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Silicon Valley News Notes

Poetry and Economics

It's possible that Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers is wishing he'd either taken a small pay cut or given himself a raise–just to avoid the unfortunate visual alignment of his pay with that of the janitors that work at Cisco's San Jose campus. About 100 laid-off janitors and supporters marched in front of the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose last week, where Chambers was being honored with the 2009 Pioneer Business Leader Award by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Some carried signs comparing Chambers' $11 million annual pay package with the $11-an-hour the janitors get. The protest marked the end of a seven-day hunger strike by some laid-off union janitors, targeting the San Jose–based networking giant, and followed the Dow Jones announcement last week that Cisco will replace GM on the list of the top 30 companies in the United States.

The Protectors

Fly is hooked on the San Jose Police Officer's Association website,, which continues to be entertaining. Enter a new player—the American Civil Liberties Union. Apparently, the ACLU caught wind of requests that the police union be censured for its video mocking activist Raj Jayadev. The freedom fighters sent a letter to the San Jose City Council stating that the website and video are constitutionally protected speech, and the POA's rights need to be protected. It might leave a bitter taste in the ACLU's mouth, after recently railing against the SJPD for greater transparency. In its letter, the ACLU made a point of reminding the council that this is what the ACLU does—stand up for everyone's constitutional rights, even if they don't agree with them.


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