Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cathedral of Consciousness

"A few intellectuals and a handful of old dopers like me understand that reality is consensus based and is an interconnected network consisting of many minds operating along a theme."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

nEoghan Ua Niall

Ulster was an ancient province of northern Ireland, named after one of its chief inhabitants, the Ulaid(Voluntii). Other early peoples included the Pictish tribe of the Robogdii, the Cruithin and the Darini. Later there were the Dal Riata, Dal nAraide and the Dal Fiatach. Ulster had its ancient capital at Emain Macha, near the modern city of Armagh.

Attacks from the midland kingdom of Mide led to Ulster's disintegration in the 4th and 5th centuries. The province subsequently split into the three kingdoms of Airgialla (in central Ulster), Aileach (in western Ulster), and the kingdom of Ulaid (in eastern Ulster). By the 8th century the island's clans had grouped themselves into five provinces, of which Ulster under the Uí Néill dynasty was the leading one until the 11th century.

Norman adventurers from England, South Wales, and the European continent succeeded in establishing themselves in Ireland by the late 12th century, and in 1205 the English king, John Plantagenet, took control and created an earldom of Ulster.

Meanwhile, the O'Neills (of County Tyrone) and the O'Donnells (of County Tyrconnell) had become virtually supreme in much of Ulster, and these two Roman Catholic clans were subsequently involved in rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I from 1594 to 1601, caused in part by attempts to impose the English Reformation on the Irish. The failure of negotiations with James I led to the flight of the northern earls of Tyrone, Tyrconnell, and many others in 1607.


By the turn of the fourteenth century the territorial extent of the Irish lordship was at its height. The O'Brien's regained power in northern Munster(Thomond). The O'Donnell and O'Neill clans were still extant in northern Ireland. The Irish chiefs also included McCarthy (Cork), O'Connor (Sligo), O'Rourke (Leitrim), O'Reilly (Cavan), MacCartan (Down), MacMahon (Monaghan), Maguire (Fermanagh), and O'Hanlon (Armagh). Around the time of the Scottish campaign into Ireland (1315-1318) headed by Edward and Robert Bruce, earldoms, liberties and counties began to be created in Ireland.

Roger Mortimer held the lordship of the liberty of Trim in Meath. The head of the Leinster Geraldines, John fitz Thomas of Offaly, was created earl of Kildare in 1316. John de Bermingham, the victor at the Battle of Faughart over Edward Bruce,was created earl of Louth in 1319. In 1328 James Butler was created earl of Ormond, with jurisdiction over the new liberty of Tipperary. In 1329 the head of the Munster Geraldines, Maurice fitz Thomas, was made earl of Desmond with jurisdiction over the new liberty of Kerry.


The Flight abroad in 1607 of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell and their followers is generally reckoned to mark the end of Gaelic Ireland as a distinct political system. It was Henry VIII and his Tudor successors, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth I, who completed the conquest of Ireland begun by the Anglo-Normans four centuries before. Prior to the time of the Tudors, most parts of Ireland lay outside English control, being dominated either by Gaelic lords such as O'Neill and O'Donnell, or descendants of the Anglo-Norman conquerors such as Fitzgerald and Butler.

Following the destruction of the Leinster Fitzgeralds in 1535 in the wake of the revolt of Silken Thomas, Henry was in a position to try more conciliatory methods, designed particularly to persuade the Gaelic and Gaelicised Anglo-Norman lords to give up their distinctive ways and submit to the Crown. The policy of 'Surrender and Regrant', whereby Irish lords submitted to English control and received English titles in return, was a considerable success, examples being Burke, created Earl of Clanrickard, O'Brien, created Earl of Thomond, and O'Neill, created Earl of Tyrone. Yet Henry's second great campaign, a religious one to extend the Protestant Reformation to Ireland, enjoyed little success in Gaelic areas.

Under Henry's daughter Elizabeth, the policy of subduing Ireland was pursued with determination, but she was also prepared to ally persuasion with force when she deemed it appropriate. In 1570 the establishment of Presidencies in Munster and Connacht brought English government to these areas. The Munster Rebellion of 1579-83 was put down with great severity, and was followed by a plantation, while in 1585 the lords and landowners of Connacht accepted English land tenure under the 'Composition of Connacht'.

