Terdakwa mantan Deputi Bidang IV Pengelolaan Aset dan Moneter Bank Indonesia, Budi Mulya dalam eksepsinya telah menyebutkan kalau pemberian Fasilitas Pinjaman Jangka Pendek (FPJP) kepada Bank Century tidak ada kerugian keuangan negara.
Dalam eksepsi yang telah dibacakan oleh kuasa hukum Budi, Luhut Pangaribuan telah menyebut kalau FPJP adalah penalangan, dimana bank wajib memberikan agunan.
"Sehingga secara teknis negara tidak mungkin dirugikan dari pemberian FPJP tersebut," katanya saat membacakan eksepsi di Pengadilan Tipikor, Jakarta, Kamis (13/3/2014).
Dimana, sambung Luhut, kebijakan itu telah diambil melalui mekanisme dan peraturan yang berlaku di BI sebagai Bank Central. Ini juga merupakan kebijakan perbankan.
"Pemberian FPJP telah diatur dalam PBI (Peraturan Bank Indonesia), sehingga bagian mana yang telah dianggap sebagai tindak pidana. Semua hal yang telah dilakukan adalah merupakan kebijakan kolektif instansi BI," tandasnya.
Dalam eksepsi disebutkan kalau dakwaan tidak cermat dan harus batal demi hukum karena dakwaan harus cermat dan lengkap menguraikannya.
Dalam dakwaan Jaksa Penuntut Umum (JPU) KPK, Budi didakwa atas kebijakan pemberian FPJP kepada Bank Century telah merugikan keuangan negara Rp689,894 miliar. Ia juga disebut dalam penetapan Bank Century sebagai bank gagal berdampak sistemik dan mengucurkan bailout senilai Rp6,7 triliun juga merupakan kerugian keuangan negara.
WASHINGTON, Saco-Indonesia.com - Ingin ke Mars? Kini waktu yang dibutuhkan
untuk mewujudkannya menjadi kenyataan bahkan lebih singkat dari waktu yang mungkin dibutuhkan
untuk menemukan vaksin atau obat dari beragam penyakit. Hanya 20 tahun!
Sebuah rencana untuk menerbangkan suami istri ke Mars lewat program Inspiration Mars ditawarkan oleh miliuner Dennis Tito. Sementara, misi Mars One yang lebih ekstrem berencana memberangkatkan manusia ke Mars tanpa kembali ke Bumi dalam satu dekade dari sekarang.
Badan Penerbangan dan Antariksa Amerika Serikat (NASA) dalam pernyataannya seperti dikutip AFP, Senin (6/5/2013), mengatakan bahwa sangat mungkin bagi manusia untuk mendarat di Mars. Waktunya hanya 20 tahun dari sekarang. Alias, pada tahun 2033, manusia sudah bisa mendarat di Mars.
Mulai Senin kemarin, beberapa nama besar dalam dunia keantariksaan membahas kemungkinan manusia mendarat dan mengolonisasi Mars dalam konferensi yang akan berlangsung tiga hari. Peluang serta tantangan yang dihadapi dibahas.
Berbagai pihak mengatakan, tantangan ke Mars bukanlah masalah teknologi, tetapi masalah uang. NASA saja yang berada di bawah pengelolaan negara maju mengalami krisis keuangan karena hanya mendapatkan 0,5 persen dari anggaran negara. Bagaimana dengan negara seperti Indonesia?
"Jika kita memulai dari sekarang, sangat mungkin mendarat di Mars dalam 20 tahun. Ini tidak butuh keajaiban, ini membutuhkan uang dan rencana untuk mengatasi tantangan dalam rekayasa teknologi," kata Scott Hubbard, pakar dari Stanford University.
Hubbard menuturkan, salah satu tantangan terbesar adalah membawa beban hingga 30-40 ton ke Mars. Beban itu adalah beban minimal yang dibutuhkan untuk membangun habitat di Mars. Tantangan lain adalah menyediakan bahan bakar yang cukup untuk ke Mars.
NASA sendiri kini tengah mengembangkan Space Launch System dan kapsul Orion untuk mendukung perjalanan rut Hubbard, bahan bakar nuklir dibutuhkan untuk mendukung daya dorong dan menyingkat waktu perjalanan hingga 3 bulan.
Selain masalah teknologi, tantangan lain dalam perjalanan ke Mars juga harus dipecahkan. Dampak radiasi sendiri kini belum dipahami betul akibatnya bagi kesehatan manusia. Salah satu yang telah diprediksi, radiasi bisa memicu kanker. Perlu dipahami efeknya bagi sistem saraf pusat atau otak.
Tantangan lain adalah masalah fisiologi, seperti berkurangnya massa jenis tulang dan otot. Lalu juga masalah psikologis yang mencakup perasaan kesendirian menjalani misi hingga tinggal di tempat yang sama sekali baru. Jika tantangan itu diatasi, mendarat di Mars bukanlah tak mungkin.
