Monday, January 12, 2009

Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull was mayor of Sydney. At least I think he was.

I read about him in Robert Hughes memoirs. Hughes stayed at the Turnbull house while he was recovering from his injuries.

Oh! Never mind. I'm so dumb.

He was not the mayor. His wife Lucy was mayor.

Malcolm is the leader of the opposition. I feel incredibly stupid. I've seen his name plenty of times while doing research. I should know that!

Okay. Please excuse my moment of stupidity. Let's move on.

Turnbull was born on 24 October 1954.

Birthday Website time!

He's a Scorpio. He might sting. I'm a Scorpio who stings sometimes. But usually I try to be nice.

In numerology, Turnbull is an 8. That's about money and success.

Turnbull's mother was an actress/writer named Coral Lansbury. She had been married for the first time in 1953. That same year her husband died. In 1954, she made a baby with Bruce Turnbull. In 1955, they got married.

Little Malcolm attended Vaucluse Public School. This is located in the Eastern Suburbs. Looking at Google Maps, it seems the school is in Watson's Bay.

When Turnbull was nine, his parents separated. He stayed with his dad. It seems around this time, he also changed schools. He went to Sydney Grammar School. I know someone else I researched went to this school, because I remember I liked the Headmaster.

So, what I'm getting here is that Turnbull went to a government school in a very affluent area. Then his parents separated. He ended up staying with the father and then changed to a private school. What were the reasons behind all this? Why didn't he stay with his mother? Did he get a choice in the matter? Was his mother too busy for him? Did she want to take him, or did she feel he was better off with his father? And why did he change schools? Did his parents force this upon him? Did he not like the school? Did he end up moving?

I'm looking at Google maps again. Lord Wiki says Turnbull went to the St. Ives campus which is thirty minutes north of Sydney. That's a fairly long commute for school.

After finishing his early education, Turnbull went to Sydney Grammar School's College Street campus. This is located right near Hyde Park. Lord Wiki says Turnbull was senior school co-captain. Co-captain of what? Is that a sports thing? If yes, why doesn't Lord Wiki specify what sport?

Turnbull did the typical future Australian politician thing in college. He got a degree in law and arts. This he did at the University of Sydney. Then he ran off to the UK to further his education. He got himself a Bachelor of Civil Law at one of the colleges at the University of Oxford.

While in school, Turnbull did journalism stuff. He did radio, television, and newspaper actitivies. 

In 1980, he met his future wife Lucy Hughes. They met in the UK. Then they returned together to Australia. Turnbull was called to the bar. All this happened in 1980. I imagine it was a big year for him.

In 1983, he left the bar. Lord Wiki says he went to work for the Packer family. He became their general counsel. Why did he have to leave the bar to do that? I'm confused.

Lord Wiki says Turnbull gained recognition for his role in the Spycatcher trial.

This looks pretty interesting.....

Spycatcher is a book written by Peter Wright, a British secret services officer who later moved to Tasmania. The book reveals secrets about the secret services that the British did not want revealed. They tried to suppress the book. They had gag orders on newspapers who tried to report upon the issues covered in the book.

Free speech ended up winning this particular battle. And Malcolm Turnbull played a part in all that.

Lord Wiki says that Turnbull worked for the Packer family between 1983 and 1985. He was general counsel for their Australian Consolidated Press Holdings Group. This group is still around. They publish a bunch of magazines including Woman's Day, TV Week, and the Qantas inflight magazine.

Okay, I'm getting a bit confused about time here. I blame Lord Wiki. He's confusing me! The Spycatcher stuff happened AFTER Turnbull worked for the Packers. During his time with the Packers, Turnbull was involved in defending the Packers against the Costigan Commission. The commission made allegations against Packer, accusing him of tax evasion, organized crime, drug trafficking, murder and other fun stuff. They used the code name goanna for Packer. Eventually, Packer came out of hiding from his lizard mask. He denied the allegations. Turnbull fought for him and won. The allegations were formally dropped.

1986 was the year Turnbull established his own law firm. Did he leave the Packers on good terms of bad terms?

Through the remaining years of the 20th century, it seems Turnbull jumped around a bit; at least career-wise.

He established an investment banking firm with Neville Wran, a Labor party Premier; and Gough Whitlam's son. I find it interesting that he worked with two individuals who had connections to the Labor party. Did Turnbull consider himself to be conservative back then, or did that come later?

Turnbull left the banking firm in 1990 and went to work for Goldman Sachs.

