Daily Update: Thursday, June 30th, 2016

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 (died c. 64 – 67 AD).

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 2015-2016 Fishing License expires. (Also one’s Louisiana Hunting License, which I need not worry about, as I don’t hunt.)

I was up at 9:00 am, did my Book Devotional Reading, and read the Thursday papers. I then did my Internet Devotional Reading. Next, I worked on my genealogy for a few hours. At 11:30 am Julie called to check in, and I told her I would call her back when I knew when Callie will be coming down for her July visit. I sent a text message to Callie, who said she would be down on July 9th, but I did not have a chance to call Julie back. And I sent a text asking my daughter to lend me the first two Game of Thrones books.

At 1:00 pm I left the house; at the Valero, where I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing, I was told that the new ownership of the Hit-n-Run had fired all of the employees. I then went to Wal-Mart, where I got my salad supplies.

Arriving back home at 2:00 pm, I worked on genealogy, and I also worked on my Weblog photos for September. Richard went to bed about 3:30 pm; at 4:00 pm I made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Sunday, and at 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy! And I am now at the computer doing today’s Daily Update, and when I am finished I will  get ready to go to bed.

Tomorrow the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is also the Optional Memorial of Saint Junípera Serra, Priest, and the birthday of my daughter’s friend Kim here in town (1986). We will head to the casino for the start of our work week, and on my breaks I will start reading The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys: The True Story by Dean King. In the afternoon I will do a little work on genealogy, and also work on my weblog.

Our Parting Quote this Thursday afternoon, as the merry 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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