Morning Links

Sunday, April 4th, 2010
  • Vatican official compares criticism of church officials for sex scandal to persecution of the Jews. Hmm. Centuries of pogroms, ghettos, and a holocaust that nearly exterminated European Jewry from the face of the earth vs. shaming church officials for covering up the sexual assault of thousands of minors. Yes. Totally the same!
  • Missing man/apes link found in South Africa.
  • Government officials take aim at unpaid internships. How dare these private companies exploit eager young people who volunteer to work without pay in exchange for valuable professional experience! Also, something tells me the thousands of unpaid interns who work on Capitol Hill and for federal agencies won’t be affected.
  • Newsweek columnist looks at problems with forensic evidence.
  • Just so I have this straight: 18 high school seniors showed up for for prom wearing clothes that school officials deemed too revealing, and as punishment, the principle paddled 17 of them?
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62 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Bob | 

    Interns:

    “Ms. Leppink said many employers failed to pay even though their internships did not comply with the six federal legal criteria that must be satisfied for internships to be unpaid. Among those criteria are that the internship should be similar to the training given in a vocational school or academic institution, that the intern does not displace regular paid workers and that the employer “derives no immediate advantage” from the intern’s activities — in other words, it’s largely a benevolent contribution to the intern. ”

    That seems pretty cut and dried. It’s a mentoring arrangement. The mentor gets a free or low cost assistant and the intern receives valuable training. The second the intern is used to do an unmentored staff job the entire system loses value.

    So, what’s the problem again? If you allow companies to abuse this process, you only damage the intern system.

  2. #2 |  Marc | 

    Where can i get one of these unpaid internships? I’ve been struggling to find one for Electrical Engineering in Rhode Island for months now. It’s shocking that a company isn’t even willing to suffer the cost of having an employee miss a little work time to mentor someone who’s working for free! I really don’t know what I’m supposed to do, I’ve been unable to get any job at all in my field, and my degree is becoming obsolete with age.

  3. #3 |  Bob | 

    High School Prom story:

    Heh, when I was in the 7th grade (In Iron County, Mo. back in 1972) it was a common deal for kids in shop class to make paddles for their favorite teachers. I’m surprised they still do that in some places.

    First, there is no indication that the Principal himself actually administered the ‘paddling’. And there was the alternative punishment, a 3 day suspension. 17 of the 18 took the paddling instead of the suspension.

    Second. This seems like a conservative area with conservative local values. As a “State’s Rights’ advocate, isn’t that what you’re going for?

    Do you want the Federal Government to step in? And hand out child pornography charges (Or some other shit) all around? No?

  4. #4 |  tariqata | 

    I am not convinced that the absurdity of paddling 17 and 18 year-old kids for wearing short skirts is in any way lessened by the fact that they apparently chose it over a 3-day suspension.

  5. #5 |  Bitter | 

    On the prom dress issue, paddling isn’t that uncommon. My high school still gives guys the option of the paddle instead of detention. For those who just want the punishment over with quickly, it’s probably nice to have an option instead of giving up lunches and after-school time.

    Of course, note that I said the guys had the choice. Apparently, Alabama is more forward thinking than Oklahoma because girls were never given the option of paddling.

    On the other hand, if someone showed up to prom dressed inappropriately, the whole town would gossip for a week and they would be turned away at the door. Amazing how those two threats were enough to keep teenagers from getting too crazy – and much less likely to land the school on the evening news.

  6. #6 |  burt hoovis | 

    Radley – Check the date on that story of the paddled seniors…that HAS to be a friggin’ joke, right?

    Thanks,
    Burt

  7. #7 |  Davis | 

    How dare these private companies exploit eager young people who volunteer to work without pay in exchange for valuable professional experience!

    My understanding based on the original article is that there is a rising trend of interns who do not obtain “valuable professional experience,” much to their surprise. To wit:

    At Little Airplane, a Manhattan children’s film company, an N.Y.U. student who hoped to work in animation during her unpaid internship said she was instead assigned to the facilities department and ordered to wipe the door handles each day to minimize the spread of swine flu.

