In "Various matters", Glenn Greenwald links to a piece by Robert F. Worth that paints a horrific picture in post-Qaddafi Libya. Without a government* and army, and almost no police, unchecked violence has descended on the country, with the rebels who were once tortured by Qaddafi loyalists hunting them down and returning the "favour", making the captors the captive. Elsewhere, Worth recounts the stories of those who survived the terror of that regime's final days, who "kept [their] head[s] down and let others take the risks" and "adapted to a place where fear was the only law," before adding that, "Most of the brave ones are dead."
It's a distorted reality, and, truthfully, an expected one. While much of Libyan intervention focused on the short-sighted goal of the capture and/or murder of Muammar el-Qaddafi, little thought was given to what would happen when the beast was slain and his domain was offered up to whoever had the temerity to take it. At least until the world saw what happened when the rebels finally got their hands on him.
It is remarkable that in one of the most advanced countries in the world (supposedly), citizens live with a sort fear unlike the one that permeates Libya, but no less terrible. While Libyans have found themselves sliding down to the bottom of the Living Standard Pyramid, Americans remain perched near the top; and, yet, as Libyans suffer through their violent crescendo in the belly of an unforgiving continent, their counterparts are terrified in their cozy homes and aureate McDonald's restaurants.
Their sense of impending doom is manufactured by their government, and enforced by its institutions. Thom Hartmann exposes one of those institutions, the TSA, and how it dehumanises not just American adults, but children, as well. He also details how the U.S. got here (hint: it's not Muslims).
And, finally, one month ago, I decided to make the leap from hockey fan to hockey player. For someone who hadn't skated since he was 13 years old, this leap was straight into the deep end. In my first practice, I was appropriately humiliated. With the still-unhealed bones to prove it, my tumbles every time I tried to do anything related to the game of hockey made it clear to everyone that I was, by far, the worst player in the group.
Since that first practice, I have been the first person to arrive and the last to leave, and worked hard on my basic stickhandling and skating skills to ascend to second-worst player (a triumph, surely, when everyone else started this race long before me). A part of my meteoric rise from worst to second-worst was not just hard work, however, but also reading and watching the things that didn't seem very relevant until I needed them to survive in a hockey game. A site I've found particularly useful is Schoolyard Puck, whose articles and videos have been both technical enough to satisfy my snobbish intellect and simple enough to make sense to my primitive hockey mind. If you're also a hockey noob, or just want to learn more about how the game is played, I highly recommend this resource.
* This may be an argument against Anarchism, but it's more of a statement that freedom itself is impossible in a society where violence is so prevalent.