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ANDREW BARBANO
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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


The wages of sin
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 7-13-2022 / Updated 7-15-2022 GMT / Expansions in blue

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


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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!

 

"Reno is so incestuous," a reporter who became a noted lawyer once told me. The result of that longtime good-ole-boys sterility remains obvious to anyone standing under the Reno Arch today.

Into this corrupt post-WW2 mix came two entrepreneurial Italians in a very Italian town. Al Figoni legendarily ran old downtown Reno vice and kept the riff-raff out. Ex-cab driver Joe Conforte started a retail house of ill fame east of here.

Another ambitious Italian cruised the self-righteous side of reality. Bill Raggio got elected Washoe District Attorney and in the best Carrie Nation tradition, brought a crew with torches and probably pitchforks to burn Conforte's mobile home brothel to the ground. Mr. "I am not a pimp, I'm a businessman" merely set up shop again slightly farther east in tiny Storey County. The fabled Mustang Bridge Ranch was born.

Not taking anything, ahem, lying down, Conforte later tried to trap Raggio with some hookers in a Reno hotel, cameras grinding (see below), but was jailed for his trouble.

The feud between the two Italian stallions became the stuff of legend. They both made a fat living trashing each other. In the Nevada Legislature starting in 1973, Senator Raggio, R-Reno, introduced a bill just about every session to make Cow County prostitution illegal.

Insiders told me that they eventually buried the hatchet (not in each other), and occasionally enjoyed a clandestine dinner laughing at how they had prospered from their mutual con.

Conforte just could not leave well enough alone.

"Politics is just a game to him and he loves it," one of his confidantes told me. He hired pollsters so he could make smart election wagers, hedging his bets by contributing to campaigns. His accuracy was astounding and politicians lusted for the numbers. Conforte was hot copy. Did some reporters get, ahem, a little too close to the story? Jawhol.

The Little Waldorf Saloon would post Conforte's odds and betting lines. Little Wal's bet board was watched by political pros for avatars of campaign trends. Trying to affect the media spin, some candidates would bet on themselves.

Little Joe had pols of all stripes on the take, from locals to governors and senators. Everybody knew it, nobody could prove it. Cash was king and he was a kingmaker.

Wise guys knew not to take a Mustang comp from Joe — unless they wanted to star in their own porno movie.

Conforte got into boxing promotion but things soured when Argentine heavyweight contender Oscar Bonavena, rumored to have been involved with Mrs. Conforte, was shot to death by Mustang security guard Willard Ross Brymer.

That tale eventually became part of the fictionalized Hollywood film "Love Ranch" (2010). Oscar winner Joe Pesci ("Goodfellas") came out of retirement to play a Joe Conforte-ish character. Fellow gold statue honoree Dame Helen Mirren ("The Queen") performed a Sally Conforte-ish role. It was partially filmed in downtown Reno because much hadn't changed in half a century. Incest again.

The doomed Bonavena-ish character was cheekily named "Armando Bruza" as in bruiser, get it? For such an all-star cast, including Bryan Cranston, it bombed at the box office.

By 1970, Conforte's presence and power were ubiquitous. Joe and Sally's Thanksgiving turkey giveaways to the poor endeared them to many. He spread cash around to many charities and became an internationally recognized anti-hero.

As I wrote back then, "everyone loves sexy, whorehousy Nevada stories."

In 1971, Conforte wrested control of the Sparks City Council away from casino magnate John Ascuaga. Mustang freebies after council meetings became notorious. These guys were so full of themselves that one even tried to extort a Catholic parish which needed a zoning change. Exhibiting sinful chutzpah, he did it in the confessional knowing that the priest's lips were sealed.

Reno Gazette-Journal Executive Editor Warren Lerude began a campaign to "get Joe Conforte out of our community." For his efforts, Lerude and his commentary page editors won the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, a first for Nevada.

"They couldn't have done it without me," Conforte quipped. Only one has been awarded since, to the Las Vegas Sun in 2009 for exposing lethal high-rise construction conditions on the Strip.

Lerude went on to teach journalism at The University of Nevada-Reno (UNR), albeit holding only a bachelor's degree. He was elected to the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame some years ago.

His fellow Pulitzer honorees, Foster Church and Norman Cardoza, were not and have not been, an outrageous omission.

Church moved on to a stellar career with The Oregonian in Portland. Cardoza, retired and in his 90s, still lives in Reno.

Last week, I woke up reminding myself to draft an HOF endorsement for David Toll, publisher of the legendary Gold Hill News and The Compleat Nevada Traveler who died earlier this year. (Barbwire Feb. 23, 2022)

Somehow, I flashed on Church and Cardoza. How come those guys aren't in the HOF? I have now nominated both.