    Companies who offer “unpaid internships” that focus on packing boxes and performing clerical work are the ones at issue, since there’s a strong sense that they’re gaming the internship label to avoid paying wages for low-skilled labor. No one is targeting all unpaid internships.

  8. #8 |  Bob | 

    Bitter:

    You said:

    “Apparently, Alabama is more forward thinking than Oklahoma because girls were never given the option of paddling.”

    The article said:

    “Seventeen of them chose to be paddled, while DeRamus chose a three-day suspension, Holloday said.”

  9. #9 |  UCrawford | 

    On the Vatican story…

    “I am following the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the pope and all the faithful by the whole world,” he said the friend wrote. “The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt, remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.”

    So does it qualify as irony when someone accuses others of being like anti-Semites when he belongs to an organization led by a former member of the Hitler Youth?

  10. #10 |  Terrorific | 

    I had the same unpaid internship problem when I was in high school and wanted to work at a radio station, but had no experience (and was 17). They wouldn’t let me intern for free, and they couldn’t pay me, but I COULD do it if I was receiving school credits in exchange.

    Lesson to everyone: No one at your job will ever both to check whether the “school credit” forms you have them fill out each quarter are real or not, but them not having to deal with payroll for you is a MAJOR selling point to getting you in the door.

    After 8 months of interning after school I was hired, and spent five years at the station.

  11. #11 |  Stephen | 

    I would like to see the principal getting paddled on youtube. He probably just wanted to spank teenage girls. There should be some kind of sexual assault charges filed against him. Public paddling or jail should be his choice. If the girls don’t meet the dress code, don’t let them in. What is so hard about that?

  12. #12 |  Michael not Mann | 

    Sound like the principle could end up being a sex offender in most jurisdictions. He basically assaulted the women over a sexuality issue.

  13. #13 |  Michael not Mann | 

    Stephen,

    I’m in Cincinnati which everyone know is 10 years behind the times and we gave up paddling around 1980 because it is assault. I agree that the 17 girls should file criminal charges against the man.

  14. #14 |  claude | 

    If this has been posted in the last couple days, i missed it, so forgive me if it has, but Barry and Candi Cooper (of Never Get Busted Again fame) had their home raided and their kids taken.

    http://trueslant.com/stephenwebster/2010/03/30/tx-county-teaching-kids-government-is-out-to-harm-them-makes-parents-unsuitable/

    The 19 page CPS report is at the link. I guess teaching your kids the drug was is evil is an act of abuse.

    “they’ve mentally abused their children by telling them that marijuana is good and anti-drug efforts are riddled with lies — the most extreme is that the Coopers are “unsuitable” parents because they create an environment in which the children learn their “government is out to harm them.”

  15. #15 |  claude | 

    Oh yeah… Happy Easter everyone! :-)

  16. #16 |  MacGregory | 

    OT
    Every Easter, I’m reminded that the same religious zealots that banned the use of marijuana are the same morons who believe that at some point in history a man rose from the dead. I’ve never been that stoned.

  17. #17 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    As the article mentions, internships in open industries (engineering, IT, business, science) tend to be paid. Unpaid internships tend to occur in very closed industries (media, politics, etc.) where the gate keepers have the ability to exclude people who aren’t willing to jump through crazy hoops to get in.

  18. #18 |  Cynical in CA | 

    The paddling story happened in Alabama. Who cares? It’s Alabama!!!

  19. #19 |  Peter Ramins | 

    @#15 – Holy shit, Claude, that story is horrendous.

    “If you tell your kids to distrust government officials and policies, government officials will take your kids away, as policy.”

    That makes perfects sense, if it was a sub-plot of a book like Fahrenheit 451 or 1984 or something.

    LOYALTY TO THE STATE, PEACE THROUGH POWER!

    Also, all glory to the hypnobureaucrat.

  20. #20 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #13 | Michael not Mann — “I’m in Cincinnati which everyone know is 10 years behind the times and we gave up paddling around 1980 because it is assault.”

    We went over this the other day. It’s not assault, it’s battery. The threat of paddling is assault.

