NY Times: New Hope for Turnaround at Troubled Service Academy

[QUOTE=Whiplasher;80689]Well just to add to the pot here are are my two cents.

The US government does get things from the people that graduate KP but they are not UNIQUE and CRITICAL but neither is the Coat Guard Academy or the other ones for that matter. Every once and awhile you might get some KP grad the becomes rich and he pays a lot in taxes to the US but that’s it. and c.captain if you don’t want to pay for the school why not just move?[/QUOTE]

Other service academies at least provide officers to their respective services and I will continue to blast KP until Haley’s comet return and still after that if that pit of waste isn’t filled in with concrete and entombed like Chernobyl.

[QUOTE=Whiplasher;80689]Well just to add to the pot here are are my two cents.

The US government does get things from the people that graduate KP but they are not UNIQUE and CRITICAL[/QUOTE]

Hey Buster, that can’t be true, Captain Uniblab and Chief Engineer Sweat-n-Grease are certainly unique, not too sure about the critical part,
ok, I’m sure.

Oh yeah, you certainly are “Critical” and I mean that in the respectful sense! As in ‘one who makes judgement and recommendation’

[QUOTE=cappy208;80732]Oh yeah, you certainly are “Critical” and I mean that in the respectful sense! As in ‘one who makes judgement and recommendation’[/QUOTE]

ok, I’m really sure now ~ :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=Uniblab;80678]Getting quoted in the NYT is some great free publicity for this site. Nice job. It also puts your anti-KP bias out in the open, which is also nice. The NYT quoting this forum as a source on KP is laughable and lazy. The forum has less than 800 members and it looks like only about 100 comment regularly, about 20 of whom call for KP to be closed. Hardly a grass roots movement.[/QUOTE]

I’ll agree with the 20 but where did you get the “less than 800” number? The forum homepage over 18,000 members and 14,00 that have logged in this week plus 1347 viewing the forum right now.

I could care less about the article but I do like that John got then to mention Schuyler :wink:

I believe that number is from someone who does NOT realize how much each and every company has one person or another who is avidly reading this blog! The pulse of the entire maritime industry is on here. Wages, contracts, vessel usage, crew need, hiring, work conditions, pay (to an extent), etc etc etc. Quite a lot can be devined by readers. Even the lowliest forum: ‘scuttlebutt’ with its 80% accuracy rating is useful! Rebelriders comment about HR following his thread prior to getting hired is pretty illuminating! They may not have known which trainee in the room was him for sure, but they knew ONE of the candidates has posted volumniously about HOS.

Video of new KP training vessel and Interview with New Superintendent on Maritime TV’s KP August Monthly news Report

http://www.maritimetv.com/Featured-Content/Maritime-TV-Upcoming-and-Recent-Webcast-Events/Kings-Point-Acta-Non-Verba-Report?VID=maritime/120828_MaritimeTV_ANV.flv

[QUOTE=domer;80752]I’ll agree with the 20 but where did you get the “less than 800” number? The forum homepage over 18,000 members and 14,00 that have logged in this week plus 1347 viewing the forum right now.

I could care less about the article but I do like that John got then to mention Schuyler ;)[/QUOTE]

If you work your way through the “forum” tab, you will eventually find a “forum member’s list”. There are 788 members on this list as of five minutes ago. You might be confusing facebook likes with actual forum members. I am no expert on these internet bulletin boards, so I could be wrong.

I believe you are wrong. gCaptain has 20,403 likes on Facebook. So that is not the case. If you sort the list of 788 forum members you are talking about by posts, order ascending you will see that there is not anybody with less than 10 posts included in that 788. I know it was a couple years before I got over 10 posts so I would not have been included on that list a few years ago but I have been actively following the forum since day one. I would assume that the 18,962 members are people who registered on gCaptain, the 1400 active members are people who have posted at all and the 788 forum members are people with more than 10 posts, but I could be wrong as well. John, Mikey or Rob…care to weight in on what the different user stats mean?

[QUOTE=c.captain;80680]every point of yours is irrelevant sir…I’ve asked you before to provide clear and undeniable justification that the US federal government gets ANYTHING UNIQUE and CRITICAL FOR THE NATION for the $80+ million per year that is spends at KP?

Btw, thanks for returning…I’ll be happy to give you the “pointy end of my spear” and have this debate with you all over again.[/QUOTE]

Thank you and good to hear from you. It was a long trip. I recall after my sixth or seventh post one of your acolytes was giving you instructions on how to set the controls on the forum so that you could auto-ignore what I was saying, because he was worried that your head was going to explode. I’ll try to go a little easier on you this time.

