As predicted before the Bank Bailouts:

In an acceleration of a trend that has been underway since the early 1990s, the U.S. lost 932 financial institutions or nearly 13 percent of the total since the onset of the Great Recession, according to the latest data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The vast majority of those closed institutions had less than $1 billion in assets. They were mostly locally-owned, community banks that were often the backbone of small business lending in their communities.

On the other end of the spectrum, the top 106 banking institutions – those with over $10 billion in assets – now hold nearly 80 percent of the nation’s $13.8 trillion in financial wealth. The 116 institutions that qualified as mega-banks in 2007 held just 77 percent of $12.7 trillion in assets. There’s no chance that the trend will reverse itself since there has been an almost total collapse of new applications for bank charters. In the past year there were even two quarters when there were zero applications – an unprecedented event in the 77-year history of the FDIC.

As I wrote in 2008:

Real leadership would have sought to aggressively address the root cause by cutting back on further borrowing, unnecessary spending, easy credit and wasteful excesses. Congress deformed not just authentic prosperity in the near future but for the next fifty years. The market will be plagued with higher unemployment, rising costs of goods: long-term stagflation. In addition, Congress has directed us toward domination by a few huge universal banks and a small number of gigantic corporations, all of them “too big to fail,” under the careful tutelage of a governmental Leviathon dominated by these same cartels.


They say Soda.

In the affairs of nations, the American conservative feels that his country ought to set an example to the world, but ought not to try to remake the world in its image. It is a law of politics, as well as of biology, that every living thing loves above all else—even above its own life—its distinct identity, which sets it off from all other things. The conservative does not aspire to domination of the world, nor does he relish the prospect of a world reduced to a single pattern of government and civilization.

– – Russell Kirk

I asked this question at the time.   David Masciotra pens a perfect essay expounding upon the question and identifies what its says of modern American culture and values. He writes of Shuttlesworth’s death:

On the day of his death, however, and the weeks following it, American culture collectively mourned and praised the CEO of Apple Incorporated without taking a pause, the measure of single breath, to nationally celebrate one of its champions for justice, community, and freedom.

In the outpouring of tearful tributes to Jobs, countless people crowned him with the rare title of “hero.” Millions of average citizens updated their Facebook statuses with lamentations over losing their “hero.” General Electric Chief Executive, Jeff Immelt, presumptuously called Jobs a “hero to everyone in his generation.” Newspapers, from the Baltimore Sun to the New Jersey Star Ledger and the Washington Post ran articles either labeling Jobs a hero or analyzing the millions who believed him to be such. The Ron Paul presidential campaign blog led with the headline, “Steve Jobs: American Hero,” and Time magazine is reportedly favoring Jobs as their 2011 Man of the Year.

He finds his answer in the failure of modern American culture and values:

There is also the newly popular idea that the inventions of Jobs have led to the organization of mass movements committed to improving the conditions of suffering people around the world. Shuttlesworth never had an I-Phone and he managed to get a lot done in his commitment to the same project. Communicative technology may accelerate and assist organization, but an honest observer can no more credit Jobs with creating movements than he could blame Jobs if people ever use an I-Pad to do evil.

The antiquated, outdated, pre-information age idea of heroism, which turns on sacrifice for a public interest and greater good, is too other-oriented for the new standards set by customized consumer capitalism. The life of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth had nothing to do with the self. Shuttlesworth did not live his life for himself, and although his heroism enhanced the quality of life for millions of people and improved the futures of many communities, when one reflects on his work, one is not likely to think of one’s self. One is not likely to think of the pleasure gained by the work of Shuttlesworth, but rather will consider the battles won, losses endured, and triumphs gained for a better world of love, respect, and moral growth.

This commentary by Kelli Goff, an African-American author, from the Dylan Ratigan show also expressed it so well.  See the vide0 link here: 6e3ifwm)

As a Mac loyalist (I own three of them along with two iPods), I can say Steve Jobs definitely made my life better. But Fred Shuttlesworth made my life possible. Without him you probably wouldn’t be reading this piece because I would not have grown up in the Southern neighborhood that I did and therefore would not have had the educational opportunities I had or the job opportunities I’ve enjoyed. Shuttlesworth not only changed my life, he changed our world. Without his efforts, there would likely be virtually no black corporate executives, federal elected officials, not to mention a certain black American president. The list of the doors he opened is a column in itself.

Joey Kennedy reports on Retirement Systems of Alabama’s chief David Bronner’s opinion of HB56:

The bankruptcy’s effect on the county will be negligible compared to the effects of the state’s new immigration law, said David Bronner. The imigration law effectively hangs a sign on the county that tells Hispanics and other immigrants ‘we might not be welcome’ in Alabama, he said.

Kennedy continues his interview with Bronner with the following:

What bothers Bronner as much as anything is that Alabama decided to be the “tip of the spear” in the states’-rights immigration fight. “What they did was put our state in the position of being by ourselves, and everybody watching,” he says. “We don’t need that considering our history with the civil rights era. We don’t need to be there. We need to be in the back, working on our growth.”

Bronner is never reluctant to say what’s on his mind.

“We accomplish nothing but hurt ourselves,” Bronner says. “If we would have passed an immigration law that was softer — we could have done anything less than Arizona — and sent a message to Washington, we could have made the locals happy but we didn’t have to be the poster child.

“Not only do we get all the abuse, we lose industry and we get to pay the big legal bills. For what? If you’re just blowing smoke, beating on your chest, what are you accomplishing?”

Bronner says folks who don’t think the immigration law won’t have a huge impact on industrial recruiting are in denial. Industrial recruiting is a brutal game.

“Anytime a state screws up, or a governor says something bad, we use it,” says Bronner. ” When we were recruiting Hyundai against Kentucky, anytime we could find something Kentucky did bad, we made sure Hyundai found out about it.

“That’s the way it works,” he says.

So, yeah, Bronner says. The immigration law is much worse than Jefferson County’s bankruptcy as far as industrial recruiting. At some point, Jefferson County will come out from bankruptcy. But we may be stuck with this destructive immigration law from here on.

An article entitled “Addressing Some Misperceptions About Mexican Immigration” addresses the claim that people desiring to immigrant “should just wait and go legally.”

This is a commonly expressed idea, mentioned by this commenter from New York. It seems to be logical: if everyone else has to be obey American laws, immigrants should, too.

But built into this idea is a misconception about how the immigration system works. It assumes that it is, on its face, fair, efficient and accessible. The assumption seems to be that immigrants from Mexico or elsewhere are thumbing their noses at American law because they are not willing to pay a few hundred dollars and wait their turn for a year or two.

Generally, this is not the case. Try applying at age 20 and not being approved until 40 – if you’re lucky to be approved at all.

“It’s not that they are not willing to wait a year or two,” says David Shirk, an expert at the Transborder Institute in San Diego. “It’s that it would be 10, 20 years before they could come across the border, and that’s not realistic in terms of their need to eat. The lack of visa availability, especially with visas for low-skilled workers in the U.S. economy, creates an insurmountable obstacle to legal entry.”

Do you plan to record a deed or mortgage or re-title your vehicles? Be prepared to prove your citizenship; Probate Offices are now requiring evidence of citizenship from each and every Grantor and Grantee. To get water from the water board or a driver’s license or just work, are you prepared to prove you are a citizen? Are you on the list? Compare this with Revelation 13: 16-17.

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