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Michael Kleen's picture
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Columnist
Joined: 2009-08-30
Columns on STR: 36

GENERAL INFORMATION

Name: 
Michael Kleen
Sex: 
Male
Country: 
United States
Occupation: 
Writer & Student

Short bio:

Michael Kleen is the Editor-in-Chief of Untimely Meditations, publisher of Black Oak Presents, and proprietor of Black Oak Media. He holds a M.A. in History and a M.S. in Education, and is the author of Statism and its Discontents, a collection of columns on the topics of Statism, liberty, and their conflict. His columns have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including Strike-the-Root.

Interests:

Philosophy, history, folklore, movies, good food & wine

RECENT COMMENTS BY Michael Kleen

Columns by Michael Kleen

Fortuna and the Free Market
10
Michael Kleen 2010-01-21 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   “And thus does Fortune's wheel turn treacherously And out of happiness bring men to sorrow.” ~ Geoffrey Chaucer   Imagine you and another man are standing around a roulette wheel at a high-end casino. You place $50 on black and the other man places $50 on red. The ball had landed on a black or red number the past dozen times...
What Is Totalitarianism? - Part II
0
Michael Kleen 2009-11-18 17:00
Exclusive to STR In the first part of this essay, we defined totalitarianism as the state-orchestrated dissolution of the private sphere, initiated by an ideologically-driven political organization with the goal of exercising total control over the population of a country. In the words of the father of Italian fascism, Giovanni Gentile, the totalitarian state seeks 'total representation of the...
What Is Totalitarianism? - Part I
0
Michael Kleen 2009-11-11 17:00
Exclusive to STR If the United States came under the control of a totalitarian regime, would we recognize it? This question is of utmost importance today, when many of us harbor fears that some time in the near future ideas such as freedom, liberty, and privacy will be alien to our society. But as we witness the regular passage of legislation designed to restrict and regulate, and the tendency of...
On Culture and Law
0
Michael Kleen 2009-09-23 16:00
Exclusive to STR Proponents of individual liberty are often confronted by the argument that proper behavior must be enforced by laws. Whether it be calls to ban smoking in public places (coming to a home near you), texting while driving, wearing your pants too low, or other nuisances, both liberals and conservatives maintain that a government has the right and obligation to punish behaviors...
The Crisis of Confidence
0
Michael Kleen 2009-09-15 16:00
Exclusive to STR There is a crisis of confidence in America’s political leadership, from the smallest municipality all the way to Washington DC. At bottom, this crisis means that trust between elected representatives and their constituency has almost completely broken down. Being from Illinois, where government has taken on the character of predator and the people its prey, I see this...
Keep Your Laws Off My Dice
0
Michael Kleen 2009-08-16 16:00
Exclusive to STR I come from a long line of recreational gamblers. My grandpa was an avid poker player and a frequent visitor to Arlington Park . Late in her years, my grandma always had a stack of lottery tickets on hand. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of evenings with my father at Maywood Racetrack, which offered harness races accentuated by the perfume of fat cigars and horse manure...
Why So Serious?
0
Michael Kleen 2009-08-06 16:00
Exclusive to STR Recently, Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli canceled the web-series 'Mouthpiece Theater' after its hosts made a joke about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Bowing to pressure from an obscure organization called Action in the Media, the Washington Post reinforced the notion that any potentially offensive humor must result in a swift apology, perhaps even in...
The Culture War Turns Hot
0
Michael Kleen 2009-06-09 16:00
Exclusive to STR June 10, 2009 As John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry was an ominous portent to Antebellum America, so should the killing of infamous abortionist George Tiller be considered a warning for contemporary times. With one shot, Tiller's assassin confirmed the fears of the radical Left and reignited America 's culture war, bringing us, once again, dangerously close to the precipice of...
The Creeping Hand of the State
0
Michael Kleen 2009-05-10 16:00
Exclusive to STR On March 7, 2009, during a city council meeting in Duncanville, Texas, Councilman Paul Ford stood up to protest the city's new red light cameras. He wanted to amend the city code to allow a jury trial for motorists who contested tickets issued by the cameras, and had previously clashed with the mayor, David Green, over the issue. Instead of allowing Ford to have his say, Mayor...
Potholes and the Crisis of Confidence
0
Michael Kleen 2009-04-15 16:00
Exclusive to STR April 16, 2009 Early in April, a group of neighbors on Chicago 's West Side purchased eight bags of cement mix and a push roller, gathered their shovels and rakes, and set to work fixing the potholes that plagued their street. The whole operation cost under $200.
Spending Our Way to Ruin
0
Michael Kleen 2009-02-25 17:00
Exclusive to STR Economic downturns are inevitable under the capitalist system. Currently, we are paying for ten years of unprecedented economic growth with a harsh correction, yet few look at the reality of what we're facing and what it will take to dig us out of the hole. The "stimulus" bill just signed into law by President Obama is a fool's errand that will only make our situation...
