The Price of Freedom

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance so said somebody…can’t remember who, it’s been quoted by many. The Mules are a venue of that vigilance providing a real live moving scene of eternal vigilance by which anybody at anytime can open the window and watch the Mules moving freely when they choose , how they choose across this country and across this earth.

You take a pause in your busy day, look through the window, you see the Mules there moving freely and unhindered. They’re strong, healthy and well. Now you know your personal freedom and your children’s future is still here.
You look through the window and you see the Mules limping then you know you must jump through that window and give your strength and support so the Mules can continue their journey which is to protect and preserve their freedom as well as yours.
In these complicated and troubled times, the Megatropolis is taking full advantage. Our case in Pasadena at the United States Court of Appeals is a perfect example. The National Park Service arrested the Mules for stopping to rest – one of the most necessary functions to sustain life.
The Megatropolis must come to understand it cannot meddle or tread on the Mules or anybody else’s basic functions of sleeping, eating, walking, etc. that are necessary to living. For allow it to do so will certainly be the end of freedom.
The Mules

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The Vision

The Mules have been given a vision by this ages old place in which we belong. We carry the energy and magic of this vision as we wander in stark contrast to the Megatropolis and its blueprint by which we are told we must conform and live. A blueprint of total and complete control of all energy – be it human, animal, sun, wind, etc. that has wrought so much destruction and continues to do so on us (The Mules) and this natural world and all life which it harbors.

Today, we will be clearing the trail which goes up the San Emigdio Canyon. Our bodies will be feeling the pain and discomfort brought on by the maladies of old age. But we will be carrying the vision that was given to us. It will be in our mind’s eye as we work, walk and live. A vision of millions of Buffalos breaking over the horizon.

First we will feel their intensifying energy then we will hear it then see. The energy of this vision will first flow over then break through like water behind a dam. It will flow over the surface of the earth until every nook and cranny is completely immersed at which time a great calm will be felt by one and all. The knowing that the Buffalos have returned to heel the Natural World and all its inhabitants with the power and magic of the energy they harbor.

The Mules will carry this vision harboring the energy of all the people we’ve met, all the kindness and support we’ve received, all the steps we’ve taken on our endless journey to the courthouse in Pasadena, California on May 2, 2016.

The intensifying energy and magic of this vision will enter the courthouse and flow through and around every square inch of that courthouse and work its ages old magic on all those harbored in that courthouse. No matter what the judges decide – guilty or not guilty, upside down, backwards, or sideways. The magic and energy of the Mules will not be denied.

The Mules will continue to wander and roam through the Megatropolis in stark contrast to its destructive blueprint of control and containment of all energy on earth. The wealth of the Mules is harbored in the struggle to be free to live and flow with the energy of the Natural World. This vision will never relent. It will only intensify. No matter what happens or occurs as long as we hold this vision in our mind’s eye, our wealth continues to grow.

~The Mules

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Outside the boundaries of the Megatropolis

The two pictures shown represent the two basic ways of living on this earth. The picture on the top represents the Natural Earth model, a strong healthy, natural environment supporting a varied and diverse web of life, living in balance and harmony for the sake and well-being of all. The picture on the bottom represents the Megatropolis (man-made world) model. A place of dirty water, poison air and food. Outrageous sickening noise, personal and collective isolation for those who live under its influence and within its boundaries which turns out to be where most of us find ourselves.

No human being with a good common sense mind knowing beforehand the consequences of leaving the Natural World and entering and residing in the Megatropolis would ever do so. The Human race has been tricked, lured by the carrot of gadgetry and glitz, comfort and ease, now addicted to what the Megatropolis provides and unwilling to leave, no matter what the consequences.

For those who would break their addiction and leave the Megatropolis, they are being faced with an ever increasing amount of laws, codes, regulations, permits, fees, to prevent their escape.

The Mules case going before the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena on May 2, 2016 is a perfect example of the Megatropolis sealing the cracks, tightening the noose to prevent any escape from its vessel of containment and control of all energy on earth be it human, animal, wind, sun, heat, cold, etc.

If you are willing to live within the boundaries of the Megatropolis, sleep is allowed. If you are not willing to live within those boundaries, the basic function necessary to all life, SLEEP, is being denied.

~The Mules

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Freedom to Move

The Mules will be leaving the Wind Wolves Conservancy in a few days and be on our way to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Pasadena and bring our ages old nomadic way of life to the steps of the court. We will be carrying the energy of thousands of steps made by ourselves and the many others who have practiced this most revered and cherished way to live and be on this place called Earth. We will carry the energy of the thousands of people who we have met on our journey and given their support and kindness to see that this endless journey never ends.

