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The Smiths – An Estate Sale Family!

Monday, March 19th, 2018

Most of us buy from all kind of stores to satisfy our needs and wants – retail, hardware, clothing, accessories, furniture, jewelry, etc.   Ever-so-often we come across a family or individuals or groups of unrelated people who live together, who have decided to try another lifestyle and live one step under the radar.

They do this through buying food from a commercial store and everything else from estate sales, garage sales, driveway sales, house sales, etc.

We have had many talks with people who think of this from time to time as they pay exorbitant amounts of money for things they want.  We also hear this from people doing wishful thinking when they see something they want, but can’t afford.

Well, this column, written by different people as they experience the ‘estate sale lifestyle’ fully, will tell you the stories of those who live via shopping only at these sales.  For some, they even step into buying food at estate sales.  They can only buy food that is sealed and have to supplement what they buy via going shopping at grocery and other food stores, but they stick rigidly to not buying anything else except at the sales which happen across the country.

We will attempt to give you a peek into how they manage this and you can decide if this is how you want to live.  It is recycle on steroids.

Meet the Smith Family.  Mother – Mary Smith.  Father – John Smith.  Daughter – Dorian Smith.  Son – Jackson Smith.  Mother, Father and two children with a van, living in a White House with black trim surrounded by a white picket fence.  The beginning story of the American dream.

The Smith’s however, are not who they appear to be.  We met them at the last estate sale we went to.  The  family in that particular house was selling everything.  The mother died recently.  She had been living in a nursing home for about two months before she died and now her house and everything in it was for sale. Her children – now grown – didn’t want to keep anything.  (This is the kind of sale we really love).  They didn’t think much of their parents taste.  Wanted everything “new” and were going to get their wishes fulfilled when the house and its contents were sold.

We felt so sorry for the woman who died and especially for her children.  She had some lovely things which would cost a small fortune if purchased from retail stores, but were being sold for a fraction of their “when purchased” price. She also had furnishings which would only escalate in value over the years.  We have met many people who talked about – “oh look, Mama had that and wow look at the price.  We sold it for a fraction of that when she died – we had no idea.”  We sent up a prayer for the woman and her children.  The woman who thought she was leaving a beautifully furnished house for her children to take over and continue to improve and live in graciously, and we prayed for her children who couldn’t wait to get rid of all that ‘stuff’ .

The Smith family showed up near the end of the sale and were very excited about what they found.  They have three fireplaces in their white home with black trim surrounded by its white picket fence.  One thing they were looking for was wood for the fireplaces.  They had been looking for a couple months and wondered if this wasn’t something they would not find and today, here they were beyond their greatest dream with this huge store of oak in front of them.

Before this ‘great find’ they had not used their fireplaces because the cost per fire was too much given their small income and the relatively high cost of fireplace wood.   At the house where we met they had just purchased a ton of wood – cut – dried – stacked on the side of the house and they paid $25 for all of it.

They were in the process of taking the wood home.  They were filling their van and clearly would have to make two or more trips to get the wood home, but that didn’t bother them at all.  They were very animated talking about how they could have a fire every night when the weather dictated that a fireplace smelling of oak would be sensational.  They could toast marshmallows that they made and spend long evenings in front of a blazing fire without hurting themselves financially.  Actually, they could enjoy this dream without even thinking of saving on wood or of burning just a little keeping the fires sparse and maybe only in one fireplace. The wood they were taking home would last two or three seasons.

As we talked further with the Smith family, they told us how they have been living like this for several years.  They were devoted estate sale shoppers and loved the friends they made going to different houses and meeting  people who are ‘estate sale people”  and exchanging stories.  They also loved walking through the houses to see what people had done and how they decorated – taking home as many ideas as ‘things’.

We asked if we could follow their adventures so you will be hearing more about the Smith Family.  Amazingly, their daughter Dorian was the most excited about this way of life because of the clothes, games and other such things she finds which her parents would not let her buy retail, but which she can enjoy via the “sales”.  Dorian is about 12 years old.  Jackson is about 16.

As we paid for our purchases, it was clear the Smith Family was not nearly ready to stop shopping.  We looked back on them filling their van and hoping they could made the trips home and still have time to shop.  Mrs. Smith just shook her head and said it would be next weekend before they did any more buying, but that was alright because it was exciting to find something they really needed and didn’t expect to find at a price they could afford.

So, next weekend you will find us traipsing around town following the Smith Family and writing up their adventures for you to experience through Bettina Network’s Blog.

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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

 

 

My Response! – No Names Please!

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Don’t want to lose my job.  But if this keeps on the way it has I will be out there on the front lines – dam the job – I will join the homeless if that is necessary to bring about change.

I noticed a couple of Marceline’s Facebook posts.  One included something – in answer to a ‘friend’ about black teachers.  She was too nice to say many black teachers stepped away from the Black Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s because they saw that as the road to losing their jobs to white teachers and didn’t want that to happen.  They were a part of the Black Bourgeoisie and enjoyed a position in black society they did not want to lose.  I don’t know the person she was answering and commenting in her Facebook page so I didn’t add my say so – it seemed intrusive.  Everything goes on this blog so I am answering here.

That said – I really need to respond to your post on Trump and the very ugly picture of the Republicans assembled on the steps of the White House in celebration of their vote on the tax cut.

I lived through Nixon and I didn’t expect to have to live through another such carnage.  And carnage is what this is.  An American President elected – or rather put into office by Russia and the fascists, and I really believe that.  Not from the media or anything else, but from my life experience in the world.  Trump makes Nixon look like a saint.  Nixon covered up a breaking, but Trump is well into treason.

I loved your little comment on the White House built by slaves.

I believe many of the Republican Congress people are being blackmailed.  We have a president who is a bully – ugly and evil bully – who has bullied all of his life and is now president and bullying on a world wide stage.

Why have we tolerated such?  Why hasn’t he been removed?  Why has his sexual assault not been addressed?  Why isn’t he in jail?

He clearly has surrounded himself with people who are as much able to bully as he – like Nikki Haley.  I had great hopes for her and was wondering if she was someone I could support.  After the way she bullied at the U. N. she clearly was chosen by Trump to be a part of his government because he saw this in her and that is what he wants in his administration.  Either bully or grovel.  Push people and governments around in Trump’s name or grovel to show what seems to be Trump support, but in reality the most dangerous people one can have in your circle are those you have blackmailed and forced to do and react in ways they would not otherwise.

Hopefully, they have been blackmailed.  If this is who they have been all these years – I am thinking particularly of Orrin Hatch – then we have been very short sighted to have re-elected them.  It is time for all of them to go.  There must be a way to immediately remove Trump and his administration.  I am sure you folks will think of something – but make it quick.

My response will be following Marceline out of the Republican Party.  I stayed too long, but better late than never.  I remember her when she was precinct chair in Wayzata, Minnesota.  Wondered then how she could be precinct chair in the Republican Party and on the National Board of the National Organization of Women – or is that ‘for’ women?  She stood strong for what she believed.  I didn’t like her much then – thought she was too “pushy”.  I did respect her, however.  I watched her being trashed in some really crude ways, but she didn’t step down, didn’t step away and I don’t think she even blinked.  Having a family to raise that took a lot of guts and she must have been through a lot of pain in the process.

Not been involved in civil rights and these other activities very long, but I am all in now.  And whether that is good or bad we have Donald Trump to thank or blame for my conversion.  From a sort of racist and sexist to somehow trying to walk a different path and make up for a life not always well led or behaved.  Hope you all forgive me.  I was busy trying to make lots of money – but that’s all over.  Getting old changes your values and priorities.

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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

In June 84,437 readers and in August 92,452

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

We went over the 2,000,000 readers mark in August, 2017.  Over two million readers have visited Bettina Network’s Blog.

If you are a member of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community you may contribute your writings, poems, thoughts, recipes, lifestyle contributions from your life, your research – scientific and otherwise, to reach a fantastic group of elegant people who care, think, are involved in life and want to hear from you. If you haven’t found it, search the Blog for the writing on Origami – not just for kids anymore – an outstanding contribution.

Your reward – great readers with whom to share your thoughts – and a complimentary one night stay at a Bettina Hedge School which you receive at the end of the year.

Email us at bettina-network@comcast.net to make your voice, your art, your lifestyle known to the rest of us so we can pick up some of your ideas before moving ahead with our lives.

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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

 

AMERICA: your ethics are showing

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

From slavery – to Jim Crow – to the immense Black Civil Rights movement – to the painful Feminist movement – to the Peace Movement – to Americans for Respect of the Globe and the Universe – to Donald Trump?

The election and ‘service’ of Donald Trump has exposed the United States’ underbelly the way nothing else has and it is very difficult for all of us to see.  Much better to continue to engage in denials.

Breakfast conversations in a Bettina Home are always inclusive of something about what Trump is doing; what he needs to do; how to stop him; what is Russia’s involvement; how are we going to continue with such a man as president; what happened – did we really elect Trump or did Russia do it.  Are we missing something?

