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Paket Umroh 2015

Biro Travel Umroh Jakarta Melayani Biaya Harga Paket Umroh Murah Promo Hemat dan Plus Turki Desember 2015 - Januari | Februari | Maret | April 2016. Paket Umroh 2015

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Tour & Travel

Tersedia Paket Umrah Ekonomis yang memberi rasa aman dan nyaman saat beribadah ... Kami Tour & Travel memiliki Izin dan Legalitas Resmi dari ... Tour & Travel

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HAKEKAT WISATA ISLAM

Alhamdulillah

Kata Wisata menurut bahasa mengandung arti yang banyak. Akan tetapi dalam istilah yang dikenal sekarang lebih dikhususkan pada sebagian makna itu. Yaitu, yang menunjukkan berjalan-jalan ke suatu negara untuk rekreasi atau untuk melihat-lihat, mencari dan menyaksikan (sesuatu) atau semisal itu. Bukan untuk mengais (rezki), bekerja dan menetap. Silakan lihat kitab Al-Mu’jam Al-Wasith, 469.

Berbicara tentang wisata menurut pandangan Islam, maka harus ada pembagian berikut ini,

Pertama: Pengertian wisata umrah dalam Islam.

Islam datang untuk merubah banyak pemahaman keliru yang dibawa oleh akal manusia yang pendek, kemudian mengaitkan dengan nilai-nilai dan akhlak yang mulia. Wisata dalam pemahaman sebagian umat terdahulu dikaitkan dengan upaya menyiksa diri dan mengharuskannya untuk berjalan di muka bumi, serta membuat badan letih sebagai hukuman baginya atau zuhud dalam dunianya. Islam datang untuk menghapuskan pemahaman negatif yang berlawanan dengan (makna) wisata.

Diriwayatkan oleh Ibnu Hani dari Ahmad bin Hanbal, beliau ditanya tentang seseorang yang bepergian atau bermukim di suatu kota, mana yang lebih anda sukai? Beliau menjawab: "Wisata tidak ada sedikit pun dalam Islam, tidak juga prilaku para nabi dan orang-orang saleh." (Talbis Iblis, 340).

Ibnu Rajab mengomentari perkataan Imam Ahmad dengan mengatakan: "Wisata dengan pemahaman   ini telah dilakukan oleh sekelompok orang yang dikenal suka beribadah dan bersungguh-sungguh    tanpa didasari ilmu. Di antara mereka ada yang kembali ketika mengetahui hal itu." (Fathul-Bari, karangan Ibnu Rajab, 1/56)

Kamudian Islam datang untuk meninggikan pemahaman wisata dengan mengaitkannya dengan tujuan-tujuan yang mulia. Di antaranya

1.      Mengaitkan wisata dengan ibadah, sehingga mengharuskan adanya safar -atau wisata- untuk menunaikan salah satu rukun dalam agama yaitu haji pada bulan-bulan tertentu. Disyariatkan umrah ke Baitullah Ta’ala dalam satahun.

Ketika ada seseorang datang kepada Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam minta izin untuk berwisata dengan pemahaman lama, yaitu safar dengan makna  kerahiban atau sekedar menyiksa diri, Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam memberi petunjuk kepada maksud yang lebih mulia dan tinggi dari sekedar berwisata dengan mengatakan kepadanya, “Sesunguhnya wisatanya umatku adalah berjihad di jalan Allah.” (HR. Abu Daud, 2486, dinyatakan hasan oleh Al-Albany dalam Shahih Abu Daud dan dikuatkan sanadnya oleh Al-Iraqi dalam kitab Takhrij Ihya Ulumuddin, no. 2641). Perhatikanlah bagaimana Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam mengaitkan wisata yang dianjurkan dengan tujuan yang agung dan mulia.

2.      Demikian pula, dalam pemahaman Islam, wisata dikaitkan dengan ilmu dan pengetahuan. Pada permulaan Islam, telah ada perjalanan sangat agung dengan tujuan mencari ilmu dan menyebarkannya. Sampai Al-Khatib Al-Bagdady menulis kitab yang terkenal ‘Ar-Rihlah Fi Tolabil Hadits’, di dalamnya beliau mengumpulkan kisah orang yang melakukan perjalanan hanya untuk mendapatkan dan mencari satu hadits saja.

Di antaranya adalah apa yang diucapkan oleh sebagian tabiin terkait dengan firman Allah Ta’ala:

التَّائِبُونَ الْعَابِدُونَ الْحَامِدُونَ السَّائِحُونَ الرَّاكِعُونَ السَّاجِدونَ الآمِرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَالنَّاهُونَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَالْحَافِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ اللّهِ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (سورة التوبة: 112)

“Mereka itu adalah orang-orang yang bertaubat, beribadah, memuji, melawat, ruku, sujud, yang menyuruh berbuat ma'ruf dan mencegah berbuat munkar dan yang memelihara hukum-hukum Allah. Dan gembirakanlah orang-orang mukmin itu." (QS. At-Taubah: 112)

Ikrimah berkata ‘As-Saa'ihuna’ mereka adalah pencari ilmu. Diriwayatkan oleh Ibnu Abi Hatim  dalam tafsirnya, 7/429. Silakan lihat Fathul Qadir, 2/408. Meskipun penafsiran yang benar menurut mayoritas ulama salaf bahwa yang dimaksud dengan ‘As-Saaihin’ adalah orang-orang  yang berpuasa.

3.      Di antara maksud wisata dalam Islam adalah mengambil pelajaran dan peringatan. Dalam Al-Qur’anulkarim terdapat perintah untuk berjalan di muka bumi di beberapa tempat.  Allah  berfirman: “Katakanlah: 'Berjalanlah di muka bumi, kemudian perhatikanlah bagaimana kesudahan orang-orang yang mendustakan itu." (QS. Al-An’am: 11)

Dalam ayat lain, “Katakanlah: 'Berjalanlah kamu (di muka) bumi, lalu perhatikanlah bagaimana akibat orang-orang yang berdosa.” (QS. An-Naml: 69)

Al-Qasimi rahimahullah berkata; ”Mereka berjalan dan pergi ke beberapa tempat untuk melihat berbagai peninggalan sebagai nasehat, pelajaran dan manfaat lainnya." (Mahasinu At-Ta’wil, 16/225)

4.      Mungkin di antara maksud yang paling mulia dari wisata dalam Islam adalah berdakwah kepada Allah Ta’ala, dan menyampaikan kepada manusia cahaya yang diturunkan kepada Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Itulah tugas para Rasul dan para Nabi dan orang-orang setelah mereka dari kalangan para shahabat semoga, Allah meridhai mereka. Para shabat Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam telah menyebar ke ujung dunia untuk mengajarkan kebaikan kepada manusia, mengajak mereka kepada kalimat yang benar. Kami berharap wisata yang ada sekarang mengikuti wisata   yang memiliki tujuan mulia dan agung. 

5.      Yang terakhir dari pemahaman wisata dalam Islam adalah safar untuk merenungi keindahan   ciptaan Allah Ta’la, menikmati indahnya alam nan agung sebagai pendorong jiwa manusia untuk menguatkan keimanan terhadap keesaan Allah dan memotivasi menunaikan kewajiabn hidup. Karena refresing jiwa perlu untuk memulai semangat kerja baru. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala berfirman:

قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ بَدَأَ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ اللَّهُ يُنشِئُ النَّشْأَةَ الْآخِرَةَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ  (سورة العنكبوت: 20)

Katakanlah: "Berjalanlah di (muka) bumi, maka perhatikanlah bagaimana Allah menciptakan (manusia) dari permulaannya, kemudian Allah menjadikannya sekali lagi. Sesungguhnya Allah Maha Kuasa atas segala sesuatu. (QS. Al-Ankabut: 20)

Kedua: Aturan wisata dalam Islam

Dalam ajaran Islam yang bijaksana terdapat hukum yang mengatur dan mengarahkan agar  wisata tetap menjaga maksud-maksud yang telah disebutkan tadi, jangan sampai keluar melewati  batas, sehingga wisata menjadi sumber keburukan  dan dampak negatif bagi masyarakat. Di antara hukum-hukum itu adalah:

1.      Mengharamkan safar dengan maksud mengagungkan tempat tertentu kecuali tiga masjid. Dari  Abu Hurairah radhiallahu anhu sesungguhnya Nabi sallallahu’alai wa sallam bersabda:

لا تُشَدُّ الرِّحَالُ إِلا إِلَى ثَلاثَةِ مَسَاجِدَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَمَسْجِدِ الرَّسُولِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى (رواه البخاري، رقم  1132  ومسلم، رقم  1397)

“Tidak dibolehkan melakukan perjalanan kecuali ke tiga masjid, Masjidil Haram, Masjid Rasulullah sallallahu’alaihi wa saal dan Masjidil Aqsha." (HR. Bukhari, no. 1132, Muslim, no. 1397)

Hadits ini menunjukkan akan haramnya  promosi wisata yang dinamakan Wisata Religi ke  selain tiga masjid, seperti ajakan mengajak wisata ziarah kubur, menyaksikan tempat-tempat   peninggalan kuno, terutama peninggalan yang diagungkan manusia, sehingga mereka terjerumus dalam  berbagai bentuk kesyirikan yang membinasakan. Dalam ajaran Islam tidak ada pengagungan pada tempat tertentu dengan menunaikan ibadah di dalamnya sehingga menjadi tempat yang  diagungkan selain tiga tempat tadi.

