Sunday, July 30, 2006

Youre Wrong (MRR 281)

You're Wrong
An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board


We are all our own legal system, where we feel the need and see the opportunity; apprehending, judging, dispensing and, where we can, enforcing whatever by our personal philosophy we deem legitimate.      –Iain Banks

     What is it with hets? I’ve been writing for years about how I don’t fall for this genetics=sexuality crap. How we’re masters of our own souls, captains of our individual destinies. But if I did believe in a genetic link, I’d say that it there must be a link between the gene which imparts the disease of heterosexuality, and the gene that imparts the disease of stupidity.
     Steve is as ugly as a hairy back: fat, bad teeth, jowls that nearly touch under his chin. A het if there ever was one.
     “Hey Steve,” I ask. “Wanna go in here for a drink? They serve Yeungling on tap.”
     “Mykel!” he whispers. “That’s a gay bar. I don’t want to go in there. They’ll be all over me. I’ll feel, you know, uncomfortable. I believe in rights and all that, but I don’t want to go where I’m going to have a hand on my ass.”
     “You’re ugly!” I don’t tell him, but should. “Being homo gives you taste. It doesn’t make you lose it. Just because guys like some other guys, it doesn’t mean they like all other guys. Jezus fuckin’ Christ. You like girls, but are you gonna try and cop a feel on Hillary Clinton?”
     Steve doesn’t answer this, because I don’t really say it. We’re friends despite his stupidity. But it gets me thinking about this homo matter. It also provides me with a convenient introduction to this month’s column which, although called The Boy with The Perfect Nose, is actually about my jury duty.
     The jury system could be great. It’s a chance for the average Jane to judge the relative idiocy of the laws made in her name. If she doesn’t like a law, she can vote NOT GUILTY to show her dislike of that law, or the methods used to enforce it. It is only incidentally important if the person accused, actually committed the crime. That’s small potatoes in the stew of things. But an individual voting on the entire criminal justice system? That’s a big deal! At least it should be.
     But, in its never-ending efforts to make individuals powerless, the government has lied to jurors. Judges tell us that we cannot decide on the law. We can only decide the facts. Is a witness lying or telling the truth? Were they where they said they were, or somewhere else?  Jury duty becomes a meaningless act, a waste of time. No wonder most people hate it. What good is it?
     Every four years, I get a letter calling me to serve time on a jury. Actually, the letters come more frequently, but I only have to go once in four years. Last time was on a bribery case. I was the only hold-out. 11 guilty votes and me. Sure the guy did it. But I hated the way the government used wiretap evidence and informers. Eventually, my co-jurors brow-beat me into changing my vote. A real loss of integrity. I hated myself for it and vowed it wouldn’t happen again.
     “I just tell ‘em I’m gay,” says my pal Marshall. “That gets me excused right away.”
     “Isn’t that illegal discrimination?” I ask.
     “Oh, they just think I’m too liberal. They always find another reason to send me packing,” he tells me.
     Now I find myself in the jury waiting room, typing this very column.  Thank G-d for the lack of music! But silence is not to be had. Two older women chat in front of me: The old body parts aren’t what they used to be. Isn’t it awful what some celebrity did to some other celebrity.
I try not to listen. Others here, like most of silence-hating America, have to clear their throats, cough loudly or fiddle with a newspaper. At least I can thank the Bitch Goddess that they confiscate cellphones on the way in.
     There’s a library-like feel here, though the biddies in front don’t get it. From way in the back comes the buzz of another pair of chatting females. Only women talk. Men cough.
     I guess there’s nothing wrong with it. It isn’t a library. No shhh signs. But somehow there doesn’t seem to be… I donno, a respect.
     I notice a young blond guy with curly hair. He smiles at me… friendly type. He’s wearing some college sweatshirt, an awful salmon color with white lettering. Exactly which college never registers on my brain. I’m too busy planning what I’ll say to the judge. He’ll ask me, “Can you promise to judge the facts of the case as you see them and follow the law as I give it to you?”
     “I believe in the right of jurors to vote their opinions,” I’ll say. “I believe that each individual must judge the law as well as the facts. Juries are the last protection against bad laws.”
     It’s likely he’ll throw me out then. But everyone in the courtroom will have heard me. I can make more of an impression by being excused than by serving.
A big black court clerk enters and gives us an introduction and orientation—nuts and bolts—no civic duty stuff.  
