Tag Archives: Politics

PR-Nightmare Trifecta!


Ladies and gentleman…it has been QUITE a month so far for PR nightmares these days.  Three different businesses from three unique industries have created such horrid PR nightmares.  These nightmares are SO horrid that they’ll be suffering for quite a while before customers want to work with again.  We have someone being dragged off a plane, a god-awful commercial from a popular soda brand, and a political statement SO idiotic that we have made America DUMBER again.  These 3 PR nightmares have merged together to become what is known as…the PR Nightmare Trifecta!

The PR Nightmare Trifecta, consisting of three PR nightmares occurring around the same month, is what we have flying around social media these days.  One PR nightmare wasn’t enough in Trump’s America, so now we got THREE nightmares happening (ONE of the businesses is STILL suffering from a nightmare that happened almost a month ago!).  We will be revealing these three PR nightmares together in order because the shock waves they made were SO big that they couldn’t be discussed individually.  These PR nightmares of the PR Nightmare Trifecta include Pepsi’s latest ad featuring Kendall Jenner, the doctor being physically thrown off an United Airline plane, and Sean Spicer’s most preposterous statement that will make even the youngest of children face palm.  I hope you guys are ready, because the PR Nightmare Trifecta is about to begin!

Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi Ad:  Pepsi thought they were being smart by utilizing Kendall Jenner as part of their new televised ad campaign.  It shows the opulent Kendall Jenner walking past a group of protesters in order to hand a Pepsi to a police officer.  A young Muslim woman smiles with glee, taking snapshots of the police officer quenching his thirst.  The crowd cheers as the situation becomes less hostile and they are happy once again.

This may have seemed like an interesting idea for their audience, right?  WRONG!  Right after the ad aired, Pepsi was criticized for its trivial portrayal against Black Lives Matter.  Thousands of upsetting consumers flocked to social media, ranting on about how it belittled the whole Black Lives Matter movement.  Due to the controversy, Pepsi pulled the ad from TV shortly thereafter.

Pepsi may have cleaned up part of the mess by pulling their ad, but they still got some serious work to complete in order to salvaged their sinking reputation.  In the growing PC-world, that shit just doesn’t fly with people these days.

I do believe that this was in such bad taste, but the real offensive part of this commercial?  Knowing that Pepsi sunk so low on the celebrity endorsement concept that they chose Kendall Jenner out of all of the celebrities.  How did we go from seeing gracious and sophisticated Joan Crawford as the face of Pepsi (true story!) to seeing “popular” celebrity Kendall Jenner, who is part of a Hollywood dynasty that made MILLIONS out of nothing?  To this day, I have NO idea how or why this Kardashian Dynasty is still flourishing around Hollywood after being on TV 10 years ago (if someone has a concrete reason for WHY they’re so famous, PLEASE tell me!).

         United Torture Airlines:  Ah, yes… UNITED AIRLINES.  Remember last month when those two girls were forced to don a dress before boarding one of their planes (which you can read about here)?  Well now United Airlines has a bigger PR nightmare to wrestle with.

It was like something out of a ‘torture porn’ horror film:  A United Airline plane was overcrowded with too many passengers.  Airline representatives selected four random passengers to get off the plane when people refused to leave.  What do the United Airline staff decide to do?  Physically throw people off the plane, of course!

One of the four passengers David Dao (who was a DOCTOR that needed to see his patients the next day) refused to leave after being threatened of security being called.  Three officers yanked him off as he screams of terror as his head bangs on the armrest.  If that wasn’t sadistic enough, they grabbed his wrist and dragged him down the aisle on his back (while bleeding the ENTIRE time!).  Passengers watched in horror as this beaten man (who was a DOCTOR, for God sakes!) get dragged around like some weak rag doll.

In response to this PR nightmare, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz released a formal statement apologizing for the incident.  He is now working with his team to formally address the situation at hand, even meeting with the victim that suffered through this ordeal.  To give some insight to his customers, a united spokeswoman remarked that all passengers will receive compensation that would be equal to the cost of their plane ticket.

Even though passengers will be compensated for the shocking incident, United Airlines customers (including David Dao) are looking to sue the company for what just happened.  People may be getting their compensation, but that won’t be enough to fix what is MAJORLY broken at United Airlines.  So not only are they disciplining women on what to wear on the plane, but now they are physically removing random passengers off of the plane.  United Airlines has some SERIOUS work to complete on their PR part!