Abu Hurairah radhiallahu anhu berkata, "Aku pergi  Thur (gunung Tursina di Mesir), kemudian    aku bertemu Ka’b Al-Ahbar, lalu duduk bersamanya, lau beliau menyebutkan hadits yang panjang,  kemudian berkata, "Lalu aku bertemu Bashrah bin Abi Bashrah Al-Ghifary dan berkata, "Dari mana kamu datang?" Aku menjawab, "Dari (gunung) Thur."  Lalu beliau mengatakan, "Jika aku  menemuimu sebelum engkau keluar ke sana, maka (akan melarang) mu pergi, karena aku mendengar Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam bersabda: “Jangan melakukan perjalanan kecuali ke tiga masjid, ke Masjidil Haram, Masjidku ini dan Masjid Iliyya atau Baitul Maqdis." (HR. Malik dalam Al-Muwatha, no. 108. Nasa’i, no. 1430, dinyatakan shahih oleh Al-Albany dalam Shahih An-Nasa’i)

Maka tidak dibolehkan memulai perjalanan menuju tempat suci selain tiga tempat ini. Hal  itu  bukan berarti dilarang mengunjungi masjid-masjid yang ada di negara muslim, karena kunjungan kesana dibolehkan, bahkan dianjurkan. Akan tetapi yang dilarang adalah melakukan safar dengan niat seperti itu.   Kalau ada tujuan lain dalam safar, lalu diikuti dengan berkunjung ke (masjid), maka hal itu tidak mengapa. Bahkan terkadang diharuskan untuk menunaikan jum’at dan shalat berjamaah. Yang keharamannya lebih berat adalah apabila kunjungannya ke tempat-tempat suci agama lain. Seperti pergi mengunjungi Vatikan atau patung Budha atau  lainnya yang serupa.

2.      Ada juga dalil yang mengharamkan wisata seorang muslim ke negara kafir secara umum. Karena berdampak buruk terhadap agama dan akhlak seorang muslim, akibat bercampur dengan kaum yang tidak mengindahkan agama dan akhlak. Khususnya apab ila tidak ada keperluan dalam  safar  tersebut seperti untuk berobat, berdagang atau semisalnya, kecuali Cuma sekedar bersenang senang dan rekreasi. Sesungguhnya Allah telah menjadikan negara muslim memiliki   keindahan penciptaan-Nya, sehingga tidak perlu pergi ke negara orang kafir.

Syekh Shaleh Al-Fauzan hafizahullah berkata: “Tidak boleh Safar ke negara kafir, karena ada kekhawatiran terhadap akidah, akhlak, akibat bercampur dan menetap di tengah  orang kafir  di antara mereka. Akan tetapi kalau ada keperluan mendesak dan tujuan yang benar untuk safar ke negara mereka seperti safar untuk berobat yang tidak ada di negaranya atau safar untuk belajar yang tidak didapatkan di negara muslim atau safar untuk berdagang, kesemuanya ini adalah tujuan yang benar, maka dibolehkan safar ke negara kafir dengan syarat menjaga syiar keislaman dan memungkinkan melaksanakan agamanya di negeri mereka. Hendaklah seperlunya, lalu kembali ke negeri Islam. Adapun kalau safarnya hanya untuk wisata, maka tidak dibolehkan. Karena seorang muslim tidak membutuhkan hal itu serta tidak ada manfaat yang sama atau yang lebih kuat dibandingkan dengan bahaya dan kerusakan pada agama dan keyakinan. (Al-Muntaqa Min Fatawa Syekh Al-Fauzan, 2 soal no. 221)

Penegasan tentang masalah ini telah diuraikan dalam situs kami secara terperinci dan  panjang lebar. Silakan lihat soal no. 13342, 8919, 52845.

3.      Tidak diragukan lagi bahwa ajaran Islam melarang wisata ke tempat-tempat rusak yang terdapat minuman keras, perzinaan, berbagai kemaksiatan seperti di pinggir    pantai yang bebas dan acara-acara bebas dan tempat-tempat kemaksiatan. Atau juga diharamkan safar untuk mengadakan perayaan bid’ah. Karena seorang muslim diperintahkan untuk menjauhi kemaksiatan maka jangan terjerumus (kedalamnya) dan jangan duduk dengan orang yang melakukan itu.

Para ulama dalam Al-Lajnah Ad-Daimah mengatakan: “Tidak diperkenankan bepergian ke tempat-tempat kerusakan untuk berwisata. Karena hal itu mengundang bahaya terhadap agama dan akhlak. Karena ajaran Islam datang untuk menutup peluang yang menjerumuskan kepada keburukan." (Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Daimah, 26/332)

Bagaimana dengan wisata yang menganjurkan kemaksiatan dan prilaku tercela, lalu kita ikut  mengatur, mendukung dan menganjurkannya?

Para ulama Al-Lajnah Ad-Daimah juga berkata: “Kalau wisata tersebut mengandung unsur memudahkan melakukan kemaksiatan dan kemunkaran serta mengajak kesana, maka tidak boleh bagi seorang muslim yang beriman kepada Allah dan hari Akhir membantu untuk melakukan kemaksiatan kepada Allah dan menyalahi perintahNya. Barangsiapa yang meninggalkan sesuatu karena Allah, maka Allah akan mengganti yang lebih baik dari itu. (Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Daimah, 26/224)

4.      Adapun berkunjung ke bekas peninggalan umat terdahulu dan situs-situs kuno , jika itu adalah  bekas tempat turunnya azab, atau tempat suatu kaum dibinasakan sebab kekufurannya kepada Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, maka tidak dibolehkan menjadikan tempat ini sebagai tempat wisata dan hiburan.

Para Ulama dalam Al-Lajnah Ad-Daimah ditanya, ada di kota Al-Bada di  provinsi Tabuk terdapat peninggalan kuno dan rumah-rumah yang diukir di gunung. Sebagian orang mengatakan bahwa itu adalah tempat tinggal kaum Nabi Syu’aib alaihis salam. Pertanyaannya adalah, apakah ada dalil  bahwa ini adalah tempat tinggal kaum Syu’aib –alaihis salam- atau tidak ada dalil akan hal itu? dan apa hukum mengunjungi tempat purbakala itu bagi orang yang bermaksuk untuk sekedar melihat-lihat dan bagi yang bermaksud mengambil pelajaran dan nasehat?

Mereka menjawab: “Menurut ahli sejarah dikenal bahwa tempat tinggal bangsa Madyan yang  diutus kepada mereka Nabiyullah Syu’aib alaihis shalatu was salam berada di arah barat daya  Jazirah Arab yang sekarang dinamakan Al-Bada dan sekitarnya. Wallahu’alam akan kebenarannya. Jika itu benar, maka tidak diperkenankan berkunjung ke tempat ini dengan tujuan sekedar  melihat-lihat. Karena Nabi sallallahu’alaihi wa sallam ketika melewati Al-Hijr, yaitu tempat tinggal  bangsa Tsamud (yang dibinasakan) beliau bersabda: “Janganlah  kalian memasuki tempat tinggal orang-orang yang telah menzalimi dirinya, khawatir kalian tertimpa seperti yang menimpa mereka,   kecuali kalian dalam kondisi manangis. Lalu beliau menundukkan kepala dan berjalan cepat     sampai melewati sungai." (HR. Bukhari, no. 3200 dan Muslim, no. 2980)

Ibnu Qayyim rahimahullah berkomentar ketika menjelaskan manfaat dan hukum yang diambil dari peristiwa perang Tabuk, di antaranya adalah barangsiapa yang melewati di tempat mereka yang Allah murkai dan turunkan azab, tidak sepatutnya dia memasukinya dan menetap di dalamnya, tetapi hendaknya dia mempercepat jalannya dan menutup wajahnya hingga lewat. Tidak boleh memasukinya kecuali dalam kondisi menangis dan mengambil pelajaran. Dengan landasan ini, Nabi sallallahu’alaihi wa sallam menyegerakan jalan di wadi (sungai) Muhassir antara Mina dan Muzdalifah, karena di tempat itu Allah membinasakan pasukan gajah dan orang-orangnya." (Zadul Ma’ad, 3/560)

Al-Hafiz Ibnu Hajar rahimahullah berkata dalam menjelaskan hadits tadi, "Hal ini mencakup  negeri  Tsamud dan negeri lainnya yang sifatnya sama meskipun sebabnya terkait dengan mereka." (Fathul Bari, 6/380).

Silakan lihat kumpulan riset Majelis Ulama Saudi Arabia jilid ketiga, paper dengan judul Hukmu   Ihyai Diyar Tsamud (hukum menghidupkan perkampungan Tsamud). Juga silahkan lihat soal jawab no. 20894.

5.      Tidak dibolehkan juga wanita bepergian tanpa mahram. Para ulama telah memberikan fatwa haramnya wanita pergi haji atau umrah tanpa mahram. Bagaimana dengan safar untuk wisata yang di dalamnya banyak tasahul (mempermudah masalah) dan campur baur yang diharamkan? Silakan lihat soal jawab no. 4523, 45917, 69337 dan 3098.

