Friday, May 15, 2009

"Do not trust governments more than governments trust their own people."

"Do not trust governments more than governments trust their own people." — Andrei Sakharov

Don't trust government more than it trusts you, which is to say, not at all. Here's an example: A man wants to hold his rulers accountable. He makes no threats, is not dangerous, and has no criminal record. This doesn't matter. What does is the fact that he wants honesty and honor from government tax-feeders. Good luck, but at least he's trying! So what do the tax-feeding parasites do? Illegally ban him from being anywhere near them, naturally.

Here's the whole story, as posted at Pro Libertate Blog:

Who owns this joint? The Borah Building in downtown Boise provides temporary office space for Governor Butch Otter, who -- as a state employee -- doesn't actually own the building, nor does he pay the rent. So by what supposed right does the Governor, or any of his lickspittles, file a "trespassing" complaint against one of the citizens who do own that property?

Chris Pentico, a quiet, self-possessed 42-year-old resident of Mountain Home, Idaho, has a disposition as mild as tapioca. Yet the description offered by a state prosecutor at his sentencing hearing today (May 11) would lead you to believe that beneath his docile exterior, Mr. Pentico -- who looks a bit like a younger, clean-shaven, presentable version of Hank Willams, Jr. -- is a churning urn of burning rage.

Years ago, recited the prosecutor in the adolescent whine typical of a law school graduate of recent vintage, Mr. Pentico was "involved in an incident" on campus at Boise State University in which he displayed his "belligerent" personality. This is why he wound up "on law enforcement's radar" -- even though, as we would later find out, no charges were filed, and Pentico's record remained unsullied.

As a political activist with the Idaho Republican Party, Pentico frequently met with members of the state legislature and other public officials, often to complain about irregularities and examples of what he considers to be public corruption. This, according to our young prosecutor, made many public officials "uncomfortable."

She considered that to be a species of crime. I consider it a respectable downpayment on the type of treatment most public officials should expect: Nearly all of them should be unemployed, and those who remain on the public payroll should always be wearing the same facial expression that occupied the features of those invited to dine at the table of Dionysius of Syracuse -- immediately beneath the Sword of Damocles.

Who, me? Chris Pentico, renegade and terrorist, at his May 11 sentencing hearing.

Pentico was viewed as a "potential threat," a "problem subject," a "dangerous individual" prone to "harassing-type behavior," continued the prosecutor. "Due to his own conduct, he made himself something of a target" for law enforcement," she insisted. "And then he set his sights on the governor."

From this description one would be entitled to assume that Pentico was a suicide bomber in training, or perhaps had been discovered setting up a sniper's nest in a book depository somewhere overlooking Governor Otter's familiar travel route. What else could be meant by the frantic accusation that Pentico was "setting his sights" on the Gem State's imperiled Chief Executive?

Well ... would you believe, he tried to hand-deliver a letter.

Not a letter
bomb, mind you, nor an envelope containing anthrax, or even a threat of some variety.

Pentico's letter contained a complaint about an attempt to ban him from contacting state legislators with complaints and civic requests of various kinds. Pentico delivered his letter to the governor's office at the Borah Building on April 2, 2008.

A week earlier, he had beentold by an Idaho State Police Officer that "my presence made a few of the legislators nervous" -- and of course,
we can't have that.

Pentico was told that he was "not welcome in the Capitol Annex," a public facility intended to provide public access to state legislators who supposedly represent that same public.

While the first officer was addressing Pentico, he was joined by another policeman whom Pentico originally identified as Officer Pettis. The second officer expanded the compass of the public territory from which Pentico was to be banished.

"Officer Pettis said I was not welcome at the State Board of Education's offices [despite the fact that ] I have not been there in years.... Then he added `I was not welcome on the third and fourth floors of the Borah building; this is where the Governor's offices are located.' Officer Pettis ... also added `Do not contact legislators' and `Do not e-mail them.' He also gave me the implication problems woul d occur for me if I did. There is no written notification or anything of that nature." "I have not threatened anyone," Pentico continued.

"I believe there has been a pretty clear breach of law here. I am also under the impression that Officer Pettis willfully carried out an unlawful order. I want to know the authorization and jurisdiction for these orders. I also consider it inexcusable to use law enforcement to intimidate law-abiding citizens to not contact with their elected officials."

Pentico delivered that letter to the Governor's office on April 2, politely asked about an appointment, and left -- no doubt cleaving a huge trail of raw, visceral terror in his wake. As Pentico left the Borah Building, he was overtaken by the same ISP officer who had issued such expansive warnings the previous week -- Corporal Jens Pattis (not "Pettis," as spelled in Pentico's letter).

Out of what the Judge was told was concern for "officer safety," Pentico was handcuffed in public view for about twenty minutes and then issued a citation for "trespassing." Two matters arise for discussion here. First of all, Pentico was a threat to nobody, and handcuffing him was an entirely gratuitous assault on his person.

Interviewed by Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, Corporal Pattis insisted that Pentico alone was to blame for this indignity, since he had "defied a law enforcement order" to avoid the Borah Building. Pattis is part of the New Model Army of law enforcement -- a corps trained to believe that citizens have an unqualified duty to obey every directive emanating from the tax-devouring gullet of someone in a state-issued costume.

Corporal Pattis had no authority to dictate the terms on which a peaceful, law-abiding citizen could petition his representatives. "I bent over backwards for this guy, trying to help him out," insists Pattis.

I'll warrant that he certainly bent over for

The second issue here is the trespassing charge itself. At no time during the prosecution of Chris Pentico was the identity of the complainant specified; indeed, great care seems to have been taken to avoid identifying the person who turned to Pattis and -- slapping a palm to his thigh and emitting a quick whistle -- yelled, "Sic 'im!"

This omission is critical for at least two reasons.

First, Mr. Pentico was not permitted to face his accuser; second, without an actual accuser, it was impossible to satisfy the legal requirement that Pattis be acting as the authorized agent of the owner of the property on which Pentico was supposedly trespassing.

The Idaho State Code, Title 18-7008(8), defines the crime of willful trespass as one committed when a person "except under landlord-tenant relationship, who, being first notified in writing, or verbally by the owner or authorized agent of the owner of real property, to immediately depart from the same and who refuses to so depart, or who, without permission or invitation, returns and enters said property within a year, after being so notified...."

Visit Pro Libertate for the rest of the story...