paper politics

a comprehensive list of arguments chloe and marinette have had
  • do horizontal stripes make you look fat
  • ponytails v. pigtails
  • was the class rep election rigged
    • half this argument took place in mme. bustier’s office when chloe dragged marinette inside and demanded a recount
  • is adrien warm toned or cool toned?
  • who sits closer to adrien in class?
    • rulers and tape measures were brought to class
  • fishtail braids v. french braids
  • gel manicures v. matte manicures
  • whether erin should’ve won project runway season 15
  • which one of them was taller
    • sub-argument: do high heels and up-dos count towards your height
  • proper form for a backhanded slap
  • problem #13 on the maths group project they were unfortunately paired together for
    • this one both got them sent to the principal’s office
  • the exact number of akumas chloe has inadvertently caused
  • ladybug’s precise mbti 
    • still going on after two weeks. marinette is oddly invested in this one
  • rose gold v. gold iphones
  • is jagged stone even considered music 
  • whether blackmailing their history teacher to give chloe an extension on her paper is considered “politics”
    • it isn’t. chloe got a note sent home to her father. 
  • which season of the bachelor was objectively the best 
  • what is chat noir’s suit really made out of 
  • who had the highest score on the last history exam 
    • also got them sent to the principal’s office 
  • who has the best resting bitch face
  • who has the better best friend
    • sabrina and alya refuse to involve themselves

i have to write a persuasive research paper and idk what to even do. I’m passionate about a lot, but I kind of want to avoid writing a political paper at the end of the semester bc I don’t want to get mad while I write when I’m already stressed lmao

3

Fortunately for Brian, Gary and Guy, the word “wanker” will always be available for use by everyone.

4

[ LITERATURE EDITORIAL SERIES ] Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince

And here comes in the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved— It is much safer to be feared than loved.

once upon a potions class ♔ peter parker au

summary : the slow burn love story of hogwarts student peter parker and his (other) hufflepuff best friend, y/n y/l/n. 

author’s note : hahaha hi so no one asked for this but my heart yearned for it so here it is, hopefully gonna be a series bc i love hogwarts au peter xo

  If you want to get technical, really technical, it started in Potions class one fateful October afternoon, when the breeze of autumn swept over the castle grounds and the leaves were carried off the trees in a flurry of reds and oranges and yellows. The colors of the start of something, of a very endearing and otherwise unheard of beginning. In Peter’s eyes, however, it probably began much earlier than that, because it was already his fifth year at Hogwarts and he knows he knows he knows that he’s felt what he does for much longer than just an hour, a week, a month. 

    In actuality, the realization of such feelings was what really happened that day in class, not the start of the feelings themselves. The stunning realization that sent him staggering backward into Ned Leeds, tripping over his robes in a way that you had to find comical if you were standing there in the classroom when it happened, was what had truly transpired. Alas, that comes later. This is what comes before. 

   What comes before is Peter standing in the corridor where the Hufflepuff common room resides, just past the still life portrait that can lead a student to the kitchens if they approach it in the proper fashion. It’s the same with the barrels that lead into Ned’s common room- into your common room- but he refuses to even attempt to visit you in there ever since the great fourth year incident. Instead, he opts for lurking outside, awkwardly smiling at people who give him odd stares because he’s been out there for nearly fifteen minutes now and hasn’t moved an inch. He’s just waiting for Ned (and you, of course, but he’s rather reluctant to admit such a thing), which most fifth years know by now because you never really see one without the other, only at bedtime when they split up into their respective common rooms. 

   “Finally!” He throws his head back with a groan when Ned emerges from an old barrel that boasts a roomier common room than you’d expect. His friend has robes rumpled from crawling through the passageway and trailing behind him is you, your tie still dangling around your neck, undone as it usually is. “You two take forever, I swear. I thought Gryffindors were supposed to be the self involved ones, at least a little bit.” Peter tugs on his red and gold tie jokingly, his eyes flickering toward you as you sloppily tied your own. He waved you over and you let out a relieved sigh. 

   “I overslept!” Ned replied. He smirked, just the smallest bit, when he saw Peter begin fixing your tie for you, something his Aunt May had taught him how to do when he had received his letter on his eleventh birthday. Peter tries his hardest not to notice the sunny smile you gave him when he finished up. Ned smugly notices Peter trying not to notice, and gives Peter a suggestive raise of the eyebrows when the Gryffindor looks toward his best friend. He rolls his eyes at Ned, which was expected, before shyly grinning back at you. “Anyways, how’s my favorite Gryffindor doing this morning?” 

