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May 21 2019

Love wins: same-sex marriage law fully endorsed by Taiwan’s legislature

Taiwan is the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage, now officially voted by the parliament. The first weddings are expected on May 24.
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

May 16 2019

How to Dry Herbs

Tags: Bookmarks Herb
Reposted fromsigalongastronomy sigalongastronomy

May 15 2019

Hong Kong multimedia project commemorates the 30th anniversary of June 4 massacre in Beijing

"Facts are being distorted [...] No journalist should let this happen. Not only should they retell the tragedy but also their insights into it. That's the obligation of every witness of history."
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

May 14 2019

mr-absentia

GETTING JULIAN ASSANGE: THE UNTOLD STORY

“Veteran investigative journalist @JohnPilger exposes Swedens politically motivated ‘rape’ allegations against my son fellow Australian journalist Julian Assange A MUST read! The timeline of political persecution & abuse of legal process. Step by step!” ― @AssangeMrs

May 13 2019

mr-absentia

【soup.io】 @nobuyoshi-araki (NSFW!)

“Soup is dedicated to art by Nobuyoshi Araki, as most parts of the internet are heavily censored.”

May 10 2019

How to Cook Rice on the Stove

2012-05-01-rice1_rect540 2012-05-01-rice1_square72 2012-05-01-rice2_square72 2012-05-01-rice3_square72 2012-05-01-rice4_square72 2012-05-01-rice5_square72

It's back to basics! How to cook a big pot of rice to go with dinner is one of the first lessons many of us learn in the kitchen. It's an easy and straightforward process that can nonetheless feel like a culinary triumph when you're first starting out. Here's how we do it. What's your technique?

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Reposted fromsigalongastronomy sigalongastronomy

May 06 2019

mr-absentia
mr-absentia

mr_absentia (@mr_absentia@mstdn.io)

my Mastodon account - inactive now, though.

March 12 2019

mr-absentia

mintpressnews.com: US-Led Economic War, Not Socialism, Is Tearing Venezuela Apart

“…millions of Venezuelans have seen their living conditions vastly improved through the Bolivarian process. The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are not due to some inherent fault in socialism, but to artificially low oil prices and sabotage by forces hostile to the revolution.

Starting in 2014, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil. This is not a mere business decision, but a calculated move coordinated with U.S. and Israeli foreign policy goals. Despite not just losing money, but even falling deep into debt, the Saudi monarchy continues to expand its oil production apparatus. The result has been driving the price of oil down from $110 per barrel, to $28 in the early months of this year. The goal is to weaken these opponents of Wall Street, London, and Tel Aviv, whose economies are centered around oil and natural gas exports.

And Venezuela is one of those countries. Saudi efforts to drive down oil prices have drastically reduced Venezuela’s state budget and led to enormous consequences for the Venezuelan economy.

At the same time, private food processing and importing corporations have launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage. This, coupled with the weakening of a vitally important state sector of the economy, has resulted in inflation and food shortages. The artificially low oil prices have left the Venezuelan state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs that were key to strengthening the United Socialist Party.

Corruption is a big problem in Venezuela and many third-world countries. This was true prior to the Bolivarian process, as well as after Hugo Chavez launched his massive economic reforms. In situations of extreme poverty, people learn to take care of each other. People who work in government are almost expected to use their position to take care of their friends and family. Corruption is a big problem under any system, but it is much easier to tolerate in conditions of greater abundance. The problem has been magnified in Venezuela due to the drop in state revenue caused by the low oil prices and sabotage from food importers.”

“The problems currently facing Venezuela started in 2014. The already growing abundance of oil due to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was compounded by Saudi Arabia flooding the markets with cheap oil. The result: massive price drops. Despite facing a domestic fiscal crisis, Saudi Arabia continues to expand its oil production apparatus.

The price of oil remains low, as negotiations among OPEC states are taking place in the hopes that prices can be driven back up. While American media insists the low oil prices are just the natural cycle of the market at work, it’s rather convenient for U.S. foreign policy. Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and the Islamic Republic of Iran all have economies centered around state-owned oil companies and oil exports, and each of these countries has suffered the sting of low oil prices.

The leftist president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has already been deposed due to scandal surrounding Petrobras, the state-owned oil company which is experiencing economic problems due to the falling price of oil. Although much of Brazil’s oil is for domestic consumption, it has been revealed that those who deposed her coordinated with the CIA and other forces in Washington and Wall Street, utilizing the economic fallout of low oil prices to bring down the Brazilian president.

The son of President Ronald Reagan has argued that Obama is intentionally driving down oil prices not just to weaken the Venezuelan economy, but also to tamper the influence of Russia and Iran. Writing for Townhall in 2014, Michael Reagan bragged that his father did the same thing to hurt the Soviet Union during the 1980s:

‘Since selling oil was the source of the Kremlin’s wealth, my father got the Saudis to flood the market with cheap oil.

Lower oil prices devalued the ruble, causing the USSR to go bankrupt, which led to perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet Empire.’

mr-absentia

March 08 2019

mr-absentia

February 15 2019

mr-absentia

November 01 2018

mr-absentia

October 25 2018

mr-absentia

US May Impose Sanctions on Firms Working on Syria Reconstruction - Reports - Sputnik International

another proof that the sanctions-addicted US gov’t is the enemy of peace in Syria.

“…the strategy reportedly focuses on political and diplomatic efforts toward forcing Iranian armed forces out of Syria, namely, via putting financial pressure on them.

Three people with knowledge of the plan told NBC News that the United States was set to hinder Syria's reconstruction by withdrawing its aid from the areas where the Russian and the Iranian forces are present, and also introducing sanctions against the Russian and the Iranian companies engaged in the reconstruction.

