December, 2020 - Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for December, 2020

A Quick Lunch – Wild Pink Salmon Salad

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020


This is a quick and delicious dish. If this was not COVID-19 time I would say it is perfect for a few friends. It takes almost no time and the results are stunning.

Empty a can of wild salmon into a bowl. You could also bake a wild salmon steak with a little salt and pepper until done to use instead of the canned variety.

Put an onion and three stalks of celery into the food processor and turn it on until they are chopped fine. You could also use a large knife and chop these by hand if you prefer. The food processor gives a smoother salad. The hand chop gives a salad where you can identify all of the ingredients – which adds its own goodness to what you are eating.

Add the onion and celery to the bowl of salmon and add organic mayonnaise to taste.

Add enough salt and cayenne pepper to bring up an even better taste.

Once mixed well, put a leaf from a small head of lettuce on a salad plate. The lettuce leaf should have a nice “bowl” shape.

Put a mound of the salmon salad in the middle of the lettuce leaf.

If you want to continue adding – thinly slice an organic tomato and add the slices around the mound of salmon salad. You could also cut the tomato slices in half to give a different look to the salad.

Add organic crackers around the outside of the lettuce leaf. Garlic Crackers or whatever kind you like will make this wonderful.

You can eat this by scooping a bit of salad onto a cracker. OR – Use a fork to just eat the salad including bits of tomato and lettuce together on the fork.

To spice things up you could add tabasco to the sliced tomatoes and let them sit a moment in the tabasco sauce before placing them around the salad mound.

It is a dish which allows your creative juices to flow and it is delicious to eat, especially since you invested less than 10 minutes into its preparation.

If you used a can of pink salmon this will serve about 4 people – depending upon their appetites and your generosity.


Monday, December 28th, 2020

by: Marceline Donaldson

We have been raised with Christmas and all the trappings. The Christmas decorations in the department stores; the characters who make up the story like Santa Claus, Jesus, the reindeer including Rudolph and so many more.

As you grow into adulthood, one of the first things that happens is a questioning of all of the stories of a child’s Christmas beliefs.

I used to love going to bed on Christmas Eve with much anticipation of waking up the next day with every wish fulfilled and a Christmas tree with every toy I ever wanted under the tree.

As an adult, however, I have questioned it all.

The only thing left is Jesus, Mary and Joseph surrounded by the Shepherds, the Wise Men and the animals around this baby in a manger. Today I realize all that surrounds the “Holy Family” is romanticized because Jesus, Mary and Joseph were homeless but for whoever let them stay in the barn. We portray this as a wonderful scene all warm and cozy and beautiful. In reality?

Christianity came into being in the Near East. It came into this world through Judaism. These were and are very un-American type religions. But Christianity, in particular, spread across the world and particularly across these United States. Something had to be done or capitalism as it developed , arm in arm with slavery and later with the Industrial Revolution would be jeopardized as it pulled together that underbelly group of people who were always at risk of losing their jobs and who always lived on the edge because that is what capitalism requires to control inflation and to grow again quickly when the warning signs are gone – people, lots of them, grateful for a job alternating with the misery of being out of a job and how will we eat! Christianity morphed as it grew in these United States and a structure was superimposed on the religion which put it under the control of Santa Claus and his henchmen.

That was a religion in which one could believe and not have it interfere with ones day to day necessities of living. Jesus, Mary and Joseph would not interfere with the growing influence of the great white father – the huge, older white gentleman with flowing white hair, a happy demeanor, who took care of all those who were “good” and Santa and his helpers defined what it meant to be good. He was not the great spirit talked about in Scripture and Christianity, but enough like him that we could live with this religion and it would do our bidding. This religion with the Santa Claus structure built around it to tame it would maintain the world’s sexism, its racism, define its ethics and we would not have to deal with the values, ethics and more of Jesus. Santa Claus flying through the air in a huge sleigh full of goodies for those who followed what he laid down under the guise of partnering with Jesus over Christmas and the birth of this God made man. Santa would be the one left standing when Jesus had been emasculated and put in “his” place. Something had to be done as Christianity spread so this Santa Claus developed to maintain “white” culture and values and everything else which Jesus and his crowd threatened.

