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Actor / EntertainerI am Bassem Youssef, the "Jon Stewart of the Middle East!" Tickling Giants, the new movie about me, is out today on iTunes. AMA!

Jun 6th 2017 by BassemYoussef • 32 Questions • 7735 Points

My short bio: I was a freelance writer for outlets like Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Skeptic, and Huffington Post when I was invited to assist a faction of Anonymous that was assisting with the Tunisian revolution. Shortly afterwards Anonymous hackers stole 70,000 e-mails from an "intelligence contracting" firm that had put us under surveillance, thus exposing the Team Themis conspiracy whereby Palantir, HBGary Federal, and other firms with "black propaganda" capabilities had proposed hacking, disinformation, and intimidation of activist groups like Code Pink as well as Wikileaks and even its supporters, including Glenn Greenwald. Although one CEO had to resign, a Congressional investigation was quickly derailed and no one suffered any consequences (despite having planned DOS attacks, the exact thing for which Anonymous participants had been pursued for via heavily armed FBI raids after they took down MasterCard and Paypal websites for a few seconds in protest of their refusal to process donations to Wikileaks).

Thereafter I repurposed my online "think-tank," Project PM, to continue researching these firms and others like them, compiling our research on a wiki called Echelon2.org (since moved). The FBI eventually raided my home and my mom's house, with the search warrant listing our website and group as subjects of interest. Thereafter they threatened to indict my mother if I failed to cooperate; instead, I threatened to "ruin" the life of the lead agent, using the same tactics that HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr had planned to use against activists with the DOJ's blessing. Separately, I vowed to defend myself against any further raids. The two statements were conflated by the DOJ and used to indict me for threatening a federal agent, which actually requires one to make a violent, non-conditional threat, whereas I'd made one non-violent threat and one conditional threat.

Later, I was charged with 11 counts of aggravated identity theft for having copied and pasted a link from one chat room to another that I believed contained more e-mails, but which in fact included credit cards. I faced 22 years for that link alone, in addition to other charges. The DOJ later had to drop those and other charges, and I plead guilty to one count of internet threats, one of interference with a search warrant, and one of accessory after the fact (I called Stratfor, a company that had been hacked, and offered to help redact any e-mails that could put someone in danger). I was also ordered to pay over $800,000 in restitution to Stratfor.

There are several documentaries covering much of this, including Hacker Wars, We Are Legion, and Alex Winter's 18-minute film Relatively Free, as well as some pretty good articles at WhoWhatWhy and The Nation describing the other plots we uncovered and documented.

While imprisoned, I continued writing, doing a column called The Barrett Brown Review of Arts & Letters & Prison that was later picked up by The Intercept, and for which I won the National Magazine Award for commentary/columns in 2016.

I was released November of last year, and am now preparing a new project, called the Pursuance System, by which to build up a cohesive yet agile network of opposition to criminalize institutions while also helping activists and non-profits to cooperate more efficiently. You can read more about it here.

My Proof: Picture from last week sent to mods here. Here's a live video from my Facebook. Can resubmit that picture as well if needed.

EDIT 5:34 CST I'm going to run down to the store, but will be back in fifteen or twenty minutes to answer more questions.

EDIT Am back, and will continue to answer questions sporadically through the evening.

EDIT 9:00 PM EST I'm going to play some Team Fortress 2 for a bit and relax and whatnot but I'll be back to answer more questions later tonight, and will get to more tomorrow as well.

Q:

Hi Bassem. You are probably on a black list in Egypt and would be arrested if you were to land in Cairo Airport. My question is: Do you want to go back to Egypt and pursue your career there if you are removed from the black list or are you going to continue your career in the US even after that?

A:

Have you ever feared for your life while on the job because of weather?


Q:

How muscular should Chris be? RE5 (SUPER RIPPED) or RE1? (Normal guy.)

A:

What do you feel is the primary link between Odinism and ancient Nordic religious beliefs? On its face value they seem very different to me, and that's it's more of a "wild interpretation" of Viking Paganism from American men who are white supremacists. Almost like they're bored with neo-Nazism, occultism and satanism and this whole Viking thing sounds pretty cool. But it's extremely fascinating to compare an Islamic terrorist with an Odinist terrorist because they both interpret a religion in a way that it clearly wasn't meant to be interpreted. Which ends up being dangerous(not that Islam or Paganism are inherently dangerous because I don't feel they are). Hope this makes sense and thanks for doing this!


Q:

1)What path would you recommend for someone who wants to pursue a career in something Cyber security/Ethical Hacking related.

2)For someone with zero experience,and wants to get their foot into the field(Something related to Information Security) what certificates would you recommend for a beginner?

A:

Huge fan of your writing, Barrett. Your book 'Keep Rootin' for Putin' was ahead of the curve in calling out the bullshit of mainstream pundits. One of the points you make is that internet can be used as a force for good in order to fact-check all the nonsense they spout; all of their contradictory bullshit is now a matter of permant, public record.

How do you think the media landscape has changed since that book came out? with the rise of Breitbart and the like, and the sometimes-justified concerns over "fake news", it doesn't really seem like the media have gotten any more reliable over the past years.

Anyway, what the US government has done to you is a travesty and I wish you the best.

Also, go on Chapo


Q:

I don't think I'm going to be off the black list any time soon so I'm going to focus on doing things here in the States. I don't think there's an actual black list. Everything in Egypt is open for interpretation. There are no rules any more.

A:

When out in the weather, chasing or doing live shots I'm always worried about lightning. There is no warning, it just strikes. And usually I'm wired up to mic and earpiece so I feel like I'm a natural lightning conductor!


Q:

Matt: NEVER BUFF ENOUGH PUNCH EVERY ROCK INTO THE SUN

A:

This does make perfect sense and I think your analysis is spot-on


Q:

1) Watch CSI Cyber - kidding. Read...read...read. Stay current and know and understand the basics. Build on a strong foundation of understanding OS internals; learn how to code in C than go to Python, but understand it and not superficially. If you are a student and are preparing for university, look for a credible Cyber Security program, but also put the time in and explore on your own.

2) Certifications are not for everyone and some may not find them to be credible, practical, or relevant; however, there are a few that are strong and those are the certs that test your practical understanding of the subject matter, such as the OSCP or some of the SANS training offered for our field.

A:

Unfortunately, the mainstream press didn't really have the gravity or the integrity of action to prevent other, even worse outlets from popping up. Had the New York Times not continued to employ Thomas Friedman even after it became clear that he was less than worthless in terms of explaining world politics, they would have more room to make their own case. Same thing with the Washington Post and Charles Krauthammer, who, as I showed in an old Vanity Fair online piece, was wrong about every U.S. military engagement since Kosovo. Those aren't the only problems with these respectable national outlets, of course, but they're very telling regarding the cowardice of editors and publishers who continued to promote incompetent commentators simply because they've made some vague name for themselves.

And of course WaPo's failed attempt to identify some website that could sort out "fake news" is indicative of the chief fact of our press culture - that much of how it operates is haphazard at best, and that falsehoods can creep in to any outlets, regardless of pedigree, if its operators lose track of basic principles such as hiring competent people and firing competent ones. Personal relationships, inertia, ambition, and that sort of things are the chief problems facing our political press, rather than corporate interference or anything else of that sort.

EDIT:

Here's an incomplete case against Friedman; a more comprehensive argument as to why he represents a crisis of ethics within the legacy press may be seen in my free book, Keep Rootin' for Putin (the title of which is taken from an actual Friedman column from 2000). column


Q:

Hi,

What is your reply to all the Egyptians attacking you on social meda and telling you to stop commenting on the Egyptian politics because you left Egypt??

Thanks for this AMA, I hope the best for you Dr Bassem

A:

You might get super power tho.


Q:

Woo! Saw your tweet Matthew and was happily able to make the start of this AMA! I never catch the start of these things.

I have never really gotten into the Resident Evil franchise, Can i jump into this one without really knowing anything about the story (beyond zombies exist). Or should i just totally just binge everything resident evil between now and june 20th?

secondly Matthew care to give us critical role fans a sneak peak of anything special you have planned for the 100th episode of critical role on thursday?

A:

what was the strangest contradictory behavior you've seen among this group (e.g. they are big fans of Seinfeld and Drake)?


Q:

but for real csi cyber what a farce. I like how they always find a way passed the password thats usually bs.

A:

firing competent ones.

Should be firing incompetent ones I suspect


Q:

The same Egyptians attack people who live in Egypt when they criticize the country and tell them, "If you don't like the country, why don't you leave?"

A:

I think I'll pass on that chance, but super power would be awesome!


Q:

Matt: I don't think you need to know everything. If you want to get a quick primer you can take at the wikipedia for Resident Evil or just know that there are zombies and creatures that are spawned by viruses.

Can't let anything slip about Critical Role, you'll just have to tune in.

A:

I find it really interesting that a lot of these guys consider themselves "historians" and a lot of them are very (technically) smart, yet they ignore certain overwhelming evidence that would show their beliefs up as hateful and small-minded. That's pretty weird to me.


