A letter from a government worker says:
"Putting aside whatever else Arthur Sampson may have done as administrator of the General Services Administration, each spring, around mid May, he initiated an open-collar practice for GSA employees, except those dealing with the public.
"This was designed to make life a little more bearable in hot GSA buildings.
"However, Sampson's successors have not initiated such a policy during their tenures. It is now July, and I am getting hot under the collar waiting for the annual order permitting the removal of neckties. Should you publish this, please do not use my name and address."
If somewhere in this land there is a male GSA employee who has just hit a lottery for a million dollars or inherited 30 acres of downtown Dallas from a rich aunt, I hope he will shed his necktie without receiving permission, and that he will be fired for doing it.
The man thus victimized could afford to sue. I think the courts would uphold his suit on the grounds of sex discrimination. The government certainly doesn't order women to follow absurd dress codes.
Once the courts uphold a man's right to wear a neat sport shirt rather than a dress shirt, necktie and jacket, we men would not have to wait for permission to be comfortable during hot weather. We would be able to dress sensibly as a matter of legal right.
With the government now insisting on less air conditioning in public buildings, common sense demands the adoption of new dress codes, either by executive fiat or by court order.
It was written many years ago, "When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth." This is an excellent policy for individuals who contribute to charity.
However, those who run governments are more effective when the left hand does know what the right hand is doing.
A shirt-sleeved and tieless Jimmy Carter came out to the White House fence to meet the public a few days ago. If he had been a GSA employee, would he have been disciplined for doing that?
Bill Sullivan of Silver Spring forwards this clipping from U.S. News & World Report for July 23:
"Under way in Congress is a drive to close a loophole in federal law, providing relief for Indo-Chinese refugees, that lets employers give former Viet Cong soldiers entering the U.S. job preferences over Americans, including veterans of the Vietnam war."
How could Congress have passed such a law in the first place? A lot of those refugees don't even wear ties and jackets.
ONE MAN'S OPINION
Personal choice as the best news "anchor" on local TV: Gordon Peterson. Best on the networks, Roger Mudd, who is a solid newsman and smiles only rarely. Smiles are seldom appropriate these days.
THE JOB MARKET
Al Irby writes, "In Sunday's Washington Post, there were 34 pages of 'Help Wanted' ads for just about every conceivable type of job and profession.
"Do we really have an unemployment problem in this country? Or is it something else?"
People have written books on the subject without settling that issue to everybody's satisfaction, AL.
I think one explanation (but certainly not the only one) is that young people who are denied a good education, or who don't care to work at becoming educated, or don't have the patience to acquire skills, grow up to be adults who expects to be hired for choice jobs anyhow.
Those who acquire good scholastic backgrounds and have patiently sharpened their skills are in demand. They can move from job to job with relative ease. The others are not readily accepted - even when 34 pages of jobs are listed.
The remedy? Better motivation and indoctrination, I think. Young people who learn that hard work is the key to an easy life usually find a way to stay out of unemployment lines. Not always, but usually. The best place to find a helping hand is still at the end of your own arm.
GRAMMARIANS AT PLAY
Speaking of education, it sometimes shows up in unexpected places - as when Phi Beta Kappa Bob Wolff, in pursuit of a fly ball, would shout, "I have it," rather ran the outfielder's traditional call, "I got it."
Now Jim Black of Bethesda reports on a golf tournament held at Kenwood Country Club recently. It was called a "Better-Ball Twosome.' Jim says, "One of your grammarian purist readers must belong to Kenwood."