Category Archives: The Blog

Here’s #GamerGate In 5 Easy Bites

Many people have noticed the #GamerGate hashtag floating around but still don’t know what it’s all about, so I’m going to try and distill it down to the very basics.

1. What is #GamerGate?

#GamerGate is the hashtag around which video game consumers have rallied to:

  • Demand an end to unethical behavior, corruption, and overt politicization in the video game industry, particularly among video game journalists
  • Boycott outlets that have attacked gamers with accusations of misogyny and sexism in response to the above demand
  • Share research  on and evidence of corruption in the industry
  • Support websites/causes that support gamers and inclusivity in the industry
  • Support each other against accusations of misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc.

While the tag was coined by Adam Baldwin to reflect the Watergate scandal, it has since become synonymous with a gaming consumer revolt, as “supporters” of #GamerGate see themselves as a barrier to the corruption in the industry. It even has an unofficial mascot called Vivian James. Continue reading Here’s #GamerGate In 5 Easy Bites

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Roundtable of Extreme Liberty – January 7, 2014 show!

Taylor Millard (@EyeDesertBlog) and myself were back on Vigilant Liberty Radio (@VigilantLiberty) on Tuesday, January 7 with the Roundtable of Extreme Liberty. We had a bit of those “VLR growing pains” and “open source production values” when Taylor’s computer crapped out as we went live, but we were able to get the show going and had a great discussion with our three entertaining panelists!

Joining us were three fantastic women: Becca Lower (@BeccaJLower) of Own the Narrative and Lowering the Boom, Christine Rousselle (@crousselle) of Townhall.com, and “Miss” Ruth Vine (@MissRuth1021) of Misfit Politics.

We kicked off the show by letting the three ladies rip apart the militant feminist “PIV=rape” idiocy, and went from there into talking about Rolling Stone magazine’s piece by Jesse Myerson about how all Millennials should be craving to be Marxists.

A great time was had by all, so give the show a listen! If you want to listen off-line, click “Spreaker” in the player below and you’ll be taken to the page where you can download the recording. Spreaker also has apps available for iOS and Android!

We’ll be back on Tuesday, January 14 with another great panel and more great topics!

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The Roundtable of Extreme Liberty from December 17!

Tuesday, December 17th was a big night on Vigilant Liberty Radio! Between myself and my VLR colleague Taylor Millard, we’ve resurrected Taylor’s old periodic podcast, The Roundtable of Extreme Liberty, as a live panel show!

Our first show was a real blast. We discussed the recent federal court decision on Utah’s bigamy law, and whether or not this was common sense, the end of civilization as we know it, or…what?

Joining Taylor and myself were Neal Dewing of Pocket Full of Liberty, whose post on the topic spurred the discussion, and Felicia “Fishie” Cravens of Free Radical Network. I think I had a pretty epic rant, which begins at about the 15-minute point.

In any case, The Roundtable of Extreme Liberty will be holding the Tuesday 10pm slot on VLR for the foreseeable future. Taylor and I will be splitting host and producer duties, and we’ll be bringing in a lot of great guests to let it fly on whatever topic we choose for the week.

Listen below, and you can click “Spreaker” in the player to be taken to the page where you can download the show to listen off-line.

Please check us out, and keep listening!

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A Thank You

I have one piece of unfinished business from my White House trip for the Medal of Honor presentation to US Army Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter, which is to thank the White House press and media relations staff for the assistance I was given and the access I was granted.

The following was mailed to the White House, addressed to Press Secretary Jay Carney. Mr. Carney has also been directed here via a tweeted web link.

September 4, 2013

The Hon. Mr. Jay Carney
Press Secretary
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. Carney,

I am writing to thank you for the White House Press Office and Media Affairs’ time and effort that led to my obtaining a media credential to the press area, James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, and the Medal of Honor presentation ceremony for Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter on Monday, August 26, 2013.

I spoke with two members of the press office staff over the telephone prior to arriving at the White House, Michael and Hanna (unfortunately, I don’t have either of their last names). Both were incredibly friendly and attentive to my questions and concerns, and it’s a credit to your office that they treated me as equal with any other member of the press, even though my blogging activities are a labor of love rather than my vocation.

As a blogger and new media citizen-journalist, I so very appreciate the access given to me, and I hope it is indicative of an administration policy that seeks to include reporting and voices from multiple sources and opinions, whether they would be considered “friendly” to the administration or not. I sincerely encourage you to continue allowing access to press functions at the White House to non-traditional sources and representatives.