The Mules are working, living every day feet on the ground example of this most valued gift bestowed to the human race to move freely how you choose, when you choose across this beautiful earth. The Mules will never give it away and neither should you.

Give your hope and faith to this endless journey through time and space and experience true wealth – the things money can never buy. The freedom to move on this earth and experience the mystery and magic of doing so can only be kept by using it all day every day. 

The Mules do this most necessary job and reap the awards bestowed upon us by the hope and faith we give to this place of one human being moving freely with reverence and respect for earth and all her inhabitants.

~The Mules

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – Oral Argument Scheduled for USA v. The Mules

On May 2nd 2016, we the mules will appear in Pasadena to attend our appeal  before the 9th circuit. Our pro bono lawyer Dan Kapelovitz represent his oral argument as to why we should be found not guilty. The court will only listen and decide the case on the fine points of the law. The Mules arguments against our conviction will not be accepted or heard by the court but they will be felt by everyone in and around that building for years to come. And that is the ongoing mission of the Mules to spread the magic and mystery of this ages-old nomadic way of living for that is the key to true happiness and to be without it is the key to true misery.

Any law passed by federal, state, county, city government that denies any form of life on this Earth the basic functions such as sleeping, eating et cetera that are necessary to living that life is illegal, unconstitutional and un-everything. The implementation of such a law under any guise or pre-text is to refute and deny the process of life itself. It’s wrongheaded, upside down and backwards. It brings ultimate meaning and definition to the word of insanity.

All life on this Earth from the microbe to the whale engages in two basic kinds of activity – motion and rest. It goes back and forth from one to the other until it wears out and dies. The Megatropolis (man-made world) by its passage and use of laws, ordinances and codes, when enforced denying any form of life any one of these two basic functions -motion and rest – granted to life by God and creation, is a blatant act of illegality against the Earth and all its inhabitants.

This is exactly what was done to us the Mules when we were arrested, charged and convicted by the National Park Service for engaging in one of the two most basic acts to life on this Earth – rest. We the mules have lived on this Earth with reverence and respect for hundreds of thousands of years in harmony with God’s creation we will not be run off the Earth by the Megatropolis and its most favorite child the suburban model – buildings, freeways, machines, outrageous noise, poisoning air, food and water. We will persevere and see another day brought about by thousands of buffaloes appearing on the horizon with the magic and energy of a strong healthy natural world.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Oral Argument Notice for USA v. John Sears is scheduled for May 2, 2016. We don’t know what order the oral arguments will be held yet. Each side in our case is scheduled to get 15 minutes of argument. Our lawyer has informed us that it is possible that once this case is assigned to the 3-judge panel, they could decide to take the oral arguments off calendar and just decide the case based on the briefs. As we learn more, we will post and share what we know on here on and on our Facebook page. On May 2, 2016, we the Mules will appear in Pasadena to attend our appeal before the 9th Circuit.

In regards to those who want to donate money for this case…we are not requesting money. Money will not win this case. Hope, faith and energy given freely by people is what will win this case in the end. This case is everybody’s freedom to move in this country when we choose and how we choose and our connection to this earth and our humanity.

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San Clemente, CA – Part II

Where we were fined in San Clemente in January of this year.  We had to stay here that day due to Little Girl’s abscessed hoof. We picked up and left this place spotless.

The Mules wandering through the Megatropolis peacefully and quietly all day every day serve as a stellar example of how to live and travel responsibly. For the Megratropolis to fine the Mules for doing this is wrong-headed.

The Mules

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The Right to Rest

Where we spent the night in Paramount, CA

Paramount, CA – November 17, 2015
Pictured is where we stopped yesterday afternoon at 4:30pm in the City of Paramount. After securing the kids to some trees and removing their packs, we prepared dinner. Upon completing our meal, it became dark so we put the kids on picket lines and stayed the night. Getting up in the morning, we fixed breakfast, ate, packed up the kids who were ready and rested for a new day to spread the seeds of magic and mystery that the Mules carry.

The Mules say thank you to the city of Paramount for the kindness and support they showed the Mules for allowing us to stop and rest for the night. The Mules also want to thank the City of Paramount for being a stellar example of how anybody traveling in transit going from one place to the next whether by horse, bicycle, on foot, etc., must be treated.

This independent self reliant means of moving yourself (how you choose, when you choose, where you choose) is the backbone to freedom in this country. A cherished freedom that many have given life and limb to preserve. Thank you to the people of the City of Paramount.