Q:

Whats the reason you stopped the program " Al Barnamij "? Sorry if this is posted somewhere, but I want to hear it from him.

A:

What would your lighting related superpower be?


Q:

Matt:

1) Build Leon as a DND character. What race, class, background, alignment, flaws, etc. would you put on his sheet?

2) What character would you imagine Leon would choose play if he sat down at a DND table?

Erin:

3) What is the best zombie survival advice you can dole out?

4) What was your funniest moment in the booth recording for Rebecca Chambers?

A:

Did you see any such instances where they seem self-aware of this?


Q:

So should we read metasploit's source code?

A:

In one of your recent D Magazine articles you noted "But most of all, I realized that journalism will not be enough to save this country." - can you elaborate on that Barrett? and also what does this mean about the future of your journalism? Thanks!


Q:

I think I answered this questions 100,000,000 times, but in short - I made jokes, the authorities didn't like the jokes, they shut me down.

A:

I think I would like to be able to warp time. Basically slow it down while still moving normally. Kind of like a guy version of Sway....lol


Q:

Matt: 1) Oh man... Human Fighter (Gunslinger), with a soldier background. Good alignment, flawed in the need to save others at the expense of his own safety. Fairly high Dex, Wis, and Cha. ;)

2) Hrmm... any class, so long as he could Feat into "Magic initiate" to get the Bard's Vicious Mockery.

3) I'm a bad person to ask, as I fully acknowledge I won't survive much into the first hour of the zombie apocalypse, hehe. Personally? Find the Alphas and let them lead. ;)

A:

No. Indeed, the opposite. A lot of people have painted themselves into a corner, intellectually.

Actually, that's not true. The case of Leo Felton/Leo Olamidu did show a lot of introspection. Leo turned his back on Odinism and white supremacy because he ultimately read and studied more and decided he'd been wrong.


Q:

J: I joined a security team by being interested in security. I was on a devops team and anytime I saw something that appeared to be a security concern I brought it up with our security team. I then later joined the team when they had an opening. So, depending on the company, one way you can break into the field is by being interested in security and working closely with the team. What sort of security role you move into will depend on your skills.

A:

Journalism is still necessary, but in a nation like the U.S. where the bulk of the citizenry is either fascist or unwilling to do their part to oversee the vast machinery of state that we support through our taxes and which inflicts vast harm at home and abroad, we're going to need a class of people who make up for the failures of the rest of the country. You can get a sense of what I mean by this by looking through the pursuance presentation; this is a framework that is intended to expand into a new and viable force by which to challenge systems from without.

Something along those lines, drawing upon the new ability of humans to collaborate in ways never before possible, is going to happen at some point anyway. We think this is the time to try it.


Q:

Hey a Bassem you came to visit us in Sydney a day after i went off to Egypt :(

anyhow out of all the countries you've travelled to in the last few years which country has been your favourite ?? Also what's your favourite Egyptian meal ??

A:

If you learn to do that, can you play RB for the Dolphins? Would really appreciate it.


Q:

Matt, who do you main in Super Smash Bros? Any game and how do you feel about Chrom not actually getting into Smash 4? Big fan!

A:

Have you found any evidence that ancient Nordic people were themselves racist?


Q:

Hi, 29 y old Admin Sys here. Reading this article make me think i should have chosen an other path. I understand how immersive it can be to do your job.

Well, maybe it's not too late to switch ;)

A:

I think the wording on your page should be written to be understood more by laymen


Q:

Sydney

Stuffed grape leaves

A:

Haha, that WOULD be awesome!


Q:

Matt: I lean Mewtwo in Melee, and Luigi in Brawl and later versions (because he's so f--king weird and I love it)

It's fine Chrom wasn't in it. We needed more badass female representation in Smash, and the Fire Emblem elements were quite the sausage fest.

A:

No, and indeed this is a bone of contention within Odinism -- whether there are actual overt references in the poetic eddas and other texts that could be identified as overt racism, or the supremacy of one race over another. Certainly most heathens don't believe there are any such points. But some racist heathens do.


Q:

W: I got my start uncapping cable modems, and decoding free to air television. Everyone has a little miscreant in them.

A:

The bobcat is in storage. I've got better trophies now, including the skull of a wild pig I shot years back.


Q:

Serious question. Do you think that the revolution did more harm than good? Would it have been better now, if it never have happened?

A:

I suggest keeping old slip on shoes in the drawer next to each bed. you cant move fast in bare feet in the dark with broken stuff all over the floor. Get lots of babywipes as they are awesome for keeping fresh when the water isnt working. And put photocopies of your IDs in your food emergency kit. Always keep your car petrol above half a tank.


Q:

Completely agree lol. I use Lucina as a main myself. Honestly, Female Corrin should've just been the main Corrin as well. Thank you so much for the reply!

A:

How do Odinists spread their message and maintain their network? Also how do you get these subjects to cooperate and talk to you? Are the interested because they want to promote their cause?


Q:

What are some media outlets (or individuals) that you think are providing the most credible political coverage at this time?

A:

No, the revolution is just a reaction to an already corrupt regime. If it didn't happen then, it would happen anyways.


Q:

Good suggestions!

A:

Aw Thank You! I'm a slower typer than Matt...ha! I loved working on all legs of this film. The whole cast was wonderful. And, I always love working with my brother Jason!


Q:

Good question. Mainly through social media, as well as through the prison system, where Odinism is VERY big. Lots of these guys become Odinists in prison. Most of the Odinists I talked to didn't want to talk to me, or anyone in the media. A few of them did. I'm sure there was some narcissism involved, but also these guys have very set beliefs that they're proud of. They're not ashamed and want to spread their word.

A:

WhoWhatWhy, The Intercept, Truth-Out are a few of the better outlets.


Q:

Hi Bassem, I used to love watching your show every week when it was on the air. Do you have any advice for people who feel like they want to make a difference in Egypt but don't see themselves going back?

A:

Does La Niña play any role?


Q:

Hey guys, this is a question for both. Matt, I know you do a lot of voice acting between anime, CR, and all sorts of games. Sorry Erin, but I'm not too familiar with your work. But do either of you ever find yourselves doing the voice for a character from something completely different by accident? Or do you just fall into a groove and "become" that character? Thanks!

A:

What surprised you most in your research?


Q:

What's your theory as to why the book was thrown at you in particular? Specifically, who do you figure made that decision and why?

A:

Work on themselves to become better at what they do. One day they can go back and serve the country when it's ready for them.


Q:

Yes, La Niña creates favorable conditions in the Atlantic for hurricanes by reducing wind shear that typically disrupts hurricanes. In fact, Florida sees about 40% more hurricane threats during La Niña years than El Niño years.

A:

Matt: Ha! Every now and then! Thankfully, when you return to voice a character you've already performed, they will play examples of your previous work to "dial you in" through call and repeat. This allows you to tune back in and match previous dialogue.


Q:

I think the breadth and spread of racist Odinism. I had no idea it was so prevalent. I had never even heard of Odinism before I started researching white supremacy.

A:

That's best demonstrated by the original search warrants, in which a grand jury was presented with spurious info to justify ongoing surveillance of my activities. Those are still sealed, but the eventual search warrant for the raid, which Michael Hastings posted on Buzzfeed, shows they were concerned with our investigations into the DOJ and FBI's criminal allies, such as HBGary Federal, and the site on which we compiled our research, echelon2.org (now moved). Here's that warrant.

Basically, as explained in several of the better articles, such as those by Glenn Greenwald, Christian Stork, and the like back in 2013 or so, the DOJ and FBI wanted me away from the internet for as long as possible, and pursued over a dozen charges they later had to drop in order to try to do that.

FBI officials get high-paying jobs with these sorts of companies when they leave public "service;" DOJ had been embarrassed by its connection to the companies we'd kept digging into; and they know full well that they can do most anything without real consequences.


Q:

Hi Dr. Youssef! Do you think the way that we cover terrorist attacks on US media emboldens extremists (with wall to wall 24-hour coverage)? If so, is there a more productive way?

A:

El Niño and La Niña are like two sides to the same coin. Together they are known as ENSO. When one is strong, the other is weak.


Q:

Question for Matthew: How do you feel about Leon not being a character in Resident Evil 7? I know your a fan of the series so one other question: What do you think of the new direction the series is taking with RE7 being in first person and going back to horror roots?

A:

Is this a US-based phenomenon, or does it have ties in Europe as well?

What is your favorite story you've covered outside of the hate report?


Q:

How does your Pursuance system check for and detect agent provocateurs or hostile parties intent on spying or corrupting a work group? Are there any plans to include vetting or granting status within a group – which would imply hierarchies, which might work against the equal collaboration roles.

What security (E2E encryption, TLS, PFS, etc) is planned, or is the system designed more for openness, broadcasting and social aspects?

Not casting shade: balancing security, authenticity and collaboration is a difficult task. :)

A:

Unfortunately this is what news cycles do to get ratings. They are in a tough position because if they don't cover it, others will. What emboldens extremists is that people start to change they're style of life and let that change their daily routines.


