In my opinion Grand Canyon University is a ripoff. Don’t waste your money there.

ETA #2:  Well, their webspider is working, I already have a comment from their bot asking me to contact them for resolution.  PLUS:  I have a bill from the federal loan servicer in front of me.  It specifically states I received an UN subsidized loan.  Desiree from the school insists they sent me money from a subsidized loan in error.  In fact, the amount I received was nearly $2000 less than I was entitled to, and the amount I am being billed for by the loan servicer.  She says she can’t do print screen to give me proof, that I have to go into the website and get it myself.  I told her that obviously I was going to need a lawyer.


I called my education counselor today to ask for unofficial transcripts.  She began talking about how I owe the university money I must pay back because I was ‘overawarded’ money in my student loan.  It seems that because my company participated in a direct bill program (I never paid for it, my company did) that Grand Canyon considers that a ‘scholarship’ and therefore my maximum award was decreased.  The counselor said that Grand Canyon had to send that money back to the Education dept and that I was responsible for that money.  I said that in that case my student loan amount that I owe should have been decreased if they sent money back, yet it’s not, therefore I’m being double billed for the same money – I can’t owe the federal govt and the school for the same amount.  I was pretty upset by this time, as you can imagine.  She then said I needed to produce proof the school was double billing me and I replied that I would be in contact with the Education Dept directly.   She said that I would have to talk with the finance manager from now on as I am ‘escalating the situation’ … OK, whatever.  You can’t produce proof I owe anything but you are threatening my future by withholding transcripts…who is the aggressor here?

So anyway.  I contacted the Borrower Tracking Dept of the Dept of Education.  I did NOT receive an overpayment, there have been NO changes to my financial aid package for the 2010 school year made by the school, I have received no other aid,  and I have had only one federal loan disbursement which I was legally entitled to.  Note that while Grand Canyon calls the direct bill program a ‘scholarship’ the federal government does not.  They don’t care about private agreements apparently, which are not between the student and the school.

On to step two.  I contacted a representative from the loan servicer.  He kept talking about a re-affirmation letter which I asked him to explain to me – apparently if I was awarded too much money the school was supposed to send me a letter to that effect and say that I’m not eligible for any more financial aid (or to ask for some of the award back) at the time.  The key words in that letter were supposed to be to the effect that the ‘funds disbursed exceeds the maximum allowable’.  Well, that never happened.

Well, it gets curiouser and curiouser.  Apparently, there were THREE loans taken out in my name!  Two of which were paid back by the school in two payments each.  Only ONE of which I signed a master promissary note for, and only ONE of which I received a disbursement for.  So the school is apparently billing me for the money they accepted in my name, which I NEVER RECEIVED NOR SIGNED FOR, and they then paid back.  Yes, I am getting confirmation of this via snail mail.

The loan servicer recommended I write a letter agreeing to pay it back – before he understood that the money they are apparently billing me for is the money they took out in my name and paid back – which would essentially put me legally on the hook for the amount owed, but would allow me to get my transcripts.  NOT.  GONNA.  HAPPEN.  I am perfectly willing to pay back money I owe.  NOT money I don’t.

Why did I take out a loan for the schooling anyway if it was being paid for, you might ask.   Well, they only paid for the classes I completed, not the classes I withdrew from.  I had to take a class twice, and since I withdrew after the refund deadline I was responsible for the payment of the tuition for it.  Plus, the books were NOT cheap.  And when you’re taking a new class every five weeks, $200 a month (approximately) is a lot to drop on books for 14 months solid.  So now, for my trouble, I have a bachelor’s degree I can’t do anything with because I can’t go to any other schools because I can’t get my transcripts.

Plus I have to pay back my employer some of the cost as well, because I didn’t stay for a year after graduating.  This has turned into the nightmare that just won’t end.

ETA:  well, they will apparently send UN official transcripts, just not official ones.


Of course, Faux News won’t be issuing any apologies or retractions. 

As I said in a previous post, if you deny the evidence for climate change, you are willfully ignorant, deliberately deceptive, or just plain stupid.

I did some research of my own just a little over two years ago and came to the same conclusions with much less computer or personnel assistance than the Dr. Mueller’s group had.

Sweet, sweet vindication.  Excuse me while I gloat a little.

Is rescuing a flag from being burned patriotic? Or is burning it?

My husband emailed me a link to a video entitled “The Greatest Play in Baseball History” which is a retrospective on an attempted flag burning at a baseball stadium on April 25, 1976. It interviews everyone who is still alive who was there. I did not watch more than a minute of it.
It disgusted me – as though the guy who snatched the flag is somehow superior to the guys who were trying to set it on fire.

I told DH I thought the players and announcers were false patriots; they care more about the symbolism of a piece of material than they do about the welfare of their citizens and the fate of their country.

