San Francisco Chronicle

Biles an American hero for setting example


In communists times I performed acrobatics all over Eastern Block with military artistic ensemble, including performanc­e in the theater of cosmonauts village near Moscow. Later with Holiday on Ice as skater, I performed with a group of Czech gymnastic Olympians, one of them, my buddy, was a gymnastics gold winner in Tokyo in 1964. In one of my comedy numbers, I was doing a handstand on studs on a small platform on the stage high over iron stairs, completely enclosed inside of my costume in total darkness before I got hit by the blinding spotlight.

I was risking a bad fall and breaking my back every time during hundreds of performanc­es, so I kind of know of some pressures sometime. I cannot even imagine the pressures Simone Biles has gone through over the years, always risking bad injuries. She is my hero, gold or not.

Richard Kreibich, Novato

Abusive filibuster

Regarding “Bipartisan­ship and its potholes” (Editorial, July 30): The discussion inevitably turns to the filibuster and Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Rather than revering democracy and pushing for legislatio­n to maintain voting rights, preserving the abusive filibuster seems to be of primary concern.

Once the GOP cements permanent minority control over this nation using procedures being jammed through Republican controlled state legislatur­es, do these two senators really expect Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to maintain this archaic rule? Didn’t previous actions with the Supreme Court teach them anything? American democracy is on life support, and the clock is ticking. Gregory Hirsch, Pacifica

Vaccine stragglers

Since March 2020, San Francisco has done an exemplary job following the lead of health experts and scientists in the face of COVID19. We’ve been tragically hit by the pandemic, but we diligently wore masks, maintained physical separation and sacrificed in response. Numbers don’t lie: These steps saved thousands of our neighbors lives.

We have emerged as one of the safest pandemic cities with the least impact on emergency rooms and ICUs in all of America. Now, we face a new surge and it’s because of the few adults who’ve refused to get vaccinated. Those holdouts are creating a laboratory for variants that are mutating and threatenin­g everyone when we should have nipped this crisis in the bud. We cannot force these stragglers to get vaccinated. But they should not be forcing the rest of us back into lockdown.

We’ve done the right thing. Our reward should be to go to work, school, concerts, restaurant­s, gyms, museums and stores, unmasked even: all based on proof of vaccinatio­n. And if you’re still choosing not to get vaccinated, you’re choosing not to join us. That’s only fair. We’ve done our part. Now it’s your turn. Peter Albert, San Francisco

State of emergency

With thousands falling ill and dying, do we not have a true “national emergency?” It would seem that sterner measures are needed at the national level to require all adult citizens to be vaccinated or have a legitimate objection such as physical intoleranc­e or demonstrat­ed religious prohibitio­n. Such measures may require a presidenti­al executive order declaring such an emergency in order to temporaril­y suspend certain rights guaranteed by law. For example, the right of the unvaccinat­ed to access certain federal benefits such as income subsidies, identity documents and access to federally owned property (parks and monuments, administra­tive centers, etc.) I would think that those millions who are now at high risk of serious illness due to the present situation might support such an executive order. Christie Kiefer, El Cerrito

 ?? Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press ?? Simone Biles, shown in June at the U.S. Gymnastics Championsh­ips in Fort Worth, Texas, pulled out of the Olympics finals, citing mental health concerns.
Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press Simone Biles, shown in June at the U.S. Gymnastics Championsh­ips in Fort Worth, Texas, pulled out of the Olympics finals, citing mental health concerns.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States