Book Review: ‘The Sword Of David’ by Donald J. McCarthy Jr. | Written for BlogCritics

This article was originally posted on BlogCritics, the original post is located here.

The Israeli Air Force is one the most dominant security forces in the middle east. Having recently observed Yom Hazikron, the Israeli Memorial day, as well as the American Memorial day, what an opportune time to remember the work of the Israeli Air Force in securing freedom for the Israeli State. Founded in 1948 at the founding of the new modern State of Israel. Israel has remained a central and key player in the modern global dynamic as a key asset in many nations foreign policy making the security of Israel is one of the most important topics of our time. With much of the war of terrorism being hinged on the connection between the West and Israel it is of central importance the security of Israel plays in the make up of middle east.

The central role that the IADF (Israeli Air Defense Force) has played in the many battles since World War II including theYom Kippur War, the Gulf War, the Suez Canal Crisis and the 2006 Lebanon War. Billed as the Sword of David the Israeli IADF has been a key force in the protection and defense of the Jewish home land. Some of the unique and dangerous missions carried out to secure freedom have included a covert attack on the Iraqi Nuclear program in 1981. During the Lebanese invasion in 1982 the IADF destroyed eighty-six Syrian MiG’s without a single downed fighter pilot of their own.

This book details the history of the IADF with detailed history of key battles and the aircraft that has changed the face of middle east warfare. The book is full of color pictures of the varying aircraft in the Israeli Air Fleet. With pictures that may remind one of the the popular “Top Gun” movie. Noting the history of the IADF going from French Aircraft to U.S. Aircraft. As partners in the Middle East and on the War on Terror it is important to note how we arm our friends and allies to defend themselves from aggressors. The book features over 150 photographs of the strength of Israel’s Air Fleet.

The excellent table top book covers the history, progress and development of the Israeli Air and Space Force. This is a wonderful book published by Skyhorse Publishing to add to your collection if your are interested in the Israeli Air Defense program. The book features many exclusive never before seen photographs from the iconic Skyhawk and Mirage fighters to the modern F-16s and F-15s

Three Very Unique Ways To Build A Massive Community | New Media eXpo 2013 Session Description

2013 New Media Expo Session

Blogging > Community > Building Community

Education Level: Intermediate

This session will teach content creators how to use three unique methods using new media to build a friendly and dedicated community through crowdsourcing, “blong song (blog song) weekly news recap”, and blogging-podcasting. You will learn how to build a community or fan base from a group of experienced culture representatives (Grown Up Hip Hop Dads), building a community focused around a specific message content.


1. How to use Crowdsourcing to fund your project, social activism or next level of growth
2. How to use unique weekly music news recaps (aka Blongs short for Blog Song) to create a buzz and build your community
3. How to use your professional writting and blogging to build a solid and growing community
4. How to define your message and cultivate your crowd niche
5. How to add tools to your toolbox to help grow your crowd or community

Speakers: Jason Bellini, Joe Brewer, Jeramiah Giehl.

Using Crowd-Funding To Make Your Next Project An Enormous Success | Written for the New Media eXpo Blog

This article was originally posted on Blog World to promote the Conference Session I was hosting and speaking at the New Media eXpo original post is located here.

Many times the main struggle for creative people such as writers, indie artist and social activists is to find the tools and resources to get their project properly created, packaged and promoted–whether its a book, an album or a charity event. Beyond that, it becomes even more difficult for a creative person to come up with enough money for proper promotion of their idea or project. Being able to afford a good promoter, marketing rep, publisher or manager depends on your cash flow.

There are many creative people with out-of-the-box ideas who need the funding for a project that they can’t afford within their current budget. Many creatives need an assistant to come along and help them to the next level. Crowd-funding can be that assistant for some. Some of you need to find someone who is going to be the wind beneath you wings to get your idea going.

If you haven’t broken into a stream of easy money yet then you are probably working paycheck to paycheck trying to gather enough money to get a decent video, a publisher for your book, an editor, raise awareness for your social cause, or craft some method to become the next social media star of the moment. Trying to figure out how to create a buzz can be time consuming.

We all know by now that by using blogs, Twitter and Facebook you can create a generally decent buzz for your content or project through friends, family and connections. However, to go beyond the group of people you know or who know about you, tools are necessary to create more ways to access your end goal. Taking your project from creation of the content, to syndication through other channels of promotion, bringing it back to creating revenue can be a costly endeavor.

