News briefs for January, 2020

News and items of interest from around the world and around the Internet for January 2020 – by IWPCHI

1) If this is true and your revolutionary socialist workers party is not growing by leaps and bounds, then you are doing something wrong:  “More than a third of millennials polled approve of communism”!

The poll that this article was based on was apparently commissioned by a US Government-created anti-communist propaganda operation called the “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation”; the poll is conducted annually.  This foundation got its start as a bipartisan effort to spread massive disinformation about the history of the revolutionary socialist movement.  Racist Republican anticommunist scum like the late Sen. Jesse Helms laid down with Racist Democratic Party anticommunist scum like former US President Bill Clinton and gave birth to this deformed beast of an organization.  It’s planning to build one of the first museums in world history dedicated to the goal of systematic falsification of the history of revolutionary socialist working-class parties.  The “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation” website is here. Their organization’s leadership is, of course, replete with out-and-out fascists like US Major General John K. Singlaub (Ret.), founder of the Cold War-era fascist “World Anti-Communist League”, now operating under the name of the “World League for Freedom and Democracy”.  By the way: isn’t this an interesting use of these political terms as a name for a fascist organization?

Here is the link to the poll.

This is undoubtedly the effect of the “Great Recession” when young people across the nation saw their families and the families of their friends and neighbors’ lives destroyed by the capitalist system.  They are of course also feeling the full brunt of the vast increase in college tuition and rent, with wages – until very recently – stagnant at essentially 1980s levels.  The positive attitudes towards socialism range widely among the various “generations”; interestingly even the elderly “Silent Generation” have become slightly less anti-socialist; for Boomers and Gen X ers it’s a mixed bag.  The poll is well worth reading.

I also recommend reading the 1000-plus comments on the Marketwatch article at the top of this item. Americans don’t know anything about socialism or communism; massive confusion abounds, the result of decades of US Govt propaganda and capitalist-owned news media disinformation.  There’s enough material there for at least one article, which I hope to be able to write soon.

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Just stumbled across this little gem while surfing the WHO website on some other errand; I did not know this!

2) #SocialismWorks: (2015) World Health Organization validates elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in Cuba”

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3) Illinois joins the growing list of states who have legalized marijuana, but the high taxes are designed to ensure the continued existence of drug cartel operations and profitability, as well as keep US prisons full of people busted for illegal drug dealing and (probably, eventually) for possession of illegal drugs. #DumpTheDems #BuildAWorkersParty #FightForASocialistFuture #Re-LegalizeAllDrugs

Receipt for legal weed purchased in Illinois on first day of legalization, 1 January 2020. Photographer unknown. Source: Twitter

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4) Union of Concerned Scientists 2015 study: “Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave: How Electric Cars Beat Gasoline Cars on Lifetime Global Warming Emissions”

Very informative but unfortunately flawed IMO: in calculating the lifetime global warming emissions of BEVs they assume that owners will not replace the battery over the lifetime of the car.

If this assumption turns out to be wrong, the conclusions of this study may have to be significantly revised or even thrown out entirely. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, “Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave – How Electric Cars Beat Gasoline Cars on Lifetime Global Warming Emissions” (2015)

As the manufacturing of Li-ion batteries is the #1 source of global warming emissions over the lifetime of the car, if this assumption turns out to be wrong, the conclusions of the study will have to be revised significantly – maybe even thrown out completely.  Early reports from Tesla owners indicate that their car batteries are often losing significant charging capacity over just a few years.  It appears to me that it is highly unlikely that owners of BEVs will wait until their car batteries lose even 30% of their charge-holding capacity before they either buy a new battery or sell the car (passing on that expense to the purchaser). We’ll soon know the answer to this question.

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5) Apropos of the previous entry: global supplies of lithium for Li-ion batteries have been the subject of much discussion, but that’s not the only material used in a lithium-ion battery. Most natural elements necessary for their production have adequate supplies for at least the short-term needs of li-ion battery manufacture… except for cobalt.  I recommend this 2018 article from Scientific American; and I highly recommend this 2017 study the Sci Am article is based upon, from the scientific journal “Joule”: “Lithium-Ion Battery Supply Chain Considerations: Analysis of Potential Bottlenecks in Critical Metals”

Source: Joule 1, 229–243, October 11, 2017

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