A journal entry - Not a drop - Day 3

Here's an excerpt from my new book of essays.

Purchase it today at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B39QPLW


Yesterday, the day before and today I have been bathing with a sponge, washing my hands from a bucket, and cooking and brushing my teeth with bottled water. This is due to the fact that somewhere, somehow, there is no water flowing into my house. There was water flowing into my house literally, before I took possession of it. it was flowing in and all around the basement. My agent found that out. She called everyone that she could: including the sellers agent and nothing happened. So, she called the county sheriff, who called the water department, who came and shut it off. This was good... Usually the pool goes outside the house. so the sellers agent, after a couple of days of procrastination, calls the seller (who is a bank) and the bank calls her back and tells her to go fix it or get fired, so she calls a plumber who then in turn comes and installs a new cut-off valve where the leak was. Cool.

So we take possession of this quaint little 1800 square foot house in an adjoining county to Tippecanoe county, where we have just recently moved from, which is the home of Lafayette, which is in Indiana, which we moved to from Tulsa, coincidentally located in Tulsa county, which is obviously in Oklahoma. And here I sit. very stinky. for two days ago I was packing at the old house and my wife was at the new house (where we are now) and she was having a conversation with the water department that went something along the lines of "ok ma’am your water is on from the street, but I have no clue why it is not on inside your house so you have a nice day now goodbye." which is all very fine and good if my wife happened to be a plumber. The last time I checked, she does not plum.

Which leads to a very disturbing text that was sent to me. Which leads to my heavy heart whilst packing, which led nowhere, because packing took priority and I had a U-Haul to fill. So I am packing and she has returned and I have just spend most of the day filling the seventeen foot U-Haul by myself with help from her putting things in boxes. our only challenge was our couch. well... that and the three inches of snow that fell while I was packing... when it came time to finally put the couch in the truck I knew that she would not be good for it, so we got as far as we could... knowing that God would do something cool, because He usually does stuff like that to me all the time. a guy and a gal were walking by and I had a weird feeling that I should ask him to help us, and lo and behold it was one of Jennifer’s friends: the great x-ray. Seriously, the guys name is Xavier Ray. and I want to pay him when he's done, but he turns down the offer of Abraham and is on his way. but I think the point of this paragraph was to tell you of the trials and tribulations of me trying to get packed when water was on Jennifer’s mind and I am telling her that packing is a priority over water at this point and she gives me the fire-eyes and says: IS IT to which I melt away from the burning sensation and continue to pack on my own.

And we then at the new place. and our neighbor Sam is helping me dig thru the snow and open up the water cap and peer down at the meter in the dark with a flashlight, a couple of shovels and some questions. ok. the valve is set to the on position... the meter is not moving... both valves in the house are on? oh yeah. Jennifer has a heart-attack almost trying to call the world about where the shut-off valve is to the house while all the while downloading a .pdf from the inspector and it's there on page 45 showing that it is up against the wall, in the crawlspace, behind where the main T is for the sewer connect. and so rock-paper-scissors... even though I won... and I am crawling back in there verifying that it is on... is it on? I yell... NOOO I hear back... is it on? I yell... NOOO I hear back... is it on? I yell... NOOO I hear back - and so it goes, no water. yes Sam, there is no water, and so Sam puts the cap back on the thingy and the other thingy back on the top thingy and leaves me with a five gallon of water and the best wishes, because he and his wife are pretty cool people, and I even give them a tour of our pretty unique dark wooded pocket doors and hand carved pillars and they are like: oh you really got a great deal.

But there is no water today. I spent all that night unloading the trailer while I sent my wife to bed. That nice ramp came in handy. Total move time for me? Fifteen hours. No big deal right? Well tell that to my muscles. They yelled at me all day yesterday. so, ring, ring, hello? yes, come over! Here is our agent crawling around there yesterday and she couldn't figure it out... Leftie loosie and rightie tightie, we brought a heater down there to try to warm it up... maybe it is frozen we think. but in the end I believe that there is naught we can do but shell out the money ourselves and hire a plumber who will either lay hands on it and a miracle will happen or just dig up my backyard and repair a crack from the water main at the street to where it comes into our house... but I am still of the opinion that it is frozen from the street to our house, but what do I really know anyway, I am tired, my hands are gross, my feet stink, my pits and crotch have some sort of jungle-party happening, there is a pile of dishes beginning that will probably become some monstrosity, and I have just used the last of the five gallon bucket to flush a morning bowel movement...

And my friend asked on Facebook a couple of days ago: is running water a need or a want? to which I still have my answer: it is not a need still... But the price of working so hard to get fresh water for all of the daily tasks that I have make it probably number one on my convenience list. So if I divided up all the things in my life into the "need, want and desire" categories? If water is in the need category, then running water is at the top of the charts of the want category. I would like to lie (still) and say that it is a need, but it's not. You can always haul water... it takes a lot of time. Too much time for me I say. so all I can do is wait until the plumber is called and in the mean time? Be meek and inventive.

One day, when I look back and this and laugh, I hope to do so... while taking a long, hot shower.

PT Shamrock's Mid June 2020 Newsletter

PT Shamrock's Mid June 2020 Newsletter

"Only one form of contagion travels faster than a virus. And that's fear."
- Dan Brown
In this issue:
* Welcome To Freedumbville USSA!
* Bend Over!
* Food for thought
* The District of Criminals
* Police State
* Red Hot Product!
* Advisory
* Benjamin Netanyahu Proposes Mark Of The Beast,
* Shamrock's Missive
* Letters To The Editor
* Quote of the month!
*** Welcome To Freedumbville USSA!
"Your Every Move Will Be Watched": Post-COVID Offices To Resemble China's Social Credit System
- Tyler Durden
We recently detailed how when America's white collar work force returns to their offices, business complexes, and sky scrapers, their experience in the post-COVID 'reopened' work space is likely to resemble something more like an airport security check zone, complete with invasive protocols like frequent temperature checks and 'social distancing' and health surviellance, as well as Plexiglass enclosed cubicles and HR-style enforcement monitors.
If all that sounds like a hassle, the WSJ has since taken up the question of America's near-future office spaces, and the end result looks to be worse than expected. "Your every move will be watched," the report emphasizes:
In Midtown Manhattan, thermal cameras will measure body temperatures as employees file into a 32-story office tower at Rockefeller Center. The building's owner, RXR Realty, said it is also developing a mobile app for tenants to monitor — and score — how closely their workers are complying with social distancing.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said it is preparing to launch this month a phone app for employers that traces contacts by analyzing workers' interactions in the office. More than 50 clients have expressed interest, including some of the nation's biggest banks, manufacturers and energy companies.
It sounds like something very close to China's 'big brother' social credit scoring system which made world headlines last year, as it relies on cutting edge facial recognition software designed to permanently store a citizen profile while actively tracking individuals' public movements.
There's already been reported instances of Chinese citizens being prevented from taking trains due to the system forecasting they might not be able to pay, or some other 'pre-crime' risks.
And now this is getting closer to home, possibly coming to an office near you:
Advertising giant Interpublic Group of Cos . is exploring dividing its 22,000 U.S. employees into three separate groups, according to perceived health risks, which could include age. Workers could be asked to disclose medical and other personal information about themselves and, in some cases, family members...
"It is a reasonable approach, if you can get through the operational and some of the privacy and regulatory issues," Dr. Ossmann said.
It's certainly alarming anytime it has to be admitted that "privacy issues" are merely a pesky little something to "get through".
The Wall Street Journal
Covid-19 is taking workplace surveillance to a higher level, with some employers planning to track movements and gather personal information like never before in Western democracies https://on.wsj.com/2W3wRbw
Welcome Back to the Office. Your Every Move Will Be Watched.

