October, 2009 | Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for October, 2009

Reformation Real Estate

Friday, October 30th, 2009

copyright the Bettina Network 2009
The Rev. Dr. Robert A. Bennett

The big news out of the Vatican recently is that disaffected clergy (married or not) of the Church of England will be welcomed back into the Roman Catholic fold – no questions asked!!! What was previously a case by case procedure for return has been replaced with an announcement of a blanket welcome issued by the Vatican on Tuesday, October 27. 2009.

There has been much discussion about what lay behind this procedural change: decline of European Catholic members; the decline of Roman Catholic Clergy due to strict rules of celibacy; or even the resulting decline in revenues and the decline in capital because of the court decisions taking millions of dollars from the Catholic Church.

The mantra in many mysteries is “follow the money!”  The rationale behind otherwise unanswered questions of motive, is very often related to monetary matters.  Everyone remembers that the Reformation in England took on a distinctive non-doctrinal caste under Henry VIII’s marital problems. The issue then was not doctrinal differences between Rome and England, but the matter of who ultimately controlled and held ownership rights over valuable Church properties and institutions.  Henry VIII resolved his marital issue by setting the stage for transforming (not reforming) the Catholic Church in England to the Catholic Church of England.  In 1553, Henry VIII seized and closed the monasteries and transferred these very valuable sources of income away from Rome, placing them at his and England’s disposal.  The so-called “Elizabethan Settlement” of 1559 finalized this transfer and marked the Reformation in England as the creation of the Anglican Church, the Church of England.

Benedict XVI, scholar that he is, as Cardinal, was called “God’s Rottweiler,” the enforcer of Roman Catholic Orthodoxy in the very conservative mood.  Benedict XVI has reversed the ex-communications of ultra-conservative rejectors of change and rejectors of reform elements set in place by Vatican II, and has returned them to good standing in the Roman Catholic Church – one bishop returned to good standing is an acknowledged “Holocaust Denier”.  The pope now issues a similar – y’all come back, now – decree for disaffected Anglicans who reject openly gay priests and bishops as well as rejecting female priests and bishops.

These actions, in the face of declining membership, declining sources of income, valuable real estate sold to pay court decisions, support the “follow the money” mantra.  They point to a way to increase membership and set the stage for the possible return of valuable real estate and institutions lost in Great Britain under the various Parliamentary acts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in the 16th century.

Pope Benedict XVI’s recent relaxation of the means of return is best seen as setting the ground work for the return of valuable real estate lost when the Catholic Church in England was transformed into the Church of England (the Anglicans).  It is English Reformation history that may well lay behind the recent action of the Vatican.  Never underestimate the knowledge or even the dreams of the scholar.

Should the Orthodox church begin to be concerned about its real estate with the Roman Catholic Church now lining up its priesthood to be a married priesthood for the little guys, but celibacy as the path for those who are upwardly mobile and want to be bishop or above?

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From A Reader on the Banks

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

(ed. note) Having contacted this blogger as to what they meant by “ETF”, it means “Electronic Funds Transfer” usually abbreviated by “EFT.”
—————————————————————————————–
Thanks for your posts.  Your posts left out one way banks make money in unethical ways – particularly in businesses which have many ETF transactions because of taking MasterCard, Visa, etc. charges from their customers.

Those charges are settled  by the bank putting money into the businesses checking account.  That money is supposed to be treated as cash when it arrives – immediately available.  That does not happen.

On the weekends, if you receive an ETF transaction from the credit card companies, it is not recorded in your checking account until Tuesday morning.  When you call the bank to find out why – you discover their claim is that things don’t happen over the weekend because banks are closed.  When you ask about Monday, you hear them say – Monday is a part of the weekend because no work is done on Sundays and this business is not recorded until overnight Monday showing up in your account on Tuesday morning.

What’s wrong with this?  If a charge comes in over the weekend from whoever, as an ETF charge, the banks somehow do work for those very large institutions over the weekend and the charge is posted against your account.  On Monday, you will only have charges posted onto your account, possibly creating an overdraft situation even though there are credit card deposits which would cure that overdraft, because banks don’t work for the little people over the weekend and your deposits must wait until overnight on Monday showing up on Tuesday.  For the large companies, banks do work over the weekend and their charges are posted overnight on Sunday showing up in your account on Monday morning.  It helps the large institutions cash flow, it creates the possibility for unearned income for the banks (by charging overdraft charges even though there is money at the banks window to make that not true) and screws over the small entrepreneur.

