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Bachelor Pad Economics
Bachelor Pad Economics
Price: $9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good overview, but..., April 1, 2014
Bachelor Pad Economics is a good overview, but should have undergone some editing and further research before publishing. Problems aside, I recommend it for all young men, any young women who actually care about their financial future, and anyone else interested. I wish something like it had been available when I was young enough to take advantage of it.

My gripes:

1) Clarey discusses investing in American companies, but in the Age of Obama, this is fraught with peril. One need only recall the plight of bondholders in GM and Chrysler--already bad investment decisions--who were left to nurse at hind teat in the needless bailouts of both companies in favor of the overpaid, overbenefited, underperforming, and (in the case of Chrysler at minimum) drunk and drugged unionized employees.

2) The discussion of Roth IRAs and 401(k)s should have included the fact that the account holder need never take distributions in their lifetime unless they choose to do so. Further, Clarey failed to include self-directed IRAs for advanced investors, where the IRA can invest in any vehicle the account holder chooses.

3) Clarey rails against those who cannot tell the difference between millions, billions, and trillions, and with good reason. However, he loses the moral high ground, given the minimal proofreading that was done before this was published. Clarey should have at minimum demonstrated that he knew the difference between "discrete" and "discreet," and "vicious" and "viscous." In fairness, a great many bloggers and forum members have utterly failed to learn the difference in the former set.


How to Become an American Ninja: How to Look, Train and Act like a Ninja Warrior
How to Become an American Ninja: How to Look, Train and Act like a Ninja Warrior
Price: $2.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars nearly worthless, April 1, 2014
The one thing of value in this e-book is the suggestion that parkour training is the modern equivalent of the environmental training of feudal ninja. Beyond that, this book is full of assumptions and complete nonsense:

1) Ishimoto states that "shinobi" is the "true" pronunciation of the word "ninja," but nearly all historical works on the subject indicate it is merely one alternate pronunciation;

2) Ishimoto goes to great pains to teach the reader how to make "practice" nunchaku and shuriken from folded paper. Masaaki Hatsumi has long recommended business cards as stand-ins for shuriken, and there is no historical record of ninja having used nunchaku, an Okinawan farm implement-turned-weapon to deceive armed Japanese invaders who forbade the locals the use of arms;

3) The idea that the ninja-to was shorter than the typical daisho "strictly for convenience." The ninja-to was the feudal era equivalent of the Liberator pistol, meant to be cheap, of poor quality, and disposable once an enemy with a superior weapon had been killed. The shorter length was also of use when swords were worn in belts with full-length scabbards, to deceive the enemy and provide faster drawing time;

4) Ishimoto goes to great lengths to show the reader how to dress like a ninja. He is, in fact, telling the reader how to dress like a Noh play stagehand, since Noh plays were performed against a black background and stagehands were present on stage with the actors. They were dressed to blend into the background and not distract the audience.

Upshot: the $3 you spend on this could be better spent blowing your nose if you run out of snot rags.


ZipperMend-Black
ZipperMend-Black
Price: $4.47
7 used & new from $4.40

4.0 out of 5 stars pricey; works but needs improvement, April 1, 2014
This review is from: ZipperMend-Black (Misc.)
Zipper-Mends work fairly well but the packaging needs an update. The back reads, "May require pliers to fully close," but should read, "Requires pliers to fully close." The Zipper-Mend also could do with some texture as it's a bit slick in use. Finally, for this price there should be two in the package.


Straight Talk Samsung S738C Galaxy Centura Prepaid Smartphone
Straight Talk Samsung S738C Galaxy Centura Prepaid Smartphone
Offered by Ocean Reef Electronics
Price: $99.00
11 used & new from $59.90

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars avoid as you would plague rats, August 20, 2013
When my ST Proclaim bricked--apparently it couldn't handle a simple font change despite confirmed root access--I got a Centura to replace it. Despite being half the price of the Proclaim when new, it had Android 4.0 and was nearly the same size as the Proclaim despite an unimproved camera, 20% slower processor, and microSD card access made inconvenient by putting the thing under the battery cover.

I've had this thing nearly three months and it's never run right. I never got around to rooting it as I did the Proclaim, but I doubt it would have become more reliable if I had. The best I can say for the Centura was it had great battery life when in sleep or stand-by modes, which the Proclaim never did. When in use the Centura ate power as fast as the Proclaim.

A sampling of the crap I've gone through with this phone:
- frequent crashes;
- several hard resets;
- random vibrations;
- dropped calls;
- dropped downloads over Wi-Fi when I haven't changed position;
- dropped downloads over the network when I haven't changed position;
- taking a minimum of three attempts to connect to Play, even when I have a direct link for needed updates;
- a total inability to keep consistent time displayed, whether I set it manually or run through the network.

