Target scofflaw bicyclists 

"Disputed ads are protected speech," Opinion, June 9

Situation in Israel is not apartheid

Kristin Szremski's editorial defending the Muni ads that equate Israel's policies to those of South Africa's apartheid regime reflect an ignorance of the history of both countries. Israel permits ALL of its citizens to participate in elections, attend universities, use the judicial system and even serve on the Supreme Court.

Apartheid South Africa prohibited such equality for its black residents.

Israel — faced with neighbors sworn to its annihilation — has been forced to enact safety measures that have, sadly, inconvenienced some citizens to ensure the safety of all.

I saw firsthand the evil of South Africa's apartheid when I visited in 1977. The word does not remotely apply to what I have seen in my many trips to Israel.

May I suggest that Ms. Szremski actually VISIT Israel? The facts are there for all to see.

David L. Levine,

San Francisco

Free speech hypocrisy

Just as the Muni ads placed by American Muslims for Palestine falsely libel Israel and its supporters, Kristin Szremski of American Muslims for Palestine attempts to claim that all such ads constitute protected speech. Yet when ads were run that upset the Muslim community, they were the first to demand that action be taken against them.

Transit agencies around the country, including in Chicago and Cincinnati, have a policy of banning political ads from buses to avoid any group feeling targeted as it uses public facilities. I guess for AMP, the policy must be "free speech for me, yet not for thee."

What would AMP say about ads describing actual gender and religious apartheid in the Muslim world? I doubt it would be accepting them as "protected speech."

Michael Harris,


"S.F. must do more to prevent bicyclists deaths, report says," The City, June 11

Target scofflaw bicyclists

Reducing bicyclist, pedestrian and motorist fatalities is a laudable goal, but are the remedies offered by the civil grand jury effective and appropriate?

The grand jury report urges City Hall to take the initiative to reduce bicycle deaths through education and enforcement. Since police enforcement is currently close to nil for bike violations, especially for riding on the sidewalk, it is doubtful The City has the political will to enforce traffic violations made by scofflaw bicyclists.

And the grand jury wants to extend "bicycle education" to motorists and pedestrians. Since there is no apparent decrease in accidents, fatalities and near-misses with the current level of bicycle education, why would San Francisco want to expand a failed "education only" approach to bicycle safety? Apparently not mentioned in this report as a way to generate funds and promote safety for everyone is to require licenses and insurance by bicyclists in San Francisco. If the Grand Jury was truly concerned about safety for all, it would have addressed licensing and insurance issues.

Sadly, it appears that the San Francisco grand jury has become another San Francisco scofflaw bicyclist apologist. Let the next report on bicycle safety be written by insurance adjusters, risk assessment specialists and physics professors.

Fiona McGregor,

San Francisco

"Muni is reining in runaway riders," The City, June 11

Darwin awaits daredevils

According to Ron Austin, spokesman for Transport Workers Union of America Local 250-A, the transit operators union, the doors on Muni coaches are "malfunctioning."

The only things that are malfunctioning are the people who are forcing the doors open on moving coaches. We can only hope that the fools who are committing these stupid, dangerous acts will damage themselves beyond reproductive function, thus ridding the gene pool of their dubious potential contributions.

W. Blair Morse,

San Francisco

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