Argus Joseph Thompson, insane, presents the following on MBS. Its veracity as well as its merit are, as always, subject to question.
On the tenth of November, S. B. Hemmingsford was arrested by the FBI. A 47-count indictment handed down by a New York Federal Grand Jury charged Hemmingsford and three Wall Street brokerage house executives with insider trading in the stock of General-O Dynamics and 14 of its subsidiaries. The New York Times reported that Hemmingsford and his three co-defendants had allegedly amassed illegal profits exceeding $3.5 billion. All four defendants were immediately released on their own bonds.
Although the government claimed Hemmingsford was a criminal, the government saw him as a special kind of criminal entitled to special privileges. If you’ve illegally hoarded large sums of money before being caught illegally hoarding more, the presumption exists that you are responsible and can be turned loose on your signature to await trial…while Leroy, who is penniless and homeless and who robbed the 7-11 for $23 to get a quick fix, has his bond set at a $100,000, which he; his twelve brothers and sisters; and all of their known spouses; offspring; current and discarded soul mates and their pushers; along with their friends on Twitter and Facebook collectively could not gather.
Crime is a sport reserved for the rich.
Persons of equal loot, moolah and scratch are equal—that’s what Jefferson should have written if he was going to be truthful about it, not that worn out aphorism that he dumped in the Constitution —All (not including women) men are created equal. But why should some wino whose total assets never exceeded half a bottle of cheap Tokay and a three-month growth of whiskers have the same rights as me?
I once knew a rich man who I thought wasn’t a criminal. He bought a second-hand mattress at Orville’s Store for the Homeless, and when he was looking for bedbug larvae he found where the mattress had been sewn up. When he cut it open he found $423. Since wealth is always comparative, compared to me, he is rich. I am not mentioning names because this man did not pay taxes on his windfall. Once more that proves the age-old truth that behind every great wealth is great crime.
Anyway, a few days after Hemmingsford was released he appeared with his lawyer, Rutherford P. Benyon, before the federal magistrate where he entered pleas of “Not guilty,” and “Not guilty by reason of insanity.”
The Times filed a follow-up story, the headline of which read:
HEMMINGSFORD ACCUSES TERRORISTS
An attorney for S. B. Hemmingsford, chairman of the board of General-O Dynamics, today claimed his client was the latest victim of the newly discovered personality disorder known as Moral Burnout Syndrome (MBS), a disease said to plague high-ranking corporate and public officials operating under extreme stress and recently described by the Nobel Prize winner, Solomon P. Goldberg.
Benyon said his client was a victim of MBS and has been in the acute throes of the disease since the recent attacks on his company’s logging operations by a radical environmental organization known as The Children. Benyon said Hemmingsford took The Children’s invasion of the company’s timber sale, where thousands of trees were spiked to prevent their harvest, as an assault levied against him personally. It was the classic “final stressor-straw,” a term invented by Goldberg to denote an identifiable last emotional trauma, which, when combined with prior stresses, at last pushes the victim into the disorder.
Benyon said, “The action of these terrorists was allegedly to save trees, but their true motivation was to shove my client over the edge into the full throes of Moral Burnout Syndrome.”
The Times’ cover story recorded the history of Goldberg’s discovery of MBS, a breakthrough lauded by social scientists as the long-sought connecting link between science and morality. In part the article read:
Already some experts are proclaiming Goldberg’s identification of the disease as a contribution to modern psychology comparable only to Freud’s The Ego and the Id. Goldberg discovered that wealthy or powerful self-made men approaching the summit of their careers often suddenly plummet into the gaping hole of moral decadence. At the time of the onset of the disease most of the victims have already achieved what Goldberg called “their three primary P’s—power, prestige and position, and their secondary P’s, their plethora of playthings—their Porsches, their private psychiatrists, their personal pushers and their sultan’s assortment of blond pubescents.”
In short, the victims have it all. Yet quite without warning, many inexplicably leap over the edge into a life of crime.
The Times writers observed that the victims’ crimes were pathetically unimaginative—common thefts, ordinary bribery, artless payoffs, embezzlements, even mundane murders for hire. They embezzled when they didn’t need the money and illegally manipulated the markets when they didn’t know what to do with the cash they already had.
The Goldberg article asked by its subtitle, “Is Moral Burnout a Crime?” A picture of the distinguished professor receiving the Nobel Prize from the Royal Caroline Medico–Chirurgical Institute in Sweden accompanied the lead story in which the Times writers, in their usual imperious style, traced the psychological progression of the disorder as described by Dr. Goldberg :
The archetypical MBS victim, the high- pressure executive, having existed under fire for years, is one day heard to begin screaming, “It’s war out there, man! War! Your competitors want to kill you. Your customers want to kill you. Your board of directors wants to kill you. Your employees want to kill you. And when you get home, the old lady wants to kill you. It’s war, and it’s hell!” The victim begins to complain of autonomic anal tightening and other vague symptoms that are often precursors of the disorder.
Goldberg likens the disease to a soldier in combat who, after suffering extreme stress from fear and physical exhaustion, gets a letter from home saying John Wayne, his hero, was the secret lover of Rock Hudson. It’s the “final stressor-straw” that pushes the soldier over the edge into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
MBS is a disease in the full sense of the word, Goldberg claims. “We would never permit the criminal courts to punish our leaders for having suffered a heart attack. To the same extent we cannot allow our criminal justice system to deal with this subtle and complex syndrome.” When asked about his willingness to testify in Hemmingsford’s case, Dr. Goldberg said, “It will be my privilege to convince the jury that this man was not responsible for his crimes but was, instead, a helpless victim of the insidious side effects of MBS.”
Argus concluded his presentation on MBS by claiming that MBS was merely collateral damage in a system engaged in the eternal and holy wars of American capitalism.
I find his logic and his conclusions unsupported by fact or logic but fully in support of his claim that he is insane.