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.

Richard | Olympia, WA | August 09, 2012

We have to make these failure mills accountable. I'm disabled, so I see the same warm, fuzzy commercials these kids do. Except I've already earned the money I need to get by on (Social Security, Medicare, Union pensions). So I look with a jaundiced eye on something that touches the hope of millions. It's just another example of big money strip mining the rest of the population. I hope they can be held liable for the grief they cause.

Jeremy Dehn | Littleton, CO | August 08, 2012

Thanks for highlighting for-profit education. I taught at one of these shameful places, and have been trying to spread the word for some time now. Please keep up the great work!

Susan | Flagstaff, AZ | August 08, 2012

I worked at a for-profit on-line university here in Arizona. Some of the students enrolled in these institutions have figured out a way to manipulate the system to milk money from the federal aid program to use for purposes other than education. In one instance I remember repeated desperate calls from one student anxious for federal funds to be disbursed to her so that she could close on the purchase of a new home. When this issue was taken to the Controller she said that it was not the concern of the University, it was the Government's problem. Yet without a reporting system in place to documemt these abuses the taxpayers continue to fund these profit centers. They really don't care wheher or not a student graduates or is able to get a job with the the diploma they issue. Ig is all about the money. They go particularly hard after our service members. I feel that until the credits earned at these instutions can be transferred to traditional brick and morter schools their ability to receive federal funds should be cut off.

Camilla | Salt Lake City, UT | August 07, 2012

I work at a for-profit school, and while I'll be the first to agree that there are some shady things going on in the industry I want to point out that not all for-profit schools are the same. Since you shone a spotlight on graduation rates, across my school's several campuses, our graduation rates are never lower than 55%, and most are in the mid to high 60 percentile. An 18% graduation rate would end with our doors closed and our schools shut down. Again, I'm not defending all for-profit schools. As in any industry you're going to have your bad players who do unethical things. However, there are real educators who are concerned about students in the for-profit world. Just because we're making a profit doesn't mean we aren't also helping people and changing lives for the better.

Harold Tanner | Denton, TX | August 07, 2012

If Walden is really going to try to solve its problems like a real college or university, the first thing to do is hire a few more administrators and sign a multi-million dollar contract with a consulting firm to assess and re-brand the institution.

Jeff | Forest Park, IL | August 05, 2012

Mike's summer dream -- a masterstroke. I felt both apprehension and gleeful anticipation in the coming handoff, and you slammed me back to your reality. Amazing that after all these years that you can still spin such yarns and have us descend in Rapunzel fashion. Touche'.

Alain Gares | Toulouse, FRANCE | August 05, 2012

Thank you for your whole work, which has been keeping me happy and aware of the inner life of America for 30 years.

Helen Chicoine | Westwood, MA | August 05, 2012

Thank God this week's storyline was only a daydream. The thought of you turning the strip over to Alex or anybody else was giving me nightmares. Stay the course!

K.N. | CALIFORNIA | August 04, 2012

I just want to thank you for your portrayal of Alex and her husband. I don't know who you are basing these characters on, but you've got some stuff right on. For my partner, four years out of the military, the war goes on. Just because he isn't in it anymore doesn't mean that it's stopped for him. And because it's always here with him, it's always here for me. Every night he returns to a battlefield in his dreams. Things that are normal and ordinary for me, like planes and helicopters, send him inexorably into a heightened state of anxiety. So much of the rhetoric around the war and the military reduces people to numbers, to abstracts. The people serving are "troops." There are "casualties." Thank you for continuing to show a character that is a former soldier as a human being. It seems to me that if the military acknowledged that the pressures of war and conflict were recognized as fundamentally damaging to humans, then no one would be able to make policy that sends humans into war. It's a big thing, I think, when the soldiers recognize that the system they are contracted to is insane. It's a difficult task to spotlight the insanity, and an even harder one to try to heal it. How we move forward from here, I don't know. But thank you for keeping it real. Yours is the only portrayal of vets and their communities that feels authentic.

Thomas Taggart | Asheville, NC | August 04, 2012

You are taking us into new territory. Very intriguing.

Medicvet | Tulsa, OK | August 03, 2012

I just want to say I love the entire "dropping the fourth wall," as they say in TV phraseleogy, and I'm only using that expression because I have no idea what you would call it in the comic strip world.

Anna | Vancouver, CANADA | August 03, 2012

Wait... You aren't really phasing out all the characters over 40, are you? I learned late 20th century American history through them! Seriously, I'll beg if necessary.

Sue | Oakland, CA | August 02, 2012

I saw Zipper earlier in the week, so I'm really-really hoping that Zonker is still going to be showing up from time to time. As an "green-thumbed aging hippie chick" I would miss my kindred spirit in the strip.

Brummbaer | Independence, MO | August 02, 2012

I'm not sure what the angle is with this Alex "takeover," but I find it less than amusing. I keep telling myself that it is just some not so funny exercise, the artist taking liberties with his work, but should this not be the case and the new Alex strip is to be the norm, I won't be around much longer. If this is what the "peeps" want, don't count me as a peep.

David Cooke | Issaquah, WA | August 02, 2012

if young Mrs. DeLuca actually can take over the script and nix characters at will, is it possible that all the characters in the strip are actually projections of Mike? Perhaps the entire strip has been a giant puff of Mike's imagination, like Mr. Butts. So my question is -- what was Mike smoking back in college that set him on this 40 year trip, and where can I get some?

R.B.S. | San Francisco, CA | August 01, 2012

I thought this must be Mike's summer daydream. Then I realized it's Alex's summer daydream. A mindbender.

Dr. Jimmy and Mr. Jim | Whitmore Lake, MI | August 01, 2012

Drew and other children of Baby Boomers, know that we will not go quietly into that good night, and you can not yet take over our world. Keep up the good fight, Mike D. You are an original and cannot be replaced.

Pat Goudey O'Brien | Warren, VT | August 01, 2012

I am so missing the steady hand of the duty officer. Alex is running amok! I love the girl, but she needs someone to rein her in, and her Daddy -- the rational parent -- was never all that good at it. I hope GBT can successfully pull this back to a reasonable place after messing with our heads this way. It's not nice to fool with cartoon nature...

Isabel | Edling, GERMANY | August 01, 2012

Please, please let the Alex takeover be a Summer Dream! And may we wake up soon... it's more like a nightmare. Mike, show some backbone already!

J.W.H. | Springfield, VA | July 31, 2012

I'm a Gen-X dude -- midway between Mike's age and Alex's age. But I'm seriously laughing at this week's "handing over the strip to Alex" conceit. But it also makes me a little sad. I can't help comparing Mike to my own Baby Boomer parents, and I wonder what it feels like for them as their children (now in their 30s) are hitting their stride personally and professionally.