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


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

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

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

Andrew Barbano Editor/Publisher
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

Ain't we a pair?
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 4-10-2024 / Expansions in blue
Updated 4-11, 4-14, 4-15, 4-16 & 5-2-2024 GMT

Greatest Hits Dept.


Barbwire nominee Dennis Myers elected to NPA Hall of Fame

Support Don Dondero
and Jake Highton
and David Toll and
Foster Church and
Norman Cardoza
Guy Louis Rocha

Send endorsements

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

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly


Kicked off the Ledge

Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada


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

We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

Kate Smith & Lady Gaga

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary (above)
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism

More statewide and national award winners

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

1997 Pulitzer Prize entries

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


So stated Tina Turner in the 1985 blockbuster "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome."

That line best summed up my overwhelmed feelings last Friday evening when the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council inducted the late Tribune journalist and my old friend Dennis Myers into the César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame.

Using a hockey analogy, Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar noted that the occasion completed a hat trick for Dennis. He had previously been so honored by both the Barbwire and Nevada Press Association rogues galleries.

Living up to my self-imposed nickname of Quarantino, I attended via Zoom, dressed appropriately for the solemn occasion: In a sweatshirt and UnionYes! baseball cap.

I thus stood surprised and amazed by the second installation of the evening, The Barbwire Man hisself.


I told the sold out event's attendees that this represented the second-greatest honor of my life, eclipsed only by the day I married my wife, Betty, 40 years ago.

I was and remain humbled to stand with giants who accomplished much more than I ever will. The César HOF includes Nevada's two greatest legislators, Sen. Joe Neal and Assemblymember Bob Price, both D-North Las Vegas.

Fred Ross, Sr., the union stalwart who taught César Chávez how to organize abides therein, as do Maria Zamora, who marched with Chávez from Delano to Sacramento in the 1960s; United Auto Workers stalwart George "Battling" Nelson of Sparks who stood beside Chávez and United Auto Workers legend Walter Reuther at the dedication of the United Farm Workers headquarters; Nevada labor mainstays Dan Rusnak and Sam Lumpe; the late Nevada Labor Commissioner Stan Jones and his wife, Wendy; and the original Chávez HOF honoree, Darlene Jespersen.

Ms. Jespersen was a longtime Harrah's bartender who refused to follow demeaning new corporate makeup face painting rules. Her wrongful termination case broke new ground for women's rights at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Dennis, Nevada's greatest reporter, was the first journalist so honored. I can only state that I am the second because Dennis himself accorded me that appellation.

I still term myself an advocate and hellraiser. I don't present both sides, especially when the other side is suffused with flaming bigoted moonhowlers.

Video of Myers and Barbano inductions —>

Text of Judge Patricia Lynch acceptance speech for Dennis Myers 4-14-2024: Nevada Labor Hall of Fame inducts journalist Myers

     Official Cesar XVIII commemorative program book

A posthumous accolade / By Matthew Bieker
Reno News & Review 4-27-2024

ADIOS, VERITA BLACK PROTHRO. Last Saturday came news of the death of the beautiful Nevada activist and businesswoman. Verita paid heavy dues in her shortened life. When she ran for Washoe County public administrator in 2018, some freedom loving racist defaced her candidate signs with black spray paint.

The Nevada Democratic Party sent out a double notice, also including the hit-and-run fatality of Kurt Englehart, aide to Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev.

I stand proud and humbled by having known and worked with most of the above superstars in the firmament of human aspiration.

READER RUMBLINGS: Tribunistas have reacted to this newspaper's March 27 publication of the Nevada Independent news service exposé of our regional health care octopus. (
"Renown Health is a powerhouse in Northern Nevada. Is that a problem?")

Last week, I added some very necessary perspective regarding the origins of the malady by calling attention to the 1995 Washoe County Grand Jury report documenting the outright theft of our formerly publicly owned, low cost hospital.

Some Tribune subscribers sent these comments: "I worked there as a head supervising nurse. Their 'non-profit' status is just a moniker. Actually, 'More Money' is their tacit motto."

And this: "I remember times when management harassed me to make sure all my employees only gave Renown management five-star ratings or I would be demoted, go without a raise or some other hellish reprisal."

I built a whole website of research on the depredations of our health care conglomerate which will be linked to the expanded web edition of this column at

The fake news New York Times just published a major scandal regarding big health insurance companies. Many have retained an outfit which earns billions in commissions based on how much health care they DENY to insured patients.

"Don't like your $100,000 surgery bill? Sue us, turkey."
[UPDATE: Websearch "hamby tool helps insurers reap fees shift costs" to view several articles.]

I have never seen a better argument for a single-payer national system. Fully one-third of all U.S. health care dollars go toward profit and paperwork. This has resulted in the highest costs for just about the poorest care in the industrialized world.

Social Security, that dastardly government run program, only costs three percent to run. Continuing rape and pillage by the health care industrial complex must come to an end.

