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

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Photo: Debra Reid, Sparks Tribune

 

 

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

War in moderation?
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 4-13-2022 / Updated 4-14-2022 GMT / 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
and David Toll next.

Send endorsements

Eee-yo-leven!
Barbwire wins 11th 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!

 

"War: What is it good for?" soulfully sang Edwin Starr back in the Vietnam era.

"Absolutely nothing," he dissed.

Alas and alack, the facts are otherwise. Perhaps the proper approach is the old admonition "all things in moderation."

The digital age was spawned by World War2 when computers were invented to do quick calculations for aiming artillery barrages.

The atomic age spawned a lot of worthy science and a lot of worrisome destruction which still haunts us today. Czar Vladimir the Last has thus far stared down the west because of it. Ukrainians are paying the price.

War brings benefits but are you willing to pay the price? We ended slavery in our Civil War bloodbath but the conflict never ended. More than 700 cancerous monuments to the Confederacy still infect our country as does much of its legacy.

Edwin Starr asked the question: "Peace, love and understanding, Lord, there's got be a better way. War can't give life, it can only take it away."

America has largely forgotten, no thanks to Hollywood, that the "heroic" stand at the Alamo by Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie et al. came in defense of slavery.

Mexico made slavery illegal so Tejano slave owners went Lone Star and seceded, setting the template for the southern states to do the same a generation later.

Self-destruction is the most worthless pursuit of what e.e. cummings called "this monster mannunkind."

We are still so tribal, so superficial, so judgmental, so fearful of anyone not sharing our complexion or religion. Or somebody who just talks funny.

A pro-Russian moonhowler may well be elected the next president of France. Czar Donaldov the Futile could not fulfill his bud Czar Vladimir's dream of neutering NATO, but flaming, anti-semitic, freedom-loving racist Marine Le Pen may do just that in a couple of weeks. She has French President Emmanuel Macron on the ropes.

Like many wannabe dictators, she has mellowed her Confederate image by concentrating on inflation and general unfocused anger to the exclusion of all else. Her followers have actually used the slogan "you will not replace us." Sound familiar?

Back in the 1980s, the latter day equivalent of a Pax Romanum happened. The Pax was a rare interlude of peace in the Roman empire, fulfilling the forecasts of some prophets that the Messiah would be born in a time without war.

I remember a short-lived moment 40 or so years ago when lack of war made news for perhaps the first time in more than 2,000 years.

"Peace is breaking out all over" marveled conservative commentator John McLaughlin.

It all depends on how you define war. The Korean War started in 1950 and is still technically ongoing.

The world today suffers 54 wars according to Wikipedia.

Here are the top five in the last calendar year, ranked by fatalities: Afghanistan, Tigray-Ethiopia-Sudan, Myanmar (aka Burma), Yemen and (drum roll, please) the newest member of the greatest hits parade, Russia-Ukraine.

I built a whole section at NevadaLabor.com featuring the late world-class economist Pierre Rinfret. In his final years, he actually found it and we corresponded.

Back at Fresno State in 1966, I noticed a Look Magazine article tacked to a bulletin board. "Peace Is Bullish" was the title of a long Rinfret interview.

"I'm the highest-paid economist in the world and my clients don't pay me to be wrong," he told Look.

"Don't know if I was the highest," he wrote me decades later, "but I was up there."

We all mellow a bit with age.

Rinfret said that spending money on war was the equivalent of throwing dollars into the ocean.

Build a tractor and it will return its cost many times over in productivity. Build a tank and, other than the jobs created making it, the beast either just eats taxpayer maintenance money or goes out and destroys.

Many experts correctly blamed the inflation of the 1970s on deficit spending for the Vietnam War.

So here we are, still in the midst of The Terminator Plague, with the virus-disrupted worldwide economy still wreaking havoc, and now we have to skyrocket the war budget thanks to Bad Vlad.

He and the Trumpinator were not alone in the recent springtime for strongmen. Most countries in the world today are some version of autocracy. Only 21 of 167 are full democracies. The largest chunk, 59, are dictatorships.

Democracy is an endangered species. India, once the world's largest, today slides into dark ages Hindu-centric theocracy. The Taliban are not alone.

I like Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, an inspiration to us out-of-work comedians. On "60 Minutes" last Sunday, his chief of staff called his boss "the leader of the free world."

No diss to President Biden, but the guy was absolutely correct. How bad are things?

Not only is France, the country that saved the American Revolution, in danger of slipping toward Trumpian autocracy but we still move in that direction.

Harper's Magazine recently reported a Grinnell College (Iowa) national poll which found that 15 percent of Americans — almost one in six! — "do not believe it is very important for the country to remain a democracy."

Zounds.

Were anti-NATO Trump president today, Ukraine would have Russian flags flying on every pole, flapping above hanging corpses. If pro-Putin Le Pen wins in France, Czar Vladimir will have once again cracked the western alliance.

The infamous paraphrase of H.L. Mencken seems in order: Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

Mainstream punditry predicts that Mitch McConMan et al. will regain control of Congress this fall to join the Supreme Court on his trophy shelf.

Like an old IBM ad offered, people want simple solutions to complex problems. Blame the guy at the top for your gripes, then elect someone worse. As Hitler's general Hermann Goering advised, just make people think they are being attacked.

Jimmy Carter's Federal Reserve created a monster recession that broke the backs of both Vietnam War inflation and Carter's re-election. Reagan turned it into a triple-dip depression but got his slump out of the way early.

Biden may share the same luck. But what are you willing to pay?

