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Bekasi, Saco-Indonesia.com - Segmen yang selama ini diam, terletak 37 km di selatan Kroya, Jawa Tengah, pada sabtu (25/1/2014) bersuara. Gejolak segmen itu menimbulkan gempa yang mengguncang wilayah hampir seluruh Jawa dengan goncangan terkuat di Kebumen.

Menurut informasi dari United States Geological Survey (USGS), gempa bermagnitud 6,1, terjadi pada pukul 12.14 WIB, pada kedalaman 89,1 km. Gempa tidak menimbulkan tsunami tapi disusul oleh 6 gempa susulan.

Terkait gempa tersebut, pakar tektonik dari Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Irwan Meilano, sempat mengungkapkan adanya potensi gempa Kebumen untuk tidak hanya mengakibatkan gempa susulan, tetapi juga gempa yang terpicu (triggerred earthquake).

Irwan mengatakan, gempa yang terpicu oleh gempa Kebumen itu "bisa memiliki magnitud yang lebih besar dari gempa sebelumnya." (Baca artikel "Waspada, Gempa Kebumen Bisa Memicu Gempa Lebih Besar").

Peringatan ini mendapatkan respon beragam dalam kotak komentar di Kompas.com maupun media sosial Twitter, salah satunya adalah ketakutan dan tuduhan bahwa informasi tentang potensi gempa yang terpicu adalah upaya menakut-nakuti masyarakat.

"Jangan nakut-nakuti bos!" demikian komentar salah satu pembaca Kompas.com dengan akun bernama Juragan Minyak - kecewa Gubernur DKI abaikan sumber polusi bising di ibu kota, pada Sabtu pukul 20.19 WIB.

Sementara, di Twitter, pengguna bernama Dariel Siregar mengatakan, "Kepo!! Berita buat masyarakat resah aje." Anggi Anggarini punya kicauan hampir sama. "Jangan nakut2in donk :'(," katanya.

Haruskah Panik dan Takut?

Menanggapi komentar pembaca, Irwan memahami bahwa informasi potensi gempa memang bisa membuat publik panik. Tak sepenuhnya salah, sebab Indonesia memang memiliki historis gempa mematikan, seperti gempa Aceh tahun 2004 dan gempa Yogyakarta tahun 2006.

Namun, ia menegaskan bahwa tujuan pemberian informasi bukanlah untuk membuat panik. "Informasi potensi bencana memang harus diberikan untuk meningkatkan kewaspadaan kita," kata Irwan saat dihubungi Kompas.com, Minggu (26/1/2014).

Irwan mengungkapkan, seringkali terjadi, Indonesia menganggap rendah potensi bencana. Informasi yang diberikan kepada masyarakat tidak sesuai dengan potensi yang sebenarnya. "Agar masyarakat tenang," tuturnya.

Menurutnya, bencana-bencana yang merenggut banyak nyawa dan membuat negara merugi sebenarnya adalah akumulasi dari ketidakpedulian kita pada potensi bencana. "Kalau kita meng-underestimate potensi gempa, ini juga salah satu bentuk ignorance," ungkapnya.

Informasi potensi gempa yang sebenarnya memang bisa membuat panik dan takut. Namun, bagaimanapun tetap perlu diberikan dengan cara komunikasi yang pas sehingga tumbuh kesiapsiagaan menghadapi bencana serta perubahan sikap.

Irwan menuturkan, sejarah memang mengharuskan warga yang hidup di selatan Jawa untuk mewaspadai gempa. Aktivitas lempeng lautan terbukti telah memicu gempa dan tsunami di Banyuwangi pada tahun 1994 dan gempa dan tsunami Pangandaran tahun 2006.

Mengapa tak detail?

Akun Andri Jalu menulis dalam kotak komentar di Kompas.com, "Jelaskan dengan lebih detil tentang selang waktu gempa yang terpicu, buat orang awam yg bukan ahli, jadi tidak menimbulkan ketakutan kalo ada yg membaca artikel ini."