  21. #21 |  KBCraig | 

    I believe that principal needs a lesson in anatomy. “Six inches below the breast bone” is almost to the navel, and that dress clearly didn’t violate that standard.

  22. #22 |  MacGregory | 

    #21 KB
    It’s Alabama. I think you are confusing a 6 inch “as the crow flies” distance with a 6 inch belly arc.

  23. #23 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    18 high school seniors showed up for for prom wearing clothes that school officials deemed too revealing, and as punishment, the principle paddled 17 of them?

    Paid $10 and saw this movie on Pay-per-view.

  24. #24 |  MacGregory | 

    #23 Boyd, I saw that too; want my $10 back.

  25. #25 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    After reading Bob’s (#3) comment, I’m reminded of how often peopledo some real twisty things in their think boxes. Let’s apply some “comments logic”:

    Radley: Sure is hot today.
    Comments: What?! You want it to be snowing in April??? The crops will all freeze and we’ll starve!!!

    Radley: That man shouldn’t be punching his wife.
    Comments: What?! You want the government to punch his wife???? What kind of libertarian are you!

    Radley: I like dogs better than cats.
    Comments: Right-wing apologist!!!

  26. #26 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    #24 MacGregory, at least there was a happy ending.

  27. #27 |  EH | 

    Companies who offer “unpaid internships” that focus on packing boxes and performing clerical work are the ones at issue, since there’s a strong sense that they’re gaming the internship label to avoid paying wages for low-skilled labor. No one is targeting all unpaid internships.

    Only the illegal ones, which I see all the time. If you go to the “Computer Gigs” section on Craigslist for any reasonably large metropolitan area you will see this in spades. Tons of ads for “internships” whose responsibilities are things like, “update our website,” “maintain our twitter/facebook,” “do sales” and any number of activities that directly and immediately benefit the company (which disqualifies it as an internship). That’s not what internships are for and will lead to students not getting school credit for their time. It can also get the company some tasty Labor Law penalties.

  28. #28 |  MacGregory | 

    OK Boyd, 7.50 then. But what do think this is, Thailand or something?

  29. #29 |  Bob | 

    I can’t find in the article where the Principal meted out the paddling punishment himself. Can one of you point it out? Because, obviously… I can’t read.

  30. #30 |  David in Balt | 

    @ 14

    WOW, just WOW.

    That’ll teach that traitor to turn his back on his former gang. He clearly should have known what happens to snitches and people who don’t do as they are told. So what if he didn’t break any formal laws, these gangstas know how to really get a guy, go for his kids….When this happens to anyone else, by anyone else people shit bricks and call it kidnapping, I have no doubt if you look at the comments in that article people will be applauding these thugs for a job well done, no kidnapping here.

  31. #31 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    So, if I hit (paddle) an adult (>17 or 18 years old, depending on state), under the premise of punishment, how am I not arrested and charge with assault? Anyone?

  32. #32 |  Davis | 

    We went over this the other day. It’s not assault, it’s battery. The threat of paddling is assault.

    Just to get all nit-picky, that depends in part on whether the charges are civil or criminal. The criminal definition of assault in some jurisdictions subsumes the civil definition of battery. See, for example, Model Penal Code § 211.1.

  33. #33 |  Frank | 

    @13 Charges probably wouldn’t fly because it was consensual. In the same manner that rape charges are thrown out due to the victim submitting to a rapist in exchange for wearing a condom.

  34. #34 |  Les | 

    I can’t find in the article where the Principal meted out the paddling punishment himself.

    I think he ordered a subordinate to do the actual paddling, which, of course, doesn’t make it any less weird or pathetically authoritarian.

  35. #35 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    “haulocost”? Somebody’s preoccupied with his pending move.

  36. #36 |  Henry Bowman | 

    Clearly we have a case of an unprincipled principal.

  37. #37 |  Michael not Mann | 

    In 9 years and 365 days minus the others, I’ll get it. :)

  38. #38 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #31 | Mike Leatherwood — “So, if I hit (paddle) an adult (>17 or 18 years old, depending on state), under the premise of punishment, how am I not arrested and charge with assault?”

    You’re not charged with assault because it’s battery. For like the millionth time.

