Daily Update: Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Laurence of Brindisi

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor (died 1619), and today is the birthday of Richard’s friend Jack (known as Chookie) here in town.

Born as Giulio Cesare Russo in Brindisi, Apulia, in 1559, to a family of Venetian merchants, today’s Saint was educated at Saint Mark’s College in Venice, and joined the Capuchins in Verona as Brother Lawrence (Lorenzo). He received further instruction from the University of Padua. An accomplished linguist, Lawrence spoke most European and Semitic languages fluently. He was appointed definitor-general for Rome for the Capuchins in 1596; Pope Clement VIII assigned him the task of converting the Jews in the city, and his fluency in Hebrew made many Rabbis convinced that he had been a Jew who had converted to a Catholic. Beginning in 1599, Lawrence established Capuchin monasteries in modern Germany and Austria, furthering the Counter-Reformation and bringing many Protestants back to the Catholic faith. In 1601 he served as the imperial chaplain for the army of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor, and successfully recruited Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercoeur to help fight against the Ottoman Turks. He then led the army during the capture of Székesfehérvár from the Ottoman Empire, armed only with a crucifix. In 1602 he was elected vicar-general of the Capuchins, at that time the highest office in the order. He was elected again in 1605, but refused the office. He entered the service of the Holy See, becoming nuncio to Bavaria. After serving as nuncio to Spain, he retired to a monastery in 1618. He was recalled as a special envoy to the King of Spain regarding the actions of the Viceroy of Naples in 1619, and after finishing his mission, died in Lisbon. He was beatified in 1783 by Pope Pius VI, canonized in 1881 by Pope Leo XIII, and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959, and he is the Patron Saint of the city of Brindisi, Italy. Today is also the birthday of Richard’s friend Jack, also known as Chookie.

I put on my KT Tape©, and we headed off to work. We ate breakfast in ADR, and when we clocked in Richard was on Mini Baccarat for most of the morning, then became the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow. One of his players wanted to get him something from the gift shop, but Richard told him that they did not have anything in his (Richard’s) size, so the player got him a swimsuit for our granddaughter. (We can accept gifts, so long as they are not more than $25.00 in value.) I was on Mississippi Stud. On my breaks I received another Heat Advisory for our area, and continued reading Struck By Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities by Jeffrey Rosenthal.

On our way home we went through the McDonald’s drive through for our lunch, and once home, I read the morning paper. I then took a nap until 4:00 pm. At 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy!, then at 5:00 pm I left the house for Lafayette. At Barnes and Noble I put in a half hour or so of comfy chair time reading Struck By Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities by Jeffrey Rosenthal, then I attended the 7:00 pm Third Tuesday Book Club Meeting to discuss The Giver by Lois Lowery. We had a good meeting, with a very good turnout. I then came home, arriving home at 9:45 pm, and got busy with today’s Daily Update. When I finish this Daily Update I will go to bed.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalen (died first century). Being a Wednesday, I will do the Weekly Computer Maintenance and my laundry, and in the afternoon I will get my hair cut. More than that I will not plan.

Our Tuesday Evening Parting Quote comes to us from Alexander Cockburn, Irish American political journalist and writer. Born in Scotland in 1941 (his last name is pronounced Coh-bern), he grew up in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland. He was the eldest son of the former communist author and journalist Claud Cockburn, by his third wife, Patricia Byron, née Arbuthnot (who also wrote an autobiography, Figure of Eight). His ancestors included Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet. After studying at Glenalmond College, an independent boys’ boarding school in Perthshire, Scotland, and at Keble College, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Cockburn worked in London as a reporter and commentator. Having the choice of choosing Irish citizenship or United Kingdom citizenship, he opted for Irish citizenship. In 1972 he moved to the United States and wrote for many publications, including The New York Review of BooksEsquire, and Harper’s. He became a permanent resident of the United States in 1973. From 1973 to 1983 he was a writer with The Village Voice, originating its longstanding “Press Clips” column, but he was suspended, theVoice stated, “for accepting a $10,000 grant from an Arab studies organization in 1982″. His defenders charged that his criticism of Israeli government policies was behind the firing. Cockburn himself said he left the Voice following the offer of a regular column in The Nation called “Beat the Devil” (after the title of a novel by his father). After leaving the Voice he wrote columns for the Wall Street Journal, New York Press, and the New Statesman. Cockburn was also a regular contributor to the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Most of his writing was consistently left-wing; he was an outspoken critic of United States foreign policy from the 1980s to 2003, was critical of the government of Israel based on its treatment of the Palestinians (bringing upon him allegations of anti-Semitism), held general contempt for the mainstream establishment, and criticized the German government for passing restrictive laws against the Church of Scientology, maintaining that the demonization of any particular unpopular group presented a far more imminent danger than the activities of Scientologists or the organization they belonged to. In contrast, he held that global warming had not been proved to have been caused by human action, and thought that the Green Revolution had caused much more harm than good. At times acerbic, Cockburn could also be gently and humorously ironic, once declaring Gerald Ford America’s greatest president for doing the least damage (his administration was the shortest in the 20th century) and praising the Lewinsky scandal’s entertainment value. He was the author or editor (or co-editor, or co-author) of nearly twenty books, from 1967′s Incompatibles (co-edited with Robin Blackburn) to End Times: Death of the Fourth Estate (2006) (with Jeffrey St. Clair). In 2009 he became a citizen of the United States, and that same year he became a new columnist for the paleoconservative Chronicles magazine (died 2012): “A ‘just war’ is hospitable to every self-deception on the part of those waging it, none more than the certainty of virtue, under whose shelter every abomination can be committed with a clear conscience.”

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