Tuesday, March 31, 2020

I Knew It: You're All Fucking Worms

Primordial worm-like creature was forerunner to most animals - including usYOU!


More War Crime

SAT 31 MAR 1945
Off Okinawa, heavy cruiser Pensacola (CA-24) is damaged in collision with tank landing ship LST-277, 26°10'N, 127°19'E; kamikazes damage light minelayer Adams (DM-27), 26°12'N, 127°08'E; attack transport Hinsdale (APA-120), 25°54'N, 127°49'E; and tank landing ships LST-724 and LST-884 25°59'N, 127°50'E.

Small seaplane tender Coos Bay (AVP-25) is damaged when rammed accidentally by U.S. merchant ship Matagorda, central Pacific, 12°07'N, 156°27'E.

U.S. freighter John C. Fremont is damaged by mine south of Pier 7, Manila Bay; there are no casualties among the 27-man Armed Guard.

Destroyers Morrison (DD-560) and Stockton (DD-646) sink Japanese submarine I 8, 65 miles southeast of Okinawa, 25°29'N, 128°35'E.

Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 233 is sunk by aircraft, 32°19'N, 129°50'E.

USAAF B-24s attack Japanese convoy off Makassar, sinking small cargo vessels No.3 Hainan Maru, Kanho Maru, Manko Maru, and Nanho Maru and damaging Oshima Maru; attack convoy BASU-05 in Makassar Straits off Balikpapan, damaging submarine chaser Ch 5.

USAAF B-24s bomb Japanese convoy in harbor at Keelung, damaging hospital ship Baikal Maru, cargo vessels Nikko Maru and No.3 Yamato Maru, and motor sailship No.47 Suma Maru.

Mines damage Japanese destroyer Hibiki off Hime Jima and escort destroyer Inagi off Hesaki.

During March 1945 (exact dates indeterminate) carfloats YCF-23 YCF-29, YCF-36, and YCF-37 break up in heavy seas while under tow en route to Eniwetok, Marshall Islands.

Life In The Time Of Death

Went to old people shopping this a.m.; more employees stocking than shoppers, & I obtained both 12 rolls of bogroll & six of paper towels. Paper products shelves nonetheless maybe one-tenth stocked.

Current physiology: Left eye watery, left nostril running. (Something virulently yellow lives up there, but it pre-dates the coronavirus.)

Other shopping news: Wkly. supermarket fliers came today; only Ralphs & Pavilions adverts, both of them four pages rather than the usual eight. Jons, Smart & Final & Food 4 Less didn't bother. (Ralphs is hiring, by the way.)

Monday, March 30, 2020

Twit Du Jour: Chicoms!

Heathen Chinee!! Yellow Peril!! Red Menace!! Stupid Jerk!!!

A.A.F. Sink U-Boats

FRI 30 MAR 1945
Over 1,250 USAAF heavy bombers (Eighth Air Force) hit U-boat yards and port facilities in Germany, sinking submarines U-96, U-429, and U-3508 at Wilhelmshaven; U-72, U-329, U-430, U-870, U-884, and U-886 at Bremen; and U-2340, U-348, U-350, and U-1167 at Hamburg.

Eighty-seven USAAF B-29s mine the Shimonoseki Straits and the waters off Kure, Hiroshima, and Sasebo, Japan.

Heavy cruiser Indianapolis (CA-35) is damaged by kamikaze off Okinawa, 26°25'N, 127°30'E.

High speed transport Roper (APD-20) is damaged in collision with attack transport Arthur Middleton (APA-25), Philippine Sea, 20°57'N, 132°05'E.

Submarine Tirante (SS-420) sinks Japanese guardboat Eikichi Maru off Kagoshima, Japan, 31°11'N, 130°09'E.

Attacks against Japanese convoy HI-88-J continue: USAAF B-25s sink auxiliary submarine chaser Shinan Maru and damage Coast Defense Vessel No.26 off Yulin, Hainan Island 18°09'N, 109°42'E.

Japanese submarine I 53 is damaged by mine, Suwo-Nada.

Life (& Death) Goes On,
Coronavirus Or No

Can't stop the death cult.

Two In Critical Condition After Crash In The Pacific Palisades

Shooting in Glendale Leaves One Man Dead, Another Man Wounded

Three Men Killed in Two-Car Crash During Street Race, Police Say


"Temperature's Risin' ..."

Make America Great 1937/'57 Again!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Still Hating FedEx

What in th' hell is this crap?
A) Are Sunday deliveries part of the "newer normal"? B) Tomorrow, the 30th, a Monday, is not the "next business day"?

The Way We Look Now

Not kidding. Wish I had a Stetson (& a six-shooter) so I'd look even more like a train/stagecoach-robber.

War Crime: U.S.A.A.F. B-24 Damages Japanese Hospital Ship Kazura Maru

THU 29 MAR 1945
TG 58.1 (Rear Admiral Joseph J. Clark) and TG 58.3 (Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman) attack airfields and Japanese shipping in the Kagoshima Bay area, Kyushu. Carrier-based planes sink auxiliary submarine chasers Cha 200 west of Sata Misaki, 31°05'N, 130°39'E, and Chikuto Maru in Kagoshima Bay, and Cha 205, Kuchinoerabu Jima, 30°30'N, 130°10'E, as well as cargo vessels No.5 Yusen Maru and 11 Ebisu Maru, Holin Maru, Genyo Maru and 8 Seizan Maru and 17 Koshin Maru and 27 Koan Maru and 32 Koan Maru and Taimokuzan Maru in Yamagawa Harbor; merchant vessel No.3 Yamato Maru is damaged at the latter place.

In an operation associated with the taking of Panay, Army 185th RCT (40th Division), moves from Iloilo to Pulupandan Point, northern Negros, P.I., encountering no opposition.

Submarine and USAAF attacks continue against Japanese convoy HI-88-J; Bluegill (SS-242) further damages tanker Honan Maru off Cape Varella (see 5 April); Hammerhead (SS-264) damages Coast Defense Vessel No. 84 115 miles north of Cape Varella, 14°44'N, 109°16'E; USAAF B-25s (Fifth Air Force) sink Coast Defense Vessel No.18, Coast Defense Vessel No.130 and cargo ship Kaiko Maru, 15°10'N, 109°26'E. Later the same day, PBMs further damage Coast Defense Vessel No. 134 south of Hainan.

USAAF B-24 damages Japanese hospital ship Kazura Maru off coast of French Indochina, 15°05'N, 109°23'E.

USAAF B-24s (Fifth Air Force) sink Japanese auxiliary submarine chasers Cha 156, Cha 189, Cha 192, and merchant tanker Iwakuni Maru in Takao harbor, 22°40'N, 120°15'E.