Wait. Maybe he didn't jump around. It seems it was more a matter of him having a bunch of roles at once.

He was the chairman of an Internet provider called OzEmail; director of FTR holdings, Ltd; chair and director of Goldman Sachs; and chairman of Axiom Forest Resources.

Axiom Forest Recourses did logging in the Solomon Islands.

In 1999, Turnbull sold OzEmail to MCI Worlcom. Lord Wiki says he made about 6 million dollars from that deal. He also says that in 2005, Turnbull was estimated to have a net worth of $133 million. That's a lot of money.

Oh! This keeps going.

From 1993-2000 Turnbull was the chairman of the Australian Republican Movement. This is the group who wants Australia to become a republic. Turnbull was one of the founding members. That was in 1991. The first chairman was Thomas Kenneally.

On their website, the Australian Republic Movement says, Many people believe that this arrangement is no longer either appropriate or suitable for Australia. We believe that the office of Head of State should be attained on merit, not birthright. We believe that our Head of State should be an Australian Citizen. We believe that our Head of State should live in Australia and know what it means to be Australian.

That makes sense to me.

Anyway, it seems Turnbull feels passionate about the subject. He wrote a book about it. Fighting for the Republic.

Here's something that could be interesting. In 1994, Turnbull was asked to resign from the board of Ausflag. Why? This could be good stuff! Why does Lord Wiki stay silent about it?

Anyway, Turnbull must have remained interested in flag stuff. That same year he joined the Australian National Flag Association.

The Ausflag group says one of most common suggestions they receive is to replace the Union Jack with the Aboriginal Flag. I think I've considered this idea myself. The website gives their reasons why they think it's a bad idea. This includes the idea that it is a matter of poor design, and also the creator of the Aboriginal Flag isn't so keen on the idea. I wouldn't reject it out of hand, but I could make a decision to say no. It's not a secondary thing. It stands on its own, not to be placed as an adjunct to any other thing. It shouldn't be treated that way.

I still like the idea in theory. How about use the Aboriginal Flag as the main flag thing, but then put the Southern Cross in the upper right hand corner of the black part. The sky at night usually looks black anyway.

This blog has a picture of the flag that Ausflag says won't work. I actually like it.

Well, I think I might have found an important piece of the puzzle here.

It turns out the Australian National Flag Association is not a secondary group that wants a new flag. They like the old flag. So, maybe this is why Ausflag wanted Turnbull to resign. He wanted to keep the old flag. His wishes didn't match the wishes of the organization.

That makes sense.

The ANFA is not against a Republic. They're just against changing the flag. They say: The Australian National Flag is reflective of Australia because it stands for the values and ideals that underlie our society. These can be understood to include freedom of speech, parliamentary democracy, rule of law, egalitarianism and the courage and sacrifice of the ANZACS. These things have a meaning and relevance that extends to all Australians irrespective of their ethnic background or country of birth. It is clearly the responsibility of new arrivals as it is of all Australians to pledge loyalty to the Flag, to honour it, to respect it, to understand its history and traditions and what it stands for.

That makes sense to me too.

I should never become Australian. If I did, I'd probably end up joining Ausflag and the ANFA. I'm way too indecisive. I LOVE the current Australian flag. It's one of my favorite things in the world. Yet, I also love the idea of a new flag.

All right. Enough about the flag.

Lord Wiki goes into politics. He says Turnbull tried to get into the Liberal seat via Wentworth (in Eastern Suburbs).

Turnbull lost.

It seems he didn't try again until twenty-two years later. Turnbull finally won in 2004. In 2006, John Howard promoted him to Parliamentary Secretary. Howard started an office of Water Resources. This was created to deal with the drought problems. Turnbull was put in charge.

He was promoted by Howard again in 2007. He was put in charge of the Environment and Water Resources portfolio. Peter Garrett and Penny Wong are now in charge of that stuff. They seem to somewhat care about the environment. Maybe. Turnbull approved the building of the Bell Bay Pulp Mill near Launceston. Environmental groups were not happy about this. They probably thought that things would be better with Labor in power, but now Garrett has confused people about whose side he's truly on.

During the 2007 election campaign, Turnbull promoted the idea of Australia giving 10 million dollars to a program that wanted to trigger rain from the atmosphere without clouds. I guess if it worked, maybe it would solve the drought program. But it might have just been a pipe dream. Some people said it was bogus science. And also, the website for the Australian Rain Corporation is now extinct. I have a feeling things didn't work out so well for those guys.

