Like the song "Lawyers In Love" we have a land with too many in high places willing to do anything for money neglecting people, honor and principle but a change is coming. No more the lie of living just strong and independent leaving us divided and conquerable by powerful special interests but a people, a nation collaborating for the greater common good. A land of people working together to help one another with a vision moreover as Jesus would have us be. Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Kindness....something about another Land. The change is coming

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Elon Musk And Google Lead 116 Experts Calling for United Nations To Outright Ban Killer Robots

Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots.

Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons.

The UN recently voted to begin formal discussions on such weapons which include drones, tanks and automated machine guns. Ahead of this, the group of founders of AI and robotics companies have sent an open letter to the UN calling for it to prevent the arms race that is currently under way for killer robots.

In their letter, the founders warn the review conference of the convention on conventional weapons that this arms race threatens to usher in the “third revolution in warfare” after gunpowder and nuclear arms.

The founders wrote: “Once developed, lethal autonomous weapons will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.

“We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.”

Experts have previously warned that AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of autonomous weapons is feasible within years, rather than decades. While AI can be used to make the battlefield a safer place for military personnel, experts fear that offensive weapons that operate on their own would lower the threshold of going to battle and result in greater loss of human life.

The letter, launching at the opening of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) in Melbourne on Monday, has the backing of high-profile figures in the robotics field and strongly stresses the need for urgent action, after the UN was forced to delay a meeting that was due to start Monday to review the issue.

The founders call for “morally wrong” lethal autonomous weapons systems to be added to the list of weapons banned under the UN’s convention on certain conventional weapons (CCW) brought into force in 1983, which includes chemical and intentionally blinding laser weapons.

Toby Walsh, Scientia professor of artificial intelligence at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said: “Nearly every technology can be used for good and bad, and artificial intelligence is no different. It can help tackle many of the pressing problems facing society today: inequality and poverty, the challenges posed by climate change and the ongoing global financial crisis.

“However, the same technology can also be used in autonomous weapons to industrialise war. We need to make decisions today choosing which of these futures we want.”

Musk, one of the signatories of the open letter, has repeatedly warned for the need for pro-active regulation of AI, calling it humanity’s biggest existential threat, but while AI’s destructive potential is considered by some to be vast it is also thought be distant.

Ryan Gariepy, the founder of Clearpath Robotics said: “Unlike other potential manifestations of AI which still remain in the realm of science fiction, autonomous weapons systems are on the cusp of development right now and have a very real potential to cause significant harm to innocent people along with global instability.”

This is not the first time the IJCAI, one of the world’s leading AI conferences, has been used as a platform to discuss lethal autonomous weapons systems. Two years ago the conference was used to launch an open letter signed by thousands of AI and robotics researchers including Musk and Stephen Hawking similarly calling for a ban, which helped push the UN into formal talks on the technologies.

The UK government opposed such a ban on lethal autonomous weapons in 2015, with the Foreign Office stating that “international humanitarian law already provides sufficient regulation for this area”. It said that the UK was not developing lethal autonomous weapons and that all weapons employed by UK armed forces would be “under human oversight and control”.

While the suggestion of killer robots conjures images from science fiction such as the Terminator’s T-800 or Robocop’s ED-209, lethal autonomous weapons are already in use. Samsung’s SGR-A1 sentry gun, which is reportedly technically capable of firing autonomously but is disputed whether it is deployed as such, is in use along the South Korean border of the 2.5m-wide Korean Demilitarized Zone.

The fixed-place sentry gun, developed on behalf of the South Korean government, was the first of its kind with an autonomous system capable of performing surveillance, voice-recognition, tracking and firing with mounted machine gun or grenade launcher. But it is not the only autonomous weapon system in development, with prototypes available for land, air and sea combat.

The UK’s Taranis drone, in development by BAE Systems, is intended to be capable of carrying air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance intercontinentally and incorporating full autonomy. The unmanned combat aerial vehicle, about the size of a BAE Hawk, the plane used by the Red Arrows, had its first test flight in 2013 and is expected to be operational some time after 2030 as part of the Royal Air Force’s Future Offensive Air System, destined to replace the human-piloted Tornado GR4 warplanes.

Russia, the US and other countries are currently developing robotic tanks that can either be remote controlled or operate autonomously. These projects range from autonomous versions of the Russian Uran-9 unmanned combat ground vehicle, to conventional tanks retrofitted with autonomous systems.

The US’s autonomous warship, the Sea Hunter built by Vigor Industrial, was launched in 2016 and, while still in development, is intended to have offensive capabilities including anti-submarine ordnance. Under the surface, Boeing’s autonomous submarine systems built on the Echo Voyager platform are also being considered for long-range deep-sea military use.

My take: If people as forward thinking as Elon Musk, Google and other high tech experts are warning of the danger of AI and robotics we better be taking this seriously now. Once the economic component becomes entrenched we are in big trouble. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

NASA Wakes Up New Horizons Spacecraft for Voyage Into Mysterious Third Zone

Nasa woke up its New Horizons spacecraft following a five month hibernation, ahead of a journey deeper into one of the most mysterious regions of the Solar System.

New Horizons, which captured incredible images of Pluto in July 2015, was powered down in April to conserve energy as it travelled through the Kuiper Belt, a vast region of icy debris which encircles the Sun and planets, also known as The Third Zone.

On September 11, the spacecraft was awoken for its 16 month journey to MU69, an ancient object which is thought to be one of the early building blocks of the Solar System.

The space rock had not even been discovered when the craft launched in 2006 and the flyby will be the most distant in the history of space exploration, a billion miles beyond Pluto, and four billion miles from Earth.

Recent observations of MU69 from the Hubble Space Telescope show it is probably two ‘binary’ objects or a pair of space rocks ‘stuck-together’ bodies which are each around 12 miles across.

Alan Stern, Principal Investigator for New Horizons at Nasa, said:“We are very likely going to a primordial binary in the Kuiper Belt, a four-billion-year-old relic of Solar System formation and an exotic building block of the small planets of the Kuiper Belt like Pluto.

