Having a Holiday Party with an Open Bar? Better Hope The Cops Don’t Shut It Down.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: when we
all gather together at company parties to wear ugly sweaters, eat
some cheese cubes, have a few drinks with that girl from HR … and
get shut down by the cops. At least, that’s what happened at one
event in Boston last Friday.

One week ago, member’s of the city’s technology sector came
together for the fourth annual
Tech Co-Party
, the purpose of which was to throw “an office
holiday party for tech start-ups too small to have their own.” It
was an open invitation, and party-goers paid up to $50 to join the
fun. Part of the profits went to charity.

Unfortunately, the event was cut a few hours short. The
Institute for Justice (IJ)
reports
that “a little after midnight on December 13th, Boston
police crashed the party and shut down the bar.
Officers issued a citation to the Revere Hotel, which hosted
the Tech Co-Party, for allegedly breaking the law.”

One of the participating organizations, Calcbench, took to
Twitter to explain what happened. “We were told the liquor
commision accused the organizers of trying to turn a proft [sic]. I
guess open bar is not allowed for that,” they wrote.

Event organizer Ben Carcio told the IJ, “From what Boston Police
said to us the night of the event, they watch EventBrite, where we
sold the tickets, and they look for ‘Open Bar,’ which is their
concern. They view it as unlimited drinking for a ticketed
price.”

Massachusetts liquor laws prohibit selling
“to any person or group of persons any drinks at a price less
than the price regularly charged for such drinks during the
same calendar week, except at private functions not open
to the public.” If the party wasn’t doomed already,
“advertis[ing] or promot[ing] in any way” open bars is also part of
law – which the Tech Co-Party broke by
encouraging
 party-goers to promote it on social
media.

Carcio was unaware of the law, which hasn’t been invoked to stop
the Tech Co-Party in past years. He was perplexed as to why the
police didn’t “just let us know [open bar was not allowed],” he

explained
to Boston magazine. “That one little
thing would have prevented any of this being more than it needed to
be.” He also stated that in order to guarantee “no
hard feelings
” between them, $500 raised by the Tech Co-Party
was donated to the Boston Police Department.

City councilor Tito Jackson said he was aware that “police look
at Facebook and Eventbrite as part of the monitoring they have [in
place].” He agreed with Carcio that if police “have information
prior to an event, we should either be picking up the phone,
visiting the bar, or having a conversation and reminding people of
the laws or rules and regulations, rather than show up the night of
the event and shut it down.”

A string of similar busts
happened last New Year’s in Boston, and police presumably will
continue to catch harmless holiday parties off-guard unless
legislators decides to reform the law.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/20/having-a-holiday-party-with-an-open-bar
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Having a Holiday Party with an Open Bar? Better Hope The Cops Don't Shut It Down.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: when we
all gather together at company parties to wear ugly sweaters, eat
some cheese cubes, have a few drinks with that girl from HR … and
get shut down by the cops. At least, that’s what happened at one
event in Boston last Friday.

One week ago, member’s of the city’s technology sector came
together for the fourth annual
Tech Co-Party
, the purpose of which was to throw “an office
holiday party for tech start-ups too small to have their own.” It
was an open invitation, and party-goers paid up to $50 to join the
fun. Part of the profits went to charity.

Unfortunately, the event was cut a few hours short. The
Institute for Justice (IJ)
reports
that “a little after midnight on December 13th, Boston
police crashed the party and shut down the bar.
Officers issued a citation to the Revere Hotel, which hosted
the Tech Co-Party, for allegedly breaking the law.”

One of the participating organizations, Calcbench, took to
Twitter to explain what happened. “We were told the liquor
commision accused the organizers of trying to turn a proft [sic]. I
guess open bar is not allowed for that,” they wrote.

Event organizer Ben Carcio told the IJ, “From what Boston Police
said to us the night of the event, they watch EventBrite, where we
sold the tickets, and they look for ‘Open Bar,’ which is their
concern. They view it as unlimited drinking for a ticketed
price.”

Massachusetts liquor laws prohibit selling
“to any person or group of persons any drinks at a price less
than the price regularly charged for such drinks during the
same calendar week, except at private functions not open
to the public.” If the party wasn’t doomed already,
“advertis[ing] or promot[ing] in any way” open bars is also part of
law – which the Tech Co-Party broke by
encouraging
 party-goers to promote it on social
media.

Carcio was unaware of the law, which hasn’t been invoked to stop
the Tech Co-Party in past years. He was perplexed as to why the
police didn’t “just let us know [open bar was not allowed],” he

explained
to Boston magazine. “That one little
thing would have prevented any of this being more than it needed to
be.” He also stated that in order to guarantee “no
hard feelings
” between them, $500 raised by the Tech Co-Party
was donated to the Boston Police Department.

City councilor Tito Jackson said he was aware that “police look
at Facebook and Eventbrite as part of the monitoring they have [in
place].” He agreed with Carcio that if police “have information
prior to an event, we should either be picking up the phone,
visiting the bar, or having a conversation and reminding people of
the laws or rules and regulations, rather than show up the night of
the event and shut it down.”

