lift the decade

There is no way to justify a single person owning the wealth equivilant to literally almost 1 billion people.

You are stating that that person is more valuable and has labored more than almost 15% of humanity combined. Especially when most of that wealth comes from not lifting a single finger for decades and is skimmed off the backs of people that actually work.

That’s absurd. Yes, hard work should be rewarded, but you know what work is hard? ACTUALLY WORKING.

Y'all want to talk about “stealing” what you earn when it comes to taxes, but not when it comes to your boss’s boss’s boss’s boss taking the excess value of your labor. How are they more entitled to what you create than you are?

QUICK INK PICKS

I’m still in the process of writing a thorough piece on this, but in the interest of getting your foot in the door I’ve got a handful of different black inks that’re good for drawing! I’ve got them divided into two categories - dye-based and pigmented. The vast majority of fountain pen inks have liquid coloring agents, or dyes, which are low-maintenance and have no clogging issues. The downside to this is that they tend to be a bit less saturated and are quite a bit less waterproof, so depending on the brand and how much ink is on the paper you could see some blending, bleeding or smudging.

Course, there are a couple of fountain pen inks out there that ARE pigment-based, with particles small enough to pass through the feed without clogging. They’re rare, and universally pricier than most normal inks, but boy are they worth it - incredibly dark, water-resistant, quick-drying AND multimedia-friendly. Really the only downside to them other than price is more diligent upkeep on your pen; while the particles won’t ever damage your feed, buildup overtime could potentially lead to inkflow issues down the road if you don’t clean your pen out once a month or so. Hell, even if that does happen, a good flush with the proper cleaning solution or a quick scrub with a toothbrush will shake loose that buildup and you’ll be good to go again. 

One last thing before we begin: if you’re just getting started with fountain pens and bottled ink, some of the prices here might seem a bit shocking. It’s a higher overhead when beginning, but one bottle of ink can easily last you 8-12 months, if not longer. Think about how fast a $9.00 3-pack of rollerball pens winds up in the garbage, or even a fistful of Sakura Microns. Most fountain pens worth their salt will be doing heavy lifting for north of a decade, so in the long run they’re pretty damn economical!

Noodler’s ($13): Your mileage may vary on some of these. Noodler’s is like the Willy Wonka of ink manufacturers - they’ve got an enormous spread of color choices, plenty of imaginative limited-edition stuff, and their formulas can have some pretty wild properties from freeze resistance to anti-feathering. Bulletproof Black is their most popular black, famous for its unique permanent properties - it binds to cellulose in paper. While this makes it water-resistant and tamper-proof, I’ve also found it to behave strangely on certain papers like moleskine pages. X-Feather’s another good choice, especially for those using less-than-ideal paper; on top of being a spectacular black, it resists bleeding/feathering. X-Feather takes forever to dry, so you’ll need to be careful while sketching, but if you’re a printer paper junkie with a hard-on for crispy lines, this might be your ticket. Sometimes they even bundle free pens with their inks, so keep an eye out!

Diamine Onyx Black ($7.50 - $15.00): Gotta hand it to Diamine, they can make a hell of a nice ink on the cheap. Onyx Black is quite saturated for the price, with some minor purple shading that tends to show up in a lot of even the pricier inks. You can get 30ml of this stuff for just a bit over seven bucks, which is absolutely perfect if you’re looking to score a good ink and pen at once on a tight budget.

Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ($20-28): This one’s on the steep side, but it also happens to be the darkest and most well-behaved dye-based ink I’ve yet used. Very saturated, you’ll only see this stuff shade if you’re laying it down wide and fast.

Platinum Carbon Black ($20): Now we’re talking. PCB’s been my go-to for years now - it’s abyssal, water-resistant, plays extremely well with other media, and is just really fucking black. Jumping to this from the dye-based inks of yore was like night and day, and I haven’t turned back. On the rare occasion it does wind up shading it’s an extremely dark gray, and it dries quickly with a very minor reflective finish. I’ve yet to find a paper or liquid medium that causes it to smear or otherwise misbehave, and I’m not quite sure I ever will. It’s a quantum leap in quality, and considering it’s only about 5 bucks more per bottle than many dye-based inks of the same volume I’ll take that hike any day.

Graaf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black ($30): Holy shit, I only recently procured a sample of this stuff and it’s even more intense than Platinum’s offering. It’s darker and more matte somehow! Maybe one day when I’m swilling the blood of the proletariat and licking coelacanth caviar off toast points I’ll be able to afford this stuff on the reg, otherwise it’ll remain an extremely indulgent acme of ink. If you’re feeling the itch, I don’t think you can do any better than this stuff!

2

Rick Perry and the Dakota Access Pipeline: Conflicts you need to know

  • On Monday, Trump picked Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to lead the Department of Energy.
  • The pick is a curious one: During a Republican presidential primary debate in 2011, Perry completely blanked on the department’s name.
  • Perry’s interest in the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline has also given some reason to pause.
  • Perry is on the Energy Transfer Partners board of directors.
  • ETP is the company that is attempting to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Perry has also been instrumental in getting legislation passed that benefited the company. 
  • In 2015 Congress passed a bill that lifted a decades-old ban on crude oil exports.
  •  Perry did his part in helping ETP to lobby in support of the bill.
  • He also once vowed to dismantle the agency he will now lead
  • While the gaffe in which he forgot the name of the agency is making headlines, it’s the context of the statement that raises the real red flags. 
  • It was while answering a question about which departments he would dismantle as president that he fumbled. Read more

I think I figured something out.