“It may even be a swarm of smaller bodies left from the time when the planets in our solar system formed.

“New exploration awaits us. It promises a scientific bonanza for the flyby.”

New Horizons was the fastest spacecraft to ever launch and is partly powered by nuclear energy.

When it launched in January 2006 Pluto was still a planet, but just a few months later it was downgraded to a dwarf-planet or ‘plutoid’ and is now known officially as ‘asteroid number 134340’

After studying objects in The Kuiper Belt, the spacecraft will eventually leave the Solar System, a feat only achieved by Voyager so far.

And it is carrying the ashes of the scientist who discovered Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh. Tombaugh died on January 17 1997, nine years and two days before New Horizon’s launch, but one of his final requests was for his ashes to be sent into space.

-Sarah Knapton

Finally, something interesting in outer space exploration. Kind of a nice treat since I didn't see this one coming. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Gravitational Waves Will Bring the Extreme Universe Into View

The first direct detection of gravitational waves on 14 September 2015 proved that massive objects can ripple the structure of space, verifying a key prediction of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The second detection, made on 26 December 2015 and announced this June, firmly established gravitational waves as a new window to the Universe. But even more exciting are the detections yet to come: the thousands of signals that should soon be observed by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo experiments. They will transform our understanding of black holes, neutron stars, supernova explosions, and perhaps even the origin and fate of the cosmos itself.

Changes to the fields of physics and astronomy are already being felt. The two events reported so far have significantly increased the number of known stellar-mass black holes, and have demonstrated that black holes can form tight pairs and merge violently within the lifetime of the Universe; such mergers are the inferred cause of the September 14 and December 26 signals. Drawing on data from those two events, my colleagues in the LIGO and Virgo collaborations have tested general relativity in novel ways, far outside our terrestrial experience. And we have shown that black holes collide more often than expected, which has lead some researchers to speculate that black holes might be abundant enough to qualify as a variety of dark matter.

As with any new observational tool, the most important discoveries from the new detectors will surely be the ones that are unexpected. But we also have a good sense of the amazing things that the gravitational universe will tell us, even in the absence of surprises.

First, we can be certain that we will detect many more merging pairs of black holes comparable to the two already detected. The current instruments are about three times less sensitive than their full potential. At their ultimate sensitivity, the two LIGO detectors (in Louisiana and Washington state) and the Virgo experiment (near Pisa in Italy) will register dozens to hundreds of black-hole events per year. This large sample will yield a detailed census of black holes, and will allow astronomers to characterise their population all across the Universe, evaluating theories of how they form.

We also expect to observe mergers of neutron stars, the ultradense remains of stars that were too small to form black holes. Whereas black holes are so extreme that they are breathtakingly simple (completely described by their mass, spin and charge), neutron stars show the Universe at its most bizarre and complex. They contain more mass than our Sun packed into a sphere the size of Manhattan, with magnetic fields that can be more than a billion times as powerful as Earth’s. We do not understand how matter this dense behaves, nor do we know how their magnetic fields are sustained. What we do know is that pairs of neutron stars sometimes spiral into each other. The resulting gravitational waves will give us, for the first time, an unobstructed picture of neutron stars as they interact.

Unlike black holes, naked neutron stars emit light and other forms of radiation. Neutron-star mergers can produce a rapid flash of gamma rays or X-rays, along with a faint optical afterglow that can linger for days or weeks. With LIGO and Virgo operating in concert, we can localise the position of colliding neutron stars to within a few degrees in the sky. Optical telescopes can then search this patch of sky for a fading signal emitted by radioactive material ejected during the merger. This simultaneous observation of gravitational and electromagnetic signals could solve many long-standing mysteries in astronomy, such as the nature of energetic flashes known as short gamma-ray bursts, and the origin of heavy elements, including much of the gold found on Earth.

Gravitational waves can also show what happens in a ‘core-collapse’ supernova explosion, which occurs when the core of a massive star exhausts its nuclear fuel and is crushed under the star’s immense mass. This is an open question in astrophysics, because the mechanism that drives the explosion is hidden deep inside the star. Gravitational waves from supernovae will travel directly from the star’s centre to our detectors. Core-collapse supernovae are exceptionally rare, however; the last such one near our galaxy was in 1987, and the last known event in our galaxy proper was 400 years ago. Gravitational-wave scientists will have to be lucky and patient.

Looking out on an even grander scale, gravitational waves from neutron star mergers will give us a fresh way to study the expansion of the Universe. Our current picture of cosmology­ – in which the Universe is expanding following the Big Bang, and is accelerating due to an unseen ‘dark energy’ – relies heavily on observations of supernovae in distant galaxies. Gravitational waves will provide complementary information: the intensity (amplitude) of the gravitational signal tells us the distance to the event, while the optical appearance of the merger reveals how much its light has been stretched, or redshifted, on its way to Earth. These two pieces of information define the rate at which the Universe is expanding. Measuring this rate independently will provide an important check of our cosmological models.

Finally, LIGO and Virgo might detect a faint background hum of gravitational waves that pervades the entire Universe, constantly vibrating all of empty space. Many theories predict an omnipresent gravitational energy produced either from the accumulation of astrophysical events such as black hole mergers or from an early, extremely rapid episode of cosmic inflation immediately after the Big Bang. If the hum is loud enough, it will show up as a correlated signal between widely separated detectors such as LIGO and Virgo. Measuring the gravitational-wave background would be a dramatic achievement.

For the next few years, progress in gravitational-wave science will be limited by the sensitivity of the detectors. With each boost to their performance, it’s likely that we will uncover events from new types of sources. Eventually, perhaps after a large international investment in new facilities, progress in the field will be limited only by the willingness of the Universe to provide rare, exotic signals to observe.

