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Paket Umroh 2015

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Travel Umroh

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Travel Umroh

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50 PELAJARAN PENTING DARI HAJI

Berikut ini adalah, 50 pelajaran berharga dari Rukun Islam Kelima untuk kehidupan manusia. Semoga Alloh memberikan taufiq, bantuan, dan menunjuki kebenaran pada kami dalam menyelesaikan tulisan ini.

1. Pendidikan untuk mentauhidkan Alloh, baik dalam ucapan maupun amalan, hal ini terlihat jelas dalam beberapa amalan berikut ini:

a. Bacaan talbiyah, yang disebut juga dengan kalimat tauhid: Labbaikallohumma labbaik…

b. Dimasukkannya dalam talbiyah kata: la syarika lak (tiada sekutu bagi-Mu).

c. Kata la syarika lak yang diulangi dua kali dalam bacaan talbiyah, ini menunjukkan adanya penekanan dalam hal tauhid.

d. Kata-kata: “Innal hamda wan ni’mata laka wal mulk”, maksudnya adalah: “Sesungguhnya semua pujian, segala nikmat, dan seluruh kekuasaan hanya bagi-Mu ya Alloh”, dan ini juga mengandung nilai tauhid.

e. Larangan thowaf di selain Ka’bah, itu artinya kita dilarang untuk thowaf di arofah, di jamarot, di pemakaman, tempat keramat, tempat bersejarah, dll. Ini semua bukti keyakinan kita, bahwa tiada sesembahan yang berhak disembah kecuali Alloh, dan itulah diantara bentuk nyata mentauhidkan Alloh.

2. Pendidikan untuk banyak memuji Alloh. Hal ini tampak pada kata hamdalah yang ada dalam talbiyah. Meski saat datang ke tanah suci, jamaah haji sedang dalam keadaan tertimpa musibah, didera cobaan, sakit, miskin, dan terasingkan… mereka semua tetap memuji Alloh, seakan-akan mereka dalam keadaan lapang, sehat, dan kuat… Sungguh tak diragukan lagi, memuji Alloh dianjurkan bagi setiap muslim, baik di saat suka, maupun duka.

3. Pendidikan untuk selalu membasahi lisan dengan dzikir, ini tampak pada:

a. Disunnahkannya membaca talbiyah hingga sampai di masjidil harom, atau sampai melihat ka’bah, atau sampai memulai thowaf. Meski para ulama berbeda pendapat tentang kapan harus mengakhiri talbiyah, tapi semua pendapat itu mengisyaratkan anjuran untuk memperbanyak talbiyah.

b. Saat thowaf, kita dianjurkan untuk memperbanyak doa, atau dzikir, atau pujian pada Alloh, dan semuanya merupakan bentuk dzikir.

c. Dalam sai juga demikian.

d. Doa di Hari Arofah yang berupa dzikir: “la ilaaha illallohu wahdahu….

e. Hari-hari di mina adalah hari untuk makan, minum, dan berdzikir.

f. Disyariatkannya melempar jumroh adalah untuk berdzikir mengingat-Nya.

g. Disunnahkan untuk membaca takbir dalam setiap lemparan kerikilnya.

Dan masih banyak lagi tempat dan kesempatan lain untuk memperbanyak dzikir dalam ibadah haji ini. Itu semua mengajarkan pada seorang muslim agar lisannya selalu basah dengan bacaan dzikir.

4. Mengajarkan kita untuk mengingat mati, yaitu dari pengenaan kain kafan dalam pelaksanaannya. Dengan ini, seorang mukmin akan teringat dan merasakan bagaimana akhir hidupnya, sehingga hal itu akan mempengaruhi hati dan amalannya.

5. Mengajarkan manusia untuk zuhud pada dunia dan kenikmatannya. Baik dia seorang yang kaya, presiden, atau menteri, ia tidak akan mengenakan kecuali baju putih itu. Seandainya ia ingin mengenakan baju lain yang dimilikinya, tetap saja tidak diperbolehkan baginya.

6- Mendidik manusia untuk qona’ah, sekaligus memberi pelajaran bahwa kekayaan yang hakiki adalah pada sifat qonaah itu. Oleh karena itu, para jama’ah haji dilatih untuk cukup hanya dengan mengenakan pakaian yang menutupi auratnya, cukup dengan tidur sekedar bisa menghilangkan lelah dan malas, dan cukup dengan makan sekedar bisa menopang tubuhnya.

7. Mengajarkan pada manusia, bahwa kekayaan duniawi tidaklah memiliki kedudukan di sisi Alloh bila dilihat dari dzatnya. Oleh karena itu para jamaah haji sama-sama dalam pakaian dan amalannya. Adapun kekayaan, kefakiran, kedudukan, dan tempat tinggal mereka, sungguh hal itu tidak punya pengaruh apa-apa. Yang mempengaruhi mereka hanyalah keikhlasan dan mengikuti sunnah dalam beramal. Sungguh demi Alloh, betapa banyak para masakin di tempat itu yang lebih mulia, dari mereka yang kaya dan memiliki kedudukan yang tinggi!!.

8. Mengajarkan pada manusia dasar Persatuan Islam, hal ini tampak dari seragamnya perbuatan, amalan, tempat, dan waktu mereka.

9. Mengajarkan pada manusia untuk sabar dalam menghadapi kemaksiatan, hal itu tampak pada hal-hal berikut ini:

a. Sabar untuk tidak melakukan hal-hal yang dilarang ketika dalam keadaan ihrom.

b. Sabar untuk tidak melakukan kefasikan, sebagaimana firman-Nya: “Barangsiapa berkewajiban menunaikan ibadah haji dalam bulan-bulan haji, maka janganlah ia berbuat fasik dan keji”. Sehingga ketika ia pulang ke negerinya, ia telah terdidik dan terbiasa sabar dari segala kemaksiatan, sebagaimana ia sabar menghadapinya pada hari-hari itu.

10. Mengajarkan pada muslim untuk sabar dalam ketaatan. Dan barangsiapa mau merenungi masalah-masalah tentang haji, tentu ia akan menemukan makna ini. Hal itu terlihat diantaranya:

Ketika jama’ah haji ingin bersegera kembali ke negerinya, ia tidak diperkenankan sebelum tanggal 12 dzulhijjah.

Pulangnya juga harus setelah melempar dan thowaf wada’, meski ia berasal dari negeri yang jauh, tetap saja ia harus menjalani semua amalan ketaatan ini, baru setelah itu diperkenankan untuk pulang.

11. Mengajarkan pada manusia, agar menyiapkan diri sebelum melakukan ketaatan, oleh karena itu disunnahkan bagi yang ingin memulai ihrom, agar mandi, membersihkan diri, memotong kuku, membersihkan rambut kemaluan dan ketiaknya, dan memarfumi badannya, sebagaimana dituntunkan oleh Nabi -shollallohu alaihi wasallam-. Begitu pula ketika sudah tahallul awal dan akan melakukan thowaf ifadloh, disunnahkan baginya memakai parfum, sebagaimana dicontohkan oleh beliau. Tak diragukan lagi, tentunya hal ini akan berpengaruh terhadap jiwa ketika menjalani ibadahnya, sekaligus menambah kekhusyu’annya.

12. Mengajarkan pada manusia untuk ikhlas dan tulus hati, yang keduanya adalah puncak amalan hati, dengan keduanya sebuah amal akan diterima dan mendapatkan tempat yang mulia di sisi-Nya.

13. Mengajarkan pada manusia untuk tawakkal dan menyerahkan urusannya hanya pada Alloh semata, terutama dalam menunaikan dan memudahkan ibadahnya. Lihatlah bagaimana seorang muslim yang datang dengan meninggalkan keluarga, anak, dan hartanya, tentunya ia akan menyerahkan urusan harta dan sanak keluarganya pada Tuhannya, ia juga tentunya banyak meminta permohonan pada-Nya dalam menjalani beratnya perjalanan, terutama mereka yang datang dari negeri jauh.

14. mengajarkan manusia untuk bertawakkal yang benar, tentunya tawakkal yang tidak mengesampingkan usaha lahiriyah yang diperintahkan untuk mencari rizki, oleh karenanya Alloh berfirman: “Tidak ada masalah jika kalian ingin mengharapkan kemurahan (rizki) dari Tuhan kalian”. Ayat ini turun pada mereka yang menyangka bahwa makna tawakkal adalah dengan meninggalkan berdagang dalam haji.

15. Mengajarkan pada manusia untuk mewujudkan semua amalan-amalan hati. Sungguh tiada ibadah yang tampak padanya semua atau sebagian besar amalan hati seperti dalam haji ini. Terkumpul dalam ibadah haji ini amalan ikhlas, ketulusan hati, roja’, tawakkal, zuhud, waro’, muhasabah, keyakinan… dll”

16. Mendidik manusia untuk menundukkan hati dari apa yang diingininya, selama hal itu dilarang oleh syariat. Parfum, tutup kepala, dan semua larangan ihrom haruslah ditinggalkan oleh jama’ah haji padahal hatinya menginginkannya. Ia meninggalkannya bukan karena apa-apa, tapi karena syariat melarangnya.

17. mengajarkan manusia untuk taat dengan aturan dan batasan syariat. Hal ini nampak dalam aturan miqot dan batasannya, aturan waktu melempar, aturan waktu meninggalkan arofah, dll.

18. Mengajarkan pada manusia untuk membuka pintu qiyas yang shohih. Pelajaran berharga ini, bisa kita ambil dari ucapan Umar r.a. pada penduduk negeri Irak ketika mereka mengatakan: “Sungguh dua miqot itu, tidak pas dengan jalan kami”, maka Umar r.a. mengatakan: “Ambillah tempat yang sejajar dengannya di jalan kalian” (muttafaqun alaih).

Dengan ini, seorang muslim tahu bahwa aturan syariat bukanlah aturan yang kaku, dan tak bisa dirubah sama sekali. Tapi terbuka juga dalam aturan syariat ini pintu qiyas, tentunya hal ini hanya dikhususkan bagi mereka yang memiliki syarat dan ketentuan dalam ber-ijtihad.

