Public Notes

Recent Activity

  • Berin shared from A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles by Thomas Sowell
    We will do almost anything for our visions, except think about them. The purpose of this book is to think about them.
    Note: Thus Thomas Sowell begins his masterpiece, A Conflict of Visions.
  • Berin shared from Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) by Zora Neale Hurston
    Part of Hurston’s received heritage—and perhaps the paramount received notion that links the novel of manners in the Harlem Renaissance, the social realism of the thirties, and the cultural nationalism of the Black Arts movement—was the idea that racism had reduced black people to mere ciphers, to beings who only react to an omnipresent racial oppression, whose culture is “deprived” where different, and whose psyches are in the main “pathological.” Albert Murray, the writer and social critic, calls this “the Social Science Fiction Monster.” Socialists, separatists, and civil...
    Note: Zora Neale Hurston's individualism made her an outcast, as Henry Louis Gates explains
  • Berin shared from Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon
    It is harder to understand why the need to protect intellectual property has become a higher priority for many elected lawmakers than due process—the presumption that a person is “innocent until proven guilty”—without which it is very difficult to prevent government authorities from abusing their power against citizens who do things that powerful people dislike but that are arguably legal.
    Note: Rebecca MacKinnon on the need to respect due process while enforcing copyright
  • Berin shared from
    while drafting the 1968 bills, Sen. Thomas Dodd (D-Conn.) had the Library of Congress provide him with an English translation of the gun control regulations that the Nazis used to disarm Jews and political dissidents. The 1968 legislation, which underlies the modern system of federal gun regulation, prohibited interstate sales except among licensed dealers and collectors. It also banned gun sales to “prohibited persons,” including felons, the mentally “defective,” illicit drug users, and anyone who, like many black radicals at the time, “has renounced his citizenship.” These laws “marked...
    Note: The current federal gun laws were based partly on Hitler's model and largely on racism #TLOT #TCOT
  • Berin shared from
    As F.A. Hayek wrote in 1948, “Smith’s chief concern was not so much with what man might occasionally achieve when he was at his best but that he should have as little opportunity as possible to do harm when he was at his worst. It is a social system which does not depend for its functioning on our finding good men for running it, or on all men becoming better than they are now, but which makes use of men in all their given variety and complexity, sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes intelligent and more often stupid.”
    Note: Hayek summarizing Adam Smith's realism about politics and human nature
(Shaw, Washington, District Of Columbia)
Berin M. Szoka
Web Page: