PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018





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saco-indonesia.com, Sebuah analisis baru-baru ini telah mengungkapkan bahwa dalam 20 tahun terakhir jumlah es di Alaska semakin lama semakin menurun. Data ini telah didapat dari sebuah satelit radar yang telah mengitari beberapa kawasan bumi untuk dapat memantau situasi.

Kemungkinan besar, hal tersebut telah disebabkan oleh pemanasan global atau global warming. Lebih parah lagi, ilmuwan juga mengungkapkan kondisi akan terus berlanjut hingga di tahun-tahun mendatang.

Menurut lansiran Softpedia (3/2), hasil dari penyelidikan juga mengungkapkan bahwa penurunan danau es ini juga merupakan akibat langsung dari perubahan iklim dan pergeseran kecil lainnya terkait habitat serta ekosistem di seluruh dunia.

Jika hal ini terus akan terjadi, bukan tidak mungkin bumi akan merasakan akibatnya. Suhu bumi meningkat drastis. Otomatis, udara akan terasa panas dan semakin panas dari tahun ke tahun.

Beberapa wilayah di penjuru dunia sudah merasakan suhu ekstrem yang tidak wajar. Pemanasan global benar-benar akan menghantui penduduk bumi. Akankah ini terus berlanjut?


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

ES DI ALASKA TERUS MENCAIR, BUMI DALAM BAHAYA

saco-indonesia.com, Pembersihan Bandara Internasional Adi Soemarmo, Solo, Jawa Tengah hingga Selasa siang, baru telah mencapai 70 persen. Sementara kondisi landasan pacu sebagian juga masih diselimuti abu vulkanik akibat dari letusan Gunung Kelud Jumat (14/2) lalu.

Akibatnya bandara yang telah terletak di bagian barat kota Solo tersebut belum bisa dioperasikan dari rencana semula, Rabu (19/2) pagi.

Kepala Otoritas Bandara Wilayah III, Mohammad Alwi juga mengatakan, pembukaan bandara baru juga dapat dilakukan pada Kamis (20/2) pagi, pukul 07.00 WIB. Keputusan tersebut diambil setelah pihaknya melakukan rapat dengan otoritas bandara, stakeholders, Danlanud, GM dan BMKG.

Penutupan ini telah dilakukan lantaran pembersihan landasan dan penunjang lainnya belum selesai dilakukan. Selain pengecekan kondisi bandara, pihaknya juga telah melakukan pengecekan kelayakan pesawat.

" Pesawat harus kita cek, yakni dengan inspeksi dengan boroskop, penggantian saringan filter udara, penggantian oli, kompresor wash, kemudian harus diputar motoring serta run up dengan idle power," kata Alwi kepada wartawan, Selasa (18/2).

Lebih lanjut Alwi juga mengatakan, pihaknya telah memberikan batas waktu hingga Kamis pagi, bandara bisa beroperasi kembali.

"Kita juga pastikan beberapa aspek, di antaranya aspek keamanan, sebelum bandara kita buka kembali," ujarnya.

Sementara itu General Manager PT Angkasa Pura I Bandara Adi Soemarmo, Abdullah Usman juga mengatakan, pembersihan runway sampai saat ini hampir selesai.

"Total panjang runway 2600x60 meter. Ini pembersihan tinggal kira-kira 500 meter. Semoga nanti cepat selesai," katanya.

Menurut Usman, pihaknya telah menerjunkan sebanyak 825 personel TNI AU dan masih dibantu beberapa komponen lainnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

ADI SOEMARMO TUTUP SAMPAI KAMIS

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Oleh
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Baz

Diantara Asmaul Husna yang dimiliki Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala adalah Al-Hakim yang bermakna : “Yang menetapkan Hukum, atau Yang mempunyai sifat Hikmah, di mana Allah tidak berkata dan bertindak dengan sia-sia. Oleh karena itulah semua syari’at Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala mempunyai kebaikan yang besar dan manfaat yang banyak bagi hamba-Nya di dunia seperti kebagusan hati, ketenangan jiwa dan kebaikan keadaan. Juga akibat yang baik dan kemenangan yang besar di kampung kenikmatan (akhirat) dengan melihat wajah-Nya dan mendapatkan ridha-Nya.
Demikian pula haji, sebuah ibadah tahunan yang besar yang Allah syari’atkan bagi para hamba-Nya, mempunyai berbagai manfaat yang besar dan tujuan yang besar pula, yang membawa kebaikan di dunia dan akhirat. Dan diantara hikmah ibadah haji ini adalah.