Ulster remained the exception to this record of success, and the English moved to confront the northern Gaelic lords in the 1590s. In 1595 Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, openly joined Hugh O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, and Hugh Maguire of Fermanagh in resisting English encroachments with force. Thus began the Nine Years War, the final contest which would decide the future of Gaelic Ireland and the Tudor Conquest.

O'Neill's extension of the conflict outside his territories, his acceptance of Spanish assistance, and his promotion of Catholicism, all combined to persuade the English of the critical importance of defeating him and his followers. O'Neill's military tactics were primarily defensive, but extremely skilled, and in 1598 he won a great victory over the English at the Battle of the Yellow Ford.

The English under Lord Deputy Mountjoy responded with a scorched earth policy. When the Spaniards arrived in Kinsale in 1601, the Irish risked an offensive march south, but this led to the disastrous defeat at Kinsale in that year. O'Neill, O'Donnell and their allies retreated, and the English over-ran Ulster. Hugh O'Donnell departed to Spain, and on his death there, his brother Rory became Earl of Tyrconnell. O'Neill himself surrendered in 1603 and signed a Treaty at Mellifont, Elizabeth unknown to him having died shortly before.

It is a measure of O'Neill's continuing strength that he had not been forced to surrender unconditionally, but had in effect secured a negotiated settlement, and both he and Rory O'Donnell were allowed to return to their lands. Elizabeth's successor, James VI of Scotland and I of England, was anxious to maintain O'Neill's renewed loyalty, while O'Neill for his part was prepared to try to work within the new system. However, O'Neill was soon to decide that he could not live with the new order and that flight abroad was preferable.

It is, though, worthwhile looking at the differing circumstances of O'Neill and Rory O'Donnell in the aftermath of the 1603 settlement. O'Neill was master within his Earldom, whereas O'Donnell had to contend with the rival claims of Niall Garbh O'Donnell. Themain concern of both O'Neill and O'Donnell was the attitude of the Lord Deputy, Sir Arthur Chichester, and his Solicitor General, Sir John Davies, who resented the Gaelic lords' continuing privileged position in the north, and sought to use institutions of English law to undermine them.

Fearing that Chichester was to be appointed Lord President of Ulster, O'Neill appealed directly to James VI in 1606 against what he saw as the imposition of an overlord. James remained committed to conciliating O'Neill, and he was assured that 'the King had no thoughts of establishing such a government' as the Presidency of Ulster. In contrast, the positions of O'Donnell and Maguire of Fermanagh were worsening, and the evidence indicates that they were planning to abandon Ireland and enlist in the army of Archduke of the Netherlands, then a Spanish possession.

Another opportunity to weaken O'Neill was presented by a territorial dispute in 1607 between him and his son-in-law, the chieftain Donal O'Cahan. Davies encouraged O'Cahan to file a suit against O'Neill, which the Solicitor-General saw as a useful test case to assert royal control over O'Neill's lands. King James had invited O'Neill to submit his grievances directly to him, and O'Neill acted on this invitation. Although the Privy Council in Dublin favoured O'Cahan, the King ordered O'Cahan and O'Neill to present themselves before the English Privy Council in order to decide the case. Meanwhile, Maguire had left Ireland, and O'Donnell was preparing to do likewise. O'Neill was also to make a decision to go into exile.

O'Neill believed his position in Ireland was becoming untenable, and that the invitation to London was a prelude to arrest and execution. O'Neill therefore decided to retreat to Spain and appeal to King Philip for military assistance. O Neill explained his predicament thus to King Philip:. . . in order to save our lives, there was no other remedy but to take up arms, or to escape from the Kingdom. We chose to escape rather than stir the whole Kingdom to rebellion without first being assured of the help and assistance of the Spanish.

