Colbert Sticks To Shtick When Defending Migrant Workers

Colbert sticks to shtick when defending migrant workersIt's not every day that a comedian testifies in front of Congress to discuss one of America's hot-button topics. That was the case on Sept. 24, when Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert spoke on Capitol Hill about the influx of migrant workers.

Colbert remained in character for much of his testimony, sticking to his ultra-conservative — yet sarcastic — persona. Speaking to the House Judiciary subcommittee, he mocked the reaction many Americans have had to immigrant laborers.

"America's farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables," Colbert said. "Now, the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And if you look at the recent obesity statistics, many Americans have already started."

During recent episodes of The Colbert Report, video footage showed the comedian struggling to perform some basic farming duties and, at times, laying down on the job. During his testimony on Capitol Hill, he praised the people who currently do the job and added: "please don't make me do this again. It is really, really hard."

Republican members on the subcommittee expressed their displeasure with Colbert's appearance, unhappy with his portrayal of U.S. workers. Even some Democrats expressed a similar sentiment.

"I think his testimony was not appropriate," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told FOX News.

CNN reported that Colbert appeared alongside Arturo Rodriguez, president of United Farm Workers, who is pushing for a bill that would give undocumented farm workers the right to earn legal citizenship in the United States.

According to KPBS.org, a recent study by the Migration Policy Institute reveals that the fastest growth in immigrant employment since 2000 covers jobs that require specific skills. An increasing number of immigrant families are making $30,000 or more, the news provider reported. 

Antioxidants In Turmeric May Benefit Joint Health

Antioxidants in turmeric may benefit joint health With the many tasty temptations in today's society, choosing foods can be a difficult task. Many of the foods that are favorites among consumers also happen to be the least healthy.

However, choosing healthful foods doesn't have to mean sacrificing flavor. A new study from European researchers found that turmeric, a spice commonly used in Asian and Middle Eastern dishes, may provide significant support for joint health.

Researchers said that the spice has been shown to possess antioxidants that may be able to reduce inflammation. The nutrients may have the greatest effect on individuals who are struggling to control the symptoms of specific joint conditions.

Officials from the American Botanical Council, who sponsored the investigation, said that the findings add to a long tradition of using turmeric in folk medicine.

"Turmeric has long been known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and this trial, on this special turmeric extract, is another important step towards validating the curcumin in turmeric as an increasingly popular herbal dietary supplement," said Mark Blumenthal, the founder and executive director of the group.
 

It’s A Duesy!

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anyone say “It’s a doozy!” when they were describing something truly remarkable. And no wonder. The car that inspired the phrase has not been made for seven decades.

It was on Sept. 30, 1937, that the very last Duesenberg rolled off the assembly line. At the time, the “Duesy” was regarded as the epitome of flamboyance and extravagance. The most luxurious car in the world, each one was handcrafted and custom-made. However, this symbol of opulence suffered during the hard times of the Great Depression. Ten years after the car made its first appearance, the company that built them shut its doors forever.

In this new era of ostentation, with several luxury automobiles selling for $250,000 and more, I’m surprised no one is making a modern version of the Duesenberg. If there’s a car enthusiast reading this with more money than sense, you’re welcome to the idea. For my "thank you," could I borrow one for a week?

— Chip Wood

Gay Republicans Condemn Planned Government Objection To ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Ruling

Gay Republicans condemn planned government objection to 'don't ask, don't tell' rulingThe Department of Justice is planning to file an objection to the United States District Court's decision to ban the enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy, a decision that has already drawn criticism. However, this time some of the condemnation has not come from the liberal left. 

In fact, Log Cabin Republicans (LGR), a national gay and lesbian grassroots organization, has expressed its disappointment with the government's plans to defend the 1994 act, which they consider to be unconstitutional.

"What is most troubling is that the government's request for a stay ignores the harm that [DADT] causes to current and potential members of our Armed Forces," said Dan Woods, an attorney representing LCR.

He added that "that is the saddest, most disappointing, and, in light of the president's position, most hypocritical part of the objections," in reference to President Barack Obama's well-known opposition to the ban.

