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Becoming a christian leader – the anti-Christ

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

There is a story in the Christian Bible which talks about the temptation of Jesus by Satan: Matthew 4:1-11. Included in those temptations is the one from Matthew 4:8-11. From the King James Version

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and only God shalt thou serve.

11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

This is not how Donald Trump responded to that call from Evil. He bowed down to worship and thanked Satan for his largess. We are all suffering the consequences because we elected, lived with and served a man who called himself president and who clearly serves evil.

The verse that most directly speaks to what is happening today in United States politics is the one following:

Matthew 12:34  34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

I have wondered for years why there is so much evil in the world. I used to think we were actually reincarnated into hell and had to experience what was evil in each and every one of us until we reached the point of excoriating it and rededicating our lives to goodness.

That thought went away because I came across too many good people who used their lives to help others. And who lived lives of greatness no matter how small their part of the world.

After going through many such iterations I have finally come out on the other side to understand that for generations, in many cultures, no matter the name we gave to it, we have all been subjected to the anti-Christ. The one who was called by Satan – as Jesus was – and offered the world all of the glitz and glory the world could produce and the rest of us had to live out our lives closer to or further away from those who responded to Satan’s call as did Jesus. While we don’t have an answer to all of that and we don’t really know how it all ends we do have an example of how we can live a life which does not produce hell fires and damnation.

Donald Trump is clearly one of those called by Satan who ran as fast as he could towards the gifts and glories Satan offered to whoever would take up Satan’s world, becoming the anti-Christ. With disciples sent out to convert as many as possible to Satan’s Gospel – speaking with forked tongues, trying to trip others into glorifying evil, blaming others for our own faults and so much more.

Trump is not the first, nor will he be the last to make such a whole hearted and complete acceptance of the world Satan offered him. And so, in Christianity we have had to suffer such people and make our own decisions accordingly. We have had to suffer the special ignominy of others taking our name and claiming to be a part of our religion and hold our faith beliefs. But there is a difference – Matthew 7:16 “by your fruits you shall be known.”

In spite of that and in spite of the evil we see so clearly today, we were not always able to see such evil. It was hidden in different packages which our eyes did not perceive as evil. Today, in this moment, however, there is no hiding, or obfuscating, or making excuses for, or throwing smoke in others eyes so we they would be temporarily blinded and we could experience this world of evil. It is right out there. You can’t choose a middle path. It is time to choose goodness and walk away from evil.

The anti-Christ has been with us for generations. In these United States it goes back to the beginnings of the American experiment. Some Europeans ran away from what they considered hard times in their country looking for something better – only to arrive and give an even harder time to those who had been living in this country for thousands of years. Looking for what they considered as “good” while destroying everything around them in which there was actual goodness. We have always had an anti-Christ leading the charge. Someone Satan convinced that the world belonged to him and he should ride it accordingly. Trump didn’t seem to need much convincing. His henchmen are still trying to follow evil although at the moment camouflaging themselves with the story of goodness given an exotic and evil twist.

Every day now, evil is exposed. Question is – what comes after? Have we finally learned enough lessons to be able to walk that straight and narrow path? Or will we still make a way and a place for those who will now shrink into the shadows and wait for the next time they can emerge wrecking such havoc in this world. Christians are very vocal and pushy about their religious beliefs and the fact that they claim it is far superior to other religions and their god is the only real god. Is Christianity the only religion that so clearly maps out the path of the anti-Christ warning its adherents to be careful they fall into its sway or are there others? Certainly, the talk given by Pompeo shows clearly how Christianity can be twisted to attract those with a weakness of spirit to follow the christianity of the anti-Christ instead. What’s interesting is the leaders of this movement led by the anti-Christ tend to be the sons and daughters of those who led many into the wilderness of sin in their generation. Led by the sons and daughters of those who were, at one point in their lives, guilty of sexual abuse, sexual assault and then loudly proclaimed their guilt and repentance after they were caught. The insecure generation which grew up in their parents shadows with all of the feelings of insecurity they now have turned into keeping their parents evil going into the second and third generations.

Many such christians have done such and claimed such for generations. Today they call themselves the white evangelical christians; the christian nationalists; the KKK wearing their pure white robes and taking the cross as their symbol and so many more such names. In fact, they are the followers of those who make it possible for the anti-Christ to take hold and destroy even the religion these claim to be following.

Trump is now history. He and his followers will take a few more moments to burn the fires of hell before leaving the stage, but their moment of glory is gone and their judgment is now upon them. Those who experienced their evil will now see them experience their payment for having delivered that evil. Question is what next? How can we move forward without all of this time taken to fight back the fires of hell and damnation. Is there something in all of us that flashes out and delivers hurt, promoting and holding up the anti-Christ for what we perceive as our own good or can we use the end of this horror to attempt once again to see and exclaim the breaking into this world of God’s kingdom on earth. Is there such a possibility? Is there such a happening? Are we a people who can do such a thing without recoiling into the need to be better than – more powerful than – wealthier than – of a higher class than – stronger than ———

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

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And God laughed………..

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Well, once again the United States Court system has come through – keeping to its Constitutional mandates.

This time, however, there is a side issue and in that issue one can see God’s hand.

The decision to block Donald Trump’s bigotry as it constantly spews out of the White House and out of his every pore – was made by a judge from Hawaii.

If we have to explain that to you, you have not been paying attention.

You may have other kinds of religious “Amens” to this and please feel free to use them.  My grandmother would say – “Thank you, Jesus.”

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

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Donald Trump – President – the Day After

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

It has been a harrowing few days.  Mostly because we had to get through something which caused the very air we breathe to grieve.

The Bettina Network, inc. – A Lifestyle Community – Defining a Creatively Elegant Lifestyle.  And in the subtitles created by our business model, we are a company with diversity at its core.  We see the transformational power of diversity on a daily basis.  We deal with all religions, races, nationalities and are open enough – some would say arrogant enough – to feel we are beyond bigotry and its inhibitors and destroyers of beauty, life, love, creation.

We wanted to give you an overview of our reaction to the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump as 45th President of these United States, remembering that many of our members live around the world.  We are not solely within the United States.

To do this, we kept in touch with many during the day to get their feedback and thoughts as to this new administration; the inauguration; what people took away from it about the future of the United States – to sum up, what is it this whole thing meant to us and what do we see in the future.

We have known for some time, that some members of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle community are strong Donald Trump supporters; some think Obama and God are related; some are too busy to bother; and some are just political junkies.  Most THINK – a rare quality these days – and practically all are avid readers (which is one reason Bettina’s Blog comes out with words, lots of words, and not many images, videos, etc.).

As we talked to Trump supporters, many of them have changed their commitments and are no longer Trump supporters.  Of those still supporting him they are doing so because they are holding tight to his promise of bringing into being Term Limits for all Congresspeople.  That struck us as strange, especially given all that is swirling around Trump today, but basically, their discouragement and dropping of Trump in all other areas has come about since the election and comes from watching him as “President in Waiting”.

Most of the Trump supporters we previously talked to said they turned against him when they heard his Inauguration speech.  For the first time, some of them questioned his sanity.  Others said it was amazing to see and hear someone give such a speech at such a momentous occasion.  They’d heard him before with his claims of this being the best inauguration of all times and the most people in attendance – and even when they saw and were sure he saw the small numbers of people in front of him – he still talked about he and his being the best ever.  Donald Trump held to his claim that more people turned out for his inauguration than any other in history.  Some 1.8 million turned out for Obama’s inauguration and less than half of that number were now there for Trump.  That denial of reality is a Trump hallmark.  Even before his term as President of the United States began, he had a very substantial reputation as a liar.

If Trump does not come through with the term limits on Congress he will lose the last group, in Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community, still hanging in and trying to support him – at least the sampling of those we contacted to get their feedback.

For those not supporting Trump – most were beyond simply not supporting him, they had moved to be very afraid of him and what he represented.  Their big issue was his bigotry and how that is going to change the country and the world.  They were super concerned that Trump thanked “the world” for some of his support.  To many, that immediately said his arrogance was way over the top and considered that an admission of his connection to Valdimir Putin, Russia and others like him acknowledging their interference in the American Presidential election.  Others were concerned about the clenched fist salute he gave at very particular and seemingly coordinated times in his speech.

The surprise of what came out of this for us was the acknowledgment by everyone of Trump’s lies – with the postscript that even though he lies about everything, the truth seems to always come out, and from him, like highway markers along the way.  This comment of his thanking, among others, the world – was taken as one of those highway markers.

Those most frightened by Trump were those who saw this Trump administration as a takeover of the United States by the 1%.  Not the “establishment”, but those newly wealthy – as is Trump – and “feeling their oats” and exercising ‘power over’ without any consideration for anything or anyone except themselves.  The “fright” comes from the fact that extreme wealth seems to make those having it extremely self-absorbed and not able to see anything outside of their wants.  What we heard often was – “wealth blinds” and that old hack saw “power corrupts”.

The theologians amongst us saw this as an example, being worked out in front of us, of how being self-absorbed with nothing around which one allows to mitigate that, being the road to hell.  Well – they expressed it better and in greater detail, but we have compressed that long theological argument.  The wealthy and self-absorbed being surrounded by Sycophants leads to sin and eternal damnation – or something like that.