19. Mengajarkan pada manusia tentang rukun kedua diterimanya suatu amalan, yakni mengikuti tuntunan Nabi -shollallohu alaihi wasallam-. Oleh karena itu, beliau menyabdakan: “Ambillah cara manasik kalian dariku!” (muttafaqun alaih). Beliau juga mengatakan dalam kesempatan lain: “Melemparlah dengan kerikil yang seperti ini!”. Begitu juga perkataan Umar r.a. pada hajar aswad: “Aku tahu, kau ini hanyalah sebuah batu, yang takkan mampu memberi manfaat atau mendatangkan bahaya, andai saja aku tidak melihat Rosululloh -shollallohu alaihi wasallam- menciummu, tentunya aku takkan menciummu” (muttafaqun alaih).

Dengan itu semua, seorang muslim akan lulus dari madrasah hajinya, dalam keadaan telah terbiasa mengikuti tuntunan Nabinya -shollallohu alaihi wasallam-, baik dalam hal yang besar, maupun yang paling kecil sekalipun.

20. Memberikan pelajaran akan mudahnya ajaran syariat, sehingga keyakinan ini bisa tertanam dalam hatinya dan terasa ringan ketika menerapkannya. Hal ini, bisa terlihat dalam amalan-amalan berikut ini:

a. Letak miqot yang menyebar dan terpisah-pisah, hingga memudahkan para jama’ah haji dalam memulai ihromnya.

b. Cara manasik haji yang bermacam-macam.

c. Adanya hukum khusus bagi para jama’ah yang lemah dan lanjut usia.

21. Mendidik manusia, agar memperhatikan adanya perbedaan diantara mereka. Sungguh tidaklah mereka berada pada derajat yang sama. Hal ini tampak pada adanya cara manasik haji yang bermacam-macam. Diantara mereka ada yang tidak mampu menunaikan hajinya, kecuali dengan cara ifrod. Diantara mereka ada yang hanya mampu melakukannya dengan qiron dan hal itu menjadi lebih mudah dan lebih utama baginya. Dan diantara mereka ada yang bisa menunaikan manasik dengan cara yang paling utama, yakni tamattu’.

Sungguh ini menunjukkan tingginya perhatian syariat pada keadaan, kemampuan, masalah, dan perbedaan mereka. Sekaligus merupakan bantahan bagi orang yang menuntut bersatunya umat dalam segala hal, baik dalam amalan maupun dalam hal kepentingannya.

22. Mengajari manusia bagaimana fikhul khilaf dalam kehidupan nyata, hal itu tampak pada hal-hal berikut ini:

a. Perbedaan para jama’ah dalam dalam memilih cara manasiknya.

b. Perbedaan para jama’ah dalam menjalani amalan yang dilakukan pada hari ke-10 bulan Dzulhijjah.

c. Perbedaan para jama’ah dalam hal dzikir yang dibaca ketika meninggalkan Mina menuju Arofah. Sebagaimana disebutkan, para sahabat dulu ada yang bertalbiyah, ada juga yang bertakbir.

d. Perbedaan waktu bolehnya beranjak dari Muzdalifah ke Mina, melihat keadaan masing-masing, bagi yang lemah ada waktu tersendiri, dan bagi yang kuat ada waktu tersendiri.

e. Perbedaan para jama’ah dalam memilih nafar awal atau nafar tsani untuk ibadah hajinya.

f. Perbedaan para jama’ah dalam memilih menggundul atau memendekkan rambutnya ketika hendak bertahallul.

Semua contoh di atas, mengajari para jama’ah bagaimana menyikapi perbedaan dan individunya. Sungguh, tidak ada nukilan tentang timbulnya cekcok atau tuduhan antara satu sahabat dengan sahabat lainnya, karena sebab memilih cara manasik tertentu, meski pilihan mereka adalah cara manasik yang kurang utama.

23. Mengajari manusia, bahwa tidak semua yang diterangkan oleh syari’at itu mungkin dicerna oleh akal, tujuannya adalah agar syariat tetap menjadi pemegang kendali hukum di atas akal, bukan di bawahnya.

Lihatlah sebagai contoh sabda Nabi -shollallohu alaihi wasallam-: “Perbanyaklah haji dan umroh, karena keduanya bisa menghilangkan kefakiran sebagaimana mampunya tengku pembakar menghilangkan karatnya besi. (Diriwayatkan oleh para pengarang kitab sunan, dan dishohihkan oleh Albani)…

Padahal jika di nalar dengan akal, memperbanyak haji dan umroh itu, akan mengundang banyak kebutuhan dan tentunya akan banyak menghabiskan uang, tapi syariat malah mengatakan seperti itu. Sungguh akal tidak akan bisa menerangkan secara rasional, bahwa orang yang memperbanyak haji dan umroh akan menghilangkan kefakiran, Alloh lah yang tahu akan hakikat di balik itu semua.

Dengan ini, seorang muslim akan terdidik untuk selalu menghubungkan dirinya dengan Alloh dan ilmu-Nya, sekaligus melatihnya untuk berjiwa besar dan mau mengakui kelemahan dan kekurangannya.

24. Mengajari manusia, bahwa yang paling afdlol, adalah yang sesuai dg syariat, bukan yang lebih berat dan susah, misalnya: Memulai ihrom dari miqot, lebih utama dari pada memulainya dari tempat sebelumnya, meski itu lebih berat dan susah. Sehingga dengan ini, seorang muslim terdidik untuk memuliakan syariat dan memperhatikannya.

25. Melatih manusia, untuk terbiasa tertib dan taat aturan. Budaya tersebut bukanlah keistimewaan negeri kafir, sebaliknya itu merupakah nilai Islam yang telah kita abaikan. Nilai ini tampak dari hal-hal berikut:

a. Harusnya tertib dalam menjalani amalan-amalan Umroh.

b. Sunnahnya tertib dalam menjalankan amalan-amalan pada hari ke-10 bulan dzulhijjah.

c. Harusnya tertib ketika melempar jamarot.
Tapi yang sungguh mengherankan, di zaman kita ini, justru ketertiban itu malah dijadikan cemoohan!…

26. Mendidik manusia untuk menekan syahwatnya secara khusus, oleh karena itu akad nikah menjadi larangan saat dalam keadaan ihrom, bahkan sampai rofats[1] dan jima’ pun dilarang. Tidak diragukan, ini mendidik seorang muslim agar waspada dan hati-hati dengan syahwat ini.

27. Mendidik manusia untuk menunaikan ibadahnya sesempurna dan sebaik mungkin, oleh karena itu Alloh berfirman: “Barangsiapa yang berkewajiban haji, maka janganlah ia melakukan rofats, kefasikan, dan debat (kusir) dalam ibadah hajinya”, beliau -shollallohu alaihi wasallam- juga bersabda: “Haji yang mabrur itu, tiada balasan lain baginya kecuali surga” (Muttafaqun Alaih). Ini semua mendidik muslim untuk menjaga kualitas ibadahnya.

28. Mendidik manusia untuk menyesuaikan dirinya saat keadaan dan kebiasaan lingkungannya berubah. Tentunya sepanjang tahun jama’ah haji terbiasa melakukan sesuatu di negaranya, lalu ketika datang haji, ia harus memaksa dirinya untuk menyesuaikan dengan waktu dan jam yang sedang ia jalani. Inilah maksud dari arahan Umar r.a. saat mengatakan: “Prihatinlah, karena nikmat-nikmat yang ada itu tidak akan langgeng selamanya”.

29. Mendidik manusia untuk banyak berdoa. Dalam manasik haji, disunnahkan bagi muslim untuk berdoa pada Tuhannya, di kebanyakan tempat yang dikunjunginya, misalnya:

a. Saat thowaf.

b. Saat sholat sunat 2 rokaat setelah thowaf.

c. Saat minum air zamzam.

d. Saat naik ke bukit Shofa dan Marwa.

e. Saat di tengah-tengah pelaksanaan sa’i.

f. Saat Hari Arofah

g. Setelah terbit fajarnya hari nahr (tanggal 10 dzulhijjah) hingga langit menguning.

h. Setelah melempar dua jamarot, Shughro dan Wustho.

Dan tempat-tempat lainnya, itu semua mendidik seorang muslim untuk selalu mendekatkan diri pada Tuhannya dalam doa dan selalu kembali pada-Nya.

30. Mendidik muslim untuk ta’abbud dengan sifat maha mendengar dan maha melihatnya Alloh ta’ala, sebagaimana madzhabnya Ahlus sunnah wal jama’ah dalam menetapkan sifat dan maknanya, ini tampak dalam hal-hal berikut ini:

a. Banyaknya bahasa yang beraneka ragam, suara yang berbeda-beda, kebutuhan yang bermacam-macam, pun begitu, Dia yang maha suci tetap mampu mendengarkan doanya ini, dan mengabulkan doanya itu, serta mengetahui seluruh bahasa mereka.

b. Dia maha tahu niat para jama’ah haji yang berbeda-beda, dan seberapa tulus dan ikhlasnya mereka, meski jumlah mereka sangat banyak.

31. Melatih manusia, untuk tidak menganggap remeh apapun yang diharamkan Alloh, oleh karena itulah dalam ibadah haji ini, ada beberapa kalimat yang diulang-ulang, diantaranya:

a. Tanah haram.

b. Bulan haram.

c. Larangan-larangan ketika sedang ihrom.

Dengan begitu seorang muslim terlatih untuk mengagungkan apa yang diharamkan oleh Alloh ta’ala dari sekian banyak sesuatu yang diharamkannya.

32. Melatih manusia untuk meneguhkan prinsip “loyal pada kaum muslimin dan berlepas diri dari kaum kafirin”. Oleh karena itulah disunnahkan dalam sholat sunat setelah thowaf untuk membaca surat alkafirun, yang didalamnya menekankan dan menuangkan dasar prinsip ini.

Termasuk diantara bukti paling nampak dari petunjuk menyelisihi kaum musyrikin adalah, beranjaknya para jama’ah haji (dari Muzdalifah) sebelum terbitnya matahari.