   “Shitty,” Peter replied, taking a step away from you. His face is slightly pink at this point due to the close proximity of your face to his, but you barely notice. “We have Potions first, Ned, how d’you think I’m feeling?” Ned steps over, letting you walk next to Peter for a change just because he’s feeling a bit pushy, but not before lightly shoving Peter. His shoulder bumps against yours and he apologetically smiles at you. 

   “Aw, Potions isn’t that bad!” You reply, giving him a little nudge. “I for one find it quite entertaining and invigorating. My favorite class, probably.” Peter nudges you back, shaking his head. 

   “Every class is your favorite, it’s a wonder you’re not a Ravenclaw.” He breathes in for a second, the scent of your perfume dizzying in the best way possible, before he speaks again. “Anyways, you’re Slughorn’s favorite student to ever exist, besides, like, Harry freaking Potter and his mum.” 

   The comment makes your face heat up and you wrap one arm around Peter in a hug that would have been awkward if it were any other two people, considering you were trying your best to hurry down the corridor to avoid being late. “Shut up, Parker. That’s not true. And so what if I love my classes? I grew up in a Muggle household and I’m still soaking all this in.” You didn’t have to be at the very top of your classes to adore them profusely. 

   “She’s got a point,” Ned chimes in, slapping Peter on the back in that friendly, odd boy way. “Besides, Potions can’t possibly be bad when you have your favorite Hufflepuff, also known as Ned Leeds, sitting next to you the whole time.” 

   Peter laughed as you feigned offense at not being Peter’s favorite, but as he sighed out the sentence, “Yeah, favorite,” with a happy nod, his gaze lingered on you instead of Ned. The boys pushed you into the room first once the three of you arrived at the classroom in the dungeons, you were always a favorite among the teachers because of your sunny disposition and politeness in any situation. 

   “Professor! My apologies, the boys and I lost track of time preparing for today’s lesson,” you said, gliding into the room with usual grace as you gave Slughorn a smile. Peter felt his heart tug at the sight, but he took his usual seat behind you and beside Ned without thinking too much about it. 

   Slughorn gave his usual delighted, hearty laugh at your presence and an affectionate pat on your shoulder. “Not to worry, my dear! You’re a pleasure to have in class, as always.” You turn back toward Ned and Peter and give them a wink, because if it wasn’t for you they would’ve been in deep shit. 

   They were rarely ever on time for class, always oversleeping in the morning and losing track of time practicing different and somewhat ridiculous incantations down by the Black Lake or trying to summon the giant squid from beneath its depths. The teachers had a tendency to go on easy on Peter and Ned because Benjamin Parker had been a teacher up at the school not long before his passing, and they went even easier on the pair when  you were around. You were the levelheaded but inherently loyal addition to what made up an inseparable trio, and Peter was forever in awe of your choosing to be his friend, in awe of you in general, though the boy would refuse to admit such a preposterous thing if confronted directly.

   You were listening intently to Slughorn’s directions when Peter was thinking these things, interrupted only by Ned. He roughly shoved Peter’s leg with his own, ducking his head to whisper, “You missed your chance!” 

   Confused, Peter tilted his alongside him, “Chance for what?” To this, Ned let out an exasperated huff. 

   “I called myself your favorite Hufflepuff for a purpose!” He exclaimed in a voice barely able to qualify as a whisper the way he had intended. Ned then promptly hit Peter on the back of the head, continuing, “You were supposed to be all ‘Nah, Y/N’s my favorite badger actually,’ and then put your arm around her or something! It would’ve been perfect, you dolt.” 

    “What sort of script have you conjured up in your head and how am I supposed to know to follow it if I haven’t a copy?” Peter retorted, rubbing the back of his head where Ned had inflicted the injury just moments before. “And, just for the record, I never said I fancied her anyway. Which I don’t, by the way.” He didn’t. Definitely not. Never in a million years. 

   “You’re such a liar, everyone can see that you do.” Ned was, evidently, a horrid whisperer, because Slughorn was now making his way over to the pair, both boys straightening their backs and flashing the professor their most charming, scarily matching smiles. 

   “That’s not true,” Peter muttered out of the corner of his mouth before turning his attention back to Slughorn, who was standing over them with a stern expression on his typically enthusiastic face. Smiling sheepishly up at him, Peter took his quill out of the bag hanging off the back of his chair as well as a piece of parchment, dating the top of his paper. “Professor,” he greeted politely. 

  If you had heard Ned and Peter’s conversation, you gave no indication of it as you turned in your chair to watch your teacher begin his usual lecture, mostly directed at the boys sitting behind you with faces growing redder by the second. “Can either of you boys tell me what I was just saying to the rest of your class, or would you perhaps be more inclined to discuss what was so important with all of us instead?” 