DH countered that the flag is sacred. I replied that it’s not more sacred than the people it represents. I do not condone such an act, but I recognize the frustration and disillusionment, and the reflection of lack of respect toward the torchers such an act represents.

I tend to think those who have the courage to burn the flag as a form of protest can be more patriotic than those who protect the flag and the status quo it represents. Not always, perhaps, but enough of the time.

Americans have trouble with attachment. Attachment to objects – like their quads and their boats, and always having the newest TV or sound system. Attachment to status – witness the mass following of the “real housewives” series (es) on TV (as though those women actually clean a toilet…). Attachment to ideas – such as what consititutes patriotism and ‘family values’. I have my own issues with attachment but things for things’ sake just don’t even make the list. My issues with attachment deal more with safety and security, issues that are at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and are core issues that every Buddhist grapples with on a regular basis as well, I would guess. I’m not Buddhist, but there is much I admire in the religion, and much I’ve learned from it.

What is patriotism? Is it protecting a piece of fabric and the ideas it represents, or is it protecting the right of someone to protest in a way which you disagree?

Don’t go to Grand Canyon University if you want an online degree.

Got a collections call from Grand Canyon University yesterday, the people I got my bachelor’s from. Told them I have not one but two letters from people at the school stating the balance is paid in full and a receipt from my employer to prove it.

They are trying to now say that since I took out a student loan to pay for the extra stuff my employer didn’t (maxed out before I reached the end of 2010 school year) that I owe them the money back. Huh? It’s a student loan, not a grant or scholarship, and I owe the federal govt not you.

Wouldn’t you think that if I DID owe them money they would have held onto the degree…?  And since I HAVE the piece of paper that I probably don’t owe anything…?  And since I have an email from one of the VP’s stating I don’t owe anything that I probably don’t…?

I was accepted into the master’s program there but I can see I’ll need to be applying elsewhere, if they still can’t get their $h!t together after nearly six months I know that they’ll just add this UN-owed balance to whatever the new balance will be when I start…I can’t wait for them to take me to collections, because I would love a chance to bring this up in court.

Sadly enough I’m not the only one having this problem – almost everyone where I used to work was having the same trouble. Three people actually got dropped from classes for nonpayment even though our employer had receipts and emails confirming payment!


I quit one of my jobs on Sunday.  I was apologetic for the short (as in NO) notice, but explained that I simply can’t work in the hospital environment any more.  I get too stressed out, and my anxiety makes me vulnerable to making mistakes.  I can’t afford mistakes when I’m going to be in a master’s program in five months.

It was a strange feeling to realize that middle age really does begin imposing limits.  I was thinking that the limits were mostly physical, and that I could stave them off for quite a while by just keeping flexible, active, agile.  Nope.  Just like broken bones don’t heal as well in our forties as they did in our twenties, the beating the emotions and psyche take don’t heal as well in our forties either.

Interestingly, both of the house supervisors that I spoke with agreed that the hospital environment there is…extreme.  In fact that is a quote from one of them.  Both wished me luck and said it was the hospital’s loss.  There would have been a time when I would have agreed, but not today.  I think it is best for both me and for the hospital I do not work there.

The garden is winding down; the temperature in the day is in the 80’s but our first frost date is estimated for the 29th.  That’s not nearly enough time for anything that’s not already ripening to finish; I’ll probably get out there and begin pulling plants for the composter later this week.  NOT a great year for the garden.  Since this was the first year I actually got a Thai hot plant to grow, let alone fruit, I may put that into a pot and bring it in for the winter.

I have a feeling it will be a more powerful than usual Samhain.

Another bought and paid for judge

In another shocking and appalling ruling, a Wisconsin judge rules that citizens do NOT have the right to own a cow, and to drink the milk from their own cow, nor do they have the right to board it at a farmer’s property, among other things. The ruling was even broader than that – it ruled that citizens do NOT have the basic right to produce and consume their own food, period.

On Sept. 30, the judge resigned his post and went to work for Axley Brynelson, a law firm that represents Monsanto. The former judge was hired within weeks of his decision concerning cow owners. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Karl Denninger’s “Bonus Army” post. Worth reading. Worth passing along!!!

Karl Denninger\’s latest Market Ticker is fantastic.  Please read, watch, pass along.  I’ve copied from his post the narrative, if you want to watch the videos click the link.  Karl and I don’t always agree on conclusions, but his assessments are dead on.

There are many who argued that The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

I retort that this is not by any stretch of the imagination always true.  Sometimes, the enemy of your enemy just means you have two enemies.  My reluctance to get involved in championing the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has to do with what I consider to be an essential first determination of which of these two principles is more-likely to be correct.

After all, supporting one is good.  Supporting the other is suicidal.