A Conversation With Vox Day
10
Michael Kleen 2010-12-20 04:00
By Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR Vox Day is a Christian libertarian opinion columnist and author of "The Return of the Great Depression." He is a member of the SFWA, Mensa and IGDA, and has been down with Madden since 1992. Visit his blog, Vox Popoli, for daily commentary and spirited discussions open to all. His commentary has appeared on World Net Daily since 2001, and an archive of...
The Wheeler Street Riot and the Abuse of Police Power
10
Michael Kleen 2011-05-04 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR   This past Saturday, police in full riot gear, armed with chemical irritants, pepper spray, batons, and a sound cannon, confronted over a thousand students at a block party on Wheeler Street near Western Illinois University. Gathered near their large, white van, officers from several different police forces around the state (who were formed into the...
Education for the Individual
10
Michael Kleen 2010-10-11 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   Previously, in “Education and the Individual,” I discussed how the two competing educational methods in the public education system in the United States both presuppose a State monopoly on education, and how both seek to impose a uniform purpose and set of standards for all children. In this article, I will lay out the...
Rethinking 'School'
10
Michael Kleen 2010-10-20 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   Few institutions in the United States create more cognitive dissonance than its public school system. Complaints about the cost and quality of American schools fill newspaper opinion pages, and the rhetoric of “improving education” is a staple of every political campaign. Missing from this debate, however, is the role each and...
Reflections on the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
10
Michael Kleen 2010-11-19 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR On a beautiful autumn day at the end of October, an estimated 210,000 people gathered in the National Mall to watch television for four hours. At least, that’s what it felt like from my position behind the sound stage in front of one of two giant flat screen TVs that flanked the main stage at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. As the crowd...
Fortuna and the Free Market
10
Michael Kleen 2010-01-21 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   “And thus does Fortune's wheel turn treacherously And out of happiness bring men to sorrow.” ~ Geoffrey Chaucer   Imagine you and another man are standing around a roulette wheel at a high-end casino. You place $50 on black and the other man places $50 on red. The ball had landed on a black or red number the past dozen times...
Where's the Beef?
10
Michael Kleen 2011-01-28 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   By all accounts, Taco Bell is a story of success. Since Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell in Downey, California in 1962, the franchise has expanded to 6,446 restaurants with over 175,000 employees worldwide. In 2009, the company (which is currently owned by Yum! Brands) brought in $1.9 billion in revenue. It is no secret why this...
The Demoralizing Nature of the State
10
Michael Kleen 2011-04-11 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   The problem of being both opposed to the modern state and being forced to live within the context of it is a vexing one, and one that has plagued libertarians, anarchists, and other like-minded individuals for quite some time. As previously mentioned in “A Pragmatic Approach to Anti-Statism,” there are two possible responses to...
On Striking the Root
10
Michael Kleen 2011-08-11 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR I am a relative newcomer to Strike The Root, so on this 10th anniversary of the website’s founding, all I have to offer is my own small perspective. I published my first column at STR, Spending Our Way to Ruin, in February 2009. At that time, STR already had quite a following. Chris Lempa, a longtime friend and Friday guest editor for the website,...
Remembering 9-11
10
Michael Kleen 2011-09-15 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR Ten years ago, at around 8:00 a.m. in the Chicago suburbs, I awoke to a phone call. It was my father, calling from work to tell me to turn on the television. He said a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, and true to his word, there it was live on CNN: a black plume of smoke billowing out of the North Tower. Moments later, I, along with millions...
Ortega and the State
9.66667
Michael Kleen 2010-08-02 03:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR    José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) was the preeminent Spanish philosopher of the first half of the 20th Century. A complex figure, he was at the same time an elitist, a classical liberal, and a republican. He was born into a wealthy bourgeois family, became the Chair in Metaphysics at Complutense University in Madrid in 1910, and he was...
Courts Overturn 4th Amendment
9.66667
Michael Kleen 2011-05-23 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   If there was any lingering doubt as to whether federal or state governments would act against constitutional or common law when it served their interests, that ambiguity has been dispelled. Just days apart, two Supreme Court decisions, one state and one federal, directly attacked the individual right against unreasonable searches and...
The Quartzsite Affair
9.66667
