Food Trafficking The Biggest Business in Venezuela

With much of the country on the verge of starvation and billions of dollars at stake, food trafficking has become one of the biggest businesses in Venezuela, the AP found. And from generals to foot soldiers, the military is at the heart of the graft, according to documents and interviews with more than 60 officials, business owners and workers, including five former generals.

As a result, food is not reaching those who most need it.

Venezuela military trafficking food as country goes hungry

This story has occurred before elsewhere. Those with might control the right – access to basic necessities, food, water, shelter. It even happened here during Hurricane Katrina (well covered on this blog). It can happen here, again.

This is not a “leftist” issue. It is an issue of corruption. Read the article.

Food “trafficking” in the United States remains dismal. There’s only been 5 orders for all of December. Nobody is preparing for food shortages, storms, droughts, disaster. That’s just the way it is.

Americans have to be alert for corruption too. Our corruption is institutionalized here. Lobbyist buy off Congress, (s)Elections and legislation all of the time. Most people don’t care, but are swift to point out “leftist corruption” in other countries. Our corruption is simply better embedded in both the political and corporate process. It’s well established.

Companies which desire to do business in America will easily buy off county commissioners, State employees and private contractors to obtain the results that they want (favorable approval, permits and licenses and tax incentives). Happens all the time here, every single day. They rarely get caught or prosecuted. Few people care. Even fewer do anything about it.

It’s too easy to blame Venezuela for corrupt politics, or “socialism” or some other reason. Corruption is everywhere and getting worse. I’ve seen it up close and personal in every city and town I’ve lived in. Some Sheriff’s cover up murder, rape, blackmail and theft because they enjoy their authority and position, paying back favors. I’ve seen it. Influential businesses can obtain sweetheart “deals” giving them favorable status and privileges not offered to anyone else. I’ve seen that too.

America is no different then any other country when it comes to corruption. It’s just “nicer” about it, hiding what it can and legislating the rest (legalized theft). Things are pretty shitty in Venezuela right now, but things are pretty shitty in America too.

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Food Trafficking The Biggest Business in Venezuela

  • December 30, 2016 at 8:59 am
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    A recently broadcasted episode of ‘Caribbean’ (Simon Reeve) highlighted the subsidized fuel that was (is?) available in Venezuela and the huge ‘industry’ (certainly the most immediately profitable) of smuggling fuel across the border into Columbia, where fuel prices are much higher.

    Simon also visited a partially constructed tower block that homeless people had moved into when construction ceased, and where they were attempting to establish businesses, such as bending strips of stainless steel using hand tools to make cookie cutters, in the hope of getting enough money to move one rung up the social ladder. Honest, lovable, hardworking people, screwed because Venezuela’s oil wealth was siphoned off for decades by [mostly American] corporations via corrupt American-supported governments. Simon described Venezuela as the worst organized country he had ever visited: so much flowing out of the country and potential wealth within it, and all of it disappearing. And now the American corporations want Venezuela back, and will presumably do whatever is necessary to get it back.

    Anyone with their eyes open can see it has all gone beyond the point of no return at this stage. Impoverished people in Venezuela are competing with similarly impoverished people in Asia and Africa….hundreds of millions of them. And the gap between the rich and the poor in wealthy nations is growing by the day, including in NZ, which was at one time noted for its egalitarianism but is now increasingly noted for the people living in cars and garages as a consequence of decades of dysfunctional governance. Likewise, the ‘clean and green’ image of NZ is all fake and the reality is polluted lakes, rivers, soil and air -all sacrificed to the gods of commercialism and greed.

    ‘Corruption is everywhere and getting worse. I’ve seen it up close and personal in every city and town I’ve lived in.’

    I can assure you it’s here too. The district council and the regional council are rotten to the core (as is central government, indeed all political parties), and only concerned with the fast buck, whatever the consequences a little further down the track.

    There’s nowhere left to run to, not that I am in much of a state to do running these days. Cycling -yes. Might as well try to remain reasonably physically active and take advantage of bitumen-sealed roads while they are still maintained.

