It’s especially funny to see people who didn’t vote or constantly shared “both sides are the same” discouragement trying to justify not doing more to support Clinton on the grounds that Trump had no chance, revealing that they followed the polls as closely as the issues.
Twitter mysteriously removed tweets identifying the license plate of an unmarked police van that plainclothes cops used to drag and arrest a protester during a peaceful march in Manhattan on Tuesday.
The Twitter bot @HowsMyDrivingNY allows anyone to get a reply tweet with the New York City driving record of any vehicle. And on Tuesday night, after video of the violent arrest of protester Nicki Stone, 18, was posted to social media, the account blew up with dozens of people seeking information on the van’s New York plate: JGB1864.
But for some reason, Twitter started temporarily deleting the responses revealing the van’s record of recklessness on the road, which included nine speed camera violations and one camera-issued red light ticket in just 13 months — a driving record that would put the NYPD officer behind the wheel among the most reckless drivers in the city.
It is unclear why Twitter deleted the automated replies from HowsMyDrivingNY, which remained blocked until Wednesday afternoon. Reps for the tech giant did not respond to a request for comment, and NYPD did not respond when asked by Streetsblog if the agency asked Twitter to block information on its van, which is used by the warrant squad.
The creator behind HowsMyDriving, Brian Howald, says he’s in the dark about what’s happening to the missing tweets in this case — and in previous cases. He says all of the account’s reply tweets dating back to its 2018 inception have been removed, too.
“Everything looking back…is not visible,” said Howald. “I have no idea, I haven’t received any email notice from Twitter saying any unusual activity.”
In the current case of the police van, the shadowban — or blocking of tweets without notice — has removed most of the HowsMyDrivingNY’s reply tweets that provide information about the plate’s infractions. But some tweets are inexplicably still up, and no one knows why.
Don't know but it's happening sidewide. The bot isn't broken, it's the four specific tweets consistently being removed by Twitter. pic.twitter.com/AivEDZI5uG
It’s not the first time Twitter and the NYPD have created confusion. Last summer, Twitter suspended an account that tracks placard misuse by government officials after an apparent complaint from the NYPD, Streetsblog reported at the time. The complaint stemmed from a picture posted by the account @placardabuse to Twitter identifying an NYPD scofflaw by displaying the police department business card he had put in his windshield to avoid getting tickets for illegal parking. Twitter removed only that specific tweet from 2018, and suspended the account. The account holders, who remain anonymous because they have been threatened by the NYPD, said that the business card — and the information on it — was fair game because the cop had left it in the windshield for all to see.
“A publicly displayed NYPD business card used for illicit purposes shouldn’t result in us getting suspended,” the group said. (Twitter eventually agreed.)
Howald is unsure whether the two bans are related in any way, but hypothesized that maybe someone (cop adjacent) similarly flagged a tweet outing the NYPD van’s plate, and Twitter is temporarily suspending it, or simply the sheer number of tweets from unrecognized users in such a short time violated some type of agreement. (Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.)
“I don’t know what analogous complaint might be here. The video is in a public place, none of it is anyone’s personal contact information,” Howald told Streetsblog. “Since (the ban) is account-wide it makes me believe it’s a result of the number of posts, as opposed to specific tweets that were flagged.”
But Howald says just about 150 unique users looked up the plate in question on both the HowsMyDriving’s website and on its Twitter account since Tuesday. The information is still readily available on the desktop version of the website, where anyone can plug in the plate number and get a full report (pictured, right).
Streetsblog has run the plates of more than 1,300 private cop cars through HowsMyDriving as part of its ongoing S-Cop-Law series and never experienced any issues similar to what is happening now.
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio said he was not happy with the manner in which the NYPD affected its arrest. The mayor defended the need of the warrant squad to arrest wanted suspects, but said doing so in the middle of a peaceful protest sent the wrong message about free speech.
“A lot of us have watched in pain what’s been going on in Portland, Oregon, and the fact that you see federal agents, federal officers, federal troops, clearly doing inappropriate things meant to undermine our democratic process,” he said. That’s just thoroughly unacceptable. So, anything that even slightly suggests that is, to me, troubling and it’s the kind of thing that we don’t want to see in this city.”
But it more than slightly suggests the Trumpist tactics being used by federal troops in Portland. Indeed, lawyer Gideon Oliver told Gothamist’s Jake Offenhartz that the “only reasonable conclusion” one could draw from the timing of the arrest “is that police decided to do this to send a message to scare and chill protesters.”
