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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.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Kossacks.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

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Were you ever a Hippie ?

      I know a lot of Daily Kos people were, especially in the corners of the site where I spend a lot of time. You see the initials DFH all the time. Even if you weren't a Hippie, even if you didn't move to San Francisco in the summer of '67, I'm sure you're familiar with some aspects of the Hippie culture. It was a general dissatisfaction with the sameness and conformity of mainstream American culture, it was pacifism and an opposition to all wars and it had a spiritual side, a search for some other way of knowing that led to Eastern philosophy. That culture didn't just erupt spontaneously in Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Many people place the origins of Hippie culture in nearby North Beach in the '50s, where so-called called "Beat" poets and writers hung out. It's true that before Kesey there was Kerouac and the literary lineage is easy to trace, not to mention the personalities. But the Beats had their influences too and I believe the Hippie culture can ultimately be traced back to the writing of one man, Henry Miller, the World's First Hippie.

Henry in Paris, 1932
     Henry Valentine Miller was born in Manhattan in 1891 to a German immigrant family. He grew up in Brooklyn where his father was a tailor. Henry was a reader and a seeker from early on. He helped out in his father's tailor shop but didn't want to make that his life. He wanted to be a Writer. In the early 1920s he worked for Western Union, referred to as The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company in Tropic of Capricorn, as a manager, in charge of the messengers who delivered telegrams. He was a successful, if unhappy, manager with a wife, a rented house in Brooklyn and a finished first novel that he couldn't sell. In 1923 he met the woman who would transform his life and make his career, a dance-hall hostess named June Smith, or Smerth, or Mansfield. He carried on a turbulent affair with her which furnished the raw material for much of his work. In 1928 they visited Paris together and in 1930 Henry moved there to write. His breakthrough novel, Tropic of Cancer, was published in France in 1934. It was banned in the U.S. as pornography but copies were smuggled in and passed around. He was widely read among the literati and the very act of banning the novel ensured it of an audience, if only a small, determined one. Miller left France in '39, right before the War broke out, and after a stay in Greece returned to America to write what would become the Ur-text of the counter-culture, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare.

      The project had been conceived as early as 1935. Air-Conditioned Nightmare was to be "a loaded gun at the head of America." In 1940 Doubleday agreed to publish it and gave Henry an advance of $500, part of which he used to purchase a 1932 Buick. He drove the car down south to Mobile, went back to New York to see his ailing father, then started his trip by train with stops in Cleveland, Youngstown, Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh. He did not like the great industrial cities.

