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Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo (Jokowi) akan melantik Kepala Puskesmas dan Kepala Sekolah SMA/SMK di Balai Kota DKI Jakarta, Jumat (21/3). Mereka juga merupakan hasil seleksi dan lelang jabatan.
Kepala Badan Kepegawaian Daerah (BKD) DKI Jakarta I Made Karmayoga juga mengatakan, pelantikan akan langsung dilakukan oleh Jokowi. Sebelumnya pelantikan hanya dilakukan oleh masing-masing kepala dinas.
"Selanjutnya pelantikan, hari Jumat jam 3. Teragenda di Pak Gubernur, dan ini mungkin pelantikan yang pertama bagi kepsek dan kepala Puskesmas yang dilantik oleh Pak Gubernur sendiri," katanya di Balai Kota DKI Jakarta, Rabu (19/3).
Berdasarkan data BKD, kepala SMA yang akan dilantik sebanyak 117 orang, 63 kepala SMK dan 44 kepala Puskesmas. Setelah dilantik, mereka juga akan mulai bekerja pada Senin pekan depan.
"Itu lah konsen dan keseriusan Pak Gubernur, untuk terus membenahi dan meningkatkan mutu pendidikan dan juga untuk Puskesmas mutu pelayanan kesehatan sesuai standar ibu kota," ujarnya.
Sebelumnya, ratusan kepala SMK/SMA dan kepala Puskesmas ini juga mengikuti public hearing di Balai Kota DKI Jakarta, hari ini. Dalam kesempatan itu juga dihadiri oleh Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo.
Pemprov DKI Jakarta sengaja telah menerapkan pola baru dalam mengangkat pejabatnya. Sehingga tidak lagi mengenal istilah like and dislike.
"Ini pola baru yang kita kenalkan, jangan sampai nanti diangkat karena dekat dengan saya, foto dengan saya, juga jangan berpendapat jangan oh ada politik, harus profesional, bukan karena suka dan tidak suka," kata Jokowi.
Kreatifitas terkadang diartikan
sebagai, pelanggaran aturan.
Kreativitas, terkadang, muncul sebagai sesuatu aksi yang dapat tidak tepat waktu, sesuatu yang tidak terduga. Kreativitas dapat dibentuk dengan melatih pengendalian kekuatan otak dengan membebaskan dari suatu “keterikatan”. Tanpa kreativitas maka manusia hanyalah akan menjadi robot yang hidup.
Istilah Berpikir Lateral digunakan oleh Edward de Bono, seorang psikolog dari Malta, sebagai judul bukunya Berpikir Lateral, yang diterbitkan pada tahun 1967. De Bono mendefinisikan berpikir lateral sebagai suatu metoda berpikir yang lebih menitik beratkan kepada perubahan konsep dan persepsi.Berpikir lateral merupakan sebuah landasan bahwa sesuatu tidak harus menjadi jelas dengan segera dan menghasilkan ide yang tidak dapat dihasilkan dengan metoda berpikir tradisional.
Sistem tradisional telah mendefiniskan bahwa berpikir yang baik adalah sebagai suatu masalah kemampuan kognitif atau ketrampilan berpikir. Maka kini kita memiliki dua istilah: “kemampuan kognitif” dan “ketrampilan berpikir”. Kemampuan kognitif akan dipengaruhi oleh pola berpikir, atau suatu kumpulan persepsi yang dibentuk dari pengalaman atau pelajaran masa lalu. Ketrampilan berpikir merupakan kemapuan untuk menggunakan kumpulan pola berpikir. Kemudian kemampuan kognitif akan berkembang menjadi berpikir vertikal, sedangkan ketrampilan berpikir akan menjadi berpikir lateral. Dengan meningkatkan kemampuan kedua macam berpkir tersebut maka, seseorang akan dapat menjadi Pemikir yang baik.
