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THE WALL: A 1920’s KKK Dream

Friday, February 15th, 2019

That dream, in the 1920’s when the KKK was at its height, was complete with steel slats and it was a very high wall on the Southern border between the U. S. and Mexico.

It looks as though Donald Trump, the illegitimate president of the United States, is doing everything he can to fulfill that dream. Is this his memorial to his father, who was apparently a part of the KKK? https://ahtribune.com/us/2016-election/242-trump-grandfather-pimp-father-kkk.html?fbclid=IwAR073Tg7RDAbs2uIjtiWeDGVC09i5tyRk7BTjBk0LMh_SDjsx6WRpbjWonM

His father’s legacy to Trump was to get him started in the same vein in which he lived his life – by incorporating into his life and work discrimination against African Americans, as in not letting them rent in the buildings father and son built. Trump was started on his racist path early in life and continued on that path throughout his life. As the United States became more diverse, the peoples included in this family’s racism became more diverse and today, apparently includes all of the brown and black peoples of the world.

How fitting that his denouement would be fulfilling the dream of many klansmen of his father’s era by pushing through to build this wall (in their honor?). As you look at the determination and energy and effort Trump has put behind this WALL it had to have a very special meaning to him. All of the trying in todays’ world by many talking heads to make it look as though Trump is working for his base just does not fit.

For his base, he could have moved on and worked for something to give them that was doable. This is a strong emotional commitment which has driven Trump. What could be stronger than doing this for his father? Was the part of the WALL Trump was trying to build to have his father’s name?

AND — a little bonus — because of the timing, Trump could also use this point in time to coverup, distract from, mute and diminish the publicity around the roll-out of Andrew McCabe’s book “The Threat”? Trump’s timing wasn’t perfect but it was close. If McCabe’s book was introduced when it was supposed to be – this weekend on 60 Minutes – without the preview of the 60 Minutes interview with McCabe on the morning and evening Talk/News shows, Trump’s efforts would have perfectly wiped “The Threat” off the news. As it is, he was able to reduce and diminish the coverage of McCabe’s book because of his announcement that he was going to declare a “National Emergency” after he signed the bill. Since most of the newscasters either didn’t know or simply eliminated, for better effect, the fact that this bill has enough votes behind it to make it veto proof, neither the House nor the Senate needed Trump’s signature taking away from him the circus he is creating to throw smoke into all of our faces so we can’t see McCabe and his new book. Is this what is called a ‘two’fer?

FROM TRUMP TO SENATOR LIZ CHENEY

Lying in bed, dozing off I was sharply awakened by this woman doing the most intense racist rant I have seen in a very long time.

Fortunately, I was recording that particular news show so I was able to rewind and watch it from the beginning. I was totally shocked to see that the person giving this racist rant in the most arrogant, smug and self-satisfied way was none other than Senator Liz Cheney – daughter of the ex-Vice President. I kept wondering why she had this super smug demeanor as she ranted on and on after having been asked a question about Donald Trump. Her rant focused on Elizabeth Warren and the fact that Senator Warren publicly acknowledged throughout most of her life, her Native American ancestry. Instead of talking about the courage that took, especially during the time frame in which Senator Warren made her family background public, Senator Cheney was ripping Senator Warren apart. What is there about that which set her off? Should we look into Senator Cheney’s racial background?

When the question about Donald Trump was repeated, Senator Cheney simply continued the most racist monologue against Senator Warren that I have heard in decades. My further shock was that no one called her on it. There should have been outcries from every corner of Congress demanding that she apologize. Not one peep. Today, having heard the backlash against one of the brown women, Ilham Omar, in Congress claiming she made bigoted comments and calling for her to apologize, and at the same time the same people ignoring of Senator Cheney’s comments shows up the claims against others for what they are – political attacks wherever and however you can get them.

I kept thinking I was in a time warp. I didn’t always agree with Senator Cheney, but I had never pictured her just inches away from the likes of the most bigoted of those in public life. One becomes accustomed to people like the Congressman Steve King and just dismisses anything he says. But Senator Cheney, I thought, was better than that. Well – so much for that misperception. Now I understand why Steve King was able to spout his racism and walk away unscathed. He has lots of compatriots who are viciously racist and don’t see anything wrong with Steve King’s racism. He is entitled?

EXECUTIVE TIME a la TRUMP

Maybe most of you don’t remember that far back, to the beginnings of Donald Trump’s illegitimate and illegal presidency, but I do. I remember when he talked about being shocked that the job of the president of the United States was so easy he could do both. He could run the Trump Organization and act as though he was President of the United States.

This was not said by a talking head interpreting Trump’s comments, this was said by Trump himself.

Now we have Trump’s schedule showing massive amounts of “Executive Time”. There have been many talking and poking fun at what that means – watching cable tv seems to be the first comment with the most repeaters, but every time I hear that I remember those comments made by Trump – and I’ve seen that he usually tells on himself and does things up front. Is he running the Trump Organization during his “Executive Time”? Are his comments about the Presidency being a part time job true?

THE NEW WORLD ORDER

I remember where I was when I first heard comments about “The New World Order.” The first time I heard this is was George Bush the Sr. making the comments.

As I look at this ‘Trump/vs the rest of us’ round in this war, it certainly looks like one of the battles trying to bring about that vision of such world governance by the Corporate/Billionaire Group.

From the comments I’ve heard – this New World Order seems to be about the Corporate/Billionaire Group ruling everything (and of course, being very patronizing to those not in their Group) and the diminishment of Government by the people, for the people and with the people. The people being those who do the work to maintain, grow and make life easier for that Corporate/Billionaire Group while dedicating their lives to trying to be like them on almost no money and very few assets.

Not like the traditional slavery in this country because slaves were brought in from Africa and they were very dark of skin. The people doing the todays work that would have been done by slaves in that past era includes those we call “white” along with all of the brown and black peoples of the world. And, some of the people in the Corporate/Billionaire Group are brown – haven’t seen any blacks yet, but they will surface.

Are we moving forward as a world where Cyber Warfare takes over and actual hand to hand and gun and other combat using the traditional artifacts of killing being pushed off center stage, being used to distract from the real war. A way to entertain and occupy the workers of the world so they will stop calling for these impossibles where we all benefit and profit?

We are certainly not fighting over Communism. That went out decades ago if it ever existed. What always amazed me about that was the theoretical definition of Communism seemed to be taken straight from the economic system outlined by Jesus in the New Testament and the people most against that economic system were the Evangelical Christians.

And we are definitely not fighting over Socialism – as you can see from this current beginning stage of the election of the next United States president. That word was introduced by Howard Schulz. Isn’t he one of the Billionaire Group? Beginning the anti-Socialist distraction rhetoric?

And, the biggest joke of all is Capitalism, which we claim exists in the United States, but which actually can’t exist anywhere as long as prejudice against groups exists and is a part of the societies in which we function. We can claim some economic system is capitalistic, but in reality we can’t have a capitalistic system as long as we have such strong prejudices in this world. What we have, in the name of capitalism, is a system which allows theft and other such uglies to be made legitimate, normal and actually a good thing in the systems we call Capitalist.

I wish we could clear our eyes to see the world as it is. One of the roles bigotry plays is to cloud the ability of people to see reality. And those who promote bigotry are benefitting mightily from John Q. Public’s mental illness.

Ed. Note: From several members of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community. Hope you learned something from these thoughts shared.


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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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In Memory of Sarah Scammell

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

If any of you reading this knew Sarah and would like to add your remembrances to this – please email us at bettina-network@comcast.net

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Sarah was a friend and someone who worked with Bettina Network, inc. for several years. One day, just a few months ago, someone came to our door to say Sarah had just died.  It was an amazing moment of confusion and rejection and denial.  I was sure the information was wrong, it must have been about someone else because Sarah was only about 58 years old.  I had tea with Sarah less than a week before and she was just fine.  Not ill, not complaining about anything, looking healthy and fit, but here was a friend of Sarah’s come to tell us that Sarah had just died.  She was talking to her landlady and just fell to the floor.  They say she was dead before she hit the floor. Isn’t life unpredictable and scary and unknown.

We met Sarah when she came to our door, knocked and announced she was a neighbor and listed her skills.  If we ever needed help, said Sarah, she would be happy to help.  A week or so later I called Sarah and asked if she could come over because we did need a bit of help and from that point on we were friends and she was someone who worked for and with Bettina Network, inc. whenever we had the need and the money.

Sarah spent her young adult years in California where she studied art.  While she did not work full-time following her art training, it was her passion and whenever she could she spent time with her photographs and wood cuttings and so much more.

The last time I saw Sarah, she came by for tea to talk about working with Bettina’s on Estate Sales and the Foundation.  Sarah had worked with us on Estate Sales several years prior, but we were changing the concept and looking for a new footing.

We had many ideas, which we had discussed in a group which included Sarah with others working with Bettina Network Foundation and Sarah particularly liked the role we carved out for her.  She took the sketch and turned it into something exciting.

We talked about the need to have someone live in the houses in which we managed estate sales so they would not be empty and during the day, style, price and generally get the house together for the sale with the help of others who would show up to help her during the day.  In the evenings, she would explore the neighborhood, take advantage of art, music, restaurants and other offerings she found there and just generally enjoy that time in a new place.  I was worried that this meant Sarah moving every week and I wasn’t sure that would be workable.  Sarah thought that was the exciting part of the job.  She loved going to museums, new art and music offerings, seeing how other people lived and she couldn’t do a lot of that because she had no car and limited funds.  This way she didn’t need a car and would get to look and experience much she wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

What I remember most about Sarah was her caring and concern for others.  There was an older woman who was homeless and who lived mostly in and around Harvard Square, close to where Sarah lived.  Sarah would look for this woman every few days to see how she was doing and she always had a few dollars to give her.  These few dollars were a lot for Sarah because she did not have much money, but she always had enough to share.  When Sarah moved to Arlington, she still came to Harvard Square to visit with friends and to check on her friend in Harvard Square.

