Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Memories of Huntingdon College and Jeff Sessions

I attended two Alabama schools in pursuit of a bachelors degree. One was the University of Alabama and the other was a small, liberal arts college in Montgomery, Huntingdon College. I was awarded a BS with a major in business administration in 1969. Huntingdon was known as a "poor little rich kids school". The tuition was on a par with Harvard. Many children of rich and powerful people ended up at Huntingdon after an unsuccessful run somewhere else or just to keep control of the party hardy gene prevalent in many of them. I was not one of them. Huntingdon just happened to be in my back yard so I went there.

I ended up having a 30 year career with a huge, global company. I served in several positions ranging from sales rep to government affairs manager. The customers and clients that I served were very bright people. The prime customers were physicians and health related personnel. During the GA assignment I was in touch with legislators at all levels and association executives with ties to health care. I always was comfortable in relating to all of them and felt that my Huntingdon education had prepared me in a splendid fashion to conduct myself as a business professional.

I remember a certain business law class that I took at Huntingdon. The professor was appointed to a federal judge position later by President Nixon and had recently served as US Attorney for the middle district of Alabama. He was quite the colorful jurist.

The class I took from him was held at 7:00 AM in the Delchamps center on campus. He had a deep baritone voice and pretty much read the text book to us at that early hour of the day. The class of 25 or so of us would listen to him and wait for the inflection to rise in his voice at particular segues. When that occurred you were well assured that the subject addressed was going to be on the test. You wanted to take special notes during such moments.

On this chilly, January day we were in his class. I was taking careful notes with a Flair tipped pen. It had a nylon point and was a forerunner to the roller ball. It made a nice writing instrument with bold, black images that were easy to read. Amidst one of Judge Varner's changes in inflection I was furiously scribbling notes. The pen went dry. The seats in the classroom were aligned in a straight line with parallel rows running straight away from judge Varner. So we were seated right behind another student with the exact alignment to the right and left of each of us. As my pen went dry I shook it desperately like a thermometer and the ink happily returned to the tip so I was successful in completing my notes.

After a lull in the lecture I casually looked at the floor to my right. I was horrified to see splashes of black ink on the floor running at a 45 degree angle to the row of students to my right. I then noted a student who had ink all across his London Fog trench coat and part of his shirt. He was looking haplessly at the ceiling as if he had been awakened by a kamikaze from above. Class ended in a few minutes afterwards and I approached the student and apologized profusely offering to pay to have his coat cleaned.

That student was Jeff Sessions. I knew him casually having played intramural basketball with him. He was one of a few lucky campus dorm male students who lived amidst the 3 to 1 ratio of women to men there at Huntingdon. He was such a nice, gracious person who laughed at the ink incident. He was from Mobile and was immensely popular there on our tiny campus.

Jeff went to law school at Alabama. Practiced law in Alabama, was appointed U S Attorney there. He later became Attorney General for Alabama and won a senate seat and has been Senator Jeff Sessions ever since. He helped carry water for the Trump campaign and it is now being discussed that he  may well land a cabinet position. My ink target may possibly become the secretary of defense. You never know where life is going to lead. Wish I had been more careful with that Flair pen.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Medical Marijuana, in Case Oxycontin isn't Doing it For You

Repost from December 2013

I suppose if you live long enough you will have seen just about every liberal and demeaning piece of legislation there is roll through our state houses. Now we come to the legalization of marijuana in Florida. Apparently our chameleon friend and former Governor, Charlie Crist, is all about prescribing the benefits of Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC). As a morphed Democrat now he is all concerned about end stage cancer relief and glaucoma patients. Doesn't it just warm your heart? It is fitting that one of the foremost ambulance chasing law firms in the state, Morgan and Morgan, is squarely behind him.

I will admit that probably 9.9 people out of every 10 in Florida most likely light up a joint a couple times of month. It is extraordinarily common. However, it remains on the Florida statutes as a no-no. For my  money that should remain the case. There are far too many impaired people driving our highways presently. Do you really want to aid and abet more people in that regard?

