Libertarian Party Campaign Sites Update

There are some pretty good websites out there for LP candidates, and some which are not so good. The best list I have is over at LFS. Please let me know if you have any updates.

Here are some of my recent favorites:

Jeremy Ryan — City Council, Ward 7, Burlington, VT
Wilbur Wood — U.S. Congress, District 10, Virginia (new)
Bill Peirce — Governor, Ohio (one of Van Dyke’s sites)
Sue Jeffers — Governor, Minnesota (won Politics1 site of the day)

Apparently, there are some who place the party banner ahead of advancing the cause of liberty. Believe it or not, Congressman Ron Paul has a challenger from the Libertarian Party.

I don’t know anything about him, but if Eugene Flynn (who doesn’t even seem to have his own website) manages to draw enough votes to knock Paul out of office, I expect that he will become enemy number one of the entire freedom movement.

To be sure, everyone should have the right to run for office — including Jeffrey Diket, Jim Burns and Dave Hollist. However, people like these give the general public plently of reason to call the LP a bunch of loooooosers. Perhaps if we pop Flynn enough e-mails, he’ll remove the tin foil from around his head and kindly drop his race.

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Refusing to Bow to the Tyrants

I hadn’t heard much from Melinda Pillsbury-Foster recently (aside from this article) until I ran into (what I assume is) her latest column today. Even if it’s recycled material, it is well worth the read. Here’s a sneak peak to pique your interest:

As Americans confront the grasping machinations of George W. Bush in regards to their rights we must recall why the Constitution would not have been ratified without each of those Amendments, but most especially the First Amendment.

Words, the truth, are the first defense against oppression.

[...]

The Founders thought they had taken care of the issue of free speech as a tool for self defense. They remembered the case tried in New York forty years before that had proven the need for free speech.

The Case of John Peter Zenger had been tried in 1735 and its example had demonstrated to the Founders, who were certainly aware of it and its import, the nasty tendencies of government to use its power to stifle dissent and the truth.

[...]

The Penn Case, tried in London in 1670, had refused to convict for a crime because English juries had the right to consider the law as well as the case at hand, the basis for jury nullification.

I won’t give away the ending, but will state that is was very pleasant considering our history as opposed to dealing with contemporary issues. As with taxes, we put up with more basic violations of our civil rights today than we fought our revolution over some 230 years ago. Perhaps it’s time to bring back those Sons of Liberty.

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Ann Coulter Guilty of a Felony???

Perhaps she is, according to folks in Palm Beach County. This article states that she committed “a third-degree felony to vote knowingly in the wrong precinct. Lying on a voter’s registration can cost up to $5,000 and five years behind bars.”

A fave on the college speaking circuit and the occasional target of cream-pies-to-the-face, Coulter registered as a Republican (no kidding!) with the supervisor’s office June 24. That’s three months after she bought the home and moved to Palm Beach from Manhattan.

Here’s the sticky part for The Right’s Lady Macbeth: She wrote down an Indian Road address instead of Seabreeze on her voter’s registration application. And she signed to certify the information as true.

“She never lived here,” said Suzanne Frisbie, owner of the Indian Road home. “I’m Ann’s Realtor, and she used this address to forward mail when she moved from New York.”

If she wasn’t in the obviously pro-GOP land of hanging chads and the Rush Limbaugh defense against hypocrisy, Coulter might end up being part of the prison love crew pictured above.

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Batman to target bin Laden…

From ABC News:

Beware, terrorists! The Caped Crusader is targeting a villain more sinister than the Joker – Osama bin Laden.

At the WonderCon 2006 comic-book convention in San Francisco last weekend, legendary comics writer and artist Frank Miller revealed that Batman would hunt down bin Laden and al Qaeda in his next DC Comics graphic novel.

In “Holy Terror, Batman!” the Caped Crusader goes after the terror leader and his organization after Gotham City is attacked by terrorists. Though the graphic novel’s title is a take on Robin the Boy Wonder’s catchphrase, Miller said there was nothing campy about the story.