33. Mendidik manusia untuk tenang, tertib, dan mempraktekkan prinsip itsar (mendahulukan orang lain dalam hal duniawi). Oleh karena itulah dahulu Rosul -shollallohu alaihi wasallam- ketika meninggalkan Arofah menyabdakan: “tenang dan tenanglah”, karena saat itu merupakan momen yang biasanya rame dan memungkinkan terjadinya saling menyakiti antara kaum muslimin.

Sifat waqor dan tenang adalah sifat yang selayaknya melekat pada diri seorang muslim, sebagaimana Alloh memberikan sifat itu pada mereka dalam kitab-Nya: “yaitu mereka yang berjalan di atas bumi dengan sopan”

34. Mendidik manusia untuk menyatukan kata, meski keadaan dan cara manasik mereka berbeda-beda. Ini merupakan dasar yang agung, dan ditunjukkan dalam banyak nash syariat dan juga tampak dari keadaan para sahabat -rodliallohu anhum-.

35. Melatih manusia untuk mengingat hari kiamat, yakni dengan banyaknya orang yang berkumpul saat itu, bahkan pada hari kiamat nanti, Alloh akan mengumpulkan manusia dari awal hingga akhir penciptaan. Tak diragukan lagi, dengan mengingat hari kiamat, hati seorang muslim akan hidup dan memiliki pengaruh besar dalam kekhusyu’an dan ibadahnya.

36. Mendidik manusia untuk memperhatikan dan menghargai waktu. Hari arofah adalah kesempatan yang tak ada gantinya bila telah hilang, hari-hari tasyriq adalah hari-hari yang diperuntukkan untuk berdzikir (mengingat Alloh), dan di 10 hari pertama bulan dzul hijjah amalan ibadah dilipat-gandakan pahalanya, itu semua melatih seorang muslim untuk memanfaatkan waktunya untuk apapun yang bermanfaat baginya.

37. Mendidik manusia untuk menjaga ukhuwwah imaniyyah, itu tampak dari bertemunya raga, yang akan menjadikan berkumpulnya hati, dan tentunya akan terlihat pengaruh pertalian persaudaraan itu dalam tingkah laku dan kehidupan sehari-hari.

38. Mengajari manusia untuk mewujudkan lahan yang riil untuk mendidik jiwa, misalnya:

a. Haji adalah tempat untuk mendidik jiwa untuk menjaga pandangan mata dari sesuatu yang diharamkan.

b. Haji adalah tempat untuk mendidik jiwa untuk itsar (mendahulukan orang lain) dalam urusan duniawi)

c. Haji adalah tempat mendidik jiwa untuk memberi bantuan dan sedekah.

d. Haji adalah tempat mendidik jiwa untuk menerapkan amar ma’ruf nahi mungkar.

Sungguh haji merupakan pusat praktek nyata dan tempat pelatihan untuk menguji kepribadian seseorang.

39. Mendidik manusia untuk membuktikan taqwanya, karena tempat ketakwaan adalah hati, dan sebagian besar amalan haji itu bertumpu pada hati dengan derajat paling tinggi, oleh karena itulah Alloh menyebutkan redaksi takwa dalam ayat-ayat haji, Alloh berfirman: “Sempurnakanlah haji dan umroh itu untuk Alloh…” di akhir ayat disebutkan: “dan bertakwalah kalian pada Alloh!”… Dia juga berfirman: “Siapkanlah bekal (untuk haji), sungguh sebaik-baik bekal adalah taqwa”.

40. Mendidik manusia agar berakhlak mulia, yang merupakan sesuatu yang paling berat dalam timbangan amal di hari kiamat nanti, hal ini tampak dari firman-Nya: “Janganlah berdebat (kusir) dalam haji!”. Maka anjuran untuk meninggalkan debat merupakan pendidikan untuk berakhlak mulia. Hal itu juga tampak pada anjuran Nabi -shollallohu alaihi wasallam- kepada para sahabatnya untuk tetap tenang ketika meninggalkan Arofah.

41. Mendidik manusia untuk mencintai seluruh Nabi -alaihimus salam-, hal ini tampak dari:

Pemenuhan panggilannya Nabi Ibrohim ketika memanggil manusia untuk haji.

Menziarahi ka’bah yang dibangun olehnya bersama Ismail.

Dan sa’i di jalannya siti hajar ketika mencarikan air untuk Isma’il.

42. Mendidik manusia untuk menjalankan macam-macam ibadah, seperti: Thowaf, sa’i, sholat, mabit, melempar, menyembelih, menggundul, dll. Sehingga seorang muslim terdidik untuk tidak hanya terpaku dalam satu macam ibadah saja, tapi menjadikan agar ibadahnya bervariasi dan merasakan nikmatnya melakukan ibadah.

43. Mendidik manusia untuk mengagungkan Alloh, hal ini tampak dalam beberapa hal berikut:

a. Kepala yang di… dan digundul untuk mendekatkan diri dan bersimpuh kepada Alloh.

b. Hadyu yang disembelih untuk beribadah pada-Nya, dialirkan darahnya karena wajah-Nya, dan nama-Nya juga disebut ketika menyembelihnya.

44. Mendidik manusia untuk mencintai Alloh. Siapapun yang mau merenungi pemandangan jama’ah haji yang mencapai jutaan, dan merenungi bagaimana Alloh memberi mereka rizki, mengatur, menjaga, dan menanggung kebutuhan mereka, ini akan menuntunnya untuk mencintai-Nya. Dengan ini dan poin sebelum ini, akan terkumpul kecintaan dan pengagungan pada Alloh, dan inilah hakekat dari ibadah.

45. Mendidik manusia untuk mengetahui jasa Nabi -shollallohu alaihi wasallam- dan para sahabatnya -rodliallohu anhum- dalam menyebarkan agama ke seluruh penjuru dunia. Ketika anda merenungi jumlah jama’ah haji yang sangat besar itu, mereka memiliki daerah, warna, dan bahasa yang beragam, tentu anda akan tahu jasa para pendahulu dalam menyebarkan agama Alloh ini. Lihatlah bagaimana ia bisa sampai ke negara-negara Asia Timur, Afrika, bahkan Eropa. Semoga Alloh membalas mereka dengan balasan yang paling baik atas tugas berat yang diembannya dengan sebaik-baiknya, dan semoga Alloh memgampuni kita atas kekurangan kita dalam meneruskannya, dan kita memohon kepada Alloh agar membantu kita dalam urusan ini.

46. Mendidik manusia untuk berusaha membuat jengkel kaum musyrikin, dengan cara apapun, oleh karena itulah beliau -shollallohu alaihi wasallam- menyariatkan roml ketika thowaf hanya untuk membuat jengkel kaum musyrikin saja, yakni saat mereka mengata-ngatai kaum muslimin ketika datang ke Mekah: “Mereka itu mendatangi kalian, dalam keadaan telah dilemahkan oleh Humma Yatsrib“.

47. Mendidik manusia agar merasakan pengaruh ibadah dalam kehidupan ini. Meski dengan banyaknya jama’ah haji, adanya keramaian, berdesakan, berat, dan lelah, tetap saja jiwa orang-orang itu lembut, dan jarang terjadi masalah, suara tinggi, dan saling marah. Sebabnya adalah -wallohu a’lam-, karena ibadah yang sedang mereka lakukan, mempengaruhi keadaan jiwa mereka, hingga merubahnya menjadi jiwa yang tinggi, yang tidak peduli dengan hal-hal yang remeh.

Beda halnya dengan pemandangan di pasar misalnya, banyak sekali terjadi jeritan, dan suara yang tinggi, banyak pula terjadi masalah dan hal-hal buruk lainnya. Itu semua memberikan pelajaran berharga bagi seorang muslim, tentang adanya perbedaan yang jelas terlihat antara dua keadaan itu.

48. Mendidik manusia untuk selalu sadar tanggung jawab. Ketika terjadi kesalahan dari para jama’ah haji -kadang sebagian kesalahannya dalam hal-hal yang diperkirakan semua orang tahu bahwa itu salah-, ini mendidik muslim untuk sadar tanggung-jawab yang dibebankan di pundaknya untuk memberitahu saudaranya, menyodorkan sesuatu yang bermanfaat bagi mereka, dan menghilangkan kebodohan yang ada pada mereka. Penulis yakin inilah yang bisa memberi manfaat, bukan malah mencemooh atau menuduh yang bukan-bukan pada mereka yang salah.

49. Melatih manusia untuk berjihad, dengan adanya masyaqqoh, lelah, dan keinginan hati  yang tak dituruti. Oleh karena itulah Nabi -shollallohu alaihi wasallam- menamainya jihad, sebagaimana dalam sabdanya: “Bagi kalian (para wanita) ada jihad yang tanpa perang, yaitu haji dan umroh” (HR. Bukhori)

50. Mendidik manusia untuk bangga dengan agama dan keislamanya. Ini tampak dari keadaan setan di Hari Arofah, telah disebutkan dalam kitab Al-Muwaththo’ karya Imam Malik, bahwa Nabi -shollallohu alaihi wasallam- pernah bersabda: “Tiada suatu haripun, yang saat itu setan terlihat paling kerdil, paling hina, dan paling marah, melebihi Hari Arofah” (dihasankan oleh Ibnu Abdil Barr -rohimahulloh-). Hal ini juga tampak dari bagaimana Alloh membangga-banggakan hambanya yang sedang wukuf di Arofah di hadapan para malaikat, sebagaimana disebutkan dalam shohih muslim.

Baca Artikel Lainnya : TANDA-TANDA HAJI MABRUR

 

> 50 PELAJARAN PENTING DARI HAJI

KASUS TEWASNYA GURU AGAMA MASIH MISTERI

saco-indonesia.com, Polisi akan terus menyelidiki kasus terbunuhnya guru agama, Drs.Muslim Azhuri yang berusia 65 tahun , yang ditemukan meregang nyawa di rumahnya, Jalan Muslihun, Bintaro, Pesanggrahan, Jakarta Selatan.