Others were concerned about the “Militaristic” forces moving the United States in the direction of a dictatorship with the support that requires.  This coming, apparently from the requirement in the U. S. that the Secretary of Defense be a civilian and Donald Trump ignoring that and appointing a military man to that position with others in government and who could and should have stopped that, allowing him to move in that direction.  That said to them – it is not just Trump, but he has supporters in all the right places to create an ugly fascistic dictatorship.

Those who were looking towards the next election to begin to make things “right” saw this dictatorship forming itself very quickly and consolidating its gains by its attacks on the Voter laws.  Only a handful saw that as a racial move – most saw it as a consolidation of a fascist government in waiting making sure it could continue to shape up its structure and put down roots while uprooting the Republic.  Some things that brought this up were the brakes being put on a voting rights case and the voter ID laws being put down and more.  Those who didn’t see this as a racist move saw it as using racism to blind us to the fact that this is the next step – after destroying the media – to the establishment of a dictatorship.

The Europeans we talked with were mind blown by Trump’s inauguration speech, which they saw as a parallel to the speeches given by the incoming Nazi’s right after the second world war with its descriptions of America which in Trump’s speech, sounded like a war-torn country immediately after a war that was lost and the country stripped of everything.

Given the wealth of America and the strength of its Armed Forces and everything else, it was seen by most Europeans, especially Germans, as the kind of speeches which were used to allow the structure of Nazism to form within the German government with the help of its citizens.  But that was not limited to Germans. Surprisingly, Italians were also upset over the landscape of that speech.

Many heard Trumps’ call to totally eradicate radical Islamic terrorists from the face of the earth as really code for eliminating Islam.

Ridiculous parts of the speech were “the middle class ripped from their homes”.  No one missed the fact that with that comment and Mnuchin Secretary of the Treasury that was clearly a comment meant to keep the middle class quiet and supporting Trump while he and his minions raped the country.

Rape came up as a constant theme.  Most thought Trump was going to rape the country of every kind of wealth possible and not being able to do it alone, his cabinet members were perfectly chosen to create that perfect storm.  Practically everyone in his cabinet seems to have been chosen because they are against what the department they have been appointed to lead stands for – and Congress is going to do nothing about that, except pass along Trump’s appointees.  Governor Perry from Texas who many times talked about his burning desire to eliminate and shut down the Department of Energy is now appointed to head it.  in spite of all those comments, he now says he has had a change of heart.  That was a joke to most.  A change of heart to be able to be appointed and it all seemed like a wink, wink, nod, nod to most of those with whom we talked.

What was most amazing to most of our ‘informants’ was Trump’s ability to lie and spread that lie seeming to be so honest in his speech.  He talked about jobs going overseas and we need to bring them back – and he said that as though China, Mexico and others were the ones responsible for sending those jobs overseas.  The fact that United States Multi-National Corporations are the ones who emptied the factories and eliminated U. S. jobs – not the countries to whom those jobs were exported was nowhere to be heard – neither in the speech, nor in any of Trump’s previous campaign speeches, nor by anyone he has appointed to his cabinet, nor anyplace else in this “Trump Movement.”

Nowhere does Donald Trump make any pledges to bring back the jobs his companies have sourced overseas to other countries – nor has he nor his daughter pledged to bring back such jobs to the United States.  Always the finger is pointed at others.  His daughter has moved her jobs from China to Bangladesh, but not back to the United States.  Clearly, China was coming in for negativity from the “Trump Movement” when we saw that movement happen.

What amazed most is, they haven’t seen any mainline media coverage of this fact. Nothing which analyzes and talks about the Trump family contribution to jobs having been moved overseas.

Also not in evidence is how the people hired in those sweat shops and other factories and places are being used as indentured servants to increase the wealth of Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and their friends and relatives.  They are not jobs uplifting the masses in the countries to which they have been exported.  It is just another form of near-slavery because the wages are so low to non-existent.

A few people wanted it known that the fact that “America First” was coined by the Nazi Regime and is being used by Trump and others as though it is a good thing.  Germany “Uber Alles” is something else they wanted highlighted.  It is certainly not Christian and that was the theme of Trump’s inauguration.  The prayers by the three people were all definitely and exclusively “in your face’ Jesus and company.  Nothing wrong with that, per se, except that this was about the state and not the church and it was about being president of all the people and many in this country pray to other than Jesus.  It was a very strong statement made by this inauguration.  It became very clear what “Make America Great Again” really means.  If you didn’t get it before, you got it at this inauguration.  “Make America White and Mainline Christian Again”.  All of you ‘fringe’ Christian denominations need to take note.

People are being rounded up as you read this – and this is neither a joke, nor a fantasy, nor a story.  Who we have elected with his supporters is a bully and so are many of those he is appointing to key Government positions.  To see the outlines of his bully nature – read again his description of grabbing women without their consent.  I think we are going to see that acted out as Trump and his wealthy friends grab and reset government.  They are the ones now in control with the money and power.  They had the money – now as a group, they have the power to basically change these United States.

We think you will see a corporate crime wave like none other.  Trump has already shown he is taking the constraints off of police violence and its consequent abuse of U. S. Citizens and others.  Given the FBI report of decades ago about the goal of infiltrating the police with those seeking to maintain White Privilege by any means necessary – they have had a couple decades to do just that and we have seen its beginnings.

It is tragic that all police have been tarred with the same brush.  Without an investigation to determine what is going on within the police forces around the country, there is no hope for anything other than a clear path for those who want to maintain control through this kind of police violence.  With Donald Trump and his administration, they now have the go ahead to escalate and instill fear into the populace.

Trump, in his inaugural speech,  described the fictional America which was needed to put in place the structure to allow for Trump’s Nationalist and Populist government to rape and squander what has taken this country from 1789 to build.  It can all be lost in just a few short years.  One goal seems to be to limit which voters are going to be allowed to go to the polls and vote in the next two years so the “Trump Movement’s” playground won’t be lost.

What could have come out of this is a three party system, which is much needed in this country, if Trump had different moral values.  The Republicans, Democrats and the Trump Party.  With their leaders lack of character and inability to tell the truth.  With Trump’s  lies saying whatever he feels will get him over the moment along with the bigotry he used to get where he is today, that clearly will not happen.

From our leader to Trump – you reap what you sow and there is no getting out of or going around that universal truth.  So, we need to buckle up, but so does Mr. Trump.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

WHAT IS BED & BREAKFAST?

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

The term “bed & breakfast” has been garnering more and more excitement over the years.  Every corporation, small business, mom and pop shop, wants to gain in their marketing and advertisement so they add things that are totally irrelevant to their businesses in the hope that you will be fooled into thinking they are “bed & breakfast” and will patronize them.  You can then be acculturated into a definition of bed & breakfast which has nothing to do with the actual concept.

Let’s take a look:

There are VACATION RENTAL HOMES.

These have nothing to do with “bed & breakfast”, but some unscrupulous, or ignorant merchants, PR people, media, etc. will put them under “bed & breakfast” because they have something to gain – if nothing more than to not have to think and write at the same time.

A Vacation Rental Home is a house which is put up for rent – furnished, with everything you need to move in and set up housekeeping for one week, two weeks, a month, sometimes an entire season.  No one else shares the house with you.  They are put together for the purpose of renting to those who want a time away from home, but in another house near the beach, near the mountains, in a historic location, etc.

There are ROOMING HOUSES

These are still popular and much used, but they are never advertised as such.  The term, which once referred to a temporary community of people, living together in their own rooms with – usually – the local widow providing breakfast and dinner fell into disrepute.  As generations passed, the breakfast and dinner fell by the wayside, the community disintegrated into a collection of disparate people who were temporarily down on their luck and rooming houses became what are sometimes known as “flop houses” and so the entire industry fell on hard times until some enterprising “Rooming House” owner discovered he or she could rent their “Rooming House” easier if they called it a “bed & breakfast.”

There are HOTELS

The hotel corporation has been pretty vicious about getting rid of the competition.  So, when it became clear – as more and more people travelled, particularly to Europe and especially England – “bed & breakfast” was discovered in the United States and a growing number of people wanted to travel “bed & breakfast”.

Seeing this growing number of people and losing many paying guests, hotels added “bed & breakfast” to their name.  Sometimes to a part of the services they offered – Smith Hotel and Bed & Breakfast.  Grand Dame Hotel, also offering bed & breakfast.  And more such appellations appeared – more and more frequently, until today we think nothing about the conflict of a Hotel and a “bed & breakfast” being conflated into one place.  We see “bed & breakfast” advertised by a hotel and do exactly what the marketing and public relations people expected us to do – go for it bringing the romance and reputation of the “bed & breakfast” into the hotels circle.

There are INNS

Once the “Southern Lady” of the accommodations industry, INNS had a romance around them that began to be moved into the sphere of “bed & breakfast” so INNS started calling themselves Smith Bed & Breakfast Inn.  Or sometimes, the Smith INN bed & breakfast.  Trying to get back the romantic and historical reputation it once had until they got knocked off their pedestal by actual bed & breakfasts.

There are GUEST HOUSES

This category never quite got itself together since the marketing and advertisements were and are usually done by the owners rather than the professionals so they went all over the map.

These are usually private homes which have gone commercial.  The owners would normally live in the house, but they live in it the way a funeral home owner lives in a funeral home.  There are places in the house which are ready for their close-up and other places where the owners and the help reside and/or work.  They can have a restaurant, rent parts of the house out for parties, weddings, etc. and just generally pretend to be a private home/hotel.  They vary all over the map, but most call themselves – what else – “bed & breakfast.”

