Friday, July 1, 2011

The Obama Legacy...but we knew this would happen (at least some of us did)

Dictator Of The Month

Dictator of the Month: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
This is an excerpt from a lengthier article which can be found here

JUSTICE SAUDI STYLE—According to Amnesty International, police in Saudi Arabia routinely use torture to extract “confessions.” The accused are held in incommunicado detention until after they have been interrogated and often until after they have confessed. Even then, they are not allowed to discuss their case with visitors. If, in court, a defendant renounces his confession, he is returned to prison for more sessions of “interrogation.” A noteworthy case from 2004 illustrates Saudi practices. The authorities arrested twelve nonviolent dissidents for holding a public gathering in favor of establishing a constitutional monarchy. All twelve confessed, but in court three of them, university professors Abdullah al-Hamid and Matrouok al-Falih and poet Ali al-Damaini, renounced their confessions. One of their lawyers was imprisoned without charge after he spoke about the case on television. At the beginning, the trial was public, but then the doors were shut and it was held in secret. The defendants were sentenced to six to nine years in prison.
FLOGGING AND OTHER PUNISHMENTS—The Saudi authorities have something of an obsession with flogging, which is imposed for a variety of transgressions, including alcohol-related offences and traffic violations. The record for the most lashes imposed on a prisoner is 4,750, for having sex with his wife’s sister. Although it is not known if he survived, his wife’s sister got sixty-five lashes as well, even though she was the one who reported the incident. Teenage boys are publicly flogged for talking to a young woman or whistling at one. There have been incidents of floggings being announced through public address systems at shopping malls to give shoppers a chance to watch. In March 2001, a military officer was given twenty lashes for using a mobile phone during a flight. Flogging victims can be suspended with chains and lashed with a flexible metal cable.
As awful as flogging is, it is mild in comparison to Saudi punishments for more serious crimes. A convicted thief can have his right hand cut off, while highway robbers are punished by cross-amputation, the loping off of their right hand and their left foot. Then there is Qisas (retaliation) punishment which means an eye for an eye—literally. In 2000, for example, an Egyptian national was convicted in Medina of throwing acid in the face of another Egyptian and damaging his left eye. The guilty party, Abdel Moti Abdel Rahman Mohammad, was sentenced to forcible removal of his left eye.
WOMEN: NOT SEEN, NOT HEARD—In Saudi Arabia, a woman cannot appear in public with a man who is not a relative, cannot travel without a male relative’s
permission, cannot drive and cannot work with men. In court, a woman’s testimony is equal to half that of a man and, whereas a man can divorce his wife by just saying so, it is almost impossible for a woman to divorce her husband. Women are required to completely cover their bodies in public and they must wear veils. Ibn Baz, a famous Grand Mufti, forbid women to wear high heels. “The wearing of high heels,” he decreed, “is impermissible because it may lead the woman to fall…and it shows the stature of the woman and her behind more prominently.” Some Saudi women have expressed satisfaction with the restrictions in their country. However, from the point of view of human rights, the problem is that those Saudi women who would like to live a freer life have no choice. The strict suppression of women is not voluntary, but obligatory.
Domestic violence against women is deeply rooted in tradition. Ibn Saud, a national hero, was notorious for his physical abuse of slaves, servants, concubines, and wives. The issue finally surfaced publicly in April 2004 when a well-known television presenter, April Rania al-Baz, was beaten by her husband because she answered the telephone. He dumped her unconscious at a hospital, where she was discovered to have thirteen facial fractures. Because she was famous, her husband was imprisoned and she was able to obtain a divorce and retain custody of her two sons. Unfortunately, her case is the exception, and most beaten wives have no choice but to suffer abuse.
The Mutawa’een religious police are on constant patrol, watching for transgressions of the rules of sexual segregation. One particularly shocking case occurred in Mecca on March 11, 2002. A fire broke out in a girls’ school. As the girls rushed out the building, the Mutawa’een forced them back inside because they were not wearing headscarves and because they were not accompanied by male relatives. When male bystanders tried to enter the school to save the girls, the Mutawa’een stopped them because they were not relatives. In the end, fifteen girls died because of the intervention of the religious police.
FOREIGN WORKERS—The Saudi royal family has, for decades, imported foreigners to do unpleasant jobs. Yemenis serve as servants and street sweepers; Thai women as nannies; Filipino men as waiters; Korean men as construction workers; and Somalis, Ethiopians, Indians, and Sri Lankans as servants and manual laborers. These foreigners, particularly those women who work inside private homes, are subject to physical abuse and sexual violence. Eighty percent of prison inmates in Saudi Arabia are non-Saudis and about half of those prisoners who are executed are foreign nationals.
BASIC FREEDOMS—It almost goes without saying that in Saudi Arabia freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion are nonexistent. All Saudi citizens are required by law to be Muslims. In 2004, Brian O’Connor, a Christian citizen of India, was beaten and deported for owning a Bible and other Christian literature. It is illegal for schools to teach Western philosophy or religion other than Islam, and classrooms are monitored by informers.
The Ministry of Information, created in 1982, has the right to license, restrict, and close all newspapers. The Supreme Information Council, created in 1981, monitors books, magazines, movies, and other media. All radio and television stations are owned by the government, and censorship is so extreme that statistics on automobile accidents are kept out of the media because they might be construed as a criticism of the king or the government. Even sermons in mosques are pre-censored. The Saudi royal family would not allow the Internet into the country until 1999, and all web sites are banned until they have been individually approved. All phone calls are recorded and in 2004 the government banned mobile phones with cameras. In September 2004, they passed a law prohibiting public employees from “engaging in dialogue with local and foreign media.”
The highlight of Saudi Arabia’s struggle with the issue of human rights took place in October 2003 when the government actually hosted an international human rights conference. Hundreds of Saudis took advantage of this unusual occurrence to stage a public protest. They were all arrested. About eighty of the protestors were held for several months and others were flogged.
Ibn Saud kept control of the people he conquered through a combination of force of arms, intermarriage with more than thirty tribes, and the imposition of Wahhabism, which transcended and disempowered tribal hierarchies. He and his successors viewed nepotism and corruption as natural methods of wealth distribution. Later, the Saudi royal family used their oil profits to buy the loyalty of the population by providing free education and health care and subsidized services. When the world demand for oil has stagnated and Saudi profits have dropped, dissent has grown. But with the demand for oil growing, particularly in China, the Saudi royal family has regained the power and influence that their wealth can buy.
-David Wallechinsky

