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Anorak44 (London, UK)

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NETGEAR XWNB5201-100UKS 500Mbps Powerline Wi-Fi Extender/Access Point Kit (Wi-Fi Booster)
NETGEAR XWNB5201-100UKS 500Mbps Powerline Wi-Fi Extender/Access Point Kit (Wi-Fi Booster)

2.0 out of 5 stars Keeps dropping, 14 May 2016
Have had these for around 18 months and the wifi signal keeps dropping almost every day - can only be resolved by switching extender on and off again. Very disappointing.


ISIS/ISIL : The Islamic State EXPOSED, The Dangerous Truth You Need To Know!: Origins & Ideals, Islamic Extremist Terrorism in Iraq & Syria: Volume 1 (The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL))
ISIS/ISIL : The Islamic State EXPOSED, The Dangerous Truth You Need To Know!: Origins & Ideals, Islamic Extremist Terrorism in Iraq & Syria: Volume 1 (The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL))
by Darrell D Culbertson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Little better than a second-rate undergraduate dissertation, 25 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book was a big disappointment and a waste of money. It is no coincidence that it appears to be self-published (no reputable publisher would have published the text in this form). The book reads like a second-rate undergraduate dissertation before anyone has bothered to proof-read it. There are typos and grammatical errors on almost every page, and opinions are offered as facts without any substantiation.The type-font is large and amateurish. There are no footnotes only weblinks at the end. Much of the content has just been recycled from press reports, or perhaps Wikipedia, so there is virtually no proprietary insight. I take my hat off to Mr Culbertson for persuading people to parting with their money for this, but it is comfortably the worst book I have ever bought off Amazon. Avoid.


Unity 6 x 8-inch Thin Edge Photo Frame, Silver Plated
Unity 6 x 8-inch Thin Edge Photo Frame, Silver Plated
Price: £10.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 9 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had previously bought one of these frames directly from Amazon and was very pleased with it. But this product, sold by 'Magic Pants' and £2 cheaper, is NOT the same product, despite the Amazon photo used being identical. In particular the silver-plated frame is much less wide than as advertised in the picture. This is a con, frankly. It is not the product in the picture. Very disappointed.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2015 6:27 PM GMT


Ricco P26 MINI DSP 2.0 CHANNEL Ultra Light Aluminium USB Portable Travel Powerful Speaker For Laptop Desktop MAC Computer Netbook ---(Built-in DSP USB Sound Card, NO messy 3.5mm audio line-in cable is required any more.) (Black)
Ricco P26 MINI DSP 2.0 CHANNEL Ultra Light Aluminium USB Portable Travel Powerful Speaker For Laptop Desktop MAC Computer Netbook ---(Built-in DSP USB Sound Card, NO messy 3.5mm audio line-in cable is required any more.) (Black)
Offered by Gadget Express
Price: £19.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Handy size, but tinny sound, 18 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to replace a Logitech Laptop Speaker Z305 - Portable speakers - USB which I gave to a friend. I loved the Logitech speaker, but could not find a good deal on the web to replace it. I found the Ricco model and was surprised that a more powerful speaker (combined output of 5 watts, vs 4 watts for the Logitech speaker) cost only £20, compared to £60 or more for the Logitech model. So I thought I would give it a try.

But when you get the speaker, you can see why. The Ricco speaker is much smaller, so more portable, but the clips are clumsy (they are designed into the Logitech speaker) and the sound is completely different, despite the more powerful output. The main reason is design: the Logitech speaker has a 'surround sound' effect, with the speakers at each end, whereas the Ricco model has the speakers close together. As a result they sound more mono than stereo, and the result is slightly tinny, and rather disappointing. I should have saved my shekels for another Logitech model.


The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland
The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland
by Shlomo Sand
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful demolition of the "mythos of a stolen land", 13 Feb. 2013
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This book is not the easiest of reads. It is densely academic in places, repetitive in others, and dwells for too long (chapter 1) on the theory of national homelands. But at its heart this book has a controversial truth which, on the basis of Professor Sand's compelling analysis, is difficult to dispute: that "the mythos of a wandering Jewish people that was uprooted from its homeland two thousand years ago...is based entirely on historical fabrications" (p255).

One-by-one Sand demolishes the pillars upon which the "demon of mythic territoriality" has been built by modern-day Zionists. He notes the Zionists' misuse of the Bible as a "title deed for Palestine", the anachronistic use of the term Israel by Zionists (in fact the land was called Canaan and Jerusalem itself was in Judea), the opposition of most of the pre-1939 rabbinate to Zionism, and the fact that until the US and European nations closed their doors to Jewish immigration in the early 20th century, there were hardly any Jewish immigrants who actually wanted to move to "the land of Israel". This was because few saw it as their 'home'. Indeed, there were few Jews who even wished to make pilgrimage to the Holy Land; it was the Christians whose religious zeal caused them to flock to Jerusalem. The founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, would actually have been happy with Argentina or Uganda as a Jewish national home (p197). But the rise of 20th century nationalism combined with anti-Semitism in Europe and restrictive immigration policies in the US to create "a dangerous ethnoterritorial policy" (p252) which led to the creation of the state of Israel, the ethnic cleansing of over 700,000 Palestinians (which Professor Sand documents in a powerful Afterword section) and the brutality of occupation, dispossession and displacement.

This book is not without its flaws (inexplicably, for a revisionist historian, Professor Sand seems to attribute no responsibility to Israel for the annexationist war in 1967), but even allowing for these, this is a powerful book which deserves a wide audience. The Zionists will condemn Professor Sand as a "self-hating Jew", but I doubt they will be able to counter his inexorable logic.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 29, 2013 12:56 PM BST


The Resurrection of Peace: A Gospel Journey to Easter and Beyond
The Resurrection of Peace: A Gospel Journey to Easter and Beyond
by Mary C. Grey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and challenging book about injustice in Palestine, 20 Jan. 2013
Mary Grey's book is a unique mixture of travelogue, Biblical exposition and political commentary on the injustices being visited on the Palestinian people through occupation and oppression. With explorations of Christian themes such as redemption, atonement and resurrection skilfully blended through an imaginary Lenten pilgrimage with acute observations about the situation in the Holy Land today, Professor Grey has produced a concise yet powerful and challenging book which I read from cover-to-cover in one sitting. Impeccably researched, with detailed footnotes and helpful questions for further study and discussion at the end of each chapter, I defy any Christian to read this book and not be profoundly moved by what Mary Grey describes as the Palestinians' "continued struggle against oppression by non-violent means of resistance". Her observations on the plight of Palestinian Christians and the Palestinian concept of 'sumud' - "an attitude of patience and persistence, of not giving up, despite the odds" - are especially acute. Highly recommended - would make a excellent Lenten read for church home groups.


The End Times (Thinking Clearly)
The End Times (Thinking Clearly)
by John E. Hosier
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fairly objective, but disappointing on Israel and the Rapture, 4 Jan. 2013
This is an interesting and fairly dispassionate book on eschatology (end times theology) but it rather glosses over the popular dispensationalist heresy of the 'rapture' and 'tribulation' (the role of Israel in Christian Zionist eschatology - the supposed ingathering of the exiles prior to Jesus' return to the Mount of Olives - is diplomatically side-stepped). Also, the chapter on Israel is very disappointing, with its suggestions (not backed up by Scripture) that the modern State of Israel is a fulfilment of Biblical prophecy and that Israel's occupation of the land is scripturally-justified. I know plenty of Palestinian Christians, displaced from their homes or surrounded by checkpoints and separation barriers, who would disagree!


Israel in the New Testament
Israel in the New Testament
by David Pawson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A deeply flawed book, 28 Feb. 2012
The essence of this book is David Pawson's attempt to take individual references to `Israel' in the NT, particularly the Letter to the Romans, and to use these to prove that God has a separate plan for the Jewish people apart from the Church.

This `salami-slicing' approach to the Bible is very quickly evident in the early chapter on Matthew, where Pawson alights on one verse (19:28 - "...you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel") which, he says (p25), "by itself would be enough to support Christian Zionism".

But invoking individual verses to support a pre-conceived Zionist prejudice is very poor theology indeed! The position of Israel in the New Testament must be seen in the context of all 27 NT books, not just the 72 verses where Israel gets a mention. And what about the verses where the Jews (rather than Israel) are mentioned? Such as Romans 3:9 where Paul makes clear that "that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin"? Or Romans 3:29-30, where Paul asks: "Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too?" Or what about 1 Peter 2:9-10 where Peter uses OT terminology ("royal priesthood", "holy nation", "God's people") to describe NT (ie Jewish and Gentile) believers?

If Pawson did step back and take a broader perspective on God's plans as revealed in the NT, he would quickly see that his Zionist conviction that God has a separate plan for the Jewish people is just plain wrong and un-Scriptural.

Pawson's attempt to back-solve from his Christian Zionist position is evident even in the second page of the book. He writes in the introduction (p8) that whenever Israel is mentioned in the NT, it is "always with an ethnic meaning, the Jewish people". He repeats this assertion later (p180): "It [Israel] is used seventy-two times in the NT, and not once does it refer to Gentiles." This is simply incorrect, for most commentators (including John Stott in his commentary on Galatians, and even Martin Luther) see the reference to Israel in Galatians 6:16 as including Gentiles. Pawson disputes this, without offering any substantial evidence to the contrary. There is also Romans 9:6 ("For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel"). So not all references to Israel in the NT are to ethnic Israel.