"I’ve never heard of a warrant squad arresting someone at a protest in 16 years,” said @gideonoliver. "The only reasonable conclusion you can draw is that the police decided to do this to send a message to scare and chill protesters." https://t.co/RrXLpqBJeg
Today we’re thrilled to announce general availability of Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP) across our Layer 7 products as well as Spectrum and Magic Transit services. When BYOIP is configured, the Cloudflare edge will announce a customer’s own IP prefixes and the prefixes can be used with our Layer 7 services, Spectrum, or Magic Transit. If you’re not familiar with the term, an IP prefix is a range of IP addresses. Routers create a table of reachable prefixes, known as a routing table, to ensure that packets are delivered correctly across the Internet.
As part of this announcement, we are listing BYOIP on the relevant product pages, developer documentation, and UI support for controlling your prefixes. Previous support was API only.
Customers choose BYOIP with Cloudflare for a number of reasons. It may be the case that your IP prefix is already allow-listed in many important places, and updating firewall rules to also allow Cloudflare address space may represent a large administrative hurdle. Additionally, you may have hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of end users pointed directly to your IPs via DNS, and it would be hugely time consuming to get them all to update their records to point to Cloudflare IPs.
Over the last several quarters we have been building tooling and processes to support customers bringing their own IPs at scale. At the time of writing this post we’ve successfully onboarded hundreds of customer IP prefixes. Of these, 84% have been for Magic Transit deployments, 14% for Layer 7 deployments, and 2% for Spectrum deployments.
When you BYOIP with Cloudflare, this means we announce your IP space in over 200 cities around the world and tie your IP prefix to the service (or services!) of your choosing. Your IP space will be protected and accelerated as if they were Cloudflare’s own IPs. We can support regional deployments for BYOIP prefixes as well if you have technical and/or legal requirements limiting where your prefixes can be announced, such as data sovereignty.
You can turn on advertisement of your IPs from the Cloudflare edge with a click of a button and be live across the world in a matter of minutes.
All BYOIP customers receive network analytics on their prefixes. Additionally all IPs in BYOIP prefixes can be considered static IPs. There are also benefits specific to the service you use with your IP prefix on Cloudflare.
Layer 7 + BYOIP:
Cloudflare has a robust Layer 7 product portfolio, including products like Bot Management, Rate Limiting, Web Application Firewall, and Content Delivery, to name just a few. You can choose to BYOIP with our Layer 7 products and receive all of their benefits on your IP addresses.
For Layer 7 services, we can support a variety of IP to domain mapping requests including sharing IPs between domains or putting domains on dedicated IPs, which can help meet requirements for things such as non-SNI support.
If you are also an SSL for SaaS customer, using BYOIP, you have increased flexibility to change IP address responses for custom_hostnames in the event an IP is unserviceable for some reason.
Spectrum + BYOIP:
Spectrum is Cloudflare’s solution to protect and accelerate applications that run any UDP or TCP protocol. The Spectrum API supports BYOIP today. Spectrum customers who use BYOIP can specify, through Spectrum’s API, which IPs they would like associated with a Spectrum application.
Magic Transit + BYOIP:
Magic Transit is a Layer 3 security service which processes all your network traffic by announcing your IP addresses and attracting that traffic to the Cloudflare edge for processing. Magic Transit supports sophisticated packet filtering and firewall configurations. BYOIP is a requirement for using the Magic Transit service. As Magic Transit is an IP level service, Cloudflare must be able to announce your IPs in order to provide this service
Bringing Your IPs to Cloudflare: What is Required?
Before Cloudflare can announce your prefix we require some documentation to get started. The first is something called a ‘Letter of Authorization’ (LOA), which details information about your prefix and how you want Cloudflare to announce it. We then share this document with our Tier 1 transit providers in advance of provisioning your prefix. This step is done to ensure that Tier 1s are aware we have authorization to announce your prefixes.
Secondly, we require that your Internet Routing Registry (IRR) records are up to date and reflect the data in the LOA. This typically means ensuring the entry in your regional registry is updated (i.e. ARIN, RIPE, APNIC).
Once the administrivia is out of the way, work with your account team to learn when your prefixes will be ready to announce.
We also encourage customers to use RPKI and can support this for customer prefixes. We have blogged and built extensive tooling to make adoption of this protocol easier. If you’re interested in BYOIP with RPKI support just let your account team know!
Each customer prefix can be announced via the ‘dynamic advertisement’ toggle in either the UI or API, which will cause the Cloudflare edge to either announce or withdraw a prefix on your behalf. This can be done as soon as your account team lets you know your prefixes are ready to go.