Berpikir Lateral dan kreativitas
Ide yang baru merupakan hasil dari berpikir lateral, dan kadang bukan sesuatu yang dapat membantu seseorang, tetapi ketika ide yang bagus ditemukan, biasanya bukan atas hasil yang secara jelas terlihat namun bisa saja muncul sebagai sesuatu yang tidak mungkin dan dimunculkan dalam bentuk humor. Maka ide yang dihasilkan dari dari cara berpikir yang ada, akan disebut sebagai Kreativitas.
Berpikir Lateral sebagai penyempurna cara berpikir
Seperti telah dikemukakan di atas bahwa pemikir harus memiliki kemampuan kognitif dan ketrampilan berpikir. Hal tersebut kemudian akan membentuk seperti sebuah lingkaran setan. Ketika seseorang telah berhasil keluar dari kotak pembatas, berpikir lateral akan telah menunjukkan kerjanya sebagai sebuah mesin pencari, dengan berbagai jalan pada cara berpikir dan ide-ide. Kemudian hal tersebut harus dilanjutkan oleh kemampuan berpikir untuk meneliti hingga ke dalam hingga mencapai hasil. Namun ketika hasil telah didapat, hal itu juga merupakan akhir dari fase kerja kemampuan kognitif yang harus segera dilanjutkan dengan ketrampilan berpikir.
Teknik de Bono dalam berpikir lateral
Wikipedia telah menerangkan mengenai teknk
yang digunakan untuk melatih berpikir lateral. Ada beberapa lata mental atau metoda yang dapat
digunakan untuk meningjkatkan berpikir lateral. Hal tersebut seperti:
Masukan Acak: Pilih suatu obyek secara acak, bisa kata benda atau kata dari kamus, dan hubungkan dengan sesuatu yang sedang dipikirkan. Metoda ini juga dinamakan sebagai Method_of_focal_objects.
Provokasi: Nyatakan persepsi yang umum diluar batasnya atau gunakan alternatif provokasi terhadap situasi umum yang sedang dibahas. Hal ini akan memancing adanya persepsi baru.
Tantangan: Lakukan tantangan terhadap sesuatu kebiasaan. Hal ini dilakukan tidak untuk menyatakan bahwa cara yang ada sekarang bermasalah tetapi hanya untuk menuntun agar persepsi yang ada terlepas dan membangkitkan adanya persepsi yang baru.
Bagaimana cara meningkatkan ketrampilan berpikir atau berpikir lateral?
Biasanya kekampuan kognitif akan dihasilkan dari sekolahan, kehidupan sehari-hari atau informasi yang dikumpulkan dari berbagai cara. Tetapi ketrampilan berpikir haruslah dari latihan dan kesadaran haruslah tersedia terlebih dahulu sebagai dasarnya. Kesadaran akan melepaskan seseorang dari Kemelekatan, dimana kemelekatan akan membimbing seseorang kepada pola yang tertentu. Ketika seseorang telah berada dalam kondisi yang bebas, maka adanya ide yang baru akan dapat diterima dan dibuka. Dengan menerima ide yang baru atau membuka pola berpikir baru, maka berpikir lateral telah dilatih.
“Berpikir lateral ditandai dengan adanya perpindahan pola berpikir,
dari pola berpikir yang terduga atau yang selaras,
menuju kepada ide yang tidak terduga”
Saudara yang budiman.
Dalam melakukan ibadah haji terdapat tiga cara, yaitu : TAMATTU', QIRAN dan IFRAD.
Haji Tammatu' ialah berihram untuk umrah pada bulan-bulan haji (Syawal, Dzul Qa'dah dan sepuluh hari pertama bulan Dzul Hijjah), dan diselesaikan umrahnya pada waktu-waktu itu. Kemudian berihram untuk haji dari Mekkah atau sekitarnya pada hari Tarwiyah (tgl 8 Dzul Hijjah) pada tahun umrahnya tersebut.
Haji Qiran ialah, berihram untuk umrah dan haji sekaligus, dan terus berihram (tidak Tahallul) kecuali pada hari nahr (tgl 10 Dzul Hijjah). Atau berihram untuk umrah terlebih dahulu, kemudian sebelum melakukan tawaf umrah memasukkan niat haji.