As a result of bad weather, O'Neill and his party had to land first in France, and due largely to English intrigue eventually ended up in Rome without being able to make immediate contact with King Philip. O'Neill, neither defeated nor in permanent exile, but merely having tactically retreated abroad in the hope of returning with Spanish military assistance, died in Rome in 1616.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Return Engagement

Faruk was in the hall talking to Mohammed, a staff photo-journalist, when he waved at Abdullah, motioning for him to come down toward his office.
“What are you up to now that you’re a famous photographer?”
“Just taking some shots of the girls selected for the Club Med calendar.”
. “Not bad,” Faruk said. “I really like this one of the redhead at D’jour’s.”
“Yah, me too. Sabrina’s real funny, and speaks French as well as English.”
Mohammed walked in and said,” I’m going home unless you need something else.”
Faruk replied. “Hey, come and take a look at my nephew’s photos—he’s pretty good, with girls anyway.”
“Wait a minute,” Mohammed remarked. “Go back one. I think I saw someone I recognize. There, that’s the one. The guy behind the redhead at the table, the one smoking a cigarette. I’ve seen him somewhere before.”


Faruk got home late, stopping on the way to share a cigar with his brother who was just closing up the café. After watching the sun set over the sparkling waves lazily rolling in from Cyprus, he stopped at the grocer to get some orange juice for his breakfast, and by the time he plopped down in his reading chair everything inside and out was dark, except for the flashing red light on his answering machine and the blue neon glow reflected on the apartment wall from the pharmacy in the alley.
“Hi Faruk, it’s me, Mohammed. I remembered who that guy is in your nephew’s photo. I can’t recall his name, but he’s American, and I’m pretty sure he’s CIA.”


“Yah,” said Mohammed, “it’s him all right. Let me cross reference the photo file number on the computer to get his name.”

Clarridge, Duane R. (“Dewey”)
Central Intelligence Agency
Operations Directorate
Chief, Latin American Division/European Division 1981-1988
Top CIA official responsible for covert war in Nicaragua. November 1985, assisted Oliver North in HAWK missile shipment to Iran. Indicted November 1991 on seven counts of perjury and false statements. Trial aborted by Presidential pardon December 24, 1992.

“What do you say we look up old Dewey’s pals in the National Security Archive document reader on the Iran-Contra scandal?”
“OK, we got Rafsanjani’s nephew Bahramani; Ghorbanifar; Hakim; Khashoggi; the rest are all too political.”
“You’re right. It’s none of the Iranian arms dealers from the Reagan era. So maybe it has nothing to do with arms.”
“Yah, probably a good thing since Washington invaded Tehran last winter. Wouldn’t want them shooting up American occupation forces with US weapons.”
“Hey, maybe the redhead might remember something.”


BBC World Service--Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Free Iraqi Forces, was assassinated this morning in Baghdad by a car bomb. No one has yet to claim responsibility, but US commander General Benny Banks noted that Shiia guerrillas had recently stepped up sniping and fragging of his occupation forces in the Iraqi capitol. A twenty-four hour curfew has been imposed.

Faruk looked up from the Chalabi file on his desk and greeted his nephew. “What are you up to today? Want to do some work for me?”
“Some photography?” he asked.
“Well, it’s about photography. One of those photos you took, the one of the redhead at D’ jour’s—I think you might have caught a French movie star at the table behind her. Would you mind taking the photo by and asking her if she remembers him and his companion?”


After sipping his orangeade for half an hour, the redhead stopped next to him and asked, “Are you on assignment today, or do you just like our juice?”
“Oh,” he replied, “I was wondering if you could look at the photo of you for the calendar again. You might have served a French movie star.”
“Really?” she asked. “Let me see.”
Abdullah laid the photo on the counter and pointed to the two men in sunglasses saying, “This one with the big ears, and his friend with the prizefighter’s nose.”
“Oh yah, I remember them,” she said. “They left a nice size tip. Big Ears came here two or three times this week, but not this morning. And they weren’t French—Big Ears was American, and Broken Nose was Israeli I think.”


After Abdullah rounded the corner onto the boulevard, Big Ears sat down at one of the sidewalk tables in the redhead’s section.
“Espresso, and baklava, and a fresh ash tray, please.”
“Very good, it’ll just be a moment. By the way, my photographer friend thought you were a French movie star. I told him you were American, but you might think about going to France, huh?”
“Your friend, he was taking pictures here?”
“Yes, but only for a calendar of Beirut waitresses. You and your friend just happened to be in it behind me.”
“Do you have it with you?”
“Sorry, all I know is his name’s Abdullah, and he goes to the internet café on the boulevard for his e-mail. Maybe they can help you.”


When Faruk returned to his office after lunch, Mohammed was busy packing his gear and said, “I’m off to Baghdad. Al Jazeera just reported Bremer has been kidnapped and is being held hostage somewhere. I have to fly in with the Reuters crew in half an hour.”

