(KILLER ROBOT THREAD)
Every development in humanoid robots gets followed by an outpouring of "the machines are taking over!" fears. Mostly kidding, but not completely.
I wrote a book on this stuff, and I can tell you the killer robots are coming, but they won't look like people.
Fears of humanoid robots mostly come from science fiction, like the Terminator. Things that are like us, but stronger, faster, smarter, make for frightening villains. It goes way back. Robots, supervillains, demons, demigods, etc.
But there's no reason killer robots need 2 legs and 2 arms.
Skynet creates Terminators for a specific purpose: infiltration. They look like people so they can sneak into human bases, or travel into the past and ask people about Sarah Connor.
We have intel operatives for that
A lot of heated rhetoric surrounding the Austin bomber--who thankfully won't be hurting anyone anymore--and whether or not he was a terrorist.
I teach classes on terrorism, and here's a thread why it's unclear (based on what we know now) and why the classification matters.
Terrorism is political.
Criminal violence is personal, motivated by profit, revenge, enjoyment, etc. The motives of gangsters, conventional murderers, serial killers.
Terrorists, by contrast, believe themselves to be altruists, aiming to improve society or defend their people
For example, Charleston church shooting was terrorism. As seen in videos the killer posted online, he believes white people are under siege and targeted a historically black church hoping to get others to "wake up" and join him in a race war.
He was trying to send a message.
Only part of shutdown-ending CR that matters:
Trump admin can fund intelligence activities not authorized by Congress.
The rest is theater.
How did this end up in the bill? You’re a co-equal branch. Intel oversight is the job of intel oversight committees.
What’s wrong with you?
Seriously, most Americans--and evidently most members of Congress--don't realize how big a deal this is.
Giving Congress oversight of intelligence was the major reform of the Church Committee (1975) in response to Watergate.
The shutdown-ending CR undermined that.
Intelligence reform and organization of the federal bureaucracy is one of those things most people don't pay much attention to, but it's a really big deal
We authorize intelligence agencies to do shady things on our behalf, which citizens, military, cops aren't supposed to do
(THREAD) Many asking how anyone could be unhappy with a tax cut. No matter the size, it's better than nothing, isn't it?
I can clear this up.
It's because people know tax bills are about trade offs. And factoring everything in, they believe this bill makes them worse off.
About 75% of households will receive a tax cut.
Median income, as of Sept 2017, was $59,039.
According to the NYT tax bill calculator, the median household will receive a tax cut of $380.
That's $31.67 per month, $7.31 per week. 2/x nytimes.com/interactive/20…
$31.67 per month's not a lot, but it's not nothing either. For households with tight budgets, that could cover some school supplies, a trip to the movies, or a meal.
Not all three. But 1 of them in a month.
(THREAD) Epic screw-up in the tax bill the Senate just passed.
They lowered the corporate rate to 20%, but accidentally put in an alternative minimum tax (AMT) of 20%.
That's right. The same rate.
(Maybe rushing it through wasn't the best idea).
Here are some implications:
Turns out Republicans passed something like actual corporate tax reform. It effectively wiped out a bunch of deductions (since claiming them doesn't result in savings) and lowered rates.
Companies will compete based on who has the best business, not who has the best lobbyists
But companies are pissed. Especially well-connected companies that got the government to give them special tax breaks.
Real tax reform is a great idea. But that wasn't Republicans' main goal.
Now the bill doesn't funnel nearly as much money to rich people as they thought.
(THREAD) The tax bill that just passed the Senate is terrible policy. But Republicans are right that passing it is better for them politically than failure.
As some admitted, failing to cut rich people's taxes would've infuriated donors
This is what they paid for. It's why they tolerate Trump damaging America's global position and the democratic norms at least some of them care about
And, like it or not, money helps win elections
Parts of the Republican base are ideologically committed to tax cuts above all else. They can ignore failure in every other area, but not this one.
No tax cuts would've left them disillusioned. They'd never vote Democrat, but they might choose not to volunteer. Or vote.