Only you can decide if Bitchy Mitch will become the de facto president of the United States in November. He offers only more depredation at the hands of his wealthy patroons and penurious poltroons.

What are you willing to pay?

Pray for Ukraine. And 53 other war-torn lands.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Going out of business in style
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 4-6-2022 / Expansions in blue

I've got a killer new ad campaign touting Sparks as prosperity Valhalla for businesses large and small.

How about "Succulently Solvent Sparks, where going-out-of-business sales never happen."

At least for the past six decades or so.

Going out of business sales make lots of money. And they are almost illegal in the Rail City.

Harry Spencer's column last week reminded me of a couple of Sparks golden oldies.

He mentioned the late Link Piazzo in his commentary. Link and his brother Chet were among the original investors who launched KTVN TV-2 on a shoestring and ended up selling it for millions. It's still in business. Their longtime business, The Sportsman, founded in Reno in 1938, has joined them in the big gymnasium in the sky.

Thereby hangs a tale.

Chet and Link apparently opened a location in Sparks but it did not do well, so they advertised a going out of business sale sometime around the 1960s. Business skyrocketed and they kept their belly-up bargain basement going for quite some time.

In the late 1970s, one of my advertising clients in Sparks' Greenbrae Shopping Center became one of legion put out of business by chain stores muscling in. I put together going-out-of-business ads and got a call from the city attorney.

We would have to conduct a detailed inventory of every item in the store and submit it to city hall. No additional merchandise could be offered after the inventory was submitted.

Why the draconian demands?

"Chet and Link Piazzo," the city's top lawyer replied. Their elongated el-foldo went on for so long that the city council passed an ordinance requiring the strait-jacket inventory. Compiling a list of thousands of items would be both time-consuming and costly, not to mention that my client needed to be out by lease expiration.

So we advertised a "total liquidation" sale. And that's why you don't see any "going-out-of-business" sales in Sparks to this very day.

Nobody goes out of business in Sparks anymore.

What's not to like?

REID AND REPUBLICANS. Another item in last week's paper fairly screamed for context.

Veteran Associated Press writer Scott Sonner's story about the ongoing attempt by Washoe and Nye county commissioners to revert to paper hand-counted ballots was good but he hasn't been around as long as the Barbwire.

Sonner reported on Republican Washoe County Commissioner Jeanne Herman's campaign to revert back to the days of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall — or at least to old-fashioned 1970s Nye County ballot box stuffing. (Barbwire 3-23-2022)

The AP quoted attorney Patrick Flangas who testified against Herman's measure before Washoe Commissioners last month. Her multiple "ballot security" proposals lost 4-1, with two Republicans and two Democrats against. She has since been pushing a more targeted proposal again calling for hand-marked paper ballots which would probably violate state law.

Mr. Flangas noted that he had been retained by the Republican Party in 1998 when Washoe County's vote counting in the tight U.S. Senate race stalled the final result and hand tabulation was ordered.

Flangas said he advocated for a hand recount "because we knew — and everybody knew — that it would produce more error."

Washoe's woes resulted from a cartoon case of penny-wise and dollar foolish. The race between incumbent Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and Republican Congressman John Ensign was projected to generate a huge turnout so officials wanted to order more blank ballots. Back then, people would fill in their choice with special pencils and the finished ballot would be processed through a high-speed optical reader.

Scholastic Aptitude Tests and myriad others had been run that way for decades prior. To save about a hundred bucks, election officials decided to print additional forms in-house. Bad idea. They were printed or cut a little off so that optical readers could not read them.

No one challenged all the other elections on the Washoe ballot but the razor-thin Reid-Ensign race made a hand count of the relatively few poorly printed ballots necessary.

I volunteered to be among dozens of others who tediously worked for days at the registrar of voters office. Teams of three (one Donkeykong, one Elephantine and a non-partisan) hand-reviewed every ballot. In four hours of counting one night, my team reviewed a whopping 35 — three-five — ballots.

The statewide result was not changed and Reid officially won by 428 votes.

PULP FICTION? Sonner went on to quote Flangas as remembering "with a bit of integrity we haven't seen over the last year, (Ensign) conceded the election after the recount." His alternative would have been to challenge the election in court. Apparently Rudy Giuliani was not available.

CONSPIRACY THEORY TIME. Less than a year later in 1999, on Sam Shad's Nevada Newsmakers TV show, Sen. Reid endorsed Ensign for senate! Dems were dumbfounded.

No major Democrat filed in 2000 and Ensign handily won the seat of retiring Democrat Richard Bryan by 92,427 votes over TV lawyer Ed Bernstein. (Smoking guns at NevadaLabor.com/)

Did Harry cut a deal with his old buddy with the Vegas hair? Probably. Makes sense. Get the guy who almost defrocked you into the senate with you and you will have no major GOP opposition in 2004. Which is exactly what happened. Reid defeated a Republican unknown by 210,265 the next time.

POLICE LINES. The Sparks Police Advisory Committee met last Monday but the event was neither available online nor via the city's Charter/Spectrum cable channel. I'll ask for an update. The agenda included items on the police department's 2021 Use of Force Report and a presentation about hiring and recruiting practices.

According to the city's website, two of the seven seats on the body are now vacant. Stay tuned.

GRAMMAR POLICE.
Reno Gazette-Journal staff must have gotten overly exuberant on St. Patrick's Day. A March 17 headline noted "fish stockings" at the Sparks Marina. What kind of stockings do fish wear? Provocative fishnet, perhaps?

