A clean, well-lit place to vent
Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.
Whoa. Where did the ugly jealousy come from, Alex? Did you think every female singer he'd work with would have a big mole, like Aaron Neville? Leo's a great guy who adores you and is going to be a loving father to your kids. Don't screw this up!
Alex's continuing neuroticism never ceases to amaze me. Her delusions are just as pervasive as Jeff's, and seem to stem from the same general sense of inadequacy. While he diverts that into escapist fantasies, she projects it into fear and worry.
I wonder if Jeff will be eligible for the new medal that is being considered for drone controllers. From his exploits he just might be. Only it would have to be given to him at a secret ceremony at Langley, since he was not in the military services.
Even if Alex slips up and tells Jeff and Rick something classified our ever vigilant Trudeau is there with the black marker to cover it up. He has to be careful -- he's most likely on the to-be-watched list. If I hold my screen up to the sun maybe I will see the words under the black ink.
Might Alex be one to help the world? Very likely. Would she knowingly submit herself to harming it? Doubtful. She may be a little impetuously self-serving, but it's hard to see how one could infer deep moral deficiency in her character. Jeff? Totally different. He'd have anybody's guts for garters.
I was at that meeting! Well, it was an Indian software engineer, not Alex, and it was VeriSign, not DARPA, but she said, "XXXX XX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXX," too! It was my job to write it up for XXXX XX XXXXXXX and some of our other clients to explain to them how to issue One-Time Password tokens to customers. According to the NDA I signed, XX XXXXX XX X XXXXXXXX XX XXXX XXX XXXX.
Okay. So how can I get a Magic Decoder Ring?
When Alex is asked to come up with something at DARPA that will help the world, she'll jump right on board because she's, you know, "good people." What happens when the DARPA people ask her to help put together some device whose sole real purpose is to kill, maim, and terrorize as the American Empire expands? Will she tap her chest with her hand and say, "What could I do? I have children. My family needs a paycheck. I was only following orders! If I didn't do it, someone else would!" Perhaps this is why I dislike her character (and Jeff's) so much. Neither shows any genuine moral maturity. She's a very clever child who will easily be duped into helping to make the world just a tiny bit more totalitarian. But don't tell her that. She's "good people."
Re KUDOS: The NRA's "hit list" of people and organizations that defy them reads like a roster of the most intelligent, the most philanthropic, and the most caring of Americans. I would be proud to be on that list!
Lazy Presidents? Neither Bush nor Obama were lazy. It shows a lack of understanding to think that a President is ever truly on vacation. Just because he isn't in the White House doesn't mean that he isn't running the country, having meetings with staff, etc. They just switch locations for a few weeks and get a change of scenery. But they are always in charge and on the job 24/7 no matter where they are.
Not only did ARPA (later called DARPA) create the first operational packet switching network that would eventually grow and host the Internet, but Senator Al Gore initiated legislation that built it into the public communications backbone he nicknamed the Information Superhighway. It was congressman Dick Armey who faxed press releases the next day after Gore's statement in a (successful) attempt to turn Gore's well deserved credit into public ridicule. (“If the vice president created the Internet, then I created the interstate highway system.”) The partisan press corps cemented the misquoted version of Gore's claims into the collective consciousness of the nation during an election year.
People always quote Dick Armey, and few ever correct him by adding the truth that Gore DID provide the government support for bringing the internet to the public, which is to say that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet." The Internet probably would not resemble the one we know without Gore's successful legislation and championing in the halls of congress. I'm sure Alex would speak up and set the record straight, but since she's meeting with DARPA and doesn't have time to, I'll do it.
I know there are a lot of Jeff-haters out there, but I'd like to acknowledge that he's at least trying to be cordial to Alex despite their strained past. "Brilliant" as she may be, Alex hasn't really figured out how to communicate with those she dislikes without stooping to their level (e.g "Uncle Stupidhead"). Extend the olive branch already!
Actually DARPA, or what was then called ARPA, did invent the internet -- it was then called ARPANET -- and linked among other things educational institutions and defense contractors. It was first deployed at the very end of the 60s. I was on ARPANET myself in the early 80s. The World Wide Web, on the other hand, which newcomers to this technology think is the internet, was invented by Tim Berners-Lee much later, in the very early 90s.
DARPA no more invented the internet than Al Gore did, but they both, each in their own way, did their part to make it happen. They and many others contributed to the result.
The current Straw Poll asks about our feelings about "killer drones." I am bothered by the fact that their use in Afghanistan doesn't bother me so much. If I think about it late at night I lose sleep over it. However, I have a cousin who lost both legs in Afghanistan. I have been to Walter Reed in D.C. to visit, and I have seen the damage and waste that IEDs cause to our service men and women. Bishop Desmond Tutu wrote an editorial in the NY Times asking "Are these people worth less than Americans?" I think they are worth as much as me and you; I don't think they value themselves as much as we do. How else can it be explained that they send their young men and women out to blow themselves up in the name of jihad?
Kudos to Doonesbury for making the NRA Enemies List while others are outraged that they didn't. The NRA has taken the list down twice, but it is still available via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
I refuse to be distracted. I'm still waiting to hear Drew's big news.
Jeff will be stuck in the laundry room for a while longer. A form of weaponized skateboard/rapid Special Ops transport is already on the Pentagon wish list. Behold, The Shredder.
Jeff continues to delight, in the sense that he is still as harebrained as he was the day he walked into Walden. He seems to have eased into the Uncle Duke role in the next generation Doonesbury family: confident, brash, and completely lacking self-awareness.
Jeff Redfern is wasting his time trying to write a book. He needs to sell the rights to his existing book to a video game company and make a regular amount of money, but not a lot. Then he will again be stuck with the question "Do I want to mean anything in this life?"