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A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

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Do You Buy Crap Online ?

      There is a river of cheap plastic crap. It starts in China and flows to your local landfill. For a price you can divert this some of its flow through your house. Americans still buy most of their crap in stores but we are expected, and encouraged, to buy more of our crap online. This saves retailers the fixed costs of building and maintaining what are disparaged as "brick-and-mortar" outlets. It also saves them the labor costs associated with the people they must hire to staff their stores. Business leaders in my town are excited about Tucson becoming a logistics center. "Logistics," from the French loger, was originally a military term having to do with feeding, supplying and lodging an army. These days logistics means getting crap to consumers. Over 40% of the crap coming in to the US comes through the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Costs for retailers could be lowered if the crap were unloaded in Mexico shipped up to the rest of the country through Arizona. To help us understand logistics our local paper made the graphic below. Don't worry if you can't read the fine print, I'll go through the whole thing.

      There in the upper left is Stan. He's a 21st Century consumer and he's shopping online. Stan wants convenience and low prices. He doesn't care if he helps to cause a tsunami of retail store closings, he wants to cut out the middleman and get his crap cheap. The first image is titled "Consumer Demand." Now this is a bit of an equivocation on the term demand. When economists use it, call it demand1, it means how much money people are willing to spend on crap. It's measured by how much they spent on crap last year. Demand2 is how we use the word in everyday speech, as in, "I demand cheap plastic crap." I've never demanded2 cheap plastic crap. I go out of my way to find quality merchandise made in the U.S.A. and I'm willing to pay a premium for it. It's not that easy to buy American and there are many categories of goods where it's virtually impossible.

      Which brings us to Number 2, "The Manufacturing." I think it should have been titled "The Outsourcing." Look at the picture, the factories are in South America. The workers in the Mao caps making Stan's hiking boots must be Brazilian. I've got an Arbolito brand kitchen knife made in Argentina, but let's be honest, the vast majority of crap is made in China. Globalization shill Thom Friedman used to tell us that we must educate our workforce or China will eat our lunch. Of course education has nothing to do with it. Under free trade manufacturing goes to the countries with the lowest wages and the weakest environmental regulation. Communist Capitalist China may have eaten our lunch, and taken our jobs, but the Chinese people didn't win anything. Remember those suicides at the factory that makes the iCrap ? China has a whole host of problems including labor unrest, problems in their shadow banking sector, an unsustainable building boom, corruption in high places and pollution that makes some of their cities unlivable. Nobody wins in Globalization, well, nobody except a tiny financial elite.

      Next is Number 3, "The Sail." The invention of the shipping container is what made all this lunch eating possible and those container ships shown sailing from Chile are headed for the Sea of Cortez. Guaymas (WHY-mas), Sonora, once famed for its shrimp, has positioned itself to be a major hub in the crap delivery logistics chain. The Port of Guaymas has built, and is improving, a container port. Overpaid dock workers in Southern California are to be bypassed. The crap will be unloaded by low-wage Mexican dockworkers and  shipped up to Tucson by low-wage Mexican rail workers (Number 4 "The Rail") for eventual delivery to low-wage consumers. That's us. Businesses in Tucson hope to profit from warehousing and trucking. There may be a few new jobs from the increased rail traffic and that's a good thing. Well, depending on what kind of jobs they are.

      The next stage in the logistics chain is the "fulfillment industry" and I would be remiss if I didn't share something about this. Fulfillment is the industry term for warehousing the crap and shipping it to the consumer. This is done by what are called 3PLs, or third party logistics providers. After you order your crap online it will be shipped to you from a fulfillment center, these are the infamous Amazon warehouses. Some have touted these as "The New Factories" ☛ Slate but they're not. Factories make things. The fished manufactured good is worth more than the raw materials in it, manufacturing adds value. Delivering the crap doesn't add much value so there's no room for good wages. The guy who delivers the pizza didn't make it from scratch. The work in these fulfillment Hell-holes is often done by temps. It's physically demanding, it pays next to nothing and verbal abuse from supervisors is part of the business model. If you're interested, and have a strong stomach, here are some links. I first became aware of warehouse working conditions in 2012 when I read an article in Mother Jones by Mac McClelland, a reporter who had got a job in one an Amazon warehouse and wrote about it ☛ I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave: My brief backbreaking, rage inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine A 10-minute interview with McClelland can be found here ☛ Democracy Now! The Nation ran an exposé in their Dec.16, 2013 issue ☛ The Workers Who Bring You Black Friday: My life as a temp in California's Inland Empire, the belly of the online shopping beast

      Well that's all I've got this morning. I hope it's not too depressing. I buy crap online sometimes. I wish I didn't have to but it's the only way you can get certain things, a rare book for example, or a replacement thermostat for a coffee pot. How 'bout you, do you buy crap online ?