City of Lakewood’s City Hall staff presented with the Declaration of Emergency

Lakewood, CA – November 18, 2015
This afternoon, the Mules stopped by the City of Lakewood City Hall to deliver the Declaration of Emergency (DOE). When we arrived, the city hall staff came out to greet us and were very welcoming to the Mules. They kindly posed for a group photo. The gentleman holding the DOE said that he would hand deliver our important document, which declares the need for an interstate trail system, to the Mayor of Lakewood. Thank you to the people in the City of Lakewood for your kind heartedness.

San Clemente, CA – January 22, 2015
In contrast, early in January 2015, the Mules were traveling on the ages old trail now called the El Camino Real going through the City of San Clemente and were not treated with the same kindness and respect that we received from the people of Paramount last night and the city of Lakewood today.

On January 22, 2015 at 4am, the Mules were woken up by San Clemente police officer who told us that we could not sleeping in this vacant lot in which he found us. The City of San Clemente has strict no camping ordinances. He asked us when we would be leaving. We said we would leave when it was light and he said okay and left. About 8:30am, we continued our journey south on the El Camino Real when Little Girl started to show a light lameness in her front foot. As we continued, her limp became pronounced. To prevent further injury, we stopped at another vacant lot to inspect her foot, which was quite sensitive. We knew that we needed to seek help with someone with a horse trailer to bring her to an equine vet to get checked. Took the pack off the mules and started making phone calls, leaving messages to people I knew to seek help. None of our contacts were able to arrive that day (January 22) with a trailer.

About 9pm, San Clemente police officer arrived. We explained our circumstances as to why we were there and could not physically move due to Little Girl’s injury. The officer called animal control and we waited for quite a while before animal control showed up. Animal control officer took a very quick look at a distance, had Little Girl walk a few steps on soft dirt, and made a comment that Little Girl did not look lame to her, and then left. At that point the police officer decided to issue the citation based on her opinion.

The next day, friends arrived with a trailer to pick us up to bring us to San Juan Capistrano. We could not meet the vet immediately and rested Little Girl while we waited for our appointment on January 26. On January 26, San Juan Capistrano equine veterinarian Dr. Mark Secor gave Little Girl an exam, including x-rays. Dr. Secor wrote in his examination report: “Exam: mild LF lameness noted at walk, certain steps – tight circle to left more exaggerated, mild high lateral hoof well, mild ups DP’s, les palpates WNL. Moderate sensitivity to hoof testers… Suspect cause of lameness – resolving abscess.

Vet diagnosis for Little Girl

The Monk followed the instructions on the citation, submitted a check by the payment deadline and requested to contest citation via mail (submitting our letter and vet expert diagnosis with payment) instead of having an Administrative Hearing in person which would require mules to walk back to San Clemente. The Mules made several phone calls to request in regards to an appeal while we were nearby and was told that they were backlogged in processing citations. On March 2, we received a certified letter that stated “THIS IS THE SECOND HEARING DATE – IT CANNOT BE RESCHEDULED”.   The Mules never received a letter informing us about a date for a first hearing. Also, we sent Dr. Secor’s exam as evidence that Little Girl was lame.

The Mules found it unreasonable for San Clemente to cite us and retain our $100 citation fee as we had a valid reason for why we could not PHYSICALLY leave town by walking due to Little Girl’s lameness in her foot. We were waiting for friends to come with a horse trailer to pick us up, which wasn’t available to arrive until the next day. We submitted written letter of appeal with veterinarian diagnosis confirming Little Girl’s lameness due to abscess in hoof. San Clemente rejected our written request for appeal and required us to appear in person back in San Clemente even though we had indicated that we would not be able to walk back in time due to our distance.  As well, after explaining how we live a nomadic life in our initial letter to San Clemente, it is unreasonable for the city to wait more than two months for an administrative hearing date when we called to inquire multiple times while we were within walking distance to appeal.  

Mule’s letter sent to City of San Clemente

The Mules are returning to San Clemente, CA
In a few days, the Mules will be once again traveling this ages old trail now called the El Camino Real. Through the City of San Clemente once again we will be stopping there to rest for the night.
The Mules will be sending San Clemente Mayor Chris Hamm and San Clemente City Council members a letter informing them of our return to the City of San Clemente and we hope the treatment we received earlier this year will not be repeated. For the Mules to be treated in the public nuisance type categories as drunkards, drug abusers, leaving large amounts of trash behind, engaging in irresponsible type living with no regard or respect for anyone or anything is a complete turnaround from the truth.
We have a Facebook page and our website where the way we live is well documented. For anybody traveling in this country by horse, by foot or by bicycle going from one place to the next in transit exercising that most cherished right of personal freedom to be treated as we were in the City of San Clemente shows a blatant disregard for those who choose another means of transportation other than the dangerous and destructive automobile.

