An accidentally tragic timeline

Letters to the Boston editor, December 12, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  December 10, 2008

Your “Terror Masala” article, unintentionally of course, is very timely in view of the atrocities in Mumbai — but it shows how stupid Indian filmmakers and the Indian public have been by constantly romanticizing, trivializing, and whitewashing terrorism — the result being that the (Hindu) public has largely lulled itself to sleep and, worse, lacks spine and cohesion and cannot fight the minority of Islamists effectively and decisively.

Further, I regret to say that when you yourself make a snide remark about President Bush, and by implication our (American) war against terrorism (“keeping my nerves jangled with bogus threats”), you look pretty stupid too.

What are you trying to do, ingratiate yourself with the typically empty-headed, very lefty readers of the Phoenix?

Phillip Baram

EDITOR’S NOTE Anyone who wonders about the Phoenix’s stand on terrorism in general or Mumbai in particular need only read last week’s editorial, “The Spectacle of Terrorism."

Incomplete information
It is clear that your story “Menino’s Mosque” is the result of someone’s personal agenda to use the Phoenix to attack Mayor Menino over details that he was not involved in. The Boston Redevelopment Authority designed the site for use as a mosque under the Flynn administration. Your story fails to mention that more than 2000 pages of documents were provided to Mr. Bernstein by the BRA, and he spent hours in our offices going over these files. The story also fails to mention that the BRA won the land-sale case in court. At the end of the day, this should be a story about urban redevelopment at its core, as it has always been the BRA’s policy to dispose of blighted properties at reduced rates in order to spur redevelopment and enliven communities.

John F. Palmieri, Director
Boston Redevelopment Authority

EDITOR’S NOTE Our response to BRA Director Palmieri’s letter is best summarized in the editorial found here.

Suspicious charges
What, exactly, is the difference between accepting cash for a favor, as former state senator Dianne Wilkerson allegedly did, and accepting a campaign contribution for a favor? Those in politics might make a distinction, but I think the general public sees it for what it is. One is on the books, one is not.

The cynicism that this breeds in the electorate is understandable. That politicians are scared innocent actions may be misconstrued in the fallout of the investigation into Wilkerson is laughable. I think what they fear most is people ferreting out the connections between the legal contributions and the favors doled out.

Paul Centro
Jamaica Plain

When I heard that FBI agents had arrested Chuck Turner on corruption charges, my gut instinct told me something was very wrong with this picture. Turner has a life-long history of advocacy and self-sacrifice. The FBI, on the other hand, despite TV and Hollywood makeovers, has a long, well-documented history of disrupting and destroying movements for justice and social change. Why should this case be any different?

If Turner is guilty of anything, it’s fighting hard for Boston jobs for Boston people, sustainable economic development, and peace. He stood outside the accepted norms by helping to found the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party, by building a grassroots movement in his district, and by leading the fight to stop the BU biolab.

I have no doubt that Turner will be exonerated, and that the movement for a healthy community will continue to grow and prevail.

Sandy Eaton

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