Mungkin memang sebuah keharusan bila pemberitahuan ancaman disertai dengan detail selang waktu gempa yang terpicu akan terjadi, wilayah mana yang kemungkinan mengalami, dan berapa besarnya. Sayangnya, detail tersebut sulit didapatkan.

Widjo Kongko, peneliti gempa dan tsunami dari Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT), mengatakan bahwa gempa Kebumen terjadi di segmen yang jarang bergejolak. Dalam 4 dekade, cuma ada 10 gempa dengan magnitud lebih dari 5 yang terjadi di segmen itu.

Pada saat yang sama, patahan dan segmen penyebab gempa di selatan Jawa belum banyak terpetakan seperti di Sumatera. Karenanya, Widjo menyebut bahwa pengetahuan tentang wilayah tersebut masih gelap.

Karena belum banyak dipelajari, sulit memerkirakan wilayah yang akan terpicu aktivitasnya akibat gempa Kebumen kemarin, di samping memang sampai saat ini sulit memerkirakan waktu dan lokasi yang akan mengalami gempa.

Widjo hanya bisa memberi petunjuk lokasi yang masih umum. "Lokasi di Jawa selatan, bisa mendekati palung atau sebaliknya, ke daratan," ungkapnya. Berapa lama setelah gempa Kebumen gempa terpicu mungkin terjadi, belum bisa dikatakan.

Irwan mengungkapkan, gempa Kebumen kemarin terjadi dengan mekanisme sesar turun akibat slab pull. Slab pull secara sederhana adalah bergeraknya lempeng samudera karena adanya tarikan lempeng samudera yang berada di zona subduksi.

Menurut Irwan, gerakan turun lempeng akibat gempa Kebumen cukup curam. Ini bisa berarti bahwa bagian atas lempeng tersebut saat ini memiliki akumulasi energi dan berpotensi menimbulkan gempa yang terpicu.

"Jadi yang bisa diberikan, gempa yang terpicu ini mungkin terjadi di wilayah yang lebih dangkal," ungkapnya. Wilayah dangkal berarti berada pada kedalaman palung hingga 50 kilometer.

Gempa dangkal memang hanya akan dirasakan di wilayah yang cakupannya lebih sempit. Namun, goncangannya akan lebih terasa dampaknya jauh lebih merusak. Gempa Yogyakarta pada tahun 2006 dengan kedalaman episentrum hanya 10 km adalah salah satu gempa dangkal.

Gempa dangkal yang terjadi di lautan juga bisa berarti memiliki potensi tsunami bila gerakan sesarnya naik. Dengan goncangan lebih besar dan berpotensi tsunami, maka suatu gempa akan lebih mematikan.

Di luar konteks gempa yang terpicu, gempa Kebumen juga memberi petunjuk bahwa subduksi Jawa aktif. Selama ini, seringkali dianggap bahwa subduksi Jawa aseismik, tidak seaktif subduksi Sumatera.

Ilmuwan membagi subduksi Jawa menjadi tiga bagian, Selat Sunda hingga selatan Jawa Barat, selatan Jawa Tengah, serta selatan Jawa Timur hingga Bali. Masing-masing memang bisa memicu gempa dengan magnitud 8,5.

Apa yang harus dilakukan?

Perkembangan ilmu pengetahuan saat ini belum mampu memberikan kemampuan bagi manusia untuk meramal gempa. Pada saat yang sama, penelitian tentang beragam patahan penyebab gempa serta yang terkait masih terkendala dana. Di tengah situasi itu, apa yang harus dilakukan?

Widjo menuturkan, saat ini masyarakat bisa melakukan penyesuaian setelah mengetahui bahwa dirinya tinggal di lokasi rawan gempa. "Misalnya bangunan rumah dibuat tahan gempa," ungkap Widjo.

Sementara, Irwan mengatakan, informasi adanya ancaman seharusnya sudah cukup bagi pemerintah dan masyarakat untuk memulai perubahan.

