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Reposted from Boston Kossacks by GreyHawk
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Three days ago, I posted a short diary with a poll asking folks in BosKos & New England Kossacks to chime in to pick a date that worked for them.

We got one vote for the first Saturday, one for the first Sunday, two for "None of these dates work for me" and a couple comments stating that any of the dates worked.

I know a few BosKos people who didn't see the diary, tho, so I'm reposting it here with a few additional options for dates.  

Please vote in the poll if you're a part of either group or possibly in the area, and share the diary among others who also qualify, so we can nail things down.

Thank you!

GreyHawk
There is nothing below the fold.
Poll

What's your preference ?

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Reposted from Boston Kossacks by GreyHawk

Just a quick poll to get input from Kossacks in and around MA as to when the next long-overdue BosKos meetup should be.

We're going to try the Applebees in Quincy once more time - and the starting time will be 2:00 pm. But which day? The choices are in the poll - please cast your vote, and then leave a comment with any additional info.

Thank you!

Poll

Which of these dates works best for you?

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What a great meetup! The weather gods smiled upon us (or more accurately didn't dump upon us) and it was a wonderful day! Follow me below the orange cloud:

Continue Reading

Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:40 AM PDT

C+J/NE Kossacks Meetup September 6th!

by nhox42

It's the Eve Of Meetup!!
Hello all,
Here is the eve of meetup update:
1. Bring rain gear just in case (fingers crossed otherwise :);
2. Bring folding chairs (we are 30+ at this point and will need the extra butt holders :);
3. If you have one you can bring, a folding table would be awesome! We will have a metric crapton of food and will need places to put it (before it all goes IN MY FACE :);
4. BYOB keeping in mind civility and all that (Tequila is RIGHT OUT :);
Again, contact me at the address listed below for last minute questions.
Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!
nhox42

It's Update Time! We are at the one week mark so here goes: Hello all!
We are at the one week countdown!  After a great conference call today, I can offer the following tidbits of knowledge for the September 6th meet up:
We are going to have A LOT to talk about (not that we ever lack for it) but MA has their gubernatorial primaries very soon after the 6th; ME has a two and a half way race for governor and there is always the volcano in Iceland…
To reiterate: brillig and co will have sausage and peppers as a main dish, so side dishes and desserts are very welcome!  In addition, please feel welcome to bring any items that you need for dietary concerns.
There is on-street parking to suffice for all attendees. It can be supplemented by surrounding side street parking.  
We are shooting for a 1pm start time. The thought here was that it’s not ridiculously early for folks traveling and it gives us time to get home before full dark if you would like;
Remember that if you are thinking of bringing a woozle buddy, contact us so we can be prepared;
We are going to have a great time, as we always do at these meet ups! :)

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask in a reply to nhox42 -at- gmail -dot- com.  Looking forward to seeing all of you,
nhox42


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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Reposted from gmoke by GreyHawk

I’ve been going to public lectures on climate change at Harvard, MIT, and other places since at least 1980.  Lately I’ve been thinking that I have yet to hear an ecologist talk about the subject.  I’ve seen climatologists, atmospheric chemists, atmospheric physicists, glaciologists, rocket scientists (thanks, S Fred Singer), oceanographers, and geologists address the subject.  But I can’t recall hearing an ecologist talk about climate change and ecological systems.  This becomes even more frustrating to me when I attend a lecture on geoengineering.  In the last couple of years, a joint Harvard and MIT group has been meeting to discuss this topic and the enormous intellectual effort devoted to rather simplistic solutions to complex systems problems is astonishing to me, especially since there seems to be such a great reluctance to engage on the systems issues.

Recently, some friends and colleagues have begun trying to remedy the situation, focusing on the global carbon cycle and, in particular, soil carbon.  Part of this is through the work of Allan Savory and his practice of Holistic Management in relation to livestock grazing patterns.  Another part is through the work of Tom Goreau protecting and, in some cases, restoring coral reefs.  Through their efforts, this year's Northeast Organic Farming Association Summer Conference will have an extensive “Soil Carbon and Climate Track” introducing practicing farmers to ways in which their daily work can sequester carbon from the atmosphere for years, decades, and even centuries, becoming an important tool in diminishing climate change and, just possibly, reversing it.

