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Posts Tagged ‘America’

The Big Party

Posted on: January 21st, 2013 by Lisa Hampton 10 Comments

Rumor is that the party of the year was today. We have all heard that the price tag on this little soirée will top $150 million dollars when the receipts come in.

Now myself, I wasn’t invited so maybe you are thinking I have a chip on my shoulder.  No, I assure you. That is not the case.

I have heard all the comments about where the money is coming from to fashion reports on what the first family is wearing and I think it is all so jarringly surreal in light of America’s economic status today.  It is irrelevant that this number is or isn’t higher than his first party, or any of Clinton or Bush’s parties for that matter.

I think the point that many are trying to make here is that this isn’t a discussion of party politics, this is 2013, not 2005 or 2009, and AMERICA CAN NOT AFFORD to throw a party of this magnitude this year.

Like many Americans and others around the world, I am having trouble understanding how Washington can celebrate when the statistics show that America is still hurting. I cannot begin to comprehend a leader and his entourage who can, without the slightest bit of guilt, plan and party with this decadence when millions more Americans can’t find jobs to feed their families, when the price of gas has nearly doubled during his term, and almost every citizen has felt the pains of trimming their own budget since four years ago.

What so many Americans, including myself, would have respected, admired and applauded would have been a leader who said “No, we can’t afford this, we will have to do something smaller.” It doesn’t matter that the party itself is paid for by contributions; the reality is that the bulk of the expenses come from America’s taxpayers and our seriously over-spent budget.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have heard the sweet words, “No, that doesn’t fit our budget’s priorities”?   Interestingly, in times of hardship a few of America’s Presidents have said “No, we must do less.”,  and although forgotten by many, they made the right decision for our country. 

Well, party on Washington.  The hang-over may last longer than you think.

Our Beautiful View

Posted on: November 12th, 2012 by Lisa Hampton 3 Comments

Our place sits out in the open prairie but up above the valley, to our south the rim rock of the mesas climbs a thousand feet above us.  The country between is blanketed with Oak Brush, Pinõn, and Cedar, with Blue Spruce, Aspen and Ponderosas as its crowning glory.  To the west the Sangre de Christos paint the horizon with a multitude of purples, blues and greys as each mountain and ridge falls away to another higher one. To our north and east you can look out for miles across a sea of rolling prairie grass that’s colors change not only with the seasons but also with the time of day and the shadows of the clouds above.

From the porch I look out at this version of heaven and know just how special it is, but, the very best part of the view is down at the end of our gravel driveway.

There, every day, waves our American flag; a beautiful reminder of who I am, what I stand for, and what not only our fathers and fore-fathers fought for, but now also our son.  What better reminder could there be, than this beautiful flag in the early morning sunlight blowing in the breeze?

And so today, we gather as a nation to honor those who serve or have served.  This is our day to thank them.

And like that flag, their service is a beautiful thing. Thank them with all your heart; tell them how much their service means to you.  Honor them by supporting the values that this country was built on, created for, and endures because of.  These men and women, they deserve so much more than just hanging our flag up for the day; more than we can ever possibly give back to them, and more than they will ever ask for.  But when you go about your day, not just today but every day, when you see that beautiful American flag, be proud, not only of our country, but of these men and women who have sworn to protect it, and then tell them and find some little way to do more for them.

Perspective

Posted on: November 7th, 2012 by R.W. Hampton 1 Comment

Dear Friends,

Well its over for now. Personally it didn’t go the way I had hoped & prayed it would.

Last night I listened to the returns as I was driving through the black empty prairie. When the news came, I pulled over, stopped & got out. The stars were incredible. I recognized the Big Dipper, Orion, & that old faithful North Star. Dad showed me these constellations as a kid. These same stars that ancient mariners & herdsman have used for direction gave me the sense that God is big, I am small & that there is a plan.

And the sun rose this morning right on time.

As I start this new day, although tired, heart-sick & bruised, the world will not stop for me to catch up. It’s time to go on. And you know, even though it didn’t go my way, at the end of the day DEMOCRACY is still a beautiful thing.

Thanks for voting in the election 2012 & as always,
God bless America!

Your Pard,

R. Dub

Why I Talk Politics

Posted on: October 5th, 2012 by R.W. Hampton 14 Comments

Flags at Sunset

Folks, last night someone commented that they didn’t like politics coming from my Facebook “music page”. Obviously they don’t know me very well.

You won’t find me telling you how to vote, just telling you TO GO VOTE. I like to hear the facts (when I can find them) and I want people to be interested in what is going on in America.  I am proud to be an American & I am proud that my father, forefathers & my son have all stood up & swore to protect this great nation – and some of them have died doing it.

