Aug
31

Jorge Ramos Wins “Victim Apprentice”

By Katie Kieffer
Donald Trump

Image credit: “Sarah Palin and Donald Trump together outside Trump Tower last night” by Andrew Dallows on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Congratulations to Univision’s Jorge Ramos on winning Victim Apprentice! You succeeded in pouting and shouting your way to the spotlight. Victim Apprentice is a real reality show hosted by Donald Trump—without Trump realizing he’s hosting it. Contestants are C-level celebrities who crave attention but lack talent. Desperate for a career boost, they metaphorically throw themselves in front of Trump’s car as he cruises down the highway—forcing him to slam on the breaks and bump into them. It’s a Trump Bump. It’s akin to how Hollywood celebrities used to beg the late comedian Joan Rivers to work them into her jokes. Getting nicked by a famous “bully” is a sly career move because you can win fame and fortune without natural talent or hard work. Prior to last week, when Ramos threw a tantrum at a Trump press conference, most Americans had never heard of him. Today, thanks to a Trump Bump, he’s a household name. At the press conference, Ramos raises his voice and begins interrogating his host: “Mr. Trump, I have a question on your immigration plan!”Uninterested in Trump’s acknowledgment, Ramos rattles on. “Ok, who’s next?” Trump says, ignoring Ramos’ rudeness. A reporter raises his hand and Trump nods for him to go ahead. Like a jealous lover, Ramos starts squawking about his “right” to speak. Trump says: “Excuse me, sit down. It’s not your turn. You weren’t called.” Returning to the reporter, Trump says: “Go ahead.” Ramos goes ballistic: “Mr. Trump, I have a RIGHT to ask a question!” Ramos’ birthday is March 16 and Trump hosted a press conference on August 25, yet many politicians and journalists responded to this incident as if Trump was a guest at Ramos’ private birthday bash and threw him out of his own party. Jeb Bush, for example, bleated that Ramos deserves “more respect.”

5 facts about the man Jeb Bush thinks deserves “more respect:”

1.)  Ramos’ employer, Univision, is owned by a top Hillary Clinton fundraiser and supporter, Alberto Ciurana. 2.)  Ciurana re-posted an image on Instagram likening Trump to racist mass murderer Dylann Roof. 3.)  Ramos’ daughter Paola works for Clinton’s presidential campaign. 4.)  Clinton used a personal email address and private server for official state business; kept at least four classified materials on her server—two of which were designated with the highest level of security (“Top Secret”); and mysteriously deleted 33,000 emails from her server. 5.)  Fox News’ Ed Henry questioned Clinton to see if she had “wiped” her server clean prior to delivering it to the FBI and she sniffed: “I don’t know. I have no idea. Like with a cloth or something?” Keep those facts in mind. Now, back to Bush. Is he jealous that Trump holds his own in situations where he would crumble? Remember how Bush fled his own Townhall event as soon as Black Lives Matter protesters showed up? Hmm. Ramos’ tantrum also won him airtime on national TV, including an eight-minute primetime segment on Fox News’ The Kelly File. Host Megyn Kelly: “Well, how does it feel to be caught in the crosshairs of a presidential front-runner?” Ramos: “Well, well, you know exactly how it feels.” (Kelly nods.) As the interview continues, Ramos shares his false narrative: “I follow my turn… I said: ‘I have a question on immigration,’ … and as soon as I started telling him that it [his immigration plan] is impossible, he didn’t like the question, and then he called on another reporter…” Kelly remarks: “It’s not unusual for a reporter to do what you did.” Not unusual? For the past six years, her Fox News colleagues have attended White House pressers where reporters are required to sit quietly; raise their hands; and wait to be called upon by President Obama. Ramos may work at Univision, but he appears to be the exception to the universal rule that journalists behave with decorum at press conferences. In July, Obama chastised CBS News correspondent Major Garrett with a stern “You should know better” after Garrett waited his turn and asked Obama why he didn’t negotiate harder for American hostages in Iran. Obama is an elected official and Clinton is a former cabinet member. Both have a duty to communicate with the electorate, yet both routinely shut down courteous reporters. Trump is a private businessman with no obligation to hold press conferences and every right to quiet rambunctious reporters if he does hold press conferences. Congratulations, Ramos. It was so big of you to show up at Trump’s press conference and throw a tantrum. You expect the world to fall silent when you speak—but could care less if another reporter is gagged by Obama or spurned by Clinton. Your daughter and your boss work and fundraise for Clinton, who has proven herself to be dishonest and disrespectful toward the press. You refuse to grow up, and for this reason, you are this month’s winner of Victim Apprentice. Share this with everyone who feels sorry for Jorge Ramos. Because it’s high time that victimhood is not a path to celebrity status in America. If Mr. Ramos starts crying, we’ll tell him—as Trump used to tell his contestants on The Apprentice: “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.”

Aug
10

Caitlyn Jenner Schools Planned Parenthood

By Katie Kieffer
Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner. Photographer credits on image (A.L.) Flickr image credit: Movilh Chile on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Caitlyn Jenner just schooled Planned Parenthood on acceptance and transparency. Caitlyn Jenner is a retired American Olympian formerly known as Bruce Jenner. When Jenner appeared on the July cover of Vanity Fair magazine with the caption: “Call me Caitlyn,” progressive elites began competing with each other to find the most creative way to call Jenner their “hero.” Caitlyn’s self-described mission is to promoteaccepting people for who they are” and to never “tell a lie.” Isn’t it interesting, then, that many “progressives” are doing the exact opposite of what their hero prescribes? Planned Parenthood, in particular, has failed miserably in adopting Jenner’s philosophy. Here are three lessons that Planned Parenthood can learn from Caitlyn Jenner:

