It’s easy to call this stupid or ignorant, or something less offensive.  Coal is not coming back.  There’s no economic reason for it to come back.  The bigger problem is how to de-incentivize the exploitation this thinking.

When Mike Sylvester entered a career training center earlier this year in southwestern Pennsylvania, he found more than one hundred federally funded courses covering everything from computer programming to nursing

He settled instead on something familiar: a coal mining course.

”I think there is a coal comeback,” said the 33-year-old son of a miner.

Despite broad consensus about coal’s bleak future, a years-long effort to diversify the economy of this hard-hit region away from mining is stumbling, with Obama-era jobs retraining classes undersubscribed and future programs at risk under President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget.

Trump has promised to revive coal by rolling back environmental regulations and moved to repeal Obama-era curbs on carbon emissions from power plants.

“I have a lot of faith in President Trump,” Sylvester said.

You can do ANYTHING in that car…

Washington Post article on self-driving cars

If the near-future sees every car rolls along safely, without human error, then what will police do?  Traffic stops are the most common mechanism to find the bad guys, doing bad things, right?

See, I could be a futurist!  Because I can imagine a magical criminal future where you just black out those windows.  And line up all your drugs and alcohol.  It’s not like they’re going to pull you over for speeding or rolling through a stop sign.  Heck, maybe you buy a bigger self-driving car – a van or SUV – so you can finally host that mobile cockfight ring in the back.

I’d like to think that the article’s author and I were the first to think up such a grand scheme – to move all of our criminal activity to the roadways, moving along undetected.  But I’m pretty sure Walter White was a step ahead.

MMR – Bash & Pop Returns

Bash & Pop – “Anything Could Happen”

Tommy Stinson asks:  how long you can take it, before you shake it?

I don’t have a guess.

Worth reading this on what Stinson’s been up to and how he got here post-Replacements reunion and GnR gig, rather than me droning on.  First few tracks on this album, though…I had that volume UP.

My Only “Take” on Donald Trump

Okay, that’s a lie.  I have approx. 5000 takes on Donald Trump.  I come up with a new one every seven minutes.  I can’t stop thinking about the unfortunate twists and turns which resulted in me being represented by this guy. And every day, chipping away at my trust that “surely, everyone will come to their freakin’ senses and make this go away.”

But I still actually trust that.  It will happen, right?

That said, I’m confounded why more opportunistic, pragmatic, and/or cynical members of his party – especially in Congress – don’t just jump the inevitability and push their stakes in against him.  Be very public about it.  If you’re certain, then profit from it.  Be one of the smart guys, once it all goes down.

Sure, there’s risk.  But is there really?  Trump is like Bobby Knight’s last few months at IU.  It’s not if…just when.  Only a matter of time before the right bit of “‘sup, Knight?” information is leaked or revealed on the guy.

So if you’re that true conservative-values GOP’er who makes a stand too early, loses in ’18 due to a Trumpian backlash, and heads home – do you really think history will look poorly on you?  Do you really think you won’t be vindicated?  And at least you can, like, I don’t know… sleep at night?

Because the Republican party will eventually have to account for this dude, even just in history books. That short-term power you may give up – isn’t it a certainty that you’ll look really smart down the road?

Monday Music Recommendation (MMR)

I need structure.  I need to be told when to post something.  It’s not a gimmick.  It’s worse.  It’s an old man who listens to new music and says, “it’s not enough for me to enjoy this – who do I tell?”  So maybe now I can say, “okay, I’ll post that on Monday.

Related, I’ve been doing Apple Music sub for 6 months or so.  I’m not sold that it’s better than others – Spotify, etc. – and I definitely miss shopping around for physical media.  But I was doing that rarely, anymore.  And between phones and Apple TVs around the house, I’m kinda stuck in Apple ecosystem.  Anyway, my quick take on the service is only that I’ve found more “new” (and often, old) music in the last few months than I had in 3-4 years.  It’s energized me.

But still, I need to tell someone when I find something I like.  And my wife can only take so much!

Dave Hause, “Bury Me in Philly”

Hause has hardcore/punk credentials.  (I guess. I’m ignorant of his other bands, but I’ve enjoyed listening to The Loved Ones discs in recent days after discovering this.)  But he’s also got some aged perspective.  Which I find I like more and more.  It’s probably not a popular opinion that Bob Mould makes better albums today than with Husker Du.  (And that would take a lot of caveats.)  But lyrically – jeez, yes.  Cause he’s a grown-ass man with a much longer journey to pull from.  (Like all of us.)  With Hause’s new album, there’s that.  I like that.

Stylistically – there are songs here that fit grit-voice, guitar-blues-pop, Gaslight Anthem columns.  Others that fit a Roger Clyne-crooning mold.  These are all good things, to me.  Hell, the song below could easily be a Rick Springfield jam.  All comparisons I might have cringed at previously.  But heck, I’m getting old too.

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