Daily Update: Friday, December 2nd, 2016

First Friday - Sacred Heart of Jesus and 12-10 - International Human Rights Day

Today is the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. With no Saints to honor, we note that today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Early Voting continues today for the Louisiana Open Election and Congressional Election on December 10th.

The First Friday of each month is dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Turning to the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the United Nations General Council on December 2nd, 1949 approved The Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. As at December 2013, 82 states were party to the convention. An additional 13 states had signed the convention but had not yet ratified it. Signatories are charged with three obligations under the 1949 Convention: prohibition of trafficking, specific administrative and enforcement measures, and social measures aimed at trafficked persons. The 1949 Convention presented two shifts in perspective of the trafficking problem in that it viewed prostitutes as victims of the procurers, and in that it eschews the terms “white slave traffic” and “women,” using for the first time race- and gender-neutral language. To fall under the provisions of the 1949 Convention, the trafficking need not cross international lines. One of the main reasons the Convention has not been ratified by many countries is because it also applies to voluntary prostitution, because of the presence of the term “even with the consent of that person” in Article 1; in several countries voluntary prostitution is legal and is regulated as an occupation. The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, first celebrated in 1986, is a yearly event on December 2nd, organized by the United Nations General Assembly. Early Voting continues today for the Louisiana Open Election and Congressional Election on December 10th.

Last night, while taking my bath, I finished reading the October 24th, 2016 issue of my Jesuit America magazine via a PDF file on my tablet.

I did my Book Devotional Reading, and posted to Facebook that today was The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. While Richard was on the computer our wireless mouse died. When we left for work, we stopped at the ATM for some cash; on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Fourth Day of my Novena to the Immaculate Conception. I then ordered a new set of powder puffs from the Vermont Country Store, and I put in for Richard and I to take PTO for February 28th, 2017 (Mardi Gras). Richard was feeling drug out from his cold, so we signed the Early Out list; we did not get out, because by the time they got to us they could only let one more dealer out. Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and also broke a Blackjack table for the first half of our shift, and I was on Mini Baccarat.

On our way home I continued reading March by Geraldine Brooks. At Wal-Mart Richard got a new wireless mouse, and at Champagne’s he purchased chicken on sale. When we got home I installed the new wireless mouse on the computer, then ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper. And I will go ahead and finish this Daily Update, light my Advent Candle, and go to bed for the duration, instead of doing my First Friday devotions. Our New Orleans Pelicans (7-12, 0-3) will be playing a Home NBA game with the Los Angeles Clippers (14-5, 2-0); I will post the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the First Saturday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tomorrow is also the Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest (died 1552), and the anniversary of when I was hired again by the casino (after being terminated, due to my colon cancer surgery and recovery) in 2001. Early Voting ends tomorrow for the Louisiana Open Election and Congressional Election on December 10th. We will work our eight hours, and in the afternoon I will go to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. After my Hour I will eat lunch at McDonald’s, then go to the 4:00 pm Mass for the Second Sunday of Advent.

