0022 - You Are Not Immune to American Nationalist Propaganda

Mako and Sqeaky tackle the propaganda most Americans are immersed in. Maybe this will be illuminating for our international listeners, it might explain some things Americans take for granted. We tackle modern misinformation and mistakes around the rittenhouse trial, historical propaganda in our daily pledge of allegiance, and some less well known political strategies that have longer term but still modern impact. Read the Show notes at: https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/0022-you-are-not-immune-to-american-nationalist-propaganda

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: Warning. This show contains adult themes and language including nazi salutes.

SQEAKY: Dysevidentia is an inability to reliably process evidence and this is a podcast all about it. This episode was released on December 6th, 2021 and we are discussing dysevidentia because it is clear millions of Christian nationalists are suffering from it.

SQEAKY: I am Sqeaky.

MAKO: And I am Mako. We discuss logic and evidence 'cause we're smart enough to know we are not immune to propaganda.

SQEAKY: You can support us by becoming a Patron and patreon.com/dysevidentia.

MAKO: If you spent all your money arming yourself and organizing a local militia on Facebook just to have it disappear days later you can still like, subscribe, and leave a review to help us out.

SQEAKY: If you have a paper you have written or a small business to plug let us know.

MAKO: Today we are gonna discuss...

SQEAKY: ...some misinformation around the Rittenhouse trial...

MAKO: ...how the Pledge of Allegiance is a tool for indoctrination...

SQEAKY: ...and the southern strategy.

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: I am Mako.

SQEAKY: And I am Mako.

MAKO: Doppelgänger!

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: So what militia disappeared on Facebook?

MAKO: The Kenosha Guard. In response to the protest and the riots --both were happening in Kenosha at the time-- a Facebook formed to try to organize a bunch of people to defend local businesses and they called themselves The Kenosha Guard. After news about Rittenhouse broke out, the very next day The Kenosha Guard removed their Facebook page.

SQEAKY: So this paramilitary group crumpled at the first sign of opposition?

MAKO: Not sure I'd quite phrase it that way. They were probably starting to get more attention than they cared for or they feared they were about to.

SQEAKY: Wow. Wimps.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: As much as explaining our own intro joke is discussing the podcast, why don't we move on to other things about the podcast? Which is what we would like to do in this first meta section.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: So we don't have a huge amount of stuff to discuss in terms of corrections do we?

MAKO: Doesn't look like it.

SQEAKY: Oh shit.

MAKO: Yeah doesn't look like we have anything other than context stuff.

SQEAKY: So it looks like for the first time in about four episodes we don't have any real corrections.

MAKO: That we know of. Yeah.

SQEAKY: Oh well this means that someone will contact us two minutes after recording and tell us what we did wrong.

MAKO: Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Just for people who are new or listening for the first time, if you wanna read the show notes you can head up to dysevidentia.com and we have a list of all the episodes and all the sources and a full transcript available up there.

CONTACT [2:27] Dysevidentia.com - https://dysevidentia.com

SQEAKY: We also are on a bunch of the different social medias but not Facebook. Zuckerberg can go fuck himself.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Alright.

MAKO: Skippin' Facebook.

SQEAKY: If you wanna help support us there's patreon.com/dysevidentia.

SUPPORT [2:41] Dysevidentia on Patreon - https://patreon.com/Dysevidentia

MAKO: We are als- also have a Reddit presence at r/dysevidentia.

CONTACT [2:44] Dysevidentia subreddit on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/Dysevidentia/

SQEAKY: You can tweet at us @dysevidentia.

CONTACT [2:48] At Dysevidentia on Twitter - https://twitter.com/dysevidentia

MAKO: We have our own Discord. You can find the link to that in our show notes.

CONTACT [2:49] The Dysevidentia Server on Discord - https://discord.gg/EZtcgdsCDA

SQEAKY: Uh you can email us, contact@dysevidentia...

MAKO: .com.

SQEAKY: Oh, yeah. You can email us, contact@dysevidentia.com. The .com's important. Oops.

CONTACT [2:58] Dysevidentia by email - Contact@dysevidentia.com

MAKO: A little important, yes. And we have a YouTube. Just search "dysevidentia".

CONTACT [3:02] Dysevidentia channel on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbU3rnK52CXUkK0cJ-o29g

SQEAKY: Yeah if you're on YouTube you'll see it. We have a copy of every single one of our episodes up there. There's a playlist too if you wanna go through it.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: It's probably easiest to listen to it on like a podcast app. Like I use Podcast Addict on my phone. Apple Podcast in our stats is like the second most common one. The third most common one is iTunes. Kinda goofy.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Doublin' us- Doubling up on us Apple. Okay, onto discussion. I guess first the Rittenhouse trial?

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Fun times.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: But first, you need to explain that joke.

*Mako sighs*


SQEAKY: That's all the explanation we get.

MAKO: Nope.

*Sqeaky laughs*

*Guitar riff*


SQEAKY: So pretty much no one on social media got the hot takes, right?

MAKO: It seems that way especially leading up to the trial there were quite a few armchair lawyers making calls every which way.

SQEAKY: I made a few bad ones. Like I think one of the worst things I said was yeah he shot three black people that's why he got off but as soon as I was corrected and saw sources and like oh, he just shot three Black Lives Matter protestors. Oh. I wasn't there I couldn't see their skin color.

MAKO: I mean video evidence but that came after the immediate events.

SQEAKY: Yeah I started watc‌hing as much as I could and the normal podcasts I listen to the feeds came through and there were a bunch of really bad takes on multiple sides.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: And this isn't one of those where it's just conservatives said everything dumb. There were plenty of bad liberal takes.

MAKO: Mhm.


MAKO: We're not gonna go super deep into this just as a heads-up to everybody that's listening, we're just going to focus on a number of these bad takes that formed early on.

SQEAKY: Yeah there's uh... A pretty hearty fog of war around this. It's entirely possible that there are different perspectives that lead to some nuanced opinions and I personally don't think he should've been there and that was wildly irresponsible but I don't want to say much more than that.

MAKO: Well-

SQEAKY: 'Cause we have some more research to do on this but we can share some of the real bullshit that is obviously wrong.

MAKO: I'll go one step further, I will just assert that he shouldn't have been there and he's an idiot for going there.

SQEAKY: Oh no, I'll agree to that. But you can start mincing details about what the self-defense laws are there.

MAKO: Yeah that's where I think the real debate is.


MAKO: Is did he actually act in a way that preserves the self-defense claim but him being there- he just shouldn't have, he's a fucking idiot for having gone there.

SQEAKY: Yeah. By any ethical or intelligent standard, so before we talk about law, I agree he shouldn't have been there and people are gonna be like "But his rights!" and well you know, in this country you're legally allowed to stand in a campfire, right. You can do stupid shit in this country.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: That's allowed. You can shoot yourself with a gun. Maybe you can't commit suicide in some places, but you can shoot your feet, that's allowed.

MAKO: I would imagine most people want to be in a position where they're not in danger, just basic self-preservation. And it's kind of intuitive to not go into an area with active rioting.

SQEAKY: That the police have said they're not gonna try to contain.

MAKO: Yeah like why would you knowingly go into that? Just-

SQEAKY: Well that goes back to The Kenosha Guard. They thought they could do something the police couldn't ignoring why the police backed the fuck off.

MAKO: Yeah, yeah. That's-


MAKO: That's a whole nother thing but just-

*Sqeaky laughs*

MAKO: Yeah. Don't be vigilantes people. For the love of God don't be vigilantes.

SQEAKY: So let's... Let's just start dismantling some myths and I guess for sources I've got four sources that cover most of this and I picked a couple others for some deeper places. There's two episodes of the Opening Arguments podcast, that's a real lawyer discusses these things and he had one pre-judgement and he went over the... uh a large portion of the trial and he watched all the footage of the trial. And one post-judgement. They're really in-depth and they explain the ins and outs of the laws. And Legal Eagle had a video on it and he really goes into the fog of war aspect of self-defense so there'll be links to both of those episodes and Legal Eagle video and then Snopes. Snopes does a lot of heavy lifting here on these myths 'cause so many of them are just objectivally not true.

SOURCE [6:15] Opening Arguments on Rittenhouse trial pre-sentencing- https://openargs.com/oa544-debunking-the-lefts-rittenhouse-trial-myths/

SOURCE [6:21] Opening arguments on Rittenhouse sentencing - https://openargs.com/bonus-rittenhouse-acquitted-on-all-charges/

SOURCE [6:25] Legal eagle on Rittenhouse - https://youtu.be/IR-hhat34LI

SOURCE [6:34] Snopes on Rittenhouse - https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/rittenhouse-guide/

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Should I get us started?

MAKO: Yeah sure.

SQEAKY: So tons of people were saying the judge was obviously biased and one reason was he let Rittenhouse pick his own jurors.

MAKO: Yeah that's uh... a bit of a misnomer. I didn't do too much reading into this. My understanding is that it was a blind pick.

SQEAKY: He picked lots. Like names were thrown into a hat-

MAKO: No I remember seeing a video and there was this actual like...


MAKO: ...plastic rotating thing.

SQEAKY: Yeah. It was a metaphorical hat. He picked at random. He just did the physical picking.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Now that's not enshrined in law or anything.

MAKO: No that's something that the judge in particular has done and allowed in his criminal cases.

SQEAKY: Yeah. For almost twenty years he's been doing it.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: And it's weird, it's different but there's no official system for doing it and what what they do is vet a large number of jurors and there is a jury pool that way when jurors do something stupid like ignore jury instructions, like if the jury instruction says "yeah don't watch cable news it might bias you" then they come in the next day and say all the things they learned on cable news about the trial, they kick that juror out and bring in one of the backups. So that's why they have way more jurors than they need. I think they had eighteen jurors and they used twelve for the trial and wound up kicking one or two of them out.

MAKO: Sounds right.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Something like that.

MAKO: Yeah. But Rittenhouse did not engineer the jury in his favor.

SQEAKY: Another one that we actually left out of the show notes but just Opening Arguments covered this one really well and there's photos for it. Did you see the photos of Kyle Rittenhouse leaning over the judges shoulder?

BULLSHIT SOURCE [7:59] Daily Wire destroying their journalistic Integrity with bad take on photo- https://www.dailywire.com/news/photos-of-unusual-proximity-between-rittenhouse-and-judge-spark-commentary-tells-you-everything-you-need-to-know

MAKO: I did see that photo, yes.

SQEAKY: We'll see if we can't get the photo in the YouTube video for those watching it there and we'll link to it in the show notes for everyone else. Yeah that was a complete bullshit photo. It's not that the photo was fake, it's that if you use a certain perspective lens and you're at just the right angle and you're near the thing they were both looking at, you can get the stand to be over the shoulder of the judge even though there was plenty of space between them. And Rittenhouse was leaning far over because he was far as fuck away and...

MAKO: Wanted a better view...


MAKO: ...as people do.

SQEAKY: It was twenty thirty feet away from Rittenhouse-

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: -so he was leaning.

MAKO: It turns out that courthouses are large.

SQEAKY: And the room if you look at it. The room is all sorts of wooden like built-in place fixtures. It's a goofy lookin' room if you look at any of the trial footage. Actually, let's see if we can get a screenshot or something in the YouTube video as well. And for people not on YouTube we'll link to it in the show notes, but this way it will be easy for people to see and judge for themselves so they can see how much bullshit this photo is. So when he was, y'know, sitting where he was, just the perspective of the cameraman would put Rittenhouse behind the judge.

SOURCE [8:40] Washington Post Stream of Rittenhouse taking the stand - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIzj48oL6T0

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: So people were saying that this meant was that the judge was clearly biased and in favor of Rittenhouse and that's just bullshit. Somebody was intentionally misinforming based on that.

MAKO: Yeah it had the appearance of the judge welcoming Rittenhouse in his personal bubble so he must be more comfortable with him than he ought to be for a legal case.


MAKO: But yeah, not the case.

SQEAKY: And the last one in the vein of the judge being horribly biased, the judge banned the use of the word "victim" and insisted on calling them "rioters" or "looters".

MAKO: Well-

SQEAKY: Clearly that's bullshit but-

MAKO: Every part of this is bullshit.

SQEAKY: But people said that shit.

MAKO: Yeah so. All of these terms, they are... They come with baggage. They have emotional baggage that comes with them. Like the word "victim", it implies that they did no wrong. That is just- that is something that is carried with the word.

SQEAKY: It also implies that there... if there's a victim there must be a victimizer which is- and both lawyers mentioned this-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: -that is prejudicial and presumes guilt in our system that at least attempts to say they're not guilty until proven guilty.

MAKO: The same goes for rioters and looters. The... both of those are charged terms that imply somebody is guilty of a particular action.

SQEAKY: And the motions that allowed... that allowed the people that Rittenhouse shot to be called rioters and looters, the motions that technically allowed for that really prohibited it. It's... It was such a technical thing where it was yeah if you guys produce all the evidence and we're ready to convict those guys of rioting and looting we can call them rioters and looters.

MAKO: Yeah he- The judge specifically mentioned that it would be okay in the closing statements after they've established.

SQEAKY: And even then they didn't call them that in a... they didn't address that to a specific person in the closing statements. They said in aggregate there were, but they didn't call the specific shot people rioters and looters.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: And then also, none of this happened at the same time. These were all pretrial motions where they were trying to agree on ground rules for what they could say and could do, and it was a series of motions where it was like I can't stop you from calling them rioters and looters but there needs to be commensurate evidence and that was three or four motions to get that done. And then another one, the prosecution was wanting to call these people victims and he was making a special request 'cause normally you can't and the judge denied that one 'cause well that's a great way to have a mistrial.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: So the judge was trying to --in that one-- that helped the prosecution because if let's say they did prosecute Rittenhouse but the whole time they were calling these other people victims, that's instant appeal material so...

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: ...we'd be hearing today about Rittenhouse appealing instead of getting off.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Ugh. So one of the things that isn't a myth is how shitty the prosecution did.