$80 million is 2/10000 of the federal budget, less than a drop in the budget. You do spend a lot of time and energy on this tiny slice of the budget. Do you know that over 6.5 billion dollars is wasted in
the US economy each year by workers participating in fantasy football? That’s enough to keep KP open for another 80 years :slight_smile: ?

Lots of folks who work in the oil/gas industry loose sight of the strategic mobility mission that the merchant marine has. This is natural because they play no part in it. In order to be prepared for sealift contingencies, the federal government needs to have a pool of qualified mariners to meet this requirement. One way that the government meets this requirement by running KP. The “promoting the merchant marine and seaborne commerce” mission of the government is also partially met by running KP as well as the substantial support provided to the state schools. Remember, the state schools would all soon shut down without federal support.

The “sealift contingency” comes along when you least expect it. I have participated in two big ones (Desert Shield/Storm, OIF) and one small one (Unified Response) in my career. So I can assure you that they do occur. It behooves the government to be ready for them. One form that they choose to be ready for them is to operate a Merchant Marine Academy so that there will always be at least a few people available to run sealift ships in a contingency.

I am sure that I can anticipate your response. If you don’t like the way that the government prepares for these contingencies, I suggest that you write to your congressional representatives and try to get some laws changed. Start with the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. You should also write to the Navy and ask them to change the varies OPLANS that require sealift support. Have then change the ones that deal with China/Taiwan, Korea, and Iran. When you write to the Navy and Congress, be sure to explain to them that you don’t actually work in the US Merchant Marine, you just don’t like it. Have a great day.

As of 30 seconds ago there were 1215 people viewing this blog. 115 are amongst the “members” number you quote from. The other 1100 people are un registered observers who read. read voraciously. read every post you and I put up here. THESE are the people who are affected by the information on, about, concerning and relevant to the industry.

Sure, most don’t give a rats ass about the infighting at KP. Just as some who are very interested about KP don’t care about licensing or the jobs thread, We all have our interests. But there are alot more readers than you care to admit.

[QUOTE=dredgeboater;80903]I would assume that the 18,962 members are people who registered on gCaptain, the 1400 active members are people who have posted at all and the 788 forum members are people with more than 10 posts, but I could be wrong as well. John, Mikey or Rob…care to weight in on what the different user stats mean?[/QUOTE]

Close…
18,962 is the number of people who have registered on the site.
1,400 is the number of people who have logged-in to the forum in the past 30 hours
788 are the number of people with more than 10 posts and remain in good standing.
and… 258,876 is the number of unique people who read at least gCaptain post in the last 30 days (2,102 of which logged on from the campus of KP).

[QUOTE=Uniblab;80904]Thank you and good to hear from you. It was a long trip. I recall after my sixth or seventh post one of your acolytes was giving you instructions on how to set the controls on the forum so that you could auto-ignore what I was saying, because he was worried that your head was going to explode. I’ll try to go a little easier on you this time.

$80 million is 2/10000 of the federal budget, less than a drop in the budget. You do spend a lot of time and energy on this tiny slice of the budget. Do you know that over 6.5 billion dollars is wasted in
the US economy each year by workers participating in fantasy football? That’s enough to keep KP open for another 80 years :slight_smile: ?

Lots of folks who work in the oil/gas industry loose sight of the strategic mobility mission that the merchant marine has. This is natural because they play no part in it. In order to be prepared for sealift contingencies, the federal government needs to have a pool of qualified mariners to meet this requirement. One way that the government meets this requirement by running KP. The “promoting the merchant marine and seaborne commerce” mission of the government is also partially met by running KP as well as the substantial support provided to the state schools. Remember, the state schools would all soon shut down without federal support.

The “sealift contingency” comes along when you least expect it. I have participated in two big ones (Desert Shield/Storm, OIF) and one small one (Unified Response) in my career. So I can assure you that they do occur. It behooves the government to be ready for them. One form that they choose to be ready for them is to operate a Merchant Marine Academy so that there will always be at least a few people available to run sealift ships in a contingency.

I am sure that I can anticipate your response. If you don’t like the way that the prepares for these contingencies, I suggest that you write to your congressional representatives and try to get some laws changed. Start with the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. You should also write to the Navy and ask them to change the varies OPLANS that require sealift support. Have then change the ones that deal with China/Taiwan, Korea, and Iran. When you write to the Navy and Congress, be sure to explain to them that you don’t actually work in the US Merchant Marine, you just don’t like it. Have a great day.[/QUOTE]

Not a single statement you have made here is new to the discussion and each has already been shot down in flames. Check the record to refresh your memory because I am not going to do you the favor.