1.) Choosing Life is Preferable to Abortion

Planned Parenthood is on a mission to appear mainstream and compassionate toward women while operating a black market operation of mangling babies and selling their parts for profit. Here’s an example of Planned Parenthood’s public persona: Planned Parenthood on Twitter, January 13, 2012: @PPact: “RT if you think being #prochoice is #sexy!” If free choice is so sexy, where was Planned Parenthood when Jenner confessed regret to Vanity Fair over an initial desire to abort eldest daughter Casey Jenner? Midway through divorce proceedings with first wife Chrystie Crownover, Bruce Jenner learned that Crownover was pregnant and urged her to have an abortion. Jenner quickly deferred to Crownover, who says: “It was totally my choice to have the baby. …We haven’t had any hassles over the kids.” Jenner respected a woman’s free choice. While Jenner was absent for Casey’s birth, “since then Bruce has been very loving and accepting of Casey,” Crownover said. 34-year-old Casey concurs. Instead of applauding Jenner for backing Crownover’s choice to carry Casey to term, pro-Planned Parenthood outlets gossiped about Jenner: “So shocking [that Jenner even contemplated abortion]. …It’s sad,” whimpered Hollywoodlife.com. Talk about progressive hypocrisy. Caitlyn’s Lesson for Planned Parenthood: Don’t expect Americans to take your “pro-choice” mantra seriously until you’re willing to call the choice of life “sexy.”

2.) A Woman is More Than A Reproductive System

“My brain is much more female than it is male,” Bruce Jenner told Diane Sawyer in April when she interviewed him about why he identified as a woman. Translation: for Jenner, a woman is not a woman without a brain. In contrast, listening to Planned Parenthood, you would think that the intellect is the least important aspect of womanhood. Planned Parenthood ensures its longevity by convincing women that their sexual health will suffer without its existence and by lying about pro-life groups that serve women. Planned Parenthood is counting on women failing to use their brains to analyze the facts and falling into the trap of defining themselves by their reproductive organs. Caitlyn’s Lesson for Planned Parenthood: Treat women like intellectuals, not sex objects. Give them all the facts.

3.) Social Programs Like Planned Parenthood Hold Women Back

Episode 2 of Jenner’s new reality show, I Am Cait, on E! features Jenner discussing high levels of unemployment and homelessness among transgender youths. Jenner observes: “A lot of times, they can make more not working, with social programs, than they actually can with an entry-level job. … You don’t want people to get totally dependent on it [social welfare]. That’s when they get in trouble.” Jenner is “living in a bubble,” hisses Caitlyn’s reality show colleague Jennifer Finney Boylan. “Come down and see everybody else” transgender health advocate Blossom Brown further admonishes Jenner. The overall message is: Jenner’s wealth and fame make it impossible for Caitlyn to relate to the struggles of the average transgender person. True acceptance entails loving the rich as much as the poor. After all, riches and fame create opportunities—and a prison. Jenner can’t go to the gym; walk around the block; or go grocery shopping without getting harassed by paparazzi. Before dismissing Caitlyn as a bimbo who lives in a bubble, why don’t we listen to Caitlyn’s message on transparency; acceptance; and social programs? If we listened, we might realize that Planned Parenthood is a federally-subsidized social program. As a female entrepreneur, I have NO CHOICE about whether my hard-earned dollars support Planned Parenthood. This is wrong. Like other social programs, Planned Parenthood holds women back by withholding the facts about its operation. Caitlyn’s Lesson for Planned Parenthood: Be honest with women. Give them the facts about what you do, including apparently breaking the law by selling baby parts for profit. Otherwise, you’re living a lie. Acceptance and honesty are Caitlyn Jenner’s two biggest mantras. Accepting all people entails accepting people who choose life. Honesty entails, well, actually being honest. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards disparages women who choose life and lies like her life depends on it. If you want to be a loving person, simply calling Caitlyn Jenner your “hero” won’t cut it. Connect with Katie on Instagram or Twitter @KatieLKieffer