When the Labor party finally took the power away from Howard, Turnbull tried to be Leader of the Opposition. He lost to Brendan Nelson. I remember him. He's the one who wasn't so popular on Sorry Day.

Turnbull became the Shadow Treasurer.

In September 2008, Turnbull won the vote. He became leader of the Opposition.

Turnbull is Roman Catholic, but is pro-choice and also pro-stem cell research. He also wanted to grant same-sex couples death benefits. So, although he's conservative, he's not like some of our right-wing politicians in America.

I'm done with Lord Wiki now. I shall look elsewhere.

Turnbull has his own website.

It talks about how he was raised by a single father. Did the mother play any part in his life? I think it's so sad when parents abandon their children. I hope she didn' least not completely.

Here's his first speech. I almost always love reading these things.

Although, Turnbull grew up in the notoriously affluent area of Vaucluse and Double Bay, he didn't necessarily grow up in a life of luxury. He says he and his father often lived in rented flats. I spent some time in Double Bay. When I mentioned going there, some people made negative comments. From what they said, it seems Double Bay is full of wealthy snobs. Honestly though, I had many lovely chats with people at the local playground. They seemed as nice as anyone else in Australia.

Still. I have to say I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of the Eastern Suburbs. I seem to get lost around that area.

Oh shit. My hormones must be totally messed up again. This line made me start crying. I was rarely inside. The best things in Wentworth; the waves at Bondi, the ducks in Centennial Park or even the brisk nor’easter whipping down the harbour on a summers day take no account of your bank balance. I'm not sure why that got to me so much.

He talks about his parent's divorce. His mother moved overseas. Despite their seperation, his parents did not speak ill of each other. Turnbull is grateful for that. His father worked hard to make sure that Turnbull and his mother had a positive relationship.

Turnbull says, I will work here to defend and promote marriage and families. We must do more to help families stay together. When divorce occurs, we must do all we can to help parents, no matter how bitter their differences, to support each other’s vital role in the life of their children.

Turnbull says his father made financial sacrifices to ensure that Turnbull could go to Sydney Grammar School.

Turnbull seems to be one of those who worry that the original Australians are going to disappear because of lower birth rates. Unless fertility rates dramatically improve, in a cycle of loss and dislocation matched only by the Black Death in the 14th Century societies with birth rates substantially below replacement level will either dwindle into an insignificant fraction of their current numbers or be swamped by larger and larger waves of immigration.

Is that racist? I don't know. Is there something wrong with wanting to preserve your ethnic/historical heritage? I don't really think so. I think it's fine as long as it's done with breeding; and it's not about fearing/rejecting immigrants. I also think people shouldn't go overboard with the whole idea. I mean if you love the idea of taking care of ten children, go for it. But I don't think people should have ten kids just to boost the population of their ethnic group. Oh and I also think it's sad when people avoid and/or forbid interracial relationships because they fear a lack of purity.

It seems Malcolm Turnbull has something in common with my younger sister. He's a big dog fan! He has a whole blog dedicated to dogs. One of the family favorites died this March. Poor Rusty.

 Wow! Rusty lived seventeen years. That's impressive. We had a long-living dog. Beau...a little cairn terrier like in the Wizard of Oz. We got Beau when I was about 2. He died when I was a senior in high school. I dream about him sometimes.

These dog blogs are the kind where the blog is told through the eyes of the dog. Cute. All right. That I can handle. But I shall now share one of my pet peeves. And I apologize in advance if I offend anyone with this.....

I don't like when people write for their babies or young children. You know, like when people write thank you cards that say Dear Aunt Suzie. Thank you so much for buying me the Baby Einstein Videos. Now my mommy can go to the toilet in peace. I watch the videos while she does her business.

For some reason, I strongly oppose someone speaking for someone else. I also don't like when people use their babies as a puppet. You know how the baby will be sitting their staring into space and someone will speak in a high voice. Hi Grandpa! I love you so much. Please change my diaper.

I also have a huge problem with those billboards that have quotes from God. I don't even really believe in God, but if it exists, I think he should speak for himself.

Before you all hate me, I should say I'm not THAT uptight. I'm fine with all of this if it's done in fictional art type stuff. If someone pretends to be God in a John Denver or Kevin Smith movie, I'm okay with that. But when it's on a billboard and the writer claims God actually came up with the message, I find that very offensive.

Oh! I just found this. An Atheist response to all the billboards. This is awesome.

Malcolm Turnbull is very web Savy. Not only does he have his own website, but he's also on MySpace. His last log in was on December 18. He has only 209 friends. One of his top friends is a rather wild young woman who says, f*ck anarchy. I have welfare. That's pretty....interesting.