Among the forces in this country which have come together to elect Trump as president we have to include those forces which elected this Congress.  Among those forces we also have to include the years spent before this election of gerrymandering to help make this election possible – all in the name of denying one person one vote, denying one person’s voice replacing it with the manipulators’ need for power.  They also have to include our refusal to become a democracy by doing the work to eliminate the Electoral College.  They also have to include our refusal to get rid of ‘White Privilege’ – the sick need many have to be better than even in a democratic/republic.

We have only ourselves to blame for Trump and we have only ourselves to correct this massive error by correcting the ills in this country which brought this about.

From where we stand and from what we have heard, Trump was elected with a solid base of the organized bigots, the mafia, many of those at the top of our corporate structures coming together in one of those perfect storms.  And, what we need to acknowledge here is that those groups have always worked together  – and – as per usual – we and they blamed the “Middle Class”, the “Working Class” for what others have wrought.

Corporations are very far from being a democracy.  They are also not republics.  They are dictatorships accustomed to doing things their own way, as ordered from the top, and accustomed to brutally moving obstacles out of their paths, greasing everything with lots of money and little bits of power.  The same is true for the other groups whose reason for being is to spread bigotry, hatred, white supremacy.  They are skilled at the lying, cheating, stealing, and all the other sins we can now see them committing as they come out from under their traditional cover.

What is clearer today than it has ever been is the collusion between Corporate America and the mafia.  That is something we don’t like to admit, but Trump has forced the issue and the admission.  For example, there is no way anyone who voted for Trump can today say they did not know of his mafia connections.

Trump’s ties to the mafia go back to at least his high school days when he met and was friends with John Gotti’s son.  The son of the teflon don puts his schoolyard friend in the path to be taught to become the teflon president.

Things became much more intense and involved from that point on.

Enter Roy Cohn – which brings in another group tied into Trump’s base – gay men in the closet who enjoy a camraderie with the corporate, the political, the well-heeled sprinkling gold dust over those mixing and shifting relationships and hiding that collusion from the rest of society (as best they can).

The consensus from many breakfasts is that Trump’s hidden secret, which makes him subject to Russian demands is not about sexual orgies, golden streams, etc.,  it is about having found places in and around Russia to let out that gay side where he thought it wouldn’t reach the light of day.  Many of our breakfast folks thought that such a place would be important to Trump who they saw as not only gay, but homophobic – so coming out of the closet would not be an option.  And, so some breakfast conversations went into comments such as; coming out of the closet would not mean a solid, steady relationship based on love, but it would mean coming out of hidden orgies with whoever/wherever making the sexual needs not necessarily “gay” or same sex, but outrageous, out of control sex, orgy addicted, kinky to an extreme. Coming out of the closet would lessen his power with his close compatriots who helped him get where he is today.  The closest he came to coming out of the closet – so these folks discuss – was accidental and through his relationship with Roy Cohn, which supposedly had a sexual closeness that many picked up on, but few publicized.  That kind of sexual orientation and lifestyle was more prevalent during the days of Trump’s young adulthood, but still exists in small pockets in several places today.

That can lead, when such a person engages in moments of sober reflection, to an extreme insecurity and self-hatred, if one still has any shred of moral values left.  Is that what we are seeing in Trump’s projection of all of his insecurities onto minorities of every color, class, sex, sexual orientation, etc?  His projections have certainly been vicious enough to tear this country apart and begin the process of putting it back together in his own image.

Trump has also given us a clear and unusually open look at mafia culture through his lifestyle, mannerisms, speech, dress and expectations of obeisance from others to him and from him to (only a very small number) of others.

We are living in an America that will never be the same again.  All of the gains we have made – moving away from and rejecting slavery; watching the gains of the Black Civil Rights Movement being stripped away daily with one or two Blacks being held up by Trump as the objects to disprove the rule of extreme racism in his administration as the new normal; from organizations becoming respected and respectable who had been fought and relegated to the back rooms of illegality; from the gains of the Feminist Movement also being stripped away as women are once again being portrayed as objects whose ‘pussy’ can be grabbed by anyone; with sexual abusers at top corporate levels being front and center and their corporations held in high esteem with the individuals so caught in such illegal activities given comfort and succor by the President of the United States?

How low are we going to sink, America?  How many sins are we going to commit before this all comes to an end? Will there be absolution for those sins in the end of this nightmare or will the vestiges hang on to scare our children, our grandchildren and all of the next generations?  Evil is far harder to eradicate than good.  Evil is far simpler to incorporate into the structure of our country than good.

We were able to justify slavery – stealing millions of lives because some of us were too lazy to do our own work, but wanted the benefits from the work of others for free.  We were able to justify maintaining racism against Africans because we needed to continue to deny what we did to them during slavery.  We attempted to justify that by showing the movie on how Africans moved from sub-human to more cultured due to their association with us so now we can move forward incorporating them as more equal in our society, our schools, our neighborhoods.  We were able to justify maintaining sexism against Women because we needed and still need them to do our dirty work and to support us in whatever we decide to do without recognition, agreement, compensation, and more.  We are still able to justify maintaining all of the complicated bigotry against other human beings because it satisfies our need for macho power, money and the creature comforts all of that brings not the least of which is not having to do the hard work of creating an identity when white privilege gives us a strong foundational identity for which we don’t have to work – isn’t all of that what the Supreme Court has facilitated in a low keyed way with their recent decision?  Isn’t that almost a parallel to their Plessy decision?  And now we can move on to their 1954 decision after those involved have had a bit of time to appreciate the less than equal decision that will follow.  It will feel like a breath of fresh air even if some of the less than restrictions are left in place?  How to move backwards a little by moving backwards a lot.

Give him enough rope – he will hang himself, but in the meantime he will make sure that his contribution is to the continuation of White Northern European Privilege and Ascendancy over all others.  Put him in jail to insure that much or our guilt is expiated, but the damage done will not be totally rectified.  Make him a very negative example and make fun of him, call him crazy, hold him up as ‘not like the rest of us’, but underneath it all is that gratitude that comes from those who need the security of being ‘better than’ so they can continue to live ‘free’ after having called for that bowl of soap, water and a towel and used it to insure our eternal detriment, degradation and damnation.  Eternal isn’t the issue – immediate is and isn’t that what our increasing technology is doing for us?

Take a look at where we were before Trump!

The Venture Capitalists planned our future with brash, uncouth, out of control, disrespectful young white men of Northern European descent being held up with multi-millions. Made to think they built huge empires when they and their brashness were actually used to front for what has developed and is developing around the multi-billions dollars companies that have sprung up overnight to put the older companies out of business and to move power into the hands of a small group who make Trump look like a joke.

The political ‘king’ makers, who are responsible for the rise of Trump and who have put the supporting structures in place which are needed to change this country and stop its movement towards a democracy where all are equal and where compassion and love reign supreme are today rejoicing in what they see as their success.  It took years before the advent of Trump to put in place the structures which elected him.  How much went into gerrymandering?  How much went into the development of Breitbart- the NRA – the KKK – the White Nationalists – the neo-Nazi’s – bringing them all to the fore and pushing back on everything else.

“Make America Great Again” did not start with Trump.  It is a slogan he stole from others who used it before he came along, when he was playing around with Roy Cohn and his boys. Bringing America into the circle of Russia, Northern Korean, Syria, and other such countries couldn’t have been done by Trump.  It had to be a long developing power surge.  Take credit, guys,  for what you have done.

And now what?  More of the same? Moving to a very different form of government – one which will never again be bothered having to fend off an African American president – or beat back a woman president who was advocating for the opposite to what we now have in power – never have to face the horror of the son or daughter of a refugee taking over as president?

It is up to you America.

From every Bettina breakfast or breakfast seminar there is no sign of anyone wanting more of what we have today – so how is this going to end?  All of us shot dead when we step out of line and shine a light onto what’s wrong here?  Jailing increasing when you protest with all of your assets taken away as they can now do in Arizona if you dare to be a part of the ‘wrong’ protest movement or demonstrations? Fear running through the streets as security guards from other countries are allowed to mutilate and harm Americans even in front of the cameras and without negative comments or protests from our leaders – a tacit show that it should continue and grow stronger.

Where is all this going America?  Is your insecurity going to continue and make America White Again? Or are you going to find your guts and make America a wonderful, humane, democracy whose doors are actually and really opened fulfilling what is written on the Statue of Liberty.  She is certainly in trouble today.  I can see the stone masons chipping off those words and replacing them with “Enter at your own risk – leaving your need for equality, freedom, justice behind.”

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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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Harvard President!

Friday, June 16th, 2017

by: Marceline Donaldson and Harold E. Doley, Jr.

Drew Gilpin Faust, the 28th president of Harvard University has resigned her position effective June 30, 2018.

A historian and former head of Radcliff Institute, Ms. Faust did an excellent job of continuing to move this private Ivy League institution, founded in 1636 in “New Town” – later to become Cambridge, MA.,  to educate Congregational Ministers to be able to better serve their churches.

