Friday, January 23, 2009

A Practical President

As demonstrated by his inaugural address, Obama is a practical President. He knew he had to get right down to business and so delivered an inaugural address that got right down to business. In it he gave an overview of his perspective and his top priorities. He again demonstrated a true and steady hand on the tiller, as he did during his campaign, and in his book "The Audacity of Hope."

And in his first full day in office he delivered.

Obama ordered the Guantanamo detention center to close. We all knew it was wrong and finally we have an honest leader who knows this as well. We must honor our own laws and procedures. To do otherwise was hypocritical and reduced our standing in the eyes of the world. In his inaugural address he said:

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers ... our found fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."

Obama also froze the pay of White House staffers (just as a number of commercial companies have), he worked on his economic plan, he called Middle East leaders to get the ball rolling, he put in place an ethics order so that people in government cannot abuse their former connections and power as lobbyists, and he dug in to dealing with our economic crisis with an approach that looks like it will be much more effective at dealing with it than the prior TARP bailout that went awry.

Hallelujah for a President who builds a great team around him works methodically, is ethical, and thinks rationally. Our world now has a much better chance for peace and prosperity with Obama leading the US. Yet as he referenced in his inaugural address, it is going to be a hard climb out of the deep hole that we've dug for ourselves in the past 8 or more years.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Miraculous Moment in History

It was with pride and joy that I watched Barack Obama become the 44th President of the United States today (well yesterday now that it is 1 AM on 1/21/2009).

His inaugural address was right on the mark and positions us to make forward progress.

The musical performances were superb -- Aretha Franklin, then later Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet) performing selections by John Williams.

The poem by Elizabeth Alexander provided a pause, a reflection, and a breath of fresh air:
"In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light."

The benediction by Rev. Joseph E. Lowery brought levity as well as truth:
" us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."

I feel blessed to have witnessed a miraculous historic event.

Tim Oey

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shock and Awe

I was shocked at the history I saw happen in real time when I viewed the World Trade Center towers collapse on 9/11/2001. I hope I, and my descendents, never have to witness such a disaster again.

Thankfully, I am now in awe at the history unfolding in real time as Barack Obama becomes President of the United States -- the day after Martin Luther King Day and 200 years since Abraham Lincoln was born. Barack Obama is poised to be the most positive force for world change in recent memory, perhaps even in the history of our nation. I hope he proves to be an enduring role model that inspires others in the future. In his speeches and his books, he has already left an indelible mark on humankind.

Here are some of the most memorable excerpts from his recent speeches.

Jan. 8, 2008, after losing the New Hampshire primary to Sen. Hillary Clinton

"But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.
For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we've been told that we're not ready, or that we shouldn't try, or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.
Yes we can.
It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.
Yes we can.
It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights. Yes we can.
It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.
Yes we can.
It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a president who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.
Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.
Yes we can heal this nation.
Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can."

July 24, 2008, before an estimated 200,000 people in Berlin during his European tour.

"Sixty years ago, the planes that flew over Berlin did not drop bombs; instead they delivered food, and coal, and candy to grateful children. And in that show of solidarity, those pilots won more than a military victory. They won hearts and minds; love and loyalty and trust — not just from the people in this city, but from all those who heard the story of what they did here.
Now the world will watch and remember what we do here — what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?
Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words "never again" in Darfur?
Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don't look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?
People of Berlin — people of the world — this is our moment. This is our time."

August 28, 2008, when accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for President on the 45th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

"This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich.
We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong.
Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores. Instead, it is that American spirit — that American promise — that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend. That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours — a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
And it is that promise that 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream … "We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

Yes we can. This is our time. We cannot turn back. Go 'bama!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Facebook is an interesting and fun place to hang out online. Yes it can be a time sink but so can many other activities.

I just made a Facebook badge for myself:
Tim Oey's Facebook profile

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Department of Peace

Yoko Ono supports a Department of Peace, see:

I've posted the following to the "Department of Peace" discussion:


The State Department really is the current Department of Peace. It's mission as stated in it's current strategic plan (see is:

"Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system."

I believe that doing the above is the best way to accomplish Peace. Economics has a huge part in Peace as does helping other sustainable governments succeed. This all best belongs in the State Department. I'm a very strong believer in Peace and have been demonstrating in Peace Rallies since the Iraq war began.

So my vote for a Department of Peace is really a vote to better staff and fund the Department of State (rather than the "Defense Department" or "Department of War").

For more about my efforts to support Peace, please see,, and


Tim Oey

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Obama & His Blackberry

I think Obama should keep his Blackberry and use it to stay in touch with friends and family.

If communications on it must be preserved for the Presidential Records Act, all the better, as the personal communications of a President on a day to day basis would be a fascinating history to capture for future generations.

Of course he should use it only for casual correspondence that does include any sensitive information.

Read more at: