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Director / CrewI am Philip Harrison, A.C.E. Eddie award nominated editor of Mr. Robot. I've also edited TV shows like Glee and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - AMAA!

Jan 12th 2017 by Philip_Harrison • 16 Questions • 102 Points

My short bio: I worked for a well-known cruise company for 6 years, and have met some weird and wonderful people and had some great experiences around the world. AMA!

My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/TMaEE

Q:

Hi Phillip! It's 6:30am where I live, but I had to get up because I was so excited for this AMA! I'm a young director/filmmaker/editor and I love Mr. Robot and Glee (two of my favourite tv shows - Mr. Robot is such an inspiration when it comes to editing). Congratulations on the award! My questions are:

What techniques do you use in editing to set the mood/evoke feeling in different scenes?

When you get the footage, how is it given to you? (is there a Data Wrangler or someone to sort it all out or do you have to?)

edit: removed a few questions that had already been answered

A:

Hello Julian Assange,

In recent months, there has been some concern to your well-being following the events of the October 17th blackout. Would you please reply with a signed message that includes the contents below?

1) State that you are alive and well, and in no serious harm.

2) The current date and time.

3) Something unique that happened in the news yesterday, January 9th, 2017.

4) This nonce value: 8059e91804efbe266c8e324b52de605f829eca993d4c7020bc8a34db337fabd5

I ask that all Redditors take screenshots and SHA256 sums of this post and Julian's reply, in the perhaps likely event that either of these posts are modified by Reddit admins.

SHA256: 336bc0cd7e841bc87248bda86276ca41e75399cfc63a5d5eed7c3e4f8dce4f03

Edit: Julian has officially skipped my question, claiming along the lines that "the scores are changing too fast". However, this post has remained at the top of this AMA throughout the entire duration. If no signature is created by the end of this AMA, it will be my opinion that Wikileaks is compromised.

Edit 2: Julian is answering a different question (not mine) regarding proof of life. He claims that "setting a precedent is better proof of life than a digital signature" and that it's "quite hard to protect keys". I am starting to suspect that Julian is no longer in control of the Wikileaks private key. Note that he did not provide a signed message.

Edit 3: Julian read off a recent hash of the bitcoin blockchain: https://blockchain.info/block/00000000000000000178374f687728789caa92ecb49b4d850dfc173a7c0351e6

It is likely that Julian is alive. However, failing to digitally sign a message with the Wikileaks private key is of great concern. It is possible that Julian is no longer in control of Wikileaks, provided that he cannot sign a message with the private key.

Edit 4: Julian responded to a child comment on this thread, in which I asked a follow up question: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5n58sm/i_am_julian_assange_founder_of_wikileaks_ask_me/dc8ycd4?context=1

Edit 5: Julian responded in more detail with two transcripts:

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5n58sm/i_am_julian_assange_founder_of_wikileaks_ask_me/dcanxq5/?context=3

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5n58sm/i_am_julian_assange_founder_of_wikileaks_ask_me/dcap8ow/?context=3


Q:

Why are you still using Windows XP?

A:

What did the arresting officers think of the law?


Q:

How has your perspective on life in general changed? My teacher beat cancer during university and now says "she'll sleep when she's dead" and is super optimistic. Also, what was hands done the hardest part of this? Congrats on being cancer free btw :)

A:

What question would you want to answer if you could answer it without facing consequences?

Example:"Who is the worst person at Gitmo?"

Then you could answer it


Q:

Yeah. Technically i was ranked as 2 stripe officer. In practise i prrtty much ranked below the engineering cadets. Rank really means nothing outside of the engineering department except for more responsibility.

A:

Thanks so much for being part of the AMA! I love that you're excited about editing at such a young age!

There are endless approaches to editing a scene. I'm grateful that I've worked on enough projects over the years to have had to figure out how to deal with different types of scenes and moods. On MR Robot, I try to edit the scene in a grounded way so that I am sure that a scene and the character motivations make sense. Then I go back and make additional passes where I might add music and sound effects. I can also change the mood by making the cuts tighter or looser. Using closeups instead of long shots can have a very different effect depending on what you're going for. I would advise you to watch as much film as you can to internalize all the different possibilities and then experiment yourself as much as you can.


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: This is the whole proof of life topic. We saw that evolve. It’s both gratifying and alarming. I will explain why.

I the rest of the team at WikiLeaks were very pleased there was such an expression of concern about how we were doing. We expected attacks against me. If you looked at my public statements and some of the statements tweeted by WikiLeaks in the lead up to my Internet being cut off and to that difficult diplomatic situation, we were saying that the attacks are going to come in and we will need people to defend us, we’re going to need an army to get through this. And then the concern for how I was doing and why I wasn’t being seen arose.

Many were calling for "proof of life" but we are interested in something quite different. Anything that we did that claimed to be some kind of proof of life would be to set the precedent on what mechanism could be used to reduce concern about how we were faring. The calls, for example, that I issue a PGP signed message.

That's fine if you can understand that it’s me issuing the PGP signed message, but a PGP signed message doesn’t tell you who has issued it at all. It’s just a plain message. So, let’s look at what kind of precedent we would be setting. We would be setting the precedent that when there’s a concern about whether one of our staff has been kidnapped or me, that concern can be destroyed simply by someone issuing of a message of text, which is coupled to a particular cryptographic key.

But if WikiLeaks is under a threat so serious that its people have been kidnapped then it is possible that it might lose control over its keys. The reality is that it’s quite hard to protect keys from that kind of interference. The way WikiLeaks manages its keys, its submission keys, for example, they are not used to sign messages, but even if WikiLeaks did sign a message in this case, what would it be saying? It would be setting a precedent that could be very dangerous in the future.

If you produce the person and show that they are not under duress, you can either hack a WikiLeaks key or take control of infrastructure or take control of a person and then claim that they had produced some signed message.

We are much more interested in creating a precedent for proof of freedom from duress. Or making it hard for our people to be under duress. The best way to do that is live video. Because even if you were under duress (there’s various forms of duress that could be applied) if you have live video then you’ve got a few seconds to put things out. You can slip in code words into what you’re saying. (I’m not, by the way. I’m not!) But you can slip in code words into what you’re saying that your people could then see. So, yes, I’m alive and free from duress, but I am in a very difficult situation.

I have been for six years. Let’s not think that I’m not in a difficult situation just because I am alive. As I explained, this embassy is surrounded by high tech police and intelligence operation. It is a difficult situation. I haven’t seen the sunlight in the last four and half years. It’s a tough situation. I’m tough, but you should be concerned about the situation.

What we had hoped is those people concerned with my safety would direct their attention to those people who are responsible for the situation. That’s the UK government, the US government, and the Ecuadorian government. Some of you did and that’s quite possibly why my Internet has been restored--because of the expression of concern.

But, when the concern became very prominent, a black PR campaign infested the concern and tried take it off somewhere else and largely succeeded.

What happened? Fabricated messages, claiming to be from our staff were posted on 4Chan on Reddit. Fabricated videos claiming to be from Anonymous [posted on YouTube]. Completely fabricated. Dozens of them. And what was their intent? What were they calling for? They were calling for people to not trust WikiLeaks, to not give it leaks, and to not give it funds!

It’s obvious who benefits from the production of such a black PR campaign and it should be obvious in hindsight to all those people who were trying to support me that those types of messages were deliberately intended to undermine WikiLeaks and, in fact, undermine my support.

If this sort of thing happens in the future, think to yourselves, is what is claimed undermining the ability for WikiLeaks to operate, the ability for it to get new information, and the ability for it to financially support itself? And if the answer is yes then you should be extremely skeptical about what the claim is.

Having seen how concern for us can be manipulated and misled, but also the degree of concern, we now have a game plan for if this kind of thing happens again and I am confident about the kind of worldwide support we can get, if we get a similar type of attack again in the future.

You can see that I am speaking and maybe, apparently, sane, but don’t reduce your concern. I am in a difficult situation. That’s a reality. But the difficulty of the situation [has long been] expressed on Justice4Assange.com, UN findings, etc.

WikiLeaks itself are also in a difficult situation. Constantly spied upon, harassed, etc. So, support us now. Don’t wait until we are in a situation that might be difficult to get out of. Make sure we are strong now, going into difficult situations, as a result of what we publish!

A:

Our budget allows for the upgrade of one computer per year. I believe that the computer in the Mayor's office will be upgraded in the 2017-2018 budget and I can't wait. I use Windows 10 at home and it suits me well enough.


Q:

They definitely disagreed with it, and didn't want to be doing it. My arresting officer, to his credit, made every effort he could to tell me how much he didn't want to be doing it. It's definitely the mayor who is pursuing this.

A:

My perspective has changed in that now I believe that if I want to do something, I should do it! I try not to let fear or anything else hold me back from anything I want to do. I've been travelling a lot this year and trying to be fearless in the creation of my art (I am a visual artist and a musician). The hardest part was definitely chemotherapy, but that's pretty broad, so I'll narrow it down to just the way my body felt during treatment. Often times I felt like I was dying -- like every single cell in my body was shutting down. During those times, I couldn't move or speak, I could barely even open my eyes. I couldn't watch TV or read or look at my phone, but I also couldn't sleep... I would just lay in bed, motionless, feeling like I was absolutely going to die. In those times, I really wanted to. On my best days, I was still weak. I got dizzy and tired very easily, I had a constant horrible taste in my mouth as if something in my throat was rotting, and I would have sudden nausea where I had to run to the closest sink/toilet and throw up. My body did not feel like a home to me throughout my treatment and even afterwards it took a long time for me to begin to feel like myself again.


Q:

The one question i would love to answer with zero consequence is "What do you think people need to really know about Gitmo?"

A:

Hey there, sorry for the late reply. /u/empmccoy gave a pretty good answer there tbh - the cruise directors often like to think they have more pull than they do (actually, as it is a cruise ship, they do have a lot of say about what goes on, but not about the important stuff when it comes to navigation or emergencies).

As /u/empmccoy said, the nationalities vary from company to company. I worked with mainly Dutch and British engineers, with a moderate eastern-european contingent. We didn't have any Italians at all, across the whole fleet.

Edit: Added some more info


Q:

Hi, how did you first get into editing? And what do you think was the kicker for you landing the spot for editor of Mr. Robot?

A:

this one is important. A PGP signed message only shows that someone has that key, but the INABILITY to sign a PGP message shows that he does not have that key.


Q:

What's the salary of the mayor in your town?

A:

What exactly were you charged with?


Q:

Would you share links to your art or music? :)

A:

How close can you actually get to answering that question?


Q:

Dont forget the Steiners.

A:

I did editing of my own little super 8 projects as a kid and was always interested how editing works. My first jobs out of film school were in production which seemed very far from the storytelling part. So i gravitated to editing where the real storytelling is done. An early break was working on Ang Lee's Ride With The Devil where I learned a lot about how a film is put together.

I was referred for Mr Robot by editor Adam Penn who I knew from working on Glee/Ryan Murphy. He is also the fantastic writer of eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes. Anyway, Adam vouched for me with Sam, and my overall editorial experienced coupled with my love for the style and subject matter probably helped get me the job.


Q:

If anyone bad was in control of WikiLeaks submission key and I was under duress they could produce such a message providing fake assurance. So useless.

But we also do not use our submission key like that and nor would it be appropriate to change how we secure such keys.

A:

I make $3,600 a year. I have another full-time job which essentially pays my bills. Being the Mayor of Whitney Point doesn't usually require 40-hour work weeks, it fluctuates but I think I do a fairly good job balancing my two jobs and personal life. One thing that's for certain however is that public service is one of my greatest passions and I consider it a true privilege to work for our residents and be a resource for everyone. I love it.


Q:

Trespassing after warning, per violation of city ordinance 16-43(c), which reads “No person shall conduct any activity or utilize any department managed land in a manner which will result in commercial activity, as defined in this chapter, or provide for the distribution or sampling of any materials, merchandise, food, and/or beverages to the general public, without prior written approval from the department.”

A:

You can find all my music here: http://flowerface.bandcamp.com :)


Q:

I can't get within a nautical mile of it.

A:

Nothin' finer than a Steiner.


Q:

Hey Philip,

I'm of the opinion that there are substantially more Easter Eggs embedded into every element of the show than what most people would consider possible to achieve, and I'd say your work goes a long ways towards making that ambitious goal achievable.

With that in mind:

Would you say you feel a greater sense of responsibility and have a taller task as the editor of Mr. Robot, in contrast to other shows, in that there is a more thorough and meticulous method of filmmaking taking place that requires more attention to detail, particularly when it comes to Sam's propensity to spotlight details in what would normally be negative space? Do you find that there is more to keep track of and be cognizant of in terms of what qualifies a specific take as being 'ideal'?

Thanks for your time and keep up the great work, I look forward to working with you some day :)

A:

Shortly after your internet access was cut, the head moderator of /r/Wikileaks added 6 new users to the moderation team who he stated were the first to send him a him private messages volunteering their help. Outside of a single sanctioned thread, the new team banned anyone who questioned the sensibility of this action given reddit's long history of having its moderation teams infiltrated by certain interest groups. Censorship of this, and any topic relating to your safety or wellbeing forced the creation of alternative subreddits such as /r/WhereIsAssange and /r/BannedFromWikileaks.

A little over a month ago, the newly added moderator 'Here4Popcorn' began claiming that he was in direct contact with you / your organization. We learned from a discussion with another of the moderators that that he was apparently the only one in the team who had been contacted. When asked if he was confident of the authenticity of the claims, we were told that it was 'probably' actually you.

Are these claims true? If so, why was perhaps the most controversial member of the new moderation team selected as your only point of contact?


Q:

Wow! That's so surprising. It's so good that they have someone as passionate as you as mayor. What's your other job? How many hours per week would you say you spend dealing with mayoral duties?

A:

Can't you just say it's a private picnic and you are friends with all the homeless?


Q:

As a boyfriend to someone who has had ovarian cancer on and off twice now. What can I do to help support her? Just, what can I do? Seems so out of my hands.

A:

What would happen if you did, tho?


Q:

I have read several books that chronicle the life of a cruise ship worker (restaurant staff, entertainers, art auctioneer, etc). The recurrent theme was sex, sex, and more sex. That and the tiny rooms that are the size of a coat closet.

A:

There is definitely a lot of detail that goes into these shows. As an editor I am on board with Sam's vision of making MR Robot a cinematic experience. This takes a lot of time as we go through passes to get the story right, add music and sound fx. It is a highly meticulous process. There's also that added layer of getting all the tech right. I was hired for my storytelling skills- not my background in computer hacking. Our tech advisor, Kor Adana, works with me in the cutting room to make sure all of those details are accurate as the fans expect.

Let me also call out our Mr Robot editorial team. I am just one part of a very collaborative group. On Season 2, editor Franklin Peterson returned from season 1. He cut this year's premier and finale and is a guiding force for me. We were joined by John Petaja, who had worked previously on American Horror Story. These guys are an inspiration on a daily basis. I'm constantly looking at what they've done on there episodes to help me raise the creative bar on my episodes.


Q:

I have not been in contact with any Reddit moderators nor am I aware of our people having being in contact, but it is theoretically possible that someone in WikiLeaks has but did not think it significant enough to bring to my attention.

A:

I am a Store Manager at my other job. Over the years I've also written for a few gaming sites, namely XBLA Fans. I'd say on average I spend around 20 hours a week directly dealing with Mayoral duties, but its always changing. Sometimes its more, sometimes its less. And I never really stop thinking about it. Even when I'm at home or at my other job, I'm always thinking about some program, some law, trying to solve some problem. It's all internal. And that is full-time.


Q:

We definitely said that, but at the end of the day the officers are enforcing the law in the way that they (and their bosses) interpret it.

A:

Be gentle with her. Be understanding. The boy I was with during my treatment had a hard time with that -- he didn't really allow me the space to be in a bad mood, or to just be generally upset about my situation. He would get angry. Don't treat her differently, per say, but do try to understand that it's hard to be your regular self when you're going through something like this. Be patient, and ask her what she needs. Really listen to her. I hope she is okay. I am very sorry.


Q:

I won't know as I do not intend to ask/answer it.

A:

Yep, there isn't all that much to do and everyone is stuck there with each other - it's inevitable tbh.