Q:

Mostly correct. Both can be strong but they are basically opposites. They have a profound effect on the Atlantic hurricane season.

A:

Matt: I think the franchise definitely needed an injection of new narrative, so I wasn't let down at all not having him in there. I do sincerely hope they eventually loop back into the original RE stories/characters with the themes and classic horror elements that RE7 brought back in. (also, I just want to be able to be Leon again, hehe)


Q:

There are certainly ties to this is Europe. For example, the story examines the case of Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway. Breivik self-identifies as an Odinist.

My favorites story outside this one was my lengthy investigation of pedophile priests in the Catholic Church who moved to South America and continued preaching: https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-09-17/fugitive-fathers-how-vatican-s-alleged-sex-abusers-hide-and-preach-south-america

A:

Each pursuance has a variety of security options by which to minimize the problem of hostile parties, aside from the conventional encryption tools; chief of all, one can set their pursuance to be opaque to those who aren't members. The structure itself of the average pursuance, which grows on the margins, is far more difficult to effectively infiltrate than the IRC chat rooms that Anon used, which anyone can just drop into for the most part (and did).

Granting status is actually a big part of the system. Everyone is equal when they join the system in the sense that they all have equal rights to create pursuances and apply to join others; at the same time, everyone who creates a pursuance has the right to define how it functions, which will often includes divisions of labor and even hierarchies. Anyone who dislikes that sort of thing can create a pursuance, give full rights to other participants, and attract others who prefer that method. And pursuances of very different organizing principles can still collaborate with each other to the extent that each one agrees to do so.

More info on the exact technical aspects, including what security is involved, will be put out before the minimum viable product is released.


Q:

What about being a surgeon prepared you for comedy?

Are there challenges that cross over with those two careers?

Which (comedy or surgery) was more challenging to master?

A:

How does El Niño work?


Q:

To Matthew Mercer: I'm a fan of your Critical Role show, thank you for the creative entertainment! I'm curious if you're a Harry Potter fan? (I don't know much about DnD, but I recognize a lot of the creatures because of my Harry Potter obsessive tendencies.) Keep up the amazing work!

A:

However, Brevik specifically says "I believe in the only God, Odin" which is a direct contradiction to ancient Nordic religion which was polytheistic. On the same note, these self professed Odinists have seemingly no ties to Scandinavia as they're from America and express their belief in monotheism. Your thoughts?


Q:

Hey Barrett, mod of /r/WikiLeaks here.

Any thoughts on the work WikiLeaks has done, past or present?

How do you see leaks, whistleblowing, and hacks shaping the future of governments and companies?

Do you still plan on leaving the US in the near future?

Thanks for doing this AMA.

A:

Surgery made me a much harder working person, a nerd, a perfectionist.

Both have different challenges - you either have to mess up with someone's life, or you have to live with a life of rejection in entertainment.


Q:

It's a pretty complex process involving ocean forcing and wind surges and it's not completely understood or forecast well. Basically it is abnormally warm water in the east Pacific near the equator. It has profound influences on the weather patterns around the world and is the second highest weather signal (maker) over than the tilt of the earth/change of seasons.

A:

Matt: I enjoy HP quite a lot! I fear I've only read the first book, and followed through with the films thereafter (free time to read seems to escape me far too often)


Q:

I disagree with your point about monotheism in America. Most of the Odinists I've communicated with are polytheists. They have just zeroed in on Odin as their "primary" god. And your point about Breivik is interesting since it does, indeed, seem contradictory. I'd like to learn more about his beliefs.

A:

I was an early supporter of Wikileaks, and continue to support the leaking of files from any state or other institution that engages in criminal activity on a large scale.

I have no doubt that leaking, as well as hacking by various ideologically-motivated groups, will become more common in the coming years.

Yes, I will not remain in the United States after my term of probation is up. Most likely I will move to Berlin or Iceland, at which point I'll revoke my citizenship.


Q:

Hi Bassem, what's your favourite Game of Thrones character?

A:

Do you see Sharknado scenario happening any time soon?


Q:

Wow, I'm here near the start of one of these things! That's a surprise!

Well, since I'm here so early, I might as well be "that guy": Matt, as the voice of Leon, any juicy details on the RE2 Remake? Maybe an E3 trailer? Something?

Since I know the answer to that question will not be as interesting as I hope it will be, I've got another one too. With how good Leon and the other RE "vets" are at surviving now, do you think there will ever be a game that skews more toward horror rather than action starring one of them? Whether it's classic RE style or even something similar to RE7. Or are they just too good to be solving puzzles and awkwardly shuffling around zombies?

A:

Hi Will, when we published this piece on Public Radio International (PRI) https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-05-25/white-supremacists-are-killing-name-ancient-nordic-religion some felt that the piece made a blanket statement about this religion. One comment stood out on our FB page: Implying that Odinism IS the ancient Norse religion is much like implying that the Salafist Islam practiced by Isis IS Islam. Reductive, insulting, potentially dangerous, and evidence of research-free clickbait journalism How would you respond?


Q:

What do you think of Anonymous these days?

A:

Tyrion Lannister. How could you go wrong with that guy?


Q:

Hmmm, Sharknado season is almost over so I think we are done for now.

A:

Matt: Honestly, I am currently not involved with the RE2 Remake, so you are as in the dark about it as I am!

As to your second question, I certainly hope so! I love the Survival Horror roots of the series, and I think RE6 was a learning experience for all those involved. Fingers crossed!


Q:

This is certainly the main criticism I've received: Several mainstream heathens are upset that this radical strain of their religion gets so much attention. And they wonder why mainstream heathenism isn't covered more by the mainstream press. My job, however, is to cover hate and extremism. And there's no question that racist Odinists are a real and credible threat to the American public. I therefore wholeheartedly defend the choice to cover this group. I think it's an important story. And I believe I make very clear in the piece that these people are a small subset of the broader heathen population!

A:

I'm not sure that it even really exists in any measurable form anymore, at least as compared to 2011, when the NSA chief felt the need to drum up paranoia about its capabilities and it was a driving force behind opposition to the intelligence community's expanding, unchecked powers. As you can see from the pursuance project, I'm more interested now in using process-based frameworks, where roles and duties can be clearly defined and agreed upon (and also less visible to intelligence contractors and other members of the state-corporate criminal class). There were a number of problems with how Anonymous operated, even aside from the FBI infiltration, and it's best at this point to think more in terms of moving the ball forward rather than trying to restore the past.


Q:

Hello Bassem, * I have a final exam of medical signs tomorrow and I still have 400 pages to learn. What did you do if you were in my place? * I ask if you think that you can return to Egypt one day. Also, would you present the Carthage Film Festival Closing Ceremony another time?

A:

That's what they thought before Sharknado 3


Q:

Firstly, I'd like to say how thankful I am for your talents being used in what I hope to be an excellent film.

To the both of you, Id like to ask for some advice. What would you say to a young aspiring voice actor/regular actor fresh out of high school? What can I do to improve my skills and begin breaking into the industry?

A:

What are some examples of the religion that haven't been co-opted by this radical faction?


Q:

(and also less visible to intelligence contractors and other members of the state-corporate criminal class)

What methods do you intend to use to make these roles less visible?

A:

Study, and stop logging onto social media.

I hope to return.

If I was invited to host it again I would do it.


Q:

That's a good point but there are always outliers. Can't forecast those....

A:

Matt: Improv training is HUGE, imo. Cold reading is a majority of the job for most Voice Over, so focus on the ability to quick spot-read a script, interpret details quickly and make bold choices.


Q:

Good question. I would definitely check out Heathens United Against Racism, as well as other mainstream heathen groups. In general, I have found that anyone identifying themselves specifically as "Odinist" or "Wotanist" tends to be more likely to be of a racist or extremist persuasion than someone who identifies as "Asatru" or simply "heathen." That's not cut and dry, but it's a good rule of thumb.

A:

The entities that people work with will use a variety of end-to-end encryption tools and cannot be joined just by anyone with no vetting, as could be done with the average Anonymous chat room and message board. Some features, such as LeapChat, a zero-knowledge chat program, are already planned for inclusion; others will be decided upon over the next couple of months as the framework is built.


Q:

Umm... would you rather fight: one elsisi-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized elsisi?

A:

How will budget cuts to NOAA hinder your job and public safety when predicting/tracking hurricanes?


Q:

Erin can you tell us what your character will be like? How was it working with Matt and the others?

A:

How does this jive with fascists who coyly inject their propaganda on the technicality they believe differentiates racism from fascism? Is it possible that HUAR is still a fascist organization, despite their purported opposition to racism?


Q:

Hello Barrett,

I'm not American, but when hearing about the charges against you (sadly well after the fact), I was infuriated by what seemed to be clear malice and intimidation by the state. I wondered how you managed to keep your spirits up in those circumstances (besides writing those excellent columns)? Wanted to wish you the best of luck with your new project and to say well done for making it through what must have been a very difficult period.

