When the Federal Aviation Administration released a list of agencies holding licenses to fly “spy drones,” the police chief in Gadsden, Ala., was surprised to find that his police department was on the list. It turns out that the Gadsden Police Department spent about $150,000 — in federal grant money — to buy two drones, but they’ve never been used. The chief didn’t even know his department owned them. Isn’t it great to know tax revenue is being spent wisely like this?

  • To listen to the FBI’s account of foiled terror plots, you’d think that terrorists have actively been plotting terror attacks in this country. But when you look past the headlines, you find something odd. All of the headline-grabbing “plots” have been staged by the FBI to draw potential targets into plots. In other words, the cases that have gotten all of the attention have been planned and executed by the FBI, with a random suspect or two drawn in to be charged for going along with it. Is this kind of entrapment strategy making us safer?
  • Want to take a trip on the Titanic, but you were born too late to sink with the doomed ship? You might be in luck if you’d like to give it a shot, but hopefully without the sinking this time. An Australian billionaire is planning to build a replica of the Titanic to be a cruise ship serving people who have been fascinated by the ill-fated original. The ship’s maiden voyage from England to the United States is scheduled for 2016.

  • Are Afghan soldiers too depressed and traumatized to fight the Taliban? That’s the controversial conclusion of a U.S. Air Force colonel who studied the question of why Afghan government troops haven’t been more effective. He concluded that Afghans are suffering from mass depression from years of war. He doesn’t explain why the Afghans of the Taliban aren’t affected by this strange depression. Could it be that the Taliban and its allies are fighting a foreign invader and the government troops don’t have any such motivation?
  • The organizers of the London Olympics seem to be expecting possible air attacks, based on the news that the British Ministry of Defence plans to mount surface-to-air missiles on the side of an apartment building in a drill for defending the Olympic complex. Maybe they expect an alien invasion to attack the Olympics.
  • Is nothing private anymore? A giant panda at Washington’s National Zoo is being artificially inseminated, and the zoo plans to “live tweet” the procedure, providing endless embarrassment for the poor giant pandas whose private lives are being put on display for the world. And what about the future child panda? Won’t he or she be embarrassed when the facts come out one day? Quick. Someone file a privacy lawsuit.