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TBR News May 1, 2010

May 01 2010

The Voice of the White House

Ed note: The following article, plus my comments, constitute my column for this edition.

The Costs of Complexity

April 28, 2010

by John Michael Greer

It’s a bit ironic, given the events now in the headlines, that I started last week’s post by commenting that it had been an interesting week for connoisseurs of decline and fall; it might have been better to say “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” About the time the volcanic ash from Iceland began settling out of Europe’s airspace, to begin with, another black cloud began to rise from the lava vents of Wall Street, caused by the spontaneous combustion of whatever might have been left of Goldman Sachs’ reputation for fiscal probity.

It’s a fascinating turn of events, not least because Goldman Sachs has been remarkably cozy with the last two presidential administrations here in the US. Still, that didn’t keep the SEC from filing fraud charges against the firm, and it didn’t prevent the publication of a flurry of highly damaging emails in which Goldman Sachs executives boasted about selling made-to-fail securities to widows and orphans – yes, that last phrase actually got used – and then taking out short contracts on those same securities, so that Goldman Sachs profited when the securities did what they were designed to do, and lost money. For all the world like Casablanca’s Captain Renault, Congress is shocked, shocked to find that Goldman Sachs is making money at its customers’ expense; the interesting question is whether this fine imitation of outrage is simply the sort of ritual theater governments use so often these days as a substitute for constructive action, or whether serious power shifts are under way.

My guess, for what it’s worth, is the latter. Despite cheerleading and doctored statistics from within the Beltway, the US economy is in deep and deepening trouble; foreclosures continue to climb, commercial real estate and second mortgages are shaping up to be the next big shocks, and the rolling collapse of state and local government finances shows no sign of slowing down. The Goldman Sachs flacks who moved into power with the Obama administration promised to fix things; they have pretty clearly failed; and as the neoconservatives learned not long ago, intolerance for failure is very nearly the only thing on which the squabbling factions of the American political class can agree.

Meanwhile, another plume of smoke has been rising from Europe. Greece has had its credit rating cut to junk-bond levels; Portugal and Spain have suffered downgrades, and even rock-solid Germany has had trouble selling its bonds, as investors price in the economic burdens of bailing out countries that lack the political will to keep their expenditures in line with their national income. If the response to this crisis is bungled badly enough, it’s not impossible that the survival of the Euro may be at risk; it’s still open to question whether a single currency will work without a single government to back and manage it, and the handwaving and bickering that has been the order of business in European capitals as the crisis has unfolded does not particularly inspire confidence.

Speaking of plumes of smoke, of course, calls to mind the third unfolding disaster of the last week, the wreck of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which according to an announcement today is currently spewing around five thousand barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. The US Coast Guard has announced that it plans to light the spreading oil slick on fire, in the hope that enough of it will burn up to save the $2 billion a year Louisiana seafood industry from disaster. Partisans of the “drill, baby, drill” approach to energy security take note: there are good practical and economic reasons why most of the US coast has long been off limits to oil drilling, and getting oil out of deposits nearly a mile underwater, and a good deal further than that under sea-bottom sediments, is not as foolproof a procedure as politicians and talk show hosts would like you to think.

These three smoke plumes, interestingly enough, have a factor in common, and it’s the theme I want to discuss in this week’s post – not least because a great many of the crises we’re likely to face as the age of cheap abundant energy comes to an end also share that factor. All three of them resulted when people in a situation of high complexity tried to solve the problems of that situation by adding on an additional layer of complexity.

Goldman Sachs, to begin with, has been in the business of making complex problems more complex for a very long time. One of the chapters of John Kenneth Galbraith’s excellent The Great Crash 1929, a book which ought to be required reading for all those people who think they understand the stock market, is titled “In Goldman, Sachs We Trust”; it’s an account of the preposterous investment vehicles – it does violence to the English language to call them “securities” – that Goldman Sachs floated in the 1929 stock market bubble. Very little has changed since then, either. In 1929, Goldman Sachs sold shares of investment trusts that speculated in shares of other investment trusts; in 2009, they sold tranches of CDOs composed of tranches of other CDOs, and in both cases they served mostly as a means by which a lot of people lost a lot of money while Goldman Sachs did quite well.

You may be wondering why anybody would put their hard-earned money into an investment vehicle that consisted of a collection of bets that other investment vehicles would make money off yet a third set of investment vehicles. In 1929, the answer was raw greed, whipped up to monumental intensity by a very widespread attack of the delusion that brokers want to make you rich. In 2009, the answer was more complex. For more than twenty years, beginning in the wake of the 1987 Wall Street crash, the financial agencies of the US government had been struggling to keep what was left of the American economy from imploding. One of the main tools used in this struggle was rock-bottom interest rates, which were brought into play whenever one speculative bubble popped and which then, with clockwork regularity, fed the new speculative bubble that followed.

One of the many problems set in motion by this strategy was that all the ordinary sources of investment income were reduced to paying chump change. Gone were the halcyon days when every bank in the United States paid 5.25% per annum on savings accounts by federal law. (It somehow seems to have escaped the attention of most economic historians that the end of that era coincided very precisely with the point at which most Americans stopped putting their money into savings accounts.) As the Fed repeatedly bounced interest rates off the floor to jumpstart an increasingly reluctant economy, every person and institution dependent on investment income found themselves facing a sharp decrease in income. The simple solution would have been to accept the austerity that this entailed, but for obvious reasons this was not popular; it’s worth remembering that “simple” is rarely the same thing as “easy.”

The alternative was to respond to this complex set of circumstances by adding another layer of complexity, and Goldman Sachs was ready to help them do so. Complicated, risky investment strategies that promised high returns became the order of the day. In their eagerness to make more than chump change, a great many people thus became chumps.

The situation in Greece, and a great many other southern European countries, was similar. The same habits of economic manipulation that made the US economy so complex over the last two decades were just as popular in Europe, with the added complexity of a single currency far too rigidly structured to deal with the economic vagaries of more than a dozen fractious nation-states with different economic policies. Add in the speculative boom in real estate that went bust in 2008, which flooded southern Europe with money and then took it all back with interest, and you have a very complex situation, one in which all the usual options were foreclosed by EU economic policy. There were several simple solutions, such as ditching the Euro and allowing a new Greek currency to find its market value, but once again, “simple” is not the same thing as “easy.”

The government of Greece responded to these complexities instead by adding another layer of complexity. It hired Goldman Sachs – no, I’m not making this up – to create a set of complicated investment vehicles that made the Greek national debt look smaller than it was, in order to get by the more onerous limits of EU economic policy. These vehicles proceeded to crash and burn in the grand style, and took the Greek economy with them. Similar vehicles were sold by quite a number of brokerages – Goldman Sachs was far from the only player here – to national, provincial, and municipal governments all over Europe, and to state and local governments in the US as well, and yes, they’ve been blowing up right and left; I don’t think vehicles so flammable have been seen in such numbers since the Ford Pinto was recalled.

As far as I know, Goldman Sachs had nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. Still, the entire strategy of pursuing petroleum production in deep waters is an attempt to solve a hideously complex problem – the problem of peak oil – by adding on another layer of complexity. There’s a simple response to peak oil, of course; it consists of using less petroleum, making do with less energy per capita, and learning to live within our means. Once again, though, “simple” doesn’t mean “easy,” any more than it means “enjoyable” or “politically acceptable.”

The result is that we’re pursuing oil wherever we can find it, no matter how complex or risky the prospect might be. Deepwater drilling is one example. It’s complicated stuff, far more expensive and demanding than the methods used to extract oil that happens to be conveniently located under dry land, and when the standard problems faced by oilmen everywhere crop up, responding to those problems involves a whole new world of complexity and risk. One of those standard problems is the risk of a blowout: a sudden surge of crude oil and natural gas that can come bursting up through a well at any point between the moment it’s first drilled and the moment the relatively sturdy structure that handles production is in place.

That’s almost certainly what happened to Deepwater Horizon. It’s a common enough event in drilling for oil, and it’s dangerous even when it happens on dry land and there’s someplace for the drilling crew to run. When the well begins almost a mile underwater, though, there’s the additional problem that nobody has the tools to handle a deepwater blowout if the underwater valves meant to shut it off at the wellhead should fail. That’s also happened to Deepwater Horizon, and if the current efforts to trigger the valves via robot submersibles don’t succeed – and they’ve shown no sign of succeeding so far – the only option left to the BP response crews is to jerry-rig techniques designed for shallow waters and hope they can be made to work 5000 feet under the sea. In the meantime, five thousand barrels a day of crude oil fountain out into the Gulf from the crumpled pipe.

In all three of these cases, the decision to add an additional layer of complexity to an already complex problem was an attempt to maintain business as usual, while the simpler option that was refused would have required the decision makers to abandon business as usual and accept a degree of austerity and limitation very few people find congenial these days. That’s not inherent in the relationship between complexity and simplicity, but it does tend to be a very common feature of the way that relationship works out in practice just now. We have an extraordinarily complex society; for some three centuries, attempts to manage problems by increasing complexity have paid off more often than not, which is why we have such a complex society; and this has led to the kind of superstition discussed in last week’s post – the unthinking assumption that what worked in the past will continue to work in the present and the future.

As Joseph Tainter has pointed out in his useful book The Collapse of Complex Societies, though, increases in complexity are subject to the same law of diminishing returns as anything else, and sooner or later a society that responds to every challenge by adding a new layer of complexity will reach the point that adding more complexity causes more problems than it solves. Several observations concerning Tainter’s insight are worth making here.

First, the diminishing returns of complexity apply to specifics as well as generalities, and for statistical reasons, the specifics will usually show up first. A society that has overloaded itself with complexity will tend to heap up more complexity in some areas of life than others, and one or more of these areas may well tip over into dysfunction sooner than others. Thus a society that is hammered by repeated crises of the same kind, and tries to solve them with layers of additional complexity that consistently seem to make the problem worse, may be at risk of tipping over into a wider dysfunction of which the visible crises are merely symptomatic.

Second, if a society has driven itself past the point of negative returns on complexity, and continues to try to add complexity to solve the resulting problems, it risks establishing a disastrous feedback loop in which its attempts to solve its problems become the major source of its problems. This can also apply to specifics as well as generalities, and show up first in particular aspects of a society’s collective life.

Third, one of the ironies faced by a society that has reached the point of negative returns on complexity as a means of problem-solving is that thereafter, the only way it can solve its problems is by not solving its problems. Any attempt to impose additional complexity will simply make matters worse, while allowing some particularly problematic heap of complexity to crash and burn may just reduce the complexity of the whole system to a point at which something constructive can actually be done. In the extreme case, where an entire society has pushed itself past the point of negative returns on complexity, collapse can be an adaptive response to a rising spiral of crisis that can be ended in no other way.

Finally, all these considerations apply just as much to the level of the individual, family, and community as they do to civilizations as whole systems, and it’s possible to use simplification on the level of the individual, family, and community to counter at least some of the consequences of complexity run amok. We’ll talk more about how that might work next week.

Comment: Also, in addition to his three plumes of smoke, we have a fourth that is very dangerous.

That is the immigration blowback now being manifested throughout the white world. Mark me that this has been festering for some time and when it goes, it will go big.

The Swiss kicked it off by banning mosques in that country and the Belgians have just banned Muslim women from wearing their veils.

My Swedish friends are boiling now over their own urine-colored problems and now Ireland and England are starting to manifest a strong desire to kick the toffee hued visitors out.

It would take one nasty riot on the part of these visitors, anywhere (but well-covered by the media) to start the avalanche of expulsion moving. The total hysteria of the left wing section of the American media over the Arizona anti-immigration bill will mount to frenzy when the six other states (to date) pass their own versions.

Texas, Georgia and other states have had it with the armies of beaners taking jobs their sons could have, clogging up the hospitals and clinics and now, shrilly demanding all kinds of obedience from a Federal government that will have no choice but to listen to the genuine outrage of those of its people who have to deal with the viciousness and crime these unwanted, and illegal, visitors have brought.

The fourth plume will presage the worse conflagration for it will prove to be a deadly distraction from the fiscal chaos now regnant in the world.

