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Metaphor alert: Drone freed from Lady Justice's grasp

 

Here's a new data point to drop into the drone debate: A 9-inch remote-control drone helicopter that spent the last week tangled in the arms of a Lady Justice statue atop a courthouse in Marion, Ohio -- "rest[ing] on the hilt of her sword," as the AP poetically put it -- was finally liberated over the weekend by a man with an extension pole (county officials had previously said they wouldn't spend public resources to retrieve it). The camera-equipped drone had been filming a tourism video for the city when a gust of wind swept it into the statue's arms. On Tuesday, the Marion Star posted footage, above, of the drone's fateful last flight.

It's a story that seems full of symbolism. But how should we interpret it? Here are some conclusions you could draw:

a)  The murky legality surrounding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles will ultimately give way to a standardized system of rules and regulations (the swift gust of wind is Sen. Rand Paul)

b)  Drones will eventually be freed from legal constraints and set aloft to do as they please (the man with the long pole is Attorney General Eric Holder)

c)  Drone use by private citizens is a threat to law and order (Lady Justice represents civil liberty/privacy groups, the man filming the tourism video is Rosa Brooks)

Of course, then there's Marion Sheriff Tim Bailey, who had this to say about the drone owner, Terry Cline:

"Look," the sheriff said. "Let's put this in perspective. He ran a helicopter into county property. It's no different than if someone hit the courthouse with their car. We took a report. We're done."

Think about it.

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Dennis Rodman calls on Kim Jong Un to do him 'a solid' and release American detainee

 

Over the weekend, North Korea insisted that it would not use Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for committing "hostile acts" against the government, as a bargaining chip, despite its track record of only releasing American prisoners after visits by luminaries such as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Pyongyang "has no plan to invite anyone of the U.S. as regards the issue," a spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry declared.

But how about if Dennis Rodman tweets at Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and asks his new pal to do him a solid? On Tuesday, the former NBA star, fresh off his wild trip to North Korea, got into the bargaining game on Twitter:

 

 

At least one person anticipated this. In an op-ed for the Seattle Times on Friday, Thanh Tan urged Rodman to call for Bae's release on Twitter. If that's what it takes to free the American prisoner, we've truly entered a whole new era of diplomacy.

Update: It turns out Rodman's plea was in response to the Seattle Times op-ed. He followed up on Twitter to note he "decided to help" after reading the article. It's unclear if Kim Jong Un is also a Seattle Times reader.

 

 

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