Fans of the long-running hit cartoon, The Simpsons, have speculated about the voice actor for character “Leon Kompowsky,” who first appeared in the show’s 36th episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” which premiered in September of 1999. Though originally credited to “John Jay Smith,” recently show creator Matt Groenig confirmed that Michael Jackson actually served as the main voice for the character. In the episode, Leon is a Michael Jackson impersonator who has come to believe he is actaully Michael Jackson, and Homer Simpson meets Leon in New Bedlam Insane Asylum.As cited by Groenig in Australia’s The Weekly, “We really did have Michael Jackson. … He has a voice that sounds like someone doing a Michael Jackson bit.” Groenig also notes that The King Of Pop first called him out of the blue, and he hung up on him, not initially believing that Jackson was actually interested in the show. He also noted that Jackson explained that he “loved Bart [Simpson] and wanted to be on the show.”However, the show was forced to use the name “John Jay Smith” in the credits, as MJ was contractually obligated by his record company not to publicly participate. Groenig also notes that while Jackson did do the voice acting for Leon Kompowsky, all the songs sung by Leon were voiced by a Michael Jackson impersonator named Kipp Lennon. The show creator added, “When it came time to do the songs, he had a sound-a-like singer and he stood there and watched the guy—and he was so nervous—who had to sound like Michael Jackson.”You can watch part of Michael Jackson’s voice acting on The Simpsons—from the 1991 episode “Stark Raving Dad”—below. [Video: letsbepandas][H/T Consequence Of Sound]
As many environmentalists and scientists worry that the United States is retreating from the fight against global climate change, acclaimed novelist Jonathan Franzen warned Tuesday that preoccupation with the issue is actually diverting attention from more immediate threats to nature.In a talk at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Franzen said the focus on preventing long-term changes to climate — a cause he contends has largely been lost — leaves scant resources for saving endangered species and other short-term ecological needs.“When it comes to the environment, climate now has an absolute lock on the liberal imagination,” Franzen said. “Any attempt to change the subject, even if you are trying to change it to the epic extinction event that human beings are already creating without the help of climate change, is an offense against that religion.”The author of such novels as “The Corrections,” “Freedom,” and “Purity,” as well as several works of nonfiction, Franzen spoke at Gund Hall as part of the Graduate School of Design’s Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture Series.Diane E. Davis, chair of the School’s Department of Urban Planning and Design, introduced Franzen, with whom she shares St. Louis roots, as a “quintessentially urban writer, a man concerned not just with the dilemmas of modernity … but also deeply cognizant of the power of place, space, and territory in creating the context of human experience.”But it was his passion for the environment and for protecting free speech, as well as his reflections on the current political climate, that occupied Franzen in his lecture.Franzen, an ardent bird watcher, drew the wrath of fellow environmentalists for committing what he termed “offenses against liberal orthodoxy” in a 2015 New Yorker article on climate change and the environment. The piece expressed skepticism that the world would “take the radical actions necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change,” Franzen said, and argued we’d be too late even if we did.Franzen also took issue with claims by some progressives that the reason the United States “can’t really get serious about reducing its carbon emissions is that fossil fuel corporations are sponsoring denialists and buying elections.” He acknowledged that this behavior occurs, but said that the issue is more complicated.“The problem really is not that democracy is being prevented so much as that democracy is occurring. … It’s precisely the citizens in the major carbon-emitting democracies who benefit from cheap gasoline and global trade,” he said, adding that the cost of that pollution is borne heavily by people in undeveloped nations like Bangladesh.Franzen said he saw a “silver lining” for the environment in the election of Trump, noting that such actions as the administration’s recent rejection of a petition to ban use of a harmful pesticide could “remind people that there are other issues besides climate change … that matter right now.”A narrow focus on global warming is also a poor strategy for mobilizing public support for the environment, Franzen said.“Ordinary Americans understand apparently better than the liberal elite does that there’s precisely nothing that any individual can do about climate change — nothing except feel guilty,” he said. “And guilt is one of the least effective human motivators.”Franzen took aim at progressives on several other issues, including for actions he said undermine free expression. He cited recent protests mounted at the University of California, Berkeley, and Middlebury College against planned appearances by controversial speakers. Franzen said the actions amounted to “suppressing free speech.”He also directed his ire at Americans focused on simply denouncing President Trump instead of “trying to understand and maybe win over the swing voters who responded to the Trump message of anti-elitism and anti-global nationalism.” The effect, he said, has been to “deepen the liberal silo, not see beyond it.”
63SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details As humans, we’re routine creatures. When it comes to being healthy, there are things we should stop doing, and things we should start doing. Here are 3 unhealthy habits you should break today.Late-night fridge runs: Everybody craves a late-night snack. Sometimes you have to say “no” to your stomach. You probably shouldn’t eat much of anything after dinner, but especially cut down on the carbs. If you’re getting ready to run a midnight marathon, by all means, load-up on the carbs. But if you’re only getting ready to count sheep, you can do that just fine without the help of carbs. Last time I checked, sleeping doesn’t take much energy.Not drinking enough H2O: Your body is made up of mostly water. If you’re drinking coffee all morning, a diet soda for lunch, and an energy drink in the afternoon, you’re not doing yourself any favors. I understand a cup of coffee in the morning, but after that you should switch to water for the rest of the day. ¾ to 1 gallon of water is a good rule of thumb for an adult male.Sleeping too little or too much: There really isn’t a magic number when it comes to the amount of sleep that you need every night. Your body will tell you how much sleep you need to function properly. Try going to bed and waking up at different times and see what works best for you. Too little sleep will mess with your immune system, prevent you from losing weight, and lead to depression. Too much sleep can lead to obesity and diabetes. Listen to your body and be consistent with your sleep patterns.
Despite stricter criteria for judging wines and spirits and the 11th World of Malvasia, this year as many as five Grand Golds for Malvasia were awarded, two in the category of other wines, and for the first time three Terans were awarded the Grand Gold Medal. In addition, a total of ten major gold medals, 147 gold and 31 silver medals were awarded. 24 fresh Malvasia, one ripe and six Teran were awarded the IQ – Istrian quality. See the list of all awarded winemakers at 26.Vinistra HERE The wines of Marijan Arman from Vižinada won the championship title at the 26th edition of Vinistra for the second year in a row. Thus, Arman’s Malvasia Gran cru from the 2018 vintage was declared the best in the category of fresh Malvasia, while his Malvasia Reserve from the 2015 vintage won first place in the category of mature Malvasia. “Today, Vinistra is one of the most attractive wine events in the region, equally attractive to the profession, wine lovers and tourists. This is evidenced by the growing number of samples submitted for our evaluation. The world of Malvasia broke the record again. 272 Malvasias from five countries and another 242 samples of wine of other varieties and 30 strong alcoholic beverages arrived for evaluation.”, Said Nikola Benvenuti, President of Vinistra. “We in Istria do not reconcile with the existing, we are hardworking, we strive for the better and we are proud of what we have. Istria cannot be imagined without the children of Malvasia or Teran”, Said Valter Flego, Istrian prefect. Along with the best Malvasia, the best wines from the Teran variety were also declared. “The lineage has always been the foundation of our family’s existence, and over time it has grown into a reason to live. I will not lie when I say that I think we are dealing with the most beautiful art in the world – wine “, said Marijan Arman at the awards ceremony at the Parentium Plava laguna hotel in Poreč. The best young Teran, from the 2018 harvest, was produced by the Valenta winery from Kaldir, while in the mature Teran category, the award went to Teran Barbarossa from 2016, the Tomaz winery from Motovun.
