Why do we spend so much on the military?

Specifically, why is the discussion around a “defense sequester” and not the mind-boggling $600 billion a year that we spend on the military?

I simply have no context for this. I’ve heard that the military spending is in part going to contractors in multiple districts, and therefore at best provides jobs and at worse provides campaign funds. But surely that isn’t the whole story.

And if your party is basically riding a fear-fueled cultural backlash, I can see how you would spin it in your favor. Immigrants? ISIS?! Yeah, okay, that’s your narrative. But why are Democrats going along with that? And what about those freedom-loving libertarian Republicans, always trying to reign in government spending?

Why isn’t there a concerted effort to cut military spending? Any percent of that could cover, like, all the insurance subsidies!

What am I missing?

Love is Resistance

I’ve spent most of the last few months processing the new, weird reality of governance in these United States. To keep myself grounded I’ve made a mantra of an observation from Cornel West.

Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.

So much more needs to be said, discussed, refined and planned. For this moment I just want all of you to know that I love you. We must resist the toxic ideas and harmful policies. And we must do it with love, because love is resistance.

Fairphone + Ubuntu, sitting in a tree

The other day I mentioned:

There is apparently no plan to make new Ubuntu phones at the moment.[…] I still can’t order a Fairphone.

As if to rub it in my face, a Fairphone 2 Running Ubuntu Will Be On Show at MWC17.

Okay, that is kinda neat. Bummer for me, but I am not sure I am even going to move forward with a smartphone at all. But it is nice to see two interesting alternatives coming together like that. Mobile computing is always the lowest common denominator between hardware and software.

What’s more, I hadn’t heard of the Ubports. Turns out, one of the devices they’ve ported Ubuntu Touch to is the Nexus 5… which happens to be my current mobile. So while the case may be coming apart and the SIM is only read half the time, maybe it would make a decent test device. Or I could pick up a used one for ~$100.

Fortunately, not having the telephony portion of my mobile hasn’t adversely affected me yet. If someone made it easy for me to get a Fairphone I would definitely go for it, but as it is I am just waiting to see how hard it is to get a Nokia 150. The humorous observation here is that Americans are stuck in consumer/destruction land… and I’d rather not play this game.

Lunar New Year in Guild Wars 2!

There is an in-game celebration going on for the Canthan Lunar New Year happing for Guild Wars 2. Clover was asking me this morning which holiday came after Wintersday, so now we know!

Cantha is a fictional nation based on historical cultures from Eastern Asia, its name probably derived from the Guangdong province, formerly romanised as Canton. In the original Guild Wars it was a complete game on its own, with a fantastic imperial city and really interesting wilderness areas (an entire sea was turned to jade!), but it is no longer accessible in Guild Wars 2 due to in-game justifications.

The Lunar New Year from Cantha of course matches the Chinese New Year! As all the holidays in Guild Wars are accompanied with mini-games and themed consumables, Lunar New Year gets fireworks and red envelopes and I’m sure something else but who cares: fireworks!

We’ve decided Clover isn’t going to watch me play violent video games, but we still play holiday games in GW2 if there isn’t combat involved. This will be our first Lunar New Year celebration, I am sure e is looking forward to it! ^_^