Aug
04

Jesse “The Baby” Ventura

By Katie Kieffer
Baby crying

Image credit: “Not that happy then” by Christopher_Hawkins on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Jesse “The Body”? Who’s that? I’m a Minnesota girl and I only know Jesse “The Baby.” In September of 2012, I listened to my home state’s former governor speak at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. I felt embarrassed for my state. Ventura showed up in jeans, a tie-dyed T-shirt and long, straggly gray hair that looked like it hadn’t been combed or washed in days. No, he wasn’t going for “California casual” with jeans in a blazer. On top of his multi-colored t-shirt he donned, not a classy sport coat, but a 90’s-style color-block windbreaker. He was trying and failing to look young, cool and hipster as he spoke to college students. Nearly two years later, Ventura has cut and washed his hair and polished his wardrobe. He’s swapped his rummage sale rags for a classy black suit and blue tie. His wardrobe may have changed but Ventura is still embarrassing me. He persists in making Minnesotans look like babies who drool when they draw out their vowels. Last Friday, Ventura won a lawsuit against the widow of late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Jejune Jesse complained that Kyle defamed him and permanently ruined his reputation. The question is whether Ventura had a reputation worth defending to begin with. Ventura has said: “Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.” On his 50th birthday, Jesse Ventura showed up in with a crown of flowers on his head and a pink hula skirt swishing at his hips. When he was a pro wrestler, he wore a feather boa and apparently never outgrew the accessory. Dan Creed, who once managed the governor’s mansion, attested that Ventura would leave a pink boa strewn across his bed. Ventura is tough. He’s manly. He’s Teflon. Can’t you tell? In his book, Kyle describes a 2006 fight in a California bar after the death of Navy SEAL Mike Monsoor. Kyle referred to Ventura only as a “celebrity” in his book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.” Yet, during his book tour, Kyle revealed that the “celebrity” who he punched in the bar for saying that the U.S. Navy SEALs “deserved to lose a few” was indeed Ventura. Oops. Life Lesson #999: Critique a pubescent man and be prepared to hear him bawl. And can Jesse bawl. Ventura sued Kyle for defamation shortly after the release of “American Sniper.” About a year later, Kyle tragically died when he and his friend Chad Littlefield were shot in broad daylight at a shooting range in Texas. Their murderer was a young Marine veteran named Eddie Ray Routh who Kyle and Littlefield were trying to help cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. After Kyle’s death, Ventura persisted with his lawsuit by suing the executor of Kyle’s estate, his wife Taya Kyle. Who sues a SEAL’s widow after her husband tragically dies? Moreover, who says “There are no winners in this trial” after winning $1.8 million as Ventura did last Friday? No one in America was thinking about Ventura until he sued the Kyles. Ventura’s reputation and earning potential were hardly tarnished for perpetuity; Ventura had already tarnished his own name for perpetuity. By 2012, the year he sued, Ventura and his wife reported $190,000 in gross income—down from the $3 million they reported in 2003. Ventura’s career was at a standstill and now he has gained cash and the limelight while Kyle’s wife will never get her husband back. Ever. If Ventura weren’t so greedy perhaps he could see himself as a winner. Kyle’s wife and children will get the last laugh. Her husband’s book is currently a number one bestseller on Amazon. Meanwhile Clint Eastwood is directing a movie (out in 2015) about Kyle’s life. If the movie does well, expect Ventura to go crying to his mommy. World Net Daily calls “Let Me Be Clear” one of 2014′s Top Books. Here’s the full story. “Let Me Be Clear” is available on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble or iBooks.

Jul
13

Socialism Punk’d Millennials

By Katie Kieffer
Millennial woman.

Image credit: ‘”Mirror of the soul” #11: Stacy’ by AP Photographie  on Flickr via Creative Commons.

