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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Nov/Dec 2007

Dear Marvin,
I found the exchange of viewpoints about the Cuba issue fascinating, as was the issue [June 2007]. I would point out, however, that Alarcon's interview was not enlightening, as Manny Gonzalez says, it was standard communist boilerplate. Nothing was actually said. Dr. Heres's letter was more to the point—openings to communist countries are one-way streets. No communist government allows free exchange of ideas. The Berlin Wall was to keep people in the communist paradise, not to keep them out. Ever read The Bridge at Andau? That having been said, I support lifting the travel ban simply because I believe that if enough Americans travel to Cuba and talk with the Cuban people, it will undermine the dictatorship. And if we are there to spend money, which we will do, of course, people will have to talk with us. It is not a matter of creating jobs here—Cuba has virtually no national income and can't buy anything. It is a matter of undermining the Castro regime without saying that that is what we are doing. And by the way, Portugal and Spain were not brought into the EU because the EU "brought them up to par," as reader William Anderson says. They are still two of the poorest countries in the EU. They got in because they got rid of their dictatorships.

Let freedom ring!

Charles Knapp
Carson City, Nevada

Editor's note: We've always said the best way to change Cuba is to open the doors.

Dear Marvin,
I recently attended an LPGA tournament and was enjoying a fine cigar as I followed my favorites around the course. Many others were smoking cigarettes and only a few were smoking cigars. I was careful to remain distant from larger groups of people for fear of offending someone. In one particular instance I was standing by the green, behind the main lines of fans and holding my cigar behind my back, not even puffing it due to the closer proximity of people. As I did so a woman passed behind me and literally ran into me, knocking my cigar from my hand and leaving a trace of ash on her arm. After some verbal abuse by her, I was shocked to have her husband confront me, saying to "control my cigar and I should not be smoking out here," followed by "it is a nasty habit."

Unfortunately, I was only able to recover enough to say, "If I can't smoke here, where can I?" This was followed by some more profanities by the husband as we all moved on to the next hole.

As we all know, the golf course is one of only a few remaining bastions to enjoy a fine cigar outside of one's own home.

For me this incident epitomizes "Enough is enough."

Terence Scheffler
Ashland, Oregon

Dear Marvin,
I enjoy your magazine, but who are you marketing to? The clothes, the cars and the accessories month after month may well be in Mr. Shanken's budget, but they're not in mine. Example, a pair of shoes for $1,695, or an $18,000 watch.

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