Checking Our Life Progress at Age Forty

My online pastor, don’t trip, I also attend First Baptist in Pittsburg. As I was saying, a few Sunday’s ago Doctor Lance Watson of Saint Paul’s Baptist (Richmond, VA.) began a new sermon series.  The new series is entitled “Fortyish.”  The subject is as it sounds, people reflecting on their current status in life at the age of forty. Naturally, Dr. Watson looked at it from a biblical sense.

It started me wondering about my state of mind after turning Forty. First of all, I had my midlife crises in my early thirties. I had to close a thriving retail business because I didn’t have the collateral to get a business loan. With two kids and a wife, finding a career that had growth possibilities at home was a lost cause. After closing our retail outlet, I reasoned that my future was not in Milwaukee.

I was familiar with the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area. As a young soldier, I was once stationed at Fort Ord, outside Salinas and Monterey, CA.  From there I was assigned to Oakland’s Army Terminal to await a ship that took me to Korea. While there, I’d settled in so well, the Forty- Niners’ became my second favorite football team, after the Packers. Reluctantly my wife agreed, and we decided to move to Northern California. I should also say my life took a drastic change for the better with that decision. I put in an application for a governmental position in Alameda. I got hired as a Supply Clerk by a lady I ending up calling my West Coast Mother. She called to tell me I had the job and found my wife to be pregnant expecting our third child. Ida M Brown (RIP) allowed me to report, two months later after the birth of the baby.  After I had arrived, she suggested I move into the Oakland YMCA, which I did and invited me and my new friend, Denny, over to her house for a Thanksgiving Dinner. I never forgot her kindness. That was in 1978.  I was thirty-four years old.

But let’s stay on point. I should note that I passed my forties over two decades ago. By age forty, I was working as an Accounting Technician at Naval Supply Center. I transferred from the Accounting Department and took a job in the Procurement Department. My dream had come true. I was a Purchasing Agent and feeling like I’d made real professional progress.

For most people, as Dr. Watson says, turning forty is a time we spend taking inventory of our life. Specifically, we look at our professional life, social environment, and friends.

Professionally we compare our dreams and hopes at twenty to our current reality. We look at our professional gains or losses. We wonder if we had taken this or that turn would we be in a better financial position. Are we happy in our chosen profession?  Are we in an upward position or a dead end? Is my position as rewarding as I originally thought, does it provide me the required security. And one of the most important aspects of a career, am I paid enough for the work.

Should we make a slight change in direction or change careers?  In these days, maybe the choice has been made for you. Companies continue to downsize, and look for ways to cut staff as a way of improving their profitability.  In my opinion, all possibilities must be reviewed including starting your own business.

We also take stock as to who in our lives are worth keeping and who might need to write off as a loss or nuisance.  Sounds cold? Come on; we’ve all had those people in our lives. Friends and, or relatives who have and will continue to cause constant problems in our daily existence. Most mean well, but come into your life with their personal agenda. Some go so far as to get what they need from you and move on to other sources. For a few, you may just have to say enough is enough; we just can’t be around each other. That would also include those in our love life. Is this the person I want in my life. Have the past years been as wonderful for both of us or neither one of us?

There is also an important examination that is biblical in nature. Do our possessions Golden Eggscontribute to our mental well-being?  In short, what we have purchased or personally own is the subject. Do our toys, for lack of a better word, make us happy? The size, brand or value of your toy may not mean the same to other individuals. Maybe it is a status toy like a home or automobile. Whatever the case, the question remains the same. Does it make you happy?

Sometimes we find that after getting a new toy, we are bored and begin to set our sights on a more expensive or new toy. In other words, we may find ourselves always longing for something we don’t have and possible can never own. That calls for self-examination of our values. Do we need this or another toy or can we find happiness with what we already own? And just where do our friends, family, and spouses fit into our toy equation? The value of human contact and interaction should always outweigh our desires for toys.

The point of the exercise is to examine all aspects of your life at this stage. It’s a case where you have to be selfish and honest with yourself.  If the exercise is carried out in the correct way, one will learn a lot about themselves and people around them.

This article is a series of personal examinations at the subject decade milestones in our lives. We welcome comments on your thoughts as write about each topic point. We can all learn from others experiences as well as our own. Look for a new article every two weeks.

Next up: What Happens When You Reach Fifty?

Followed by: Sixty, the new Forty or Fifty?

Ending with: Seventies, are you Done?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-98

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

Really, Mr. Sanders are you serious?