Q:

Something about Mr. Robot that has always blown me away is that everything, editing wise, seems intentional. From dat framing to blocking and nuanced pacing, every single detail seems hand tailored- especially after a second viewing. With that said, it seems like I (and many members of /r/mrrobot) have a tendency to analyze everything. "That cup on the table, it has been in the last three shots, but has moved approximately 4 inches... Elliot confirmed dead."

How much, percentage wise, would you say is 'intentional', and how much is just left up to chance. Are you and Sam Esmail meticulously engineering every tiny detail, down to the hypothetical cup on the table? If so, are there little 'intentional' nuances that you think were overlooked by the audience so far?

A:

Can you explain your whole October?

/r/DICKSOUTFORASSANGE


Q:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how concerned are you about a military coup to remove you from power?

A:

I'm now wondering if there's a way to force them to interpret it as a picnic?

If you had a picnic for someone's birthday and every attendee was wearing party hats would it force them to interpret it as a picnic?

There have to be a certain amount of party hats, or maybe 1 Piñata which makes it a birthday party/picnic and not something else.


Q:

Reading that your BF at the time didn't help you much out and would get angry with you, in addition with the fact that you had cancer and everything that it brings to ones life, you managed to do great in HS.

Respect.

A:

I'm super late to this AMA but was curious about this response. I know the life of a whistleblower is absolute shit in the US - Is that the main deterrent from coming out with the info? Not being able to present the evidence? Fear for your family's and your own safety? Most likely all of the above, but I can't imagine what it must be like to wrestle with that burden every day. Thank you for your service to the American people.


Q:

What did you study? Did you have to attend a specific university?

A:

Sam has a very intentional approach to filmmaking. My approach is to internalize that direction so that every element has a reason to be in the show. We make repeated passes of every episode to be sure that this standard is met.

By the end of editing, my objectivity is usually shot! It's always gratifying to read audience responses to see how well they picked up on what we are going for. Reading twitter during the airing of the sitcom episode was a thrill. I loved how the audience responded to our out of the box approach!


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: Most of it was extremely busy, so just try and conceptualize.

I have been in an embassy siege for the last four and a half years. It’s a small embassy. The embassy is surrounded by a police and intelligence operation, of which there are numerous pictures and admissions by the British state. They admit to spending 4 million pounds a year, just on the covert and overt police surveillance, not including MI5, etc. They have sophisticated robot cameras installed in different buildings, plainclothes police operating on the street and they’ve done deals, of which we have the paperwork, with some of the opposing buildings owned by Harrods, which is a big department store here. Harrods is owned by the sovereign fund of Qatar.

So, it’s not an easy environment to work in. Spying on the outside, some spying on the inside, informers, robot cameras, etc.

Then during October, there was pressure applied by John Kerry and the US administration and other forms of pressure domestically within Ecuador, that resulted in my Internet connection being cut off and an increase in the security environment here, in terms of people getting in and out of the building easily, etc. It was wrong for John Kerry to politicize the office of the Secretary of State and try to use that for domestic political advantage by pressuring me through my political asylum. WikiLeaks does not publish from the embassy. It doesn’t work from the embassy. I am political refugee stuck in this embassy because the UK refuses to obey international law and respect my asylum rights and let me leave the country. We publish from France, Germany, the Netherlands, and so on, a wide range of countries. But not Ecuador.

Ecuador is purely pressured because they are responsible for my physical security as a political refugee. Which is disgraceful. To be fair to Ecuador, they have denied that they were pressured, but that’s not what our sources say. It’s a small country, 16 million people, an innovative, tough Latin American country which has stood up to enormous pressure from the US and UK, but it has it’s own election on February 17th and you can see it wouldn’t want an allegation that it had interfered, which it hasn’t, with the US election, being used as an excuse by Hillary Clinton, who was the predicted president, to interfere with the election in Ecuador.

An intense security and diplomatic situation.

During this recent pressure conspicuously and heavily armed British police arrived, which I took a photo of and which we published, parking their vans right next to the embassy, which they haven’t done, since back in 2012 when the first kind of stand-off was in the embassy. It is a of show of force, presumably to make some kind of pressure for WikiLeaks to stop publishing, but we are setup to continue on regardless of what happens to me.

No one person in WikiLeaks can become a single point of failure. Why? Because we don’t want to fail, number one. Number two because if that person is perceived to be a single point of failure, it places that person in danger.

A:

1.


Q:

I like this. We might try it out.

A:

Aw thanks. He tried his best, I think he just wasn't nearly mature enough to handle it -- but what 17 year old boy would be?


Q:

Id have to assume thats why most wouldn't.

A:

You're literally there to study to do that job - it's a specific course designed to cover all aspects of the job, things such as chart work, celestial navigation, firefighting, advanced first aid, leadership, meteorology, etc. The qualification you end up with is called a Certificate of Competency (Officer of the Watch), and there are two higher licenses you can attain after working a certain amount of time at sea and completing relevant exams.

In the UK, there are four specialised maritime colleges based around Southampton, Newcastle, Fleetwood, and Glasgow.


Q:

I've found that during the editing process there are inevitably some eureka moments where you shuffle certain elements around and BOOM, everything suddenly works perfectly and it's clear there's no better cut. Can you think of a Mr. Robot sequence or episode in which you had one of these moments, in which it took some time and experimentation but the unexpected results were incredibly rewarding?

A:

In 2010 you thanked people for donating money to help decrypt the "Collateral Murder" video after having sollicited donations for "supercomputer time."

PFC Manning claims that the video was "was never really encrypted." Her court martial proceedings confirm that.

I know you can't confirm or deny anything regarding Manning, but do you stand by your claim that the video you received was encrypted and that you depended on donations to decript it? Secondly, how importantly do you value honesty when it comes to fundraising?


Q:

What is the most ambitious plan you hope to enact while mayor of Whitney Point?

Which game in the Halo series is the best?

A:

Can we send you food or the police department notices about how we don't like what they're doing.


Q:

What were your noticeable warning signs? Were there any you didn't think were warning signs?

A:

8 hours later and still replying, thank you for taking the time :) this is a fascinating AMA


Q:

What's the best gig you've had? Or did you operate mainly on one ship?

A:

When you are in the groove, editing can be such a pleasurable process. Sometimes I think i edit to relive that moment you are describing. You're going through making all the little subtle changes and things are coming to life and suddenly you stumble on an idea.

I remember deciding to use the POV shot of the camera in the suicide scene in the season 1 finale. Suddenly, You felt the audience tuning in , this great unblinking eye. It was great to show it to Sam and see he loved it too!


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: I can’t confirm or deny anything relating to our sources there. However, yes, there is a disappeared video and that video is on the Garani massacre. Over 80 children killed in a US airstrike in Afghanistan and more than 100 people. Quite a serious video and if you search for ‘Assange Affidavit’, you read an affidavit about how Sweden conducted an intelligence operation on September 27, 2010 to seize three laptops, not the high security laptops, but backup laptops, that were encrypted that ended up being the only copy we had of that video. We had other copies and they were also attacked. So, that’s a great sadness from us that this terrible proof of a war crime has been possibly lost to history, as a result of very difficult attacks on us. It’s something that we’re a lot less susceptible to now because we have a big infrastructure.

A:

The most ambitious projects that come to mind are the construction of a new fire station and the rehabilitation of a vacant building on our Main Street. Last year we purchased land for a new fire station and are about to start design work. We're expecting about a 1.5 million dollar project. The potential Main Street project will take a vacant building, renovate the bottom floor into commercial space and then build 8 handicap accessible apartments on the second and third floors. This would be able an $800,000 project if our grant application is approved by New York State.

Other things that come to mind are a $400,000 proposal for an overlook/public space that ties into our busiest intersection (11,000 cars a day pass through it) as well as a program that we implemented this past year which asks tax exempt organizations to voluntarily contribute to the Village as they don't pay taxes. Some folks don't like the idea but I'm proud that we have implemented it as I truly believe that it can help bolster the Village's finances.

I'd say Halo: CE is the best all around Halo. Halo 2 had the best multiplayer. And Halo: Reach had a great campaign and is worth mentioning.


Q:

Absolutely. Here is the info for contacting TPD and the City of Tampa. http://imgur.com/a/Kee4K

A:

I actually had no symptoms at all until the day I found the tumour. I literally woke up one morning and looked down at my belly and I looked 4-5 months pregnant. It "popped" overnight and suddenly became very visible. I thought I was pregnant at the time and it was three or four days before I went to the ER and found out it was a tumour. From there it grew exponentially, it was slightly bigger than a cantaloupe when they removed it. Once it started showing was when I had symptoms! It was painful at times, and sometimes it would shift around and I couldn't pee. That really sucked. I was relieved to have it gone.


Q:

Ha, I actually took a 90 minute break to record an upcoming episode of our podcast then decided id check back in.

A:

It was between a few ships within the same company over the years. For about 3/4 years, I did repeat contracts on the same ship as it was a great ship to be on.

The best itinerary we did, for me, was the Baltic cruises. 2 weeks sailing out of England, then to Copenhagen, Tallinn, St Petersburg overnight, Helsinki, Stockholm overnight, a couple of other smaller ports in between, and back to England. We had some great times on the overnights in those awesome cities, and the navigation in the baltic straits was some of the most intense and challenging I've experienced, which made the job that much more interesting too.

Worst place would have been Brazil. That sucked.


Q:

Who is your favorite character (aside from Rami) on Mr. Robot? Favorite minor character?

A:

Please address the allegations that WikiLeaks has a friendly relationship with Russia and cannot be considered objective with their leaks and their agenda. The timeline that makes these allegations seem plausible:

Since you are so adamant that Russia was not involved in the recent leaks that played a major role in the US presidential election, it would be helpful if you can make a compelling case for why Americans should trust you over their own intelligence agencies whose reason for existence is to defend the US against foreign threats and who are saying the opposite about Russian involvement.

Edit:

So the choice, at this point, seems to be to believe Julian Assange when he says Russia was not behind the leaks, or to believe the US intelligence community and president elect Donald Trump that Russia was in fact responsible for the hacks. Decide for yourselves.


Q:

I like that idea of asking non-profits to contribute. While I firmly believe non-profits should stay tax free (I'm probably biased, as I currently work for one) as they contribute to the community at large, I also think that every nonprofit should contribute to the local community. We're I work they give us a paid off day a year to volunteer somewhere, and do various cleanups, and sponsor buildings/parks and such.

A:

Definitely OP as /u/tarunteam said please open donations! I'd love to send money so you can keep doing this.

Btw are you a fan of Tampa radio? What is your favorite station?


Q:

I was going to ask how medical staff came to a diagnosis and actually took you seriously. It's so common for medical professionals to dismiss or minimize women's concerns. So I'm so glad you were able to get the care you needed! I say this as my doctors are only now acknowledging that I've had the right idea about what's been going on with me for the past five years.

A:

1- What is the biggest myth about the place?

2- What is something about the place that people won't believe to be true?


Q:

Why's that

A:

I love the addition of Dom(Grace Gummer) to season 2. She is a combination of badass and vulnerability that I love.


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: I have seen this rubbish again and again and again. Let’s pull back and understand what’s going on.

WikiLeaks has published more than ten million documents over ten years. We have a 100% accuracy rate on authenticating our publications. Everyone in the media knows that we have a 100% accuracy rate. Despite our publications affecting powerful groups, which are by definition are connected to the establishment media, this media is in a difficult position. Due to the perfect credibility of our content, ad hominem attacks are used to color perception or create displacement because no direct attack is possible. So, we get all sorts of ad hominem attacks about WikiLeaks, about our sources and about me - i’ve been called a cat torturer, A Mossad agent, CIA agent, a Russian agent now, and a pedophile twice recently on CNN (by the former CIA 2IC).

WikiLeaks has published more than 800,000 documents that relate to Russia or Vladimir Putin. Most of those are critical. More than 2 million are from Syria. We have material from China, we’ve been banned in China, etc. Each country’s establishment tends to perceive WikiLeaks as something that is difficult for them and that erodes the authority of state institutions and that’s true in the United States.

WikiLeaks said it was ready to drop a bombshell on Russia? Not quite, we said we had important document pertaining to Russian corruption and yes, the FSB was apparently quoted as saying that they can electronically attack WikiLeaks. We published regardless. Those were the Russian-related documents in the our diplomatic cables series and they are extremely strong on Chechnya and Russian crime. A number of books were written from that, some calling Russia a mafia state. A number of successful lawsuits against the Russian State have made use of those documents and other documents.

Another common untruth is the claim that I worked for RT, the Russian State TV. It’s absolutely false. In 2012, we setup a production company and our production company worked with Dartmouth Films, a UK production company and a distributor, Journeyman Pitches, and twelve episodes were filmed of me interviewing people. It was called The World Tomorrow. It was my first TV production. We licensed that to a dozen different outfits and RT was one of them. RT aggressively promoted it internationally and then people tried to twist this story into having a "job" at RT because they have no arguments about content.

A:

That's great. Our program isn't mandatory, it's optional. We recognize that not all non-profits can afford to contribute to the Village's operations but we're asking and we're hoping that the program grows over the years. I think it means a lot that any local tax payer can see where their tax money is going and I hope that tax exempt entities who can afford it can feel good about helping to fund the local fire department or sidewalk repairs, etc.


Q:

Absolutely. We have a crowdrise here (https://www.crowdrise.com/tampa-food-not-bombs-jail-support/fundraiser/dezeraylyn), linked in the above bio per the most recent update. Anything after our legal fee costs will go to feeding the houseless and any other expenses with defending their rights.

I love Tampa radio. 88.5 Community Radio all the way. I got to admit that I also love 96.5 Radio Maxima (Spanish Language) and 89.7 (late night jazz).

A:

Well every doctor thought I was pregnant at first. They did a bunch of pregnancy tests. Finally I got frustrated and went to the ER and they did several scans before finding it was a tumour. It wasn't something they could easily ignore, I had a massive lump in my abdomen!


Q:
  1. That it may ever close.

  2. The banana rats love to come to the outdoor theatre and eat all your popcorn

A:

Unfortunately, it was at the height of the Zika Virus scare. There had been a few incidents of our passengers getting mugged when they went ashore (I'm sure they weren't observing our advice of not taking jewellery and phones with them when they went out), and the heat and humidity was unbearable.

We spent 6 weeks in Brazil sailing hundreds of miles inland on the Amazon and I'm very glad I got to go there as we went to some incredibly exotic and strange places, and Rio was awesome, but the mood of the entire country felt hostile and negative. It's a shame and it probably isn't representative of the country as a whole but of the 20 or so places we went to, there were very few that felt safe or that could be enjoyed.


Q:

Hi Mr Harrison! How old were you when you started editing, and what college did you attend and your major?

A:

As someone who's followed WikiLeaks for a long time, what's most remarkable to me about the US election publications is that this is the only time (with the possible exception of Aaron Swartz) that you've ever confirmed or denied a source. You'd been asked previously on multiple occasions to deny a state party was the source for these releases but refused, saying it would be "dangerous" and "irresponsible" to do so.

I found it very suspicious that, just weeks later, the first time you ever denied a source was in a heavily-edited interview aired on RT, an organization that obviously benefits from you denying they're the source, regardless of whether they are. You've reaffirmed the other day that you're uncomfortable having so.

Your denial, in particular, seems to be spliced together from three separate responses (masked by cuts to reaction shots), in response to a question removed in the cutting room (though the cut happens a few frames after he starts to open his mouth to ask it). With zero follow-up from you or Pilger.

My question is twofold. Do you think the edited interview accurately reflects the answers you gave? If so, did your previous business arrangement with RT in any waeny influence your decision to break WikiLeaks's most sacred rule in an interview exclusivley aired on their network?


Q:

How often do you have to explain that you're not that Ryan Reynolds?

A:

That's a stupid abuse of a technically.

It must be a certain ratio of pinatas and/or cake to party hats. You can't have 10,000 party hats and just 1 pinata, not everybody would get candy.


Q:

I had something similar happen to me in high school (mine was just a very large ovarian cyst - not anywhere near as intense as what you went through), but it was so fucking frustrating to have them assume I was pregnant and I knew I wasn't, unless it was the second coming of Jesus. Just because you're a teenager doesn't mean you're an idiot in this circumstance even though that's how they were treating you. But aside from that, I feel you on that frustration and I am very glad you're doing better.

