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I see Democrats and Republicans don't hold a monopoly on idiots...

I've often described my political leanings as moderate, with libertarian and contrarian leanings. But if this is an example of Libertarian thinking, I might have to reconsider.

I've been through Manchester Airport's security screenings several times, and while it's mildly annoying, it's really not too bad. (Except for the danged "take off your shoes" thingy -- Richar Reid, if I ever get the chance, I'm gonna tie you down and place one of my best friend's shoes over YOUR face. You'll be begging for the death penalty in minutes.) It's never taken me more than five minutes to get through the screening process, and usually a lot less.

But this particular dumbass decides to make his "point" by showing up for his flight with just a Bible and a copy of the Declaration of Independence, refusing to present any form of ID to authorities. And when he refused to leave the screening area, blocking the other passengers who were waiting to catch their flights.

His wife was interviewed on the radio yesterday morning, and it turns out they're both Free Staters who met online and got married when they came here to New Hampshire. (Ironically, the first time they met face-to-face was at Manchester's airport.) It seems that Mr. and Mrs. Kanning think that airport security ought to be left solely up to the individual airlines, and that consumers should be able to factor in the security level of each airline when choosing how to fly. It's simply a matter of freedom of choice; you can choose to fly Air Full Body Cavity Search, where you can be absolutely certain that no contraband is on with you, or you can fly Packed And Packing Airlines, where each passenger is issued their own gun.

I guess it's never occurred to the Kannings that, unlike Las Vegas, what happens at 30,000 feet doesn't stay at 30,000 feet. What goes up, must come down.

And occasionally, comes down into buildings.

I wish the Kannings all the luck with their other ideas -- starting up a private postal service and liquor trade to compete with government monopolies in those areas. But don't -- DON'T -- screw with my safety, or the safety of others. Had I been at that screening station (and I will be at one in a few weeks), I'd have been tempted to mouth off to him at the least, and gotten myself into trouble right alongside him.


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Comments (13)

I choose not to ramble on a... (Below threshold)

I choose not to ramble on at length about this, mostly because I'm hungry and late for lunch but also because I don't wanna start a big thing. However, I will say this:

I feel exactly the same about the drug war as you feel about airport security. The "don't tell me what to do in my own home" crowd misses out on the fact that what they do in their own homes does not stay in their own homes. There are all sorts of public impacts from personal drug use, not the least of which is the burden it puts on our public health system.

I've got more to say about this, but sometimes I feel like expressing a strong anti-drug, pro-criminalization point of view is just asking for people to send me more hate mail. I get enough of that as it is.

It goes without saying, of course, that I also feel exactly the same way about airport security. As long as the plane you're aboard can crash into my house or office building or national monument, I get to offer my input into how that airplane is secured and protected.

Be sure to read Bill Whittl... (Below threshold)

Be sure to read Bill Whittle's "Sanctuary" if you haven't -- he tears into someone along these lines, and it's a beautiful and terrible thing.


(Anecdote begins about halfway down the first page--search for "work blue")

The thing I see wrong with ... (Below threshold)

The thing I see wrong with this article is that Libertarians generally believe that the government exists for one purpose, to provide protection for its people. Airport screening definitely falls under defense, and unless his critisism is that they're doing a bad job, he should shut up.

This isn't an example of so... (Below threshold)

This isn't an example of someone attempting to promote Libertarian ideas. It's an example of an ass with a chip on his shoulder trying to portray some sort of moral superiority. While he is spouting about his "right" not to be searched he is ignoring my "right" not to have to fly with someone posing a security risk.

Faith, in my experience the... (Below threshold)

Faith, in my experience the line between the ass with a chip on his shoulder and the guy trying to promote Libertarian ideas is rarely distinct.

Jay, I'm reminded ... (Below threshold)


I'm reminded of a loon, Morgan Reynolds, I found thru Drudge that is saying the Twin Towers fell as a result of a controlled demolition; in other words, it was a conspriacy. Too bad he was a Bush Admin guy (chief economist for the Department of Labor during W's first term).

I'm not sure that this matters, and I usually trust the Wash Times, but the next UPI Hears... article mentions Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech in the first sentance. Speaking of conspiracies...

Naked Airways - No body sea... (Below threshold)

Naked Airways - No body searches! Just check your clothes at the gate, we'll give them back to you at your destination. :-)

This "Libertarian" also nee... (Below threshold)

This "Libertarian" also needs to be reminded that it is not necessary to HAVE to take air transport to get to almost anywhere one wishes to go on the globe. It just happens to be, in most cases, the most expedient way to do it long distance. So I stand with Faith+1 on this one.

It still hurts every time I... (Below threshold)

It still hurts every time I see those WTC images. Those aggravating long security lines at the airport don't seem so bad after all.

Frankly, I think that Rush ... (Below threshold)

Frankly, I think that Rush Limbaugh had the right take: the airlines should be kissing OUR butts, not the other way around.

Al Gore may be a jerk. And he may have tried to steal an election or two, but I'm pretty sure he's NOT a terrorist! (If you remember, he had to do the "shoe bit.")

As a free-market libertaria... (Below threshold)

As a free-market libertarian, I have encountered a lot of people like this Kanning guy.

The thing is, the federal gov't really IS doing a lousy job. They have a knack for hiring foot fetishists and sex offenders who can't catch the ticking alarm clock that any local TV reporter smuggles through just to make a point.

The problem here started long before the gropers took their posts at the check-points. As usual, there is yet another governmental intrusion in the background that set off a chain of events that led to this point.

In this case, the federal gov't stepped in immediately after 9/11 to create a special liability scheme for the 9/11 victims. No one else has ever gotten this sort of special privilege.

What should have happened is that these cases should have been litigated just like any other negligence and product-liability case.

If that had been allowed to happen, airline security systems would have been examined under pre-existing principles of fault and liability. I strongly suspect that the airlines would have been compelled by economic necessity to create private security procedures to prevent this sort of thing.

Instead, we get a massive federal bureacracy.

(Of course, the airlines wouldn't even exist in their current crap-tastic state if it weren't for a continuous stream of subsidies, bailouts and bankruptcy protections that should never exist in the first place, but that's another story.)

Now, this Kanning character's stunt at the airport is not exactly the best way to go about remedying these problems. It just tends to piss people off.

I'm already unhappy with th... (Below threshold)

I'm already unhappy with the resemblance of the checkpoint lines to the stockyards -- I'm always tempted to moo.

But even less than being treated like cattle by the TSA would I like being held up in the herd because some wacko ahead of me decided this was an appropriate place to stage a mindless protest.

It takes a minimum of forethought to minimize the hassle at the checkpoint, and they really do seem to have streamlined the process since the last time I had to deal with it. And when I forgot to put my little pocket Leatherman® tool in my checked suitcase, the TSA guys were actually kind of nice about arranging to have it mailed back to me.

Though, they were careful to say if it didn't arrive to blame the Postal Service, not them...

I agree with Phinn: standar... (Below threshold)

I agree with Phinn: standard liability could have taken care of this, and if that had been applied in the 1970s when hijackings started, 9/11 wouldn't have happened that way.

That said, I also agree that this guy is an ass with a chip on his shoulder: there are ways to make points, and they do sometimes involve inconveniencing others, but is this really the most important thing the government is messing up to make that point? What about the government's ongoing eradication of virtually all of the rights that the Constitution explicitly protects like political speech and the right to bear arms?






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