April, 2022 - Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for April, 2022

Nazi-Its 1930’s Definition! Nazi-Its Russian/Putin definition in 2022

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

It is truly amazing how loose this world has become with the truth. It is particularly notable since the appearance on the political scene of Donald Trump. Truth to him and his followers has no meaning and whatever is said, defined, discussed is whatever and however they can twist truth to their advantage.

Vladimir Putin has the same syndrome, as evidenced by his announcement at the beginning of the war he started against Ukraine.

Nazi in the 1930’s and beyond – until the 2020’s was defined as “a member of a German fascist party controlling Germany from 1933 to 1945. A harshly domineering, dictatorial or intolerant person.” The history that is associated with the term, traditionally used, is one of genocide against Jews and those supporting them.

Random killings of Jews by this German fascist party is known by just about everyone on planet earth. Nazism has a history of having killed, without cause, over 6 million Jews, viciously, after depriving them of food, shelter, etc. – by burning them alive – putting them into gas chambers by the hundreds and so much more. I could go on and on, but it would only be reiterating history known by all.

Today, Vladimir Putin has given a very different definition of Nazi – anti-Nazification – and more centered around the German model.

He claims he went into Ukraine to remove the Nazi leader and replace him with his own chosen leader. He also claimed the war he started was for the anti-Nazification of Ukraine.

He can’t be talking about the traditional definition of “Nazi” because what Putin actually did was to go into Ukraine to attempt to remove its duly elected Jewish president. He continued in his quest by going ahead and attempting to exterminate the Ukrainians because they voted to install this Jew as their president.

The result is an attempted extermination of an entire country in retribution for having elected a Jew as its president. That can be seen from the extreme anger, the viciousness, the attempt to destroy the country leaving nothing behind. Transporting Ukrainians to hold those Ukrainian citizens in “pens” in Russia; killing those in Ukraine at random, including in ways we can recognize that were used to kill Jews in Germany during the reign of Adolph Hitler and to do that killing as viciously as possible. He has ordered the holding of Ukrainian citizens in Ukraine under the most inhumane circumstances possible. It is totally reminiscent of what happened in Germany in the 1930’s and beyond. And – by the way – isn’t Selensky the only Jew to head a country in this world? – except maybe in Israel? Certainly, the United States has never been accused of having a Jewish president.

Vladimir Putin totally recalls and forces the rest of the world to recall this incredible atrocity, from the 1930’s through the 1940’s that he is recreating on a daily basis. He is walking in the footsteps of Adolph Hitler and burning people alive; starving them; knowing they are dying of thirst with no access to water or liquids of any kind; cutting off any and all humane assistance to the people he is so treating. Putin, by his own admission to the press in Russia and other places apparently intends to continue doing this same thing for as long as necessary until he has removed the “Nazi” president of Ukraine and replaced him with one who will, no doubt, make this current president of Ukraine look like a saint by comparison.

Putin sees it to his advantage to call a spade a shovel. The rest of the world clearly sees that he has redefined the term Nazi for his Russian citizens and whoever else comes under his sway. Nazi in 2022 has had its ugly meaning cleansed by Vladimir Putin. Clearly, the “Nazi” president of Ukraine has shown himself to be a “Mensch”. He is totally capable of leading at this moment in history and doing so in the most humane way possible – given the circumstances created for this world by Putin.

The world stood by in the 1930’s and did not move against Germany until totally forced. Many Jews and those who objected to the slaughter happening in the 1930’s were viciously killed while those who could have stopped the carnage talked and talked and did some things to bring it to an end, but mostly they talked and talked while Adolph Hitler killed and destroyed and burned people alive and killed as many children as possible so there would not be a next generation of Jews.

Are we seeing the same thing happening today?

It is curious to us that in spite of the clear parallel to what happened in Germany, the national press is not calling what Putin is doing for what it is. They talk about the reasons he gave for going into Ukraine and almost gloat over the fact that his attempt and expectation for success in a few days failed. There is no talk about the extreme bigotry against Jews which has motivated Putin and continues to do so.

One only has to remember how Jews fled Russia – in the not so distant past. Wasn’t that during Putin’s time? They went to Israel and other countries by the thousands because of the oppression and extreme actions being taken in Russia against the Jews. i have yet to hear that history mentioned and connected to what is going on today. Is that because most people alive today are too young to have experienced that or read about it in the news at the time and know very little about history on their own?