Get a kick start with crowd-funding. It is a new and unique way to raise money and awareness for your crafty idea, band or project. Crowd-sourcing offers a way to build a buzz and offer perks to fans. Sites likeKickStarter, CauseVoxCrowdSpringIndieGoGoChipIn, FanNextDoor, MicroVenturesPeerBackersRocketHub,ProFounder, of course there is CrowdSource, and a host of others give you opportunities to offer unique perks to fans that support your campaign based upon your project and needs.

This is a unique new way that you can turn casual fans and followers into partners of your enterprise. Everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon today. If you don’t have enough out-of-pocket money for a big tour, copy editor, social justice fundraiser or gigantic promotional campaign this is the way you can start raising money and awareness for your project, band or tour.

Crowd-funding takes you beyond just social media networking and enables people to get directly involved in the brand, project or artist they want to see perform, create or release a project. This involvement is showing a lot of potential. Some indie artists, writers and social activists have been able to raise thousands of dollars in weeks and months.

There are a few good sites that provide crowd-funding. Many creative people have begun signing up to start gathering a crowd to fund their projects. This method really brings things back to a grassroots-bottom up level. In this internet age, at times it seems digital media is making the world seem closer and smaller. We are gaining new avenues of accessing and being involved in the creation of content we enjoy and brands we want to see more of.

Here are some projects creative individuals have started using crowd-funding for:

  • Media Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Web and Print Campaigns
  • Promoting
  • Manufacturing
  • Promotional Tours
  • Web-Design
  • Artwork
  • Merchandising
  • Article distribution

If you are looking to build a media campaign, start a social justice project or have your project promoted on a higher level than you can do with your own funds–then crowd-funding is for you.

Editor’s note: To learn more about crowdsourcing, be sure to check out Jeramiah’s session at NMX entitled, Three Very Unique Ways to Build a Massive Community.

Vlog-Podcast: Episode 3: How To Market And Promote Your Blog Or Web-site (Part 1 of 2)

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Here is part 1 of a 2 part series on How To Market-Promote Your Blog-Site presented by para-DOX parABLEs and JAG‘D Edge Media. Let me know what you think of this module post some feedback on the blog, podcast and on youtube here:

DVD Review: Shalom Sesame Chanukah: The Missing Menorah! | Written for BlogCritics

This article was originally posted on Blog Critics, the original post is located here.
During the holiday season when television seemed overdone with Christmas and Santa Claus (also known as Kris Kringle), the mysterious all-knowing flying gift giver who lives at the north pole. For those who don’t participate in the Christmas holidaysometimes it is hard to find something to watch. It seems every TV show or movie that was on was about flying deers, gift giving, the Grinch, Scrooge, Santa Claus, Elves and the like its hard to not feel overwhelmed with the spirit of the season.

It is a strange and obsessive spirit where the day after the American Holiday of Thanksgiving. On black friday people start the stampede for gifts which in some cases has ended in tragedy. With this obsession with selfish consumerism for those try to avoid the spirit of Christmas and don’t want to get caught in the past, present or future spirits of Christmas. In stark contrast it is a treasure to find stories about the Miracles of Chanukah such is the case of Shalom Sesame Chanukah: The Missing Menorah which is just that a treasure trove of information for those seeking to know about this holiday.

For those who observe Chanukah and other Jewish-Hebrew-Biblical traditions it is wonderful when we find a treasure such as this that speaks about the miracle of the Chanukah Menorah or the battle of Judah Maccabee against the Greek-Assyrians. Its awesome to find something we can relate to.

Shalom Sesame is a 12-episode series from the creators of Sesame Street that takes you to the land of Israel to teach you about the Holy Land and Jewish Festivals. It features some old and new characters along with celebrity guests. Its fun and you learn a lot in these short 30-minute episodes. This episode of theShalom Sesame stars Anneliese Van Der Pol (who played Raven Simone’s best friend in That’s So Raven) with a guest appearance by Debi Malzar. This episode features lots of latkes, laughs and learning.

  • Learn about Judah Maccabee, the Maccabees Revolt and the Miracle of the Menorah from Israeli Children telling what the story of Chanukah means to them.
  • Learn about the Hebrew month of Kislev in which Chanukah falls.
  • Learn how to count up to the number eight (Shemoneh) along with “The Count”.
  • Learn the Hebrew Consonants Zayin for Zebra and Chet for Chaleil, Chanukia and Challah.
  • Learn how olive oil for the Chanukia is made from freshly pressed olives.
  • Learn how to play the Dreidel and the meaning of the letters on the Dreidel.
  • Learn about Judah Maccabee cleansing the Temple with a fun cartoon and traditional Chanukah songs.

