Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bob McMullan and Hidden Bodies

I heard about Bob McMullan the other day when I did research on Kim Beazley. He's the one that Beazley mentioned in his long final speech.

The quote from Beazley was. He knows where my bodies are buried and I know where his are buried. That means we hold each other in terrorem. I am terrified enough to exit this place knowing that he could reply to anything I had to say, so I will leave that to one side.

That sounds exciting.

I want to know about this Bob McMullan character.

I'll start with Lord Wiki.

Like Beazley, McMullan was born in Perth. Their birthdates are also not too far apart. Weazley was born on December 14, 1948. McMullan was born a year earlier on December 10.

Birthday website time!

Although I'm feeling a bit distrustful of this site now--you know since they told me Beazley is a Sagittarius, and he says he's an Aries. Actually, maybe I should confirm that. Maybe Beazley has his own sign wrong.

Okay. I think the guy was totally joking on MySpace. Aries isn't even the sign that's close to Sagittarius!

And according to this website, the Sagittarius range is from November 22-December 21. Beazley DOES fit in there. My birth date is November 22 and so I'm the one that's not always included. Some websites have the range starting at November 23. Lord Wiki is one of them. He thinks I'm a Scorpio. I'll sting that bastard!

So, I think I can trust the birthday website.

It says that McMullan is a Sagittarius, and his numerology number is 7. That's my sign (well, sort of) and my number! He's like my spiritual twin.

His Chinese astrology sign is the pig. We don't have that in common.

His Native American sign is the owl. I think that's the same as Beazley.

McMullan went to the University of Western Australia. I wonder if he knew Beazley there. Well, I'm sure the university has a lot of students.....

He was active against the war in Vietnam. He was supposed to fight, but avoided that by going to court and saying he was a conscientious objector.

He's an advocate for trade unions--another thing in common with Beazley.

He joined the Labor Party in 1973. I'm not sure what they mean by join? Sign up for a membership card? Have an actual job/role in the party?

He was a state secretary in Western Australia for awhile and then become the national state secretary.

I'm not sure what a state secretary or national secretary actually does. I'll go look that up.

I can't find an answer. I googled it and kept getting stuff about security.

I bet maybe it's like America's Secretary of State. Unfortunately, I really don't know what that means either. I do know that this person is the third in line if the President dies. But besides that, I have no idea what they do.

Oops. I have it wrong. Lord Wiki just told me that the Secretary of State is FOURTH in line--not third.

Like Beazley, McMullan has had a variety of roles.

He has been: Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Minister for the Arts and Administrative Services, Minister for Trade, and member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry.

I love that term--Shadow Ministry. It sounds so dark and mysterious. It makes me think of Harry Potter.

What is it really?

Oh, it's cool. And America does NOT have one. What I'm getting basically from Lord Wiki is that it's kind of an alternate for each person in the government--but the shadow person is of the opposite political party.

It sounds like a good idea to me. I think America should have one.

At one point, McMullan was Shadow Treasurer. But he lost that role later to Mark Latham.

Lord Wiki says that McMullan has a reputation for asking the same question over and over--if he does not get a direct answer.

It seems right now (under Rudd's leadership) McMullan is Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance. I have no idea what that means.

He's also a parliamentary member for Fraser. It seems Fraser is a suburb of Canberra.

McMullan has his own little cute website. It has the Southern Cross on it. I was never able to see the Southern Cross when we were in Australia. This time, I'll have to make one of you Australian people show it to me.

He looks a little bit like Jack's ex-dentist who I really despise. The hair is different, but the facial features are bit too much alike. I'll have to avoid looking at his photo.

Outside of looking like the awful dentist, he seems like a pretty decent man. One of his main priorities is getting help for people with disabilities. He has started a program called Development For All. I'm reading his speech about that now.

He starts out by recognizing the traditional owners of the land. I like that.

I don't find the speech to be that exciting--at least not so far. It took me awhile to get to the part that actually explains what the program is about. McMullan says it's about improving quality of life for people with disabilities and also avoiding preventable disabilities.