Haji Ifrad ialah, berihram untuk haji dari miqat, atau dari Mekkah bagi penduduk Mekkah, atau dari tempat lain di daerah miqat bagi yang tinggal disitu, kemudian tetap dalam keadaan ihramnya sampai hari nahr apabila ia membawa binatang kurban. Jika tidak membawanya maka dianjurkannya untuk membatalkan niat hajinya dan menggantinya dengan umrah, selanjutnya melakukan tawaf, sa'i, mencukur rambut dan bertahallul, sebagaiman perintah Rasul Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam terhadap orang-orang yang berihram haji tetapi tidak membawa binatang kurban. Begitu pula bagi yang melakukan haji Qiran, apabila ia tidak membawa binatang kurban, dianjurkannya untuk membatalkan niat Qiran-nya itu, dan menggantinya menjadi Umrah, sebagaimana yang tersebut diatas.
Ibadah haji yang lebih utama ialah Haji Tamattu' bagi yang tidak membawa binatang kurban, oleh karena Rasulullah Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam memerintahkan hal itu dan menekankannya kepada para sahabatnya.
CARA MELAKUKAN UMRAH
Apabila anda telah sampai di miqat, maka mandilah dan pakailah wangi-wangian jika hal itu memungkinkan, kemudian kenakanlah pakaian ihram (sarung dan selendang). Dan lebih utama apabila berwarna putih.
Bagi wanita boleh mengenakan pakaian yang ia sukai, asal tidak menampakkan perhiasan. Kemudian berniat ihram untuk umrah seraya mengucapkan :
"Labbaika 'umratan, Labbaika allahuma labbaika, labbaika laa syariikalaka labbaika, innal hamda wan ni'mata laka wal mulka laa syariika laka".
"Artinya : Ku sambut panggilan-Mu untuk melaksanakan Umrah. Ku sambut panggilan-Mu ya Ilahi, Ku sambut panggilan-Mu, Ku sambut pangggilan-Mu, tiada sekutu bagi-Mu, Ku sambut panggilan-Mu. Sesungguhnya segala puji, ni'mat dan kerajaan adalah milk-Mu, tiada sekutu bagi-Mu"
Bagi kaum pria hendaknya mengucapkan talbiyah ini dengan suara keras, sedangkan bagi wanita hendaknya mengucapkan dengan suara pelan.
Kemudian perbanyaklah membaca talbiyah. dzikir dan istighfar serta menganjurkan berbuat baik dan mencegah kemungkaran.
Apabila anda telah sampai Mekkah. Maka lakukanlah Tawaf di Ka'bah sebanyak tujuh kali putaran, anda mulai dari Hajar Aswad sambil bertakbir dan anda sudahi di Hajar Aswad itu pula. Dan bacalah dzikir serta do'a yang anda kehendaki, dan sebaiknya anda sudahi setiap putaran dengan bacaan.
"Rabbanaa aatinaa fiid dunyaa hasanah, wa fil akhirati hasanah, wa qinaa 'adzaa baannari"
"Artinya : Wahai Tuhan kami, berilah kami kebaikan di dunia dan kebaikan di akhirat, dan lindungilah kami dari siksaan api neraka".
Kemudian setelah Tawaf, lakukan shalat dua raka'at di belakang makam Ibrahim walaupun agak jauh dari tempat tersebut jika hal itu mungkin. Dan jika tidak, maka lakukanlah di tempat lain di dalam Masjid.
Kemudian keluarlah menuju Safa dan naiklah ke atasnya sambil menghadap Ka'bah, bacalah tahmid serta takbir tiga kali sambil mengangkat kedua tangan, dan bacalah do'a serta ulangilah setiap do'a tiga kali sesuai dengan sunnah Rasulullah Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, dan ucapkanlah :
"La ilaha illallah wahdahu laa syariikalahu, lahul mulku walahul hamdu wa huwa 'alaa kulli syain qadiir, la ilaha illallah wahdahu anjaza wa'dah, wa nashara 'abdah wahazamal ahzaaba wahdah"
"Artinya : Tiada Tuhan yang patut di sembah selain Allah yang Maha Esa, tiada sekutu bagi-Nya, hanya bagi-Nya segala kerajaan, dan hanya bagi-Nya segala puji, dan Dia Maha Kuasa atas segala sesuatu. Tiada Tuhan yang patut disembah selain Allah yang Esa, yang menepati janji-Nya, dan memenangkan hamba-Nya serta telah menghancurkan golongan kafir, dengan tanpa dibantu siapapun".