Employers plan new tools to measure office interactions and track workers' health. Some offices say it's the only way to reopen without a vaccine; others worry the new technology could remain in...
There's already talk of health tracking apps set up on a reward/punishment system of incentives sounding like something straight out of the dystopian futuristic series Black Mirror.
This would further be integrated with controversial thermal imaging technology - some already set up at Amazon warehouses - capable of storing face recognition data (thought the company promises not to activate the storing software).
And it's complete with live "guinea pigs" — rather, currently returning office employees, as the WSJ writes of one real estate company:
RXR, the real-estate company, is testing new systems on its own employees. "We are using ourselves as the guinea pigs," RXR's Chief Executive Scott Rechler said.
The company aims to have its social-distancing app ready at the end of May. Workers' movements are tracked through their smartphones — you get a higher score the more time in the office you are farther than 6 feet from another person. An individual would see his or her own score, and the employer would see aggregate data on how employees are complying with social distancing as a whole.
Your email...
Comply or else what?... Yet another reason why employees would have to worry about keeping their jobs.
And more on labeling broad groups of employees according to perceived COVID-19 risk factors:
A worker that tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, indicating they had the infection in the past, would be considered a "Level 1" employee — the lowest risk— and could return to work when states and cities lift work-from-home orders.
Those without antibodies but who are considered a low to moderate risk would count as "Level 2." This group would include employees who are under 65 years old, don't live with high-risk people and don't have chronic diseases including diabetes or hypertension. This group could potentially return to work in a second wave.
Employees over 65, or those who are pregnant, smoke, have chronic diseases or health issues would be considered "Level 3." These at-risk employees would have to wait the longest to return, Dr. Ossmann said.
We wonder when the initial discrimination lawsuits based on how identifying characteristics are interpreted and assigned would start rolling down hill.
But again, to see how all of this would actually play out, one need only watch episodes of the Black Mirror. What could go wrong?
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*** Bend Over!
Wrong Think
Twitter Will Now Warn You If You Are About to Post Wrongthink
- Allum Bokhar
Are you about to post a tweet containing "harmful" language? Don’t worry — Twitter is experimenting with a feature that will warn you ahead of time, so you don't accidentally infect any users with your wrongthink.
"When things get heated, you may say things you don't mean," wrote Twitter's official support account in a tweet yesterday.
"To let you rethink a reply, we're running a limited experiment on iOS with a prompt that gives you the option to revise your reply before it's published if it uses language that could be harmful."
It's a bit like "precrime" in the 2002 Tom Cruise film Minority Report. Twitter will notice when you're about to use a bad word, giving you the chance to avoid a rule violation and save your account from the digital gulag.
"We're trying to encourage people to rethink their behavior and rethink their language before posting because they often are in the heat of the moment and they might say something they regret," said Sunita Saligram, Twitter's global head of site policy for trust and safety, in a comment to Reuters.
Twitter's "trust and safety" department was acknowledged by its then-policy manager, Olinda Hassan to be "controversial," in an undercover video recorded by Project Veritas in 2018.
In the same secretly-recorded exchange, Hassan said one of the things the Trust & Safety team was working on in 2018 was ways to "get the shitty people to not show up." (The comment was made in response to an undercover reporter asking her about the prominence of tweets from author and filmmaker Mike Cernovich).
Twitter now appears to be taking a different approach. Instead of trying to get you to not show up, the platform intends to train its users out of their bad behavior, like unruly dogs.
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Food for thought
The price of Covid freedom may be eternal spying
- Andy Mukherjee
Much of our pre-coronavirus lives may be reclaimable with some modifications around how we work, socialise and travel. In one crucial way, though, the post-pandemic landscape will be very different: The individual's autonomy over her data may be lost forever. Our mobiles will keep us safe — by spying on us.
This will have important consequences for the relationship not just between citizens and governments, but also between consumers and businesses.
Blame the coming end of privacy on success. South Korea and Taiwan have won acclaim for flattening the Covid-19 curve by digitally tracking infected persons. As my colleague Anjani Trivedi described in March, no government was using dispersed databases as extensively to fight the spread of the disease as Seoul. Before an explosive outbreak in its worker dormitories, Singapore earned praise for TraceTogether, which claims to be the first Bluetooth contact-tracing app covering an entire nation. The 1.4 million users represent roughly a fourth of the island's population.
It hasn't gone unnoticed that enthusiastic adapters of such software are in East Asia where, as MIT Sloan School of Management professor Yasheng Huang and others note, "a collectivist spirit may encourage civic-minded embrace of and a more willing compliance with governments' infection control."
But while cultural differences can help explain the beginning, the end game may be more universal: power and profit. Safely restarting economies will require governments to restore trust in people mingling in factories, offices, cafes and trains. It can supposedly be done with data more granular than what can be obtained from cellphone networks. Hence states want access to phones, with or without informed consent. Turning the clock back will be hard, if not impossible.
Take India's Aarogya Setu, or Bridge of Health, Covid-19 contact-tracing app. It's got privacy warriors worried because the country lacks a data protection framework. Among other things, activists want the government to ensure that "any data collected in an external server is designed to be deleted and that it won't be integrated with other databases," according to a working paper by the New Delhi-based Internet Freedom Foundation. For now, there are only assurances that the app will wither away once the outbreak is contained, but no legal guarantees.
The Singaporean app records physical proximity in an anonymised form on smartphones. Minimal data is stored on servers. Only if a user falls sick are his contacts tracked and alerted. Given that it's been less than two years since the revelation that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's health records were hacked, I'd hesitate to brand the experiment as foolproof. But it's at least a voluntary exchange. India's app is anything but. As the country tentatively reopens after a 43-day lockdown, it's been made mandatory — first for public-sector employees and now for private-sector workers. Company bosses are liable to ensure their workers download the app, though nobody is accountable for misuse of data.
TraceTogether's building blocks are in the public domain. The source code of Aarogya Setu is yet to be opened. The Indian government recently denied a French security researcher's claim that the privacy of 90 million Indians is at stake. Hours later, the so-called ethical hacker who goes by the name of Elliott Anderson tweeted that five people were feeling unwell in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office.
Where boundaries between private and public are thin to begin with, a pandemic can make them disappear. A New York Times analysis of China's Alipay Health Code software, which mixes a cocktail of data to colour-code a person's health status, found that some information is shared with the police. The digital prowess of Alibaba Group Ltd. or its rival, Tencent Holdings Ltd., has no match in India. But firms are eager to harness the online footprints of the country's 1.3 billion people. Covid-19 might give those plans a fillip.
