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Weekend Reads 8/25/18

DNA reveals ancient parrot breeder supplied US Southwest peoples

Lots of macaw parrot skeletons and feathers have turned up at human settlements in the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico dating back to at least 900 CE. Given that these sites are at least 1,000 kilometers north of the bird’s natural range, it has long been clear that there was an interesting story here. How were macaws traded between cultures and over such long distances, long before the arrival of the Spanish and their horses?

Do Obamacare’s Left-Wing Critics Actually Understand It?

It makes sense, from a left-wing ideological standpoint, that the two neoliberal parties would be united in their primary objective of protecting industry profit. It’s just not what actually happened. The a priori application of Marxist materialist principles is not an adequate substitute for reading the news.

Trump’s Allies Struggle to Stop QAnon’s Spread

Further complicating the effort, the pro-Trump figures now trying to fight QAnon have often embraced equally outlandish conspiracy theories themselves. And everyone involved supports Trump, who built his political career pushing the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was actually born in Kenya.

Trevor Bauer, CIA Nanites, and Remedies for Misunderstood Satire

Ordinarily, repeating someone else’s false statement is actionable defamation; it’s called the “republication rule,” and it’s designed to ensure that someone doesn’t have the ability to freely repeat a false statement stated by someone else. However, under a case called Stoneking v. Briggs out of California, reporters generally aren’t liable for repeating a statement made by another with the intent that it be republished.

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