You must not serve if you do not live in the area covered by the Southern District Court. That is Manhattan, The Bronx, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. You must not serve if you have been convicted of a felony or are under indictment for a felony. You may not serve if you are over 70 years old. If you are over seventy, it is optional. If you choose to serve, we welcome your service.
So those most sympathetic to the defendant… those who know what it’s like having been convicted… they are denied the right to convict. Ah America, how do I hate you? Let me count the ways.
The clerk tells us to stand on line at the sides of the room. We then should hand in our summons and answer the question Are you ready to serve?
“Not that it matters,” he says. “Ready or not here you come.”
The guy has a good sense of humor. He seems to like performing.
     With so much experience, the organization here could have been better. Why not stand a row at a time—like on an airline.  Reseating provides a lucky break, though. The biddies are no longer together. It’s quiet… er.
Now there’s a movie about the jury process. Here’s where all the civic duty and thrill of the jury service come into practice. The woman in the movie—the hostess—has a very severe body. She could be anorexic. She’s in office lady drag, about 45, sharp features and hollow cheeks, white as country club.
     The movie takes about ½ hour. In it, the judges are all white. There’s an Indian (turban, not feather) lawyer. The former jurors they interview are mostly white.  They talk to a farmer in front of his cows. A septuagenarian former librarian is at home, in front of a bookcase. This was not made for New Yorkers.
     The film stresses what I hate about the jury system:  the need for ignorance. Don’t look things up. Don’t research the topic. Don’t know anything—that’s the key. It’s awful. Then, it’s over.
     After the movie—nothing. Now we have real silence—except for an occasional cough—more like throat clearing—and the rustle of pages. If I concentrate, I can hear the hum of air conditioning. No music. No voices. Even the tap tap tap of my computer keyboard destroys the calm. I’ll stop. I wish I were awake enough to enjoy the quiet.
     Now, it’s 10AM. I guess there’ll be one round of jury picking then, in an hour, back again for a second round… then home. Outside, it’s pouring rain.
     I’m called on the first round. Part of 50, around 25% of the whole room. We line up. “I hope you brought your umbrellas,” says the guard.
     We go outside, downpour, torrents, ark-building weather. We’re across the street, in the other building. Another Federal court, in the worst of all possible worlds. I’m on the panel for Grand Jury Duty. 1 MONTH OF SERVICE. How can I survive on no income for a month? $40,000 in debt. I’ll sink. I’ll never get out. I’ll have to live off eBay or something. What awful bad luck. I guess everyone in the room is thinking the same thing.
     At first they pick 23 people. Then they go through them, one at a time, as each tries to get out of service.
One by one, the jurors whine to the judge. He dismisses the first three—a bad sign for the rest of us. Number four stays. Looks like the judge is getting tougher. Is being thrown out of your apartment for not paying rent a good enough excuse?
     After they go through everybody (most have some excuse), they call new names to fill the vacated spots.  From the 1st round, 14 of the original 23 are still stand—err… sitting.
     We’re in a beautiful old building. 20 foot ceilings, recessed lighting, elegant floral design on huge ceiling tiles. It strikes me how churchlike the place is. Long pews, an altar up front, a large US Court seal where the cross would be. Even the windows are high. Though arched, they’re not quite as pointed as a church’s.
But there is something evil about this church. The District Attorney says the proceedings are secret. No one’s allowed in except the jury, the prosecutor, the defendant and his lawyer. Secret trials.
     And I count the rows—the number of pews. There are six on each side. Six-Six And how many windows? Six. SIX SIX SIX It is a church. The Church of Satan. It’s right here in lower Manhattan.
But there’s no fire or brimstone. In fact, it’s ice cold. Several people have complained about the air conditioning. We’ve just come in from the pouring rain and the air conditioner is on so high the snot is freezing in our noses. The finger tips of my right hand are numb. I look at them. They’re wrinkled as if I’ve just come out of a pool. A tubercular guy in the front row coughs for real, from deep in his lungs. Jezus fuckin’ Lucifer.
Now, they’ve got 9 empty seats to fill. Where will I be? 8,7,6,5,4,3,2… I’m not in this round. But there’ll be other whiners, others excused. How can I get out of it? Book tour? Old parents? Contrary views? I don’t know. If I have to serve, I’ll be out on the street. Jury duty itself puts a crimp in my budget, but a month? I’ll die.
I should have worn an Osama bin Laden was right t-shirt. Or maybe carried that Dennis Cooper novel. You know the homo one where the guys fuck each other. Then one guy rips open the other and plunges his hands into the still warm intestines. Yeah, Dennis Cooper would keep me off a jury.