When a friend of Sarahs became terminally ill, Sarah moved from her house to live with her friend so she could help as much as possible and so her friend would know someone was always there.  When Sarah’s friend died, Bettina’s managed the estate sale of what she left behind. What was amazing to me was the way the neighbors responded.  Since Sarah’s friend moved to a hospice at the end of her life, the house had not been lived in and did not have utilities nor water.  We worked, getting the house ready for the sale during the day light hours and brought bottled water.  One neighbor put her hose through the kitchen window so we could have water to do things like wash the dishes and other little things that you don’t think you need water to do until there is none.  We didn’t ask, she just offered.  Several others in the neighborhood stopped by because they wanted to remember and say goodbye to this neighbor who they didn’t know well, but she lived in their neighborhood.  They all knew Sarah.

We have a lot of Sarah stories.  What I have shared with you speak to who Sarah was, why we will remember Sarah for a very long time and why she will always be a part of Bettina Network, inc.

Marceline Donaldson

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It is a pleasure to add my note to our remembrance of Sarah. My remembrance of her was when we were co-participants in a meeting to enlarge the visions of Bettina Network Foundation.

I found Sarah to be a person who was actually present as we talked and planned.  She was committed to bless the world with her presence and art.  She was congenial toward me, and showed honest interest in what other people were offering.  Compassion and peace were in her own offerings.

May Sarah’s family and friends be comforted.

Francis Maloney

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Sarah was someone who took the word ‘Friend’ seriously. I saw her extend friendship to acquaintances, family members, employers, strangers, animals, and people in need….

She was a person that people knew they could talk to and really be listened to. Sarah had her personal antennae ‘ON’ and could understand things intuitively, which is a gift.

Since the shock of her death, I have realized that she knew things about me that not many people will ever know. I will truly miss the presence of a friend who understood some very deep things about me, I will miss that presence for the rest of my own life. In her memory I will try to become a more sensitive listener to others.

We had some nice dinners down in the kitchen….and I am sorry that I won’t be able to make the chicken soup with chicken breast, snow peas, broth, lime juice, scallions, and sprouts for us….which would have been followed by a few rounds of Chinese Checkers!

It interested me that we each wanted the other person to win, but at the same time we were both pretty good players….so it was always a close call.

A conversation with Sarah usually ended up with some humor entering in, one way or another. Her cheer and joyous laugh will be greatly missed. I hope that Sarah is at peace
With kindred spirits surrounding her….We miss you Sarah!…….

Love, Alexandra xxxooo

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I was shocked to learn of Sarah’s death.  Especially because of her very warm presence and almost joyous conversation.  She exuded a warmth and always upbeat presence.

To say she will be missed is an understatement.  We mourn her death and truly will miss her presence.  May she rest in peace.

Robert Bennett

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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

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In Memory of Francis Albert Dynan

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

by:  Frances Maloney

It is written of Mary of Magdala, that, after the disciples had returned to their homes, Mary lingered like a humming bird before the silent face of the tomb, weeping.  “And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been.  And they said to her, “woman, why are you weeping?”  She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.”

I am that woman.  And so, I am deeply grateful to Mary Flynn, Katherine, and Suzanne, and to all of you who grieve Frank’s passing, for allowing me to join you in this company of mourners.  Frank and I did not attend Frank’s parents’ funerals, because Frank chose not to go without me, and I wasn’t sober.

Frank was merciful and kind, honest and true, first with himself and with God, then with all of us, indeed with all creatures, great and small.

Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro has provided this prayer for bride and groom that I think was fulfilled in our marriage:

“Dear God,

You have brought this couple together

that they might risk the joys and sorrows of love.

They have said “yes” to You and to each other.

We now ask that you bless them

with love and compassion

righteousness and truth.

Guide them in ways of deep and loving

friendship that they may forever

cherish, honor, uphold and sustain

each other and the divine image

that is our deepest self.”

Ma, that is, Frank’s mother (of blessed memory), taught me to pray, “Thank you, God, for all you have given me, for all you have taken away, and, for all you have left me.

Left me, are vital memories, full of Frank’s spirit and likeness.  For example, one day, when we lived in Ann Arbor, a bee appeared in our apartment.  I was terrorized and called on Frank to save us.  Well, Frank took what seemed like an hour to tackle that bee, amused at my distress.  Anxiety turned to wonder as I watched him carefully collect the bee into the palm of his hand and lovingly escort the bee outside, a sweet man doing a sweet thing.

Like Frank himself, the honey bee

The humble, the lowly honey bee

Needed to feed the earth

Needed to feed the earth.

By his spirit and example, his farmer’s faith and heart of a fisherman, Frank drew me to something better than I had ever known, becoming my personal rock, my personal redeemer.

Remembering the concluding line of a poem by Langston Hughes, as reads, “Yet you never know, when a woman like me is free.”  I testify that I never want to be free from the Love of God, as expressed by my only husband to his only wife.

Frank was patient, Frank was kind

Frank was glad for the well-being

    and success of others, such as

    his brother Joe, who was a

    blessed father and grandfather

Frank envied no one

Frank was generous, unassuming,

    faithful, devoted

Not egotistical, not ‘in your face’

Not rude, never selfish

Frank’s heart was a vessel of gratitude

Frank was slow to take offense,

    harbored no resentments

Frank was merciful and forgave in truth

Frank was moral

Frank was ethical

Frank did Matthew 25:34-36

Frank was courageous and brave

Frank bore all things, believed all things,

Hoped all things

Endured all things.

Francis Albert Dynan nearly died in infancy.  In Vietnam, he was flown around in helicopters packed with explosives.  Surviving these, Frank never missed, for an instant, his work as an instrument of peace, in thought and deed.

Frank and I never parted without desire and hope to behold each other again.

Francis Albert Dynan, how do I love thee?  I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of Being and ideal Grace -, and, if God choose, precious, gracious, loving, compassionate man, my Rabbouni – I shall love thee better after death.

Ed.Note:  Francis Jean Maloney served in the United States Army as did Frances Albert Dynan.  They met while serving together in Germany and married.  After several years, they divorced, but in spite of their legal status they remained friends and remained married and true to one another for the rest of their lives.

Francis Maloney came from an amazing family.  Her mother was the first African American to perform with a major symphony orchestra in the United States and her father was Surgeon General of Liberia.  Frances was homeless for a time.  What she experienced and suffered should make all of us think about how we treat those who served these United States.  She is currently on the board of Bettina Network Foundation, inc. and is a tremendous asset to the Foundation and everything it does.

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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. Please also tell us if you want your name as your byline or if you want your article to appear without your name.

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

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The Last Word: Stay Woke – A Memorial to Dick Gregory

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

By:  Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.           
August 23, 2017

“It is through our struggles that we gain victories”

Stay Woke are words to remember from my best friend–the one and only Dick Gregory. Who in Black America (or America for that matter) hasn’t heard of Dick Gregory?  I certainly had known him for years before he left us a few days ago. I didn’t meet him in person until 1986 when Congressman Mervyn Dymally invited him to come to my home state in Louisiana while I was a candidate for the U.S. Congress in the old Gillis Long district.  Mr. Gregory spoke for a fundraising event for my campaign, and he didn’t ask for a dime–not even his airline ticket.  That was impressive because others required all kinds of things, including what they wanted in their hotel rooms to drink while there!

After the campaign was over, I moved to Washington, DC, and one day out of the clear blue, he was stranded in Baltimore and needed to get back to DC that night. I guess my reputation for helping anybody I could was out there already and he had heard about it!  He called me and asked if I would travel to Baltimore to get him; I did.  We became friends on the ride back to DC, and that has never changed. He began bringing over veggie burgers and cooking them while inviting friends by to see how great they tasted. I met so many wonderful people through him.

He soon became known as my best friend and running buddy.  We attended many events together, but the term running buddy came from the fact that we’d run on every track we could find, run through Rock Creek Park or get up at 2 am to test new health equipment about which somebody had told us.  I wasn’t crazy about getting up that early in the morning, so I wound up buying a lot of the strange equipment so that we could use it anytime! Consequently, my home became filled with all kinds of exercise and health gadgets.  He introduced me to just about every vitamin ever made. At that time, I had a health products business so it fit right in with what he was advocating.

He saw the thousands of books at my place, so he decided to add to my collection!  Aside from introducing me to his huge required newspaper and magazine reading, he began buying two of every book he thought was worthy of reading. That was a lot! The reason for buying the second copy was for me to read to him–sometimes for hours where I literally had to prop my eyes open to finish books late at night.

The second reason was his frequent travels, and since I had every book he had, he could call me to jog his memory on certain information.  Since he had no concept of time, he often called from other time zones in other states and countries so that I could get out of bed, go downstairs and find what he needed. He also wanted to see every movie of significance, so it was nothing for me to be picked up to hang out with him for two or three movies in a single night. I had my first arrest for a good cause with him. We were joined by George Clooney, Martin King, III, Ben Jealous and others. As a lawyer, I was called on frequently not to go to jail, but to bail him out of jail for protesting about various wrongs, so my arrest record for picketing is not nearly as long as his.

Ultimately, we began participating in so many marches and protests that we made signs for numerous causes and kept them in the trunk of my car so that we could stop and participate with others as we were passing by.

I will fast forward to 2011 where we witnessed the British Petroleum Gulf Oil Spill in Louisiana. Many under-served people were not getting paid for their losses, but big companies were. A group led by Dr. Arthur Rocker, met at my home and we discussed what we would do about it. situation.  Immediately Dick and I agreed to join the cause.  We made several trips to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas advising people of their rights to be made whole.  We picketed BP.  We went to London, England to try to seek relief for the under-served.  We picketed the BP offices there while not even knowing the laws related to picketing.

We returned to the U.S., met with and picketed more BP offices in the U.S. At the time Dick left us on Saturday, BP has yet to pay poor and marginalized people. Despite the fact that it is impossible to fill his shoes, my last words to him were promises to carry on his legacy of service to our people and finish the projects we’d started together. Dr. Rocker and I will be returning to that Gulf Coast battlefield in a few days and we’ll carry Dick’s spirit with us.