That there is no “cohesive set of demands” may be a good thing, if it’s real.  The problem is that I’m not sure this is the case.  Among some of the “looney tunes” demands I’ve heard include:

  • A $20/hour minimum wage.
  • The right to receive it irrespective of whether you work.
  • Cancellation of student loan debt (Note: Not bankruptcy discharge, which I support – just flat cancellation without consequence to the borrower.)
  • Tariffs to stop wage and environmental arbitrage (good) and wide-open borders (horrifyingly bad and flatly impossible given the first two demands.)
  • A right to a college education (not an aspiration, a right – which means irrespective of ability.  How has this worked out for our High Schools when we forced everyone, including those who are on the lower end of the bell curve in intelligence, into “mainstream” classrooms? It’s been an unqualified statistical disaster.)

Add up all the above and you have a thinly-disguised attempt to demand Communism.

Not socialism – communism.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

That not only won’t work, it will destroy what’s left of America and give rise of a dictatorship from the smoldering ruins of the collapse.

On the other hand we have demands that make perfect sense, such as:

  • Prosecute the banksters.
  • Your kids (and those not yet born!) are being told they’ll have to bail out the crooks.
  • The “99%” are against those robbing the nation.

So here’s the deal, as I see it.

If the so-called “Tea Party” is going to mean anything at all then it has to get in the middle of this debate and protest movement right now and amplify the voice that represents common ground.

There’s a lot of that common ground.  The messages we the people must send are:

  • Stop the looting and start prosecutingNot protesters, banksters.  Right now.  Fraudclosure, fraudulent lending practices, fraudulent securitization, fraudulent accounting here and abroad.  It all must end right now with prosecution both for past and forwardly-committed financial scam sins.
  • We will not pay for the bailouts and handouts.  Not now, not tomorrow, not ever.  Nor will our children and those not yet born.  We will withdraw consent through our cessation of taxable work product if the government refuses to meet this demand and claw back every nickel of the transfers it already made.  That response is lawful and is, in fact, exactly what happened in Egypt.  We will bring it here.
  • We are the 99%.  Yes, some of us are liberal and some of us are conservative on social issues.  On this issue – the rule of law – we are united and we stand as one.  This crap stops right now; we’ll fight about the other issues later.
  • There is a process for unpayable debts and it’s constitutional.  It’s called bankruptcy and it must be available to all with unpayable debts.  Period.  This means medical debt, it means student loans and it means mortgages.  All debts.  If you want a demand that will collapse the bankster BS game, that’s the one.  You shouldn’t get off if you borrowed foolishly but neither should the lender who lent you money they either knew or should have known you couldn’t repay.  No bailouts and no handouts on either side of the ledger.
  • We know that pulling the deficit spending and “supports” from under the banksters and housing will cause an economic contraction worse than the 1930s.  We know the pension funds are levered up with bank debt that must be haircut severely and that stock prices will fall precipitously if financial institutions are forced to tell the truth and “easy credit” is removed.  WE NOT ONLY KNOW THIS, WE ACCEPT IT AND DEMAND THAT IT HAPPEN RIGHT NOW ANYWAY.  Why?  Because we are Americans.  We make mistakes.  We accept the possibility of bankruptcy for ourselves when we make mistakes but we demand that the jackass on the other side of the desk gets the same punishment for making a bad loan we get for taking one out.  We want to buy houses when they’re cheap just like we want to buy DVD players when they’re cheap.  We want American industry to provide jobs, not jobs for Chinese who were tending rice-paddies with the “profits” flowing to executives while Americans go jobless on the dole.  We accept that realignment and re-industrialization of America will be painful but the fact remains that wealth disparity that comes from ripping people off is bad while wealth disparity that comes from being inventive and industrious is good — the latter is how we make progress and the latter are the people who we want to have the money to hire us, not the former!
  • We demand that the “cheap money” policies, which in fact are really nothing more than bailouts and handouts across the board along with protectionism for the bankster class and those who offshore jobs, end right nowThis means no more negative real interest rates anywhere on the curve and a true zero inflation target with criminal penalty teeth in the law. We’re prepared to back this up with the sort of durable protest that we see in NYC and elsewhere and we will expand it as we’re able and as is required until the above demands are met.
  • We demand tax reform that results in nobody getting a free ride and nobody having loopholes they can exploit. Whatever we do for a tax system the instructions must fit on one 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and be presumptively correct under law when followed.  Your “return”, if you have to file one, must fit on a postcard.  Corporate taxation must be similarly simple and presumptive.  We demand that the government bring in via taxes every dollar it wishes to spend in programs in the present tense, not borrowing from the future.  We can and will have the debate over exactly what those services are in the public square, as we should, and render our opinions in the voting booth.  We will not tolerate one more day of deficit spending.  Period.

I don’t see anything here that the “Occupy Wall Street” folks could disagree with.  Maybe I’m wrong – but if I’m right, these seven points should be what we preach – and what we stand for.