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Posts Tagged ‘ACLU’

Just in Time for the Holidays: God’s ‘Direct Line’ Found in Kansas City

Art for the masses - prayer booths pop up in New YorkThere’s a wonderful Gospel hymn that goes “Jesus’ on the mainline. Tell him what you want.”

While that’s nice to hear in church, some people want a more tangible experience during the holidays. And according to the Topeka News in Kansas, the Lord will take your call now. As in, now.

Late for church? Stop by for prayer and confession. Denver Broncos sucking on the field in your opinion? Take a knee. Whatever your need, state your plead. Not that this is a new marketing strategy. Just saying.

“It is therapeutic, that is how we lobbied them through city council,” local pastor Reverend Miles Collier reports.  ”We said these prayer booths are not just for Christians, but for any person to take a break to close their eyes, ask out loud for what they need in life and just take a break from it all.  It is like having a free counseling session.”

And, if you ask Kansas City PD, the Rev. is onto something. Crime is decreasing in the inner city since these booths have been installed. Wait until you see the instructions, after the jump…

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Obama Administration Hires Top McDonald’s Flack to Turn the Public Against McDonald’s

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“Sit down and tell me what you really think about the minimum wage…”

Here’s a “Sounds Boring, Actually Quite Interesting” news nugget: the Obama administration has hired a former McDonald’s flack to fill a senior PR role in the Labor Department.

Why is this story worth a closer look?

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Macklemore Makes Sense as the Spokesperson for the ACLU. Until He Doesn’t.

The ACLU wants you to become a member. And what better way to build that following than to get a famous spokesperson? And when you’re looking for a spokesperson, you want someone who is recognizable and is actually into the thing they’re talking up.

So it seemed to follow a logical train of thought when the ACLU decided to go with Macklemore as the face of their ACLU membership card. His songs have addressed equality for the gay community. He’s hip. All the youths recognize him. He’s sensitive but kind of goofy, as evidenced by his MTV Awards custom cape and his funny handling of crying babies while accepting a prize at the YouTube Awards.

But even things that follow logic can still end up being a bit of a train wreck.

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Hollywood Stars and Advocacy Groups Tell the NSA: ‘Stop Watching Us’

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a civil liberties organization that has scheduled a protest tomorrow in Washington, D.C. over the National Security Administration’s data collection (aka “spying”) activities.

We’re interested primarily because we don’t know that we’ve ever heard of a cause that somehow managed to unite not just Maggie Gyllenhaal, John Cusack, the ACLU and Upworthy founder Eli Pariser but a whole slew of hyper-partisan political groups ranging from the left wing Demand Progress to the right-wing Freedom Works and the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute. It’s a pretty impressive list.

The EFF even managed to snag Ben & Jerry’s. We can’t imagine parent company Unilever approves, but at least the after-party will be delicious.

We’re not sure what the protest will accomplish, exactly, but it’s a testament to the organizational powers of the people involved. It also reminds us that you really can engage thousands of people if you’re “marketing” a cause they believe in.

Also: it’s good to see Wil Wheaton again, because Next Generation was obviously the best Star Trek series. No debate.

Troubled San Francisco BART System Takes Another Hit

San Francisco’s underground train system, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has become the public agency that can do no right. Its own PR department got a black eye this week after it was leaked that its communications head “coached” riders to defend it at an August press conference.

It was revealed that BART spokesman Linton Johnson sent a memo to BART employees, outlining “talking points” for BART customers to use at a press conference intended to coincide with a protest, taking place to express outrage over a passenger shooting in July. BART was meant to provide $800 in private transportation for the media-trained participants to get to the media event.

Hey! Why didn’t they ride BART to the presser? Didn’t Johnson learn anything from the automaker CEOs taking private jets to testify before Congress and beg for bailout money?

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