In honor of all Dick Gregory has done for us, let us honor his memory by practicing some of the things he taught us.  He wanted us to Stay Woke and not believe everything we see!  He wanted us to know that all things are not what they appear to be.  He wanted us to rid ourselves of anger, fear, hatred and jealousy.  He wanted us to know that love is much more powerful than hate. I had the last word with him on last Saturday night after Lil and his family said their goodbyes. I could never fill his shoes because they are much too big, but I had a talk with him and promised to do my best to do the things I know he would do if he were here.  That is how I will honor my friend, the one and only, Richard Claxton Gregory from whom I learned so much.

 
E. Faye Williams, MPA, PhD, D.Min, Esq.
President/CEO, National Congress of Black Women, Inc. 
1250 4th Street, SW, Suite WG-1, Washington, DC 20024 
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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

 

 

 

Donald Trump = U. S. Terrorist

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

It is now conclusively proven  – Trump is a terrorist.  This weekend broadcast that for the world to see.  He is the Hitler of this ‘Alt-Right’ movement.

We now also know where the Nazi’s went when they were thrown out of Germany.  Their heirs and progeny are carrying on their mission in the United States.

What an optic for the young people in this country.  When those from about 15 years of age and under see what is happening day to day what is it they see?  What lessons are our children learning?  Well – for starters – when they were born and came to even a small awareness of being a part of these United States, they saw the country with a president who was African American and he governed with elegance, style and caring.

And then came an election when Barack Obama could no longer run for president, having served two terms, a new president was elected and this time he is white.  Our children see and are learning that maybe a white man for president of these United States is not such a good thing.  He is crude – limited in intelligence – substitutes an evil shrewdness for that lack – brings to power with him in his administration the neo-Nazi’s, the racists, the white nationalists, etc.  And they destroy the country that has been built with the blood sweat and tears of many.  Mostly, he is a man walking in Roy Cohn’s shoes and finding that even the shoes of his mentor are too big for him.

The terror, the Crystal Nacht re-enactment, the Nazi’s reborn and demonstrating their furiousness at the justice, equality, caring that has come into these United States since they last tried to rule the world rejoice about one thing – they celebrate their father- Donald Trump – who has given them new life  and the space to cultivate and spread their evil across the United States and eventually across the world.  Is that why his Congress has only a 15% approval rating?  Because they are his choir – closest to his throne and bent on keeping him in power so they can benefit from the crumbs thrown their way?

This father of the reborn Nazi’s, White Nationalists, KKK and others of the same ilk is in his death throes knowing his time in power is very limited and knowing very well that he will unceremoniously  be removed for his prior sins in a very short time, is leaving office with as much “fire and fury” as he and his can muster.  He is leaving office with a massive coming together of those who supported his election to the presidency as he and his underlings could muster.  He is treating the rest of us to a bit of theatre  such as the world has never seen before.

In other places around the world, his cousins, who tried to stage such a Nazi comeback, have been rebuffed by their citizens.  In these United States, however, that has not been true.  We have welcomed and lifted up the neo-Nazi’s in the name of the Republic.  We have been very slow to reject and move out someone with his followers who have been and are still threatening the power and justice of these United States.  Somehow, many seem to believe their white privilege will be maintained by this group and if they just keep quiet they will also benefit and live to take over as the saner side.

The slogans being thrown around this weekend in Charlottesville are interesting and probably quite true.  The identifier slogan _Blood and Soil_ hanging out there to make sure you recognize who they are and from whence they have come – their history and ancestors.

Another which rang quite true – “No Jew will replace” – with variations on that slogan was one we heard chanted frequently.  Also quite true.  They have totally closed the door to make sure Jesus, a Jew, would not be able to come anyplace near where they are standing and holding ground. Even Donald Trump has dropped the act of pretending to be a follower of Jesus.

It has become quite clear that while the KKK tried to imitate and thereby gain entrance into parts of a believing and faith filled group such as Christians when they started with their mis-use and abuse of the symbol of the cross, this time around they have apparently thrown out the cross and come out into the sunshine and fresh air with their filth.  They apparently don’t realize that fresh air and sunshine is exactly what will destroy them and their followers.  “No Jews..” is a very accurate statement for them to make.  Jesus was many things, but by birth and life and his teachings he was most definitely a Jew.

This has been a week-end that will go down in history.  With the interpretation of historians 20 years from now we can only guess how the United States will fare under their pen.

What led to this?

One striking thing is the reason the Nazi group and its followers gave for organizing this week-end.  To prevent the removal of a Confederate Memorial Statue.

Take a look at Germany after the war and how it conducted itself trying to restore its country and its people back to some kind of normalcy – which means respect for others – equality – justice.

One thing they did not do was to allow statues, memorials, and other remembrances of the Holocaust to happen.  You will not find bronze statues of Hitler and his Lieutenants anyplace in Germany.  You also could not find copies of “Mein Kampf”.  They did everything they could to wipe the slate and start down another path.  The memorials you will find, the ceremonies of which you could be a part are for the victims, not the perpetrators of that Holocaust.  Our memorials, statues and ceremonies are for the perpetrators of slavery, for those who benefitted.  If you are in the African American community you will find memorials to the victims, but in very few other places will you find such.

What did the United States do after the ‘Holocaust’ of slavery – which went on a lot longer and destroyed and killed many millions more people.  We have statues and memorials and ceremonies and Confederate flags and everything we could find to keep alive the feelings and story and everything else of those who benefitted from slavery and brought so many to their deaths.  By those statues we constantly glorify the fight and stance taken by those who attempted to maintain slavery in these United States.  We want to keep a story alive about their valiant efforts, their life giving for this cause of maintaining the enslavement of other human beings.

Whenever, today, we threaten to remove one of those statues and/or memorials or take down one of those flags from our Capital Buildings and/or grounds the earth moves and shakes and becomes a horrendous place to be within a radius of whatever statue is so threatened.  We want to remember and celebrate that time in United States history.  We do not want to wipe it out – we want to bring it back.  “Make America Great Again” – goes one of our most recent slogans.  Make America a slaveholding country again.  Make America a country which uses and abuses others to gain wealth, privilege and strength so we can move more decisively against more and more people to bring them into our fold to use and abuse.

Isn’t that where the immigration controversy comes from?  The Trump’s have their products made in another country.  Why?  Because they, like others who do the same, can make slaves of and abuse those who are destitute making them work for a living at slave wages.  Isn’t that a real life example of what the demonstration by the “Alt-Right” this weekend is really all about?  The threat that America may lose the ability to pay $1 for a product and selling it for $100.  Keep the world under our thumb and we can abuse its people and use them to create the billions of dollars of wealth that is being accumulated by a few – almost exclusively all white, all male and all northern europeans – well, except for those being used to disprove the rule.

And at the same time immigrants we are keeping out of this country and those we are throwing out are all – really? – brown.  And brown people now make up over 40% of our citizenry.  What happens if we don’t stop immigration – we will be a country ‘flipped’.  And then what?

May God forgive us all.  Those who act – those who allow themselves to be acted upon – those who watch and keep themselves clean and away from the fray so they can live to benefit from it all.

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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.

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Aileen Clark Hernandez – (1926-2017)

Monday, March 13th, 2017

by:  Marceline DonaldsonI won’t say rest in peace.  I will say I hope you are living your life after life in a heaven in which everyone is equal – where love abounds – where justice has no meaning because the evils of this life have all fallen away.

At the end of life, one begins to think of what has my life meant! Did I spend my time wisely?  Did I work to make this world better for those I am leaving behind?  Did I do justice, love mercy, walk humbly as I tread this earth?  Can I expect to be welcomed in heaven because my life on earth was lived without making others feed my ego by feeling and acting better than?

I think Aileen can say yes to all of those questions.  She worked hard and produced much.  Not the material things in life, but those things which really count over the long term.

I first met Aileen in the 1970’s when I was elected to the National Board of NOW.  Got to know her even better when I went to a national board meeting in San Francisco with my youngest daughter who was about 4 years old at the time – and we stayed with Aileen.  The week we spent with Aileen was one I shall never forget.  I could have decorated Aileen’s house, it was that comfortable and familiar.  NOW members took turns during the meeting taking care of Jacqueline.  NOW’s commitment was to making sure board members felt free enough to bring their children.   We stayed in touch for a brief time after that, but then……

What most amazed me was her commitment to history.  She had incredible files, unbelievably organized, of everything she had done which would be of interest to historians down the road.  Her commitment to equality and justice was deep and dictated how she spent her time.  I am very grateful to have met Aileen and to have had the chance to see and be involved – for a brief time – in her life.  It was one of those times which changed mine.

When I met Aileen, we realized we had a lot in common.  Both went to New York University.  Both raised with parents who designed and sewed theatrical garments.  Both loved fashion – probably as a result of that upbringing. Both had a passion for  doing what we could to change this world for the better – and so much more.  She was a mentor for me and I am sure for many other women.  I count myself as being blessed to have had  mentors, throughout this life who have been strong, committed, beautiful people with an understanding of how we are all related and all working to bring about equality, justice, love for one another.

Aileen Hernandez

Writing these memorials is becoming a much too often occurrence.  I guess I have reached that time of life when people you know leave – frequently – for a different place and then it is time to fill those gaps in your memory because other things took precedence and you are left regretting not having called.  That is happening to me far too often.

That speaks to the way we have ordered our lives.  the activity, the action, the cause, the work of the moment becomes all consuming and involvement with friends from a lifetime ago gets pushed back for another day.  And the surprise and regret comes when you realize that day is not coming until your eyes close for the last time.

Aileen’s work and accomplishments were many and huge.  She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.  Twenty years from now, that newly coming to adulthood generation will look back to ask why she did not receive the acolades to measure her life’s work.  And the answer will be clear.  She was a woman who worked hard for women’s rights, equal rights and justice for minorities and for the union movement.  That combination is lethal in this society.  We don’t want to hold up such icons because they might just become the trail blazers to attract our children to become like them.

Aileen Hernandez, Pauli Murray and others have clearly shown the sexist lie to the now re-surfacing comments about the feminist movement being a white women’s movement.  The gains of that movement have had to push through racism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia and more to be achieved and even then those gains have been tenuous as the next generation tries to negate and destroy that move forward which freed us all for a brief moment.