Ibadah haji adalah salah satu ibadah yang paling utama, berdasarkan hadits Rasulullah Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam :
(عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ: سُئِلَ رَسُوْلُ الله : أَيُّ الْعَمَلِ أَفْضَلُ؟ قَالَ: (إِيْمَانٌ بِاللهِ وَ رَسُوْلِهِ)، قِيْلَ: ثُمَّ مَاذَا؟ قَالَ: (الْجِهَادُ فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللهِ)، قِيْلَ: ثُمَّ مَاذَا؟ قَالَ: (حَجٌّ مَبْرُوْرٌ
"Dari Abu Hurairah Radhiallaahu anhu ia berkata: Rasulullah Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam ditanya: ‘Amal ibadah apakah yang paling utama?’ Beliau bersabda: ‘Beriman kepada Allah dan Rasul-Nya’. Dikatakan (kepadanya): ‘Kemudian apa?’ Beliau bersabda: ‘Jihad dijalan Allah’. Dikatakan (kepadanya): ‘Kemudian apa?’ Beliau bersabda: ‘Haji yang mabrur.’"( HR. Al-Bukhari dan Muslim, lihat Shahih at-Targhiib wat Tarhiib oleh al-Albani 3/3 hadits No. 1093. )
Ibadah haji sebagai penghapus dosa, berdasarkan hadits Rasulullah Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam :
مَنْ حَجَّ فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ رَجَعَ مِنْ ذُنُوْبِهِ كَيَوْمِ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ
"Barangsiapa yang mengerjakan ibadah haji dan dia tidak melakukan jima' dan tidak pula melakukan perbuatan dosa, dia akan kembali dari dosa-dosanya seperti pada hari ketika ia dilahirkan ibunya." ( HR. Al-Bukhari, Muslim, an-Nasa-i, Ibnu Majah dan at-Tirmidzi )
Balasan bagi haji mabrur adalah Surga, berdasarkan sabda Nabi Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam :
الْعُمْرَِةُ إِلَى الْعُمْرِةِ كَفَّارَةٌ لِمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَ الْحَجُّ الْمَبْرُوْرُ لَيْسَ لَهُ جَزَاءٌ إِلاَّ الْجَنَّةَ
"Umrah (yang pertama) kepada umrah yang berikutnya sebagai kaffarat (peng-hapus) bagi (dosa) yang dilakukan di antara keduanya, dan haji yang mabrur tidak ada balasan baginya, melainkan Surga." ( HR. Malik, al-Bukhari, Muslim, at-Tirmidzi, an-Nasa-i dan Ibnu Majah). Lihat Shahih at-Targhiib No. 1096. )
Dan dari Jabir bin 'Abdillah dari Nabi Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam , beliau bersabda:
الْحَجَّ الْمَبْرُوْرُ لَيْسَ لَهُ جَزَاءٌ إِلاَّ الْجَنَّةَ ، قِيْلَ : وَمَا بِرُّهُ؟ قَالَ: إِطْعَامُ الطَّعَامِ وَ طِيْبُ الْكَلاَمِ
"Haji mabrur tidak ada balasannya kecuali Surga. Dikatakan (kepada beliau): 'Apakah bentuk bakti dalam haji itu?' Beliau ber-kata: 'Memberi makanan dan berbicara yang baik.’”( HR. Ahmad, ath-Thabrani, Ibnu Khuzaimah, al-Baihaqi dan al-Hakim. Al-Albani berkata: "Shahih lighairihi, lihat Shahih at-Targhiib" No. 1104) )
Haji adalah jihad bagi para wanita dan setiap orang yang lemah, berdasarkan hadits Nabi Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam :
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ d قَالَتْ ، قُلْتُ: يَارَسُوْلَ الله نَرَى الْجِهَادَ أَفْضَلَ اْلأَعْمَالِ ، أَفَلاَ نُجَاهِدُ ؟ فَقَالَ: لَكُنَّ أَفْضَلُ الْجِهَادِ حَجٌّ مَبْرُوْرٌ
"Dari 'Aisyah Radhiallaahu anha,, ia berkata, aku bertutur: 'Ya Rasulullah kami melihat bahwasanya berjihad adalah amal ibadah yang paling utama, apakah kami (para wanita, -pent) tidak berjihad? Maka beliau bersabda: 'Bagi kalian (kaum wanita,-Pent), jihad yang paling utama adalah haji mabrur'" .
Dalam riwayat Ibnu Khuzaimah, 'Aisyah d berkata:
قُلْتُ: يَا رَسُوْلَ اللهِ هَلْ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ مِنْ جِهَادٍ؟ قَالَ: (عَلَيْهِنَّ جِهَادٌ لاَ قِتَالَ فِيْهِ الْحَجُّ وَالْعُمْرَةُ)
"Aku bertutur: 'Ya Rasulullah, apakah ada kewajiban berjihad bagi kaum wanita?' Beliau berkata: 'Bagi wanita adalah jihad yang tidak ada peperangan padanya (yaitu) haji dan umrah.'" (Dishahihkan oleh al-Albani, lihat Shahih at-Targhiib No. 1099).
Dan dari Abu Hurairah Radhiallaahu anhu , dari Rasulullah Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam , beliau bersabda:
جِهَادُ الْكَبِيْرِ وَالضَّعِيْفِ وَالْمَرْأَةِ الْحَجُّ وَالْعُمْرَةُ
"Jihad orang yang tua, orang yang lemah dan wanita adalah haji dan umrah."
Orang yang melaksanakan haji dan umrah adalah tamu Allah, dan permohonan mereka dikabulkan, berdasarkan hadits 'Abdullah Ibnu 'Umar Radhiallaahu anhu , Nabi Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam bersabda:
الْغَازِي فِي سَبِيْلِ اللهِ وَالْحَاجُّ وَالْمُعْتَمِرُ وَفْدُ اللهِ ، دَعَاهُمْ فَأَجَابُوْهُ وَسَأَلُوْهُ فَأَعْطَاهُمْ
"Orang yang berperang dijalan Allah, orang yang haji dan orang yang umrah, adalah tamu Allah. Dia memanggil mereka, maka mereka pun menjawab (panggilan)-Nya dan mereka memohon kepada-Nya. Dia-pun memberikan permohonan me-reka."