Ucapkanlah bacaan tersebut tiga kali, dan tak mengapa apabila anda baca kurang dari bilangan itu.
Kemudian turunlah dan lakukanlah Sa'i Umrah sebanyak tujuh kali putaran dengan berjalan cepat diantara tanda hijau, dan berjalan biasa sebelum dan sesudah tanda tersebut, kemudian naiklah anda ke atas Marwah, dan bacalah tahmid dan takbir tiga kali apabila mungkin, sebagaimana yang anda lakukan di Safa.
Dalam Tawaf atau Sa'i, tidak ada bacaan dzikir wajib yang khsusus untuk itu. Akan tetapi dibolehkan bagi yang melakukan Tawaf atau Sa'i untuk membaca dzikir dan do'a atau bacaan Al-Qur'an yang mudah baginya, dengan mengutamakan bacaan-bacaan dzikir dan do'a yang bersumber dari tuntunan Rasul Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam.
Bila anda telah selesai melakukan Sa'i, maka cukurlah dengan bersih atau pendekkan rambut kepala anda. Dengan demikian selesailah Umrah anda dan selanjutnya anda diperbolehkan melakukan hal hal yang tadinya menjadi larangan.
Apabila anda melakukan haji Tamattu', maka wajib bagi anda menyembelih kurban pada hari Nahr, yaitu seekor kambing atau sepertujuh onta/sapi, jika anda tidak mendapatkannya, maka anda wajib melakukan puasa sepuluh hari ; tiga hari diwaktu haji, dan tujuh hari setelah anda pulang ke keluarga anda.
Dan lebih utama, anda lakukan puasa tiga hari itu sebelum hari Arafah, jika anda melakukan haji Tamattu' atau Qiran.
Cara Melakukan Haji
Jika anda melakukan haji Ifrad atau Qiran, hendaklah anda berihram dari miqat yang anda lalui.
Dan jika anda tinggal di daerah miqat, maka berihramlah menurut niat anda dari tempat tersebut.
Dan jika anda melakukan haji Tammattu', maka berihramlah dari tempat tinggal anda hari Tarwiyah, yaitu pada tanggal 8 Dzul Hijjah. Mandilah dan pakailah wangi-wangian lebih dahulu sekiranya hal itu memungkinkan, kemudian kenakanlah pakaian ihram, lalu berniatlah dengan membaca :
"Labbaika hajan, Labbaika allahumma labbaika, Labbaika laa syarikalaka labbaika, innalhamda wani'mata laka walmulka, laa syarikalaka".
"Artinya : Ku sambut panggilan-Mu untuk menunaikan haji, Ku sambut panggilan-Mu ya Illahi, Ku sambut panggilan-Mu. Ku sambut panggilan-Mu, Kau yang tiada sekutu bagi-Mu, Ku sambut panggilan-Mu. Sesungguhnya segala puji, ni'mat dan kerajaan milik-Mu, tiada sekutu bagi-Mu".
Kemudian keluarlah menuju Mina, lakukanlah shalat Zhuhur, Asar, Maghrib, Isya' dan Subuh disana, dengan cara mengqashar shalat yang empat raka'at (Zhuhur, Asar dan Isya') menjadi dua raka'at pada waktunya masing-masing, tanpa jama'.
Apabila matahari telah terbit pada hari kesembilan Dzul Hijjah (esoknya), maka berangkatlah anda menuju Arafah dengan tanpa tergesa-gesa, dan hindarilah jangan sampai mengganggu sesama jama'ah haji. Dan di Arafah lakukan shalat Zhuhur dan Asar dengan jama' Taqdim dan Qashar, dengan satu kali adzan dan dua kali iqamat.
