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Jun 28, 2020
This week’s theme
Words coined after metals

This week’s words
golden calf
silver spoon
brass tacks

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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AWADmail Issue 939

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

Sponsor’s Message: Coronavirus got you down? Feeling cooped up? Going stir crazy? WISE UP! -- is the perfect cure for cabin fever -- it’s a Wicked/Smart Party Card Game that asks tons of devilishly difficult questions that’ll give you know-it-alls plenty of life lessons in humility, history, sports, science, literature, and geography. And wit. For example: Everyone knows the First and Second Amendments -- what’s the Third? Sleeping Beauty’s real name? How long is a furlong? But beware, there’s also a slew of “challenge” cards that chuck Darwinian physical and mental wrenches into the works, e.g., “Throw this card on the floor and pick it up without using your hands.” Just what the doctor ordered, especially for this week’s Email of the Week Winner, Lisa DeLong (see below), and hunkered-down brainiacs everywhere. WISE UP! NOW.

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the Net

Embracing the Experiences of Trans People Means Leaving Old Vocabularies Behind
The New York Times

Trump’s Language Is Racist. Period.
The Washington Post

From: A Ranganathan (vasranga gmail.com)
Subject: Gold

Here are a few proverbs from Tamil:

A pot made of gold does not need further embellishments.
One cannot use a needle to prick an eye, simply because the needle is made of gold.

A. Ranganathan, Chennai, India

Email of the Week -- Brought to you by Wise Up! -- the family that plays together stays together.

From: Lisa DeLong (lisa.delong usa.com)
Subject: golden calf

More than one person has realized who our golden calf is. See here and here and here and here.

Lisa DeLong, Dallas, Texas

From: Dave Conant (davefb123 gmail.com)
Subject: Golden calf

Very good topic. Will you also be discussing “All that is gold does not glitter”, the idea that treasures are sometimes hidden in very plain packages?

Dave Conant, French Lick, Indiana

From: M Henri Day (mhenriday gmail.com)
Subject: golden calf

And perhaps we should be reminded how Moses reacted to the golden calf incident:

“And he said unto them (i.e., the Levites), Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.”

As we see, an effective means to handle a religious dispute.

M Henri Day, Stockholm, Sweden

From: Peter Newburger (peter.newburger umassmed.edu)
Subject: silver spoon

Those of us born in the 1940s or earlier recall that a silver spoon was a standard baby gift (I still have mine!) in families of both upper and aspiring middle class. Hence, it is probably more associated with class than with great wealth.

Peter Newburger, Waban, Massachusetts

From: Paul G Ross (paul.g.ross.gszh statefarm.com)
Subject: silver spoon

A good article on silver cutlery, and why stainless steel is better.

By the way, it was for the taste of metal cutlery. Silver is better than copper/bronze... Try a penny, you’ll see for yourself.

Paul G Ross, Pembroke Pines, Florida

From: Mitchel J. Schapira (mschapira gmail.com)
Subject: Silver what in his mouth?

In the syndicated column of George Dixon in November 1944, Dixon aimed his criticism at Harold Ickes, the US Secretary of the Interior, who helped to implement President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. He said Harold was “born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

Forty-four years later, the indomitable Ann Richards gave a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. At the time, she was the Treasurer of Texas, and within a few years she became the Governor of Texas. During her address she criticized the future President of the US, George H.W. Bush:

“Poor George, he can’t help it -- he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

Mitch Schapira, Anchorage, Alaska

From: Jeff Billington (jcb1772 hotmail.com)
Subject: Silver spoon

My favorite playful take on silver spoon is in the Who’s “Substitute” written by Pete Townsend. “I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth.”

Jeff Billington, Dayton, Ohio

From: Richard Ellis (reofnv gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--silver spoon

I think that many years ago silver was more valuable than gold. That is why with military ranks that can be silver or gold, the silver rank is higher. A single gold bar is a second lieutenant while a first lieutenant is a silver bar.

Richard Ellis, Las Vegas, Nevada

From: Steve Benko (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
Subject: Silver spoon derivation

The biocidal properties are interesting, but I suspect secondary at best. Microbes, after all, wouldn’t be discovered for well over a century after the expression came into being, and I know of no reference to any observation that those who used silver cutlery and serving pieces didn’t seem to get sick as much as those using gold. One suspects that silver was used because it was less expensive and more abundant than gold, large quantities being needed to entertain -- and not such a serious loss if a piece or two disappeared into the purse of a light-fingered guest. The expression then came from what the wealthy were actually using.