A few weeks later, the NOFA Massachusetts chapter will host two day-long workshops with Dr. Christine Jones, an Australian soil biologist, on "Practical Options for Food Production Resilience in an Increasingly Variable Climate."  One workshop will be in the Boston area and the other will be in Western Massachusetts.

Lastly and certainly not least, they are organizing a conference at Tufts University at the end of November on "Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming."  Not only will the conference bring together experts from all over the world to talk about ecosystem solutions to confront climate change and global warming but it is also designed to start a global conversation and network to begin practicing these systemic solutions, sharing what works and understanding what doesn't and why.

This is a development I have long waited for and will participate in as much as I can.

Poll

More ecological systems solutions for climate change?

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Reposted from GreyHawk by GreyHawk Editor's Note: Please chime in. -- GreyHawk

The news broke, and was reiterated by the recent FP post by Markos - NN has announced Phoenix, AZ, as the location for NN15. And Markos has stated that Daily Kos will not be going to, nor supporting, the venue.

It's a mixed bag of landmines: the folks at NN and the wonderful progressives in Phoenix undoubtedly hope that staging the next NN in such a location - in the midst of a state full of crazy with embedded, widely & openly practiced racism, homophobia, misogyny and general Tea Party low-information lunacy - might help sway the rest of the state into waking up and rousting the rot that is affecting their little section of this nation.  Markos has stated that given the state's entrenched issues and the continued (if weakened) existence of the specific law SB 1070 as well as the continued, ongoing harassment of Latinos in the state, any venue in AZ will not be viable.

Let's break it down:

  1. First and foremost, I support the decision by Markos to keep Daily Kos out of Arizona. I do not like the fact that this deprives the great bunch of progressives in Phoenix of having a local NN progressive-packed mega-conference full of Daily Kos support and attendees, but there are factors involved which are worth remembering and considering:
    • This site is not a democracy. Yes, it's an organic community with the expressly crafted & stated purpose of "electing more and better Democrats" - but it's also a business, and it's the property of Markos via Kos Media LLC.
    • Netroots Nation sprang from / evolved out of "Yearly Kos" - the need for a grassroots, net-originated conference went well beyond what Yearly Kos was originally designed & intended to be - the success of Yearly Kos organically morphed into the need for and definition of Netroots Nation, because the needs of the many well outpaced the capacity of even this behemoth of a site to completely encapsulate, enable and build.
    • Netroots Nation often aligns closely with Daily Kos, but is a separate entity. It was inevitable that such a potential division could occur: in one way, that's good - it shows that NN is independent of Daily Kos in some respects at the very least. In another way, it's bad - much of the support and success that goes into NN still originates with and through Daily Kos, so - in the sense that dKos is the major corporate benefactor & 800-lb gorilla - any rifts formed between the two can have potentially immense and catastrophic impact on Netroots Nation's ability to pull off a large & successful confab of progressives.
  2. The greatest strength of the progressive, liberal and democratic aspects of our nation is also the greatest weakness - the diversity of voices cannot always work together, and sometimes work to divide their efforts and goals with mixed results. The lock-step coordination and bullying of the GOP helps it keep their message going, relentlessly - which, while helping them achieve their own goals that are both distinctly different from the progressive agenda and usually detrimental to the nation (and planet) as a whole, also sometimes traps them into doing and behaving in ways that can drive whole sections of the party idiotology off the cliffs of sanity like a rampaging herd of lemmings.

In order for us to succeed over-all, we have to ensure that we can, as often as possible, align at least our base coordination with some other groups - in this case, Daily Kos and NN should find a way to ensure that future venues are palatable to both, as both organizations working together present the strongest unified assault against the willful & malicious ignorance gleefully slung from coast to coast by what we currently call "staunch conservatives," "Modern-day Republicans" and "Tea Party activists."  They focus on under-informing, mis-informing and outright lying to their base: the faux poutrages, the repeated ad nauseam mountain-from-molehill hypocrisy and arrogance - it wears on people, even among their base, and having a sanity-based attention-getting group of intelligent, diverse voices together has a stronger and further-reaching resonance that challenges their "norm" as well as informs them.

United, we stand and present a stronger front.

