Bettina Network's Blog - Table Talk at a Bettina Network Home

Chicken Liver Påté or Chopped Chicken Liver

April 1st, 2023

What a choice!

I spent a couple years trying to recreate an appetizer I loved, but could not find the recipe. After much search, discussion, questions, amazingly, I discovered the recipe depends upon whether you are Jew or Christian.

In most cookbooks I found recipes for “Chicken Liver Pate. ” If you are not Jewish that is a wonderful, mostly upper class recipe beloved as an appetizer at many events. If you are Jewish you will pass that by and keep looking for your “Chopped Chicken Liver” recipe. What is sad is that they are one and the same! One small difference might be the Chopped Chicken Liver appetizer is a bit chunkier than the Chicken Liver Pate which is blended to within an inch of its life so it is smooth and almost silky! Confusion reigned until we discovered this secret.

(Screams, knashing of teeth, denials are all quite proper here.)

Once I discovered that bit of bigotry I was able to make the best Chopped Chicken Livers I have ever tasted. Serving it to friends I said nothing about what it was. They asked me for the recipe for my “Chicken Liver Pate.” And so it goes.

Taking advantage of such awfulness we give you ————————–

Bettina’s Chopped Chicken Liver Pate for your next gathering!

Buy fresh organic chicken livers in the amount you require

Sauté organic yellow onions in melted organic butter (that is the New Orleans ingredient without which you can not cook anything) and after a few minutes add the organic chicken livers. You can substitute any other oil for the butter as long as it is organic, but they won’t taste as good.

After a couple minutes add organic mushrooms – your favorite kind. We use mushrooms with a mild taste because we want the taste of the chicken livers to prevail. You might prefer the taste of your mushrooms to be equal to the taste of the chicken livers so that would determine your choice of ingredient.

Add cream cheese, salt, pepper and a couple tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar. The amount of vinegar you use depends upon the amount of chicken livers you are cooking. So the cream cheese melts faster, cut it into small pieces and drop them into the pot over medium heat.

Shake a bit of tabasco sauce into the pan and stir to mix. Or you can add a bit of organic ginger for the bite you want to capture.

The tabasco sauce is one of the few non-organic ingredients we will use. Probably because I was raised on it. My mother used to have a bottle of the stuff in her pocket book wherever she went. It made food you were eating and not liking tolerable and you could eat it with a smile because it was drowned in the tobasco sauce.

Ginger is for those who don’t want to violate their “organic food only” oath, but want a bit of hot taste in the dish leaving your friends and guests wondering -“what was that unusual taste in the background”?

Saute in the pan until the chicken livers are done and only with a very small amount of pink showing.

Put the dish in a food processor until you reach the consistency you like. Depending upon the amount you are cooking you might have to put it into the processor in smaller amounts than your total pot all at once.

Serve it in individual dishes – appetizer dishes – with a plate under the dish on which you can put crackers or whatever else you would like to use to scoop up Bettina’s Chopped Chicken Liver Paté. If you have a very sophisticated palate you won’t be able to stop eating this – with or without the crackers – which should also be organic.

From Trash to Enhancing the Garden!

March 4th, 2023

Being a caring human being as you live your life one small step at a time takes time, energy, focus and more.

We have come from a slave society, in which pushing your work, responsibility and clean-up onto others who worked for free or close to free, was how work got done. Many of us, whose ancestry does not trace back to that master/slave relationship have adopted and adapted what it has produced in this world. We want to have without taking on the responsibility. We want others to do our dirty work. Many, if not most, of our inventions or what we call our moving forward in a better way, are based on pushing the clean-up of our lives onto others. We have become accustomed to making a mess as we enjoy and live our lives and leave what we consider the dregs for others to take care of – to clean-up behind our enjoyment – even our work product.

One way we can make up for that history in an improving rather than dying world is to be careful with our garbage disposal.

We are trying to look carefully at what we throw out to make sure it is actually garbage and not the result of trashing what could be reused because we are too lazy to do otherwise. Not so easy, but quite profitable for all of us.

We are trying to move items from garbage disposal to reuse. Sometimes we are just amazed at what we didn’t realize we should keep for some good use rather than just tossing into the garbage and sometimes missing the garbage bag.

COFFEE GROUNDS is one items we discovered should not be in the garbage nor put down the disposal.

Imagine our delight to discover coffee grounds are good for the garden – the plants and foods we are trying to cultivate in our backyard. Or that coffee groundd are good to keep and bring to someone else so their garden can be enhanced.

When cleaning up after breakfast or at other times when you have made coffee – try this means of disposal – simply take your coffee grounds and throw them into your garden on whatever plants or trees or bushes you want to feed. Add a bit of water to the coffee pot to make sure all the grounds are out of the pot and into the soil. If your coffee grounds are from organically grown coffee – so much the better.

We found a great coffee at Trader Joe’s. Their Organic Arabica coffee. What we don’t like is the only form in which we can purchase it is in already ground coffee beans. We have become accustomed to grinding our coffee beans just before we make what we hope will be a fantastic cup of coffee – and it is usually outstanding. (Sorry, sometimes we just have to brag). So, we buy a bit of Trader Joe’s Arabica ground coffee, but until they provide that organically grown Arabica coffee in packages of whole beans, we will stick to the coffee beans we normally use until that changes.

We love adding water to the coffee pot as we are washing dishes and then pouring the coffee into the glass container we use to keep the used coffee grounds until we can get into the garden to pour out those leftovers. A habit we cultivated because some of our master/slave ways of being are still strong. When we first discovered this ability to move used coffee grounds from trash to recover we couldn’t wait to get into the garden and throw out the used coffee grounds with every pot of coffee we made. That didn’t last long. Our need to spend less energy in whatever we try to do took over – and into the kitchen came the glass container.

We feel as though we are doing something really special by converting what was trash into food for the earth so it will produce more beautiful plants for our eyes and nose and nutritionally better food to nourish our bodies while not clogging up everything by creating trash and garbage for others to have to handle.

Dropping the leftover ways of being master over slaves (and yes, we still have that mentality); dropping the destruction of the earth in which we are all participants – could that be called being responsible human beings? Improving humanity by trying, one small step at a time, to eliminate our participation in laziness, evil, greed, destruction, etc just because we can!

Racism, Sexism, Bigotry of any kind – decoded!

March 2nd, 2023

It is difficult to outline bigotry. Mostly if you say to someone you just expewrienced unbridled racism, they will probably respond – “I doubt that”. And when you object because your life has been one experience of racism after another and you feel you know the landscape, they still continue and want you to outline to them how you know and of what did it entail. Our advice is to just ignore that and change the conversation. The first thing about racism and knowing it has just happened to you is the denial from the person with whom you shared that experience.

DECODE IT!

The major purveyors of racism; those keeping it intact so the ones who are declared “better than” under its structure are not inconvenienced by the feelings of “equal to” are not all white, male, North Americans/Northern Europeans.

FOR EXAMPLE: The major institutions – organizational structures – corporate entities who keep the separatism intact are banks/developers/realtors.

Take a look around your neighborhood – your schools – the companies in which you work – your churches, synagogues, temples and what do you see? White – where the money and power are concentrated and brown, yellow, black, red everyplace else.

If you want your life upheaveled, cross one of those barriers and see what a threat you are. Everyone begins to mark you for extinction. Banks are number one. You can get certain kinds of loans, credit cards, and other credit products depending upon where you live. I know, I know – you have heard about needing a good credit rating and all of that – it is quite a lot of baloney.

Making the job of the banks easier with some of the load of responsibility for racism taken off their shoulders are the developers and realtors. They hold an uncrossable line. Every once in a while one of them goes crazy with guilt and starts to violate those non-violatable lines of race, sex, etc. and then everyone’s life is upheaveled for quite some time.

The developers are the new guys on the block, but they are the most skilled and the most insecure in their positions. Could that be because sexism is so stringently enforced in their industry?

Not only is sexism strong, but look at the results of their work!!! You will see the homes that are “redone”, “restored”, “renovated” are all done in the style that is really out of the Scandinavian culture and that includes the furnishings used by realtors to “stage” their houses for sale. Anything else is considered fodder for a new renovation because the other one wasn’t quite North American enough. A strong barrier has been created. That even goes into the television shows which are the “renovation” shows. A house starts looking dilapidated or worse and at the end it is a tribute to the proper culture.l The kitchens are almost all identical. Cabinets are around the room, a counter is in the middle with a table and chairs (not formal enough for a dining room) are on the other side with every one raving about how fantastic this job turned out. Every segment of the economy supports every other segment to maintain the “better than” group with that certain feeling which keeps them above others and their culture the one that supports it all.

In spite of Brown v Board of Education and a whole lot of work by tens of thousands of people over the decades the schools are still hopelessly segregated and there doesn’t seem to be a way outl

All of this takes the onerous off the institutional structures and puts it on the backs of John and Jane Q. Public. Are the individuals the guilty ones or do they simply go along to get along. Busing was undertaken because it was clear there would be no change because of the stringent and strident way neighborhoods were segregated. The best way to kick up a storm is to have an African American move into an upper-class white north/american neighborhood. The bread winner of the family probably soon loses his job; strange things begin to happen around the family which pulls them as far down as possible until they move out shamed, disgraced and more with the blame for such squarely on the backs of the family which took on such a horrendous change in the status quo.

Where do we go from here! It seems to me that the strength and size of the boulder on the backs of those who have undetaken such a lifestyle has and will dictate no change. If anything it will grow exponentially disguised so most can say “I don’t see that”.

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Mushrooms for breakfast!

January 29th, 2023

We discovered this great combination of food and spices which made an outstanding breakfast /brunch/dinner dish.

Everything, of course, is organic! That is crucial!

One large organic onion, sliced thin and put into a skillet with butter and grapeseed oil.