"Warga harus lebih waspada, edukasi yang diberikan pemerintah ke masyarakat terus dilakukan, institudi pendidikan juga harus mulai membangun kesadaran tentang gempa," jelas Irwan.

Terkait adaptasi yang bisa dilakukan warga, peneliti dari Pusat Penelitian Geoteknologi LIPI, Eko Yulianto, saat ditemui Desember 2013 lalu menuturkan perlunya warga memiliki ruang aman untuk berlindung saat gempa.

Ruang aman bisa berupa ruang atau sudut mana pun di dalam rumah yang dibangun  tahan gempa. Strategi ini merupakan alternatif ketika membangun rumah tahan gempa masih sulit. Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) perlu mengampanyekannya.

Sumber : Kompas.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

V, Karena Dari Laut Selatan Mengirim Sinyal Ancaman Gempa

saco-indonesia.com, Dalam kunjungan kerja selama tiga hari kemarin, Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) juga sempat meninjau ke pabrik tahu dan toko di Sumedang, Jawa Barat. SBY telah menyebut ada persoalan suplai kedelai dan stabilitas harga.

"Saya juga telah melihat industri rakyat, usaha mikro kecil dan menengah, industri tahu Sumedang ya, ada persoalan kedelai baik suplai maupun stabilitas harganya dan secara umum apa yang harus negara lakukan untuk kembangkan UMKM," ujar SBY, sebelum membuka ratas, pagi ini, di Kantornya, Jumat (7/2).

SBY juga telah mengingatkan kembali ketika UMKM mengalami krisis dan bagaimana pemerintah bisa meminimalisir hal itu. SBY juga berpesan kepada kepala daerah, Gubernur untuk dapat mendorong usaha rakyat kecil dan menengah di daerahnya masing-masing.

"Dulu waktu kita alami krisis, ekonomi kita, usaha kecil menengah kita rontok, itu akan bisa meminimalisir dampaknya, sekarang Alhamdulillah investasi terus tumbuh, bukan hanya usaha besar tapi juga kecil dan menengah tumbuh baik," ujar SBY.

"Saya sampaikan gubernur agar usaha kecil dan menengah ini di dorong," ujarnya lagi.

Dalam kunjungan kerja, SBY beserta rombongan telah mengunjungi pabrik dan toko tahu Palasari di Jalan Mayor Abdurachman, Sumedang Utara, Jawa Barat. SBY juga sempat mencicipi tahu yang digoreng oleh Bu Ani Yudhoyono yang ikut meninjau dalam rombongan.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

