June 27th, 2019

Week 26: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

Day 21: Summer vacation with 4-year-olds

More thoughts on animals. I hate worms. I am keenly aware of trying not to pass my phobias and hangups on to my daughters, though, so I encourage them to dig for earthworms in the yard. However, I don’t really want them to bring earthworms near me.

The other day, Eliza was carrying around a bucket of earthworms that she dug up just outside the front door. I asked her several times not to bring the bucket into the house. Nevertheless, as I was distracted with other things, I turned around in the kitchen, and there she was, with her bucket. 

“Eliza, can you bring that outside?”

She ignored me.

“This is the problem with worms,” she informed me. “They always be lost. I just lost two worms right now.”

Now I have to move out. Thanks, kid.

Anyway, back to the grind of voting with my dollar. This week, I unfortunately happened to read a short piece on Jezebel about giant corporations trying to get in on lucrative Pride marketing even as they’re donated huge amounts of money to anti-LGBTQ Republican politicians. Case in point, my wireless carrier: 

In May, AT&T launched a partnership with the Trevor Project called #TurnUpTheLove. AT&T is now powering the organization’s crisis intervention hotlines—TrevorText and TrevorChat—24 hours a day, seven days a week. YouTuber Tyler Oakley is the face of this campaign, as we can see in this weird video above.

In the 2018 election cycle, AT&T gave 61 percent of its total contributions to federal candidates—or roughly $1,800,000—to members of the Republican party: among them, Darin LaHood (R-IL), who opposed a bill banning anti-gay conversion therapy during his time in the Illinois state senate. Verizon donated roughly the same dollar amount to Republican candidates in 2016: $1,681,285.

So here’s the problem. I recently brought Jon over to my wireless account with AT&T and signed a whole new contract. In addition to this technicality, AT&T is one of the only wireless carriers that has excellent service in rural Vermont. And even if I were to switch, aren’t they all just as bad. Verizon certainly is.

It’s so painful to think that my money is being funneled into paying for things like striking down bills banning anti-gay conversion therapy. There are a lot of double negatives in there, but here’s the summary: it’s homophobic as shit. I don’t do homophobic. Yet, I do, because I give AT&T $175 a month. 

I do not have an answer to this yet, and wish I did. I do appreciate that they’re at least making a transparent effort to come across as pro-LGBTQ in their marketing. That’s something, at least. But it’s not enough.

Back to animals. On the way to summer camp on Wednesday we had to stop and help a young mama turkey and her poults (I looked it up) cross Guilford Center Road. Another mom stopped to help me, while two impatient dudes in big macho trucks huffed by in a mood.

We drove a little farther and had to swerve around a possum. Then, a snapping turtle. I came home to this fellow on my dill plant:

It’s not a monarch larvae; it’s an Eastern Black Swallowtail moth, which is a pretty fancy moth that ends up looking like this:

According to the internet and also the dude at the farmers market on Saturday who had a whole bunch of these guys. Phoebe was holding them.

It’s full summer here in Southern Vermont.

What I’m reading

Tribune Editorial: Yes, we do have concentration camps

If you haven’t read this, please, please do.

What I’m listening to

Speaking of moths, The Moth, one of my longtime favorite podcasts.

What I’m watching

The first democratic primary debate last night. It was not that inspiring. I am forming opinions, but little enthusiasm so far. Hope the second showing tonight has some surprises in store. At least we get to watch Bernie!

What I’m eating

The garden has started to produce! Have been eating salads for lunch made of a mish-mash of small heads of lettuce from my garden.

What I’m working on

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