PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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saco-indonesia.com, Penerbangan dari dan tujuan Bandara Adisucipto telah ditutup sampai batas waktu yang belum ditentukan. Penutupan itu telah dilakukan karena hujan abu dari Gunung Kelud mengguyur kawasan bandara. Abu vulkanik juga sangat berbahaya bagi mesin pesawat.

"Penutupan telah dilakukan sampai batas yang belum ditentukan," ujar Humas Bandara Adisucipto, Faizal Indra Kusuma di Yogyakarta, Jumat (14/2).

Sejak pukul 06.00 pagi WIB, seharusnya Bandara Adisucipto sudah memberangkatkan beberapa pesawat dari maskapai Garuda, Lion Air dan Batavia. Setiap harinya, Bandara Adisucipto telah memberangkatkan lebih dari 30 penerbangan yang berada.

Meski telah terjadi penundaan penerbangan, namun hal tersebut tidak membuat para penumpang kecewa. Pasalnya mereka telah menyadari dengan kondisi tersebut dan justru sangat membahayakan jika melakukan penerbangan.

Yohanes, salah satu calon penumpang pesawat tujuan Jakarta juga mengatakan dirinya tidak masalah menunggu asalkan bisa sampai dengan selamat.

"Yang utama keselamatan, dipending enggak apa-apa," ujarnya singkat.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

BANDARA ADISUCIPTO TUTUP AKIBAT KELUD

Bekasi, Saco-Indonesia.com - Alfri Imanuel Sianipar, pelajar SMA diciduk Pihak Polsek Metro Jagakarsa saat hendak mencuri sebuah motor Honda Vario di Jalan H Raisan Rt (3/1) No 48, Cipedak, Jagakarsa, Jakarta Selatan. Baru saja mengotak-atik motor incarannya, dia keburu ketahuan pemilik motor.

Kapolsek Metro Jagakarsa, Komisaris Herawaty mengatakan, Alfri Imanuel melancarkan aksinya dibantu dengan dua orang temannya yaitu Angga dan Jawa di rumah yang diketahui dimiliki Haryadi.

"Akhirnya, pelaku Alfri dan Jawa melihat ada motor Honda Vario nomor polisi B 6745 GNK, parkir di depan rumahnya," ujar Herawaty, Jumat (24/1).

Aksi pencurian ini dilakukan Afri pada pagi dini hari sekitar pukul 03.15 WIB. Ketika itu, Alfri bertugas sebagai eksekusi bersama Jawa, sedangkan seorang rekannya, Angga, bertugas mengawasi situasi di depan gang rumah korban.

"Namun, kedatangan pelaku diketahui oleh korban yang diintip dari balik gorden. Karena, pemilik rumah mendengar ada suara berisik," tandasnya.

Menurut dia, ketika pelaku hendak memasukkan kunci letter T ke lubang kunci motor milik korban, Haryadi langsung menangkap pelaku Alfri. Sedangkan, dua pelaku melarikan diri.

"Kini pelaku masih dalam pemeriksaan, pelaku Angga dan Jawa masih dicari," ucap dia.

Sementara, pelaku atas perbuatannya itu dikenakan Pasal 53 juncto pasal 363 KUHP.

Sumber : Merdeka.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

Tertangkap Basah akan curi motor, pelajar SMA digelandang ke tahanan

Gedung Graha Lintang menambah satu fasilitas baru untuk dapat mempermudah pengiriman dan distribusi barang untuk penyewa ruang kantor di gedung graha lintang .Selain jasa pengiriman dengan door to door service ke indonesia , kini kirim barang import khusus dari China, Malaysia dan Singapura ke Indonesia sudah dapat di lakukan  dengan mengunakan kapal laut ke Jakarta.

Pergiriman dengan mengunakan kapal laut mengalami peningkatan  cukup tajam hingga oktober 2013, ini dikarenakan semakin banyaknya perusahaan perusahaan Asing yang berdomisili di indonesia membutuhkan pengiriman  barang barang perusahan mereka dengan biaya murah via kapal laut . Ini berbanding kebalik terhadap pengunaan jasa kirim barang dengan door to door via udara yang membebankan biaya kirim dan  pajak barang import yang terbilang tidak murah .

Selain memperlancar distribusi dan kirim barang barang perusahaan dari kantor pusat di luar negeri, pengiriman  barang pesanan mereka baik langsung dari pabrik  maupun  suplier mereka  di china dan luar negeri kini sudah dapat dikirim ke kantor cabang mereka di Indonesia.  

Untuk kapal Laut selain berat aktual juga di hitung berat volume barang, dengan rumus perhitungan: Panjang (cm) X Lebar (cm) X Tinggi (cm) : 4000 = (hasil) x tarif biaya kirim

 

KIRIM BARANG DARI CHINA KE INDONESIA VIA LAUT

 Data yang dikumpulkan mahasiwa ketika akan membuat tugas akhir, selain data sekunder diantaranya adalah data primer. Data sekunder adalah data yang diperoleh dari catatan-catatan atau informasi tertulis dari perusahaan, serta data-data lain yang terdokumentasi dengan baik dan valid. Sedangkan data primer adalah data yang direspon langsung oleh responden berdasarkan wawancara ataupun daftar pertanyaan yang dirancang, disusun, dan disajikan dalam bentuk skala, baik nominal, ordinal, interval maupun ratio oleh mahasiswa ketika membutuhkan data demi kepentingan penelitian.

Teknik pengumpulan data seperti ini lazim digunakan karena selain bisa langsung menentukan skala pengukuranya, akan tetapi juga bisa melengkapi hasil wawancara yang dilakukan dengan responden.

Skala pengukuran yang dibuat oleh mahasiswa sebaiknya dibuat sedemikian rupa, mengikuti kaidah, sehingga akan memudahkan pemilihan teknik analisis yang akan digunakan ketika pengumpulan datanya sudah selesai.

Catatan: Artikel ini membahas bagaimana transformasi dari data ordinal ke interval, sedangkan untuk transformasi data dalam keperluan untuk memenuhi asumsi klasik, baca artikel kami yang berjudul "Transformasi Data"

Dalam studi empiris, misalnya saja mahasiswa ingin menggunakan statistika parametrik dengan analisis regresi untuk menganalisis dan mengkaji masalah-masalah penelitian. Pemilihan analisis model ini ini hanya lazim digunakan bila skala pengukuran yang yang dilakukan adalah minimal interval. Sedangkan teknik pengumpulan data yang dilakukan oleh mahasiswa sudah dilakukan dengan menggunakan skala pengukuran nominal (atau ordinal).

Menghadapi situasi demikian, salah satu cara yang dilakukan adalah menaikkan tingkat pengukuran skalanya dari ordinal menjadi interval. Melakukan manipulasi data dengan cara menaikkan skala dari ordinal menjadi interval ini, selain bertujuan untuk tidak melanggar kelaziman, juga untuk mengubah agar syarat distribusi normal bisa dipenuhi ketika menggunakan statistika parametrik.