Beirut Times- -L. Paul Bremer, former civilian administrator for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and current special envoy to the Iranian Provisional Authority, has been abducted by masked gunmen who managed to kill several guards at his Tehran embassy residence in the middle of the night. A communiqué from Kandahar said only that Bremer would be held hostage until all US forces departed from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. As proof of their intentions, a finger of Paul Bremer was delivered today by Taleban emissaries to Northern Alliance figures in Kabul.


Before Sabrina could tell Abdullah about talking with Big Ears that morning, the two of them were whisked off the beach promenade and into a large black Mercedes sedan by three men who stuck pistol barrels in their guts, and lead them by their upper arms to the car.


When Abdullah failed to show up for dinner, Ahmed, working late at his cafe, called his brother Faruk at home to ask if he’d seen him. “Not since this morning. He was going over to D’jour’s to see a redhead waitress and then to the beach.”


CNN’s coverage of the chaos in Baghdad made Faruk shiver: plain as day, Big Ears, Dewey Clarridge, was standing off to the side in a doorway behind General Banks. Two days ago he was in Beirut. Now, right after Chalabi’s murder, he turns up in Baghdad. Then the TV reporter from Tehran mentioned someone named Downing, the interim CPA administrator in Bremer’s absence, who announced his people were expecting to make contact with the kidnappers soon.
“Downing, Downing, where have I heard that name?” Faruk said to himself. Then Bush was on from Washington announcing the reassignment of General Wayne Downing from the Department of Homeland Security to the Coalition Provisional Authority for Iraq, I mean, the Iranian Provisional Authority--in Iran. That was it; he was Tom Ridge’s deputy, one of the formulators of the Bush policy on the War on Terrorism. He and Clarridge were old pals from the Reagan White House.


Mohammed went for Cokes with Salim, the Al Jazeera photographer he’d met in spring 2003 after an American tank blew away the Palestine Hotel. As they wandered down the alleyway toward a soda shop, two men walked out of a doorway, paused, and left in opposite directions. The one, followed by three gunmen, jumped into a car and drove past slowly as they exited the alley. The man in the center of the back seat was Duane Clarridge. Mohammed stopped Salim and said, “I need a photo of the guy walking down the alley ahead of us. Run up and get him to stop and turn.”


While Mohammed was in the air heading back to Beirut, Salim, in Basra, wired his boss in Qatar that Saddam Hussein's cousin, General Majeed, had been seen the day before meeting with an unnamed ex-CIA agent. Al Jazeera ran the story that night. Having missed his dinner appointment, Mohammed had been unable to fill Salim in on Clarridge, or, the need to sit tight on it for a few days. Faruk, meanwhile—concerned for his nephew’s life--put the word on the street that they had nothing to do with the Al Jazeera story.

At Ahmed’s cafe, CNN carried the response to the capture of Majeed:

White House spokesman Eugene Scalia announced today the capture of General Majeed in Damascus was the result of the close cooperation between American and Israeli intelligence in Operation Roundup, the new joint defense, intelligence and diplomatic venture between Israel and the United States launched in May. Vice President Cheney will present the administration’s five hundred billion dollar supplemental request for the venture to Congress tomorrow. According to Benny Banks, General Majeed is being held in an undisclosed location.


Abdullah and Sabrina sat quietly in the back of the Mercedes between the musclemen as they passed the hippodrome and other Roman ruins of Tyre, twenty miles north of the Israeli border. As they approached the crossing at Rosh Hanikra, their guards pressed the barrels of their pistols into their ribs as a reminder to stay quiet.
The Lebanese customs officer asked the driver for identification and passports from his window in the booth next to the car. The driver handed four passports to the official explaining, “My nephew and niece had theirs stolen at the beach when we were visiting Tripoli. I told them to leave them at the hotel desk, but you know how young people are.”
The official laughed and replied, “Yes, always with their minds in the clouds. I’m sorry, but I’ll have to ask them to step out of the car and answer a few questions and sign some forms.”
When four soldiers left the checkpoint headed toward the car, the three men pulled their guns and started shooting, wounding the two guards severely, but were quickly killed by the other soldiers. When the smoke cleared, three men lay dead on the pavement, and the customs official held three Israeli passports and two Lebanese young adults in custody.