   “Oh, well, um, see Professor, you were just talking about-” Peter began, prepared to ramble on for ten minutes until Slughorn took pity on him and moved on to another topic. 

   “Amortentia,” you mumble, so low that only Peter was able to detect it as you had your chin held in the palm of your hand and your lips barely moved as you spoke. 

   “I believe it was, um, Amortentia, sir?” Slughorn nods when the words are spoken, and Peter lets out a relieved little sigh when he moves on from his desk, turning back toward Ned. “Almost got me detention again, thanks.” Then, he leans forward to tap you on the shoulder, giving you that typical shy grin as he says, “And thank you for saving me from writing lines again.” He pauses. “You’re the best.”  

    “No, no, really, it’s not a big deal,” you reply, a half smile reflected down toward your lap instead of up at him as you spun back around to continue your attentive listening. 

   Ned, forever the type of best friend to relentlessly badger Peter to no end, kicked Peter under the desk again before scribbling on the piece of parchment that Peter had taken out of his bag in a worried frenzy with no intention of actually taking notes. You know what Amortentia is, don’t you? Peter glacned down at the note, then scribbled his own reply. A potion. He slid it over to Ned, who rolled his eyes. Love potion. Pay attention, Peter. I know you’re the chosen whatever but you need to study, too. 

   Peter ignored this, turning his back to Ned to listen to what Slughorn was now   saying to the remainder of the class. Ned had a point, even if hearing himself referred to as the chosen whatever caused Peter immense embarrassment. When he tuned into the lesson, finally, Slughorn was in the middle of his sentence. “-more of an infatuation, a dangerous one at that. It has a distinct scent to whomever comes across it, which is what makes it so appealing. Now, typically we wouldn’t be introducing this so early due to an incident over eleven years ago but, the lesson itself is important as well as entertaining!” The professor gave a delighted clap of his hands before gesturing toward the large cauldron in the front of the room. 

   Nearly every girl tilted on the heels of their school shoes, clamoring to get a look or a whiff, possibly both, of the potion that let out steam in distinctive spirals and glowed like a moonstone. Even you stood up a little straighter, craning your neck to see what it was. There was an odd sensation Peter felt stirring inside him when he thought of you associating a scent in that potion- a potion brewed with the intent of creating real love- with someone, a boy, a girl, anyone. 

   “I’ll go,” Peter heard you announce confidently, sliding out of your chair as you walked up to the cauldron. The rest of the class peered on intently, but none so intently as Peter, who was practically sitting atop the desk as he waited for you to speak. Chin in his hand, pout on his face as you waft the steam toward you. 

   “What do you smell?” Ned prompted loudly from beside Peter, earning a startlingly cold scowl from his friend. 

   “Give a girl a minute, would you?” You said, your eyes flicking toward your two boys before trailing back down to what was in front of you. 

   Ned put his hands up defensively, whispering to Peter, “I’m just trying to get her to admit that the object of her affection is you, you’re welcome.” 

   “Piss off, Ned.”

   Peter’s eyes rolled once again, nothing new to Ned, as he carefully observed the way you leaned your head down, eyes closing as you inhaled the potion deeply. When your eyes flew open abruptly as you stepped back from the potion, there was a split second, just a fleeting moment that passed as soon as it had occurred, where Peter thought that maybe you had looked at him. He had caught your gaze for barely a second, not long enough to register what had even happened. He wasn’t even sure if it was real, or if his overactive imagination was making him hallucinate the thing that might just make him the happiest he’s ever been. He lifted a hand in the air without thinking, saying, “So? What’d you smell, Y/N?” 

    “Um, well, it was just-” you scrambled away from the cauldron, shaking the messy, tangled and intrusive thoughts out of your brain because what you had smelled- well, it was nothing, wasn’t it? It wasn’t definite. Maybe it didn’t mean what Slughorn had implied. Maybe it didn’t mean that you were sort of, possibly- more than possibly, almost definitely- in love with… someone. A certain someone with big brown eyes and shy smiles and warm, all encompassing hugs that quite literally left you breathless when you pulled away from them. “Um, old book pages, flowers, apple pie and… um, cologne. No big deal, though,” you added hastily, sitting back in your chair for the remainder of the lesson and blatantly refusing to turn your back, even when Peter poked the back of your robes with his quill multiple times in a fruitless attempt to capture your attention. When class was indicated to be over, you were the first one out of the room, which was particularly unusual since you had a habit of hanging back afterwards to converse with whatever professor lingering in the classroom. Peter tried to call you, to wait, but you ignored him. 