I remember stories and pictures, especially from Texas of German prisoners of war being brought to the United States, during Hitler’s time, and put into the prisons constructed to hold them. What most of us don’t want to remember are the stories which circulated and which were well documented about U. S. citizens who went to the German prisons on Sundays to ‘check out” a prisoner and take them to dinner at a lovely restaurant. In Texas most of the stories were about these dinners in the restaurants where black GI’s could partake of the food, but had to do so by going around to the back door of the restaurant – placing an order – paying the same amount for their food as those who were inside seated at tables with their German prisoner of war guests – but who had to eat their dinners in the back yard of the restaurants or take their food someplace else because they were welcomed on the battle fields in Europe and other places, but not in the restaurants and such other places in these United States where the Nazi Germans could go.

And so enters Christmas and Jesus and that entire story.

As I grew older I began to understand a lot more. With family who were clergy and/or totally devoted to the Christian Church – Episcopalians, AME, Congregationalists, Catholics – I began to look around and realized the spiritual world in which we were living was totally skewered. We in these United States had created an identity of being “better than.” Better than anyone – blacks, jews, latinas, LGBTQ people, people from other countries we did not consider culturally equal to, but less than ours. We have paid high prices to maintain that identity. One has to be constantly at war to maintain such – peace is not an option.

Those “better than” were recently threatened with the possibility that maybe we were all equal and these United States went crazy. Most recently 74 million citizens stepped up to the plate to say they were irretrievably better than and would vote for whoever guaranteed they would maintain that fiction for us all. As it was at the time of Jesus’ birth, so it is today.

This Middle Eastern religion – this Christianity as it grew and spread broke into two parts. Many denominations, but two major groups. One group spread throughout the European countries into the United States and South America. The other spread along with it into the same countries, but the theologies differed. The teachings changed. The belief system of the two groups were so widely different I didn’t understand how they could all fly under the same banner of “Christianity.”

We lived and live in a very racist, sexist, bigoted world. A religion like Christianity could have changed all of that. Instead, we changed the religion.

We took the theology and superimposed on that simple religion, on the faith and belief system which Jesus brought – the religion in which today we claim to believe and have ordered our lives around. A religion with a set of beliefs which maintained and helped grow the structures of capitalism and slavery which walked hand in hand. Later on as slavery gave way to Jim Crow – and even later as Jim Crow gave way to the sophisticated bigoted structures under which we now live we still espoused this “sort of” Christianity suffering under the institutional structure we superimposed on it for reasons of control. These institutions were constantly structured and re-structured to hide the truth of who we are and in what we believe and the world we have created. It has a picture it puts out to help us maintain the belief that it is all good.

We live in a sexist/racist/anti-immigrant society – in these United States, extremely so. To make that palatable and a structure with which we have made peace we created Santa Claus – a very large, older white Northern European-ancestry male who overcame God and Jesus. Santa Claus dressed in the red of joy, living comfortably in the most inhospitable of climates with amazing powers. A man – a superman who every year gave gifts to the world, but only to those who in the world adhered to the rules he put down for this society. The United States created Santa Claus, his sleigh and reindeer who flew around the world delivering gifts to the “good little boys and girls” and bad things into the stockings of those who did not behave properly.

The idea of this huge white man who had access to every home in the world was scary to many, but we kept our peace because to say such things about Santa Claus was unacceptable. He could enter your house at will whether you wanted him to or not and indeed this Santa Claus went into every home on Christmas Eve to deliver “gifts”. In the mythology you had no way to keep him out nor would you want to.

Take away what the marketers and advertising people have given to Santa to make him acceptable and you are left with a very autocratic, ugly, and pushy man who didn’t make it into many homes because they were not “good” enough or supposedly left sack cloth and ashes in those who didn’t fit Santa’s mold for “goodness.” Nothing was ever said about what Santa did to the homeless, but it was not good because they received nothing. They didn’t have the beautiful stockings to put up to receive Santa Claus’ largesse.

