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Absorbed By Ironies

Being that I was not originally from this planet, there are certain happenstances that really stand out to me that really might not stand out to a Native. The same would be true of a person who travels to a foreign country. One of the first groups of things that will grab your attention are the ironies. The other things that will grab your attention are the things they do differently over there, the marvelous or unique little things that you might wish people did in your home country, or perhaps you are glad that your homeland hasn’t adopted these habits.

Here’s what I have noticed last week alone, by way of ironies:
President Obama was against Free-trade agreements during the Presidential debate with John McCain. Yet he appeared to be disconcerted that the South Koreans had not acquiesced to what he at least considered to be a more level footing for the South Korean Free-trade agreement. The premise for the Open trade with Korea is not much different than the one for the open trade agreement with Columbia, which he was against. The only difference I can see is that where Columbia was concerned, I believe that we (Americans) expressed hope that we could sell them earth moving equipment, and with Korea, I believe Mr. Obama hopes to sell them cars. (He’s from another planet, as well).

Another irony that briefly caught my attention was that apparently, the unions don’t have to participate in Obama-care, neither do the members of Congress, but the unwashed masses evidently do…

The following irony I found most interesting, where the president is concerned:
President Obama has more than once professed that he admires Abraham Lincoln more than any other American President. (So do I.)
When Obama referred to the Republicans, and, I suppose, the libertarians as, ‘the enemy’ I found it very unsettling, as did a number of people, but ponder this for a moment:
After the Civil War had ended there was still a great deal of concern that Intrigues and plots were afoot. Mary Lincoln warned her husband that he must be careful about going out, because of ‘the enemy.’
Lincoln chastised his wife for referring to anyone as ‘the enemy’, testimony to his belief that, North and South, we were all brothers, and we must see each other that way. It’s kind of funny. I’ll take a minute, while you marvel at the differences, and, at this juncture I will mention that, I am not really from another planet. I was born on earth. I hope that doesn’t change the way you feel about what I have already said. Here’s a little more by way of this week’s ironies. This one is slightly more complex:

Cisco Systems’ stock took a bit of a tumble last week. Some observers from the financial sector claimed that Cisco deserved to be clobbered, and that they have failed in the same way BHP has ‘failed’, “They haven’t acquired other companies, grown, come up out of their routing/switch shell… so to speak.

Their growth isn’t as great as some of their competitors.
Well, speaking as someone who has had to work with switches, the pleasure of working with Cisco switches in a Cisco Network, using the Cisco Network assistant, with the reliability of the Cisco device, coupled with the reliability of their tech support (whom you will almost never need) compared to the frustration of working with some of the other copy-cats* out there helps me to realize that many people are looking at Cisco’s status quo from a growth and acquisition standpoint, forgetting one thing: that thing that Cisco does, they do better than anyone else.
Also, there have been remarks that they have lost friends out there in the computing world, obviously a reference to the frosty relationship with HP. If one considers the hillbilly Soap opera that is being played out between the various marriages and divorces involving HP, Oracle, SA P : Mark Hurd was fired from HP for supposed indiscretions, the new and current CEO of HP was the CEO of SAP while SAP was allegedly downloading software from Oracle, that Oracle is now suing them over claiming that they infringed on…(intellectual properties.) … and Hurd is now the new co-President over at Oracle. I hope I got that all right. Don’t ask me to repeat it quickly…
Can you really blame Cisco for returning their RSVP …with regrets? After all, HP has ventured into the world of selling switching equipment, for a long time the realm of Cisco, but it seems they had wanted to continue to have this ongoing relationship with Cisco, (Picking their brains, one might presume…). Can you really blame Cisco for acquiring a little distance? Okay, so Cisco isn’t starting chic social networking sites and building smartphone games (I don’t think they are, anyway). Sometimes the smartest thing a company can do , is to not do what everyone else is doing. Remember, all of these networking sites, smart phone companies, and server manufacturers, need routers and switches. Several months ago Cisco announced a new switch that would be capable of switching considerably more traffic on the Internet than anything we have yet seen. It’s okay with me if they don’t host sites where people post pictures of themselves walking their dog.

Cisco is a bricks and mortar business. That’s really okay. I mean come on earthlings… …fellow earthlings, don’t we all remember the big DotNet Bubble bursting at the beginning of the decade, when all of the companies that had no bricks, no mortar, no brick layers… went down the drain? Or are we mentally all, again, so easily launched… just Out in Space?

* I don’t mean to state or imply that any of Cisco’s competitors are creating knock-offs.

Copyright November 20, 2010 by Juan Zapatero


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