Once the IPs are ready to be announced, you may want to set up ‘delegations’ for your prefixes. Delegations manage how the prefix can be used across multiple Cloudflare accounts and have slightly different implications depending on which service your prefix is bound to. A prefix is owned by a single account, but a delegation can extend some of the prefix functionality to other accounts. This is also captured on our developer docs. Today, delegations can affect Layer 7 and Spectrum BYOIP prefixes.
Layer 7: If you use BYOIP + Layer 7 and also use the SSL for SaaS service, a delegation to another account will allow that account to also use that prefix to validate custom hostnames in addition to the original account which owns the prefix. This means that multiple accounts can use the same IP prefix to serve up custom hostname traffic. Additionally, all of your IPs can serve traffic for custom hostnames, which means you can easily change IP addresses for these hostnames if an IP is blocked for any reason.
Spectrum: If you used BYOIP + Spectrum, via the Spectrum API, you can specify which IP in your prefix you want to create a Spectrum app with. If you create a delegation for prefix to another account, that second account will also be able to specify an IP from that prefix to create an app.
If you are interested in learning more about BYOIP across either Magic Transit, CDN, or Spectrum, please reach out to your account team if you’re an existing customer or contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re a new prospect.
I’ve been planning to write on the demographics of the US military for a while, and now’s as good of a time as any. AOC is proposing the wrong solution to the wrong problem, and it’s because of a pervasive misunderstanding of the demographic foundations of the US military.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has introduced a pair of amendments to a defense appropriations bill that would bar the military from using funding to maintain a recruiting presence in U.S. schools or on digital streaming platforms such as Twitch.
In a statement to The New York Times, the first-term lawmaker explained that the amendments are intended to curb a trend of military recruiters targeting low-income students.
“Whether through recruitment stations in their lunchrooms, or now through e-sports teams, children in low-income communities are persistently targeted for enlistment,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“In many public high schools where military recruiters have a daily presence, there is not even a counselor,” she continued. “As a result, the military stops feeling like a ‘choice’ and starts feeling like the only option for many young, low-income Americans.”
The armed forces, she told the Times, “can for some provide a rewarding career,” but recruitment should not be targeted to poorer students while “low-income Americans are not being given anywhere near the same information or access to trade schools, college or other post graduate opportunities.”
Unfortunately, AOC gets the problem entirely wrong, and the solution she’s offering will actually make the situation worse. The US military does not recruit primarily from the poor, and indeed the poor are excluded in systematic ways from military service and all the perks that service entails. My intention here is not to pick on AOC in particular, because the misunderstanding is widely shared among progressives. A particularly innumerate version of the argument can be found here, which discovered (shockingly) that 20% of military recruits came from the lowest 40% on the income distribution. This is something that we can, and should, do better.
What Progressives Get Wrong
The United States military does not recruit disproportionately from low income Americans. The middle three income quintiles in the US are over-represented among enlisted personnel, with the top and the bottom slightly under-represented. We don’t have great data from the officer corps, but including that would undoubtedly make the top four quintiles significantly over-represented, and the bottom quintile significantly under-represented. The core argument about disproportionate recruitment in poor communities is simply wrong.
The US military does recruit disproportionately on several other metrics, however. It recruits disproportionately from families that already include members of the military, from rural areas around the country, and from the suburban and exurban South. African-Americans and Latinos serve at somewhat higher rates than their percentage in the population, although this gap is often over-stated, and many of these recruits (especially among African-Americans) also come from exurban communities in the South.
Why not recruit primarily from low-income populations? Changes in military technology have had a significant impact on the lived experience of soldiers at the most basic level, making physical and cognitive aptitude more important to the success of a soldier. Individuals from low-income areas often trail in education, nutrition, and community and family support, making them weaker candidates for military service. Modern military service requires physical and technological skill sets that the US health care and educational systems (not to mention the legal system) have very often prevented low-income individuals from attaining.
Why It Matters
Military service is the closest thing the United States has to Fully Automated Space Luxury Communism. The pay is good; the benefits are excellent; the job security is solid; the post-employment benefits are outstanding; the health care is more or less free; opportunities for advancement abound. Downsides include death, injury, PTSD, being sent to foreign countries to kill people, and (worst of all) a bureaucracy straight out of Kafka. To be clear, it is a bad thing that the most socialized aspect of the US economy is restricted to military personnel and their dependents. The solutions to this problem do not include further exclusion of low-income Americans from military service, which would be the result of AOC’s proposal.
