Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Can you look at someone’s face and know what they’re feeling? Does everyone experience happiness, sadness and anxiety the same way?

What are emotions anyway? For the past 25 years, psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has mapped facial expressions, scanned brains and analyzed hundreds of physiology studies to understand what emotions really are.

She shares the results of her exhaustive research — and explains how we may have more control over our emotions than we think.

This talk was presented at a TED Institute event given in partnership with IBM. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page. Read more about the TED Institute.

Lisa Feldman Barrett · Neuro-scientist, psychologist, author. PhD is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with positions in psychiatry and radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Trading Rights for Security? how_Boston_exposes_americas_dark_post_911_bargain
We surrendered our rights to a government of war criminals
“In America after 9/11, we made a deal with the devil, or with Dick Cheney, which is much the same thing.
We agreed to give up most of our enumerated rights and civil liberties (except for the sacrosanct Second Amendment, of course) in exchange for a lot of hyper-patriotic tough talk, the promise of “security” and the freedom to go on sitting on our asses and consuming whatever the hell we wanted to.
Don’t look the other way and tell me that you signed a petition or voted for John Kerry or whatever.
The fact is that whatever dignified private opinions you and I may hold, we did not do enough to stop it, and our constitutional rights are now deemed to be partial or provisional rather than absolute, do not necessarily apply to everyone, and can be revoked by the government at any time.
The supposed tradeoff for that sacrifice was that we would be protected, at least for a while, from the political violence and terrorism and low-level warfare that …is nearly an everyday occurrence in many parts of the world. (Low-level wars? What weapons should be used for that categories of warfare?)
According to the Afghan government, for example, a NATO air attack on April 6 killed 17 civilians in Kunar province, 12 of them children.
We’ve heard almost nothing about that on this side of the world, partly because the United States military has not yet admitted that it even happened.
But it’s not entirely fair to suggest that Americans think one kid killed by a bomb in Boston is worth more than 12 kids killed in Afghanistan.
It’s more that we live in a profoundly asymmetrical world, and the dead child in Boston is surprising in a way any number of dead children in Afghanistan, horrifyingly enough, are not.”
 published in Salon this April 21, 2013:

To put it mildly, this has been a bad week for democracy and a worse one for public discourse.

In the minutes and hours after the bombs went off in Boston last Monday, marathon runners, first responders and many ordinary citizens responded to a chaotic situation with great courage and generosity, not knowing whether they might be putting their own lives at risk.

Since then, though, it’s mostly been a massive and disheartening national freakout, with pundits, politicians, major news outlets and the self-appointed sleuths of the Internet – in fact, nearly everyone besides those directly affected by the attack – heaping disgrace upon themselves.

We’ve seen the most famous TV network in the news business repeatedly botch basic facts, while one of the country’s largest-circulation newspapers misreported the number of people killed, launched a wave of hysteria over a “Saudi national” who turned out to have nothing to do with the crime, and then published a cover photo suggesting that two other guys (also innocent) might be the bombers.

We’ve seen the vaunted crowd-sourcing capability of Reddit degenerate into self-reinforcing mass delusion, in which a bunch of people whose law-enforcement expertise consisted of massive doses of “CSI” convinced themselves that a missing college student was one of the bombing suspects.

(He wasn’t – and with that young man’s fate still unknown, how does his family feel today?)

We’ve watched elected officials and political commentators struggle to twist every nubbin of news or rumor toward some perceived short-term tactical advantage.

It was as if the only real importance of this horrific but modestly scaled terrorist attack lay in how it could prove the essential rightness of one’s existing worldview, and — of course! — how it would play in the 2014 midterms.

On the right, people were sure the Boston bombings were part of a massive jihadi plot – no doubt one linked to al-Qaida and Iran and Saddam Hussein and all the other landmarks in the connect-the-dots paranoid worldview of Islamophobia.

(In fact, many people are still convinced of that.)

On the left we heard a lot of theories about Patriots’ Day and Waco and Oklahoma City, along with the argument that it would be better for global peace if the bombers turned out to be white Americans rather than foreign Muslims.

(I sympathize with the underlying point David Sirota was making there, by the way, but the way it was phrased was deliberately inflammatory.)

How long did it take conservative pundits and politicians, after the bombing suspects were identified as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, immigrant brothers of Chechen heritage born in Kyrgyzstan, to seize on that fact as a reason to walk back the supposed Republican change of heart on immigration reform? Was it even five minutes?

Never mind that the young men in question came here as war refugees in childhood, one was an American citizen and the other a legal resident, and we still have no idea what role their religion and national background may or may not have played in motivating the crime.

It’s hard to imagine what possible immigration laws could have categorically excluded them, short of a magic anti-Muslim force field.

And don’t even get me started on the irrelevant but unavoidable fact that the shameless, butt-licking lackeys of the Senate’s Republican caucus (with a few Democrats along for the ride) took advantage of the post-Boston confusion to do Wayne LaPierre’s bidding and kill a modest gun-reform bill supported by nearly the entire American public.

I might have assumed, in other circumstances, that the Family Research Council’s press release suggesting that the Boston bombings were caused by abortion, “sexual liberalism” and hostility to religion was actually an Onion article.

Or that right-wing pundit Pat Dollard’s now-famous tweet (“GEORGE BUSH KEPT US SAFE FOR 8 YEARS”) came from some Brooklyn hipster’s parody account.

But nothing, it seems, is too painful or stupid or wrong for this particular week. There are many reasons why this happened: A terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon is a big news story by any measure, and this news story happened in a disordered media climate that’s changing so fast no one can keep up with it.

