Saturday, January 7, 2023

2023 - Year of the Water Rabbit: Working Towards Peace

(c) Japan Times
According to the Chinese calendar, last year was the Year of the Water Tiger. This is the Year of the Water Rabbit.

Last year, I wrote that "[T]igers cross water, because they're on the go. And I think, this will be a year of uncertain transition for everyone." My words came true.

Thank you for everyone who's believed in me and supported me in my life. Together, all of us have crossed over into the Promised Land. It's been a long and hard and gritty and painful journey. I want to remind us of history, because it's repeated.

Approximately 3,300 years ago, God blocked the Israelites from entering the Promise Land, because they were too afraid of the future. The spies gave false reports to Moses of how the land was full of fortified cities and giants; so, that the people could instead stay in the wilderness and settle for living in known poverty. The people rejected the prospects of an unknown future and wealth; instead, they were content with fantasies of the past and the comforts of the predictable.

Only Joshua and Caleb believed that the Promise Land could be taken. In short - one tribe, and only one tribe - the Tribe of Judah - stood in opposition against 11 other families and knew the truth and wanted to act on it. 

And what happened? Sadly, the Israelite community believed the lies and rejected God's promise to Israel. All of the spies, except Joshua and Caleb, were struck down with a plague and died. Judah was spared and honored and blessed.

I feel like history repeats itself. There's something to be said about knowing the truth, acting on that truth, and having faith that God will fight the battles we cannot. After all, it is written, "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." 

He is the same God, a God that does not change. He is the God that organized the Israeli slaves, and through their leader Moses, against all odds, and with only a wooden staff, defeated Pharaoh and his evil kingdom.

Hence, 2023, will now be about building the foundations of a new city.

The FBI Captures the City of Baldwin Park

Another reason I haven't been blogging as much, is because Baldwin Park's corruption has finally become exposed. The federal government has finally intervened. And the City's ugliness and greed and evil is now seen by the people.

The FBI captured a former council member, who in turn squealed on the rampant corruption, which was rotting this city and its people into destruction. The federal investigation has brought down other public officials from other cities and counties, as well as the city attorney here, and numerous administrators. It appears that the ring was primarily connected to corrupt, Hispanic-run cities.

(I predict next on the chopping blog will be Baldwin Park Council Woman, Monica Garcia and former Mayor Manuel Lozano.)

One person who has finally been brought down is the City Attorney, Robert Tafoya. Tafoya finally filed his resignation as city attorney in Baldwin Park and the West Valley Water District in November of 2022. We've been in conflict since March of 2014. That's almost 8 years.

I don't want to rehash all the misconduct he engaged in, because it's behind me. But some misconduct included the firing of my friend who worked for the City to get back at me; forging my signature block in a case; and filing a number of temporary restraining orders against me, based on lies. My opponent reveled in lying and balking at any laws designed to hold government accountable.

I won my share of battles against him and lost some too. Those losses upset me, especially because of the foul play employed to win. (And, I'd get so frustrated at the courts that they would permit so much illegal prolific and unrestrained misconduct.)

I'm grateful, however, to Tafoya, because he gave me the gift of the enemy. Walter Wink, late theologian on confronting evil political systems, describes the gift like this: "The gift our enemy may be able to bring us: to see aspects of ourselves that we cannot discover any other way than through our enemies. Our friends seldom tell us these things; they are our friends precisely because they are able to overlook or ignore this part of us."

The City of Baldwin Park Proves the Evil of Our Governments.

So, in the end, my character was refined by Tafoya's schemes and still has a way to go. Probably a few years ago, I would have been overjoyed that he resigned because of an FBI investigation, but now, it tastes so bittersweet.

I feel like I'm witnessing a tragedy, not a happy ending. Will the public get its money back to invest in future generations? Will the governance in the City change, or will they continue on their way to be corrupt? (Already, it appears like the latter.) Will people like Tafoya change?

So now, I'm grieved. I'm grieved to see how the State's checks and balances have failed to prevent or stop this misconduct earlier. This goes all the way up to the State Bar, the appellate courts, the superior courts, and the State Controller's Office. If one City in California goes rogue, the way Baldwin Park did, how can it be brought back into line, when these agencies are not enforcing the rules against it? 

Well; the State Controller could have done a better job in being more thorough with subpoenaing records and enforcing that subpoena. Although a number of citizens knew something was amiss, and we asked for records, the court in the end failed to enforce the public records act against the City. 

Without court enforcement, the public records act doesn't work. That's it. It's just a bunch of nice words on paper. A public agency can withhold those records, because it knows giving them away, will cause them to be criminally prosecuted. 

So; tell me. Why would they ever comply with such a rule without the enforcement of the courts?

And sadly, the State Bar appears to not prosecute players who have money. The State Bar has been so egregious in over prosecuting black attorneys and under prosecuting corrupt players, which ultimately just promotes more corruption in our legal system. Again; it's tragic.