A:

If I wasn't a vegan, I would eat one elsisi-sized duck.


Q:

Well, this year there are no cuts so that's a good thing and we also have a new, super tech satellite (GOES-16) up there to use this year. My concern with budget cuts would be in the areas of hurricane research more than forecasting. The brilliant men and women that do research help advance the science of hurricane forecasting each year. It isn't sexy work but it is needed and well worth it. So any budget cuts, IMHO have a long term detrimental impact to us.

A:

E: Hi! Rebecca is awesome. You guys are going to love her. I hope! She is strong, but sweet. And, fiercely smart. I loved playing her.


Q:

What do you mean "still a fascist organization?" Where does that come from?

A:

I had a lot of support that most people who fall prey to this system don't have, and even when I was facing decades in prison, I had my personal interests - reading history, writing humor and agitprop - to keep me busy. Happiness and security are highly relative.


Q:

Hi Bassem! Have you ever regretted being a Comedian and considered getting back to being a heart surgeon?

A:

Hi Craig! We miss you in Colorado Springs. Do you find it more challenging forecasting in Florida or Colorado?


Q:

What was both of yours first VO gig and how did you come across it?

A:

It was poorly worded. This is the first I have heard of HUAR, so I'm merely asking if you think it's possible that HUAR might have fascist interests in some regards, despite their purported stance against racism. My implied claim is that there are fascists vocally standing out against racism, not that HUAR might be fascist or racist, but only questioning the possibility and your knowledge on the matter.


Q:

A friend wants to know if you are single. She has a thing for nerdy ex-cons. Are you single?

A:

Never


Q:

Awww, I miss you guys too. That was one of the best places I have ever lived. At least if I was going to move, I was able to trade the mountains for the ocean. Both places have unique forecast challenges but I miss having a forecast for snow and tornadoes all on the same day. Don't get that in Florida.

A:

Matt: It was doing background Walla voices for the old Fist of the North Star animated series. Heads exploding, Guy #3 shouting, etc. Came across it through accident, and was overwhelmed. It was enough to make me seriously think about pursuing it in the future.


Q:

No, I don't think that's their aim at all. HUAR, from my knowledge of it, works simply to dispel the myth that ALL Odinists/people interested in Asatru and heathenry are racist.

A:

Yes, I'm single.


Q:

Hi ya Bassem,

Wa7eshna kteer and we miss you on our screen.

Recently there has been talk in Egypt about Khaled Ali running for president against Sisi, while the chances of him winning are slim at best, I think it is good that someone from a revolutionary background is trying to stir something in the stagnant situation in Egypt.

My question is, if you were asked, will you be willing to give support to someone like Khaled? Also how long do you think the situation will stay the same before something changes? BTW, how did you spend the 5 billion :D :D ?

P.S. Hope to see you on a TV show in the States soon, as an Egyptian who lives in Boston, you're making the Egyptian community proud of you.

A:

Favorite kind of beer to drink on a hot summer day?


Q:

Was that "Yearrrgh" with three "r's" or four?

A:

Another reader really wished that people wouldn't go around thinking that everyone with a Viking tattoo is a racist.


Q:

Hi Barrett. Two questions for you:

  1. I've noticed that your "Pursuance Project" attacks the decentralized analysis problem from the angle of formalizing collaborative relationships and roles, rather than organizing and enhancing the complex work to be done. I find this an interesting choice. What are your motivations behind choosing this direction for your project?
  2. There are other questions I have—some like this, some a bit more controversial. Would you be open to further discussion via your recently published email address?
A:

It's always good to have some activity in a stagnant political scene like ours. However you can't have fair elections when the military is controlling everything and calling the shots. I will still support him out of principle.


Q:

Hmmmm, depends where I am. In the Bahamas Kalik! In the US I am more of a Hefeweizen snob.

A:

E: I am going to ditto what Matt said. About the respect and hell yes if it's encouraged!


Q:

Absolutely. I'm in daily contact with heathens who are extremely frustrated about this portrayal of their religion. I would just say that I hope mainstream heathenism gets more attention in the future. It's a legitimate religion with millions of dedicated followers.

A:
  1. Actually, if you look at what the presentation says, we're also going to be creating actual pursuances that we'll be designing, and so I'll be carrying on the same kind of work that I used to do, but better organized. It's just that in addition to that, we're also giving other people the tools to easily manage other projects and collaborate on various things in whatever way they choose.

  2. If you have questions, post them here.


Q:

Wa7shak masr?

A:

I'd like to suggest Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen Ale from Lonerider Brewing Company.


Q:

A simple question. Your favorite animals?

A:

Difference between pagan and heathen, in your opinion?

Also, did you work with Randy Blazak at all in researching this ?


Q:
  1. That's good to know, but I didn't ask whether you were planning to lead investigations. I asked why you were focusing your tool-building on tools for organizing humans into roles, rather than tools for better intelligence analysis or fact finding.
  2. What tools do you intend to provide in the pursuance kit, aside from pre-existing comms tools bundled for fast deployment?
  3. The roles-based organization of pursuances sounds like something that could benefit from smart contracts. Are you implementing anything like smart contracts to enforce roles and task completion? If not, why?
  4. How do you expect to prevent a slow degradation of competence and quality as the network extends outward from yourself, without specific task and analysis oriented tools, or are there some in development that you've neglected to mention at this time?
A:

The Egypt that I miss, in my opinion, is not there any more.


Q:

Thanks, I'll try it!

A:

Matt: Hrmm... the Huggi. A corgi-husky mix.

Erin made me clarify.


Q:

I did speak to Randy. As for the difference, I'm not entirely qualified to say.

A:
  1. We're also incorporating tools for analysis, including Transparency Toolkit, but that's not our chief focus, which is getting people to use these tools in the first place in a coordinated way.

  2. We don't have a final list yet, which will be available when we're closer to launching.

  3. We are indeed.

  4. The structure itself minimizes the problem of less competent people joining over time, as each pursuance is something of a "filter." This is explained a bit more in some of the other documentation that will be up this month.


Q:

Hello! I really like your work <3 My question is: How do you feel the recent tendency of comedians holding back less than they did before the US elections?

A:

What is the craziest thing you have seen on the job?


Q:

Hi Matt and Erin!!

If you were Luchadors what would your gimmicks be?

A:

Onan. Hence the word "onanism".


Q:

Which blockchains are you looking at using?

EDIT: Just wanted to add that I'm a huge fan of your work. You are hilarious. And relevant. Such a great combination.

A:

It's not a recent tendency. It's always been there. Thank George W Bush for 8 years.


Q:

Ha! In TV or in the weather field? In TV some crazy stuff happens behind the scenes. The craziest was when I first started and I was supposed to have maps behind me, instead I was in a farm field. Also once on a live shot the lawn sprinklers came on and I was soaked within seconds.....ON LIVE TV! With weather I used to chase tornadoes and I've seen some crazy weather stuff.

A:

Matt: I would think my gimmick would be narrating my movesets and attacks in realtime.


Q:

You've totally lost me, I'm afraid :)

A:

That's being determined by our more technical core people; I know very little about blockchains other than what I've read in magazines.


Q:

Hi Bassem,

Looking forward at watching the show! I became a fan, your sense of humour is great!

You have always been dubbed as the 'Jon Stewart of Egypt' and it cracks me up every time I see that one show where you invite Jon. My question is: was he your sole inspiration for doing your own show? Or did you have other influences that helped you start to become a comedian?

A:

Way to just tease the awesome part at the end. There aren't ad breaks! No cliffhangers!


Q:

Hi!!! So thrilled you guys were able to make an AMA. Huge fan here, especially of Rebecca since i was like 7yo! and then playing as Leon as a 9yo. Thank you both so much for the delivery you make to every game. Greeting from Mexico!

now..

A question for both of you: What was your most exciting moment that you took part with in the video games?

A:

Will,

You talk a lot about these individuals becoming radicalized in prison. In your research, did you find anything to suggest Odinists groups were also showing up on college campuses? "Identity Evropa" posted fliers all over my school and I just wonder if this group is related to the ones you looked at.


Q:

Huge fan. Read all your output from prison. I think I sent you a book a few years ago & donated to your fund. Might have been Hammond and/or Weev, maybe all 3. I didn't keep good records. I have so many questions & don't expect you to answer all:
1) How much shit am I in for donating to you? I have been reading about how your donor list was accessed by USA LE. I assume the worst.
2) Thoughts on Jeremy Hammond?
3) Did you watch "The Hacker Wars?" thoughts?
4) Did you watch "We Are Legion?" thoughts?
5) Have you decided which country you want to live in?
6) How much do you still owe in restitution? Any chance of getting that reversed? It really pisses me off that you owe money to an entity I consider evil.
7) Do you believe certain USA orgs like NSA / CIA / FBI are monitoring this AMA?
8) Vaping. How are you liking it? (I am an expert in vaping. Happy to offer any advice to you. IMO total smoking replacement)
9) Thoughts on the current state of journalism? Do you believe it to be mostly dead? CNN? Fox News? is it just choose your side and reside in your preferred echo chamber flavor? Do you have any news sources that you consider to be actually fair?