Thanks for your blogs.  This needs to be aired and I don’t know where else to find such information or to post the information I have.  Imagine finding this on a blog about bed & breakfast.

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

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

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

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

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

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The Truth about Debit Cards

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

copyright 2009 Bettina Network, inc.

This is a follow-up on Bettina’s Hall of Shame award.

We are beginning to think this award should be shared by the banks and the media.  The more we read the more we understand that the American public is being grossly misled and it is either because the reporters are ignorant of their subject or the reporting we’ve read is a purposeful attempt to mislead the public.

There has been much obfuscation around Debit Cards.  Much has been said and brought to Congress about how awful the banks are to give an automatic coverage of overdrafts for those with Debit Cards and how that automatic coverage allows the holders of these cards to overdraw their accounts and how it is allowing the banks to take them to the cleaners.  That is not true.  The public IS being taken to the cleaners, but its lack of knowledge and sophistication on how these things work allows this gross miscarriage of money which takes place on a daily basis.  And now the public is being misled by the media as to the real problem around Debit Cards.

Why did Debit Cards come into being?  It is another way the middle class can be drained of its money. Its a quick way to move money from the super rich to the becoming poor.

What’s wrong with Debit Cards and why this automatic overdraft business is gaining so much attention?  Its simple.    It is a red herring, meant to take your attention away from the real problem so Debit Cards can become entrenched in this society as another structural element within the banking system which makes loads of money for banks by quickly taking it away from the Middle Class.

The banks don’t want you to wake up to what they are doing.  So, you get this righteous indignation to take your attention, time and resources away from seeing and objecting to the real problem with Debit Cards.

When the Debit Card phenomena becomes accepted and normal the overdraft coverage will stop and you will be ripped off in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

HOW DO DEBIT CARDS WORK?

Today, when you make a purchase with your debit card, the money is immediately taken out of your checking account.  Sometimes this happens the same day.  If you make a purchase in the evening – say about 8pm, the next morning your checking account shows the withdrawal.  It is a total and immediate movement of money from you to the bank.  The merchant from whom you made the purchase doesn’t get their money for two to three business days later – so you are out the money paid, the merchant is out the merchandise or services without payment for two to three business days and the bank has the money, which is supposed to be the merchants, which the bank keeps for two to three business days before sending it on to the merchant involved.  And the merchant gets to pay the bank from 2 to 3 percent in the form of an immediate discount, for this service.

Parallel that to what happens when you make a deposit.  In most cases, your deposits are “cured” by the bank for 5 business days before a deposit goes into your checking account as available funds.  So any money which you have deposited into your checking account which you put there to use for such purchases can’t be touched for five business days.  (Only a few are exempt from this and then only temporarily until the bank can conjure up ways to put those few back with the unwashed – those who you now feel better than because you are one of the select few.  That feeling of superiority is short-lived because your stay in that heavenly area is temporary and the bank is constantly working with its idea people to shrink the number of people in that heavenly area and to decrease the amount of time they can spend there.)

Now, you’ve made your deposit and two days later you go to the store to make a purchase using your debit card thinking you have this money in your account and available.  What a mistake!  You are now in the weeds.  If you counted on that deposit to be there and usable you find you have overdrawn your account and are now being charged between $30 and $40 for that Debit Card transaction.  So without the automatic overdraft account added to your checking account, the purchase you made with your Debit Card would have bounced; you would be embarrassed at the check-out counter of wherever you are; and you would be furious with the bank doing whatever you could to change the situation.  What change would you be looking to make?  You want your money available when you make your deposit – or at the very least within two days of your deposit.

Instead, your bank covers the purchase, charges you an obscene overdraft charge and leaves you feeling as though this was your fault.  Was it your fault? NO NO NO!  You deposited good money and good credit for that amount should be immediately usable by you, especially when you think back on the fact that the merchant isn’t getting paid for two to three business days.

In addition, even if the bank bounced your Debit Card you would still be in the weeds because banks charge you the $30-40 no matter whether they pay the charge or not.  And with all the fees they add on to your account, you never quite know your balance.  You can call the bank at 2pm and get your balance – at 3pm they can add a charge which reduces your balance, you try to make a purchase for the amount you think you have and voila, you discover you are overdrawn or your charge has been declined at the store.  In either case you are out $30-40.

So what have we here:
1.  You start the action by making a deposit to your checking account.

