All posts by Jan Soule

July 22nd SVARW Meeting –Timothy Snowball–Pacific Legal Foundation

The US Constitution Versus the COVID-19 Lockdowns: How Can We Fight Back?

Government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have ranged from panicked, to extreme, to downright idiotic. We have seen everything from private businesses being ordered closed, to individuals ordered to shelter in place for extended periods, and even the closure of churches and other private organizations. Rightly so, many Americans have been outraged by these actions. Some have even gone to court to fight back, with mixed results. While the future response to COVID-19 continues to unfold in real time, the legal implications and applicable history are capable of being ascertained now, and should guide how we decide to fight back.

Join Timothy R. Snowball, an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, for a candid discussion of where we have been, where we are, and where we are going in the fight for individual liberty in the face of COVID-19.

Tim Snowball joined Pacific Legal Foundation in 2017. His legal practice is focused on restoring and protecting the separation of powers between government authorities, with a particular focus on Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable warrantless searches in the comfort and safety of their own homes. In addition to his legal practice, Tim is an advocate for public education in American government and constitutional history. To this end, he has participated in hundreds of media interviews, frequently writes op-eds and some of PLF’s most popular blog posts, and regularly delivers speeches and other presentations on the U.S. Constitution, individual liberty, and the rule of law. Tim received holds an Associate’s Degree in Political Science from Grossmont College, a Bachelor’s Degree in American Government and Politics from UC Berkeley, and a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School. At GW, Tim received both the President’s Volunteer Service Award and Pro Bono Service Award for volunteering over 500 hours of pro bono service time. Before joining PLF, Tim had stints at the Institute for Justice, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, and Orleans Public Defenders Office.

Date:  July 22, 2020

Time:  9:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Click here to register.

July 10th –Friday Forum — COVID-19 – Fact, Fiction, and Fairness

COVID-19 – Fact, Fiction, and Fairness

COVID-19 has consumed us, every breath we take, every move we make, our whole entire lives.  But how much of this complete shutdown is justified? Join us Friday, July 10, 2020 to hear the truth in the data versus how intrusive our government’s intervention has been on the economy and our lives. This Friday Forum will provide an up-to-date examination of current COVID-19 statistics versus the real price of the shutdown in human lives, livelihoods, and our future. SVARW presents a panel discussion with Mike Rodgers, COVID-19 data expert, and Paulette Altmaier, local hero standing up to Group Think and the mob.

Mike Rodgers spent 20 years at Intel Corp. developing and building new technologies & organizations and is currently VP of Engineering & Product Development at i360 Healthcare.  He is decades experienced working conservative causes in overwhelmingly Democratic districts in Chicago and New England, where helped Republican Nancy Johnson win & hold, an industrial Democratic congressional district in New Britain, CT for more than 20 years.  Before moving to San Jose, Mike was President of the 50 year old Mountain View Tennis Club, which he incorporated as a 501C(c)3, & helped start NetGain, an after school tennis program in the less affluent side of town, & where he still coaches performance juniors and teams.  Mike was elected to the Silicon Valley GOP Central Committee in March, 2020.

As a senior technology executive, Paulette Altmaier was responsible for billion-dollar high-tech businesses in leading Silicon Valley companies. She now serves on the boards of technology-focused non-profits, and as an advisor to high-tech startups. She immigrated to the US shortly after earning her engineering degree in India. Paulette’s husband, also an engineer, grew up in Iowa farm country. They have two daughters.

Date:  Friday, July 10th

Time:  10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Click here to register and receive zoom link

Recall Gavin Newsom

Although the first recall petitions passed last year did not meet the needed 1.5 million signatures, the lockdown of the state and the overreach of Gov. Newsom in wielding unconstitutional authority has set the stage for another attempt.