My head is pounding. My blood pressure’s way up. I can feel the mercury rising, a million over 7324. I’ll explode like that guy in Scanners. Seat number 13 has been excused 3 times. I’m going to get seat number 13. I know it. It’s jinxed. Like Apollo 13. I’ll never make it. Some mob boss will have me rubbed out… Ah, they filled it with someone else. But seat number 1, the foreman’s seat, is empty. I can’t be the foreman. The foreman has to be there every day. The guard explained that we can have a few days off. All we have to do is check with the foreman. That means the foreman has to be there. Otherwise, who do you check with? Fuck, I’m going to be the foreman.
Okay, I’ve decided to serve. I won’t complain. It’ll be an adventure. Somehow, I’ll live. It’ll be a chance to spout off to 22 other people. Tell ‘em about the real jury system. Tell ‘em how it’s their duty to vote their conscience regardless of the law. Tell ‘em that juries are—or should be-- the last protection humans have against bad laws. Everything else is just representative. You vote for someone and—they win. You never have a say personally. It’s an awful system. Here’s a chance to act on your own. A tiny sliver of real power. Seize it! Don’t like government spying? Refuse to indict if it’s used. Don’t like crimes with no victims? Drug laws? Prostitution? Refuse to indict! For this one time, you have the power. Use it.
I picture myself standing up before my fellow jurors, index finger in the air making an impassioned speech. The Patrick Henry of Pearl Street.
     The score: 14 out of 23 stay.
                9 out of 14
                5 out of 9
                2 out of 5
          Not quite yet.
             1 out of 2
     Here it comes… I’m the last to be chosen… nope.
But wait—there’s a hitch. There are two more jurors to be chosen. This time for really long term service. Eight months. That I cannot do. I guess I’ll just be honest and say it’ll break me. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I can’t live for 2 months on no pay.
There is a tension in the room. Everyone hopes it’s someone else. Everyone hopes there’ll be no dismissals as our pool of jurors has shrunk considerable. They call one person. Not me. Then another. Oh no, the first is let off. Some lame ass excuse, I’m sure. How could the judge be so dumb as to buy that?! What a sucker. He believes this guy, but he won’t believe me. It’s just not fair.
Another name chosen. Again, not me.
Then it’s over… at least for the grand jury.
“Those of you not chosen for the grand jury will return to the jury pool,” says the judge.
“We’re free,” breathes a woman a few years younger than me. Her long blond hair frames a hippie-ish face, pretty, without make-up.
I’m sure someone will call us back. There’s been a mistake. They need one more. Will the jurors please return to the Grand Jury room? It doesn’t happen. I’m free. Sort of.
The courtroom clerk tells those of us lucky enough not to have been chosen to return to the jury pool. As we head back toward the x-ray machine a guard stops us. (Note: there has been an increase in security. In the subway yesterday, there were cops and a check table. When I passed City Hall, there were riot cops with bulletproof vests and machine guns. I guess the terror alert is up. Are we orange yet?)
I look around at the pool of jurors. There’s one older colored guy who wears a blue shirt and tie. One other white guy has a suit on, but he looks more like a salesman than a lawyer or businessman. Most of the rest of the jurors are under 40, more women than men. No one looks rich. There is one beautiful boy with a perfect nose. His brown hair curls around the lower part of his ear. But it is the nose that attracts me. Not large or fat or wide, but perfect, coming out from between his eyebrows with a strong, intentional force, then ending in a soft smooth roundness. He could be a first year college student. Maybe he’s into older men. I smile at him. He doesn’t smile back. I go to lunch.
I eat outside in the food court. I order a $5 veggie melt wrap and sit down. At the table next to me is the blond college student with the curly hair and ugly sweatshirt. He seems like a friendly guy, but I don’t have anything to say to him. He looks very non-punk, and I’m not really in making-new-friends mode. (Except maybe for the guy with the perfect nose.)
We nod hello at each other, and don’t say a word. After I finish my wrap, I get up and walk down to Nassau Street. There used to be a store there that sold cheap porno videos. Maybe I can find it.
I give the college kid a little wave as I get up. Heading toward Nassau Street it suddenly occurs to me: SECURITY. When I enter the courthouse, I’m going to have to show my bag to the security guard. Am I gonna want to explain Oriental Gash Guzzlers? I don’t think so. Maybe it’ll help keep me off a jury, but the way things are going—it might sooner rather than later—bring me in front of one. I forgo the trip and head back to the courtroom. It’s 1:30.
