08/29/14

Loveland’s fracking vote not just a local matter

By: Regina Thomson
The Gazette

Residents of Loveland recently voted against a citywide ban on the energy extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Far from being a local matter, their decision to reject the two-year drilling moratorium could have dramatic consequences for millions of Americans.

As a result of techniques like fracking, the energy industry has quickly become an indispensable source of job growth and economic vitality – particularly in Colorado. By compromising the sector, local fracking restrictions threaten the livelihoods of middle-class families who have benefited most from Colorado’s energy boom.

Loveland’s vote marks a turning point in the fight against such destructive policies.

The ballot initiative in Loveland comes amid a flurry of voter-imposed fracking restrictions being adopted throughout the state. Bans and moratoriums on the drilling practice are currently in place in Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins, Lafayette and Longmont.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association is challenging many of these measures in court. And earlier this month, two citizens in Lafayette filed a class-action lawsuit against Gov. John Hickenlooper and COGA, seeking to protect the town’s fracking ban.

It’s tempting to cast such disputes as a fight between a powerful industry and everyday citizens. Indeed, the Lafayette residents behind the class-action lawsuit argue that they are protecting their “community, its families and property” against the forces of “corporate privilege.”

But those who stand to lose the most from these anti-fracking efforts aren’t wealthy energy executives; they are workers, farmers, and middle-class families across the state.

Over the past decade, Colorado’s 
$25 billion energy sector has become an essential component of our economy, one that supports more than 200,000 state jobs. The recent success of this industry is a direct result of breakthroughs in drilling techniques.

In fact, thanks largely to hydraulic fracturing, Colorado’s oil production nearly tripled since 2005, while natural gas production has risen by half. Today, about 95 percent of new oil and gas wells in our state are developed through fracking, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Hydraulic fracturing, in other words, is at the center of Colorado’s thriving energy sector. Towns that take away this critical tool for energy extraction are willfully disabling an indispensable state industry, endangering hundreds of thousands of state jobs – not to mention driving up the price of energy for Colorado residents.

And despite claims that anti-fracking activists are protecting their neighbors’ property, drilling bans actually prevent mineral-owning households from accessing their most valuable assets.

Many of Colorado’s 600,000 mineral owners – which include farmers, ranchers, and retirees – depend on royalties from those resources just to get by.

Faced with a fracking ban, some, like farmer Cristy Koeneke, will have little choice but to sell their land. “My family had been just eking out a living in rural Colorado in past generations,” she said, “and without our royalty income, we would have had to sell our land to developers.”

By recognizing the enormous value the energy industry provides, Loveland voters scored an important victory for families like Koeneke’s – and not just here in Colorado. Since our state is the chief battleground in the national fracking fight, negative consequences of our state’s drilling bans are felt nationwide. Already, more than 75 towns in New York have enacted bans, as have cities in California, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

If the nationwide trend toward local fracking restrictions continues, it could quickly derail a domestic energy boom that currently supports more than 2 million American jobs and is expected to produce 3.3 million more by 2020, according to research group IHS. By 2025, the firm predicts, lower energy prices will help increase the disposable income of the average household by $3,700.

And so, when Loveland residents rejected the fracking ban, they weren’t just voting on a local issue, or even on Colorado’s economic future. They were helping to protect an energy boom that promises to improve the lives of middle-class Americans for decades.

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Regina Thomson is president of Colorado Issues Coalition.

Read more at http://gazette.com/guest-column-lovelands-fracking-vote-not-just-a-local-matter/article/1536491#1bgjXYSVUijbpGL4.99

08/29/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 08/29/14

The Watcher’s Council


Back from the Dead: The Return of the Evil Empire

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“If I have learned one thing from life, it is that race is the engine that drives the political Left. When all else fails, that segment of America goes to the default position of using race to achieve its objectives. In the courtrooms, on college campuses, and, most especially, in our politics, race is a central theme. Where it does not naturally rise to the surface, there are those who will manufacture and amplify it.” – Ward Connerly

“…Liberals see racism where it doesn’t exist, fabricate it when they can’t find it and ignore it within their own ranks.” – Michelle Malkin

“Since neither black animosity nor the Left’s falsehood of “racial tensions” is based on the actual behavior of the vast majority of white Americans, nothing white America can do will affect the perceptions of many black Americans or of the leftist libel.” – Dennis Prager

This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s Blackgammon: Eric Holder Plays the Game in Ferguson, is my contention that the Obama Administration’s obsession with the Michael Brown shooting has little to do with justice, civil rights or ultimately even with Michael Brown himself.