SBY PERINTAHKAN GUBERNUR IKUT KEMBANGKAN UMKM
Dari berita Tambo Pagaruyung dapat diketahui bagaiman keadaan Pagaruyung sesudah Adiyawarman demikian pula wawancara dengan S.M. Taufik Thaib SH. Dikatakan mengenai silisilah raja-raja Pagaruyung adalah sebagai berikut: Adityawarman (1339-1376) Ananggawarman (1376) Yang Dipertuan Sultan Bakilap Alam Yang Dipertuan Sultan Pasambahan Yang Dipertuan Sultan Alif gelar Khalifafullah Yang Dipertuan Sultan Barandangan Yang Dipertuan Sultan Patah (Sultan Muning II) Yang Dipertuan Sultan Muning III Yang Dipertuan Sultan Sembahwang Yang Dipertuan Sultan Bagagar Syah Yang Dipertuan Gadih Reni Sumpur 1912 Yang Dipertuan Gadih Mudo (1912-1915) Sultan Ibrahim 1915-1943 gelar Tuanku Ketek Drs. Sultan Usman 1943 (Kepala Kaum Keluarga Raja Pagaruyung) Dari data ini dapat ditarik kesimpulan bahwa sesudah Adityawarman raja-raja di Pagaruyung sudah menganut agama Islam sesuai dengan sebutan Sultan (pengaruh Islam). Bila Sultan Bakilap Alam memerintah tidak disebutkan oleh tambo tersebut, tetapi dapat diperkirakan sesudah tahun 1409, karena sampai 1409 pemerintahan Pagaruyung masih bersifat sentralisasi seperti sewaktu pemerintahan Adityawarman. Sesudah tahun tersebut pemerintahan Pagaruyung sudah desentralisasi dengan pengertian bahwa nagari-nagari sudah mempunyai otonom penuh dan pemerintahan di Pagaruyung sudah mulai melemah. Selanjutnya dikatakan bahwa di atas pemerintahan nagari-nagari terlihat adanya dua tingkat pemerintahan yaitu Rajo Tigo Selo dan Basa Ampek Balai. Rajo Tigo Selo dimaksudkan adalah tiga orang raja yang sekaligus berkuasa di bidang masing-masing. Raja Alam berkedudukan di Pagaruyung sebagai pucuk pimpinan, Raja Adat berkedudukan di Buo yang melaksanakan tugas-tugas kerajaan dibidang adat. Raja Ibadat berkedudukan di Sumpur Kudus dan melaksanakan urusan keagamaan kerajaan. Gambaran ini adalah lembaga pemerintahan di tingkat raja. Sedangkan ditingkat Menteri dan Dewan Menteri yang dimaksud dengan Basa Ampek Balai terdiri dari: 1. Bandaro (Titah) di Sungai Tarab sebagai Perdana Menteri 2. Tuan Kadi di Padang Ganting yang mengurus masalah Agama 3. Indomo di Saruaso mengurus masalah keuangan 4. Makhudum di Sumanik yang mengurus masalah pertahanan dan rantau Masyarakat nagari dalam mengusut persoalannya berjenjang naik sampai ketingkat kerajaan. Dibidang adat dari nagari terus ke Bandaro dan kalau tidak putus juga diteruskan lagi kepada Raja Buo dan kalau tidak putus juga masalahnya diteruskan lagi kepada Raja Alam di Pagaruyung yang akan memberikan kata putus. Begitu juga dalam bidang agama. Dari nagari naik kepada tuan Kadi di Padang Ganting, terus kepada raja Ibadat di Sumpur Kudus, dan bula tidak selesai juga akhirnya sampai kepada raja Alam yang akan memberikan kata putusnya. Selanjutnya dikatakan bahwa Lembaga Rajo Tigo Selo dibentuk bersama dengan pembentukan Lembaga Basa Ampek Balai. Penobatan dan pelatikan Rajo Tigo Selo dan Basa Ampek Balai bersamaan pula dengan pengangkatan dan pengiriman “Sultan Nan Salapan” ke daerah rantau Minangkabau yaitu daerah-daerah: Aceh, Palembang, Tambusai, Rao, Sungai Pagu, Bandar Sepuluh, Siak Indra Pura, Rembau Sri Menanti dan lain-lain. Pengangkatan dan pelantikan itu dilakukan oleh Sultan Bakilap Alam. Dalam hal ini Bahar Dt Nagari Basa, mengatakan bahwa Basa Ampek Balai pada mulanya terdiri dari Bandaro di Sungai Tarap, yang menjadi Payung Panji Koto Piliang; Datuk Makhudum di Sumanik yang menjadi Pasak Kungkung Koto Piliang; Indomo di Saruaso yang menjadi Amban Puruak (bendahara) Koto Piliang; Tuan Gadang di Batipuah yang menjadi Harimau Campo Koto Piliang, yaitu Menteri Pertahanan Koto Piliang. Kemudian setelah Islam masuk ke Minangkabau dimasukkan Tuan Kadhi sebagai anggota Basa Ampek Balai dan “Tuan Gadang” di Batipuh ke luar dari keanggotaan itu dengan berdiri sendiri sebagai orang yang bertanggung jawab dalam masalah pertahanan Koto Piliang. Semuanya itu terdapat di Tanah Datar yang merupakan pucuk pimpinan di Minangkabau. Selanjutnya dikatakan yang menjadi kebesaran Luhak Agam adalah Parik Paga dan Kebesaran Lima Puluh Kota adalah Penghulu. Dari keterangan itu yang dapat diambil kesimpulan bahwa Lembaga Basa Ampek Balai sudah ada sebelum Islam masuk ke Minangkabau dengan bukti seperti yang dikatakan oleh Datuk Nagari Basa dengan susunan yang sedikit berbeda dari apa yang kita kenal kemudian. Baru sesudah Islam masuk ke Minangkabau kedudukan Tuan Kadhi diserahkan untuk mengurus masalah agama Islam. Selanjutnya susunan Basa Ampek Balai dengan Tuan Gadang sudah seperti yang kita kenal sekarang ini. Mengenai susunan pemerintahan Pagaruyung sesudah Adityawarman ini diuraikan dengan lengkap dalam cerita Cindua Mato. Cindua Mato (Candra Mata) adalah sebuah cerita rakyat Minangkabau yang menggambarkan tentang keadaan pemerintahan Minangkabau Pagaruyung di zaman kebesarannya. Walaupun dalam cerita ini mengenai raja-raja yang diceritakan sudah ada unsur legendanya, tetapi yang mengenai masalah lainnya sama dengan apa yang dikatakan Tambo. Menurut Tambo, Basa Ampek Balai pernah memegang kedudukan Raja Alam yaitu sesudah Sultan Alif meninggal, karena orang yang akan menggantikan Sultan Alih masih belum dewasa. Buat sementara dipegang oleh Basa Ampek BalaKERAJAAN PAGARUYUNG SESUDAH ADITYAWARMAN