MAKO: A lot of people have been saying that the... this case will be a case of study that will be used in legal texts from here on about what not to do when prosecuting. It is that bad.

SQEAKY: Tell us more.

MAKO: But the prosecution... among other things. There's more that the prosecution did wrong than I am readily capable of listing off entirely but a few examples off the top of my head. One they tried to liken Rittenhouse's playing of violent video games to try to claim that he has a leaning towards violence in real life.

SQEAKY: So Mako. You're a software developer and you've written some code for video games.

MAKO: Uhuh.

SQEAKY: What's your kill count?

MAKO: Really high.

SQEAKY: Outside the games.

MAKO: Oh- oh! Zero.

SQEAKY: Ah. That's a fine distinction. So when you're playing as like the Master Chief, how many have you killed?

MAKO: I... Hundreds easily. Maybe thousands. I'm thinking Covenant mostly.

SQEAKY: Yeah okay. Hundreds, thousands. But zero protestors?

MAKO: Do the Covenant count?

SQEAKY: Do they support Black Lives Matter?

MAKO: They don't really have an opinion on it.

SQEAKY: Yeah okay. I don't think they'd be Black Lives Matter protestors.

MAKO: Okay. Then zero.

SQEAKY: Zero. Okay. So as long as we can tell fantasy from fiction, video games don't make us kill people.

MAKO: There's been... like every time there's a new major study there's... or a new major shooting event, there's always some study that reinvestigates the link between violent video games and violent actions in real life and they all come back exactly the same: there is no link. Full stop.

SQEAKY: We're gonna have to have an episode about this one.

MAKO: Okay. Yeah probably.

SQEAKY: 'Cause someone's going to complain to us and be like "but my shooting!" Well we live in a gun culture already. Maybe that we have so many guns is why we have so many shootings. I don't know.

MAKO: Maybe. We we can totally do an episode on that. Anyway-

SQEAKY: What about that fifth amendment thing?

MAKO: Yeah so during the prosecution's cross-examination of Rittenhouse, the prosecution attempted to make an argument that Rittenhouse has had the opportunity to tailor his story to all the information that has come out thus far. And that somehow discredits his story. And that's shaky to begin with but it has a bigger problem in that you are attempting to infer guilt from someone's silence.

SQEAKY: We have a whole constitutional amendment discussing that one.

MAKO: Yes, the fifth amendment.

SQEAKY: You're allowed to- and every legal authority I've ever heard says you should be silent if there's any chance that you're guilty or that the police will come looking for you.

MAKO: Or even if you're not guilty.


MAKO: I showed you a video not that long ago where a dude was rambling on and on, especially if you're not guilty do not say things you don't need to say.

SOURCE [13:59] - Lawyer Discusses talking to cops with a cop - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE

SQEAKY: We have to put that in the show notes now 'cause that was actually quite a compelling video.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: It was a lawyer and a cop having a debate about whether or not you should talk to the cops.

MAKO: It wasn't even a debate. The lawyer spoke for like thirteen minutes and then the cop came and he's like "everything he said is correct."

SQEAKY: Yup. He then he tried to waffle and contradict it and like you should help the police blah blah blah.

MAKO: Well kinda sort of yeah.

SQEAKY: 'Cause he was like it's correct, technically correct but how am I supposed to find the bad guys if you don't help. It's like well how do I know you won't call me a bad guy if I help you which was the whole point that the lawyer was making. Anyway we'll link that, that's... it's a good watch. It's pretty interesting. So. Other things that were a myth.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: This one got spread around and I believe major news outlets issued retractions but some people were saying that guns crossed state lines. And I have another source here to go over what Dominic Black-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: -the friend of Rittenhouse that supplied the gun. He testified and what he said, and nothing contradicted him and there was no evidence to the counter. His story is astoundingly plausible and borderline illegal.

SOURCE [14:54] Dominic Black Testifies at Rittenhouse trial - https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/11/02/kyle-rittenhouse-trial-dominick-black-first-witness/6258860001/

MAKO: Yeah the AR-15 was in Dominic Black's possession everytime it was not in Rittenhouse's possession.

SQEAKY: He even bought the gun for Rittenhouse but wasn't going to give it to him until it was legal for him to have it.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: So that's why nobody went after him 'cause in emergency combat-type situations you're actually allowed to give guns to people who are fighting. There's weirdly exemptions for that in most state laws so nobody was even considering going after Dominic Black especially since he just owned up to it. For people who aren't familiar with gun culture, a straw purchase is when somebody buys a gun from a dealer and then immediately hands the gun over to someone who shouldn't have it. Like here in Nebraska felons can't own guns, right?

SOURCE [15:24] Biased pro gun explanation of what a Straw Purchase is - https://www.ffl123.com/what-is-straw-purchase/

MAKO: I believe so.

SQEAKY: And I think in Wisconsin felons can't own guns.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: But if my buddy and I don't know he's a felon and asks me to pick up his gun and here's some cash go pick it up for him, and I go and I pick it up and on paper it looks like I bought the gun then just handed it to him. Since I'm not a gun dealer maybe I don't know all the laws and usually that would slip through a lot of state's laws until this became a habit, a thing that felons did to get guns. Doing this process where there's that innocent intermediary could get a gun into the hands of a felon inexpensively for the felon, that process is called a straw purchase and has been made illegal even in most pro-gun states. That's a pretty common sense piece of gun control that even gun rights activists are generally for.

MAKO: Yeah. It is irresponsible to enable skirting of basic protections for gun purchases.

SQEAKY: Yeah. So, this looks an awful lot like a straw purchase except for the fact that Dominic Black kept the gun up until the moment it was used. And they even indicated that they planned to give it back to Dominic when they were done until Rittenhouse's eighteenth birthday. So it's dubiously legal and nobody's going after Dominic for it and maybe that's okay 'cause grey areas?

MAKO: I don't know, after the publicity of this trial I dunno maybe something new but...

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: I don't know.

SQEAKY: I don't know. I'm gon- On that one I'm not an expert I'm going to defer to the prosecution, as dumb as they are they know more about it than me.

MAKO: They know more about law but it's dubious whether they know more about prosecuting.

*Sqeaky's breathy laughter*

SQEAKY: They passed the bar exam I haven't.

MAKO: That's what I said, they know more about the law!

SQEAKY: Okay okay. The gun didn't appear to cross state lines and groups like The Skathing Atheists who I normally say are absolutely awesome and beyond approach, I think they need to issue a retraction on this and they haven't.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So, this one seems to be more a misreporting once from a major news outlet, and then...

MAKO: People just ran with it over and over.

SQEAKY: Without ever fact-checking themselves.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Which is hard. The system of not having retractions is really difficult for how information is distributed.

MAKO: They took it for granted that Rittenhouse himself crossed state lines from Illinois to get to Kenosha but yeah he didn't have the gun when he was going over to Kenosha.

SQEAKY: And if he did, the laws that invalidate self-defense, that say if you were committing a crime you can't defend yourself, they don't count here for a variety of reasons, but most specifically as Legal Eagle points out, if you're committing a crime that would likely lead to injury, that's when your self-defense rights are mitigated or removed. I don't have a great word for it, but carrying a gun- carrying a single gun across state lines is not likely to involve violence. And likely when the judge threw out the other gun law, just as somebody being seventeen by itself is not likely to cause violence so it didn't throw out or it didn't uh throw his self-defense rights. I think that him going to a protest does, but that's a topic for another episode.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Going to a protest where there is violence to be a vigilante, I think that should-

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay I'm not going to say anything.

MAKO: There's- Even in that there's nuance but in another episode.

SQEAKY: Yeah there's more research to do there.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: That's another thing with people saying the judge was biased. They through out this lesser charge. Well, yeah, he did, and I feel it was bullshit and a technicality, but it doesn't change the self-defense aspect which I think is bullshit but that's the law as written.

MAKO: Yeah.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Alright so we've been hammering on a lot of things where people were saying pro-BLM anti-Rittenhouse things. There's plenty of pro-Rittenhouse bullshit out there too.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Like one we stepped over here in our notes. Plenty of people were saying Kyle Rittenhouse was defending his grandparent's gas station.

MAKO: Yeah I found- I didn't even hear that one but there's no basis for that.

SQEAKY: Yeah. There's no- His grandparents don't have a gas station.

SOURCE [18:59] There is no rittenhouse family gas station - https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/rittenhouse-grandparents-gas/

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah. So if we're to take that in good faith, he did at some point interact with a fire in a dumpster near a gas station.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: I mean some interaction happened, but it wasn't his grandparents, he wasn't asked to be there.

MAKO: According to his testimony he saw the fire and he ran towards it in an effort to extinguish the fire.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: But that still he's- Okay so something particularly malicious about this is if you see the memes talking about this-

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: -as opposed to just the discussion on social media, there are several photo image things where they've put text on top of pictures, and they're usually phrased as "If you only watch mainstream media MSNBC, CNN, you wouldn't know" and then they start talking about the Rittenhouse family gas station which again doesn't exist-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Like some of these other things it seems like it's clearly misinformation. I mean I think someone is intentionally trying to sow distrust of the mainstream media.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: I mean that's why there's so much more bullshit on both sides than other trials. I mean if you look at like the Derek Chauvin trial, there was a lot of details going on there too on both sides, but the level of wrong out in the extremes wasn't nearly as broad. There's so much more wrong here.

MAKO: Mhm.

*Sqeaky sighs*


MAKO: This trial has been a shitshow.

SQEAKY: Beyond the gas station thing there were other myths where people were saying they were defending- or Rittenhouse was defending the family business.

MAKO: Yeah no he didn't have a family business in Kenosha that I'm aware of. The one business during his testimony that he claim that he was attempting to defend was Car Source which was a car dealership.

SQEAKY: A used car lot.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Of all the places to defend we're gonna go...

MAKO: Do you know the significance of Car Source?

SQEAKY: I don't specifically, I was just gonna start insulting lawyers and used car salesmen.

MAKO: That's totally fair and I don't want to detract from that please do that when I'm done but Car Source was the car lot on the first day that rioting was actually happening in Kenosha, I believe on the twenty-third.

SOURCE [20:47] Car Source Vandalism picture - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenosha_unrest#/media/File:Car_Source_Kenosha_Burned_out_car_lot.jpg

SQEAKY: Put that shit in the show notes holy shit. Look at this picture Mako just showed me! We're gonna have to put this in the YouTube video also and we'll link to it in the show notes.

MAKO: Car Source had most of the cars in its lot torched.


MAKO: I believe he was reacting to that news.

SQEAKY: Well... Okay. So I guess I don't wanna dump on used car salesmen now that I learned their stock was torched. They're jerks and douchebags but I mean burning their inventory is not the solution but maybe communicating with them would be which would make me more sympathetic to Rittenhouse if he had done that.

MAKO: Yeah. Yeah they... they... They did reach out to the owners of Car Source to ask them like hey did you know this was happening and they were no, we did not ask anybody to defend our lot, we do not want anybody to defend our lot, we have nothing to do with this.

SQEAKY: It's almost like responsible business owners purchase insurance and then kind of batten down the hatches and back out instead of trying to fight violence with violence.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: It's like that state monopoly on violence is useful. If only the police had been there to do something instead of checking the fuck out.

MAKO: Regrettably yes.

SQEAKY: So this line. Other times I say police shouldn't do things sometimes I say police should do things. Think police should find ways to deescalate. It's happened. It happens.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Not every time but a lot of these ti- a lot of these situations they don't even appear to attempt to deescalate they show up with like tear gas and...

MAKO: I'm not convinced they do.

SQEAKY: ...water cannon.

MAKO: In fact, I think deescalation training itself is declining.

SQEAKY: Yeah. That's a whole topic for another episode isn't it?

MAKO: Yes it is.

SQEAKY: Deescalation training.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: But still, self-defense at least in Wisconsin and Kenosha doesn't extend to defending property.

MAKO: Defending property you don't own on behalf of somebody you have not spoken to- Just stop. Don't be a vigilante.

SQEAKY: It's so fucking obvious! Don't shoot people, lives are more valuable than property. This isn't hard. This doesn't need to be hard.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Beyond Car Source where some of the shooting actually happened. There's things that aren't myths but are just dishonest bullshit. Specifically on Rosenbaum and Huber.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Right. Uh... Both these people were killed by him, Grosskreutz was the guy who survived. I think I might have Huber and Grosskreutz swapped but-

MAKO: No no no, Grosskreutz is the one that did survive.

SQEAKY: Okay. So people were claiming Rosenbaum was a five-time rapist. Actually true. I'm not going to defend him on that but I will say he was already convicted and he was going through the legal system and had gone through the legal system for his crimes.

MAKO: I had read that it was... sexual harrassment. Was it actually sexual assault?

SQEAKY: I don't think it matters because uh... Rittenhouse didn't know.

MAKO: Yeah no no. For the purposes of Rittenhouse's actions if Rittenhouse didn't know it's completely immaterial.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And uh... let's say Rittenhouse did know. Do we want seventeen-year-old vigilantes to be judge , jury and executioner?


SQEAKY: So it's almost as if people who are already doing their stuff with the legal system shouldn't be shot/killed in the streets. And let's just say he was a five-time rapist, what does it matter? He was doing the things he needed to do according to the legal system and was just killed. That's not right.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: And the other guy, Huber, they're like "he's a wife-beater so it's cool that Rittenhouse shot him." It's like well...

MAKO: He only was like charged with domestic abuse which doesn't mean wife-beater but people took to mean that.

SQEAKY: Also the whole same set of arguments. Rittenhouse didn't know and do we want him running around... do we want a seventeen-year-old kid with an assault rifle running around being judge jury and executioner for someone accused of wife-beating?

MAKO: I think- Okay, not so much with the rapist but in the domestic abuse case I think some people might try to twist that as being- having a propensity for violence and thus Huber was the instigator and therefore validates the claim of self-defense for Rittenhouse.