Did you name your tumor? One of my best friends named mine Tommy the Tummy Tumor.

A:

What the fuck is a banana rat


Q:

Favourite memory from the job?

A:

I started editing with little Kodak Super8 press tapes when I was a teenager. I went to the great SUNY Purchase Film School.


Q:

We have never confirmed or denied a source. We have occasionally stated broad properties about who a source is or is not where we felt it was crucial to do so (to prevent the risk of war or the undermining of the publication). The interview was not with RT it was for Dartmouth and a UK broadcaster. It was then sold, somewhat irritatingly, to RT.

A:

Most people don't actually believe that I am Ryan Reynolds, they just doubt that it's actually my name. I get a lot of "Seriously?" or "Really? Wow" comments. That said, when you become a Mayor your first name just kind of changes to "Mayor" and that probably helps the situation.


Q:

The whole Food Not Bombs crew loves how specific y'all are getting into the technicalities of this party idea. Please keep going.

A:

Hahah no I didn't name it, but I did strangely feel sorry for it. It wasn't trying to hurt me, it was just an out of place cell trying to grow where it shouldn't be growing!


Q:

Pretty cool little animal. They eat them in most parts of cuba so outside of the base its fairly endangered but inside the base they are everywhere. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutia

A:

Probably the first time I flew out to join a ship as a cadet. I was 18, had never flown on my own, and here I was flying to San Diego from the UK to join a huge cruise ship and begin the biggest adventure of my life. I remember everything about it, it seemed fantastic at the time. Of course, I soon learned that it was going to be a lot of hard work, but that didn't take away from it at all.


Q:

I see that you edited the episode "eps2.7_init_5.fve", which I absolute love the moments where the image blinks between Elliot and Mr. Robot while they are talking to Cisco and Darlene, suggesting a shift on the personalities.

My question is: how much creative work can you put on a high budget production like Mr Robot? On ads and indie projects the editor kind of becomes a post-production writer/problem solver. On Mr Robot do you end up following the screenplay religiously because the production has it all figured out or does the editor have the freedom to suggest things to be added to the episode? Scenes like the one i mentioned above can be suggested by the editor as well?

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

A:

The latest insurance files posted by Wikileaks do not match the pre-commitment hashes tweeted in October. Why?

US Kerry 4bb96075acadc3d80b5ac872874c3037a386f4f595fe99e687439aabd0219809

UK FCO f33a6de5c627e3270ed3e02f62cd0c857467a780cf6123d2172d80d02a072f74

EC eae5c9b064ed649ba468f0800abf8b56ae5cfe355b93b1ce90a1b92a48a9ab72

sha256sum 2016-11-07_WL-Insurance_US.aes256 ab786b76a195cacde2d94506ca512ee950340f1404244312778144f67d4c8002  sha256sum 2016-11-07_WL-Insurance_UK.aes256 655821253135f8eabff54ec62c7f243a27d1d0b7037dc210f59267c43279a340  sha256sum 2016-11-07_WL-Insurance_EC.aes256 b231ccef70338a857e48984f0fd73ea920eff70ab6b593548b0adcbd1423b995 

All previous insurance files match:

wlinsurance-20130815-A.aes256 [1],[2] 6688fffa9b39320e11b941f0004a3a76d49c7fb52434dab4d7d881dc2a2d7e02

wlinsurance-20130815-B.aes256 [1],[3] 3dcf2dda8fb24559935919fab9e5d7906c3b28476ffa0c5bb9c1d30fcb56e7a4

wlinsurance-20130815-C.aes256 [1],[4] 913a6ff8eca2b20d9d2aab594186346b6089c0fb9db12f64413643a8acadcfe3

insurance.aes256 [5],[6] cce54d3a8af370213d23fcbfe8cddc8619a0734c

[1] https://wiki.installgentoo.com/index.php/Wiki_Backups

[2] https://file.wikileaks.org/torrent/wlinsurance-20130815-A.aes256.torrent

[3] https://file.wikileaks.org/torrent/wlinsurance-20130815-B.aes256.torrent

[4] https://file.wikileaks.org/torrent/wlinsurance-20130815-C.aes256.torrent

[5] https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Afghan_War_Diary,_2004-2010

[6] https://web.archive.org/web/20100901162556/https://leakmirror.wikileaks.org/file/straw-glass-and-bottle/insurance.aes256


Q:

23 is a young age to get into politics, however, do you think the views of youth is accurately reflected in today's political environment, and if not, do you think that would change with more young people running for offices at all levels?

A:

The news article mentioned that the permit fee to feed people legally is expensive due to the insurance requirement. Do you know what the permit fee is? Would you be interested in raising money to legally feed the homeless or is your organization interested in pointing out the seeming absurdity of the regulation/permit requirement instead?


Q:

i'm so sorry you had that assumption thrown on you. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with stage 4 Testicular Cancer.

I had originally gone to the clinic / doctor on campus and even though I explained I was a virgin he basically TOLD me I had an STD / STI and thats what made my nut 3x it's size and hurt like bloody hell.

By the time I realized he was a twat and his meds weren't working ( a week later or so) I went to my real doctor back home and was immediately diagnosed with Testicular cancer. In the one week it had gone from just the testical to spreading to my abdomen and spotted all over my lungs.

suffice to say I was pretty pissed a doctor had completely ignored my symptoms and forced an assumption based off of my peers and what they were 'likely' to contract.

Had I had it removed a week earlier it would have likely just been the surgery and 1 round of chemo to be safe, instead I had to go through 4 rounds of one of the most brutal and aggresive types of chemo. I was in the infusion room 5 days a week from 8am to 6pm hooked up to fluids and chemo for 5 months straight, it was complete hell.

Doctors need to quit being lazy and listen to their patients and their ACTUAL symptoms sometimes.

A:

Hmm, TIL. Looks like a mutant squirrel/muskrat hybrid. Did you ever eat it while you were there? If so, how was it? How is it prepared?


Q:

Many thanks for such a well informed, and positive, response. Much appreciated.

A:

Thanks, I loved creating those moments. It was great to put the audience in a situation where they had to grasp how Elliot and MR Robot could be in a room at the same time!

The screenplays for MR Robot are very well honed and written. That being said, every film/program needs adjustments to create the final effect. This is especially true on a show that relies on the manipulation of information and character point of view. My initial cuts are very much following the script. Then I work with Sam to restructure so that the viewer is most held in the reality of the story.


Q:

This is an obvious confusion promoted by the black-PR campaign against WikiLeaks and those it has manipulated. Pre-commitment hashes are not the same as download hashes. The pre-commmit hashes were issued in a completely different manner and are applied on decryption not before. So the "usual" argument is an obvious falsehood.

It also makes no motivational sense. Why would anyone publish obviously bogus hashes? The whole point is that they can be easily checked.

A:

I think a lot of recent developments in government are the result of the baby boomer generation's last hurrah. They feel strongly about certain things and have come out in full force to voice their opinions recently, while a lot of young people have taken a lot for granted the last few years. "Politics" is always about who's talking, who's communicating best and who's got the strongest, most effective message that relates to the most people. I am hopeful that more young people will step up and take stands for what they think is right in the future. But something that's absolutely vital is that no matter who you are, that you educate yourself and get the right information. Being the loudest in the room doesn't make you the smartest or most well rounded. It's important that people educate themselves, view things from multiple angles and then put their thoughts and views into action and make them more than just Facebook rants. Anyone can make a difference, especially at the local level.


Q:

Great question. It is a little bit up in the air what amount of money it would require, because these laws are clearly meant for food vendors and nonprofits, of which we are neither (http://www.tampagov.net/sites/default/files/special-events-coordination/files/tempfoodsvc2011.pdf). The insurance liability would need coverage of $1 million, and as I understand the fees we would need to pay for every sharing is $91 (that quickly adds up to ~$9500/year on top of the insurance costs). It is something we wouldn't even consider, when we operate on a shoestring budget as is with proper food safety handling (several of us have licensing through the State of Florida from our restaurant work days).

Additionally, we object to the need to obtain permits to share food when (a) such a basic human act as sharing a meal shouldn't need to be mediated through either a market or a government entity, and (b) the city has done little to nothing to address the roots of houselessness in the area, and has instead pushed development projects that will further displace and dispossess people.

A:

That's fucked up! I'm so sorry. So many cases of misdiagnosis happen in my city, it's terrifying... I know a kid who died because they told him in the ER that he had the stomach flu but he actually had appendicitis. His appendix burst and he died. He was only 14! I guess it's just really important to demand as much testing as possible. After they finally did enough tests to ensure I wasn't pregnant, they sent me home with laxatives and told me I was constipated. I had a lump the size of a small melon and they passed it off as constipation, as if I wouldn't know if I was constipated! That's when I knew I had to take it into my own hands and insist there was something seriously wrong.


Q:

There was always a group that had a hunter in the mix, after they checked to see that it was legal to trap and eat someone always did. I tried some, it was gamey but reminded me a lot of wild pig meat. The folks that shared some with me had cleaned/skinned and then grilled it with very small bits of S&P and some garlic with oil.

A:

Best of luck to you


Q:

What was your favorite childhood films and TV shows?

A:

Can you clear this up please? In August, you said:

We do have some information about the Republican campaign. I mean, it’s from a point of view of an investigative journalist organization like WikiLeaks, the problem with the Trump campaign is it’s actually hard for us to publish much more controversial material than what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth every second day, I mean, that’s a very strange reality for most of the media to be in.

It sounds like you had some documents, but they didn't seem to be noteworthy enough to release.

Your interview with Sean Hannity the other day contained:

HANNITY: If the information you had was about Donald Trump and his campaign, would you have equally released that?

ASSANGE: Yes, absolutely. It's -- it would be -- once again, just think about it from our perspective. We have a lot -- we've won a lot of media awards. We have the trust of our sources. We have the trust of our readers, having never got it wrong.

Two things:

  1. Did you or did you not have anything on the Republican campaign?
  2. Assuming your August statement was correct and you had something that you decided was below some threshold of interestingness, how do you justify releasing every DNC email and not just the ones that contained interesting stuff?

Q:

What was your path to being a mayor? Like how did you get on the board of trustees?

A:

Excellent, honest answer. From this point forward, how do you expect to address points (a) and (b)?

Follow up question since you may not have gotten to this yet: a bit lower down you mentioned that you'll continue giving food in subsequent days, even with the risk of further arrests. How does your organization intend to continue its work and attract recruitment if your volunteers are imprisoned?


Q:

As a current high school student, I am really curious how this impacted your academic and social life? Were you able to graduate on time? Able to attend dances, sports events, and "normal" high school senior events? Did it change your plans for after graduating?

Congrats on being cancer free!

A:

They trapped it? Didn't shoot with a .22 or something small like you would a squirrel? I imagine it might be good in a stew if it's anything like squirrel.


Q:

Why do Italian captains keep getting into accidents?

A:

Honestly, I grew up in the Lucas and Spielberg era and loved all there films. When I made Super 8 films, I was trying to emulate what they were doing with editing. When I got older, I fell in love with Hitchcock, Kubrick and Cronenberg.


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: We received a couple of company registration extracts then our team looked at them and they were already public. So, it was already public information and WikiLeaks specializes in the publication of information that is not yet public.

A:

I first ran for office in 2008 when I was 21. I ran for County Legislature and I got my butt kicked, but I met a lot of local residents and learned a lot. I ran again in 2010 and lost again, but worked even harder and learned even more. Shortly after that election the Mayor of the Village at the time called me and asked me to join the Board of Trustees when a member had resigned due to a serious accident. So I served on the board for several years and then ran for Mayor in 2015 when the sitting Mayor decided to retire.


Q:

To address (a), I think we will do that simply by revealing the city's hypocrisy. Eventually, they will back down, like they did in 2004 when they tried this exact same ordinance (and arrested five people, one of whom was arrested this past Saturday as well).

To address (b), that is a harder question, but one that I think can we can handle by initiatives like "housing first", where the city helps give houseless people houses as a first step toward long-term stability. People often frame the issue of houselessness as one that is caused by drug addiction, poverty, and joblessness, and while that's partially true, it very much works the other way too. It is much harder to maintain a job without access to a warm bed and a hot shower and a kitchen. We aim to implement these things through a combination of advocacy, direct action (such as these sharings), and public pressure through protests.

Some of us are going to risk arrest tomorrow, but not all. In my own case I don't intend to risk arrest and will instead stay behind to work on background work, such as coordinating their jail support. We don't intend to let our comrades rot in jail (our legal fund is working on that, which is here: crowdrise.com/tampa-food-not-bombs-jail-support/fundraiser/dezeraylyn). The amount of support we're receiving is exponentially growing and we're getting lots of calls from people who say they want to come out and support in whatever way possible, so I don't think we need to worry too much about recruitment. :)

A:

Thanks! :) I actually kept going to school whenever I wasn't in the hospital for chemo treatments (I went out of town, which meant I'd be admitted for a week for each treatment). I graduated on time with a 94% average! I've always been a good student and I was very determined to keep up the work. Though it was a very dehumanizing experience, I still managed to have some fun throughout. I spent a lot of time with friends, and with my boyfriend at the time. I was the prom queen at my school's prom! It really didn't have as much of a negative impact on my school career as I thought it might. As for my post-secondary plans, I'd always thought I'd go away for school immediately after graduating, and I really just didn't feel ready to do that. I'm currently starting my second semester of my first year at the University in my city. I am planning on moving to Montreal for school in September, though!


Q:

Only guns there were for military duties. So the options were trapping or just grabbing it with your hands.

A:

Do they?


Q:

How much of the overarching plot of the show has Sam shared with you in order to deepen your understanding of the subject matter? Do you prefer to know arcs and plot points of the entire season or would you say you prefer a more self-contained approach to each episode?

A:

And why release the e-mails in a constant trickle near the end of the campaign? If the truth is your goal, surely releasing them in a couple batches would work just as well? The constant drip drip drip over the last months of the campaign (even when most of the drips contained nothing of note), reek of WikiLeaks hoping to have maximum political impact in the campaign.

Edit: /u/GaynalPleasures has provided me with a cut from the Livestream of Julian "answering" my question here.


Q:

When you first ran for office did you do so with prior experience in the towns politics or did you just fill out the applications to run? As someone who isn't active in local politics how did you initially get into to it?

A:

Do you plan to continue feeding the homeless at this location? And what will you do if the cops show up again? Did they suggest that repeating your "crime" would result in a harsher sentence?


Q:

How did your family/friends react when they found out you had stage 3 ovarian cancer?

A:

I've never even thought you guys had something like an outdoor theater! Never even heard of banana rats before!

It's not gonna close with Trump as president but it's true that nothing's forever.


Q:

Last few times I heard on the news where a Cruise ship accident was on the news, it was by an Italian Captain.

A:

Sam doesn't share beyond the current season. In season 1 we got the scripts as each episode was going into production which was fun as we got to learn where things were going just a little bit at a time. This allowed us to speculate and wonder what was going to happen next.

In season 2, all of the episodes would be shot at once so they were all written ahead of production on the season. So we read them all at once. This gave us a little more of a heads up about elements we might need to set up for future episodes. In general though, we can focus on our individual episodes as little self contained films.

Personally, I prefer knowing just a bit at a time so I can enjoy the playing out of the story in a manner closer to how the audience does.


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: That’s an interesting question, but why the irritation? Why the irritation compared to publishing all at once? Critics would say, if we published all at once, that we deliberately made a giant bomb. You deliberately published all at once, in order to have maximum impact.

In WikiLeaks publications over the last ten years, we have used a variety of publication strategies depending on the amount of material, how readily engaged the audience is, and what the timeframe is for publication. What we have found is that we should closely match the demand curve with the supply curve. Humans can read a limited amount of words each day.

There is a finite number of people. There’s a finite amount of time. There is a finite reading speed. So, the demand for words, even if an audience is 100% interested in that subject, is finite. It is optimal to match the demand for a particular type of information with the supply of that information. If there’s oversupply of information, above the demand for it, then the oversupplied part is not read and of course, we want our publications to have maximum possible readership understanding. Our sources, of all kinds, want maximum possible impact. They don’t want to go through these risks for their material to not be read.