saco-indonesia.com, Koordinator Masyarakat Anti-Korupsi Indonesia (MAKI), Boyamin Saiman, telah mengatakan, untuk dapat menjaga kepercayaan publik, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) sebaiknya segera untuk memeriksa Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono (Ibas) terkait dalam kasus sport center Hambalang.

“Segerakan periksa Ibas atau publik tidak akan percaya lagi sama KPK,” kata Boyamin, Kamis 6 Februari 2014 kemarin malam.

Menurut dia, nama Ibas juga sudah disebut-sebut terkait dalam kasus Hambalang, baik oleh Yulianis sebagai mantan Wakil Direktur Keuangan Grup Permai, maupun mantan ketua Umum Partai Demokrat, Anas Urbaningrum.

Karena itu, publik juga harus mengetahui sejauh mana keterlibatan Ibas bila memang ada. Selain itu, pemeriksaan tersebut untuk dapat meluruskan keseimpangsiuran dugaan keterlibatannya.

“Pertimbangan karena dia (Ibas) anak Presiden tentu ada. Jika dihalang-halangi dari pemeriksaan tersebut akan menjadi kerugian, baik bagi KPK maupun Pemerintahan Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. SBY sendiri pernah berkoar-koar mengatakan ‘Saya akan menjadi panglima terdepan memberantasan korupsi’,” tuturnya.

Yulianis, yang juga saksi kunci kasus Hambalang, juga pernah mengatakan bahwa Bos Grup Permai yang juga mantan Bendahara Umum Partai Demokrat Muhammad Nazaruddin, telah memberikan uang USD200 ribu kepada Ibas. Uang tersebut diberikan terkait dalam Kongres Partai Demokrat 2010.

Meski demikian, Yulianis juga mengaku tidak melihat langsung uang tersebut diserahkan oleh Nazaruddin.

Selain itu, Anas juga telah menganggap Ibas layak diperiksa KPK sebagai saksi seputar aliran dana proyek Hambalang. “Kalau saya ditanya, apakah Mas Ibas layak dimintai keterangan oleh KPK? Menurut saya, layak,” ujar Anas


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

KPK DISARANKAN SEGERA PERIKSA IBAS

Aku mengamati semua sahabat, dan tidak menemukan sahabat yang lebih baik daripada menjaga lidah. 