SQEAKY: Okay so then we can dig into the details and you can- there's actually a Snopes page dedicated to Huber.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: He was acquitted of domestic abuse back in 2012 and hasn't had any legal issues since. He fought his brother with a knife, not a wife-beating situation, seems like a fight between brothers that escalated and then a grandma got involved somehow.

MAKO: Hmm.

SQEAKY: But nobody was critically injured, I think there might have been some choking and some hiting but nobody was stabbed, and uh... yeah, he was acquitted from that. I think it was self-defense. If we're going to start saying you were accused of some crime and then got off of self-defense, and that justifies killing you, well Rittenhouse has been accused of some crimes and got off on self-defense, does that justify killing him?

MAKO: Some people would say yeah.

SQEAKY: That's a shit answer.

MAKO: It is. A hundred percent. Don't be a vigilante people!

SQEAKY: And the whole thing here, the logic of all this...

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: It's- I made a situation more dangerous by bringing an assault rifle, and now shit's going down, I'm going to kill people in my new more dangerous situation, this is now self-d- No. None of this works. None of this is good. This whole let's believe the people who survived. Right, if one of these other people had a gun and shot him and Grosskreutz did have a gun but didn't kill Rittenhouse. If he had killed Rittenhouse we'd be hearing his story.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Right, and he'd be the one on trial for self-defense.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And he probably would've had a much easier time getting off because uh... the person he shot and stopped killed two other people so his story would have been open and shut. It's just so... We don't want a culture that...

MAKO: You're starting to step into the area that you said you didn't want to step into. There is nuance here that should be its own episode.

SQEAKY: You're right there's nuance here but we don't want a culture where the last man standing gets to dictate what happens. Would you agree with that?

MAKO: I do agree with that.


MAKO: Having that desire does not automatically believe that is the case here or- Okay that's a bad phrasing. It does mean that we should automatically kneejerk against the survivor.

SQEAKY: No it doesn't.

MAKO: We need to examine the facts.

SQEAKY: I do agree, but there are so few people speaking up on behalf of the dead people that we get this rampant victim blaming. We get people saying shit like- Literally the first argument I got into was he went out of his way to go to Kenosha and now you're defending the child rapist. It's like, like no, I'm saying we shouldn't have judge jury and executioner. And that's where people go...

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: If Rosenbaum had survived he would be able to put up his own defense and say look I'm already in the trial system you think it's okay to kill me? And he would get to say his own thing-

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: You're right there's details. Both of the lawyers I listened to brought up that point. We don't want a culture where the survivor solely dictates the narrative.

MAKO: Mhm.


MAKO: I agree with that.

SQEAKY: Oh yeah. That's... Is dang- Is skirting dangerously close to where we didn't want to go. We have anything else to say on this?

MAKO: Don't think so.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: Uh, that would you know get the hand- I lost my train of thought.

*Mako makes noises with his tongue*

*Guitar riff*


SQEAKY: On to a lighter topic: The Pledge of Allegiance.

MAKO: Well that sounds pretty innocuous.

SQEAKY: Other than indoctrinating our children so they'll be receptive to a more violent and Christian national state at the exclusion of people with different religions and races, yeah, it's fine up until that.

MAKO: Oh. But there isn't much of that right?

SQEAKY: Um it's only like that for the past 130 years.


SQEAKY: It's been like the purpose.

MAKO: But only in small areas right?

SQEAKY: Well... it kinda covered the whole country by 1920? It kinda made it to law, the Supreme Court ruled on it in 1940 and made it legally you have to.

MAKO: Well none of this is good.

SQEAKY: No. No it isn't. Let's take it chronologically I guess.

MAKO: Sure.

SQEAKY: It started off in the most American of ways. This uh... preacher named Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. And it was recognizable as the modern pledge with just a few words swapped. It was a little bit different like a couple words swapped. It was like "pledge of allegiance to my flag of my nation, indivisible, li-" all that stuff. And he wrote this in 1891 because he was one of the people working at a small company that made flags, patriotic literature, and a magazine called The Youth's Companion. I don't want to call them pamphlets but he made and sold little information pieces. They're too small to be magazines, too big to be pamphlets, but they included --this is going to make it sound way more nefarious than it is-- but it was a book of rituals and ceremonies that could be used to tie political and religious groups together and it included things like saying hey maybe at the beginning of important ceremonies you should have everyone stand together and pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States. Seems innocuous enough when you're doing it for the sake of selling flags, one of his products. That's pretty fuckin' American. Let's create a demand to sell flags and between when he wrote it in 1891 and 1892 he sold 26,000 flags so he's doing pretty good for himself.

SOURCE [27:38] The origins of the pledge - https://americanliterature.com/author/francis-bellamy/

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: To make it even more American, he wanted to release it on the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's voyage in search of wealth and money-

MAKO: Of course.

SQEAKY: At the expense of native peoples. Yeah we didn't need to go into that, we did a whole bunch on Pilgrims a couple episodes ago.

SOURCE [28:54] Pilgrims and Native Americans - https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/0020-autumn-holidays-myths

MAKO: Yep. Well, we did some yeah.

SQEAKY: Do we need to do a Christopher Columbus episode?

MAKO: Maybe.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay. So, after this came out he got it into a few schools in 1892. But it was picked up in more and more places until the 1920s. As part of his rituals he suggested positions and gestures and salutes and things and he suggested the... er, a salute he named after himself called the Bellamy Salute, and we'll include a picture of that in the YouTube video and we'll link to it in the show notes. Y'know we would recognize it today as a Nazi salute.

SOURCE [29:17] Bellamy Salute - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute

MAKO: Yeah that one was particularly bad.

SQEAKY: But he was having little kids all hold their arms out at like a forty-five degree angle pointed towards the flag and he said some shit like "As if you're reaching out towards hope to be proud of the flag" or something and then Hitler came along and we're all like oh gotta stop doing that. So in the 1920s we we switched from Hitler saluting the U.S. flag to putting our hands over our hearts and we started having the first sets of state laws come along and say all of the... all of the schools in these states are gonna pledge allegiance to the flag each morning. Which was great because we wanted to make people loyal to the country during times of war, y'know with the big war in the Philippines in the 1890s, World War I in the 1910s, World War II in the 30s and 40s. Yeah.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Around this time they suggested some of the words to change it from my flag to the nation's flag. It looked pretty much like the pledge of allegiance we have today except it didn't have the words "under God" in it. Even though it was written by a Baptist minister he kept God and country separate. That was interesting. We added that in 1954 when we had the red scare and we wanted more people to be afraid of those godless atheists.

SOURCE [30:07] A brief history of the pledge of allegiance - https://www.thoughtco.com/pledge-of-allegiance-brief-history-3320198

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay. Skipping ahead a little bit. Uh, the first Supreme Court case was in 1940 where people didn't want to say it, specifically Jehovah's Witnesses. They have a religious prescription against swearing allegiance to anything other than God because they feel that oaths, swears and pledges of allegiance were requests for salvation and that could only be granted by God and requesting salvation from other things was sacrilegious. So, since the very beginning, they were opposed to the Pledge of Allegiance.

MAKO: Yeah, at least in their own bubble that makes sense.

SQEAKY: Their logic is cohesive enough. It seems like a legitimate use of the religious exemption as opposed to whatever COVID deniers are doing.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Not that I agree with it, but I don't agree with the Pledge of Allegiance either so it's like.

MAKO: Yeah well I mean it sounds like you're in a situation where whoever loses you win.

SQEAKY: So in 1940, the Jehovah's Witnesses got all the way up to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court in like an 8-1 decision said no, Jehovah's Witnesses have to say it, have to say the Pledge of Allegiance otherwise the school can expel them.

SOURCE [31:18] 1940 pledge of allegiance case was decided incorrectly but still 8 to 1 - https://billofrightsinstitute.org/e-lessons/minersville-school-district-v-gobitis-1940

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: During that period of time, between then and the next Supreme Court decision there was a ton of violence. A few weeks even recorded as many as a hundred attacks per week against Jehovah's Witnesses by other Christian groups. Yay, peace on Earth, good will towards man. I think Francis Bellamy would be rather upset by this.

SOURCE [31:29] - MTSU on history of Pledge- https://mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1137/pledge-of-allegiance

MAKO: I hope so.

SQEAKY: We haven't discussed his politics much but I have reason to believe he's not very pro-violence. We'll get into that a bit.

MAKO: That's good at least.

SQEAKY: The Supreme Court in 1943 had another case where Jehovah's Witnesses brought it all the way up to them and this time the exemption for Jehovah's Witnesses was made. Every state pretty much realized that they couldn't enforce religious rules on people and it's kind of up in the air as to whether or not that anyone could sit out in the Pledge of Allegiance but most places will let you if you argue about it or at least until 2001 where the next major Pledge of Allegiance stuff happened.

MAKO: Oh my god. I had hoped that all this stuff would be just resolved and settled before I was going through school but you're saying that that's just not the case.

SQEAKY: Before we discuss the modern stuff let's round out the chronology. After 1943, the next big change was 1954, we add the words "under God". Then 2001- or a bunch of countries start passing more laws saying you have to say the Pledge of Allegiance. So even fairly liberal countries- or liberal states are doing it at this point and uh, there have been a couple of challenges that the Supreme Court just hasn't heard. Because the Supreme Court kinda just ignored these. They're like yeah, you're saying this is a religious argument but it just says the word "under God" it doesn't prohibit you from worshipping whatever god you want, it can be under any god.

SOURCE [32:39] Pledge of allegiance Legal challenges - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance#Legal_challenges

MAKO: But what if you don't have a god.

SQEAKY: Well, if you ask some of the current Supreme Court justices it's freedom of religion not freedom from religion so... fuck off and die.

MAKO: Yeah that's fucked.

SQEAKY: Yeah that's what happens when having only seven... having only seven Christian Supreme Court justices means having an eighth that's Catholic is persecution. What were they saying when- I can't remember her name now.

MAKO: Who?

SQEAKY: The new one.

MAKO: Oh, Amy Coney Barret?

SQEAKY: Yes. When Amy Coney Barret came on how they were saying that it was anti-Catholic persecution ignoring that several Supreme Court justices were already Catholic and that they were the largest single denomination and that seven of them were Christian and I think-

MAKO: That's a common rhetoric from those people.

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: Constantly saying "Oh Christianity is under attack", "Christmas is under attack".

SQEAKY: Christians do have a Christian persecution complex.

MAKO: Very much so.

SQEAKY: They said this is not a religion thing so it hasn't heard yet. So now there's a big legal grey area whether or not the Pledge of Allegiance is mandated or is not mandated. And there's legally defensible arguments on both sides. I don't think there's a good argument on both sides, I think only one side is a good argument. You shouldn't be able to make people pledge things. That's clearly a violation of the first amendment.

MAKO: Not only that but just like there is the indoctrination angle to it but kids have no idea what the hell they're actually saying. I- when I was doing Pledge of Allegiance in school, I sure as shit didn't. I just knew that adults expected me to do it and so like okay fine whatever let's get this over so I dunno it seems like a dumb idea to begin with.

SQEAKY: I completely agree with you. We shouldn't be making people promise things they don't understand.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: When you're in the first grade, can you spell allegiance?


SQEAKY: Do you know what a nation really is? Do you have any concept of what 300,000,000 people is?

MAKO: I- yeah I could right the number probably after clarifying with my teacher how many zeros it is, as far as nation like I could point to the United States on the map but-

SQEAKY: That's better than a lot of adults.

MAKO: But that's about it. All of the extra baggage that comes with understanding what a nation is, absolutely not.

SQEAKY: And who would you say are the people that most defend having children say the Pledge of Allegiance?

MAKO: I don't know, people with rampant insecurities?

SQEAKY: Oh you're not wrong.

*Mako laughs*

SQEAKY: I was expecting a political faction.

MAKO: Republicans.

SQEAKY: Ah okay. So going back to Bellamy, remember how I said I had reason to believe he wasn't big on violence and probably wasn't big on well whatever Republicans do today?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: He self-identified as a Christian Socialist.

SOURCE [35:10] Wikipedia on Francis Bellamy - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bellamy

MAKO: That makes a weird kind of sense.

SQEAKY: Because Jesus was a socialist?

MAKO: Exactly.

SQEAKY: Yeah. The Jesus of myth was all about helping the poor which Bellamy took to mean the workers.

MAKO: And both redistribution and...

SQEAKY: Yeah. That was...

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: ...all Bellamy's bag.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: So this was all like pro-communist stuff. Well maybe not pro-communist but-

MAKO: Communist might be a little bit harsh.

SQEAKY: Yeah but modern Republicans would say it's communist.

MAKO: Oh yes of course.

SQEAKY: It's not straight Supply Side Jesus.

SOMETHING [35:39] Supply Side Jesus - https://www.beliefnet.com/news/2003/09/the-gospel-of-supply-side-jesus.aspx

MAKO: Goddammit.

SQEAKY: Anything more liberal than hunting the homeless for sport is communism.

MAKO: Wow. Okay, sorry, you were saying.

SQEAKY: Uh, just thought that's really interesting that this nationalist thing came from someone so liberal at the time. He believed in the separation of church and state to the point where he was plugging nationalism, he kept his religion --even though he was a minister-- out of it. That's not something you could see today. And then he did it to be capitalist. He did it to sell flags. And he didn't think in his wildish dreams it would be mandated by schools all across the country even though that's sort of what he was fighting for. But I think he wanted an opt-in system.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: He wanted schools to accept it.

MAKO: He wanted it to be a cultural phenomenon not a legal phenomenon.

SQEAKY: There ya go, and now it's both.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay. So I did kind of go over those histories pretty fast. Let's see if I can just review that. 1891, Bellamy wrote this. 1892, Bellamy was successfully distributing the Pledge of Allegiance and using it to sell flags. He sold 26,000 flags.

MAKO: Quite a few.