A “Nazi” in 2022 is the president of Ukraine. Putin’s anti-Nazification is against the Ukrainian citizens who put this “Nazi” in as president of their country. In reality, these Ukrainians and their president are defending themselves and their country and the rest of the area and consequently the world against the horrible viciousness and blood thirsty Russians trying to kill them, their children, their culture, their language, their everything so they can be replaced by non-Jews who will move in from Russia, claim Ukraine as a “cleansed” country and society which has few to no Jews and probably no to few other minorities. The vision of Hitler’s Germany is clearly the vision of Putin’s Russia. Because Putin has redefined the term Nazi in 2022 does not connect that term in any way to Nazi and Nazism as defined in 1933 through 1945. This is a new day!

It is no accident that the far Right-wing in the United States which have raised the flag of extreme racism and is fighting for a White-supremist country has connected itself to Russia, which is also a White-Nationalist country fighting for the same thing.

That far right-wing group in the United States and the parallel group around the world claims to be “christian”. Their christian theology is followed religiously and almost unconsciously and has at its core value christian relativity – orthodox christianity relativity. It has been in their belief system since the days of slavery and before. It is the definition of morality in the faith system of Nazi Germany and as outlined in Communism. It is the belief in morality as relative. The belief that there is no absolute right and wrong – that depends on the circumstances. Putin’s definition of christian morality and his orthodox belief system is clearly relative and he is putting that relativity into practice with his marketing and public relations people spreading the doctrine far and wide. Relative truth and relative morality is what is core to the far-right wing Americans who proclaim their christianity and hold it to justify whatever they do. In their belief system their is no such thing as truth – morality is relative. There is no absolute right and wrong. It all depends on the circumstances.

The relativity of the definition of faith, truth, ethics, morality these are what the believer holds up to themselves to justify their actions. What they hold up to others is their religious belief system and they go out and proselytize to attempt to convert as many people as possible to their belief system and to the fact that it will change abruptly depending upon the needs of their power, greed, self-image of superiority – all of the trappings to support their belief in themselves as “better than.” The only rock-solid impenetrable, permanent non-relative part of this relative belief system. This is what makes its core and what keeps them going. This is the face of evil and it is clearly strong in the world today. As strong as it was during the time of Hitler and Nazism.

An Exceptional Shrimp Salad Recipe

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022

by: Marceline Donaldson

First I have to give credit where it is due.

I discovered a shrimp salad that I loved at Whole Foods in Fresh Pond in Massachusetts.

I went to the store several times to buy “my salad”, but sometimes the buffet area where it was sold for $9.99/pound would be empty. The same salad would be available at the deli counter with someone helping me behind the counter, but the cost was $17.99/pound so I decided I should develop my own – based on the tastes from that salad so I could have it whenever my taste demanded.

A Bettina Original

All ingredients should be organic. The shrimp should be “wild caught”. Freshly caught shrimp is preferable, but if you can’t find that, frozen shrimp will do if the shrimp are “as out of the water” – which means with shell on and have not been tampered with in any way as folks try to make using shrimp “easier” for you. It takes nothing to slit and devein shrimp. Lets take the “lazy” out of cooking and go for a great resulting dish.

You will need –

salt (himalayan preferred): Cayenne Pepper or if you prefer a bit of a vinegary taste, you can substitute Tabasco Sauce: Shoyu sauce :Yogurt and Mayonnaise (equal amounts) :Parsley – finely chopped :Onions – 2 kinds add to the taste: Olives – and, of course, shrimp.

Boil the shrimp in a pot of water with the shells on.*** Shrimp turn pink after only a couple minutes so be careful not to overcook them, they will turn tough. Take them out of the water, leaving the water in the pot. Remove the shrimp shells and any veins and put the shells back into the pot in which the shrimp were boiled. Simmer the shrimp water with shells for at least 1/2 hour.

Pour this water into a large jar after you remove the shells. You can drain this water, but you don’t have to. We do too much to make our food as “clean and clear” as possible thus removing great taste and nutrition throwing it down the drain. This gives you shrimp stock for other dishes down the road. It is amazing how many uses you can find for all kinds of stock if you have it on hand. The increase in taste of these dishes and the increase in nutritional value is worth the effort.

Mix all the above ingredients together and put them in the refrigerator overnight. It is important that you give this salad 24 hours for the different ingredients to meld together. The taste changes dramatically.