“Here’s your drink, darling,” the bartender said with a smile. He seemed upbeat as he made drinks and greeted customers. “Do you like your job?” I asked him. “I hate it,” he confessed. “Honestly, I hate my job.” I keep running into young people who put on a show of being happy with their lives but, when probed a bit, quickly concede that their smiles mask trials. A few days ago, I met a young woman who told me she works as a hairdresser at two different salons while seeking work in her desired field. The next day, I met a young man who volunteers and bartends while searching for full-time work that utilizes his college degree. Millennials are the most highly educated generation in American history. We have more diplomas and more student loan debt than our parents and grandparents did at our age. Over a third of Millennials (a 40-year-high) are living at home with their parents as they struggle to find jobs and pay off their student loan debt. It’s crucial that Millennials hear the truth about socialism so they can dig themselves out of this mess and move on with their lives. Educating Millennials on Socialism vs. Capitalism Reason-Rupe released the results of a survey last week showing that 64 percent of Millennials favor “a free market over a government-managed economy.” Sounds like great news, right? Not so fast. Millennials need more education. When you dig deeper into the Reason-Rupe survey it becomes crystal clear that Millennials are still very confused about the benefits of a free market system and struggle to differentiate between capitalism and socialism. Despite the 64 percent figure, only 52 percent of Millennials told pollsters that they favor capitalism whereas 42 percent favored socialism. As you can see, despite saying they embrace free markets, many Millennials don’t understand that socialistic policies are responsible for the Great Recession and millions of young people conflate socialism with freedom. This is why, according to a 2014 Harvard poll, a slim majority of the Millennials who do plan to vote in the 2016 presidential election say they will vote for Hillary Clinton. On the one hand we have millions of young voters telling pollsters that they feel duped by the current administration and they support the free markets. On the other hand, Millennials don’t realize that Hillary’s socialistic policies would dig them into deeper economic depression. A Window of Opportunity Independents and conservatives have a major window of opportunity before the midterms and 2016 presidential elections to educate Millennials. In 1964, author and philosopher Ayn Rand was interviewed by Playboy Magazine and she defined socialism as a “doctrine which proposes the sacrifice of the individual to the collective.” Defined thus, socialism would repel Millennials—70 percent of whom say they aspire to become entrepreneurs according to the 2014 Millennial Survey by Deloitte. Conservatives and independents would be wise to inform Millennials how Bill and Hillary Clinton pushed many redistributive ideas, such as government-controlled healthcare, long before Obama did. Millennials need to know that Hillary Clinton would be Barack Obama 2.0. Young people will be shocked when they see that we can trace the entire economic crash to the socialistic housing policies of Carter, Clinton, (to some degree both Bushes) and Obama—but particularly, Clinton and Obama. Millennials are too young to realize this, so I tell the little-known story—and offer alternatives—using my own background in real estate. Please join me in helping Millennials realize the difference between socialism and capitalism—and why the former political system is responsible for the current economic downturn. Once Millennials realize this and get involved in public policy, they will move closer to moving out of their parents’ basements and finding jobs that they love. In a free market system, the only hairdressers and bartenders will be those who aspire to work in these roles—which will mean better looking haircuts and better tasting cocktails for the rest of us. Minnesotans! TONIGHT: Hope you can attend my MN Book Signing Event this evening, Monday, July 14, at Starbucks Coffee at 3450 Pilot Knob Road in Eagan, MN from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Bring your copy of “Let Me Be Clear” – available at your local Barnes&Noble store – and I’ll happily sign.

Jul
07

Marine-Artist “Sabo” Attacks Political Correctness

By Katie Kieffer
Breitbart California Launch by street artist Sabo

Image credit: “Breitbart California Launch” by street artist Sabo.

Former Marine and anonymous street artist “Sabo” uses paint and provocative posters to compel Americans to think outside the box of political correctness. Sabo is not a “kid-friendly” artist. His art incorporates the middle finger, a topless Wendy Davis “Barbie” doll, and Nancy Pelosi twerking in latex lingerie. But Sabo uses incendiary language and images solely to get Americans to think about hard issues rather than sweeping them away with political correctness. Sabo’s use of provocative words and images (as seen on his poster of a shirtless, tattooed, and smoking Sen. Ted Cruz) is in the vein of famous artists of the past—from Michelangelo to Picasso—who employed visceral emotion and shock-appeal to shake up their culture. One of the most important roles that an artist plays in society—peacefully and silently— is to compel his or her contemporaries to reflect. Unlike some street artists (think the UK’s Banksy)—who justify defacing public and private property to showcase their artistic viewpoints—Sabo displays his philosophical artwork via removable posters. Sabo relies on donations and benefactors to create his work. He hangs his posters up at night by himself or with the help of a driver. He has perfected various techniques for hanging the posters very high—such as on power lines—to ensure they stay up. Many of his posters are defaced or torn down within a matter of hours. No one is “safe” from Sabo’s artistic analysis. Sabo goes after popular Hollywood comedians for their (silent or spoken) support of President Obama’s inhumane drone policy. And he goes after those who physically assault gays—as well as the gay lobby—for very different reasons. Sabo is unhappy by the number of Americans who still struggle to find jobs four years into what First Lady Michelle Obama has called a “huge recovery.” Sabo maintains that the promise of “hope” has materialized into “cope.” And he’s frustrated by the current administration’s disrespect for private property through the use of no-knock SWAT attacks. As a former Marine, Sabo also uses his artwork to speak out in defense of veterans. Sabo’s VA Scandal poster depicts the “new purple heart” as a numbered paper stub similar to what you might get at Target or Walmart when you’re waiting in line to make a return. This particular poster hits a bit too close to home. News broke over July 4th that a veteran died in Albuquerque, NM when—due to standard VA hospital policy—he was forced to wait 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive although staffers could have transported him to the emergency room located just 500 yards away. Sabo says on his website that one of his overarching goals is to speak to the “young” and “urban” in their own language. Sabo deserves credit for attempting to reform his culture and catalyze discussion rather than simply preaching to the choir. After all, nothing will ever improve in society if we tiptoe around tough issues and pretend that political correctness will stop veterans from dying; foster equality or safeguard our natural rights. Sabo encourages individuals like you and me to get involved by speaking out, engaging in open-minded discussions and putting forth concrete solutions. I’ve tried to lead by example by using my pen to proffer hope and solutions in my new book, “Let Me Be Clear.” When we each speak out using our unique talents, we will heal our economy and revitalize our culture for the benefit of all.

