Author: The BPI Squirrel

Furthermore! – “Company Policy”

As reported in the New York Times, the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint last week against a company who fired an employee for comments made on Facebook. I don’t know about the merits of her case, but reader comments suggest many of us think corporations are above the law. (More) I guess I’m lucky. I have job security because no one else can fly in the cargo section. Okay, Pootie the Precious could, but BPI wisely decided the news is broken enough without also being delivered in Lolcat. Anyway, I often complain publicly about my travel arrangements and no one at BPI has tried to silence me. But Dawnmarie Souza wasn’t so lucky. She worked for an ambulance company, American Medical Response of Connecticut. After her supervisor told Ms. Souza she could not have union help in preparing her response to a customer complaint, she posted a scathing complaint about the supervisor on her Facebook page. Among other things, she called him a “17,” the ambulance company’s code for a psychiatric patient. Some of her coworkers read the comments and expressed their support. Some added their own criticisms of that supervisor. When the company found out about Ms. Souza’s Facebook post, they fired her in part for violating a company policy that forbids employees from depicting the company “in any way” on Facebook or other social networking...

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Furthermore! – Oklahomans Dodge Nonexistent Wind

Ooooooooooklahoma where the wind comes sweepin’ o’er the plain…. Oklahomans voted to ban their courts from applying Islamic law. The sponsor called it a “preemptive move,” as if they were dodging a bullet. But there was no bullet to dodge. They dodged a wind that doesn’t exist. (More) Mrs. Squirrel and the baby and I like movies. I download them from Nutflix and we all curl up in front of the laptop – a theater-sized screen for us – with a bowl of macadamias. We watch lots of different kinds of movies. The baby prefers comedies. We all cheer together for the gopher in Caddyshack, and recoil in horror when Bill Murray’s character proposes to use plastic explosive squirrels. For my part, I prefer action-adventure movies like this: Mrs. Squirrel likes musicals, so of course we’ve seen the Rogers and Hammerstein classic Oklahoma! And that was the first thought that came to my mind when I read that Oklahomans voted yesterday to ban sharia in their courts. The vote wasn’t really about banning sharia. And Oklahomans didn’t dodge a bullet. First, there is no single set of legal principles called “sharia.” Different Islamic peoples apply the Koran and related principles differently. Some think their view of the Koran should be civil law; others disagree. Similarly, many American fundamentalists think their views of the Bible should be law, but not...

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Campus Chatter Special Election Night Edition

Join us in a special Campus Chatter Election Night Edition at BPI Campus. The resident and satellite (nice moons!) faculty will be here at 6pm to discuss tonight’s election results. Join us for tears, cheers, jeers, and spears (Chef is making asparagus). And yes, even a few nuts for the BPI Squirrel. Click for Link.       Click on this link after 6pm Eastern on Tuesday, November 2nd. The 111th Congress has 57 Democratic Senators and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats and 255 House Democrats versus 178 House Republicans. Control of the Senate would be retained if Democrats end up with 50 seats because of the Joe Biden tie breaker. Control of the House would be retained if we keep 218 seats. What we know about the elections: • Republicans need to flip 39 seats for control of the House • Republicans need to flip 10 seats for control of the Senate (or 9 if LIEberman decides to caucus with the Republicans) Link to NY Times Election Results: Interactive Maps (starts with...

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Furthermore! – The End of the World?

From the BPI Squirrel: I saw in today’s Campus Chatter that the Mayan creation story says the Fourth World was created on August 11, 3114 BCE, at the start of the last 14th b’ak’tun on the Mesoamerican Long-Count Calendar. The next 14th b’ak’tun starts December 21, 2012. So that’s the end of the world? (More) In a nutshell, and the shell is all I ever leave, that’s the evidence for The 2012 Myth. This modern myth says the ancient Maya predicted the end of the world on December 21, 2012. And like that nutshell … it’s an empty husk. According to the Mayan creation story in the Popol Vuh,the gods created three previous worlds. The fourth time, the Mayan story goes, the world was good enough for humans. (You people are picky.) In translating ancient Mayan, it’s hard to tell if the story means a new planet, or a new historical epoch. Their story may have ancient seeds in their ancestors recovering after the last ice age or a more recent natural disaster. Or maybe someone made it up, like modern humans made up The 2012 Myth. There is no Mayan prophecy about an apocalypse on December 21, 2012. In fact, the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque refers to the 80th Calendar Round anniversary of the ascension of K’inich Janaab’ Pakal. Pakal became Palenque’s ruler on July 27, 615....

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