Growing up there was always the shock between Jesus, Mary and Joseph and God’s promises and the reality of what we turned Christmas into. Going to the Churches as a child growing into adulthood it was the same across the United States. Some Churches were for whites only. Some Churches allowed non-whites to come in, but you had to sit in the designated spots in the back of the Church and there was the requisite sign which indicated “For Colored Patrons Only”. Some Churches – especially in the north didn’t have the signs and you could enter and worship, but in the balcony and you had an etiquette about how and when you entered and what you did and how you acted. Always in a very subservient way so you could be assured of being welcomed back.

And – that was not generations ago. Coming to Cambridge, MA. Christ Episcopal Church in Harvard Square with its then rector the Rev. Murray Kenney referred to his “plantation” and there were blacks very proud to be members of Christ Church who saw nothing wrong with being able to attend only if they sat in the balcony and did not interact with those whites who were real members of the church. A pattern practiced across the north.

Today, we have that same separation.

Years ago, I had friends – Mary and James Tillman. They had “sensitivity” sessions on racism for corporations and churches. If you were a member of the Southern Baptist Church back in the 1960’s or 1970’s or there-about and you were elected to a national office in the Church you could not serve in that office until you had been through the Tillman’s course and they said you were ready to serve in the Church because your racism would not handicap your service.

Their sessions were amazing. I went to a few – in spite of the fact that they generally did not allow blacks to attend. They couldn’t because most blacks would defend whites showing their racism and block Mary and Jim from moving to help that person deal with and understand their racism. It was tough and the sessions put you through much to get you to face and deal with your racism. All done in the context of Christianity.

Problem is – Santa Claus and his henchmen intervened and after that incredible and incredibly brief period of time the Souther Baptists reached the point of not allowing women to be ordained – who prior to that could be ordained – and moving Blacks into those spaces of oppression which they could not fight against without being moved out of the Church. That has changed a bit today, but the blacks so moved into leadership positions still are surrounded by the wisps of smoke which come from the racism/self-hatred/self-negation they have to practice to stay in their positions.

Sort of reflective of what happened in these United States when Barack Obama was elected president and we looked forward to moving into a time of wonderful equality, justice and God’s peace only to have the rude awakening of Donald Trump whose racism would have made him comfortable around Hitler and Santa Claus. As President Obama was replaced by President Trump who, while claiming the office of president actually acted more like a foreign agent of Russia – a country in which most of the people, especially those at the top, were white.

So where do we go now with all of this. How do we walk in the sunshine again without the shame our history could dump on us?

I have no answers – make no proposals – have spent a lifetime fighting for justice and trying to live as an equal amongst equals and have not been very successful at it.

This last bout, that Robert and I suffered was enough to make us realize the extreme racism in these United States is alive and well and will overtake anyone at anytime and feel justified in the act. We spent our lives trying to bring about justice – trying to help people see the beauty of truth and how it most helps you live a great life – how much better it is to be equal than better than or less than and opt out of responsibilities which face others.

We made many sacrifices for our children so they would not have to experience what we have had to endure. When we stepped back we saw that we simply did for them what our parents did for us – a life of sacrifice which produced less than nothing and we and they still had to go through horrors. A lifestyle generations before us practiced without realizing the hopelessness of such sacrifices.

As young people working hard to acquire an education and all the other accouterments this society claims are necessary we were sure footed and thought we knew the answers. Today, we are just as sure we don’t have the answers and those we put out there were only given to us to insure our blindness and deafness and that we would not impede the growth of the white culture of Santa Claus violating Jesus and all the teachings of Christianity.


Saturday, December 26th, 2020

This is a must see video. Hope you will watch it to the end and send back your comments. It is one of a series of 10 videos.

It is a look at what is happening on the southern border of the United States. This is something we avoid – don’t hear much about except in passing – and have not felt moved to take action to remove the inhumanity, the evil, the horribleness being foisted on other human beings because they find themselves in untenable, scary, violent circumstances and look to the United States for help. Here you will find the kind of “help” we are now meting out.

