Friday, July 24, 2009

Robert McClelland

Robert McClelland.

Another name that's a mystery to me.

I have a feeling he's a writer.

I'm probably totally wrong.


He's not a writer.

He's a politician.

He is the Attorney-General of Australia.

Do I know what that is?


I'm guessing though that it has something to do with law.

Baby Robert was born on Australia Day in 1958.

Birthday Website time!

He's an Aquarius like my dad, brother-in-law, and new nephew.

He's a 5 in numerology. That's the freedom one.

In Chinese astrology, he's a rooster.

His native American sign is the otter.

Lord Wiki doesn't have much to say about McClelland. The entry doesn't have enough information to be divided up into sections. There's just one section with a few paragraphs.

Let's see. What can we get from this?

For his university education, Robert McClelland went to the University of New South Wales. He got degrees in laws and art. Then he got a Master's Degree in law at University of Sydney.

After school he worked for a justice in the Federal Court of Australia. That was in the early 1980's.

Next McClelland became a partner in a law firm called Turner-Freeman. They're still in business. I'm going to look at their website. This might be interesting.

It seems they work on a variety of cases...commercial/business, family stuff, litigation, wills, etc. The website is pretty neat. It has a profile on each of their lawyers. They even have photos. Maybe I should cut out the photos. I can glue them to Popsicle sticks and play Ally McBeal.

I watched part of a new law show yesterday. It was cute...a comedy/drama. A stuck up superficial thin girl dies. Her soul is sent back to earth. The catch is she has to live within the body of a lawyer who is size 16. The show is all about whether it's better to look like a model or be smart, successful, and good-hearted. It does rely on stereotypes. Yeah. I know there are thin people who are smart and good-natured. Not all overweight people are intelligent and kind. But there ARE people out there who are incredibly superficial and focused on looks. I'm glad to see a program that pokes fun at them.

Back to McClelland. His daddy was in politics. Doug McClelland. Daddy McClelland was a minister in the Whitlam government. I'm guessing that at least somewhat paved a road for Robert to get a job in politics.

He joined Parliament in 1996 via the Division of Barton.

This division has been Labor since 1983. Lord Wiki has an interesting story about Barton. The first member was Frederick McDonald. In 1925 he was defeated. Soon after that McDonald disappeared. It's believed that the next guy in office had McDonald murdered. Wow. The guy in question is Thomas Ley. Ley later went insane and died in an asylum. I just snuck a peak at Lord Wiki's entry on him. He looks FASCINATING. I'm definitely adding him to the list. Apparently, he may have killed more than one person.

Back to McClelland. In 1998 he joined the Shadow Ministry as Attorney-General. Within the next few years, he had other Shadow Ministry jobs as well. He did workplace relations, homeland security, defense, and foreign affairs. When Labor and Rudd came into power, McClelland came out of the shadows. He's now plain old Attorney-General.

There was some controversy in October 2007. I'm not sure if I understand this. McClelland made comments against the death penalty in Asia. Apparently, this bothered some people because he said it close to the anniversary of The Bali bombings. Lord Wiki says he said it on 8 October and that this was the eve of the Bali bombings. I thought they happened on 12 October. At least that's what the museum in Canberra said.

Sadly, McClelland seems a bit ant-homosexual. He said he felt it is unacceptable for people in same-sex unions to have public celebrations of their relationship. Bob Brown criticized him for that. Good. My feeling is if you don't feel same-sex unions should be celebrated, don't come to the party. You don't even have to send a gift if you don't want to.

That's it for Lord Wiki.

Now I'm going to go onto McClelland's official site.

The top news story on his site is about Australia's Tsunami warning system. This is being reported because apparently there was a Tsunami in New Zealand recently. Yikes. I haven't been reading the news these past few days. Was it a big deal?

Well, it seems there were only small Tsunami's, but a pretty big earthquake. It doesn't seem like a lot of damage has been done...FORTUNATELY. But they keep having aftershocks. There's concern that a big Tsunami could happen.

Here's a brief biography page. It says he grew up in the St. George area. I'm guessing he's talking about Sydney since that's where the Barton division is. But what's the St. George area of Sydney? When I think of St. George, I think of the bank. Maybe he lived inside a bank. I'd rather live inside a library...or candy store.

McLelland says he still lives in the St. George area. He has a wife, three daughters, and a son. What if one of them turns out to be gay? Will he let them celebrate their union in public?

In his youthful days, McClelland went to Connells Point Primary School and Blackhurst High.

The primary school website gives an address. I'm going to plug that into Google Maps. It might give me a hint about where this St. George area of Sydney is.

It's south-west of the airport. It's north of Royal National Park.

Here's something interesting. The school gives the kids fifty minutes for lunch. I'm all for slow-eating, but that might be taking things a bit too far. Then they have only twenty minutes for recess. I think it would be better to cut out some of that lunch time and give the kids more play time. Although maybe it's one of those things where you can leave the lunch room as soon as you finish eating. The recess comes way before lunch. Maybe that's a short extra break. And then maybe the kids have time to play outside after they eat.

Each week, year five and six students get an hour lesson of Greek language. I'm guessing there are a lot of Greek students at the school. Greek is a bit random, otherwise.

I like what they about homework. Homework should not be arduous or time consuming, but should be purposeful and aimed at consolidation or extension of skills and concepts being taught.

Amen to that. I'm definitely not a fan of excessive homework. I believe children deserve the chance to play, relax, and pursue their own interests.

Children with the measles are asked to stay home for five days after the rash appears. The interesting thing is the website says children not immunized must stay home for the duration of the outbreak. Does that mean the school does not require immunization? The problem would be infant siblings of children at the school. It would probably be best if those families kept their kids at home as well.