Menurut Sambas Ali Muhidin dan Maman Abdurahman, “salah satu metode transformasi yang sering digunakan adalah metode succesive interval (MSI)”. Meskipun banyak perdebatan tentang metode ini, diharapkan pemikiran ini bisa melengkapi wacana mahasiswa ketika akan melakukan analisis data berkenaan dengan tugas-tugas kuliah.

Sebelum melanjutkan pembahasan tentang bagaimana transformasi data ordinal dilakukan, tulisan ini sedikit membahas tentang dua perbedaan pendapat tentang bagimana skor-skor yang diberikan terhadap alternatif jawaban pada skala pengukuran Likert yang sudah kita kenal. Pendapat pertama mengatakan bahwa skor 1, 2, 3, 4, dan 5 adalah data interval. Sedangkan pendapat yang kedua, menyatakan bahwa jenis skala pengukuran Likert adalah ordinal. Alasannya skala Likert merupakan Skala Interval adalah karena skala sikap merupakan dan menempatkan kedudukan sikap seseorang pada kesatuan perasaan kontinum yang berkisar dari sikap “sangat positif”, artinya mendukung terhadap suatu objek psikologis terhadap objek penelitian, dan sikap “sangat negatif”, yang tidak mendukung sama sekali terhadap objek psikologis terhadap objek penelitian.

Berkenaan dengan perbedaan pendapat terhadap skor-skor yang diberikan dalam alternatif jawaban dalam skala Likert itu, apakah termasuk dalam skala pengukuran ordinal atau data interval, berikut ini kami mneyampaikan pemikiran yang bisa dijadikan pertimbangan: Ciri spesifik yang dimiliki oleh data yang diperoleh dengan skala pengukuran ordinal, adalah bahwa, data ordinal merupakan jenis data kualitatif, bukan numerik, berupa kata-kata atau kalimat, seperti misalnya sangat setuju, kurang setuju, dan tidak setuju, jika pertanyaannya ditujukan terhadap persetujuan tentang suatu event. Atau bisa juga respon terhadap keberadaan suatu Bank “PQR” dalam suatu daerah yang bisa dimulai dari sangat tidak setuju, tidak setuju, ragu-ragu, Setuju, dan sangat setuju.

Sementara data interval adalah termasuk data kuantitatif, berbentuk numerik, berupa angka, bukan terdiri dari kata-kata, atau kalimat. Mahasiswa yang melakukan penelitian dengan menggunakan pendekatan kuantitatif, termasuk di dalamnya adalah data interval, data yang diperoleh dari hasil pengumpulan data bisa langsung diolah dengan menggunakan model statistika. Akan tetapi data yang diperoleh dengan pengukuran skala ordinal, berbentuk kata-kata, kalimat, penyataan, sebelum diolah, perlu memberikan kode numerik, atau simbol berupa angka dalam setiap jawaban.

Misalnya saja alternatif jawaban pada skala Likert, alternatif jawaban “sangat tidak setuju” diberi skor 1; “ tidak setuju diberi skor 2; “ragu-ragu” diberi skor 3; “setuju” diberi kode 4; dan “sangat setuju” diberi skor 5. angka-angka (numerik) inilah yang kemudian diolah, sehingga menghasilkan skor tertentu. Tetapi, sesuai dengan sifat dan cirinya, angka 1, 2, 3, 4, dan 5 atau skor yang sudah diperoleh tidak memberikan arti apa-apa terhadap objek yang diukur. Dengan kata lain, skor yang lebih tinggi lebih tidak berarti lebih baik dari skor yang lebih rendah. Skor 1 hanya menunjukkan sikap “sangat tidak setuju”, skor 2 menunjukkan sikap “tidak setuju, skor 3 menunjukkan sikap “ragu-ragu’, skor 4 menunjukkan sikap “setuju”, dan skor 5 menunjukkan sikap “sangat setuju”. Kita tidak bisa mengatakan bahwa skor 4 atau “setuju” dua kali lebih baik dari skor 2 atau “tidak setuju”.

Fenomena ini berbeda sekali dengan sifat/ciri yang dimiliki oleh data interval, dimana angka-angka atau skor-skor numerik yang diperoleh dari hasil pengukuran data langsung dapat dibandingkan antara satu dengan lainnya, dikurangkan, dijumlahkan, dibagi dan dikalikan. Misalnya saja penelitian yang dilakukan mahasiswa tentang suhu udara beberapa kelas, dan diperoleh data misalnya suhu ruangan kelas A 15 derajat Cls, suhu ruang kelas B 20 derajat Cls, dan suhu ruang kelas C 25 derajat Cls. Berarti bahwa suhu ruang kelas A adalah 75 % lebih dingin dari suhu ruang kelas B. Suhu ruang kelas A 60 % lebih dingin dari suhu ruang kelas C. Suhu ruang kelas A lebih dingin dari suhu ruang kelas B dan C. Atau suhu ruangan kelas B lebih panas dari suhu ruang kelas A, tetapi lebih dingin dibandingkan dengan suhu ruangan kelas C. Contoh lain misalnya prestasi mahasiswa yang diukur dengan skala indek prestasi mahasiswa.

KEPUSTAKAAN
Babbie, Earl R., The Pravtice of Social Research, 4th Edition, Belmont, CA, Wadsworth,
1986. Kerlinger, F.N., Foundation of Behavioral Research, 2nd Ed., New York, MacMillan, 1971.
Moh nazir, Ph.d. Metode Penelitian, Penerbit Ghalia Indonesia, Jakarta, 2005).


TRANSFORMASI DATA ORDINAL menjadi INTERVAL SECARA MANUAL
(Kasus Transformasi Data Ordinal Menjadi Interval)
Oleh: Suharto*

A. Pendahuluan
Beberapa ahli berpendapat bahwa pelaksanaan penelitian menggunakan metode ilmiah diantaranya adalah dengan melakukan langkah-langkah sistematis. Metode ilmiah sendiri adalah merupakan pengejaran terhadap kebenaran relatif yang diatur oleh pertimbangan-pertimbangan logis. Dan karena keberadaan dari ilmu itu adalah untuk memperoleh interelasi yang sistematis dari fakta-fakta, maka metode ilmiah berkehendak untuk mencari jawaban tentang fakta-fakta dengan menggunakan pendekatan kesangsian sistematis. Karenanya, penelitian dan metode ilmiah, jika tidak dikatakan sama, mempunyai hubungan yang relatif dekat. Dengan adanya metode ilmiah, pertanyaan-pertanyaan dalam mencari dalil umum, akan mudah dijawab. Menuruti Schluter (Moh Nazir), langkah penting sebelum sampai tahapan analisis data dan penentuan model adalah ketika melakukan pengumpulan dan manipulasi data sehingga bisa digunakan bagi keperluan pengujian hipotesis. Mengadakan manipulasi data berarti mengubah data mentah dari awal menjadi suatu bentuk yang dapat dengan mudah memperlihatkan hubungan-hubungan antar fenomena. Kelaziman kuantifikasi sebaiknya dilakukan kecuali bagi atribut-atribut yang tidak dapat dilakukan. Dan dari kuantifikasi data itu, penentuan mana yang dikatakan data nominal, ordinal, ratio dan interval bisa dilakukan demi memasuki wilayah penentuan model.