The leadership in this State needs to change totally. Currently, people in power could have a history of financial problems and still be in positions of leadership. If people can't manage their own personal finances, they have no business managing the public's money. Hence, there needs to be checks and restrictions.

And character and integrity have to start becoming traits that qualify one for leadership, and the lack of having them, likewise must disqualify one from holding such government positions.

My Father Almost Died at ELIM Silvertown, Los Angeles; Nonetheless, Verdugo Hills Saved His Life.

In April of this year, I saw my father dying in front of my eyes. He started shaking violently in front of me. He whispered, "Paul." His eyes were rolling the back of his head. He wasn't conscious.

And immediately, in my mind's eye, a flurry of images and thoughts and voices came into my mind to lead me to the ultimate conclusion; Dad's going to die!

I could feel my mind going sifting through thoughts and facts and ideas. What's going on here? What's happening? Paul, you can do this. You can figure this out. 

But how? In front of me, was my dying father, and for the most part that was the only fact I had. I never attended medical school.

Dad can't talk to me. Dad can't tell me what's going on, right now. I thought - What is this?! What the Hell is going on here?! I don't know. I need to know.

Everyone is telling me it's high blood sugars, but that doesn't make sense. The doctors in the emergency room can't even explain the biochemistry of what's going on here logically. Something is totally wrong!

And still and peaceful voice inside said - You know enough to figure this out. Yes, but how?

The race started in my mind. And Death spoke to me and said, "Time is running out, Counselor. If you don't figure this out, your father dies." 

Flurry and flashes of facts, thoughts, research papers, and past memories started flooding into my mind's eye. There were a lot of dead ends and roadblocks in my thinking. And it came. The knowledge, as bright as light, came to me. I knew why my father was dying and what was actually going on.

I took my father out of Good Samaritan Hospital to the anger and shock and fury of the staff, even the chief officer, there. The Spirit of Death was in that room, and I could feel it. 

And after taking him out, which felt more like a prison break, I drove him to his regular hospital in Glendale. According to sources, Good Samaritan reported me to authorities, even though I did the right thing. The nursing home he was staying at, ELIM Silvertown, tried to trick me into signing a waiver to not sue them. The whole affair was disgusting and egregious.

The second hospital, Verdugo Hills, saved my father's life. From April even until now, I've been doing everything I could to rehabilitate my father. He's not fully 100%, but he's improved greatly, so much so, that I can say it's a miracle where he's at now and how far he's come.

I beat Death again, at least for now. I don't know how many more times I can keep going up against him and winning. Not easy.

The following Monday, I filed an elder abuse report with an agency and life changed forever.

Conflict at the Boxing Gym; Hope Springs Eternal

Well, in November of this year, a professional boxer at the gym punched me. He denied it. And in my absence, and without being able to tell my side of the story, a number of people believed in the lie. It sent the gym into mass conflict and turmoil. 

It reminded me of what Winston Churchill once said. "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

For me - it felt like a clash of two kingdoms. And in general, isn't this the historic battle of every city? It's the conflict between Babylon and Jerusalem or Rome (the new Babylon) and Jerusalem. I feel like they're are two forces that are always fighting for the hearts of men and women in the City. And although everyone has the same universal needs, these forces offer very different promises for the people.

The Book of Proverbs (also known as the Book of Wisdom), tells us that Lady Foolishness and Lady Wisdom walk through the city streets. Both look for people into the City to invite into their homes to eat and drink. One offers wisdom. The other offers to meet your deepest and darkest desires. Stolen food and water are sweeter - Lady Foolishness says.

Returning to the punch-story. Well, the good news was that there was no permanent damage from the punch. And as many of my wise advisors have told me - that's the most important thing.

More conflict ensued during the twilight days leading to New Years Day. And I realized that my pursuit of justice was also deeply and sadly affecting all the members of the community. I've tried to make peace, and I think it's been reciprocated. 

So, we're all trying to move towards peace, hopefully. And regarding this boxer, I realize some of the mistakes I made, and I can still see good in him. So, I'm very hopeful.

Thoughts for Next Year: Strive to Make Peace.

The New Year brought me one Bible verse that hit home. It says, "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14, NKJV). For me, I've proven my points and had my victories in the past. Thus, this is the year to work towards peace

I end by saying, this is the Year of the Water Rabbit. I don't know much about rabbits or hares, though when I run in the hills I see plenty of them. They signify peace for certain. Are they in conflict with other animals? No. 

They're also fluffy and cute and happy. They're also very adaptable and prolific. They're fast and quick and can adapt to new environments. So; I think that's what we need to move towards - peace and adaptability and fast flow.

Happy New Year. Out with the old, and in with the new. I welcome the Year of 2023 - the Year of the Water Rabbit.