Keutamaan perjalanan haji, keutamaan orang yang mati dalam perjalanan untuk melaksanakan ibadah haji, dan keutamaan orang yang mati dalam keadaan berihram (ditengah pelaksanaan ibadah haji dan/atau umrah.) Semuanya termaktub dalam hadits-hadits dibawah ini:
a. Dari 'Abdullah bin 'Umar Radhiallaahu anhu ia berkata, aku mendengar Rasulullah Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam bersabda:
مَاتَرْفَعُ إِبِلُ الْحَجِّ رِجْلاً ، وَلاَ يَدًا إِلاَّ كَتَبَ اللهُ لَهُ بِهَا حَسَنَةً أَوْ رَفَعَهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةً
"Tidaklah unta (yang dikendarai) seseorang yang melaksanakan haji mengangkat kaki(nya) dan tidak pula meletakkan tangan(nya) melainkan Allah mencatat bagi orang itu satu kebaikan atau menghapus darinya satu kejelekan atau meng-angkatnya datu derajat."
b.Dari Abu Hurairah Radhiallaahu anhu, ia berkata, Rasulullah Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam bersabda:
مَنْ خَرَجَ حَاجًّا فَمَاتَ كُتِبَ لَهُ أَجْرُ الْحاَجِّ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَنْ خَرَجَ مُعْتَمِرًا فَمَاتَ كُتِبَ لَهُ أَجْرُ الْمُعْتَمِرِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَنْ خَرَجَ غَازِيًا فَمَاتَ كُتِبَ لَهُ أَجْرُ الْغَازِى إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ
"Barangsiapa keluar dalam melaksana-kan haji lalu ia mati, niscaya dicatat baginya pahala seorang haji hingga hari Kiamat. Barangsiapa keluar dalam melaksanakan umrah lalu ia mati, niscaya dicatat baginya pahala seorang yang melaksanakan umrah sampai hari Kiamat, dan barangsiapa keluar dalam berperang dijalan Allah lalu ia mati, niscaya dicatat baginya pahala seorang yang berperang dijalan Allah sampai hari Kiamat."
c. Dari 'Abdullah Ibnu 'Abbas Radhiallaahu anhu, ia berkata:
بَيْنَمَا رَجُلٌ وَاقِفٌ مَعَ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ ; بِعَرَفَةَ إِذْ وَقَعَ عَنْ رَاحِلَتِهِ فَأَقْعَصَتْهُ فَقَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ ; ( اغْسِلُوْهُ بِمَاءٍ وَسِدْرٍ وَكَفِّنُوْهُ بِثَوْبَيْهِ وَلاَ تُخَمِّرُوْا رَأْسَهُ وَلاَ تُحَنِّطُوْهُ فَإِنَّهُ يُبْعَثُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مَلَبِّيًا )
"Tatkala seseorang sedang wukuf bersama Rasulullah Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam dipadang 'Arafah, tiba-tiba ia dijatuhkan oleh binatang (unta) yang dikendarainya dan mematahkan lehernya, maka Rasu-lullah Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam bersabda: 'Mandikanlah dia dengan air dan daun bidara, kafanilah dia dengan dua helai (kain) ihramnya dan jangan kalian menutup kepalanya serta jangan pula kalian beri wangi-wangian padanya, karena sesungguh-nya dia akan dibangkitkan dihari Kiamat dalam keadaan mengucapkan talbiyah.'"
Itulah sejumlah keutamaan ibadah haji dan umrah yang kami rangkum dari beberapa hadits yang shahih dan hasan. Jika kita telah mengetahuinya, maka sepatutnya bagi orang yang mampu untuk giat dan bersungguh-sungguh dalam melaksanakan ibadah haji, serta menggunakan kesempatan dengan sebaik-baiknya, manakala ia memilikinya.
Syaikh 'Abdullah bin Ibrahim al-Qar'awi berkata: "Disunnahkan melaksanakan haji setiap tahun bagi orang yang mampu selama tidak membahayakan dirinya dan orang-orang yang menjadi tanggung jawabnya" , berdasar-kan hadits 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud Radhiallaahu anhu , Rasulullah Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam bersabda:
تَابِعُوْا بَيْنَ الْحَجِّ وَالْعُمْرَةِ فَإِنَّهُمَا يَنْفِيَانِ الْفَقْرَ وَالذُّنُوْبِ كَمَا يَنْفِى الْكِيْرُ حَبَثَ الْحَدِيْدِ وَالذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَلَيْسَ لِلْحَجَّةِ الْمَبْرُوْرَةِ ثَوَابٌ إِلاَّ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا مِنْ مُؤْمِنٍ يَظَلُّ يَوْمَهُ مُحْرِمًا إِلاَّ غَابَتِ الشَّمْسُ بِذُنُوْبِهِ
"Ikutilah antara ibadah haji dan umrah, karena keduanya akan menghilangkan kefakiran dan berbagai dosa sebagaimana alat pandai besi menghilangkan kotoran yang ada pada besi, emas dan perak. Dan tiada balasan pahala bagi haji yang mabrur kecuali Surga, tidaklah seorang mukmin dalam kesehariannya berada dalam keada-an ihram, melainkan matahari terbenam dengan membawa dosa-dosanya."
Sunnah tersebut semakin ditekankan lagi jika telah melewati empat atau lima tahun dari haji yang dilakukan sebelumnya, berdasarkan sabda Nabi Shalallaahu alaihi wasalam :
إِنَّ اللهَ يَقُوْلُ: إِنَّ عَبْدًا صَحَّحْتُ لَهُ جِسْمَهُ وَ وَسَّعْتُ عَلَيْهِ فِيْ الْمَعِيْشَهِ يَمْضِى عَلِيْهِ خَمْسَةُ أَعْوَامٍ لاَ يَفِدُ إِلَيَّ لَمَحْرُوْمٌ
"Sesungguhnya Allah berfirman: 'Sesung-guhnya seorang hamba yang telah Kusehat-kan jasadnya dan Kulapangkan penghi-dupannya, telah berlalu lima tahun atasnya, dia tidak datang kepada-Ku, benar-benar dia seorang yang diharamkan (dihalangi dari kebaikan-Pent). (HR. Ibnu Hibban dalam shahihnya, Abu Ya'la dan al-Bai-haqi).
Sedangkan Imam ath-Thabrani meriwayatkan dalam al-Ausath dengan redaksi:
إنَّ اللهَ يَقُوْلُ: إِنَّ عَبْدًا صَحَّحْتُ لَهُ بَدَنَهُ وَ أَوْسَعْتُ عَلَيْهِ فِي الرِّزْقِ لَمْ يَفِدْ إِلَيَّ فِيْ أَرْبَعَةِ أَعْوَامٍ لَمَحْرُوْمٌ
"Bahwasanya Allah berfirman: 'Sesungguh-nya seorang hamba yang telah Ku-sehatkan tubuhnya, Ku-lapangkan rizkinya, (namun) dia tidak datang kepada-Ku pada setiap empat tahun, benar-benar dia seorang yang diharamkan (dihalangi dari kebaikan,-Pent) (Al-Haitsami berkata dalam Majma'uz Zawaa-id perawi hadits ini semuanya perawi kitab ash-Shahih.)
Baca Artikel Lainnya : NAIK HAJI BAGI WANITA HAIDHFAEDAH IBADAH HAJI DAN UMRAH
saco-indonesia.com, Bupati Banjarnegara Jawa Tengah, Sutedjo Slamet Utomo telah menetapkan wilayahnya dalam kondisi siaga darurat bencana. Penetapan tersebut telah dilakukan untuk dapat mengantisipasi bencana longsor yang hampir terjadi setiap tahun yang terjadi di Kabupaten Banjarnegara.
"Masa tanggap darurat longsor telah ditetapkan sejak 21 Desember 2013 hingga 3 Januari 2014 mendatang . Sedangkan masa siaga darurat longsor, banjir dan angin puting beliung akan ditetapkan mulai 1 Desember 2013 hingga 28 Februari 2014 mendatang ," kata Sutedjo.
Dalam rentang waktu sejak 19-24 Desember 2013, TELAH tercatat ada beberapa bencana alam yang terjadi di Kabupaten Banjarnegara. Bencana tersebut telah disebabkan oleh curah hujan yang deras, tingginya kerentanan dan batuan labil.
Dari catatan Pemkab, dalam seminggu terakhir, terdata 60 titik di 32 desa yang telah tersebar di 13 kecamatan terjadi bencana alam. Akibat dari bencana tersebut, telah menyebabkan 1 warga meninggal dunia. Sedangkan dalam bentuk kerugian material, sedikitnya 32 rumah rusak berat, 21 rusak sedang, 56 rusak ringan, 135 rumah terancam dan 46 kepala keluarga mengungsi di 5 desa.
Selain itu, kerusakan infrastruktur juga terjadi di 23 titik. Kerusakan infrastruktur telah meliputi jalan, jembatan, sekolah, dan irigasi. Total kerusakan diperkirakan telah mencapai Rp 1,4 miliar. "Saat ini upaya yang telah dilakukan oleh BPBD bersama TNI, Polri, relawan dan masyarakat dengan melakukan evakuasi, pendirian posko, pengiriman logistik, pembersihan material longsor," jelas Sutedjo.
Sementara itu, Kepala Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), Syamsul Maarif, dalam kunjungan kerja ke lokasi longsor di Banjarnegara pada rabu (25/12) kemarin, telah mengapresiasi kinerja Pemkab Banjarnegara dalam penanganan bencana longsor. Selain itu, ia juga meminta adanya peraturan daerah dan pembangunan di Banjarnegara bisa menjauhkan warga dari risiko ketika hidup di daerah bencana alam.
"Bentuk Perda-nya bisa dengan aturan agar tempat hunian lama tidak dihuni kembali, setelah warga relokasi dan bisa dijadikan kawasan konservasi sehingga tidak timbul korban. Selain itu, penduduk juga harus dilibatkan dalam proses pembangunan," ujarnya.
Lebih jauh, ia juga menekankan program penghijauan yang dicanangkan Pemkab, tidak semata hanya berorientasi pada hijau daun, tetapi harus memberikan manfaat ekonomi. "Tanamannya harus mampu mengikat tanah dan ada nilai ekonominya, sehingga bio-engineering bisa dilakukan masyarakat," pesannya.
Dalam kesempatan tersebut, Syamsul juga menyerahkan bantuan dana siap pakai Rp 250 juta, serta logistik peralatan untuk penanganan darurat di Banjarnegara.
BANJARNEGARA DITETAPAKAN SEBAGAI WILAYAH SIAGA DARURAT BENCANA
Editor : Dian sukmawati
JAKARTA, Saco-Indonesia.com — Basuki Tjahaja Purnama menerima karangan bunga dari DPD PDI Perjuangan Provinsi DKI Jakarta. Karangan bunga yang didominasi warna merah dan putih lengkap dengan logo banteng moncong putih itu bertuliskan "Selamat Hari Raya Imlek Gong Xi Fat Chai Bapak Ir Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, MM Wakil Gubernur Provinsi DKI Jakarta".
Salah seorang staf pengamanan dalam (pamdal) Balaikota Jakarta sempat kebingungan saat menerima karangan bunga ini. Kemudian, staf pamdal itu langsung menghubungi pengawal pribadi Basuki.
"Tadi sempat dikonfirmasi dulu sama ajudan soal mau diterima atau tidak. Kalau enggak diterima, ya dibawa balik," kata pamdal yang enggan disebutkan namanya, di Balaikota Jakarta, Kamis (30/1/2014).
Kini, karangan bunga itu bersandar di tembok sebelum pintu masuk Balaikota sisi samping. Karangan bunga itu menarik perhatian para pegawai negeri sipil (PNS) DKI dan para pejabat DKI lainnya.