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obama's ego and pathological narcissism...besides that, he's a Marxist! How dangerous is this delusional man?

The following article cross-posted from the American Thinker

President Quixote's Legacy: Confused, Ill-Educated and Not Too Bright 
By Monty Pelerin

The number of Obama supporters seems inversely related to his time in office. Many wonder what happened to "The One We Are Waiting For."
Obama assumed office in difficult economic times. After a couple of years of excuses -- which included "the problems were worse than we knew" and the generic, all-purpose "it's Bush's fault" -- Obama now owns the original problems and new ones of his own doing. An incomplete report card on his "accomplishments" would include the following:
  • the economy worsened
  • discretionary military efforts ("kinetic" if you prefer) increased
  • an unpopular, flawed health care plan was forced on the public
  • inflation increased, especially in critical goods like food and gasoline
  • job prospects decreased
  • the stimulus failed miserably
  • "transparency in government" became a laugh-line for late night TV
  • corruption in government accelerated to Chicago-style warp speed
  • Housing worsened and shows no sign of bottoming soon
  • Government debt and spending spun out of control
  • Wall Street was bailed out and continues to enrich themselves
  • Main Street was ignored and becomes poorer as bankruptcies and foreclosures mount
  • race relations appear to have worsened
There are a plethora of other problems that could be attributed to Obama. In short, it is difficult to ascertain what, if anything, has improved other than the demise of Osama bin Laden.
Two hypotheses are often cited to explain why things have gotten so much worse:
  1. Obama is incompetent.
  2. Obama knows what he is doing and is deliberately destroying the country.
These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. Evidence is consistent with either or a combination of both. The remainder of this article deals only with the first. Readers should not assume that the second is unimportant, inoperable, or impossible.
Dr. Thomas Sowell wrote about "seductive beliefs" in a two-part article (second part here). He touched on some of the incorrect beliefs guiding President Obama. In short, Obama is an ideologue, narrowly (and poorly) educated. As a result, he is ignorant in the ways of the world.