If it wasn’t fiction, I’d predict that the libertarian caped crusader might be more successful than our cowboy boot wearing comic-in-chief. At least it appears that that Batman will be targetting the real enemy, as opposed spending most of his time creating new ones.

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New Hope for the Free Market in Space?

It’s but a small step, but this one looks a bit hopeful. From NewScientistSpace:

A slim cable for a space elevator has been built stretching a mile into the sky, enabling robots to scrabble some way up and down the line.

LiftPort Group, a private US company on a quest to build a space elevator by April 2018, stretched the strong carbon ribbon 1 mile (1.6 km) into the sky from the Arizona desert outside Phoenix in January tests, it announced on Monday.

The company’s lofty objective will sound familiar to followers of NASA’s Centennial Challenges programme. The desired outcome is a 62,000-mile (99,779 km) tether that robotic lifters — powered by laser beams from Earth — can climb, ferrying cargo, satellites and eventually people into space.

The recent test followed a September 2005 demonstration in which LiftPort’s robots climbed 300 metres of ribbon tethered to the Earth and pulled taut by a large balloon. This time around, the company tested an improved cable pulled aloft by three balloons.

I’m not sure how much of the bed LiftPort shares with NASA, but this looks like one of the more promising areas where the free market may be able to make some serious gains in the race for space and get the government out of the picture.

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Friedman’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

Kinky Friedman Loves TexasPenn Jillette had Kinky Friedman on his show last week. The interview got heated at times, especially when Kinky “non-denominational prayer in the public schools” Friedman was challenged by Penn “there is no God but Allah” Jillette.

Prompted by the show, I checked out the campaign site and saw the awesome new “Kinkytoon” featuring church and state getting gay married, and monkey legislators trying to reform the schools (“Don’t eat law!”). It’s hilarious and effective. Libertarian campaigns should learn a lesson here.

Kinky’s campaign is heating up, with poll numbers at around 20% before he’s even on the ballot. With fundraising help from supporters like Willie Nelson (when he’s not busy writing gay cowboy songs), he’s raising money faster than either of the Democrat candidates.

There’s going to come a time in American politics when we’re tired of ex-wrestlers, action heros, and writer/author/country singers and want staid guys in suits to lead us. Until then, and as long as the establishment politicians are fun-hating windbags who only stop legislating morality long enough to take a bribe or shoot their friends, Go Kinky!

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Exporting Democracy, One Bloodcurdling Scream at a Time

Some more Abu Ghraib torture photos (and some videos) have now surfaced. They are viewable here, and this source informs us there some even more disturbing ones which haven’t yet been released.

On days like today, AmeriKa should feel especially proud they re-elected Bush. Let’s go buy some more yellow ribbon car magnets and American flags so we can continue to feel good about ourselves.

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Willie Nelson on Gay Cowboys

If “Brokeback Mountain” wasn’t enough, this should get a few more ‘phobes scurrying out from under the baseboards. From the AP:

“Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)” may be the first gay cowboy song by a major recording artist. But it was written long before this year’s Oscar-nominated “Brokeback Mountain” made gay cowboys a hot topic.

Available exclusively through iTunes, the song features choppy Tex-Mex style guitar runs and Nelson’s deadpan delivery of lines like, “What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?” and “Inside every cowboy there’s a lady who’d love to slip out.”

The song, which debuted Tuesday on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show, was written by Texas-born singer-songwriter Ned Sublette in 1981. Sublette said he wrote it during the “Urban Cowboy” craze and always imagined Nelson singing it.

Come to think of it, I seem to recall having seen both Bush and Cheney wearing cockroach killers.

