Star Wars Weekends 2013: The best the human race has to offer in one place

Every year I look forward to the Star Wars weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It is one of the wonderful opportunities for philosophy, fantasy, ingenuity and the best aspects of human nature to converge at a palace of capitalism and celebrate the existence of one of the greatest stories of all time.  I love the energy, optimism, and opportunity that Star Wars offers individuals and families everywhere.   Many die-hard Star Wars fans converge every year in the middle of May to attend the fabulous Star Wars Weekend events.  For those who cannot attend, I offer these clips from the spectacle taken during the opening day ceremonies on Friday, May 17, 2013.

Sit back, grab a snack and enjoy the fun and pleasure of entertainment shown in the videos below!

Rich Hoffman

166701_584023358276159_1119605693_n“If they attack first………..blast em’!”

Lakota Sings and Dances for Spina Bifida: Behind the mask of charity is the demon of public relations

One of the big problems the current White House is going through with all their scandals is due to a commitment to maintaining a positive public image instead of dealing with difficult problems.  The White House is in trouble because they showed more concern about their public image than in doing what was right.  Since The White House trouble is all the rage in the news at the same time the Lakota school system released their lip-dub video in dedication to Spina Bifida awareness comparisons were inevitable. While watching the video I realized that Lakota was guilty of the same sins as their progressive older siblings in the federal government.  I had been prepared to say good things about the video where the efforts of the entire school had been pulled together with thousands of kids involved, but as I watched the obvious attempt to cater to Ellen DeGeneres at the 8:30 mark in the video the line was crossed.

I am sure that many of the people involved in making the video believe superficially that they were working on this project in the hopes of raising money for Spina Bifida, which is a terrible ailment.  The future treatment of Spina Bifida is certainly in the field of regenerative medicine and it takes money to generate that research.  No human being should have to deal with the terrible conditions of Spina Bifida.  However, as I’ve stated about many charity groups, often the intention is not what’s sold to the public, in much the same way that The White House has used victims of tragedy as a way to enact compassion to disguise their real intentions of increasing positive public relations.  Lakota seems to be guilty of the same thing with their new video.

What I see when watching this video is a very committed attempt to shut down the entire school system, teaching the kids nothing during the filming of the video except to act in a music video.  The amount of work was extensive and would have required hundreds of labor hours to decorate all those halls, coordinate the student efforts, and ultimately put on a production that is so large that Lakota could implement their stated objective of getting their effort noticed by Ellen DeGeneres.  They even rented a helicopter for the crane shots!  Based on what I know about the personalities behind the effort it appears to me that Lakota is using the tragic conditions of Spina Bifida as a shield gaining national exposure and the money that comes with such public relations.  The money Lakota needs is to pay for heavy ended labor contracts that are about to launch the administration into a budget deficit.  I wish that it wasn’t the case, but after carefully looking at the posters on the wall and the behavior of the coordination, the effort is more about public relations and appeasing Ellen DeGeneres than actually helping Spina Bifida victims.

These kinds of public relations tricks have been executed against communities for decades.  The White House uses these tactics overtly because nobody would dare call them what they actually are, because the villainy is hidden behind goodness.  In the case of Spina Bifida the little girl featured in the video needs help, and she needs money for research into her ailment.  But if people really wanted to help, the left-leaning video organizers would contribute considerable portions of their pay-checks—especially the nearly 1000 employees at Lakota who make more than $60K per year to help Spina Bifida.  Some of the people involved in that video have quarter million dollar contracts.  A personal check for $1000 to $5000 goes a long way, and those school employees can afford it. But the intention of the video however was to convince “other” people to contribute “their” money while the school gets a pat on the head by a national celebrity.  The school can then use that endorsement during their next levy increase campaign.  I would say the same statements to those organizers that I have said to the local socialites who stick their noses in local charity efforts—just write a six figure personal check instead of buying another Florida condo, then you will have done something good for Spina Bifida and the little girl in the video.  But putting up decorations all over the Lakota schools using staff members and shutting down the entire education process to film a video for a public relations effort with the intention of attracting a day-time talk show host’s airtime is public relations, not Spina Bifida awareness.

When President Obama brought in the families of the Sandy Hook shootings to Washington and gave a speech with them in the background, the President was guilty of using the tragedy of that catastrophic school shooting to advance his anti-gun policies.  The situation was exacerbated when those families were encouraged to sit in the Senate balcony to apply pressure on the Senators as they voted on a proposed gun bill pushed by the Obama administration.  The same type of subtle manipulation is being done by the government school of Lakota.  The attempt at consensus by Lakota to use victims of Spina Bifida as an excuse to appeal to a national audience is using the mechanism of charity as a malicious and manipulative endeavor.  Since altruism is generally a hand-off type of social judgment, assessment of charity value is never analyzed.  It is never judged whether or not a charity event is successful or not, because only the intention is considered.  This allows giant government schools like Lakota to use victims of Spina Bifida to actually gain public relations favor ahead of tax increase requests without being accused of using thousands of Lakota students and employees to illegally support school levy endeavors by hiding the intention behind a detrimental illness.

This is the danger of a government school being stuck into the center of a community and forcing property owners to contribute their money to such institutions under force.  The progressive philosophy shown in the video, especially at the 8:30 mark is one that I do not support, yet I must support it because I own property near the school.  And I also don’t agree with supporting an institution that exploits those who are less fortunate with the disguised need to further raise taxes.  Public schools need to behave under competitive influence so that tax payers are given a choice of what kind of ideas they support, or don’t support, instead of being forced to provide thousands of private dollars in taxes to a progressive organization that thinks singing, dancing, and getting on Ellen’s television show is more important than the fundamentals of education, and living within a community established budget.

It may be considered by many to be “mean spirited” to point out such obvious schemes.  But if someone really wants to help Spina Bifida, they need to put their money where their mouth is and help those who need it without seeking celebrity on television.  In the case of this video, it is just a grim reminder that public education institutions see themselves as molds for a community, and they are driven by government parameters, so it is troubling to see such large conglomerations of collective effort believing that they are doing good, when the act is only an illusion.  These are not the kind of messages that children should grow up believing.  Even though the participants at the 8:30 mark in the video behave in such a flimsy way as part of their social act, the act itself is but one more reminder that the product produced in public schools are one of the many factors that are eroding away the ethical foundation of our present society with beliefs that are caused not for concern over Spina Bifida, but to become celebrities on Ellen with a production so big, and expensive, that nobody would dare question it.

For the clear-cut truth on this matter ask yourself how many of the kids at Lakota watch Ellen DeGeneres?  That’s what I thought.  The effort was created by the administration and the public relation influence that is behind all their actions–the kids just did what they were told.  If you peel back the situation just a bit more, the intent behind the Spina Bifida campaign is clear.  However, if you’d like to give money to help with Spina Bifida CLICK HERE.  But keep your eyes open for the levy addicts.  When I last checked the money this video raised had not broken $10K.  What is a $1000 dollar personal check from a teacher who makes $60K a year?  It means they make $59K per year instead of $60K.  Just think of how much money 2000 employees at Lakota could raise if they all gave such an amount.  $200,000 would go a long way to helping children with Spina Bifida.  So why is the donation amount so low? 

Isn’t it all about the kids?

Rich Hoffman

166701_584023358276159_1119605693_n“If they attack first………..blast em’!”