So, my point and message is this: I don't know how much communication went on behind the scenes prior to the announcement of the Phoenix venue. I don't have any idea if that is set in stone & contracts. But I implore Nolan Treadway, Raven Brooks and others at Netroots Nation to reconsider their venue; I ask the people & progressives in Phoenix to please understand, and to support, moving the venue - perhaps even using the loss of the venue as an example to point to in order to demonstrate to others within the state about the extended consequences of entrenching their hatred, myopia, misogyny and racism. Show them in terms of the cost of dollars they could have had coming into the state - ask them if continued or even increased loss of potential revenues are really worth their weasel-wording and ignorant behavior.

And then work together with others to find a venue - soon - that can support the ideals and core requirements of not simply Daily Kos and Netroots Nations both, together, but also help present an example that other progressive & democratic groups can support.

No, I don't want to see Daily Kos become or maintain a "primary influencer" status on where & how NN selects venues or how it runs its conferences; but, at the moment, dKos IS the primary player who helps bring it all together. I think however the decision to look at Phoenix & select it was made, someone dropped a ball somewhere or made some assumptions that were incorrect and ill-founded.

Please - correct that, folks.  Maybe in 5 years, or 3 if the conferences continue to grow in size & importance, the role of Daily Kos will be less imperative to a successful progressive conference. But at this point in time, we need to have both elements present in order to continue having the extended effect we are having on influencing the wayward but reachable - and challenging wacky and insane.

We must resolve this - and, in my highly uninformed position where I know of nothing that happened (or failed to) behind the scenes, I believe it's up to NN to make the adjustments if possible.

Poll

Should NN or Daily Kos blink first? Or neither?

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Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:03 PM PDT

Supporting local communities

by GreyHawk

Reposted from Native American Netroots by GreyHawk

When I was five(-ish), my family moved from one small town in Massachusetts to another. That was when I met my first Native American friend, who I've since lost touch with. I don't recall his mother's tribal affiliation.

In college, my best friend was Comanche. She & I still touch base - albeit in-between steadily increasing periods of little to no contact.

And since I moved back to New England, I realized that the majority of Native friends I have - all of them, actually, not counting my original friend - live in the mid- and south west, or on the west coast. I know little to nothing of the local Native community.

I thought that was odd considering my involvement in NAN, so the other day I sent an email to NAICOB (North American Indian Center of Boston) and told them about Native American Netroots, providing a link to the Daily Kos group, to the Wordpress site & Facebook page. I invited them to come participate, hoping that we might find some folks willing & able to help keep us informed about events affecting some of the tribes on the east coast.

I heard back from Joanne Dunn, the Executive Director, who invited me to tomorrow's event and asked me to share it with the community at large.

So, some more information and details, over the fold.

Continue Reading

Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 09:26 AM PST

BosKos, Barking Crabs and SNOW

by GreyHawk

Reposted from GreyHawk by GreyHawk
Boston Kossacks logo, 550x100 pixels.

This is the event diary for the 2nd official BosKos meetup, compiled and written by Knockbally and GreyHawk with some input from HawkWife. Enjoy!


The second BosKos meeting evah took place on Saturday, February 15th, at The Barking Crab in Boston. We initially planned for a day of food and fun that included a walking tour through the Green Patriot Posters, but that plan was amended early - the night before, actually - when Mother Nature decided to apply Murphy's Law and remind us of things like the constantly changing, hard-to-predict-for-long weather that New England is well known for.

This, of course, is a "classic twist" - New Englanders are hearty and used to such things - so we dropped the walking tour for the sake of caution and opted to keep with the original food venue.


(c) AccuWeather.com - a storm bears down...
By early Saturday morning, the storm bearing down on the area looked ominous, but also reasonable - it was supposed to wait until late afternoon, and start intensifying early in the evening.

But it was a huge storm system, expected to affect several areas and make driving difficult, so several Kossacks let us know ahead of time that would have to regretfully pass on attending - particularly those who would have been coming from out of state. Definitely understandable - we don't want to lose anyone, and we definitely want to see these folks at the next gathering.

Of course, Mother Nature's liberal dosing of the event with a hefty application of Murphy's Law didn't end with the news of the impending storm...she had to balance the scales a bit, apparently, to ensure a proper amount of insanity matched up with the levels of effort from the folks attending. Apparently. Or something. In any case, our planned grouping had been whittled down to two groups: Knockbally, coming in from one direction, and the Hawk caravan from another, carrying both GreyHawk & HawkWife along with Delta Doc.

