I don’t mind the added extra security at airports but the lack of consistency with their policies and methods leaves me wondering what Tom Ridge does during the day.

For instance, at Long Beach Airport your not allowed to touch anything close to the bag scanners, poker chips are easily confused with perfect cylinder plastic explosives requiring inspection, and an accidental pocket knife is allowed through without so much as a warning.

In contrast at the Oakland Ghetoport it’s your responsibility to push your own items into the scanner and all of your bags have to pass inspection before you are allowed to pass. Poker chips are fine but a rolled up paper poster is very suspicious and must be x-rayed. And how the ghetoport rope line ‘barrier’ is supposed to make anything more secure remains a mystery.

I’ve been through a lot of airports since 9/11 and I’ve seen the transformation of airport security — from the heavily armed National Guard to the complacent and current version of the TSA. Up until this last trip I really believed that flying in the United States had become a bit more secure. But after having just gone through two very different security checkpoints managed by the same Department of Homeland Security I’m not so sure we’re any better off than we were in August of 2001.

Why our National Guard is in Iraq and not protecting our airports is beyond me — these overpaid federal security cops aren’t cutting it anymore.