    • December 30, 2016 at 11:34 am
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      There is a strong incentive to not see “the point of no return” (despair).

      How are your winters there? Tolerable outside, ie., “car camping”? I wanted to head down there with Lonewolf years ago, spend about 6 months just fishing. Never made the trip, wish I did.

      • December 30, 2016 at 1:59 pm
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        New Zealand is long and relatively narrow, which means there is a big difference in climate between Northland (about latitude 35o South) and Southland (about 46o South); like the difference between Florida and New York, though the waters surrounding NZ tend to temper the extremes much more than in continental USA.

        Where I am living at the moment (Taranaki), west coast, North Island, frosts are almost unknown along the coastal zone but are common inland. Snow falls on the mountain and remains for many months but rarely stays on the ground for more than a few days on lower ground, even in Stratford, the most elevated and coldest town. By the standards of many countries you’d hardly call it winter at all, though it is cold enough for grass to stop growing for a few months.

        The stories of people living in cars and garages emanate mostly from Auckland, prime destination of most migrants.

        Southern parts of the South Island are another matter altogether, with deep snowdrifts and below 0oC, interspersed with slightly milder weather, being the norm for winter months.

        Theoretically, NZ will fare somewhat better than most other countries in the coming meltdown because of the aforementioned stabilizing effect of the surrounding cool waters, and the relatively low population. However, ruination of the oceans tends to be a fairly global phenomenon, so things could get rather shitty here not too long after they get shitty elsewhere.

        All I know for sure is that we are governed by fuckwits and liars who are determined to make everything worse, and are succeeding.

        • December 31, 2016 at 1:35 am
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          Real winters are harsh here. Last winter was very mild, but this winter is acting like a real winter, although I have seen it worse. Requires 4×4 for access, plowing of roads, etc., be prepared for sub-zero temps (Fahrenheit) for a few weeks. Everything freezes up hard, pipes, soil, etc., so get it all done beforehand, whatever you need to do, including lots of firewood.

          You could not survive long in a car here. There is not enough food grown here to feed the local population during the season. Definitely requires good soils, which I do not have, thus the garden boxes / greenhouse. Some people have a magical thumb and have done well, but their location is different then mine (sun, soil). They’ll still suffer immensely when the trucks stop running, the entire area will.

  • December 30, 2016 at 11:30 am
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    Homo corrupticus ignorantii … better known as the misery monkey

    • December 31, 2016 at 6:50 am
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      Well, they’re lying of course. Carbon is not ‘flat-lining’. We’re still making contributions. And more and more is being emitted by soils, water and forests now. These are figures outside of their cherry-picked data.

      Which is why atmospheric C02 is still going up, as is ocean acidification. If what they claimed was true, then the actual measurements would be going down. That’s how we know they are lying.

      Smartphone connectivity isn’t anything to rejoice over. They didn’t even bother mentioning what this means in terms of resources, pollution, radiation or rare earth metals.

      And population levels are still climbing, which they didn’t even mention. Just distraction about contraception. There’s also rising dengue fever, West Nile and Ebola (new cases of ebola just showed up again).

      More hopium is all this is, doesn’t even begin to tell the real state of the world or human suffering or the tragedy unfolding in the biosphere. Not even close.

      • December 31, 2016 at 8:58 am
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        One definition of mainstream culture: a pack of lies, held together with lies.

        You’ve probably seen this before:

        http://lolgod.blogspot.co.nz/2010/02/unpleasant-truths-vs-comforting-lies.html

        It’s quite weird flipping between the two extremes of McPherson’s ‘we’ll all be dead in less than 10 years (now presumably 9.5 years) as a consequence of abrupt climate change’ and mainstream’s ‘things are not so bad and will get better once we implement…..’ narratives.

        I expect both narrative to come unstuck some time over the next 3 to 5 years.

        • December 31, 2016 at 9:10 am
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          Yes it is. Clearly, the world prefers to embrace lies, illusions, fantasies and imaginary beings. They claim it is easier and more palatable then the truth, with a decided majority even claiming this is the truth. I disagree, drawing from personal experience and extensive research.