May
05

Let’s Make Prolife Movies and Skip the Squirrel Selfies

By Katie Kieffer
Smiling baby girl.

Image credit: “Peekaboo!” by Josh Liba on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Would you like to see a documentary about women and babies, or my selfies with squirrels? We’ve all heard the critical news that Instagram may ban pop star Rihanna if she posts topless photos. We heard about a teen who attempted to take a selfie with a squirrel. We heard that James Franco kissed Lindsay Lohan and “it was lame.” Self-described journalists who give us the juicy scoop on Rih Rih, Lo Lo and Franco, have buried the story of America’s biggest serial killer, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, and the testimonials of women who have had abortions. It’s time for a breath of fresh air.

Empowering Female Choice

An unwanted pregnancy changes a young woman’s life forever. None of us may judge women who face this challenge. However, we can all do more to support the women in this situation. Because, when a woman chooses life and gives her child up for adoption, she is nurturing her own body and mind. Abortion is not a natural or healthy way to “deliver” a child. Thus, if a woman can carry her baby to term, she will reap life-long physical and mental rewards. Many women will continue to choose abortion due to financial, cultural or emotional pressures unless we do a better job of proffering kindness, hope and resources. Some feminists champion a “woman’s right to choose” while curiously fighting prolife groups that simply want women to have access to all of the facts about abortion’s side affects. These so-called “women’s rights advocates” bar women from hearing the testimonials from women who have had abortions. If we care about women, why not let women hear all sides so they can truly make a choice? On behalf of myself, my girlfriends and all young women, I want to promote a culture where every young woman has access to all the information about abortion’s side effects. Which is why I need you to help me spread the word about two powerful new documentaries.

The Gosnell Movie

Independent filmmakers are raising funds on Indiegogo to make the Gosnell Movie. Gosnell is a villain. His story must be told in the powerful format of motion picture. Dr. Gosnell is an abortionist who was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2013 for murdering seven newborn (live birth) babies and at least one pregnant mother. District Attorney Seth Williams described Gosnell’s actions thus: He “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord.” Greedy Gosnell preyed on the mother, Karnamaya Mongar, 41, and ushered her into his abortion clinic after two other abortion clinics refused to perform the operation because she was so far along. Racism, sexism and child-labor violations were par for the course in Gosnell’s clinic. Mongar had spent 20 years in a Nepal refugee camp before coming to the U.S. Because of Gosnell, she only spent four months in America. Gosnell’s nurses testified that he took better care of white patients than minority patients, justifying his racism as: “That’s the way it is.” The day that Karnamaya Mongar went into cardiac arrest, Gosnell had his “expert medical staff” on-hand, namely a 15-year-old teenager named Ashley Baldwin. Instead of hiring qualified medical experts, Gosnell worked Baldwin to the bone (50 hours a week) so that he could make the maximum amount of money possible. Baldwin helped with delivery when Gosnell was gone, performed procedures, ultrasounds and intravenously sedated patients. He essentially lied to Ashley’s mother and said that a “grandfather clause” allowed him to bypass certifying his staff. A real pimp. Lynda Williams, 44 testified that she worked for Gosnell. She said that if patients complained about the pain (his medications often failed), he would just give their legs a whack. And if a baby was born alive, she said Gosnell would order her to get out the sheers. ‘I only do what I’m told to do,’ she told the jury. ‘What I was told to do was snip their neck.’