We would say into a skillet with butter, but we are becoming less conservative in our old age and using more varieties of oils.

Let the onion cook slowly in the oils while you slice organic button mushrooms – actually you could add any kind of mushrooms or a selection of several kinds.

Let these two (onion and mushrooms) cook in the oils with the onion for a few minutes. You don’t want to brown the onions just cook them to deliciousness.

Add organic cream cheese – we used about four ounces. The amount you use depends upon whether you are using one or more onions, etc. given the number of people you want to serve or the leftover amount you want to reserve for another meal.

Let the organic cream cheese meld with the rest of the ingredients in the skillet – preferably a cast iron skillet. As they melt into everything else add milk to make it a more liquid dish and add salt, thyme, tabasco sauce to begin the finishing process. After adding milk (organic) the dish will become thick in a few minutes which is the consistency you want to spoon over open organic English Muffin.

As the dish cooks and becomes this wonderfully smelling concoction, add very sharp organic cheddar cheese cut into small pieces so they can melt easily and quickly.

Serve over toasted organic English Muffins.

a bit of heaven in a skillet.

EVIL EXISTS – The most common way to identify it is through the DENIAL that comes immediately after an act of EVIL!

January 28th, 2023

This is a post set to music – the kind you don’t hear much anymore! Go back far enough and you will find evil taking lives in the most horrible ways. And today it is still happening. This hymn takes us back over 2,000 years and a reminder of what Jesus’ crucifixion was like. The same kind of people crucified Jesus as worked on Tyre Nichols. We can’t seem to get that picture of what humans are capable of doing.

We have been given another lesson and another look at the fact that evil exists, is very real and is incorporated into most institutional structures. To find its structural components one must look at the beginning of the corporation – the institutuion – the government – the structure of the group in which we are seeing the evil surface.

In these United States evil is sprouting all over the country. We always seem to have to question and question claiming to not understand why such horrors constantly surface. The latest is what happened to Tyre Nichols.

It is interesting that the news reports all look for parallels and come up mostly with the Rodney King horror with its evil spewing all over. Some go back to Emmett Till for the same reason. To really understand the evil in what happened to Tyre Nichols one has to go back to slavery and what this country was like at that time examining the structures which developed and are still in place maintaining what is needed to maintain “better than”.

This evil happened because we have a police force which was created and structured to capture, torture and do whatever was necessary to subdue and/or eliminate runaway slaves and discourage those who are thinking of running away and trying for another life someplace else. That predates the Rodney Kings and all the other parallels we try to make. We seem to be unable to look at the truth of what is and has been happening in this country for generations. We now have people like Ron DeSantis trying to pass laws to prevent the teaching of the history of slavery in this country and what has happened to minorities – those who are not descendants of those who brought all of this forward. If that history is not taught people who have some inclination to this kind of vile violence just might join in with others to make this the majority.

We know about the slaughter of blacks, but not through our history books. The Tulsa massacre has only recently surfaced. Most of us had never heard of such. Who was it that sang about the fruit hanging from the trees? We hear the song, we are moved by it, but we don’t related that to what is happening today. We also don’t care about the life and trials of the person who used her life and career to make that song and all it stands for important and so well known that it is still heard today.

This violence is not a one time happening nor is it limited to one generation. It has been a part of who we are as a country almost from the beginning and it is not slacking.

We are today missing the fact that African Americans being so tortured and killed or experience attempted murder in the most horrific ways are a part of a long line of people over many generations. We are seeing this happen to elderly African Americans with no one interested and very few looking to see what is happening as that torture is about the destruction of generational wealth of black families and it becomes more prevalent in these United States.

That happens by destroying the life, family, and so much more of the African Americans so targeted. Many have died in the process of being so stripped. Their deaths have been attributed to their age and not to what they have been put through so others can strip them of their life’s collection of wealth. Wealth they amassed at great cost to their lives to pass on to their children so their children could have the kind of life they didn’t have. Blacks who worked throughout their lives to make their children’s lives better and hopefully reduce the racism and other forms of bigotry they experience. Others, who seem to escape the grasp of the greedy, never fully recover from the attempt at such destruction and gradually live out the end of their lives in compromised health, with their wealth destroyed and their families set at odds against one another. We have seen this happen to many blacks with very few knowing about the attempts and even fewer interested in anything except a passing comment.

The Tyre Nichols type of killings, massacres and more have been unbelievably brutal and carried out in front of an audience. Today, in the Tyre Nichols case, the audience was not present, but the videos recorded by many including the government are played so millions don’t miss the carnage. We recoil and talk about how awful and horrendous and all those adjectives which in the long run mean nothing and shortly our attention moves on putting what happened in the background and so it recurs. In the past few years there have been many and nothing done to actually stop the horrendousness of such.

EVIL is alive and well and thriving just waiting for its next opportunity to break out and that will be soon.

A New Year and a New Way for doing the same thing! – Trash and Garbage Disposal!

December 27th, 2022

As the number of people who inhabit this world increases exponentially and become entangled in the culture of disposing of trash and garbage, what do you do? Do you add to the mess or have you discovered ways to do trash and garbage disposal to the benefit of all? – especially clean streets, clean sidewalks, clean gutters.

One thing is clear, if you live in these United States, how you dispose of your trash and garbage will totally and either negatively or positively affect people living on the other side of this world.

So, bringing in the New Year – whose side will you choose – the contaminators creating and making a wonderful home for bacteria, germs, viruses, bugs of every description, homeless animals, wild turkeys, geese roaming around and more – or are you going to choose the side of the angels? They are usually all dressed in white, immaculate, with beautiful environments, no smog or smoke around them, no piles of garbage gradually growing larger with each passing week.

We are taking a position in the middle and hope as time passes we can move closer to being with the trash and garbage angels.

Send us your suggestions on how to do this in 2023.

The biggest change we made this year was to understand that garbage must be CLEAN! OMG!!! – who puts out and throws away clean garbage!!!!!

We do. The biggest change to cause the best kind of garbage disposal is throwing away clean garbage.

How do you do that?

For starters – By being careful of the wrappings of the food you buy. Don’t buy food with huge plastic domes to keep what you are buying from getting crushed. Look around, you will find the same thing enclosed in smaller, more reasonable packages. And once you take the food out of its package wash the package in soap and water, the way you would wash your dishes once you have used them for a meal. Do the same thing with glass jars, metal containers and more.

You will notice a huge difference when you put your garbage out – to be picked up by the city or whoever picks up your garbage on a weekly, daily, or monthly bases – it does not attract all the animals in the neighborhood. That also means your garbage bag can stay in your house longer because it doesn’t smell. And another advantage comes from the fact that you won’t see your neighbors crossing the street before they reach your front area because they don’t want to smell the ugly!

When you have food to throw out – use the plastic bag your morning or evening paper comes in and tie a knot in that plastic bag before putting it into a bag for all such things.

Get up early in the morning on garbage collection day and put out your trash and garbage that morning. Don’t put it out the day before, giving time for everyone to pass and either throw their garbage into your bag; rummage through your garbage bags or pails for what they can use leaving a mess on your sidewalk; or etc.

Those two changes would make a dramatic change in the neighborhood on garbage collection day. Our neighborhood looks unbelievably abhorrent from the afternoon before garbage is collected until it actually happens the next day. Drive around and take a look. Especially during holiday time. There are the city supplied plastic push carts – which still aren’t enough to contain many peoples garbage – to the bags and boxes and more stuck on the side of the pails, in-between the pails, wherever more garbage can be put

Once you have put your garbage outside to be collected, step back and take a look. Does it look as though you are throwing away half the money you made that week in what you bought and are now disposing of – or is it neat, clean and modest?

We think everyone should be limited to one paper grocery-type bag a week per person. OMG I can hear the screaming. If you have more then that you should question how and on what you are spending your money.

Could you have more if you threw away less and thought more about garbage disposal.

We think the answer to that question is a resounding YES! Think about your trash and garbage disposal as the genesis of what you put into a savings account that week. One you aren’t going to use and draw from, but let accumulate. Without realizing it you will wind up with a very large savings account and that goes for those of us from the very bottom of the financial/economic ladder to the top.

Use fewer and smaller plastic disposal boxes on the food you buy – the price of those pieces of food will go down because in many cases, the containers and wrappings are more expensive than the food and other items they encase – and so on, and so on, and so on.

Let us know your garbage practices!!!!

Writing my family history! What was life like for an African American Family – plus others!

December 10th, 2022

by: Marceline Donaldson

This installment is about my great-grandfather – Rev. Dr. David Franklin Taylor. It gives you a small idea as to what his life was like. A coincidence that I married Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett? To have the time to look back on your life many years later, it looks a lot different than it did when living through those hard times and those exciting times and more.

This is the beginning of our documenting what racism and sexism was like for one racially, religiously, etc. mixed family. It has been slightly unbelievable that there could be any of us left.

____________________________________________

Rev. Dr. David Franklin Taylor was my great-grandfather. I didn’t know him personally. He died before I was born. I do know him through many family stories. Some of these I will pass along to you and hope they have some impact on your life and help you to better understand one African American who had an impact on many, including the Episcopal Church. He, along, with the rest of our family, broke barriers. While that was helpful to many, it cost us our lives.

Rev. Taylor was born in Mobile Alabama March 31, 1869. He was part African American and part Black Feet Indian – and probably a few other such groups were in his background. His young years were very eventful.

His father was an elected official in Alabama until Reconstruction began to come to an end and the family was, quite literally, run out of town. His parents moved to Texas from Alabama when he was quite young. When I was young, my grandfather (Rev. Taylor’s son) told us many family stories about his family. Particularly, about his father. One that stands out and I remember with great pain still was how and why the family moved from Alabama to Texas. It is one of his family stories he did not want me to forget.

