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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.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.

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