[1]. Mengikhlaskan Seluruh Ibadah
Beribadah semata-mata untuk Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala dan menghadapkan hati kepada-Nya dengan keyakinan bahwa tidak ada yang diibadahi dengan haq, kecuali Dia dan bahwa Dia adalah satu-satunya pemilik nama-nama yang indah dan sifat-sifat yang mulia. Tidak ada sekutu bagi-Nya, tidak ada yang menyerupai-Nya dan tidak ada tandingan-Nya.

Dan hal ini telah diisyaratkan dalam firman-Nya.

“Artinya : Dan ingatlah ketika Kami menempatkan tempat Baitullah untuk Ibrahim dengan menyatakan ; “Janganlah engkau menyekutukan Aku dengan apapun dan sucikan rumah-Ku ini bagi orang-orang yang thawaf, beribadah, ruku dan sujud” [Al-Hajj : 26]

Mensucikan rumah-Nya di dalam hal ini adalah dengan cara beribadah semata-mata kepada Allah di dekat rumah-Nya (Ka’bah) yang mulia, mebersihkan sekitar Ka’bah dari berhala-berhala, patung-patung, najis-najis yang Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala haramkan serta dari segala hal yang mengganggu orang-orang yang sedang menjalankan haji atau umrah atau hal-hal lain yang menyibukkan (melalaikan, -pent) dari tujuan mereka.

[2]. Mendapat Ampunan Dosa-Dosa Dan Balasan Jannah
“Dari Abu Hurairah bahwa Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda : “Satu umrah sampai umrah yang lain adalah sebagai penghapus dosa antara keduanya dan tidak ada balasan bagi haji mabrur kecuali jannah” [HR Bukhari dan Muslim, Bahjatun Nanzhirin no. 1275]

“Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu ‘anhu berkata : “Aku mendengar Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda bahwa barang siapa berhaji ke Baitullah ini karena Allah, tidak melakukan rafats dan fusuuq, niscaya ia kembali seperti hari ia dilahirkan oleh ibunya” [HR Bukhari]

Rafats : jima’ ; pendahuluannya dan ucapan kotor, Fusuuq : kemaksiatan

Sesungguhnya barangsiapa mendatangi Ka’bah, kemudian menunaikan haji atau umrah dengan baik, tanpa rafats dan fusuuq serta dengan ikhlas karena Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala semata, niscaya Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala mengampuni dosa-dosanya dan menuliskan jannah baginya. Dan hal inilah yang didambakan oleh setiap mu’min dan mu’minah yaitu meraih keberuntungan berupa jannah dan selamat dari neraka.

[3]. Menyambut Seruan Nabi Ibrahima Alaihissalam
“Dan serulah manusia untuk berhaji, niscaya mereka akan datang kepadamu dengan berjalan kaki dan mengendarai unta yang kurus yang datang dari segenap penjuru yang jauh”[Al-Hajj : 27]

Nabi Ibrahim Alaihissalam telah menyerukan (agar berhaji) kepada manusia. Dan Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala menjadikan siapa saja yang Dia kehendaki (untuk bisa) mendengar seruan Nabi Ibrahim Alaihissalam tersebut dan menyambutnya. Hal itu berlangsung semenjak zaman Nabi Ibrahim hingga sekarang.

[4]. Menyaksikan Berbagai Manfaat Bagi Kaum Muslimin
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala berfirman : “Agar supaya mereka menyaksikan berbagai manfaat bagi mereka” [Al-Hajj : 28]

Alah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala menyebutkan manfaat-manfaat dengan muthlaq (secara umum tanpa ikatan) dan mubham (tanpa penjelasan) karena banyaknya dan besarnya menafaat-manfaat yang segera terjadi dan nanti akan terjadi baik duniawi maupun ukhrawi.

