Coal Workers Union Doesn’t Always Represent Coal Worker Values

Attention readers: Dennis Prager is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by Salena Zito.

GRAYSVILLE, Pennsylvania — When coal mine employee John Morecraft heard last Monday that United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts approved of President Joe Biden’s plan to move the nation’s energy industry away from fossil fuels, Morecraft said he anticipated the news would be misconstrued.

“I knew the story would come across as though all coal miners approved of this deal, with no mention of how (un)representative the UMWA is of the coal miner population,” said Morecraft, just before going down for his shift at the Bailey Mine here in Greene County.

“The UMWA in actuality represents a small portion of the people who work in the mines,” Morecraft said. “What that means is that deal was not made with the support of most of the people who do the work in the industry.”

He is not wrong.

According to the latest energy statistics for the U.S. government, there are 6,758 coal miners working underground in this country today who are members of the UMWA, compared with the 24,820 miners, such as Morecraft, who are not members of the union.

The same goes for the surface-mine workforce, where just over 3,000 are members of the UMWA, compared with the nearly 17,000 who are not.

Once a dominant force that represented virtually everyone working in the entire industry, the UMWA membership today is the smallest portion of the mining workforce.

Had you not really followed the decline of UMWA membership over the decades and were sitting at home watching the news reports and thought, “Oh, wow, the coal miners are now backing Biden’s ‘climate-justice’ infrastructure package; maybe it is not that bad,” you were misled.

Morecraft said there’s another component of the story many people might miss. When deals like this are struck, or union bosses look the other way when the party they support hurts their jobs, he says it shows how the people who negotiate these deals are entrenched within this administration.

Morecraft does not fit any of the stereotypes of coal miners that our cultural curators in the news, government or Hollywood like to cast. He is a college-educated former history teacher who coached both high school football and basketball until he was laid off from his teaching jobs.

“I was kind of down on my luck, with students and a young family,” he said. “Working at the mine was my only way out because there are not too many jobs around here other than coal mining, which is now providing me with a life that I never would have had.”

Morecraft says he has been following in detail the proposals in the so-called “infrastructure bill,” which presently does include grants or loans to fund carbon capturing. He is not sure if those grants will stay in there: “What I don’t understand is why they’re not trying to put more money towards carbon-capture sequestration rather than displacing an entire workforce.”

Carbon capturing is not embraced by Biden’s environmental-justice base. Last year, when the House passed a clean energy package, 18 Democrats, including leftist Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, all voted against it.

And some of the most influential liberal environmental groups also objected to that bill’s plan to capture carbon dioxide from coal- and gas-fired plants. For many of these groups, it was viewed as a bargain that only benefits fossil fuel companies.

Morecraft sighed in exasperation.

“These people on the far left won’t even entertain the idea of carbon capture,” he said. “They just say, ‘No, fossil fuels are bad, and we need to go in a different direction,’ even though the technology isn’t quite there to even sustain the grid, as was shown in Texas this winter.”

In February, in the middle of an unexpected deep freeze, 3 million Texans lost their electricity when the state’s generating capacity could not meet the sudden demand caused by the plunging temperatures. Pipes froze and burst; people were left without heat and power for days; and the power grid suffered a wholesale collapse.

Morecraft says he loves his job.

“I am a fire boss, EMT, and I work in our bunker, which is the main hub of the underground. And it is sort of like a desk job, only in a mine, because I have all of these computers, and I am basically in charge of all the tracking of where all the miners go and also the CO sensors that go off.”

“More reporters and elected officials should come and take a look at what we do,” he added. “It is not at all what they think; there are no picks and shovels. There are just a lot of misconceptions. There is also a lot of presumption that we don’t care about the climate, and that always gets me. Do people not understand that we live, drink, fish, raise our families and enjoy the wildlife right in the same place where the mines are located?

In saying so, Morecraft echoes a frustration that energy workers frequently share.