Thank you, Aileen, for having been so consistent in your life and your work.  Thank you for being one of those bright lights and beacon to all of us showing us how to walk through some difficult times.  Thank you for having the courage to be one of those founding NOW at a time when the fight for the equality for women sorely needed such an organization.  Thank you for being there at a time in my life when I needed mentors, showing me there is a path you can follow because others have been there and walked through the stuff that gets thrown at you as a strong feminist and that gets thrown from all sides.

I know those greeting you on the other side are rejoicing and celebrating your life on this earth.

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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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JACK GREENBERG – NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

by: Marceline Donaldson

I read this morning of the death of Jack Greenberg and it hit me much harder than I would have expected.

Jack Greenberg, Percy Julian, Dolores Orey and so many others are among the people who surrounded me at a very dire time of my life.  I am so grateful for the fact that they lived and loved and shared and were there.  I am grateful for the way they lived their lives.  I am grateful for the way they gave to society to stand between the oppressed and the oppressors with the law as their weapon.

Reading about Jack Greenberg’s death feels to me as though an era has passed.

As a very young girl, who lived in a middle-class Black community surrounded by people who made her feel that she was really incredible and could do anything she set her mind to –  it was a recipe for constant conflict with a racist, sexist society and its institutions throughout the rest of my life.

Living in a society which did all it could to teach me that I was inferior; my hair wasn’t good enough; my skin wasn’t white enough; my brain wasn’t intelligent was defective and inferior; my birth and life’s goal should be to walk steps behind, to serve Whites, to not be pushy and absolutely to not rock the boat.  Given the lessons this society tried to teach me, the way of this country should be the way it was then and my job and life should be lived not challenging, not noticing the differences in treatment, accepting whatever this society forced on me and doing it without complaint.  The same lessons – but in a different era – which were given to the slaves were also given to Blacks not in slavery, but fighting for their civil rights.   Those that fought back and tried to escape were crazy and somehow emotionally off base, while those who accepted and did everything they could to glorify and serve their masters and mistresses were sane, substantial and who slaves and years later, more contemporary Blacks, should be.

If I did that, it was clear I would be able to live a very nice, quiet life as the wife of a very nice quiet man and have very nice quiet children.  Not very well off economically, but comfortable enough for a Black family.  If I rocked the boat; challenged the racism and sexism in this society; brought those challenges outside of the community in which I was raised there would be hell to pay.

I used to wonder why the reality of Black history was only taught in Black schools.  In White schools, not even the handful of Black children who attended those schools knew much about the oppression; the hell; the violence; the protests, revolutions, mass deaths that Blacks had gone through over the years.  As I grew older and moved out of that Black community, I realized why that was so.  If Whites are kept ignorant of Black history – especially the racial oppression and violence perpetrated on Black communities – the denials could be kept, continued and the racism could thrive.

My grandfather, O.C.W. Taylor, was principal of a school in New Orleans, but his love and passion was journalism.  He co-founded the Louisiana Weekly with C. C. Dejoie, Jr. and had a television and radio show on WNOE in New Orleans.  He was also involved in rocking boats and causing huge waves.  When he did all of this, I was right there – at four or five years old, probably younger and very definitely as I grew older.

He brought people to New Orleans through his work – like Thurgood Marshall,-  to be a part of panels discussing civil rights.  He was also a part of severing the organizational ties between the NAACP and what became the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  I think, but for the efforts of those who were behind that separation,  Brown vs the Board of Education would either not have happened or something like it would have happened years later and much diluted in its affects.

My most fun memories of those days was of sitting at the table at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans with all of those men listening to their conversations.  I don’t know if I understood it all, but those times certainly formed who I am today and how I have lived my life.  Today, I see this little girl at this table with all these men and it is amazing that it is me. Today,  as an adult, looking at those pictures on paper and in my minds eye, I see someone very small, looking totally out of place.  Then, at the time it happened, my feelings were that I was totally equal to any of them and joined the conversation whenever I had anything to say.

Jack Greenberg was a very young man, at the time, and just becoming involved with this group.  It was not an all Black group and that felt very right.

It was normal and good, at the time, the way Blacks and Jews worked together on fighting for the civil rights of everybody.  Later – as society began to notice the giant steps taken with this melded group, there began to be efforts and some very successful, to propagandize the Black community to reject its Jewish brothers and sisters and to have only Blacks involved.  Everyone had a theory as to why this was necessary.  None of those theories acknowledged the strength of that group which wound up at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant and made so many forays into the thick of racism and eventually sexism moving those barriers back a little at a time.

Years later – working for the Pillsbury Company and finding myself in the middle of racism and sexism in Corporate America, all of that came flooding back and I called the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  Highly indignant that I was experiencing racism and sexism in a job, especially when I was just out of Harvard Graduate School of Business, I was outraged.  Somehow, that was supposed to inoculate me from such experiences.  Instead, it showed me the reality of life in these United States for a Black woman.  I saw the structures which supported the racism and sexism I was experiencing – their history – where they came from – how they were established and maintained.  It was an incredible awakening.

I wasn’t able to reform and remake this society, but before it crushed me, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund took the case of Donaldson v Pillsbury, knowing it would be difficult because it was the first management case filed by a Black woman.

There I met Jack and Deborah Greenberg.  Two very committed people.  I had met Jack before, but didn’t realize that until my grandfather told me the stories of my youth and identified some of those who peopled my growing up years.  Jack and Deborah’s lives were wound up in the LDF and they were very good at what they did.  I was not simply a “Plaintiff”.  The rest of my life was important to them.  They invited me to LDF Yearly Conferences; I attempted to raise money in Minneapolis through a Black and White Ball for LDF and they tolerated that; I spent a lot of time in New York because my life elsewhere was falling apart.  The helplessness of what I was experiencing was mitigated by Jack and Deborah and Percy Julian and Dolores Orey having me sit in on the discussions of my case and contributing;  listening when my anger went over the top; allowing me to be equal and acknowledging my humanity while it was being destroyed everyplace else.  When my car was set afire I called LDF; when people circled my house in a very threatening way and I was alone in the wilds of Wayzata, Minnesota with three small children, I called LDF and Percy came to visit; when all kinds of other things happened during that time frame – I called LDF – and they responded.  As I looked at how they operated over the years, what I saw was the person who headed the organization, Jack Greenberg,  had a humanity which permeated the entire group.

My grandfather filled in the blanks for me on why Thurgood Marshall looked to Jack Greenberg as his successor at LDF.  And from my experience with the group, it made a lot of sense. I didn’t know about Jack Greenberg’s family history with anti-semitism until years later.  It was not something he paraded out to justify his work or his involvement in civil rights.  And, not everyone with that family background feels called to attempt to address the evils they experienced, but thank God Jack Greenberg did.

Towards the end of my active association with Jack and Deborah Greenberg, Percy Julian, Dolores Orey and others, I was caught up in a group of people who were lobbying to replace Jack Greenberg with an African American because they claimed the organization should have  a Black head.  It was amazing to me because of the work Jack had done and was doing.  What was this about?

As I talked to more people, it became clear that it was about propaganda being inserted to undermine the LDF.  There were White propagandist in the midst doing everything they could to convince me and others that our efforts should be placed in achieving this separatist goal.  It was very sad.  Especially since many of the Blacks involved with this separatist time had done nothing to begin to contribute to the Civil Rights Movement.  They talked loud and long, but they were contributing and working in the movement to re-establish Jim Crow in the country and this was just one of many places they wanted to see that total separation happen.  It was tragic. It was also clear that if they succeeded all the work of Jack Greenberg, Thurgood Marshall and others would be reversed.

I was back and forth to New York about that time and none of those machinations seemed to bother Jack.   He just continued with business as usual.

And now, Jack Greenberg, Percy Julian and Dolores Orey have all died.  Memories of them and their lives are still very much alive and will always be as long as we value the present by looking to the past and making that a total picture as we move into the future.  There isn’t much greater than to know  your history as you live your present.  Deborah Greenberg moved on to work with others to found the Women’s Legal Defense Fund.

It was a rare time – a painful time – a truly beautiful time – which showed the human spirit in all of its grandeur.  When pressed and there are attempts to enslave, oppress, make others less than – there are those who take the other side and spend their lives doing everything they can to remove those pressures and make life better for us all.  At the top of that list was Jack Greenberg.

My prayer for Jack is one of giving thanks that he lived and made the decisions he made on how to live his life.  Without him and all the others we would all be a little less than we are; a little more oppressed; lacking an incredible example of a life well lived and a life given to very effective service to others.

Rest on your laurels Jack and the knowledge that many remember you and your achievements and your spirit.  As you now find Thurgood Marshall again and all of those with whom you worked who have gone before, it will be an awesome reunion and the reward for a job well done.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/jack-greenberg-civil-rights-lawyer-who-helped-argue-brown-v-board-dies-at-91/2016/10/12/066a55a6-90c0-11e6-a6a3-d50061aa9fae_story.html

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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.

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The Rev. Nicholas Hood

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

by: Marceline Donaldson, April 11, 2016

Rev. Nicholas Hood

Rev. Nicholas Hood

Andrew Young, Nicholas Hood

Andrew Young, Nicholas Hood

Some remembrances write themselves.  This one is being written through heavy grief because it is not only a memory of Nicholas Hood, but  long overdue grieving of my youth and someone who contributed majorly to who I am as a Christian today.

Nicholas Hood is in my heart and soul.

The example he set for so many will last a very long time as will the witnessing to his life, his life’s work and his God.  He was one of those who witnessed for his God in a mighty way.  When God calls one to the ordained ministry, God calls the pastor and the prophet.  When it is a genuine call to the ordained ministry the life of that person is never the same and their life forever after reflects that call.  Clearly, Nicholas Hood was called by God to the ordained ministry and he never left the path he walked following that call.

