C. Vann Woodward explains Ferguson to white people

The President’s Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders concluded that while no riot was “typical” in all respects, most of them shared certain traits. While “racial in character; they were not interracial.” They took place within Negro districts and typically attacked not white persons so much as symbols of white authority — especially policemen, firemen and national guardsmen — and white property. The most common grievance was abusive police practices, and the recurrent complaint was discrimination and a sense of powerlessness. The typical rioter was somewhat better off than the typical black in his community. He had the support of a large percentage of his black neighbors, who felt the riot was a form of protest and might be beneficial, even though Negroes were the main victims.

— C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow 

Are you sure Mr. Gibbon was talking about the Roman Empire?

“The image of a free constitution was maintained with a decent reverence.”

– Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Bust on right is Constantine the Great. (No relation).

Bust on right is Constantine the Great. (No relation).

15 sayings from the great Zen masters of Texas

Guides to life from Ken Weaver’s inexplicably out-of-print book Texas Crude: The How-To on Talkin’ Texan.

  1. “Might as well. Can’t dance and it’s too wet to plow.”
  2. “I’ve enjoyed just about all of this I can stand.”
  3. “Anything not a mystery is guesswork.”
  4. “Ugly as death backing out of an [out]house reading Mad magazine.”
  5. “If I was doing any better I couldn’t stand it and the law wouldn’t allow it.”
  6. “Shoot low, they’re riding shetlands.” 
  7. He can’t find his ass in five tries.”
  8. “You’d complain if they were hanging you with a new rope.”
  9. “It’s getting drunk outside.”
  10. “I feel like I was shot at and missed, [spit] on and hit.”
  11. “Three things you need to know about plumbing: Water runs downhill, payday is Friday and don’t put your fingers in your mouth.”
  12. “Walk fast and look worried.”
  13. “You buy ’em books and you buy ’em books and they keep chewing on the covers.”
  14. “You can wish in one hand and [spit] in the other and see which one fills up first.”
  15. “Tougher than a Mexican family.”

Top 10 list of the best Top 10 lists about the year’s stupidities

top10Is it just me or is getting awfully meta in here?

  1. Media corrections of 2008 (RegretTheError)
  2. Most confusing high-tech buzzwords (LanguageMonitor)
  3. Worst political predictions (ForeignPolicy)
  4. Dumbest TV moves (Entertainment Weekly)
  5. TV buzzwords (LanguageMonitor)
  6. Freakiest ads (Adfreak)
  7. Worst political ads (Politico)
  8. Worst business deals — pre-Madoff (Time)
  9. Political buzzwords (LanguageMonitor)
  10. Political quotes (ExtremeMortman)
  11. Best (?) websites about layoffs (BusinessPundit)

Actually, they’re not all Top 10 lists — neither was mine.

Others:

BEST COLLECTION OF YEAR-END LISTS!!! (Fimoculous)