Lunch is officially over at 2:00. I sit in the workroom, right outside the main jury assembly room. It’s a room with library-like study cubicles. I take out my Toshiba, and type these words. At 2:30 the court clerk begins a new round of name calling. My name is third. Also chosen in this round is the college kid, and the guy with the beautiful nose. HERE! I shout from the workroom, when the clerk calls my name. I gather up my computer and notes, and head upstairs to yet another courtroom.
In this new room, another clerk has placed the paper slips with our names in a cage, like the one they use to choose the lottery balls. He spins the cage and picks out a name.
Juror number one… please take the first seat in the front row, closest to the judge. He reads the name from the paper: Jonathan Hagler.
A man about my age, taller with more hair, though it’s gray, stands and walks through the gate to the front of the room. He climbs up into the jury box and takes the first seat.
Juror number two… please take the seat next to juror number one, in the font row. He reads the name from the paper: Mykel Board.
(Actually, he reads Michael Board, which sounds exactly the same as Mykel Board. But the first is my legal name, the latter my pen… err… e-Name.)
I pick up my computer bag, walk to the front and sit down next to Jonathan.
One by one, the clerk picks other names to fill the rest of the vacant chairs. The college kid sits in the front row of the waiting area. He catches my eye several times. I wonder if we’ll be on the same jury. Weird feeling. Does he know me?
Juror number six… please take the seat next to juror number five, in the font row: Joshua Rothenstein.
A 30-somethingish guy with jeans and a black muscle t-shirt, clicks his tongue loudly enough for the rest of us to hear. He takes his seat at the end of the row I’m sitting in.
Juror number seven… please take the seat at the front of the next row: He reads the name from the paper: Edward Rogers.
Juror number eight… please take the seat next to juror number seven, in the font row. He reads the name from the paper: Jennifer Lopez.
“Really?” says the judge.
There is a scatter of light chuckling in the courtroom. A chunky yet attractive Hispanic-looking woman stands up among the other jurors. Certainly A Jennifer Lopez, but not THE Jennifer Lopez. She sits next to Edward.
     Juror number nine… please take the seat next to juror number eight.  He reads the name from the paper: Sven Anderson.
There is a stirring from near the back of the courtroom. I hear a vague excuse me. I look up to see who’s coming. It’s the guy with the perfect nose. The beauty who was there with me in the grand jury room. We’re gonna be locked together for how long? We’ll be on intimate terms before you can say, pitcher or catcher? This isn’t gonna be so bad after all.
After the initial 12 seats are filled, each person is questioned by the judge. Just the basics. Education, marital status, job, address, do you know any of the involved parties.
The guy in seat number one isn’t married, has a Masters in Linguistics, is a teacher. He is not me. On my turn, I tell the judge we’re not brothers. That gets some laughs.
The  guy at the end of my row is in the orchestra at the Met. MFA in music studies. Is he married?
“Hardly,” he says, “but I’ve had the same boyfriend for 15 years.”
He doesn’t say lover or roommate. He says boyfriend.
Maybe it worked for Marshal. It doesn’t work for this guy.  But, he’s got another sleeve up his trick.
The judge thanks him and goes on to the next person. The questioning continues. We learn that we’ve got a grandma “tax-consultant” who doesn’t look like she can read. We’ve got a guy in business for himself—owns a crew of trucks, cranes, heavy machinery. He’s wearing a suit—the only one of us. One woman is from Inwood, one of the few working class neighborhoods left in Manhattan. There are a couple attorneys, one who works for some financial institution, one who works for an insurance company. After the judge questions everyone, he calls on the lawyers interrogate us.
They use this chance to let us know the basics of the case. The plaintiff is a cop who works on the waterfront, the NY City equivalent of the Coast Guard. He was injured while climbing out of a boat onto a dock. Something went wrong with the ladder. It’s not clear whether he slipped, or the ladder broke. I guess we’ll find out during the trial.  
The cop’s lawyer looks pure MOB. Big-chested. Full head of grey hair. Expensive suit. A neck as thick as my thigh.
The defendant, of course, is the City of New York. Their lawyer, asking us if we believe that, “sometimes accidents just happen, and nobody is at fault” looks like a Jewish intellectual. Thin guy, gray beard, with a head slightly too big for his body.
“And is there anyone who has a relative in the police force?” asks the city counsel.
