I received this letter in late July. A "special agent" for a government agency says that I'm all wrong about y2k, and I'm a snake-oil salesman to boot. Also, I am in danger of going to hell. To prove his point, he cites "Galations."
He says I should tell everyone about y2k for free. Let's see: 750,000 pieces of mail so far in 1997. That means I should have paid, say, $500,000 out of my own pocket. That was my moral responsibility, you understand.
No doubt y2k programmers should work for free. They owe it to the nation.
No doubt doctors should work for free. They owe it to the sick.
And tax collectors? Civil Service security and fat retirement income after 30 years of hard work collecting people's money.
I immediately replied. I asked him to have someone in his agency write to me on letterthead stationery that the agency is 100% y2k compliant, so that I can forward this to Senators Moynihan, Barnett, and Dodd, as well as to Congressman Horn, so that they can find out how the agency did it. I promised him that I would post his agency's claim, without comment, on my Web site. He sent back an e-mail saying that he is no spokesman for the agency, and that I should send my request to his agency's Web page. I intend to do just this. But it's one more example of a persistent pattern:
"Will you put this statement on letterhead stationery?"
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Dear Mr. North,
A co-worker of mine at the [Government agency] gave me a copy of your lengthy letter entitled "Yellow Alert, First Warning: The Alzheimer's Economy." I assume that he received it from some mailing list that his name has been sold to because he subscribes to numerous journals and periodicals. I ran the time and date test on my PC at the [Agency] and it successfully changed to 01-01-2000 with no problem.
I spoke with our LAN administrator and he advised me that the [Agency] has corrected this potential problem in all of our computers, nationwide and worldwide. [The Agency], as you know, is a tax collecting agency. Your blanket claim that no tax collecting agency has addressed this problem which will result in "massive tax revolt," nationalization of railroads, "massive unemployment," system failure, "a national emergency," "a major breakdown," "a drastic increase in costs,""depression," ad infinitum is not true and is an irresponsible attack on the sensibilities of social security recipients and could encourage people like the extremist "Texas Militia" and others to violate the law at their peril while you count your riches from your $129 annual subscription dues. If you are truly concerned about Americans, make this information available to everyone for free. Don't be so selfish. I won't hold my breath waiting.
There is noting wrong with advising people of high-risk investments in computer software, hardware, and related companies who will benefit by the corrections now being made. However, it is scandalous and dangerous to attempt to scare people into buying your services with your end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario. You speak of morals and quote the Bible in your letter, while displaying irresponsibility for the consequences of your own actions. Incidentally, you quote the Bible out of context. Jesus was not talking about material prosperity in this world. He was speaking of spiritual riches. You sound like the name it and claim it people preaching the counterfeit "prosperity gospel." You should be ashamed of yourself.
I checked out the Internet address, www.righTime.com, as recommended in your letter. Their shareware program will cost registered users $35-45. I would ask you, sir, if you are sharing in the profits from the proceeds of this program? I suspect that you are. [The program is free to individual PC users, but the author asks for a donation from commercial users. Ah, the sin of it! He's not giving it away to businessmen. Well, actually he is, but he wants a donation. This capitalist fat cat preying on . . . capitalist fat cats! He obviously has no conscience! As for me, I have no connection to rightTime.]
By the way, my wife was formerly a mainframe computer programmer proficient in COBOL, RPG, and FORTRAN, yet she is unable to get a job in this field because the demand is too low. You claim that people with her skills are in great demand and state that they should be earning $200 or more dollars per hour. If you know of such a job, please advise me and my wife will reenter the field. I doubt that I will be hearing from you on this one, but hope springs eternal.
I could continue, but why bother? You are just another snakeoil salesman who's only concern is lining his pockets with those soon to be worthless dollars. Where will you spend all of that money when the government collapses? More importantly, where will you spend eternity? I can answer the last question for you if you care to respond, sir. If you would like to send mail to my snail-mail address, it is as follows: [address].
Please feel free to contact me if you need to update or correct any additional information to be distributed to your loyal subscribers and/or would be subscribers. I remain sincerely yours.