We are proud of our election publication strategy. We had limited time and limited resources. Yes, we could have done things slightly differently if we had had more time more staff, etc, but within our resource constraints, we put together I think a pretty kick-ass publishing schedule designed to maximize uptake, readership, engagement, and knowledge extraction from our publications.

The strategy was designed to be hard to attack. What do I mean by that? Well, in this particular case, we have the Democratic campaign of Hillary Clinton and her associated media allies doing everything they could to spin what we were publishing. I know how this works. If there’s knowledge that WikiLeaks is going to be publishing, say over a month-long period, then a crisis team is set up. We have had a number of these WikiLeaks war rooms and crisis teams setup against us by different governments and companies. From Bank of America to the Pentagon and State Department. They get ready each morning, wait for our publication, and then try to spin it. Insofar as our publications are at all predictable, that spin can be lined up ahead of time and those war rooms can be perfectly resourced. So, we made sure that what we were going to publish was unpredictable, when we were going to publish was unpredictable, how much we were going to publish each day was unpredictable, that we had both a human element looking closely at what was happening on the news and on social media and an algorithm, which also introduced cryptographically secure noise into publication decisions in relation to amounts and timings and making that decision on the fly, not a month ahead of time with a schedule all planned out. Why? Because if we were hacked, we didn’t want, in this case our algorithm, the Stochastic Terminator, its programmatic output to be known in advance because that would permit the Clinton campaign and others to attempt to counter-spin our publications at each moment and we want our publications to be as unspun as possible.

A:

The first time I ran I had absolutely no experience. I had actually began organizing and getting involved with the local Democratic Party and I happened to meet the Chairman of the party at the time at a rally that I had organized on my own out of the blue. He asked me if I had ever considered running for office and I told him that I had. It had been my dream for a while to do so, but I never thought that the opportunity would come so soon. So I met with him, he explained an opportunity that was out there and I took on the challenge.

And it was a major challenge. I ran as a Democrat in a district that was 2:1 Republican. And I lost big. But the experience that I gained was well worth it. I met so many people, learned about what they do, learned different things about government and the history of our area, etc.

So if you're looking to get involved yourself that's what I would recommend. Start attending local government meetings, start getting involved with whatever party that you're a member of (If you are a member of a party) and just start being active. Don't wait for someone to approach you, just go out there and do things you think need to be done. The doors will open.


Q:

Absolutely. We'll be there tomorrow morning at 8am, and yes, several of us will likely be facing jail time for the violation of the trespass. We'll continue sharing until and after the city backs down.

A:

It was very surreal for my family. A lot of crying. My mom left her job so she could be with me all the time. My friends all had a hard time with it, I think, because they'd never had to deal with anything like that before. I called each one individually and told them over the phone. I don't think any of them really knew how to react, so there was some awkwardness. No one really understood what was going on, it was a delayed effect. They were so wonderful and loving and supportive, though. I am grateful for them. I kind of isolated myself for the most part, I was only really around my family/boyfriend. I saw my friends sometimes but generally I was too tired to go out!


Q:

Yes there was 2 outdoor theaters still open when i was there, I was told there was a third on the other side of the base but it had been closed.

A:

Probably just because there are a lot of Italian Captains compared to other nationalities.

Also...they are by far and away the most arrogant, God-complexed people at sea. Yeah.


Q:

What got you into editing initially?

A:

Don't forget this criticism of the Panama Papers coalition:

"DC based @ICIJorg is setting a very dangerous & short-sighted international standard where everything is censored by default. #PanamaPapers"

This was a comment made because ICIJ and SZ didn't release everything all at once.

So other groups are suspect when they act as arbiter of what's releasable and not releasable, but Wikileaks can avoid publishing RNC/Trump information because they don't deem it newsworthy.

Edit: Just in case...

https://mobile.twitter.com/wikileaks/status/725301326133993472

https://imgur.com/gallery/g1LUb

Edit 2: Incorrectly abbreviated Süddeutsche Zeitung


Q:

Wow had no idea Whitney Point had such a young mayor, and I only live 35 minutes away. Any how, how was being so young and running for mayor first received? We're people skeptical of your age and possible experience?

A:

what would you say is the best thing that someone could do to help the homeless population around us? i would love to help more but have a hard time finding what i can do to help.


Q:

I know when my mom was in the hospital for surgeries and treatment she was constantly bored. I would help her pass the time by doing arts and crafts and reading with her. The internet connection was crap, so playing online wasn't much of an option for us. What did you and your family do to entertain yourselves when you were at the hospital? And congrats on remission and graduating on time with good grades! That's one hell of a feat! I'm incredibly proud of and happy for you!

A:

Exactly what effect does Gitmo have on the mental health of guards? How is it different than working at a guard at some kind of maximum security prison?


Q:

Thanks for doing the AmA. Did you ever encounter a bad storm or a pirate? What is your favorite story?

A:

I went to the movies and loved them! My parents had a little Super 8 camera which I started using to make very simple clay animations. All through my teenage years, I was always working on some film idea.


Q:

Already published elsewhere. We only publish original content unless the archive is so large that (e.g Sony Files) or in such an obscure format that our search system adds so much valuable that it is effectively an original publication.

A:

Running for office as a young person certainly comes with its own set of challenges. But that said, there are other people who get excited that a young person is running. So it has its pro's and cons. There are certainly people who doubt your abilities at first but you can't let it slow you down. Educate yourself on the issues, be honest, listen to people, relate to them and work hard. You will eventually prove to people that you mean business and you're worthy of a chance to succeed.


Q:

That's a great question. I am a Wobbly (member of a solidarity based union) and I believe the best thing we can do in the long term is to rebuild the labor movement with an internationalist framework that addresses the root of poverty, which is economic exploitation. That will eliminate the roots of houselessness and will also involve the participation and leadership of houseless people. Definitely contact the IWW (iww.org) if you want to learn more.

In the immediate sense, sharing food, clothing, and the like is very important. We at Food Not Bombs do what we do both as immediate aid and also to build a social movement to challenge poverty. A big part of this is building relationships with the houseless themselves, as a way to build and create solidarity and mutual aid between ordinary people. Eventually we hope to fight for a county-wide housing first policy that will help our friends get off the streets, and advocating for something similar might be the way to do that. Whatever you can do, from washing dishes to cooking food to helping people with their problems in finding work or housing, makes an enormous difference.

A:

Thank you so much!! :) My surgery was in the summer so both my parents and my boyfriend at the time were all able to stay with me for the week of in-hospital recovery. That was really nice but I don't remember much of it because I was very high on morphine the entire time, haha. I do remember my parents reading Amy Poehler's books to me, though. Chemo was different, my dad wasn't able to come with us because he had to work. The city I did my treatment in was two hours away so it wasn't like he could come visit very easily. My mom stayed with me the whole time though, and slept in the chair next to my hospital bed. We watched all of Pretty Little Liars! We got super obsessed. It's a terrible show but it was so entertaining, it's basically all we did when I wasn't sleeping. :)


Q:

Hard to explain without going far too in to operational work which I can't do because of Non Disclosure agreements I signed. Read Jason Leopolds article though and take a look at the DOD study(that the DOD wouldn't release until this reporter did) and maybe it will give you a better answer on the similarities and differences.

https://news.vice.com/story/guantanamo-guards-have-high-rates-of-post-traumatic-stress-exclusive-documents-show

A:

Thankfully, no pirates! When we sailed through the Suez canal and the Gulf of Aden, we were fully equipped and prepared for it, but in reality pirates know that it would be almost impossible to take a cruise ship due to their high freeboard and considerable speed. Doesn't mean we weren't shitting a little bit though.

The worst storm I encountered was in the North Sea. We were sailing from Norway to England, and it was so rough that our Captain (he was a particularly nervous Master) slept on the Bridge floor instead of going back to his cabin, which was directly behind the Bridge. No significant damage was caused although there was a lot of seasickness among the passengers and some crew.


Q:

People frequently group you together with Edward Snowden because you've both released classified American documents. But your motivations and philospophies couldn't be more different.

Snowden claims to fight for privacy. He's called privacy the bedrock of freedom, that one cannot be free without privacy.

You have called privacy obsolete and unsustainable. You've said that privacy has no inherent value. You appear to believe privacy and freedom are incompatible, that you cannot be free if others can keep secrets from you. You've published the credit card numbers, social security numbers, medical information, and sexual preferences of individuals of zero public interest. Two of your most recent publications are the personal Gmail inboxes of civilians, exactly the sort of thing Snowden has tried to protect.

Can you convince me that you're right and Snowden's wrong?

A:

I came by 'cuz I thought you were the other Ryan Reynolds! How is life in Upstate New York? Is there a serious heroin problem?


Q:

follow up question: i know there are a lot of places that have rules against commercial food chains and stores that makes it illegal for them to give the surplus they have of food at the end of the day to homeless shelters. it bothers me that they are forced to throw it out in the dumpster instead. is there anything we can do together to push a change in law intros, and promote food chains and stores to work with shelters to provide food?

A:

pretty little liars! i love to hate that show! are you excited for the last half season? i'm so ready for them to fuck it up for me to complain about


Q:

Do you think the isolation of Gitmo, the fact that you are not in mainland america, do you think that that adds to the stress? Does it make the situation feel more stressful or hostile?

A:

What is the funniest/most bizarre thing you have ever seen a guest/passenger do?


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: Edward Snowden is a whistleblower. He committed an important and brave act, which we supported. I worked with our legal team to get him out of Hong Kong and to a place of asylum. No other media organization did that. Not the Guardian, which had been publishing his material. Nor did Amnesty, human Rights Watch, not even any institution from a government. It was WikiLeaks that acted. A small, investigative publisher, which understands computer security, cryptography, the National Security Agency, which I have been publishing about for more than ten years, and asylum law, because of my situation.

We couldn't have a situation where Edward Snowden ends up in a position like Chelsea Manning and is used as a general deterrent to other whistleblowers stepping forward. Edward would have been imprisoned at any moment in Hong Kong and would have then been turned into the propaganda that if you’re trying to do something important as a whistleblower, your voice will stopped and you’ll be placed in prison in very adverse conditions.

We wanted the opposite. We wanted a general incentive for others to step forward. That’s for philosophical reasons, because we understand the threat of mass surveillance, but it’s also understandable for institutional reasons. WikiLeaks specializes in publishing what whistleblowers reveal and if there’s a chill on sources stepping forward, that’s not good for us as an institution. On the other hand, if people see yes, it’s good for sources to step forward, then there will be more of them.

On full publication versus the sadly limited publication of Snowden files--Edward Snowden hasn’t really had a choice. He has had various views that have shifted over time, but he is in a position where we made sure he had given the documents on him to journalists before he left Hong Kong. Both Edward Snowden and I assessed that it would be a dangerous bait for him to be carrying laptops with NSA material on it, as he transited through Russia to Latin America. That might be something that would cause the Russians to hold him. So he and we made sure he had nothing. Since the point of those initial disclosures, Edward Snowden hasn’t been able to control how his publications have been used.

Edward has been a very important voice in talking about the importance of different aspects of them, but he has had no control. The result is that more than 97% of the Snowden documents have been censored. Enormously important material censored and while there have been some good journalists working on them, and I think Glenn Greenwald is one of the best journalists publishing in the United States, you have to have hundreds of people and engineers working on material like this to understand what is going on.

We have a different position to those media organizations that have effectively privatized and limited that material. You can’t say that the initial publications had all the important docs. There have been more publications slowly as time goes by. Even some within the past two months. Those publications, for example, include ways to find interception sites in the United States used by the NSA. There are covert procedures to visiting those sites. Now, if those had been released in 2013, investigative journalists and individuals could have gone to those sites before there was a physical cover-up. That’s true in the United States and it’s true in Europe and elsewhere. I am sad about how the impact of the Snowden archive has been minimized, as a result of privatizing and censoring nearly all of it.

A:

I really enjoy Upstate New York and I really like where I live. Whitney Point is centrally located between Syracuse, Binghamton, Ithaca and several other major cities aren't very far away. The Pennsylvania border is 30 minutes away. So there's a lot within a short drive. In general I like the low key life that comes with living in a rural area like upstate New York. I can get where I want, when I want. The people tend to be great neighbors and Whitney Point specifically has a really tight-knit feeling of community and belonging.

As far as heroin goes, yes, we are struggling with addiction and have seen many tragedies in its wake. There are a number of organizations and groups working to get those struggling help, prevent use and get help but it's something unlike anything I've ever seen. It really takes over your life once you've used it and it's incredibly difficult to stop.

From our perspective in Whitney Point, the challenge is resources. It's not like a city where the Department of Health, rehab and hospital are right down the road. We're 30 minutes away from anything like that. We're more isolated. So the challenge is to make those connections and bring resources to the local level so people can get help and so prevention and awareness programming can occur. So that's what we've been doing. We've been holding events, building awareness, educating the public, etc. Our firefighters now carry Narcan to wake overdose victims who are unresponsive and we have a local Narcotics Anonymous group here in the Village now.


Q:

I'm not entirely sure about all aspects of the legality, but from what I understand there are Good Samaritan Laws that protect businesses from liability for donating food. That's how sympathetic businesses are able to provide us food for free without liability. I'd definitely like to hear from anyone who knows differently.

A:

Yessss I feel the exact same! My mom and I will go on and on about how ridiculous and terrible it is, but as soon as there's a new episode we watch it right away. It's addictive!


Q:

I think that can add some stress for some, sure.

I think no matter where the Joint Detention mission was it would always feel stressful and hostile. The one advantage of Cuba or the US compared to active combat zones like Iraq/Afghanistan(where we also have operated detention centers) is there is no bombing/IEDs/Shooting/etc going on to add to the stress.

A:

Well, we had a murder-suicide. That wasn't funny but it was definitely bizarre. A passenger also found his way to the aft mooring deck, drunk, and released the stern anchor while the ship was underway.

I believe it didn't end so well for him though - he got a jail sentence, a huge fine, and his wife subsequently found out that he wasn't on a 'business trip' but was actually on a cruise with his mistress.


Q:

This one needs more attention. Too many people in the overall general public have the mindset that "If I have nothing to hide, then I have nothing to fear" in regards to their privacy. This is absolutely 100% false.

I wish I could remember where I read it, but I once read an article that pointed out that there were literally hundreds of laws on the books that people don't know about and are daily violating because they're so small and trivial, and nobody thinks about them as a result. What it boiled down to is that if privacy was lost, then all it would take is some menial excuse to detain, and then ultimately, incarcerate someone based on the accumulation these tiny laws. Granted, there was a lot of tinfoil hat stuff in there, but the idea is pertinent I think.

Edit: I should probably put this in here since I'm blowing up a bit as well. (congrats to /u/DirectlyDisturbed on blowing up and getting gold). I agree with most everybody who has replied or messaged me about this - I think that there are limits to how far privacy should go. Nobody should have absolute, 100% opaque privacy. However, where those limits are, I do not know. I personally believe and am of the opinion that those limits are up to us, as a society to determine. If everybody is okay with, as one person suggested, having cameras in every bedroom to verify that consensual sex happened, then so be it. I was more trying to generate discussion and get people to think about this than I was trying to prove a point or make a statement (seems like it worked). The doomsday examples were just that - doomsday examples. A bit of thought exercising with a tinfoil hat on. I know bits and pieces of history and know sort of how societies and governments have gone from good to bad. Again - mostly my opinion from what I know of history, but the role of privacy has been key in those transitions.

Also, it was pretty cool to hear him read this comment almost verbatim. Anyways, I should probably get back to doing work instead of geeking out. Great comments and replies everybody, honest. I wasn't trying to pick fights with anybody, and if it seems like I did...my bad. Thank you for keeping things civil all! Great discussion and comments from everybody.

A:

Hello from Syracuse! Next time you're here stop by and I'll buy you a beer at our bar, The Evergreen in downtown. I think there's also a mayor in Oswego about 29 years old.

Edit: Also, we have spiedies!


Q:

Did the police keep things professional on their part or were they rough with your group after you were arrested?

A:

How has the cancer affected your chance of having a successful pregnancy? And healthy kids?


Q:

Hey, thank you for doing that this. I would like to ask you if there was a specific moment that made you change your mind about Guantanamo?

A:

What is the funniest/most bizarre thing you have ever seen a guest/passenger do?