Sementara ini, baru partai yang diketuai Megawati Soekarnoputri yang mengirimkan karangan bunga kepada pemilik nama Tionghoa Zhong Wan Xie ini. Partai tempat Basuki bernaung, yakni Partai Gerindra, belum mengirimkan karangan bunga.
Pada hari raya Natal (25/12/2013) lalu, PDI-P juga mengirimkan karangan bunga ke Basuki. Karangan bunga itu ditaruh tepat di depan teras kediaman Basuki, di Pantai Mutiara, Pluit, Jakarta Utara. Saat itu, yang mengirimkan karangan bunga ialah dari DPP PDI Perjuangan, lengkap dengan nama Ketua Umum Megawati Soekarnoputri dan Sekjen DPP PDI-P Tjahjo Kumolo.
Saat Natal, juga tidak tampak karangan bunga dari Partai Gerindra. Bahkan, pada malam Natal, Megawati, Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo, bersama kader PDI-P lainnya secara khusus menyambangi kediaman Basuki. Pria yang akrab disapa Ahok itu bersama istri Veronica Tan langsung menjamu tamu-tamu spesialnya dengan berbagai makanan khas Belitung.
Editor : Maulana LeeWakil Gubernur DKI Basuki Dapat Karangan Bunga Ucapan Imlek dari PDI-P
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 MichaelTake the Money and Run
Mr. Goldberg was a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist who was married to Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook.
ate in February, Dr. Ben Carson, the celebrated pediatric neurosurgeon turned political insurrectionist, was trying to check off another box on his presidential-campaign to-do list: hiring a press secretary. The lead prospect, a public-relations specialist named Deana Bass, had come to meet him at the dimly lit Capitol Hill office of Carson’s confidant and business manager, Armstrong Williams. Carson sat back and scrutinized her from behind a small granite table, as life-size cardboard cutouts of more conventional politicians — President Obama, with a tight smile, and Senator John McCain, glowering — loomed behind each of his shoulders. (The mock $3 bill someone had left on a table in Williams’s waiting room undercut any notion that this was a bipartisan zone; it featured Obama wearing a turban.)
Bass seemed momentarily speechless, and not just because no one had warned her that a New York Times reporter would be sitting in on her job interview. Though she knew Williams — a jack-of-all-trades entrepreneur who owns several television stations and a public-affairs business and who hosts a daily talk-radio show — through Washington’s small circle of black conservatives, the two hadn’t spoken in years until he called her two days earlier. He had been struggling to come up with the perfect national spokesperson, he told her. Then, at the gym, her name popped into his head; Williams was fairly certain she was the one. Sitting across from a likely candidate for president, Bass was adjusting to the idea that her life might be about to take a sudden chaotic turn.
“It’s like getting the most random call on a Monday that you simply do not see coming,” she said. “Oftentimes, that is how the Lord works.”
Carson concurred: “It’s always how he works in my life.” Carson is soft-spoken and often talks with his eyes half closed, frequently punctuating his sentences with a small laugh, even if the humor of his statement is not readily apparent. Bass told Carson that she had been a Republican staff member on Capitol Hill then worked for the Republican National Committee. In 2007 she started a Christian public-relations firm with her sister. She enjoyed working on the Hill, she said, but the pay wasn’t as high as the hours were long. “We figured that we worked like slaves for other people, and we wanted to work for ourselves.”
Carson stopped her. “You know you can’t mention that word, right?” Carson waited a beat, then laughed, and Williams and Bass joined in. He was getting to the point; he needed a professional who could help him check his penchant for creating uncontrolled controversy just by talking.
The Ben Carson movement began in 2013, when Carson, a neurosurgeon, whose operating-room prowess and up-from-poverty back story had made him the subject of a television movie and a regular on the inspirational-speaking circuit, was invited to address the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. With Barack Obama sitting just two seats away, Carson warned that “moral decay” and “fiscal irresponsibility” could destroy America just as it did ancient Rome. He proposed a substitute for Obamacare — Health Savings Accounts, which, he said, would end any talk of “death panels” — and a flat-tax based on the concept of tithing. His address, combined with the president’s stony reaction, was a smash with Republican activists. Speaking and interview requests flooded in. Carson, then 61, announced his planned retirement a few weeks later, freeing his calendar to accept just about all of them. In the months that followed, his rhetoric became increasingly strident. The claim that drew the most attention, perhaps, was that Obamacare was “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”
Bass’s own use of the word prompted Carson to ask her what she thought about that incident. She considered for a moment.
“If you want to reach people and have them even understand what you’re saying, there is a way to do it, without that hyperbole, that might be. . . . ” She paused. “I just think it’s important not to shut people off before they —”
Carson jumped in. “That doesn’t allow them to hear what you’re saying?”
Likening Obamacare to slavery — and slavery was incomparably worse, Carson said — had its political advantages for a candidacy like his. It was the kind of statement that stoked the angriest of the Republican voters: conservative stalwarts who can’t hear enough bad things about Obama. This, in turn, led to more talk-radio and Fox News appearances, more book sales, more donations to the super PAC started in his name, more support in the polls. (The day before the meeting, one poll of Republican voters showed Carson statistically tied for first place with Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.)
Rhetorical excess was good for business, but Carson now wants to be seen as more than a novelty candidate. He has come to learn that such extreme analogies, while true to his views, aren’t especially presidential. They alienate more moderate voters and, perhaps even more damaging, reinforce the impression that he is not “serious” — that he is another Herman Cain, the black former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive who rose to the top of the early presidential polls in 2011 but then bowed out before the Iowa caucuses, largely because of leaked allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied but from which he never recovered. Cain lingers as a cautionary tale for the party as much as for a right-leaning candidate like Carson. The fact that Cain, with his folksy sayings (“shucky ducky”) and misnomers (“Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan”), reached the top of the national polls — much less that he was eventually followed there by the likes of Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who all topped one or another poll in the 2012 primary season — wound up being a considerable embarrassment for the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, and for the longtime party regulars who were trying to fast-track his way to the nomination.
