Foley misses the point of brave Army private’s sacrifice
October 14, 2013 11:14 PM | 920 views | 7 7 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

Kevin Foley’s “apology to Private Parman” is sad and tragic. Stronger words could have been used but my wife would not let me. Foley used the grave, the memory, and the sacrifice of Private Parman, a soldier killed in Europe in 1945, as a medium or excuse for smearing Americans with whom Foley disagrees. It was shameful. Foley regularly and nastily condemns Americans who have conservative views, who espouse limited government, who believe that liberty in the economy with only limited regulation will help all people, poor and rich alike, who believe that our government serves the people, not the other way around. He believes that the people live to serve the government. He has forgotten that the Constitution begins: “We the people.” Regrettably, people who disagree with Foley have no rights in his world.

Foley claims that Pvt. Parman would be upset by conservatives who make their voices heard, who resist what they see as government tyranny equal to or worse than that with which King George oppressed the Colonies. But they are in fact standing up for liberty and using their freedom of speech. These are principles for which the American Revolution was fought. These are principles for which men and women have fought and died to protect and uphold for over 200 years. These are the principles for which Parman gave his life. No, Mr. Foley, Pvt. Parman would not be upset. And he would need no apology. He would, instead, have the confidence that his sacrifice was not in vain.

As a young boy of 8, I stood with my parents overlooking the Luxembourg military cemetery field of graves, little stone markers as far as the eye could see. The knowledge that people could die for me so that I might have freedom was burned into my brain that day and lives on in my heart.

It is truly a tragedy that Foley and others like him do not understand that Pvt. Parman did not die so that only Foley’s ideas can prevail. No, they died so that we all can have a robust debate of ideas about how society should function. I thank God that our Founding Fathers risked their lives to create a nation which honors liberty and protects freedom of speech as part of that liberty. Pvt. Parman lived and died so that all of us, conservative, liberal, libertarian, whatever, can freely debate and express our beliefs. He died so that Foley can express his views, but not so that he can silence those with whom he disagrees.

While the America (often called the idea of America) for which our brave soldiers have given the ultimate sacrifice still lives, it is in danger. If we do not take the effort to educate ourselves about what freedom and liberty really mean, that we are entrusted by our Creator with liberties so that all men and women can prosper and grow to the fullest measure of their God-given potential, we will surely lose what God intended to bestow upon us. We must be eternally vigilant in the defense of liberty. Let us not forget the sacrifice of Pvt. Parman. It was for all of us.

Allen Hirons

Marietta

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Kevin Foley
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October 15, 2013
Mr. Hirons, I looked very closely. Nowhere did it say on the cross marking Pvt. Parman's grave "tea party conservative." In fact, there was no such designation on any of the graves in Luxembourg.

You folks somehow believe you are patriotically fighting for something that was taken from you. In fact what you and your ilk are doing is disgracefully defiling the memory of men like Pvt. Parman. They didn't die so the Koch brothers could prosper more than they already have. They didn't lay down their lives so small children could go hungry in the wealthiest nation on earth. Pvt. Parman didn't sacrifice himself so Ted Cruz could shut down the country because his wealthy benefactors didn't get what they wanted.

Obama is King George? No, he is the lawfully elected president of the United States. In fact, he won by an Electoral College landslide.

This country is, as I said in the column, all about agreeable disagreement, compromise, accepting election outcomes and moving on to fight another day. It's not about anarchy, political extortion and rage.
Allen Hirons
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October 17, 2013
Dear Mr. Foley: You seem to miss all the points I made in your rush to be argumentative and unfriendly. I regret that your response does prove one of my points- about being nasty. Private Parman did in fact die for tea party members just as much as he died for people who believe as you do.You seem incapably of grasping that point. About the only thing we can't do is yell fire in a movie theater-that is what freedom of speech is all about. As I said, he died for us all and our right to have a civil discourse. He would be upset that there are those who seem incapable of having a civil discussion about ideas.
Samuel Adams
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October 19, 2013
It is amazing that someone given the platform of a newspaper column doesn't seem to understand Senator Cruz is a duly elected member of a real, legitimate arm of our government. Or that the Constitution protects citizens like the TEA partiers, who have exercised their rights to gather and protest against tyrannical government. Sure, Obama was elected by Americans who thought it would be cool to have a cool black president. But the Founding Fathers built safeguards into our system of government that not only allows but encourages dissent.