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: It’s a statement, really. An extremely irritating statement. It’s so 21st century, so Generation Z, so millennial. It’s not about you. It’s not about whether you have something to hide. It’s about whether society can function and what sort of society it is. The key actors in society who influence its political process: publishers, journalists, dissidents, MPs, civil society foundations, if they can’t operate then you have an increasingly authoritarian and conformist society. Do not think that this will not affect you. Even if you think that you are of absolutely no interest, the result this attitude is that you have to suffer the consequences of the society your apathetic conformism helps to produce.

You’re not an island. When you don’t protect your own communications, it’s not just about you. You’re not communicating with yourself, you’re communicating with other people. You’re exposing all of those other people. If you assess that they’re not at risk, are you sure your assessment is correct? Are you sure they’re not at risk going into the future? Perhaps the biggest problem with mass surveillance is that the knowledge of mass surveillance. Fear about it produces intense conformity, so people start censoring their own conversations and eventually they start censoring their own thoughts.

It’s not enough to create fears about mass surveillance. At the same time, one has to create an understanding of how to avoid mass surveillance or an understanding that at the moment, most of the mass surveillance authorities, like the NSA and the organs it feeds are pretty incompetent. But that will change as artificial intelligence merges with mass surveillance, when the data streams from the NSA and PRISM program are fed into artificial intelligence.

A:

Yeah there's another young Mayor up that way. I don't know much about him but I did hear about his election. Hopefully he's doing good things.


Q:

Very professional. I have plenty of complaints about the police and won't hesitate to voice them, but they were professional and about as reluctant as one could be short of refusing orders to arrest us. I blame Mayor Buckhorn first and foremost.

A:

I lost one ovary, so that is the only thing that will affect future chances at becoming pregnant. I will simply go into menopause earlier, so my timeframe is smaller. The cancer will in no way affect the chances of my pregnancy being successful, and it can't harm my future kids.


Q:

Ive always had an issue with Gitmo. I volunteered after POTUS had presented a plan to close it and thought I would be there in 2009/2010 to be part of the closure.

A:

Although there are controls to release the anchors from the Bridge, they are there for emergency use only. The passenger said that he'd got drunk, gone to the mooring deck, and seen that the windlass arrangement for our stern anchor was the same type as that on his yacht, which is plausible as windlass arrangements are very simple (ours was just a much bigger version of the one he had).

All you have to do is release the lashings and devil's claw, unclutch the anchor from the windlass and release the brake. It's really that simple. The anchor ran all the way out but thankfully she held on the bitter end so there was no significant damage. However, if the bitter end hadn't held, the anchor and all of her chain would've parted from the ship and there would have been a quite considerable hole in the ship, which you can imagine would've been extremely dangerous.

I may be mistaken, but I believe he was charged with an act of terrorism or something along those lines but more minor.


Q:

And have you seen the WikiLeaks post on Twitter, saying they're thinking about making a list of every verified Twitter user, complete with full names, addresses, phone numbers. Seems a bit, silly to me.

Edit: This isn't officially WikiLeaks with that plan, just someone they work with and link on their own website. Read comments below.

A:

What is the first step, and maybe some subsequent steps, for someone who wants to get started in public service?


Q:

What is your favorite food to hand out?

A:

Didn't know that the number of ovaries effects the menopause onset 'timer'.


Q:

Would you say that you were the exception among guards, or did most of your co-workers have similar opinions?

A:

Ha. Someone used to work for Holland America.


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: No, of course, we didn’t. It is a false story. WikiLeaks never posted any such thing on Twitter. The primary WikiLeaks support group, WikiLeaks Task Force, said it was "thinking" about creating what data points are needed to create a map of predictors to understand the influence relationships between people who are involved in influencing on Twitter.

Verified users are influential, who influences those users? But that’s a discussion question by a support group who explicitly stated that it’s not about publishing addresses.

But why is that story spreading? It’s spreading because of two reasons. Number one, as a result of the efficacy of our publications and their perceived damage to the US ruling class, there’s a desire to reduce our reputation in the establishment press, so such Tweets are grabbed onto, re-assigned, taken out of context, and promoted. I also see a second reason, which is interesting. Is there exists a two-level class hierarchy on Twitter. People with blue ticks and people without blue ticks. There’s about 230,000 users with blue ticks and they correspond with something like about 30% of people who would consider themselves members of the establishment in English speaking countries. Those are MPs, journalists, CEOs, etc. People who are representatives in some way and therefore have a need to interface with the public. About a third of those types, in particular, the upcoming ones, are on Twitter and they have blue ticks. So you have here both an identity phenomenon (where someone is branded with an identity of a blue tick and so an identity politics is emerging within this group) and also a class phenomenon. The recontextualization of the WikiLeaks Task Force discussion point into a threat against this identity group was then widely spread by self same identity group which also lined up fairly neatly with the "liberal" establishment politics of something like 80% of that identity group.

Think about this new emerging identity class. It has a quality. Within the blue tick class that is you have a blue tick or you don’t. So metrics looking at what the relationships are between people in the blue tick identity class and exterior (of Twitter) class dynamics, relationships to power of various kinds, removes some part of the equalitarian nature within the blue tick identity class, which can be seen a a threat to those people who have gained the blue tick, but are otherwise not in power in the exterior class. It’s interesting.

A:

I'd recommend attending public meetings. Attend your Village Board, Town Council, City Council, County Legislature meetings. Whatever the area that you're interested in, go and educate yourself. Speak your mind where you think it's necessary. And then don't be afraid to take ownership when it is needed. A lot of people often have this mindset that someone will roll out the red carpet for them to run for office. It doesn't usually work that way. If you want to do it, you should do it, no matter what anyone else says. Call your local Board of Elections, call your local party Chairman and ask for help running for the office of your choice. It can be done and if you work hard, it will happen. You just have to stay vigilant and always keep educating yourself. Show that you care.


Q:

Definitely coffee. People looooove getting a hot cup in the AM. All of us in Florida kind of freak out when the temperature drops in the morning and it definitely lifts the spirits.

A:

Well I have half as many eggs now! What I was told is that I will be able to have kids up to around 27. Then, my chances will decrease greatly and I will probably hit menopause around that time.


Q:

I try not to speak to others opinions.

A:

Busted.


Q:

Hi Julian.

My question would be what happened on October 16, 2016, when a series of strange encrypted keys were sent via twitter?

Why did it seem like you were silenced in October (where'd you go) and why did the encryption used to verify Wikileaks fail?

A:

Hi Ryan! Recently I have heard talk about a push to get more Mayors involved in national politics, as opposed to Governors and Senators, because Mayors tend to be much more community-oriented and understanding of what kind of change has to occur on a local level. Mayor Pete Buttigieg running for DNC chair is somewhat representative of this movement.

What are your thoughts on the view Mayors can help bring to national politics that a Governor or Senator might not be able to?

Also what are some things that people often, mistakenly, think the President or Congress are in control of, when in reality it is their local Mayor or city officials in charge of issues that directly impact them?


Q:

A man who reached for a last-minute bagel was also arrested.

That poor guy, he just wanted a bagel. :(

A:

You seem like a very confident young woman, I'm glad there's people with your attitude in this world!

If you could have one super power, what would it be?


Q:

Was there any moment that still haunts you to this day?

A:

Has your profession been acurately bepicted in films and tv shows, or was most of it Hollywooded into total bullshit?


Q:

It didn't. The hashes are pre-commits of plain text archives that validate the decryption. Since keys have not yet been released there can be no validation at this point.

A:

I would generally agree with that statement. Mayors, Town Supervisors, Trustees, Councilman, etc often have a direct view at what is affecting their residents and their community. You also have the opportunity to make changes that will have potentially immediate and direct effects as well. Which is both a great opportunity and responsibility.

I think having that understanding of what's happening around you at street level is very important and makes a huge difference. It gives you an awareness, sense of urgency and helps you understand the importance of something. When your neighbor tells you that they need a grant to help fix their roof because its caving in, you can look and see it and say "Wow, these people are sleeping in a house that's 45 degrees. This is serious." No offense to anyone serving in higher levels of government at all because they have important but different jobs as well, but being able to see something tangible with your own eyes is different than receiving a letter or a phone call. It's just reality.

As for common misconceptions between levels of government it does happen all the time but I often find things the other way around. People think that if it happens within the boundaries of the Village that the local government must have control over it, when often it is a county or state project for example. We're very lucky to have great relationships with our county, state and federal representatives and have had success quite a bit whenever we make a request on behalf of our residents but every now and then someone makes a really unreasonable request and unfortunately we can't help them because of jurisdiction or its just not feasible.


Q:

Yeah, he was a sweetheart too. One of the more frustrating things that happened honestly.

A:

That's a hard one! Time travel would be really cool. There are so many moments I would love to relive, and so many things beyond my lifetime (both past and future) that I would like to see.


Q:

Yes, I lost the use of my right hand while trying to keep a detainee from injuring themself. It still plays over in my head daily.

A:

I've only seen a couple of films in which my job is portrayed - Titanic and Captain Phillips. Titanic was actually incredibly well-researched and the Bridge scenes, although a bit outdated to the way things are done now, were as realistic as you could imagine.

Captain Phillips was generally OK, although some stuff was Hollywood bullshit, such as the radar 'beeping' every time it scanned 360degrees. A sonar does that, not a radar.

I tend not to watch films about what I do because I know that it will just annoy me if it's wrong.


Q:

Hi Julian. Can you explain why you asserted that the leaks of the Panama Papers was an attempt by the West to discredit Putin? Is leaking documents that are in the public interest not what you purport to stand for?

A:

does your town have an Arby's?


Q:

Solidarity from a fellow Food Not Bombs member! Are you subbed to /r/foodnotbombs ?

The chapter I'm in serves twice a month. How has your chapter managed to do twice a week?

A:

First of all congrats!

Secondly and idk if this comes off bad in any way, forgive me for being uninformed, but are you able to have children anymore?


Q:

would you mind elaborating?

A:

Has anyone been left behind before?


Q:

TRANSCRIPT: There’s a claim repeated by the usual idiots in the ruling class press that WikiLeaks said the Panama Papers had been produced by the CIA US intelligence to attack Vladimir Putin. Absolutely not. In fact, we explicitly stated that we did not believe that was so. The key journalist and newspapers who collected the Panama Papers in Germany are our publishing partners, so we knew about the story. We aggressively promoted it. However, the particular story that came out on Vladimir Putin, which was pushed as the leading story in the Western press, rather than issues relating to say David Cameron or Western figures coming out of the Panama Papers, was funded by USAID and Soros Foundation. They funded an organization called OOCPR, which does sometimes good work, but is based in Maryland and focusses exclusively on negative stories about Russia and the former Soviet states. So, you have a story on Vladimir Putin produced by an organization, which exclusively focuses on Russia and the former Soviet states that is based in Maryland and is funded, the only funders listed, by USAID and the Soros Foundation. That is no model for integrity. And that’s what we said. Some good journalism, but this is a difficulty when you have negative stories about Putin being pushed forward and funded by the US government. We are trying to distinguish WikiLeaks' model of publication, where we are funded by our readers and not by dodgy foundations or the US government. We don’t like it when we are in competition with an organization based in Washington, DC and funded by the US government. Readers should be able to distinguish which sources are more reliable to give you the truth. One that is funded by a government attacking a figure in another government or one that is funded by its readers and has a track record of publishing everything with time limited redactions.

A:

Yes we do. It's right on Route 11. Can't miss it.


Q:

I'm not! Just joined this site.

It took a lot of sustainability. We started it because Tuesday mornings are mainly coffee and bagels, not as much prep is needed. We also grew as a network to have 4-5 bottomliners instead of just 1-2. The dedication and consistency of the individuals involved is frankly astounding.

A:

It's ok! Yes I will be able to have children :)


A:

Yes, quite a few times. Due to the cost of fuel, we can't afford to hang around and burn more fuel trying to make up lost time. Most of the time it's been crew that have been left behind before. If that happens, they are responsible for getting themselves to the next port to join the ship at their own expense, and they'd be disciplined too.


Q:

Hi Julian. Why did you, and Wikileaks, send a cryptic tweet about your internet being cut off by a state party? Why did you not just name Ecuador from the outset instead of triggering conspiracy theories?

A:

Hey Ryan, Upstate NY local checking in, what do you think about Cuomo's recent statement that hemp could be a billion dollar industry in the Southern Tier?
Also, everyone seems to make their spiedies a bit different, what's your recipe?


Q:

Did you expect this to become a national story? It was on the front page all day yesterday, was on Democracy Now today and I'm sure countless other places. Does the conversations started because of your arrest make it worth it?

Any other unexpected consequences or benefits?

A:

Holy shit, why did they need to cut you open so drastically? I've only seen an opening that big in autopsies or emergencies. My wife had another human pulled out of her abdomen and the scar is only a quarter of that size.


Q:

Video is definitely worth watching.

A:

Diplomacy.


Q:

I'm not much of a chef so I actually haven't made spiedies of my own. I stick to protein shakes, PB&J and scrambled eggs. That said, my girlfriend makes some great chicken and I do find it crazy that spiedies aren't known outside of the Southern Tier. It blows my mind.

As for the hemp industry, I honestly haven't put a lot of research into it but I think that in general, we do need to open up more economic doors. We can't forge companies like IBM to come back here. That ship has sailed. We have to create new opportunities. Hemp seems like it could be one of those, as could the medical marijuana industry. Instead of trying so hard to fight the current and keep old business models around, let's open up the doors to new ones. I think that's the key to economic growth in New York State.

A:

Absolutely not. I had some idea we would get some coverage from friends and maybe it would be visible on social media for a bit. The fact that it's blown up like this wouldn't have occurred to us as plausible, and in fact one of the core organizers said that she gotten up the morning of the sharing before this (where she was temporarily detained and told to cease sharing food) and everything felt so normal. It's amazing how quickly things shifted.


Q:

The tumour was massive! They originally planned to stop below my belly button, but then while doing the surgery they realized the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes (they thought before that I was stage I, meaning it would have just been confined to my ovary) so they had to cut much farther up to take out as many lymph nodes as they could.

A:

:)


Q:

I remember reading your name somewhere in my AP Gov class. And yeah, we joked about you being Deadpool about 50 times before it started getting less funny. Sorry.

Anyways. How do you have time for gym, gaming, and game of thrones as Mayor? Do you have a lot of free time on a daily basis?

A:

Thanks for helping the homeless, I just want to better understand your legal argument.

Do you think that the municipal government may have enacted the law to ensure food safety/health code standards were enforced when providing food in public areas (due to food trucks, hot dog carts, and the like)?

Can you explain your claim that your organization is neither a non-profit nor a food vendor if you are both organizing to provide food to homeless individuals and raising money to do so?


Q:

Are there any health consequences to have less lymph nodes?

A:

Did you like Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay?


Q:

Ryan Reynolds was also Green Lantern before Deadpool but no one remembers that. Or maybe they choose not to remember that.

Anyway, just like any job or jobs, you develop a routine. I'm really big on making good use of my time, planning out my days, sticking to my schedule, etc. Even if its something like "I am going to play Overwatch with a friend from 8 to 10EST", it's important to me that I stick to that plan.

The other thing is, I don't have children yet. I have a serious amount of respect for everyone that does. Yes, I'm a Mayor and that's a big responsibility but so is caring for a human life and being responsible for their development. I often see friends from high school and they'll be like "Wow, you're the Mayor, that must be so much work!" And I'll reply "You have three kids, that has to be just as much, if not more work!" It's all about perspective, priorities and efficient use of time.

A:

Absolutely, I'd be happy to unpack it further.

I do think that. I think that the law makes sense to institute when applied to those organizations. However the law has not been applied to us for about 13 years, and it's a bit strange that the city decided now would be the time to enforce it (especially when tourist attractions like the Alabama v Clemson game are around - it has us questioning their motives).

A food vendor refers to a for-profit institution that is able to sell food to the public, whereas a nonprofit (I'm here referring specially to 501(c)3s, which I'm most familiar with) is a specifically designated legal entity. We're legally neither, and as I understand it constitute an "unincorporated association" (though we would call ourselves a grassroots organization). So the forms and documents don't really deal with the mission, purpose, and behavior of our organization and also don't seem to apply to our juridical status. We also don't really raise money for the purposes of sharing food, although we have raised money for our legal fund per upcoming/anticipated court fees and legal costs.


