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...greed will always create ideas, markets, companies, and, sometimes, fortunes.

Dot.Com Fever Strikes Again

YOU HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD |”Dot.Com Fever Meets the Greater Fool Theory”]. My company, Dog Star Media, specializes in marketing and media solutions for small businesses. At times this means start-ups, and these days, it means dot.coms, loo. Although we have chosen to work with only one dot.com so far, I see a disturbing trend among the others. Rush-to-IPO types are forgetting that the Internet is first and foremost a medium of communication.

Donald Griswold

President, Dog Star Media



One can’t argue that the gravy train will have to end soon-or will it? Unemployment has reached a 30-year low, productivity numbers are up, and all companies are bound to continue spending on technology lest they be left behind. Perhaps it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but greed will always create ideas, markets, companies, and, sometimes, fortunes. As long as larger, slower companies are willing to acquire start-ups for new, untested technologies or simply a brand name, who can resist the dream of instant riches?

Mike McKiggan

Allen



Great article [“Dot.Com Risk Takers”]. I am a lawyer/CPA and have been practicing law in Dallas-Fort Worth for 12 years. I made the jump with my college roommate to found an Internet start-up in Houston. We only thought we worked hard as lawyers.

Todd E. Tyler

Houston



Blowing the Whistle on the INS

I AM THE HEAD OF THE UNITED STATES OFFICE of Special Council (OSC), an independent federal agency charged with, among other things, enforcing the laws prohibiting retaliation against federal whistleblowers. Given my agency’s mission, I feel compelled to respond your article.

First, contrary to the article, the Whistleblower Protection Act, which OSC enforces, does not permit whistieblowers to “dodge” the consequences of their own misconduct. The WPA makes it unlawful for an agency to take a personnel action against an employee because of his whistleblowing. It does not prohibit an agency from taking a personnel action against an employee who happens to be a whistleblower.

OSC. however, came to a different conclusion after a full investigation of Jacobs’ complaint against the INS. Thus, your article is inaccurate in its assertion that OSC advised INS that, while it could not fire Jacobs, it could take other actions against him (including a demotion) because of his alleged misdeeds. In fact, OSC did not approve any of the actions taken against Jacobs. Rather, after a full investigation, OSC concluded that there was reason to believe that the actions taken against Jacobs were retaliatory. Indeed, we filed a petition for corrective action on his behalf with the Merit Systems Protection Board. Further, OSC sought, and the MSPB granted, a stay of Jacobs’ reassignment.

Elaine Kaplan

Washington. D.C.



Thanks for writing the article about Neil Jacobs [“When the Whistleblower is a Schmuck”]. As one of the Hispanic agents under his supervision, I was subjected to discrimination, ridicule, and retaliation. Your article was right on target: In a cowardly manner, he hid behind the Whistleblower Act and the Office of Special Council.

On repeated occasions, I wrote to the OSC to express the concerns of the Hispanic-agents at the Dallas District Office. The OSC knew that by protecting this individual, they were effectively giving him carte blanche to continue attacking us. Shame on Elaine Kaplan of the OSC.

This individual is now being allowed to ride off into the sunset as if nothing happened. What happened to accountability? What about the damage done to our careers? These are questions 1 intend to ask our upper-level management in Washington, D.C. Because of the deliberate and malicious damage done to my family, my person, and my career, 1 no longer have any expectations for promotions here or elsewhere.

FlDENCIO RANGEL

INS Special Agent



Most governmental agencies are lazy, slovenly, inefficient, and cover these inadequacies by wrongly demonizing good agents like Neil Jacobs. The agent’s only mistake was trying to do the impossible.

Dr. Kevin R. Davis

via e-mail



Where did DMagazine getthe gall to use one of the most offensive terms in the Yiddish language? By virtue of your article, which accuses Mr. Jacobs of discrimination against Hispanics, you are discriminating against Mr. Jacobs-and offending the entire Jewish community-by using slang Yiddish terms to describe him.

I plan on exhausting every resource available to us against D Magazine and the obvious prejudice you display.

Sue Gavin

via e-mail



Editor’s Note: We applied the word “schmuck” in its common American English usage as a synonym for “jerk.



Thumbs Down to Bimbos

NOT ONLY ARE THE METRO VW ADS OFFENsive, but I fail to see what is clever about them-advertisers have been equating women with inanimate objects for years.

Natacha Vacroux

Dallas

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