6.      Adapun mengatur wisata untuk orang kafir di negara Islam, asalnya dibolehkan. Wisatawan kafir kalau diizinkan oleh pemerintahan Islam untuk masuk maka diberi keamanan sampai keluar. Akan tetapi keberadaannya di negara Islam harus terikat dan menghormati agama Islam, akhlak umat Islam dan kebudayaannya. Dia pun di larang mendakwahkan agamanya dan tidak menuduh Islam dengan batil. Mereka juga tidak boleh keluar kecuali dengan penampilan sopan dan memakai pakaian yang sesuai untuk negara Islam, bukan dengan pakaian yang biasa dia pakai di negaranya dengan terbuka dan tanpa baju. Mereka juga bukan sebagai mata-mata atau spionase untuk negaranya. Yang terakhir tidak diperbolehkan berkunjung ke dua tempat suci; Mekkah dan Madinah.

Ketiga:

Tidak tersembunyi bagi siapa pun bahwa dunia wisata sekarang lebih dominan dengan kemaksiatan, segala perbuatan buruk dan melanggar yang diharamkan, baik sengaja bersolek diri, telanjang di tempat-tempat umum, bercampur baur yang bebas, meminum khamar, memasarkan kebejatan, menyerupai orang kafir, mengambil kebiasaan dan akhlaknya bahkan sampai penyakit mereka  yang  berbahaya. Belum lagi, menghamburkan uang yang banyak dan waktu serta kesungguhan. Semua itu dibungkus dengan nama wisata. Maka ingatlah bagi yang mempunyai kecemburuan terhadap agama, akhlak dan umatnya kepada Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, jangan sampai menjadi penolong untuk mempromosikan wisata fasik ini. Akan tetapi hendaknya memeranginya dan memerangi  ajakan mempromosikannya. Hendaknya bangga dengan agama, wawasan dan akhlaknya. Hal tersebut akan menjadikan negeri kita terpelihara dari segala keburukan dan mendapatkankan pengganti keindahan penciptaan Allah ta’ala di negara islam yang terjaga.

Sumber : http://islamqa.info

Baca Artikel Lainnya : DUSUN MLANGI, WISATA ISLAM INDONESIA

 

> HAKEKAT WISATA ISLAM

KURS RUPIAH MELEMAH PENGARUHI HARGA BESI BETON

Harga Besi Beton telah diperkirakan akan terus melonjak naik pada 2014. Selama tiga bulan terakhir di 2013, Besi Beton terus akan mengalami kenaikan sebesar 20 persen, disebabkan melemahnya mata uang rupiah terhadap dolar AS, serta kenaikan harga bahan bakar minyak (BBM).

 Pengawas Lapangan Toko Mega Baja Bandarlampung, Jalan Hajimena No.54,  Tri (35) juga mengatakan, dampak dari melemahnya mata uang rupiah dan naiknya BBM sangat berpengaruh terhadap suplai Besi Beton ke Lampung.

’’Semua Besi Beton akan mengalami kenaikan dari ukuran 6, 8, 10, 12, 19, 22, dan 35, rata - rata kenaikan telah mencapai Rp2 ribu dalam sebulan. Kenaikan inipun akan terus berlanjut di tahun ini,’’ ucap Tri di sela-sela kesibukannya mengawasi karyawannya saat bekerja.

Menurutnya, untuk ukuran besi 6 yang semula harganya Rp22 ribu/batang, kini telah menjadi Rp24 ribu/batang. Ukuran besi 8, harga semula Rp36ribu/batang naik menjadi Rp38/batang. Ukuran besi 10, harga semula Rp60 ribu/batang naik Rp62 ribu/batang. Ukuran besi 12 harga semula Rp78 ribu/batang menjadi Rp80 ribu/batang, dan sebagainya. Kata Tri, harga besi akan terus naik seiring belum membaiknya pertumbuhan ekonomi di Indonesia.

’’Pemasokan Besi Beton pengirimannya mengunakan transportrasi jelas jika biaya transportasi naik harga juga akan ikut naik, terlebih kendala ekonomi yang kurang membaik, sehingga dapat menjadikan problematika yang berdampak buruk bagi sektor industri. Dampaknya pun juga akan berpengaruh pada perusahaan ritel,’’ terangnya.
    
Namun, di Bandarlampung sendiri, kata dia, tingkat permintaan untuk Besi Beton terbilang cukup tinggi, karena pesatnya pembangunan Kota Bandarlampung sehingga membuat permintan akan Besi Beton terus meningkat.

 Maka dari itu, dalam sebulan perusahaan ritel penyuplai Besi Beton Toko Mega Baja mampu meraup keuntungan Rp2 miliar dalam sebulan.

Terlebih dari itu, selain menjual Besi Beton Toko Mega Baja juga menjual  Baja Ringan. Ternyata tren baja ringan juga mengikuti peningkatan dalam pertumbuhan pembangunan, Namun peningkatan lebih cenderung ke Besi Beton. Untuk Besi Beton menguasai pendistribusain sebanyak 70 persen sedangkan untuk baja ringan hanya 30 persen.  

’’Untuk pembangunan besi beton masih menjadi suatu perioritas, tak heran jika peningkatannya lebih tinggi dari pada baja ringan,’’ tuntasnya.

 

> KURS RUPIAH MELEMAH PENGARUHI HARGA BESI BETON

BESI BETON KUALITAS TERBAIK

Besi beton yang telah mempunyai kualitas terbaik terdapat beberapa ciri didalamnya. Kita dapat mengidentifikasi besi beton yang imitasi atau yang asli dan aman. Banyak cara untuk dapat menentukannya. Jika anda mau belajar dan terus belajar, banyak bertanya, sering membaca artikel tentang bangunan ataupun sering bergabung dalam forum-forum kontraktor maka ini sering juga menjadi topic bahasan yang menarik. Ada beberapa tips dalam memilih besi beton yang berkualitas. Pertama adalah, cek pada bentuknya, apakah bentuknya tidak rapi atau rapi. Besi beton yang baik akan tercetak dengan baik semasa dia berada dipabrik. Kedua, pilih yang tidak mengandung banyak karbon, atau jika anda pegang tidak terlalu hitam tangan anda. Dan yang ketiga adalah belilah besi beton pada perusahaan yang sudah jelas dan berpengalaman. Ini juga merupakan hal yang sangat penting, karena perusahaan yang sudah mempunyai reputasi baik, tidak mungkin menjual barang-barang yang tidak layak pakai.

> BESI BETON KUALITAS TERBAIK

Polisi Menjaga Sidang Perdana Hercules Sangat Ketat

Jakarta,Saco-Indonesia, Sekitar 700 aparat kepolisian dari Polres Jakarta Barat dan Polda Metro Jaya disiagakan untuk mengamankan sidang perdana Hercules di Pengadilan Negeri Jakarta Barat.

Sidang dijadwalkan akan digelar mulai pukul 09.00 WIB, Kamis (30/5) pagi.

Diungkapkan Kabag Ops Polres Jakbar, AKBP Agung, pengamanan jalannya sidang didukung oleh Rantis Polda Metro Jaya, dan disiagakan pula mobil water canon.

Sebelumnya, Hercules bersama dengan 50 rekannya ditangkap karena diduga membuat keributan di Srengseng, Kembangan, Jakbar pada 8 Maret 2013 lalu. Hercules diancam dengan lima pasal, diantaranya Pasal 160 KUHP tentang penghasutan, Pasal 368 KUHP karena pemerasan, Pasal 170 KUHP tentang pengeroyokan, dan UU Nomor 12 Tahun 1951 atau UU Darurat Kepemilikan Senjata.

Sumber:Elshinta

Editor:Liwon Maulana

> Polisi Menjaga Sidang Perdana Hercules Sangat Ketat

MENJAGA KEMULIAAN MANUSIA (2)