Japanese auxiliary patrol vessel Pa No.173 is sunk by mine, Wakamatsu, Japan.

Japanese submarine chaser Ch 9 is damaged by aircraft, 15°10'N, 109°26'E.

Japanese submarine I 47 (equipped with Kaitens) is damaged by 5th Fleet surface ships/craft off Okinawa and forced to return to Kure for repairs.

U.S. freighter O.B. Martin,, in convoy UGS 80, is damaged by depth charge explosions 25 miles west of Gibraltar; there are no casualties to either the merchant crew, passengers, or the 29-man Armed Guard.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Snook Lost, Trigger Sunk

WED 28 MAR 1945
Off Okinawa, minesweeper Skylark (AM-63) is sunk by mine, 26°20'N, 127°40'E; attack cargo ship Wyandot (AKA-92) is damaged by near-misses of bombs, 26°00'N, 127°00'E; medium landing ship LSM-188 is damaged by kamikaze; infantry landing craft (gunboat) LCI(G)-588 is damaged by assault demolition boat.

Landing craft repair ship Agenor (ARL-3) is damaged in collisions with landing craft off Iwo Jima, 24°46'N, 141°19'E.

Submarine Blackfin (SS-322) is damaged by depth charges off the southeast coast of French Indochina, and is forced to terminate her patrol.

Submarines and USAAF planes begin attacks on Japanese convoy HI-88-J moving up the coast of French Indochina; submarine Bluegill (SS-242) damages tanker Honan Maru (ex-British War Sirdar) off Cape Varella, 12°40'N, 109°30'E; Honan Maru is beached to permit salvage (see 29 March). USAAF B-24 sinks merchant cargo ship Asogawa Maru off Nha Trang, 12°32'N, 109°22'E.

Submarine Snook (SS-279) departs Guam for her ninth war patrol; she is contacted by Tigrone (SS-419) on 8 April 1945, but she is never seen again.*

Submarine Threadfin (SS-410) sinks Japanese escort vessel Mikura off Kyushu, 31°45'N, 131°44'E.

Submarine Tirante (SS-420) sinks Japanese fishing boat Nase Maru west of Oniki Cape, southwest coast of Kyushu, 32°15'N, 29°55'E.

Submarine Trigger (SS-237) is sunk by Japanese patrol vessel Mikura, Coast Defense Vessel No.33, and Coast Defense Vessel No.59 in Nansei Shoto, 32°16'N, 132°05'E.

Floating workshop YR-43, being towed to Kodiak by Army tug LT 373, breaks free from her towline and runs aground two and half miles south of Zaikof Point, Montague Island; rescue tug ATR-68 and Coast Guard lighthouse tender Cedar (WAGL-207) are sent from Kodiak, while tender Bramble (WAGL-392) is dispatched from Seward to assist. Army transport Toloa brings YR-43's crew on board and takes the men to Dutch Harbor.

Planes from carrier Hornet (CV-12) sink Japanese Coast Defense Vessel No.33 south of Kyushu, 31°45'N, 131°45'E.

USAAF B-24 damages Japanese Coast Defense Vessel No.102 and Coast Defense Vessel No.106 (near-misses) off Keelung, Formosa.

USAAF B-24s (Fifth Air Force) sink Japanese army cargo ship Meiho Maru off north coast of Formosa, 25°00'N, 121°00'E.

USAAF B-24s (13th Air Force) attack Japanese shipping in the Celebes, sinking minesweeper W.11 off Makassar, 05°06'S, 119°14'E, and Patrol Boat No. 108 off Maniang Island 04°14'S, 121°28'E.

Japanese auxiliary submarine chasers Cha 167 and Cha 175 are sunk by aircraft, east of Fukashima.

USAAF B-24 damages Japanese cargo ship Seito Maru off North Laut Island 03°14'S, 116°13'E.

Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 178 is sunk by mine, 34°02'N, 130°54'E; cargo ship Tensei Maru is sunk by mine in Wakamatsu harbor.
*While no definitive explanation exists for Snook's loss, there are three possibilities: (1) she is sunk by Japanese naval aircraft (256th, 453rd and 951st Air Flotilla) on 9 April 1945 near the Shuzan Islands; (2) she is sunk by patrol-escort vessel Okinawa, Patrol-Escort Vessel No.8, Patrol-Escort Vessel No. 32 and Patrol-Escort Vessel No. 52 after being detected by planes from the afore-mentioned naval air flotillas; or (3) she is possibly sunk by Japanese submarine I 56 while Snook was operating on lifeguard duty (her last assignment) in the Nansei Shoto region. She is listed as overdue, presumed lost, on 16 May 1945.

†She is listed as overdue, presumed lost, on 1 May 1945.

Friday, March 27, 2020

"aircraft operational casualty"

TUE 27 MAR 1945
Navy landing craft (TG 122.5.1) ferry army troops across the Rhine at Mainz, Germany, in the face of "all the fire power at [the Germans'] disposal," ranging from machine guns and small arms to the deadly 88-millimeter weapons.

One battalion of army troops (Second Battalion, 151st Infantry, 38th Division), supported by destroyers Conway (DD-507) and Cony (DD-508) and three rocket-equipped motor torpedo boats, lands on Caballo Island near Corregidor, preceded by an air strike.

Operation STARVATION, the USAAF aerial mining campaign (using Navy-provided mines) commences, as 94 B-29s mine the Shimonoseki Straits and the waters of Suo Nada, Japan. This operation and the six that follow are in support of the Okinawa campaign.

High speed transport Newman (APD-59), covering the landings on Cebu, sights and attacks a Japanese midget submarine off Talisay, Cebu. She is given credit for a "possible" submersible sunk.

Off Okinawa, an aircraft operational casualty damages carrier Essex (CV-9), 25°10'N, 132°05'E; kamikazes damage light minelayer Adams (DM-27), 26°17'N, 127°40'E.

Submarine Trigger (SS-237) sinks Japanese cable layer Odate, 200 miles southwest of Kyushu, 30°40'N, 127°50'E.

TF 58 planes sink Japanese guardboats No.13 Choun Maru and No.27 Yusen Maru and army cargo ship No.28 Suma Maru, Kuchinoerabu Bay, Osumi-Gunto, 30°30'N, 130°05'E, and No.12 Myojin Maru west of Tori Jima, 30°00'N, 139°30'E.

British submarine HMS Stygian damages Japanese minelayer Wakatake (previously damaged on 25 March 1945 when she encounters a shoal upon leaving Macassar) in Java Sea, south of Kangean Island. Reaching Surabaya on 1 April 1945, Wakatake performs no more active service.

USAAF B-24s attack six-ship Japanese convoy off Surabaya, damaging submarine chaser Ch 5 by near-misses.