Scapegoating may be ugly in concept but will certainly prove to be deadly in execution.
The Chinese are also on the list of unwanted people but they are in their country and all we can do is to boycott them. Of course so many products sold here are made in China that this might be difficult but I know the Celestials and they are easy to goad into doing and saying very dangerous and stupid things. And here, I am doing my bit to enrage and provoke them and I am doing it on a daily basis

A fifth plume? Where there is smoke there is usually fire and a frustrated and very angry American public who are discovering that their cherished American dream has turned out to be a nightmare will be very, very dangerous and quite soon.

Once the 50 million American mortgagees discover that they have been screwed and that their mortgage payments are only rent payments to distant and unknown people, the fecal matter will for a certainty hit the fan.

Sad to say, the end is totally predictable.

How little people learn from history.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Is this Halliburton’s Katrine?

April 30, 2010

by karoli

Crooks and Liars

The spreading stench of oil, money and destruction off the Louisiana coast should be enough reason for anyone to protest opening more wells offshore. In case it’s not, let’s just put an end to the myths that offshore drilling is safe, government regulation is bad, and this particular disaster is “Obama’s Katrina“. It’s not, no matter what the AP’s Calvin Woodward alleges.

The political subtext of the crisis was clear and increasingly on people’s minds, whether from a federal office deploying oil-containment booms or from a Louisiana parish awaiting yet another sucker punch from the sea.

Will this be Obama’s Katrina? Should the federal and state governments have done more, and earlier? Did they learn the lessons of the devastating hurricane?

Well, yes. They did. If it weren’t for the Obama administration, none of us would know that the flow of oil into the sea was 5 times the rate reported by BP. It was, after all, the federal government experts who exposed the true leakage rate.

On Wednesday night, she reported the findings of federal experts that up to 5,000 barrels a day were leaking from the well. BP had estimated only 1,000. As well, the company told the Coast Guard a new leak had been found. Obama was briefed on these developments on Air Force One while returning at night from the Midwest.

True to form, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, and every other right wing hack has jumped right on the bandwagon.

Problem is, it’s just not true. The Wall Street Journal has some interesting factsto contradict this set of Frank Luntz/Karl Rove talking points.

Halliburton is directly linked to the failure causing the spill and explosion.

In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, workers had finished pumping cement to fill the space between the pipe and the sides of the hole and had begun temporarily plugging the well with cement; it isn’t known whether they had completed the plugging process before the blast.

Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts, in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force.When cement develops cracks or doesn’t set properly, oil and gas can escape, ultimately flowing out of control. The gas is highly combustible and prone to ignite, as it appears to have done aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which was leased by BP PLC, the British oil giant.

Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.

The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.

It’s not the first time for Halliburton, either.

Halliburton also was the cementer on a well that suffered a big blowout last August in the Timor Sea, off Australia.The rig there caught fire and a well leaked tens of thousands of barrels of oil over 10 weeks before it was shut down. The investigation is continuing; Halliburton declined to comment on it.

Meanwhile, the devastation spreads.

Offshore, cleanup workers struggled to contain an oily sheen spreading from a well ruptured by the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon exploration platform. Coast Guard officials estimate that some 42,000 gallons of crude continue to leak into the Gulf of Mexico each day. Remote submersibles have so far failed in an effort to close the shattered well’s blowout valve, which should have shut off automatically. Boom crews plan to begin burning collected oil on the Gulf’s surface as early as Wednesday. –

The failed blowout valve? It was manufactured by Cameron International. One look at should tell you all you need to know. They’re all Bush/Cheney contractor cronies, here and around the world.

Offshore drilling has been put forward by the Obama administration as one prong of a multi-prong approach to ending our foreign oil dependence. With thousands of barrels of oil spilling offshore, perhaps it’s time for the administration to reconsider opening more wells to companies willing to overlook consistent records of failure like Halliburton’s.

Natural disasters like Katrina are devastating and unpreventable. The best we can do is be prepared to deal with the fallout, including levees unable to handle the stress of a Category 5 hurricane. The government failed the people of New Orleans and allowed the aftermath of Katrina to devastate New Orleans. This disaster is a man-made mess, beginning to end, engineered by corporate interests. It isn’t anyone’s Katrina. It’s just chapter two of the war waged on our coasts by Bush, Cheney, and their gang of corporate cronies.

Pentagons Mach 20 Glider Disappears, Whacking Global Strike Plans
April 27, 2010

by Noah Shachtman

WIRED

The Pentagon’s controversial plan to hit terrorists half a planet away suffered a setback this weekend, after an experimental hypersonic glider disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.

In its first flight test. the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) was supposed to be rocket-launched from California to the edge of space. Then the HTV-2 would could screaming back into the atmosphere, maneuvering at twenty times times the speed of sound before landing north of the Kwajalein Atoll, 30 minutes later and 4100 nautical miles away. Thinly wedge-shaped for better lift, equipped with autonomous navigation for more precision, and made of carbon-carbon to withstand the assault of hypersonic flight, the hope was it could fly farther and more accurately at a lower angle of attack than other craft returning to Earth.

At least, that was the idea. Instead, nine minutes after launch, Darpa researchers lost contact with the HTV-2. They’re still trying to figure out why. The agency says the flight test wasn’t a total bust: The craft deployed from its rocket booster, performed some maneuvers in the air, and “achieved controlled flight within the atmosphere at over Mach 20,” Darpa spokesperson Johanna Jones says.

But it’s bad news for the Pentagon “prompt global strike” program — a burgeoning and hotly-debated effort to almost-instantly attack targets thousands of miles away. The Defense Department is pursuing three different families of technologies to accomplish the task. One is to re-arm nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles with conventional warheads. But that runs the risk of accidentally triggering a response from another atomic power, who might mistake it for a nuke. A second effort is to build shorter-range cruise missiles than can fly at five or six times the speed of sound; that effort hit some recent turbulence when flight tests for the X-51 Waverider, scheduled for December 2009, were pushed until May 2010. Something like an armed version of the HTV-2 is the third choice.

“There’s always a concern that a conventional warhead on an ICBM might be confused with a nuclear device – what can you do to prove otherwise?” Dr. Mark Lewis, the former chief scientist of the Air Force, tells Danger Room. ”With a high lift vehicle, your trajectory would be so different that no one would likely confuse it with something more sinister.”

Brian Weeden, a technology advisor for the Secure World Foundation, agrees. “This thing itself is not a weapon. But it’s designed to lead to a precision strike weapon,” he says.

But the first step is to figure out what went wrong over the Pacific. Darpa says its investigation is ongoing.

Special to TBR News

As the webmaster and organizer of the Chink in the Armor site, I have been swamped with emails, mostly from frustrated, and alarmed, mortgage holders.  I have the ability to allow questioners to see if they have a MERS-controlled mortgage (which will prevent them from ever getting a clear title to their property) and, if they have, to try to direct them to a real estate attorney in their area.

However, given the enormous number of MERS victims (almost 50 million!) several of my corresponding lawyers have suggested that justice would be better served through the concept of a class-action law suit which would be designed to get a court-ordered clear title.

It has also been suggested that interested Americans could benefit by organizing themselves to gain, and share, information, and participate in a class action suit. I should note here that people involved in class action suits do not have to get a personal attorney nor pay the kind of fees he would charge.

I already have a weekly newsletter concerning all of this that covers the latest information, etc. and I get more subscribers on a daily basis.

Any concerned reader who would like to become involved in this can write to me at: info@chinkinthearmor.net and can subscribe at: http://chinkinthearmor.net/Newsletter___Blog.html

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration

Facts, Figures And Statistics On Illegal Immigration

http://www.usillegalaliens.com/impacts_of_illegal_immigration_gangs.html

While this report has attempted to put a personal face on the collateral damage of illegal alien crime, note that many of the links in this report detailing some of the crime are dependent on the archiving time of some of the various sources making their articles available. Once taken down, many of the crimes simply “disappear” from American consciousness.

As an example, I’m willing to bet that most people living outside of the Denver metro are not aware that in the fall of 1999 five Asian gang members, illegal aliens as it was reported many years latter, kidnapped and gang raped a University of Colorado coed. Initiation rites were involved and they specifically targeted a “white woman.”

If it wasn’t for the archiving efforts of some groups fighting illegal immigration general knowledge of such incidentswould be lost to all but the most serious researcher. Even with the internet it is very difficult to track down and report the participation level of illegal aliens in crime because NOBODY IS KEEPING TRACK! However, as this report has detailed and documented, it is quite considerable and is the direct consequence of our unfettered immigration policy, porous borders, sanctuary cities, and lack of enforcement.

In recent Testimony of District Attorney John M. Morganelli before the House Subcommittee on immigration, Border, Security and Claims he stated:

“Unfortunately, the majority of illegal aliens who are here are engaged in criminal activity. Identity theft, use of fraudulent social security numbers and green cards, tax evasion, driving without licenses represent some of the crimes that are engaged in by the majority of illegal aliens on a daily basis merely to maintain and hide their illegal status.

In addition, violent crime and drug distribution and possession is also prevalent among illegal aliens.

  • Over 25% of today’s federal prison population are illegal aliens. In some areas of the country, 12% of felonies, 25% of burglaries and 34% of thefts are committed by illegal aliens.”
  • Ignoring the “minor crime” such as ID theft and property crimes being committed by illegal aliens, here is a summary on some of the collateral damage reaped in crimes as a result of tolerating illegal aliens in the USA:
  • In Los Angeles, 95% of some 1,500 outstanding warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens. About 67% of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens.
  • There are currently over 400,000 unaccounted for illegal alien criminals with outstanding deportation orders. At least one fourth of these are hard core criminals.
  • 80,000 to 100,000 illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes are walking the streets. Based on studies they will commit an average of 13 serious crimes per perpetrator.
  • Illegal aliens are involved in criminal activities at a rate that is 2-5 times their representative proportion of the population.
  • In 1980, our Federal and state facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens but at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities at a cost of about $6.8 billion per year.
  • At least 4.5 million pounds of cocaine with a street value of at least $72 billion is smuggled across the southern border every year. ..
  • 56% of illegal aliens charged with a reentry offense had previously been convicted on at least 5 prior occasions.
  • Illegal aliens charged with unlawful reentry had the most extensive criminal histories. 90% had been previously arrested. Of those with a prior arrest, 50% had been arrested for violent or drug-related felonies.
  • Illegal aliens commit between 700,000 to 1,289,000 or more crimes per year.
  • Illegal aliens commit at least 2,158 murders each year – a number that represents three times greater participation than their proportion of the population.
  • Illegal alien sexual predators commit an estimated 130,909 sexual crimes each year.
  • There may be as many as 240,000 illegal alien sex offenders circulating throughout America.
  • Based on studies, they will commit an average of 8 sex crimes per perpetrator before being caught.
  • Nearly 63% of illegal alien sex offenders had been deported on another offense prior to committing the sex crime.
  • Only 2% of the illegal alien sex offenders in one study had no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally.
  • In Operation Predator, ICE arrested and deported 6,085 illegal alien pedophiles. Some studies suggest each pedophile molests average of 148 children. If so, that could be as many as 900,580 victims.
  • Nobody knows how big the Sex Slave problem is but it is enormous.
  • The very brutal MS-13 gang has over 15,000 members and associates in at least 115 different cliques in 33 states.
  • The overall financial impact of illegal alien crimes is estimated at between $14.4 and $81 billion or more per year. Factor in the crime as a result of the cocaine and other drugs being smuggled in and the number may reach $150 billion per year.

Still think illegal immigration is a “victimless crime” and we don’t need to control our borders? Remember, about 60% of the crimes being committed are by illegal aliens who were previously deported.

Allowing our borders to be disregarded coupled with little national commitment about doing anything about it has resulted in growing mayhem by illegal alien criminals, not a “victimless crime.”

As the previous sections have detailed, the dark side of illegal immigration includes a lot of horrific crime being perpetrated by the hard core criminal element of the illegal alien population. In the cost-benefit tradeoff of tolerating illegal immigration, how much collateral damage are we willing to accept?

In tolerating illegal immigration, how many Americans do YOU accept being molested, raped and murdered each year to save ten cents on a head of lettuce?

