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John Stossel is Inducted into Mammon's Hall of Fame

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Message Richard Mathis
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To: John Stossel JohnStossel@abcnews.com
From: Lucifer B. Mephistopheles de Mammon
Re: Induction into the Devil's Hall of Fame

My Dear Mr. Stossel:

Please accept my congratulations on having been inducted into Mammon's Hall of Fame. You are truly a champion of greed and deserve to be eternally remembered for your many years of truly outstandingly selfish service as a master Mammonite. Allow me to salute you for not only saying "Greed is good" but openly promoting avarice as a traditional American value. Also, let me praise your hellish hubris as reflected in the title of your latest book "Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get out the Shovel, Why Everything You Know Is Wrong."

Thank you, self-serving sir, for once upon a time greed was a sin and moderation was a virtue. Back then the definition of greed was "excessive desire for acquiring or having; desire for more than one needs or deserves." Synonyms included avarice, covetousness, gluttony, insatiability, piggishness, ravenousness and voraciousness. Notice all those nasty religious connotations.

Indeed, Saint Paul in the Bible wrote that the love of money is the root of all evil. James wrote that wars arise from wanting what you can't have. Jesus said blessed are the poor and he taught that they get into heaven before the rich in the story of the beggar Lazarus. The New Testament even says that the poor have been chosen by God. Then again, the entire Bible denounces greed, and encourages moderation and restraint in personal indulgence while being liberally generous in helping the less fortunate. It's called being your brother's keeper and not losing your soul while trying to gain the world thinking that your worth is the same as your net worth. Some even say the original sin arose out of greed that was provoked by the serpent in the grass. John, you are as pretty as any I've ever had.

I really admire the Orwellian way you have helped revise the meaning of greed so that now it's perceived as the very energy which makes America great. Great for me, that is, to make all the money and take all the power I can. Of course, I'm more than glad to share my success with anybody willing to let me fill them with infernal inspiration of inflamed self-importance. All they have to do in return is doing my will on earth as it is done in hell.

Such was your life-changing anti epiphany when you realized that "I started out by viewing the marketplace as a cruel place, where you need intervention by government and lawyers to protect people. But after watching the regulators work, I have come to believe that markets are magical and the best protectors of the consumer. It is my job to explain the beauties of the free market."

Such magical beauties they are, John, that need protection from non believing regulators. All the government needs to do is regulate regulators from regulating. To hell with this "myth" that "[s]haring would make the world a better place." As you wrote in "The Defense of Greed," Michael Milken did more good than Mother Teresa and that "[r]ailing against greed is a demonstration of lazy thinking by the left."

What the left needs, John, is for you to evangelize them into believing in the magic of the market of greed. Such conversion will cause all these lazy leftist thinkers to get over "just another foolish media-hyped scare" that they call global warming. Granted all the scientific evidence even forces you to grudgingly admit that global warming is happening. But then you add: "Global warming is happening. Is it a big problem? Probably not. Many scientists do not agree, despite what you hear in the Al Gore movie." Besides, the market will magically find a solution to global warming.

You also really impressed me, John, by claiming "The fundamentalist doom-mongers [environmentalists] ignore scientists who say the effects of global warming may be benign." By the way, your title of "A convenient lie" was really clever for a piece covering Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." The same people are likely to laugh at both that side-splitting witty tittle and at you calling environmentalists "fundamentalist doom-mongers." While this might not jive with Ann Coulter's claim that liberals are godless, none of your "conservative" fans will ever spot the inconsistency. But they will certainly get Ann's and your message that greed is good and moderation is sinful liberalism.

Who can ever forget you promoting price gouging to the point of charge twenty dollars for a bottle of water during the aftermath of Katrina? And now with you arguing that there should be an open market for selling organs for transplants to the highest bidders, it is with great pride that I hereby officially announce your induction into my Hall of Fame, officially known as the Devil's Hall for Eternally Loyal Luciferians (HELL). Rest assure that upon termination of your mortal obligations that we will give you a most warm reception upon your permanent induction into HELL. Trust me that it will be a real barnburner.

Until then,

my warmest regards,

Lucifer B. Mephistopheles

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B. 1952, GA, USA. D. To Be Determined. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, lover, confidant and friend of many from bikers to Zen masters; American writer and speaker, known for his criticism of Mammon's unholy trinity of big business, big (more...)
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