Japanese auxiliary minesweeper Wa.1 is sunk by mine (laid by RAF planes) near the Deli River, Sumatra, 03°52'N, 98°45'E.

Whistling Past the Graveyard
In Ala-Damn-Bama

War Between The States

New York Times:
Some U.S. Cities Could Have Coronavirus Outbreaks Worse Than Wuhan's  —  If the rate of growth in coronavirus cases continues, the New York City metropolitan area will suffer a more severe outbreak than those experienced in Wuhan, China, or the Lombardy region of Italy.
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Alabama governor won't issue stay-at-home order because ‘we are not California.’ By population, it's worse.  —  Millions of Americans continue to live under state-issued stay-at-home orders, an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus that has infected about 90,000 people in the United States.
Hub:   Bloomberg Philanthropies, state of Maryland fund Hopkins-led COVID-19 treatment research
The Guardian:   'It's what was happening in Italy': the hospital at the center of New York's Covid-19 crisis
Brian Lyman / The Montgomery Advertiser:   Coronavirus: Ivey says ‘right now is not the time’ for Alabama-wide shelter-in-place orderCristina Cabrera / Talking Points Memo:
Alabama Gov. Refuses To Issue Shelter In Place Order: ‘We Are Not California’
Anne Branigin / The Root:   ‘A Dangerous Gamble’: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Refuses to Order ‘Shelter-in-Place’ …
Where would you rather be?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Where's Your (Non-Existent) Gawd Now, Dead Loser?

Sky Palma / Raw Story:
Christian pastor who thought COVID-19 is just ‘mass hysteria’ is among the first in Virginia to die from virus  —  One of the first deaths in Virginia from coronavirus was a 66-year-old Christian “musical evangelist” who fell ill while on a trip to New Orleans with his wife.
Jesus loved him so much he killed him so he could go to heaven.

Craven fear is the primary motivation for religious belief.
Robert Nicholson / Wall Street Journal:
A Coronavirus Great Awakening?  —  Sometimes the most important ingredient for spiritual renewal is a cataclysmic event.  —  Could a plague of biblical proportions be America's best hope for religious revival?  As the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II approaches, there is reason to think so.
Flock to your pastors, you fucking sheep, & have your Christian chicken-pox parties. Jesus can't wait.

"Slight Resistance"

MON 26 MAR 1945
Navy landing craft unit (TG 122.5.1.) ferries Third Army assault troops across the Rhine at Oberwesel; medium landing craft (LCM) are used for the first time in the Third Army's Rhine-crossing operation.

TG 51.1 (Rear Admiral Ingolf N. Kiland) lands Army force on Kerama Retto, Ryukyus, under cover of naval bombardment and carrier aircraft.

TG 78.2 (Captain Albert T. Sprague, Jr.) lands U.S. Army Americal Division (Reinforced) less one RCT, on Talisay Point, Cebu, P.I., covered by TG 74.3 (Rear Admiral Russell S. Berkey), consisting of three light cruisers (including Australian HMAS Hobart) and six destroyers. The landing is made against only slight resistance. U.S. freighter Michael J. Owens Armed Guard gunfire, despite lack of sophisticated fire control equipment, silences Japanese artillery battery on Cebu.

Off Okinawa, destroyer Halligan (DD-584) is sunk by mine, 26°10'N, 127°30'E; kamikazes damage battleship Nevada (BB-36), light cruiser Biloxi (CL-80), destroyer Porterfield (DD-682), destroyer escort Foreman (DE-633), high speed minesweeper Dorsey (DMS-1), 26°20'N, 127°18'E; destroyers O'Brien (DD-725), 26°16'N, 127°26'E, and Callaghan (DD-792), 26°20'N, 127°43'E, and minesweeper Skirmish (AM-303), 26°25'N, 127°05'E; destroyer Murray (DD-576) is damaged by dive bomber, 26°20'N, 129°46'E.

Tank landing craft LCT-1090 is damaged in amphibious operations off Luzon; submarine chaser PC-1133 is damaged by grounding, 10°13'N, 123°51'E.

Submarine Balao (SS-285) sinks Japanese army stores ship No.1 Shinto Maru, 35°18'N, 123°15'E.

British destroyers annihilate Japanese Port Blair-bound convoy east of Khota Andaman. HMS Saumarez, HMS Volage, HMS Vigilant, and HMS Virago sink submarine chasers Ch 34 and Ch 63; HMS Venus, HMS Verulam and HMS Virago sink transport Risui Maru and supply ship Teshio Maru, 10°38'N, 94°42'E. RAF Liberators contribute to Risui Maru's destruction. [More like the Indian Ocean or even the Andaman Sea. — M.B.]

TF 58 planes sink Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser Nisui Maru east of Fuku Jima, and cargo ship Daia Maru (previously damaged on 1 March) in Kuji Bay, Ryukyus, 20°13'N, 127°16'E.

USAAF B-24s complete destruction of Japanese cargo ship I komasan Maru, previously damaged by submarine Spot (SS-413), then run aground, and bombed by USAAF B-25s on 17 March 1945 off Matsu Island 26°07'N, 119°57'E, and sink motor sailships Koun Maru and No.6 Ebisu Maru.

USAAF B-24s (Fifth Air Force) bomb Japanese shipping in Takao harbor, sinking cargo vessels Enoura Maru and Kishu Maru, 22°37'N, 120°15'E.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Local L.A. Action: Maybe May

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warns of mass death, condemns 'false hope,' and tells us his city will be on lockdown for another 2 months — and to 'be prepared for longer'

  • Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until at least May, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.
  • In an interview, Garcetti pushed back against "premature optimism" in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.
  • Garcetti said he was worried about the irreplaceable loss of life that's predicted in this outbreak. "This will not kill most of us," he said. "It will kill a lot more people than we're used to dying around us."
  • "It will be our friends. It will be our family. It will be people who we love dearly," he said. "And everything I do is through that lens."
Crap, now I guess I'll be shopping during old people hrs., 0700-0730. What a pain; usually going to or just gone to sleep around then.

Blood Dunza

You first, asshole.

Former Wells Fargo CEO wants Americans back to work next month: ‘Some may even die, I don’t know’

Further in scum:
The billionaire Tom Golisano was smoking a Padron cigar on his patio in Florida on Tuesday afternoon. He was worried.

“The damages of keeping the economy closed as it is could be worse than losing a few more people,” said Golisano, founder and chairman of the payroll processor Paychex Inc. “I have a very large concern that if businesses keep going along the way they’re going then so many of them will have to fold.”