Here’s a slice:

Backgammon, on the surface, is a pretty straight forward game. You roll the dice and move your pieces. But beneath that seeming openness are hidden strategies that may only reveal themselves later.

Today, Eric Holder traveled in person to Ferguson, Missouri, where the Aug. 9 shooting of black teen& Michael Brown by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson during an altercation has sparked massive violence, looting, protests and media coverage.

Holder’s version of the game was revealed as he made his moves today in Ferguson.Ostensibly he was there to oversee the massive Federal investigation of the Brown shooting with the goal of trying to arraign Officer Darren Williams on civil rights charges should the St. Louis County Grand jury fail to charge him with murder ala’ George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. But this was essentially a campaign stop at government expense.

Read his remarks here and note the parts I’ve emphasized:

“I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man,” Holder told Ferguson residents at a community meeting. “I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over. … ‘Let me search your car’ … Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.”

“The eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson right now,” Holder told a group of community leaders assembled at a local community college. “The world is watching because the issues raised by the shooting of Michael Brown predate this incident. This is something that has a history to it, and the history simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson.”

Let’s translate this, shall we?

“See Y’all, I’m black just like you are and that comes first before anything. So I understand your totally justified rage and anger against the white power structure. It’s them that are on trial, not just a police officer although he’ll do as a symbol ofeverything you feel whitey and the police have done to you over the years.That white power structure, you know, those white Republican Tea Partyers have always oppressed you,and this is just the latest outrage. I understand that, and that police officer looks just like them so they’re going to try to protect him. But since we’re in charge, we’re going to do our very best to see that you get what you want. Because remember, I’m black and I look like you and so does the president, so you all need to vote Democrat in November to make sure we stay in charge.”

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was former AP Middle East correspondent Matti Friedman writing in Tablet Magazine with An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth, submitted by Joshuapundit. The ‘most important story on earth’ is Friedman’s satirical way of referring to media coverage of Israel and he gives you an insider’s view of exactly how this story is twisted, propagandized and misrepresented by the media… and more importantly, why. Some of the reasons will astound you.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Starting next week, the Watcher’s Council is adding an exciting new feature!

Every Tuesday, the members of the Council will nominate a Weasel of the Week… some public figure who merits special singling out for ignominy, stupidity, cowardice, corruption or just a particularly evil deed. The Council members will provide a short explanation for their choices and the nominations and explanations on why each choice is worthy of being singled out for special attention will appear Tuesday morning.

We’ll vote, (we’re working on making this public, so you can weigh in) and every Thursday the winner of our own special Mark of Shame, The Weasel of the Week, will be highlighted in all his or her putrid, despicable glory. Who will it be?

Don’t miss it!

Okay, here are this week’s full results. Both GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD and The Razor were unable to vote this week, but neither were subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

08/28/14

New Technology Could End The Debate Over Pipeline Safety

Who could have ever imagined that North America would surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids? A decade ago, that would have seemed laughable.

Yet that’s exactly what has happened; and it’s not just Saudi Arabia that has been left in North America’s dust — Russia has, too.

The surge in North American oil and gas production is arguably the most important development in energy over the last decade. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that North America doesn’t have nearly enough oil and gas pipelines to accommodate its 11-million-barrel-a-day output level.

The famously unresolved proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, but its future is in legal and political limbo. The controversial Northern Gateway pipeline, proposed as an alternative to Keystone XL, would connect Canada’s oil sands to the Pacific Coast, allowing greater volumes of oil to be shipped to Asia, but it, too, is still on the drawing board.

Both are good examples of how pipelines – considered the safest way to move oil and gas – have become politicized and scrutinized, and not without reason. Despite their reliability, pipelines still lead to an unacceptable rate of safety mishaps. They corrode and rupture, which threatens workers and nearby communities. In 2013 alone, over 119,000 barrels of oil were spilled in 623 incidents.