Tentang wukuf ini, anda harus yakin bahwa anda benar-benar telah berada di dalam batas Arafah (bukan di luarnya). Dan perbanyaklah disini dzikir dan do'a, sambil menghadap kiblat dan mengangkat kedua tangan, mencontoh apa yang dilakukan Rasulullah Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam. Padang Arafah seluruhnya merupakan tempat wukuf, dan hendaklah anda tetap berada disana hingga terbenam matahari.
Apabila matahari telah terbenam, berangkatlah menuju Muzdalifah dengan tenang sambil membaca talbiyah, dan hindarilah jangan sampai mengganggu sesama muslim. Sesampainya anda di Muzdalifah, lakukanlah shalat Maghrib dan Isya' dengan jama' dan qasar. Dan hendaklah anda menetap disana hingga anda melakukan shalat Subuh. Setelah selesai shalat Subuh perbanyaklah do'a dan dzikir hingga hari tampak mulai terang, sambil menghadap kiblat dan mengangkat kedua tangan mengikuti tuntunan Rasulullah Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam.
Kemudian berangkatlah sebelum matahari terbit menuju Mina sambil membaca talbiyah. Bagi yang berudzur, seperti wanita dan orang-orang yang lemah, boleh berangkat menuju Mina pada malam itu juga setelah lewat pertengahan malam. Dan pungutlah di Mudzalifah batu-batu kecil sebanyak tujuh biji saja untuk melempar Jamrah Aqabah, adapun yang lain cukup anda pungut dari Mina. Demikian juga tujuh batu yang akan anda pergunakan untuk melempar Jamrah Aqabah pada hari raya, tak mengapa bagi anda untuk memungutnya dari Mina.
Apabila anda telah tiba di Mina, lakukanlah hal-hal dibawah ini :
Lemparlah Jamrah Aqabah, yaitu Jamrah yang terdekat dari Mekkah, dengan tujuh batu kecil secara berturut-turut sambil bertakbir pada setiap kali lemparan.
Sembelihlah kurban jika anda berkewajiban melakukannya, dan makanlah sebagian dagingnya, serta berikan sebagian besarnya kepada orang-orang fakir.
Bercukurlah dengan bersih atau pendekkan rambut anda, akan tetapi lebih utama bagi anda adalah mencukur bersih. Sedang bagi wanita cukup menggunting ujung rambutnya kira-kira sepanjang ujung jari.
Lebih utama jika ketiga perkara ini dilakukan secara tertib. Namun tak mengapa bagi anda jika anda dahulukan yang satu atas yang lain.
Apabila anda telah selesai melempar dan mencukur, berarti anda telah melaksanakan Tahallul Awal. Dan selanjutnya anda boleh mengenakan pakaian biasa dan melakukan hal-hal yang tadinya menjadi larangan ihram, kecuali berhubungan dengan istri.
Kemudian berangkatlah menuju Mekkah dan lakukanlah Tawaf Ifadah setelah itu lakukanlah Sa'i jika anda melakukan haji Tamattu', ataupun anda melakukan haji Qiran atau Ifrad, akan tetapi anda belum melakukan Sa'i setelah Tawaf Qudum. Dengan demikian anda diperbolehkan mengadakan hubungan dengan isteri.
Tawaf Ifadah ini boleh diakhirkan melakukannya setelah lewat hari-hari Mina, dan menuju Mekkah setelah melempar seluruh Jamrah.
Setelah Tawaf Ifadah pada hari Nahr, kembalilah ke Mina. Bermalamlah di sana pada malam hari Tasyriq, yaitu tanggal 11, 12, dan 13, dan tidak mengapa jika anda bermalam hanya dua malam saja.
