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By El Sistema
Published: May 1, 2009
Updated: May 1, 2009
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Ashwood UniversityI've seen a few emails hitting my spam box from this company. Ashwood University claims to offer an accredited degree based on your work or life experience. If you visit their website you can then choose which degree you want. The choices are from High School Diploma to a Doctorate Degree, just as long as you pay the fee.

Speaking of fees, you can even choose which GPA to attach to your newly purchased degree. They proudly offer you a wide range of grades and transcripts for nominal fees. Ashwood University is now offering you degree packages. You can buy a Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates for about $1500, which includes all transcripts.

In visiting their site, I was in communication with one of their staff. They claimed that their degrees are fully accredited by both the WOEAC and the BOUA. I was also told that I could back-date my degree to a previous year, how convenient.

It's important to note that this company states that they will send your transcripts to your employer, which includes your GPA. Thus, "helping. (sic) you build a positive impression on your employer or institute that your degree and all other credentials have been obtained from an authentic and recognized university." You see at this point, they have crossed a line. If you use any purchased degree to protray yourself with a higher education, you've just commited fraud. You can face criminal charges stemming from mail fraud and face civil lawsuits as such.

It gets better. The company owning the name Ashwood University cringed at the bad publicity and purchased the domain http://www.ashwooduniversityscam.com around January 2009 with a friendly looking lady on the main page. The site was hastily put together with terrible sentence structure. They've included just four testimonials from people across the country. All praising the life they have now that they've been "awarded" their degrees. Since the company was generous with giving the full name and location of these people, I looked them up. Albeit, the internet is limited, but none of these people exist in any registery within their city. Would a diploma mill also fake their testimonials?

Here's an interesting coincidence, all of the links listed: ashwooduniversity.net - ashwooduniversityscam.com - woeac.org - boua.org, not only are missing the typical .edu names, recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, but are all listed under private names and addresses. Which means the average person will not be able to locate a real address or contact.

What does this mean for you? If you decide to purchase a degree from this company, be sure to consider it a novelty item. Like a prop in a movie, useless in reality. You can never be awarded a life experience degree according to the U.S. Department of Education. Read up on that link and then head back to Ashwood University to chat with one of their helpful staff.

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By El Sistema
Published: April 30, 2009
Updated: April 30, 2009
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First Low Altitude Flight over New York
Air Force One doing a photo op fly-by. Apparently, the monkey was not told in advance.

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By El Sistema
Published: April 27, 2009
Updated: April 27, 2009
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I was flipping through some channels the other day and I landed on FOX News. I haven't had my daily dose of their fair and balanced coverage lately. The word socialism happened to be tossed around a lot when reporting on the Obama Administration.

The word socialism is typically defined as: a political theory advocating state ownership of industry.

Socialism has been linked to the bailout packages the White House has given to large corporations needing funds to stay in business. Companies range from automakers, bankers to insurance giants. Since the bailout funds originated from taxed dollars, some may get upset at seeing the use of this money bailing out the companies. Most conservatives see it as a misuse of tax paid dollars.

In their reporting, FOX News has spurred on the activity of the Tea Bag Parties which has become a multi-faceted protest party. The original theme of the protest was anti-tax and anti-socialism, but has evolved into a every man's protest on anything liberal.

Sticking to the socialist theme, members of this conservative movement have balked at the idea of the government bailout of corporations. They also see the bailout as a government take-over paid for by your taxes. This is where the conservative zeal gets off track from logic and reality. You know this to be true if you look at the bailout package.

The bailout or stimulus package was designed to be a loan, not a grant or free money. Any corporation, from GM to AIG, who partakes of the bailout must be able to pay it back with interest. Like any capitalist, the government stands to make a profit on loaning out to these corporations. Compaines like GM have asked repeatedly for government assistance. Which is far from a government sponsered take-over that has been suggested.

In order for a company to participate in the bailout, they would need to show that they can pay it back and follow government guidelines (i.e. terminate CEOs who misued their capital so the bailout can be used correctly). This is not government take-over of a company, but oversight on how the bailout will be used. If corporations cannot adhere to stipulations, then they can go on without the government funds.

(Examples of programs with stipulations: WIC, Foodstamps, Welfare etc.)

Of course this won't stop individuals from getting angry that the government is spending their tax dollars to save the economy. A captialist world is every man for himself, and any government action is seen as uneeded. Maybe the raising unemployment rate (10% soon) is just par for the course. The falling of home prices, the upside-down homeowners walking away from their mortgage and ultimately going into foreclosure. This is the america the Tea Bag Partyers are protesting to keep?

Everyone has a right to protest. Even the narrow and simple minded. In fact protesting is great, just as long as you know what you're objection is, or just follow a conservative movement without knowing the facts and wonder what it means to be an idiot.

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