One of the biggest problems of attending San Diego Comic Con International is the long lines to get into the most popular panel venues.

The busiest is Hall H which features the most popular movies and TV shows. In 2016 I waited in line for a total of 11 hours to insure entrance to the Saturday Panel which included the most revered Marvel panel.

This year at 730am on Friday there were already those lining up for the Saturday Panel.

I look forward to the day that CCSD develops some kind of fast pass to end the lines altogether.

I was able to get into the Friday panel after a total of 6.5 hours in line. But because the Friday panel did not finish until 630 pm, I couldn’t get in line soon enough for a Saturday pass. After 4.5 hours in line, I and about 200 others were denied passes because they ran out .

I must say after  a three year absence from the Con, there were definitely improvements.

Now you are only allowed near the convention center if you have a Comic Con badge. This eliminated the crazy protesters. Harbor Drive is closed to autos and the driveway in front of the convention center is for foot traffic only. No more people jammed onto sidewalks.

The biggest evolution has to do with the widening offerings of movies and TV series thanks to the growing popularity of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

Viva viewer choice and the power of competition!

Thanks to all of these offerings there are more venue options and more exciting panels making Hall H less obligatory.

On the day that I missed Hall H, I had several choice offerings to choose from.

I chose the Indigo ballroom at the Bayfront Hilton highlighted by a panel for TBS’ new show Snowpiercer. There is a strong cast of actors in the series with excellent resumes. I was excited to see Jennifer Connelly, one of my favorites.

The best part was-no line.

There are also more “free” events for non-badge holders through out the downtown area.

FX and Adult Swim had interactive displays near the Bayfront Hilton. Amazon hosted a fair including free eats near the Hyatt Manchester. SYFY channel took over a downtown building.

There were also more food choices with food trucks and carts in addition to “to go”options at restaurants.

As the popularity of Comic Con grows I am encouraged by changes that make it more enjoyable for everyone.

Maybe if they make Petco Park the venue to replace Hall H there will finally be no line.






Were the kids at Highland Ranch forced to risk their lives because of the dangerous lockdown procedures and building designs created in response to the Columbine shootings?

A few years ago I toured Highlands Ranch STEM as part of a School Choice Conference  held by the Franklin Institute.  A group of writers, bloggers and community activists were brought together to learn about the successes of the Denver School System’s Charter School Program.  We were given the task of disseminating that information to our followers and bloggers during the Obama era Common Core Education push.  This was meant as an effort to bring back diversity and alternatives to a government backed cookie cutter (dare I say propagandized) system.

As I toured the school, I remember feeling a bit claustrophobic and imprisoned in the shiny new building. As I saw the news coverage of the recent shooting on this campus, I reflected on this.  It was built as a fortress to protect the children from an invading threat such as the shooters at Columbine 20 years ago.  The windows were very high up on the walls.  There was no looking out on the beautiful countryside.  This would provide protection from anyone trying to fire shots into the building.

The stairs were in the center of the building with the classrooms surrounding them.  This would provide protection from an outside danger. There was a lockdown protocol in place during the shooting  at STEM.  You can here the computer generated voice announcing as the security system went into play.  It said, “Lights out, doors locked, shelter in place.” This is a good protocol if the danger were outside but what if the danger was in their midst?

Kendrick Castillo sprung into action and put himself in harm’s way to tackle the shooter when he realized that the fortress to protect had become a death sentence for the victims imprisoned by it.  His actions saved other lives but was this loss of life a consequence of the new “safety” measures meant to protect lives? They may have in reality endangered lives.

One new system in place that did save lives was a change from previous policies to secure the perimeter and draw the threat out.  The new policy is to send officers immediately toward the threat to disarm them as soon as possible.  Police were on the scene within minutes of shots fired and the threats were in custody soon after.

It is sad that we must identify better ways to keep children safe from shooters at school.  It is interesting that while speakers at a vigil were calling for stricter gun laws, the children who were victims of the shooting shouted ,”Mental health is the issue.”

They may be the generation that ends these atrocities by addressing help for those that commit them.  There is a saying that “Hurt people hurt people.” May we heal those that hurt in order to help all of usstem school.






I lost faith in the Republican party during the George W. Bush administration with his warmongering agenda. I lost more faith as Republicans were representing themselves as Conservative Christians who were bigots and homophobes during the Obama administration.