America’s existing pipelines are getting older and more prone to corrosion, and over the next five to 10 years, there will be a significant increase in the number of new pipelines.

And that is creating a huge opportunity for better pipeline safety technology.

Monitoring and detecting corrosion in pipelines is still a crude affair (no pun intended). Pipeline companies tend to underspend on safety, concerned only with meeting the minimum regulatory requirements.

One of the major ways pipeline operators detect corrosion is with a “pig,” a machine that travels down the inside of a pipeline looking for problems.

Pigs are not new — the industry has long relied heavily on them—and the newest generation of pigs, known as “smart pigs,” is considered an improvement over the pigs of yesterday. Smart pigs give a read on the state of the pipeline, such as cracks, corrosion, and metal loss. Operators receive this information in a control room and can then dispatch crews to fix the problem. As of 2012, 93 percent of pipeline inspections were conducted using smart pigs.

But smart pigs might not be enough. Enbridge (NYSE: ENB), a major Canadian pipeline company, has spent over $4.4 billion to upgrade pipeline safety. It is spending big bucks after one of its pipelines spilled oil into the Kalamazoo River in 2010 – a corrosion breach that Enbridge’s smart pigs failed to detect ahead of time.

And that’s the problem: despite recent advances, smart pigs aren’t terribly accurate. They also require pipeline operations to shut down (you can’t pump oil through a pipeline if there is a machine in the way), and analyzing the data smart pigs gather can take some time. The Wall Street Journal ran an article last year that talked about the pitfalls of smart pigs, even as pipeline companies continue to depend heavily on them.

So alternative methods to detect trouble spots are needed. One method for detecting corrosion uses a device from outside the pipeline. A series of sensors placed on the outside of the pipeline can search for corrosion without interfering in operations.

Pipeline safety company Fox-Tek, a subsidiary of Augusta Industries (CVE: AAO), uses such a system to detect corrosion, as well as a fiber optic system to detect bends, strains and stress in pipelines.

But the real innovation in Fox-Tek’s system is its data analytics package. Companies that use smart pigs usually need to spend months doing post-inspection analysis, but Fox-Tek has developed proprietary software that does continuous and automatic analysis.

Fox-Tek’s sensors gather information and automatically send back confidential reports on everything the company needs to know – temperature, pressure, strain, rates of corrosion, etc. in the form of handy graphs, charts and diagrams. It eliminates the need for an army of people to go out and inspect pipelines and then come back to do the analysis.

The pipeline safety market is massive and growing, but one of the major hurdles for new technologies like advanced sensors and software will be reluctance by pipeline companies to proactively invest in corrosion management and maintenance. In the past, they have largely focused on the bare minimum and viewed safety as a regulatory requirement.

However, there seems to be a sea change in the pipeline industry, particularly since operators are running into an environmental backlash. The blocking of several high-profile pipelines may have finally gotten the attention of the industry. Bringing local communities onboard and acquiring permits from regulators will require pipeline operators to demonstrate improved safety throughout their networks.

But above all, pipeline companies will see dollars saved by using cost-effective monitoring systems to reduce pipeline leaks. Enbridge has been forced to spend around $1 billion to clean up its mess in the Kalamazoo River, which was the result of a corrosion breach. It could spend a fraction of that to have better information on pipeline corrosion to prevent a growing problem from getting worse. That could reduce the frequency of future pipeline spills.

This could be a game changer in terms of how oil and gas pipelines are viewed in North America. If operators use smart software to catch small problems before they can turn into big ones, the common view of pipelines as accidents waiting to happen could be erased. Instead of seeing them as an environmental risk, the public may grow to see them as just another piece of modern infrastructure that facilitates commerce.