“Such a regulation will boost the operation of the judicial mafia often found [in courts],” the foundation said in a statement on Thursday.Read also: Reforms make Supreme Court more productiveThe YLBHI went on to say that the proper documentation and recording of trials had allowed it to gather evidence about what occurred in trials, which assisted it in preventing judges and prosecutors from misquoting witness testimony.“Recording of a trial also reminds judges and relevant parties that they are being watched. At least they will think twice before committing improper acts or violating the law, because there will be evidence from the recording,” YLBHI said.Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) executive director Anggara said the regulation would affect lawyers who usually used documentation of hearings to build their case.“In general, such a ban will have a serious impact on people’s access to justice and reduce information disclosure, which are guaranteed by law,” Anggara said in a separate statement on Thursday.The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Jakarta also lambasted the provision. “It’s about court transparency. We will object if we are banned from recording court proceedings,” chairman Asnil Bambani Amri said, as quoted by kompas.com.Supreme Court spokesperson Abdullah defended the circular, saying it was designed to ensure court hearings proceeded smoothly and without disruption. Court observers and journalists who want to record a court hearing will be allowed with the permission of the head of a local court.“If we don’t prohibit recordings, we can’t differentiate between who are journalists and who are simply attendees at court,” Abdullah said, as quoted by tempo.co. (hol)Topics : Human rights activists and press organizations have lambasted the Supreme Court’s new regulation that prohibits the taking of photographs or making sound and video recordings in courtrooms without proper permits, saying the provision will only benefit the judicial mafia and restrict court transparency.The prohibition is included in a circular letter issued by the Supreme Court about courtroom rules of conduct. The circular was signed by the Supreme Court’s director general of general courts Prim Haryadi on Feb. 7.“Taking photos, recording audio or video [during a hearing] must be approved first by the head of a local court,” as stated in the circular. Prior to the circular, Indonesia was among the few countries that allowed journalists and court observers to take pictures as well as audio and video recording of ongoing court procedures.Ukraine has allowed videotaping of court sessions without obtaining permits from the judge hearing the case, with several limitations, since 2014. The Australian High Court has also allowed video recording of court proceedings since 2013.On the other hand, many other countries have strict prohibitions. The United States, for example, prohibits electronic media coverage of criminal and civil cases under a federal rule.The Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) condemned the Supreme Court’s provision on recording court proceedings, demanding it be removed from courtroom rules of conduct.
Sanders goes into Michigan badly in need of a win after former Vice President Biden seized control of the race on Super Tuesday this week, winning a bevy of Southern states as well as Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas and causing rivals Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren to drop out.Michigan is the most competitive of the six states that hold nominating contests on Tuesday. It offers the largest number of the minimum 1,991 delegates a candidate needs to secure the nomination outright: 125. And it’s a critical moment for Sanders to try to recapture momentum before the contest shifts to Florida and Illinois the following week.In addition to Michigan, Washington state, Mississippi, Miissouri and Idaho will be holding primary elections on Tuesday. North Dakota will hold caucuses.A Sanders loss in Michigan could give Biden an insurmountable lead as the state-by-state nominating process moves into friendly territory for the man best remembered as No. 2 in President Barack Obama’s historic administration. For Bernie Sanders to remain competitive with Joe Biden in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, he’ll have to repeat what he did four years ago: Win the Michigan primary.This time around, that probably will be harder.Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Biden is showing strength with the same kinds of voters that Sanders, a U.S senator from Vermont, relied upon in his surprise defeat of front-runner Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016. The state also greatly matters for Nov. 3 general election. It flipped Republican in 2016, voting for now-President Donald Trump over Clinton by just over 10,000 votes.”Michigan is your got-to-win state,” said Adam Hollier, an African-American state senator from Detroit who is backing Biden.Biden parlayed his popularity with black voters into huge gains on Super Tuesday, winning 70% of African-American voters in Alabama and Virginia and 60% in North Carolina and Texas, according to exit polls from Edison Research.They will be crucial in Michigan, where they comprise almost 14% of the