Until Ms. Faust’s tenure, Harvard was led by white males and only white males.  She broke a ‘glass ceiling’ which held until 11 years ago.

Today, that mandate has changed and Harvard University has educated and continues to educate those who have been – who are – and who will be some of this country’s greatest leaders.  Its resources are an endowment of more than $34 billion and a world-wide academic reputation.  Coming to Harvard to study is a plum for most, no matter their country of origin.

Now, Harvard must look for a president who can continue its legacy and move it even higher   – and we just might have the solution.

Harvard, of course needs to be led by a Nobel Laureate.  And it would be great to have an alumnus of Harvard be that new president.  Someone known around the world – using his or her Harvard education, which is widely acknowledged as having been one of the tools used to create that person’s legacy to the world.  To also have that person with a beginning – at birth beginning – reflect the world in all of its diversity would be quite special.  America has traditionally divided itself into many separatist camps while claiming to be a “melting pot”.  Well, it is time for Harvard to help that image of America by selecting a president whose birth, upbringing and career choices reflect that “melting pot”.

Whose life better reflects what Harvard is about and what Harvard aspires for its students, researchers and others than President Barack Obama?

His mother was born on an Army base in Wichita, Kansas – the heartland of these United States.  She was born on an Army base because her father enlisted in the military and moved across Europe in General George Patton’s Army.  Obama’s grandfather studied using the G.I. Bill – owned a house using the Veterans Administration mortgage program – they helped raise Obama when his mother needed that help – and his grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line, moving herself up to Vice President of a bank.

From his parental legacy at birth even until today, Obama has been a product and symbol of the American Dream.

The other side of Barack Hussein Obama is his Kenyan father,  who was born in Nyanza Province.  Obama’s father grew up herding goats in Kenya and left there to accept a scholarship to study at the University of Hawaii.  There he met Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother, a woman of white middle-American ancestry.  They married and produced a son at a time during which such intermarriages were not looked upon proudly or even accepted as legal in some parts of the United States.

Obama’s father attended Harvard University working towards a Ph.D. So, a part of President Barack Obama’s Harvard application would have included his standing as a legacy matriculant. It is an understatement to say Barack made good use of his Harvard education and is an incredible example for others to follow.

Having lived in Jakarta, Indonesia after his parents divorce and his mother’s re-marriage, Obama learned to function in multi-cultural settings  from an early age.

He returned to the United States at age 10 to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents who sent him to Punahou Academy where he was forced to come to grips with himself as someone oppressed by the society in which he lived.

His educational experiences included Hawaii – Occidental College in Los Angeles – Columbia University in New York City and Harvard University School of Law where he ended his schooling  as editor of the Law Review.  He graduated Harvard Law magna cum laude.

To digress just a bit, I have a daughter who graduated Stanford School of Law as editor of the law review  (sorry, a mother has to brag).

He has since practiced civil rights law with Miner, Barnhill & Galland; was a community organizer; taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School; and more.

Barack is a best-selling author and Grammy Award winner.  If you have not read his book,  “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance”, you should.  The book is literally poetry.  It has been printed in more than 25 languages.  The audio-book version is narrated by President Obama.

Obama ran for and won a seat in the Illinois State Senate and worked with both Democrats and Republicans on legislation which included health care services, ethics and early childhood education programs.

He moved from the Illinois Senate to the U. S. Senate and from there to the presidency of the United States.

As president, he showed himself quite skilled at management, having come into office at a time when he had to immediately deal with a global economic crisis and ongoing foreign wars.

He is one of the few American presidents who was not involved in a scandal of any kind and presented and continues to present an image of which all of us can be proud.  He is also one of the Americans who is greeted with accolades when he travels the world.  His reception parallels, if it does not, in fact,  exceed that of rock stars.

Harvard could not find a better president.  We only hope President Obama sees things the same way.

WE ARE:   Native New Orleanians.

Harold Doley is a former U. S Ambassador in the Reagan Administration,  a 1990 graduate of Harvard Business School’s OPM Executive Education Program, among many other accomplishments.

Marceline Donaldson is a 1971 graduate of the Harvard Business School’s PMD Executive Education Program;  former National Board Member of NOW, and of the Minneapolis Urban Coalition; founder of Bettina Network, inc.; author and contributor to books such as Elizabeth Fiorenza’s book (a Harvard Professor) as honoris causa, among many other accomplishments.

Proof reading this blog is the Rev. Dr. Robert A. Bennett, native to Baltimore, Maryland, who holds a PhD degree from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Oriental Languages and Literature with a concentration in Hebrew, Hebrew Scripture, Archaeology,  an ordained Episcopal priest who served his church as chair of its National Liturgical Commission, professor at Episcopal Divinity School for 35 years, chaired the National Council of Churches Inclusive Language Lectionary Committee, among many other accomplishments.

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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.

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We Are Being Played! Trumped!

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

The “roll out” of Donald J. Trump’s tax program was amazing.  It is the (1%) one percenters dream.  If it goes through it create a country without responsibility to anyone except its top ten percent – the bottom nine percent of this top ten percent will be the recipients of this country’s “welfare”.  It is the way to acquire unlimited wealth and pass it on to your children.

Every country has suffered from having no ‘death tax’ because the wealth of their top group grows to extremes and the poverty of its bottom group becomes beyond desperate.

My dream has been to be able to pass on what I have worked so hard for all of my life to my children and grandchildren.  It isn’t a huge estate, but enough for me to rest in peace knowing they would have some backup as life delivers one body blow after another.  But, every time I think those thoughts I think of all of those others – children and grandchildren of people who have not been able to accumulate an estate of any kind and generally leave their children in debt.

It is a conflict for most of us, but the ‘death tax’ usually wins, if we have a shred of caring for those who can’t care for themselves and if we care about trying to lift up those who were born so downtrodden they won’t make it otherwise.

However, that is not the case with many who have accumulated a substantial estate.  It seems those who have created the largest estates are the greediest and want to see everything move down the generations of  their own families.  They generally wind up passing negative moral judgments on those who have not been able to create the same.  They become those who are ‘better than’ on so many levels and those in front of  whom the rest of us become subservient because we want a little of their wealth to rub off into our families.

Trump’s reduction in the tax rate – elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax and all of his other proposals will bankrupt the United States Treasury and the deficit will zoom.  He knows that – he is not new to this game – his own estate has shown him the ins and outs of taxes and those he chose to work with him and on this tax problem, among others, are very much in tune with Trump’s way of life and way of thinking.  The poor, the sick, those who have many problems which have kept them from amassing large amounts of money are parasitic interlopers into their “hard work” and “success.”

The longer I live the clearer it becomes that those who have succeeded awesomely have done so at the expense of the poor, the sick, the indigent, the minority, the women in this society.  They have used the life, the work, the dreams of others to make it in big ways.  They have stripped those others of everything and have no conscience about their deeds.

Right before this tax cut was rolled out, the ‘Trumpster’ started playing us all.  As many buttons as he could push to distract from this tax business he pushed.  Talking heads in the media took the bait; civil rights activists took the bait; those working for economic justice took the bait and Trump cleared a wide path for his people to walk down the road, make their announcement of things to come and the response was muted because we were all looking at where Trump’s finger was pointing instead of at the moon.

We are being played.  We have been played since Trump started his run for office.  The very large choice Trump made in how he would make his money was via casinos, after all.  (It always amazes me how “evangelicals’ ran so hard after and for a hard core gambler).

His research is to find the ‘hot buttons’ in this society and choose which ones to push before he does something he wants to slip through as unnoticed as possible and he is very good at that.  It is called manipulation and Trump is the Great Manipulator.  He has done a magnificent job.  He got votes from the middle class because he convinced them that his racism, sexism, general all around bigotry, anti-immigrant stance was just what they needed to recover whatever they lost.  The fact that under Trump they would lose even more was totally hidden and many still haven’t seen the game.  The money support he has received has been awesome and none of that middle class has asked -‘where did we get that kind of money to support you – we sent small dollars because it was all we had – so now what are you going to do for those who tossed so many dollars into your ‘honey pots’ because what they want is anathema to us.’

And – by the way – is Amazon.com still a large Trump supporter?  The story of their bottom to middle employees needs to be told truthfully to understand why amazon.com’s support of Trump follows its path!

Let the games continue!  Let those who have Trump Dust in their eyes get clear and see so they can begin to win some of these games.  No one is going to do it for you!  And to the rest of us – Reagan was the opening parenthesis; Trump is the closing – what does that mean!!  What preceded Reagan and what was between the opening and closing parentheses?  It is the pattern of our world, repeated over and over and over again.