I just signed up for Pursuance Systems. Best of luck with it. We need shit like this. IMO so many of us were "down to ride" when Anonymous was a thing. If you can capture that initial ethos of fighting evil and properly organize the humans that share said ethos, we could change this shit. Best of motherfucking luck good sir.

A:

Jon was the main inspiration, followed by Stephen Colbert (who also came from Jon's show). Jon's impact was amazing.


A:

Matt: Finally seeing the E3 trailers for RE6 and seeing Leon's face talking with my own voice. It was such an incredible moment for me, having been a fan of the character for so long. <3


Q:

I did not look into the spread of Odinism on campuses. That could be a good follow-up! I'm well aware of Identity Evropa, and have written about them, but I don't believe they're affiliated with any heathen traditions/religion. I would be very interested to hear about active Odinist groups on campus, if you learn about them!

A:
  1. That's hard to say. Your donation to my legal fund wasn't illegal, whereas their illicit measures to obtain the info on donors was quite arguably illegal and unconstitutional on several grounds, which is why a law firm took the case and filed against them a few months back. On the other hand, you're certainly now known to elements of the state as someone who supports those who oppose the state's criminality. But they've got plenty of people to worry about as it is, so I wouldn't be too concerned.

  2. I worked with Hammond on a number of occasions back in the day and respected his commitment, though we disagreed on some aspects of what exactly our mission was.

  3. I've seen The Hacker Wars. I'll note that its depiction of Weev as an activist is rather silly. He got a bad deal, but Weev is essentially a troll and has been since I first met him in 2006 at Encyclopedia Dramatica.

  4. Yes. Pretty comprehensive narrative on what Anonymous was, what it did, and why it matters.

  5. Either Germany or Iceland, most likely.

  6. I owe something like $870,000 to several corrupt organizations, including Stratfor, which spied on Bhopal activists on behalf of Union Carbide and cooperates with the FBI and Coca-Cola against lawful U.S. activists, among other things. No, the judge has already ruled and we can't appeal.

  7. Probably not.

  8. I love it.

  9. That's something I can't answer thoroughly enough here, but in general, I do not believe that the press, in its current state, is capable of performing its role as the watchdog of a complex imperial republic, and I don't see any reason why it should get better in the near future, though one never knows.


Q:

Hi Bassem, Masr btsalem 3lek!!

I'm really disgusted by the way many Egyptians accuse you of conspiracy against Egypt just because you made fun of someone. It must have been a bad experience for you and your family. Do you sometimes regret your decisions and wish you just remained a cardiac surgeon?

Also, any chance we'll see a 2nd season of "The Democracy Handbook"? Was the first one a success?

A:

You...chase storms and tornadoes for a living...and the craziest thing that's happened is getting soaked by a sprinkler?


Q:

Matt: What is your opinion the relationship of Ada and Leon? Does Leon miss or mention Ada at all in Vendetta?

Erin: Does Rebecca ever say her famous "OH NO!" line in Vendetta? lol

A:

There has been an occasional attempt by some of the white supremacist Odinists to participate in neopagan festivals. They have not been well-received, and I think they've been asked to leave more than one.


Q:

What kinda stuff did you an hammomd disagree on when it came to what your mission was/is?

A:

I don't regret my decisions. I think the internet harassment comes with public exposure. There is no second part to The Democracy Handbook.


Q:

That's the craziest thing that has happened LIVE on TV. I have seen baseball sized hail, a flash flood of hail and rain washing cars off the road, lightning that struck near the road and created a steam geyser.

A:

Matt: Leon and Ada have a very interesting, complicated relationship. What romance that is there is peppered with mistrust, yearning, and playful denial. I imagine he misses elements of her, and REALLY doesn't miss others.


Q:

This is true. I have heard about this too.

A:

He was in to dumping the credit card numbers of random Stratfor customers onto the internet and I wasn't.


Q:

Hi Bassem, Nice to see you back here again. Last time you were here, we made it clear that we are friends :)

I've followed everything you've done especially after El Bernameg. During and after El Bernameg the country was heavily divided.

Do you ever feel that you can go back and do what you were doing again if the circumstances allowed?

Do you think people will follow into your footsteps too if the circumstances allowed. (God damn those circumstances)

A:

With a Hefeweizer.


Q:

This is a question for either of you. As someone looking to get into voice acting, what would you recommend as the best way to start?

A:

Did you know that an Oklahoma inmate was executed in 2012 and his last words included "Valhalla, Odin slay the beast"? http://www.reuters.com/article/us-execution-oklahoma-idUSTRE80424R20120106


Q:

Do you prefer writing or public speaking more?

And, your letters from prison were inspired, interesting and hilarious. How many hours and drafts do you typically spend for articles of that length?

How often do you get writer's block, or are you one of those super-annoying people for whom words just flow?

A:

For the circumstances to change a lot has to happen, it's not just the change of a president. There's a whole deep state, a whole corrupt institution, and I don't think they're going away any time soon.


Q:

Hahaha

A:

Matt: Training in any forms of performing arts you can that pertain to acting. Scene study, character study, cold reading, etc. Theater lends skills to VO more than others, I find. The "Acting" is more important than the "Voice", imo.


Q:

I came across this case during my research. I didn't include it since the murder was not "terrorism" per se. The inmate spent a lot of time incarcerated, which means he almost certainly was confronted with Odinism repeatedly. Odinism is extremely common and popular in prisons.

A:

I actually prefer speaking, either on tv/radio interviews or in front of audiences. I'm sort of inclined to demagoguery, I'm afraid. Like Nixon, I want to make love to the people.


Q:

Do you still have hope that Egypt will be a democratic and free country in the next 10 years ?

A:

What are some of the major improvements you have seen in the last 20 or so years that have helped improve Tornado forecasting? Is it primarily radar based or software modeling improvements etc?


Q:

Matt! I always look forward to hearing any roles you do and you're fantastic and really pretty.

As a DM- Do you like to write in reaction to what your players do, or do you craft a sort of linear story and hope you can get your players to follow it?

Also- As a player, who is your favorite unimportant NPC your party has made a big deal over?

A:

What other stories are you working on for the near future?


Q:

Hi Barrett Brown.

Let me first say thank you for your work. Your Reviews Of Arts and Letters and Prison are one the best thing I've ever read. It reminded me of Homage to Catalonia, except that you have a great sense of humor.

Now, have you chosen some of the technologies that the Pursuance project will use to make it somewhat resistant to surveillance and attack yet? Do you think it will use onion routing for example?

Will you soon give us some news about that incredible red-bearded Texan that you met in prison?

Best wishes.

A:

Yes. What is happening now is not sustainable.


Q:

There are several fronts in tornado forecasting but surprisingly, tornado warning skill has decreased a little bit since there has been an effort not to make too many false alarms. So that means some storms are "underwarned". I think Dual Pole Doppler radar is really state of the art and now we are waiting for models and model ensembles to keep catching up.

A:

E: I didn't use anyone's performance. I actually have only seen pictures of Rebecca. I'm so excited to be playing her in her 30's. You guys haven't seen her since she was a teenager! I hope you like it as much as I loved playing her. :)


Q:

I don't want to scoop myself :) I'm interested in several elements of what we have broadly termed "hate in America." I'm still looking into white supremacists/white separatists, as well as other extremists.

If you have any story ideas or tips, please send them my way! [email protected]

A:

The only specific security tool I can definitely say will be included in the system at this point is Leapchat, which was created by one of our core people. Other software will be integrated, but we don't have a final list yet.


Q:

Haven't seen you workout recently ? What do you do for exercise now ? Still a vegan ?

A:

Did you ever study weather near Bermuda Triangle ?


Q:

Hi Matt and Erin! Is really nice to see such talented people as you guys in Resident Evil.

Here are my questions (sorry for the bad english. I hope you can understand me!)

Matt: How is it to play Leon one more time? Is he different from what we saw in Resident Evil 6?

Erin: We haven't seen Rebecca in a long time. She was a very delicate but brave girl. How is she in RE Vendetta?

Kisses from Brazil!

PS to Matt: I started playing DnD with my boyfriend because of you!

A:

Their religion sounds like blend of Wicca and Christianity.


Q:

When you say leap chat are you referring to https://leapchat.co?

A:

Yes, still a vegan. Trying out yoga and pilates.


Q:

I have been in the triangle, a lot of weird natural things going on there so it seems like it's not a good place to be lost (or stuck on a boat).

A:

Matt: I relish it. He's one of my personal favs, and means quite a lot to me. He's certainly reeling still from the events of Damnation and RE6, so prepare for that emotional baggage.

Also, that's awesome! Enjoy your game!


Q:

Yes, but remember the racist extremists are the minority. I would say they have co-opted the religion to their own ends.

A:

No, this is something else.


Q:

What was the biggest culture shock you had when you visited the US? Which one still shocks you?