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Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Can Be Found Below the Orange Group Hug.

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Let's Build Communities!

Our team is here to provide support and guidance to new and existing volunteer leaders of each regional and state group, helping them with recruiting, organizing and executing social and action events.
We invite you to join in this effort to build our community. There are many ways to pitch in.
If there isn't a group to join near you, please start one.

Instructions on HOW TO FORM A NEW DAILY KOS GROUP

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Where the Kogs Are: Index/Directory of the 130+ Localized Daily Kos Groups





THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY

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DC Kossacks banner

DC Kossacks Inaugural Picnic Meet-up: Splendor On The Grass


by NinthElegyfor DC Kossacks

NinthElegy held her inaugural meet-up for the new DC Kossacks on Saturday, April 19th. She packed her tony bamboo picnic hamper with a healthy salad and artisan triple-chocolate cupcakes garnished with Eastern Redbud blossoms from her neighborhood tree. Such lovely details to reward her attendees. The timing was perfect for a picnic among the cherry blossoms on the mall.

Some photos of the newly forming DC Kossacks:

webgeniemimi and sashaEdward Adams
L-R: webgenie, mimi & Sasha and Edward Adams

Please visit NinthElegy diary for many MORE photos! Enjoy! You can join DC Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to NinthElegy.

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Photo (bad) Diary: NYC Meet-up with Chacounne! 3/24/14.
With a special appearance by 714day!


by joanbrookerfor New York City

The NYC Kossacks rolled out the red carpet for the visiting Chacounne and also had the bonus of another last minute visitor, 714day!

Here's one photo:

L-R: Sidnora, Chacounne & 714day

Please visit joanbrooker's diary for many MORE photos plus food pr0n! Enjoy! You can join New York City by sending a Kosmail to sidnora.

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Seattle Kossacks Commiserate


by EagleOfFreedomfor Seattle and Puget Sound Kossacks

EagleOfFreedom has resuscitated the Seattle Kossacks. Many groups have been started there but with the support of this series I think we've got Seattle going again. This is the second meet-up EagleOfFreedom has successfully completed. His diary was really fantastic. Their special guest was Ojibwa. If you read the diary and the comments you can see they are all ready to work together on things like GOTV!

Here's one group photo:

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L-R: mlharges, bleeding blue, Ojibwa, Ms. bleeding blue, ReasonableGunsPlz, John Crapper's Girl, EagleOfFreedom, John Crapper, RickEagle, Momomia, N in Seattle

Please visit EagleOfFreedom's diary for many MORE photos! Enjoy! You can join Seattle and Puget Sound Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to John Crapper, the new leader of Seattle Kossacks.

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Motor City Kossacks Welcomed Dave in Northridge,
3/22, Golden Fleece in Greektown (photos)


by peregrine katefor Motor City Kossacks

The Motor City Kossacks rolled out the red carpet for visiting Dave in Northridge from Los Angeles. peregrine kate details interesting information about Detroit, the upcoming host town of NN14, and describes a delicious dinner in famous Greek Town. Prepping all of us NN14 attendees for our July visit soon!

Here's one group photo:

L-R: peregrine kate, Dave in Northridge, Mr. ICanDoThis, Amber6541. Amber's sister, ICanDoThis, ProvokingMeaning, toneilda

Please visit peregrine kate's diary for many MORE photos plus food pr0n! Enjoy! You can join Motor City Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to peregrine kate.

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Baja Arizona Kossacks Meet-Up Liveblog


by Azazellofor Baja Arizona Kossacks

The Baja Kossacks just had their 4th Annual Picnic at the home of Mr. and Mrs. sneakers563. The group is shepherded by Azazello, an official member of DKos since 2009. From his diary and about his state:

More and better Democrats is always a popular subject for debate here in Baja AZ, especially in an election year. Against the charge that Arizona is an incurably red state I often point out that 5 of our 9 US Reps are Democrats. This is true but it doesn't tell the whole story. While we in Tucson are justifiably proud of Raúl Grijalva (Wikipedia HERE) whose first elected office was board member for Tucson Unified School District #1, most of Tucson and all of Cochise County are now represented by Ron Barber (Wikipedia HERE) who is a very Blue Dog indeed. For an example of this Blue Doggedness see this article at Alternet ☛ 5 Million Dirty Reasons for Record Deportations.