The 40 Film

We also need to spread objective hope and education, which is where “The 40 Film”comes in. An investigative and emotional movie spanning 40 years of legalized abortion, 40 lets us hear both sides of the story. We hear from women who genuinely believe that abortion is a moral option as well as those who have experienced abortion first-hand. 40 answers the most salient arguments from the pro-choice movement and also humanizes the women who have made the choice to abort, and regret it years later. 40 give us new insight into young people—the Millennials who are essentially (according to Pew’s latest research) no more “pro-choice” than their parents. 40 shows us how many young people are taking it upon themselves to champion a culture that appreciates life from conception through natural death. You can learn more about 40 and how to bring it to a theater near you here. The federal government has no business involving itself in abortion or marriage. Likewise journalists could use their storytelling abilities to enhance society instead of handing the microphone to celebrities who kiss and tell. The Gosnell Movie and 40 are an answer to awakening a culture of life, hope, health, kindness, and genuine choice. Check out Katie’s new book, “Let Me Be Clear.” Preorder for early bird discount.

Feb
10

Give Her a Gun Valentine

By Katie Kieffer
Girl with a pistol

Image credit: “Girl with a pistol” by Chloe Moretz (Kick *** 2) on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Forget roses. This Valentine’s Day, give her a gift that shows you love her whole body and soul. Give her a gun. Your Valentine—whether she’s your wife, girlfriend, daughter or sister—deserves something very special. What could be more sentimental than a tool she can use to defend herself? When you give her a gun, you will be showing her that she is extremely precious and valuable to you. Of course, you don’t want to just hand her a Glock and say “Happy Valentine’s Day!” That would be neither wise nor thoughtful. Here are a few tips on how to make your Valentine’s Day gift both safe and meaningful:

For the Girl on the Fence

If your sweetheart is not so sure she likes guns, a pink AR-15 might be pushing it for a Valentine’s Day gift. You don’t want to scare her away from the idea of owning a firearm. So, ease her into the idea of owning a special tool for self-defense. For example Bling Sting makes stylish and practical pepper spray keychains that are decorated in red, pink, black or diamond bling. She can attach one of these “charms” to her purse or key ring for an extra dose of protection. Along with a fabulous pepper spray, you could give her a gold-plated chain with a small charm in the shape of a handgun. She’ll feel edgy and tough… and by the time her birthday rolls around, she’ll be asking you for the real deal so she can truly protect herself from an assault. And, just for fun, give her chocolates in the shape of ammo with a note that says: “Bite the Bullet! XOX!” (Be willing to bite the bullet yourself after this horrible pun.)

For the Gun Newbie

For a gal who is already a Second Amendment supporter, you won’t need to win her over. Nevertheless, if she hasn’t spent much time handling firearms you will want to help educate her. Unless she already owns a gun and is extremely comfortable using firearms safely, give her a gift certificate to a gun safety and firearm self-defense course before you give her a gun.

For the Gun Intermediate

Your sweetheart has handled firearms before and she’s already taken gun safety courses. She’s ready for her very own firearm. Since you’ll want to make sure that her gun fits well in her hand, you’ll need to ruin the surprise and take her to the gun store with you. Buying a gun is kind of like buying an engagement ring—it’s helpful to have the girl along with you because, unfortunately, her hands are not removable.

For the Gun Goddess

For the woman who knows more about guns and ammo than you do (though you’ll never admit it), a gift certificate for a conceal carry class along with a practical conceal carry holster or concealment tank top would be the perfect gift. A thigh holster is much sexier than a delicate, lacy negligee when you explain that you’re giving her this gift because you want to protect your most valuable asset—her. A gun or a gun-safety class is so much more meaningful than a teddy bear. When you give her a self-defense tool, you’re offering her a constant reminder of how much you value her and a present that will last far longer than a vase of red rosebuds. To bring Katie Kieffer to speak at your professional event or college campus, please follow this link to inquire about booking a speech.