SQEAKY: Yep. He was getting the pledge in school at the time. Not much news happened except the general slow sort of spread until the 20s until they took his original salute out and replaced his sort of Nazi salute with the hand over heart thing. Not much happened with it until the forties, it was used as a tool of pro-USA propaganda during World War II of course, but in the 40s Supreme Court mandated it, violence rose against Jehovah's Witnesses because they were the people opposing it, and 1943 Supreme Court went back and said it's not actually mandatory, that's us forcing religion on people, freedom of speech should matter. 1954, they added "under God" and then 2001 some more states mandated it and that's a dubious legal quality.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: So how does this tie back to people manipulating thought? We did mention a little bit of this earlier, you're talking about indoctrinating little kids, we mentioned- I mentioned using it to make people more loyal or more nationalistic during a time of a giant war.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Well I've brought this up before but repetition is a great way to instill someone with a... with a thought or a belief and totally circumvent their desire for evidence.

MAKO: Yeah you just kind of passively figure oh there must be a reason for it or this is just the way the world is.


MAKO: That type of stuff.

SQEAKY: Exactly. So if you make a little kid say this five times a week for their whole education, could get them to say it a couple hundred times a year, get them to say that for y'know fifteen or twelve years, however much school they're going to, and then whenever they go to a ball game or other similar events, they've repeated it a ton and you've built a cultural... you've built a piece of culture that really convinces people of these words and lets them backfill the explanations they need to stand together. That is... well, that's great when you're trying to as a leader push something like McCarthyism or support for the war or some other political movement if you can grab that and run with it and largely in this country that's been conservative things. We haven't been able to grab the reins of that and use it for things like equality of skin color. That would be awesome of we could do that. Maybe we could get there without the Pledge of Allegiance though because lots of people are saying you can't be American if your skin's different than mine. Anyway, this so far is all just me making a logical argument. All the sources I have, and I do have several sources for this, uh Thoughtco has a great timeline, Wikipedia, they really go into... they really go into what Francis Bellamy believed, they even have a time line there's just one sentence: "Bellamy offered public education classes, topics such as: Jesus the Socialist, What is Christian Socialism, Socialism versus Anarchy". Great stuff. Uh MTSU has a history on the Pledge of Allegiance and then there's a Medium article which is largely an opinion piece but does have some analysis and cite sources that talks about the pledge being used for indoctrination.

SOURCE [39:14] - Pledge of indoctrination - https://medium.com/race-law-a-critical-analysis/the-pledge-of-allegiance-a-powerful-tool-for-indoctrination-6fb864e1867e

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: This phenomena of using rituals and tradition to create culture works so well they're used and recommended in business. And I have two sources here, uh another Medium article and redcarpetlearning.com, one of which doesn't call them rituals or traditions and the other one explicitly calls them rituals and traditions. Both talk about making things happen habitually to instill the company culture you want. Of course company culture is a little different than country culture but the same ideas exist. One of these is saying yeah, make a quarterly meeting where everyone gets together and communicates and it is just a big meeting, but if you have a culture of meeting to communicate you're going to have more of it in general. It's going to be not seen as taboo. People will be able to appeal to "Well don't we have meetings to hash these out" and you'll have more meetings.

SOURCE [39:33] See the first item in this list, Create anything that people do together - https://tereza-machackova92.medium.com/how-not-to-create-a-unified-culture-in-a-startup-b26e831a535b

SOURCE [39:42] Literally create rituals and traditions to control culture in your business - http://redcarpetlearning.com/company-culture-7-specific-ways-reinforce-organizational-values/

SQEAKY: But that isn't the only place and that's not- that doesn't have academic rigour which is why I then link to...

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: The uh... A final Medium article called "Rites and Rituals, a Modern Perspective" and this individual goes through and cites about a dozen different academic perspective on religious rituals and secular counterparts on western and ancient cultures. And he breaks down a ton of different kinds of rituals and what they mean and how they draw communities and people together. And there's a lot of interesting and thought-provoking stuff in there. And there's a bunch of flowery bullshit pros too but if you can have more than one thought-provoking point in an article you have my attention.

SOURCE [40:06] A more serious discussion, A modern perspective on Rites and Rituals -https://medium.com/theological-and-religious-archetypes/rites-and-rituals-a-modern-perspective-b8999c227bd3

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Sorry I'm just kinda going off here.

MAKO: Keep going.

SQEAKY: And this... this one article talks about different papers that different archeologists and sociologists have written and how rituals do build culture. And a lot of it is focusing on the symbolism or elevating one concept with a symbol. Like he specifically goes on for a couple paragraphs about splashing people with water, in some religious rituals this means we're washing away sin and in others it represents sprinkling of fertility but the idea is everybody involved in the ritual knows that there is a symbolic meaning for this and it gets everyone at least thinking about that idea. So if we're talking about rituals that are centuries old and talking about one symbol and it creating a shared meeting, there's a ritual that we're doing every single day let alone once a year and we're all talking about allegiance to the flag and the country for which it stands, there's going to be a lot of talk and a lot of thought about how important this is. Even if the people involved largely don't agree, they've had that conversation so many times it's taking up so much headspace, there's... I remember as a little kid having several conversations like is it right that we should pledge allegiance to the country- just why should I as a fourth grader have the vocabulary to ask if that's right or not? That's ridiculous!

MAKO: Mmm.

SQEAKY: You laugh but-

MAKO: I mean yeah, I... I just kind of dismissed it personally. I thought it was weird at first and as I started to become more aware I just sort of dismissed it and then going into junior high we just stopped doing it all together.

SQEAKY: My junior high experience we did it twice. Once in the morning when we arrived and then once after lunch.

MAKO: Weird. Yeah I don't remember doing it at all in junior high or high school. It was all elementary but yeah like of course I still thought about the Pledge of Allegiance after the fact and I didn't think too much of it I was just like okay let's just- it's a weird thing that adults want me to do and even though I recognized that swearing allegiance to a country is like a little bizarre, it just- it seemed like I had better things to think about at the time.

SQEAKY: And yet we still had those thoughts. I agree with you, we had better things to think about.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: It also- for people who can be in the outgroup and... something I sort of glossed over earlier. In creating a ritual where some people can't participate. I don't think this was anyone's intention, but when you create an outgroup like the Jehovah's Witnesses, there's going to be some natural austrichization that happens. Imagine you were in school and one of the kids just didn't say the Pledge of Allegiance. I mean what are the chances that the other kids makes fun of and bullies that one kid.

MAKO: A 110 percent.

SQEAKY: Uh yeah. So this creates fundamentally a friction between that one kid and everyone else.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: It's ridiculous. Why would you do- What constructive purpose does that serve?

MAKO: Peer-pressuring them into compliance?

SQEAKY: Oh yes, yes. Let's live in a country that in it's- in the first rule for the constitution, the first amendment to it we're guaranteeing you the right to say and think what you want in terms of your speech and your religion except kids are gonna pick on you for the first eighteen years of your life if you choose wrong.

MAKO: Yep that's what you got.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: You're laughing man but you're not...

MAKO: I hate it.

SQEAKY: Yah. Don't get me started on this "under God" shit. Don't even get me- No, no, No!

MAKO: Thunder god shit?

SQEAKY: This under God shit.

MAKO: Oh right yeah.

SQEAKY: Are you kidding me dude? If we had a thunder god that would be way more awesome. At least-

MAKO: That's what I'm saying, we gotta get Zeus.

SQEAKY: Yeah thunder's real.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: I dunno. I thought there'd be more jokes there.

MAKO: No. Wait there's a lot of valid things to have against Zeus to be honest.

SQEAKY: He was kind of a dick.

*Mako laughs*

SQEAKY: So yeah I kind of bulldozed through all those sources but uh... I think we covered all the bases. Do you have any questions that we didn't just address?

MAKO: Well, where would you gauge like the political will about the Pledge of Allegiance? 'Cause it feels like the type of thing that is for a lot of people an afterthought. So if you try to move against it people are gonna be like aren't we- don't we have more important things to talk about? But is anybody that's saying "No f you, this is a sactrisaint part of our culture", like and how many of those people exist.

SQEAKY: I don't have hard numbers on this but everytime it comes up and everytime there's a case against it, immediately there are accusations that these people are un-American that are opposing it.

MAKO: Yeah that makes sense.

SQEAKY: So it's part of why atheists get a bum wrap, whenever we try to say things like "Well that violates church and state separation." People are always like "What about the Pledge of Allegiance? Didn't you pledge under God? Don't you believe in some God?" And then you have to have that argument before you can discuss whatever the real argument is.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So not knowing hard numbers, I would say something on the order of the same amount of people staunchly defend the Pledge of Allegiance in its current form as there are Q supporters. So I would guess something on the order of ten to thirty percent of the population, almost all of them Republican.

MAKO: That makes sense.


MAKO: And I hate it.

SQEAKY: And it's gonna be mostly conservatives because it does really enforce- does really encourage that conservative power structure.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Supporting nationalism is generally good for Republicans.

MAKO: It's a sort of surrendering of thought which Republicans are big on.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Uh yeah yeah, this is our first in twenty-two episodes where we had more than one myth where Democrats only participated in. We had one or two others, but it was only one per episode but this time there were like four of five Rittenhouse myths that they viewed. That's- I'm not saying that Democrats or liberals are perfect, but they're track record is so much better.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: I mean when you start without a god preconception, it's so much easier to be accurate.

MAKO: Well even then, I don't wanna pan it all on religion. It's like a certain way of thinking that they possess that just is incompatible with reality.

SQEAKY: Well that's why I went straight to religion. I'm not blaming religion, I'm saying if you have the necessary mental failing to believe something without evidence, you can believe other things without evidence. I'm not trying to say all people that believe in religion are dumb, but at a minimum they're mistaken and they can be mistaken the same way again.

MAKO: Yeah. I don't know. In a way it's like I have a slightly different way of viewing it but evaluating evidence certainly plays a part.

SQEAKY: Well a lot of people never evaluated evidence to get into religion. They were indoctrinated into it.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Which is what the pledge tries to do with nationalism.

MAKO: I'd assert most people in religion were just indoctrinated into it.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And then the religion which you took as a priori correct, the religious people tell you that it's good to just have faith. Whatever your religion says to do, you just believe that and if you... Being near Christians it's mostly what I'm familiar with but I know that other religions prescribe different things. If you're in some religion where your ancestors can bless you or if you're in some religion where Jesus can absolve you of your sin if you're in some religion where...

MAKO: Yeah at that point you can just believe you're righteous and therefore you feel righteous and therefore self-reinforces.

SQEAKY: Yeah if your faith determines whether or not you're correct then can't you do that for something else? So your self-reinforcing on this one thing you haven't vetted, you're not mentally prepared or equipped to vet this next thing.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And that's why there's huge- or in my opinion, that's why there's huge overlaps when you get to conspiracy theories. Let's look at 9/11 truthers since we already talked about 9/11 a little bit which is why the Pledge of Allegiance got so many more states passing laws in 2001. Uh, there's not a lot of atheist 9/11 truthers. They're almost all Christian, and they all almost turn rapidly anti-semitic when you dig into what they're saying. It's not a coincidence, there's a pattern and I think their causal mechanism is that they don't need evidence to justify belief, they just have more belief. So, they'll get one shred of evidence, think they've done something amazing because y'know evidence works, evidence is really good, they have something tangible to look at, but they don't know how evidence actually works so they stop before they deploy rigour or critical thought.

MAKO: Well they don't feel they need to but- 'cause it feels right. Then they talk with their peers which have the same problem and it reinforces it and they're like see other people agree with me keep going.

SQEAKY: And then you get repetition which is how we got into this problem in the first place.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And in fact, I'm not trying to say any of these people are dumb. In fact, a lot of these people are capable of amazing displays of hyper-intense levels of logic, just not backed by evidence. Doesn't matter how smart and how expert your arguments are if they don't tie back to reality. Mmm. We're way off in the weeds here.

MAKO: A wee bit.

SQEAKY: Alright. Let's uh, hop on to the next topic.

MAKO: Mhm.

*Guitar riff*

SPONSOR - [48:29]

SQEAKY: Hey Mako. Remember how I trained artificial intelligence using machine learning?

MAKO: Don't you mean artificial stupidity?

SQEAKY: These are better. They came with me to the BLM protest.

MAKO: Do you mean their own accord or did you carry them to the protest?

SQEAKY: This beige one thought it was a good idea. Equality regardless of chassis color and...

*Sqeaky turns it around*

SQEAKY: Look at these bullet holes.

MAKO: What the actual fuck happened to it?!

SQEAKY: The white supremecist counter-protestors had a field day.

MAKO: How do you know they were white supremecist?

SQEAKY: Other than the confederate flags and swastikas?

MAKO: I suppose if you have more than tell.

SQEAKY: Well look.

*Sqeaky moves it again*

SQEAKY: The PC is beige. The artificial stupidity- er, the artificial intelligence in the white PC case made it out fine.

MAKO: Not even a scratch? Was there a police report? Anything?

SQEAKY: The police showed up, but they felt the white PC and the white supremcists were just defending themselves and let them all go.

MAKO: Does this mean you need a new computer?

SQEAKY: Two. The beige one ejected it's bluray drive menacingly near the white supremicists so they shot it in self-defense.

MAKO: But that's only one computer.

SQEAKY: Well... the white one thinks that taxation is theft and likes the idea of wearing bed sheets so it left with them.

MAKO: I guess that means that you should contact the experts at abkkustomz.com to get your new computer or computers. Don't forget to use the code "evidence" to get ten percent off.

SPONSOR [49:40] - Get a custom computer from ABK Kustomz, use code evidence for 10% off - https://abk-kustomz.com/

SQEAKY: That's a great idea. Their team of experts have helped us get so many new computers, I can't believe I almost forgot how helpful they were.

MAKO: Are they on a first name basis with you yet?

SQEAKY: Yeah I am! And they even sold me this beige computer. Their expert tech support might even be able to help me with the bullet damage. And that's abk-kustomz.com for a new computer. And don't forget to use code "evidence" for ten percent off.

*Guitar riff*

COVID MINUTE - [50:03]
SQEAKY: Now that we're done with the light philosophical topic, how about we discuss something heavy like millions of deaths.