It was a story his father told him many times when he was young. According to my grandfather, Rev. Taylor wanted those stories to stay in the family memory because they would not be recorded elsewhere. My grandfather’s story about his father was that as many violent things began to happen across the United States and especially in Alabama, as reconstruction came to an end the family was tarred and feathered and put on the railroad tracks from which they walked to Texas.

With that beginning and into those experiences, Rev. Taylor lived most of his life. He married Capitola Summerville in Houston, Texas and they had three children – Frank Taylor, O. C. W. Taylor (who was my grandfather) and Olivia Taylor. O. C. W. stands for Orlando Capitol Ward Taylor. He was named for his mother – Capitola and for Bishop Ward. He and Bishop Ward were close friends all of their lives.

Rev. Taylor was sent to Philips University and Philips Seminary for school n what was then the Oklahoma Territory and later became Nevada. He received a doctorate in Theology in Nevada and was ordained into the Episcopal priesthood.

My grandfather (his son) went to Wiley College in Texas and went on to study for his masters’ degree at Columbia University, which back then was known to be a school with Episcopal roots. He also co-founded the Louisiana Weekly Newspaper with C. C. Dejoie, Sr. and worked with George Schuyler to put a strong foundation under the Pittsburgh Courier – which had its first office in New Orleans in our living room.

Frank Taylor, another son, became a Pullman Porter. He was a part of the Pullman Porter’s Union and that was one of the reasons the entire family spent their time between a society lifestyle and fighting for the establishment of unions. The connection between Frank Taylor, his brother – O. C. W. Taylor and the development of the Original Illinois Club in New Orleans – one of the older social clubs which introduced young women into the society as debutantes each year at its annual ball, benefitted from these connections.

Olivia Taylor, his daughter, taught school, married and moved to another state where she lived only a short time. Someone behind a gun killed her. That has been something that has stayed in our family as has the way the family first moved to Texas.

Rev. Taylor’s entire life was spent crossing boundaries from his inter-marriage, to his church, to the rest of his life. Rev. Taylor’s first love and commitment was to God and the Church. When he became rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Orleans, LA., he moved the church from a mission to a parish church. When the family moved to New Orleans they lived in the rectory of St. Luke’s on Carrollton Street in New Orleans. His wife and daughter spent lots of time at the New Orleans Tennis Club, a rather exclusive white tennis club not far from their home. How that happened we do not know, but we have pictures of them in tennis outfits at the club.

One of Rev. Taylor’s close friends was Sam ZeMurray – founder of United Fruit. He was not the wealthy founder when he and my great-grandfather were friends, although that friendship continued through three generations. At that time Jews were about on the same level as blacks. Sam Zemurray was from a Jewish family who immigrated to the United States from Russia. They were quite poor, however, Sam ZeMurray had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He started his business by going to the docks In New Oleans and picking up the bananas which were thrown away because they were ripe and could not be sold to the stores. Eventually, the workers on the ships that came into the port saved the rip bananas for him. He put the bananas in an ice cream-type push cart and sold them throughout the city.

Mr. ZeMurrays business began to grow. He brought people from Honduras to work with him. The people who came, had a very difficult time acclimating to the culture and therein was the core of the Taylor/Zemurray friendship.

My husband and I are in the process of writing a book entitled “A Tale of Two Families”, which will give more detail about the ZeMurray/Taylor friendship. In particular, it struck us that the two families relationship looked at from today into the past shows the influence they had on one another in ways not imagined. The ZeMurray family today has Episcopal Roots – which we trace to Rev. David Franklin Taylor. The Taylor family has Russian Jewish roots which can also be traced to those two families friendship. Rev. Taylor was an Episcopal/Anglican priest. The people Sam Zemurray brought from Honduras were Anglicans. Zemurray sent those having trouble to Rev. Taylor who worked with them to help them understand and live within the culture. They, of course, attended St. Luke’s Church which helped Rev. Taylor build his congregation. Without the work Rev. Dr. David Franklin Taylor did with Mr. Sam Zemurray we might not have had United Fruit.

Rev. Dr. Taylor also worked with the Frances Joseph Gaudet School. Frances Joseph-Gaudet was a family friend of the Taylors all of her years in New Orleans. She founded the school which was a school and orphanage in Gentilly which had strong connections to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Frances Joseph Gaudet was a woman who had a native American mother and a father who had been a slave. She is known as and was declared a “saint” by the Episcopal Church. The school/orphanage which she worked hard to create and grow was the orphanage in which Louis Armstrong was raised. My grandfather, O. C. W. Taylor, used to bicycle out to the orphanage and pick up Louis Armstrong and they would bike to the French Quarters and sit in back of the jazz clubs. Mr. Armstrong’s love of jazz was acute even back then. Rev. Taylor encouraged it and provided Louis Armstrong with as much support as he could. That forged a very strong relationship between my grandfather and Louis Armstrong for the rest of their lives.

When Rev. Dr. David Franklin Taylor reached the time he felt he should retire, he and his wife moved back to Texas and he pastored a church there. I heard stories about a Church he pastored in Galveston and another in Houston, Texas. He died in Houston, Harris Texas September 7, 1934. His wife moved back to New Orleans to live with her son and she died shortly thereafter.

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An Ode to a Past Life – Martinez Kindergarten – NOLA

December 1st, 2022

This has been a tragic week. It is difficult to live each day, but to have to face the death of friends each day puts grief upfront and central to everything else that happens.

We learned of the death of Numa Martinez this week. He died in 2019. The very next day we learned of the death of Maurice Martinez (his brother). NuNu was about 73 years old. Maurice was 88. When you are over 80 73 is considered young and we ask what happened to Maurice because he could have lived into his nineties.

NuNu and I found each other again just a few years prior to his death. We talked via telephone when he went into the hospital and came out again. And when I tried to contact him for just a normal fun conversation I couldn’t reach him – for a couple years. I thought it was because NuNu was off about something that would be great conversation when I did reach him. What I didn’t know was that I couldn’t reach him on this earthly plane because he died.

In our younger years, NuNu was little and I was a teenager. . Bute had a passing conversation or joke or fun thing to say, But, I was much older and remember him from that lofty place teen agers take to those much younger.

When we reconnected it was all about Martinez Kindergarten. NuNu very strongly wanted to see Martinez reborn. Where else could you find the japanese language taught to those really young youngsters in Kindergarten? And this in a neighborhood which came to be considered the home of the poor blacks? When I think of that neighborhood today and way back then as I went back and forth – from my grandmother’s house just a block from Martinez Kindergarten, to my grandfathers house in a much more substantial neighborhood, to the upper class black neighborhood of uptown friends, to the mansions of our truly wealthy white relatives and friends, I wonder how I survived.

My grandmother, Marceline Bucksell Taylor, was a modiste. She designed and made clothes for everybody, but especially for the debutantes and for Martinez Kindergarten kids. You knew when the recital, the grand pageant on a Municipal stage was imminent because our house was filled with young children from Martinez Kindergarten. If you went to Martinez from the time of its beginnings until well into the 1970’s and early 1980’s you knew our house. Every young student at Martinez Kindergarten had to come to Ms. Taylor’s house to try on their costumes for the pageant. Some sang – some danced – some were part of a bit of theatre and in the background sat the king and queen (3-4-5 year olds) taking in the theatre put on for them in the grandest manner. When my grandmother died, her daughter – Doris Gaynelle Taylor – took over the job of modiste.

The gowns of the queen and her maids were exquisite. The kings were absolutely elegant. They put the debutante royalty to shame. They had rhinestone crowns, scepter’s which they learned to wave giving their enjoyment to what was unfolding in front of them and those graduating at the end of this theatre changed from one costume to another to their graduation cap and gowns.

When the young kindergartners arrived, our house was in a state. Bolts of material in the “fitting room”, young children in the kitchen getting water and whatever else they wanted from the refrigerator – which had been stocked for their arrival. They oohed and ached at seeing each other being fitted with brocades, satin, leather, velvets, ermine mink trim on the gowns of royalty. And – when that was over, they marched in a predetermined order back to the school one block away.

When the time came for the pageant, everyone did their part and it always turned out beautifully. Mildred Martinez would have nothing less. One group after another performed in their costumes and bowed before the court and at the end those “seniors” who were graduating marched in with caps and gowns to receive their diploma’s. Some had special mention for one achievement or another and all had some introduction to another language. Right before receiving their diploma’s – one at a time when their names were called – their tassels were moved on their graduation caps from one side to the other. It was all done very formally and according to “code”.

NuNu talked a lot, those years we reconnected, about what he was doing to bring that back. That didn’t happen, however,. I just discovered from Jari Honora, that the school has been torn down – as have many of the homes in that neighborhood.

Black history is not allowed to stand. It can be “sort of” recovered decades later, but not in the near present. Ms. Fannie C. Williams, principle of Valena C. Jones School and close friend of Mary McLeod Bethune, a substantial and respected figure in the black community, had a lovely home just two blocks away. On my last trip to NOLA that house was torn down for an extension of President Eisenhower’s plans for such minority neighborhoods. It was being called the “cleaning up” of the ghetto.

That “cleaning up” has included creating more and out of control crime, more houses seriously in need of either restoration or tearing down and on and on it goes. Many of the most beautiful and historically relevant homes have disappeared. City folks talk about how to get rid of the crime and bring about a better city with improved neighborhoods. When you tear down institutions like Martinez Kindergarten you tear up the heart of a neighborhood which is not designated for “improvement”, but “destruction” with even more crime and ugliness.

When I was a young person, Claiborne Avenue with its greenery down the middle of the street with tables and chairs and wooden sofa like seats all up and down the Avenue, was normal. It is where you went on Mardi Gras. On either side of that green boulevard were many kinds of businesses and it was great to walk along and stop in several. No money to spend in them, but a curiosity as to what they contained. That Claiborne Avenue after Eisenhower has become a horrific place. Cars abandoned under the freeway which took beautiful homes – of black families – and left junk, debris and more in their place. There are bars and funeral homes left and not much else.