Michael Kleen 2011-07-12 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR Because of the corrupting influence of power, we rightly fear its concentration in the hands of a single individual, but what happens when many individuals, in the form of elected representatives, become corrupt and contemptuous of the law? Instead of one tyrant, we find many tyrants, and this is precisely the situation that one small Arizona town finds...
The Politicization of a Crime
9.6
Michael Kleen 2011-01-12 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   If the grave wounding of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of U.S. District Judge John Roll and five others was not political when the shots were fired, it soon became so. No sooner had news hit the airwaves that a Democratic congresswoman was the target of an assassination attempt, pundits and politicians on the left rushed...
Nietzsche and Ortega Juxtaposed
9.5
Michael Kleen 2010-08-18 03:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR     In “Nietzsche and the State” and “Ortega and the State,” I examined critiques of Statism by two prominent modern European philosophers. Because Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) witnessed the rise of the modern State in central Europe, and José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) experienced Statism’s maturity and...
Market Alternatives for Food Safety
9.5
Michael Kleen 2010-11-10 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   Most Americans go about their daily lives convinced that the Federal government, through the auspices of the Department of Agriculture, protects them from eating poisoned food. If not for the USDA or the Food and Drug Administration, they imagine, every food item on the store shelf would be suspect. Restaurateurs would unwittingly sell E....
Education and the Individual
9
Michael Kleen 2010-09-10 03:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   In the intellectual battlefield, libertarians, individualists, and anti-Statists have frequently neglected the subject of childhood education (1-8th Grades) and the intellectual development of children. Because of the laissez faire nature of our philosophy, we are more willing to leave those matters up to parents or to the individuals themselves....
Demoralization
9
Michael Kleen 2011-02-09 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR Twenty-five years ago, as the totalitarian regime in the Soviet Union was beginning to face internal crisis, G. Edward Griffin interviewed a Soviet defector and ex-KGB agent named Yuri Bezmenov. Bezmenov explained, in simple terms, the process by which the Soviet Union and the KGB attempted to subvert and topple governments. They called this process...
Happy Meals in the Crosshairs
9
Michael Kleen 2011-04-26 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   Back in November 2010, the City of San Francisco effectively banned Happy Meals by requiring any meals that included toys to meet strict nutritional guidelines. The ordinance was criticized and lampooned by many, including the Daily Show. Now, the self-appointed protectors of consumer health are at it again. This time, Monet Parham, a mother...
Nietzsche on the Origin of the State
9
Michael Kleen 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR   In the mind of 19th Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the growth of the State (Staat) was one of the most alarming developments of the modern world. Where others saw the promise of a new democratic age in which “the people” ruled, Nietzsche saw a “cold monster” that was, in reality, destructive of creative and...
Jumping the Gun on Egypt
9
Michael Kleen 2011-08-08 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   For the 79 million people living in Egypt, the protest movement that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in early February was an earth-shattering event, and the enthusiasm of the crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square was echoed by many here in the United States. Now that the dust has settled on the “Egyptian Revolution...
Nietzsche and the State
8.66667
Michael Kleen 2010-07-15 03:00
By Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR    “Where the state ends—look there, my brothers! Do you not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the overman?”   Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is one of the most famous of the modern philosophers. A prolific writer on just about every subject, his views on the modern state have been largely overshadowed by his...
A Pragmatic Approach to Anti-Statism
8
Michael Kleen 2011-03-10 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR The modern state is the reality of the contemporary world. I say it is the reality because there are few things in the world that the state does not touch. There are few remaining frontiers (aside from perhaps the Internet) where liberty can be expressed in its fullest nature. Even the most adamant anarchist is forced to live within the state, to live by...
In Defense of Incrementalism
5.83333
Michael Kleen 2011-06-29 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   In any political or social philosophy, there are those who believe that they can achieve everything they want all at once or in a series of large jumps, and those who believe that broad-based change should be (or is most rationally) achieved through incremental changes. The advocate of incremental change, I believe, is the more pragmatic of...
Power & Force in 'Crash'
5.5
Michael Kleen 2010-12-03 04:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR On the surface, the Academy Award-winning film Crash (2004) purports to be an emotional portrayal of race and prejudice in America. Through a series of interwoven vignettes, the filmmakers portray characters of several different races and ethnic backgrounds as they interact over the course of two or three days on the streets of Los Angeles. At every point...