This country has had too many times of the majority fighting for equality and justice and those few at the top planning and bringing about the defeat of that equality and justice which peeps through each spring before it gets mowed down, covered with all those chemicals, comes back looking bedraggled, tired and straggly while that top group, regroups and finds a new-different-and better way to rip off the rest of us.  Certainly the technology group has found ways to become extraordinarily wealthier than any that preceded them.  Their progeny lives to fight another day, wealthy beyond imaginings and walking in their ancestors paths – until this next group comes along to knock them off.  They grow smaller in numbers but greater in strength and their look is characterized as how the rest of the culture should look.  There are very few women in that group, but have you noticed their shoes?  The highest heels – the thickest platforms – the latest style – and never under four figures.  That is how you know them from the wives of the tech people.

And the progeny of those fighters for love, peace, equality, justice and all that’s related start once again thinking that this time they will succeed where their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents failed and this world will be beautiful and good for all of its inhabitants because of their work – they will get it right.  The extremes of that group have been called a cults.  The extreme of the other group have been called the real heroes of the world and it is their history that goes down the generations.  The others are characterized like John the Baptist and pictured as we think he looked in his day. Their adaptation of ‘their historical culture’ always makes up the look of what we label the ‘counter culture.’

Think on these things so you can begin to take over your life.  It is difficult.  It is stressful.  You don’t always win.  But, you become stronger as you fight each battle whether you win or lose and at some point if you continue standing on your own two feet you begin to win more than you lose.  But the real reward is the inner peace that comes and the love that glows from your very body.

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

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

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The United States President = Pathological Liar

Monday, March 6th, 2017

It is amazing to see “Mr. President” referred to every day as a Pathological Liar.  I have lived through many presidents and not everyone has been happy with the current president, but all of them – except maybe Richard Nixon – have been respected even when one could not agree with some of their policies or beliefs, until now.  And even Richard Nixon – who was given some choice names – pathological liar was not one.

To every United States voter who used their vote to help elect Donald J. Trump – you are unequivocally a bigot.  Everyone is being nice and dancing around this, but it is time to say it very clearly.  You voted for Donald Trump because you thought he was going to bring America back to the racist/bigoted nation it was before the election of Barack Obama – quietly, unobtrusively with plausible deniability as to the bigotry being re-enforced, re-established with examples to make sure the youth of the U. S. are thoroughly re-indoctrinated into the evil that has been a part of the structure of America for hundreds of years.

Two things come to mind when one says the name – Barack Obama:  one – he is half African;  two – his name brings up Muslim connotations. Isn’t that why Trump is on this anti-Muslim ban? His bigotry as he and his followers are determined to wipe everything off the face of the earth that this half-Black with Muslim ancestors has achieved, turning it all into extreme negatives to fit the negative stereotype that has existed in the U. S. since it was needed to justify slavery.  You cannot have this ex-president destroying the negative stereotypes you and your ancestors have spent generations putting in place.

Please understand, I know very well Barack Obama is not Muslim, but his name legitimizes Muslims as first class citizens as much as he legitimizes African Americans as full citizens of this country – totally eliminating the second class citizenry of both.  To the bigots in this country that is unforgivable.

To each and every Donald Trump supporter, you can hide behind other reasons that you spurt, but that is the real reason you voted for a man who showed himself to be a pathological liar both before and during his campaign for President; a purveyor of vicious and ugly stories that are lies; who was involved in soft-porn; owner and operator of casinos with rumors of mafia connections; who filed bankruptcy six times cheating many people in the process – without any explanation, without any disclosure of his tax returns, without any substantiating that he didn’t get money from Russia and others of that ilk; who was an adulterer many times over and who paraded it around for all to see and to brag about; who talked about and treated women as though they were sex objects existing for only one reason – who was vile in his comments about women.  And for your side bonus, he also called Mexicans and others ugly names to insure that the world knows that in America they are not considered equal to White Americans – or Russians. – You, Trump supporters, didn’t care, because you simply wanted someone who would wipe out everything about Obama and his presidency, creating a lie that it wasn’t right or good and someone to do everything possible to make that seem to be a vile, ugly, horrible time in these United States.  If Trump had to lie to achieve that goal – you were right there with him, helping to spread what you knew were lies.  If he had to attempt to destroy a woman who spent her entire adult life working so that our lives could be better – so much the better.  You got a ‘twofer’ in Donald Trump.  He not only lied about, misrepresented, slandered the sitting president of the United States, but Trump worked to destroy an “uppity” woman at the same time.  Wow! You really worked hard to make him your president.  Who knows when another such opportunity would come, for you to rise up and make your filth, that was poorly hidden all these generations,  known to the rest of the world.

You claimed you were voting for him because he was going to bring JOBS back to the United States.  Right! A man whose own company and the company of his daughter and family members had outsourced jobs for their businesses to other countries – China, Bangladesh, etc. – has credibility with you to bring jobs back to these United States?  He is still crying the same story. You still claim to believe him when none of his companies or his family’s companies including Ivanka’s has made any move to bring their company’s jobs back to these United States.  Trump makes an announcement about some corporation bringing jobs back to the United States and he takes credit for that move when he had nothing to do with a decision made long before he became president and no one even asks when Trump is going to bring his jobs back onto these shores.

Ivanka Trump just moved her company’s jobs from China – to where?  Back to the United States?  NO! To Bangladesh or some other country where the wages are almost slave wages and where people work in sweat shop conditions just to survive.  This is no secret.  We all are aware of this.  Paying sub-human wages to their workers to increase their own profits so they can live a more elaborate lifestyle leaving those working for them beyond destitute!  That is the reason most U. S. Corporations move their jobs overseas.  Trump and family were just going along with the crowd.  And at the same time hitting at others for doing the same thing.  It is hypocrisy at its worse.  This family’s ethics are in the dumpster and still you cheer.  That is the definition of a bigot.

Why do I call you Trump supporters bigots?  You elected a man who spent over eight years attempting to trash the sitting president of the United States.  He used blatant lies that every one of you knew to be lies, but you voted him in as president, anyway.  Not just little lies, but blatant ones that you knew were lies and that you supported in your zeal to be free of equality and  justice.  You were and are ready to trade a democracy for a dictatorship to maintain your White Privilege – and you are doing it with great gusto.

You knew before you cast your vote that you were voting for a pathological liar.  You knew you were voting for a man who had the ethics of a gutter snake.  A man who would do and say anything to get his point across and to gain his end goal.  In this case, you were casting your vote for such a person to be President of these United States.

You voters for Donald J. Trump as president knew when you cast your ballot that his campaign was a lie from beginning to end.  You knew he put together the KKK, the White Nationalists, Breitbart, the neo-Nazi’s and others on that same level with the same philosophy and beliefs to gain the presidency.  You knew when you cast your ballot for Donald Trump you were voting for the worse kind of bigot.  Yet you voted for him.  Why?  Because you are like him – bigots together trying to bring the United States back to a pre-1950’s place complete with raising again Jim Crow, complete with your claimed superiority over everyone not like you.

You knew with Donald Trump as president you would not have to swallow your own bigotry.  You could come out calling people the -N- word.  You knew you could be abusive to minorities.  You knew you could let out all of the ugliness you had to swallow during the years of Obama’s presidency and today you are doing just that and enjoying every moment.  We are all seeing just how ugly, shallow, violent, rude, vile you can be – that is all on parade for the world to see also.

At some point, it must have dawned on you that your children – born shortly before, during and in the process of the Obama presidency – would not share your hatred for those not like you.  You must have realized that children born to the rest of the world would also see a Black man as president of these United States and that changed, modified, mitigated, eliminated much of the racism that you and your forbears spent your lives creating and projecting.  The negative stereotypes you projected – from deep within your soul – onto minorities was fast disappearing.  You had to do something or face who you really are as a human being, just equal to, without the ‘glow’ of White Privilege covering all of your shortcomings, giving you an identity you did not deserve nor work for, giving you privileges over others which the ‘American Dream’ guaranteed to you, above all others.

America, having created ‘White Privilege’ as its camouflage to maintain slavery and to meld Europeans and others into a ‘race’ of superior beings called White, was changing.  It was threatening to you to see your beloved ‘White Privilege’ evaporating into the equality and justice now coming into being in these United States.  Late, but better than not at all.  This was something you would not tolerate.

Since we have been accustomed to lying to ourselves and saying one thing which was really code for something else, you saw right away through Donald Trump’s code words – Make America Great Again – to what those words really meant – Make America White Again.  We are also beginning to realize your dumping on the media means the “Liberal Media”, which means what you consider the “Jewish Media.”  We saw the need for you to eliminate the “Liberal Media” you could not control, but your actions are showing ever more of where you are coming from and where you are going.

The media conspired with its 24/7 coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign to the elimination of all but 5%  of its coverage given to others running for President of these United States.

So what now Donald J. Trump supporters?  You are faced with supporting Russia – since that is apparently who had to help you elect Mr. Trump.  There are not enough of you to constitute the overwhelming majority that Mr. Trump needed to become president.  Most Americans reject your beliefs and the bigotry by which you justify your existence.  Are you going to move into that place of being enemies of your own country because that is what the continuation of your attempts to re-establish a bigoted nation requires?