A:

Cool, Thanks for replying. I have one more question for you if you don't mind can i know what was the most difficult thing that you ever face in your job ?


Q:

Hey Matt, big fan and I've loved your work across everything Blizzard related, and beyond!

I have three, you can pick and choose if you want.

1) What got you really interested in voice acting, and kept you going? 2) How did you go about practicing and getting better at voice acting? 3) Have you ever thought about going back to facial hair? You could cosplay as McCree at cons!

Thanks for the enjoyment you bring!

A:

Have you come across Varg Vikernes in any of your studies? I'm a big Burzum fan but despise Varg because he says things exactly like what you described


Q:

What's worse. Prison rape or prison food?

A:

After living all my life in the Middle East, nothing can ever shock me.


Q:

Seriously, losing my voice. I don't have a strong TV (deep anchorman) voice anyway so when it goes I feel like my thoughts are trapped....lol It may sound strange but when your job is to communicate, if you can't, it's frustrating.

A:

Matt: Thanks, friend!

1) My love of cartoons and video games merging with my love of theater. 2) Many, MANY classes and workshops over the years while performing on stage whenever I could. Improv helped tremendously. Cold-reading and reading outloud when alone. 3) I have, but many projects I have going on require facial mocap, and I need to shave for those... it's frustrating.


Q:

That's not a name I know, no. But I have seen lots of people on social media who call themselves "Varg." Can you tell me more about him?

A:

I never really minded raping people, so I guess the food.


Q:

What's the best solution to bring peace and prosperity to the middle East, including Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and dealing with Islamic extremism? Bonus points if it doesn't involve heavy handed US intervention.

A:

deep anchorman voice you mean like all state commercial dude "Are you in good hand?" deep?


Q:

Erin: in case Matt hasn't already invited you to make a guest appearance in Critical Role, would you? I'm sure you'd have loads of fun...what class would you pick?

A:

He's a Norwegian black metal musician who played in Burzum and Mayhem briefly. He's probably more famous for being involved in church burnings and the murder of a fellow musician.

Once in jail he started being way more vocal about these bizarre beliefs surrounding ancient Nordic religion and white supremacy (and, specifically, the "Jewishness" of modern Christianity). He invokes Baldur a lot and was briefly in jail for hate speech in France as well as illegal guns, I believe.

He has a YouTube channel called ThuleanPerspective where he talks a lot about what you've mentioned. He was also pretty influential in the development of National Socialist Black Metal, I believe, despite white supremacy mostly not coming up in his actual music.

Edit: admittedly, I'm not an expert on National Socialist Black Metal because it sounds altogether horrible to me, so I could be misstating his influence on the genre.


Q:

Savage reply. 😂😂

On the other note : How hard was it for you to find a job once you were out of prison?

When and what made you interested in this private intelligence business?

What do you think about the tv show person of interest which goes along a similar theme about private intelligence and government surveillance systems?

A:

Getting our own secular societies that don't answer to religious or military fascism.


Q:

EXACTLY!!!!

A:

E: Ha! I just showed him the question and told him I would love to be part. :)


Q:

Thanks very much for the information. I had not come across him in my research but his views sound very similar to what I am seeing espoused by racist Odinists across the US and Europe. I will certainly take a look at him. Much appreciated.

A:

I had a job writing columns for The Intercept even while I was in prison, which I'll continue again shortly, and got a pretty lucrative book deal shortly after being released. Also I worked for D Magazine covering city council while I was still on halfway house as I was required to hold a 40-hour-a-week job, job, job-type job.

I got interested in private intelligence contractors when they started coming after me, spying on our assistance efforts to Egyptians that we were running out of Project PM's IRC in coordination with Anonymous. Things escalated from there.

I'm not familiar with that program. I play games, mostly, and don't watch much TV, except for Twin Peaks.


Q:

Hi Bassem! Really love your work, and since I know a lot of things about you already (researched), I will ask questions that are unrelated to your occupation(s).

  • How do you like your eggs?

  • What's your favorite English TV Show & Movie?

  • Do you prefer living in the west or back home?

  • How do you respond to hateful comments towards your ethnicity?

  • What's your favorite dank meme?

  • Aside from AMA's, do you use reddit?

That's all, can't wait to see more of your work!

A:

Well once again thanks for answering.


Q:

Just wanted to say thank you all for taking the time to answer all these questions!

Matt: How do you find time to sleep? It seems like you're everywhere doing everything!

Everyone: What's your favorite sandwich and beverage?

A:

What do you feel like draws people towards Odinism as opposed to traditional white supremacy? Are there parallels between Al-Qaeda/ISIS where one is a more extreme version of the other?


Q:

what do you thin kof the situation in venezuela?

A:

Yes, but I'm vegan.

Frasier.

LA is amazing.

I ignore them.

It changes every 5 minutes.

No


Q:

Welcome!

A:

Matt: The nutrient broth that maintains my consciousness also keeps the majority of sleep necessity at bay.

Sandwich - French Dip with Au Jus. Beverage - Thai Iced Tea.


Q:

Regarding your first question, here's a snippet from my story that sums it up well, I think:

"Odinism is a perfect fit for a strain of white supremacists and neo-Nazis who think Christianity, like so many other institutions, has been corrupted by outsiders and weakened by passivity.

Today’s racist Odinists say it is the only pure religion for white people, one not “mongrelized” by the Jewish prophet Jesus. They see themselves as warriors, ready to reclaim America for the white race and fight against a white genocide, driven by Jews, that has left the greatest country on Earth in tatters."

Regarding the second question, yes, absolutely. Racist/extremist Odinists are a radical subset of a wide group, most of whom don't have a racist bone in their body.

A:

The non-liberal left - the left that denounces free association and individual liberty as "neo-liberalism" - gave in to the temptation to pursue their goals through means of an unaccountable and coercive state, and disregarded the well-established laws of supply and demand in a way that we've seen over and over again through the last hundred years, and now we're seeing the results.


Q:

did you struggle in medical school ? I find it incredibly boring and you of all people make me feel that it is not worth it seeing that you had an amazing career as a host I doubt very seriously that medicine really made any impact in your life in the long run .

A:

What is the very best cheese?


Q:

Do zombies have feelings? And did you hurt them?

A:

Thanks. Very interesting story. Wonder if they all went and saw Thor together.


Q:

What do you think of the DNC Leaks?

A:

Everyone struggles in medical school. It's a character builder and helped me in my TV career.


Q:

I prefer Vermont Cheddar.

A:

Matt: Don't care. ::loads shotgun::


Q:

Actually, a lot of racist Odinists actively boycotted Thor because of the casting of Idris Elba in the movie!

A:

I'm in favor of any leaks that reveal corruption within institutions.


Q:

Hey Bassem, love your work.

I am impressed by how seamlessly your humor translates to both Arabic and English audiences. Do you find it just as easy to write or improv comedy bits in English..?

A:

What actually happens at hurricane workshops? Also if you don't live in the area but happen to be stuck in a new place where there's a hurricane, what should you do?


Q:

That's probably the best answer to this question! Haha love you guys! :D

A:

How do they rationalize "reclaiming America for the white race" when the white race were not the original settlers/occupiers of North America?


Q:

Do you think they'll ever catch AVunit?

A:

Not at all. I'm still learning the craft.


Q:

The workshops usually go over the latest research advances, new forecasting techniques, all kinds of things on communication. There is a lot of emphasis on messaging because even if the forecast is perfect, if no one gets the correct message, it doesn't matter.
In a new place it's important to listen to the messages from the local emergency managers, probably those on TV. I always try to live by "local knowledge is the best when you're new to an area"

A:

E: Well I am going to have to go with Leon, of course!


Q:

Yeah this is an interesting one. I have tried asking this a few times. There are some who believe (and this has been rejected by almost everyone) that white people were somehow in North America before anyone else. Others argue that white men took America by force, using their "superior" strength, intelligence, etc. They say white people have to fight against new invaders, but they're fine with the fact that white people invaded in the first place.

A:

They'll never catch the midnight rider.


Q:

In your opinion Dr. Bassem , What's really behind The current Qatar isolation ? and Why the four countries ? And do you think Israel would make a move about that ?

A:

How do you feel about the US potentially backing out of the climate change agreement?


Q:

Hi Matt!

Big fan of both RE and Critical Role (and many of your other projects, like Final Fantasy 15, and going waaaaay back... Sailor Moon)

My Not Resident Evil related question: (I'm sorry, but you expected this right?)

When using your resurection ritual rules does rolling a natural 20 on an attempt to aid a resurrection ritual (Vex for Percy's first res and Pike for Scanlan) have any benefit mechanically? Or was that just another example of the dice reinforcing awesome story/character moments?

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for the many many hours of entertainment you've provided me, and for inspiring me to start a D&D game with my own friends. A year ago I picked up the 5e starter set and DM'd my first game. Now we're playing Storm Kings Thunder, and I credit or monthly game for bringing us all closer together.

I know you hear it all the time, but I wanted to add to the many many people out there you've had a positive influence on.