Aug
03

Brady Docked 4 Games? Bench Hillary 4 Years in Benghazi

By Katie KiefferB_C The NFL upheld the 4-game suspension for Tom Brady; certainly we can bar Hillary Clinton from running for office for the next four years—four Americans died in Benghazi. Better yet, perhaps she should be benched in Benghazi. After all, she sat in the comfort of her leather chair in the United States while Americans—working for her—choked and died amid fumes of smoke. We learn that a real-life Ken doll may have cut corners to win a Super Bowl ring, and we punish his possible infraction by denying him pay and play for four football games. We call him a cheater; a Lance Armstrong wannabe; a con man who belongs on Oprah’s couch. Meanwhile, we shrug our shoulders when a former Secretary of State’s incompetence leads to the death of four Americans in the Benghazi, Libya terror attack on Sept. 11, 2012. We roll our eyes when she lies to our face about transmitting classified information through insecure emails. Cecil the lion isn’t the only lovable face with a memorable name. The four Americans who died because of Hillary also have faces and names: 1. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens 2. State Department management officer Sean Smith 3. Tyrone Woods, former Navy SEAL and CIA contractor 4. Glen Doherty, former Navy SEAL and CIA contractor Clinton immediately blamed the terrorist attack on an online video so obscure that even Libyan locals were unaware of it until Clinton and Obama brought it to their attention. Now she eludes Congress—refusing to testify until Oct. 22 for her use of a private, unsecured email address and her deletion of around 30,000 emails while Secretary of State. “I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” Hillary sniffed on July 25, 2015. Within days of her remark, a government inspector sent a letter to Congress testifying that at least four emails culled from her private account contained classified information. Hillary loves retreating to the shadows with her baggage while the world expends its energy on football. Remember her 2014 Super Bowl tweet? @HillaryClinton on 2 Feb 2014: “It’s so much more fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed & sacked! #SuperBowl The NFL accuses New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady of cheating his team’s way to beating the Indianapolis Colts during the January 18 AFC Championship Game. The NFL alleges Brady wanted footballs deflated below the NFL’s allowable minimum of 12.5 psi in order to achieve an unfair advantage. The NFL’s lawyer, Ted Wells, authored a 243-page tome reproving Brady as being “at least generally aware,” of the deflation of footballs below 12.5 psi. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seconded Wells with his own 20-page Brady takedown. Neither Wells nor Goodell provided concrete evidence that Brady is guilty. Brady appears to stand on solid ground when you compare him to both the NFL’s and Hillary’s penchant for grasping at straws. Consider Brady’s arguments: 1.)  TOM BRADY on Jan. 22, 2015: “This isn’t ISIS. You know, no one’s dying.” (Hillary’s incompetency resulted in four Americans dying in a terrorist attack.) 2.)  TOM BRADY on July 29, 2015: “the [NFL] Commissioner …has to respect … my rights as a private citizen.” Brady is a public entertainer and a private citizen who has no power over foreign policy or national security. (Even Jay-Z and Beyoncé needed the White House’s “ok” before they defied the law and vacationed to Cuba in 2013.) In contrast, Clinton is a public servant whose lies and ineptitude endanger all Americans. Tell me why it’s ok to destroy Brady for POSSIBLY cheating at a ball game while we let Clinton off the hook for lying in ways that endanger Americans at home and abroad. When I made this point on Twitter last week, it was as if—after a long winter’s slumber in a hollow tree—every troll awoke with a passion for Hillary. One Twitter troll was flabbergasted that I would care about just four Americans dying: “ohh wow 4 died. OMG that’s like, historically bad.” Other trolls wanted me to call for G. W. Bush’s imprisonment for his role in Iraq. (G.W. made some massive mistakes, but he is not running for president. Hillary is.) And one particularly bright troll concocted the tale that I want to “shoot entrepreneurs.” Other trolls began re-tweeting his slander without bothering to read my profile, which clearly states: “my goal is for every American to have a shot at entrepreneurship.” Lesson: Birds of feather will flock together and liars will defend liars. But the truth always wins. If Brady is suspended four games for an alleged triviality that may have given him an edge—we can bench Clinton in Benghazi for the next four years for her lies and incompetence that are responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and endangering the lives of all Americans, including her devout Twitter troll fans. Connect with Katie on Instagram or Twitter @KatieLKieffer

Jun
15

White or Black, Girls Go Wild Without Fathers

By Katie Kieffer
Girls Gone Wild

Image credit: “HEAD OVER HEELS” by FUNKYAH on Flickr via Creative Commons.

White girls like Rachel Dolezal and black girls like Dajerria Becton go wild without the presence of strong father figures. No one knows why Rachel Dolezal—a 37-year-old adult Caucasian woman—pretended to be black for the past 20 years. No one understands this woman’s full motivation for falsifying her heritage, donning wigs and feigning her adopted African American brother is her biological son. Likewise, no one knows—given conflicting eyewitness accounts—exactly what happened at the McKinney, Texas pool party on June 5 where 15-year-old black girl Dajerria Becton tussled with a white police officer. In Dolezal’s case, cynics would blame her greed and narcissism. Cynics would say Dolezal’s disguise made it easier for her to become the president of Spokane, Washington’s N.A.A.C.P.; chair a police watchdog committee; and earn her living as a professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University. I blame her father, Larry Dolezal. I blame him in order to make a bold point: we must stop blaming the police, sexism, racism or even our own children every time our children go wild. Instead, we need to develop, hold accountable and appreciate great fathers. Research shows that a girl’s father—more than her mother and certainly more than the local police department—shapes how confident and mentally secure she becomes later in life. Here are the facts: Rachel Dolezal’s father gave her custody of his 16-year-old adopted black son about five years ago and then lost touch with both his son and his daughter. Today, Rachel is in a mentally unstable place. She cashed in on her false African American identity for lofty leadership roles (Spokane N.A.A.C.P. president and police oversight commission chair), a paid Africana professorship and has made thousands of dollars selling her “authentic” civil rights artwork. Why did Larry wait until Rachel was a grown, 37-year-old woman to hold her accountable—in a very public and embarrassing way—for deceiving her employer, her students and her community? Why did he allow her to grow so psychologically confused that she now calls an imaginary man her father? Back to Dajerria Becton. We know (by her own admission) that this 15-year-old, bikini-clad partier was not an innocent bystander. “I’m guessing he thought we were saying rude stuff to him,” Becton told KDFW news in explaining why she thought Cpl. David Eric Casebolt lost his cool with her. If you watch the online video of Casebolt and Becton’s interaction, it certainly looks as though Casebolt overreacted to Becton’s sassy comments. It is also clear that she verbally accosted him while he was being swarmed from all sides by a throng of volatile adults and teens. A more realistic explanation for his behavior (than racism) was the combination of bad timing and high stress. Fathers like Jahi Adisa Bakari, whose 13-year-old daughter claims an officer punched her at the party—stood before dozens of national media cameras and microphones and moaned how he was “disappointed the [McKinney] Police Department did not send any female or black officers up there [to the party].” Seriously? Does Bakari want to teach his daughter to regress to the era of segregated buses? Does he expect you and me to applaud his backwoods mentality? Forget it. Bakari either has no understanding or zero empathy for the stress cops face on the daily beat. The Australian Institute of Criminology has found “Police suffer stress through constant exposure to danger, traumatic events, prisoner threats, conflicting task demands, short-staffed stations, court appearances…” and that “[s]tress risks may be increased for female officers…” University of Buffalo research published in Science Daily also finds that “23 percent of male and 25 percent of female officers reported more suicidal thoughts than the general population (13.5 percent).” So, police face enormous trauma—especially the female cops that Bakari was whining were not at the pool party. Officers handcuffed Caucasian teen Grace Stone for a full 30 minutes after she merely approached them. All the officers—not just Casebolt—were under high stress and were doing whatever they could do to get the party under control. Unlike Becton, Stone did not make disparaging comments toward the police officers yet she was still slapped with handcuffs. From Larry Dolezal to Jahi Bakari, can all fatherswhite and black—please step up to the plate and stop blaming your daughters; your local police officers; racism or sexism when your girls go wild? Can you take responsibility for the compound influence of years of poor parenting? Can you become mature father figures so that your daughters can flourish socially and emotionally? I’m blessed to have a good father. Without his powerful and consistent influence, I too would be a girl gone wild. I’d be pretending—much like Elizabeth Warren—that I’m Pocahontas’ sister, Katiehontas. So, it moves me to speak up when I see other young girls whose fathers are selling them short. Last week, some folks on Twitter decided to tell me how police are “a-holes” and “psychopaths” who “don’t deserve their jobs, respect or safety.” Police are not always perfect but they are not crazy and we should not expect them to referee our grown children after we fail as parents. A 2014 MTV study found that nearly 90% of Millennials oppose affirmative action. Plus, a 2015 Fusion study found that 70% of Millennials think the police are the “good guys.” If only Millennials’ fathers would grow up and stop perpetuating petulance. Everywoman wants a strong father figure in her life. This Father’s Day, especially if you are a woman, show your father how much you appreciate him. Tell him “thank you” for being there for you—and for sometimes showing you tough love. If you’re looking for a way to express this, consider giving him a copy of “Let Me Be Clear,” which includes a chapter called “Why Fathers Matter.” You’ll learn why all women—including lesbian women—desire strong father figures. You’ll also learn why Trayvon Martin deserved better than a father like Barack Obama, who once called Martin “my son.” Thank you, fathers. Without you, gals like me would go wild.