Knockbally:


It was a real treat getting to meet the Hawks and Delta Doc.  However, the weather turned out to be a surprise.  Snow wasn't supposed to start until 2 pm to 4 pm.  So I figured we had until 6 pm, weather reports being what they are.

As I approached the Ted Williams tunnel, the snow started coming down. Grrr.  Then, when I arrived at Sleeper Street, found that it was under construction - couldn't go in.  


The parking lot was...under construction?
And what's with this freakin' SNOW?
That meant expletives from me, followed by tricky Boston driving - in circles, trying to avoid highway on-ramps, etc.  I eventually parked on a nearby street, and hiked over to the Barking Crab.  

Which was a delight.  Met my DKos buddies, and we all began easy conversation which lasted until they dropped me off at my car a few hours earlier.  Good food, great people.  I look forward to our next meetup and getting to know more folks from the great Beantown Metro Area!

GreyHawk:


Part of any successful meetup is the assurance that folks actually meet up, so I did a quick perusal of the Crab's site and confidently decided that we'd set their Raw Bar area as our initial meeting point.

Bad idea.


The Raw Bar...was closed, cold, and -
yes, quite freakin' RAW...
That section of the restaurant was apparently closed - it was seasonal, and this wasn't the season. While I wanted to verify that I'd parked in an allowed location (literally right outside the front door, as everything else normally considered to be "parking lot" was being torn up), HawkWife & Delta Doc went in to find the Raw Bar...when I caught up with them there, they didn't have to say a word - it was obvious that we had to change plans. We trudged back to front door and stood by the bar, looking somewhat awkward and engaging in conversation with a lovely couple from Georgia who were visiting Beantown and experiencing our delightful weather.

Apparently, our small cluster was noticeable enough when a smiling Knockbally strode up and asked if we were meeting a group of folks from Daily Kos.

Success!

HawkWife:

The older I get, the more trepidation I have about traveling in snow.  Now granted, this storm wasn't supposed to start until well after the appointed time.  But this is New England, and the weather changes.  Besides, GreyHawk was driving :p

We had no idea how much construction was going on around the restaurant, or even in that area of town.


Ahhhh...a warm, inviting woodstove,
right by our table!
When we discovered that the Raw Bar was indeed seasonal, we went back into the restaurant and tried not to look awkward.  Greyhawk and Delta Doc struck up a conversation with a very nice couple from Georgia who were waiting for a return flight home and decided to "kill some time" Meanwhile I kept watch...difficult for me since 1) I don't know many Kossacks to begin with, and 2) I'm awkward in that "should I hold up a sign?" type of way.   But thankfully Knockbally swept in and I must have given off the latter vibe because she walked right up to me and asked "Are you guys from DKos?"

It was quite cozy sitting near the potbelly stove, talking, laughing, and occasionally glancing at the snow gently swirling outside.

And, if you glanced up...Year-round holiday lights!

Interior lighting @ The Barking Crab, courtesy of Knockbally
The lighting set a warm, inviting mood.

Greetings from the second official BosKos meetup!


Knockbally and Hawkwife say hi!
Over the fold - food pr0n, some images of the snowy, blowy weather & a few additional words...
Continue Reading
Reposted from Boston Kossacks by GreyHawk
Boston Kossacks logo, 550x100 pixels.

OK - Saturday is right around the corner. Here's where we stand:

RSVPs:
1. GreyHawk
2. HawkWife
3. bjedward
4. thankgodforairamerica
5. Knockbally
6. AnotherMassachusettsLiberal
Maybees:
1. commonmass
2. annieli
3. jplanner

Any other "definite" attendees? How about "maybe" attendees - I know of one more, in the "tentative maybe" category...anyone else?

Shoot for 1:30pm at the Barking Crab, near the Raw Bar. HawkWife & I will be aiming for 1:00pm, but we've been notoriously late of late, so aiming for a little after is best. ;)

And who needs rides, from where?


Here's an idea of what to expect for fun & fare - including a Hawk's eye view of the Crab, with a more mundane view of it embedded within. Make an appearance at the Raw Bar at 1:30 to connect with fellow Kossacks...
GreyHawk
Discuss

Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:40 PM PST

BosKos & NE Kossack Feb 15 Meetup

by GreyHawk

Reposted from Boston Kossacks by GreyHawk Editor's Note: So, who's coming? Who ~might~ come? Who would but can't? -- GreyHawk
Boston Kossacks logo, 550x100 pixels.