Earlier this month, a Federal judge in Riverside, Calif., ruled in favor of halting implementation of DADT in a suit brought by LGR In October 2004, which went to trial in July 2010. 

Genetically Modified And Unlabeled Salmon

The Food and Drug Administration is set to approve the sale of genetically modified salmon to consumers and has said it has no plans to require the fish be specially labeled as genetically modified.

This is the same FDA that doesn’t allow growers and sellers of natural products to tout the health benefits of some of nature’s best foods — like fruits and nuts — because doing so would make them a “drug” not approved by the FDA.

The makers of genetically modified salmon claim that special labeling would only confuse the consumer, writes Mike Adams of Naturalnews.com.

“Extra labeling only confuses the consumer,” David Edwards, the director of animal biotechnology at the Biotechnology Industry Organization told Adams. “It differentiates products that aren’t different.”

But genetically modified salmon is different from natural salmon. The salmon has been genetically modified — hence the name — and has been shot full of growth hormones and other drugs to make it grow bigger and faster. It is so different, in fact, that the process has been patented, as Adams points out.

There is a growing body of evidence that the mass-produced foods we consume — made from animals that are pumped full of antibiotics, hormones and other foreign substances — is behind the increase in obesity, earlier onset of puberty, cancer, diabetes and other health problems Americans suffer from today.

If a company wants to produce genetically modified food, and if people want to eat it, that’s fine. But we need truth in labeling so we can make it our own decision.

Unfortunately, it seems that once again we have government bureaucrats making choices for us. And they are choices not based on what’s best for the consumer but what is best for corporate America. This is not a trait of a free society.

Day At The Improv

Stephen Colbert is a funny guy. Granted, his program is a comedic shiv in the conservative movement’s kidneys, but a good joke is still a good joke.

Colbert is a rare breed amongst lefties, a comedian who is actually funny. Compared to lowbrow liberal court jesters like Mike Malloy, Colbert is funnier than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promising to whip the Marine Corps in a game of “catch the cruise missile.”

However, Colbert should stick to Comedy Central. What we saw him do last week while “testifying” in front of Congress wasn’t funny, it was… weirdly captivating, like watching a car wreck, or Bill Clinton sitting down for an interview with Pat Robertson on The 700 Club.

There’s a time and a place for comedy; and testifying in front of the U.S. House of Representatives is neither. The goings-on in the people’s house are already funny enough. But don’t pin the blame for Colbert’s standup set entirely on Colbert. He was invited to do his schtick by subcommittee chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Outer Space). I would suggest Colbert should have known better. It’s not as if I’m expecting Lofgren to know, well, much.

Lofgren extended the invitation to Colbert to testify on the issue of immigrant workers. Why the eight-term incumbent from California’s 16th would settle on a stand-up/sit down comedian to render expert testimony on such a monumentally important issue might cause some to scratch their heads, but I suspect:

  1. Lofgren is a 62-year-old lawyer and former congressional aide of Swedish descent. She’s about as hip as parachute pants, but represents a demographically diverse Silicon Valley-area district. Inviting Colbert to make the kiddies laugh was an attempt to jack up her “skreet kred.”
  2. Lofgren, like most liberals who’ve been in Washington since before even parachute pants were cool, is so completely disassociated from the 300 million taxpayers who are legally in this country that she thought Colbert was an actual expert on migrant workers.
  3. Lofgren was trying to distract the public from not only the seriousness of the immigration issue at a time when the Democrat ruling elite is being seen by more and more Americans as more disconnected from normalcy than Lindsay Lohan on the back end of a five-day bender; but also from the disastrous events of earlier in the week when a Democrat legislative ploy fell flatter than a Bill Maher punch line.

The third answer is the one which should raise your eyebrows. The Lofgren/Colbert comedy hour took place on Friday. Three days prior, Senate Democrats had tried to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants by attempting to bootleg the DREAM ACT across the legislative border under the blanket of the National Defense Reauthorization Act. The GOP spotted the subterfuge and filibustered, forcing the Democrats to turn to their trusty mainstream media for response, breathlessly pointing out that a repeal of the Clinton-era Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was also pinned to the tail of the NDRA donkey.

