Oakland Cop Arrested in San Francisco for Showing Off Firearm

if you're going to san francisco24-year-old Kevin Kelly is
probably not the first cop to show off his firearm in an attempt to
impress someone.  But the female IHOP server he was trying to
impress at 2 in the morning was not, and the city he was in was
decidedly anti-gun. She called police, who arrested Kelly for
brandishing a firearm.
Via the San Francisco Chronicle:

Kelly’s attorney, Harry Stern, said Friday, “Based on
the facts that I know, it sounds like a youthful indiscretion. I
don’t see how, under any stretch of the imagination, the crime of
brandishing has been committed, which requires the weapon to be
displayed in an angry, threatening manner.”

In a statement released to The Chronicle, Oakland police said the
department “takes all allegations of misconduct involving our
employees seriously. Ensuring internal investigations are swift,
fair and objective is our priority. We are conducting a thorough
investigation into this incident, focused on discovering all
pertinent facts and circumstances.”

Kelly is on paid administrative leave, said Officer Johnna
Watson, an Oakland police spokeswoman, pending investigations by
San Francisco police and Oakland police
internal affairs.

Kelly graduated from the police academy, the first in Oakland in
four years, in March. His father is a retired San Francisco police
inspector. 

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Is Googlecoin Coming?

Google has been manifesting itself in more and more niches of the technology sector. Cryptocurrencies however, remained untouched by the internet giant for now. What if…

Googlecoin

Since the fall of 2012 our advice has been to sell Apple stock. The reasoning behind it was fairly simple. Without the leadership of top exec Steve Jobs, the large corporation would become very hard to manage and steer into the right direction. About a year and a half later, this is exactly the technology company’s problem. Apple does not surprise, innovate, or lead the pack anymore. Apple is lagging and that is deadly in a sector that is extremely competitive like technology. We have been waiting on iTV for years now, but it does not look like it is going to happen. The iWatch has been on our watch list for months, while the competition has been launching one smartwatch after the other. Too late, Apple. The company that once was a technological super power, now is a has-been.

On the other hand, regular readers of Sprout Money know that we love Google. The basic idea behind it is that Apple operates inside a closed environment, while Google has an open ecosystem. Google can power the entire internet to generate revenue, while Apple can only generate revenue from its own users. Meanwhile, Apple is hitting the limits of its business model, while Google’s growth is practically unlimited, only limited by the ever-expanding reach of the internet. The internet is taking a brand new direction too. We are evolving over the next few years into the concept of the ‘Internet of Things’, connecting the worldwide web to everyday objects and services. An example of that would be a ‘smart fridge’, which can deduce from your agenda what’s on tomorrow’s menu, alert you of missing ingredients if there are any, and even order online.

Google is biting down hard to not miss this trend, and potentially even shape it. Not only did the company come out with Google Glass last year, which are high-tech glasses projecting an additional dimension with all the knowledge of Google on the inside of the glasses, but the company also purchased Nest Labs recently, the producer of the smart thermostat. With that, Google can probably collect more data on its users in order to position even more and better ads, which is still the core business of the internet company. But Google also made some purchases in other niches of the technology sector. Recently, the company acquired robotics specialist, Boston Dynamics, and artificial intelligence authority, DeepMind. However, Google’s acquisition fever did not just start a few months ago. Since the beginning of 2013, Google has been extremely active on the acquisition trail as evidenced by the list below (source: Wikipedia).

Google acquisitions

The acquisitions are in different sectors of the technology space, but Google also spread out geographically with its purchases (not only in the US). This will prove to become a true value differentiator for shareholders, because only through innovation can a company remain competitive or, even more, become a market leader. One area in which we have not heard from Google yet is cryptocurrencies. You know, bitcoin et al. It is an interesting evolution in the online payment market.

It is highly likely that Google is in wait-and-see mode for now with regards to cryptocurrencies, but we are sure that this segment has their full attention. We recently read that Google would possibly accept bitcoins in its payment ecosystem Google Wallet, but we suspect that it might be a bit too early for that. Furthermore, Google might be a candidate for launching its own cryptocurrency in our opinion. The Googlecoin or Gcoin. Google has the largest P2P network in the world, which is what powers a cryptocurrency. Sounds crazy? We don’t think so. Don’t forget that Google owns banking licenses for the most important countries in the world. One day, Google could start putting those licenses to work, and what better way to serve the financial side than with its own cryptocurrency. It would be relatively cheap to do so, and the insight and data arising from its usage would be a huge advantage to the company.

