Saturday, January 5, 2008

Musings: KKCR Outed and Lifting the Veil: Part III

The sky was filled with color this morning, and one of them was blue, and for the first time in weeks the pavement wasn’t wet when Koko and I went walking. I love the rain, but it’s nice to let things dry out a bit, although for how long it's uncertain, as the clouds have reappeared.

Visited the Kauai Costco with a friend yesterday — my first time in that store — and the best part were the samples, as I was hungry when I went in. I can see why people shop there, because the prices are definitely lower. But I was appalled at the quantities of plastic packaging used to hold bulk items together, and couldn’t help but wonder how much electricity it’s sucking down to keep it so cold and bright.

The strife at KKCR that I’ve been writing about for weeks is finally being dragged into the cold, bright spotlight of commercial radio and print media. Jimmy Torio hosted disgruntled KKCR programmers on his KQNG radio show yesterday morning, and today The Garden Island picked up the story.

It’s good to see the issue getting broader coverage. However, I was surprised to read KKCR staff member Donna Lewis discussing as yet unproven details of programmer Ka`iulani Huff’s suspension — even as the station manager, who was on vacation while all the action was going down, is attempting to schedule a meeting with Ka`iulani to discuss the issue.

Donna also delivered a little slap to Ka`iu with her comment that the station is seeking a “responsible Hawaiian DJ” to host the “Songs of Sovereignty” show that Ka`iu founded. If volunteer programmers are required to act professionally, certainly paid staff should be held to the same standards. It doesn’t seem to me that Donna should be making digs at programmers or discussing personnel issues in emails and print, especially when they’re still unresolved.

I also found it ironic that Donna, who in locking the gate and calling police to keep out suspended programmers also prevented the general public from accessing its own community radio station, was quoted as saying: “We prefer the open-door policy and look forward to resolving the security issues so we can return to our normal routine of serving our amazing community.”

If the station management prefers the “open door policy,” it shouldn’t be locking gates, period. Because in reality, there are no “security issues” at the station, just the management’s fear.

Fear of America's newest "enemy," China, is pushing the Navy to develop a new type of vessel known as Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), as I reported in my first "Lifting the Veil" post.

As I noted in part two, the Sea Fighter, formerly known as the X-Craft, is part of that initiative, and it has been endorsed by both Hawaii Superferry investor John Lehman and Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego, the former Chairman and now Ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee.

Hunter's support is not surprising, given that San Diego-based Titan Corp. built the prototype catamaran warship under an exclusive $59.9 million contract from the Navy's Office of Naval Research, with 40 percent of the construction done in San Diego and the rest in Washington state. What’s more surprising is that the Navy never asked for, and didn’t want, such a vessel.

According to an article in the San Diego County newspaper North County Times, “Hunter said sacred cows in both Congress and the Navy had to be slaughtered to develop the Sea Fighter.

By finding funds outside the normal defense appropriations process, and by ignoring special interests such as traditional ship builders and Navy officials who ‘want to keep building big slow ships,’ Hunter said he, [Rep. Darrell] Issa [R-Vista] and Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Escondido, helped military and private industry visionaries ‘conspire to beat the bureaucracy. This is the wave of the future.’"

What exactly is the Sea Fighter?

Specifically, it’s a boxy, 262-foot-long aluminum catamaran with a maximum speed of 50 knots, or about 57 miles per hour. It drafts just 11 feet of water and can be operated by a crew of 26 officers and sailors.

According to the website "The structure of the vessel is all aluminum with propulsion by waterjets driven by gas turbines for high speed operation and diesel engines for lower speed loitering. Sea Fighter is powered by a combined diesel or gas turbine (CODOG) engine plant outfitted with two MTU 595 diesel engines and two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines. The diesels will primarily power the ship during long-range cruising speeds, while the gas turbines will enable the sea fighter to travel at least 50 knots in calm seas and more than 40 knots in sea state four."

“The vessel has been designed for simplicity of construction and operation,” the website states. “Sea Fighter is the first vessel that the Navy has designed specifically as a ‘sea frame,’ decoupling hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) systems from the mission packages and allowing for a true ‘plug and fight’ mission module capability. Access to the main payload deck is via a large lift down from the flight deck or over folding ramps at the stern.”

And just where does it fit into the military’s plans?

As notes: “The X-Craft was designed to demonstrate to the US and other navies the versatility of a very high speed, high payload capability vessel which can cross oceans quickly, and operate in shallow coastal waters on missions which include mine counter measures and antisubmarine warfare.”

“Sea Fighter will conduct exercises in support of risk reduction for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as an ‘LCS surrogate.’ Following the exercises, Sea Fighter may be upgraded with weapons and additional electronic equipment. Ultimately, Sea Fighter may be commissioned as an operational Navy ship,” the website states.