Sean Spicer Said WHAT?!?:  Alright folks, the last (and most idiotic) PR nightmare is here.  After the recent attacks occurring in Syria, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer set off a horrific backlash afterwards.  In his recent statement, he claims (NOT EVEN KIDDING when I say this) that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was guilty of acts worse than Hitler and that Hitler had not used any chemical weapons years ago.

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Oh my sweet Jesus…I need a minute right now.  Just…the amount of STUPIDITY within that state is SO strong it’s physically hurting my insides.  For the love of God, America…just…WHY?!?  WHY?!?

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Ok people… Adolf Hitler DID in fact use chemical weapons for the gas chambers at the concentration camps.  What were those gas chambers a part of over 70+ years ago?  THE HOLOCAUST.  Ah, yes… one of the most sadistic events of the mid-20th century in Nazi Germany.  It was those chemicals that were used as part of the nation-wide Nazi propaganda agenda during World War II.

And on a somewhat-related note, the US Army was studying chemicals that were related to mustard gas to develop more effective agents for war and defensive measures.  The army discovered a unique compound called nitrogen mustard, which was discovered to have other unique chemical properties.  Many other discoveries led to the beginning of CHEMOTHERAPY (the therapy we use now to treat cancer!).  So yes Sean Spicer, Adolf Hitler DID use chemical weapons for his agenda during Nazi Germany.

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There’s my scientific rant about chemicals.  I am still dumbfounded that our White House Press Secretary would be that ignorant.  If he’s the White House Press Secretary, then that should make me CEO of a Fortune 500 Company (like MakeSandcastlesNotWar!).

Either way, these businesses really need to clean up the mess they caused.  Three companies, three PR nightmares, and many problems have risen.  They pretty much made their bed and now they must lie on it.  My advice for these companies would be to wait for their BS to blow over and start anew.  Even though these PR nightmares were horrific, they CAN come back to fix things.

That concludes my discussion of the PR-Nightmare Trifecta.  Who knows what other PR nightmares will be bubbling up to the surface in the near future?  Let’s hope for a PR miracle here in America!

Hail to the Kief: America’s Greatest 4/20-Friendly Presidents


Yesterday we took some time off of work/school to celebrate President’s Day.  President’s Day is a national holiday that falls on the 3rd Monday of February every year.  It was originally established as “Washington’s Birthday” back in 1885 to celebrate George Washington’s birthday and was renamed as Presidents’ Day when it was moved as part of the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was filed to create more 3-day weekends for workers.  George Washington may have been dead for centuries, but we still celebrate this holiday every February.

Nowadays Presidents’ Day is viewed as a day celebrating all U.S. presidents, both past and present.  It will be an interesting 4 years for our president now that recreational cannabis use is legal in 1/10 of the country.  With the cannabis community growing stronger each day, it will be harder for politicians to turn a deaf ear on what their goals are for America.  Interestingly enough, not all former presidents shunned down cannabis use during their terms.  Some members habitually smoked cannabis while others simply approved the plant.

Nevertheless, we should remember how our Founding Fathers first used to plant in order to shed the light on a brighter future for America.  Here are some noteworthy 4/20-friendly presidents that have been in the White House:

George Washington:  We had to start off our 4/20-friendly list right with our first president George Washington.  Washington didn’t really smoke cannabis, but he was well-known for growing hemp in his backyard.  He grew the hemp to use for fiber and other essential tools during the 18th century.  It was also noted that dealt with his toothaches through his hemp preparations.  Imagine that folks – our very first president of the U.S. grew hemp!

          John F. Kennedy:  Considered one of the greatest U.S. presidents of all time, John F. Kennedy smoked cannabis during his term in the 1960s.  Rather than openly smoking joints for recreational use, Kennedy used it to treat his severe back pain.  Even though the counter-culture movement didn’t take off until the late 60s, people openly smoked cannabis without the paranoia of getting caught by the authorities.

          Barack Obama:  It’s been months since he left the White House and people still miss Barack Obama…or what he was formerly known as ‘Barry’.  Our last president even admitted to using cannabis when he was a teenager in Hawaii.  His most famous statement was, “When I was a kid, I inhaled, frequently.  That was the point.”  What’s interesting to point out is that four states (Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington) legalized recreational use during Obama’s term as president.  Kudos to Obama for becoming more liberal on the 4/20 issues here in America!

