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Tips Membeli Lampu yang Hemat Energi

Lampu hemat energi semakin populer dan dapat digunakan hampir di mana saja. Dalam hal memilih lampu hemat energi, ada beberapa faktor yang perlu dipertimbangkan, termasuk merek, daya, efisiensi energi, daya tahan, penampilan, dll. Berikut adalah beberapa petunjuk mengenai bagaimana Anda dapat membuat pilihan.

Pilih Merek Reputasi

Lampu hemat energi seperti CFL atau LED semakin populer karena penghematan yang luar biasa dalam energi dan biaya yang telah mereka tawarkan. Ada banyak merek di pasar yang telah menawarkan lampu hemat energi, masing-masing telah menawarkan berbagai tingkat kualitas. Sejak pembuatan lampu hemat energi memerlukan desain yang canggih, teknologi canggih dan peralatan kelas atas, sebuah merek terkenal dan mapan yang menerima pengakuan dari industri menawarkan jaminan lebih pada kualitas dan keselamatan.

Sebagai lampu hemat energi mengkonsumsi energi 80% lebih sedikit jika dibandingkan dengan bola lampu tradisional, Anda juga dapat memilih lampu hemat energi yang lebih rendah watt untuk dapat menggantikan lampu pijar Anda, reflektor halogen atau lampu logam halida.

Tips Membeli Lampu yang Hemat Energi

Carilah Label Energi dengan Efisiensi Energi Tertinggi

Banyak negara dan wilayah, seperti Uni Eropa dan Hong Kong, telah mengadopsi kebijakan energi efisiensi dan telah memperkenalkan Efisiensi Energi wajib atau sukarela skema Label untuk dapat memberikan informasi tentang konsumsi energi dan efisiensi untuk membantu konsumen membuat keputusan pembelian yang lebih baik.

Efisiensi energi alat dinilai dalam hal set kelas efisiensi energi dicatat pada label. Sebagai contoh, Grade A adalah energi yang paling efisien sementara Kelas G merupakan yang paling efisien di bawah arahan Label Energi Uni Eropa. Label juga telah memberikan informasi berguna lainnya untuk pelanggan ketika membandingkan berbagai model.

Periksa Lamp Life dari Lampu Hemat Energi

Ketika membeli sumber cahaya baru atau penggantian bohlam, hidup lampu adalah pertimbangan yang sangat penting. Sebuah lampu hemat energi dengan lampu hidup lagi menghemat waktu, uang dan upaya pada pemeliharaan, dan mengurangi limbah padat di pembuangan. Secara umum, CFL juga dapat beroperasi dari 6.000 sampai 15.000 jam sedangkan LED berlangsung sampai 40.000 jam. Mengambil faktor waktu menjadi pertimbangan, biaya rata-rata dari lampu hemat energi dapat jauh lebih rendah daripada lampu pijar dan halogen.

Pilih Warna Suhu Tepat

Suhu Warna adalah ukuran dari Warna Cahaya, telah diwakili dalam unit K (Kelvin). Semakin rendah suhu warna, cahaya muncul sebagai nada warna kuning atau merah hangat. Seperti sumber cahaya yang paling cocok untuk lingkungan yang nyaman untuk dapat membuat merasa nyaman. Di sisi lain, dengan suhu warna yang lebih tinggi, cahaya muncul sebagai nada warna biru atau putih dingin. Konsumen juga dapat memilih suhu warna lampu hemat energi berdasarkan preferensi mereka, kesempatan aplikasi dan efek pencahayaan yang diinginkan.

Periksa Ukuran dan Pertandingan Basis Lampu

Umbi datang dalam berbagai bentuk, ukuran dan fungsi. Sebagai teknologi lampu hemat energi dewasa, mereka sekarang tersedia dalam berbagai bentuk dan dalam ukuran yang sebanding dengan lampu pijar dan halogen. Bentuk yang paling umum adalah lilin, klasik, tubular dan reflektor.

Dalam hal memilih lampu hemat energi, Anda juga harus menentukan fungsi lampu Anda. Apakah akan digunakan untuk suasana pencahayaan, lampu hias, keamanan, membaca, sebagai focal point, atau dalam beberapa cara lain? Sebagai contoh, Anda mungkin perlu bohlam lampu lilin atau lampu intensitas tinggi yang terang reflektor untuk lampu baca Anda.