I'd bet my left arm that the Private would stand up for TEA party ideals before he stood up for Barry, the guy who can't even stand up for America around the world.
Lib in Cobb
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October 15, 2013
Were conservatives standing up for freedom and democracy when a democratically elected congress wrote and passed The Affordable Care Act? Were the conservatives standing up for democracy and freedom when a democratically elected president signed into law The Affordable Care Act? No, they were not. Were the conservatives standing up for democracy when they were waging war on women, the poor, voters rights, the elderly, the sick, the unions, the middle class? No, they were not. Are the conservatives standing up for democracy when they continue to support subsidies to VERY profitable oil companies while there are innocent children dying right in in the US because of lack of proper healthcare.

Private Parman died so that democracy can live on and on. Democracy is for everyone, not just conservatives.
Allen Hirons
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October 17, 2013
Dear Lib in Cobb: You apparently did not read my letter. My last line summed up my view. At what point did you stop reading? Also you do seem to have a static view of things, as if the world has stopped and no one has the right any more to express their views. Would you have remained silent after the passage of the Alien and Sedition Act? Would you have remained silent after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act? Would you have remained silent after the Supreme Court issued the Dred Scott decision or Plessy v. Ferguson? All lawfully decided! Did that make them right? Of course not.Your arrogance, that only your view is right and that it must never be challenged is disheartening. It is certainly not the view of a person who claims to support democracy. There is a free exchange of ideas in a democracy and one side wins and then loses and the public, the people decide the future. If they do not like the past, the future is different. Apparently you would be most comfortable in the world of Fahrenheit 451 where books and ideas are banned, at least anything contrary to the view of those with power. All glory is fleeting Lib in Cobb. Unless you want an autocratic government which is not democratic, I urge you to do some study on what it means to have a nation which upholds debate.By the way, conservatives do not wage war on all those things you listed. They want to help make the world a better place for all those people and more beside. They just have a different philosophy on how to get there- it is called liberty. Try spending a few hours with Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson and you might get a flavor for what they mean. By the way you might want to ask your favorite politicians how much in over their heads they are with giving out goodies to their favorite corporations, unions, and financial supporters. If its blame you want, there is enough to go around.I personally abhor corporate welfare and anything that smacks of mercantilism. Let companies live or die based upon their ability to compete in a free market economy. Oh, by the way, there is no such thing today as a free market economy. The government regulations and laws make that impossible. We do in fact need proper safety and environmental laws and protections against fraud and many types of improper behaviors, and we need to get rid of the subsidies you complain about, but the result needs to be a much more open and free market where the concept of creative destruction can work to improve the lives of everyone. That is enough for now. I regret that you have allowed yourself to be indoctrinated to an extreme. But, I would defend to the death your right to hold and express your views. Would you do the same for me?
Papermill gal
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October 19, 2013
"We have to pass the bill before we can find out what's in it."
Laura Armstrong
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October 19, 2013
Mr. Hirons, GREAT letters and a great tutorial for a guy who's obviously benefited from capitalism but seems to refuse to stand up for it in any instance.

I just wonder under which democratic ideal Foley would place the requirement that mandates all Americans be forced to purchase something they might not want (health care insurance)or, as we've seen this last week, can't even get due to incompetency -- lest they be egregiously fined by government? Which tenet of democracy IS this tyranny, Foley?

Re your assertion that "innocent children dying right in the U.S. because of lack of proper healthcare." As far as I can tell, all you have to do is take a sick child to an ER, even if they are from Mexico, and they will be treated, so let's not exaggerate here to make your point.
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