Carson liked Bass and, without directly saying so, made it clear the job was hers for the taking. Carson’s campaign chairman, Terry Giles — a white lawyer whose clients have included the comedian Richard Pryor and the stepson of the model Anna Nicole Smith and who helped reconcile the business interests of the descendants of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — had assembled a mostly white campaign team, including many from the 2012 Gingrich effort, and Carson wanted a person of color to speak for him. Bass said she would have to mull it over, pray about it. Carson nodded approvingly. “Pray about it,” he said. “See what you think.”
Williams knew the party was intent on protecting the eventual 2016 nominee from the same embarrassment Romney suffered. Already, suspiciously tough articles about Carson were showing up in conservative magazines and on right-wing websites. “They’re protecting these establishment candidates,” Williams said. “This is coming from within the house. This is family.” At the very least, he wanted to make sure that Carson didn’t do their work for them. (Carson would commit another unforced error a week later, when he told CNN that homosexuality was clearly a choice, because a lot of people go in prison straight and “when they come out, they’re gay”; he later apologized.)
“We need somebody to protect him, sometimes, from himself,” he told Bass — laughing, but only half kidding.
A candidacy like Carson’s presents a new kind of problem to the establishment wing of the G.O.P., which, at least since 1980, has selected its presidential nominees with a routine efficiency that Democrats could only envy. The establishment candidate has usually been a current or former governor or senator, blandly Protestant, hailing from the moderate, big-business wing of the party (or at least friendly with it) and almost always a second-, third- or fourth-time national contender — someone who had waited “his turn.” These candidates would tack predictably to the right during the primaries to satisfy the evangelicals, deficit hawks, libertarian leaners and other inconvenient but vital constituents who made up the “base” of the party. In return, the base would, after a brief flirtation with some fantasy candidate like Steve Forbes or Pat Buchanan, “hold their noses” and deliver their votes come November. This bargain was always tenuous, of course, and when some of the furthest-right activists turned against George W. Bush, citing (among other apostasies) his expansion of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, it began to fall apart. After Barack Obama defeated McCain in 2008, the party’s once dependable base started to reconsider the wisdom of holding their noses at all.
This insurgent attitude was helped along by changes in the nomination rules. In 2010, the Republican National Committee, hoping to capture the excitement of the coast-to-coast Democratic primary competition between Obama and Hillary Clinton, introduced new voting rules that required many of the early voting states to award some delegates to losing candidates, based on their shares of the vote. The proportional voting rules would encourage struggling candidates to stay in the primaries even after successive losses, as Clinton did, because they might be able to pull together enough delegates to take the nomination in a convention-floor fight or at least use them to bargain for a prime speaking slot or cabinet post.
This shift in incentives did not go unnoticed by potential 2012 candidates, nor did changes in election law that allowed billionaire donors to form super PACs in support of pet candidacies. At the same time, increasingly widespread broadband Internet access allowed candidates to reach supporters directly with video and email appeals and supporters to send money with the tap of a smartphone, making it easier than ever for individual candidates to ignore the wishes of the party.
Into this newly chaotic Republican landscape strode Mitt Romney. There could be no doubt that it was his turn, and yet his journey to the nomination was interrupted by one against-the-odds challenger after another — Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul; always Ron Paul. It was easy to dismiss the 2012 primaries as a meaningless circus, but the onslaught did much more than tarnish the overall Republican brand. It also forced Romney to spend money he could have used against Obama and defend his right flank with embarrassing pandering that shadowed him through the general election. It was while trying to block a surge from Gingrich, for instance, that Romney told a debate audience that he was for the “self-deportation” of undocumented immigrants.
At the 2012 convention in Tampa, a group of longtime party hands, including Romney’s lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, gathered to discuss how to prevent a repeat of what had become known inside and outside the party as the “clown show.” Their aim was not just to protect the party but also to protect a potential President Romney from a primary challenge in 2016. They forced through new rules that would give future presumptive nominees more control over delegates in the event of a convention fight. They did away with the mandatory proportional delegate awards that encouraged long-shot candidacies. And, in a noticeably targeted effort, they raised the threshold that candidates needed to meet to enter their names into nomination, just as Ron Paul’s supporters were working to reach it. When John A. Boehner gaveled the rules in on a voice vote — a vote that many listeners heard as a tie, if not an outright loss — the hall erupted and a line of Ron Paul supporters walked off the floor in protest, along with many Tea Party members.
At a party meeting last winter, Reince Priebus, who as party chairman is charged with maintaining the support of all his constituencies, did restore some proportional primary and caucus voting, but only in states that held voting within a shortened two-week window. And he also condensed the nominating schedule to four and a half months from six months, and, for the first time required candidates to participate in a shortened debate schedule, determined by the party, not by the whims of the networks. (The panel that recommended those changes included names closely identified with the establishment — the former Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, the Mississippi committeeman Haley Barbour and, notably, Jeb Bush’s closest adviser, Sally Bradshaw.)
Grass-roots activists have complained that the condensed schedule robs nonestablishment candidates — “movement candidates” like Carson — of the extra time they need to build momentum, money and organizations. But Priebus, who says the nomination could be close to settled by April, said it helped all the party’s constituencies when the nominee was decided quickly. “We don’t need a six-month slice-and-dice festival,” Priebus said when we spoke in mid-March. “While I can’t always control everyone’s mouth, I can control how long we can kill each other.”