The Mules

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Halliburton – Bakersfield

On the night of 4/29/15 at 6:30pm, we were cited by Kern County Sheriff for criminal trespassing on Halliburton Corporation land. A Halliburton security guard asked us to leave. We said that we would, so we packed up and were walking off Halliburton land when a Kern County law enforcement officer appeared walking towards us and asked us if we would talk to him. We said no and continued walking off of Halliburton land when we were then forcibly stopped by the enforcement officer and eventually charged with criminal trespassing by Halliburton.

This is obviously an American corporation that has no regard or respect for what the Mules represent and live for respect and reverence for this planet and all its inhabitants. We had walked 20-miles. The mules were deserving a good nights rest. They had been carrying the energy of balance all day for people to feel and experience as only they could. There was no good reason for the mules to be treated like this by Halliburton Corporation.

Here are photos of the citation and the open, empty lot that we were told to leave.

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Ventura Police $132 Administrative Citation

Synopsis: On March 16, 2015, after buying a soda at Big Lots, Mule was eating lunch with the mules in a quiet, shady area of the Big Lots parking lot when five Ventura Police cars surrounded them. Ventura Police issued a $132 administrative citation for “Control of Domesticated Animals – Running at Large”. The Mules were not running at large. The Mules followed procedures to contest the citation. This contest was rejected by the Ventura Police Administrative Review Officer, after which the Mules contacted attorney Steven X. Schwenk who requested an Administrative Hearing. On June 15, 2015,  Ventura Police Department sent a follow-up letter stating that the “Animals at Large” citation will be vacated, stating “This Department’s investigation has determined that there is insufficient evidence you were responsible for violation of the SBMC section as cited.”

March 16, 2015

The Mules were peacefully taking a break in a shady spot yesterday when five Ventura Police cars surrounded us. Ventura Police issued a $132 administrative citation for walking in their city.

“San Buenaventura Municipal Code Chapter 8.050, Article 6 Control of Domesticated Animals Other than Household Pets, Section 8.050.660. – Running at large:

It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having control of any animals, rabbits, poultry or domestic fowl, other than household pets, to permit the same to run or go or be at large upon the premises of any other person, without permission so to do, or on the street or public places within the city.”

March 18, 2015
The Mules researched how to contest this citation. This is what is written on the Ventura website. The information on the website conflicts with what is written on the citation. However, we will meet the earlier deadline and hand deliver our paperwork to contest the citation.

March 19, 2015
Ventura County Star published an article today about Monday’s incident in Ventura. Article states that “Police said the managers of Wendy’s and Big Lots called to complain”. Mule went into Big Lots to buy a soda. While inside Big Lots as a customer, Mule was never told that he was not allowed to shop in the store. Big Lots accepted money for the soda.

Big Lots shopping receipt

After buying the soda, Mule returned to the parking lot to eat his lunch and was never approached by Big Lots or Wendy’s managers they could not be there. The mules were hitched in Big Lots back parking lot in an empty, quiet section to keep the mules safe from cars and not near Wendy’s. Google satellite image of where mules were at in parking lot as well as photos that Mule took in parking lot of location.) No sign in the parking lot posted that horses and mules are not permitted.

Article also states that “mules were leaving traces of their visit in the parking lot.” The police witnessed Mule clean up the droppings immediately after it happened.

Article quotes Brian Brennan, former Ventura City Council member, “In the city of Ventura, you can still tie up horses on Main Street – an old law never taken off the books.”

Mules were given an administrative citation for San Buenaventura Municipal Code Chapter 8.050, Article 6 Control of Domesticated Animals Other than Household Pets, Section 8.050.660. – Running at large: It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having control of any animals, rabbits, poultry or domestic fowl, other than household pets, to permit the same to run or go or be at large upon the premises of any other person, without permission so to do, or on the street or public places within the city.”

March 25, 2015

We the Mules left Montecito this morning on our way to Ventura, California to deliver our completed contest form and additional letter of evidence to Ventura Police Department, and Ventura City Mayor contesting the citation that was written against us the Mules for animals running at Large (SBMC) 8.050.660. We will probably arrive there Thursday. Below is what we sent.

Note: Not publicly sharing pages 5-7 to keep witness accounts private.