Pada artikel pertama telah kita bahas tentang mempertahankan kemuliaan manusia secara sepintas. Pada kesempatan ini kita akan menelusuri tahap demi tahap berbagai hal tentang manusia. 1. Penyampaian Misi , menimbulkan kecurigaan dari para malaikat. Dan Ingatlah ketika Tuhanmu berfirman kepada para malaikat: "Sesungguhnya Aku hendak menjadikan seorang khalifah di muka bumi". Mereka berkata: "Mengapa Engkau hendak menjadikan (khalifah) di bumi itu orang yang akan membuat kerusakan padanya dan menumpahkan darah, padahal kami senantiasa bertasbih dengan memuji Engkau dan menyucikan Engkau?" Tuhan berfirman: "Sesungguhnya Aku mengetahui apa yang tidak kamu ketahui". (QS.2:30) Ketika Allah swt. memberitahukan kepada para malaikat-Nya bahwa Dia akan menjadikan Adam a.s sebagai khalifah di bumi, maka para malaikat itu bertanya, mengapa Adam a.s yang akan diangkat menjadi khalifah di bumi padahal Adam a.s itu dari keturunannya kelak akan berbuat kerusakan dan menumpahkan darah di bumi. Dan para malaikat itu menganggap bahwa diri mereka adalah lebih patut memangku jabatan itu, sebab mereka makhluk yang selalu bertasbih, memuji dan menyucikan Allah swt. Allah swt. tidak membenarkan anggapan mereka itu dan Dia menjawab bahwa Dia mengetahui yang tidak diketahui oleh para malaikat itu. Apa-apa yang akan dilakukan Allah swt. adalah berdasarkan pengetahuan dan hikmah-Nya yang Maha Tinggi walaupun tak dapat diketahui oleh mereka, termasuk pengangkatan Adam a.s menjadi khalifah di bumi. Yang dimaksud dengan kekhalifahan Adam a.s di bumi adalah kedudukannya sebagai khalifah atau wakil Allah swt. di bumi ini, untuk melaksanakan perintah-perintah-Nya dan memakmurkan bumi serta memanfaatkan segala apa yang ada padanya. Dari pengertian ini lahirlah ungkapan yang mengatakan bahwa manusia adalah "Khalifatullah di bumi Dan Ingatlah ketika Tuhanmu berfirman kepada para malaikat: "Sesungguhnya Aku hendak menjadikan seorang khalifah di muka bumi". Ini merupakan kehendak yang luhur yaitu menyerahkan pengendalian bumi ini kepada makhluk yang baru. Ini merupakan kedudukan yang tinggi bagi manusia dalam tatanan alam wujud diatas bumi yang luas ini . Dan ini adalah kemuliaan yang dikehendaki untuk manusia oleh Sang Pencipta yang Maha Mulia. Namun ada kesangsian atau kecurigaan dari para Malaikat kalau Manusia ini antinya tidak akan mampu menjadi khalifah. Kesangsian malaikat itu tercermin dalam pertanyaan mereka kepada Allah . Kalimat “ mengapa Engkau hendak……….., padahal kami senantiasa………….. menunjukkan kecurigaan atau kesangsian seperti makhluk sebelumnya. Perkataan malaikat ini member kesan bahwa mereka mempunyai bukti-bukti keadaan atau berdasarkan pengalaman masa lalunya di bumi atau dengan ilham pandangan bathinya yang menyingkap sedikit tentang tabiat makhluk baru ini atau tentang tuntutan hidupnya dimuka bumi dan yang menjadikan mereka mengetahui atau memprediksi bahwa manusia ini kelak akan membawa kerusakan di bumi dan menumpahkan darah. Selanjtnya mereka sebagai malaikat dengan fithrahnya yang suci yang tidak tergambar olehnya kecuali kebaikan yang mutlak dan kepatuhan yang menyeluruh mengumandangkan tasbih dengan memuji Allah dan menyucikan-NYA serta senantiasa beribadah kepada-NYA dengan tiada merasa letih. Jalalain menjelaskan dalam tafsirnya bahwa “Ingatlah hai Muhammad (ketika tuhanmu berfirman kepada para Malaikat , Sesungguhnya Aku hendak menjadikan seorang khalifah dimuka bumi yang akan mewakili aku dalam melaksanakan hokum-hukum atau peraturan-peraturan-Ku padanya , yaitu Adam. Kata mereka (malaikat) ,”Kenapa hendak engkau jadikan dibumi itu orang yang hendak berbuat kerusakan padanya yakni dengan perbuatan maksiat dan menumpahkan darah , artinya melakukan pembunbuhan-pembunuhan sebagai mana dilakukan oleh bangsa jin yang juga mendiami bumi. Penekanan bahwa khalifah itu : “ yang akan mewakili Aku (Allah) dalam melaksanakan hukum-hukum atau peraturan-peraturan-KU (Allah) padanya (dibumi) inilah yang sangat diragukan oleh para malaikat. Namun tidaklah semua keturunan Adam seperti yang diragukan oleh para Malaikat , diantaranya manusia itu ada yang siap bertanggung jawab . Maka Allah menjawabnya ,” Sesungguhnya Aku mengetahui apa yang tidak kamu ketahui”. 2. Pengujian : menimbulkan pengakuan dari para malaikat Dan Dia mengajarkan kepada Adam nama-nama (benda-benda) seluruhnya, kemudian mengemukakannya kepada para Malaikat lalu berfirman: "Sebutkanlah kepada-Ku nama benda-benda itu jika kamu memang orang-orang yang benar!" (QS.3:31) Dalam ayat ini Allah swt. menunjukkan suatu keistimewaan yang telah dikaruniakan-Nya kepada Adam a.s yang tidak pernah dikaruniakan-Nya kepada makhluk-makhluk-Nya yang lain, yaitu ilmu pengetahuan dan kekuatan akal atau daya pikir yang memungkinkannya untuk mempelajari sesuatu dengan sedalam-dalamnya. Keistimewaan ini diturunkan pula kepada turunannya, yaitu umat manusia. Oleh sebab itu, manusia (Adam a.s. dan keturunannya) lebih patut dari malaikat untuk dijadikan khalifah. Ayat ini menerangkan bahwa Allah swt. mengajarkan kepada Adam a.s. nama-nama dan sifat-sifat dari semua benda yang penting-penting di antara-Nya. Adapun cara mengajarkan nama benda-benda tersebut kepada Adam a.s. ialah dengan memberikan ilham kepadanya serta menanamkan daya pikir, yang memungkinkannya untuk mengembangkan pengetahuannya itu. Setelah nama benda-benda itu diajarkan-Nya kepada Adam a.s. maka Allah swt. memperlihatkan benda-benda itu kepada para malaikat dan diperintahkan-Nya agar mereka menyebutkan nama benda-benda tersebut yang telah diajarkan-Nya kepada Adam a.s. Dan ternyata mereka tak dapat menyebutkannya. Hal ini untuk memperlihatkan keterbatasan ilmu pengetahuan para malaikat itu dan agar mereka mengetahui keunggulan Adam a.s. terhadap mereka dan agar dapat pula mereka mengetahui ketinggian hikmah-Nya dalam memilih Adam a.s. sebagai khalifah. Juga untuk menunjukkan bahwa jabatan sebagai khalifah, yaitu untuk mengatur segala sesuatu dan untuk menegakkan kebenaran dan keadilan di bumi ini memerlukan ilmu pengetahuan yang banyak serta kemampuan dan daya pikir yang kuat. Perintah Allah swt. kepada mereka untuk menyebutkan nama makhluk-makhluk itu juga merupakan suatu peringatan kepada mereka yang tadinya merasa bahwa diri mereka adalah lebih patut untuk diangkat sebagai khalifah, maka Allah swt. menunjukkan kekurangan mereka sehingga seakan-akan Ia berfirman kepada mereka, "Hai para malaikat! Jika kamu menganggap Adam dan keturunannya tidak patut dijadikan khalifah di bumi dan kamu merasa lebih patut memangku jabatan itu, maka cobalah buktikan kebenaran alasan itu, cobalah kamu sebutkan nama benda-benda ini yang Aku perlihatkan kepadamu". Ternyata mereka tidak dapat menyebutkannya karena mereka memang tidak diberi ilmu seperti yang dikaruniakan Allah kepada manusia. Karena mereka tidak dapat mengetahui dan menyebutkan nama benda-benda yang dapat mereka lihat di hadapan mereka, tentulah mereka lebih tidak mengetahui hal-hal yang gaib yang belum mereka saksikan, antara lain ialah hikmah Allah swt. dalam menjadikan Adam a.s. sebagai khalifah. Mereka menjawab: "Maha Suci Engkau, tidak ada yang kami ketahui selain dari apa yang telah Engkau ajarkan kepada kami; sesungguhnya Engkaulah Yang Maha Mengetahui lagi Maha Bijaksana.