  39. #39 |  Cynical in CA | 

    @Judas

    +1000 for making a funny joke about the holocaust. A rare bird indeed.

  40. #40 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    ookkay, fine.
    *Ahem*
    So, if I hit (paddle) an adult (>17 or 18 years old, depending on state), under the premise of punishment, how am I not arrested and charge witha crime? Anyone?

  41. #41 |  Anon | 

    Corporal punishment is allowed in many southern states, even of teenagers, even of girls. Seems a bit weird to me, but they are behind about 50 years and is perfectly normal to them. Teachers are protected under the law.
    See http://sfrsite.topcities.com/timpson.htm for information about a case a few years ago from a fetish site – NOT SAFE FOR WORK COMPUTERS.

  42. #42 |  ktc2 | 

    Because discplining your slaves/property (i.e. minors) is legally acceptable. Only when it becomes abuse (i.e. when it’s done by a none government worker) does it become a crime.

    You been under a rock the last 20 years?

  43. #43 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    I love the catholic church these days…they are worth more laughs than a good Southpark episode without the intent of being funny…which of course makes it funnier.

    All you good catholics be sure to go pony up your required 10% to the church…I have a feeling the payoffs will continue and the coffers HAVE to be getting low at this point. Keeping a good pedophillic priest on the payroll is an expensive venture you know.

    How appropriate that there is a story in the links about evolutionary evidence concerning our beginnings. Just another nail in the coffin of the joke that is modern religion.

  44. #44 |  Marty | 

    I can’t fathom that 17 dads allowed their daughters to get swatted. Especially in the south- they fight back!

  45. #45 |  David Chesler | 

    The 6 inches was for the knee-hemline distance. The cutoff for decolette was the breastbone. I didn’t know breasts had bones, but that dress didn’t seem cut below the sternum.

    The story seems strange, much easier to turn kids away, or offer them a safety pin.

    At least she wasn’t wearing a tuxedo.

  46. #46 |  John | 

    All of these exploitative unpaid internship situations give me the willies. Between massive downsizings, cuts in pay, and people working for peanuts, I forsee a future in which no one makes enough to have any real disposable income, stagnating the economy further. It’s just sad, very sad all around.

  47. #47 |  thorn | 

    Another post on Catholic scandals… Must be Easter @ the Agitator.

  48. #48 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    Hey, Radley, no fair correcting “haulocost” to “holocaust” in your post without an explanatory note — makes my comment @#35 sound retarded at best.

  49. #49 |  Marc | 

    I am glad to see the unpaid internships get targeted. Most of those go to middle to upper class morons (the sciences are rife with them) that are in favor of the minimum wage. Let’s see how fast congress acts to protect these entry level positions. Because these people do not need the governments “protection”, only the poor do.

  50. #50 |  Collin | 

    “Radley: That man shouldn’t be punching his wife.
    Comments: What?! You want the government to punch his wife???? What kind of libertarian are you!”

    That was comedy gold.

  51. #51 |  Radley Balko | 

    Another post on Catholic scandals… Must be Easter @ the Agitator.

    So a Vatican official chooses the church’s holiest week of the year to make an offensive comment comparing criticism of its coverup of sex abuse to the persecution of Jews, and I’m to blame for the timing of his comment?

  52. #52 |  flukebucket | 

    The dress definitely didn’t look 6″ above the knee and I am confused about the cleavage issue. There was definitely cleavage but I didn’t even know they made prom dresses that showed no cleavage.

    I wonder if they paddled them on site or if they waited until Monday and if you refused them entry into the prom why paddle them at all? Seems like keeping them out of the dance was punishment enough. The mental images I get of 18 year olds getting paddled is troubling enough. Especially if they are wearing tuxedos and prom dresses.

    Three days or three licks! Man it has been a long time since I have heard that. Maybe they could have made them write 500 times, “I will only wear state approved clothing to the prom”

    I used to get sent home from time to time because my hair was below my shirt collar. That was back when churches were being bombed and American cities were on fire. The National Guard patrolled many streets and the sharing of water fountains with the colored people meant that the communists were winning.

    Good times.