Pada ilmu-ilmu sosial yang telah lebih berkembang, melakukan analisis berdasarkan pada kerangka hipotesis ilakukan dengan membuat model matematis untuk membangun refleksi hubungan antar fenomena yang secara implisit sudah dilakukan dalam rumusan hipotesis  Analisis data merupakan bagian yang amat penting dalam metode ilmiah. Data bisa memiliki makna setelah dilakukan analisis dengan menggunakan model yang lazim digunakan dan sudah diuji secara ilmiah meskipun memiliki banyak peluang untuk digunakan. Akan tetapi masing-masing model, jika ditelaah satu demi satu, sebenarnya hanya sebagian saja yang bisa digunakan untuk kondisi dan data tertentu. Ia tidak bisa digunakan untuk menganalisis data jika model yang digunakan kurang sesuai dengan bagaimana kita memperoleh data jika menggunakan instrumen. Timbangan tidak bisa digunakan untuk mengukur tinggi badan seseorang. Sebaliknya meteran tidak bisa digunakan untuk mengukur berat badan seseorang. Karena masing-masing instrumen memiliki kegunaan masing-masing. Dalam hal ini, tentu saja kita tidak ingin menggunakan model analisis hanya semata-mata karena menuruti selera dan kepentingan. Suatu model hanya lazim digunakan tergantung dari kondisi bagaimana data dikumpulkan.

Karena pada dasarnya, model adalah alat yang bisa digunakan dalam kondisi dan data apapun. Ia tetap bisa digunakan untuk menghitung secara matematis, akan tetapi tidak dalam teori. Banyaknya konsumsi makanan tentu memiliki hubungan dengan berat badan seseorang. Akan tetapi banyaknya konsumsi makanan penduduk pulau Nias, tidak akan pernah memiliki hubungan dengan berat badan penduduk Kalimantan. Motivasi kerja sebuah perusahaan elektronik, tidak akan memiliki hubungan dengan produktivitas petani karet.

Model analisis statistik hanya bisa digunakan jika data yang diperoleh memiliki syarat-syarat tertentu. Masing-masing variabel tidak memiliki hubungan linier yang eksak. Data yang kita peroleh melalui instrumen pengumpul data itu bisa dianalisis dengan menggunakan model tanpa melanggar kelaziman. Bagi keperluan analisis penelitian ilmu-ilmu sosial, teknik mengurutkan sesuatu ke dalam skala itu artinya begitu penting mengingat sebagian data dalam ilmu-ilmu sosial mempunyai sifat kualitatif. Atribut saja sebagai objek penelitian selain kurang representatif bagi peneliti, juga sebagian orang saat ini menginginkan gradasi yang lebih baik bagi objek penelitian. Orang selain kurang begitu puas dengan atribut baik atau buruk, setuju atau tidak setuju, tetapi juga menginginkan sesuatu yang berada di antara baik dan buruk atau di antara setuju dan tidak setuju. Karena gradasi, merupakan kelaziman yang diminta bagi sebagian orang bisa menguak secara detail objek penelitian. Semakin banyak gradasi yang dibuat dalam instrumen penelitian, hasilnya akan makin representatif.

Menuruti Moh. Nazir, teknik membuat skala adalah cara mengubah fakta-fakta kualitatif (atribut) menjadi suatu urutan kuantitatif (variabel). Mengubah fakta-fakta kualitatif menjadi urutan kuantitatif itu telah menjadi satu kelaziman paling tidak bagi sebagian besar orang, karena berbagai alasan. Pertama, eksistensi matematika sebagai alat yang lebih cenderung digunakan oleh ilmu-ilmu pengetahuan sehingga bisa mengundang kuantitatif variabel. Kedua, ilmu pengetahuan, disamping akurasi data, semakin meminta presisi yang lebih baik, lebih-lebih dalam mengukur gradasi. Karena perlunya presisi, maka kita belum tentu puas dengan atribut baik atau buruk saja. Sebagian peneliti ingin mengukur sifat-sifat yang ada antara baik dan buruk tersebut, sehingga diperoleh suatu skala gradasi yang jelas.

B. Pembahasan
a. Data nominal
Sebelum kita membicarakan bagaimana alat analisis digunakan, akan diberikan ulasan tentang bagaimana sebenarnya data nominal yang sering digunakan dalam statistik nonparametrik bagi mahasiswa. Menuruti Moh. Nazir, data nominal adalah ukuran yang paling sederhana, dimana angka yang diberikan kepada objek mempunyai arti sebagai label saja, dan tidak menunjukkan tingkatan apapun. Ciri-ciri data nominal adalah hanya memiliki atribut, atau nama, atau diskrit. Data nominal merupakan data kontinum dan tidak memiliki urutan. Bila objek dikelompokkan ke dalam set-set, dan kepada semua anggota set diberikan angka, set-set tersebut tidak boleh tumpang tindih dan bersisa. Misalnya tentang jenis olah raga yakni tenis, basket dan renang. Kemudian masing-masing anggota set di atas kita berikan angka, misalnya tenis (1), basket (2) dan renang (3). Jelas kelihatan bahwa angka yang diberikan tidak menunjukkan bahwa tingkat olah raga basket lebih tinggi dari tenis ataupun tingkat renang lebih tinggi dari tenis. Angka tersebut tidak memberikan arti apa-apa jika ditambahkan. Angka yang diberikan hanya berfungsi sebagai label saja. Begitu juga tentang suku, yakni Dayak, Bugis dan Badui. Tentang partai, misalnya Partai Bulan, Partai Bintang dan Partai Matahari. Masing-masing kategori tidak dinyatakan lebih tinggi dari atribut (nama) yang lain. Seseorang yang pergi ke Jakarta, tidak akan pernah mengatakan dua setengah kali, atau tiga seperempat kali. Tetapi akan mengatakan dua kali, lima kali, atau tujuh kali. Begitu seterusnya. Tidak akan pernah ada bilangan pecahan. Data nominal ini diperoleh dari hasil pengukuran dengan skala nominal. Menuruti Sugiono, alat analisis (uji hipotesis asosiatif) statistik nonparametrik yang digunakan untuk data nominal adalah Coeffisien Contingensi  Akan tetapi karena pengujian hipotesis  Coeffisien Contingensi memerlukan rumus Chi Square (χ2), perhitungannya dilakukan setelah kita menghitung Chi Square. Penggunaan model statistik nonparametrik selain Coeffisien Contingensi tidak lazim dilakukan.

b. Data ordinal
Bagian lain dari data kontinum adalah data ordinal. Data ini, selain memiliki nama (atribut), juga memiliki peringkat atau urutan. Angka yang diberikan mengandung tingkatan. Ia digunakan untuk mengurutkan objek dari yang paling rendah sampai yang paling tinggi atau sebaliknya. Ukuran ini tidak memberikan nilai absolut terhadap objek, tetapi hanya memberikan peringkat saja. Jika kita memiliki sebuah set objek yang dinomori, dari 1 sampai n, misalnya peringkat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 dan seterusnya, bila dinyatakan dalam skala, maka jarak antara data yang satu dengan lainnya tidak sama. Ia akan memiliki urutan mulai dari yang paling tinggi sampai paling rendah. Atau paling baik sampai ke yang paling buruk.