(QS.2:32) Setelah para malaikat menyadari kurangnya ilmu pengetahuan mereka karena tidak dapat menyebutkan nama makhluk-makhluk yang ada di hadapan mereka, lalu mengakui terus terang kelemahan diri mereka dan berkata kepada Allah swt. bahwa Dia Maha Suci dari segala sifat-sifat kekurangan yang tidak layak bagi-Nya dan mereka menyatakan tobat kepada-Nya. Mereka pun yakin bahwa segala apa yang dilakukan Allah swt. tentulah berdasarkan ilmu dan hikmah-Nya yang Maha Tinggi dan Sempurna, termasuk masalah pengangkatan Adam a.s. menjadi khalifah. Mereka mengetahui bahwa ilmu pengetahuan mereka hanyalah terbatas kepada apa yang di ajarkan-Nya kepada mereka. Dengan demikian habislah keragu-raguan mereka tentang hikmah Allah swt. dalam pengangkatan Adam a.s. menjadi khalifah di bumi. Dari pengakuan para malaikat ini, dapatlah dipahami bahwa pertanyaan yang mereka ajukan semula mengapa Allah mengangkat Adam a.s. sebagai khalifah, bukanlah merupakan suatu sanggahan dari mereka terhadap kehendak Allah swt, melainkan hanyalah sekadar pertanyaan meminta penjelasan. Setelah penjelasan itu diberikan dan setelah mereka mengakui kelemahan mereka, maka dengan rendah hati dan penuh ketaatan mereka mematuhi kehendak Allah, terutama dalam pengangkatan Adam a.s. menjadi khalifah. Mereka memuji Allah swt karena Dia telah memberikan ilmu pengetahuan kepada mereka sesuai dengan kemampuan yang ada pada mereka. Selanjutnya, mereka mengakui pula dengan penuh keyakinan dan menyerah kepada ilmu Allah yang Maha luas dan hikmah-Nya yang Maha Tinggi. Lalu mereka menegaskan bahwa hanyalah Allah yang Maha Mengetahui dan Maha Bijaksana. Hal ini mengandung suatu pelajaran bahwa manusia yang telah dikaruniai ilmu pengetahuan yang lebih banyak dari yang diberikan kepada para malaikat dan makhluk-makhluk lainnya, hendaklah selalu mensyukuri nikmat tersebut, serta tidak menjadi sombong dan angkuh karena ilmu pengetahuan yang dimilikinya serta kekuatan dan daya pikirannya. Sebab, betapa pun tingginya ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi manusia pada zaman kita sekarang ini, namun masih banyak rahasia-rahasia alam ciptaan Tuhan yang belum dapat dijangkau oleh ilmu pengetahuan manusia, misalnya ialah hakikat roh yang ada pada diri manusia sendiri. Allah swt. telah memperingatkan bahwa ilmu pengetahuan yang dikaruniakan-Nya kepada manusia hanyalah sedikit sekali dibandingkan kepada ilmu dan hakikat-Nya. Allah berfirman: "Hai Adam, beritahukanlah kepada mereka nama-nama benda ini". Maka setelah diberitahukannya kepada mereka nama-nama benda itu, Allah berfirman: "Bukankah sudah Ku katakan kepadamu, bahwa sesungguhnya Aku mengetahui rahasia langit dan bumi dan mengetahui apa yang kamu lahirkan dan apa yang kamu sembunyikan?"(QS.2:33). Setelah ternyata para malaikat itu tidak tahu dan tidak dapat menyebutkan nama benda-benda yang diperlihatkan Allah kepada mereka, maka Allah memerintahkan kepada Adam a.s. untuk memberitahukan nama-nama tersebut kepada mereka. Dan Adam melaksanakan perintah itu lalu diberitahukannya nama-nama tersebut kepada mereka. Kemudian, setelah Adam a.s. selesai memberitahukan nama-nama tersebut kepada malaikat dan diterangkannya pula sifat-sifat dan keistimewaan masing masing makhluk itu, maka Allah berfirman kepada para malaikat itu, bahwa Dia telah pernah mengatakan kepada mereka bahwa sesungguhnya Dia mengetahui pula apa-apa yang mereka lahirkan dengan ucapan-ucapan mereka dan pikiran-pikiran yang mereka sembunyikan dalam hati mereka. Selamanya Dia menciptakan sesuatu tidaklah dengan sia-sia belaka, melainkan berdasarkan ilmu dan hikmah-Nya. Dalam masalah pengangkatan Adam a.s. sebagai khalifah di bumi ini terkandung suatu makna yang tinggi dari hikmah Ilahi yang tak diketahui oleh para malaikat menjadi khalifah dan penghuni bumi ini, niscaya mereka tidak akan dapat mengetahui rahasia-rahasia alam ini, serta ciri khas yang ada pada masing-masing makhluk, sebab para malaikat itu sangat berbeda keadaannya dengan manusia. mereka tidak mempunyai kebutuhan apa-apa, seperti sanding pangan dan harta benda. Maka seandainya merekalah yang dijadikan penghuni dan penguasa di bumi ini, niscaya tak akan ada sawah dan ladang, tak akan ada pabrik dan tambang-tambang, tak akan ada gedung-gedung yang tinggi menjulang, tak akan ada musik dan seni. Juga tidak akan lahir bermacam-macam ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi seperti yang telah dicapai umat manusia sampai sekarang ini yang hampir tak terhitung jumlahnya. Pengangkatan manusia menjadi khalifah, berarti pengangkatan Adam a.s. dan keturunannya menjadi khalifah terhadap makhluk-makhluk lainnya di bumi ini karena keistimewaan yang telah dikaruniakan Allah swt. kepada mereka yang tidak diberikan kepada makhluk-makhluk-Nya yang lain, seperti kekuatan akal yang memungkinkan untuk mengembangkan ilmu pengetahuannya guna menyelidiki dan memanfaatkan isi alam di bumi ini, seperti kesanggupan mengatur alam menurut ketentuan-ketentuan Allah. Dengan kekuatan akalnya itu, manusia dapat memiliki pengetahuan dan kemampuan yang hampir tak terbatas, serta dapat melakukan hal-hal yang hampir tak terhitung jumlahnya. Dengan kekuatan itu, manusia dapat menemukan hal-hal yang baru yang belum ada sebelumnya. Dia dapat mengolah tanah yang gersang menjadi tanah yang subur. Dan dengan bahan bahan yang telah tersedia di bumi ini manusia dapat membuat variasi-variasi baru yang belum pernah ada. Dikawinkannya kuda dengan keledai, maka lahirlah hewan jenis baru yang belum pernah ada sebelumnya, yaitu hewan yang disebut "bagal". Dengan mengawinkan atau menyilangkan tumbuh-tumbuhan yang berbunga putih dengan yang berbunga merah, maka lahirlah tumbuh-tumbuhan jenis baru, yang berbunga merah putih. Diolahnya logam menjadi barang-barang perhiasan yang beraneka ragam dan alat-alat keperluan hidupnya sehari-hari. Diolahnya bermacam -macam tumbuh-tumbuhan menjadi bahan pakaian dan makanan mereka. Dan pada zaman sekarang ini dapat disaksikan berjuta-juta macam benda hasil penemuan manusia, baik yang kecil maupun yang besar, sebagai hasil kekuatan akalnya. Adapun para malaikat, mereka tidak mempunyai hawa nafsu yang akan mendorong mereka untuk bekerja mengolah benda-benda alam ini dan memanfaatkannya untuk kepentingan hidup mereka. Oleh karena itu, apabila mereka yang telah dikaruniakan kekuatan akal serta bakat-bakat dan kemampuan yang demikian diangkat menjadi khalifah Allah di bumi, maka hal ini adalah wajar dan menunjukkan pula kesempurnaan ilmu dan ketinggian hikmah Allah swt. dalam mengatur makhluk-Nya. Dari ketiga ayat diatas kalau kita telaah lbih dalam, disini kita dengan mata hati kita dalam cahaya kemuliaan melihat apa yang dilihat para malaikat di kalangan makhluk yang tinggi. Kita menyaksikan sejemput kecil dari rahasia Ilahi yang besar yang dititipkan-NYA pada makhluk yang bernama manusia, ketika Dia menyerahkan kepadanya kunci-kunci kekhalifahan . Rahasia kekuasaan itu diisyaratkan pada nama-nama benda, serta pada penamaan orang-orang dan benda-benda yang berupa lafal-lafal yang terucapkan hingga menjadikannya isyarat-isyarat bagi orang-orang dan benda-benda yang dapat diindra. Kita mengetahui nilainya ketika kita menggambarkan kesulitan yang sangat besar , yang tidak dapat kita mengerti seandainya manusia tidak diberi kekuasaan (kemampuan) terhadap isyarat nama benda-benda itu. Kita juga akan kesulitan dalam memahami dan mempergaulinya ketika masing-masing orang memberikan pemahaman tentang sesuatu kepada yang lain membutuhkan kehadiran sesuatu dihadapanya untuk memahami keadaanya. Misalmya keadaan gunung yang tidak ada jalan untuk memahaminya kecuali pergi kegunung itu, keadaan seseorang yang tidak ada jalan untuk mengetahuinya kecuali menghadirtkan orang itu. Ini semua kesulitan yang amat besar yang tidak terbayangkan dalam kehidupan , dan kehidupan itu tidak akan dapat berjalan dijalanya seandainya Allah tidak memberikan kepada manusia kekuasaan terhadap isyarat-isyarat dengan nama benda-benda itu. Sedangkan malaikat tidak memerlukan kekhususuan ini, karena tidak ada urgensinya dengan tugas-tugas mereka . Oleh karena itu mereka tidak diberi yang demikian. Maka ketika Allah mengajarkan rahasia ini kepada Adam dan mengemukakannya kepada para malaikat apa yang telah dikemukakan-NYA kepada Adam mereka tidak mengetahui nama-nama itu. Mereka tidak mengetahui bagaimana menempatkan rumus-rumus (isyarat-isyarat) lafal bagi sesuatu dan seseorang. Menyatakan kelemahanya dengan menyucikan Tuhanya, mengakui kelemahanya itu dan mengakui keterbatasan pengetahuanya. Padahal semua itu sudah diketahui dan dikenal oleh Adam. Kemudian didoronglah mereka untuk mengetahui hikmah Tuhan yang maha Mengetahui lagi Maha Bijaksana. “Bukankah sudah Ku katakan kepadamu, bahwa sesungguhnya Aku mengetahui rahasia langit dan bumi dan mengetahui apa yang kamu lahirkan dan apa yang kamu sembunyikan?”’.> MENJAGA KEMULIAAN MANUSIA (2)