“Kami juga masih harus dalami dan mudah-mudahan bisa mengungkap kasus tewasnya Muslim Azhuri. Sembilan saksi sudah kita minta keterangan,” kata Kasat Reskrim Polres Jakarta Selatan, AKBP Novi Nurohmat.

Sebelumnya Muslim yang biasa menjadi pendakwah di musholah maupun mesjid di kawasan Pesanggrahan setelah pensiun jadi PNS guru agama telah ditemukan tewas di lantai dua rumahnya dengan kondisi yang mengenaskan, usus terburai dan ada luka bacok di tangan dan leher.

Dalam kasus ini, harta benda korban tidak ada yang hilang. Selain itu, pintu rumah atau jendela tidak ada yang rusak sehingga membuat petugas agak kesulitan mengungkap misteri kasus tersebut, apakah dibunuh atau bunuh diri.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

> KASUS TEWASNYA GURU AGAMA MASIH MISTERI

FUNGSI DAN MANFAAT GOOGLE ANALISTICS

Terimakasih untuk saco indonesia yang memberikan ruang untuk saya dapat share apa apa yang saya ketahui..

Pada kesempatan ini saya ingin sharing tentang fungsi dan maafaat dari google analistics
Fungsi Google Analytics Untuk website umum digunakan untuk mendapatkan informasi lengkap seputar pengunjung website.

Secara umum fungsi Google Analytics adalah:

  • Mengetahui jumlah pengunjung berdasarkan rentang waktu tertentu, perhari, perminggu, perbulan atau jumlah total. Jumlah pengunjung juga bisa dikategorikan pada pengunjung baru (new visitor) dan pengunjung berulang (returning visitor)
  • Halaman atau artikel yang paling sering dikunjungi berikut jumlah total kunjungan pada masing-masing halaman
  • Mengetahui berapa lama rata-rata waktu yang dihabiskan pengunjung di website
  • Mengetahui sumber kedatangan pengunjung. Pilihannya adalah Mesin pencari (search engine), Pengunjung langsung (direct traffic), dari website lain (referring website) dan lainnya (other)
  • Mengetahui asal negara pengunjung
  • Fungsi Khusus Google Analytics
  • Google Analytics juga memberikan laporan yang lebih detail tentang pengunjung. Berikut ini hal-hal detil yang aku ketahui bisa didapat dari Google Analytics :
  • Pengunjung (Visitors)

Pada bagian ini, anda dapat melihat laporan mengenai :

Total Kunjungan
Total kunjungan baru (pengunjung yang baru pertama kali datang ke website anda)
Rata-rata waktu yang dihabiskan oleh pengunjung di website
Kesetiaan pengunjung. Ini dilihat dari data jumlah kunjungan seseorang ke website anda. Jika berulang maka pengunjung ini dikategorikan sebagai pengunjung setia
Persentasi pengunjung baru dengan total kunjungan
Asal negara pengunjung dan bahasa yang digunakan pengunjung
Jenis browser dan sistem operasi yang digunakan pengunjung
Resolusi monitor pengunjung
Jenis gadget yang digunakan pengunjung (Komputer, Handphone) dan sistem operasi handphone yang digunakan pengunjung
Kecepatan koneksi pengunjung
ISP pengunjung berikut nama ISP tersebut

Sumber Trafik (Traffic Sources)
Google Analytics juga memberikan laporan detil tentang dari mana pengunjung menemukan website kita. Hal-hal yang bisa dilihat adalah :

Asal kunjungan. Seperti yang aku sebutkan sebelumnya, asal kunjungan dikategorikan berdasarkan kunjungan dari search engine, website refferal dan kunjungan langsung. Kita bisa mengambil kesimpulan hal-hal manakah yang mendatangkan pengunjung terbanyak ke website kita. Apakah dari optimasi SEO (Search Engine), kegiatan blog walking dan tebar backlink (Referring Sites) atau dari kunjungan langsung (promosi dari selain blogwalking dan tebar backlink)

Konten (Content)
Pada bagian konten, aku bisa melihat laporan yang rinci mengenai :

Artikel/Posting mana yang paling banyak dikunjungi
Artikel paling akhir yang dibaca oleh pengunjung sebelum meninggalkan website. Dari poin 1 dan 2 ini bisa diambil kesimpulan apakah pengunjung cukup tertarik dengan artikel-artikel lain di website kita. Jika poin 1 dan 2 mengacu pada judul artikel yang sama, secara kasar bisa disimpulkan bahwa konten di website kurang menarik perhatian pengunjung

 

> FUNGSI DAN MANFAAT GOOGLE ANALISTICS

PUSAT PENJUALAN BESI BETON

Bagi anda yang sedang membangun rumah, atau bagi developer / pengembang atau bagi kontraktor ataupun bagi siapa saja yang membutuhkan besi beton untuk wilayah Jakarta ataupun luar Jakarta, kami bersedia melayani keperluan anda.

Kami telah berikan gambaran sedikit mengenai besi beton. Besi beton yang ada di pasaran banyak jenisnya, namun secara umum telah di bagi menjadi dua yaitu: besi beton SNI (Standar Nasional Indonesia) dan Non - SNI atau yang sering di sebut dengan istilah besi beton banci ataupun non - full.

Besi beton SNI telah memiliki standar kekuatan tertentu, untuk besi beton polos standar kekuatannya sering disebut sebagai BJTP24, sedangkan untuk besi beton ulir standar kekuatannya bertingkat mulai dari BJTS 30, 35 dan 40. Besi beton SNI ini lebih banyak di gunakan untuk pembangunan gedung bertingkat banyak untuk dapat menjamin kekuatan struktur bangunan sesuai standar yang telah di tetapkan atau diperhitungkan oleh konsultan perencana bangunan tingkat tinggi. Besi beton SNI yang umum di pakai adalah KS Cilegon, IS, CS, dan TY. Besi beton KS Cilegon terkenal dengan kualitas dan harga yang mahal.

Ada istilah lain yang sering di perhatikan para kontraktor yaitu, toleransi. Toleransi ini telah menandakan seberapa selisih antara marking diameter besi beton dengan diameter real besi beton, misal besi beton 8 KS Cilegon memiliki toleransi 0,1 maka diameter real dari besi beton ini lebih kecil 0,1 mm dari markingnya atau diameter riil hanya 7,9 mm.Â

Panjang standar seluruh besi beton adalah 12 meter, kecuali besi beton tarikan (tidak memiliki marking) terkadang memiliki panjang kurang dari 12 m.

> PUSAT PENJUALAN BESI BETON

AKHIRNYA PRESIDEN SBY MELAWAT KE SWEDIA DAN AMERIKA SERIKAT

Presiden SBY akan melakukan kunjungan kerja ke Swedia dan Amerika Serikat. Kunjungan tersebut berlangsung pada 27 Mei hingga 2 Juni 2013.

Pantauan detikcom, Senin (27/5/2013), pesawat kepresidenan take off pukul 08.10 WIB dari Bandara Halim Perdana Kusuma, Jakarta. Pagi ini matahari tak terlihat seperti biasanya. Cuaca mendung menyelimuti langit Halim dan sekitarnya.

"Dengan rincian kunjungan ke Swedia berlangsung satu setengah hari, kegiatan di markas PBB New York dua setengah hari," ujar SBY dalam jumpa pers sebelum keberangkatan.

Selama di Swedia, Presiden SBY akan melakukan kunjungan kehormatan kepada Raja Swedia, Y.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, melakukan pertemuan bilateral dengan PM Swedia, Y.M. Fredrik Reinfeldt dan Ketua Parlemen Swedia, Y.M. Per Westerberg. Dalam rangkaian pertemuan tersebut, akan dibahas isu-isu yang menjadi kepentingan kedua negara, utamanya di bidang ekonomi, lingkungan hidup dan perubahan iklim, pendidikan, kesehatan, infrastruktur, riset, dan teknologi.

"Selama di Stockholm, saya akan ketemu dengan para pimpinan perusahaan-perusahan besar yang selama ini melaksanakan invest di Indonesia. Mereka juga berniat meningkatkan investasi dan kerjasamanya di Indonesia," imbuhnya.

Dari Swedia, Presiden RI beserta delegasi akan bertolak menuju New York, AS. Kunjungan ke New York adalah dalam rangka menghadiri pertemuan ke-5 Panel Tingkat Tinggi PBB Mengenai Agenda Pembangunan Pasca 2015 (UN High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda) di Markas Besar PBB di New York.

Presiden SBY dan Ibu Negara beserta delegasi akan meninggalkan New York pada tanggal 31 Mei 2013 dan akan tiba di tanah air pada 2 Juni 2013.

> AKHIRNYA PRESIDEN SBY MELAWAT KE SWEDIA DAN AMERIKA SERIKAT

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64

Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86

Mr. Pfaff was an international affairs columnist and author who found Washington’s intervention in world affairs often misguided.

William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Cher and Marc Jacobs

The 2015 Met Gala has only officially begun, but there's a clear leader in the race for best couple, no small feat at an event that threatens to sap Hollywood of every celebrity it has for the duration of an East Coast evening.

That would be Marc Jacobs and his surprise guest (who, by some miracle, remained under wraps until their red carpet debut), Cher.

“This has been a dream of mine for a very, very long time,” Mr. Jacobs said.

It is Cher's first appearance at the Met Gala since 1997, when she arrived on the arm of Donatella Versace.

– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Tribute for a Roller Hockey Warrior

Hockey is not exactly known as a city game, but played on roller skates, it once held sway as the sport of choice in many New York neighborhoods.

“City kids had no rinks, no ice, but they would do anything to play hockey,” said Edward Moffett, former director of the Long Island City Y.M.C.A. Roller Hockey League, in Queens, whose games were played in city playgrounds going back to the 1940s.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the league had more than 60 teams, he said. Players included the Mullen brothers of Hell’s Kitchen and Dan Dorion of Astoria, Queens, who would later play on ice for the National Hockey League.

One street legend from the heyday of New York roller hockey was Craig Allen, who lived in the Woodside Houses projects and became one of the city’s hardest hitters and top scorers.