First of all, let me say that Hillary R. Clinton has a lot of baggage she will carry into the general election. Most of which did not come from Trump, Sanders or any of their current surrogates.  As a former first lady of Bill Clinton, Senator of New York and Secretary of State she earned it while trying to do her jobs. To say that Sanders is providing fodder in which to use against Mrs. Clinton is not entirely correct. Elected Republicans and their far-right conservative spin doctors would have found enough or will invent material on their own. The proof in that looks how they have treated President Obama, his family, dog, anything or anyone else who has taken part in the current administration.  The other reality is that she knows it. And so do the people who are voting for her. It promises to be a real nasty and classless election period, especially from the Donald’s side.

Let me now reiterate something the “Bernie’s” and specifically Bernie Sanders campaign have known since the Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Florida March 15th primary. He was successful in Illinois, only to lose the other four states. The Sanders people knew at that time his chances of winning the nomination had taken a serious hit. So they tried to load up and bet on New York’s April 19 primary. They got slaughtered in a state he called home as a child. From then on his campaigns pathway to a victory was a closed door. Oh, the possibility existed, but then I’ve never known it to snow in the Mohave Desert.

With a little over three weeks before the June 7th, California, and New Jersey primary the writing, in bold letters is on the wall. Mrs. Clinton needs less than 100 delegates to capture the nomination.  Sanders say but know better, that he will win California. He adds his goal is to open up the Democratic establishment to a slew of new voters who has populated his rallies across this country. Some of those followers have taken a deeper and more obstructionist point of view. Recently, they were involved in a chair-throwing melee in Nevada.  Reportedly death threats were issued by the same crowd against Nevada Party Officials. Of course, they blamed it on Mrs. Clinton’s surrogates who they think are shutting them, thus Bernie out of the democratic process.  The candidate himself pretty much refused to denounce the violence by adding a “but” to his response.

The problem is those supporters have to be directly held back by the candidate. The optics show and the press have co-signed in triplicate, a developing Democratic Divide.  Well, Sanders could have been preparing them for that all along after March 15th.   He should follow Mrs. Clinton lead and pivot to the general election.  If not for the party or country, why not do it for his followers. They need to face the inevitable? They can and should still have an effect in crafting the Democratic Platform. Hopefully, Bernie will do so and get on board with the program before the Democratic convention.

Another reality, some of his followers, who have joined in the process for the first time, will not vote this fall. They will find something else to do rather than vote for Hillary R. Clinton or Donald Trump. As a person who once was young, I understand the frustration of seeing your dreams of support go up in flames. It is doubly painful when no one has smoothed the skids for you. I pray and hope these type individuals are a minimum number of supporters. But you can bet on it; there will be some who will stay home on Election Day. Bernie could have and still can help to minimize that number.

Now, imagine this if you will, President Trump. Let that roll off your lips and circulate in your American brain for a moment. President Donald Trump? You think the George W. Bush presidency was bad?  He says he can act presidential at any time. You think you have to act rather than be presidential?  The best commentary I’ve heard since Trump is trying to calm his party’s nerves. It came from MSNBC Chris Hayes who said it best, “People of Trumps age doesn’t change.” I would add, especially people of wealth with the power of the presidency included in that equation.

If it happens, I am not moving away from my home. No, I am not leaving the United States. I am going to trust in God. He and he alone have the plan. Maybe, according to our father in haven, it is time for someone to blow up the world. You can almost see Trump walking in front of a background of fire. Even though the world burns because of an action or inaction by President Trump, he feels blameless. He is found wandering telling himself, “This is not my fault. I didn’t intend for this to happen so don’t blame me.”

Or there is a better scenario for me. As I’ve often heard my grandmother or other older relatives say time and time again. Especially in the face of an insolvable problem, “This too shall pass as I thrust in my lord and savior, Jesus Christ.”

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-8F

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Mrs. Clinton is the ideal Candidate

The former first lady, state senator, presidential candidate, secretary of state has a wealth of political knowledge on building a consensus with opposing forces.  Now she is a candidate for President of the United States for the second time. The Democratic Candidate reign on Super Tuesday, March 15. She won 5 states over her rival Senator Bernie Sanders. No doubt she is tying her coattails to President Barack Obama where ever she can do so.

Bernie, as do the Republicans, says she is a flawed candidate. With her resume and former actions, she was bound to have pissed some people off with her votes as a senator and actions as a human being. Remember the first heath care plan she tried to champion as then President Clintons first lady? The question for Democrats and others who might consider her candidacy is can she win against the eventual Republican nominee?  Followed by can she wade through what has become Republican obstructionism, govern and be an effective president? Or should we vote for and nominate an idealistic Bernie Sanders?

