May 2014 Newsletter

SCADPads: Preparing US for Third-World Housing?

135 Square-Feet Homes Fit In 8 x 16 Parking Spot
Putting SCADPads to a test this month in Atlanta are a dozen students, including a male design for sustainability student who said, “I want to live in a parking garage
because there are so many out there that can be reused and re-purposed.”

Garage Becomes Eco-Friendly Village/Community
Georgia Power says SCAD participation in its Commercial Energy Efficiency Program resulted in a $245,466 rebate for eco-friendly practices. 41 SCAD buildings incorporating energy efficient upgrades saved 614,570 Kwh of electricity, enough to take 51 homes off the grid for a year.

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) explained that students designed and developed SCADPads for use by families who will be pressured to move from spacious rural settlements into cities. A micro-housing display of three tiny homes, sits atop the SCAD building parking deck at 1600 Peachtree Street. Wheels on the units are hidden to conceal their identity as mini-mobile homes. The Atlanta display is from April 12 through June 1. It may go to Houston next.

Spurred by the World Health Organization’s projection that cities will house 60 percent of the population by 2030, SCAD’s program coordinator Scott Boylston explained, “If you look at where parking garages are located in cities, they’re usually centrally located. There are usually many, many floors, so they provide an amazing view. It really transforms the way we see neighborhoods. The idea (sic) that the garage becomes a village — a community.

Picture this. A grown man standing with out-stretched arms can almost touch the side walls and ceiling in the 135 square-foot space, which includes a bed, sitting area, bathroom with toilet, shower and sink, and kitchen with a refrigerator and freezer hidden inside cabinet drawers. There’s no room for hanging space, so clothes are folded and stored in drawers. Urging folks to get used to it, SCAD Dean Steven Aishman commented, “They are practical, reusable, and they’re able to address the idea of urban living.”

They’re okay for students, but inadequate for family life.

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March 28, 2014 Radio Commentary

Fiddlin’ With the Constitution

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, March 28, 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim. Something’s going on with all the calls for an Article V convention of the states – the latest label for a constitutional convention. According to leaders of the movement, an Article V convention would be called for only one purpose – to pass a balanced budget amendment – but don’t you believe it.

On March 6th of this year, the General Assembly passed S.R. 736 calling for a convention for three purposes – fiscal restraints on the federal government, limited power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limited terms of office for federal officials and members of Congress. While a balanced budget might be among the fiscal restraints, it is NOT mentioned and might NOT be included. So, S.R. 736 is requesting a convention to consider constitutional amendments in three areas that, most likely, would require many MORE than three amendments to get the job done.

On February 20th of this year, S.R. 371 passed, calling for a convention to pass an amendment to prohibit Congress from appropriating more money than is expected to be collected in federal taxes for that fiscal year. That may lean toward balancing the budget, but it does not mandate a balanced budget and it does not mention the deficit or the interest that must be paid on all that borrowed money. So, while Congress has liberty to spend as much money as received each year, there’s no provision for a “rainy day fund;” the deficit isn’t addressed at all; and the debt remains. Continue reading

March 1, 2014 Newsletter

Common Core: National Take-Over of K – 12 Curricula

“The Common Core gang in 1996 gathered a cozy group of rich big businessmen, six governors, and a few other politicians and founded an organization called Achieve Inc. Working backward from the 12th grade down to kindergarten, this eventually morphed into the Common Core State Standards.”
– “National Takeover of School Curriculum,” by Phyllis Schlafly, February 26, 2014

Common Core is a set of K – 12 English language arts (ELA) and math standards, primarily developed by trade groups and private interests in Washington, D.C.; funded by the Gates Foundation; copyrighted in 2010 by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers, as sole owners and developers.

Achieve Inc., mentioned in Mr. Pattison’s quote above, began implementing Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 13 states, without calling it a national effort, since a nationally mandated curriculum is unconstitutional. Instead, Achieve approached each state department of education and by 2009, 35 states had aligned their curriculum with Common Core. By 2011, 45 states had adopted the sight-unseen pig-in-a-poke that had never been field tested.

Whether with amazing naiveté or complicity in the plan, Georgia agreed to implement CCSS to qualify for a $400 million Race to the Top education reform grant received in August 2010, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to improve schools.

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February 28, 2014 Radio Commentary

Steam Roller! Look Out!

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, March 1, 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim. Last year’s S.R. 371, calling for a constitutional convention, passed the Senate March 7, 2013 and the House February 20, 2014. So, it’s a done deal. HOWEVER, two other calls – S.R. 70 and S.R. 736 – have passed the Senate and are in the House. PLUS another call – H.R. 1215 – passed the House and is in the Senate. MEANING, a conference committee COULD be called to sort out the EXACT language these guys are looking for and THEN pass it out of committee using one of those bills as a vehicle, pass it and send it to Congress as Georgia’s call for an Article V convention. How about them apples???? The steamroller is in motion and it’s rolling in three vehicles!

During all this, I was called a “Nay-Sayer,” a name I wear proudly, because it means I’m against a constitutional convention and I’m in good company. In 2004 the entire General Assembly became Nay-Sayers by rescinding every call Georgia ever made for a constitutional convention. I, also, feel honored to be among Nay-Sayers, such as University of Maryland’s School of Law Professor Christopher Brown who said, “We already have three branches of government, why create [a fourth] ‘unknown power’ to do even more mischief?”

Then, Nay-Sayer Neil Cogan of the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, said, “My understanding of the Federal Convention is that … neither the Congress nor the States may limit the amendments to be considered and proposed … [T]he convention may be controlled in subject matter only by itself and by the people… through the ratification process.” Continue reading