Thanks to the Flyer for introducing me — and probably lots of other Shelby Countians — to the issues (and the protagonists) involved in the metro charter commission "consolidation" debate (Cover Story, March 18th issue). I had no idea what was going on with this situation. Now I feel like I do. So, hey, good job. I still don't know how I'll vote, but at least I know what it's all about.
My husband and I were among the naysayers regarding the Horizon ("Lost Horizon," March 11th issue). We said that the building was too tall and too close to our home, that there were too many units, and that we did not believe it was an economically viable project.
Before the hearings on the project at the City Council, I wrote to my council member, Barbara Swearengen Ware, who did not respond or acknowledge my letter. On the day of the council hearing, those against it were allowed a very few minutes to speak. Our neighbor had gone to great trouble to construct a scale model of the building to demonstrate how large it was and how close it was to our homes.
Only one council member got up to look at it. Others were talking on their cell phones and visiting among themselves. One councilwoman gave us a short lecture declaring that downtown Memphis was not just for the "well-to-do."
Now this empty monstrosity is what people see when they come into downtown from I-55. The parking garage in front of the building on Riverside Drive vaguely resembles a prison. Those who promised increased property values are no longer in sight. Everyone seems perplexed about the outcome, but the Horizon is not a victim of the recession. It's the product of arrogant, irresponsible, and greedy people.
As we left the hearing that day, my husband told our developer (of Founders Pointe) that he didn't think the building would ever be completed. She just shrugged her shoulders. Implosion is the best remedy for the Horizon.
This new health-care bill is a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The interstate
commerce clause has been distorted to justify it. This clause simply refers to tolls
and taxes being charged between or among states. There is no "intra-state" control or jurisdiction for the federal government.
When one examines the early founding documents — the Federalist Papers, letters, etc. — we find that the intent was simply to prevent tolls on products and services from state to state. If it meant absolute control of a product or service, then the government could control every single item we own and its usage. It would also be able to control international usages of said purchased items. This bill is a power grab and a control mechanism, not a concern for the uninsured.
I am a 63-year-old Memphian who, despite the fact that I have no children, has never had a problem paying taxes to support the public education of my community's children. I recognize that my life is improved when I am surrounded by an educated population. By the same logic, I understand that my life is improved when I am surrounded by a healthy population.
So I was pleased that Congress has moved the game played by the "medical/industrial complex" (doctors, lawyers, hospitals, and insurance and pharmaceutical companies) into the court of the insurance companies in a way that may force them to make pragmatic decisions to go out and compete for all the new clients who will be available under the health security legislation just passed.
I am one of the "healthy" Americans who has declined to bend over and buy costly and risky insurance, preferring to save my money and pay cash for medical care when needed. But if this legislation is going to increase the pool of the insured to include the many likewise "healthy" Americans whose newly acquired premiums will support health care for the many Americans who really need it, I'm ready to start looking for a company that will join the new game rather than trying to sabotage it.
Anyone who rejects the concept of the societal benefits of "public health" is more than likely ignorant of the societal benefits of "public education" and is in need of both a practical education and mental health assistance.
Which leads me to put on my Dr. Phil face and say what has to be said: It's time for Memphis and Shelby County to start seeing other people. We've tried for years to patch things up, to come to some sort of mutual understanding, but we need to admit that we have irreconcilable differences. We don't even know each other any more ...