population. Some areas of Detroit are 80% African-American.”When you look at what he did all across the South, those same demographics are going to be at play in Detroit,” Hollier said.Sanders canceled plans to campaign in Mississippi this weekend, focusing instead on Michigan.Union labelsSanders may have better luck with union voters in manufacturing-heavy Michigan. He won the state’s white working-class voters in 2016, and they remain a reliable part of his base.Richard Cassel, 28, lost his job as an auto engineer in Detroit last month. That same week, he walked into a Sanders campaign office and volunteered to work the phones.”For me, Biden is just more of the same. The middle class is working professionals, and everyone else is slowly drowning,” Cassel said.But Biden has long-standing ties to labor unions and routinely talks about how the middle-class and union members built the nation.The powerful United Auto Workers Union has yet to endorse any candidate, but its spokesman, Brian Rothenberg, said it supports the idea of universal healthcare. Sanders has made a government-run healthcare system, Medicare for All, the heart of his campaign.”The high cost of healthcare is one of the impacts when you’re bargaining, so universal healthcare would actually give you a better ability to bargain at the table,” Rothenberg said.Not all of Sanders’ positions play well with the state’s unions, though. In particular, he has called for the closure of a 66-year-old crude oil pipeline that runs below portions of the Great Lakes, as part of his sweeping plan to swiftly end the US fossil fuel economy to fight climate change.”It’s going to cost (Sanders) a lot of support in our union,” said Terry Gilligan, business manager of Detroit Pipefitters Local 636.And two Michigan chapters of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union endorsed Biden on Friday.Sanders is running ads in Michigan criticizing Biden over his past support for global trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Biden, in turn, argues that he was a key player in the 2009 auto industry bailout that rescued jobs in the state.RURAL RUNIn 2016, Sanders performed surprisingly well in the wealthy suburbs outside Detroit and blew Clinton away in rural counties. But there is evidence he won’t do that again this time.On Super Tuesday, Biden consistently beat Sanders in suburbs outside of cities including Charlotte, North Carolina, and Houston.And in rural regions of Minnesota, a Midwestern state like Michigan with a largely white population, Biden smashed Sanders, 43% to 19%, according to exit polls.This weekend, Biden’s campaign will deploy former presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, a senator from Minnesota, to stump in Grand Rapids – an area that Sanders won in 2016.Dawn Bryant, 40, a General Motors Co factory worker who was laid off earlier this year, said she was torn between Sanders and Biden.”I’m divided. I’m not sure. I’m going to keep watching and weighing my options on both of the candidates,” she said. “It’s a tough, tough call.”Topics :
Comment Fraser is a wanted man (Picture: Getty)The Spaniard would like to add to his creaking defence as well, which would likely mean he would have to move others out.AdvertisementAdvertisementEmery is more than willing to have a summer clearout, however, and is willing to put seven players up for sale.Those on the market include Shkodran Mustafi, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mohamed Elneny, Carl Jenkinson, Calum Chambers and David Ospina. Ozil could be put up for sale (Picture: Getty)Whether they can find suitors for all of them is another question.Arsenal take on Wolves on Wednesday night, looking to strengthen their claim for a top-four spot, having slipped outside the Champions League places on Tuesday.Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Burnley saw them move above the Gunners but a win over Wolves can see them return to fourth.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Emery is set to have limitations placed on his spending (Picture: /Getty Images)Unai Emery is set to find himself incredibly restricted in the summer transfer window as Arsenal chiefs tighten the belt on funds.The former Paris Saint-Germain boss is set to have a budget of around £40million to spend – although that could rise to around £75m if he delivers the Gunners into the Champions League – but how he chooses to use that sum could prove problematic.Emery has been told by Arsenal’s hierarchy that the wage bill needs to be kept under control, which could see him need to sell before he can buy, according to the Mirror.A new wide forward is believed to be his priority, with Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser thought to be a good-value option as he approaches the end of his contract but Emery also wants to add to other areas of the pitch.ADVERTISEMENT Arsenal board add major restrictions to Unai Emery summer plans Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 24 Apr 2019 9:37 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link220Shares Advertisement Advertisement
