All posts by Jan Soule

April 24th Online Meeting–Coronavirus: Does U.S. owe Communist China an apology?

Coronavirus: Does U.S. owe Communist China an apology?

An Inside Look From Former Member of the Communist Party

In an effort to reverse global perceptions of the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic originating in China, Chinese state media Xinhua News Agency took the propaganda campaign to new heights.  On March 3, 2020, China suggested that the “United States owes China an apology” and that the world ought to acknowledge China for its remarkable achievements in its fight against the novel virus.

For over 30 years, the West deliberately has helped China into the global economic order, hoping the integration would bind the Chinese regime into the rules-based system setup, and that its politicians would move towards democratic freedoms, rights and the rule of law. This illusion has been shattered over and over.

The deadly coronavirus epidemic has just taught the world a lesson: communism will only exploit the goodwill, naivety, and weakness of human nature to further its evil path. In a way, U.S. does owe China thanks for a hard-learned wake-up call.

Returning to SVARW to offer her insights on what the Chinese are hiding regarding the Corona Virus is former member of the Chinese Communist Party, June Gilliam.  When June spoke in October of 2018, she sounded a warning signal to all Americans about the ever-encroaching threats of socialism and communism.  Considering that one of the two top contenders for the Democrat nomination for President this year is a communist that is unwilling to say anything negative about Fidel Castro, shows that June’s insights are right on!

Born and raised in the largest city of China – Shanghai, June Gilliam graduated from one of the top universities where she became a member of the communist party. In 1998 she came to the U.S. hoping to advance her career.  Once in the US with access to the internet, she came to understand the lies she was trained to believe.  June now is involved in public speaking to offer honest insights on China and to raise awareness of China’s Human Rights issues.

In addition to her public involvement, June has a Master’s degree in Management of Information System. She has been working for a Fortune 100 company in Silicon Valley for the past 18 years as a business operations management professional. Ms. Gilliam is an avid world traveler, a leisure sailor and a hard-core hiker. She currently resides in Santa Cruz with her husband and two young children.

Date:  FRIDAY April 24th

Cost: $0 but everyone (i.e., household) must register online to attend.  Only those that register will receive the link to the meeting.

Click here to register for this meeting.

Click here to learn how to attend this online meeting.


How to Attend SVARW Online April 24th Meeting

Due to the Shelter-in-Place order SVARW’s April Meeting will be different!

While the SVARW Board strives to continue bringing you interesting and informative speakers in these unusual times, things will be a little different:

  • Our April meeting will be on a FRIDAY rather than our normal Wednesday.  The date for the meeting is April 24th.  The meeting will begin promptly at 9:30 AM .
  • You will be able to attend our April 24th meeting from the comfort of your own home through your computer or smart phone using Zoom.

Since many of our members are likely to be unfamiliar about how to attend an ONLINE meeting, SVARW wants to ensure you that we will try to make it easy!

If you are new to Zoom, watch this  really good beginner’s video on how to attend an online meeting:

Prior to the April 24th online meeting, SVARW will host 2 practice sessions so that you will an opportunity to try Zoom out before the actual meeting.

There is NO COST to attend this first online meeting.

  1.  Click here to register for the meeting.  Only one registration per household is needed.
  2. One week before the meeting, you will receive via email, details on how to participate in one of the two practice sessions taking place on April 21st (2:00-3:00 PM) and April 22 (10:00-11:00 Am)
  3. On Thursday 4/23 everyone who has registered for the April 24th meeting will receive the actual Zoom link  for the Friday 4/24 meeting.

If you have any question regarding how to attend the April 24th online meeting, send your questions to :

Look forward to seeing you online in April!


Statewide Lockdowns and The Law–From the Hoover Institute

Statewide Lockdowns And The Law

by John Yoo, Harmeet K. Dhillon, Hoover Institution,  3/31/20

As losses mount throughout the economy due to the coronavirus quarantines, President Trump suggested that he wants the nation “to be opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”  He has since stepped away from that proposal and issued guidelines that lockdowns stay in place until the end of April.  But Trump still seems to be more optimistic than many state governors in his hope that the U.S. will return to normal economic activity sooner rather than later.

But even if Trump were to issue a declaration re-opening American businesses, a nationwide compliance would remain beyond his power.  The Constitution’s system of federalism reserves the authority to lift the quarantine orders in the same people who issued them in the first place: the state governors.

