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#MeToo

It’s not just Hollywood. It’s big business. It’s small business. It’s walking down the street. It’s all over America. It’s the President of the United States.
I’m a woman of a ‘certain age’ so I remember when sexual harassment and discrimination were not only legal, but expected. Decades ago the laws changed allowing for women to make a legal stand when they were victimized, but they didn’t. Did the abuse stop? No. The bad boys lawyered up and new ways were found to keep women in their place.
I was once an actress and singer and I can attest to the fact that the casting couch was a very real thing. I also worked in the business world for most of my life and can tell you that the abuse was just as unbridled there.
I am sure that most women have experienced some form of harassment or discrimination, we just don’t know exactly what to do about it. We whisper in hallways, hinting at wrongdoings and guiding those women coming up after us. Some men stand silent and some join in. My stor…
Recent posts

I Bury Your Backpack at My Wounded Knee

Backpacks have a place: wide open spaces with trails for hiking; mountainsides where men and women have climbed to great heights; a handy small travel bag when going to grandma’s house for the holidays. I’m all for that. I don’t like to wear them myself, the wear and tear on my shoulders and back make them seem more like torture chambers to me, but I understand if you find them to be comfortable.

Backpacks do not have a place on the busy sidewalks of New York. They do not belong on rush hour transportation. I know, I know. You love your backpack. You love the convenience of carrying your burden on your shoulders and keeping your hands free to shop and text. 

What you have forgotten is that the svelte picture you have nestled away in your brain of how good you looked when you left the house couldn’t be further from the truth!

Your girth has doubled.

Even worse, you are completely unaware as you zip through crowds leaving crying children in your wake as your bag meets their faces. What abo…

27

This week a troubled young man first shot and killed his mother then killed twenty children and six more women at a nearby elementary school.

The facts are still unfolding.
What we do know is that the killer shot his way into the school. We know that six of his murder victims were women devoted to the care and education of children. We know twenty children, hoping Santa would visit them soon, were murdered before they had even lost all of their baby teeth.
The killer used a semi-automatic weapon to inflict multiple wounds on all of his victims at the school.
Semi-automatic weapons.
As I struggle to make sense of the tragic shootings in our nation over the last several years, I grow more tired of self-important politicians; political pundits and shock jocks ricocheting through the airwaves like so many bullets the language of hate and fear.
Banning semi-automatic weapons will not end the tradition of the first Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.
Banning semi-automatic weapons will not

The Freedom of Speech in Troubled Times

We the people of the United States of America seem to have lost our way.
While it is true we stand far apart on the issues that face our troubled nation, what I find troubling is our inability to have an open dialogue about what is most important. It is not the first time in our history the people have been at odds, nor is it the last, but I am finding the recent loss of civility to be distressing.
For those of you who don’t know me well, or at all, I am a typical baby boomer. An odd combination of Janis Joplin, The Monkees and Stevie Wonder form the soundtrack of my early years. The Vietnam War, civil rights, space travel and Andy Griffith helped shape me.
My father was a career military man, a proud NCO in the US Air Force, and I was raised on domestic military installations. I always stand for our National Anthem and am appalled by those who cheer at ball games before the song is over. I cringe at tattered flags flapping on car windows and have been known to stop workmen taking …

Delayed Gratification

The cyber dating world can be a funny place.

This afternoon I received a playful (and a little bit forward) e-mail from a prospective date. When I opened his profile I knew in a second that it was someone I met 3 years ago. Our first date was not good, but I decided to respond. These things can take time.

To my chagrin, he had absolutely no memory of having met.

Good, bad or indifferent, I remember the most ridiculous details of life's smallest moments. I goaded him on. We exchanged a few e-mails and I supplied him with details of our meeting. Finally, the light bulb when off. He remembered! How could this quirky little man have forgotten who I was?

What he remembered had nothing to do with my memory of our one and only date. He took the opportunity of my response to tell me how grand he had been and how awful I was. I have no idea how long it took him to compose his missive, but wonder why he bothered to expend the energy. I suppose I could have let sleeping dogs lie, but I deci…

There Is No Superman

Handguns.

Semi-automatic weapons.

Automatic weapons.

Street sweepers.

A mentally ill young man was able to buy a terrible weapon of mass destruction and used it to destroy several lives this weekend.

I struggle to make sense of the recent tragic shooting in Arizona as I hear the words of self-important politicians, political pundits and shock jocks ricocheting through the airwaves like so many bullets, each one believing they can repel those missile-like words like Superman.

There is no sense to be made of it.

There is no Superman.

It is true that there will never be a gun in my house. I made that decision 37 years ago and stand by it.

You can have a gun in your house, but you are not welcome to bring it to mine.

I believe with all my heart that guns have no place at a grocery store parking lot, and challenge anyone to explain why I might be wrong.

I have no answers, and only one question:

What is the argument for owning a weapon designed to kill man?

Words of Wisdom from South Texas

There will always be tragedy and it will always be our job to try and make things better. Sometimes it’s difficult to know just what to do or say.

In recent weeks the tragic deaths of young teens have been on the news and the issue of tolerance is back on the table for discussion. It seems we have lowered the bar. Both sides of the aisle are following the anger of the media and our politicians. We are too quick to judge.

Today my friend Arthur Wooten posted the most extraordinary video on Facebook. The words of wisdom from a young City Councilman from Fort Worth, Texas overwhelmed me and left me in a flood of tears.

I have no words, no review, simply a request that you watch and hear every word of wisdom this gentleman from South Texas has to say.



Councilman Joel Burns
@joelburns
joel.burns@fortworthgov.org