“Suffer the little children to come unto me …………….” was one part of Nicholas Hood’s ministry.  With a group of us in New Orleans, life would never be the same.  We integrated the Congregational Church’s summer camp in the Panhandle.  It was an incredible, life changing experience.  There were times around a camp fire when we heard, as young Black children, what young White children thought of those like us.  Stories of how the White children – teen agers – had been taught that integrated marriages produced spotted children.  Comments I have never forgotten.  That one stood out more than the rest because my grandfather had the genetic disease which causes one’s skin to turn from brown to milky white and I could see it spreading across his hands and in later years his face.  His father was Blackfoot Indian.  His mother was French.  I knew better than to believe the stories I heard around that camp fire, but that one got inside and it took some time before I was able to dig it out.    Nick Hood was there talking to all of us and going into detail on racism and how it works and spreads from one generation to the next.  Those were stories told to their children by parents who were full of fear and afraid their children might bring home a Black boy or girl friend and they were doing everything they could to prevent that and keep the color line unbroken.  What Nicholas Hood did for us, after that night around the camp fire, was to witness using the Gospel to put all of what we heard into a context which was powerful I can still hear parts of it.

Nicholas Hood was there at the end of that camping experience when we were on the way home and we all went into a diner to eat.  We had been so caught up in the experience of being together – White and Black – that the reality outside the camp had not been restored and we sat in the diner causing a bit of an uproar because Blacks were sitting at the counter waiting to be fed.  We were unaware of the sit-ins beginning to happen across the country.  We just wanted lunch.

Nicholas Hood brought a group of us – very young people – with Andrew Young and Martin King – across the backroads of Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama as a Jr. High Choir to sing in White Churches in which Martin preached.  We spent the night in the homes of the White Jr. High Choir members before and after the service and after that when we were all quickly hustled out of the homes where we were staying back into the cars to be driven down the road at high speed watching in front of us seeing Nicholas Hood, Andy and Martin hung in effigy from the trees down the road and behind us a group of very angry whites with rifles coming to run out of town the oversexed Blacks who couldn’t be about anything except a sex orgy sleeping with the young White teenagers whose families offered us hospitality.  That was my first experience being seen, not as a human being but as an oversexed machine to whom friendship wasn’t possible – but was interpreted as some kind of sex thing.  Nicholas Hood was there to put all of that into the perspective of the Gospel.

I didn’t realize how much children absorb of Sunday sermons until I looked back and remembered some of Nicholas Hood’s sermons, which got into my soul.  I couldn’t have been more than 13-14 years old.

I’ve made lots of missteps in my life, but somehow I have always been able to self-correct.  Some compass inside always brought me back to the faith of my childhood and the example of those around me at the time.  To be able to see beyond today and to talk to those who are no longer here is a New Orleans thing and not an easy thing to handle,  but Nicholas Hood kept my deepest secrets which were never shared.  That is a gift and I am so very grateful to the giver.

Rev. Hood came to Minneapolis years ago and we spent an incredible evening going over life and where it had taken us.  An evening I have always cherished.  I’ve watched his life and how he lived it and one thing stands out above all else – his faith in God and his steps, which were ordered by God. He lived to the benefit of so many – me included.  Life happens, but it does not always happen full of love while we are doing God’s work.  We can get so confused as to what God is calling us to do.  What is the work we need to be doing for ourselves and for others?  Nick Hood’s life shows an example of someone who was very clear about the work God called him to do.

By your fruits you shall be known.  By what Nicholas Hood was about all those 92 years speaks louder than anything anyone could say, explain, add to his life’s story. By the fruit of his life – “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17″So every good tree bears good fruit,” …………  You have left clear evidence by your fruit that you are one of God’s own forever, Nicholas Hood.  May God bless and keep you close for eternity.

See also:

Tonight, I Watched My Father Die

http://www.wxyz.com/news/civil-rights-activist-former-detroit-city-council-member-nicholas-hood-sr-dies-at-91

Rev. Hood Sr.

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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.

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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

Another Lillian Anthony Response

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Hello Marceline

What a moving and touching write up on your friend Lillian. I so enjoyed reading it. Many thanks for sharing.

I just had a key law prof from U of Wisc to pass away. He mentored almost every black law student enrolled during my stay. I think he too attended same undergrad as Lillian and about the same time maybe. It is a small world    Prof Jim Jones also served in the Dept of Labor.
I will send you his obit.

C. Michael

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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

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The Rev. Dr. Lillian D. Anthony, my friend

Monday, December 1st, 2014

by: Marceline Donaldson, president

Bettina Network Foundation, inc.

 

There are some people one expects to go on forever, but none of us lives forever.

Lillian was a force of nature. Her strength came from the clear, truthful, fearless and love filled way she lived her life.

I have always called Lillian ‘my friend’, but as I look back over our lives I realize she was also one of my mentors from whom I learned a lot.

I met Lillian back in the l960’s in Minneapolis. She was challenging the City of Minneapolis about its lack of civil rights and was in the process of becoming the first head of one of the first city civil rights departments in the United States.

It was amazing for me – a young, southern, quiet, full of my early training.  A person who wore gloves everyplace and usually with an umbrella at hand, who had been trained to always remember who she was and act accordingly – to meet this woman who always knew who she was and she was neither quiet nor southern.

I was just coming out of a not so great marriage and trying to stand on my own two feet for the first time in life. I’d found a beautiful house I loved and tried to buy, but the owner declared he would not sell to an African American. I was furious; was not going to take such; and wasn’t sure where to go or what to do when someone suggested I call Lillian Anthony – which I did.

Lillian responded immediately. She was head of the newly established Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights starting in l968 and had some power to address what happened to me.

We met and talked and hit it off right away. Lillian went off to address the problem and in a couple days called and we met again. She told me the problem was solved, the owner had no problem selling the house to an African American woman and she knew that for sure because she’d just bought it.

We started to laugh, almost uncontrollably. It was a joke that was funny far beneath what was on the surface and so off we went on a lifetime of what can only be described as a hilarious friendship full of one-upmanship’s. When we met at social, civic, or other events we would point and laugh uproariously because we knew we were the sharpest looking people in the room. I knew I looked better than Lillian and she knew she looked better than me.

We often went shopping together – to estate sales, of course – but we had to fight to buy what we wanted because we always saw the same item at the same time and it was a free-for-all as to who got to it first.

I was invited to a meeting in Chicago in the early 1970’s of 100 Black Women and so was Lillian, who was one of the coordinators of that event. Once there I met Elma Lewis – who had not yet become Miss. Lewis. There was a skit in the room with all of us gathered and a woman dressed as a waitress came in with her clothes askew looking very stressed and disheveled, crying out – ‘help me, they shot him’.

No one in the room moved, except me, who jumped up to run to this woman to help her in her obvious distress, while telling everyone else in the room how they should be helping also. Elma wanted to know “who is that woman”. Lillian, who was sitting next to Elma said – that’s just Marceline. She is always in the middle of everything saving the world . Elma called me over to sit next to her and she and Lillian laughed and carried on – at my expense.

Turns out, the waitress was a part of the skit to see who would respond and to then start a discussion on being involved. However, that didn’t work because Lillian, Elma and I couldn’t stop laughing and just having a great time out of all of this.

That was the start of a great trio of friends. We weren’t together a lot, but when we did get together it was always a good time.

Lillian designed the Afro-American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, becoming its first chairperson. She did an amazing job of helping to found the Department and headed it in a way which helped develop the entire field. No, Skip Gates was not the first and neither was Harvard.

Lillian ran into trouble at the University as Black men challenged her position which they thought should belong to an African American man who they claimed should have better credentials than Lillians’. So Lillian resigned and went off to the University of Massachusetts to obtain a Doctorate in Education. In addition she also served on the faculties of the University of Nebraska, George Mason University and Towson University in Maryland.

Even before all of this, Lillian went to seminary at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and received her Master of Religious Education in 1953 long before women were even beginning to see the possibility of a seminary education. Before that, Lillian received her undergraduate degree from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO.

After leaving seminary Lillian worked at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church as the director of religious education. A job most women found if they were lucky enough to finish their seminary education and find a job. The Church was way behind the society- still is today – in addressing the equality of men and women and Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.

Lillian also taught in Assuit, Egypt and was the North Central Area representative for the Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Ordination was not possible then, even though God’s call to Lillian to the ordained ministry was strong,  so she went instead into Religious Education. Lillian did not ignore this call to ordination into the Presbyterian ministry, which wasn’t realized until decades after she turned to listen to what God was calling her to do. What was clear in Lillian’s life was that God calls and man decides to ignore God’s way and pursue his own, blocking the path of women and minorities. It was clear looking at Lillian’s life, that it is dangerous for men to block God’s call, but they never seem to get that message because they are still today blocking as best they can – only today being joined by a few others who are not White European males!

Before I met Lillian, she had served the Federal Government from 1965-1968 as the district director for the Department of Labor establishing anti-poverty programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

When I moved to Massachusetts, Lillian was already there at the University of Massachsuetts working on a doctorate in Education. She insisted I join her because she felt I would need something to fall back on and with a doctorate I could teach in Academia someplace.  I was not an academician, nor anything close and I decided that was not my path. She, Elma and I got together several times while Lillian was studying and both tried to push me into this doctorate business, but I resisted and took another path.

Several years after I moved to Massachusetts, Elma Lewis called to say she had heard from Lillian who was concerned about me because we hadn’t been in touch for quite some time and wanted Elma to make sure I was alright. They both knew my penchant for jumping into the fire and they both have had to pull me out several times.  According to Elma, there were rumors and they were worried about me.

Elma called me to say John Ross was picking me up to bring me to her house for lunch, but before he did he was going to take me on a tour of Boston. I told Elma I already knew Boston, had been living here for a few years and that was great, but I preferred lunch times to tour times. Elma said nothing and John Ross picked me up and took me on a tour of Boston. Elma was now Miss Lewis and you did her bidding.  John Ross asked all kinds of questions – how are you, what are you doing, are you alright financially, can we do anything for you, and on and on he went. I finally stopped him to ask why he was trying to get into my business. John Ross said he wasn’t he was just instructed by Elma to ask all of these questions because they needed to make sure I was alright and didn’t want me to say everything was fine – when we talked over lunch – and everything was not fine.

John Ross took me to Elma’s, where she was on the phone with Lillian and they both demanded I not stay out of touch for so long and whenever I had a problem of any kind they were just a phone call away.