While the competition is struggling, Google is innovating non-stop. Organically and through acquisitions, the company is creating additional shareholder value in the technology sector with seemingly relative ease. Not by sitting on its cash, which seems to be Apple’s approach. As a consequence, GOOG remains a favourite technology stock of Sprout Money. It’s not only an advertising search gigant, but a robotics, ‘internet of things’, AI, … , and maybe also a future cryptocurrency play.

More future views? Download our free report – “The Future is Here 

 

Sprout Money offers a fresh look at investing. We analyze long lasting cycles, coupled with a collection of strategic investments and concrete tips for different types of assets. The methods and strategies from Sprout Money are transformed into the Gold & Silver Report and the Technology Report.

Follow us on Twitter @SproutMoney


    



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Iran Sends Warships Toward US In "Message" To America

The strategy of appeasement, such as the one recently enacted by the US toward Iran, has its pros and cons: the pros are that the thawing in traditionally icy relations may lead to better trade relations and the spread of the debt-funded Pax Americana to one more country. There are also cons, like for example the “appeased” country no longer terrified of the “appeasor”, whose resolve it will then commence testing until the credibility of its presumed superpower is tested by increasingly more. This is precisely what America’s enemy number 1 until recently, Iran, has just done.

Iranian warships dispatched to the Atlantic Ocean will travel close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time, a senior Iranian naval commander said Saturday. The fleet, consisting of a destroyer and a helicopter-carrying supply ship, began its voyage last month from the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. The ships, carrying some 30 navy academy cadets for training along with their regular crews, are on a three-month mission.

The commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, said the vessels have already entered the Atlantic Ocean via waters near South Africa, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Reuters reports, citing Admiral Haddad, that “Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message.”

The message is simple: you give an inch, and they take a mile. For now Iran is just testing how much it can get away with as the US seeks to appease the nation as part of its latest diplomatic directive. And as long as the US does not respond vigorously, Iran will continue testing.Then again considering that the US 5th naval fleet is positioned in Iran’s backyard just across the Persian Gulf, can anyone blame them?

More from Reuters:

Haddad, described as commander of the Iranian navy’s northern fleet, said the vessels had started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via “waters near South Africa”, Fars reported.

 

Fars said the plan was part of “Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

 

In Washington, a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, cast doubt on any claims that the Iranian ships were approaching U.S. maritime borders. But the official added that “ships are free to operate in international waters.”

 

The United States and its allies regularly stage naval exercises in the Gulf, saying they want to ensure freedom of navigation in the waterway through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports passes.

 

U.S. military facilities in the region include a base for its Fifth Fleet in the Gulf Arab kingdom of Bahrain. Iran sees the Gulf as its own backyard and believes it has a legitimate interest in expanding its influence there.

 

 

Fars said the Iranian navy had been developing its presence in international waters since 2010, regularly launching vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates operating in the area.

And while we await to see what the US response to this unprovoked Iranian aggression (as it will be penned by the media) will be, here is the most recent breakdown of US Naval forces around the world protecting all of America’s national interests.


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1bJNGKU Tyler Durden

Iran Sends Warships Toward US In “Message” To America

The strategy of appeasement, such as the one recently enacted by the US toward Iran, has its pros and cons: the pros are that the thawing in traditionally icy relations may lead to better trade relations and the spread of the debt-funded Pax Americana to one more country. There are also cons, like for example the “appeased” country no longer terrified of the “appeasor”, whose resolve it will then commence testing until the credibility of its presumed superpower is tested by increasingly more. This is precisely what America’s enemy number 1 until recently, Iran, has just done.

Iranian warships dispatched to the Atlantic Ocean will travel close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time, a senior Iranian naval commander said Saturday. The fleet, consisting of a destroyer and a helicopter-carrying supply ship, began its voyage last month from the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. The ships, carrying some 30 navy academy cadets for training along with their regular crews, are on a three-month mission.

The commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, said the vessels have already entered the Atlantic Ocean via waters near South Africa, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Reuters reports, citing Admiral Haddad, that “Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message.”

The message is simple: you give an inch, and they take a mile. For now Iran is just testing how much it can get away with as the US seeks to appease the nation as part of its latest diplomatic directive. And as long as the US does not respond vigorously, Iran will continue testing.Then again considering that the US 5th naval fleet is positioned in Iran’s backyard just across the Persian Gulf, can anyone blame them?

More from Reuters:

Haddad, described as commander of the Iranian navy’s northern fleet, said the vessels had started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via “waters near South Africa”, Fars reported.