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*** The District of Criminals
Ex-Fauci Employee Who Was Jailed Speaks Out In Viral Interviews
- Kelen McBreen
An expert virologist who worked under Anthony Fauci before being jailed and placed on a 5-year gag order is speaking out in a pair of viral interviews.
One interview comes as part of a documentary called Plandemic that is being censored by YouTube.
The Plandemic filmmakers released a half-hour long vignette where renowned scientist Judy Mikovits PHD exposes Dr. Fauci's involvement in purposely withholding information that could have saved millions of lives during the AIDS epidemic.
"The entire continent of Africa lost a generation as that virus was spread through because of the arrogance of a group of people, and it includes Robert Redfield who's now the head of the CDC, right along with Tony Fauci," she explains.
The full film is set to be released this summer.
YouTube uploads of the interview are being taken down, but with multitudes of users uploading the video to their accounts, several versions still exist.
Plandemicmovie.com states, "In an effort to bypass the gatekeepers of free speech, we invite you to download this interview by simply clicking the button below, then uploading directly to all of your favorite platforms."
Another interview with Dr. Mikovits, uploaded by popular YouTube channel Valuetainment, has been viewed over 1 million times in one week.
In the nearly 2-hour interview, Patrick Bet-David asks Dr. Mikovits about her two books, her history with Dr. Fauci, life as a fugitive and much more.
One thing is certain, the establishment wants to silence Dr. Mikovits, but the people are hungry for the information she's presenting.
From the Plandemic website:
Humanity is imprisoned by a killer pandemic. People are being arrested for surfing in the ocean and meditating in nature. Nations are collapsing. Hungry citizens are rioting for food. The media has generated so much confusion and fear that people are begging for salvation in a syringe. Billionaire patent owners are pushing for globally mandated vaccines. Anyone who refuses to be injected with experimental poisons will be prohibited from travel, education and work. No, this is not a synopsis for a new horror movie. This is our current reality.
Let's back up to address how we got here…
In the early 1900s, America's first Billionaire, John D. Rockefeller bought a German pharmaceutical company that would later assist Hitler to implement his eugenics-based vision by manufacturing chemicals and poisons for war. Rockefeller wanted to eliminate the competitors of Western medicine, so he submitted a report to Congress declaring that there were too many doctors and medical schools in America, and that all natural healing modalities were unscientific quackery. Rockefeller called for the standardization of medical education, whereby only his organization be allowed to grant medical school licenses in the US. And so began the practice of immune suppressive, synthetic and toxic drugs. Once people had become dependent on this new system and the addictive drugs it provided, the system switched to a paid program, creating lifelong customers for the Rockefellers. Currently, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US. Rockefeller's secret weapon to success was the strategy known as, "problem-reaction-solution." Create a problem, escalate fear, then offer a pre-planned solution. Sound familiar?
Flash forward to 2020…
They named it COVID19. Our leaders of world health predicted millions would die. The National Guard was deployed. Makeshift hospitals were erected to care for a massive overflow of patients. Mass graves were dug. Terrifying news reports had people everywhere seeking shelter to avoid contact. The plan was unfolding with diabolical precision, but the masters of the Pandemic underestimated one thing… the people. Medical professionals and every-day citizens are sharing critical information online. The overlords of big tech have ordered all dissenting voices to be silenced and banned, but they are too late. The slumbering masses are awake and aware that something is not right. Quarantine has provided the missing element: time. Suddenly, our overworked citizenry has ample time to research and investigate for themselves. Once you see, you can't unsee.
The window of opportunity is open like never before. For the first time in human history, we have the world's attention. Plandemic will expose the scientific and political elite who run the scam that is our global health system, while laying out a new plan; a plan that allows all of humanity to reconnect with healing forces of nature. 2020 is the code for perfect vision. It is also the year that will go down in history as the moment we finally opened our eyes.
Editors Note: Do yourself and loved ones a favor and invest 26 minutes of your time watching and listing to this brave person's sad and scary story. Watch it before it is taken off line. – Watch Here - https://youtu.be/kgnBldI7KPY
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*** Police State
Baltimore civil rights groups oppose aerial surveillance pilot program
- Brie Stimson
Civil rights groups in Baltimore voiced their opposition to a pilot program announced by the police department Friday that would involve three surveillance planes flying over the city in an effort to stem violent crime.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the Coalition for Justice, Safety and Jobs issued a joint statement that said the program is a "fateful step" that will "impact the privacy rights of Black and Brown residents for generations to come."
The statement said the airplanes would put every Baltimore resident under permanent surveillance.
City solicitor Andre Davis, left, listens as Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, right, announces support for a pilot program that uses surveillance planes over the city to combat crime on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Baltimore. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
City solicitor Andre Davis, left, listens as Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, right, announces support for a pilot program that uses surveillance planes over the city to combat crime on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Baltimore. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, who was a previous skeptic of the program, said the test (which could last up to six months) will be "yet another tool" to fight the increasing violence in the city.
The planes will collect imagery during high crime hours, with technology developed by Ohio-based Persistent Surveillance Systems, that will be reviewed by investigators for specific crimes.
Harrison added that police will not have access to live feeds.
"We will be the first American city to use this technology in an attempt to solve and deter violent crime," Harrison said in a news conference Friday.
The pilot program set to launch in May 2020 has been controversial since it was secretively tried three years ago by a different police commissioner.
Top officials were unaware of the program's use in 2016 until it was reported by Bloomberg Businessweek. More than 300 hours of images were captured by the cameras. The images were primarily used to see criminals arriving to and leaving crime scenes.
"During the short test in 2016, in the equivalent of two weeks of flying, we watched five murders and 18 shootings and provided that information to investigators. We look forward to supporting the people of Baltimore in their efforts to reduce major crime and we look forward to doing so in a very open and transparent way," the company's president said.
Harrison announced there will be a series of meetings to inform the public about the test and how it will benefit the city. The cost of the program will be covered by philanthropic funds, not tax dollars.
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*** Advisory
The Ultra-Rich Are Now Buying 'Pandemic Passports' So They Can Move to Safer Countries
Applications for new nationalities have increased 42 percent since last year, according to citizenship broker Henley & Partners.
- Robb Report

