Saturday, March 22, 2008

Autopsy: The Son of Man

Jesus.

The Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God to millions of Christians around the world was most horrendously tortured and killed nearly 2 millenia ago. A few years ago, Mel Gibson brought the agony of event to brutal reality in the film "The Passion". But even that was too mild compared to the historiographic autopsy of the death of Jesus published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1986.

What is described is one of the most barbaric and demonic methods for killing ever devised. Whether Jesus was the Son of God, or God Incarnate, or a mortal itinerant carpenter/preacher from Nazareth, the facts of the brutality of the execution are beyond debate. Whatever the nature of Jesus, that anyone withstood the torture and stress for so long, or even at all, is by itself a testament to one man's faith.


ON THE PHYSICAL DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST
William D. Edwards, MD; Wesley J. Gabel, MDiv; Floyd E Hosmer, MS, AMI

From the Departments of Pathology (Dr. Edwards) and Medical Graphics (Mr. Hoamer), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; and the Homestead United Methodist Church, Rochester, Minn., and the West Bethel United Methodist Church, Bethel, Minn. (Pastor Gabel).

* Jesus of Nazareth underwent Jewish and Roman trials, was flogged, and was sentenced to death by crucifixion. The scourging produced deep stripelike lacerations and appreciable blood loss, and it probably set the stage for hypovolemic shock, as evidenced by the fact that Jesus was too weakened to carry the crossbar (patibulum) to Golgotha. At the site of crucifixion, his wrists were nailed to the patibulum and, after the patibulum was lifted onto the upright post (stipes), his feet were nailed to the stipes. The major pathophysiologic effect of crucifixion was an interference with normal respirations. Accordingly death resulted primarily from hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia. Jesus' death was ensured by the thrust of a soldier's spear into his side. Modern medical interpretation of the historical evidence indicate that Jesus was dead when taken down from the cross.

(JAMA 1986;255:1455-1463)

The life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth have formed the basis for a major world religion (Christianity), have appreciably influenced the course of human history, and, by virtue of a compassionate attitude towards the sick, also have contributed to the development of modern medicine. The eminence of Jesus as a historical figure and the suffering and controversy associated with his death have stimulated us to investigate, in an interdisciplinary manner, the circumstances surrounding his crucifixion. Accordingly, it is our intent to present not a theological treatise but rather a medically and historically accurate account of the physical death of the one called Jesus Christ.

SOURCES

The source material concerning Christ's death comprises a body of literature and not a physical body or its skeletal remains. Accordingly, the credibility of any discussion of Jesus' death will be determined primarily by the credibility of one's sources. For this review, the source material includes the writings of ancient Christian and non-Christian authors, the writings of modern authors, and the Shroud of Turin. Using the legal-historical method of scientific investigation, scholars have established the reliability and accuracy of the ancient manuscripts.

The most extensive and detailed descriptions of the life and death of Jesus are to be found in the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The other 23 books of the New Testament support but do not expand on the details recorded in the gospels. Contemporary Christian, Jewish, and Roman authors provide additional insight concerning the first-century Jewish and Roman legal systems and the details of scourging and crucifixion. Seneca, Livy, Plutarch, and others refer to crucifixion practices in their works. Specifically, Jesus (or his crucifixion) is mentioned by the Roman historians Cornelius Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Suetonius, by non-Roman historians Thallus and Phlegon, by the satirist Lucian of Samosata, by the Jewish Talmud, and by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, although the authenticity of portions of the latter is problematic. The Shroud of Turin is considered by many to represent the actual burial cloth of Jesus, and several publications concerning the medical aspects of his death draw conclusions from this assumption. The Shroud of Turin and recent archaeological findings provide valuable information concerning Roman crucifixion practices. The interpretations of modern writers, based on a knowledge of science and medicine not available in the first century, may offer additional insight concerning the possible mechanisms of Jesus' death. When taken in concert, certain facts -- the extensive and early testimony of both Christian proponents and opponents, and their universal acceptance of Jesus as a true historical figure; the ethic of the gospel writers, and the shortness of the time interval between the events and the extant manuscripts; and the confirmation of the gospel accounts by historians and archaeological findings -- ensure a reliable testimony from which a modern medical interpretation of Jesus' death may be made.

GETHSEMANE

After Jesus and his disciples had observed the Passover meal in an upper room in a home in southwest Jerusalem, they traveled to the Mount of Olives, northeast of the city. (Owing to various adjustments in the calendar, the years of Jesus' birth and death remain controversial. However, it is likely that Jesus was born in either 4 or 6 BC and died in 30 AD. During the Passover observance in 30 AD, the last Supper would have been observed on Thursday, April 6 [Nisan 13], and Jesus would have been crucified on Friday, April 7 [Nisan 14].) At nearby Gethsemane, Jesus, apparently knowing that the time of his death was near, suffered great mental anguish, and, as described by the physician Luke, his sweat became like blood.

Although this is a very rare phenomenon, bloody sweat (hematidrosis or hemohidrosis) may occur in highly emotional states or in persons with bleeding disorders. As a result of hemorrhage into the sweat glands, the skin becomes fragile and tender. Luke's descriptions supports the diagnosis of hematidrosis rather than eccrine chromidrosis (brown or yellow-green sweat) or stigmatization (blood oozing from the palms or elsewhere). Although some authors have suggested that hematidrosis produced hypovolemia, we agree with Bucklin that Jesus' actual blood loss probably was minimal. However, in the cold night air, it may have produced chills.

