How Not To Run A Railroad

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How Not To Run A Railroad 1
Oberlin's Railroad Engineers.
Credit JD nobody.

How Not To Run A Railroad — A 2nd-grade recess taunt

Long ago, girls were required to wear skirts to school. When swooping high on the swingset, there was no way to keep skirts from billowing, after which this taunt was delivered:

I see Germany,
I see France,
I see Carmen’s
Underpants!

Sorry, Carmen. This gentle taunt was just too much for JD to resist.

How Not To Run A Railroad — A Trustee Teaching Moment

When JD Nobody decided to start OberlinChaos.com, he expected to be flamed often over the posts on this blog, especially since OberlinChaos.com has had over 10,700 visits as of 7/16/20. To JD’s surprise, all feedback has been positive, except for one insulting feedback instance, which was not delivered via OberlinChaos but delivered by a former College trustee, at church, and directly to JD’s face.

JD approached the gentleman to ask him if he knew when the current General Counsel started with the College. The answer he gave was to lay his hand on JD’s arm and, with a slight snicker, said: “Give it up!” JD responded: “There is a morality issue here!” This evoked another arm-patting “Give it up!” which was delivered with an even bigger smirk. The trustee then took off nearly running before another word could be spoken.

Underground Railroad Memorial
Underground Railroad Memorial. Its rails today run into the ground, not out of the ground.

This little exchange summarizes what seems to be the attitude of the trustees toward anyone who is not a member of their cloistered little club. The “never complain, never explain” policy of the British Royal Family is being applied even though the trustees are royalty only in their own minds.

Is it any wonder that with such an attitude toward receiving information, the Gibson situation ran so far off the rails? See Shamelessness Marches On. So much for our woke, elitist BOT’s patronizing egalitarianism.

How Not To Run A Railroad — Oberlin Number One

JD was interested in joining the One Oberlin conference presentation of Jan. 30, 2020, which was a sales pitch for the new One Oberlin Initiative. The College would, of course, have made listening to the sales pitch fun and a customer-friendly experience, right? Wrong. The presentation was a reminder that Oberlin College is pathetic at marketing and computer-based presentations.

JD has had to keep reminding himself to avoid the naivete that comes from spending too much time outside The Oberlin Bubble. Thinking that the presentation would be in a standard format, JD fired up his browser a few minutes before the webcast was scheduled to begin. He then clicked the magic One Oberlin link despite its containing privacy-violating tracking data.

Rather than arriving at the One Oberlin presentation, JD landed instead on the download page for the THREE HUNDRED MILLION BYTES OF APPLICATION PROGRAM AND SUPPORT LIBRARIES that viewing the sales pitch required.

JD had been taught by salesmen with whom he had worked that it is essential to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy whatever you are selling. The marketing brilliance behind the last-minute foisting of such crazy software onto unsuspecting users was becoming irritating, to put it mildly.

JD was now hot under the collar, but dutifully downloaded and installed the 300,000,000 bytes of redundant software. This software was designed for a complicated online conferencing situation and was totally unnecessary for viewing a non-interactive video. Worst of all, all this computer constipating bloatware desynchronized the speakers’ mouths from their voices by about three seconds. True, this is not the first time that some people have had desynchronized mouths.

The One Oberlin Initiative actually has merit as well as considerable thought behind it. This is true even after hosing off all the effusive sales hype that was thrown at the listeners:

Double, double,
Toil and trouble,
Fire burn,
and cauldron bubble.

The featured image for this post, taken from the online presentation, shows that Conservatory Dean William Quillen and President Ambar apparently have trouble finding pants and skirts that fit. On the other hand, Associate Dean David Kamitsuka appears to be a complete misfit by Oberlin standards because he is wearing clothes that fit. Shame.

Perhaps President Ambar and Dean Quillen could try an alternative approach to presentation attire. OberlinChaos suggests that the President might try a pants suit, and the Dean might try a kilt. There is nothing wrong with the legs of either of them — we recognize that it is only good marketing to rivet the customer’s attention on something.

Oberlin College Dean Meridith RaimondoOne cannot help but notice that Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo is conspicuously absent from the threesome. She led the failed assault on Gibson’s Bakery, only to become a candidate for being hidden in the closet to keep her from appearing again on the front pages. She is guilty of the high crime of being a good soldier who followed stupid and incompetent orders.

The comments at the end of the Foxes May Be Cornered article add more evidence to the view that Ambar and Raimondo are puppets following orders coming from a cabal consisting of Board Chair Canavan, selected Trustees, and George Soros. Soros and Canavan apparently believe the gossip about the Gibsons and have dug their heels in over it. None of the visible persons compounding the Gibson mess are stupid people, so the idiocy at every step of the way to the trial could not have happened randomly and without direction. Canavan is not a lawyer, and it really shows.

Following orders can be tolerated only when the mission succeeds. People at the level of the BOT get the credit for successes, and the lesser players are expendable supplies when following fatally flawed orders. People who refuse to follow incompetent or illegal orders can be nailed for insubordination.

