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Liberty and justice for some
by Andrew Barbano
Mar 25, 2012 | 741 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Something’s happening here. And there. And everywhere. People are out in the streets all over the world protesting basically the same thing: a rigged game. Lack of opportunity. Hopelessness.

Even those of narrow mind and possessed of limited capacity to abstract feel a vague anger impelling them toward doing something even if it’s wrong.

There remain legions crusading to keep government’s greedy hands out of their Medicare, apparently willfully and blissfully ignorant that Medicare is a taxpayer-funded federal program.

Well-intentioned parishioners, led by their holy men, demonstrated against contraception at the Reno federal building a few days ago. I hope they had help crossing the street because it’s difficult to look both ways while wearing blinders.

I suggest a peacemaking trade. Let’s get government’s dirty hands completely out of religion by eliminating the billions in annual taxpayer subsidies supporting religion in the form of tax-deductible contributions. A small portion of the trillions in savings could be placed in a fund to provide contraception and other health services to employees of religions opposed to same. Pseudo-problem solved.

The overlords are masterful at keeping us peons in the lower classes fighting each other for crumbs that fall off the castle’s table.

Only economic devastation causes real change. We re-learn the same lesson every 60 or 70 years when the victims of the previous depredation have begun to die out. We ain’t seen nothing yet.

We live in a fragmented nation, easily divisible by clever PR men, with liberty and justice for the few at the expense of the many.

Slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin is just the latest sacrifice on the altar of the crumbs, ephemeral amusement for those gorged on bread and wine.

He is the latter day Emmett Till, the black 14-year-old beaten to death in 1955 because some Southern cracker thought he looked the wrong way at a white woman. When his body was returned to Chicago from Mississippi, his mother ordered an open coffin funeral so the world could see what had been done to her son.

Time has elapsed and we are condemned to roll the rock back up the hill all over again.

I suggest thinking.

Practice calming the troubled waters by going outside on the next clear night and look up for awhile. Recommend it to your simpler friends.

You can really think big when you realize how small you really are.

Lost Verizons, Part Deux

My union, Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO, will again demonstrate in front of the Verizon retail outlet at the Smithridge Shopping Center at S. Virginia and McCarran in Reno from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today. It’s part of ongoing nationwide actions spotlighting Verizon corporate greed. For more information, contact Local 9413 VP Janice Porter-Moffit, 322-9413 or 843-9747; e-mail

El Día de César Chávez

César Chávez Day happens at Circus Circus-Reno on March 31, the great union leader’s 85th birthday. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. Contact me for ticket and table information, 882-TALK (882-8255). Much more at

Twisting Young Minds Department

The second UNR César Chávez Day takes place this  Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the rotunda at the Mathewson/IGT Knowledge Center (aka the new library). The featured speaker will be Nevada community activist Michael Flores. For details, contact Carla Castedo-Testa of the Latino Student Advisory Board, 342-7612; e-mail Admission is free.

Wobblies Film Freebie

This month’s Reno Industrial Workers of the World filmfest features Nevada historian Guy Louis Rocha presenting his magnum opus, “Might is Right: Nevada AFL-CIO Labor History.”

It will be shown in four segments: The Comstock Miners Union; The IWW in Goldfield; Hoover Dam; and Right-to-Work. Rocha will introduce each segment and lead a discussion afterward. Free admission and popcorn. Beverages via no-host bar. The Wobblies have permanently relocated the fourth-Wednesday showings to the Good Luck Macbeth Theatre, 119 N. Virginia St. in Reno. It starts at 7 p.m. For more info, call 230-5330 or e-mail

Support the Nevada Citizen TV Project

To re-establish a people’s TV channel hereabouts, you can contribute via ReSurge.TV or call me. Thanks to those who have already anted up.

The Barbwire TV show is still in reruns. Check the expanded web edition of this column at

Southern Exposure

Former State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, is in Georgia recovering from knee replacement surgery. Anyone wanting to send greetings to the 32-year public servant can e-mail them to me at the address, below.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 43-year Nevadan, editor of and, and producer of Nevada’s March 31 César Chávez Day celebration. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail
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