I can imagine how fulfilling it is to look at Russia and see only White Northern European faces – even if it does mean pushing the definition of Northern European a bit to fill this role.  You are doing that quite admirably.  Not even many women – a few here and there, but not so many they are equal to those White men we constantly see pictured from Russia.  And certainly, Vladimir Putin’s sexism is very satisfying to you, I am sure, as you see that he is just as much a womanizer as Mr. Trump.  Warms the heart to see those old values still in ascendancy with the hope that you can leave the world in tact for your children coming along, who won’t have to live under equality; won’t have to worry about justice being ‘blind’; won’t have to be truthful in their dealings with others – they will be able to lie to gain the goal of maintaining this bigotry because they will have been taught and have been given a role model who does just that.

So what now all of you Donald J. Trump supporters.  Some of you are hiding.  You supported and support him, but you don’t want your friends and co-workers to know because you know it is your bigotry leading your brain and you know it is wrong to give your support to such a person.

You and your young  children had as a role model – Barack Obama.  A man who was principled in his dealings with you and the rest of the world.  Whose family is down to earth and accepting of all of us – including you and your family.  You have now been instrumental in giving your young children a role model – Donald J. Trump – of a pathological liar and of a man who has cheated, lied and stolen from others without any remorse and who continues to do just that.  This is the role model your children now have and what a follow-up to Barack Obama.

Don’t be surprised when the crime rate sky rockets – don’t be surprised when the murder rate increases exponentially – don’t be surprised when corporate America takes away from you whatever they want in the name of major profits – don’t be surprised when you see the worst of humanity in your leaders because gradually that is what is happening and you know that.  You may be bigoted, but you are not stupid.  Because your current ‘leaders’ are expensively dressed, that indicates their wealth not their character.

Don’t be surprised when your children catch on and start giving you denials to their missteps; when they start justifying going on drugs to escape reality; when they start mistreating you as well as their friends; when they start taking whatever they want from whoever they want to take it and feel justified in the doing.

When you give your children a role model such as Donald J. Trump, they follow it just as they started to follow the role model of Barack Obama.  Who do you want your children to follow – to want to be like? Because rest assured that the ethics of this country – its character – is gradually being changed to follow the character of its leader.  That is the human condition.

When your children have business relationships will they follow the six bankruptcies of Donald Trump?  Will they justify their bigotry – which is assuredly going to grow – by claiming that Barack Obama, as President of the United States was fooling the people and was really not born in these United States – by claiming that Obama was lying to the American people and was really born in Africa?  In other words, Trump was trying to set up the argument that the United States has never had a legitimate Black president.  Isn’t that behind the lies Trump told constantly about Obama?  With the unspoken knife twist implying Obama’s lack of ethics to be able to do such a thing?

Will you delight in seeing your children, as some of you did, portraying the president of the United States and his wife as apes in the jungle, dressed in animal skins and acting as though they were totally stupid, violent, terrorists? Because that is the example you have given them as a good example by your vote for Donald Trump as president.  I could go on for pages, but you know the history and you know what you have done.

And now you have the ‘surprise’ of Donald J. Trump claiming Barack Obama had his phones “tapped” in Trump Tower as some kind of attempt to gain the presidency for Hillary Clinton.  How many more of these pathological lies are we going to sit still and absorb?  For this country they are like body blows.  And we can’t sustain too many of those.  The surprise to me is that having listened to Donald J. Trump lie about Barack Obama for over eight years as he was campaigning for president and his years as a sitting president, when Trump claimed that Obama was not born in the U. S. we are now taking this additional lie of Donald Trump’s seriously.  It is horrendous and should result in his removal as president, in spite of the support and delight of his bigoted followers rejoicing in ‘their President’s’ still being the horrendous liar that he has always been to them and very willing to promote the horribleness that finds its way onto the pages of Breitbart and other such publications.

You, Donald J. Trump voters, have violated your responsibility as citizens of this country because you valued your White Privilege above everything else.  You sold out your country so you could feel better than many others – who are probably better than you, at least ethically and as patriots.  Your patriotism was for sale to whoever assured you that they would make it possible for you continue to feel better than, covered in White Privilege and they would make sure that the law and government would keep you on top because they would “Drain the Swamp” of those swimming in the waters of equality and justice and working to bring about the equality and justice that the voters for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tried to give to all of us.  You let Donald Trump turn the metaphor of Amos’ – let justice roll on like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream into Trump’s “Drain the Swamp”.

All you wanted, all of you Donald J. Trump supporters,  was to put that White Woman in jail because she dared to think she was good enough and equal enoughto run for president of these United States and everybody knows women have a place and it is not equal to men.  All of you knew that could not happen if you were to maintain your feeling of superiority and your White Privilege in the face of its being torn down by people like Hillary Clinton and her followers.  You attempted to turn a God-fearing, hard working woman into a murderer and worse.  Well, you have your murderer as president; you have succeeded in electing your pathological liar as president, you have your mafia tinged president who many claim sold all of us out to Russia and whoever else would pay him the big money, and now you have to live with the result.  You could very well have voted in the end of this Republic and the beginning of a Russian style dictatorship.

Your actions will assuredly send you to the hottest corner of hell.  And what now are you going to do to rectify this situation?  Live in the muck you have created?  Or do something to get Russia out of the United States government and work with all of us to move this country into the greatness promised by its founders?  Into a country where justice, equality and more of the same are really the American way! It is not an easy way because we constantly annoy and disappoint each other, but it winds up to be a pretty good place especially if it is without all of you bigots creating a swamp you then don’t have a clue as to how to move across into the beautiful, clear flowing waters.

And no, I am not a Democrat.

Get those white sheets and pointy hats and that Nazi symbol out of here!~

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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.

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

 

 

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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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.

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A Solution to Police Violence

Friday, July 8th, 2016

“When you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.”  That is truth and a quote from some fount of wisdom.

Back in the 1970’s when I lived in Minneapolis I was on the board of the Minneapolis Urban Coalition.  We worked hard to attempt to establish Civilian Review Boards which would work with the police to oversee their work.  Boards where complaints against the police would be brought and worked through by the Civilian Review Board.

The people who were intransigently against these review boards were none other than the police.

WHY?  Because they had sympathy for one another.  They wanted to be ‘reviewed’ by their peers.  They talked about no one else knowing the problems on the job and what they went through and etc.  In reality, what they were saying is that when they saw a brother cop in trouble because he lost his temper; let his biases dictate his actions; messed up in ways that said his emotions had taken over his job, they understood that and if that happened to them – which, because of the stress and tensions of the job it very well could –  they wanted to be brought before a group of their peers who knew that – there, but for the grace of God – goes I.

The talks, negotiations, pleadings, and more fell on deaf ears because no one wanted civilians poking around where the police had messed up or where they appeared to have messed up.

Would the installation of Civilian Review Boards have prevented these recent killings?  And prevented many of the problems which have surfaced over the decades?  I won’t pretend to read the tea leaves, but common sense, experience, knowledge, sensitivity to the human condition says – yes, the establishment of civilian review boards would have gone a long way to entirely preventing the problems we have experienced and seen or they would have gone a long way to mitigating what happens when human beings whose emotions get out of control when they are in the power seat against other human beings and just needed to reach inches for a gun – a taser – a night stick wouldn’t.

The time has come to put this ‘brotherhood” behind and to open the door, windows, passageways which are now blocked to Civilian Review Boards.  Every city needs to immediately establish such and the Civilian Review Boards so established should have real power.  The power to investigate and also to protect whistle blowers in police departments who are experiencing problems because they have brought something that they feel needs fixing to the management and more.

That will make the police forces around this country more effective, not less.  That will give them credibility and a better and stronger trust level in many communities – especially if community members can approach the Civilian Review Board with their complaints, observations, etc. to attempt to make the police force what it is supposed to be.  Perfection  does not exist.  Moving closer to working together brings an understanding and clarity of vision which does not now exist.

Without the killings in Dallas, we were headed for some real heat during this summer.  Anger, grief, bigotry, and more were being unleashed by police across the country and it was only a question of time before all of that anger, grief, bigotry and more unleashed itself and resulted in the killing of police.  A line has now been crossed and there will be no going back until some basic changes are made.  We are, after all, only human and we reach our limits quickly.

Media talkers in the cat bird seat on television are already beginning to say things like “this just doesn’t feel right”.  And so begins the attempt to blame what happened in Dallas on Middle Eastern terrorists.  Or some other group of terrorists who inserted themselves into this community business.  All we need now, to create an unimaginable horror, are great pronouncements from the Don.  Hopefully, this bloody upheaval is not the beginning of his campaign to get himself elected President.  He has certainly set the stage for this to happen.

There didn’t need to be Middle Eastern terrorists intervening.  I know how I felt all day yesterday.  I could not stop crying.  If I had not had such an upbringing with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Christ, God and all of God’s angels threatening me if I took a life I could have easily taken knives and cut police into little pieces, throwing the pieces to the flesh eating fish and felt good about it.