We have to pick an individual that withstand an array of attacks time and time again during the election process by the Super Pac’s. They, who do not have to identify themselves, thanks to a vote of the conservative-leaning members of the Supreme Court.  Super Pac’s with unlimited dollars to place attack ads against our nominee’s record, friends, associates, pets, habits and idiosyncrasies. That person has to give as much as they take in a classy fashion and stay on message. It takes someone who has been through a few political wars, so to speak to be tough enough to withstand the barrage of attack ad aimed at the next Democratic nominee.   If I were betting money, I would bet that Hillary Clinton has the experience and confidence to withstand anything the Republicans throw at her during the national election for president.

In November of 2008, U.S. voters elected an idealistic, fresh outsider and community organizer to run our country. We all were proud of our country, and our neighbors for helping us make a very qualified black man president of the United States. During the last, almost eight years we have sat stunned by various attacks on a sitting president by Republicans for varying reasons. They didn’t like his policies, his wife, children, mother-in-law or dog. Never mind he almost singling handed worked to save this country from going over a financial cliff beginning as soon as he got elected President of the United States. If you recalled, G Dubya, the president at the time had mentally checked out of the White House. So it was up to the newly elected President, Barack Obama.

At the time, a political cartoonist drew a picture of G Dubya riding off into the sunset as his horse had left behind piles of manure. Different labels were written on each pile such as Iraq War, Consumer Confidence, Mortgage Crises, Consumer Debt, US Debt, etc. The picture also depicted the new president dressed as a trash man with a broom and bucket picking up the Bush Administration’s droppings of horse manure. President Obama should have framed that one as a keepsake.

You may also remember, there was a meeting of the top Republicans in the Senate and House a few days after Mr. Obama’s election.  Congressional elected men who got together and agreed to become obstructionist to any and everything the newly elected president proposes. Mitch McConnell, the minority speaker at the time stood before national television cameras and stated the Republicans in the House and Senates number one job was to see that President Obama’s failed in carrying out his duties as POTUS.

Frankly, as an Army Veteran, I thought it was a treasonous statement followed by actions or inactions of elected Republicans to slow the American Economy. But then as a black man, I know there are…let’s say…different strokes for different folks. It would have been a treasons statement under any other circumstances.  Despite their tricks, rhetoric and Fox News, President Obama will go down as a man who brought back civility to the office, champion and sponsored legislation that passed and continued to make a difference in today’s highly political environment.

I would be the first to agree that Senator Bernie Sanders is frank and tells his audiences what they want to hear from a candidate.  He might act in a way we long for in our elected officials.  But it is all a dream. Senator Sanders is the ideological opposite of Donald Trump. Neither will get elected in November.

Sanders, a liberal extremist, a socialist, a man that’s so far left of President Barack Obama, it should be a crime. Those are some of the kind words you can expect from the political ads.  No one, and I mean no one has brought up stances that he took in his thirties, forty’s, or fifties. I listened to his speech from Madison, Wisconsin after someone told him he won the Alaska and Washington State Democratic Caucus. I see why people are attracted to him. He spoke from an item to item list of problems that a lot of people are going through and like all politicians, promised he would change things. By the way, some of the issues were addressed by law or executive order by President Barack Obama, who ran into vigorous opposition from a Republican House and Senate.  Sanders’ ideas are not that different than his opponent, Hillary Clinton. He tells his college students he is for a free college education with no tuition. Who thinks that law will be passed even in a Democratic House and Senate? He thinks that all his free programs can be funded by a tax on Wall Street. And if by the slim chance in hell that law would get passed by Congress, get ready for the cost to be passed on to you and me, the consumer.

I can almost see the Super Pac’s Ads along with Tea Party Members, and Republican office holders and commentators day after day, hour after hour. They would tell whoever is listening to radio and TV of what a scary thought it would be to elect Barney Sanders. There is no place for naïve thoughts and promises in this election. We need someone who can get results.

As for the Donald, his mouth, policies, and tactics would not pass the scrutiny of the United States voting population to get him elected President. His party realizes that fact.

Democrats have got to nominate, elect and send an experienced individual to hold the highest office in the land.  We should elect a candidate who has crafted good policies for this country. Someone who can get things done by using their experience to navigate Republican obstruction.  It should be an individual who is willing to listen and work for all the people including the common folk. Most of all, a battle harden political veteran who can get elected despite the mined road to the White House. Mrs. Clinton is the ideal candidate at this time. Unlike any Republican running or otherwise and certainly not Barney Sanders.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at  http://wp.me/p65rCa-8d

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Reading for Knowledge is Mandatory, Part 1

I know you’re wondering, who is this fellow? What credentials, education or background gives him the authority to suggest what I should do, much less how I should advise my family?

Well, I am really nobody special, just a black man, an interested party in the growth, survivability, of my people and their ability to compete for whatever job in every profession available in the worldwide job market. I want us to take ownership in our community and stop waiting on others to dictate what happens there. I didn’t go to Harvard or a historically black college. In fact, I’ve never graduated from any major college. But I did graduate cum laude from the School of Hard Knocks, with a major in “Common Sense.”  So, this year I will use my media sites (HCofA’s “Reading for Knowledge” Initiative) and credentials to advise us all to read more, especially during this political season.