          Thomas Jefferson: Just like Washington, Thomas Jefferson farmed hemp during his presidency.  Other than farming the versatile crop, he was Ambassador to France during the Hashish era.  There’s no further research on whether or not he consumed recreationally, but it’s still great to have another president that grew hemp in his backyard!

          Bill Clinton:  Way before the rise of Hillary Clinton becoming a candidate for the 2016 elections, Bill Clinton took the stage from 1993-2001.  In the true Clintonian fashion, he claimed that he didn’t inhale and would not try it ever again (sure Clinton…just like you claimed to not have an “inappropriate relationship” with Monica Lewinsky!).  Cannabis was still heavily criminalized in the 90s era, but that didn’t stop Clinton from testing out this popular drug!

And there you have it – five of the most 4/20-friendly presidents that have graced their presence in the White House.  It’s ironic that we’ve had such strict cannabis laws in America when many of these presidents used the plant in the past.  As we become more educated about the cannabis industry, the path for cannabis legalization in America becomes clearer.  Who knows, we may have 4/20-friendly president that smokes reefers in the near future!  For now, let’s reflect on the 4/20-friendly presidents that have previously worked in the White House.

Just Say NO…to Misinformation on Cannabis!


Something that really stuck with me when learning about public relations was that companies must stay on top of trends every year.  The audience goes wherever the wind blows, so it is vital to stay ahead of the curve in order to captivate your audience’s interest.  It’s a familiar concept within fashion where one fashion trend may be hot now, but it will be out sooner than you think.  Information trends are similar to fashion where it flows throughout the world every day and cultural shifts revitalize the concept through certain events.

For example, take a look at how the information on cigarettes were radically altered in the past few decades.  Cigarettes were widely used during the 50s/60s, with doctors pushing them to their patients.  No one really knew of the dangerous health effects from long-term smoking, so people continued to smoke packs of cigarettes every day.  It wasn’t until the late 90s when a slew of laws was filed to decrease cigarette use in America.  Nowadays, you can find more people vaping through e-cigarettes than smoking a pack of Marlboros.

That was about how PR radically altered cigarette use in America, but now our main substance that has been gaining more recognition is cannabis.  Recreational cannabis use has been legal in 1/10 of America for since the elections and the push for modernized information has become more relevant than ever.  The dominoes have fallen quicker than ever since it became legal, with organizations become more pressured to cave in to where the wind is blowing.  One of the biggest opponents of the cannabis community that followed the wind was the DEA.

After mere months of legal and public pressure, the DEA recently removed misinformation about cannabis on their website.  Their website, dea.gov, provided some erroneous facts about cannabis use.  The legal request comes from the non-profit medical cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) where they argued that over 25+ misinformed statements were found about cannabis; it violated the Information Quality Act, which prohibits government agencies from providing false information to the public and requires them to respond to the requests within 60 days for correct information.  The ASA filed the petition on December 5th, 2016 and the facts were finally scrubbed off from the website.

Some of the “facts” that were erased from the website included preposterous claims that cannabis is a gateway drug, a primary contributor to lung cancer and psychosis, and that it causes an irreversible cognitive decline in adults.  These claims are what kept the ‘Reefer Madness’ mindset going after Nixon’s War on Drugs initiated in 1971.  It’s almost 46 years later and now these mind-boggling “facts” have now been expunged from the public eye.  Another PR miracle has been crafted for the cannabis industry after decades of Nixon’s War on Drugs!

This right here is what public relations is all about: a change of information regarding a certain idea due to the ever-changing social culture in the community.  It was the people that led the direction as to where the wind is blowing and cannabis legalization in America is pushing farther than ever in the right direction.  Social Media helped to build the bridges that connected cannabis users together under one virtual community.  Other than building bridges, social media is also major factor for where the wind is blowing for social trends.  The fight for cannabis legalization has been a long and hard battle so far, but the DEA expunging their “facts” from their website is a MAJOR step in the process.

