November 20, 2017
Here's a sneak peak at A2 - Astin & Atchley - a political comic panel series. I write 'em and Matthew Atchley illustrates 'em. This is our 6th panel. Enjoy.
November 7, 2017
November 5, 2017
Victims of sexual assault are speaking. Their bravery and willingness to subject their lives to scrutiny, of the most painful kind, should be supported. I thank them and celebrate their courage. It is time for abusers to be stopped and our culture moved forward in the most noble and protective way forward.
For young performers, growing up in the entertainment industry can be thrilling, fun, lucrative and rewarding, but it is also fraught with peril. Some of us were protected and lucky, while others were not. The dangers included drinking, drugs and lots of bad behavior. Child molestation is horrifying and is tragically visited on innocent children. My mother, Patty Duke, was brave and outspoken about her own having been molested and abused as a child. I've seen the hard, painful and complicated conversation about the hows and ways and what to do's play out throughout my life.
November 6, 2017
October 20, 2017
First. Serving as one of many Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army for ten years (1995-2005) was an incredible honor. I learned a lot about the Army and military ethos. I attended services of many kinds and visited with wounded warriors at Walter Reed and other places. As a child, the mechanics of patriotism came very comfortably to me. I love the American Flag. I love the National Anthem. My emotions are almost too available when I walk among the stones in Arlington or when I ran in the Marine Corps Marathon or in countless places where my love for my country finds me. On a lighter note, I have a collection of over 50 so called "Challenge Coins" put in my hands by many officers, of many ranks, as well as civilian leaders and others from across the United States Armed Forces commands and posts. I've visited with many soldiers and their families, in good times and in bad. Civilian Aide was a volunteer position that carried a civilian protocol ranking of three stars. Our mission was to report to the Secretary, matters of significance in our communities that might be meaningful and to go out into the world and "tell the Army story." I was very young. While I enjoyed studying some military history, I had no practical military knowledge or military skills of any kind. If I was able to contribute anything as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, it was to bring some joy to soldiers when I travelled to their bases, because they may have liked a movie I was in. I was the youngest CASA (our abbreviation), probably still. But, one thing I brought to our yearly conferences at the Pentagon and wherever I went on official Army business, was an earnest desire to understand what I was seeing, to care about the people I was meeting and a deep respect for all of those who were dedicating some part or all of their professional life to our Nation in uniform.
November 6, 2017
November 1, 2017
My Uncle, Alexander Astin sent our family, his friends and colleagues an email declaring that he had signed this petition, which has so far accumulated 1,200,000 signatures. My Uncle Sandy is a brilliant man. His decades of service as a tenured Professor of Higher Education at UCLA, along with over 30 books on the subject, are a legacy of profound intellectual work, research and communication. I revere him.
We have all seen the Trump Impeachment commercials that a certain billionaire with political aspirations has been promoting. I don't know that much about Tom Steyer and so have been reluctant to add my name to his agenda. I am my own man and I make political decisions, for which I alone am responsible. I seek council from many people and from many places. I have been urgently interested in the subject of impeachment for months. I actually, myself, wrote a petition to impeach the President months ago, but I never tried to circulate it. That said, I trust my uncle with my life. He is in his 80's now and he remains as current on political and social affairs as he was at the height of his career. On the merits, with his recommendation and after reading Steyer's petition, I have just followed Uncle Sandy and, even though I don't agree with every sentence in it, signed the "Stand With Tom's Petition to Impeach Trump."
November 6, 2017
October 10, 2017
Beyond treating women in a vile, possibly criminal manner, I believe that Harvey Weinstein is a vicious bully who uses rage and the threat of rage to intimidate many many people. I’ve experienced some of his disrespectful (at best) behavior with my own eyes, and spoken to friends and colleagues who came into contact with the man. It is known that Harvey routinely eviscerates filmmakers, producers, agents and performers. Ranting and raving is the guy’s steady state. I think that he is a mean thug with a vindictive and menacing approach to anyone who gets in his way. Such is his reputation.
Rape and sexual perversion, sexual menacing and sexual intimidation are disgusting and, where criminal, deserving of prosecution. The thought of Harvey Weinstein behind bars is deeply satisfying, if not fully enlightened.
December 10, 2016
I've been tweeting. A lot. It's a guilty pleasure full of empty intellectual calories. In the wake of the 2016 Presidential Elections, I've been trying to process and categorize my thoughts and feelings. Pithy retorts. Quips. Even vulgar exhortations. I've bunkered down in a social media foxhole filled with snarky comebacks and stealth observations. To what end?
The President Elect is proving true to form. His arrogance, ignorance and gobsmacking corruption are on full display for the whole world to see. Make no mistake, they are seeing it. If you don't feel the earth trembling beneath your feet, then you aren't paying attention. It gives me zero pleasure to relate my observations and it may be of little value for me to share them. But, my fellow Americans, we are in a moment of genuine crisis now. The bitter calumny and falseness coming from 5th Avenue are not just shots across our Nation's bow, they are fully armed torpedoes heading straight at civilization as we know it. America's decency isn't just a quaint notion and it must never be taken for granted. And yet it is. Tragically, what's at stake isn't merely a tone in our national discourse, which has moved from shrill and piercing to an even more sickening dull sub-earthen death moan. It's worse. It's not just the fabric of our social skin that tears, rather, the structural integrity of Democracy, of our economy and our relationships around the world are under assault.
November 24, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!! It's the first without my Mother on the planet. I'm Thankful to have had her as my one and only incredible Mom. On this holiday, I'm Thankful for so many reasons; My Wife and Three Daughters Ali, Elizabeth and Bella, chief among them. So, why the dystopian image?
We teach our kids about Pilgrims and Natives and Autumn Harvest feasts. I'm not sure if you guys are aware of it, but there is something happening in North Dakota right now, not just awful but something truly unjust, commonly referred to as the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
November 10, 2016
First, I'm fine. We are all fine. Devastation and hysteria aren't useful. Shock and dismay are disingenuous. Heartbreak and sadness are easier to understand. This was predictable and feared, if not predicted. For millennia, White Men have never willingly yielded power. Last night was no different. Women, Minorities and Millennials simply didn't care ENOUGH, in sufficient numbers to show up. Tens of millions cared deeply, but fewer millions than in the past took the interest or the time to vote (5 million fewer than in 2012).
September 23, 2016
Cuanto más odia la gente a Hillary, absolutamente más la amo. Estamos bajo el agujero del conejo, estamos en el lado oscuro de la luna, estamos perdidos en un desierto en este punto de las Elecciones Presidenciales del 2016. Me gustaría poder decir que ya ni siquiera reconozco mi país, pero sí lo hago. Este sueño febril de la locura ciudadana es demasiado familiar.
September 22, 2016
The more that people hate on Hillary, the more I absolutely love her. We are down the rabbit hole, we’re on the dark side of the moon, we’re lost in the desert at this point in the Presidential Election of 2016. I wish I could say that I don’t even recognize my country anymore, but I do. This fever dream of civic insanity is all too familiar.
Donald Trump is not clever. He’s just dumb enough to wreck our political system for sport. He’s using 3rd grade, “I know you are but what am I” school yard tactics and “the media” is now totally incapable of dealing with it. The amount of times that hosts and pundits call out his lies is only surpassed by Trump surrogates and the even more pernicious lies they offer in his defense. Worse than that, every single day, this clumsy political oaf is thundering across the body politic, suppressing logic, co-opting any real chance at discussion and completely, alarmingly inverting and obliterating good sense and the right and natural order of things.