WASHINGTON, DC — In a world where it seems to be increasingly the case where people retreat to their parochial interests, it’s nice to see that the U.S. Senate yesterday passed the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement. While two-way trade between the U.S. and Oman was only about $1 billion last year, passage of this Agreement provides a legal mechanism to increase not just economic ties, but also to heighten bilateral interaction and accountability on social and environmental matters. Free and fair trade is certainly not a panacea for all of the world’s ills, but without the institutions and agreements to facilitate rules-based global exchange and integration, the world would be an even more nationalistic and isolated place. In the current U.S. Congressional election season, parochial political interests could have trumped national and international interests -in this case, I’m heartened to see they didn’t.
Parochial Political Interests & Economic Nationalism (0) vs. Free Trade & Global Economic Integratio
SAN JOSE, CA – I encourage you to read an editorial in today’s New York Times that states, in part: “The countries that outperform the United States in math and science education have some things in common. They set national priorities for what public school children should learn and when. They also spend a lot of energy ensuring that every school has a high-quality curriculum that is harnessed to clearly articulated national goals. This country, by contrast, has a wildly uneven system of standards and tests that varies from place to place.” Read the full editorial here. (Free registration required).This same editorial, methinks, could have been written replacing “math and science education” with “broadband penetration.” This is how it would read: “The countries that outperform the United States in broadband penetration have some things in common. They set national priorities for what broadband is. They also spend a lot of energy ensuring that every state has a high-quality broadband infrastructure that is harnessed to clearly articulated national goals. This country, by contrast, has a wildly uneven system of standards and speeds that varies from place to place.”Hey, I love this country, but, at some point, we should get tired at other countries looking at us in the rear-view mirror on education and broadband.
SAN JOSE, CA – We hosted Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) on Cisco’s campus today for a meet and greet with some Cisco employees as well as some friends and colleagues in the Valley. However, he is not the topic of this blog entry. If interested, more on him below. In his opening remarks he honored Suzanne Calley, a Cisco employee who was killed five years ago today when her plane was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. He said that he walked by the little garden area outside of Cisco headquarters which is dedicated to Suzanne and someone had placed flowers on the bench in honor of her memory. A lot has happened in the last five years, however, I would be remiss not to honor my former Cisco colleague and let her know that she is still remembered…and not only on this infamous day by a US Senator, but every time someone walks by the little garden area at Cisco surrounded by the hustle and bustle of work, work, work. A little garden in the middle of everything can sometimes remind you of the important things in life. For that, we thank you and honor you, Suzanne.More on Suzanne. And Here.
More on Senator Bayh VisitSenator Bayh is a popular Democratic Senator from a traditionally Republican state and has been mentioned as a candidate for President of the United States. He stopped by Cisco to see some of our newest technology as well as just meet and greet some employees and Valley types who are interested in policy…and politics. As a former, popular two-term governor in Indiana he has executive experience and has now been elected to the Senate twice, however, we’ll let the voters of Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina or Nevada determine if he is a viable candidate should he choose to run for President. However, in my estimation, he was compelling in talking about the environment, energy independence, education as well as patriotism.
SAN JOSE, CA – So, the waning days of summer are upon us. The evenings are getting cooler in Palo Alto while election season is heating up around the U.S. Talking about politics is a bit taboo generally as it is one of the well-known topics you are supposed to stay away from in friendly conversations. So, with not much going on in the way of technology policy, what does that leave me to talk about in this blog? Gimmicks. You heard me right: gimmicks.My lovely wife and I attended (part of) The Doobie Brothers concert at Wente Vineyards with some of her work colleagues. The setting is lovely there in Livermore and I hope to play the Greg Norman designed golf course there sometime soon. Being a Southerner, I have been taught from an early age that if you cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all*, so I will not be reviewing the concert. However, in the interest of the topic of this blog and the aforementioned gimmicks I thought I would post a “separated at birth” gimmick for your viewing pleasure. One of the lead guitarists of The Doobie Brothers, Pat Simmons, reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t put a finger on it. I searched for his picture on the web and “Voila!” it hit me. See the pictures below and let me know if we are dealing with triplets or twins here. : )Pat Simmons of The Doobie BrothersVint Cerf of Google and one of the “Fathers” of the InternetRobert Pepper, Senior Managing Director of Advanced Technology Policy at Cisco (longtime FCC wonk)*Another version of this saying, of course, is “If you can’t say something nice, stand next to me” but I prefer the former.