Feb
03

Danielle Steel’s Amazing Ex-Husband

By Katie Kieffer
Downtown Cityscape San Francisco

Image credit: “Downtown Cityscape San Francisco” by David Yu on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Thomas James Perkins is a stud. If he weren’t an octogenarian, I’d ask for his hand in marriage because he courageously and eloquently defends free market capitalism. Perkins is the founder of the Silicone Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). He is also the ex-husband of the world’s reigning best-selling author alive: American novelist and San Francisco resident Danielle Steel. Last week, the Wall Street Journal published a three-paragraph op-ed by Perkins in which he defended free market economics. The liberal media, especially the Silicone Valley tech blogs, went up in arms. HOW could he have the audacity to defend capitalism?! Perkins basically expressed disappointment in “a rising tide of hatred of the successful,” including his ex-wife Steel. Despite the fact that she had donated millions of dollars to the San Francisco community, Perkins bemoaned that the San Francisco Chronicle continued to libel Steel as a ‘snob.’ He compared the attack against the successful one percent in America to fascist Nazi Germany’s attack on the Jews. Valley Wag, a Gawker Media gossip blog about Silicone Valley celebrities, called Perkins’s op-ed: “one of the most disgustingly tone deaf statements on class tensions we’ve ever seen.” Media Bistro was appalled WSJ had the gall to “allow” Perkins to voice his opinion. Salon used imagery to compare Perkins to a villain in the movies. And on and on. It’s interesting how quick these bloggers were to attack a capitalist. After all, most of them probably idolize one of the biggest free market entrepreneurs of all time: Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple. If they took the time to read Walter Isaacson’s terrific biography of Jobs, they would learn that Jobs was a capitalist, not a socialist. Perkins has a point. Progressives are looking for a fight; an unreasonable and puerile war against self-made success. Remember how on the 2012 campaign trail, Obama said: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.” And remember how he said the same thing but in a different way last week during his 2014 State of the Union address? Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by; let alone to get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all. So our job is to reverse these trends. Since he can’t blame Bush any longer, Obama is now trying to blame his historically slow recovery on the greed of the rich who cling to their profits, while offering a “solution” of more government intervention. In fact, Obama has had five years to reverse the trends of rising poverty and unemployment. His “new” ideas sound exactly the same as those he peddled back in 2008. For example, during the 2014 SOTU, Obama said: “one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy.” Oh, really? Well then why hasn’t he approved the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline? Keystone XL could mean thousands of jobs and it would help the U.S. move away from dependence on Middle Eastern oil. The U.S. State Department has thrice indicated that the XL pipeline is environmentally safe, but apparently that is not good enough for Obama. He’d rather tell the American public during his SOTU that “solar” holds the future for American energy. (He conveniently forgot to name all of the solar companies that went bankrupt after receiving taxpayer dollars.) Why do you think it’s possible for Obama to receive cheers and applause when he says: “Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it so we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.” After all, we all rely on and need energy in some way. If it weren’t for companies like ExxonMobile and Chevron, we would not enjoy the same high quality of life. Obama can get away with attacking big oil because he is not interested in telling the truth. With a complete straight face, he exaggerates the potential of solar. Without a twinge of guilt, he encourages Americans to envy the rich instead encouraging them to work harder and aspire toward their own self-made success. We need more men and women like Tom Perkins who are willing to speak up and defend the truth about economic freedom. Remember: sticks and stones can break your bones but the words of a progressive can never hurt you. To bring Katie Kieffer to speak at your professional event or college campus, please follow this link to inquire about booking a speech.

Jan
13

Eat Venison: A Deer Meat Diet

By Katie Kieffer
Mule Deer Buck in Morning Snow.

Image credit: “Morning Buck in Fresh Snow” by Mike Hendren on Flickr via Creative Commons.