TRIALS

Jewish Trials

Soon after midnight, Jesus was arrested at Gethsemane by the temple officials and was taken first to Annas and then to Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest for that year. Between 1 AM and daybreak, Jesus was tried before Caiaphas and the political Sanhedrin and was found guilty of blasphemy. The guards then blindfolded Jesus, spat on him, and struck him in the face with their fists. Soon after daybreak, presumably at the temple, Jesus was tried before the religious Sanhedrin (with the Pharisees and the Sadducees) and again was found guilty of blasphemy, a crime punishable by death.

Roman Trials

Since permission for an execution had to come from the governing Romans, Jesus was taken early in the morning by the temple officials to the Praetorium of the Fortress of Antonia, the residence and governmental seat of Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea. However, Jesus was presented to Pilate not as a blasphemer but rather as a self-appointed king who would undermine the Roman authority. Pilate made no charges against Jesus and sent him to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Judea. Herod likewise made no official charges and then returned Jesus to Pilate. Again, Pilate could find no basis for a legal charge against Jesus, but the people persistently demanded crucifixion. Pilate finally granted their demand and handed over Jesus to be flogged (scourged) and crucified.

Health of Jesus

The rigors of Jesus' ministry (that is, traveling by foot throughout Palestine) would have precluded any major physical illness or a weak general constitution. Accordingly, it is reasonable to assume that Jesus was in good physical condition before his walk to Gethsemane. However, during the 12 hours between 9 PM Thursday and 9 AM Friday, he had suffered great emotional stress (as evidenced by hematidrosis), abandonment by his closest friends (the disciples), and a physical beating (after the first Jewish trial). Also, in the setting of a traumatic and sleepless night, had been forced to walk more than 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to and from the sites of the various trials. These physical and emotional factors may have rendered Jesus particularly vulnerable to the adverse hemodynamic effects of the scourging.

SCOURGING

Scourging Practices

Flogging was a legal preliminary to every Roman execution, and only women and Roman senators or soldiers (except in cases of desertion) were exempt. The usual instrument was a short whip (flagrum or flagellum) with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths, in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals. Occasionally, staves also were used. For scourging, the man was stripped of his clothing, and his hands were tied to an upright post. The back, buttocks, and legs were flogged either by two soldiers (lictors) or by one who alternated positions. The severity of the scourging depended on the disposition of the lictors and was intended to weaken the victim to a state just short of collapse or death. After the scourging, the soldiers often taunted their victim.

Medical Aspects of Scourging

As the Roman soldiers repeatedly struck the victim's back with full force, the iron balls would cause deep contusions, and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut into the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Then, as the flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into the underlying skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh. Pain and blood loss generally set the stage for circulatory shock. The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross.

Scourging of Jesus

At the Praetorium, Jesus was severely whipped. (Although the severity of the scourging is not discussed in the four gospel accounts, it is implied in one of the epistles (1 Peter 2:24). A detailed word study of the ancient Greek text for this verse indicates that the scourging of Jesus was particularly harsh.) It is not known whether the number of lashes was limited to 39, in accordance with Jewish law. The Roman soldiers, amused that this weakened man had claimed to be a king, began to mock him by placing a robe on his shoulders, a crown of thorns on his head, and a wooden staff as a scepter in his right hand.Next, they spat on Jesus and struck him on the head with the wooden staff. Moreover, when the soldiers tore the robe from Jesus' back, they probably reopened the scourging wounds.

The severe scourging, with its intense pain and appreciable blood loss, most probably left Jesus in a preshock state. Moreover, hematidrosis had rendered his skin particularly tender. The physical and mental abuse meted out by the Jews and the Romans, as well as the lack of food, water, and sleep, also contributed to his generally weakened state. Therefore, even before the actual crucifixion, Jesus' physical condition was at least serious and possibly critical.

CRUCIFIXION

Crucifixion Practices

Crucifixion probably first began among the Persians. Alexander the Great introduced the practice to Egypt and Carthage, and the Romans appear to have learned of it from the Carthaginans. Although the Romans did not invent crucifixion, they perfected it as a form of torture and capital punishment that was designed to produce a slow death with maximum pain and suffering. It was one of the most disgraceful and cruel methods of execution and usually was reserved only for slaves, foreigners, revolutionaries, and the vilest of criminals. Roman law usually protected Roman citizens from crucifixion, except perhaps in the case of desertion by soldiers.

In its earliest form in Persia, the victim was either tied to a tree or was tied to or impaled on an upright post, usually to keep the guilty victim's feet from touching holy ground. Only later was a true cross used; it was characterized by an upright post (stipes) and a horizontal crossbar (patibulum), and it had several variations. Although archaeological and historical evidence strongly indicates that the low Tau cross was preferred by the Romans in Palestine at the time of Christ, crucifixion practices often varied in a given geographic region and in accordance with the imagination of the executioners, and the Latin cross and other forms also may have been used.

It was customary for the condemned man to carry his own cross from the flogging post to the site of crucifixion outside the city walls. He was usually naked, unless this was prohibited by local customs. Since the weight of the entire cross was probably well over 300 lb. (136 kg), only the crossbar was carried. The patibulum, weighing 75 to 125 lb. (34 to 57 kg), was placed across the nape of the victim's neck and balanced along both shoulders. Usually, the outstretched arms then were tied to the crossbar. The processional to the site of crucifixion was led by a complete Roman military guard, headed by a centurion. One of the soldiers carried a sign (titulus) on which the condemned man's name and crime were displayed. Later, the titulus would be attached to the top of the cross. The Roman guard would not leave the victim until they were sure of his death.