There are the “AIR” people

Started normally in the living room of the apartment they rented from someone else with an air mattress on the floor of the living room which they rent to strangers, this has gotten all out of hand and Attorney Generals, cities, villages, counties, states, are getting into the picture to regulate such.  Except they generally don’t know what it is they are regulating.

The “AIR” people have begun to include all of the above, plus more as they define their business and characterize themselves as “bed & breakfast” which has totally disrupted the “bed & breakfast” industry as well as all the rest.

Since some of the “AIR” people started their companies by stealing the concept from others and moving on without any acknowledgement, compensation, or permission of any kind,  their ethics have not improved as they develop the concept pushing out others and acting like the mafia of the industry.

There needs to be some authority which sorts out all of these groups and has them identify themselves as what they are rather than trading on a marketing and advertising concept which fools the public and attempts to confuse everyone to their advantage.

So – let’s look at what is actually “bed & breakfast”.

It is a stay in a private home.  Where people actually live on a daily basis, going about their lives as we all normally would, except those who offer bed & breakfast welcome guests along the way who are traveling from one place to another.

They do not offer a place for a wedding, party, meeting, corporate retreat, etc.  They offer a place to stay for a few people.  They do not have 30 or more rooms where people can stay, they have just a few rooms with just a few people staying.

Every culture has had some form of bed and breakfast.  In India – those traveling on a religious pilgrimage had places to stay which welcomed those making a pilgrimage – and more.  In the United States bed & breakfast comes mostly from the “Bishop’s room”.  The place in a home reserved for the Bishop, when he was in town.  When the Bishop was not in town, the room was used by the home owners to welcome other guests.  The guests left a discrete offering on a side board, quietly, so as not to embarrass the homeowners.  That offering could be a chicken for supper, etc.  It was also sometimes money.

One family got to know many travelers and the travelers got to know a local person, generally one with whom they stayed in contact over the years.  It was a way to reach beyond your circle of friends, your class, your race, your everything into an area you would not reach otherwise.  The people who travelled and the people who welcomed them met serendipitously and there a community was formed.  You had a contact in another area to whom you could write, later on as telephones came in – you could call – if you needed something or some influence that person with whom you stayed – could provide.  It was and remained a personal, one-on-one arrangement.

During the time when African Americans were not welcomed in hotels, motels, inns, etc. they travelled bed & breakfast.  There was a list of people in different cities who welcomed guests, who you could call and make reservations to stay for the night or for several nights during your time in a particular area.  One of the reasons some African Americans grew closer with people they would never have met otherwise.  A community was formed across the country as people who couldn’t get a glass of water from a restaurant found a way around a stone wall.

This has all gotten out of hand as greed pushes us to make ever more money on someone else’s back – on someone else’s concept – inconveniencing many who were perfectly willing to accept a neighbors bed & breakfast, but appalled at the streams of people now appearing, the loud music from the parties, the intrusion into their lives which has happened as the “bed & breakfast” industry is now being destroyed by those who don’t begin to understand the concept, but understand the money they can make by using the name – concept be damned.

“Bed & breakfast” was and is a way for many to use their homes to supplement their incomes and sometimes even to carry them through hard times.

We have helped people get out of mortgage foreclosures, evictions, and more by using the original “bed & breakfast” concept – which is also what it was meant to do.

We hope, that as you read this and go through your life with a better understanding of “bed & breakfast” you will help to calm down and maintain an industry which has meant a lot to many people and should not be so exploited as it is today.

If you want a corporation; a business; which makes reservations for other kind of accommodations, then have that and call it what it is, don’t trade on “bed & breakfast” to promote a fraud.  Don’t have a business where people arrive expecting breakfast only to discover they are in a commercial setting and there is no breakfast nor really, no bed & breakfast, but something else they didn’t expect.  Don’t have a business which someone who just wants money and has figured out a way to use this concept with your help to rent apartments which they then re-rent to others for “bed & breakfast” reducing the housing – especially affordable housing available in a very tight area.  Don’t facilitate the destruction of a wonderful industry because of your out of control greed and empire building.  Don’t rent your living room to someone with an air mattress on the floor because you want to do this rip off thing instead of living comfortably and honestly with your neighbors.

It is time for all of this to stop and for the world to come to its senses.  Chasing after – greedy for – hurting others – it is enough.  It has led to people’s homes burning down because of guests who were ill prepared for where they were staying and got the idea they could use the accommodation anyway they saw fit and consequently didn’t respect the homeowner or the neighbors; muggings because people arrive at these accommodations knowing there would be no one home and instructions given when they rented the place to look under the porch for the key – only to find someone else knew about the emptiness of the house and was inside waiting for them and relieved them of their belongings, money, dignity.  It is time to take care with whatever business you call yourself and stop pushing to the point where people using your services feel free enough to rent a house for one thing and instead have a party bus pull up and destroy the house using it as a cheap place to have a loud, destructive party which winds up tearing the house apart and destroying someone’s home which was onlyrented for the night to a couple.

IT IS ENOUGH and time to deal honestly with who you are; what you are doing; and to show respect for the rest of the world by naming yourself correctly and not trading on a concept which has nothing to do with your business.

For the above reasons and others we are putting AirB&B in Bettina’s Hall of Shame.

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Manipulating our Web Site?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

It is amazing what we have seen over the past decades.

Most recently, Bettina Network’s Blog hit a readership of over 6,000 readers over a couple days.  Our server company reacted by turning off several country’s ability to access our web site and we were cut down to less than half the readership we had before the spike.

All by accident?  Good intentions gone wrong?  Arrogance? Inappropriately aggressive?

Isn’t that something called ‘power and control’?

It is now supposed to have been ‘fixed’.  If you know of anyone who has a problem accessing our web site, please let us know.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

How Exciting is This!!!!!

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Sometimes life gives you lemons, sugar and beautifully clear water all at the same time and all mixed together ready for you to drink.

That is how we feel this morning in Bettina Networks little community.

Why?

Something very small, but very important in the way we live and are with each other.

At the end of a Bettina estate sale, everything left goes to the Bettina Network Foundation and we look for those who are in need and work with them to help them establish a better, more productive lifestyle.  We prefer helping those who are recently homeless, because they have the greater need.

Well, one such person established a new policy with these sales.  It is called “When you are given something, give back.”  No matter how little you have you can always find a way to give to others.

One young woman, in difficult circumstances, was given a dining room table and chairs from one of our sales – something that didn’t sell.  She called the person from Bettina’s who gave her the gift and said “I would like to help on your next sale.”  And help she did.  She didn’t help in the actual sale, she helped during those evening hours after the sale when we pack and move what is left to clean out the house and leave it ‘broom clean’ for the next inhabitants.

We couldn’t have finished our last sale without her help.  What she did was to make it possible for someone else to receive a gift as she had and to make sure the gifts could continue to be given because we were fulfilling our obligations to those who were ultimately providing these gifts.

At the end of her work evening – and she worked unbelievably hard – she decided she wanted to join our small band permanently.  She liked what we did – the way we were with each other – and felt she had a lot to contribute.

She also wholeheartedly joined the rest of us who do this work for the benefits of weight loss and the exercise it provides.  We don’t have to join a gym to work out we have our own calisthenics and weight loss machines to help us reduce fat and move it around the body from one place to another:)   I won’t give her name.  You will see her around Bettina Network activities and hope you will reach out to embrace another human being who has decided it is time for all of us to look out for each other – without agendas.

We all need to give back.  No matter how independent we think we are and no matter how strongly we consider ourselves ‘self-made’.

Sometimes, we just don’t know how to give back or to who.   Well, Bettina Network Foundation is providing a way for you to do that.  Join us and help us to help more people get their lives on a new footing.  We are lawyers, doctors, management, sales people, bankers, therapists, psychiatrists and the very young learning to live in a way that we thrive realizing and committing ourselves to make sure that others thrive also.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

An Intensely Religious Week

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2014

Intensely Religious – how do we turn that into – gloriously  Spiritual!  I hope it is not the intensely religious who have brought about so much bigotry in the world and the gloriously Spiritual who have given us so much freedom!  Maybe my values are a bit screwed.

It is one of those years when the religious celebrations around Spring are shared in close date proximity by several Religious faiths.  That doesn’t always happen.  After the winter we had and after the destructive forces hitting at the economy and the terrorists hitting at all of us it is no surprise that this Spring season finds some of our religions practically intertwined date-wise.

Within all of this hectic ceremonial time – and there is now a lot of ceremony going on all over the place – with its requirement of watching our diets; scheduling around many religious services – there came that still small voice in the form of guests in one of the Bettina Homes.  It was such a reprieve and a taking back to what we are all about and what is really important that we found ourselves being really grateful for the reminder.

A family came from England to America to witness to the life of a friend, and isn’t that what it is all about.  To take time from very busy lives; to spend money traveling to another country for just a few days to say  by your physical presence that this person mattered. He was important to us and our lives and we want to just stand with a group of his friends to give witness to his life.  In that small act – which today isn’t so small when you consider that most of us would be worried that our lives would fall apart if we took time out to do such a thing and we could better spend the money on something for our family – these guests and friends, by their presence and the reason for their visit,  gave me reassurances about the goodness of humans who can still sometimes come through with what is most important in life in still, small ways.

I am now ready for these Spring Religious Holidays.  I can get through all of the trappings because I know there are people who still care and get it right.  I am human and sometimes frail and one day I won’t be here anymore.  Will anyone witness to my life?  Did I reach out and live so that someone will stop and in the silence give thanks that I lived?

