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Profile for David I. Howells > Reviews

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Content by David I. Howells
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Reviews Written by
David I. Howells "outlawcatcher" (UK)

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Hama Lens Cleaning Pen
Hama Lens Cleaning Pen
Price: £8.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect lens cleaner, 21 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Hama Lens Cleaning Pen (Camera)
This item is small and has a retractable brush. It is small enough to carry about with me everywhere and I use it all the time. Perfect...


TECHGEAR® High Quality USB Cable for Apple iPod Shuffle and Shuffle Clip 3rd Gen and 4the Gen - iPod shuffle USB charging and sync cable compatible with Macs and PCs
TECHGEAR® High Quality USB Cable for Apple iPod Shuffle and Shuffle Clip 3rd Gen and 4the Gen - iPod shuffle USB charging and sync cable compatible with Macs and PCs
Offered by TECHGEAR Solutions
Price: £3.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 21 Feb. 2014
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I use my shuffle all the time to go training here and abroad and this charger is just the ideal size to carry about with me everywhere, I have had it for some time now and it has never let me down. Just perfect....


Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Price: £9.48

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The rape of a continent and the making of banana republics!, 14 Feb. 2014
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I liked this book as it gave me a perspective of how US, British and Spanish imperialism has affected latin America from a latin American viewpoint as the author is Uruguayan. I also read this book at the same time as I read the 'Untold History of the United States' by Oliver Stone. What I liked was how the the facts of the latter confirmed those outlined by Eduardo Galeano. The story of how western democracies have literally economically raped an entire continent is mind boggling and a shameful part of our history. Apart from the economic theft of its resources, the amount of direct and subversive political interference in the sovereign affairs of latin America by us and in particular the United States is equally scandalous. No wonder these countries have little love towards us. To read this book is to read about commercial, political and military exploitation of weaker peoples by strong nation states and it is a shameful indictment of our imperialistic past.

This historic unveiling is well referenced, well told and a good read. I do wish there was more political explanations held within and to some extent the economic facts got somewhat laboured at times. However it was an important read for me as I spend a lot of time in latin America and I regularly come across this historic resentment for deeds done in a bygone age...as well as in recent times. We made many a country in this geographical sphere into a banana republic, this book tells you how we did it, how much it cost us and how much we took away...


CaseCrown Tidal Sleeve Case (Black) for 11 Inch Apple MacBook Air
CaseCrown Tidal Sleeve Case (Black) for 11 Inch Apple MacBook Air

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Mac Air cover, 12 Feb. 2014
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Use it all the time as it fits my mac air perfectly. It has adequate cushioning but not enough that you want to drop it on a hard floor. However as a general cover it does the job and I cannot fault the item. It is a very simple and practical product. However in the product description it says that you can put an iPad in the front pocket and your mac air in the main compartment. Well my item is as per the product pictures and it only has one compartment and that fits my 11' mac air perfectly. There is no second pocket to this product....


Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports In-Ear Neckband Headphones
Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports In-Ear Neckband Headphones

4.0 out of 5 stars Great little headphones, 12 Feb. 2014
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I have had these for about a year now. They have a nice sound, are comfortable and are excellent for wearing out on runs, training etc. The only gripe I have is that the little black earpiece covers have a habit of coming off and if you don't see them come off you will lose them. This then lets in the sweat and over time (as has happened before) they do not work or work with that irritating crackle. Apart from that they are great....
Jan 19.2015. Update: As expected, the sweat has gone into one side of the headphones and I only have volume on one side. If you buy this this item it might be an idea to super glue the earpiece covers to avoid loosing them and to stop any sweat damage...hindsight is great huh!


The Korean War: History in an Hour
The Korean War: History in an Hour
Price: £0.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gem of a book!, 12 Feb. 2014
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This is a great little book for those that know very little about the Korean War or for those that need a quick and accurate refresher on the topic. It is actually very accurate in its content, well written and a very enjoyable read. It gives you a very concise overview of the military and political context of the war along with the main campaigns, battles and offensives and much more. I will be keeping an eye out for more such books from Mr Mulholland. Excellent little book, buy that man a pint!


D-Day: A Very Brief History
D-Day: A Very Brief History
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Diabolical book on D Day!, 24 Jan. 2014
This is a hard review to write as one always tries to temper one's sympathy to the efforts of the author. However in this case it is hard, very hard, as this book is of such poor quality.

First of all contextually the overall prose of the book does not read well. There is no easy going flow, drama or fluidity but a simple regurgitating of facts and very often those are terribly disjointed.

Secondly the content is not even up to par of an accurately endorsed Wikipedia entry. In fact a straight lift from Wikipedia would have availed the author to a higher degree of accuracy. He desperately needs to re write his references to the codes used for D Day and beyond so that they mesh together accurately, correctly and in an easier more readable format.

Finally, the grammar, it is simply appalling. I highlighted 62 grammatical errors. These ranged from words simply left out, spelling errors, lack of punctuation, poor use of punctuation, no spaces and many poorly written sentences.

In short the author could not have proof read this book or for that matter given it to another to do so instead. This is diabolical considering the short length of the actual book itself.

In addition the inclusion of the disclaimer against errors or omissions at the end is also insulting. In my view if you are selling a book for money you have an implied responsibility that it achieves a basic standard. This book does not!

In short, this book is the worst book I have 'ever' read let alone reviewed (91 to date). As for the 5* reviews on here, guys/girls you simply must be friends or family! My advice-avoid at all costs!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2014 1:39 PM GMT


The Untold History of the United States
The Untold History of the United States
Price: £9.49

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The indispensable nation, 22 Jan. 2014
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This is a powerful socio-political history of the most powerful nation that has ever graced the planet. A country that will have us believe...and we would like to believe...that it is the bastion of freedom and democracy. This has been the 'American century' and this book tells us how they achieved this platitude. It is not I might add with any sort of diplomatic grace, humility or democratic panache. This book will outline to you how they got it so wrong?