LIGO and Virgo have already performed a staggering feat. Consider the properties of the September 14 event: the signal was generated by two objects, each roughly 35 times the mass of our Sun, locked in a decaying orbit the size of Switzerland, circling each other 50 times a second. The energy involved was staggering, briefly exceeding that of all the starlight in the Universe, but the signal that reached Earth was among the most imperceptible things that humans have ever measured. As gravitational-wave detections make the transition from sensational discoveries to routine tools for astrophysics and cosmology, the invisible shaking of space will, paradoxically, illuminate parts of the Universe that were entirely dark until now.

by Aeon and Daniel Hoak

My take: I often ask myself, will this be the one, the one detector or instrument that finally begins to reveal that we are not in a so safe place in outer space. I know this day is coming when some scientific instrument or telescope will see what was prophesied in the New Testament of the Bible. I'am sure it will be initially attempted to keep this from the people of earth but the people will find out because......Luke 21: 26 says men’s hearts will fail them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
It is of course important that "for the powers of the heavens will be shaken" comes directly afterward. I'am sure some would say otherwise this scripture only means earthquakes, hurricanes and plagues but context and proximity are everything in scripture and so according to this it is clear things will be coming on the earth due to the "shaking" of the heavens.

What is interesting here is that beyond seeing with the naked eye, men in those days could not otherwise have been aware of anything coming upon the earth but clearly and ominously we have the means today, far above any past expectations, to be able to fulfill this scripture by providing the means to see something coming upon the earth well ahead of time. Men, of course, at the time did not know this would be possible but God did know and spoke of it here.
Men will be able to see through telescopes or detect through the myriad of scientific instruments something coming upon the earth. There is actually a lot that can go wrong out there and a lot that can come our way when it goes wrong. It could be as simple as an asteroid or comet or it could be caused by forces in or from the sun or the approach of a relatively small black hole, neutron star or dark matter which would exude incredible gravitational force causing disruption in the solar system. If you understand how black holes affect the space around them as they approach you understand how the scriptures referring to a sun and moon no longer giving off it's light, stars being cast from the sky like in a strong wind and the heavens being rolled back like a scroll could be attributed to the immense gravitational forces from a black hole stopping and trapping light photons. Dark matter itself is supposed to make up 95 percent of the universe so one wonders just when do we rub elbows with this very present force.
One would think gravitational wave detection should be something that would detect activity before any "shaking" of the heavens occurs. Gravitational forces should be at the very core of all this.

Now one could go on and on about symbolic interpretation of scripture and how it seems when it comes to these prophecies a way is found for all of end time cataclysmic events to be symbolic even to the point one might come to believing even the creation event was symbolic so we are not really here all this is symbolic and so you can see the absurdity in that idea. The beginning of the earth and heavens surely was quite a physical event and it only seems reasonable that there would be some of that happening at the end. It might seem humorous using understatement here but if you read some of the biblical studies and commentaries pushing almost fanatical use of symbolism to interpret these end time scriptures you might have to chuckle a bit yourself. It might also be a laugh  that my comment here is nearly turning into another article so i must can it and ship it.
The following however should be by no means humorous.

Men's hearts will fail them for what they see coming upon the earth
for the powers of heaven will be shaken.

Trump's Top Pick To Be Our New Drug Czar Drops Out After CBS 60 Minutes Searing Expose

President Donald Trump poses with Congressman Tom Marino
and his wife Edie.
Marino was Trump's nominee to become the National Drug Czar.
WASHINGTON, DC — Facing growing criticism on his controversial legislative agenda, Rep. Tom Marino (R-10 PA) on October 17 withdrew his name from consideration of appointment to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a position also known as “Drug Czar.” Marino, 65, represents Pike, Wayne, eight other NEPA counties and parts of four others.

Donald Trump had named Marino as his nominee in September. Democratic critics, following on an October 15 investigative report by The Washington Post and CBS’s “60 Minutes,” charged that Marino is the drug industry’s man in Congress.

“It’s like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said in demanding the nomination be withdrawn.

The investigative report revealed Marino’s role supporting pharmaceutical initiatives in Congress since 2011, as well as his being the primary sponsor of 2014 legislation, the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act” (EPAEDEA), which contained an un-highlighted policy change related to opioid use that reviewers did not catch.

Focused congressional pressure was successfully exerted upon Department of Justice (DOJ) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials who had initially opposed EPAEDEA, and the principal DEA official opposing the legislation was demoted following a letter of complaint from Marino.
With what appeared to be DOJ and DEA support, the seemingly uncontroversial EPAEDEA passed both houses of Congress by unanimous consent and was signed by President Obama in 2016. Its un-highlighted policy change has since all but stopped DEA efforts to prevent  widespread distribution of untold millions of opioids.

The Post wrote, “The law was the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market. The industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, pouring more than a million dollars into their election campaigns… Political action committees representing the industry contributed at least $1.5 million to the 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored four versions of the bill, including nearly $100,000 [$92,500] to Marino and $177,000 to [Sen. Orin] Hatch,” of Utah, who negotiated the final Senate version of the law.

Osterberg says Marino has explaining to do

Pike County Commissioners Chair Matt Osterberg, a Republican, has been pressing for opioid/heroin epidemic answers for several years and recently announced a contract with two law firms that could lead to the county’s suing the drug companies and distributors of opioids.
Commenting on the Marino nomination, Osterberg admitted “much concern with this decision. Mr. Marino sure has some explaining to do, but so does every other member of Congress and our previous president. Where were our two senators?”

Osterberg was critical of the unanimous consent voting on any drug enforcement legislation. “Washington is broke[n]. You watch the news and all of them are running for cover. Marino may be the ringleader, but the rest of them are part of the gang. [They are] all just worried about protecting their jobs, not doing their jobs. Shameful.”
Democratic Commissioner Steve Guccini expressed “serious concerns” with the nomination. Guccini said he was already aware of Marino’s legislation and “contributions to his campaign by drug companies… Until we have the courage to adopt a Constitutional Amendment getting the money out of Congressional races we are never going to solve this problem. In that regard, both political parties are complicit,” he said.