   “What the hell was that about?” He asked Ned, still gathering his bearings. “She never jets off like that.” He neglected to mention that he wanted to see you off to your next class, but Ned had gathered that much already. 

   “Peter! You’re hopeless!” He exclaimed, grabbing the sleeve of Peter’s robes and lightly pushing him over to the cauldron. The room had been vacated by now, even by Slughorn, so it was simply the two of them in the room. Peter was most certainly going to be late to Care of Magical Creatures, but he knew Hagrid wouldn’t mind. He had a knack for the lesson, especially when it involved the mass amounts of spiders that weren’t quite supposed to be on the grounds. It was a secret between him and Hagrid, and so the groundskeeper doted on Peter. The boy was practically a genius himself, but he knew he was a Gryffindor through and through. “Before you’re late, just smell it. Please,” Ned almost shoves Peter headfirst into the potion. 

    To get his friend off his back, literally, Peter breathed in the scent, and there comes the aforementioned, stunning, ridiculously overdue realization that in all honesty should have transpired so much sooner than it had, now that Peter looks back on the situation. He did, in fact, jump away from the potion much in the manner of a skittish cat, stepping on the hem of his robes and falling over Ned, a hand running through his already awfully messy hair when he stood back up. “Oh, bloody fucking hell,” he breathes. Ned touches his fingers to his forehead with exasperation. “That’s… well that’s- that’s, you know, oh Merlin this is bad. This is so bad, Ned.” 

   It was the dizzying smell of your perfume that had greeted him through the swirls of steam, the flowery and lovely scent he had bought you for your fourteenth birthday because May had told him that some girls liked perfume, so he had gone out and purchased some with his savings despite having no clue what scent you’d like. But you had loved his gift, pecking him on the cheek in the middle of the Great Hall on the eve of your birthday and making him blush so hard he had to ask Professor McGonagall how to get rid of the color staining the place you kissed. You had worn it every day since without fail, even during the summer holidays when you hadn’t been able to see him. 

   Then, of course, because Peter can’t catch a break, the next scent was that of your shampoo. It was a smell he pretty much inhaled whenever he wrapped his arms around you in an embrace, which he did an awful lot for just your friend, a comforting scent that he remembered from the day he was thirteen years old and May had owled him at three in the morning with news of Uncle Ben’s death, when he had stood outside the entrance to the Hufflepuff common room with flushed cheeks and running tears and shaking hands that reached out for you instantly the moment you had appeared in front of him. 

   Peter slowly looked up at his best friend, his hands rubbing across his face. A part of him could hardly believe this was happening, but a different part of him knew he should have seen this coming. He should have felt the click sooner; the “Ned, why didn’t you tell me I fancied Y/N?” 

   Ned groaned. “Are you kidding me right now? I’ve been telling you since we were thirteen. ‘Bout time you noticed.” There was another groan, this time on Peter’s end, muffled by the way he held his head in his hands. 

   “This is the biggest predicament I’ve ever been in.” 

   “Bigger than the fact that you’ve been chosen to defeat a Dark Lord?”

   “Way bigger.”   

  And, to his fifteen year old brain that was muddled with the intricate thoughts of the way he felt for you, the way he had always felt for you, the way he would feel for you for eternity, it wasn’t the fact that he liked you that was the problem. It was the crushing weight what came hand in hand with the realization; the possibility that he was going to have to suffer through his love alone, with unrequited feelings hanging in the air. 

  If only he knew, right?

Even in an age of declining civic education, a basic understanding of the founding generation thankfully remains part of America’s secular catechism. Over the past decade, the Founding Fathers have even enjoyed a renaissance. Creative storytellers like David McCullough and Lin-Manuel Miranda breathed life into stories we thought we knew. The Obama years birthed a tea party movement that had at its center a restoration of constitutional principles. And now, in the age of Trump, progressives have discovered a strange new respect for the importance of the Constitution’s checks and balances and restraints against majoritarian impulses.


But even with their newfound fashionability, the founders remain widely misunderstood. Names like Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, and Hamilton still carry weight, but the ideas they espoused get discarded. Other key figures—individuals whose words and ideas contributed much to the founding—are either relegated to the footnotes or missing altogether from our nation’s popular history.


The familiar narrative many of us were taught as children about our founding—that great men came together to forge a Constitution that set America on its present course—isn’t exactly true. Much of it has been deliberately crafted as a means of justifying our modern political whims. History is, by its nature, about the battle of ideas. The problem comes when we look to history not to understand it or draw inspiration, but to seek out confirmation for our pre-existing beliefs.