That was a very emotional moment for me, but I knew that was how they both were and I must have had some kind of publicity or gossip which made them think they needed to circle the wagons.

Having had that kind of mentoring, I have tried to live up to their example and be there for others – although I have not been perfect following my mentors. I do fall away and still get busy with my own business and have missed many such opportunities presented to me by the universe.

One passion in Lillian’s life was ‘collecting’. It is a passion we both shared, but mine was about 18th century French furnishings, art objects, etc. Lillian’s was about collecting negative Black images throughout history. She had an amazing collection and her house – wherever it was – reflected this passion.

At one point in Louisville and again in St. Louis her home was a place classes of school children visited with their teachers to take the tour of Ms. Lillian’s home.

Oddly enough – or should I say expectedly enough – our two passions ran parallel because as Lillian became more knowledgeable about her area of collecting she ran across many objects which were from 18th century and beyond  in the time frame of my collecting and items made by some of the same people and companies I loved. Lillian knew about and owned items made by the Dresden, Meissen and other factories of negative Black images and while artistically exquisite the subject matter made you wonder about this use of the artists talent. I remember when Lillian bought a beautiful piece of Dresden china which depicted a Black child being born out of an alligators egg and others pieces that went downhill from there.

My thoughts about negative Black images had to do with the Aunt Jemima dolls and the Uncle Tom depictions, but they went far beyond those simple objects into incredible works of art meant to support the racism against African Americans in as many and as subtle and not so subtle ways as possible.

Lillian brought a part of her collection to Boston for an exhibit along with a program speaking to this form of maintaining the structure of racism. It was well attended and the curiosity and amazement from those who had my early thoughts about this area was astounding.

Lillian was head of the Afro American studies department in Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Maryland to become a professor in the same area at Towson University.

Her life and career extended across the country and in several institutions. She left each one better for having served there.

Lillian’s last job before retiring was as the associate for equal employment opportunity/affirmative action in the human resources department in the Prebbyterian Church’s national office in Louisville, Kentucky.

Lillian was also able to function as an ordained minister before her death and her sermons were memorable, moving and caused you to rethink who you are and how you were responding to God’s call in your life.

Lillian was clearly one of God’s chosen and never forgot that she was called by God to spend her life ministering to God’s people and she did that with love, compassion, fearlessness, dignity and grace.

She received many awards and honorary recognitions like the Mary McLeod Bethune Award, presented by the Louisville National Council of Negro Women. She was also appointed to the President’s Disability Task Force.

What many people did not know was that Lillian lived with Lupus most of her adult life. How she did all of what she did and dealt with a very debilitating disease we will never know. Lillian was never a victim and nothing that happened to her turned her into a victim. She was always a child of God who she believed was the active force in her life and to whom she owed everything.  She lived that life to the fullest – always.

Unfortunately for me, I did not stay as close to Lillian as a friend should and so my grief is not over the loss of a friend – who I know is celebrating with all of her friends right now having a joyous time – but over the loss of my opportunity and responsibility not to lose track of someone who I was close to and loved like a sister.

Through all of this I have learned that life and our society separates friends and families and thereby increases the burden on those we love and don’t keep up with because of our busyness trying to keep body and soul together.

Each time this happens I resolve to not let it happen ever again and then I hear of a close friend who has died and my guilt, regret and sense of great loss starts all over again.

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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

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Spencer Morgan Rice, In Memoriam

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

by:  Marceline Donaldson, 2014

We were saddened to hear of the death of Spencer Rice on January 15, 2014.  He was a larger than life figure as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in the city of Boston from 1982 to 1992.

There is always that extra amount of grief when someone you know dies, – someone who was your mentor for a period of time, especially at a life-changing moment of your life. and that is who Spencer was to me.  He was very insightful and could put his finger on what you were going through without long discussions to wear out the problems and sometimes without the fact that you were experiencing a problem with all its particulars even discussed.

Spencer ministered to a lot of people on the fringes at Trinity – people you would not think the rector of such a large Church would even notice – and he did it quietly with no fanfare and only those closeby noticing his good works.  In conversation with several people who knew Spencer, one thing was mentioned by every one – his generosity.

The best way I could think of to remember Spencer is to reprint one of his sermons which I feel encapsulats his core beliefs.  This sermon was preached on John 1:43-51. .    The Rev. Dr. Spencer Morgan Rice was powerful, conflicted, with a raging internal war which produced sermons that reached the hearts and changed the lives of many.

“WE HAVE FOUND HIM, COME AND SEE”     (John 1:43-51)

Preached from the pulpit of Trinity Episcopal Church in Boston, MA.

“This is a time of crisis.  It is not only a time of crisis in the political and military affairs of the nation, but it is also a time of crisis in the soul of our nation.  The Gospel this morning is appropriate to this crisis.  Philip said to Nathanael, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’  Nathanael said to him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and See.’

This morning, I would like to reflect with you upon dogma, upon the peace of God, upon the treasure of God.

‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ We have heard the text many times and felt of ourselves that we readily understood Nathanael who gave this despairing, perhaps even cynical response to Philip.  Yet the matter presses upon us this morning as we, in this country, find ourselves often divided from those around us in terms of our convictions as to what should or should not be done in world affairs.  It is a crisis.  Men and women in every day and time, in every circumstance of life, are tempted to slide easily into Nathanael’s trap with a generic, doctrinaire, despairing, myopic point of view.  Those who differ from me, are they not from Nazareth?

We have seen in the life of our country many instances in the last fifty years in which these matters have been tested.  Those of you who are old enough to remember the days before World War II can well recall that the America First Committee was very powerful in the United States.  We were a nation that described herself as isolationist.  Charles Lindbergh warned us that if we entered this war, which was none of our business, we would find that we had lost our freedoms at home.  Franklin Roosevelt was saying in the same time frame, ‘We must become the arsenal of democracy.’ For us, this was a crisis, as difficult as war itself.  There were many opinions.

During my undergraduate studies, I and many other young men saw the beginning of the war in Korea, having just been discharged from the Armed Services.  Many of us were called back.  Open protests at that time were not common; our opposition was a seething, underground, resentful condition that existed among men and women.  Korea was called a police action, an undeclared war.  The sides were there; the crisis was there; the difficulty was there.  We have all seen the difficult circumstances surrounding Vietnam, overseen by three different presidents of both political parties.  We have seen men and women of conscience throughout the life of the republic differing passionately with one another.

In our enduring credit, our Congress before hostilities began in Iraq, had the freedom and the courage to witness to the world open, passionate, heartfelt debate.  It is a time when we must examine closely the temptation to join Nathanael in characterizing those who disagree with us as from Nazareth.  Christians are called, as indeed we are called as citizens, to hear those with whom we passionately disagree.

We all seek peace – peace in the world, peace in our souls, peace with our God, and Philip comes to us and says, ‘We have found Him.’ I ask of myself in the context of this Gospel, why then do men and women (including myself) under stress and in trauma, resort to rigid, doctrinaire, inflexible, unhearing positions?  I know, and I suspect that you know, that we are a lonely, frightened people.  In our aloneness, in our fright, we are given to protecting ourselves.  We are searching all of our lives for someone with whom we can share our most intimate fears, with whom we can find peace.  We search at work, we search in church;we search at parties; we search on the streets of life.

Thomas Yeomans, poet, fellow parishioner and clinician, in his recently published book The Flesh Made Word, talks of our searching.  He says,

‘In airports, or in shopping malls,

we probe each face for some relief,

some soul to recognize our grief.

But crowd averts its eye, inmeshed in time and always late.’

‘We have found Him’  It is personal.  We have found the person who can look into our souls and recognize our grief.

As we look for peace in the world and in our own souls in every conceivable way, we hope to be those people, those Christians, those citizens who can be open to their fellow citizens, whatever their stance may be.  One thinks of the verses in May Sarton’s poem ‘Now I Become Myself’ in the recent anthology ‘Cries of the Spirit: A Celebration of Women’s Spirituality.’ She writes,

‘Now I have become myself.

It’s taken Time, many years and places;

I have been dissolved and shaken

Worn other people’s faces,

Run madly, as if Time were there….

Now to stand still, to be here.’

‘We have found Him’ To stand still and to acknowledge this Jesus, the Christ who calls us to be open to hear our fellow citizens.

The measure of God is a person.  And Philip says to us, as he said to Nathanael, ‘Come and see.’  We ask ourselves, what is the treasure that this Christ brings us, that treasure that is beyond tolerance? We are called of God beyond patience, beyond tolerance.  We are called to a condition of life that is open to those with whom we disagree, to reach out intellectually, and indeed even emotionally, to see why they perceive things the way they do.  We are called of God.

How do we get there? What do we find in this treasure?  What do we find in this Christ? We find forgiveness.  We find acceptance of ourselves.  For nineteen and a half centuries of Christianity, the preponderance of people understood forgiveness as something that they allocated and accorded to another.  It took the social scientists of your generation and mine to reach into the intimate lives of men and women to remind us, in the voice of the mystics through the centuries, that forgiveness in life begins with my acceptance of myself, my forgiveness of myself, given to me by this Christ.  Only through that forgiveness can I open myself to hear, to respect someone with whom I passionately disagree.

No. we are not called to a new condition of doctrine or dogma, we are called not to those defensive constructs of mind that wall us off and say of the world, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ What we are called to is personal; it is trusting.  It is trusting that we have been forgiven; it is trusting in the spirit of the disciples when they come and say, ‘We have found Him. Come and see.’

In 1973 I was invited to a luncheon on Telegraph Hill in San Franciscol  A modest home, perched on the side of that artistic community, looking out over San Francisco Bay, with all of its majestic, physical glory.  There were only two guests at that luncheon given by a parishioner.  I was one of the guests and the other was the recent widow of the late Jacob Bronowski, internationally renowed scientist and poet, famous for his work at Cambridge University in England, later at MIT and at the Salk Institute at the time of his death.  He wrote a book entitled The Ascent of Man that many read, and I presume many more saw on public television the BBC-produced documentary series with the same title, which Bronowski wrote and presented.  In one of the last programs of the series he is standing by a pool of water and he turns to the camera and says:

It’s said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers.