An Associated Press story noted "just 1,500 COVID-19 deaths" per day." Green beer for the house!

And the Reno Police Dept. was investigating "a gun-related shooting." Redundant? Perhaps not as long as there may be some vicious guys out there with crossbows or rubber bands.

"War crime" remains the most redundant phrase I know.

Pray for Ukraine.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

César Chávez, spinmeisters and hatemongers
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 3-30-2022 / Updated 3-31 and 4-1-2022 GMT / Expansions in blue

¡Feliz cumpleaños César Chávez! / Happy Birthday, hermano!
Born 3-31-1927 / Nevada's official César Chávez Day

If you can read this newspaper, you are lucky. The Reno Gazette-Journal may have just nuked the business in northwestern Nevada.


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
and David Toll next.

Send endorsements

Eee-yo-leven!
Barbwire wins 11th 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!

 

Distribution is make-or-break. The RGJ just killed its Saturday edition but did not give subscribers a discount.

So what?

For starters, that means I can't get the New York Times delivered on Saturday anymore. Apparently a single contractor does the work for everybody.

The week it started, my regular carrier was re-assigned as evidenced by the fact that I have to hunt at nearby driveways for the first time.

A disabled neighbor needs to have her paper fetched from her front lawn because the newbies were not told to hang it on her door.

My street has not seen a paper four of the past seven days. Much the same in Carson City and throughout the region. (I get the Trib by mail.)

I'd like reports from the streets no matter which paper you expect every ayem including the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

This is serious.

Even weakened, the Kazoo-Journal remains the principal news dissemination source for northern Nevada.

Its corporate owners have eviscerated it; fired...er..."retired" longtime better-paid reporters; and sold its former HQ for $7 million in pure profit. (Wall Street raiders have been scooping up struggling newspapers because many owned real estate assets.)

The RGJ still employs some excellent and overworked journalists but any good horse can be run into the ground. Now, they are affecting everyone else, dammit.

The official excuse is "the same labor shortage difficulties that are affecting so many businesses across the nation." I wonder what they pay in minimum wage Nevada? . How about investing a piece of that $7 million they scored from the taxpayers back into the community?

Even if they produced a better product, people have to be able to receive it. The fastest and most efficient way to read the paper is still to read the paper rather than schleppping thru a website. And not everything makes it to the website.

GREYHOUND SYNDROME. Intentional or not, the newspaper industry is repeating a familiar suicide for the purpose of profit.

My Uncle John was the Southern Pacific Railroad agent in Reno back in the 1950s.

"Ever wonder why Greyhound bus depots were always next to the railroad station, Andrew? That's how the railroads kept the passenger business without providing all the amenities of club cars and sleeping cars," he once told me.

When I moved here, the Reno Greyhound depot was on Center Street, a half-block south of the SP tracks.

The auto industry did the same thing with mass transit. After World War2, the Detroit gang bought up the southern California trolley car business and made it so inefficient that it lost popular support and faded away. People had no choice but buying Motown gas guzzlers. San Francisco held out.

The dirty, polluting, expensive inefficient freeways of Los Angeles were built on the old trolley rights-of-way — which are being looked at again as mass transit routes.

The non-Nevada Gazette-Journal barons need to build a better medium rather than have the paper go the way of the monopolists.


I'd like to say write a letter, but I don't think it would see ink unless it came from a major advertiser like a megalomaniacal car dealer or somesuch.

WHITES ONLY DEPT. "In case you missed it, yesterday we picked up the official endorsement from Douglas County Sherriff (sic) Dan Coverley!" quoth overtly racist Assemblymember Jim ("I'd vote for slavery if my constituents wanted me to") Wheeler, R-Alabaster Bastion.

Coverley ordered no emergency responses for the county library after the head librarian placed an affirmation of Black Lives Matter on a board of trustees agenda.

That's dereliction of duty, violation of oath to protect and serve and grounds for firing — of Coverley, not the librarian (who has since found a better job in a more civilized state)

All this came soon after the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a now-convicted racist Minneapolis police officer.

I have constructed a whole section about this at NevadaLabor.com/ If you are squeamish about dirty words (not mine but Douglas County white supremacists'), don't go there.

Wheeler, who can't even spell sheriff, is running for state senate against current Assembly Minority Leader Dr. Robin Titus, R-Wellington.

Wheeler's shill, senator for a day Don ("I won't run if appointed") Tatro, lied to Washoe and Carson officials who installed him.

He is now running for the Carson/Washoe seat against Assemblymember Lisa Krasner, R-Reno.

Wheeler pushed for Tatro to replace the resigned Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno.

Guilt by association? Damn straight. Lie down with dogs and get infested with fleas. White dogs and white fleas only, of course.

SPEAKING OF BLACK LIVES DON'T MATTER: Mr. Wisconsin KKK, i.e., Kenosha Killer Kyle Rittenhouse, moved to Nevada as the Barbwire has exclusively reported. All new sightings of the lout welcome.

EVERYONE WELCOME: CESAR CHAVEZ DAY. The great United Farm Workers Union leader was born March 31, 1927, near Yuma, Arizona. I was honored to produce the annual celebration of his legacy for almost two decades before the plague. (Cross your fingers, toes and eyes for 3-31-2023.)

I just got an e from the Farmworker Resource Council about a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, March 30 from 11:00a.m. to 12noon PDT. It will feature Susana Sanchez from the U.S. Dept. of Labor Wage & Hour Division.

I will post Zoom coordinates for onscreen or phone participation with the web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com and CesarChavezNevada.com/ [[UPDATE: After the Tribune went to press came a notice that the event was canceled. Stay tuned.]]

