of America branch as my last stop one late afternoon.
Dressed for business, I fished my deposit from my briefcase.
"Oh, thank God," said an uptight teller.
"Huh?"
"You fit our new bank robber profile, a man wearing a hat, carrying a briefcase who arrives just before closing. A robbery would make me way late to fix dinner for my family, talking to cops and everything," she confessed.
"Sorry to disappoint," said I.
Soon thereafter came my personal legislative debacle. I arrived in Carson City wearing a lobbyist-as-undertaker black suit topped off by my black aussie golf stetson complete with Phoenix Suns hatband.
The Nevada State Assembly was in joint session for an address by one of our congresscritters. The state senate sergeant-at-arms and a security muscleman ordered me to take off my hat. Is that against some rule, I asked. They said yes. Does the same apply to women? Yes.
They not only escorted me out but shadowed me around the building as I visited the press room.
I asked the Legislative Counsel Bureau about this no-hat rule. Nonesuch. At least "Kicked off the Ledge" scored the Tribune a first-place Nevada Press Association Award. (Barbwire 4-18-2017)
Fast-forward to this past Monday. I made an appointment at that same BofA to get some documents notarized. I've now been doing business at that branch for 38 years.
Enter Elmer Fudd, their in-house notary/teller who would accept only "valid government documents" as necessary identification. To him, that meant a driver's license AND a passport. Period. The bank's website said bring two valid pieces of identification and I brought plenty, including my birth certificate, voter registration and Social Security cards.
My never-used 1979 passport had long expired and I never thought to bring it anyway. I left notarizationless.
Apparently, BofA staff briefings fail to include an old adage: Never pick a fight with anybody who buys ink by the barrel. (Or runs a dozen websites.)
Did I think of closing my account? Hell, no. I opened my first BofA account at 17 and that counts for something.
During a lifetime of promoting justice, the late great Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, fought against discrimination in the building trades. One personal grassroots solution: become a good customer. He told me stories of how his status as a longtime client helped him wedge thru closed doors to bring diversity into a formerly all-white club.
The same approach counts in politics. You, one individual, can be effective if you recognize opportunities to fight guerrilla style.
Complaining to management often gets a contribution to the shredder. Instead, use whatever you have as many times as you can. Post on Yelp.com or other consumer sites. Be concise and accurate. Tell your friends. When you witness unfairness, speak out, call, write, upload, talk to people.
Several times a month, I need to contact tech support or somesuch. I usually get connected to other states or countries. When I'm talking to the Philippines, I conclude with a polite thanks and recommend voting against anybody named Marcos or Duterte. (Both brutal crime families are again in power.)
When I'm talking to Florida or North Carolina, I tell them to vote against their yayhoo governors. When I get a Texan, I advise supporting Beto O'Rourke against their current flaming fascist. Gov. Greg Abbott fallaciously blamed green energy for killing so many of his constituents when the state's grid failed in the dead of winter due to government neglect.
When he signed a bill making abortion illegal in all cases, Abbott was asked “why force a rape victim to carry a pregnancy to term?”
Abbott replied that "rape is a crime and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas."
So Texas is now a safe haven for women, right? Wrong.
“Under Abbott, Texas leads the nation in rape offenses while the rate of arrests for rape has fallen by nearly HALF," O'Rourke responded. "What happened to eliminating rape in Texas?”
https://www.statesman.com/story/news/politics/politifact/2022/08/07/fact-check-does-texas-have-most-rape-offenses-united-states/65382978007/
Yayhoos, moonhowlers, freedom-loving racists and crypto-fascists have now crawled out of the woodwork. You know who they are. Put them under a bright spotlight and don't let up.
Everyone has a network of contacts. Use them, people you know and even those you don't. Persistent guerrillas win because they are too numerous to silence.
Justice Louis Brandeis wrote that "publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial disease. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."
Organize. Vote. Let your light shine bright, brave guerrillas.
MIKE GUERRA, 1956-2022. "Guerra" is Spanish for "war." Mike Guerra lived up to his name.
The longtime union activist and RTCRide transit operator died on August 31 due to complications from Parkinson's disease. He was just 65.
"Rain or shine, heat or cold, smoke or smog, Mike stood with us on the picket lines through all three 2021 strikes," stated Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson. "He was a true union warrior."
His family said his condition had deteriorated surprisingly quickly over the past few months.
Please help them with his final expenses at gofund.me/c1fed539/ or send checks or money orders payable to Mike's mother, Olivia Baker, addressed to her attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive No. 100, Reno 89512. Formal obituary at NevadaLabor.com/
Rest in peace, my union brother. a brave guerrero who never let up and did us all proud.
Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
__________________
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>
CWA 9413/AFL-CIO
BRWR Z9/28 Guerrillas/brwr/opsn22

