Blowback_toon

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.

RAPE IN THE MILITARY
Ed Cherlin | Columbus, IN | December 09, 2013

It's true that there are other ways to make the initial report of a rape in the military. But all of them lead right to the Senior Commander, who has the authority to dismiss the case, and can easily pursue retribution. Per the Military Rape Crisis Center: "In addition to any current existing channels of notification, within 24 hours of Service Member Smith’s Unrestricted report, the SARC [Sexual Assault Response Coordinator] will inform the Senior Commander that an assault has occurred, and provide the Commander with the details of the assault." Further, from the same page, "A MRCC study has shown that 92% of those reporting a sexual assault are discharged." That isn't anything like the worst that happens.

SINCE THE 70s
Linda Moro | Woodburn, OR | December 09, 2013

I have been appreciating Doonesbury since the 70s (and now I appreciate the video of the day feature, too.) Thank you for all you do to raise awareness and amuse. I'm glad you're back.

BROKE MY HEART
John N. | Charleston, SC | December 08, 2013

Today's rape cartoon broke my heart. I am a retired Colonel. One of my jobs was to dig into sexual assaults at a monthly base-wide meeting. I took this role very seriously, and we put a lot of people in Leavenworth. But based on the cartoon, the average reader might think I was just another part of the problem, somebody who swept rapes under the rug. This cartoon doesn't know me, doesn't know what I did, doesn't know my ethics. From the look of this cartoon, I clearly failed my country. These are the slights and indignities that cultivate my regrets. My thoughts that I didn't do enough to stop rape, substance abuse, suicide, racism. The cartoon makes me ashamed of my service, and I have nothing to be ashamed of. If you know me and others like me, you know it's wrong.

BRAVO
Jason Jehosephat | McLean, VA | December 08, 2013

You ought to blow up today's Melissa Wheeler strip onto posterboard and send it to every member of Congress who has opposed or even balked on allowing service members to report crimes directly to the authorities. Bravo. Applause.

MULTIPLE REPORTING CHANNELS
Jason Slutsky | Fort Hood, TX | December 08, 2013

I usually enjoy Doonesbury, but as an active duty officer, today's strip left me ill. Mr. Trudeau should know full well that the command channel is not the only one available to report a crime. These multiple reporting channels are in place to preclude just such an event as the strip portrays.

GROUND ZERO
R.B. Ray | San Antonio, TX | December 08, 2013

I live at "ground zero" for this shameful behavior (rape in the military). I'm glad to see that some of the shameless perps are being prosecuted and sent to Leavenworth.

WRONG
Guy Caputo | Toledo, OH | December 08, 2013

Today's strip involving a female military placing a complaint with her superior was wrong on many levels. The reporting process is much more than a single-level process. You have taken our military justice system to a level of non-care. You should be ashamed for portraying a cartoon colonel as representing how our military deals with the injustice of female abuse.

SHOWS WHY
Paula D. | Albany, NY | December 08, 2013

Today's strip shows why Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is pressing an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill, which would move sexual assault and other crimes out of the military chain of command. The old-boy officer network hasn't done a particularly good job of policing themselves.

WELCOME
Victor Field | London, ENGLAND | December 08, 2013

Between the colonel and her dad, it must be a category 12 storm inside Melanie. Welcome to the military, indeed.

BETTER
Mark | Westchester, NY | December 07, 2013

I just want to say how glad I am that GBT is back from hiatus. My mornings feel complete again and my coffee somehow tastes better..

FUN
Margaret Delgatty | Vancouver, CANADA | December 06, 2013

It is going to be sooooo much fun watching those kids grow up...!

WIDESPREAD PRACTICE
Jean | Boston, MA | December 06, 2013

Alex seems to be about to exemplify the widespread practice of hiring the person she is most similar to (a young white woman with a STEM PhD), regardless of level of expertise for the job at hand.

A COMMON CHOICE
S.R.F. | Boston, MA | December 06, 2013

Alex said she is keeping her job because of its "good insurance." That's a common choice for one member of a married couple, and as a life-long single I've made it myself many times. But I thought Obamacare would end that calculus. Expansive, ambitious Alex could do a lot better financially by hiring herself out as a nerd-on-call, and she'd be able to handle insecurity. Or does caution come along with motherhood?

STATE OF AFFAIRS
Thomas | St. Joseph, MI | December 05, 2013

Oh, the state of affairs in the higher-level science and engineering fields. We say college for all, and the post-docs need the jobs or are struggling to create a full-time position with adjunct teaching or nanny positions. Today's strip was one of the best for us career education types. "My kid will go to college" but my plumber will earn more, and likely have job security.

LIKE
Jonathan | Philadelphia, PA | December 05, 2013

Today's strip shows why so many Ph.D.s who are in relatively low-paying jobs with little job security, but work in their fields (I'm thinking of non-tenure-track professors, but there are plenty of others), consider themselves "lucky." I laughed. I cried. I posted today's strip on Facebook, where my Ph.D. friends "like" it.

COLLEGE DEGREES
Allie | Gettysburg, PA | December 05, 2013

I can't tell you how many un- and under-employed people I know who also have college degrees. But when I was a student, my parents wouldn't let me attend vocational school because it didn't include college track academics, and when I was a teacher, the vocational schools were the dumping grounds for "problem" children. Reading today's strip reminds me of what Mike Rowe has to say on the subject of "dirty jobs."

THE PRIZE
Tracy Novak | Nashville, TN | December 05, 2013

I hope we can all agree that Uncle Duke wins the prize for worst parenting.

MANY DECISIONS
Louise | Fort Collins, CO | December 05, 2013

It's interesting that in BLOWBACK Alex is being pinpointed as the one "abandoning" the twins, as she is just one of two parents. Leo hasn't been accused. At any rate, there are many ways to be a good parent and many decisions to make that are unique to each family. Our decision and privilege to share a part-time nanny with a neighboring family turned out wonderfully, whereas my sister and her spouse decided to tag team with staggering work shifts, and that worked well for them. My other sister was a stay at home mom in a country with universal healthcare and paternity leave. Thankfully, all our kids are thriving and feel loved. For some, the grandparents' involvement is a blessing, but for others it isn't a desirable arrangement for any number of reasons. Alex has somehow landed a waitress job with insurance (unheard of in my day waiting tables!) and she and Leo have their reasons for not employing Mike and Kim as babysitters (it wasn't clear that was their intention anyway, even in buying the condo). Parenting is laden with tough and personal decisions with no one right answer. The best we can do is root for every mother and father and push for family-friendly legislation.

NOT WANTING TO LAUGH
Gary Huckabone | Bozeman, MT | December 05, 2013

Sometimes (like today) I find myself laughing but not wanting to laugh. GBT puts the satire out there ("...PhD in microbiology...") and it's just pathetically funny.

ALEX AND TOGGLE
McAlvie | Baltimore, MD | December 05, 2013

Go, Alex! Everybody picks on her, but in an era when graduates are mooching off mom and dad and living in the basement because the world didn't throw jobs at them when they graduated, Alex and Toggle (he'll always be Toggle to me) are making it work on their own, even if it means waiting tables. I say they are an inspiration.