2.  You go to the store to make a purchase.

3.  Your purchase is immediately registered by the bank – they have their money as soon as you make the purchase.

4.  The merchant is out the goods or services and the money.  The Merchant waits 2 to 3 business days before getting paid for what you purchased and paid for days before.  In addition, the merchant pays the bank about two to three percent for this service.  The merchant pays that amount to the bank, not in the form of a check issued at the end of the month, but in the form of a discount immediately taken from the Merchant by the Bank.

5.  You don’t yet pay for your Debit Card.   – in some cases you are being charged for this service – but most are not and given a little time you will also pay the bank a percentage to use your own money.  Congress will intervene on your behalf, but not for decades.  Meanwhile the bank will have another scheme going to replace the Debit Card income which will make billions more.  like the Debit Card gradually replacing the Credit Card.  Credit Card limits are being reduced.  They will finally go out completely.  Why take something that only pays you $ .95 on the $1.00 when you can replace it with something which pays you $1.50 on the $1.00.

Who benefits?  the Bank!  What is your alternative?  Use your check book.

Write a check for the goods or services you want.

If you have to wait in line with lots of people waiting behind you, that isn’t your problem it is the merchants problem.  You have your check book and proper identification.  There is no reason for anyone to deny your check, especially since there are all kind of services merchants could subscribe to which lets them know if your check is good.  They have been brain washed to believe that every check given to them by their customers is going to bounce so they had better use the Debit Card route for their own protection.

WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW, but will soon find out is the Debit Card they accepted can be rejected by the bank even after they have received an approval code.  The fine print in their contract says the approval code is temporary and can be withdrawn.  So what have they gained by accepting your Debit Card instead of your check? They have gained the right to wait for their money and to pay the bank a percentage of your purchase to accept your money and let it “cure” and then pass it along to them.

You have given up control of your money to the bank when you have and use a Debit Card.  When you use your checking account, you write a check today to pay for your purchase.  The money is withdrawn from your account about two days later and it hasn’t cost you anything.  If you overdrew your account by writing the check you can make a deposit the next day to avoid overdraft charges, which would have immediately accrued to your account had you used your Debit Card instead.

What has the bank gained?

Your deposits to your checking account for five business days for nothing –
money they make money on.

They have in addition gained an additional two to three days use of the money because you authorized the bank to withdraw money from your account to pay the merchant and while the bank has its money immediately, they don’t pay against they money you have given them for two to three days when the Merchants bill comes due.

The bank has gained use of your money in three ways, making substantial amounts when you add together the numbers of people who give them this right of access.
You are left penniless,
the merchant is left struggling
and the bank is just as happy and rich as it can be.

From what we have seen in the economy of late, the bank isn’t keeping that money.  It is being passed along in many schemes to the super rich.  Ethics have been suspended.  If the banks have to torpedo the society in order to create and work through its schemes – so be it as long as they are left functioning to continue this enormous transfer of wealth.

We are creating a modern version of the Emperor with his well-off minions and his indentured servants.  You may not yet be the indentured servants, but quite possibly that is the future of your children.

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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 Spectacular Breakfast

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

copyright 2009 Bettina Network, Inc.

This dish can be the centerpiece of either breakfast or lunch.  Of course, we prefer it served at breakfast.  It is spectacularly beautiful.  Upon presentation to your guests it looks ike an ivory rose with a yellow center.  We believe this dish has its origins in Brazilian cuisine, but we can’t vouch for that.

To serve four people you will need the following:

4 eggs, separated
4 slices French bread
4 slices cheese
8 slices bacon, ham, sausages (your choice)
butter

All ingredients should absolutely be organic – the eggs, bread, cheese, butter and the rest need to be organic or the taste will change to washed out, pasteurized.  We find people rave over our eggs.  We don’t do anything special to get that great taste, we just buy organic eggs from farmers we know and have seen how they raise and feed their chickens.  The net result is their eggs taste like eggs.  Eggs from chickens grown in those apartment houses stacked on top of one another, fed horrific feed tastes like eating scrambled water and they pass the anxiety, pain and agony they suffered on to you, probably compromising your health in the process.

Set oven to 350 degrees.