Our Parting Quote on this First Friday evening comes to us from Odetta, American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and human rights activist. Born as Odetta Holmes in 1930 in Birmingham, Alabama, she grew up in Los Angeles, California, and studied music at Los Angeles City College while employed as a domestic worker, having had operatic training from the age of 13. Her mother hoped she would follow the same career path as Marian Anderson, but Odetta doubted a large black girl would ever perform at the Metropolitan Opera. Her first professional experience was in musical theater in 1944, as an ensemble member for four years with the Hollywood Turnabout Puppet Theatre, working alongside Elsa Lanchester; she later joined the national touring company of the musical Finian’s Rainbow in 1949. The next year she decided to concentrate on folksinging; she made her name by playing around the United States: at the Blue Angel nightclub (New York City), the hungry i (San Francisco), and the Tin Angel (San Francisco), where she and Larry Mohr recorded Odetta and Larry in 1954 for Fantasy Records. A solo career followed, with Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues (1956) and At the Gate of Horn (1957). In 1961 Martin Luther King, Jr. anointed her “The Queen of American folk music”. In the same year the duo Harry Belafonte and Odetta made #32 in the UK Singles Chart with the song “There’s a Hole in My Bucket”. Many Americans remember her performance at the 1963 civil rights movement’s march to Washington where she sang “O Freedom.” She considered her involvement in the Civil Rights movement as being “one of the privates in a very big army.” Odetta Sings Folk Songs was one of 1963′s best-selling folk albums. Broadening her musical scope, she used band arrangements on several albums rather than playing alone, and released music of a more “jazz” style music on albums like Odetta and the Blues (1962) and Odetta (1967). She gave a remarkable performance in 1968 at the Woody Guthrie memorial concert. She also acted in several films during this period, including Cinerama Holiday (1955), the film of William Faulkner’s Sanctuary (1961) and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974). In May 1975 she appeared on public television’s Say Brother program, performing “Give Me Your Hand” in the studio, in addition to speaking about her spirituality, the music tradition from which she drew, and her involvement in civil rights struggles. In 1976 Odetta performed in the United States Bicentennial opera Be Glad Then America by John LaMontaigne, as the Muse for America, with Donald Gramm, Richard Lewis and the Penn State University Choir and the Pittsburgh Symphony. The production was directed by Sarah Caldwell who was the director of the Opera Company of Boston at the time. Odetta released only two new albums in the 20-year period from 1977-1997: Movin’ It On in 1987 and a new version of Christmas Spirituals, produced by Rachel Faro, in 1988. Beginning in 1998, she re-focused her energies on recording and touring and her career took on a major resurgence. The new CD To Ella (recorded live and dedicated to her old friend Ella Fitzgerald upon hearing of her passing before walking on stage), was released in 1998 on Silverwolf Records, followed by three new releases on M.C. Records, which cemented a partnership with pianist/arranger/producer Seth Farber and record producer Mark Carpentieri, including: Blues Everywhere I Go, a 2000 Grammy Nominated blues/jazz band tribute album to the great lady blues singers of the 1920s and 1930s; Looking for a Home, a 2002 W.C. Handy Award nominated band tribute to Lead Belly; and the 2007 Grammy Nominated Gonna Let It Shine, a live album of gospel and spiritual songs supported by Seth Farber and The Holmes Brothers. These new recordings and an active world touring schedule created the demand for her guest star appearance on fourteen new albums of other artists (between 1999 and 2006), and the re-release of forty-five old Odetta albums and compilation appearances. On September 29th, 1999, President Bill Clinton presented her with the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Medal of Arts. In 2004 Odetta was honored at the Kennedy Center with the “Visionary Award” along with a tribute performance by Tracy Chapman. In 2005, the Library of Congress honored her with its “Living Legend Award”. The 2005 documentary film No Direction Home, directed by Martin Scorsese, highlighted her musical influence on Bob Dylan, the subject of the documentary. The film contained an archive clip of Odetta performing “Waterboy” on TV in 1959, and her songs “Mule Skinner Blues” and “No More Auction Block for Me”. In 2006 Odetta opened shows for jazz vocalist Madeleine Peyroux; that same year she toured the United States, Canada, and Europe accompanied by her pianist, which included being presented by the United States Embassy in Latvia as the keynote speaker at a Human Rights conference, and also in a concert in Riga’s historic 1,000 year old Maza Guild Hall. In December 2006 the Winnipeg Folk Festival honored her with their “Lifetime Achievement Award.” In February 2007 The International Folk Alliance gave an award to Odetta as “Traditional Folk Artist of the Year.” On January 21st, 2008, Odetta was the Keynote Speaker at San Diego’s Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration, followed by concert performances in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and Mill Valley, in addition to being the sole guest for the evening on PBS-TV’s The Tavis Smiley Show. In the summer of 2008, at the age of 77, she launched another North American tour, with concerts in Albany, New York and other cities, singing strongly and confidently from a wheelchair. Her set in recent years included “This Little Light of Mine (I’m Gonna Let It Shine)”, Lead Belly’s “The Bourgeois Blues”, (Something Inside) So Strong”, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and “House of the Rising Sun”. Her last concert before thousands of people was in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on October 4th, 2008, for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and her last performance was at Hugh’s Room in Toronto on October 25th, 2008. She had hoped to perform at President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 (died 2008): “No one can dub you with dignity. That’s yours to claim.”

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