We are open to your comments. Send them to bettinanetwork@

A Petition to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill

Saturday, December 12th, 2020

We took on this campaign a couple years ago when Donald Trump announced he would not honor President Obama’s plan – already set in place with the currency plates created and the date set to run this new $20 bill. He did not feel Harriet Tubman was someone who would do anything good for the United States and, indeed, would be an embarrassment. Trump cancelled the run of this new currency.

Since we started this campaign, many others have taken it up and adopted and adapted it as their own. Several people designed and created stamps for sale so you could take the currently available $20, stamp over the picture of Andrew Jackson before spending your money. That $20 could be spent with good feelings that the person on it representing the United States was someone who sacrificed much for her country and, indeed, as the end of her life was given military honors for the work she did leading many slaves to freedom – hundreds of slaves as the risk of her own life.

We just signed the petition “Replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20” and wanted to ask if you could add your name too.

This campaign means a lot to us and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here:

Thank you!

Marceline and Robert

P.S. Can you also take a moment to share the petition with others? It’s really easy – all you need to do is forward this email or share this link on Facebook or Twitter:

Bettina Network Foundation, inc. and the elderly!

Friday, December 4th, 2020

As many of you know, we have been through some horrifying times over the past few months.

What we learned is that the elderly are at risk in this society and many are being exploited with their assets, freedom, health and more increasingly attacked and stripped away for the benefit of others.

We are adding “Project Old Age” to what the Foundation is doing and hope you will support our efforts. Of all our projects, this one will most assuredly touch your life because we all, finally, move into Old Age.

The project which took a lot of time, money and other resources is coming to an end. The Harriet Tubman Project. We hope you will sign the petition which we are sending to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris telling them about our efforts and all of those who helped and asking them to re-start and bring to completion having the image of Harriet Tubman printed on the next print-run of the $20 bill.

It was, after all President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden who started this effort and brought it almost to completion. When they left office in 2016 they left everything needed for the next printing of the $20 bill to be one with the image of Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson.

That was scheduled to happen, with even the printing plates all done and waiting to be used, at the very beginning of Donald Trump’s time as president. However, Trump canceled that printing and was very clear there would be a woman on the currency one of these days, but it would not be someone like her.

All of that means the effort we put into the Tubman Project will now go into “Project Old Age.”

It has so many paths to take:

  1. We were horrified to discover how easy it is to have the police pick up a citizen of the United States and shove him or her into the psych ward for no reason – except their assets look good and they are moving ahead with civil rights activities that some folks think need to be stopped – or some other personal or civil rights reason.

2. In addition, we discovered that many taxing areas – like cities which tax real estate – made a lot of noise and took credit for helping the elderly stay in their homes. They passed laws making it possible for people over 65, or in some cases over 70 or over 75 to be able to lien their real estate taxes to their property – paying interest, of course.

That has become a joke. The cities have almost no one who has been able to take advantage of that possibility. Why? Because working with banks, the bank refuse to allow such and the city, working with the banks, will obfuscate and confuse to make sure that such a lien process does not happen. Especially if the property is one developers want to buy; or the person is not wanted in the neighborhood for race or other reasons; or fifty other reasons we are uncovering.

3. Elder and Protective Services are also very problematical, being used to destroy, incarcerate, abuse and do much more and worse to the elderly they are supposed to be protecting. People are beginning to call us with problems that are horrifying. Elderly forcibly taken out of their homes for no reason and usually by the police with defective instruments. When they have no protection from these “Protective Services” they are shoved into nursing homes and there – under constraints – end their lives. They just disappear. These days they become a part of the statistic of some 40% of the people dying from COVID-19 are dying in nursing homes. Our experience is that the elderly are placed in nursing homes – even ones already under quarantine, insuring that their lives will be at risk.

We could go on, but we want you to know what this “Project Old Age” is about because it will take in all kinds of problems and sub-projects. It seems to be where society is focusing. Why? Seems to us because with the elderly that is where a very large percentage of assets have always been and because it is easy to get out one’s racism, sexism, and more against families and look “legitimate” in the process. Destroy the assets of the elderly in a new immigrant family and the next generation does not have as great a chance at success as they would if the sacrifices of their parents and grandparents were to come to fruition in their generation helping them through the education and other needs we require as a society for many to move up.