Economics versus Morality
Sowell's analysis provides perspective on Obama's behavior. Obama has virtually no understanding of basic economics. Exploitation ideology is the basis for his world- and economic view. This ideology sees the world as a zero-sum game. In essence a fixed pie is divided. If one person gets more, others necessarily get less.
A country becomes successful by taking advantage of other countries. This naive view, based on the long-discredited concept of mercantilism, sees success as exploitation. Freedom, markets, institutions, incentives, and voluntary trade have no place in Obama's world. Success or failure is determined by one variable -- whether you are the exploiter or the exploited.
Exploitation theory does not comport with economic theory, history, or reality. As Sowell points out:
It is hard to reconcile "exploitation" theories with the facts. While there have been conquered peoples made poorer by their conquerors, especially by Spanish conquerors in the Western Hemisphere, in general most poor countries were poor for reasons that existed before the conquerors arrived. Some Third World countries are poorer today than they were when they were ruled by Western countries, generations ago.
Obama's ideology blinds him to relevant variables. Incentives, institutional frameworks, profit and loss, individual initiative, saving and investment, hard work, etc. have no role in his simplistic world. He is a political creation with no experience in relevant matters. He does not understand markets, business, meeting a payroll, or managing an organization. This vacuum in knowledge produces failed economic results because policies do not consider the relevant variables for economic success.
In Obama's world, success and failure are moral rather than economic outcomes. Success is a marker for evil. Failure is due to someone else's success rather than personal shortcomings. Failure represents passivity, the choice to not exploit others. Proper moral behavior produces failure.
For Obama, economics itself is inconsistent with morality. Hence economics itself must be evil. This view of the world is both simple and ignorant. No, it is beyond that. It is a sign of stupidity! Recognition of this stupidity is the key to understanding Obama's behavior and policies.

An Interpretation of Some Obama Policies
The key to understanding much of Obama's behavior is the notion that economics itself is necessarily evil and must be constrained or even remedied.
Successful allies (think Israel and Great Britain among others) are morally inferior to unsuccessful, backward nations who only are so as a result of exploitation. Third-world nations require restitution for the evils imposed by successful nations. That some of these are enemies of the US makes them even more deserving. The US, heretofore the greatest success, therefore represents the greatest evil. Obama's world-apology tours and treatment of allies can be understood in light of such convoluted beliefs.
Moral judgments also drive domestic policy. Individual success is simply a microcosm of national success. It too is achieved by exploiting others. That explains Obama's "Joe the Plumber" moment. If the pie is fixed in size, the rich make others poor. That is the fallacy underlying Obama's belief that people are entitled to only so much income or wealth.
In his mind, he has a right, probably a moral obligation, to confiscate and redistribute wealth. The rich and successful must be punished at some level of success. Their success causes the poor their pain.
Talent, hard work, ingenuity, risk-taking, etc. are not relevant in Obama's third-grade level of economic understanding. As expressed by Tom Sowell, "[w]hether at home or abroad, Obama's ideology is an ideology of envy, resentment and payback."