That’s false, tragically false.  This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz.  This is where people were turned into numbers.  Into this pond were flashed the ashes of four million human beings.  This was not done by gas.  It was done by arrogance.  It was done by dogma.  It was done by ignorance…..This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

A few sentences later, he quotes Oliver Cromwell: ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.’

In the crucible of our Gospel this morning, as we hope and pray that we can hear our fellow countrymen in their convictions, whatever they may be, we acknowledge that doing so is not a renunciation of your convictions or mine; it is the humility born of forgiveness, and in that forgiveness is the capacity to let go of our dogmatic categories of mind and soul.

Alice Walker, in one of her poems, says,

Looking down into my father’s

dead face

for the last time

my mother said

without tears, without smiles

just with civility

‘Goodnight, Willie Lee,

I’ll see you in the morning.’

And it was then I knew

that the healing of all our wounds

is forgiveness

that permits a promise of our return

at the end.

The treasure that God brings to us in the Gospel this morning is that you and I are forgiven and healed, and that whatever our convictions may be about this war, about the difficulties and complexities that surround us, you and I can find peace of soul.  That is our treasure.  We can be open to our fellow citizens.  It is personal. ‘We have found Him.  Come and See.’

Let Us Pray:

Heavenly Father, our nation stands on the precipice of a crisis.  Passionate convictions clash and contradict.  Lift us above the dogma, the “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ mind set to a place of Christian listening.

We seek peace in the world.  We seek peace in our souls.  We are searching.  We have worn many other people’s faces.  Now, let us stand still to be here.  We have found Him.

Finally Heavenly Father, this Jesus, our Christ, brings us the treasure of forgiveness that we may forgive and accept ourselves, that honoring our convictions, we may have a new humility born of forgiveness, that we may hear and respect one another.  It is personal.  “We have found Him.  Come and See.’  Amen.”

Spencer –   May your soul rest in the knowledge that it is healed, forgiven and is in that place of peace which passes all understanding!  May the God we worship be with you always and may your soul continue its journey as it seeks its eternity! We are listening in the stillness to hear that you have found that treasure  and know without contradiction that it is personal! – We will, one day, come and see!

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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!

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UBUNTU – I Am Because You Are

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2013

“I am not a saint – unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” – Mandela.

…………………………………….If only that described all of us!

The world is pouring out its grief, celebration, joy, gratitude, love for the life of Nelson Mandela.

………………………………………………………..Which has to make you think and ask – why?

What makes a human being rise to such a level that we are all grateful for his life on earth and come out to celebrate such an exceptional human being. Is it because so few such people have lived on this earth, especially when put in the context of the totality of those who have lived?

While most are celebrating such a great man – in Bettina homes we are asking why so few have risen to this height?  Why so many human beings have been so absorbed with the mundanities of life that keep us busy and distracted so we can keep ourselves unaware of our irrevocable march towards death?  Is it the self-absorption which some of our huge egos demand for their self-gratification? Is it the inconsistencies in values which we carry that keep us from living out our beliefs because we might get hurt – might miss a meal – might not accumulate as much wealth as possible?  Or is it our contradictory ways of thinking and acting which we develop in our striving to create the structures which we think protect us and keep us secure, but which really oppress us?

How long, O Lord, do we have to wait for the many to live life the way Mandela lived his?  Why does he have to be special? Why in our own small parts of the world we insist on living  anti-ubuntu lives?  Haven’t we experienced enough of the misery, poverty, pain, horrors that this causes?  How long will we surround ourselves with “our own kind”?  How long will we live blinded by the fact that we are all included in “our own kind.”

Whatever hurts me hurts thee! Whatever joys I experience grow exponentially when I share them with thee! My freedom totally depends upon your freedom.

One can hear why Mandela was great by just listening to the speeches honoring him.  Some were clear, unobstructed  by play acting, playing to the audience, playing to their own egos, unable to give a great speech honestly honoring Mandela’s life because they have allowed their minds to be clouded by their refusal to accept and act on their own values and take responsibility for their lives.  Some were almost unintelligible and said more negatives about the person giving the speech than positives about the man the speech was supposed to be honoring. True Freedom eliminates that and you could tell whose lives were on track and whose were confused and muddled from listening to those speeches!

Mandela’s memorial services today gave us a stark opportunity to see and hear the differences as men and women gave their speeches of remembrance and the crowd reacted.  Some people don’t have images, reflections, pretenses, – they have a rock solid faith, clear and authentic lives they are living and it is reflected in their very being, the words they use, their demeanor around others – especially their ability to be themselves when greeting strangers.  Some people  first promote their image and then everything else – lets not even begin to be who we really are, that must not show until we know the person better.

Why do so many of us want, protect and pass on to our children, as great gifts, the bondage in which we live?  Why do we give up a beautiful life well lived for an existence that others have told us we must sacrifice ourselves to maintain?  Why are we enslaved to sexual stereotypes – racial stereotypes – national stereotypes – religious stereotypes?  We live out of them.  We live for them and to promote them hoping that in exchange we will be able to live physically comfortable although seriously compromised lives.

FREEDOM will come to this earth when we celebrate lives like Mandela’s many times each day instead of once in a lifetime.

We set up ‘sins’ that we must stay away from and/or avoid the perception of our being involved with because that might handicap our future.  We don’t set up, teach, preach, live authentic lives.  The sins we set up and announce from our own mountain  seem meant to deflect us and allow a few to claim perfection in their life’s story.  Those are very far from the real sins of our lives – the inability to live authentically,  the refusal to feel empathy for those on the street with no shelter from the cold, hunger, dangers of the street.  Our refusal to stand on our own professed faith and most especially to give no room to others to stand on theirs – this seems to be the biggest sin of our creation.  These are  the commandments by which we live and demand that others of “our kind”  also live.  Our need to act to keep from feeling threatened by those we don’t understand; those in whom we see what we don’t like in ourselves – those we scape goat, and see reflected in our own mirror – we act against and break our own mirror.

As we look around at others it hurts the soul to see in them the rejection, mean spirit, and refusal to live truly free lives.  After all, what does it matter in the end?  We all die – and what a horrible death to leave this earth with unrequited dreams, longing, loves because you were trying for things that die with you for which there is no resurrection or redemption and which did nothing to make your life great.  Worse, to die without ever having had dreams, great loves and without having left behind a legacy which helped change this earth for the better.

Isn’t it sad that we choose the fleeting fame and what we call ‘security’ instead of choosing to be about the business of living fully and making sure we are there to help others do the same?

There is no such thing in life as ‘security’, but we are willing to sacrifice much to attain the mirage.

Ecclesiastes comes to mind often – ‘vanity of vanities………’

Oh for a world full of people like Nelson Mandel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Not only was Nelson Mandela clear as to who he was and whose he was, but he was a man who never met a stranger.  He could reduce you to your real self in front of him in seconds or make it extremely difficult for you to maintain the pretense and image built up over years of living someone else’s imaginary life projected onto your own.

We pray that we all can move away from and cast out the garbage that collects as we live our lives striving for security; putting forth an image of someone we would like to be and who we would like those meeting us to think we are; cast out the values we collect to cover our insecurities and fears; cast out the mean spirit we take on because we need to feel better than other human beings who we describe and see clearly as those less than us helping us to be better than they are.

We pray that we have no more such outpourings as are happening this week for Nelson Mandela.  Not because we don’t appreciate and value his life and work, but because we will be living in a world where there are  so many like him that his life and how he lived it becomes normal and is common all around us.  What a world that would be and what a wonderful place to live, love, work, and just be!

UBUNTU! A future and a word taken into the world’s vocabulary as one of its own no matter what the language.  A word that describes – how we live – who we are!

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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.

A Tribute to The Rev. Patricia Riley Colenback (1931-2013)

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

taken from “Alla Bozarth-Campbell’s – From Womanpriest: A Personal Odyssey, Paulist Press 1978

Bakerwoman God

 
Bakerwoman God,
I am your living Bread.
Strong, brown, Bakerwoman God.
I am your low, soft, and being-shaped loaf.
 
I am your rising bread,
well-kneaded by some divine
and knotty pair of knuckles,
by your warm earth-hands.
I am bread well-kneaded.
 
Put me in fire, Bakerwoman God,
put me in your own bright fire.
I am warm, warm as you from fire.
I am white and gold, soft and hard,
brown and round.
I am so warm from fire.
 
Break me, Bakerwoman God!
I am broken under your caring Word.
Drop me in your special juice in pieces.
Drop me in your blood.
Drunken me in the great red flood.
Self-giving chalice swallow me.
My skin shines in the divine wine.
My face is cup-covered and I drown.
 
I fall up
in a red pool
in a gold world
where your warm
sunskin hand
is there to catch and hold me.
Bakerwoman God,
remake me.
 

And how many times, Pat,  did you say these words over others…………………..

                              “Give rest, O Christ, to your servant Pat with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.”

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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.

 
 
 
 

Veterans’ Day – 2012

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Memorial Church - Harvard University

Memorial Church – Harvard University

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2012 – by Marceline Donaldson

We celebrated Veterans Day by piling all of our guests into our car and their car and going to Memorial Church in Harvard Yard.

It was a great day for everyone.  Memorial Church was dedicated in 1932 to the memory of the Harvard dead of World War I and now also contains memorials of the dead of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the graduates of Radcliffe College who died in World War I.  So it was the 80th anniversary of Memorial Church.

There were prayers for many illustrious names which you can recognize as being solidly a part of the New England Establishment – we prayed for Coolidges, Appletons, Nobles, Peabody’s, Woodworth’s, Ferris’ and of course, Gomes, Pusey, and Lowell, among others.  I prayed for Mary Daly, whose sermon on a Sunday in Memorial Church caused many to rethink and changed lives, for Benjamin Mays from Morehouse College and so many more who chose uncomfortable – sometimes painful lives instead of comfortable existences which they could have had but for the prophetic pull which determined their life’s path and brought them to the pulpit of Memorial Church.  Each, out of their own lives issued challenges from that most traditional of Churches.

