Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Founded by Mark Kleiman (1951-2019)
Really hard jobs
Some jobs are challenging, and some are so hard it’s a wonder anyone can be found to take them on.Â Ambassador from Pakistan to anywhere, for example.Â At the moment, the US slot is held by Sherry Rehman, and representing her country in a positive way to anyone not clinically insane has just become even more daunting.Â She needs all the help she can get, so I respectfully offer a draft of short remarks she might wish to make at her next official appearances:
My dear American friends,
As you know, Pakistan is officially a Moslem country.Â This means we are committed to the authority and inerrant guidance of the prophet Mohammed, just as Christians adhere to Jesus and Jews to Abraham and Moses.Â You also need to know that while many of other faiths trust their prophets’ teachings to stand on their own, indeed to gain strength through examination, we in Pakistan regard the lessons of Mohammed as being uniquely unpersuasive and unconvincing, liable to shatter on impact with the slightest challenge, debate, examination, or disrespect. The authority of our prophet is, in our view, so delicate that we search out and kill anyone who confronts our faith with doubt of any kind, and to be sure we err on the right side, we not only empower but oblige every citizen to set our police and courts on anyone he wishes slain.Â What looks to unbelievers like savagery is actually a glorious enterprise thatÂ fortifies our beliefs with a wall of corpses and a moat of blood.Â As you are aware, I have been identified as a blasphemer by this process, and as there’s a good chance I will be put to death before I’m able to further explain the particularly holy and excellent nature of our judicial system and the rightness of our faith, I wanted to take this occasion to let Americans see why my government is implementing the best of our culture.Â Thank you for your kind attention and for the chance to further build understanding and trust between our great nations. Allahu Akbar.
Now we should all recite together, “Everyone’s culture is just as good as anyone else’s culture, and in every way.”
Author: Michael O'Hare
Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training.
He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.
Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at UniversitÃ Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs.
At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4Ã—5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.
View all posts by Michael O'Hare
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