September 14th, 2005



my cousin died monday night. he was like another sibling living with us for several years. name's Quinny. hearing the news immediately transported me to elevated alertness. sitting on my sister's bed grieving we watched Law & Order SVU. the synchronicity between my cousin's name & the fictional malaria medicine called quinium is synchronistically striking & ...

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Show Guide: Season Six: Goliath; First Aired: Tuesday May 24th, 2005; Synopsis: When two Police officers from separate precincts attack their wives and demonstrate suicidal behavior, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Chris Meloni) investigate, and connect the incidents to both men serving in the same Reserve unit in Afghanistan. Linking this behavior to a similar trail of attacks in 2002 by officers, Benson and Stabler connect this to a drug called Quinium, which the Army prescribes to fight malaria. When they discover that the Army is aware of its side affects, Novak (Diane Neal) goes after the government for administering the drug.

... hyperstitionally revealing. the drug Mark Benjamin reported on is Lariam, or mefloquine (invented by the U.S. Army in the 1970s. It's great for preventing malaria, but it has some minor drawbacks, like causing psychosis, suicidal thoughts, depression and paranoia, which have been reported to last "long after" taking the pills, according to the FDA). you need to get a "site pass" to view the Salon article — just check out the advertising & look for article link at the bottom:

Ripped from my headlines! by Mark Benjamin :: "Law and Order: SVU" pulls details from my reporting for its gripping finale. So why is the "reporter" such an ink-stained wretch? - When you turn on one of the "Law and Order" shows and it's styled to look as if it's been "ripped from the headlines," what that really means is "ripped off" from the headlines. Tuesday's episode of "Law and Order: SVU" looked like it had been ripped from the headlines of three years of investigative reporting that cost me a lot of sweat and shoe leather. No, I did not get a dime. And no one from NBC even called to say how truly inspiring my work was, or how the truth really can be stranger than fiction — or even that the damn episode existed. Instead, my dad saw a commercial for it on TV and sent me an e-mail. In Tuesday night's season finale, two otherwise wholesome New York City police officers suddenly turn evil, beat up their wives — one murders his wife — then attempt suicide; one survives. Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) figure out that the two cops served in the same Army Reserve unit in Afghanistan and that a pattern of bizarre behavior began once they returned. It turns out the Army gave these two cops a controversial anti-malaria drug the NBC attorneys decided to call "Quinium" that can make you go nuts long after you take the pills. (In addition to NBC's legal issues for fictionalizing the drug name, most anti-malarial pills are related to a class of drugs called quinolones, which are known to have psychological side effects. They are a man-made derivative of quinine, the age-old substance for fighting malaria from the cinchona tree.) The wily detectives then figure out that a similarly weird kind of violence happened before, in the summer of 2002 at Fort Bragg, when Special Forces soldiers returned from Afghanistan and tragically murdered their wives and then killed themselves. Those soldiers, on TV, also took "Quinium." What was really freaky (and most surprising) about the "Law and Order: SVU" episode is just how eerily close NBC got to what actually happened.

never heard of the Somalia Affair before; however, Wikipedia's Mefloquine article mentions this drug may have played a role in this event. reading it reminded me of the American guards at Abu Ghraib & their treatment of prisoners of war. during the Somalia Affair, a teenage "rogue" named Shidane Arone was captured trying to enter the Canadian camp. overnight he was tortured & killed: Trophy-type photos of a bloodied Arone with a grinning matchee had been taken by a reluctant Brown and were subsequently broadcast widely in the Canadian media ... Media reports have suggested that the behavior of Canadian soldiers in Somalia may have been at least partly due to side-effects from the anti-malarial drug mefloquine, which the soldiers were required to take.

{To Lariam or not to Larium} {} {The Dark Side Of Lariam (CBS News)} {Antimalarial drug} {Planes will spray for mosquitoes in New Orleans} {New Orleans not a "toxic gumbo"}


eye of the hurricane

they're saying Ophelia's eye will probably not make landfall by skirting northward up the coast. they say John Roberts' is extremely intelligent with a commanding knowledge of the law. at the hearings he says it would be inappropriate for him to comment on how he would rule on particular cases & that he'd judge cases with an open mind. but it sounds like he's avoiding the obvious: {a} the constitutional apparatus seems temporarily disabled; {b} Roe vs. Wade could possibly be overruled. i'm sure many feel that Roberts' lawyerly intelligence will be used as the perfect religious tool to dismantle the constitution finally & completely.

Roberts' intelligence doesn't impress me because he has found no way to address difficult questions except parrot inflexibility during these hearings. his SCOTUS decisions are likely to create greater division in american society. i believe a true leader, a brilliant leader, finds those answers even while maintaining personal integrity. because those are the answers the rest of us can't come up with. isn't that the defining quality of a great justice? however, Roberts' intelligence during these hearings serves only himself. what else can we expect from this administration except another non-leader — however brilliant?