Take Alexander Hamilton, a brilliant man who spoke up during the debates over the Constitution as one of the most fervent advocates of a robust national government. Today, he’s embraced by many advocates of Big Government as a kindred spirit—doubtless thanks in large part to Miranda’s smash hit Broadway show, “Hamilton,” which recontextualizes the founder as a hardscrabble immigrant who arrived in New York and, with cunning ambition, worked his way to the top of American society.


In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign adopted Hamilton as something of a mascot—quoting from Miranda’s lyrics in speeches and renting out the entirety of Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre for a special performance of the musical as a fundraiser. Clinton is by no means the first liberal to claim Hamilton as one of her own. A century earlier, Herbert Croly, one of the most influential progressive intellectuals of the period and co-founder of The New Republic, praised Hamilton for advocating a policy of “active interference with the natural course of American economic and political business and its regulation and guidance in the national direction.”


It’s understandable why progressives would imagine Hamilton as their partisan, Big Government comrade. But this understanding of Hamilton is based on a deeply distorted image of him.


Call it the “Hamilton Effect”: Twisting history to suit one’s ends, willfully ignoring and ultimately erasing it when it stands in your way.


[…]


In The Federalist Papers, a series of essays published throughout the colonies in support of the new Constitution, Hamilton and his co-authors, James Madison and John Jay, responded to one of the most pressing concerns articulated by other founders: that the Constitution could become a Trojan horse for oppressive government. Hamilton thought such a notion ludicrous, even paranoid. “Allowing the utmost latitude to the love of power which any reasonable man can require,” Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 17, “I confess I am at a loss to discover what temptation the persons intrusted with the administration of the general government could ever feel to divest the States of the authorities of that description.” The “government of the Union,” he insisted, could never become “too powerful … to enable it to absorb those residuary authorities, which it might be judged proper to leave with the States for local purposes.”


Supposing that such a perversion of the Constitution was attempted, Hamilton wrote, the states and localities would rightfully be more powerful than a central government. “It will always be far more easy for the State governments to encroach upon the national authorities than for the national government to encroach upon the State authorities,” he predicted—which may come as a surprise to those who would claim his support to do just the opposite today. In Federalist No. 32, Hamilton explained to wary observers that “state governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had” prior to the Constitution’s ratification, as long as those powers had not been “exclusively delegated” to the federal government—making the Constitution’s real goal, in Hamilton’s view, “only … a partial union or consolidation.”


This was a view shared by his colleague, Madison, who wrote in Federalist No. 45 that “the powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”


In short, their view of what the federal government—first in Philadelphia and then in Washington, D.C.—was meant to be, and what the Constitution clearly intended, is not at all what that government has become over the past 80 years. The founders did not envision a Congress that would take more and more power from states and localities, regulating nearly every aspect of human existence—education, agriculture, health care, commerce, transportation, among others. They did not envision a Supreme Court that would find thin justifications in the Constitution to support such a massive federal expansion. They did not envision a Congress so weak and willing to delegate its lawmaking power to unaccountable bureaucrats in the executive branch and judges in the judicial branch.


[…]


An understanding of the Constitution and the debates that forged it is not transmitted from one generation to another through the bloodstream. It must be taught, learned and followed with each successive generation. Whenever that fails to happen, the Constitution—and with it, the liberty and prosperity of the American people—is left unprotected.


But even if we don’t automatically inherit an understanding of the Constitution, we do inherit a right to the kind of government it promises. Too many Americans today have settled for less than the constitutional, liberty-minded republic they deserve. They have done so not because they dislike the Constitution or need the blessings provided by a government that honors it, but rather because they—like many they have elected to represent them in Washington—have been misinformed (or perhaps, underinformed) about the kind of government they are entitled to as U.S. citizens.


The good news is that the knowledge that is so crucial to protecting our Constitution has not been entirely lost, and can still be recovered with relative ease. Over the course of my nearly lifelong study of the Constitution and the era of our nation’s founding, I have discovered many stories that challenge what we take to be conventional wisdom about America’s birth—the “origin story” of our country. These are the stories of Americans you may never have heard of, and who may not receive much coverage in history books: the story of a slave who fought and won her freedom by arguing for her natural rights in court; the story of a vice president who stopped his own president from using executive power to “purge” the federal judiciary; the story of an Iroquois leader who inspired a founder with early principles of federalism.


All of them, in their own way, helped to explore, test and refine the concepts of freedom and liberty as they were applied to form what would become the world’s greatest republic. Taken together, their threads combine to add richness and depth to the great tapestry of American history.


Only when we fully understand that history can we avoid petty politicization of the founders’ legacy. Only then can we counter the Hamilton Effect.