May
04

Hillary Tells Women: Be Puppets

By Katie Kieffer
Miss Piggy

Image credit: “Miss Piggy, passed out” by sharyn morrow on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Hi yah! Hillary Clinton throat punches her female voting base. You see, Ms. Clinton is a proud supporter of the Brooklyn Museum. She admires its high level of “service to the community,” like showcasing a painting of an African American Virgin Mary collaged with female derrières lifted from pornographic magazines and real elephant dung. “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” by Cristina Biaggi is yet another masterpiece in the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. The work features Clinton wearing a black mantle that she uses to enfold a group of women who she has purportedly empowered—much like the Virgin Mary is often depicted in sacred art. From Clinton’s perspective, these artistic displays must not seem racist, sexist or hateful. She has said: “It is not appropriate to penalize and punish an institution such as the Brooklyn Museum that has served this community with distinction over many years.” Most recently, Clinton stood mute as the Brooklyn Museum announced that Miss Piggy would receive its prestigious Sackler Center First Award. The Brooklyn Museum’s website declares: “The 2015 Sackler Center First Awards honors performer, actor, writer, and icon Miss Piggy, for more than forty years of blazing feminist trails with determination and humor, and for her groundbreaking role inspiring generations the world over.” Miss Piggy is a puppet, unlike past recipients of the award who have been humans. She is a stuffed toy hog bereft of brain and heart. In her forty-plus years of existence as a puppet, Piggy has been primarily played and voiced by men. In other words, Piggy is literally a puppet who depends on men for her life and voice. Which does not sound very empowering or independent. There are thousands of real American women who deserve recognition for their courage, philanthropy or innovation. Instead, caricatures like Miss Piggy and Julia (Obama’s cartoon woman who magically gave birth to and raised a son without any form of father) are held up as role models by our political leaders. It’s a bit ironic that the same women who idolize Michelle Obama’s muscular arms are honoring Miss Piggy—a gal who revels in unhealthy eating and fitness habits. Piggy is famous for her “Snackercise” plan—which prescribes working out by raiding the refrigerator. Isn’t it interesting that Clinton’s beloved museum is honoring a female puppet with a quick temper and thin skin? When four Americans died in Benghazi and some members of Congress questioned Clinton’s competence as Secretary of State, she famously screeched, “What difference does it make? Likewise, Piggy is famous for screaming “Hi yah!” while throwing a violent karate chop. I thought feminism was about motivating women to make their own way—without relying on men. Apparently, I thought wrong. “Who should ask whom out? As long as he’s paying, who cares?” is an example of Piggy’s classic parasitic lines. Rather than empowering women to speak their minds and be proud of who they are, Piggy encourages deceit. For example: “Love … trust … honesty. If you love each other, then he’ll trust you, even when you can’t be totally honest with him” and “If you place an ad in the “Personals,” Moi has only one word of advice: lie.” Overall, Piggy’s puppet character is very superficial (“There is only one gift you should accept on your first date: DIAMONDS”) and entitled (“If at first you don’t succeed, complain loudly until they give it to you”)—rather than sincere, competent and confident. I’m calling out Hillary Clinton here and now. If you truly want to help women advance, then show them what it means to support themselves on their own without deceit; without becoming a puppet for a man (i.e. standing by Slick Willie and using him to advance your own political career); and without making everything about you. Otherwise, Miss Hillie, you don’t care about women. You only care about buying their votes. Like Miss Piggy, you put “moi” first. You fight dirty—throwing metaphorical karate chops in the air when things don’t go your way. Well, now you are exposed. Hi yah! To bring Katie Kieffer to speak at your next event or to book her for media interviews, please contact us here.

Apr
06

Finding Nemo at SeaWorld

By Katie Kieffer
Katie Kieffer at Discovery Cove Orlando. Photography by Ivan To for Discovery Cove.

