Male Students Worry About Being Drafted Because of Loan Fine Print

With the escalating tensions in the Middle East, male students are getting worried they might be drafted because of the fine print buried in federal student loan applications.

Because of misinformation spread by social media, they erroneously believe that by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (“FAFSA”) that they will be automatically registered with Selective Service for the draft.

In fact, it is a voluntary check-off to register with the Selective Service System when requesting federal student aid.


FAFSA question

What isn’t voluntary, however, is for people born male to register with Selective Service starting when they turn 18.

The fine print in the FAFSA application that young men probably should be concerned about is buried in the instructions.


registration required

FAFSA disclose

Male students can be denied federal student aid if they fail to register with Selective Service. And the federal student loan agency is able to tell Selective Service about the applicant and cross reference his registration status with that agency without the student’s permission.

The good news for students is that the draft was discontinued in 1973.

Thanks for Nothing – Summer 2019

Every so often you see offers that make you do a double-take, or promise a great deal but only disappoint you when the true facts are revealed. Here’s the latest crop.

Example 1:

While it still is summer, you might decide to buy new sunglasses. No brand is more famous than Ray Ban and the crooks that are marketing these knock-offs know it.


Rayban knock-offs

Thanks for nothing (and trying to scam buyers). Photo credit:Reddit.

Example 2:

Just about now, despite the current heat wave, stores are starting to get in fall and winter clothing and accessories. Here’s an odd one:

heated insoles

These are heated insoles to keep your feet warm in shoes or boots. They are usb-powered, so they have to be connected to your computer. Just be sure to buy a really long extension cord for when you’re out in the cold. Thanks for nothing.

Example 3:

As we continue with the summer theme, sporting goods are big sellers this time of year. Here’s a kickball for your kids or grandkids, but there is a surprise safety warning in small print.


Don't kick the kickball

Thanks for nothing, Gopher. Photo credit: Reddit.

Example 4:

On a hot day, nothing beats an icy cold beer (I’m told). And if the beer is free, all the better. This Connecticut bar and grill decided to offer just that. But there was an asterisk after the word “free.”


free beer with coupon
Photo credit: Reddit

Thanks for … the chuckle, Wood -n- Tap.

Senator Sent “Official Summons” to Potential Donors

Residents in some Texas counties recently received a mailing in an official looking brown envelope that said “Summons Enclosed…Open Immediately.”

Cruz envelope

Who wouldn’t open that right away if it was in their mailbox? The first line of the return address had the name of the local county and indicated it was an official summons:


Official Summons

Inside was a standard solicitation to make a campaign contribution to Senator Ted Cruz for his re-election campaign. And his name was also in small type on the outside of the envelope.

Cruz inside mailer

A spokesperson for the Federal Election Commission told the New York Times that the mailers were not illegal, as “the F.E.C.’s regulations don’t speak to how candidates may choose to word particular solicitations to potential contributors.”

However, Texas state criminal law may have been violated:


Texas Penal Code – PENAL § 32.48 – Simulating Legal Process

(a) A person commits an offense if the person recklessly causes to be delivered to another any document that simulates a summons, [emphasis added] complaint, judgment, or other court process with the intent to:

(2) cause another to:

(B) take any action or refrain from taking any action in response to the document, in compliance with the document, or on the basis of the document.

(c) It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that the simulating document:

(2) purports to have been issued or authorized by a person or entity who did not have lawful authority to issue or authorize the document.

So, simulating a summons, even if the real sender is disclosed, is a misdemeanor in Texas.

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act also prohibits the sending of a solicitation that misrepresents or implies it was sent on behalf of a governmental entity. This law is probably not applicable because it relates to commercial enterprises.

And under United States Postal Service rules, government lookalike mailings, such as using brown envelopes requesting donations for political causes, are not allowed unless the envelope has an explicit disclosure that there is no governmental connection. Misuse of a federal agency’s name or official seal is usually necessary, however.

So what does the Cruz campaign say?

“…there were a few complaints that came not to us but through the local media or twitter,” a campaign spokesperson said. “Our mail efforts have been both effective and critical to identifying and engaging our supporters, and getting them involved in our campaign efforts to keep Texas strong.”

The aide also said that the campaign “believe(s) we are in full compliance legally.”