Thanks to Robert Andrew Powell for a slam dunk with his superb article on Jack Shaber ("Mr. Basketball," March 27). Shaber is a hall-of-famer in my book.
Robert Andrew Powell replies: Jack Shaber has such an eagle eye for inaccuracies that I wanted to, uh, purposely challenge the trivia master. So I, um, deliberately inserted a few errors into the article. Shaber, of course, caught every transgression. "I don't know where you got that Moe Dubilier played for the Philadelphia Sphas," he chortled over the telephone. "I never said that. I'm 99.9 percent certain he didn't play for the Sphas. Oh, and another thing: You spelled Sphas wrong. You put the a before the h. You'll have to fix that."
Good catch, Jack. Moe Dubilier never played for the Spahs or the Sphas or any team in Philadelphia. Anything else? "You also spelled Sol Berkoff's name wrong," he added, referring to the Long Island University alumnus and Basketball Fraternity member I identified as Saul. "After all that time we spent checking names! It must have been more than an hour! Well, what can you do?"
Shaber noted a final error in the caption below a photo of Moe Dubilier's birthday celebration. The caption claimed Shaber was celebrating Dubilier's 92nd birthday. As the story accurately noted, it was only Dubilier's 82nd birthday. "You took a decade off his life!" Shaber cried in mock hysterics.
Why Not Squat?
Jim DeFede's expose on Miami International Airport's high-tech, overpriced toilets ("The Airport's Flush Fund," March 27) shows not only the gullibility of county officials but also how untraveled the leaders of this supposed international metropolis are. There is a much cheaper and more practical way to guard against germs and bacteria while using a public toilet.
For the price of just one Hygolet, a public official could have flown from MIA to France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, or anywhere in the Middle East and seen the innovative public accommodations that keep the rear ends of the local users clean and free of germs and bacteria. Having traveled in those parts, I really appreciate the brilliant design that should have revolutionized public toilets worldwide. These toilets have no moving parts and no costly plastic to replace. In fact, they have no seats at all.
What we Westerners sometimes call a "bomb site" is a slightly sunken porcelain floor with two raised areas to place your feet on as you squat and aim for a hole behind them. This simple and straightforward device, which also causes the user to be in the natural position for bowel elimination for our species, is probably quite old.
Why Americans insist on planting their lazy asses on a toilet seat and then going through all these techno-head solutions trying to keep that public seat sanitary is just another of those pitiful social foibles of our clueless culture. Having once worked cleaning public toilets, I've found disgusting evidence that people (especially women) are always attempting to squat on or over the toilets anyway. They've got the right idea. Why don't public planners get the right equipment?
One More Time from the Top: Castro Is Satan, Exile Extremists Are Not Batty Lunatics...
Jim Mullin is typically one-sided when it comes to the Cuban exile community ("Music to Die For," March 27). No one can defend an anonymous bomb threat [to radio station WRTO-FM], but do Cuban exiles have any less right to protest than other members of our community -- blacks, Jews, Anglos?
I would argue that Cuban exiles are the most tolerant group in our community. We have Francisco Aruca, who spews nothing but praise for Castro, and he is, to an extent, tolerated. We have those in our community who have kissed the tyrant, and we have those who make a business out of the forcefully imposed misery of the Cuban people. Yet they all exist quite publicly in our community.
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Let us not forget that Castro has murdered thousands of Cubans for simply not agreeing with his form of government. Let's also not forget the thousands imprisoned in inhumane conditions for disagreeing with his tyrannical rule. Let us not forget that most Cuban exiles were tossed from their homes and businesses by Castro and his henchmen.
Jews are not criticized for protesting any remnants of Nazism. Blacks are not ridiculed for protesting apartheid or any KKK function. Why then are Cuban exiles constantly ridiculed for their opposition to anything related to Castro?
Please try to be a little more balanced by presenting the facts as to why Cuban exiles feel the way they do, rather than presenting them as a bunch of batty lunatics.