The Lowe Down

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The Stallworth wrist-slap

When a crime is committed, the people's interest in an ordered society is represented by the prosecution, which pursues its task (without passion or prejudice) within an accepted and respected framework of law.

Our reverence for the law and the assumption of its equal application (at least in theory) are part of the social contract that holds us together as a society. When that contract is violated, it's an affront to us all. That is, I think, what lies at the root of the anger at Donte Stallworth's punishment, or lack thereof.

We call the punishment of a crime the perpetrator's "debt to society" for a reason. It is not his or her "debt to the victim," because in theory, it is society and its code that have been wronged. This is what keeps our system from descending into "eye for an eye" justice. The legal system is there to protect us from ourselves, from each other, and from our natural revenge instinct. Without it, we'd all be killing each other off in vendettas.

The redress of personal grievances is settled lawfully in civil court. The fact that Donte Stallworth made a financial settlement with the family of his victim should have no bearing on his criminal sentence. We know this, if not because we are familiar with the law, then because we feel it in our guts as members of a collective group with a stake in preserving our code.

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We know that Canada - along with other commodity-exporting countries - has benefited from the rise in commodity prices since 2002. But it's hard to talk about the effect of changes in the relative prices between two goods in the context of a standard single-good macroeconomic framework. So you need a two-good model.

Another excellent post, Chan. Your ability to express so many of our society's higher ideals into more understandable layman's terms in both word and illustration is a talent much-needed, especially in this 'Age of Imbecility', as noted today by your colleague, Stephen Goldstein. Thanks!

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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