Life still imitating art

…and the art is still The Daily Show/Marx Brothers/Three Stooges/WC Fields. How can anyone satirize this stuff (and why does our real-life humor have to be soaked in blood and the misery of so many thousands?):

Having survived a history of 9/11, letting Osama slip away in Afghanistan, taking that wretched country from the Taliban to World Heroin Central, breaking the army in the wrong war against the wrong enemy, putting an important source of petroleum and one of the most secular and educated Arab countries into near-medieval chaos, drowning New Orleans by neglect and insisting he had his hand on the wheel right through it, rendering us impotent as Iran and North Korea nuke up, humiliating Americans for a generation with Abu Ghreib and Guantanamo, and putting the US economy in the hands of foreign creditors, Bush appears to have finally trashed his reputation as curator of national security by tying a decision he had nothing to do with and that almost certainly has no real security implications at all, (the ports) around his own neck.

And on the domestic side, we Californians are paralyzed in dealing with Mr. Morales because (i) killing bad people is good and just, but (ii) not if it hurts them, and (iii) doctors, who have a legal monopoly on being sure people don’t hurt, (iv) restrict their practice to keeping people alive (v) unless they are good people who want to die, in savage, brutish places like Oregon or Britain.

Tell me there’s no god of irony; tell me Ludicrosia, the muse of farcic history, is a mythic creature. Right.

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 Università 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 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.