Today is the Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor (died 1274). Today begins the Year of the Rooster. On this date in 1984, at a time when I was totally unaware that this was the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Richard and I were married in Baton Rouge, making this our 33rd Anniversary. And today is National Data Privacy Day.
Born in 1225 at Roccasecca, Aquino, Naples, Italy, the son of the Count of Aquino, today’s Saint was educated by Benedictine monks at Monte Cassino and at the University of Naples. He secretly joined the mendicant Dominican friars in 1244; his family kidnapped and imprisoned him for a year to keep him out of sight and to deprogram him, but they failed to sway him, and he rejoined his order in 1245. He studied in Paris, France from 1245 to 1248 under Saint Albert the Great, then accompanied Albertus to Cologne, Germany. Ordained in 1250, he then returned to Paris to teach theology at the University of Paris. He wrote defenses of the mendicant orders, commentaries on Aristotle and Lombard’s Sentences, and some bible-related works, usually by dictating to secretaries. He won his doctorate and taught in several Italian cities. Recalled by the King of France and the University to Paris in 1269, he was then recalled to Naples in 1272 where he was appointed regent of studies while working on the Summa Theologica. On December 6th, 1273, he experienced a divine revelation which so enraptured him that he abandoned the Summa, saying that it and his other writing were so much straw in the wind compared to the reality of the divine glory. He died four months later while en route to the Council of Lyons, overweight and with his health broken by overwork. His works have been seminal to the thinking of the Church ever since; they systematized her great thoughts and teaching, and combined Greek wisdom and scholarship methods with the truth of Christianity. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1567, and Pope Leo XIII (died 1903) commanded that his teachings be studied by all theology students. He is the Patron Saint of theologians, philosophers, scholars, students, academics, book sellers, Catholic academies, schools and universities, apologists, and publishers, and the city of Aquino, Italy. His aid is invoked by those wishing to remain chaste, and invoked against storms and lightening. Turning to the Year of the Rooster, which is celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans (Seollal), Tibetans and Bhutanese (Losar), Mongolians (Tsagaan Sar), Vietnamese (Tết), and formerly the Japanese before 1873 (Oshogatsu). Outside of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, Chinese New Year is also celebrated in countries with significant Han Chinese populations, such as Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The Rooster (the tenth sign in the Chinese Zodiac) is the only bird in the Zodiac; the Chinese term encompasses both male and female fowl. In Chinese culture, the Rooster represents fidelity and punctuality, for it wakes people up on time. People born in the year of the Rooster are beautiful, kind-hearted, hard-working, courageous, independent, humorous and honest. They like to keep home neat and organized. On the other side, they might be arrogant, self-aggrandizing, persuasive to others and wild as well as admire things or persons blindly. Closer to home, on this date in 1984, at a time when I was totally unaware that this was the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Richard and I were married in Baton Rouge, making this our 33rd Anniversary. I was better off when I could make up my own Gift for an anniversary; the Hallmark Anniversary Guide says that the gift for the 33rd Anniversary is Iron, which sounds deeply unpromising. And today is National Data Privacy Day. The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data was opened for signature by the Council of Europe on January 28th, 1981. This convention is currently in the process of being updated in order to reflect new legal challenges caused by technological development. The Convention on Cybercrime is also protecting the integrity of data systems and thus of privacy in cyberspace. Privacy including data protection is also protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The day was initiated by the Council of Europe to be first held in 2007 as the European Data Protection Day. Two years later, on January 26th, 2009, the United States House of Representatives passed House Resolution HR 31 by a vote of 402–0, declaring January 28th National Data Privacy Day. On January 28th, 2009, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 25 also recognizing January 28th, 2009 as National Data Privacy Day. The United States Senate also recognized Data Privacy Day in 2010 and in 2011.
In response to the increasing levels of data breaches and the global importance of privacy and data security, in 2009 the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) and dozens of global organizations embraced Data Privacy Day as Data Privacy & Protection Day, emphasizing the need to look at the long-term impact to consumers of data collection, use and protection practices. (So delete your Google history at least monthly.)
Last night our New Orleans Pelicans in their NBA game with the San Antonio Spurs won by the score of 119 to 103. And Richard’s brother Slug, who had evidently gone to Baton Rouge, brought by Richard’s old phone.