MAKO: Recently?

SQEAKY: Like the past two years.

MAKO: Eh that counts.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: So what's new in COVID?

MAKO: Well, I'd imagine most of our listeners have already heard about the Omicron variant. That is the newest variant that has been identified out of specifically South Africa.

SQEAKY: Wasn't it just identified by the doctors there but it's kind of in a small scattering of countries?

MAKO: It's in a few countries, yes.

SQEAKY: Okay, okay.

MAKO: It has spread a bit. Near as we can tell --so far-- it has not entered the United States-

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY from the future: In the time since we have recorded this, Omicron has been detected in several U.S. states. Just as we normally would, we will include a source in the show notes but as of right now it's in twenty-seven countries and five U.S. states, so it's safe to assume it's near you wherever you are. We always recommend you take all the appropriate precautions to mask up, vaccinate, and social distance. Stay safe and back to our previously recorded conversation.

SOURCE [50:42] COVID detected in several U.S. states - https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/omicron-covid-19-variant-detected-in-5-states/ar-AARp5jh

SOURCE [50:45] What to know about Omicron, the new COVID variant - https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/11/26/1059339865/coronavirus-variant-covid-omicron-travel-bans

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: -but despite that you can pretty much expect it to arrive in the United States. Our lockdowns and our antiviral measures, they're not good enough to keep something as infectious as Omicron away from the United States unfortunately. It didn't work for Delta, it's not gonna work for Omicron. But Omicron is the newest strain of concern. There's new strains of COVID that are happening all the time. This is a normal part of viruses, but we only identify certain ones that have key mutations that make them particularly problematic. I even- The original coronavirus that we were just referring to as just coronavirus for the longest time ended up being renamed to Alpha after the Delta variant became really popular in the media. Now we have Omicron. Although there was another one that was talked about a while ago... I'm getting off in the weeds a little here... There's another one a while ago, I think it was the Mu variant?

SQEAKY: I do recall hearing about that but I don't know the details.

MAKO: The Mu variant was labeled as a strain of concern because it seemed to have the ability to completely bypass all of our vaccines but unlike Omicron and Delta, it was hardly infectious at all. Worldwide there was like 3,000 cases I think.

SQEAKY: Yeah that would have been cause for concern by itself outside of the current pandemic because without the current there wouldn't have been nearly as many safeguards in place.

MAKO: So it hasn't spread all that much and they're keeping an eye on it but it hasn't really become a global problem but now okay, we have the Omicron variant. And it is... Delta on it's own was already far more infectious than Alpha and Omicron steps it up even further. It is exceedingly infectious. But the good news- Well there's a few things of good news and bad news depending on how you look at it. The good and bad depending on how you look at it, President Biden does not feel that Omicron is dangerous enough to warrant new lockdowns or other heavy-handed approaches. He did issue a series of travel restrictions for eight countries in Southern Africa, but that's about it.

SQEAKY: Since it's already in a few European countries, doesn't that mean that those travel restrictions aren't enough?

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Mmm. Well that's gross. I don't know what to do or say about that.

MAKO: The good news is that some initial reports about handling those with the Omicron variant have come in specifically from South Africa. There is a doctor there, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, I apologize if I butchered that, I'm really bad at this. This doctor has had some minor flu-like- or patients with minor flu-like symptoms come in, they just thought it was a regular flu, they did some testing and the COVID test pinged positive so they were surprised but they've only treated seven patients so this is a lesson on sample size, take this with a little bit of a grain of salt, but it is encouraging, at least initially, that these patients exhibited extremely mild symptoms. Symptoms so mild that the doctor said they could have been treated at home just fine.

SOURCE [53:46] S. African doctor says patients with Omicron variant have “very mild” symptoms - https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/safrican-doctor-says-patients-with-omicron-variant-have-very-mild-symptoms-2021-11-28/

SQEAKY: Well I guess that's a little bit of good news that this specific variant if it does get out doesn't warrant- If those numbers scale to statistically significant levels and we're still seeing very few of the severe symptoms, that's good news. I would much rather have a pandemic that's just here's another flu-like thing, not that the flu isn't bad but the flu kills tens of thousands of people each year and, COVID kills a couple million people each year.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: That's a... that's a big improvement.

SOURCE [54:08] CDC Annual Flu Deaths - https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

MAKO: She did specify that there was no loss of taste or smell and even when they checked the oxygen levels in their blood there was no apparent drop in oxygen levels.

SQEAKY: This is still only seven people though.

MAKO: Only seven people.

SQEAKY: So in normal COVID distributions you're looking at one to five people dying out of a hundred. You're looking at something like twenty to forty people getting long COVID which could include strokes or permanent loss of sense of smell.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Even had someone mention that they had someone with that in our Discord recently, and then you have the other forty to sixty percent of people that either have a mild case which may mean being bedridden for a couple days all the way down to people who almost don't have symptoms, y'know sniffles, and they're just very contagious. It's entirely possible that just these seven people if you randomly picked them out of a hundred, you could get a bunch of people that came out of that large forty to sixty group that were mild.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: And that's medical mild, it might not feel mild. You might feel like you're dying, but you might not be.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: You might just be the worst flu you ever had.

MAKO: This is in no way definitive like don't we are probably going to hear cases being more severe than what has been described here. But at least initially it doesn't seem like it's all that aggressive but a few people have been taking this news and crossing their fingers that Omicron being as infectious as it is is gonna get passed pretty much every lame defense that we have deployed so far against COVID and it's probably going to do to Delta was Delta did to Alpha.

SQEAKY: Just outcompete it.

MAKO: Completely. And become ninety-nine percent of the cases and if that does happen and it is tame, then we have a much more tolerable endemic situation with COVID.

SQEAKY: Then we can get rid of the COVID minute and reclaim those- reclaim these ten minutes per episode.

MAKO: We could. We still have to wait and see. We still have to wait and see. We don't have enough information yet but there's a little bit of encouraging information.

SQEAKY: Do we know anything about vaccine efficacy?

MAKO: Not enough that I feel comfortable saying.


MAKO: That's still being tested.

SQEAKY: So we don't know if this totally dodges the vaccine or if the vaccine is a complete protection.

MAKO: We do know that there are some mutations in the spike protein specifically and the spike protein is how these vaccines fight the COVID vaccine... or fight the COVID virus but we don't know if those mutations are strong enough to... like how they interact with the vaccine at scale. We just don't have the information yet. This virus is too new.

SQEAKY: We have reason to be fearful the vaccine won't work but we simply don't know.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: In other general COVID news, uh... just the COVID numbers are up. Again. It looks like they just kept going up 'cause we're going into the fall and winter seasons and people are doing holiday stuff and getting sick. Didn't want to get too much into specific numbers but I looked at all the lines, they're all still going up for U.S. and Europe.

SOURCE [56:43] - Covid numbers are up, Again - https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/worldwide-graphs/

MAKO: Holiday season. That's...


MAKO: ...regrettably to be expected.

SQEAKY: So some of our sources for the things we just discussed. On the Omicron variant you cite NPR for an article on the Omicron variant and you cite Reuters for an interview they have with the doctors discussing Omicron and I just used the world... the world... the Worldometers.info for the coronavirus numbers and graphs. But you had some other things you wanted to discuss. Didn't a listener bring something to your attention?

MAKO: Yes. I have a friend who is a listener, you know who you are, that came to me talking about our coverage of vaccine hesitancy and the mentality that is being approached with it and how some of these things relate to it.

SQEAKY: Yeah we've been very uncharitable towards vaccine hesitant people.

MAKO: Yeah they largely agree with us with what we have to say about vaccine hesitancy but they also feel that it's a little disingenuous to focus on that because in their experience very little people actually hold that view, it is a... they believe it a vocal minority.

SQEAKY: That's possible but it's just so many of 'em that I have no problem finding them for...

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: If I spend two minutes yelling on any social media I find dozens of them.

MAKO: They're super easy to find on social media, yes. That's a given. But-

SQEAKY: Oh I recently shouted down a nurse. She wasn't a nurse anymore, she got fired by the Governor for the state of Washington for not getting the COVID vaccine.

MAKO: Oh. Sounds charming.

SQEAKY: Yeah and I was- She right in her profile said fired because of the Governor's vaccine mandate and I said no one should listen to you or respect your opinion, you're telling people to not get vaccinated, you should be telling people to go to their doctor. Then after I said this she reported me to LinkedIn. She tried to get me kicked off of LinkedIn and I told LinkedIn it's like if you're going to stop me from denouncing anti vaxxers your rules are bad and they let me back in.

MAKO: That's good.

SQEAKY: And all of her posts and comments disappeared. I think she blocked me.

MAKO: That's fine.

SQEAKY: And the world became a slightly better place.

MAKO: Slightly.

SQEAKY: So yeah that's why we're so anti vaxx is these people we're dealing with them constantly. And they are hostile and harmful.

MAKO: Yeah they are quite loud, and they their bullshit does reach a lot of people and it does real harm. If you talk to a lot of healthcare professionals- stories of burnout in healthcare because of anti vaxxers are astonishingly common. It honestly makes me wonder what part of healthcare that particular worker was in. 'Cause like ER, doctors and nurses in particular, like you don't have to go far, as soon as you ask them "Oh so how is work?" and they're like "Oh yeah it's fine", "Okay but how is COVID work?" and just right there their eyes glass over. They're just fuckin' done. Like, it's not hard to find.

SQEAKY: Yeah if you compartmentalize you can say it was just another day at the office.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And almost all the deaths are people who didn't get vaccinated.

MAKO: Yeah. Or people are endangering other people that just-

SQEAKY: And it has to be terrible working next to these like this nurse that blocked me. I can't imagine being someone that understands science and working side-by-side with someone like that person.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: That's gotta be a nightmare.

MAKO: Then like the early reports of COVID outbreak when people would like get into the ER and they'd be like what's wrong with me and they'd say COVID and the conspiracy theorists slash anti vaxxers they'd be like COVID doesn't exist tell me what's actually wrong with me and they'd become downright combative with people. And in some cases they would even try to storm out but because their blood oxygen level was so low they'd collapse on the way out so then they'd have to be dragged back to the bed just for everything to repeat again when they regained consciousness and-

SQEAKY: It's like the the mental model that leads one to be this extreme kind of anti vaxxer where you distrust the medical establishment to the point where you think doctors are lying to you. Okay, that at least by itself is kind of cohesive. It's really really wrong-

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: -but at least it isn't internally inconsistent. But if you hold those views, why are you going to the hospital?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: There's just no more logic there. It's like well they're lying and deceiving you to try to put things in your body you're going to go to a place where you might pass out and they might put the things in your body? That's- None of that makes sense. At some level their beliefs don't line up with their actions and they don't see it or don't get it or deep down don't believe or are desperate enough to try anything, it just- logic doesn't pan out.

MAKO: Yeah. So we're getting off on the weeds again.

SQEAKY: We are. You had a specific thing.

MAKO: I did. We started on that whole rant in order to establish the context on why we are focusing on the loudest voices and in short we're focusing on the loudest voices 'cause they're the most damaging. There's a lot of other voices that are less loud that are closer to reasonable but I'm not going to say they are reasonable, and there's even some few that are reasonableish question mark, but the vaccines are demonstrably safe. We've already seen their effects. We've innoculated so many people like there's not really a good reason to be hesitant anymore.

SQEAKY: Yeah when we check the numbers several episodes ago, there were like four billion doses delivered and 1.8 billion people totally vaccinated. And a lot of these conspiracy theorists were saying it would kill you in a month. Well if that were true we'd have a hundred million dead-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: -so...

MAKO: There'd be a massive massive cull that'd be impossible to cover up at this point. And that's just not there. Again we're getting off in the weeds but that's why we're focusing on the loudest voices and the listener that contacted me specifically wanted it to have a bit more coverage on not the loudest voices and just try to give them a little bit more representation. Because these- The opinions I'm about to cover are opinions that they in particular are exposed to at work and other social circles so us ranting about the loudest voices is not exactly relatable to them but these will be.

SQEAKY: I can imagine it wouldn't be helpful either. A lot of the tactics you deploy on the loudest voices don't apply to people who can-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: -be reasoned with.

MAKO: They will handwave you as trying to dismiss what they are saying and I can't even say they're wrong about that, if you try to mislabel them and put words in their mouth I mean that's just a natural reaction people are going to have.

SQEAKY: Oh yeah, I was actually trying to dismiss that one anti vaxx nurse because she should be dismissed.

MAKO: Well-

SQEAKY: But you're right, this reasonable person-

MAKO: Well even in the case of that nurse that you interacted with, that- Setting aside interacting with her on a personal level, it's still important to publicly dismiss so that people don't get bad medical advice from the individual.

SQEAKY: Yeah. The only medical advice we should be taking from the internet is go see your doc.

MAKO: Yeah pretty much.

SQEAKY: And in my opinion, anyone saying less than that, anyone saying be careful of the vaccine, they're automatically wrong, and I consider that- I consider that stance to be anti vaxx at this point-

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: -because it's so demonstrably safe, the only skeptical thing that can be said about it is ask your doctor if it's right for you. And everyone who does that will hopefully get a good answer.

MAKO: Uh there's... We'll get into it. There's CDC guidelines for this.

SQEAKY: Oh yeah.

MAKO: And we'll get into that but anyway. They say that hardly anyone is worried about the health drawbacks of vaccines. And-

*Sqeaky starts laughing*

SQEAKY: Okay, sorry. I just-

MAKO: Well I mean... I hesitate, I kinda curious as to what health drawbacks means here but I mean if health drawbacks means that you might feel sick for a day or two, okay sure, those are drawbacks.

SQEAKY: Well, again those loudest voices won't shut up about those presumed millions of people who are dying. More recently they have been switching from dying to say people are going to be sterile.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: But again those are the loudest voices not the moderate voices on anti vaxx.

