Author: The BPI Squirrel

Furthermore! – A Tipping Point on Gun Safety

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s veto of the guns-in-schools bill, and House Speaker John Boehner’s call for House Republicans to “have a discussion on guns” hint that the Newtown tragedy may be a tipping point on gun safety. (More) Squirrels are quick learners. For example, we can navigate even complex obstacle courses to get food. What’s more, we watch other squirrels and learn from them. That’s a useful trait, because life is dangerous and learning how to avoid problems keeps us alive. I realize humans are limited by having big brains that allow you to imagine and believe things that aren’t true, but this week I have hope. After the horrific mass slaughter in Newtown, there are signs that even long-time gun industry supporters are seeing the light. For example, yesterday Michigan Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed weapons in churches, stadiums, schools, and even daycare centers. The bill was passed by Republicans in the state legislature on Thursday, but before the latest mass shooting in Connecticut. It was spurred by conservatives’ acceptance of junk science pushed by the gun industry. While More Guns, Less Crime is certainly a catchy book title – and good slogan for gun industry profits – the data disagree and even Republican spokesperson Brad Dayspring says he’s “pretty sure the most effective way to avoid tragedies like this is not...

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Furthermore! – ‘Union Thugs,’ ‘Employee Freedom,’ and Conservative Lies

I hope the proverbial cooler heads will prevail in Michigan, as the right-wing media are eager to tell tales of “union thugs” who take away “employee freedom.” (More) Squirrels don’t like violence. Yes, we’ll fight to defend our babies from predators, but amongst each other we usually limit arguments to angry chittering and tail-flagging. When around humans, we rely on our cleverness. You’re a much more violent species, after all. Plus you’re bigger. Sometimes you’re even clever. Take Steven Crowder, a contributor to the conservative Dana Loesch Radio Show, who went to the union protests against Michigan’s right to work Freedom to Freeload law with a camera crew in tow, looking to provoke a fight. And he got one: There was also come clever editing. At about 35 seconds into the video, Crowder is arguing with his hands raised. At 39 seconds there’s an abrupt shift in the camera angle to show a union member throwing a punch. The effect suggests the Crowder was still standing there with his hands raised when the union man started swinging, but we don’t know because of course we can’t see what was cut out during that shift in camera angles. Maybe the unedited footage would spoil the conservative meme of “union thugs.” This isn’t a new meme. Business supporters have a long history of provoking or even carrying out violence and then...

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Furthermore! – The ‘Right to Work’ Scam

Michigan Republicans are trying to pass a so-called ‘right to work’ law. Not that they care about workers’ rights. It’s a scam to demolish what’s left of the American union movement. (More) Squirrels are widely described as solitary animals. In fact most of us are quite social. We invented the time-share to save time on nest building, and wild squirrels teach human-raised orphans how to forage, nest, and survive. We even have meetings: So it should come as no surprise that squirrels oppose Republicans’ so-called ‘right to work’ laws. In squirrel terms, such laws say it’s fine to nest with other squirrels and eat the nuts they bring home without actually joining them. You don’t even have to carry out your empty shells. Requiring you to contribute would abridge your ‘right to nest.’ As. If. In human terms, these ‘right to work’ laws say you can work in a union shop without joining the union and still get union wages, union benefits, and even union rights to arbitration … all without paying anything to the union that negotiated those wages and benefits and arbitration rights. They should be called ‘right to freeload’ laws. Libertarians say that’s all about individual liberty, but their argument is weak at best. As the American Prospect‘s Rich Yeselson notes, libertarians don’t claim workers have a ‘right’ to ignore rules made by management. If the...

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Furthermore! – The Emanuel-Snowe War on Christmas

You’ve probably heard of the Bowles-Simpson Plan, and yesterday’s Public Policy Polling survey broke the news on the Panetta-Burns Plan. But you probably hadn’t heard of the Emanuel-Snowe Plan, at least not by that name…. (More) Yesterday the twins, Nancy and Michelle, asked Mrs. Squirrel why we don’t have a holiday tree at Árbol Squirrel. They were only a couple of months old last December 21st, so they don’t remember the faculty, staff, students, and some people I didn’t recognize, dancing around Árbol Squirrel to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Yes, Árbol Squirrel is the BPI Holiday Tree. Having our own holiday tree inside that would be like living in an Escher drawing. I call it the BPI Holiday Tree because I’m fully committed to the Emanuel-Snowe Plan. That is nothing like the Bowles-Simpson Plan, which is a shockingly tax-heavy approach to solving our nation’s long-term debt. The Emanuel-Snowe Plan is also nothing like the Panetta-Burns Plan, or at least we don’t think so. The Panetta-Burns Plan is so secret it doesn’t even exist, which is why Blogistan Polytechnic Institute joined the growing chorus of voices – we’re sure that chorus will grow, soon – by calling on Congress to investigate it. Americans deserve to know exactly what Leon Panetta and Conrad Burns are not planning. That said, you’ve probably heard of the Emanuel-Snowe Plan by the name they use...

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Furthermore! – Bullying, Bluffing, and Negotiating

Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans have moved from bullying to bluffing. Will they get to the next step of actually negotiating? (More) Squirrels are renowned for our negotiating skills, or would be if humans ever credited squirrels for the ideas you borrow from us. Oh sure, you’ll admit we inspire you to invent dishonest robots, as if squirrels and not Ricky Gervais starred in The Invention of Lying. But you claim credit for social networking, even though squirrels have complex social networks. We invented Chitter. You stole it and called it Twitter. Why do you think so many of us hang out there? That said, I’m willing to give humans credit for the antics of Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans. For the past two years, their idea of ‘negotiation’ has been bullying, or what Paul Krugman calls “protection racket politics.” While squirrels are sometimes also accused of bullying … … I’m a bit suspicious about those squirrels. I think that was a false flag operation, trying to besmirch squirrels with the behaviors of humans. In fact, House Republicans bullied the nation so brazenly last August that: (1) they were forced to accept a debt ceiling deal they had no intention of keeping; and, (2) last month President Obama won with an Electoral College landslide and Democrats gained seats in both the Senate and the House. Or, as...

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