Pertimbangan lain adalah basis lampu. Periksa lampu dasar fixture lampu untuk dapat menentukan energi lampu hemat cocok ke dalamnya. Yang paling umum termasuk:

Kepedulian terhadap Isu Lingkungan

Dunia sedang menghadapi banyak masalah seperti pemanasan global, efek rumah kaca, polusi, menipisnya energi, dll, yang tidak hanya membahayakan diri sendiri, tapi keturunan kita. Sementara "Hijau Pergi" adalah tren, adalah tanggung jawab setiap orang untuk mengambil tindakan segera untuk melindungi lingkungan.

Beberapa merek lampu hemat energi membayar lebih banyak usaha untuk perlindungan lingkungan dan ketat mengontrol penggunaan bahan berbahaya, termasuk timah dan merkuri dalam proses manufaktur mereka. Selain itu, mereka yang menggunakan bahan daur ulang dan dapat didaur ulang untuk produk dan kemasan mengurangi limbah padat.

 

TIPS MEMBELI LAMPU YANG HEMAT ENERGI

 

Gunung Tangkuban Perahu adalah salah satu gunung berapi yang masih aktif hingga kini yang telah terletak di daerah Lembang, Jawa Barat, Indonesia. Gunung Tangkuban Perahu tingginya telah mencapai 2.084 meter (6.837 kaki) dan bentuk dari Gunung Tangkuban Perahu ini adalah stratovulcano dengan pusat erupsi yang telah berpindah dari timur menuju barat.

Gunung Tangkuban Perahu terakhir kali meletus pada tahun 2013 lalu. Jenis batuan yang di keluarkan Gunung Tangkuban Perahu melalui letusannya kebanyakan adalah lava dan sulfur. Mineral yang telah dikeluarkan oleh Gunung Tangkuban Perahu adalah berupa sulfur belerang. Di saat tidak aktif, mineral yang telah dikeluarkan oleh Gunung Tangkuban Perahu adalah berupa uap belerang.
Gunung Tangkuban Perahu

Gunung Tangkuban Perahu

Kawasan wisata Gunung Tangkuban Perahu dikelola oleh perum perhutanan. Tempat Wisata Gunung Tangkuban Perahu telah memiliki suhu rata-rata setiap harinya adalah 17 derajat C pada siang hari dan pada malam hari bisa mencapai suhu rata-rata 2 derajat C. Gunung Tangkuban Perahu juga memiliki kawasan perhutanan seperti hutan dipterokarp bukit, hutan dipterokarp atas, hutan montane, dan yang terakhir ialah hutan ericaceous atau lebih dikenal dengan sebutan hutan gunung.

Gunung Tangkuban Perahu juga sering dikaitkan dengan lagenda Sangkuriang, pasti anda juga sudah tau ceritanya bukan. Bagi yang masih belum tau ceritanya akan saya coba ceritakan ulang lagenda Sangkuriang, secara singkatnya sih ceritanya “Sangkuriang mencintai ibunya sendiri yaitu Dayang Sumbi. Dayang sumbi pun telah mendapatkan cara untuk menggagalkan niat Sangkuriang yang mau menikahinya yaitu dengan mengajukan persyaratan sangkuriang harus membuat perahu dalam waktu semalam. Ketika usaha Sangkuriang untuk membuat perahu dalam semalam gagal, Sangkuriang pun marah dan ia menendang perahu yang dia buat tadi hingga terbalik. Perahu inilah yang kemudian menjadi Gunung Tangkuban Perahu.”
Taman Wisata Alam Gunung Tangkuban Perahu

Taman Wisata Alam Gunung Tangkuban Perahu

Gunung Tangkuban Perahu juga merupakan salah satu gunung berapi yang masih aktif yang statusnya diawasi terus oleh Direktorat Vulkanologi Indonesia. Beberapa kawah di kawasan wisata Gunung Tangkuban Perahu masih telah menunjukkan bahwa gunung ini masih aktif dengan tanda-tanda keaktifannya yaitu munculnya gas belerang dan sumber-sumber air panas di kaki gunungnya seperti halnya di Kasawan Ciater, Subang.