I found myself as an activist in the Libertarian Party in 2013 as a result of my disillusionment with the Republican Party.

I was shocked when Evangelical Leaders and conservative Christians put their votes behind Donald Trump. He was the antidote for the liberal agenda of President Obama and Trump’s Democratic opponent in the 2016 elections, Hillary Clinton.

Other than his promised support of Christian values there is nothing about the man himself that aligns with Christianity.

I was shocked, when at the first church service after the election there was thunderous applause at the Southern Baptist Church I attend for this godless irreverent president-elect.

Evangelical leaders like Franklin Graham and David Jeremiah “campaigned” for Trump via nationwide speaking tours.

Yes Christian “persecution” has been reduced thanks to a more conservative Supreme Court allowing Christans to refuse to bake cakes for LGBT weddings and Christian companies can opt out of medical insurance that pays for abortions. But at what price?

Adolf Hitler claimed to be a Christian while committing one of the worst genocides in the history of the world.

Have Evangelical leaders made a pact with the devil?

As I read an article by John Pavolitz - denouncing these leaders my first thought was a line from the old hymn “Am I A Soldier Of The Cross?”

Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas.

Is this the reason for the campaigns for Trump-to soften the battle for believers?

I cannot think of one verse in the Bible admonishing believers to fight for political causes. Christ’s focus was proclaiming the gospel as was the message of all the writers of the New Testament.

I pray that all believers and foremost our church leaders will :

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

That is the only way to make America Great again.

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14


We Are All Infected

The 2016 Election was a wake-up call for America.


America was believed to be the Saviour of the world-a place where every race, faith and creed could live in harmony-a place where justice could be found for its oppressed and the oppressed throughout the world.

I explore the truth versus the myth of America in my book Blessed Are They That Hunger. The reality of the regime of ” No Filter Trump” and the followers that elected him reveal who America really is.

As a member of the Libertarian Party, I have fought for preservation of the Constitution, limited government and more freedom for Americans for the past few years. I have been in a state of shock, as I found out, these were not the values of my fellow Americans.

I have seen my fellow Liberty loving warriors try to grapple with this reality as well. Jeffrey A. Tucker, and Robin Koerner both brilliant writer’s and political persuaders have written articles analyzing the current political and philosophical state of America with its shift away from Liberty.

It was reading one of Tucker’s articles The Do’s and Don’t of Talking Liberty and Koerner’s Article The Fight for Freedom Begins in Culture and watching The Walking Dead, that I faced my own conclusion.

As a Christian, I believe the tenets of the Bible, but somehow, I had been duped into thinking, if I educated people about Liberty, they would want to fight for it as much as I did. But there are Truths in the Bible that explain why this isn’t such an easy solution.

1. We Are All Infected

Rick Grimes is informed by the Head of the CDC in The Walking Dead that everyone is infected by the virus that turns corpses into Walkers. It is not the result of being bitten by the Walkers but regardless of how someone dies, they will turn into a Walker.

The truth behind the state of America and the world is-we are all infected with sin.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

We have a hard time believing this. We want to believe-“I am Ok and you are OK”.

We are shocked when people hurt others, or steal or even kill because we do not want to accept our own sin and therefore we do not want to accept the truth that it permeates all of us and there is no good in any of us.

Romans 3:12 ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one’. ‘Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit’; ‘the poison of asps is under their lips’, ‘whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness’. ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known’. ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes’.

2. Mankind Cannot Save Mankind

When Christ walked the earth and the beginning of the Spiritual Revolution that is Christianity began, there were some strides made in a more free and less oppressive world for Mankind. This fight for liberty is traced back to the Judaic roots of Christianity. The Jewish faith and its laws were the beginning of a society based on fairness and justice and freedom. The idea that our liberty is God given or innate to us as human beings is rooted in these teachings.

The progress towards freedom since then has always been slow-three steps forward and two steps back. This is because of point #1. When people lead other people, there is an opportunity for abuse of power and the oppression of those followed.

The idea that power corrupts is shown throughout history and the bloody wars and cruel genocides that mark the centuries of our existence.

The Walking Dead illustrates this truth as well. The more rules and hierarchy of leadership is instituted in the tale, and the more power a leader is given, the more cruelty and oppression follows. It is not the mindless Zombies that are the biggest threat to the remaining humans of the Apocalypse, but mankind itself.