Steve Benko, New York, New York

From: Philip Dawson (philip.dawson toyota.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--silver spoon

By any global or historical standard, all in the West today have inherited a fortune. If you are reading this, you are almost certainly in the “one percent”. Of the many imperfections and pathologies that remain, our lack of awareness and gratitude is the most egregious.

Philip Dawson, Jarrettsville, Maryland

From: Ron Betchley (emef2012 aol.com)
Subject: Silver spoon

The phrase silver spoon corroborates a point pressed upon me when having overheard an elicited but cryptic comment made to a person wearing a piece of newly purchased silver jewelry: “Darling, silver is for the table.” A somewhat snobbish putdown inferring that jewelry should be of gold or other precious metals as silver is intended only for table cutlery.

Ron Betchley, Yarker, Canada

From: Carolyn Mcmillan (ccmcmillan icloud.com)
Subject: Silver spoon

My friend (an Arab Israeli Bedouin) says it is “born with a golden spoon” in Arabic.

Carolyn Mcmillan, Dallas, Oregon

From: Elizabeth Block (elizabethblock netzero.net)
Subject: tinhorn

The opening number of Guys and Dolls -- perhaps the best American musical comedy -- is “Fugue for Tinhorns” (video, 2 min.; lyrics), sung by the men’s chorus of gamblers. And yes, there are some canonic elements.

Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada

From: Yitzhak Dar (yitzhakdar gmail.com)
Subject: Tinhorn

This reminds me of the Aramaic saying, which appears in the Talmud Bavli (written in Babilonia), and is quite popular in Israel:
“Istra belagina -- kish-kish karia” which translates “A stupid man who boasts like a jar full of coins.”
It’s the Talmud way of saying “A stupid man who boasts with his brain.”

Yitzhak Dar, Haifa, Israel

From: Bindy Bitterman (bindy eurekaevanston.com)
Subject: Tin Horn

My first job out of college (1952) was as a sales promoter at Scott, Foresman and Co., a prominent textbook publisher, famous for its primary readers with child characters, Dick, Jane, and Baby Sally. In addition to my regular work, which was sort of boring and predictable, I was given all the letters our young customers would write to “Dick and Jane”, firmly believing they were real. My job was to acknowledge the letters as though I were Dick or Jane.

One day I was sought out by my boss and told I couldn’t do that any more. Apparently the company was fearful of being sued for pretending D, J, and S were real and acting on it. But my bosses knew I would be bored, so they tossed me the bone of editing the company house organ (newsletter), a fairly dull, prosaic item called the Tin Horn that came out every other week.

Well, that was a real coup! As editor, I could maneuver through the 8-story (non-air-conditioned) building, interviewing anyone I chose, pretty much doing whatever I liked. I was editor (in addition to my sales promotion duties) for the five years I was with the company, fiddling with the format as I chose -- one issue was entirely in verse, though not limericks!

The words “Tin Horn” will always hold a special place in my heart.

Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois

From: Evan Brett (evanbrett4 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--tinhorn

USAGE: “I’m a veteran, and toted an assault rifle for a couple of years in a war. It was a useful and necessary tool of military combat, but I haven’t needed or wanted one since I left the military 50 years ago.
“I was a hunter before I went in the service, and enjoyed it thoroughly, except for maybe eating what I shot. It was always a little tougher and gamier than the same stuff in the supermarket. After the service, I stopped hunting, because I didn’t want to shoot at anything if it wasn’t shooting at me, and gunfire made me jumpy.
“Today, I don’t want to be anywhere near a woods full of tinhorn troopers with their military toys.”
Mike Pfrang; Your Views; Wisconsin State Journal (Madison); Aug 5, 2018.

It reminded me of my father who worked on a depth-charge destroyer during WWI. When he came home, he wanted nothing to do with guns or explosives of any kind. He even chastised me for running around with a stick pointing at things.

Evan Brett, Langley, Canada

From: Sarah Shapiro (sarahkit gmail.com)

History is a vast early warning system. -Norman Cousins, editor and author (24 Jun 1915-1990)

As the daughter of Norman Cousins, I was touched by your quotation today, his birthday.

I remember that line, but appreciate the truth of it incomparably more today than when my beloved father was still in this world. Thank you for bringing his words to life.

Sarah Shapiro, Jerusalem, Israel

From: Irmgard Weisser (irmgard.weisser t-online.de)
Subject: brass tacks

In my childhood in South Africa “brass tacks and tassels” meant a highly decorated military person usually found in masses at Remembrance Day services.

