Leviathan Ankle-Biter

Bringing down Leviathan’s welfare-police state, one ankle-bite at a time

Jan 162013

These people in Vermont get a Leviathan Ankle-Biter award for trying to keep their local school local.

The group that led the privatization effort praises the school, which performs well on state achievement exams, but sees the move as a way to ward off a state push for consolidation that the group says could lead to a merger of the school.

via New Spur to Take Vermont School Private – WSJ.com.

Nov 242012

Luo Boagen and his wife are hereby inducted as members into the Honorable Order of Leviathan Ankle-Biters.  No, they didn’t take on Leviathan, at least not directly, but they have the spirit that it takes to do it.

Luo Baogen and his wife are the lone holdouts from a neighborhood that was demolished to make way for the main thoroughfare heading to a newly built railway station on the outskirts of the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province.

Dramatic images of Luo’s home have circulated widely online in China this week, becoming the latest symbol of resistance in the frequent standoffs between Chinese homeowners and local officials accused of offering too little compensation to vacate neighborhoods for major redevelopment projects.

via China builds road right around “nail house” as owner Luo Baogen refuses to sell – CBS News.

Nov 222012

It has been a while since I last handed out one of these, but Andrea Hernandez is an especially deserving recipient .  The Rutherford Foundation helped, too.

Andrea Hernandez won’t have to leave her high school for refusing to wear a badge designed to track her every move there – yet – her attorneys announced today.

The school had reportedly offered to allow Hernandez to wear a non-functional badge, giving the appearance of support for the program, but she declined.

via Judge Grants Reprieve To Student Expelled For Refusing To Wear Tracking Device Badge | CNS News.

Sep 292012

A Leviathan Ankle-Biter Award goes to anyone who says this:  “Thank you for my free government phone! I’m using it to call all my friends to ask them to vote for Romney.”

The video of an Obama supporter bragging about having an “Obama phone” has gone viral on the web, but where do these “free cell phones” come from?

The program is called Lifeline, established in 1984, originally created to subsidize landline phone service for low income Americans, funded by government-collected telecommunication fees, paid by consumers.

via Where do “Obama phones” come from? | WashingtonExaminer.com.

Jul 142012

Time for a Leviathan Ankle-Biter Award.

Then Uber fought back. On Monday CEO Travis Kalanick posted on the company’s website that it was “hard for us to believe that an elected body would choose to keep prices of a transportation service artificially high,” adding that Uber was “seriously concerned about punitive government intervention in a well functioning marketplace.” He asked customers to sign a petition and contact city council members.And contact they did. Within hours, inboxes were flooded with thousands of email complaints. Uber didn’t post a form letter on its website, so all of the emails were personally composed by consumers.

via Review & Outlook: D.C. Cab—the Revolution – WSJ.com.

Aug 062011


I hereby confer on the organizers and participants in Lemonade Freedom Day the Leviathan Ankle-Biter Award, to be enjoyed by them with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.

The big event is on August 20.  The web site is at lemonadefreedom.com.   You can sign up on facebook

I must confess I’ve ridden past a couple of lemonade stands this summer without stopping, but I will be sure to correct that error on August 20 or any other day when there is an opportunity.

View Local Restrictions on Kid-Run Concession Stands in a larger map

Update:  Here is a Google Map provided by the Freedom Center of Missouri.  The Red markers indicate towns where kid-run concession stands have been shut down.   The Green ones are towns that allow kid-run concession stands without requiring a permit.   The Yellow ones are places that require kids to get at least one city permit.


Jun 222011

A Leviathan-Anklebiter award is hereby awarded to Monique Lawless for her attempt to stop lawlessness.  (H/T James Taranto.)   As usual, the authorities prefer that people not take such dangerous actions, but we should at least give the police chief credit for admiring her courage.   Sometimes Leviathan is a lot surlier than that when people perform courageous acts on their own initiative.  The full story is here.

I hope this action doesn’t put her job as a “safety” specialist in danger.

Monique Lawless had nothing personal at stake when she saw three men leaving a Walmart store in Alvin with three cases of beer they didn’t pay for. She was a customer, not an employee, of the store.

Yet Lawless, who stands just under 5 feet tall and weighs 125 pounds, took off in pursuit of the three much larger men.

“I’m just sick of the lawlessness,” the 42-year-old Alvin woman said. “They knew their chances of getting caught were slim to none. Those kids would have gotten away with it, celebrated their theft and probably continue to do it.”