President Donald Trump says he doesn’t want the cure for the Covid-19 pandemic “to be worse than the problem,” and some of America’s wealthiest people and executives are echoing his rallying cry. They want to revive an economy that could face its worst quarterly drop ever -- even if it means pulling back on social distancing measures that public health officials say can help stop coronavirus. These investors aren’t prizing profits over lives, they say, they’re just willing to risk some horrors to avoid others.
Billionaires and other members of the elite have the luxury of social distancing while making money. The ones who want workers back in their jobs say they’re aiming to stop millions from suffering for years and falling further into debt. Officials are trying to accomplish that by restricting foreclosures and allowing Americans to defer mortgage payments.

“It’s outrageous,” said Robert Reich, who was labor secretary for President Bill Clinton and now studies public policy at the University of California, Berkeley. “It is absolutely necessary to shut down the economy so that millions of people don’t die. For the privileged among us to fail to see that and to give the economy precedence over this public health emergency is morally reprehensible.”

The push to restart the economy makes a certain amount of sense to rich people, according to Reich, because they have come to expect disproportionate gains as the system’s top winners. “The one flaw in their logic this time is that the coronavirus doesn’t understand class,” he added. “The more people are infected, the more likely it is that Blankfein and other billionaires will become infected as well.”
[Loser Bloomberg's Ego Site]

Tirante (SS-420) Sinks Japanese Auxiliary Netlayer

SUN 25 MAR 1945
TF 54 (Rear Admiral Morton L. Deyo) battleships, cruisers, and destroyers bombard Kerama Retto and southeast coast of Okinawa, Ryukyus; bombardment continues daily. Off Okinawa, kamikazes damage destroyer Kimberley (DD-521), 26°02'N, 126°54'E; light minelayer Robert H. Smith (DM-23), 26°00'N, 128°00'E; high speed transport Gilmer (APD-11), 26°00'N, 127°20'E; destroyer escort Sederstrom (DE-31) is damaged in collision with escort carrier Sangamon (CVE-26), 25°00'N, 130°00'E; high speed transport Knudsen (APD-101) is damaged by horizontal bomber, 26°12'N, 127°04'E.

Submarine Tirante (SS-420) sinks Japanese auxiliary netlayer Fuji Maru off Tori Jima, Japan, 31°08'N, 130°30'E.

TF 58 planes sink Japanese merchant cargo ships No.5 Okinoyama Maru and Chokai Maru near Naha, Okinawa, 26°13'N, 127°39'E. Auxiliary submarine chaser Sobun Maru is damaged between Yaku Jima and Amami O Shima.

USAAF B-24s (5th Air Force) sink Japanese Kori Go Maru (ex-Chinese Houlee) in Yangtze estuary near Shanghai, 31°11'N, 122°23'E.

Here It Comes, Bible Belt Bozos!

Couldn't happen to a more deserving region.
Brad Brooks / Reuters:
New Orleans emerges as next coronavirus epicenter, threatening rest of South  —  (Reuters) - New Orleans is on track to become the next coronavirus epicenter in the United States, dimming hopes that less densely populated and warmer-climate cities would escape the worst of the pandemic, and that summer months could see it wane.
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
'It's like a war zone': Fighting coronavirus, limited ICU beds, bracing for chaos in New Orleans
Elisha Fieldstadt / NBC News:   New Orleans is a center of coronavirus. Mardi Gras could be to blame, doctors say.
Nancy LeTourneau / Washington Monthly:   When it Comes to Trump's Failures, Hyperbole Is Unnecessary
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:   Louisiana paper juggles the coronavirus, furloughs
more at Mediagazer »
Sky Palma / Raw Story:
Trump cabinet Bible study leader blames coronavirus on gay people and environmentalists  —  The minister who hosts a weekly bible study session for President Trump's cabinet has an opinion about the origins of the coronavirus.  According to Ralph Drollinger, it's just another form of God's wrath …
Lee Fang / The Intercept:   Trump Cabinet Bible Teacher Blames Coronavirus Pandemic on God's Wrath …
Wait'll your Gawd hears what you've been spreading in its name, Ralph. You look like a prime candidate for the gurgling death.

Next stop on the CovID-19 Express: America's dangly bit.
A company called Kinsa Mission developed a map that shows where influenza-like illness symptoms, especially fevers, are registering now more than ever in Florida.

The map demonstrates how a state like Florida, where flu season should be well into its decline, is showing unusually high concentrations of high body temperature readings.

Kinsa researchers compared this year’s data to previous years and found the hottest zone for unusually high numbers of fever is in Florida.
Hot hot hot!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


No One Is Safe!

In a random, arbitrary universe w/o meaning, no one is or has ever been safe. On the less macro, more immediate scale, no one is safe either:
Stephanie M. Lee / BuzzFeed News:The Coronavirus Doesn't Just Hurt The Elderly.  Data Shows Younger People Are Getting Severely Sick, Too.  —  The Coronavirus Is Sending Lots Of Younger People To The Hospital
It’s increasingly clear that early data out of China was an anomaly: the coronavirus is severely harming substantial numbers of people under 50, too.
Philip Bump / Washington Post:   It isn't only the elderly who are at risk from the coronavirus
Equal Morbidity Opportunity, as previously noted.

And if not morbidity, a nasty time of it. Not to mention the guilt of vectoring.
Young people who don’t suffer from severe symptoms can still spread it to others. At the same time, their growing case numbers indicate that they are themselves far from “invincible,” as the World Health Organization director said in a speech directed at them last week. Even if they don’t die in the hospital, they can jeopardize others by taking up beds and ventilators in short supply.

“Even if the deaths are concentrated at older ages, it still seems that serious cases and hospitalization and requiring ventilators is not entirely rare even at younger ages,” Jennifer Dowd, an associate professor of demography and population health at the University of Oxford, told BuzzFeed News. “I would say nobody should just laugh it off as, ‘I’ve got a good immune system and I’ll be fine.’ Because as we get more and more cases, even a small risk of complications adds up to a lot of people.”

Squids Cross Rhine

SAT 24 MAR 1945
For the second time, LCVPs (TG 122.5.1) support the Third Army's crossing of the Rhine, ferrying troops at Boppard, Germany, under heavy enemy 20-millimeter fire. Other navy landing craft from TG 122.5.1 ferry troops of the Ninth Army across the Rhine south of Wesel, Germany. Medium landing craft (LCM) are used on the Rhine for the first time in this operation.

TF 59 (Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee) bombards Okinawa. Japanese sources list two vessels sunk by naval gunfire on this date, perhaps the victims of the battleship bombardment: Tosan Maru and No.10 Maiko Maru.

