Editor's Note: In our Oct. 25-31 issue, letter writer Peter Grilli criticized Weekly Planet for not reporting that, more than a decade ago, University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian had said "death to Israel" at a rally. In fact, Sugg in May 1998 had reported the quote by Al-Arian. Sugg had commissioned an independent translation of several rallies where Al-Arian spoke. Sugg at that time wrote in the Planet: "I've also reviewed translations of Islamic conferences. I didn't find a blueprint for bringing terror to the United States. I did find strident language. ... The shout of "Death to Israel" makes me recoil." Again, in October 2000, Sugg wrote: " "Death to Israel' is rough language with which I strongly disagree. But it is a political statement, spoken in America and therefore protected by our First Amendment."

Wrap Your Groove Thang

Re: "A Banner Year" by Kelli Kwiatkowski (Oct. 25-31)

We the United States ought to be happy that people are proud to display our country's colors regardless of whether it's flying from a boat or wrapped around our ass. It's not about how it's flown; it's that it is flown at all!

Patrick Schartz
Via e-mail

Death to the First Amendment

Re: "The Al-Arian Factor" by Rochelle Renford (Oct. 18-24)

Rochelle Renford's article and the comments by Al-Arian and Dr. Roy Weatherford show that academic hate speech is allowable — as long as it is of the "politically correct" kind and is also protected under the umbrella of "tenure."

Scott Levison
Pinellas Park

Blues Sister

Re: "Bottom's Up" by Peter Gallagher (Oct. 11-17)

The success of the blues at Nick's is a result of the dedication of many musicians in addition to Rock and his band. Nick came to me a year ago and asked me to play at the Seabreeze again (I had played there with The Swing Sisters for nearly a year, previously). I convinced him that he should hire blues bands instead of young rockers on the weekends, and I cajoled Rock and other blues musicians into playing there for pittance because we want to keep the blues music alive.

Sarah Murphy, a.k.a. Sarahsax
Via e-mail

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