Thanks to the lousy performance of this phone and the overt evidence the US has become a police state, this phone will be dumped in favor of the dumbest damned phone I can find. Hopefully that will yield better reliability and battery life while removing the leash from my neck/$45 per month LoJack from my rectum.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2014 10:53 PM PDT


You're Already Dead : Surprise an Attacker with Counterattack Tactics
You're Already Dead : Surprise an Attacker with Counterattack Tactics
DVD ~ Joseph Simonet
2 used & new from $29.95

3.0 out of 5 stars a good concept, not well delivered, August 9, 2013
This is the second Simonet video I've seen and it stems from the premise of keeping a tight defensive structure that protects your centerline and allows you to respond. From there, ending the attack is fairly simple, and can be done in a way that negates or limits criminal and civil liability.

Simonet starts by braying about an obnoxious person he met who inspired this approach, and all the ways he could have destroyed the person, who was a "know-it-all" with no sense of courtesy or personal space. Next he thanks this person for inspiring the video, and then briefly demonstrates the concept.

After that is a too-long section devoted to demonstrating the deficiencies of karate blocks in dealing with the speed of street attacks. This mainly served as filler to stretch the video to slightly more than an hour in length. Apparently the rude guy on the fishing boat wasn't that great an inspiration, after all. In any event, this section could have been covered in five minutes or so.

Simonet then applies the concept to defense with knives and other weapons. Unfortunately, all the attacks followed dialogue and posturing that fall into the category of what Peyton Quinn called the "interview" in Bouncer's Guide to Barroom Brawling: Dealing with the Sucker Puncher, Streetfighter, and Ambusher, or what Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung refer to as the "monkey dance." None of the attacks follow a pattern of true street assaults as Miller demonstrated in Facing Violence and Logic of Violence. In fairness, neither do any other videos I've seen lately.

In any event the concept Simonet is teaching here has real merit, as it provides fast and sturdy protection for the head and allows for rapid counterattack. This is similar to the "flinch response" in the Shivworks curriculum and Miller's "Dracula's Cape" technique, among others. Seeing this level of redundancy is a good thing--it shows the reality-based self defense community is adopting practical worst-case defenses, but it needs more than what Miller has called "classes that train fighters to fight other fighters" since fights can be easily avoided, rather than dealing with actual attacks.


How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)
How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)
Price: $14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a mixed bag of hope, fear, and faulty premises, August 9, 2013
The description of this book intrigued me, especially the premise that Islam is dying out. Goldman maintains that birth rates are plummeting worldwide, but surprisingly in Islamic countries. He goes on to support something I've long suspected, namely that the best method of birth control is education and occupational opportunities for women.

Actually, Goldman argues that women's literacy ALONE cuts the birth rate, increases skepticism, and drastically cuts religious participation. Pity that it doesn't also cut down the superstition and fear of death that fuel the theism on which religion is based, but women's literacy appears to be extremely powerful medicine nonetheless.

The factor driving Islam's plummeting birth rate, Goldman maintains, is the perceived death of Islamic culture and its lack of a future. How stasis, abject ignorance, and a "freedom is slavery" paradox that might have inspired Orwell constitute a culture, much less the basis for any kind of worthwhile life, escapes me. The fear Goldman raises is that Islamic countries such as Iran, feeling they have little to lose, are thus more likely to be a danger to the civilized world.

Goldman goes on to point out that the United States' birthrate is well above the replacement rate, which he links to the highly religious nature of our populace. He hints that a return to institutionalized superstition and ignorance is the only thing that will improve the birth rate worldwide. Sounds like the cure is far worse than the disease.

Most of Goldman's statistics appear to have come from United Nations sources, which is where he lost me. If a broken clock is right twice a day, the UN is a broken digital clock--it's never right--just look at their map of the world, which steadfastly denies the existence of Israel. The birth rate in the United States is largely propped up by immigration, much of that illegal, and is only barely above the replacement rate on that basis.

Goldman also fails to address the dimunition of our culture through Turd World immigration and the ensuing Balkanization as our most common bond--English--is largely seen as passe, and does not bode well for the continued survival of this country. Hell, it already didn't work in...what was that area? Oh, yeah--the Balkans!

Perhaps he should have read Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster, Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, and Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 before writing this book.


Sobakawa Cloud Pillow 12.6" x 18.5" x 3.15"
Sobakawa Cloud Pillow 12.6" x 18.5" x 3.15"
Offered by 2 Guys
Price: $19.99
20 used & new from $18.86

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars if Obamacare were a pillow..., July 18, 2013
The Sobakawa Cloud pillow ads and website make three claims about what the product will deliver:

1) It offers "comfort and firm support." Wrong--mine went flat the first time I put my head on it. Neither comfort nor firm support were present until I wadded it into a ball. Even then, it only offered firm (bordering on rock-like) support until I moved, then the beads shifted and the whole process started again.

2) It lasts "sleep after sleep." Since it didn't deliver on the first use, how could it possibly last for an indefinite amount to follow? Perhaps the rats in the landfill find it comfortable. Or tasty. Or something.

3) It "stays cool." On what planet? Buckwheat hull pillow sellers also make this claim, which in that case has some merit due to the non-uniform shapes of the hulls, which allow some air to circulate. This pillow uses much smaller beads, which had to be compacted into a wad to provide any support at all. The website and ads would be more accurate to claim this was the "sweatiest damned pillow ever made."

