About Me

My photo

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Dear David,

Today is International Human Rights Day, commemorating when the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sixty-nine years ago.

Since then, we’ve seen human rights activism evolve from being led by nations and global agencies to everyday people like you and me uniting our voices to help improve the human condition.

We want to show you why being an active part of the global movement to end modern slavery is crucial and today celebrate our supporters for the time, action and even donations they’ve given to secure freedom and justice for vulnerable people across the globe.  

There is strength in numbers. 
Through Freedom United supporters’ help, we reached over 1.3 million people to tell them about our call to urge the UN to investigate and close slave markets in Libya. 

This year we also brought global attention to persecution faced by anti-slavery activists working for the freedom of others in TurkmenistanMauritania and Thailand. 

Together we’ve urged nations to create strong anti-slavery policies that protect vulnerable workers beyond their borders and called on media houses to uphold the dignity of survivor voices in storytelling and reporting.
Over the course of 2017, we’ve partnered with 32 new organizations around the world, generated 10 new and robust campaigns, got our anti-slavery message out to several million people on social media, and organized, on average, a new action every month, both digitally and on the ground. 

Here are a few ways your voice has helped to secure justice and impact change on the global slavery problem in 2017:

Our campaign helped to free human rights activist and monitor Elena Urlaeva 
from detainment and punitive psychiatric treatment for her work monitoring state-sanctioned forced labor in Uzbekistan’s annual cotton harvest.

We delivered over 180,000 signatures with partners Mining Justice Alliance, Mining Watch Canada and SumOfUs to Nevsun Resources’ Annual General Meeting in Vancouver to show the company and investors that profiting from slavery is unacceptable.


Building on momentum in the region, our Help End Forced Marriage in Lebanon campaign supported national efforts to repeal ‘marry your rapist’ laws that allowed perpetrators to escape punishment.


Together with our partner Yazda, our campaign urging the UN to take action on slavery perpetrated by ISIS resulted in the Security Council unanimously passing resolution 2379 to establish an Investigative Team to end slavery in conflict and prosecute those responsible for war crimes.


Queen Elizabeth II reportedly called for a Modern Slavery Act, similar to the United Kingdom’s 2015 law, to be adopted in all 52 Commonwealth countries in order to better tackle modern slavery and human trafficking globally. This potential support from the Queen is important because it’s a step toward getting modern slavery on the agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018.

We thank you for tirelessly joining us in the fight against slavery. 
There’s still much work to do and we know we can count on you to keep the momentum.

Here’s to even more campaign wins and significant strides toward justice in 2018! Please forward this email to inspire others to join us in this important work.

Happy International Human Rights Day,

Joanna, Alex, Miriam, Kat and the entire team at Freedom Unite

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Cabin, Forest, Seclusion, Outdoor

Many years ago there lived a man who traveled about the countryside. He was a Peddler, and made his living selling merchandise to local villages.  As time went on, he realized that he must expand his customer base, or go out of business.

This worried him, for it meant conducting trade with people he did not know, and who did not know him.  Nonetheless he set out, planning to call on towns and villages that were beyond his normal territory.

However, as fate would have it, he ran into immediate bad luck. As he approached the first village, a great storm erupted. Wind, rain and lightning made travel most difficult. Even worse, he carried his wares upon his back, for he could not afford a pack animal.

As he approached the first home, he thought to himself, " I just need shelter, and will ask no more." The Peddler arrived at the front door of a small , but well maintained cottage. Shivering, he knocked feebly on the front door.  After a few moments it opened and a stout and formidable looking man of no more than thirty years, answered.

"What do you want?", asked the figure in the doorway.

" Kind sir,"  replied the Peddler,  "I seek shelter from the storm. I am new to this Township, but hope to find new friends and customers from the good people who live here."
The Man frowned slightly, and with a sneer asked; "Do you accept Jesus as you lord and Savior?"
The Peddler was taken aback. No one had ever asked such a question.
"I am not a religious man,"  he stammered, "but I believe there is good in all of us, regardless of how we find it."  The man shook his head and with a sly smile closed the door. His last words, as the door was closing, chilled the already cold and frightened Peddler to the bone.

''We don't want your type around, you are godless."
End of PT 1.

Storm Damage, Fir Forest, Firs, Fog

The Peddler was left standing at the front door as the rain continued to come down.

