Burton taunts Bush, clones invade library

California über alles: While Gray Davis was helping California business leaders hop on Tom Ridge’s Homeland Security gravy train last week, John Burton was hatching a scheme of his own. The Senate president pro tem offered the following modest proposal to George W. Bush: “I read that you are working on giving up to $30 billion in cash and loans to Turkey in order to use that country as a staging area for a war against Iraq,” wrote Burton, who opposes the pending war on Iraq. “Given the state of the economy and the state’s budget deficit, I am sure California would be willing to consider serving as a staging area, too, if we can get the same terms as Turkey: roughly $5 billion cash and the rest in loans and loan guarantees.”Bites caught up with Burton on Monday to find out whether California’s prospects have improved now that Turkey is showing reluctance to be the staging ground for our war on Saddam. So, has George called back to make California part of the mysterious Plan B? “No, not yet,” Burton told Bites. “He’s busy.”

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying: The Sacramento center with the infamous three-finger salute (see “Vlade’s three-finger salute,” SN&R News, January 30) is sending out mixed messages again. This time around, Vlade Divac said he’d pay $5 to each fan who booed Jon Barry at a recent game, an offer dutifully printed in The Sacramento Bee, recounted by ESPN and taken up by zealous fans who jeered the former King every time he touched the ball.

Barry, who still thinks of Sacramento as his hometown, was “disappointed.” Injured and otherwise pissed off Kings forward-center Scot Pollard called the home crowd “morons,” and Divac wondered why fans couldn’t figure out it was a “J-O-K-E.”

Will Divac ever figure out that his influence is nearly as big as his paycheck? Bites can already envision the day when he rallies frenzied fans to put an end to war, racial profiling and the gratuitous use of cowbells. In the meantime, we’re sure Divac’s $5 checks are all in the mail.

Life sucks; then you clone: Intrigued by cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling’s prediction that “human clone babies will grow into the bitterest and surliest adolescents ever,” Bites couldn’t resist the opportunity last week to catch a lecture by Raelian priest Felice and his equally svelte colleague Florence (like Madonna, Raelians favor single names). We found them at the Sacramento library, staring at a sea of empty chairs.

“To finally get so much media attention—it’s a moment I’ve been waiting for for so many years,” enthused French-Canadian émigré Felice while continuing to wait for “everyone” to arrive. Felice’s 14 years in the church have culminated in its recent rise from obscurity to overnight media sensation in the wake of kindred organization Clonaid’s purported breakthrough. So, what ever happened to Baby Eve? Parents and daughter have gone into hiding, Felice told Bites. He said five new clones have already arrived, and there are more to come.

The Sacramento library turnout, sadly, proved less fertile. Only four non-Raelians arrived in time for an opening video address with movement founder Rael. “Your fathers, mothers and teachers, they are all lost—they are dinosaurs,” he scoffed, predicting that these 20th-century relics would die off soon because of their disinterest in cloning, electronic drugs and virtual sex.

Mixing the tropes of science fiction and self-actualization, Felice described how the extraterrestrials who created the human race would return in 2035. In the meantime, he said, Raelians plan to build them an embassy, ideally in Jerusalem.

And then there’s that CIA plot to assassinate Rael. Already, agents are disguising themselves as celestial messengers with “fluorescent eye lenses, white wigs [and] luminous stones that look like they are part of their skin” in order to recruit schizophrenic loners.

“Why?” Felice lamented. “Why do we always have to kill our prophets?”