Tapi jangan salah, walaupun Gunung Tangkuban Perahu merupakan gunung berapi yang masih aktif bukan berarti tidak ada orang yang mau berwisata ke gunung ini. Justru tempat wisata Gunung Tangkuban Perahu sangat ramai dikunjungi oleh wisatawan lokal maupun asing. Obyek wisata yang bisa anda kunjungi saat berada di kawasan wisata Gunung Tangkuban Perahu seperti Kawah Ratu, Kawah Upas, Kawah Domas dan Kawah Jurig.
Kawah Ratu Tangkuban Perahu

Kawah Ratu Tangkuban Perahu

Apa yang menarik dari Gunung Tangkuban Perahu ini? Gunung Tangkuban Perahu juga merupakan salah satu tempat wisata alam yang juga telah memacu adrenalin. Keindahan alam yang sangat jarang anda temukan akan anda temukan di sini. Di kawasan wisata Gunung Tangkuban Perahu anda juga dapat merasakan keindahan alam yang masih terjaga kealamiannya hingga saat ini. Berjalan menjelajahi hutan di daerah Gunung Tangkuban Perahu dan merasakan dahsyatnya suasana di dekat gunung berapi.

Gunung Tangkuban Perahu juga merupakan tempat wisata alam yang sangat cocok untuk anda berlibur bersama keluarga maupun sahabat anda sambil berfoto di kawasan gunung berapi. Hal ini juga merupakan kejadian langka dan dapat anda jadikan kenang-kenangan seumur hidup. Jika anda ingin berkunjung ke Gunung Tangkuban Perahu jangan takut, karena nanti akan ada pemandu yang siap memandu anda.

Untuk sampai ke obyek wisata Gunung Tangkuban Perahu, anda bisa berangkat dari kota Bandung menuju arah utara (arah Subang). Kurang lebih berjarak 20 km dari pusat kota Bandung. Banyak angkutan umum yang siap mengantar anda menuju wisata alam Gunung Tangkuban Perahu ini.

TEMPAT WISATA GUNUNG TANGKUBAN PERAHU

Saco-Indonesia.com — Polisi mulai memeriksa saksi-saksi terkait kasus pembunuhan Ade Sara Angelina Suroto (19). Saksi-saksi itu di antaranya adalah orang-orang yang dimintai tolong oleh pelaku AIH (19) saat mobil yang dipakai untuk membawa mayat Ade Sara mogok hingga tiga kali.

Kepala Bidang Humas Polda Metro Jaya Komisaris Besar Rikwanto mengatakan, saat berputar-putar hendak membuang mayat korban, mobil yang ditumpangi pelaku AIH dan satu pelaku lagi, AR (18), mogok tiga kali. Saat mogok ini, AIH meminjam jumper aki ke sejumlah orang untuk menghidupkan kembali mobil KIA Visto.

Namun, mobil itu mogok lagi hingga tiga kali. AIH kemudian memanggil temannya untuk meminjam aki. Teman AIH datang ke lokasi. ”Saat itu, temannya sempat melihat ada orang di dalam mobil AIH. Ia bertanya, siapa itu? Dijawab AIH, itu mayat,” kata Rikwanto.

Mendapat jawaban itu, teman AI diam sebelum kemudian pergi. Setelah mesin mobil hidup kembali, pelaku pergi dengan membawa mayat korban.

Rikwanto menambahkan, polisi belum menjadwalkan pemeriksaan psikologi AIH dan AR. Keduanya masih menjawab pertanyaan penyidik dengan normal. Namun, jika dibutuhkan, polisi akan menghadirkan psikolog untuk memeriksa kondisi kejiwaan kedua pelaku.

Meminta maaf

Keluarga Ade Sara Angelina Suroto (19) tidak hanya memaafkan tindakan pelaku yang membunuh Sara. Keluarga, melalui paman Sara, Yohanes Sutarto, juga meminta maaf jika ada tindakan dan perkataan Sara yang telah melukai kedua pelaku sehingga terjadi peristiwa pembunuhan itu.

”Kami pun tak habis pikir kenapa terjadi penganiayaan itu. Apa mungkin Sara telah melukai perasaan mereka (kedua pelaku). Kalau demikian, kami pun minta maaf,” kata Yohanes.

Namun, hingga saat ini, menurut Yohanes, keluarga kedua pelaku belum ada yang meminta maaf kepada keluarga Sara. ”Ya, kami juga memahami keluarga mereka (kedua pelaku) dan keluarga kami juga tak saling kenal, melainkan anak-anaknya yang kenal,” kata Yohanes.

Tak dimungkiri Yohanes, meskipun cukup tegar, orangtua Sara sesungguhnya juga terguncang, terutama ayah Sara, Suroto, yang kerap termenung pada malam hari. ”Ibunda Sara, Elizabeth, memang kelihatan jauh lebih tegar. Mudah-mudahan selanjutnya demikian,” kata Yohanes.