    It was in a hotel in Pittsburgh that I finished the book on Ramakrishna by Romain Rolland. Pittsburgh and Ramakrishna – could any more violent contrast be possible ? The one the symbol of brutal power and wealth, the other the very incarnation of love and wisdom.
    We begin here then, in the very quick of the nightmare, in the crucible where all values are reduced to slag.
    I am in a small, supposedly comfortable room of a modern hotel equipped with all the latest conveniences. The bed is clean and soft, the shower functions perfectly, the toilet seat has been sterilized since the last occupancy, if I am to believe what is printed on the paper band which garlands it; soap, towels, lights, stationery, everything is provided in abundance.
    I am depressed, depressed beyond words. If I were to occupy this room for any length of time I would go mad – or commit  suicide. The spirit of the place, the spirit of the men who made it the hideous city that it is, seeps through the walls. There is murder in the air. It suffocates me.
     The above quote is from the chapter entitled Good News! God Is Love!. Note that he's been reading about Ramakrishna. Henry had an interest in spirituality. Early on it was Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy but he read widely and later settled on Taoism after reading Tao Te Ching and Zhuagzi. Typical Hippie. He was passionate about Astrology too, Age of Aquarius anyone ?  Here's another quote from Air-Conditioned Nightmare, same chapter as above:
    The saddest sight of all is the automobiles parked outside the mills and factories. The automobile stands out in my mind as the very symbol of falsity and illusion. There they are, thousands upon thousands of them, in such profusion that it would seem as if no man were too poor to own one. In Europe, Asia, Africa the toiling masses of humanity look with watery eyes towards this Paradise where the worker rides to work in his own car. What a magnificent world of opportunity it must be, they think to themselves. (At least we like to think that they think that way!) They never ask what one must do to have this great boon. They don’t realize that when the American worker steps out of his shining tin chariot he delivers himself body and soul to the most stultifying labor a man can perform. They have no idea that it is possible, even when one works under the best possible conditions , to forfeit all rights as a human being. They don’t know that the best possible conditions (in American lingo) mean the biggest profits for the boss, the utmost servitude for the worker, the greatest confusion and disillusionment for the public in general. They see a beautiful, shining car which purrs like a cat; they see endless concrete roads so smooth and flawless that the driver has difficulty staying awake; they see cinemas which look like palaces; they see department stores with mannikins dressed like princesses. They see the glitter and paint, the baubles, the gadgets, the luxuries; they don’t see the bitterness in the heart, the skepticism, the cynicism, the emptiness, the sterility, the despair, the hopelessness which is eating up the American worker. They don’t want to see this – they are full of misery themselves. They want a way out: they want the lethal comforts, conveniences, luxuries. And they follow in our footsteps – blindly, heedlessly, recklessly.
     Same chapter, on American mass culture:
     The most terrible thing about America is that there is no escape from the treadmill which we have created. There isn’t one fearless champion of truth in the publishing world, not one film company devoted to art instead of profit. We have no theater worth the name, and what we have of theater is practically concentrated in one city; we have no music worth talking about except what the Negro has given us, and scarcely a handful of writers who might be called creative.
     After his visit to the industrial heartland, Miller took the train back to Mobile, retrieved his car and headed west. Somewhere in Texas he got on Route 66. Car trouble in Albuquerque gave him material for a chapter he called Automotive Passacaglia about cars and mechanics. He wanted to stop and see Mesa Verde but the roads were washed out. He went on to Flagstaff and then up to the Grand Canyon where he spent nine days at the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim. At the lodge he met a "desert rat" who had spent time among the Navajo. Miller had immense respect for Native Americans. This exchange appears in the chapter called Desert Rat:
     By way of answer he said that there were legends which predicted the downfall of the white man through some great catastrophe - fire, flood or some such thing.
      "Why not simply through greed and ignorance?" I put in.
      "Yes," he said, "the Indian believes that when the time comes only those who are strong and enduring will survive. They have never accepted our way of life. They don't look upon us as superior in any way. They tolerate us, that's all. No matter how educated they become they always return to the tribe. They're just waiting for us to die off, I guess."
       I was delighted to hear it. It would be marvelous, I thought to myself, if one day they would be able to rise up strong in number and drive us into the sea, take back the land which we stole from them, tear our cities down, or use them as carnival grounds.
     Henry continued his road trip on Route 66, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino, all the way to the end. He hoped to make some money in Hollywood writing screenplays. That didn't pan out but he did end up moving to California, to Northern California, Big Sur. He lived in Big Sur from 1944 until 1963. Lawrence Ferlinghetti moved up to Big Sur in the 50s and I'm sure Ferlinghetti and his whole Beat salon, including Jack Kerouac, met Henry Miller. Henry considered Kerouac the best of the Beat writers. Would Kerouac have gone On The Road if he hadn't read Air-Conditioned Nightmare ? Would he have been a Dharma Bum without having read Henry Miller ? We'll never know, but except for the drugs all the elements of Hippie culture can be found in Miller's writing, passed on through the Beats of San Francisco.

      I read Henry Miller in my 20s when a lot people I knew were reading Ayn Rand, poor deluded bastards. I think I made the healthier choice. I never lived in a commune, but I grew my hair long and enjoyed some aspects of Hippie culture. I was never quite down with the Eastern philosophy, or the Astrology, and I thought Hippie food was boring sometimes but sex and drugs and rock and roll ? Heck yeah, although I must confess the first two of these were often in short supply. How 'bout you, did you read Henry Miller ?

Were you ever a Hippie ?

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.


List of All Existing Meatspace Groups

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


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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:

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.

Motor City Kossacks Banner

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.


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.