Salena Zito is a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, May 03, 2021 16:01:40 -0700




Affluence + Secularism = Boredom = Leftism

Just as physicists look for equations to explain the natural world, I have always thought it useful to look for equations to explain human nature. For example, in my book on happiness, I offer this equation: U = I – R. Unhappiness = Image – Reality. The difference between the images we have for our life and the reality of our life is one way of measuring how much unhappiness we experience.

Here, I offer another theorem, this time to help explain leftism.

A + S = B = L

Affluence + Secularism = Boredom = Leftism

The search for an equation to help explain leftism (as distinguished from traditional liberalism) emanates from these facts:

Most leftists come from the upper and upper-middle class. This was true for the two founders of leftism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marx was supported by his family and by Engels, who was a wealthy businessman and the son of a very wealthy businessman. All the Western spies for the Soviet Union were economically secure. And the great funder of radical causes today is a billionaire — George Soros.

Nearly all leftists are irreligious people. And the breeding place of leftism, the university, is the most secular institution in modern society.

These two facts produce a problem: Many people lack meaning in their lives. And lack of meaning is another way of stating “boredom” — a boredom of the soul.

People need meaning. After food, that is the greatest human need. As important as sex is, there are happy people who go without sex (loss of a partner, never having found a partner, vows of chastity), but there are no happy people who go without meaning (no matter how much sex they have).

This need for meaning has traditionally been met by four things: religion, family, providing for oneself and one’s family, and patriotism. And all are fading.

Let’s begin with religion. In America today, religion is in sharp decline. According to Pew Research, more than a third of all Americans born after 1980 identify with no religion. That is the highest percentage ever. In a recent Gallup Poll, only 47% of American adults said they were members of a church, mosque or synagogue. It was the first time since Gallup began asking Americans about religious membership in the 1930s that a majority of Americans said they were not members of a church, mosque or synagogue.

Next comes family. Marrying and making a family have always been sources of meaning to the great majority of people. However, like religion, the American family is also in steep decline. For the first time in American history, according to Statista, as of 2020, nearly half of all men in America (46%) have never been married, and 41% of American women have never been married. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 85.4 million Americans 18 and over have never been married. There are presently 130 million unmarried American adults. Worse yet, as Dr. Bella DePaulo of the University of California at Santa Barbara wrote in Psychology Today, “Half of all solo single people don’t want a romantic relationship or even a date.”

As every criminologist knows, a lot of single men is a problem for society. And as the ubiquity of women on the left and among the left’s angriest protesters makes clear, a lot of single women is no blessing either.

Another nearly universal source of meaning has been providing for oneself and one’s family. That’s why, though the poor lack money and material wealth, they have never lacked meaning. Figuring out how to feed one’s family every day provides a person with a great deal of meaning.

Finally, belonging to one’s nation also provided meaning to most people in modern history. But love of country largely died in Western Europe after World War II, and it is dying in America today.

So, then, with the four primary sources of meaning dying — killed in large measure by leftist ideology — meaning must be found elsewhere. And that is where the left steps in. Leftism has always been a secular religion. It kills traditional religion and presents itself as a secular alternative.

It certainly provides meaning. “Anti-racism” and saving the world from a threat to its very existence (global warming) are two prominent life-filling examples.

Therefore, the only way to prevent the left from destroying America and its core value of freedom is to make the case for Judeo-Christian religions, the importance of marriage and family, and the unique achievement of America as the world’s first and greatest multiracial, multiethnic, multinational society.

Americans should have been making that case in every generation. Post-World War II, they forgot, or never really believed, that the land of the free is, as former President Ronald Reagan warned, always just one generation away from losing its freedom.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, Apr 26, 2021 18:30:58 -0700




Whites Aren’t Hated for Slavery but for Making America and the West

In “Why the Jews?” my book on anti-Semitism, there is a chapter on anti-Americanism. My co-author, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, and I long ago understood that many of the reasons for Jew-hatred and America-hatred were the same.

Among them are envy of success — material, of course, but even more importantly, success in terms of influence. Another is the religious foundation of both peoples: Both America and the Jews are rooted in belief in God, belief they are a Chosen People and belief in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, as the book from which they derive their values.

