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Full Version: Sleeping with the enemy...for those who have Verizon or AT&T cell phones
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peacereverie
I just recently purchased a brand new camera phone from Verizon since my husband was already on the plan. I feel terrible for supporting a company who wants to consolidate the internet and support Bush. I thought this could be a space to discuss what we can do about this.

I really love my new phone. But I can't abandon my values. We are probably going to threaten Verizon with withdrawing our service and seeking business elsewhere. But...
voodoo_princess
peacereverie - I have a verizon account, three actually, but had no idea of their political standings. I always hear my father or brother discussing different businesses political standings, but how exactly does one come across this information? I mean, I would like to be more informed about the companies and products I use so that I can decide if it is really something I want to support with my money.
As for the deal with Verizon and threatening to withdraw your business, I wish you luck. They are a horrible company and I have gone round and round with them and it all comes down to this.... if you want out, you pay $175.00 per phone for them to let you out of the contract. They WILL get your money ANY way they can! Especially if you have a contract..... I got rooked into a contract until 2008! becuase of a bunch of their stupid ass policies. I hate them regardless of what their political standing is, but the political thing is even more reason to hope their headquarters burn and their satellites fall from the heavens!
venetia
There's just so many things like that! Dow, for example.
mermaidgirl13
Is there a thread about companies and the political things they support?

That might be a good thing to start up somewhere. Or, this could be it.

Verizon gives money to literacy initiatives though. I have Verizon too. I didn't know about the things you mention below.
divalla
There's a book out now called The Blue Pages. It lists off all kinds of major companies (at least 500) and tells you how much they gave in political donations in 2005 and who they were to. And when available, they also do a write-up of their policies about things like domestic partner benefits, business practices, lawsuits they were involved in, and other stuff. It's definitely worth a buy. Because of that book I know never to eat at Outback Steakhouse or give another dime to Michael's.

I think Cingular is supposed to be a really good cell phone company, as they go anyway. They're supportive of unions.
llamas
*high-fives divalla*
I'm glad someone else knows about the evil that is Michaels!
amazonprincess
not to derail the thread but
uh, oh, what is the evil that is Michaels?
voodoo_princess
Michaels? Like the huge craft-y store? Is there any other? Never liked that store anyway. I would like to find a list of "good" businesses. Bet that list is shorter than the "bad" businesses list, hee hee hee!
peacereverie
Yeah, Divalla. As soon as my contract runs out with Verizon, I'm going to try to get my husband to go into Cingular with me. My phone will be out of date by then anyway (lol)!

But it's nice to know that there are other people out there who have Verizon who feel the same way we do.

So I'm wondering. What did Micheal's do that was bad? I really love that store, but I guess they will be off my list along with Target.
pollystyrene
They're owned by right-wing fundamentalists. I'm not sure of the particulars, but that's enough for me!

lucizoe
(peavereverie, is there a reason other than the pharmacist thing that you're down on target? 'cause that pharmacist was fired, I think. Just curious).
peacereverie
No, just the pharmacist thing. It's all over the place in the feminist community. Recently, there was an article in Bust urging people not to shop at Target. I really hope they got their act together, because I really want to shop there.
ginger_kitty
Man, now I am even more mad that I am w/ verizon. I got stuck in a 2 yr agreement which finally is up next month, and I was hating the crappy discount you get for resigning, but this is worse. I don't want to be aligned w/ a company that supports Bush.

What is the deal w/ Micaels, though I don't like them anyway. Beware of Hobby Lobby stores as well they have a wicked christian agenda and treat thier employees like crap.
mermaidgirl13
I thought there was that article in Bust was acknowledging that Target was evil, but the writer was basically saying they don't care and shop there anyway.

I'm so glad to have this thread. I don't want to give my money to evil empires so it's great to hear all this info. It's scary though, because, like, where can you shop? The area I live in is all chains/big names and practically NO mom&pop stores or independent stores. I hate that about the area I'm in.