Believe me when I say, I’m not trying to be flippant here, but I do want you to consider the following information.

A Huffpost Books headline screams “The U.S. Illiteracy Rate Hasn’t Change in 10 Years.” Granted it’s from a December 12, 2014 update, but do you think it has gotten better since then? In the article the U.S. Department of Education along with the National Institute of Literacy states 32 million adults (14% of our American population) in the U.S. can’t read. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read. Major question…how do they graduate if they can’t read?

According to the Department of Justice, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” According to BeginToRead.com “85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70 percent of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level.”  They predict that “2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail of on welfare.”

Although these are the statistics from all juveniles regardless of color, creed or origin, shouldn’t this concern you for Americas present and future? What about the People of Color community? Do you see growth in these numbers? A collogue recently posted the following sign on Facebook. It read “No one is coming to save you. This life of yours is 100% your responsibility.” Even God expects us to do certain things for ourselves by utilizing the human gifts he has bestowed upon us.

 

I’m a history lover; World, American and especially Black History. I’m just as fascinated today to read of black people, their inventions and exploits as I was as a kid. I used to skip school to go to the library because I believed they were not teaching me what I needed to know in school, parochial or public. canstockphoto7386027It was dumb on my part because even today, you still need that degree now more than ever to compete for a decent job. Yet, never overlook the importance of reading a book for some type of media for knowledge.

Why don’t we get personal and look at the people in our circle of acquaintances, people we meet and talk to on a day to day basis? An irritating person is someone with whom you’re having a discussion that obviously does not know what they are talking about. During the conversation you find that the source of what little information they have on the subject comes from a friend of theirs or something somebody else has told them. Since they haven’t taken the time to read up on the subject, they are not aware they are repeating the wrong information. Yet they hang on to their erroneous information as if its word of Jesus Christ. Often time they are the most opinionated individual in the conversation and refuse to admit that their real lack of knowledge. Do you know anybody or ever been involved in that type of conversation?

Add to the mix those individuals, which can be any ones of us at times, who drive up to a neighborhood street, a store, a strip mall, or city business that is closed or moved to another facility. We wonder why we hadn’t gotten the word of this major detour or event. Not only are some of us not watching the local news, we are not aware of community developments. All that is needed is to browse our city websites or attending monthly meetings at the city hall. No…we tend to wait until some event strikes a personal nerve. Then we are all over it only to find out decisions about this particular project were made months ago. We are now too late to effect any kind of change in plans.

What about those who are backing a particular local or national political candidate knowing nothing about their real plans or reasons for running for office in the first place. Yet we are sometimes sure about whom we don’t want to vote for or we simply don’t vote. When that happens we get the kind of local or national Representatives, senators, or Presidents that don’t have our interest at heart. Or we are surprised by a position the newly elected official has taken that is opposite of our beliefs and the will of the people or everyday citizen. Once again, does any of this sound familiar to you?

There is a dire need for all of us to stay current on local and national events.  We need to know the true details in order to avoid and in some cases provides us the ability to take action to effect change that affects your bottom line. That bottom line includes economics, community lifestyle or your children’s future.

A prime example is some in our local police department with cowboy attitudes when it comes to certain people of color. Does it really take a bevy of cops to empty their firearms into an individual’s back, front, or side that is armed with a knife? With the police chief stating at a press conference the officers feared for their life. Yet the video tells a different story of events.

Why must we wait for that to happen in our community? Why can’t we insist that our local officials, mayor, council persons demand additional training and a change in cultural in police? What is wrong with our policemen taking a stress test along with their fitness test every year? Such a physiological test is bound to reveal psychotic symptoms from certain individuals that should not be on the street with a weapon.  Maybe they have been on the street too long to have a clear judgement in a normal response to a police action call. And overriding evidence has revealed that certain police tactics need a vast overhaul.  The point is to implore the people who can effect change to act beforehand.

As a community of people, we must be more proactive instead of reactive. We start by being aware of current events in our community and nationally. Next, more remedy’s to the problem in Part 2 of this article.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-7P

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

 

What Am I Thankful For In 2015?

What am I thankful for on this Thanksgiving? Where do I start? First of all, I am thankful for being the child of Doreatha (Childs) and Codis Hampton. Two people whom I dearly loved and will miss through eternity. And my heavenly father for placing me in their care and guidance in the first place.

I am thankful for having such wonderful siblings as my sisters, Delores, Carol, and stepsister, the late Johnny Mae. And let me not forget my little brother James Edward. I was the oldest and should have been the most responsible, but forgive me when I strayed to the dark side in my late teenage and young adult age.