I remember when moonhowlers took to the streets to campaign against Obamacare. Some dimbulb woman actually told a reporter she was there to "keep government's hands off my Medicare."

In 2009, the U.S. government became the largest health care customer in the country. Combined with the military, the Veterans Administration and other programs, Uncle Sam has long been paying most of the bills.

It's well past time to reign in pillagers like Renown, Cigna, Aetna, Humana, United Health Care (aka AARP) and Big Pharma.

Sorry, Ronnie, government is not the problem. Government is the solution.

HISTORY FOR DULLARDS. Supporters of T-Rump, the croaker who raps America, want to rename DC's Dulles Airport for the Orange Crusher.

What an insult to the legacy of the Republican Dulles Brothers, Allen who headed the CIA, and John Foster Dulles who served as Secretary of State, both under President Dwight Eisenhower.

These bastards made a sport of overthrowing small democracies, most notably that of Iran. The latter was accomplished because British Petroleum wanted their oil refinery back after the democratically elected Iranian government nationalized the industry after decades of western exploitation.

We are at war with Iran today because of the depredations of the Brothers Dulles back in the 1950s.

So why trade a headache for an upset stomach?

SLIGHTLY CYNICAL DEPT. Congratulations to the universities of South Carolina and Connecticut for winning their respective women's and men's
minor league professional basketball championships.

¡ se puede!

Vaxx up, stay safe, pray for Ukraine and almost 100 other currently war-torn lands.

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 55-year Nevadan and editor of,,, BallotBoxing.US,,,, and 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. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since August 12, 1988.

Breaking News —> Masks work!


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

Larry Barbano, Frater Mei

To Die For
My daughters were born 65 years ago yesterday. Alas, their youth was cut in twain.
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 1-17-2024

Ben Franklin's bleary bifocals
Guest-starring Peter Sellers & The Muppets
And a true story: Song from the streets of San Francisco

Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 1-24-2024 / Updated 1-26 & 1-27-2024 GMT / Expansions in blue

Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane —
Sons of the Pioneers*

* Lyrics by Tim Spencer. The 1947 song has been recorded by not only Roy Rogers' favorite backups, The Sons, but also Jim Croce and Buck Owens. My all-time favorite came with a killer production number between Peter Sellers and The Muppets. (I'm not making this up) from the "The Muppet Show," largely produced in the UK in the early 1980s. The late great Sellers (aka Dr. Strangelove and so many other characters) is at his best as a tipsy preacher. Enjoyjoy!

Cigareetes, Whisky & Wild, Wild Women
Song by Sons of the Pioneers

Ben Franklin would like this jingle. He lived it.

SELLERS: Old John Barleycorn and the three faces of Eve...

Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane
Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane

Once, I was happy and had a good wife
I had enough money to last me for life
I met with the gal and we went on a spree
She started me smokin' and drinkin' whusky

Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane
Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane

Cigarettes are a blight on the whole human race
A man is a monkey with one in his face
Take warning dear friend, take warning dear brother
A fire's on one end, a fool's on the t'other

Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane
Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane

Now, I am feeble and broken with age
The lines on my face make a well-written page
I'm leavin' this message, how sad but how true
On women and whusky and what they can do

Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane
Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane

Write on the cross at the head of my grave
For women and whusky, here lies a poor slave
Take warning, dear stranger, take warning, dear friend
Then write in big letters, these words at my end

Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane
Cigareetes and whusky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane

From The Muppet Show Season 2, Episode 18 with Peter Sellers; initially aired 2-25-1978.
Sellers and Muppets did not sing all verses. Ad libs are hilarious.
Lyrics sources: Musixmatch and
Songwriter: Tim Spencer
Modified slightly in Buck Owens version on
Cigareetes, Whisky and Wild, Wild Women lyrics © Unichappell Music Inc.


One evening long ago, my wife and I were walking thru downtown San Francisco when something caught my eye, perhaps a marquee or a sign in a bar window.

I started singing "Cigareetes and whisky and wild wild women..."

"Two outta three ain't bad!" responded one of two guys walking together across the narrow street.

Ah, summer in The City.



Web Xtras & Smoking Guns—>

Why the science is clear that masks work
By Zeynep Tufecki / The New York Times / 3-10-2023

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

Peruse the Underbelly of the News —> Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

For all the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now: Tell your friends and friendly enemies to subscribe to Barbwire Confidential for warm laughter, cheap thrills, hot scoops and occasional cold logic at BallotBoxing.US/ Cheap at twice the price. (Hush Hush!)

Barbwire dark foreshadowings unfortunately have a way of becoming reality. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/ It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment. Thank you kindly for your support.

$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

Wasting workers where everybody knows your name
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 10-18-2023

SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions (A favorite John Hanks aphorism I've been using for decades) | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
The Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's/cabellyup, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
We Don't Need No Education
In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2024 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 55-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He was the longtime executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and has been a quarter-century member and 10-year officer of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

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

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

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins