Tag Archives: Washington state

White nose syndrome found on Washington state bat

Bad news for bats: Scientists have confirmed a bat with white nose syndrome in the state of Washington, 1,300 miles further west than the previous detection.

On March 11, hikers found the sick bat about 30 miles east of Seattle near North Bend, and took it to Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) for care. The bat died two days later, and had visible symptoms of a skin infection common in bats with WNS. PAWS then submitted the bat for testing to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, which confirmed through fungal culture, molecular and pathology analyses that it had WNS.

I hate to express such a thought, but I can’t help wonder about the legitimacy of this detection. It is so far west and so far from the nearest other bat with white nose syndrome I cannot understand how this bat came to be infected, naturally. In order for this discovery to be confirmed they are going to have to detect it again, and more than once, on a number of bats. Otherwise, it will remain suspect and a possible false positive.

The worst part of this is that the government is surely going to begin instituting draconian measures to protect the bats in Washington, as well as across the entire western United States, even before this detection is confirmed. Having this single detection will make it much easier for government officials to ban humans from many more places, even though white nose syndrome is nowhere close.

Washington state releasing convicts early by mistake since 2002

Government marches on: Because of a software error, Washington state has for more than 12 years released more than 3,000 convicted felons several months earlier than required by law

Two of those felons have now been charged with murders that occurred during the period when they should have been in prison.

Sounds stupid and bad eh? Well, it gets worse:

Even though the problem was discovered in 2012, the department repeatedly delayed fixing the software, until Gov. Jay Inslee says the problem finally came to his attention last month. He disclosed the problem to the media in a press conference shortly before Christmas. “That this problem was allowed to continue to exist for 13 years is deeply disappointing, it is totally unacceptable, and frankly, it is maddening,” Inslee says.

Hey, why should anyone be complaining? It takes time to fix software problems. And the work is hard! In fact, we should be grateful these government employees are now working to fix it.

Florist fined $1000 in Washington in same-sex refusal case

A Washington judge has issued a $1000 fine to the florist who refused to sell flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander Ekstrom’s order on Friday also bars Stutzman and her Richland shop, Arlene’s Flowers, from offering goods or services to straight couples that aren’t also made available to same-sex couples, the statement said. Stutzman was also required to pay $1 in court fees.

This is is after Stutzman had already rejected a settlement offer of $2,001. Expect her to fight the smaller fine, along with the judge’s order as well.

Note also that the judge could have hit her with far greater sanctions, but did not. I suspect the political heat for this fascist prosecution is being felt by both the judge and the prosecutor who brought the case.

Christian florist tells her side of the story

Watch the video of her television interview below the fold. As she says,

It’s not about the money. It’s about freedom. It’s about my eight kids and our 23 grandchildren and the future. There’s not a price on freedom. You can’t buy my freedom. It’s me now, but tomorrow it’s going to be you. You gotta wake up. [emphasis mine]

She added,

They are talking about bullying me into doing something that is against my faith. They can’t do that.

She also makes it very clear that she and the gay couple are friends, and that she has provided flowers for them many times in the past. And when she declined to do arrangements for their marriage, she provided them alternative recommendations so they wouldn’t be deprived of service, though not from her. And it appears that this gay couple never sued her. It was the ACLU and the Washington attorney general that sued.
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Florist rejects attorney general’s deal to settle lawsuit over same-sex weddings

The Washington florist whose entire assets a judge has ruled can be confiscated because she refuses to participate in a same-sex wedding because of her Christian religion has rejected outright a settlement offered to her by the state’s attorney general.

Ms. Stutzman [the florist] rejected Friday a settlement agreement offered by Mr. Ferguson [the attorney general] that would have required her to pay $2,001 in damages and legal fees after a judge ruled last week that she violated state law by declining to provide services for a same-sex wedding. “My primary goal has always been to bring about an end to the Defendants’ unlawful conduct and to make clear that I will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” Mr. Ferguson said in a statement.

The agreement also would require Ms. Stutzman to agree “not to discriminate in the future,” which means she must provide custom floral arrangements for same-sex weddings or stop doing weddings altogether, said Peter LaVallee, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.

In rejecting the offer, Stutzman was very blunt about her reasons.

“Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about,” Ms. Stutzman said in a letter to Mr. Ferguson. “It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.

“…I pray that you reconsider your position. … I kindly served Rob [the gay plaintiff] for nearly a decade and would gladly continue to do so. I truly want the best for my friend. I’ve also employed and served many members of the LGBT community, and I will continue to do so regardless of what happens with this case.”

She concluded, “You chose to attack my faith and pursue this not simply as a matter of law, but to threaten my very means of working, eating, and having a home. If you are serious about clarifying the law, then I urge you to drop your claims against my home, business, and other assets and pursue the legal claims through the appeal process.”

The mildness of the attorney general’s offer suggests to me that he is feeling some political heat. He looks like a tyrant and a bad guy who is trying to destroy this woman expressly because of her religious beliefs. He thus wants this case to end with a victory, but to end as quickly as possible.

Judge rules that Christians should be persecuted if they disagree with gays

Fascists: A judge in Washington state ruled Wednesday that a florist should be “personally ruined” because her Christian faith prevented her from promoting same-sex marriage.

“The message of these rulings is unmistakable: The government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner. “The two men had no problem getting the flowers they wanted,” she said. “They received several offers for free flowers, and the marketplace gives them plenty of options. Laws that are supposed to prohibit discrimination might sound good, but the government has begun to use these laws to hurt people – to force them to conform and to silence and punish them if they don’t violate their religious beliefs on marriage.”

Once again, the issue here was not the oppression of gays, since these two men were not prevented by anyone from getting married, were not denied flowers or wedding cakes or any options for celebrating their wedding. All they were denied was the ability to force someone who disagreed with them about same-sex marriage to participate in their same-sex wedding. For that thought crime, they — and the government of Washington — have decided to destroy someone.