Dan diantara yang terbesar adalah menyaksikan tauhid-Nya, yakni mereka beribadah kepada Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala semata-mata. Mereka datang dengan niat mencari wajah-Nya yang mulia bukan karena riya’ (dilihat orang lain) dan juga bukan karena sum’ah (dibicarakan orang lain). Bahkan mereka betauhid dan ikhlas kepada-Nya, serta mengikrarkan (tauhid) di antara hamba-hamba-Nya, dan saling menasehati di antara orang-orang yang datang (berhaji dan sebagainya,-pent) tentangnya (tauhid).

Mereka thawaaf mengelilingi Ka’bah, mengagungkan-Nya, menjalankan shalat di rumah-Nya, memohon karunia-Nya, berdo’a supaya ibadah haji mereka diterima, dosa-dosa mereka diampuni, dikembalikan dengan selamat ke nergara masing-masing dan diberi anugerah kembali lagi untuk berdo’a dan merendah diri kepda-Nya.

Mereka mengucapkan talbiyah dengan keras sehingga di dengar oleh orang yang dekat ataupun yang jauh, dan yang lain bisa mempelajarinya agar mengetahui maknanya, merasakannya, mewujudkan di dalam hati, lisan dan amalan mereka. Dan bahwa maknanya adalah : Mengikhlaskan ibadah semata-mata untuk Allah dan beriman bahwa Dia adalah ‘ilah mereka yang haq, Pencipta mereka, Pemberi rizki mereka, Yang diibadahi sewaktu haji dan lainnya.

[5]. Saling Mengenal Dan Saling Menasehati
Dan diantara hikmah haji adalah bahwa kaum muslimin bisa saling mengenal dan saling berwasiat dan menasehati dengan al-haq. Mereka datang dari segala penjuru, dari barat, timur, selatan dan utara Makkah, berkumpul di rumah Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala yang tua, di Arafah, di Muzdalifah, di Mina dan di Makkah. Mereka saling mengenal, saling menasehati, sebagian mengajari yang lain, membimbing, menolong, membantu untuk maslahat-maslahat dunia akhirat, maslahat taklim tata cara haji, shalat, zakat, maslahat bimbingan, pengarahan dan dakwah ke jala Allah.

Mereka bisa mendengar dari para ulama, apa yang bermanfaat bagi mereka yang di sana terdapat petunjuk dan bimbingan menuju jalan yang lurus, jalan kebahagiaan menuju tauhidullah dan ikhlas kepada-Nya, menuju ketaatan yang diwajibkan oleh Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala dan mengetahui kemaksiatan untuk dijauhi, dan supaya mereka mengetahui batas-batas Allah dan mereka bisa saling menolong di dalam kebaikan dan taqwa.

[6]. Mempelajari Agama Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala
Dan diantara manfaat haji yang besar adalah bahwa mereka bisa mempelajari agama Allah dilingkungan rumah Allah yang tua, dan di lingkungann masjid Nabawi dari para ulama dan pembimbing serta memberi peringatan tentang apa yang mereka tidak ketahui mengenai hukum-hukum agama, haji, umrah dan lainnya. Sehingga mereka bisa menunaikan kewajiban mereka dengan ilmu.

Dari Makkah inilah tertib ilmu itu, yaitu ilmu tauhid dan agama. Kemudian (berkembang) dari Madinah, dari seluruh jazirah ini dan dari seluruh negeri-negeri Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala yang ada ilmu dan ahli ilmu. Namun semua asalnya adalah dari sini, dari lingkungan rumah Allah yang tua.

Maka wajib bagi para ulama dan da’i, dimana saja mereka berada, terlebih lagi di lingkungan rumah Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala ini, untuk mengajari manusia, orang-orang yang menunaikan haji dan umrah, orang-orang asli dan pendatang serta para penziarah, tentang agama dan manasik haji mereka.

Seorang muslim diperintahkan untuk belajar, bagaimanapun (keadaannya) ia, dimana saja dan kapan saja ; tetapi di lingkungan rumah Allah yang tua, urusan ini (belajar agama) lebih penting dan mendesak.