Source: https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/New-Technology-Could-End-The-Debate-Over-Pipeline-Safety.html

By. James Stafford of Oilprice.com

08/27/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Accountablity Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The MidKnight Review, The Political Commentator, Seraphic Secret and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

08/25/14

Open Letter IMF, ECB and EU

IMF, ECB en EU

Ms. Christine Lagarde
Mario Draghi
Mr. Herman van Rompuy

8 august 2014,

Topics: “8-step rescue plan Euro” and “Reindexing European stock exchanges”

Dear MsLagarde, dear Mr Draghianddear MrVan Rompuy,

Now that the welfare of many citizens in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and France threatens to sink beneath the critical point, it is important that there will be a solution for these citizens in the short term.History has taught that the collapse of the pillar of prosperity in a society always leads to revolution. Signals have reached me through the media, that revolution in these countries is rattlingat the gate.Governments of these countries, regardless of their political persuasion, see this with sorrow, but have their backs to the wall.

I therefore suggest that, prior to January 1, 2015, the “8-step rescue plan Euro” (see appendix) that I have prepared for database administrators of banks in these countries is implemented. After executing this plan, citizens in these countries will have sufficient funds to live in a dignified manner in 2015.Your organizations can thus present itself as Robin Hood. A Robin Hood, who also takes care of the wealthy individuals in the society. The rescue plan namely also prevents chaos in the financial markets which arises due to revolutions.The stock market crash in 1929 has demonstrated the disastrous consequences this may have for societies.

For additional background information, I refer you to my paper “Current problems associated with the end of the third industrial revolution” which was presented at an International Symposium in Valencia, The Economic Crisis: Time for a paradigm shift, Towards a systems approach.

I also request you to consider my proposal, to reindex, in consultation with the stock exchange owners, all European stock exchanges at 100 points. For additional background information on this proposal, I refer you to my articles The Dow Jones Industrial Average: a Fata Morgana and Will Obama manipulate the Dow Divisor? From fiction to reality

Your invitation for a discussion on the topic “8-step rescue plan Euro” or the topic “Reindexing European stock exchanges” would be welcomed.

Sincerely,

Wim Grommen
A concerned European citizen

Appendix

8-STEP RESCUE PLAN EURO

Database administrators of European banks can contribute to solving the euro crisis.

The following 8 steps they need to perform on December 31, 2014, to give citizens in their countries which are living under the subsistence, a dignified existence in 2015 again.

Step 1: Log in as the table owner of the table “current_account_citizens” on the

production database

Step 2: Disable all triggers on the table “current_account_citizens”

Step 3: Disable all check-constraints on the table “current_account_citizens”

Step 4: Run thefollowing updatestatementon the table “current_account_citizens”:

update current_account_citizens
set balance = balance + ecb_ donation_to_citizen
where identification_number in (select identification_number
from citizen_tax_administration
where  annual_income < norm_annual_income)

The coming months there will be consultations between the IMF, ECB, EU and the Governments on the values ​​of the variables ecb_ donation_to_citizen and norm_annual_income. The values ​​of these variables can be determined per country.

Step 5: Makethis update statementpermanentby acommit

Step 6: Enable again all check-constraints on the table “current_account_citizens”

Step 7: Enable again all triggers on the table “current_account_citizens”

Step 8: Logoff theproduction database

If there is no approval eligible for this plan, then database administrators can take their own moral responsibility. Depending on their Robin Hood feeling they decide who of their compatriots are eligible for a gift and also how high it will be.

08/22/14

Death and corruption at the Veterans Administration

By: Michael Volpe
The Daily Caller

But Jenkins says that explanation is unacceptable. Fillingim wasn’t charged because his blood alcohol level was registered at .03, below the legal limit, but the test occurred about six hours after the incident, and credit card receipts showed Fillingim and another individual shared in more than ten drinks at the bar.

Jenkins said that though Fillingim wasn’t charged, he admitted to numerous violations of the professional codes of the VA. Plus, he added, Johnson was ultimately exonerated.

The way Fillingim and Johnson were treated is indicative of a culture which holds management and non-management employees within the VA to different standards, Jenkins told TheDC.

08/22/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 08/22/14

The Watcher’s Council


Poster: Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn as Boris and Natasha

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“In keeping people straight, principle is not as powerful as a policeman.” – Abel Hermant, Le Bourgeois, 1906

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.” – Muhammad Ali

This week’s winner, The Right Planet’s #Ferguson: Facts Don’t Matter Anymore, is an excellent rundown on the Michael Brown shooting and the subsequent riots in Ferguson, Missouri by someone fairly close to the action. Here’s a slice:

Facts and details are starting to leak out concerning the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri—albeit slowly. But facts don’t seem to matter anymore in our idiocracy, i.e. mobocracy. If they did, I doubt Ferguson would be in flames right now. But I digress.