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

Even as a high school student, Dave Goldberg was urging female classmates to speak up. As a young dot-com executive, he had one girlfriend after another, but fell hard for a driven friend named Sheryl Sandberg, pining after her for years. After they wed, Mr. Goldberg pushed her to negotiate hard for high compensation and arranged his schedule so that he could be home with their children when she was traveling for work.

Mr. Goldberg, who died unexpectedly on Friday, was a genial, 47-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who built his latest company, SurveyMonkey, from a modest enterprise to one recently valued by investors at $2 billion. But he was also perhaps the signature male feminist of his era: the first major chief executive in memory to spur his wife to become as successful in business as he was, and an essential figure in “Lean In,” Ms. Sandberg’s blockbuster guide to female achievement.

Over the weekend, even strangers were shocked at his death, both because of his relatively young age and because they knew of him as the living, breathing, car-pooling center of a new philosophy of two-career marriage.

“They were very much the role models for what this next generation wants to grapple with,” said Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard College. In a 2011 commencement speech there, Ms. Sandberg told the graduates that whom they married would be their most important career decision.

In the play “The Heidi Chronicles,” revived on Broadway this spring, a male character who is the founder of a media company says that “I don’t want to come home to an A-plus,” explaining that his ambitions require him to marry an unthreatening helpmeet. Mr. Goldberg grew up to hold the opposite view, starting with his upbringing in progressive Minneapolis circles where “there was woman power in every aspect of our lives,” Jeffrey Dachis, a childhood friend, said in an interview.

The Goldberg parents read “The Feminine Mystique” together — in fact, Mr. Goldberg’s father introduced it to his wife, according to Ms. Sandberg’s book. In 1976, Paula Goldberg helped found a nonprofit to aid children with disabilities. Her husband, Mel, a law professor who taught at night, made the family breakfast at home.

Later, when Dave Goldberg was in high school and his prom date, Jill Chessen, stayed silent in a politics class, he chastised her afterward. He said, “You need to speak up,” Ms. Chessen recalled in an interview. “They need to hear your voice.”

Years later, when Karin Gilford, an early employee at Launch Media, Mr. Goldberg’s digital music company, became a mother, he knew exactly what to do. He kept giving her challenging assignments, she recalled, but also let her work from home one day a week. After Yahoo acquired Launch, Mr. Goldberg became known for distributing roses to all the women in the office on Valentine’s Day.

Ms. Sandberg, who often describes herself as bossy-in-a-good-way, enchanted him when they became friendly in the mid-1990s. He “was smitten with her,” Ms. Chessen remembered. Ms. Sandberg was dating someone else, but Mr. Goldberg still hung around, even helping her and her then-boyfriend move, recalled Bob Roback, a friend and co-founder of Launch. When they finally married in 2004, friends remember thinking how similar the two were, and that the qualities that might have made Ms. Sandberg intimidating to some men drew Mr. Goldberg to her even more.

Over the next decade, Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Sandberg pioneered new ways of capturing information online, had a son and then a daughter, became immensely wealthy, and hashed out their who-does-what-in-this-marriage issues. Mr. Goldberg’s commute from the Bay Area to Los Angeles became a strain, so he relocated, later joking that he “lost the coin flip” of where they would live. He paid the bills, she planned the birthday parties, and both often left their offices at 5:30 so they could eat dinner with their children before resuming work afterward.

Friends in Silicon Valley say they were careful to conduct their careers separately, politely refusing when outsiders would ask one about the other’s work: Ms. Sandberg’s role building Facebook into an information and advertising powerhouse, and Mr. Goldberg at SurveyMonkey, which made polling faster and cheaper. But privately, their work was intertwined. He often began statements to his team with the phrase “Well, Sheryl said” sharing her business advice. He counseled her, too, starting with her salary negotiations with Mark Zuckerberg.

“I wanted Mark to really feel he stretched to get Sheryl, because she was worth it,” Mr. Goldberg explained in a 2013 “60 Minutes” interview, his Minnesota accent and his smile intact as he offered a rare peek of the intersection of marriage and money at the top of corporate life.

 

 

While his wife grew increasingly outspoken about women’s advancement, Mr. Goldberg quietly advised the men in the office on family and partnership matters, an associate said. Six out of 16 members of SurveyMonkey’s management team are female, an almost unheard-of ratio among Silicon Valley “unicorns,” or companies valued at over $1 billion.

When Mellody Hobson, a friend and finance executive, wrote a chapter of “Lean In” about women of color for the college edition of the book, Mr. Goldberg gave her feedback on the draft, a clue to his deep involvement. He joked with Ms. Hobson that she was too long-winded, like Ms. Sandberg, but aside from that, he said he loved the chapter, she said in an interview.

By then, Mr. Goldberg was a figure of fascination who inspired a “where can I get one of those?” reaction among many of the women who had read the best seller “Lean In.” Some lamented that Ms. Sandberg’s advice hinged too much on marrying a Dave Goldberg, who was humble enough to plan around his wife, attentive enough to worry about which shoes his young daughter would wear, and rich enough to help pay for the help that made the family’s balancing act manageable.

Now that he is gone, and Ms. Sandberg goes from being half of a celebrated partnership to perhaps the business world’s most prominent single mother, the pages of “Lean In” carry a new sting of loss.

“We are never at 50-50 at any given moment — perfect equality is hard to define or sustain — but we allow the pendulum to swing back and forth between us,” she wrote in 2013, adding that they were looking forward to raising teenagers together.

“Fortunately, I have Dave to figure it out with me,” she wrote.

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class

WASHINGTON — The last three men to win the Republican nomination have been the prosperous son of a president (George W. Bush), a senator who could not recall how many homes his family owned (John McCain of Arizona; it was seven) and a private equity executive worth an estimated $200 million (Mitt Romney).

The candidates hoping to be the party’s nominee in 2016 are trying to create a very different set of associations. On Sunday, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, joined the presidential field.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk, as he urges audiences not to forget “the workers in our hotel kitchens, the landscaping crews in our neighborhoods, the late-night janitorial staff that clean our offices.”

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a preacher’s son, posts on Twitter about his ham-and-cheese sandwiches and boasts of his coupon-clipping frugality. His $1 Kohl’s sweater has become a campaign celebrity in its own right.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky laments the existence of “two Americas,” borrowing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase to describe economically and racially troubled communities like Ferguson, Mo., and Detroit.

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Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Some say, ‘But Democrats care more about the poor,’ ” Mr. Paul likes to say. “If that’s true, why is black unemployment still twice white unemployment? Why has household income declined by $3,500 over the past six years?”

We are in the midst of the Empathy Primary — the rhetorical battleground shaping the Republican presidential field of 2016.

Harmed by the perception that they favor the wealthy at the expense of middle-of-the-road Americans, the party’s contenders are each trying their hardest to get across what the elder George Bush once inelegantly told recession-battered voters in 1992: “Message: I care.”

Their ability to do so — less bluntly, more sincerely — could prove decisive in an election year when power, privilege and family connections will loom large for both parties.

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Questions of understanding and compassion cost Republicans in the last election. Mr. Romney, who memorably dismissed the “47 percent” of Americans as freeloaders, lost to President Obama by 63 percentage points among voters who cast their ballots for the candidate who “cares about people like me,” according to exit polls.

And a Pew poll from February showed that people still believe Republicans are indifferent to working Americans: 54 percent said the Republican Party does not care about the middle class.

That taint of callousness explains why Senator Ted Cruz of Texas declared last week that Republicans “are and should be the party of the 47 percent” — and why another son of a president, Jeb Bush, has made economic opportunity the centerpiece of his message.

With his pedigree and considerable wealth — since he left the Florida governor’s office almost a decade ago he has earned millions of dollars sitting on corporate boards and advising banks — Mr. Bush probably has the most complicated task making the argument to voters that he understands their concerns.

On a visit last week to Puerto Rico, Mr. Bush sounded every bit the populist, railing against “elites” who have stifled economic growth and innovation. In the kind of economy he envisions leading, he said: “We wouldn’t have the middle being squeezed. People in poverty would have a chance to rise up. And the social strains that exist — because the haves and have-nots is the big debate in our country today — would subside.”

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Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)?

Republicans’ emphasis on poorer and working-class Americans now represents a shift from the party’s longstanding focus on business owners and “job creators” as the drivers of economic opportunity.

This is intentional, Republican operatives said.

In the last presidential election, Republicans rushed to defend business owners against what they saw as hostility by Democrats to successful, wealthy entrepreneurs.

“Part of what you had was a reaction to the Democrats’ dehumanization of business owners: ‘Oh, you think you started your plumbing company? No you didn’t,’ ” said Grover Norquist, the conservative activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

But now, Mr. Norquist said, Republicans should move past that. “Focus on the people in the room who know someone who couldn’t get a job, or a promotion, or a raise because taxes are too high or regulations eat up companies’ time,” he said. “The rich guy can take care of himself.”

Democrats argue that the public will ultimately see through such an approach because Republican positions like opposing a minimum-wage increase and giving private banks a larger role in student loans would hurt working Americans.

“If Republican candidates are just repeating the same tired policies, I’m not sure that smiling while saying it is going to be enough,” said Guy Cecil, a Democratic strategist who is joining a “super PAC” working on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Republicans have already attacked Mrs. Clinton over the wealth and power she and her husband have accumulated, caricaturing her as an out-of-touch multimillionaire who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and has not driven a car since 1996.

Mr. Walker hit this theme recently on Fox News, pointing to Mrs. Clinton’s lucrative book deals and her multiple residences. “This is not someone who is connected with everyday Americans,” he said. His own net worth, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is less than a half-million dollars; Mr. Walker also owes tens of thousands of dollars on his credit cards.

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But showing off a cheap sweater or boasting of a bootstraps family background not only helps draw a contrast with Mrs. Clinton’s latter-day affluence, it is also an implicit argument against Mr. Bush.

Mr. Walker, who featured a 1998 Saturn with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer in a 2010 campaign ad during his first run for governor, likes to talk about flipping burgers at McDonald’s as a young person. His mother, he has said, grew up on a farm with no indoor plumbing until she was in high school.

Mr. Rubio, among the least wealthy members of the Senate, with an estimated net worth of around a half-million dollars, uses his working-class upbringing as evidence of the “exceptionalism” of America, “where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

Mr. Cruz alludes to his family’s dysfunction — his parents, he says, were heavy drinkers — and recounts his father’s tale of fleeing Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey notes that his father paid his way through college working nights at an ice cream plant.