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Supreme Hypocrisy

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia did his best yesterday to sound like the constructionist the mass media insists that he is. The AP reports that Scalia, referring to himself in third person during a speech sponsored by the Federalist Society, explained:

“Scalia does have a philosophy, it’s called originalism,” he said. “That’s what prevents him from doing the things he would like to do,”

It appears that he was telling this for the truth, not as a joke as it would appear. The reality is that Scalia agrees with the Constitution only when the agreement aligns with his own personal and religious opinions. He is a barrel of contradictions: deferring to state authority when to do otherwise would advance personal freedom, and reaching far outside the limitations of the Constitution to federalize things like self-medication.

Long vilified as “a strict constructionist,” Scalia’s frequent fondness for evermore government power goes completely ignored. Although the justice’s schizophrenic rulings occasionally favor David over Goliath, his strict interpretation apparently stops well short of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution Scalia purportedly believes

is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things.

One thing the Constitution doesn’t say is that its commerce clause trumps every other law on the planet and that an appeal to said clause grants Washington autocrats unlimited power over their subjects.

Liberty would have a true friend indeed were Scalia the constructionist he is perceived to be. Instead, we get only lip service to “state’s rights” and limited government. Parading himself as a champion of freedom and referring to non-constructionists (like himself) as idiots, Scalia’s speech was pure hypocrisy.

With many of the Washington power-whores, you know what you’re getting — they don’t bother to claim any understanding of or respect for the Constitution. But with dissembling antinomians like Bush and Scalia, the insistence that they are what they are not damages the image of true constructionists, what few exist.

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Homeland Security considers bloggers a threat

Big Brother is watching you.

No, really.

Our own government just ran an exercise where it tried to counter some dangerous national threat from the likes of “anti-globalization activists, underground hackers and bloggers.” Called “Cyber Storm,” the exercises were also attended by the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, Verisign and other various Fed-bedding techno-glitterati.

That’s right guys, we’re a threat to the national government. That pesky free press guaranteed by the First Amendment is just not cool anymore! I, as a blogger and a national menace, want to fuck this country up, because the government simply isn’t doing it fast enough. Maybe, if I try hard enough at the whole “revolution” thing, I might get my face emblazoned on some yuppie’s shirt in the process.

You know us bloggers are a pretty nasty lot, but man… we’re nothing compared to those anti-globalization activists! All those protectionist corn farmers in Nebraska with their confused politics are clearly a threat to national security. Just look at who they vote for, after all. Granted, maybe they’re referring to the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle where police broke up a largely nonviolent protest. The horror of those anti-globalization folks!

In closing, I’d just like to offer a cookie to the spook(s) that are probably reading this on my tax dime. Thank you, thank you for protecting innocent Americans from my “political rantings and musings about current events.”

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Easy Way to Run for Office: Just Disqualify the Competition

Jesse calls it the strangest story about local politics that he’s read in a long time, but there are many parallels to the rest of the electoral system. Here’s a glimpse:

In most cities, elections happen at least every four years. In Vernon, officeholders haven’t faced opposition in a generation.

Twenty-five years after its elected officials last had a contested ballot, eight strangers took up residence in the tiny city four miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Last month, after just a few days in town, three of the newcomers filed petitions to run for City Council in the April 11 election.

Within days, city utility trucks had turned off their power. The building they shared was slapped with red tags by inspectors who said the property was “unsafe and dangerous” as a residence. Strobe lights flashed through their windows. They and some of their relatives were placed under surveillance. Shortly, city police and other officials drilled holes in the locks and evicted the would-be office-seekers.

Having deprived the interlopers of city residence, Vernon officials on Jan. 27 disqualified them from the ballot.

Read the whole story here.

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Bono’s Misguided Ways

Bono the frontman for the supergroup U2 urged President Bush to “tithe” an additional one percent of the federal budget to the poor. One percent is another 27 BILLION dollars to our already overbloated government. Of course this sounds great coming from someone who is not an American citizen but likes to butt into our problems. Bono and U2 earned a sizzling 255 MILLION dollars last year. Does Bono realize that this administration will have doubled the size of our National debt by 2011! Instead of asking the President to increase spending to aid the poor, what he should have done was write a check to the tune of one percent of what U2 made last year and make a contribution to the Hurricane Katrina relief or to UNICEF to feed starving children in Mali.