What drives me nuts is that there are no independent food stores anymore, unless then are ethnic food stores. I shop at Whole Foods and I hear they are pretty good and treat their employees really well, but it's still a big chain and I'd rather support the little guys... if there were any.
voodoo_princess
Hhhhmmmm...... I missed something here..... what is the TARGET story? And HOBBY LOBBY? wicked Christian agenda? wicked like the crusades, or another kind of wicked? I sometimes go to both these places but I might reconsider if someone can fill in the blanks for me......
*mermaid* - I know what you mean about the "mom and pop" stores..... I HATE big chain stores and how impersonal they are. I cringe everytime I HAVE to go into a Wal Mart or K Mart because it's just too big, too spread out, too hard to find what I want and lacks the cozy comfortable element of the "mom and pop" stores. Plus I have found that the smaller store sometimes carry some really really neato, original kind of things that you just can't get at the big chains. Ohhhhh I cherish me some neato originality! You know? Usually, around here, the only real "mom and pop" type stores are either the ethnic markets (which I LOVE) or if you go way way out in the county you can find a few small stores, but not really anything like a mercantile or anything. There are a few, but not many and very far in between! So you know what I really enjoy in the place of the "mom and pop" store? I love me a COUNTRY fleamarket! Fresh pies, cakes, preserves, vegetable and fruit (grown locally), homemade salsa, chowchow, pickles..... the list goes on and on. I like to stop at the little roadside stands too and get vege's in the summer cause they are usually better and cheaper than what you get in the stores and the money goes to the farmer, not the corporation. Aw well, I suppose BIG business is here to stay, but I try not to support them any more than I have too.
mermaidgirl13
Voodoo,

That's a great reminder! I am going to try to do a lot of my shopping for the summer at farmer's markets, etc. And, even though I'm surrounded by CVS, Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe's, WalGreen's, Stop & Shop -- there are a decent amount of farms in the area too. I'm going to remind myself to check them out because now you put pies in my head and it's all I can think about! :-)
voodoo_princess
http://www.picktnproducts.org/producer/store.html

I was soooo excited to find this web site! This is the perfect mini directory to some really neato things that will support locally and not necessarily support big business....... I linked directly to my FAVE section of the site, but look at all of it and maybe everyone can find out if their own state or area has something like this.
divalla
The deal with Michael's is that the guy who owns it (or the CEO, I'm not sure of the exact title) is one of Bush's top 10 contributors and had a personal hand in the whole Swift Boat Veterans For Truth bullshit in 2004. And Outback Steak House gave over $500,000 to Bush. I know Target is evil, but not as evil as Wal-Mart (though at least you can say they put their evilness right out there - it's glaringly obvious to me any time I had to walk in. Both my dad and I used to work there, me in electronics, him in the pharmacy - he's now part of the class-action lawsuit for unpaid overtime). But at the SuperTargets, I never buy produce or meat or bakery items because they don't hire union employees.

I hear Jo-Ann Fabrics isn't such a bad place, at least not bad on the same scale as Michael's, but I have to do some more research - I spend a LOT of money at these stores. On the whole, I don't mind chain stores, but I try to go to the smaller ones that are more local whenever possible. I've found that shopping in downtowns helps because there simply isn't room for the big box stores.

Does anyone know what pharmacies are good ones to go to that don't support a pharmacist's right to deny birth control? The onese in Supervalu stores are pretty bad in that respect, which is sad because those would probably be the most convenient for me.
culturehandy
There is this here which shows the political donations of companies. Thought is may be of interest.
sixelacat
Just thought I'd put my 2 cents in about Verizon. Although they are a big megacorp, they are a very queer-friendly place to work, and have kick-ass benefits for ALL families, alternative or otherwise (health benefits, cover adoption costs, help with childcare). They also pay tuition/books for college (score!). Verizon allows unions, but they pay well above union-scale wages so they're not really necessary. Also, they take all the old cell phones, fix 'em up, and give them to battered women's shelters.
I don't really care who the CEO votes for/donates money too, as long as he doesn't care who I'm campaigning for!
llamas
Bad me for abandoning the Michaels discussion over the weekend...