Earlier this week, I was listening to a caller on the Dana Loesch radio show who allegedly had spoken with the spouse of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson—the officer who shot Michael Brown. The caller claimed Michael Brown became involved in an altercation with Officer Darren Wilson, and even tried to take his gun—which allegedly went off during the struggle. The caller also stated Brown bum-rushed the police officer.

Additionally, an audio of some alleged eyewitnesses to the lethal shooting of Michael Brown has recently come out and seems to corroborate the details provided by the caller on Dana Loesch’s radio show.

Here’s the audio from both sources (hat tip: Representative Press):

Now, an autopsy report published in the New York Times seems to corroborate the two aforementioned sources, showing Michael Brown was shot from the front, not the back, as is alleged by some who claim Officer Darren Wilson mercilessly “executed” Michael Brown simply because he was black.

The notion Michael Brown was simply an innocent 18-year-old “child” who was ruthlessly “executed” by a “trigger-happy, racist white pig” was brought into question when surveillance video appeared to show Michael Brown committing a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store, roughing up the store’s owner and brazenly walking off with approximately $50 worth of Swisher Sweets cigars in the process.

The suspect in the video shoving the store’s proprietor is wearing the exact same clothes and shoes as Michael Brown, and matches Brown’s physical description, when he was shot.

I’m sorry, for the doubters out there, if that isn’t Michael Brown, my name is Barack Obama. Michael Brown was no “child”; he was a young man who stood 6’4″ tall and weighed 292 pounds, and he apparently had an attitude to boot.

Despite these important details that are now starting to come out, the city of Ferguson, Missouri, has been plunged into utter chaos and mayhem for the past week. Last night, the situation in Ferguson escalated to a point where Missouri Governor Jay Nixon felt it necessary to call in the National Guard.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Traffic opened again in downtown Ferguson along West Florissant Avenue, the center of an hourslong running battle between heavily armed police and hundreds of protesters Sunday evening that started at about 8:30 p.m. Police said Molotov cocktails thrown at them, as well as shootings throughout the neighborhood, forced them to respond with smoke devices and tear-gas canisters.

Before anything was really known about the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown, a throng of “outside agitators” flocked to Ferguson to inflame an already volatile situation—namely, the main-stream media, who apparently seems hellbent on creating even more racial strife by stirring the pot and fanning the flames. This is what “social justice” looks like, and it has nothing to do with the rule of law, but it has everything to do with furthering a cynical political agenda.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner by a nose was Kurt Schlichter with The GOP Needs to Return to a “Feared By Our Enemies” Foreign Policy, submitted by Joshuapundit. I nominated this, quite simply, because it’s one of the best short capsulizations of what I think America’s foreign policy direction ought to be that I’ve read in quite some time. Short, sweet and simply superb.

Okay, let’s get to this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

08/20/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Drunk And Out Of Line Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Ethics, you know… after all, if a DA can’t try and use her position to muscle herself out of a DUI, who can?

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the two best posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

Terresa at The Noisy Room scored when her entry this week, Communists and the New Black Panthers Gin Up Violence and Racial Conflict in Ferguson was cited by DC Clothesline and Infowars… where it subsequently got picked up by Drudge!

This week, Blazing Cat Fur, The Political Commentator and Gates Of Vienna earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

08/19/14

Listen to the American People: Secure Border, No Amnesty

By: Michael Johns

“He was tortured, beaten to death, strangled and then set on fire,” Laura Wilkerson said earlier this month in McAllen, Texas. She was recalling her beloved 18-year-old son Josh, who was brutally murdered by illegal alien Hermilio Moralez in November 2010.

The details of Josh Wilkerson’s murder are gruesome: Moralez, in the United States illegally from Belize, violently kicked Wilkerson in the stomach, slicing both his liver and spine and rupturing his spleen. The illegal alien then proceeded to beat Wilkerson over the head with a closet rod with such force that the rod ultimately shattered in four pieces. With Wilkerson defenseless and motionless, Moralez then took two dollars from Wilkerson’s wallet, purchased gasoline, and set Wilkerson’s motionless body aflame. His mugshot reveals a young man smiling smugly. Later, at Moralez’s trial, the illegal alien would speak from the stand about how he was a “trained killer” and that his “killing instincts” had taken over. There was no remorse.