We had no idea what was waiting for all of us out there as we move into “old age”. We are asking that you take another look. Think carefully over our requests and information as all of this unfolds and work with us to rectify and block and eliminate all of these problems so our old age comes peacefully and we can enjoy our last years instead of having to go through what so many have worked hard for and don’t get to experience because others decided to steal, destroy, oppress, and more those reaching the end of their lives.

And lets look at assets with a different definition. When you become elderly – assets include insurance, etc.

JOIN US! It is becoming one of the most meaningful things we have done and we intend to put as many resources into this as possible.

It is a formmula  for newly forming Guardianship Corporations to drain the assets of the elderly.  They were mostly interested in Jews – it was a way to make sure the assets of elderly Jewish families would not go to the next generation – making sure their families would not be able to accomplish as much in life as would be possible if they had what in many cases has amounted to millions of dollars.  

It is bizaar, but it is also life ending prematurely.  We think this is a criminal conspiracy.  They isolate – medicate – liquidate everything you own.

It is an issue where you will find extreme right wing Republicans taking it on as well as extreme left wing Democrats because families of all political persuasions are negatively affected.  Not only are they moving showing their anti-semitism, but they are also moving showing they are not respectors of political parties and have a sharp eye out for minorities – all minorities, African Americans, Latinx, LGBTQ, Muslims, etc..

To go along with the above we are pulling together a “Legal Defense and Education fund for the Elderly.”  We are starting it under Bettina Network Foundation, inc. and will hopefully be able to move it into its own non-profit soonest.  

We are looking for attorneys who want to affiliate with this Elderly Fund and are willing to take cases; do research, etc..  Local Massachusetts attorneys, but also attorneys  across the country.  

I guess I am following family history – my grandfather worked with Thurgood Marshall – Jack Greenberg and others to found the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  I have pictures from way back in the 1940’s. How different a society we would be if the creation of the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund had not happened.

Hopefully, what we leave in place will be an organization that works with the elderly on these legal issues.  Having people picked up by the police the way Robert was and illegally so because those doing the “incarcerating” have been to Court without the other side present or knowing anything about the “emergency hearing” making sure the case was set in place before anyone on the other side even knew there was a case. The elderly are defeated from day one and don’t know that because the papers so filed are either impounded or under seal.  A couple cases we found the people had no idea how what happened to them got started and defended against the wrong thing because they were led to believe something which was not true. We found motions from attorneys like the one filed in Roberts name as though Robert was filing it when Robert knew nothing about the motion, did not know there was anything in court about him, had not been notified that the Court had appointed an attorney to represent him. How could that be attorney representation when no one knew on Robert Bennett’s side about such an appointment and the person appointed and the Court appointment came from Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective Services – so they then had attorneys representing them on both sides of the issue.

The state is implicated because the claim of “indigent” opens the state pocket books so they can be picked to be able to facilitate what we strongly believe and everything we find backs up our belief that this is a “criminal conspiracy.”

The police were and usually are involved on the wrong side of these issues. In Robert’s case they forced him out of his home and into a psych ward with a defective instrument. One signed by a psychiatrist testifying to the fact that she had never met Robert, knew nothing about him, had never examined him, had never been to his home which she described as “unsafe” and yet out of the blue and violating all of the rules and regulations of Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective Services she signed out a Section 12 to have him picked up by the police.

The proof of the defectiveness of the instrument the police were given and used is proven by the fact that the hospital sent Robert home with no problems found, no reason for him to have been forced into the psych ward in the first place. That kind of proof after the fact followed through in everything that happened to Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett and what happened to him turns out to be a pattern used to do the same thing to other elderly people who have something the people sending out the police want and which they move to get through these defective legal means. And on from bad to worse.

So far, we have been blessed with many people cooperating and working with us. We owe a huge thank you and gratitude to the person who put legal papers through our mail slot which showed us what was really happening with Robert and we were able to break that case and now have what we need to file a substantial law suit against all involved.  

Work with us – let us know the problems – send attorneys to affiliate with this new Legal and Educational Fund for the Elderly.

Marceline Donaldson, president

Bettina Network Foundation, inc.

617 497 9166

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