A string of similar busts
happened last New Year’s in Boston, and police presumably will
continue to catch harmless holiday parties off-guard unless
legislators decides to reform the law.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/20/having-a-holiday-party-with-an-open-bar
via IFTTT

One World Leader Still Endorses NSA Spying

All 3 branches of the U.S. government have concluded that the NSA has gone way too far … and that mass surveillance is unnecessary.

The U.N. General Assembly agrees.

But one government leader backs the NSA’s Orwellian spying … former KGB officer Vladamir Putin.

It is obvious that the former Soviet uber-spy’s endorsement is ironic.  But there is a second potential explanation.

Putin also has a current net worth alleged to be between $40 billion and $70 billion, and a palace to rival the old monarchs of France.

The real purpose of mass surveillance is economic advantage, diplomatic manipulation, and social control.

The multi-billionaire – whether commie or capitalist – may just want to maintian control and increase his wealth.

Postscript: Given that the American economy has gone from capitalism to socialism for the rich, and that the U.S. used communist torture techniques specifically aimed at extracting false confessions, it has become admittedly difficult to identify the players from the baseball roster these days.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/PlVw9kPWqRM/story01.htm George Washington

President Obama Addresses The Nation – Live Feed

We suspect the word “but” will figure heavily in President Obama’s news conference today (his last before hitting the Hawaiian tees) as he addresses all the wonderful things that are occurring in the US – and yet moar needs to be done… oh and have you signed up for Obamacare yet?

 


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Ce8mtS-t6M0/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Ron Paul Blasts “After 100 Years Of Failure, It’s Time To End The Fed”

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Free Foundation blog,

This week the Federal Reserve System will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. Resulting from secret negotiations between bankers and politicians at Jekyll Island, the Fed’s creation established a banking cartel and a board of government overseers that has grown ever stronger through the years. One would think this anniversary would elicit some sort of public recognition of the Fed’s growth from a quasi-agent of the Treasury Department intended to provide an elastic currency, to a de facto independent institution that has taken complete control of the economy through its central monetary planning. But just like the Fed’s creation, its 100th anniversary may come and go with only a few passing mentions.

Like many other horrible and unconstitutional pieces of legislation, the bill which created the Fed, the Federal Reserve Act, was passed under great pressure on December 23, 1913, in the waning moments before Congress recessed for Christmas with many Members already absent from those final votes. This underhanded method of pressuring Congress with such a deadline to pass the Federal Reserve Act would provide a foreshadowing of the Fed’s insidious effects on the US economy—with actions performed without transparency.

Ostensibly formed with the goal of preventing financial crises such as the Panic of 1907, the Fed has become increasingly powerful over the years. Rather than preventing financial crises, however, the Fed has constantly caused new ones. Barely a few years after its inception, the Fed’s inflationary monetary policy to help fund World War I led to the Depression of 1920. After the economy bounced back from that episode, a further injection of easy money and credit by the Fed led to the Roaring Twenties and to the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in American history.

But even though the Fed continued to make the same mistakes over and over again, no one in Washington ever questioned the wisdom of having a central bank. Instead, after each episode the Fed was given more and more power over the economy. Even though the Fed had brought about the stagflation of the 1970s, Congress decided to formally task the Federal Reserve in 1978 with maintaining full employment and stable prices, combined with constantly adding horrendously harmful regulations. Talk about putting the inmates in charge of the asylum!

Now we are reaping the noxious effects of a century of loose monetary policy, as our economy remains mired in mediocrity and utterly dependent on a stream of easy money from the central bank. A century ago, politicians failed to understand that the financial panics of the 19th century were caused by collusion between government and the banking sector. The government’s growing monopoly on money creation, high barriers to entry into banking to protect politically favored incumbents, and favored treatment for government debt combined to create a rickety, panic-prone banking system. Had legislators known then what we know now, we could hope that they never would have established the Federal Reserve System.

Today, however, we do know better. We know that the Federal Reserve continues to strengthen the collusion between banks and politicians. We know that the Fed’s inflationary monetary policy continues to reap profits for Wall Street while impoverishing Main Street. And we know that the current monetary regime is teetering on a precipice. One hundred years is long enough. End the Fed.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/UpLgxW97V5o/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Ron Paul Blasts "After 100 Years Of Failure, It's Time To End The Fed"

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Free Foundation blog,

This week the Federal Reserve System will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. Resulting from secret negotiations between bankers and politicians at Jekyll Island, the Fed’s creation established a banking cartel and a board of government overseers that has grown ever stronger through the years. One would think this anniversary would elicit some sort of public recognition of the Fed’s growth from a quasi-agent of the Treasury Department intended to provide an elastic currency, to a de facto independent institution that has taken complete control of the economy through its central monetary planning. But just like the Fed’s creation, its 100th anniversary may come and go with only a few passing mentions.

Like many other horrible and unconstitutional pieces of legislation, the bill which created the Fed, the Federal Reserve Act, was passed under great pressure on December 23, 1913, in the waning moments before Congress recessed for Christmas with many Members already absent from those final votes. This underhanded method of pressuring Congress with such a deadline to pass the Federal Reserve Act would provide a foreshadowing of the Fed’s insidious effects on the US economy—with actions performed without transparency.