Young Josh Wilkerson is just another life lost and another cost paid in a long list of lives lost and costs paid because Washington, D.C. policymakers continue to fail to do what logic and all sensibility dictate should have been done decades ago: Securing the United States border with Mexico so that illegals are not afforded illegal access to the United States.

The U.S. federal government’s multi-decade failure to secure its 1,989-mile border with Mexico might well stand as the most glaring example of both parties’ ongoing refusal to be responsive to the American people’s overwhelming belief that American border security (as Josh Wilkerson’s murder demonstrated) is now perhaps the most critical issue facing the nation, presenting increasingly grave economic, security and other threats.

It’s worth asking the obvious question: With more than 35,000 illegals monthly now crossing the border into the U.S., why exactly has this border not been sealed? Laughingly, the Obama administration has said that the border with Mexico is more secure than it has ever been. It’s a sentiment shared by Congressional Democrats. “The border is secure,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid absurdly stated last month. Other policymakers acknowledge the obvious, but obfuscate the issue, speaking wrongly of supposedly insurmountable challenges associated with keeping illegals from entering the country illegally.

The reality, of course, is the very opposite. The U.S. border with Mexico is consciously not secure because (for decades now) both parties have seen a political self-interest in ensuring it is left unsecured. Democrats, envisioning ultimately granting citizenship to these illegals, see the influx as politically advantageous: Millions of largely government and benefit-dependent illegals who, once afforded amnesty, will (Democrats believe) represent a groundswell of additional votes for their party and its candidates, possibly ushering in generations of Democrat victories in national and regional elections. Similarly, some Republicans, influenced by the desire of some private sector forces to attract cheap, illegal and sometimes sub-minimum wage labor resources, see the influx as a means to breaking organized labor and serving as a deflationary force in the largely blue collar and labor positions these illegals are likely to assume. Never stated openly, the reality is that the U.S. does have a policy on the border, and it is–scandalously–to keep it open.

In many respects, it is exactly this sort of unresponsiveness of elected officials to the concerns of the American people that gave birth to America’s Tea Party movement in 2009. Five years later, the practical reality of Washington’s unresponsiveness is such that this crisis may now well be left to the Tea Party movement to solve. Should the Tea Party embrace this cause, as it must, the movement likely will be largely shunned by Washington elites, but they will have an ally in the American people, who see the seriousness of it, resoundingly support logical conclusions and importantly believe this administration has been at least complicit and possibly even a force behind the latest influx of illegals that now threatens the nation.

Support for border security and opposition to amnesty is broadly popular. In a Rasmussen Poll taken last month, on July 17, a clear majority of likely voters (59 percent) were clear: They want those who have entered this country illegally to be returned to their home countries. And the American people are under no illusions about who holds the blame for the current border crisis: Another Rasmussen poll, also taken last month, found that nearly half of likely voters (46 percent) believe the Obama administration, through its policies and statements, has contributed to the crisis. An overwhelming majority of Americans (58 percent, according to the same poll) believe the top priority in the crisis is for the U.S. to gain control of its border.

The arguments for urgently securing the border with Mexico and opposing Washington’s amnesty initiatives are extensive and they strike at the very heart of the issues that most concern Americans:

1.) National security. The American people have patiently undergone extensive and intrusive governmental measures since the September 11, 2011 attacks, ostensibly designed to protect the country against an al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda-aligned terrorist attack. They can be forgiven for asking a reasonable question: What point exists in prohibiting American citizens from boarding U.S. airlines with, say, 3.5 ounces of non-flammable liquid, as opposed to the mandated 3.4 ounces, when literally any non-citizen–including the bloodiest of terrorists–can simply walk across our southern border?