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Economy, Jobs That Pay, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Eldorado Stone, LLC, a Headwaters Company that manufactures architectural stone veneer, will consolidate its Greencastle-based manufacturing facility and Hagerstown, Maryland-based distribution facility into a new dual-purpose site in Franklin County. The move will create 57 new jobs over the next three years.“Eldorado Stone’s decision to consolidate a Maryland facility with a Pennsylvania facility, creating one new facility and new jobs in Pennsylvania is great news and is illustrative of the commonwealth’s welcoming environment for businesses,” said Governor Wolf. “I am proud that Eldorado Stone saw the benefits that Pennsylvania provides and has chosen to increase capacity, expand jobs, and further grow its markets from a site within the commonwealth.”In an effort to streamline costs and improve efficiency, Eldorado Stone will lease a 432,000-square-foot, build-to-suit manufacturing and distribution facility on 25.4 acres in the Antrim Commons Business Park, Antrim Township. The company plans to invest $6,880,000 in the project, including the leasehold and upgrades to equipment and processes. Eldorado Stone has committed to the creation of 57 new, full-time jobs over the next three years, and to the retention of 243 existing employees.“We at Eldorado Stone are grateful to the community and state for such an opportunity. By consolidating our operation, we will provide improved service to our customers. The move will allow us not only to service our customers better by improving our capacity, but will also provide an improved working environment for our colleagues. The flow of our manufacturing and warehousing operations will vastly improve in the areas of safety, ergonomics, and flow. These improvements will enable us to increase our capacity and shorten lead times for our customer,” said Eldorado Stone Plant Manager Frank Guthrie. “By staying in Franklin County, we are able to retain our skilled workforce and provide a superior product for our customers, so this opportunity is a win-win for all parties.”Eldorado Stone received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development that includes a $250,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant and $114,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs. The company has also been encouraged to apply for a $400,000 in low-interest loans from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Franklin County Area Development Corporation (FCADC) and the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce.“The decision of Eldorado Stone, LLC to consolidate and expand its Franklin County presence is significant for several very important reasons. It ensures the retention of 243 employees while conservatively projecting the creation of 57 new, family-sustaining jobs. The construction of a 432,000-square-foot building in the Antrim Commons Business Park stands to be a catalyst for the continued development of what is arguably one of the premier business locations on the I-81 corridor,” said FCADC president Mike Ross. “Moreover, the company’s decision to maintain operations in Franklin County is reflective of Pennsylvania’s competitive business climate.”“To say the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce is delighted that Eldorado Stone is not only staying in Greencastle, but also expanding its operations might qualify for the understatement of the year,” said Georgina Cranston, Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce executive director. “Frank Guthrie and his team at Eldorado Stone are exactly the kind of company the Greencastle-Antrim community covets: a leader in its field, committed to the community, and here for the long term. It’s great that the state of Pennsylvania and all the parties involved worked together to make this happen, and the Chamber looks forward to working with Eldorado Stone every step of the way.”Established in 1969, Eldorado Stone, LLC is a leading manufacturer of architectural stone veneer with a reputation for high quality products and outstanding customer service. Over the past 45 years, the company has expanded its product line to include brick veneer, fireplace surrounds, and outdoor living solutions. Eldorado Stone currently operates manufacturing facilities in several states with regional distribution centers across the country.For more information on Eldorado Stone, visit www.eldoradostone.com.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED, visit dced.pa.gov.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Eldorado Stone, LLC in Franklin County September 29, 2016
Source: Warwick University UCU branchUCU members striking at Warwick University in 2018 over proposals to shut USS’ DB sectionWriting in response to the interview on USS’ website, Sir David Eastwood, chairman of the USS trustee board, refuted some of Hutton’s claims and said the board was “hugely saddened” by Hutton’s statements.He wrote: “It is important for you to know the board is clear in its view that Professor Hutton’s concerns have no material impact on the decisions that have been made in relation to recent valuations.