Dan di antara tanda-tanda kebaikan dan kebahagian seseorang adalah belajar tentang agama Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

“Artinya : Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi bersabda : “Barangsiapa yang dikehendaki oleh Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala memperoleh kebaikan, niscaya Dia menjadikan faqih terhadap agama” [HR Bukhari, Kitab Al-Ilmi 3 bab : 14]

Di sini, di negeri Allah, di negerimu dan di negeri mana saja, jika engkau dapati seorang alim ahli syari’at Allah, maka pergunakanlah kesempatan. Janganlah engkau takabur dan malas. Karena ilmu itu tidak bisa diraih oleh orang-orang yang takabur, pemalas, lemah serta pemalu. Ilmu itu membutuhkan kesigapan dan kemauan yang tinggi.

Mundur dari menuntut ilmu, itu bukanlah sifat malu, tetapi suatu kelemahan. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala berfirman.

“Artinya : Dan Allah tidak malu dari kebenaran” [Al-Ahzab : 53]

Karenanya seorang mukmin dan mukminah yang berpandangan luas, tidak akan malu dalam bab ini ; bahkan ia maju, bertanya, menyelidiki dan menampakkan kemusykilan yang ia miliki, sehingga hilanglah kemusykilan tersebut.

[7]. Menyebarkan Ilmu
Di antara manfaat haji adalah menyebarkan ilmu kepada saudara-saudaranya yang melaksanakan ibadah haji dan teman-temannya seperjalanan, yang di mobil, di pesawat terbang, di tenda, di Mekkah dan di segala tempat. Ini adalah kesempatan yang Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala anugerahkan. Engkau bisa menyebarkan ilmu-mu dan menjelaskan apa yang engkau miliki, akan tetapi haruslah dengan apa yang engkau ketahui berdasarkan Al-Kitab dan As-Sunnah dan istimbath ahli ilmu dari keduanya. Bukan dari kebodohan dan pemikiran-pemikiran yang menyimpang dari Al-Kitab dan As-Sunnah.

[8]. Memperbanyak Ketaatan
Di antara manfaat haji adalah memperbanyak shalat dan thawaf, sebagaimana firman Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

“Artinya : Kemudian hendaklah mereka menghilangkan kotoran yang ada pada badan mereka ; hendaklah mereka menyempurnakan nadzar-nadzar mereka dan hendaklah mereka berthawaf sekeliling rumah yang tua itu (Ka’bah)” [Al-Hajj : 29]

Maka disyariatkan bagi orang yang menjalankan haji dan umrah untuk memperbanyak thawaf semampunya dan memperbanyak shalat di tanah haram. Oleh karena itu perbanyaklah shalat, qira’atul qur’an, tasbih, tahlil, dzikir. Juga perbanyaklah amar ma’ruf nahi mungkar dan da’wah kepada jalan Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala di mana banyak orang berkumpul dari Afrika, Eropa, Amerika, Asia dan lainnya. Maka wajib bagi mereka untuk mempergunakan kesempatan ini sebaik-baiknya.

[9]. Menunaikan Nadzar
Walaupun nadzar itu sebaiknya tidak dilakukan, akan tetapi seandainya seseorang telah bernadzar untuk melakukan ketaatan, maka wajib baginya untuk memenuhinya.

Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda.

“Artinya : Barangsiapa bernadzar untuk mentaati Allah, maka hendaklah dia mentaati-Nya” [HR Bukhari]

Maka apabila seseorang bernadzar di tanah haram ini berupa shalat, thawaf ataupun ibadah lainnya, maka wajib baginya untuk menunaikannya di tanah haram ini.

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala berfirman.

“Artinya : Dan hendaklah mereka menunaikan nadzar” [Al-Hajj : 29]

[10]. Menolong Dan Berbuat Baik Kepada Orang Miskin
Di antara manfaat haji adalah bisa menolong dan berbuat baik kepada orang miskin baik yang sedang menjalankan haji atau tidak di negeri yang aman ini.

Seseorang dapat mengobati orang sakit, menjenguknya, menunjukkan ke rumah sakit dan menolongnya dengan harta serta obat.

Ini semua termasuk manfaat-manfaat haji.

“Artinya : ….agar mereka menyaksikan berbagai manfaat bagi mereka” [Al-Hajj : 28]

[11]. Memperbanyak Dzikir Kepada Allah
Di negeri yang aman ini hendaklah memperbanyak dzikir kepada Allah, baik dalam keadaan berdiri, duduk dan bebaring, dengan tasbih (ucapan Subhanallah), hamdalah (ucapan Alhamdulillah), tahlil (ucapan Laa ilaaha ilallah), takbir (ucapan Allahu Akbar) dan hauqallah (ucapan Laa haula wa laa quwata illa billah).

