Skip to main content

Are your chakras aligned, punk? Well, are they?

If it's good enough for Clint Eastwood, it's probably good enough for the average American soldier. But persuading thousands of troops with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan that the answer is to spend their days following the transcendental meditation mantras of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi may prove a hard sell.

Eastwood joined an array of celebrities to launch Operation Warrior Wellness today at the behest of David Lynch.

Some studies say that about one third of soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer PTSD. Lynch's own foundation plans to teach 10,000 transcendental meditation (TM) techniques.

In a reflection of the scepticism about the claimed benefits for TM by some academic and medical studies, Eastwood was also keen to dispel any notion that it should not be taken seriously.

"I'm a great supporter of transcendental meditation," he said. "I've been using it for almost 40 years now. It's a great tool for stress ... especially considering the stress our men and women of the armed forces are going through. There's enough studies out there that show that TM is something that could benefit everybody."

You know, if transcendental meditation helps soldiers mitigate the effects of PTSD, God bless 'em is all I can say. Still, it's always disconcerting to see Clint Eastwood go against type. I want to think of him as a mellowing, stoic proto-fascist dirty cop.


Popular posts from this blog


I've been making some life changes lately — trying to use the time I have, now that I'm back in Kansas, to improve my health and lifestyle. Among the changes: More exercise. 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but some is more than none, and I know from experience that getting overambitious early leads to failure. So. Thirty minutes a day.

One other thing: Yoga, a couple of times a week. It's nothing huge — a 15-minute flexibility routine downloaded from an iPhone app. But I've noticed that I'm increasingly limber.

Tonight, friends, I noticed a piece of trash on the floor. I bent over at the waist and picked it up, and threw it away.

Then I wept. I literally could not remember the last time I'd tried to pick something off the floor without grunting and bracing myself. I just did it.

Small victories, people. Small victories.

Liberals: We're overthinking this. Hillary didn't lose. This is what it should mean.

Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimates that when every vote is tallied, some 63.4 million Americans will have voted for Clinton and 61.2 million for Trump. That means Clinton will have turned out more supporters than any presidential candidate in history except for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And as David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes, the total vote count—including third party votes—has already crossed 127 million, and will “easily beat” the 129 million total from 2012. The idea that voters stayed home in 2016 because they hated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is a myth. We already know the Electoral College can produce undemocratic results, but what we don't know is why — aside from how it serves entrenched interests — it benefits the American people to have their preference for national executive overturned because of archaic rules designed, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. 

A form of choosing the national leader that — as has happened in …

I'm not cutting off my pro-Trump friends

Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

And as a long-term issues, confining ourselves to echo chambers is part of our national problem.

Don't get me wrong: I expect a Trumpian presidency is a disaster, particularly for people of color. And in total honesty: My own relationships have been tested by this campaign season. There's probably some damage…