A Rose Garden Was Never Promised Any Of Us - And Resonse
posted March 15, 2008

I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden

Those lines to an ancient, circa 1971 or 1972, country and pop song written by Joe South and sung by Lynn Anderson ring amazingly true. Although the song was one of those love songs, many of the lines can be applied to life in general.

We keep reading and hearing some pontificate that this nation doesn't take care of its own, that government doesn't do enough to make life easy for everyone. Here's a newsflash - this great nation of ours wasn't founded upon such principles. Nowhere in our Constitution, nor any of the other founding documents, is there anything giving government the responsibility to take care of the citizens of this nation beyond maintaining an Army to protect the common good, building and maintaining roads, and regulating commerce.

Harsh? Perhaps. I would, however, challenge anyone to show me that anything more is promised than the freedom to do our best to build the best lives for ourselves and our families that we can...that life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness deal.

We're guaranteed the freedom to pursue our personal happiness. We are not guaranteed that someone else will pick up the tab.

We're often reminded that The Book tells us we're to care for those who can't care for themselves, especially widows and children. It does not, however, mandate that we take care of able bodied persons who may not be able to live in the style to which they would like to become accustomed. Quite the contrary. We are, in fact, admonished that "if a man will not work, he shall not eat." Those who do the reminding seem to ignore that one.

We're reminded over and over again of the New Orleans residents who didn't leave the city when they knew a humongous hurricane was on its way, that there was going to be a smackdown in party town. They chose to stay rather than leave, even though they had several days advance notice of impending danger. Oh, we can repeat the obligatory propaganda that they couldn't leave due to a lack of transportation...but then we have the example of a 50-something-year-old former active duty Marine who sent his family out of harm's way while he secured their property and then he walked, that's like taking the shoe leather express, to meet his family in Baton Rouge. That was quite a hike, one I wouldn't wish to make because I've driven it, but he probably was in the Marines back during a time when some of the recruiting posters were a take off of the Rose Garden lines above. However, my suspicion is that he subscribed to a less official, and perhaps more accurate, recruiting slogan; We promise you low pay, sleep deprivation, mental torment, emotional anguish, and you'll do PT until you puke...but we don't want to sugar coat anything.

The Marines still have the best looking uniforms, but that's just a personal opinion.

Three months after Katrina there were significant snowfalls, that continued all winter long, in our northern plains States. I spoke with a friend in Colorado during the first one they had near Thanksgiving, the one that dumped a mere foot of snow on Denver, and asked how deep it was in Boulder at the time. "Oh, about (butt) deep" was the response...although hers was a bit more colorful. Did the folks in that part of the country even request disaster assistance? No. They just dug their way out and went about their daily lives...while Big Al and the Boys continued to preach their global warming felgercarb.

We hear people complain they can't find a job, that they sometimes walk several miles to a labor hall or unemployment office. How many "Help Wanted" signs do they pass on the way to those destinations and then back home? Just for S's and G's yesterday, while taking The Girls in for a new doo and some other running around, I paid a bit closer attention to how many of those signs I saw. Almost to a one every grocery store, convenience store, McFastFood joint, drug store, and about any other store I passed or went into was looking for help...and were willing to pay for it. High wages? No. Executive positions? No. Would they provide an income? Yes...but it's easier to complain.

This is the greatest nation that's ever been seen on the face of planet Terra. But there are those who would have us believe we're also the worst because we don't do more for the rest of the world. How many of those other nations have stepped up to assist Americans during such disasters as Katrina, Hugo, earthquakes in California, or the recent spate of tornadoes in Arkansas, Kansas, and here at home in Tennessee? But those folks in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana just dig out or snuggle in when they get snowed in and continue on with life.

Some will tell us we have citizens in Appalachia who have no indoor plumbing or running water. Seems that just might be a choice...a choice to remain where they are rather than to expend the effort to go where there are jobs, learn a trade, or a different trade, and improve their lot in life. My father did that. He came back from a war, couldn't find work here at home, and went north to where the jobs were. Thirty some years later, and after having been a lifer in the US Air Force, he came back home to retire.

"Yoohoo, Mr. EmployerMan...I'm over here waiting for you to bring me a job." For some reason that just doesn't sound like it will work very well.

We were never promised a rose garden. We were promised the freedom to do the best with our own resources as we are able...no more and no less. If one of us does better than another...oh well, maybe it's because he or she made better choices.

I'm going to choose butter pecan with caramel syrup and instant coffee sprinkles this evening. The Girls are complaining about not being allowed to do a doggie pre-wash of the dishes lately.

Royce E. Burrage Jr.

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You and I are about the same age, from what I infer. Everything you said
is dead-on.

Do you remember how when Reagan was president there was never a week
where you didn't hear some ridiculous report about young mothers or old
people having to eat dog food, because the policies of Reagan left them
no recourse? This was always supposed to be happening in Appalachia,
like the Rust Belt of West Virginia or Pennsy. It was always nonsense.

They couldn't bring Reagan down with this nonsense, but it doesn't deter
them from trying the same hackneyed theme again. I heard a similar
report on the radio yesterday. Dog food.

So let's examine the reality: a can of cheap dog food is traditionally
the same cost of a can of cheap pork and beans. It was then, as it is
now, a big hoax.

Pork and beans isn't top sirloin, but it isn't dog food, either. Take
your choice.

If you want more for yourself than basic protein, get off your lazy, or
kick your mate's butt. If he's split, that's too bad, but the world
doesn't owe a single sole a living, and we taxpayers only feel obligated
to provide for the disabled, the profoundly mentally disabled, and old
folks who lose it and have no one. If I missed anyone, please let me

John R. Smickle