Who is coming?

OK, folks - here's where we stand: I received a "maybe" via Kosmail from annieli, and I know that both HawkWife & I are definitely going. From the previous diary's comments, I've ascertained the following -
  1. bjedward
  2. thankgodforairamerica
  3. Knockbally
  4. AnotherMassachusettsLiberal

I couldn't tell if jplanner was coming, or simply familiar with the venue, so hopefully folks will chime in.

Any other "definite" attendees? How about "maybe" attendees?

I'm thinking about 1 or 2 pm, as the Green Patriot Posters thing closes at 5.

And who needs rides, from where?

GreyHawk
Discuss
Reposted from Boston Kossacks by GreyHawk
Boston Kossacks logo, 550x100 pixels.
It looks like the verdict is in for the 2nd official BosKos meetup - February 15th seems to be the date most compatible with folks, so now we need to select the venue.

I'd initially suggested the Green Patriot Posters exhibition at the Design Museum Boston (building 315 on A Street, Fort Point). It's a free exhibition, 10am to 5pm Sat thru Wed.

radical simplicity mentioned a really cool event happening around (actually, just north of) Boston - art & history, combined:

a new exhibit of James McNeil Whistler paintings opening at the Addision Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover (about 20 min north of Boston on Rte 93).
Those are the only two events tossed out for consideration for the 15th,1 so let us know what you'd like to do and make suggestions for additional future venues as part of your comments, below.

We need to find a place to meet, eat & make merry in the vicinity of whatever venue we select: Knockbally had some thoughts on that, if we go with the Green Patriot Poster option:

"...the Barking Crab is nearby. I've never been during the winter, but it's big and loud and fun.  It's seafood-intensive, of course.

If the weather's not too cold, we could walk to Chinatown. ..." and "...Chinatown, there's the theater district, where they have Maggiano's Little Italy (recommended:  the wee lemon cookies for dessert).  It's a nice place - Italian.

Oh, and I think the place I really liked in Chinatown was Pho Pasteur.  ..."

thankgodforairamerica even mentioned an offer of rides from central CT - so we have some potential for a good-size gathering.

So let's start firming things up...the 15th is drawing closer every minute.

1

Future fun: I'd like folks to keep the following items in mind, and hope we can discuss in comments below, and among those who are able to connect in person on the 15th -
  • Ellid was wondering about whether a meetup in western MA was plausible/possible - "Northampton is wonderful, or maybe a tour of Wistariahurst in Holyoke?" I'm up for anything.
  • Saturdays are generally a bust for shortfinals; how many folks might be able to (or even prefer?) a Sunday outing?
GreyHawk
Discuss
Reposted from Boston Kossacks by GreyHawk
Boston Kossacks logo, 550x100 pixels.
Life gets complicated, fast, even when we're trying to keep a peripheral eye open for the fast-moving "out-of-nowhere" objects & events. It's been like that since the one and only initial meetup of the Boston Kossacks.

Let's change that.

I posted a piece a while back to try and plan for the next meetup; then life happened. But we did learn something: it seems like Saturdays may be our most commonly available day, with lunch/brunch or perhaps early to mid-afternoon as a target time period. I'm not available most weekdays now (tho weekday evenings may be feasible) ; HawkWife's availability is random potluck but may be scheduled with enough notice (tho sometimes she's left hanging until the last minute).

As for venue, gmoke and bjedward had suggested trying to complement a meetup with some other activity (a "before or after" type thing), which everyone thought might be fun & interesting - that would enable folks to come, eat, make merry and then either carry on to an activity or bustle off to parts unknown as they please.

So, I'd like to shoot for a Saturday in Feb - the 1st, 8th or 15th - and I'll suggest a possible event tie-in: the Green Patriot Posters exhibition at the Design Museum Boston (building 315 on A Street, Fort Point). It's a free exhibition, 10am to 5pm Sat thru Wed.

I have no idea where to meet & eat in the area, but if that's our "after-meet" venue, we should probably look for someplace near-ish, affordable and accessible.

It's only a suggestion, tho - so please chime in, step up and let your voices be heard (in the form of typed comments, below, ideally!).

All Boston & New England Kossacks (and any other Kossacks, aligned or not, like MassKos etc.) are invited to chime in, attend, and sound off.

Thanks!

  - GH

GreyHawk
Discuss
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