That was a period when all five feet four of me thought to be cold blooded, hardcore and tuff was a prescription for survival in this country. The streets of Milwaukee called for guile, cunning, a bad attitude and short fuse. At least that is what I thought at the time. The first words out of my mouth to anyone who disagreed with me on any subject was F_ _ _ you, followed by I will kick your M-F A_ _. It made no difference if the guy was 5’4” 140lbs or 6’4” 250 lbs. My only suggestion to the person was to bring a lunch because it’s going to be an all-day fight to the finish. I won some and lost others. In fact, have you ever seen a group of different size dogs on the street or in a yard? The smallest runt of the pack is always barking the loudest, jumping up and down. The others may not even bark, but that runt is lunging at you as you walk by and seems to want to tear one of your limbs off your body. I was that runt.

I was mad at the world, didn’t care who knew it and was not planning on passing the age of twenty-one. And if that was to come to pass, I was going down swinging at my foe.  Along the way, I found out a simple truth. It didn’t matter who won, my body still felt the pain from being in a fight. ThanksgivingAll praise is to God; I got over and lived through that phase. I also give thanks to a three-year service in the US Army which helped me mature in a manner I never knew existed for a black man in this country.

I’ll tell you some other people who knew what I was  learning the hard way. And that is my mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, uncles, Aunts and adult cousins. If I had listened to them in the first place, well…that phase in my life could have been spent more productive maybe resulting in a master degree in something or the other. I have no regrets. That is what it took for me to get to 2015. Now it’s just another reason for me to be thankful today.

I am grateful for having met my wife, Sandra along the way. For our children, Shawn Lynn, Richie and Brandon, now grown and finding their way in life, I am all so proud of their accomplishments. They are down to earth people who are real and see life as it is not through rose colored glasses. My wife and I tried to raise them in the way we were raised hoping they would be better and avoid some of our mistakes. The fact that they are alive and well is a blessing in itself.

Today, I can say; I have family and friends that I keep in contact with, some daily, weekly, others monthly, and yearly. There are friends and family I haven’t touched bases with in a while who know me well enough to know I still care and think about them. As in life, there have been disagreements with family and friends causing them to fall out of touch for whatever reason. They should know; I’m not a person who holds a grudge or harbor some dislike for them because of some incident between us. Thank God, I can say, I’m not that kind of person today. I have evolved and continue to do so. I am a better person than I was years ago, last year and several months ago, as I continue to work on me every day. I am certainly thankful for that.

Make no mistake about it. I go through what you all go through on a daily basis. We have to deal with rude and obnoxious people in the grocery store or other retail outlets. Making a phone call to a vendor while trying to correct their billing error can be challenging. Is it me, or am I correct in concluding that customer service is lacking at too many of our service industry companies these days?  Sometimes it’s as though the Human Resource Office in these companies have hired a staff of incompetent, uncaring, and impatient individuals to answer their phones and yet call themselves a customer service representative. Most of time, I feel I should send them an invoice for helping them do their job. You feel me? But then, over the years I’ve learned not to let a person or persons put me in a bad mood for the day. I deal with it at that time with that person and move on; it’s that simple. And for that change in my personality, I am thankful to Jesus Christ.

I am oh so thankful for the new people I am meeting in my life. Some of which, I have never personally met or seen, but often communicate by phone as if we’ve known each other for a lifetime. I’ve met most of these new friends and contacts in connection with my church, BTR Show, publication of books or my role as their tax preparer.

Every day many of these people or colleagues give me hope there is a better day coming for our people of color and communities across this nation. We share a common goal for the human race and specifically for the black race. These are people of all colors who demonstrate on a daily basis that they are community driven first rather than only seeking profit for their endeavors. It is these people, along with my upbringing that keeps me going and selfishly giving of my time for my community.

I am so thankful to my Savior for guiding me as I take the actions required to give and contribute in my way to our community.  To say that I’ve evolved into a good husband, father, citizen and black man in 2015 is an understatement in my view. I’ve found peace with myself, my God, my family, friends and everyone else. And for that, I am eternally thankful this Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all, may you find the same type of contentment in your life.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

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“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

 

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Don’t Drink the GOP’s Brand of Government Kool-Aid

Every time there is a natural disaster who do we call for help? What about if some terrorist drop a bomb in New York City, other US land, or US presence via ship or whatever anywhere in the world? What happens if you need to regulate an industry from taking advantage of the common man and woman in the US Street? The point is that we look to our United States Government to solve those problems.