As it is today, our government cannot answer basic questions about the flood of illegals across our border. How many illegals exactly have crossed the border and are in this country? There are only estimates (more than 12 million and as many as 20 million). Where in the U.S. are these illegals located exactly? Answer: Just about everywhere, but no government agency can say exactly. And how many of these millions have crossed the border illegally with malicious intentions for this country? We do know that they have included members of a broad range of global terrorist movements, violent gangs (including arguably the most violent, MS-13) and felony criminals, including murderers, violent criminals, rapists, and sexual offenders. And even when (by good fortune alone) they have been detained, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have released thousands of these illegal felons into the general U.S. population. As evidence of the utter lack of border security to criminals and potential terrorists, videographer James O’Keefe last week released video of him crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the U.S. dressed as Osama bin Laden. What barriers did O’Keefe encounter in entering the U.S. dressed as the infamous al-Qaeda terror leader? None.

2.) Jobs. America’s job crisis is vastly worse than what one might gather from the numbers released monthly by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, which systematically exclude the many millions of Americans who comprise the long-term unemployed and those who have simply given up looking for work. Including these, there are roughly 102 million working-age Americans without jobs as of August 2014, an all-time high and growing. A stunning study released by the Center for Immigration Studies this past June found that all of the net gain in American jobs created since 2000 has gone to illegal and legal immigrants—that is, there has been no job growth for 14 years for native U.S. citizens.

It is absurd that we must state the obvious: Basic supply and demand economics indicate that granting amnesty to the estimated 12 to 20 million illegals now in this country will only further exacerbate the U.S. employment crisis, both adding to the existing number of jobless Americans and also contributing to wage deflation (lower pay) as a greater number of Americans compete for a fewer number of existing jobs. As such, it should not prove surprising that sealing the border and opposing amnesty are agenda items very high on the agenda of traditionally progressive constituencies, including labor unions and African-Americans, both of whom correctly see amnesty and a failure to secure the border as a recipe for higher unemployment and wage deflation, especially in traditional blue collar and lower wage occupations.

3.) Public resources. It is perhaps the greatest irony of all that progressives who clamor for vastly greater federal and state funding for health care, education, transportation and other public services are also those spearheading the opposition to border security initiatives and amnesty support. The influx of millions of illegals has only made all of these mounting problems worse as illegals consume these resources (and, of course, pay no offsetting federal or state taxes in exchange for them).

4.) Fairness. Many millions of foreigners from all over the world are, right now, legally seeking U.S. citizenship. The legal process to obtain U.S. citizenship is largely cumbersome, bureaucratic and lengthy, but many follow this process exactly and patiently as required. Under amnesty proposals, however, these foreigners, those we might call “legal immigrants,” continue waiting in their foreign lands as those who crossed our southern border in violation of U.S. federal law are rewarded with U.S. residency, access to many of our country’s public benefits and infrastructure, and ultimately citizenship. These illegals will enjoy the backing of an entire U.S. political lobby that (motivated almost exclusively by its own selfish political and economic agendas) seeks to reward their lawless entry with the same highly-coveted U.S. citizenship denied those now following the process legally.

5.) Will of the American people. There are few issues on which Americans are more united than the fact that the borders of the country should be secure and that those who enter this country illegally in violation of U.S. federal law should not, in turn, be rewarded. The American people remain understandably compassionate towards those fleeing tyranny, but they are united in their logical, on-target conclusion that open borders and amnesty are harming the U.S. in multiple ways. Indeed, perhaps never before in the modern history of the conservative movement, has there been such an enticing opportunity for conservatives (and now the Tea Party movement) to build political alliances with unions, minorities and low-wage workers than there is right now in supporting an urgent securing of the U.S. border and opposing amnesty, showing that the Tea Party and conservative movements stand with working Americans and the rule of law.

Of course, all of these are facts lost on most Washington policymakers who are increasingly disengaged from the sentiments and concerns of the American people they purport to represent. Americans in 2014 are hurting. Failing to secure the border and granting amnesty to millions of illegals stands to further inflame these problems: damaging the already anemic U.S. job market, increasing crime and the demand on public resources, and perhaps even opening the door for what Americans have feared most since September 11, 2001: a coordinated terrorist attack on the U.S. mainland. These are deadly serious problems. But a political movement that can, right now, understand and communicate these facts with the urgency they require is likely to find broad support among the American people.