Comment: I have friends in southern Arizona and all of them advise me that the crime rate there has been soaring. Southern Phoenix is a war zone and the waves of illegals and drug runners have been killing farmers, shooting up an Army base and smuggling in both illegals and drugs. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to round up all the illegals in both southern California and Arizona, shove them south of the border and then, instead of an expensive wall or fence, put in a mine field from Brownsville to the Pacific. Fence it and put warning signs every ten feet. That will take care of the problem…  And we can add the bankers to this crowd as well. A good purge does the body politic a great deal of good and sets it on the road to health.

Vox populi, vox Dei

In the aftermath of the passage of Arizona’s law, many states and localities across the country are in fact in the middle of or about to embark on parallel pieces of legislation.

  • Utah            Require immigrants to carry proof of status, require law enforcement officers to question anyone they believe is in the country illegally, and target employers who hire or transport undocumented immigrants.
  • Georgia  Nathan Deal (R), who is running for Governor, wants to propose legislation that mirrors Arizona’s.
  • Colorado  Colorado gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis (R) said that if he were governor, he would seek to pass something “very similar” to what Arizona enacted.
  • Maryland State Delegate Pat McDonough (R) “plans to start sending a survey to every candidate for the General Assembly — along with the candidates for governor — asking them whether they agree with Arizona’s approach.”
  • Ohio            Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones and Ohio Rep. Courtney Combs (R)sent a letter to Gov. Ted Strickland asking him “to employ” his “leadership role” “to assure legislation is passed that will mirror” Arizona’s.
  • North Carolina  Local anti-immigrant groups claim that lawmakers have told them that “the chances similar legislation will be filed here is over 95%.”
  • Texas            Republican state Rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball says she plans to push for a law similar to Arizona’s.
  • Missouri The state legislature is considering a law, likely written by Kobach, that would make it unlawful for any person to conceal, harbor, transport, or shelter “illegal aliens” and would also make it a crime for undocumented immigrants to transport themselves.
  • Oklahoma Restrict the ability of undocumented immigrants to obtain IDs or public assistance, give police authority to check the status of anyone arrested, and make it a felony to knowingly provide shelter, transportation or employment to the undocumented.
  • Nebraska Residents in Fremont Nebraska likely will vote in July on a proposed ordinance to ban the “harboring,” hiring and renting to undocumented immigrants.

China: Diplomat beaten, injured by Houston police

April 30, 2010

by Jeff Carlton

Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — Three Houston police officers have been restricted to desk duty after they followed a Chinese diplomat into the parking garage of the Chinese Consulate, arrested the man and injured him, the Houston mayor said.

Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement that the officers’ duties will remain limited pending an investigation into how Chinese diplomat Yu Boren was injured last Saturday.

Officials in China’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Friday saying police harassed and beat a deputy consul-general while he was driving to the consulate. The statement said a family member also was involved, but did not say if that person was injured.

The consulate in Houston did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press. Houston police and the U.S. State Department are investigating the incident.

“China urges the U.S. … to quickly investigate the details of this incident and to look into the persons responsible to ensure that the Chinese diplomatic and consulate personnel and premises are not violated,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement. “The Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese Embassy and the Houston consulate have already made solemn exchanges with the U.S. side.”

Under international practice, the premises of foreign embassies and consulates are outside the jurisdiction of local law enforcement, and diplomats have legal immunity.

Houston police tried to stop a car that was missing a license plate, CBS News reported. When the car didn’t stop, they pursued it into a garage. Police handcuffed and arrested the driver, injuring him, the report said. CBS News identified the official as Ben Ren Yu. The Houston consulate website lists a deputy consul-general, Yu Boren.

The officers said they were unaware they had pursued the diplomat into the Chinese Consulate’s parking garage, Parker said.

The U.S. State Department was taking the matter very seriously and the findings of the investigation will be shared with China “as soon as appropriate,” said Susan Stevenson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

A Houston police spokesman declined to comment. The police force did not immediately respond to a request for a copy of the offense report, which typically is not released while an incident remains under investigation.

U.S.-China relations only recently emerged from a tense period aggravated by spats over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, trade and China’s currency policy. Comments on at least two major Internet portals had apparently been deleted, an indication the case was considered sensitive, perhaps because of its impact on U.S.-China ties.

Houston’s police chief has ordered officers to receive a list of addresses for every consulate in the city.

“This is important as Houston has the third-largest number of consulates in the country,” Parker said. “We cherish our international residents and want to assure them they are welcome in our city.”

___

Associated Press Writer Anita Chang in Beijing contributed to this report.


Failed Bank List

The FDIC is often appointed as receiver for failed banks. This page contains useful information for the customers and vendors of these banks. This includes information on the acquiring bank (if applicable), how your accounts and loans are affected, and how vendors can file claims against the receivership. Failed Financial Institution Contact Search displays point of contact information related to failed banks.This list includes banks which have failed since October 1, 2000.

Bank Name   City   State   CERT #   Closing Date   Updated Date

Wheatland Bank, Naperville IL, 58429, April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Peotone Bank and Trust Company, Peotone IL, 10888 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Lincoln Park Savings Bank Chicago IL 30600 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

New Century Bank Chicago IL 34821 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Citizens Bank and Trust Company of Chicago Chicago IL 34658 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Broadway Bank Chicago IL 22853 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Amcore Bank, National Association Rockford IL 3735 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

City Bank Lynnwood WA 21521 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Tamalpais Bank San Rafael CA 33493 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Innovative Bank Oakland CA 23876 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Butler Bank Lowell MA 26619 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Riverside National Bank of Florida Fort Pierce FL 24067 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

AmericanFirst Bank Clermont FL 57724 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

First Federal Bank of North Florida Palatka FL  28886 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Lakeside Community Bank Sterling Heights MI 34878 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Beach First National Bank Myrtle Beach SC 34242 April 9, 2010 April 13, 2010

Desert Hills Bank Phoenix AZ 57060 March 26, 2010 April 2, 2010

Unity National Bank Cartersville GA 34678 March 26, 2010 March 31, 2010

Key West Bank Key West FL 34684 March 26, 2010 March 31, 2010

McIntosh Commercial Bank Carrollton GA 57399 March 26, 2010 April 5, 2010

State Bank of Aurora Aurora MN 8221 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

First Lowndes Bank Fort Deposit AL 24957 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Bank of Hiawassee Hiawassee GA 10054 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Appalachian Community Bank Ellijay GA 33989 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Advanta Bank Corp. Draper UT 33535 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Century Security Bank Duluth GA 58104 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

American National Bank Parma OH 18806 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Statewide Bank Covington LA 29561 March 12, 2010 March 17, 2010

Old Southern Bank Orlando FL 58182 March 12, 2010 March 17, 2010

The Park Avenue Bank New York NY 27096 March 12, 2010 April 1, 2010

LibertyPointe Bank New York NY 58071 March 11, 2010 April 1, 2010

Centennial Bank Ogden UT 34430 March 5, 2010 March 9, 2010

Waterfield Bank Germantown MD 34976 March 5, 2010 March 10, 2010

Bank of Illinois Normal IL 9268 March 5, 2010 March 10, 2010

Sun American Bank Boca Raton FL 27126 March 5, 2010 March 10, 2010

Rainier Pacific Bank Tacoma WA 38129 February 26, 2010 March 2, 2010

Carson River Community Bank Carson City NV 58352 February 26, 2010 March 2, 2010

La Jolla Bank, FSB La Jolla CA 32423 February 19, 2010 February 24, 2010

George Washington Savings Bank Orland Park IL 29952 February 19, 2010 February 24, 2010

The La Coste National Bank La Coste TX 3287 February 19, 2010 February 24, 2010

Marco Community Bank Marco Island FL 57586 February 19, 2010 February 24, 2010

1st American State Bank of Minnesota Hancock MN 15448 February 5, 2010 February 12, 2010

American Marine Bank Bainbridge Island WA 16730 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

First Regional Bank Los Angeles CA 23011 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

Community Bank and Trust Cornelia GA 5702 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

Marshall Bank, N.A. Hallock MN 16133 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

Florida Community Bank Immokalee FL 5672 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

First National Bank of Georgia Carrollton GA 16480 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

Columbia River Bank The Dalles OR 22469 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010

Evergreen Bank Seattle WA 20501 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010

Charter Bank Santa Fe NM 32498 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010

Bank of Leeton Leeton MO 8265 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010

Premier American Bank Miami FL 57147 January 22, 2010 April 5, 2010

Barnes Banking Company Kaysville UT 1252 January 15, 2010 February 3, 2010

St. Stephen State Bank St. Stephen MN 17522 January 15, 2010 January 26, 2010

Town Community Bank & Trust Antioch IL 34705 January 15, 2010 January 26, 2010

Horizon Bank Bellingham WA 22977 January 8, 2010 January 12, 2010

First Federal Bank of California, F.S.B. Santa Monica CA 28536 December 18, 2009 April 5, 2010

Imperial Capital Bank La Jolla CA 26348 December 18, 2009 December 23, 2009

Independent Bankers’ Bank Springfield IL 26820 December 18, 2009 January 14, 2010

New South Federal Savings Bank Irondale AL 32276 December 18, 2009 December 23, 2009

Citizens State Bank New Baltimore MI 1006 December 18, 2009 January 8, 2010

Peoples First Community Bank Panama City FL 32167 December 18, 2009 April 2, 2010

RockBridge Commercial Bank Atlanta GA 58315 December 18, 2009 December 22, 2009

SolutionsBank Overland Park KS 4731 December 11, 2009 December 15, 2009

Valley Capital Bank, N.A. Mesa AZ 58399 December 11, 2009 December 15, 2009

Republic Federal Bank, N.A. Miami FL 22846 December 11, 2009 December 15, 2009

Greater Atlantic Bank Reston VA 32583 December 4, 2009 December 15, 2009

Benchmark Bank Aurora IL 10440 December 4, 2009 December 8, 2009

AmTrust Bank Cleveland OH 29776 December 4, 2009 December 8, 2009

The Tattnall Bank Reidsville GA 12080 December 4, 2009 December 15, 2009

First Security National Bank Norcross GA 26290 December 4, 2009 December 8, 2009

The Buckhead Community Bank Atlanta GA 34663 December 4, 2009 December 15, 2009

Commerce Bank of Southwest Florida Fort Myers FL 58016 November 20, 2009 December 15, 2009

Pacific Coast National Bank San Clemente CA 57914 November 13, 2009 November 18, 2009

Orion Bank Naples FL 22427 November 13, 2009 December 15, 2009

Century Bank, F.S.B. Sarasota FL 32267 November 13, 2009 December 15, 2009

United Commercial Bank San Francisco CA 32469 November 6, 2009 November 9, 2009

Gateway Bank of St. Louis St. Louis MO 19450 November 6, 2009 November 9, 2009

Prosperan Bank Oakdale MN 35074 November 6, 2009 November 9, 2009

Home Federal Savings Bank Detroit MI 30329 November 6, 2009 December 15, 2009

United Security Bank Sparta GA 22286 November 6, 2009 December 15, 2009

North Houston Bank Houston TX 18776 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Madisonville State Bank Madisonville TX 33782 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Citizens National Bank Teague TX 25222 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Park National Bank Chicago IL 11677 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Pacific National Bank San Francisco CA 30006 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

California National Bank Los Angeles CA 34659 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

San Diego National Bank San Diego CA 23594 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Community Bank of Lemont Lemont IL 35291 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Bank USA, N.A. Phoenix AZ 32218 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

First DuPage Bank Westmont IL 35038 October 23, 2009 November 3, 2009

Riverview Community Bank Otsego MN 57525 October 23, 2009 November 3, 2009

Bank of Elmwood Racine WI 18321 October 23, 2009 November 3, 2009

Flagship National Bank Bradenton FL 35044 October 23, 2009 October 29, 2009

Hillcrest Bank Florida Naples FL 58336 October 23, 2009 October 28, 2009

American United Bank Lawrenceville GA 57794 October 23, 2009 October 28, 2009

Partners Bank Naples FL 57959 October 23, 2009 October 28, 2009

San Joaquin Bank Bakersfield CA 23266 October 16, 2009 October 21, 2009

Southern Colorado National Bank Pueblo CO 57263 October 2, 2009 October 20, 2009

Jennings State Bank Spring Grove MN 11416 October 2, 2009 October 20, 2009

Warren Bank Warren MI 34824 October 2, 2009 October 20, 2009

Georgian Bank Atlanta GA 57151 September 25, 2009 October 13, 2009

Irwin Union Bank, F.S.B. Louisville KY 57068 September 18, 2009 April 2, 2010

Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company Columbus IN 10100 September 18, 2009 September 22, 2009