Ostensibly formed with the goal of preventing financial crises such as the Panic of 1907, the Fed has become increasingly powerful over the years. Rather than preventing financial crises, however, the Fed has constantly caused new ones. Barely a few years after its inception, the Fed’s inflationary monetary policy to help fund World War I led to the Depression of 1920. After the economy bounced back from that episode, a further injection of easy money and credit by the Fed led to the Roaring Twenties and to the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in American history.

But even though the Fed continued to make the same mistakes over and over again, no one in Washington ever questioned the wisdom of having a central bank. Instead, after each episode the Fed was given more and more power over the economy. Even though the Fed had brought about the stagflation of the 1970s, Congress decided to formally task the Federal Reserve in 1978 with maintaining full employment and stable prices, combined with constantly adding horrendously harmful regulations. Talk about putting the inmates in charge of the asylum!

Now we are reaping the noxious effects of a century of loose monetary policy, as our economy remains mired in mediocrity and utterly dependent on a stream of easy money from the central bank. A century ago, politicians failed to understand that the financial panics of the 19th century were caused by collusion between government and the banking sector. The government’s growing monopoly on money creation, high barriers to entry into banking to protect politically favored incumbents, and favored treatment for government debt combined to create a rickety, panic-prone banking system. Had legislators known then what we know now, we could hope that they never would have established the Federal Reserve System.

Today, however, we do know better. We know that the Federal Reserve continues to strengthen the collusion between banks and politicians. We know that the Fed’s inflationary monetary policy continues to reap profits for Wall Street while impoverishing Main Street. And we know that the current monetary regime is teetering on a precipice. One hundred years is long enough. End the Fed.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/UpLgxW97V5o/story01.htm Tyler Durden

President Obama Holding Friday Afternoon Press Conference

At any minute, President Obama is supposed to start a press
conference (scheduled to have started at 2pm) at the White House,
capping off what the Washington Post
called
 “the most troubling year of his presidency.” Watch
live, after the jump, or follow along as we livetweet for Reason
24/7
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/20/president-obama-holding-friday-afternoon
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A.P. Poll Finds Falling Resistance to Marijuana Legalization


A new A.P. poll

finds
that the number of Americans who oppose marijuana
legalization has fallen dramatically in the last few years. In a
survey completed last week, 29 percent of respondents said they
opposed “legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana
for personal use,” compared to 55 percent in 2010. A.P. notes that
the 2010 survey was conducted by phone, while the new one was
conducted online, a method that tends to boost neutral responses.
The share of respondents who said they “neither favor nor oppose”
legalizing marijuana tripled between 2010 and 2013, while the
percentage favoring legalization rose only slightly. Still, the

A.P. numbers
are consistent with other surveys in finding
increased receptiveness to repealing marijuana prohibition.

The most dramatic of those results was Gallup’s
finding
in October that 58 percent of Americans think “the use
of marijuana should be made legal.” That was the highest level of
support for legalization ever found by a Gallup poll. But like the
question used by A.P., Gallup’s wording suggests a relatively
narrow reform that does not necessarily include legalizing
commercial production and distribution, as Colorado and Washington
have done. Whether that policy receives majority support depends on
how the question is worded. In the most recent
Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey
, for example, 49 percent of
respondents said yes to “legalizing marijuana,” while 47 percent
said no. But in a
Reason-Rupe poll
conducted in January, 53 percent of
respondents said “the government should treat marijuana
the same as alcohol.” 

Similarly, 56 percent of respondents in a 2010
A.P.-CNBC poll said
regulations for marijuana should be either the same as or less
strict than regulations for alcohol. A 2011 YouGov/Economist poll found
a similar level of support (58 percent) for treating marijuana like
alcohol. Meanwhile, just 36 percent of the respondents in this
month’s A.P. survey were prepared to voice support merely for
“legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for
personal use.”

What’s going on here? Looking at the differences between the
A.P. and Gallup results, it may be that
“possession” (which is, after all, currently a crime)
triggers more negative associations than “use” (which is not
in itself defined as a crime, although it obviously entails
possession). And why does “legalizing marijuana,” which could mean
anything from not arresting users to completely repealing
prohibition, get less support than treating marijuana like alcohol,
which necessarily means legalizing production and sale as well as
possession? Likening marijuana to alcohol evokes a familiar legal
model and suggests a moral equivalency that is hard to deny. That
was the approach that reformers took in Colorado and Washington,
and legalization got about 55 percent of the vote in both
states.

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/20/ap-poll-finds-falling-resistance-to-mari
via IFTTT

Ronald Bailey Argues That White House Panel NSA Reform Recommendations Are Not Enough

NSA ProtestThis week President Barack Obama’s handpicked
Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies
recommended 46 significant changes to the way the National Security
Agency (NSA) and other federal agencies spy on Americans. Many of
the panel’s proposals would help stop the slide toward the “turnkey
totalitarian state,” to borrow a phrase from the NSA whistleblower
William Binney. Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey
argues that while they are a start, more must be done to dismantle
the nascent national security surveillance state.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/20/ronald-bailey-argues-that-white-house-pa
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