Daily Update: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

First Martyrs of the See of Rome - The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer by Leon Gerome

Today, on the day after the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul., we have the Optional Memorial of the First Martyrs of The Church of Rome.

After the Great Fire of Rome in 64 had finally run its course, rumors arose that the Emperor Nero had caused the fire to be set. According to Tacitus, “As a consequence, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians [or Chrestians] by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but, even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. In accordance, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not as much of the crime of firing the city as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being destroyed.” Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero is a historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz and published in 1895 that centers on the Christians during the time of Nero; I strongly advise not eating before reading the sections on the martyrdom of Christians. And, for those who fish in Louisiana, today is the day that your 2014-2015 Fishing License expires. (Also one’s Louisiana Hunting License, which I need not worry about, as I don’t hunt.)

We woke up half an hour early, and I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and, arriving at the casino half an hour early, waited in the Hallway to Nowhere to sign the Early Out list. In due time we did sign the list (along with one of our co-workers), and then ate breakfast in ADR. When we clocked in Richard was on Three-Card Blackjack (with no guests), and I was on Mississippi Stud. I had dealt about three complete hands when I was tapped out; Richard and I both got out before 3:08 am, so we were technically no-timed. We got home at 3:45 am, and I went back to bed.

I woke up again at 8:30 am, fed the cats, and read the morning paper. Richard then read the paper, and we left the house at 9:15 am. On the way to Lafayette I read the July 22nd, 2015 issue of Sports Illustrated, finished reading the June 22nd – June 29th, 2015 issue of my Jesuit America magazine, and read the July 22nd, 2015 issue of Sports Illustrated. At the Lafayette Public Library – Southside Branch I returned Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks by Keith Houston, and took out As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley and The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café by Alexander McCall Smith. We then said hello to the cats available for adoption at PetSmart, then went to Barnes and Noble, where we put in some comfy chair time. I finished reading the July 2015 issue of National Geographic (which I had started reading when I had finished the other magazines), then I started reading Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I then got on my Overdrive app and put Lock In by John Scalzi (my next Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club Book) on hold (I am next in line to borrow it), and found that it will be easy to get The Giver by Lois Lowery (my next Third Tuesday Book Club Book) when I wish borrow it via Overdrive. We left Barnes and Noble at 12:30 pm and drove through a sudden quite violent thunderstorm to Home Depot; after the rain let up, Richard went inside Home Depot and got four spools of line for his weedwacker.  We then ate lunch at Athena Greek and Lebanese Restaurant. On our way home I started reading As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley.

We arrived home at 2:30 pm, and I got on the computer to work on Advance Daily Update Drafts. At 4:30 pm, when I started watching Jeopardy!, Michelle came by with Richard’s ear buds he had left in Connecticut, a USN North Dakota hat for Richard, and showed us the photos she had taken during her weeklong trip to see Matthew and Callie and the baby. Richard barbecued chicken, which I ate for dinner along with a baked potato and a baked sweet potato. And I am now doing tonight’s Daily Update, before I go read for a bit before going to bed.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Blessed Junípera Serra, Priest, and the birthday of my daughter’s friend Kim here in town (1986). I will do the Weekly Computer Maintenance and my laundry, put in on the casino Scheduling software for our October vacation, and do the maintenance stuff I do on my Galaxy Note 4 each Wednesday, along with the maintenance stuff I do on the first of each month. And the Full Moon will arrive tomorrow evening at 9:22 pm.

Our Parting Quote this Tuesday evening, as the month of June fades away, comes to us from Bob DePugh, American anti-Communist activist. Born as Robert DePugh in 1923 in Independence, Missouri, where his father served as deputy sheriff, he enlisted in the United States Army during World War II but was dismissed for nervousness and depression. He then attended Kansas State University for a few months before dropping out. DePugh went on to found a veterinary drug firm in 1953 that folded in 1956. He enrolled at Washburn University briefly, then started BioLab, another veterinary drug firm, in Norborne, Missouri, which was more successful. He became a member of the John Birch Society and according to a biography he was influenced by the House Un-American Activities Committee. In 1961, in response to a perceived threat to the United States from communism, DePugh founded the Minutemen Organization. The Minutemen believed that Communism would soon take over all of America; the group armed themselves and were prepared to take back the country if necessary. The Minutemen organized themselves into small cells and stockpiled weapons for an anticipated counter-revolution. They disseminated these views via their newsletter, On Target, and DePugh published Principles of Guerrilla Warfare,, a 10-page pamphlet, via the Minutemen in 1961. DePugh also contributed to the cause by developing and producing a malt-flavored ultra-compact storage food for humans called Minuteman Survival Tabs, which is still popular in survivalist circles and obtainable via the Internet. He founded the Patriotic Party in 1966, and that same year published Blueprint for Victory. In February 1968 DePugh was indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle, Washington for conspiracy to commit bank robbery. Also in 1968 he was arrested for violation of federal firearms laws. He skipped bail and went underground for over a year until he was caught in 1969 in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. He was released from prison in May 1973. That same year he wrote a survival manual, Can You Survive?, and was associated briefly with the Liberty Lobby political advocacy organization. In the 1980s DePugh became involved in the Identity Christianity movement. In the early 1990s he was convicted on a morals and pornography charge with an underage girl and on three counts of federal firearms violations. DePugh eventually grew disgusted with all politics and retired from activism (died 2009): “See that old man at the corner where you buy your papers? He may have a silencer equipped pistol under his coat. That fountain pen in the pocket of the insurance salesman that calls on you might be a cyanide gas gun. What about your milkman? Arsenic works slow but sure. … Traitors, beware! Even now the crosshairs are on the back of your necks.”

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