But sometimes the attempts at projecting authenticity can seem forced. Mr. Christie recently found himself on the defensive after telling a New Hampshire audience, “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man.” Tax returns showed that he and his wife, a longtime Wall Street executive, earned nearly $700,000 in 2013.

The story of success against the odds is a political classic, even if it is one the Republican Party has not been able to tell for a long time. Ronald Reagan liked to say that while he had not been born on the wrong side of the tracks, he could always hear the whistle. Richard Nixon was fond of reminding voters how he was born in a house his father had built.

“Probably the idea that is most attractive to an average voter, and an idea that both Republicans and Democrats try to craft into their messages, is this idea that you can rise from nothing,” said Charles C. W. Cooke, a writer for National Review.

There is a certain delight Republicans take in turning that message to their advantage now.

“That’s what Obama did with Hillary,” Mr. Cooke said. “He acknowledged it openly: ‘This is ridiculous. Look at me, this one-term senator with dark skin and all of America’s unsolved racial problems, running against the wife of the last Democratic president.”

G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

As Vice Moves More to TV, It Tries to Keep Brash Voice

The live music at the Vice Media party on Friday shook the room. Shane Smith, Vice’s chief executive, was standing near the stage — with a drink in his hand, pants sagging, tattoos showing — watching the rapper-cum-chef Action Bronson make pizzas.

The event was an after-party, a happy-hour bacchanal for the hundreds of guests who had come for Vice’s annual presentation to advertisers and agencies that afternoon, part of the annual frenzy for ad dollars called the Digital Content NewFronts. Mr. Smith had spoken there for all of five minutes before running a slam-bang highlight reel of the company’s shows that had titles like “Weediquette” and “Gaycation.”

In the last year, Vice has secured $500 million in financing and signed deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars with established media companies like HBO that are eager to engage the young viewers Vice attracts. Vice said it was now worth at least $4 billion, with nearly $1 billion in projected revenue for 2015. It is a long way from Vice’s humble start as a free magazine in 1994.

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At the Vice after-party, the rapper Action Bronson, a host of a Vice show, made a pizza. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

But even as cash flows freely in Vice’s direction, the company is trying to keep its brash, insurgent image. At the party on Friday, it plied guests with beers and cocktails. Its apparently unrehearsed presentation to advertisers was peppered with expletives. At one point, the director Spike Jonze, a longtime Vice collaborator, asked on stage if Mr. Smith had been drinking.

“My assistant tried to cut me off,” Mr. Smith replied. “I’m on buzz control.”

Now, Vice is on the verge of getting its own cable channel, which would give the company a traditional outlet for its slate of non-news programming. If all goes as planned, A&E Networks, the television group owned by Hearst and Disney, will turn over its History Channel spinoff, H2, to Vice.

The deal’s announcement was expected last week, but not all of A&E’s distribution partners — the cable and satellite TV companies that carry the network’s channels — have signed off on the change, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

A cable channel would be a further step in a transformation for Vice, from bad-boy digital upstart to mainstream media company.

Keen for the core audience of young men who come to Vice, media giants like 21st Century Fox, Time Warner and Disney all showed interest in the company last year. Vice ultimately secured $500 million in financing from A&E Networks and Technology Crossover Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has invested in Facebook and Netflix.

Those investments valued Vice at more than $2.5 billion. (In 2013, Fox bought a 5 percent stake for $70 million.)

Then in March, HBO announced that it had signed a multiyear deal to broadcast a daily half-hour Vice newscast. Vice already produces a weekly newsmagazine show, called “Vice,” for the network. That show will extend its run through 2018, with an increase to 35 episodes a year, from 14.

Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president for programming, said when the deal was announced that it was “certainly one of our biggest investments with hours on the air.”

Vice, based in Brooklyn, also recently signed a multiyear $100 million deal with Rogers Communications, a Canadian media conglomerate, to produce original content for TV, smartphone and desktop viewers.

Vice’s finances are private, but according to an internal document reviewed by The New York Times and verified by a person familiar with the company’s financials, the company is on track to make about $915 million in revenue this year.

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Vice showed a highlight reel of its TV series at the NewFronts last week in New York. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

It brought in $545 million in a strong first quarter, which included portions of the new HBO deal and the Rogers deal, according to the document. More of its revenue now comes from these types of content partnerships, compared with the branded content deals that made up much of its revenue a year ago, the company said.

Mr. Smith said the company was worth at least $4 billion. If the valuation gets much higher, he said he would consider taking the company public.

“I don’t care about money; we have plenty of money,” Mr. Smith, who is Vice’s biggest shareholder, said in an interview after the presentation on Friday. “I care about strategic deals.”

In the United States, Vice Media had 35.2 million unique visitors across its sites in March, according to comScore.

The third season of Vice’s weekly HBO show has averaged 1.8 million viewers per episode, including reruns, through April 12, according to Brad Adgate, the director of research at Horizon Media. (Vice said the show attracted three million weekly viewers when repeat broadcasts, online and on-demand viewings were included.)

For years, Mr. Smith has criticized traditional TV, calling it slow and unable to draw younger viewers. But if all the deals Vice has struck are to work out, Mr. Smith may have to play more by the rules of traditional media. James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son and a member of Vice’s board, was at the company’s presentation on Friday, as were other top media executives.

“They know they need people like me to help them, but they can’t get out of their own way,” Mr. Smith said in the interview Friday. “My only real frustration is we’re used to being incredibly dynamic, and they’re not incredibly dynamic.”

With its own television channel in the United States, Vice would have something it has long coveted even as traditional media companies are looking beyond TV. Last year, Vice’s deal with Time Warner failed in part because the two companies could not agree on how much control Vice would have over a 24-hour television network.

Vice said it intended to fill its new channel with non-news programming. The company plans to have sports shows, fashion shows, food shows and the “Gaycation” travel show with the actress Ellen Page. It is also in talks with Kanye West about a show.

It remains to be seen whether Vice’s audience will watch a traditional cable channel. Still, Vice has effectively presold all of the ad spots to two of the biggest advertising agencies for the first three years, Mr. Smith said.

In the meantime, Mr. Smith is enjoying Vice’s newfound role as a potential savior of traditional media companies.

“I’m a C.E.O. of a content company,” Mr. Smith said before he caught a flight to Las Vegas for the boxing match on Saturday between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. “If it stops being fun, then why are you doing it?”

As Vice Moves More to TV, It Tries to Keep Brash Voice | 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

Verne Gagne, Wrestler Who Grappled Through Two Eras, Dies at 89

Gagne wrestled professionally from the late 1940s until the 1980s and was a transitional figure between the early 20th century barnstormers and the steroidal sideshows of today

Verne Gagne, Wrestler Who Grappled Through Two Eras, Dies at 89 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Sid Tepper Dies at 96; Delivered ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’ and Other Songs

Mr. Tepper was not a musical child and had no formal training, but he grew up to write both lyrics and tunes, trading off duties with the other member of the team, Roy C. Bennett.

Sid Tepper Dies at 96; Delivered ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’ and Other Songs | 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

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

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.”

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Ex-C.I.A. Official Rebuts Republican Claims on Benghazi Attack in ‘The Great War of Our Time’

WASHINGTON — The former deputy director of the C.I.A. asserts in a forthcoming book that Republicans, in their eagerness to politicize the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, repeatedly distorted the agency’s analysis of events. But he also argues that the C.I.A. should get out of the business of providing “talking points” for administration officials in national security events that quickly become partisan, as happened after the Benghazi attack in 2012.

The official, Michael J. Morell, dismisses the allegation that the United States military and C.I.A. officers “were ordered to stand down and not come to the rescue of their comrades,” and he says there is “no evidence” to support the charge that “there was a conspiracy between C.I.A. and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the president and Secretary Clinton,” referring to the secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But he also concludes that the White House itself embellished some of the talking points provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and had blocked him from sending an internal study of agency conclusions to Congress.

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Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“I finally did so without asking,” just before leaving government, he writes, and after the White House released internal emails to a committee investigating the State Department’s handling of the issue.

A lengthy congressional investigation remains underway, one that many Republicans hope to use against Mrs. Clinton in the 2016 election cycle.

In parts of the book, “The Great War of Our Time” (Twelve), Mr. Morell praises his C.I.A. colleagues for many successes in stopping terrorist attacks, but he is surprisingly critical of other C.I.A. failings — and those of the National Security Agency.

Soon after Mr. Morell retired in 2013 after 33 years in the agency, President Obama appointed him to a commission reviewing the actions of the National Security Agency after the disclosures of Edward J. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor who released classified documents about the government’s eavesdropping abilities. Mr. Morell writes that he was surprised by what he found.

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“You would have thought that of all the government entities on the planet, the one least vulnerable to such grand theft would have been the N.S.A.,” he writes. “But it turned out that the N.S.A. had left itself vulnerable.”

He concludes that most Wall Street firms had better cybersecurity than the N.S.A. had when Mr. Snowden swept information from its systems in 2013. While he said he found himself “chagrined by how well the N.S.A. was doing” compared with the C.I.A. in stepping up its collection of data on intelligence targets, he also sensed that the N.S.A., which specializes in electronic spying, was operating without considering the implications of its methods.

“The N.S.A. had largely been collecting information because it could, not necessarily in all cases because it should,” he says.