“Craig was a warrior, one of the best roller hockey players in the city in the ’70s,” said Dave Garmendia, 60, a retired New York police officer who grew up playing with Mr. Allen. “His teammates loved him and his opponents feared him.”

Young Craig took up hockey on the streets of Queens in the 1960s, playing pickup games between sewer covers, wearing steel-wheeled skates clamped onto school shoes and using a roll of electrical tape as the puck.

His skill and ferocity drew attention, Mr. Garmendia said, but so did his skin color. He was black, in a sport made up almost entirely by white players.

“Roller hockey was a white kid’s game, plain and simple, but Craig broke the color barrier,” Mr. Garmendia said. “We used to say Craig did more for race relations than the N.A.A.C.P.”

Mr. Allen went on to coach and referee roller hockey in New York before moving several years ago to South Carolina. But he continued to organize an annual alumni game at Dutch Kills Playground in Long Island City, the same site that held the local championship games.

The reunion this year was on Saturday, but Mr. Allen never made it. On April 26, just before boarding the bus to New York, he died of an asthma attack at age 61.

Word of his death spread rapidly among hundreds of his old hockey colleagues who resolved to continue with the event, now renamed the Craig Allen Memorial Roller Hockey Reunion.

The turnout on Saturday was the largest ever, with players pulling on their old equipment, choosing sides and taking once again to the rink of cracked blacktop with faded lines and circles. They wore no helmets, although one player wore a fedora.

Another, Vinnie Juliano, 77, of Long Island City, wore his hearing aids, along with his 50-year-old taped-up quads, or four-wheeled skates with a leather boot. Many players here never converted to in-line skates, and neither did Mr. Allen, whose photograph appeared on a poster hanging behind the players’ bench.

“I’m seeing people walking by wondering why all these rusty, grizzly old guys are here playing hockey,” one player, Tommy Dominguez, said. “We’re here for Craig, and let me tell you, these old guys still play hard.”

Everyone seemed to have a Craig Allen story, from his earliest teams at Public School 151 to the Bryant Rangers, the Woodside Wings, the Woodside Blues and more.

Mr. Allen, who became a yellow-cab driver, was always recruiting new talent. He gained the nickname Cabby for his habit of stopping at playgrounds all over the city to scout players.

Teams were organized around neighborhoods and churches, and often sponsored by local bars. Mr. Allen, for one, played for bars, including Garry Owen’s and on the Fiddler’s Green Jokers team in Inwood, Manhattan.

Play was tough and fights were frequent.

“We were basically street gangs on skates,” said Steve Rogg, 56, a mail clerk who grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and who on Saturday wore his Riedell Classic quads from 1972. “If another team caught up with you the night before a game, they tossed you a beating so you couldn’t play the next day.”

Mr. Garmendia said Mr. Allen’s skin color provoked many fights.

“When we’d go to some ignorant neighborhoods, a lot of players would use slurs,” Mr. Garmendia said, recalling a game in Ozone Park, Queens, where local fans parked motorcycles in a lineup next to the blacktop and taunted Mr. Allen. Mr. Garmendia said he checked a player into the motorcycles, “and the bikes went down like dominoes, which started a serious brawl.”

A group of fans at a game in Brooklyn once stuck a pole through the rink fence as Mr. Allen skated by and broke his jaw, Mr. Garmendia said, adding that carloads of reinforcements soon arrived to defend Mr. Allen.

And at another racially incited brawl, the police responded with six patrol cars and a helicopter.

Before play began on Saturday, the players gathered at center rink to honor Mr. Allen. Billy Barnwell, 59, of Woodside, recalled once how an all-white, all-star squad snubbed Mr. Allen by playing him third string. He scored seven goals in the first game and made first string immediately.

“He’d always hear racial stuff before the game, and I’d ask him, ‘How do you put up with that?’” Mr. Barnwell recalled. “Craig would say, ‘We’ll take care of it,’ and by the end of the game, he’d win guys over. They’d say, ‘This guy’s good.’”

Tribute for a Roller Hockey Warrior | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Calvin Peete, 71, a Racial Pioneer on the PGA Tour, Is Dead

With 12 tournament victories in his career, Mr. Peete was the most successful black professional golfer before Tiger Woods.

Calvin Peete, 71, a Racial Pioneer on the PGA Tour, Is Dead | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Richard Suzman, 72, Dies; Researcher Influenced Global Surveys on Aging

At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Suzman’s signature accomplishment was the central role he played in creating a global network of surveys on aging.

Richard Suzman, 72, Dies; Researcher Influenced Global Surveys on Aging | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Rhapsody, a Lofty Literary Journal, Perused at 39,000 Feet

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United’s first-class and business fliers get Rhapsody, its high-minded in-flight magazine, seen here at its office in Brooklyn. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

Last summer at a writers’ workshop in Oregon, the novelists Anthony Doerr, Karen Russell and Elissa Schappell were chatting over cocktails when they realized they had all published work in the same magazine. It wasn’t one of the usual literary outlets, like Tin House, The Paris Review or The New Yorker. It was Rhapsody, an in-flight magazine for United Airlines.

It seemed like a weird coincidence. Then again, considering Rhapsody’s growing roster of A-list fiction writers, maybe not. Since its first issue hit plane cabins a year and a half ago, Rhapsody has published original works by literary stars like Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Moody, Amy Bloom, Emma Straub and Mr. Doerr, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction two weeks ago.

As airlines try to distinguish their high-end service with luxuries like private sleeping chambers, showers, butler service and meals from five-star chefs, United Airlines is offering a loftier, more cerebral amenity to its first-class and business-class passengers: elegant prose by prominent novelists. There are no airport maps or disheartening lists of in-flight meal and entertainment options in Rhapsody. Instead, the magazine has published ruminative first-person travel accounts, cultural dispatches and probing essays about flight by more than 30 literary fiction writers.

 

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Sean Manning, executive editor of Rhapsody, which publishes works by the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, Amy Bloom and Anthony Doerr, who won a Pulitzer Prize. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

 

An airline might seem like an odd literary patron. But as publishers and writers look for new ways to reach readers in a shaky retail climate, many have formed corporate alliances with transit companies, including American Airlines, JetBlue and Amtrak, that provide a captive audience.

Mark Krolick, United Airlines’ managing director of marketing and product development, said the quality of the writing in Rhapsody brings a patina of sophistication to its first-class service, along with other opulent touches like mood lighting, soft music and a branded scent.

“The high-end leisure or business-class traveler has higher expectations, even in the entertainment we provide,” he said.

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Some of Rhapsody’s contributing writers say they were lured by the promise of free airfare and luxury accommodations provided by United, as well as exposure to an elite audience of some two million first-class and business-class travelers.

“It’s not your normal Park Slope Community Bookstore types who read Rhapsody,” Mr. Moody, author of the 1994 novel “The Ice Storm,” who wrote an introspective, philosophical piece about traveling to the Aran Islands of Ireland for Rhapsody, said in an email. “I’m not sure I myself am in that Rhapsody demographic, but I would like them to buy my books one day.”

In addition to offering travel perks, the magazine pays well and gives writers freedom, within reason, to choose their subject matter and write with style. Certain genres of flight stories are off limits, naturally: no plane crashes or woeful tales of lost luggage or rude flight attendants, and nothing too risqué.

“We’re not going to have someone write about joining the mile-high club,” said Jordan Heller, the editor in chief of Rhapsody. “Despite those restrictions, we’ve managed to come up with a lot of high-minded literary content.”

Guiding writers toward the right idea occasionally requires some gentle prodding. When Rhapsody’s executive editor asked Ms. Russell to contribute an essay about a memorable flight experience, she first pitched a story about the time she was chaperoning a group of teenagers on a trip to Europe, and their delayed plane sat at the airport in New York for several hours while other passengers got progressively drunker.

“He pointed out that disaster flights are not what people want to read about when they’re in transit, and very diplomatically suggested that maybe people want to read something that casts air travel in a more positive light,” said Ms. Russell, whose novel “Swamplandia!” was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.

She turned in a nostalgia-tinged essay about her first flight on a trip to Disney World when she was 6. “The Magic Kingdom was an anticlimax,” she wrote. “What ride could compare to that first flight?”

Ms. Oates also wrote about her first flight, in a tiny yellow propeller plane piloted by her father. The novelist Joyce Maynard told of the constant disappointment of never seeing her books in airport bookstores and the thrill of finally spotting a fellow plane passenger reading her novel “Labor Day.” Emily St. John Mandel, who was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction last year, wrote about agonizing over which books to bring on a long flight.

“There’s nobody that’s looked down their noses at us as an in-flight magazine,” said Sean Manning, the magazine’s executive editor. “As big as these people are in the literary world, there’s still this untapped audience for them of luxury travelers.”

United is one of a handful of companies showcasing work by literary writers as a way to elevate their brands and engage customers. Chipotle has printed original work from writers like Toni Morrison, Jeffrey Eugenides and Barbara Kingsolver on its disposable cups and paper bags. The eyeglass company Warby Parker hosts parties for authors and sells books from 14 independent publishers in its stores.

JetBlue offers around 40 e-books from HarperCollins and Penguin Random House on its free wireless network, allowing passengers to read free samples and buy and download books. JetBlue will start offering 11 digital titles from Simon & Schuster soon. Amtrak recently forged an alliance with Penguin Random House to provide free digital samples from 28 popular titles, which passengers can buy and download over Amtrak’s admittedly spotty wireless service.

Amtrak is becoming an incubator for literary talent in its own right. Last year, it started a residency program, offering writers a free long-distance train trip and complimentary food. More than 16,000 writers applied and 24 made the cut.

Like Amtrak, Rhapsody has found that writers are eager to get onboard. On a rainy spring afternoon, Rhapsody’s editorial staff sat around a conference table discussing the June issue, which will feature an essay by the novelist Hannah Pittard and an unpublished short story by the late Elmore Leonard.

“Do you have that photo of Elmore Leonard? Can I see it?” Mr. Heller, the editor in chief, asked Rhapsody’s design director, Christos Hannides. Mr. Hannides slid it across the table and noted that they also had a photograph of cowboy spurs. “It’s very simple; it won’t take away from the literature,” he said.

