A Message of Hope for the New Year

Our world is filled with problems.  Many of them seem so unfixable that millions of Americans have begun to lose hope in a better tomorrow.  Rather than give in to the fearful messages of doom heaped upon us by the media, along with well-meaning Facebook friends, let us take a moment to reflect upon something that we can hold close to our hearts as whatever it is that causes the lengthening of days to happen brings us nearer to the light of spring and a new beginning.

Continue reading A Message of Hope for the New Year

Book Study #1: Best Preface Ever!

Originally published by AMERICANSCAPEGAOT.COM

November 11, 2015

JohhnyAn eagerly awaited copy of Why Johnny Can’t Read: And What You Can Do About It arrived in the mail today.  If it’s true that you can judge a book by the opening paragraph of its preface, this is going to be a delightful read.


This double-purpose book, with its rather awkward double-purpose title, needs a bit of explanation.  Let me put it this way: Just as war is “too serious a matter to be left to the generals,” so, I think, the teaching of reading is too important to be left to the educators.  This book, therefore, is not addressed to teachers and teachers’ college professors but to fathers and mothers.  I tried, to the best of my ability, to write a book they can use to help their children read.

-Rudolph Flesch

To Kill a Mockingbird Is Less Rigorous Than Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever!

Originally published by AMERICANSCAPEGOAT.COM

October 30, 2015Mockingbird

Renaissance Learning, Inc., those folks who brought us the abominable Accelerated Reading program, have published an interesting study detailing a survey of commonly read books among American public school children.  One of the most interesting aspects of this report is that it includes the AR reading levels* of each book.  Here are a few of the revealing highlights:

Of Mice and Men (4.5)

Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets (4.7) Continue reading To Kill a Mockingbird Is Less Rigorous Than Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever!

Just a Quick Thought #7: Postmodernism Is Only the Beginning

Originally published by AMERICANSCAPEGOAT.COM

October 28, 2015


We tell children to trust their feelings, listen to their hearts, and pursue their passions.  We celebrate their uniqueness and all of the differences that make them special.  We praise their smallest attempts at creative expression.  Then, we pull the rug out from under them right when it really counts.  We stop preaching individualism in matters relating to the mind.  When it comes to thought, we train children to blindly trust experts and we shame them for making any value judgments that fall outside of well-established boundaries.  Once a child is conditioned to accept that the right to speak confidently is a privilege granted by experts, and that there are too many fields of study for one person to “know it all,” a new kind of person has been created, one who believes that self-doubt is the beginning of wisdom.

Just a Quick Thought #6: A Chevy Celebrity Metaphor

Originally published by AMERICANSCAPEGOAT.COM

October 21, 2015

Image of 1986 Chevy Celebrity courtesy of: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Mr.choppers

I once owned a 1988 Chevy Celebrity.  It started to develop problems after a while.  The problems could always be fixed by spending more money on the car.  If I had been able to increase my funding to a level sufficient for continuing to repair each new problem, I could still be driving a 1988 Chevy Celebrity today.





Just a Quick Thought #5: Fixing College 101

Originally published by AMERICANSCAPEGOAT.COM

October 19, 2015


Disclaimer: This blog post will not solve problems.  I apologize for any false hope that the attention-grabbing title may have caused.

About the Problem:

There are a lot of underemployed college graduates out there who are buried in debt.  Every year, the odds that they will land their dream jobs grow longer as hoards of fresh graduates are ceremoniously dumped into already hypercompetitive job markets.  There doesn’t appear to be much hope that things will turn around anytime soon.

This problem has not gone unnoticed by our politicians who have spied an opportunity to win voters by promising to fix this education-debt cycle crisis.  The two leading proposed solutions are: 1.) free college   2.) debt forgiveness.

There was a time when I believed that politicians were stupid or naïve.  They aren’t.  They are cunning rascals who are fully aware that they will never be burdened by the negative consequences of their decisions.   Continue reading Just a Quick Thought #5: Fixing College 101

Just a Quick Thought #4: Congressional Report Finds American Colleges More Deadly Than War!

Originally published by AMERICANSCAPEGOAT.COM

OCTOBER 18, 2015

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

-Bob Dylan


During the Vietnam War, many young people enrolled in college to avoid getting drafted.  The logic that they followed was that they were less likely to die if they stayed out of a war.

In recent years, more young Americans have died in college than in war.  The government’s figures for college-related deaths can be found here. The government’s figures for military deaths can be found here (scroll to pages 11 and 12 for details.)