2010.09.15 Kathy & Ray Ramsdell: Readers rebut Rep. Latta's remarks

Written by David Green.

In the Aug. 25 issue of the State Line Observer, my husband and I read of Congressmen Bob Latta’s visit with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce. Some of the statements he made were of great interest to me. As one of his constituents I found his lack of problem solving ideas and his “bandwagon” remarks to be without merit.

For example, “Health Care.” According to the article, “Latta said there’s no one in the room who agrees with the new health care legislation.” Health care remains a serious concern for my husband and me. Does Latta believe that everyone really thinks the way he does? Why do we live in one of the only countries in the industrialized world where 60% of bankruptcy is because of medical bills? Why do we still have such high infant mortality rates? Why do some people die when the proper health care could keep them alive? Because of inadequate health care! We are more than willing to see our tax dollars go to support health care for all in this country.

Federal debt—Latta said that we can’t afford our debt. We are very concerned about our debt and understand that there has been (for many, many years) legislation that seems to be out of order with “pork barrel” spending. That being said, we would also like to remind everyone that at the end of President Clinton’s tenure, our country was running a surplus. We would also like to remind people of what life would be like without taxes. What are you willing to give up? Good roads, snow removal, your new school? Or maybe you won’t mind when the local library is closed or maybe you would like to give up police protection and the local fire departments? Deregulation and lowering taxes seems to be the flavor of the day. In the meantime, the rich get richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class shrinks.

Perhaps one of the most troubling comments that Congressmen Latta made was with regards to being Americans. “I don’t want to be a European, I don’t want a model from someplace else. That’s why we left.” Europe did not have healthcare or similar freedoms to ours when our ancestors left. Europe had potato famines, religious persecution, and wars on their own soil.

He said that he responds to European questions about problems in America as follows, “Yeah, because you guys all sound and look the same.” You cannot be serious! The congressman’s statements reflect what must be very limited experience and education. Large cities in Europe are just as multicultural as ours! And things have changed tremendously in the last 200 years in Europe, just as they have here. What makes us Americans is very much because we are multicultural and multi-religious, and from every corner of the world! We are a country of immigrants. France gave our Statue of Liberty to us; what does it stand for? What is its inscription? Google it.

– Kathy and Ray Ramsdell

County Road 20, Fayette

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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