Anyway, in addition to the swift boat thing, as divalla said, the owners/CEOs of Michaels (two brothers) also were behind much of the really nasty negative campaigning in the 2000 primaries against John McCain; Republicans for Clean Air--yeah, that was them. Pretty much only them.

And then there are my personal experiences with the family...I went to college with one of the owners' sons, and said owner was also a trustee of the college. Let's just say that I had some problems with the son when he lived two doors down from me in the dorms, and disciplinary action that should have occured against him did not, probably because of daddy. So I have my own reasons to never support them, too.
lilacwine13
Here's a list of pharmacies that Planned Parenthood are okay with, who have policies that are birth-control friendly. I don't know anything about SuperValu and their pharmacy, but they got a thumbs-up.

Unfortunately, they didn't say how widely enforced these policies are.
peacereverie
For Michigan folks, I go to the Meijer Pharmacy and I have never been denied birth control or even had a threat to be denied. I go there all the time.
llamas
Meijer is in Ohio too, and as far as I know (but don't quote me on it until I do more research!) all their employees are unionized.
divalla
Really, SuperValu is okay? My dad's a pharmacist there and when I asked him about the issue, he thought that pharmacists had the right to deny it per their policy. I guess I'll have to tell him otherwise, not that he'd ever try to pull that on anyone (even though he's actually pro-life, but very liberal in every other way, has to do with being Catholic). I just wish Walgreen's were better since they run rampant in my area.
maddy29
meijer's thrifty acres! meijer's ruless!!!!! i miss it so much-you can get everything there- a haircut, food, booze, clothes, presents, videos, everything!!!! sorry, just had to add that:-)
peacereverie
Yeah, Llamas, all Meijer employees are unionized.When you become an employee, joining the union is a requirement.
mermaidgirl13
Don't know if this is the best place to post this, but what do you think about Wal-Mart starting to sell Organic food?
voodoo_princess
mermaid - I think it's a double edged sword. On one hand, I personally, have no where close to buy organic foods. I do have a WalMart nearby tho. I would love to have a large variety of organics available to me locally BUT do I really want to support all the evils of WalMart with my hard earned money? Not really. I would rather support local farmers directly. Small chains. Anybody BUT WalMart. Unfortunately, there are no (or very few) organic farmers locally. No real organic grocery's locally (not close by anyway). I may be able to find an organic vege here or there, but not enough that I could go all organic and have any type of variety. The only option I have right now is a very very EXPENSIVE specialty organic grocery quite a ways from where I live. Just buying a FEW things there would BLOW my grocery budget for the week. I have 4 people to feed and we do it on about $60.00 to $90.00 per WEEK. There is no way we could afford the organics with our budget. WalMart is offering a larger selection at an affordable price (from what I have read on the subject) so, as much as I hate to shop there, sometimes there really is not much of an alternative. I can find fresh fruits and veges all day long at local farms, not organics though. I may have to stick with just the local stuff even though it's not organic and every so often I may pick up a thing or 2 at the WalMart. Until more people (like me) start DOING something to creat alternatives for people (like me) I suppose that we can all just do what we can and if it means sometimes buying your organics at WalMart, then I guess that's what it will be. It's just hard going up against "BIG MONEY" and try to make a difference, you know? Especially when MONEY is what makes things happen, and when you don't have it, well......
mermaidgirl13
Thanks for your thoughts, Voodoo. I'm in the same position. I have a few places nearby, but they are very expensive. I never shop at Wal-mart but I know I'm going to be tempted to check out their organic prices if they followthrough on this.

Getting back to Verizon, it was one of the three companies who gave the NSA phone records without asking any questions. Only phone company Quest asked for a warrant, and when one wasn't given (because they didn't have one), Quest said they wouldn't turn over their customers' records.

