Reasonable and Moderate: Variations on a theme
By Jordan Riak, 2007

1.

The manager of XYZ Grocery alerted police after observing a shopper's suspicious behavior. He says the shopper waited at the candy section until she was alone in the aisle, and apparently believing she was unobserved, slipped a chocolate bar into her purse. When he confronted her and accused her of stealing, she admitted taking the item but explained that it was marked only 99 cents which qualifies it for reasonable and moderate shoplifting not a crime in this state. She argued that all good, decent people do it at some time or another, and that she was fully within her rights.

The manager pointed out that the true price of the candy bar was $1.49 and that the 99-cent price tag represented a one-day-only sale price, and that she had no right to take the candy without paying.

Police briefly questioned the shopper but made no arrest. A spokesperson for the XYZ Grocery chain said they recognize there is a fine line that separates acceptable from unacceptable behavior, and not everyone sees it the same way. They said they are studying the matter and declined further comment.


2.

June 15, 2007
Dallas Morning News

Editor:

James V. Lee's comments about the spanking of children had the scent of nostalgia a kind of bittersweet lamentation for those once-cherished certainties that dissolve with the passage of time. He cites the statistics that demonstrate, alas, the inexorable erosion of corporal punishment's approval rating. I am reminded of a recent visit to my high school of many decades ago especially to the old "smoking room." It was, in fact, a shed where the janitorial supplies and equipment were stored. But for the elite members of the Smoking Club one had to be a senior to qualify it doubled as a sanctuary where, for 10 precious minutes of the school day, one could absorb the potent magic of smoldering tobacco. And what magic it was! I can see us now, crouched in that windowless, dimly light little room with the door shut, serious as Bogart, earnestly puffing away. We were convinced it had its benefits. Anyway, reasonable and moderate smoking never did a young person any harm. I'm still here, aren't I?

Sincerely,

Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir., PTAVE


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