I won’t ask you to vote for my candidate, and I won’t tell you who I want to win; but I will tell you that you should be praying for our country and for all of the candidates that they will be leaders who are guided by values other than personal greed and self-empowering goals.

This country can not stand with the polarization that is happening among us – right or left we need to learn to look towards the middle in order to build our great nation’s strength back.  And we need leaders who will do the same.

It takes each of us learning the facts and educating ourselves, holding to our values and then working hard to reach a compromise with those who have different values and ideals to achieve a plan that works for those who are willing to work hard to make it work.  There is not a one of us who is not able to do something for the good of our country and our neighbors; no matter our financial well-being or our physical abilities.

America was built by hardworking people who all came here to follow a dream. They didn’t come here for a hand-out, just a hand-up.  These same people made it great for all of us who live here today.

Working together to put strong leaders in our government is important if we want America to get back on her feet.  We can no longer sit by and say that someone else will take care of it while more and more of America is bartered off to foreign countries when we have a wealth of human and natural resources right here.  You have heard me say it before, America is not for sale!

I want to hand my children and grand-children a great nation to grow up in but I know it will take an effort of hard work.  Telling others how to vote just won’t work. But helping to find and support leaders worthy of voting for on both a local and national level does help.  Making sure I’m as educated as possible before I vote and knowing what my own principles and values are, and praying for our leaders those are ways I can help.  And, if doing my part includes reminding people what values I think are important – through my music, my writing and this page…. then so be it.

God Bless America!

I’d love to hear from you.  How do you educate yourself about the candidates?  Do you vote along party lines? What issues are the most important to you?

America – It’s Independence Day!

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 by R.W. Hampton 4 Comments

So tomorrow is the Fourth of July, right? Well of course it is. But to me it’s more than that. It’s Independence Day! Isn’t it great that we are Americans and have such a great day to look back on in history.

A few years ago my wife, Lisa, and I wrote our first song together. I hadn’t done anything with it until one morning before the Fourth of July I asked her to film me singing it on our porch as a little Independence Day gift for my fans. Folks seemed to have liked “Not For Sale” and although it’s taken a lot longer to get it recorded than we have wanted, I’ve been in the studio working on it and hope to release it and another song “Hell in a Helmet” very soon.

 So as Americans around the world get ready to go celebrate our Independence Day, I find myself remembering back to when I wrote this song and thought I would share the little prch video again. So much has changed in the past few years, but the cost of freedom is still the same and the song seems to become more relevant with each passing year.

If you’ve watched this one before I thank you, if you like it I hope you will consider forwarding it along to share with your friends. And of course, I always love to hear what you think about the songs I write & sing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChXt_c0uOwg 

 

Happy Independence Day, America!

Warning! Soap Box Alert….

Posted on: June 28th, 2012 by Lisa Hampton 3 Comments

On My Soap Box

(A Guest Post by Mrs. Hampton)

Hi Folks,

Mrs H. here… Let me start by saying I hate it when I feel others are soap-boxing, hate reading those whiny soapbox issues, and in all truth, if I am going to read one it is probably from someone who is “preaching to the choir”.

But….. Here I go…because with today’s historic announcement I have such mixed emotions I can’t help it.

You see, I have insurance, 100% privately paid for by me for my 3 youngest kids and myself  at the cost of almost $700 per month, and some days it’s a stretch to get that paid for.

Of our older kids, one has insurance for their family privately through the ranch, our Marine and his family are covered as long as he is a US Marine, and one couple is without insurance right now due to affordability.

I am a small business owner, wanting to expand and thinking about hiring, but do I hire contract labor or an employee?

And, As I’ve said before, because of a pre-existing condition from years ago (which I won’t mention here) my husband has no health insurance…

We live in a time when our future as a family is as uncertain as if we faced a T-Rex outside our cave every time we walk out. Every day we know that if he has a heart attack, a car or horse wreck, gets hit by an uninsured motorist, or any number of other major health problems, we are sunk… that fast… overnight it is all gone.

So of course the idea that “everyone” can have health insurance is very attractive on one, somewhat selfish, level.

But the reality is that no one is talking about “how much” will that mandatory insurance cost someone with a pre-existing condition, or who will help control costs of medications and services when “everything” is supposedly covered by insurance?

How about co-pays? Will there be policies out there that still have split co-insurance payments that individuals have to pick up the tab on for services that will cost 10x as much as they do now? If we end up in the hospital paying 20% of $20 for an an asprin that right now we could buy at the pharmacy for under a dollar – are we really saving anything? And where is the 80% of that $20 going to come from? The insurance company is going to have to find the money from someplace else. Who will control these costs now that we are required to pay them?

R.W. said it pretty well this evening on his Facebook post, do we throw the drowning man a line and reel him in, or do we toss him a mandate that says he has to take swim lessons?

