Streetwise Professor

January 10, 2012

Paranoid Much?

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 10:47 am

This is self-snarking, so no comment is required:

Russian space chief Vladimir Popovkin said outside interference may be to blame for a series of mission failures, including the loss of a Mars-bound probe, Izvestia reported.

“I don’t want to blame anyone, but today there are powerful means to affect the trajectory of spacecraft, and we can’t exclude that these have been deployed,” Popovkin, head of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, was quoted as saying by the Moscow-based newspaper.

Popovkin does concede that earlier failures were due to “simple shoddiness”. So why the need to hint darkly at malign forces using tractor beams or something?  Is he serious?  Or is he just playing to some audience?  What audience might that be?  Is it taking its meds?

To be honest, I can’t think of any answer to any of those questions that wouldn’t be risible.  But that’s just me.

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  1. During the inquisition period blaming everything on witches was a good strategy to get away with your incompetence. Who would dare to defend a witch? He could end up beeing accused of heresy if he pled the case too well. After all, the witch-hunt was promoted by Boss Bossov of the Holy Office.

    Comment by T.M — January 10, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

  2. Scrimped on the holy water more like it.

    Comment by So? — January 10, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  3. James Oberg, a NASA veteran who has written books on the Russian space program and now works as a space consultant, said Popovkin’s comments were a sad example of the Russian cultural instinct to ‘blame foreigners.’

    “It’s a feature of space launch trajectories that orbital adjustments must be made halfway around the first orbit to circularize and stabilize subsequent orbits,” Oberg said in e-mailed comments.

    “The Russians must know that simple geography — not evildoers lurking in shadows — dictate where their communications ‘blind spots’ are. But the urge to shift blame seems strong,” he said.,8599,2104150,00.html

    Comment by Anders — January 10, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  4. There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.
    Benjamin Franklin

    Comment by Anders — January 10, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

  5. This needs to be thoroughly evaluated. I don’t see they have any choice but to assign crack investigator Dmitry Rogozin to this case.

    Dmitry showing up in a deerstalker hat and smoking a Meerschaum pipe will scare those guys into telling the truth.

    Comment by pahoben — January 10, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

  6. Come on Sublim moron and Mr X – The people want bread and circus and Dmitry Rogozin . The term coulrophobia has been proposed to denote an abnormal, exaggerated, or irrational fear of clowns.

    Comment by Anders — January 10, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  7. Dmitry arrives at the Yekatirinburg, “WTF guys our nuclear sub has a huge hole in it, a big piece of the hull is missing for God’s sake. Are you sure this was a scaffold fire?”

    The Admiral sweating responds, “Well it was a scaffold fire…and um…FOREIGN SABOTEURS Dmitry Olegivich.”

    Dmitry sympathetically says, “Ah yes of course, if they didn’t steal it then weld that section back on and get this boat to sea protecting the fatherland. One of these days we will catch a foreigner in the act of causing all these problems for us and on that day there will be Hell to pay.

    By the way a friend of mine has a company that can assist with these repairs if you are interested. I am only telling you this as a favor but he is a really good friend and you should see the work he did on my Mercedes.”

    Comment by pahoben — January 10, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

  8. @pahoben, it’d be tempting to just say “good sarcasm” but I think it’s more true than anyone wants to believe.

    Comment by Howard Roark — January 10, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  9. Another example of the ingrained dishonesty that is central to the character of Russia’s ruling classes….

    Russian blogger Navalny unmasks ‘Kremlin’ photo smear
    The Russian blogger leading Russia’s vote-rigging protests has accused supporters of Vladimir Putin of seeking to smear him with a fake photo.
    Alexei Navalny proved that a picture in a newspaper distributed by Putin supporters was a forgery when he published the original on his blog.
    The faked photo shows Mr Navalny alongside fugitive Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who lives in London.

    Stolen photo
    The original photo shows Alexei Navalny (right) with Mikhail Prokhorov
    Young activists sporting blue rain jackets marked “Vladimir Putin” were spotted handing out newspapers containing the forged photo in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.
    The photo shows Mr Navalny and Mr Berezovsky standing beside each other, smiling for the camera, with the caption: “Alexei Navalny has never made any secret of the fact that the oligarch Boris Berezovsky gives him money to fight Putin.”
    Russia has been trying for years to extradite Mr Berezovsky, who was granted political asylum in the UK in 2003. He is wanted on fraud charges, which he denies.
    In a blog posting which led with the words “News from [Vladimir] Putin’s electoral campaign”, Mr Navalny published the original photo, sent to him months earlier by photographer Alexei Yushenkov as a souvenir.
    Taken on 25 May in the offices of Russian radio station Moscow Echo, the snap shows the blogger alongside Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire who has since declared himself a candidate in the March election.

