Chapter 4 Written / Published 11.8/17.8.17 (Pics by author, unless indicated)
It's a sad day, when your children and grandchildren move to another state. The only positive is that now you have a reason to visit that state. That's why in this chapter we travel to Darwin, in Australia's far north.
To begin with we hear from the Police Minister and ask a few questions regarding a court case and the practices by a large bank.
Among wedding anniversary celebrations we discover numbers. In a real estate shop window we discover a spelling error.
In the end, forgive my repetition, a call to follow HIM.
4. A road in Karama
There was mixed news in the letter, dated 4.8.17, I received from South Australia's Police Minister, Peter Malinauskas. It was in response to the information I had given regarding 'Author Peter Liddy'. As I had known all along, the Minister confirmed that the alleged material, children's books, had not been published. That was the positive news, besides the fact that my letter was taken seriously enough to warrant a ministerial reply.
The negative aspect was - the internal investigation by the Department of Correctional Services was not going to be made available to the public.
The second negative in the Minister's reply letter was the total ignorance of the allegations I had made regarding Peter Liddy's main accuser, Andrew Gary W; ignorance of the big question marks surrounding the character and testimony of this jail bird in the Liddy case. But then, if any investigation were to lead to corrupt police, why would the Minister for Police be the one to open the can of worms? It may cost him his job?
I find the lack of action, the total absence of reaction by the police, very puzzling.
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Three other South Australians were recently left puzzled by police action. On Wednesday August 2nd, 2017 our daily newspaper, the Adelaide Advertiser, reported the story, front page, as an exclusive.
This 'puzzling' paragraph was printed on Page 5:
What was puzzling and why was it doubtful?
The three judges were presiding over a $151 Million drug trial. After the biggest drug haul ever in South Australia, two outlawed-bikie gang members were on trial, when an argument arose. Police declined to reveal details of the evidence, and how their sophisticated GPS tracking devises, caught the alleged criminals.
As I understand it, unless police disclose the information, both the District and Full Courts would not permit the evidence in court. Standing firm, SA Police insisted that their surveillance techniques would be kept secret.
Adelaide Advertiser, 2.8.17, front page - exclusive:
Any thinking person would start asking questions: Why could the police not reveal their crucial data, and how it was obtained, to a closed court? How is it possible that bikie gang members on serious drug charges, can simply walk free because judges can't resolve an argument with police?
Don't they all work toward one common goal - justice?
On the morning of the published article the Police Commissioner Grant Stevens defended the police action on Radio Five AA. He emphasized the successful seizure of 151 Millions Dollars worth of drugs. How good it was that the stuff was no longer on our streets! What puzzled me was the absence of a public outcry! Very little was reported on the television news, unless I missed it.
It so happened, on television the following Sunday evening, Channel Seven screened the story of corrupt police officer Roger Rogerson. Over two nights Australians watched, how this highly decorated police officer and a powerful, federal drug/crime investigator turned into brutal, violent criminals, trafficking drugs, causing endless misery and death on Sydney's streets.
Anyone, who saw this drama/documentary, which I wrote about in Book 15, Chapter 4, could be asking these questions: Are all 151 Million Dollars worth of drugs in South Australia really off the streets? Can the public rest assured that justice will be done and that corrupt police officers are not making extra cash on the side?
The British politician and writer Lord Acton said long ago: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Has anything changed in 150 years?
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As I understand it the bank had an obligation by law to report transactions above $ 10,000. Why did this not happen? Would it ever be made public, if authorities were to find that money was paid to bank employees to turn a blind eye? How casual can banks get, when it comes to dirty money, possibly used to finance terrorism?
How badly we need a Truth Commission as suggested in Chapter 2; truth in politics, in the police and judiciary, in business and banking! The root cause, according to the bible, is the love of money, which makes people do all kinds of evil things.
But who reads the NT (New Testament) these days, let alone follows its teachings?