To recap: tons of hype, zero performance. Apparently the manufacturer took the marketing of Obamacare as a model, with the abject failure of Obamacare as a performance goal. Perhaps the manufacturer was given unnecessary stimulus funding, given the track record of this administration at picking winners and losers in the marketplace?


Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster
Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster
Price: $5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars a must-read but the Kindle file needs updating, July 18, 2013
While nearly 20 years old, this book is as relevant today as it was when first published. The same issues persist, and the same degradation of American culture and society continues apace. Only the statistics fail to hold up given changes in the interim, but more on this later.

Brimelow went to great pains to fully outline the root cause, namely the 1965 Immigration Act (thanks for nothing, Ted Kennedy), which--despite the claims of its supporters--altered the demographic basis of this country to no good end, placing unskilled illiterate Turd Worlders over potential First World immigrants who would have been far more likely to share the language and culture of this country, and have worthwhile skills to boot.

Brimelow further goes on to concisely lay out a program for fixing the problem. He pulled no punches and skipped the politically correct nonsense of the day--and this one--to give direct and mostly common sense solutions. My one point of disagreement was his call for a national ID, which he claimed was no more an infringement of civil liberties than the income tax. Frankly, I consider legalized extortion to fund waste, fraud, and abject incompetence a serious infringement of my liberty to spend my earnings as I see fit--and I couldn't possibly do worse than the U.S. Government has. I also reject the so-called The Fair Tax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS because it takes too much--those authors claim that a 23% sales tax would allow the Feds to maintain their current obligations, when massive spending cuts are truly what is needed.

The national ID argument better fits socialist hellholes such as the U.K., from whence Brimelow originally came. Unfortunately time, the NSA, the FISA court, and the grossly unnecessary DHS have turned the U.S. into a society that would give Orwell nightmares. On principle I still reject the national ID, however.

The Kindle version appears to have been directly taken from the original, frequently referencing page numbers that don't exist on the Kindle. There are also numerous charts that are not included, but lovely clip art of a camera and a warning exclamation sign. Finally, several words were oddly run together, and even more were needlessly broken apart without benefit of hyphens. The Kindle version needs a serious update.


Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa
Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa
Price: $9.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars largely well-written, but the Kindle version is flawed, June 20, 2013
EDITED: Despite the weighty subject and the links between multiple inter-related topics, Mercer has done a very good job with this book. She concisely lays out the history of South Africa from founding to tailspin, and neatly relates it to the similar failures in the United States. She further documents the genocide of white South Africans, aided and abetted by our government's rejection of them as refugees because of their crippling lack of melanin, surplus of work ethic, and cultural similarities to, as the Empty Suit-in-Chief recently called them, our "Founding People."

More remarkably, Mercer displays a wicked sense of humor in the face of truly depressing material. The nicknames she bestows call to mind Michelle Malkin's and Mark Steyn's biting sarcasm as she documents the incomptence, touchy-feely relativism, and "social justice" (a concept as fallacious as it is fictitious) that have ruined the African continent, South Africa in specific, and the United States. I thought I was going to do a spit take when she referred to "Sideshow Bob" Mugabe, that the ANC didn't know "Shiite from Shinola," and this gem, which begs quoting in toto:

"Wealthy white kids can still do satisfactorily, even if they border on cretinism, as with Meghan McCain..."

Mercer also opened my eyes to a number of procedural and Constitutional issues I wasn't aware of, but am looking forward to studying more directly for myself. Pity that of the six books she listed that I want to read, only three (now four--up one from this morning) are available on Kindle.

All that said, this is not a perfect book. In one section she translates the Latin phrase "res ipsa loquitur," meaning "the thing speaks for itself." I already knew this term and suspect with the high number of legal procedurals on TV, this might not have been necessary. She failed to translate "ultra vires," and left several Zulu terms undefined. As this book is directed at Americans, she should have realized that our knowledge of the Zulu language is lacking. Of course, so is our knowledge of the English language, but I digress. There also was one sentence that absolutely failed to parse no matter how long I looked at it; I suspect there was a major typo there.

Finally, the Kindle file itself is flawed. While it would readily accept bookmarks, every time I tried to highlight specific text passages, it caused my Kindle to freeze, which required a reboot to fix. While the highlights were saved as I wanted, it got too time-consuming to continue.


Invisible Money, Hidden Assets, Secret Accounts
Invisible Money, Hidden Assets, Secret Accounts
Price: $7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JJL does it again, June 19, 2013
This e-book is a must for anyone interested in their financial privacy. There are a wealth of tips to conduct your finances in as low-profile a manner as possible. Luna even gives you step-by-step instructions for opening a Canadian bank account for maximum protection.

Even better, JJL has picked the brains of private investigators to show you the process by which PIs seek your assets. While this was touched on in How to Be Invisible, Third Edition: Protect Your Home, Your Children, Your Assets, and Your Life (henceforth HTBI), this information is very newly updated.

However, the overall privacy mindset must be developed, and there are principles and techniques to be learned and applied from HTBI. Ideally, I recommend HTBI be read first. Any of the JJL e-books can stand alone, but this one really dovetails with HTBI, and I strongly recommend getting both.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2013 8:38 PM PDT


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