It’s January. If you resolved to lose weight, forget the cotton ball diet. To become a lean, mean muscle machine: eat venison. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo feign to keep us healthy and safe by restricting our dietary choices and attacking our constitutional right to use guns for hunting and self-defense. Both men are dead wrong about health, hunting and guns. Bloomberg chastises folks who slurp sugary soda pop while lambasting hunters who eat organic, lean, high-protein venison. Meanwhile, Cuomo has been known to holler at the top of his lungs: “No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer!” Cuomo’s claim is completely irrelevant. You could need ten shots to defend yourself and your family from intruders. Elites with an entourage of armed guards like Bloomberg and Cuomo prioritize their own political power over our health, safety and freedom. Here are some reasons why you should include more venison—and hunting—in your diet and lifestyle: Venison is Healthy: Venison is high in protein (there are 24 grams of protein per four ounces of venison) and low in saturated fat (1 gram per four ounces). Venison supplies more iron than beef. Venison also provides you with high levels of B vitamins and all of the ten essential amino acids. Venison is naturally organic and thus free of antibiotics, inoculants and growth supplements. Plus, venison is low in both cholesterol and calories. Conservationist hunting is the most merciful way to kill an animal: In the wild, animals die slow and painful deaths by starvation, disease, or the claws of a predator. Instead of letting an animal die slowly and painfully in Nature, hunters offer a quicker death with less pain and allow animals to serve a higher purpose. Deer hunters do not kill to mutilate. Rather, hunters kill deer for purposes that include putting food on the table and balancing the animal’s population. Thus, the deer serves a noble purpose instead of rotting or becoming carrion. In addition to the meat, other parts of the animal can also serve a higher purpose. The deer’s hide can be utilized for a rug or for clothing. The pelt, or the skin layer, can be made into leather. We have an over-population of deer: Bloomberg likes to label hunting rifles as “assault weapons,” as if hunters were out to assault deer. In truth, humans will be assaulted by animals if conservationist hunters do not keep their populations in check. TIME Magazine reported in December that Coyotes are threatening New York City while black bears are stressing out parents and pet-owners in New Jersey; our population of over 30 million white-tailed deer and 5 million feral pigs is becoming a nuisance: deer cause traffic accidents that kill around 200 Americans a year and feral pigs cause $1.5 billion of annual damage to residential areas. Here’s an idea: give Bloomberg a pet feral pig as a present. Within ten minutes he’ll be hollering for hunters to rescue him! Hunting helps you learn about and appreciate nature: As you hunt for your food, you’ll learn about the deer and the surrounding flora and fauna. You’ll naturally educate yourself on the deer’s habitat; rutting behaviors; how they care for their young; and the vegetation that they eat. You’ll learn how to attract them and, in the process of gutting them, you will learn about the animal’s anatomy. Overall, hunting helps you learn so much about the animal that you’ll develop a deep sense of appreciation for the beast that gives you its meat for your sustenance. You will conserve the animal’s population—while enabling the animal to serve a higher purpose. Stick to your resolution to become healthier in the New Year. But instead of cotton balls, consider a healthier diet—The Deer Meat Diet. In addition to nurturing your own body, you will be caring for Mother Nature. To bring Katie Kieffer to speak at your professional event or college campus, please follow this link to inquire about booking a speech. Note: Due to potential complications with toxoplasmosis, pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant should avoid eating venison.

Jan
06

How Sticking to Your Guns Makes You Happy

By Katie Kieffer
Duck Dynasty cast members.

Image credit: “2013 Chairman USO Holiday Tour” by The USO on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Prediction: 2014 will be an amazing year for you and me. To borrow a line from Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, I predict 2014 will be: “Happy, Happy, Happy.”

We’re less than one week into the New Year, and I can already tell that 2014 has wondrous things in store. For nearly six years, independent and conservatively-minded Americans have endured the grey skies and choppy waters of the Obama administration. Now, I feel like the tide is finally turning. A new sun is rising. The smell of joy is in the air.

In Genesis, when Noah wanted to see whether the floodwaters had abated, he sent out a dove to search for land. Finally, the dove returned to Noah with a sign of hope: an olive leaf. Duck Dynasty’s recent success in weathering a storm of false controversies is the sign that gives me so much hope for 2014; Duck Dynasty’s success is our olive leaf.

Last January, many Americans had never even heard of A&E’s hit family-centered reality show, Duck Dynasty. However, this changed in December of 2013 when the star and founder of the family’s duck call business, Phil Robertson, was temporarily suspended for speaking his mind in support of traditional marriage. At first, the future for the show was murky. Soon, however, everyday Americans who were outraged by A&E’s intolerance for free speech launched peaceful protests. Phil was promptly welcomed back to the show.

A&E did the right thing, but not necessarily for the right reasons. (The network certainly did not want to lose the profit it was pulling from cable’s top-rated reality television program.) However, the monetary and viral success of Duck Dynasty is a ray of hope at a time when the economic and cultural news (think ObamaCare and Miley Cyrus) sounds less than uplifting.

Duck Dynasty’s success and the sell-out of their merchandise in stores before Christmas proves that most Americans still believe in family, faith and free speech; we value entrepreneurs; we’re not politically correct; and, we stick to our guns.

The Robertson family is prospering because, at core, they represent the values that most Americans hold—but have been told to repress. Even as a federal judge recently upheld most provisions of New York’s SAFE Act, which attacks our Second Amendment right to self-defense, Duck Dynasty’s success is a reason for optimism. Guns and love will solve crime—not liberal silliness.