The Bigger Problem
Obama is doing what he believes right and just. Sophomoric understanding, however, does not explain why the inequities of the world are assumed to be Obama's responsibility. How does one go from President of the US to a modern-day Don Quixote for the entire world?
Some psychologists and psychiatrists have answered this question in terms of Obama's ego and pathological narcissism. The psychological conditions that motivate a person are less clear than the ensuing actions. They also can be much more frightening. To understand a person, it is sometimes necessary to speculate on such motivations.
Obama's narcissistic disorder apparently enables him to see himself as the President of The World, the Great Rectifier and the One We Have Been Waiting For. Some supporters speak of Obama in messianic terms, as he himself has arrogantly done. This behavior pattern could be indicative of severe delusion, even megalomania.
The original Don Quixote's tilting at windmills was charming and harmless. This knight of old was noble and honorable. He possessed character and integrity. While a bit crazed, his motives were pure. It was difficult not to admire him.
None of that holds true for President Quixote. The only thing these two delusional people have in common is a fascination with windmills. The old knight imagined them as dragons to be slain, the modern one as solutions to the world's problems. Which belief is more rational is left to the reader to decide.
Obama's faults are neither charming nor harmless. He is in a position of extreme power, capable of doing massive damage. His quixotic behavior squanders this nation's resources and destroys its economy. Obama, like his predecessor of old, intends to solve all the injustices of the world. His Quest is to compensate for the sins of the successful.
The downtrodden are his protectorate, just as they were the delusional knight of old. The modern Quixote, however, exploits them for political gain rather than true concern. The successful, fewer in number, are targets unless they can assist him in his goals. 

Obama's Superior Intellect
How dangerous this delusional man might be is moot. What seems no longer at issue is Obama's "superior intelligence." Obama's belief system is dominated by the dismissed exploitation theories of Karl Marx and the 60's-style radicals he grew up around. The Reverend Wright preached to him for twenty years about exploitation in terms of Black Liberation Theology. An unrepentant terrorist, Bill Ayers, was a close friend and arguably author of one of Obama's autobiographies. His personally selected "Czars" are the sorriest collection of Presidential advisors ever, at least in terms of reflecting American values and beliefs.
Many went on the same intellectual voyage that Obama did. Most of us outgrew this nonsense, usually by our mid-twenties. Obama never did. He is still a child, intellectually undeveloped and locked into the ideas from the 60's -- both the 1960s and the Marxist 1860s. In that sense he is an intellectual dwarf, frozen in the equivalent of a state of intellectual puberty. His "knowledge" is based on nothing but the discredited ideologies of Socialism.
The claim that Obama is the smartest man to ever hold presidential office is absurd and a reflection on the state of our media who insist on propping up this man-child. Obama's obsession with keeping his college records and personal past secret is prima facie evidence that the claim is untrue. His knowledge base and dismal performance on the world stage is even more damning.
Instead of having a superior intellect, we likely have the most ignorant, ideological, brainwashed dupe this country has ever elected to high office. The man's intellectual development never progressed beyond the stage of all-night freshman bull sessions where all the world's problems were solved (with help from adequate amounts of beer of course).
This intellectual pygmy must be removed from office by whatever possible peaceful means. Impeachment is in order, but will not happen. Thus the 2012 election is critical.
The Democratic Party knows what happened in 2010. They also know that they have an albatross at the top of their ticket. It is likely they will turn on this poseur before the election. If so, this act will be their most significant public service in years.
Obama will not be reelected, but that may not be enough. A country filled with enough fools to elect this modern-day version of a snake oil salesman, this American Idol wannabe, this empty suit, is clearly dumb enough to replace him in kind. H. L. Mencken had it correct: "Democracy is a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."
The Democratic Party is and should be worried about 2012. No Democrat, save the hapless Jimmy Carter, can be happy about their current situation. Carter is the exception because his lock on "worst President ever" is about to be broken by the current occupant.
Monty Pelerin blogs at Monty Pelerin's World.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Protecting The Borders...yeah right! pupfish are much more important !!!

Illegal immigration, human smuggling, drug runners, and pupfish...
Did you say, "pupfish"?

 (Collage by Storm'n Norm'n)

Disorder at the Border

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An endangered pronghorn antelope wears a collar as part of a recovery program in the Sonoran Desert.
As we earlier reported (June 13 Human Events page 12), Environmental rules are hampering Border Patrol operations near the Mexican border, even as the agency doles out millions in taxpayer dollars meant to offset damage to endangered species.