Murder, mayhem & rape R Us
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
/
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 9-21-2022 / Expansions in blue

It's Queen Elizabeth's fault.


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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!

 

I spent Monday from midnight till dawn watching her sendoff soirée, held in the grandest tradition of Janis Joplin who likewise left a chunk of money in her will to throw a helluva party. (Her majesty spent a bit more.)

I had to take a bit of time off from my Britannia all-nighter to roll out the recycling for my Teamsters brothers. I thus took advantage of PBS highlights Monday evening in case I had missed anything important. Big mistake. The queen's gambit was followed by what documentary impresario Ken Burns describes as his magnum opus, "The U.S. and the Holocaust."

I had avoided watching that three-parter. Current reality is so dark I don't require additional regression.

Alas and alack, Burns proved correct. This damned thing is probably his greatest work. Monday thus fittingly became a dark and stormy night, complete with thunder and hailstones in my 'hood.

From his post-show interview with Stephen Colbert, Burns noted that his series will conclude with parallels to present day America. The opening installment will chill you to the bone, déjà vu all over again.

Hitler comparisons have been hurled so often that they are borderline meaningless. Czar Donaldov has accused his myriad critics of being closet Nazis. (Somebody break out the scorched pots and kettles.)

Trump's idol, Czar Putin, likewise fell back on the trite and true, using fear of Nazis to justify his holocaust against Ukraine.

Burns' trilogy looks at how an isolationist America chose to ignore Hitler's rise to power, as did so many others. He couldn't succeed, right? (Déjà vu 2016, anyone?)

I don't know if Burns used it, but no less than aviator Charles Lindbergh, a flaming anti-semitic racist, led U.S. isolationism in the mid-1930's as fascism ran wild worldwide, kinda like now. Lucky Lindy got very quiet after Pearl Harbor. [POST-PRESS TIME UPDATE 9-21-2022: Burns and company spent a lot of time focusing on white supremacist Lindbergh in the second installment.]

Donald Trump's success parallels Hitler's in so many ways. Trump has used the Nazi template by instinct, not design. It's just that the dictator playbook works the same everywhere. Get into power via election, then make sure you stay for life by any means necessary. Like so many dictatorships today.

Hitler, Trump and their soul brothers share one necessary scapegoat: The Other, especially immigrants. Like my family.

The lazy ignorance of so many of my fellow citizens dismays but must not dissuade. The latest dingbat fad is that we are not a democracy but a republic so there's no democracy for Trump to subvert. Why? Because the MAGA moonhowlers have said so.

CIVICS 101. "Republic" is shorthand for representative democracy. True democracy is a town hall meeting where all citizens show up, have their say and vote on every issue, right down to ordering paper clips. Just right for 16th Century colonies.

Instead, we democratically elect representatives to act for us. Representative democracy, a republic.

President Franklin Roosevelt saw the danger but there was no support to help European Jews in the midst of the Great Depression given mistrust in government sown by World War One. President Woodrow Wilson won re-election in 1916 by promising to keep us out of European combat. Then promptly sent troops the next year.

I hope Mr. Burns includes the story of the ocean liner filled with Jewish refugees from Hitler which was refused entry to the U.S. It had no choice but to return to face German ovens.
[POST-PRESS TIME UPDATE 9-21-2022: Burns and company indeed told the bittersweet story of the German ocean liner St. Louis.]

I remember a long-ago interview with one of the brave few Americans who volunteered to fight against Francisco Franco's revolution in Spain, arguably the laboratory for Hitler's blitzkriegs.

"America could have stopped fascism cold," he lamented. "But we wouldn't."

