CANNABIS: “Study Sheds Light on How Weed Fights Stress” / Secular Talk / Kyle Kulinski ☮

Scientists have identified a molecule in the brain that may help to protect the body from anxiety, and could help explain people’s use of marijuana in times of stress. In a study conducted in mice and published in Neuron, researchers looked at the molecule 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). This molecule is involved in a connection between the amygdala and frontal cortex. These parts of the brain are responsible for regulating emotions, memory and empathy, among other things…

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “War With Iran” / Chris Hedges ☮

The assassination by the United States of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, near Baghdad’s airport will ignite widespread retaliatory attacks against U.S. targets from Shiites, who form the majority in Iraq. It will activate Iranian-backed militias and insurgents in Lebanon and Syria and throughout the Middle East. The existing mayhem, violence, failed states and war, the result of nearly two decades of U.S. blunders and miscalculations in the region, will become an even wider and more dangerous conflagration. The consequences are ominous. Not only will the U.S. swiftly find itself under siege in Iraq and perhaps driven out of the country—there is only a paltry force of 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq, all U.S. citizens in Iraq have been told to leave the country “immediately” and the embassy and consular services have been closed—but the situation could also draw us into a war directly with Iran. The American Empire, it seems, will die not with a whimper but a bang.

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PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Greg Palast on Bolivia Coup Against Evo Morales: US is Unhappy With Democracy in Latin America!” / Going Underground on RT with Afshin Rattansi ☮

We speak to the author of ‘The Best Democracy Money Can Buy’ Greg Palast on the coup in Bolivia against Evo Morales, the US’ motivations for the coup, the racism in Latin American right-wing politics, the regime attempt by the US against Venezuela and Nicolas Maduro and why the 2020 US elections will not be free elections.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “No Way Out Through Elections” / Empire Files / Abby Martin, Chris Hedges ☮

Abby Martin sits down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges to discuss the ignored reality behind Trump, the bipartisan road from neoliberalism to fascism, how the Democratic elite are an institution of corporate power, and how there’s no way out through the #2020election without destroying the system.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Andrew Yang Stumbles When Asked About Bolivia” / The Young Turks / Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola, Jayar Jackson, Aida Rodriguez ☮

Ryan Grim asks Andrew Yang about Bolivia. Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola, Jayar Jackson, and Aida Rodriguez discuss the Democratic Debate in Atlanta.

INDEPENDENT GLOBAL JOURNALISM: “The Bolivian Coup Comes Down to One Precious Mineral” / truthdig / Vijay Prashad ☮

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was overthrown in a military coup on November 10. He is now in Mexico. Before he left office, Morales had been involved in a long project to bring economic and social democracy to his long-exploited country. It is important to recall that Bolivia has suffered a series of coups, often conducted by the military and the oligarchy on behalf of transnational mining companies. Initially, these were tin firms, but tin is no longer the main target in Bolivia. The main target is its massive deposits of lithium, crucial for the electric car.

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