Venture Bank Lacey WA 22868 September 11, 2009 November 23, 2009

Brickwell Community Bank Woodbury MN 57736 September 11, 2009 November 23, 2009

Corus Bank, N.A. Chicago IL 13693 September 11, 2009 November 23, 2009

First State Bank Flagstaff AZ 34875 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

Platinum Community Bank Rolling Meadows IL 35030 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

Vantus Bank Sioux City IA 27732 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

InBank Oak Forest IL 20203 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

First Bank of Kansas City Kansas City MO 25231 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

Affinity Bank Ventura CA 27197 August 28, 2009 November 23, 2009

Mainstreet Bank Forest Lake MN 1909 August 28, 2009 November 23, 2009

Bradford Bank Baltimore MD 28312 August 28, 2009 November 23, 2009

Guaranty Bank Austin TX 32618 August 21, 2009 February 3, 2010

CapitalSouth Bank Birmingham  AL 22130 August 21, 2009 November 23, 2009

First Coweta Bank  Newnan GA 57702 August 21, 2009 November 23, 2009

ebank Atlanta GA 34682 August 21, 2009 November 23, 2009

Community Bank of Nevada Las Vegas NV 34043 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009

Community Bank of Arizona Phoenix AZ 57645 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009

Union Bank, National Association Gilbert AZ 34485 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009

Colonial Bank Montgomery AL 9609 August 14, 2009 April 27, 2010

Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association Pittsburgh PA 31559 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009

Community First Bank Prineville OR 23268 August 7, 2009 November 23, 2009

Community National Bank of Sarasota County Venice FL 27183 August 7, 2009 November 23, 2009

First State Bank Sarasota FL 27364 August 7, 2009 November 23, 2009

Mutual Bank Harvey IL 18659 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

First BankAmericano Elizabeth NJ 34270 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

Peoples Community Bank West Chester OH 32288 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

Integrity Bank Jupiter FL 57604 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

First State Bank of Altus Altus OK 9873 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of Jones County Gray GA 8486 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of Houston County Perry GA 27048 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of Bibb County Macon GA 27367 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of North Metro Woodstock GA 57105 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of North Fulton Alpharetta GA 57430 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of Gwinnett County Suwanee GA 57346 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Waterford Village Bank Williamsville NY 58065 July 24, 2009 March 23, 2010

Temecula Valley Bank Temecula CA 34341 July 17, 2009 March 23, 2010

Vineyard Bank Rancho Cucamonga CA 23556 July 17, 2009 March 23, 2010

BankFirst Sioux Falls SD 34103 July 17, 2009 April 2, 2010

First Piedmont Bank Winder GA 34594 July 17, 2009 November 23, 2009

Bank of Wyoming Thermopolis WY 22754 July 10, 2009 November 23, 2009

Founders Bank Worth IL 18390 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009

Millennium State Bank of Texas Dallas TX 57667 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009

First National Bank of Danville Danville IL 3644 July 2, 2009 March 23, 2010

Elizabeth State Bank Elizabeth IL 9262 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009

Rock River Bank Oregon IL 15302 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009

First State Bank of Winchester Winchester IL 11710 July 2, 2009 March 23, 2010

John Warner Bank Clinton IL 12093 July 2, 2009 March 23, 2010

Mirae Bank Los Angeles CA 57332 June 26, 2009 November 23, 2009

MetroPacific Bank Irvine CA 57893 June 26, 2009 March 23, 2010

Horizon Bank Pine City MN 9744 June 26, 2009 March 23, 2010

Neighborhood Community Bank Newnan GA 35285 June 26, 2009 March 23, 2010

Community Bank of West Georgia Villa Rica GA 57436 June 26, 2009 November 23, 2009

First National Bank of Anthony Anthony KS 4614 June 19, 2009 November 23, 2009

Cooperative Bank Wilmington NC 27837 June 19, 2009 November 23, 2009

Southern Community Bank Fayetteville GA 35251 June 19, 2009 March 11, 2010

Bank of Lincolnwood Lincolnwood IL 17309 June 5, 2009 March 11, 2010

Citizens National Bank Macomb IL 5757 May 22, 2009 November 23, 2009

Strategic Capital Bank Champaign IL 35175 May 22, 2009 March 9, 2010

BankUnited, FSB Coral Gables FL 32247 May 21, 2009 November 23, 2009

Westsound Bank Bremerton WA 34843 May 8, 2009 November 23, 2009

America West Bank Layton UT 35461 May 1, 2009 November 23, 2009

Citizens Community Bank Ridgewood NJ 57563 May 1, 2009 November 23, 2009

Silverton Bank, NA Atlanta GA 26535 May 1, 2009 November 23, 2009

First Bank of Idaho Ketchum ID 34396 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

First Bank of Beverly Hills Calabasas CA 32069 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Michigan Heritage Bank Farmington Hills MI 34369 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

American Southern Bank Kennesaw GA 57943 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Great Basin Bank of Nevada Elko NV 33824 April 17, 2009 November 23, 2009

American Sterling Bank Sugar Creek MO 8266 April 17, 2009 November 23, 2009

New Frontier Bank Greeley CO 34881 April 10, 2009 December 23, 2009

Cape Fear Bank Wilmington NC 34639 April 10, 2009 November 23, 2009

Omni National Bank Atlanta GA 22238 March 27, 2009 November 23, 2009

TeamBank, NA Paola KS 4754 March 20, 2009 November 23, 2009

Colorado National Bank Colorado Springs CO 18896 March 20, 2009 November 23, 2009

FirstCity Bank Stockbridge GA 18243 March 20, 2009 November 23, 2009

Freedom Bank of Georgia Commerce GA 57558 March 6, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Savings Bank Henderson NV 34820 February 27, 2009 November 23, 2009

Heritage Community Bank Glenwood IL 20078 February 27, 2009 November 23, 2009

Silver Falls Bank Silverton OR 35399 February 20, 2009 November 23, 2009

Pinnacle Bank of Oregon Beaverton OR 57342 February 13, 2009 November 23, 2009

Corn Belt Bank & Trust Co. Pittsfield IL 16500 February 13, 2009 March 23, 2010

Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast Cape Coral FL 34563 February 13, 2009 March 23, 2010

Sherman County Bank Loup City NE 5431 February 13, 2009 November 23, 2009

County Bank Merced CA 22574 February 6, 2009 November 23, 2009

Alliance Bank Culver City CA 23124 February 6, 2009 November 23, 2009

FirstBank Financial Services McDonough GA 57017 February 6, 2009 March 23, 2010

Ocala National Bank Ocala FL 26538 January 30, 2009 November 23, 2009

Suburban FSB Crofton MD 30763 January 30, 2009 March 23, 2010

MagnetBank Salt Lake City UT 58001 January 30, 2009 November 23, 2009

1st Centennial Bank Redlands CA 33025 January 23, 2009 November 23, 2009

Bank of Clark County Vancouver WA 34959 January 16, 2009 November 23, 2009

National Bank of Commerce Berkeley IL 19733 January 16, 2009 November 23, 2009

Sanderson State Bank

En Español Sanderson TX 11568 December 12, 2008 November 23, 2009

Haven Trust Bank Duluth GA 35379 December 12, 2008 November 23, 2009

First Georgia Community Bank Jackson GA 34301 December 5, 2008 November 23, 2009

PFF Bank & Trust  Pomona CA 28344 November 21, 2008 November 23, 2009

Downey Savings & Loan Newport Beach CA 30968 November 21, 2008 November 23, 2009

Community Bank Loganville GA 16490 November 21, 2008 November 23, 2009

Security Pacific Bank Los Angeles CA 23595 November 7, 2008 November 23, 2009

Franklin Bank, SSB Houston TX 26870 November 7, 2008 November 23, 2009

Freedom Bank Bradenton FL 57930 October 31, 2008 November 23, 2009

Alpha Bank & Trust Alpharetta GA 58241 October 24, 2008 November 23, 2009

Meridian Bank Eldred IL 13789 October 10, 2008 November 23, 2009

Main Street Bank Northville MI 57654 October 10, 2008 November 23, 2009

Washington Mutual Bank

(Including its subsidiary Washington Mutual Bank FSB) Henderson NV 32633 September 25, 2008 April 1, 2010

Ameribank Northfork WV 6782 September 19, 2008 November 23, 2009

Silver State Bank

En Español  Henderson NV 34194 September 5, 2008 November 23, 2009

Integrity Bank Alpharetta GA 35469 August 29, 2008 November 23, 2009

Columbian Bank & Trust Topeka KS 22728 August 22, 2008 November 23, 2009

First Priority Bank Bradenton FL 57523 August 1, 2008 November 23, 2009

First Heritage Bank, NA Newport Beach CA 57961 July 25, 2008 November 23, 2009

First National Bank of Nevada Reno NV 27011 July 25, 2008 November 23, 2009

IndyMac Bank Pasadena CA 29730 July 11, 2008 February 1, 2010

First Integrity Bank, NA Staples MN 12736 May 30, 2008 November 23, 2009

ANB Financial, NA Bentonville AR 33901 May 9, 2008 November 23, 2009

Hume Bank Hume MO 1971 March 7, 2008 November 23, 2009

Douglass National Bank Kansas City MO 24660 January 25, 2008 November 23, 2009

Miami Valley Bank Lakeview OH 16848 October 4, 2007 November 23, 2009

NetBank Alpharetta GA 32575 September 28, 2007 November 23, 2009

Metropolitan Savings Bank Pittsburgh PA 35353 February 2, 2007 November 23, 2009

Bank of Ephraim Ephraim UT 1249 June 25, 2004 April 9, 2008

Reliance Bank White Plains NY 26778 March 19, 2004 April 9, 2008

Guaranty National Bank

of Tallahassee Tallahassee FL 26838 March 12, 2004 November 23, 2009

Dollar Savings Bank Newark NJ 31330 February 14, 2004 April 9, 2008

Pulaski Savings Bank Philadelphia PA 27203 November 14, 2003 July 22, 2005

First National Bank of Blanchardville Blanchardville WI 11639 May 9, 2003 August 6, 2009

Southern Pacific Bank Torrance CA 27094 February 7, 2003 October 20, 2008

Farmers Bank of Cheneyville Cheneyville LA 16445 December 17, 2002 October 20, 2004

Bank of Alamo Alamo TN 9961 November 8, 2002 March 18, 2005

AmTrade International Bank

En Español  Atlanta GA 33784 September 30, 2002 September 11, 2006

Universal Federal Savings Bank Chicago IL 29355 June 27, 2002 April 9, 2008

Connecticut Bank of Commerce Stamford CT 19183 June 26, 2002 November 23, 2009

New Century Bank Shelby Township MI 34979 March 28, 2002 March 18, 2005

Net 1st National Bank Boca Raton FL 26652 March 1, 2002 April 9, 2008

NextBank, NA Phoenix AZ 22314 February 7, 2002 November 23, 2009

Oakwood Deposit Bank Co. Oakwood OH 8966 February 1, 2002 November 23, 2009

Bank of Sierra Blanca Sierra Blanca TX 22002 January 18, 2002 November 6, 2003

Hamilton Bank, NA

En Español Miami FL 24382 January 11, 2002 November 23, 2009

Sinclair National Bank Gravette AR 34248 September 7, 2001 February 10, 2004

Superior Bank, FSB Hinsdale IL 32646 July 27, 2001 November 23, 2009

Malta National Bank Malta OH 6629 May 3, 2001 November 18, 2002

First Alliance Bank & Trust Co. Manchester NH 34264 February 2, 2001 February 18, 2003

National State Bank of Metropolis Metropolis IL 3815 December 14, 2000 March 17, 2005

Bank of Honolulu Honolulu HI 21029 October 13, 2000 March 17, 2005

The Voice of the White House

Ed note: The following article, plus my comments, constitute my column for this edition.