3. There Is No Heaven On Earth

It has been said that,” Earth is the closest a believer in Christ will get to hell and the closest the unbeliever will get to heaven”.

There is so much beauty and good in the world that we forget the truth that it is a fallen world, corrupted by the infection of sin, caused by the first sin of Adam and Eve. The earth was designed to be Paradise but because God did not want puppet followers, He gave mankind the free will to choose obedience or not.

When the sin of rebellion was committed, it infected every person of every generation throughout history. No amount of laws and regulations can ultimately change this truth and give us a trouble- free world.

Jesus’ words when He prayed for His followers were:

I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. John 17:15,16

It is best to remember that this is not heaven on earth, and for believers ,it is not our home- we are just passing through-as the old hymn reminds us.

4. We Need A Saviour

Redemption from sin came for mankind in the person of Jesus Christ. He was God made man, born of a virgin, the Meshach or Messiah, foretold in the prophesies of Judaism. His sacrificial death does not eliminate the sin of mankind but covers it to allow salvation from eternal death for His believers.

The infiltration of Christianity and its tenets and the giving to the earth of the Holy Spirit to those who believe, have made a dent in the evil and corruption of this world. Believer’s in Christ have fought for the end of slavery, fed the poor, preached hope to the incarcerated and it was believers in the Judeo- Christian laws that penned the most liberating documents in history including the Constitution of the United States. These efforts have helped to make the world better but there continues to be:

8 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. Matthew 13:8

As much as we strive the make the world a better place, (and we should) We cannot cure the disease of sin any more than Rick Grimes can cure the disease of the Walkers.

The end will come despite our best efforts and the Hope for believers is:

26 Then everyone will see the Son of Man[h] coming on the clouds with great power and glory.[i] 27 And he will send out his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the world[j]—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. Matthew 13:26,27

The only question is-who will take the cure?


It is interesting how art imitates life. As I reflect on the new Season of The Walking Dead, it is apparent to me that as the story line has changed and we are discovering different communities with varied governing entities, there are definite parallels to the leadership changes that are happening in the U. S.

I have written more than a few times about how Anarchy is the new Utopia for Gen X and Boomers which explains the large viewing audience in these demographics. As these two generations have watched government continue to grab power and limit personal freedom, the anarchy of the dystopic world of the Dead has its appeal.

The danger of the walkers pales in comparison to the evil that men do when they organize and create a governing leadership. This has been shown time and time again throughout the tale of the The Dead. The Governor, Terminus and even the Hospital community where Beth died all were examples of how power corrupts and people are more dangerous than flesh eating zombies.

The only leader who seems to be almost immune from the corruption of power is Rick Grimes, the long suffering former Sheriff.  I would call him the Libertarian-the Gary Johnson- of The Walking Dead.  Although he ultimately becomes the main leader of Alexandria, his leadership is not about power over others.  He allows freedom of choice among his followers and asks for the input of others on his decision-making.  His rule is more of a min-archy.  Minimum of rules, maximum of freedom, limited government.

The fatal mistake Rick made was breaking into the Saviour’s compound as an attempt to take them down to protect the Hilltop community from the brutal hold they had over them.  He took on a battle that was not his and overestimated the power of his group.  This prideful decision may show the beginning of corruption from the power of his leadership.  Ultimately this decision lead to the death of two of his main followers Abraham and Glen and the beginning of the iron fisted rule of Negan over Alexandria.

America, on the other hand, seems to have chosen to be ruled by a leader not unlike Negan to replace their leader who is not unlike King Ezekial.

King Ezekial is the smooth talking benevolent dictator who rules The Kingdom with a velvet hammer (and a tiger by his side).  He tells Carol “People want a leader.”  I echo this thought in my book Blessed Are They That Hunger .  Although God wanted the Israelite people to be a Theocracy with God as the leader, they begged Him for a king.  King is a fitting title for the outgoing president of the United States who used his Executive orders to enact his will more like a monarch than a president. And like King Ezekial he is smooth talking and reminds his followers that everything he does is for their own good.  I am reminded of a quote by CS Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Apparently, America was fed up with Obama and the Liberal agenda of the Democratic Party because his antecessor was not elected to office.