The United States is seeking Iranian forces withdrawal from Syria, insisting that their presence in the country reduces the possibility of achieving a political settlement to the crisis and hinders the struggle against the Daesh* terror group. In late September, James Jeffrey, the US State Department's special representative for Syria engagement, pledged that the United States would maintain its presence in the country to defeat Daesh, expelling the Iranian forces and achieving a peaceful settlement.

While Russia and Iran, along with Turkey, are the guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria, they are also assisting in the reconstruction of the country's cities and infrastructure, largely destroyed in over seven years of clashes between the Syrian government, opposition and militant groups.”

mr-absentia

US Poseidon-8 Orchestrated Drone Attack on Hmeymim Air Base - Russian MoD - Sputnik International

“The Syrian Armed Forces, supported by Russian Aerospace Forces, have managed to purge terrorists from virtually the entire territory of the Middle Eastern country, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said on Thursday.

‘Over the past years, the Syrian government's forces supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces managed to liberate virtually the entire territory of the country from the terrorists of the Daesh* terrorist group and the groups that have joined them,’ Fomin said at the Xiangshan Forum on security in Beijing.

Normalcy is being restored in Syria as the country's citizens are returning to their homes, the official pointed out.”

mr-absentia

Moscow Considers US Actions in S Syria 'Occupation' - Russian Foreign Ministry - Sputnik International

“Speaking at a regular briefing on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the United States has occupied the southern part of Syria.

‘The situation in the northeast of Syria, where the US side is still trying to flirt with separatist-minded Kurdish groups, is concerning, as well as in the south of the country near Al-Tanf, where there is a de facto undisguised occupation by US forces of the territory of the sovereign Syrian state,’ she said.

The spokeswoman further stated that the militants who had found a ‘safe haven, a shelter in the 55-kilometer exclusive zone,’ established by the US, were extorting $2,000 dollars per person from civilians who wanted to leave the area.”

“Addressing Washington's potential withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Zakharova said that Russia was calling on all nations to send an ‘unambiguous’ signal to the US to preserve the agreement.

The diplomat stressed that Russia's missile programs, including development of cruise missiles, were carried out in full compliance with the treaty, and while Moscow intends to continue work with the agreement, Washington is unwilling to act on equal basis.

‘For several years, the American side has refused to provide any objective data supporting Washington's conclusions that the Russian 9M729 ground-based cruise missile that passed flight tests has the operating range banned by the treaty. We have repeatedly confirmed that the missile programs implemented by Russia fully meet our obligations under the INF Treaty,’ she underscored, adding that the development of the 9M729 cruise missile was transparent to the maximum affordable degree.

‘The American side was never able to present any evidence to either Russia or the international community to substantiate its claims. They remain unfounded and are provocative. And we reiterate that Russia strictly abides by the provisions of the treaty,’ she added.

‘Now we are forced to seriously warn Washington. If the American side undermines the treaty, Russia will have to react. We are ready to work on maintaining its [the INF] viability, but for this we need a partner who is responsible and interested in continuing the dialogue for the sake of world stability. A solution to the problem can only be found through a frank, equitable and, of course, constructive dialogue,’ she said.”

Reposted byin-god-we-trust in-god-we-trust
mr-absentia

October 22 2018

mr-absentia
mr-absentia

‘Disastrous decision’: Berlin warns Trump against dismantling INF deal with Russia — RT World News

‘We now urge the U.S. to consider the possible consequences,’ [German Foreign Minister Heiko] Maas said in a statement, hailing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) as ‘an important pillar of our European security architecture.’

The deal, banning short- and mid-range nuclear missiles and the means of their delivery, was struck in 1987 between then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The agreement has been since regarded as one of the pivotal moments which effectively ended the Cold War and rid Europe of the fear of a full-blown nuclear holocaust.

On Saturday, Trump announced his intention to terminate the treaty. He accused Russia of violating the agreement – something Moscow has repeatedly denied doing. Germany urged Russia to address the US’ concerns, but at the same time cautioned the White House against axing the decades-long deal.

Niels Annen, minister of state at the Federal Foreign Office, called Trump’s idea ‘devastating,’ stressing that his own nation will remain committed to nuclear disarmament. The minister also called on other EU states to prevent mid-range missiles from reappearing on the continent.”

mr-absentia

Itch for ‘better INF deal’? Trump’s treaty ‘withdrawal symptom’ destabilizes global order — RT World News

‘The United States would rather pull out because of China. Right now it cannot develop new intermediate-range missiles to confront China, even though China is not a signatory to that agreement,’ former Pentagon official Michael Maloof said, after Donald Trump announced the US intention to scrap the INF treaty.

‘The US is engaged in an arms race with China in the Pacific Ocean, and China has a whole bunch of those missiles that are not covered,’ Iranian political scientist Kaveh Afrasiabi added, calling Trump's announcement a ‘giant leap backward to the Cold War era.’

Maloof blamed Washington for its empty rhetoric and failure to explain what exactly it accuses Moscow of, while Afrasiabi pointed at the US encirclement of Russia by AEGIS ashore systems capable of launching INF-banned missiles in Europe.

‘Nobody knows what those violations are. Is it the idea of developing a new cruise missile?’ Maloof wondered. ‘The treaty does not prohibit that. And the United States is developing new intermediate missiles and cruise missiles. But again they can develop them, they can research but they just can’t deploy.’

‘If president Trump acts on his threat and they go ahead and develop the new intermediate missiles the only place to put them, of course, is in the NATO countries in proximity to Russia which will be a very destabilizing factor,’ Afrasiabi explained.”

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