MAKO: Well they add in their note there are health drawbacks that are there but they're about as bad as any other vaccine. So yeah it is common for when you get vaccinated you're gonna feel drowsy for a little bit.

SQEAKY: Some people who were commenting they got hit by the COVID vaccine particularly hard where they had to y'know like take the next day off of work-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: -cause they were experiencing uh in some cases minor fever, sometimes congestion, sometimes some other issues but it was never-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: -like life-threatening or long-term it was always like sleep it off or-

MAKO: Only two of those people in my online community. They got vaccinated and they were just knocked out for one whole day.

SQEAKY: Yeah. My father when he got the first shot, it didn't really affect him. I think he had uh, his arm hurt for a couple of days. But when he got his second shot, it really fucked with him. He had to take a day or two off work.

MAKO: Hmm. Yeah so there are health drawbacks.


MAKO: As long as we're defining health drawbacks as that. That is totally a thing.


MAKO: But everybody gets over them, they're not severe, they're short-

SQEAKY: In this context when you say everyone you're excluding the one-in-a-million who don't. 'Cause there is about a one-in-a-million people who get the vaccine and something horrible happens.

MAKO: I am unclear on that statistic.

SQEAKY: Uh we've pulled it up in a couple previous episodes.

MAKO: Like I know about anaphylaxis but if like you get past the first fifteen minutes I'm I'm unsure about more than that.

SQEAKY: It's- It's on the order of one-in-a-million in times ten or divided by ten in either direction where-

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: -it's super uncommon but I just mean that's how safe a typical vaccine is if we get major side effects. About one-in-a-million. And it's just a different order of magnitude compared to COVID which is like two percent of people with COVID are gonna be really fucked. Like dead.

MAKO: Yeah. Okay, onwards. So the problems that these people have is not with the vaccine itself, it is with just actually the mandate and how the mandate has been handled. Or specifically how this was written- how ridiculous the mandate was written if I am to quote this person.

SQEAKY: So they have a specific complaint?

MAKO: Uh they have a couple of examples. So, one example is that they have a co-worker that has a history of anaphylactic shock. She applied for a medical exemption, got the medical exemption, and was-

SQEAKY: And she applied for the medical exemption through a doctor?

MAKO: That's my understanding, yes.

SQEAKY: Okay so let's run on that presumption.

MAKO: So she got the medical exemption, she presented this to the employer and the employer just didn't acknowledge it and didn't really care for the exemption. Now I'm not entirely sure what happened as a result of the employer saying no, but-

SQEAKY: We can explore a couple thought experiments and say what we think would be right or wrong.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Well it just so happens that before this we looked up what the labor laws in Washington State look like which is where you said this was happening. And we have a source, wa.gov, so the state of Washington government website, and we link to the termination retaliation page for what you can... what you can and can't be fired for. A lot of people have probably heard of right-to-work states. These are the least legally encumbered states to work in, you can be fired for any reason and they don't have to tell you.

SOURCE [1:06:39] Washington State Dept of Labor and Industries - https://lni.wa.gov/workers-rights/workplace-policies/termination-retaliation

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Like here in Nebraska, right. I could sneeze and they could fire me. Like how dare you not work through that sneeze, they could just fire me. And that's gonna sound unbelievable to some people but literally that can happen. And it's really problematic because they fire black people, don't tell them why, and as long as they don't say it's because of race, well they're fired because of race and they get away with it. States that are slightly more legally covered are states like Washington which are at-will states. In these states, you can choose to quit pretty much whenever you want, so you're not like bound up to work unless you work in a union job which you can sometimes be- I don't want to say forced but you sometimes can be put in a position where it's enter the union or you don't get a certain job, but also in Washington you can ask why you were fired. So it's not exactly a lot of protection 'cause you can still be fired at any moment for any reason with a few exceptions but then you can at least demand a reason and as long as they don't say they fired you for like a race, a disability, your religion, as long as they don't say they fired you for one of those things they can just say "We have too many people. We fired you because we don't need your job position anymore." And that's just a thing they can just do that. So, if this person was fired because they got a medical exemption that's being fired for a disability and that would be at least to my reading of the rules, not allowed.

MAKO: Yeah. There is legal recourse that can be taken at that point.

SQEAKY: Yeah. It's still- the well is probably poisoned going back to whatever their job was. It's hard to get your job back if you've been fired and your boss doesn't like you. Sometimes judges do mandate you get your job back other times they mandate that they give you pay for so much time.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: So it can be expensive firing people for illegal reasons but it's not like other places I've seen where there's a ton of legal protections where you're guaranteed your job back, you're guaranteed so many wages, you're guaranteed so many hours, you're guaranteed a lot of things.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: But if this person wasn't fired, that then sounds like the system working for me. They- There was a mandate, they went to a doctor, they got an exemption, the system worked. The small number of people who really shouldn't be vaccinated on fact-based things and they risk anaphylaxis, seems like a fact-based thing if this person has had it in the past.

MAKO: Yeah. If there was no particular problem then there was no particular problem but the implication that there was a problem and the implication was firing but all that was said was the exemption was denied. I don't know what exactly that means. But regardless I don't think corporations that aren't doctors should be making that kind of opinion and call, that's why we have doctors.

SQEAKY: As much as I agree with you, they already do for so many things. If you have a job in this country, you're getting your insurance through your workplace. It's- it's- What medical coverage you get is already determined by where you work and I think that system's bad and wrong-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: -but it's the system we have. This is just one more point of that. That sucks and is terrible but-

MAKO: I would argue against complacency here but yeah.

SQEAKY: Suppose that's fair. Uh...

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So this pers- So if the exemption was given by the doctor and denied by the workplace, they may not be fired yet. They might be living in some kind of existential limbo while the rules get sorted out.

MAKO: Maybe.

SQEAKY: And they might get fired or might have to be vaccinated by some date.

MAKO: Yeah. Uh so I was kind of also wondering about the... let's go with the legitimacy of the claim of needing a medical exemption. Because a whole lot of people tried to claim that they should be medically exempt from getting a vaccine. A whole hell lot of people.

SQEAKY: Pretty much if someone tells that to me and doesn't show me the sheet of paper, I presume they're full of shit and noone's been able to convince me that I'm wrong yet.

MAKO: Statistically speaking you're going to be correct more than ninety-nine percent of the time. Um so-

SQEAKY: I've seen some numbers thrown around that there's only a few thousand people in the whole country that actually have issues where they can't take the vaccine.

MAKO: So the FDA has actually released guidelines for people that should be concerned in seeking medical exemptions for- from the vaccines. And really what it comes down to is if you have an allergy to one of the things that are commonly found in the vaccines that you are taking. They actually provide a list of these ingredients.

SOURCE [1:10:25] Few people medically exempt from getting COVID-19 vaccine: Experts - https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/medical-exemption-covid-vaccine

SQEAKY: Is eggs one of 'em?

MAKO: Uh... I mean, maybe. This has all been a little bit more specific than that. So, like potassium chloride is one of them. Sodium chloride, uh sucrose.

SQEAKY: Wait there are people with salt allergies?

*Mako laughs*

SQEAKY: Like salt, as in the chemical that is necessary for the neuro-transmitting chemicals in our brains?

MAKO: Yeah I'm not sure why it's on that list but it's... it's listed here.

SQEAKY: Well maybe people which just an extreme- I don't know. Sometimes people's tolerance can be funny.

MAKO: Maybe this is just an exhaustive list and they don't necessarily mean this is a list of things that people could be allergic to they're just like okay here's a full list if you're allergic to any of these whatever talk to your doctor. So they also mention lipids and then they get specific with the lipids, I'm not going to try to pronounce most of these. Uh, monobasic potassium phosphate, neat. Uh, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate.

SQEAKY: So a bunch of chemically sounding names, granted everything is a chemical but

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Hope you take the emotional weight of what I'm saying there, it's a bunch of chemicals that likely are there for being preservative or getting the various parts of the vaccines where they need to go in the body.

MAKO: And just touching on a few of the other ones that are different between the vaccines 'cause they do have an itemized list for each of the vaccines here that I'm seeing... except for Pfizer? Is that one the Pfizer? I don't know, whatever. So under Moderna, they do mention tromethamine and sodium acetate.

SQEAKY: Yeah but we're getting stuck- we're getting lost in the weeds again. They all have a list of chemicals.

MAKO: Sure. Fine, ruin my fun. So, they have these this list of ingredients. And if you have a known allergic reaction to these ingredients, talk to your doctor. Your doctor is probably going to give you a medical exemption. The other situation that they did bring up is if you're getting a two-dose vaccine and you have a strong allergic reaction to the first dose, okay maybe you shouldn't get the second dose.

SQEAKY: You can also switch over to the other vaccines. That's possible with-

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: You can get tested to see what you're allergic to.

MAKO: That is the general guideline that they offered for that particular situation. So, these people that deserve medical exemptions, they do exist, but they are quite rare. Very very rare. So yeah, situations like you have had where a bunch of people tell you that they are medically exempt, okay sure they exist but they should be able to produce documentation- okay then there's like do they need to present documentation to you of all people-

SQEAKY: No, they don't need to present documentation to me but I know those people were full of shit because they weren't for any of the good reasons that they get a medical exemption. They said shit like "Well I had COVID back in February" and I'm like well-

MAKO: That's not good enough.

SQEAKY: Did you have a COVID test? Like "No but I had a cold and I never had a cold in twenty ye-" like you're full of shit.

MAKO: Reinfections happen and they actually explicitly state if you are infected that's actually cause even more for you to get a vaccine.

SQEAKY: Yeah. People giving me bullshit answers like that or they'll say that "I have a heart condition, I can't take the vaccine" but if your heart is so bad that you're worried about the vaccine, what happens when you get COVID and it kills you.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Your argument doesn't make any sense. My grandmother has had like a pentuple bypass at this point on her heart and one of her lungs barely works and she's diabetic and she got, she got the vaccine with the booster and the extra booster 'cause she's high risk and she's got like fourteen fuckin' shots at this point or something, and she just did them all under medical supervision and she's okay and if she gets COVID she now has a chance of surviving.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: So many of these arguments are just so fundamentally dishonest.

MAKO: Yeah, yeah. I think a lot of those people, they read some shitty article somewhere and they just declared themselves medically exempt and that's like not how that works, you get a medical exemption from an expert.

SQEAKY: Yup. And now these people are being forced into getting vaccinated or fucking off and they're not liking the fuck off option.

MAKO: A lot them are getting vaccinated reluctantly and realizing that it's no big fucking deal. Anyway.

SQEAKY: Yeah and that's why vaccine mandates turn out to be popular 'cause once you're vaccinated you're like oh, I have first-hand evidence.

MAKO: If only it works like that at a...

SQEAKY: It works like that for about one-in-three people.

MAKO: Yeah okay. There you go.

*Mako laughs*

SQEAKY: Maybe f- Maybe one-in-four people. I don't-

MAKO: Okay so. Another example was provided about- rewinding a little bit. About how mandates were written. So it talks about their employer, and they said if their employer hires a subcontractor to build a building on their site, every employee of the subcontractor has to be vaccinated as well. Even the people in different states or countries if they hire an electrician, whatever. Everyone that works for that company also needs to be vaccinated, it's uncontrollable and unenforceable.

SQEAKY: Well that sounds like a good rule to me actually. Mandating that more people get vaccinated?

MAKO: Yeah so-

SQEAKY: And saying it's unenforceable, that's bullshit.

MAKO: It is technically true but it's also technically meaningless.

SQEAKY: What do you mean it's technically true? It's totally enforceable. Maybe not the part with people in other countries but the rest of it's enforceable.

MAKO: People can fake vaccine cards.

SQEAKY: Well when you start talking about active fraud, no law is enforceable. You can't enforce murder, people can hide bodies.

MAKO: Yes. That is why I say it's meaningless. That's the point I was building to.

SQEAKY: Now, I misunderstood you. The enforcement mechanism here is pretty obvious. It's companies not wanting the liability of violating these rules, write shit like this into their contracts, and if they have reason to suspect the people they're signing contracts with are being dishonest they demand to see documentation. If they can't produce enough signed vaccine cards to cover at least your workers that you're bringing onto the site, they go to somebody else because their insurance won't let those people come onto the site. It's not even hard.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And the- The whatever one percent of people that are being fraudulent about it won't be a real problem in the long term.

MAKO: Yeah. So the mandate to try and get as many people vaccinated as aggressively as possible is just objectively a good thing. I have a hard time feeling sympathy for it and sure some people are going to fall through the cracks but whatever. If we are in a better position as a result of it, we are in a better position full stop. And it vaguely reminds me of the comic where people were talking about climate change and one person like raises his hand and is like "But hold on, what if climate change is a complete hoax and we just make the world a better place for no reason?" Like, if something's better it's better. So-

COMIC SOURCE [1:16:31] But what if we make the world better for no reason - http://greenmonk.net/2010/01/07/what-if-we-create-a-better-world-for-nothing/

SQEAKY: Do we quote XKCD every episode now?

MAKO: I would like to.

SQEAKY: Do I gotta go get that and put it in the sources?

MAKO: Yes. Yes you do.

*Sqeaky starts typing*

MAKO: There's a relevant XKCD for everything. We totally could reference them every episode.

SQEAKY: Oh this one's not XKCD.


SQEAKY: But I have it.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: Yeah it's talking about energy independence, preserving the rainforest, sustainabilities, green jobs, livable cities, renewables. "But what if it's a big hoax and we make the world a better place for no reason?"

MAKO: So yeah with mandates if we're in a better position we're in a better position. Just because you can't get a hundred percent there is not an argument against the mandates. We're not expecting a hundred percent, we know we're not going to get there, but if we can get better, if we can get close enough that we can meaningfully change the way people live their lives for the better despite this pandemic that is going on, that is reason enough to do it. Full stop. And the only reason to keep- for people to not seek out these things, just don't even think about the unenforceability of it. The only valid reason to not get a vaccine is when you are told explicitly by your doctor, and we have the mechanism for achieving that. And that should be a very small swathe of the population. Done. And having a mandate that forces al l these other people to to get vaccines it's... I just really don't see that as a problem.

