Letter: Legal or illegal? Today’s definitions too confusing


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Posted Online: Dec. 03, 2012, 11:22 am
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I'm sitting with "Webster's" on my lap. Like most people, when I run across a word I thought I understood, it now leads to more words to further confuse me. If you can't trust "Webster's", who can you trust?

The word "illegal" makes me turn to "legal".

After reading the dictionary's explanation, I'm more confused than when I started. When does illegal become legal or legal become illegal?

In the case of immigration, when the two political parties decide how many votes they can get. Now illegal will become legal.

Now, take smoking, I'll admit, a nasty habit which I enjoy. A legal product and to governments a wonderful source of income, yet, if you own a small, say, auto repair shop and you work alone, it's illegal to smoke there.

If I break a law, my act is illegal, I think. I'm no longer sure because a judge gets to decide my punishment.

Depending on the law I broke, the judge has many options. He can let me go, fine me, send me to the Iron Curtain Motel or other punishments he wishes to inflict on me.

Now I have to research the true role of a judge. I'm past being confused.
Will someone out there help me?

I'm spending too much time with Webster.

Marty Shannon,
Rock Island

















 




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  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




(More History)