No one calls up Donald Trump, The Koch Brothers, Russ Limbaugh, or California’s Silicon Valley tech billionaires. In those instances, the only entity that can take on, address or solve those issues. And that is the United States Government. By the way, that is the same organization that wrote the rules of commerce those billionaires used to become wealthy.

As we enter this political election sphere leading up to the nomination and eventual election of a new president and members of Congress, we are confronted with the same concoction. I call it The GOP’s brand of Government Kool-Aid. You will probably recognize parts of the formula. The indigents are as follows,

Start with the base flavoring, one small package of ultra-conservative Sugar Substitute.

Add two tablespoons each of Super PAC Cash, Various Right-Wing Media, Erroneous Polls, Right-Wing Christians, Tea Party Rhetoric and Fox News. Make sure they are all lemon-lime flavored to give it that tangy taste.

Slice up a Secession Orange, only found in states like Texas, etc. to give it that States Rights wholesome flavoring.

Kool Aid - CopyPour in two gallons of plain water, top it off with a few ice cubes to make it a cool drink and serve at Media parties, election campaign offices, and to attendees at all political gatherings.

There should be a warning on the packaging of this concoction, but there isn’t. The warning would state; Beware of drinking this type Kool-Aid as it will destroy your compassion toward your neighbor, fellow US & world citizens and lead you to vote against your best interest.

Whatever speech uttered by one of their candidates always includes the two mantras of the Republican Party political platform, Govt. should not be in any private business affairs and States Rights overrule the US Govt. Rights. It’s a concoction they serve that works well all the time. A word of caution, avoid mixing any socialist ingredients otherwise you will ruin the batch.

I am saying this because in a little over fourteen months we are going to select another President, Vice President, members of the House of Representative, and Senators. Who we choose will have a definite impact on our country’s priorities. Will it be more governmental involvement where it should have oversight or no government involvement at all except to protect corporate interest? Will our president be a man or woman of the people or a corporate puppet? It’s just that simple.

Here is one very, very important note that you must remember. Whichever party is the majority in the House of Representatives and Senate runs that congressional body. That means they will run the agenda that their members vote on or bring up for a vote.

And the final piece of this important political process reviews to remember. The next president will have his pick of who will be the head of government agencies, i.e. The IRS, Social Security Department, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), etc. Those agencies act as the watchdog to protect you, the average citizen in the street. The question, which candidate do you think will serve your needs, or which one will serve corporate needs? Those are the issues in the next election.

And let’s not forget, in the case of a vacancy the president will make a recommendation as to who will sit on the Supreme Court. A reminder should be the 5-4 split on most decisions now favors the Republican Party. A show of hands…or think about it, who do you think the Republican Party represent? Don’t say what you heard on Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC. Who do you really think the Republican Party represent, given the actions they have taken in the House of Representatives over the last few years? How about the present Senate? Do you think they care about Black Lives Matter, Climate Control, Minimum Wage, Women’s or Equal Rights, or the Voting Rights Act? Look at what they have done, not what you hear on the news or your buddy tells you. How many of their sons and daughters have served in the military or fought in a war? They’ve had one theme going on over the last six years, Damn President Obama, the Antichrist and repeal Obama Care. Of which they have spent a lot of money telling you it’s a stupid law. They have no plan to replace it. And immigration, should I go on? Now do you see why I am asking you not to drink their brand of Government Kool-Aid?

For added measure, I am going to solicit help in articulating the following,

**RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENSHIP

Citizens of the United States, it is clear, have a great many rights that give them freedoms all peoples hold dear: the freedom to think what they like; to voice those opinions, individually to their elected representatives or collectively in small or large assemblies; to worship as they choose or not to worship at all; to be safe from unreasonable searches of their persons, their homes, or their private papers. However, the theory of democratic government holds that along with these rights come responsibilities: to obey the laws; to pay legally imposed taxes; to serve on juries when called to do so; to be informed about issues and candidates; and to exercise the right to vote that has been won for so many through the toil and tears of their predecessors.

The responsibility that can make the most lasting difference, however, is getting involved in the political process. “Proponents of participatory democracy argue that increased citizen participation in community and workplace decision-making is important if people are to recognize their roles and responsibilities as citizens within the larger community,” says Craig Rimmerman, professor of political science, in his book The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service. “Community meetings, for example, afford citizens knowledge regarding other citizens’ needs. In a true participatory setting, citizens do not merely act as autonomous individuals pursuing their own interests, but instead, through a process of decision, debate, and compromise, they ultimately link their concerns with the needs of the community.”

Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator from Iowa, says that the kind of activists who fueled the earlier civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, and environmental movements are now focusing their energies “closer to home, organizing their neighbors to fight for such issues as better housing, fair taxation, lower utility rates, and the cleanup of toxic wastes…. Cutting across racial and class and geographical boundaries, these actions have shown millions of people that their common interests far outweigh their differences. [For all of them], the message of citizen action is the same: ‘Don’t get mad, don’t get frustrated, don’t give up. Organize and fight back.”