Ignore Mr. Burns' video red flag at your peril and that of your children. And your country.

Déjà vu all over again.

TWOFER WEDNESDAY. At 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, Culinary Union 226 kicks off a canvas launch from its Reno offices at 5450 Equity Ave.

North and south, over 250 of the union's members have taken leave from their jobs to campaign for Democratic candidates and officeholders. The very diverse union will understandably contact a wide array of minority households. Local 226 is the only major organization of any stripe with the guts to do anything about Nevada's skyrocketing rents and exploitation by corporate landlords.

Info: Bethany Khan <bkahn@culinaryunion226.org> (612) 598-0174. Livestream available at Facebook.com/Culinary226/

TRACK 2: Activists from an array of national railroad unions have called for informational pickets at rail terminals nationwide on Wednesday. The goal is keeping the heat on the nation's railroads notwithstanding a tentative agreement avoiding a national strike announced last week by President Biden.

It got little media attention, but one Machinists Union local had actually voted down the deal 2-to-1 the day before the president's announcement.

"While all of this is happening, the rank and file is not standing idly by, but is mobilizing," stated Reno-based train driver Ron Kaminkow of Railroad Workers United.

Apparently, there are more than a few folks not too happy about tentative contracts with the various rail behemoths. Union workers recently had to fight fang and claw to stop the corporations from foolhardy cutbacks. Would you board a jetliner knowing there's no co-pilot? They have hinted at more demonstrations "channeling this mass discontent."

Mr. President, I suggest calling your labor secretary. Better yet, just contact Mr. Kaminkow <ronkamikow@yahoo.com> (608) 358-5771. Tell him you heard it on the Barbwire.


HELP MIKE GUERRA. Thanks to all who've donated to help the ailing RTCRide bus operator. Contribute at gofund.me/c1fed539/ or send checks or money orders payable to Mike's mother, Olivia Baker, addressed to her attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive No. 100, Reno 89512.

Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.

¡ se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.) Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
__________________
_
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, DoctorLawyerWatch.com, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, ChantalCoalition.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. He is retained by no political campaign. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Web xtras and smoking guns —> Madcap Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he would eliminate rape in the Lone Star State as he signed an almost total ban on abortion. How's it going so far? Ooops.

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Truth in Advertising 101
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 9-14-2022
Updated 9-18-2022 GMT / Expansions in blue

"Do you promise to tell the truth and nothing but?" asked lawyer Larson E. Pettifogger.
"I do," swore the suede-shoed witness.
"State your profession."
"Advertising."
"Step down."

That's the text of an installment of "The Wizard of Id" comic strip from decades ago. Therein, cartoonist Johnny Hart captured timeless truth in three panels.

Trying to get a handle on what people say has been an insoluble conundrum since talking evolved from grunting. And perhaps before.

Dictators and kings would seem to have it easy. Just exile, imprison or snuff anybody who says things they don't like.

Repression notwithstanding, the drive for expression seems a universal human trait, hard-wired into sentient beings right after food, shelter and clothing — emojis in a dead heat with sex and laughter.

Ancient Egyptians communicated in complex pictures and symbols, much like oriental languages yet today. The Arabic alphabet caught on because it was simple, just 26 characters forming things called words. Clear and concise. "Flour or flower?" What's not to like?

We've now come full circle, from scrawls on cave walls to hieroglyphics, complex codes, then back to symbols with smiley faces.

Regulating expression is a minefield. Back fence gossip widely spread can get you sued for damages. Trying to foster innovation, Congress in its wisdom exempted these new-fangled things called websites from liability for spreading falsehoods the likes of which would get this newspaper busted.

Mix malice aforethought with our innate human desire to trust one another and you've created a combustible combination ripe for exploitation.

No greater example of perverted trust lies with the geography of the microphone.

For some reason which I've never fully fathomed, we attribute wisdom to the flip side of the mic. Abuses of the media megaphone can perpetrate great harm. Witness Orson Welles' 1938 radio dramatization of the "War of the Worlds." It was so well-produced by the great writer-director-actor that even with disclaimers that it was a drama, it caused widespread panic.

My own sainted Italian mother typified consumer vulnerability. Watching some TV show, she would occasionally ask me "is that a true story?"

"No, mom," I would respond, "it's a fictional story."