I can say this from observational experience; there is no more rapid way to produce an audible eyeroll from a soldier than to suggest that the uniformed ranks are filled with the poor and under-educated. A lieutenant who has just led a unit in which half of the enlisted personnel have BAs is disinclined to pay much attention to someone who insists that the military is abusing the impoverished and uneducated. It’s fair to say that the Army, in particular, sometimes tries to have it both ways on this point, pretending to simultaneously be a path to prosperity and a highly professionalized force of technological specialists.
Where the Misunderstanding Came From
The idea that military recruits come from an underclass is pervasive among progressives, in ways that are deeply frustrating to those who have a more accurate sense of the problem. The misunderstanding stems from several roots. It was certainly more true (although not precisely accurate) that during the Vietnam era the poor disproportionately served in the military. The deferment system, with a bias towards college, heavily favored the upper middle and upper classes.
During the Iraq War era, progressives were very careful to avoid criticizing soldiers directly. The idea of soldiers being blamed for the war, no matter how rarely that actually happened in the Vietnam era, was viewed as political poison by the anti-war movement. Thus, Iraq was framed as a problem of bad civilian management, rather than a problem of bad soldiers. The idea that soldiers were driven to enlist by economic deprivation nested easily into this framework, even if it wasn’t true. Framing US military personnel as victims of the Bush administration rather than perpetrators of the Iraq War simplified the political problem for antiwar critics. To be sure, there was (and is) considerable disgruntlement within the military about both Iraq and Afghanistan, but the source and nature of this disgruntlement does not stem from the threat of economic deprivation.
Finally, the general disengagement of Americans with the military has tended to produce considerable ignorance about the realities of military life. On the right, this has produced “thank you for your service” style lionization of military service. On the left, this has resulted in genuine befuddlement as to why anyone would volunteer. The first ignores the (very real) economic incentives for military service, while the second reduces all service to those incentives.
There is no question that external economic conditions have an impact on willingness to enlist; the same is true of enrollment in undergraduate or graduate study. Indeed, we even have historical evidence that increased economic opportunity makes it more difficult to recruit military personnel. There’s good reason to think that for African-Americans in particular military service is a means of maintaining middle-class status, rather than attaining it. But people volunteer for lots of different reasons; they want the economic benefits of military service; they think military service will be meaningful and exciting; they are deeply patriotic and believe in an American mission; their friends and family have enlisted; they are bored with other jobs; and they want or need structure in their early 20s.
Misdiagnosing the Problem
The misunderstanding has produced a fundamental misdiagnosis of the problem. The issue is not that the poor are forced to serve in the military; the problem is that the poor are systematically excluded from military service, the most socialized sector of the US economy and one of the most reliable paths into the middle class.
It should not be surprising that the US military has become more selective about those it allows to enlist. From 240 million in 1980, the US population has grown to 332 million, while the size of the uniformed US military has dropped from 2.151 million in 1985 to 1.359 million today. Even those numbers are deceptive, though, because military service is far more open to women today than it was in the 1980s. In short, the applicant pool has grown substantially, while the number of available spots has dropped. When we speak of a “recruitment crisis” what we mean is that the military is struggling to to recruit from within the 30% of American 18-24 years olds who are judged physically, mentally, and legally capable of military service; some 70% are pre-emptively excluded. And this is the problem: the military is not a choice that most low-income Americans can make, whether or not recruiters are available in lunch rooms. Actual recruiters understand that low-income high schools are among the least productive recruiting targets, because low-income students suffer disproportionately from the problems that pre-emptively exclude young people from military service.
Indeed, the programs that AOC is targeting are intended to remedy this disparity. The military does not want to rely wholly on exurban communities in the South to make its recruitment targets. Putting recruiters in low-income urban high schools in blue states isn’t about taking advantage of the poor; it’s about diversifying the force away from its existing demographic base, which is most definitely not urban and not low-income. Sending recruiters into low-income high schools disproportionately populated by people of color is a low odds gamble, and definitely not the bread and butter of the US military.
Why Progressives Should Do Better
Here’s a set of things that are true: low-income high schools should have trade school and college recruiters in their cafeterias. The benefits of Military Full On Luxury Space Communism should, as policy, be shared across the broader public and not depend on service. Recruitment policies in the military should be tweaked in order to better produce the kind of diverse force that would best represent America. People who decide to serve in the US military shouldn’t be sent abroad to kill and die in pointless, stupid wars. Young people interested in public service should have alternatives to joining the military.
AOC’s proposal, which is not the first of its kind, doesn’t solve any of the problems, or any other problem apart from the fact that military recruiters would rather be somewhere more productive, because it doesn’t reflect understanding of the problems as they actually exist. Progressives, from AOC on down, need to do a much better job of analyzing the military recruitment issue and developing solutions to the (serious and genuine) problems that it entails.