***We boil shrimp a couple different ways. Both very good, depending upon your taste – or part of the country in which you developed your taste. You can put a goodly amount of crab boil in the water when you boil the shrimp or you can use Old Bay. Both give the shrimp a little “oomph”.

Will Smith and Chris Rock – Ethics

Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

by: Marceline Donaldson

There is and has been a great upheaval about the punch to the face Will Smith delivered to Chris Rock.

Most of the opinions, expressed very publicly, show how deeply entrenched sexism is in this society.

The wrong starts with Will Smith with calls tp “lock him up” from the police; take him down, in one way or another, from everyone else.

What is missing is a clear statement of the wrong that happened. Mostly, that “wrong” violent action is blamed on Will Smith. Let us be clear and truthful without our history of bigotry intervening. This was started not by Will Smith, but by Chris Rock. He is an example of that in which comedians trade – the insults slung at women on a constant basis. The insult is followed by laughter, which re-enforces the sentiment and makes an ugly joke out of most women. Once upon a time this was very prevalent amongst comedians who traded on vicious “jokes” and what were supposed to be “funny” characterizations of African Americans. It is still true whenever there is a group some insecure person wants to take down – like Chris Rock and his attack on Jada Pinkett.

The violence on stage was started by Chris Rock with his vicious joke aimed at Jada Pinkett. The fact that she was sitting in front of him amongst an audience of her peers and could be hurt and diminished and oppressed by this public and ugly joke about her hair is something that the audience reacted to with great hilarity. Will Smith, after a moment spent enjoying this boost to his male ego came to his senses and went to defend his wife.

Chris Rock’s joke was far more deleterious than Will Smith’s punch. Rock will recover quickly and go on to accolades about how “elegantly” he acted in spite of Smith’s crudeness. The real story is that we live in a sexist society in which it is just fine to make crude jokes about women. We have been trained by generations of vicious, oppressive jokes denigrating women that this is “fun”, he meant no harm, don’t you have a sense of humor? The women at whom the jokes are aimed walk away more oppressed, more put down, more discouraged than they were before the joke.

The violence done to women by Chris Rock needs to be held up and dealt with. He is, after all, the one who started this violence. His violence was against women. Will Smith limited his violence to Chris Rock. The comedians who make money and gain fame by doing such are too numerous to mention, but you hear them all the time. The audience’s reaction is always one of hilarious laughter and the woman has been diminished in the sight of her friends and former admirers. She has been “tamed” and now knows a little better, her place.

If punishment is going to come it needs to start with Chris Rock before it moves on to Will Smith. Men are outraged at what happened and have engaged in much talk about Will Smith’s violence – which even his close friends refuse to condone. None of those close friends have commented at all on the violence done to Jada Pinkett by Chris Rock. The rush to punish Will Smith, while raising up Chris Rock because he reacted “like a man” – he was a “mensch” – “how could he keep his composure under such circumstances. All of this belies the extreme bigotry with which we live.

When are we going to see clearly the horribleness of bigotry in this society and how deeply entrenched it is and continues to be? It is time for those who perform on the backs of others to be called to task and with this I am calling Chris Rock to be a better person and apologize for what he did to Will Smith; to call for Will Smith’s punishment to be put on him also because he deserves it; and to make amends to Jada Pinkett for the sexism he sprayed all over her and over women in general, especially over those who suffer from alopecia in a society which judges a woman by her hair.

………An Elegant Historical House for Sale!

Saturday, April 2nd, 2022
Every corner of this home bespeaks elegance, history, beauty and invites you to stay awhile. Across the street is a park; two door down on the same side of the street is another park and look out the windows, you will see the Charles River!

49 Hawthorn Street – Cambridge, MA. 02138 – $5,800,000.

What follows, under “House for Sale” describes a house which we would like to bring to your attention.  We hope you will consider buying the house – either for yourself, your family or for one of your favorite institutions and/or charities.

A kitchen for those who actually cook with room for everything – your utensils, pots, spices and so much more. Many fantastic meals have come out of this kitchen.

     The house we are describing was designed and built by an MIT graduate in 1900.  She was one of MIT’s  first female architectural students..  Her papers are in the MIT Library.  She is Lois Lily Howe with her own architectural firm and all the architects working with her were women.  Such a history in today’s climate makes quite a statement.