Rhapsody’s office, an open space with exposed pipes and a vaulted brick ceiling, sits in Dumbo at the epicenter of literary Brooklyn, in the same converted tea warehouse as the literary journal N+1 and the digital publisher Atavist. Two of the magazine’s seven staff members hold graduate degrees in creative writing. Mr. Manning, the executive editor, has published a memoir and edited five literary anthologies.

Mr. Manning said Rhapsody was conceived from the start as a place for literary novelists to write with voice and style, and nobody had been put off that their work would live in plane cabins and airport lounges.

Still, some contributors say they wish the magazine were more widely circulated.

“I would love it if I could read it,” said Ms. Schappell, a Brooklyn-based novelist who wrote a feature story for Rhapsody’s inaugural issue. “But I never fly first class.”

Rhapsody, a Lofty Literary Journal, Perused at 39,000 Feet | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Jozef Paczynski, Inmate Barber to Auschwitz Commandant, Dies at 95

Mr. Paczynski was one of the concentration camp’s longest surviving inmates and served as the personal barber to its Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss.

Jozef Paczynski, Inmate Barber to Auschwitz Commandant, Dies at 95 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple

THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.

In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.

One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.

But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.

JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”

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Three of the nearly 50 works of urban fiction published by the Colemans over the last decade, often featuring drug deals, violence, sex and a brash kind of feminism.Credit Marko Metzinger

In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”

That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.

But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.

“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”

THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.

In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.

“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”

They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.

They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”

Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”

The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.

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The roots of street lit, found in the midcentury detective novels of Chester Himes and the ‘60s and ‘70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.Credit Marko Metzinger

Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”

The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.

Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.

The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”

Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”

Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.

For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”

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The Colemans in their new four-bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Detroit.Credit Courtesy of Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman

Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.

The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.

But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:

WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS

“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”

One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93

Mr. Mankiewicz, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for “I Want to Live!,” also wrote episodes of television shows such as “Star Trek” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight

GREENWICH, Conn. — Mago is in the bedroom. You can go in.

The big man lies on a hospital bed with his bare feet scraping its bottom rail. His head is propped on a scarlet pillow, the left temple dented, the right side paralyzed. His dark hair is kept just long enough to conceal the scars.

The occasional sounds he makes are understood only by his wife, but he still has that punctuating left hand. In slow motion, the fingers curl and close. A thumbs-up greeting.

Hello, Mago.

This is Magomed Abdusalamov, 34, also known as the Russian Tyson, also known as Mago. He is a former heavyweight boxer who scored four knockouts and 14 technical knockouts in his first 18 professional fights. He preferred to stand between rounds. Sitting conveyed weakness.

But Mago lost his 19th fight, his big chance, at the packed Theater at Madison Square Garden in November 2013. His 19th decision, and his last.

Now here he is, in a small bedroom in a working-class neighborhood in Greenwich, in a modest house his family rents cheap from a devoted friend. The air-pressure machine for his mattress hums like an expectant crowd.

 

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Mike Perez, left, and Magomed Abdusalamov during the fight in which Abdusalamov was injured. Credit Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

 

Today is like any other day, except for those days when he is hurried in crisis to the hospital. Every three hours during the night, his slight wife, Bakanay, 28, has risen to turn his 6-foot-3 body — 210 pounds of dead weight. It has to be done. Infections of the gaping bedsore above his tailbone have nearly killed him.

Then, with the help of a young caretaker, Baka has gotten two of their daughters off to elementary school and settled down the toddler. Yes, Mago and Baka are blessed with all girls, but they had also hoped for a son someday.

They feed Mago as they clean him; it’s easier that way. For breakfast, which comes with a side of crushed antiseizure pills, he likes oatmeal with a squirt of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. But even oatmeal must be puréed and fed to him by spoon.

He opens his mouth to indicate more, the way a baby does. But his paralysis has made everything a choking hazard. His water needs a stirring of powdered food thickener, and still he chokes — eh-eh-eh — as he tries to cough up what will not go down.

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Mago used to drink only water. No alcohol. Not even soda. A sip of juice would be as far as he dared. Now even water betrays him.

With the caretaker’s help, Baka uses a washcloth and soap to clean his body and shampoo his hair. How handsome still, she has thought. Sometimes, in the night, she leaves the bedroom to watch old videos, just to hear again his voice in the fullness of life. She cries, wipes her eyes and returns, feigning happiness. Mago must never see her sad.

 

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 Abdusalamov's hand being massaged. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

When Baka finishes, Mago is cleanshaven and fresh down to his trimmed and filed toenails. “I want him to look good,” she says.

Theirs was an arranged Muslim marriage in Makhachkala, in the Russian republic of Dagestan. He was 23, she was 18 and their future hinged on boxing. Sometimes they would shadowbox in love, her David to his Goliath. You are so strong, he would tell her.

His father once told him he could either be a bandit or an athlete, but if he chose banditry, “I will kill you.” This paternal advice, Mago later told The Ventura County Reporter, “made it a very easy decision for me.”

Mago won against mediocre competition, in Moscow and Hollywood, Fla., in Las Vegas and Johnstown, Pa. He was knocked down only once, and even then, it surprised more than hurt. He scored a technical knockout in the next round.

It all led up to this: the undercard at the Garden, Mike Perez vs. Magomed Abdusalamov, 10 rounds, on HBO. A win, he believed, would improve his chances of taking on the heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who sat in the crowd of 4,600 with his fiancée, the actress Hayden Panettiere, watching.

Wearing black-and-red trunks and a green mouth guard, Mago went to work. But in the first round, a hard forearm to his left cheek rocked him. At the bell, he returned to his corner, and this time, he sat down. “I think it’s broken,” he repeatedly said in Russian.

 

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Bakanay Abdusalamova, Abdusalamov's wife, and her injured husband and a masseur in the background. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

Maybe at that point, somebody — the referee, the ringside doctors, his handlers — should have stopped the fight, under a guiding principle: better one punch too early than one punch too late. But the bloody trade of blows continued into the seventh, eighth, ninth, a hand and orbital bone broken, his face transforming.

Meanwhile, in the family’s apartment in Miami, Baka forced herself to watch the broadcast. She could see it in his swollen eyes. Something was off.

After the final round, Perez raised his tattooed arms in victory, and Mago wandered off in a fog. He had taken 312 punches in about 40 minutes, for a purse of $40,000.

 

 

In the locker room, doctors sutured a cut above Mago’s left eye and tested his cognitive abilities. He did not do well. The ambulance that waits in expectation at every fight was not summoned by boxing officials.

Blood was pooling in Mago’s cranial cavity as he left the Garden. He vomited on the pavement while his handlers flagged a taxi to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. There, doctors induced a coma and removed part of his skull to drain fluids and ease the swelling.

Then came the stroke.

 

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A championship belt belonging to Abdusalamov and a card from one of his daughters. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

It is lunchtime now, and the aroma of puréed beef and potatoes lingers. So do the questions.

How will Mago and Baka pay the $2 million in medical bills they owe? What if their friend can no longer offer them this home? Will they win their lawsuits against the five ringside doctors, the referee, and a New York State boxing inspector? What about Mago’s future care?

Most of all: Is this it?

A napkin rests on Mago’s chest. As another spoonful of mush approaches, he opens his mouth, half-swallows, chokes, and coughs until it clears. Eh-eh-eh. Sometimes he turns bluish, but Baka never shows fear. Always happy for Mago.

Some days he is wheeled out for physical therapy or speech therapy. Today, two massage therapists come to knead his half-limp body like a pair of skilled corner men.

Soon, Mago will doze. Then his three daughters, ages 2, 6 and 9, will descend upon him to talk of their day. Not long ago, the oldest lugged his championship belt to school for a proud show-and-tell moment. Her classmates were amazed at the weight of it.

Then, tonight, there will be more puréed food and pulverized medication, more coughing, and more tender care from his wife, before sleep comes.

Goodbye, Mago.

He half-smiles, raises his one good hand, and forms a fist.

Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame

From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.

In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.

Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.

The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.

The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.

The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.

It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.

Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.

That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.

Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.

The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.

THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”

The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.

Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.

That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.

Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Ben Carson Says He’ll Seek 2016 G.O.P. Nomination

ate in February, Dr. Ben Carson, the celebrated pediatric neurosurgeon turned political insurrectionist, was trying to check off another box on his presidential-campaign to-do list: hiring a press secretary. The lead prospect, a public-relations specialist named Deana Bass, had come to meet him at the dimly lit Capitol Hill office of Carson’s confidant and business manager, Armstrong Williams. Carson sat back and scrutinized her from behind a small granite table, as life-size cardboard cutouts of more conventional politicians — President Obama, with a tight smile, and Senator John McCain, glowering — loomed behind each of his shoulders. (The mock $3 bill someone had left on a table in Williams’s waiting room undercut any notion that this was a bipartisan zone; it featured Obama wearing a turban.)

Bass seemed momentarily speechless, and not just because no one had warned her that a New York Times reporter would be sitting in on her job interview. Though she knew Williams — a jack-of-all-trades entrepreneur who owns several television stations and a public-affairs business and who hosts a daily talk-radio show — through Washington’s small circle of black conservatives, the two hadn’t spoken in years until he called her two days earlier. He had been struggling to come up with the perfect national spokesperson, he told her. Then, at the gym, her name popped into his head; Williams was fairly certain she was the one. Sitting across from a likely candidate for president, Bass was adjusting to the idea that her life might be about to take a sudden chaotic turn.

“It’s like getting the most random call on a Monday that you simply do not see coming,” she said. “Oftentimes, that is how the Lord works.”

Continue reading the main story

His life in brain surgery
has prepared him for the
presidency, he maintains,
better than lives in
politics have for his rivals.

Carson concurred: “It’s always how he works in my life.” Carson is soft-spoken and often talks with his eyes half closed, frequently punctuating his sentences with a small laugh, even if the humor of his statement is not readily apparent. Bass told Carson that she had been a Republican staff member on Capitol Hill then worked for the Republican National Committee. In 2007 she started a Christian public-relations firm with her sister. She enjoyed working on the Hill, she said, but the pay wasn’t as high as the hours were long. “We figured that we worked like slaves for other people, and we wanted to work for ourselves.”