All I have to say about this PR miracle is…FINALLY!  Most people have known for decades about cannabis’ medicinal benefits and it’s amazing that the misinformation is being erased from the DEA’s website.  I’ve known since college that these claims about cannabis use were sorely incorrect and that cannabis has widespread benefits when using it.  As Americans, we deserve the fundamental right of correct information to better educate ourselves on what is right for us.  It should be up to the people, not “professionals”, that should make the decision about what’s good or bad for their body.

Cannabis use in America is going stronger each day, with more consumers being better informed about the plant through social media sites.  More people are saying NO to misinformation about cannabis and saying YES on recreational use.  Just like fashion trends, information on cannabis is slowly morphing itself within the modern social culture that we see today.

We’re just one step closer to widespread legalization here in America.  The dominoes are falling harder than ever and the wind is blowing faster than ever towards the future of the cannabis industry.

Trump’s Home Alone 2 Cameo


It was a wonderful Christmas celebration the past weekend.  I watched the Patriots win their game against NY Jets (41-3, JESUS!), ate some delicious lamb, opened up amazing presents on Christmas, and spent Christmas day seeing a movie before eating some amazing Chinese food at Kowloon.  Christmas is officially over and MakeSandcastlesNotWar is back in business.  We have 6 days left until we leap into 2017, so there’s some VERY exciting news/posts coming up this week.  But for today’s post, here’s one more random Christmas post I had to address.

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So earlier I was talking about Christmas movies with my family and we brought up Home Alone 2.  At one point, someone mentioned that they spotted Donald Trump in the film.  When I heard that, I just scoffed and thought, “yeah right!  Donald Trump in Home Alone 2? There’s no way!”.  Afterwards I did what any entertainment junkie would do in my position: research!

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Later on I did some digging around the internet and was in COMPLETE shock with what I found.  You guys…Donald Trump was Home Alone 2!  Donald Trump, now our 45th president of the United States, made a brief cameo in Home Alone 2.  Holy…SHITBALLS!

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Trump makes his appearance a little over 30 minutes into the film when Kevin first enters the Plaza Hotel.  He doesn’t have much lines, but he directs Macauley Culkin towards the lobby of the hotel during the film.  During my digging for gold, I found out that Trump bought the hotel for $407.5 million back in 1988.  The Donald was STILL the owner at the time of The Plaza Hotel when the movie was being filmed.  Donald Trump made a brief cameo in Home Alone 2 back in the 20th century.  You guys… I just seriously CAN’T EVEN with this info right now!

Yes… just like Kevin’s famous scenes in the previous film, we’re all screaming over this information.  Home Alone 2: Lost in New York continues Kevin McCallister’s (Macaulay Culkin!) adventures away from his family, but this time he takes the streets of New York City.  The McCallisters were originally heading to Miami for Christmas, but their plans changed when Kevin boards a flight to New York City by accident.  It’s actually great that Kevin boarded the wrong place because now we get a guest cameo from Donald Trump!

This film cameo was just so shocking that I HAD to look this up!  When I found out that Donald Trump made his appearance on Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, I was just simply flabbergasted and amazed.  It’s funny how you go back to watching old films you haven’t seen in while, only to discover random cameos that you never saw before!  I can’t really label this as a criss-cross because it was only on just 1 film (one rule of TV/film criss-cross is that the actor/actress HAD to have appeared in a previous project before appearing in the newest one!).

We’ve had former presidents appear on TV/films before (Ronald Regan, George Bush, Barack Obama just to name a few!) and Donald Trump made many appearances before becoming our newest president.  It seems as though politics and La-La land intertwine every now and then, providing some entertainment for both audiences.  Whatever your thoughts are about Trump, we can all agree that he’s made quite a name for himself in Hollywood before becoming our newest president.

#Grassachusetts


It has been a crazy week in politics.  Hours after the polls closed, Donald Trump was elected to be our 45th President of America.  This has been a close race, but Trump managed to snag the last few states earlier this morning.

While Donald Trump may have become our new president, other measures were voted into the state of Massachusetts.  Question 1, the measure revolving around expanding the slot machine gaming initiative, was opposed with 61% of the votes.  People also voted down NO on question 2 (regarding the measures around charter schools), with the ending results capping at 62% rejecting the idea.  People voted favorably on question 3 with 78% voting Yes on phasing out controversial methods of farm animal confinement.  And now for the final measure we’ve all been waiting for….cannabis legalization.

