How Not To Run A Railroad

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One Oberlin 2020-01-30
Oberlin's Railroad Engineers.
Credit JD nobody.

chutzpah, hype and horse manure for the Gibson Bakery appellate court decisionHow 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 we delivered our  taunt:

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

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

How Not To Run A Railroad — A Trustee Teaching Moment

(Minor revisions made on 10/21/2021, 11/4/2021.)

When JD Nobody started, he expected flaming for the posts on this blog. This has not happened even though the page views at have surpassed 28,906 as of 10/12/22. These page views are from everywhere in the world.

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 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!” delivered with an even bigger smirk. The trustee then took off, nearly running before JD could speak another word.

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

This minor exchange summarizes the trustees’ attitude toward anyone not a member of their cloistered little club. The BOT follows the “never complain, never explain” policy of the British Royal Family even though the trustees are royalty only in their own minds.

Is it any wonder that the Gibson situation ran so far off the rails with such immunity to facts? 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, 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 coming from spending too much time outside The Oberlin Bubble. Thinking that the presentation would have a standard format, JD fired up his browser a few minutes before the scheduled time for the webcast. 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. To put it mildly, the marketing brilliance behind the last-minute foisting such crazy software onto unsuspecting users was just plain stupid marketing.

JD was now hot under the collar but dutifully downloaded and installed the 300,000,000 bytes of redundant and computer constipating software. This software was designed for a complicated online conferencing situation and was entirely inappropriate 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 college administrators have had desynchronized mouths.

The One Oberlin Initiative has merit as well as considerable thought behind it. This is true even after hosing off all the effusive sales hype 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 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 former 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 conspiracy 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 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 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.

A College inside commenter predicted the progressive dribbling of candy-coated bad news such as cheapening the Conservatory curriculum described in the Foxes May Be Cornered post. The following morning Carmen tweeted that the Conservatory would offer one and two-year degrees — putting the Conservatory in competition with trade schools and community colleges. 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 obvious mistakes, 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 wisely focused on improving relations with “The Oberlin Community,” recognizing that there is more bad blood between the College and the town than 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 specifically excludes the town. It is clear to the townspeople that they are not part of The Oberlin Community as defined by Ambar.

It is not “woke” or politically correct to insult someone from the Orient by calling them Oriental. Simultaneously, 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 until the neo-puritan cabal repents and stops preaching righteousness with its every word and mocking it with its every deed.

The British have erected a statue of 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 city of Oberlin while making it sound like the city is included.

The city today has a second-grade recess taunt for the College:

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

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

Now you can say in all honesty, Nobody told me!
/s/ JD Nobody (ho, hum), OC ’61.

The purpose of this blog is to tell the other side of the Gibson’s Bakery, OSCA, the Kosher-Halal Co-op, and UAW stories to Oberlin Alumni lest they believe the College’s heavily redacted and whitewashed version of events. Please tell your fellow Obies how the Trustee-Politburo has damaged the College’s reputation, the worth of our degrees, the Gibsons, the college’s union workers, K-H, and the OSCA Co-op tradition. No pandemic, sleazy PR, or conflating of libel and slander with free speech can divert attention from the BOT’s negligence in these matters. Speak up and insist that the BOT arrest its compulsive, neo-Puritan righteousness, which has already eradicated either THOUSANDS of $36,000 scholarships or 225 Steinway concert grand pianos — just to wreck a tiny bakery, a cooperating union, K-H, and the OSCA Student Co-op!
Retrieved Dec 1, 2022 at 02:20.
Copyright ©2022 Charles E. Dial. All rights reserved.

By 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

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