    Comment by Andrew — January 11, 2012 @ 2:36 am

  10. Off topic-

    Last week I made a wire transfer from BofA to a Chase account holder for an amplifier. The money doesn’t show in his account. I spent half a day calling around BofA until I found out that the funds were held in a “compliance account” and would be held until I provided ssn etc for the recipient. The recipient rightfully did not want to provide the information and was under no legal obligation to do so. I went to BofA and they transmitted a cancellation/recall of the funds. The money doesn’t show in my account. I call around half a day and then find out the “compliance account” is a US Treasury account and the funds ain’t going forward or backward until I provide the recipient information that he has no legal obligation to provide. In the interim I had made a funds transfer from a BofA account to a BofA account for the amplifier. I spoke with the guy and he graciously agreed to provide the info directly to a BofA representative. That happened yesterday and still no funds returned. I spoke with BofA and they spoke with the compliance department and they told her that there is no schedule for return of the funds but maybe check Friday.

    I am not a lawyer nor a constitutional expert but this is outrageous and it certainly seems to fit the definition of unreasonable seizure as I understand it. Just a caution that strange things are indeed afoot.

    Comment by pahoben — January 11, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  11. Professor-does this mean I am paranoid?

    Comment by pahoben — January 11, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

  12. If by “unreasonable seizure” you mean something unconstitutional, since BofA is not, er, officially part of the US government that wouldn’t fly. But it does seem passing strange.

    But I think BofA is just totally effed up. A friend had the opposite problem–BofA didn’t take adequate precautions. So on average they’re just right, I guess.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 11, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

  13. Well they say now that it is in a US Treasury account at this time.

    Comment by pahoben — January 11, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

  14. Financial repression. The new way to avoid breaching the debt ceiling, I guess. I say that only partly in jest.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 11, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

  15. You are right though about BofA. This is the straw.

    Comment by pahoben — January 11, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

  16. “I am not a lawyer nor a constitutional expert but this is outrageous and it certainly seems to fit the definition of unreasonable seizure as I understand it. Just a caution that strange things are indeed afoot.” Bienvenido a los Estados Unidos de Argentina. Sie quiere obtener mas que mil dolares en effectivo de su propio banco, preparar a estar arrestado.

    El Estado Natural — a fuera de su puerto.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 12, 2012 @ 1:07 am

  17. Sotos or someone may know more but I would guess that with the new banking regs a transfer above a certain amount between individual accounts that doesn’t include ssn of the recipient automatically triggers this process at least at BofA.

    Comment by pahoben — January 12, 2012 @ 7:17 am

  18. Well, pahoben, must have been a damn nice amp is all I have to say.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 12, 2012 @ 9:18 am

  19. used krell 403e

    Comment by pahoben — January 12, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  20. Certainly not enough money to trigger reasonable seizure by the US Treasury by my standards.

    Comment by pahoben — January 12, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  21. I just saw a video of the F35B operating off a carrier-what a piece of kit. When it changes configuration it really does look like a Transfomer morphing.

    Comment by pahoben — January 12, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  22. I have been looking for one for a while at the right price and this was certainly at the right price-about 25% of current MSRP.

    Comment by pahoben — January 12, 2012 @ 10:25 am

  23. Apparently a financial sparrow cannot fall without the notice of the US Treasury. If only they were so meticulous about reviewing Timmy!’s tax returns.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 12, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

  24. F35 is an amazing aircraft. Hopefully it will see active service, but if this lot remains in charge I would bet against that.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 12, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  25. pahoben, based on your description, it doesn’t seem to me that the US Treasury is the one controlling your funds and preventing you from getting your money. It sounds like the BofA is simply parking their money in a US Treasury account inbetween the transfers. Since BofA hasn’t approved the transfer, it’s remaining in their US Treasury account. Any problems seem to lie with BofA. It doesn’t sounds like to me that the US Treasury is preventing the money from being transferred. It sounds like BofA is doing chicanery to float the money longer so that it’s not usable to you. It is not unusual for banks to hold onto money being transferred from one account to another for unreasonably long time to make a few cents more in interest before it becomes available to you again. When I transfer money from one bank to another, it often takes 5 or more days between when it is gone from one account before it shows up as usable in another.