Q:

Not that I know of!

A:

Yes, thought it was pretty funny for a movie.


Q:

How do you feel about Obama removing The wet foot dry foot law?

A:

Any reason why your organization didn't move to an area where you could give out the food after being told to stop?


Q:

Hello! I am a medical student and I must say how it brings a smile to my face that you survived. When you first had it, what was your first thoughts?

A:

Was there in 2011. Can I shoot you a PM with questions regarding the VA and PTSD? Thanks brother.


Q:

I think that the US-Cuban relationship needs to improve and that we've seen some signs of it bettering during the Obama administration. Obviously Cuba has some work of their own to do but being that they are so close to us geographically, we need that relationship to get better. And I think we can achieve that by opening more "normal" channels of communication and commerce. Let Cubans see what our country has to offer. I probably dodged your question here a bit by not addressing the specific policy that you referenced, but I've felt for a long time that US-Cuban relations should be something to be addressed and thawed out.

A:

The police said that we could move to the sidewalk and share food (though after our arrest, several members did this, and were chased off by officers). However, the point of us sharing food in Lykes Gaslight Park in Downtown Tampa is twofold.

First, the city actively shuns the houseless, pushing them to the side as much as it can. We tend to think their reasons for applying the ordinance now was because of the Alabama v Clemson football game, meaning they would want to get houseless people out of sight and out of mind of potential tourists. We refuse to let the city continue to sweep this under the rug, and will continue sharing where many of the houseless have made a home (in this case, that is Lykes).

The second is that an unjust law like this is worth challenging. In this case, all it meant was continuing to do what we always did. The city has decided that it can tells us when and how we share a meal with our friends. A permit that is required for us to share can also be taken away, and when the city is able to tell us when and where to share, our consistency as an organization that is responsive to the changing needs of the houseless is compromised. So we've chosen to simply keep doing the right thing, and help uncover the moral crisis that has been ongoing long before this began: a society of classes, where food and shelter is never a guarantee for the poor, but trillions are diverted to war and foreign ventures.


Q:

It was very surreal. It didn't really hit at first. I remember being really upset because I had to cancel a trip I had planned for the end of the summer. I didn't think about what was going on at first. Part of me thinks it really didn't sink in until after the entire thing was over... it was like living in a weird, terrifying dream.

A:

Yes, feel free


Q:

What's the biggest thing you wish you could change about Whitney Point?
What do you think is the best attraction for tourists in Whitney Point?
Where do you think Whitney Point has the best opportunity to improve fiscally for 2017? What will it take to make that happen?
Currently Whitney Point is receiving an "F" for education, a C- for employment, and a D for housing. Do you think $800k would go further in education than a renovated building? Or would $400k be better invested in attracting business rather than building a look-out?
Cost of living and crime both receive A's, congratulations on that - what do you think is the biggest factors are in receiving those grades?
I've never been to Whitney Point. I'm actually on the west coast of Canada. Why should I go?

A:

First of all, congrats on being cancer free! I am a future medical student who is interested in oncology and pediatric oncology. Two questions: 1) In what way did the clinical staff help you mentally handle your diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of treatment?; and 2) What did you appreciate the most about how your physician interacted with you and your family?


Q:

Thanks for doing this. I did detainee ops post-Abu Ghraib in Iraq and it was a mess there and know plenty of folks that also did it in Afghanistan. Nearly all of them have PTSD to some degree but some of them don't seem to think they're worthy of claiming it because there wasn't a bullet flying at them or a bomb going off.

A:

The biggest thing that I wish we could change about Whitney Point? Simple things. I'd like to see some buildings fixed up. I'd like to see sidewalk constructed in areas where we currently don't have any. I'd like to see some new businesses (like the Point Motel to be sold to a new developer). Things like that.

Financials are always a challenge. We have no shortage of ideas for projects to improve the Village, it's finding the money to make them reality that's the tricky part. That's why for large scale projects, we always look for state or federal funding. We simple cannot ask the 900-some residents who pay property taxes here to constantly fund large scale projects. Whitney Point has been very fortunate and received a number of grants in the last decade or so that have made a huge impact here.

As for actual changes in implementation, in 2016 we implemented the PILOT program tax exempt entities that I would like to see grow and become ingrained in the Village operation. And ideally I would also like to see some of the Village's reserve funds grow so that the Village can remain prepared for rainy economic days, major catastrophes and large projects. Obviously we aren't just going to jack everyone's taxes up in order to do that, we have to find more creative ways.

One of the things that we're currently working on is implementing some changes to our zoning code which will create a unified process for the installation of solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations in residential garages. NYSERDA is offering $5,000 in incentives for us to do so. That's how we have to work for our taxpayers. We have to find little ways to save money and boost revenues every way that we can. There are no grandiose silver bullets that I have found.

As far as the funding goes, we try to take advantage of the programs that the state offers. To my knowledge there aren't any grants that we can apply for that would net our school district $800,000 to bolster educational programs. The school district can certainly seek grants but as a Mayor of a municipal government, I'm not authorized to apply for them. That said, I do believe that education and housing are two of the best investments that the public can make. That's why I'm very excited about the $500,000 housing rehabilitation grant that we have been awarded. The improvements made through the grant will directly improve quality of life for our residents who receive money to fix their homes, the Village's presentation will improve and property values will increase. All long term benefits. That's the definition of investment.

As for the look out/public space, that's a qualify of life improvement that we think will attract more people to Whitney Point. When you drive through and see it you'll say, "This looks like a nice place to live." It will make you want to come back. It will make you consider us when you're looking for a new home. I think it would be a good investment for NYS to fund.

So that said, we can only take advantage of the programs that are out there. If NYS wants to change the programs that are available, that is their choice. But if I'm told that NYS is looking to fund building rehab, we're going to try to take advantage of that rather than let the money go elsewhere. We want to bring it to our community and to our residents, who pay NYS taxes like everyone else.

As for the specific grades, I don't have info on the criteria used but I often find the criteria used isn't suitable to smaller communities. That said, the costs of living here are extremely affordable and crime is low because we truly have a lot of great, caring people here. We all know each other and look out for each other. As for education receiving an F, I disagree with that. I went to high school here and while I know of a lot of challenges that the public education system is facing financially, I think we have a lot of teachers that provide a level of interest in their students to put them over the top and equip them to the best of their ability. I think most of NYS' educational challenges are more systemic than local.

If I was going to give you a reason to visit Whitney Point it would be this; Live here. The costs of living are low, crime is low, we have a great geographical location and we really are a community that cares for its own. That's what makes Whitney Point a great place to live.


Q:
  1. The surgeon who I was sent to is literally the greatest man I have ever known. The day we met, it was a consultation for surgery. Me and my parents went to his office to meet him. He spent an hour and a half with us, and for the first hour, said nothing about the cancer -- he just talked to me and got to know me and my family. He was so warm and caring. When we finally got to discussing the treatment, he was very gentle but very honest. He teared up when he let me know that I would lose my hair. After surgery, I was technically no longer his patient, but he still sees me every single time I go for an appointment. He was by my side for the moment that my last bag of chemo was taken down. You have to understand, he is a very sought-after surgeon, and he is busy all the time. It was not an easy thing for him to come see me every time I was there, but he did. This man literally saved my life. That surgery itself could have killed me easily! It's a strange relationship to have with somebody, but I am grateful for it. My oncologist is also absolutely amazing. He's so funny, so genuine, and every time I have an MRI he'll email me as soon as the results come in (otherwise we'd have to wait a week until my next appointment). He also answers every question I throw at him very quickly and always assures me that everything is okay.
  2. I (and my parents) appreciated most the fact that both my surgeon and my oncologist treated us like people. I was not just a patient to them. They took time to get to know me, they both have copies of my CD, they both looked at every single one of my prom pictures, they both listened to my talking and gossiping about daily life. It was a comforting feeling, almost like they were family friends who'd watched me grow up. Hard to describe! I was lucky to be in pediatrics. I know the experiences for adult patients aren't always as great as what I had.
A:

Im guessing you may have been at Cropper but there was several other facilities in Iraq so I won't ask where you were. There is a stigma about having PTSD, part of that is in our on forces that want to rank themselves on who deserves/are allowed to be damaged and who isn't. Maybe someday that will change. Welcome Home. We are good people stuck in a screwed up situation .


Q:

As someone who lives 30 minutes from Whitney point. What do you think of the things that Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick is doing? Namely the safe injection sites for heroin user? I ask because we face an epidemic and the more respected officials we have advocating for harm reduction will help the fight communities face with addiction and the problems associated. Thank you for the AMA

A:

What was the first thing you thought/did when you realized that you were free from cancer?


Q:

I was at Bucca, but I made my way to Cropper a few times. I know what you mean about the stigma and I'll admit that I was a stubborn jackass when it came to getting treatment as well. Were it not for my wife I may not have.

A:

I haven't done enough research into safe injection sights to be an authority on the topic. But there are two things that are certain; We have a serious addiction problem and the "old" ways of fighting drugs and addiction aren't working. We need new solutions and I think Svante and the crew that helped him devise the plan deserve credit for thinking outside the box whether you like the idea or not.


Q:

I found out when I was in a cafe with my Creative Writing class. It was almost Christmas break, so our teacher took us for a walk to get hot chocolate. My mom texted me saying they had just called her with the results and I was cancer free. I remember running up to my boyfriend, who was talking with my teacher, and hugging him and crying. Then we went back to school and I think my teacher told our principal (an amazing man) because he ran into the classroom and hugged me. He was crying as well. And then the whole class clapped and cheered for me. It was so emotional!

A:

I was the same, if my wife hadn't noticed my change in 2010/2011 I may not have. Could have become a statistic fairly easily. Luckily i trusted her enough to listen and seek out help and was still in uniform then.


Q:

Are you going to build a super cool winter sports complex for your citizens to enjoy? You could call it Ice Town!

A:

I had stage three testicular cancer in high school. I don't know what to say other than I've been through something similar and you are a trooper. Its funny, I also relied heavily on music to get through the shitty times. I'm almost two years clean now, chemo ended in April of 2015. I wish you the best of luck and thank you for sharing.

I went through my treatment feeling kind of alone. I had family and friends to help me, but not once did I meet someone going through the same thing as myself. My question is: do you know of any systems in place to help kids with cancer find each other?


Q:

I was with the team that closed down Cropper. One of the best experiences of my life - don't think I could have asked for a better deployment.

A:

That has never crossed my mind, although we have pursued a skatepark in the past. Being a rural area, youth have to make their own fun a lot of times which gives us a fair amount of skateboarders and bikers. I used to be one myself. I've always believed that if you give people a place to go and somewhere to practice their craft and be constructive, they will do so. The challenge is finding a suitable piece of land and funding. Thus far, we have not.


Q:

I don't! I was just thinking about this recently. I've been thinking about contacting the hospital in my city and seeing if I can help set up some kind of support system like that, where you get paired up with someone who's going through/has been through the same thing... I know that would have helped me.

A:

I can imagine that had its own difficulties but glad it worked out.


Q:

My town (Kennesaw, GA) built a skatepark in the local park and you would not believe how much it has changed. You see kids out all the time exercising and socializing, and a small economy has built around providing gear for kids at the park. It's been a positive addition for sure.

A:

This is fascinating to me! And how beautiful you are and you smiled in your pics and were strong to go through it all and be what seems so level-headed today.

How much weight did you lose during the chemo? Because you look very skinny already in your tumor-removal pic. Did you have to gain weight back? My mom's boyfriend has lost a lot of weight from a colon-issue, and he still has to have surgery.


Q:

Did you ever feel empathy towards the prisoners there?

A:

That's great to hear. That's how I envisioned it happening as well but I'm glad to hear evidence of it actually working that way. Maybe someday...


Q:

I lost about 20 pounds, maybe 25. I only weighed about 115 to begin with (I'm around 5'3) so it was pretty intense. It was very sudden, too... I lost most of that immediately after the first round, and I felt unsteady on my legs because of how quickly the weight came off. I'm back up to around 120 now though, and I feel very healthy and I finally love my body :)

A:

I think anyone that was human would feel some some empathy for another human, even some that could be the worst among us, so yes I did feel empathetic much of the time.


Q:

Hey Ryan I'm from Ithaca, who's older you or Svante? Do you two ever get together to discuss being young mayors? 2nd question do you get your water from the spring on 79? If not you should, it's more refreshing than Fiji.

A:

I like your taste. Do you have any of your work posted online?


Q:

I guess you're right, I read about it once and felt horribly sad.

A:

I went to college at IC actually so I'm very familiar with Ithaca. Svante is 3 months younger than I am. I actually turn 30 tomorrow. He and I have had lunch once and we've attended a few of the same meetings. He's a very down to Earth guy. You never know, we may partner on something someday.

As for the spring, I've never actually got water from there but I know a lot of people swear by it. But I use the Village water since it is part of a system that the Village manages...I'm probably slightly biased there.


A:

I will alway have some sadness about the place myself.


Q:

Ah, you're right off of 81! Just passed through your town last weekend on my way home from Syracuse.

How about that crazy snow last weekend? When we were on 81, it was complete white-out conditions, the worst I've driven in in all my life. Like, really crazy - couldn't see more than 5 feet in front of you. Scary!

Do you plan to get onto the national stage at all?

A:

did you change your diet? or any lifestyle adaptations that helped?


Q:

I was a guard too there. The thing I eventually started to accept for myself was that they are not "terrorists" they are soldiers just like the rest of us there. They didn't have a nation that sponsors them as a force but they definitely had a cause be it for money or ideal. Just like us. It was easier and simpler on the mind for me to think of them as POWs.

If they are innocent or guilty it was not for me to judge or find out. What I did feel was that it was definitely someone's job to find out and it simply was not happening or happening fast enough. That is where I absolutely objected to the place.

A:

Stop down in WP sometime! People ask me that national stage question all the time. "Do you plan on running for higher office?" "What are you going to run for next?" My answer is always this; Right now, I'm focused on being the best Mayor that I can be. We have a lot of very important projects and initiatives that we're working on and the list is always growing. The work is never done. And I really enjoy my job. I really do. It certainly has challenges and stresses like any job but at the end of the day, being there to help people and try to better your community is extremely gratifying. So right now, I'm focusing on driving Whitney Point and Northern Broome County forward and seeing through a lot of things that our board and I have started. Obviously I also have opinions about state and national level issues and you never say "never" to any potential opportunities in the future. Once thing is for certain and that is that I love public service and I want to keep doing it and serving this community and the people here and around us for a long time.


Q:

The only real dietary changes happened firstly because certain foods can trigger a post-traumatic repulsion response. The smell/thought of food from Subway, for example, makes me literally gag and feel like I'm about to throw up. Same with sushi, but that one has lessened with time. Secondly, chemo changes your taste buds. I stopped enjoying baked goods and dessert foods as much (very sad...) and I suddenly had a new taste for seafood and spicy things. It's very strange the way it works! I honestly haven't changed very much about my life, intentionally at least!

A:

Thats a fair assessment for sure.


Q:

What games do you play hardcore?

A:

thats good to know! my aunt passed away fighting cancer although she didnt really fight it , she resisted treatment because of her beliefs. im glad you didnt change anything and just went with what you feel like you can digest! keep it up and thank you for doing this AMA


Q:

Hi Andrew. What was the most disgusting thing you ever witnessed at this place?

A:

Right now I'm really into Overwatch and Destiny. Since launch I've put over 1,000 hours into Destiny. I love it and have high hopes that the sequel will fix many of the original games flaws. That said I've also played World of WarCraft quite extensively, with my peak being between vanilla and Wrath of the Lich King. I'm currently making my way through Doom and loving it.


Q:

I'm very sorry for your loss. Thank you <3

A:

What some peoples living spaces look like after months being deployed. Truly disgusting at times. Seeing someones Happy the Love Sock left out is frightening.


Q:

Destiny! Glad to see some love for my favorite game. What was your favorite expansion, and your favorite raid?

A:

Are the new dislikes/repulsions (not sure of correct term) due to actual changes in perception, or just having had too much of those things at times when eating was a bad experience?


Q:

was there a lot of privacy or pretty close shared quarters?

