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2013: Unlucky number for an ugly year
by Andrew Barbano
Dec 19, 2013 | 1474 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Herewith, a grossly underachieving list of 2013's most grotesque, grandiose and gratuitous.

HOW THE LOWLY HAVE FALLEN. Time Magazine's Man of the Year Award once meant something, even when occasionally won by a woman. It used to be unflinching, given to the person who most impacted the world for good or evil.

This year, they named Pope Francis, latest apologist for the dinosaur boys' club who speaks softly but lets women go to prison in El Salvador where miscarriage is apparently a capital crime.

Time understandably chickened out in 2001 by naming media hotdog Rudy Giuliani rather than Osama bin Laden, who has arguably retired the title every year since. Time could have instead easily honored the 3000-plus dead of 9/11.

Nonetheless, the magazine's fortunes have only dimmed since. Speaking of dim, the Reno Gazette-Journal finally came out of the closet to admit what everybody knows: like all commercial media, they live in fear of their advertisers. Reno new car dealers ordered the RGJ to oppose the school repair tax and the paper complied.

Actually, the automongers fell in line with Democratic Party principles by defeating a regressive sales tax penalizing lower income people. So next time you go to a Reno new car dealership, thank them for being such overzealous Democrats.

ABORTION AND GUN RIGHTS, A HAPPY MARRIAGE. Rumor has it that whistleblower Edward Snowden almost beat the pope for Time's tarnished trophy.

Snowden was most deserving because the ultimate modern weapon is superior information, not low-tech projectile propellers.

If you fear gun registration because it tells the feds who owns weapons, remember that you have already ratted on yourself with such actions as your magazine subscriptions and Facebook postings. Information is power.

Despite occasional mass murder, gun rights absolutists can rightly state that crime has gone down notwithstanding a firearm-sotted society.

The authors of Freakonomics point to a more verifiable cause: abortion. Most crimes are committed by young men aged 15-24, often products of abusive childhoods. When Roe vs. Wade made it a bit easier to pre-empt the unwanted, crime went down starting about 15 years later.

MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORIES. (1) The phony graduation rate increases continually touted by the Washoe and Clark County school districts. Read the Barbwire's "We Don't Need No Education" series at  (2) The teachers' tax initiative's potential invalidation of over 100 existing statutes, including term limits and the union-busting right-to-work-for-less law. See the Feb. 28 Barbwire. (3) Corporate welfare queen Apple Computer's absolute censorship control over the Nevada Public Utility Commission regarding Apple's new Lyon County power plant.

NEVADA'S BIGGEST EMBARRASSMENT: GREYHOUND THERAPY. I've blown the cover off a lot of state mental health abuses over the past four decades, but our stingy state government's patient dumping via bus ticket reached new and very dangerous lows.

Happy High Holly Days anyway.

Esté bien. Haga infierno.

Be well. Raise hell. 

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