         **VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES

Some concerned American voters have chosen to stay involved by being in touch with their elected officials, in particular, the president and their senators and representatives. They have written letters, sent telegrams, made telephone calls, and gone in person to the official’s office, whether in Washington or in the home state or district. During the past few years, however, a new medium of communication has burst upon the scene and given voters extraordinary power — the power to learn what is going on in their world, to comment on those events, and to work to change the things they don’t like. This medium is the Internet, the World Wide Web, the Information Superhighway. Whatever it is called, it is changing politics in America, rapidly and irrevocably.

** Source: U.S. Department of State, entitled ‘Government of the People: The Role of the Citizen.’

So the next time, you are having a debate with your family, neighbor, or friends, realize who is responsible for the individuals that represent us in Washington today. Indirectly, we are the Government. They represent us, so it is up to us to determine if this is the type of Government we want.

I am not advocating overthrowing the US Government. In fact just the opposite; I am saying more of us need to get involved with Government. Voting, Community organizing with the help of the Internet, demonstrating, letter writing, and phone calls to our personal and other US districts representatives always lead to action by the same. No matter what you might hear from uninformed or self-promoting political analyst, these tactics do work. It is the number of people that are advocating a particular idea that implement change for the better and all involved.

For the record, I’m not a fan of people storming the stage of an event, interrupting the speaker and shouting “What are you doing about our people getting shot by the various policemen around the country.” Yes, they should be confronted wherever feasible but not at a major speaking engagement. All you are doing is giving the other side ammunition to say…”I told you those people are crazy and violent.” Let’s be smart and efficient about our protest. And yes target Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. We need to hear more than a thirty second TV ad. And by all means, once they are elected, hold them accountable for their promises. We should press for fair-minded actions, not political party-speak that favors who donated to their campaign. The Constitution begins by stating “We the People, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, Insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, etc. etc.” You think they were trying to tell us something, give us a hint on how we as a society should behave?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

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Get my latest book, a collection of my Blogs/Articles from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

The Political Landscape for August… or This, That, and the Other.

Who’s not running for president may be the better question?

Why such a long title, because there is a large number of Republicans running for their party’s nomination for president. When John Kasich of Ohio jumped in, followed by the Virginia guy,  I believe this concluded the complete list of those individuals who the press thought might run. Wait until the debate starts, you talk about a seventeen ring circus. The one thing they all can agree on is that President Obama is the Anti-Christ. It’s fun listening to their rhetoric and squabbles. Jeb Bush has already stated his words were taken out of context two, three, four times? I’m sorry, I’ve lost count. Yeah, it’s funny all right until you start remembering the 2008 presidential campaign with John McCain and Sarah Palin race against the Chicago Community Organizer and his VP nominee. Remember the Republican gun-toting darling who could see Russian from her back yard or was it the front. One of her famous lines was “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” One may start to get chills running up your spine when you think what kind of country would this be had those two gems won. That’s when you realize that the crowd of 2015 is not so funny. They all have the same MO, dangerous rhetoric and idiotic plans for this country. No sense in listing them here, you heard the same things from that party since 2008.

My guess is they think they see Hillary Clinton’s blood in the water. The latest, more troubling news about classified information mixed in with private emails. They can almost taste the negative advertising dollars backers will be willing to contribute to their campaigns. I would agree, it has not been as good as kickoff as she envisioned the last few months, according to the polls. But never fear, barring an out and out monumental failure, she will be the Democratic Nominee. Then folks you can hold on to your hats. In fact, you may want to turn them upside down where you may be able to catch some of the millions of dollars that are going to be spent on the 2016 presidential election. As for the Republicans and their supporters, they are not through trying to buy this country. And the Democrats? Once again that is going to be interesting. How will they defend themselves, and Barack Obama record? And we the public where we vote or not (and you should), we are going to curse the day that the Supreme Court opened up the PAC money spigots. Just as we did during the last Presidential Election in 2012. We got tired of those commercials, robocalls, newscast, and a mailbox full of political ads.

This is so tragic, unreal and solvable.

How many more people have to die before police departments around the country realize the game has changed? What looked like a Hunting Season on people of color is no longer an untrained or psychotic law enforcer’s playground. Perpetrators should be charged, tried and sentenced just like the criminals they are.

There should be a timeline placed on the days a local PD (Police Dept.) has to report the early findings of these type deaths to the Attorney General’s office. All witnesses names, the tapes, and footage should be included in the package. In other words there need to be strict guidelines for forwarding info on these type cases.

