Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mayor Loses Restraining Order Case to Boxing Lawyer

Update: Tribune Does Article Mayor Denied Restraining Order

Mayor Lozano lost his case to get a restraining order against me.  He claims I screamed at him in city council meetings, at the park, and that I was stalking him at a restaraunt.

First, Manuel Carrillo Jr. and Mayor Lozano order police to arrest and jail me for leafleting.   Illegally Jailed!

Now, they're trying to get a restraining order to destroy my reputation and get me disciplined by the bar. 
Second, Mayor Lozano files restraining order against me.

Incidentally, the cowardly Mayor didn't show up to present his own testimony against me.  If he was so fearful of me, why didn't he appear before the judge?

The first thing that delighted me was that the Tafoya looked upset when the Tribune showed up.  I smiled and announced to my boxers, "Hey, the Tribune is here and wants to take your pictures."  That lifted my spirits and gave me that gusto to brave the fight.

When our hearing started, Tafoya, the City Attorney, presented a bag full of lies.  I was amused that the judge responded by asking only one question: "Did he do all this in a public place?"

Tafoya, the City Attorney answered, "Yes."

She said, "You know he has First Amendment Rights."

I've been trying to tell all the public officials and administrators that we all have First Amendment Rights.  But no, in response - they fired Julian without cause.  They jailed me.  Then, arrested me.  Then filed a temporary restraining order against me so I couldn't do anymore public inspection viewings or speak out in public.

The judge asked what happened at the restaurant.  I said that after I had got out of jail, I saw that Lyle texted me to come to the restaurant.  I went.  Julian and him weren't there.  I bumped into the Mayor at the back entrance.  I asked him, "How did you like arresting me?"  The Mayor walked a few steps away.  He said, "Stay away from me."  I left the restaurant.  I walked to the park.  I drove my car to see Julian, the fired boxing coach, to talk to him about my jailing.

Then Tafoya claimed, "He's perjuring himself."

I thought, Oh God help us all.  Is that all he could say?  I just stayed silent.  I just can't believe that that's their way to win cases: assassinate the opponent's character.  Also, call the opponent a liar when he or she presents the truth.  Then, lie to judges and the public.  And people tend to believe them because they're the government.  Is this really how the government should behaving against its own, innocent and working citizens?

He went on claiming there was some video of me proving I stalked the Mayor.

The judge asked, "Is there audio on the tape?"

Tafoya said, "No."

She said, "Did he strike him?"

He said, "No."

She said, "I don't think you've met your burden of proof."  (That means my version of the truth was more believable than his story.  And that's because I never stalked the Mayor or threatened him.)

He looked nervous.  Then he said there were witnesses who overheard me.  He said the video clearly shows stalking.

She said, "I'm not issuing a restraining order against Cook."  She smiled and said, "I'm sure this hasn't been pleasant for you.  So, make sure you address the Mayor only in public forums from now on."  I smiled back.

I said, "Sure."

Tafoya said he wanted another hearing date for August 26 because he was going to bring in this video (which doesn't exist because I never did this) and witnesses.  If he had the video, he would've already brought it in.  If I had really threatened the Mayor, they would've arrested and jailed me again.

I just couldn't believe this guy was lying through his teeth.  I mean, really.  To a judge?!  I just said nothing as I heard all this.  Tafoya really needs to be disciplined for this type of behavior.  He gives all attorneys a bad name.

I went outside, where my boxers, Julian, and another activist were waiting.  I threw up my arms and  said, "We won!"

And Tafoya heard and said, "No you didn't.  The judge ordered you to stay away from the Mayor."

"That wasn't an official order."

"Oh, yes it was."

"Let's go back in then."  So, all of us went back in, and so did the reporter.  We must've all looked like a bunch of kids asking who won.

The judge did tell me it's best to stay away from the Mayor.  But I clarified, it wasn't an official order.  She agreed: it wasn't official.  No restraining ordered was issued against me.

The Tribune took some photos of my boxers and me.  They did a video recording of me commenting on my case.  I felt a little bit like a superstar with the huge camera rolling on me.

I just felt happy to be victorious against these evil people.  It's message to everyone: Resist evil.  Fight back.  Don't be bullied.  Don't be afraid.  You can win too.  I hope my boxing kids got this message.  I was so happy five of them were there to support me.

With that said, I want my readers to know that this hasn't been easy.  I mean, if you weren't a lawyer, how would you feel about these City Officials, using city money to falsely arrest you, falsely jail you, and then falsely accuse you of stalking and harassment to get a temporary restraining order?  How would you feel about going up against another attorney in a court room?  It could feel overwhelming at times because how do you confront all the lies they spit in your face?  But you do it in the confidence that you're fighting a just cause.

This whole attempt at an emergency order for false accusations is really vile and an abuse of the court process.  First, you get a notice that the hearing will be in 24 hours.  You don't have to go, but if you don't go, it's almost certain that a restraining order will be issued against you.  Also, the Mayor could have gave me notice on Friday.  But that would mean I would have the weekend to prepare because the next court date would be Monday.  So, he sent me notice on Monday instead, so I would only have 24 hours.  And even after all that, even after I got such late notice, I asked the Mayor if he would please send me the papers against me.  But nope.  He wouldn't release them.  So, essentially, I couldn't really prepare my case because I didn't know what was being said against me.

Isn't that horrible?  I don't know what they're going to say about me.  I received the papers when Tafoya showed up to court.  And even after all their dirty tricks, I still won!

And my cause is this: to know the truth, seek the truth, and to tell everyone what that truth is.  The message is simple, the officials and administrators of Baldwin Park have been stealing money from us for a long, long time and have done a lot of bad, bad things. 

Can you also believe that the Mayor didn't personally pay for Tafoya's fees?  No, the City did.  The City used up our money to prosecute an innocent person, just for telling the truth.

We have rights in this country.  Such as the right to be free and to speak freely, write freely, and hang out with your friends freely.  And in California, we have the right to information and to seek the truth.  But in Baldwin Park, look at what the Mayor is doing to me for exercising my freedoms.

I think this saga has reached a turning point though.  People are seeing the Mayor, the Council Members, and the administrators for who they are.  They're not believing these people anymore.

One of my keys to succeeding was believing in the words of a dead girl, who said this before the Nazis chopped off her head: "Stand for what you believe in, even if it is alone."  - Sophie Scholl.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mayor Desperate Enough to Seek Restraining Order Against Me

The City of Baldwin Park has reached new lows.  Now they're perjuring themselves in court and saying that I yelled at the Mayor at a restaurant and stalked him.  None of this is true.

