Saturday, August 23, 2014

Why You Should Care About ISIS

I am certainly not a foreign policy analyst, but even I can see that the Obama administration's policy of leading from behind is not working. Although no one wants more war, this week's air strikes proved effective in stopping the advancing wave of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) insurgents. And pointed toward an ugly retaliation with the beheading of American journalist James Foley. 

I will leave the Middle East strategy and solutions to the experts like my friend Dan whose article in today's Wall Street Journal offers real, but difficult, solutions to ISIS.

ISIS is here for the near future, and you should care. Here's why:

  • ISIS is far more ruthless and extreme than Al Qaeda with an increasing risk of splinter groups worldwide
  • Initiating a genocide of the minority Yazidi group
  • 1.2 million (MILLION) people displaced by fighting in Iraq in 2014
  • Mass public killings, including crucifixions, of those deemed not extreme enough to join them
  • Selling women and children into slavery with reports of nearly 1500 Yazidi and Christians sold into sexual slavery
  • Women found naked, bound, and repeatedly raped near the Mosel dam
  • ISIS is a major player in the deaths of thousands of Syrian civilians and have initiated a massive humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq
  • Perhaps a dozen Americans being held hostage by ISIS being used as pawns

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wow! Mom Was a Cheerleader

'Tis the season for Senior portraits. You've seen them popping up on your Friend's pages on Facebook. Those smiling happy faces of our babies all grown up and ready to take on the world. My daughter Anna had her portraits taken this week and the whole Senior picture experience has changed since 1986, but some things do remain the same.

Gone are the days of taking your three outfits to the local photography studio for an hour of indoor studio portraits. Outdoors is all the rage–at least in Minnesota-–with an interesting interior space tossed in. Nothing was stiff and formal. The whole experience was much more fun than work. Perhaps it helped that our fabulous photographer is a close friend, the space we chose in Minneapolis was lively and active with a live band playing outdoors as the soundtrack for the photo shoot, and a chance meeting with friends who happened to be walking by along the Mississippi River.

Anna brought along her French Horn, which is the same horn that made an appearance in my own Senior portraits back in the day. No pom poms though, and no curly Afro hair. My youngest son ran across my cheerleader Senior picture and learned that yes his Mom was a football and basketball cheerleader as well as a horn player and involved a many other activities at Spencer High School.

Anna's Senior year starts this week. I'm not quite sure how we got this far; it seems like she was just boarding the school bus for first grade. Wouldn't you love to have your Senior year ahead of you? Unwritten. Exciting times ahead.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Temporary Hiatus

No I've not quit blogging or moved the Chic Mom blog to another host site. I'm recovering from a surgery I should have had done years ago. A "real" blog post will follow in a few days, once all of the haze of pain killers wears off and the dull headache fades away for good. Until then you can refresh your memory and read about how my laundry landed me in this predicament.