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 Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet.
1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.






(More History)