This particular house – at 49 Hawthorn Street – is the only Howe designed house in this area in which the interior has not been stripped and re-built taking away all of the historical design. The only room that needs to be brought back to its original design is the kitchen. It is wonderful as it is, however, to bring it back to Ms. Howe’s design would be special.

A fantastic welcome as the front door is opened to you and/or your guests. It speaks of the elegance which shows up all around the house – from French to Spanish to English to African to South American touches making it an escapee from Old New Orleans.

Marceline and Robert have lived in this house for 40 years and love every corner.  Being people who love history (Near Eastern History was the subject of Robert’s Harvard Doctoral thesis) and with Marceline’s educational background in the School of Architecture under Ralph Rapson, they have totally enjoyed living in this house and discovered much in the process. Selling it under duress they want to know it is in the hands of people who would continue in that design preservation route. The area has a penchant for taking beautiful culturally diverse homes and turning them all into a Northern European Scandinavian aesthetic. They look as though they were all designed in the Ikea Showrooms. So sad! There is nothing wrong with the Ikea Designs, however, what is wrong is making them the ultimate, cultural, design touch stone. This house escaped that “remodel”.

Ms. Howe built the house for William Augustus Maynadier – a Harvard Professor who taught “Arthurian Legend.”- the story of King Arthur and the Round Table.  It was a required course for all Harvard men. There were no Harvard women in those days.

Being very strong feminists, the Donaldson/Bennetts found that Harvard/MIT combination quite special.  While “feminist” was not a term in her day, Ms. Howe clearly was a feminist as we know the term today, stepping out into the world of Architecture the way she did.  Prof. Maynadier would be known as an extreme sexist today. He was teaching a class which laid the ground work for the very horrible sexism which most 20th century women have had to deal.  And yet, he hired Ms. Lois Lily Howe to build his house.

Arthurian Legend – King Arthur and the Round Table – was a way of teaching men how to treat women in that “on the pedestal and out of the equality” area.  The necessity of opening doors and standing on the side as she entered the room and etc. for this weaker sex is what was being taught, although not so specifically – it was wrapped in the Arthurian Legend.  All the things women have fought to have removed for decades so they could be treated as equals is what Prof. Maynadier’s class was about.  It was totally accepted at the time. Most people don’t know that this originated at Harvard.  It was in the general world population at the time, but not to the extent that it became entrenched with Prof. Maynadier at 49 Hawthorn Street.

It was interesting to us that Prof. Maynadier chose Ms. Howe to design and build his home. – which he used to live in and invite paying guests to stay with him.  The house has had that use throughout its 100 plus years of existence.  It hosted seminars, class sessions, teas and many famous and not so famous people, still while serving as a very private home.  

One of four bathrooms in this home – designed with jacuzzi, steam/shower room and separate enclosed toilet. The plumber calls it a “no bad smells” bathroom.

The Donaldson-Bennetts used their home to have what today are called bed & breakfast guests and to build the first network of such private homes working their way across the country and turning a national and an international network of bed and breakfast homes into a commonly known and accepted concept. This house was the beacon.  Besides this house, they had homes also in Thailand, England, France and more.

The guys who founded Airbnb stayed with them before those three even thought of such a company.  They were sent by Venture Capitalists – particularly the Capital Network in Cambridge – who wanted to fund such a venture, but not one designed, created and being grown by African Americans.  So they helped themselves to the Bettina Network, Inc’s business plan and everything else they could find to help them get the same kind of venture off the ground.  They sent people to offer their homes to join the Bettina Network, inc. but were really only interested in the process of how that was done – just as they hacked into and used Craig’s List to get their initial clients. The Donaldsons’ believe that when their web site was stolen, locked and offered back to them for enormous sums of money – it had to do with the genesis of Airbnb, although that was not known at the time as Airbnb was just forming.

While the Donaldson/Bennett’s lived and are living in the Lois Lily Howe house, Harvard sent many guests to stay with them, as did MIT, Tufts, Boston University, Boston College and more.  Several admin people called regularly to make reservations for guests visiting Harvard and other Universities in the area as well as private corporations calling for guests to whom they wanted to give privacy.. Everyone who stayed loved their time in the house and totally were taken by its history stories and general feeling.