The woman from Inwood raises her hand. “I have three nephews who are police officers.”
“Are they all patrolmen, or are they officers?” asks the lawyer.
“Two are patrolmen. One’s an officer,” says the woman.
“Your honor?” says the lawyer to the judge.
“Any objection?” he asks the lawyer for the cop.
The lawyer gets up and asks the woman, “Do you think you can put aside your relatives and decide this case only on its merits?”
The woman doesn’t answer.
“Do you think you can be fair and impartial here?” he asks.
“Of course,” says the woman.
“Fine,” says the judge. And the attorney goes to the next juror.
He gets to the guy with the boyfriend of 15 years.
“I can’t possibly be objective,” says the guy. “I mean I just lo-o-o-ve policemen. I workout with them at the gym every day. I see them all the time. They’re a-a-a-lll my friends. They’re just t-o-o wonderful.”
“Err,” stumbles the attorney, “do you think you could put your… err… special feelings aside and judge this case strictly on the merits?”
“Oh no,” says the young man—with the enthusiasm of a used car salesman, “that would be impossible. I couldn’t be objective. They’re just too wonderful.”
All right,” says the judge, “you’re excused. Thank you for your frankness.”
Suppressing the urge to jump up and clap his hands—but not suppressing a faint smile-- the guy gets up, takes the paper from the judge and heads back to the jury room.
The city lawyers ask a few more questions. I haven’t said anything to hurt my chances of staying on this jury. I should be fine. Sequestered with the boy with the perfect nose.
Now it’s time for the cop’s lawyer to ask the questions.
“This may seem like a strange question,” he says. “But there’s a reason I’m asking it.”
He clears his throat.
“Of all the people alive,” says the lawyer, “who is it that you admire most?”
He pauses for dramatic effect.
“Take a second to consider,” he says, giving it just about that time before he continues. “We’ll start with juror number one.”
“There’s nobody I admire,” the teacher tells the lawyers. “I dislike most people. I think they’re all a bunch of conceited worthless…” He lets this words trail off.
The lawyer, and a few other jurors chuckle a bit.
“And juror number two?” he says.
That’s me! Fuck, it’s a tough one. Everybody I admire is dead. Celine, Lenny Bruce, GG Allin, William Burroughs. Who am I going to say? I don’t wanna lie, but I don’t wanna say anything that will get me kicked off either. There’s that guy with the perfect nose!
“Jimmy Carter,” I say. “I most admire Jimmy Carter.”
“That’s admirable,” he says. “And juror number three?”
He goes down the line. Two of the women in the front row say their mothers. Before long it’s Sven’s turn. He seems to be a brooder, sitting there with his legs crossed at the knee and stretched in front of him. His head is tucked down, chin to chest.
“Dennis Cooper,” he says. “I like Dennis Cooper.”
I don’t turn to look at him.
“Who’s Dennis Cooper?” asks the lawyer.
“He’s a writer.” answers the boy of perfect nose.
The lawyer nods and continues down the line.
Once everyone answers this question, the City lawyer again gets up to speak.
“One thing I forgot to ask,” he says. “You read a lot in the newspapers these days about law suits, and people getting money from lawsuits. Is there anyone out there who has feelings one way or another about the right to sue and collect damages?
A few hands go up. I raise mine too… a bit tentatively.
The attorney calls on the lawyer for the insurance company.
“Every day I see the actual, excuse my language, bullshit that people file these days. They claim the most outrageous things. Day after day I see this crap. I can’t be objective about it.”
“Do you think you could put those feelings aside and judge this case solely on its merits?” asks the lawyer.
“If you would have asked me that last month-- before I got this job, I would have said yes,” says the attorney. “But now, after what I’ve seen. There’s no way. I’m sorry.”
“Thank you for being candid,” says the lawyer. “You’re dismissed.”
He hands the guy his walking papers and the clerk calls a replacement, a shlubby looking guy who could be a butcher. After the initial questions, the city attorney continues. He points to me.
“You had your hand raised,” he said. “Do you have feelings about lawsuits?”
“Oh yes,” I say. “I believe in the right to sue. It’s lawsuits or the threat of lawsuits that keep government and big corporations honest. They could run roughshod over the public without fear if it weren’t for lawsuits. The courts are our last protection.”
“Thank you,” said the attorney. “Do you think you could put those feelings aside and judge this case solely on its merits?”
I look at Sven sitting sexily to my right and behind me.
“You bet,” I tell him. “No problem.”