I personally enjoyed the spoof ofExtreme Home Makeover called “Extreme Temple Makeover Edition” along with the chant “Move That Bust!” That Ty Pennington would be proud of. “Postcard From Grover” that explores ancient caves dug at the time of the Maccabees; it is reminiscent of Rick Steve’s Europe series on PBS.

Extras include The Missing Menorah Trailer;” Sneak Peaks of all 12 of the Shalom Sesame specials from Shabbat Shalom Grover, to Grover Learns Hebrew; to It’s Passover, Grover, to Count Down To Shavuot, and of course Monsters In The Sukkah along with other Adventures In IsraelWelcome To IsraelGrover Plants A TreeMitzvah On The Street and The Sticky Shofar. You also get features likeGrover’s Monster Sing-A-Long The Missing Menorah” or choose Karaoke version;” And “Grovers Video Playerincludes the Aleph-Bet Song.” All together there is about an hour of education and fun viewing.

My three year old learned how to write the Hebrew letter Nun as seen on the Dreidel and goes around singing “Alef, Bet, Vet” and “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel.” This is a fun and awesome resource for those who want to know about theJewish holiday of Chanukah.

As the Shalom Sesame song goes “Its such a beautiful day to find a land we can play.. to go to a place we can explore.. come along and check out Shalom Sesame.” Get yourself a copy ofShalom Sesame Chanukah: The Missing Menorah if you want to know more about Chanukah. You can also findClassic Shalom Sesame (The Original Series) and Rechov Shumsum (The Israeli Sesame Street) where you can meet Oofnik The Grouch and Avigile and Friends through SISU Entertainment.

What Does The Arab Re-Awakening Mean For Middle-East Interests? | Written for BlogCritics

This article was originally posted on BlogCritics, the original post is located here.
Image result for arab springWith Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, Libya and The Ivory Coast experiencing social upheaval and revolution, what does that mean for our interests? Al Jazeera has labeled it “The Arab Awakening.” A recent article in The Independentclaims the current reforms go back to the Lebanese revolution of 2005. However we must look back further at the first Arab Awakening.

The first Arab Awakening occurred after World War 1. It was led by Palestinian Christians, Protestant Missionaries and a desire to taste freedom. As a result they saw a revival of the Arabic language and eventually it led to the establishment of the pro-American Universities. There has been a desire for freedom that has been pro-Western culture in the Middle East.

This current uprising at its heart was fueled by unrest, frustration and anger stemming from domestic terrorism against a Coptic Church, to an outspoken Tunisian taking to Social Media. At heart they share strongly democratic values. In Egypt’s Freedom Square, Christians protected Muslims as they prayed. The desire for freedom can be overwhelming and indiscriminate.

A genuine desire to experience real democracy, set up local control and a desire to disconnect from the global wars, has caused the masses to rise up and seek a more engaged socially active governing institution. Many of the people who have been educated by the West, then exploited and impoverished under the dictators’ hands that the west supported are now seeking a peaceful redress of their grievances.

This uprising appears very similar to that of the American and French Revolutions. For many it’s about time. A greedy consumption and fight for resources (namely oil) has left the people worn out and weary. They’ve had enough.

Frustration with the élite financiers, oil Sheiks, dictators and war mongers have left the populace exhausted from inequality and exploitation. It is time to end the subjugation and oppression by all means necessary. There has been a strong desire to get freedom peaceable however in a few cases war has broken out.

A revolution in free press courtesy of Al Jazeera with the assistance of Facebook and Twitter has empowered the populace, engaging them in their own destiny. The availability and access to information, the use of technology and social media has transformed the arm-chair activist into a social reformer. It has been beautiful to watch.

In the midst of this Libya has been drawn into a deep and prolonged battle by the Gaddafi regime. The UN has authorized a no fly zone. Obama has authorized armed Drones to defend the reformers. The CIA has assets on the ground involved in clandestine operations doing who knows what. France and England are more directly involved in training Rebel Forces. The world is responding.

In America it seems that the “Birthers” (who are among the ranks of the Tea Party movement) are the lone stand outs, withholding support for the Libyan people’s freedom. Citing our lack of involvement in earlier atrocities in such places as Sudan and elsewhere while echoing Gaddafi’s use of our fear of Al Qaeda as propaganda, they claim we have no right to be involved in Libya.

Conservatives seem overly concerned with Reality TV Star “the Toupee’s” (aka The Donald’s) bid for presidency, with all the support from the Fox in the hen-house entertainment channel that they can muster.