          If the ice sheets cut loose soon, then McPherson may be onto something. We may have some kind of abrupt ocean effects beyond sea level rise too, such as declining oxygen levels. Injection of trillions of tons of ice (fresh water) into the world’s oceans won’t go unnoticed, it will certainly affect ocean circulation, which in turn means more dead zones. It’s more then sea level rise to consider. We don’t even know what the oxygen levels will be.

          So I don’t rule anything out, personally. Every day, we find out a bit more, always worse, always more severe then before, always faster. That isn’t a trend either, it’s a trajectory, all leading up to “something very, very fucking awful for everything and everybody” in my opinion.

          My pessimism is not without reason. It is based upon everything I have tried to read and understand. It is a narrative that could come ‘unstuck’, but I rather doubt it. The false narratives are pretty easy to identify. Claiming it is going to get worse and worse isn’t one of them.

          Too bad Scott Adams (Dilbert) doesn’t learn from this, he could be making some great cartoons himself. But he’s gone full-on climate denial batshit crazy.

  • December 31, 2016 at 10:09 am
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    After reading an article about how a significant percentage of Catholic women in Venezuela are opting for sterilization because they can’t feed and care for the children they already have (sorry, don’t have a link), I was feeling a little optimism — but then I read another article about a woman who lost her teenage son to poisonous plants he’d tried to forage for food for the family, which includes his mom with a new baby, his 13-year-old sister with a new baby, and the man of the house pictured sitting on a bed smoking a cigarette while surfing the Net on his new phone.

    Misplaced priorities. Of course, Americans who have the same priorities instead of spending their money on FOOD ASSETS are just as short-sighted.

    • December 31, 2016 at 11:30 am
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      🙂 Almost nobody is buying food these daze. Not here and not at the canneries. There has been a dramatic shift away from personal preparedness. I can only surmise the reason are fatigue; finances; or fantasy (hopium).

      Damned glad I prepared, it’s what feeds me these days. It’s why I’ve had so much time for this blog, otherwise I’d be rooting in the garbage myself.

      I fear for my kids, so much that it keeps me awake many nights (still). The future that I can foresee is very, very scary.

      • January 1, 2017 at 6:19 am
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        My husband wondered if Food Assets or your cannery suppliers could become vendors for such as Cabela’s and other companies that sell the same kind of food preps. Wouldn’t that increase business and your bottom line? Can you compete in that kind of scenario? (We both really don’t know how the process from field to customer works.)

        • January 1, 2017 at 6:46 am
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          No, it wouldn’t. They don’t carry the better brands first off. What you’ll find in most stores are the crappy brands like Thrive, Wise, etc., that we won’t carry. Anybody relying upon these brands for their foods storage plans is in for a rude awakening.

          It’s impossible now to compete online without mega-budgets. Survival Acres used to be on page 1 of Google, then a bunch of new companies came in with lots of advertising dollars and setup shop. At the same time, Google changed their search algorithms to favor heavily paid ads, and advertisers who were paying Google tons of money. Facebook did the same thing. Google also began to “punish” sites that didn’t buy their products. So has PayPal by the way, if you don’t use Ebay for example (owned by PayPal as well as the owners of Visa), you’ll never get your merchant account approved to withdraw all the money in your account to pay for products you’re shipping out. So you’re literally hamstrung to only selling very low amounts per month since you can’t even get paid with PayPal. It’s been a huge problem.

          It’s all become a gigantic game (scam) to literally “force” people into corporate compliance and participation and how the entire social fabric and sales experience has been taken over by horrible corporations. Facebook literally “took over” all social media and discussion (as did Reddit, Twitter, etc.) which also robbed website owners of traffic, discussion and ultimately, revenue (sales). Some sites don’t allow merchants to even participate. Many websites, blogs, forums will viciously attack you if you even dare post a message or a link back to your own site (even if you are an expert on the topic at hand). This just happened to me (again) only a few days ago. My explanation was simply ignored. It’s why this blog is now private. Fuck ’em. I’ve had it with trying to educate morons.

