Would you buy a used knife from this state?

Weapons of missed destruction: “Another very cool item from the state,” writes one satisfied customer. Another enthuses, “More cool knifes [sic], where do they all come from???”

Granted, it’s not as sexy as the United States selling arms to Iraq, but there is something curious about our beloved state using eBay to auction off knives, scissors and other prohibited items confiscated from potential terrorists at the Sacramento airport.

The Department of General Services’ Robb Deignan said Sacramento and Oakland are the first two airports to participate in the state’s online auction operation, which has taken in nearly $20,000 from the 109 auctions that have closed in just the last 30 days. Has the budget deficit driven us to the point at which reselling confiscated weaponry is our last and best hope?

Although no box cutters or handguns are currently on the block, Bites continues to covet such desirable offerings as 350 pocket knives, 660 pairs of scissors and one used “Fat Bob” tank. Unfortunately, this last item turned out to be the gas tank from a Harley.

So, why wait? You might not be able to afford the latest quaint little California town to hit eBay, but as Bites goes to press, those 30 pounds of shiny, sharp implements (item No. 3119622795) are still a bargain at $317.

Aren’t you hungry? George Bush and his Axis of Evil were eclipsed Friday by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA’s) no-less-disturbing evocation of World War II horrors.

Bites found Matt Prescott on the steps of the Capitol, surrounded by eight 60-square-foot panels juxtaposing images of slaughtered animals and Nazi death camps. Prescott, who points out that he’s Jewish and had relatives murdered by Nazis, conceived, created and is now touring with PETA’s “Holocaust on Your Plate” exhibit.

Prescott said reactions to the exhibit’s Sacramento stop have been mixed but generally quiet. Based in Virginia as the group’s youth outreach coordinator, he confirmed that PETA does set out to shock people in order to get its point across. At the same time, he denied any personal involvement in the Pamela Anderson “Turn a New Leaf” ad. Anderson unveiled the pro-vegan ad, which shows her wearing three strategically-placed leaves, in Vienna the same day “Holocaust” began stirring up controversy down in San Diego.

“Our goal is to open people’s minds,” said Prescott of PETA’s bizarrely discordant campaigns. “Or, at least, open their eyes.”

Folsom affordable-housing blues: Bites was amazed by Dave Cox’s ability to keep a straight face while defending his bill to classify prison cells as affordable housing. True, Cox’s modest proposal must be comforting to all those Folsom folks who long have insisted that housing thousands of inmates should exempt them from the state’s affordable-housing requirements. But that didn’t stop the city from losing a suit challenging its lack of affordable housing. Now Cox, who told Bites he talked it over with Folsom council members, looks like he wants to give constituents a free pass. Though Cox explained his rationale without a trace of irony, he didn’t exactly sound wedded to the language, either. “We may have to tinker around the edges with that," Cox said. “But in the final analysis, communities like Folsom ought to get credit for land that’s in their sphere of influence but that they have no ability to change the zoning on." Sounds reasonable to Bites, who will be first in line when the new prison cells hit the rental market.