In the mountains of northwestern Iran, in a small village near Tabriz--one hundred miles from the Azerbaijan border--Paul Bremer sat handcuffed and tied to an uncomfortable wooden chair in a cold, dark room with no light or window. Bremer’s handcuffs, covered with dried blood from the rudimentary surgeries of the preceding week, had rubbed deep welts into his wrists when he struggled and thrashed before fainting from the pain of non-anesthetized amputation.


Hesitatingly, solemnly, Faruk explained to the two young people, “I’m so sorry. I had no idea it would come to this. Abdullah’s photos at D’jour’s caught an ex-CIA spook meeting with an Israeli counterpart. When he asked Sabrina about them, somehow they must have figured it out. They threatened the newspaper and all of us if this came out. Al Jazeera has already reported that the unnamed US spook spotted with General Majeed in Basra had been seen in Beirut the day before. I’ve arranged for a boat to take us to Cyprus to lay low until we can sort this out.”


When Faruk walked into the airport lounge closest to the gate where Mohammed’s flight had arrived, he glanced up at the TV screen tuned to Al Jazeera, whose anchorwoman announced,

Israeli special forces today rescued US hostage Paul Bremer, taken in Tehran last week. The dramatic raid involving commandoes from the same brigade that rescued Israeli civilians held hostage in Entebbe, Uganda in 1976, was carried out with only minor injuries to the soldiers. All the captors are reported dead.

--Jay Taber

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Pancake for Cosmo

Cosmo the poodle puppy had three brothers and four sisters, and they all had long, thick hair that made them look like little black bear cubs. By the time Cosmo was five months old, all his brothers and sisters had gone to live with new families, so Cosmo played with his stuffed animals outside in the yard. Sometimes, though, when his people forgot to close the gate, Cosmo followed kids on their bicycles and neighbors had to bring him home.

Then, one day, Cosmo went for a long ride in the car, and it was past dinner time when they stopped. His people let him out and some new people talked to him and pet him and gave him some water and looked at his teeth. One of the new people took him for a walk, and when he got back his car was gone. Now it was dark out, and the new people lifted him into a van and drove for a long time, and Cosmo was getting tired, but he didn’t go to sleep because the bumps in the road kept him awake.

The new house was different than his old house, and there were no kids or toys to play with. But Cosmo was so tired, he lay down next to the bed and went to sleep.

In the middle of the night, Cosmo woke up and didn’t know where he was. He used to sleep outside, but he wasn’t lying on grass, and he didn’t hear the crickets, but he had to pee, so he peed like he used to do at his old home when he slept in the yard. Then the new people turned on the light and Cosmo saw he was someplace new and not outdoors.

The next morning, the new people made toast and let Cosmo share their breakfast just like the kids at his old house used to do. Then, they went in the van and got out in the fog and walked in the wind that made Cosmo’s hair blow back from his face. After a little walk, they came to a bridge that Cosmo could see had nothing under it but water, and Cosmo sat down and put his feet out in front of him so his new people would know this was something scary and they better be careful.

After they walked slowly across the bridge, the people let Cosmo off his leash and he ran like crazy in the sand until he came to some ocean waves that tried to get him and he ran back to his new people who gave him a cookie. When they rolled a ball down the beach, Cosmo ran and jumped high in the air and landed right on top of the ball. Then Cosmo met some kids who rubbed his hair and ran into the waves and screamed and ran back in the sand.

When they got back to Cosmo’s new home, the new people gave him some dog food and he laid down to rest. A little later, he woke up and smelled something really good. His new people were eating at the counter, and the good smell was on top of it, so Cosmo jumped his front feet on the counter and saw hot dogs, and he wanted to eat one right then but the new people pushed his feet off the counter, so he went to lay down with his new teddy bear.

In a little bit, the new people gave him a bowl with a hot dog cut up in pieces and he thought it was the best thing he ever had.

The next morning, the new people got up early and put Cosmo in the van before he had any breakfast. Then they drove a little ways, and the woman got out, and the man drove until they stopped and got him out to walk. Cosmo saw birds and other dogs and some people running, and then the man and Cosmo walked in a field with tall grass until they came to some mud that smelled good. When the man let Cosmo off his leash, he ran and jumped and bounced in circles and then fell in some water in a ditch he didn’t see when he was bouncing. Then Cosmo climbed out of the ditch and he smelled good, too, just like the mud.