 

Fars said the plan was part of “Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

 

In Washington, a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, cast doubt on any claims that the Iranian ships were approaching U.S. maritime borders. But the official added that “ships are free to operate in international waters.”

 

The United States and its allies regularly stage naval exercises in the Gulf, saying they want to ensure freedom of navigation in the waterway through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports passes.

 

U.S. military facilities in the region include a base for its Fifth Fleet in the Gulf Arab kingdom of Bahrain. Iran sees the Gulf as its own backyard and believes it has a legitimate interest in expanding its influence there.

 

 

Fars said the Iranian navy had been developing its presence in international waters since 2010, regularly launching vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates operating in the area.

And while we await to see what the US response to this unprovoked Iranian aggression (as it will be penned by the media) will be, here is the most recent breakdown of US Naval forces around the world protecting all of America’s national interests.


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1bJNGKU Tyler Durden

F*#K THe EU!


. .

 

“Fuck the EU”

“I would say that since the video was first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government, I think it says something about Russia’s role,” Jay Carney told reporters. He would not comment on the substance of the conversation, in which the Nuland and Pyatt voices also discuss their opinion of various Ukrainian opposition figures.

Wrong Carney:

What is says is something about the cadre of idiots and cyber clowns who are too busy spying on their own citizens, too busy lying about and making excuses for spying on their own citizens and just too busy persecuting those who would dare to expose the despicable depth of their collective unconsitutional folly.

Just too too busy with all of the above rather than to be engaging in good old fashioned spycraft and espionage such as this.

Angry birds indeed…

 


    



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Are Social Cons Saving Liberalism? Roger L. Simon Thinks So, Sees Libertarian Shift as Future of Conservatives, GOP

A few
weeks back over at PJ Media, Roger L. Simon penned
an interesting piece
arguing that social conservatives are
helping liberals out by pushing culture-war themes in an America
that has long moved on to more basic economic issues of governance.
It’s not that personal lifestyle issues don’t matter, he says, it’s
that most of them (maybe all of them) should be dealt with in
non-political channels.

Citing polls that we use frequently here at Reason.com, Simon
notes with approval that distrust of government is at record highs
and that a new generation of kids are growing up sans a lot of
their parents’ baggage:

When you come down to it, virtually nothing associated with the
liberal platform met with their approval — even legalization of
marijuana was dealt with in most instances with a shrug — except,
you guessed it, same-sex marriage.

That appears to be the one issue militating against a coming
Republican majority, but it is an exceptionally potent one because
it is used, fairly or not, to paint the right as bigots.  And
young people, again not surprisingly, don’t want to hang with
bigots — so the whole house of cards goes down.

On the other hand, I sensed no hostility toward religious
people.  Several of these
kids were religious — a few devoutly. They were
quite thoughtful on the subject of abortion with a variety of
 views. But to them gay marriage was a done deal. Remember,
they come from a generation in which nearly all of their gay
contemporaries are out. These are their friends and classmates that
are being discriminated against.

In terms of politics, Simon looks toward libertarianism as the
ideology of the future. Not because it stops discussion over any
issue, but because libertarianism removes many of those issues from
politics and put them back in places better suited to hashing out
differences. It’s a stark – and I think convincing – message to
conservatives and one they should heed when considering political
alliances. Any energy coming from Republicans these days is because
of
the large failure of Barack Obama
and liberal Democrats’
political agenda and because of the libertarian wing of the GOP and
its focus on civil liberties, foreign policy, and fiscal rectitude.
It’s not because cultural warriors are getting the vapors over the
gays or drugs or the need to triple defense spending.

People under 40 (plus or minus a decade!) simply don’t think
about things the way Americans did a generation or two ago and many
of the political linkages borne out of the Cold War era in U.S.
politics – especially on a broadly defined right – are simply
defunct. Indeed, even among religious Americans, the once-hugely
important dividing lines among Evangelicals, Catholics, and
Jews
have dissolved in a way that was unthinkable during Ronald
Reagan’s first presidential term (back then, ecumenism was a dirty
word and Jerry Falwell was as likely to fulminate against Roman
Catholics as against any group in America).

Simon concludes:

I have to say in all candor that political opposition to
same-sex marriage is the Achilles’ heel of the right going into
2016. Social conservatives who intend to make a serious issue out
of it should realize that the fallout from their views could
adversely affect all of us in a catastrophic way.

No one is going to be happy here. SoCons who continue to press
this issue on the political (not the personal or religious) stage
have to realize that they are damaging many of us who have other
concerns domestic and foreign, many of which we would probably
agree on more easily.

