NOTE TO SELF, BASED ON QUAKER TESTIMONIES OF INTEGRITY, SIMPLICITY, PEACE, EQUALITY, AND COMMUNITY:

1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and your neighbor as yourself.
2. Do what you say, say what you think, think what is true.
3. Subtract superfluities from your life, speech, desires and thoughts.
4. Don't initiate aggression against the persons or property of others, nor support people who do, including the people who "constitute" the government.
5. Respect life and natural law.
6. All people are endowed by their Creator with equal and inalienable rights to the earth and to the fruits of their own labor, and a "Citizen's Dividend" funded by a "Single Tax" on the unimproved value of land and other natural resources would be the fairest way to protect these rights.

For supporting materials, see the Archive and the Recommended Reading and Videos section at the bottom of this page.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A personal note on the direction of this blog

Anyone who has visited this blog more than once over the last week or so will have noticed that, while I haven't posted anything new for a few days, I've been tinkering around with the blog's look and format, including a revamping of the intro message and the sidebar "about me." Any comments or suggestions would be most welcome.

My original thought on starting this blog was that I would try to post at least once a day. However, so far I've been mostly drawn to larger philosophical topics that have seemed to call for longer treatments than are do-able on a daily basis. Part of the impetus for these lengthy essays has been the felt need to explain what the heck I mean by a "left libertarian Quaker" and provide upfront something of an apologetic or justification for the peculiar combination of beliefs that are now summarized above in the welcome message. I've still got a couple such "big topics" in mind that I'd like at some point to get off my chest: e.g., my specific objections to my own Illinois Yearly Meeting's endorsement of abortion rights, and how that dissent squares with a libertarian perspective on abortion; and the attitudes toward Quakerism of my hero Thomas Paine (whose father raised him Quaker), Paine's positive and devout affirmation as a Deist of God's benevolence combined with his negativity towards the Old and New Testaments, and his claim in Part II, Chapter III of The Age of Reason that "The only sect that has not persecuted are the Quakers; and the only reason that can be given for it is, that they are rather Deists than Christians. They do not believe much about Jesus Christ, and they call the scriptures a dead letter. Had they called them by a worse name, they had been nearer the truth." (Maybe I've said enough just by offering these topics to the reader's consideration, so I may or may not feel the need to examine them more closely in a later post.)

I need over the next couple weeks to spend more time developing a commercial web site for my law practice to accompany a yellow pages ad that is coming out at the end of this month and references my domain name at johnkindley.com. (Yes, I am, at least so far, a duly licensed attorney in good standing, despite my willingness to freely express my views - which are unfortunately "unorthodox" - about the legal profession and the conditions of government legitimacy. I am of course not the only attorney who holds or has ever held such views, and the great Lysander Spooner is an inspiration in this regard.) Right now johnkindley.com only has a law review article I wrote while a law student at the University of Wisconsin (addressing a controversial subject that was also the basis for litigation I was involved with for several years after law school), and I need to update the site to provide info about my current areas of legal practice -- primarily wills, trusts and criminal defense (though I will always be willing to bring new litigation along the lines outlined in my Wisconsin Law Review article, given the right case).

Many blogs, such as Glenn Reynolds' widely-read Instapundit, consist mainly of links, with very brief commentary, to other blogs and interesting news items. Instapundit typically has very many such links throughout the day, but I think a more do-able goal for me and this blog, at least at this point in time, is to try to post one brief comment per day. The comment might link to another blog or news item or it might just be some random observation. As time and inspiration allows I might post something longer at the end of the week. We'll see how things develop. I'm not committing to daily posts, but if you don't see anything here for more than a week, that just might mean that They have finally come to take me away;)