"But things like that do actually happen," she correctly responded. Even then, fiction was well on its way to becoming reality when filtered thru mass media, be it back fence or Facebook.

On my long-ago radio show, I twice ran experiments proving the danger inherent in media confusion. Once in northern Nevada and again in Sacramento/San Francisco, I opened by noting that I was going to conduct a put-on. For the next three hours, I would perform an act as a nutso conservative.

The late Lush Rambo jump-started his career the same way with an extreme spoof, a lampoon of his predecessor, Morton Downey Jr. Alas and alack, there were enough dingbats listening who believed his act. He went with the flow and the rest was history.

Like Welles, I began by informing the audience that I was doing a reversal by presenting right-wing moonhowler talk. I repeated the disclosure every five minutes.

Unfortunately, many of the phone callers only heard what they wanted to hear. For days thereafter, I was praised for seeing the error of my liberal ways.

Our humanity is nothing if not a dissonant symphony of misplaced belief. Whether coming from religious dogmatists, business charlatans or political opportunists, they market their wares in plain sight. Profitable prophets. All it takes is being on the dispensing side of the microphone.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., memorably said that democracy without regulation becomes tyranny. I've actually had people tell me "they couldn't advertise something if it's not true, right?"

Practitioners of my former profession are a legion of very bad examples. Far from muckraking author Vance Packard's book title of half a century ago, they are much more than "masters of deceit." Some even manufacture the products of deception.

Madison Avenue
ad agencies have for years helped develop boutique drugs that can serve a few. They then advertise their potions everywhere, creating demand among people who won't benefit from the stuff. Patients start bugging their physicians for the new fad prescription. Some doctors give in just to stop the pestering. Others are on the take from drug companies, commissioned salesmen with medical degrees.

If most people weren't honest, there could be no such thing as checking accounts. Or paper money. Trust is the currency of commerce. And politics.

Alas and alack, there are always buffoons and poltroons who put themselves first. Czar Donaldov is the most recent bad example. He doesn't need to sell steaks, worthless college degrees or flaky real estate deals anymore. He just sells words, flogging his true believers with the threat of the day, solution to which is always the same: money. For himself. Instant millions for creative fiction.

So what's the solution? Regular Barbwire readers know that my long-term fix lies with women in politics. A majority without male egos would be a good start.

More immediately, participate in overthrowing the government this November. VOTE.

Also a good start. But choose wisely.

BAND-AIDS ON GUSHING GUNSHOT WOUNDS. A few weeks ago, an expert asserted that soon, everything on the Internet will be fake.

Things have reached such a low ebb in this time of warped perceptions that no less than five states have passed laws requiring some form of "media literacy" instruction in schools. About time. Photoshop was bad enough (or good enough) at altering reality. China-owned TikTok has now turned a paper cut into a hemorrhage.

Alas, no matter what, you can't cure stupid.

HELP MIKE GUERRA. Thanks to all who've donated to help the ailing RTCRide bus operator. Contribute at gofund.me/c1fed539/ or send checks or money orders payable to Mike's mother, Olivia Baker, addressed to her attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive No. 100, Reno 89512.

Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.

¡ se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.) Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
__________________
_
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, DoctorLawyerWatch.com, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, ChantalCoalition.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. He is retained by no political campaign. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Of giants, legends & lessers
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 9-7-2022
Updated 9-18-2022 GMT / Expansions in blue

Could it be that Adam Laxalt and Joe Lombardo read the Tribune? Or at least their demonstrably inept campaign managers?

A day or so after the Trib hit the streets last week, both Republican candidates changed their spots, at least the TV variety.

As I noted ("Robbing Peter to Play Paul" 8/31), Laxalt supporters were broadcasting an ad imploring voters to tell Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto to "stop reckless Washington spending to stop inflation."

Which made me wonder: If reckless Washington spending will stop inflation, why should she stop?

Laxalt's minions proved neither slow nor fast, but rather half-fast. A day or so later, they reversed the onscreen graphics to read: "To stop inflation, stop reckless Washington spending." But the voiceover announcer still moaned that Sen. Cortez-Masto should "Stop reckless Washington spending to stop inflation."


