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Profile for Ian Gordon Malcomson > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC)
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Carfia Sports Polarized Sunglasses for Men or Women, UV400 Protection Unbreakable Sports Glasses for Cycling, Riding, Driving, Running, Golf and Other Outdoor Activities
Carfia Sports Polarized Sunglasses for Men or Women, UV400 Protection Unbreakable Sports Glasses for Cycling, Riding, Driving, Running, Golf and Other Outdoor Activities
Offered by MAYBE TRADE CO.,LTD
Price: CDN$ 63.00
2 used & new from CDN$ 25.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Marvelous Product, June 20 2016
Welcome to a new era in sunglasses. This particular product comes with our unreserved approval. It offers interchangeable lenses for all conditions. So far, I have tried out the polarized and late-evening ones with very good results. The wrap-around effect allows for the comfort of lateral protection. An inside frame offers rigidity to the lens. The frame is sleek, sturdy, and light. They come with a cord for every day use and one for sports activities so that the glasses won't fall. Great quality for the price.


Celtic Cross Leather Blank Journal (Notebook, Diary, Sketchbook) - 7" X 9 1/2"
Celtic Cross Leather Blank Journal (Notebook, Diary, Sketchbook) - 7" X 9 1/2"
Offered by ferus+fivel
Price: CDN$ 39.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Gift for that Special Person, June 20 2016
What a nice product! It is leatherbound, with a Celtic cross embossed on its cover and plenty of heavy, high-quality paper ideal for ink and pencil sketches and journaling. To keep it closed, a leather cord conveniently wraps around it to give an additional antique look. I find it especially helpful that this is the same size as a regular book that can fit on a book shelf instead of being stored away in a drawer.


Bestdeal® Fast Inflatable Portable Hangout Air Bag Sofa suitable for Camping, Travel, Beach and other Activities (Blue)
Bestdeal® Fast Inflatable Portable Hangout Air Bag Sofa suitable for Camping, Travel, Beach and other Activities (Blue)
Offered by JUNCH
Price: CDN$ 47.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 47.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as Simple as It May Seem But Still Very Functional, June 16 2016
When we finally figured this product out, we discovered that we had a very interesting outdoor inflatable on our hands. While it may seem easy to inflate, light to carry, seal and repose, according to Youtube, there were a couple of little problems along the way like not enough ambient air, difficulties determining how far to roll up the ends, and rolling off the sides. In all fairness, the air sofa works but not to our complete satisfaction. We will keep it, however, for our next visit for the beach where the breezes are stronger and the setting more conduicive for stretching out.


The Anatomy of Fascism
The Anatomy of Fascism
by Robert O. Paxton
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.00
33 used & new from CDN$ 10.38

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Helpful Understanding of a Complex Concept, June 16 2016
This review is from: The Anatomy of Fascism (Paperback)
This study is as relevant today as when it was written over a decade ago. I like the way the author tackles fascism as a major historical force in the hope that his readers will become more aware of its true implications, rather than just using it as a pejorative for depreciating one's political enemies. Paxton's approach to this controversial term is to anchor it in history. Essentially, it is a political movement that attempts to elevate or glorify the state as being greater than the sum of its parts. Its inspiration is the enshrining of a mythical ideal where national greatness is celebrated in a culture of military superiority, ethnic purity, and ultimate world dominance. There is nothing minimal in what Paxton says about how this initial idea becomes reality. It is a complex process that goes through at least five stages before reaching its climax in the form of a world empire. Using Italy and Germany as his main references, Paxton demonstrates that the emergence of these two nation-states in the twentieth century involved extensive periods of political unrest fueled by weak national leadership, a strong reliance on violence to cause its overthrow, the creation of an eternal quest for national greatness equipped with enemies, and a realistic plan to make it happen. Both of these fascist movements - the original Italian Pax Romana movement and the heavily radicalized German Arayan version - succeeded in becoming full-fledged national governments that enacted their own respective forms of terror as a way of solidifying their rule. Paxton wants us to understand that neither of these fascist parties would have made it as far as they did without the presence of strong conservative-nationalistic forces in rural areas. The persistent unrest of the interwar years only paved the way for Hitler and Mussolini to use any kind of public dissent on the political right to forge alliances against the Church, Jews, Bolsheviks, and Socialists in an attempt to gain power. Once there, they would have a variety of means to consolidate and expand their grand plans. While there are many cases of demagogues in the 20th century proceeding along similar lines, none met with the same degree of success, albeit limited to, at most, a couple of decades in power. One of the weaknesses in fascism is that it does not contain the means to bring the dream to fruition in its largest form because its modus operandi is basically one of fear, alienation, cruelty, and territorial domination based on the whim and creed of a master race. As a historical idea, it had short-term life because it was peculiar to a certain part of the world where circumstances were ripe for its inception. You may want to call the actions of a bullying public figure fascist but you must be careful not to confuse this generic reference with the historical one that goes well beyond mere characterizations of bad behaviour.


