Quote of the Day

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Folks, I am moving on. I think this blog has served its purpose.

All the best.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


George Wythe has closed its "The Jefferson Degree™ doctoral program" to new applicants (ht: Bipolar Attorney).

Recipients of this degree hold themselves up as having a doctorate in constitutional law. However, the latest person to get this "Doctorate in Constitutional Law" wrote (I assume it was written) a dissertation on 19th-century literature, with a focus on The Scarlet Letter.

I don't quite see the connection between Hawthorne and constitutional law. But then again, we're talking about George Wythe College here.

From the GW newsletter:

The Statesman: What was the purpose and focus of your dissertation?

Dr. Elizabeth Smailes:
My dissertation focuses on symbolism as an independent literary theory. While reading classics I came to realize that each author has an intention for their book and there are certain books (many of them written in the 19th century), in which the author’s intention is communicated through symbol. Without this knowledge the reader is missing 90% of what some authors are trying to say. Once I recognized this, it was my role as a statesman to help readers bridge this gap in understanding. My dissertation focuses on teaching the art of reading symbolically and gives the reader a symbolic study of The Scarlet Letter, which I propose is the mother of all symbolic novels. After completing this guided exercise you will read differently.

Dr. Elizabeth Smailes received her Doctorate of Philosophy, Constitutional Law, also known as the “Thomas Jefferson Degree,” at the Commencement Ceremonies in October. She is currently the mentor of a lucky group of GW Freshmen, whom she is guiding through great books such as Tolstoy’s Resurrection, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay’s The Federalist, and Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Dr. Smailes’ students love her energy and her ability to help them see their individual strengths and weaknesses. They especially enjoy the debates and intense discussions that the class engages in as she challenges preconceived perceptions and paradigms. She resides in Cedar City, Utah with her husband Joe.

Found the dissertation!

Seriously, knowledge of Scarlet Letter symbolism should be a litmus test for any future SCOTUS nominee. We certainly can't have anyone sitting on the bench without a thorough knowledge of this vital niche of constitutional law. I'm sure both sides of the aisle will agree. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011


Editorial Note: The Deseret News recently changed how archived articles are accessed.

As a result, some of the news article links in the left column were not working.

These links have been updated and should now be working properly.


Monday, January 31, 2011


I just got a copy of The 5000 Year Leap and put it at the head of my reading queue. So, review to follow!

I am curious why he is referred to as Dr. Skousen in the accolades. As far as I can tell, the highest degree he attained was a J.D. from George Washington University. By the way, he clearly overcame this accredited education to accomplish many things. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


NOTE: The following is a cross-post from the comment section of the "Why I Don't Do TJED" blog. The comment was posted yesterday by someone who says they recently graduated from George Wythe.

As I was never home-schooled and was not introduced to LDS culture prior to college, I like to think that I have a unique viewpoint from other readers and posters on this blog.

I recently graduated from George Wythe, a promoter of TJE. It's the sad truth that they've made some horrendous errors in judgment (finances being only one and the others being already listed in your blog) but it's also truth[sic] that I enjoyed my time there and learned a lot.

Is all that I learned immediately practical for making a living in today's world? Heck no! I knew that before I applied. I had decided that I'd rather try a college focused on classics and discussion rather than a 'normal' college which would only give an exaggeration of high school.

It all depends on what we want and expect. If I'd been looking for a career in the sciences, my time and money likely would have been wasted. Philosophy (the basic[sic] of the college) is great to think about and consider, but it's never been practical.

No-one in my family expected the college, or TJE in general, to be the final word of authority. How can we completely rely on other fallible people and their very new theories and ideas? Take what works and leave what doesn't based on your own personal experience. That's what I learned from my grandfather, an intelligent man who never had more than a 6th grade education.

Perhaps part of this problem is the advertising; it's more philosophy in general than only Thomas Jefferson's (likely) education.

Also, it's not for everybody and they shouldn't say it is. Some people like and want/need that kind of education, others would hate it. Some people need and want a vo-tech and nothing more. We as a society and world need those kinds of people too.

Maybe TJE would work out better if issues such as have been addressed here would be addressed by proponents of that education style. I'll be in front of the line to admit they're elitist and loathe (like other normal humans) to admit being in error.

[whyidontdotjed.blogspot.com] is a good blog. You make good points, good arguments and good sense. Thanks for being polite and reasonable about your opinion.

Photo: George Wythe University