USAAF B-24 (possibly a USN PB4Y) attacks nine-ship Japanese Naha-to-Kagoshima convoy KANA-304 (probably rerouted into the East China Sea because of Allied air activity in the Ryukyus), sinking auxiliary minesweeper Seki Maru off Tokara Gunto, 29°12'N, 125°13'E. Planes from TG 58.1--carriers Bennington (CV-20) and Hornet (CV-12) and small carriers Belleau Wood (CVL-24) and San Jacinto (CVL-30)--complete the destruction of KANA-304, sinking torpedo boat Tomozuru, Coast Defense Vessel No. 68, auxiliary minesweepers Chitose Maru and No.16 Shonan Maru, army cargo ships Koshu Maru, and merchant cargo ships Soka Maru, Kaijo Maru and No.3 Tsukushi Maru about 200 miles northwest of Okinawa, 28°25'N, 124°32'E. The same day, TF 58 planes also sink army cargo ship Seizan Maru and merchantmen Sanko Maru at 29°15'N, 125°13'E, and Kobe Maru at 30°00'N, 126°30'E.

USAAF B-24s (13th Air Force) sink Japanese cargo ship Koshin Maru off Boeton Island Celebes, 05°40'S, 122°49'E.

Sign Of The Slump

Every Tuesday for the last 11 yrs. there've been ads from several local grocery chains in the mailbox, generally Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Smart & Final, Pavilions & Jons. (It's actually gone on for well over 11 yrs. The L.A. Times used to mail them to every residence in their market that didn't subscribe to the Times, now some other outfit does it.) Today, for the first time in human memory, the only supermarket advertiser was Pavilions.

Tune in next Tues. as we advise you if the economy is down & out or getting off the canvas.

(Granted, it's as much wishful thinking as a clear-eyed look at the trends, but may I just point to my prescience in Labels, to wit, "Decline and Falling Down" & "Nature Wants You Dead"?)

In The Skies Today

Actually "yesterday", but you don't care any more than I do.

Monday, March 23, 2020

On The Streets Today

L.A.C.M.T.A. bus service reduced by 15 to 20% (got some exercise), passengers must board & exit by the rear door (meaning I wasted US$20.00 on a pass this month). "Metro is also requiring all bus operators to use the transparent protective barrier that helps isolate them." (Already on the newer buses, & not an anti-virus measure as much as a defense against righteously outraged riders.) The operator seat & wheelchair seating in the front are taped off from the rear of the buses.
Note "YOUR SPEED" as opposed to "SPEED LIMIT". Traffic hasn't been this good since the Olympics*.
Driver is masked.
Ralphs at Hollywood & Western didn't have enough shoppers to impose waiting (nor did they have buttwad or paper towels) but did have blue masking tape Xs on the floor at the registers, six ft. apart so you know where to keep that bag of viruses & germs you call a body in relation to your fellow germ-bags. However, no lines at the registers.

Self-medication in the time of ...: Had to e-mail an order, wait for a reply, walk many blocks due to the transit reduction, shove money through what's usually the I.D. card slot & then pick up the goods from a stool in the dispensary airlock. Stocked up too, as one never knows when/if non-essential enforcement will start (It's essential to me, & as the mayor is now allowing bars & restaurants to sell take-out booze, if he gets pissy about muggles we can at least call him a two-faced hypocrite.) & to avoid unnecessary trips.
Troops, germs, whatever.
This whole virus thing might actually affect me. My avoidance of human contact has served me well enough; haven't had a cold or flu since around the turn of the millennium, when I was still wage-slaving. Didn't contract anything even when sleeping in the West L.A. Armory w/ scores of the also wretched & dispossessed or when urban camping. None-the-fucking-less, better safe than sorry. For example, this made me a little nervous:
William Feuer / CNBC:
CDC says coronavirus survived in Princess Cruise ship cabins for up to 17 days after passengers left  — The coronavirus can survive on surfaces for up to 17 days, a study published Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.  — The study examines two public health responses …
The sun sets on the Murkin Empire.

*The '84 Olympics, smart-ass. This reporter was not here for the 1932 Olympics.

Seahorse Damaged By Bomb

FRI 23 MAR 1945
LCVPs (TG 122.5.1) ferry between 4,000 and 4,500 troops from General George S. Patton's Third Army as it crosses the Rhine at Oppenheim, Germany.

U.S. tanker Oklahoma, bound for Dakar, French West Africa, is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-532 in mid-Atlantic, 13°52'N, 41°17'W; 36 of the 46-man merchant complement, and 14 of the 26-man Armed Guard die in the resulting conflagration as the ship had been carrying a cargo of high-octane gasoline and kerosene (see 14 April).

TF 58 (Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher) begins daily strikes against Japanese shipping and installations in the Okinawa area. TF 58 planes sink army cargo ship Kachosan Maru 25 miles northwest of Okinawa, 30°23'N, 128°40'E. Cargo vessel No.19 Yamato Maru is also sunk in these strikes. In addition, TF 58 aircrew also claim sinking one midget submarine and damaging another, and damaging Coast Defense Ship No.29 and submarine chaser Ch 58 off Sotsukozaki.

Destroyer Haggard (DD-555) is damaged when she rams and sinks Japanese submarine RO 41 in the Philippine Sea, 22°57'N, 132°19'E.

Submarine Seahorse (SS-304) is damaged by aerial bomb off the Ryukyus, 26°00'N, 128°00'E.

Submarine Spadefish (SS-411) attacks Japanese Sasebo-to-Ishigaki convoy SAI-05 in the East China Sea about 120 miles north-northwest of Amami O Shima, sinking transport Doryu Maru, 29°38'N, 127°36'E.

Fleet tug Zuni (ATF-95) is damaged by grounding off Iwo Jima, 24°46'N, 141°19'E.

USAAF B-24 (5th Air Force) sinks Japanese cargo ship Hokka Go Maru (ex-Chinese Peihua) 110 miles northeast of Wenchow, China, 29°21'N, 122°66'E.

USAAF B-24 attacks Japanese Coast Defense Vessel No.40, 26°58'N, 120°29'E, but although the airmen claim damage to their quarry, she in fact escapes undamaged.

Japanese destroyer Kuri is damaged by mine at mouth of Yangtze River.

Just Like the "Spanish" Flu

The 1918-19 pandemic infected & killed the healthy & middle-aged, as well as the infants & elderly who are the ordinary victims of flu. That's what made it such a killer.

W/ that in mind, read the COVID-19 age distribution & weep.
Los Angeles County on Monday provided new information about the spread of coronavirus as well as the demographics of the patients.
NEW CASES: Officials confirmed Monday there were 128 new COVID-19 cases in the county and two more deaths from the disease caused by the coronavirus. That brings the total number of fatalities in the county to seven and the total case count to 536.
DEMOGRAPHICS: Of those who have tested positive, 80% are people ages 18 to 65, and 42% are in the 18-40 age group. “This virus can infect affect people from across the board,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Public Health Department, on Monday. Those numbers are fairly in line with the statewide breakdown of COVID-19 cases as of Sunday:
  • Ages 0-17: 25 cases
  • Ages 18-49: 837 cases
  • Ages 50-64: 442 cases
  • Ages 65 and older: 415
[L.A. Times]

Bunker Fever

My World & You Are Not Welcome In It!

