The major concern around "less lethal" (victims have a greater chance of surviving) ordnance is threshold of use: To what extent will police resort to Tasers, wooden dowel rounds, so-called "rubber bullets" (steel pellets roughly the size of a paintball under a thin coating of rubber), and beanbag rounds in situations that don't call for baton strikes or gunshots, yet have escalated beyond an officer's ability to defuse ["An Electrifying Verdict," News, April 21]? Leaving aside the question of that officer's suitability for patrol, Lt. Sheffer's statement is a particularly egregious example, at best disingenuous, at worst mendacious, of PR puffery around this issue. Police all over the US continue to shoot violent suspects and use Tasers to punish merely non-compliant suspects with electrocution torture.

-posted by nwspirit


DEAR MERCURY—Thank you for covering the Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) conference and the pro-choice counter rally ["Pregnant Cause" News, April 21]. As one of the protesters with Radical Women and other independent activists outside the conference, I'm concerned with your representation. There was a caption below the picture of our action that reads "tiny protest." This is rather dismissive of the people who felt it was important to get up early on a Saturday to defend a woman's right to safe and legal abortion. Planned Parenthood was quoted for this article but none of the counter protestors in the picture were. This is misleading because Planned Parenthood had no involvement at the counter protest. I hope more people can get involved, not discouraged from participating in grassroots reproductive rights mobilizing because this is an increasingly urgent issue.

-Terri Strange, Radical Women


Nice to see Matt Davis' byline again ["An Opaque Revolving Door," News, April 21]. I am surprised, however, that the Mercury didn't use former Merc journalist Amy J. Ruiz for this piece. 'Cause she has the expertise in unqualified alt-weekly journalists getting sweet public jobs that they have no experience in (raise included!).

-posted by Number Six


I spent a week watching all of these movies once (RoboGeisha, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, The Machine Girl, Tokyo Gore Police, etc.) ["A Girl and Her Claw," Film, April 21]. The plotlines get fairly formulaic after you've watched a bunch of them, but they are still the FUNNEST cinema I've seen in the last five years. The violence and gore are so over the top as to be ironic and cartoonish.

-posted by Graham


DEAR MERCURY—I'm so sick of everyone comparing every situation looked upon as an unexpected failure to Chernobyl ["Blaze of Our Lives," April 21]. There's nothing wrong with using historical disasters as rhetorical devices, but Jesus Christ, it's not the only thing that ever happened that seemed great at first and then sucked. The Blazers are Chernobyl, the United States banking system is Chernobyl, the war in Afghanistan, etc. Not everything is Chernobyl! Ezra Ace Caraeff didn't even use the former part of the metaphor's meaning, just that Dallas always fails in the playoffs and therefore they fail like Chernobyl, which doesn't even really make sense. If the Heat end up biting the dust then okay that MIGHT qualify as a Chernobyl, but even so, I don't care, think of something new, it's boring, and sucks.


TURN THAT FROWN upside down, Andrea. Seriously it's not as big of a deal as, you know... Chernobyl or anything. Besides, you just won two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish! so... boredom beware!