Monthly Archives: January 2017

Who Else Is Sick of Hearing About Politics on Facebook?

Every time I log onto Facebook I cringe.

I am so sick of the political discourse, and yes, I know I have participated in it.

But I need to move on.

And I think I have come up with a brilliant solution that will help me to deal with all the noisy political nonsense.

HOW ABOUT THAT DINNER PIC?

I am going to try

really

really

really

hard to stop discussing politics.

And the first place I am going to start is on Facebook.

As of today, I have put a self-imposed all-things-political blog ban on The Teri Tome and will make my best efforts to muzzle my political opinions for the next thirty days.

If anyone caught my blog post Drinking Alcohol. How Much Is Too Much?  not blogging about politics and you-know-who, might be harder than cutting out the vino.

And my new passive aggressive approach starting right now?

Every time I read something on Facebook that irks me, makes me roll my eyes, and yes—sometimes enrages me, I’m going to post a food pic.

Hell, I might even throw in a recipe or two.

So just to give you a heads up—if you see a food pic or a recipe from me in your Facebook comments section, you’ll know why.

Building a wall?  [Nothing close to the walnut chicken I recently whipped up.]

Crowd size? [No biggie. Take a look at the size of the steak I grilled on the barbie last night.]  

American carnage? [Nothing like a little chili con carne to get the American party started!]

Trump, to roll back Obamacare? [My challah roll bread is to die for.]

Make America great again! [Take a gander at this great American dinner I made tonight!]

Cutting sanctuary city funds? [How about that cut of prime rib my butcher recently prepared for me?]

Three to five million voter fraud? [Anyone interested in my five layer rainbow cake recipe?]

I suggest you all try my approach!  PLEASE.

Blame Lost Jobs on Robots and Automation

Donald Trump won the Presidency in large part, by promising to bring back jobs by mostly clamping down on trade.

But the truth is that trade has very little to do with the loss of jobs. The real job loss culprit isn’t trade—it’s automation and robot employees.  And I would be very surprised if Trump clamps down on either.

The new labor sheriff coming to town—Andrew F. Puzder, Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary, won’t be clamping down on automation or robot employees either.

The current chief executive of CKE Restaurants Puzder had this to say to Business Insider this past March about robot employees: “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex or race discrimination case.”

Yes, that’s what he said, folks. So it doesn’t sound like Puzder will be looking to replace robot employees with warm bodies anytime soon.

Trump won a seemingly political victory when he convinced Carrier to keep 800 jobs in Indiana.

And yes, Trump may have convinced Carrier to save jobs. For now.

But here’s what you might not know. Carrier plans on taking advantage of all those Trump tax cuts and incentives, totaling some $16 million, and investing it in automation.

And sure, automation could create some new jobs, but those jobs will require retraining. People with obsolete skills will have to reposition themselves and be retrained for different careers. Job training is essential in addressing skill gaps to prepare the current and future workforce with the tools they need to compete in an increasingly automated America. But Trump’s got no plan on the table for job training at all.

Additionally, the U.S. doesn’t have any kind of national productivity policy or commission in place to identify opportunities and policies for improving productivity.

According to a recent McKinsey Report, existing technology could automate 45 percent of activities people are now paid to do, and the World Economic Forum has estimated that five millions jobs will be lost by 2020.

Boston Consulting Group recently reported that it costs barely $8 an hour to use a robot for spot welding in the auto industry, compared to $25 for a worker—and the gap is only going to widen.

And in 2013 and Oxford study reported that work automation will put 47% of existing jobs in the U.S. at “high risk,” meaning human workers in those jobs will be replaced by robots within 20 years.

So it’s time to stop blaming immigrants, trade, offshoring, China, and Mexico on lost jobs.

Blame it on scientific genius, high-tech innovation, robotic process automation, advanced manufacturing, and hugely successful machinery efficiencies.

What we really need is a President who has the guts to tell the truth about the future of work, not one who thinks he can sell us a Trumped-up myth and pretend that he and he alone will bring back jobs, “real quick,” and make America great again.

Because history has proven, our technological advancements are what will continue to make America great. There’s no possibility of going back in time, and Trump knows it.