Ironically, while the media has tried to destroy Duck Dynasty and all that it stands for by associating Phil Robertson with vitriolic language, the exact opposite is true.  Last year, Robertson told Spectrum TV that A&E was trying to make their show look more obtuse than it really was, and he put a stop to it: “I asked the [editors]: ‘What’s the point of the fake bleeps?’ …[They added bleeps] like someone had used profanity, but no one had used profanity. …If we’re not using profanity, why make it look like we’re using profanity? What is the point? …So they quit doing that.”

By sticking to their guns, both literally and metaphorically, the Robertsons have found success. Even as we speak, they are launching a new gun line and Phil Robertson’s book, “Happy, Happy, Happy” has been flying off the shelves. The family inked a lucrative deal to roll out a new line of guns in 2014—a deal that Forbes calls: “a warning shot to A&E” because the gun line deal excludes A&E from all direct profits and puts the Robertson family in a position of greater financial independence.

So, hang in there my friends. Stick to your guns (both your values and your rifles) like the Duck Dynasty clan and you’ll have a happy and prosperous 2014.

To bring Katie Kieffer to speak at your professional event or college campus, please follow this link to inquire about booking a speech.

Dec
30

Cheers! To Champagne Entrepreneurs

Champagne flutes.

Image credit: “Champagne” by Anders Adermark on Flickr via Creative Commons.

By Katie Kieffer Raise your champagne flûte and make a New Year’s toast to the entrepreneurs who made bubbly—once a drink of kings—available for mass imbibing. It’s vital to know the entrepreneurial story behind everyday indulgences that we consume such as iPads; electric Christmas lights; or champagne. Our president likes to say that entrepreneurs “didn’t build” their companies on their own. Actually, entrepreneurs do build their companies on their own, and champagne is a fine example. Sparkling wine was once a luxury exclusively for the wealthy and noble. It took two pioneering female entrepreneurs to make champagne a delight that we all enjoy. By law, the only sparkling wine that can be called “Champagne” with a capital “C” is that which is produced from the terroir of France’s wine region of Champagne. Early winemakers in the Champagne region struggled to manipulate their unique climate and produce traditional red wines. Cold winters altered the fermentation process, causing bubbles to form in the wine, which ended up being a boon to winemakers once they figured out how to handle this new type of vino. Women were not allowed to run their own businesses in France in the early 1800s. The only way a woman could become the chief executive officer of her own profitable entrepreneurial venture was if she became a widow. (Single and married women were to rely on their fathers and husbands for income.) When 27-year-old Barbe-Nicole Clicquot’s husband tragically died in 1805, she made the best of her unfortunate situation, literally turning sour grapes into sweet Champagne. Madame Clicquot was the first winemaker to successfully mass-produce bubbly and put it in the hands of common people all over the world, including Americans. The French word for “widow” is “veuve” and Veuve Clicquot was pioneering and industrious until she was a year shy of ninety. Madame Clicquot’s heir recently told the Associated Press that Veuve Clicquot was “the first businesswoman in France and maybe the whole of Europe.” She invented the first rosé (pink-colored) Champagne as well as the very first Champagne label in the world (Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin). Champagne makers still use her House’s ingenious procedure known as “rilling” to prevent sediment from forming in bottles through rotation. A young Frenchwoman named Louise Pommery was left a widow when her husband Alexandre died. Like Madam Clicquot, Veuve Pommery decided to become an entrepreneur and support herself. She was also very successful, and we have her to thank for inventing “brut” or dry Champagne. Even today, the world’s first and second biggest Champagne makers are LMVH (the owner of Veuve Clicquot) and Vranken-Pommery.
Pommery Champagne

Image credit: “Champagne i isbøtte” by Aktiv | Oslo.no on Flickr via Creative Commons.

There are between 44 and 57 million bubbles in the average 750 ml bottle of champagne. That’s a lot of bubbles! It’s inspiring to know that this pressurized, effervescent drink, which is nearly as fun to pop as it is to sip–is the product of entrepreneurial women who found themselves in hard situations and dug themselves out—while creating jobs and a terrific product—on their own. Obama would surely say these women did not achieve their feats on their own—but we know the truth and tomorrow night we’ll proudly toast to freedom, lower taxes and pro-business regulations that will allow many more young men and women to become prosperous entrepreneurs. Champagne widows turned their personal losses and challenging climate into one of the world’s biggest business success stories. In our own tough economic climate, these stories offer hope that we too can overcome our hardships and achieve financial independence if we work hard and think resourcefully. Cheers! To free enterprise, which creates careers and empowers pioneers! To bring Katie Kieffer to speak at your professional event or college campus, please follow this link to inquire about booking a speech.