Sensitivitas terkikis

Psikolog anak dan remaja dari Lembaga Psikologi Terapan Universitas Indonesia, Vera Itabiliana Hadiwidjojo, mengatakan, ada kemungkinan kedua pelaku, AIH dan AR, telah kehilangan sensitivitas dan empati.

”Mungkin, entah bagaimana, sensitivitas ataupun empati keduanya terkikis. Padahal, itu yang membatasi orang untuk tidak menyakiti orang lain,” kata Vera.

Namun, menurut Vera, seseorang tidak bisa menjadi sesadis itu dalam waktu singkat. Ia yakin ada beberapa faktor yang berkontribusi memunculkan kesadisan itu. Hal ini bukan berarti membela atau mencari pembenaran dalam tindakan kedua pelaku. Namun, faktor-faktor pemicu kesadisan sebisa mungkin harus diungkap untuk menemukan akar masalahnya.

Pakar psikologi forensik, Reza Indragiri Amriel, berpendapat, kecil kemungkinan tewasnya Sara sebagai sebuah kesengajaan dan terencana. Dua tersangka, yakni AIH dan AR, diduga kalap sehingga bereaksi secara berlebihan. Efek ini timbul karena pelaku tidak profesional.

”Reaksi berlebihan dari kedua tersangka terjadi saat korban berteriak dan bertindak di luar antisipasi sebelumnya. Cara tersangka menghentikannya kebablasan,” kata Reza. (MKN/NEL/MDN/RAY)

 

Sumber : Kompas.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

Keluarga Ade Sara Meminta Maaf kepada Pelaku

saco-indonesia.com, Sebuah rumah kontrakan di RT 02/02, Kampung Rambutan, Ciracas, Jakarta Timur, telah digerebek oleh tim gabungan Polres Jakarta Timur dan Polsek Ciracas. Meski pelaku lolos, empat pucuk senjata api telah ditemukan petugas dari rumah tersebut.

Dari rumah kontrakan milik Weni Ernawati, yang telah dihuni oleh dua pelaku tersebut , petugas telah berhasil menemukan tiga pucuk senjata api rakitan jenis revolver, satu pucuk senjata api organik jenis revolver, 10 butir peluru revolver kaliber 38 mm, 9 butir peluru kaliber 9 mm. Selain itu petugas juga telah mengamankan kunci letter T dengan 40 jenis anak kuncinya, serta 6 unit
sepeda motor.

Kapolsek Ciracas, Kompol Suwanda telah menuturkan, kedua pelaku tersebut telah melarikan diri dengan cara melompati pagar samping rumah saat mengetahui petugas mendatangi markas mereka. “Kini tim kita juga masih harus melakukan pengembangan atas kasus ini. Termasuk memburu dua pelaku itu,” katanya.

Dikatakan Suwanda, penggerebekan tersebut juga merupakan pengembangan yang dilakukan petugas setelah mendapat informasi dari masyarakat. “Di rumah kontrakan itu ada empat sampai lima orang yang tinggal dan selalu gonta-ganti motor,” jelas dia.

Tim gabungan pun akhirnya langsung bergerak menuju rumah kontrakan tersebut. Namun, diduga aksi penggerebekan sudah tercium pelaku, mereka telah melarikan diri. “Pelaku tiba-tiba saja kabur dengan meloncat pagar samping rumah,” ujarnya. Hingga saat ini, petugas masih terus memburu pelaku yang sudah diketahui identitasnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

 

PELAKU CURANMOR LOLOS

Penerangan cahaya pada malam hari sangat di butuhkan, selain untuk membantu penglihatan agar lebih jelas, bantuan penerangan dari cahaya lampu juga dapat membuat kita bisa terus beraktifitas pada malam hari. Namun sumber energi yang ada mulai terbatas sedangkan jumlah pemakai semakin bertambah, mengakibatkan harga untuk memakai energi listik menjadi mahal.

Untuk dapat megatasinya gunakanlah sebijak mungkin dalam penggunaannya, ada banyak cara diantaranya untuk mengganti lampu pijar dengan lapu hemat energi, yaitu lampu Compack Flourcent Light (CFL), hal ini banyak di gunakan dari mulai pabrik dan rumah tinggal, hal ini dilakukan untuk dapat menekan tagihan listrik tiap bulannya, karena diyakini penggunaan lampu CFL lebih hemat energi jika dibanding dengan lampu pijar atau lampu bohlam.

