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Déjà vu, dustbusters and living legacies
by Andrew Barbano
May 29, 2011 | 580 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sharron Angle’s withdrawal from the congressional race will bring her the right result for the wrong reason. Years ago, I promulgated the Barbwire Dustbuster Rule: Candidates who run again too soon after dropping a high profile race usually lose again. About four years are needed to let the dust settle. Very successful Nevada pols have all lost elections by dissing the Dustbuster: Harry Reid, Jim Bilbray and Mary Gojack, among others. They all ran for a lower office within two years of a big loss. A rare exception was Pete Sferrazza, who was re-elected Reno mayor after losing statewide. But he was the incumbent, an advantage not shared by the others. Angle’s withdrawal allows her to fight another day. Sigh. That’s showbiz.

Speaking of big losers

Why is Sarah Palin playing footsie with running for president? Because she can make a lot of money by doing so. The template was cut by Patrick Buchanan. The documented racist never had a realistic chance of winning the GOP nomination, but he ran for more than eight years because he had a cadre of true believers donating big bucks. One can live a very good life with a million-dollar expense account. Buchanan also hired his sister to run his campaign committee at a very inflated salary. Palin appeals to many of the same moonhowlers who love to be taken to the cleaners by someone whom they believe reflects their twisted ideology — stupid stuff like the thoroughly discredited dogma that tax cuts for the rich stimulate the economy.

Crystal ball department

It looks increasingly likely that the Nevada State AFL-CIO will circulate an initiative to do what the legislative and executive branches apparently can do no longer: fund basic government services. Its affiliated unions have more than enough members statewide to qualify initiatives without going out of house. After years of congressional and legislative inaction, organized labor raised the state minimum wage by petition in 2006, almost entirely a benefit to non-union workers. Labor insiders call it “the nuclear option,” but the system is unresponsive so it’s time to take it to the people.

Déjà vu all over again department

“The blood of the 100,000+ killed in our Iraq foray provided only ghastly icing to a crimson cake. We have done such an excellent job selling weapons to the world’s tribes that the holy lands of the east are holy no more. But prices have been going up. War is the single worst thing you can do to your own economy, let alone anyone else’s.

“With our help, the world’s tyrants still live in luxury. The Saudi royals have resumed the sport of public beheadings and OPEC is conducting business as usual. In the east where a star once rose, the old wise men of China still make the rest of world’s oppressors look like amateurs.

“Will you or I one day become like the young man recently arrested here for breaking into a house to make a peanut butter sandwich? He was caught because he fell asleep. Perhaps the safety of a roof was something he had not known for awhile.”

The above appeared in the Barbwire of Dec. 22, 1991, the full text of which will be linked to this column at

Tune in, turn on

and tell a friend

The next live edition of Barbwire TV is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday on Sparks-Reno-Washoe Charter channel 216 and Carson/Dayton channels 210 and 226. As always, the live call-in line is 882-TALK (775-882-8255). Questions may be e-mailed to the address, below. The guest lineup, rebroadcast times and stations will be posted at The website will also have very detailed listings on where and how to get the show depending on where you live or your TV service.

Last week’s prime time show has one more telecast scheduled on Reno CW Network affiliate KRNS TV-46/Cable 6 on Tuesday, May 31 at (yawn) 4:00 a.m. It will also be rerunning on Charter cable 216 in Reno-Sparks-Washoe and 210/226 in Carson/Dayton this coming week. Reruns will be broadcast soon on Douglas County’s cable system. Times will be posted at, where you can also view the show online.

The neverending story

Roy Foster’s Automotive Service Center has moved to 490 Keystone. Grand opening happens Saturday, June 4. Roy Sr. has been gone for many years, but his legacy lives on. Sons Roy, Jr., and Carl run the service facility. Dave operates the Shell station at I-80 and Sierra, across the street from the old service location. Good people to deal with. Friends of mine.

As with Shelly’s Hardware in Sparks’ Greenbrae Shopping Center, the founder built a business with a great reputation that still sustains it decades later. Carl Shelly, former county commissioner, state legislator and onetime owner of the Sparks Tribune, was like Roy Sr. Shelly’s Hardware has gone through a couple of owners and keeps going strong.

What Roy Foster, Sr., and Carl Shelly built, time has not eroded, even in the face of chain stores and cookie-cutter competition.

Phoenix from the ashes

We have acquired new volunteers to work on returning community radio and television to Sparks-Reno-Washoe. To sign up, go to ReSurge.TV. It’s important.

Enjoy a memorable Memorial.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 42-year Nevadan and editor of E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.
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