A successful Barbwire nominee, Nevada's greatest reporter and Tribune alumnus Dennis Myers, once commented on my ongoing campaign for photographer Don Dondero.

"Don just didn't get nominated soon enough after his death," Dennis noted. Indeed. Don died in 2003 but was not put in the running until I got into this game about 10 years ago.

Well, Foster Church just took care of that roadblock. He died in Oregon on June 1 at age 80. Perhaps he sent me a long distance message from the big newsroom in the sky.

Sorry you didn't live to see it, old man. Your colleagues, friends and family will work to honor your legacy and that of Norm Cardoza.

This incredible injustice must be remedied. And soon. Otherwise, that's just bad journalism.

Pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently 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 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.

Poison Annie's Revenge Executed
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 7-6-2022 / Updated 7-7-2022 GMT / Expansions in blue

The late great Walt Kelly got it right in 1971. Did you attend the first Earth Day in 1970? Thank you, Mr. Kelly and Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wisconsin.

 

TRUE OR FALSE?

If you didn't answer false to all three, you may return to Fox News.

Regular Barbwire readers know that when I make a mistake, I eat crow with lots of mustard. However, when proven right, I crow. Loudly. Today, I soar while some become sore. Evermore.

In this column five years ago, I shamelessly projected that a newly-minted U.S. Supreme Court justice would become his mother's revenge on the federal agency she once headed and tried to destroy. I drew serious fire from Democrats and Republicans alike. Here is the Barbwire of February 7, 2017 (1):

"If you want to attack Anne Gorsuch Burford, the first woman appointed as the head of the EPA, now deceased, and impute her alleged sins to her son, a distinguished jurist of impeccable reputation, then you are free to do so. But if you do, there are those who might be tempted to ask you 'Sir, at long last, have you no sense of decency?' "

One of my correspondents employed the classic gimlet which attorney Joseph Welch used as a scalpel to torpedo the credibility of Sen. Pat McCarran's (D-Nev.) best bud, Sen. Joe "Commies Under Every Bed" McCarthy, R-Wisconsin.

Such kneejerk response misses my point: With the nomination of Poison Annie's progeny Judge Neil Gorsuch, Tsar Donaldov Vladimirovitch and Rasputin Breitbartsky (Steve Bannon) have deftly engineered an inside triple play, a three-layered insult to environmentalism, a joke which all moonhowlers will immediately understand.

In 1981, King Ronnie the Vague appointed Anne Gorsuch Burford to head the Environmental Protection Agency, an institution she reviled.

The Tsar's (2017) EPA nominee, oil patch politician Scott Pruitt, is cut from the same ideological cloth and likewise assigned to destroy.

Poison Annie did her best to dismantle the EPA and gloried in the destruction and carnage even as she walked out the door in disgrace. She was the first cabinet minister ever cited for contempt of Congress and resigned after Reagan threw her under the bus.

Her defense was the ancient war crime cop-out: I was just following orders.

The Reaganauts ordered her not to comply with congressional subpoenas about more than $1 billion of Toxic Waste Superfund mismanagement.

When the White House abandoned its executive privilege claims, she walked after just 22 months on the job. Her chief aide, Rita Lavelle, went to jail for perjury.

The nomination of Poison Annie's kid is a multi-layered insult to tree huggers without explicitly stating it, thus eliminating the risk of righteous (but nonetheless off the mark) reactions such as stated by my learned legal correspondent, above.

Rasputin is truly an evil genius.

When the Trumpista Court finally gutted the EPA last week, my warning of Poison Annie's revenge came terribly true by a vote of six to three.

Gorsuch2 wrote a "full-throated" 19-page concurrence (NY Times 7-1-2022) with Chief Justice Roberts' execution order. The CJ hung his hat on the Clean Air Act's lack of "particular clarity." Hmmm...where have I heard that one before. Oh yeah — President Nixon's lawyers, fighting congressional Watergate subpoenas, alleged "lack of specificity." (Try to say that fast 10 times as Daffy Duck. Despicable.)

Roberts was joined by fisherman/Justice Samuel Alito, who two weeks ago neither rowed nor waded. He just destroyed the river.

According to these guys, the EPA can't even order paper clips without a formal act of Congress signed by the president and published in the Federal Register.

In her kickass dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote "that the statute at issue in the case had given the agency ample authority...The Clean Air Act was major legislation designed to deal with a major public policy issue," she stated.