Carson stopped her. “You know you can’t mention that word, right?” Carson waited a beat, then laughed, and Williams and Bass joined in. He was getting to the point; he needed a professional who could help him check his penchant for creating uncontrolled controversy just by talking.

The Ben Carson movement began in 2013, when Carson, a neurosurgeon, whose operating-room prowess and up-from-poverty back story had made him the subject of a television movie and a regular on the inspirational-speaking circuit, was invited to address the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. With Barack Obama sitting just two seats away, Carson warned that “moral decay” and “fiscal irresponsibility” could destroy America just as it did ancient Rome. He proposed a substitute for Obamacare — Health Savings Accounts, which, he said, would end any talk of “death panels” — and a flat-tax based on the concept of tithing. His address, combined with the president’s stony reaction, was a smash with Republican activists. Speaking and interview requests flooded in. Carson, then 61, announced his planned retirement a few weeks later, freeing his calendar to accept just about all of them. In the months that followed, his rhetoric became increasingly strident. The claim that drew the most attention, perhaps, was that Obamacare was “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

Bass’s own use of the word prompted Carson to ask her what she thought about that incident. She considered for a moment.

“If you want to reach people and have them even understand what you’re saying, there is a way to do it, without that hyperbole, that might be. . . . ” She paused. “I just think it’s important not to shut people off before they —”

Carson jumped in. “That doesn’t allow them to hear what you’re saying?”

Bass nodded.

Likening Obamacare to slavery — and slavery was incomparably worse, Carson said — had its political advantages for a candidacy like his. It was the kind of statement that stoked the angriest of the Republican voters: conservative stalwarts who can’t hear enough bad things about Obama. This, in turn, led to more talk-radio and Fox News appearances, more book sales, more donations to the super PAC started in his name, more support in the polls. (The day before the meeting, one poll of Republican voters showed Carson statistically tied for first place with Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.)

Rhetorical excess was good for business, but Carson now wants to be seen as more than a novelty candidate. He has come to learn that such extreme analogies, while true to his views, aren’t especially presidential. They alienate more moderate voters and, perhaps even more damaging, reinforce the impression that he is not “serious” — that he is another Herman Cain, the black former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive who rose to the top of the early presidential polls in 2011 but then bowed out before the Iowa caucuses, largely because of leaked allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied but from which he never recovered. Cain lingers as a cautionary tale for the party as much as for a right-leaning candidate like Carson. The fact that Cain, with his folksy sayings (“shucky ducky”) and misnomers (“Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan”), reached the top of the national polls — much less that he was eventually followed there by the likes of Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who all topped one or another poll in the 2012 primary season — wound up being a considerable embarrassment for the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, and for the longtime party regulars who were trying to fast-track his way to the nomination.

Carson liked Bass and, without directly saying so, made it clear the job was hers for the taking. Carson’s campaign chairman, Terry Giles — a white lawyer whose clients have included the comedian Richard Pryor and the stepson of the model Anna Nicole Smith and who helped reconcile the business interests of the descendants of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — had assembled a mostly white campaign team, including many from the 2012 Gingrich effort, and Carson wanted a person of color to speak for him. Bass said she would have to mull it over, pray about it. Carson nodded approvingly. “Pray about it,” he said. “See what you think.”

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Williams knew the party was intent on protecting the eventual 2016 nominee from the same embarrassment Romney suffered. Already, suspiciously tough articles about Carson were showing up in conservative magazines and on right-wing websites. “They’re protecting these establishment candidates,” Williams said. “This is coming from within the house. This is family.” At the very least, he wanted to make sure that Carson didn’t do their work for them. (Carson would commit another unforced error a week later, when he told CNN that homosexuality was clearly a choice, because a lot of people go in prison straight and “when they come out, they’re gay”; he later apologized.)

“We need somebody to protect him, sometimes, from himself,” he told Bass — laughing, but only half kidding.

A candidacy like Carson’s presents a new kind of problem to the establishment wing of the G.O.P., which, at least since 1980, has selected its presidential nominees with a routine efficiency that Democrats could only envy. The establishment candidate has usually been a current or former governor or senator, blandly Protestant, hailing from the moderate, big-business wing of the party (or at least friendly with it) and almost always a second-, third- or fourth-time national contender — someone who had waited “his turn.” These candidates would tack predictably to the right during the primaries to satisfy the evangelicals, deficit hawks, libertarian leaners and other inconvenient but vital constituents who made up the “base” of the party. In return, the base would, after a brief flirtation with some fantasy candidate like Steve Forbes or Pat Buchanan, “hold their noses” and deliver their votes come November. This bargain was always tenuous, of course, and when some of the furthest-right activists turned against George W. Bush, citing (among other apostasies) his expansion of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, it began to fall apart. After Barack Obama defeated McCain in 2008, the party’s once dependable base started to reconsider the wisdom of holding their noses at all.

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Republican candidates at a pre-straw-poll debate, held at Iowa State University in 2011. Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This insurgent attitude was helped along by changes in the nomination rules. In 2010, the Republican National Committee, hoping to capture the excitement of the coast-to-coast Democratic primary competition between Obama and Hillary Clinton, introduced new voting rules that required many of the early voting states to award some delegates to losing candidates, based on their shares of the vote. The proportional voting rules would encourage struggling candidates to stay in the primaries even after successive losses, as Clinton did, because they might be able to pull together enough delegates to take the nomination in a convention-floor fight or at least use them to bargain for a prime speaking slot or cabinet post.

This shift in incentives did not go unnoticed by potential 2012 candidates, nor did changes in election law that allowed billionaire donors to form super PACs in support of pet candidacies. At the same time, increasingly widespread broadband Internet access allowed candidates to reach supporters directly with video and email appeals and supporters to send money with the tap of a smartphone, making it easier than ever for individual candidates to ignore the wishes of the party.

Into this newly chaotic Republican landscape strode Mitt Romney. There could be no doubt that it was his turn, and yet his journey to the nomination was interrupted by one against-the-odds challenger after another — Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul; always Ron Paul. It was easy to dismiss the 2012 primaries as a meaningless circus, but the onslaught did much more than tarnish the overall Republican brand. It also forced Romney to spend money he could have used against Obama and defend his right flank with embarrassing pandering that shadowed him through the general election. It was while trying to block a surge from Gingrich, for instance, that Romney told a debate audience that he was for the “self-deportation” of undocumented immigrants.

At the 2012 convention in Tampa, a group of longtime party hands, including Romney’s lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, gathered to discuss how to prevent a repeat of what had become known inside and outside the party as the “clown show.” Their aim was not just to protect the party but also to protect a potential President Romney from a primary challenge in 2016. They forced through new rules that would give future presumptive nominees more control over delegates in the event of a convention fight. They did away with the mandatory proportional delegate awards that encouraged long-shot candidacies. And, in a noticeably targeted effort, they raised the threshold that candidates needed to meet to enter their names into nomination, just as Ron Paul’s supporters were working to reach it. When John A. Boehner gaveled the rules in on a voice vote — a vote that many listeners heard as a tie, if not an outright loss — the hall erupted and a line of Ron Paul supporters walked off the floor in protest, along with many Tea Party members.

At a party meeting last winter, Reince Priebus, who as party chairman is charged with maintaining the support of all his constituencies, did restore some proportional primary and caucus voting, but only in states that held voting within a shortened two-week window. And he also condensed the nominating schedule to four and a half months from six months, and, for the first time required candidates to participate in a shortened debate schedule, determined by the party, not by the whims of the networks. (The panel that recommended those changes included names closely identified with the establishment — the former Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, the Mississippi committeeman Haley Barbour and, notably, Jeb Bush’s closest adviser, Sally Bradshaw.)

Grass-roots activists have complained that the condensed schedule robs nonestablishment candidates — “movement candidates” like Carson — of the extra time they need to build momentum, money and organizations. But Priebus, who says the nomination could be close to settled by April, said it helped all the party’s constituencies when the nominee was decided quickly. “We don’t need a six-month slice-and-dice festival,” Priebus said when we spoke in mid-March. “While I can’t always control everyone’s mouth, I can control how long we can kill each other.”

All the rules changes were built to sidestep the problems of 2012. But the 2016 field is shaping up to be vastly different and far larger. A new Republican hints that he or she is considering a run seemingly every week. There are moderates like Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and former Gov. George Pataki of New York; no-compromise conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania; business-wingers like the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina; one-of-a-kinds like Donald Trump — some 20 in all, a dozen or so who seem fairly serious about it. That opens the possibility of multiple candidates vying for all the major Republican constituencies, some of them possibly goaded along by super-PAC-funding billionaires, all of them trading wins and collecting delegates well into spring.

Giles says his candidate can capitalize on all that chaos. Rivals may laugh, but Giles argues that if Carson can make a respectable showing in Iowa, then win in South Carolina — or at least come in second should a home-state senator, Lindsey Graham, run — and come in second behind Bush or Senator Marco Rubio in their home state of Florida, he could be positioned to make a real run. But that would depend on avoiding pitfalls like Carson’s ill-considered comments on homosexuality. Rather than capitalizing on the chaos, Carson may only contribute to it.

Ben Carson is, in many ways, the ideal Republican presidential candidate. With a not-too-selective reading of his life story, conservative voters can — and do — see in him an inspiring, up-from-nowhere African-American who shares their beliefs, a right-wing answer to Barack Obama. Before he was born, his parents moved to Detroit from rural Tennessee as part of the second great migration. His father, Robert Solomon Carson, worked at a Cadillac factory. His mother, Sonya — who herself had grown up as one of 24 children and left school at third grade — cleaned houses. When Carson was 8, Sonya discovered that Robert was keeping a second family. She moved, with her two sons, into a rundown group house. It was in a part of town that Carson described to me as crawling with “big rats and roaches and all kinds of horrible things.” Sonya worked several jobs at a time and made up the shortfall with food stamps. (Carson has called for paring back the social safety net but not doing away with it.)