Speaking of the commissioners’ call for drug treatment programs, Guccini said “Perhaps just as troubling is Marino’s incessant attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with no realistic plan to replace it.” He cited Medicaid expansion, part of the ACA, as an invaluable tool in paying for long-term treatment of opioid addiction, since it funded treatment from earmarked state funds for those who do not qualify for Medicaid and do not have other insurance to pay for treatment. “If your position is that you are going to repeal the ACA because everything that President Obama did was wrong, then you are not serious about tackling opioid addiction.”

- David Hulse

It is of course no surprise Trump attempted to put in another corrupting department nominee that would destroy the better interests of the people in order to enrich a powerful few.

Beyond that this is another among unending another examples demonstrating you the people have to take the money out of politics and reform campaign finance.  And this is unending number of times I've had to say "Boy if you don't get it this time you never will". Any electorate with a brain can see this problem is at the very root of why so much corruption continues and why you the people cannot and do not get done what you want done. An electorate with a brain makes campaign finance reform the very most crucial top issue of the times. When you fix that you inexorably fix the potential to realisticaly fix everything else. What else?

Whatever you do you need to see this 60 minutes episode on the opiod epidemic and congressional corruption trying to inhibit enforcement of drug laws:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I Helped Create the GOP Tax Myth. Trump is Wrong: Tax Cuts Don’t Equal Growth.

The best growth in recent memory came after President Bill Clinton raised taxes in the ’90s. 

by Bruce Bartlett    

Bruce Bartlett was a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of “The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform — Why We Need It and What It Will Take."
Four decades ago, while working for Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.), I had a hand in creating the Republican tax myth. Of course, it didn’t seem like a myth at that time — taxes were rising rapidly because of inflation and bracket creep, the top tax rate was 70 percent and the economy seemed trapped in stagflation with no way out. Tax cuts, at that time, were an appropriate remedy for the economy’s ills. By the time Ronald Reagan was president, Republican tax gospel went something like this:
The tax system has an enormously powerful effect on economic growth and employment.
High taxes and tax rates were largely responsible for stagflation in the 1970s.
Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, which was based a bill, co-sponsored by Kemp and Sen. William Roth (R-Del.), that I helped design, unleashed the American economy and led to an abundance of growth.
Based on this logic, tax cuts became the GOP’s go-to solution for nearly every economic problem. Extravagant claims are made for any proposed tax cut. Wednesday, President Trump argued that “our country and our economy cannot take off” without the kind of tax reform he proposes. Last week, Republican economist Arthur Laffer said, “If you cut that [corporate] tax rate to 15 percent, it will pay for itself many times over. … This will bring in probably $1.5 trillion net by itself.”
That’s wishful thinking. So is most Republican rhetoric around tax cutting. In reality, there’s no evidence that a tax cut now would spur growth.
The Reagan tax cut did have a positive effect on the economy, but the prosperity of the ’80s is overrated in the Republican mind. In fact, aggregate real gross domestic product growth was higher in the ’70s — 37.2 percent vs. 35.9 percent.
Moreover, GOP tax mythology usually leaves out other factors that also contributed to growth in the 1980s: First was the sharp reduction in interest rates by the Federal Reserve. The fed funds rate fell by more than half, from about 19 percent in July 1981 to about 9 percent in November 1982. Second, Reagan’s defense buildup and highway construction programs greatly increased the federal government’s purchases of goods and services. This is textbook Keynesian economics.
[Why would anyone in Puerto Rico want a hurricane? Because someone will get rich.]
Third, there was the simple bounce-back from the recession of 1981-82. Recoveries in the postwar era tended to be V-shaped — they were as sharp as the downturns they followed. The deeper the recession, the more robust the recovery.
Finally, I’m not sure how many Republicans even know anymore that Reagan raised taxes several times after 1981. His last budget showed that as of 1988, the aggregate, cumulative revenue loss from the 1981 tax cut was $264 billion and legislated tax increases brought about half of that back.
Today, Republicans extol the virtues of lowering marginal tax rates, citing as their model the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which lowered the top individual income tax rate to just 28 percent from 50 percent, and the corporate tax rate to 34 percent from 46 percent. What follows, they say, would be an economic boon. Indeed, textbook tax theory says that lowering marginal tax rates while holding revenue constant unambiguously raises growth.
But there is no evidence showing a boost in growth from the 1986 act. The economy remained on the same track, with huge stock market crashes — 1987’s “Black Monday,” 1989’s Friday the 13th “mini-crash” and a recession beginning in 1990. Real wages fell.
Strenuous efforts by economists to find any growth effect from the 1986 act have failed to find much. The most thorough analysis, by economists Alan Auerbach and Joel Slemrod, found only a shifting of income due to tax reform, no growth effects: “The aggregate values of labor supply and saving apparently responded very little,” they concluded.
The flip-side of tax cut mythology is the notion that tax increases are an economic disaster — the reason, in theory, every Republican in Congress voted against the tax increase proposed by Bill Clinton in 1993. Yet the 1990s was the most prosperous decade in recent memory. At 37.3 percent, aggregate real GDP growth in the 1990s exceeded that in the 1980s.
Despite huge tax cuts almost annually during the George W. Bush administration that cost the Treasury trillions in revenue, according to the Congressional Budget Office, growth collapsed in the first decade of the 2000s. Real GDP rose just 19.5 percent, well below its ’90s rate.
We saw another test of the Republican tax myth in 2013, after President Barack Obama allowed some of the Bush tax cuts to expire, raising the top income tax rate to its current 39.6 percent from 35 percent. The economy grew nicely afterward and the stock market has boomed — up around 10,000 points over the past five years.
Now, Republicans propose cutting the top individual rate to 35 percent, despite lacking evidence that this lower rate led to growth during the Bush years, and a drop in the corporate tax rate to just 20 percent from 35 percent. Unlike 1986, however, this $1.5 trillion cut over the next decade will only be paid for partially by closing tax loopholes.
Republicans’ various claims are irreconcilable. One is that the rich will not benefit even though it is practically impossible for them not to — those paying the most taxes already will necessarily benefit the most from a large tax cut. And there aren’t enough tax deductions, exclusions and credits benefiting the rich that could be abolished to offset a cut in the top rate.
Even if they had released a complete plan — not just the woefully incomplete nine-page outline released Wednesday — Republicans have failed to make a sound case that it’s time to cut taxes.
Nor have they signaled that they’ll commit to a viable process. It’s worth remembering that the first version of the ’81 tax cut was introduced in 1977 and underwent thorough analysis by the CBO and other organizations, and was subject to comprehensive public hearings. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 grew out of a detailed Treasury study and took over two years to complete.
Rushing through a half-baked tax plan, in the same manner Republicans tried (and failed) to do with health-care reform, should be rejected out of hand. As Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has repeatedly and correctly said, successful legislating requires a return to the “regular order.” That means a detailed proposal with proper revenue estimates and distribution tables from the Joint Committee on Taxation, hearings and analysis by the nation’s best tax experts, markups and amendments in the tax-writing committees, and an open process in the House of Representatives and Senate.
There are good arguments for a proper tax reform even if it won’t raise GDP growth. It may improve economic efficiency, administration and fairness. But getting from here to there requires heavy lifting that this Republican Congress has yet to demonstrate. If they again look for a quick, easy victory, they risk a replay of the Obamacare repeal fight that wasted so much time and yielded so little.