"Congress knows what it doesn't and can't know when it drafts a statute and Congress therefore gives an expert agency the power to address issues — even significant ones — as and when they arise...

"This is not the attorney general regulating medical care or even the CDC regulating landlord-tenant relations. It is E.P.A. (that's the Environmental Protection Agency, in case the majority forgot) acting to address the greatest environmental challenge of our time."

Mommy thus lectured the errant children who nonetheless declared gang warfare against the 21st Century.

As I have noted many times, today's retro Supremes practice homotextuality. ("Rise of the Homotextuals," Barbwire 2-9-2022) It's a shuck fabricated to overturn Roe v. Wade and popularized by the late Antonino Scalia and his corrupt sidekick, Clarence the Morally Obtuse. (Barbwire 9-15-1991)

Homotextual judicial activism is lazy person's justice, dictionary dictation. Focus on the words of the Constitution as written in the 18th Century and look for definitions from that time. If not there, it won't fly. (Somebody find me the word "airplane" from 1789. No? Thus crash the FAA, air traffic control and the US Air Force.)

"The current court is textualist when being so suits it," Kagan wrote. "When that method would frustrate broader goals, special canons like the 'major questions doctrine' magically appear as get-out-of-text-free cards."

In other words, the toxic sextet makes it up as they go.

The destruction of the EPA thus comes down to the same cross-cutting cause of the court's cancer as stated by longtime Supreme Court journalist Linda Greenhouse. Of Alito's tortured, tortuous and twisted tracheal tweaking of Roe, she simply said "they did it because they could. It was as simple as that."

Welcome back to the Gilded Age of 1896 when robber barons ran wild, workers and women had no rights and black people were "separate but equal." Racial segregation was obviously constitutional according to 19th Century Supremes who might well admire the jurisprudence of today's Saudi princes.

The sickening six are flush with power. Beware: Indoor plumbing's not in the Constitution.

Fight back any way you can every day.

Pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently 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.)

1. UNPUBLISHED (UNTIL NOW) NOTES FROM THE 2-7-2017 BARBWIRE:

The Trump EPA nominee is Poison Annie Part Deux and the cherry on this toxic sundae is Judge Gorsuch, a devotee of that disgrace to Italian-Americans, Antonino Scalia.

I never cottoned to the late justice because he was lazy. His buzzword concept of "originalism," when stripped of ornaments, is basically jurisprudence by dictionary. To find out what the Constitution means, concentrate only on the meaning of the words therein. All else is irrelevant. Since the Constitution does not mention it, is the U.S. Air Force thus illegal?

Does Mr. Justice-designate Gorsuch hold grudges? His mother's resignation "clearly echoed in his work," according to last Sunday's New York Times.

"In preparing a moot court brief at Harvard on workplace safety, he tried to add material concerning the E.P.A. that did not fit, recalled a classmate, Ellen M. Bublick, who is now a law professor at the University of Arizona," the Times reported. (Sunday 5 Feb. 2017)

At Columbia University, he "minimized the Iran-contra affair and dismissed a shantytown built on campus to protest South African apartheid," the Times noted.

I wonder if he called mom to see if the shantytown could be attacked as an environmental hazard.

2. WHERE CREDIT IS DUE DEPT. I stole the appellation "Poison Annie" from the late, great Tribune columnist and talk radio legend Travus T. Hipp, whom I assume would approve such Gorsuch usage were he still available to grant it.

___________________
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.

The Fall of Camelot
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 6-29-2022 / Updated 6-29-2022 GMT / Expansions in blue

"At your highest moment, be careful. That's when the devil comes for you."Denzel Washington

The formerly united states of America have been on a drug-induced high since 1945. We were rich, powerful and on top of the world economically, militarily and egotistically. Very addictive opiates.

We didn't know it but we peaked by 1968, the year a dollar bought more than anytime since, adjusted for inflation.

Price hikes became rampant in the 1970s due to the humongous expenditures for the Vietnam War and the deficit spending to cover them. (Barbwire 7-25-1999) Plus the start of an endless series of tax breaks for the corporately wealthy.

Today, we are funding another, if much more justified, undeclared war. The buying power of the dollar was one of the few highlights of 1968, which saw MLK and RFK iced, the latter leading to the election of President Richard the Rotten. This month, America marked the 50th anniversary of the Watergate burglary concurrent with sensational congressional hearings on 2021's Treasongate.

To his credit, President Nixon imposed wage and price controls to get a handle on inflation caused by the war and the 1973 OPEC oil embargo.

Today, the highest gasoline prices in the country are extracted from western U.S. customers. But what about our insurance policy?