          It’s a joke now to try and make it online unless you are a major box store, or have muscled into a niche market and shell out the big bucks for advertising. I have studied this extensively. Here’s a figure you won’t find, but it is true. Only 8% of paid ads are actually shown to real people. 92% of the ads people buy are either never shown, or get “seen” by bots. Google and other major search engines do not want you to know this, so you’re wasting 92% of your money if you buy one of their ad campaigns while making these corporate monsters insanely rich.

          There there are the creeps that will see your ad and deliberately click on it to bankrupt you (competitors)… they can consume your daily ad budget in just a few minutes pulling this stunt.

          Cabelas is very close by, about 40 miles away actually. Huge store. Ridiculous prices. They don’t want competition and don’t allow dealers to my knowledge. All the little sites are being squeezed out of business. Largely because Americans will not support them. They’d rather go to the big stores / sites and shop there. There is no loyalty. We’re are all being forced into becoming corporate slaves by one degree / method or another. It’s disgusting. Even the large food companies are now taking a dump on the independent dealers. Mountain House, Alpine Aire, Augason. They’re all chasing dollars and ignoring the people that helped make them what they are today. This is no longer a business where you can survive anymore, virtually everyone is against you.

          I realize you’re trying to help and I appreciate that. I thought I’d get some help with the GoFund Me campaign for medical costs. I did, but it was only $3900 after months of effort. If it was a poor, suffering kitty or a homeless dog needing help, it would have received many thousands more. I don’t get it. There are a lot of people that shit on the hands that are trying to help them.

          I’m too harsh for people to accept. They would rather have pablum and bland lies, they’re easier to swallow. They don’t mind being whores for the corporations they’re enslaved to. I don’t want anything to do with them now. They are the people who will never get off their fat asses and help themselves where it will really count. I don’t care one bit what they think. I have found it necessary to stop showing concern for these people. To me, they are the walking dead, zombies who show movement and motion but nothing else except insatiable consumption and indifference. I do not want to help them.

          • January 1, 2017 at 1:08 pm
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            Wow, I don’t blame you for thinking there’s no pony in that pile of manure (to reference an old joke) but I’ll just add one more thing my husband suggested: hire yourself out as a prepper consultant, as your writing skills and intelligent grasp of the issues would leave Rawles in the dust. 🙂

            • January 1, 2017 at 1:50 pm
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              Rawles discovered a easy way to make a ton of money. Churns out books catering to fear and ridiculous propaganda on a regular basis. It’s trash. He is in good company, along with Matthew Bracken, Kenneth Royce and a bunch of others. They all have their fans and dedicated audience.

              Not one of them “get it”. They’ve prepared for all the wrong things while ignoring the most important thing. Pretty sure they all still deny climate change, which should shout volumes about how informed they are. I do not keep up anymore with any of them.

              Eventually, their preps will serve them well, but they’re part of the problem with this country. Wrong focus, wrong timing, wrong issues, fear-marketing faketriots. Everything is gun-oriented in their worldview, it’s what the world turns on. They’re all gun-slinging faketriots in my book, every last one of them. I’ve met some of them. Discovered that they understood less then I did. And I even outshot one of them. Ha!

              The point is, they’re catering to the so-called prepper crowd, which has embraced most of the lies these guys have fabricated (along with many others). They’re not wrong about everything of course, nobody is. But they’ve totally failed to see the real danger right in front of them, just like most of the country has. And some of them are more then willing to just dream shit up, fabricate it all from scratch to gain popularity and attention. It’s really weird. And wrong.

              The prepper crowd has no interest in climate change. They’re not even interested in a habitable future if you can grasp that conundrum. They want to survive martial law, or bug out into the woods, or repel some bogus Russian / Chinese / North Korean invasion they’ve imagined, or government gun grab, or the real doozy, “cattle cars” and FEMA camp “roundups” (totally fake, I’ve covered this one too). Whatever “fear” is currently “selling”. I won’t have anything to do with that.