Middle Eastern terrorists may have their issues, but African Americans raised in the deep South during Jim Crow have anger issues which run deep.  Creole women have tempers like none you have seen before and all of that unleashed can reek unbelievable havoc. We didn’t need “foreign immigrants” to act on our behalf.

What is amazing about those comments on television that the media were spewing out this morning is that in the middle of talking about a racially charged issue they introduced their own racism.  The print running at the bottom of the screen could have read – Blacks don’t have the guts, the know how, the drive to do what those shooters did in Dallas – so this just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.  There must be some other explanation other than shootings by the protest groups.

It is way past the time to come to our senses and establish panels to air racial grievances, but we need to take three huge steps back and do exactly that.  And not panels staffed with Blacks and other minorities who the prevailing White Male power structure knows will “be nice.”  We need to establish truth panels, where there are no penalties for speaking truth and some kind of recompense for those who experienced the negative side of the truth being spoken.  We need truth panels where people in the community can go to air their past grievances with the police and a panel which seeks to bring justice out of that truth telling.  Justice, not judgment.

It is also crucially important – even more than truth panels – to establish Civilian Review Boards.

Our normal method of operating is back away from the truth.  It isn’t “nice”.  We have to smile and make nice.  We have to pretend that all is well because we don’t want to offend anyone.  When we reach that point we need to ask ourselves –  how can the truth offend?

It is time to offend.  To offend in love.  It is kind and good.   Truth helps us grow into that space where our lives can be full of unconditional love.

I go to a Church, where in some corners of the building, love and sex are equated.  That is not the kind of love I am talking about and I think most of you know the difference.

I was raised to speak truth to power.  It wasn’t until my old age that I began to realize power doesn’t want to hear truth and will destroy you for attempting to speak the truth because power judges harshly and will eliminate you for being anything other than gracious to it, turning a blind eye to its transgressions.  Power will destroy you and blame you for the destruction.

Love doesn’t judge, bur love does live in the light of truth and forces us to live in that same bright, beautiful light.  Would that all of us could sit in unconditional love for just minutes a day.  Our lives would totally change as we became accustomed to something which  answers our insecurities, our racism, our sexism, our classism, all of the needs we have to be better than; to be more powerful than; to be in the spotlight most of the time; to be prettier than; to have more of the material things in life than; to have someone who we can make the scapegoat for all of our missteps and negative things we do; on whom we can dump everything and then force over the cliff.  Love is what a good life is all about.  Not happiness, not joy, not any of the things we normally seek.  With love everything else comes to order.

Let’s get busy.  The work is huge and the time is short. Make those contacts – set up those Civilian Review Boards – get those Truth Panels going, soonest.  Even if you have to be the shadow where you can’t gain access to be an integral part of, – try it.  Even if you have to set up Truth Panels on street corners – do it.

South Africans had great experience with Truth and Reconciliation Panels.  Are we too arrogant to be that humble?  Does our side have to be right and the others wrong?  We are intelligent human beings.  Notice I didn’t write – educated, because formal, institutional education may be a part of the problem.  Intelligent, sensitive to others, needing to reach out, feeling uncomfortable where you are cast as better than.  Get all of that together and get to work.

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

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

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

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You Claim to Believe in God, but do you, really?

Monday, February 15th, 2016

copyright 2016 Bettina Network, inc.

If asked, and it did not include a specific denomination or set of religious beliefs, most people would say – yes, they believe in God.  They would add that this does not mean the traditional Christian God with the long white beard sitting on a throne, but God – the real one!

I would say, even those who claim to believe in the traditional Christian God don’t really believe.  As many of those who claim to believe in Mohammed or Jehovah, don’t.

One of our perennial questions about God is -if there is a God why is there so much evil and destruction in the world? And that is the easiest question to answer – although we generally don’t want to hear, or read, or even come close to the answer.  Keep that in our deepest subconscious where we don’t have to deal with who we are and how we are living our lives.

Who is God?  The only comment I can make about that is – God is!

We have created many trappings around God, none of which we really believe, but we will die defending the right and truth of what we have created, or what our ancestors created and/or contributed to and passed on to us declaring their creation as eternal truth – and called it God, God’s Kingdom, heaven and more.

One small test of our belief system:

If God exists then death as we describe it and believe does not exist.

If God exists then there is another existence which we sometimes describe in our religions, but in which we do not believe because basically we don’t believe in God.  We have created religions with saints and martyrs and heaven and hell and we have peopled our religious universe with a terrain which is amazing and in which we really don’t believe.  And when the chips are down, we don’t believe in any of the supernatural world that we created and put forth as our religious belief..

We have and still fight wars over our religious belief systems.  Isn’t that what is going on with ISIS and other groups in the Middle East and isn’t that what went on with the Christian Wars and all the other wars which we based on religious beliefs that we outlined, but didn’t ever really believe?  We constructed them but knew they were nonsense when we were playing God in our creation and construction time.  If what we created was really God and of God there would be no need to fight over who was right, who was wrong because God would speak to all of us.  But we turned a deaf ear to God’s voice and ignored whatever God had to say because we wanted to control and wanted God out of the way.

Our strongest need seems to be the need for control and the best way to control is to set up a structure with an entity we call God at its head and put everybody under that structure demanding they conform to the behavior system which that structure promotes.  We enforce our system by killing, maiming, ostracizing and shunning those who don’t fit and won’t act the way the religions we developed demands.  Our religious beliefs are clearly not of God because they are full of fear.  They control, grow, and use fear to keep the generations that come after us under the control of our kind – our group.

How do we give ourselves away!  How can you look at us and know we don’t believe in the God we espouse?  We have limited ourselves to what we can see, feel and touch!  We have eliminated everything else because we don’t want anyone to come along to contradict what we have created – especially not anyone of God.

Instead of being a part of God’s universe, we have created a parallel universe that we inhabit; believe in; work towards building. This parallel universe has a god at its head who is really a thinly disguised man.  They say there was a religion eons ago where the god was a thinly disguised woman.  In Israel, there are the remains of a Synagogue whose altar has carved into it a Mr. & Mrs. Jahweh.

I’ve met a few people over the decades who believe God is – who know in ever fibre of their being that there is a God – that God exists.  Generally, the rest of society holds them at arms length and has a difficult time taking them seriously.  These are the people who have seen God.  Or they have talked to those who have died.  Or they have died themselves and been resuscitated. Or they were born with the gift of seeing more than what exists in this physical world.  They are incredible people to be around – especially since the one thing they all seem to lack is the ability to judge other human beings.  They also don’t seem to be able to see human beings as the only beings on this planet who are spiritual, above everything else.

It is so exquisitely beautiful to see beyond the limits we impose upon ourselves and each other because we need to control everything.   It is painful to be around people who declare themselves superior to others and to the rest of the world because of their cultural religion.  To give that up brings us into another reality where very few humans seem to be able to live.

To see the good and the bad in another human being and still love them is special.  It is where God lives.  To give that up to set ourselves up as an imitation of God is such a sacrifice and such a paltry way to exist.  But we have done that, probably for as long as we have been on this earth.

What makes me think that fighting, killing, maiming, torturing others because they don’t believe the way I do is going to please my God and make me one of the martyrs when I die?  What makes me believe that I am doing something other than moving away from God as I insist that my religion is better than.  What makes me believe that God doesn’t want those people to live the lifestyle they have chosen?  What makes me call someone else’s lifestyle sinful and call on the religion I created to justify my call?  What makes me unable to see that maybe God lives that lifestyle, as well as others?

Is that my God bringing down that heavy judgment or my culture/class/ group – the people I hang-out with who make me feel better than everyone else – the people who define what is right and what is wrong – the people who have demolished their own ability to see beyond the physical and into God’s world because they might lose control if we all kept that ability?

Will we ever come to our senses one day or will we realize how wrong we have been when we are at that moment of death!  Hell must be that moment when the realization of what we have done brings us enormous, almost intolerable pain- an eternal pain –  born of the regrets when we realize at that moment that we cannot change how we have lived and we realize the preciousness of the gifts we gave up to take on the self-absorbed life we have lived limited to our own kind.  It is the moment when we realize we really did not believe in God throughout our lives; – when we realize we substituted our own belief and our own religious construct for a beauty and incredible world that we could have lived in and been a part of; – when we see our human sight drop away and in spite of how we have lived, we feel the love of a God who forgives us our iniquities and pardons our weaknesses.  When at that moment, our last human feeling is the one which wishes, if only we could have done the same!  And at that same moment we realize what a poor imitation of God we have been and what a pathetic religion we have created out of our own need instead of having opened ourselves throughout our lives to what should have been.

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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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Theologians Worldwide Join Us!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

What a wonderful resource for you and the rest of the world to add your home to Bettina Network Hedge Schools.

