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cinematicdiversions's Journal
cinematicdiversions's Journal
February 14, 2022

February sucks. This local reporter keeps going viral for breaking that news


April may be the cruelest month, but February straight up sucks. This is the “news” that was broken by local reporter Kevin Killeen of St Louis’s KMOX, in a 2016 video segment declaring February “an honest month” because it is one that “doesn’t hold up life any better than it really is”.

The segment mixes Killeen’s straight-faced, deadpan local news delivery with an almost avant garde absurdity. At one point, Killeen stands atop a parking garage in St Louis, gesturing at the dark office buildings behind him and says, “Something great happened here but it’s over with.” In a voiceover describing images of the city’s downtown, he declares, “This looks like a place where people who are being punished are sent.”

When the camera cuts to a shot of bare trees against a gray sky, things get a bit weird – and existential. “The trees that once cheered us, they’re hard to look at this month,” he intones. “It’s as if there is some awful truth out there in the trees. It’s hiding in the branches. Look at them. Something that’s been bothering you for a long time is out there. What is it? You can almost see the shape of it when all the color is gone and life is stripped down to the starkness of February.

In the video, the busted green and pink floral umbrella that has been abandoned, still opened, atop a garbage bin in the parking garage, becomes a totem for February. “This says it all,” Killeen remarks to the camera. “Somebody on this February day has abandoned it with its broken shaft like a desperate flinging off of something that’s not true any more. The expedition is getting desperate. People are throwing things aside.”



He points out at the end that his dad used to say if you can make it through February you will live another year. I lost both my dad and wife in this month. Perhaps a bit of truth.
February 13, 2022

All states ranked by livability scores (Crime, housing costs, employment , environment etc)

Some surprises in the top ten. No real surprises in the bottom ten though (Mississippi has risen to 48 Woo-hoo)

50. Louisiana
49. Arkansas
48. Mississippi
47. Alabama
46. Alaska
45. New Mexico
44. Oklahoma
43. West Virginia
42. Michigan
41. Nevada
40. Kentucky
39. Indiana
38. Ohio
37. New Jersey
36. New York
35. Missouri
34. South Carolina
33. Arizona
32. California
31. Wyoming
30. Illinois
29. Rhode Island
28. Montana
27. Texas
26. Maine
25. Tennessee
24. Kansas
23. Hawaii
22. Oregon
21. Pennsylvania
20. Delaware
19. Connecticut
18. Maryland
17. Colorado
16. Georgia
15. North Dakota
14. Iowa
13. South Dakota
12. North Carolina
11. Vermont
10. Florida
9. Idaho
8. Virginia
7. Massachusetts
6. Wisconsin
5. Nebraska
4. Minnesota
3. New Hampshire
2. Utah
1. Washington
February 10, 2022

'We Are Not There Yet': As States Drop Mask Rules, the C.D.C. Stands Firm


But the slow deliberations, within both the C.D.C. and Mr. Zients’ team, are putting the White House in a tough spot. As officials examine the science and chart a careful course, they run the risk of making the Biden administration look irrelevant as governors forge ahead on their own.

“The administration needs to read the room and see that nearly all elected leaders are moving on without them,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner who has often been critical of the administration, adding, “No one is expecting the C.D.C. to say that everyone should go maskless right now. What they are looking for are clear metrics on when restrictions can be lifted and when they may need to return.”

Governors have said so themselves. Last week, after a bipartisan group of governors met with Mr. Biden, Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, a Republican, told reporters he had emphasized to the president that the nation needs to “move away from the pandemic” and asked him for “clear guidelines on how we can return to a greater state of normality.”

It is now clear the states have decided not to wait. On Wednesday, the governors of New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Illinois joined a growing list of Democrats who have dropped either a general statewide mask mandate or one that applies to schools.


I posted about this earlier in the week (https://www.democraticunderground.com/100216327912) . The White House is trailing both the states and the public on this issue. It seems to be an unnecessary own goal.

February 7, 2022

Should the White House start the process of walking the party back from masking/social distancing

Before the midterms.

Vaccines and boosters are a slam dunk and have the science to back them up.

Perhaps a strategy separating the push for vaccines from the other strategies would be beneficial social policy. We are seeing other states and countries making this transition. It might be prudent for the white house to get in the lead regarding the reduction of mask and social distancing mandates.