"I don't understand," he thought as he walked to the next cottage.  "I have never harmed this man, why would he turn me away?"

Unfortunately, it was only the beginning.  Despite the storm, the Peddler was denied sanctuary time and time again.

In each case he was asked if he accepted Jesus as his savior.  Being a man of principle, he told the truth.  "I respect what you believe," he would say, "but I am a man who has not studied such things.  I only seek refuge from the storm."

This honesty only seemed to doom the Peddler, for he reached the last cottage in despair.  He thought, "If they do not offer me shelter, where am I to go?"

As he approached the front door his heart sank.  The dwelling was small, compared to the others in the village.  Further, it had seen better days, for it was in a general state of disrepair.  In addition, the garden surrounding the cottage looked not to have been tended or cared for in quite some time.  The Peddler, however, was desperate.  He arrived at the front door, and with a heavy sigh, began to knock in earnest.  After a few moments the door started to open slowly...

PT 3.

Cabin, House, Home, Woods, Trees

As the door opened, the Peddler began to shake. "This is my last chance", he thought,  "I will say anything, for I cannot go on."

To his relief the figure in the doorway soon presented itself.  A small woman, perhaps half his size, looked up at him.  The Peddler was taken aback.  His possible benefactor was advanced in age and seemed to be on the edge of physical collapse.

The Peddler collected his wits, and with a sense of desperation began to speak.  "Good woman," he began, "I have traveled far, but I am in need of the hospitality of a person like you who would not turn away one in need." The Peddler braced himself for the expected interrogation, but it did not come.

"You poor man,"  was the reply, "come in and warm yourself by my humble fire.  I cannot offer much, but what I have is yours."  With that the woman turned and gestured for the Peddler to follow.

The Peddler entered, following the small figure.  The room he beheld was even more Spartan than he had imagined.  Very few pieces of furniture were present, and he watched as his host sat herself upon a rocking chair located near a large brick fireplace.  The fireplace seemed to dominate the room, for it provided the only illumination.  The Peddler sat down upon a small ottoman and rubbed his hands together.

Confused by this sudden change of fortune, he stammered, "I have no wish to cause you harm, but your neighbors rejected me because I am not a Christian.  Why do you offer me aid.  Will they not turn against you?"

The old woman began to laugh, and with a sigh turned to the peddler and replied:"Stranger, you are new to this place.  It was not always so, at one time all were welcome.  Unfortunately, the leaders of our community became convinced of their importance, which included controlling the spiritual life of all its' citizens.  This control would not tolerate dissension, so all those who opposed were either ostracized or banished.  They use Christianity as a tool to justify their personal prejudices.  In this manner, they subvert the true teachings of our lord."
(Look for PT.4)

PT 4.

Woman, Praying, Believing, God, Person

Being a simple man with no illusions, I tried to grasp the meaning of what was being said. "Good Woman," I asked in earnest, "Why would your neighbors condemn honest people who act with great Charity, even though they are not Christian."

My host stared into the fire and shuddered. "It is well that you came upon me," she answered, "for you can leave this accursed township with your head held high. Those who govern this community rule by fear."

I stood up, and rubbing my hands together, approached the fireplace.  However, I still had questions.

"You are a woman in torment," I declared, "however, you seem to hold fast that Christianity is a system of belief that will not exploit others.  Why do you remain among those who proclaim Christian beliefs, but who violate the essential tenets set forth in scripture?"

My host stood up from her position by the fire and very slowly came over to me. She stood before me and with moistening eyes said, "They are not evil, but have lost their way.  If our savior sacrificed everything to redeem humanity, do I not have an obligation to continue his work?"

The next day I left.  However, I provided my benefactor with a quantity of worldly goods free of charge.  I may be a great trader, but she is dealing in higher stakes.

God help us all if she, and others like her, fail.


Cut Medicare & Social Security? Not on my watch. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

"Rubio tells a secret: After giving a tax cut to the rich, GOP will cut Social Security and Medicare"
-- Sun-Sentinel, 12/1/2017
This is big, David.
In a moment of rare truth, Marco Rubio admitted that after cutting taxes for the rich, they will move on to making "structural changes" to Medicare and Social Security.
"Structural changes" of course, being Washington-speak for "cutting" Medicare and Social Security.

