Aardvark on April 19, 2011, 12:50:47 am
It's as if Rhonda isn't aware that a few hundred cameras and microphones aren't recording everything that's been going on. Soon, I expect to see is a 12 year-old girl acquitting herself more maturely than Rhonda believes a 12 year-old girl can.

spudit on April 19, 2011, 12:51:48 am
Is she her? Is Rhonda our long sought and never to be seen competent bad guy, girl, crazy broad? We shall see.
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dough560 on April 19, 2011, 04:00:26 am
Revealing statements seem to go with the territory.  When certain types think they are immune or protected, they tend to brag. I lost count of crooks I put in jail who just had to prove just how much smarter than me, they were.  Go figure.  One idiot had been discharged from the Army.  Believing himself safe from further prosecution by the Army and being deported by the Army and the German Government, he showed my partner and I his Swiss Bank Book where he had been stashing his drug money.  By the time he landed in New York, the IRS was waiting for him. 

Xavin on April 19, 2011, 04:49:12 am
Quote
My understanding is that even current militaries (and for some centuries back) recognise the distinction between the rank and the job title - so that the commander of a military naval vessel is referred to as the "Captain" (i.e the job title) regardless of actual rank. And any military officer aboard with the actual rank of captain who isn't the vessel's commander receives a temporary "courtesy" promotion (so a naval captain would typically be addressed as "Commodore" while an army or marine captain would be called "Major") in order that there is only ever one person aboard who actually gets called "captain".

Is any of that true?  I have never heard anything like that.

The bit about anyone commanding a naval vessel being titled "Captain" I'm confident of (although in actual practice the address used may well normally be "Skipper").

The rest (the "courtesy promotions" bit) - well, thinking about it all my sources for that info appear to be fictional, and a brief Google search failed to turn up any offical sources to back it up. It's possible that, as a matter of tradition, it hasn't got much official documentation - but at least one discussion board I found indicates that it is NOT current practice in the US Navy; there is a suggestion that it may have been used pre-WW2 but the evidence offered is pretty weak (Heinlein mentions it in "Starship Troopers. Heinlein was an Annapolis graduate and may have been referring to then-current (or possibly historical) tradition).

Or I could be completely wrong and it's just one of those myths, like the one about ship's captains being able to perform marriages (that one is dubunked here: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/546/are-ships-captains-allowed-to-marry-people-at-sea)

SandySandfort on April 19, 2011, 09:36:34 am
The bit about anyone commanding a naval vessel being titled "Captain" I'm confident of (although in actual practice the address used may well normally be "Skipper").

I had a gringa staying with me for a few days. She had been stationed in Panama when she was in the Army. She was the captain of an Army boat and when aboard her superior officers in the Army were under her command. I don't recall if they had to call her Captain, but she reported definite resentment from the male officers for having to take orders from a lower ranking woman. So the practice under discussion, apparently extended to the Army as well as the Navy.

GlennWatson on April 19, 2011, 05:18:23 pm
Yeah Glenn, the captain is the boss, able to perform weddings or hang mutineers as needed. But basically he or she is held responsible for the ship, crew, all that. A navy captain is equal to an army colonel and runs a big ship. A full commander is equal to a Lt. colonel and runs a smaller ship and on downward. JFK was a mere lieutenant in charge of a dozen guys on that PT boat, but he was The Captain. 

I understood all that.  I am talking about the temporary rank jumping.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 05:20:55 pm by GlennWatson »

Holt on April 19, 2011, 05:36:36 pm
Is she her? Is Rhonda our long sought and never to be seen competent bad guy, girl, crazy broad? We shall see.

No. She'll be a half assed attempt at creating a competent bad guy but in the end will be undone by an equally half assed plan by some belter child.

Nay the author cannot write a David Xanatos to save his life.

mellyrn on April 20, 2011, 09:44:56 am
инфы -- ?

quadibloc on April 20, 2011, 09:49:23 am
инфы -- ?
I got "Thank you very much, very little... in your forum" - and using Google Translate on the part I didn't recognize, I got "disk imaging found". Maybe "backup" in another sense was meant?

In any case, if the hostage is Babette Jr., the fact that her mother has just undergone rejuv, and is thus not recognizable, is presumably what is going to make the rollercoaster on Mars turn out to have been a crucial plot development on which the resolution of the current Cererean story arc depends.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 09:52:24 am by quadibloc »

SandySandfort on April 20, 2011, 12:09:11 pm
if the hostage is Babette Jr., the fact that her mother has just undergone rejuv...