The President-elect has all the markings of Negan.  He may be the robber baron that CS Lewis refers to.  He makes no pretense to his iron rule with niceties and platitudes while enacting his will upon the people.  There is no duplicity about him.  His speech is brash and crude with no thought to lulling the masses into submission, but imposing his rule with an iron fist -no velvet to cushion the blow (or in the case of Negan, a barbed wire wrapped bat.)

Fortunately for America, there is another power to keep in check the power of the president, and that is the power of the other branches of government.  The Congress and Supreme Court stymied the will of the exiting President, and I trust will do the same with the President-elect.

So far no regime has successfully taken away our weapons the way the leaders in The Walking Dead did.  The president- elect promises to restore gun rights as he “Makes America Great Again”.

Time will tell if the promises of the election are fulfilled but as for me, my hope is in the Lord God.

Psalm 20:6-821st Century King James Version (KJ21)

6 Now I know that the Lord saveth His anointed; He will hear him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

8 They are brought down and fallen; but we are risen and stand upright.

……in order to form a more perfect union.  A more perfect union-that is what the writers of the Constitution were creating.  A more perfect union of imperfect people, where there would b…

Source: We The People…

This blog is still valid today.  In light of this contentious election keep in mind that in the form of government we have no leader can take our power.  The power is in the people….


 A new poll  states that 83% of Americans are Christians. In one of my recent blogs I pose “Is The Trump Phenomena Blowback From Our Liberal Political Correctness?”. Are conservatives pushing back from a minority that is dictating the laws and values (or lack thereof) that guide them? This new conservative movement coined as the Alt-Right is a new, uglier version of values based on the tenets of Christianity. It is religion used as justification for hate mongering taken to a new level.

I was shocked to hear a major TV pastor throw his support for Trump as the candidate that would preserve Christianity, and ebb the encroachment of liberal values in America. I am reminded of Hitler’s rallying cry “Gott Mit Uns”-“God Is With Us”.  This is surely an adulteration of the teachings of Christ.

How did we-a Christian nation- reach the point that we need to have an atomic reaction (metaphorically speaking) in order to “restore America” to its Christian values? I write about this in more detail in Entitlement And The Christian Right . I am afraid that this has happened because we were so “comfortable” in the blessings and prosperity of a “Christian America” that we let down our guard and allowed the “foxes in the garden” as Solomon talks about in Song of Solomon from the Bible.

This “blowback” may not be so much as a desire to return America to Christ as it is a desire for an easier life. We are like the Israelites before the Babylonian exile:

 How terrible for you who sprawl on ivory beds

    and lounge on your couches,

eating the meat of tender lambs from the flock

    and of choice calves fattened in the stall.

You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp

    and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David.

You drink wine by the bowlful

    and perfume yourselves with fragrant lotions.

    You care nothing about the ruin of your nation.[b] Amos 6:4-6

One of the areas that has been affected by the rule of minority values in America is our public school system. 

As a child, I remember when school started with prayer and the inclusion of “under God” in the pledge of Allegiance.  Although the theory of evolution was brought to light in 1859 in Darwin’s “Origin of Species” it did was not mandated to be taught in public schools until the 1960’s.  Creationism was banned from public schools in 1987.

Although there are laws to protect religious freedom in schools, there are continuing incidents of organizations being banned and teachers being sanctioned for heading these organizations on school campuses. Separation of church and state is the main justification for these occurrences.  Historically the purpose of this highly valued statement was to protect freedom of religion, not inhibit it, as it does now.

Laws have been passed in California to mandate the teaching of LGBT History in schools.  California has also passed a law that forbids parents from opting out of vaccinations for their children for religious or philosophical reasons.

One law at a time Christianity has been banned from our public schools in a country where 83% of its inhabitants claim to adhere to its beliefs.  The result of this has been a rise in the numbers of white Americans leaving the public school system. For economic reasons, districts have implemented charter schools as an attempt to retain these students. Voucher systems and tax credits support a parent’s right to educate their children in a religious setting in spite of the legal opposition that these programs face.

One of the reasons that I chose private Christian education for my child was that I felt that character development was as important as academics.  A Christian school educates children about ethics, values and morality based on the teachings of the Bible.

I thought it was interesting, that in a presentation I heard at a charter school in Denver, they shared with us a code of ethics that they expected their students to adhere to:

The six DSST Core Values are Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, Curiosity and Doing Your Best. They are the foundation of Byers and are an active part in the daily lives of each community member. Visitors to our community most often remark that the values are not simply words on walls but are tangibly lived by students, staff, and families at DSST: Byers.