All the rules changes were built to sidestep the problems of 2012. But the 2016 field is shaping up to be vastly different and far larger. A new Republican hints that he or she is considering a run seemingly every week. There are moderates like Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and former Gov. George Pataki of New York; no-compromise conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania; business-wingers like the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina; one-of-a-kinds like Donald Trump — some 20 in all, a dozen or so who seem fairly serious about it. That opens the possibility of multiple candidates vying for all the major Republican constituencies, some of them possibly goaded along by super-PAC-funding billionaires, all of them trading wins and collecting delegates well into spring.
Giles says his candidate can capitalize on all that chaos. Rivals may laugh, but Giles argues that if Carson can make a respectable showing in Iowa, then win in South Carolina — or at least come in second should a home-state senator, Lindsey Graham, run — and come in second behind Bush or Senator Marco Rubio in their home state of Florida, he could be positioned to make a real run. But that would depend on avoiding pitfalls like Carson’s ill-considered comments on homosexuality. Rather than capitalizing on the chaos, Carson may only contribute to it.
Ben Carson is, in many ways, the ideal Republican presidential candidate. With a not-too-selective reading of his life story, conservative voters can — and do — see in him an inspiring, up-from-nowhere African-American who shares their beliefs, a right-wing answer to Barack Obama. Before he was born, his parents moved to Detroit from rural Tennessee as part of the second great migration. His father, Robert Solomon Carson, worked at a Cadillac factory. His mother, Sonya — who herself had grown up as one of 24 children and left school at third grade — cleaned houses. When Carson was 8, Sonya discovered that Robert was keeping a second family. She moved, with her two sons, into a rundown group house. It was in a part of town that Carson described to me as crawling with “big rats and roaches and all kinds of horrible things.” Sonya worked several jobs at a time and made up the shortfall with food stamps. (Carson has called for paring back the social safety net but not doing away with it.)
Carson recounts this story in his best-selling 1990 memoir, “Gifted Hands,” which also became the basis for a 2009 movie on TNT, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as Carson. Raised as a Seventh Day Adventist, Carson realized that he wanted to become a physician during a church sermon about a missionary doctor who, while serving overseas, was almost attacked by thieves but found safety by putting his faith in God. When Carson, then 8, told his mother his new dream, “She said, ‘Absolutely, you could do it, you could do anything,’ ” he told me. Forced by his mother to read two extra books a week, he made it to Yale, then to medical school at the University of Michigan, where he decided to specialize in neurosurgery. He was selected for residency at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where he was named director of pediatric neurosurgery at 33, becoming the youngest person, and the first black person, to hold the title. He drew national attention by conducting a succession of operations that had never been performed successfully, most famously planning and managing the first separation of conjoined twins connected through major blood vessels in the brain.
Carson, a two-time Jimmy Carter voter, traces his conservative political awakening to a patient he met during the Reagan years. During a routine obstetrics rotation, he found himself treating an unwed pregnant teenager who had run away from her well-to-do parents. When Carson asked her how she was getting by, she informed him she was on public assistance; this led him to ponder the fact that the government was paying for the result of what he did not view as a “wise decision.” The incident, he says, fed his growing sense that the welfare system too often saps motivation and rewards irresponsible behavior. (When we spoke, he suggested that the government should cut off assistance to would-be unwed mothers, but only after warning them that it would do so within a certain amount of time, say five years. “I bet you’d see a dramatic decrease in unwed motherhood.”)
Carson’s friends at Hopkins say they do not remember him being particularly outspoken about his conservatism. He devoted most of his public engagement to urging poor kids in bad neighborhoods to use “these fancy brains God gave us,” through weekly school visits, student hospital tours and, ultimately, a multimillion-dollar scholarship program. “His issues were always medical care for the poor, education for the poor, equal opportunity — helping the less fortunate and really inspiring them as an example,” a mentor who named him to the chief pediatrics-neurosurgery post at Hopkins, Dr. Donlin Long, told me.
Even when Carson got the chance, in 1997, to speak in front of President Bill Clinton, at the national prayer breakfast, he mostly discussed the lack of role models for black children who were not sports stars or rappers. (There was possibly an oblique reference to Clinton’s sex scandals, when he told the audience that, if they are always honest, they won’t have to worry later about “skeletons in the closet.”)
In 2011, Carson’s politics took a strident turn, mirroring that of many in his party during the Obama years. “America the Beautiful,” his sixth book, which he wrote with Candy Carson, his wife of 39 years, included a get-tough-on-illegal-immigration message and offered anti-establishment praise for the Tea Party. It suggested that blacks who voted for Obama only because he was black were themselves practicing a form of racism. (Earlier this year he admitted to Buzzfeed that portions of the book were lifted directly from several sources without proper attribution.) His prayer-breakfast performance in 2013, and the extremity of his remarks in the months afterward (Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery; the United States is “very much like Nazi Germany”; allowing same-sex marriage could lead to allowing bestiality), left some of his old friends bewildered. Students at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine protested his planned convocation address there in 2013, and he eventually backed out. When I asked Carson about the view at Hopkins that he had changed, he said his themes are still the same: “hard work, self-reliance, helping other people.” If he had become more overtly political, he said, it was only because the Obama years had led him to believe that “we’re really moving in a direction that is very, very destructive.”
None of this went unnoticed by campaign professionals. In August 2013, John Philip Sousa IV and Vernon Robinson, each of whom professes to be a virtual stranger to Carson, and who had previously been active in the anti-illegal-immigration movement, started the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. Sousa was just coming off a campaign to defend the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, from a recall effort, and he told me that he found Carson’s lack of political experience refreshing. “We have 500 guys and gals with probably a collective 5,000 years experience, and look at the mess we’re in,” he said.