Carson recounts this story in his best-selling 1990 memoir, “Gifted Hands,” which also became the basis for a 2009 movie on TNT, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as Carson. Raised as a Seventh Day Adventist, Carson realized that he wanted to become a physician during a church sermon about a missionary doctor who, while serving overseas, was almost attacked by thieves but found safety by putting his faith in God. When Carson, then 8, told his mother his new dream, “She said, ‘Absolutely, you could do it, you could do anything,’ ” he told me. Forced by his mother to read two extra books a week, he made it to Yale, then to medical school at the University of Michigan, where he decided to specialize in neurosurgery. He was selected for residency at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where he was named director of pediatric neurosurgery at 33, becoming the youngest person, and the first black person, to hold the title. He drew national attention by conducting a succession of operations that had never been performed successfully, most famously planning and managing the first separation of conjoined twins connected through major blood vessels in the brain.

Carson, a two-time Jimmy Carter voter, traces his conservative political awakening to a patient he met during the Reagan years. During a routine obstetrics rotation, he found himself treating an unwed pregnant teenager who had run away from her well-to-do parents. When Carson asked her how she was getting by, she informed him she was on public assistance; this led him to ponder the fact that the government was paying for the result of what he did not view as a “wise decision.” The incident, he says, fed his growing sense that the welfare system too often saps motivation and rewards irresponsible behavior. (When we spoke, he suggested that the government should cut off assistance to would-be unwed mothers, but only after warning them that it would do so within a certain amount of time, say five years. “I bet you’d see a dramatic decrease in unwed motherhood.”)

Carson’s friends at Hopkins say they do not remember him being particularly outspoken about his conservatism. He devoted most of his public engagement to urging poor kids in bad neighborhoods to use “these fancy brains God gave us,” through weekly school visits, student hospital tours and, ultimately, a multimillion-dollar scholarship program. “His issues were always medical care for the poor, education for the poor, equal opportunity — helping the less fortunate and really inspiring them as an example,” a mentor who named him to the chief pediatrics-neurosurgery post at Hopkins, Dr. Donlin Long, told me.

Even when Carson got the chance, in 1997, to speak in front of President Bill Clinton, at the national prayer breakfast, he mostly discussed the lack of role models for black children who were not sports stars or rappers. (There was possibly an oblique reference to Clinton’s sex scandals, when he told the audience that, if they are always honest, they won’t have to worry later about “skeletons in the closet.”)

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Ben Carson at CPAC on Feb. 26 in Oxon Hill, Md. Credit Dolly Faibyshev for The New York Times

In 2011, Carson’s politics took a strident turn, mirroring that of many in his party during the Obama years. “America the Beautiful,” his sixth book, which he wrote with Candy Carson, his wife of 39 years, included a get-tough-on-illegal-immigration message and offered anti-establishment praise for the Tea Party. It suggested that blacks who voted for Obama only because he was black were themselves practicing a form of racism. (Earlier this year he admitted to Buzzfeed that portions of the book were lifted directly from several sources without proper attribution.) His prayer-breakfast performance in 2013, and the extremity of his remarks in the months afterward (Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery; the United States is “very much like Nazi Germany”; allowing same-sex marriage could lead to allowing bestiality), left some of his old friends bewildered. Students at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine protested his planned convocation address there in 2013, and he eventually backed out. When I asked Carson about the view at Hopkins that he had changed, he said his themes are still the same: “hard work, self-reliance, helping other people.” If he had become more overtly political, he said, it was only because the Obama years had led him to believe that “we’re really moving in a direction that is very, very destructive.”

None of this went unnoticed by campaign professionals. In August 2013, John Philip Sousa IV and Vernon Robinson, each of whom professes to be a virtual stranger to Carson, and who had previously been active in the anti-illegal-immigration movement, started the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. Sousa was just coming off a campaign to defend the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, from a recall effort, and he told me that he found Carson’s lack of political experience refreshing. “We have 500 guys and gals with probably a collective 5,000 years experience, and look at the mess we’re in,” he said.

Many others in the party feel the same way. Carson’s PAC finished 2014 with more than $13 million in donations, more than Ready for Hillary. Much of its money has gone toward further fund-raising, but Sousa — the great-grandson of the famous composer — points out that their effort has already built far more than just a war chest, organizing leaders in all 99 of Iowa’s counties. Regardless, Carson credits the fund-raising success of Sousa and Robinson with persuading him to enter the race.

Very early the morning after the job interview, Carson was in a black S.U.V., heading from Washington to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Md., where he was to give the opening candidate speech of the Conservative Political Action Conference. The event, which functions as an early tryout for Republican presidential contenders, tends to skew rightward in its audience, drawing many of the same sorts of people who shouted at Boehner in Tampa. As such, it tends to favor anti-establishment candidates, but the news leading up to this year’s event was that Jeb Bush hoped to make inroads there.

It was still dark when we set out, and I joked with Carson about the hour, telling him he’d better get used to it. He retorted that his career in pediatric brain surgery made him no stranger to early mornings. This is a big theme of Carson’s presidential pitch: that neither the rigors of the campaign nor those of the White House can faze a man who held children’s lives in his hands. His life in brain surgery has prepared him for the presidency, he maintains, better than lives in politics have for his rivals. At the very least, he says, it conditioned him against getting too worked up about any problem that isn’t life threatening. “I mean, it’s grueling, but interestingly enough, I don’t feel the pressure,” he said.

At the convention hall, we were quickly surrounded by admirers. Two women were already waiting to meet him — white, middle-aged volunteers for Carson’s super PAC, who had traveled from South Carolina. One of them, Chris Horne, was holding a dog-eared and taped Bible. A founding member of the Charleston Tea Party who went on to work for Gingrich’s successful South Carolina primary campaign in 2012, Horne lamented over the attacks that Carson was sure to face. “You served us, you served the Lord, just don’t let them steal that from you,” she said. Her friend told him, “You’ve got God behind you!” Such religious evocations trailed Carson constantly while I walked the CPAC floor with him. Evangelicals are impressed not only with his devotion to their politics but also with his career path; as one of them told me, what’s more pro-life than saving babies?

During our ride to the conference, Carson told me his speech was not looking to “feed the beast.” When his appointed time came, he kept his remarks as tame as promised. “Real compassion” meant “using our intellect” to help people “climb out of dependency and realize the American dream,” he said. The national debt is going to “destroy us,” Obamacare was about “redistribution and control,” but Republicans better come forward with their own alternative before they repeal it, he said.

Because his speech was first, and it started several minutes early, the auditorium was slow to fill. Still, the first day saw a crush of people seeking autographs and pictures as he roamed the hall. The Draft Carson committee’s 150 volunteers swarmed the auditorium, collecting emails and handing out “Run Ben Run” stickers. After a quick interview with Sean Hannity, the conservative-radio and Fox News host — his second in two days — Carson was off to Tampa.

In the hours that followed his talk, the hall offered a view in miniature of what the next 12 to 14 months might hold for the party. Chris Christie, sitting across from the tough-minded talk-radio host Laura Ingraham, boasted about his multiple vetoes of Planned Parenthood funding, his refusal to raise income taxes and his belief that “sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up.” Cruz, an audience favorite, warning his fellow Republicans against falling for a “squishy moderate,” declared, “Take all 125,000 I.R.S. agents and put ’em on our Southern border!” Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, surging in polls, boasted that if he could face down the 100,000 union supporters who protested his legislation limiting collective bargaining for public employees, he could certainly handle ISIS. The next day, the traditional CPAC favorite Rand Paul spoke, packing the hall with his supporters who chanted “President Paul.” He warned, counter to the overall hawkish tenor of the event, that “we should not succumb to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow become successful abroad.” But he also vowed to end foreign aid to countries whose citizens are seen burning American flags. “Not one penny more to these haters of America.”

Perhaps the defining moment came near the end of the conference, when Jeb Bush spoke. In a neat trick of political gamesmanship — and a show of establishment muscle — his team had bused in an ample cheering section for the dozens of cameras on hand for his appearance. But a small contingent of Tea Party activists and Rand Paul supporters staged a walk out. When Bush began a question-and-answer session, they turned and left the auditorium to chant “U.S.A., U.S.A.” in the hallway, led by a man in colonial garb waving a huge “Don’t Tread on Me” banner. Plenty of other detractors stayed in the hall and peppered Bush’s remarks with booing as he stood by positions unpopular with the conservative grass roots: support for the Common Core standards and an immigration overhaul that provides a “path to legal status” for undocumented immigrants. Bush took it all in good humor, but finally seemed to give up.

“For those who made an ‘oo’ sound — is that what it was? — I’m marking you down as neutral,” he said. “And I want to be your second choice.”

Bush strategists told me they would not repeat Romney’s mistakes. Of course they would love to glide to an early nomination, they said, but they are prepared for a long contest and won’t be wasting any energy bending under pressure from a Paul or a Cruz or a Carson.

No one doubts that the pressure will increase, though. Despite the best wishes of the party’s leaders, GOP primary voters have given little indication that they will narrow the field quickly.

Before I left, I spotted Newt Gingrich, himself a fleeting presidential front-runner during those strange primary days of 2012. I asked him whether he thought all the party maneuvering — all the attempts to change the rules and fast-track the process — would preclude someone from presenting the sort of outside primary challenge he had carried out in the last election.

“No,” he told me, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Look at where Ben Carson is right now.”

Jim Rutenberg is the chief political correspondent for the magazine. His most recent feature was about Megyn Kelly.

Ben Carson Says He’ll Seek 2016 G.O.P. Nomination | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born

A 214-pound Queens housewife struggled with a lifelong addiction to food until she shed 72 pounds and became the public face of the worldwide weight-control empire Weight Watchers.

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

William Sokolin, Wine Seller Who Broke Famed Bottle, Dies at 85

The bottle Mr. Sokolin famously broke was a 1787 Château Margaux, which was said to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Sokolin had been hoping to sell it for $519,750.

William Sokolin, Wine Seller Who Broke Famed Bottle, Dies at 85 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

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