Where does one go to learn about your own religion, or other religions of the world?  Not from books which give a very stilted structure and outdated information, but from someone who is doing research, writing about particular interests of theirs and yours and even more.  Maybe there is someone who has a perspective, belief, expounding on something of interest to you – stay a few days and examine what both of you are doing.

And for the theologian – what a wonderful resource to be able to talk to people serendipitously to try out your thoughts, theories and to know where just ordinary people are coming from and their interest and interpretation of your work.

For the guest traveling the world – stay with a theologian.  Have a breakfast seminar and bring up all the issues you have pondered for decades or maybe within your family for generations.  Only thinkers allowed.  Non-believers welcomed – those of very different religious beliefs and very opposing or complimentary theologies welcome.  A theologian traveling?  Why not stay with a theologian who might be doing something in which you are interested?  Want an intense few days to talk with a theologian in a different area – not at a seminar, not presenting a paper, just the two or three or four of you – hanging out for a couple days?

Call us – email us – get more information about how you might fit and what this is all about.

Breakfast Table Talk – I am sure theologians know about kitchen table talk!  Just look at what that wrought for Martin Luther.

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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

Membership in The Black Race

Monday, June 29th, 2015

To answer a callers question – we made an independent decision to give you an answer:

Question:  Can you be a member of more than one “race” at a time?  For example, can I be a member of the Black race and other races?

Answer: Yes.  It is your decision.

Question:  Do you have to be a citizen of the U. S. A. to become a member of the Black Race?

Answer:  No, the Black Race has members spread around the globe.

Question:  How do I join?

Answer: By sending an email with your request to bettina-network@comcast.net

Question:  Now that I am a member of The Black Race can I solicit friends and relatives to join?

Answer:  Of course.  The more the merrier and the more effective we will be in this attempt to eliminate racism, sexism and all the rest.

 

MEMBERSHIP:

Trudi VanSlyck has become a member of the Black Race (Cambridge, MA)

The Rev. Dr. Robert A. Bennett, Jr. has become a member of the Black Race (Cambridge, MA)

Regina Downer has become a member of the Black Race (Weston, Vermont)

Marceline Donaldson has become a member of the Black Race (Cambridge, MA)

Prof. Dr. Hikmet Ucisik has become a member of the Black Race (Istanbul, Turkey)

Dr. Gino Cattani has become a member of the Black Race (Lucca, Italy)

Walter J. Foley has become a member of the Black Race (Norwood, MA)

Frances Maloney has become a member of the Black Race (Boston, MA)

Cheryl Nicholas has become a member of the Black Race (Randolph, MA)

Courtney Ratliff has become a member of the Black Race (Randolph, MA)

Jaimie Botero has become a member of the Black Race (Cambridge, MA)

Mike Johnson has become a member of the Black Race (Boston, MA)

Bruce Downer has become a member of the Black Race (Weston, Vermont)

Courtney Conway has become a member of the Black Race (Randolph, MA)

Nathaniel Conway has become a member of the Black Race (Randolph, MA)

Dr. Robert Perry has become a member of the Black Race (New Orleans, LA.)

Lani J. Stacks has become a member of the Black Race (Lemon Grove, CA)

Mr. Mark Roudané has become a member of the Black Race (St. Paul, MN)

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

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

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

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

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

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

 

Jim Obergefell, my husband!

Friday, June 26th, 2015

In case you don’t subscribe to the notes from The White House, Washington, D. C., we are reprinting what just appeared, which we wanted to share with all of you.

Jim Obergefell and his husband John Hodges are the plaintiff in the same sex marriage case which the Supreme Court ruled on today, in their favor.  It is profoundly moving and we hope you read it through to the end.

_______________________________________
Jim Obergefell is one of the plaintiffs in the case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court that held that, for the first time, any couple — straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender — can obtain a marriage license and make their commitment public and legal in all 50 states.

We reached out to him to ask for his thoughts on this historic occasion, and this is the open letter he wanted us to share with you.

If you’re standing with couples like Jim and John, Pam and Nicole, Joe and Rob, and millions more around the country today — say so here.

My husband John died 20 months ago, so we’re unable to celebrate together the Supreme Court’s decision on the case that bears my name, Obergefell v. Hodges.

Today, for the first time, any couple — straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender — may obtain a marriage license and make their commitments public and legal in all 50 states. America has taken one more step toward the promise of equality enshrined in our Constitution, and I’m humbled to be part of that.

John and I started our fight for a simple reason: We wanted the State of Ohio to recognize our lawful Maryland marriage on John’s impending death certificate. We wanted respect and dignity for our 20-year relationship, and as he lay dying of ALS, John had the right to know his last official record as a person would be accurate. We wanted to live up to the promises we made to love, honor, and protect each other as a committed and lawfully married couple.

Couples across America may now wed and have their marriage recognized and respected no matter what state they call home. No other person will learn at the most painful moment of married life, the death of a spouse, that their lawful marriage will be disregarded by the state. No married couple who moves will suddenly become two single persons because their new state ignores their lawful marriage.

Ethan and Andrew can marry in Cincinnati instead of being forced to travel to another state.

A girl named Ruby can have an accurate birth certificate listing her parents Kelly and Kelly.

Pam and Nicole never again have to fear for Grayden and Orion’s lives in a medical emergency because, in their panic, they forgot legal documents that prove both mothers have the right to approve care.

Cooper can grow into a man knowing Joe and Rob are his parents in all ways emotional and legal.

I can finally relax knowing that Ohio can never erase our marriage from John’s death certificate, and my husband can now truly rest in peace.

Marriage is about promises and commitments made legal and binding under the law, and those laws must apply equally to each and every American.

Today is a momentous day in our history. It’s a day when the Supreme Court of the United States lived up to the words inscribed above the front entrance of the courthouse:

Equal Justice Under Law.

Thank you,

Jim

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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

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

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

The Black Race*

Friday, June 19th, 2015

WOW! Powerful! Thank you! I wanted to respond, but being white, I thought I should keep my mouth shut. Your blog has changed that. I am going to say what I think, wherever I am and let the chips fall where they may. I have been afraid of being called a racist most of my life. Today it really doesn’t matter. I need to be heard.

From your blog – lets start a new race! The Black Race. Since it was your blog I should let you be the charter and first member, however, in my new space I am going to be the charter and first member.

The Black Race is —

A ‘race’ you can’t be born into – you have to elect to join.

Your skin color does not matter nor does your sex.

The major criteria for joining is your need to be with people who understand equality and are equal to you and you and you to them.

A race concerned about this planet and how we take care of it.

A race of people concerned about the food we eat and what is being done to it.

A race of people into which you can put your most cherished foods, holidays, symbols, sayings which were a part of your former ‘race’ and which you want to remember and hang on to – and where others will also celebrate ‘your’ things as their own.

A race of people whose members reach out to one another to mutually be there for those of us having a difficult time getting through this life.

A race of people whose members do not tolerate homelessness.

You may maintain ‘membership’ in the Black Race and any other race you choose at the same time. (added 6/20/2015)

The Black Race has members spread around the globe and are citizens of many countries.  It is not limited to one country.  (added 6/20/2015)

Your name needs to be inscribed in the membership book of The Black Race.  Currently, you can do that by sending an email to bettinanetwork@comcast.net until a separate site is established for The Black Race and then new members would send their names to that new address. (added 6/21/2015)

Only those who sign up to be members of The Black Race are accepted.  No one is automatically a member of the Black Race. (added 6/21/2015)

We need a creed and a membership card. Each person who joins The Black Race should have their own card made up with additional cards to give to their friends, relatives and colleagues.  All are welcome to join the Black Race – and to tell the media and others that you are Black.  Maybe we should have little dinner parties to announce to our friends that we are now Black.

I will start the Black Race Creed:

I, (your name), am a member of the Black Race. If you do harm to one of us you do harm to all of us.

As a member of the Black Race I give up whatever White Privilege I have been given. (added 6/21/2015)

If there is anything you want to add to this definition of the Black Race, please feel free to do so.  If there is anything you want to add to the “Black Race Creed”, please feel free to do that also.

If you want to be public about your membership in the Black Race, send a blog to Bettina’s with your name and reasons for joining.  Come out of the closet all of you Black people.

Does someone want to contribute bumper stickers which read “I am a member of the Black Race” ?

*Ed Note:  Currently, there is no such thing as a Black Race, so this conversation about whether or not Rachel Dolezal is Black or not is a ridiculous conversation.  African Americans also don’t constitute a race of people.  So this initiative to start such a race has a clear field.

And oh, by the way, we have had a couple telephone calls asking us to find out where Rachel Dolezal has her hair done.  Anyone know the answer to that?

_____________________________________________

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______________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

A New World Order

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2015

We first heard of a “New World Order” when George Bush was president and let those words slip.  We want to pick up those words and expand and change what that means – just a little.

We live and see others prosper as we recapture the past and move into the future world order.  Some of us see the past as that place full of light and goodness.  Others see this new technology creating that place full of light and goodness.  We think they are both wrong and totally destroying what they are trying to achieve and capture.  How does that happen?  How did and do they get it so wrong?