We also need to be proactive about the role and conduct of Police Officers on the street. First the Federal Government should develop a Recurring Training Course for all Police Personnel, including county and state troopers, etc. I know you can’t eradicate racism during a few hours or fourteen days to a four-week course. However, you can develop a course that teaches policeman how to do their job on a day to day basis in almost any kind of situation. A stress test and psychological exam should also be a part of that course curriculum. Finally, it should be mandatory to any Police Department in the US of A who want assistance from the Federal Government. That would be access to any federal funds, armory, or technical assistance. Some wouldn’t sign up, but that same kind of information, as noted previously, could be demanded by the Attorney General on a case by case basis.

With that assistant federal inducement, you would be surprised at how many Local PD’s would sign up. No, I am not advocating outfitting a small Army similar to the armory Ferguson, MO and others have. Certain kind of armor should be reserved for the Natural Guard.

My uneducated guess is that 95.5% of all policemen want to finish their shift and return home to love ones. It’s just a job and a career and if they can help people while doing their job, they are better policemen and people for it. They are not all racist or burnt out from street duty. “To Protect and Serve” should be a national motto where all American citizens know that they are talking about them too.

No Child left behind Overhaul?

Let’s see, wasn’t that a G Dubya (Geo. Bush) program patterned after some module in Texas? Did you really expect it to work? Remember we had educators from across the country along with other experts in the field warning us that it was not going to work. Some went as far as calling it a sham and reuse. Most just felt it was a disservice to our youth. The only result would be the have local educational boards set up curriculums that would be geared toward passing the standardize high school test. And that is exactly what happened.

How do they plan on correcting or overhauling it? Is it more smoke and mirrors? The Senate version of the bill leaves it up to the States to select which schools are failing and what if anything should be done about it. Civil Rights groups fear a return to the local districts ignoring the needs of schools that are predominantly attended by children of color.   Five Democratic senators offered an amendment that would have corrected this flaw. The amendment failed to pass. The GOP House bill is even worse. I think we all can agree that this time we better get it right. American children of all colors are falling behind the international norm every day.

NBA Players doing the right thing

Much respect to the Players Awards Show on BET. It was so nice for its Producers/Directors to point out NBA Players who head or are associated with specific charity foundations give back to their community. If you noticed during the season and playoffs, short videos were shown pointing out various players doing just that. One should immediately realize they don’t really have to do that.

Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time stayed away from political issues as it was the plague. Being involved with his people concerns of poverty, lack of education, etc. was considered political issues during that time. In fact today, they are still used as code words by many white businessmen. Not sure where it came from but somebody in Mike’s camp felt it would jeopardize his marketability. They were overly cautious to a fault.

Stay tuned political observers    

By the way, can anybody name a Republican Politician that actually gives back to a disadvantaged community? We are not talking about giving to your church, Mitt Romney backers. Yet they have no problem in telling poor people to stand on their own two feet and get a job. All while voting to snatch programs that assist people to do just that. Nor do they want to fund an infrastructure jobs bill as proposed by President Obama. It makes you wonder how long the majority of the American voting public is going to tolerate politicians who actually work and vote against American concerns on behalf of lobbyist. We may find out during our National Election of 2016. Will it be more of the same or a vision and a political platform that actually serves everyone in the American Public?

NFL Season has officially begun     

I never thought I would agree with Commissioner Rodger Goodell on this Tom Brady-Patriots issue of deflated footballs. You have to admit, no matter which side you fall on, he knew or didn’t know; much less order the deflation of the game footballs, Goodell got this one right. Despite, the appearance of a buyout by owner Bob Kraft by submitting to the fine and loss of draft choices and their close friendship, Goodell made the call for the entire league. Can you believe they even floated the idea that one should not make Brady mad? This upholding of the suspension was right in line with the Commissioner previous behavior when his authority is challenged. His actions toward this and other matters involving protecting the NFL Shield has always been, I am commissioner and you (Bob Kraft-Tom Brady) are not. Next time maybe, the arrogant Brady will give the league’s investigators his cell phone, and anything else they want. I was almost certain that Goodell would reduce if not downright eliminate the punishment. Not because of any evidence supporting the QB’s innocence, but because the commissioner and Bob Kraft, the owner was tight.

And for the record, especially for the Bay Area sportswriters, every time there is a game on the 49ers schedule, I am positive the team will show up and play the game. And…they will play to win. Whether or not they win hasn’t been decided and will not be until the end of the games. Sportswriters, retired players, and analyst shut the hell up and let them play the games. Some players and coaches of last year’s team are no longer there. New coach, new team, new season, let’s all wait and see how it turns out. For me, if they look better at playing the game than they did last year, they might be on to something. Go Niners’.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-5c

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a collection of my Blogs/Articles from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment