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This being the first Ann Coulter book that I've read, I have to say, she doesn't hold anything back. She has a no-nonsense, sarcastic humor, and rapier wit. When you read her, you won't be bored. You'll enjoy keeping up with her. The book is made up mostly of her unedited articles from the last few years- stuff too hot to publish. A highly intelligent woman, Coulter can insult at breakneck speed and make you laugh while she's doing it. I had friends buying it without even bragging about it. They had to see what I was laughing about. Even if you don't agree with her, she'll keep you entertained and laughing.
I am a profuse back sweater who dealt for years with back acne. After trying Accutane and other dermatologist prescriptions, I realized I simply needed to stop the source of my clogged pores - sweat.
With SweatBlock, my back was clear in a week. My back was completely dry, even in 100 degree temperatures.
Because of the cost, I decided to experiment with Certain Dri, realizing the ingredients were basically the same. These products are not the same. Certain Dri just doesn't compare. It helped some, but I kept sweating and some of the acne came back. I highly recommend sticking with SweatBlock and considering it an "investment."
I am a member of several "swap" sites, and I have a collection of 3500+ CDs, along with an extensive DVD and Blu-ray collection. When cataloging collections, it is most accurate to use bar codes rather than titles, as there are often multiple versions, as some offer bonus tracks or other features. Typing in bar codes is time consuming, and it is easy to make an error.
This hand-held scanner makes cataloging music and movie titles much easier. Just place the scanner near the bar code, and push the trigger. The scanner light turns on until the code is read, usually a fraction of a second. On troublesome codes, the light will stay on for up to 1.7 seconds, then you can always hit the trigger again. I have successfully read codes from CDs, books, movies, games, frozen pizzas, etc etc. I have even scanned a code from a jpg file displayed on my computer monitor! The code data can be output into any form or document you can type on. It acts just like a keyboard entry, and adds and "Enter" at the end. It worked from my Windows 7 machine with no hassle or drivers to install.
If you are building a list in a txt file, or cataloging on a website, the "Enter" at the end of the data string is a handy feature, however if are filling out a web form, and are not ready to hit "Enter" when you put in the bar code, it can be an issue. I have not figured out how to configure the scanner so it does not include "Enter" at the end of the data. However, this one little issue is not enough to deduct a star.
Reviewers have taken to loving the phrase, "None of this is new ground." Yet, Aslan writes with efficiency and historical fascination about a world-changing figure about whom the evidence is otherwise very slight. He takes you back to the times of Roman hegemony and religious fanaticism, demonstrates what was likely, unlikely, and impossible. His description of what Pilot would have and would have not done is engrossing. Counterintuitively, for me, he relies a great deal on the Gospels to make his points, which I found interesting but questionable as factual sources.
Aslan being Muslim has nothing to do with the book or his conclusions. His treatment of the Bible as representative of the times—teaching moral points, not acting as historical record—puts the correct framework on his approach. I detest the BCE ACE political correctness nonsense, but that's a quibble with a fabulous, scholarly view of the great landmark events that affected billions of people ever since, and the man in the middle of them.
A really charming, but also brilliantly put together demonstration of the shear insanity that really occurs when people try to implement a socialist utopian fantasy. The reader is reminded that there were those who actually thought that the whole centrally-planned economy thing could be made to work, but it's hard to believe that the outfit that put Stalin in charge really contained a lot of good intentions. And any poor, lonely good intentions there surely go to prove the old adage of how the road to hell is paved with them. A hell in which millions innocent people are deliberately starved to death - right before tens of millions die in a brutal war. Only the war itself doesn't kill as many as their own leader does during and right after the war, under various (thin) excuses.
The reason one can enjoy this book so much is that most of it is set in the period immediately after this nightmare. Food and goods start to become more available again, the Soviet economy briefly grew faster than those in the West, and new leadership did their best to ease up a little after having been genuinely horrified by Stalin, and especially Beria (his truly frightening head of the NKVD and something of a rapist-in-chief).
This story has been told before in the traditional historian's very solid way, with plenty of hard (dry) data, but Mr. Spufford does such a beautiful job by telling the story using peoples' lives. This allows him to give us a view into Soviet life from this period, especially the increasingly absurd contortions into which nearly everyone is forced in order to meet various arbitrary targets and requirements handed down from on-high by someone at Gosplan who likely as not has no idea what he has actually forced these poor sods to do. The unfortunate soul at a lumber producing operation who found himself in the uncomfortable position of having produced more lumber than was called for in The Plan in an excellent example. He makes the costly mistake of trading the lumber to someone who raised pigs and wanted to construct a shelter for the animals before the harsh Siberian winter set in, lest the poor creatures succumb to the elements. He did something useful with the product he produced when he could simply have burned the material that did not conform to the plan. His "reward" for his failure to perform according to plan is publicized for all to read about, as a warning to them just in case anyone should get any ideas of committing "profiteering" and crimes against the state. This is just the beginning - the author has packed this book with endearing and often simply hilarious tales of just how ridiculously distorted an economy becomes when you decide to fight Human Nature itself. It is a battle that never has any real winner - only lots and lots of losers.
Unless you decide to read this book! That's just plain good fun.