We are fast becoming a society where we don’t and won’t take that time away from the hectic busyness in which we constantly involve ourselves to keep from becoming conscious of the fact that we are slowly and sometimes at a faster pace marching to our own deaths.  We go to great lengths to cover-up that fact so we are not conscious of our limits as humans.  We walk across and away from those who have no home; those who are not so successful; those who are not interested in getting caught up in that busy, busy cycle of life.  We can’t after all be around those who would remind us of our own humanness.

I give thanks today for the family that took just a couple days to acknowledge the importance of the life of another human being.

Ed Note:  Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people.  Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

The March on Washington

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

copyright 2013 Bettina Network, inc.

This coming week we will remember one of the highlights of the Civil Rights Movement which changed so much in this country.  It is such an emotional time that I have barely started to write this and the grief, tears and overwhelming feelings take over.

I was very young during the Civil Rights Movement – it took my life from the early 1950’s until today.

As I go back to remember all of those years – from my teenaged years on – several of Dr. King’s words come flooding back.  The strongest in my memory is the quote “You will be judged not by the color of your skin but by the content of your character.”  During my darkest days that will pop up in my mind as I experience the racism, sexism and now ageism of even my closest friends and sometimes, my family.

On Wednesday, August 28 at 3pm, the time and date of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, houses of worship across the country will ring their bells in honor of the anniversary and will play hymns and spirituals.  It should be an awesome moment!  I want to be standing outside where I can hear all of them!

To contrast that to what was happening in the 1950’s and 1960’s is a stretch very few of us can make.  People were being beaten, killed, maimed and the young were being denied freedom and equality.  What young people had equal access to were the dogs, the hoses, the hostile and vicious law enforcement people who then worked hand and glove with the Ku Klux Klan.

Opportunities which these United States gave in its written documents were taken away at birth in the actual living out of life if you were the wrong race and sex.  There has been no giving back.  In fact, we still practice and allow others to practice the denial of the experiences of racism and sexism and we still strongly support the right of those engaging in such denial to be able to continue it.  The denial that was so prevalent at the time is still hanging on with much tenacity and with no sign of the structure which accepts and promotes that denial being taken down.  It is one thing to suffer the indignities and pain of racism and sexism; it is quite another to suffer those indignities and have those perpetrating them stand in front of you and deny their actions.  —it has to do with the content of their character.

So many groups will be leading marches in Washington, D. C. from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Memorial.  Around the country other groups will be leading marches to other places in their cities, towns, villages which have meaning in the context of this Movement.

Where will you be?  What will you be doing?  How will you contribute to the possibility that on August 29th you have helped to bring about some change which will make this a country more receptive to seeing everyone as equal?

The Bettina Network, inc. does its part – as a corporation – small though we may be – to help bring about moving us from a world of individuals, maybe even families, tribes, neighborhoods who see ourselves as better than those others out there – to a group of people who have an ethical commitment to  dismantling the racism even further; to eliminating the sexism; to addressing the ageism and to reducing our thoughts about the culture within which we were raised away from a culture that is greater than, better than, more important than, to a culture which is different from but equal to all others.  From that stance we are about giving, sharing, taking care of others as well as ourselves, and treating even the lowest and most tread upon of our brothers and sisters as equals and with respect.

The other quote from Dr. King which I hear often is “We must all learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) or we will all perish together as fools.”

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

The Boston Marathon Bombing and its Aftermath

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

by: Marceline Donaldson

The hunt for the “terrorists” is over and we are all the poorer for it.  Democracy and the United Sates Constitution went out the window and we justified it by claiming all in the name of “safety”.  I guess that makes the real question, would you rather be free or safe?

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Lets put what happened in Boston in a more historical context.  John King blew the horn at the starting gate – it was dark skinned males.  And does that have a historical context?  Does anyone remember the Carol Stuart case when the clarion call was to “get” those n…..rs.  This time, enough people backed him down that there had to be other “suspects” and those turned out to be two young boys – white.  Legal aliens, maybe next time they will call white and illegal aliens.  And things like innocent until proven guilty went out the window and today the miranda rights are out the window and so will a proper and thorough criminal investigation be completely compromised.  Try to get a just trial out of this fiasco and farce.

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Rumors fanned the flames and contradictory reporting went unnoticed as we were whipped up into a fear frenzy by a careless and irresponsible media who were apparently taking orders from the law enforcement people.  The idea of an independent media was certainly one of the first things lacking when they started fanning the flames by many repeats of the picture and many assurances of the guilt of the men in the picture..
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The FBI and assorted other enforcement agencies pushed the fear by releasing the pictures of two young men who were immediately declared guilty.  We need an independent investigation of what happened in Boston and soon.  This was the Carol Stuart case on steroids – especially when a Congressman declared that suspect #2 – let’s not use names – we can dehumanize them by calling them titles – had come to this country to kill people.  Put in the context of reality – suspect #2 was 8 years old when he came to this country.  Not likely his motives were to kill people especially since it was probably not his decision to come, but his parents.

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If you have not been targeted you might feel pretty smug and safe – I was targeted.  It was not pleasant to see police cars come along and block off the streets in your neighborhood leaving you with the uncontrovertible view that you are the target.  As it turned out – they were looking for a grey honda odyssey and one was parked in my driveway.  They had a license plate number which didn’t even come close to mine, but there they were blocking off every ‘escape’ route and what if I had gone outside for any reason while they were doing this?  My neighbor across the street did go out looking for her son.  One policeman yelled at her to get back into her house – she tried to explain her son had gone out for coffee and hadn’t come back and she was going to look for him.  The policeman didn’t care he just continued to yell at her to go back into her house.  What was the great threat?  My car, parked in my driveway.  When I saw that and realized I had been targeted I remember Martin Luther King’s comments – if good people do nothing, they may come for me in the morning, but they will be back for you in the afternoon.

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I was really jolted when I saw the last press conference with the police head of this travesty announcing everything was going back to ‘normal’ and in the process with his zeal and high on testosterone treated Governor DeVal Patrick in a really disrespectful way.  As Patrick tried to say something he was cut off and that policeman ignored him and kept the microphone.  Whatever Patrick had to say was shoved aside.

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There were many conflicting rumors and rumors of rumors going around the entire day – not going around from informal conversation with your friends and relatives, but going around on international television being reported as fact.  You really knew it was a problemmatical statement being made when you heard – as John King said – I have to be very careful about what I say here.  King’s racism has been on display at other times, but he has neither been called on it nor has he accepted responsibility for his racist attitudes and taken steps to change them.
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So many other points come into play – the thermal image of the suspect by the helicopter which was apparently not acted upon; the black mercedes which was taken by the suspect #2 from the body shop where he brought it – a friends’ car to be fixed – and then there was a charaterization of the car they were driving around in as having been ‘car jacked.’  The ‘confession’ came from that supposed car jacking third hand, but reported as fact and the reason to justify the continuation of this abuse of the U. S. Constitution.
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The FBI releasing photos of suspects which were not definitive, but conjectured as suspects knowing that releasing such to the public in an already inflamed situation would only make things worse and prevent the justice department from doing a proper investigation, etc.  They had face recognition and other means to continue their investigation, present their facts to a judge to get an arrest warrant, etc.  Takes too long?  We can go vigilante and claim it was really good police work?  This was not justice, this was vengeance and it didn’t matter who paid as long as the public felt ‘safe’ and trusting of its law enforcement people and raised them up as heroes after this day long travesty of justice.
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The Carol Stuart case – for those of you who don’t remember it – was the law enforcement people in Boston releasing what they called a ‘fact’, that Carol Stuart was killed by a young black man and the Boston police went on quite a rampage stopping, searching, mal-treating young black men until Carol Stuart’s brother-in-law confessed that it was really her white husband who killed her with his help after the fact. One committed suicide, the other went to jail.
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Was this day long horror story any different?  Are we safer and its okay that we are far less free?  Does it matter that we have been subjected to the kind of police state which has happened in many societies around the globe – those that we condemn?  Have we now taken our place beside them in what was a bright light shining on the difference between what we profess verbally and what we practice, in fact?
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Will something even bigger – in terms of the rejection of our U. S. Constitution – come along again in Boston where it will be even worse than Carol Stuart and the Marathon Bombing?
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We have no idea if they were the bombers – if they were did they act alone – if not who are other possible suspects – etc.  All the kind of questions which could have been answered from a properly conducted criminal investigation.  What were we so afraid of that we can not follow our own supposed values and beliefs or are those beliefs and ethics only there to be paraded out when it is convenient for everyone and makes us look good and better than other countries?
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This re-creation of a police state in the United States certainly needs to be thoroughly investigated by an independent body.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Vote Today – My Opinion, et tu?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

By:  Marceline Donaldson, 2012

Hope everyone gets out to vote. I still can’t believe the race is so close. When you think of people supporting and giving money to elect an Archbishop of the Mormon Church for president of these United States is unbelievable in a country which believes in and has a constitutional amendment against bringing together Church and State and there is no question Mitt Romney will not and has not separated Church and State. He is one of the two to three top people in his Church – the equivalent of an Archbishop in the Catholic Church – he has not resigned nor has he said he would resign if elected president and we have never asked the question.