According to the City Attorney, Tafoya, (the same one by the way who has committed an illegal act in our second lawsuit - more on that later) - “As soon as (Cook) was released, he went and, what we describe as, stalked the mayor,” Tafoya said. “(Cook) went to a restaurant in the city of Baldwin Park and waited for the mayor to come, but police did not arrest him because he had left before police got there.”  The Tribune wrote the story up here: Mayors get desperate to seek restraining order before he gets exposed

How did I know the Mayor was at the restaurant Via Mar?   Yes, I have magical god given mystical powers that help me know where everyone is at once, just like the little girl in the TV show Heroes.

Ok, I'm being stupid.  The answer is that I was released from jail at 9:30 pm, just long enough so the concerts at the park was over.  I checked my cell phone.  My boxer, Lyle, texted me at 9:20 pm and said come to Via Mar, which is walking distance to the jail and also from the park.  It's actually half way in between.  Julian was also there.  Julian likes eating there.  Anyways, here's the screenshot of the text message from Lyle.

I mean, isn't it suspicious after they arrest and jail me for disturbing the assembly, that they can't arrest me for criminal threats?

Tafoya's response was oh, I already left.  Oh, you don't know where I live?  You just arrested me and took down all my info.  Of course you know where I live.

And you could have arrested me on Thursday night when I went home.  Or how about Friday?  Or how about Saturday?  Or how about Sunday  Or even how about Monday?  But no - you serve me with an emergency restraining order on Monday for Tuesday.  And Tafoya does this on Monday, so I only have 24 hours to prepare instead of having the weekend.  And when I ask for the complaint against me, he won't give it.  Does any of this sound credible to you?

After I saw that Julian and Lyle were not at Via Mar I bumped into the Mayor at the back entrance.  I asked him, "How do you like getting me arrested?"  He was silent for a few seconds.  Backed away.  Then he said, "Stay away from me."  I continued walking to my car, which was still parked at the park.  Then, I saw Julian.

If I had known that confronting the man who was to throw me into jail so that I would shut up and not pass out my articles would result in them lying and saying that I could read minds and know where the Mayor is all the time, I obviously would've video recorded it.  But now, I know for certain we aren't dealing with normal people here.  We're dealing with desperate people who have resorted to lying and cheating (but they were always stealing).

Me approaching the Dais was to serve lawsuits.  They are all growing to hate this practice but need to be served more lawsuits in the public forum.

Baldwin Park's is getting more and more desperate.  And now they're abusing the court process to chill my speech.

It's ok: now you know.  Now, I know.

The Mayor of Baldwin Park Files a Restraining Order Against Me

Today, I received notice that Mayor Manuel Lozano will file a temporary restraining order against me.  The emergency hearing will be held tomorrow in downtown, Los Angeles.  His claim is that I threatened him, though at the moment, they're not telling me what I actually said.

The real reason for this restraining order is to chill my speech, organizing and investigation.  There's no doubt that they'll request that I not be allowed into City Hall to do record inspections.  I'll not be allowed into the boxing program at the parks.  I'll not be allowed to attend City Council meetings so I can speak out against the corruption of the city.  To my international readers, keep in mind that this is all happening in America, in a small Californian city in Los Angeles County.

I just ask my readers one question.  Is everything that the City Officials and Administrators do against the boxers a legitimate use of their power or are they abusing it?

They fired Julian Casas, the head boxing coach, on trumped charges without a hearing, after working there for 14 years because he complained that a 40 cent raise wasn't good enough.  The Director received a $40,000 pay increase in one year.  Then, they got five police officers escorting me out of the boxing gym for wearing sandals because I wanted to say hi to my friends.  Then, I was arrested and jailed for booing the Director of Parks and Recreation twice, saying he stole money from our community, and passing out articles at the parks and recreation.  Now, they've used the court process to attempt to issue a restraining order against me on trumped up charges that I threatened the Mayor.

The jailers asked me if I got paid for my work in exposing these people.  I answered, "No."  They were surprised.  The question is why do I do this and go through all this.

Because I have learned a great truth: Resist evil.

Update: Mayor Loses Case

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mayor Lozano Arrests, Strip Searches, and Jails Me for Booing Him

 Update: The Local Paper Did A Story On My Arrest and Jailing Boxing Lawyer Arrested For Suing City

Yesterday, at 7:10 pm, I was arrested for booing Manuel Carrillo, the Director of Parks and Recreation and passing out articles.  It was the summer concerts at the park and there was an audience, so I passed out an article about how the Director of Parks and Recreation got a $40,000 raise in one year and gave the head boxing coach a 40 cent raise after 14 years.  The article was published on my blog here: The Parks and Recs Director Makes $180,000 a year.

After the parks and recreation director appeared in public, I booed him and shouted that he stole money from our city.  Five police officers came to me.  They placed me in an arm bar.  They walked me out to the street.

They said I needed to quiet down.  I said, I would not.  That this was a park and that I had free speech rights.  They said no such rights existed.

First, they said they would let me back into the park if I wouldn't say anything and just pass out the leaflets.  I refused.  I have rights.  And, I can't back down because I was being bullied.

After walking me to the street, Lt. Harvey said that I was not allowed back into the park.  I said, "No, you can't exclude me from the park."

I walked a few steps to the park.  Lt. Harvey ordered the officers to arrest me.  I complied.

A girl and a guy came up to the police and said, "Why are you arresting him?"  The police didn't respond.  I said, "I didn't do anything."

Lt. Harvey said, "You're not a real attorney anyways.  You don't have a real job."

I was hauled in a police car to the local jail.

A female officer strip searched me until I was in my bare underwear.  Two officers came and asked why I was arrested.  I told them what happened.

I looked at my cell.  It was small.  There was nothing to do.  It was cold.  You couldn't take a nap.  I had nothing to do.  I felt sorry for all the people who were locked up in here.

To my fortune, the jailers and the police officers kept me company by talking to me and asking me a lot of questions about getting an education and what the City of Baldwin Park and Manny Carrillo were really up to.

I was fingerprinted.  I had my photo taken.  The police couldn't figure out what charge to press against me.  They incorrectly wrote my misdemeanor citation twice because they couldn't figure out the charge.  At the end, they got me on a derivative charge of disturbing the peace; it was disturbing the assembly.

Then, at 9:30 pm, they let me out.  The kind officer escorted me out.  I shook his hand and thanked him for being kind to me.  It was dark outside.  There wasn't anyone left at the park.

I wonder what story they're going to make up.  It doesn't matter because one of my boxers caught the whole thing on film anyways.  So - that's good.

The City accomplished what they wanted.  They refused to grant me an audience to tell the truth to the people.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Madrid, Spain

I felt alive in Madrid, Spain. It was hot in Madrid.  It was 40 C or 104 F.  And on the streets, people were in love.  I saw men kiss women, everywhere.  I saw men have that look of being in love at every corner.  Even gay men held hands and walked gaily through the Plaza del Sol.  I was in Barcelona two years ago and loved it.  I loved Madrid more.  (And I usually do not love capital cities.)