American Industry is at its highest level in history. It’s not the industry that’s in decline. The decline is in factory employment, due primarily to automation and increased efficiency.

And for the record, the U.S. unemployment rate in December was among the lowest percentages since 1981, as follows:

U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT RATES:

December 2016: 4.7%

January 2009: 7.8%

January 2001: 4.2%

January 1993: 7.3%

January 1989: 5.4%

January 1981: 7.5%

The truth is America has never been wealthier. The real problem is that the middle class, “the forgotten people,” are not the beneficiary of that wealth.

Why? Because, while the middle class gives up ridiculous amounts of their salaries to the government, the wealthy minority, like Trump and his ilk make sure they use any and all means to avoid paying taxes whatsoever.

And Trump has no plans to do anything about that carnage.

 

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Since the 1700’s, the United States press has held government officials, corporations, and institutions accountable to the American people for secret practices, wrongdoing, and corruption.

Investigative journalism has not only helped to keep government honest, but it has also sparked public outcry on many exposed wrongdoings, often resulting in reforms.

Trump’s declaration of media failure and vows to punish them is an eerie reminder of authoritarian regimes around the word and their brutal silencing of the press.

Trump has relentlessly attacked, undermined and disparaged the Democrats, American citizens who didn’t vote for him, the news media, and most recently the intelligence community. Trump actually compared our United States intelligence officials to Nazis.

Everyone knows that authoritarian regimes start with muzzling and locking down their media and adversaries to ensure absolute rule and repress any insurrection.

If they don’t like the message? They shoot the messenger.

Then they go after their citizens and their foes.

I have always taken for granted our free and independent press. And every morning while reading The New York Times, I discover some article that provides me with a better understanding of the world and in many cases of my own country.

But there are plenty of Americans out there that don’t know much about public affairs. And a lot of them don’t regularly read a newspaper.

But let’s be clear. We need media watchdogs.

The media’s job is to be the public’s eyes and ears. They help to maintain law and order, call out blatant untruths and uncover injustices and lies.

It is NOT the media’s job to provide powerful people, including President-elect Trump a safe haven or a hall pass.

Should the media have turned their backs on the problem of lead in the Flint Michigan water?

Or should the press have turned a blind eye to price gouging by pharmaceutical companies?

Stand-up journalism holds feet to the fire and demands accountability and vigilance. If the media sees something, they need to report something.

Trump’s chew toy of the month is CNN, calling them fake news. He has in the past barred the Washington Post and The New York Times from events, and he has denigrated multiple media outlets and continues to try to silence the press.

It seems painfully obvious that if it’s not pro-Trump news, it’s fake news.

And according to a recent article in The New York Times, the Trump administration is now considering ejecting the press corps from their on-site cubicles in the West Wing.

This action would basically prove that Trump is not willing or won’t allow his presidency to be held accountable. Think of it this way: When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

I find it terribly disconcerting that Trump continues to denigrate and try to constrain and control our media.

In shutting out the press, he is willfully, if not purposefully trying to mislead and deny the American people of the information they deserve to know.

It appears to me that Trump and his team will do anything and everything to avoid accountability. The POTUS shouldn’t be able to fly under the media radar.

We the people need to be alarmed at his media accusations and attempts to muzzle the press. If there is no transparency, there is no truth.

It’s up to the public as a whole to keep the pressure on Trump and his administration to ensure that the Constitution and our nation’s laws are adhered to. And that no one, not even—and especially, the President of the United States, is above the law and/or the scrutiny by the media.

CNN is not fake news, people. This is a major and very real news organization doing their job.

And thank God they’re not going anywhere.

Facts matter. A free press is more essential now than ever before.

From left, right and center, we need to back the media up, not shoot them down.

History is proof that without an independent press, our free democratic society is at risk.

A Girl Can Dream

I delightfully watched three of my grandchildren at their indoor swimming lessons yesterday.

Several young girls had set up a table in the lobby, outside of the pool area to raise money for their basketball team selling water, snacks, and rubber bracelets. I purchased some chips, fruit bites, cookies, and a bracelet. My son-in-law bought a bracelet as well.