The Costs of Complexity

April 28, 2010

by John Michael Greer

It’s a bit ironic, given the events now in the headlines, that I started last week’s post by commenting that it had been an interesting week for connoisseurs of decline and fall; it might have been better to say “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” About the time the volcanic ash from Iceland began settling out of Europe’s airspace, to begin with, another black cloud began to rise from the lava vents of Wall Street, caused by the spontaneous combustion of whatever might have been left of Goldman Sachs’ reputation for fiscal probity.

It’s a fascinating turn of events, not least because Goldman Sachs has been remarkably cozy with the last two presidential administrations here in the US. Still, that didn’t keep the SEC from filing fraud charges against the firm, and it didn’t prevent the publication of a flurry of highly damaging emails in which Goldman Sachs executives boasted about selling made-to-fail securities to widows and orphans – yes, that last phrase actually got used – and then taking out short contracts on those same securities, so that Goldman Sachs profited when the securities did what they were designed to do, and lost money. For all the world like Casablanca’s Captain Renault, Congress is shocked, shocked to find that Goldman Sachs is making money at its customers’ expense; the interesting question is whether this fine imitation of outrage is simply the sort of ritual theater governments use so often these days as a substitute for constructive action, or whether serious power shifts are under way.

My guess, for what it’s worth, is the latter. Despite cheerleading and doctored statistics from within the Beltway, the US economy is in deep and deepening trouble; foreclosures continue to climb, commercial real estate and second mortgages are shaping up to be the next big shocks, and the rolling collapse of state and local government finances shows no sign of slowing down. The Goldman Sachs flacks who moved into power with the Obama administration promised to fix things; they have pretty clearly failed; and as the neoconservatives learned not long ago, intolerance for failure is very nearly the only thing on which the squabbling factions of the American political class can agree.

Meanwhile, another plume of smoke has been rising from Europe. Greece has had its credit rating cut to junk-bond levels; Portugal and Spain have suffered downgrades, and even rock-solid Germany has had trouble selling its bonds, as investors price in the economic burdens of bailing out countries that lack the political will to keep their expenditures in line with their national income. If the response to this crisis is bungled badly enough, it’s not impossible that the survival of the Euro may be at risk; it’s still open to question whether a single currency will work without a single government to back and manage it, and the handwaving and bickering that has been the order of business in European capitals as the crisis has unfolded does not particularly inspire confidence.

Speaking of plumes of smoke, of course, calls to mind the third unfolding disaster of the last week, the wreck of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which according to an announcement today is currently spewing around five thousand barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. The US Coast Guard has announced that it plans to light the spreading oil slick on fire, in the hope that enough of it will burn up to save the $2 billion a year Louisiana seafood industry from disaster. Partisans of the “drill, baby, drill” approach to energy security take note: there are good practical and economic reasons why most of the US coast has long been off limits to oil drilling, and getting oil out of deposits nearly a mile underwater, and a good deal further than that under sea-bottom sediments, is not as foolproof a procedure as politicians and talk show hosts would like you to think.

These three smoke plumes, interestingly enough, have a factor in common, and it’s the theme I want to discuss in this week’s post – not least because a great many of the crises we’re likely to face as the age of cheap abundant energy comes to an end also share that factor. All three of them resulted when people in a situation of high complexity tried to solve the problems of that situation by adding on an additional layer of complexity.

Goldman Sachs, to begin with, has been in the business of making complex problems more complex for a very long time. One of the chapters of John Kenneth Galbraith’s excellent The Great Crash 1929, a book which ought to be required reading for all those people who think they understand the stock market, is titled “In Goldman, Sachs We Trust”; it’s an account of the preposterous investment vehicles – it does violence to the English language to call them “securities” – that Goldman Sachs floated in the 1929 stock market bubble. Very little has changed since then, either. In 1929, Goldman Sachs sold shares of investment trusts that speculated in shares of other investment trusts; in 2009, they sold tranches of CDOs composed of tranches of other CDOs, and in both cases they served mostly as a means by which a lot of people lost a lot of money while Goldman Sachs did quite well.

You may be wondering why anybody would put their hard-earned money into an investment vehicle that consisted of a collection of bets that other investment vehicles would make money off yet a third set of investment vehicles. In 1929, the answer was raw greed, whipped up to monumental intensity by a very widespread attack of the delusion that brokers want to make you rich. In 2009, the answer was more complex. For more than twenty years, beginning in the wake of the 1987 Wall Street crash, the financial agencies of the US government had been struggling to keep what was left of the American economy from imploding. One of the main tools used in this struggle was rock-bottom interest rates, which were brought into play whenever one speculative bubble popped and which then, with clockwork regularity, fed the new speculative bubble that followed.

One of the many problems set in motion by this strategy was that all the ordinary sources of investment income were reduced to paying chump change. Gone were the halcyon days when every bank in the United States paid 5.25% per annum on savings accounts by federal law. (It somehow seems to have escaped the attention of most economic historians that the end of that era coincided very precisely with the point at which most Americans stopped putting their money into savings accounts.) As the Fed repeatedly bounced interest rates off the floor to jumpstart an increasingly reluctant economy, every person and institution dependent on investment income found themselves facing a sharp decrease in income. The simple solution would have been to accept the austerity that this entailed, but for obvious reasons this was not popular; it’s worth remembering that “simple” is rarely the same thing as “easy.”

The alternative was to respond to this complex set of circumstances by adding another layer of complexity, and Goldman Sachs was ready to help them do so. Complicated, risky investment strategies that promised high returns became the order of the day. In their eagerness to make more than chump change, a great many people thus became chumps.

The situation in Greece, and a great many other southern European countries, was similar. The same habits of economic manipulation that made the US economy so complex over the last two decades were just as popular in Europe, with the added complexity of a single currency far too rigidly structured to deal with the economic vagaries of more than a dozen fractious nation-states with different economic policies. Add in the speculative boom in real estate that went bust in 2008, which flooded southern Europe with money and then took it all back with interest, and you have a very complex situation, one in which all the usual options were foreclosed by EU economic policy. There were several simple solutions, such as ditching the Euro and allowing a new Greek currency to find its market value, but once again, “simple” is not the same thing as “easy.”

The government of Greece responded to these complexities instead by adding another layer of complexity. It hired Goldman Sachs – no, I’m not making this up – to create a set of complicated investment vehicles that made the Greek national debt look smaller than it was, in order to get by the more onerous limits of EU economic policy. These vehicles proceeded to crash and burn in the grand style, and took the Greek economy with them. Similar vehicles were sold by quite a number of brokerages – Goldman Sachs was far from the only player here – to national, provincial, and municipal governments all over Europe, and to state and local governments in the US as well, and yes, they’ve been blowing up right and left; I don’t think vehicles so flammable have been seen in such numbers since the Ford Pinto was recalled.

As far as I know, Goldman Sachs had nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. Still, the entire strategy of pursuing petroleum production in deep waters is an attempt to solve a hideously complex problem – the problem of peak oil – by adding on another layer of complexity. There’s a simple response to peak oil, of course; it consists of using less petroleum, making do with less energy per capita, and learning to live within our means. Once again, though, “simple” doesn’t mean “easy,” any more than it means “enjoyable” or “politically acceptable.”

The result is that we’re pursuing oil wherever we can find it, no matter how complex or risky the prospect might be. Deepwater drilling is one example. It’s complicated stuff, far more expensive and demanding than the methods used to extract oil that happens to be conveniently located under dry land, and when the standard problems faced by oilmen everywhere crop up, responding to those problems involves a whole new world of complexity and risk. One of those standard problems is the risk of a blowout: a sudden surge of crude oil and natural gas that can come bursting up through a well at any point between the moment it’s first drilled and the moment the relatively sturdy structure that handles production is in place.

That’s almost certainly what happened to Deepwater Horizon. It’s a common enough event in drilling for oil, and it’s dangerous even when it happens on dry land and there’s someplace for the drilling crew to run. When the well begins almost a mile underwater, though, there’s the additional problem that nobody has the tools to handle a deepwater blowout if the underwater valves meant to shut it off at the wellhead should fail. That’s also happened to Deepwater Horizon, and if the current efforts to trigger the valves via robot submersibles don’t succeed – and they’ve shown no sign of succeeding so far – the only option left to the BP response crews is to jerry-rig techniques designed for shallow waters and hope they can be made to work 5000 feet under the sea. In the meantime, five thousand barrels a day of crude oil fountain out into the Gulf from the crumpled pipe.

In all three of these cases, the decision to add an additional layer of complexity to an already complex problem was an attempt to maintain business as usual, while the simpler option that was refused would have required the decision makers to abandon business as usual and accept a degree of austerity and limitation very few people find congenial these days. That’s not inherent in the relationship between complexity and simplicity, but it does tend to be a very common feature of the way that relationship works out in practice just now. We have an extraordinarily complex society; for some three centuries, attempts to manage problems by increasing complexity have paid off more often than not, which is why we have such a complex society; and this has led to the kind of superstition discussed in last week’s post – the unthinking assumption that what worked in the past will continue to work in the present and the future.

As Joseph Tainter has pointed out in his useful book The Collapse of Complex Societies, though, increases in complexity are subject to the same law of diminishing returns as anything else, and sooner or later a society that responds to every challenge by adding a new layer of complexity will reach the point that adding more complexity causes more problems than it solves. Several observations concerning Tainter’s insight are worth making here.

First, the diminishing returns of complexity apply to specifics as well as generalities, and for statistical reasons, the specifics will usually show up first. A society that has overloaded itself with complexity will tend to heap up more complexity in some areas of life than others, and one or more of these areas may well tip over into dysfunction sooner than others. Thus a society that is hammered by repeated crises of the same kind, and tries to solve them with layers of additional complexity that consistently seem to make the problem worse, may be at risk of tipping over into a wider dysfunction of which the visible crises are merely symptomatic.

Second, if a society has driven itself past the point of negative returns on complexity, and continues to try to add complexity to solve the resulting problems, it risks establishing a disastrous feedback loop in which its attempts to solve its problems become the major source of its problems. This can also apply to specifics as well as generalities, and show up first in particular aspects of a society’s collective life.

Third, one of the ironies faced by a society that has reached the point of negative returns on complexity as a means of problem-solving is that thereafter, the only way it can solve its problems is by not solving its problems. Any attempt to impose additional complexity will simply make matters worse, while allowing some particularly problematic heap of complexity to crash and burn may just reduce the complexity of the whole system to a point at which something constructive can actually be done. In the extreme case, where an entire society has pushed itself past the point of negative returns on complexity, collapse can be an adaptive response to a rising spiral of crisis that can be ended in no other way.

Finally, all these considerations apply just as much to the level of the individual, family, and community as they do to civilizations as whole systems, and it’s possible to use simplification on the level of the individual, family, and community to counter at least some of the consequences of complexity run amok. We’ll talk more about how that might work next week.

Comment: Also, in addition to his three plumes of smoke, we have a fourth that is very dangerous.

That is the immigration blowback now being manifested throughout the white world. Mark me that this has been festering for some time and when it goes, it will go big.

The Swiss kicked it off by banning mosques in that country and the Belgians have just banned Muslim women from wearing their veils.

My Swedish friends are boiling now over their own urine-colored problems and now Ireland and England are starting to manifest a strong desire to kick the toffee hued visitors out.

It would take one nasty riot on the part of these visitors, anywhere (but well-covered by the media) to start the avalanche of expulsion moving. The total hysteria of the left wing section of the American media over the Arizona anti-immigration bill will mount to frenzy when the six other states (to date) pass their own versions.

Texas, Georgia and other states have had it with the armies of beaners taking jobs their sons could have, clogging up the hospitals and clinics and now, shrilly demanding all kinds of obedience from a Federal government that will have no choice but to listen to the genuine outrage of those of its people who have to deal with the viciousness and crime these unwanted, and illegal, visitors have brought.

The fourth plume will presage the worse conflagration for it will prove to be a deadly distraction from the fiscal chaos now regnant in the world.