Because state government sits closer to the people, we can and should demand more immediate transparency and accountability of our officials for these draconian, potentially devastating policies.  They may impede the spread of the disease, but we cannot tell if this comes at an acceptable cost because neither governors Gavin Newsom nor Andrew Cuomo have explained how they made the cost-benefit trade-off involved.  They risk judicial intervention or, ultimately, popular rejection, should they continue to keep shutting down their economies without justified benefits.

Richard Epstein, a Hoover scholar and friend, has come under fire for his claim that public health officials have overestimated the rate of infection and the lethality of the coronavirus.  Regardless of Epstein’s theory of why the spread of the virus will slow, the underlying truth of his argument remains: stopping the spread of disease balances lives potentially saved against the economic losses from the lockdowns.

Here is a quick, back-of-the-envelope calculation for a single state, California. The U.S. economy generates approximately $24 trillion a year in GDP, or $2 trillion a month.  California is about 15 percent of that total, for about $300 billion per month.  Suppose that the lockdown causes economic activity to drop by 75 percent in California (it may well be worse).  Is it worth immediate losses of $225 billion per month, in just one state, with potentially longer-lasting recessionary effects, to reduce (but not eliminate) the lives lost to the coronavirus?

It depends on how we estimate the number of lives saved from the lockdowns.  Take California as an example.  At last count, California has 4,643 confirmed cases and 101 deaths from the virus.  We have to balance the lockdowns not against those lives, but against the reduction in the expected harms of an outbreak (which is the probability of an outbreak times the estimated number of deaths).  Some experts, such as doctors at Stanford Medical School, argue that current estimates are inflated, due to the lack of good data from China and Italy and the propensity to test those already infected. Instead, they calculate that the U.S. population may suffer an infection rate of about 2.2 percent, which translates into about 7.7 million infected Americans, or 924,000 Californians.

If the mortality rate from the coronavirus ranges from 1-2 percent, as doctors estimate, then the number of lives that would be lost in an epidemic in California would be 18,500. Suppose that there were a 50 percent chance of that happening without any aggressive government measures, and that the lockdown instead dropped the chances of an outbreak to 10 percent.  By shutting down most economic activity within its borders, California would be spending millions to save a single life, without taking into account less intrusive alternative measures, such as protecting the elderly and placing quarantine orders on those with high probability of testing positive for the disease.

That same money would otherwise allow millions of families – many of them in the lowest income brackets – to pay the rent, put food on the table, and afford health care.  Our states do not shut down their economies every winter to stop the flu, which can kill 60,000 a year nationwide.  Even if the deaths from the coronavirus extend to a higher estimate of 200,000 deaths nationwide, or 24,000 deaths in California, we are still forgoing millions in economic activity to save each life.  While each life is precious, our society chooses not to stop all economic activity to stop other illnesses, such as the flu, or to forgo certain valuable freedoms such as driving to reduce auto accidents.  As the Great Recession showed, massive economic losses can cost lives too by reducing incomes, decreasing longevity, and increases in death by suicide and drug overdoses.

Our state officials should explain whether they could have implemented other policies that could have reduced the spread of the disease without incurring such massive economic destruction.  Did state officials consider less intrusive measures, such as quarantining the identified infected and safeguarding the elderly, who are most vulnerable to the illness, instead of imposing a shutdown of the state’s economy? Was any consideration given to the human health effects of the mandatory stay-at-home order, including exacerbation of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety; a predicted increase in domestic violence; suicides by business owners facing debt and ruin? We simply don’t know.

These are tough decisions. California cannot spend whatever it takes to save every life.  In the 2017-18 flu season, the CDC estimates that 61,000 Americans died of influenza; but we do not impose the types of economic lockdowns and social distancing we see today to stop the flu.  We elect officials to state government to make these policy decisions for us, in a responsible and informed manner.  If they do not explain how and why they arrived at their decision, they risk popular discontent.  If the lockdown continues for weeks on end, and it appears that our leaders imposed statewide quarantines without sufficient proof that the numbers of lives saved would justify the heavy, widespread cost, they even risk civil disobedience where Americans will simply ignore the bans on social and economic activity.  No state has enough manpower to control an unwilling American population.

Lockdown critics might also point to the fact that the states imposing the most draconian suspensions of civil liberties – the rights to travel, congregate, or use property, enjoy due process before the loss of your business or livelihood – have a mixed record when it comes to public safety. California has the highest homeless population in the nation, with over 100,000 living on the streets in squalid conditions that lend themselves to disease outbreaks, including hepatitis, typhus, and others. A lack of public trust as to the consistency of the government’s public health intervention may undermine confidence in the current orders.