One of the first things I noticed was that my Spanish comprehension was a lot better.  Perhaps it was because I worked with Mexican-Americans more often now.  Perhaps it was because I was back in Baldwin Park, a city made up of 90% Mexicans.  Perhaps it was because I went to Mexico twice in the last year.  Either way, my Spanish was better.

I was really surprised by how much better my comprehension was.  I noticed this first in Turkey - when I met a Spanish couple.  They said they were from Spain, and we began having a full on dialogue at a regular conversational speed.  And I started getting more nervous as the dialogue became more difficult, but I realized, "Hey, you did it!"
At first, I spoke English at my hostel, but the guy's English wasn't that great.  I realized my Spanish was better than most of the Spaniards' English.  And then it came to my attention at the bars and restaurants yesterday that I had control of the language, and when I didn't know a word, I could ask them in Spanish to describe it,which made me realize the English word.

And the people of Spain rewarded my ability to speak Spanish.  At every restaurant I went to, I received free food or coffee for being able to converse with the host.  At one bar, the guy swore he made the best cappuccinos.  So, I told him in Spanish, "Well, give me one for free if you're so sure?"  And he did.

I rewarded him back by giving him foreign currency and telling him that Koreans say that foreign money is good luck to have in a wallet.  So, he thanked me because everybody wants to be lucky.

I stayed at a hostel.  A hostel is where four to eight people share a bedroom.  The bedroom is lined with bunk beds.  My hostel was meant for 8 people.  I usually enjoy being in a hostel, but I think I'm getting too old for staying at one.  Though no one suspects my real age, I'm not interested in what early 20 somethings are into: getting smashed up drunk and having lots of sex (or as much as they could get).

On my first night, I met a Canadian guy named Lee.  He was on the computer the whole time.  He was a computer nerd; so, I asked him to have dinner with me.  We ate Tapas (Spanish appetizers) at midnight.  Everything was still open at midnight and I loved it.  I had a piece of Tapas with cured Spanish ham and caramelized onions.  We both drank Spanish beer, which only cost $1.50 at the bar.  Wow!

Then we wandered the streets of Spain.  One street was full of prostitutes.  There were all types.  Thinner.  Fleshier.  Blonde.  Asian.  Black.  Have your choice - they were all for sale.

It was 2 am and  Lee and I were looking for some dessert.  We stumbled upon a bar, and the waitress said they close at 3 am.  I ordered two caramelized flans (Spanish custard) and coffee.  The waitress asked how I knew Spanish.  She was young and pretty.  Perhaps, I should've asked for a kiss with the cup of coffee.

Back at the hostel, Lee went back to the computer.  I went to sleep.  But we were all rudely awoken by a drunk.  He had drank so much that he had fallen asleep sitting upright in his bed and his snoring was thunderous.  It was so loud, I put a sheet over his face to muffle the noise.  It ended up cutting off much of his air circulation - which in turn - cut off the snoring.

In the morning, the drunk went to the toilet.  He sat to defecate.  Then he fell asleep on the john.  Three people opened the door disgusted.  I had to tell the hostel owner that there was a problem in our toilet.  I'm sure he thought it was plumbing, but to his surprise he found the drunkard on the toilet.

I was silently angry at this guy.  I mean what a piece of work.  And how selfish he was.  He knew he was staying in a room full of other people and to get so drunk to awaken us all was so - so - selfish.  I changed rooms the next day.

The next day, I had a conversation with a Spanish mother and her British husband and the Korean girl in our room.  The Asians were all jealous that I could speak English and Spanish.  The Brit couldn't believe in that one room I could talk with everyone around the world.

The poor Spanish mother was defrauded.  It was a difficult conversation to understand because I have never learned the vocabulary for bank transfer fraud.  But with some patience, I managed to learn new words and hear of her tragic situation.  I could only tell her I was sorry over breakfast.  

When I woke up, I ate more Tapas.  It was 11 am then.  I had a piece of steak with duck pate and caramelized onions on it.   It tasted sweet and savory and umami all at once, especially the pate.  MMMM.  I had a sangria, which was a fruit punch mixed with wine to wash away the sweet and the savory and the umami.  I was in heaven.

Afterwards, I had his gazpacho, which is cold, Tomato soup.  It was good.  I was having Tapas with a selfish Canadian guy from the hostel.  He came from a well-to-do family and came to Europe to only show off on facebook and get drunk and to have as much sex as possible.  But, hey, why not meet as many people as I could?

The host of the restaurant liked me so much he gave me free Tapas.  Haha, why are the Spanish so wonderful? 

In the evening, I ate paella, which is the Spanish fried rice with seafood.  The rice was a brilliant yellow.  And the seafood scattered over the top made my meal look like a jigsaw puzzle.

I found the paella place by asking a local where the best paella was.  She told me I had to go the Street of the Orchard.  It was a mission to ask all the local people where this small and hidden street was, but when I found it, everyone knew where the best paella place was.

The paella tasted rich from the fish broth and chicken broth.  But, because of the fresh seafood on top, it had the taste of the sea.  And the flavors were so rich.  I had to wait an hour and a half for my food.  It must have taken a long time to make it.  The flavors were so rich, I rinsed my mouth with white wine to clean my palate; so, I could repeat the experience.  I had learned something about how a real paella should taste.

The next day, I spent one full afternoon in The Prado Museum.  It had El Grecos, Picassos, Goyas, Rembrandts and more.  It took me a long time to understand the paintings.  I could write a whole blog post just on this alone.  In short, it was a very rich experience, and studying the paintings taught me how to write better - at least I think it did.

I went back to the hostel after the museum because I was so overwhelmed from analyzing each painting.  I took a nap.  And, when it was about 2 am, I became hungry.

I wandered the streets of Madrid.  I found a restaurant open.  The owner stopped everything he was doing.  He pierced a piece of octopus with his fork and said, "Eat it!"

I took it and ate it.  It was good.  He started to speak loudly to me in Spanish.  I understood.  I smiled here and there, but for the most part, I was cold to him because he was trying so hard to win me over.

He mixed me a sangria with vermouth, rum, punch, and orange juice.  It was good.  He told me his mojitos were better.  He even brought out the mint to show me that it was ferried over yesterday.

Then he insisted I tried his escargot, which are garden snails.  They were the big and tough kind.  I tapped the shells with my small fork and they clicked.  I took a toothpick and ate them.  He insisted he made the best in the world.  They were in tomato sauce.  They were great, but I realized I don't like escargot that much.  Sea escargot has a better texture not the land kind.

All, this time, he was asking about me.  What I did.  He poured himself a beer.  He poured me one.  He wrote in Spanish this: "People don't know what's important in this world."  I smiled and said, "Of course!"

He spoke in slang.  I couldn't understand Spanish slang.  He kept saying, "Vale."

I asked, "What is vale?"

He said, "Vale is vale."