Mr. Laxalt's troubles did not end there. Last Thursday, the New York Times noted that "for months," his campaign website "greeted visitors with a huge banner exalting his endorsement by former President Trump in all capital letters. Now, that information is nowhere on his home page." The Times posited that Laxalt and others could be feeling the heat from pro-choice women.

Legions are righteously enraged at the Roe v. Wade reversal at the hands of those Trump once termed "my justices."

Meanwhile, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, like Laxalt in a dead heat with an incumbent Democrat, took down the TV ad mentioning his "detailed plan to cut Nevada taxes."

As I reported, no such plan was even hinted at on his official gubernatorial campaign website.

Thanks for reading, gentlemen.

ADDING INSULT TO INJURY: Reno lawyer Joey Gilbert pulled a Trump, going to court and failing to prove that his lopsided primary loss to Lombardo was rigged. A local TV station ran a Lombardo story last week and cut to silent archival video of Gilbert, in front of Gilbert for guv signs, making a speech. A Joe is a Joe?

ACTING LIKE DONKEYS. Sen. Cortez Masto
has a spot opening with her mugshot next to Laxalt's as an announcer intones "Leaders find solutions. Politicians are part of the problem. Take Catherine Cortez-Masto and Adam Laxalt..."

Mme. Senator has thus stated that she and Laxalt are both part of the problem, or so the casual viewer would surmise. The ad finally cuts to Laxalt bashing but like all of the above stands as testament to inept media management by highly paid consultants so well-versed about Nevada that they probably couldn't spell Winnemucca, let alone pronounce it.

JEFF GERMAN, A GIANT WHO WALKED AMONG US, LIES DEAD. The veteran Nevada journalist was found stabbed to death near his Las Vegas home last Saturday morning, apparently after a Friday altercation. Monday evening, his employer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, published a chilling photo of what appears to be a parking garage foyer or utility room with a large bloodstain on a littered floor.

Jeff would approve. The news is the news no matter who's involved. The uncaptioned surveillance still is followed by several others, apparently of crime scene investigators.

Police released photos of a suspect, a skinny individual clothed head to toe — including gloves — out in 110-degree heat. Someone matching the description was recently seen in the area wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat like the person in the photos. The masked individual carries a dark colored shoulder bag and wears a bright orange reflective shirt with gray "duct tape" reflective striping, blue jeans and gray shoes.

Detectives theorize it may have been a crime of opportunity with the suspect casing a neighborhood which has recently experienced vandalism. A private service has been scheduled for Sept. 7.

German, 69, wrote books, columns and heavy duty investigative reports about higherups, lowlifes, dingbat pols and wiseguys. He hosted the podcast "Mobbed Up," tracing the rise and fall of the mob in LV. Many of his stories carry lasting impact to this day.

Our paths crossed a few times over four decades. I regret that he stopped writing a regular column, some of his best work.

After the 1976 heart-attack death of North Las Vegas Valley Times/LVRJ writer Ned Day, I especially enjoyed several years of serious competition between German and Jon Ralston to see who best deserved to wear Day's hardassed mantle. It was pretty much a tie.

I was introduced to Ned Day in 1982 by my old boss Bob Brown (1930-1984), former LVRJ editor and Valley Times publisher. Bob gave Ned his break at the Times and Ned was soon snapped up by the Review-Journal.

Bob will join Ned in the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame at the organization's annual awards luncheon later this month in Las Vegas. Both Ned and Bob have long been enshrined in the much more exclusive Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames.

[UPDATE 1: Jeff German will join Bob Brown in the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame on Sept. 24. He has likewise been inducted into the Barbwire's rogues gallery as its 14th honoree.]

[UPDATE2: Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles has been arrested on charges of first-degree murder in German's death.]

MORE TRANSITIONS. Mylan (Barin) Roloff Hawkins, mother of the prescient 1990 Nevada ballot question which wrote Roe v. Wade into the Nevada Constitution, died August 26 at 83. I supported her efforts in this newspaper and on my talk radio and TV projects. Awesome lady.

Eileen J. (Yrueta) Savage, matriarch of legendary (since 1893) Savage and Son Plumbing/HVAC, died August 22. The former Sparks High teacher was 90. My condolences to her son Len and her family.