A:

I feel like The Taken King was the best expansion all around. It brought Destiny forward in just about every way possible. I think King's Fall is also my favorite raid. I really like the scope of it. Although I did just do Wrath of the Machine for the first time and I like that it's so different from the existing raids. I do find it disappointing however that we didn't get much background on Aksis. He seems like a really intimidating and scrupulous foe.

Really looking forward to Destiny 2. I think Bungie has been extremely limited by their game engine and that when they apply the lessons that they've learned with Destiny and it's expansions, Destiny 2 will be a greatly superior game.


Q:

The repulsion are because I ate those things during chemo. There are many of them. But the new general dislikes/likes are just changes in perception I think!

A:

Very little real privacy in most living quarters there. I shared a space with 2 roommates but when we first got there we were like 12 to a space before permanent assignment.


Q:

Favorite Overwatch hero?

A:

I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in fall 2016 and now have only one testicle left. I was lucky and it was still in stage 1 and was able to avoid chemo for now.

What I experienced was that my parents and my girlfriend seemed to be more afraid during the whole time than I was. How were your parents at the time?

I found that this time showed me how much I am loved and therefore even had some small positive effect on me. Any similar experiences?


Q:

A- Do you think the US should torture people? Ends justify means?

B- Do you buy into the legal end run of classifying a person caught in their country, in combat as an enemy combatant vs POW, etc as a way of denying prisoners due process, etc?

A:

I've put the most time into Lucio. I think I've got like 12 hours as Lucio but I try to play all of them. My favorite offensive character is probably Soldier 76...Boring I know, but hey, he's effective. My favorite tank is definitely Zarya. And I think D.VA is currently overpowered. Listen here, Blizzard.


Q:

My parents definitely took it harder than I did. I think they tried to hide it a bit... my dad kind of shut down, my mom cried a lot.

A:

A- No, absolutely not.

B- The problem is our legal system creates those classifications via specific definitions. As far as it denying them due process, I think there is some questions that still aren't being answered because of the one single court being used to handle every single case there. I feel everyone should be granted due process no matter their status in our system because thats what i feel habeas corpus is.


Q:

So did you want to be a Lúcio main, or did you end up that way because no one else would play support?

A:

[deleted]


Q:

Are you worried, opening the door legal end runs such as this, could lead for instance to American citizens being 'reclassified' or whatever, and thus, they don't have rights, due process, etc? In other words, when you see a Gitmo detainee that was renditioned from his homeland, maybe just defending his country, etc, for what ever reason cooked up to justify it, you wonder, 'Gee, this could be me..kidnapped, thrown in jail, tortured..what protections does anyone have from this type of situation?'

A:

I've never really had a problem with supporting, I do it more than any other role in a lot of games, but I do like to mix things up. I often find myself taking on less popular roles in games for that very reason; No one ever wants to do it. I'm a Medic in Battlefield, I healed and tanked in WoW, etc. I do think Overwatch generally does a great job of making the support classes fun though. I really enjoy Lucio. My least favorite support is probably Mercy.


Q:

I understand exactly how you feel, but moreso about the other children who are much sicker than I was, or who didn't make it. Being in pediatrics, I was surrounded by kids with cancer. Many of them I saw every single day, and befriended. One by one, I hear about them dying and every time it hits me harder. Why did I survive, but the little 4 year old kid who always came into the oncology clinic and played with the trains had to die? It's nonsensical, but it's also nonsensical to carry around guilt. Try to focus on how lucky you are that you did survive, and therefore you have the chance to help others who are struggling. <3

A:

Yes, I have been bothered by that. Because of the NDAA that has continually been modified I'm not only concerned that other countries may continue to do what we did but more concerned that our own country will continue to do it.


Q:

What is your position on consolidation with the Town of Triangle?

A:

I'm a paramedic going into nursing and I work as a tech in the ICU. What are some things I can do to be a better healthcare provider to you as a patient?


Q:

Have you ever wondered that if the US kidnapps people, sends them to secret prisons to be tortured and detained forever, how can we by any measure chastise Sadamm, China, N. Korea, etc for their human rights abuses?

A:

At this point in time I would be opposed to consolidating with the Town of Triangle of dissolving the Village and here's why; The Village provides many essential services for our residents. Water, sewer, fire protection, trash pick up, code enforcement, roads, sidewalks and many more. We have a long history of being very fiscally responsible and holding the line on taxes, doing more with less and that goes back a long time. It's not me taking credit for anything, it has everything to do with my predecessors and the way they handled finances and left the Village in good shape. But because of those specifics and the Village's history of sound management of finances and the services that it provides, I think the the services are in better hands when they're in the hands of those who have the experience managing them and can point to a sound record. This is no offense to anyone in the Town of Triangle operation, it just doesn't make sense to me to take what is essentially over a million dollars a year in taxpayer funded services and put them in the hands of a group that may be good at what they do, but frankly is accustomed to a much smaller scope of service and and smaller operations than the Village handles. I'm not convinced that there would be any significant savings there. I'm not opposed to consolidations across the board mind you, I just think in our particular situation, it doesn't make sense.

We are involved in a great number of shared services that I think do save taxpayers money. We partner with the Town of Triangle on street maintenance, our municipal offices and fire protection. We also partner with the Town of Barker on fire protection and the Village of Lisle on water service. Shared services can certainly be a good thing and save money where it's viable and we're always willing to look at options.


Q:

Friendliness is the outstanding factor in every positive interaction I've had with healthcare provider. My nurses became my friends! We had good conversations and a lot of fun moments. It made the whole thing a lot more bearable. :)

A:

I do not think we as a country should be chastising anyone because our history has shown we are very very far from perfect. All we can do is continue to raise these concerns to a larger audience and maybe in time we will learn from our mistakes. Good Question.


Q:

Hello.

Of the jobs you had prior to your election, which one do you think prepared you most for the responsibilities of a mayor?

Did you ever play Sim City when you were younger (or now, for that matter)?

A:

Hey u/flosfaciem I just wanted to say congratulations! My aunt died about 10 years ago from ovarian cancer. By the time they found it was too late for her. But every year my family walks in the NOCC ovarian cancer walk here in Chicago. So this upcoming year I am not only going to be walking for my aunt but you as well. Here's to helping find a cure! How has life changed for since going into remission? Is there anything that you make sure do everyday?


Q:

What do you think are some the biggest misconceptions threatening Kratom today, and what can us every day redditors do to help?

A:

I forgot to mention that I did play SimCity when I was very young, but haven't played it in a long time.


Q:

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for including me in your thoughts! I try to make sure that every day I am moving towards starting my life for real -- moving out, really getting into school, planning my future. It helps a lot to feel like I'm making progress :)

A:

Both sides of the argument need to be more realistic about what it is and what it isn't. Every day redditors can get involved with the advocacy groups, go over to r/Kratom to learn more about the average consumer and just stay involved in people having free choice.


Q:

I ran for City Council in small town Wyoming when I was 24. I found it to be a neat experience. I got 35% against a four term incumbent. What were your first thoughts when you knew you won?

A:

What are the odds of it coming back and affecting your other ovary? If you're planning on having children, did any of your doctors ever talk to you about the possibility of an egg retrieval eventually just in case?


Q:

What are your thoughts on Lynndie England?

A:

My election was actually very intimate. Someone who I consider a friend and colleague was my opponent and the election got very tense. My first thoughts when I won were along the lines of getting the ball rolling. I ran on a platform of achieving certain things for our community and I immediately got to work trying to make those things happen. I am very lucky to have a great number of people who have supported me, helped us achieve our vision, moved projects and initiatives forward, etc. I can't communicate enough how grateful I am for the things that people do for our community, for our Village operation, for each other, for me, etc. But all in all, those were my first things. "It's time to get to work."


Q:

I think I have pretty good chances of staying clear. I try not to read too much about it, though, cause I just end up freaking myself out. I asked my doctors about that but for some reason they were saying it wouldn't work. I don't really remember why, everything from that time period is very hazy. I have very good chances of being able to have a regular pregnancy though, I just have a smaller timeframe.

A:

Being involved in what she was made for a real mess. The work can be fair, firm and impartial without going to that far far larger step. My opinion is she stupidly allowed herself to get caught up in to some bad things but I don't know her so can't speak to the why she went along with what went on at Abu Ghraib.


Q:

How do you feel about the recent presidential election?

A:

did it affect menstruation?


Q:

Are you allowed to tell people you worked at gitmo while you were there?

A:

I would generally characterize my reaction as disbelief. I have always considered it a great honor to serve the public and something to be generally honored and respected, even when you disagree with the people serving. As long as they act in a respectful manner and try to do what they believe is right, I can have some basic level of respect for them, even if I despise their policies and proposals.

What scares me now is that there is a person in charge who has no consistent way of thinking. He's short on patience, has no experience making decisions that effect a large pool of people and has never been accountable to anyone but himself. Sometimes I think its good to upset the apple cart. Sometimes a radical shift in perspective or tactics can be good. But I don't have confidence that this is the shift that our country needs and I'm not sure that a lot of people will understand that and/or the repercussions of it for years to come.


Q:

No it didn't actually!

A:

I was. Thats about all i could say while I was there to anyone not there working with me but yes my friends and family knew i was deployed there.


Q:

How do you like your eggs?

A:

Do people treat you differently now that you're "a survivor?" (I know some people don't like that moniker, sorry if you don't.) Do you with they wouldn't or has it complicated your post-cancer (hopefully) life?

Also if you haven't seen the new show Search Party, there's an adult character who makes having had cancer in high school his entire identity, but in a very funny way. Check it out if you haven't. I think the character would make you laugh.


Q:

Was it a desirable post, or something you guys hoped to avoid going to?

A:

Scrambled.


Q:

Only people who don't know me! My friends treat me normally which is great. I guess my dad treats me a bit differently, he buys me anything I want and my parents let me do whatever I want now haha. That sounds pretty spoiled of me but it's funny! I'll check out that show for sure, my friend was just talking to me about it recently!

A:

For me I wanted to be part of those going to close the place. So for me it was desirable and id been deployed pretty steadily so being part of something is always good for promotions also. It can be a very tough duty mentally though. Many don't like having urine and feces thrown at them sometimes daily(I guess some people like that but the majority probably isn't keen on it).

I will say the beaches were beautiful and before getting my hand shattered the surfing there was pretty great. The diving is very amazing also.


Q:

Would you like to keep moving up the political ladder?

A:

Dude that's a badass fuckin scar! What would you say has been the most difficult thing about interacting with other people? I've heard some people with serious diseases and injuries say they stopped talking to their old friends just because they couldn't stand the way they looked at them.


Q:

Shattered in an altercation? please explain

A:

I definitely want to keep serving the public. As long as I am passionate about it and feel that I can be effective, get things done and make a difference, I will keep doing so. I often get asked about future opportunities and you never know. Right now I'm loving my job as Mayor, focused on the tasks at hand and taking everything one day at a time, trying to run the best Village government that we can and do the right things for our greater community.


Q:

Honestly most of the people in my life just treat me like they always would now! I make a lot of morbid jokes about it and my friends get mad sometimes... Haha

A:

Best explanation I can give is the one i gave during the Vice News interview. There is only so much I can say as it deals with operations and I can't go in to that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDO1SjX5Zmc&list=PLRyUm0RG8ZArAeb-z9hxa74lcjuy4MAeS&index=1&t=19s


Q:

Did you post this AMA because you really wanted to talk politics or because your name is Ryan Reynolds?

A:

Just want to know how you coped with your frequent MRI / pet scans etc?

I currently have stage 3 brain cancer (my next MRI is tomorrow). I feel like my life gets reset every few months.

I want to know if you may have had a similar feeling? Thanks.

Cheers.


Q:

How do you manage your anger and frustration?

A:

If all I wanted to talk about was my name, I wouldn't be here. I don't consider it an asset. It's just a designation. My mother actually named me after the actress Meg Ryan which I have always chastised her for.


Q:

It's pretty brutal! I hate MRIs, they're kind of unbearable and I dread each one. Every time I have to go for an appointment my mom tries to make it fun, it's out of town so we go stay in a hotel the night before and go out for dinner and stuff. Having something to look forward to makes it easier :)

A:

Ive never really been an angry person but meditation helps a lot if i feel frustrated in any situation. At one point i did have some anger issues and through therapy that the DOD and later VA provided it helped me work through the issues i was going through. I wish there was a perfect solution but there just isn't that I know of.


Q:

obligatory Deadpool-related question

But seriously, what do you think of the whole 'there's more to New York than New York City' thing?

A:

Tu parles francais? :)


Q:

Could you get in trouble for doing this AMA?

A:

I think that's absolutely true. Upstate New York has a lot of really beautiful natural resources, sites and cities. I just visited Thousand Islands for the first time a couple summers ago and it was a great, relaxing, tourist/vacation spot. I personally still have a lot of things in NY that I want to see and I enjoy the more relaxed rural life style of upstate compared to the city.


Q:

Oui!

A:

As long as i don't answer things that could be classified or talk about operational issues I should be good.


Q:

PC or Console?

A:

My girlfriend who is 20 was just diagnosed with lung cancer, and I don't want to conflate or equate your ailments, but what is the best thing I can do to support her?


Q:

Especially if somebody is already out of the military

A:

I currently play on Xbox One and PC.


Q:

Be patient, be loving. Listen to her. Try to help in any way you can, but if she needs her space, be understanding and respect that. Understanding is the most important gift you can give her right now.

A:

Just being out doesn't give an immediate pass to say anything. But it helps quite a bit in the leeway to do this.


Q:

When all is said and done, who do you think sits upon the Iron Throne?

A:

Worst hospital experience?


Q:

Were there any funny situations you experienced whilst working at Guantanamo?

A:

Jon Snow. I think Dany will take King's Landing and ultimately (finally) realize that there won't be 7 kingdoms to rule if they are decimated by the White Walkers. She'll go North, help in the final battle against the White Walkers and die (probably sacrifice herself somehow). Most characters in aSoIaF don't get what they want or set out to get in the beginning so it would be the ultimate irony that she has been so set on winning the Iron Throne and then dies before she "really" gets to rule. I think Jon will become the reluctant King in the end. It's not what he wants, but it will be what he does.


Q:

Passed out in the middle of the night while walking back to my bed from the bathroom due to dehydration. Woke up surrounded by nurses and doctors, none of whom I knew, taking my blood and asking questions and basically just panicking. It was terrifying!

A:

Every day there was funny situations. Sadly most of them I can't share. I do remember one morning waking up to a night shift worker outside my room using a BBQ Grill and singing show tunes while grilling steaks(at about 6 am). There was always something.


Q:

As a current highschool student I understand the many social groups in highschool and how separated they can be, my question is, how did the social groups react when finding out about your cancer? Were all differences set aside to help you get through it?

Edit: congrats on making it through cancer!

A:

If you can answer this question, do you believe Joseph Hickman's, a former Gitmo guard, story on how the CIA killed 3 Gitmo inmates?

Here is his interview with VICE: https://youtu.be/oirOSO4Zz-M

Edit: If you are not familiar. The reasoning was that the 3 inmates were on a hunger strike. The CIA could not interrogate (meaning torture/waterboard) them if they haven't ate. The initial hunger strike resulted in many other inmates going on a hunger strike. The CIA allegedly killed them during the night. Joseph Hickman says it was almost impossible that they were able to kill themselves due to how they were found dead.


Q:

Thanks! I've always been the kind of person to just have a few individual friends, I'm not really part of any group. There was a sort of unity within my school though. It was nice! Just overwhelming at times.

A:

Ive spoken to Joe but not about those stories. I think he is a pretty great guy that shared his beliefs, I wasn't there at that time so I don't know if his story is credible so can't say for sure what I believe about it.


Q:

Cats? Or Dogs?

A:

What are you up to now?


Q:

Cats 100%

A:

Trying to find meaning for my life. I just started a podcast with a close friend to keep me somewhat busy. I was working for ICE as a FOIA Analyst but my disabilities made it impossible to keep that job and was let go due to the amount of time i had to be away(that happened about the time i was diagnosed with Meige Syndrome). I spent 2014-2015 running a privately funded nonprofit to help other disabled veterans find employment/educational opportunities and once we finished the 2 year plan and helped as many as we could we shuttered it so the others involved could go back to careers.