For more info, contact Lorena Castaneda at 775-284-3491 Ext. 230, e-mail <lcastaneda@nevadalegalservices.org>

César Chávez was no stranger to these parts. He came here to fight for workers' rights as far back as the early 1960s, long before he won international fame.

MUST-SEE TV DEPT. KTVN TV-2's "Face the State" last weekend featured Dr. Donald Easton Brooks, Dean of the UNR Dept. of Education & Human Development. It is singly the most enlightened exposition about — and torpedoing of — "Critical Race Theory" white supremacy disinformation, a big issue in Douglas County, I'm sure. (See KTVN.com)

WHITE LIVES MATTER, PART DEUX. Dr. Easton Brooks should call Sparks' Bohach Elementary where a morally obtuse teacher assigned a black kid to trace his ancestry back to the Mayflower. (Barbwire 2-23-2022) Dr. Easton Brooks alluded to a similar situation in his TV appearance.

Also, the PBS Newshour on March 28 aired a feature about how non-white women not only suffer eating disorders as bad or worse than the majority, but are more often ignored. It's killer, figuratively and literally. Look it up at PBS.org/

PBS also reported about how pregnant women in rural Texas just about can't get any pre-natal medical care at all. Too expensive.

TEXAS TWO-STEP. My spies report that Wal-Marts in the Lone Star State offered masks to forgetful customers for a mere $10 each! Next door in New Mexico, mask mandates were enforced.

No wonder that the top 10 vaccination states were all Biden blue, while nine of the 10 worst went Humpty Dumpty for Red Czar Trumpski.

THE ROLLING LOGANS. Sparks transit operator Michael Lansborough survived major heart surgery but is weeks away, if not more, from being cleared to go back to work.

The longtime RTCRide driver is sole support of his wife and son, Logan, who has no lower legs due to a genetic flaw but still took to his wheelchair and joined dad on downtown Reno picket lines during last year's Hat Trick Strikes. (Photos at the front page of NevadaLabor.com/)

A GoFundMe page was set up by friends <https://gofund.me/7eae2ed0>

Be generous. If you would like to help the family by check, make it payable to Michael Lansborough and send to his attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100, Reno NV 89512.

Thanks to all Barbwire readers and union members who have anted in. Tell your friends.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Sexy ways to commit societal suicide
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 3-23-2022
Updated 3-23 & 3-28-2022 GMT/ Expansions in blue

BACK TO THE FUTURE DEPT. The Washoe County Commission this week is considering a raft of voting "reforms" (aka voter suppression). The Nye County Commission recently passed similar requirements, several of likewise questionable legality. Both would require a return to old-fashioned handwritten ballots.

Washoe Commissioner Jeanne Herman and her extended family, the five donaldgoats gruff from Tonopah, apparently skipped history class for cheerleader practice, if they ever went to school at all.

Nye County has long been infamous regarding paper ballot boxing and the stuffing thereof.

Back in 1974, brothel owner and madame Beverly Harrell ran as a Republican for the State Assembly.

"She's going to win," a high level Democrat told me, adding "my family says everybody down there hates the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and they are going to send her to Carson City hating the BLM."

Rumbles in the jungle said that the Nye County good old boys either didn't like her calling attention to their little kingdom. Or maybe she wasn't paying them enough.

The big news out of Nevada that year should have been Paul Laxalt upsetting Harry Reid for U.S. Senate, right? Wrong.

The big news was the flamboyant madame in her class-A motorhome packing up her entourage to head to the state capital. She promised that if she won she would declare open bar and, err...open house...freebies to all media types who came to rural Nevada to cover election night.

State Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Las Vegas, lost to incumbent Republican Attorney General Robert List. Republican Laxalt defeated Democrat Reid. Nevada was just about the only GOP success story in the year of Watergate.

"How much did Beverly Harrell win by?" asked a top LV Democrat who called me the day after.

"She lost to that unknown garage owner from Hawthorne," I replied.

"They stole it from her!" said the heavyweight, naming names.

Turned out a ballot box from somewhere in the outback never made it to Tonopah until the next morning. Car trouble? Aliens from Area 51?

Therein were plenty of votes to defeat Harrell and perhaps enough to beat both Reid and Bryan. I called Mr. Bryan about it but never heard back.

Paper ballots.

Nye County recalled crusading Sheriff Joni Wines a few years later.

"Nye County Brothel Wars" corruption became a New West Magazine feature and a book of the same name, both by journalist Jeanie Kasindorf.

It was sanitized as "Incident at Crestridge" Wyoming in a 1981 TV movie starring Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Eileen Brennan ("Private Benjamin", "The Sting") and Pernell Roberts ("Bonanza," "Trapper John, MD") as a corrupt official. The sheriff played by Brennan was recalled in a fixed election with paper ballots. Fiction, of course.

Reality is that Nye was so corrupt that the Nevada Supreme Court conducted an investigation which has never been made public.

Apparently Nevada's record with paper ballots matters little to Republican defenders of the franchise. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

HOW TO CHEAT IN A PAPER RECOUNT. Challenge any ballot not favoring your guy. Send women with long fingernails to represent your party. Place pencil leads under their nails. When they inspect a ballot for the other guy, deface it and get it thrown out. If the ballot shows no vote, use the pencil lead to mark it for your guy. Bring rubber cement balls to stick two paper ballots together so that they may be challenged. If all else fails, spill coffee.

