JP news illustrates “the end justifies the means” philosophy

July 25, 2008

A few queries for the “End Justifies The Means” (EJTM) believers to ponder, regarding issues recently reported in the Jamaica Plain Gazette:

If church and state should be separated, why is it acceptable to decorate (desecrate?) a Civil War monument, dedicated to those who gave their lives to end slavery, with religious symbols as anti-war statements (photo, May 30)?

If we remember our heroes by naming public spaces after them, such as the John F. Kennedy School, Martin Luther King Boulevard or Ted Williams Tunnel, why are we even considering honoring with a memorial a person whom authorities theorize was part of an ongoing gang feud (articles, May 2, May 19 and June 27)?

If a community process has led to the extraordinary success the Southwest Corridor Transportation Project has achieved, why is its decision-making model, the Station Area Task Force—created in the 1980s to empower those who would live with and be most affected by decisions—being distorted by some petitioners who don’t live in the station area; needed the petition translated; or whose signatures we do not know were verified (article, June 13)?

If Cuba is such a great place to live and does such a good job caring for its people, why did tens of thousands of Cubans risk their lives, many unsuccessfully, to escape during and since the Mariel Boatlift, much like those who attempted escape from the People’s Paradise of East Germany by way of the Berlin Wall (commentary, June 27)?

If public libraries are supposed to be trustworthy and objective repositories of knowledge and opinion, why are employees of the Boston Public Library, in letters to the editor (May 16 and 30), implicitly giving the library’s support to a restaurant/barroom/bowling alley’s private business dealings? And why have these librarians assailed a local property owner/developer whose many improvements in JP have made it much more attractive and convenient?

And, if the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC)—whose formation was for the purpose of providing advisory opinions to the city—cannot attract enough candidates to fill its seats in its past two elections; and if any of its members can state personal viewpoints as JPNC opinion without demonstrating JPNC authorization; why should the JPNC have any influence or credibility (articles, May 30, June 27 and July 11)?

These are just some of the news items the EJTMs can ponder during the time they apparently have on their hands. Perhaps they could spend their time restoring the JP World’s Fair, although it would be no fun expending effort that does not have the effect of telling others how they should run their lives.

Bob McDonnell??
Jamaica Plain