Because of a pond inhabited by endangered pupfish, Border Patrol officers can use their vehicles to pursue illegal aliens only if the chase stays on the main road. If the pursuit veers into a 42-acre sector near the pond, officers must continue the chase on foot or horseback.

Pupfish aren’t the only critters confounding the Border Patrol. There’s also the Chiricahua leopard frog, Mexican spotted owl, lesser long-nosed bat, Pima pineapple cactus and Sonoran Pronghorn antelope.

And then there’s a small cat called the ocelot that some critics say hasn’t even been seen in the area for 15 years.

Border Patrol agents can’t drive vehicles into designated Wilderness areas, as well as certain areas of national parks and monuments.

Agreements between the Homeland Security and Interior Departments on how best to protect the ecosystem are frustrating lawmakers who say they also prevent agents from conducting routine patrols.

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has committed or spent more than $9.8 million for environmental mitigation and the price tag could go as high as $50 million, according to a document obtained by Human Events.

“CBP has expended considerable funding directly on mitigation and related activities, such as surveys and habitat restoration,” according to the Homeland Security document responding to a congressional inquiry.

Fiscal year 2008 is listed as one example. “ CBP expended more than $8 million on surveys and mitigation efforts to benefit 33 species listed as threatened or endangered,” the document said.

Included in the price tag: $2.1 million for the cats, $980,000 for the bats and $811,000 for the pronghorn.

Drug cartels and other criminals could care less about trampling through a protected species’ habitat, Rep. Rob Bishop (R.-Utah) told Human Events.

“They would just as soon eat an endangered species as protect it,” Bishop said.

The Wilderness Act prohibits the Border Patrol from entering 4.3 million wilderness acres in a vehicle or by helicopter.

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The Mexican spotted owl is just one of the endangered species along the border that is being protected at the expense of our border agents' safety.
Bats and Fish Trump Security

“If you ask the supervisors and managers if this has an impact on operations, they will tell you, ‘Hell yes,’” said Kent Lundgren, communications manager of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers.

The Border Patrol respects the desire of environmental groups and land managers to protect environmental species, Lundgren said.

“But along the border, national security and public safety ought to trump anything else,” Lundgren said.

Environmentalists disagree.

They argue that border patrols can negatively affect the environment, including loss of foraging habitat, disturbance from nighttime lights and noise associated with construction of towers and border fences, generators and helicopter landings.

And the government agrees, so far the Homeland Security Department has forked over $8 million to the Interior Department to mitigate impacts from fence construction and other security measures.

According to those agencies, a large chunk of that money will fund studies on threatened or endangered fish, sheep and bats.

The Interior Department (DOI) also wants $22 million to purchase land for the ocelot, saying fence construction noise and lighting along the Lower Rio Grande would negatively affect the species, according to a congressional aide.
The last-known sighting of the ocelot was in 1996, the aide added.
More than 95% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct, according to the Danish environmental author, Bjorn Lomborg.
And in the U.S. there is actually a process that would allow an endangered species to become extinct. It’s called the “God Squad.”
It’s comprised of seven cabinet-level members, including the secretaries of Interior, Army and Agriculture and has the authority to allow extinction by exempting federal agencies from environmental laws.
Is it likely to happen?
“The halls of the Interior Department are filled with environmental extremists,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.) said. “They will find any type of habitat or creature they can to make a case to stop job creation and use of federal land.”
Despite the commitment of Homeland Security to spending $50 million to offset environmental damage, Republicans in Congress have taken the first step to pull the plug on this funding.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R.-Wyo.) successfully added an amendment June 2 to the Homeland Security spending bill that blocks Interior from buying more land for species protection.

“DOI policies have it backwards. Our nation’s security should be our top priority,” Lummis said.

“Inhibiting the Border Patrol’s access to federal lands enables criminal activity that impacts America’s border towns and filters up to states like Wyoming. The persistent illegal traffic is the real burden on the wildlife and ecology of these public lands, which we could protect more effectively if we just let the Border Patrol do its job,” Lummis said.
An October 2010 report by the Government accountability Office (GAO) concedes that “certain land-management laws present some challenges to Border Patrol’s operations on federal lands, limiting to varying degrees the agency’s access to patrol and monitor some areas.”