Katie Kieffer at Discovery Cove Orlando. Photography by Ivan To for Discovery Cove.

In Finding Nemo, a whale helps a clownfish find his son; at SeaWorld, killer whales helped me dismantle PETA’s lies. Last week, I had the opportunity to tour SeaWorld Orlando behind-the-scenes. I observed how the theme park’s animals are trained and treated. I also learned that SeaWorld has rescued over 25,000 animals. On my first day, I had the pleasure of meeting four-month-old “Tenacious,” a petite Gentoo penguin, who let me pet her silky head. I also met “Jasper,” a four-year-old female penguin who is so friendly that she has a following of super-fans who regularly seek her out at SeaWorld. I can see why. Without prompting, she waddled over to me, tilted her head up and squawked. “She’s greeting you!” her trainer exclaimed. PETA has authored 110 press releases to depict SeaWorld as a place where whales go to die. A Beluga whale named Nanuq did recently die at SeaWorld. He was 32 years old, which is roughly the life expectancy of Belugas in the wild. With the exception of whales that it has rescued, SeaWorld has not removed a whale from the ocean in 35 years. I met 38-year-old “Katina,” a healthy killer whale who is one of the few who were removed from Icelandic waters many years ago. Killer whales were hunted and harvested in Icelandic waters at the time she was removed and that practice has continued to some degree today. Contrary to what PETA may say, removing Katina from the wild arguably lengthened her lifespan. All of her calves have been born at SeaWorld through natural insemination. Six dolphins leaping in tandem was my favorite part of SeaWorld’s dolphin show. I captured the moment on my camera along with a toddler in the front row—reaching his tiny arm toward the dolphins as if to say: “I want to jump too!” Zoos serve educational and therapeutic purposes for humans, and SeaWorld assumes these roles in a free market manner.
Dolphin jumping at Discovery Cove Orlando.

Katie Kieffer at Discovery Cove Orlando.

After the show, I went back stage and met Kelly Flaherty-Clark, SeaWorld’s Curator of Animal Training and SeaWorld veterinarian Dr. Chris Dold. I observed as four pilot whales—once stranded on a Florida beach and dying from severe dehydration and illness—now twisted and bobbed in their pool, squealing as they played with each other and their water toys. Flaherty-Clark has spent 28 years with SeaWorld. Her face glows with authentic passion when she tells the story of rescuing the pilot whales when they were washed ashore in two separate strandings in 2011 and 2012. The U.S. government requested SeaWorld Orlando to keep and care for the whales because they were deemed unfit for survival in the ocean. The scientific community knows very little about pilot whales. SeaWorld is one of the only organizations in the world to care for pilot whales in a zoological setting. Along with their non-profit research partner, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, SeaWorld will utilize their research to help better understand future mass strandings of pilot whales. Americans should applaud SeaWorld—a for-profit organization—for raising funds for animal rescue and research independently. Last year, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) created a “Top 5” list of wasteful scientists and he included an $856,000 taxpayer-funded study to train mountain lions to walk on treadmills. Silly as this study may sound, its goal was to develop collars for tracking wild carnivores and deter them from humans. Every ticket purchased at SeaWorld raises money for work that would go undone or be picked up—and in a less efficient manner—by the government. Activists insist that zoo animals would enjoy better lives in the wild. Which makes you wonder how much time PETA’s disciples actually spend in the ocean. You know, that idyllic body of water where plastic refuse strangles turtles; boat motors grind manatees up like hamburger meat; a plethora of pathogens attack killer whales; and mother dolphins are forced to abandon disabled calves. You also wonder if PETA’s followers have a penchant for napping through major world events such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Because, post-tsunami, humans trained elephants to help clean up the massive wreckage in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Wild animals are willing partners in improving the world, but they need us to help train and enrich them instead of ignoring them. At SeaWorld, many of the “tricks” that whales and dolphins perform are extensions of actions they perform in the wild—like jumping and spy hopping. Several of the learned techniques, including providing voluntary blood and urine samples, allow trainers to provide the whales and dolphins with a higher level of healthcare than they would find in the wild. Blood samples also allow Dr. Dold’s team to gain incredible insights, such as whether a female whale is sick—or simply pregnant. On my last day, I visited SeaWorld’s resort, Discovery Cove. I swam with a dolphin named Hutch, a strong and gregarious animal who willingly whisked me through the water as if I were as light as cotton candy. Before I left, Hutch’s trainer popped over to ask me if I had enjoyed the day. I had. I asked her how she had become a trainer. It’s “competitive,” she said. “I drove four hours every Saturday to volunteer at Georgia Aquarium [the world’s largest aquarium]. I think that helped SeaWorld see how passionate I was about the animals.”
Katie Kieffer swims with dolphin at Discovery Cove Orlando. Photography by Ivan To for Discovery Cove.

Katie Kieffer swims with dolphin at Discovery Cove Orlando. Photography by Ivan To for Discovery Cove.

Like all of SeaWorld’s trainers, she then underwent a rigorous and structured apprenticeship. You see, before they ever touch the animals, rookies spend several years learning and proving their passion: scrubbing tanks, working the 4:30 a.m. fish bucket shift; and mastering animal signals. When I asked the trainer if she had a response for people who were concerned that the animals’ habitats are too small at SeaWorld she said, “The government has standards for caring for animals and ours are way higher. Everything our dolphins do is voluntary. If the dolphins didn’t enjoy this, I know they wouldn’t willfully come out here [to perform tricks and let people swim with them]. They get as much enrichment out of it as we do. Sometimes, a dolphin will decide [mid-show] that he wants to swim off, and that’s fine. I’ll let him go and call on another dolphin. We only use positive reinforcement. It’s all about the animals.” She smiled as she looked out over the glistening blue waters where the dolphins dipped and dived: “They have a pretty good life here.” When PETA gets you down, “just keep swimming,” as they say in Finding Nemo. Eventually, you’ll end up at SeaWorld: petting penguins; swimming with dolphins; and supporting one of the world’s most successful animal rescue and rehabilitation teams.