Australian PassportJamen Percy/Shutterstock
Wealthy travelers have been playing a game of "beat the ban" as countries have closed their borders to try to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Getting it wrong can be very expensive, as one British couple recently learned. The pair bought two GBP10,000 ($12,000) first-class tickets to escape from London to Barbados, but they were so worried that British Airways would axe its service that they paid GBP100,00 ($125,000) to charter a private jet instead. (BA carried on flying.)
Now the super-rich are buying the ultimate insurance policy to make sure they will be able to travel to whatever virus-free, sunny bolt-hole they choose, if a second spike in Covid-19 infections triggers another global lockdown. The world's wealthiest are snapping up multiple citizenships in countries around the world.
Henley & Partners, a London-based citizenship broker, is one of the biggest players in the nearly $4 billion-a-year "identity management" business (a.k.a. "passports for sale"). The firm's latest figures show a 42 percent year-over-year increase in the number of people filing a formal application for a new nationality during the first three months of 2020. The number of inquiries is up by 25 percent.
"'Investment migration' has shifted from being about living the life you want in terms of holidays and business travel to a more holistic vision that includes healthcare and safety," Dr. Christian Kalin, the firm's chairman, told Robb Report.
Private jet
So, what exactly is convincing high net worth individuals that they need an escape plan? According to one Italian multi-millionaire who is critical of his government's handling of the pandemic, the decision came down to two factors: the varying performance of national healthcare services and the closure of national borders, which has split up families. "We want to know there is a safe place, with good medical services, that the whole family can go to at short notice if we need to," the millionaire told Robb Report. "Only citizenship can guarantee that." Countries that have closed borders have continued to admit nationals returning home. Most national airlines have maintained some flights to major capitals.
The most popular "pandemic passports" or permanent residency programs are those of Australia, Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta and Montenegro. All offer nationality or permanent residency in return for a direct donation to the national treasury or investments in local property or businesses. It can cost as little as $100,000 per family member in the Caribbean, rising through €1 million to €uro 2 million ($1.1 million to $2.2 million) in Malta and Cyprus, to €uro 7 million ($7.6 million) in Austria.
Australia and Austria are particularly attractive because they not only have high-quality national health services but the government of each country acted quickly to limit the spread of the virus. The United Kingdom, which has been a magnet for the super-rich in recent years and offers residency—but not a passport—in return for multi-million-pound investments, is not considered a safe haven because critics say the government botched its handling of the pandemic by reacting too slowly to the threat and failing to ensure the National Health Service was properly prepared.
Although having funds to buy multiple citizenship's gives the rich an advantage in protecting their health and lifestyle, Kalin points out that the fees and taxes they pay are a source of much-needed capital for hard-pressed governments that now have to raise funds to pay for Covid-19 emergency economic bail-out programs. "Take Antigua," he says. "It depends on tourism and now there is none and there won't be for some time. It needs fresh sources of funds. Citizenship by investment is one."
Editor's Note: You may not be one of the super rich, but you most likely can afford the "2nd Best Passport!" Email the leprechaun for full particulars simply by placing "2nd Best Passport!" in your email subject heading and we'll forward you complete details.
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*** It's Official! Benjamin Netanyahu Proposes Mark Of The Beast, Calls For All Children To Be Microchipped First
This follows Bill & Melinda Gates filing patents for similar systems
- Infowars
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for all children to be microchipped in the name of protecting public health.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Netanyahu suggested the Health Ministry use new technology to help Israel socially adapt ahead of lifting the coronavirus lockdown. "That is, technology that has not been used before and is allowed under the legislation we shall enact," he clarified.
"I spoke with our heads of technology in order to find measures Israel is good at, such as sensors. For instance, every person, every kid – I want it on kids first – would have a sensor that would sound an alarm when you get too close, like the ones on cars," Netanyahu said.
Hear that? Children are just like cars! So why can't they be microchipped like cars?
However, the prime minister received swift pushback from cybersecurity experts, with some claiming that using the implantable microchip technology to keep children socially distant is "fictional and dangerous."
"It will be hard to do it to more than a million schoolchildren who return to their educational institutions in order to ensure one student sits at the distance of two meters from another. It is fictional and dangerous," cyber resilience expert Einat Meron told Ynet.
"Theoretically, I get the idea behind it," she said. "But although such distance-sensitive microchips exist in vehicles, it is different in humans."
"A beeping sound telling me I got close to someone is not enough. Who says it will change anything? I would have gotten closer either way," Meron added.
This comes after Bill Gates announced his plan to implement tracking bracelets and invisible tattoos for Americans to monitor their health.
Additionally, Microsoft filed patent #060606 in 2020, which details a technology that uses internal human body activity to mine cryptocurrency.
The dam that is the globalist dehumanization agenda is breaking, with all its advanced tracking and control systems already being rolled out.
In China, the communist regime uses a social credit system to control how its population makes purchases.
Here in the U.S., the same technology is being rolled out to control Americans, but in the name of medical security and public health.
And remember, this is in addition to Big Pharma's plan to vaccinate over 1 billion people by next year.
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Shamrock's Missive:
Probably the last thing you want to read about is anything to do with the "Covo19 virus." However I would be remiss if I didn't put my thoughts into this missive for you to ponder. Like 9/11/2001 previously, this Covo19 virus will change the world as we knew it.
As I write these words, we're still in a lock-down mode, which was once again extended. I suppose I should be happy about this, as according to the powers to be being one of those most at risk, i.e., a person over 60, is more likely to contact the dreaded Covo19 than younger folks!
That said there just may be a hidden opportunity with all this virus mess we're in and have been going through. Sooner or later, as always in the past, we'll recover economically from this financial debacle we're going though.
As you may very well realize, banking internationally today has become a less than a pleasant experience. Banks one has dealt with and have had accounts with for many years, are demanding ever more papers, KYC, invoices and much more in order to "prove" their financial transactions are legitimate.
Then try opening an account offshore, especially if you happen to be one of our American friends! Most offshore banks won't touch American clients with a ten foot pole because of Amerika's arcane banking laws. For others, personal appearances at the bank are mandatory, plus having a banks proctologist examine your entire financial life, demanding an unbelievable level of financial intrusion into ones life just for considering you as a possible account opening client, all of which is reprehensible to say the least.
Having had a good deal of time on hand due to travel restrictions, etc., we've kept ourselves busy contacting numerous banking contacts around the world. Banks are hurting nearly as much as we are these days. And the very good news is that some banks we've contacted have become very much more flexible regarding account openings and offering accounts to our Americans friends.
Enter the leprechaun! The leprechaun truly uncovered the "Pot Of Gold" at the end of the rainbow! Now you can get your fair share of the goodies before the rules of the game are changed as they usually are after a time. If one gets in on the ground floor now before the rules and requirements are changed, one is grandfathered in under the current rules and regulations, i.e. no visit required and NO taxes!
Check out some of the Worldwide Bank Accounts With No Visit Required the good ole leprechaun has uncovered!
Jurisdictions offered are:
* US Bank accounts (for Non-Residents)
* USA Electronic Money Institution Bank
* Bank Account in Puerto Rico ( US )
* Non-Residents USA Offshore company
* UK EMI bank accounts and UK company
* Switzerland Bank Account
* European Business Bank Account
* Non-Residents UK Offshore company formation Package
* Private limited companies
* Cyprus Bank Account
* Mauritius Bank Account
* Hong Kong EMI Bank Account With No Visit Required
The UK banking setup makes an incredibly unique banking opportunity as there are no taxes due, so long as you do not derive income from within the UK, in addition that there is currently NO visit to the bank being required! As an extra special benefit, a UK company and UK bank account offers squeaky clean banking, that lowers ones profile considerably!
We offer, though not advertised, the possibility of a NO ID, UK company and UK bank account using nominees. Although this option is a bit more expensive than those listed above, what cost do you place on privacy for such a no ID option? (You'll have to ask separately for this option.)
I must admit I haven't been this excited about offshore banking for many a year now! The requirements to open and the cost to open companies and accounts are very affordable indeed. I urge you if you have been thinking about opening an offshore bank account with little hassles and requirements possible, then take action right away and DO IT NOW!
Just email the leprechaun for complete details simply by placing "Worldwide Bank Accounts - No Visit Required" in the subject heading of your email. We'll send you complete details immediately thereafter.
See you next issue
"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
- Edmund Burke, 1784
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*** Letters to the Editor:
Keep them postcards and letters coming' folks, 'cause we done mailed the rosebushes!
Dear Shamrock:
The US Government is creating ways to prevent people from leaving or traveling within the US. I recently had my drivers license suspended saying I owed child support for kids I do not owe money to!
CSED claims I must pay back thousands of dollars. I cannot win as I've already tried. The Child support enforcement is out of control. I believe that the US Government is going to find a way to make all the people who live here (US) felons, or claim they have fake debts, or force them into "DEBT" to control their traveling or leaving.
I did try to use the link at your web site for your drivers license program, but it didn't work. I would need a new type of drivers ID number or SSN#, I believe to keep them from stopping me the airport if I were to leave or travel within the US. I cannot get a passport here unless I pay the United States Communist Regime.
How much do your driver's licenses cost and where are they from?
From a Friend.
Dear Friend:
Our DL's are created "after hours" from an English speaking Asian issuing office. Therefore, they are not registered in that governments system. That said not a single client over 20 years has had a problem using them, whilst driving in a proper manner or for ID purposes. Naturally if the authorites contacted the DL governments office all bets are off if one had a serious accident or a drink driving offense. Other than those kinbd of serious offenses, that is highly unlikely.
The DL's come with 2 x international drivers licenses, dated consecutively. Note all international dl's (IDL's) are valid for one year only. We include 2 IDL's; dated for example June 1st, 2020 to May 31st, 2021 and the 2nd IDL from June 1st 2021 to May 31st 2022.
The DL is valid for 5 years and can be issued in any name, place and date of birth. The cost is Euro 1,250 including shipping.
Keep the faith!
PT Shamrock
Dear Shamrock:
I've been trying to open an offshore bank account with my driver's license with no lick. Can you help?
Dear R.P.
Unfortunately, offshore banks today require a notarized passport copy, utility bills, plus, plus plus! There is just no way around this nowadays I am sorry to write.
Alternatively, you can order a bank account from us with our Leprechauns' "No ID" option, at additional cost, or our nominee banking package from the UK, which is highly recommended. Email if this information is desired.
All the best,
PT Shamrock
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Quote of the month!
"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say."
- Edward Snowden
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Dear Friend:
If you like our newsletter please tell your friends and associates about us. They can subscribe *FREE* by sending an e-mail to: ptshamrock@ptshamrock.com
Our pledge!
We never spam our subscribers, never rent or give our subscribers list to anyone, and unlike other newsletters do not accept paid advertisements; And of course, our PT Buzz Newsletter is absolutely free, just packed full of interesting privacy news and information with a tad of humor thrown in for good measure.
We're probably the oldest privacy newsletter on the Internet!
Thank you for your patronage and help in spreading the word.
"The right to privacy is a part of our basic freedoms. Privacy is fundamental to close family ties, competitive free enterprise, the ownership of property, and the exchange of ideas."
PT Shamrock - issue one; 1994
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Don't forget to check out our Special Offers at <www.ptshamrock.com>
See you next issue!
"Mehr sein, als scheinen" (German Proverb)
Be more, seem less!
PT Shamrock Limited
Suite #79, 184 Lower Rathmines Road, Rathmines, Dublin D6, Ireland