"That doesn't help."

And so for a good portion of the night, the guy taught me Spanish slang. 

Then he opened the fridge and got out the gazpacho.   He took out a tea cup and poured me the pink slurry.  I tasted it.  It was like the last one I had except better because he had filled it with rich olive oil.  I drank it and drank some more.  Ok, he won me over.  Only someone who loved life would put the extra effort into making gazpacho like this.

I asked him what time it closed.  He said, "Whenever I like.  5 am.  6 am.  Any time is good.  Yay!"  

Then some Italian youth came in.  He wooed them over.  He poured them beers.  But he quickly saw that I was getting bored by myself and ready to leave.  So, he brought us altogether to play a drinking game with Spanish pennies.

It was great fun and I'm glad he did this because I thoroughly enjoyed the Italians.  One girl had an iris that was half green and half blue.  It looked exotic.

I won the game, even though I couldn't understand all of the rules in Spanish.  It was 3 am and I had to fly out tomorrow.  I gave the Italians a hug.  But the host gave me the biggest hug of all.  He gave me three big bear hugs and said, "Remember to come back."

And that was my last night in Spain.  That was my last night of holidays.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Switzerland - Lake Lugano

I met a privileged friend when I scuba dove in Mexico - the days when I played with acrobatic seals like they were marine pups -  and he invited me to his home at the Italian and Swiss border.  I asked if he meant it, while I was in Turkey, and I asked if I could come and he said yes.  Thus, I flew from Isanbul to Milano, Italy and took a bus from there to Switzerland.

My friend had such a great energy when he saw me.  He took me to his house, which was on the mountainside overlooking the lake.  The whole area looked like a fjord.  It was a valley, with high mountains, that was filled with sapphire waters.  The whole area seemed to be the world's secret, and the mountains and lakes were cloaking it from the rest of the world.

Staying at his house was like staying at a five star hotel resort.  I was briefly in a five star resort in Istanbul, and I have to say his house was better.  The picture above is taken from his balcony.  

The first night, we drove to Switzerland and ate at one of their biergartens.  There, we ordered cured meats and hams, and I ordered duck pate, which was in fat.  We also had spiced ribs cooked over a wood fire oven.  The ribs had the strong taste of salt and pepper and other spices.  It was different than the American version, which is lathered in wet and sweet barbeque sauce.  Nonetheless, the meats all tasted very succulent and the pate was everyone's favorite.

The second day, we took the dogs to the veterinarians.  The family had two dogs: a doberman and a rottweiler mix.  They also had three moggies, all of which I liked.  I liked all the animals and the rottweiler took a real liking to me.  For lunch, we had gelatto and a cappuccino.  For dinner, I had pizza frutti de mare (fruits of the sea or seafood) pizza, which was baked in a wood fire oven.  The pizza had that wonderful smoked flavor and the dough had bubbles, a result form being exposed to a really hot temperature.  When I bit into it, the tomato sauce was sweet and th dough was crunchy and the seafood tasted like the fresh sea.  I swirled a glass of wine and drank it with the pizza to wash away the salty taste from my mouth.

On the third day, I ran 10 miles from Italy to Switzerland.  I carried my passport, just in case guards would stop me.  I ran down the mountain and then through the Italian villages and then through the long tunnel, which was carved through the mountains.  I never ran through a mountain tunnel before.  It was dark inside with many cars driving through.  And when I passed the Swiss border, I saw the the Swiss flag, a white cross against a red backdrop, waving in the winds.

I then stopped at a pier.  I looked at the lake and thought about my life for a good while.  What did the future hold?  What should I do?  Then after thinking about my life, I took off my shirt and jumped into the lake.  The lake was deep and like a frog, I tried to kick my legs downward towards the bottom.  I never reached the bottom.

I ran back and hiked up the mountain back to the house.  I got lost.  And on my way, I saw baby salamanders in the forested area.  They were beautiful.

I cooked dinner that night and we ate on the porch.  We watched the mist cover the mountains.  I cooked stuffed squash with pancetta (cured Italian bacon) and green beans in French mustard cream sauce and the wife cooked cubed chicken in cream sauce.  The squash and the green beans were picked from the family's garden.  The family loved the food, and enjoyed eating outside, where we lit candles and watched the clouds roll in.  They looked like streams of ghostly smoke.

After being exposed to the cold, we went into the family's steam sauna.  It warmed me to the bones.  But I was tired from cooking and from drinking a glass of wine or two.  So, I couldn't last in such heat.

On the fourth day, the host drove up the mountain with the dogs.  The mountain was foggy; so, we couldn't see the lakes below.  We hiked with the dogs.  At the end of the hike, we went to a cabin and ate there.  The food was hearty and for a hunter.  I had polenta, which is like a mashed potato made out of corn, with deer stew.  We also ate cured hams.  All of it was good.

For dinner, I made fresh pesto with the basil from the garden.  I created my own appetizers.  I mixed the pesto with cream cheese and spread it over hard pieces of toast.  Then, I made my own pickles from the fresh cucumbers from the garden.  I topped the cream cheese with the pickles and topped that with smoked salmon.  The results were amazing.

After dinner, we sat in the dry sauna.  I baked in it for 10 minutes.  After baking in it, I jumped in their pool to cool off.  After cooling off, I baked in the sauna again.  I did this four times.  I had a wonderful sleep.

The family was nice.  I enjoyed my stay there.  I wish I could've stayed longer.  It's a place I could see myself taking time to write a manuscript.  In any event, I have to leave to my final destination tomorrow.  I fly from Milano to Madrid, Spain.

Here are pictures of the house and area and the sunset is a view from the house.

The last picture is of the bedroom I stayed in.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Days and Nights in Istanbul

End of Ramadan in Istanbul, Turkey
Shot by Paul Cook
These events all took place while I was thinking about my life in Istanbul - the mystical city that shows you a sliver of the world that can be found nowhere else.

After my nights in the Turkish wilderness, I caught a flight to Istanbul - formerly known as Constantinople, named after the former Christian Roman Emperor who christened the city the new capital of the Holy Roman Empire.  Before him, the Byzantines owned the city.  After him, the Muslims took it under the banner of the Ottoman Empire.

I arrived into Istanbul and found a host from couchsurfing.  (Couchsurfing is a website that allows people to open up their homes to complete international strangers.)  We'll call the Turkish girl Asli, but that's not her real name.

I arrived into Taksim, the central business district of Istanbul by bus.  I met Asli at a grand hotel, where she worked.  The first thing I noticed about her is that she was much fatter in person than in her picture.  (Of course, I could call her overweight, big boned, healthier, and much more.  But the reality is that all these words cover up for the reality that people all around the world are eating more than they should.)

I felt uneasy around Asli.  I couldn't understand why.