I see two winners in this. The government – who collects the money if we (individuals and employers) decide to pay a penalty because it’s more affordable than the insurance. And the private pharmaceutical and other medical supply companies that will get paid regardless.

I agree that there will be a certain percentage of people who will now be able to have health insurance who have been denied in the past and can afford the high rates, and I am happy for them, but they will be the minority. I don’t think this law will help the struggling young family with a couple of babies just out of college with a decent job but already swimming in college loans who previously couldn’t afford insurance?

Those of us with insurance now also stand to face higher costs regardless of if we are on a group plan or individual like myself just because someone is going to have to pick up the higher costs. There will be a number of people on group plans that will find themselves offered a “wage increase” to shop for private insurance because their employer can cut costs by dropping health insurance benefits. Who can blame them? It sounds good up front until the costs rise each year higher than their “wage increase”.

The folks like my husband are not guaranteed that they will have insurance, they are guaranteed that they can’t be refused insurance. Those terms are very different and if you can’t afford the price for the plan because, although you have a job, you may also have a home and other expenses already eating away at your budget, then you will be “taxed” a penalty fee by our government. And you will still have to pay your own medical bills if you ever do get hurt. Who is the winner there?

And then there will be all of those folks out there who own or operate a small business and won’t hire new employees or limit their own expansion because there is that point of balance when the profit margin to grow has shrunk to the point that they can’t afford the “gray-zone” of too many costs per employee. Weren’t we trying to build America and create jobs?

But the real issue for me, the one I was so saddened to find that I fall into the Supreme Court’s minority on, was the issue of “rights”… Does our government have the right to require my husband to purchase health insurance – regardless of the cost? How does the government have the right to tell us as a family what we should spend our money on for ourselves? How can they call something a “tax” and collect it on something that is NOT purchased? Isn’t that a penalty? And where does that money go?

Although I would love nothing more for my husband than to find a health insurance policy that we could afford that will cover him, I am not willing to get excited at the prospect as I watch America’s freedoms wash down the drain for the short-term hope that my family will have the same address for the rest of our time here on earth.

Americans need to set aside their politics and start realizing that we are no longer controlling our government but our government has started down that slippery slope of controlling us.

What is next? Will we be required to participate in community service projects because it is for the “good of the community”? What about our security, could we be taxed for not filling out an even more intrusive census that asks us our personal health information, religious beliefs and do we own firearms?  The line has been crossed and Americans really need to gather together, and as cowboys will say, “we need to pull our cinches tight and get to work” if we ever hope to get our country back in order and back to being the greatest place on Earth.

The Face of Memorial Day

Posted on: May 27th, 2012 by Lisa Hampton No Comments

Honor - public image - photographer unknown

Memorial Day weekend is usually packed with BBQs, picnics, fishing at the lake, the first camp-out of summer, and graduations across the country. All celebrations of life, of milestones made, of classes finished, of hard-work accomplished. But on Monday, as we gather with family and friends please keep this face of Memorial day in mind.

On this weekend I hope every American thinks about the love of his country that this handsome young boy’s father must have had. He is representative of all the children who have lost a parent to war. He represents all the family members who have felt that lose so keenly.

My own father was but a toddler when his mother received news that my grandfather’s ship had been sunk in the Pacific returning from a battle and that only a handful of survivors had been rescued. Although my grandfather was never found so that my father, grandmother and family could have a service, his loss was no less painful for them.

The young man in this photo had a father who gave up his life in a battle that we sent him to fight. He wasn’t a Marine because he needed a job and he wasn’t a hero because he needed a college degree on America’s dime. He was something more than most of us could ever hope to be…and all Americans need to be able to look this child in the eyes and tell him that we truly honor his father and we will NEVER take his sacrifice for granted.

Americans owe him nothing less.

I have been to a full military funeral for a Marine who gave his life recently in Afghanistan and I know the same scene as is in the photo above has played out many times across America.

This young boy has a long road ahead but he is holding his head up and making his father proud…now we need to make his father proud of us.

Stand up America and on this Memorial Day and remember what it is about our country that is worth dying for, and NEVER for one moment forget those who have sacraficed for it.

Happy Independence Day, America!

Posted on: July 2nd, 2010 by R.W. Hampton 11 Comments

As Americans around the world get ready with family and friends to celebrate our Independence Day, I’m contemplating the few precious hours my family and I will spend with my son, US Marine Corps Sgt. Cooper Hampton, later this month before he leaves on his second combat deployment. It is a strange irony and a sobering reminder that while much has changed in our country, the cost of freedom is still the same.

So here I am with another video… a little tribute to America and all the men and women who have paid the price for our freedoms. If you like this little song, please consider forwarding it along to share with your friends. And of course, I always love to hear what you think.

Happy Independence Day, America!