The authors present a well referenced, researched and informed viewpoint that is hard to ignore. The evidence is overwhelming, the western world, with few exceptions, has been run by what can only be termed as a cacophony of self seeking, arrogant, racist, sub intellectuals for the last hundred years. That Regan used to fall asleep during his morning briefings just about sums up the quality! Those who have occupied that most esteemed of political offices over the last hundred years have left a US democratic legacy that is battered and bleeding, maybe mortally so. A legacy that has seen the ruin of their international reputation and that is also catapulting them into a financial meltdown. It is a story pitted with political, financial and military disasters on such a grand scale that it beggars belief.

I will say however that the fact that they also did a lot of good is hardly highlighted at all in the book. In any case, the good is totally overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of bad. They made decisions that left millions dead, destroyed entire countries and nullified what should be basic world commodities, that of a reasonable amount of world peace and stability without the threat or risk of an armageddon. The lies, deceit and sheer arrogance practiced by most of these historic figures (and administrations) belies belief. Here we find the true reasons behind the unlawful or unwarranted sovereign interventions in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Iraq and Afghanistan, the clandestine and bloody subterfuge involved in supporting rogue states and dictators, state authorised assassinations, the common use of torture by government agencies and the lack of conformity to domestic and international laws. In turn there are lost opportunities to shackle the growth of nuclear weapons, the eternal shame of their unnecessary use and the basic system incompetences involved in alleged near misses.

The list is endless and it makes very sad reading. Sad because most of us know that it is true and that the people of the US deserve better. Sadder still is that I could write the same review about the UK. A very comprehensive and authoritative book brilliantly researched that is superbly written. One of my best reads ever.


To The Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea 1951
To The Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea 1951
Price: £5.03

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave men from a bygone age...., 17 Jan. 2014
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To the last round

This book is a great read about the last stand of the Glorious Gloucester's in the Korean War. At the same time the book also gives you a brief but detailed insight into the turbulent history of both North & South Korea and the Korean conflict itself.

More than anything however the book portrays the last stand of the Gloucester regiment as each company was cut off, isolated and overrun by hordes of Chinese soldiers. The ensuing tales of bravery during the subsequent combat and later during captivity is the stuff of legends and has long passed into British military folklore. At the same time the book pays tribute to the other British units (and a Belgium regiment) that were also present. It also pays suitable homage to the valiant performance of the attacking Chinese troops.

The book is very descriptive giving full vivid accounts of the ferocious combat that took place. These accounts seem to be from a bygone age with their massed infantry attacks. The ensuing individual tales of bravery, survival, captivity and the overall descriptive value of the book make it compelling reading. The tales during captivity and the 'closure' of the stories are also captivating.

Other reflections? Well a bit too scathing of American performance at times. On occasions this might be correct but at other times I think it was unwarranted. I think this is a habit we quite often lapse into in the UK.

Another glorious defeat maybe? I do question the sensibility of holding isolated hilltop positions in company units against hordes of attacking troops. In my view there are three reasons that make such a deployment in this instance rather rash:

1. Being issued with a bolt action personal weapon with your unit weapon in general being a 30 round magazine fed machine highlights a lack of obvious firepower against large scale enemy infantry attacks.
2. The positions were not mutually supportive due to distance and terrain. Therefore they were vulnerable to being isolated and being destroyed.
3. Resupply is always going to be an issue in such instances.

I am of the opinion the deployment was fatally flawed from the onset. Especially knowing that you were facing an enemy that were being counted in their tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands. Far to little firepower if you ask me, even if you do have effective artillery support.

However, this is a great read about brave men battling against extreme odds and it is really well written. If you want a great story couple with carnage and destruction...this is the book for you!


Argentine Fight for the Falklands
Argentine Fight for the Falklands
Price: £4.69

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We were boys too....., 8 Jan. 2014
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I found this an absorbing book. Mainly because it contains the views of the 'other side,' a viewpoint not often heard.

It is sobering to hear about some of the Argentine accounts; their belief in the cause, their bravery and equally as often their stupidity (invading in the first place). This is particularly so as I am an 82 vet and currently in Argentina at the moment as part of my 'journey or closure.'

I enjoyed the book and reading many of these previously unheard of 'enemy' accounts was of obvious interest to me. I also have a lot of respect for many of those men behind those accounts. Many of whom fought and acted with a considerable degree of honour. I also think that the author did a very commendable job. In the main it was also an impartial one. I would like to add a certain degree of reality though. This book (annoyingly so), as well as others and web based articles, like to portray the Argentines as a rag tag bunch of poorly equipped, under fed conglomeration of teenage conscripted boys.

Facts: they had automatic personal weapons (we didn't), they had better boots, general all round clothing, night sights, better ration packs (yes they did!), prepared high ground defensive positions & were supported/directed by professional troops.

I just want to shatter the illusion that these were not 'in the main' poor ill equipped little Argentine country boys who were sent to war against the bad British guys with a bolt action rifle, five rounds of ammo and a beef sandwich against their will. These were young men....many who actually volunteered...with a belief, automatic guns and a bad attitude! A conscript with a belief, a modicum of training and an automatic gun is still a soldier...and not as helpless or pathetic as well meaning professional journalists/writers like to make out.

Again, much is made of their youth. Well, I will just conclude by saying that I had my 21st birthday down 'south' and lost two friends, both aged 19, you have to remember....we were boys too!

Anyway...it's still a great read but it loses a star because of the above annoying 'discrepancies!'


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