I've just posted an image update (public galleries today, members' galleries tomorrow) with a bit over a thousand new pictures. Thank you to all the contributors as always (and for your patience — I'm getting caught up as quickly as I can).
I wanted to explain the current front page poll — “Would you support US military presence and control of the Northern Passage (the artic sea, currently Canadian territory)?” Because of global warming, a sea passage going across the top of the world, under Greenland, across the top of Canada, and then around Alaska, is opening up. Much of the land is becoming increasingly accessible as well, opening up incredibly financial opportunities in shipping and in oil and mineral exploration.
The vast majority of this territory is inside Canadian sovereignty, but Denmark is claiming parts of the Eastern region (and Canada has recently scrambled warships to threaten Denmark's encroachment), the United States claims control of the West, and Russia makes some claims as well. Canada has said (basically) that everyone can use it freely, they simply have to respect our environmental laws… But of course that's not good enough for the US, Denmark, or Russia.
So now these four nations are starting to butt heads over what could be a key strategic region over the next fifty to one hundred years, and barring Canadian capitulation, I expect that it won't be long before you see the US navy start moving up into position… and the fact is that there's no navy on the planet that even comes close to the US, so they'll have defacto control over the North-West passage and thus get to set the rules. Don't think the US isn't willing to violate international law if it's in its financial best interests.
Iraq? Meh. Iran? Meh. North Korea? Meh.
But the escalating tensions with other American nations (Venezuela, Canada, and so on) could be foreshadowing a dark time for the world, with America at the helm.