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Readers sound off on community jails, the Taliban at Camp David, and Qulon McCain

2019-09-10

Manhattan: New York City leaders have been railroading a defective plan to replace Rikers Island with high-rise jails in four boroughs. After reviewing the Lippman Commission report and hearing Judge Jonathan Lippman speak, it’s clear the recommendations have not been followed. Four buildings, to be placed at locations targeted because the sites are readily available for city construction and are near public transportation, doesn’t fulfill the commission’s recommendations for community jail facilities or realistically meet goals set to improve our justice system.

At the Queens Civic Center location, the new jail would change the essence of neighboring communities designed specifically as an urban oasis by earlier city planners. These are tree-lined residential streets with low buildings, the nationally landmarked park-like Maple Grove Cemetery adjacent to the site and schools very nearby.

The mayor and his representatives have made nice presentations — largely aimed at humoring local leaders. It’s been insulting to those who have worked tirelessly for decades in the Bronx to revive their community, to Kew Gardens, Briarwood and Forest Hills volunteers who’ve worked to preserve their quiet neighborhoods, etc. And the mayor offered to trade city services for acceptance!

While I admire the effort to improve the experience for those who are jailed, this solution and means to an end are outright wrong. The process and plan require major reworking. The City Council should reject the plan before it. Madeline Berger

Allentown, Pa.: My question to Voicer Zelda Multz: Would you express the same sentiments if a family member were killed by an illegal immigrant? Before you answer, talk to any angel mom in this country. Talk to the parents of Kate Steinle. Your comments about history relate to legal immigration, not illegal immigration. Why is there such concern for illegal immigrants while you remain silent regarding the plight of the homeless American citizens? Until you answer these questions, stop with the false narrative about “tearing families apart.” Joseph Marrongelle

Greenburgh, N.Y.: I was very pleased to learn that Walmart will stop selling ammunition that can be used in military-style assault rifles. Another suggestion: States and the federal government should do what the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once suggested and implement a huge increase in federal taxes on handgun ammunition that would make especially destructive bullets unaffordable. As the senator said, “guns don’t kill people, bullets do.” Paul Feiner

Bronx: GOP, thy name is hypocrite. Can you imagine if it were Obama or any other Democratic president who invited the Taliban to Camp David? How they would carry on about it? Trump invited them and it blew up in his face. He had to disinvite them, he says, because they killed an American solider. Now the Taliban is threatening to kill more Americans in Afghanistan. So many blunders in so little time. When will it end? Pauline Graham Binder

Bridgeport, Conn.: That Qulon McCain faced four years in jail for stealing four pairs of socks will be defended by some, I am sure, because we have become a heartless society incapable of compassion or empathy (“8 socks, 4 years,” Sept. 8). The story notes that McCain has 89 misdemeanor convictions. I don’t care if it is a thousand. It’s a few pairs of socks. And he is mentally ill. God help us. Bob Birge

Wilmington, N.C.: A private company, fed up with a mentally ill homeless person who repeatedly shoplifts from its business, lawfully bans that individual from its premises and then presses charges when the individual violates that ban. The district attorney then prosecutes that individual and he receives a lawful sentence from a judge. While incarcerated, that individual then gets the help he needs to be a productive member of society. Sounds like a success story to me. Jim Vroman

New Paltz, N.Y.: Allie Feldman Taylor, Matthew Dominguez and their organization Voters for Animal Rights are quite right to be concerned about animal cruelty (“No, foie gras isn’t humane,” op-ed, Sept. 7), and the debate about whether the force-feeding of ducks is inhumane or not will continue. However, the very title of their organization and its declaration that animals have “rights” is incorrect. Rights are uniquely, and exclusively, human. As irrational, amoral creatures, animals are incapable of understanding such an abstraction nor are they capable of modifying their behavior so as not to violate the rights of others. Yes, cruelty to animals is repugnant and morally indefensible, but we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that our survival necessitates our using and shaping the world for our own preservation and betterment. This includes the use of animals for food, shelter and other vital necessities such as research and clinical study in the discovery of the causes, cures and treatments of numerous diseases, including AIDS and cancer. Let’s treat animals humanely but not at our own expense or with the mentality that a cat is a dog is a duck is a person. Russell Paul La Valle

Fresh Meadows: The reasoning in the Daily News editorial about the foie gras ban (“Daffy for ducks,” Sept. 3) seems to be that because the industry-wide conditions for both animals and humans on all factory farms are inhumane, it is pointless to merely propose a ban on foie gras. But why let the perfect be the enemy of the good? We live in an imperfect world, and we should applaud any effort to end suffering. The ducks trapped on foie gras farms being force-fed to induce the liver disease that is foie gras aren’t symbols as you suggest in the editorial. They are living, breathing, sentient creatures. Let’s not forget that. Edita Birnkrant

Malverne, L.I.: As an anthrozoologist who has rescued hundreds of abandoned domestic ducks and geese in New York City, I know that these birds have complex social structures and long-lasting memories, and display abstract reasoning from a very young age. Many mate for life and grieve for long periods of time when their partners die. Confining ducks by the thousands to cramped, filthy warehouse-like barns without any access to water for swimming, as is common on foie gras farms, would be abusive all by itself, without even factoring in the physical and mental trauma of force-feeding. John Di Leonardo

Old Bridge, N.J.: In response to Mike Lupica’s comment about turning the sound off on Jeanine Pirro, making it “not half bad” (We should find out fast if Giants, Jets will give fans reason to hope this season," Sept. 7): Turn off the picture portion as well. Voilà! It’s all good. Janet Cecin