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      *** MANDOS POST *** Italy has essentially “caved” on its threat to run a high budget deficit and confront the managers of the Eurozone. The Italian government will trim its deficit target for next year in its latest proposal that seeks to avoid European Union sanctions for violating the bloc’s budget rules, the Ansa news […]
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Sunday Afternoon Respite: Open Thread

chardonnay

The news seems to go from bad to worse.  In the midst of all of this we need to step back and refresh our spirits by contemplating life’s pleasures.  So, pour yourself a glass of your best Chardonnay and sink down into the comfiest chair in the house.   Admire the crystal clear golden nectar; swirl, take a deep sniff, and let the first sip linger as your taste buds acclimate to the notes of those precious grapes.  Now, close your eyes and take a deep cleansing breath — in through the nose, out through the mouth.  Ok.  Isn’t that better?

Now that you are properly relaxed, here are a few stories and items to make you smile and maybe even chuckle.  You’ve earned it.

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Why Dogs are Man’s (and Woman’s) Best Friend: A soldier’s welcome after 11 months in Iraq

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Putting things in perspective: What would YOU wish for?

putting-things-in-perspective-19488-1254325865-26

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chocolate(14) For those of us who absolutely love chocolate, it’s been reported that this scrumptious treat is good for our health.  So break out that box of decadent truffles you’ve been hoarding; and if you want to find the perfect wine pairing, this article will help you match your favorite chocolate treat with the best choice.

And while you’re at it, save a bit of that Godiva chocolate bar and make a lucious Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake

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Here is this week’s mesmerizing time-waster.  All you need to do to create your own virtual kaleidoscope is glide your mouse about the the page.

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What is cuter than sleeping puppies?  Not much. Ok, maybe sleeping kittens.

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If you thought the Olympic pitch was an epic failure, check out these 30 Dumb Inventions profiled by Life Magazine.  The “Baby Cage” from 1937 left me speechless.  What were they thinking?

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Someone on Flickr put together a video collage of all 130 photographs taken of President Obama with foreign dignitaries during the recent U.N. meeting.  The outcome is a stunning revelation.  Barack Obama’s amazingly consistent smile.  Lest you question the validity of the montage, all 130 individual pictures are included for your verification.

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Need some ideas about how to exact revenge upon that annoying co-worker?   Here are a few suggestions.  Things to do when your colleague is away.

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The next time you’re in Southern California, you may want to seekout “Ramona.”  — On the trail of Ramona

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If you think “America’s Got Talent,”  wait till you see what Sweden has. Bits & Pieces: Sweden Has Talent.

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You many have considered “Freakshows” a thing of the past; but in Venice Beach California, a collection of oddities preserves the unusual attraction.

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The earth never ceases to amaze me with its natural beauty.  In Columbia you will find the world’s most beautiful river, Caño Cristales.

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These photos are NOT photoshopped.  Enjoy the magic of Forced-Perspective Photography.

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It was only a matter of time before someone saw the cornucopia of guffaw-inducing images posted as you exit those amusement park rides.  I’ve purchased a few myself.  Here are 12 of the funniest Roller Coaster photographs.

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Word to the wise gardner: Be careful as you harvest those last items from your little yard garden.  You never know what you might have growing out there.  10 Disturbingly Shaped Vegetables.

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and finally….

There’s a reason why you should NEVER feed the animals in a National Park or any other wild preserve area.  They may just start to expect it.  Gorilla pushes woman off a cliff when she refuses to hand over the monkey food.

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The Final Word…

Remember, life’s too short.  Say “I love you” to at least one person today.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

SoD

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Peter Galbraith Tells His Side of the Afghan Election Story

Peter W. Galbraith

Peter W. Galbraith

A couple of days ago, I predicted we would be hearing more from Peter Galbraith on his recent firing from his post as deputy special representative of the United Nations in Afghanistan, by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Today Galbraith tells his side of the story in The Washington Post. Galbraith says he was ordered not to talk to the press, but since the UN chief didn’t honor their agreement on the public announcement of his firing, Galbraith no longer feels bound by that agreement.

Peter Galbraith is the son of economist John Kenneth Galbraith, and the author of two books on the war in Iraq: The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End (2007), and Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq Strengthened America’s Enemies (2009). In 1987, Galbraith discovered Saddam Hussein’s systematic genocide of the Kurds. In 1997, Bill Clinton appointed Galbraith U.S. Ambassador to Croatia. He worked for the UN in East Timor and has taught at the National War College. Galbraith tried to convince the Reagan administration to act by writing the “Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988”
, but the bill was never passed, and Colin Powell convinced Reagan and Bush to let the gassing of the Kurds slide.

Now Galbraith is making an impassioned plea for the U.S. to recognize the fraud that took place during the recent election in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s presidential election, held Aug. 20, should have been a milestone in the country’s transition from 30 years of war to stability and democracy. Instead, it was just the opposite. As many as 30 percent of Karzai’s votes were fraudulent, and lesser fraud was committed on behalf of other candidates. In several provinces, including Kandahar, four to 10 times as many votes were recorded as voters actually cast. The fraud has handed the Taliban its greatest strategic victory in eight years of fighting the United States and its Afghan partners. Continue reading