Saya memikirkan tentang semua pakaian, tetapi tidak menemukan pakaian yang lebih baik daripada takwa. 
Aku merenungkan tentang segala jenis amal baik, namun tidak mendapatkan yang lebih baik daripada memberi nasihat baik. Aku mencari segala bentuk rezki, tapi tidak menemukan rezki yang lebih baik daripada sabar.
Jika Allah yang menjadi tujuan, kenapa harus dikalahkan oleh rintangan-rintangan yang kecil di hadapan Allah? Jika mencari nafkah merupakan ibadah, semakin kerja keras kita, insya Allah semakin besar pahala yang akan diberikan oleh Allah.
Jika nafkah yang didapat merupakan bekal untuk beribadah, maka semakin banyak nafkah yang didapat, semakin banyak ibadah yang bisa dilakukan.
Ilmu itu lebih baik daripada harta. Ilmu akan menjaga engkau dan engkau menjaga harta. Ilmu itu penghukum (hakim) sedangkan harta terhukum.
Menghilangkan sifat dengki pada diri kita akan membantu kita menuju kesuksesan baik dunia maupun akhirat.
Dengan disiplin bukan saja kita tidak mendapatkan sangsi, tetapi dengan disiplin kita akan meraih sukses, terhindar (insya Allah) dari kecelakaan, dan disiplin juga adalah ibadah.
Rencana adalah jembatan menuju mimpimu, jika tidak membuat rencana berarti tidak memiliki pijakan langkahmu menuju apa yang kamu cita-citakan. 
Putuskan apa yang Kita inginkan, kemudian tulislah sebuah rencana, maka Kita akan menemukan kehidupan yang lebih mudah dibanding dengan sebelumnya.
Jangan sampai kita terlena kata mutiara untuk memenuhi kekayaan duniawi yang sifatnya hanya sementara saja, hingga kita lupa akan tugas kita yang sesungguhnya di dunia ini yaitu mengumpulkan perbekalan untuk menuju kampung akhirat yang kekal.
Jadi perkayalah diri Kita baik dengan materi maupun dengan ruhani, dan bagikan kekayaan tersebut kepada orang-orang yang ada disekitar Kita, terutama yang lebih membutuhkan.....pengen tau kelanjutan nya klik di sini

 by yandre pramana putra

KATA MUTIARA ISLAM TERBARU

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.”

Photo
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

Mr. Pfaff was an international affairs columnist and author who found Washington’s intervention in world affairs often misguided.

William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86

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

A 214-pound Queens housewife struggled with a lifelong addiction to food until she shed 72 pounds and became the public face of the worldwide weight-control empire Weight Watchers.

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born

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

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

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

Hockey is not exactly known as a city game, but played on roller skates, it once held sway as the sport of choice in many New York neighborhoods.

“City kids had no rinks, no ice, but they would do anything to play hockey,” said Edward Moffett, former director of the Long Island City Y.M.C.A. Roller Hockey League, in Queens, whose games were played in city playgrounds going back to the 1940s.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the league had more than 60 teams, he said. Players included the Mullen brothers of Hell’s Kitchen and Dan Dorion of Astoria, Queens, who would later play on ice for the National Hockey League.

One street legend from the heyday of New York roller hockey was Craig Allen, who lived in the Woodside Houses projects and became one of the city’s hardest hitters and top scorers.

“Craig was a warrior, one of the best roller hockey players in the city in the ’70s,” said Dave Garmendia, 60, a retired New York police officer who grew up playing with Mr. Allen. “His teammates loved him and his opponents feared him.”

Young Craig took up hockey on the streets of Queens in the 1960s, playing pickup games between sewer covers, wearing steel-wheeled skates clamped onto school shoes and using a roll of electrical tape as the puck.

His skill and ferocity drew attention, Mr. Garmendia said, but so did his skin color. He was black, in a sport made up almost entirely by white players.

“Roller hockey was a white kid’s game, plain and simple, but Craig broke the color barrier,” Mr. Garmendia said. “We used to say Craig did more for race relations than the N.A.A.C.P.”