Eliminating the mask mandate on airlines before the summer travel season would be a good start.

January 29, 2022

Would you shop at a bookstore that sold books by Bill O'Reilly or Oprah?

Would you use a cable service that carried Fox News?

Would you allow your city or state to have a library carry a book by Hitler?

Because that is really the Spotify question. It is more of a bookstore than a radio station. You pick what you want to listen to. Out of the 75 million songs they carry, I bet a few have racist or insensitive lyrics. They carry music by Wagner and Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Page. thier 3.2 Million podcasts could have opinions you disagree with or facts that are wrong.

Heck Spotify gave 25 million to a couple of lazy, rich unemployed people whose family helped burn down the White House. (Fortunately Harry and Meghan are lazy grifters so no worries about boycotting thier podcast they haven't bothered to record it yet)


This is not radio. Like a bookstore, you pick what interests you and listen to that. Want to listen to nothing but Death Metal or Island music or K-pop here is a million songs. Want a podcast that covers the Buffalo Bills or Global warming plenty of those?

We get upset about republicans trying to police what we read and yet here we are trying to police what others listen to.

Look, I have no issues calling out Joe Rogan. he deserves it. I have no issues calling out David Bowie or Jimmy Page for molesting underage girls. But we choose what we listen to. And China Girl is a catchy tune. So sue me.

January 27, 2022

Amy's Kitchen says its food is made with 'love.' Some say the job has left them injured


Some factory workers who make meals at the family business describe an unforgiving workplace that pushes them past the point of injury.

When Ines De La Luz showed up for work at the Amy’s Kitchen factory in Santa Rosa, California, wearing an arm brace, prescribed after she couldn’t move her hand at the end of a fast-paced shift making frozen burritos in July 2020, she says a supervisor ordered her to remove the brace and return to the production line.

De La Luz and another injured worker who cleans the cafeteria say it was called “the corral,” like on a farm. Though they aren’t sure where the name originated, they say it highlighted the feeling that they were no longer important to the company, a family business that is one of the country’s top makers of vegetarian frozen and canned food. De La Luz says that in the fall of 2021, when she learned she was a candidate for surgery to treat her arm injury, Amy’s Kitchen told her it was eliminating her position in the cafeteria and laid her off.

But one former and four current workers say that image is at odds with the painful reality on the factory floor. They say that the growth of Amy’s Kitchen has been made possible by increasing the speed of production lines and that workers are becoming injured in an effort to maintain the speed. They say that the conditions leave them especially vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries that gradually get worse over time.


It has always amazed and amused me that so many people search the labels for cruelty free and vegan and then use products that utilize child labor and slavery.

TFD has a good video about this very subject.

January 27, 2022

Supreme Court Rules for Northwestern Employees in Retirement-Plan Case


WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court said Monday that employers must regularly review their retirement offerings, unanimously ruling for Northwestern University employees who argued the school’s defined-contribution plan offered a confusing number of expensive investment options.

In the Northwestern case several current and former employees claim that the university mismanaged their retirement accounts by exposing them to funds that charged excessive management and record-keeping fees. The case now returns to the lower courts for a fresh look under Monday’s decision.

Among other claims, they argued that Northwestern offered mutual funds and annuities in their “retail” versions of funds, which carried higher fees than otherwise identical share classes available to certain large investors. They also alleged that the high number of investment options caused confusion and poor decisions by plan participants.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 requires plan fiduciaries to act with care, skill, prudence, and diligence. Federal courts in Illinois dismissed the case, finding no breach of fiduciary duty because low-fee funds were available within the hundreds of options the university provided through its retirement plans.


I am 90% on board with this. I cannot agree enough that it is the responsibility for the University of offer low fee investment vehicles in their 401k.

I am concerned about the criticism of too many choices, however. Adults need to take responsibility for themselves and additional options are generally a benefit. That said, the retirement plan should provide no cost assistance to those employees uncomfortable with choosing their own retirement options.
January 26, 2022

'Mayor, you have chosen poorly': Pirates warn of Saturday invasion

Meanwhile, in Frozen Florida, you almost would not think there is a pandemic... or war clouds... or a pirate invasion... scratch that there is a pirate invasion.



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