The three alleged thieves were arrested — at another Walmart store in Pearland near Texas 288 — after an hourlong chase. But Lawless’ efforts to stop them came at a price: a scratched face, broken lip and scrapes and bruises to her legs.

Lawless, an engineering safety specialist at Boeing…

Q.  And what does the photo of the Alabama State Capitol have to do with this?   A.  1) It was handy.  2)  The State of Alabama didn’t like it when Nate Shaw took the protection of his own property into his own hands, and locked him up for over a decade.

Q.  Or the two cases really analogous?   A.  Yes, they are, but how good an analogy we have here, I don’t really know.  Doesn’t matter all that much.  Ms. Lawless gets a Leviathan Anklebiter award.

Late edit:  More photos here at the UK Daily Mail Online, including some taken by CCTV security cameras.

Jun 162011

Reason #1 to vote against Mitt Romney:

  • Bush-1 gave us Bill Clinton
  • Bush-2 gave us Barak Obama
  • We don’t want to find out how this pattern plays out

And on a related topic, it’s bad enough that libertarians are socialists’ best friends.   But why do TownHall conservatives have to be 2nd best?   I wish they’d be satisfied with 3rd or 4th.   In the past few days there has been a lot of blather among them about Congressman Tim Whatever and this-or-that presidential candidate.   But there has been not a word  about Tom Coburn’s efforts to eliminate the ethanol tax credit.    An important key to bringing down Leviathan is in the fight between Coburn and Norquist.  But they are letting it go unremarked.    (Coburn gets a Leviathan Ankle-Biter award.  Norquist does not.)

Jun 032011

Today’s Leviathan Ankle-Biter award goes to the Whole Life Buying Club of Louisville, Kentucky.   Forty members defied a cease-and-desist order from the Food Security Nazis.    They put the following note on their milk cooler and took their quarantined milk home anyway:

I, the undersigned, hereby declare that I have taken my milk that comes from cows I own via private contract under the protection of the KY constitution (articles 1,2,4,6,10,16,26), and if the county health department would like to speak with me about this matter, I can be reached at the number given below.

I learned about this from Jerry Salyer at Front Porch Republic, in an article titled, “The War on Raw Milk.”  It’s good reading.   My own comment in response:

Statism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may make a consequential personal choice.

A corollary definition: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may trust his neighbor more than the state.

When I was growing up we often bought unpasteurized milk from local farmers precisely because it was unpasteurized. This became more difficult already in the 1960s, with the widespread use of bulk tanks and tighter inspections for Grade A milk, but we did it anyway. I’d sometimes be the one to walk over to a nearby dairy farmer’s milk room and dip some out of the bulk tank into a pail I had brought along. This was not exactly legal, but we had instructions on how to do it without risking any problems with the milk inspections. Such problems could incur considerable cost for the farmer.

Laws against the sale or purchase of unpasteurized milk do have one positive effect, though. They teach impressionable young minds that the regulatory state is more often stupid than not. They act as a preventative against unwarranted respect for government.


May 312011

Is it OK to give a Leviathan Ankle-Biter award to the United States Supreme Court?  Whether or not, I think I will.

The inspiration is this WSJ lead article from May 27:

Justices Uphold Immigrant Law : States Can Shut Firms That Hire Illegal Workers

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called my attention to the ankle-biter part.  It doesn’t like this decision:

“The growing patchwork of state and local immigration laws is a serious obstacle to doing business across state lines,” said Robin Conrad, director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s legal arm, which challenged the Arizona law. She called on Congress to outlaw “employment-related state immigration laws” like Arizona’s, as part of a broader immigration overhaul.

A patchwork of state and local laws makes it hard for a single company to dominate its niche from coast to coast.   If laws are uniform nation-wide, a dominant company needs to deal with only one set of regulations, and can then use economies of scale to run the smaller ones out of its business.   It can hire lobbyists to schmooze the regulators in Washington.   The biggest, most efficient lobbyist organization wins.

But if laws are not uniform, then there are niches for the smaller companies who can deal with local regulations.

In a patchwork of local laws and regulations, it’s hard for the winner to take all.   And  it’s harder for the U.S. government regulators to coopt and intimidate the patchwork of small competitors who can survive in that environment.

True, there is some loss of economic efficiency under such a patchwork, but there is also corresponding loss of efficiency of government control.    Leviathan doesn’t like that.

So a Leviathan Ankle-Biter Award goes to the United States Supreme Court.

I hope to soon make a similar award to those members of Congress who will resist the big corporate lobbyists who will argue for uniformity.