According to the North County Times article: “The Sea Fighter's deck provides a platform for two helicopters, such as the Army's Black Hawk or the Navy's Sea Hawk. It also has a launch pad for an unmanned aerial vehicle and space below decks for launching and recovering the inflatable combat boats used by special operations forces such as the Navy's SEALs.”

When the Sea Fighter was launched in the summer of 2005, the North County Times reported that “Rear Admiral Jay Cohen, who heads the Office of Naval Research, said the Navy and Coast Guard team assigned to the ship will ‘run the pants off it’ to both weed out problems and find ways to make improvements to apply to the Navy's next class of coastal combat ships.”

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll delve into what happened to the Sea Fighter, and where it now stands.


Anonymous said...

All that wonderful stuff in Costco (savior of the islands) and all you focus on is plastic and electricity???

BTW - Costo in Kona is going solar this year. I hear the one on Kauai is doing the same.

I'm sure it's to cut costs and halp stem the tide of inflation more than any other motivation.

I would never want to be without a Costco. We bought bouth are cars through them, are insurances through them, our CD's (the money kind) through them, our big-screen TV's through them, etc. The majority of our groceries are through them as well.

They have saved us tens of thousands in the 7 yrs on island.

Anonymous said...

"It’s really unfortunate that some mad folks are trying to spin this into a racial issue — it’s not in any way,” donna lewis said.
a quote from a women in denial.
what is really unfortunate is that the incidents that led to hale's arrest could've have been prevented if ms lewis had been professional in her management of the whole affair. consistently, from the majority of folks informed of the issues at KKCR, most would agree that this was not handled properly and the community would've been better served by dealing with the issues at hand face to face with respectful dialogue and discussion of the facts. instead impersonal and vague e.mails were the communication tools of choice employed by ms.lewis. the failure of KKCR management to deal with the issues in a timely and professional manner have brought increased scrutiny, raised suspicions and hard feelings in the community. silence, avoidance and denial are not effective management tools to be used when dealing with controversial community issues. auwe
mahalo joan for keeping this issue f&c. peace,......jimmy t

Anonymous said...

Jimmy you and the other loud mouth radicals have no one to blame but yourselves. Your encouraging young people to sacrfice their lives in protest of the superferry is but one example.

"If the station management prefers the “open door policy,” it shouldn’t be locking gates, period. Because in reality, there are no “security issues” at the station, just the management’s fear"

Can you blame them? There are security concerns there when the seditionists openly call for the overthrow of the US government and commit racist acts and speech against those who are white and who disagree with you.

Don't like it? Go start your own station.

Anonymous said...

this is the meat of the matter. culled from the e.mail chatter
----- Original Message -----
From: Ed Coll
Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2008 1:14 PM
Subject: Full spectrum dominance - stomp the most disenfranchised first and the rest will fall into line

Aloha disenfranchised voices,

Pardon the rant but KKCR's calling the police on Katy, Jimmy, Hale and Ulu (and me) by claiming a "protest" was occurring and todays GI "KKCR refutes racism claims" framing the issue as racism is missing the bigger dysfunction that is KKCR.

At KKCR the overarching issue is not race but full spectrum censorship. Nevertheless the actions of KKCR and the response by activists are being played out in terms of a racism framework. While it is true that racism is more than evident at KKCR the fact is KKCR will censor anyone of any race that says something they don't like and makes the KKCR board look bad. The real problem is an anti-democratic authoritarian regime that took power by removing member voting rights and conferring those rights to themselves (and yes they were white) in a coup.

KKRC was an infant of participatory democracy (members vote for the board) kidnapped by the forerunners of those now in power appointed through the incestuous board appointment process. The incestuous board appointment process led to inbreeding and KKCR got progressively whiter and whiter as the cabal exercised standardless discretion in place of membership voting rights appointing people like themselves to replace them.

Like the children of missionaries who benefit from the ill gotten gains of their parents the current board feels a sense of entitlement and will exercise power against anyone who disagrees with their world view. As Joan wrote in her bolg "Step out of line the man comes and takes you away" (and not only metaphorically as Hale can attest). The native Hawaiians are under the most stress (cultural obliteration), fight back, and therefore become easy targets as they step out of line. But as the recent experience of Jimmy and Katy indicate the current non-democratic regime will censor any voice that disagrees with them.

Jimmy's carefully detailed description of how he became a KKCR programmer on KQNG (and his questioning of that process) is the way all programmers get their "jobs" at KKCR. Board and staff consolidate and perpetuate their power by using standardless discretion to appoint friends or acquaintances to board, management, and volunteer positions. As this undemocratic process advances without community control it gets whiter and whiter (a historical legacy of the original coup). The whiteness is an artifact that is very visible but the underlying anti-democratic process is more obscure. No board is perfect and mistakes were made (like picking the wrong Hawaiian to be a token, or allowing programmers whom they though shared their world view to get on air before the programmer's views were fully vetted for alignment with KKCR doctrine.