Until we as Americans get our act together and start electing people who will take care of America first, just butt out of our business, Bono and do what you do best- play the lousy music people come to hear you play. Throwing more money into a program and forcing taxpayers to flit the bill is not the solution. Bono and his leftist critics fail to realize that more government intrusion means more problems and less accountability.

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Hookers aren’t the only ones getting screwed…

From WaPo via the Chron:

They enter the massage parlors as undercover detectives. They leave as satisfied customers.

In Spotsylvania County, Va., as part of a campaign by the sheriff’s office to root out prostitution in the massage parlor business, detectives have been receiving sexual services from “masseuses.” During several visits to an establishment called Moon Spa last month, detectives allowed women to perform sexual acts on them on four occasions and once left a $350 tip, according to court papers.

What’s next? Cops smoking the weed purchased while working undercover? Naw, that would never happen in AmeriKa.

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Lawyer shot by a Dick

Image credit via TruthDig.com.

What makes this more amusing to me is that these guys weren’t REALLY hunting:

500 farm-raised pheasants were released yesterday morning at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township for the benefit of Cheney’s 10-person hunting party. The group killed at least 417 of the birds, illustrating the unsporting nature of canned hunts. The party also shot an unknown number of captive mallards in the afternoon. (WTAE)

Apparently Bush started the “Oops I didn’t mean to shoot that” tradition back when he was running for Governor of Texas against Ann Richards. Richards, a life-long hunter, was being portrayed in the media as being more macho than Bush. Rove set up a dove hunting trip for Bush where he mistook a Killdeer for a dove and shot it. Killdeers are on the threatened species list so Bush was fined for killing it.

So, anyone have a good Cheney joke for this event?

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Don’t miss the ten ways Dick Cheney can kill you.

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Congress Attempting to Outlaw Independent and Third Party Competition

If Congress was to pass a law designed to place racial minorities into concentration camps in order to eventually exterminate them, the bill might be titled “The Great American Anti-Genocide Act”. It would define majority and minorty races, and provide some some sound-byte-worthy one-liner which reads: “The act of genocide is expressly prohibited with exception of special cases as outlined in section 504.”

The devil is always in the details. Congress might stipulate that in order for a minority race to become exempt from genocide, a given racial minority would have to collect the signatures of 20% of their race. This might be considered somewhat reasonable by most Americans — except for the pesky little line prohibiting signature collection hidden in another section of the bill.

Congress may not be attempting to kill racial minorities at the moment, but they are trying to kill political minorities using the tactics described above. From the Libertarian Party:

On February 1, congressional Democrats, led by Rep. Obey of Wisconsin, introduced a bill, H.R. 4694, that would end viable, third-party competition in races for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill, ironically named the “Let the People Decide Clean Campaign Act,” would mandate public funds (taken from the U.S. Treasury) to candidates for the House of Representatives and forbid candidates from taking private funds such as contributions from individual donors.

The ambiguously-written bill provides funds for candidates of the “two major parties” but essentially scuttles any campaign efforts of third-party or independent candidates.

For third-party candidates to be eligible for the same funds that Republicans and Democrats would receive, they would have to obtain enough signatures to exceed 20% of votes cast in the last election within their district.

The catch under the proposed legislation is that third-party or independent candidates cannot pay petitioners to collect any signatures, making it impossible to fund their campaigns.

H.R. 4694 is yet another attempt by our politicians in office to shut down Libertarian Party candidates and other competitive third-party and independent campaigns.

When it becomes technically illegal for oppositional political parties to run candidates for Congress, there can no longer be any claim of legitimate representation. When sizeable groups of people are no longer allowed to be represented on ballots, they will begin to represent themselves with bullets.