Lemparlah ketiga Jamrah selama anda menetap dua atau tiga hari di Mina, setelah matahari tergelincir ; anda mulai dari Jamrah Ula, yaitu yang terjauh jaraknya dari Mekkah, kemudian Jamrah Wusta (tengah), dan selanjutnya Jamrah Aqabah, setiap Jamrah dengan tujuh batu kecil secara berturut-turut sambil bertakbir pada setiap kali lemparan.
Jika anda menghendaki untuk menetap selama dua hari saja, hendaklah anda meninggalkan Mina sebelum matahari terbenam di hari kedua itu. Dan jika ternyata matahari telah terbenam sebelum anda keluar dari batas Mina, maka hendaklah anda bermalam lagi pada malam hari ketiganya, dan melempar ketiga Jamrah di hari ketiga itu. Dan yang lebih utama hendaknya anda bermalam pada malam ketiga tersebut.
Bagi yang sakit atau yang lemah, boleh mewakilkan kepada orang lain untuk melempar Jamrah. Dan bagi yang mewakili boleh melempar untuk dirinya sendiri terlebih dahulu, kemudian untuk yang diwakilinya pada satu tempat Jamrah.
Apabila anda hendak kembali ke kampung setelah menyelesaikan segala amalan haji, lakukanlah Tawaf Wada'. Dan tiada kemurahan untuk meninggalkan Tawaf Wada' ini, kecuali bagi wanita yang sedang datang bulan (haidh) dan yang baru melahirkan (nifas).
[Disalin dari buku Petunjuk Jamaah Haji dan Umrah serta Penziarah Masjid Rasul Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, pengarang Kumpulan Ulama, hal 14-19, diterbitkan dan diedarkan oleh Departemen Agama, Waqaf, Daawah dan Bimbingan Islam, Saudi Arabia]
Sumber : http://www.alquran-sunnah.com
Baca Artikel Lainnya : HIKMAH DARI IBADAH HAJI ATAU RUKUN ISLAM YANG KE LIMA> MELAKSANAKAN HAJI UMRAH, KEWAJIBAN YANG BERIHRAM DAN ZIARAH KE MASJID RASUL
saco-indonesia.com, Kepolisian Resor Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, akan telah memberikan sanksi terhadap Bripka Ferry Janu anggota Kepolisian Sektor Srandakan karena telah melakukan tindakan indisipliner beberapa waktu yang lalu.
Kepala Polres (Kapolres) Bantul, AKBP Surawan di Bantul, Kamis (23/1) kemarin juga mengatakan, pihaknya juga telah menahan Bripka Ferry Janu sejak Rabu (22/1) di Markas Polres (Mapolres) Bantul, untuk kemudian akan menjalani sidang disiplin di korps kesatuan tersebut.
"Yang bersangkutan juga akan dikenakan sanksi karena sesuai dengan ketentuan dalam pasal 5 huruf A Peraturan Pemerintah Nomor 2 Tahun 2013. Intinya, dianggap telah menurunkan derajat dan martabat pemerintah dan kepolisian," kata Surawan dikutip antara.
Diberitakan sebelumnya, rumah seorang calon anggota legislatif (caleg) dari salah satu partai politik Siti Syamsiah di Ngentak, Poncosari, Srandakan telah digerebek oleh warga pada Rabu (22/1) dini hari, karena telah terdapat seorang anggota Polsek Srandakan tersebut.
Namun isu yang telah berkembang di masyarakat bahwa anggota kepolisian bersama caleg DPRD Bantul tersebut selain tidak sesuai norma, juga diduga anggota polisi tersebut merupakan salah satu tim sukses untuk pemenangan caleg tersebut.
Meski begitu, kata dia sejauh ini pihaknya juga belum dapat menyimpulkan bahwa anggota polisi tersebut sebagai salah satu tim sukses Siti Syamsiah, caleg dari Partai Demokrat dari daerah pemilihan (dapil) V Bantul.
"Kami juga belum dapat menyimpulkan, mungkin hanya dikait-kaitkan, karena keduanya memang telah berteman lama, tetapi sejauh ini belum," kata Kapolres.