We have to go back to the old world understanding that we don’t own anything on this earth.  We contribute those ways of thinking to the ‘primitives’.  Those groups of people who didn’t understand and were very ‘unintelligent’ in their ways of thinking.  Their basic belief was that we don’t and can’t own anything in this world.  All of that changed.  But did it really or only in new constructs we chose to use to define who we are and how we live!

When we enter this world we do so with nothing except the body we take on at conception.  When we leave it, we leave with nothing – not even the body with which we have identified for as long as we have lived on this earth.  So how have we gotten everything so messed up, mixed up, confused and just downright wrong?

We need to go back to accept the fact of who we are instead of who our leaders have created us to be through their mythology – which we have accepted – and look at and accept who we really are and what we really own, if anything.  Once we do that, the Bettina Lifestyle is simple – it is a “New World Order” based on our shared humanity – and a joy to live.

Whatever we receive in this life is a gift and something we own only temporarily.  It really belongs to the earth – whatever that means.  So we should take care of every pin, every dot, every tittle and iota that comes into our possession because it is not permanent and it is not ours.  We keep all of these things for a second and then pass them on to someone else, unless we have ruined all of what we have possessed in the meantime and then we throw our things into the landfills.  Those things we claim to own came from someplace else and are going someplace else when we no longer have use of whatever we have acquired.

Enter the Estate Sale – the Yard Sale – the Garage Sale.  All ways we use to get rid of our ‘old’ stuff’ that we no longer want nor think we can use.  The thought of taking care of our things because we are passing them along in the future very seldom enters our minds.  We are the throw away society.  We use it and throw it away.  And what happens to those waiting to receive those throw away items?  Sorry, but they were trashed, discarded, uncared for because the person using them interrupted the cycle by their inability to recognize their humanity and the need to share everything with those waiting to receive.  We have dehumanized those waiting to receive to justify the way we have dehumanized ourselves.  We have re-created ourselves in the image of the god we created who would put up with our sins, and wastefulness and uglinesses to ourselves and to others.

If we had taken good care of what we ‘owned’ temporarily, and understood that what we have must be used by someone else, those things would continue their lives and would continue to be useful someplace else and to someone else.

Some people can only buy and use “new” stuff.  Some of us delight and cherish the ‘old stuff’ that we find at Estate Sales.  It is like winning the lottery to find something wonderful for a fraction of what we would have to pay for the same item “new”.  It is living on society’s throw aways, but what a luxury life.

Clothes are the best example.  If you wear your clothes carefully, you can pass them on to continue to be used by someone else.  So Bettina provides for that.  Bettina Network, inc. has estate sales.  Bettina Network Foundation, inc. gives away that which is given to us to those who need the give-aways to be able to participate in this society.  How wonderful to find those give-aways in good condition.

There is no understanding of the ugliness and selfishness of the society in which we live until one becomes homeless.  You can understand it on a very small basis as you interact and see the political fights, the petty jealousies, the coveting thy neighbors belongings. You can understand it only so far, if you also have a position which pays you money to work; friends in the same or better position of whom you can be jealous; belongings which don’t quite measure up to those of your neighbors.  Homeless,  you are cut off from all of that and are standing outside alone or with children or with other family or with friends- all of you alone -it is a stark emptiness, fear and feeling of what was it all about and what is it all about now that I am on the street!  But oddly enough, that tendency to create negative structures in which to live is so strong that the homeless recreate the same scenarios only on a different level from that which we find in the society at large.  What stops that?  What intervenes to get rid of all the myths which we have created to continue this insanity?

To be homeless raises the question as to what got me in this place? Did I do something or not do something that I wound up homeless and cut off from everyone and everything except those in my condition?  There are a few people who reach out to help, but they are not my friends.  They are making themselves feel good as a part of their “belonging,”‘  enhancing their position in society; reaching out to ‘do good’, but going back into the lifestyle and the society which created the underbelly of people that are not doing so good.

Why do we throw away our children onto the streets?  Why do we cast our elderly into buildings which harbor and collect all of the germs and diseases one gets as one gets older and keeps them from being seen and interacted with by others – the normal younger ones?  Why do we eliminate youth and family from these buildings and put those who are only one step above the elderly in such places to ‘care’ for them?  Is there something about youth who don’t tow the line and the elderly who shouldn’t be seen with the rest of us that makes us segregate?

As racism subsides are we so quickly replacing it with this form of elder-ism and creating more isms – so we don’t run out and might have to acknowledge our equality?  Separate and unequal now true for the elderly and for our children?

It is interesting that one sees, on the streets, people active until about age 70 and then it is rare to see those much older unless we see them amongst the homeless.  We have to go out of our way to these elder-buildings to see anyone older than 70.  Why do we so desperately need to be better than, that we will destroy other human beings to fill our need to be better than?

Marketing and advertising create the image of being stunned by those over 40 who look good (translate young) – who are not ill – who are active in society.  We just gasp at a 50 year old who looks younger and is still very active.  Corporations almost totally refuse to hire anyone over 45 and we go along with that.  Somehow, wisdom does not count.  And we can see that in how our society operates.  If wisdom were allowed in, and we commonly shared the experiences we have acquired  from having lived many years through much,  that might change the structures of our world and those who are busy creating this horror might have to give way to others who understand, acknowledge and act out of our common humanity.

If we treated our possessions as being with us only temporarily would that change all of this?  If we consciously understood that when we leave this earth we would not even be able to do so taking our own bodies?  Would that make a change?  If we passed on what we now own and use when we either no longer want or need it and we passed that on in good shape to others would all of this change?

As of now, wearing clothes someone else bought and wore and now throws away is not considered great.  Many of us won’t wear other peoples’ clothes.  We expect to immediately get sick and die from some terminal disease we catch in that process.  This need for new stuff and only new stuff has been created by a marketing and advertising campaign which has made us deathly afraid of each other and sometimes of ourselves.  We must feed the “growth through throw away” societal structure.  The faster we can get others to discard and throw away the faster new industries and companies can grow.

Look at this, –  we can’t stand to be around someone who has an odor. That has created a whole industry, which is thriving.  Try it sometimes and see how repulsed your friends and even your family can be if you smell.  And we all smell.  The exception is those who temporarily get rid of their smell by using chemicals which in the long run are harmful to one’s health.  Maybe those products need the addition in their television commercials to list all the bad things they do to the body, if you use them, as soothing music plays in the background.  Your smell is as unique as everything else.  Get used to it.  Can you walk into a room and know any of the people who just exited by the odors left or do you know the odors left by the brand of the chemicals used by the individuals?

We prefer to be around those who have more than we do and we will do some strange things to each other reaching ‘up’.  We cater to those who seem to have more, hoping they will acknowledge us and pull us ‘up’ with them.  And those already ‘up’ are doing their best to distance themselves from those who have less because they don’t want their ‘position’ compromised, especially by the unwashed.

Take a look at what keeps us without an odor – full of chemicals.  Take a look at what  keeps us clothed – chemicals, oil, especially in the middle classes and you will find these  chemicals and processed oils giving off gases into our bodies.  The food the chefs, who now make millions of dollars for the prattle produce, – can be really fowl, only we claim it to be exquisite because we repeat what we are expected to repeat to stay a member of the group.  Once upon a time these Chefs touted Olive Oil as the only Oil to cook with if you wanted to be healthy.  Slowly, too slowly, word got out that one can’t really cook with Olive Oil because it goes rancid as the temperature in the pot goes up and it doesn’t have to go up very far for the rancidity to appear killing all of the B vitamins in our system.

Try life in this New World Order.  Take good care of what you currently own,  with the thought that it will be owned by someone else in the not too dBettina Trademarkistant future and you want to preserve it so it can continue to be used and enjoyed.  Pass your belongings on to those who either won’t or can’t pay the top dollars required of the people buying new stuff.  What is this new stuff they are buying?  Shoes full of chemicals way into four figures; New pocketbooks which show off a certain status costing into five figures.  Instead of landfill, make sure those items with which you currently live are in such good condition they can be passed on to others to enjoy.

Find someone homeless and bring them into your social circle.  Include them in your parties, your dinners, your outings, your vacations.  You don’t have to provide them with permanent housing.  When dinner is over they go back to their homeless state.  When you return from vacation, they go back to their homeless state.  When you pass someone homeless on the street – smile and speak.  When you pass anyone on the street – smile and acknowledge your common humanity.  What will that do?  Possibly cure this society’s penchant for creating homelessness and then not taking responsibility for what we have created.  How? By acknowledging our common humanity.  If I have a lot in common with that person on the street how can I do otherwise than to at least speak.  Maybe one day……………..

As the homeless are more included in your life and the lives of your friends and family maybe they will see another way to move out of the state they are in.  Maybe doors have been opened for them and within them to help move them off the street.

Try this beginning of a truly New World Order and see how far it takes you and us.

============================================

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{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

______________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

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.


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