Additional resources: Green Party, Libertarian Party, Progress Report, BlogCritics.

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Another Misuse of the Word “Libertarian”

According to WaPo, Paul Weyrich says that newly elected House majority leader John Boehner is a libertarian:

“He is a libertarian, much more so than anybody we’ve ever had in the leadership,” said Weyrich, who favors government activism in some instances, especially on social issues.

Logan Ferree‘s numbers indicate that Weyrich is full of shit. With a libertarian economic index of less than 50% and a social index of 6.67%, Boehner could hardly be qualified as freedom-friendly.

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Congress Scared of Third Parties; Seeks to Ban Them

3rd According to Ron Paul:

The United States Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of federal elections. Thus, ballot access is one of the few areas where Congress has explicit constitutional authority to establish national standards.

That authority is something they don’t mind using, especially when it comes to monopolizing the political system by creating obstacles for third parties. I guess the current obstacles weren’t stringent enough, so they plan on eliminating the competition altogether:

On February 1, congressional Democrats, led by Rep. Obey of Wisconsin, introduced a bill, H.R. 4694, that would end viable, third-party competition in races for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Perhaps they feel threatened?

“The Republican and Democratic parties exist to maintain power for their own benefit. The Libertarian Party exists to grasp power for the benefit of the nation,” stated Shane Cory, chief of staff for the Libertarian Party. “American voters are waking up to this reality, and as they do, the two parties are trying everything within their power to shut us down.”

More info here.

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A Shining Example Of Local Government In Action

There is a house in New Orleans Valparaiso, Indiana that’s worth approximately $121,900. In the latest example of government brilliance, property tax collectors valued the house’s value at $400 million.

Apparently it was a glitch, some former program in one of the government computers messed things up. A local official described the defective program this way:

“It didn’t get fixed all the way,” Murphy said.

Well, good to see that their local Department of Stating The Obvious is on the ball.

At any rate, $8 million was supposedly owed on this house, when the normal tax bill is about $1500. This is basically a funny story, but there is an insidious side to it… what about all the minor glitches that only add a hundred or two? Those hardly would have made CNN, but they’re likely far more frequent, and citizens are far less capable of fighting them.

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Antiwar.com Added to KIA List???

One of the most successful libertarian ventures of the last few decades is fixing to shut its doors unless you do something about it. Antiwar.com is shutting down unless they can raise $60,000 right now. From their front page:

Unless we get a flood of contributions in the next couple of days, Antiwar.com is closing its doors permanently: finis, good-bye, that’s all, folks.

We’ve been at this all week, trying to bring home the point that Antiwar.com is essential, that its demise is possible — and that failure to make our fundraising goal of $60,000 would be a disaster.

I’m popping them a few bucks right now, and requesting that the rest of you do the same.

Update: When you’ve completed your donation, make sure you hop over to Kn@ppster for a special treat.

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Badnarik’s Big Brass Balls

Note: this article contains dead links, the url is still in the hover/alt text. Keep the web working, curate content well!

Sometimes I hate going out to eat with a group of libertarians. It can take hours to get ten individualists to agree upon one particular restaurant — unless someone takes charge of the situation. Similarly, whenever a Libertarian politician makes any major decision, the fiercest resistance generally comes from within libertarian ranks and not from the opposition.

One such example was the recount effort in Ohio after the 2004 presidential election. Once the decision was made to take the election results to court, both Michael and I have taken complaint after complaint about it. We’ve been accused of wasting Libertarian Party money, being in league with the Democrats, damaging the party image, and of not initially communicating well enough with the Ohio Libertarian Party. Only the last example is true; we screwed up there.

A federal judge just dismissed the recount case. Badnarik, Cobb and their attorney have not yet decided if they plan to appeal. In the meantime, Badnarik just explained that the allegations circulating within the party are incorrect.