He's on top of it and thanks to him for gathering Kossacks together to become stronger.

 Here's the group photo:

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L-R: Back row: pwoodford, DaNang65, Azazello, itzadryheat, rasbobbo
Front row: ItsAMathJoke, drnatrl, sneakers563, chloris creator, Desert Rose

Please visit Azazello's diary for many MORE photos including food pr0n! Enjoy! You can join Baja Arizona Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to Azazello.

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Los Angeles Kossacks: Shanikka's Red Carpet Lunch 3/15 - With Pictures


by Dave in Northridgefor Los Angeles Kossacks

The LAKossacks welcome shanikka to their fair city. Many people attend. Here are few photos:

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L-R: moore musings and shanikka
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L-R: Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno      and      bruinkid

Please visit Dave in Northridge's diary for many MORE photos plus Food Pr0n! Enjoy! You can join Los Angeles Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to Dave in Northridge.

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Event Organizers! Please contact wink from Netrootsradio.com by KosMail to schedule airtime with them to live broadcast your Event. Wink & Justice will then promote it on The After Show radio program!
Dkos Asheville
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Saturday, May 3rd

DKos Asheville Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville

ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. randallt
2. davehouck
3. Joieau
4. Gordon20024
5. SteelerGrrl
6. SteelerGuy
7. GulfGal 98
8. Otteray Scribe
9. flwrightman
10. people power granny
11. eternallyvigilant
12. gulfgal98
13. cultjake
14. Nic Goodman
Maybees:
Audri
Mr Audri
Latest diary: DKos Asheville - Weekly Open Thread
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KOSCADIA banner
Sunday, May 4th

Koscadia Meet-up

TIME: 1:30 PM
LOCATION: TBD
TBD • Portland

ORGANIZER: Send llbear a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. llbear
2. Sara R
3. winglion
Maybees:
Latest diary: Spring haz sprung & so haz I - can u Koscadia?
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Boston Kossacks logo, 550x100 pixels.
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Saturday, May 10th

Boston Kossacks Attend
Singing for the Planet Concert

Tickets are $25; $20 students/seniors, proceeds benefit www.350MA.org

TIME: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: Emmanuel Church
15 Newbury Street • Boston

ORGANIZER: Send GreyHawk a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. GreyHawk
2. HawkWife
3. WarrenS
4. Knockbally
Maybees:
Latest diary: Next BosKos Meetup - Sat 12 Apr at the Cafe Barada
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Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise with SFKossacks banner treatment
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Tuesday, May 13th

SFKossacks Roll Out the Red Carpet
for LeftOfYou & Expat Okie

TIME: 11:00 AM, Early lunch!
LOCATION: Yank Sing
Rincon Center, 101 Spear St. • San Francisco

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. navajo
2. LeftOfYou
3. Expat Okie
4. side pocket
5. Justice Putnam
6. dharmasyd
7. Lorikeet
8. jpmassar
Maybees:
annieli
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Saturday, May 24th

Seattle & Puget Sound Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 1:00 - 3:00 PM
LOCATION: Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant
1201 First Avenue South • Seattle

ORGANIZER: Send John Crapper a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. John Crapper
2. bleeding blue
3. wise piper
4. flamingogirl
5. John Crapper's SO
6. Grey Fedora
7. TBoneApollo
8. N in Seattle
9. momomia
10. momomia's friend
11. Piren
Maybees:
LeftyCoaster
Eagle Keeper
Latest diary: Seattle and Puget Sound Kossacks - Come Together!
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Saturday, May 24th

LA Kossacks Meet-up with Guest Speaker:
Marianne Williamson, US Congress candidate

TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION:  Casey's Irish Pub
613 S Grand Ave. • Los Angeles

ORGANIZER: Send Dave in Northridge a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Shockwave
2. susans
3. Otoelbc
Maybees:
Chiwere
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]


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Saturday, May 31st

LA Kossacks Meet-up with Guest Speakers:
Matt Miller
, US Congress candidate for CA-33 and Sandra Fluke, California Senate candidate for the CA-05 Senate district. CA-05 Senate and CA-33 US Congress overlap 50%. Both candidates agreed to speak at the same meeting.

TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION:  Casey's Irish Pub
613 S Grand Ave. • Los Angeles

ORGANIZER: Send Dave in Northridge a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Shockwave
2. susans
3. Otoelbc
Maybees:
Chiwere
Latest diary: CA-33; a record breaking and highly visible district
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Cheers and Jeers logo
Wednesday, July 16th

Annual Cheers & Jeers Dinner to Kick-Off NN14, Kossacks Only

TIME: 6:00 PM
LOCATION: TBD
TDB • Detroit

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
3. smileycreek
4. paradise50
5. side pocket
6. Mrs. side pocket
7. norm
8. maggiejean
9. Shockwave
10. a gilas girl
11. susans
12. Sara R
13. belinda ridgewood
14. sidnora
15. Mr. sidnora
16. thankgodforairamerica
17. brillig
18. mik
19. K1
20. loggersbrat
21. Dave in Northridge
22. 714day
23. NormAl1792
24. texasmom
25. texasdad
26. a gilas girl
27. peregrine kate
28. provokingmeaning
29. justiceputnam
30. tmservo433
31. Mark E Andersen
32. Son of Mark E Andersen
Daily Kos Staff:
1. Markos Moulitsas
2. Susan Gardner
3. Will Rockafellow
4. Meteor Blades
5. Joan McCarter
6. Faith Gardner
7. Laura Clawson
8. Chris Bowers
9. navajo
10.
11.
12.

33. winkk
34. theRoaringGirl
35. shermanesq
36. Doggie269
37. shanikka
38. jakedog42
39. ramara
40. skohayes
41. DebtorsPrison
42. gmats
43. Adam Blomeke
44. LuLu
45. Chicklette
46. PerfectStormer
47. 4Freedom
48. DemSign
49. vicki
50. Cedwyn
51. jotter
52. aha aha

Maybees: N in Seattle, Turbonerd

Latest diary: Connect! Unite! Act! ATTN: DC, Tucson & Seattle Meet-up Info! +Q: Roll Call, Are You Attending NN14?



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Friday, July 18th

Daily Kos Detroit VA Hospital Service Project

Sara R delivers 65 quilts, hand knit scarves and hats, books, 65 teddy bears, hand made greeting cards, and phone cards from the DK Quilt Guild, WAYWO, the Readers & Book Lovers, IGTNT and individual Kossacks to the nursing home at the Detroit VA Hospital. This is a wonderful project that many people can be involved with even if they don't attend the convention. If you care about veterans in a nursing home this is your project. Please volunteer to help.

DELIVERY TIME: Noon
LOCATION: Volunteer Office of the Detroit VA Hospital
4646 John R St. • Detroit

ORGANIZER: Send Sara R a Kosmail to participate in making the gifts and/or deliver them.

RSVPs to help deliver gifts:
1. Sara R
2. NormAl1792
3. Winifred
Maybees:
Latest diary: DK Quilt Guild: What Inspires You?



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Plenary Session Tables during the rest of the Convention

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to have a seat reserved for you in the main ballroom of the convention center for the big events. These table will be there so we can all find each other as a group. The seating is not assigned. You can float from table to table. I'm counting to see how many tables I need to reserve.

Cheers & Jeers Table:
1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
3. brillig
4. mik
5. K1
6. loggersbrat
7. N in Seattle
8. vicki
9. Cedwyn
10.
Motor City Kossacks:
1. peregrine kate
2. provokingmeaning
3. 4Freedom
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
SFKossacks Table:
1. navajo
2. Meteor Blades
3. smileycreek
4. paradise50
5. side pocket
6. Mrs. side pocket
7. norm
8. maggiejean
9. Jeff in CA
10. Mrs. Jeff in CA
SFKossacks Table II:
1. a gilas girl
2. justiceputnam
3. Sara R
4. DebtorsPrison
5. tmservo433
6. shanikka
7. Dragon5616
8. jotter
9. aha aha
10.
Los Angeles Table:
1. Shockwave
2. susans
3. Dave in Northridge
4. gmats
5. 714day
6. jakedog42
7.
8.
9.
10.
New York Table:
1. sidnora
2. Mr. sidnora
3. belinda ridgewood
4. thankgodforairamerica
5. Dee Oliver-Velez
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Maybees:
kjoftherock, angry marmot, boran2, Turbonerd, northerntier, northerntier's SO,
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navajo maintains the above event list. Kosmail her if you have any diaries
about your event or if you have changes or additions.
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