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In the second half of July 2017 my wife and I did the NT. This time these letters stand for Northern Territory. But even before landing in the NT, on the Jetstar airplane, I felt a MT (Magic Touch) from the OT (Old Testament). Let me explain:
Why did God make me notice this, and the numbers 29? Maybe, it's to make this point here:
Unanswered questions like these become the excuse for many to turn away from God. They don't seriously try to find God, to accept by faith HIS offer of intimate friendship and love.
How different the attitude of a man in the bible, who suffered more than anyone. He did not understand, why God allowed his children to die, his property to be destroyed and serious illness almost kill him.
If anyone had reason to denounce his faith and turn his back on God, it was Job. Instead, Job made one of the most profound declarations of faith anyone ever made:
What a champion; a real winner!
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Back to the NT (Northern Territory).
Australia has six states and two territories. One of these is the ACT (Canberra), the other the Northern Territory. Our daughter and her husband had moved to Darwin, the territory's seat of government and the largest city in the sparsely populated North.
It was a delight to see our two grandsons Aidan (4 1/2) and Jacob, whose first birthday we celebrated two days after our arrival. The warm, sunny weather, during the two weeks we visited in July, was superb. The 32º C sunshine in mid-winter could not have been more opposite to Adelaide's rain and cold. Many times, after I raved on about the lovely winter weather, my daughter corrected me: "They don't say winter here. They call it the dry season!"
Our son-in-law, whose name is Darin, (we could call him Darwin Darin!) had arranged a bicycle for me to use. The flat terrain around Darwin and prefect weather provided ideal riding conditions. Besides taking short rides through the suburbs around Palmerston, I rode into Darwin city, about 22 kilometers away, four times.
Our daughter could be called a stay-home mother. During our visit, however, there was plenty of going out. Some of the more mundane hours, at least for a man with an aversion for shopping, were spent in large shopping malls. One can imagine many Darwinians spent much time in these air-conditioned malls, just to escape the heat. Because there is no winter, nobody needs to spend money on heating. Air-conditioning, which may be required around the clock, makes up for it.
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Less than an hour from Darwin we visited a popular swimming spot, called Berry Springs. Natural underground water gushes into two pools of water, surrounded by jungle, but with excellent covered picnic facilities nearby. Plenty of families were enjoying a relaxing swim.
At first we were reluctant to enter the water, since there were warning signs. Locals assured us it was safe during the dry season. The water was warm, but still refreshing. Even my wife ventured in. I had not seen her in a swimsuit in probably a decade. (Took me hours to get over the shock, just kidding!)
Little did we know at the time, we only found out later, that the day after we had our dip in that pool, a crocodile was spotted there. Subsequently, the area was closed for five days to ensure the animal was captured and removed.
Another must for visitors to Darwin is a boat ride on the Adelaide River. Just over an hour from Darwin this waterway is home to many wild crocodiles, who 'perform' for curious tourists, who try and catch a picture of one of the jumping beasts. (May I say, I was fortunate to snap the above at the right moment!)
During the 1 1/4 hour cruise along the Adelaide River I learned a lot about crocs from our experienced tour guide's commentary. Saltwater crocodiles have a salt gland, so they are spotted more frequently in saltwater. However, they can migrate long distances and are just as happy in freshwater.
One fact about these ancient creators made me smile. If I understood our tour guide correctly, he stated that "Crocodiles have not changed in the past 100 000 000 years." This made me think about the theory of evolution. Are school children not taught that animals evolved over time and eventually turned into humans? How much longer will crocodiles need to move on? Another 100 Million years?
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On Sunday July 23rd, 2017 we went to church in nearby Woodroffe. There were not many in the service. This usually doesn't bother me, except perhaps feeling sad that the general population has made sport and pleasure, perhaps even shopping on Sundays, a priority. There was only one song that I knew, the one we could call Darlene Zschech's signature song: 'Shout to the Lord'.