He's also on Twitter! I'm going to add him as a friend even though I keep forgetting to go on Twitter. He's following 2,491 people. And I got to hand it to him, he tries to be a good follower. He's responded to other people's twitters. He told peterolm that he'll take a look at his blog. I wonder if he really did.

Turnbull carved hams for a Christmas lunch on December 23.

He helped light a Chanukah Menorah.

He has his own YouTube page. I'm enjoying watching his little New Years speech. He reminds me so much of someone. I can't think of who. Maybe someone famous...probably someone Australian.

This is getting awfully long so I'm going to skip ahead to Google News.

Turnbull has a new chief of staff. Chris Kenny. He was a reporter for the Nine Network's A Current Affair. Mr Kenny is one of those who doesn't believe in climate change.

No, wait. He might believe in climate change. He just wants there to be more research into it. And he's offended by the term climate change denial. He says, Finally, we do need to give the planet the benefit of the doubt, so improved energy efficiency and some other measures are indisputably sensible. But at the same time, we must continue the serious research and debate.

I'm fine with that viewpoint as long as it doesn't come from someone who refuses to recycle and keeps the water running while he brushes his teeth. There's no proof that humans cause climate change so I can be as wasteful as I please!

No. That doesn't work for me. Turn off the water, pick up your reusable grocery bag, come on over here and we'll debate climate change. Otherwise, I'm going to think you're using climate change denial as an excuse to be lazy and wasteful.

Turnbull supposedly does believe in the whole climate change thing. Did he choose Kenny because you don't have to work with people who are on the exact same page as you; or did he choose Kenny because he can say what Turnbull himself is too politically correct to say?

Turnbull does not support the idea of taking in Guantanamo inmates. He complains that this could happen without the government revealing that they have done it. The people would come in as migrants. If they're innocent, this would probably be for the best. They can come in with less prejudice and judgment. But it could be a problem if they actually were involved with terrorist activity. I don't know. Maybe even if they were terrorists....if they were given a second chance, maybe they'd give up that terrorism stuff and become good citizens. Maybe America should have thought of all of this before they opened up the prison and started torturing people.

Turnbull supports what Israel is doing. I don't.

I don't support the current actions of Israel.

I also don't support what Hamas has done or what they stand for.

I don't support all these innocent people dying.

God needs to stop making smart ass comments on billboards and instead do something about Gaza. Please?

Turnbull says we need to continue to fight terror. Yes. Fight terror with more terror. That seems to work quite well. He also thinks the best defense against homelessness is keeping people in jobs.

I have a brilliant idea. Why? Because I am secretly brilliant. I bet none of you knew that. Anyway, here's what we do. We hire people to invent and make more powerful weapons. More people are employed and less people are homeless. The big powerful countries can kill more terrorists with terror that is more terrifying than than the terrorist's terror. This will scare people and make them angry. New terrorists will pop up to fight Australia and similar countries. Hey! Don't worry. It will all be okay. The weapon companies will just hire even more people and they'll make weapons that are even more terrifying. This should take care of most of the homeless problem. But yeah. There will still be homeless people. Don't fret too much though. Eventually, someone will get angry enough to blow us all up. We'll all die in December 2012. The Mayans will be proven right.

This solves so many problems. It will:

a) end terrorism once and for all
b) solve the whole Gaza issue. All the Palestinians and Jews will be dead. We don't have to worry about them anymore
c) end the homelessness issue. Who needs a damn house when everyone is dead?
d) Allow the New Age people to bask in the glory of being right.

I think I have come up with the ultimate plan.

 Oh! And guess what else? I bet we'd no longer have to worry about Global Warming either.


  1. Great plan........... except for the everyone being dead bit. That I'm liking not so much ;) lol

  2. He is Roman Catholic, but is pro-choice and also pro-stem cell research. He also wanted to grant same-sex couples death benefits. So, although he's conservative, he's not like some of our right-wing politicians in America.

    You haven't met a Mr. Fred Nile yet clearly. He's the closest an Australian politician could get to Focus on the Family (the organisation that's about as useful and beneficial as a foot-fungus).

    He helped light a Chanukah Menorah.

    Never ever accuse Turnbull of failing to tackle the big issues.

    Is that racist? I don't know. Is there something wrong with wanting to preserve your ethnic/historical heritage? I don't really think so.