“Artinya : Dari Abu Musa Al-As’ari Radhiyallahu ‘anhu bahwa Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda : “Perumpamaan orang yang mengingat Rabb-nya dan yang tidak mengingat-Nya adalah sebagai orang hidup dan yang mati”. [HR Bukhari, Bahjatun Nadzirin no. 1434]

[12]. Berdo’a Kepada-Nya
Di antara manfaat haji, hendaknya bersungguh-sungguh merendahkan diri dan terus menerus berdo’a kepada Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, agar Dia menerima amal, membereskan hati dan perbuatan ; agar Dia menolong untuk mengingat-Nya, bersyukur kepada-Nya dan memperbagus ibadah kepada-Nya ; agar Dia menolong untuk menunaikan kewajiban dengan sifat yang Dia ridhai serta agar Dia menolong untuk berbuat baik kepada hamba-hamba-Nya.

[13]. Menunaikan Manasik Dengan Sebaik-Baiknya
Di antara manfaat haji, hendaknya melaksanakannya dengan sesempurna mungkin, dengan sebaik-baiknya dan seikhlas mungkin baik sewaktu melakukan thawaf, sa’i, wukuf di Arafah, berada di Muzdalifah, melempar jumrah, maupun sewaktu shalat, qira’atul qur’an, berdzikir, berdo’a dan lainnya. Juga hendaknya mengupayakannya dengan kosentrasi dan ikhlas.

[14]. Menyembelih Kurban
Di antara manfaat haji adalah menyembelih (binatang) kurban, baik yang wajib tatkala berihram tammatu dan qiran, maupun tidak wajib yaitu untuk taqarrub kepada Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

Sewaktu haji wada’ Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam telah berkurban 100 ekor binatang. Para sahabat juga menyembelih kurban. Kurban itu adalah suatu ibadah, karena daging kurban dibagikan kepada orang-orang miskin dan yang membutuhkan di hari-hari Mina dan lainnya.

Demikianlah sebagian hikmah dari ibadah haji (rukun Islam yang ke lima) mudah-mudahan kita bisa mengambil manfaatnya, dan senantiasa diberi petunjuk dari Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala serta diberi kemudahan untuk menunaikannya. Amin

[Disalin dari Majalah As-Sunnah Edisi 09/Tahun III/1419H/1999M, Disadur oleh Abu Shalihah dari Majalah Al-Furqon nomor 72 hal.18-21. Penebit Yayasan Lajnah Istiqomah Surakarta, Jl. Solo – Purwodadi Km 8 Selokaton Gondangrejo – Solo 57183 ]

Sumber : http://www.alquran-sunnah.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : PANDUAN UNTUK MELAKSANAKAN IBADAH HAJI

HIKMAH DARI IBADAH HAJI ATAU RUKUN ISLAM YANG KE LIMA

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

The career criminals in genre novels don’t have money problems. If they need some, they just go out and steal it. But such financial transactions can backfire, which is what happened back in 2004 when the Texas gang in Michael

Take the Money and Run

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

Judge Patterson helped to protect the rights of Attica inmates after the prison riot in 1971 and later served on the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Robert Patterson Jr., Lawyer and Judge Who Fought for the Accused, Dies at 91

The magical quality Mr. Lesnie created in shooting the “Babe” films caught the eye of the director Peter Jackson, who chose him to film the fantasy epic.

Andrew Lesnie, Cinematographer of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ Dies at 59

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

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

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

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

Mr. Lechleider helped invent DSL technology, which enabled phone companies to offer high-speed web access over their infrastructure of copper wires.

Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82

Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.

The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.

In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.

Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.

Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.

Audio

The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.

In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.

“The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”

Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.

The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.

“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.

Audio

Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.

Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.

At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.

“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.

In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Audio

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.

In 2010, the Woody Guthrie Foundation received 18 oversize phonograph disks from an anonymous donor. No one knew if any of the dirt-stained recordings featured Guthrie, but Tiffany Colannino, then the foundation’s archivist, had stored them unplayed until she heard about Irene.