UPDATE 3/23/2022 8:05 a.m PDT — From the Washoe County Democratic Central Committee:

WashoeDEMS Show Up in Force to Protect Voting Rights and Score a WIN for Democracy!
Thank you, WashoeDEMS for showing up yesterday and sending in emails in opposition to this travesty


Washoe County Democrats showed up at the (March 22) Washoe County Commission meeting to voice their strong opposition to Resolution #14 that would have significantly suppressed our voting rights in Washoe County and cost $5 million in taxpayer dollars. At the meeting 73 spoke against the resolution against 51 who supported it. The Commissioners received 291 emails in opposition to the resolution and only one email for. WashoeDEMS, you made your voices heard! Opposition to the measure was lead by County Commissioner Alexis Hill, also recently elected to Second Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Washoe County. “This resolution would limit access to voting and create chaos and really throw our voting tallies into question. I don't see any evidence for this resolution,” Hill said. Thank you, Commissioner Hill, for leading the charge to defeat this attack on our democratic process.  The resolution, which included changing from electronic voting to almost all hand-counted paper ballots, sending mail-in ballots by registered mail and posting of Nevada National Guard troops at polling places, was defeated 4 to 1. (More at the Nevada Independent)

UNIONS ALSO SHOWED UP: TV news and the Reno Gazette-Journal showed members of Laborers' Union Local 169 with signs opposing Ms. Herman's fantasy.

FIXED FIGHTS. Earlier this month, Carson District Judge Jim Wilson overruled Republican Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and struck two initiative petitions from this November's ballot.

Nevada's "extractive industries" got what they wanted in nuking teachers union tax proposals. The unions agreed, asserting that their initiatives were mere bargaining chips for last year's legislative session.

Rubbing salt in the wound, those same teachers unions are already planning to go the 2023 ledge for more money notwithstanding the $85 million or so with which the mining charlatans paid them go away.

At issue is whether the legislature could go further than the state constitution allows. (The decision will be linked to this column at NevadaLabor.com/)

Wilson recognized something I was taught as inviolate — that a law means what it says and if it doesn't state it, you can't assume you can go beyond it.

At the bottom of page 3, Hizzoner wrote "In Nevada, the language of a statute should not go beyond its plain meaning."

That's one of the bedrocks of law and order, dammit!

Then in the middle of page 6, he flips a 180 and sez the ledge can go beyond the constitution's Article 19 by allowing withdrawal of initiatives. ("Nothing in Article 19 appears to contravene the Legislature's ability to enact a [withdrawal] provision...")

Yeah, and nothing prohibits Lizzie Borden from committing murder because the law does not specifically prohibit chopping up your parents with an ax.

So am I too stupid to understand plain English? I contacted some top gun lawyers. Wilson is just flat wrong.

"Anything facilitating withdrawal is the opposite of fulfilling the constitutional provisions about initiatives," said one, adding that the legislative provision allowing petition interruptus is "bogus and outrageous."

If so, "black is really white."

Alas and alack, as always, Nevada's two largest industries define the color of law.

The gross gaming tax hike was favored by 59 to 25 percent in a poll earlier this year. 'Twas ever thus.

When the late great Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, and I were campaigning to raise the world's lowest taxes on the state's largest casinos, we quoted two decades of polling by UNR and UNLV which consistently showed overwhelming public support to raise gambling industry taxes.

So the gambling industry ordered its lawmakers to defund the poll.

UPDATE AND CORRECTION: The carnage was ordered by Gov. Dudley Do-Right hisself. / "Nevada opinion poll cut — University: $40,000 too much to spend" / By Ed Vogel / Las Vegas Review-Journal Jan. 16, 2001, just before the start of the biennial legislative session — "A directive by the governor (Kenny Guinn)...Throughout the years, two-thirds of residents consistently have called for an increase in the gaming tax if legislators need additional revenue...61 percent favored a corporate profits tax..."

Nevada Press Association Hall of Famer Vogel's story quoted UNR Alan Bible Research Center Project Manager Kendall Stagg about the survey done "before each legislative session back to the early 1980s....Stagg was upset that the survey could not be carried out because plans called for polling residents on their feelings about capital punishment and the Nevada State Education Association's proposed net profits tax."

"It's a bummer," Stagg said.

And déjà vu all over again and again and again.

Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. (Don't forget to check your local voter registration.)

SUICIDE WATCH: Our national death wish continues to hurtle toward fulfillment as more than a thousand Americans die of COVID-19 every day (kinda like Ukraine, eh wot?) while the maskless party on. Whadya expect in a country that cares more about butt control than gun control and will soon outlaw birth control?

DELIVERANCE FROM THE HAND OF GOD? Perhaps the only thing that can finally stop the Russian slaughter of innocent Ukrainians is a major Coronavirus variant outbreak among the invaders.

SPARKS BUS OPERATOR MIKE LANSBOROUGH was just delivered from major heart surgery. Help him and his family out at the GoFundMe page set up by his Teamsters Union brothers and sisters.  <https://gofund.me/7eae2ed0>

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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, 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.

How Renown stole our county hospital
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 3-16-2022 / Updated 3-16-2022 GMT/ Expansions in blue

   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.

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Sharon Robinson


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
and David Toll next.

Send endorsements

Eee-yo-leven!
Barbwire wins 11th 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!

 

The overlords of the number one local monetary vacuum cleaner, aka Renown Health, are in a tizzy.

They fired their eight-year CEO who was only making a penurious $2 million a year or so and nobody but us poor taxpayers are asking WTF?