Anybody remember why oil drilling was allowed on the once-pristine Alaskan north slope? Why, to insulate the west from oil shocks. They pumped so much that our fearless leaders allowed export to Japan.

About the only good thing that happened in 1973 was the U.S. Supreme Court's 7-2 decision on Roe v. Wade, with five Republican appointees in the majority.

By 1984 with President Ronald the Vague coasting to re-election, the vaunted American middle class, which had enjoyed unparalleled prosperity for a quarter-century, had shrunk by fully nine percent. Three percentage points moved up to Fat City, while six points (and growing) faced a future of ramen noodles and cheap beer.

Reagan was right about one thing in his re-election campaign: "You ain't seen nothin' yet."

Corporate America proved very adept at keeping the great unwashed fighting for crumbs falling from the banquet tables of our overseers. Overturning Roe was merely the stalking horse to create corporate courts infested with judges groomed almost from birth to do the bidding of the overlords.

Today's crooks make Nixon look like a virgin. (Apologies to Madonna.) Nixon signed into law the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts, plus the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Madonna, call your office.

Warnings of the devil's ascendance are legion. The Supremes and their amen chorus have gutted voting rights, gerrymandering restrictions, campaign money limits, immigrant mercy, environmental protections and many things we have taken for granted. Like food and drug safety.

Treason, anyone?

If the bad guys take over Congress this fall, they will do what they are so good at doing: defunding. Plodding Attorney General Merrick Garland won't have the budget to finish the job against Czar Donaldov and his minions. The old judge will learn how federal meat inspectors feel.

Clarence the Cruel (Barbwire 9-15-1991) would never have made it to Blackrobe Valhalla had then-Senator Joe BIden not prevented Anita Hill's corroborating witnesses from testifying about Clarence's personal peckerdilloes. Why? Alas, our president is a victim of appease-to-please bi-partisan proclivities. Biden takes dull knives to gunfights.

The Abortion Solution
Barbwire 5-11-2022 / 1-27-1989

After I saw the first Roe repeal bulletin, I didn't watch the news for awhile. Nothing new to learn. As Steven Colbert said, the only difference between the previously leaked Alito opinion and last Friday's "was the type font."

Once again, the best columnist in the country put it in the fewest words: "This is a story of men gaining power by trading away something that means little to them compared to their own stature: the rights of women."

Maureen Dowd's NY Times colleague Linda Greenhouse added the sour cherry atop this spoiled sundae: "They did it because they could. It was as simple as that."

They also declared open season on everything else that holds this devolving democracy together.

A talk radio colleague of mine once abruptly disconnected an anti-abortion caller. "Only women have standing to talk about that" groused Gail the Pickle Lady. (She specialized in canning both preserves and obnoxious conversations.)

Like prohibition on booze, abortion bans don't work well but sell well to benighted minds in constant need of having their inert emotions enthralled. Susceptible souls desire simple solutions to complex problems: yes/no, black/white, binomial bumper stickers for brains of meme mentality.

As some wag said decades ago, they think The Flintstones is a documentary.

Two of three Americans know someone who's had an abortion. Perhaps allergies are more common but not much else.

I can see Czar Vladimir in his palace ordering his Internet trolls to send out some outrageous story to the great American gullibles who immediately accept it as fact. Great diversion from running a boring war, eh wot?

Maybe someday the Russians will top the one about devil-worshipping Democrat baby eaters working out of a nonexistent basement in a DC pizza parlor. Until then, our government cloaks establishment of religious dogma in the swaddling clothes of babes, another trick from Putin's playbook.

ROOTS OF RANCOR. The Republican wave of 2010 rigged the election game in most states. Some lay the fall of Roe at the feet of that debacle. I agree with the result but not the cause. It was not the usual off-year gains for the party in the White House. Nor was it Obamacare.

It was revulsion at America electing a black president in 2008. The backlash that ramped up with Reagan exploded and metastasized because of our national disease: Good ole American racism.

As Frederick Douglass counseled so long ago, "agitate, agitate, agitate!"

Organize! Fight back any way you can every day.

Pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently 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 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.

Fight against white elephants
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 6-22-202
Updated 6-23 & 6-27-2022 GMT / Expansions in blue

"When there's a fight, liberals cut and run" —  Travus T. Hipp (1937-2012)

My Tribune colleague often said that in his hall of fame radio career and many times, he proved correct.

I've lately seen a rash of obituaries for liberal democracy. A few examples: The egalitarian era from President Franklin Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson was a one-time aberration. Reversing Roe v. Wade was a trojan horse for a corporate conservative takeover of the judicial system. The geriatric leadership of the Democratic party is out of touch with the common man.