Perhaps this is an example of how Christian morality and values may be reappearing in public schools, although with a humanistic rather than religious basis.

If public schools are really serious about retaining students, perhaps it is time to consider a Christian charter school. I can already hear the uproar and numerous legal violations.  It is interesting to note that the first public schools in America  were started to teach children their protestant religion.  It was the influx of Catholics from Ireland that prompted Blaine laws that have stymied the support of religious schools with public funds.

Now that there is an Alt-Right movement in America, the silent majority is silent no more.  The knee-jerk reaction to the influx of liberal values in our laws are reaching a point that adherents to conservative values can no longer live the life of ease and comfort they once enjoyed.  They are making themselves heard. Will American schools be returned to a safe haven for Christianity and not an enemy to it?

I pray that there are few casualties as this movement gains momentum.  I pray that American Christians are more concerned about elevating Christ than protecting their rights.

Let our cause not be about preserving or returning to a life of ease and safety but let our cause be about loving a lost world for Christ.

“When did we start believing God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things? That playing it safe is safe? That radical is anything but normal? Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous. Faithfulness is not holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of hell. The will of God is not an insurance plan. It’s a daring plan. And the complete surrender of your life to the cause of Christ isn’t radical. It’s normal. It’s time to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.”

—Mark Batterson, Author, Lead Pastor National Community Church, “Are You All In?”




A growing number of Americans are concerned about the increase of government intrusion in their lives. One area that this is undeniable is in our National system of education.  In years past there was more autonomy allowed by states, local districts and even schools within districts.  Flexibility was allowed and parents had a voice in curriculum, discipline and school policies for their children’s education.

Today’s PTA’s are mainly fundraising organizations for our schools’ over-tapped budgets. In years past they were as powerful as the School Boards. As laws continue to increase determining more and more aspects of our system of education, the power of parental involvement has been allocated to legislators. Laws have been made to eliminate school prayer, eliminate religious extra-curricular clubs from campuses, and Federal Laws are forcing a National Curriculum called the Common Core. California recently passed a law that prevents exemption from vaccinations for philosophical or religious reasons for public school children.

For these reasons and others, parents are opting out of traditional public education and looking for alternatives.

Between fall 2003 and fall 2013, the number of White students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools decreased from 28.4 million to 25.2 million, and the percentage who were White decreased from 59 to 50 percent.  NCES

Milton Friedman, one of this country’s biggest advocates for liberty was at the forefront of the school choice movement long before the tentacles of government involvement had reached their current levels. Along with his wife Rose, he formed the Friedman Foundation in 1996 to promote parental choice in education.  Of this he said, “Our goal is to have a system in which every family in the U.S. will be able to choose for itself the school to which its children go. We are far from that ultimate result. If we had that – a system of free choice – we would also have a system of competition, innovation, which would change the character of education.”

The options available for school choice vary by state. 40% of states offer some kind of school choice outside the public school system.  Within the public school system charter schools and magnet schools offer somewhat of a “choice” with specialized programs that can address issues such as educating the ESL population through special curriculum. Charter and magnet schools can offer an emphasis of focused learning for the Arts, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to prepare students for further education and careers in these fields.

These charter schools are so attractive academically that some parents who have homeschooled their children for religious reasons are choosing them as a better option to prepare them for college.

 School Choice is not an issue for America’s 1%.  With wealth comes choices for the best education regardless of the price through private institutions. Providing school choice for parents in America is really about levelling the field for education equality  amid the growing chasm of income inequality. Proof of this is that it is the economically privileged white population that is exiting public education.

 Homeschooling  is on the rise, with an increasingly more diverse demographic, as an inexpensive alternative for lower income families. Education Savings Accounts are available in some states to assist families that homeschool to offset expenses such as books, and online education programs.

 In an effort to recapture per student government funding, some districts are creating programs and on- line courses to facilitate homeschooled students.  Charter schools are being created for just this purpose both in the private and public education sector.

Voucher programs can make it possible for economically challenged families to provide a superior education that could help their children to break the cycle of poverty. The Blaine Laws are an obstacle in the voucher program because they consider using tax money for religious schools to be a violation of separation of church and state.  It could be argued that taxpayers should have a say in the distribution of their own money regardless of religious affiliation.