General Wesley Clark stated that the Bush Administration had plans to overthrow Libya as well as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran by the year 2012. Those were extreme goals before the world monetary collapse at the hands of the International Bankers. Things have changed in Libya and the world since those plans were laid.

The age old division of Shia versus Sunni is tearing the Middle East apart. Factions are fighting for control of the future of the Arab world. In light of the war for oil, the war on terror and the geo-politics of the middle-east there is a need to be cautious about which side we support.

Instead of seeking to ramp up the divisions between Shia and Sunni, Israel and Palestine we need to focus on settling the local democratic changes the people are seeking to change. The Arab Awakening started from people seeking to improve their way of life in the context of a divisive and destructive environment.

The Arab Re-Awakening has included many democratic ideals, as well as frustration with the bombing of Churches, the desire to be free, and even Christians protecting Muslims. There are many things that we can find to support.

Do we need to try to influence their politics? Should we inject the ills of our society into theirs? Or should we just let this Awakening run its course? Is empire building and world governance really the way of the future?

Podcast: Triple H Mixtapes Presents…: The Three p (3p) podCAST: Episode 1

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This is the first episode on the Thee p podCAST. Stay tuned for more episodes.


1. Beleaf Melanin (of TheBREAX) – Black History (Snippet)
2. Propaganda & Odd Thomas – Change This World ft. Braille and Alert
3. Bizzle – BMF – feat. Lavoisier & Sevin
4. CY – Godz’illa Ft. Young JoshuaKingdom Affiliates Recod Pool Commercial
5. AppleJaxx – Glow In The Dark {feat. Ashleigh Nickole, Ferri Ferris & Eddie Nigma}
6. Atom The Immortal – Forsaken
7. Von Won – Youth Are Listening
8. TheBREAX – Words I Never SaidHoly Culture Commercial
9. Corey Red – I’m Still Here
10. Alert – All I See Is Red
11. Yaves the Street Pastor – Get Down
12. IzReal – Off Da HookDasouth Celebrate 2 Years Commercial
13. LMNO – Hard To Do
14. PND (Poems & Dust) – Give Thanks
15. World Trade – Showdown Featuring Dj Rapid Ric
16. Shames Worthy – Audible Imagery
17. Braille – Up
18. Mr J Medeiros – Nothing Without Providence
19. Jin – Running Thru My Head
20. Mistapool & Jupiter 7 – Keep It Movin
21. Raiderz of the Lost – Boom Bip
22. Moses Uvere – Welcome

SingleHop Featured on | Written for Technorati

An old interview I did.

I recently had the chance, while at BlogWorld Expo, to sit down with a writer from Technorati. His pen name, Just para-DOX  (He’s writer and music producer, which explains the unique name). As a huge follower of Technorati, I was thrilled to talk about all things SingleHop.  His first question though, caught me way off guard, “So, you guys make beer?” I almost fell off my chair as his delivery was completely deadpanned.  He was thankfully kidding. Funny enough though, I do get a lot of Google News alerts for SingleHop that are beer related.

To read the article click HERE



Album Review: Othello & DJ Vajra ‘The Required Taste’ | Written for Rapzilla

Article originally written for Rapzilla original article can be read here.

With The Required Taste, veterans Othello and DJ Vajra are coming for the number one spot. What the listener can expect is soulful, jazz infused hip hop paired with conscious wordplay. It’s a project that will definitely cater to those starved for the classic, golden era sound.

Othello, perhaps best known for his work with Lightheaded, seems to thrive when working with specific producers. He and DJ Vajra, a gifted turntablist and beatmaker who handles all the production on the album, tap into their funk and soul roots to create a sound that is both mature and expressive.

Stand out tracks include Active Balanced, Trust, Great Divide, and John and John, which touches on the topic of relationships and their many pit falls. Othello is at his best when expounding on themes such as pride,control, and infidelity, advising the listener to be mindful of the relationships they get involved in. Ya Did It To Yaself, another gem, features Othello singing over jazzy horns. Then you have Power Moves, an upbeat track that makes you want to dance. We’re Coming, which blends in a beautiful guitar sample, does a great job at highlighting Othello’s smooth flow, which, at times, is reminiscent of an early Mr. Cheeks.

Notable features such as Lightheaded cohorts Braille and Ohmega Watts, the gifted Theory Hazit, Now On, Mayer Hawthorne, and Stro The 89th Key, give The Required Taste a complete, well rounded feel.

All in all, Othello and DJ Vajra have delivered a unique project. The rhymes are creative, the message is clear. And it’s one of the few this year poised to bring real hip hop back.