America-haters and Jew-haters resent the enormous influence both nations have had on the world, have contempt for their belief in being Chosen and dismiss the Bible as irrelevant and even malevolent.

In the premodern age, Christian anti-Semitism was primarily animated by the charge of deicide — the charge that the Jews killed Christ, a charge that does not have a parallel in anti-Americanism. But beginning in the 20th century, the reasons for the two hatreds converged.

In his recent biography of Adolf Hitler, Brendan Simms, a professor of the history of international relations at Cambridge University, identified Hitler’s hatred of America and especially of capitalism as central to Hitler’s worldview: “Hitler’s principal preoccupation throughout his career was Anglo-America and global capitalism. … Hitler wanted to establish what he considered racial unity in Germany by overcoming the capitalist order and working for the construction of a new classless society.”

In other words, another commonality of America-hatred and modern Jew-hatred has been hatred of capitalism. The Nazis hated America and the Jews, both of whom they identified with capitalism. And the left (not the liberal, who traditionally loved America, but who has become the primary enabler of the left) hates America, which it regards as the paragon of capitalism. By becoming the most successful country in history, America, the quintessential capitalist country, remains a living rebuke to everything the left stands for. If America can be brought down, every left-wing egalitarian dream can be realized.

The question for the America-hater, just as for the Jew-hater, has been: How do we destroy them? What has always rendered anti-Semitism unique among ethnic and religious hatreds was its goal of extermination. No other ethnic bigotry is exterminationist. Regarding America, the left does not seek to exterminate Americans; the idea is ludicrous, since most of those on the left who loathe America are themselves American. What the left does very much seek is to destroy America as we have known it — the capitalist and Judeo-Christian enclave of personal freedom.

The Jews created something world-changing by introducing into the world the Hebrew Bible, a universal and judging God, the Ten Commandments, the rejection of the heart as the guide to behavior, the emphasis on justice (not “social justice”) and the doctrine of Jewish Chosenness. They were forever hated for this. So, too, is America hated for placing the Bible at the center of its value system, its belief in being a “Second” Chosen People, its freedoms and its capitalism. America is not hated for its slavery. If it were, given the ubiquity of slavery throughout world history, every country and ethnic group on earth would be hated. America is hated for its values and its success.

The fact is that, just as did the ancient Jews, the Americans made something unique: the American experiment in freedom. And it succeeded beyond even its founders’ dreams. With all its faults, America did become a shining “city on a hill” — the famous phrase first articulated in 1630 by John Winthrop echoing Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and repeated throughout American history. For example, President Ronald Reagan, in his 1989 Farewell Address, said, “I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life.”

And who created this unique place of liberty, opportunity and unequalled, widespread affluence? More than any other group, it was the WASP, the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. I say this as neither Anglo-Saxon nor Protestant. Catholics, Jews, nonbelievers and members of every faith, ethnicity and race (blacks, in particular) made major contributions; but it was the WASP, more than any other group, who made America. And for that reason, America-hatred is WASP-hatred and, more broadly, white-hatred.

The idea that whites’ unique achievements — in making America, in music, art, literature and the sciences — means that white people are intrinsically superior is absurd. Hitler was also white, as was Joseph Stalin, as are most American mass-murderers. Those facts are no more a commentary on whites than Johann Sebastian Bach or Leonardo da Vinci being white is a commentary on whites.

Whites made the country and the greatest civilization — not because they were white, but because of the values they held. Hatred of the white is ultimately hatred of those values.

Given what the WASP has achieved in the West and in America, it takes extraordinary levels of dishonesty and ingratitude to be anti-white. But neither truth nor gratitude is a left-wing value.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, Apr 19, 2021 20:15:32 -0700




Why the Left Ignores the Killing of a Pakistani Immigrant Uber Driver

On March 23, Mohammad Anwar of Springfield, Virginia, a 66-year-old immigrant from Pakistan earning his living as an Uber Eats driver, was killed by two girls, ages 13 and 15. They carjacked Anwar, Tasered him and then, as he held on to the car (the source of his livelihood) in an attempt to stop them from stealing it, floored the gas pedal and crashed the car, killing him when he was thrown from the vehicle.

