American Exceptionalism – Have we reached critical mass?

Japan fixes a massive sinkhole on a busy road in Fukuoka just a few days after it appeared.

According to astrophysics our sun will burn out in 3 billion years. When Helium can no longer expand against its Hydrogen antithesis the sun will succumb to gravity and eventually collapse as a “Black Hole.” Needless to say the earth shall be no more; “Time will be no more.” (KJV)

The path of America appears to be following the sun’s Trajectory, howbeit, on a much faster track. It seems to me, and perhaps any observer, that America is reaching a point of critical mass. Sinkhole deprivation is seemingly the order of the day. Our politics, economics and social constructs are collapsing like dominoes. But yet, we are foolish basking in the rhetoric of “American Exceptionalism.”

Japan fixes a massive sinkhole on a busy road in Fukuoka just a few days after it appeared, and then issues an apology to its citizens. It was well stated by Venkatraman Venkitachalam, “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the problems.” America prides itself as an exceptional Country relative to every other Country, but yet it take us weeks to fix a pothole and months to repair a sinkhole.

America, we are not exceptional because we say we are, exceptionalism is in Deed not in Creed, in Action, not in Faction.

If we are to be great and defy critical mass or at least impede it, like Helium, we must expand our tent of diversity, and Like Hydrogen we must attract unity and bond with others as one.

Rothwell, James (2016, November 15) Retrieved from

A Wise Man and a Basketball – A Tribute

Harry, Nevil Shed, Billy Jo Hill


Young Harry team photo


Harry and wife at the White House with President George and Laura Bush


Harry Flournroy, Jr., a man of great royalty. Far above his physical stature, he stood tall. A man above other men. All who encountered him were engulfed in his greatness. Great, not because of his basketball prowess, not because he is a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, but great for who he was as a person. A great husband, father, friend and mentor. He made a difference in community and the world.

I remember first meeting him. I stood in awe. I stared at him as if I were in a world-famous museum. Admiring not only what he accomplished on the basketball court, but in admiration of the class and royal spirit that emanated from him. As I stood in the crowd admiring, I was pleasantly surprise and struck when this giant of a man walk up to me and said, “friend. He began to converse with me, as if I had known him for years. So easy to talk to, he was. Offering me, unsolicited, life advice, “Life is what you make it, he said to me.” Not knowing his words meant a lot to me, or maybe he did, I often thought.

Harry passed away today, November 26, 2016. We will miss him, the world will miss him, but the great thing, we will see him again.

Harry remember you are my friend, save me a spot at court side.

A short Bio of his greatness:

“Born in 1943, Harry Flournoy, Jr. was a former American college basketball player, originally from Gary, Indiana where he graduated from Emerson High in 1962. He played college basketball for Texas Western College, later called the University of Texas at El Paso, or UTEP; he made history when his team won an NCAA Division I National Championship with the first ever all African-American starting lineup under Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins in 1966.” It is considered by many the game that changed America. “He only played for six minutes in the championship game before twisting his knee, but following the victory he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated rebounding a ball over Pat Riley.

After his career at Texas Western, Flournoy became a teacher and basketball coach at an elementary school in El Paso, TX. Harry has 6 children; 1 daughter from his first marriage, and 3 daughters and 2 sons from his second marriage; and no children from his 3rd (current) marriage. Harry and his current wife reside in McDonough, GA, a suburb of Atlanta.

In the 2006 film Glory Road about the 1966 Championship team, Flournoy was portrayed by Mehcad Brooks.”

Along with the 1966 Texas Western College team, Harry was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Flournoy, Harry, Jr. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 26, 2016.

O Give Thanks to the Quakers and remove the Electoral College.

On this day of thanksgiving, the question is being asked by CNN, “Are slaves the reason for the ‘electoral college, and is the Electoral College a fair representation of the people?” The video above outlays the answer. History, as it so often does, gives answers and reveal the facts. It is important to note, especially in this time of political ambiguity, that facts are independent free floating truths, unattached to any individual thought, philosophy or religion, etc.

The early Quakers would have had a lot to say on this matter. A brief history lesson on the Quakers thoughts and their “Puritanical” belief system might aid us in how we should deal with the issue of the Electoral College today.

