Fear tactics take aim at election My wife and I were shocked to see the CD entitled Obsession tucked innocently among the ads in our Sunday paper.
This hate-filled propaganda is just part of the right-wing extremists' fear and smear tactics. Their hope is to make Americans afraid of anyone who is not exactly like them, and thereby affect the outcome of November's election.
We are not surprised to see how low they are prepared to go; we were appalled that it came in our Sunday morning Times, and feel that your advertising people need to look more carefully at what they are accepting.
This is deplorable material, and we are rethinking our decision to renew our subscription!
Hal Chase, Hudson
A deadly ideology
Sunday morning I received with the St. Petersburg Times a DVD titled Obsession. After viewing it, I can only conclude that as a people we have been ignorant of the war of ideology around us.
There are a significant number of people who through an ideology of death and destruction want to dominate the world. This is no different than previous attempts by groups such as Nazi Germany to eradicate those who did not believe their ideology. These people are here in the United States and working to destroy our beliefs. How long will we allow them to continue?
Think about the actions you can take to prevent this mission of theirs and start doing them! Doing nothing invites your demise!
David Figueroa, Valrico
Flier, DVD on Islam provoke controversy Sept. 17, story
A useful documenting of dangers of radical Islam
After reading your article about the Obsession film controversy, I pulled the DVD insert out of a "to-do" stack and watched the film.
Watching the DVD was definitely worthwhile. It is not a hate film about all Muslims but simply points out the dangers of the radical Islamic movement throughout the world. The film documents through speeches and film footage that these radicals have a main goal/slogan of "Death to America." The film also points out that we may have not learned from history as it makes the comparisons between the Nazi and radical Islam movements.
The question of who, in the upcoming presidential election, John McCain or Barack Obama, with experience of military and foreign affairs, can best protect the United States through these dangerous times is a no-brainer for this Republican!
Henry F. Russell, Palm Harbor
Flier, DVD on Islam provoke controversy Sept. 17, story
An opening for hate crimes
Our household received in your Sunday newspaper a DVD that easily can create hateful responses to people of one religion. Extremist groups in all major religions have done terrible things in the name of religion. Would you have included it with the paper if the religion targeted was Christian or Jewish? I wonder.
Moya Neville, your vice president of advertising, said, "I feel badly that there are some readers who are offended by this, but many of our advertisements don't make people happy."
Sorry, but you have the right to not distribute in your newspaper materials that could easily incite hate crimes against innocent and good people.
That the St. Petersburg Times chose to do so is not to the paper's credit. As a respected presence, you can only hope that this does not contribute to hate crimes right here in your subscription area.
The Rev. Warren Clark, Temple Terrace
Oppose this ignorance
Why didn't the St. Petersburg Times just say no to including the DVD Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West among all the inserts in Sunday's paper? This is hateful propaganda with the intention of stirring up fear in voters and casting the Muslims of the world as terrorists. A newspaper with a high standard of excellence should not include any materials, even ads, that fail to meet these standards.
The Clarion Fund, the organization that produced this DVD, calls it education. But it's no more educating than reading the National Enquirer. The actions of terrorists are sinful and against the teachings of Islam. This group should have spent its money making a movie about the commonalities of the monotheistic religions, Judiaism, Christianity and Islam. Leave national security issues to the government.
Readers should wage war against ignorance, not Islam.
Joan Mulrennan Zaki, Lithia
A right-wing slant
I object to your allowing the Obsession DVD to be distributed in Sunday's St. Petersburg Times.
From the information on the card, it seems this video was released only in battleground states, which tells me that this organization is using the DVD to influence the election. It seems the St. Petersburg Times is endorsing this video, and thus endorsing a plan to scare voters into electing the Republican candidate.
Mark Winer, Clearwater
Gas gouging complaints piling up | Sept. 16
It is no shock that the gas gouging hot lines are ringing off the hook. Hurricane Ike has given gas stations yet another B.S. reason to raise their prices. Crude oil is about 95 bucks a barrel right now. The last time it was that cheap we we're only paying $2.50 to $2.80 per gallon for our gas. Gas stations charging more than $3.50 per gallon should be heavily fined, or the owners should be prosecuted.
Stations are always quick to raise the price when crude oil goes up, but when it comes to lowering them they take weeks. This is an outrage.
Niko Tzoumas, Trinity
A way to curb demand
If there's a delay in fuel supplies due to Hurricane Ike, the pumps will go dry if we don't reduce gas usage. We can impose rationing or we can let the market raise prices high enough to discourage consumption.
Congressional studies have shown no wrongdoing. I'd personally prefer to let individuals decide how badly they need gasoline than have a "public servant" make that choice for us.
Michael Kyle, Lutz
USF mulls diabetes hospital | Sept. 12, story
A needed facility
Leaders at the University of South Florida should be encouraged and supported in building a diabetes hospital on their campus.
The need for a dedicated academic medical facility that would address the prevention, research, education and patient care of this deadly disease, which attacks so many parts of the body, would bring priceless prestige to the Tampa Bay area.
As a lifelong Type 1 diabetic who wears an insulin pump, I can attest that this type of specialized hospital is greatly needed on the campus of USF.
Donald T. Davidson, Sun City Center