As reported the next day in The Washington Post:

“Anwar tried to force his way back into the car by climbing on top of the teen in the driver’s seat, (Detective Chad Leo of the Washington, D.C., police homicide unit) said. Before he could get all the way in, though, the 13-year-old reached over from the passenger seat, turned on the ignition and ‘manipulated’ the gear shift, Leo said. With Anwar ‘hanging outside the car’ through the open driver’s door, Leo said, the vehicle lurched forward and accelerated down the block, made a sharp right turn, struck a curb and overturned, landing passenger side up. Anwar was ejected and suffered broken bones and injury to his head.”

After the unharmed girls climbed out and joined the onlookers milling around the car, one of them could be heard yelling, “My phone is in there!” (The Washington Post, March 31) and, “He has my phone!” (CBS News, March 30).

I found no mainstream media that identified the girls as black.

In The Washington Post report cited above, there was no mention of the girls’ race, just, “Two girls ages 13 and 15 have been charged with felony murder.”

CNN’s report on March 27 made no mention of race: “Two teenage girls have been charged in the carjacking death of an Uber Eats driver … The girls, 13 and 15, assaulted Anwar with a Taser while carjacking him … The younger girl is from the southeast section of DC, the older from Fort Washington, Maryland, police said.”

In a March 31 Washington Post editorial on the subject, there was no mention of the girls’ race.

The New York Times never even reported the incident.

Why is this significant? Because white perpetrators of violence are always identified as such. When a white man engages in a mass killing, the first thing we learn, and are told over and over, is that he is white. If a white policeman kills a black man, no matter how justified (as in Ferguson, Missouri) or morally ambiguous (as in most other cases), we are reminded in every news story that the officer was white. In the very first New York Times report on the Atlanta massage parlor killings, the Times reported, “The suspect in custody is white.”

The mainstream media have a mission that has nothing to do with reporting truth. Along with the Democratic Party and the rest of the left, their mission is to portray America — that is, its white population — as racist. Reporting that nonwhites have perpetrated violence — particularly against nonwhites — undermines that narrative, and these inconvenient facts are therefore consciously omitted. Or worse: The implication placed in people’s minds is that whites are the perpetrators.

This was my point in a previous column when I wrote: “Another New York Times article (about anti-Asian-American violence), under the headline ‘A Tense Lunar New Year for the Bay Area After Attacks on Asian-Americans,’ opens with this: ‘The videos are graphic and shocking. In January, a local television station showed footage of a young man sprinting toward, then violently shoving to the ground, a man identified as Vicha Ratanapakdee, 84, who had been out for a morning walk in the Anza Vista neighborhood of San Francisco. He later died.’ The Times piece never reveals the name or race of the perpetrator: Antoine Watson, a 19-year-old black man.”

Why? Because the Times wanted its readers to believe that Ratanapakdee, the elderly Asian American, was murdered by a white.

Truth, it is necessary to say again and again, is a liberal value and a conservative value, but it has never been a left-wing value.

Here is another example from just the past two weeks:

Last week, anti-black and anti-Semitic graffiti were discovered at Albion College, a school about 100 miles to the west of Detroit. As is usually the case with such incidents, police soon discovered that the culprit was not a white racist but a black person seeking to inflame anti-white hatred. Yet, here was how the Detroit Free Press headlined the discovery: “Albion Student Suspended Over Racist Graffiti.”

Nowhere in the article did the Detroit Free Press note that the suspended student was black.

America is drowning in left-wing lies. And it is being asphyxiated by the left’s substitution of “social justice” for justice. The two girls, who committed a very adult crime, will not be charged as adults, will likely not be imprisoned and very possibly will not even be punished. And the Albion student — whose name has not been released — most likely won’t be punished either.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, Apr 12, 2021 17:53:19 -0700




Mask-Wearing Represents Fear and Blind Obedience, Not Science

When I see people walking outside, often alone with no one anywhere near them, wearing a mask, my primary reactions are disappointment and sadness.

