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Monday, April 28, 2008

Panther Mountain (New York)

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Panther Mountain is one of the Catskill High Peaks, located in the Town of Shandaken in Ulster County, New York. At approximately 3,720 feet in elevation, it is the 18th highest in the range. A combination of factors has led geologists to believe the mountain is on the site of an ancient meteorite impact crater.

Its proximity to Slide Mountain, the highest Catskill peak, the relatively short distance required to climb the mountain from the south and the excellent views available from the mountain and nearby Giant Ledge have made Panther one of the most popular hikes in the range.

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The impact is estimated to have occurred 375 million years ago, during the Devonian period, when much of what is now the Catskills was either river delta or a shallow sea. The crater lies 2,640 feet below the surface, is 6 miles wide, and lies directly under the mountain. The meteorite that struck is believed to have been roughly one-half mile wide, striking with a force equivalent to 11 trillion tons of TNT.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Who Is Aaron Russo?

Aaron Russo (February 14, 1943 – August 24, 2007) is (was) an American entertainment businessman, film maker, and libertarian political activist.

Born in Brooklyn into a Sephardic Jewish family originally from Italy, Russo was raised on Long Island. He began promoting rock and roll shows at local theaters while still a high school student. He then worked for his family's undergarment business.

Five years later the twenty-four-year-old entrepreneur opened his own nightclub in Chicago called the Electric Theater/Kinetic Playground. The club became a driving force in the music business, where Aaron helped create the careers of many legendary performers, such as Led Zeppelin, whom he brought to America for the first time. He also promoted some of the Sixties' most successful rock acts, including The Who, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

In 1972, Russo began his seven-year partnership with Bette Midler, who became a superstar during his management of her career. In 1975 he produced the Tony award-winning Clams on the Half-Shell Revue, which starred Bette Midler and Lionel Hampton. At the time it was the most successful ten-week Broadway revue in history, grossing more than $1.8 million. While serving as Midler's manager, Russo created and managed The Manhattan Transfer. Later his roster would include such personalities as David Keith, Frederic Forrest, Susan Sarandon and other notable clients.

When Russo turned to producing feature films, his production of The Rose, introduced Bette Midler to motion picture audiences. Midler received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The Rose is considered by many to be the classic rock 'n' roll film. Russo also produced Trading Places, starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, which has become a Christmas classic, and Teachers, starring Nick Nolte, Morgan Freeman, and Ralph Macchio.

Russo received numerous awards for his achievements. They include a Grammy, a Tony, an Emmy (for producing the best television special of 1977, Ol' Red Hair is Back, starring Bette Midler, Dustin Hoffman, and Emmett Kelly), plus many gold and platinum records. His films were nominated for six Academy Awards, as well as seven Golden Globes. His films have won three Golden Globes, as well as the Image Award.

In the 1990s he ran into trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and eventually found himself with $2 million dollars in liens against him. Years later in 2005, he wrote, produced, and directed a feature film/documentary titled America: Freedom to Fascism, billed as an exposé of the IRS. He also took to describing himself as a "freedom fighter."

Russo made his first run for political office in 1998, when he ran in the Republican party primary for the governor of Nevada. He came in second in the primary, winning 25.9% of the vote in a four-way race. He then endorsed the Democratic candidate, Las Vegas mayor, Jan Laverty Jones, who lost to Republican Kenny Guinn. Russo then joined the Libertarian Party in 1999, saying it was his "true political home." In 2000, he delivered a fiery speech at the Libertarian National Convention, calling Libertarians the "last, best hope for freedom in America." Russo subsequently planned to run for governor in 2002 as a Libertarian, but he was temporarily sidelined by cancer.

In January 2004, Russo announced he was seeking the Libertarian Party's nomination to run for the President of the United States. Russo told LP News (February 2004) he was running because the United States is "heading to totalitarianism. I have a sincere belief [in] the Constitution and Bill of Rights as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Ben Franklin. Unfortunately, neither political party respects the vision of our Founding Fathers, and these documents have been relegated to the dustbin. I want to dust them off and restore them to their proper role in our lives." At the Libertarian National Convention in May 2004, Russo received 258 votes, as opposed to 256 for Michael Badnarik and 246 for Gary Nolan, a majority being required to receive the presidential nomination. Russo went on to be defeated on the third and final ballot by nominee Badnarik by a vote of 423-344. While some questioned his style, others argued his media experience would enable him to pose a serious threat to incumbent President George W. Bush, pulling enough votes from otherwise likely Bush voters to affect the outcome in battleground states, in the same way that Ralph Nader was considered to be in relation to Democrat John Kerry.

In 2006, Russo wrote, produced, directed, and starred in a documentary feature film entitled America: From Freedom To Fascism. The film questioned the legality of the income tax and attacked the "growing authoritarianism" in American life. The film was made after Russo had over $2 million of tax liens filed against him by the Internal Revenue Service, the state of California, and the state of New York for unpaid taxes. In an interview with the New York Times, however, Russo refused to discuss the liens, saying they were not relevant to his film.

