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We saw in the papers recently that the U.S. Marine Corps and the Navy are planning a simulated invasion of San Francisco this spring. The City is subject to many simulated invasions every day, so residents remain largely unconcerned. This invasion will involve an amphibious landing at the Presidio of San Francisco by several hundred Marines who will proceed through the unoccupied housing of the former Army base and, God willing, conquer the old Public Health Hospital.

Here's the good news, as reported in The Chronicle:

"None of the Marines in the invasion exercise will fire live ammunition. Instead they will shoot blanks. In addition, they have given assurances that none of the Marines will step on the flowers or damage any natural feature at the Presidio, which is a national park."

We're very happy to hear that the Marines won't be firing real bullets at each other, but in terms of military policy it's even more exciting to learn that our forces will be showing more regard for the local flora. Just picture our fightin' men (and gals too!) tiptoeing through the tulips loaded with the latest in weaponry, ready to annihilate a village without sacrificing a single shrub! Selective targeting has truly come a long way.

This is the first simulated invasion of an urban area during peacetime according to Spokes-Lieutenant Colonel Jenny Holberg. This type of training has become necessary, says Holberg, because by the year 2020 the American military expects population centers to be concentrated in coastal urban areas.

"That is where the enemy is expected to hit us," she said. She did not specify just who this enemy might be. In the absence of an enemy, at least the Marines are now prepared to mount an assault on the Bay Area.

In the words of Walt Kelly's great philosopher Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."


Cheese in the news: Recent studies indicate that Americans are now eating twice as much cheese as they did in 1972. We each consume 28 pounds of cheese a year, not including cottage cheese. Per capita mozarella consumption has increased five-fold since 1972, due to the popularity of pizza. Why cottage cheese was not included in these statistics is not explained, although its inclusion might alarm those who prefer cottage cheese pizzas and consequently eat ten times as much cheese as they used to. For each person who doesn't eat any cheese, there is another person eating 54 pounds a year. If you've never had a cottage cheese pizza, it's a safe bet that somewhere in America there's someone who's eating 194 pounds of cheese right now.


Y2K Update: Many seemingly intelligent people (otherwise known as idiots) are concerned about the imminent Y2K situation. For the most part, this is just an overblown case of chronophobia, the common fear of time. This is certainly better than suffering from alektorophobia (fear of chickens) or any number of other fears, but time cannot (at this time) be stopped, nor should it stop you. Here, so that you too may become part of the smug cogniscenti that will float effortlessly into the next millenium, is a concise explanation of what will happen come the year 2000.

A certain subset of our population (the aforementioned idiots), sensing that a number of computer applications may fail to recognize the year 2000, will arm themselves heavily and head for the hills with large supplies of food, water, ammunition, and precious metals. Because of the difficulty they experience trying to make airline reservations for flights which have already departed, they may try to shoot you if you approach them. In many cases, complications with their magazine subscriptions will make them deeply religious, which again tends to inspire violent xenophobia. Your best bet is to stay in well-populated areas among friendly people who are smart enough to know better or too dumb to care.

Of potentially greater concern is the increased solar activity scheduled for the turn of the century. The year 2000 is expected to be a high point in the regular cycle of sunspot and solar flare activity. The high-speed particles emitted by solar flares cause auroras, known in this hemisphere as the Northern Lights. These particles can also disrupt radio communication, and the radiation from the flares can give passengers in airplanes a dose of radiation equivalent to a medical X-ray. Increased electromagnetic fields (emf), geopathic stresses, and magnetism in general tend to result in increased religious fervor and other sociopathic behavior.

The year 2000 is also likely to bring increasingly large meteor showers, earthquakes and tsunamis, hurricanes, and dry, itchy scalp conditions. But we don't wish to alarm you with any of that.

 

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