Misalnya dalam skala Likert (Moh Nazir), mulai dari sangat setuju, setuju, ragu-ragu, tidak setuju sampai sangat tidak setuju. Atau jawaban pertanyaan tentang kecenderungan masyarakat untuk menghadiri rapat umum pemilihan kepala daerah, mulai dari tidak pernah absen menghadiri, dengan kode 5, kadang-kadang saja menghadiri, dengan kode 4, kurang menghadiri, dengan kode 3, tidak pernah menghadiri, dengan kode 2 sampai tidak ingin menghadiri sama sekali, dengan kode 1. Dari hasil pengukuran dengan menggunakan skala ordinal ini akan diperoleh data ordinal. Alat analisis (uji hipotesis asosiatif  statistik nonparametrik yang lazim digunakan untuk data ordinal adalah Spearman Rank Correlation dan Kendall Tau.

c. Data interval
Pemberian angka kepada set dari objek yang mempunyai sifat-sifat ukuran ordinal dan ditambah satu sifat lain, yakni jarak yang sama pada pengukuran dinamakan data interval. Data ini memperlihatkan jarak yang sama dari ciri atau sifat objek yang diukur. Akan tetapi ukuran interval tidak memberikan jumlah absolut dari objek yang diukur. Data yang diperoleh dari hasil pengukuran menggunakan skala interval dinamakan data interval.

Misalnya tentang nilai ujian 6 orang mahasiswa, yakni A, B, C, D, E dan F diukur dengan ukuran interval pada skala prestasi dengan ukuran 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 dan 6, maka dapat dikatakan bahwa beda prestasi antara C dan A adalah 3 – 1 = 2. Beda prestasi antara C dan F adalah 6 – 3 = 3. Akan tetapi tidak bisa dikatakan bahwa prestasi E adalah 5 kali prestasi A ataupun prestasi F adalah 3 kali lebih baik dari prestasi B. Dari hasil pengukuran dengan menggunakan skala interval ini akan diperoleh data interval. Alat analisis (uji hipotesis asosiatif)  statistik parametrik yang lazim digunakan untuk data interval ini adalah Pearson Korelasi Product Moment, Partial Correlation, Multiple Correlation, Partial Regression, dan Multiple Regression.

d. Data ratio
Ukuran yang meliputi semua ukuran di atas ditambah dengan satu sifat yang lain, yakni ukuran yang memberikan keterangan tentang nilai absolut dari objek yang diukur dinamakan ukuran ratio. Ukuran ratio memiliki titik nol, karenanya, interval jarak tidak dinyatakan dengan beda angka rata-rata satu kelompok dibandingkan dengan titik nol di atas. Oleh karena ada titik nol, maka ukuran rasio dapat dibuat perkalian ataupun pembagian. Angka pada skala rasio dapat menunjukkan nilai sebenarnya dari objek yang diukur. Jika ada 4 orang pengemudi, A, B, C dan D mempunyai pendapatan masing-masing perhari Rp. 10.000, Rp.30.000, Rp. 40.000 dan Rp. 50.000. bila dilihat dengan ukuran rasio maka pendapatan pengemudi C adalah 4 kali pendapatan pengemudi A. Pendapatan D adalah 5 kali pendapatan A. Pendapatan C adalah 4/3 kali pendapatan B. Dengan kata lain, rasio antara C dan A adalah 4 : 1, rasio antara D dan A adalah 5 : 1, sedangkan rasio antara C dan B adalah 4 : 3. Interval pendapatan pengemudi A dan C adalah 30.000. dan pendapatan pengemudi C adalah 4 kali pendapatan pengemudi A.

Dari hasil pengukuran dengan menggunakan skala rasio ini akan diperoleh data rasio. Alat analisis (uji hipotesis asosiatif)  yang digunakan adalah statistik parametrik dan yang lazim digunakan untuk data rasio ini adalah Pearson Korelasi Product Moment, Partial Correlation, Multiple Correlation, Partial Regression, dan Multiple Regression. Sesuai dengan ulasan jenis pengukuran yang digunakan, maka variabel penelitian diharapkan dapat bagi 4 bagian, yakni variabel nominal, variabel ordinal, variabel interval, dan variabel rasio. Variabel nominal, yaitu variabel yang dikategorikan secara diskrit dan saling terpisah seperti status perkawinan, jenis kelamin, dan sebagainya. Variabel ordinal adalah variabel yang disusun atas dasar peringkat, seperti peringkat prestasi mahasiswa, peringkat perlombaan catur, peringkat tingkat kesukaran suatu pekerjaan dan lain-lain.

Variabel interval adalah variabel yang diukur dengan ukuran interval seperti penghasilan, sikap dan sebagainya, sedangkan variabel rasio adalah variabel yang disusun dengan ukuran rasio seperti tingkat penganggguran, dan sebagainya.

e. Konversi variabel ordinal
Adakalanya kita tidak ingin menguji hipotesis dengan alat uji hipotesis statistik nonparametrik dengan berbagai pertimbangan. Misalnya kita ingin melakukan uji statistik parametrik Pearson Korelasi Product Moment, Partial Correlation, Multiple Correlation, Partial Regression dan Multiple Regression, padahal data yang kita miliki adalah hasil pengukuran dengan skala ordinal, sedangkan persyaratan penggunaan statistik parametrik adalah selain data harus berbentuk interval atau rasio, data harus memiliki distribusi normal. Jika kita tidak ingin melakukan ujinormalitas karena data yang kita miliki adalah data ordinal, hal itu bisa saja kita lakukan dengan cara menaikkan data dari pengukuran skala ordinal menjadi data dalam skala interval dengan metode Suksesive Interval.

Menuruti Al-Rasyid, menaikkan data dengan skala ordinal menjadi skala interval dinamakan transformasi dengan menggunakan metode Suksesiv Interval. Penggunaan skala interval bagi kepentingan statistik parametrik, selain merupakan suatu kelaziman, juga untuk mengubah data agar memiliki sebaran normal. Transformasi menggunakan model ini berarti tidak perlu melakukan uji normalitas. Karena salah satu syarat penggunaan statistik parametrik, selain data harus memiliki skala interval (dan ratio), data harus memiliki distribusi normal. Berbeda dengan statistik nonparametrik, ia hanya digunakan untuk mengukur distribusi. (Ronald E. Walpole).