You may access the formal obituaries of these two over-achieving Nevadians via the expanded edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com/

HELP MIKE GUERRA. The fundraiser for the ailing RTCRide bus operator is up to $2,865. Thanks to all who've donated thus far. Contribute at gofund.me/c1fed539/ or send checks or money orders payable to Mike's mother, Olivia Baker, addressed to her attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive No. 100, Reno 89512.

Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.

¡ se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.) Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
__________________
_
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, DoctorLawyerWatch.com, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, ChantalCoalition.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. He is retained by no political campaign. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Robbing Peter to Play Paul
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 8-31-2022 / Updated 8-31 & 9-1-2022 GMT / Expansions in blue

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT and the beast wouldn't go to sleep.

Ambition burned through Adam Laxalt's visions as sugar plums danced in his head like plump law firm partnerships.

The boy was shell-shocked that midnight dreary in late 2018. He had failed to turn the trick his grandpa had flipped which led to wealth, fame and power: Winning the Nevada governorship in a 1966 upset.

Young Adam had to find another enchanted apple, a core of magic mojo to re-envigorate the family name in his ancestral stomping grounds. Only problem was the pesky fact that his ancestral roots lay in Virginia, not Nevada. (No matter. Carpetbaggers have always done real good in these parts.)

What to do? Copy grandpa's act once again. He began to frequent libraries, something at which he had never shown much aptitude in school.

He went thru miles of microfilm about how former Governor Paul Laxalt came out of retirement to defeat the heavily favored Lt. Gov. Harry Reid for U.S. Senate in 1974, a rare Republican bright spot in the disastrous year of Watergate.

Slowly, an idea began to form. Forget the governorship. Jump right to the senate.

Copy Grandpa Paul's act again. Never forget your makeup. Look like a distinguished leader on TV. Hope people overlook your distinguishing failures. Grandpa flopped in the hotel business and Carson City's Ormsby House remains a ghostly shell, a mausoleum museum of management incompetence by Paul's political personality cult. (Some of his insiders actually termed it so.)

As both supporters and detractors often noted. Paul Laxalt was not the smartest of the Laxalt brothers but he damn sure was the prettiest.

Handsome Paul had no choice but again running for office in the hope lightning would strike and save him from bankruptcy.

Many years later, curious facts emerged. Paul Laxalt's total personal investment in the hotel-casino was a whopping $60 thousand. The rest was financed by questionable Chicago banking interests.

Harry Reid made the mistake of attacking while he led in the polls, albeit correctly questioning the highly suspect Ormsby House funding and demanding full disclosure of all interests.

Grandpa's non-response was masterful, parrying Reid's thrust as an attack on the fabled Laxalt family. "What does he want," Paul Laxalt asked, "a financial statement from my sister, a Carmelite nun?"

Ouch.

Gowabunga! Adam Laxalt would simply ignore his 2018 loss to Gov. Steve Sisolak and run for senate just like grandpa. Any attacks on his creaky resumé would be spun as personal insults to family.

He would campaign as a pro-family conservative with a cute wife and kids. How dare that woman from Las Vegas remind people of his f-minus achievements in college.

If she keeps it up, he always has grandpa's silver bullet ready to fire: He's ONE OF US and the Gomorrah South amazon is not. Worked in 1974 and will work now, or so he hopes.

The Barbwire thus predicts that "one of us" will surface in campaign ads before November.

SILLY SEASON. This year's major campaigns have already descended into nasty nonsense which will continue perhaps until Thanksgiving and, heaven forfend, beyond.

Laxalt supporters are proving so inept that one front group's TV spot trashing first-term incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto orders Mme. Senator to "Stop reckless Washington spending to stop inflation." Huh?

If reckless Washington spending will stop inflation, why should she stop?

HONOR THY FATHER. Laxalt the Lesser has loyally copied grandpa's playbook almost completely, right down to deploring attacks on his family. He runs ads with his wife and kids and his hardworking single mom.

But he disses dear old dad. As I noted last week, Adam Laxalt's father is the late U.S. Sen. Peter Domenici, R-New Mexico, who had an extra-marital relationship with his colleague Paul Laxalt's young daughter. Personal peccadilloes aside, Sen. Domenici was a distinguished moderate much admired by his colleagues from all points on the political spectrum. It is a disservice to his memory to pretend he doesn't exist.

