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 Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




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