There are other fantastical claims in the book (eg that the Magi were Jewish, or that the Letter to the Romans was expressly written by Paul to combat replacement theology and anti-Semitism in the early church, or that the references to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Matthew 8:11 prove that the Abrahamic covenant is still valid and totally unaffected by the universal saving grace offered through Christ Jesus!). These are all highly speculative and in many cases fly against the generally accepted interpretation of Scripture. They illustrate how hard Pawson is trying to stretch Scripture to prove his Zionist pre-conceptions.

But even if one accepts that most references to Israel in the NT are to the ethnic Jewish people, which is the main purpose of this book, it is utterly impossible to infer from this that God has a separate plan for the Jews. For the whole thrust of the NT, and especially Paul's writings, is that the Jews are no different from Gentiles when it comes to their sinfulness (see the quotes from Romans 3 above) and their need for faith in Jesus. This is most eloquently summarised in Ephesians 3:4-6, where Paul describes what he calls "the mystery of Christ":

"...which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus."

The Messianic Jewish theologian Jacob Jocz put it brilliantly in his famous 1949 book, "The Jewish People and Jesus Christ":

"God is no respecter of persons. Before Him, the Holy One, men stand not as Jews and Gentiles but as sinners who are in need of grace. Jesus the prophet may be speaking to the Gentiles; but Jesus the Son of God speaks to mankind. Jesus the martyr may be appealing to some and not to others; but Jesus the Lamb of God challenges the whole human race. God's word is one word, and God's way is one if it is the way of God."

So yes, Pawson is right, the Jews (ethnic Israel) are not rejected, God still has a plan for them, they are the natural branches of the vine (Romans 11:21), whereas the Gentiles are the wild olive shoots grafted on (Romans 11:17), but it is impossible to conclude from this, or elsewhere in Scripture, that God has a separate plan for the Jews! For this would imply that the Jews had, and continue to have, a special position by dint of their birth, which is a total denial of the NT message of universal salvation to all, Jew or Gentile, who have faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).


The Sense of an Ending
The Sense of an Ending
by Julian Barnes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, to read in one long sitting, 12 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: The Sense of an Ending (Hardcover)
I greatly enjoyed this short novella, about a retired man (Tony) looking back on his life and his remorse at how flippant actions in his youth had drastic consequences later in life. The book gripped me from the very first pages. Julian Barnes has a wonderful economy of words, and stylistically I could not think of a single word out of place. The characters are well drawn and the periods in question (the 1960s and the present time) are beautifully evoked. As a middle-aged man I found myself identifying with Tony's maudlin assessment of his life, and his attempt to put past wrongs right.

For those who have not yet followed the debate about the plot, the title is a pun: it covers both Tony's attempt to make sense of his life, and the rather abrupt plot twist at the end, which makes you wonder what the 'sense of the ending' really is. I found the final plot twist slightly implausible, and still don't quite understand it, but as the previous 155 pages were such an exquisitely pleasurable read, Barnes's indulgence at the end did not really bother me. An excellent book.


Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land
Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land
Price: £7.46

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brave and compelling book, but uncomfortable reading, 12 Jan. 2012
Mark Braverman's courageous challenge to what he calls Jewish "exclusivism and tribalism", and how it has combined with Christian guilt for the Holocaust to feed the "messianic" Zionist project as it gobbles up yet more Palestinian land and tramples over yet more Palestinian human rights, could only have been written by Jew. Coming from a 'goy' (to use his own term), such writing would be dismissed (wrongly) as anti-Semitic. Coming from a Jew, albeit a liberal one, it is bold, brave and prophetic.

Braverman's central thesis is what he calls the "curse" of Judaism's "tribal core". This has led to "collective narcissism" and a combination of particularism/exceptionalism which now (through Zionism and a militaristic State of Israel) institutionalises racism and human rights abuses. As Braverman pleads on behalf of all Jews, "but I am NOT special". However, Christians, fearful of being accused of anti-Semitism, have encouraged this trend. In particular, post-holocaust Christian revisionists have abandoned supercessionism/replacement theology and Christianised Judaism, using a "theological alchemy" to allow a kind of 'reverse supercessionism' whereby (to quote a theologian analysed by Braverman) "we Christians may participate in the spiritual Jerusalem with the Jews, but the Jews hold the deed to the actual real estate". Meanwhile the Palestinians are dispossessed and down-trodden.

The book has some flaws: it is too long, is a bit repetitive, and Braverman's proposed cure (a universalist fudge whereby the Abrahamic religions focus on social justice in the Holy Land rather than their core religious beliefs) will give evangelical Christians like myself indigestion. Braverman is a little too fond of liberal Christian theologians like Jack Spong and Marcus Borg, which may turn off mainstream Christian readers. But then his point (the innate exclusivism of religion, which just happens to find expression in Judaism through the "rogue" State of Israel) could equally apply to other religions, including evangelical Christianity. Braverman prompted me to think about my own "tribalism". An excellent book, highly recommended.


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