Could it be that the bitter fruits of their 1985 theft of our county hospital are finally rotting in the open?

I have built and continually updated a whole website about that scandal. Renown apparently remains a den of pimps and thieves. That's the way it was born.

NevadaLabor.com is the only place on the web you can get the damning grand jury report that finally gave us an autopsy a decade after the body politic's interests had been assassinated.

A BAD TRIP DOWN AMNESIA LANE. The Reagan administration was riding high in the 1980s, preaching the gospel of deregulation.

The Nevada Legislature had established the Nevada Health Systems Agency to try to control runaway health care costs. The industry made sure their minions killed it after five years.

The last thing the NHSA executive director did before he blew town was authorize the founding of Sparks Family Hospital (now Northern Nevada Medical Center).

The facts were clear. A third hospital would only increase everyone's costs based on this valley's population. Didn't matter.

The Nevada Legislature passed AB289 in 1987 in an attempt to reduce costs. A report to the 2005 session showed it worked. (Links with the expanded web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com/)

Lawmakers paid off campaign contributions by killing that, too.

See a pattern?

In 2004, Nevada doctors made it impossible to bring malpractice lawsuits by circulating a bogus initiative petition supported by a huge ad campaign screaming that malpractice insurance costs were causing physicians to leave Nevada in droves. (Remember the TV spots with lines of whitecoats hitch-hiking thru the desert to California?)

It worked and that's why you no longer see ambulance-chasing lawyers hustling for malpractice cases.

The initiative capped legal fees at such a low level that any settlement or court decision would not even cover costs.

So lawyers chase accidents and those harmed by doctors can go suck a rock. (See "My Doctor Killed Me," Barbwire 2-24-2008)

Which brings me to the biggest ripoff of all.

With deregulation in vogue, a few guys (who yet live in infamy on a bronze plaque in the palatial Renown Regional Medical Center atrium) figured out a way to steal our county hospital.

Washoe Medical Center had always covered expenses while taking care of the community, although it sometimes did allow the Catholic Church to dictate medical procedures.

And to this day, you can't get a marijuana cigarette there to save your life from starving thru chemo cancer therapy. (Happened to a Teamsters brother of mine, now dead. Barbwire 10-4-2016, Nevada Press Association. first place winner)

The Reaganaut hospital bandidos created a propaganda campaign screaming that the cost of providing indigent care would soon bankrupt Washoe County.

The crooks controlled the financial info (and thus the news flow), rushed a bill thru the legislature, greased some county commissioners, found a corrupt deputy DA who went on to become a judge and PRESTO! They scored a health care operation worth between $60 million and $120 million for just $3 million. (1985 dollars)

The deal was sold as a way to take the soon-to-go-belly-up white elephant off the backs of the taxpayers.

The new Renown would cover all health care for those who could not pay.

Alas and alack, the corrupt deputy DA removed that provision from the final contract so taxpayers still send a big check to Renown every month to this very day. (See the grand jury report.)

The new non-profit never reduced health care costs, the second broken promise. Instead, Renown has paid monster executive salaries and expanded the empire.

Ain't deregulation great, Ron?

And those are just the lowlights. Go to NevadaLabor.com, read it and weep.

But shed no tears for the Renown octopus and the local medical hierarchy.

I hope a lot more oozes from under the tents of that encampment of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.

   Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
   For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows.

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE DEPT. Ukraine has "shown military experts that in a conventional war, the U.S. would smoke Russia." (Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Maureen Dowd, NYTimes, 3-13-2022)

Barbwire 2-16-2022: "The United States has never lost a conventional war although Korea ended in an uneasy tie....The late Iraqi dictator (and onetime U.S. ally) Saddam Hussein was the only guy stupid enough to risk fighting us in a conventional WW2-style ground war. The U.S. military today remains the baddest buncha sonsabitches who ever got into a fight.

"Czar Donaldov's buddy Bad Vlad seems intent on re-fighting WW2 over little ole Ukraine....If he invades, not only will Ukraine rue the day it ever gave up its nukes in exchange for some vague promise of protection from the west, but the Red Army will get its ass kicked."

SCREWED R US. Ma Bell just jacked up my cel-phone charges and now I get more dropped calls than ever. I'm a fool for sticking around.

I called to see if the old bitch wanted to compete for my business. Alas and alack, I was offered a new iPhone to save a whopping THREE WHOLE DOLLARS a month.

No deal.

So a kid in the Philippines gave me the number of AT&T's "Customer Loyalty Dept." The number had been disconnected.

I plan to return the favor.

ADDING INSULT TO INJURY, the kid admitted he had voted for murderous dictator Rodrigo Duterte in the last election.

Guess I can't blame him. MaBell was recording the call

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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, 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
> Lyrics to "Everybody Knows" by Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Sharon Robinson

Oil Ain't All That's Rigged
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 3-9-2022
Updated 3-10-2022 GMT/ Expansions in blue

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.

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Sharon Robinson

Blame Ukraine? Not so fast.

Would you rather read about sex, oil or oil and sex? If you chose number three, please continue.

Biden administration study finds
There's no such thing as a free labor market
With union rights reform dead again in Congress, feds try to use anti-trust laws against the malady

Hasn't worked against the BigOil oligopoly, but hope springs eternal.

The New York Times Business Section
(Labor sections have been extinct for 40 years)
By Eduardo Porter / 3-8-2022

It's not what you think, as the wife said to her husband when he walked in on her and her boyfriend.

The big news this week is neither bloody war nor truck convoys protesting non-existent mask mandates.