    Of course, I might be misunderstanding the situation.

    Comment by Chris Durnell — January 12, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

  26. F35B operating off a carrier . Norway is unsinkable like Israel , and we are going going to buy Lockheed Martin F35A .

    It is not easy for the Russian gangsters today , my be they have reason for some paranoia ?

    The Navy’s Northrop Grumman X-47B killer drone is about to get a lot more lethal.

    “Indeed, with aerial refueling, a UCAS would be able to stay airborne for 50 to 100 hours — five to 10 times longer than a manned aircraft,” the CSBA study continued. “With multiple aerial refuelings, a UCAS could establish persistent surveillance-strike combat air patrols at ranges well beyond 3,000 nautical miles.” For those of you keeping track, that’s nearly 10 times the range of today’s carrier air wing.

    Comment by Anders — January 12, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

  27. Thanks Chris-that may well be the case. It is a bit different than just holding on a bit longer because they said it ain’t going to the recipient and it ain’t going back to you until you provide the recipient info. That seems very strange to me that I couldn’t get the money back until I provide information that the recipient is not obligated to provide. If that is the case they should have asked for the information when I arranged the original transfer.

    I thought it might have to do with the new regs but you guys are right that who knows since BofA is so screwed up.

    I started evaluating new banks. As best I can tell Chase and Wells Fargo aren’t much better at this time so the evaluation continues.

    Comment by pahoben — January 12, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

  28. “Apparently a financial sparrow cannot fall without the notice of the US Treasury. If only they were so meticulous about reviewing Timmy!’s tax returns.” And if only we could get the NSA and Treasury to team up to bring back those MF Global funds Corzine and co wired to London…

    Comment by Mr. X — January 12, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

  29. Mr. X–wow, surprised that you are advocating the involvement of intelligence agencies and the Treasury in tracking down the MFG money. The Constitutional basis for that would be . . . ? The FBI and DOJ are involved, as are the CFTC and SEC, as well as the bankruptcy trustee. There are laws and procedures in place. I am genuinely curious as to why you are advocating such extraordinary, and likely extra-legal, measures in this case.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 12, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

  30. @anders-great info-truly seriously capable drone.

    Comment by pahoben — January 12, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

  31. “The FBI and DOJ are involved, as are the CFTC and SEC, as well as the bankruptcy trustee.” As you say, ready, aim…aim…aim…aim…aim….aim…no perp walk, no prosecution or jailing for Holder or Corzine…aim…aim…aim…aim. It’s been how many weeks, and they STILL say they don’t know where the money went? If you believe that, then you’ll believe a lot of things. “There are laws and procedures in place.” You mean like the procedures your friend pahoben is complaining about?

    Hell yes the Treasury needs to be involved if stolen funds were wired to an offshore jurisdiction in an effort to evade prosecution, and the Brits eager to maintain Londonistan/grad’s status as the top destination for looted funds are not being cooperative. Well they wouldn’t extradite Berezovsky either long before what happened to his employee Litvinenko.

    And my point was not that NSA needs to be involved, only that I don’t believe that such a large amount of money can be wired anywhere in the world without them knowing it.

    You live in a Natural State Professor. Get used to it. You no longer need to go abroad in search of Kremlin dragons to slay. Chicagoland is now the whole U.S., and Argentina style capital controls, harassment/accusations of ‘terrorist’ like behavior for defending your privacy and using cash, are now going to be the new normal. Sucks to be the frog already half boiled in the pot, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Mr. X — January 12, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

  32. Hold your water, X. You have no idea what you are talking about. None.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 12, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

  33. LOL since the theme of this thread is paranoia and LORD knows ya’ll have been slamming me for alleged black helicopter paranoia, I was listening to NPR just the other day while driving, and the historian/guest they had on was telling the host how an FBI helicopter followed him for ten minutes until he walked into a D.C. Metro station after he flipped the dark colored helo the bird for disturbing his neighborhood. He later looked up the tail numbers and concluded they were owned by front companies for the FBI or other intel agencies.

    So it would appear fearing black helicopters, much like buying gold (advertised on the Thom Hartmann show) or guns, is no longer just for right wingers who listen to Alex Jones anymore.