Purchase on iTunes or AmazonMP3

1. Were Coming
2. Go
3. Same Team Suckas Ft. Theory Hazit
4. John and John
5. Connect For
6. Power Moves Ft. Ohmega Watts and Braille (Of Lightheaded)
7. The Flavor
8. Listen Ft. Bary Hampton
9. Road Letters
10. Active Balanced Ft. Now On and Mayer Hawthorne
11. Great Divide
12. Trust Ft. Stro The 89th Key
13. Ya Did It To Yaself Ft. Ragen Fykes
14. Its Ft. Dminor

Album Review: Washington Projects ‘Light Up The Dark’ | Written for Rapzilla

Article originally written for Rapzilla original article can be read here

In the vein of City High, The Fugees and Black Eyed Pea’s, SoulJahz came on the scene as a rap trio made up of two brothers and one sister. The lil sister, like L Boogie, can rap and sing with the best of them. Honestly, their first release caught my attention when Radio wasn’t playing much Hip Hop in San Diego County. “Rap Revolution” was a dope cut that local San Diego Radio was spinning. The song featured some dope lyricism which included rhyming every possible word ending in “ation”, that you could think of and then some. The brothers Joshua and Jekob had a Onyx / Wu Tang-esque flow which I was feeling at the time. Then a few years passed and they released “The Fault Is History” which was a more pop mainstream album that included a couple re-done cuts off their first indie album. They started touring and doing their new music more like pop singers rather than rap stars.

Their passion for social conscious and relevant music started to shine. At first I was a bit skeptical being the rugged hard core rap fan that I am. I felt the move was a bit of a sell out to make more money. However after hearing the group express their passion and desire to do more relevant music that reached a broader audience, it made sense. I’m still a fan of their first solo project and I have to pump that from time to time. After some more label issues and delays, the trio became the duo, and changed their name to The Washington Projects (minus Joshua the oldest brother). Jekob and Rachel continued to bring us good music with positive messages. Fast forward to now, they decided to take their music into their own hands with Jekob handling a lot of their production. Like most, they also decided to go the indie route due to label issues they experienced over the years.

The Washington Projects are back with another soulful, Hip Hop and R&B project that touches on social issues and challenges believers to be a light in the dark. This album does seem more gospel-centric than their previous two albums. At first I thought I would miss Joshua and the grimey old school Hip Hop flow. Honestly, you don’t really miss Joshua’s flow because the brothers did have a similar sound. Washington Projects have a pretty solid and mature sound. They seem to have a good grasp of the content, message and issues they want to present in musical form. I can’t say that I’m a fan of Jekob’s singing. I’d prefer less singing from Jekob but its passable and I doubt I’d like it without the auto-tune. Most of the time I’d pass on auto-tune but it actually works in their favor on this project. This album feels a little slower than their previous project, which I actually enjoy. I enjoy soulful hip hop music with a jazzy vibe (RIP Guru). I have to say the more pop modern sound of this crew has grown on me.

“Stay” is one of the best singles on the album. Jekob’s lyrics that caught my attention were “A rose in the concrete reaching for the stars,” “A man ain’t a man unless he’s there to grab his sons hand” and “Just showing up isn’t enough.” If that’s not a wake up call to man up and be a man and raise your children, I don’t know what is. Work is the most up beat track on the album. The song “Come Back To Me” has a dope beat that sounds kinda like a swarm of bee’s but gets a little repetitive. Jekob’s talking on the intro and the singing was a bit anemic and started to lose me a little bit. Jesus is “My Dream” is very much a worship cut. I have to admit I’ve heard the cuts “Light Up The Dark” and “Beautiful” which felt like left over cuts from their last project. So hearing the rest of the album helped me get a feel of the vibe of this project. The music video to the title track has got that pop star rock video treatment. The album includes a heartfelt dedication to their momma which has an Island music feel to it which was a nice ode to mothers.

This album did come somewhat out of the left field for me. As Jekob states “Try to pull me left, watch me pull them right.” This is a more soulful and more mellow album than their previous albums. Many of the songs on this album are very melodious and harmonious with some lite club bangers. The brother and sister duo let you know that you are beautiful. They seek to catch the attention of listeners who usually switch the channel and give them some good news. This is an album your going to want to tune into. Overall this is a pretty good, heartfelt and soulful album.

Purchase on AmazonMP3 or iTunes

Release Date: June 15, 2010

Label: indie

1. Light Up The Dark
2. You Are Beautiful
3. My Dream
4. Stay
5. Work
6. Come Back To Me
7. Go
8. Justus
9. Yesterday
10. Momma
11. Heaven Here I Come