Jimbaux is seeing that both his and his country's chances for freedom have been diminished.
You Don’t Know
Calling It “Politics” Is ‘Politically Correct’
The first thing that I want to discuss, before we get to the pictures (which is the point, as I shall soon explain), is the subject of a ridiculous comment that was left on the last newsy article here. I state plenty of opinions that I hold about subjects not related to railroad photography here, because, afterall, this is ultimately a personal blog, but very little of it is “politics”; much of what I discuss is more ideological, which is upstream from politics, and much of what I discuss is philosophical, cultural, societal, and humanitarian issues.
You really have to stop trusting everything you read on the internet unless I wrote it
— Larry (@LarryLarmeu) December 19, 2016
This site is set up so that if you’re here only for the pictures, you can just look at them, maybe read the captions by positioning your mouse arrow over the image to read the filename, and move on, but, even furthermore, the commentary that I make that isn’t related to the pictures is almost always in a separate section of the post. To whatever degree the things that I discuss are actually political, the stakes are now higher than they have been in my lifetime and probably yours too.
Furthermore, upon spending a brief amount of time and almost no effort investigating the readers who make such complaints about me talking about these subjects, it seems that most or all of them harbor the positions that I’m calling out as being problematic. It’s funny that this is part of the crowd that is supposedly motivated by having problems with “political correctness” (which doesn’t exist) when they themselves are being politically correct in their complaints; they can’t or won’t say what they think is wrong with what I am saying, and, instead, they just criticize me for saying it.
So, when you come complain about what I say, and you harbor such beliefs in the first place, you’re proving my point and not proving yours.
I knew my country hated me. But this much?
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) November 9, 2016
Of course, ad hominmen is the nature of Trumpism. That crowd isn’t motivated by being for or against certain ideas or positions; they are, sadly and tragically, for or against certain people.
Gee, what might people over the age of 90 have been old enough to experience that would make them support Trump less than 65-80-yr-olds do? pic.twitter.com/22PV9lYeCy
— jimbaux.com (@JimbauxsJournal) November 13, 2016
If you don’t like my opinions and feel the need to say something, why not attempt to rebut them?
Translation: “It’s too bad that, on your personal blog, you had to write your personal opinions of things.”https://t.co/udRs2TIX99 pic.twitter.com/yK1WQShXU0 — jimbaux.com (@JimbauxsJournal) October 13, 2016
What good is served by telling me that you don’t like that I’m talking about these things? You’re almost proving my points when you do that?
You voted for bullying.
You didn’t just vote for those who have power; you voted for what they are allowed to do to those who lack power. pic.twitter.com/hM5BQGsDtR
— jimbaux.com (@JimbauxsJournal) November 21, 2016
And if you come here only for the train pictures, why not look only at the train pictures? If you voted for Trump, you voted for the erosion of bodily autonomy, and that is a threat to me and to everyone else – including you.
And it’s an even bigger threat to all of my non-white friends.
Both Donald Trump and Dylann Roof have a common heritage in a rising tide of white identity and white nationalism. https://t.co/JJ3kMyghTU
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) December 15, 2016
It’s psychological warfare on all of us, and it’s completely unjustified because, as I’ll explain later, it’s completely unnecessary.
The stakes are high.
The End Of A Bad And Worsening Year
I got out and got a few pictures today, but these are not even close to being my best, which is a fitting way to end a bad and worsening year.
2016 is just a horrible year.https://t.co/TQomVLPNVu
— jimbaux.com (@JimbauxsJournal) December 28, 2016
These train pictures are barely presentable, taken in a common photo location for me by Terminal Junction, and, the last time that I photographed here, I got some decent pictures.
Uninspiring Train Pictures
You know that these aren’t my best, though, ten years ago today, I photographed the KCSdeMéxico yard in Monterrey under cloudy skies. Here, today, with skies much worse, I got this lame set of Norfolk Southern Railway train 198 – just having been interchanged from Union Pacific and now with a rested NS Meridian crew – starting the block swap process.