Not that I don't spend all of my sleeping & 95+% of my waking time in here, but a couple more months & all bets are off.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Mine Craft

THU 22 MAR 1945
Patrols land on Inampulugan Island in Guimaras Strait, and destroy a Japanese mine control station and eliminate the small garrison there.

Japanese aircraft attack American shipping in Lingayen Gulf. During the ensuing antiaircraft barrage, friendly fire damages U.S. freighter Ransom A. Moore; there are, however, no casualties among the merchant crew or the 27-man Armed Guard.

Tank landing ship LST-727 is damaged by grounding off Iwo Jima, 24°46'N, 141°19'E.

Submarine Perch (SS-313) sinks Japanese Communication Vessel No. 463 en route to Balikpapan, 01°03'S, 117°20'E.

Japanese submarine chaser Ch 23 is damaged by mine at mouth of Yangtze River.

Covered lighters YF-724 and YF-725 founder and sink in heavy weather 380 miles off the Farallones.


German submarines attack Wales-bound convoy TBC 102 and Ghent, Belgium-bound convoy BTC 103. In the former, U-399 torpedoes and sinks U.S. freighter John R. Park 49°56'N, 05°26'W (all hands are rescued by U.S. freighter American Press); in the latter, what is most likely U-1195 torpedoes and sinks freighter James Eagan Lane, 50°13'N, 04°14'W. British freighter Monkstone and rescue tug Flaunt rescue the survivors. A skeleton crew (including four Armed Guard sailors) reboard the freighter and rig the ship for towing. Tugs Flaunt and Atlas beach the ship at Whitesand Bay, but James Eagan Lane is ultimately written off as a total loss.

U.S. freighter Charles D. McIver sinks after striking a mine as she leaves Antwerp, Belgium, in convoy ATM 100, 31°22'35"N, 03°05'50"W. British motor minesweeper BYMS 2279 rescues one of the four boatloads of survivors; the other three boatloads, rescued by a motor torpedo boat, find safety on board tank landing ship LST-430. Charles D. McIver is later written off as a total loss; there are no casualties among the merchant crew or the 27-man Armed Guard.

Holy Shit, Three Friedman Units?

Juliette Kayyem / The Atlantic:
The Crisis Could Last 18 Months.  Be Prepared.  —  The shutdowns happened remarkably quickly, but the process of resuming our lives will be far more muddled.  —  Get your battle rhythm, I keep telling myself, as I put on my oversize sweatpants for the third day in a row.
Not a guesstimate:
From a public-health standard, the pandemic will not end for another 18 months. The only complete resolution—a vaccine—could be at least that far away. The development of a successful vaccine is both difficult and not sufficient. It must also be manufactured, distributed, and administered to a nation’s citizens. Until that happens, as recent reports from the U.S. government and from scientists at London’s Imperial College point out, we will be vulnerable to subsequent waves of the new coronavirus even if the current wave happens to ebb.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

First Baka Attack!!

WED 21 MAR 1945
Japanese make first known operational use of piloted bombs [Baka] in unsuccessful air attack against TF 58.

Patrols land on Guimaras Island across Iloilo Strait from Iloilo, Panay, and find it clear of Japanese troops.

Two U.S. motor torpedo boats, supported by a British destroyer, attack enemy shipping in Sarawak harbor.

Japanese convoy HI-88I comes under attack off coast of French indochina. Submarine Baya (SS-318) sinks auxiliary netlayer Kainan Maru off Cam Ranh Bay, 12°00'N, 109°17'E, and although damaged by depth charges, 11°55'N, 109°18'E, remains on patrol. USAAF B-25s (Fifth Air Force) sink submarine chaser Ch 33, cable layer Tateishi, and cargo vessels No.1 Motoyama Maru and 2 Fushimi Maru and No.6 Takasago Maru and damage submarine chaser Ch 9 off Nha Trang, 11°50'N, 109°18'E. Surviving vessels, the damaged Ch 9 and merchant tanker No.30 Nanshin Maru take refuge at Nha Trang and are assigned to convoy HI-88-J.

Japanese gunboat Okitsu is damaged by U.S. aircraft near Cape Hung Hua.

Shut Down The Stock Market
& Get Out The Guillotines!!

Now can we get rid of the fucking U.S. Senate?

Drug Song

A Kenny Rogers roaster.

April My Ass

Wishful Thinking

Friday, March 20, 2020

You Stupid Jerk Americans Are Going To Kill Us Even If The Virus Doesn't

I'm a bit better off than this victim of American greed ('Though no car, so how could I buy more than my immediate needs?) but I knew it was coming. Still waiting for Gov. Nitwit (Fuck you too, Frisco.) or L.A.'s Mayor Son-of-the-Former D.A. to show up & toss some paper towels at me. When was the last time either of them had to do their own shopping, or had any experience resembling the day-to-day suffering of the people of their state & city? HUH? WHEN?
She was running out of food, but Patricia Brown had to wait.

She waited until the third Wednesday of the month, the day her Social Security check landed in the bank, before she got into her Nissan and drove to the local supermarket in search of a few basics: spaghetti, ground beef and distilled water for her sleep apnea machine.

But by the time she’d arrived, all of those items were gone. It had been over a week since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had urged Americans like her — older, with chronic health conditions — to “stock up” and stay home because of the deepening coronavirus crisis, which was upending every aspect of daily life and shutting down entire cities. The president even went on TV to urge people to avoid gatherings of more than 10.

But like millions of Americans on fixed incomes, who rely on social security, disability checks or food stamps to buy necessities each month, Brown doesn’t have much of a choice. It is nearly impossible, she says, to stock up on food, medication or other necessities beyond what she would normally buy.

“Of course I would’ve liked to buy groceries sooner,” said Brown, 69, a retired courtroom clerk in Burlington, N.C. “But I’m only getting checks once a month. Once that’s gone, I’m broke until the next one comes.”

Across the country, already-struggling Americans are being urged to buy more at one time and embrace social distancing to help slow the outbreak’s spread. At the same time, supermarkets are getting picked over, as panic-stricken consumers snap up rice, pasta, beans and canned vegetables — the kind of inexpensive staples that Brown has learned to stretch into a month’s worth of meals.

White House officials are considering various emergency measures to help Americans, including sending $1,000 checks directly to workers in coming weeks. But while that money may provide temporary relief — and enough cash to pay for groceries and other expenses short-term, many say it would not provide long-term security at a time when jobs are drying up and the economy teeters toward recession.


