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Who’s Who among the higher ranks of the Military and Civilians

Press Release: President Names Additional Cabinet Members, Staff

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 18, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 18, 2008

President Tanya Halberd today named two new Cabinet members and two new staff members to her administration, selecting a Secretary of Agro & Hydro and an Assistant Press Secretary as well as an Aide and a Presidential Security agent.

The appointees are:

Presidential Cabinet:
Kazrak Dryke, Secretary of Agro & Hydro
Taylor Peralta, Assistant Press Secretary

Presidential Staff:
Antonia Waco, Presidential Aide
hehe “Tom” Papp, Presidential Security

Including new selections, the full membership of the Executive Branch is listed below.

President Tanya Halberd
Vice President Vickie Vielle

Press Secretary – Kiltcheck Douglas
Secretary of Science – Doctor Jiminy
Secretary of Health and Human Services – Stacia Zabeleta
Secretary of Education – Leandrah Whiteberry
Attorney General – Derin Swenson
Secretary of Commerce – Owen Papp
Secretary of Agro & Hydro – Kazrak Dryke

Assistant Press Secretary – Taylor Peralta
Assistant Secretary of Education – Jayce Raymaker

Aide to the President – Antonia Waco
Presidential Security – hehe “Tom” Papp

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She’s our new President – ‘So Say We All’

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 28, 2008

It’s official – Tanya Halberd is President and her running partner Vicky Vielle is Vice-President.

By Geranna Aeon

In the wake of a no-holds-barred campaign, Tanya Halbert, the pollsters’ favourite, has emerged victorious as President of the 12 Colonies.

In the end, the result was an easy endorsement of the Halberd/Vielle team with 38votes to 13 votes.

A jubilant President Halberd said, I want to thank all of my supporters, and promise that all people in the fleet will be represented well by our administration.

“I never thought that when I worked as a room maid 14 years ago that it would come to this. I’m so happy. The really winners will be the citizens of the fleet. I will serve them to the best of my ability.

“I have accepted Zarta’s congratulations, and I hope that we can put this campaign behind us and all work for the good of the fleet”.

Conceding defeat, the rival, former President Vargas had the following to say: “Now that the election has ended, my time to assist the fleet has also ended. Many of you may not know that my husband who was lost during the attack on Caprica made his way to New Aerelon and rejoined me afterward. Since we have no place in the fleet any longer, we have contracted with a rogue TQ pilot to take us to a nearby uninhabited planet, where we will live out our days–hopefully without Cylon attack. I wish you all well in your journey to your destination, and I thank you, once again. It has been wonderful working with all of you”.

That missive seeingly signals an end to Zarta Vargas’ involvement in Fleet politics.

Colonial Freedom Party Chairman and vice-presidential candidate Gerome Aeon said he was pleased that the people had had their say. “I wanted to be one of the first to congratulate President Halberd on her win. She has been elected by the people and in my view, in all fairness”.

Now the leader of a party in Opposition, he said his party’s role now is to watch the Government and keep it accountable. “Colonial Freedom will encourage the Government at all times to do a good job. I expect the CFP to serve as Opposition – the alternative government – so that the people will always know that if they do not like what the Government does, they can replace it at the next election.”

The Geminese refugee did not comment on some of the campaign tactics of the Halberd campaign but said he hoped it would not become any more personal. “This first election has been a learning curve for all of us … none of us have campaigned before. Now it’s over, I feel sure we will all regain our perspective. I look forward to good working relations with President Halberd’s team”.

Colonial Freedom’s campaign style was laclustre compared to the strident advance of the Halberd team. “They were far more aggressive than us and we sought not to dignify some of their tactics with a response, preferring to let people vent their anger for themselves,” said Aeon. “In retrospect, had I known what they were capable of doing and saying, I might have been tempted to adopt some of their tactics, but I would have been very uncomfortable doing so”.

Aeon would not speculate on future roles for Zarta Vargas or himself in the Colonial Freedom Party, saying that the party membership will be asked to vote on the leadership next week.