Intra and inter-district transfers are another way to level the education playing field for disadvantaged minorities. Studies  show that lower income districts underperform higher income districts. Often the registration process in districts is so complicated, that though transfers are possible, many do not take advantage of them. Many states  do not allow transfers or limit them to a very small percentage.  It takes a pro-active program to reach out to underprivileged families to make them aware of what choices are available to them.

It is interesting to see the small percentage of those who take advantage of school choice in states where it is available. It would make one conclude that there is a lack of awareness and/or an overly complicated application process that prevents parents from utilizing them. School voucher and Personal Tax credit options seem to be the most utilized of the choice options.

The ability to enroll children in the school of choice is a fundamental parental right.  In a country that promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness- it must be guarded.  Education equality could be the first step in the road to income equality throughout our nation.  School choice is the vehicle that makes it possible.



Charter Schools are on the rise across the country as America’s failing education system attempts new models to improve itself. For the most part, these Charter and Innovative schools are making a difference and improving graduation rates, test scores, and retention. Because of this there is a demand by parents  for more charter schools.

Along with their success has come a backlash of lawsuits and legislation meant to slow their progress and in some cases terminate them altogether.

Reasons for these  lawsuits  range from civil rights violations, education equality violations, and even accusations of un-constitutional standards and requirements.

The instigators of these lawsuits are varied.  Parents, Teacher’s associations, School Districts and the  ACLU have filed complaints against charter schools. Now, the  Black Lives Matter Movement is accusing them of propagating racial injustice. In the same way crime rates were reduced by the increased incarceration of black Americans, the NAACP and BLM believe that test scores in minority rich urban charter schools are being accomplished by increased suspensions and expulsions of black students.

Most explanations for the suits are financial. As the numbers of Charter schools continue to grow, money is diverted from traditional schools and, therefore, limiting their resources.

At a  recent Conference on School Choice  I  attended, put on by the Franklin Center for Public and Government Integrity, the point was made by Ben Scafidi of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice that if the student is no longer in the school, it is no longer an expense of the school, so it is not costing the school anything if it loses funding.

A school board member with whom I am acquainted, says that this is a simplistic interpretation and not a real picture of the costs to traditional public schools in losses to their program funding.

Perhaps the lawsuits are more motivated by control issues between Teacher’s Unions, Districts and government entities all vying for their own education agenda. Whatever the reasons, there is a cost and the cost is the children.  Money that would otherwise be used for supplies, teachers, curriculum and programs is spent on attorneys and court costs.

As Tim Keller, an attorney who represents charter schools for the Institute For Justice, and another speaker at the conference said, Charter Schools are here to stay”.  It would make sense to accept this, and learn to work with them and not against them for the sake of our children.

The  Denver Public Schools  have made great strides because the district and charter schools are learning to work together and support  each other’s efforts. As America continues to grow in cultural diversity, it is important that our educational system accept and embrace this change.  One of the ways that it can do this is through charter schools that are better suited to the ESL population.  These programs may not work in a more homogenized setting or curriculum, but only in the freedom allowed in the charter schools. Charter Schools by their nature have less regulations and can be more innovative in programs and curriculum.

The Strive Program in Denver is an example of how charter schools can meet the needs of the ESL segment of the community through curriculum created for them that integrates English learning.

If we really want to make America great, it begins with educating our children to be the best in the world.  With only two countries in the world that outspend us on education per child   there is no reason why we shouldn’t be the best educated in the world.

It is time to try a new model for learning. Perhaps the charter schools are leading the way. If only the naysayers and opponents would just give them a chance and end the lawsuits and legislation attempting to stop them.





Comic Con International San Diego is the Mecca for Comic book geeks, gamers, techies, sci-fi /fantasy readers, various forms of animation and fans of movies and TV shows inspired by them. It casts such a large swath across the entertainment industry that it takes up every inch of the 460,000 square feet allotted to it in Halls A-G of the San Diego Convention Center. This year was my third visit to Comic Con.

My initial interest in attending was to make connections to promote my books which are inspired by two darlings of Comic Con-Twilight and Hunger Games.  This year I am more focused on political blogging and writing my own piece of YA fiction.  This was my year to just let my fangirl flag fly and enjoy the Con.

