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 toContinue reading “Nashville’s Policing Data Show Uneven Racial Burden from Operation Safer Streets”

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 otherContinue reading “When Knowledge Becomes Power—Academics who became politicians”

Is there systematic gender discrimination in Metro Nashville Employment? Part 1

Using the same municipal employee data from data.nashville.gov as the previous post, here I am looking at whether there is evidence of gender discrimination in the salaries of Metro Nashville government employees. Obviously this is a pretty complicated issue, and I am only really going to scratch the surface of it. Mostly this is just a funContinue reading “Is there systematic gender discrimination in Metro Nashville Employment? Part 1”

Playing around with Nashville Open Data – $400 million on government salaries!

I found that the government of Nashville has some open data at https://data.nashville.gov. I messed around with a couple of employment datasheets and made some graphs. Mean Salary vs Ethnicity Mean Annual Salary by Job Category Interestingly, elected officials are not the highest paid category. Metro Nashville Salaries In total, annual salaries for Metro Nashville governmentContinue reading “Playing around with Nashville Open Data – $400 million on government salaries!”

Two odd side-effects of drug prevention campaigns

A Washington Post article today reveals a new cannabis prevention campaign targeting teenagers in Colorado. Unfortunately, the state which has shown the freethinking boldness to legalize marijuana for adults is implementing some of the same, long-debunked nonsense typical of drug prevention efforts. The campaign uses human-sized rat cages, adopting the mantra that teenagers using marijuana are lab rats forContinue reading “Two odd side-effects of drug prevention campaigns”

Planned remarks before Houston City Council

Below are my planned remarks for the speech I gave at Houston City Hall on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Unfortunately, due to the number of speakers, I was only allowed one minute instead of the three that I had planned, so I said something a bit different than planned. My remarks are inspired by aContinue reading “Planned remarks before Houston City Council”

Incoherent or Masterfully Erratic? Putin’s Six Contradictions in Ukraine

Russia’s involvement in Ukraine has been riddled with contradictions, including statements, actions, alleged motivations, and poll results that jar with one another. For example, officials first denied involvement in Crimea while justifying involvement in Crimea; then Putin admitted troops were involved. Putin said Russian troops would withdraw from Ukraine’s border but had until then deniedContinue reading “Incoherent or Masterfully Erratic? Putin’s Six Contradictions in Ukraine”