This is a great moment.  A seriously smaller government is
a real possibility with electoral victories in 2014 and 2016.
 Let’s not jeopardize them by emphasizing an issue more
properly, and unquestionably more successfully, dealt with in the
private realm.


Read his whole column.

Simon’s libertarian swerve started a discussion among other PJ
Media columnists,
which is gathered here
.

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Video: The Future of School Choice in America

“The Future of School Choice in America with Lisa Snell, Andrew
Campanella, Lisa Keegan, Lance Izumi, and Larry Sand,” produced by
Zach Weismueller and Todd Krainin. About 1 hour. Original release
date was February 7, 2014 and original writeup is below. 

   

Reason TV hopped aboard the Northern Sky
train
 for the final Los Angeles to San Francisco leg of
the National
School Choice Week Whistle Stop Tour
 across the country
and joined National School Choice Week President Andrew Campanella, Reason
Foundation Director of Education Policy Lisa Snell, former Arizona
Superintendent and education reformer Lisa
Keegan
Pacific Research
Foundation
 Educational DirectorLance
Izumi
, and California
Teachers’ Empowerment Network
 founder Larry Sand for an
hour-long panel discussion about the state of the school choice
movement in America.

The talk is broken into four parts: the next steps for school
choice (2:19), best practices at the top public schools (14:37),
the role of teachers in the choice movement (29:49), and the
crucial ways in which funding affects educational outcomes
(44:12).

Approximately 1 hour long. Shot by Zach Weissmueller and Todd
Krainin. Edited by Weissmueller.

Scroll down for downloadable versions of this video, and
subscribe to Reason
TV’s Youtube channel
 for more content like
this.  

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Sheldon Richman on the Cruel Joke of Emphasizing Voting

An
in-house promo on MSNBC shows a series of colorful shower curtains
backed by a sappily whistled tune; the final curtain turns out to
be not for a shower but for a voting booth — at which point
prime-time All In host Chris Hayes says, “In
America there are many ways to express yourself, but only one that
counts. Speak out.” The not-so-subtle
message: vote or you have no voice. Sheldon
Richman argues that of all the ways to express oneself, voting is
the way that counts least.

View this article.

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China's Push Into "America's Backyard"

Submitted by Shannon Tiezzi of The Diplomat,

The United States has been quite vocal about its “pivot to Asia,” but as Washington seeks to further its influence in the Asia-Pacific, China has been quietly upping its own importance to Central and Latin America. Now China is making a push to further its engagement with countries in the Western Hemisphere, as evidenced by the announcement of a new dialogue mechanism. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which met in Cuba from January 28 to 29, adopted a statement announcing the establishment of a China-CELAC Forum.

CELAC itself is a fairly new organization, having been established only in 2011, yet it has the potential to be an important political force. Last year, with Cuba as the rotating president, the organization focused on regional cooperation in education, anti-corruption, and natural disaster relief. CELAC also declared Latin America a “peace zone,” with countries agreeing to solve their differences peacefully, through dialogue. Cuban President Raul Castro, who headed this year’s CELAC summit in Havana, called CELAC “the legitimate representative of the interests of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The China-CELAC Forum, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei, is designed to provide “an important platform for the growth of bilateral comprehensive and cooperative partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development.” Hong added that the establishment of this forum “fully speaks to the shared wish of Latin American and Caribbean states to enhance their overall cooperation with China.” The first meeting is expected to take place later in 2014.

China’s outreach to CELAC is only one part of a growing relationship with the Western hemisphere. China has become the second largest trading partner for Latin America–growth driven in part by China’s demand for natural resources. However, as in the case of Africa, China’s interests in the region are more complex than a simple need for raw materials. Central and Latin American countries are also attractive as markets for Chinese goods, as well as offering the potential for cooperation on the infrastructure projects Chinese construction companies so often undertake around the globe. In 2012, China’s bilateral trade with Latin America as a region increased over 8 percent to $261 billion.

On the political level, since 2001, China has signed strategic partnership agreements with five countries in the region: Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.  As a sign of the region’s importance, Xi Jinping visited Central America in June of last year, stopping in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Trinidad and Tobago.  Several regional leaders have also made the trek to Beijing, including Equador’s Vice President Jorge Glas Espinel, Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma, and Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer.

Adding an extra level of enticement for China, the majority of countries that still recognize Taiwan are located in Central America and the Caribbean. Though there’s currently somewhat of an unofficial truce on this issue between Taipei and Beijing, long term Beijing may seek to woo these 11 countries away from Taiwan.

