Regarding the robber capture: Wow! What can brown do for you! Way to go guys, thanks. — Debby Norum, Central Point

Now that our criminal-in-chief is on his way out, the stage is being set for the next act to begin. Already, the president-elect is being compared to John F. Kennedy, suggesting (with an optimism that smells suspiciously like desperation) a revival of some wistful Age of Camelot.

Without commenting yet on Obama, I have to marvel at how ripe our country seems for even more presidential abuse should our trust prove misplaced again. An incredible momentum had assembled against President Bush, from domestic and international politicians to strident celebrities, from news pundits and academia to Internet organizations and street activists.

What I wonder is, after everyone finishes patting each other on the back, what will become of that engine of dissent? Will it assume that this new leader is "our guy" and thus need not be legally scrutinized or protested beyond waving a honey-do list in his face?

Protesters had scolded us defensively that dissent is the "highest form of patriotism"; now, will all that patriotism prove to be merely skin deep once Obama assumes power?

Remember those old "Question Authority" bumper stickers? There was a time when they meant all authority. — Jason Wilkinson, Medford

My wife and I were discussing the bailout of the big three in the auto industry — Matchbox, Tonka and Hot Wheels, not. Anyway, I feel her idea would be a good one and maybe, just maybe, would be kind to the middle class: Allow the oil companies to bail out the car guys.

They have all the money. They benefit from autos on the road. Win, win, win. Oil can get the interest from the loan. Auto gets the money. We don't have to cover their mistakes. — Dale Wall, Central Point

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