The theology of the Mormon Church, to which he has pledged to be totally committed and to believe everything it teaches clearly does not believe and does not allow its members to see women and African Americans as equal. What’s wrong with all of you folks!Romney is not a member of the Church – in the pew – maybe taking in everything the Church teaches and maybe not – do all of you understand he is and has been a pastor in the Church – a Stake President (which means he is over several Mormon Churches) and to be in the position he is and has been in for over 10 years is one in which he must pledge that he believes everything the Church teaches and will work to bring in and proselytize the world bringing them around to becoming members of the Mormon Church because if he doesn’t these folks out there – these non-Mormons will be damned for an eternity. Romney believes that! That is what he thinks of you and me. And you are putting up your money, time and effort to help elect him President?

I can’t see Americans voting for the equivalent of an Archbishop of any religion – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc. Take a look at what happened in Massachusetts. The large number of people converting after Romney became Governor and the huge growth in Mormon Community Centers in Massachusetts coming directly from Romneys time as Governor. He wasn’t standing back and keeping his religion to himself before during and after his time as governor, he was proselytizing and Americans are now backing him for president. I heard Ray Flynn – a big time Democrat go on television in an ad to back Romney. That was scary.

Does the Catholic Church really think they can partner with the Mormons to bring about their beliefs and then what? Watch their members convert? Or will they hear themselves be talked about as among the damned and the lost? Get real folks.

A man who goes to Church – and when he enters his Mormon Church takes off his street clothes and puts on the white robes that Mormons put on in their churches to set themselves apart from the rest of the dirty bedraggled sinful world is running for President of these United States.

I’ve talked to too many Mormons who were told what to do and who knew they had to do it and there was no room for ‘back talk’. Do you really think with that way of dealing that Mormons have not been told to vote for Romney? I’ve talked to several people who were told how to vote. If I found them – without looking for any such person – why hasn’t the media done an investigation into that kind of vote tampering?

Other kind of voter tampering? Where else would you find one person running for office and his son owning and controlling the voting machines used to count the votes for his father and his fathers’ adveersary in the race?

I’ve talked to too many African Americans who were disinvited from some Mormon Community Centers and asked to go to others. They were told they were not being asked out of the Church, but they would be more ‘comfortable’ in a Church with others like them rather than the White Church they were attending.

I look at Romney and hear the lies he has been telling. Even the media and others have had to call him out on lying – and we are looking at a close vote? It is unbelievable! However, we get who we deserve.

Looking at Massachusetts, Romney was governor of Massachusetts and he is further behind in Massachusetts than in any other state. What does that say about his governorship? He got out of it what he wanted – lots of converts in Massachusetts to Mormonism.

Who has he run against while in politics? A woman and an African American. That says a lot about a man who clearly shows he thinks very little of women and minorities. These are the people he sees as not having a chance against a White Male, so he has taken them on. Would he have run for Governor of Massachusetts or President of the United States if his opponents were other than a woman or African American?

He is in a religions – to which he is devoted – which has been very clear that they think women are inferior and it is against their theology for women to come close to equality and African Americans were not allowed into the Mormon Church until the civil rights movement showed its strength. The Mormon Church claimed African Americans carried the mark of Cain and therefore were unredeemable and not proper people to join their Mormon Church.

I remember Mormon women coming forward in the 1970’s when the women’s movement was very strong and very vocal and when they did join the Women’s Movement they were excommunicated from their Mormon Church. And we are today looking at the possibility of a Mormon Bishop for President of the United States? Absurdities abound here. Is this who you Tea Party folks are going to make a deal with to keep your race pure? And White? Now that’s funny!

I could go on for pages, but that wouldn’t produce anything. I just can’t understand why this campaign is so close given the facts of who Romney is – given the horrible state of the United States at the end of the Bush administration – listening to Romney talk about and drop the blame for the slowed economy on Obama and expecting people to believe him. Is our memory so short? Do we not remember when this country almost tanked? Do we not remember when Obama was inaugurated President of these United States the economy and the country was in far worse shape than any of us thought possible and he had to bring us all back from the edge of that cliff?

Romney talks about his ‘experience’ and how he can turn this country around quickly because he is so good at doing such. But I also remember Romney saying he didn’t do any of that – he was simply an investor in the businesses to which he attached his name. What is it – the one or the other? It is the one most expedient to argue at the moment.

I understand how Germany could have been taken in by Hitler in his early days. Human beings are very gullible. We somehow don’t see the monster standing in front of us until he has ripped us to pieces. And then we don’t understand what happened.

This was written by a lifelong, but today disaffected, disappointed, disbelieving Republican. I was a Republican when Strom Thurmond was a Democrat. Wow how life changes! Do you think Abraham Lincoln would be able to vote for Mitt Romney? I don’t think so.

Marceline Donaldson
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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

In Memory of Roger Fisher

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

by:  Marceline Donaldson

Sprinkled through Bettina Network’s Blog you will find memories of people we knew and with whom we have interacted over the years.  This time, it is someone who was one of those – along with Larry Susskind of MIT – who were majorly responsible for the growth and survival of Bettina Network, inc.

Roger Fisher was on my mind over the past week – because I wanted to thank him for helping us begin and move forward with the bed & breakfast part of this business.  I didn’t know where to find him and didn’t push to discover his whereabouts so the newspaper informed me this morning of Roger Fisher’s death.

A long time ago, in 1984, Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind turned up at our front door to talk about the possibility of using Bettina’s for their guests coming from around the world.  I remember Roger Fisher sitting in our living room when one of those working with him took me aside to ask if I knew we were entertaining “God”.  That was my introduction to Roger Fisher.  My response was – then “God” has come to the right place because we are building heaven’s annex.  Clearly, we understood there were at least two major ego’s in that room that day!

We were just starting this business and unlike those who claim to have started on a shoe string of maybe $10,000 in debt, we started this business with some $1,000,000 in debt.  I had no idea what I was doing – I knew why – I thought I really knew all there was to know about business – we had some experience with bed & breakfast in another house, but not much – so here we were not sure where we would land, how we would pull this off or where to turn and “God” walked into our living room.

Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind sent us lots of guests and set the tone for what we would become.  Larry and Leslie would come to stay when the weather was bad and they couldn’t make it to Southborough.  Unfortunately for us, they now live in Cambridge.

Over that time period, there were White and Black South Africans in the house at the same time just across the hall from one another before Nelson Mandela and the dismantling of apartheid.  They had never been together before and it was exhilarating for them and for us as they giggled together; went to dinner together; worked together and with Roger and Larry tried to bring about something that hadn’t been seen in South Africa for generations.  We became a bit worried when the last two days of their stay the house became as quiet as a tomb.  The White South Africans and the Black South Africans had separated; went to dinner in their separate groups; stopped going back and forth from one room to another and generally pulled apart, leaving for the airport in two vans – one with the White South Africans, one with the Black South Africans. We called Larry because we were concerned something had happened and learned about “re-entry”.  Something the soul does for you when you are going back into the separatist situation from which you’ve come.

We had Hindu’s in the house the day Gandhi was shot and we were expecting another couple the next day who were Sikh’s.  We had Greek Cypriots and Turks’ sharing the house at the same time during some difficult days for them and before all of them we had Russians before Perestroika.

At one point with the Russians we knew we were going to be picked up by the CIA and hauled off to federal prison because we knew nothing about what was coming, we only knew the Russians were the enemy and here they were exchanging research across our breakfast table with their American counterparts and who were their hosts? – Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind.

Our breakfasts were nothing short of sensational and we were heady being able to talk and listen and understand what was happening in the world outside of the very narrow vision of what was normal for Boston and Cambridge.  We were spared guests who talked about the weather, their aches and pains and their miscreant children.

We thought this was what bed & breakfast was all about and we shaped a business following the path laid out for us by Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind.  Without them we would have taken a different turn and probably would be sitting on the street corner wrapped in a sleeping bag – although a very elegant one!

You go through life and never really know what or how you have touched someone else’s life.  My procrastination in reaching out to Roger Fisher to say thank you is kind of typical of the way most of us live with the assumption that life is forever.  It is not and those words of gratitude and appreciation need to be said long before the end comes.

This is very late Roger Fisher, but thank you!!  Thank you for helping us understand how we could carry that $1 million in debt, survive and grow a business which contributes goodness to life.  We don’t pretend to know much about Negotiation the way you and Larry Susskind developed it, but we do know how human and equal we all become around a table sharing food and good conversation – that alone gives hope that one day we will stop the intense violence, pretending that it will solve our conflicts and bring about peace.

Those first few years when we entertained bed & breakfast guests from the Negotiation Project sent to us by Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind were days we shall never forget and days we always keep uppermost in our minds as a paradigm for this Bettina Network business.

We reached the point, in those days, of not wanting to have guests if they did not have great wisdom to contribute over the breakfast table.  Today, we have some remembrances of that and we strive to bring everyone who visits our homes and our host families into an understanding of what that was like and how fantastic a business this is when we keep those standards, that conversation, those dreams of a world full of diversity where we can come together, disagree, work through those disagreements and walk into a very bright light after breakfast.

Roger, may you walk into a great light and enjoy the fruits of your life’s work as you enter another sphere of growing in wisdom, knowledge and understanding in a way we will not understand until we reach that end point where we join you in your endeavors.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Chick-fill-A – couldn’t resist commenting!

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

It is interesting that even bed & breakfast is getting involved in this conversation where Chick-fil-A takes a stand against marriage equality.

A Bed & Breakfast in Edgewater Park, N. J., has a sign posted outside indicating the Inn’s support of a planned, nationwide “Chick-fill-A” day by anti-marriage equality patrons, followed by the message, “Marriage, One Man, One Woman, One God.”

