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Blowback

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.

FIRST THOUGHT
Laura Welch | Port Townsend, WA | June 17, 2011

In NOTICED BY MEN a reader poses the question, "Where, pray tell, is the correlative series of panels satiring cooly materialistic and manipulative females taking advantage of gullible decent men?"  My first thought: JJ and Mike!

REALLY?
Seven | Alexandria, VA | June 16, 2011

Bravo! What Mel said today is what we have been saying forever and I said it again yesterday when a senior NCO alluded that if women were not assigned as closely to men, acts of sexual assault and rape would decrease. Really? Why don't those predators act like decent men and think about their sisters, moms, wives, and daughters? (You go, Mel!) And yes, props to those that do "maintain good order and discipline." One can only hope that in the real world they work on making "on the spot corrections." Thank you for keeping it real.

NOTICED BY MEN
D. McKinlay | Tucson, AZ | June 16, 2011

Your strip is the best thing in print. However, even as a 'good' liberal, I find the constant pandering to poor defenseless women to be tiresome. God forbid that the most excruciatingly horrible thing to happen to a woman is to be in a pampered military base, three good meals a day, with internet, movies, whatever, and to be noticed by men. Give me a break. Where, pray tell, is the correlative series of panels satiring cooly materialistic and manipulative females taking advantage of gullible decent men? Have yet to see any of those. A little equal time in this currently completely emasculated U.S. culture might be appropriate. Perhaps it's because you haven't been on the market in decades?

GI CHARACTERS
Kenneth Dale | West Linn, OR | June 15, 2011

As a veteran of the cold war ( a SAC combat crew commander) in the Vietnam era, I have to tell you how much I appreciate Toggle (Leo) as well as your other GI characters. Neither condescension nor artificial elevation -- just reality. I was cheering him on when he found his voice. You know the difference between a war and a warrior.

NAIVETE
La Vonne Miller | Long Beach, CA | June 12, 2011

Leo's naivete is poignant. But his heart's in the right place.

PROUD OF OUR TROOPS
Polly | Muskegon, MI | June 12, 2011

Today's strip made me feel proud of our troops for what they do for us. We as citizens of the USA take a lot for granted. It also brought tears to my eyes for of all the struggles our troops have when they return home with the traumas of war. One of your best!

THE RIGHT TO CARRY
Greg Laskowski | Bradenton, FL | June 12, 2011

I protected your right of free speech with a gun. Don't dis the right to carry.

TODAY'S STRIP
Bryan Lavender | WYOMING | June 12, 2011

Today's strip perfectly captures the feelings of this veteran. Thank you.

AN ISSUE
Caroline Frazier | San Francisco, CA | June 12, 2011

I'd like to bring Doonesbury readers' attention to an issue that affects thousands of military women who have been the victims of sexual assault. In 2008, Security Gates changed the questionnaire for national security clearances (the SF86), excluding counseling for combat trauma from the question regarding whether or not you have seen a mental health professional in the past years. However, counseling for sexual assault is not excluded from this question.

The reason this is important is that every officer has to have a "secret" clearance, which must be renewed every 10 years. An NCO who wants to advance in his or her career field needs a "secret" clearance. Further, those that get more senior or want to specialize need to apply for a top secret clearance, which again requires filling out this form.

I've spoken with military victims of sexual assault who refuse to get counseling because they are afraid of having to disclose it on their security clearance questionnaire. Again, for certain jobs, no clearance = no job. Though the DoD tries to assure us by saying we will get the clearance "eventually," they miss the point of having to disclose a deeply private, deeply personal detail on a form that is processed through a servicemember's chain of command.

Further, once that form is submitted, an Office of Personnel Management investigator comes and questions the servicemember on "red flags," ie going to get counseling for a mental health issue. This is a degrading and deeply embarassing process. Though I've written the military several times on this topic, I get empty responses that they are "working on it." How long will we let our servicewomen (and some servicemen) suffer in silence?

The only way the military seems to change these days is when they are embarassed by some high-profile incident in the media. I am writing to help generate public support for a change that would help thousands of women and men who are fighting and serving their country with distinction. You can read a Military Times article about the subject here.

IN THE SANDBOX
Ron Shirtz | Portland, OR | June 12, 2011

Aside from the issue of carrying guns in public, I hope Leo was either being sarcastic or speaking tongue in cheek about spending two years in The Sandbox to defend the freedom to pack a gun -- or the rest of our freedoms, for that matter. I understand the need to give respect for our troops, but none of our freedoms are being preserved. In actuality they are being destroyed. Leo and his girlfriend need to go through a TSA screening, to discover firsthand how little his service overseas has preserved our "freedoms."

PLACE OF HONOR
S. Carson | Stone Mountain, GA | June 12, 2011

I read a lot of comics and am generally annoyed by the whole "order a framed print of this comic!" thing that's on every cartoonist's web page. I just don't get why anyone would put a cartoon anywhere besides the fridge, or pinned to the wall of their cubicle. Or rather, I didn't get it until today. There's so much to love in the plot, characters, dialogue and artwork of today's strip  (I especially love Alex's "What?!"), that I can easily imagine it in a place of honor on someone's wall.

RERUNNING TODAY'S SUNDAY STRIP
Andrea | Rome, ITALY | June 12, 2011

Thanx for rerunning today's Sunday strip. It's probably one of my favourites about Leo, and one of those that make him the best new character of the strip, maybe in years.

VOICE
Ben Ezzell | Quilcene, WA | June 11, 2011

Leo's voice comes through loud and clear!

ONE OF THE BEST
Kathy | Albany, NY | June 11, 2011

I've been reading Doonebury since the very beginning. I have to say that Leo (aka Toggle) is one of the best characters ever. That is saying a lot, because I love Mike, B.D., Boopsie, Mark, etc. They are all like family.

TOGETHER
Ruex | La Porte, TX | June 11, 2011

Please keep Alex and Leo together. They complete each other. They remind me of my daughter and her husband.

iPAD
Michael | Edmond, OK | June 11, 2011

And Alex uses an iPad. Nice...

GIVE ALEX CREDIT
C. Yankee | Mystic, CT | June 10, 2011

You've got to give Alex a lot of credit. The first time I met Leo's mother, I would have run like hell!

CAF DINNER
Tati | New York, NY | June 09, 2011

I just attended the CAF dinner last night. Lots of sweet Leos there!

ALEX AND TOGGLE
Sean | Omaha, NE | June 09, 2011

Seriously, if GBT just wants to focus on Alex and Toggle for the rest of the summer, I wouldn't mind. Although some interaction between Kim and Toggle would be cool to see.

VOTED OUT
Patti Heyes | Rome, NY | June 09, 2011

Oh no! Doonesbury (and Dilbert) have been voted out (via readers' poll) of the Utica, New York newspaper as it undergoes change to a new format. My vote to save the strip wasn't enough! Thank goodness for Slate and my daiy dose (in color yet).