There's some personal stuff on his website. He has two daughters and three grandchildren. He likes sports, Australian heritage, the environment, and reading. That sounds fairly well-rounded. I do wonder how true it is. Does he exaggerate some interests and ignore others to make himself sound better? Is his secret hobby playing video games on the Wii? Maybe he reads one book a year and lists that as a hobby. I never fully trust famous people when they list their hobbies.

His website has various information kits you can order, including ones for families and youth. You can also order congratulatory messages for important occasions such as 50th wedding anniversary and 100th birthday. You can get a letter from the Prime Minister! Is this a clue about what McMullan's role in government is? Is it his job to provide these services, or did he just put that on his website to be nice?

It seems his main responsibility is to help care for neighboring developing countries. One thing he did was participate in an art exhibit for World Toilet Day. The purpose of this day was to raise awareness of sanitation and diarrhea issues in Asian and/or Pacific countries. I'm totally with McMullan here. I'm a big fan of clean toilets.

McMullan, like Beazley, has his own MySpace page. His last log in was December 8--not too long ago! He has 208 MySpace friends....including Kevin Rudd. And he has a pin on his MySpace that says he supports Kevin. He also has Rudd's apology speech on his page.

I found an editorial written by McMullan about Howard. He basically talks about why he thinks Howard's approval rating went down. It sounds like obvious and basic stuff--people becoming disillusioned, younger voters that Howard was not in touch with, feelings about the war in Iraq, etc.

Recently (this October) McMullan was a speaker for a Business for Millennium Development  The purpose of this organization is for corporations to do more to help global poverty. Well, that's good. I like when corporations do good things. Although honestly, I find it hard to trust corporations. Sometimes, they say they're doing good things and they're actually doing things that are not so good. I think (from what I've heard) it's mostly about getting people to buy their products by saying they donate the profits to charity. But in reality, the amount they donate is very minimal. I think we always need to be weary of corporate and charitable connections. I'm sure there IS some good out there. In fact, I know there is. But there's also some untrustworthy stuff.

The Business for Millennium Development has goals. These are:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (Sounds good to me!)

2. Achieve Universal Primary Education (As an Unschooling mom, I don't really support the idea that every child needs to go to school. But I do believe every family should have access to free and quality education/care if needed or desired)

3. Provide gender equality and empower woman (I totally am with this, although I believe this has to go beyond treating woman equal to men. I think we need to face the fact that many women also have the responsibility of taking care of children. Mothers face way too many challenges and are not well supported. It's horrible in the United States. I'm guessing it's a tiny bit better in Australia.)

One of my favorite mind-opening books is The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittendon. I highly recommend it.

I just thought of it. I'm going on and on about these millennium objectives. It would be funny if McMullan wasn't even really involved with the organization--maybe he was invited on a whim to speak.

Oh well. I like reading about their goals, so I'll continue anyway.

4. Reduce Child Mortality

5. Improve Maternal Health

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other diseases.

Goals 4, 5, and 6...Well, I definitely don't have arguments against those.

7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability. (Well, this would be good if there was truly a such thing as global warming!)

Ha. I'm joking. I'm in a silly mood.

8. Develop a global partnership for development. (this is basically joining all together to deal with the above seven goals).

Well, it sounds like a fairly good organization.

Okay. I finally found some good dirt. Here's an SMH article from 2004 in which McMullan says bad things about Mark Latham.

Oh no. Unfortunately the article goes way over my head. It seems to be disputes about leadership and stuff like that. I was hoping for something more scandalous. Maybe it is scandalous, but I'm just not getting it.

I do think I understand now what a Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance does. It's about Australia helping people in other countries. It sounds like a pretty meaningful job to have. And I'm glad I finally figured that out.

This article talks about how McMullan costs the government a lot in travel money. I think we can kind of excuse that though--since he does work in foreign relationships. It kind of makes sense for him to travel to different countries. I'm sure he could cut down a little though. Maybe?

I'm going to end now because I've been at this for a few hours. I need to eat and put the laundry away. I regret that I never found out about the dead bodies of McMullan and Beazley. And YES! I do know that's figurative and stuff. Speaking of, it reminds me of this commercial.