Berikut ini diberikan contoh sederhana bagaimana kita meningkatkan data hasil pengukuran dengan skala ordinal menjadi data interval dengan metode Suksesiv Interval. Sebenarnya data ini lazimnya hanya dianalisis dengan statistik nonparametrik. Akan tetapi oleh karena model yang diinginkan adalah statistik parametrik, data tersebut ditingkatkan skalanya menjadi data interval dengan menggunakan metode Suksesive Interval, sehingga di dapat dua jenis data yakni data ordinal dan data interval hasil transformasi. Tabel berikut ini adalah konversi variabel ordinal menjadi variabel interval yang disajikan secara simultan. Data ordinal berukuran 100.


Tabel 1.
Proses Konversi Variabel Ordinal menjadi Variabel Interval
1. Pemilih jawaban (kolom 1) atau kategori dan jumlahnya dibuat dari hasil kuisioner fiktif.

2. Masing-masing frekuensi setiap masing-masing kategori dijumlahkan (kolom 2) menjadi jumlah frekuensi.

3. Kolom proporsi (kolom 3) nomor 1 diisi dengan cara, misalnya yang memilih kategori 1 jumlah responden 25 orang, maka proporsinya adalah (25 : 100) = 0,25. Kolom proporsi no 2 diisi dengan cara, kategori 2 dengan jumlah responden 17 orang, maka proporsinya adalah (17 : 100) = 0,17. Kolom proporsi nomor 3 diisi dengan cara, kategori 3 dengan jumlah responden 34 orang, proporsinya adalah (34 : 100) = 0,34. Kemudian kolom proporsi nomor 4 dengan jumlah responden 19 orang, proporsinya dihitung dengan cara (19 : 100) = 0,19, begitu seterusnya sampai ditemukan angka 0,05.

4. Proporsi kumulatif (kolom 4) diisi dengan cara menjumlahkan secara kumulatif item yang ada pada kolom no 3 (proporsi). Misalnya 0,25 + 0,17 = 0,42. Kemudian nilai 0,42 + 0,34 = 0,76. Lalu 0,76 + 0,19 = 0,95. Dan terakhir adalah 0,95 + 0,05 = 1,00. 5. Kolom 5 (Nilai Z), diisi dengan cara melihat tabel Distribusi Normal (Lampiran 1).

Misalnya angka (– 0,67), diperoleh dari luas 0,2500 (tabel Z) terletak di Z yang ke berapa. Jika tidak ada angka yang pas, cari nilai yang terdekat dengan luas 0,2500. Dalam hal ini angka 0,2514 (terdekat dengan angka 0,2500) terletak di Z ke 0,67. Karena angka 0,25 berada di bawah 0,5, maka beri tanda negatif didepannya. Berikutnya adalah angka (– 0,20), diperoleh dari luas (angka) 0,4200 (tabel Z) terletak di Z ke berapa. Jika tidak ada angka yang sama dengan 0,4200, cari nilai yang terdekat dengan angka 0,4200 dalam tabel Z. Dalam contoh ini, angka 0,4207 (terdekat dengan 0,4200) terletak di Z ke 0,2. Karena angka 0,42 berada di bawah 0,5, maka beri tanda negatif di depannya. Kemudian angka (0,71), diperoleh dari luas distribusi normal (angka) 0,7600 (tabel Z). Angka ini harus dihitung dengan jalan menjumlahkan setengah dari luas distribusi normal, yakni (0,5 + 0,26) = 0,76. Untuk mencapai angka 1,0000, berarti ada kekurangan sebesar 0,2400. Tabel Z yang terdekat dengan angka 0,2400 adalah 0,2389 yang terletak di Z ke 0,71. Berikutnya adalah angka (1,64). Angka ini diperoleh dari luas distribusi normal (angka) 0,9500 (tabel Z). Angka ini juga harus dihitung dengan cara menjumlahkan setengah dari luas distribusi normal, yakni (0,5 + 0,45) = 0,95. Untuk mencapai luas 100% (angka 1,000), distribusi ini ada kekurangan sebesar 0,0500. Tabel Z yang terdekat dengan angka 0,0500 adalah 0,0505 (Z ke 1,64) dan 0,495 (Z ke 165) . Oleh karena angka tersebut memiliki nilai sama, maka kita hanya memilih salah satu, yakni di Z ke 1,645. Nilai ordinat (kolom 6) dapat dilihat pada tabel Ordinat Kurva Normal. Angka 0,3187 bersesuaian dengan P 0,25 (kolom 4). Angka 0,3910 bersesuaian dengan P 0,42 (kolom 4). Kemudian angka 0,3101 bersesuaian dengan P 0,76. (1 – P) = 0,24 (kolom 4). Artinya nilai 0,3101 bersesuaian dengan P 0,24. Dst....

Kolom 7
(nilai skala) dicari dengan rumus :
-------------->Kepadatan pd batas bawah – kepadatan pd batas atas
Nilai Skala = ---------------------------------------------------------------
--------------->Daerah di bwh bts atas – daerah di bwh bts bawah
------------------>0,0000 – 0,3187
Nilai skala 1 = ------------------------ = – 1,2748
--------------------->0,25 – 0,00
------------------>0,3187 – 0,3910
Nilai skala 2 = ------------------------ = – 0,4253
--------------------->0,42 – 0,25
------------------>0,3919 – 0,3101
Nilai skala 3 = ------------------------ = 0,2379
--------------------->0,76 – 0,42
------------------>0,3101 – 0,1040
Nilai skala 4 = ------------------------ = 1,0847
--------------------->0,95 – 0,76
------------------>0,1040 – 0,0000
Nilai skala 5 = ------------------------ = 2,0800
--------------------->1,00 – 0,95


Angka yang diperoleh berdasarkan perhitungan di atas kemudian ditransformasi menjadi variabel Interval dengan menggunakan rumus seperti yang dilakukan dalam kolom 8.

Kolom 8. Nilai Y (kolom 8) dicari dengan rumus: Y = Nilai Skala + │ Nilai Skalamin │. Cari nilai negatif paling tinggi pada kolom 7 (nilai skala). Kemudian tambahkan bilangan itu dengan bilangan tertentu agar sama dengan 1. Angka negatif paling tinggi adalah – 1,2748.

Agar bilangan itu sama dengan satu berarti harus di tambah dengan bilangan 2,2748 (bilangan konstan). Kemudian untuk nilai Y2, juga harus ditambah dengan angka 2,2748. Begitu seterusnya sampai nilai Y5.