Wonder if any of you have thought about how this corporation puts the campaigners squarely in the anti-feminist camp?  Bring back the woman as sex object and let us degrade her with signs, comments, corporations which take sexist titles as their name – remember Hooters?  Where are they now – a traditional company having survived their slam against women?

Advertise your company and your sexist, anti-female, anti-equality sentiments at the same time!  “Chick-fil-A” can mean many things and in this society it generally does not mean Chicken.  Chick is a derogatory diminutive for women as sex objects in a very negative sense.  They don’t have to say anything about gay marriage – their bias is right out front in their name, why would anyone expect anything any different from a corporation which takes such a name, advertises it and expects to be taken seriously!

They have already made a statement as to where they stand by their corporate name – it spells blatant, in your face SEXISM – it has staked out its territory and is marketing to the group it has defined as its potential customers.  Right there in the camp which is dedicated to keeping us all unequal, inferior and feuding with each other over civil rights.  They are doing everything possible to turn a woman into a thing (not too thinly veiled, of course) – an object for a man’s use and then discarded because it/she has an expiration date – generally after 28 years of age.

And after “Chick” comes the diminutive of filly – another name which reduces a woman to her sex object status.  “What a fine filly” – ever hear that applied to women – oops, excuse me – applied to girls?

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Herman Cain and the Racial Discussion

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

copyright Bettina Network, inc./Marceline Donaldson 2011

We think that if  Herman Cain wins the Republican nomination for president he will be a strong proponent in favor of bringing back an updated and strengthened Affirmative Action program; he will be against the institutional racism practiced by large corporations; and he will take a strong stance against racism and sexism.

We know this because Mr. Cain  says he is a Christian and he knows he would not have the job or resumé he has today, if others had not sacrificed so he could walk through an easier and economically and financially more profitable life.Mr. Herman Cain knows  the many opportunities presented to him and which he took advantage of to promote his career, would not have been there for him -but for- strong civil rights actions attempting to address the problems caused by the racism experienced by African Americans and sexism experienced by women.

A Christian man would not take what he can and throw soot and ashes into the faces of those who provided for him the life he now enjoys.  Indeed, he is a bright, intelligent and very capable individual, but there were many such African Americans who were just as bright, if not brighter; just as capable, if not more so; and just as motivated, if not more so; who did not have what he enjoyed because those huge, difficult-to- open doors were not opened for them the way those doors were standing open when Mr. Cain came calling.

A National Education Association (NEA) convention in the mid 1970’s held in Minneapolis, Minnesota threatened support of a civil rights claim against Pillsbury that would have precluded their products in school districts across the country.  This action was requested by a group of people supporting the law suit for race and sex discrimination against the Pillsbury Company which continued until the mid-1980’s.  Mr. Herman Cain was a direct beneficiary of that law suit and that non-monetary agreement the NEA made with Pillsbury to avoid a boycott of Pillsbury products by the NEA.  In that agreement, Pillsbury agreed to hire African Americans in prominent managerial positions if the NEA did not pass the boycott at its convention.

A part of the law suit was against Burger King – then a subsidiary of the Pillsbury Company.  Working in personnel, because I was considered “uniquely” qualified to work with Affirmative Action, I discovered that Burger King had a practice of putting up potential managerial employees of Burger King in a small Florida hotel – which only did business in Florida and therefore was not subject to the federal civil rights laws of the day.  That hotel had a policy – it did not accept African American guests.  Burger King had no record of having placed any interviewee in any other hotel.  And they did not hire anyone in a managerial position who they did not bring to Florida to be interviewed.  In other words, Burger King had no African Americans in managerial positions and they had clearly never interviewed nor hired African Americans in managerial positions and just as clearly did not intend to do so.  Their continued relationship with the hotel said that clearly.

Given the threat of a boycott against the company by the NEA and possible other such actions by other groups in the near future, Pillsbury stepped up its hiring of African Americans and women,  especially in Vice Presidential positions.  They even put one woman on the Board of Directors.

They originally hired an African American as a Vice President in a staff position i.e. Community Relations (with the minority community).  Even he was hired as a consequence of the law suit against the Pillsbury Company.

Mr. Cain walked into a situation which was very different from one he would have walked into and been rejected from without the Affirmative Action programs in place in this country; without  the law suit; the strong move by civil rights organizations to bring in relevant organizations to work with Pillsbury to clean up its act and stop maintaining a very racist stance against African Americans in managerial positions.  Without that, it is doubtful Mr. Cain would have the Vita he now enjoys sending around to the press.

In fact, if you look closely at Mr. Cain’s Vita you will see the other company which promoted his abilities, experience and education was Coca Cola. A company known for its attempts over the years to be more open to diversity in its employees.  In the 1970’s  and beyond, one could say it was unique in the way it hired African Americans.  And wasn’t that Andrew Young in the wings at Coca Cola?

We are certain Mr. Cain earned his credentials and then some, subsequent to having those doors opened for him by others who sacrificed much to do exactly that and we are equally certain Mr. Cain would want to make sure those doors are kept opened.  He would not want to take the unarticulated stance covertly stated –  “I’ve got mine, now let me  slam that door in the faces of my African American brothers and sisters coming behind me.  The weakness some African Americans and other minorities succumb to in such situations is the character flaw showing up of needing to be “different”, the “only one”, “I am great because I made it and others like me didn’t – how fantastic must I be.”  That arrogance that develops around that is huge and ugly.

Mr. Cain has talked clealry and eloquently about his Christianity.  That Christianity would not allow him to do that.  He could not be a Christian and take his life, at the expense of other unacknowledged and unrepaid sacrifices and then take stances to make African Americans and women sweat blood for opportunities they will  never have because of the racism and sexism he avoided.  Mr. Cain was in the right place at the right time, able and equipped to take advantage of someone else’s sacrifice.  Given that and given his Christian commitment, Mr. Cain clearly has a responsibility to address the racism and sexism in the workplace today.. He just as clearly has a stronger responsibility than most, to acknowledge it and put in place programs to continue to address this evil and in Christian terms – this sin!

We can’t conceive anyone seeking a job as responsible and as powerful as this one – able to make substantial basic changes in the world – not only the U. S. – who would take the advantages he enjoyed at the expense of other peoples lives and then turn around to deny those coming behind him because it would be to his personal advantage to deny the existence of racism and sexism.  It would be to his personal advantage to ignore the debt he owes to many who provided a way for him to exercise his God given talents.

Let us hear from you Mr. Cain as to how you are going to move these issues onto the Republican platform if you are its nominee for President of the United States.  As a committed Christian, who has testified to his Christianity in the public place you can do no less!

Marceline Donaldson

Republican

Sacrificial Civil Rights Plaintiff in many issues and over decades

Who was a witness to the above and was one of the instruments who helped to bring about the economic and financial life Mr. Herman Cain now enjoys!

 

AN ADDENDUM TO THE ABOVE AFTER MR. CAIN HAS SPOKEN!

Well so much for that!  This was written last week when I could not conceive of a man who owed his career to Affirmative Action and the actions taken against racism and sexism by people like me and others would respond the way he has.  He has taken advantage and been a heavy weight on our backs.  Now he has decided to dig in his spurs and make the heavy weight, bloody.  How un-Chritian, arrogant, ugly and vicious of Mr. Cain.   I hope one day he sees himself as God now sees him.

And in answer to his complaint that African Americans are brain washed by the Democratic Party.  Here is one who is not! Who is hanging in there in this Republican Party, just barely and who has people like Herman Cain to thank for making me look wistfully at my African American brothers and sisters in the Democratic Party.

Look at who we get in the Republican Party.  Selfish – Self centered – using racism to get ahead, using sexism to get ahead – talking out of both sides of his mouth – unable to see, respond to, or thank those on whose shoulders he stands.  You are beginning to look like a really miserable human being.  Your arrogance is showing unashamedly.  You may not have been a politician, but you have come out full-blown and as bad as, if not worse than those around you, Mr. Cain. – what a miserable human being you are.  You got your job through Affirmative Action and the work of civil rights groups who intervened and opened a path for you to walk.  You now are telling young people and others they need to work for what they get and if they don’t have its because they haven’t gotten out to get a job.  Isn’t that amazing.  Without the help you received you could have worked your rear end off you would never have gotten the jobs you have had; no matter how much you wanted it or worked for it you would not have succeeded the way you have now – not because you didn’t try, but because the society would not open to give African Americans a chance.  Such hypocrisy, Mr. Cain.  Such viciousness – such a crock!

One thing to remember – as a Christian – you may not pay back what you owe on this earth, but there is eternity awaiting you.

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

The Trek from Home to School 2011

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2011

“It is that time of year when the exodus starts – from home to school; from what is known culturally, socially, economically, food-wise and more to something new.  It is the Exodus from, not the biblical-type Exodus to.  For some of us that biblical Exodus will never happen.  For the lucky few, that biblical-type Exodus back will be a life-fulfilling time. Having resided in those hallowed halls, the biblical-type Exodus brings a handful back home.

For others, – the unsuspecting, the innocent, the thoughtless, – friends are left behind;  relatives are left behind; old institutions which formed a comfort level for most of us are left behind and even our identities are shed and strip-searched.  Everything is ripe for forming new attachments, new loyalties, new cultural mores, food habits, clothes styles, friends, and we attach ourselves to new institutions. Most poignantly we adopt new identities without even being aware of that process happening.  We feel the pain of the change, but because this is all such an integral part of the society in which we live and because this has all been pictured to us in ways which remove our defenses and understandings, we simply feel the discomfort, the frustration, the confusion that comes from putting in place our new identities.  At one time in history these many would have been called the strivers.  They are the ones who will succeed beyond their own and anyone else’s expectations because they have that something which brought them out of their own to this new territory without incident, question or immediate guilt.