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:

L-R: moore musings and shanikka
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.

DC Kossacks banner
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Maryland Kossacks

Chacounne meets Kossacks from MD and DC

by mimifor Virginia Kos

The DC and Maryland Kossacks welcomed Chaucounne on her visit to attend a conference in DC. It was a last minute meet-up pulled of by mimi.

Here's one photo:

L-R: mimi, kim (wife of olliegarkey), olliegarkey, webgenie and Chacounne

Please visit mimi's diary for many MORE photos! Enjoy!
You can join Maryland Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to JamieG from Md.
You can join DC Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to NinthElegy.

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Event Organizers! Please contact wink from by KosMail to schedule airtime with them to live broadcast your Event. Wink & Justice will then promote it on The After Show radio program!
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Friday, April 25th

NYC Kossacks Welcome Scottie Thomaston, aka indiemcemopants

TIME: 6:45 PM
LOCATION: Trattoria Trecolori
254 W 47th St. • NYC

ORGANIZER: Send sidnora a kosmail to attend.

1. sidnora
2. Scottie Thomaston, aka indiemcemopants
3. followyourbliss
4. mattc129
5. Design the Future
6. Son of Broccoli
7. Miscweant
8. Mangala
9. Tool
Its the Supreme Court Stupid
Latest diary: NYC Meetup this Friday, 4/25: Important Update!!
DC Kossacks banner
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Saturday, April 26th

DC Kossacks Protest XL Pipeline
near the White House

A group of ranchers, farmers and tribal communities from along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route, called the Cowboy Indian Alliance, will set up camp near the White House to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline.

TIME: 11:00 AM
LOCATION: National Mall
Meet between 7th & 9th Streets • Washington DC
Look for the Daily Kos Connect! Unite! Banner!

Welcome Meet-Up for Peregrine Kate:
TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Mitsitam Cafe
4th St & Independence Ave SW •  Inside the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC

ORGANIZER: Send mimi a kosmail to attend.
peregrine kate is visiting from Detroit to attend this protest!

1. mimi
2. peregrine kate
Latest diary: Pres. Carter in Cahoots with Indians and Cowboys - Update on April 26 NoKXL March
Saturday April 26th

LA Kossacks Meet-up with Guest Speaker:
David Kanuth, 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.

1. Dave in Northridge
2. Shockwave
3. jakedog42
4. 714Day
5. Brecht
6. Zwenkau
7. Joe Bacon
8. Ducktape
9. gmats
10. lordpet8
Just Saying
Just Saying's friend
Just Saying's son
Latest diary: LA Kossacks - Meetup, April 26, 2:00 PM - It's Political Season!
Dkos Asheville
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.

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
Mr Audri
Latest diary: DKos Asheville - Weekly Open Thread
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

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

ORGANIZER: Send GreyHawk a kosmail to attend.

1. GreyHawk
2. HawkWife
3. WarrenS
Latest diary: Next BosKos Meetup - Sat 12 Apr at the Cafe Barada

Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise with SFKossacks banner treatment
Tuesday, May 13th

SFKossacks Roll Out the Red Carpet
for LeftOfYou & Expat Okie

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

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

1. navajo
2. LeftOfYou
3. Expat Okie
4. side pocket
5. Justice Putnam
6. dharmasyd
7. Lorikeet
8. jpmassar
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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.

1. John Crapper
2. bleeding blue
3. wise piper
4. flamingogirl
5. sb3d1984
6. John Crapper's SO
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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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
TDB • Detroit

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to RSVP.

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

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

Maybees: N in Seattle, Turbonerd

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


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.

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
Latest diary: DK Quilt Guild: What Inspires You?


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
Motor City Kossacks:
1. peregrine kate
2. provokingmeaning
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
Los Angeles Table:
1. Shockwave
2. susans
3. Dave in Northridge
4. gmats
5. 714day
6. jakedog42
New York Table:
1. sidnora
2. Mr. sidnora
3. belinda ridgewood
4. thankgodforairamerica
5. Dee Oliver-Velez
kjoftherock, angry marmot, boran2, Turbonerd, northerntier, northerntier's SO,
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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