Y1 = – 1,2748 + 2,2748 = 1
Y2 = – 0,4253 + 2,2748 = 1,8495
Y3 = 0,2379 + 2,2748 = 2,5127
Y4 = 1,0847 + 2,2748 = 3,3595
Y5 = 2,0800 + 2,2748 = 4,3548

C. Kesimpulan
Nilai Yi (kolom 8) merupakan nilai hasil transformasi dari variabel ordinal menjadi variabel interval dengan metode MSI. Dengan kata lain, nilai Yi sudah berbentuk data interval. Bila transformasi serupa juga diberlakukan terhadap Nilai Xi, maka kedua variabel ini bisa digunakan sebagai variabel untuk keperluan analisis Parametrik bagi mahasiswa. Misalnya menggunakan Pearson Korelasi Product Moment, Partial Corelation, Multiple Corelation, Partial Regression, dan Multiple Regression.


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Untuk Penjelasannya, baca artikel berikut "Contoh Transformasi Data Ordinal Dengan Excel"
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DAFTAR PUSTAKA
Al-Rasyid, H. Teknik Penarikan Sampel dan Penyusunan Skala. Pasca Sarjana UNPAD, Bandung, 1994.
Anita Kesumahati, Skripsi, PS Matematika, Unila, Penggunaan Korelasi Polikhorik dan Pearson untuk Variabel Ordinal Dalam Model Persamaan Struktural, 2005.
J.T. Roscoe, Fundamental Research Statistic for the Behavioral Sciences, Hol, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., New York, 1969.
J Supranto, Statistik, Teori Dan Aplikasi. Edisi Kelima, Penerbit Erlangga Jakarta, 1987.
Moh. Nazir, Ph.D. Metode Penelitian, Penerbit Ghalia Indonesia, Jakarta, 2003.
Ronald E. Walpole, Pengantar Statistika, Edisi ke-3, Penerbit PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta, 1992.
Riduan, Dasar-dasar Statistika, Penerbit CV. ALFABETA, Bandung, 2005.
Sugiono, Prof. Dr., Statistik Nonparametrik Untuk Penelitian, Penerbit CV. ALFABETA, Bandung, 2004.
Wijayanto, Structural Equation Modeling dengan LISREL 8.5. Pasca Sarjana FE-UI, Jakarta, 2003.
Zaenal Mustafa El Qodri, Pengantar Statistik Terapan Untuk Ekonomi, Penerbit BPFE, Yogyakarta, 1995.
Babbie, Earl R., The Pravtice of Social Research, 4th Edition, Belmont, CA, Wadsworth, 1986.
Kerlinger, F.N., Foundation of Behavioral Research, 2nd Ed., New York, MacMillan, 1971.

TRANSFORMASI DATA ORDINAL KE INTERVAL dan (PERDEBATANNYA)
Perdebatan tentang Konversi Olah Data Ordinal menjadi Interval agar bisa digunakan dalam analisis statistik parametrik sebenarnya sudah selesai dan berakhir beberapa dasawarsa lalu. Sebagaimana dikatakan oleh Prof. Dr. Imam Ghozali, M.Com., (dalam Muji Gunarto). Akan tetapi belakangan ini relatif sering dipertanyakan berkenaan dengan kelaziman model yang akan digunakan oleh mahasiswa ketika akan membuat tugas akhir. Fenomena seperti itu tentu saja merupakan dinamika pemikiran mahasiswa yang makin kritis mengahadapi tugas-tugas kuliah yang makin komplek. Sebelum mahasiswa melakukan penelitian, variabel dan definisi operasionalnya memang harus dilakukan demi memasuki wilayah penetuan model yang akan digunakan. Karena penggunaan model saja, tanpa melakukan pengkajian akan berakibat pada pelanggaran kelaziman terhadap penggunaan model terhadap data yang diperoleh mahasiswa.

Definisi operasional variabel yang dijabarkan sesuai dengan konsep dan teori yang relatif benar akan membantu mengungkapkan penggunaan data penelitian. Karena berdasarkan definisi ini, kita akan menemukan dan membuat klasifikasi data sesuai dengan keperluan. Beberapa Universitas di Indonesia ada yang memberikan syarat dilakukannya transformasi terlebih dahulu terhadap data ordinal, sebelum dilakukan analisis dengan metode multivariate atau analisis path. Misalkan kita akan menganalisis variabel motivasi dan prestasi kerja karyawan sebuah perusahaan. Variabel motivasi kerja karyawan diberi simbol X dan variabel pretasi kerja karyawan diberi simbol Y. Keduanya diukur dalam satuan skala ordinal.

Setelah dilakukan transformasi, data tersebut kemudian dianalisis dengan metode regresi. Katakan hasilnya adalah Y = 4 + 2X. Artinya bila X (motivasi kerja) meningkat 1 satuan, maka Y (prestasi kerja) akan meningkat sebesar 2 satuan. Kita tahu bahwa X ( motivasi kerja) adalah variabel kualitatif. Angka yang diberikan hanya semata-mata merupakan simbol belaka yang diberikan demi kepentingan analisis data. Karena tanpa memberikan angka (numerik), data kualitatif tidak bisa di analisis dengan statistika.

Bagaimana mungkin X (motivasi) bisa mempengaruhi Y dalam satuan numerik?. Kita hanya bisa mengatakan bahwa variabel Motivasi berpengaruh Signifikan terhadap Prestasi Kerja Karena sejak awal, variabel motivasi dan prestasi kerja adalah data kualitatif, bukan numerik. Simbol numerik yang diberikan kepadanya tidak memberikan arti apa-apa secara kuantitatif, akan tetapi hanya merupakan simbol belaka. Coba saja kita bandingkan dengan kasus lain berikut ini, Pupuk yang digunakan dalam satuan (kwintal) akan digunakan untuk memprediksi hasil Produksi Padi dalam satuan (ton). Katakan hasilnya adalah Y = 4 + 2X. Artinya bila Pupuk naik sebesar 1 satuan (kwintal), diharapkan hasil produksi Padi akan naik sebesar 2 satuan (ton).
Satuan dalam kasus ini, yakni kwintal dan ton, merupakan satuan (numerik) yang bisa diukur, dibandingkan secara kuantitatif dan ditimbang.

Karena sejak awal, data yang di analisis merupakan data interval (ratio) numerik yang bisa diukur secara kuantitatif. Akan tetapi data yang pada awalnya merupakan data kualitatif dan di ukur dengan skala Ordinal, misalnya Motivasi Kerja dan Prestasi kerja, meskipun dilakukan transformasi dengan cara menaikkan skalanya dari ordinal menjadi interval, kemudian dilakukan analisis misalnya dengan metode regresi, atau statistik parametrik, tetap saja kita akan menemui kesulitan dalam melakukan interpretasi terhadap hasil (persamaan regresi) yang kita peroleh. Karena sejak awal, data yang kita analisis adalah merupakan data kualitatif (bukan numerik) seperti halnya data interval/ratio.

Pemberian simbol dalam data kualitatif hanya bertujuan untuk memudahkan perhitungan secara matematis. Satuannya, yakni satuan yang ditunjukkan oleh data kualitatif setelah dilakukan pemberian simbol secara numerik tetap saja tidak akan memberikan informasi secara numerik seperti halnya data interval atau ratio.