Last fall, the center extracted audio from one of the records, labeled “Jam Session 9” and emailed the digital file to Ms. Colannino.

“I was just sitting in my dining room, and the next thing I know, I’m hearing Woody,” she said. In between solo performances of “Ladies Auxiliary,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Dead or Alive,” Guthrie tells jokes, offers some back story, and makes the audience laugh. “It is quintessential Guthrie,” Ms. Colannino said.

The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.

Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard

Public perceptions of race relations in America have grown substantially more negative in the aftermath of the death of a young black man who was injured while in police custody in Baltimore and the subsequent unrest, far eclipsing the sentiment recorded in the wake of turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.

Americans are also increasingly likely to say that the police are more apt to use deadly force against a black person, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.

The poll findings highlight the challenges for local leaders and police officials in trying to maintain order while sustaining faith in the criminal justice system in a racially polarized nation.

Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in this country are generally bad. That figure is up sharply from 44 percent after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed in Ferguson in August, and 43 percent in December. In a CBS News poll just two months ago, 38 percent said race relations were generally bad. Current views are by far the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The negative sentiment is echoed by broad majorities of blacks and whites alike, a stark change from earlier this year, when 58 percent of blacks thought race relations were bad, but just 35 percent of whites agreed. In August, 48 percent of blacks and 41 percent of whites said they felt that way.

Looking ahead, 44 percent of Americans think race relations are worsening, up from 36 percent in December. Forty-one percent of blacks and 46 percent of whites think so. Pessimism among whites has increased 10 points since December.

Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are generally good or generally bad?
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May '14
May '15
Generally bad
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Do you think race relations in the United States are getting better, getting worse or staying about the same?
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44%
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The poll finds that profound racial divisions in views of how the police use deadly force remain. Blacks are more than twice as likely to say police in most communities are more apt to use deadly force against a black person — 79 percent of blacks say so compared with 37 percent of whites. A slim majority of whites say race is not a factor in a police officer’s decision to use deadly force.

Overall, 44 percent of Americans say deadly force is more likely to be used against a black person, up from 37 percent in August and 40 percent in December.

Blacks also remain far more likely than whites to say they feel mostly anxious about the police in their community. Forty-two percent say so, while 51 percent feel mostly safe. Among whites, 8 in 10 feel mostly safe.

One proposal to address the matter — having on-duty police officers wear body cameras — receives overwhelming support. More than 9 in 10 whites and blacks alike favor it.

Continue reading the main story
How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious?
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Whites
Blacks
75%
21
3
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Continue reading the main story
In general, do you think the police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person, or more likely to use it against a white person, or don’t you think race affects police use of deadly force?
Police more likely to use deadly force against a black person
Police more likely to use deadly force against a white person
Race DOES NOT affect police use of deadly force
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Asked specifically about the situation in Baltimore, most Americans expressed at least some confidence that the investigation by local authorities would be conducted fairly. But while nearly two-thirds of whites think so, fewer than half of blacks agree. Still, more blacks are confident now than were in August regarding the investigation in Ferguson. On Friday, six members of the police force involved in the arrest of Mr. Gray were charged with serious offenses, including manslaughter. The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday; results from before charges were announced are similar to those from after.

Reaction to the recent turmoil in Baltimore, however, is similar among blacks and whites. Most Americans, 61 percent, say the unrest after Mr. Gray’s death was not justified. That includes 64 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks.

Continue reading the main story
As you may know, a Baltimore man, Freddie Gray, recently died after being in the custody of the Baltimore police. How much confidence do you have that the investigation by local authorities into this matter will be conducted fairly?
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Blacks
29%
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In general, do you think the unrest in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray was justified, or do you think the unrest was not justified?
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28%
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11
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6

Negative View of U.S. Race Relations Grows, Poll Finds

A lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.

Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85
Photo
 
Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake

Mr. Bartoszewski was given honorary Israeli citizenship for his work to save Jews during World War II and later surprised even himself by being instrumental in reconciling Poland and Germany.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, 93, Dies; Polish Auschwitz Survivor Aided Jews

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

Hired in 1968, a year before their first season, Mr. Fanning spent 25 years with the team, managing them to their only playoff appearance in Canada.

Jim Fanning, 87, Dies; Lifted Baseball in Canada With Expos
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