Also I hope you have a fantastic wedding whenever that is! Congrats to you and Marisha!

A:

Did he mention if he knew any Jews as a child, or in life before prison?


Q:

Do you have a hero or someone who inspires you?

A:

I think involved in it don't even know the answer to this question.


Q:

Hmmm, that's a good AMA question but I'm not sure I have an answer here in this hurricane forum. (Yes, I'm ducking the question). And I would answer but it would likely take me several paragraphs.....don't have the time right now.

A:

Matt: No mechanical benefit, just ensuring the success of the ritual and making a beautiful moment of narrative improv. That's my genuine thrill in TTRPGs. :)

Thank you so much!! <3


Q:

Who are you referring to?

A:

Emma Goldman, the early 20th century Russian-Jewish anarchist who contributed to American civil liberties via her unyielding efforts and despite repeated jail terms.


Q:

What do you have to say about the current scuttlebutt in the Gulf, in regards to Qatar and it's long, terrible week?

A:

In recent years (it seems), more storm are moving further to the North and hitting the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Is this a trend or is it just an aberration?


Q:

For both of you, are you fans of the RE universe, or just in it for the work? I'm okay with either, just genuinely curious.

A:

The Odinist that u/Cambionr was friends with in Prison


Q:

Have you ever admitted publicly that #OpCartel was a huge scam built atop a foundation of lies?

Glad you're out of prison.

A:

I think it's going to be over before we know it. Compromises will be made, and things will go back to normal very soon.


Q:

No, this is a good observation. Look at this map! https://cmgpbpeyeonthestorm.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/capture20.jpg Landfalls occur over periods, they come and go and those periods may last for decades. Right now they are mostly missing South Florida.

A:

Matt: Myself? I've played pretty much every RE game since the original for PSX (including some of the terrible early Gameboy ones). Since the friggin dog through the window made me yelp in front of friends in High school, I've been hooked. Leon became my favorite character by RE4, so to step into his shoes was a genuine honor.


Q:

Ah. I will let him reply. My bad.

A:

No, because that's not true. OpCartel came out of the Anon Veracruz faction, and although there was a great deal of confusion about it in the press - such as the idea that I had started it, or that I had the documents, or that I was in direct negotiations with the Zetas, when in fact these other guys were in charge of it at all times - I have no reason to believe that their basic claims were untrue. I supported the original operation and thereafter tried to use the momentum to match Mexican journalists with U.S. press who could publish info on cartel infiltration with relative safety. Very little came of that.


Q:

And thank God for that! Charlie was a nightmare for the west coast. I'm so grateful to be having a reprieve but always, always pay attention to what my meteorologist advises! Thanks for keeping us safe!!!

A:

How different is doing voice over for an animated movie compared to say video games?


Q:

Is it fair to say that Odinism was specifically created or at least promoted as a means to inject religious fanaticsm into the increasingly violent right wing, white nationalism push that seems to be the backbone of groups like the alt-right?

A:

Did you trip the soap? Trip report?


Q:

You bet!!!!

A:

Matt: Many Video Games and Animated projects do record the voices as Pre-lay, so we get to perform without any constraints, and the animation is tailored to our performances. Others involve us recording our voices over existing animation, called ADR, and that's a more technical process that takes layers of concentration.


Q:

No, I don't think that's true. From my research, Odinism was developed as a sort of "fusing" of racist, national socialist (Nazi) beliefs with ancient pagan beliefs. There are lots of different "flavors" of Odinism, but its' main proponents were all about spreadig a philosophy/religion. I don't believe it was done as some sort of support or catalyst for the far-right

A:

You mean, did I drop the soap?


Q:

Hey, Craig. I was a friend of yours back in Tampa, with the sailing.

So, do you think there is any relation between atmospheric CO2 and hurricanes?

A:

Matt and Erin: Who in your opinion is the most dynamic, interesting character in RE:V? You can pick yourselves. I won't judge.

Thanks. Really excited for the release in a couple weeks!


Q:

You know this isn't a recent phenomenon, right? The Nazis were ass deep in paganism and esoteric magic, look at Alfred Rosenberg who's hilarious Kafka-esque title was Commissar for Supervision of Intellectual and Ideological Education. He was a rabid de-Christianizer who wanted to replace it with what he called a "Religion of Blood".

Of course they were all hopped up on other weird shit like Blavatskyism too. This isn't a new trend, violent and hateful people find Christianity to be generally restricting and disagreeable.

A:

Hey Barrett, 2 questions.

1) I always thought it was ballsy of you to plead guilty while staring down the possibility of 100+ years in prison. Were you aware at the time that your sentence was likely going to be much shorter?

2) Is Leiderman as awesome as his "chicken-shit assholes" rant belies?


Q:

Hard to say. The research seems to keep changing from more hurricanes to fewer but stronger hurricanes. Doesn't seem settled yet. Hopefully soon

A:

Matt: Oh man. Could be Leon. He's the cynic and wise-crack master. Probably Rebecca, though. She's the heart of this story.


Q:

This may not be a "new" trend globally, but racist Odinism really only started appearing in the US in the 1970s, from my research.

A:
  1. What actually happened was, I faced over 100 years worth of charges but refused to agree to the original plea bargain they proposed, which would have me plead guilty to one count of identity theft and whatnot and maybe do three or four years. I would not plea to anything involving fraud or deception, and I would not help them set a precedent whereby people could be prosecuted for linking to public information.

    Then my lawyers filed a motion to dismiss those charges, noting that they were misusing the statutes, that I clearly had no intent of committing fraud, etc, and they had to drop their own charges or else face possibility of being sued under a little-known provision whereby defendants of obviously fallacious charges can seek compensation, etc. That being done, I was willing to plea to whatever other nonsense they needed to save face, as the alternative was to go to trial in a system where the FBI can and does lie without consequences, and with a Dallas jury.

  2. Yep.


Q:

Do you still have those aviator goggles?

A:

First of all hi guys. Now onto the questions.

Matthew: Can you tell us anything about a new RE game and if you can't what do you the focus should be in the next one ?

Erin: How does it feel coming into this huge world of Resident Evil and voicing one of it's main characters ?

If by any chance you answer this question, thank you so much.


Q:

How do racist Odinists generally view Rome and Greece, two other civilizations that are also fetishized by white nationalists? I'd imagine with some negativity, given the rise of Christianity.

A:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2177843/

I saw you recently in We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists from 2012 and it was hilarious, informative, entertaining, and really eye opening.

21 minutes in and I'm keeping over laughing about your line about furry infiltrators 😂🤣👌🐸

Any plans for more documentaries?


Q:

Yes, and a hard hat!

A:

Matt: I don't really know anything about upcoming projects, but I'd love to see them maintain the survival horror/atmospheric elements of RE7 and tie it with the original storylines a bit!


Q:

I honestly don't know. That's an interesting question but not one that has so far come up in my research.

A:

There's at least one more documentary coming out this year that will involve me and my work, but I can't give out details at this point.


Q:

What movie about anchormen/women do you think is most accurate? Also what's the craziest hurricane preparedness situation that you've seen? Like bunkers?

A:

Hi, Matt! Huge huge huge fan of your work, specifically Ryoma and Yusuke.

My question is simple: Who are, let's say, the five favorite characters that you've ever done VA work for?


Q:

The attacker in Portland was a Bernie Sanders supporter who claims to be Jewish. How does that square with the narrative you're trying to tell? https://imgur.com/a/QsVkC

A:

Why was there a stuffed leopard on your wall in We Are Legion?


Q:

I'm not sure what is most accurate. There seems to be a little truth in all of them and a lot of embellishment.
I think tape on windows is the craziest because it literally does nothing to protect a home.

A:

Matt: OH NO THIS QUESTION AAAARGH...

Leon, McCree, Aloth, Tygra, Kiritsugu Emiya...?


Q:

I don't see any evidence he ever claimed to be Jewish. The fact he's a Bernie Sanders supporter is, I believe, irrelevant. He was very interested in Odinism.

A:

My dad is a prolific hunter and I've had it since I was a kid.


Q:

What are your thoughts on storm chasers who are more thrill seekers less meteorologist?

A:

Hi, Matt! Huge huge huge fan of your work, specifically Ryoma and Yusuke.

My question is simple: Who are, let's say, the five favorite characters that you've ever done VA work for?


Q:

First they came for the Juggalos and I did not speak out

A:

I worry more people will be hurt because of the crowds on roads from people distracted by bad weather. Since the movie Twister, the genie is out of the bottle and I don't know how you can put it back in. It's certainly exciting to see a tornado but I'm worried more people will be hurt or killed doing so.


Q:

E: Ha! Never give in and never surrender! (Yes Goonies fans.)

A:

"Indeed, I helped round them up."


Q:

How does storm chasing in Miami differ from storm chas8ng in Oklahoma?

For thise who dont know, Oklahoma has an almost cult like mentality.

Some people go out with little or no training. Some people with lots of training and degrees have died storm chasing. We even have tour business that load people up in vans and take them out to look at tornados up close.

