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missive #96

Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: July 14, 1935

Our Oriental Heritage is Volume 1 of the eleven volume ‘The Story of Civilization’ Series.
The first volume of Will Durant’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series, Our Oriental Heritage chronicles the early history of Egypt, the Middle East, and Asia. In this masterful work, readers will encounter:
This book is 1049 pages in its printed hardbound format. It would probably only be a third of that if all the quoted material were removed; there are over 3,380 footnotes to cite the sources. A massive amount of data but light on an explanation about what it all means. I’ll probably read Volume 2, but not soon, and hope that it is not as data heavy.*Sumeria, birthplace of the first cities and written laws
*the Egyptians, who perfected monumental architecture, medicine, and mummification more than 3,500 years ago
*the Babylonians, who developed astronomy and physics, and planted the seeds of Western mythology
*the Judeans, who preserved their culture forever in the immortal books of the Old Testament
*the Persians, who ruled the largest empire in recorded history before Rome
*Indian philosophy, Chinese philosophers, and Japanese samurais
— Edited book promo @ Amazon

Some quotes:

The people are the actual and proper source of political sovereignty, for any government that does not retain their confidence sooner or later falls.
Tsze-kung asked about government. The Master said, “(The requisites of government) are three: that there should be sufficiency of food, sufficiency of military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their ruler.” Tsze-kung said, “If it cannot be helped, and one of these must be dispensed with, which of the three should be foregone first?” “The military equipment,” said the Master. Tsze-kung asked again, “If it cannot be helped, and one of the remaining two must be dispensed with, which of them should be foregone?” The Master answered, “Part with the food. From of old, death has been the lot of all men; but if the people have no faith (in their rulers) there is no standing (for the state).”

The best way to improve manners and customs is to … pay attention to the composition of the music played in the country.

The death of a civilization seldom comes from without; internal decay must weaken the fiber of a society before external influences or attacks can change its essential structure, or bring it to an end. A ruling family rarely contains within itself that persistent vitality and subtle adaptability which enduring domination requires; the founder exhausts half the strength of the stock, and leaves to mediocrity the burdens that only genius could bear.

I went to Reserve again yesterday and picked up some groceries and a package that was waiting for me at the post office. The owner(?) of Jake’s also told me that he had found where he could order some non-dairy yogurt in the 32 oz size. I told him to order it and I would pick it up next week. While at the post office I asked the postmistress about having my mail delivered to General Delivery. If I come back here that is what I’ll do.

On the way into town I saw a couple of deer. That is unusual, I see a lot of elk but not many deer. It also reminded me that I did see a couple of them when I drove to Quemado. On that drive I also saw a rafter of wild turkey which it has been quite some time since seeing any.

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