Saturday, April 9, 2011

Maybe we're both wrong...

Our local high school paper recently published a thoughtful op-ed "Maybe we're both wrong". The topic discussed is likely a necessary foundation for world peace. Please read. Thanks!

Monday, January 17, 2011

US Civil Rights Progress (in the last 100 years)

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

As of Jan 17, 2011 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) we are still working to realize this dream.

In the relatively recent past…

  • Women did not have the right to vote (fixed in 1920, 19th Amendment).
  • Minorities could be excluded from public schools (fixed in 1954, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas).
  • The poor could be prevented from voting by a poll tax (fixed in 1964, 24th Amendment).
  • Many of different race, color, religion, or national origin could legally be discriminated against (fixed in 1964, Civil Rights Act of 1964).
  • Homosexuals were required to disclose their sexual preference and be excluded from military service (partially fixed in 1993, with the Don’t ask, Don’t tell policy by Bill Clinton).
  • Homosexuals were dismissed if their sexual preference became known (fixed in 2010, bill passed Congress that allows homosexuals to serve openly).
  • Same sex marriages were not allowed (in transition, as of 2010 some states allow this but many don’t).
  • Women were not allowed in combat roles in the military (in transition, 2011 military panel recommended removing this restriction).

We hope that eventually all peoples in our world will enjoy the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Google Does Good

Good move for Google, bad one for China. It is wonderful that Google is taking a stand and doing the right thing. It is sad that China continues to do wrong and repress free speech -- China fears those with new & different ideas that it cannot control. For more see:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100114/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_google_china

I hope Google is able to maintain this stance in face of governmental and economic pressures. In the long run it could make economic sense.

Additionally, Google is the only major web-based email vendor I know that does not automatically show the originating IP address of the sender in email headers (for emails sent using their web interface) -- thus providing some anonymity to those who need to protect their identity.

Bravo Google!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hi, Tim,

Thanks for invitation to join this blog and for giving me some direction. I heard an interesting discussion on NPR last week with a professor, Andrew Basovich. His position on the surge for Afghanistan is that invasion and occupation do not reduce terrorism. He believes it will exacerbate it. He believes that a well-resourced international police effort would be more effective in ruthlessly rooting out . He stated that the jihadist threat is not located in any particular country. Instead, the threat is an "idea" that requires international effort.

Although this is a position I can appreciate, I am in agreement with you that our President had little choice other than the one he made about sending troops. Basovich's idea would have served us well before we invaded and occupied two ME countries.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Some new voices...

I've invited some other Sunnyvale residents to voice their views about peace on this blog. I'll let them introduce themselves if/when they accept my blogging invitation.

Cheers,
Tim

Peace, Afghanistan, Hard Choices

What did you think of Obama's speech in the evening of Tuesday Dec 1, 2009? And the course he has set for Afghanistan?

Here are my thoughts:

0) He is a great speaker and will be recognized as one of our greatest Presidents.

1) Obama is getting us out of Iraq and has a timetable for this (unlike the Republicans).

2) Obama has set a timetable for getting out of Afghanistan even though there is a temporary increase happening. BTW, setting a deadline is often the best way to make sure time is used productively.

3) I'm against war, but sometimes there are compelling reasons to finish what is started as well as to defend ourselves.

4) We are short of money and resources (best to get out as soon as we can).

5) Obama has succeeded in finding a reasonable middle ground regarding Afghanistan and is holding true to steering a moderate course between liberal and conservative extremes -- we need our country working together right now (a strong parallel to Lincoln -- united we stand, divided we fall) (some people on both sides are not completely happy but some on both sides are also getting some of what they want) (BTW, I predicted early on that Obama would be a moderate and he is meeting my expectations).

6) Unlike Iraq, where many were fooled about "weapons of mass destruction", we know for certain that:
a) Pakistan has nuclear weapons
b) India has nuclear weapons
c) The future of Afghanistan and Pakistan and India are tightly intertwined
d) If things go badly in Pakistan, we may face a nuclear war between Pakistan & India as well as supply nuclear weapons to terrorists or lead to use of nuclear weapons in the Middle East
e) Pakistan is pretty fragile right now, serious problems in Afghanistan could also topple Pakistan
Thus there are clear reasons to continue to invest a known quantity of security resources to help Afghanistan and Pakistan move further along the path of mutual stability.

7) I personally do not feel the need to participate in peace demonstrations at this time even though I continue to be a vocal supporter for achieving peace. The world is not a perfect place, and at this time there is still an unfortunate need to use force. That's why we still have police, military, security guards, etc. So I am in the spot of advocating for peace but supporting our President in his choice for us in Afghanistan -- he is the best person and in the best position to make this decision:
- has the right training
- has the right perspective
- has the right background
- has most correct information anyone could possibly have to make such a decision
- has the responsibility to do this as the President of the US and the commander & chief of our military.

I think as good a job as can be done is now being done for Afghanistan and so am focusing my own limited resources elsewhere.

Sincerely,
Tim Oey

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Greg Mortenson Embodies Peace in Action

Greg Mortenson is one of the best examples of peace and service in action.

His book "Three Cups of Tea, One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time" has now been a NY Times bestseller for 101 weeks and is published in 28 countries!

The Central Asia Institute which he directs has built and is helping to run 78 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Greg recently won the 2009 Austin College Leadership Award. You can read more about this at:
http://www.austincollege.edu/NewsDetail.asp?NewsID=1764&ItemID=6985

The Young Adult version of "Three Cups of Tea" and a children's book "Listen to the Wind" will be released on January 22nd, 2009. (For more info see: http://www.threecupsoftea.com/)

Greg and Amira Mortenson (his daughter) will be on the NBC Today show on Thursday January 22nd to talk about the two new books that are being released that day. On 1/22/2009, you can watch it online at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032633