              None of them understand that the real issues are none of these things, which is why I do not engage those stupid topics here. I have blown apart the whole bug-out bullshit of course. Preppers are not a audience for climate change facts, they’re the victims of fear these days.

              I’d rather setup lifeboat communities, or something like that. Resiliency. Some of the preparations overlap of course, but it’s not all about guns and personal security. It’s about life, living, location, raising food, temperature management, extreme event management, living lightly on the land, restoration, having respect for the Earth.

              Most so-called preppers are slaves to Leviathan. They simply cannot even imagine anything different. Many are religious nutters, they refuse to learn their own history, the research that explodes their beliefs into a million pieces. Quite a few expect the Rapture to save their sorry asses. I rubbed elbows with them for many years. I know what they’re preparing for and what they expect. Worse, I know what they’re going to do (when it does not happen and their world is falling apart).

              There is a real danger coming that nobody talks about from this crowd. I could not possibly “teach” them anything, but I am prepared for them. Everyone should be.

              Boy, did you open a can of worms!

              I have considered posing this question to the blog audience (which is still too small to get a real sample of interest) and that is, who here is interested in being a part of lifeboat preparations? I’d prefer a better term, but haven’t come up with one yet.

              This isn’t a prepper topic of interest. Their goals are vastly different then mine would be. It would only interest those who foresee what I’ve seen, the environment is going to fail, as is civilization itself. Those years will be tough as shit. I don’t intend to go out without trying.

              • January 1, 2017 at 11:40 pm
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                Ha, but an ENTERTAINING can of worms! Yes, you should post an essay about the resilient/lifeboat community concept, emphasizing the practical realities. Skousen posted his feeling about this concept being unworkable: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/strategic-relocation-the-reality-of-survival-communities-and-ready-retreats_11012014
                (Yeah, it’s a tinfoil site but also “entertaining.” 🙂
                P.S. I’ve also read good discussions over at Peak Oil about resilient communities.

                • January 2, 2017 at 12:46 am
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                  Not familiar with Skousen, but anything posted on shtfplan is brain-fodder for morons. Sorry, but I truly dislike Slavo. I’m the only preparedness person who will stand up to these morons (as far as I know). They’re all fear-mongers, liars, frauds, shills, faketriots, profiteers. You may find it entertaining, I don’t. I never read these sites.

                  I’m quite certain resilient communities are unworkable in the end (did not read the article you linked to, just following on your point). It is irrelevant if they are unworkable. At this stage, and as far as we can tell from the best sources I’ve seen, nothing is actually workable. Doesn’t matter. Something has to be tried. So this means the best ideas should be tried, versus do nothing.

                  That’s what I’m interested in, and what I’m looking for and what I’d rather be a part of. The best ideas.

                  If we take what we know about the future, we know that habitat, temperature, food, water, shelter, security, resiliency, etc., are all minimal requirements for humans. And we know that all of these points are imperiled. We also know that restoration is needed, but by itself will not be enough. We know that reductions are needed too, but this won’t be enough. In point of fact, we know that all that we know that we can do, won’t be enough. The problem is too large now. And there are far too few who are interested in doing anything anyway.

                  Therefore, we will need to prepare for this too, that is to say, too few doing too little too late. This will result in a massive population adjustment (die-off in other words, but before that, increasing levels of panic, fear, rioting, looting, gangs, war, etc.). These are things that we can prepare for, at least for a while. We can certainly try, even though we know that the larger context of survivable habitat is still going unresolved. But that does not mean we will not try. Everyone will. As I’ve said, it is what humans do. It is what everyone is doing now, trying to stay alive.

                  I’ve seen other articles about “ready retreats”. I have no interest myself in any of these, as they cater to lazy fools who think they can buy their way to a safe, secure future while enriching their promoters. The world they envision is not the world that will occur. Nor will they be able to maintain their fantasy survival, they’ve shown little understand of the real issues. They’re a joke in other words, choosing the wrong emphasis and wrong reasons just like the majority of the prepper community.

