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Why am I not a skeptic? Well, at least, why am I not a part of organised skepticism, as claimed by the so-called Australian Skeptics, actually the NSW branch of Skepticism in Australia? It's the experiences I've had, and the resulting appreciation I developed. You might just claim it's sour grapes, but hopefully you'll find the detailed story persuasive.

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So, I need to denote preferences, much as we all say "you can choose your own preferences", it seems obligatory. Notably, Labor has been kind enough to put me at 3rd, and I need to do my bit. But, in the fine John August tradition, I can't just make a list, much as know people would put forward that list without the thinking behind it, and say "Aha! Look at John August's preferences! What does that tell you!".

But that assumes someone can be bothered ...

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I'm receiving multiple similar emails from different people about the same set of causes. Sites like getup.com , dogooder.com and advocacysender.com These sites offer to back causes, monetising your desire to change the world for the better. That's quite a reasonable thing to do. But there's a lot more to the picture.

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Here's the speech I gave recently to the Eastwood Chamber of Commerce on the 11th of April. At the time, I made the point of recognising that there can be good people in the Liberal Party, and good candidates , but that was in the broader context of the Morrison Government and its record. For sure, I did not want to directly have a go at the Liberal Party candidate next to me. Trying to further illustrate this duality, I noted that Menzies increased the pension and decimalised currency - but also took us to Vietnam and invited the Brits to test their nukes in our backyard.

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Taking a look at Al-Jazeera coverage, and the conspicious absence of some events overlapping between Australia and Qatar.

While visiting my Aunt in Wollongong, one of her neighbours mentioned that he got up at 6am to watch Al-Jazeera news on SBS, where they were piping that through to their main broadcast, and that it gave an intriguingly "different" point of view.

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A top-level look at the current tensions in politics in Australia, and a plug for the Pirate Party.

Understanding the political world around me has been an adventure, perhaps even a struggle. There are problems I see, that Pirate Party Australia sees, which I've tried to make sense of, and I'll now outline a few of them, in particular a few ways how politics and political debate has gone off the rails in Australia. Yes, I hope that you'll want to support us. But regardless, I hope you'll find what I say to be worthwhile.

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A look at votes in NSW on secular issues, and the influence of the religious lobby, and a gesture ...

We have had recent votes on two secular issues, which I thought I'd review for my web page. These were the vote on the 11th May 2017 on the "Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016" and on the 16th November 2017 on the "Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017".

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