Posted in Blogroll, Gossip, Gov't and Politics, OOC (Out of Character), Rumor Mill, Uncategorized, Who's Who | 3 Comments »

Election result countdown

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 27, 2008

T minus 7 hours and counting – Time is running out to cast your vote in the first free elections since the Fleet began its odessy to Earth.

By Geranna Aeon

Since the automated voting station was set up by Election Ombudsman Captain Starbuck Serapis in the arrivals/security area of the 7th Heaven yesterday, the turn-out has been steady with a large number of the registered electors having already voted. If you have not voted yet, you have until midnight tonight (Sunday).

Here’s how it will play out:

The moment the polls close , the Ombudsman will count the vote. There are only two candidates and this is a first-past-the-post contest. There are no preferences in this election. There is an odd number of registered voters so there cannot be a tie. Even a majority of one is enough to elect either woman.

Captain Serapis will announce the result to the Fleet and the winner will formally accept the appointment.

What’s not so clear is when the newly elected President officially takes over the post. How long with Acting President Vielle remain in place?

Other questions include, how long will this President’s term of office be? (We seem to have over-looked that detail). Both sides have described a cabinet of officials to manage health, defence, education etc. How soon before those jobs are filled and will they be filled by party faithful or the person considered best suited to the job?

Then there’s the question of who swears in the new President? Should it be a priest, oracle, judge, government official, the Interim President (that might be embarrassing, swearing in your partner – or worse, swearing in the woman who beat you). A favourite for that particular ceremonial role is the Election Ombudsman and architect of the voting system, Starbuckk Serapis, who was unavailable for comment when we went to print. Who will make that decision, nobody yet knows.

Both parties are planning an election get-together in their respective venues but given the hour of the night, it remains to be seen how many will turn out to cheer or commiserate with their candidates.

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Election Result Tonight — But did we really want this election after all?

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 27, 2008

Only 12 hours before we get the much-anticipated results from the Fleet’s first general election to choose a President of the 12 Colonies.

By Geranna Aeon

Looking back over the campaign
In a campaign sometimes tarnished by finger-pointing and name-calling, none of the candidates seems to have escaped entirely from the slings and arrows cast by both sides in what will be remembered as maybe not the finest example of Democracy-in-action. But, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, Democracy it is – Fleet style – and the results are only hours away in the biggest game in town.

There are only two political parties contesting the prize. Seizing on the stirrings of a democratic movement in the Fleet, the fledgling Colonial Freedom Party was formed last year. The Party was the first to be formed and wasted no time declaring its ambitions for the Presidency. They recruited former President Zarta Vargas as star candidate. She resigned suddenly late last year from the Presidency citing inreconcilable differences with certain Quorum members and some high-ranking officials.

Often criticised for lengthy absences and only low-level involvement in the business of Government during her Presidency, Vargas has received a tongue-lashing by her rival for her low profile during the campaign. Some members of the Colonial Freedom Party (there are 22 of them) have even questioned whether Party Chairman Gerome Aeon may have blundered in recruiting Vargas as his senior partner in the campaign.

Far more active and high-profile in the campaign is acting Vice-President Captain Tanya Halberd (a reminder that she is the Presidential candidate and acting President Vickki Vielle is the VICE-Presidential candidate). Halberd is best known as the hostess of the Afterburners Bar. I described her in a previous article as the ‘smiling’ hostess, for which she fiercely tore strips off me. Anyone who has ever been to Afterburners (and that’s got to be almost everybody) knows Tanya is a gracious and very friendless hostess. Maybe after these weeks of campaigning, she’s not smiling so much these days.

But given her unquestioned dominance in this campaign, it is hard to understand why she isn’t smiling. Her ‘So Say We All’ campaign has been far more organised and energetic than Colonial Freedom with a number of news conferences, public Q&A sessions and loads of media coverage. The style of Halberd campaign has also been much more aggressive. She challenged her opponents to a public debate yesterday at very short notice at a time of day when her rivals ((were indisposed in real life due to moving house or asleep because of international timezones)) had no chance of attending.