                  Here is what I believe: if you have the wrong focus, you will be concentrating on the wrong things. This is true in life, and true in survival and true in climate collapse. So it is quite important to be sure you are well-informed and not being persuaded by erroneous belief, bogus “survival experts” or fear-mongering profiteering.

                  You must also be willing to change yourself wherever necessary. Skills, adaption, learning, experience. Hiring “security guards” for example, or gardeners to feed you is just stupid. I’ve always thought that these mercenaries will simply turn on their rich clients when the time comes and simply take-over. Why not? It is exactly what I would do in a survival, life-or-death situation. When money becomes worthless, so do “agreements” based on money.

                  People fail to realize that it is up to THEM and no other to do what needs to be done. Participants in any effort all need the same “try”, over-lapping skills and knowledge. There are no free-loaders. If they’re not up to the task, then they will find themselves outcasts, discarded or even killed. They have to be able to contribute, and money is worthless. Money is only useful when there is economic opportunity (buy something / sell something) and the perceived valuation of what it can offer. Those conditions will last for a while yet, but eventually, no. And then this is where the real “survivalists” will flourish, having the skills and experience to endure as long as they can.

                  But this is still not the right emphasis. It is where most ‘experts’ fail to pass. Their focus is “survival”, to out-last, out-maneuver, out-wit their contemporaries. They watch too much television.

                  The future still holds life, for as long as it may last. We need to continue to embrace it and create it wherever we can. This is where restoration applies. We can’t just try to survive and persevere, we must also preserve. Nature does not “need” our help however. What it “needs” is to be left alone, nature can take care of itself. Yet where we live, how we live and how we survive does matter, because we have a pretty big impact in those areas. This is where we need to restore life where we can. Stop destroying it. Live within its capabilities and boundaries.

                  I differ here from “survivalists” which is one of the reasons I do not apply this terminology to myself. They want to survive at all costs, I don’t because I know I won’t. I want to leave behind some life. I’m not interested in a sterile world, devoid of life, with the last human survivor standing on a hill of empty shell casings and empty MRE packages. That’s not living, that’s genocide.

                  How many people registered on this blog realize that the real problem in the world today is PEOPLE? Yes, climate change is a problem, but it is a people problem. The cause and effects are what we did (rhetoric, I know, but stay with me a moment). The future is a people problem too. Everything else can and will take care of itself. So when you think about your future and your survival, you will primarily need to think about how you’re going to deal with, engage with, and avoid people problems.

                  People are not the solution. Get it? They are the problem. They refuse to change. They refuse to help themselves. They refuse knowledge, skills, “try”. They want to surf the apocalypse, pay others to solve their problems, let others figure it all out, “save them”. The future is a PEOPLE PROBLEM and all that comes with it.

                  I have often called this “civilization” or Leviathan or the System or even the State. These are all entities empowered by people. And they all want something from YOU. This will be the real issue to overcome.

                  We have lazy people. Indifferent people. Stupid people. Self-righteous people. Arrogant people. Dangerous people. Dependent people. Most of these won’t survive the future. Good riddance. But they will ALL become a GIGANTIC PROBLEM for everyone else in the future. This will be the “first tier” towards your survival – how to keep your distance from them. If you didn’t know it, it is what I do now, as much as possible. These are the haters, takers, connedsumers and profiteers, faketriots and phonies I speak of. Survive these and you’ll do well.

                  Unfortunately, they are everywhere now. Zombies on a mission. Sifting through them is very difficult. Avoid their shit. All of it, as much as you can. They’re doing nobody any good at all.

                  I’m willing to work with the rest, but it still requires a change of attitudes, belief and effort. They’re still human.

                  • January 2, 2017 at 7:49 am
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                    AMEN! You said it all, and very well.

                    Yes, I don’t have a plan to kill everyone I meet, but they’re guilty until proven innocent in my mind.

                    I love being a recluse. My social contacts are minimal and my stress levels went WAY down when I adopted that lifestyle.

                    Never been a “girly girl” with close friends and I haven’t missed the drama at all.

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