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Plague 2016

219-2016-06-50-18-evolved-timelineHas anyone out there ever played Plague? That’s the game where you try to make the human species go extinct using biology. It’s not as easy as you think. It took me a couple tries to get the hang of it.

First, you have to design a pathogen that’s easy to spread. I like to make it affect the lungs. Then gradually you add more lethality to it and make sure it can be introduced from place to place via multiple transportation methods. Start the bugger off in a crowded developing nation, like Indonesia or China. That way it can infect a lot of people at the outset and mutate. It can take out millions in the manner of the Spanish Flu before we develop resistance and the bug dies out before people do.

I tried making the pathogen hot right away but if you make it too much like Ebola, it quickly peters out when there are no hosts in the immediate vicinity to hitch a ride on because they’re all bleeding out. No, it’s got to be more subtle than that. You need to keep the host feeling ok and moving from place to place before he sheds his pathogen.

The trick to winning plague, from my limited experience, is making sure that the people collaborating on a cure never meet while turning up the volume on civil unrest. Just crash the plane with the researchers on it. Or make sure that telecommunications are disrupted and do this everywhere on the globe. Wherever there is an attempt for the humans to rally and fight back, squash it immediately and without mercy. Then watch as civilization dies and the species is reduced to a few wandering bands of hapless cannibals.

The first time I made the species extinct, it was awesome because, you know, it’s just a game. The second time, I stopped sabotaging the scientists a little sooner and started to root for the home team to make a comeback late in the 4th quarter. But it was too late. Once the population has reached some kind of extinction event horizon, there’s nothing that can be done to bring it back. Then I watched in horror as those little struggling bands dwindled to unsustainable numbers then winked out. It made me feel responsible and guilty so I had to stop playing.

2016 has that feeling. I feel like we’re in the hands of some diabolically bratty kid who is determined to see how much damage he can wreck on us. And for whatever reason, all our attempts to resist him so far have been feckless as one by one the safety valves and emergency systems are disabled.

It’s not like we don’t see the danger coming. You’d have to be a hard ass with malice in your heart and a ruthless ambition for power to think anything good is going to happen when Trump takes office. And even though the number of people who didn’t vote for Trump exceeds the number that did by something like 12 Million people, it’s going to take a while before the majority of Trump’s mislead supporters get a clue. Meanwhile, the Democrats are fighting with each other when finding common ground is not only easy but critical, and the Republicans are about to take a chainsaw to Social Security and Medicare.

The world’s geography hasn’t changed. The chokepoints that existed during WWII still exist today: the eastern Mediterranean, the south China Sea, the Nato countries on the eastern front. Funny how they all seem relevent again all of the sudden.

And yet, we’re powerless to stop it. Not only powerless but powerless for the cheapest of reasons. It might look unseemly.

Most of us do not want this man. He’s capable of massive destruction in every conceivable way. Yet we keep getting pushed closer and closer to getting him, like we are strapped to a conveyor belt that steadily inches towards the laser aimed between our legs.

Cue the binary solo:

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29 Responses

  1. No, we’d be better off if the mastermind (or at least master opportunist) were a silly brat.

    It’s a smart, calculating, amoral, fascist SOB. 👿

    • Of course, the Horseshoe Left joins the wingnuts in declaring him a fine fellow and our friend, or at least someone we can strike a deal with.

    • I’m glad you’re here with me, IBW, at the end of all things. Wait, that was what Frodo said just after Gollum bit off his finger, the ring was destroyed and Mt Doom erupted. So,it might still turn out all right.
      I’m still going for the bratty bad seed kid. He reminds me of Baby Doc Duvalier.
      Sigh
      I need flowers. Yeah, that’s the ticket. They’ll be cheerful. Any color as long as they’re white. Goes with my color scheme.
      Nevermind, I’ll just get them myself. Heading off to Trader Joe’s in a bit…

      • I’m not sure whether Putin is the mastermind, or simply a master opportunist who figured out how to control Cheeto Mussolini (Cheetolini?)–who, in turn, had figured out the control words for the Wingnut Orc-Horde, taking them away from the GOP Establishment–but either way, Putin is Public Enemy #1 in my book; Cheetolini is merely Putin’s puppet.

        • Someone on twitter and I think it was Armando said to ponder the point of what if Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz was the GOP nominee. Do you think Putin would have interfered? I’m thinking no. Therefore Putin saw someone he could control and jumped in to help Trump. Though Trump and Putin have had a relationship going on years. I really don’t think Putin would have bothered to help Jeb Bush. Jeb vs. Hillary he would not have cared.