In 2016 when toxic masculinity reigned, devastating to lose Prince, Bowie & George Michael, who showed there’s no one right way to be a man — Ilissa Gold (@Goldni) December 26, 2016
As a person not big on pop-culture, I’m not big on celebrities, and as a person not big on celebrities, I’m not as moved by celebrity deaths as many people are, but, as a Star Wars fan in my earliest days, I was struck by Carrie Fisher’s death in ways that I wasn’t by the deaths of George Michael, David Bowie, the artist formerly known as Prince, Muhammad Ali, Leonard Cohen, and whomever I’m supposed to know but am forgetting. (I was struck by John Glenn’s death, but, since he has real-world national accomplishments, I don’t consider him a “celebrity,” and, at his advanced age, his death was no shock.)
When artists depart this world, we mourn not because we knew them, but because it was as if they knew us. Artists reveal to us who we are.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 28, 2016
This being New Orleans, the Krewe of Chewbacchus held a memorial parade – a second line, of sorts – in honor of Fisher’s memory. I went to it and got a few uninspiring pictures, but, before we get to that, we have one more train. I heard horns to the east, which would mean that a train was coming in off of the Chalmette Branch. Florida Avenue here is still closed with this big project that is happening with the canal, meaning that all that I could do was get these two shots of the Arabi job coming in.
“I’ve Got A Bad Feeling About This”
After doing a few other chores, I made my way to the Bywater to get set up for the Princess Leia parade. The Mid-City Marine tells me that I should say “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” because, usually, storm troopers will show up shortly thereafter, but, eventually, I started to have a bad feeling about this.
It looks like the lighting is good for photographing such a parade, doesn’t it? Those pictures were taken just a few minutes before the scheduled roll time of the parade. So, even if the parade is a little bit late, as these social functions often are, I should be good. Right? Here are some other people showing up for the parade that is any minute now.
Princess Leia, raised by parents of color attuned to problems of oppression in the galaxy, naturally grew up to be an anti-fascist. pic.twitter.com/znd1PBUPuY — Disgruntled Haradrim (@pdjeliclark) December 27, 2016
Oh, and speaking of lost hope, it’s now 16:29, there’s no sign of a parade coming, and we’re rapidly losing light.
What in the heck is happening here?
Yep, Luke, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
See, What Had Happened Was
I was then told that the permit for the parade had 17:00 on it as start time, even though the crew advertised to the public that the parade would roll at 16:00. This meant that, despite the parade being more or less ready at 16:00, it couldn’t move until the police escort showed up.
Well, isn’t that special? Had I known that, I wouldn’t have bothered to come out here at all, but since I was already standing on this tree stump, now with my feet very much hurting, I’ll at least pop off this shot of the beginning of the parade before I get out of here.
Had the parade rolled an hour earlier, I’d have been fine without my flash, but, if I was going to use the thing at all, I needed to head back to the truck where it was. Still, I knew that I wouldn’t succeed in getting good flash shots here, since I’m not good at that and lack the will or the way to learn how to be better at it.
I might as well try some weird cell phone shots with the lighting from the lightsabers.
I guess that that’s kind of cool.
So, back by the truck, with flash attached to the camera, I got a few shots before I got out of here.
I’m far too damned introverted to participate in something like that.
Actually, maybe it’s less introversion and more a general impatience with costuming, and my explanation for not costuming is that it’s not worth the effort to do it for just a few minutes, but doing it all evening is like standing on the stage for a comedy routine and telling the same joke over and over again; after about a minute, it gets old!
But, I can appreciate that these people do it, are into it, and that it’s fun for them and gives them meaning.
More than an iconic actress, Carrie Fisher was a powerful mental health advocate who changed the way the world sees mental illness. RIP. pic.twitter.com/UCVdccwxMF
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) December 27, 2016
And, at least some others got some good pictures of the event.
.@KreweofChew #CarrieFisher #PrincessLeia and JabBar the Hutt parade #StarWars #MaytheForcebeWithHer in New Orleans @theadvocateno @wwltv pic.twitter.com/uh4XdeOZYH — Matthew Hinton (@MattHintonPhoto) December 30, 2016
Doug MacCash has a good article on the event.
— Doug MacCash (@dougmaccash) December 31, 2016
That’s all. Thanks for checking this out.