When Cosmo and the man drove in the van again, they stopped and got out at a new place and walked a long way on sidewalks past other houses where big dogs barked at him and skateboards tried to run over him. Then a big red fire engine went by with sirens and horns and lights, and Cosmo stood behind the man and looked at the noisy truck until it was gone. The man and Cosmo walked and walked and walked, until the man told Cosmo to “Wait” and they stopped at a crosswalk and looked both ways. Then the man said, “OK” and they crossed the road.

After Cosmo and the man did this ten more times, they came to the park where Cosmo played in the creek. When he got out of the water, Cosmo didn’t smell like the good mud smell anymore, and the man’s pants were all wet from Cosmo splashing in the creek. Then they walked until they came to the new house where he ate hot dogs, and Cosmo jumped because he was happy and he knew this was his home.

When they went inside, the man took off his clothes and put them in a washing machine and started cooking something that smelled like the kids Cosmo remembered from his old home. And Cosmo was right; the man was cooking pancakes, and when he came out of the kitchen, he had two plates. Then the man put one plate on the counter and one plate on the floor that had a pancake for Cosmo, and they ate their pancakes with syrup and then took a nap.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Going Home

Every night this week, Tambacounda ate yams and chicken with his family and best friends, laughing and telling stories around the campfire while watching shooting stars descend on their coastal cousins in Dakar. Not once did he awake trembling in sweaty terror, sneaking through the dark alleys of Boston, making his way to the harbor where he hoped to stow away on a ship headed for the Indies before his master or the slave bounty hunters could find him.

Sometimes in his dreams of his home--before the long, horrid sail under the snapping Union Jack he glimpsed from his shackled berth under the hatch—he led his ass down a forest trail loaded with firewood for his village. Last night he sat by a stream watching a large fish in a deep pool below the waterfall where they bathed and swam and washed their clothes. The scales were so bright, so silvery, rimmed in black.

This morning he felt very tired; it took many cups of strong British tea to settle his dreams and return his mind to Tortuga, his new home since smuggling himself out of Trinidad with an Orinoco named Tumeremo. Tambacounda enjoyed the warm sun and soft earth and sweet scents of Tortuga; it was more like his first home than New England, and he took great sustenance in his regained freedom to wander and be idle or joyful.

His new friends from Appalachia and Clochair and Kowloon told most interesting stories of their journeys with Union Jack, but especially of their tribes and villages and clans. Sometimes they sang strange songs—not in English—and danced to very different rhythms than those he knew. There eyes and hearts were far away at these times, and the others kept silent, remembering loved ones far away.

The children of Tortuga mirrored the diversity of their parent fugitives: red-haired, blue-eyed Indians; freckled, straight-haired Negroes; tall, thin, frizzy-haired Chinese. Mostly they chased goats and ran and swam and climbed trees for fruit, but the free-ranging youngsters also learned to read the words stamped or branded on coins, casks and boxes of contraband pilfered from British ships and warehouses by their seafaring fathers. While their parents’ hearts often ached for homes long left behind, to the newborn natives of the enclave, Tortuga was a safe, merry, prosperous community.

Tambacounda and the other Africans were the only Tortugans who’d been slaves; the others were runaway indentured servants or escaped convicts imprisoned for debts or for fighting or murdering British who cheated them of their wages or lands. Only a couple of the Irish—whose English was very hard to understand—had ever actually seen England, but everyone agreed it was full of wicked people, sick with greed and arrogance. Tambacounda would gladly kill every one of them before letting them take him back to his master in Vermont. He felt good when he and his mates slit the throats of British soldiers and sailors while commandeering merchant ships flying Union Jack.

Mostly, though, Tambacounda liked the way Tortugans shared with each other, feasting, playing, and watching over the children. It was different from his childhood: here there were many stories of people, animals and how the world came to be like it is; there were no black enemies or kings, and unlike New England, no governors or judges or reverends. Tortugan disagreements were settled by talking with all his neighbors—sometimes all day and all night—until an understanding was reached and fair amends determined. Everyone felt good to put things back in order. Tortuga had no jails.