As in many churches, even in this small congregation the lyrics of the songs was projected onto a screen at the front. Whilst there was no microphone cable hanging from the ceiling revealing coded messages, a blatant error in the lyrics of Darlene's song, made me reach for my camera to take this picture:
The error in the words 'to the' is rather obvious. To a non-German speaking person it looks as if only the h and e had swapped places, and the space put in the wrong place. Any bi-lingual speaker, however, reading backwards could arrive at 'he dead'. (Tot is German for dead).
If the words 'he tot' were to be translated as 'he died' it would make theologically more sense. The Lord, the king, the comforter, who this song shouts praises to, is certainly not dead. Yes, he died, but he rose again, defeating death itself. That certainly is something to shout about!
The sage does not end there. There was more. The next day, Monday July 24th, my wife and I were celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary. We took a bus into Darwin and were looking around for a place to have lunch. We were casually walking right near the huge, white structure of the NT Parliament, when a van did a U-Turn at a very awkward spot, forcing us to wait for a moment.
As we did I noticed two things. One, it was a small truck by the same company my son-in-law worked for. (It was not him, he works in Palmerston and doesn't drive for work). Not only that, but the vehicle carried registration plate ..46...
The second thing I saw was the word Hedie (or Heidie) written on the vehicle's door. The similarity between the church screen (he dead', as established above) and this name only came as I prepared this chapter.
After some time checking out places, where to eat our 46th wedding anniversary lunch, we ended up at Monsoons. The hotel/restaurant was very busy and noisy. The music (mostly mindless noise) almost turned us off, but the menu seemed reasonable. In a separated, small area it was much quieter, and there was an empty table right by the window. There even was a candle burning in the center of our table.
What came next may sound as if coming from the pen of a nutter, but please let me tell it, just as it was. Soon after ordering our meal, looking at the surroundings, I noticed through the window a vehicle parked right across the laneway. It was close enough to make out its number plate:
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There is a 3 1/2 year age difference between our grandsons. The arrival of baby brother Jacob must have been a life-changing event for Aidan. One day he was the center of attention, the next day fighting for attention. My daughter is a very good, patient mother, but this did not lessen the effect on little Aidan.
During our two week holiday I witnessed many times, how the older brother expressed his feelings. More often than not, little Jacob was the target for venting his frustration. No doubt, this was normal behaviour for a 4-year old, but it was still upsetting to witness.
To make matters worse, our daughter and her husband in my opinion, didn't apply enough discipline to correct his behaviour. In contrast to my generation, who still believed in physical punishment to teach right from wrong. As the saying goes - spare the rod (note the word rod) and spoil the child.
The bible takes the use of the rod as a means of discipline even further: "Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them." (Proverbs 13, 24 NIV). There are a number of other scriptures that advocate physical punishment to bring rebellious children into line.
Despite modern, politically correct thinkers arguing that the rod is a form of violence and does more harm than good, I know the bible is correct. The problem starts when corporal punishment is given at the wrong time or inappropriately. But how else does a child learn when he or she willfully disobeys a parent, when their behaviour could cause great harm to a brother or sister or themselves?
Why did I write a few paragraphs back 'Note the word rod?' As strange as it may sound, what I experienced in Darwin, a kind of karma (note the word karma) might give us the answer to rod or no rod! It came in a very unusual way!
Then I saw a word, in large letters, which looked odd. It was the word Rod.
Karma, a concept in Hinduism and other Eastern Religions, is a difficult concept to understand. We associate it with the supernatural. Karma, be it good karma or bad karma, sounds like a biblical principle: "What you sow is what you shall reap!" The bible teaches that proper discipline, reproof and the rod "gives wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Proverbs 29,15).
However, there is a far more important key principle at work, when discipline is applied in the biblical way. As much as parents would like to think their children are good and will learn in time to be obedient, the bible tells a different story.
Is there a more wonderful moment, when after doing wrong and being punished, after explaining their wrong doing, a child sits on daddy's lap and with a warm embrace he assures them how much Mum and Dad still love them?
What a moment to introduce them to Jesus. In John 11, 25 HE clearly stated the benefits of believing and obeying God - eternal life:
"He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live."