Adam Laxalt's privileged childhood was apparently positively impacted by his father's influence. The good senator deserves at least acknowledgment by his son.

Doing so may not quite follow Grandpa Paul's script, but it would be the right thing to do.

Adam Domenici-Laxalt should not rob Peter in his quest to play Paul.

BEWARE SECRET PLANS. Remember Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger's secret plan to end the Vietnam War? Nixon said he would only disclose it after the election. Actually, he and Henry the K (aka Dr. Strangelove), worked to subvert peace talks and keep the war going so that Nixon would not be deprived of the major issue of 1968. [1]

As stinging singing satirist Tom Lehrer once noted, satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo wants to be governor and advertises a detailed plan to cut Nevada taxes. It's apparently a Nixonian secret. (Maybe it's a Republican virus.)

I suffered thru his vapid website which fortunately didn't take much time. No tax cut plan of any kind. Websearches likewise. Like everyone else, he supports education but ignores Nevada's Scrooge-like school budgets. But he'll damn sure protect our rights to fabricate our own unregistered guns, by golly.

Nonetheless, he promises he "will always govern as a pro-life governor."


CELEBRATE LABOR DAY at Reno's Idlewild Park, 11:00a.m.-4:00p.m. this Monday. Years ago, I recommended that union leaders bail out of Virginia City which had allowed its Labor Day parade to become a celebration of the Confederacy. I'm glad to see the new Laborfest. Live music, food trucks, beer garden, kids zone and a huge Mother Jones inflatable to scare the children. Info at RenoLaborFest.com/

ADIOS HARRY SPENCER. My longtime Sparks Tribune colleague in columny died August 20 at age 95. Harry was a walking Nevada history book. I hope his family compiles and publishes an anthology of his remembrances.

HELP MIKE GUERRA. Here's the URL I found when donating to the ailing RTCRide bus operator's assistance fund: gofund.me/c1fed539/ Please be generous.

Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.

¡ se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.) Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
__________________
_
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, DoctorLawyerWatch.com, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, ChantalCoalition.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. He is retained by no political campaign. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

[1] After meeting Kissinger, at the time foreign policy advisor to New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, director Stanley Kubrick patterned the title character of his classic 1964 anti-war film on strange Heinrich.

Dirty cellos playing oxymorons for peccadillos
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 8-24-2022
Updated 8-26-2022 GMT / Expansions in blue

The rancorous campaign for Catherine Cortez-Masto's U.S. Senate seat has been rather undistinguished until now.

Mme. Senator may have at last done one thing for the history books, a true political innovation.

OXYMORON ALERT: She's now airing a POLITE hatchet job against her Republican opponent, Adam Laxalt.

She thus raises the burning question: Can you be too laid back to be in politics if you're too unlaxxed to attack Kid Lax?

Her new spot is the second best ad of this year's campaigns, second only to one hitting Laxalt's big money from BigOil by portraying him as operating a campaign contribution filling station.

The latest commercial undresses him nicely with lotsa scandal. Inexplicably, Mme. Senator pulls one punch, so low-key that even NBC News missed it. The ad says Mr. Laxalt is the “son of a lobbyist. The grandson of a senator. Raised at one of DC’s most elite private schools...Flunking out of college, but that’s not a problem. Laxalt was immediately allowed into another elite university.”

That's political kissy face? Jawohl.

Adam Laxalt is actually the son of the late (lobbyist?) Sen. Peter Domenici, R-New Mexico, and Michelle Laxalt, the daughter of late Nevada Governor and U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt. No biggie, save for the fact that Sen. Domenici was married to the mother of his eight children at the time of his relationship with young Ms. Laxalt.

Scandalous? Not by the standards of today's holier-than-thou GOP. Alas, in the age of media follytix, everything is fair game and everything counts. Joe Biden has trouble getting into his suit coat in a gusty wind? Front page guffaws.

Maybe Sen. Cortez-Masto's media gurus think revealing her opponent's pedigree would actually help his candidacy. I don't really care about that or his lineage. The only real news in all of the above is why the sin of omission about Domenici's peccadillos?