Thanks again for allowing me in to witness history. It was an experience I will never forget.

Sincerely,

Allan Bourdius

As I’ve written, my interest in attending Staff Sergeant Carter’s Medal of Honor presentation was completely apolitical, but I do hope that the White House continues allowing new media sources – of all political persuasions – access to press events regardless of politics. The more voices, the better.
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Witness to History

Dear Readers,

I suppose there was part of me who thought once I got over the initial nervousness of being at the White House today for the Medal of Honor presentation to United States Army Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter for his heroism during the Battle of Kamdesh at Combat Outpost Keating on October 3, 2009 by President Barack Obama, I’d be able to easily write about my experience.

I wish that were the case. Today was an absolutely amazing experience. I’m feeling quite a bit overwhelmed by the experience, but in a very different way than the jitters I felt while I was sitting in Lafayette Park across from the White House this morning at 11:30 calming myself for walking up to the visitors’ gate and saying, “I’m supposed to be here.”

Continue reading Witness to History

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TFH Goes to Washington!

To everyone who’s ever read a post here, commented, shared links, and encouraged the labor of love that is this blog – and especially to the American warriors who have received the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Air Force Cross whose exploits in the defense of liberty have and always will be my focus here – I have to say thank you, for without you all, the story I’m about to tell wouldn’t be happening.

Their Finest Hour is going to be breaking new ground – for me, anyway – on Monday, August 26, 2013! This is a story though that really begins on October 3, 2009, and for me in April 2012.

Continue reading TFH Goes to Washington!

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Solving the Anthem Problem

During the last week, I popped into a Twitter conversation lamenting our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. In the end, one of the folks in the thread said our anthem should be changed to America the Beautiful. About the only song worse as a choice would probably be This Land is Your Land.

However, there is a problem with our anthem. No it’s not that The Star-Spangled Banner is difficult to sing, or that celebrity anthem singers before major events frequently mangle it. The problem is simply that we’re singing the wrong words.

You see, all that is ever sung of our National Anthem is the first verse. We hopefully all know it well:

O say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I’ll go right on the record that I can’t stand these words from Francis Scott Key‘s poem, originally known as The Defense of Fort McHenry. Why? Because it ends in a question. It is indefinite whether or not the defenders had survived and the flag was still aloft. We’re left thinking that, well, the flag – and therefore our nation – might not be there anymore. Fortunately, Key didn’t leave it there. Verse two brings some resolution to the question of verse one:

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Ah! Even though the enemy is still present, our flag is still flying “[i]n full glory”. Verse two doesn’t end indefinitely like the first, but yet leaves some uncertainty or question about the future: “O! long may it wave”. We’re not exactly inspiring confidence here.

Compare what we’ve seen of The Star-Spangled Banner with, say, another anthem fairly familiar to Americans, that of our neighbor to the north, Canada:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Much better than either of the first two verses of Key’s poem and our anthem as set to music. Wouldn’t it be great if we had words like that for our anthem. If only Key had written…

Wait, what?! Francis Scott Key did “go there”?!?! Who knew? Sadly about 99.9999% of Americans don’t. Check out verse three:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Whoa! Anthem red meat, most definitely. Remember back to September 11, 2001? Remember Osama bin Laden and his goal of raining terror on the “great Satan”? How does the first four lines of verse three not apply to Osama and friends, or Hitler, or Stalin, or whomever else has wished the erasure of the United States from memory? Not only are we going to get you, we’re going to wash away the fact that you tried to do us in with your own blood. Most importantly, we close the verse with an affirmation: the flag flies in triumph.

But yeah, it still gets better. Key, in the fourth and final verse of his poem remembers that freedom, indeed, isn’t free, and as this piece of commentary is going up on Memorial Day weekend 2013, this is the verse to our anthem everybody should be singing on these days:

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Memorial Day is to remember those free men (and women) who have stood between their loved homes and the desolation of war – and who didn’t come back alive. And frankly, the church-state separation fanatics can go pound salt over “Praise the Power” and “In God is our trust”; placing reliance on divine providence is in the Declaration of Independence, after all. And we close with an affirmative indefinite: our flag shall wave in triumph.

Depending on mood, when I’m present for the singing of our national anthem, I choose to sing verse three or four, regardless of the people around me. Do you wish we had a better anthem? Learn the other verses, and start singing!

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