The Abortion Solution
Barbwire 5-11-2022 / 1-27-1989

As Travus used to say, "it's all true friends, just some's truer'n others."

Reams and reams have been written and forests felled trumpeting the triumph of Trumpistry this November. It well may happen. Or not.

What to do? America and the world suffer from a plethora of plague, pollution, pestilence and warmongering. The Four Horsemen straddle the globe. Witness the huddled masses yearning to breathe free and risking their lives to reside in western democracies. They look to us as we look to our president but resurgence takes a movement. One guy can't work magic. Harry Potter has left the building.

Where do we start? First, a little advice paraphrased from New York City bard Damon Runyon: Never play the other guy's game. If some sharp comes up to you on a streetcorner and wants to bet money that he can pour cider in your ear without you even knowing it, only one thing is sure — You're gonna get an earful of cider.

Old line Donkeyites have just not learned from experience. Every time Barack Obama reached across the aisle, Mitch McConnell sent him back a bloody stump. And an earful of cider. Biden apparently drinks lots of apple juice.

There's nothing wrong with geriatric leadership. The Dems had two chances to make Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, president and muffed it. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., knows how to fight, as do Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, and her fabled Crew.

America sorely needs a charismatic leader who can breathe new spirit into the nation as only John F. Kennedy once did. And it should be a she.

For more than 40 years, I've advocated that the only long term solution to this afflicted planet lies with women in control of governments. We are fortunately past the Xena Warrior Princess phase where females had to prove their cred by being more warlike than the boys. UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher typified that stereotype. Her descendants still walk among us, but the likes of Mrs. Clarence Thomas represent minor entertainment for the big boys locker room.

Until women win equal representation: kick ass like the boys, ladies. And I do mean ladies. The Donkeykongs are largely the party of women while Republicans are white elephants, the last refuge of palefaced macho supremacy out to tusk us into the ground. They offer only tax breaks for the corporately wealthy and judges who will continue to foist corporate burdens on our backs.

Oh, and lots of guns which may turn out to be their de facto solution to the post-Roe population explosion, especially since birth control bans are the next target. Nothing thins the herd like machine guns for fourth grade show and tell.

The growth in non-partisan voter registration is symptomatic of society's angst but a bit over-rated. NP's usually break along the lines of their preferred party at election time. Otherwise, Nevada's "none of these candidates" option in statewide races would get a lot more support.

Nevada could have survived the 2014 red wave had not Sen. Harry Reid diverted resources elsewhere trying to save his upper house majority, a laudable but doomed effort.

Nevada can still buck the white mother tuskers this November.

Agitate. Agitate. Agitate. Organize. Organize. Organize!

MARK SHIELDS, 1937-2022
. The great liberal reporter and commentator was just dispatched to the big newsroom in the sky. He is rightly remembered for his polite and affable approach toward everyone he met, from the humble to the exalted. Quite democratic.

In 1990 when I was beating Lush Rambo on the radio, my colleague Eddie Anderson got Mark Shields to call in from DC. Shields spoke with and fielded questions from local listeners for two solid hours. Quite democratic. I'm not alone among Nevadans who wish him Godspeed.

AMAZON ATROCITY. Seen those vague TV spots bashing U.S. Senate Bill 2992 as something that will destroy home delivery, kidnap your firstborn and make your face break out? Actually, the bill sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is an attempt to reign in the tech biggies who market their own products at the top of any Internet search and banish competitors to cyber limbo. Small local businesses just can't compete.

I'M LOOKING FOR A JOB. The pols on the Washoe Regional Transportation Commission just gave executive director Bill Thomas a huge raise. He did serious damage to the system last year, losing all three Hat Trick Strikes to the Teamsters Union. Mass transit employees have been winning legal actions costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands while ridership craters.

Mr. Thomas' annual pay and benefits just topped $350,000.00. Gov. Steve Sisolak only makes $149,573 and donates it to charity.

Last January, Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson, who sits on RTC along with three other Republicans and zero Democrats, said “We need to blow the thing up and build a better system."

Mr. Mayor, here's your chance to demonstrate your GOP street cred. I am fully qualified to screw up the mass transit system just as badly as Mr. Thomas and his minions, and perhaps worse. And I am prepared to do it for half price. That's true fiscal conservatism. What's not to like?

KEEP ON ROLLIN'. Teamsters locals across the country are representing cannabis workers. I have suggested that they market union-made hemp t-shirts by grabbing the hashtag #hashtogs.

Pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently 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 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.

 

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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

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

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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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