THE STRESSED WING We will be told that one of the reasons why a knife-wielding suspect made it as far into the White House as he did — almost getting into the Green Room — is because he did not seem to be armed, he didn’t have a gun, yadda yadda yadda. But in this world of “See Something / Say Something” and being scared out of our wits into reporting every single suspicious thing ever to law enforcement, there is just no excuse that this happened. (Illustration of the route taken by Omar J. Gonzales into the White House via The New York Times)
A wave of protest in Hong Kong extended into the working week on Monday as thousands of residents defied a government call to abandon street blockades across the city, students boycotted classes and the city’s influential bar association added to condemnation of a police crackdown on protesters a day earlier.
The continued public resistance underscored the difficulties that the Hong Kong government faces in defusing widespread anger that erupted on Sunday, after the police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons to break up a three-day sit-in by students and other residents demanding democratic elections in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.
On Monday afternoon, the Hong Kong government canceled the city’s annual fireworks show to mark China’s National Day, which falls on Wednesday — an implicit acknowledgment that officials expect the protests to continue for days.
The police crackdown Sunday not only failed to dislodge protesters from a major thoroughfare in the heart of Hong Kong but appeared Monday to have motivated more people to join the student-led protests. A government announcement that the riot police had been withdrawn from the protest centers also seemed to open the door to growing demonstrations. The number of protesters, which had ebbed overnight, swelled again by midday Monday, as office workers in slacks and dress shirts mixed with crowds of students in black T-shirts.
Many of the new arrivals said they were angered by the police’s actions on Sunday, which they called excessive.
“This morning I was happy to see that they stayed and insisted on continuing the protest,” said Cindy Sun, a 30-year-old bank worker who joined protesters in the Admiralty district during her lunch hour.
“What they were doing was not appropriate, especially the tear gas,” she said. “The students were completely peaceful.”
Chloe Wong, 46, a mother of two, said she was inspired to join the protesters in Admiralty by the scenes of tear gas being fired the day before. She said she could find time to participate for only an hour but wanted to show her support.
“The protesters, they are so young,” she said. “They are fighting for our future, for my children’s future.”
Demonstrators were also blocking major streets in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay and in Mongkok in Kowloon, one of the world’s most densely packed places.
Hong Kong has maintained a reputation as a safe enclave for peaceful demonstration and commerce, and the crackdown here has raised the political cost of Beijing’s unyielding position on electoral change in Hong Kong. Late last month China’s legislature called for limits on voting reforms here and barriers for candidates for the position of chief executive, the city’s top leadership post. —
The New York Times, "Hong Kong Residents Defy Officials’ Call to End Protests."
How soon until China murders these protestors?
Well, 60. This is my favorite decade so far, that I’ve had. A lot of people around this age make a ‘bucket list.’ I made a bucket list, then I turned the ‘B’ to an ‘F’, and I was done with it! Because don’t you think — don’t you think ‘The older you get, I don’t wanna learn things! I don’t wanna visit places! I don’t wanna be a better person! I did that!’ — JERRY SEINFELD, on the perks of turning 60, Late Show With David Letterman
The one and only.
Let me get this straight: with Alibaba, we have an Internet startup that makes no tangible product with a hugely inflated IPO that was in the United States only due to a Cayman Island loophole that avoids regulations in that company’s home country (of China). Do you understand what this means?
The Communists just beat us at capitalism. — JON STEWART, The Daily Show
Oooh, it was so anticipated! It was the iPhone 6 of wars: It’s expensive, a little bigger, a little more unwieldy than you thought it was gonna be, (and) it’s gonna be at least a two-year commitment. —
JON STEWART, responding to a CNN anchor excitedly saying “we’ve been anticipating” U.S. air strikes on ISIS “for weeks,” on The Daily Show.
With the U.S. and allies air striking ISIS in Syria; Israel shooting down a Syrian fighter jet; and Israel killing two Palestinians who had kidnapped and killed three Israelis, this will come in handy: a map showing Iraq, Syria, Israel, Lebanon and parts of Jordan, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Just so you know. (Map via the New York Daily News)
The United States and allies launched airstrikes against Sunni militants in Syria early Tuesday, unleashing a torrent of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from the air and sea on the militants’ de facto capital of Raqqa and along the porous Iraq border.
American fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from several Arab allies, struck a broad array of targets in territory controlled by the militants, known as the Islamic State. American defense officials said the targets included weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings the militants use for command and control. Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from United States Navy ships in the region.
The strikes are a major turning point in President Obama’s war against the Islamic State and open up a risky new stage of the American military campaign. Until now, the administration had bombed Islamic State targets only in Iraq, and had suggested it would be weeks if not months before the start of a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria.
Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took part in the strikes, American officials said, although the Arab governments were not expected to announce their participation until later Tuesday. The new coalition’s makeup is significant because the United States was able to recruit Sunni governments to take action against the Sunni militants of the Islamic State. The operation also unites the squabbling states of the Persian Gulf.
The strikes came less than two weeks after Mr. Obama announced in an address to the nation that he was authorizing an expansion of the military campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
Unlike American strikes in Iraq over the past month, which have been small-bore bombings of mostly individual Islamic State targets — patrol boats and trucks — the salvo on Tuesday in Syria was the beginning of what was expected to be a sustained, hourslong bombardment at targets in the militant headquarters in Raqqa and on the border.
The strikes began after years of debate within the Obama administration about whether the United States should intervene militarily or should avoid another entanglement in a complex war in the Middle East. But the Islamic State controls a broad swath of land across both Iraq and Syria.
Defense officials said the goal of the air campaign was to deprive the Islamic State of the safe havens it enjoys in Syria. The administration’s ultimate goal, as set forth in the address Mr. Obama delivered on Sept. 10, is to recruit a global coalition to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the militants, even as Mr. Obama warned that “eradicating a cancer” like the Islamic State was a long-term challenge that would put some American troops at risk. — The New York Times, "Airstrikes by U.S. and Allies Hit ISIS Targets in Syria"
I can confirm that U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles. Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time. The decision to conduct theses strikes was made earlier today by the U.S. Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief. We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate. —
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. JOHN KIRBY.
Waiting to hear if these airstrikes have been authorized by Bashar al-Assad. That would be quite the development.
(via NBC News)
BREAKING: MORE: U.S. launches first airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, Pentagon says -
Here we go.
An earlier version of this post said that there is only one person of color on The Times’s staff of critics. There are two. —
CORRECTION on New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan’s piece addressing a racist critique of TV producer Shonda Rhimes.
The original article, published in the paper Sept. 18th and written by the decidedly white Alessandra Stanley, opened with these words: "When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being An Angry Black Woman.’"
Sullivan called Stanley’s piece “condescending” and “astonishingly tone-deaf and out of touch.” And precisely zero people familiar with Stanley’s error-prone work are surprised.
NY TIMES: "Among the items found in Mr. Gonzalez’s vehicle in July was a mini-arsenal of 11 guns including two shotguns and four rifles, some equipped with scopes and bipods that a sniper would use and 'a map of Washington, D.C., with writing and a line drawn to the White House,' law enforcement officials said. He also had four pistols, three of them loaded, and a revolver. The inventory of Mr. Gonzalez’s vehicle listed by the Virginia State Police indicates the items were found stored in his vehicle’s 'bulky floor.'" -
Yes, let’s not do anything about the military’s mental health, or about the gun problem in this country.
(apologies to sam cannon)