June, 2017 - Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for June, 2017

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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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




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