Feb
02

Common Sense Dictates Millennials’ Driving Habits

By Katie Kieffer
Car driving in Chicago along East Wacker Drive.

Image credit: “Another View of East Wacker Drive” by Jonathan on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Common sense is making a comeback among Millennials, who would rather cruise the open road in a gas-propelled hot rod than text, hug a tree, or drive a Tesla. Democrats and Republicans alike make the mistake of believing that Millennial drivers eschew common sense. For example, Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) thinks he will increase his popularity by pushing a massive gas tax that would add at least 16 cents to the price of every gallon. Meanwhile, in his own pathetic attempt to become one of the cool kids, Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-MN) was recently photographed standing beside his shiny new Tesla electric sports car. Like every good elite who tries to maintain his “public servant” image while driving a flashy sports sedan, Garofalo told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Tesla’s line of electric vehicles are beneficial to both humans and the environment. (Garofalo failed to note Tesla’s heavy reliance on government subsidies or Tesla’s rocky track record in proving the technological, environmental or economic superiority of its vehicles.) Many Republican strategists incorrectly believe that Millennials like myself are bleeding heart environmentalists. As we head into the 2016 elections, it’s important to understand that Millennials are actually common sense conservationists. My generation of 95 million Americans has the power to determine future elections—and it is in the interest of independents and conservatives to understand what we really think. MTV recently conducted a study finding that Millennials are more passionate about driving than texting—and that, given a choice, 72% of Millennials would rather abstain from texting for a week than forgo the freedom to drive for seven days. According to the MTV study, 75% of Millennials enjoy the freedom of cruising the open road and most of them are skeptics of so-called “green,” electric and fuel-efficient cars. Millennials told MTV pollsters that they do not believe fuel-efficient or electric technology is a practical long-term solution for American drivers. Millennials may be young, but we aren’t dumb. We know that many of the fuel-efficient car companies (i.e. Fisker and A123) have succumbed to bankruptcy and technology glitches—even after ample help from taxpayers. We know that Tesla turned out to be an example of how President Obama took money out of the economy to gamble on helping the already-rich get richer, particularly men who backed his 2008 presidential bid, like Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Lastly, we know that a group of respected scientists recently published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that ethanol- and electric-powered cars can be dirtier than those propelled by gasoline. Even green energy that is unrelated to motor vehicles has been shown to be harmful to the environment. For example, windmills are responsible for killing over 573,000 birds annually. It’s no wonder that Millennials hesitate to entrust their own bodies to the same technology that kills their feathered friends. At the Detroit auto show last month, muscle cars made a big comeback with new hot rods and high-performance sports cars like the Acura NSX, the Ford GT and Fiat Chrysler’s 700-horsepower “Hellcat.” Much like their Baby Boomer parents, Millennials will be a generation that falls in love with the All-American muscle car. Millennials are also becoming oil entrepreneurs, as I’ve written about in the past. Given that 14.4% of Millennials are unemployed—and 70% aspire to become entrepreneurs, Millennials tend to be economically vigilant individuals who place a high value on personal freedom. This is a generation that seeks to care for themselves and the planet via meaningful careers—without giving up the joy that comes from driving safe, fast and efficient gas-propelled cars. To further illustrate my point, I’ll employ the help of Kim Kardashian—whom you may know as the attractive Millennial woman who is famous for being famous. Kardashian is often spotted pumping her own gas—and it isn’t merely a publicity stunt to showcase her derrière. Like most Millennials, Kardashian loves the freedom of cruising the open road. Despite the fact that many of her fans are Millennials, you have yet to see a trend where Kardashian repeatedly poses for the Paparazzi while riding public transportation, Instagrams herself while standing in a field of windmills, or Tweets herself while filling the tank of a tiny electric coupe. You may have seen an episode of the reality TV shows Kourtney and Kim Take Miami and Kourtney and Kim Take New York. But you will never see Kourtney and Kim Take The Bus—because that’s not a commercially viable concept. Millennials don’t want to “go green” if it means “going naive.” In other words, they aren’t going to fall for so-called energy efficient technology if they know it is harmful to the economy (requires massive taxpayer subsidies); is technologically unproven; and is detrimental to the environment. For Millennials, common sense is ruling the road.