With Martinez Kindergarten, I knew who I was and what my future contained. Do the young children living in that same neighborhood have the same sense of themselves? Or do they see an abyss full of nothing but junk, debris and more going further downhill?

My plan was to sell my house in Cambridge, MA. and move back to New Orleans and my husband and I were going to help NuNu re-establish Martinez Kindergarten. That didn’t happen. We are in the middle of trying to sell a house in a 99% white neighborhood where blacks are not allowed to buy, where redlining is prevalent, where blacks selling are forced to sell much under the value of their home or it doesn’t sell. So we are in the middle of a very traditional fight which whether you are black or white you know very well. Our decision has been to grit our teeth and pray hard for whatever God has in store for us.

Martinez Kindergarten was in a fight for its life. It lost that fight. The children in that neighborhood have also lost the promise of a wonderful life for which they were being prepared. Instead, they are on the street and are growing up being trained to destroy and disrespect, not build-up.

That is hard to hear and even harder not to deny. It is time we look realistically at what is happening and the real reasons. That is very threatening to almost everyone. We have our positions in this society and don’t take kindly to those positions being threatened. The “better than” fight as hard as the bottom white, black, and in-betweens to maintain the status quo.

NuNu, your young life was a part of the golden years in New Orleans. Life became harder as you and me and all the rest of us became adults. We could hide from the racism within that small circle. I will never forget the shock I felt when I first discovered just how horribly blacks were treated outside of our little circle.

As adults we had to face it head-on as it sapped our lives, our talents, our goodness. We now have a society in which to live which has moved to a place very difficult to change. Where there were millionaires back then, there are billionaires today. Where the move towards democracy was an exciting time and fight for us all as our chests swelled seeing Rev. Andrew Young from our own New Orleans fight with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King for a better life for us all.

We are now fighting a very ugly Hitler-type enemy trying to move us all into a place full of ugliness, but mostly of beholdeness to them akin to the slavery of yesterday. Our clothes may look nicer, our homes may be larger, but our lives are as full of pain and horror as they were before Martinez Kindergarten was established.

May God forgive us all!

Who the X%#&XD^ do you think you are!!!!

November 22nd, 2022

Everytime we read about what is happening with the shootings, destructive behavior against other human beings, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., those are the words that come to mind.

Much of this is done in the name of Christianity! That is the most amazing of all!

BETTER THAN! is who you think you are to be able to walk into a nightclub, school, home, church, temple, synagogue and start shooting, killing, destroying everything. AND WHAT DO YOU ACHIEVE?

When Moses came down from the Mount with his tablets of God’s commandments – one of the first was THOU SHALT NOT KILL!!

So again, lets ask the question – who do you think you are and what happens to you after!

Maybe the law will get you and to jail you go. However, what strikes us is that it isn’t the law you need to fear. When you have broken such a strong commandment – our theology and religion teaches – to the hottest parts of hell you go.

We do’t believe there is any religion which would accept such killings. We have to say religion because clearly there are many societies which accept killings if they are done in the name of the ascendancy of that society.

Most societies also have television and the largest number of programs on television are about killings. (What a tutoring tool!) The killer is always caught and put in jail, but nevertheless the storyline is about one human being killing another or several others. That is not the only story lines on television and in the movies – others are about how someone did something which made them rise against others – higher than – and what their lives are like now! Or how much better their homes are, etc. The arrogance pervading television is almost unbearable.

We keep thinking, “this has to stop,” “this has to change,” “we have to very soon recognize our shared humanity.” But nothing – silence – loud gun shots – screams from those being stabbed to death and more. And, in many places we mete out a punishment to the killers which reflects exactly what they did – and then we kill them as they have killed others.

White people are killing! Black, brown, red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, chartreuse people are killing. And to what end? Those who kill will either suffer on earth for their sins or they will experience eternal hell fires and whatever else we claim through our various theologies that hell looks like, feels like, is like!

And we continue letting our need to feel better than; our arrogance to think that we are better than; our desperation at our own faults and lives because we can’t get it straight without those better than feelings and off we go!

Dear God – bless this mess! Help us to move way above everything and look back to see clearly with a stark unembellished reality who we really are. Help us to accept and move beyond those ugly times when we move to that “better than” place because we can’t do anything else and feel good about ourselves. They say you created us and everything in this universe. Tell us all clearly and loudly why you left such character flaws in all of us that we can’t stand to be “equal to” and instead when those “equal to” feelings approach we will do any and everything possible to move above them to that “better than” place where we feel – well – better than in that place we have dubbed normal, human and the way things should be. In Jesus’ name – ahhh, you were writing so well, actually it is in Mohammed’s name – nahhhh, all of you are the same – in Krishna’s name. Oh my God can’t we say or do anything without all of this following us around? (Shhh – you forgot a few, I won’t tell)! AMEN!

A “Forever” Pot of Chicken Soup!

October 25th, 2022

To start your Chicken Soup you will need:

One whole organic chicken – one or two onions (to your taste) – one green pepper, one red pepper (organic, of course) – 4 stalks of organic celery – a taste of garlic (one or two bulbs) – and several organic carrots.

Put 1/2 stick of organic butter in a very large pot.

Chop all of the vegetables above and fry them in the butter – lightly! While the veggies are cooking in the butter add thyme, oregano, salt, pepper to taste

When the vegetables have softened add the chicken and fill the pot almost to the top with water.

Put the top on the pot and let it simmer for a couple hours.

Before serving, put spaghetti in the pot (uncooked) and let the spaghetti soften and become an awesome addition to this Chicken Soup.

You can put this into the refrigerator and serve the next day – adjusting the seasonings as you go – or you can serve it as soon as it is ready.

The next time you want to serve what is left over, add something – (for example), organic ground beef to which you have added an egg, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, maybe organic bread crumbs to turn the beef into meatballs also adding whatever other spices you enjoy with chicken and beef – add a vegetable of some kind like broccoli, or green peas, or french style green beans. Add water almost to the top of the pot each time you add new ingredients and let this simmer again for at least an hour. Add a different kind of noodles this time, instead of spaghetti and put them into the pot uncooked.

Each time you reheat the chicken soup it becomes something else and if you are careful with your seasonings, it will never turn up empty and you will always have an excellent soup to serve on a moments notice. Well, maybe not a moment – more like 15 to 30 minutes – which is how long it will take to heat this soup.

You will eventually wind up with the most delicious Creole Gumbo you have ever eaten as you reach the point of adding lobster, crab, shrimp, etc. etc. and possibly rice once the noodles and other such ingredients have been eaten.

Not all these ingredients at once, however, only two or three ingredients each time you reheat this “soup.” And when you “reheat it” it is best to simmer it for an hour or more to incorporate everything into the best taste and consistency always filling the pot almost to the top with water before you move on with the reheating process. If you would like a bowl of soup without adding more ingredients and simmering for hours, take the amount you want to serve and reheat it in another pot – putting your “soup pot” back into the refrigerator for another day.

Harvard Square becoming a Caricature of Wellesley, MA?

October 25th, 2022

What was a settled, beautifully designed area has apparently lost its way and is now reeling in what looks like a drunken stupor of too much money; too little design sense; no historical thoughts, no room at all for the being true to the educational reasons which brought it into being – etc. etc. etc..

Is it trying to “upgrade”? “Upscale”? We don’t know what to call it that is happening to the “Square”, but what we do know is that we won’t call it “elegant”, “historically apprised”, “settled beauty”. It looks like it is becoming the home for the very nouveau-nouveau-riche; for the design challenged class; for the territory where there is more money than anyone knows how to use for the benefit of all and so it is squandered on monstrosities like 4 Willard Street. (We won’t even try to comment on what is happening within the intensely commercial areas of Harvard Square. There aren’t enough painkillers in the universe to spread around to subdue what you feel when you realize a quietly elegant part of harvard square is going and will probably continue to sink into the abyss of too much money, too little aesthetic/design sense………………….

We went for a walk to see some of our favorite places in Harvard Square and to look again at some of our favorite houses. We regret the walk. We are now stuck with the images in our minds of this unbelievable change that has happened to 4 Willard Street. It was an elegant house on a side street which reflected a similarly designed house on Brattle Street. The two houses were wonderful reflections of one another and you could see both as you walked along the sidewalk. One on a large lot and the other on a much smaller one, but both reflecting a similar architectural point of view.

4 Willard Street was sold about one to two years ago for approximately $4,000,000.00. Quite reasonable at the time for its location, size, etc. etc. It is back on the market today for approximately $9,900,000.00. That price more than doubles the sales price and the reasoning, we assume, to justify such a major leap in price is the work which has been done to the house to bring it out of its slumber into the sharp, ugly, almost Levittown light of its current incarnation. A monument to the “New Towns” of the 1950’s – but, of course, on a much grander scale. Look at what you are leaving as your legacy to future generations, Harvard Square. Who is in charge of maintaining the historicity of the area? They should be fired immediately.

We don’t know who is guarding the history of Harvard Square, but we do wonder if money changed hands for such an outrageously obscene, sharply and permanently ugly redesign of what was once an elegant house. “Caricature” is too weak a word to describe this.

There are people homeless on the street who could use the money being spent on such obscenities. There is affordable housing which needs to be addressed so many more don’t wind up on the streets. To waste money on such a really awful ‘renovation’ is on the door step of architectural criminality.

Wonder who is going to buy this house? We could speculate on their background; education; world exposure; etc., but why bother. Someone will gloriously revel in their new home, its location and all that surrounds it. Will they then try to “upscale” and “upgrade” more in this neighborhood to match their design sense!!!! (or lack thereof)????