Despite headlines decrying alleged GOP-sponsored discrimination, the story went toes-up fairly quickly, its demise hastened by Colbert’s dog-and-pony show Friday morning. But hidden behind Friday’s fracas was the real story: The Democrats tried to pull a fast one, failed; turned out the mainstream media to cover them, failed; and then brought in a comedian to divert attention from their profligate elitism, and failed. By late Friday, even Democrats were claiming Lofgren’s stunt was an outrageous ploy by a rogue representative.

What they weren’t doing was acknowledging that they’d tried to pull a fast one and then bumbled helplessly until Colbert mercifully, albeit (hopefully) unwittingly, rescued them with his antics.

The influx of illegal immigrants is a serious issue, one which deserves serious response. The Democrats have attacked (the Department of Justice v Arizona), defamed (throwing the race card at anyone who stands against amnesty), and dishonored the nation (including AZ1070 in a human rights report to the United Nations). Now, with the Lofgren/Colbert report, they’re simply mocking not only the contentious issue of immigration reform, but also the overwhelming majority of Americans who contend the issue bears consideration.

As for the Democrat attempts as distraction, I maintain that distracting Congress from legislating is like distracting a dog from chewing on the furniture — or chewing on your kids.

But the Colbert disaster was a good look at the general tenor of the Democrat Party, 2010: Confronted by major economic, foreign policy and immigration predicaments of their own creation, they’re doing improv shows during business hours.

DNC Leader Blasts Republican Pledge

DNC leader blasts Republican pledgeIn the wake of the Republicans' recently announced "Pledge to America," liberals have responded with sharp criticism of their rivals' agenda.

According to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, the 21-page document crafted by GOP House leaders will send the United States back to the same Bush-era policies that led to "a second Great Depression."

Kaine urged voters to consider the repercussions of a Republican-controlled Congress that plans to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

"Do we continue to have Democrats making it the job of the government to fight for working families or do we permit Republicans to use government to benefit special interests at the expense of the American people?" Kaine said.

The "Pledge to America" has garnered disapproval from some conservative pundits, as well. Erick Erickson of RedState.com said the pledge is "an illusion" that focuses on issues the GOP should already be tackling, and it doesn't include plans for dealing with the long-term role of the Federal government.

For Republicans to gain a majority in the House of Representatives, they need a net gain of 39 seats in November's midterm elections.

The Surprising Drink that Freshens Your Breath to a “Tea”

If you’re a fan of sprays, mints and mouthwashes to freshen your breath — you might be surprised to know that green tea works even better.

Bad breath is caused when bacteria in your mouth break down proteins to form sulfur compounds. Breath fresheners are used to either eliminate the odor of these compounds or stop them from forming.

Japanese researchers found that toothpaste simply removed the odor.  And gum, mints and parsley oil didn’t hold a candle to green tea powder. It successfully cut odor and stopped production of sulfur compounds. They chalk it up to a chemical in the tea with antioxidant properties.

So why not try a cup of green tea with each meal — and eliminate worries about bad breath.

Scared to Take Chinese Herbs? Here Are the Basics!

Herbology is the study of the properties of herbs, their collection, preparation, effects, dosage, administration, combination and contraindication. Chinese herbs are a main feature of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The study, use, gathering, preparation and administration of herbs for the treatment of illness and disease is thousands of years old.

Traditional Chinese medicine is concerned with the theories of Yin and Yang, Five Elements, Meridians and Pathogenic Factors causing disease. Specific methods are used to treat disease, such as acupuncture, massage, energy work, muscle scraping and herbal medicine. In China, herbs are clinically used to treat diseases according to the basic theories of TCM.
 
Homeostasis and Chinese Herbs
The goal of TCM is to return the body to homeostasis: That is, its optimal balanced functioning state. When the body is at homeostasis there is no room for disease. It is only when the body is out of balance (something is deficient, excessive or stagnating) that pain, illness or disease can occur.

It is for this reason that the Western application of synthetic drugs and natural herbal supplements can never hope to cure disease. Their application is based not on returning the body to homeostasis (removing the problem and balancing the body) but rather on dealing with the symptom (e.g., pain, vitamin deficiency).