And then there were three dissenting voices Ka`iulani, Jimmy and Katy so the board booted them all. Now there is crisis. And the crisis is being defined in terms of racism, but racism is just a mask hiding the anti-democratic authoritarian regime's control over who has access to community radio. It's the Dole Republic 6.0.

All the demands for structural readjustment in the list Group has developed are good but when you are eating a meal take small pieces and start with the most flavorful. Reinstate a membership elected board is by far the most tasty morsel on the plate. If that cannot be achieved nothing but intercine incrementalism of the two step backward - one step forward variety will obtain.

If Board will not yield to this sole, and reasonable, demand (and I mean total reinstatement of original member voting rights, no compromises) change from the root will not happen. If Board yields then new board can enact the other much needed changes on the list. If Board fail to yield on this demand they will have to exit the field of dialog. Experience has shown KKCR will not speak of these things because their position is indefensible in a debate. That's why the alleged "dirty laundry" policy, which nobody has seen, exists in the first place. "Say anything you want as long as it is not about KKCR's totalitrian ways."

I was struck with the Irony of the scab replacements for Katy and Jimmy on "Out of the Box" defending KKCR (and threatening the mild-mannered Mr. Parx) while Hale was being pushed into the mud by 5 police at the gates of KKCR.

Without member voting rights the goal of reinstating the disenfranchised voices will allow those voices of dissent to be heard but the "dirty laundry" prohibition will prevent any discussion of the real problem which is a totalitarian oligarchy which seized control from the community's radio station in a bloodless coup by hijacking community members right to elect the board. I believe none of the three disenfranchised programmers will concede to this demand not to air dirty laundry for a censored voice is an ineffective voice.

Finally I think KKCR may have filed a false policy report as there was no protest only two volunteer programmers (Katy and Jimmy) attempting to do their program and two Hawaiians (Hale and Ulu) bearing witness to what happened.

KKCR is not "community radio" but "gated community radio" that for all intents and purposes is propagandizing the community with their world view absent any community input from a private compound inaccessible to the community. KKCR Board and management are pruning dissenting voices from the tree of speech.

Unflinching focus on a single demand Reinstate a membership elected board forces the oppressor to address an issue for which they have no defense except silence the last refuge on a tyrant. Many demands allows oppressor to respond by picking, choosing, and negotiating (endlessly) from the list of sub-issues until all the air escapes from the baloon. This has been their tactic for yers that have led us to our current crisis. The fact that Board go ballistic over this one issue but will not address it in open dialog with the community or CAB tells me it should be the focal point for action.

Thanks for letting me express my Manao.
Edward Coll

Anonymous said...

Wow Ed you reeeeeally hate white people huh?

What a bunch of BS.

They were fired for repeatedly breaking the rules and they, as usual,
can't deal with it.

And notice how they never take any responsiblity for their own actions.

Its reeeeeeeally simple....
they hate America, they hate white people, they hate progress, they are myopic, self absorbed, out of the mainstream malcontents who do NOT represent the views or feelings of the community at large.

Its way past time KKCR represented the whole community and not just the foul mouth radcial fringe that has come to infest this island. Good riddance.

We'll be continuing to support the station 110% in every way possible.

AUWE is right!

Anonymous said...

i am glad that KKCR is going to be supported after this is all said and done. it is going to need it. the support is gonna come from people who value what KKCR can offer our community. some people may feel like 'their' station is being attacked. some people may feel that 'their' radio station has been held hostage. some claim 'their' station overthrown. there are a lot of claims and feelings here. how to sort through it all?
maybe the KKCR community Advisory Board meeting later this month will be a good place to hear from supporters of 'our' community radio.

Anonymous said...

"Its way past time KKCR represented the whole community and not just the foul mouth radcial fringe that has come to infest this island. Good riddance."

What do you mean by "whole community"? What do you mean by "infest this island"? Do you mean those other than the Fox News watchers or Limbaugh listeners? Do you mean those who live outside of the suburbs of California (Princeville, Poipu, etc.)?

Anonymous said...

Is anyone actually AGAINST the idea of the board, staff and volunteer corps of KKCR being representative of the true racial and ethnic demographics of Kaua'i?

If so, why? Please be specific.


Anonymous said...

"Its way past time KKCR represented the whole community and not just the foul mouth radcial fringe that has come to infest this island. Good riddance.

We'll be continuing to support the station 110% in every way possible."

wow, mr anonymous, i had it wrong. i thought the diehardcore KKCR supporter was some peace loving, granola eating, yoga tai chi head. thanx for checking my assumptions.

i'll have to meditate on this one.
peace out,......jimmy t