Buy, bye Historical Harvard Square. We feel blessed to have been able to see you at a time before this obscene expenditure of money destroyed all that you were about.

Racism and Sexism in the Real Estate Market!

September 30th, 2022

This is a topic very few want to touch. Having had several horrendous experiences with many real estate brokers and companies we decided to jump into the middle of the ocean and swim to shore, exposing and pointing out the dangers and great things along the way.

The biggest problem in this industry is “redlining” and the extreme lengths folks working in the industry will go to deny that such exists. We are here to tell you redlining is alive and well and making sure the neighborhoods in these United States do not integrate. Not just along the lines of racism, but other forms of bigotry also exist. Even discrimination against women who are alone raising their children are kept out of some neighborhoods which do not want their children “contaminated.

This is the basis on which much of the other forms of bigotry are maintained. Most of us don’t realize how many times we were told the neighborhood we wanted didn’t have anything great for sale at the moment, but look at what we have here……..

Schools were extremely difficult to integrate and still are because the real estate market maintains the “racial integrity” of the areas in which it operates – which is the entire country.

There is a new twist we are discovering. Some people are beginning to claim the way to deal with this is to have black-owned real estate companies; latinx-owned real estate companies, etc.

When you look into that, a few have been established and the result is they work in black neighborhoods and keep them black or latinx neighborhoods and keep them latinx, etc.

This, unfortunately also has to do with selling as well as buying a house. As a minority, the price you receive for selling your house is quite a bit different and lower than the exact same house or a very similar house would receive in white neighborhoods or in white neighborhoods if you are a minority.

If as an African American you managed to buy a house in a white neighborhood and then years later try to sell at the same price your white neighbors would get for the house if they were selling – that will not happen. The house stands unsold for years until the owners finally decide to reduce the price to much below what non-minorities would receive for the same kind and quality of house.

It is the way America works and there does not seem to be change on the horizon.

We recently had a horrific experience working with the Donaldson/Bennetts as they put their house on the market. They went through several realtors and the experience was the same with each – except the last was unbelievably bad and showed in spades the extreme racism.

In their first attempt they put the house on the market for $4.7 million. Talking to appraisers, that was considered too low, but they wanted to move south and so decided to take the lesser amount to be able to sell faster.

Very few people came to the open house and only one potential buyer showed up after the open house. That was with the first broker, who did everything by the book to attempt to sell the house.

They changed brokers and raised the price to $5.5 million and their experience was identical. They changed again with another identical experience. Meanwhile, houses selling for more and appraising at the same price as their home appraised were selling almost immediately. Some of these houses were in neighborhoods considered not as “desirable”, some were smaller, etc.

By the time they reached the third broker, they decided the house needed a “make over” and they set about doing just that. Nothing changed!

Yet another broker with an open house poorly attended with only one broker showing up with a client in tow for months after the open house. Developers, however, were very interested at a very low price and were going to tear apart and put back together again this historical house which didn’t need tearing apart. Electrical systems were up to date as was everything else. The ‘historical’ part went by the wayside with nothing but verbalized consideration. The house needed an exterior paint job and very little else.

And then comes the realtor team which acted out racism such as we have not seen in quite a long time.

The problem with that was the fact that this well known national brokerage firm has a Black/Jewish owner. However, we learned years ago that whites are not the only group that practices bigotry in this country.

The Donaldson/Bennett’s expected this to be a wonderful experience. Instead it was the experience from hell.

The real estate team set up an open house which was moderately successful and as the Donaldson/Bennett’s watched from across the street because they were not allowed into the house while the open house was going on – people came and went and were allowed to go all over this $5.8 million dollar house, full of antiques, all by themselves. One person came walking down the street carrying a protest sign which he was forced to park outside the house and went in to start an upheaval. At that point, the Donaldson-Bennett’s left their perch across the street and went into their house to stop all hell from breaking loose and sure enough that is what was about to happen.

After that open house the Donaldson/Bennett’s discovered the real estate brokers intended to have such an open house every weekend until the house was sold. That did not make the Donaldson/Bennett’s happy, but they decided to go along with the program assuming the realtors knew better than they did because they were more experienced, etc.

The next week-end the signs went up and once again the open-house started. Watching from across the street the Donaldson/Bennett’s saw people walk into the house with no one at the front door – which was wide open – and go up the stairs with none of the realtors even aware that someone had entered. They saw people come out looking rather strange, but didn’t put two and two together until the open house was over and they went home to reclaim their property. They discovered many beautiful antique pieces they collected over decades were missing. The realtors denied that such happened. Claimed they didn’t let anyone in unattended, etc.

Before reaching the open house, the program with this real estate company was one that loaned you money to do what needed to be done and you paid them back when the house was sold and closed. This, the Donaldson/Bennet’s thought was a fantastic program. That meant to the Donaldson/Bennett’s that they would touch up those places that needed it and they would hire people to help where needed. After all, Ms. Donaldson had a three year education at the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture under Ralph Rapson and had studied design in other places well and had helped restore houses along the way because of her interest in historical preservation. That is not what happened.

While the Donaldson/Bennett’s started with painting the house they were still remembering the realtor – African American – from the same company who they spoke to about selling their house before they met these other realtors – white – and they were shook by what he presented. He would have the house painted; he talked to the people he wanted to paint the house; they arrived and looked around and came in with a bid of $30,000.00. Shook from that experience the Donaldson/Bennett’s hired their own painter who charged $12,000 for the same job. Years earlier, the Donaldson/Bennett’s had been having the house painted one side at a time after they had new first quality cedar siding put on each side which was then painted. Re-painting a house with new siding and only one layer of paint should have been a breeze, instead it was claimed to be a very big $30,000 job.

The Donaldson/Bennett’s went ahead with other jobs for which they hired the contractors, having learned their lesson and being wary of what could happen in these circumstances. However, they discovered there were even worse road blocks ahead.

The ‘realtor in charge’ of a ‘team’ had her ‘team’ show up without the Donaldson/Bennett’s hiring them, without the Donaldson/Bennett’s knowing what they charged, etc. and they started to ‘clean’ the house. They did not wash the walls – they did not clean the windows, the Donaldson/Bennett’s paid someone else to do that – and the next thing that happened the Donaldson/Bennett’s saw them outside doing landscaping when they had specifically said no landscaping should be done.

The net result was nothing short of disastrous. The cost was $2,800 to “clean” a house which was basically already clean. Outside the branches of a tree were cut because the realtor wanted them cut and instructed her crew to do just that after the Donaldson/Bennett’s said please do not touch the tree nor any other landscaping. What they did was to change a beautiful hidden garden of which the Donaldson/Bennett’s were proud and had spent decades cultivating and which no one knew existed behind the driveway because the trees blocked your view of what was behind it into a very public open and ugly place. The tree branches were half sawed through and left. There were old twigs from someplace left in the driveway and leaves were blown out of the “hidden garden,” which was no longer hidden, into the driveway and left in piles for the Donaldson/Bennett’s to pick up.

The Donaldson/Bennett’s have not had lights on the outside on their front porch since this disaster because this crew, working for the ‘team leader” took the porch lights down with no electricians license and cleaned them. At first, the Donaldson/Bennett’s were delighted that this job went well until they discovered after a very brief time of working, the lights stopped working and haven’t been able to be used since. The “team leader” ignored the problem her cleaning crew had caused.

The realtor who hired and managed this crew had them clean the stove in the kitchen. A beautiful commercial stove which worked beautifully for years. They cleaned this cast iron plus other materials stove on which you do not put rough cleansers and the stove didn’t work after they finished. The pilot light in the oven did not turn on as well as pilots on top of the stove and they ruined the finish on parts of the stove in the process. It cost the Donaldson/Bennett’s over $1,000 to bring the stove back to where it was before it was touched by this realtor and her crew.

Everyone who came to the house exclaimed over the beautiful wood floors which the Donaldson/Bennett’s spent a lot of time and money caring for over the decades. The floors were beautiful. Not anymore. Every other day someone from this crew arrived with a wet mop and very harsh chemicalized cleaners and for reasons no one understood, mopped the wood floors with water and chemicals until they were discolored and very ugly. This after the Donaldson/Bennett’s told them not to touch the wood floors with water. Apparently, they took their marching orders from the “team leader” and ignored everything the Donaldson/Bennett’s asked them to do or not to do. The realtor saw this and ignored what she had wrought.

We could go on for pages because so much was done wrong. However, you get this part of the message.

This same realtor has done other houses which turned out quite lovely. The owners of those houses were white. The Donaldson/Bennett’s are black. Quite a difference. It shows in the results.

The bottom line here is only one person looked through the house the one year this realtor held the house under hostage. That person made an offer – the only offer received – and it was for $2 million dollars under the asking price – even below the price appraised by the city. The people who made the offer were people who received much of their income from trying to “upgrade” inner city blacks. That made quite a statement to us as to what is wrong with this country and how it handles its attempts to move away from what years of slavery and white racism has wrought.

The city of Cambridge is full of instances of bigotry in the real estate industry and there is no sign of any change. When one does not admit ones problems there is no one to begin to solve them.

The schools will stay segregated and the private schools will thrive as parents strive to keep their children out of the path of “those others.”

Cambridge Rindge and Latin had the reputation of being extremely segregated. There was pilot school where one gained entrance through a lottery. Amazingly that lottery produced the children of professors, doctors, lawyers who attended CRLS “winning the lottery” on a consistent basis with the laws that governed the Pilot School quite different from those in other parts of CRLS.

At the CRLS graduation we attended it was a shocker to see the classes come in. House A started the procession and the color of the students was very white. As other classes – House B through, the color of the children shocked because the students in the last class of the alphabet were quite brown compared to the others.