Values, Morality, and Necessity
I have to now talk about values and morality, and how a sense of necessity – or necessariness – motivates my morality. Scroll down past a bunch of these Tweets that I have included to read what I mean, please. Thank you.
anti-anti-Trumpism = anti-anti-bullying — jimbaux.com (@JimbauxsJournal) December 26, 2016
“Born in Germany in 1920, he watched the Holocaust unfold as a youth, and he sees danger signs in the US today.”https://t.co/gb89PKoIzs
— jimbaux.com (@JimbauxsJournal) December 26, 2016
We demand the highest training, experience & skill for doctors, lawyers, car mechanics etc. but think a rank amateur is best for president. — Bruce Bartlett (@BruceBartlett) December 27, 2016
I simply cannot see how any American patriot is OK with Trump siding with the Kremlin while trashing POTUS…and I really don’t like Obama.
— John Schindler (@20committee) December 30, 2016
We should give King Herod a chance. The promise to kill all first-born male infants was probably just campaign rhetoric. — Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) December 25, 2016
Trump never wanted to be POTUS, he just wanted to “win” and be a cool kid. Now he’s strapped with unprecedented unfavorables and a real job.
— Propane Jane™ (@docrocktex26) December 9, 2016
Machines can cook and deliver but they can’t buy and eat. Give jobs to machines and money to humans. Then everyone is happy. #basicincome pic.twitter.com/SEvzDbmjKk — Scott Santens (@scottsantens) December 30, 2016
— Kevin McKeon (@KevinMcKeon3) December 30, 2016
The moment you start to pick & choose who has rights and who doesn’t, you deny the universal and intrinsic nature of these rights. — Iyad el-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) December 31, 2011
— jimbaux.com (@JimbauxsJournal) November 21, 2016
— Robert Graboyes (@Robert_Graboyes) December 26, 2016
One reason the nuclear arms race ended: it almost sparked global annihilation in 1983, spooking the US and USSR https://t.co/MZ8O3ukWtU pic.twitter.com/z3Q7Dq7UK1 — Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) December 23, 2016
Trump is like that jerk boyfriend who wants to break up but doesn’t want to do it himself so he keeps doing terrible things til you do it.
— Deborah Roseman (@roseperson) August 21, 2015
I fear we’re getting a Pence presidency with a Trump twitter account, which may be the worst of all worlds
— Tim Dickinson (@7im) December 20, 2016
You fell for lies fed to you by Vladimir Putin and elected a puppet. You don’t get to lecture me about patriotism ever again. — Megan Romer (@meganromer) December 11, 2016
Don’t you ever “but Hillary” me or anyone else ever again, especially with those allegations of “pay to play.”
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) December 19, 2016
This had been said before, but these institutions that we say will protect us allowed slavery, internment, lynching, and mass imprisonment.
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) December 19, 2016
The average Muslim man or woman in the Mideast has as much control over ISIS and the Taliban as you or I do over Trump’s tweets — Xeni Jardin (@xeni) December 18, 2016
The one problem with the below Tweet is that Bill Clinton was President when bin Laden planned the 9/11 attack (which took years to plan), but, that detail aside, the warning about Trump is ominous.
Bin Laden planned 9/11 hoping Bush would overreact, invade and spur a holy war. Bush played into his hands. Trump is a wet dream. Watch out.
— Reality Matters (@DataLogicTruth) December 18, 2016
We don’t really have a republic anymore.
Republicans are tacitly suspending the rule of law to allow Trump to take office without divesting from his business. Just so we’re clear.
— Tim Dickinson (@7im) December 17, 2016
Just to put this in perspective, Jimmy Carter sold his fucking peanut farm to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest — Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 13, 2016
Trump lying gets results: 52% of Republicans now falsely believe that Trump won the popular vote https://t.co/4Ntw4uDojm
— David Frum (@davidfrum) December 18, 2016
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) December 13, 2016
I guess the lesson here is Nixon should have hired Russian spies instead of G. Gordon Liddy to run his re-election efforts.
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) December 13, 2016
Meanwhile Trump continues to defend the Kremlin while bashing the U.S. government and its agencies. Read that out loud. — Summer Brennan (@summerbrennan) December 13, 2016
“You never complained about Putin before!”