I will fight with everything I have to protect Medicare and Social Security. But I need you in this fight. Let Republicans know that we will not stand for cuts.

It's bad enough that the disastrous Republican tax plan is inches away from becoming law. If the final version is anything like what the Senate passed, that law could raise taxes on middle class families and rip away health care from millions of Americans.
And of course under the Trump/GOP plan, billionaires and corporations would make out like bandits.
In order to pay for these outregeous tax breaks, Republicans are targeting seniors and those most vulnerable among us to pay for those expenses.
I have four words for them: Not on my watch.
...demand Republicans stay away from Medicare and Social Security.

Thank you.

Friday, December 8, 2017


The Federal Communications Commission is about to gut a crucial rule that keeps the internet free and accessible to everyone.
This decision is yet another part of Donald Trump’s reckless agenda that harms Virginia.
The Trump administration says it’s going to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules that protect our free and open internet.
Without net neutrality…
  • Internet service providers could block websites they don’t like, slow them down, or charge consumers more to access them
  • Prices could go up for consumers and small businesses in Virginia who rely on the internet to access information and advertise
Families in Virginia...and around the country depend on access to a free and open internet. We can’t take this step backward.

...stand with us against Donald Trump’s agenda: URGE THE FCC TO SAVE NET NEUTRALITY.

Team Jennifer


Hello David -
I wanted to let you know about a new feature documentary movie that Skeptoid Media is executive producing. It's about scientists who have been misrepresented by the media — being edited out of context or having their words twisted. It happens more than you know, and those scientists are none too pleased about it. The title is Science Friction. It's being directed by Emery Emery (The Aristocrats) and should be in theaters in 2019.

If you'd like to follow this project, click here to subscribe to email updates (unsubscribe at any time).

This is our 88-second teaser, click to watch:

Brian Dunning
Skeptoid Media
a 501(c)(3) nonprofit


Planned Parenthood

Attacks on our health care have no place in any bill, let alone a tax bill — but Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are desperate enough for a political win that they're trying to force them through in a final vote that could happen ANY DAY.

Send a message to your members of Congress right now demanding they reject this sneaky attempt to undermine health care for millions — and any provision in this tax bill that would restrict or take away our access to care.

Even if you've already written your lawmakers...or given them a call — please take a moment to send another message now. This really could be our very last chance to stop it.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nearly 9.5 million women gained health care coverage — and the number of uninsured women was cut by nearly half. This latest attack from ideologues in Congress threatens to reverse that progress by dismantling key components of the ACA.

If this disaster of a tax bill passes, it would cause millions of people's premiums to skyrocket and could destabilize insurance markets, wreaking havoc on health care in this country. But Trump, Ryan, McConnell, and their allies don't care — they're just trying to give a tax break to their millionaire friends by taking health care away from families who are working hard to make ends meet.

Don't let this critical vote take place without making your voice heard — even if it's for the 10th time...Let the people who represent you know that you will not stand for using a tax bill to take health care away from your neighbors, friends, and family.

The situation is dire, but here's the good news: People don't want this — and these politicians know it. That's why they snuck it in and are trying to pass it quickly, before we can rally and shut it down.

Remember how they tried to do the same thing over and over again with the push to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act? And remember how grassroots hellraising...— stopped them every single time?

We need that same strong, rapid response to stop this sneak attack right now. It only takes a moment to email your senators and representative and ask them to oppose any attempt to use this tax bill to take away or restrict access to health care.

Thanks for stepping up once again for the millions who are counting on us.

Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Action Fund



The Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP, is in danger.

What once was a program with strong bipartisan support, is now the latest victim of Congressional Republicans’ ruthless partisanship.

Federal funding for CHIP ran out on September 30, and now 68 days later Congress still hasn’t renewed its funding, putting families and the lives of their children at risk.

We must demand that Congress take immediate action to fund CHIP and protect health care for our nation's vulnerable children.

Please stand with me today and take action to make Congress hear your voice...

CHIP provides health insurance for 9 million children in the U.S., and we cannot abandon them.

Some Republican leaders claim that CHIP is a luxury that we simply can’t afford. I say if we can afford a TRILLION dollars in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, surely we can afford to take care of children whose families are unable to afford health insurance.

Help send a message loud and clear to Congress that Americans demand renewed funding for CHIP...


Cory Booker