    And no Professor, I didn’t mean to say you’re a spook personally. You just occasionally swim in those waters (State Dept. setting up your meet and greet with Nemtsov, cough cough).

    And oh yeah, kiss Senor Equis goodbye and all your other anonymous handles if the Obama admin’s web czar guy gets his way. That’s reported in CBS and CNET. But keep insisting I’m crazy and fringe.

    In fact, I would go so far to say that the massive electronic surveillance panopticon being constructed all around us that we’re brainwashed into posting our whole lives online into…has made the U.S. spooks somewhat lazy when it comes to old fashioned humint. I don’t think the Russians judging by le affaire Chapman and Yuri Milner’s investments into Facebook and Ru-net social media are immune from that disease either.

    And to wrap up my eternal argument with Kiwi Dzhugashvili — how many people do you know personally Andy who’ve ridden in the back of an Antonov 124 flying into Kabul, or Africa for that matter? Because while indeed there were many Illuyshin providers for NATO’s air cargo program from the post-Soviet Bloc countries, two Russian and one Ukrainian companies had monopolies on the An-124 trade, and that well before 2009’s public admission that Russia would allow lethal ordinance to cross its territory. It isn’t as if fully locked and loaded B-1s or B-52s crossing Russian air space (or Russian CONTROLLED air space since the Stans’ mostly have pitiful to non-existent air defenses) would be something Moscow would want to publically admit. If Google was funded by a CIA start up incubator (yes, go look it up) then you make damn sure the Kremlins know how to scrub Yandex too. Or you think Sergey Brin skipped Medvedev’s Silicon Valley tour because he doesn’t like Dmitry Anatolyevich’s elfin looks? Naw, Sergey just didn’t want the contact report, they’re a pain in the ass at his security clearance level.

    Stay thirsty my friends. Stay out of Big Sis’ way. Buy gold, silver and guns, and take your money out in little dribbles at a time, pahoben to avoid the knocks on the door. And as to Andy and Anders…still waiting to hear what Russia ever did to YOU personally. Especially you Andy, keep it real for the Georgian La Raza, all half million of them, waging Reconquista in El Norte…

    Comment by Mr. X — January 12, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

  34. Play hardball with the twit Brits. Tell em’ there’s gonna be another dump to Bloomberg on how much the Fedsury printed up to prop up the crap on their top banks’ books.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 12, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

  35. Since you’re live SWP, go ahead and delete my comments. It’s your right. They already censor me at PJM for asking them how much the Newt campaign paid for their two-weeks hate against Ron Paul.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 12, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

  36. “Hold your water, X. You have no idea what you are talking about. None.” All I can say about this comment is that it sounds scared, of somebody or someone. I’ll leave it at that. Goodbye folks.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 12, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

  37. Scared. Sure. That’s it.

    Methinks you have a persecution complex.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 12, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

  38. Anders…still waiting to hear what Russia ever did to YOU personally

    Mr X Understands very well the polonium gangsters logic , he is personally heavily invested in their project .

    Comment by Anders — January 13, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

  39. Mr X, I know an AN-124 was used to transport some large heavy items for power station reconstruction in 2008, however it belonged to Antonov Airlines a civilian concern.

    An-124’s of Volga Dnepr Airlines have been flying to Kabul since 2001 but (you moron) they are operating as an official UN carrier and are hired by national governments of 15 countries to transport supplies and equipment. That is (sigh) once again NOT official Russian government support. The also did not transit Russian airspace on their supply flights until 2009.

    Once again moron, there is no reason to fly through Russian territory to bomb Kabul with B-1’s, B-2’s or B-52’s when you have Diego Garcia.
    All the evidence shows they flew from Diego Garcia.

    You are an idiot X, a simpleton.

    BTW, I bet I know a hell of a lot more people serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places than you do. You are not the sort of person who tends to be popular with servicemen and women.

    As for what have the Russians done to me? Raped, killed, maimed, or wounded over a dozen of my in-laws from 1991 to 2008, all but one of them women and civilians.

    Comment by Andrew — January 14, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  40. Mr X have partners in prison in USA –

    Comment by Anders — January 14, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

  41. “The also did not transit Russian airspace on their supply flights until 2009.” Wrong. I know a guy who used to do business with VDA but vastly preferred AA, and they routinely transited Russian airspace not only out of Gostomel outside Kiev but elsewhere after 2002 long before 2009. “That is (sigh) once again NOT official Russian government support.” Quasi-official, plenty of ‘ex’ Russian gov types on VDA and AA’s boards. And besides the Pentagon AA also works frequently on transporting commercial satellites from the U.S. to Baikonur for launch.

