Osman Vincent 
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Recent Comments

Re: “Fatal System Error

Excellent article. Yes, we do have local inequities and tragedies in medical services.
However, readers should also look at the much bigger picture. Suggest doing a Google search for medical expenditures by country. We pay about 50% more for health care than the next closest country, and about double the cost of the average developed country. On top of this, we like our medical system far less than citizens in about every other western European country.
Also suggest a Google search for “Time Magazine, Medicine gets personal” for the article in the Dec 29, 2014 issue with the same title. Dr Bliss is creating a plan based on keeping people well and out of ER with preventative care, rather than racking up fees for services rendered and pricy ER visits. He sees far fewer patients in a day, but spends much more time with each patient while earning the same salary by keeping people healthy.

Posted by Osman Vincent on 01/12/2015 at 10:51 PM

Re: “The Best Way to Curb Bike Thefts? Community

Any time you pay cash for an item, you have the right to receive a receipt with identification. Removing identification labels is a crime. Being in possession of a stolen item is a crime, however, if you have a receipt, you have some protection. Theoretically the police will go through the string of seller to find the person without a receipt who is likely the original thief.
Many years ago, my brother bought one of the first robo typewriters for a very good price. I borrowed it to use. I noticed a sticker for the retail sales outfit.
I called them up. It was sold to a San Francisco educational training facility, and probably was one that was stolen. The facility confirmed that it was stolen, but they had no interest since the insurance company already paid for their new equipment. The San Francisco police said it was a Berkeley problem since I lived in Berkeley. The Berkeley police said it was a San Francisco police problem since that was where the theft occurred. The insurance company considered the case closed since they had paid off the claim some months before and had no interest in owning their robot typewriter. I gave up and returned the unit to my brother with the warning that his friend was probably a burglar.
At the Laney flea market, there are several tool dealers who always have an extra odinary number of pricy power tools. If I were running a burglary/fencing operation, I would make a weekly or monthly trip between the Bay Area and Los Angeles to a partner there where we traded the loot, making it essentially untraceable. I would love to see a national or international web site where people could list their stolen items by company, model and serial number, and where others could check the legal status of the item before or immediately after buying.
Ozzie Vincent, ozv@sonic.net

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Osman Vincent on 12/12/2014 at 12:29 PM

Re: “Blight for Profit

On reading the article, I never heard of USAgain before, but I immediately suspected Tvind under a new name. The fifty-year-old Danish parent company Tvind Teachers Group claim to be a green charitable organization, which operates many schools and doing good works internationally. Others claim it is political organization and a cult (think Synanon or Jim Jones and Jones town) with dozens of off shore subsidiaries and bank accounts in protected places.
Tvind has dozens of subsidiaries: Planet Aid, Humana, Campus California, USAgain, Hope Humana, Child Aid, Farmers Club, Humana People-to-People, DAPP, ADPP, Gaia Movement Trust, UFF, Friends Forever, Green World, TCE, DHR colleges, Fairbank, Cooper & Lyle Ltd, CCTG, Humana, Humana UK, Humana Poland, People-to-People, Teachers Group, Gaia-Movement, Gaia-Movement USA, Living Earth Green World Action, IICD or Institute for International Cooperation and Development, CICD or College for International Co-operation and Development, DAPP UK, Millennium Bank, Tor-Pal, Challacombe Trading, The Traveling Folk High School, GVEP International (Global Village Energy Partnership) and TG Pacifico. Court records show that many of these companies are registered in protected countries and obscure offshore countries to intentional to obscure ownership. Other organizations, particularly the ones that empty the collection bins, are registered as non-profit. They apparently immediately sell the collected clothing at cost to another for profit Tvind organization that does make a nice profit selling the clothing in Russia, Asia, and Africa. Their development projects in Africa appear to be setting up local craft or similar businesses where a Tvind subsidiary buys and exports the products to the developed world and makes the bulk or all the profit.
The Danish government has charged the organization and leaders of embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and exploitation. Some of the leaders were convicted, others were found not guilty with respect to one subsidiary. The Danish government has appealing to high courts. Other cases are in the pipeline. The charismatic founder, Amdi Petersen, disappeared during the trial and a number of other key individuals are also currently fugitives from justice. Tvind or the founders apparently has extensive properties all over the world, including luxury homes, plantations, compounds, yacht, estimated to be worth over 800 million dollar.
Schools, teaching little kids to read and write, that all sounds good. Again, not what it seems. From an interview with an adult “pupil” in the Etna, California school being training to become an international volunteer, the student participants were kept sleep deprived, and the curriculum started out with instructions on how to do fundraising by panhandling with the goal of raising $120 per day (about 15 years ago). They were instructed to pay for their “education,” break ties with their family, and turn over their bank account to the organization. That sounds like a cult to me and apparently to the governments of Belgium, France, and England have concluded that they are a bona fide cult,
Don’t take my word. There seems to be no end to information on Tvind and many of the subsidiaries on Internet. Most of the information is fragmented so also do some searching under the subsidiary names. There are several good investigative news stories on independent branches like Planet Aid on You Tube.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Osman Vincent on 04/24/2014 at 10:23 AM

Re: “Unfair Punishment Part Two: Sentenced to Poverty

I agree that totally cleaning out the bank account causing many checks to bounce was wrong. I also agree that there is a major problem when the debt prevents people from getting licenses and education and employment to straighten out their life and become fully productive citizens.
However, I have a problem with the concept of their having paid their debt to society. In an ideal society, there would be almost no need for police, jails, criminal courts, probation, and parole. The figures I have ever seen as an annual cost of incarceration range from 35 to 55 thousand dollars per year. This does not cover the cost of police services. In the City of Oakland, the police cost 185 million dollars, or 43% of the City’s budget. This does not cover the cost of the courts, district attorneys, public defenders, probation, parole, and sheriffs. In Alameda county, Public protection is 46% of county’s 535 million dollar budget (includes jails). At the state level, the California Department of Correction & Rehabilitation costs ten billion dollars, or 7% of the budget for prisons and parole. All of these costs are way above the upper limits of fines of $1,000 for misdemeanors or $10,000 for felonys,

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Osman Vincent on 03/18/2014 at 9:36 AM

Re: “Alameda County Trashes Library Books

This library story makes me very angry. Deb Sica seems to have one excuse after another, and no hard data on anything. The rule of having shelves only two thirds full only means to me that you more quickly discover that what you are looking for no longer exists. Hardly a benefit.
The ten year rule is absurd. Is Shakespeare and the other great classics no longer relevant. History and literature don’t disappear because they are over ten years old. Or are they acceptable only when they are reprinted on more current paper. The computer and the software I am using right now is over ten years old. My vehicle is much older. Both are working fine but may require repairs in the future.
I own a building that over a hundred years old. I often want to find out how things were done back then. The large sliding pocket doors are suspended from and run on wood rails. The stucco has a texture that I have been unable to duplicate nor have I found anybody that can. The wiring is knob and tube. Knob and tube can be perfectly fine forever for lighting if not damaged. I just looked up knob and tube in two different “modern” electrical wiring books. Each contained just one very short paragraph under a picture, basically saying it is ungrounded (duh), don’t disturb it, and call an expert. I don’t know any hundred year old experts. Nobody is going to want to tear up a curved ceiling to replace the wiring until forced to.
By the way, I am not stuck in the past. I do keep up with current events and current technology, and am quite willing to discuss Ukraine and Crimea and Higgs particles and multiverses and the latest on nanoparticles.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Osman Vincent on 03/18/2014 at 9:25 AM

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