- Bruce Bartlett

My take: One of the most hollow things I have ever witnessed is seeing Trump up there on stage claiming his tax proposal will not notably benefit himself or the rich. This president has lied, bald-faced lied so many times on very important major issues that his speech really does ring so very hollow on honesty and integrity. He is a salesman selling without conscience for the consequences of the buyer, in this case his own people, supposedly the American people. The credibility of his words have become as tinkling brass, there is nothing there and this speech promoting his tax cut for the first time really makes him look like a joke, a charlatan. No one can believe him, leaders of nations cannot believe him or trust him.
Most perilously our enemies cannot believe him and I have particularly in mind at this juncture our friends, the people of South Korea.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

California, Hurricanes, Trumpathos, N. Korea And A Little Wisdom

As I left for California, Hurricane Harvey was moving out of Texas, which allowed me to feel good about my grand daughter that lives north of Houston, and Hurricane Irma was yet to hit Florida. Hurricane Jose could have done more damage but Hurricane Maria has devastated the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth. It's citizens are U.S. citizens. If you really believe in patriotism and all people are created equal it would be a good time to utilize it

Donald Trump is dissing NFL football players that protest during the national anthem. He claims his objection is not racist but he said these players are son of a bitches before the public at a rally in Alabama. The key location is Alabama. These players are virtually all black protesting unequal treatment on black people by the police. Trump made his statement with fervor and passionate hand gestures in front of a crowd in Alabama, the capitol of racism in America. What are we supposed to be stupid or what?
Otherwise of course this is a diversion from his ongoing political failings and he made the reckless sensationalist warble when he fully knew the new Republican Graham Cassidy Obamacare repeal was going to fail. Some things of course cannot be ignored and this sad pathetic excuse for a president knows it and exploits it.

Trump is also trying to goad North Korean leader Kim Jung Un into making the wrong move as Trump needs a new Korean war to "solve" his political unpopularity and congressional gridlock.
War can perform psychological wonders on a people, most of it perilously mesmerizing benefiting the leader and his will in the meltdown of political gridlock - the inevitable Trump solution.
There will be a new Korean war albeit a very quick one and it will essentially get Trump a second term as president....let's just say that's what i think.

I thought the GOP would stop terrorizing poor and low-income families with the loss of their healthcare and I was ready to move on with writing about something else besides politics but the repeal effort did not stop in June. Now hopefully and prayerfully the Graham Cassidy Obamacare repeal effort is dead. John McCain was once on my list of highly rated people but then he compromised to be a presidential candidate however he has honorably returned to save the day now twice by voting no on the Republican's repeal efforts. McCain is right and he is right that it is high time Republicans and Democrats work together to make the ACA work effectively and that means stop trying to undermine it to fail. It is time to grow up and work together.

You cannot go very long in this country without some stupidity raising it's ugly head again and it's particularly true when a foul mouthed dolt like Trump is president. I really don't feel like writing about any of this type stuff right now but when there is so often stuff about which stuff needs to be said something has to be said but it is not going on much longer here. Will all the high profile negative news makers just take a break. Take a break. Get Trump a teaser.

Steering for a break in the clouds.

An important quote to consider about now:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible 
will make violent revolution inevitable.
- John F. Kennedy

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Greetings From California, The Bay Area, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Levi Stadium.

My sister Ann passed away recently and so I made the trek out to the west coast to deal with that and visit my long lost nephew but more like a brother, Ross. and my other nephew Gregory. My sister and I loved each other very much. I could not have had a better sis on almost every level. Both Ross and Gregory said they needed me out there now to help and so it was on. There is a lot of backstory here I will cover another time but we had a great time and accomplished what we could.

In the neighborhood my sister lived and nephew lives, that is until the house is sold, it is so clean and nice with all manner of palm trees and exotic flora. The streets, yards and all just seem to have this aura of cleanliness and freshness. Santa Clara has a temperate climate with temps between 60 and 90 degrees all year long, light winds and breezes off the pacific ocean...very nice indeed. There is no polluted air and you know when it is going to rain and not rain. If you like to go outside without your hair blowing all over the place it is possible here. You can plan and get things done here.
The trip out was eventful. The fast and furious auto maneuver God made(maybe i helped, maybe i did something with the steering wheel, whew!) west of Flagstaff in order to avoid an I-40 catastrophic multiple car crash should be on someone's video since the opposing lanes were sitting still, stopped in a traffic jam. Tires were squealing as i barely made it around the back of a pickup that strangely and slowly pulled horizontally and directly out onto i-40 in front of me and another car. We were going top highway speed coming down mountain. It was just as if the person in that pickup pulled it out onto the interstate to purposefully cause an accident only 30 yards ahead in the middle of the two lanes.
Would have swore i heard cheering as i crazy swerved to avoid the back of the pickup. If only the car had a dash cam but then just watching that would dangerously raise the heart rate.
Was probably on Arizona TV.