Many others in the party feel the same way. Carson’s PAC finished 2014 with more than $13 million in donations, more than Ready for Hillary. Much of its money has gone toward further fund-raising, but Sousa — the great-grandson of the famous composer — points out that their effort has already built far more than just a war chest, organizing leaders in all 99 of Iowa’s counties. Regardless, Carson credits the fund-raising success of Sousa and Robinson with persuading him to enter the race.
Very early the morning after the job interview, Carson was in a black S.U.V., heading from Washington to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Md., where he was to give the opening candidate speech of the Conservative Political Action Conference. The event, which functions as an early tryout for Republican presidential contenders, tends to skew rightward in its audience, drawing many of the same sorts of people who shouted at Boehner in Tampa. As such, it tends to favor anti-establishment candidates, but the news leading up to this year’s event was that Jeb Bush hoped to make inroads there.
It was still dark when we set out, and I joked with Carson about the hour, telling him he’d better get used to it. He retorted that his career in pediatric brain surgery made him no stranger to early mornings. This is a big theme of Carson’s presidential pitch: that neither the rigors of the campaign nor those of the White House can faze a man who held children’s lives in his hands. His life in brain surgery has prepared him for the presidency, he maintains, better than lives in politics have for his rivals. At the very least, he says, it conditioned him against getting too worked up about any problem that isn’t life threatening. “I mean, it’s grueling, but interestingly enough, I don’t feel the pressure,” he said.
At the convention hall, we were quickly surrounded by admirers. Two women were already waiting to meet him — white, middle-aged volunteers for Carson’s super PAC, who had traveled from South Carolina. One of them, Chris Horne, was holding a dog-eared and taped Bible. A founding member of the Charleston Tea Party who went on to work for Gingrich’s successful South Carolina primary campaign in 2012, Horne lamented over the attacks that Carson was sure to face. “You served us, you served the Lord, just don’t let them steal that from you,” she said. Her friend told him, “You’ve got God behind you!” Such religious evocations trailed Carson constantly while I walked the CPAC floor with him. Evangelicals are impressed not only with his devotion to their politics but also with his career path; as one of them told me, what’s more pro-life than saving babies?
During our ride to the conference, Carson told me his speech was not looking to “feed the beast.” When his appointed time came, he kept his remarks as tame as promised. “Real compassion” meant “using our intellect” to help people “climb out of dependency and realize the American dream,” he said. The national debt is going to “destroy us,” Obamacare was about “redistribution and control,” but Republicans better come forward with their own alternative before they repeal it, he said.
Because his speech was first, and it started several minutes early, the auditorium was slow to fill. Still, the first day saw a crush of people seeking autographs and pictures as he roamed the hall. The Draft Carson committee’s 150 volunteers swarmed the auditorium, collecting emails and handing out “Run Ben Run” stickers. After a quick interview with Sean Hannity, the conservative-radio and Fox News host — his second in two days — Carson was off to Tampa.
In the hours that followed his talk, the hall offered a view in miniature of what the next 12 to 14 months might hold for the party. Chris Christie, sitting across from the tough-minded talk-radio host Laura Ingraham, boasted about his multiple vetoes of Planned Parenthood funding, his refusal to raise income taxes and his belief that “sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up.” Cruz, an audience favorite, warning his fellow Republicans against falling for a “squishy moderate,” declared, “Take all 125,000 I.R.S. agents and put ’em on our Southern border!” Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, surging in polls, boasted that if he could face down the 100,000 union supporters who protested his legislation limiting collective bargaining for public employees, he could certainly handle ISIS. The next day, the traditional CPAC favorite Rand Paul spoke, packing the hall with his supporters who chanted “President Paul.” He warned, counter to the overall hawkish tenor of the event, that “we should not succumb to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow become successful abroad.” But he also vowed to end foreign aid to countries whose citizens are seen burning American flags. “Not one penny more to these haters of America.”
Perhaps the defining moment came near the end of the conference, when Jeb Bush spoke. In a neat trick of political gamesmanship — and a show of establishment muscle — his team had bused in an ample cheering section for the dozens of cameras on hand for his appearance. But a small contingent of Tea Party activists and Rand Paul supporters staged a walk out. When Bush began a question-and-answer session, they turned and left the auditorium to chant “U.S.A., U.S.A.” in the hallway, led by a man in colonial garb waving a huge “Don’t Tread on Me” banner. Plenty of other detractors stayed in the hall and peppered Bush’s remarks with booing as he stood by positions unpopular with the conservative grass roots: support for the Common Core standards and an immigration overhaul that provides a “path to legal status” for undocumented immigrants. Bush took it all in good humor, but finally seemed to give up.
“For those who made an ‘oo’ sound — is that what it was? — I’m marking you down as neutral,” he said. “And I want to be your second choice.”
Bush strategists told me they would not repeat Romney’s mistakes. Of course they would love to glide to an early nomination, they said, but they are prepared for a long contest and won’t be wasting any energy bending under pressure from a Paul or a Cruz or a Carson.
No one doubts that the pressure will increase, though. Despite the best wishes of the party’s leaders, GOP primary voters have given little indication that they will narrow the field quickly.
Before I left, I spotted Newt Gingrich, himself a fleeting presidential front-runner during those strange primary days of 2012. I asked him whether he thought all the party maneuvering — all the attempts to change the rules and fast-track the process — would preclude someone from presenting the sort of outside primary challenge he had carried out in the last election.
“No,” he told me, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Look at where Ben Carson is right now.”
Ms. von Furstenberg made her debut in the movies and on the Broadway stage in the early 1950s as a teenager and later reinvented herself as a television actress, writer and philanthropist.Betsy von Furstenberg, Baroness and Versatile Actress, Dies at 83
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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
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.
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.
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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
BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.
Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.
Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.
The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.
Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.
Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China
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