Tennessee Should Collect, Connect Data on Court Fines and Fees Statewide: Report

Tennessee Supreme Court building

As Tennessee lawmakers continue to examine reforms in the criminal justice system, two recently released reports showed that the state is not collecting the proper data to evaluate the fines and fees collected from its court system.

Non-profit policy think tank Think Tennessee found that, despite a 2019 law requiring all courts to create a payment plan system for those who financially will have issues paying court fees, the law has been implemented inconsistently throughout the state.

“For Tennesseans who face an endless cycle of penalties due to an inability to pay court debt, the county where they live could determine whether they have access to a payment plan that could help them break free,” Think Tennessee wrote. “Moreover, court fines and fees have a disproportionate impact on people who are low-income, Black and/or rural, and the financial hardship they experience may lead to increased recidivism with more significant impacts for communities as a whole.

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Commentary: The Navy’s New Emphasis on ‘Diversity’ Puts the Nation at Risk

group of Navy members sitting on bleachers

After the 2020 summer of riots, the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations stood up Task Force One Navy (TF1N) on July 1, 2020. After a six-month effort, the final 142-page report was submitted on January 28, 2021 Its two operating assumptions are, first, that the Navy, as an institution, is systemically racist, and, second, that “Mission readiness is stronger when diverse strengths are used and differing perspectives are applied.” Notwithstanding several key military principles—such as unit cohesion, strict discipline across the chain of command, and, well, uniforms—the Navy is now ideologically committed to the mantra that “diversity is strength.”

Not surprisingly, considering the key entering assumptions, the task force report identified problems with Navy systems, climate, and culture; and submitted almost 60 recommendations aligned with four lines of inquiry: Recruiting, Talent Management/Retention, Professional Development, and Innovation and STEM (as well as a fifth line for miscellaneous recommendations).

One should be skeptical, however, about the entire exercise and the recommendations that flow from it. It inaccurately depicts the proud institution of the United States Navy as systemically racist—a slander that has more potential to undermine morale, good order, discipline, and military effectiveness than any geostrategic adversary. 

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Federal Bill Would Ban Vaccine Database in Response to Biden’s ‘Door-to-Door’ Pledge

Ted Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced a bill that would prohibit the federal government from creating and maintaining a federal database of every American who has received COVID-19 vaccines.

Cruz introduced the bill after White House officials announced a plan to use taxpayer dollars to pay individuals to go door-to-door in regions of the country where there are relatively low vaccination rates.

In response to statements made by President Joe Biden and White House press secretary Jen Psaki about the door-to-door outreach initiative, Cruz tweeted, “When the Biden admin calls for ‘targeted’ ‘door-to-door outreach’ to get people vaccinated, it comes across as a g-man saying: ‘We know you’re unvaccinated, let’s talk, comrade.’ My bill to ban federal vaccine passports prohibits the feds from maintaining a vaccine database.”

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Coders Building Database Need Health Care Workers to Report Coronavirus Testing Sites So They Can Provide Data to Officials Battling Disease

A coalition of computer coders and medical experts is looking for volunteers — including from the Volunteer State — to help provide better information on COVID-19 coronavirus testing sites.

TechCrunch reported on the one-week-old Coders Against Covid project, which is building a database of testing sites. The team of about 15 developers includes Andrew Kemendo of KesselRun, an Air Force software developer, and Dr. Jorge A. Caballero, a clinical instructor of Anesthesia at Stanford University. The goal is to inform officials tracking the disease and to better distribute the tests where they are needed.

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