All that just kept the blood flowing, the beauty and breathtaking nature of the trip took care of the rest.

My long lost nephew Ross(was Rossy back then)

Mac's (Ross's dad)
pristine condition 48 star American flag.
Mac also worked at Lockheed,
helped design the Hubble Space telescope.

Lindy my deceased niece and son Gregory(living 23 now)

Ross about 10 yrs. earlier in Fresno. Got a problem wit dat?

Silicon Valley's coolest park

The Bakersfield I-5 California HighwayVideos
(or road music in the great expanse)

A few last takes

Could have put them all here, Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Facebook, Amazon, Oracle, Apple.
 All and more were in a mile of my sister's house.
It is after all why they call it Silicon Valley.

The name stinks

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pray For The People Of Houston, Hit By ‘Catastrophic’ Flooding, As Harvey Crosses Texas (Latest Images From Houston)

Pray for the people in the path of Hurricane Harvey. This is a storm of immense proportions not so much by size but by stationary duration. The storm is affecting areas from San Antonio to Corpus Christi but the amount of rainfall is particularly heavy in the Houston area and some have characterized it as unprecedented and even biblical in it's amount of rainfall and effect.

Houston, the capital of the US oil and gas industry, was struggling on Monday to assess the damage caused by “catastrophic and life-threatening” flooding as Tropical Storm Harvey brought torrential rains to much of the Texas coast and into Louisiana. Harvey weakened from a Category 4 hurricane to a Category 1 tropical storm after making landfall near the port of Corpus Christi on Friday night, but over the weekend brought heavy rain to Houston 150 miles away to the north-east. Further downpours brought the total rainfall levels close to 40 inches in Dayton, to the northeast of Houston, by Monday morning. Brock Long, the recently appointed head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on Monday morning said he expected more than 30,000 people to be placed in temporary shelters as a result of the flooding and more than 450,000 people to seek disaster assistance due to flooding. FEMA deployed 1,800 staff, as security forces in the area were bolstered by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

 Army engineers began releasing water from reservoirs in the west of the city early on Monday morning in an effort to slow the flooding of Houston’s city centre. Schools, airports and offices were ordered to shut, while mandatory evacuations began late on Sunday night in some areas. An emergency has also been declared in the neighbouring state of Louisiana, the White House confirmed on Monday, authorising federal assistance to local relief efforts. The US National Hurricane Center has warned that an “unprecedented” 50 inches of rain could fall in some areas by Friday. It said record flooding was expected in many parts of south-east Texas, creating a “life-threatening situation”, with heavy rain expected to continue until at least Wednesday. More than 27 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in some areas, with 35 inches expected by Sunday evening, the National Weather Service said. “This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced,” it said in a tweet. “What we’re seeing is the most devastating flood event in Houston’s recorded history,” Steve Bowen, chief meteorologist at reinsurance company Aon Benfield, told Reuters.

Many residents of the fourth-biggest city in the US were obliged to flee their homes in boats or rescue helicopters as the floodwaters rose. The Insurance Information Institute said flood damage could match that caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when the National Flood Insurance Program paid out more than $15bn, Reuters reported. The storm is the first big natural disaster to hit the US since Donald Trump became president, and will be a test of the federal government’s ability to respond to complex challenges under the new administration. Mr Trump tweeted his appreciation for the “wonderful co-ordination” between federal, state and local government agencies. The White House said he would go to Texas on Tuesday. - Ed Crooks

In case you haven't got the breadth and depth of the catastrophe in Houston take a look at some of these pics. This is happening right now and more heavy rain is forecast as Hurricane Harvey restrengthens off shore and comes back.

Pray for these people there and pray that any hidden or trapped people will be found. Pray the Holy Spirit will guide all these rescue workers to the right places and pray rain will let up so rescue workers can get in and save any and all from drowning. Pray for the salvation of as many as possible through this disaster. Such storms and devastation are the result of man's sin and the resulting fallen world but God loves and has compassion on these people and seeks to deliver them from this and from this falling world. 
And pray for President Donald Trump. We may not like his behavior or his policies but he is under the power of this world like so many. Satan has convinced him he is "the man"and that the real stock is in material things and accomplishment but such a mental and spiritual bondage can be the strongest of ball and chains. Because you would also have it this way for yourself pray those chains will be broken and pray that dark spirit will be broken as easily as possible. Pray that Donald Trump will relent and repent to the Lord God our Father in heaven and receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. I think when he realizes that's where it's at he will go for it quickly as so many have and will. For every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Trump Decides To Use Hurricane Harvey As Cover To Pardon Fellow Birther And Racial Profiler Joe Arpaio

The reports begin coming in from the National Weather Service Thursday and Friday about the approach of Hurricane Harvey and the unprecedented devastation it may cause. One report after another comes in as each one gets more and more horrific in it's predictions, the stage is clearly set for Texas and it's coastal areas to get blasted beyond anything experienced before and so President Trump is jumping on the oncoming disaster to use it as a cover for very controversial actions he has held off on, most notably the pardon of Joe Arpaio. Hoping the news coverage of Hurricane Harvey would drown out expected wide-spread criticism, even from his own political party, Trump takes his focus off this historically devastating hurricane and on to his own controversial political concerns.

You would think most people would only go so far with so much pushing of extremely controversial racist hinted comments and statements but even in the face of such monumental catastrophic oncoming disaster of which Trump should be wholly and laser focused on, he, undaunted by the debacle in Charlotteville and then Phoenix, both full of racist inuendo and inference, goes ahead and seeks advantage in the diversion of a catastrophe to pardon Joe Arpaio who ran a relentless and brutal campaign to detain undocumented immigrants. The sheriff used chain gangs and prison tent cities during Arizona’s scorching summers, bringing scores of legal claims he violated the constitutional rights of Latinos. The Federal court agreed with the claims.