Okay, I just read down further. The school does NOT require immunization. It does highly suggest it though.

This is too cute. The website has guidelines for removing paint from children's clothing.

So far, I like what I'm reading about this school.

I like their philosophies of learning.

I know I'm probably spending too much time on McClelland's past schools. There's just something about that primary school I like. I'll spend less time on the high school. Here's something interesting though. Sixty percent of its students speak English as a second language. The school has a lot of Chinese and Greek students.

McClelland loves to surf. Cool.

The site has a page about Barton. The area IS the birthplace of St. George Bank. Ah! And the website actually mentions the big murder. I thought maybe they'd gloss over all that. That's more of an American thing though. Tim and I were amazed when we went to Luna Park and saw the plaque memorializing people who died in a ride fire. In America, I don't think that would happen. The information would be kept as quiet as possible. You don't go to Disney World and see memorials of ride death victims.

I think I'm about done with his page. I guess next I'll look at McClelland's Parliament page. Maybe I'll read his first speech.

Here it is.

He talks about his dad, and his dad's friendship with a guy named Len Reynolds. If I'm reading this right, Daddy McClelland lost an election to Reynolds. Maybe? But then he helped with Reynold's campaign and they became mates.

Barton is named after Edmund Barton. Of course. Why didn't I think of that?

In the speech, McLelland talks about some nuclear danger stuff. Apparently in Barton, nuclear rod things are being transported without anyone being alerted to the fact. Barton is disturbed about this. He says, We are not talking about trifles or triviality. We are talking about the transport, in some cases metres from doorways where there were sleeping children, of radioactive waste with undisputed carcinogenic properties. That does sound rather disturbing.

I like what he says here:

  At the end of the day there may not have been any other means of transporting that waste, or any question as to whether it should have been transported, but the residents of Barton, whose streets were used to transport the substance, had a right to be heard as to how they would be affected by the risks and what steps could have been taken to minimise the risks.

I agree with that. Things like that shouldn't be hidden from the public. We have a right to know. We have a right to try to protect ourselves...if needed. When things like that are kept hidden, I think it ends up making people feel distrustful and paranoid.

Ah. McClelland's grandfather was in Parliament as well. I wonder if any of Mclelland's children will end up in government.

I'm going to look at Google News now.

This article talks about McClelland providing a character reference for a guy accused of spying for Iran. I think maybe he wrote the references BEFORE the guy was accused of being a spy. Is the guy a spy? I don't know. This article tells the same story, but for some reason I can understand it better. Sheik Mansour Leghaei had notes with him at the airport. Custom people took them and copied it. The notes looked suspicious. Leghaei claims he's innocent. He thinks his notes have been mistranslated.

Here's a news article about the Bali controversy. I think I understand it now. It's basically bad timing. McClelland spoke up for criminals facing the death penalty on a night in which he should have been focusing on the victims of the crimes. I can agree with that. Whether someone agrees with the death penalty or not, the anniversary of the crimes is probably not the time to protest against it. Wait a day or two...maybe a few weeks.

McClelland said the speech was made to coincide with the International Day for the Abolition of Capital Punishment. Unfortunately, that happens to be around the time of the Bali bombings anniversary.

McClelland could have just waited until March because then there is the International Death Penalty Abolition Day. I'm guessing this is different from the day in October.

If March and October don't work for you, there's also a day in November! November 30 is International Day Against Death Penalty.

Here's a report about the homosexual issues. Interesting. The report comes from CBS news in America.

McClelland says that gay couples will get more equalities involving legal stuff...taxes and all that. But no marriage.

McClelland says, The government believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Fine. If people really want to save marriage for boys who love girls, so be it. Can we just have marriages and weddings for gay people but call it something else? If we give it a new name would that make people happy?

On the plus side....there are positive laws being put into place. One of them is that same sex parents will both be able to claim their child as their dependent.

It seems Australia IS trying to do the right thing. It may be a slow process, but they're getting there. I think eventually they'll allow gay marriage.

Australia is at least better than Texas. Here is what my blah governor's website says. Gov. Perry signed Senate Bill 6, the Defense of Marriage Act, specifying that Texas does not legally recognize a same-sex marriage or civil union. Two years later, Gov. Perry supported strengthening the law with a constitutional amendment, the Texas Marriage Amendment, defining marriage as the “union of one man and one woman.” It was approved by Texas voters in November 2005.

That makes me sick to my stomach. It's really like they're bragging about their discrimination.

I mean in my best scenario, gay couples are treated completely equal to straight couples. But I can understand that society is not there yet. I can be okay with yes to civil unions and no to marriage. To me, marriage is just symbolic anyway. It's not very meaningful or important to me. I think the legal stuff matters MUCH more.

But it disgusts me that Texas doesn't even want civil unions.

It disgusts me that they seem to be bragging about this on their website.

Rick Perry, I am horribly ashamed to have you as my governor.

Texas was one of the last states to get rid of their anti-sodomy laws. And this was NOT by choice. The US Supreme Court forced it to happen.

Despite our homophobic governor, Texas does seem to have a viable gay community.

There's a gay rodeo association in Dallas.

There's a Church that emphasizes their acceptance of homosexuality. They call themselves the Cathedral of Hope. I think that's a perfect name for them. I HOPE one day we can live in a world where we spend less time fearing and hating homosexuality, and more time learning how to be nice to each other.

There's a Synagogue in Dallas that's gay friendly. It's so gay friendly that they hold their services at a gay and lesbian community center.

Most of us look back to how Australian and American laws treated people who were not white and we're appalled by this. We can't believe that people could be so ridiculously small-minded and cruel. I hope our children and grandchildren will one day take gay marriage, gay adoption, and civil unions for granted. They'll probably look back at our old rules and customs with complete disgust and disbelief.

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