Norfolk 15th Primary Election (MA state House, 9/4/18)

In the weeks leading up to the primary election, I walked around this state house district and counted/geocoded all the lawn signs for the Norfolk 15th State House race in a smartphone application. (These are both Democrats; no Republican is running). Lawn signs are pretty consistent with vote shares and you can see “homefield advantage” […]

MA-7th Democratic Primary (Pressley beats Capuano)

I was able to get a hold of and digitize the Boston precinct results for this race (maybe 189 of the 270 precincts in this race, though I only get 187 to merge with the Boston precinct shapefile [Edit: One of the oddities may be Long Island; the other is Ward 5, Precinct 2a in […]

Fixing MA’s Good Samaritan Law: Calling 911 to report an overdose can still land you in legal trouble.

Before the legislative session concludes, Beacon Hill lawmakers will pass Governor Baker’s CARE Act, an important bill boosting services connecting overdose patients in the ER to recovery services. But the Care Act suffers from a critical omission: it leaves broken the Commonwealth’s limited Good Samaritan Law, which has failed to protect those who seek help […]

Unions, Right-to-Work, and Occupational Deaths

Happily, my paper “Does ‘right to work’ imperil the right to health? The effect of labour unions on workplace fatalities” is attracting a lot of attention, which makes me feel good as an academic who cares at least a little about producing things that others find valuable (we will see how the sheriff stuff is […]

White Supremacists are the biggest snowflakes in American History

[Cover Image from Jim Crow Songbook, 1847, admonishing Black people not to laugh at “them who happen to be white,” a rather strange play at victimhood in a year when almost all Blacks in America were enslaved.] Of course, white supremacist prohibited Blacks from voting, holding office, serving on juries, having sex with or marrying […]

Profiling is a reality for Muslims in the US (Vanderbilt Hustler Re-post, 02/02/15)

The campus appropriately erupted against her callous words, but the actions Swain prescribed – chiefly, “serious monitoring of Islamic organizations” – are not just the daydreams of a strident Islamophobe. They are reality. For law enforcement and intelligence agencies, profiling is policy and, for Muslim Americans, harassment is routine.

The American Revolutionaries might have been Thugs

It’s really odd, actually, how the myth of the American founding that I learned in elementary school is reasonably transparent about the fact that this country was founded by thugs who had no respect for the rule of law or other people’s property. The canonical example is the Boston Tea Party — Americans (disguised as Native Americans as […]

Nashville’s Policing Data Show Uneven Racial Burden from Operation Safer Streets

Operation Safer Streets (or OSS for short) has become the epicenter of Nashville’s debates over policing and racial justice. Every weekend, the MNPD funnels police officers to hotspots for gangs or crime, arguing that a visible police-presence deters crime. Since 2011, OSS has resulted in more than 5,000 arrests and 50,000 vehicle stops, according to […]

When Knowledge Becomes Power—Academics who became politicians

Since I’m studying (or, really, am about to start studying) academic political science towards a PhD in Government, I get asked a lot if I want to become a politician, which seems like a strange question to me. Anyhow, it raises the interesting question of how often academics become politicians. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find other […]