“For the majority of Latinos, Joe Arpaio is a symbol of racism, of discrimination, of anti-Hispanic sentiment, or anti-immigrant sentiment, of abuse of power, and this is the guy Donald Trump chose to pardon,” said Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist.

For some Joe Arpaio is most notably known for his birther stance against President Obama. Next to Trump, Arpaio is the second leading proponet of the birther issue.

So this is the president you now have. One that will instead of wholly focusing on preparing to deal with the thousands of people in life threatening situations in southern Texas, focuses on political advantage for himself and on of all things a sheriff convicted of racially profiling in contempt of court and his birther buddy and all of this in the aftermath of racial inflammation in Charlotteville and Phoenix.

All this should inform you that Trump will use the most scurrilous and devious tactics to benefit himself and his political standing and most likely before it is all over will resort to use of a conflict somewhere, somehow to take the heat off himself as the Russia investigation bears down on him, no pun intended.
In short, people will come second and Trump first. In this life

Friday, August 18, 2017

Bannon Calls Trump's Supremacist Supporters Clowns, Freaks And Goobers. The North Korea "Got Us" Was Just Icing On The Cake

How's the "Everything is going great" thing going?
Get this; The news headlines have been all about Trump and his attempt at moral equivalency between the two protesting groups in Charlotteville, Virginia. You might add here that the Governor of Virginia has requested Trump stay clear of Virginia.

So what is happening here? It appears the Trump administration is on the fringe of major breakdown but that is not the case. The case is that this is providing great cover for the escalating Paul Manafort inquiry taking place right now in the Mueller investigation of Trump involvement in the Russia meddling but more on that later.

After Nazi, KKK and other fringe white supremacists descended or should I say ascended up to Charlotteville Va. to push hate and emphasize the lesser elements of human expression they were met with counterprotesters. Fights broke out after the KKKers left their designated areas. Seeing that both groups were involved in these skermishes President Trump in effect tried to cast both of them as equals. A white supremacist drove his car into a group of counter protesters injuring many and killing one girl and Trump can do no better than entertain some kind of moral equivalency between protesters protesting hate and the hating protesters. Trump's base is made up of many of these hating protesters.

So in the midst of this debacle it is revealed that Steve Bannon gave an interview with Robert Kuttner and Joshua Green, both taped by the way, demonstrating Bannon's true opinion of these white supremacist supporters of Trump.

This interview was revealed on PBS and can be seen here -

Keep in mind the white supremacist protesters so often praised Trump and indicated they thought he was on their side. Bannon in his interview in which he did not designate to be off the record revealed that he thought these white supremacist protesters and others like them were clowns, freaks and a bunch of goobers and indicated they were being used by the Trump administration as pawns in pursuit of Trumps own agenda.
Bob Dylan would be so proud considering the lyrics from his song "Only A Pawn In Their Game" which so clearly indicts this strategy of the Trump administration as we speak, poor white racist dogs-on-a-chain pawns, political manipulation, the game, all of it.
Or in this case, Bannon didn't say that.
So essentially Bannon was caught dissing down on Trump's own base of supporters and the ones Trump knows will be po'd more so than many. Really PO'ed if you know what I mean. Bannon called them freaks, clowns and goobers.
There was no way Bannon, the "alt right commander' could stay on after mocking and insulting so many of these, the followers of Trump and the "alt right commander". The bro-loyal trust was kicked to the curb big time and so something had to give. Man, does it get any better than this,lol.

So you see the day after that revelation about Bannon came out which was yesterday, Bannon is gone. Oh yes he was on the block but with that he is gone, bannoshed.

From the interview Bannon also was caught saying North Korea has "got us" because of the potential for South Korean casualities in the event of aggression by the North. General John Kelly surely wasn't pleased knowing a nation's leadership doesn't let the enemy know they "got us" in any military scenario although anyone on that tactical chessboard should have realized that. That little revelation was however just icing on the cake.

The PBS interview occurs yesterday and today Bannon is out. The lesser lesson is no doubt you don't say the enemy has "got us" before they got us and the greater lesson is you don't diss on Trump's beloved base of clowns, freaks and goobers but don't take it from me, just ask Steve Bannon.

- Doug Yearight

Facebook Shuts AI system After Bots Speak Their Own Language, Defy Human Instructions

Days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that artificial intelligence (AI) was the biggest risk, Facebook has shut down one of its AI systems after chatbots started speaking in their own language defying the codes provided.

According to a report in Tech Times on Sunday, the social media giant had to pull the plug on the AI system that its researchers were working on “because things got out of hand”.

“The AI did not start shutting down computers worldwide or something of the sort, but it stopped using English and started using a language that it created,” the report noted.

Initially the AI agents used English to converse with each other but they later created a new language that only AI systems could understand, thus, defying their purpose.

This led Facebook researchers to shut down the AI systems and then force them to speak to each other only in English.

In June, researchers from the Facebook AI Research Lab (FAIR) found that while they were busy trying to improve chatbots, the “dialogue agents” were creating their own language.

Soon, the bots began to deviate from the scripted norms and started communicating in an entirely new language which they created without human input, media reports said.

Using machine learning algorithms, the “dialogue agents” were left to converse freely in an attempt to strengthen their conversational skills.

The researchers also found these bots to be “incredibly crafty negotiators”.

“After learning to negotiate, the bots relied on machine learning and advanced strategies in an attempt to improve the outcome of these negotiations,” the report said.

“Over time, the bots became quite skilled at it and even began feigning interest in one item in order to ‘sacrifice’ it at a later stage in the negotiation as a faux compromise,” it added.

Although this appears to be a huge leap for AI, several experts including Professor Stephen Hawking have raised fears that humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, could be superseded by AI.

Others like Tesla’s Elon Musk, philanthropist Bill Gates and ex-Apple founder Steve Wozniak have also expressed their concerns about where the AI technology was heading.

Interestingly, this incident took place just days after a verbal spat between Facebook CEO and Musk who exchanged harsh words over a debate on the future of AI.