Outside the city walls was permanently located the heavy upright wooden stipes, on which the patibulum would be secured. In the case of the Tau cross, this was accomplished by means of a mortise and tenon joint, with or without reinforcement by ropes. To prolong the crucifixion process, a horizontal wooden block or plank, serving as a crude seat (sedile or sedulum), often was attached midway down the stipes. Only very rarely, and probably later than the time of Christ, was an additional block (suppedaneum) employed for transfixion of the feet.

At the site of execution, by law, the victim was given a bitter drink of wine mixed with myrrh (gall) as a mild analgesic. The criminal was then thrown to the ground on his back, with his arms outstretched along the patibulum. The hands could be nailed or tied to the crossbar, but nailing apparently was preferred by the Romans. The archaeological remains of a crucified body, found in an ossuary near Jerusalem and dating from the time of Christ, indicate that the nails were tapered iron spikes approximately 5 to 7 in (13 to 18 cm) long with a square shaft 3/8 in (1 cm) across. Furthermore, ossuary findings and the Shroud of Turin have documented that the nails commonly were driven through the wrists rather than the palms.)

After both arms were fixed to the crossbar, the patibulum and the victim, together, were lifted onto the stipes. On the low cross, four soldiers could accomplish this relatively easily. However, on the tall cross, the soldiers used either wooden forks or ladders.

Next, the feet were fixed to the cross, either by nails or ropes. Ossuary findings and the Shroud of Turin suggest that nailing was the preferred Roman practice. Although the feet could be fixed to the sides of the stipes or to a wooden footrest (suppedaneum), they usually were nailed directly to the front of the stipes. To accomplish this, flexion of the knees may have been quite prominent, and the bent legs may have been rotated laterally.

When the nailing was completed, the titulus was attached to the cross, by nails or cords, just above the victim's head. The soldiers and the civilian crowd often taunted and jeered the condemned man, and the soldiers customarily divided up his clothes among themselves. The length of survival generally ranged from three or four hours to three or four days and appears to have been inversely related to the severity of the scourging. However, even if the scourging had been relatively mild, the Roman soldiers could hasten death by breaking the legs below the knees (crurifragium or skelokopia).

Not uncommonly, insects would light upon or burrow into the open wounds or the eyes, ears, and nose of the dying and helpless victim, and birds of prey would tear at these sites. Moreover, it was customary to leave the corpse on the cross to be devoured by predatory animals. However, by Roman law, the family of the condemned could take the body for burial, after obtaining permission from the Roman judge. Since no one was intended to survive crucifixion, the body was not released to the family until the soldiers were sure that the victim was dead. By custom, one of the Roman guards would pierce the body with a sword or lance. Traditionally, this had been considered a spear wound to the heart through the right side of the chest -- a fatal wound probably taught to most Roman soldiers. The Shroud of Turin documents this form of injury. Moreover, the standard infantry spear, which was 5 to 6 ft (1.5 to 1.8 m) long could easily have reached the chest of a man crucified on the customary low cross.

Medical Aspects of Crucifixion

With a knowledge of both anatomy and ancient crucifixion practices, one may reconstruct the probably medical aspects of this form of slow execution. Each wound apparently was intended to produce intense agony, and the contributing causes of death were numerous.

The scourging prior to crucifixion served to weaken the condemned man and, if blood loss was considerable, to produce orthostatic hypotension and even hypovolemic shock. When the victim was thrown to the ground on his back, in preparation for transfixion of his hands, his scourging wounds most likely would become torn open again and contaminated with dirt. Furthermore, with each respiration, the painful scourging wounds would be scraped against the rough wood of the stipes. As a result, blood loss from the back probably would continue throughout the crucifixion ordeal.

With arms outstretched but not taut, the wrists were nailed to the patibulum. It has been shown that the ligaments and bones of the wrist can support the weight of a body hanging from them , but the palms cannot. Accordingly, the iron spikes probably were driven between the radius and the carpals or between the two rows of carpal bones, either proximal to or through the strong bandlike flexor retinaculum and the various intercarpal ligaments. Although a nail in either location in the wrist might pass between the bony elements and thereby produce no fractures, the likelihood of painful periosteal injury would seem great.

Furthermore, the driven nail would crush or sever the rather large sensorimotor median nerve. The stimulated nerve would produce excruciating bolts of fiery pain in both arms. Although the severed median nerve would result in paralysis of a portion of the hand, ischemic contractures and impalement of various ligaments by the iron spike might produce a clawlike grasp.

Most commonly, the feet were fixed to the front of the stipes by means of an iron spike driven through the first or second intermetatarsal space, just distal to the tarsometatarssal joint. It is likely that the deep peroneal nerve and branches of the medial and lateral plantar nerves would have been injured by the nails. Although scourging may have resulted in considerable blood loss, crucifixion per se was a relatively bloodless procedure, since no major arteries, other than perhaps the deep plantar arch, pass through the favored anatomic sites of transfixion.

The major pathophysiologic effect of crucifixion, beyond the excruciating pain, was a marked interference with normal respiration, particularly exhalation. The weight of the body, pulling down on the outstretched arms and shoulders, would tend to fix the intercostal muscles in an inhalation state and thereby hinder passive exhalation. Accordingly, exhalation was primarily diaphragmatic, and breathing was shallow. It is likely that this form of respiration would not suffice and that hypercarbia would soon result. The onset of muscle cramps or tetanic contractions, due to fatigue and hypercarbia, would hinder respiration even further.

