The Visible Invisible Man

With Gray away, Governor Davis' staff went into hyper-hype mode last week, filling Clockwork's e-mail box with photos and press releases of their guy at Ground Zeros in New York and Washington, D.C. Demonstrating an uncanny knack for "disappearing himself" amid, say, disclosures of his secret deals with Big Power, Da Gov and his spinmeisters were hell-bent on making Sir Bland-a-Lot relevant back East. Daily missives came from Oct. 29 to 31, informing us that he hung out with New York deity Rudy Giuliani, shook hands with rescue workers, broke bread with federal figureheads nearly as bland as he, dropped in on Wall Street bigwigs who failed to sneak out their back doors before he was buzzed in, and bored ink-stained press wretches with monotone speeches about safeguarding California against terrorism. But Davis didn't snatch national headlines until Nov. 1, when he named four bridges terrorists supposedly had in their scopes. Our hero? Not quite. The FBI said the vague threats were to bridges along the entire West Coast, not just the Davis Four. Governors in other Western states didn't even bother warning their constituents because the threats were so nebulous. And one federal official said the threat's source was a low-level nothingburger. Spooking the Golden State did get Davis on Larry King Live, though.

NO DIE ZONE While condemning the "crime" committed on Sept. 11, mourning the loss of up to 6,000 fellow Americans and supporting convictions of those responsible, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Oct. 27 called on the U.S. to stop dropping bombs on Afghanistan. "We are put in a difficult situation," Hussan Ayloush, executive director of CAIR's California chapter office in Anaheim, told Clockwork. "On one hand, we support any effort to capture terrorists and their supporters. On the other, we don't want this done by bombing Afghan cities and villages. To do so is doubly victimizing to the Afghani citizens." He agreed that wiping out terrorist camps seemed like the right thing to do at the campaign's beginning, "but as the weeks have gone by, we've started to realize that this is the onlystrategy. If we saw that this continued bombing was part of something to apprehend or lead us to the perpetrators of the crime of Sept. 11, that would be one thing. But they have been bombing day after day. . . . We're wondering what there is left to bomb." Of course, more might share CAIR's outrage if the memory of Sept. 11 weren't etched in their brains. But Ayloush says, "It's a very wrong argument to say, 'They killed our civilians; they intentionally targeted our cities, so it is not wrong if we unintentionally kill theirs.' The problem with that is the Afghanis had nothing to do with Sept. 11. They weren't involved. The Afghani people from Day One stated their outrage over what happened." Now, with a long, harsh winter looming, they're outraged at us. EMINENTLY QUOTABLE "Wipe No. 2 with No. 1." —Chuck Frank, spokesman for a maker of toilet paper that bears the image of public enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden CAMERA SHY Newport Beach bon vivant Dennis Rodman, who never met a camera he wouldn't mug for, on Oct. 29 sought to prevent Court TV from broadcasting the trial accusing him of inflicting emotional distress on a craps-table dealer. Rodman is being sued for 300 grand because he allegedly rubbed his head, stomach and groin with the dice before rolling. He says rolling cameras would create a circus atmosphere—and, yes, we choked on our chalupa over that one, too. But we also feel for the big lug. Everyone and their mother—last seen giving lap dances in his living room—sues or sics cops on Wormy. A few months back, he announced his NBA return—but no team wanted him. And when we checked to see if the home-cam's still running on his subscription website, up popped the home page for a porn-video distributor (whose biggest star may be dating Denny—until she sues). But he is packing local lounge lizards into Josh Slocum's, the Newport Beach restaurant he co-owns, and he has his sights set on another: Sloppy Joe's at Irvine Spectrum. Rodman tells the Orange County Business Journalhe wants to bring a "Vegas feel" and "drag queens and midgets" to the nightspot. Like that's not already being done at Mimi's Cafe. HAMMERING HANK Exiled Guatemalan peasant advocate Rigoberta Mench Tm (shown at right), last heard from in the Weekly giving local college students a lesson in government-sponsored terrorism (Nick Schou's "The 'T' Word," Oct. 26), neither tricked nor treated Henry Kissinger on Halloween. But the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner did present a written document to a Santiago, Chile, court on Oct. 31 that supports the Chilean lawsuit against the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner. The suit—which names Kissinger as a plaintiff along with various ex-dictators in South America, including Chile's near-dead Augusto Pinochet—accuses the former U.S. secretary of state of supporting secret police hit squads that whacked South American leftists in the 1970s and '80s. Another Weekly story (Anthony Pignataro's "Welcome to Kissinger Country," July 27) told how the local media (that would include us) failed even to ask Henry the K about his alleged complicity when he was at the Nixon Library this past summer (we were out back smoking). Kissinger will no doubt be back in Yorba Linda, which gives some righteous soul the opportunity to do as author Christopher Hitchens has suggested: place his sorry ass under citizen's arrest and demand his extradition to Chile to face la musica. Cuffing Kissinger on Dick's grave would be a nice added touch. SPEAKING OF DICKLAND Nixon Library officials crowed on Halloween about being designated the National Weather Service reporting site for daily temperatures and rainfall in Yorba Linda. Knowing how much the truth gets cloud cover at the library, we expect reports that say, "The mercury dipped into the high 50s, there was no measurable rain, and Archibald Cox deserved to be fired!" And whenever rain pounds Cambodia, Nixon apologist and library director John Taylor can go on national TV to say it isn't happening. CROWDED HOUSE The November/December issue of E magazine builds a strong case that immigration-fueled population growth threatens to bring full-blown environmental disaster to California. Booms in immigration (one in three who come to the U.S. settles in Cali) and children born to immigrants already here (our fastest-rising population) relate directly to the energy crisis, smoggier skies and unbridled urban sprawl, writes E editor Jim Motavalli. He tells Clockwork most reader response has been positive, with some praising the Connecticut-based pub for taking such a courageous stand. Ironically, his recent book Breaking Gridlockwas published by the Sierra Club, whose California chapter has ignored the immigration vs. environment question because it sharply divides its membership. "Everyone's afraid of being called a racist," Motavalli surmised. 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