Catching up on a few news stories that have been on my desktop recently…

Four weeks ago, I interviewed Peter Lance about his book, “Deal With The Devil,” about how the FBI allowed mafia capo Gregory Scarpa Jr. to continue committing crimes (including at least four dozen murders) over 30 years as long as he continued to provide information to the government. Yesterday, USA Today published a story saying the FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year — that’s an average of 15 crimes a day. Of course, Whitey Bulger was an FBI informant, too, but that didn’t stop him from running his own crime ring.

In April, I told you about James McCormick being convicted for selling bogus bomb detectors in Iraq and other countries (a scam first uncovered by James Randi). Last week, another con artist named Gary Bolton was convicted of selling similar phony detecting devices.

Last week, Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in prison — which is not even close to the longest prison sentence ever. There are guys who got 10,000 or 20,000 years in the slammer, and they’re not at the top of the list, either.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner says the city should pay for his defense against sexual harassment charges by eight women because he never received a training course on sexual harassment from the city. Because without that course, how would a 70-year-old man know he’s not supposed to slobber over women and touch them inappropriately?