What causes that? Try looking at who lives in which communities and what they expect from their children’s school to keep them in public schools and not pulling them out of the public schools and putting them into the many private schools in the Cambridge area.

O, My! We can hear the screams and objections from several cities away!

Your comments will be appreciated.

Bettina’s is ready for the 21st Century pulling from all the centuries that went before!

August 25th, 2022

Bettina Network Lifestyle Community

Bettina Network, inc. wants you to know about the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community.

We have had many valued guests staying in our bed & breakfasts over the past 35 years we have been in business.  COVID  19 turned our business upside down and we had to think long and hard about where do we go from here.

Along the way we added Bettina Network Foundation, inc., Bettina Network Blog, Bettina Network Journal, and a couple more. Through those experiences we discovered there can be no separation between our commercial selves and our responsibility to work towards a much more giving, loving, gracious society. 

We decided to work through Bettina Network Lifestyle Community, which is a group of people who are always open to and looking for human experiences with the goal of adding diversity, wisdom, learning while going about their ordinary daily lives and businesses.

As a Community, we have homes open to members who can make reservations as they travel. However, we only take reservations from those who are members of Bettina Network Lifestyle Community.  The world is not in shape where any and everyone can make reservations through an open system without taking huge risks. A computerized reservation service open to everyone to stay in homes that have not been thoroughly checked and where you arrive to find a key under the mat (or its current equivalent) is no longer viable and that will become increasingly apparent as society moves into this new era.  

We also only take homes into this Networking Community where people are living in the home and have a talent, interest, doing research, art, music, public affairs , scientists and more who are people who would add to your enjoyment and knowledge base and find that a very exciting thing to do..

If you are not already a member of Bettina Network Lifestyle Community, we invite you to call us and become one of those who cares about where you stay when traveling and who enjoys finding those little nuggets of wisdom from others who have found answers to what you might still be searching and so much more.

We are always searching for knowledge, wisdom and a greater understanding of the world.  We have combined it all in the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community.

To request membership in Bettina Network Lifestyle Community, please fill out the form below:

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More about – BETTINA NETWORK LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY

This also includes Bettina Network Hedge Schools from which we took  a very old, Irish concept, dusted it off and updated it in such a way that we are deep into lifelong learning.  

Hedge School Families share their histories, experiences, learning and wisdom when you choose to stay with them when you travel. Hedge School Facilitators travel Bettina Network and turn up in the most unexpected places.  They bring an added layer of learning as the Hedge School Families specialize in many different areas of learning and doing.

Instead of depending upon serendipity, some guests ask to stay in a home with a particular emphasis – with a concert pianist;  sculptor;  academics in different fields —which means, for example, you can improve your knitting by staying with a family of expert knitters; a chef with whom you can cook; a priest and more.

Some facts on Bettina procedures

Someone from Bettina Network, inc.spends the night in every home before it is taken into Bettina’s and offered to you. 

We get to know the family with whom you will be staying and we keep up with our homes on a daily basis. We send out a “Guest Questionnaire” to everyone who stays in a Bettina Home and the return rate of these requests for feedback is 90%.   That tells us – usually in great detail – the experience of a guest and keeps us aware in another way of what is happening in Bettina Network homes.

We accept cash, checks, credit cards – OR – we invoice your company.

We invite you to look to Bettina Network, inc., when  looking for a place to stay for those special guests who are traveling to give a lecture; to collaborate on a research project; to be a tourist; those giving a performance in an extraordinary music event, or etc. 

www.bettinanetwork.com/blog

The blog is thought provoking with contributions from members of Bettina’s Lifestyle Community.  Once you become a member of this incredibly diverse community, we invite you to write articles, send pictures, float ideas, try out your latest research on a great audience – which, as of today, includes some 2,000 to 3,000 people who are reading the blogs.  

In addition, Bettina Network Journal joins us as a new publication, incorporating Bettina Network Blogs, ads and much more. Real Estate is our latest addition to the Journal – which brings into your email box some of Bettina Network Blogs plus other information and experience.  

Given our resources, we have information, news, and ideas you won’t find anyplace else.  Join our little group, add your voice and use our services.  If you would like to receive the ‘Journal’ please send us your email address and we will add you to our list of – as of today – 10,000 people who have signed up.

Bettina Network Lifestyle Community – Join us!

August 22nd, 2022
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Many people are saying “These are hard times in these United States”! But are they really? Many minorities would tell you this is nothing except the hard times they have experienced for generations being made public for all to see and to share in the horribleness of what humans are like when we try to be “better than.”.

What now?

Bettina Network, inc. has established a Community – not a Cult – which allows and encourages you to reach out beyond your comfort zone while you are doing those things you have to do to survive – like work. Reach out when you go on vacation. Reach out when you just want some time away.

But how? How to expand your friendships beyond the normal boundaries we all experience. How to help others in the process of just living and doing. How to experience diversity without going through unnatural changes. And so much more.

You can do this through joining Bettina Network Lifestyle Community.

Not everyone who applies to join is accepted, but our criteria is not the normal kind. We are not trying to create a community of like minded, like lived people, same faith, same everything people.

We have had many valued guests staying in our bed & breakfasts over the past 35 years we have been in business.  COVID  19 turned our business upside down and we had to think long and hard about where do we go from here.

Along the way, during those 35 years, we added Bettina Network Foundation, inc.  Through that experience we discovered there can be no separation between our commercial selves and our responsibility to work towards a much more giving, loving, gracious society. 

We decided to work through Bettina Network Lifestyle Community.  A group of people who are always open to and looking for human experiences with the goal of adding diversity, wisdom, learning while going about their ordinary daily life and business and so much more.

We still have homes open for you to make reservations as you travel, but we will only take reservations from those who are members of Bettina Network Lifestyle Community.  In other words, we have become a closed community.

The world is not in shape where any and everyone can make reservations through an open system without taking risks. A computerized reservation service open to everyone to stay in homes that have not been thoroughly checked and where you arrive to find a key under the mat (or its current equivalent) is no longer workable. 

We also only take homes where people are living in the home and have a talent, interest, doing research, art, music, public affairs and more which would add to your enjoyment and knowledge base once you have stayed in one of our homes. 

If you are not already a member of Bettina Network Lifestyle Community, we invite you to call us and become one of those who cares about where you stay when traveling and who enjoys finding those little nuggets of wisdom from others who have found the answer to what you might still be searching and so much more.

We are always searching for knowledge, wisdom and a greater understanding of the world and want to pass that along to you as you pass your experiences along to us.  We have combined it all in the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community and hope you will join us.

The Solution to the U. S. Dilemma with the Republican Party!

August 15th, 2022

It is time for the United States voters to take a good, clear look at the Republican Party and what it is about,. It is also time for United States voters to take a good look at where they stand on bigotry. Racism and its related sins has been internalized and that internalization accepted as “normal” by most of us. We maintain it with denial. That denial should come into question today as our country is roiled by those who won’t deal with their racism and other forms of bigotry even though they are living in a country where the “majority in control” is becoming minority. Isn’t that what is going on here with our denials giving us cover? Aren’t those the emotions out of which all of the fear parading publicly is coming from? Isn’t the fear of no loner being “better than” what Donald Trump has tapped into to “rise” to the presidency and beyond?

Having been Republican for most of my life, I think I can speak from the “inside” a little bit. Having tried to hold up what was happening and having tried to help bring about change in the Republican Party for years – it became clear that the only thing that happened and resulted from my efforts was many within the Republican Party turning against me.

People like me – African Americans – who were Republicans – are older and knew the Party when it had a strong stand on civil rights; when the Democratic Party supported the KKK; and indeed when the Republican Party had leaders who were non-White. A cousin of mine was head of the Louisiana Republican Party way back when. (How about that history Senator John Kennedy? Gives you a queasy stomach?)

The same thing happening to the GOP is also happening to Haiti – and for much the same reasons. Haiti has become a government which has been infiltrated by people who want to see as much war, blood shed and horror as possible. These two institutions could be twins across the fence. Is this a common human dilemma or is something or rather, some groups, infiltrating those spaces on this earth which seem to be moving ethically and morally in the right way only to be met by those who need to make sure they are totally turned around to meet themselves as evil, unethical, horrible entities in retreat into the worst sides of human nature. Is this goodness reigning supreme only to be shocked into the dregs and ugliest sides of human nature.

The Republican Party started its descent into extreme bigotry years before, but it accelerated when Strom Thurmond left the Democratic Party with many of his followers and descended upon the Republican Party. There was also that moment announcing this is the way the Republican Party was moving when their great presidential candidate, who won his election, made the announcement that he was running for president of the United States from a small town in Mississippi. Excellent messaging and the GOP has since gone downhill, into hell.

Hypocrisy, lies, horribleness was brought into the GOP in spades at that time. We will deal with Haiti’s descent in another article. But they are similar – accounting for their different structures.

Senator Strom Thurmond was a recognized racist who was puffed up and a “leader”. His entire life and leadership of a Political Party becoming racist and very anti-Black was not only a farce and a lie looking at the entire extent of his life, but showed how tone-deaf America can be when it comes to race. Is our toleration of the evils and ugliness of Donald Trump’s life attributable to the fact that he made sure to make “better than ” the keystone of everything he did. Has the racism he has used to become a leader in these United States the genesis of his power? Most of us can’t stand the thought of equality on any level so he made a good calculation making sure U. S. voters would not even want to talk about or use his adultery, abuse, etc. against him to take him out of contention. He had a strong knowledge of what it took for him to take the ascendancy and he did – racism, his career on television, etc. His television career helped him the same way Bill Cosby’s kept him out of jail for decades and left him able to continue his sexual assault and abuse of women.

While Strom Thurmond was spouting all of his rhetoric and racist policies and more he was helping to raise his half-black, half-white daughter. He saw her through college and beyond and they did have a relationship. Something that simulated a father-daughter relationship, not one full of the racism he spouted when in his role as high-up in the Republican Party helping to craft its image, policies, history.