    Yes there is something seriously wrong with anyone keen on 'protecting their heritage'. It's irrational for starters; how is someone else's heritage inhibiting yours? Further to that, patriotism is divisive.

  3. Mistress B: The everyone dead bit is the most vital aspect of my plan. Without the mass destruction of human lives, my plan is completely meaningless. The only real problem with everyone being dead is who the hell will the dead people haunt? What's the fun of being dead if you can't star in one of those ghost-hunter reality TV programs?

    RVB: I think patriotism can be divisive, and so can a desire to protect one's heritage. But it doesn't have to be. Someone can love their country and their ethnic group while also loving other countries and ethnic group.

    To me: Healthy patriotism is saying. "I love my country because this is the country I was born in (or migrated to). This is my home. I love it. I will work my best to make this the best home for me, my family, and all my fellow citizens.

    Ridiculous patriotism is saying "This is the best country in the world. No country can compare to this country. All people in other countries WISH they could live here. I feel sorry for them."

    As for ethnic groups, I have no pride in my own. I don't care. It's meaningless to me. But I respect other people who do care about their heritage...whether they're Chinese, Irish, African, Jewish, Arab, German, etc.

  4. I don't think any patriotism is healthy. Patriotism is an offshoot in pride and I think pride should only exist if you've actually put effort into something (like one's painting or photography). As far as I'm concerned, I have not made Australia a better place by being here, despite my contributions to certain organisations I think would better Australia. I would never fly an Australian flag and I disapprove of others doing so as well (but of course, it's their choice).

    It appears the only difference between 'good' and 'bad' patriotism is in its tone. The 'bad' patriotism is full of arrogance. But tone aside, the meaning seems the same.

    I guess my main fear about patriotism is that people will be so blinded by it that they don't offer enough criticism of their own country. This can be said of many Australians and Americans.

    There is of course, the idea that patriotism provides an impetus for racism...but I'll leave it at there because I've probably bored you all to death.

    If you do become an Australian citizen, I'd advise strongly against voting for the conservative parties. We had years upon years of Howard with little in the way of national advancement. It wasn't as bad as Bush in the sense we didn't have our libraries shut down to feed a fatuous war effort in a desert somewhere and we don't have people like Sarah Palin getting any votes either...but I think the attempts to throw Australia backwards are mainly found in the liberal party.

  5. RVB,

    What if you're naturally talented at painting and didn't put any real effort into it. Should you still be proud? Should pride be reserved for only things that take effort?

    Can a beautiful woman be proud of how she looks? She was born that way. It took no effort on her part. I think most people would say no, she has nothing to be proud of. But how about someone who is very intelligent? This intelligence like the beauty was inherited. Should they not be proud?

    I do kind of believe that yes pride should be reserved for something that takes effort. Anything we're born into or born with is really by accident. We didn't do anything to earn it. So, I don't think we should be proud.

    But I think we can have positive feelings towards these things. I have a very strong imagination. I have more vivid and lucid dreams than the average person. I did no work to achieve this. I can't really be proud. But I'm grateful that I have these gifts. I'm happy that I have these gifts.

    I don't think it's really right to be PROUD to be Australian--especially if you were born there. If you worked hard to migrate there, that would be a different story. But I think you can be happy to be Australian. I think you can love Australia and I think you can love being Australian. I think you can wave the flag not out of pride, but out of love.

    I'm using "You" in the general sense because I get the sense that you love Australia as much as I love America.

    I do agree that if there's too much patriotism, people might fail to be critical of their own country. That's definitely a problem.

    Al Franken (An American comedian and politician) had this great thing in one of his books. It talked about how the left and the right love America differently. The right loves America like little children love their parents. They think America is perfect. They believe it has no faults and they get angry at anyone who says anything negative about America. The left also loves America, but we love it in a more mature and responsible way. We love it, but understand that it has huge problems. We want to make it better.

    I seriously doubt I'd ever vote Liberal if I became Australia. I'd most likely go for the Green Party.

  6. Yeah the Greens are pretty good; I'd be joining them soon...mainly because of their excellent transport policies.

    I largely agree with what you've said, but it's important to distinguish between positive feelings and self-esteem from pride. Natural beauty might harbour self-esteem, but pride is taking it a bit far.

    I'm concocting a blog post about this very thing in the near future...seeing as I've digressed. Sorry for going off topic.

  7. RVB,

    I have no problems with people going off topic. I do it all the time. I look forward to reading your future blog entry.

  8. There is nothing positive I could say about this vile, grubby, snide bastard.

    Great research, as usual, Dina.