On January 14, 2007, Russo announced his full support for U.S. Congressman Ron Paul's 2008 presidential bid. Russo also joined the advisory board of Jews for Ron Paul 2008.

In a 2006 interview with Alex Jones, Russo discusses his tax lawsuit and makes a number of claims about Nicholas Rockefeller. Russo talks about a friendship with Rockefeller that began during Russo's 1999 gubernatorial campaign, that led to an invitation to join the Council on Foreign Relations and revelations about a forthcoming New World Order, including an imminent "event" as a pretext for war in the Middle East and a North American Union with a single currency, among others. He stated he was told this by Nicholas Rockefeller "eleven months before 9/11 ever happened".

Russo died of bladder cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California on August 24, 2007, at age 64, following a six year battle with the disease. Russo said his goal was to "try and get the word out to the public about what's happening to America -- and give them an opportunity to try to change things." For an epitaph on his headstone after his death, he told the Las Vegas Sun (November 4, 1999), "I want it to say, 'Freedom Fighter.' "

Downloadable audio interview here!

Buy the DVD here!


In 1994, Russo created a one-hour, politically themed TV show entitled Aaron Russo's Mad as Hell. The program, part stand-up comedy monologue and part slash-and-burn political rant, offered Russo's views where he criticized NAFTA, The War on Drugs, the concept of a National Identity Card, IRS, Social Security, and the federal budget. When he was unable to find a syndicator for the show, Russo sold it as a video.

Watch the video here!
Mad As Hell!

Buy the DVD here!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The "T" Word

Read 'THE HOAX' here!Click above to read THE HOAX online.

Read 'The Mafia' here!
Click above to read this previously BANNED BOOK For FREE!
The Federal Mafia by Irwin Schiff, sold for $42 plus shipping.
Now you can download it and read it for FREE.
Note: The entire book is FREE in acrobat format.

Who is Irwin Schiff?Who is Irwin Schiff???

Irwin A. Schiff is a prominent member of the United States group which refers to itself as the tax honesty movement, and which has been referred to by the Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies as the tax protester movement.

Schiff is known for writing and promoting literature that claims the United States income tax is applied incorrectly.

He has lost several civil cases against the federal government and has a record of multiple convictions for various federal tax crimes.

Schiff is serving a 13-plus year sentence for tax crimes at the Federal Transfer Center at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

His projected release date is October 2016.

Irwin Schiff is also the father of controversial stockbroker Peter Schiff, who is credited as a co-author of Irwin Schiff's 1985 book, "The Great Income Tax Hoax: Why You Can Immediately Stop Paying This Illegally Enforced Tax".

The Federal Mafia is a book authored by Schiff, claiming that the income tax system and Internal Revenue Service are illegal.

On August 9, 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction issued by a U.S. District Court in Nevada under 26 U.S.C. § 7408 against Irwin Schiff and associates Cynthia Neun and Lawrence Cohen, against the sale of this book by those persons.

This prohibition does not extend to other sellers of the book. The court rejected Schiff's contention on appeal that the First Amendment protects sales of the book, as the court found that the information it contains is fraudulent.

Schiff, Neun and Cohen are currently barred under the preliminary injunction from selling or advertising material advocating nonpayment of tax, preparing a tax return for others, and from otherwise providing assistance or encouragement to others in violating tax law. Schiff and his associates are additionally required to provide a copy of the injunction to each of their customers, to post it on their website, and to provide the government with a customer list.

Despite Schiff's age (approximately 78 years old), on February 24, 2006, Schiff was sentenced to 151 months (12 years and 7 months) in prison and was ordered to pay over $4.2 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service; Schiff was also sentenced to 12 additional months for contempt of court. On December 26, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed Schiff's convictions except for the criminal contempt convictions.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Into Reality

The saddest that he put himself at such extreme risk -- and ultimately died -- only to finally discover basic principles of life he could and should have learned around the dinner table growing up.

Into Reality
McCandless' story isn't really told in the book or the film


Anchorage Daily News -

(Published: November 4, 2007)

"Into the Wild'' is a misrepresentation, a sham, a fraud.

There, I've finally said what somebody has needed to say for a long time.

First the book and now the movie try to portray Alexander Supertramp as the Everyman example of youth gone off to the wilderness in search of the meaning of life. Unfortunately, Tramp wasn't Everyman. And he most certainly didn't go off to the wilderness searching for the meaning of life.

No rational individual can overlook the note he left explaining what he was seeking. He went into the wilderness, in his own words, to stage "the climatic battle to kill the false being within.'' Tramp obviously wasn't searching for anything. He was running from something, possibly almost everything.

"No longer to be poisoned by civilization,'' he wrote, "he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.''