Our political culture is so fundamentally broken and divided that people on all sides seized on the story as a weapon and a symbol long before we had any idea who was behind the crime.

(It would be almost too perfect if the loaded question of whether the Boston bombings were foreign or domestic terrorism turns out not to have a clear answer, as now seems possible: A little bit of both, but not quite either.)

But I think the real reason why this gruesome but small-scale attack sent the whole country into such an incoherent panic lies a little deeper than that.

As a New Yorker who lived through 9/11, by the way, I’m aware that the trauma felt by people in and around Boston, whether or not they were directly affected, is real and likely to last quite a while.

What I’m talking about is the media spectacle of fear and unreason delivered via TV, news sites and social media, the nationwide hysteria that made a vicious act apparently perpetrated by two losers with backpack bombs seem like an “existential threat” (to borrow a little bogus “Homeland”-speak) to the most powerful nation in the world.

Because it was, in a way.

We are supposed to be protected, and then something like Boston comes along, a small-minded and bloody attack that appears to have been conducted by a couple of guys flying under the radar of law enforcement or national intelligence, pursuing some obscure agenda we will probably never understand.

(We have recently learned that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family were interviewed by the FBI in 2011, apparently at the request of Russian intelligence, and agents found “no derogatory information.” Is that the right’s new Benghazi I smell?)

Not only does it conjure up all the leftover post-traumatic jitters from 9/11 – which for many of us will be there for the rest of our lives – it also makes clear that our Faustian bargain was completely bogus, and the devil never intended to hold up his end of the deal.

We surrendered our rights to a government of war criminals, who promised us certainty and security in a world that offers none.

We should have known better, and in fact we did. At the literal birth moment of American democracy, Benjamin Franklin summed it up in a single sentence: “Those who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

You heard of the Miranda Warning? When caught? Most Common Misunderstandings

The Miranda warning comes from one of the biggest legal cases of the 1960s when Ernesto Miranda was arrest in 1963

Thanks to countless arrest scenes in TV and movies, it’s one of the best-known applications of the Fifth Amendment.

But what you don’t know about Miranda could be more significant than you think.

Common misunderstandings about Miranda warnings

National Constitution Center

By Scott Bomboy

View gallery

.ernestomiranda640

Ernesto Miranda arrest photo, 1963

Last year, there was a big debate about the Miranda warning and Boston terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Federal investigators said after Tsarnaev’s detention that he wouldn’t be read his Miranda rights under something called the “public safety exemption.”

Under the exemption, police can interrogate a suspect without advising him or her of Miranda rights if they believe the suspect could have information about an imminent threat to public safety.

That exemption allowed investigators to interrogate Tsarnaev while in custody, without informing Tsarnaev of his rights to a lawyer and his right to stay silent.

According to an AP report, after 16 hours of questioning, a representative of the United States Attorney’s office read Tsarnaev his Miranda warning, and the suspect stopped talking to investigators.

The “Miranda” in the Miranda warning was Ernesto Miranda. He was arrested in March 1963 in Phoenix and confessed while in police custody to kidnapping and rape charges.

His lawyers sought to overturn his conviction after they learned during a cross-examination that Miranda wasn’t told he had the right to a lawyer and had the right to remain silent.

(Miranda had signed a confession that acknowledged that he understood his legal rights.)

The Supreme Court overturned Miranda’s conviction in 1966 in its ruling for Miranda v. Arizona, which established guidelines for how detained suspects are informed of their constitutional rights.

The Miranda warning actually includes elements of the Fifth Amendment (protection against self-incrimination), the Sixth Amendment (a right to counsel) and the 14th Amendment (application of the ruling to all 50 states).

There are common misunderstandings about what Miranda rights are, and how they can protect someone under criminal investigation.

First, there isn’t one official Miranda warning that is read to a suspect by a police officer.

Each state determines how their law enforcement officers issue the warning. The Supreme Court requires that person is told about their right to silence, their right to a lawyer (including a public defender), their ability to waive their Miranda rights, and that what they tell investigators under questioning, after their detention, can be used in court.

The Miranda warning is only used by law enforcement when a person is in police custody (and usually under arrest) and about to be questioned.

Anything you say to an investigator or police officer before you’re taken into custody—and read your Miranda rights—can be used in a court of law, which includes interviews where a person is free to leave the premises and conversations at the scene of an alleged crime.

In fact, Ernesto Miranda came into a Phoenix police station voluntarily to answer questions in 1963 and also took place in a police lineup.

The police can ask you questions about identification, including your name and address, without a Miranda warning. And they can use any spontaneous expressions made by you as evidence—for example, if you say something without the prompting of police before you’re taken into custody.

Of course, you’re still protected by your Miranda rights—after you’re detained—even if you waive them after an arrest.

At any time, during an interrogation, you can stop answering questions and ask for a lawyer.

In the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, investigators probably felt they had enough evidence to charge him and win a case in court without any of the information Tsarnaev volunteered before he was read his rights.

As for Ernesto Miranda, though his original conviction was set aside by the Supreme Court ruling, he was retried and convicted, and was in jail until 1972–then in and out of jail several more times until 1976. After being released in 1976, he was fatally stabbed during a bar fight. His suspected killer was read his Miranda rights and didn’t answer questions from police. There was never a conviction in Miranda’s death.

Scott Bomboy is the editor-in-chief of the National Constitution Center.

Related Story: Constitution Check: Are there limits on questioning a bombing suspect?

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