State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, frequently quoted his own mom: "You can't run from the truth," she wisely advised.

And "politics ain't bean bag" as the late House Speaker Tip O'Neill once put it.

Latest polling shows Sen. Cortez-Masto and Mr. Domenici-Laxalt in a dead-even race. [1]

Politics does not reward the shy.

I AIN'T SHY and have even been known to occasionally give credit where it's due. The Reno Gazette-Journal just made the best decision anybody at their parent conglomerate has handed down in many, many moons. The out-of-towners appointed veteran journalist Peggy Santoro as executive editor. She has certainly paid her dues at the RGJ over three decades.

What I like the most is that her longevity brings with it personal institutional memory as a longtime denizen of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream. That's increasingly important as we have long been a way station for green reporters to build some cred to jump to bigger markets. Can't blame them for helping themselves but we need all the help we can get here in the provinces.

As the late Tribune Hall of Famer Dennis Myers once told me, "if we tried to correct every media error we see, we'd have time for nothing else."

Seasoned Nevadian journalists like Santoro and KOLO TV-8's Ed Pearce and Terri Russell are rare treasures, endangered species.

So maxx congrats, boss lady. Now I can get back to bashing the Kazoo-Journal upside the head when needed.

SPEAKING OF DUES PAID. Deputy Reno Police Chief Oliver Miller is in the running for the top job being vacated by Chief Jason Soto's announced retirement. As I noted last April 20, I've worked with him on community issues for years. He began his career with Sparks PD in 2000 and has paid his dues and earned his shot at the top job. Contact your favorite Reno councilcritter.

RENTVOLUTION.ORG. Culinary Local 226 has eschewed suing North Las Vegas for blowing the union's rent control initiative petition off the fall ballot. Any court victory would come too late with ballots already at the printers. The 50,000-plus organization will instead double down with its formidable election machine. Organized labor is deadly when we organize.

Does it work? Tenacious grass roots organizing by Barbara Bennett persuaded a reluctant Reno City Council to pass the only rent control law in Nevada history in 1978, which they quickly and cravenly repealed. It nonetheless resulted in the election of Mrs. Bennett as Reno's greatest mayor in 1979. (Barbwire 7-17-2019)

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS DEPT.
Sparks RTCRide driver Michael Lansborough has recovered from open heart surgery and has not only returned to work but also won appointment to the Teamsters Local 533 executive board. Thanks to everyone, including Barbwire readers, for chipping in when his family needed it.

Alas, his fellow driver Mike Guerra is in very poor health and likewise incurring heavy medical bills. As with Lansborough, a GoFundMe page has been launched by Amanda Nelson and her union colleagues. Link with this column at Barbwire.US/

You may also send checks or money orders payable to Mike Guerra's mother, Olivia Baker, addressed to her attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive No. 100, Reno 89512. Thanks.

GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY. Cellist Rebecca Roudman
, leader of a rock band called Dirty Cello, e'd me in hopes of publicity for their jam at Piper's Opera House in Virginia City this Saturday evening.

They glory in their pandemic survival instincts. “There’s a viral video of us performing with a parrot at the Oakland Zoo," she wrote. "We played at an apple orchard where someone called the sheriff, and we even played multiple concerts at nudist resorts where we kept our clothes on but the audience wore nothing but masks.”

A rock band with a lead cellist? Shades of the late great Harry Chapin! Tickets at DirtyCello.com/ Tell them you heard about it from Barbano on the Barbwire. Wonder if they are available for fully clothed picket line duty.

Stay safe and pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.

¡ se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.) Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
__________________
_
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal.org, DoctorLawyerWatch.com, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, ChantalCoalition.org, Rentvolution.org, MIssissippiWestNV.org and CesarChavezNevada.com among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. As always, his comments are entirely his own. He is retained by no political campaign. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

1. UPDATE: On August 24, the Reno Gazette-Journal published a poll showing Cortez-Masto at 45 percent to Domenici-Laxalt's 38. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent, meaning each score may vary up or down by 4.4 percentage points.

For all the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now, subscribe to BARBWIRE CONFIDENTIAL—>Cheap. (HushHush!) Hie thee to BallotBoxing.US/

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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 © 1982-2022 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 53-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.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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