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murder

BREAKING NEWS: Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd after he knelt on his neck for eight minutes in video which has sparked violent protests nationwide

Derek Chauvin, the officer seen kneeling on George Floyd neck during his arrest, has been taken into custody

Commissioner John Harrington announced Chauvin was arrested by state prosecutors on Friday afternoon  

It comes after Minneapolis was left in ruins following third night of riots and protests over Floyd's death 

Chaotic scenes and protests also unfolded across several states including New York, Colorado and Ohio

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder after he knelt on the neck of black man George Floyd in a video of his arrest that sparked violent protests across the country.  

The 44-year-old white cop was arrested by state investigators on Friday afternoon and was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced. 

His arrest comes a day after prosecutors had warned there was 'evidence that did not support criminal charges' in the case, saying they needed to prove Chauvin had used 'excessive' force on Floyd. 

Freeman said the charges were laid after the state were able to 'gather the evidence that we need.' He did not have immediate details but said a criminal complaint would be made publicly available later.

He also highlighted the 'extraordinary speed' in charging the case just four days after Floyd's death, but also defended himself against questions about why it did not happen sooner. 

As for the other three officers who were fired alongside Chauvin over Floyd's death - J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao - Freeman said the investigation is ongoing and prosecutors chose to focus on the 'most dangerous perpetrator'. 

