We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Back when I worked in the FSU, we used to have a chartered jet to get us there from Europe - an Israeli-refurbished Tupelov with about 100 seats, flown by Latvian pilots. We would refuel in Ukraine, with the plane surrounded by armed guards, about 20 of them. Then when we landed at the destination, a two-strip landing field, two-gate airport, it would take anywhere from 2 - 6 hours to work through customs, usually encountering the same officials in different parts of the facility over and over. We called them Big Hats, because they all wore them, ex-Soviet style army officer-types - bigger than the airport guy looking at the wing cam here, but the same style. The Soviets were masters of the soul-destroying bureaucratic process, which becomes badly broken but never stops grinding, and is never abandoned. It's numbing, and after a while you get a little fatalistic about the experience. The rules are always subject to arbitrary change, but with no explanation and even less apparent sensibility.
indeed. And taking photos from an aircraft over Russia, that's considered espionage...
And highly stupid they didn't do their homework or they'd have known that Anadir is a closed city.
They're lucky to not have been thrown in a Russian prison for espionage (and 20 years ago they'd have been shot down).