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Hi, Carmen, JD Nobody here. JD is flattered that you have been secretly visiting Oberlinchaos.com and are taking many of JD’s ideas to heart. We recognize that you will in no way give us any credit for our efforts, but that is okay. What really matters is that the correct decisions be made.
JD is currently in coronavirus lockdown here at ChaosFarm and is having no problem with being isolated. It is a great chance to review where Oberlin Chaos has been and visit issues raised by the Coronavirus outbreak. The ChaosFarm south pasture is greening up nicely and has daffodils budding in the distance.
The new era being launched by the coronavirus outbreak’s economic disruption is in its infancy, and there will be no going back to the way things were in February 2020. Anyone who thinks life at Oberlin College in future years will return to “normal” is very naive. The disruptions that are now in everyone’s face are the massive subprime lending for cars/trucks, student loans, and unsound stock buybacks.
Dealing with this will require some form of partial jubilee and considerable inflation. The massive money printing by the Federal Reserve Bank guarantees considerable inflation at some point. Is Oberlin’s strategic planning, if any, for this new environment a continuation of the College’s chaotic idiocy in the Gibson situation?
Revisiting Gibson’s Bakery
It is now clear that in the last four years we have seen the end of two eras. The first era began ending with the election of President Trump and the resultant outbreak of irrationality directed at Gibson’s Bakery. The death of this earlier era has stretched over several years and has been brought to a rapid conclusion by the second era, kicked off by the corona virus quarantine. There is no going back from the current mess for the College or the world. This new era is a major and permanent change.
There should be no surprise in the financial chaos that has ensued over the last several weeks. However, no one expected it to come as fast as it has or come as the result of an epidemiological event. It is unlikely that the BOT has had any reasonable contingency plans for the events of the last few weeks. The fact that the events moved as fast as they have is not an excuse for not having thought about the ongoing problems developing in the financial world and how they would affect Oberlin.
JD has posted extensively elsewhere on this blog about the breach of fiduciary duty and dereliction of duty on the part of both the BOT and administration in the Gibson’s matter. We find it appalling that that situation could have happened considering that the former and current president of the College are both people who went to law school. One would think that they would have learned that slander and libel are not a good thing and that basing a legal defense against them on inadmissible hearsay evidence is not wise.
The BOT disconnect continues
The College would have known from the pretrial discovery process that the College had given the Gibson’s an arsenal of devastating evidence to use against the College. Common sense would indicate that the College’s best approach at that point, as it would have been at each earlier point along the way, would have been to seek a settlement and accommodation with the Gibsons. This did not happen in constructive ways, apparently because some blindly bullheaded idealists were determined to believe the slander and gossip about the Gibsons.
The idealists fought the “evil” Gibsons in court with virtually no admissible evidence against the Gibsons and with no regard for the litigation’s cost to the College. Current financial and medical developments guarantee that the College will have substantially reduced resources for performing its mission even without the Gibson expenses. These new reductions are on top of the already planned One Oberlin project reductions.
What is happening with the Endowment?
Still not recognizing the legal and public relations folly of continuing a losing war with the Gibsons, the College has chosen to appeal the court decision against the College. Trying to convert the College’s managerial incompetence into a freedom of speech issue is a masterpiece of brazenness. No matter that the whole mess with the Gibsons was avoidable and was caused by the College’s inability to exercise any common sense by having a policy in place defining who has the authority to speak officially for the College.
COVID-19 distracts from dereliction of duty
Meredith Raimondo must not have been given competent legal advice by the College, despite the president and general counsel both being lawyers and available for counsel, Meredith was knowingly allowed to walk into an inexcusable booby trap. BTW, this is not a whitewash of Meredith’s poorly thought out actions — it is just a recognition that she was set up by people whom she trusted.
The College needs a scapegoat for their Gibson’s Bakery stupidity, but the time has not yet come to slaughter Meredith. She needs to be carefully nurtured for this role until her benefactors need her. If she is slaughtered before the Gibson’s litigation is out of the way it could be viewed as an admission of guilt by the College.
There is nothing like being able to gamble with somebody else’s money, so those people with dishonest idealist agendas have license spend somebody else’s money on a double or nothing appeal to the appellate court in Akron. In the unlikely event the College wins the appeal, the victory will clean some of the egg off the faces of those whose dereliction of duty allowed the situation to happen in the first place. With the egg scrubbed off, it will be easier for the culprits to find new jobs elsewhere.
Who is who’s puppet?
The public relations campaign designed to whitewash the current situation for the alumni is pathetic. It is unclear if President Ambar has badly misrepresented the Gibson situation to the BOT, or if she is just caught in a bind by having to follow incredibly stupid orders from the BOT.
President Ambar is a gifted and glib street lawyer who would be the ideal lawyer for defending a client who has neither the law nor the facts on his side. It appears that she views every situation as an adversarial proceeding in which she is the lawyer for the defendant and that every audience is a jury. This is an inferior strategy for dealing with both the Gibson mess and the bigger existential, financial mess that is now unfolding in Oberlin.
Kipling might understand Oberlin today…
It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late
With long arrears to make good,
When the English began to hate.
They were not easily moved,
They were icy-willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the English began to hate.
Their voices were even and low,
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show,
When the English began to hate.
It was not preached to the crowd,
It was not taught by the State.
No man spoke it aloud,
When the English began to hate.
It was not suddenly bred,
It will not swiftly abate,
Through the chill years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the English began to hate.
Retrieved Nov 26, 2020 at 06:44.
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