The charges come after three days of riots and protests that erupted across Minneapolis - and several states - demanding justice for 46-year-old Floyd. 

n widely circulated footage, Floyd was seen on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back as Chauvin pinned him to the pavement until he lost consciousness and later died. 

As news of Chauvin's arrest broke around the country, protesters in Minneapolis were seen chanting: 'One down, three to go' and 'all four got to go', while in Florida, crowds rallied outside a town home belonging to the former cop.   

Floyd family attorney Ben Crump, who was among the first to call for criminal charges to be laid against Chauvin in the wake of Floyd's death, said the move is 'a welcome but overdue step on the road to justice' and demanded he be tried for murder in the first degree. 

'We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the other officers arrested,' Crump said in a statement. 

'We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer. The pain that the black community feels over this murder and what it reflects about the treatment of black people in America is raw and is spilling out onto streets across America.

'While this is a right and necessary step, we need the City of Minneapolis – and cities across the country – to fix the policies and training deficiencies that permitted this unlawful killing – and so many others – to occur.'

US Attorney General William Barr meanwhile said he is 'confident justice will be served', calling the videos of Floyd's death 'harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing.'

The Justice Department and FBI are conducting an investigation to determine whether federal civil rights laws were broken.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Friday acknowledged the 'abject failure' of the response to this week's violent protests which left Minneapolis in ruins after hundreds of businesses were looted and destroyed, and the Third Police Precinct was burned to the ground. 

As riots raged on, President Trump threatened to 'assume control' of Minneapolis with military intervention, warning 'thugs' 'when the looting starts the shooting starts', in a tweet that was flagged by Twitter for 'glorifying violence.'

Trump tried to clarify his comments following Chauvin's arrest in another tweet saying he intended to call for peace on the streets to avoid further deaths. 

'Looting leads to shooting, and that's why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night - or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don't want this to happen, and that's what the expression put out last night means.... 

'It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It's very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!'

The message followed an earlier tweet in which Trump urged to 'REVOKE 230!' after signing an executive order Thursday seeking to strip social media giants of their legal protections, potentially exposing them to a flood of lawsuits. 

Twitter would flagged the president's incendiary tweet hours after he announced the order.   

Walz told reporters earlier that Trump's tweets were 'not helpful'. 

'I did speak to the President. At that point in time, it was in the process where I said we were going to assume control of this and it was unnecessary,' he said. 

Governor Walz said the state would take over the response and asked citizens to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering.

'Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire. The fire is still smoldering in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish unheard,' Walz said, adding. 'Now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world - and the world is watching.'

The governor cited a call he received from a state senator who described her district 'on fire, no police, no firefighters, no social control, constituents locked in houses wondering what they were going to do. That is an abject failure that cannot happen.'  

'We have to restore order...before we turn back to where we should be spending our energy - making sure that justice is served,' he said. 

'We cannot have the looting and the recklessness that went on [last night].' 

His comments came the morning after protesters torched a police station that officers abandoned during a third night of violence. 

Livestream video showed protesters entering the building, where intentionally set fires activated smoke alarms and sprinklers. 

The governor faced tough questions after National Guard leader Major Gen. Jon Jensen blamed a lack of clarity about the Guard´s mission for a slow response. 

Walz said the state was in a supporting role and that it was up to city leaders to run the situation. 

Walz said it became apparent as the 3rd Precinct was lost that the state had to step in, which happened at 12:05 a.m. Requests from the cities for resources 'never came,' he said.

'You will not see that tonight, there will be no lack of leadership,' Walz said 

On Friday morning, nearly every building in the shopping district around the abandoned police station had been vandalized, burned or looted. 

National Guard members were in the area, with several of them lined up, keeping people away from the police station.

Dozens of volunteers swept up broken glass in the street, doing what they could to help.

Dozens of fires were also set in nearby St. Paul, where nearly 200 businesses were damaged or looted. 

Protests spread across the US fueled by outrage over Floyd's death, and years of violence against African Americans at the hands of police. 

Demonstrators clashed with officers in New York and blocked traffic in Columbus, Ohio, and Denver. 

In Southern California, nine people were arrested after rocks were thrown at businesses, vehicles and officers during a protest in Fontana where about 100 people moved up and down a thoroughfare and blocked traffic. 

Police said an unlawful assembly was declared and the crowd was ordered to disperse but some persisted.  

Elsewhere in the region, demonstrators gathered outside Los Angeles police headquarters but there was no repeat of Wednesday evening's action in which protesters blocked freeways and attacked two Highway Patrol cruisers.

Chaos also spread over in New Mexico where four people in Albuquerque were taken into custody near a protest after gunshots were fired from a vehicle. There were no reports of injuries from the gunshots and it wasn't clear whether that incident was related to the protest. 

Albuquerque police used a helicopter and tear gas to disperse a crowd of people after several police cars had windows broken out during an confrontation with 'an angry mob.' Department spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said no injuries were reported. 

In New York City, NYPD officers were seen brawling on the ground with protesters as at least 70 people were arrested in the Big Apple. 

Protesters in Ohio smashed the windows of the statehouse in downtown Columbus and raided the building and demonstrators damaged a police cruiser in downtown Los Angeles. 

Over in Kentucky, seven people were shot in downtown Louisville during a protest demanding justice for black woman Breonna Taylor who was shot dead by cops back in March, as the Floyd case reignited tensions between cops and the African-American community.   

President Trump waded in on the escalating violence in Minneapolis in the early hours of Friday as he warned he would step in and take over if officials fail to bring the rioting under control. 

He blasted the 'Radical Left Mayor' Frey saying he needs to 'get his act together' while slamming protesters for 'dishonoring the memory' of Floyd and warning 'when the looting starts, the shooting starts'.

'I can't stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.....,' the president tweeted.  

'These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!'

Speaking in the early hours of this morning, Mayor Frey fired back at the president and said: 'Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis.'

'Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at someone else during a time of crisis,' he said.  

'Is this a difficult time period? Yes, but you'd better be damn sure that we're going to get through this.'

Frey said he understood the 'pain and anger right now in our city', but added that 'what we have seen over the last several hours and the past couple of nights in terms of looting is unacceptable'. 

The mayor revealed it was him who had decided to evacuate the Third Precinct after determining that there were 'imminent threats to both officers and public'. 

'The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, of our officers or the public. We could not risk serious injury to anyone,' he said. 'Brick and mortar is not as important as life.' 

Minneapolis city officials issued a warning for protesters and residents to flee the scene of the Third Police Precinct as gas lines were cut because 'other explosive materials are in the building'. 

'If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes,' the city government wrote in a Twitter update shortly before midnight.  