Adequate exhalation required lifting the body by pushing up on the feet and by flexing the elbows and adducting the shoulders. However, this maneuver would place the entire weight of the body on the tarsals and would produce searing pain. Furthermore, flexion of the elbows would cause rotation of the wrists about the iron nails and cause fiery pain along the damaged median nerves. Lifting of the body would also painfully scrape the scourged back against the rough wooden stipes. Muscle cramps and paresthesias of the outstretched and uplifted arms would add to the discomfort. As a result, each respiratory effort would become agonizing and tiring and lead eventually to asphyxia.

The actual cause of death by crucifixion was multifactorial and varied somewhat with each case, but the two most prominent causes probably were hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia. Other possible contributing factors included dehydration, stress-induced arrhythmias, and congestive heart failure with the rapid accumulation of pericardial and perhaps pleural effusions. Crucifracture (breaking the legs below the knees), if performed, led to an asphyxic death within minutes. Death by crucifixion was, in every sense of the word, excruciating (Latin, excruciatus, or "out of the cross").

Crucifixion of Jesus

After the scourging and the mocking, at about 9 AM, the Roman soldiers put Jesus' clothes back on him and then led him and two thieves to be crucified. Jesus apparently was so weakened by the severe flogging that he could not carry the patibulum from the Praetorium to the site of the crucifixion one third of a mile (600 to 650 m) away Simon of Cyrene was summoned to carry Christ's cross, and the processional then made its way to Golgotha (or Calvary), an established crucifixion site.

Here, Jesus' clothes, except for a linen loincloth, again were removed, thereby probably reopening the scourging wounds. He then was offered a drink of wine mixed with myrrh (gall) but, after tasting it, refused the drink. Finally, Jesus and the two thieves were crucified. Although scriptural references are made to nails in the hands, these are not at odds with the archaeological evidence of wrist wounds, since the ancients customarily considered the wrist to be a part of the hand. The titulus was attached above Jesus' head. It is unclear whether Jesus was crucified on the Tau cross or the Latin cross; archaeological findings favor the former and early tradition the latter. The fact that Jesus later was offered a drink of wine vinegar from a sponge placed on the stalk of the hyssop plant (approximately 20 in, or 50 cm long) strongly supports the belief that Jesus was crucified on the short cross.

The soldiers and the civilian crowd taunted Jesus throughout the crucifixion ordeal, and the soldiers cast lots for his clothing. Christ spoke seven times from the cross. Since speech occurs during exhalation, these short, terse utterances must have been particularly difficult and painful. At about 3 PM that Friday, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, bowed his head, and died. The Roman soldiers and onlookers recognized his moment of death.

Since the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the crosses after sunset, the beginning of the Sabbath, they asked Pontius Pilate to order crucifracture to hasten the deaths of the three crucified men. The soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves, but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Rather, one of the soldiers pierced his side, probably with an infantry spear, and produced a sudden flow of blood and water. Later that day, Jesus' body was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb.

DEATH OF JESUS

Two aspects of Jesus' death have been the source of great controversy, namely, the nature of the wound in his side and the cause of his death after only several hours on the cross.

The gospel of John describes the piercing of Jesus' side and emphasizes the sudden flow of blood and water. Some authors have interpreted the flow of water to be ascites or urine, from an abdominal midline perforation of the bladder. However, the Greek word (pleura used by John clearly denoted laterality and often implied the ribs.

Therefore, it seems probable that the wound was in the thorax and well away from the abdominal midline.

Although the side of the wound was not designated by John, it traditionally has been depicted on the right side. Supporting this traditions is the fact that a large flow of blood would be more likely with a perforation of the distended and thin-walled right atrium or ventricle than the thick-walled and contracted left ventricle. Although the side of the wound may never be established with certainty, the right seems more probable than the left.

Some of the skepticism in accepting John's description has arisen from the difficulty in explaining, with medical accuracy, the flow of both blood and water. Part of this difficulty has been based on the assumption that the blood appeared first, then the water. However, in the ancient Greek, the order of words generally denoted prominence and not necessarily a time sequence. Therefore, it seems likely that John was emphasizing the prominence of blood rather than its appearance preceding the water.

Therefore, the water probably represented serous pleural and pericardial fluid, and would have preceded the flow of blood and been smaller in volume than the blood. Perhaps in the setting of hypovolemia and impending acute heart failure, pleural and pericardial effusions may have developed and would have added to the volume of apparent water. The blood, in contrast, may have originated from the right atrium or the right ventricle or perhaps from a hemopericardium.

Jesus' death after only three to six hours on the cross surprised even Pontius Pilate. The fact that Jesus cried out in a loud voice and then bowed his head and died suggests the possibility of a catastrophic terminal event. One popular explanation has been that Jesus died of cardiac rupture. In the setting of the scourging and crucifixion, with associated hypovolemia, hypoxemia, and perhaps and altered coagulable state, friable non-infective thrombotic vegetations could have formed on the aortic or mitral valve. These then could have dislodged and embolized into the coronary circulation and thereby produced an acute transmural myocardial infarction. Thrombotic valvular vegetations have been reported to develop under analogous acute traumatic conditions. Rupture of the left ventricular free wall may occur, though uncommonly, in the first few hours following infarction.

However, another explanation may be more likely. Jesus' death may have been hastened simply by his state of exhaustion and by the severity of the scourging, with its resultant blood loss and preshock state. The fact that he could not carry his patibulum supports this interpretation. The actual cause of Jesus' death, like that of other crucified victims, may have been multifactorial and related primarily to hypovolemic shock, exhaustion asphyxia, and perhaps acute heart failure. A fatal cardiac arrhythmia may have accounted for the apparent catastrophic terminal event.