SQEAKY: Yeah and if it's to the point where, what is it we've got seventy or seventy-five percent of the population vaccinated? If I'm a contractor and I'm trying to get a job, right, I can advertise hey I've got my- my team's all vaccinated already, you can trust us we got vaccinated because we wanted to. Your insurance will love that 'cause you don't need to pay extra to pay a bunch of potentially unvaxxed people around.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: I hate to say it but we have a free market system and this is a place with the free market can help, let's leverage that when it can work for us which isn't often. Or as often as I'd like.

MAKO: You're much lower risk if you are vaccinated and insurance companies love low risk.

SQEAKY: I don't know if I should be depressed or happy. Do you have any other points from listeners?

MAKO: No that was... that was pretty much it.

SQEAKY: Alright just for reference, our COVID minute recording went on for forty minutes and twenty-five seconds.

MAKO: I imagine that's going to be halved.

SQEAKY: Still twenty minutes of-

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: -COVID minute.

MAKO: That's fine. It hasn't actually been a fucking minute like ever.

SQEAKY: We've had it down to three and five.

*Mako laughs*

MAKO: That's still more than a minute!

SQEAKY: Yeah yeah but y'know it's justifiable. We can call it the COVID hour.

MAKO: We could start calling it the COVID minutes.

SQEAKY: The COVID minutes?

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: I'm stopping recording.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: We shoulda before starting the recording but level check.

MAKO: Oh yes.

SQEAKY: What are you at?

MAKO: I don't know, you tell me.

SQEAKY: Oh yeah you-

*Guitar riff*

*Sqeaky sighs*


*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: So. Moving away from people dying and world controlling conspiracies do we have anything pleasant to discuss in the final hour?


SQEAKY: At least tell me it's not a government-controlling conspiracy.

MAKO: Uh, not exactly?

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: There really shouldn't be grey areas here.

MAKO: I mean it's not- it's kinda sorta government... more political party and y'know twisting of facts to the point where they're not even facts anymore.

SQEAKY: So it's political party conspiracy theories made real? Goodness.

MAKO: Something like that. So we were asked by a Patron-

SQEAKY: Yeah. They didn't explicitly said they wanted to be called out but you know who you are Patron who requested this.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: And it tied nicely into this episode with...

MAKO: Yep. They requested that we cover the southern strategy. Now I'll go into what the southern strategy is here in a moment but I feel compelled to say that the southern strategy involves parts of the Republican Party, parts that they keep quiet about how they approach politics at its core. And so while there are sources and resources available online to research and understand what the southern strategy is, these sources were not quite as plentiful as I would've expected from something that is... essentially amounts to a ongoing history lesson about the Republican Party and how it creates its politics. So I didn't find much in the way of authoritative sources for these things- I did find a few, enough that I can discuss it, but it was a little different from what I expected.

SQEAKY: So we can't just go by their actions and how they do things like condone people on both sides, how they say that Nazis are very fine people, we can't just go by that?

MAKO: So that's something else... I don't want to say- Okay I was gonna say that's something else entirely but that's not really true it kind of plays into that too. Uh... So pretty much everything about how Republicans construct their politics is based on this. So okay, I've gone long enough without actually saying what it is, just need to dive in. So the southern strategy is the tactics used by Republicans political strategists to try to capture the southern vote is the most succinct way I can describe it.

SQEAKY: Oh so they're using the mechanism of state, sound policy, they wanna eliminate kudzu in Georgia, all these noble purposes, righting the wrongs and since-

MAKO: No none of these things.

SQEAKY: But surely since the southern states have the... the highest proportion of African Americans they're trying to appeal to the African Americans to get their votes.

MAKO: No none of these things.


MAKO: No. So when this goes back kinda far in our history... Well I'd imagine kinda far as measured by most of our viewers. There are people still alive from when this- all these things were really starting to pick up steam. Long long time ago we had Jim Crow. Jim Crow was a group of policies that was aimed at intimidating people of color and minimalizing their impact on politics. That is a gross oversimplification but-

SOURCE [1:21:38] Jim Crow from civil war to civil rights - https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-jim-crow-45387

SQEAKY: It's all the racist laws we had after the civil war, right?

MAKO: Yeah.


MAKO: Popularity with like overt racism and things like Jim Crow, those things were on the decline, people stopped caring, and that opened up enough for us to begin the civil rights movement. But the civil rights movement when it happened, there were a bunch of people that maybe they didn't quite care... like they liked the idea of equality but they didn't necessarily like the way people were deciding to approach it.

SQEAKY: They wanted equality but they didn't want to work for it. They wanted equality but they didn't want laws enforcing it.

MAKO: Yeah, the second part especially. There were a whole bunch of people that felt that the Civil Rights Act was a gross overstep of government and it would damage the ability for just people to interact with one another nevermind that the opposite is true but whatever.

SQEAKY: Yeah let's just ignore forty years of people actually cooperating/collaborating when race isn't foisted upon them as a barrier.

MAKO: Yes. Silly people. So a bunch of people, particularly Democrats- At this point in time, the south was largely Democratic. They consistently voted blue.

SQEAKY: The Democrats were also pretty fucked up racists. They were major proponents of Jim Crow at the time, right?

MAKO: Eh, they were a mixed bag.


MAKO: But I mean you're not wrong. So the- This was before what you're describing was before Democrats tried to replatform on civil rights itself during the civil rights movement. And that move alienated a bunch of Democrats and they- a lot of them weren't really sure that they were going to jump to the Republican group 'cause they were like what does- what do Republicans do for me nothin' okay.

SQEAKY: They were debating how big of a deal race was and deciding if they could get more votes by opposing racism or going with it.

MAKO: Okay so me right- a moment ago, I was actually describing the mentality of voters.

SQEAKY: Ah I see.

MAKO: Because of this deliberation, Republican political strategists decided that they could probably capture a portion of the vote by leveraging that uncertainty. So the idea was to appeal to --in a nutshell-- racists, but they knew from just the dialing back of Jim Crow that they couldn't actually be overtly racist.

SQEAKY: Yeah you can't say the quiet part out loud 'cause nobody wants to be labeled a racist, they just wanna have the racist policies because it makes them feel good.

MAKO: Or it appeals to something that they have a particular understanding and personal experience and even though that understanding is wrong if someone comes along and tells you hey everything is just fine you're right well then you feel better about yourself among many many other issues, I don't wanna say that's all there is but-

SQEAKY: It's at least one segment-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: -of these racists. Some racists are openly racists, some racists categorically deny it and there are even very mildly racist- yeah. There's a whole spectrum of-

MAKO: So instead of saying that you want to stop supporting blacks you say that you don't think these social programs are working, we think there's rampant fraud, let's remove that social program. The silent part is we know this program disproportionally benefits blacks.

SQEAKY: And to the racist that's the same as it not working.

MAKO: Yeah. So that's keeping the racist part quiet and the southern strategy was an idea by these strategists to maximize that effect and deliver a particular message utilizing this to the south in order to capture their vote away from Democrats. Uh, TLDR it worked but okay, slightly longer. The first time that this was meaningful deployed by Republican strategists on a large scale was with Berry Goldwater. Berry Goldwater was the Republican counter to Lyndon B. Johnson's second term in 1964 for President of the United States. Now Goldwater ended up losing by a lot but he did manage to take a few southern states and Mississippi in particular he captured eighty-seven percent of the state vote. That is crazy. That is the biggest swing that they had ever seen in a state.

SQEAKY: Yeah. If somebody wins an election sixty-five to thirty-five percent, that's a landslide so getting to eighty-seven percent is preposterous.

MAKO: Yes. So strategists looked at this result. Even though it was a loss, they realized that there was something to this. It was something they could workshop.

SQEAKY: It was a loss in the national level but a victory in Missouri, right?

MAKO: Yeah. And a victory for the idea.


MAKO: It was a proof of concept that validated that there was something there. So they thought about their message, they retailored it and they redeployed it for Nixon and that was a huge success. Nixon got elected. And even-

SQEAKY: So they could say things like "We're gonna be tough on crime" but a lot of people would understand that that means they're gonna be tough on...

MAKO: Minorities. Who they think are disproportionately criminals.


MAKO: That's the silent part.

*Sqeaky sighs*


SQEAKY: And this is where a lot of these veiled dog whistles come from when people started saying urban they meant black people. When people started saying wealther programs they meant black people.

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: And welfare queens, again referring to minorities yes.


MAKO: Okay. Although Reagan did mention like one- not by name but there was one person who defrauded social programs for like 200,000 in 1960s and that was a huge deal and it's a fraud on- for social programs on a scale that has as far as I'm aware not been seen since, there was- it was the only case like it so he very much cherry picked one specific example and he made it sound like that's common and used that for justification in cutting back social programs. I'm getting off in the weeds again, Reagan was-

SQEAKY: Well not-

MAKO: -terrible.

SQEAKY: That's a valid point actually. People who oppose a large group of people only need the one example to make and this happens in all kinds of social movements where the group in power wants to demonize the people without power, they have time on their side. The people in power can just wait and delay and the people without power will have to do something desperate at some point because there's a lot of them, presumably not having power means they're also poor, if you're poor that means sometimes you do something desperate. So in this case, black people were more likely to steal not because they're black but because they're being systemically oppressed-

MAKO: So the case welfare queen, the actual person who defrauded social programs for 200,000 dollars at the time-

SQEAKY: Was she white?

MAKO: Yes.

*Sqeaky laughs*

SQEAKY: That's amazing!

*Mako laughs*

SQEAKY: So they then don't even- Oh my god. Okay so that that deflates that previous argument I was making. It does work in other contexts not here.

MAKO: Well he never mentioned her by name. He just mentioned her by case details and people who already knew what he was referring to knew and people who didn't fill in the gaps.

SQEAKY: So there were people saying that this person was black even though the biggest fraudster for welfare at the time was...

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Ah okay.

MAKO: Or at least presuming that this person was black.

SQEAKY: Now for people who are gonna come along and try to deflate this argument. They're gonna try to say how do we know that the southern strategy was all about race is Reagan picked someone who was white. What are some other specific...

MAKO: So there's actually been a lot of people that have been trying to argue against southern strategy, trying to claim that it is a myth. In fact when I just googled "southern strategy", one of the stop results that I found was an article from The Hill trying to argue that it is a myth.

SQEAKY: Don't we have some internal documents from...

MAKO: Yeah we know that it's not a myth and we know that it's not a myth because of uh recordings and correspondences between campaign strategists- political strategists and other officials talking about their approach. And there was even a recording from Lee Atwater talking about- just describing exactly everything that we've been describing, like saying like oh yeah you can't be overt with your racism you have to dial it back, you have to make it more abstract but there is a limit like you- at some point if you just say cut back taxes you're too abstract so you need to be somewhere in between in order to get the message across.

SQEAKY: So we literally have documentation saying that they need to say the racist part quietly and how quietly they need to say it.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: And people still try to claim the southern strategy is a myth when we have first-hand evidence showing it's real and based on race.

MAKO: The people discussing it and yeah.

SQEAKY: Okay. Yep.

MAKO: We know the southern strategy is real. And we have- I pulled out a YouTube video that is a recording of Lee Atwater that is talking about exactly this.

SOURCE [1:30:01] Lee Atwater’s Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_8E3ENrKrQ

SQEAKY: I was about to say that we shouldn't be trusting YouTube videos but then you're like oh, it's a YouTube video of the original recording.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Brilliant.

MAKO: Yes. Uh so, that is available. I'm not gonna bother reading the transcript... uh he does drop the n-word a few times and if you want to look at it it is there for your perusal. So we know that this southern strategy is real because of these things, we have the documentation. People trying to say it's not real are people that tend to handwave that this documentation exists at all and they focus on irrelevant details generally. So-

SQEAKY: Are there any people who say this isn't real who are also not racist?

MAKO: I...

*Mako sighs*

MAKO: I can speculate on that, I would rather not.

*Sqeaky laughs*

SQEAKY: I'm gonna go ahead and presume no, anybody who denies that the southern strategy is real is probably a raging racist.

MAKO: I can't say that from what I was looking- When I was looking around, it was overwhelmingly conservatives that were saying that the southern strategy is not real. I can say that much.

SQEAKY: Oh so people the southern strategy was targeted at and manipulating were claiming it wasn't real.

MAKO: Well the same camp, I don't know about consistently. I mean conservatives exist outside the south but sure, there's some overlap there.


MAKO: Anyway. But even if we're to presume that okay they're not racist, they're not the people that are being targeted by southern strategy, we're still back to what we discussed before about Republicans not being able to process evidence and you have problems there anyway.

SQEAKY: And they're also tolerating racists on their team that were attracted by the racism.

MAKO: Yes. I mean if they don't believe the southern strategy is real then they don't believe they were attracted by racism. You can't use- In their minds proof of-

SQEAKY: Yeah that's- I suppose that's true but that- it still leaves them in the position to everyone who can see evidence of they're not the bad guy, they're just on the bad guy's team.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: That's uh... That's a real fine distinction that doesn't deserve to be drawn when the evidence is publicly available, reliable, and easily accessible.

MAKO: Yeah. Most of the information that I gathered about the southern strategy is from a interview that was conducted with Angie Maxwell. Angie Maxwell is a co-author alongside Tod Shields, both of these people did in-depth research about the southern strategy and they wrote a book called the Long Southern Strategy and we have a link to that book in the show notes if you want to check it out, maybe pick one up. But when people just say southern strategy, usually they're referring to what Angie Maxwell refers to as the short strategy. And that covers everything from Goldwater to Nixon all the way up until Jimmy Carter.