The book is to be released next week.

Mr. Morell was a career analyst who rose through the ranks of the agency, and he ended up in the No. 2 post. He served as President George W. Bush’s personal intelligence briefer in the first months of his presidency — in those days, he could often be spotted at the Starbucks in Waco, Tex., catching up on his reading — and was with him in the schoolhouse in Florida on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the Bush presidency changed in an instant.

Mr. Morell twice took over as acting C.I.A. director, first when Leon E. Panetta was appointed secretary of defense and then when retired Gen. David H. Petraeus resigned over an extramarital affair with his biographer, a relationship that included his handing her classified notes of his time as America’s best-known military commander.

Mr. Morell says he first learned of the affair from Mr. Petraeus only the night before he resigned, and just as the Benghazi events were turning into a political firestorm. While praising Mr. Petraeus, who had told his deputy “I am very lucky” to run the C.I.A., Mr. Morell writes that “the organization did not feel the same way about him.” The former general “created the impression through the tone of his voice and his body language that he did not want people to disagree with him (which was not true in my own interaction with him),” he says.

But it is his account of the Benghazi attacks — and how the C.I.A. was drawn into the debate over whether the Obama White House deliberately distorted its account of the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — that is bound to attract attention, at least partly because of its relevance to the coming presidential election. The initial assessments that the C.I.A. gave to the White House said demonstrations had preceded the attack. By the time analysts reversed their opinion, Susan E. Rice, now the national security adviser, had made a series of statements on Sunday talk shows describing the initial assessment. The controversy and other comments Ms. Rice made derailed Mr. Obama’s plan to appoint her as secretary of state.

The experience prompted Mr. Morell to write that the C.I.A. should stay out of the business of preparing talking points — especially on issues that are being seized upon for “political purposes.” He is critical of the State Department for not beefing up security in Libya for its diplomats, as the C.I.A., he said, did for its employees.

But he concludes that the assault in which the ambassador was killed took place “with little or no advance planning” and “was not well organized.” He says the attackers “did not appear to be looking for Americans to harm. They appeared intent on looting and conducting some vandalism,” setting fires that killed Mr. Stevens and a security official, Sean Smith.

Mr. Morell paints a picture of an agency that was struggling, largely unsuccessfully, to understand dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa when the Arab Spring broke out in late 2011 in Tunisia. The agency’s analysts failed to see the forces of revolution coming — and then failed again, he writes, when they told Mr. Obama that the uprisings would undercut Al Qaeda by showing there was a democratic pathway to change.

“There is no good explanation for our not being able to see the pressures growing to dangerous levels across the region,” he writes. The agency had again relied too heavily “on a handful of strong leaders in the countries of concern to help us understand what was going on in the Arab street,” he says, and those leaders themselves were clueless.

Moreover, an agency that has always overvalued secretly gathered intelligence and undervalued “open source” material “was not doing enough to mine the wealth of information available through social media,” he writes. “We thought and told policy makers that this outburst of popular revolt would damage Al Qaeda by undermining the group’s narrative,” he writes.

Instead, weak governments in Egypt, and the absence of governance from Libya to Yemen, were “a boon to Islamic extremists across both the Middle East and North Africa.”

Mr. Morell is gentle about most of the politicians he dealt with — he expresses admiration for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, though he accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney of deliberately implying a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq that the C.I.A. had concluded probably did not exist. But when it comes to the events leading up to the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq, he is critical of his own agency.

Mr. Morell concludes that the Bush White House did not have to twist intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s alleged effort to rekindle the country’s work on weapons of mass destruction.

“The view that hard-liners in the Bush administration forced the intelligence community into its position on W.M.D. is just flat wrong,” he writes. “No one pushed. The analysts were already there and they had been there for years, long before Bush came to office.”

Ex-C.I.A. Official Rebuts Republican Claims on Benghazi Attack in ‘The Great War of Our Time’ | 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

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

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

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71

A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias

Late in April, after Native American actors walked off in disgust from the set of Adam Sandler’s latest film, a western sendup that its distributor, Netflix, has defended as being equally offensive to all, a glow of pride spread through several Native American communities.

Tantoo Cardinal, a Canadian indigenous actress who played Black Shawl in “Dances With Wolves,” recalled thinking to herself, “It’s come.” Larry Sellers, who starred as Cloud Dancing in the 1990s television show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” thought, “It’s about time.” Jesse Wente, who is Ojibwe and directs film programming at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, found himself encouraged and surprised. There are so few film roles for indigenous actors, he said, that walking off the set of a major production showed real mettle.

But what didn’t surprise Mr. Wente was the content of the script. According to the actors who walked off the set, the film, titled “The Ridiculous Six,” included a Native American woman who passes out and is revived after white men douse her with alcohol, and another woman squatting to urinate while lighting a peace pipe. “There’s enough history at this point to have set some expectations around these sort of Hollywood depictions,” Mr. Wente said.

The walkout prompted a rhetorical “What do you expect from an Adam Sandler film?,” and a Netflix spokesman said that in the movie, blacks, Mexicans and whites were lampooned as well. But Native American actors and critics said a broader issue was at stake. While mainstream portrayals of native peoples have, Mr. Wente said, become “incrementally better” over the decades, he and others say, they remain far from accurate and reflect a lack of opportunities for Native American performers. What’s more, as Native Americans hunger for representation on screen, critics say the absence of three-dimensional portrayals has very real off-screen consequences.

“Our people are still healing from historical trauma,” said Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked out. “Our youth are still trying to figure out who they are, where they fit in this society. Kids are killing themselves. They’re not proud of who they are.” They also don’t, he added, see themselves on prime time television or the big screen. Netflix noted while about five people walked off the “The Ridiculous Six” set, 100 or so Native American actors and extras stayed.

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But in interviews, nearly a dozen Native American actors and film industry experts said that Mr. Sandler’s humor perpetuated decades-old negative stereotypes. Mr. Anthony said such depictions helped feed the despondency many Native Americans feel, with deadly results: Native Americans have the highest suicide rate out of all the country’s ethnicities.

The on-screen problem is twofold, Mr. Anthony and others said: There’s a paucity of roles for Native Americans — according to the Screen Actors Guild in 2008 they accounted for 0.3 percent of all on-screen parts (those figures have yet to be updated), compared to about 2 percent of the general population — and Native American actors are often perceived in a narrow way.

In his Peabody Award-winning documentary “Reel Injun,” the Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond explored Hollywood depictions of Native Americans over the years, and found they fell into a few stereotypical categories: the Noble Savage, the Drunk Indian, the Mystic, the Indian Princess, the backward tribal people futilely fighting John Wayne and manifest destiny. While the 1990 film “Dances With Wolves” won praise for depicting Native Americans as fully fleshed out human beings, not all indigenous people embraced it. It was still told, critics said, from the colonialists’ point of view. In an interview, John Trudell, a Santee Sioux writer, actor (“Thunderheart”) and the former chairman of the American Indian Movement, described the film as “a story of two white people.”

“God bless ‘Dances with Wolves,’ ” Michael Horse, who played Deputy Hawk in “Twin Peaks,” said sarcastically. “Even ‘Avatar.’ Someone’s got to come save the tribal people.”

Dan Spilo, a partner at Industry Entertainment who represents Adam Beach, one of today’s most prominent Native American actors, said while typecasting dogs many minorities, it is especially intractable when it comes to Native Americans. Casting directors, he said, rarely cast them as police officers, doctors or lawyers. “There’s the belief that the Native American character should be on reservations or riding a horse,” he said.

“We don’t see ourselves,” Mr. Horse said. “We’re still an antiquated culture to them, and to the rest of the world.”

Ms. Cardinal said she was once turned down for the role of the wife of a child-abusing cop because the filmmakers felt that casting her would somehow be “too political.”

Another sore point is the long run of white actors playing American Indians, among them Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn and, more recently, Johnny Depp, whose depiction of Tonto in the 2013 film “Lone Ranger,” was viewed as racist by detractors. There are, of course, exceptions. The former A&E series “Longmire,” which, as it happens, will now be on Netflix, was roundly praised for its depiction of life on a Northern Cheyenne reservation, with Lou Diamond Phillips, who is of Cherokee descent, playing a Northern Cheyenne man.

Others also point to the success of Mr. Beach, who played a Mohawk detective in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and landed a starring role in the forthcoming D C Comics picture “Suicide Squad.” Mr. Beach said he had come across insulting scripts backed by people who don’t see anything wrong with them.

“I’d rather starve than do something that is offensive to my ancestral roots,” Mr. Beach said. “But I think there will always be attempts to drawn on the weakness of native people’s struggles. The savage Indian will always be the savage Indian. The white man will always be smarter and more cunning. The cavalry will always win.”

The solution, Mr. Wente, Mr. Trudell and others said, lies in getting more stories written by and starring Native Americans. But Mr. Wente noted that while independent indigenous film has blossomed in the last two decades, mainstream depictions have yet to catch up. “You have to stop expecting for Hollywood to correct it, because there seems to be no ability or desire to correct it,” Mr. Wente said.

There have been calls to boycott Netflix but, writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, which first broke news of the walk off, the filmmaker Brian Young noted that the distributor also offered a number of films by or about Native Americans.

The furor around “The Ridiculous Six” may drive more people to see it. Then one of the questions that Mr. Trudell, echoing others, had about the film will be answered: “Who the hell laughs at this stuff?”

Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

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