Book-Banning, Oshkosh Style

This from the OshNW:

At least one local school has temporarily pulled the books from its library shelves that the film “The Golden Compass” is based on, over concerns about what critics call its anti-Christian message.

“The Golden Compass,” which opens in theaters Friday, is based on the first book of the trilogy, “His Dark Materials,” by British author Philip Pullman. It follows a headstrong girl named Lyra on a quest to help a world that is somewhat like the real world.
Mary Miller, media specialist at St. John Neumann Middle School and Lourdes High School, said she has temporarily taken the series off the shelf at the shared school library because she wants to have a chance to read them and decide for herself if they are appropriate for students.

“I just heard all the news and I decided to pull them,” Miller said. “After (I read them), I’m not sure what I’ll do with them.”
I guess I'm curious about the quote "I decided... and what I'll do..." Is there truly no policy? Is it one person's opinion?

Another question:

Why, if this book is such a threat, has it been on the self until there was a movie made?

Hype is more dangerous than knowledge...

Multiple Voting Scandal?

Here's a good one. I wonder if we will see the same thing on Wisconsin Eye?

Hat tip to the Chief.


A reason to stay alive for awhile...

Mythbusters announced that they will have an all MacGyver episode coming up!

WSJ: Sub-Prime Loans Pushed on Buyers Qualifying for Regular Loans

How much could consumer protection regulation have averted this?

One common assumption about the subprime mortgage crisis is that it revolves around borrowers with sketchy credit who couldn't have bought a home without paying punitively high interest rates. But it turns out that plenty of people with seemingly good credit are also caught in the subprime trap.

An analysis for The Wall Street Journal of more than $2.5 trillion in subprime loans made since 2000 shows that as the number of subprime loans mushroomed, an increasing proportion of them went to people with credit scores high enough to often qualify for conventional loans with far better terms.

In 2005, the peak year of the subprime boom, the study says that borrowers with such credit scores got more than half -- 55% -- of all subprime mortgages that were ultimately packaged into securities for sale to investors, as most subprime loans are. The study by First American LoanPerformance, a San Francisco research firm, says the proportion rose even higher by the end of 2006, to 61%. The figure was just 41% in 2000, according to the study. Even a significant number of borrowers with top-notch credit signed up for expensive subprime loans, the firm's analysis found.

The analysis also raises pointed questions about the practices of major mortgage lenders. Many borrowers whose credit scores might have qualified them for more conventional loans say they were pushed into risky subprime loans. They say lenders or brokers aggressively marketed the loans, offering easier and faster approvals -- and playing down or hiding the onerous price paid over the long haul in higher interest rates or stricter repayment terms.

The subprime sales pitch sometimes was fueled with faxes and emails from lenders to brokers touting easier qualification for borrowers and attractive payouts for mortgage brokers who brought in business. One of the biggest weapons: a compensation structure that rewarded brokers for persuading borrowers to take a loan with an interest rate higher than the borrower might have qualified for.

What is the GOP Agenda?

Rolling back consumer, worker and environmental protection. Let them run on this:

WASHINGTON - Business lobbyists, nervously anticipating Democratic gains in next year's elections, are racing to secure final approval for a wide range of health, safety, labor and economic rules, in the belief that they can get better deals from the Bush administration than from its successor.

Hoping to lock in policies backed by a pro-business administration, poultry farmers are seeking an exemption for the smelly fumes produced by tons of chicken manure. Businesses are lobbying the Bush administration to roll back rules that let employees take time off for family needs and medical problems. And electric power companies are pushing the government to relax pollution-control requirements.

There's a growing sense, a growing probability, that the next administration could be Democratic, said Craig L. Fuller, executive vice president of Apco Worldwide, a lobbying and public relations firm, who was a White House official in the Reagan administration. Corporate executives, trade associations and lobbying firms have begun to recalibrate their strategies
At the Transportation Department, trucking companies are trying to get final approval for a rule increasing the maximum number of hours commercial truck drivers can work. And automakers are trying to persuade officials to set new standards for the strength of car roofs - standards far less stringent than what consumer advocates say is needed to protect riders in a rollover.
At the Interior Department, coal companies are lobbying for a regulation that would allow them to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys. It would be prohibitively expensive to haul away the material, they say, and there are no waste sites in the area. Luke Popovich, a vice president of the National Mining Association, said that a Democratic president was more likely to side with "the greens."

Krugman on the Sub-Prime Crisis

“What we are witnessing,” says Bill Gross of the bond manager Pimco, “is essentially the breakdown of our modern-day banking system, a complex of leveraged lending so hard to understand that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke required a face-to-face refresher course from hedge fund managers in mid-August.”

All here.