How Not To Run A Railroad — Oberlin Number Two

Cutting costs

President Ambar has announced that the College will cut dining hall costs by eliminating the union employees and contracting out all dining services. In the course of this, she emphatically stated that this move had nothing to do with the contingent liabilities resulting from losing the recent Gibson Bakery lawsuit. Her excuse for saying this is that the case is on appeal and that the final outcome is unknown — it is as if there are no contingent liabilities here. Carmen is a truly gifted salesperson who could sell nearly anyone a trip to Hell, with total sincerity, and have the customer looking forward to the trip. See Shamelessness Marches On.

The following morning Carmen tweeted that the Conservatory was going to offer one and two-year degrees — putting the Conservatory in competition with trade schools and community colleges. The progressive dribbling of candy-coated bad news such as the cheapening of the Conservatory curriculum was predicted by a College inside commenter in the Foxes May Be Cornered post. There are many more shoes to drop.

If the College wants to cut costs, it should stop blaming the Lorain County Common Pleas Court for its decision in the Gibson matter, admit the mistakes that were obvious to the Court, and negotiate a settlement. Continuing to deny that the Gibsons have an overwhelmingly strong legal and moral case benefits no one beyond the appellate lawyers. BTW, slander and managerial incompetence by the College are not freedom of speech issues. Justice delayed is justice waylayed.

It would be fitting justice to see our modest President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, T. Christopher Canavan, stand on the Commencement stage and hand Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson an honorary degree from Oberlin College. Justice would be served.

Reaching out to “The Oberlin Community”

Carmen has quite wisely been focusing on improving relations with “The Oberlin Community,” recognizing that there is more bad blood between the College and the town than exists in many other college towns. Remember that Carmen is a very skilled lawyer, and the phrase The Oberlin Community may not look ambiguous, but it is.

The context in which Carmen refers to The Oberlin Community often means The Oberlin College Community, which does not include the people in the town. It is clear to the town’s people that they are not part of The Oberlin Community.

It is not woke or politically correct to insult someone from the Orient by describing them as Oriental. At the same time, there appears to be some insult value in implying to a non-college person living in the town that they are part of The Oberlin Community. Indeed, most of the people in the city live east of the College, so they are, by definition, Orientals.

How Not To Run A Railroad — Oberlin Number Three

Oliver Cromwell is alive and well and living in Oberlin today. If the puritanism that brought righteousness based despotism to England and the Salem Witch Hunt to Massachusetts had succeeded history would have been very different. There probably would have been no America, no Elizabeth II, and no Margaret Thatcher.

The simple message from Oberlin’s undercover neo-puritans is we must “purify” the intolerant, woke, and reactionary thinking in “the church” (i.e., the town and college of Oberlin). The community-wide mess will not clear up until the neo-puritan cabal repents and stop preaching righteousness with its every word and mocking it with its every deed.

The British have erected a statue to Oliver Cromwell in front of Parliament. Today, Oberlin College is building a virtual reality neo-puritan monument that is as sick as Oliver Cromwell’s puritanism, albeit in a different way. It’s time to “woke up.”

And stop using smooth lines such as “The Oberlin Community” to exclude the town of Oberlin while making it sound like it is being included.

The town today has its own second-grade recess taunt for the College:

We see Germany,
We see France,
We see Obie’s…
Underpants!

Now let’s find ways to make sure that the town will have no future reasons for ridiculing the College’s dirty underpants.

This blog warns Oberlin Alumni about the verbal prestidigitation and redactions in the COVID and Gibson’s Bakery stories. Please tell your fellow Obies how our college has damaged its reputation, the Gibsons, and the worth of our degrees. No pandemic, sleazy PR, or conflating of libel and slander with free speech can minimize the BOT’s negligence. Their elitism and compulsive behavior is eradicating funding for THOUSANDS of scholarships or 225 Steinway concert grand pianos. All done to destroy a tiny bakery!

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If you disagree…

Send your objections to
whistleblower@oberlinchaos.com, or
post a comment.

Posted Feb 21, 2020 at 10:00. Revised Jul 16, 2020 at 18:54.
Retrieved Nov 27, 2020 at 05:57.
Copyright ©2020 Charles E. Dial. All rights reserved.

JD Nobody

JD Nobody, OC '61, has a 54-year career in developing software. This involved IT application design and maintenance, software engineering, bank operations, and article composing software for The Business Torts Reporter. He was an administrative officer and ICBM launch officer in the U.S. Air Force.
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Comment from A, Oberlin , OH

Nice to meet you tonight! (Sunday night)

I took a quick look at your blog. It’s readable & not overwhelming, unlike the insurrection site.
I agree with you on many points (especially the one about this protest really channeling the election shock), but I personally was supportive of the original protest and boycott. And I know/knew the Gibsons quite personally. Such protests and boycotts are actually rare, and hopefully, they send a message to other business owners about how important it is to keep a reputation of not physically attacking your customers, not even the suspected shoplifters, or there can be a consequence of the community cutting down on their patronage of your business. I’ve seen the same situation handled better before, including at Gibson’s. The students, even as shoplifters, could have sued Gibson’s for assault & battery.

See you ’round soon! -A