On the walk back from swimming, my four-year-old grandson asked me what the bracelet said.

“A girl can dream,” I replied. “Why only a girl?” he countered. I explained the girl basketball thing.

“Why did Daddy buy a girl bracelet? He’s a boy.” His daddy replied that he supports girls even if he’s a boy.

“Tell me what it says again,” my grandson inquired, as his teeny hand held mine tightly. “A girl can dream,” I answered softly.

Another question from my grandson: “What’s a dream?”

I tried to describe a dream as best I could. My explanation wasn’t as easy or fluid as I thought it would be.

Then I asked him if he had a dream.

“I’m too little to have a dream,” he answered decidedly.

“You’re never too little to have a dream. Or too big for that matter,” I responded.

He was quiet for a second, his face was thoughtful, and his mighty brain was churning.

Then he looked up at me and told me that he knew somebody with a dream.

“Who?” I queried.

“Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that the world should be nice,” he responded.

I was blown away by his proclamation and had completely forgotten about the following MLK Day.

“Wow,” I answered genuinely shocked. “Yeah, you’re so right; Martin Luther King had a dream!”

“No,” my grandson replied assertively; his pint-sized pointer finger aiming straight my way. “Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream.”

I looked down at his beautiful innocent face confused.

“He was a Jr.,”  he emphasized.

 

Buh Bye 2016


When I launched The Teri Tome in 2015, I wasn’t sure how and how much of my life’s experiences I would have the courage to share with the cyber world.

As the founder of Worldpress.org, an international news website, I had some experience with putting myself out there, but not in the same soul-baring way I was now preparing to do.

The Teri Tome was my way of opening a small window into my soul; my life, my experiences. In cracking open that window, I hoped that one miraculous day I would finally find healing in my own words.

For me, 2016 started out promising but ended with the tragic hit-and-run death of my Aunt Barb.

In between the promise of a new year and the heartbreaking loss of a loved one, yes, 2016 was full of hopefulness, loving family, and the ecstatic news of a coming birth. And then there was that God awful Presidential election. And sure, the sun peeked out amidst the clouds from time to time.

But 2016 has come and gone, and I am still missing that unnamed someone nearest and dearest to me; my lost and most valuable family treasure. I thought for sure that 2016 was the year we would reconcile. And I never mustered up the courage to send any of those 2016 letters I wrote to my estranged mom.

Lost family…lost opportunities…another lost year.

In 2016, I tried my hand at poetry, recipes, drawing and blog fiction.

LET ME REPEAT: BLOG FICTION, which means conjured up. I reiterate the obvious definition because there seems to be some confusion out there from a handful of haters.

I have happily accepted all the bricks some have thrown at me for my posts written from truth.

I get it. The truth hurts.

But the fiction? Give me a break.

And yes, I would agree that there is often an element of truth in fiction.

But my imagination is sometimes all I have left when life’s truth overwhelms me.

And sure, I threw some politics and other fun antics into the mix.

But to be truthful, the soul-searching dark stuff is always lurking in the back of my mind. Those damn niggling memories keep me up night after sleepless night.

That heartbreaking stuff that I inevitably wake up in a sweat remembering, and have to turn on the lights—no matter what time it is, to write them down.

It’s not like I would forget them if I wrote them down the next day, but I guess putting them to paper at that moment is like writing them away so I can try to get an hour or so of uninterrupted sleep.

So as I happily bid a Bye Felicia to 2016, I took a look back at some of my best-read blogs from the past year and selected the following Top Ten Teri Tome picks based on how many times each post was viewed and shared. The truth, the fiction, and the downright forgettable.

And a heartfelt shout-out and thanks to all of my dedicated readers, who helped me bring life to my writing, my experiences, my feelings, and my very soul.

And to all the haters? Take your sticks and stones and get lost.

Haters are always gonna hate. Nothing anyone can do about that. As someone who was bullied as a child and well into her teens, I know first-hand how painful rejection can be.

But ever the optimist and forever my own strongest ally, I pushed through whatever life, and the haters threw at me.

