Bubonic plague climbs from the history textbooks and sprouts in China

Bubonic plague, it turns out, is not entombed in the past.

The same horror that killed tens of millions throughout Europe during the 14th century now has trapped 30,000 people in the Chinese city of Yumen.

Yumen has been sealed off from the rest of the country because a 38-year-old died from bubonic plague contracted from contact with a dead marmot.

Bubonic plague, not so affectionately nicknamed the Black Death, is a virulent bacterial infection.

Fortunately we now have antibiotics that can effectively treat the disease if administered in a timely fashion.

Which hopefully keeps The Grim Reaper from poaching the Yumen populace.

Under Sam Hinkie’s eternal reconstruction plan, the 76ers may be relevant by 2076

Compared to Sam Hinkie, a turtle is an Olympic sprinter.

Molasses, not blood, apparently flows through his veins.

If this guy built the Egyptian pyramids, they still would be under construction.

The Sixers GM specializes in acquiring long-term assets that can’t walk up steps, let alone play hoops.

George Allen’s motto was The Future Is Now.

Sam Hinkie’s motto is The Future.

That’s it.

There is no present in this guy’s world.

Only tomorrow.

He reportedly has never watched Today on NBC.

As a kid he must have spent way too much time in Disney World’s Tomorrowland.

He demands that Sixers fans be patient and wait and wait and wait to see winning basketball.

Some of those fans likely will be dead by the time the Sixers possibly reap the benefits of last night’s NBA draft.

The Sixers had a helluva draft. For 2017 that is.

Last year Hinkie took Nerlens Noel No. 1, a guy recovering from an ACL injury.

Apparently Noel is as slow as Hinkie. He took the entire season to recover.

Last night the Sixers took another incapacitated big man with the third pick in the draft, Joel Embiid — rumored to be the next Hakeen Olajuwon if you SuperGlue all his bones together.

The guy suffered a stress fracture in his back at the end of Kansas’ season and now he has a fracture of the navicular bone in his foot.

The latter injury for a big man sometimes can be almost as bad as a leg amputation.

It takes 6 months to recover from that type of injury and often the player never is the same. With Hinkie’s MO, look for Embiid to sit out the entire season.

Cross your fingers he doesn’t fracture his tailbone doing all that sitting.

With the 10th pick in the first round, the Sixers took Elfrid Payton, rumored to be more of a cab driver than a poor shooting point guard and then flipped him to Orlando for Croatian forward Dario Saric.

Apparently Saric has been eating up Europe with his excellent passing and ball-handling when he’s not fighting off the Russians.

But he recently signed a three-year deal with a Turkish team (did Putin put a guy to his head?) that many believe will keep him in Europe for at least two years.

So the Sixers likely will have absolutely no impact whatsoever this season from a draft in which they had two high picks.

And it could be 2017 until Noel, Embiid and Saric take the same court for the Sixers … if ever.

Until then, look for tumbleweeds to be blowing through the Wells Fargo Center Ghost Town.

Helpful memo to all you lawbreakers: Cops now need a warrant to search your cell phone!

I don’t know how often most of you get busted, but if it is something that could be a part of a routine day for you, listen up:

The Supreme Court endorsed digital privacy big time Wednesday, ruling that police officers must get a warrant before searching the contents of a cell phone seized during an arrest.

Just in case you can’t quickly reach your attorney the next time you get pinched.

And if you don’t own a cell phone, that’s a real crime.

Whether your line of work is legal or illegal, a cell phone needs to be in your toolbox.

I’m still immune to World Cup fever but the U.S. win did briefly raise my temperature

There are some among us who do not get a big kick out soccer.

Count me among them.

Unless you appreciate the subtle nuances of the game, and I certainly do not, soccer can be more boring than watching your Aunt Edna sort through her recipe box.

That’s because there hardly is any scoring. The few goals that are scored, it seems to me, come when the goalie falls asleep.

Married men score more often than soccer players.

Granted, I did watch a few moments of the U.S.-Ghana World Cup game last evening. And for a brief electric moment it was patriotic to see the Americans score a dramatic late goal for a 2-1 victory.

I was surprised to hear that Ghana of all godforsaken places had knocked us out of the last two Cups because Ghana doesn’t have enough to eat, let alone buy vitamins.

Perhaps America eventually will not be a global soccer doormat.

Our new coach is former German superstar Jurgen Klinsmann (his thunderous kicks helped knock down the Berlin Wall I’m told), who apparently is trying to reshape the U.S. game into a more up tempo, attacking style.

But with Ghana’s speed and ruthless attacking, Klinsmann had to go more conservative and clog the middle like authentic German Apfelstrudel blocks an artery, forcing Ghana to use a shoehorn to
play the extra pass through the midfield thicket or launch missile crosses from wings located in different zip codes.

OK, perhaps I am absorbing some of soccer’s tactical basics.

But please don’t tell anyone.

After all, I am Zeke — the peerless pro football prognosticator who devoutly believes that the NFL is America’s Game.