“I’ve talked to Mark about this (AI). His understanding of the subject is limited,” Musk tweeted last week.

The tweet came after Zuckerberg, during a Facebook livestream earlier this month, castigated Musk for arguing that care and regulation was needed to safeguard the future if AI becomes mainstream.

“I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios -- I just, I don’t understand it. It’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible,” Zuckerberg said.

Musk has been speaking frequently on AI and has called its progress the “biggest risk we face as a civilisation”.

“AI is a rare case where we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive because if we’re reactive in AI regulation it’s too late,” he said.

-Indo Asian News Service, San Francisco

Fox News Hit With Bombshell New Lawsuit Alleging White House Reviewed False Story & Pushed It's Publication

White House reviewed Fox News story about Seth Rich before publication, lawsuit alleges

President Trump and White House officials allegedly reviewed a Fox News story about the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich before it was published and pushed for it to be published "immediately," according to an explosive lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The May 16 article, which allegedly contained fabricated quotes and was later retracted, fueled conspiracy theories that Rich was murdered in connection with a massive WikiLeaks data dump of 20,000 DNC emails.

In a stunning twist, the suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, alleges that then—White House press secretary Sean Spicer met with two Fox News contributors in April about the Rich murder and "asked to be kept abreast of developments."

"The motivation behind the article: establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election," the suit says.
Spicer confirmed to ABC News that he met with Dallas financial adviser Ed Butowsky, who was identified in the lawsuit as a "frequent contributor for Fox News."

"Ed is longtime supporter of the president's agenda who often appears in the media. He asked for a 10 minute meeting, with no specified topic, to catch up and said he would be bringing along a contributor to Fox News. As Ed himself has noted, he has never met the president, and the White House had nothing to do with his story," Spicer said in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, filed by Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler, Fox News investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman wrote in her article that Rich provided DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential primaries.

The Fox News network and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, were named in the lawsuit, as were Zimmerman and Butowsky. The suit alleges defamation and racial discrimination. Zimmerman declined to comment, according to a Fox spokesperson.

NPR was the first to report on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit includes a screenshot of a text message, dated May 14, allegedly from Butowsky to Wheeler, that reads, "Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It's now all up to you. But don't feel the pressure."
The story was published on the Fox News website less than 36 hours after the text was sent, according to the lawsuit.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters today that Trump had "no knowledge" of the Rich article published by Fox News and dismissed any claims of White House involvement.
Just before Butowsky allegedly sent the text message, he purportedly left a voicemail for Wheeler in which he said, according to the lawsuit, "A couple minutes ago, I got a note that we have the full, uh, attention of the White House on this. And tomorrow, let's close this deal, whatever we've got to do. But you can feel free to say that the White House is onto this now."

According to the lawsuit, Zimmerman, "with the knowledge and support of Butowsky," fabricated two quotes included in the story and attributed them to Wheeler, the only named source in the article.

According to the lawsuit, the article quotes Wheeler as saying, "My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks" and "My investigation shows someone within the D.C. government, Democratic National Committee or Clinton team is blocking the murder investigation from going forward. That is unfortunate. Seth Rich's murder is unsolved as a result of that." Wheeler has denied making those comments.

Shortly after the article was published, Wheeler says, he called Butowsky and demanded an explanation for the fabricated statements. Butowsky said the statements were falsely attributed to Wheeler because "that is the way the president wanted the article," the complaint states.

Days later, Butowsky allegedly wrote to Zimmerman, "I didn't tell you yet but the federal government is involved at this moment, behind the scenes and believe your story," according to the lawsuit.

Fox News retracted the story on May 23, according to the complaint. A statement from Fox News President Jay Wallace, which was provided to ABC News, said accusations that the story was published to deflect attention from coverage of Trump associates' possible collusion with Russia was "completely erroneous."

"The retraction of this story is still being investigated internally, and we have no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman," Wallace said. "Additionally, Fox News vehemently denies the race discrimination claims in the lawsuit. The dispute between Zimmerman and Rod Wheeler has nothing to do with race."

The lawsuit alleges that the motivation behind the Fox News article was to "establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election."

In February 2017, Butowsky introduced himself to Wheeler and offered to bankroll an investigation into Rich's murder, the lawsuit alleges. Butowsky's intention was to confirm that Rich was behind leaks and prove that he was "murdered by a Democrat operative because he leaked the emails to WikiLeaks," the lawsuit alleges.

Rich, 27, was shot and killed on July 10, 2016, near his home in Washington, D.C. On July 22, WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 emails from the accounts of seven DNC officials. In May, officials familiar with the investigation into Rich's death told ABC News that his murder was determined to be an attempted robbery gone wrong and that the FBI was not investigating it further.

The lawsuit alleges that Zimmerman and Butowsky "were not in this alone." In the months leading up to the May 16 article, Butowsky kept in "regular contact" with senior members of the Trump administration, according to the lawsuit.

Fox did not clear Wheeler's name or admit that Zimmerman misquoted him, according to the lawsuit, which claims that Wheeler suffered "irreparable damage to his reputation" and that his career "will likely never recover" as a result.
"Mr. Wheeler was subsequently forced to correct the false record, and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public," according to the lawsuit.

In addition to monetary damages, the lawsuit is seeking an injunction permanently restraining Fox News from engaging in "any such further unlawful conduct," an order directing Fox News to place Wheeler "in the position he would have occupied" if it had not been for the media company's "defamatory and discriminatory conduct," and a "declaratory judgment that the actions, conduct and practices" of Fox News violated U.S. and New York state laws.

In response to the lawsuit, Butowsky told ABC News that while he knows people at the White House, "I never talked to the president in my life."
He called Wheeler a "liar" and claimed he was attempting to get a job at the White House.
In a statement, the Rich family said it hopes the lawsuit brings closure to his death.

"While we can't speak to the evidence that you now have, we are hopeful that this brings an end to what has been the most emotionally difficult time in our lives and an end to conspiracy theories surrounding our beloved Seth," the family said in a statement.
-Tom Llamas and Michael DelMoro