Florida would become the 21st state to join the ranks of those who allow people to be prescribed marijuana for everything from glaucoma to fibromyalgia. However, guess what, prescribers can already dispense THC. Under the current DEA guidelines THC is a class 1 scheduled, controlled substance. Which means that a licensed prescriber can use it in an experimental fashion on a patient right now.

I promoted a product branded Percodan for many years. It is a schedule 2, controlled substance and is most likely the most qualitatively effective pharmaceutical product for pain available. The generic name of this product is Oxycodone. You have to go to the needle to find something that will make your pain go away more effectively. Along came a delivery system that got it into your blood stream a little better in the form of Oxycontin, marketed by Purdue Frederick. It was marketed to oncologists primarily for pain associated with cancer. Fast forward a few years and you see a glaring problem all over the country. Pill mills in various Florida locations have sprung up everywhere so the prescriber can make money and the consumer can get high. Many people die as a result of this widespread problem.

Back in the 70's there was a drug called LSD that the drug culture used to abuse.Lysergic Acid Diethylamide was used to induce a psychotic state in laboratory animals so that antipsychotic agents could be assessed as to efficacy. PCP, phencyclidine HCl, was used as an animal tranquilizer. The drug culture discovered it and it became a widespread problem. People are weird about looking for the next magic elixir. Now you make THC more available and what do you have? A bigger and wider generation of zombies to drive domestic disputes, fill up the emergency rooms and populate the pshyciatric hospitals.

The Florida Supreme court just approved a measure that will put it on the ballot in November. Those who vote will decide whether or not it is a good idea to put medical matijuana into the hands of Florida citizens. Polls indicate that such a measure would pass by 80% or more.

The apostle Paul did his own poll. He said in 2 Timothy 3: 1-4: " This know that in the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good."

So the world is ripe for medical marijuana. May the God of heaven help us all.

Friday, November 4, 2016

October Memories and the Apocalypse

I remember it like it was yesterday. 6th period at Landon High School in Jacksonville, Florida. October 1960. I was 14 years old and in sixth period study hall, I was usually allowed to miss the study hall so that I could go from 5th period to basketball practice. On this day the coach, Jim Kitchens,  had cancelled practice. Probably so he could go home and watch the 7th and deciding game of the World Series. I remember the thrill of that game and the exuberance that followed a walk off home run hit by Bill Mazeroski. That won the World Series for the Pirates 10-9 and remains as the only walk off in the 7th game in the history of the World Series. It was an historic occurrence and I was able to see it via a little black and white TV sitting up on the stage.

I also remember another walk off home run. This was hit in an NCAA regional baseball game which I attended in May 1997 held here in Tallahassee. The game was between Auburn University and Florida State. It was the championship bracket of that 8 team tournament. There was huge significance to the game because with a win the Seminoles went to Omaha and the College World Series. There was a member of the Auburn team who had played at Florida High school about a 7 iron from Howser stadium. I remembered him because my son had played HS baseball for Lincoln HS. They played against one another in a summer league program. He was not a prominent member of the team as a back up catcher. Auburn's All American catcher, Dunn, had been hurt in the SEC tournament and that had activated this young man as starting catcher.

In the bottom of the 9th inning this young man came to bat with 2 runners on base. Seminoles were up by 2 runs. This young fellow worked the count to 2-2. The pitcher threw him a fastball middle in and he turned on it and sent the ball over the left field wall in the direction of the stadium where he had played HS baseball. Walk off win for Auburn. In the next game Tim Hudson beat the Seminoles 8-7 to send Auburn to the CWS. The young man's name who hit this home run? David Ross, 2016 World Series icon whose final year in MLB has dominated the canvas of fall baseball. Funny how things work out isn't it? From back up catcher to hero in the NCAA tournament. The story did not end there. David was drafted and played many years in the bigs. He ended his career with the Cubs on the highest of notes. He also was a star of stars on Dancing with the Stars, coming in second place in that competition.

I am telling you this has been a world series to end them all. Their win is almost apocalyptic. Here in this fairly new millennium we have all sorts of signs that point to apocalypse. Global warming, the economy, the wierdest of all elections ever held and now this. The Chicago Cubs are the world champions of baseball. Surely the apocalypse approaches steadfastly.