Thus, it remains unsettled whether Jesus died of cardiac rupture or of cardiorespiratory failure. However, the important feature may be not how he died but rather whether he died. Clearly, the weight of historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to his side was inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear, thrust between his right ribs, probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured his death. Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge.
For Christians, the Crucixion is not the end. It is the beginning.



Sources:
Inter Mirifica
World Net Daily
God and Science provides a PDF of the original JAMA article with illustrations and reference material which I have eliminated here for purposes of readability.


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dem Voters Choose McCain Over Intra-Party Rival

Recent political polls indicate John McCain would be a statistical dead heat with either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Though the numbers show McCain slightly beating both Democrats, his polling numbers are within the margin of error.

If Clinton were to gain the Democrat Party nomination over Obama, 20% of the Obama messianists say they would vote for John McCain in November. When the question is reversed, Clinton is smacked down by Obama, 19% of the Clinton deadenders would cast their vote for McCain. (Poll here)

That does not mean John Sydney McCain, III would be the automatic numerical winner in the General Election come November. What the numbers and preferences do mean is that there are extremely deep divisions in the Democrat Party. The extent of the animosity will most likely throw the Democrat race into a serious knife fight in the convention.

At that point, all bets are off as to whether the Dems nominate Tax and Spend, or Spend and Tax. If the rifts are not bridged, opponents do not kiss and make-up, and the preferences expressed in polls today hold, then John McCain stands the best chance of winning the White House even if only by default.



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

If You Go, Remember to Go Before You Go

The wholesale killing of cats and dogs, the extreme crackdown by the Communist Chinese government on Tibetan nationalists and Buddhist monks that has killed some 80 Tibetans would be enough for most people to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

If not, maybe this will dissuade the hard hearted. Most toilets in China are of the squat over a hole in the floor style. Only after objections by Western and western minded athletes and journalists (even journalist have some standards) has China seen fit to install sit-down toilets in the 31 Olympic venues. "We will change the toilets in as many as we can, especially those for the key clients, athletes, Olympic family members and the media," said Yao Hui, a senior official responsible for the management of Olympic venues.

Beijing has 5,200 public toilets of the squat over a hole in the floor variety; that's 1,200 more than the 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. Should you find yourself at a 2008 Beijing Olympic Games venue heeding the call of the wild, Banterist, Brian Sack, provides suitable instructions. Print out the instructions as you may need the paper.



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Global Warming Takes a Holiday, Scientists Are Weenies

At least, that's what National Public Radio is saying today.


Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.

(snip)

"There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," [Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory] Willis says.

Those are the only choices allowed. One, Global Warming is taking a breather, or two, scientists (in this case, some very smart guys doing actual science with empirical evidence gathering equipment) don't know how to read the data they've collected, i.e., they're stupid weenies.

There is no Option three. Option 3 is not allowed. What is option 3, you ask?

Option 3 says Global Warming is not happening, it's all a swindle, a scam, a con job, a bunco game, flimflam, shellgame, a hustle. At first blush this new evidence seems to bear that out. It also means that Mr. Al Gore, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for something having nothing to do with peace, is a big fat liar, a hustler, a flimflam man, a con man, a snake oil salesman. And a weenie.




The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More History Democrats Don't Want You to Know

Sojourner Truth - former slave, abolitionist, Methodist Minister, Republican.



Democrats are making an issue of race again. It's an issue that just doesn't seem to be a problem for Republicans what with the candidacies of former football superstar Lynn Swann, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele. All are Black, all are Republican. Then there is the history of the Republican Party, but more on that later.

Keith Butler is a minister Word of Faith International Christian Center, outside Detroit, Michigan. He said, "I've grown through tribulations, tests, and trials for being a Republican. I've been one for 25 years." Rev. Butler is pro-life, anti-gay marriage, a big backer of low taxes and the free market, Black, Republican, and asks God's blessing for America.

BLACK POLITICAL HISTORY TEST

1. What Party was founded as the anti-slavery Party and fought to free blacks from slavery?
a. Democratic Party
b. Republican Party

2. What was the Party of Abraham Lincoln who signed the emancipation proclamation that resulted in the Juneteenth celebrations that occur in black communities today?
a. Democratic Party
b. Republican Party

3. What Party passed the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution granting blacks freedom, citizenship, and the right to vote?
a. Democratic Party
b. Republican Party

4. What Party passed the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 granting blacks protection from the Black Codes and prohibiting racial discrimination in public accommodations, and was the Party of most blacks prior to the 1960’s, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?
a. Democratic Party
b. Republican Party

5. What was the Party of the founding fathers of the NAACP who were themselves white?
a. Democratic Party
b. Republican Party

6. What was the Party of President Dwight Eisenhower who sent U.S. troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools, established the Civil Rights Commission in 1958, and appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision ending school segregation?
a. Democratic Party
b. Republican Party

7. What Party, by the greatest percentage, passed the1957 Civil Rights Act and the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s?
a. Democratic Party
b. Republican Party

8. What was the Party of President Richard Nixon who instituted the first Affirmative Action program in 1969 with the Philadelphia Plan that established goals and timetables?
a. Democratic Party
b. Republican Party