The response from the electorate to these campaiging techniques has included some heated criticisms posted in the Fleet News for being too ‘personal’ and ‘unfair’. Perhaps the old political maxim rings true, that “Any publicity is good publicity” – everyone is talking about Halberd. Curiously, the response from the Colonial Freedom Party has been silence and yet more silence.

Are we better off for having had this election?
Has it been good for the Fleet or has it hurt us? We certainly have had a democratic process but talk to people around the Fleet and some will tell you that there has been some damage to people’s feelings, that the campaign has polarised the Fleet and has sometimes brought out the worst in some of us. Perhaps when this is all over, there will need to be some healing.

Be that as it may, politics in this Fleet will never be the same again. We have had our first taste of a democratic gloves-off stoush. We won’t be seeing anyone just appointed to a senior post because they know the right people. There is the expectation of accountability now. There is going to be a Government and an Opposition and the politicing is not about to stop – it’ll only escalate. And stand-by for the upcoming Quorum elections.

Whoever wins the Presidency tonight can look forward to constant bombardment from the Opposition, from the media, from comments posted by anyone and everyone in the News Service, being talked about behind their back, factions and rivals – topped off nicely by the next election campaign. Given what they are getting themselves in for, it’s difficult to accept that anyone would want the job. Thank the gods someone does.

But what if we had not had an election, what then? Someone would be placed into the Presidency by some anonymous power clique. They would have been elected by nobody and they would be accountable to nobody. The people would not have a say in who leads the Government, whether they are interested in politics or not. “Freedom Isn’t Free” and the burden is not on the next President alone (whoever she is) to carry the responsibility of the Fleet all by herself. The responsibility is shared by all of us who call the Fleet home.

I for one am grateful for this election campaign warts and all and I remain optimistic that from this bumpy and sometimes painful start, we will gradually acquire a more involving, fulfilling and rewarding experience for all of us in this Fleet of ours.

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Zarta Vargas wants to be President – again.

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 26, 2008

Some say she’s had a fair turn at the helm of the Presidency. But there is no human alive with as much experience as President as she has. So does Zarta Vargas get your vote?

By Geranna Aeon

Talk to people in the Fleet about the outcome of Sunday’s election and speculation varies widely from ‘foregone conclusion’ according to conspiracy theorists who believe the election is rigged in the Government’s favour, to a photo finish, too close to call. So who can say who has the advantage at this time – ‘So Say We All’ or ‘Colonial Freedom’?

Essentially the outcome will be decided by the people who registered to vote, who will have to choose between the experience of Zarta Vargas versus the popularity of 7th Heaven barmaid, Captain Tanya Halberd. They will balance the conscientious involvement of Halberd in the forum against the conspicuous absence of the ‘Where’s Zarta’ Vargas. There are plenty of citizens who ask, why should Vargas get a second turn at the wheel?

The Colonial Freedom Party whom Vargas represents has been growing in membership and some political observers are not ruling them out of the race altogether. “I don’t think my political opponents realize the strength of my position,” said an up-beat Vargas, who resigned the Presidency last year to make what she called a very loud statement. She said she wanted to return to the post of President “… in order to straighten out the problems, for the good of the people. I have reason to believe that my chances are very good and that the people are frustrated with the current government”.

Vargas says that a top priority for a second Vargas administration would be the Mining Ship Tylium Queen. The woman who calls herself ‘the People’s President’ relocated to the TQ even before leaving the Presidency last year bringing with her medical supplies in a move that she hopes was seen as symbolic of her empathy with the people. “The ship needs to be cleaned up. The people there have every right to reasonable conditions, just as the rest of humanity does. I took quarters on the TQ because I recognized the needs of the people there and truly felt for them. I want to give these people hope… as well as giving people on other similar vessels the same. Conditions in the fleet of this sort need to be cleaned up”.

The Colonial Freedom Party’s policy includes the creation of additional ministerial roles such as Secretary of Agriculture post, created by the Vargas administration last year and occupied by the current Acting President Vicki Vielle. The Party says it would create similar positions in:
– Health
– Housing
– Education
– Orphan welfare (a personal priority for Zarta Vargas)
– Defence and Cylon Research – another project begun by Vargas during her first administration.