David Brinkley once said, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

Your words of encouragement went a long way in giving me the courage to write on, even when the haters threw their bricks.

I took all those bricks and created a mighty Teri fortress.

The Teri Tome is sometimes sarcastic, oftentimes ironic, and once in a while downright depressing.

But make no mistake about it: The Teri Tome is my truth, my perspective, my memories. And I will live and die by my Teri Tome collection.

So to all those haters out there who so desperately tried to compromise my liberties, my safety, my relationships, and indeed my very soul.

You might have succeeded in taking what you wanted and or what you needed. And you may have shut me out of your lives, and you may even have succeeded in shutting down the very essence of who I once was. But you will never be able to shut my mouth.

Now that I got that off my chest.

Back to The Teri Tome Top Blog Posts of 2016.

By the end of 2016, I had written 42 posts. Out of the 42 posts, 24% of them represented the Top Ten Posts, and have garnered anywhere from 12,710 hits for #1, to 3,602 for #10.

Now I’m not sure if these are impressive numbers or not, but they’re good enough for me.

Anyway, here are the links to my Top Ten Teri Tome Blog Posts for 2016.

Drum roll, please… But before the drum roll, I want to say a HUUUGE thank you to all my readers for sharing your precious time with me. I wish you all a very happy, healthy and blessed 2017.

#1

DEFINITION OF MARKETING: When I was asked to write an article clarifying the difference between marketing, advertising, public relations, branding, telemarketing, and strategic planning, I had a difficult time cogently explaining the distinction between all of them. The only way I could think of doing it was to use my single daughter as the end product. (Note to daughter: Please don’t kill me.)

#2

FISH AND DISHING—GIRLS’ NIGHT IN: I was blown away that this post was so popular. The older I get, the more I enjoy hanging out in my house. But the best part is doing it with my girlfriends.

#3

WORLD DAUGHTER’S DAY: This one was another surprise. But since the passing of Carrie Fisher, and then the following day the death of her mother Debbie Reynolds, I have read article after article about the can’t-live-with-them-can’t-live-without-them relationships that so many mothers have with their daughters. But that’s not the case for me. To be clear, I love my daughter more than life itself.

#4

DRINKING ALCOHOL. HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?: The popularity of this post did not surprise me at all. And since it was written on December 20th, it has garnered tons of hits and shares. I guess I hit a nerve. And speaking of nerve, it took a lot of it for me to talk about what plenty of people are thinking.

#5

MOTHER’S DAY AND RALEIGH: MY BROTHER DISGUISED AS A DOG: To be sure, every dog has his or her day. But my dog Raleigh’s sole purpose on this earth was to protect and love me each and every day of his life. The first and only animal I ever owned saved me in more ways than I could ever express in this blog post.

#6

WE ARE ALL FLINT MICHIGAN: My water sucks. And I can’t help but wonder how many others are drinking tainted water and have no clue. Now I’m not a fan of Trump, but I’d like him a whole lot more if he would delve into why our nation’s drinking water is so bad—BIGLY.

#7

JEMIMA KHAN’S CONTROVERSIAL MELANIA TRUMP COSTUME AT STAR-STUDDED UNICEF HALLOWEEN BALL: The popularity of this post kind of hurt my feelings. As the self-proclaimed Queen of verbiage, I wrote less than 100 words for this post. And it got thousands of page views. Huh? I guess a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, or in this case, a thousand hits.

#8

THE TERI TOME—MY TOP 20 POSTS IN 2015: I was thrilled this one made the top 10 because I get to press instant replay on some oldie but goodie posts.

#9

REST IN PEACE, AUNT BARB: On November 27, as my Aunt Barb walked across a Minneapolis street with my Uncle Lou, she was hit by a speeding car which fled the scene after the horrific accident. She passed away the following morning, November 28, on their 52nd wedding anniversary. Boy, do I miss her.

#10

LET THEM EAT CHEESE—FOR DESSERT: How this post crept into the top 10, I have no clue. I guess a lot of people like cheese. With a side of panforte, crispy raisin pecan bread, and some dried fruit mostarda. Go figure.