Upon waking up to get ready for work I posted to Facebook that today was the start of the Year of the Rooster, posted to Facebook that today was National Data Privacy Day, and posted to Facebook (tagging Richard) that today was our 33rd Wedding Anniversary. I then did my Book Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Fourth Day of my Novena to Saint Blaise. When I checked our schedules, I saw that it had me as having tomorrow (January 29th) off; before the Pre-Shift Meeting I pointed this out to the Assistant Shift Manager (who is also the Scheduler), and with some alarm they asked if I was coming to work tomorrow, as it was obviously an error (and I assured them that I would do so). After the Pre-Shift Meeting Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow; he also broke the Three Card Blackjack table once at the beginning of our shift, and broke the Four Card Poker table once at the end of our shift. I was on Mini Baccarat, until with the shuffling of people going home early I was moved to Pai Gow. On my breaks I printed out our W-2s and continued reading Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry via Overdrive on my Tablet.
When we got home from work I set up my medications for next week (I have three prescriptions to fill on Monday), then made out my store list for Richard. I then read the morning paper while Richard paid the bills. Richard left to do the grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, and I left for the Adoration Chapel, where I did my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. During my Hour I started reading the January 23rd, 2017 issue of my Jesuit America magazine. I then went to the car wash to wash my car, then went to Wal-Mart, where I got some gold jewelry wire (more anon). I then ate my lunch at McDonald’s and started reading The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James Martin. Our LSU Tiger lost their College Basketball game with the Texas Tech Red Raiders by the score of 64 to 77; our LSU Tigers (9-11, 1-7) will next play a Home College Basketball game with the #23 South Carolina Gamecocks (16-4, 6-1) on Wednesday, February 1st. When I got home I plugged the bills Richard had paid into my Checkbook Pro app, then got busy with today’s Daily Update; and when I finish this Daily Update I will go to bed.
Tomorrow is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, with no Saints to honor, but it is the anniversary of the first publication of The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe in 1845. We will work our eight hours at the casino, and on my breaks I will continue reading Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry via Overdrive on my Tablet (it is manifestly a Young Adult book, but I am enjoying it). After lunch I will set about making repairs on some of my jewelry. Our LSU Lady Tigers (14-6, 3-4) will be playing a Home College Basketball game with the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (13-6, 2-4), and our New Orleans Pelicans (19-28, 2-6) will be playing a Home NBA game with the Washington Wizards (26-20, 5-5); if necessary, I will post the scores of the games in Monday’s Daily Update.
Our Parting Quote this Saturday afternoon comes to us from Father Robert Drinan, Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, lawyer, human rights activist, and politician. Born in 1920 in Boston, he grew up in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, received a B.A. and an M.A. from Boston College in 1942, and joined the Jesuit Order the same year. He received an LL.M. and LL.B. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1950, was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1953, and received a doctorate in theology from Gregorian University in Rome in 1954. He studied in Florence for two years before returning to Boston, where he was admitted to the bar in 1956. He served as dean of the Boston College Law School from 1956 until 1970, during which time he also taught as a professor of family law and church-state relations. During this period he was also a visiting professor at other schools including the University of Texas School of Law, and served on several Massachusetts state commissions convened to study legal issues such as judicial salaries and lawyer conflicts of interest. In 1970 Drinan sought a seat in Congress as a Representative from Massachusetts on an anti-Vietnam War platform; he won the election and was re-elected four times, serving from 1971 until 1981. He was the first of two Roman Catholic priests (the other being Father Robert John Cornell of Wisconsin) to serve as a voting member of Congress. Drinan sat on various House committees, and served as the chair of the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the House Judiciary Committee. He was also a delegate to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. Drinan was the first member of Congress, in July 1973, to introduce a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, though not for the Watergate Scandal that ultimately ended Nixon’s presidency. Drinan believed that Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia was illegal, and as such, constituted a “high crime and misdemeanor”. However, the Judiciary Committee voted 21 to 12 against including that charge among the articles of impeachment that were eventually approved and reported out to the full House of Representatives. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, he played an integral role in the Congressional investigation of Nixon Administration misdeeds and crimes. Drinan’s consistent support of abortion rights drew significant opposition from Church leaders throughout his political career, who had also repeatedly requested that he not hold political office in the first place. He attempted to reconcile his position with official Church doctrine by stating that while he was personally opposed to abortion, considering it “virtual infanticide,” its legality was a separate issue from its morality. This argument failed to satisfy his critics. In 1980 Pope John Paul II unequivocally demanded that all priests withdraw from electoral politics. Drinan complied and did not seek reelection. He taught at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. from 1981 to 2007, where his academic work and classes focused on legal ethics and international human rights. He privately sponsored human rights missions to countries such as Chile, the Philippines, El Salvador, and Vietnam. In 1987 he founded the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. He regularly contributed to law reviews and journals, and authored several books, including The Mobilization of Shame: A World View of Human Rights, published by Yale University Press in 2001 (died 2007): “Justice will not come until those who are not suffering feel just as hurt as those who are.”