This, for us, is the height of duplicity; lies; unethical behavior; playing both ends to the middle and all of those cliches which also apply today to Donald Trump and those around him. Although there are puffs of smoke around Trump which seem to imply that many of his supporters are there because they don’t want some secret or other made public, he is still a leader with followers who hold him up. They hold up this man whose good friend was Epstein; who has been publicly and credibly accused of abuse and rape of women; who is known to be a liar on many levels; who has done so much ugly, unethical, immoral stuff publicly that his moral character is in hell without even a question about that.

Who are those who follow Donald Trump? The answer to that would also be the answer to the question – who are those who follow the head of criminal mafia organizations. Their character? Their morality? Their evil? Their expectation and approval of the fact that their leader, their “Don”, will lie as a tool in his toolshed? So many ask how Trump’s followers could believe him, do his bidding, knowing his penchant for lying constantly, etc. Ask the same question of all the mafia’s in this country and abroad. The answers would be the same – it is his job. My question is – has he pulled together the mafia groups and are these the people who now make up the Republican Party. Has the Republican Party become peopled by members of the different criminal mafia groups along with the people who have been and will be blackmailed?

What is the answer to all of this?

It is time for the formation of another Political Party to replace the Republican Party as one of two Political Parties in these United States.

Andrew Yang founded and is working to bring about “The Forward Party.” This particular Political Party may or may not be an answer. One problem we think Yang has is in casting his Political Party as a “Third Party” with many comments by others as to whether or not the United States will tolerate three political parties. The question needs to be rephrased. Is this the Political Party – “The Forward Party” – that will replace Republicanism?

Other political parties now need to start forming because one of them will totally remove the Republicans from their space, send them hurtling into history and become one of two Political Parties in these United States.

Christianity Exposed!

August 13th, 2022

by: Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett and Marceline Donaldson

We are fighting huge battles with the forces of good and evil. Our current society doesn’t like to talk in these terms, however, it is hard to do otherwise as you look at just how stratified we have become around the issues of truth, justice, goodness, and more. And, whether we are on the side of goodness or on the side of evil there is a “Christian” group to which we can belong.

Christianity has as its central figure and the one it calls you to follow, Jesus the Christ. He was a person who had nothing. He went from one city or area to another and depended upon the residents of that place to provide. He did not seek gold, silver or any of the indicators of wealth. He sought those who would walk with him following his example and being true to a kind of openness, giving, caring, calling evil into question.

His quest was not for human values of being “better than”, of having “more than” or doing whatever it took to acquire wealth and power. It was not what is presently held up and set forth as life’s goal. It was about bringing forth God’s kingdom on this earth with values very different from those we all presently claim and are living our lives to acquire.

Today, we have groups which call themselves “Christian” and which are so imbued with evil, resentment, jealousy, stripping others of whatever they have anyway possible that we wonder and truly expect them to be struck by lightning or some other dramatic happening. We find such groups developing colleges and other institutions of learning to pass on their values and their concept of what it means to be Christian. We find the way they live so affluent and so lacking in inclusiveness we wonder how they are able to even claim “Christianity.” Their exclusivity, their narrowness, their seeking after money and spending it on an amazing lifestyle which screams “over the top” belies everything Jesus taught.

All over the planet are these groups. In the United States they thrive and reach enormous stages of wealth shedding the goal of actually helping others with judgments on all of those around who do not follow their examples or their beliefs. They are wealthy, live in huge mansions, have money to spend in anyway they desire. Their wealth seems limitless and when they call on the general populace to send them more the response is immediate and fulsome.

The people they look down on are those who could be equated with jesus of Nazareth.

We do our best to denigrate those following the road Jesus trod. We do even more to emulate those calling themselves Christian who are walking in Satan’s path reaping the material rewards promised to Jesus on the Mount if he would fall down and worship Satan. How many would resist that call? Or would you deny Satan and walk away in poverty with nothing but your core Christian values which you live out daily?

If ever a human being was walking this path of exclusivity and doing whatever was necessary to acquire endless wealth, that person is Donald Trump.

What is amazing about him are the people following him! Before he was elected president he had lived many years in the public eye. During those years, his lifestyle was apparent to all and it was clear that amongst other things, he sexually abused women. That was not hidden or cleaned up before the election, we all knew about that and a lot more, yet millions voted for him. He built a business and a political campaign which put him into the White House in the United States as president. What happened to this country that this is who we elected as one of our leaders.

All of us have the ability to walk in Donald Trump’s shoes. There is the promise of wealth, power, and so much more which this world holds up as goals for us to reach. What causes some to reach for those goals and others to walk the path Jesus of Nazareth trod knowing the pain, agony and finally one of the most horrible deaths imaginable? What does one group have that the other does not? What goes on inside those who choose Donald Trump’s path. What makes him continue down that road bringing as many people with him as possible?

Where do those who choose the path of Jesus of nazareth get the stamina, the commitment, the need to walk that path almost from birth to death.

We have taken pieces of the earth and given them values which have made others risk their lives to go out and find as much of those pieces as possible even knowing that they may be destroying the very planet on which they live?

What made those at the top of cigarette companies manufacture and produce a product that everyone knew was harmful to the health of humans and could cause cancer and a horrible death, yet they marketed and developed and did everything they could to build their own wealth by building and distributing such a product? What is even more mysterious is why they, knowing the harm the product they were producing caused to the human race, take part in excessive smoking which gave them the same cancer and pain before death, they were giving to others as their marketing and distribution became successful and produced enormous wealth for them and others at the top.

There is so much in our environment which points us to the paths we should take. We spend so much of our time denying all that we see, hear and feel.

We went to the introduction of the Festscript written to remember and honor Howard Thurmond – dean of the chapel at Boston University- after his death. Robert had written a chapter in the book and so we were there with others to acknowledge Thurmonds life and the influence he had on so many and to introduce this festschrift remembering his work amongst us.

His wife, Sue Bailey Thurmond, gave a talk about her husband and one story she told was about the times at the end of his life when they talked about what would come after death. Thurmond agreed that, if he could, he would come back to tell her there was life after death. If he didn’t come back, well……. We sat in stunned silence as the story unfolded. Most of the people in that room who had been invited to this celebration did not hear that part of the story. We asked the people sitting on either side of us if they heard Sue Bailley Thurmonds comments and they said they heard her talking, but did not hear her say that. We decided, the four of us, to talk to her after her comments and ask about that particular part. Had we imagined it or had that really happened.

What we were asking was did she really say her husband had come back from death and told her about life after death and its existence. She said she was not surprised that many had not heard what she said, but he had come back and had told her about life after death and she had included that in the story about his life and death. Most of the people in that room were ordained clergy.

The beauty of life in its fullness is right there for all of us to see and experience. Instead, we look to what we have given value – gold, silver, oil, and more to give us the feelings of a life well lived and to dictate our actions as we seek to accumulate such so our status in this society would rise.

May we take our lives and live inclusively. May we take our values from the life of Jesus of Nazareth. May we live on this planet as human beings accepting who we are with our strengths and weaknesses and stop following the example of those who develop their lives walking the path Satan walks.

The New Farming Methods – Grits

August 12th, 2022

by: Marceline Donaldson

Being from New Orleans, one of my joys growing up was to have grits for breakfast.

When my eyes opened enough to speak I called downstairs to say – “grits momma, grits.”

In those days, my favorite breakfast was “drits and liba.” However, unbeknownst to be as to why – for years after I left home I couldn’t stand to eat liver. My grandmother made grits with chicken livers for breakfast when I insisted and it is only today that I have begun to be able to again eat that combination. Don’t know why, it just happened.

We don’t have liver very often, however, because grits in the Greater Boston food stores is practically non-existent, especially if you eat only organic foods. You can sometimes find grits, but it is guaranteed to be the ugly white mushy kind and it is usually labeled “polenta.”.

Looking for the grits of my youth, I came across The Congaree Milling Company in Columbia, South Carolina. Their grits is made with whole kernel organic corn and it is exceptional.

When I discovered them I also discovered the farming communities around the country, which are taking growing foods which are nutritionally excellent, with the taste still intact, which have not been poisoned by the sprays and are not near tasteless because they are grown in depleted soil.

What is special about these farming communities is the way they interact with and help one another. One grows the food; another will have uses for the food tied to a restaurant; or they produce foods for sale which are not overly processed and bland combining basic ingredients together in new ways. All organic – all grown in very rich soil – all making delicious meals and contributing to long-lived and healthy people.

I am still, however, working on that chicken liver. Although some mornings when she didn’t feel flush with money it was beef liver and occasionally calves liver. Can’t cook it the way my grandmother did – and since I didn’t pay attention to the cooking but only to the eating, with my grandmother dead for many years I have no way to recover that breakfast.

The hangover I have from her upbringing is waking up at 3:30 to 4am in the mornings needing that cup of coffee one can only get in New Orleans. I was up at that hour because she woke with the birds and went to bed with the birds and would bring me a cup of warm milk and while sitting on the side of the bed would deliberately pour a little coffee into the milk so we shared a cup of coffee (however mine was ‘sort of” coffee), but I still I became addicted even without the caffeine.

With grits there are all kinds of combinations. Grits and sausages is one substitute. Grits and shrimp is also good. A concoction I discovered needing a quick meal and not having the energy to do substantial cooking follows: (it has no name)

Put one cup of Congaree Coarse Yellow Grits into a sauce pan to which you add two cups organic milk, salt to taste and butter to taste. Let this cook, stirring occasionally until it has that consistency like nothing else.

