Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another Gov Bites the Dust

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blogojevich, the charismatic politician and lover of Rock music (Elvis Presley), was convicted on 10 counts of wire fraud, along with extortion and bribery charges. In all, he was convicted on 17 of 20 counts listed in the Federal indictment.
Blogojevich joins a long list of Illinois, Chicago, and Cook County politicians and officials convicted of graft and corruption.  
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that since 1972, 79 public figures have been  convicted :                                           
3 Governors-George Ryan (still serving), Dan Walker, Otto Kearner Jr.                                  
15 State Legislators
1 Mayor
3 City Officials                                                                       
27 Aldermen
19 Cook County Judges
11 Cook County Officials

Although it's a bad time for Blogojevich and his family, it's a triumph for criminal justice, but  another sad legacy for Illinois where official corruption seems to spawn graft, rip-offs, kick backs and dirty backroom deals. No wonder why Illinois is tagged with the moniker of "Land of Greased Palms" and " Crook County."
 Maybe the future Governors and public officials will at last bring back honesty and respect to Illinois, but don't bet on that happening anytime soon.    

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice ( June 21st ) is upon us.  The Day when the sun is at it's highest point and a time of harvest, fertility and prosperity. A time of celebration called Litha or Midsummer, when bonfires are lit on the Midsummer's Eve and people would sing, dance and perform other rituals, i.e., jumping over bonfires for good luck, spreading the ash over fields for good harvest and throwing herbs, i.e., sage, rosemary, yarrow and sunflower into the fire to release their magic for protection and good health.

Midsummer's Eve was a time magic, when the veil between worlds were at its  thinnest allowing  beasts to roam  and faeries to weave their magic. A time when the herbs and flowers like, marigold, parsley, thyme, thorn, and honeysuckle were at their greatest potency and gathered for the year.

Litha is still conducted today under St. John's Day along with some of its ancient rituals.

Tonight is the Midsummer's Eve, my bonfire will be lit, herbs and flowers will be cast into the flames and its ashes sprinkled on the soil. I will celebrate, embrace the magic of the night, bathe in the scared pond, and await the rising sun of the Solstice.
To all I extend good fortune for the coming year. Hail the Summer Solstice!

For more information, you can read my article, Summer Solstice in the new issue of Renaissance Magazine, Issue # 79 now available at newsstands and book stores.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ren Fest 2011

A new season of  Renaissance Fests are upon us. In April, when the Chicago area was still wrapped in cold, snow/rain and depressing weather, Lady D and I ventured south to the sunshine, blue skies and 90's of Tampa Bay, Fl to partake in the Bay Area Renaissance Festival.  This is one of the smaller fairs with 120-130 booths. It did have some different vendors with interesting and good quality items, i.e., name necklaces made from silver wire and some excellent fragrant oils and incense. Lady D even got in a well needed and deserved massage.

The Royal Court was also different, usually the Court consists of a Queen as the head ruler, however, this Court consisted of a King and Queen which brought a little different dynamics to the setting.
All in all, it was a grand festival, the weather was beautiful, the atmosphere cheery and a place to return to in coming seasons. Happy Ren Festing to all!