Irmgard Weisser, Königsfeld, Germany

Readers’ Suggestions on the Origins of Brass Tacks

Reminds me of an antique footstool that my mother had, which had a row of closely-spaced decorative brass tacks -- often called “escutcheon pins” -- along the edge where the upholstery met the wood frame. As these would have been added at the very end of the process, “getting down to brass tacks” would imply working out all the details of the project.
-David Director, Media, Pennsylvania (thedirectors verizon.net)

After a couple of experiences re-covering chairs, I wondered if it refers to the re-upholstering of furniture. Once you tear off the material, and pry off any pieces of wood that are holding the material in place, you get down to the brass tacks that are holding the stuffing and everything else together.
-Nancy Rosman, Schwenksville, Pennsylvania (nwrosman comcast.net)

Brass tacks is also Cockney rhyming slang for facts. Because, of course, tacks rhymes with the Cockney English pronunciation, fac’s.
-Peter Jennings, Stony Lake, Canada (peterj benlo.com)

My stepfather (b. 1920) owned many reference books and was a great researcher of meanings. He used to say “When you look up the derivation of a phrase which you don’t recognise, nine times out of ten, it has origins in the Navy.” The bottoms of good quality ships were sheathed in copper (literally, copper-bottomed). Copper is too soft a metal to be made into nails and so the sheets of copper were secured using tacks made of brass.
-Gus Alexander, London, UK (gusalex btinternet.com)

I had always thought that the origin of the phrase “get down to brass tacks” referred to brass tacks that were found on the counters of general stores in the old days. The tacks were at determined intervals (inches, feet, yards), and were used for measuring out fabric, rope, and the like. So, once the bargaining was over, the merchant would “get down to brass tacks” to measure and cut the purchased material.
-Duncan C. Turner, Seattle, Washington (dturner badgleymullins.com)

I believe it’s because brass tacks were used as finishing in early construction flooring applications.
-Michael Henderson, Round Mountain, California (jmh5 frontiernet.net)

Here’s the definitive explanation (which I just invented). It’s a corruption of a phrase used by the members of the Boston Tea Party in 1773. They climbed aboard the ships to overthrow the tea chests, chanting, “Down the brash tax!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Jim Tang (mauijt aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--ironclad

Indeed, the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest active naval vessel (222 years and counting) is nicknamed Old Ironsides. This despite her lack thereof -- it was her heavy oak timbers that repulsed numerous British cannonballs during the War of 1812. The moniker, though, was a precursor to the evolving naval model, where they actually used metal as structure. As noted by one naval historian, though, strong hulls were only one element of an ironclad ship. It also required steam power to drive all that weight and a heavy explosive cannon to blow up similarly advanced foes.

“Inflexible, unbreakable, or indisputable”, sadly, do not apply as appropriate adjectives. Ever since the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia met at the Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862, we have littered our ocean floors with countless naval ironclads. Much like ironclad contracts, all it requires to undo them are foes both willing and able to shoot holes in them. In battle and law, evolution prevails.

Jim Tang, Kula, Hawaii

From: Joe Ware (patriot505 aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--ironclad

“In medieval England peasants were permitted to graze their sheep on the lands of the nobility. There were no restrictions on how much their livestock could feed, but there was one ironclad rule: the peasants were not allowed to collect their animals’ droppings.”
Agrichemicals; The Economist (London, UK); Feb 18, 2017.

Just imagine, the peasants had to take no crap from the nobility!

Joe Ware, San Antonio, Texas

From: Alan Turner (arturner gmail.com)
Subject: This week’s words

At “golden calf”, I thought to myself that this might be a week of Trump words.
At “silver spoon”, I thought I was right.
At “tinhorn” I was certain.

I expected the last two words to be “mercurial” and “lead balloon”.

Alan Turner, New Castle, Delaware

From: Steve Kirkpatrick (stevekirkp comcast.net)
Subject: metals

This week’s theme reminds me of a song in The Music Man, where the women gossiped about Marian the librarian. Some words from Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little:

That woman made brazen overtures, with a gilt-edge guarantee.
She had a golden glint in her eye, and a silver voice with a counterfeit ring.
Just melt her down and you’ll reveal a lump of lead as cold as steel,
Here, where a woman’s heart should be.”
(video, 3 min.; lyrics)