OLAH DATA ORDINAL MENJADI INTERVAL

Gelandang Bayern Munich, Bastian Schweinsteiger telah menuding Arsenal sengaja memasang taktik defensif dan tak sedikit pun berniat untuk menggalang serangan di Allianz Arena.

Schweini - panggilan akrab Schweinsteiger, telah membuka keunggulan Die Roten pada menit 54 laga leg kedua 16 besar Liga Champions, sebelum Lukas Podolski menyamakan kedudukan tiga menit berselang.

Bayern berhak melaju ke perempat final dengan skor agregat 3-1, tapi Schweinsteiger sedikit kecewa dengan minimnya perlawanan yang diberikan tim tamu. "Kami coba melancarkan tekanan dan serangan, tapi Arsenal menarik semua pemainnya ke belakang demi mencoba menutup ruang," keluhnya.

Meski demikian, Schweinsteiger juga tetap bersyukur dengan keberhasilan mereka, terutama karena ia juga bisa tampil penuh setelah absen karena cedera. "Untuk saya pribadi, sungguh hebat rasanya bermain 90 menit di Liga Champions melawan tim sebagus Arsenal," imbuhnya.

Akankah Bayern kembali perkasa dan menembus final layaknya musim lalu? Share berita dengan benar pada rekan dan kolega, sembari sisipkan komentar cerdas Anda.

Schweini kecewa Arsenal tak beri perlawanan

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

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

Over the last five years or so, it seemed there was little that Dean G. Skelos, the majority leader of the New York Senate, would not do for his son.

He pressed a powerful real estate executive to provide commissions to his son, a 32-year-old title insurance salesman, according to a federal criminal complaint. He helped get him a job at an environmental company and employed his influence to help the company get government work. He used his office to push natural gas drilling regulations that would have increased his son’s commissions.

He even tried to direct part of a $5.4 billion state budget windfall to fund government contracts that the company was seeking. And when the company was close to securing a storm-water contract from Nassau County, the senator, through an intermediary, pressured the company to pay his son more — or risk having the senator subvert the bid.

The criminal complaint, unsealed on Monday, lays out corruption charges against Senator Skelos and his son, Adam B. Skelos, the latest scandal to seize Albany, and potentially alter its power structure.

Photo
 
Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, discussed the case involving Dean G. Skelos and his son, Adam. Credit Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The repeated and diverse efforts by Senator Skelos, a Long Island Republican, to use what prosecutors said was his political influence to find work, or at least income, for his son could send both men to federal prison. If they are convicted of all six charges against them, they face up to 20 years in prison for each of four of the six counts and up to 10 years for the remaining two.

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, of Long Island, who serves as chairman of the Republican conference, emerged from a closed-door meeting Monday night to say that conference members agreed that Mr. Skelos should be benefited the “presumption of innocence,” and would stay in his leadership role.

“The leader has indicated he would like to remain as leader,” said Mr. LaValle, “and he has the support of the conference.” The case against Mr. Skelos and his son grew out of a broader inquiry into political corruption by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, that has already changed the face of the state capital. It is based in part, according to the six-count complaint, on conversations secretly recorded by one of two cooperating witnesses, and wiretaps on the cellphones of the senator and his son. Those recordings revealed that both men were concerned about electronic surveillance, and illustrated the son’s unsuccessful efforts to thwart it.

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Adam Skelos took to using a “burner” phone, the complaint says, and told his father he wanted them to speak through a FaceTime video call in an apparent effort to avoid detection. They also used coded language at times.

At one point, Adam Skelos was recorded telling a Senate staff member of his frustration in not being able to speak openly to his father on the phone, noting that he could not “just send smoke signals or a little pigeon” carrying a message.

The 43-page complaint, sworn out by Paul M. Takla, a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlines a five-year scheme to “monetize” the senator’s official position; it also lays bare the extent to which a father sought to use his position to help his son.

The charges accuse the two men of extorting payments through a real estate developer, Glenwood Management, based on Long Island, and the environmental company, AbTech Industries, in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the expectation that the money paid to Adam Skelos — nearly $220,000 in total — would influence his father’s actions.

Glenwood, one of the state’s most prolific campaign donors, had ties to AbTech through investments in the environmental firm’s parent company by Glenwood’s founding family and a senior executive.

The accusations in the complaint portray Senator Skelos as a man who, when it came to his son, was not shy about twisting arms, even in situations that might give other arm-twisters pause.

Seeking to help his son, Senator Skelos turned to the executive at Glenwood, which develops rental apartments in New York City and has much at stake when it comes to real estate legislation in Albany. The senator urged him to direct business to his son, who sold title insurance.

After much prodding, the executive, Charles C. Dorego, engineered a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos from a title insurance company even though he did no work for the money. But far more lucrative was a consultant position that Mr. Dorego arranged for Adam Skelos at AbTech, which seeks government contracts to treat storm water. (Mr. Dorego is not identified by name in the complaint, but referred to only as CW-1, for Cooperating Witness 1.)

Senator Skelos appeared to take an active interest in his son’s new line of work. Adam Skelos sent him several drafts of his consulting agreement with AbTech, the complaint says, as well as the final deal that was struck.

“Mazel tov,” his father replied.

Senator Skelos sent relevant news articles to his son, including one about a sewage leak near Albany. When AbTech wanted to seek government contracts after Hurricane Sandy, the senator got on a conference call with his son and an AbTech executive, Bjornulf White, and offered advice. (Like Mr. Dorego, Mr. White is not named in the complaint, but referred to as CW-2.)

The assistance paid off: With the senator’s help, AbTech secured a contract worth up to $12 million from Nassau County, a big break for a struggling small business.

But the money was slow to materialize. The senator expressed impatience with county officials.

Adam Skelos, in a phone call with Mr. White in late December, suggested that his father would seek to punish the county. “I tell you this, the state is not going to do a [expletive] thing for the county,” he said.

Three days later, Senator Skelos pressed his case with the Nassau County executive, Edward P. Mangano, a fellow Republican. “Somebody feels like they’re just getting jerked around the last two years,” the senator said, referring to his son in what the complaint described as “coded language.”

The next day, the senator pursued the matter, as he and Mr. Mangano attended a wake for a slain New York City police officer. Senator Skelos then reassured his son, who called him while he was still at the wake. “All claims that are in will be taken care of,” the senator said.

AbTech’s fortunes appeared to weigh on his son. At one point in January, Adam Skelos told his father that if the company did not succeed, he would “lose the ability to pay for things.”

Making matters worse, in recent months, Senator Skelos and his son appeared to grow wary about who was watching them. In addition to making calls on the burner phone, Adam Skelos said he used the FaceTime video calling “because that doesn’t show up on the phone bill,” as he told Mr. White.