“Professor Hutton recently decided to recuse herself from the board pending the outcome of an entirely separate and independent investigation into her conduct over an extended period of time. The board commissioned this independent investigation to determine the facts.”Sir David said he wanted to “set the record straight by clarifying that the issues which led to this ongoing investigation are entirely separate from other investigative work examining ‘whistle-blowing’ allegations Professor Hutton has made about the valuation process and outcomes”. Source: UK ParliamentFrank Field, chair of the Work and Pensions Select CommitteeField’s letter came as former trustee Jane Hutton spoke out about her concerns on national radio, prompting a strong rebuttal from USS’ trustee board.In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 26 June, Hutton – a professor of statistics at the University of Warwick – claimed she had been suspended from the board of the defined benefit (DB) scheme after she raised concerns about the way in which USS calculated its deficit.She said: “I’m an internationally recognised statistician. That’s why I was appointed to the [trustee] board, and I’ve simply not been able to get the information I require in order to satisfy myself of the quality of the work. What I have seen is not of a quality I’m happy with.”The £64.4bn (€71.9bn) USS reported a funding deficit of £7.5bn in November 2017, but this shortfall was later lowered to £3.6bn following the panel’s report. While initial plans to shut the defined benefit section of the scheme have been shelved, employers and employees have been asked to accept higher contributions in a bit to plug the shortfall.Hutton has been suspended from the trustee board pending an investigation into what the pension fund claims is an unrelated matter.She told the BBC: “My lawyer in fact asked on 5 June in a letter for precise details of why I’d been suspended. We haven’t received those at all yet. There are simply allegations of misconduct, but those allegations have not been given in detail.” TPR has yet to respond to Mr Field’s letter.In a report published in September last year, the panel criticised TPR for not recognising the collective strength of the 350 higher education establishments that sponsor USS. This had also encouraged an overly cautious approach as USS’ trustee board worked to keep the scheme in line with changing regulations, the panel said. An influential politician has written to the UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) to flag concerns about its oversight of the country’s largest pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).Work and Pensions Select Committee chairman Frank Field wrote to TPR’s new chief executive Charles Counsell this week to question the watchdog’s delayed response to concerns raised by a former trustee about how the scheme’s funding deficit was calculated.In his letter, Field said: “The concerns were first raised with TPR on 20 March 2018. Might you please tell us why TPR did not then write to USS until 3 April 2019?”He added: “The USS Joint Expert Panel said that TPR appeared to have a disproportionate influence on the valuation and may have steered the employer. How does TPR intend to respond to these findings please?”
I recently went to an Auckland girls high school to do a presentation on our Protect Marriage campaign during the 2013 gay marriage debate, to help the Year 13 social studies students who were focusing on providing opposing viewpoints as part of an internal assignment.This was the 3rd time I had been asked, and is not the only school where I have presented this and other issues (including the anti-smacking debate) to senior students.If you read the latest ‘spin’ from the left-leaning blog The Spinoff “I had a social studies lesson from Bob McCoskrie“, you would be excused for thinking that most of the students needed counselling after my ‘highly offensive’ presentation.But here’s the truth (something missing in large quantities in The Spinoff’s coverage):• I didn’t mention the word “bestiality”• I only referred to ‘incest’ when I talked about the current legal prohibitions in the Marriage Act – and certainly didn’t compare it to someone’s sexuality• “Please don’t attack me” wasn’t about me – it was about other students at the school who may still hold to a belief in traditional marriage, and that it was ok because not too long ago, Barak Obama and John Key thought the same thing (the reason I referenced their earlier views!). I was wanting to emphasis the importance of civil discourse – even when one disagrees strongly with the opposing viewpoint.(As an important aside, we had also been contact by a student, saying:Today, the Diversity Club at our school showed us Mr McCoskrie’s interview about transgender bathrooms as a way of mockery. However, I along with a few others agree with him and see this blatant dismissal of opposing arguments a threat to both free speech and education. I don’t wish to voice my opinion nor let it be known as I prefer to avoid the attention of the regressive left. I’m sure there are more people who agree but are also too afraid to speak up.It’s very disturbing – but not surprising in the current climate – to hear that young students don’t feel they have the freedom to express their views.)