Kudos to Barry for "hire-Americans-first" message
Re: "Barry refuses to apologize, says 'I didn't make racist remarks,' " April 27
Given that Marion Barry was sent to prison on narcotic drug charges, I am no great fan of his. Nevertheless, I am in total agreement with his "hire-the-American-first" philosophy. I am sure every other country hires its own citizens ahead of foreigners. Why should America be any different?
It is most unfortunate that Barry chose to single out Filipinos for a special pick-on. Nevertheless, I see no justice in hiring foreigners to do any job so long as there are unemployed but qualified Americans available to do the same work.
If American citizenship means nothing, then neither does American sovereignty.
Lawrence K. Marsh
All students will benefit from summer jobs
Re: "Barry, Catania clash over youth jobs," April 26
Regarding the disagreement between D.C. Council members David Catania and Marion Barry over whether there should be a minimum grade-point average required for a District youth to be eligible for a job through the city's Summer Youth Employment Program, there shouldn't be.
Why? A summer job is supposed to provide earned income, work and maturational experience, the development of transferable knowledge sets and skills, a productive use of summer time, exposure to suitable adult role models, and the self-respect, social identity and sense of hope that goes with working.
All young people need these things. A summer job should not be contingent on other accomplishments or used as a reward.
It's true that those who underperform at school usually don't spend enough time on their studies. But many of them were raised in homes where the life of the mind isn't valued and don't know how to organize their lives to fit academics in. They don't feel good about themselves, are easily bored and think studying is just for sissies.
None of these problems are addressed by disqualifying them for summer employment. I side with Councilmember Barry on this. Give summer jobs to not-so-good students too.
There's plenty Obama can do to bring down gas prices
Re: "Salazar: 'No one knows' if U.S. headed to $9/gal gas," April 24
The current occupant of the White House contends there is nothing he or anyone else can do to bring the price of oil down at the pump. Since President Obama is already following in the footsteps of Jimmy Carter, he should do what Carter did.
Carter authorized the conversion of shale to oil (not knowing there were huge pools of oil beneath the shale) and even offered to subsidize its development. Big oil (Esso, Mobile, Standard Oil, ConocoPhillips, Gulf, etc.) hastened to start development of techniques to squeeze oil out of shale. When the Arabs noted what they were doing and opened their pumps, a barrel of crude dropped dramatically from $60-plus to $10! End of oil shortages, and the lines at the gas stations disappeared.
Come on, Barack. Free our coasts, federal lands and Alaska for drilling and watch what happens.
It's really too bad that our youngsters don't even know what happened in the last 30 years, let alone the near history of the Great Depression. FDR did an about-face and raised taxes on the rich as soon as the Depression seemed to be over. It took production orders from the foreign wars to get the economy booming again.
I know. I was there.
Joseph P. Carrigan