John calls cops after hooker takes his money and raises her price

Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said police were called at 10:30 p.m. to a home in the 2700 block of Packard Road for a report of a robbery. When investigators arrived, they found the man having a bit of trouble with a 19-year-old Ohio woman he had contacted online.

Bush said the man and the woman had agreed on a price for her services. But when the man gave her the cash, the woman reportedly took the money and informed him that the price had suddenly gone up.

Aggrieved, the man took the next step of calling police.

“So, she was arrested,” Bush said, shaking her head.

The stories the man and the woman told police regarding the night’s events were vastly different, Bush said. The man was not arrested, and it’ll be up to Washtenaw County prosecutors to determine charges in the case.

A delightful can of worms. Both parties are contracting for an illegal act – which IMHO shouldn’t be illegal. He says she raised the price unexpectedly – but there is no contract or published fee schedule – or is there?

The coppers really don’t sound like they want to be the arbiter of the case – but, they have to be according to silly-ass laws. So the hooker was arrested – but, not the John – which doesn’t make any sense at all to me.

Solar filament ejection

Click on photo to enlarge

A solar filament erupts.

What’s happened to our Sun? Nothing very unusual — it just threw a filament. At the end of last month, a long standing solar filament suddenly erupted into space producing an energetic Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The filament had been held up for days by the Sun’s ever changing magnetic field and the timing of the eruption was unexpected.

Watched closely by the Sun-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, the resulting explosion shot electrons and ions into the Solar System, some of which arrived at Earth three days later and impacted Earth’s magnetosphere, causing visible aurorae. Loops of plasma surrounding an active region can be seen above the erupting filament in the ultraviolet image.

If you missed this auroral display please do not despair — over the next two years our Sun will be experiencing a solar maximum of activity which promises to produce more CMEs that induce more Earthly auroras.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Sub commander faked his own death on a secret mission – to break up his “inappropriate” relationship

Cmdr. Michael P. Ward II salutes before taking command of U.S.S. Pittsburgh

On Sept. 5, Navy Cmdr. Michael P. Ward II was found guilty of conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman, dereliction of duty and adultery (an offense in the uniformed services) after staging his death to deceive a younger lover with whom he was having an affair…As punishment, Ward received the punitive letter of reprimand and has been relegated to administrative duties at Naval Submarine Base New London, the home port of the Pittsburgh.

The Navy wouldn’t comment on whether or not Ward will be kicked out of the service. But the 43-year-old former submarine commander’s naval career is now more or less over. ”Commander Ward’s dishonesty and deception in developing, maintaining, and attempting to end his inappropriate relationship … were egregious and are not consistent with our Navy’s expectations of a commissioned officer,” Capt. Vernon Parks, the head of Submarine Development Squadron 12, wrote in the report…

In June, Ward apparently wanted out of the affair. So he…concocted another false identity, this time a supposed friend named “Bob,” and sent an e-mail telling his mistress that he had died, according to the report. ”He asked me to contact you if this ever happened,” the e-mail said…“I am extremely sorry to tell you that he is gone. We tried everything we could to save him. I cannot say more. I am sorry it has to be this way.”

Three days later, the woman drove from her home in Chesapeake to Ward’s house in Burke, Virginia to pay her respects. Instead, she was greeted by a new owner who told the family that Ward “had not actually died, but rather had moved to Connecticut to take command of a U.S. Navy submarine…”

The Navy didn’t find out, though, until a relative of Ward’s ex-mistress got in touch with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Wad was then booted from his post one week after taking command of the Pittsburgh.

“Cmdr. Ward’s actions directly contradict Navy standards, especially the high standards of conduct expected of our commanding officers,” says Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, a spokeswoman for the submarine group. ”Leaders who fail to meet these standards, like Cmdr. Ward, are removed from leadership positions and referred for appropriate disciplinary or administrative action.”

RTFA for all the gory details. Could have been an “I” for inventive – if he wasn’t such a creep.

German Catholics lose holy rites for refusing church tax

Germany’s Roman Catholics are to be denied the right to Holy Communion or religious burial if they stop paying a special church tax.

A German bishops’ decree which has just come into force says anyone failing to pay the tax – an extra 8% of their income tax bill – will no longer be considered a Catholic.

Har! Welcome to the wonderful world of theocracrats.

All Germans who are officially registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews pay a religious tax of 8-9% on their annual income tax bill. The levy was introduced in the 19th Century in compensation for the nationalisation of religious property…

Catholics make up around 30% of Germany’s population but the number of congregants leaving the church swelled to 181,000 in 2010, with the increase blamed on revelations of sexual abuse by German priests.

Alarmed by their declining congregations, the bishops were also pushed into action by a case involving a retired professor of church law, Hartmut Zapp, who announced in 2007 that he would no longer pay the tax but intended to remain within the Catholic faith…

Unless they pay the religious tax, Catholics will no longer be allowed receive sacraments, except before death, or work in the church and its schools or hospitals.

Without a “sign of repentance before death, a religious burial can be refused,” the decree states. Opting out of the tax would also bar people from acting as godparents to Catholic children.