And yes, what arrives for all in this process is the guilt.  A new kind of guilt which will neither surface nor grow for at least a decade.  A slowly developing guilt from actions that, to those of us in this process – in our late teens to mid-twenties – has nothing to do with guilt, but is simply life moving ahead.

In this re-ordering process, the new identity is what will be most troublesome over the next several decades.  If we are not upper-middle class Northern European we will re-order our family relationships drastically.  To move ahead in this ’new’ society we must cut off and keep family at arms length.  They will expose our background, our class, the economic base from which we’ve come and more.  The exceptions who are used to disprove the rule, are allowed to move ahead and keep family and there are not many of them.  They can discretely keep some family around.  The others have to move away from family.  Find fault with them, keep them at arms length because whatever is wrong is their fault so they will not walk into this beautiful – though painful – place with us.”

Ed. Note:  This is a small excerpt from a letter we received from a former guest.  He had been part of a conversation around the breakfast table in one of the bed & breakfast homes in the Bettina Network, inc. when parents were bringing their children to college and he was doing the same thing.  The conversation from a couple older parents, who are now grandparents was about how they missed their children who were “busy”, had very little time to ‘come home’ and from whom they heard very seldom.

Over the years he has stayed in other homes in the Bettina Network, inc., was a part of conversations with parents who had effectively been ignored by their children for decades and he was beginning to experience the same thing.

We have not put the entire letter in this blog because it is very painful to read and revealed a lot of information personal to the guest.  We don’t know your experience, but over the years this certainly parallels many conversations we’ve had with parents as their children left home for school and the years that followed cut them almost totally out of their children and grandchildren’s lives.

The end of his letter follows:

“What is most painful about having packed up my children several years ago – one at a time – and brought them to college – and then to watch them grow away from all of us is the thought that this is what I did to my parents.  Without even a thought; not realizing the pain it must have caused them.  I became part of the prior generation – leaving home – establishing a very successful career – and looking back today on my childhood and family, which I miss terribly, but can’t replace or even belatedly go back to visit because they are all dead.  I did everything I was raised to do – finished college, established a business and now am living comfortably several steps above where my family lived financially and class-wise.  But in the end, when I look back, what I wanted and expected was to finish college, go home and move ahead with my life in the context of family – my family.  To have grown and maintained my original identity was my goal, although not put in those terms as a young person.  That was taken away from me without either my knowledge or consent.  How did that happen?  Is this how a multi-national economy is formed, grown, expanded?  Was I fodder for that process and are my children the new fodder needed for this to continue?  I don’t think I even like the new identity I put in its place.”

We hope it is not your experience, but we add it to Bettina’s Blog because the guest sent it for the blog and because we think it is illuminating to life today.  Your comments are welcome.

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

An Editorial from an Upset Editor

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

GOOGLE is a very irresponsible company.  Do you know they don’t have any customer service for anybody – unless you know someone who works there who will risk their job by taking your problem to someplace it needs to be addressed and most of us don’t have that.

Our blog was a mess for weeks and we spent hours-days-weeks trying to get it out of the ether back to where it could be accessed.

So now the only Bettina’s Blog you can access via Google search is a part of the blog which dates back from 2010.  How or why they separated our blog into this really one part and ignored the rest is something I can’t address or solve and can’t find anyone in Google.  I think everyone who works there must be a computer – no real live human beings are in evidence anyplace unless you want to spend money and get into Google AdWords, etc.  All of a sudden, live people are on the telephone.  what is that about?

I used to hear how humane and forward looking the two founders were.  Well either this was a myth or the company is so out of their control that it has become one of the worst invaders of our privacy and the worst ignorers of dealing with their problems I have ever come across – and I’ve seen and experienced some really awful corporations.

We are beginning to understand why Google has come to the attention of so many anti-trust bodies.  They are totally trying to put every kind of agency out of business by presenting to the public a way around using an agency. By the time John and Jan Q. Public realize this is a come-on and a really bad way of doing business, their money is gone, they are out of business and Goggle has marginalized those who looked towards them and away from agencies that were looking out for their best interest.

I could go on for pages about the problems we’ve had with Google.

suffice it to say, we were afraid to put blogs out there for several months because of the way Google opened us up to damage by those looking to wreck havoc.  Now we’ve decided to just go on, ignore the possible problems and hope there is a fix for them someplace – Google isn’t interested in fixed anything.  You can post your problems on a public board and hope someone responds and helps you out of a mess. That doesn’t happen very often.

If your problem is of a very delicate nature that could hurt you if it gets out before a fix gets put in place you are flat out of luck.

How have we ever allowed a company which is violating everything we hold dear and close in this country to not only survive but to thrive?

If this keeps up there will be a new company in Bettina’s Hall of Shame and Bettina’s Box of Shame.

________________________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Bettina Network’s Policies

Friday, July 29th, 2011

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2011

Having been in business over 20 years in bed & breakfast, we have learned much about this industry.

Our policies are in place because of the experiences we have had over the years and they have served us well.

We are not the fastest on the block, but we are concerned, considerate, safe and constantly changing to help create a better world – to be super concerned about preserving what we have as a world community and making sure our homes are all working towards being more efficient, more considerate of others, more considerate of the environment and knowledgeable about the health and happiness of our guests.

Every home in the Bettina Network is one we know well and whose family/owners we know well because someone from the Bettina Network spends the night in each home before we accept that home into the Bettina Network and before we take reservations for guests to stay in that home. From the office, we are in constant communication with our host families, making sure we get even better acquainted with them to know their strong and weak points and to be able to help them move to ever higher levels in this corporation.

We also are concerned about who the guests are who stay in a Bettina home.  We want to make sure both the guest and the Bettina Host Families are well cared for and cared about.  We are a community of people with a common interest in bed & breakfast as a way to travel – we all work together to make this a  great experience for everyone.  We have huge historic mansions, regular suburban houses, apartments, etc. to give you as large a choice as possible, but all thoroughly checked out.

We do everything we can do to minimize any possible problems.  We are not an unknown and unknowing entity, in place to make reservations for whoever comes or to take into the Bettina Network whichever property presents itself for inclusion in the Bettina Network.  Yes, we are a business and yes, we are in business to make a profit, but yes also we are concerned about how we make that profit.  We do not want it to be at the expense of others or to anyone’s detriment.  Our community grows larger each day and grows in depth, wisdom and knowledge – but especially in inclusiveness, caring, eco-consciousness and more.

That may be a slower, more expensive way to work, but it has been our choice and it has served us and our guests very well over the years.

You can arrive at a Bettina Home and know the guests who will be sharing that home with you are wonderful, interesting and concerned/considerate people.  If there is no host family present, you can be assured the Bettina Home is still well looked after and in great shape when you arrive.

You can arrive at a Bettina Home and know it has been checked and constantly re-checked so that you arrive to no surprises and it is the place described to you over the telephone or through the mail or through email.  We are very accurate in our descriptions and quality control is at the top of our agenda as we think through who would be great to stay in our homes and – unfortunately, we do have to make the call that some would not be great guests.  And yes, we also have to make the call that not everyone who calls us would make a great Bettina Host family and so we sometimes have to decline a family that wants to join the Bettina Network.

Bettina guests help us keep Bettina Homes at the top of the industry because they also are asked to keep us apprised of what their stay was like and we share with Bettina Host Families both the positive and negative feed back we get.  If, and that is very seldom, we get negative feed back it is responded to immediately and changes are made promptly.  Guests have sent us letters telling us how fantastic are the homes in which they stayed.  That is the result of our constant vigilence over the Bettina Network.

That is what we work for – that is what keeps us going – and that will continue to be our method of operating.  We hope you approve and support us as we move forward in this business.

We must apologize for the problems we have had with our technology – our Bettina’s Blog was lost for some reason – floating around in the ether until we could figure out how to bring it back.  Our listing on Google has been lost for reasons we don’t understand.  And we have experienced other upheavals which are totally unnecessary in this business world.  It is about competition and being raised up or lowered down because of your business policies and practices and how they affect this world.  It is not about one business trying to move out another because they don’t want competition and want the industry to themselves.  We are tenacious, persistent and very fair and good at what we do and we will continue to hold that space and that place at the top of this industry.

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Bettina’s Blog is Back

Monday, July 11th, 2011

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2011

What a trial by fire.  It is quite challenging if you were not raised with the concepts current in the computer programming world.  You have to learn them through trial and error and it is excruciating.

Bettina’s Blog was flying around in the ‘ether’ or whatever the universe is called that contains lost internet sites and other miscellany of the internet world.  Trying to snag the blog and make it respond to your commands – like having Bettina’s Blog just a click away for you when you want to read the Blog, is not easy.

We changed servers and we must have looked pretty bad over the past few weeks.  Nothing worked!  Now that we are back in force, everything looks different and not as elegant as we thought it was before we went to IH “internet hell”.

Funny how your eyes readjust.  Stop looking daily at your design and other work and the pink cloud, which is the stuff in which you wrap your own ideas, stops making things look better, pretttier, more elegant than they are.

So on to better things and greater blogs.