  2. Bless you and yours this New Year, RD.

  3. John McCain, and his sidekick Lindsay Graham, must be picking their jaws up off the floor every morning at how so many of their fellow conservatives love themselves some Putin nowadays.

    • I’ve said this before, but the poor silly Russian Commies never figured it out.

      Apparently, all they ever needed to do was to replace worker equality with white supremacy, and strident atheism with equally strident authoritarian pseudo-Christianity, and then a critical mass of Real White Amurkans–who claim to love the USA soooo much more than the rest of us do–would joyfully acquiesce to our country’s becoming a Russian satellite state. 😡

      • Meanwhile, the Horseshoe Left chides real liberals for getting upset about this, because of course [sarcasm] the Real Menace is ALWAYS the center and the center-left, especially those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad Clintons. [/sarcasm]

        • The Horseshoe Left figures, “Nach Drumpf, uns!”

          How well did that strategy work for its original users? 👿

  4. Is there any real data on how many Trump voters would vote for him again right now? The online blogging/tweeting/commenting army the Trump campaign paid from early this year onward (and their Russian counterpart) appears to have diminished a lot. It did its job of giving the impression that made it feel like everyone wanted Trump, and disrupted any real discourse about issues. Still, fewer than 20% voted for him, and even then, only around 1/3 of those 20% agreed with him on issues or felt he’d be a decent POTUS (face palm).

    It’s harrowing to watch most of the Senate in their outrage so far not doing much. And the OA (hahahahaha). Unless there are things going on behind the scenes…

    Love the image of millions turning their back on the inaugural parade. I’d heard, earlier, it would be in NYC. Is it back in DC now?

    • What I know down here in Texas the majority of Repos did not want Trump at all.
      The whores jump in the Repo wagon behind him with a deal to get a slice of the pie and a foot in the White House; issues aside.
      They gave him Texas and now at least 3 are up for big positions: Secretary of State and Department of Energy; -it’s so obvious that big oil money talks. The third one is for Secretary of Agriculture and may be a woman.

    • I don’t know the actual location but I’d imagine that an inaugural parade in Manhattan would be even frostier.

  5. I have yet to bestow the annual “Lick My Love Pump Award” for the year’s raunchiest song you can stop singing anyway. Does anyone have any nominations?

  6. My comment is awaiting moderation???

    • Spammy gets hungry. I don’t know what triggers his appetite all of the time. It’s nothing personal. I released it.

  7. A lot of the people who voted for him not despite his character but because of it. That’s says a lot about America. Our fellow citizens in the last few decades were conditioned to accept and even enjoy the macabre.
    The extreme left and extreme right became almost twins. They are indistinguishable in their tactics. The left rooting for trump so a destruction of everything will happen, and then a grand revolution will talkes place. Compare that to the rapture/ doomsday scenario from the other side. That’s why I think the democratic party should grow a pair and reject all those who contributed to this catastrophe. Hillary acted as if she was in a Jane Austin novel despite the vitriol from the left and the right. Like it or not people saw that as a weakness. coming from a woman aspiring to take a traditionally man’s job, even more problematic. So let’s the party stick to it’s guns.

    • “The extreme left and extreme right became almost twins.”

      That’s what the Horseshoe Theory (linked to in my “Horseshoe Left” link in my 2nd post) says, too.

    • Hillary acted as if she was in a Jane Austin novel despite the vitriol from the left and the right. Like it or not people saw that as a weakness. coming from a woman aspiring to take a traditionally man’s job, even more problematic. So let’s the party stick to it’s guns.

      In the end, even Putin does not deserve the ultimate blame. That blame belongs to the ethical and/or intellectual inadequacies of too many of our fellow citizens. Thanks to gerrymandering and the Electoral College, we apparently need a supermajority of enlightened citizens to make our system work, and we did not achieve that supermajority this time.

      • I agree with you. The core of the election results are here within our country, our system and our fellow citizens, wrapping around those factors is simply good old fashion corruption.

    • I think Hillary’s biggest mistake was not doing an oppo dump on Bernie. She should have taken him out early. His voters were never going to vote for her anyway.

  8. Ronda Rousey won the popular vote.

  9. As far as uniting the party it would help if Bernie, Obama and Biden all three would STFU up. None of them are doing anything but causing more problems. Maybe once Obama is gone things will start to resolve themselves.

  10. Happy New Year from After School Tea Time (the band in K-On!).

    Click here. 2560 x 1600 pic.

  11. Happy New Year, everyone. May something unexpected happen that changes the story in a positive direction…

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