Scapegoating may be ugly in concept but will certainly prove to be deadly in execution.
The Chinese are also on the list of unwanted people but they are in their country and all we can do is to boycott them. Of course so many products sold here are made in China that this might be difficult but I know the Celestials and they are easy to goad into doing and saying very dangerous and stupid things. And here, I am doing my bit to enrage and provoke them and I am doing it on a daily basis

A fifth plume? Where there is smoke there is usually fire and a frustrated and very angry American public who are discovering that their cherished American dream has turned out to be a nightmare will be very, very dangerous and quite soon.

Once the 50 million American mortgagees discover that they have been screwed and that their mortgage payments are only rent payments to distant and unknown people, the fecal matter will for a certainty hit the fan.

Sad to say, the end is totally predictable.

How little people learn from history.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Is this Halliburton’s Katrine?

April 30, 2010

by karoli

Crooks and Liars

The spreading stench of oil, money and destruction off the Louisiana coast should be enough reason for anyone to protest opening more wells offshore. In case it’s not, let’s just put an end to the myths that offshore drilling is safe, government regulation is bad, and this particular disaster is “Obama’s Katrina“. It’s not, no matter what the AP’s Calvin Woodward alleges.

The political subtext of the crisis was clear and increasingly on people’s minds, whether from a federal office deploying oil-containment booms or from a Louisiana parish awaiting yet another sucker punch from the sea.

Will this be Obama’s Katrina? Should the federal and state governments have done more, and earlier? Did they learn the lessons of the devastating hurricane?

Well, yes. They did. If it weren’t for the Obama administration, none of us would know that the flow of oil into the sea was 5 times the rate reported by BP. It was, after all, the federal government experts who exposed the true leakage rate.

On Wednesday night, she reported the findings of federal experts that up to 5,000 barrels a day were leaking from the well. BP had estimated only 1,000. As well, the company told the Coast Guard a new leak had been found. Obama was briefed on these developments on Air Force One while returning at night from the Midwest.

True to form, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, and every other right wing hack has jumped right on the bandwagon.

Problem is, it’s just not true. The Wall Street Journal has some interesting factsto contradict this set of Frank Luntz/Karl Rove talking points.

Halliburton is directly linked to the failure causing the spill and explosion.

In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, workers had finished pumping cement to fill the space between the pipe and the sides of the hole and had begun temporarily plugging the well with cement; it isn’t known whether they had completed the plugging process before the blast.

Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts, in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force.When cement develops cracks or doesn’t set properly, oil and gas can escape, ultimately flowing out of control. The gas is highly combustible and prone to ignite, as it appears to have done aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which was leased by BP PLC, the British oil giant.

Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.

The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.

It’s not the first time for Halliburton, either.

Halliburton also was the cementer on a well that suffered a big blowout last August in the Timor Sea, off Australia.The rig there caught fire and a well leaked tens of thousands of barrels of oil over 10 weeks before it was shut down. The investigation is continuing; Halliburton declined to comment on it.

Meanwhile, the devastation spreads.

Offshore, cleanup workers struggled to contain an oily sheen spreading from a well ruptured by the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon exploration platform. Coast Guard officials estimate that some 42,000 gallons of crude continue to leak into the Gulf of Mexico each day. Remote submersibles have so far failed in an effort to close the shattered well’s blowout valve, which should have shut off automatically. Boom crews plan to begin burning collected oil on the Gulf’s surface as early as Wednesday. –

The failed blowout valve? It was manufactured by Cameron International. One look at should tell you all you need to know. They’re all Bush/Cheney contractor cronies, here and around the world.

Offshore drilling has been put forward by the Obama administration as one prong of a multi-prong approach to ending our foreign oil dependence. With thousands of barrels of oil spilling offshore, perhaps it’s time for the administration to reconsider opening more wells to companies willing to overlook consistent records of failure like Halliburton’s.

Natural disasters like Katrina are devastating and unpreventable. The best we can do is be prepared to deal with the fallout, including levees unable to handle the stress of a Category 5 hurricane. The government failed the people of New Orleans and allowed the aftermath of Katrina to devastate New Orleans. This disaster is a man-made mess, beginning to end, engineered by corporate interests. It isn’t anyone’s Katrina. It’s just chapter two of the war waged on our coasts by Bush, Cheney, and their gang of corporate cronies.

Pentagons Mach 20 Glider Disappears, Whacking Global Strike Plans
April 27, 2010

by Noah Shachtman

WIRED

The Pentagon’s controversial plan to hit terrorists half a planet away suffered a setback this weekend, after an experimental hypersonic glider disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.

In its first flight test. the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) was supposed to be rocket-launched from California to the edge of space. Then the HTV-2 would could screaming back into the atmosphere, maneuvering at twenty times times the speed of sound before landing north of the Kwajalein Atoll, 30 minutes later and 4100 nautical miles away. Thinly wedge-shaped for better lift, equipped with autonomous navigation for more precision, and made of carbon-carbon to withstand the assault of hypersonic flight, the hope was it could fly farther and more accurately at a lower angle of attack than other craft returning to Earth.

At least, that was the idea. Instead, nine minutes after launch, Darpa researchers lost contact with the HTV-2. They’re still trying to figure out why. The agency says the flight test wasn’t a total bust: The craft deployed from its rocket booster, performed some maneuvers in the air, and “achieved controlled flight within the atmosphere at over Mach 20,” Darpa spokesperson Johanna Jones says.

But it’s bad news for the Pentagon “prompt global strike” program — a burgeoning and hotly-debated effort to almost-instantly attack targets thousands of miles away. The Defense Department is pursuing three different families of technologies to accomplish the task. One is to re-arm nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles with conventional warheads. But that runs the risk of accidentally triggering a response from another atomic power, who might mistake it for a nuke. A second effort is to build shorter-range cruise missiles than can fly at five or six times the speed of sound; that effort hit some recent turbulence when flight tests for the X-51 Waverider, scheduled for December 2009, were pushed until May 2010. Something like an armed version of the HTV-2 is the third choice.

“There’s always a concern that a conventional warhead on an ICBM might be confused with a nuclear device – what can you do to prove otherwise?” Dr. Mark Lewis, the former chief scientist of the Air Force, tells Danger Room. ”With a high lift vehicle, your trajectory would be so different that no one would likely confuse it with something more sinister.”

Brian Weeden, a technology advisor for the Secure World Foundation, agrees. “This thing itself is not a weapon. But it’s designed to lead to a precision strike weapon,” he says.

But the first step is to figure out what went wrong over the Pacific. Darpa says its investigation is ongoing.

Special to TBR News

As the webmaster and organizer of the Chink in the Armor site, I have been swamped with emails, mostly from frustrated, and alarmed, mortgage holders.  I have the ability to allow questioners to see if they have a MERS-controlled mortgage (which will prevent them from ever getting a clear title to their property) and, if they have, to try to direct them to a real estate attorney in their area.

However, given the enormous number of MERS victims (almost 50 million!) several of my corresponding lawyers have suggested that justice would be better served through the concept of a class-action law suit which would be designed to get a court-ordered clear title.

It has also been suggested that interested Americans could benefit by organizing themselves to gain, and share, information, and participate in a class action suit. I should note here that people involved in class action suits do not have to get a personal attorney nor pay the kind of fees he would charge.

I already have a weekly newsletter concerning all of this that covers the latest information, etc. and I get more subscribers on a daily basis.

Any concerned reader who would like to become involved in this can write to me at: info@chinkinthearmor.net and can subscribe at: http://chinkinthearmor.net/Newsletter___Blog.html

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration

Facts, Figures And Statistics On Illegal Immigration

http://www.usillegalaliens.com/impacts_of_illegal_immigration_gangs.html

While this report has attempted to put a personal face on the collateral damage of illegal alien crime, note that many of the links in this report detailing some of the crime are dependent on the archiving time of some of the various sources making their articles available. Once taken down, many of the crimes simply “disappear” from American consciousness.

As an example, I’m willing to bet that most people living outside of the Denver metro are not aware that in the fall of 1999 five Asian gang members, illegal aliens as it was reported many years latter, kidnapped and gang raped a University of Colorado coed. Initiation rites were involved and they specifically targeted a “white woman.”

If it wasn’t for the archiving efforts of some groups fighting illegal immigration general knowledge of such incidentswould be lost to all but the most serious researcher. Even with the internet it is very difficult to track down and report the participation level of illegal aliens in crime because NOBODY IS KEEPING TRACK! However, as this report has detailed and documented, it is quite considerable and is the direct consequence of our unfettered immigration policy, porous borders, sanctuary cities, and lack of enforcement.

In recent Testimony of District Attorney John M. Morganelli before the House Subcommittee on immigration, Border, Security and Claims he stated:

“Unfortunately, the majority of illegal aliens who are here are engaged in criminal activity. Identity theft, use of fraudulent social security numbers and green cards, tax evasion, driving without licenses represent some of the crimes that are engaged in by the majority of illegal aliens on a daily basis merely to maintain and hide their illegal status.

In addition, violent crime and drug distribution and possession is also prevalent among illegal aliens.

  • Over 25% of today’s federal prison population are illegal aliens. In some areas of the country, 12% of felonies, 25% of burglaries and 34% of thefts are committed by illegal aliens.”
  • Ignoring the “minor crime” such as ID theft and property crimes being committed by illegal aliens, here is a summary on some of the collateral damage reaped in crimes as a result of tolerating illegal aliens in the USA:
  • In Los Angeles, 95% of some 1,500 outstanding warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens. About 67% of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens.
  • There are currently over 400,000 unaccounted for illegal alien criminals with outstanding deportation orders. At least one fourth of these are hard core criminals.
  • 80,000 to 100,000 illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes are walking the streets. Based on studies they will commit an average of 13 serious crimes per perpetrator.
  • Illegal aliens are involved in criminal activities at a rate that is 2-5 times their representative proportion of the population.
  • In 1980, our Federal and state facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens but at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities at a cost of about $6.8 billion per year.
  • At least 4.5 million pounds of cocaine with a street value of at least $72 billion is smuggled across the southern border every year. ..
  • 56% of illegal aliens charged with a reentry offense had previously been convicted on at least 5 prior occasions.
  • Illegal aliens charged with unlawful reentry had the most extensive criminal histories. 90% had been previously arrested. Of those with a prior arrest, 50% had been arrested for violent or drug-related felonies.
  • Illegal aliens commit between 700,000 to 1,289,000 or more crimes per year.
  • Illegal aliens commit at least 2,158 murders each year – a number that represents three times greater participation than their proportion of the population.
  • Illegal alien sexual predators commit an estimated 130,909 sexual crimes each year.
  • There may be as many as 240,000 illegal alien sex offenders circulating throughout America.
  • Based on studies, they will commit an average of 8 sex crimes per perpetrator before being caught.
  • Nearly 63% of illegal alien sex offenders had been deported on another offense prior to committing the sex crime.
  • Only 2% of the illegal alien sex offenders in one study had no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally.
  • In Operation Predator, ICE arrested and deported 6,085 illegal alien pedophiles. Some studies suggest each pedophile molests average of 148 children. If so, that could be as many as 900,580 victims.
  • Nobody knows how big the Sex Slave problem is but it is enormous.
  • The very brutal MS-13 gang has over 15,000 members and associates in at least 115 different cliques in 33 states.
  • The overall financial impact of illegal alien crimes is estimated at between $14.4 and $81 billion or more per year. Factor in the crime as a result of the cocaine and other drugs being smuggled in and the number may reach $150 billion per year.

Still think illegal immigration is a “victimless crime” and we don’t need to control our borders? Remember, about 60% of the crimes being committed are by illegal aliens who were previously deported.

Allowing our borders to be disregarded coupled with little national commitment about doing anything about it has resulted in growing mayhem by illegal alien criminals, not a “victimless crime.”

As the previous sections have detailed, the dark side of illegal immigration includes a lot of horrific crime being perpetrated by the hard core criminal element of the illegal alien population. In the cost-benefit tradeoff of tolerating illegal immigration, how much collateral damage are we willing to accept?

In tolerating illegal immigration, how many Americans do YOU accept being molested, raped and murdered each year to save ten cents on a head of lettuce?