Mr. Allen went on to coach and referee roller hockey in New York before moving several years ago to South Carolina. But he continued to organize an annual alumni game at Dutch Kills Playground in Long Island City, the same site that held the local championship games.

The reunion this year was on Saturday, but Mr. Allen never made it. On April 26, just before boarding the bus to New York, he died of an asthma attack at age 61.

Word of his death spread rapidly among hundreds of his old hockey colleagues who resolved to continue with the event, now renamed the Craig Allen Memorial Roller Hockey Reunion.

The turnout on Saturday was the largest ever, with players pulling on their old equipment, choosing sides and taking once again to the rink of cracked blacktop with faded lines and circles. They wore no helmets, although one player wore a fedora.

Another, Vinnie Juliano, 77, of Long Island City, wore his hearing aids, along with his 50-year-old taped-up quads, or four-wheeled skates with a leather boot. Many players here never converted to in-line skates, and neither did Mr. Allen, whose photograph appeared on a poster hanging behind the players’ bench.

“I’m seeing people walking by wondering why all these rusty, grizzly old guys are here playing hockey,” one player, Tommy Dominguez, said. “We’re here for Craig, and let me tell you, these old guys still play hard.”

Everyone seemed to have a Craig Allen story, from his earliest teams at Public School 151 to the Bryant Rangers, the Woodside Wings, the Woodside Blues and more.

Mr. Allen, who became a yellow-cab driver, was always recruiting new talent. He gained the nickname Cabby for his habit of stopping at playgrounds all over the city to scout players.

Teams were organized around neighborhoods and churches, and often sponsored by local bars. Mr. Allen, for one, played for bars, including Garry Owen’s and on the Fiddler’s Green Jokers team in Inwood, Manhattan.

Play was tough and fights were frequent.

“We were basically street gangs on skates,” said Steve Rogg, 56, a mail clerk who grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and who on Saturday wore his Riedell Classic quads from 1972. “If another team caught up with you the night before a game, they tossed you a beating so you couldn’t play the next day.”

Mr. Garmendia said Mr. Allen’s skin color provoked many fights.

“When we’d go to some ignorant neighborhoods, a lot of players would use slurs,” Mr. Garmendia said, recalling a game in Ozone Park, Queens, where local fans parked motorcycles in a lineup next to the blacktop and taunted Mr. Allen. Mr. Garmendia said he checked a player into the motorcycles, “and the bikes went down like dominoes, which started a serious brawl.”

A group of fans at a game in Brooklyn once stuck a pole through the rink fence as Mr. Allen skated by and broke his jaw, Mr. Garmendia said, adding that carloads of reinforcements soon arrived to defend Mr. Allen.

And at another racially incited brawl, the police responded with six patrol cars and a helicopter.

Before play began on Saturday, the players gathered at center rink to honor Mr. Allen. Billy Barnwell, 59, of Woodside, recalled once how an all-white, all-star squad snubbed Mr. Allen by playing him third string. He scored seven goals in the first game and made first string immediately.

“He’d always hear racial stuff before the game, and I’d ask him, ‘How do you put up with that?’” Mr. Barnwell recalled. “Craig would say, ‘We’ll take care of it,’ and by the end of the game, he’d win guys over. They’d say, ‘This guy’s good.’”

Tribute for a Roller Hockey Warrior

Ms. Meadows was the older sister of Audrey Meadows, who played Alice Kramden on “The Honeymooners.”

Jayne Meadows, Actress and Steve Allen’s Wife and Co-Star, Dies at 95

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.

Photo
 
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

Mr. Haroche was a founder of Liberty Travel, which grew from a two-man operation to the largest leisure travel operation in the United States.

Gilbert Haroche, Builder of an Economy Travel Empire, Dies at 87

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

The 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

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.

Photo
 
Credit Peter Arkle

Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.

“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”

Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.

The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.

They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.

A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.

Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.

What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.

It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)

A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.

The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.

It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.

High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.

But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.

In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

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

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