After work, she invited her other friend, who wore a domino patterned dress with a red belt.  She was fatter.  The calves of her legs looked blobby.  They were both clearly moving towards obesity.  Nonetheless, the friend had a funny personality as she was animated and laughed quite a bit.  But even though they were both fat, they had milky skin and black eyes in the shape of large almonds.  It's a feature in a people that is not commonly seen.

I saw many fat people in Istanbul, except for the Syrian refuges.  I have my doubts now that per capita America is the heaviest nation.  Perhaps, Turkey is.

Going back to Asli.  It was Ramadan.  Ramadan is a holy Islamic holiday, in which its followers must fast from sunrise to sunset for an entire month.  They must also fast from smoking, drinking, and other sinful activities, like sexual intercourse.  In Turkey, some people fast; some people don't.  In conservative Arab nations, like Saudi Arabia, fasting is almost compulsory.  Therefore, Asli's mother was fasting; while Asli and her friend were not.

We took a taxi to her home and then her mother's home.  Her mother was preparing a Ramadan meal for us.  Asli told me she got married at 17, was divorced, and had a child.  Uh oh, I thought.  I hope she doesn't expect anything from me.

At her mother's house, her mother made us a Turkish meal.  There were beef lungs in cubed pieces, soup, bread, grape leaves, and deep fried cheese rolls.  Several times during the meal, Asli and her friend touched me on the thigh.  The mother seemed disappointed I didn't eat so much, but this is why these people are fat.  They eat too much.  I told them, even before the meal started, "I don't eat much.  I'm small.  I don't need so much food."

When went back to her place, she gave me a couch to sleep in.  When we arrived at home, a guy who was thin, had long hair, and wore glasses met us.  He seemed to like and actually was into video games.  She didn't tell me, but that was her boyfriend.  He and I slept on separate couches in the living room, while Asli and her friend slept in the bed.

* * * *

I found another guest to show me the city.  His name was Ismail, which is the name of Abraham's other son from Hagar.  Ishmael became the father of the Muslim bloodline, while his half brother Jacob became the father of the Jewish one.

Ismail my guest was a new pharmacist.  He took the day off from the shop of his father, who was also a pharmacist to spend the day with me.  To my surprise, he also did boxing.

Although there were the usual touristy things to see, I wanted more than anything to see the Modern Art Museum.  So - that's where we started our tour.

The Modern Art Museum was interesting.  It had interesting and strange movies.  I really enjoyed this Turkish Islamic modern cartoon, which told this modern fairy tale.  There was so much nudity in the cartoon, both male and female, I was shocked that such a cartoon would be allowed to play in a Muslim Nation.  Nonetheless, the artist was brilliant.

During the day, we did all the usual touristy sites. There was the Aya Sofia, which means Holy Wisdom in Greek.  The Church was built by Emperor Justinian and dedicated to the Jesus godhead of the trinity.  In actuality, it was his wife who commissioned the building of the church.  When Mehemmet II took Constantinople, the first thing he declared to be done was for the church to be converted into a mosque.  As a result, a number of the Christian art has been plastered over and there is Arabic calligraphy hanging over the Mosque corners, which reads: "Allah."

My favorite place of the church-mosque is on one of the wings.  There, broken light streams through the windows, leaving you in a solemn but peaceful, reflective state.  It reminded me of the way that sunshine streams in through the forest canopy.  I told Ismail, I could do my legal work in a place like this.

After seeing the Church of Holy Wisdom, we saw the Blue Mosque.  We just sat in the courtyard, which made me feel like I was in a movie.  It was a grand, grand courtyard with a number of tourists sitting around it.  The courtyard was a perfect square.  I wasn't allowed into the mosque because I was wearing shorts, and the guy guarding the mosque entrance clearly knew I was not of their faith.

After seeing the Blue Mosque, we went to see the bazaars, which were full of what I called "Mosquito People."  I've been fascinated by a concept called therianthropy for awhile.  Therian in Latin means animal.  Thropy means change.  So, it's the ability for a human to change into an animal.  The most common type of therianthropy is known as lycanthropy.  Lycans are wolves.  So lycanthropes are werewolves.  These Bazaar peopl were the Culcidatethropes.  Culdiae are mosquitoes.

Unlike the werewolves, the Mosquito People only come out during the day.  They have special sensors, like mosquitoes, to try to suck the blood out of tourists.  And I've never been panhandled or hawked by Mosquito People like those at the bazaar.  Even if you look at an item, longer than a second, they call to you and make you already feel like you're obligated to buy it.  The Mosquito People will do everything to suck you dry of your money.

After seeing the Grand Bazaar, we saw the Spice Bazaar.  I loved the smell of roasted spices.  But again, you still had the Mosquito People.

And after the Spice Bazaar, Ismail took me to an aquarium store.  He told me he had an aquarium.  So, for spending time with me, I picked out a guppy with a fiery tail.  I bought it.  I gave it to him.  I said, "It's lucky both in Chinese and Korean culture.  The Koreans say bringing clean water into someone's home is like bringing luck for them."

After the Spice Bazaar, we went to Ismail's home, which was close to the central business center.  There, his parents came.  I met his parents.  They invited me to dinner.  We waited until the prayer call was announced at the local Mosque through a blaring stereo.  Then, we ate.  The food was mainly vegetarian.  I liked the stuffed eggplants.  But the best part, was the summer sweet watermelons.  The flavors of sugar water exploded in your mouth when you chewed through it.

Afterwards, Ismail took me on his motorbike through the winding streets of Istanbul.  Near Asli's place we sat in the town square - where tables were set up.  We drank of hot Turkish tea with sugar.  The flavors are intense and aromatic.  Then, we watched people light fire lanterns.  You make a wish when you light a fire lantern.  I loved watching them fly through the Istanbul night sky.  At some point, when they get far enough, they look like red fire flies flashing through the night.  Then, I heard the final prayer call at night, which was closer to 11 pm.  (The Muslims have five prayer calls a day, starting at 4:30 am.  You can hear it from any corner of the city because every block has a mosque.)  All this for Ramadan.

* * * *
The next evening, Ismail and I met up again with Asli.  We walked down the fashion street of Istanbul, which has been compared to the streets of Paris.  There, we walked into a bookstore.  I asked Asli which book she wanted.  It was a token of gratefulness for hosting me.  Of the four books I offered, three of them being classics, she chose 50 Shades of Grey, a trashy erotic novel about how a handsome, rich man falls obsessively in love with an ordinary girl.  She told me she would like to be the first Turkish women to write such a trashy, erotic, romance novel in Turkey.

Afterwards, we went to a park.  We stayed out all night long, smoking hooka, which is tobacco that is filtered through a water pipe, and talking.

But I was hungry.  I didn't have lunch.  And I was waiting for Ismail to eat because the sun set at 8:40 pm.  I picked a restaurant.  We sat at a table.  A famous celebrity belly dancer sat next to us with three men.  She had very masculine features, like her face and hands. 