SOURCE [1:31:57] Political Scientist Angie Maxwell on countering the ‘Long Southern Strategy’ - https://www.facingsouth.org/2021/01/political-scientist-angie-maxwell-countering-long-southern-strategy

SOURCE [1:32:10] Long southern strategy Book Link - https://www.amazon.com/Long-Southern-Strategy-American-Politics/dp/0190265965

MAKO: Jimmy Carter is a Democratic President uh... who ran and succeeded in 1976 and he managed to take back a lot of the southern states away from the Republicans. In fact he overwhelmingly won the southern states with the exception of Virginia and that caused the Republican political strategists to panic. So they once again went back to the drawing board and fationted the message that they wanted to use to try and recapture the southern vote and they really honed in on a bunch of things pretty aggressively. Now they were still using racism of course to appeal to racists but that was not the only camp that they were targeting because they couldn't get the critical mass to consistently capture the southern states from just racists that are responding to racist dog whistles. There's just not enough of them there as odd as that may sound to some of the listeners. The next group that they particularly targeted was southern white women. And-

SQEAKY: Wait wait. So they're trying to assemble a coalition of racists and southern white women?

MAKO: There's another group that I'll get to in the moment but yes.

SQEAKY: I'm just surprised the overlap isn't large enough to just get them by default but I guess that's me being prejudiced against southern white women. Okay.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah okay oh. Hmm.

MAKO: So for the southern white women, they decided to attack the notion of feminism and they tried to argue- I shouldn't say try, they succeeded. They argued that feminism goes against- like is a violation of gender roles and therefore it is an attack on family values.


*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Oh my gah. So they're trying to assert you can be a good woman and a good mother or a Democrat. You get your choice between one of these things.

MAKO: Yes.


MAKO: I mean that's not how they phrased it but yes.

SQEAKY: And then they went through a few more hurrels it's like you don't get- you can't be a good person if you want the same freedoms a man has. That's what they're- How did they post- How did they- Oh my- Ah okay, don't let me interrupt you. You were gonna say who else is in the coalition. And then I'm curious how they made these arguments.

MAKO: Yeah so I didn't really- from the interview she kinda glossed over a lot of these details for how these arguments were fashioned so unfortunately I don't have much in the way of explicit examples for how these arguments were fashioned, uh pretty much what I told you is about as much as I know about their anti-feminism rhetoric and why they decided to use that rhetoric. So yeah, this was successful. They managed over an extended period of time- it wasn't immediate, it wasn't like southern white women were just like oh well that's definitely my camp let's switch now but there was a large amount of southern white women that were reregistering- they were changing their party to Republican over the next decade or so.

SQEAKY: Oh wow. That is a long-term strategy for short-term political party, they're really building that coalition- okay. So we got overt racists, southern white women, and who else is in this coalition?

MAKO: So that was mostly it and that kind of worked for them for a while until like the late 90s roughly when they decided to- I don't want to say aggressively push 'cause like there were pushes prior to this but like more aggressively push the narrative of gay marriage and how awful that is. They went out of their way to ensure that initiatives for gay marriage appeared on ballots, not necessarily because they would pass but because they knew it would cause evangelicals to show up.

SQEAKY: So highly religious southerners is the last group.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: People who had to vote against gay rights and that's the coalition.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Anti-feminist women, anti-gay religious people, and racists is the group of people they've assembled.

MAKO: And with their powers combined, the south is completely captured by the Republicans.

SQEAKY: That's like a reverse Captain Planet made of hatred.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Like literally it's like "Do you hate gay people? Do you hate yourself? Do you hate brown people? Come join us, we're the Republi-" Oh my god. Alright how much evidence do we have for these second two groups?

MAKO: Again most of this is from the the interview itself.

SQEAKY: Okay so we're deferring to expert opinion.

MAKO: Yeah and-

SQEAKY: It's not quite as good as first-hand recording but this is pretty good, these people know more about it than we do.

MAKO: Yeah. This is one of the authors- an interview spoken about from one of the authors from the authoritative resource on the southern strategy and if you again want to pick up their book you can read it in hyper detail all you want but this interview is what I got right now.


MAKO: Uh...

SQEAKY: And we have no reason to doubt this 'cause this is-


SQEAKY: -exactly the kind of behavior Republicans have been doing.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Whenever I'm arguing with Republicans about rights they either assert that we don't need equal rights or that we already have them or some other argument that just dodges the need to discuss it in depth, some way to avoid the reality of the situation. Women can vote what other rights are there, there's no pay gap, I don't know how many times I've had any of these arguments with Republicans and it's always disingenuous bullshit 'cause whatever the argument is it's we don't need to have the argument. That's what the argument always boils down.

MAKO: There is a Wiki article on- or not article, a Wiki page on the southern strategy and I did start to look over that but unfortunately due to time constraints... I did look at the sources at the bottom of the page, they seem to have a number of sources that are not specifically this book, but this book is easily the most sourced material on the topic so it is the authoritative source but there are others out there and you can look the Wiki article. I wish I had more time to cover all of that but just even getting the information from the interview that I did, it's pretty damning. But yeah, Republican strategists even knew that most of the people; like they had to focus on all three of these issues because most of the people in the south are not all three, in fact very few of them are all three. A few of them are two of them but most of them are just one of the three. So if you wanna treat the fact that there's- most people are only in one of these camps as a silver lining to all of this I wouldn't blame you but yeah.

SOURCE [1:37:09] Southern Strategy - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

SQEAKY: So tying all of this together. Everything we've discussed today.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: With the Rittenhouse trial, there's clear there's a lot of misinformation being put out there.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: I think it's likely there's a lot of disinformation, people actively lying. It looks like it's hard to get evidence for that.

MAKO: For specific myths that are being told I'm inclined to agree, yes.

SQEAKY: Yeah. For things like the Pledge of Allegiance. Long-term slow and steady cultural indoctrination. Let's slip ideas in before you can critically about them right. There's no other reason to make children that are four years old pledge allegiance. That's ridiculous.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Don't even know what they're saying. You're just hammering on repetition.

MAKO: I certainly didn't, yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And on this, putting up valid initiatives to stoke anger. So much of this political strategy rests on FUD: Fear, uncertainty, doubt.

MAKO: Hundred percent, yes.

SQEAKY: Racism, fundamentally about fear. A lot of people don't like that, a lot of people want to say it's about superiority or something else but if you're that superior why do you need laws to-

MAKO: You're-

SQEAKY: -protect you, it's bullshit.

MAKO: You're seeking superiority in order to gain the power to no longer have to worry about something.

SQEAKY: For some people, yeah.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: But at some level it breaks down into they're afraid of the other, the different group, where they're uncertain about the future and want certainty or they have doubt that they'll succeed or whatever. Just creating doubt, creating uncertainty, creating fear. That's all of this. And getting those people to vote based on those fears. There is a lot of manipulation going on and it's long-term and systemic and when we're discussing dysevidentia we have to do it in this context. When we're talking about people who are making mistakes or failing to evaluate evidence none of this comes alone, it all comes together. So the conservative who's been saying the Pledge of Allegiance their whole life does it with a slight nationalist bend. They can't help, that's- they were born into that system.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: The people who are very anti-Rittenhouse and prone to believing the things that came out started it without being subjected to huge amounts of propaganda and coming at it with a de facto fear of mainstream media that many conservatives have. So a lot of people believed it when some of the left-leaning and more reasonable places said things that seemed true even if they were later retracted. Like the gun across the state line thing. Big news outlets said that.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And some of them retracted it. All of the credible ones did. And that just has to be part of understanding how we approach this. We all don't have the same background. Even people who evaluate evidence might trust a source and that source can get it wrong so we have to vet even our sources that we think is good, we have to cross-reference so often, and we have to understand that people who believe a lot of these wrong things didn't get there with evidence or a value of evidence, they got there largely by circumstance of their birth. If you're born to racist parents in Missouri, what are the chances that you're not gonna be a Republican?

MAKO: Pretty low.

SQEAKY: Or particularly, if you're born racist Evangelical parents who have chosen family values or feminism, what are your chances?

MAKO: Virtually non-existent.

SQEAKY: Yeah! And this then ties into how the COVID information- misinformation and conspiracy theories are working. There's been tons of news coverage about how COVID misinformation is being pushed by active Russian troll farms and that's definitely true to a point, we have documentation showing that certain things were put out there by it, but it can't be all of it.


SQEAKY: Because we can trace some of it back to the overlap between American conspiracy theorists and QAnon. There just are people who literally think that there's a secret cabal of child brain chemical harvesting space demons that are gonna eat- gonna eat our children and they're spreading mind control stuff in COVID vaccines. And those people are gonna put out bad information but they're not Russian so clearly there's multiple people working at it. And these people got to their beliefs in the same shared environment as these other things. And any strategy for fighting this needs to either disentangle it or also coexist in the same environment and gracefully navigate these different layers and kinds of bullshit. So there can't be any sort of one size fits all argument or a path to victory. And likely it can't even be an argument. Doesn't matter how fact-based or how eloquent my argument is if someone believes in the deep space space demons, they're not operating in reality. They're operating in something else.

MAKO: Yeah.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: I dunn- Is a mess.

MAKO: Very much so. Propaganda that you have been given your whole life lead down to the point where it affects the manner in which you think is difficult to break out of 'cause you're locked in that framework of thinking even as you try to break out.

SQEAKY: Yeah. When people hear propaganda they think... they think 1984, they think the Ministry of Information like-

MAKO: The Ministry of Truth?

SQEAKY: I was going for what it was called in Nazi Germany.


SQEAKY: But yeah, they think these government top-down organizations that put a message out there and just spread it and it can be just somebody with a bit of power, it can be Facebook choosing what the algorithm serves up to you. And if that's Russian troll stuff because the Russian trolls paid a little bit more money to Zuckerberg to tweak the algorithm, it can be international propaganda. If it's the Pledge of Allegiance everyday and it wasn't planned in advance to be propaganda it just is useful to the powers that be, it's propaganda. And we have a ton of these things attacking our rational sensibilities and they're coming after whatever sticks and it's really unfortunate for us living in it because we're constantly bombarded by it and we don't- they don't need to win every fight, they only need to win some of them.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: And you highlighted it very well with your coverage of the extra coalition building in the southern strategy. They didn't need all women, they just needed a statistically significant portion of women, the women who as you pointed out would choose feminism over family- or would choose family or feminism. They didn't need all of the Evangelicals in the south, they just needed enough of them so they wer poking the buttons with gay rights, yeah.

MAKO: To be fair that's quite a few of them.

SQEAKY: It is-

MAKO: It's a large portion.

SQEAKY: It is a large amount of them. And sure the same thing's happening with abortion. They don't need everyone who's anti-abortion, but there's enough people who are anti-abortion that it-

MAKO: Yeah I'm pretty sure most of the politicians who are outspokenly anti-abortion either don't give a shit about abortion or are pro-abortion but-

SQEAKY: Well...

MAKO: -they're gonna put on a different face.

SQEAKY: A huge number of them have been in situations where they've leveraged the availability of abortions.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: It's not about actually trying to serve people it's about pushing people... And that's not how politics should be working.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Disgusting.

MAKO: Yep.

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: And we can even probably tie in southern strategy into abortions and it wouldn't even be that hard. Like this wasn't covered in any of the stuff that I read but just based off what I read about the southern strategy it's easy to speculate that anti-abortion rhetoric is designed in order to keep people from being able to decide when they have a baby and of course conservatives will be like oh just don't have sex it's not that hard.

SQEAKY: And then even the slightest amount of research into abstinence-only education shows that is grossly ineffective.

MAKO: Yeah these people weren't educated in proper education in the first place and so they don't know how to do it and it was laughable that the person who was telling me this is somebody that hadn't gotten laid in a very long time and I was like hey look they're not all you. But-

*Sqeaky laughs*

MAKO: I actually did respond to him like that and it shut down the conversation very quick. But uh, yeah if they are not empowered to decide when exactly they are going to have children and they are stricken with the financial burden of a child early on, well you're keeping them at a low socio-economic status and that effects like all the things that they want.

SQEAKY: Yeah that puts people in a situation where it is more difficult to them... for them to challenge the status quo. Whatever information they have that's what they... that's why they get to stick with. They don't have the opportunity to explore and possibly change their mind.

MAKO: And you can keep running the rhetoric about child murder and you can capture all the people that are- I mean yes child murder is bad, no abortions are a seperate thing but the people who can't disembiguate, you get all those people and especially the evangelicals 'cause they believe that is is religious doctrine to be fruitful, you can't have abortions.


MAKO: So I mean just the whole abortion rhetoric ties into the southern strategy super cleanly.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay. Well at least we're not ending this one on pure death. This is just the cesspool of propaganda, manipulation we all live in. Dammit, that worse? At least if you're dead you don't have to put up with this shit.

MAKO: Eh... Yeah it's probably worse.

SQEAKY: Fuck this bullshit.

MAKO: Okay. That's fair.

SQEAKY: Was there anything else you wanted to hit on the southern strategy before we called this episode?


SQEAKY: Alright. Well, I'd like to thank everyone for listening.

MAKO: Thanks for listening.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: Oh. Talking to cops.

MAKO: Oh yes. Don't talk to police.

SQEAKY: Okay I'm gonna have to do a fuckload of editing on this.

MAKO: Ah shit.

*Guitar riff*

OUTRO - [01:46:12]

MAKO: Thanks to Qeldaar for video and graphics work and thanks to AlphaWolf294 for transcription.

SQEAKY: Thanks to all of our Patreon supporters. Our supporters at the Evidence Investigator level or higher include Jarod, DuktTape, Qeldaar, Lazori78, Steven Larabee, and Kaiju Halina. Still doing it in a single breath.

MAKO: You can read our show notes at our website dysevidentia.com.

SQEAKY: Read our subreddit at reddit.com/r/dysevidentia.

MAKO: You can tweet at us @dysevidentia.

SQEAKY: Visit our Discord server. Link is available in the show notes.

MAKO: Thanks for listening and don't forget to like, subscribe, leave a review, or tell a friend.

SQEAKY: Copyright 2021, BlackTopp Studios, Inc.

MAKO: Intro music was Slow by Pit X. Used with permission.

© 2021 Copyright BlackTopp Studios Inc