It's gasoline. I'd like to say I've never witnessed worse reportage in many decades of news addiction, but this one scrapes bottom.

The price of gasoline is rigged by a small number of oil companies with smart lawyers. I've been reporting on it for decades. (See the Barbwire Oilogopoly Archives at NevadaLabor.com/)

Alas and alack, as national news departments long ago realized, the public just doesn't much care. The powerful plead helplessness. Kinda like local officials saying they can't do much about homelessness. (See below.)

PASSING THE BUCKS. Just as our local bus system overlords say the collapse of the system on their watch is somebody else's fault, few government regulators decry the fixing of gas prices.

When the cost of a barrel of oil from somewhere on the sands of Araby rises at 9:00 a.m., why does the price at the pump go up by 9:15? Because the old con works. Very few media organizations (back when they could afford investigative journalism) would touch the story. Oil just isn't sexy unless applied by a big-breasted "masseuse" to the back of a powerful politician with cameras rolling. (In lobbyist terms, that's called greasing the skids.)

With the lack of media attention to this blatant price fixing, the public has been conditioned to accept and pay at the phony levels while blaming whomever they don't like. Meanwhile, the biggies laugh all the way to the bank. When open market per barrel prices start to decline, per-gallon costs recede much more slowly, of course.

Just about everything you get at a supermarket works that way, especially prescription drugs whether developed with taxpayer money or not.

BigOil long ago found the obvious hole in antitrust law. You can fix prices as long as you never talk to each other about it. For more than four decades, one "discount" chain sets the price on its road signs in the morning and area "competitors" price accordingly within minutes. Technically, no communication — just drive-bys assassinating your wallet.

Think about it. Your corner gas station has a few thousand gallons underground to start the day. At 8:00 a.m., war breaks out between the Saudis and Yemen. Or Ukraine and Russia. Oil futures spike worldwide. The gas already at local stations, acquired much cheaper, immediately skyrockets in price. The oil on the sands of Araby will not reach refineries for days or weeks. Same thing happens every time there's a refinery fire somewhere or a forest fire near a refinery.

If they thought the public would swallow a price hike because Tom Brady loses a Super Bowl, they would do so.

RENO CITY COUNCIL PASSES RENT CONTROL. They actually did, in 1978. Then big money forced city hall to renege. At least it sparked the election of Reno's greatest mayor, the late Barbara Bennett, the following year.

The legit media have ignored history but the Barbwire never forgets. (Nevada Press Association first-place winner, 7-17-2019).

I was thus bemused last week when Reno City Hall threw up its collective hands. No less than former Nevada Assembly Speaker, D-LV, and current Clark County Commission Chair Marilyn Fitzpatrick raised the issue.

It's really simple. Rent regulation should trigger when availability drops below five percent and switch off above that level.

All them conservatives crying socialism miss the point. Socialism, defined as anything that helps people, is all around us: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, parks, roads, police, fire and other first responders.

Capitalism without regulation is tyranny. As is Leninism as practiced by Czar Vladimir the Last. Eric Hofer, the longshoreman-philosopher, noted in the 1950s that taken to their logical conclusions of one big outfit having swallowed up all the smaller ones, Leninism and capitalism take us to the same exploitive place.

But that ain't sexy.

TWO CZARS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT. Were Trump still president, he'd invite Putin to the White House for a testimonial dinner, a presidential medal of freedom and a blow job. Not necessarily in that order.

GAZETTE BURGERS, ANYONE? I feel sorry for Reno Gazette-Journal executive editor Brian Duggan. He had to send a letter to subscribers this week notifying them that the Saturday paper would no longer be printed. Internet clients could find a Saturday edition on the newspaper's website.

What about longtime subscribers like some of my neighbors who have no web access? They will continue to pay for seven papers a week but get only six.

Not Mr. Duggan's fault. That's what happens when soulless corporations take over companies then bleed, skin, butcher and dump the carcass roadside. The current owners scored $7 million selling the former Kazoo-Journal building to the City of Reno to be converted to a new police station but still canned reporters.

The RGJ marketing department has never been one to miss sales opportunities, but they've blown this one big time. They should at least offer a Burger King coupon to all their screwed subscribers for a free 10-pack of chicken nuggets, which BK just downsized to eight for the same price.

A perfect pairing of junk food kiss-offs. An Orwellian match made in heaven: Less is more in an "eedition." (Eek.)

Yeah, sure, and war is actually a "special military operation."

THE ROLLING LOGANS. Sparks transit operator Michael Lansborough is home recovering from major heart surgery. The longtime RTCRide driver is sole support of his wife and son, Logan, who has no lower legs due to a genetic flaw but still took to his wheelchair and joined dad on downtown Reno picket lines during last year's Hat Trick Strikes. (Photos at the front page of NevadaLabor.com/)

Friends set up GoFundMe page.  <https://gofund.me/7eae2ed0>

Be generous. If you'd prefer to mail a check, make it payable to Michael Lansborough and send to his attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100, Reno NV 89512.

Thanks to all the Barbwire readers and union members who have continue to send support.  Join me in donating. Please. And tell your friends.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, 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
>

Eve of Destruction
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 3-2-2022 / Updated 3-3 & 3-4-2022 / Expansions in blue

"God gave Noah the rainbow sign. No more water, the fire next time!"from a traditional spiritual


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
and David Toll next.

Send endorsements

Eee-yo-leven!
Barbwire wins 11th 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!

 

Last week, Czar Vladimir the Last raised the specter of nuclear weapons in his personal war against Ukraine.