A:

So Matt, did Leon steal your haircut or did you steal his?


Q:

Yes, crazy in Oklahoma. When I was at the U of Ok there were only a dozen chasers, now it is insane. In south Florida the road network is bad so chasing, when it's possible, is almost impossible.... unless you have an airboat??? ;-)

A:

Matt: Ha! Me thinks he claimed this territory before I, and I probably subconsciously wandering into it.


Q:

While out chasing storms, have you ever seen a hurricane victim in a near-death situation?

A:

Question for Matt: Since the Tal'dorei setting book is set after the year time skip, during which, Scanlan became The Meat Man, is The Meat Man going to be in the Ankarhel(sp?) lore in the book?


Q:

I was on one tornado in northeast Missouri and came upon a house that looked like a bomb hit it. I stopped to make sure no one needed help. I have not been in many situations involving near-death....thankfully.

A:

He is in Ank'Harel during that time, but the campaign guide only covers the lore of current-day Tal'Dorei, so it's not in the campaign guide. ;)


Q:

My mother just moved to Spring Hill, FL, which is right by the Gulf. I'm just curious, which section of FL is most and least likely to be hit by a hurricane? I don't really know a lot about hurricanes, though, so maybe they just sweep right through the entire state. I'm just a little worried about her living there; FL seems to get hit often by hurricanes.

A:

Matt, how do you feel Leon has evolved throughout the series? He started as a rookie "wrong place wrong time" cop in RE2 and has grown to be a much richer and stronger character since. Does this play a heavy role in how you play him?

Thanks, I started playing DnD cause of you and Critical Role!


Q:

This map gives a good layout of the most likely parts of the state that could receive destructive winds. http://www.floridabuilding.org/fbc/Wind_2010/figurea_colors8.png

A:

Matt: It VERY much informs my performance. He carries the weight of each person who died under his watch, every failure he incurred, and every victory that was torn from him. To still stand and fight in spite of such crushing experiences shows his true heroism, in my opinion


Q:

Are the blue/black dotted areas the second worst? The markings aren't labeled. Also, thanks for the map!

A:

For both of you guys: Would you rather be eaten alive by a zombie or just bit by one once in a non-critical area?


Q:

The worst areas extend from south Florida in. The building codes are supposed to take into consideration how strong the winds could be in those areas.

A:

Matt: Just bitten once, so even though it may be a slow death-sentence, you can choose the time, place, and scenario of your sacrifice to save others.


Q:

Does your prediction for hurricane season fall in line with the NWS? Or do you see other variables being more influential than what they've used to create their forecast? Also, how do you foresee climate change affecting hurricane season in the coming decade or two?

A:

Matt: Are there any Leon quotes you think would work well with Mccree and vise versa?

Erin: How different do you find Voice acting to say working on Power Rangers?


Q:

So, to be honest, most of my meteorology experience is in operational or short term and nowcast forecasting. There are some brilliant people who can tell you about long wave patterns and global teleconnections in the atmosphere. I spend most of my time trying to improve the tools and messaging about hurricanes and threats to people from them. I do lots of work with the NWS and NHC in the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project working to make sure people understand risk and uncertainly and how to respond. So, I operate in the area of seeing the storm form, and planning for how it may affect us.

A:

Matt: Ha! Probably a number of them! "Ain't I killed you before?" Seems thematic. "That'll do fine" when buffed/healed would be fun.


Q:

What are your concerns about the record high temperatures we are having and the prediction of numerous hurricanes this season? Also go Canes!!

A:

Long time RE fan here and I grew up with it with my brother. How did it feel being called up and given the voice role of your respective characters?


Q:

Well, the heat was pretty bad recently. Fortunately local heat waves are not strong predictors of hurricane seasons. Go Canes!

A:

E: I was and am still so excited! I love the RE world and love Rebecca. And you fans!


Q:

Let's talk about the % chance of rain. Let's use 50% chance of rain as the focal point. If it was REALLY a 50% chance of rain every time they say it is a 50% chance of rain, then it should rain close to 1 out of 2 times that forecast is made. HOWEVER, I find that it only rains maybe 1 out of 10+ times with that forecast. Actually, if it is 50% or less chance, it is a pretty solid bet that it isn't going to rain. Really, I can only count on a chance of rain if the forecast says >= 80%. So what is the deal with this situation?

A:

Long time RE fan here and I grew up with it with my brother. How did it feel being called up and given the voice role of your respective characters?


Q:

True, and honestly I think saying 50% give the impression you either aren't sure or you could flip a coin. Technically the POP (prob of precip) is the forecasters confidence times the area of rain coverage. That's one reason I don't use POPs on TV. I don't think they are useful when you have 20% chance and it's raining only on you.

A:

E: I was so excited and am even more excited as it gets closer to the premier and the more fans I am meeting!


Q:

Can any local Miami meteorologist live down the legend of Bryan Norcross?

A:

Long time RE fan here and I grew up with it with my brother. How did it feel being called up and given the voice role of your respective characters?


Q:

Bryan hired me in 2000 because I believe he saw some of the same qualities that he has. Hopefully I won't have to live down his legend but maybe I could live up to it. At least it's a worthy goal.

A:

Matt: My fav RE character for a long time, and when I had the opportunity to audition for him, I gave it my all. :)


Q:

Do you think Louisiana is fully prepared for another category three hurricane to make landfall?

I've heard that Florida has a far stricter building code, requiring that new houses in low lying areas be built up on stilts. That's why all the new beach houses are so tall. Should other gulf states have a similar requirement?

A:

Hi, I can't think of a good question

Would you rather fight 100 mcree sized horses or 1 horse sized mcree?


Q:

I don't know about Louisiana but many cities are doing the smart thing and forcing new construction in storm surge areas to build on stilts. I've seen this in the Keys, Pinellas (Tampa Bay) and other areas. That is to protect from surge. The South Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach) building codes is to minimize failure of structures from wind. There are codes from securing roofs to having shutters that can withstand missiles and vibration/flexing. While it is more expensive, the goal is to only leave your home in a hurricane if you are in a storm surge evacuation zone.

A:

Matt: 1,000 horee sized McCorses.


Q:

Orange you glad you don't live/work in orange county?

A:

So Matt,

Would you like to see Leon being represented with you as a VA in a crossover type of game, think Marvel vs Capcom or a new Project X Zone?


A:

Matt: I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT HOOOOO MAN WHERE YOUR CURLY MUSTACHE AT


Q:

What think people waiting for last hour before landfall you think people don't take get ready as tell us doing your tv speical?

A:

I don't know. I think people keep hoping it will change course or we will be wrong about it. There comes a time in every storm when there is no more time for hope, you must act.


Q:

I know that NOAA puts out a prediction every year, but how active do you see this season being? Named storms? Landfall?

A:

Well, I don't do enough long term forecasting to really be able to answer, but based on what others are saying, a weak El Niño, warmer than normal temps in the tropical Atlantic and a few other things suggest the season will likely be at least normal with about 12 to 14 named storms. But forecasting landfall chances months away from a storm threat is something I don't think we have any skill with right now.


Q:

Mr. Setzer, Yesterday I heard thunder and saw dark clouds yet lawn maintenance people were still working until it started raining, why does it seem people are not fearful of lightning strikes?

A:

That's a good question. I see it all the time and then hear every now and then about lawn or construction workers hit. I guess some people just have a higher tolerance to risk. Not me.... I hate close lightning.


Q:

Do you mount your toilet paper so that the sheets tear from under, or over the roll?

A:

Over. Doesn't everyone?


Q:

Why do some old Floridians pronounce it "hurra-kin"?

A:

I don't know. I've heard it from some in the Keys and also in the Panhandle.


Q:

What is the most bizarre thing you've seen during hurricane season?

A:

I've got to say, it was pretty bizarre to see Matthew's forecast track last year looping back on itself looking like it would hit us twice. But what I thought was more bizarre is that everyone was freaking out about that loop back before they had even been hit once. Sometimes people pay more attention to the odd things far off in time than those right at your door.


Q:

Who is your favorite meteorologist? Like your inspiration/most respected/etc?

Also, do you know who Dr. Neil Frank is? He was the big hurricane guy when I lived in Houston a while back, he retired some years ago from regular weather broadcasts but they still bring him in when a hurricane is imminent...

A:

Yes, I know Neil Frank and respect him very much. He had a great way of explaining hurricanes and their threats. I believe he was Director at NHC when Allen barrelled toward south Texas. His interviews on the evening news were impressive. Another favorite of mine is Tom Skilling in Chicago. He showed more complex maps in three minutes than I've ever seen. Didn't seem to care that most of his graphics were so complex they needed a few minutes to explain but he would fly through them in seconds.


Q:

What is the biggest problem you have in your work?

A:

Actually, I don't have many problems at work. I'm very fortunate that my boss supports me completely. I've spoken to other Chief Meteorologists and many have to deal with consultants and news directors that are always telling them what to do and what not to do. My boss lets me run my weather department the way I want to and supports what we do and say during a hurricane threat.