This is a good area where the law can step in.  Lawsuits could challenge the government to explain itself and to even compensate business losses for panicked decisions. The Takings Clause of the Constitution, for example, requires just compensation when the state takes private property for public purposes.  If Newsom or Cuomo commandeer hotel rooms to convert into makeshift hospital rooms, the states would have to pay the market rate.  On the other hand, if the state has to close restaurants that fail health and safety codes, they do not.

Statewide lockdowns test these principles and would demand that state governors explain themselves.  A restaurant or nail salon shut down by the lockdown orders is not inherently a threat to public health or safety.  It is as if the governors commandeered all of these private spaces because people might congregate there and – they believe – spread the virus.  If the state forbids private property owners from using their land for a reasonable, lawful purpose, it must compensate the owners for sacrificing for the public good.

In this crisis, property and business owners could claim that the state cannot force them to bear alone the costs for achieving a social goal.  And at the very least, such lawsuits would force state government to explain why the benefits shutdowns exceed their costs, when compared to less intrusive approaches such as quarantines, monitoring, and testing. Our Declaration of Independence recognized the natural law principle that the consent of the governed is needed for that government to have enduring legitimacy – and hasty infringements on  individual rights will soon test that consent.

John Yoo is Heller professor of law at the UC Berkeley School of Law, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Harmeet K. Dhillon is a trial lawyer and a partner in the Dhillon Law Group in San Francisco. She is the founder of the Center for American Liberty, a civil rights nonprofit organization.

Bill to Allow Illegal Aliens to Run for Democrat Party Seats

Sen. Wiener Announces Bill to Allow Illegal Immigrants Run for Official Democratic Party Seats

As the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide in the Trump administration plan to end the DACA program

By Katy Grimes, June 29, 2019 3:48 pm

Friday, Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), introduced legislation to allow illegal immigrants to run for official Democratic Party County Central Committee and State Delegate Seats. According to Wiener, “SB 288 would allow for Dreamers and other immigrants to appear on the ballot in order to run and serve on California Democratic Party Central Committees and as State Delegates to the Party.”

The timing of Wiener’s bill is suspicious since the Supreme Court just announced Friday it will decide if the Trump administration plan to end the DACA program for 700,000 young illegal immigrants can proceed. DACA, created by Executive Order, is the Obama-era “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”

“The justices announced Friday they will hear oral arguments on the appeal in its next term, which begins in October. A ruling is expected in the presidential election year, putting the high court at the center of one of the most politically charged issues,” Shannon Bream at Fox News reported. Bream is an attorney.

The Trump administration announced in 2017 its plan to end DACA, and was immediately challenged in federal courts in New York and California and blocked by judges.

A long list of other Democrats support Wiener’s bill.

Wiener sent out the following lengthy press release Friday:

Dreamers, Democratic Party leaders, and immigrant rights advocates rallied to announce the introduction of Senate Bill 288. SB 288 would make it legal for Dreamers and other immigrants to run for California Democratic Party County Central Committee seats and for California Democratic Party Delegate positions. It is currently impossible for Dreamers and other immigrants to register as Democrats and thus run for these positions. A “Dreamer” is an individual born in a foreign country who was brought to the U.S. by family or others as a minor and subsequently raised in this country. Many have obtained college degrees, served in the military, and become active participants in their communities. These outdated and discriminatory rules that prohibit them from fully participating in many aspects of civic life have no place in our democracy.

“As our immigrant communities face vicious attacks from this President and his administration, California must embrace, lift up, and empower immigrant voices and leaders,” said Senator Wiener. “Immigrants contribute to our economy, culture, and civic life. They’re already leaders in our communities and should have a seat at the table. The Democratic Party will continue to lead as the party that embraces all communities, and this legislative fix will help keep us on track.”

While existing law does not explicitly require that CDP delegates and central committee members be U.S. citizens, it does specify that, in order to be elected to a position within the CDP, a person must already be registered or affiliated with the party (Elections Code §7209). Registered voters’ party preference is shown on their affidavits of registration at the time they register to vote. Since the affidavit must show an individual is eligible to vote, and non-U.S. citizens are ineligible to register to vote, Dreamers and other immigrants are unable to run for delegate or central committee seats in the CDP.

“Our Party is at its best when it empowers our communities and embraces our diversity,” said California Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks. “Today, I am proud to support SB 288 to welcome our immigrant sisters and brothers into the ranks of the California Democratic Party. I look forward to its swift passage and implementation.”

