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I thought there was a perfect balance between the government, the education system, the banks, business, and etc. governed by checks and balances. And I was certain there would never be another war, American power is too great, we had learned our lesson in Viet Nam, all borders had been defined, nobody would risk highly trained americans against third world poor people in a war. Then there was 9/11, launching two wars, and an average of two casualties per day. The clincher was that thee was no protests against these wars. The checks and balance were not working, I realized the US is now a different place and I had to find out what this place now is. By reading the prominent journalists, historian, commentators, etc, you can find out what is going on and that a lot of it is the same old stuff that has been going on forever. The problem now is that even if we could have fixed the political and economic problems, we are facing the end of resources, environmental limits, and expanding population.