Please bring new arguments to the debate if you can present any or just don’t bother.

Now I see why you chose UNIBLAB as a username…you have nothing more than single narrow minded blather to offer us. Rather “UNIversal BLABbering” I’d say.

[QUOTE=Uniblab;80904]
The “sealift contingency” comes along when you least expect it. I have participated in two big ones (Desert Shield/Storm, OIF) and one small one (Unified Response) in my career. So I can assure you that they do occur. It behooves the government to be ready for them. One form that they choose to be ready for them is to operate a Merchant Marine Academy so that there will always be at least a few people available to run sealift ships in a contingency. [/QUOTE]

I agree with this statement 100% and with a merchant marine medal for service in the gulf war prominently displayed on my office wall, it’s an important issue that I, literally, never loose sight of (even if the medal belongs, not to me but to my wife :wink: … and this mission is one of the arguments I gave to the NYTimes reporter when I told her that I, personally, am a supporter of KP. So why do my comments appear to be negative? Because you need to put the article in context…

My interview with the Times took hours and consisted of 22 follow-up emails. Thousands of words were spoken but only 39 made it to print:

“It’s an educational institution for an age that the U.S. doesn’t participate in any more,”

And:

"is not focused on the new age of technologically advanced offshore rigs, sub-sea engineering and development of new ideas for port structures and systems.”

I stand by both statements but, neither make KP irrelevant… they simply mean that KP needs to evolve to meet the future of US Shipping, a future which includes new technologically advanced ships and vessel operation (shoreside) systems, staggering growth offshore, evolving naval threats, a new world economy and plenty of current port/infrastructure problems that need to be addressed. All problems which previous administrations and programs within KP (e.g. GMATS) have adressed in the past but are no longer supporting.

The view “contrary” to mine was made by Sean Connaughton, a person I know, deeply respect and who knows more about the subject than I… all reasons why I suggested that the reporter talk contact him.

Personally, I think KP is of great value to the country and our biggest problem as a nation is that we don’t fund enough maritime programs at a national level… and, if it where up to me, I’d double the school’s budget to fund the, much needed, programs mentioned on this forum (e.g. Industry training like GMATS had provided and student training in DP systems) as well as high level research and development programs to solve the industry problems we all know exist.

Unfortunately I don’t get to dictate the national budget nor do I get to pick which 39 of my words the NYTimes will publish.

…but… as Rob mentioned, these are just my personal opinions and they don’t constitute gCaptain’s official policy… which is to be open to both sides of the debate. If there is a “gCaptain bias” it is only because those “against KP” (many of which are alumni) are more vocal on this forum than the rest of us. Vocal enough that the NYTimes took notice and a primary reason why we were called in the first place.

[QUOTE=Uniblab;80904] In order to be prepared for sealift contingencies, the federal government needs to have a pool of qualified mariners to meet this requirement. One way that the government meets this requirement by running KP. [/QUOTE]

We already have a pool of qualified mariners, what we lack is a government policy that places those men and women on operating MARAD owned ships so that they are retained in the industry and those ships are maintained for any contingency. Because MARAD ships American military cargo on foreign flag ships and does not support a healthy US Merchant Marine deep sea fleet through funding or legislative support we are losing (again) the ability to respond. The tiny number of obscenely expensive baby mates and engineers flowing out of KP is hardly filling the “pool” with qualified mariners. The price of those inexperienced and minimally qualified entry level officers would fund a tremendous number of already proven and qualified mariners who actually would be worth something when the nation again calls for crews to man a sealift.

Remember, the state schools would all soon shut down without federal support.

I don’t recall anyone calling for an end to federal support of maritime training. We are calling for an end to federal support of a dead horse, inbred, corrupt, and obsolete school that exists only to support the egos and fantasies of its ring bearers. The money wasted at KP would provide real training to real mariners if directed to state or private schools.

The “sealift contingency” comes along when you least expect it. I have participated in two big ones (Desert Shield/Storm, OIF) and one small one (Unified Response) in my career. So I can assure you that they do occur. It behooves the government to be ready for them. One form that they choose to be ready for them is to operate a Merchant Marine Academy so that there will always be at least a few people available to run sealift ships in a contingency.