To accompany the grits:

Put butter in a sauce pan to melt; add mushrooms; crab meat; turmeric; thyme; tabasco sauce; soy sauce; and cook for a few minutes. To this add a packet of organic cream cheese and stir until the cream cheese melts. Add three well beaten eggs and stir to incorporate the eggs. Add milk to get the taste and consistency you like best. The Cream Cheese will thicken this dish and the milk will help thin it out to the consistency you like best. The milk and eggs will mitigate the strong taste from the seasonings. We like that strong taste, however, many are accustomed to a more bland concoction.

The above on one side of the plate with grits on the other makes a fantastic breakfast.

If your budget is tight you might find “imitation crab meat (the kind cut into squares and add that instead of the real crab meat.) The cost difference is dramatic. $30.00 for the crab meat and $3.99 for the imitation. Unlike grits, you can find the imitation crab meat in just about every grocery store in a plastic bag screaming with its colors as to what the bag contains.

Served with your homemade biscuits you have a breakfast to keep you going for days.

To find The Congaree Milling Company – 1629 Bluff Road – Columbia, South Carolina 29201 –

orders via email to – sales@TheCongareeMillingCompany.com

questions at – info@The Congaree Milling Company.com

Their produce is certified organic by Clemson University

What is the Abortion fight really about? Why has it surfaced now?

July 25th, 2022

We are living in a very racist/sexist society which is changing from majority white northern european male in charge of everything; better than everybody; all accolades go to them and etc.

That is changing and the society is becoming more “diverse”. There are women and minorities coming along who don’t take kindly to living in a society which oppresses them and they are beginning to have the tools and opportunities to change this way of organizing society. They see another vision and have started to work towards it.

When Harvard University – that trend setting lifestyle of a place – is apologizing and beginning to make amends for having used human beings as slaves to build its institution you know basic change is happening.

Society itself is changing its makeup to the point where it will soon be majority-minority. In other words there will be more folks we now class as “minority” than there will be white northern european “upper class” males.

We elect Barack Obama and the United States goes crazy. We still are out there melting down showing where we really are by making sure Obama does not have influence after his presidency. We elected Donald Trump to make a statement and to keep this society from turning “black.”

Women are beginning to show their mettle. You see women in many areas which were just male not too many years ago. What you also see is that in many of these areas the women are “outshining” the men. That means women will be out there taking over more top jobs; making inroads into places they were excluded from and took upon themselves the burden of self-exclusion and blocking other women who did not see being feminine as thew goal, but being feminist as a better way to go.

The political and other efforts in this society today are to keep that from happening. Roe v Wade is the one in front of us today deflecting us from the job we need to do and we are allowing that to happen. Our signs read as though Roe v Wade is about babies being aborted when it is really about bringing back the extreme oppression of women.

We took a big step in that direction when we appointed the current Supreme Court with decades before that happened somehow ignoring and moving on to things other than codifying Roe v Wade into our laws. Those who participated in that major move are just as guilty as today’s Supreme Court in making sure women are and will remain for generations seriously oppressed at the beck and call of the ‘master.’

Todays Supreme Court is ready to roll back everything which grants equality to the wrong groups of people. Roe v Wade was responsible for a good deal of the movement we have seen in women today, which is why.the big discussion and fight today is over Roe v Wade. When that fight has been won, where to go next – Brown v Board of Education? You can see the groundwork for reversing Brown being put in place today with several states putting in place very racist educational agendas. The fight against those agendas will produce the ground on which this Supreme Court will very casually overturn Brown v Board of Education.

We need to fight for what is right and put the reasons out front. We are not doing that with Roe V Wade. We are talking about the “lives of babies not yet born”; we are talking about “murdering the unborn; we are talking about that kind of thing when that is really not the issue. Keeping women barefoot, bare breast and pregnant has been a joke for many decades. That is what the fight is about to overturn and wipe away any possibility of women having abortions. Life and death is not the issue in Roe v Wads; the unborn child is the least of our concern.. Keeping women oppressed is what it is all about. Especially when you look at and hear those who want to make sure there are NO exclusions – not rape, not incest, not anything. That is the only way to block women from continuing on the road they are now traveling. Throw blocks and rocks on that road and the biggest block of all is “no access to abortion for anyone.”

Now – lets move on to overturning Brown v Board of Education. I think that will happen – if we continue on this road – in about 2024.

J. P. Morgan Chase Bank – institutional Racism?

July 19th, 2022

Chase Bank recently came to Boston and set up offices around the area. They organized and internalized what they needed to succeed in this New England area. That includes internalizing the extreme racism of the area.

What is it like to be African American in these United States? We talk about addressing racism and wanting to eliminate it in this country. In fact, most of the people I know could not survive without their wrap of “better than” which helps them get up in the mornings and get through their day.

Keep reading and you will understand the day to day horribleness of being African American in the United States. For this article, in the New England area. Everyone dumps because they need to feel “better than”. After the dumping comes the denials. You – African American Male and/or Female – are not supposed to understand that system. If you do, you should keep your mouth shut because the only thing that will come of speaking up – speaking out – asking for change – demanding change when the ask is ignored and you are being viciously treated, is more horribleness.

Chase, in the deep south, was our bank. We used other banks in New England before Chase moved in and had horrible experiences. We came to Chase because we decided to go where we were known – into the deep south – and open our accounts in that part of the world. We were doing business there so we were able to open bank accounts there.

All of the banking problems we were experiencing in New England stopped when we took our banking business down south. We had a reprieve of a decade or more until Chase Bank decided to open branches in this New England area.

All the problems plus a few more, which initially caused us to take our banking to our old home town, re-surfaced when Chase moved into New England.

This article outlines one of the problems. Articles which follow will outline others – “Banking while Black” should be the title of this series.

Chase Bank, for whatever reason, stopped sending us our monthly corporate bank statements with copies of cancelled checks. That service was supposed to be a normal part of the banking relationship.

They stopped sending us statements for 2 1/2 years.

We called and called and the response was always the same – when you give us a new address that shows you moved, we will start sending your bank statements again.

Being persistent, we went back and forth for months trying to get our corporate bank statements. Finally, we filed a complaint with the Banking Commissioner. They notified Chase of the complaint and told them to send our statements from the month they stopped to the current month.

Chase did the minimum. They sent the statements without copies of the cancelled checks, which we needed for our corporate records. After several calls and another complaint to the Banking Commission we finally received the complete corporate statements which we should have been receiving over the past 2 1/2 years.

We spent lots of time trying to get these statements. We lost a lot. I could go on for another page about the damages, but you can imagine that part. Chase’s response – not even an apology. No one could find a reason as to why this happened. It struck me that we live in a neighborhood which has been redlined for decades. When the persons we spoke to trying to get our statements sent to us all said “when you send us a new address we will start sending your statements again”. That resonated on a very racist level. That is the kind of ‘policy’ which resonates in the deep south, but this is New England.

Of course, the bank person who responded to us first read a statement which said in affect “Chase does not discriminate on any level for any reason.” We laughed about that because it was so ridiculous.

Institutional racism plagues corporate America. To read such a statement and make such a blatant claim and to expect us to believe that was beyond ridiculous. It was mean, evil and meant to maintain institutional racism. If they are so perfect and do not discriminate then anyone who makes a complaint has lost before the ink on the complaint is dry. It is the ultimate denial. It says – to paraphrase – don’t tell us about the claimed discrimination you think you experienced because we will not address it we are perfect in that respect and this statement attests to that fact.

What is institutional racism? One definition is – there is personal racism experienced by minorities from someone white who feels better than. If that person does the discriminating within a bank from the perch of their job it is still personal racism. When a complaint is made and there has been discrimination and the institution backs its employees instead of addressing the discrimination – that makes it racism with the institution responsible – a form of institutional racism. There is more to the definition than that, however, that is one part of it.

That is one incident. There are many more. Too many for your emotions to take in one reading. We will add the rest one at a time as the Bettina Network journal goes out.

What a Trial the Donaldson/Bennett’s have endured. Did we tell you about the attack on them by Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue? Which is still going on?

July 9th, 2022

All timed to make sure huge dumps on them happened at the same time. It is the same kind of “dump” which happens to many of the elderly when their assets are being targeted by those who want to lock them up and have access to those assets before the next generation is helped by such.

The Donaldson/Bennetts’ have filed joint tax returns from the first year of their marriage until now. I think that is over 30 years.

Several things happened with their tax returns when Rev. Dr. Bennett was being hauled out of his home by the Cambridge police and the attempt to take over his life happened by the Cambridge Elder and Protective Services for no reason except maybe greed?

A tax return was filed by someone within the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue in the name of Robert Bennett. It was an individual tax return about which he knew nothing and which was a total disgrace. It is still sitting within the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue and they are still trying to collect taxes not due. In fact, more than one years tax return was so filed and that happened even after both Dr. Bennett and Marceline Donaldson contacted the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue to say this is some kind of mistake. So, there are two tax returns filed for the same year with identical social security numbers – one the joint return filed by Dr. Bennett with his wife; the other this individual tax return which the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue is still trying to collect even though they know it is fake. They know about the joint tax returns. In fact, even the joint tax return which is the same year as the fake returns had massive inaccuracies. Those inaccuracies happened after the returns were filed and were within the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue system. One was corrected when they contacted the taxpayer advocate and when an investigation happened it was discovered that someone working for the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue entered a loss as a gain and a gain as a loss – by mistake.

Some other time the “mistake” might ring true. When all of this is happening at the same time we do not believe this was a “mistake.” The good news is it was corrected. Other “mistakes” remain and apparently there is no intention to correct them, just ruin the Donaldson/Bennett’s credit to help prevent them from being able to obtain a mortgage on their home.

Taxes are one way used to attempt to destroy an African American family living in a “redlined’ area. The goal when they are buying is to keep them out. The goal when they are selling is to keep the price as low as possible to give the white family moving in a “steal.”

That story is for another blog – with pictures.


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