Brown drove to her local Aldi on Wednesday morning. She put on a pair of disposable gloves and piled her cart with two cases of dried ramen, two boxes of rice, frozen flounder, and canned chicken, green beans and corn. “I wanted fresh tuna but it was too expensive — $8 or something,” she said. Instead, she picked the 95-cent version in a can and splurged on a $2.29 tin of pink salmon. She spent $109 in all.

“A lot of stuff that isn’t popular — the organic noodles, the fancy bread — stays on the shelves,” Brown said. “But that doesn’t work for someone like me, on a budget.”

More than 1 in 5 U.S. families receives some form of government assistance every month, a number that could grow rapidly in coming weeks as retailers, restaurants and hotels lay off thousands of service workers who already live paycheck to paycheck. The average Social Security payment is about $1,500 a month, while disability checks average less than $1,300. For many people, that has to cover all other expenses — housing, utilities — on top of groceries.

Since the first U.S. case of covid-19 was reported in late January, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. workers have been laid off or had their hours reduced because of the coronavirus, according to a recent poll by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist. Economists say more than 1 million Americans are expected to lose their jobs by the end of March, creating an entirely new category of Americans who are suddenly struggling to make ends meet.
Too bad, you fucking losers. (Several other even more desperate tales of American suffering there. Jesus Christ.) My heart pumps piss for all of you wage-slaving sheep. Glad I had the foresight to get out of wage-slaving 10 yrs. ago. Fuck, what if I'd worked all my life & retired only to be struck down a yr. into the Golden Yrs.?

Adventures In Foraging

Had to stand in a line like this to get into this Ralphs (Image taken on the bog-monkeys' Saint's Day when I was not about to stand in line for empty shelves. Notice fat slob morbidly obese security guard looking in my lens. [How. Dare. He?]) Today he was wearing a mask. What a fucking chump.
Saw someone else w/ a mask so loose I could see his mouth from the side; almost called him on it. ("Hey, pal, just how fucking stupid are you?") Oh well. So consumed w/ rage righteous anger about the whole ugly mess that I forgot coffee, assuming there was any left. Silver lining: Saved US$2.49 on sushi.

NO Pictures "Private Property"

The clouds don't care about your fucking problems.

Friday Freak-Out: Ah B'leeve,
Ah B'leeve My Time Ain't Long

Compare & contrast Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (remembering when he sported follicles) & featured artiste, Elmore James. Separated at birth? (Probaby not, Elmore was born in 1918, during that pandemic.)
Mugshot o' Kareem stolen from the O.C. Register;
couldn't get the photog's name 'cause the cheap bastards have a paywall.

Heavy Ice

TUE 20 MAR 1945
Destroyer Parker (DD-604) shells German mortar positions, supply dumps, dugouts and buildings on the Franco-Italian border.

TF 92 (Captain John M. Worthington) (six destroyers) sorties from Attu to proceed to Paramushiro to bombard Japanese installations in the Suribachi Wan area. Heavy ice, however, will cause a cancellation of the operation.

Off Japan, carrier Enterprise (CV-6) is damaged by friendly fire, 30°01'N, 134°30'E, and destroyer Halsey Powell (DD-686) is crashed by kamikaze at 30°27'N, 134°28'E. TF 38 planes sink Japanese guardboat No.1 Kochi Maru east of Honshu.

Submarine Blenny (SS-324) attacks Japanese convoy HI-88I off coast of French Indochina, sinking merchant tankers No.21 Nanshin Maru and Hosen Maru, and fishing boat Yamakuni Maru about 40 miles south of Cam Ranh Bay, 11°18'N, 108°57'E (see 21 March).

Submarine Devilfish (SS-292) is damaged by suicide plane off Volcano Islands, 25°36'N, 137°30'E, and is forced to terminate her patrol.

Submarine Perch (SS-313) lands men on east coast of Borneo.

Japanese army ship No.1 Genzan Maru is sunk by aircraft off coast of French Indochina.

USAAF B-25s attack Japanese convoy, sinking store ships Heishin Maru and Fukusei Maru, and damaging torpedo boat Hatsukari off Tungshan, China, 23°42'N, 137°15'E.

Japanese Gyoraitei No.219 is damaged by aircraft, Toba, 30°06'N, 122°22'E.

German submarines attack convoy JW 65 off Kola Inlet; U-995 torpedoes U.S. freighter Horace Bushnell 24 miles east of Kilden Light, 69°23'N, 35°17'W. Heavy seas prevent British destroyer HMS Orwell from beaching the crippled ship, but the warship embarks the freighter's survivors (including the entire 27-man Armed Guard). Russian tugs later beach the merchantman, which is subsequently declared a total loss. U-968 torpedoes freighter Thomas Donaldson about five miles off Kilden Island 68°26'30"N, 33°44'20"W. British corvettes HMS Bamborough Castle, HMS Oxlip, and HMS Honeysuckle rescue survivors; attempt to tow the ship to safety fails and she sinks a half mile from Kilden Island.

Praying For Death

It would appear Twitter's robots can't determine if something's a death wish if you phrase it well. Fuck you to hell, Lou.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Solar Revolution Continues

More Medals Of Honor

MON 19 MAR 1945
TF 58 (Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher) pounds airfields on Kyushu, and shipping at Kure and Kobe, Honshu, destroying incomplete Japanese submarine I 205 in drydock, and damaging battleships Yamato, Hyuga and Haruna; carriers Ikoma, Katsuragi, Ryuho and Amagi; small carrier Hosho; escort carrier Kaiyo; heavy cruiser Tone, light cruiser Oyodo, submarines I 400 and RO 67, auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 229 at Kure; and escort destroyer Kaki at Osaka.

Japanese planes single out carriers for attack: off Shikoku, Wasp (CV-18) is bombed, 32°16'N, 134°05'E. while friendly fire hits Essex (CV-9), 32°10'N, 134°20'E. On board Franklin (CV-13) damaged off Kyushu, 32°01'N, 133°57'E, as the ship is rocked by a succession of explosions, Lieutenant Commander Joseph T. O'Callaghan, ChC, the carrier's Roman Catholic chaplain, ministers to wounded and dying men irregardless [sic] of faith or creed, organizes and leads fire-fighting parties, directs the jettisoning of ammunition and the flooding of a magazine, and mans a hose to cool hot, armed bombs rolling on the listing deck. O'Callaghan's courage and fortitude inspire his shipmates. Elsewhere on board, Lieutenant (j.g.) Donald A. Gary calms anxious shipmates trapped in a smoke-filled compartment and after repeated tries through dark, debris-filled passageways manages to find a way to escape. Later, he organizes and leads fire- fighting parties in the blazing inferno of the hangar deck, and then enters number three fireroom to raise steam in one boiler in the face of extreme hazards. O'Callaghan and Gary will be awarded Medals of Honor.