The application of Chinese herbal therapy is able to balance the underlying cause(s) of pain, illness and disease, but only after a proper pattern identification has been diagnosed by a competent TCM practitioner. Patterns of disharmony (imbalance) include such things as Spleen Qi Deficiency, Heart Blood Stagnation, Liver Qi Stagnation, Excess Phlegm Damp in the Channels, Interior Heat Syndrome and so on.

These patterns describe syndromes occurring in the body, not merely the symptoms associated with disease. They refer to underlying imbalances in the body causing the body to manifest symptoms you may be experiencing. And many seemingly unrelated symptoms can be caused by the same underlying pattern of disharmony.

Let’s take “Interior Heat Syndrome” as our example. Symptoms associated with this syndrome include diarrhea, eventual constipation, abdominal distension, eczema, acne, bloodshot eyes, urinary tract infection, genital herpes, cold sores, insomnia and eventual blood stasis, among other things. By recognizing that this list of things is in whole or in part caused by too much heat in the interior of the body (as opposed to a fever, which is heat that has moved to the exterior of the body), they can then be treated at the same time.

Once the Interior Heat is resolved, that is, once the body’s internal temperature is balanced, the symptoms associated with the problem will go away. This happens because the body has been returned to homeostasis and no longer supports an environment conducive to prolonging the symptoms.

How to Take Chinese Herbs
There are many ways to take Chinese herbal medicine. Raw herbs can be prescribed, decocted and drank. This method generally offers the strongest effects, as the herbs are fresh and their grams and combination can be precisely decided by an herbalist to match your syndrome. Moreover, the liquid is easily absorbed into the body. However, the preparation generally has a bad smell and the taste is often not liked by Westerners.

Herbal powders are also available in single form or in common formulas. These are like instant coffee in that a measured spoonful will dissolve in a mug of hot water to be drank in one sitting. Again, this is effective and fast, but leaves much to be desired in the area of taste.

Perhaps the most common way of taking Chinese herbs in the West is what is known as the Patent Herbal Formulas. These are prepackaged herbal formulas that have been found effective for specific syndromes. Examples include taking You Gui Wan for Kidney Yang Deficiency or Tao Hong Si Wu Wan for Blood Stasis or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan for Uplifting of the Central Qi. These are little black pills the size of BBs that are generally taken in quantities of six, eight or 12 pills at a time, three times per day.

There are several ways of determining how long it takes the herbs to work. Since we are talking about changing an underlying condition in the body, as opposed to symptomatic relief, times do vary. In general, six weeks is a minimum amount of time it will take for the herbs to build up in the bloodstream to a level necessary to effect a strong change in the body. Three months time is about average. For some diseases, nine months is not uncommon. For chronic cases, a general rule of thumb is one month of herbs for every year the problem has been in the body.

For best results, Chinese herbal medicine should be used under the direction of a qualified practitioner. Your condition (pattern) should first be identified, and then herbs prescribed accordingly. They are a great and gentle way of balancing the body.

Just keep an open mind and remember, they will be less effective if used in the allopathic way — that is, taking them to remove a symptom as opposed to correcting an imbalance.

— Dr. Mark Wiley

Study Reveals Staggering Cost Of Education For Children Of Immigrants

Study reveals staggering cost of education for children of immigrantsThe importance of a comprehensive immigration reform has been emphasized by a recent report that quantifies the enrollment costs in Nevada's public schools of students with limited English proficiency (LEP).

The study, released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), found that 18 percent of students who attended the state's public schools during the 2008-2009 academic year could be classified as LEP, which represents a 15-fold increase from the 1988-1989 school year.

According to the source, the state spends an average of $9,273 per person per year to educate an LEP student, while the cost is only $7,133 for those fluent in English. This is 30 percent more on the per capita basis and adds up to some $730 million a year.

This is "a case study of the real world consequences of policies that ignore the impact of mass immigration on American society," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.

He added that "overall levels of immigration must be reduced and both Federal and local governments must make serious efforts to discourage illegal immigration."

The Department of Homeland Security reports that there are more than 11 million illegal aliens residing in the United States.