Steve Kirkpatrick, Olympia, Washington

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: tinhorn and ironclad

Donald Trumpeter
After ruminating for a bit on the definition of this week’s word “tinhorn”, i.e., someone who pretends to have money, skill, influence... etc., Trump immediately came to mind. Then I recalled the Tin Man from L. Frank Baum’s tome, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and its 1939 film adaptation, The Wizard of Oz. Voilà! Trump as the Tin Man, plus-sized. As the story goes, the former flesh-and-blood woodsman lost all his appendages and internal organs, including his heart and brain. All but his heart and brain being serially replaced by tin spare-parts, as it were. He navigated the magical yellow brick road along with young Dorothy, her pooch Toto, the Cowardly Lion, and the goofy Straw Man, hoping he’d find a brand new heart when they reached the enchanted Land of Oz.
Critics of the ever-braggadocious, self-absorbed Trump often point out his apparent lack of empathy, I dare say, heartlessness; his lack of compassion for others, while showing a decided disdain, bordering on loathing, for the downtrodden and marginalized minorities (read non-whites) across America, “the Other”. I’ve added some girth to tinman Trump’s midsection, befitting his out-sized body. His megaphone is literally a tin horn, through which he bloviates hyperbolically, as is his wont. The man’s ego knows no bounds. Perchance he’s had a “compassion bypass”? Just sayin’.

The Iron Lady
When I saw that “ironclad” was one of this week’s five metal-themed words, I harkened back to former British Prime Minister (1979-1990), Margaret Thatcher, given the nickname “The Iron Lady”, in 1976, by a Soviet journalist when she was leading the Conservative Party, prior to becoming PM. Rather than take umbrage with the intended flinty, derogatory Ruskie-coined moniker, she totally embraced it, seeing it as a compliment that, in her view, spoke to her strength of character, resilience, and forbearance in her meeting the challenges and vicissitudes of politics. The nickname stuck with Thatcher from then on.
Here, I’ve pictured Thatcher in her prime, clad in a partial suit of armor, sporting a few “feminine touches”, in the guise of England’s patron saint, St. George, an esteemed member of the elite 4th-century Roman Praetorian Guard. As the tale goes, crusader George slew the scary dragon to secure the love of his life, a fair damsel in duress. Admittedly, Thatcher was hardly a saint, yet she slew her share of “symbolic” dragons in her day, some to the dismay and others to the delight of her Brit constituents. In this scenario, the fleeing dragon has incurred a mere flesh wound delivered by Iron Lady’s trusty spear. In 1992, Thatcher became a member of the House of Lords with a life-peerage as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven (Lincolnshire). She was even awarded her own personal official coat-of-arms. In 1995, she became a Lady of the Order of the Garter, the highest rank of chivalry for a British woman. Now... for real, officially a bona-fide “Iron Lady”.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Anagrams of This Week’s Words
1. golden calf
2. silver spoon
3. tinhorn
4. brass tacks
5. ironclad
= 1. idol
2. a lad’s born rich
3. non-proven skill
4. facts
5. strong case
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)


I think back and I just have to laugh --
The College chose this golden calf!
True patriots here
Are sick of his smear;
Next time let’s elect a giraffe!
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

To worship a golden calf
exceeds a gaffe and a half.
As of 2016
you know well what I mean:
election too low for a laugh.
-Mariana Warner, Asheville, North Carolina (marianaw6002 gmail.com)

He commits ev’ry possible gaffe,
and would certainly fail polygraph,
yet proceeds to deceive
ill-advised and naive
folks who worship the old golden calf.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Idolatry’s strictly taboo,
A rule that the Israelites knew.
So their damn golden calf
Was a serious gaffe,
On top of the list NOT to do.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Two heifers were having a row.
They went at each other, and how.
One said with scoldin’ laugh,
“You’re such a golden calf.”
She replied back, “Don’t have a cow!”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

He was shiny, a new golden calf;
But now he resembles Falstaff.
The day Oklahomans
Took heed of the omens,
They wrote his long-due epitaph.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Says he, “It’s a very nice boon
to be born with a fine silver spoon.
I’ve pretty good looks,
and have read a few books,
but it’s cash over which the chicks swoon!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Meghan Markle would give her hand
To a man from another land,
And as Prince Harry’s wife
Lead a silver spoon life,
Being treated like someone grand.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Young Donald had Daddy to thank
For money he had in the bank.
With silver spoon blessed
An edge he possessed --
And also a lifestyle quite swank.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Success can bless any buffoon
who is born with that old silver spoon.
Daddy’s money protects him
but no one respects him.
He’s a petulant tinhorn tycoon.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Now the Donald would harp on this tune,
“I’m a self-made man!” cried the buffoon.
“I did it on my own,
With a mere million loan”,
And not counting his huge silver spoon.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“What good is my damn silver spoon
If I’m not to the virus immune!”
Said Donald, returning
From Tulsa, lungs burning,
A sad and bewildered tycoon.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Appraising new neighbors one day,
“The mister’s pretentious!” they say.
“He’s nought but a tinhorn.
It’s probably inborn,
since grandpa there acts the same way!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