Comment: I have friends in southern Arizona and all of them advise me that the crime rate there has been soaring. Southern Phoenix is a war zone and the waves of illegals and drug runners have been killing farmers, shooting up an Army base and smuggling in both illegals and drugs. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to round up all the illegals in both southern California and Arizona, shove them south of the border and then, instead of an expensive wall or fence, put in a mine field from Brownsville to the Pacific. Fence it and put warning signs every ten feet. That will take care of the problem…  And we can add the bankers to this crowd as well. A good purge does the body politic a great deal of good and sets it on the road to health.

Vox populi, vox Dei

In the aftermath of the passage of Arizona’s law, many states and localities across the country are in fact in the middle of or about to embark on parallel pieces of legislation.

  • Utah            Require immigrants to carry proof of status, require law enforcement officers to question anyone they believe is in the country illegally, and target employers who hire or transport undocumented immigrants.
  • Georgia  Nathan Deal (R), who is running for Governor, wants to propose legislation that mirrors Arizona’s.
  • Colorado  Colorado gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis (R) said that if he were governor, he would seek to pass something “very similar” to what Arizona enacted.
  • Maryland State Delegate Pat McDonough (R) “plans to start sending a survey to every candidate for the General Assembly — along with the candidates for governor — asking them whether they agree with Arizona’s approach.”
  • Ohio            Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones and Ohio Rep. Courtney Combs (R)sent a letter to Gov. Ted Strickland asking him “to employ” his “leadership role” “to assure legislation is passed that will mirror” Arizona’s.
  • North Carolina  Local anti-immigrant groups claim that lawmakers have told them that “the chances similar legislation will be filed here is over 95%.”
  • Texas            Republican state Rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball says she plans to push for a law similar to Arizona’s.
  • Missouri The state legislature is considering a law, likely written by Kobach, that would make it unlawful for any person to conceal, harbor, transport, or shelter “illegal aliens” and would also make it a crime for undocumented immigrants to transport themselves.
  • Oklahoma Restrict the ability of undocumented immigrants to obtain IDs or public assistance, give police authority to check the status of anyone arrested, and make it a felony to knowingly provide shelter, transportation or employment to the undocumented.
  • Nebraska Residents in Fremont Nebraska likely will vote in July on a proposed ordinance to ban the “harboring,” hiring and renting to undocumented immigrants.

China: Diplomat beaten, injured by Houston police

April 30, 2010

by Jeff Carlton

Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — Three Houston police officers have been restricted to desk duty after they followed a Chinese diplomat into the parking garage of the Chinese Consulate, arrested the man and injured him, the Houston mayor said.

Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement that the officers’ duties will remain limited pending an investigation into how Chinese diplomat Yu Boren was injured last Saturday.

Officials in China’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Friday saying police harassed and beat a deputy consul-general while he was driving to the consulate. The statement said a family member also was involved, but did not say if that person was injured.

The consulate in Houston did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press. Houston police and the U.S. State Department are investigating the incident.

“China urges the U.S. … to quickly investigate the details of this incident and to look into the persons responsible to ensure that the Chinese diplomatic and consulate personnel and premises are not violated,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement. “The Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese Embassy and the Houston consulate have already made solemn exchanges with the U.S. side.”

Under international practice, the premises of foreign embassies and consulates are outside the jurisdiction of local law enforcement, and diplomats have legal immunity.

Houston police tried to stop a car that was missing a license plate, CBS News reported. When the car didn’t stop, they pursued it into a garage. Police handcuffed and arrested the driver, injuring him, the report said. CBS News identified the official as Ben Ren Yu. The Houston consulate website lists a deputy consul-general, Yu Boren.

The officers said they were unaware they had pursued the diplomat into the Chinese Consulate’s parking garage, Parker said.

The U.S. State Department was taking the matter very seriously and the findings of the investigation will be shared with China “as soon as appropriate,” said Susan Stevenson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

A Houston police spokesman declined to comment. The police force did not immediately respond to a request for a copy of the offense report, which typically is not released while an incident remains under investigation.

U.S.-China relations only recently emerged from a tense period aggravated by spats over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, trade and China’s currency policy. Comments on at least two major Internet portals had apparently been deleted, an indication the case was considered sensitive, perhaps because of its impact on U.S.-China ties.

Houston’s police chief has ordered officers to receive a list of addresses for every consulate in the city.

“This is important as Houston has the third-largest number of consulates in the country,” Parker said. “We cherish our international residents and want to assure them they are welcome in our city.”

___

Associated Press Writer Anita Chang in Beijing contributed to this report.


Failed Bank List

The FDIC is often appointed as receiver for failed banks. This page contains useful information for the customers and vendors of these banks. This includes information on the acquiring bank (if applicable), how your accounts and loans are affected, and how vendors can file claims against the receivership. Failed Financial Institution Contact Search displays point of contact information related to failed banks.This list includes banks which have failed since October 1, 2000.

Bank Name   City   State   CERT #   Closing Date   Updated Date

Wheatland Bank, Naperville IL, 58429, April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Peotone Bank and Trust Company, Peotone IL, 10888 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Lincoln Park Savings Bank Chicago IL 30600 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

New Century Bank Chicago IL 34821 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Citizens Bank and Trust Company of Chicago Chicago IL 34658 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Broadway Bank Chicago IL 22853 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

Amcore Bank, National Association Rockford IL 3735 April 23, 2010 April 27, 2010

City Bank Lynnwood WA 21521 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Tamalpais Bank San Rafael CA 33493 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Innovative Bank Oakland CA 23876 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Butler Bank Lowell MA 26619 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Riverside National Bank of Florida Fort Pierce FL 24067 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

AmericanFirst Bank Clermont FL 57724 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

First Federal Bank of North Florida Palatka FL  28886 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Lakeside Community Bank Sterling Heights MI 34878 April 16, 2010 April 20, 2010

Beach First National Bank Myrtle Beach SC 34242 April 9, 2010 April 13, 2010

Desert Hills Bank Phoenix AZ 57060 March 26, 2010 April 2, 2010

Unity National Bank Cartersville GA 34678 March 26, 2010 March 31, 2010

Key West Bank Key West FL 34684 March 26, 2010 March 31, 2010

McIntosh Commercial Bank Carrollton GA 57399 March 26, 2010 April 5, 2010

State Bank of Aurora Aurora MN 8221 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

First Lowndes Bank Fort Deposit AL 24957 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Bank of Hiawassee Hiawassee GA 10054 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Appalachian Community Bank Ellijay GA 33989 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Advanta Bank Corp. Draper UT 33535 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Century Security Bank Duluth GA 58104 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

American National Bank Parma OH 18806 March 19, 2010 March 23, 2010

Statewide Bank Covington LA 29561 March 12, 2010 March 17, 2010

Old Southern Bank Orlando FL 58182 March 12, 2010 March 17, 2010

The Park Avenue Bank New York NY 27096 March 12, 2010 April 1, 2010

LibertyPointe Bank New York NY 58071 March 11, 2010 April 1, 2010

Centennial Bank Ogden UT 34430 March 5, 2010 March 9, 2010

Waterfield Bank Germantown MD 34976 March 5, 2010 March 10, 2010

Bank of Illinois Normal IL 9268 March 5, 2010 March 10, 2010

Sun American Bank Boca Raton FL 27126 March 5, 2010 March 10, 2010

Rainier Pacific Bank Tacoma WA 38129 February 26, 2010 March 2, 2010

Carson River Community Bank Carson City NV 58352 February 26, 2010 March 2, 2010

La Jolla Bank, FSB La Jolla CA 32423 February 19, 2010 February 24, 2010

George Washington Savings Bank Orland Park IL 29952 February 19, 2010 February 24, 2010

The La Coste National Bank La Coste TX 3287 February 19, 2010 February 24, 2010

Marco Community Bank Marco Island FL 57586 February 19, 2010 February 24, 2010

1st American State Bank of Minnesota Hancock MN 15448 February 5, 2010 February 12, 2010

American Marine Bank Bainbridge Island WA 16730 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

First Regional Bank Los Angeles CA 23011 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

Community Bank and Trust Cornelia GA 5702 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

Marshall Bank, N.A. Hallock MN 16133 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

Florida Community Bank Immokalee FL 5672 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

First National Bank of Georgia Carrollton GA 16480 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010

Columbia River Bank The Dalles OR 22469 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010

Evergreen Bank Seattle WA 20501 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010

Charter Bank Santa Fe NM 32498 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010

Bank of Leeton Leeton MO 8265 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010

Premier American Bank Miami FL 57147 January 22, 2010 April 5, 2010

Barnes Banking Company Kaysville UT 1252 January 15, 2010 February 3, 2010

St. Stephen State Bank St. Stephen MN 17522 January 15, 2010 January 26, 2010

Town Community Bank & Trust Antioch IL 34705 January 15, 2010 January 26, 2010

Horizon Bank Bellingham WA 22977 January 8, 2010 January 12, 2010

First Federal Bank of California, F.S.B. Santa Monica CA 28536 December 18, 2009 April 5, 2010

Imperial Capital Bank La Jolla CA 26348 December 18, 2009 December 23, 2009

Independent Bankers’ Bank Springfield IL 26820 December 18, 2009 January 14, 2010

New South Federal Savings Bank Irondale AL 32276 December 18, 2009 December 23, 2009

Citizens State Bank New Baltimore MI 1006 December 18, 2009 January 8, 2010

Peoples First Community Bank Panama City FL 32167 December 18, 2009 April 2, 2010

RockBridge Commercial Bank Atlanta GA 58315 December 18, 2009 December 22, 2009

SolutionsBank Overland Park KS 4731 December 11, 2009 December 15, 2009

Valley Capital Bank, N.A. Mesa AZ 58399 December 11, 2009 December 15, 2009

Republic Federal Bank, N.A. Miami FL 22846 December 11, 2009 December 15, 2009

Greater Atlantic Bank Reston VA 32583 December 4, 2009 December 15, 2009

Benchmark Bank Aurora IL 10440 December 4, 2009 December 8, 2009

AmTrust Bank Cleveland OH 29776 December 4, 2009 December 8, 2009

The Tattnall Bank Reidsville GA 12080 December 4, 2009 December 15, 2009

First Security National Bank Norcross GA 26290 December 4, 2009 December 8, 2009

The Buckhead Community Bank Atlanta GA 34663 December 4, 2009 December 15, 2009

Commerce Bank of Southwest Florida Fort Myers FL 58016 November 20, 2009 December 15, 2009

Pacific Coast National Bank San Clemente CA 57914 November 13, 2009 November 18, 2009

Orion Bank Naples FL 22427 November 13, 2009 December 15, 2009

Century Bank, F.S.B. Sarasota FL 32267 November 13, 2009 December 15, 2009

United Commercial Bank San Francisco CA 32469 November 6, 2009 November 9, 2009

Gateway Bank of St. Louis St. Louis MO 19450 November 6, 2009 November 9, 2009

Prosperan Bank Oakdale MN 35074 November 6, 2009 November 9, 2009

Home Federal Savings Bank Detroit MI 30329 November 6, 2009 December 15, 2009

United Security Bank Sparta GA 22286 November 6, 2009 December 15, 2009

North Houston Bank Houston TX 18776 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Madisonville State Bank Madisonville TX 33782 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Citizens National Bank Teague TX 25222 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Park National Bank Chicago IL 11677 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Pacific National Bank San Francisco CA 30006 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

California National Bank Los Angeles CA 34659 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

San Diego National Bank San Diego CA 23594 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Community Bank of Lemont Lemont IL 35291 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

Bank USA, N.A. Phoenix AZ 32218 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009

First DuPage Bank Westmont IL 35038 October 23, 2009 November 3, 2009

Riverview Community Bank Otsego MN 57525 October 23, 2009 November 3, 2009

Bank of Elmwood Racine WI 18321 October 23, 2009 November 3, 2009

Flagship National Bank Bradenton FL 35044 October 23, 2009 October 29, 2009

Hillcrest Bank Florida Naples FL 58336 October 23, 2009 October 28, 2009

American United Bank Lawrenceville GA 57794 October 23, 2009 October 28, 2009

Partners Bank Naples FL 57959 October 23, 2009 October 28, 2009

San Joaquin Bank Bakersfield CA 23266 October 16, 2009 October 21, 2009

Southern Colorado National Bank Pueblo CO 57263 October 2, 2009 October 20, 2009

Jennings State Bank Spring Grove MN 11416 October 2, 2009 October 20, 2009

Warren Bank Warren MI 34824 October 2, 2009 October 20, 2009

Georgian Bank Atlanta GA 57151 September 25, 2009 October 13, 2009

Irwin Union Bank, F.S.B. Louisville KY 57068 September 18, 2009 April 2, 2010

Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company Columbus IN 10100 September 18, 2009 September 22, 2009

Venture Bank Lacey WA 22868 September 11, 2009 November 23, 2009

Brickwell Community Bank Woodbury MN 57736 September 11, 2009 November 23, 2009

Corus Bank, N.A. Chicago IL 13693 September 11, 2009 November 23, 2009

First State Bank Flagstaff AZ 34875 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

Platinum Community Bank Rolling Meadows IL 35030 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

Vantus Bank Sioux City IA 27732 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

InBank Oak Forest IL 20203 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

First Bank of Kansas City Kansas City MO 25231 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009

Affinity Bank Ventura CA 27197 August 28, 2009 November 23, 2009

Mainstreet Bank Forest Lake MN 1909 August 28, 2009 November 23, 2009

Bradford Bank Baltimore MD 28312 August 28, 2009 November 23, 2009

Guaranty Bank Austin TX 32618 August 21, 2009 February 3, 2010

CapitalSouth Bank Birmingham  AL 22130 August 21, 2009 November 23, 2009

First Coweta Bank  Newnan GA 57702 August 21, 2009 November 23, 2009

ebank Atlanta GA 34682 August 21, 2009 November 23, 2009

Community Bank of Nevada Las Vegas NV 34043 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009

Community Bank of Arizona Phoenix AZ 57645 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009

Union Bank, National Association Gilbert AZ 34485 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009

Colonial Bank Montgomery AL 9609 August 14, 2009 April 27, 2010

Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association Pittsburgh PA 31559 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009

Community First Bank Prineville OR 23268 August 7, 2009 November 23, 2009

Community National Bank of Sarasota County Venice FL 27183 August 7, 2009 November 23, 2009

First State Bank Sarasota FL 27364 August 7, 2009 November 23, 2009

Mutual Bank Harvey IL 18659 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

First BankAmericano Elizabeth NJ 34270 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

Peoples Community Bank West Chester OH 32288 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

Integrity Bank Jupiter FL 57604 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

First State Bank of Altus Altus OK 9873 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of Jones County Gray GA 8486 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of Houston County Perry GA 27048 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of Bibb County Macon GA 27367 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of North Metro Woodstock GA 57105 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of North Fulton Alpharetta GA 57430 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Bank of Gwinnett County Suwanee GA 57346 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Waterford Village Bank Williamsville NY 58065 July 24, 2009 March 23, 2010

Temecula Valley Bank Temecula CA 34341 July 17, 2009 March 23, 2010

Vineyard Bank Rancho Cucamonga CA 23556 July 17, 2009 March 23, 2010

BankFirst Sioux Falls SD 34103 July 17, 2009 April 2, 2010

First Piedmont Bank Winder GA 34594 July 17, 2009 November 23, 2009

Bank of Wyoming Thermopolis WY 22754 July 10, 2009 November 23, 2009

Founders Bank Worth IL 18390 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009

Millennium State Bank of Texas Dallas TX 57667 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009

First National Bank of Danville Danville IL 3644 July 2, 2009 March 23, 2010

Elizabeth State Bank Elizabeth IL 9262 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009

Rock River Bank Oregon IL 15302 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009

First State Bank of Winchester Winchester IL 11710 July 2, 2009 March 23, 2010

John Warner Bank Clinton IL 12093 July 2, 2009 March 23, 2010

Mirae Bank Los Angeles CA 57332 June 26, 2009 November 23, 2009

MetroPacific Bank Irvine CA 57893 June 26, 2009 March 23, 2010

Horizon Bank Pine City MN 9744 June 26, 2009 March 23, 2010

Neighborhood Community Bank Newnan GA 35285 June 26, 2009 March 23, 2010

Community Bank of West Georgia Villa Rica GA 57436 June 26, 2009 November 23, 2009

First National Bank of Anthony Anthony KS 4614 June 19, 2009 November 23, 2009

Cooperative Bank Wilmington NC 27837 June 19, 2009 November 23, 2009

Southern Community Bank Fayetteville GA 35251 June 19, 2009 March 11, 2010

Bank of Lincolnwood Lincolnwood IL 17309 June 5, 2009 March 11, 2010

Citizens National Bank Macomb IL 5757 May 22, 2009 November 23, 2009

Strategic Capital Bank Champaign IL 35175 May 22, 2009 March 9, 2010

BankUnited, FSB Coral Gables FL 32247 May 21, 2009 November 23, 2009

Westsound Bank Bremerton WA 34843 May 8, 2009 November 23, 2009

America West Bank Layton UT 35461 May 1, 2009 November 23, 2009

Citizens Community Bank Ridgewood NJ 57563 May 1, 2009 November 23, 2009

Silverton Bank, NA Atlanta GA 26535 May 1, 2009 November 23, 2009

First Bank of Idaho Ketchum ID 34396 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

First Bank of Beverly Hills Calabasas CA 32069 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Michigan Heritage Bank Farmington Hills MI 34369 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

American Southern Bank Kennesaw GA 57943 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009

Great Basin Bank of Nevada Elko NV 33824 April 17, 2009 November 23, 2009

American Sterling Bank Sugar Creek MO 8266 April 17, 2009 November 23, 2009

New Frontier Bank Greeley CO 34881 April 10, 2009 December 23, 2009

Cape Fear Bank Wilmington NC 34639 April 10, 2009 November 23, 2009

Omni National Bank Atlanta GA 22238 March 27, 2009 November 23, 2009

TeamBank, NA Paola KS 4754 March 20, 2009 November 23, 2009

Colorado National Bank Colorado Springs CO 18896 March 20, 2009 November 23, 2009

FirstCity Bank Stockbridge GA 18243 March 20, 2009 November 23, 2009

Freedom Bank of Georgia Commerce GA 57558 March 6, 2009 November 23, 2009

Security Savings Bank Henderson NV 34820 February 27, 2009 November 23, 2009

Heritage Community Bank Glenwood IL 20078 February 27, 2009 November 23, 2009

Silver Falls Bank Silverton OR 35399 February 20, 2009 November 23, 2009

Pinnacle Bank of Oregon Beaverton OR 57342 February 13, 2009 November 23, 2009

Corn Belt Bank & Trust Co. Pittsfield IL 16500 February 13, 2009 March 23, 2010

Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast Cape Coral FL 34563 February 13, 2009 March 23, 2010

Sherman County Bank Loup City NE 5431 February 13, 2009 November 23, 2009

County Bank Merced CA 22574 February 6, 2009 November 23, 2009

Alliance Bank Culver City CA 23124 February 6, 2009 November 23, 2009

FirstBank Financial Services McDonough GA 57017 February 6, 2009 March 23, 2010

Ocala National Bank Ocala FL 26538 January 30, 2009 November 23, 2009

Suburban FSB Crofton MD 30763 January 30, 2009 March 23, 2010

MagnetBank Salt Lake City UT 58001 January 30, 2009 November 23, 2009

1st Centennial Bank Redlands CA 33025 January 23, 2009 November 23, 2009

Bank of Clark County Vancouver WA 34959 January 16, 2009 November 23, 2009

National Bank of Commerce Berkeley IL 19733 January 16, 2009 November 23, 2009

Sanderson State Bank

En Español Sanderson TX 11568 December 12, 2008 November 23, 2009

Haven Trust Bank Duluth GA 35379 December 12, 2008 November 23, 2009

First Georgia Community Bank Jackson GA 34301 December 5, 2008 November 23, 2009

PFF Bank & Trust  Pomona CA 28344 November 21, 2008 November 23, 2009

Downey Savings & Loan Newport Beach CA 30968 November 21, 2008 November 23, 2009

Community Bank Loganville GA 16490 November 21, 2008 November 23, 2009

Security Pacific Bank Los Angeles CA 23595 November 7, 2008 November 23, 2009

Franklin Bank, SSB Houston TX 26870 November 7, 2008 November 23, 2009

Freedom Bank Bradenton FL 57930 October 31, 2008 November 23, 2009

Alpha Bank & Trust Alpharetta GA 58241 October 24, 2008 November 23, 2009

Meridian Bank Eldred IL 13789 October 10, 2008 November 23, 2009

Main Street Bank Northville MI 57654 October 10, 2008 November 23, 2009

Washington Mutual Bank

(Including its subsidiary Washington Mutual Bank FSB) Henderson NV 32633 September 25, 2008 April 1, 2010

Ameribank Northfork WV 6782 September 19, 2008 November 23, 2009

Silver State Bank

En Español  Henderson NV 34194 September 5, 2008 November 23, 2009

Integrity Bank Alpharetta GA 35469 August 29, 2008 November 23, 2009

Columbian Bank & Trust Topeka KS 22728 August 22, 2008 November 23, 2009

First Priority Bank Bradenton FL 57523 August 1, 2008 November 23, 2009

First Heritage Bank, NA Newport Beach CA 57961 July 25, 2008 November 23, 2009

First National Bank of Nevada Reno NV 27011 July 25, 2008 November 23, 2009

IndyMac Bank Pasadena CA 29730 July 11, 2008 February 1, 2010

First Integrity Bank, NA Staples MN 12736 May 30, 2008 November 23, 2009

ANB Financial, NA Bentonville AR 33901 May 9, 2008 November 23, 2009

Hume Bank Hume MO 1971 March 7, 2008 November 23, 2009

Douglass National Bank Kansas City MO 24660 January 25, 2008 November 23, 2009

Miami Valley Bank Lakeview OH 16848 October 4, 2007 November 23, 2009

NetBank Alpharetta GA 32575 September 28, 2007 November 23, 2009

Metropolitan Savings Bank Pittsburgh PA 35353 February 2, 2007 November 23, 2009

Bank of Ephraim Ephraim UT 1249 June 25, 2004 April 9, 2008

Reliance Bank White Plains NY 26778 March 19, 2004 April 9, 2008

Guaranty National Bank

of Tallahassee Tallahassee FL 26838 March 12, 2004 November 23, 2009

Dollar Savings Bank Newark NJ 31330 February 14, 2004 April 9, 2008

Pulaski Savings Bank Philadelphia PA 27203 November 14, 2003 July 22, 2005

First National Bank of Blanchardville Blanchardville WI 11639 May 9, 2003 August 6, 2009

Southern Pacific Bank Torrance CA 27094 February 7, 2003 October 20, 2008

Farmers Bank of Cheneyville Cheneyville LA 16445 December 17, 2002 October 20, 2004

Bank of Alamo Alamo TN 9961 November 8, 2002 March 18, 2005

AmTrade International Bank

En Español  Atlanta GA 33784 September 30, 2002 September 11, 2006

Universal Federal Savings Bank Chicago IL 29355 June 27, 2002 April 9, 2008

Connecticut Bank of Commerce Stamford CT 19183 June 26, 2002 November 23, 2009

New Century Bank Shelby Township MI 34979 March 28, 2002 March 18, 2005

Net 1st National Bank Boca Raton FL 26652 March 1, 2002 April 9, 2008

NextBank, NA Phoenix AZ 22314 February 7, 2002 November 23, 2009

Oakwood Deposit Bank Co. Oakwood OH 8966 February 1, 2002 November 23, 2009

Bank of Sierra Blanca Sierra Blanca TX 22002 January 18, 2002 November 6, 2003

Hamilton Bank, NA

En Español Miami FL 24382 January 11, 2002 November 23, 2009

Sinclair National Bank Gravette AR 34248 September 7, 2001 February 10, 2004

Superior Bank, FSB Hinsdale IL 32646 July 27, 2001 November 23, 2009

Malta National Bank Malta OH 6629 May 3, 2001 November 18, 2002

First Alliance Bank & Trust Co. Manchester NH 34264 February 2, 2001 February 18, 2003

National State Bank of Metropolis Metropolis IL 3815 December 14, 2000 March 17, 2005

Bank of Honolulu Honolulu HI 21029 October 13, 2000 March 17, 2005

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