I also spend a lot of time advocating for freedom of choice in options like Kratom, Cannabis/CBD, etc. This is a video from this past fall at a rally outside the White House. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxWPhmKFiIo&list=PLRyUm0RG8ZAol2Iu4GsW6ncTndaRPZAJL
That advocacy led me to be interviewed for an upcoming Chris Bell(Bigger Stonger Faster, Prescription Thugs, Trophy Kids and the executive producer for a film on Jake the Snake that can all be found on Netflix and Amazon) documentary that will be out in a couple months.


Q:

How did you feel about losing your hair, and what are your thoughts about "brave the shave for solidarity" in general?

A:

Kratom has been incredibly helpful for improving my back pain and allowed me to easily stop taking the highly addictive pain killers that I had to use for the past twelve years. I know that pharmaceutical companies are trying to make medications from its alkaloids because it does not have the same risks of addiction and respiratory depression as typical opiate pain killers, but they are still trying to ban the natural form of the plant. What can we do to help keep this extremely useful plant from being taken away from us?


Q:

It was traumatizing at first, but I got used to it. And I kinda liked my soft bald head! I wouldn't have wanted any of my friends and family to shave their heads for me haha. I know some of them wanted to.

A:

There has been the theory about Big Pharma but if that was true then they would also be calling for it to not be schedule 1 as that would stop them from getting meds in the trial phase and they have been silent. HHS/FDA have said there are no drugs in trial nor investigative trials in the US(there is/was some in Japan) so i don't exactly agree this is about Big Pharma connoting the market exactly. I think what people can do is seek out the American Kratom Association, Botanical Education Alliance and Drug Policy Alliance and Donate both their time and whatever they can afford(even if thats 5 dollars) to help them continue to advocate for Kratom staying legal and accessible by the widest group of people. We should also accept that some oversight of the market can be a very good thing as it can make the overall market safer for the consumers.


Q:

I must say I have seen people crumbling under such circumstances. But, you are an inspiration. My respect. Enjoy and whenever you feel down, Reddit is always there for you. Does docs know what caused it?

A:

Have you ever eaten a banana rat or kept one as a pet?


Q:

Thank you :) it was a germ cell that was in my body since I was born! I somehow absorbed it in utero or something. I'm not really sure. The main point is that it was always there, it just didn't start growing until two years ago. So there was no real cause, and nothing that could have prevented it!

A:

Yes tasted one, no didn't keep as pet but they are pretty interesting and if they could be kept as a pet i would for sure do that.


Q:

I was told I miiiiiight have ovarian cyst and put under birth control to reduce the chance of further cyst development. What signs did you have before you were diagnosed? I've been afraid to get checked up again in fear of being diagnosed with something really tough. I wanna know what were the tell tale signs before you knew

A:

Okay I'm not going to mince words on this: People keep accusing Guantanamo of being this prison of torture. How true is this?


Q:

I didn't have any tell tale advance signs, unfortunately! I just woke up one day looking like I was 4-5 months pregnant. The tumour appeared overnight.

A:

It isn't. Much of that is due to people not understanding what happened with the enhanced interrogations was done away from Guantanamo not at Guantanamo. There will always be things many don't agree with about Gitmo and the line then gets a bit blurry.


Q:

So what's your ideal sandwich? And would you agree that a nice crunch, such as cucumbers, is a basic fundamental of a great sandwich?

A:

How many Corona's did you drink in one seating at that bar by the beach open to service members? I think my record was 9.


Q:

I'm a very basic sandwich person! As in, my favourite sandwich is just bread, turkey and cheese. I know, it's weird.

A:

I am not much for corona and the bar in Camp America was rarely open when i was there for some reason.


Q:

You are a lot younger, so I am curious if this holds true: My mom fought cancer and the chemo caused her to become more forgetful, especially little things like what she was shopping for at the store, or cause her to forget what she was about to say to me. It's been about 3.5 years since she stopped treatment and this has definitely faded somewhat, but I don't think she will ever be the same, and she is one of the smartest people I know. Does this happen to you? Is there anything I can do to help her? It hurts a lot to see her break into tears because she cannot remember what she wanted to say.

A:

Really? Why was it rarely closed? Looked like the only hoping spot for services members on the whole island.


Q:

Yes, I definitely experienced that, and to this day I still feel hazy sometimes. In the thick of it, I completely lost my large vocabulary. I could never come up with words I was looking for, I forgot names and faces, I had a hard time concentrating on anything. Just try to be patient with her. I know the worst part for me was when people got frustrated with me for being forgetful/slow. It was hard enough having my brain not working, so it was awful when I felt I was disappointing people. Be patient and kind and try to help her whenever you can, especially with memory-related tasks.

A:

Have no clue, I wasn't there working for MWR and don't know why but I only caught it open a couple times in the time i was there


Q:

What is the percentage of inmates who truly, without a single doubt, deserve to be there?

A:

Hard to say, I didn't have contact with every detainee there nor know all their stories. Any other answer would be an opinion that I just am not sure I'm qualified to give.


Q:

Were there any that you knew were not dangerous fanatics, just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

A:

I can't answer that. Sorry.


Q:

No need to apologise. It's a pity, a little disconcerting, but not very surprising that the NDA covers non-specific things like that.

A:

The hard facts of the detainees that are public knowledge can be gleaned from many places. Anything other than that would get in to operational info(which I can't discuss) or my opinion which is also difficult to go in to without crossing a line of information I just can't give out. As I didn't capture any of them nor can confirm their stories 100% id just be speculating on my beliefs.


Q:

Fair enough. I suppose I meant in your opinion. Really trying really to tell whether you, at any time, felt that you were guarding one or more innocent people (with the follow up question of how you cope with that).
I expect the no comment remains and don't want to push it.

A:

I felt I was guarding all innocent people, thats how our system works, innocent until they are proven guilty in a court and most of them have not seen that day in court. It wasn't for me to judge guilt and so I treated them all fairly with impartiality. Maybe some had a harder time doing that but I worked hard to keep my personal judgement of them out of the work.

Thats also why they are termed detainees vs prisoners because most had not been tried.


Q:

That explains it very clearly. Thank you.

A:

You're welcome.


Q:

If you had to use one word to describe all components of your experience which you are not allowed to tell us due to your NDA, what would it be?

A:

Sadness


Q:

I noticed you mentioned your hand injury a few times in other responses. If you're allowed, would you care to elaborate on your injury?

A:

Best answer I can give is the one i gave during this interview with Vice News. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDO1SjX5Zmc&t=8s&index=1&list=PLRyUm0RG8ZArAeb-z9hxa74lcjuy4MAeS


Q:

Thank you for the answer, which is at 4:50 for those interested. I watched the whole video. Sounds like an awful experience. Thank you for your service, and I hope you and all veterans get the care they need and deserve.

A:

I appreciate that. I hope we as a country stop using the military as a cudgel when we could generally find better options. But if the military is going to be used then there should be many making sure care is in place.


Q:

Not sure if it was asked yet, but what were the things that you seized from inmates?? Any drugs??shanks??? Do they drink hooch there?? Has anyone that you met in there got out and done something newsworthy?? Who was the most interesting person you came across in there??

A:

Sorry can't answer that.


Q:

Hey Andrew, I was wondering about the general demeanor of the guards. Are they just average folks "doing their job," or do they enjoy taking part in one of the fucked up processes of our democracy?

I hope that makes sense, morning coffee has yet to kick in.

A:

The vast majority are just regular people that are just doing the job assigned them. As in any group of people there will always be some that find pleasure in doing things the general public would see as "fucked up"


Q:

Where are your thoughts on oatmeal cookies?

A:

Not a fan if they have raisins but Oatmeal Chocolate Chip are pretty awesome. There is a great place in DC that makes those and adds some sea salt on the top, probably the best cookie made.


Q:

I'm probably over-simplifying this but if Guantanamo was built as a military prison, why does the President need Congressional approval to transfers, to Leavenworth for example or some other place like that?

Where does the line get drawn between on his authority as Commander in Chief for something like where military prisoners are held?

A:

Yeah that is a very simplified question that doesn't have a simple answer.

While the President can do many things he doesn't control the budgets, Congress does. This is where i break with many in saying that was the mistake President Obama made by trying to force this as early as he did without gaining proper support for his plan. Im not sure if he know that would happen, if he did then it was a political plan but I hate to think it was used as a bargaining chip in some way.

As they are detainees and not prisoners(until they are tried/convicted) they have to be kept separate from military prisoners and so would require separate areas to be detained by law even in the US. There was a great option of a High Security prison that hadn't been opened on the western side of Illinois that could have been a perfect option for the BOP to do this with but that plan came far to late.

Political figures played the fear of citizens to keep Presidents Obamas plan from ever coming to fruition and many/most in the US supported that because they really don't seem to know all the issues of keeping Gitmo open.


Q:

How did you come to find Kratom and what's your personal approach to it now?

A:

Around 2 years ago I was dealing with a condition called Meige Syndrome(its a rare movement disorder) that the doctors really didn't know what had caused it. My PTSD issues and chronic pain of dealing with Degenerative Disc Disease and pain from a fairly damaged hand made the Meige Syndrome far worse. I was hitting a point of hopelessness because nothing they tried was working and I was deteriorating, I didn't want to become one of the 20+ veterans a day committing suicide but id truly lost hope in my situation. My doctors luckily recognized that and suggested I look in to some natural options(they couldn't prescribe them but they can monitor my choices). Took a while to find but kept seeing some interesting stories about Kratom(MJ didn't do much for me except make my anxiety worse so that was out and wasn't legal where I live anyway).

Now 2 years later I've regained a massive part of the quality of life i lost due to service connected issues and Meige Syndrome. My personal approach is all things in moderation, I try to encourage anyone thinking about it as an option spend a lot of time reading everything you can to decide if the benefits outweigh any risks.


Q:

What other natural remedies did you try? Did any come close to the positive effects of kratom?

A:

Acupuncture, hyperbaric chamber treatment, massage, yoga, some other plants. They all helped a bit but nothing worked as well as Kratom has for my situation.


Q:

Have you ever helped out a prisoner in a small way like giving them more slightly more food?

A:

Ive never dealt with any prisoners, just detainees as prisoners would have been tried and convicted in a court. I would help any detainee that asked to the best of my ability.


Q:

Reading through these responses, it seems like you've tried various natural remedies outside of what the VA can prescribe.

I'm assuming you get your healthcare through the VA, ever have any problems with them stemming from having assorted substances in your system ?

A:

My doctors were involved every step of the way, while i advocate for anyone making the choices for themselves I've made a conscious effort to keep my doctors very in the loop and a part of the process for me. While they can't prescribe some of the substances they can oversee and monitor my health while taking them and will as long as what I'm taking is legal and/or okayed by law. Its a tough line to walk for sure but I've had some very amazing doctors every step of the way and they were very much a part of all the options I've tried.


Q:

Did you have any detainees you would consider friends? Also, have you learned any life lessons from their experiences of they were able to share with you?

A:

Not a question I can answer.


Q:

Two questions:

  1. Feel free to answer this question with as few details as you like - what's the most fun conversation you had with a detainee?

  2. If you always were skeptical about Gitmo, what motivated you to join in the first place? Sure, you thought Gitmo would close but at a deeper level, why did you choose to serve?

A:
  1. Can't answer that. Sorry.

  2. I actually joined to be a dog handler, i wanted to work with bomb dogs to keep others safe in bad places. Sadly at the beginning of my time in I promoted to quickly and missed my opportunity to become a dog handler. I was living overseas when 9/11 happened and for me seeing my country attacked while gone bothered me for a long time and when i returned I decided at age 30 to join the military and go active duty.


Q:

I'm curious as to the people who work at and run Gitmo's reaction to left-wing protestors like Medea Benjamin (Code Pink/Global Exchange) or other civilians who have been trying to shut Gitmo for many years? Did they take their hunger strike seriously? Do they just mock anyone who is left of center and has concerns? That is my take here in L.A., that we're utterly disenfranchised on the Left from ever having a meaningful say on any aspect of the US military.

I'm also interested in your take on kratom legaliztion, as the Asian nursery my wife and I work for often gets requests for young Mitragyna speciosa trees, which we don't sell as the owners are unclear on how legal it is, plus other wholesalers don't have them. What would kratom/Mitragyna legalization look like for us horticultural professionals? More like cannabis legalization, where restrictions still exist, or will it be the same as a plum tree, where little oversight is needed or given.

A:

I honestly don't know the answer to the first part. I took it serious but I'm far more socially liberal than the average military member id guess. I think plenty in the military are socially liberal and the ones that aren't mostly don't mock others for their opinions. There are a few close minded loud folks in every group, the military while a very very small portion of the US these days still has their share of loud knuckle draggers.

Kratom is a very tough plant to grow, the few botanists I've talked to that actually do as well as some medical researchers typically grow it from cuttings(seeds just don't germinate as they are coming in from overseas). The tree itself can take decades to be commercially viable and provide enough leaves to provide for anyone. Outside of Hawaii, Guam, PR and parts of south Florida(maybe Texas also) as well as US Virgin Islands we just don't have the amount of land nor conditions around for growing it as a commercially viable crop. Far far different than growing cannabis for states that may make it legal. If its made illegal federally then its pretty much gone from the US.


Q:

What would you like to share with people with more conservative thoughts on the matter and would like to continue the work at Gitmo?

Over the past years there has been conclusions by the scientific community that evaluated the effects of torture. Do you believe we are on a good track and will have better methodologies soon? If so, have you seen better measures and better processes implemented during your time?

A:

The one thing id suggest to this more conservative in nature, go see how much is spent(and continues to be spent) keeping it open. The same job could be done inside a US Supermax for a tiny percentage. The other thing that the conservative minded tend to think more about is veterans health. Go read the study that the DOD didn't want released about the mental health problems of service members being deployed there. Should that just continue?


Q:

Hey thanks for doing this AMA,

Did your wife come with you to Gitmo? If she did, do y'all live separately or was she one of your roomates? If she didn't, how did you guys cope with being far away? I assume internet access/speed isn't that great over there.

Also, what is there to do for down-time? If the theatre closed, you must get tired of the monotony day-in-and-out. I can only play Texas-Hold'Em so many times before getting bored.

A:

No she didn't. It wasn't the first time we had been apart, we got married in 2007 but didn't live together full time until I got back from a middle east deployment in 2008. Then lived together for 8 months when i deployed to Gitmo. Takes a very strong relationship and we were both a bit older by that point.

The beaches are amazing. Diving/Snorkling/surfing/video games/just hanging out in down time/great gyms and fitness programs.


Q:

What is your experience with Kratom? Do you use it regularly?

A:

Ive been taking Kratom daily(except for a 4 day break monthly) for almost 2 years now.


Q:

Are you worried that the new president elect will make Gitmo's conditions even worse than what they already are? If so, how? How do you think he will treat the issue of military mental health as well?

A:

I will always be worried about that until it closes. The President Elects comments recently are cause for some concern. As for how he could make it worse thats very difficult to say as it could vary wildly.

His nominee of a pretty solid VA secretary leads me to believe he may actually be concerned about veteran mental and physical health. Im going to just wait and see how that comes about.


Q:

Thank you!

A:

You are welcome.


Q:

Are there on-site counselors, psychologists, etc. available for the guards and military personnel (outside of any mental health clearance check-ups that might be required to continue working there)? Is the general attitude among the latter population one of "suck it up, this is part of the job" or is it more sympathetic?

From an aspiring mental health professional, thanks for your service and advocacy.

A:

Hard to explain what On Site would mean. Yes there are both mental health specialists and councilors available to some extent but it was never really encouraged it seemed. The study at the bottom of this article talks more about all your questions and better than I likely can.

https://news.vice.com/story/guantanamo-guards-have-high-rates-of-post-traumatic-stress-exclusive-documents-show


Q:

How did the guards feel about the prisoners being held without trial? I know that probably lots of them were very bad people but did it affect you that a lot of them were not receiving due process and were effectively being indefinitely held?

A:

It bothered many of us. When I went it was a year after the President had said it would close and they would seek trials in federal courts for many. That was part of why I volunteered to help hopefully see it closed, that plan obviously changed.


Q:

Have you read "Inside The Wire" by Erik Saar? If so, how accurate would you say it portrays Gitmo?

A:

Yes, its a good book and from what I understand it was accurate for when he was there and for where he worked in the camps.