Cara Tepat Memilih Lampu

Namun berita terbaru penggunaan lampu CFL mengandung resiko terhadap kesehatan tubuh khusunya kulit, dari hasil penelitian Stony Brook University di New York AS bahwa lampu hemat energi tersebut memancarkan radiasi ultraviolet (UV) yang lumayan tinggi, sehingga dikhawatirkan dapat megakibatkan keruskan pada pada sel kulit, dan pada paparan yang sangat tinggi akan menyebabkan kanker. ini telah dibuktikan dengan cara melakukan uji coba pada kulit yang  sama, dengann memaparkan cahaya dari lampu CFL dan lampu pijar, setelah dianalaisa ternyata kuit yang terkena paparan cahaya lampu hemat energi mengalami kerusakan yang sangat signifikan, hasilnya sinar lampu ini benar-benar mampu mengakibatkan kematian sel, sedangkan sel kulit yang terkena lampu pijar tidak mengalami kerusakan yang terlau berarti,  ”Ungkap peneliti Marcia Simon yang juga profesor dermatologi dari Stony Breek University”.

Seperti yang di kutip dari livescience, peneliti telah meyakini bila terjadi keretakan sekecil apapun pada pembungkus lampu CFL, bisa dapat menyebabkan bocornya sinar UV sehingga membahayakan bagi kesehatan kulit, selain itu lampu CFL juga mengandung bahan berbahaya lainnya seperti merkuri yang dipercaya bisa merusak jaringan saraf, bayi yang lahir bisa mengalami kecacatan dan resiko kesehatan lainnya

Namun dari pihak produsen lampu CFL, telah menanggapi bahwa tingkat radiasi yang dipancarkan oleh lampu CFL masih relatif  aman dan rendah sehingga masih bisa  digunakan untuk keperluan sehari-hari.

Kesimpulannya

Dengan adanya penelitian tentang  lampu hemat energei atau CFL, kita sebagai konsumen dituntut lebih bijak dalam menggunakan energi yang mulai terbatas, bijak juga dalam memilih lampu sebagai sumber penerangan yang lebih ramah terhadap kesehatan untuk keluarga tercinta kita, jadi tidak semata-mata demi menghemat dan melakukan efiseinsi energi atau untuk menekan tagihan listrik yang sepertinya memang akan mengalami kenaikan yang tidak lama lagi.

Mudah-mudahan  postingan Cara Tepat Memilih Lampu Hemat Energi ini bisa bermanfaat dan menjadikan kita lebih bijak kala menggunakan energi listrik

 

CARA TEPAT MEMILIH LAMPU HEMAT ENERGI

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?”

Photo
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

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.

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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.

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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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Play Video|1:17

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
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Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take the Money and Run

Ms. Turner and her twin sister founded the Love Kitchen in 1986 in a church basement in Knoxville, Tenn., and it continues to provide clothing and meals.

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Pronovost, who played for the Red Wings, was not a prolific scorer, but he was a consummate team player with bruising checks and fearless bursts up the ice that could puncture a defense.

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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.

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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

UNITED NATIONS — Wearing pinstripes and a pince-nez, Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations envoy for Syria, arrived at the Security Council one Tuesday afternoon in February and announced that President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to halt airstrikes over Aleppo. Would the rebels, Mr. de Mistura suggested, agree to halt their shelling?

What he did not announce, but everyone knew by then, was that the Assad government had begun a military offensive to encircle opposition-held enclaves in Aleppo and that fierce fighting was underway. It would take only a few days for rebel leaders, having pushed back Syrian government forces, to outright reject Mr. de Mistura’s proposed freeze in the fighting, dooming the latest diplomatic overture on Syria.

Diplomacy is often about appearing to be doing something until the time is ripe for a deal to be done.

 

 

Now, with Mr. Assad’s forces having suffered a string of losses on the battlefield and the United States reaching at least a partial rapprochement with Mr. Assad’s main backer, Iran, Mr. de Mistura is changing course. Starting Monday, he is set to hold a series of closed talks in Geneva with the warring sides and their main supporters. Iran will be among them.

In an interview at United Nations headquarters last week, Mr. de Mistura hinted that the changing circumstances, both military and diplomatic, may have prompted various backers of the war to question how much longer the bloodshed could go on.

“Will that have an impact in accelerating the willingness for a political solution? We need to test it,” he said. “The Geneva consultations may be a good umbrella for testing that. It’s an occasion for asking everyone, including the government, if there is any new way that they are looking at a political solution, as they too claim they want.”

He said he would have a better assessment at the end of June, when he expects to wrap up his consultations. That coincides with the deadline for a final agreement in the Iran nuclear talks.