Whew, almost blew that one.
After a few more questions from the lawyers, the judge speaks to us.
“All right ladies and gentlemen of the jury… err… perspective jury. You have gone through what’s called a Voir Dire or “say the truth” process. Thank you for your candid replies. The attorneys will now have a conference where they will decide whether to exercise their preemptory exclusions. That means, they can excuse any juror based on a hunch or gut feeling. These are limited, but lawyers have the right to them. Please don’t take it personally. If you are excused, it is not a reflection on you. It is only a reflection of what the lawyer feels is best for his client. Give them a few minutes.”
When the few minutes is over, the lawyers return.
“We have three jurors excused,” says the judge. He calls the name of the woman from Inwood. He calls the name of one of the woman who most admired her mother. He calls my name. He doesn’t not call Sven’s name.
“Thank you,” says the judge. “After you’re replaced on the jury, you and the rest of the panel should return to the main jury room.”
Discouraged, I climb down from the jury box glancing briefly at the boy with the perfect nose. I join the others in the back of the room. We then head back to the jury waiting room. By the elevator, the guy with the college sweatshirt comes up to me and speaks softly into my ear.
“Jimmy Carter?” he whispers. “Yeah right.”
Flash to now: I’m out in Chelsea, with Steve. Under my arm is Frisk, a novel by Dennis Cooper. It’s a hell of a long shot, but who knows? If Sven, hangs out in the city, he’ll probably be here. At least in this neighborhood. Steve could be my shill. The ugly guy I’ll look so good next to. But he doesn’t want to go into the bar. He’s afraid they’ll go for him. What an idiot!


ENDNOTES: [email subscribers (god@mykelboard.com) or website viewers (www.mykelboard.com) will get live links and a chance to email comment on the column]

--> For more information about jury power, and the possibilities of a real jury system, check out www.fija.org. And if you ever get called for jury duty. Just tell the truth, they’ll never pick you.

--> Too Bad Dept: AP reports that Rush Limbaugh was detained at Palm Beach International Airport in June. The problem? He was found with a bottle of Viagra prescribed in his psychologist’s name—not his own. The police were called, but unfortunately, no charges were pressed. Now if it had been you or me…

-->See You at the Finale Dept: In Halberstadt Germany, the local church is sponsoring a John Cage concert scheduled to last 639 years.  It’s a version of a composition called "As Slow as Possible."  According to a recent press release, a chord change is planned for Friday. Two pipes will be removed from the organ which is being built as the composition proceeds.
"In these times, acceleration spoils everything," said Heinz-Klaus Metzger, a prominent musicologist whose chance comments at an organ conference nine years ago sparked the project. "To begin a performance with the perspective of more than a half-millennium — it's just a kind of negation of the lifestyle of today."

--> Whatever Happened to Consent Dept: I think Kesha forwarded me the article about 3 guys in jail on felony charges of castration without malice and practicing medicine without a license.
Sheriff Tom Alexander and District Attorney Michael Bonfoey announced the arrests of the men in connection with the illegal castrations. The sheriff and prosecutor said the victims were willing participants. The victims met the accused  through a locally produced website that published photographs of men engaging in sadomasochistic behavior. Yahoo! shut down the site in December 2004. The castrations took place last year beginning in March and continued through November, according to police documents. The case is the first involving willing castration in the county and could be the first in North Carolina.
“This right here beats everything I have ever seen,” the sheriff said.
Dr. Paul Appelbaum, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and a past president of the American Psychiatric Association, said voluntary castration appears to be a very rare phenomenon.
“The people who I have seen who have undergone voluntary castration have been psychotic and often in the grip of a delusion that their sexual organs were causing them to behave in evil ways.” Appelbaum said. “And they felt that to rid themselves of that evil, it was necessary to rid themselves of their sexual organs.”
     I say, they sound like the perfect Christians to me. What’s the problem? For Christians, sex is evil. I only wish ALL Christians had the same courtesy these North Carolina guys. It’d sure help reduce the spread of  disease. Christianity, I mean. What other disease?

-->Borders without Borders Dept: The Utne Reader points out that the success of the French-based humanitarian group “Doctors Without Borders” has spawned dozens of imitators, anxious to build on the successful franchise. There’s Geeks Without Borders, Sisters Without Borders, Librarians Without Borders and my favorite, Clowns Without Borders.
     Stay tuned with your donations for the next installment: Pedophiles Without Borders. Get those checkbooks ready!