Sometimes, it takes more courage to stand up to one’s friends than to face the enemy. Michael did so with, “I will make my decision based on what I think will be best for Liberty, and not by what some Libertarians will complain about next.”

I strongly applaud my good friend for taking charge of the situation. I’ll ask the rest of you to either support him or not stand in his way. At least he is doing something, as opposed to wasting perfectly good oxygen — like a vocal minority in the libertarian community does with their incessant bitching combined with a lack of meaningful action.

UPDATE: Badnarik just called to thank me for the support. He commented that he loved the STFU button and hopes to have a batch of them made soon.

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Patriot Act Renewal Scare Tactics Begin

booga
In a blatant disregard for US citizen intelligence, the Bush regime released a major scare tactic in the run-up to the Patriot Act renewal and NSA hearings:

President Bush said the U.S.-led global war on terror has “weakened and fractured” al-Qaida and allied groups, outlining as proof new details about the multinational cooperation that foiled purported terrorist plans to fly a commercial airplane into the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast.

[...]

Bush has referred to the 2002 plot before. In an address last October, he said the United States and its allies had foiled at least 10 serious plots by the al-Qaida terror network in the last four years, including plans for Sept. 11-like attacks on both U.S. coasts. The White House initially would not give details of the plots but later released a fact sheet with a brief, and vague, description of each.

That was 4 years ago! How convenient is that?

In today’s speech Bush added some details, including that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, had recruited men from southeast Asia to hijack a plane using shoebombs to breach the cockpit door — and that the plot was thwarted with international cooperation.

Bush referred to the plot as targeting the Liberty Tower, even though he meant Library Tower.

I know Bush has speech problems, but to replace the word “Library” with “Liberty”? Come on…

To top it all off, it appears they didn’t bother to inform the city that might be impacted:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was blindsided by President Bush’s announcement of new details on a purported 2002 hijacking plot aimed at a downtown skyscraper, and described communication with the White House as “nonexistent.”

“I’m amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels,” the mayor said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I don’t expect a call from the president — but somebody.”

The mayor also suggested that some funding from the Iraq war could be redirected to homeland security, which could be used for the protection of high-risk targets in Los Angeles. He did not advocate an immediate withdrawal of troops.

BOOGA BOOGA!!

Update: Interesting interview on Countdown via Brad Blog.

Update 2: “Intel pros say Bush is lying about foiling 2002 terror attack” via Capitol Hill Blue.

Update 3: “AN OBSCENE ABUSE OF POWER : BUSH’S BOGUS “TERROR” ALERTS” via Bella Ciao.

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A Doh on Both Houses

The budget bill Bush just signed is just about as valuable (and about the same size) as last Sunday’s newspaper. As everyone outside the beltway knows, the House and the Senate have to pass the same version of the bill. Here is how Yahoo reports what the knuckleheads inside the beltway did:

A Senate aide said that a clerical error written into the bill as it bounced between the House and Senate resulted in the two chambers passing slightly different versions.

Perhaps this will wake our elected morons up about another potential application of the line-item veto. Props (once again) to Fark.

On a related note, Stephen Van Dyke just IMed me and asked: “Did they finally realize they can’t spend money that isn’t borrowed yet?”

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The Wrong Screwers Arrested???

Two people got screwed for screwing by the person who likely screws more people than anyone else involved. Confused?

From Ananova:

An Argentinian couple have been arrested for having sex opposite a mayor’s office in broad daylight.

And when police officers arrived to arrest them, they demanded to be allowed to finish what they were doing.

A crowd gathered and cheered the couple on – but the Mayor of Bariloche said he was shocked by the spectacle.

-snip-

The woman told police she had always fantasised about having sex outside the mayor’s office while politicians were working inside.

A police spokesperson said: “They are otherwise two very respectable citizens but they told us they had this urge to have sex in public and that it was very strong and they couldn’t control it.”

I don’t know anything about the mayor in question. If he’s like most politicians I’ve met, the metaphor is perfect.

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