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Whether a nuclear deal with Iran will pave the way for a new opening on peace talks in Syria remains to be seen. Increasingly, though, world leaders are explicitly linking the two, with the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, suggesting last week that a nuclear agreement could spur Tehran to play “a major but positive role in Syria.”

It could hardly come soon enough. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian war has claimed 220,000 lives, prompted an exodus of more than three million refugees and unleashed jihadist groups across the region. “This conflict is producing a question mark in many — where is it leading and whether this can be sustained,” Mr. de Mistura said.

Part Italian, part Swedish, Mr. de Mistura has worked with the United Nations for more than 40 years, but he is more widely known for his dapper style than for any diplomatic coups. Syria is by far the toughest assignment of his career — indeed, two of the organization’s most seasoned diplomats, Lakhdar Brahimi and Kofi Annan, tried to do the job and gave up — and critics have wondered aloud whether Mr. de Mistura is up to the task.

He served as a United Nations envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and before that in Lebanon, where a former minister recalled, with some scorn, that he spent many hours sunbathing at a private club in the hills above Beirut. Those who know him say he has a taste for fine suits and can sometimes speak too soon and too much, just as they point to his diplomatic missteps and hyperbole.

They cite, for instance, a news conference in October, when he raised the specter of Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslims were massacred in 1995 during the Balkans war, in warning that the Syrian border town of Kobani could fall to the Islamic State. In February, he was photographed at a party in Damascus, the Syrian capital, celebrating the anniversary of the Iranian revolution just as Syrian forces, aided by Iran, were pummeling rebel-held suburbs of Damascus; critics seized on that as evidence of his coziness with the government.

Mouin Rabbani, who served briefly as the head of Mr. de Mistura’s political affairs unit and has since emerged as one of his most outspoken critics, said Mr. de Mistura did not have the background necessary for the job. “This isn’t someone well known for his political vision or political imagination, and his closest confidants lack the requisite knowledge and experience,” Mr. Rabbani said.

As a deputy foreign minister in the Italian government, Mr. de Mistura was tasked in 2012 with freeing two Italian marines detained in India for shooting at Indian fishermen. He made 19 trips to India, to little effect. One marine was allowed to return to Italy for medical reasons; the other remains in India.

He said he initially turned down the Syria job when the United Nations secretary general approached him last August, only to change his mind the next day, after a sleepless, guilt-ridden night.

Mr. de Mistura compared his role in Syria to that of a doctor faced with a terminally ill patient. His goal in brokering a freeze in the fighting, he said, was to alleviate suffering. He settled on Aleppo as the location for its “fame,” he said, a decision that some questioned, considering that Aleppo was far trickier than the many other lesser-known towns where activists had negotiated temporary local cease-fires.

“Everybody, at least in Europe, are very familiar with the value of Aleppo,” Mr. de Mistura said. “So I was using that as an icebreaker.”

The cease-fire negotiations, to which he had devoted six months, fell apart quickly because of the government’s military offensive in Aleppo the very day of his announcement at the Security Council. Privately, United Nations diplomats said Mr. de Mistura had been manipulated. To this, Mr. de Mistura said only that he was “disappointed and concerned.”

Tarek Fares, a former rebel fighter, said after a recent visit to Aleppo that no Syrian would admit publicly to supporting Mr. de Mistura’s cease-fire proposal. “If anyone said they went to a de Mistura meeting in Gaziantep, they would be arrested,” is how he put it, referring to the Turkish city where negotiations between the two sides were held.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains staunchly behind Mr. de Mistura’s efforts. His defenders point out that he is at the center of one of the world’s toughest diplomatic problems, charged with mediating a conflict in which two of the world’s most powerful nations — Russia, which supports Mr. Assad, and the United States, which has called for his ouster — remain deadlocked.

R. Nicholas Burns, a former State Department official who now teaches at Harvard, credited Mr. de Mistura for trying to negotiate a cease-fire even when the chances of success were exceedingly small — and the chances of a political deal even smaller. For his efforts to work, Professor Burns argued, the world powers will first have to come to an agreement of their own.

“He needs the help of outside powers,” he said. “It starts with backers of Assad. That’s Russia and Iran. De Mistura is there, waiting.”

With Iran Talks, a Tangled Path to Ending Syria’s War

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

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

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

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

– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs

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

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64
Photo
 
United’s first-class and business fliers get Rhapsody, its high-minded in-flight magazine, seen here at its office in Brooklyn. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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