Personally, I hope that large a-hole companies persist and continue, as long as their abuses are constantly made public and discussed on forums such as this. It reminds people that just because a company is massive, well establish, has a good credit rating, has a reputation to defend, is financially sound, has a satisfactory rating with the BBB and similar rating agencies, needs to attract new customers, has professional and polished marketing, files taxes on time, relies on repeat or continuing business, is not under investigation, pays good dividends, is popular with investors, and sponsor charity events - does not mean that you can trust them to do the right thing.
Then the new councilman begs the cable company to come back after the people are rioting in the streets when they hear the cable company is walking away. All the reason more why national government should be negotiating with nation wide corporations. Fair agreements come from the negotiation between parties of equal power and leverage. This doesn't necessarily mean we need Federal action; influence could be exerted via the National Governors Association or the United States Conference of Mayors.
There is a difference between lack of service and straight up abuse. Like cable companies who don't have enough staff to answer my 30 second request for cancellation, but can pay an army of a-holes to keep my on the phone for an hour arguing about whether I should cancel or not. An understaffed company that can't afford human customer service would just put a cancellation request on their website. Instead, when you sign the contract you agree that you can ONLY cancel by calling their cancellation number. But it's not limited to tech companies - ever tried to cancel a gym membership renewal?
No TRUE Scotsman would fall for such a thing.
We don't need to analyze anything when we know that no TRUE Scotswoman would be oppressed.
The problem is that general discussion forums that emerged in the early days of the internet gave people a way to express non-conforming opinions that they never had before. Letters to the editor were only published if newspaper editors felt they were appropriate for their target audience. Speech on public streets can be and is regulated, so offensive speech can be censored for the "sake of the children". Many of those who came out of the closet built up the courage to do so only after finding so many others like themselves anonymously proclaiming themselves online.
Fast forward to today, and every news site has a comments section for every news story. But the fear of liability for tolerating bigotry or allowing cyber bullying has most of these mainstream news outlets deleting comments and even banning users for rather mild offensive speech or politically incorrect positions. Many other websites that allow comments selectively delete content that doesn't fall in line with their own ideology. This story just shows how the trend of private censorship, speech control, expression management - or whatever else you want to call it - is growing, and there are now fewer places where the general internet faring public can go to vent their opinion to a larger audience. When the wackos, weirdos, and non-conformists cannot find a public and open space to vent their delusional opinions and ideas, they are driven underground. This has two very negative effects: 1. They surround themselves with others that share their own crazy world view, reinforcing their perception that their view is rational, sane, and acceptable; and 2. they are cut off from mainstream society and with it the possibility that they could be exposed to logical challenges that might lead them to question their own delusions which could hopefully break the chain of insanity.
So in singular cases I have no problem when one website decides to impose stricter rules for comments from their contributors. But in aggregate it is harmful when such strict controls are so widely adopted that no one can hear what the lunatics have to say.
It's kind of like Walmart. Nobody shops there anymore because it's too crowded.
In a perfect world, logic and civility.
Your comments frighten me. That makes you a terrorist.
In most of the places where these wars take place, the adults experienced war first hand as children. That experience did not lead them to reject war, but rather to embrace warfare as a viable option. Hitler served on the front in WWI and experienced the full horror of it, chemical weapons and all. But like many German veterans, he felt that the German army was not defeated in battle, but was betrayed by peace-seeking politicians at Versailes.
Generations of citizens of Vietnam , Afghanistan, and Israel and its neighbors have witnessed warfare first hand. The horror of war itself was not enough to end the cycle.
Most American families were affected by the deaths of American service men and women in WWII and Korea, yet chose to get involved with the conflict in Vietnam. Direct exposure to the reality of war can desensitize people to devastation it can cause, possibly even worse for young people. I think the dad in this story would have been better off discussing the consequences of war rather than visiting a war zone.
Mod parent up! Come on!
Finally, a rational thought expressed on Slashdot.
Sounds like a great idea, but that would take time away from the mandatory four years of intense English Literature where we make kids read dozens of 200 page books about fictional events that never happened, while we claim to be preparing them for the "real" world.
Soon after returning from Syria, one of the boys didn't want to go to school because he had a sniffle and a mild fever. So next month the family is packing up again for another trip - this time to West Africa to visit with families affected by the Ebola outbreak. While they're there, with any luck, they will be able to stumble upon a village completely wiped out by the virus. While some have labeled the plan ill timed and the motivations just plain sick, the father hopes that the children will come to appreciate their health if they can interview a dying infectee with blood spewing from every orifice.
Meanwhile, the boys have withdrawn their requests to go see the new Hunger Games movie, and no longer complain about being hot, cold, bored, or anything else.
Nowadays even the charities have gone too far with some of the obnoxious lengths they go to in order to extract one more dollar from their donors. Shortly before my mother died she began sending large monetary gifts to a few of her favorite charities. She ended up getting non-stop calls all throughout the day and night from dozens of charities pleading for her to contribute. Some of them were sneaky, with recurring auto debit agreements buried in fine print. On the phone they were very pushy, fast talking, always closing, and quite presumptuous. Many calls went like this: "Hi, I'm [name] calling on behalf of [name]. We're calling to confirm your donation today to our fundraising campaign. Please confirm your credit card number for a monthly contribution of $120...". We heard this from organizations that she had never contributed to. Most of the call centers were privately contracted, for-profit fundraising companies, probably staff by ex Comcast and AOL CRS's. She was on the National Do Not Call list, but there was no DO NOT CALL list to keep the pestering charities away. The whole experience really turned me off. Since I have special needs kids who don't get any support from any charities or government agencies, my donations go directly into their Special Needs Trust. But if I were to support a charity, I would only do it absolutely anonymously.