“With limited access for patrols and monitoring, some illegal entries may go undetected,” the GAO said.

The GAO also acknowledges that the Border Patrol’s presence is “needed to protect natural and cultural resources on federal lands because, for instance, fewer illegal entries mean less human traffic over environmentally sensitive areas.”

And ultimately, when the federal government has to choose between protecting the border and protecting the environment, it chooses the environment.

The two-inch, bluish pupfish lives in the Quitobaquito Pond and spring channel in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument West of Tucson, Ariz.

U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) vehicles have been cited numerous times for driving over a berm that impounds the pupfish pond.

“Driving on the berm could cause its partial collapse or deterioration,” according to a consultation document between the Border Patrol and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Protecting Pupfish

“If the integrity of the berm is compromised, much or all of the pond could be lost if the berm collapses. Even if the berm does not collapse, driving on it could cause deterioration, resulting in materials spilling into the pond, decreasing its volume, reducing habitat for pupfish and requiring additional work to repair and reinforce it,” the document says. “These activities would likely result in mortality of pupfish and, at least temporarily, reduce the population.”

The document also notes one incident when a border patrol agent drove an ATV over the channel several times. Although no damage was done, the Fish and Wildlife Service devised a scenario that could kill the fish.

“If the concrete channel was broken or damaged, water could be diverted from the channel, resulting in dewatering of the spring channel and possible lowering or drying of the pond. Pupfish inhabiting the channel downstream of the break could desiccate and die under this scenario,” the consultation memo says.

“A worse outcome would be if a USBP vehicle slid into the pond, either due to collapse of the berm or driving too close to the edge, followed by accidental slippage off the berm and into the pond. Contaminants in the form of oil or other vehicle fluids could cause mortality of pupfish, and again, any remedy of this situation would threaten the integrity of the berm and likely result in additional mortality of pupfish,” the consultation said.

Border Patrol agents are no longer allowed to drive motorized vehicles into the area unless the life or safety of an officer or cross-border violator (CBV) is in danger.

“USBP may access any portion of Quitobaquito by foot or on horseback at any time necessary to patrol or to pursue and apprehend cross-border violators,” the memo says. There are strict conditions set on use of the horses as well, which must be given a “weed-free-feed” so that its feces do not contaminate the ecosystem of the park.

If the horses are actually kept there, the Border Patrol must “avoid contamination of ground and surface waters by removing animal waste from areas where horses are housed and disposing of it at an appropriate waste facility,” the document says.

The next battle between the Border Patrol and environmentalists is brewing over an endangered bird species, the Southwestern willow flycatcher.

The enviros want the Border Patrol to scrap plans to mow vegetation four times a year along 91 miles of the Rio Grande, because of this and hundreds of other bird species.

The Border Patrol wants to keep the vegetation below two feet so agents can actually see illegal aliens crossing through the area.

Also along the Rio Grande in South Texas, the GAO said that border patrols, portable and permanent lights, along with clearing of vegetation, have “reduced the amount of habitat suitable for the endangered ocelot.”

Lawmakers are frustrated over the territorial battles between the government agencies that are charged with protecting the environment and protecting the border.

They say federal land managers are using environmental regulations to block the Border Patrol from accessing protected portions within 21 million acres on the Southern border and 1,000 miles along the Canadian border.

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A U.S. Border Patrol agent looking through binoculars.

Increasing Violence

The result is an escalation of violence throughout an area that is now open to criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers and potential terrorists.

Congressional staffers say illegal aliens know exactly where the Border Patrol can and cannot patrol in their vehicles.

“National parks and forests have become some of the most dangerous and violent areas along the border, where shootings, robberies, rapes, murders, kidnappings and carjackings frequently occur,” according to a report by the House Committee on Natural Resources.

In March 2010, Arizona rancher Rob Krentz was shot and killed by someone who had illegally entered the country through the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge, the committee said.

Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar was killed by a hit-and-run driver who crossed the border though the Imperial Sand Dunes in January 2008 and a park ranger was shot
and killed in 2002 while pursuing members of a Mexican drug cartel through the Organ Pipe National Monument.

Led by Bishop, key Republicans in the House and Senate are pursuing legislation called the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act that would prohibit the secretaries of Interior and Agriculture from taking action on public lands that would impede border security.

The bill would also give the Homeland Security secretary immediate access to any public lands managed by the federal government to secure the border, trumping past agreements between the agencies.

“The drug cartels, prostitution rings, kidnappers and who knows what else, they don’t sign these memos of understanding and they don’t care about these arbitrary rules that don’t make any sense on the border,” Bishop said.

Even more frustrating, Bishop said, Border Patrol has unlimited access across private property to chase illegal aliens.

“They are allowed to do their jobs on private property and no one blinks an eye, but on public property, there is a brouhaha,” Bishop said.

“When the Border Patrol has to go to federal land managers and beg for permission to do their jobs, that is no longer acceptable,” Bishop said.

Rep. Peter T. King (R.-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, says the “senseless practice” also leaves the U.S. vulnerable to terrorists.

“We cannot allow the Obama Administration’s Interior Department to use environmental regulations to hinder front-line Border Patrol agents’ critical mission of securing our border from illegal immigrants, including potential terrorists,” King said.

But the measure faces opposition from environmental groups who say off-road driving, stadium lighting and other activities threaten the culture and environment in protected areas.

Tourists Warned

“These bills have been introduced solely to satisfy the radical whims of a small minority of anti-environmental extremists in Congress,” said Jenny Neeley, conservation director of the liberal Sky Island Alliance.

The Border Patrol already works effectively with federal land managers, and no changes are needed, said Matt Clark, spokesman for Defenders of Wildlife in Tucson. The proof, Clark insisted, is in the reduction of apprehensions of illegal aliens—down by two-thirds over the last decade.

“Protections for endangered wildlife, water and clean air are not standing in the way of border security,” Clark said.

A spokesman for the Homeland Security Department said they do not comment on pending legislation, but that they are “fully committed to collaborating with Interior and the USFS[U.S. Forest Service] to find workable solutions on special-status lands.”

“DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] works closely with Interior and USFS to fulfill its enforcement responsibilities while respecting the environment,” said spokesman Matt Chandler.

“While manpower, money and technology are always on demand at the border, access has become critical,” Bishop said.

And where there is a lack of law enforcement presence, tourists are being warned not to go into the areas, because of illegal alien criminals and drug runners.

“I understand why DHS wants to put a good spin on it, and put their best face forward, but the bottom line is public land has become the choice entrance for the bad guys,” Bishop said. “So far, the Interior Department’s solutions are signs that say some areas are off-limits to Americans because it’s too dangerous,” he added.

The signs have since been removed, but not before the House committee obtained photos of one posted by the Bureau of Land Management warning visitors to avoid certain areas.

“Danger—public warning, travel not recommended,” one sign reads. “Active drug and human smuggling area. Visitors may encounter armed criminals and smuggling vehicles traveling at high rates of speed.”

The Web page for the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument still carries a warning for visitors and a reminder that it’s located 30 miles from the border: “Each year, hundreds of people travel North through the park, entering the United States. It is possible you could encounter an individual or small group trying to walk through the park with little or no water.”

The warning advises visitors to report that activity to park rangers because “lack of water is a life-threatening emergency in the desert.”

The park also notes that “visitors should be aware that drug-smuggling routes pass through the park,” and says such activity should be reported by calling 911.

According to the GAO, 3,500 acres in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona were closed to the public in 2006 after five illegal aliens were murdered in the area. Since 2007, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge has required law enforcement escorts for staff and volunteers because of the dangers posed by illegal aliens. In 2009, the South Texas Refuge Complex reported that many refuge tracts adjacent to the Rio Grande were closed to visitors, in part because of illegal immigration, human smuggling and drug runners, the GAO reported.