 

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Can mud boomerang?

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 25, 2008

Intended to be playful and make light of what many consider a serious situation, little jibes against former President Zarta Vargas may have boomeranged on the Presidential candidate Tanya Halberd.  Did Tanya Halberd miscalculate when she chose to tease Vargas in public?

Geranna Aeon reports

The proposed “Where’s Zarta” game, which forms part of the policy platform of the “So Say We All” Party was intended to be just a joke, according to some of Halberd’s staunchest supporters, such as election Ombudsman Starbuckk Serapis and Commander Angelica Sephilim.  They were busy recently writing explanations and defences of the “Where’s Zarta” game and were at pains to point out that the policy platform contains a joke and therefore item #7 should not be treated seriously.

Fleet News has received comments posted by readers who are annoyed by what they characterise as Tanya Halberd’s apparent trivial treatment of the campaign and the election process.  However, comments such as “…that’s what happens when a frakkin’ barmaid runs for President”, posted by one reader on the Fleet News Comments recently, are equally personal and offensive to Tanya Halberd and equally irrelevant to the election.

Tanya Halberd is undeterred by such reactions, which she dismisses as the views of only two people.  “Many more like it”, she said.  And quoting ((Henry Kissinger)), she said, “University Politics are so viscious precisely because the stakes are so small.”

So is it an effective strategy to run campaigns based on personalities?  Halberd would not be drawn on whether her campaign would continue in the same vein but was quick to point out that it was just a joke.  However, the woman who personally played a significant role in the authorisation of many Quorum resolutions added that the lengthy absences of President Vargas during the last administration was no joke and is a serious election issue.

The election is on Sunday.

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Who is Gerome Aeon anyway?

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 24, 2008

Sure he has lots of friends and members of the ‘Colonial Freedom’ know him well enough, but who is this guy who wants to be Vice President?  A profile of Gerome Aeon, Founder and Chairman of the Colonial Freedom Party.

Gerome Aeon - Chairman, Colonial Freedom Party

He was Head of Security of the Commonwealth Parliament on Gemenon when the Cylons all but wiped out the human race.  Later, Gerome Aeon became a Freedom Fighter attached to the Geminese Resistance, who carried on the struggle against the Cylon occupation.  The Geminese Resistance finally caught up with the Fleet after its last stand on that war-torn planet in a remarkable escape lasting two gruelling weeks.

Once settled in Fleet life, Gerome Aeon found himself involved in politics.  “I was assigned by Captain Serapis to the Security Unit aboard Colonial One and found myself working with the then President Zarta Vargas.  At that time I became aware of the lack of democratic process in the Fleet.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault really.  Survival was the order of the day and Democracy seemed to have taken a back seat.  So seeing the need for a democratic movement, I formed the Colonial Freedom Party”. 

No sooner had he created the Party, President Vargas resigned from the Presidency citing inreconcilable differences with certain members of the Quorum and some high-ranking officials.  She joined the Colonial Freedom Party, agreeing to lead it in a Presidential election, assuming such elections ever took place.

Gerome Aeon saw elections for the Fleet as his Party’s core mission.  “We immediately started campaigning to push for free elections whereby the people of the Fleet could choose who leads them.  Membership of the Party grew quite quickly because there are plenty of people in the Fleet who also want to have a say on who sits in the President’s office”.

Despite some early gains, the Colonial Freedom Party was only successful up to a point.  The election was called soon after the creation of the Party and Aeon claims that as a score for his Party.  “I believe we played a role in bringing about elections and that is what we wanted more than anything else.  But voter registration was very poor – only about 10% of the eligable voters actually registered.  No matter what the outcome on Sunday, I am sad because I don’t think the true voice of the people will have been entirely heard”.