You need a mixing bowl (from your stand mixer) into which you put the egg whites.
Crack the eggs and carefully separate the whites from the yolks.
Put the egg whites into the mixing bowl.
You need an egg carton for the next step.
Put the egg yolk back into its half shell and put the half shell into the egg carton to keep it upright and ready for use. Do this for all four egg yolks or however many you are using.
Spread butter on the slices of French Bread.  We like the bread cut fairly thick because it gives a better base for these egg-creations.
Place one slice of cheese on each slice of bread.  Set these aside on a buttered baking sheet.
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold their peaks.  Don’t over beat because you do not want these egg whites to be dry.
With a large wooden spoon, or other kind of utensil with which you are comfortable, take out about one fourth of the egg white (now a meringue) and mound this on top of the cheese.
Spread the meringue over the bread, butter and cheese to the edges so the bread is covered.
This should look like a small mountain – the middle of the bread and meringue should be higher than the rest.
With the back of your spoon, make an indentation in the center of the meringue so it can hold the egg yolk, making sure your meringue looks beautiful.  Imagine how it will look once browned with ivory and brown tinges on the peaks.
Very, very carefully put the egg yolk into the center of the bread in the depression you’ve just made.
Put the baking sheet with the bread, butter, cheese, meringue and egg yolk into the oven and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes.  10 minutes if you like your egg yolk still runny; 15 minutes if you like your egg yolk cooked firm.
When done, put a meringue square on each plate, sprinkle with sea salt and cayenne pepper and serve with either bacon, ham or sausage around the merinque square arranged for maximum beauty.
If you do not like bacon, etc. just omit it.  This dish carries itself off just as it is.  It is light, very tasty and makes a wonderful breakfast by itself with fresh fruit and a breakfast dessert of some kind.

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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

 

David Letterman Needs to Resign

Friday, October 9th, 2009

It was clear where David Letterman was coming from when he made the very ugly and extremely sexist comments about Sarah Palin’s daughter.  His disrespect and abuse of women showed through strongly when he could aim such ugliness at a young 14 year old girl who he didn’t even know.  Why was that necessary?  We now know why.  To Mr. Letterman it was normal and funny and just a fine thing to do.  His friends glad handed him, slapped his back, gave him a cigar and admired his macho.  In his mind, it probably added two inches – and not to his height, to do such a thing.

At the same time, several people noted that David Letterman must be misusing and abusing women big time to come up with such an ugly remark, deliver it so easily and expect a great laugh therefrom.  We were surprised no one called for his resignation then.  We think many people let that slide because it was framed against a high profile political family who it is now fashionable to trash.  Instead of letting politics get in the way, the remark itself should have been responded to properly and Mr. Letterman made to fade into a history, which minutely documented his inability to respect women and young girls.

Sexual abuse is very lethal in the work place and we are certain many women’s lives were changed and not for the better because of Mr. Letterman’s assumption that as boss, the women under him were literally obligated to be “under him” when he took an interest in them.  Isn’t that the traditional way for insecure men at the top to act?  Isn’t it time to call them out?  Women should not have to trade sex for a job, a promotion or anything else.  Women who have problems, having been raised without a father are prime targets for men like Mr. Letterman.  And those same women are generally the last to be able to stand up and call out the men who have sexually abused them – can you ever doubt the truth of that?

Unless sexual abuse is recognized and rejected, equality will never happen because there will always be the David Letterman’s who get away with years of abusing the women who work for them and then point fingers – filthy fingers with even filthier comments at girls as young and innocent as the Palin daughter of 14 years who had to endure the lurid publicity which Lettermans comments generated.

It is interesting that he was so quickly and easily able to make such a heavily sexual comment about a young 14 year old girl.  And the filthy fingers were all over women trying to establish themselves in a career, to support their families and to raise their children.  There have always been and always will be the David Lettermans in the work place.  When we endorse them by allowing them to stay and rub everyone’s face in their arrogance and inappropriate superiority who are we as a society?  Our morality and ethics will have taken a big nose dive into the gutter – and it is a very dirty gutter.

It is past time to recognize those who come out so vocally in support of sexual abusers of women and to look closer at them, because they are in the same camp and will soon be “outed” for the same reasons.

The women who work and/or worked for David Letterman and who were so abused need to find their strength and courage to come out, stand up and be counted among those who will not allow such to continue and to continue being hidden.  They can find work elsewhere if their bosses also are hiding their own sexual abuse by standing behind David Letterman.  How does that old saying go – there, but for the fear I’ve engendered in those women who have children to feed – raise – take care of, who I have so seriously disrespected and to whom I have caused much grief, goes I.

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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

 


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