The second official CA Secretary of State approved Gov. Gavin Newson recall petition is out June 10th.   There are only 160 days to collect 2 million signatures (need 1.5m verified registered voters signatures).  New strategies will be applied this round (paid media, professional signature gatherers, big donor recruitment), but what really needs to happen is a fast grassroots effort in the first 30 days.   Download Petition:  Recall_Newsom_Petition

The key to this form is that up to 5 registered voters can sign on a single page.  They ALL have to be registered in the same county for a given page.  You should complete a separate page for each other county.  Indicate in the very first blank space _____________ which county this is for.  When a registered voter is signing, make sure that they DO NOT write outside the lines for their 2 lines they are completing.  NOT to the left or right or up or down.

Each signer must list their name and address AS THEY ARE REGISTRED TO VOTE.  The Registrar of Voters in each county will compare and validate the signatures.  Make sure that each voter ONLY SIGNS ONCE.

Whoever manages the gathering of signatures should complete the ‘county’ space and everything in the lower “declaration” section.  You (anyone) can sign the declaration section for the page you or others are signing.

Mail Petitions to California Patriot Coalition PO BOX 417030 Sacramento CA 95841

July 3rd Friday Forum with Steve Frank

Arson? Riots? Defund the Police?

Steve Frank, Our Favorite, Fact-Filled Political Pundit Returns

For our next installment of California Craziness, favorite political pundit Steve Frank returns to discuss what’s happening in our state. Of interest this time will be the final release of the 2020-2021 state budget.

In keeping with demands by national rioters, will the CHP be defunded? How much money will be allocated to healthcare and housing for those not in legal residence? Join us July 3 at 10AM.

Steve is the editor of California Political Review, one of the most influential publications covering politics and policy in California. For more, be sure to subscribe at https://www.capoliticalreview.com.

DATE:  Friday July 3rd

TIME:  10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

LOCATION:  Online

Click here to register

Interested in Running for Office?

The Santa Clara County Republican Party is looking for Republicans who may be interested in running for one of the nearly 200 non-partisan seats that are up for election this November.

Republicans can win election to non-partisan seats in Santa Clara County because there is no (D) or (R) after the candidate’s name.

Examples of these seats include:

  • 34 School Districts with least 2 seats each
  • 5 Community College District with least 2 seats each
  • 15 Special Districts have seats up for election
  • 14 Cities/towns have seats up for election.

To run for any seat you must live in that “district”.  Depending on where you live, there may be several seats you are eligible to run for.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Jan Soule at jansoule@svarw.com .

How to Attend SVARW Online Meetings

To attend a SVARW Online Meeting you must first Register and receive a link.  There is a separate link for each meeting.  Visit this page to find the link to the meeting your are interested in.

First time using Zoom?  

If you have never attended an online event using ZOOM, you will need to download an application to your PC or Cell phone.    You will be prompted to download the software when you click on the link.

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

https://youtu.be/9isp3qPeQ0

Our regular monthly meetings are presented as ZOOM Webinars.

Click her to review instructions on attending a online webinar using Zoom. 

Three Types of Meetings

SVARW is hosting three different types of online meetings and events.

Regular SVARW Monthly Meetings

SVARW will continue to arrange for interesting speakers.  The meetings will be held online using the ZOOM Webinar software.  Similarly to our regular meetings at Three Flames, you will enter the “venue” and be prepared to listen as the program begins with Flag Salute, Invocation, Announcements and the Introduction of our speaker.  The key difference is that if you want to ask the speaker a question at the end of the presentation you will need to type it in.  The questions will be collected and summarized and presented to the speaker.

Friday Forums

Once per month SVARW will offer a one hour meeting on a timely topic.  These meetings are designed to enable the audience to have a little more interaction by being able to ask questions directly to the speaker.

Meet and Greets.

Designed to be a more of an interactive discussion with a special guest.  Each participant will be able to turn on their computer or cell phone camera and be visible to everyone else.  All participants can ask questions.

 

 

 

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.

Trumps Top 10 Accomplishments

Top Trump Administration Accomplishments

 October 5, 2019

Economy

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.

Judicial

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.

Environment

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.

Energy

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.

Women

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.