• I didn’t say I was a “feminist” – in my introduction I was explaining who Family First was and talked about the porn petition we had just presented to Parliament about sexual violence and consent, and the article I had written for the Sunday Star Times – “A letter to my teen daughters about consent, rape culture and mongrel guys”• a teacher didn’t have to ‘step in’ regarding an interaction with a student about polygamy• with the question on gender, I recall trying to understand the scenario the student was setting up and asking for clarification of her question, but then said that the whole topic was probably another session. I knew the staff member who invited me wanted me to focus specifically on the methods of campaigning on the marriage debate (not the transgender debate), but I did briefly say that I believed that marriage was based on the biological sex of the couple. There was no ‘rant’.After the presentation, I emailed the PowerPoint slides to the school so that they could refer to them and utilise them if required.The way I have been portrayed in The Spinoff blog is totally different to who I am and how I communicate.There were a number of teachers there including a senior teacher who I spoke to afterwards. Were they concerned with the tenor of my talk or any aspect? I am happy to receive constructive criticism – but this article seems to be something else.So I contacted the staff who were present for their opinion – something that The Spinoff didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t do.The response of the staff members?Many of my students this year said you spoke really well and it helped them understand the issue more. I thought all you said was appropriate and no other teacher has said anything negative….. We do really appreciate you coming to speak. It really helps students with their assessment to hear directly from people they will be writing about.and from a senior teacher who attended the whole presentation..I was there for the whole talk and certainly did not hear what this student seems to be saying. I took notes and you are correct – no mention of ‘bestiality’ and I know, from previous talks, that you would not say this due to your sensitivity about them being high-school students.I agree totally with (my colleague), it’s about people’s perspectives and in no way did you say anything that could be deemed unacceptable.We have had you speak for three years now and you have always given well-founded and presented views on this issue which are pitched in a very respectful and thoughtful manner towards the student audience.The article does not take into consideration any of the context or the fact that people can have a variety of opinions on this issue and express them appropriately – which is what you did.The article, dare I say it seems to be loaded with ‘alternative facts’ and misrepresentations of what was actually said.Thank you for your time and the courteous way in which you answer questions and speak about this controversial issue Bob.(our emphasis added)and finally, from a student who attended the presentation and spoke to us:The recent Spinoff article titled, “I had a social studies lesson from Bob McCoskrie” was rather biased and portrayed Mr. McCoskrie through agenda-driven glasses. It detailed one girl’s perception of Bob’s talk and should not be representative of any other group or school.Bob had come to our school to give us a better understanding of his position on gay marriage. He would not force his opinions on us, we would not force our opinions on him; we were there to learn.It is therefore odd to see in the article the constant use of ‘we’ and ‘us’. One person getting offended by the opinions of another should not represent anyone but themselves.Most people who went to his talk were actually respectful, grateful in fact, that Mr. McCoskrie took time out of his day to share his perspectives.“Please don’t attack me” had been said about other students who held similar views to him. He even gave an example of a young girl getting booed for giving a speech against gay marriage.It was pretty clear he wasn’t talking about himself but the bullying of young conservatives and/or traditionalists. Whether or not you agree with what he says, to turn a sincere comment like that into one of bigotry is completely uncalled for.I can guarantee that not many got upset, despite what the article made it seem. I am proud of my school for not only being open to different people but to differing opinions too. Many people at my school are rational and keen on exploring ideas no matter how controversial; only a handful cannot stomach dissenting opinions. Perhaps we need a safe space with bully-proof windows, troll-safe doors, rainbows and puppies, and echos of agreement!You know, it actually took me a while to realise this student and I went to the same school and attended the same talk. It could be my memory but I doubt I’d forget a comparison of homosexuality to bestiality! And, as being gay seemed to be oh-so-important that it was mentioned over four times, I should also say that I myself am bisexual.It seems like The Spinoff should focus on less ‘spin’ and on more verification and balance.Oh – one other thing…It is highly ironic that The Spinoff blog is sponsored by AUT. Yes, the same AUT that changed their toilets to all-gender toilets without considering – let alone communicating with – females who deserved to have their voice heard.But we gave these young women a voice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wDTqrtZBAQPerhaps its time The Spinoff and AUT sorted out their own listening skills first.