Somewhere in North Korea, Kim Jong Un is jumping up and down screaming "he's stealing my act!"

Several days earlier, NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd raised that exact question, might Vlad the Impaler launch a tactical nuke?

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' legendary doomsday clock was set at 100 seconds to midnight in January before the despot rode out to join the other three macabre horsemen, his paranoia peaking just as murmurs of the "Julius Caesar solution" circulated. [UPDATE 3/4/22: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, just called for "someone close" to the Czar — meaning the rare person who can get close enough — to off him as a humanitarian service. I have a better suggestion: THE HAND OF GOD, a convenient outbreak of a new or existing Coronavirus strain to disable the Russian war machine. It's pretty well-known that Russian vaccines are substandard and thus may already be quite vulnerable to all viral permutations. Red Army soldiers have been living like superspreader sardines for weeks. So, let us wish for a humane but rampant plague causing no deaths to mercifully end this slaughter. Alleluia. Amen.]

Things have reached a point that the gloomiest doomsday forecast since the 1964 films "Fail Safe" and "Dr. Strangelove" is now hopeful by comparison. (See below.)

I've been down this road many times, especially after 9/11/2001.

From the 11-11-2001 Tribune:

"Imagine yourself a total stranger in the strangest of lands, a star-traveler from a distant galaxy. You are charged with examining the denizens of this small planet and reporting back.

"Dear Boss: I recommend that we steer well clear of the major tribes of this world. They are constantly at war killing their own kind and other life forms. The whole planet seems locked in a neverending orgy of consumption. The stronger eat the weaker as they do on many other primal orbs, but this place seems to suffer from inverse evolution. The higher the intelligence of the species, the more often I have witnessed killing for no reason at all.

"The most numerous life forms, single-celled organisms and their close relatives, have learned to survive by inhabiting larger creatures either as parasites or symbionts.

"In sheer numbers, the dominant species, by far, are viruses and bacteria. These are followed by various vegetable life forms and exoskeletal, multi-legged animals.

"The most intelligent inhabitants have evolved in very divergent ways. Dolphins prefer the simple life of the sea. Although humans do not differ from each other to any appreciable degree, they nonetheless group together in primitive and illogical ways. They ostracize and exploit their own based on the superficial and the imagined.

"They often kill each other in slavish devotion to this superficiality. Such concentration on the meaningless produces so much pain and suffering. They have invested great volumes of treasure and work in order to traverse this small globe faster and faster. Apparently, only speed matters.

"They are addicted to placing themselves into flimsy, portable canisters filled with high explosives. Then, in an ongoing orgy of bravado and arrogance, they hurtle the canisters toward each other at great speed. On land, sea and air, most usually miss by at least a few inches. Nonetheless, every year tens of thousands are killed and hundreds of thousands become seriously and painfully injured whenever these shells encounter a maloccurrence.

"The crude fuel for these devices pollutes and endangers the entire planet when burned. As a semi-scarce and hard to extract natural resource, possession of the fuel has become the source of endless war.

"Recommendation: avoid this planet until the current dominant life forms evolve into more interesting species or are replaced by others. End report."

From the 10-28-2001 Tribune:

"GOV. GLOOM'S CRYSTAL BALL. In 1985, a series of short stories on nuclear disarmament were solicited from prominent people. Gov. Richard Lamm, D-Colo., co-authored one. The scenario: a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan causes such macabre destruction that the world puts down its nukes.

"Every time India and Pakistan rattle their glowing sabers, I am reminded that life imitates art. Such a result would prove perfectly consistent with the history of the tribes of mankind. Genetically almost identical, people nonetheless kill and maim each other over superficial, superstition-based tribal differences.

"Will some god or superior extra-terrestrial send some future Lot to our big blue global Sodom and Gomorrah? Will that emissary again prove unable to find 10 just men? Would that almighty feel justified in raining fire and brimstone down on such a corrupt place? We've been warned many times."

Lamm beat out more than 1,300 entrants in that 1985 essay contest sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

"I feel with an Old Testament certainty that we cannot continue indefinitely the way the world is now going with the world's weapons set on a hair trigger and the doomsday clock at five minutes to midnight," the late Colorado governor stated when informed he'd won.


There's the prelude. We may be living (and dying) through the sequel. Barry McGuire's 1968 anthem will be a hit all over again.

       Don't you understand what I'm trying to say?
Can't you feel the fear that I'm feeling today?
       If the button is pushed, there's no running away
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
       The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don't leave a trace
       Hate your next door neighbor but don't forget to say grace
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend
       You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Bye bye Miss American Pie.

When will we ever learn?


THE ROLLING LOGANS. Sparks RTCRide transit operator Michael Lansborough survived major heart surgery and even attended a Teamsters Union meeting last month (chauffeured by fellow Teamster Tim Radley.)

Mike is sole support of his wife and son, Logan, who has no lower legs due to a genetic flaw but nonetheless took to his wheelchair and joined his dad in downtown Reno picket lines during the Hat Trick Strikes of 2021. (Photos at the front page of NevadaLabor.com/)

A GoFundMe page has been set up by friends  <https://gofund.me/7eae2ed0>

Be generous. If you would like to help by check, make it payable to Michael Lansborough and send to his attention at Teamsters Local 533, 1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100, Reno NV 89512.

Thanks to all the Barbwire readers and union members who have anted in, the most positive news I've seen recently.

Join me in donating. Please. And tell your friends.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ 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, BallotBoxing.US, ConsumerCoalitionv.org, 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
>

 

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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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