I asked my host if I could take a picture with her.  She said, "No, do you want to get killed?  Those men sitting next to her are Turkish mafia.  They've been in the news for suspected killings."

I looked at them.  They did look like Mafia.  Asli was starstruck to be around such important people in Turkey.  She said she had never seen such important people face to face before.

I ordered a beef sausage with rice.  It had the taste of strong roasted spices.  When you bit into the meat it released juices and had a stronger gamey taste from the grass fed beef.  It was a shame I didn't have red wine to wash the flavors down with.  I loved the food very much.

We stayed out all night.  

So, when we got back with Asli the boyfriend didn't open the door.  In fact, when we came in, he started screaming at her for being out with me all night.  At points, his voice cracked.  I didn't need to know Turkish to start thinking he was going to hit her.  But he did not hit her.

The next morning, he blocked me from using the internet.  That was how I ended up my night in Istanbul.

Anyways, that's how I ended my final day in Turkey.

The Aya Sofia - the Church of Holy Wisdom.  Notice the Arabic Symbols on the top.

The Blue Mosque
The Cats of Istanbul


Ok, here's my favorite cat picture I took.  The kitty's hiding behind fig leaves - just like Adam and Eve did.

And then, I was trying to take this cat's picture.  But these Syrian refuge kids wanted me to take their pictures with the cat.  Then they asked me for money; so, I gave them 50 cents.

 The cat doesn't look too happy with them.  While America is being filled with Latin Americans, Turkey is becoming filled with Syrian refugees.

But they look happy with each other.

A stray dog picture.

Ramadan is also a time of celebration.  And in the evening, the people light fire lanterns.  These two pictures are probably my favorite pictures I took in Istanbul.

Me with Hooka.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Journey To Butterfly Valley

While I was walking from Kas to the bus stop, a black desert cobra met me on the road. We both startled each other, and it slid through the bushes.

But me being crazy and not normal followed it.  I wanted to see more of it.  It was no where to be found.

I did research on the creature and discovered it was a good thing I didn't provoke it any more than necessary.  The thing is the most venomous snake in the Middle East, and it's twice as venomous as an Indian Cobra.

From Kas, I went to another small village located by the largest beach in Turkey.  I really loved the cabin I stayed at.  I felt at great peace in this cabin, which only cost $20 USD a day and came with breakfast.  I read, used the internet, and visited the beaches and ruins.  The place was so great that I met a German couple that said they've been coming every year for 25 years.

There, I saw the ruins and the beach.  You have to pay $2.50 to enter the beach.  But how can you guard every entrance of the long, long stretch of beach.  I objected to paying because Americans don't pay to enter the beach.  The Kings of Great Britain said it was the public's right.  So, I walked about 5 miles, through the mountains, forest, and through the sand dunes to find a secret entrance.

 When I reached the beach though, I had run out of water - again.  At the edge of the water, there was naked British man in his 60's.  I don't think it was a nude beach.  I asked him where I could get water, and he pointed to the cafe another mile away.  So, I walked.

While I walked through the beach, I saw many gay Turks and other obscene images.  I think I was at the wrong part of the beach.

Then, when I got to the right part of the beach, I saw another British woman who had these breasts the size of cantaloupes (rock melons.)  She had a cute girl with green eyes and blonde hair, and the child look at me several times, looked away, and giggled.

Then, the woman took off her bikini and flashed her boobs for everyone to see.  I thought that was strange.  What was stranger is she was doing this in front of her husband.

My time at this place was just about relaxing.  I read a lot.  Napped.  I also ate these wonderful raviolis in town, which were made with fresh dough.  Nothing beats the taste of freshly boiled dough.  MMMMM.  It reminded me more of the Russian dumplings than raviolis, but during my time there, I ate three sets.   

I was enjoying myself so much here, I kept thinking of my younger brother.  I kept thinking he would love it at this place - to do nothing and be surrounded by ancient ruins and beach.  Oh, I didn't want to leave.  But I had to continue my journey.

I was off to the Butterfly Valley - which is the tourist name for the Brits.  To get to the Butterfly Valley, you can take a speed boat in from the port.  So, I had to make my way to this port city.

Although I like seeing new things, I was so relaxed, I felt so sad that I had to leave my beach village.  I enjoyed doing nothing but reading, eating, and drinking a glass of white wine while watching the sunset.

While taking a bus to the port village, I got lost.  The dolmus (mini bus) manager spoke bad English and said it was the right dolmus.  Well, he was wrong and the nasty driver threw me out into a random village.

I asked a local where the port city was.  He asked his friend to pick me up.  I ended up hitching another ride in a vegetable truck.

 After getting into the port city, I purchased a speed ticket to the Butterfly Valley.  We left at sunset, and it was a choppy ride to the Valley.

When I arrived on the shores of the Butterfly Valley, a group of Turkish hippies approached me to stay.  Even though they were hippies, they just wanted my money.  Seeing it was already evening, and the next town was a quite a trek, I settled to rent a tent for $20 USD.  I kept thinking about how my cabin by the beach was also only $20 USD.

On the upside, they provided a nice vegetarian dinner and breakfast.  Nonetheless, these hippies were the meanest hippies I've ever met.  They were a bunch of meanies.  Because they were Turkish hippies, they treated foreigners badly.

 (Sunset at Butterfly Valley).

 In the evening, I found a spider the size of a silver dollar in my tent.

And, I had a spat with one of the supervisors in the morning.  A person let me use the internet.  A good thing too because a number of reporters have asked for interviews regarding my corrupt City of Baldwin Park.  During my surfing time, this supervisor kept watching me and said, "Next time you buy.  You buy internet."

Then, he accused me of lying when I said someone sold me my drink for a few Liras cheaper.  The equivalent of $1.50 at most.

Oh, this time the lawyering came out of me for the first time on holiday.

I said in a firm and strong voice so everyone could hear in the camp, "You are not a nice person!  You are mean!  And you should never accuse people of lying.  This is what you call Muslim hospitality?!"  It was obvious everyone was feeling ashamed now.

I said, "I'll never come back to your camp.  You need to change.  All you want is my money."

He looked taken back by my fierce words and only said, "Ok, I know."

And I replied, "No, you don't know!  If you knew, you would change and apologize and not behave this way with people again."  The other hippies looked rather shameful.

One told the supervisor, "You shouldn't act like this."

I picked up the dust and threw up in the air and said, "May your little camp be cursed!"

I took my gear and continued my trek.  Maybe if my friends were around, they would've calmed me down. But I think that was the worst treatment I had in Turkey yet.  (If you feel stressed reading it, I definitely felt stressed saying it.  But I think this guy needed to hear how appalling he was treating me because obviously these people are living for free off the dime of guests and tourists.  As a German lady told me in my beach cabin place, "It doesn't cost anything to be nice."  And that is true.  Let's move on.)