In their grief, each one came with his clothes torn,
‘Twas a ritual used when they’d all mourn.
With their mem’ries aglow,
All their tributes would flow,
Though the stiff was a sleazy old tinhorn.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Trump is such an example of this!
It’s too obvious! Who’s gonna miss
The blustery tinhorn
For whom it’s just inborn --
Eew! I’d hate to be someone he’d kiss!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

From her tryst with a Puritan tinhorn
Was a child to young Hester Prynne born.
Said the townsfolk, “You harlot!
A letter of scarlet
You’ll wear to us prudes about sin warn!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

There is something this President lacks,
So let’s just get right down to brass tacks:
Using tear gas ain’t urgent,
Nor is drinking detergent,
Ditto chokeholds and bullets in backs.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

I’d like to get down to brass tacks!
Let’s calmly examine the facts.
Take note and remember
So that in November
We’ll vote to give Donald the axe.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

It’s apparent he empathy lacks;
that he listens to kooks and to quacks.
He keeps yelling, “Disaster”
while he gets us there faster
‘cause he’ll never get down to brass tacks.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

By saying, “Please, ma’am, just the facts,”
Joe Friday got down to brass tacks.
For knowledge back then
Was esteemed by real men,
But now truth has been given the axe.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The lease had an ironclad provision:
“NO PETS” was the landlord’s decision.
Would-be renters had cause
To divest paws and claws,
But sneered at this thought with derision.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

Our government’s broken and bad,
Constitution no longer ironclad,
for Trump hastily eroded
Madam Liberty and goaded
Blacks and women to erupt. He is mad!
-Mariana Warner, Asheville, North Carolina (marianaw6002 gmail.com)

Describing his life, the young lad
confides, “Well, there’s good and there’s bad.
Mom wears a kid glove,
and treats us with love,
but Dad’s strict, and his rules ironclad!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

When there’s an eclipse it’s not done --
You never look straight at the sun.
This ironclad rule
We all learned in school,
But Trump took a look just for fun.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“His dirt on our family was ironclad,”
Moaned Don Junior, “For him we’ll be spyin’, Dad.”
Answered Donald, “Don’t whine;
Call him back with this line:
‘Never fear, for we’re perfect at lyin’, Vlad.’”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


I asked the waitress for eggs over medium, pancakes cooked to a perfect golden, calf-feine in my coffee.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

Enrolling in a spin class, James Bond’s nemesis said “A finger is all well and good, but I also like a golden calf.” -Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

I overlaid an old map of Hollywood on one of India, and found Phil Silver’spoon jab.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

A hailstorm surprised the marching band, den-tinhorn after horn.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

One reason that aluminum is an economical choice: You’ll pay no brass tacks when you buy it.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

It was so hot outside that ironclad only in a T-shirt and shorts around the neighborhood.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Trump’s Foibles & Follies

Renegade Injustice
Renegade Injustice

In this scenario, the wild-and-woolly Old West has come to the Washington Beltway in the guise of the no-holds-barred (pun intended) dastardly duo, Donald “Free-deranged” Trump, and his sycophantic chief toady/sidekick, Sheriff “Wild Bill” Barr. (Apologies to legendary lawman “Wild Bill” Hickok.) Trump and AG Barr have been in cahoots ever since then-US Attorney General Jeff “I Can’t Recall” Sessions was on the receiving end of Trump’s exit boot, and Barr was summarily confirmed in Congress as the new top sheriff in town, with nary a single “yea” vote cast by Dem legislators. AG Barr has since given Trump almost carte blanche latitude in terms of stretching the bounds of judicial rectitude, reflecting his (Barr’s) unabashed favoring of very broad executive branch powers/privileges, rooted in his fundamental conservative philosophy established long before he became the nation’s top-cop. In tandem, Trump and Barr have managed to make a mockery of both the executive and judicial branches of the Federal government, running roughshod over or just ignoring long-established laws and long-standing legal standards-and-practices.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains. -Jean-Jacques Rousseau, philosopher and author (28 Jun 1712-1778)

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