I met the eminent law professor and attorney outside of a major Nevada gambling expo in Reno a couple of decades back. A who’s who of the casino elite attended but not him. He had been declared persona non grata by the convention because he dared say things they didn’t like. My kinda guy.
In his new blog, he made the above comment about New York acting outside the law to establish sports betting. His point applies to a much broader swath of the land of liberty and justice for some.
You can sign up for his news service at GamblingAndTheLaw.com/ Tell him you heard about in on the Barbwire.
BTW: “May you live in interesting times” is an old Persian curse.
TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY DEPT. California Gov. Gavin Newsom this week threatened to pull a Texas on the gun lobby do to the gun cult what the Tejanos have done to women’s rights.
Newsom wants “a new law that would allow private citizens to sue manufacturers or distributors of assault weapons as well as ghost gun kits or parts,” the LA TImes reported.
“If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that,” Newsom said. (See John Grisham’s book “Runaway Jury” and the film of the same name which probably led to Congress granting firearms fabricators blanket immunity from legal liability.)
When asked about his abortion ban’s impact on rape victims, the madcap Texas governor said he would stamp out rape in Texas so it would cease to be an issue.
At minimum, Newsom just implemented the oldest debate trick in the book: Reduce your opponent’s position to an absurdity.
Instance in point: The great American humorist Will Rogers once proposed a solution to German submarines sinking allied ships in World War One.
“Boil the ocean,” he said. Make it so hot down there, the U-Boats will have to surface so we can pick them off.
How to boil the ocean?
“That’s a detail matter. I’m a policy maker,” Rogers quipped.
GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE DEPT. I suggested exactly Newsom’s strategy in this column on December 1 with the local COVID-19 superspreader bus system as the target.
Maybe the guv reads the Tribune.
JUSTICE DELAYED. Descendants of legendary comics Abbott & Costello have apparently found work at Sparks City Hall. In their immortal schtick, they posed the eternal baseball question: Who’s on first?
I published a notice last month that applications for a new Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board would close on Nov. 26.
Apparently they didn’t generate enough interest as the city put out another call Dec. 3. I just got a copy which was distributed last Monday by the State of Nevada Dept. of Business & Industry via the RenoSparks NAACP.
I rejoiced when Sparks Police Chief Chris Crawforth recently established a Police Advisory Committee. (BTW, Chief: Us folks would appreciate an update.)
Along with former NAACP presidents Lucille Adin and Dolores Feemster, I was at City Hall when the council approved establishment of a human rights committee. Fifteen freakin’ years ago! (Jan. 22, 2007) We had a few meetings with city officials, then nothing.
In 2017, the City of Reno established a human rights “working group” (downgraded from a human rights commission), but it went sideways when a city staffer left.
“The desire to form a regional Human Rights Commission in the future remains,” city staff reported. “However, the hope is that this working group can help to further define how a future commission would be most effective for the community.”
TRANSLATION: Let somebody else take the lead, let’s have lunch and don’t tell our lawyers.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve approached Sparks to work together, but Rail City fathers said “we’re broke.” (Too much corporate welfare given away to rich guys who don’t need it.) The Washoe County Commission told Mlle. Mayor that they’d let Reno do it. At last report, the Reno entity was getting back together.
Chief Crawforth generated enough applicants to get going right away. Why is this so hard? Because human rights is the basic purpose of democracy. We either establish a consensus government that defends individual dignity, or we go to war.
That ain’t hyperbole.
I noted last week, and it bears repeating, Harvard’s Kennedy School just published a poll of 18-29 yearolds. More than half (52 percent) believe our democracy is either “in trouble” or “failing.” Worse, 35 percent peg the likelihood of a second civil war in their lifetimes at 50 percent or more.
Please, Sparks residents. Volunteer. It won’t hurt and will make you feel like you’re accomplishing something with your life.
Perhaps an application can be found at the city website. The web address in their e-mail is way too long to put in this column. You can also find it on the city’s (ahem) Meta, Twitter and Linked-In pages.
Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. this Friday, December 17, according to Assistant City Manager Alyson McCormick . For more info, call (775) 353-2350.
WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE. The prestigious chroniclers of northern Nevada African-American history have just scored big.
Our Story Inc. has leased from Washoe County the historic former Black Springs Fire Department building to house a new Northern Nevada African-American Firefighter Museum on Kennedy Drive.
Our Story Inc. was founded by community activist Shayne DelCohen and retired firefighter and former Reno-Sparks NAACP President Kenny Dalton. They plan weekly events throughout next year (COVID-19 permitting, of course.) Watch OurStoryInc. com for updates.
Glad I could close this screed with a bit of good news. For a change.
Take care of each other and be careful out there.
¡Sí se puede!
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 53-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com, SenJoeNeal. org and MississippiWestNV.org/ He is a longtime NAACP member. As always, his comments are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988