U.S. needs to totally ignore Iraq and let the Lannisters of Casterly Rock deal with it

Iraq has been a vile four-letter word in recent American history.

If they were handing out a Nobel Prize for stupidity, the U.S. would have won it for getting involved in Iraq.

We should have known that a country with a severe shortage of comedy clubs and strip clubs was no place for Americans.

We squandered precious blood and treasure fighting in a country that needs a savior like it needs more sand.

Not only are the Iraqis allergic to democracy, they are highly allergic to stability and civility.

Those folks fight each other much more often than they brush their teeth.

Of course, Iraq’s decay transcends mere tooth decay.

With Iraq once again imploding like the Miami Heat, White House officials say special forces may go there.

This bit of insanity comes barely three days after President Obama said the U.S. would not send troops into combat in Iraq.

Last I looked, special forces aren’t exactly file clerks.

Perhaps having some boots on the ground has been deemed necessary because targeting air strikes at the terrorists tearing Iraq apart like a cheap rayon suit has a slight problem.

We have no idea who we are supposed to hit.

American intelligence and defense officials believe that some of the people fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) are former U.S. allies who could be turned against the hard-core fanatics –- if they can be identified.

Slippery slopes are bad news unless they are ski slopes or aquatic park water slides.

We should avoid any engagement with Iraq as if it were poison ivy.

We’ve already scratched that itch.

Bachelor party crasher Bill Murray takes a flier on finding the right spouse

Bill Murray public sightings are as infrequent as Halley’s Comet.

But when the legendary comedic actor does wiggle free from his cocoon of privacy, he delivers more impact than golf-sized hail on a windshield.

This past weekend Murray crashed a bachelor party in Charleston, SC and rather than focus on the groom, the twice-divorced Murray gave some sage advice to the single guys:

“If you have someone that you think is the one … take that person and travel around the world … when you land in JFK and you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport.”

Murray didn’t mention joining the Mile High Club.

PA was more happening than LA on a newsy Tuesday

OK, what didn’t happen in Pennsylvania yesterday?

Outside of me not holding the Mega Millions lottery ticket with a $149 million jackpot sold in Pennsylvania, plenty!

We had lottery ping-pong balls bouncing as if they were on steroids, a primary election, and a judicial ruling that left some people feeling gay and others not so much.

In a lottery of human beings to be selected next month, the Sixers landed the third and 10th overall picks in the NBA draft.

But all Philly fans can talk about today is that the draft lottery was fixed because the Cavaliers landed the top pick for the third time in four years, thus screwing the Sixers — who had strategically tanked their season to embellish their odds in a lottery in which piss-poor teams earn a better mathematical chance as a reward for their ineptitude.

And don’t you wish your boss had a similar attitude?

Conspiracy theorists are a breed more paranoid than Joseph Stalin (anybody under 60 please Google him).

With plum franchises like the Lakers and the Celtics sentenced by suddenly plummeting fortunes to the lottery Gulag, why the hell would the NBA rig it for Cleveland, the mistake by the lake that now at least has Johnny Manziel in town?

The NBA, of course, wouldn’t and didn’t.

The NBA lottery, like the Mega Millions, is all in the bounce of the ping-pong balls.

And then there was the Pennsylvania primary election.

Granted, a big snore except for the gubernatorial race.

Actually, even that was a big snooze-fest since embattled incumbent Tom Corbett ran unopposed on the Republican side and Tom Wolf, as expected, smothered his Democratic opponents with all the money he spent on TV ads.

Corbett just could be the most vulnerable first-term governor since PA allowed governors to run for a second term.

The left would love to stick fondue forks in Corbett’s ears and stir.

His own party also sees him as toxic, with Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley collecting 26,000 more votes than Corbett (rather remarkable because lieutenant governors couldn’t be anymore anonymous if they were in the Witness Protection Program) and members of the Corbett administration jumping like rats from a sinking ship.

Speaking of forks, don’t put a fork in Corbett’s reelection chances even if his Not-So-Good Ship Lollipop is listing (to the right, of course).

What put Wolf over the top in the primary — money — won’t be the case in the general election. Corbett will begin the general election cycle with nearly six times the cash that Wolf has.

Money Talks. Bullshit Walks.

Except at times in politics, where bullshit also is a valuable currency. So we shall see come November (and whatever happened to summer?).

Finally, a federal judge struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, the latest judicial victory for gays and lesbians seeking to marry whomever they want.

Pennsylvania became the 19th state to allow same-sex marriage, joining eight others in the Northeast.

Corbett, who is opposed to same-sex marriage, said Wednesday he would not appeal the federal court ruling because his administration lawyers concluded that an appeal was extremely unlikely to succeed.

Left unsaid was that an appeal by Corbett would further alienate him from liberals who treat gays and lesbians like rock stars.

I would imagine that Corbett would draw the line on a judicial ruling allowing people of whatever sexual preference to marry their pet goldfish.