SB 288 allows Dreamers and other immigrants to take on both state and local leadership roles in the CDP. This important measure will help ensure that, in a party committed to empowering and expanding the rights of immigrants, the Dreamer and immigrant perspective can be present and a part of the Democratic Party.

“I am a proud immigrant,” said Sarah Souza, a Dreamer, member of the San Francisco County Democratic Party Central Committee, and President of the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club. “I am American in every way except for documentation. I dream of the day I become a citizen and register to vote. Meanwhile, I want to pave the way for all immigrants to fully participate in the California Democratic Party regardless of citizenship. SB288 is an opportunity for California to truly stand with immigrants; representation is crucial to advancing immigrant justice. Immigrants are the bedrock of California. Therefore, it is time for immigrants to have a seat at the table. California’s non-Citizen population is more than 5 million of the more than 38 million residents of California, and the California Democratic Party is stronger when we utilize the talents of all our residents. SB288 will set an important precedent in the history of California by allowing all Californians to have the ability to represent themselves.”

An estimated 200,000 Dreamers live in California alongside a broader immigrant population of over 2.5 million.  Although current law excludes Dreamers and other immigrants from taking on leadership roles in the Democratic and other political parties, a variety of related policies have aimed to better include them in other settings. In 2018, Governor Jerry Brown nominated Lizbeth Mateo to serve as an education advisor. Upon confirmation she became the first-ever Dreamer to receive a statewide appointment. In early 2019 the Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party, David Campos, appointed a Dreamer, Sarah Souza, to serve on San Francisco’s Central Committee. Recent legislative actions have also expanded Medi-Cal and other public benefits to many immigrants. Activists and policymakers affiliated with the CDP have been on the forefront of these changes, and there is a broad appetite within the party to better incorporate the perspectives of Dreamers and other immigrants into the political process.

Also present at the press conference were Dreamer and immigrant rights advocate Adriana Souza, California Young Democrats Latino Caucus Communications Director Megan Imperial, San Francisco Young Democrats Co-President Luis Zamora, San Francisco Latino Democratic Club Vice President Kevin Ortiz, California Democratic Party Chicano Latino Caucus Secretary and Immigrant Parent Right to Vote, Prop N (2016) Campaign Manager Gabriel Medina, La Raza Community Resource Center Executive Director Melba Maldonado, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus Policy Director and Senior Staff Attorney Angela Chan, Northern California Democratic Filipino American Caucus Vice Chair Rob Chua, San Francisco Democratic Party Executive Director Han Zou, Rose Pak Democratic Club PAC Chair Queena Chen, DSA San Francisco Electoral Committee Co-Chair, Progressive Democrats of America San Francisco, and Assembly District 17 Delegate Dr. Hae Min Cho, San Francisco Youth Commission President Bahlam Vigil, Mission Economic Development Agency Director Richard Raya, and SEIU Local 2015 Coordinator Leon Chow.

SB 288 is co-authored by Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), and Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), and  Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

Additional Quotes:

“We need to update this rule if our party is truly committed to empowering our immigrant communities,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Chairwoman of California’s Legislative Latino Caucus. “Our DREAMers and immigrant constituents are some of the most actively-engaged community members. They are the leaders we need within the California Democratic Party.”

“It is long past time we ensure our immigrant communities have a seat at the table in the political process,” said Assemblymember Chiu, Chair of the California Legislative API Caucus. “I am proud to co-author this effort with Senator Wiener to give all Californians a voice in our Party.”

“I support SB 288 because it gives our Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants an opportunity to participate in our democratic process by allowing them to serve freely and openly as full members of the California Democratic Party,” said David Campos, Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party. “It allows them to come out of the shadows, to have a seat at the table.

“California is home to 2 million undocumented individuals. SB 288 provides opportunities for undocumented individuals, who are already at the margins of our society, to be given a legitimate seat at the table within the Democratic Party. This bill was spearheaded by Dreamer, Sarah Souza. We are proud that Senator Wiener has been and continues to be an ally in the fight to uplift immigrant communities, regardless of citizenship status.” –California Young Democrats Latinx Caucus

“I want to acknowledge the Ohlone people on whose land we live and work, and to whom we are all immigrants,” said Dr. HaeMin Cho, Co-Chair of DSA SF Electoral Committee and Progressive Democrats of America SF, and Assembly District 17 delegate. “I came to this country when I was 2 years old, an undocumented economic refugee from post-war South Korea. We are facing a humanitarian crisis at our border, in our cities, and on our planet. There is only one race and one planet. Thank you Latino Democratic Club President Sarah Souza and SF Democratic County Central Committee Chair David Campos for uplifting all immigrant communities and helping us to have a voice in the political process of the Democratic Party.”