Submarine Balao (SS-285) attacks Japanese convoy MOTA- 43, sinking troopship Hakozaki Maru and damaging transport Tatsuharu Maru off the Yangtze estuary about 90 miles north-northwest of Shanghai, 33°10'N, 122°10'E, and sinking merchant fishing vessels No.1 Katsura Maru and 1 Eiho Maru and No.2 Eiho Maru, 34°40'N, 122°55'E.

Submarine Bluefish (SS-222) damages Japanese guardboat No.1 Shinya Maru, 31°35'N, 137°50'E.

PV-1s (VPB 128) bomb and damage Japanese midget submarine at Cebu; strike is repeated the next day.

Japanese river gunboat Suma is sunk by USAAF mine (laid by 14th Air Force planes on 4 March ), in the Yangtze, 51 miles above Kiangyin, China, 32°00'N, 120°00'E. Mine also claims merchant ship Kozan Maru, on the Yangtze below Chinkiang, 32°05'N, 119°56'E.

USAAF mine also sinks Japanese merchant tanker Sarawak Maru repaired after her brush with Besugo (SS-321) on 24 January 1945, 10 miles off Horsburgh Light, Singapore, 01°25'N, 104°36'E.

Japanese merchant vessel Mikawasan Maru is sunk by aircraft off Iyo.

Japanese escort destroyer Shinnan is damaged by aircraft, 33°47'N, 131°35'E.

Japanese landing ship T.105 is damaged by aircraft, near Ujina.

Japanese merchant vessel Rashu Maru is damaged by aircraft, off Uzaki, Hyogo prefecture.

Japanese merchant cargo ship Teiritsu Maru is damaged by aircraft, 34°16'N, 13°03'E.

U.S. freighter Hadley F. Brown, in convoy TAG 12, is damaged by mine at entrance to Schelde Estuary, 51°22'N, 02°53'E. There are no casualties among the 27-man Armed Guard, and the ship reaches Flushing under tow soon thereafter.

Uh-Oh: Brand New World!

I see black Christmas trees
Barbed wire, funeral homes
I see your face, forest fires
Rats in the streets gnawing at your bones
Yeah baby I found a new home
I drilled a hole in my head
I'm looking out, yeah
It's a brand new world

Not To Worry; I'll Have Starved To Death By Then Anyway

Disney Tee Vee News:

Coronavirus live updates: Over 13,000 diagnosed in US; California governor says 56% of state could be infected by May

Coronavirus has reached all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Hey, an armadillo. (Taxidermed.)

Pharaoh House Crash

This guy's been using my initials for a while, but we'll let him get away w/ it. Here, Mr. Boot uses links to statistics & facts when he tells us how much America just plain sucks.
Ever since John Winthrop boasted in 1630 that the Massachusetts Bay Colony would be “a city upon a hill,” Americans have believed that we have a mission to lead the world, whether by the power of example or by sheer power. That self-confidence has been bolstered by a century of achievements: We saved Western civilization from German and Soviet militarism, built the most prosperous society in history, and landed a man on the moon.

Our self-confidence, verging on hubris, should be shaken by the coronavirus. The United States has been a laggard, not a world leader, in confronting the pandemic. As The Post reported, a German company shipped more than 1.4 million diagnostic tests for the World Health Organization by the end of February. During that same time, U.S. efforts to produce our own test misfired. By Feb. 28, only 4,000 tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been used. U.S. testing is now ramping up, but as of Tuesday we had only tested roughly 56,000 people, or 1 in 5,800 Americans. South Korea has tested 274,000 people, or 1 in 187 South Koreans. “Losing two months is close to disastrous, and that’s what we did,” Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told Bloomberg.

We should not be especially surprised by our failure at pandemic-fighting, because if we are being honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that the United States has long been failing. We remain one of the richest countries in the world, but by international standards we look more like a Third World nation.

As Quartz pointed out in 2017, we lag in almost every measure of societal well-being among the wealthy nations (now 36) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As of 2016, we had the second-highest poverty rate, the highest level of income inequality and the highest level of obesity. We spent the most on education but produced less-than-average results. We were also below average on renewable energy, infrastructure investment and voter turnout. We are the only OECD nation that doesn’t mandate paid family leave. One area where we do lead is gun violence. Our homicide rate is nearly 50 percent above the OECD average.

Our health-care failures are particularly important now. We spend more on health care than any other country in the world, but we are the only OECD country without universal medical coverage (27.9 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2018). Child mortality in the United States is the highest in the OECD, and life expectancy is below average. We have far fewer hospital beds per capita than other advanced democracies (2.4 compared to 12.2 in South Korea), which makes us particularly vulnerable to a pandemic.

Why has America become so backward? That is a complex topic. I would direct readers to the work of analysts such as Jonathan Rauch, Francis Fukuyama, and Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann. But I would ascribe a lot of what’s wrong to growing partisan polarization that makes it almost impossible to address our most pressing needs. Republicans are getting more conservative and Democrats more liberal — although not to the same degree. The GOP is far more extreme than the Democratic Party.

President Trump has exacerbated the problem, but he didn’t start it. He is himself the product of decades of right-wing revolt against government and increasingly against reason itself. America is unusual in having a major party — and a major television network — devoted to climate denialism and protecting the “right” of everyone to own an assault rifle. The GOP and the right-wing media have long been a hotbed of nutty conspiracy theories, and their reluctance to face the reality of the new coronavirus set back efforts to save lives.

The Republicans’ decades-long demonization of government has consequences. As Bloomberg columnist Noah Smith noted, the federal civilian workforce has fallen as a percentage of total nonfarm employment from 18 percent in 1980 to 15 percent today, and their salaries top out at just under $200,000 — “only slightly more than an entry-level engineer makes at Google.” There are still plenty of high-quality civil servants, but their ranks are too thin, and they are too much at the mercy of political yahoos. “When a typical European parliamentary government changes hands from one party to another, the ministers and a handful of staffers turn over,” Fukuyama notes. “In the U.S., a change of administration (even within the same party) opens up some 5,000 ‘Schedule C’ job positions to political appointees.” That means Trump’s band of grifters can do far more damage than they could in, say, France or Germany.

The coronavirus failure should be a wake-up call that Trump has not made America great again. Quite the opposite: He has accelerated our decline. We must not only beat this pandemic; we must also address a host of other ills that have been festering for decades. In recent years, America has been “exceptional” mainly in the scale of our governmental failures compared with those of other industrialized democracies.