And yet the democracy campaigner rejects claims that the people of the Fleet don’t care about democracy.  “I am sure that the electors want the people choose their President.  They do not want a cosey unelected clique helping itself to power.  But this value that we prize so high, this symbol of what sets us apart from the Cylons – Freedom – has been overwhelmed by the sheer necessity for survival.  The Military are busting their guts every day to defend our way of life and we honour them.  So we should also honour the democratic values for which they put their lives on the line”.

Accepting that his Party is the ‘under-dog ‘ in this political tussle, Gerome Aeon feels that there is already a winner.  “Only in this sense – that win or lose, there are now two political parties in competition for the people’s vote.  No matter who wins, there will be an effective Opposition that will continue to campaign and keep the Government honest and accountable.  So the winner is already Democracy.  In that sense, I feel as though my Party has made a useful contribution to Fleet life”.

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Who Wears the Uniform? Profile of Artemus Carthage.

Posted by Fleet News Service on December 28, 2007

One of our fighting women returned from the dead (almost literally) to fight another day.  Military Affairs reporter Geranna Aeon talks to Marine Artemus Carthage.

“Two years ago, I a day or two after the zero hour attacks, I was found in a comma inside the wreck of Battlestar SYREN”, said Artemus is an almost casual, matter-of-fact way.  “Earlier, Syren had been parked in the ship yard over Scorpia, which was later attacked. When I was found, 1/8 of my bone mass had been ground to dust, leading me to require hours of intensive surgery. I had also lost all memory from before the attack.  After making my recovery, which took only a few months, I was dropped off on Pacifica, where I continued my duties as a colonial marine.  On the subject of where I was born, further research allowed me to discover that I was born on Scorpia, ironic eh? 

The sole survivor of the ill-fated Battlestar Syren is now a medic in the Colonial Marines.  “It’s nice to have some excitement every once a while.  There are always those days when nothing happens and I am bound to treating colds and bruises in the sick bay”.

Concerning Fleet affairs and the up-coming elections, Artemus goes to great lengths to emphasise that she prefers to give politics a wide berth, but the softly-spoken Marine says she feels there is a gap between those who wear the uniform and those who don’t. “I also think the military is being blamed for a lot of things that were are obviously not responsible for – that’s just my opinion”.  But she remains optimistic about our survival prospects.  “As long as everybody learns to play nice, I think the fleet will be fine”.

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WHO WEARS THE UNIFORM? Profile of a Colonial Warrior.

Posted by Fleet News Service on December 26, 2007

 By Geranna Aeon

IN this continuing series, we profile the fighting men and women of the fleet.

She’s shy, she’s military to the core and she’s one of the people who trains our new Viper Pilots (Nuggets).  But for the Gods’ sakes, don’t talk about religion.  Meet Jr Lieutenant Kazimie Alderson.

kazimie-alderson.jpg

“I’m not one for talking much about my past.  I was born in the northern hemisphere of Picon, my father a lawyer was himself raised on Picon but my mother was a Geminese cleric. I originally attended University to study medicine but after an argument with my mother, I dropped out and joined the military academy on Picon.  I don’t get on well with religious people or those that take chamalla extract”.

The Fleet’s nuggets are in good company when in the experienced hands of Kazimie, who was on a Raptor search and rescue training exercise in orbit above Picon when fleet headquarters was nuked by the Cylons. “Fortunately, the radiation interference prevented us from being spotted until they left. We spent alot of time picking bodies out of wrecked battlestars and vipers before we were ordered to Jump to emergency RV coordinates where we met up with the Pacifica”.

Lt Alderson says she loves her new role.  She likes her Viper almost as much as her Nuggets. “I like the freedom to be able to move freely with a Viper and also help nuggets with basic skills. The only thing bad about it is when i get shot up or have to discipline pilots for misbehavior”.

The job certainly has more than it’s fair share of risks.  Kazimie still vividly recalls the most terrifying moment of her time aboard the Pacifica when Cylon Raiders boarded the ship and cornered her in the hangar.  Luck of the Gods was on her side that day because although she her pistol jammed and she was defenceless and totally at their mercy, the Cylon did not shoot her.  “I had heard stories about personnel being abducted and what happened to a fellow pilot and friend of mine when she was captured. Fortunately a Marine squad destroyed the Cylon before anything could happen. The only time I actually said, ‘thanks to the Gods’.