President Drew Faust was present because it was also the day of the Institution Service for the new minister of Memorial Church.  Rev. Peter Gomes died last year and his loss was huge. Rev. Jonathan L. Walton is the new minister and if the few remarks he made during the service were any indication of what to expect in the future his should be an interesting and thought provoking ministry, challenging many.  He started his sentences with “We come to honor a Palestinian Jew who was executed…..”  If that is any indication of his preaching, pastoring and prophetic sides his tenure at Memorial Church should be inspiring and challenging.

The bell tolled “In Memory of Voices that are Hushed” and in the process an honor guard  of Harvard ROTC students placed a wreath of laurel in the Memorial Room.

After the service, the reception was right where you were seated in the Church.  We just mingled while Harvard students who worked as waiters and waitresses served wonderful small edibles – savory and sweet along with drinks.  It was an unusual ending since such receptions are held in another room or in the basement or someplace out of the way.  To just stand-up at the end of the service to see Harvard students serving you as you greeted those you haven’t seen in a long time or talked about the service, or listened to others talk about the new minister was a new and different ending.  Hopefully, the spirit which filled Memorial Church on November 11th will continue.

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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.

Dr. Alice Amsden’s Commemoration at MIT

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Dr. Alice Amsden, Barton L. Weller Professor of Economic Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Over the weekend of October 20, 2012 MIT held a commemoration/memorial for Dr. Amsden and it was recorded and published.  One of  the Bettina Network Community members called to ask that we post the email on Bettina Network’s Blog that we sent to those who purchased at Dr. Amsden’s Scattering Sale.  She had forwarded the link to a couple friends and they said the content of the weekend should have a wider ciculation and encouraged her to have the commemoration put on the blog.

In that spirit, the link follows and we invite you to take a look.  It was a tremendous couple of days and an opportunity to both pay tribute to Dr. Amsden and to learn about her ideas, work and family.  We came away with a much greater understanding of what she was about and a different set of ideas about how the world could work.

We sent the following message to those who purchased items at this sale and decided to share it with the Bettina Network’s world.

http://amsden.mit.edu/program/

http://ttv.mit.edu/videos/21431-alice-amsden-commemoration-part-1

“A couple months ago you purchased items at a Bettina Network Scattering Sale which were from the estate of Alice Amsden.

There was a memorial service for Ms. Amsden at MIT recently, which is now on-line.  We have included, at the top of this email, the link for you to use to see this service.  It is a fantastic tribute to Dr. Amsden and it gives you an idea as to who she was, her work, ideas, colleagues and more.

Some of us keep as much of a provenance of the items we buy as possible.  We assume you are one of us and would like to have this information that you can peruse as you wish.  There are six parts to the video and it is excellent.

Thank you for being a part of the Bettina Network Community and for the purchases you made at the Alice Amsden Sale.  We hope this video becomes a part of your collection and you keep it with the items you purchased from Dr. Amsdens estate.

At Bettina Network we are working on building a research library which would include such information on all the items we sell so the next generation will be able to search for and find the art, furnishings, everyday items and more of those who meant a lot to them.  I still wonder what happened to some particular items from my grandmother’s estate.  I would very much have appreciated being able to search for those items, so we are working to give others that opportunity.

We also hope the research library will be used by researchers, appraisers, historians and others to gain an idea into who owned what, why, its value when it was sold and its history before it was acquired by that particular person.

We hope this video is as meaningful to you as it was to us.  Besides the ideas and discussion in this Commemoration, the video about Alice Amsden from baby to the end of life was beautifully done as was the tribute to Dr. Amsden by her family.

We commend it to you with our best wishes and thanks!”
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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.

A Final Tribute

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Ed. Note: Because we had so much response to the Bettina Network Blog on Whitney Houston and because we had questions we couldn’t properly answer and comments we didn’t want to put in the blog – there would have been many by now – mostly repetitive – we decided to reprint (with permission) – this article written by Marc Morial, who has written a fantastic column which covers it all and we commend this to you without reservations or further comments.

The Incomparable Whitney Houston
To Be Equal #7

Syndicated Weekly Column by National Urban League President & CEO Marc H. Morial
“To me Whitney was THE VOICE. We got to hear a part of God every time she sang.” – Oprah Winfrey on the death of Whitney Houston

FEBRUARY 15, 2012 – Billie Holiday was 44. Judy Garland was 47. Dinah Washington was 39. Michael Jackson was 51. Jimi Hendrix was 28. Janis Joplin was 27. Amy Winehouse was 28. And Whitney Houston lived only 48 years on this earth. I was one of millions of people around the world who were stunned to learn of the untimely death of pop-music queen, Whitney Houston last Saturday. Like so many other entertainers who died too young, Whitney was blessed with a divine talent but also haunted by a heavy load of troubles.

Throughout much of the 1980’s and 90’s, Whitney Houston reigned as the undisputed queen of pop. With songs like “The Greatest Love of All,” and “I Will Always Love You,” she set a standard as an octave-shattering virtuoso who brought both elegance and a gospel-tinged intensity to her work in studio and on stage. That was surely a natural outgrowth of her church choir roots and being the daughter of classy gospel legend, Cissy Houston.

Whitney got her start singing in the junior choir of Newark, New Jersey’s New Hope Baptist Church, where her mother has served as Minister of Music for decades. Whitney also undoubtedly benefited from the influences of other great musical talents in her family. Dionne Warwick was her cousin. And Aretha Franklin was her Godmother. But, Whitney was a pure original.

In addition to setting the music world on fire and influencing such performers as Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson, Whitney also excelled as an actress, and had starring roles in such movies as “The Bodyguard,” “Waiting to Exhale” and “The Preacher’s Wife.” Her final film, “Sparkle,” a remake of the 1976 movie about three sisters from Harlem who form a singing group, is set to be released in August.

It is a sad irony that Whitney Houston died on the eve of this year’s Grammy Awards. The winner of six Grammys herself, Whitney was preparing to attend a pre-Grammy party given by her mentor, the legendary music producer, Clive Davis. Her body was found Saturday afternoon in the bath tub of her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. As of this writing, the exact cause of her death is still unknown.

In her 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Whitney revealed for the first time, some of the most intimate details about her troubled marriage to Bobby Brown, the deep feelings she had for her mother and her daughter, Bobbie Kristina, and her struggles with drugs. She candidly admitted to Oprah that at times “It was too much. So much to try to live up to, to try to be, and I wanted out.” Through it all, Whitney said she was constantly reading her bible and trying to get back to God. While we are all shocked and saddened by her death, I am hopeful that Whitney Houston’s life and incomparable musical gifts will inspire others to let nothing stand in the way of the full and healthy expression of their God-given talents. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cissy, Bobbie Kristina and the entire Houston family.”

And from the Bettina Network:
May the Lord Bless and Keep you Whitney,
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
May God lift up that exquisite, peaceful and loving countenance upon you and give you peace
Now and forever….Amen and Amen!

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Alabama’s first licensed black female pilot dies at 90

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 12:16 PM Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 12:35 PM

The Associated Press By The Associated Press 
mildred.JPG
Mildred Carter, pictured here in 2003, shows her pilot’s
license from 1941. (The Birmingham News/ file photo)

TUSKEGEE, Alabama — Mildred Carter, who was Alabama’s first licensed black female pilot, has died. She was 90.

Funeral services for Carter will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Tuskegee’s St. Andrews Episcopal Church with The Rev. Liston Garfield officiating. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery.

Her husband Herbert was a Tuskegee Airman.

In an interview with The Montgomery Advertiser he recalled how they had flown in a two-plane formation high over Alabama. He remembers how they laughed and exchanged silent “I love you” signals over their engine noise 3,000 feet above Lake Martin.

“We didn’t have radio contact, so we made up for it with hand signals and blew kisses at each other,” the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel said Tuesday. “It was a lot of fun.”

Herbert Carter, who compiled a distinguished flying record during World War II and, later, in peacetime, recalled those unauthorized rendezvous flights over the lake.

“I was a maintenance officer as well as a combat pilot and one of my jobs was to take planes up for a test flight after we worked on them,” he said. “That’s when we came up with the idea of flying over the lake. Nobody ever said anything to me about what we did.”

Both had to overcome racial prejudices and discriminatory practices when they learned to fly, but they persevered. As the years passed, they became the “first family” of the Tuskegee Airmen organization and represented the group at functions around the world.

She is survived by her husband, three children, a sister, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

© 2011 al.com. All rights reserved.

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Hail Mr. Gomes

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
 

copyright the Bettina Network, inc. 2011
by The Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett

The Rev. Professor Mr. Peter Gomes  – internationally known as Harvard University’s pastor – died February 28, 2011.  He was 68 years old.

The Rev. Gomes was such a presence within “the college” and its environs that to say he will be missed is truly an understatement.

I first met Peter Gomes – an elegantly dressed young man, complete with watch fob – in the mid to late 1960’s when he was a student at Harvard Divinity School.  He has been a friend ever since.

Initially, when I first met Peter, I thought he was one of the faculty – he had such an incredible bearing.  And indeed, upon his return to Harvard in the beginning of the 1970’s, after his graduation and after spending a couple years at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Peter had indeed become an officer of the college.  This was the start of his career and tenure at Harvard’s Memorial Church.

Peter’s impact at Harvard has been felt in so many ways: his teaching and preaching; his writings and not least of all, the weekly gatherings of the community for tea at his home.  It is a home filled with antiques – each with their own history.  It was a proper setting for a man who loved life and surrounded himself with so much beauty and elegance.

Needless to say, the Rev. Prof. Gomes’ involvements in the social and political issues of the day were felt beyond the walls of Harvard Yard and are already being recalled in notifications of his death.

Looking back on Rev. Gomes’ life, it is as minister to the college which marks his major contribution.  Beside Sunday worship, his pastoral role was expressed through Memorial Church’s varied programs throughout the seasons and festivities of the school year; not the least of these being daily Morning Prayers and talks in the chapel; the pastor’s role as confessor, counselor and friend to student and faculty alike; and – who can forget Mr. Gomes in his varied roles during commencement festivities.

It is all of these good and happy memories which help overcome our sense of loss and sadness and bids us offer a farewell shout:

                         SALVE!  PETER GOMES!


I will miss 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

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