So did I, and I don’t recall being saved by the presence of any KP cadets or graduates. What we could have used was more mariners. We didn’t need baby mates and green engineers. The reason we didn’t have enough men and women is because government policies put forward by MARAD and its back office bunch from KP squandered the money that should have gone into maritime training and maintaining a healthy merchant marine. We had a fleet of poorly maintained, MARAD owned, ships that couldn’t be manned because MARAD and its ring knockers made more money and got more glory supporting policies that helped to destroy the American blue-water fleet.

If you don’t like the way that the government prepares for these contingencies, I suggest that you write to your congressional representatives and try to get some laws changed. Start with the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. You should also write to the Navy and ask them to change the varies OPLANS that require sealift support. Have then change the ones that deal with China/Taiwan, Korea, and Iran. When you write to the Navy and Congress, be sure to explain to them that you don’t actually work in the US Merchant Marine, you just don’t like it.

The laws definitely need to be changed. MARAD needs to get out of KP, MARAD needs to stop shipping DOD cargo on foreign flag ships, and MARAD needs to direct its training efforts toward those who are already in the industry. A healthy merchant marine will attract people who want to go to sea, young men and women who want a career in the merchant marine rather than just a free education and a secure job with their former classmates in a DC office. The only way to make our industry healthy is to eliminate the parasites who feed on it and the virus that infects it from the first day of indoctrination at KP. KP is not about the US Merchant Marine, it is about the alumni association and its goals.

The money squandered at KP would go a long way in maintaining RRF ships and crews. Just doing that alone would do more for sealift readiness and capability than another year of KP theater. Closing GMATS was the first honest statement made by KP or MARAD about the US Merchant Marine. That action told us just how much they really care about training mariners and supporting US flag shipping and crews.

And by the way, you don’t have to work in the US Merchant Marine to see the corruption and waste, and you don’t have to work in the US Merchant Marine to have the right to complain about squandering taxpayer money so a few kids can play dress-up and join a marching band while real mariners have to beg for training and government owned ships rot because government cargoes ride on foreign flag ships owned by Americans with the right connections.

[QUOTE

"is not focused on the new age of technologically advanced offshore rigs, sub-sea engineering and development of new ideas for port structures and systems.”

I stand by both statements but, neither make KP irrelevant… they simply mean that KP needs to evolve to meet the future of US Shipping, a future which includes new technologically advanced ships and vessel operation (shoreside) systems, staggering growth offshore, evolving naval threats, a new world economy and plenty of current port/infrastructure problems that need to be addressed. All problems which previous administrations and programs within KP (e.g. GMATS) have adressed in the past but are no longer supporting.

Personally, I think KP is of great value to the country and our biggest problem as a nation is that we don’t fund enough maritime programs at a national level… and, if it where up to me, I’d double the school’s budget to fund the, much needed, programs mentioned on this forum (e.g. Industry training like GMATS had provided and student training in DP systems) as well as high level research and development programs to solve the industry problems we all know exist.

.[/QUOTE]

REPLY: John, you have hit the nail right on the head. KP (and the other academies) need to offer relevant, comprehensive, cutting-edge maritime research and training (especially for existing mariners) like the best European schools. Otherwise KP (and the other academies) are not worthy of continued federal taxpayer support.

It amazing that a handful of community colleges (mostly in Louisiana) and a few private companies like MPT have had to try to fill the mariner education void left by the failure of KP (and the other academies) to even make a reasonable attempt to do the job.

[QUOTE=john;81007]I agree with this statement 100% and with a merchant marine medal for service in the gulf war prominently displayed on my office wall, it’s an important issue that I, literally, never loose sight of (even if the medal belongs, not to me but to my wife :wink: … and this mission is one of the arguments I gave to the NYTimes reporter when I told her that I, personally, am a supporter of KP. So why do my comments appear to be negative? Because you need to put the article in context.[/QUOTE]

First, I qualify for that same award if I chose to apply for it but I don’t care to. I did a job then that was available to be filled and was rewarded with high pay and excellent seagoing experience. It qualified me for my master’s ticket which is 20 years old now.

In no way can it be proven that KP or KP graduates made any critical difference in the emergency surge sealift in 1990 and there was no emergency sealifts in the other operations. The US Merchant Marine including the RRF and LSMR fleets are operated by commercial contractors who have contracts to man those ships with union civilian mariners. There is no mechanism in place which supplants the manning of these ships with MMR/SSO members so there is no way to truly connect the two. What would have to happen is to take these ships away from the private sector and turn them each into small USNR units with SSO reservists assigned to each. Although that would still not justify funding KP it might actually make make the MMR relevant to the Nation’s defense.