Protesters broke into the police precinct at around 10pm, smashing up windows and setting fires inside. 

As flames engulfed the building, protesters gathered out the front chanting 'I can't breathe' - some of the last words Floyd said before he died. 

Minneapolis Police released a statement saying that officers had fled the scene: 'In the interest of the safety of our personnel, the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated the 3rd Precinct of its staff. Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires.' 


Timeline: George Floyd's death at the hands to Minneapolis police sparks nationwide protests  
Monday, May 25

Cell phone video shows George Floyd, handcuffed and pinned to the ground, with one police officer - Derek Chauvin - kneeling on his neck for eight minutes.

Floyd, 46, is heard pleading: 'I can't breathe', as he is arrested by four cops for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. He later died. 

Tuesday, May 26

Four Minneapolis officers involved in the incident, including Chauvin and Tou Thao, are fired. Minnesota Mayor Jacob Frey says it is 'the right call'.

As calls mount for the cops to face murder charges, the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension launch an investigation. 

That night, the first of several protests over Floyd's death take place in Minneapolis, with protesters shouting: 'I can't breathe!'

These words echo Floyd's plea to officers but the phrase also became a rallying cry in 2014 after the death of Eric Garner, another black man who was killed in police custody during an arrest for the illegal sale of cigarettes.

Wednesday, May 27

Protests continue into a second night in Minneapolis and spread nationwide to Los Angeles and Memphis, Tennessee.  

As anger mounts, the protests become violent with one person in Minneapolis shot dead, stores are looted and buildings are set on fire. 

Police in riot gear fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the thousands of protesters demanding justice for Floyd. 

Mayor Frey called for the officer's to be charged and said 'I want to see justice for George Floyd.' 

It is revealed Chauvin been subject to at least 12 conduct reports since 2001.  

Thursday, May 28

A third night of protests with demonstrations in Minneapolis, Memphis, Louisville, Phoenix, New York City and Columbus, Ohio. 

Protesters burn down the Third Precinct building while 500 National Guards are dispatched to the riots in Minneapolis. 

At least 70 New Yorkers are arrested after clashing with the NYPD.

Protesters in Ohio breached the city's courthouse and shots were fired at the Colorado State Capitol.  

Friday, May 29 

President Trump blasts ‘radial left Mayor’ Frey and warned ‘thugs’ that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ on Twitter.

The phrase comes from former Miami Police Chief Walter Headley in 1967 when referring to ‘slum hoodlums’ who he believed took advantage of the Civil Rights Movement.

Twitter flags Trump’s tweet for violating its rules about glorifying violence. It comes mere days after the president was fact-checked, sparking a row with the social media giant.

Black CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez is arrested on live TV while reporting on the riots in Minneapolis

Officer Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death.

The Ickabog JK Rowling

The Ickabog

JK Rowling

Chapter 1

King Fred the Fearless

Once upon a time, there was a tiny country called Cornucopia, which had been ruled for centuries by a long line of fair-haired kings. The king at the time of which I write was called King Fred the Fearless. He’d announced the ‘Fearless’ bit himself, on the morning of his coronation, partly because it sounded nice with ‘Fred’, but also because he’d once managed to catch and kill a wasp all by himself, if you didn’t count five footmen and the boot boy.

King Fred the Fearless came to the throne on a huge wave of popularity. He had lovely yellow curls, fine sweeping moustaches and looked magnificent in the tight breeches, velvet doublets, and ruffled shirts that rich men wore at the time. Fred was said to be generous, smiled and waved whenever anyone caught sight of him and looked awfully handsome in the portraits that were distributed throughout the kingdom, to be hung in town halls. The people of Cornucopia were most happy with their new king, and many thought he’d end up being even better at the job than his father, Richard the Righteous, whose teeth (though nobody had liked to mention it at the time) were rather crooked.

King Fred was secretly relieved to find out how easy it was to rule Cornucopia. In fact, the country seemed to run itself. Nearly everybody had lots of food, the merchants made pots of gold, and Fred’s advisors took care of any little problem that arose. All that was left for Fred to do was beam at his subjects whenever he went out in his carriage and go hunting five times a week with his two best friends, Lord Spittleworth and Lord Flapoon.

Spittleworth and Flapoon had large estates of their own in the country, but they found it much cheaper and more amusing to live at the palace with the king, eating his food, hunting his stags, and making sure that the king didn’t get too fond of any of the beautiful ladies at court. They had no wish to see Fred married, because a queen might spoil all their fun. For a time, Fred had seemed to rather like Lady Eslanda, who was as dark and beautiful as Fred was fair and handsome, but Spittleworth had persuaded Fred that she was far too serious and bookish for the country to love her as queen. Fred didn’t know that Lord Spittleworth had a grudge against Lady Eslanda. He’d once asked her to marry him, but she’d turned him down.

Lord Spittleworth was very thin, cunning, and clever. His friend Flapoon was ruddy-faced, and so enormous that it required six men to heave him onto his massive chestnut horse. Though not as clever as Spittleworth, Flapoon was still far sharper than the king.

Both lords were expert at flattery, and pretending to be astonished by how good Fred was at everything from riding to tiddlywinks. If Spittleworth had a particular talent, it was persuading the king to do things that suited Spittleworth, and if Flapoon had a gift, it was for convincing the king that nobody on earth was as loyal to the king as his two best friends.

Fred thought Spittleworth and Flapoon were jolly good chaps. They urged him to hold fancy parties, elaborate picnics, and sumptuous banquets, because Cornucopia was famous, far beyond its borders, for its food. Each of its cities was known for a different kind, and each was the very best in the world.

The capital of Cornucopia, Chouxville, lay in the south of the country, and was surrounded by acres of orchards, fields of shimmering golden wheat, and emerald-green grass, on which pure white dairy cows grazed. The cream, flour, and fruit produced by the farmers here was then given to the exceptional bakers of Chouxville, who made pastries.

Think, if you please, of the most delicious cake or biscuit you have ever tasted. Well, let me tell you they’d have been downright ashamed to serve that in Chouxville. Unless a grown man’s eyes filled with tears of pleasure as he bit into a Chouxville pastry, it was deemed a failure and never made again. The bakery windows of Chouxville were piled high with delicacies such as Maidens’ Dreams, Fairies’ Cradles, and, most famous of all, Hopes-of-Heaven, which were so exquisitely, painfully delicious that they were saved for special occasions and everybody cried for joy as they ate them. King Porfirio, of neighbouring Pluritania, had already sent King Fred a letter, offering him the choice of any of his daughters’ hands in marriage in exchange for a lifetime’s supply of Hopes-of-Heaven, but Spittleworth had advised Fred to laugh in the Pluritanian ambassador’s face.