Full text of the bill can be found here.

Sen. Wiener Announces Bill to Allow Illegal Immigrants Run for Official Democratic Party Seats


Trumps Top 10 Accomplishments

Top Trump Administration Accomplishments

 October 5, 2019


President Trump’s policies have put the American economy into high gear.

  • Since President Trump was elected over 6.5 million jobs have been created.
  • Over 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created.
  • The unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%, the lowest in 50 years.
  • This year, the economy has averaged 161,000 new jobs each month.
  • Wage growth has remained at a consistent 3% during President Trump’s administration.

Foreign Policy

President Trump has restored our nation’s standing in the world

  • President Trump has negotiated better and fairer deals for the American people.
  • President Trump has kept his promise to deliver a modern and rebalanced trade deal to replace NAFTA.
  • A new United States-Japan trade deal was negotiated.
  • President Trump withdrew the United States from the flawed Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • President Trump has forced our allies to recommit to NATO.
  • The United States has successfully decimated ISIS.


President Trump continues to reshape the Federal Judiciary at a record pace and is following through on his promise to appoint judges who will uphold the Constitution and rule of law.

  • President Trump has nominated, and the Senate has confirmed a grand total of 150 Article III judges:
  • 2 Supreme Court Justices – Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh.
  • 43 Circuit Court judges
  • 105 District Court judges

Health Care

President Trump has reduced the cost of health care and taken significant steps to fight the opioid epidemic.

  • President Trump has prioritized fixing our broken health care system and worked with Congress to implement a system that works for all Americans.
  • The President has made it clear patients with preexisting conditions will be protected.
  • The individual mandate penalty has been eliminated.
  • Association Health Plans have been expanded.
  • Short-term, limited duration insurance plans have been extended.
  • President Trump is working to implement his plan to lower prescription drugs.
  • The President signed an Executive Order to improve seniors’ healthcare and improve the fiscal sustainability of Medicare.
  • Reforms to expand Medicare Advantage options and Health Reimbursement Accounts have been expanded.
  • President Trump mobilized his entire administration to address the drug addiction and opioid abuse by declaring a Nationwide Public Health Emergency.


President Trump is promoting a clean and healthy environment for all Americans.

  • The President and the Administration are continuing to pursue policies that encourage environmental protection while promoting economic growth.
  • Since 2005, our energy related carbon emissions have declined more than any other country. This is expected to decrease in 2019 and 2020.
  • Our nation’s environmental record is one of the strongest in the world.
  • According to the White House, from 1970 to 2018, the combined emissions of the most common air pollutants fell 74% while the economy grew over 275%.
  • We have the cleanest air on record and remain a global leader for access to clean drinking water. The President has taken important steps to restore, preserve, and protect our land, air, and waters.


President Trump’s policies have begun to unleash our nation’s energy potential.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling and open more leases to develop offshore drilling.
  • The Administration acted aggressively to increase exports of energy resources to the global market and allowed financing for coal and fossil energy projects.
  • President Trump has approved the infrastructure and provided the resources needed to unleash Oil and gas production in the U.S.

Military and Veterans

President Trump is protecting America and our allies by rebuilding our military and ensuring our veterans receive the care they deserve.

  • President Trump has restored American military strength.
  • Under President Trump’s leadership, Congress passed two historic National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) which allocate almost $1.5 trillion combined to rebuild and grow our military.


Under President Trump’s administration, women have been empowered to reach their economic potential.

  • Women have experienced record low unemployment under President Trump.
  • In September, the unemployment rate among women was at 3.1%, the lowest in 66 years.
  • During the President’s first year in office, the number of American women in poverty fell by nearly 600,000.

 African Americans

The African American community is benefitting thanks to President Trump’s leadership and the booming economy.

  • Under the Trump Administration, African American unemployment has reached record lows to 5.5%

Latino Americans

Under President Trump’s leadership the Latino American community has thrived.

  • Under President Trump, Latino Americans have experienced record low unemployment.
  • More than 2.7 million jobs have been created for Latino Americans.
  • The Latino American unemployment rate is at a historic low of 3.9%.

Asian Americans

Under President Trump’s leadership Asian American unemployment has reached record lows.

  • Asian American unemployment hit a near record low of 2.5% in September.