The Fear Index
The Fear Index
by Robert Harris
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.39
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Something of a Literary Letdown, June 16 2016
Before reading "The Fear Index", my only experience with Harris was "Pompeii" and "Fatherland". Both these novels offered an interesting and stimulating alternative view of world history which easily grabbed my imagination. Unfortunately, this one didn't because it lacked any effective context in which I could connect to time, space, and character, three critical ingredients in any well-written novel. One, the setting of Geneva as the place where Alex Hoffman helps set up a very successful, high-tech driven hedge fund could, in fact, be any major world city but for the fact that the massive secret Cern project lurks somewhere in the Alps, and that is where Harris' protagonist got his scientific training. Two, the sense of excessive fear that dogs Hoffman throughout the story seems to consist of psychological forces that are never really explained other than they are ultimately triggered by his very troubled mind. So what would make Hoffman feel uneasy about a life given to making money hand-over-fist through innovative hedge funding. All we learn about Hoffman's mental health is that he strongly believes he is under attack from assailants he can't identify - enemies lurking in the shadows ready to destroy his meteoric achievements. Three, only when we finally learn what makes Hoffman so obsessed and fearful, do we, then, begin to understand that a hidden part of the man is that he is truly married to technology on the grandest and scariest of scales. His company has developed an A.I. algorithm that is programmed to make trades at the most sophisticated level, barring any chance of failure. This seems to be the perfect solution for destroying the competition, one might think, except the fear factor only increases to now paranoid levels. Hoffman has become a truly isolated individual who seems fixated on acquiring more wealth while no longer able to cope with the world around him which includes a very talented wife. Read this novel if you want to discover what the amazing epiphany will be that will turn it around for Hoffman and bring him back to his senses. It just sort of happens, like a lot of things in this novel. While Harris might be trying to regale the reader with a heart-stopping, suspense-filled mystery about how fear of the unknown can come to dominate our existence, he may have failed to clinch the deal by how he attempts to save the day in getting Hoffman to do the unexpected and turn on himself. To arrive at that point, we have to put up with a plot that is too ponderous, a cast of characters that are superficial, and a conclusion that simply reduces the process of progress to pulling the plug if it doesn't meet our personal needs.


AOMERLY Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle Double Walled Vacuum Bottles - Pink
AOMERLY Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle Double Walled Vacuum Bottles - Pink
Offered by AOMERLY
Price: CDN$ 32.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lifetime Purchase!, June 15 2016
I've been looking for a drink bottle that isn't plastic, is easy to carry in a backpack, and keeps liquids at desired temperatures and, I believe, I have found it in this one. From our limited testing, it is leak proof, easy to store, and seems to insulate its contents. It also fits into a cup holder in the car. I would recommend this bottle to anyone looking to move up to something more user friendly and environmentally sensitive.


Mens Toiletry Bag - New Luxury Toiletry Bag for Men by Pure Sir
Mens Toiletry Bag - New Luxury Toiletry Bag for Men by Pure Sir
Offered by menstoiletrybag
Price: CDN$ 54.99
3 used & new from CDN$ 39.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly, A Toiletry Bag Befitting a Gent, June 15 2016
This is one very fine product. It has taken me a couple of days of use to appreciate its great qualities but there is no looking back. It is sleek to handle, fine-looking, capacious, durable and very functional. As toiletry bags go - I have owned a few in my time - the Pure Sir leaves me hopeful that any former concerns I have had about their effectiveness are over. One, it takes all my overnight stuff without a problem; two it is easy to carry with a special handle on the end; three, it is expandable and comes with three zippered compartments that open and close effortlessly and make it easier to find items in each, and, four, it has an easy-to-wash lining that I have not seen in other bags.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 15, 2016 7:39 PM PDT


Accuweight Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Food Scale, Electronic Cooking Scale, 0.1oz to 11lbs Capacity AW-KS003BB
Accuweight Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Food Scale, Electronic Cooking Scale, 0.1oz to 11lbs Capacity AW-KS003BB
Offered by i-Tronics
Price: CDN$ 25.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Buy!, June 15 2016
This kitchen product is what we have been looking for in our condo, with space at a premium. It is light and thin to move around and store, gives very accurate measurements for both pounds and kilograms, very easy to manipulate in terms of getting the right units, uses the tare technology that automatically deducts the weight of a container from its contents, and shuts down by itself when not in use. So far we have found it handy for all kitchen tasks up to around 11 pounds. Functions on a long-lasting lithium battery with no need to plug in. I highly recommend it as a device that lives up to its billing and comes with an easy-to-read set of instructions. I received this product free or deeply discounted in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.


Quick Charge 2.0 Wall Charger, Joly Joy® 40W 3-Port USB Travel Charger Adapter (Additional UK, EU Plug ) Qualcomm Certified Fast Charging for Samsung Galaxy S7, S6 Edge, Note 5, HTC One M9, Nexus 6
Quick Charge 2.0 Wall Charger, Joly Joy® 40W 3-Port USB Travel Charger Adapter (Additional UK, EU Plug ) Qualcomm Certified Fast Charging for Samsung Galaxy S7, S6 Edge, Note 5, HTC One M9, Nexus 6
Offered by Joly Joy
Price: CDN$ 22.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Does the Main Job Well, June 13 2016
Yes, it does do a fast charge. It charged 80% in two hours. The foreign plug-ins are easy to attach though we didn't get to try them out on a 240 voltage. That will happen the next time we go abroad. We have yet to determine its capacity to convert to a lower Canadian current from a higher foreign current. One potential drawback to this product is that its instructions are rather thin. We will revisit this review as more information becomes available.


A Short History of the State in Canada
A Short History of the State in Canada
by E. A. Heaman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 32.95
20 used & new from CDN$ 17.32

5.0 out of 5 stars The process by which a nation is defined, June 12 2016
I read this book with the goal of determining what it means to call oneself a Canadian, and was not disappointed. Professor Heaman outlines here the history where Canada has come together as a political state or system of governance that assays to represent as wide a range of personal interests and cultural values as possible. What we enjoy today, in terms of lifestyle and equality of opportunity, is complex, evolving, and instructive in its make-up. Heaman takes us through over four hundred years of colorful history where European concepts of progress clashed with Aboriginal sense of survival. Evidence shows that from the get-go white settlers, corporate magnates and a quasi-British form of colonial rule were set on protecting their own. While this part of the story is well-known, especially the role Ottawa played in pushing a national railway through, it is the analysis of the 20th century that really caught my attention. This is the time that Ottawa, especially under a number of Liberal administrations, promoted an increasing role of the state in the lives of its members in an effort to redistribute wealth, settle the west, guarantee the health of the nation, welcome new immigrants, and contribute to global peace. It was long realized that this kind of political intervention was necessary if the evils of racism, greed, poverty, and ignorance were to be beaten back. To that end, Ottawa and the provinces have struggled and eventually succeeded in building a more inclusive society, where the rights of First Nations, women, LBTG, refugees, and children are enforced through legislation and the courts. Where we once had a very limited constitution that served a predominantly white culture, we now have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that addresses the needs of a very multicultural society. In 2015, Canada's public governance adheres to the principle that decisions are made, through negotiation and participation, that ideally reflect what is best for the people. Any government that fails to answer to the needs of its electorate by including them in the decision-making process does so at great peril to its chances of survival. Failure to have access to sufficient tax revenue or borrowed money makes such a task nearly impossible.


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