I walked through the valley.  The walls of the valley are 350 meters.  To give you some perspective, the Empire State Building is 380 meters.  As I walked through the Valley, the Hebrew words that state, "Even though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil . . . " took on a new meaning.

I live in the San Gabriel Valley, but it's not a real valley, like the Butterfly Valley, where the walls of the cliffs seem to reach the sky and you walk in a narrow passage.  What the verse means is that you should not fear evil, even when everywhere you look, it looks like you're trapped in the grip of death and shadows.  And certainly, because you're at the bottom of the valley, you are literally in a shadow because the walls of the mountain cast an eternal shadow against you.

I took a wrong turn and ended up on wrong fork on the road.  I took the path to a waterfall.  It was dangerous to scale the waterfall because the rocks are slippery from the water sliding over it.  You have to use ropes to climb it up.  Yesterday at camp, a girl cracked her head because she slipped and paramedics came to her.  Nonetheless, I scaled perhaps 280 meters of the waterfall.

So, as you could see, I got wet, and I managed to get to the top of the waterfall.  Then, there was about 50 meters (164 feet / 55 yards) up left to go, and it was direct rock climbing, except there were no ropes.  I started climbing the vertical cliff, but then I noticed that my foot dislodged one of the rocks.  It ended up falling all the way to the bottom of the valley.

The crack was so loud that I decided that I wasn't going to scale this cliff.  It was the wrong way for sure!  Perhaps, I wouldn't die because a tree would break my fall, but I would certainly break a leg or an arm if I fell.  And there were no more ropes, which already made it dangerous enough.  I had to get down off of the cliffs, all 350 meters.  I can tell you it was a lot harder getting down than going up.  I slipped twice going down, but because I was clinging to the ropes, it resulted in me swinging back and forth on them for awhile, like Tarzan would.

To make a long story short, I backtracked all the way back to the fork and found the right road.  I had to climb the height of the Empire State Building again.  The road out was at an angle of at least 70 degrees and at times, you had to climb up the rocks vertically at a 90 degree angle using only ropes.

The message on the rock at the start of the trail says, "Please be careful climb to village can be dangerous."

It was dangerous but not as dangerous as scaling that cliff with my bare hands.  I made it to the top of cliffs, and I was huffing and puffing at the end because it was hot, I ran out of water again, and I had to do it twice.

I filled up on water at the local Mosque in the village.  Every Mosque has fresh water because Muslims have to clean themselves before they pray to Allah.

I hiked another 7 miles through the mountains.  This time I had water but my stomach was grumbling.  Keep in mind this whole time, I have about 10-15 pounds on my back, yes, even scaling the waterfall.

My next location was at the beach of the next valley.  So, I had to trek another 2 miles into another valley.  When I reached the next location, the owners wanted to overcharge me for another tent.

There was a Canadian hippie girl who lobbied hard for me to stay.  The owner's wife also cut me a discount.  I made it there around 5:30 pm.  I didn't want to do anymore hiking, even though I could have.

The Canadian kept flirting with me, but I wasn't interested.  She struck me as ordinary.  The next morning she woke up in the tent of another man and pretended not to know him at breakfast.

Anyways, I had made it to my destination on the trek.  The camp provided the best Turkish dinner I've had so far: lemon and spice marinated chicken with fresh vegetables.

The next day, I ended up using up the whole day to get back to Antalya, where the rest of my luggage was.  It took 6 hours of hiking and taking buses and probably another 2 hours of waiting.  I would fly out the next night to Istanbul.  This part of the journey was over.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

You Can Travel Too - And Seeing Leeches!

This is article is written for those of you who want to see the world but think it's too expensive.  I'm in Istanbul, Turkey now.  I had a talk with a young Turkish pharmacist yesterday, and he kept saying that he wanted to travel but had no money.  We talked about a strategy for him, and he said he never thought about that.  The conversation prompted me to write this article - You Can Travel Too.  And you should travel too.  The picture on the left is of a Turkish guy selling leeches to cure your ailments.

I touched the side of the jar because I know leeches can detect human warmth.  He then grabbed me, and I shook with a fright.  Haha, of course the leeches are in the bottle and wouldn't bite me.  But why are they such freaky creatures?  See; you need to travel too.  When in Los Angeles or Baldwin Park or Germany am I going to see something like this?

So far, I've been away for 30 days on holidays.  Most people would say they couldn't afford it.  But when I was 18, I told my parents I was going far, far away for awhile even without any money.  They laughed at me and said it wasn't going to happen.  I ended up in England that summer.  And since then, I've been traveling for over 14 years.  What's more important than money is that you have a desire and a want to see the world and the gall to tell the world that you can do it, no matter what people say.  So here are three rules to follow: 1) Don't be a tourist, 2) Don't get a hotel, and 3) Be Flexible.

Don't Be A Tourist

Let's start with a central tenet.  I want to dispel a myth here.  Traveling is only expensive for tourists. Conversely, traveling is cheap if you're not a tourist.  So - don't be a tourist!

Here's a good example.  Generally, speaking, in every country, going and leaving the airport is expensive.  Take for instance leaving LAX.  A shuttle from Baldwin Park to LAX can cost upward of a $50 or more.  It's the same all over the world.  When I was leaving Moscow airport, the taxi driver wanted a $100 to get me out of the airport.  This is the tourist rate.

But if you look at any airport, the workers are generally poor.  They don't live near the airport.  So - how do they afford the expensive airport rates?  They don't.  There's always the regular rate, which cuts on convenience.  So, going back to LAX - I take either the Baldwin Park metrolink or the fast bus to the LA train station.  Then, I transfer to the city bus for $8.  In total, it can cost $10 to $14.  You see the big difference in price?

My point isn't just getting in and out of airports.  You have to remember, every country has poor people, and even if they're poor, they're still doing a lot of touristy things.  For instance, yesterday, with my young pharmacy friend, I wanted to eat a few pieces of wonderful Turkish desserts, called Baklava (honey drenched pastries filled with nuts).  He said, "You don't buy them here.  This is where they screw the tourists.  We buy them somewhere else."  Somewhere else was half the price and the quality was probably even better. 

Skip the Hotel

I hardly ever use hotels.  Hotels are expensive and drain your money really, really fast.   I have enough miles to stay at one, but I'd rather travel for longer periods of time.

For instance, in one of the Turkish villages, I stayed at a wonderful cabin for $20 a night with breakfast.  Now, if I had picked a hotel, like I saw some Brits do, it would've cost $150 a night.  Do you see the huge difference?  They're one day costs me seven days.  And I want to be away for awhile.

Go back to the concept about not being a tourist.  Almost nobody in a country can afford the rates that a hotel charges.  So - don't stay at one.

Personally, I've chosen to stay with friends and locally owned places.  With the latter, you can negotiate the price.