  53. #53 |  Kristen | 

    It was Easter this weekend?!?!?!

  54. #54 |  Nobody | 

    So, the organization responsible for the Inquisition is now saying “Jeez, you guys are treating us like we’re Jewish or something”.

    An organizational cover up of sexual abuse by the clergy is pretty much what defines a conspiracy. Maybe the Church should feel under attack, because it has been covering up criminal and disgusting acts. Some heads should roll, but they’re not, which only reinforces how out-of-touch the Church is with reality.

  55. #55 |  Nobody | 

    And saying the attacks on the Catholic Church are “violent” is laughable. Violent? Really? Let me know when we have an auto da fé.

  56. #56 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I used to get sent home from time to time because my hair was below my shirt collar. That was back when churches were being bombed and American cities were on fire. The National Guard patrolled many streets and the sharing of water fountains with the colored people meant that the communists were winning.

    Remember that was all done by “the glorious government”. Of course, no way today’s much BIGGER government is capable of making mistakes like that because they’ve really got it right now…like “new professionalism”.

    “Obedience” is the required major of most every public high school.

    By the way, I had an awesome zombie weekend.

  57. #57 |  Jim Collins | 

    The paddling bit reminded me of my Senior year of high school. We had this long term substitute teacher who was pretty set in his ways. I can’t remember what I did but he decided that I needed paddling. When he pulled the paddle out of his cupboard I told him to put it away. He asked what I meant and I told him that if he tried to use that thing on me I was going to defend myself first and then press charges. Considering I was about 6′-2″ 220 lbs. vs his 5′-9″ 140 lbs. he changed his mind and sent me to the Principal’s office. When I told the Principal what he tried, I was sent to my next class and the teacher was shown the door. Only the Principals could administer corporal punishment in our district, more than one of them had to agree it was necessary and your parent or Guardian had to be present when it was administered.

  58. #58 |  Brian Moore | 

    See, what historical persecution was that Vatican official going to compare it to? At least with the persecution of Jews, some of the time that Catholic Church wasn’t involved in it.

    He could have compared it to the Inquisition… hmmm, maybe that’s also a bad term for him to use. How about a witch hunt? Oh, right…

    Are you allowed to compare modern events to historical crimes that your own organization committed?

  59. #59 |  sux2bme | 

    Hmm, I bet the paddling principal’s favorite movie scene is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvRH-8eF6l0

    beginning at minute 8:00. Brave, brave Sir Holloday …

  60. #60 |  Kevin | 

    The comment section of the Missing Link article is one of the most entertaining I have seen, almost as good as the comments on this blog (but obviously for different reasons). My favorite so far:

    —-
    The missing link has been discovered? Again?
    Constantly such discoveries are revealed to be false (e.g. the mish-mash of bones from humans and apes), and still people accept these findings as fact.
    It goes to show that people believe only what they want to believe, even if all evidence so far has proven to be false.
    —–

  61. #61 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    # #47 | thorn | April 5th, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Another post on Catholic scandals… Must be Easter @ the Agitator.

    LMAO…and today is Monday….and yet another catholic priest who can’t seem to keep his penis out of pre-pubescent boy’s mouths and anuses…must be a normal day in the catholic church.

    Stop trying to shoot the messenger Thorn…try shooting your priests and your church leadership. Still laughing…yep…Radley’s to blame….damn you Radley! Freaking sheep. Don’t forget to pony up your 10% there Thorn.

    Don’t worry Thorn…it’s more than Radley. In fact, he is the least vocal. Take myself for instance. I hold ALL organized religion with disdain and I hold the catholic religion at the very peak (depth?) of disdain and utter contempt based on the FACT that it is THE MOST ludicrous and hypocritical of the christian sects out there. I am completely convinced that catholics who still continue to support the church are morons and should have their freedom to reproduce revoked on a permanent basis for being just too damn stupid to breed. Honestly. You folks that still support the church are idiots and you cannot convince me otherwise. Let the negative karma begin but…just being honest.

  62. #62 |  JOR | 

    “How about a witch hunt?”

    In my understanding, the witch hunts were mostly a protestant thing.

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