On November 8th, 2016, MA residents voted YES on recreational cannabis use for adults 21 and over.    The tally is 54% favoring question 4 while 46% oppose of the idea. Cannabis use has been official legal in the Bay State.  It has been a long battle, but MA cannabis users can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that cannabis is here to stay.

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But don’t break out the Cheetos just yet!  Here are some quick facts about the new initiative:

  • Cannabis legalization will not go into effect until December 15th
  • Adults 21 and over will only be allowed to carry up to 10 oz. in their homes or 1 oz. in public
  • Residents can grow up to 6 cannabis plants in their own home
  • No delivery services are allowed
  • Consuming cannabis in public remains ILLEGAL, but adults can use cannabis in their home
  • Cannabis Control Commission will begin accepting applications for experienced cannabis establishment operations no later than October 1st, 2017.
  • If Cannabis Control Commission fails to adopt the regulations on/before January 1st 2018, then existing medical cannabis treatment centers may being selling recreational cannabis to people

It may seem like a long wait, but the hard part is over.  The cannabis industry will now have a major role in shaping the Bay State for the years to come.  Massachusetts isn’t the only state that voted for legal recreational cannabis use.

After Massachusetts, California became the 6th state to legalize cannabis use.  Proposition 64 passed overwhelmingly with a 66% vote favoring the initiative and 44% voting no.  As of November 9th, cannabis use is fully legal in the state of California.  Note that California voted for a similar initiative with proposition 19 back in 2010, but was turned down with 53% of the votes.  This now makes cannabis legalized in the West Coast (Washington State, Oregon, and California).  Even though California is one of the largest states to legalize cannabis use, MA legalized cannabis BEFORE California (I know, SHOCKER!).

Next up on the list is Nevada.  Question 2 passed with 54% voters favoring the initiative and 46% voted no.  Nevada residents will be allowed to carry up to 1 oz. of cannabis on January 1st, 2018.  It’s like they say in Sin City: what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas (that goes for cannabis consumption now!).

Results are still being pulled in from Maine, but they will be posted once the final count is tallied up.  So far 3 states legalized recreational cannabis use, with the entire west coast legalizing cannabis as of November 9th.  This is TRULY a historic day for the cannabis industry.  Cannabis use has been legalized for adults in almost 1/5th of the country.  Not only did Massachusetts become the first eastern state to legalize recreational use, but it also legalized it BEFORE California did.  Massachusetts legalized cannabis use BEFORE California…what a day to be alive as a cannabis enthusiast!

People may still be taking in the fact that Donald Trump has become our new president, but it’s clear that the real winner in this year’s elections is cannabis.  Ever since Colorado and Washington state legalized cannabis use in 2012, states scrambled around to get their own initiatives together.  The dominoes started falling down in 2012 and will fall down harder over the course of these next few years.  We now live in a society where medical cannabis use is legalized in HALF of the country and a majority of Americans support recreational use.

A day later and I am still BEYOND shocked that cannabis became legal in my home state of Massachusetts.  I can remember being lectured in middle school about the ‘dangers’ of cannabis use, with teachers empathizing the negative impact it had on your life.  By freshman year of college, my perception about cannabis radically changed for the better.  Kudos to the Bay State for taking initiative legalizing cannabis!  It’s a bummer that dispensaries won’t be around until 2018, but we’ll just have to wait a bit more before we can get our hands-on retail cannabis.

California will also become a more desirable travel destination in the future once dispensaries hit the shelves.  Legalizing cannabis in Nevada will bring about a whole new definition of the term, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.  This is truly a game-changer for the cannabis industry, paving the path for what would be one of the top-growing industries of America.

What does this election say for Americans?  Cannabis is here to stay and prohibition is slowly becoming a thing of a past.  It’s surprising to think at one point a majority of Americans believed that cannabis should remain illegal in the country.  Those number are dwindling and support for cannabis use is skyrocketing each year.  With that, I’d like to end with a special statement:

In Pot We Trust, God Bless Marijuanamerica.  YES WE CANNABIS!

Update:  Maine legalized recreational cannabis use just a few days after the elections ended.  Kudos to Maine for joining CA, MA, and NV on the newest initiative!  It’ll be quite a year for cannabis these next few years!