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April 24, 2013

Media and Left (But I Repeat Myself) Wonder: Was Dzhohkar Tsarnaev The World's First Victim of Viral Concussion-Induced Dementia?

They've been pushing this idea for a couple of days now.

The left is ever-eager to advance their fellow Americans past the childishly naive preference for The Truth and into the liberation of Falsehood and Ideologically-Motivated Fantasy. Truths like Tamarlan's radicalization under the influence of a mysterious Islamic convert called Misha.

the years before the Boston Marathon bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev fell under the influence of a new friend, a Muslim convert who steered the religiously apathetic young man toward a strict strain of Islam, family members said.

Under the tutelage of a friend known to the Tsarnaev family only as Misha, Tamerlan gave up boxing and stopped studying music, his family said.

He also began believing in a political fantasy indulged in by the left as a Useful Fiction -- 9/11 Trutherism.

He began opposing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He turned to websites and literature claiming that the CIA was behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Jews controlled the world.

"Somehow, he just took his brain," said Tamerlan's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, who recalled conversations with Tamerlan's worried father about Misha's influence. Efforts over several days by The Associated Press to identify and interview Misha have been unsuccessful.

Well that won't do. That won't do at all. Nor will it due that both brothers were on welfare through 2012.

The suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings killed in a shootout with police received welfare benefits from the state up until last year, when he became ineligible based on family income. …

The state says both Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-KHAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) — his brother and the other bombing suspect — received welfare benefits as children through their parents while the family lived in Massachusetts.

Another fact that needs to be "contextualized" is that our government was warned about the Tsarnaevs "multiple times" but apparently failed to notice any danger.

Russian authorities contacted the US government with concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev not once but “multiple’’ times, including an alert it sent after he was first investigated by FBI agents in Boston, raising new questions about whether the FBI should have paid more attention to the suspected Boston Marathon bomber, US senators briefed on the inves­tigation said Tuesday.

The FBI interviewed Tamarlan in 2011 but apparently found no reason to follow up.

All of these things implicate the left in some fashion -- whether it's politically indulging the conspiracism encouraged by radical Islam and the radical left. Or permitting immigrants to come to the country and then get on the dole, so that their days are cleared of useful work in order to dream up new ways in which their host country is persecuting them, even as he draws a check from his alleged persecutor.

Or a sort of politically correct paralysis that seems to afflict our government, flowing from our numb Head of State down.

So we need to cast about for alternative explanations-- such as the claim that because Tamarlan was a boxer for a relatively short period of time, he must have been deranged by repeated brain trauma syndrome, or CTE.

And since Dzhohkar was not a boxer, it seems to me then that Dzhohkar -- if this "explanation" is to hold water -- must have also contracted CTE not through brain trauma, but virally from his brother, catching it like a bug.

Time Magazine picks up the agitation for this theory from the hard left (the idea has been pushed by lefty conspiracy sites like Think Progress) but doesn't take this theory all the way and declare that, for the theory to explain Dzhohkar, CTE must be transmittable by air like the common cold.

But his sport of choice suggests the possibility of something else too: traumatic brain injury. As the National Football League and other pro sports increasingly reckon with the early dementia, mental health issues, suicides and even criminal behavior of former players, the risk of what’s known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), is becoming clear. Roughly 4,000 former NFL players and 2,000 of their spouses are currently suing the league, claiming that the perils of head injuries were never explained to them and, indeed, that the players were pushed to get back on the field even when it was clear that they had suffered concussions.

It was inevitable, then that questions would be raised about whether Tsarnaev’s brain may have been similarly traumatized during the years he boxed, and if there had indeed been damage, did that spark his murderous behavior? The answer is a likely yes to the first part and a likely no to the second.

It may seem as if Time is knocking this idea down, but then the author is apparently convinced by Think Progress (or his editor told him to be convinced by Think Progress), because he concludes thus:

While none of this likely would have deterred Tsarnaev, it might be used to diagnose other people at risk of explosive CTE-related violence and stop them before they act out. By treating a single person’s wounded brain, doctors could one day save uncounted other lives.

So there you go. Time Magazine rules Think Progress likely correct (despite its initial skepticism), and we can now establish that Dzhohkar Tsarnaev suffered from what we might call Second-Hand CTE.

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posted by Ace at 11:36 AM

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