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Chan Lowe: The Times Square incident

tshirt.gifThere really are some things government can do better than the private sector.

When the t-shirt vendor told the authorities about the smoking SUV, it set into motion a chain of events and a meshing of resources and manpower that culminated in the apprehension of the perp before he could skip the country.

The passionate defenders of the Constitution, meanwhile, have had to content themselves with grousing that the would-be bomber⎯an American citizen⎯was read his Constitutional rights upon his arrest instead of just being thrown into a dungeon to rot.

Even that brazen so-called offense isn’t generating the usual ire, since he’s singing like a canary anyway.

He did make it all the way to the plane, which exposed a hole in a no-fly list that seems to be more efficient at preventing innocent people from flying than preventing terrorists from getting on board.

Thanks to the initiative of the vendor (from whom we could all learn something about vigilance) and the exemplary detective work of the authorities, nobody was hurt and we are now gaining valuable information in the war on terror from a live captive.

A result that's pretty hard to complain about, whatever your political bent.

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The American government is (supposedly) of, for and by the people. Here's a perfect example of that. What starts with the people ends with the people.

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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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