Quakers have been a significant part of the movements for the abolition of slavery, to promote equal rights for women, and peace. They have also promoted education and the humane treatment of prisoners and the mentally ill, through the founding or reforming of various institutions. Quaker entrepreneurs played a central role in forging the Industrial Revolution, especially in England and Pennsylvania.

Most Quakers owned slaves when they first came to America; to most Quakers “slavery was perfectly acceptable provided that slave owners attended to the spiritual and material needs of those they enslaved.” 70% of Quakers owned slaves in the period from 1681 to 1705; however, from 1688 some Quakers began to speak out against slavery until by 1756 only 10% of Quakers owned slaves.

The first two prominent Friends to denounce slavery were Anthony Benezet and John Woolman. They asked the Quakers, “What thing in the world can be done worse towards us, than if men should rob or steal us away and sell us for slaves to strange countries”. In that same year, a group of Quakers along with some German Mennonites met at the meeting house in Germantown, Pennsylvania, to discuss why they were distancing themselves from slavery. Four of them signed a document written by Francis Daniel Pastorius that stated, “To bring men hither, or to rob and sell them against their will, we stand against.”

From 1755–1776, the Quakers worked at freeing slaves, and became the first western organization in history to ban slave-holding. They also created societies to promote the emancipation of slaves. From the efforts of the Quakers, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were able to convince the Continental Congress to ban the importation of slaves into America as of December 1, 1775. Pennsylvania was the strongest anti-slavery state at the time, and with Franklin’s help they led “The Pennsylvania Society for Promoting The Abolition of Slavery, The Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, and for Improving the Condition of the African Race”. In November 1775, Virginia’s former royal governor claimed that all slaves would be freed if they were willing to fight for Great Britain. This subsequently encouraged George Washington to allow slaves in the colonies to enlist as well so that they all did not try to run away and fight in Great Britain to get their freedom. Because George Washington passed this law, about 5 thousand African Americans served for the constitutional forces, and gained their freedom when they were done with their service. By 1792 states from Massachusetts to Virginia all had similar anti-slavery groups. From 1780–1804, slavery was largely abolished in all of New England, the Middle Atlantic states, and the North West territories.

The Southern states, however, were still very prominent in keeping slavery running. Because of this, an informal network of safe houses and escape routes—called the Underground Railroad—developed across the United States to get enslaved people out of America and into Canada or the free states. The Quakers were a very prominent force in the Underground Railroad, and their efforts helped free many slaves. Immediately north of the Mason-Dixon line, the Quaker settlement of Chester County, Pennsylvania—one of the early hubs of the Underground Railroad—was considered a “hotbed of abolition.” However, not all Quakers were of the same opinion regarding the Underground Railroad: because slavery was still legal in many states, it was therefore illegal for anyone to help a slave escape and gain freedom. Many Quakers, who saw slaves as equals, felt it was proper to help free slaves and thought that it was unjust to keep someone as a slave; many Quakers would “lie” to slave hunters when asked if they were keeping slaves in their house, they would say “no” because in their mind there was no such thing as a slave. Other Quakers saw this as breaking the law and thereby disrupting the peace, both of which go against Quaker values thus breaking Quaker belief in being pacifistic. Furthermore, involvement with the law and the government was something from which the Quakers had tried to separate themselves. This divisiveness caused the formation of smaller, more independent branches of Quakers, who shared similar beliefs and views.

However, there were many prominent Quakers who stuck to the belief that slavery was wrong, and were even arrested for helping the slaves out and breaking the law. Richard Dillingham, a school teacher from Ohio, was arrested because he was found helping three slaves escape in 1848. Thomas Garrett had an Underground Railroad stop at his house in Delaware and was found guilty in 1848 of helping a family of slaves escape. Garrett was also said to have helped and worked with Harriet Tubman, who was a very well known slave who worked to help other slaves get their freedom. Educator Levi Coffin and his wife Catherine were Quakers who lived in Indiana and helped the Underground Railroad by hiding slaves in their house for over 21 years. They claimed to have helped 3,000 slaves gain their freedom. Susan B. Anthony was also a Quaker, and did a lot of antislavery work hand in hand with her work with women’s rights.”