I've never even heard of Quest - are they a wireless provider?
voodoo_princess
Anymore info on the WalMart organics... has this started in anyone's area?
nohope
The problem with WalMaart organics is that walMaart has a history of forcing down prices, and that will mean that only those who can compeat on cost will be able to make a living growing organics. Which mean that organic farms will inevitably become large and corprate simply to take advantage of economies of scale. And then they will begin to loby to undermine principles of organic farming which hurt the bottom line.

the bottom line being.... that "FDA Organic," will no longer be "Organic."
voodoo_princess
unfortunately yes.... this is the way things go. I for one, can not afford organics as is now because it is simply too expensive. I hate to say it but the only way I could afford it would be for prices to be driven down.....
when someone figures out how to keep the WalMarts of the world from taking over AND figures out how to offer products that are more affordable..... more power to 'em and I'll be all for it.....
*nohope* you have so much interesting and useful information..... maybe you will be the one who fixes all these woes..... I do enjoy your posts, definitely gives food for though :-)
nohope
Yeah it is more expensive. But I find it's worth it. I spend between $60-80 a week for two people and a very small dog. We eat almost 100% organic, vegetarian, and we are steadily moving in the direction of veganism and we try to buy local when it is available.

Probably the most important thing for keeping cost down for me is buying in bulk, preparing food from scratch and buying seasonal food.

Of course this is all possible because of were I live. Five years ago all of this would have been impossible. But I have made some important changes, moved into a community in which everything is in waking/biking distance. Where I there is a great Farmers Market (primarily organic farmers) and a large Food Coop (were I work two hours a week and get a 17% discount.) I also walk to work. That saves money on gas and car repair (I do have a car). And I know lots of people have kids. That is another huge savings for me and my partner (no kids. We don’t believe in reproduction.)

These are/were conscious quality of life decisions. I think one huge element in life, is that people don't plan. They don't ask what do I want? And so they have no strategy to get what they want. I think most people just go on autopilot; they copy their parents and peers or live by traditions. They do that with out ever asking whether the direction that leads, is rational. I made a commitment to myself almost ten years ago, that I was going to live a rational life. That continues to be an interesting personal experiment, because it requires me to question the very foundations of my previous assumptions. It’s this obsession, which has caused me to become interested in Anarchism, and feminism, and vegetarianism…. Etc. Because ultimately for me to live a rational life I must understand who I am…. What drives me… what is my relationship to the world…. I have to understand cause and effect…. Not just assume that what the world tells me about myself is anything more than a reflection of its values. Its really hard if not fundamentally impossible to I guess to separate reality from social construction… but unless one does that one can’t really live rationally.

I don't live a perfect life yet.... but compared to five years ago, when I was car dependent, had little access to healthy food, and had huge debts (that is another thing I’ve eliminated).... my life is much, much closer to were I want it.
raskel
Mr. Raskel and I spend about the same for food and eat all organic foods. I agree with nohope on the organic farming issue. But I do have to say that being we are both full time college students right now, there are times that I don't buy local, or I will go to walmart for food (and other things) and at this point in time I am thankful for it being available at lower costs. I hope that one day I won't have to depend on large corporations altogether. I like the idea of small businesses, local farmers, etc. It is our goal to one day rule these things out completely from our lives. We are getting better as time goes on. We are also moving in August to a place where we will not need a vehicle. We will still keep one of our cars for trips home (5 hours away) and food shopping, but apart from that it will be kept in a garage. Giving up driving is my sacrifice for my grocery bill.
maddy29
Does anyone know anything bad about cingular? I have to switch from Sprint, even though I like them, cause they screwed me last year an di hvae to leave to make a point:-) Any ideas about a great new company? Do they have good coverage?
tyger
just a question (i think i'm going to cross-post in general knowledge base). anyone know where i can find a list of radio stations/venues/anything else owned by clearchannel?
gardnerella
Wikipedia

Here is a list of radio/tv stations owned by Clear Channel Communications

edit: I edited that like 5 times
battygurl
I am so thankful that there are no Walmarts near me. There are some in the suburbs, but I don't have a car, so it would take forever to get there. Sometimes I hate having to go to a million different places instead of just one or two to do my errands, but ultimately I'm glad it's set up that way. I'm also thankful that I'm near a farmer's market.
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