Saturday, October 11, 2008


I'm trying not to post every little thing that annoys me about this year's election campaign (and there are many), but I've been reading various articles about Sarah Palin's abuse of power (like this one) and I'm just wondering... what the hell does "unlawful" actually mean, and why are we using this word?

Don't we normally call stuff that's against the law "illegal"? Why are we not calling what she did illegal? Is it a social faux-pas when referring to elected officials? Is it because that would put her in the same league as drunk drivers and armed robbers and terrorists? Is it because saying she did something "illegal" would make everybody wonder why she's not being thrown in jail as she should be? (Or at least kicked out of the governor's office and off the ballot for VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, for god's sake).

Sarah Palin broke the law, specifically one of Alaska's ethics laws. What she did was illegal, not "unlawful". And this is the first time that I can remember that there is a major candidate on the ballot in a national election who was actually officially found to have used her office for illegal purposes. It would be like Richard Nixon running for VP in 1976. Can you imagine? And some people are still planning to vote for this trollop!

I guess none of these people listened to their hero George Bush when he said, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me... can't get fooled again."




  2. Well, but the point is you can say anything that's illegal is "unlawful", but the reverse is not necessarily true. What she did was illegal *and* unlawful, by the technical definition, but everybody's choosing the word "unlawful" because it sounds less criminal.

  3. illegal = acts that violates the law

    unlawful = unjust, but not technically against the law (ie, she found a loophole)

    but the problem then lies with the law and how it is interpreted; whether by the letter of the law or the spirit of the law. and palin can use the excuse that she was following the spirit of the law to justify her actions, all personal reasons aside.

  4. Ugh!

    Y'all need to read what she actually did. She was found to have violated the state's executive branch ethics act. This is in the official report. In other words, she broke the law!

    That is "illegal", not "unlawful".

    I should re-make my point, though, which is that it's this parsing of words that's the problem. Arguing semantics is exactly what I'm ranting against. She broke the law and she should face the same punishment as others who have broken the law. EoS.

  5. i get what you mean now. i thought the original post was about syntax/diction. either way, i wont be voting for her come nov. 2.


About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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