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Je Suis Charlie
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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

May Day Labor Day: Start Packing
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 5-1-2024 / Updated 5-2 & 5-4-2024 / Expansions in blue

Ah, 'tis Spring when a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of creative seduction, satyristic dancing, nubile wenches, fertile frolicking —> and riots in the streets.

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Barbwire nominee Dennis Myers elected to NPA Hall of Fame

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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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Forgotten in the mayhem of these times is the painfully obvious: The ayatollahs and Putin have won this round, having created worldwide chaos, advancing their dreams of conquest.

Chaos, the best friend of dictators, creates insecurity and works like a charm.

It elected Nixon in 1968 and we've never recovered.

New Hampshire and Texas provide bookends of modern day rebellion.

Flaming commie liberal Ivy League Dartmouth College engaged youthful rebels in conversation and dialogue. The kneejerk reactionary governor of Texas dispatched headbreakers.

MURPHY'S LAW. All this reminds me of corrupt Officer Murphy back in Fresno.

Murphy actually believed in a stop-dead simple way to rid the streets of those dirty Commie long-haired hippie demonstrators: One machine gunning to send the message.

The descendants of Officer Murphy are all around us, two-bit practitioners of the eternal cycle of violence. What poet e.e. cummings called "this monster mannunkind" is still so very vicious and so self-destructively tribal.

You have probably seen the longrunning TV commercial which includes visuals of picket lines and riots in the streets. It closes with "Choose God."

What perversion of piety.

Fighting starts when some hammerhead, trying to get rich or get laid or both, decides to cash in by asserting that his god is better than their god. (Note to anti-grammatical pronoun persons: It's always a "him.")

I would be more worried if protest had become a lost art here in the land of the free with liberty and justice for some.

Decades ago, Ralph Nader was asked if the fires of consumerism and environmentalism had waned.

Not at all, he replied. It's just become "diffuse" and decentralized.

Whenever a land grab, oil hustle or coal plant are proposed, protestors show up. That's a good thing.

Worry when they don't. And beware modern day sanctimonious opportunists like Murphy.

is Labor Day worldwide.

The only reason we celebrate it in September lies with President Grover Cleveland who wanted to keep it as far away as possible from the date of the Pullman railway workers strike.

Cleveland was the only defrocked president ever to run again and regain the office, a cautionary tale.

Czar Donaldov'
s idol, Andrew Jackson, hated the U.S. Supreme Court and the Bank of the United States. The latter had refused him a loan to benefit his slave plantation. So when he won the presidency, he destroyed it. The lack of a central bank debilitated the country's economy for the next century.

The current court majority of blackrobed ammotextuals are plunging headlong toward a new Confederacy.

They just don't believe in federalism, which leads to every state becoming a nation unto itself. John C. Calhoun, call your office to get in on the ground floor of a second Civil War.

Jackson hated anything and anyone who disagreed with him. Sound familiar?

He once said "the chief justice has made his decision. Now let him enforce it." Sound familiar?

I've got a better idea.

SEND THEM PACKING. President Franklin Roosevelt had the right idea when he wanted to expand the Supreme Court which had stymied so many of his desperately necessary Great Depression recovery programs.

Kneejerk reactionaries stopped it.

One justice, seeing the danger of the court not responding to trying times, switched his votes and the fabled "switch in time saved nine."

Had he not done so, there may not have been a United States today.

The danger yet abides.

Moonhowlers for decades decried Roosevelt's New Deal programs and President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society enhancements like civil rights and voting rights. (And a little thing called Medicare.)

And the benighted right, backed by money-gorged monopolists, has done one helluva job. Throw in riots in the streets and Nixon Part Deux looms large.

What to do?

The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors provides the template. Currently, nine serve on the eleven-member body.

President Biden just appointed two Democrats and has nominated former Boston mayor and secretary of labor Marty Walsh for a vacant Democratic seat. Biden also appointed one independent.

If Biden can find a moderate Republican to fill the eleventh seat, he can engineer enough votes to fire Trump shill Postmaster Generalissimo Louis the Clueless Dejoy, whose job it is to destroy the system (and mail-in voting) in order to privatize it, something he has long advocated.

And that can save northern Nevada's postal service from going from merely clunky to junky. It already takes five days for some mail to get across town.

Add Dejoy's plan to move processing to W. Sacramento, and that will spawn...drum roll, please...demonstrations in the streets.

Next up should be adding four seats to the U.S. Supreme Court. Turnabout is fair play, Mitch.

LABOR NOTES, workplace tidbits that caught my eye or fouled the atmosphere: Congratulations to local company Sierra Nevada Corp. for landing a $13 billion federal contract to build the next generation of the flying White House/Pentagon.

The "Doomsday Planes" are engineered to keep the government going during the unthinkable — nuclear war.

One thing that stands out in the Doomsday Plane story: Boeing will not be considered to provide the four flying fortresses.

Full warning came many years ago. An expert blamed Boeing's continuing woes on its 2006 merger with Lockheed-Martin, a huge military contractor.

"Lockheed-Martin brought the ethics of government contracting to Boeing," the insider noted.

Lord, was he ever correct, to our everlasting peril.

GETTING IT RIGHT. The Sparks-based Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO just proposed a solution to government contracting gone awry: union involvement.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Rob Benner, a sheetmetal worker by trade, noted that the $9 million failure to bring high speed Internet to Lovelock might well have been avoided had the crooked contractor engaged with qualified union constructors. (The entire $9 million was apparently lost to a fly-by-night outfit.)

With so much government infrastructure contracting coming to Nevada, Benner called the Lovelock disaster "a cautionary tale of what happens when we sideline the expertise and the voice of organized labor. Let's not repeat this mistake," he noted in a Reno Gazette-Journal guest editorial.

Amen, brother. Happy Labor Day.

¡ 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.

The Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO inducted him into César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame on April 5, 2024.

Breaking News —> Masks work!



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

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


Web Xtras & Smoking Guns—>

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

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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

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

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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

The Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO inducted him into César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame on April 5, 2024.

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

Larry Barbano, Frater Mei

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