Thursday, November 12, 2009

Notes on the day... 

Eliot Spitzer lectures today at the Center for Ethics at Harvard

This is the same Sptizer who as governor of New York initiated the events of the notorious Troopergate scandal, in which state troopers spied on political opponents ... as attorney general even more notoriously habitually personally threatened and bullied those he investigated -- in cases that later collapsed one after another ... and who was first elected to public office as state attorney general while repeatedly lying about and hiding the fact that he was illegally funding his campaign with his father's money.

And, oh yes, as attorney general and governor he did use the services of illegal prostitution rings that he was supposed to be prosecuting. His "madame" who arranged those services has written to the director of the Harvard Center for Ethics, Professor Lawrence Lessig, noting the irony.

Professor Lessig responded to his critics. "We don't have a moral test for listening to people's perspectives". [NYP]

Similarly, the Harvard Center for Morality applies no ethical test to its invited speakers' perspectives.

Gallup: Generic Republicans pull ahead of generic Democrats
Republicans Edge Ahead of Democrats in 2010 Vote
Registered voters prefer Republicans for the House, 48% to 44%

Republicans have moved ahead of Democrats by 48% to 44% among registered voters in the latest update on Gallup's generic congressional ballot for the 2010 House elections, after trailing by six points in July and two points last month.

... independents are helping the Republicans' cause. In the latest poll, independent registered voters favor the Republican candidate by 52% to 30%.

Over the course of the year, independents' preference for the Republican candidate in their districts has grown, from a 1-point advantage in July to the current 22-point gap...
Putting more fun into that final vote on health care!

Another reason why we really don't want a World Government
Transit workers are taking their gripes all the way to the U.N.

[New York City's] Transport Workers Union Local 100 flew all the way to Switzerland to file a challenge to the Taylor Law, the state rule barring transit strikes. The union is gunning for the International Labor Organization — the world’s top dog for workplace legal questions — to recommend overturning the law.

In the 17-page complaint filed Wednesday, the union states that the law enacted in 1967 is a “severe violation” of international labor standards. The Taylor Law also posses heavy fines and jail time for transit unions that strike.

The U.N. group is likely to side with the union, as it has in other cases involving collective bargaining, said Lance Compa, an international labor law expert at Cornell University. "I think it’s a very solid complaint,” Compa said.

The organization takes at least a year to make its decisions, and while they are not legally binding, but they can influence decisions by local lawmakers... [AM NY]
As if the TWU needs more influence among our local politicians as it constantly re-sets the bar for standards of efficiency and public service.

If being so tough on the TWU is "a 'severe violation' of international labor standards" ... it kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it?