Note the third-person reference to himself there. It's a textbook signal for schizophrenia.

Lost is a good place to be if you suffer from this particular mental illness too. Lost is a place removed from all the outside stimuli that make life horribly, and sometimes dangerously, confusing for a schizophrenic.

Normal people lack the desire to become lost in the wild. Normal people use maps, compasses and GPS devices to avoid becoming lost in the wild.

Over the decades, I've met a lot of the young men who've gone off to the wilderness to search for meaning or, just as often, adventure. They didn't change their names, try to forge new identities or contemplate killing a "false being within.''

A few of them, myself included, did turn their backs on civilization for days, weeks, months or years -- but not because we were fleeing from it. No, we were seeking a world that existed long ago. Some of us still run to that place on a regular basis. It is good to stay in touch with the land. Just as it is good to remind oneself how comfortable and easy it has become to live in the 21st century.

People who change their names and run into the Alaska wilderness to escape have different reasons. Offhand, I can only even think of a few -- "Tramp," aka Chris McCandless, staved to death; Timothy Treadwell, aka Tim Dexter; got eaten by a bear; and Papa Pilgrim, aka Robert Hale, went to jail for incest. Among this trio, Hale at least had a legitimate reason for changing his name. He was fleeing a shady past.

McCandless was emerging from his teen years into early adulthood -- the time adult-onset schizophrenia is known to hit a number of young men -- when he changed his name, ran away from his family and friends and started acting strangely. When Jon Krakauer constructed the myth of Tramp in the book "Into the Wild,'' he tried to portray these behaviors as part of an edgy but normal search for self.

All of that literary claptrap can be summed up in one sentence:
When you abandon your car and burn your money, as McCandless did, you aren't searching for yourself; you've lost yourself.

I feel sorry for Tramp. I feel even more sorry for those who buy the myth of "Into the Wild.''

That Krakauer managed to maneuver his way around Tramp's obvious insanity to mold McCandless into something of a folk hero is a tribute to his skill as a writer. Krakauer took a poor misfortunate prone to paranoia, someone who left a note talking about his desire to kill the "false being within,'' someone who managed to starve to death in a deserted bus not far off the George Parks Highway, and made the guy into a celebrity.

Why the author did that should be obvious. He wanted to write a story that would sell.

There's nothing wrong with that.

Everything is economics, as Karl Marx long ago observed. It's hard to make a living as a writer in America. I admire Krakauer for doing so, and he is a fine writer.

And for all I know, he even managed to convince himself there was truth in the story he was telling. The way he clings to the idea that some poisonous seeds -- or a fungus growing on them -- killed Tramp would make it appear he truly wants to believe death was the fault of misguided food gathering instead of a descent into psychosis.

If only it were so.

Canadian Marc Paterson was among those who made a pilgrimage to Tramp's bus this year.

"Paterson had planned to spend three weeks at the bus, bringing in only a 10-pound bag of rice for food, just as McCandless did in 1992 for his four-month experience,'' wrote Robyn Doolittle of The Toronto Star. "Becoming bored of rice and scared of bears, Paterson lasted three days.''

He gave up on going into the wild and hiked back to the highway.

Why? Because as goofy as he might have been, he wasn't completely crazy.

Study up a bit on schizophrenia, then go read Krakauer's book (which is, by the way, really more about Krakauer than McCandless) and note the signs.

How Sean Penn could have overlooked them when he read the book makes one wonder. But he went a step beyond Krakauer. He dropped Krakauer's soul-searching from the story and made a goofy, sympathetic movie about poor 'Tramp killing himself on that journey to find the meaning of life.

Maybe Penn is as foolish and naive as some of his right-wing critics believe. Maybe he was greedy for money, though he would appear to have all any reasonable person would want.

If you haven't seen the movie, here's a quick plot summary:
The wilderness is wonderful. The city is evil. But don't go to the wilderness because it will kill you.

To which, any smart Alaska tourism promoter will add the caveat -- don't go unless you hire a guide.

My advice would be simpler: Don't go unless you know what you're doing. But that's wasted advice, too, because the people who need it not only won't listen, they are incapable of listening.

That's why, long before Tramp showed up here to die, Johnny Waterman walked off into the vast of Mount McKinley never to be seen again.

A crazed Alaska climber, Waterman walked 180 miles north into the wild from near Anchorage. He struggled through alders and up glaciers to reach the Sheldon Amphitheater. He left a note in the hut there that said only "3/13/81 My Last Kiss. 1:42 p.m." He was last seen wandering up a heavily crevassed route along the Ruth Glacier toward the summit.

His corpse is still out there somewhere waiting to be found.

When it is, maybe someone can write a book and make a movie eulogizing him. He was searching for something too. It's anyone's guess as to what. It's hard enough to figure out what's going on in the human brain when the wiring is working right, but a good writer can always make something up.