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From the week of August 20, 2009

"Boxed In," Patricia Calhoun,

August 13

You Be the Judge

Nicely done.

Unfortunately, instead of the $926 million representing a death knell for Dow and Rockwell (something that might finally get the SEC and relevant shareholders to pay attention to corporate behavior, and my personal fantasy wish would be for decades-long prison sentences for the executives involved), not to mention the staining of reputations among quite a few Cold War-era public officials, it's just added to the yawning chasm of the national debt. When the Price-Anderson Act "indemnifies" private companies, it merely means that you and I pick up the tab for someone else's ethical malfeasance.

Somehow, I doubt that sensible Colorado Republicans (I think there are three of them) would leap to the defense of this law, which gives companies in defense contract situations a blank check to be almost totally irresponsible, with no worries about there ever being a day of reckoning. Of course these guys are appealing Judge Kane's ruling — it's costing them nothing. Taxpayers are going to end up paying for all those billable hours.

Argh!

Ray Schoch

Minneapolis

"Enter the Nunchaku," Jared Jacang Maher, August 6
Hold Everything!

First off, kudos to Jared Jacang Maher for writing an excellent article. It is nice that he took the time to understand why/how the OPN is such a useful tool, and many thanks for his enlightening the civilians in your readership about them. "Effective" is one of many good qualities about them. I also agree that a pair certainly won't blow your brains out — though they can break joints, bones, etc. if applied incorrectly. All the more reason to respect the tool and not misuse it.

I really have to wonder if anybody else was frightened by Ms. Sotomayor's off-the-cuff appraisal about what OPNs are all about. I find it scary that a United States Supreme Court justice doesn't have any sort of clue beyond what is shown in crappy martial arts flicks. Perhaps she's not aware that pain compliance is an option only resorted to when attempts to be respectful and asking for compliance — without the need for pain — fail.

Has she ever been on the bad end of somebody wanting to beat her into a pulp, or with somebody who is intent on fighting whomever and not really caring that somebody like her must break up such a fight? Her lack of understanding is dangerous for a person in her position.

Thanks to Officer Kevin Orcutt, the world is safer with OPNs in them, and we really should be glad for those who might need to use them. It beats more severe, even lethal, use-of-force events occurring. In the end, it really is about all officers going home at the end of their workday. OPNs certainly help make that possible.

R. Burchardt

Denver

The first definition of torture in the American Heritage Dictionary reads: "The infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion." So let's not dance around. The Orcutt Police Nunchaku is a torture device. Period. Its use may be justified in dealing with violent or potentially violent prisoners or suspects, but its use against non-violent, non-threatening peaceful protesters is unconscionable and should be outlawed.

Kenneth Morgareidge

Denver

"Family Feud," Juliet Wittman, August 6

Plots and Pans

I was so impressed by Juliet Wittman's review of August: Osage County that did not buy into the "awards" and delved into the lots of plots, lots of characters, lots of closeted secrets — but no real depth or insights. I was appalled by the audience acceptance of the play as a comedy. How sad that theater venues that present real drama attract such smaller audiences and have trouble staying viable.

Bethe Allison

Littleton

 
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