Jan
19

Why Orthodox Jewish Women are Happy

By Katie Kieffer
Orthodox Jewish Community

Image credit: “Mea Shearim” by Javier on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Orthodox Jewish women and conservative Muslim women both follow modesty rules, but Orthodox Jewish women are devout without abandoning their individuality and civil liberties. 26-year-old Hayat Boumedienneis the suspected accomplice in last week’s 3-day terror attack in Paris, France. Her common law husband, Amedy Coulibaly, murdered four Jews and a policewoman in a kosher Paris market. Boumedienne is now the poster girl for young, insecure Western women who abandon Western mores for radical Islam. Boumedienne’s close friend described her to France24 News as an emotional basket case “who often cries and has little confidence in herself.” After discarding her string bikini for a niquab and a crossbow, she became violent instead of loving and merciful. In other words, her radical religious zeal seemed to make her more dark and vengeful than serene and peaceful. Orthodox Jewish women in France now feel unsafe practicing their faith in public. Jewish women are emigrating from France to Israel in historically high numbers even as scores of young French women are being recruited by ISIS. It is crucial for you and me to ask whether political correctness is misleading women. Orthodox Jewish women who meticulously follow the Torah abide by “tznius” or modesty laws that direct them to wear stockings, skirts or dresses that fall below the knees as well as blouses that cover their elbows and collarbone. But the Orthodox Jewish woman’s face is always unmasked: her mouth is unrestricted, showing that her religious community values her voice and opinion; she is a unique individual; she is equal to men. A woman who is free to speak her mind would not feel compelled to cover her mouth with a black cloth. Orthodox Judaism recognizes that allwomen have a natural right to free speech, and therefore does not ask women to hide their mouths. Orthodox Jewish women who cover their hair with a wig after marriage are saving some parts of their beauty for their marriage—while retaining their freedom and distinct personalities. Even after marriage, Orthodox Jewish women retain their individuality and their femininity: waistlines, the shape of the lower legs, the slenderness of the ankle and other curves remain visible. Extremely religious men who respect women as their equals do not say: “I’m not killing you because you are a woman and we don’t kill women but you have to convert to Islam, read the Qu’ran and wear a veil,” as a shooter told Charlie Hebdo reporter Sigolène Vinson. Hundreds of teenage girls are fleeing their families in the United States and France to become the wives of jihadist fighters in Syria. Emotionally insecure and underage women are being tantalized with poetic promises of love, acceptance and a chance to fight alongside men. They are being whisked from their homes only to find that they have been duped into accepting a one-way ticket to a life of cooking, cleaning and sewing for violent extremists. These young women do not realize that they are choosing a life of servitude under the guise of piety. No one has the courage to tell these women that extremely strict Muslims do not have a track record of respecting and uplifting females. Instead, politically correct politicians like French President Francois Hollande mislead women into thinking that radical Islam is just as liberating as Orthodox Judaism. TIME Magazine’s Paris reporter Vivienne Walt told NPR: “these are not women who have grown up in heavily religious families,” they are “girls who have been radicalized at a fairly young age and rapidly” and they are “married off to fighters” for whom they are expected to keep house. Walt paints a portrait of their lifestyle as more restrictive than liberating: “these very much sound like women from the 1950s.” Certainly there are many Muslims of integrity such as Lassana Bathily, a store employee at the kosher supermarket in Paris who courageously helped police gain control over the violence on January 9. When Bathily escaped from the supermarket to give the police a key to the store, the officers initially assumed he was Coulibaly. The police pushed Bathily to the ground and handcuffed him before realizing he was there to help. But we also don’t hear repeated stories of Jewish, Christian or atheist men attacking their wives with acid; stoning alleged adulteresses without due process; or refusing to let women drive. As individuals, we must reject political correctness in our elected representatives and ourselves. Instead of trying to please everyone, let us strive to live our lives as we see fit while allowing our neighbors to do the same. This means being tolerant of others’ words, actions and faith—as long as they do not use their faith to justify violence, coercion or sexism. Religious freedom, not radical relativism, is the key to happiness.

Dec
15

Selling Sex (Allegations)

By Katie Kieffer
Lena Dunham

Image credit: “Fortune Most Powerful Women 2012″ by Fortune Live Media on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Lena Dunham and the federal government ain’t volunteering to advocate for rape victims; they would like compensation—in millions, please. Faceless and nameless men and women volunteer every day, all across the country, to counsel, shelter and heal sexual assault victims. Hollywood darling Lena Dunham is advocating for women too. But Dunham is neither offering women practical tools to deter rape nor taking a six-month sabbatical to volunteer at a woman’s shelter. She is offering a book, that women may purchase, containing her tale of rape. So, after contributing to Dunham’s coffer, a rape victim may read Dunham’s story in commiseration while crouching in the fetal position. Dunham’s latest memoir rushed to the top of bestseller lists, largely on the coattails of its most controversial section: the story of her rape by a Republican named Barry. There is nothing wrong with sharing factual stories with the goal of empowering women. But if you slander men in the process of drawing attention to females victimized by sexual assault, then you are aggravating the problem by fanning flames of animosity between men and women. “I don’t believe I am to blame,” Dunham said after all the facts indicated that the individual who she describes in her book as “Barry” is not a rapist in real life. More on that momentarily. The federal government is granting over half a million dollars to groups like the Magee Women’s Research Institute to study why “Obese girls consistently report having fewer dating and sexual experiences, but more sexual risk behaviors once they are sexually active.” Svelte girls go on more dates and have higher levels of sexual activity than obese girls because women who appear healthy are naturally more sexually attractive than women who appear unhealthy. Obama administration consultants like Jonathan Gruber think women are too stupid to decide for themselves whether to increase their dating pool by losing weight. Gruber’s groupies also know there’s a pile of taxpayer money to be stolen (er, I mean, raised) by pretending to care about women’s sexual health. Then there’s CA Gov. Jerry Brown, who keeps himself employed by birthing new legislation like “Yes Means Yes,” which makes it easier for women to accuse men of rape—while denying women the most modern and effective tool to deter rape, a firearm. Back to Dunham. In her memoir, she narrates her own date rape by using the rapist’s real first name as well as several other identifiers. Or at least she leads her readers to believe that the rapist’s real name is “Barry” because she does not inform them that she’s using a pseudonym like she specifically does when describing an ex-boyfriend. Dunham says she was aware of her attacker’s aggressive sexual tendencies and had already experienced a very invasive advance from him that, ironically, part of her “didn’t want to [stop]” before she asked him to spend the night at her apartment. When the ensuing sexual intercourse was “terribly aggressive” and he removed his condom, she felt duped. Dunham irresponsibly describes her attacker as a prominent Republican named Barry—despite the fact that school records indicate there was only one man named Barry attending her small liberal arts college in Ohio, and he happened to also be an active Republican. Dunham received so much pressure to correct the record that her publisher recently agreed to help cover real-life Barry’s legal bills and alter future editions of Dunham’s memoir to note that “Barry” is actually a pseudonym. If you care about protecting women from rape on campus, then you should support a woman’s right to carry concealed firearms on campus. Slandering men through careless reporting; writing empty legislation that makes it easier for women to slander men; and funding silly sex studies will not end the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses. The million-dollar question is whether Dunham’s book would have done so well without a titillating story of rape tied to a verifiable individual who also happened to be a Republican. Sex sells in Hollywood. But allegations sell more—true or not.