Going back to the pharmacist, who said he couldn't travel, I told him to start hosting people on couchsurfing. (Couchsurfing is a website where you meet strangers and you're invited or get invited to open up your couch to a stranger.)  Here's why.

Did you know that Istanbul is the sixth most visited place in the world?  It has 8 million tourists in a year.  I told him, just invite guests from the countries you want to visit.  Develop a relationship.  Then, ask if you can visit them too.  He found the idea a workable and good one.  He wouldn't have to pay for lodging when he's away.

Be Flexible

At dinner, at the pharmacist's house, his parents asked me, "Why'd you chose Turkey?"  I said, "It was an accident."  People seem to laugh at the explanation, but it's true.  I was flexible and went where the winds pointed me.

Because I chose to, I purposely missed my flight to Morocco, my original destination.  I was stuck in Munich, Germany.  I had enough miles and there was availability to fly to Turkey.  I grabbed it.  I had no idea what was in Turkey.  I just went.  And that's how I went to Lebanon back in 2011 too.  Because I was flexible, I only spent $40 and miles for my flight from Munich to Turkey.

When you're flexible, an opportunity of some sort will pop up.  Actually, my travels to Cabo San Lucas was the same.  I asked the British Airway operator, "Where can I go in two days with miles for cheap?"  He said, "Cabo, Mexico."  I said, "Ok.  Book it."  That was nearly a free flight, and I had the most fantastic time there.

When you're on a tight time schedule, you spend more money attempting to make your destinations on schedule.  But when you have no set plans, it's easier to find deals.

Anyways, that's it.  I hope this article inspires my boxers in Baldwin Park to travel more.  God knows there's more to see than our corrupt, little, ghetto city.  You can see a good part of my adventures in Turkey here: The Journey To Butterfly Valley

There's a few of my travel secrets.  I guess the cat's out of the bag.  Uh oh.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Breaking News - More Corruption in Baldwin Park

(The corrupt officials of Baldwin Park - from left to right.  Council Member Raquel Garcia, Council Member Cruz Baca, Waste Management Consultant Terri Muse, Mayor Lozano, Council Member Susan Rubio, Treasurer Maria Contreras, Mayor Pro Tem Ricardo Pacheco, and Clerk Alejandra Avila)

I left on holidays to get away from the corruption.  You can keep the watchdog away from the corruption, but you can't keep the corruption away from him.

The LA Times wrote a story on the corrupt city today.  It starts off by stating:

"Two former Baldwin Park city employees are claiming they were fired in retaliation for opposing unethical behavior by city council members.

"In an 11-page claim filed June 2 with the city clerk's office, Vijay Singhal, the city's former chief executive officer, alleged he was forced from his job in retaliation for refusing to provide favors and concessions to friends and family members of Mayor Pro Tem Ricardo Pacheco and council member Susan Rubio, as well as organizations that financially supported them."

Read more here: LA Times Article on Unethical Ricardo Pacheco

Although I'm on vacation, let me give you the legal commentary.  The 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which applies to the State of California, states: "[N]or shall any person . . . be deprived of . . . property, without due process of law . . . ." (bold added for emphasis).

So, when Robert Tafoya, Ricardo Pacheco, and acting Manager Taylor fired the four, including the boxing coach who was making minimum wage at his job for fourteen years, the unenlightened forgot that the Constitution applied to them.  I mean, is it surprising that three of the public officials, including the Mayor, do not even have a college degree?  They're close to illiterate actually, and the mis-writings of Ricardo Pacheco who can't spell or use grammar prove it.

The Constitution applies to governments.  Baldwin Park is a city; therefore, it is government.  Government employment, including Julian's job as boxing coach, is a property right.  So, when the City fired four employees all at will without Due Process, they opened themselves up to huge liability.  Therefore, what these petty people didn't realize was that there are no such things as "at will" government employees.  Every government employee has a right to a procedural hearing.

Now, the City of Baldwin Park is going to be paying out millions for the decisions of these dumbos.

This is what you get when you hire a former personal injury attorney to handle Constitutional issues.  (City Attorney Tafoya also attempted to bill the City $50,000 for his first invoice.  That's more than 50 hours of billable hours a week.  He charges to drive back from downtown to Baldwin Park meetings, even though he has to go in that direction because his home is 10 minutes away in West Covina.  Money talks and logic walks.)

In short, Baldwin Park is run and managed by dumbos.  In this scandal, the following people are involved intimately or loosely: Pacheco, Rubio, Baca, Lozano, Garcia, former Council Member Garcia, Tafoya, and Taylor.  Do you see a pattern here?

Pacheco, Lozano, and Garcia erected a city monument once that said that "It was better before the Whites came."  Obviously, these people have no respect for the US Constitution and its history.

CSmonitor's Story On Baldwin Park's Racist Monument

Really, the District Attorney, Attorney General, and FBI need to do an investigation on these officials and administrators.  One only need to look through my other articles to see the level of corruption involved.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Cats of Kas

So, while in Kas, I noticed all the alley cats.  I tried to talk to all of them.  Some of them like me; some of them don't.

Anyways, I got the idea to show you what Kas looks like through cats' eyes.  Before I left Kas, on my way to Patara, I decided to shoot the cats (with a camera, not a gun). 

I call this project - "Through the Eyes of Strays"

 This one was pretty cooperative.  Easy to shoot.  Rather a normal cat.  We'll name her "Lucky."

  This one didn't even know I was shooting him.  He reminds me of a first son because that's all they do in Turkey: nothing.  So, we'll call him "First Son."

This one definitely didn't like having his picture taken.  I'll call him "Paparazzi."

This one was kind of cute.  Enjoying staying cool from the Turkish heat.  We'll call him "Kind of cool."

 Oh - another black one.  She definitely knew I was taking a picture.  We'll call her Cleopatra.  She met Antony for a tryst in Turkey anyways.
 Oh, this one was my favorite one.  He looks like "Kind of Cool" but he was a lot friendlier.  He was by the old street.  Let's name him "Mr. Friendly."

 I thought this was a cool picture.  You see how hungry and lazy these cats are.  I don't even know if they were male or female.  I'll call one "Lazy One" and the other "Lazy Two."

That's it for my cats of Kas.

Below is some other pics that are non-cat reated.

 I said good bye to my lunch cook.  I really like her.  I always said hello to her when I passed her street.
The lighting isn't so great in this picture, but this was my hostel in Kas.  It was at the rooftop of the high rise.  Isn't it an amazing view?  And there were no mosquitoes at that height.  It was really cool just answering my emails on my computer from here.

I made my way into Patara - another ancient city that's older than Jesus.  It dates to 500 BC.  I'm staying at a lovely hotel for an incredibly reasonable price. 

Tomorrow though, I have to take a boat to the Butterfly Valley.