America has entered a period of profound uncertainty. The Quaker spirit of thanksgiving, moral fiber and fairness must under-gird our politics and sense of reasoning. Fairness and “One Person One Vote” are the hallmarks of any just system or platform. Without it, internal deterioration lurks beneath its planks. I would argue that the Electoral College is a termite.

Quakers. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 24, 2016,

The Pettiford’s – “Making America”

B. D and Emma Pettiford

Bishop G. T. and Ida Haywood


By covered wagon, like many that entered the wild west, B. D. Pettiford and Emma Pettiford traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico from Indiana, seeking a better and healthier way of life. The year is 1915 when they arrive, and the spirit of God and the spirit of entrepreneurship kicked into full bloom. These great people were more than idle citizens of the great west, they help shape the landscape.

District Elder B. D. Pettiford founded God’s House Church. I first visited the church in 1991. Abutting the beautiful Sandia mountains, I nicknamed the place, “the church of the mountains.” It was nearly seventy four years earlier that my great grandfather, G. T. Haywood visited this same church. Bishop G. T. Haywood and District Elder Beverly Pettiford had long been friends and confidants from their early days in the State of Indiana.

In this City by the mountains, Emma Pettiford, B. D. Pettiford’s wife, founded an entrepreneur club, called “The Dorcas Club” This organization manufactured and distributed a variety of products, raising funds for ministry.

As a direct outcome of faith and entrepreneurship, God’s House Church is still a pillar in the Albuquerque landscape.

To be certain, all things are connected in God’s Universe (Oneness). Exactly one hundred years after the founding of God’s House Church, I, the heir of G.T. Haywood, will be speaking, November 27, 2016 at Victory Fellowship Church in Detroit, Michigan pastored by Thomas Livingston and where B. D. Pettiford’s heir, Omega Livingston, is First Lady.

We are all one.

Angola Coffee – The return of the worlds best

Angola coffee’s return

Angola has a rich and varied history, but none more famous than its heritage of coffee production. It was the long civil war of 1975 that brought a halt to coffee growing in the country. Thanks to a group of homegrown businesspeople, Angola coffee has made its triumphant return.

Angola coffee is known for its sweet smooth taste. The most amazing thing about the Angola coffee bean is that it is a robusta bean. The Robusta bean is typically known for its strong flavor and is often used as a filler, by major coffee producers, with Arabica beans. The grinding and mixing of the two beans gives a full sweet smooth flavor. However, for many, the Angola Robusta bean is full sweet and smooth tasting without any mixing. This is the reason, prior to the war, that the Angola bean was the most valuable coffee bean on the globe.

It should not be a surprise to any that the return of the Angola Coffee bean and its market is due to the Triases family. The Triases’s are the historical growers of the Angola Coffee bean.

According to BID international, a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation, the Family’s company, Triases Ltd. is has become one of the most successful coffee brands both in Angola and at an international level.

“Triases specializes in the growth of the angolan Robusta coffee bean variety. The Robusta variety – Coffea canephora – it’s the second most produced coffee bean amounting around 40% of the entire coffee bean production in the world. Its strong silky flavour is perfect for espresso coffee as well as a filler in many of the more elaborated coffee blends. And even when the Arabica coffee beans are widely considered to be superior both in taste and in the texture, the angolan Robusta has earned a reputation of being perhaps one of the best coffee beans in the world, rivaling with Colombian Arabica and Venezuelan own Robusta “Maracaibo” variety from the Caribbean.

This magnificent bean is strengthened in its quality by the commitment of the angolan farmers, who retain the traditional artisan way of cultivating the coffee, guaranteeing the purity of the seeds, the lack of toxic chemical components, and the excellence in flavor that provides the traditional sun roasting process. Café Cazengo’s coffee is organically grown close to river beds. The plants absorb the nutrients from nature & produce beautiful coffee cherries. Angola’s moderate climate, with an average of 20ºC (68ºF) all year round, helps produce the perfect coffee bean.”

Songola Coffee, LLC, a Triases USA marketing and strategic partner is launching a regional project to help introduce Angola coffee to segments of America.

Its been a long time coming but it is right on time.

D. Veg / Raul M. (2016) Retrieved from