Meanwhile, China’s engagement also helps highlight some regional ambivalence towards the United States. CELAC itself was conceived of as an alternative to the Washington-led Organization of American States. CELAC member states include every country in the Western hemisphere expect Canada and the United States, rather pointed omissions. The fact that the most recent CELAC summit was held in Havana only served to underscore a lack of coherent U.S. policy in the region. The U.S. still has in place an embargo on Cuba, which has outlived both logic and usefulness — something Raul Castro, in his speech to the CELAC summit, was not shy about pointing out.

Underlining the sentiments of some in CELAC, Castro warned that CELAC must be on guard against attempts by the U.S. to leverage the region for its own benefit. “The so-called centers of power do not resign themselves to having lost control over this rich region, nor will they ever renounce attempts to change the course of history in our countries in order to recover the influence they have lost,” he said. Partnering with China seems to be CELAC’s way of hedging against U.S. dominance in the region — just as some states in the Asia-Pacific are edging closer to the U.S. in a bid against growing Chinese power.


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1eJ4fbb Tyler Durden

China’s Push Into “America’s Backyard”

Submitted by Shannon Tiezzi of The Diplomat,

The United States has been quite vocal about its “pivot to Asia,” but as Washington seeks to further its influence in the Asia-Pacific, China has been quietly upping its own importance to Central and Latin America. Now China is making a push to further its engagement with countries in the Western Hemisphere, as evidenced by the announcement of a new dialogue mechanism. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which met in Cuba from January 28 to 29, adopted a statement announcing the establishment of a China-CELAC Forum.

CELAC itself is a fairly new organization, having been established only in 2011, yet it has the potential to be an important political force. Last year, with Cuba as the rotating president, the organization focused on regional cooperation in education, anti-corruption, and natural disaster relief. CELAC also declared Latin America a “peace zone,” with countries agreeing to solve their differences peacefully, through dialogue. Cuban President Raul Castro, who headed this year’s CELAC summit in Havana, called CELAC “the legitimate representative of the interests of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The China-CELAC Forum, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei, is designed to provide “an important platform for the growth of bilateral comprehensive and cooperative partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development.” Hong added that the establishment of this forum “fully speaks to the shared wish of Latin American and Caribbean states to enhance their overall cooperation with China.” The first meeting is expected to take place later in 2014.

China’s outreach to CELAC is only one part of a growing relationship with the Western hemisphere. China has become the second largest trading partner for Latin America–growth driven in part by China’s demand for natural resources. However, as in the case of Africa, China’s interests in the region are more complex than a simple need for raw materials. Central and Latin American countries are also attractive as markets for Chinese goods, as well as offering the potential for cooperation on the infrastructure projects Chinese construction companies so often undertake around the globe. In 2012, China’s bilateral trade with Latin America as a region increased over 8 percent to $261 billion.

On the political level, since 2001, China has signed strategic partnership agreements with five countries in the region: Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.  As a sign of the region’s importance, Xi Jinping visited Central America in June of last year, stopping in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Trinidad and Tobago.  Several regional leaders have also made the trek to Beijing, including Equador’s Vice President Jorge Glas Espinel, Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma, and Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer.

Adding an extra level of enticement for China, the majority of countries that still recognize Taiwan are located in Central America and the Caribbean. Though there’s currently somewhat of an unofficial truce on this issue between Taipei and Beijing, long term Beijing may seek to woo these 11 countries away from Taiwan.

Meanwhile, China’s engagement also helps highlight some regional ambivalence towards the United States. CELAC itself was conceived of as an alternative to the Washington-led Organization of American States. CELAC member states include every country in the Western hemisphere expect Canada and the United States, rather pointed omissions. The fact that the most recent CELAC summit was held in Havana only served to underscore a lack of coherent U.S. policy in the region. The U.S. still has in place an embargo on Cuba, which has outlived both logic and usefulness — something Raul Castro, in his speech to the CELAC summit, was not shy about pointing out.

Underlining the sentiments of some in CELAC, Castro warned that CELAC must be on guard against attempts by the U.S. to leverage the region for its own benefit. “The so-called centers of power do not resign themselves to having lost control over this rich region, nor will they ever renounce attempts to change the course of history in our countries in order to recover the influence they have lost,” he said. Partnering with China seems to be CELAC’s way of hedging against U.S. dominance in the region — just as some states in the Asia-Pacific are edging closer to the U.S. in a bid against growing Chinese power.


    



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