I am disappointed because I expected better from my fellow Americans. I never thought most Americans would be governed by irrational fears and unquestioning obedience to authority. I have come to realize that I had a somewhat romanticized view of my countrymen.

Had you told me a year ago that nearly every American in nearly every metropolitan area would cover their faces for over a year because one man, one political party and the media told them to, I would have responded that you underestimate the strength of the American character.

But here we are, over a year later, and where I live (the Los Angeles area), I am usually the only person on the street not wearing a mask. (For the record, I wear a mask in stores and when entering the building in which I work, out of courtesy to those who think a person not wearing a mask poses a lethal threat.)

On the rare occasions I pass people not wearing a mask, I thank and praise them. They are invariably enthused by my reaction.

You do not need medical or scientific expertise to understand the foolishness of outdoor mask-wearing. Common sense, that great unused guide to life, suffices.

If you wear a mask, you do so in the belief that you are protecting yourself (and others) from COVID-19. So, then, why do you care if I don’t wear a mask? Doesn’t your mask protect you? If it does, my not wearing a mask may irritate you because you resent my assertion of freedom, my obvious lack of respect for government and medical authorities, and my alleged selfishness, but there would be no rational medical — that is, “science-based” — reason for your objecting to my not wearing a mask.

And if masks protect us and others, why have people been refused the right to visit a loved one as he or she lay dying alone? Why couldn’t a person — wearing the same mask a doctor, nurse or any health care worker wears when entering your parent’s room — enter that room? There are two possible answers: One is it’s a tacit admission that masks are essentially useless. You were prevented from visiting your dying father because the hospital believes your loved one or others in the hospital might contract the virus from you, even though you were wearing a mask. Which means those running the hospital don’t believe masks actually work. The other is that the medical establishment and lay authorities have abandoned elementary human decency in the name of AOC, or “Abundance of Caution.” Forcing hundreds of thousands of people to die alone will go down as one of the cruelest policies ever adopted by American medical and political authorities.

The problem is most Americans who went to college learned to unquestioningly obey “experts.” This is why common sense, logic and reason mean little to the well-educated — and, increasingly, to everyone else, because everyone is taught by the well-educated. All we need to know is what the “experts” say. That plus a fanatical adherence to the rule of AOC have crushed logic and reason.

The irony, however, is that “the science” doesn’t justify the fanatical commitment to mask-wearing. There are plenty of experts with evidence-based views to the contrary. Here are but a few examples:

Dr. Anthony Fauci himself told the truth about the uselessness of mask-wearing on “60 Minutes” on March 8, 2020: “Right now, in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks. … There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences: People keep fiddling with the mask, and they keep touching their face.”

Dr. Ramin Oskoui, a cardiologist in Washington at a Senate hearing in December 2020, testified under oath: “Masks do not work.” (The New York Times, Dec. 8, 2020.)

The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 11, 2020: “The projected number of lives saved, and the implied case for a mask mandate, are based on a faulty statistic.”

Dr. Paul E. Alexander, a Canadian epidemiologist, wrote: “Surgical and cloth masks, used as they currently are, have absolutely no impact on controlling the transmission of Covid-19 virus, and current evidence implies that face masks can be actually harmful.” (American Institute for Economic Research, Feb. 11, 2021.)

Roger W. Koops, who has a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Riverside, wrote: “A ‘mask,’ and that term usually refers to either a SURGICAL mask or N95 mask, has no benefit in the general population and is only useful in controlled clinical settings. Further, it has been considered a greater transmission risk than a benefit in the general population. … In the open environment, no one should be wearing face coverings.” (American Institute for Economic Research, Oct. 16, 2020.)

Finally, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 21, 2020, concluded: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

Contrary to mainstream media misinformation, the doctors who wrote that report did not later retract anything they wrote.

People say they “follow the science.” They rarely do. They follow the scientists the media tell them to follow.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, Apr 05, 2021 18:42:29 -0700