Yeah, same reason I don’t complain about murder; I thought that EVERYONE AGREED that it was bad.
— jimbaux.com (@JimbauxsJournal) December 16, 2016
Generations of kids have been schooled to be obedient automatons, and now thanks to automation we’re worried about life without taskmasters. — Scott Santens (@scottsantens) December 21, 2016
I, too, have been dissociating with people for the same reason. pic.twitter.com/h4QfH9FSyl
— jimbaux.com (@JimbauxsJournal) November 22, 2016
Putin understood that America’s great weakness is blind partisanship. Has won affection of GOP base & PEOTUS simply by being anti-Hillary. — Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) December 16, 2016
The US is supposed to be stronger than its vulnerabilities, better than its faults. Russia bet otherwise. And Russia and Trump and hate won.
— Deborah Roseman (@roseperson) December 10, 2016
Skooks made the below Tweet at the beginning of the year. Perhaps we now know why 2015 didn’t issue an apology. It didn’t need to issue an apology.
Still waiting on 2015 to issue an apology — skooks (@skooks) January 1, 2016
I want to say some things about values and about the reviewing of past events.
In my own morality, in my own system of values (perhaps I’m using the terms “morals” and values” interchangeably), the question of whether an action or proposed action is right or wrong is a function of whether it is necessary. The “is this necessary” question is the first thing that I ask before making a judgment as to whether something is right or wrong.
For example, the loud talker is doing something wrong not because the excess of sound volume is bothersome but because the excess of sound volume is unnecessary. That person is being selfish and inconsiderate not because of the high volume of his speech but because of the lack of necessity for that high volume. If the annoyingly loud speaking comes from someone who is speaking to 50 people and just happens to be closer to you than to the 49 other people, then that person isn’t really doing anything wrong, and you just suck up the noise, because you know that it is necessary.
Longtime readers know another example for me: headlights. I’ve told you once and told you twice that you should have your headlights on on your automobile at any time that you’re driving it on any public road. I’ve touted the safety benefits, but I wish to point out here that it’s simply not necessary – it accomplishes nothing – for you to have them off! It’s unnecessary to have them off simply because it requires nothing of you to have them on! Just turn them on after you turn your ignition, and that’s all that there is to it.
The same is true with motorists who so rudely hog the passing lane. It’s not necessary for you to be there, and getting out of the way requires nothing from you.
I became a proponent of unconditional basic income once I realized that, especially given productivity levels rising while labor market participation is declining, it’s simply no longer necessary for every “able bodied” and “working age” adult to have a full-time job! It costs us basically nothing to have basic income!
— Scott Santens (@scottsantens) December 28, 2016
You live in a modern market economy. You’re not subsistence farming, and you couldn’t have the modern standard of living if you were subsistence farming. So, you already are dependent.
This focus on “bringing back” or “creating” jobs is so stupid, destructive, and myopic!
— Scott Santens (@scottsantens) December 28, 2016
“But that has to be paid for by being taken out of my paycheck in the form of taxes!!” Yeah, and how do you think that that money gets into your paycheck in the first place?
But you just want entertainment from your leader, which is highly destructive.
Trump wanted the ego-boost of campaigning, not the work of governing, so we’re going to get 4 more years of campaign events.
— jay smooth (@jsmooth995) December 1, 2016
No, basic income would not cause a harmful level of inflation.
Tomorrow, every sexual predator in America will know that half the country has their back. And every survivor will know you don’t.
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) November 9, 2016
2017 Predictions: The bad things will not end just because our arbitrarily agreed upon temporal cycle has restarted. — skooks (@skooks) December 26, 2016
Jan 20: Trump places his hand on a book he hasn’t read + takes an oath he won’t keep: to protect a constitution he doesn’t understand.
— Tim Hess (@EsKaLiDiNg) December 30, 2016
We now live in a world of incredible abundance and technological convenience. All of this strife is unnecessary. Trump’s bullying is unnecessary. Trumpism is unnecessary.
And, yet, here we are, and, as we’ve learned from the folly of Skooks’s expectation of an apology from 2015, it will get worse – in 2017, and, perhaps, beyond – before it gets better.
The empire has, sadly, struck back. May the force be with you.