2011. It started with the swearing-in of numerous Republican Congressmen in the United States, retaking control of the House, with the year ahead looking to be a big and vitriolic battle over jobs, the budget, and healthcare reform. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a deranged gunman in Arizona, and many others were tragically injured or killed in the shooting, yet she survived and gave us hope with her remarkable progress. President Obama urged the nation to unite and calm down the rhetoric, which the majority of Democrats and Republicans have agreed to, and Sarah Palin's response was received as terrible resulting in her plummeting popularity just as Obama's popularity has soared back to pre-healthcare's 50%+ approval ratings. Tunisia's leader suddenly fled the country as a result of a month of protests, and within days protests were forming and significantly growing in Egypt. The world watched on as Mubarak slowly went from denial, to firing his cabinet and naming a successor, to concessions, to relinquishing his power peacefully to the popular Egyptian military. The fall of Mubarak sparked similar protests in nearly every other country in North Africa and the Middle East, from Morocco to Jordan to Yemen to Bahrain. Even the regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia have are experiencing protests, as well as countries as far away as China and the Ivory Coast. But the biggest story post-Mubarak has been the battle for Libya, with protestors turning into militias in response to Colonel Gadhadi using military force by land and by air to crush them before they could march on Tripoli, and the tide of the civil war is turning in the dictator's favor as he moves closer to retaking Benghazi. A terrible 9.0 earthquake hit disaster-prepared and ultra-modern Japan, causing an even more terrible tsunami, and now a crisis of at least partial nuclear meltdown. Over ten thousand lives are projected to have been lost, the Prime Minister says this is their worst crisis since World War II, the Emperor is urging people to have hope, but recovery cannot begin until the slow-moving nuclear crisis is resolved. Meanwhile, Americans are aware that somewhere out there, in that city of Washington DC which is so far away from all these transformative world events, they're having some kind of debate over the budget, the debt ceiling, and somehow abortion & DOMA. And the President is going over the country, talking about job creation, talking about education reform with Jeb Bush, now heading down to Latin America for his first visit to our southern neighbors. There's also a long list of unimpressive candidates for the next presidential election. Gas prices are rising due to the turmoil in the Muslim world, and we seem paralyzed to act. Overall, American politics seems almost irrelevant, even to Americans for once. I don't think the year 2011 is turning out like how anyone imagined it. The unfolding events are truly changing the world, and it is not even Spring yet. What effect will these events have for years to come, and how transformative are they? What other events may we expect to happen? Overall, what can be said to be the State of the World in 2011?