9. What is the Party of President George W. Bush who supports the U.S. Supreme Court’s University of Michigan Affirmative Action decision, and is spending over $200 billion to fight AIDS in Africa and on programs to help black Americans prosper, including school vouchers, the faith-based initiative, home ownership, and small business ownership?
a. Democratic Party
b. Republican Party

10. What Party fought to keep blacks in slavery and was the Party of the Ku Klux Klan?
a. Republican Party
b. Democratic Party

11. What Party from 1870 to 1930 used fraud, whippings, lynching, murder, intimidation, and mutilation to get the black vote, and passed the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws which legalized racial discrimination and denied blacks their rights as citizens?
a. Republican Party
b. Democratic Party

12. What was the Party of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Harry Truman who rejected anti-lynching laws and efforts to establish a permanent Civil Rights Commission?
a. Republican Party
b. Democratic Party

13. What was the Party of President John F. Kennedy who voted against the 1957 Civil Rights law as a Senator, then opposed the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. after becoming president, and later had the FBI (supervised by his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy) investigate Dr. King on suspicion of being a communist?
a. Republican Party
b. Democratic Party

14. What is the Party of current Senator Robert Byrd who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, Senator Fritz Hollings who hoisted the Confederate flag over the state capitol in South Carolina when he was the governor, and Senator Ted Kennedy who recently insulted black judicial nominees by calling them “Neanderthals” while blocking their appointments?
a. Republican Party
b. Democratic Party

15. What was the Party of President Bill Clinton who failed to fight the terrorists after the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, sent troops to war in Bosnia and Kosovo without Congressional approval, vetoed the Welfare Reform law twice before signing it, and refused to comply with a court order to have shipping companies develop an Affirmative Action Plan?
a. Republican Party
b. Democratic Party

16. What is the Party of Vice President Al Gore whose father voted against the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s, and who lost the 2000 election as confirmed by a second recount of Florida votes by the “Miami Herald” and a consortium of major news organizations and the ruling by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that blacks were not denied the right to vote?
a. Republican Party
b. Democratic Party

17. What Party is against the faith-based initiative, against school vouchers, against school prayers, and takes the black vote for granted without ever acknowledging their racist past or apologizing for trying to expand slavery, lynching blacks and passing the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws that caused great harm to blacks?
a. Republican Party
b. Democratic Party

The Republican Party was founded in the 1800s as a reaction to slavery. Republican candidates and party members campaigned for the rights of African slaves before the Civil War and afterward championed the rights of freed African slaves pronouncing then Americans the same as any other American.

Historian David Barton points out that blacks formed all state Republican parties across the South.

"Here I stand in Texas as a Texan,” Barton remarked. “My Republican party was started on the 4th of July, 1867 by 150 blacks and 20 whites. Every southern Republican party was started by blacks, not whites."

Swann echoed that sentiment, saying, "The African-American vote hasn't always been Democratic. Before it was a Democratic bloc, it was a Republican bloc."
That's important - Every Republican Party in every Southern State, the former Confederates States of America, was founded by Blacks, not Whites. Before Blacks were Democrats they were Republicans.

And another thing - Obama's hero, Jeremiah Wright called this the United States of KKK America. The Ku Klux Klan was founded by southern white DEMOCRATS. The Klan was all but destroyed by Republican President U.S. Grant with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1871. That's right - there was a Civil Rights Act before LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which most of the Democrats in Congress voted against, including Al Gore's daddy.

Oh, the answer to all of the test questions is "B".



Sources:
National Black Republican Association
CBN News



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Damn American White Racist Corporations

More than two-thirds of the 191 Black board members of America's 250 largest corporations have not contributed to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, says Bloomberg.

Did you get that? Probably not as it was mixed in with the contribution stuff.

Let me repeat:

There are ONE HUNDRED NINETY ONE BLACK BOARD MEMBERS on TWO HUNDRED FIFTY of the largest companies in America.

White American corporations - 250 of them - have Black Americans on their Boards of Directors.

Barack Obama didn't say that in his speech on race today, did he?


Bloomberg



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Obama Defies Space/Time Laws...or Does He?

There are claims being bandied about that it is not possible for Barack Obama to have been at the Trinity United Church of Christ to hear Rev. Jeremiah Wright preach on July 22, 2007. The claim is that Barry was in Miami that day so could not have been in Chicago. It's impossible Obama supporters say for Barry to be in two places at the same time.

Let's see how impossible it would be for Barry to be in two different places at two different times...

The NCLR, National Council of La Raza, a patently racist organization lists, Barack Obama as speaking to their conference at 1:30 P.M. at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

"UPDATED SCHEDULE OF KEY SPEAKERS AND EVENTS
Sunday, July 22 11:00 a.m. LATINAS BRUNCH, Una Charla Con Hillary – Hall B
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Interview led by Monica Lozano, Publisher and CEO, La OpiniĆ³n

1:30 p.m. SPECIAL FORUM: Foro Del Pueblo Con Sen. Obama – Room D128-129, (Open to the public)
Featured Speaker: Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)"
National Council of La Raza


Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago advertises Sunday Services as:

"Sunday Worship Services
7:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 6:00 p.m."
Trinity United Church of Christ

From the Jim Davis ariticle, Obama’s Church: Cauldron of Division we read, "On this particular July Sabbath morning..."

So here's what we can know - the Church service was July 22, 2007 in the morning. Jim Davis, as well as many others, saw Barack Obama sitting in a pew that Sunday morning. The La Raza speech was scheduled for 1:30 P.M. Sunday afternoon.

Chicago is on Central Time while Miami, Fla is on Eastern Standard Time (one hour earlier).