Remember the debate is about money the Nation does not have anymore and can that $80+ million borrowed from the Chinese every year be justified to be spent at a USMMA? It simply can’t. If we want cutting edge research let the private sector fund it since they are the beneficiaries. If we need more mariners for all sectors of the maritime industry then subsidize all the other state and private schools in the country which can produce those mariners at a fraction of the cost and which assist the most persons (ie. all license and document level mariners). That same $80+M would go hundreds miles further in that regard.

[QUOTE=c.captain;81051]First, I qualify for that same award if I chose to apply for it but I don’t care to. I did a job then that was available to be filled and was rewarded with high pay and excellent seagoing experience. It qualified me for my master’s ticket which is 20 years old now.

In no way can it be proven that KP or KP graduates made any critical difference in the emergency surge sealift in 1990 and there was no emergency sealifts in the other operations. The US Merchant Marine including the RRF and LSMR fleets are operated by commercial contractors who have contracts to man those ships with union civilian mariners. There is no mechanism in place which supplants the manning of these ships with MMR/SSO members so there is no way to truly connect the two. What would have to happen is to take these ships away from the private sector and turn them each into small USNR units with SSO reservists assigned to each. Although that would still not justify funding KP it might actually make make the MMR relevant to the Nation’s defense.

Remember the debate is about money the Nation does not have anymore and can that $80+ million borrowed from the Chinese every year be justified to be spent at a USMMA? It simply can’t. If we want cutting edge research let the private sector fund it since they are the beneficiaries. If we need more mariners for all sectors of the maritime industry then subsidize all the other state and private schools in the country which can produce those mariners at a fraction of the cost and which assist the most persons (ie. all license and document level mariners). That same $80+M would go hundreds miles further in that regard.[/QUOTE]

Now I’m confused, are you suggesting that we reduce the national debt by nationalizing the assets of corporations which support the US Merchant Marine and use the surplus money to privatize government assets (KP)?

You believe that MARAD is being fiscally irresponsible with the tax payer money and you want to write them a blank check for $80 million dollars to dole out as they see fit?

You think the KP’s $80 million budget should be returned to China? Ok, should that rebate also include the $683.7 billion we spend on defense spending?

If I am following your train of thought correctly then you have more faith in Washington and China than most on this forum!

I simply think it’s more effective for government to fully fund and support all current merchant marine initiatives (Federal and State schools included) and create new ones to boot… rather than slash and burn current programs in the hopes that MARAD can be better use the money elsewhere. I also believe that KP’s $80 M is a drop in the bucket compared to Washington’s $129.2 billion spending on education-related grants and tax expenditures and that spending on maritime related programs - any programs - is more critical and more efficient than, say, the $151 billion Washingtons spends on an already overabundance resource: agriculture.

Once free how will the $80 million be spent? On reopening worthwhile government programs or, as tugsailor mentioned, new relevant, comprehensive, cutting-edge maritime research and training (especially for existing mariners) like the best European schools?

Or might it be spent by Matsuda on new initiatives that make no sense? Or, worse, might it disappear entirely into the black hole that is our nation’s budget?

You are also missing another critical fact… KP graduates share two critical similarities with you and me: they understand and are passonate about the importance of shipping to the future of this nation. And we need more people like us!

Maritime technology research and development funded by the industry and not at KP unless industry pays to keep the place open.

Maritime training to remain principally with state schools for unlimited licenses w/ degrees and private or community college schools for limited licenses/MMD’s w/o degrees. Funding shared between tuition and Federal aid transferred from KP’s operating budget. 50% scholarships for MMR/SSO students at state academies for UL license grads.

KP is transferred to another Federal Government agency to do something useful and worthwhile with or sold outright.

Lastly, we DO NOT need KP grads to make this industry healthy. Just like trickle down economics…we’ve been hearing all this BS now for 3 decades and the US merchant marine has always continued to decline throughout and we’ve had KP right there the whole time. Having the USMMA does not make for a vibrant merchant marine…that is MarAd’s and Congress’s failing along with shortsighted companies like Horizon Lines who refuse to invest in new modern tonnage because “God Forbid” it must be built in the USA.

as an aside…I think the DoD budget is an obscenity and needs to be cut 50% over 5 years. END THIS FUCKING TRILLION DOLLAR UBER WEAPONS SYSTEMS PROCUREMENT WHICH IS NOTHING MORE THAN WELFARE FOR THE MILITARY/INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! Spend the money on the boots who do all the real work in the military!

[QUOTE=c.captain;81076]
KP is transferred to another Federal Government agency to do something useful and worthwhile with or sold outright.
[/QUOTE]

Like who? The USCG maybe?