Dec
23

How To: Celebrate an All-American Christmas

By Katie Kieffer
Christmas Nativity

Image credit: “Hollywood Studios – Nativity”by Jeff Krause on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Looking to celebrate Christmas in a ‘Happy Holidays’ America? You’re in luck. America has an opulence of her very own Christmas traditions that are both fun and spiritually fulfilling. A new Pew poll finds that younger Americans do not practice Christmas the same way as their parents and grandparents. Only 39 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-29 say they celebrate Christmas as a faith-based feast. In contrast, 66 percent of Americans over the age of 65 celebrate Christmas as a faith-centered holiday. One reason why younger people may celebrate Christmas in a secular way is: they have not had a chance to experience the season’s beautiful, holy and peaceful traditions. As a young woman, I’m very appreciative to my older relatives for sharing their Christmas traditions with me from the time I was a little girl. I would like to encourage other parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to pass along their Christmas traditions to their younger friends and family members. American Christmas traditions can make the holiday more festive and pleasurable. More importantly, our traditions will help us find a deeper meaning in Christmas and feel a stronger appreciation for our country; our founding fathers; and each other. Here are some places to start:

Bake Martha Washington’s Christmas Cake

At Mount Vernon, George and Martha Washington celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday. The attended church services and also threw delicious feasts for friends and family. One of their favorite desserts was “Martha’s Great Cake.” Mrs. Washington’s original recipe, which she wrote by hand, calls for 40 eggs; five pounds each of flour and fruit; and four pounds each of butter and sugar. Oh yes, and half a pint of cream sherry and a dash of brandy! Martha’s recipe yields too much batter for the average American throwing a Christmas party. However, if you do a simple Google search for “Martha Washington’s Great Cake” and you will find many modern (and smaller) versions of the recipe. Consider inviting your grandchildren, nieces, nephews or even neighbor children over to make Martha’s cake. Pour the batter into cupcake tins so they each have their own cake; top with candles, and then celebrate the birthday of Christ—just like our first American President.

Celebrate Customs of Your American Immigrant Ancestors

Most of us trace our roots back to a combination of European immigrants who came to America in pursuit of a better, freer life. Over the years, these immigrants melded their European Christmas traditions with new customs that they developed in the New World. Whether your ancestors are English, Irish, German, Swedish, or Scottish, your family has its own Christmas traditions. Consider practicing one or two of these customs at your house this year. You’ll instill an appreciation for the spirituality of the American settlers in the young people in your family. My mother’s side is Polish-American and every Christmas Eve, my 100% Polish grandfather led us in a Polish Christmas tradition. He is now deceased, but my grandmother and mother carry on his tradition. We break and share “Oplatki” or “Christmas Wafers,” which are thin, tasteless rectangular white wafers engraved with an image of faith, such as the infant Jesus; an angel; or the Star of David. Breaking bread is a symbol of communion, peace and forgiveness. The Oplatki ceremony involves breaking and sharing the wafers; praying; reading the Gospel; and giving each person a turn to voice thanks and good wishes toward their fellow dinner guests. Yellow and pink-colored Oplatki wafers are shared with the family pets or animals, such as dogs, cats and horses.

String Up Christmas Lights

We take Christmas lights for granted today and don’t necessarily see them as a sign of “faith,” but lights have a strong American and religious heritage. Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb; he also invented the first “string” of Christmas light bulbs in the late 1800s, which he strung around his Menlo Park lab as a way to show off his invention during the Christmas season. By 1900, Christmas lights were available, but only to the wealthy because one string cost the equivalent of $300 in today’s money. In a tribute to free enterprise, mass production made Christmas lights affordable to the middle class. A string of Christmas lights also hails to the faith and hope of early Christians who used the light of fire as a sign of their belief during the dark and gloomy winter months. Candles in Christmas trees; Yule logs; and Advent candles are examples of the early Christians’ “Christmas lights.” Capitalism, which I’ve shown glorifies God, has allowed us to produce fire-safe lights for everyone—from the poorest to the richest—to brighten their homes and yards as a sign of their hope and faith. Jingle bells, jingle bells. Dashing over amber waves of grain!
Nativity scene.

Image credit: “tradition” by markus the bardus on Flickr via Creative Commons.

To bring Katie Kieffer to speak at your professional event or college campus, please follow this link to inquire about booking a speech.