andybrwn

Trapped in an energy field
energy musings, renewables, regulation and policy wonkeshnessdom, polisci rantings, and ramblage. The comments expressed here are my own, and don't represent the position of any business or clients.

 I make no claim of ownership to reposted materials. Barney is a purple dinosaur of love.

Conservative fears of nonexistent or overblown boogeymen — Saddam’s WMD, Shariah law, voter fraud, Obama’s radical anti-colonial mind-set, Benghazi, etc. — make it hard not to see conservatism’s prudent risk avoidance as having morphed into a state of near permanent paranoia, especially fueled by recurrent “moral panics,” a sociological phenomenon in which a group of “social entrepreneurs” whips up hysterical fears over a group of relatively powerless “folk devils” who are supposedly threatening the whole social order…

Consider the recent wave of hysteria over Central American children turning themselves in at the border. There were the hordes of angry demonstrators protesting busloads of children, like it was Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. There was the congressman/doctor Phil Gingrey’s warning letter to the CDC, claiming that the children might be carrying the Ebola virus — a disease unknown outside Sub-Saharan Africa. There was the ludicrous myth of the “$50 million illegal alien resort spa.” But above all there was the most basic, fundamental fact that the children were turning themselves in at the border — it was anything but a failure of border protection, although that’s what the right-wing hysteria portrayed it as.

Put simply, none of what conservatives have been doing in the recent “border crisis” moral panic makes any sense in terms of pragmatic problem-solving. But it all makes perfect sense in terms of expressively defending a threatened group identity — and that is very much in line with what researchers have found to be the defining characteristics of conservatism.

wasbella102:

Dernier Plan (La), (© 1996-2014 by Joseph Le Pedriel. Images by François Schuiten, Benoît Peeters, Casterman)

wasbella102:

Dernier Plan (La), (© 1996-2014 by Joseph Le Pedriel. Images by François Schuiten, Benoît Peeters, Casterman)

atlasobscura:

The Azure Window and the Blue Hole - Gozo, Malta

Two geological wonders sit side-by-side on the Maltese island of Gozo: the Azure Window and the Blue Hole.

The window is a towering rock formation reaching 328 feet high with a precarious table structure that makes it popular for cliff divers. Yet below is another wonder with a collapsed underwater limestone cave known as the Blue Hole. It’s accessed by divers through a 262-foot tunnel, and underwater you can find a beautiful array of marine life including octopi, fire worms, and sea horses.

Unfortunately, the Azure Window is wearing down. In April of 2012, it got a little wider when part of it broke off. But there’s apparently already a plan if the worst happens, and upon its collapse it will be rechristened the Azure Pinnacle. 

Plan a trip to the Azure Window and Blue Hole, on Atlas Obscura…

(via earthstory)

libutron:

Hawfinch - Coccothraustes coccothraustes
The Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes (Passeriformes - Fringillidae) a a very large, huge-bill, big-headed, short-tailed, short-legged finch, bigger than all other common finches of temperate woodlands.
This species has a large range, and is a widespread breeder across much of Europe, but it also occurs in Eastern Asia, the North of Africa and even Alaska.
References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Uri Kolker | Locality: not indicated (2011)

libutron:

Hawfinch - Coccothraustes coccothraustes

The Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes (Passeriformes - Fringillidae) a a very large, huge-bill, big-headed, short-tailed, short-legged finch, bigger than all other common finches of temperate woodlands.

This species has a large range, and is a widespread breeder across much of Europe, but it also occurs in Eastern Asia, the North of Africa and even Alaska.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Uri Kolker | Locality: not indicated (2011)

(via speculative-evolution)

The most important office in a democracy is the office of citizen.

—Pres. Barack Obama, casting his 2014 vote by early voting in Illinois.

(Source: abcnews.go.com, via quickhits)

blastedheath:

Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Sous les peupliers [Under the poplars] , 1887. Oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm.

blastedheath:

Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Sous les peupliers [Under the poplars] , 1887. Oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm.