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Nine years ago today, 19 hijackers commandeered four civilian jetliners in American airspace and perpetrated the worst act of terrorism in American history. None of us who witnessed those terrible events will ever be able to contemplate or discuss them without the emotions natural to every human being who has ever experienced shock or tragedy. I lost no friends or relatives in the 9/11 attacks, nor has anyone of my acquaintance been killed or injured in the wars that ensued in Afghanistan or Iraq. But I feel now, as I felt on September 12, 2001, a sense of loss for an America that I had known for the first 37 years of my life, an America that quite possibly has been lost forever.

"The secret of grand fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done." These are the words of renowned French author, Honore de Balzac in his book, Pere Goriot. While Balzac is often quoted, never were the words so timely as those quoted above. In an astonishingly overlooked article published in the U.K. newspaper, the Guardian in December 2009, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime declared that billions of dollars in illicit drug money sustained the global financial system during the zenith of the worldwide recession.

Like most other government programs, the War on Drugs started out small and has grown to immense proportions.

Though it appears obvious that last year’s beheading of a Muslim woman in Buffalo, N.Y., was an honor killing, the judge in the case will allow the defendant to present a case that he was domestically abused and lashed back at his wife in self defense. Officially, it’s called battered spouse syndrome.’’

Discovery Channel HQUPDATE: Three hostages have been rescued from the headquarters of the Discovery Channel and the man who was holding them has been shot by police.

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