After attending two Cons and enjoying freebies around town in San Diego, including the Conan O’Brien show last year, I came to a conclusion- I really only want to be in Hall H. Hall H- the hallowed Hall that holds 6500 rabid fans waiting to be the first to see clips and trailers of Hollywood’s biggest Comic inspired fare and panels of A list directors and actors.

But to spend Comic Con in Hall H takes epic courage and endurance equal to those feats accomplished by the characters in the tales so beloved by their fans.

It is a rite of passage, a gauntlet, a quest that is proof of one’s devotion to the comic genre.

It begins with your choice of attire. It must be cool enough to endure waiting in line on bright white concrete radiating heat but warm enough to be comfortable in the air conditioned blasts of Hall H.  Your footwear must be comfortable enough for walking further in circles than you ever have gone in any distance race.

Water is essential.  If you are in line alone, with no one to hold your place, you may want some kind of sustenance as well. I recommend an insulated water bottle with ice cold water and some kind of food source that will not melt or rot in the heat.  An insulated lunch bag with an ice pack is great if you don’t mind having more weight to carry.  Packing your lunch is a great idea because -heaven forbid- that you should be forced to buy the outrageously priced food at the convention center with its paltry selection and putrid taste, or a worse fate- that you would have to fight the crowds in downtown San Diego to try to eat at a local restaurant in the 1 hour allotted to you to leave Hall H without losing your seat. If you are lucky some enterprising person will come along the line selling water bottles or pushing an ice cream cart.

Something to sit on is helpful-especially a portable stool or chair that can be easily scooped up if the line suddenly lunges forward. At the very least a pad or pillow or even a towel will do. Anything to cushion you from the hot hard cement or what remains of the drought parched lawn.

Bring your own shade in the form of an umbrella or shade cover for your camping chair, as you will be far from the tented awning for most of your wait,down by the marina.

If you are a super hero among fans and choose to spend the night in line, then light weight camping gear is in order.  Keep in mind Comic Con has restrictions-no tents, matresses or chairs larger than the length of one body.

You must be careful to stay in the right line or you may end up in a land you know not. Most volunteers and security people are as confused as you -so be careful whose direction you take.  There was a whole tent city formed on the blazing heat of an asphalt parking lot between the Ferry to Coronado pier and Joe’s Crab Shack.  It was found to be an unauthorized portion of the line started by an unwitting attendee and a confused volunteer.

Its discovery delayed the distribution of the coveted wrist bands-your only guarantee into Hall H by over 4 hours as the imperfect system had a proverbial wrench thrown in it.  

Don’t mistake the Hall H line for the Everything Line or you will never enter Hall H.  There was only one enthusiastic security guard who cheerful yelled to differentiate between the two.  The everything line, like the everything bagel, gives you a taste of every part of the convention center EXCEPT Hall H.  I think about 30 people hopped out of the Hall H line when the security guard gave her “Everything  Line” chant.

When the distribution of the wrist bands begins you must gather your Hall H hunting party and stake your plot on the ground.  You must consolidate your gear and tighten up the line.  Just when you think you will never get your band you find yourself accosted by a merry band of yellow and black attired bumble bees-no security guards- and the Hall H staff.  Don’t be alarmed as you are temporarily detained by yellow caution tape.  You are not in a crime scene but being protected from the dreaded “line jumpers”. You will only be released when you can show proof of a tightly affixed wrist band.  Your choice now is to go to hearth and bed for a few hours or continue to stake your place in line until the doors open tomorrow morning.

The parking lot people delayed us so far into the night that the bumble bees became festooned with bright red hazard lights attached to their neon green safety vests. They looked like Valarian creatures floating in the darkness.

Don’t oversleep- after having to wait for your wristband until 1am- because if you do not return by 730 am to resume your place in line, it will all be for naught. You will be thrust at the end of the line with those who have no wrist band. You will have lost your guarantee into the Hall.

And though the Saturday panel did not start until 1130 and the doors were not opened until 10 am we were forced to return at 730 am to face the cement and heat and endless walking in circles to earn our spot in the Great Hall H.

But eventually your journey will come to an end and a new adventure begin.  Your devotion and commitment will be rewarded by being in the presence of the stars your revere and a sneak peak of your favorite shows and movies. You will be dazzled by a holographic light show as Dr. Strange is revealed and bestowed with free swag from the studios.  But above all you have the satisfaction of knowing that for one more year you have conquered Hall H at Comic Con International San Diego.

Charlie Hunnam SDCC 2016