Bass Pro and the Pyramid
From the perspective of my 25 years of work in the Memphis tourism industry, I'm particularly sensitive to Memphis' image. This letter is motivated by an impending disaster to the city's image.
By chance, I happened to see renderings of the exterior alterations proposed by Bass Pro to transform the Pyramid into a retail store/Grand Lodge. I could not believe my eyes that such a grotesque plan was, I presume, seen and approved by both the City Council and the County Commission at the August 25th presentation for the project.
The Pyramid is the city's major physical icon, so it is inexplicable to me that the Bass Pro renderings have not been made public, especially since, by virtue of their presentation at the aforesaid meeting, the report and renderings are now public record.
Attached is a subject rendering. Note the dormer windows and the rustic lodge attached to the shiny Pyramid and the American flag at its apex.
Bass Pro's intent, I understand, is to blend the appearance of the Grand Lodge and the Pyramid into an overall rustic look. Hopefully, that look will not include camouflage paint!
McCain and Banking
Those who question the sincerity of McCain's enthusiasm for regulating the banking industry (which would have prevented this week's $1.5 trillion freefall) have good reason to do so.
Here's a quote from McCain's article, "Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American," in the September/October issue of Contingencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries: "Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."
So McCain, who now poses as the scourge of Wall Street, was praising financial deregulation, like, 10 seconds ago — and promising that if we marketize health care, it will perform as well as the financial industry!
Please note that the cost of cleaning up the current catastrophe of financiers run amok will require $7,500 from every man, woman, and child in America.
Science and Politics
This is in response to a letter from Chris Stahl (September18th issue):
Science is the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of natural phenomena, according to The American Heritage Dictionary. A lot of people may think that "science" is just about stem-cell research, evolution, the Big Bang, and eroding family values through the denunciation of religion. But it's more than that.
The scientific method is humankind's best approach to problem-solving. We should think of the results of scientific problem-solving this way: "If a human being made it, it was due to the application of scientific principles." Think of all the items you use and interact with throughout your day. All "that" is due to scientific thinking and problem solving.
One may pray for more light, but I'll flip the switch and thank the electrician.
I agree with Stahl that we need a debate between the candidates to determine who will problem-solve most effectively to get us out of the messes we are in.