The career warrior challenges the wisdom of having a civilian security force as well as a Military.  “I don’t like the idea of a civilian security force running around that can interfere with military operations”.

She says life in the Military can be somewhat lonely at times. Kazimie says she has many friends inside the military, especially with fellow viper pilots.  “My personal life however is not going so well. I’m either training nuggets to fly or assisting in CIC operations and management”. 

And she appeals to civilians to cut the Military a little slack on the social scene.  “Just because I don’t talk to people much does not mean I’m not willing. But with our current situation you can understand if something else has my attention”.

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VARGAS RESIGNS PRESIDENCY, CALLS FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORM

Posted by Fleet News Service on December 25, 2007

In a move set to stun many in the Fleet, President Zarta Vargas has stepped down as President of the 12 Colonies.  She then announced the creation of the Fleet’s first political party and has called on wide-spread political reform, free elections and greater accountability from the Quorum and Government offocials.

At a meeting held in the conference room aboard Colonial One on two days ago, the President determined that, “…I could no longer assist the people, as I want and have tried to do, from my position as Colonial President”. 

She formally resigned the post thereafter.

The following is a formal statement released by the out-going President:

I bring to you, the People of the Colonies, a new answer for progress for our species – one that begins with questioning the efficacy of the established and traditional colonial government.  As a person of science, I am well-accustomed to questioning traditional ideas and working toward change when there is evidence that the traditional is no longer valid or useful.  While traditional ideas and actions certainly help us to feel more secure, they oftentimes impede progress, and it is when we become locked into and bound by ideas simply because they are tradition that we fail to see more effective ways to approach contemporary needs or difficulties.  We are – not – in a traditional situation, and traditional attitudes, concepts, and methods must, therefore, be questioned and re-evaluated, if humanity is to make it through this time most effectively.  Indeed, the actions, decisions – and motivations – of our current government officials need to be questioned and re-evaluated.  A famous scientist once said, “Smart people can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view.” Our government is in the hands of a mistaken and foolhardy reliance on tradition in a time when little in our lives can truly or effectively be addressed by such notions. We need change.

As many of you know, due to my involvement in and opposition to the original cylon project, I prepared for years for our current situation. I could see then what others, who were blinded by greed and power, refused to see.  Are we in a similar situation now with the current government?  For many of our government officials, yes, I believe so.  We need change.

I ask you… to ask yourselves, among other things:
What is the government doing to improve your lives?
Are legislative proceedings affecting positive change?
Where are the jobs for our civilian population?
Where is the education for our children?
Where is the concern for, and action toward, improving conditions of places in the fleet in need?
Where are the free and open elections?
Where is the voice of the people in government decisions?

In my previous presidential position, my hands became tied by the bureaucracy of the legislative body, and I do not favor being little more than a figurehead.  My goal was to effect changes for the good of the people and the survival and well-being of humanity. Bureaucratic ramblings do not respond to needs.  We need change, and I call you to rally for freedom to affect positive change.  I call you to join a disciplined, rational, and forward-moving effort toward having government effectively address all of humanity’s needs.  This movement is dedicated to giving voice to you, the People and a genuine say in who leads the Fleet.

I welcome everyone to join me in this effort to reform government toward better meeting your needs.  Take action and regain your freedom, as part of the Colonial Freedom Party.  Join us in a campaign to win for the People free, general elections for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency and for greater accountability from the Quorum of 12 and Government offocials.

~ So Say We All ~

The new Colonial Freedom Party is the only organised political party in the Fleet and as such constitutes the only operational democratic opposition to the unelected Government.  The ‘group’ called Colonial Freedom Party can be found and joined in the normal way.

Posted in Blogroll, Gossip, Gov't and Politics, OOC (Out of Character), Rumor Mill, Uncategorized, Who's Who | 3 Comments »