In late February, Adam Skelos arranged a pair of meetings between Mr. White and state senators; AbTech needed to win state legislation that would allow its contract to move beyond its initial stages. But Senator Skelos deemed the plan too risky and caused one of the meetings to be canceled.

In another recorded call, Adam Skelos, promising to be “very, very vague” on the phone, urged his father to allow the meeting. The senator offered a warning. “Right now we are in dangerous times, Adam,” he told him.

A month later, in another phone call that was recorded by the authorities, Adam Skelos complained that his father could not give him “real advice” about AbTech while the two men were speaking over the telephone.

“You can’t talk normally,” he told his father, “because it’s like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call. It’s just [expletive] frustrating.”

“It is,” his father agreed.

Dean Skelos, Albany Senate Leader, Aided Son at All Costs, U.S. Says

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.

Continue reading the main story
 

Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory ailments like asthma, but the potential of long-term exposure to cause cancers like myeloid leukemia is less well understood.

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.”

Continue reading the main story

Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

In laminate flooring, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent in the fiberboard (or other composite wood) core layer and may also be used in glues that bind layers together. Concerns were raised in March when certain laminate flooring imported from China was reported to contain levels of formaldehyde far exceeding the limit permitted by California.

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many industrial and household products as an adhesive, bonding agent or preservative. It is classified as a volatile organic compound. The term volatile means that, at room temperature, formaldehyde will vaporize, or become a gas. Products made with formaldehyde tend to release this gas into the air. If breathed in large quantities, it may cause health problems.

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

In cigarette smoke, or in the fumes from combustion of other materials, including wood, oil and gasoline.

Exposure to formaldehyde in sufficient amounts may cause eye, throat or skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing or asthma.

Long-term exposure to high levels has been associated with cancer in humans and laboratory animals.

Exposure to formaldehyde may affect some people more severely than others.

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.

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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.”

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Becky Gillette wants strong regulation of formaldehyde. Credit Beth Hall for The New York Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is intentional, Republican operatives said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 6-foot-10 Phillips played alongside the 6-11 Rick Robey on the Wildcats team that won the 1978 N.C.A.A. men’s basketball title.

Mike Phillips, Half of Kentucky’s ‘Twin Towers’ of Basketball, Dies at 59

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

Fullmer, who reigned when fight clubs abounded and Friday night fights were a television staple, was known for his title bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio.

Gene Fullmer, a Brawling Middleweight Champion, Dies at 83

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

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

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

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

Under Mr. Michelin’s leadership, which ended when he left the company in 2002, the Michelin Group became the world’s biggest tire maker, establishing a big presence in the United States and other major markets overseas.

François Michelin, Head of Tire Company, Dies at 88

As he reflected on the festering wounds deepened by race and grievance that have been on painful display in America’s cities lately, President Obama on Monday found himself thinking about a young man he had just met named Malachi.

A few minutes before, in a closed-door round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, Mr. Obama had asked a group of black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals. Several talked about counseling and guidance programs.

“Malachi, he just talked about — we should talk about love,” Mr. Obama told a crowd afterward, drifting away from his prepared remarks. “Because Malachi and I shared the fact that our dad wasn’t around and that sometimes we wondered why he wasn’t around and what had happened. But really, that’s what this comes down to is: Do we love these kids?”

Many presidents have governed during times of racial tension, but Mr. Obama is the first to see in the mirror a face that looks like those on the other side of history’s ledger. While his first term was consumed with the economy, war and health care, his second keeps coming back to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election. A president who eschewed focusing on race now seems to have found his voice again as he thinks about how to use his remaining time in office and beyond.

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Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

At an event announcing the creation of a nonprofit focusing on young minority men, President Obama talked about the underlying reasons for recent protests in Baltimore and other cities.

By Associated Press on Publish Date May 4, 2015. Photo by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.

In the aftermath of racially charged unrest in places like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York, Mr. Obama came to the Bronx on Monday for the announcement of a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, the new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will in effect provide the nucleus for Mr. Obama’s post-presidency, which will begin in January 2017.

“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

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Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.

Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

The alliance, while nominally independent of the White House, may face some of the same questions confronting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins another presidential campaign. Some of those donating to the alliance may have interests in government action, and skeptics may wonder whether they are trying to curry favor with the president by contributing.

“The Obama administration will have no role in deciding how donations are screened and what criteria they’ll set at the alliance for donor policies, because it’s an entirely separate entity,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One en route to New York. But he added, “I’m confident that the members of the board are well aware of the president’s commitment to transparency.”

The alliance was in the works before the disturbances last week after the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody in Baltimore, but it reflected the evolution of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For him, in a way, it is coming back to issues that animated him as a young community organizer and politician. It was his own struggle with race and identity, captured in his youthful memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” that stood him apart from other presidential aspirants.

But that was a side of him that he kept largely to himself through the first years of his presidency while he focused on other priorities like turning the economy around, expanding government-subsidized health care and avoiding electoral land mines en route to re-election.

After securing a second term, Mr. Obama appeared more emboldened. Just a month after his 2013 inauguration, he talked passionately about opportunity and race with a group of teenage boys in Chicago, a moment aides point to as perhaps the first time he had spoken about these issues in such a personal, powerful way as president. A few months later, he publicly lamented the death of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, saying that “could have been me 35 years ago.”

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President Obama on Monday with Darinel Montero, a student at Bronx International High School who introduced him before remarks at Lehman College in the Bronx. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

That case, along with public ruptures of anger over police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere, have pushed the issue of race and law enforcement onto the public agenda. Aides said they imagined that with his presidency in its final stages, Mr. Obama might be thinking more about what comes next and causes he can advance as a private citizen.

That is not to say that his public discussion of these issues has been universally welcomed. Some conservatives said he had made matters worse by seeming in their view to blame police officers in some of the disputed cases.

“President Obama, when he was elected, could have been a unifying leader,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president, said at a forum last week. “He has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions.”

On the other side of the ideological spectrum, some liberal African-American activists have complained that Mr. Obama has not done enough to help downtrodden communities. While he is speaking out more, these critics argue, he has hardly used the power of the presidency to make the sort of radical change they say is necessary.

The line Mr. Obama has tried to straddle has been a serrated one. He condemns police brutality as he defends most officers as honorable. He condemns “criminals and thugs” who looted in Baltimore while expressing empathy with those trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

In the Bronx on Monday, Mr. Obama bemoaned the death of Brian Moore, a plainclothes New York police officer who had died earlier in the day after being shot in the head Saturday on a Queens street. Most police officers are “good and honest and fair and care deeply about their communities,” even as they put their lives on the line, Mr. Obama said.

“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he added. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”

Moreover, if society writes off some people, he said, “that’s not the kind of country I want to live in; that’s not what America is about.”

His message to young men like Malachi Hernandez, who attends Boston Latin Academy in Massachusetts, is not to give up.

“I want you to know you matter,” he said. “You matter to us.”

Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

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

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

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

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Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is to be released next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple
Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

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
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