Namun demikian, kata dia pihaknya juga tetap akan memberikan sanksi yang tegas jika nanti ditemukan bukti tambahan bahwa ternyata anggotanya tersebut merupakan salah satu tim sukses caleg, karena hal itu telah dilarang dalam Udang-Undang.
Ia juga telah menyebutkan sejumlah sanksi yang akan dijatuhkan terhadap anggota polisi tersebut bervariatif, mulai teguran secara tertulis, penundaan pangkat, dan sekolah, hingga penahanan, tergantung pada hasil persidangan disiplin nanti.
Sementara itu, Ketua Panitia Pengawas Pemilu (Panwaslu) Bantul Supardi juga mengatakan, pihaknya juga akan melakukan klarifikasi atas dugaan keterlibatan anggota Polsek Srandakan sebagai salah satu tim sukses terhadap caleg peserta Pemilu mendatang.
"Kami juga telah intruksikan anggota panwascam (panitia pengawas kecamatan) Srandakan, kami juga berharap tidak ada indikasi ketidaknetralan anggota Polri dalam pemilu," katanya.
Menurut dia, berdasarkan Undang-Undang Nomor 8 Tahun 2012 tentang Pemilu PNS maupun aparat yang terjun aktif dalam dunia politik terancam dikenai sanksi berupa hukuman penjara satu tahun.
> WARGA TELAH GEREBEK BINTARA POLISI DI RUMAH CALEG WANITA
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
Kabar menggembirakan bagi Mak Yati, pemulung yang menabung selama 3 tahun demi membeli kambing untuk diqurbankan. Mak Yati akan naik haji dengan menggunakan fasilitas Ongkos Naik Haji (ONH) Plus.
“Rencananya tahun depan pakai ONH plus, yang enggak nunggu lama-lama,” kata salah satu panitia yang ikut mengurusi keberangkatan Mak Yati, Agnes, kepada detikcom, Sabtu (17/11/2012).
Pemulung Naik Haji PlusAgnes menceritakan kisah Mak Yati membuat sejumlah donatur simpati hingga akhirnya berinisiatif untuk mengumulkan dana dan memberangkatkan Mak Yati dan suaminya Maman ke tanah suci Mekah.
“Dari rombongan haji dari Pak Rinaldi yang punya Radio A Dalem Tebet. Jadi sebenarnya waktu itu kan naik haji sama rombongan kebetulan ada wartawan juga. Mereka cerita-cerita lihat di internet ada pemulung ngumpulin uang 3 tahun buat beli kurban. Pak Renaldi punya inisiatif untuk ngumpulin uang. Akhirnya seluruh romobongan haji itu banyak yang saweran,” tutur Agnes.
Agnes mengatakan, para donatur akan menanggung semua ongkos naik haji Mak Yati dan Suami. Mak Yati hanya tinggal mempersiapkan kesehatan saja, “Biaya haji dia sama suaminya dan uang saku,” ucap Agnes.
Menurut Agnes, saat ini Mak Yati dan suaminya masih terkendala di administrasi,”Berhubung dia belum punya KTP makanya administrasinya dulu yang kita urus,” ujar Agnes.
Sumber : http://ibadahhaji.wordpress.com
Baca Artikel Lainnya : MASJID SUCI MASJIDIL AQSA> KISAH INSPIRATIF, PEMULUNG NAIK HAJI
WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.
But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.
The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.
The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.
“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”
The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.
What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.
Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.
“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.
Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.
Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.
Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”
By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.
Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.
White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.
The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.
As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.
“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”
Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.
“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.
The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)
But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.
Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.
“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”
Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.
Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.
The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.
The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”
Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.
Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”
Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.
While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.
An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.
“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”
An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.
“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.
But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.
“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.
In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.
One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.
But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.
JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”
In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”
That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.
But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.
“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”
THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.
In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.
“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”
They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.
They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”
Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”
The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.
Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”
The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.
Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.
The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”
Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”
Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.
For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”
Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.
The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.
But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:
WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS
“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”
One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”From T Magazine: Street Litâ€™s Power Couple | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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
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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.
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.
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