Kids don’t understand how adult consent works.

I’ve been noticing kids reading certain fics and going “But this scares me! I wouldn’t be able to consent in these circumstances!”

Which: yes. You would not be able to consent under those circumstances. Because you are a kid. 

Consent is more complicated than saying yes or no. It’s the ability to say what you want even when you’re scared of the vulnerability of showing your hand. It’s the ability to process when you feel uncomfortable, and the ability to get out of uncomfortable situations. It’s the ability to say no to a person, even when you desperately want their approval. It’s the ability to stop a sexual encounter, and the knowledge that you don’t owe anyone anything.

Consent is something that develops as you get older and gain experience and confidence and the ability to read people’s motives and the ability to predict their actions, and the ability to overcome shame and prioritize what you do want over what you should want. There is no substitute for that. This stuff takes practice, and it takes a lot of emotional resources.

Let’s be real. Kids don’t have that. Kids have like two weeks of shitty sex ed with shitty photocopied diagrams of body parts and not much else. Kids are not as good as adults at defending their boundaries, and speaking up when they’re uncomfortable, and saying no to things that other people want. There’s far too much of a power dynamic (I have honestly not even described the tip of that iceberg) between a kid and an adult, and the kid is inevitably going to get steamrolled. Which is why kids can’t consent.

You can’t lift a hundred-pound barbell on the first go. There’s no shame in that, you’re not pathetic for not being able to automatically do something that people who have spent literally decades lifting weights can do. You can lift smaller things without hurting yourself or dropping them. And you can work your way up to lifting heavier things. But you can’t just suddenly throw a hundred pounds at someone and expect them to catch it. That’s how people get very badly hurt.

Yes, sex is scary. Yes, sex involves a lot of really high stakes things, and each of those high stakes things is like another weight added to the barbell. And no, the barbell doesn’t feel as heavy to adults as it does to kids. Adults have more ability to handle sex than they used to when they were kids. Adults have said no to a lot of things, and said yes to a lot of things, and spent decades thinking about what they want and learning how to negotiate with people.

Which is why, I think, kids have trouble understanding fic written by adults, and are really uncomfortable with some of it. Adults are able to consent in situations that would be an unbearable amount of pressure on a kid. Like, by definition! This is literally why kids cannot legally consent to sex or other really high stakes things! And why it is both immoral and illegal to try to convince them to. 

So, if you are a kid, and you’re reading something with an adult character written by an adult, even if you identify with that character, they’re not you. They’re an adult. They have emotional resources you do not. They have had experiences that you have not, and they have learned from them and grown in ways you haven’t had a chance to yet. 

Yes, in this character’s shoes you would not be comfortable saying no. But these are not your shoes. You are trying on somebody else’s shoes, and these shoes were not designed with you in mind, and they are currently too big for you. So if the shoes are rubbing you raw, take them off, and let yourself grow more before trying those shoes again. They might fit right when you’re older, or you might want a different shape of shoe, and in the meantime I bet there are plenty of shoes that are actually your size or okay the metaphor has gone too far. Point is, it’s not your fault, and it’s not the shoe’s fault, and there are plenty more shoes in the shoe store.

TL;DR: Yes, going “This scares me! I wouldn’t be able to consent to this!” is valid, kids cannot by definition consent to a lot of things and it’s perfectly fine if they don’t want to consent to things. But adults can consent in more difficult circumstances, and if a fic seems scary to you but fine to adults, that’s probably the difference.

usatoday.com
BREAKING: Military will open all combat jobs to women, Defense secretary announces
WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday said... All U.S. military combat jobs, including infantry units, will be open to women beginning next year, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Thursday.

“Carter said the decision was part of his commitment to build a force of the future. The ban will be lifted in 30 days, he said, and the services have until April 1 to accommodate women in all roles.

The armed services had been given a Dec. 31 deadline to allow women into all of its units, including elite special operations ground combat position, or to request a waiver. Those exceptions had to be backed by data showing why women would not be able to accomplish the necessary tasks.

Carter acknowledged that the Marines asked for some exceptions, Carter said, “but we are a joint force.”

“​There will be no exceptions,” Carter said.

Carter’s decision comes almost three years after his predecessor Leon Panettaannounced that he had lifted the two-decade ban that prevented women from most combat jobs.

Read the full piece and watch the video here

Go on a tour of the White House without even leaving your desk by checking out the Guardian US Instagram.

After the White House announced in July that it was lifting the decades-old ban on photography during their public tours, we jumped at the chance to go on one ourselves. We went to the White House on Wednesday, camera in tow, giving our followers a chance to catch a glimpse inside the president’s home. See it for yourself here.