Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Carly Fiorina on Same-Sex Marriage

Today at my company, Carly Fiorina came in to speak in an open forum to our employees.
She spoke about her personal experiences, and how she received great opportunities from others to pursue leadership, which led to her career in leading HP, and perhaps later in government and politics too as she is running for U.S. Senator vs. Barbara Boxer.

During the Q&A section, I asked her about people's rights, specifically the same-sex marriage issue which has become a heated debate on state, federal, and international levels. I asked what she would consider to be an appropriate process for deciding such a controversial topic and policy.

She said that our country exists for the people, to be ruled by the people, and since marriage is closely related to religion for many people, she would recommend to put it up to popular vote (general election) to decide marriage laws in each state.

Although I applaud her for giving a clear answer vs. skirting the issue, for the purpose of supporting equal rights, I am somewhat disappointed in her answer. I understand the position of letting the general public vote and deciding things, but sometimes our country (and general population) unwisely decides on directions that take us backwards a step, away from the goal of freedom and equality which this country was chartered for.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Google vs. China

This week Google announced the possibility of leaving China as cyberattacks from China into GMail accounts demonstrated Google's and China's strongly different positions on censorship.

Today's update from China shows that China remains firm on their position of censorship.

This dilemma poses an important question for all other businesses and most countries in this world - Capitalism (commercial growth) vs. Principle (human rights).

China seems to have a clear and firm position on their own beliefs - what works for their country, even though it may not work for others. As China becomes stronger and stronger, heading toward the largest economy in the world and possibly the most powerful business partner worldwide, and the most influential government agency, their policies may force the rest of us to seriously think - to grow financially, will we need to do business with China (and follow their rules), perhaps/likely at the expense of some fundamental principles of the U.S., like freedom of speech and information.

This debate will have some dramatic ramifications affecting all our lives and redefining business, basic principles, and even fundamental definitions of what exists and what doesn't, e.g any laws or facts defined by principles or government-defined documents.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CA Prop 8 Trial

We're in Day 3 of the CA Prop 8 Trials in San Francisco in federal court. Lots of news press around this activity.

These 1-2 weeks will be an interesting series of discussions and debates to test the constitutionality of CA's Prop 8 last year banning same-sex marriage. Not only will a decision impact California, but it will also be influential to the rest of U.S. and the world.

It would be interesting to see how the courts interpret and apply the laws of our state and country, and how much it stands up for due process and helping protect people's rights, vs. popular opinion.

However, there is growing talk about a trend toward taking religious beliefs to courts too, that religious beliefs are being discriminated against when equality laws are passed. That's another related area worth debating too.