We have a few email requests to catch up to.  We haven’t ignored your emails, we have just taken a little frustrating, demoralizing, humiliating detour.  We are back now and changes should come quickly as we use our major new learning in the IT area.  For those of you who are still in the pre-IT age, that means Internet Technology (I think!)

Your exhausted editor!

________________________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

[give_form id=”3763″]

______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Estate Sales and the Environment!

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Copyright 2011 The Bettina Network, inc.

It is no secret that the Bettina Network is expanding into estate sales/auctions/etc.  It is one of the things that just about every Bettina Host Family enjoys and uses to maximize the profit from their bed & breakfast, to help the environment and to enjoy a day out going from one sale to the other “kibbitzing”.

As we gave some thought and discussion to this phenomena we realized that we have not been to a department store, hardware store, shopping mall, etc for quite a long time.  The only place we shop, other than estate sales, is the grocery store and we generally only buy food at the grocery stores because things like aluminum foil, bags, paper products, etc. even clothes, shoes and some toiletries can always be found in a house sale for very little money.

The last sale we went to was full of hand crocheted pot holders, dish towels, place mats, and an exquisite hand embroidered table cloth.  Over $700 in the stores, but $50 at the house sale.  Someone’s grandmother probably spent a couple years making the table cloth and it was hardly used – kept for special occasions – except special occasions for us turns out to be breakfasts and we really use those table cloths and other table accoutrements.

We had been given a pot holder as a gift not long ago along with an oven mitt by friends of ours who were very excited about the new materials on the market.  I put a hand crocheted pot holder and this new, red, greasy looking but not greasy feeling pot holder side by side and started to research the two on the computer.  What I discovered was the new red pot holder was made from petroleum products and the hand crocheted pot holder was grown and spun from cotton.  What a difference!!!  Why go to the trouble of trying to drive less to save gas and do all the other things we are being encouraged to do to limit the amount of oil we use when new products are constantly coming on the market which are made form petroleum.  Products for which we have perfectly acceptable materials out of which they have been made for generations.

Even products that our parents and grandparents used without thinking for cuts, burns, etc. are made of petroleum – ie Vaseline ‘Petroleum’ Jelly.  What is wrong with using aloe very gel or juice or the entire plant?  It is one that can be put on a cut or burn or bruise with good results and you can drink a glass of it with or without water to double the affect.

I am sure you and I could go down the list and find many products to eliminate so we don’t overwhelm our bodies and environment with oil products and used the real things instead.  What a new, clean way to live.

We needed paint this week – and found the exact color we needed at a house sale; I have several very elegent designer dresses from a house sale; a much needed comfortable chair for one of our bedrooms at a yard sale and many, many pillows.

How do you deal with cleaning the things you buy?  We throw the pillows in the washing machine on ‘sanitize’ and then into the drier and they all come out beautiful.  We cleaned the chair with an upholstery and rug cleaner and on top of that put the pillows on the chair into the drier on ‘sanitize’ and we were off to put the money we saved under our mattresses:)

Now which bed & breakfast are we talking about?  And are you going to strip the beds and look under every mattress from now on when you stay at a Bettina Home to see if you can find which one is being used as a bank?

Send us your ideas as to how to live a life without all of the oil, petroleum, and other horrible products which create health problems for us in the future – and – how to find and use those natural products which are still on the market, although for most you will have to go to house and estate sales, especially if you want to find real cottong (which was grown in a field full of sunshine) or real silk which was spun by the butterflies, etc.

______________________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Grandmother’s Wisdom

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

copyright 2010 The Bettina Network, inc.

We live in a society where there is much discussion about companies – especially banks – which are too big to fail.

Is that a deflection away from the fact that actually, we live in a society where a reigning truth is today businesses can be too small to succeed. If they look successful, the load put on their backs by large businesses increases. No one or two people do this, it is in the structure!

That is sad because small businesses are the engines which create jobs.

Boston has a group formed – the inheritors of the old “Vault” – to talk about job creation. All huge businesses – no small business executives involved and no minorities. Is that to discuss job creation and do something real about it or to blow smoke in our eyes so they can continue building the wall where large corporations are on one side – where the sun shines, buildings are beautiful, money plentiful, executives very wealthy, all owners of private jets – and small businesses are on the other – where the work is hard and never ending, the stress is high and getting higher, their resources are ripped and used by those on the other side of the wall and etc? Hmmmmmmmmm, where have we seen that model?

The last incarnation of the “Vault” had a very questionable track record – this one doesn’t look as though it is going to outperform its predecessor. I suspect there will be several more such groups forming around the U. S. When you live many years you begin to put things together which you didn’t have either the wisdom or experience to do in your younger years. So many carrots attached to very strong strings – why? To quiet those who don’t like what they see and might cause a ruckus? And those carrots are unanimously withdrawn when society’s anger begins to subside. True change could have avoided what we have been through these part couple years.

_____________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

 

Your Credit Card and their ‘Rewards"

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

copyright 2010 The Bettina Network, inc.

Let’s take a look at those Credit Card “Rewards” offered by just about every bank. This came from several breakfast conversations. We put it all together and voila – for your information!

Who pays for those rewards? Are they really ‘gifts’ from the banks and credit card companies as payment for your loyalty to them or are they profit centers generating more money transferred from John and Mary Q. Public to the banks without John & Mary realizing the game plan?

Those rewards do not come from either the Credit Card companies or their underlying banks. They come from you, the consumer using those credit cards. You pay for the rewards you think are ‘free’ and you pay a substantial amount of money for those ‘gifts.’

How? When you make a purchase via a merchant with your credit card, the credit card company takes a percentage of your charge from the merchant; and takes a monthly fee; a rental fee for the equipment the merchant uses; money for telephone calls the machine makes from the merchant to the processing company to approve and record your charges; PLUS – an extra amount for whatever credit card ‘program’ your card indicates. So, the merchant is left with a fairly heavy discount taken by the credit card companies. The ‘reward’ program discounts can be pretty substantial as an addition on top of everything else.

I am sure by now you get the picture. The merchant can not absorb those discounts and stay in business so they are passed along – TO YOU!

Merchants have contracts with their credit card processing companies – just as you have a contract with your credit card company. Those contracts are changed on a basis about as regular as your contract is changed. The only ‘consent’ the merchants can give to those changes is to either agree and go along or stop accepting credit cards from their consumers and we all know what that would do to that merchants’ business. So the merchant is pretty well locked into allowing the discount percentages for the rewards to be taken from the money they receive from the credit card processing companies. Those discounts are taken and sent to the credit card banks whether you use your ‘rewards’ points or they just disappear!

Some quick calculations will point you in the direction of the ‘rewards’ system being a profit center for the credit card companies instead of ‘gifts’ to consumers.

The rewards discount is taken from each and every credit card purchase by the credit card processing companies – whether the reward is used or not and each bank has a way of limiting the amount of rewards actually used. There are rules as to when you can use your rewards and when you get stripped of them. The merchant does not receive a credit if your rewards are stripped from you, that goes to the bank’s bottom line profit.

We believe some of the ‘reward’ offers are downright fraudulent. Take for example when you start with a credit card company and they offer special promotions giving you ‘double points’ sometimes ‘triple points’ for buying stuff using their credit card. After a time, those same special promotions are offered to all credit card holders. What has happened? The ‘rewards’ which previously took 100 points to get – now take 200 points or in the case of the triple point offers – 300 points. The number of points it takes to ‘buy’ the same reward has increased two or three times. That was most noticeable when the points it took for airline tickets doubled – particularly with American Express.

On settlement day with the merchant, there are various amounts showing on the merchants statement from their credit card processor.

For example: One merchant – selling widgets – pays the credit card processor 2.99% for allowing that merchant to accept credit cards. The discount percentage varies from one merchant to another or in the case of American Express, from one industry to another.

In addition to that 2.99%, that merchant pays a monthly fee for using the service. In addition, the merchant pays for telephone calls, at so much per call, (haven’t they heard of Skype) generated to put the charge through from the merchant to the processor, in addition, the merchant pays either a rental or purchase fee for the equipment used – some as high as $80/month for a small company (our research shows that is Bank of America) and on up.

And then comes the ‘reward’ discount. The merchant is charged an extra amount, on top of all of the above discounts, depending upon which card was accepted with which program in effect. It is a place where banks can nickel and dime a merchant into capitalisms graveyard without the merchants being aware they are terminally ill because the amounts on an individual charge seem to be so little. Very few merchants are good at that kind of math – and even more don’t believe they are being robbed so blatantly.

When you add up the money across the entire credit card industry it is an overwhelmingly large amount. Then – do the math – subtract from that the amount not used by credit card holders who die with points on their credit cards; credit card holders who are stripped of their points because they had late payments; credit card holders who are stripped of their points for innumerable other reasons; credit card holders who don’t ever get enough points to use them, etc. etc. etc.

When added up, one realizes that much money is being made here and where is it going? Into the banks’ pockets and then into the preferred bankers’ pockets individually through those obscene bonuses! How is it being reported? Is there a stripped out set of numbers which accurately reports the profit banks are making from their credit card ‘rewards’ program and how much the general public is paying for ‘gifts’ that they think are free to them as a bonus for their loyalty to their credit card? That is the area where all are notoriously silent.

Don’t speak of it until we find another service with which to replace this rewards boon-doggle and then it can be trashed out of existence, while we quietly move along taking even more money from John and Mary Q Public.

_____________________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

[give_form id=”3763″]

______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

 


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