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
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
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