Ventura City Hall

March 27, 2015
The Mules arrived at Ventura City Hall in the afternoon and presented the DOE, MCL and the Request Review Form (contesting the citation (SBMC 8.050.660 Running at Large written against us by the law enforcement arm of the Ventura Megatropolis) to the city manager Mark D. Walkins, who happened to be passing through and said he would see to it the Mayor, police chief and the Administrative Review Officer, each get a copy delivered to them that we provided in three envelopes. The Mules said thank you then left, got back onto the public thoroughfare (all city, county and state roads) and proceeded to travel north on our ages old migratory journey north.

The public thoroughfare in this country belongs to the Public. It is our freedom – the right to wake up in the morning and choose where you go, how you go, when you go – must be held sacrasank. It is the basis on which so many have given life and limb to protect and preserve. For any Megatropolis and its official, Ventura and others who make and pass laws, codes, ordinances that restrict any by denying the use of the public thoroughfare to any one of the citizenry are engaged in a blatant act of illegality.

While everybody is distracted and worried about issues that the officials tell the media to put in front of the public, the Megatropolis is sneaking through the backdoor using ordinances and codes to destroy the public access to the public thoroughfare.
Watch the Mules. The Public Thoroughfare is our life blood for to lose it is our death we know this, so we will resist this all day, every day, one step at a time.

May 12, 2015

Ventura Police Department sent letter that our request to contest the citation was rejected.

Upon receiving this rejection letter, we contacted attorney Steven X. Schwenk located in Mill Valley, CA to represent The Mules.

Mr. Schwenk agreed and sent a letter as well as spoke with Ventura City Clerk requesting an Administrative Hearing to discuss the rejected initial Administrative Review

June 15, 2015
Ventura Police Department sent a follow-up letter stating that the “Animals at Large” citation will be vacated, stating “This Department’s investigation has determined that there is insufficient evidence you were responsible for violation of the SBMC section as cited.” Thus, no in person Administrative Hearing was required.

Thank you Attorney Steven X. Schwenk for stepping up to represent The Mules pro bono with willingness to travel from Mill Valley to Ventura to defend us in court for this citation that we did not believe was valid in the first place.

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Why I Am Helping John Sears Appeal His Case Pro Bono

By Dan Kapelovitz

I was walking by the United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles, when I saw two mules standing on the courthouse steps.

I had to investigate what this was all about.

It turned out that the federal government was prosecuting a man for disobeying a “lawful order of a government employee” and for “camping outside designated areas” of a National Park.  In other words, John Sears and these two mules had been walking all day and needed rest.  Mr. Sears found a resting place with no one else around and fell asleep.  He had no notice that doing so was against the law, or that he was even in a federal park.  When the park rangers woke him and ordered him to leave, he refused because traveling through the darkness would have been unsafe.

I further learned that, at that very moment, this man was defending himself at trial against these federal charges.  I desperately wanted to watch this trial, but I needed to be at a hearing in another courtroom across town.

Instead, I gave my business card to one of the kind people watching the mules, and explained that I would be happy to provide free legal services to Mr. Sears if he ever needed my assistance.

I had just recently had my own dealings with the “Environmental Crimes Unit.”  I defended a man accused of the federal offense of walking a dog without a leash in a National Park.  In that case, I was fighting against the same Assistant U.S. Attorney who was prosecuting Mr. Sears and against the same park rangers who had arrested him.  So I had a pretty good idea what Mr. Sears was up against.

In the dog-leash case, my client was convicted and given a suspended sentence of two days in jail, a case I am currently appealing based on various violations of my client’s constitutional rights.  I had a feeling that the government was similarly violating Mr. Sears’s fundamental rights

I figured that I would never hear from Mr. Sears, but a couple of months later, I received a call informing me that he had just been arrested again, this time by Ventura County law enforcement.  I agreed to help, but, as it turned out, Mr. Sears didn’t need any help because the case was almost immediately dismissed.

Soon after, Mr. Sears himself called me.  After we spoke about his federal case, I told him that if he wished to appeal his convictions, I would be happy to represent him pro bono.

Instead of treating the Mules as criminals, the federal government should be hailing them as modern day examples of how to use and relate to our national parks.  I found the Mules and the way they must live on this earth to be the embodiment of the American Spirit moving freely with the natural flowing energy of this earth. All he wants is to be free – free to roam the great, yet ever-shrinking, American outdoors.  In its response to our appellant brief, the government wrote, “Allowing individuals to camp wherever they wish would create a free-for-all on public land” as if this were a bad thing.  But freedom for all is what we are fighting for, and freedom is what Mr. Sears’s journey represents.

Daniel I. Kapelovitz
7119 W. Sunset Boulevard #999
West Hollywood, CA 90046
mobile: (323) 839-6227

Little Girl and Lady in front of United States District Courthouse in Pasadena [Photo by Danny Roth]

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