    “BTW, I bet I know a hell of a lot more people serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places than you do. You are not the sort of person who tends to be popular with servicemen and women.” Wrong, Ron Paul’s waaaaaaaaay still out front in fundraising from active duty military, all lame explanations by the Establishment aside.

    And how many Kiwis are in Iraq and Afghanistan again? Ah yes, that’s right, you work with USAID or some other USG agency in Tlbisi, which would explain your vociferous and rabid loathing of anyone who’s a threat to the MIC.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 15, 2012 @ 1:09 am

  42. Actually, for a population of 4.5 Million we have a battalion PRC and the NZ SAS serving in Afghanistan, a higher per capita rate than most countries except the Georgians, the NZ SAS has a presidential unit citation for combat operations from the US government, and my cousin was killed there late last year.

    As for Ron “I’m a racist bigoted conspiracy nut job like Mr.X” Paul being “waaaaaaaaay still out front in fundraising” well dumbass raising around US$100,000 is not really impressive.

    And once again, your claim that “locked and loaded B-1’s” flew through Russian airspace is BS.

    BTW, commercial satellites, what does that have to do with the Russians refusing transit rights for military equipment flights to Afghanistan until 2009? Once again the flights to Afghanistan followed a corridor that passed over former soviet republics, not over Russian airspace, until 2009, and most flights still use this route.

    And no I do not work for USAID or any other US Government agency.

    I do find it funny how you decry “US imperialism” but support the far more evil Russian imperialism in places like Georgia and central Asia.

    Comment by Andrew — January 15, 2012 @ 1:21 am

  43. My condolences about the loss of your cousin — if that’s true. And glad to hear you’re not on the MIC payroll and that isn’t your reason for hating Ron Paul — again, if true. I have never denigrated the bravery of Kiwis or Georgians — hundreds of thousands of the latter died to repel the Nazis in World War II, and the Kiwis were some of the best troops the British Empire had in both world wars. I have simply insisted that Georgian troops wisely and correctly chose not to die for their President’s mistake in August 2008.

    I insist that raising 100k from guys whose average salaries run in the range of 28 to 40k a year is fairly impressive and regardless of lame attempts to discredit this fact. It remains far and above the tallies for the GOP candidates who long to send people like your late brother to war with Iran.

    “what does that have to do with the Russians refusing transit rights for military equipment flights to Afghanistan until 2009?” We will simply have to agree to disagree on this one, as I’m not going to reveal my U.S.-based sources on this at a public forum. They still work routinely with the U.S. government, which is somewhat ironic considering how I’m supposed to be some sorta Commie stooge and I have had such friends — perhaps at one point almost as many as SWP who has himself waded into those waters from time to time.

    And last of all, this whole discussion got started because the host of this site made a remark that is either insane or self-parodying and designed to provoke people. SWP got caught saying he’d rather keep bribing the Pakistanis to maintain the Khyber Pass supply route no matter how many lives have been lost in that doomed venture than rely on Moscow to maintain the U.S. lifeline into Afghanistan. If that isn’t cutting off the troops noses to spite Putin’s face, I do not know what is. If you don’t trust anyone for those supply lines, then best get the troops out post-haste.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 15, 2012 @ 1:38 am

  44. Yes it is true “Mr.X”
    My cousin, god bless him.

    Well my contacts in the US military and State department state that Russia has been “anything but helpful” to the US effort in Afghanistan.
    Don’t forget about the fact that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in both Afghanistan and Iraq have been using the latest Russian RPG’s and other weapons such as ATGM’s.

    The fundraising is not very impressive as the US military employs around 1,400,000 men and women. Even if you had an average donation of US$1.00 that would only be around 8%. Not very impressive at all. Besides serving personnel don’t usually make donations.

    I don’t hate Ron Paul, in fact I think his ideas for a flat tax rate etc are good.

    His foreign policy and support for and from racists however are insane however.

    His foreign policy would allow dictators to flourish and result in the death of democracy outside the US and western Europe.

    And probably result in far far more people hating the US for abandoning them.

    Comment by Andrew — January 16, 2012 @ 1:05 am

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