A quick Google search of air travel time Chicago to Miami, we find:

"A typical flight between Chicago and Miami,FL would have a flying time of about 2 hours, 22 minutes. This assumes an average air speed for a commercial airliner of 500 mph, which is equivalent to 805 km/hr or 434 knots. Your exact flight time may vary depending on wind speeds." Convert Units

So, Barry attended the 7:00 A.M. service at Trinity Church. He departs Chicago O'Hare at 9:00 A.M. and arrives Miami International Airport 2 hrs 22 mins later - 11:22 A.M. Chicago time, (plus 1 hour) 12:22 P.M. local Miami time. From the airport it's just a short drive to the Miami Beach Convention Center

Barack Obama could easily attend the 7:30 A.M. service, visited with congregants, had breakfast, and flown to Miami well within the time frame required. Even more easily because U.S. Senator Barack Hussein Obama, under Secret Service protection, does not fly on commercial airlines, but uses a private charter jet, therefore he can depart and arrive whenever he pleases.




The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Barack Obama - Liar and False Messiah

Senator Barack Hussein Obama lied when he said he didn't know his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was an America hating racist scoundrel. Barack Hussein Obama lied when he said he never attended any sermons in which Wright railed against America, accusing "white arrogance" for the troubles of the world. Barack Hussein Obama lied.

And he has been caught. Last July 22, freelance NewsMax correspondent Jim Davis, attended services at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and Obama sat in the pew in full sight nodding his head in agreement when Wright called Obama's country "United States of White America", that "Young African-American men" were "dying for nothing" in an "illegal war" ... "fought for oil money" in Iraq "based on Bush’s lies."

Obama Attended Hate America Sermon
Sunday, March 16, 2008 7:14 PM

By: Ronald Kessler

Contrary to Senator Barack Obama’s claim that he never heard his pastor Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. preach hatred of America, Obama was in the pews last July 22 when the minister blamed the “white arrogance” of America’s Caucasian majority for the world’s suffering, especially the oppression of blacks.

Senator Obama has sought to separate himself from his pastor’s incendiary remarks, issuing a statement Friday rejecting them as “inflammatory and appalling” but failing to renounce Wright himself for his venomous and paranoid denunciations of America.

In his press release, Obama claimed, “The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity [United Church of Christ] or heard him utter in private conversation.”

Appearing on cable news shows this past weekend, Obama claimed when he saw recent videos that have Wright making such comments as “God damn America,” he was “shocked.” Obama implied that the reverend had not used such derogatory language in any of the church services Obama attended over the past two decades.

If Obama’s claims are true that he was completely unaware that Wright’s trademark preaching style at the Trinity United Church of Christ has targeted “white” America and Israel, he would have been one of the few people in Chicago to be so uninformed. Wright’s reputation for spewing hate is well known.

In fact, Obama was present in the South Side Chicago church on July 22 last year when Jim Davis, a freelance correspondent for Newsmax, attended services along with Obama. [See: ”
Obama’s Church: Cauldron of Division.”]

In his sermon that day, Wright tore into America, referring to the “United States of White America” and lacing his sermon with expletives as Obama listened. Hearing Wright’s attacks on his own country, Obama had the opportunity to walk out, but Davis said the senator sat in his pew and nodded in agreement.

Addressing the Iraq war, Wright thundered, “Young African-American men” were “dying for nothing.” The “illegal war,” he shouted, was “based on Bush’s lies” and is being “fought for oil money.”

Obama’s most famous celebrity backer, Oprah Winfrey began attending Wright’s church in 1984. Last year, Newsmax magazine reported that
Winfrey abruptly stopped attending years ago, and suggested that she did so to distance herself from Wright’s inflammatory rhetoric. She soon found herself a target of Wright, who excoriated her for having broken with “traditional faith.”

The Reverend Wright’s anti-white theology that Senator Obama expressed surprise over is evident on the church’s website. The site says the congregation subscribes to what it calls the Black Value System, which is described as a disavowal of “our racist competitive society” and the pursuit of “middle-classness.” That is defined as a way for American society to “snare” blacks rather than “killing them off directly” or “placing them in concentration camps,” just as the country structures “an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.”

“In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01,” Wright wrote in the church-affiliated magazine Trumpet four years after the attacks. “White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.”

The Relationship Unravels

Senator Obama now is attempting to minimize his long and close relationship with the controversial minister.

On Friday, John McCain’s campaign distributed a Wall Street Journal op-ed “Obama and the Minister” written under my byline based on my reporting for Newsmax going back to early January of this year.

The op-ed included details of a sermon Wright gave at Howard University blaming America for starting the AIDS virus, training professional killers, importing drugs, shamelessly supporting Israel, and creating a racist society that would never elect a black man as president. [See: “
Obama’s Minister’s Hatred of America.”]

Obama’s campaign quickly responded to the Wall Street Journal op-ed, posting a statement on the Huffington Post. In his statement, Obama acknowledged that some of Wright’s statements have been “inflammatory and appalling.”

Saying he strongly condemns Wright’s comments, Obama continued, “I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.” [emphasis added]

Again, Obama moved to narrowly distance himself from specific comments Wright had made, while still praising his minister in recent interviews for leading him to Jesus and preaching a “social gospel.”

Obama went on to claim that he first learned about Wright’s controversial statements when he began his presidential campaign. But this assertion conflicts with the fact that just before Obama’s nationally televised campaign kickoff rally on Feb. 10, 2007, the candidate disinvited Wright from giving the public invocation.

At the time, Wright explained: “When [Obama’s] enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli” to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, “a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell.”