Until now, any German Catholic who stopped payment faced eventual excommunication. Although the measures laid out in the decree are similar to excommunication from the church, German observers say the word is carefully avoided in the decree.

Hilarious. The silly mess religious folks can get themselves into with even sillier self-important prelates. This sounds more like franchise law rather than a sociological or economic decision made within the confines of an ideology.

Religions established with state support that says they can collect taxes should have remained in the 19th Century, a final chapter in a state history book. I’m not surprised that one or another religion tries to convince adherents that their rules are above civil law. But. they certainly should be separate from the state – and the state should stop collecting taxes on their behalf.

Ralph Reed hopes a Romney victory will bring him the power his corrupt ways cost him under Bush

Reed – 2nd from left – the only creep in the front row who skipped prison

Ralph Reed is clearly relishing his revival.

Just six years ago, the man who turned the Christian Coalition into such a powerful political force that he was called “God’s right-hand man” was all but written off, tarnished by his ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, then trounced in his campaign to become Georgia’s lieutenant governor.

But after several years in political purgatory, Mr. Reed has found his way back.

Courtesy of the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican.

Three years ago, Mr. Reed formed the Faith and Freedom Coalition and began assembling what he calls the largest-ever database of reliably conservative religious voters. In the coming weeks, he says, each of those 17.1 million registered voters in 15 key states will receive three phone calls and at least three pieces of mail. Seven million of them will get e-mail and text messages. Two million will be visited by one of more than 5,000 volunteers. Over 25 million voter guides will be distributed in 117,000 churches…

The rank-and-file of white conservative Christianity are treated as little obedient puppets – like a target for a corporate marketing maven out to sell his quota of laundry detergent.

With…a database with the addresses and, in many cases, e-mail addresses and cellphone numbers of the more than 17 million faith-centric registered voters — not just evangelical Protestants but also Mass-attending Catholics. The group is also reaching out to nearly two million more people who have never registered to vote…

In addition to its presidential election turnout campaign, the group plans to focus on two state ballot measures: a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota and an effort to recall an Iowa Supreme Court justice who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state…

The group plans to pair its social message with a broader economic one. The president’s health care overhaul will be depicted as both big government spending and an assault on religious liberty; the law mandates that employees of organizations affiliated with religions, like hospitals, universities and charities, be able to obtain free contraception through their health care plans.

Romney and his claque haven’t any problem accepting the publicly reactionary portion of Reed’s religious ideology. It matches their private conversation perfectly. They just get a little testy when pushed to admit how backwards their goals really are.

Reed fits the plastic-fantastic shiny veneer adopted by hustlers – whether religion-based or political. He’s working his way back up towards the position of power he was aiming for under the crusader’s shield of George W. Bush. Let’s hope he fails as badly, once again.

Mohamed Morsi explains new terms for US-Arab relations

On the eve of his first trip to the United States as Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi said the United States needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values and helping build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.

We see right out of the gate what is politically correct for Washington flunkies. Morsi has made it clear that he represents a broader constituency than his Muslim background – yet, the TIMES sticks to the War-on-Terror mantra calling him Islamist.

A former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mr. Morsi sought in a 90-minute interview with The New York Times to introduce himself to the American public and to revise the terms of relations between his country and the United States after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, an autocratic but reliable ally.

He said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.

If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule. He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.

And he dismissed criticism from the White House that he did not move fast enough to condemn protesters who recently climbed over the United States Embassy wall and burned the American flag in anger over a video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

“We took our time” in responding to avoid an explosive backlash, he said, but then dealt “decisively” with the small, violent element among the demonstrators.

“We can never condone this kind of violence, but we need to deal with the situation wisely,” he said, noting that the embassy employees were never in danger…

Mr. Morsi…said the United States should not expect Egypt to live by its rules…“If you want to judge the performance of the Egyptian people by the standards of German or Chinese or American culture, then there is no room for judgment,” he said. “When the Egyptians decide something, probably it is not appropriate for the U.S. When the Americans decide something, this, of course, is not appropriate for Egypt.”

He suggested that Egypt would not be hostile to the West, but would not be as compliant as Mr. Mubarak either.

“Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” he said, by backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over the Palestinians…

A view of history shared by almost all of the educated world, Western or otherwise. Including those who think it should be so.

“The president of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the commander of the armed forces, full stop. Egypt now is a real civil state. It is not theocratic, it is not military. It is democratic, free, constitutional, lawful and modern.”

He added, “We are behaving according to the Egyptian people’s choice and will, nothing else — is it clear..?”

I’m not any more confident about Barack Obama adopting an objective world view or turning American foreign policy towards democracy and fairness – than I would be over Romney and the Kool Aid Party. Imperial greed and arrogance have been central to our foreign policy since we supported the last ditch efforts of British and French colonialism right after World War 2. We continued that criminal behavior from Iran and Guatemala through VietNam to Iraq. Neither of our political parties missed a beat. Nor do I expect them to do so until and unless our elected officials are qualitatively changed.