Little Babbette (now "Libby") is Babbette's granddaughter, not daughter. Libby's mother is Lili, the sex worker. Anyway, the girl in question is not Libby.

GlennWatson on April 20, 2011, 04:29:06 pm
The girl in question is not Libby.

This is surprising.  When the girl was described as "cute and freckly," I immediately went to Libby. 

It will be interesting to see how the people of Ceres react to the assault on one of their young girls.  What is the human response?  Anger and a desire for revenge spring to mind.  The Professor was obviously angry.  It will be satisfying to see the Black Mamba and her men defeated.

I can't wait to see what happens next.


dough560 on April 21, 2011, 03:24:46 am
Sandy has previously stated the UW's Uniform Code of Military Justice is descended from today's UCMJ.  If I'm remembering the Elements of Proof for correctly, Cpt. "Black Mamba" has admitted to Conspiracy, Assault, Kidnapping and possibly Aggravated Assault with the use of Chloroform.  The subordinates who assisted her are also guilty of those charges, plus obeying one or more illegal orders.  All of which the UW will forgive if her mission succeeds.

The idiots are dealing with a legal system they don't and have no interest in understanding.  Kate's gong to have some interesting choices to make.  Choices that will make the UW very unhappy.

Cpt Chang has some choices to make.  An officer, political commissioner or not, admitted to planning and committing several UCMJ Offenses in his presence.  Under today's regulations, he would have to apprehend her,  initiate an investigation to identify and apprehend her co-conspirators and secure the release of her victim.  Then insure the arrest / detention of the suspects until an appropriate convening authority could hold an article 31 hearing to assess evidence and determine charges.  Cpt Chang could not be the convening authority, since he is the primary witness and apprehending officer.  Hell of a way to end a career.

Additionally military regulations do not allow for military courts to try civilians for minor offenses such as a public disturbance or fighting.  Nor do military regulations protect service members from local laws, regulations or arbitration / court systems

Conducting a second kidnapping, will not establish UW law on Ceres.  Nor will it promote social unrest.

If her plan is to provoke a general assault on the troops, she's going to be disappointed.  Her actions seem to be desperate.  Someone who has not failed in the past, using any means to obtain an objective.  At this point, stupid and dangerous.

If she survives the experience,  arbitration.  One way or another, very expensive.

Aardvark on April 21, 2011, 04:32:33 am
Is Rhonda holding the girl hostage to force Ed or someone else to do what she wants? That's all I can think of. I can't figure out why she is unconcerned about the cameras. With Ed, Chang and Rhonda all together in the middle of the square, I'd think that more than one camera would be rolling, focused on them. If that's case, then Earth might be getting some interesting video rather soon.

The UW, as we know, is desperate. A political officer means that the UW is a serious, socialist, ideological state, which means they are capable of anything -- all for the good of the state, of course. I believe that we're about to see how Cerereans handle extortion. The next few strips should be quite interesting.

quadibloc on April 21, 2011, 09:11:02 am
Cpt Chang has some choices to make.  An officer, political commissioner or not, admitted to planning and committing several UCMJ Offenses in his presence.  Under today's regulations, he would have to apprehend her,  initiate an investigation to identify and apprehend her co-conspirators and secure the release of her victim.
One can assume UW regulations regarding political officers are more similar to those of the former Soviet Union.

My solution to the situation would be:

a) a sniper shoots Rhonda dead, so she can no longer issue orders, and

b) then things are made easy for Chang, so that when he orders the release of the hostage, it will not look as if he is wilfully defying a policy of his late political officer, but instead reacting heroically in the interest of peace to a changed situation.

In other words, send a few big rocks flying in the direction of Earth. For all it matters, it could be a bluff.

However, that assumes that the UW can have its "pretext", but would discover that the Belters are so dangerous that if it tried a full-scale attack, it would achieve nothing but send a few of its own troops to their deaths. So I expect that something too clever for me to anticipate will happen instead.

spudit on April 21, 2011, 09:51:14 am
Rhonda initiated force, had it done, against a kid. Under ZAP and by Belter custom she is where Harris was. Her minions are where the weapons officer was. Very fair game indeed.

What would be clever? Have her parents spring the kid over Rhonda's dead body? Having armed children spring her, volunteers of course? Have Libby do it somehow?
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