According to Wright, Obama then told him, “'You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.'” Still, Obama and his family prayed privately with Wright just before the presidential announcement.

Apparently Obama never foresaw Wright’s sermons making national television or becoming a sensation on YouTube. But lending graphic detail to the saga, ABC News and other networks began running a 2003 sermon in which Wright said, “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible, for killing innocent people ... God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” [
Click Here to see video]

Obama has described Wright as a sounding board and mentor. Wright is one of the first people Obama thanked after his election to the Senate in 2004. Obama consulted Wright before deciding to run for president. The title of Obama’s bestseller “The Audacity of Hope” comes from one of Wright’s sermons. Obama’s “Yes We Can!” slogan is one of Wright’s exhortations.

Apologists for Wright have said that what he says is normal in black churches, and many blacks claim such preaching cannot be understood by whites.

“If you’re black, it’s hard to say what you truly think and not upset white people,” the New York Times quoted James Cone as saying. Cone is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and the father of what is known as black liberation theology.

But Juan Williams, a Fox News commentator and author of “Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America,” tells Newsmax that Wright’s sermons reflect “the victim mindset that is so self-defeating in the black community and one that is played on by weak black leadership that chooses to have black people identified as victims rather than inspiring them as people who have overcome. In posing as victims, they say the most prejudiced and vicious things, not only about whites but about America. They call it theology. In fact, it’s nothing but bigotry.”

In failing to condemn Wright himself and claiming that he was unaware of the preacher’s hate-filled speech, Obama is continuing a longstanding pattern.

Obama often refers to Wright as being "like an old uncle, who sometimes says things I don't agree with." Wright is not Obama’s “uncle” — a person born into a blood relationship — but a man he has cultivated for decades as a close friend, mentor and adviser.

After Newsmax broke the story on Jan. 14 that Wright’s church gave an award to Louis Farrakhan in December for lifetime achievement, Obama again sought to denounce his minister’s action without criticizing Wright himself.

Like Wright, Farrakhan has repeatedly made hate-filled statements targeting Jews (calling Judaism a “gutter religion”), whites, America, and homosexuals. He has called whites “blue-eyed devils” and the “anti-Christ.” He has described Jews as “bloodsuckers” who control the government, the media, and some black organizations.

After the Newsmax story, Obama issued a statement purportedly addressing the issue.

"I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan," Obama said.

Again, Obama was careful not to condemn Farrakhan himself or Wright who had spoken adoringly of Farrakhan and put their church behind the award to the controversial Nation of Islam leader.

“When Minister Farrakhan speaks, black America listens,” Trumpet quoted Wright as saying. “His depth on analysis [sic] when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye-opening. He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest.”

Obama adroitly said, “I assume that Trumpet magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree.”

In fact, Trumpet is published by Wright’s church using the church’s offices. Wright’s daughters serve as publisher and executive editor.

Having gotten away with sidestepping Wright’s adoring comments about Farrakhan, Obama told Jewish leaders flatly in Cleveland on Jan. 24 that the award was because of Farrakhan’s work with ex-offenders. To date, no news outlet has pointed out that Obama’s claim is false.

Obama went on to explain away Wright’s anti-Zionist statements as being rooted in his anger over the Jewish state’s support for South Africa under its previous policy of apartheid. As with his claim that the award to Farrakhan was made because of his work with ex-offenders, Obama made that up. Wright’s statements denouncing Israel have not been qualified in any way.

On Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes on Saturday, Obama said he would have quit the church if he had “repeatedly” been present when Wright made inflammatory statements. He was not asked why he did not quit the church when it gave an award to Farrakhan.

Having considered Wright a friend and mentor for two decades, Obama now often mentions that his pastor recently retired. Wright suggested to the New York Times last year that he and Obama might have to do something of a distancing act in the run up to the election.

"If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me," Wright was quoted by The New York Times. "I said it to Barack personally, and he said, ‘Yeah, that might have to happen.'"
In the wake of this controversy, Obama's lead in the polls is dropping. according to Rasmussen Obama's lead on Friday was 50% to Clinton's 42%. Today it's Obama 47% Clinton 44%. Who knows how low the polls or Obama will go in the coming weeks.

While Obama defended his mentor and his own lies, Senator John McCain was making a stop in Baghdad, Iraq doing what appeared to be very Presidential type stuff meeting with Iraqi and US officials discussing the overall situation that has the whole world biting their collective nails.





The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Help us Obi Washington. You're our only hope!

America is going to Hell in a red and yellow hand basket. The American Middle Class is an endangered species. Ordinary Americans can no longer make ends meet. We are all working longer and harder for less and less. Americans are losing their jobs hand over fist to illegal aliens. Illegal aliens are fleeing xenophobic America leaving us with weed strewn yards and dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.

Give up!

At least, that's what Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Howard Dean, and Teddy Kennedy want us to believe. And that's what we are pummeled with everyday by the news media. It does make one want to give up and give in to the Nanny State as our only way out as if Washington were Obi Wan - "Help us Obi Washington. You're our only hope!"

Many of us know this just ain't so, but, alas, the country is chock full of Eeyores it's hard to get a clear look at what really is happening. Then a hero appears to set things right. Drew Carey is that hero. That's right Drew Carey. Yep. THAT Drew Carey.

The Drew Carey Project, in conjunction with Reason TV, is a video series exploring American life from the surreal to the sublime. In Living Large, Carey questions the view that Americans now are worse off than Americans of the past. Very good stuff from one of America's funny men.



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.