‘His daughters are nowhere near pretty enough to exchange for Hopes-of-Heaven, sire!’ said Spittleworth.

To the north of Chouxville lay more green fields and clear, sparkling rivers, where jet-black cows and happy pink pigs were raised. These in turn served the twin cities of Kurdsburg and Baronstown, which were separated from each other by an arching stone bridge over the main river of Cornucopia, the Fluma, where brightly coloured barges bore goods from one end of the kingdom to another.

Kurdsburg was famous for its cheeses: huge white wheels, dense orange cannonballs, big crumbly blue-veined barrels and little baby cream cheeses smoother than velvet.

Baronstown was celebrated for its smoked and honey-roasted hams, its sides of bacon, its spicy sausages, its melting beefsteaks, and its venison pies.

The savoury fumes rising from the chimneys of the red-brick Baronstown stoves mingled with the odorous tang wafting from the doorways of the Kurdsburg cheesemongers, and for forty miles all around, it was impossible not to salivate breathing in the delicious air.

A few hours north of Kurdsburg and Baronstown, you came upon acres of vineyards bearing grapes as large as eggs, each of them ripe and sweet and juicy. Journey onwards for the rest of the day and you reached the granite city of Jeroboam, famous for its wines. They said of the Jeroboam air that you could get tipsy simply walking its streets. The best vintages changed hands for thousands upon thousands of gold coins, and the Jeroboam wine merchants were some of the richest men in the kingdom.

But a little north of Jeroboam, a strange thing happened. It was as though the magically rich land of Cornucopia had exhausted itself by producing the best grass, the best fruit, and the best wheat in the world. Right at the northern tip came the place known as the Marshlands, and the only things that grew there were some tasteless, rubbery mushrooms and thin dry grass, only good enough to feed a few mangy sheep.

The Marshlanders who tended the sheep didn’t have the sleek, well-rounded, well-dressed appearance of the citizens of Jeroboam, Baronstown, Kurdsburg, or Chouxville. They were gaunt and ragged. Their poorly nourished sheep never fetched very good prices, either in Cornucopia or abroad, so very few Marshlanders ever got to taste the delights of Cornucopian wine, cheese, beef, or pastries. The most common dish in the Marshlands was a greasy mutton broth, made of those sheep who were too old to sell.

The rest of Cornucopia found the Marshlanders an odd bunch – surly, dirty, and ill-tempered. They had rough voices, which the other Cornucopians imitated, making them sound like hoarse old sheep. Jokes were made about their manners and their simplicity. As far as the rest of Cornucopia was concerned, the only memorable thing that had ever come out of the Marshlands was the legend of the Ickabog.

Chapter 2

The Ickabog

The legend of the Ickabog had been passed down by generations of Marshlanders, and spread by word of mouth all the way to Chouxville. Nowadays, everybody knew the story. Naturally, as with all legends, it changed a little depending on who was telling it. However, every story agreed that a monster lived at the very northernmost tip of the country, in a wide patch of dark and often misty marsh too dangerous for humans to enter. The monster was said to eat children and sheep. Sometimes it even carried off grown men and women who strayed too close to the marsh at night.

The habits and appearance of the Ickabog changed depending on who was describing it. Some made it snakelike, others dragonish or wolflike. Some said it roared, others that it hissed, and still others said that it drifted as silently as the mists that descended on the marsh without warning.

The Ickabog, they said, had extraordinary powers. It could imitate the human voice to lure travellers into its clutches. If you tried to kill it, it would mend magically, or else split into two Ickabogs; it could fly, spurt fire, shoot poison – the Ickabog’s powers were as great as the imagination of the teller.

‘Mind you don’t leave the garden while I’m working,’ parents all over the kingdom would tell their children, ‘or the Ickabog will catch you and eat you all up!’ And throughout the land, boys and girls played at fighting the Ickabog, tried to frighten each other with the tale of the Ickabog, and even, if the story became too convincing, had nightmares about the Ickabog.

Bert Beamish was one such little boy. When a family called the Dovetails came over for dinner one night, Mr Dovetail entertained everybody with what he claimed was the latest news of the Ickabog. That night, five-year-old Bert woke, sobbing and terrified, from a dream in which the monster’s huge white eyes were gleaming at him across a foggy marsh into which he was slowly sinking.

‘There, there,’ whispered his mother, who’d tiptoed into his room with a candle and now rocked him backwards and forwards in her lap. ‘There is no Ickabog, Bertie. It’s just a silly story.’

‘B-but Mr Dovetail said sheep have g-gone missing!’ hiccoughed Bert.

‘So they have,’ said Mrs Beamish, ‘but not because a monster took them. Sheep are foolish creatures. They wander off and get lost in the marsh.’

‘B-but Mr Dovetail said p-people disappear, too!’

‘Only people who’re silly enough to stray onto the marsh at night,’ said Mrs Beamish. ‘Hush now, Bertie, there is no monster.’

‘But Mr D-Dovetail said p-people heard voices outside their windows and in the m-morning their chickens were gone!’

Mrs Beamish couldn’t help but laugh.

‘The voices they heard are ordinary thieves, Bertie. Up in the Marshlands they pilfer from each other all the time. It’s easier to blame the Ickabog than to admit their neighbours are stealing from them!’

‘Stealing?’ gasped Bert, sitting up in his mother’s lap and gazing at her with solemn eyes. ‘Stealing’s very naughty, isn’t it, Mummy?’

‘It’s very naughty indeed,’ said Mrs Beamish, lifting up Bert, placing him tenderly back into his warm bed and tucking him in. ‘But luckily, we don’t live near those lawless Marshlanders.’

She picked up her candle and tiptoed back towards the bedroom door.

‘Night, night,’ she whispered from the doorway. She’d normally have added, ‘Don’t let the Ickabog bite,’ which was what parents across Cornucopia said to their children at bedtime, but instead she said, ‘Sleep tight.’

Bert fell asleep again, and saw no more monsters in his dreams.

It so happened that Mr Dovetail and Mrs Beamish were great friends. They’d been in the same class at school, and had known each other all their lives. When Mr Dovetail heard that he’d given Bert nightmares, he felt guilty. As he was the best carpenter in all of Chouxville, he decided to carve the little boy an Ickabog. It had a wide, smiling mouth full of teeth and big, clawed feet, and at once it became Bert’s favourite toy.

If Bert, or his parents, or the Dovetails next door, or anybody else in the whole kingdom of Cornucopia had been told that terrible troubles were about to engulf Cornucopia, all because of the myth of the Ickabog, they’d have laughed. They lived in the happiest kingdom in the world. What harm could the Ickabog do?