Many institutions and corporations used the house when guests were visiting who they wanted to have privacy without being worried that their guests would be stalked in the lobby of the hotels to pick up information that could be used for media articles. They also liked the fact that guests wouldn’t need so many levels of security when they came to Boston.  Guests included such as Ambassador Victor Israelian, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, top management from the State Department, many of the USA’s top families, many scientists – mostly physicists – who loved the quiet and privacy of the house where they could enjoy the patio where squirrels and birds would visit them as they worked on the back porch.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call.  If you or someone you recommend would like to see the house, we are available at their or your convenience.

Call Marceline Donaldson – 617 497 9166 or email bettinanetwork@comcast.net putting 49 Hawthorn St in the subject line.

What follows is a fuller description of the house as it appears in different publications.

                              HOUSE FOR SALE – Cambridge, MA. 02138

“Marceline and Robert are selling their home.  If you don’t want to buy it, please pass this along to those you know who might be interested and/or know someone who would love to step into their shoes.  As a private home or as a home with a bit of  income so you can live there and do other things.  Income can be in the neighborhood of $1,080.00/night, not including income from events, etc..  

Marceline and Robert did a wonderful job and are now moving to New Orleans – which is where Marceline grew up.  They have not been able to survive the onslaught against them of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the way they treat minority elderly in what was and is an apparent attempt of a group within the state to relieve Jews, African Americans, Latinx and others of any wealth that could be passed on to the next generation. This is the new racism/bigotry that is replacing the separatism that followed slavery.

The house has been newly painted with, among other improvements, a new 75 gallon commercial water heater with a 20 year rating and lots of other elegant restorations which keep the historical design of the house as much as possible..  

It is one of the few homes in Cambridge, which gives you views of the Charles River from many of the bedroom windows and it overlooks the Riverbend Park on one side  with no other building blocking your view.  There is also a second park (the historical Longfellow Park) just two houses down on the same block and the same side of the street as Marceline and Robert’s house.  Fantastic and very unusually elegant to have so many parks within the same block the home in which one lives.  One of the only homes in the area with such and with a spectacular view.

You would have 9,000 square feet of living space in this house over five floors.  5,400 (apx.) finished into three floors of elegant historical living and 3,500 square feet (apx) of attic and basement which can be finished into fantastic living space.   

For a possible future use of the basement take a look at the basement of Harvard University’s Memorial Chapel’s basement.  

The attic could be refinished into an exquisite ballroom for entertaining with its 16 foot height (apx) at its apex with no beams going across to obstruct the wonderful height of this room.  The architect – Lois Lily Howe, in 1900 was one of the first, (she is credited with being the first), to be able to build such an attic.  Most attics are so clogged with structures to keep the roof from falling in on itself you do not have the breathtaking space one finds here.  This attic is a full floor.  Its footprint is that of the entire length and width of the house.  Just think of the elegant entertaining you could do in that attic.

Historically, guests came to events in such houses and went to the second floor living room to leave their coats, etc. and freshen up and then went up another floor or two to the tea, dinner, dance or etc. on the upper floors.  Today, we don’t have attics large enough for such events, especially not one replicating the footprint of the other floors of the house.

Lois Lily Howe was the architect.  Designed and built in approximately 1900, she was one of MIT’s first female graduates.  She established her own architectural firm and the architects she hired were women. 

In the process of designing and building this home,  Ms. Howe scrounged the area for homes being torn down which had historical touches and she brought that actual history into this house.  The mouldings are exquisite and are some 100 years older than the house. 

The history of this house includes a psychiatric history – Dr. Lydia Dawes, a well known psychiatrist of yore, was an owner for some 40 plus years before the Donaldson-Bennetts arrived and the house frequently  embraced many of her friends who were also famous guests.  Sigmund Freud’s daughter stayed often and worked with Dr. Dawes.  Together they produced one of the first psychiatric journals in the area from this house.  Many local psychiatrists remember a part of their training that happened on the couch by the living room window overlooking the magnolia tree.  So much history goes with this house both  within its structure and with the people who have passed through.  

Marceline and Robert have spent decades trying to preserve and create a garden worthy of Lois Lily Howe who ended her career and life as a landscape architect.

You may have heard of  the many outstanding and famous people who stayed under the Donaldson-Bennett’s roof during their time in the house because you were probably one of them.  You can now own this magnificent property so beautifully located. 

Want more information – call Marceline – 617 497 9166 or email us bettinanetwork@comcast.net

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