Discover the clarity you need this Christmas…

"Let Me Be Clear"

“Let Me Be Clear” is available through Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.

Meet Katie, and pick up your own (signed) copy of Let Me Be Clear:

Saturday, December 20, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. American Legion Post 65 in Rosemount, MN Sunday, December 21, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Cheer on the Vikings!) American Legion Post 1776 in Apple Valley, MN Monday, December 22, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. O’Gara’s Irish Pub in St. Paul, MN (O’Gara’s was one of the late & prolific Vince Flynn’s favorite pubs.) ogarasbarandgrill Best Irish Pubs In Minnesota Tuesday, December 23, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. American Legion Post 47, Hastings, MN *Books will be available for purchase at the signings if you do not already have a copy.
Author Katie Kieffer signs copies of "Let Me Be Clear" in Dallas, TX.

Katie Kieffer signing books in Dallas, TX. Image copyright Katie Kieffer. All rights reserved.

Oct
27

5 Political Halloween Costumes

By Katie Kieffer
Halloween Pumpkin Mt. Rushmore

Image credit: “Mt Rushmore” by PumpkinWayne on Flickr via Creative Rushmore.

Halloween is four days before the midterms. Get out the vote with a costume that expresses your inner politico. Here are five fun political costume ideas that will spark a debate at your Halloween party—and remind your friends to vote for freedom.

1.) Naughty Czar

The CDC’s lack of transparency and competency in managing Ebola makes the classic “naughty nurse” costume off-limits. It seems thoughtless to dramatize the health care professions while an American nurse and doctor exert every effort to heal from Ebola. It is far more tactful—and provocative—to be a naughty czar. Czars are unconstitutional. Alexander Hamilton explains in “The Federalist No. 78” that the legislative branch controls the purse strings and makes laws, the executive branch enforces the laws and the judiciary branch “may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment.” So, the executive (president) is supposed to enforce the laws—not bypass Congress and work exclusively with an army of minions called “czars” who carry out his or her whims. For this costume, you’ll need a crown, scepter and a royal-looking jacket embellished with fur, tassels and medals. Add a name tag that says “Hi, I’m the Naughty Ebola Czar” and you’re all set! If you’re going as a couple, have your better half dress up as the notorious Susan Rice—Klain’s “naughty boss.”

2.) No Toilets Allowed” Billboard

Second Amendment supporters: use your First Amendment right to free expression to defend your right to self-defense with this costume. It’s also the easiest of the five costumes. If you’re short on time, cash, or both—this is your go-to political costume. Write with a fabric pen on both sides of a plain T-shirt (or a cardboard sandwich board sign). The front should read: No Toilets Allowed. The back should read: 40,000 people/year are injured by toilets. Time to reevaluate toilet policy? #GunControl #PuerileLogic

3.) CinderHilla

To make this costume, wear a Hillary mask and Cinderella’s brown maid dress and white apron. Hold a broomstick and tape a sign to the stick that reads: Dead Broke. Cinderella started out as a pauper, but she worked hard—with a cheerful spirit—and eventually was rewarded for her hard work. Hillary Clinton did not begin her career like Cinderella—sweeping soot with a broken broom while wearing a smile on her face. Yet, to hear Clinton’s recent interview with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, you would almost think that she thinks she’s Cinderella. “…we came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education, you know, it was not easy. Bill has worked really hard and it’s been amazing to me.” –Hillary Clinton to Diane Sawyer In the winter of 2001, as Hillary trudged out of the mansion that the taxpayers had lent her for eight years (i.e. the White House)—she clutched in her hand an $8 million advance to write a memoir for Simon & Schuster. Meanwhile, Bill managed to haul in $9.2 million in speaking fees that year. Clinton feigns to be a former pauper. Yet, she has lived a life of opulence while she and her husband’s actions and policies caused our country to go broke.

4.) Alfalfa (Law-)Suit

In case you missed the case of Starks v. Jimmy John’s LLC et. al., a woman is suing the sandwich maker for (no, I’m not making this up!) forgetting to add alfalfa sprouts to her sandwich on more than one occasion. For throwing a tantrum better than a two-year-old, the plaintiff will be awarded $5,000 and her attorneys will receive $370,000. Meanwhile other customers who feel similarly victimized may complete a form and receive a voucher for a complimentary side of chips, a cookie, a pickle or a soft drink. Protest the inanity of America’s hyper-legalized culture and wear a suit covered with alfalfa sprouts. Hold a sign that says something like: “I stand against stupid lawsuits. Don’t be a victim by suing business owners like Jimmy Johns for forgetting to add sprouts to your sandwich.”

5.) BO Cool

Forget Joe Cool. 2014’s hottest Halloween costume is BO Cool. Dress up like President Barack Obama, which is easily done by purchasing a presidential mask at a party store and accessorizing with dress pants, a blue tie and a white button-down shirt (be sure to roll up your sleeves!). Last week, former Daily Beast publisher Tina Brown told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that she feels Obama is leaving female voters “feeling unsafe” because: “they’re beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who’s too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn’t put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he’s blaming everybody.” [emphasis added] For extra creative points, carry a small stuffed dog wearing a collar that says “BO.” Because cool men accessorize with eponymous balls of barking fluff. Have a fun and safe Halloween, everyone! Minnesotans: Meet Katie on November 1 as she signs copies of her new book, “Let Me Be Clear,” at Dunn Bros Coffee, 919 Vermillion St., Hastings, MN from 1 – 3 p.m.