That’s White Star Line Property!

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There’s a scene in James Cameron’s Titanic film that bears on our situation. The great ship is obviously sinking and Jack – the lead character – breaks through a door to gain access to a main passageway for himself and Rose.

“That’s White Star Line Property!” screeches a white-coated bellhop character.

Everyone watching understands the absurdity of worrying about a damaged door on a sinking ship.

Like the one we’re all sailing on.

That it’s taking on water is undeniable. You can feel the list. The national debt, which took 200-plus years to reach $1 trillion in the early ’80s – has increased to more than $25 trillion over the course of less than the past 20. The value of money decreases alarmingly. Nothing seems to work anymore – and so people don’t.

How long before the ice cold water gushes up the stairs, under doors, inundating hallways? Everyone knows the clock on the fireplace mantle is about to slide off and that – soon – the whole thing will lie on the bottom of the ocean.

The Bruce Ismays – the rich elites, the politicians –   are taking steps to not go down with the ship.

Maybe so should we. 

Some of us already are. As by evading and outright ignoring as many “ship’s rules” as it’s feasible to “get away” with. There’s certainly no moral obligation to play by their rules – on their tilted table. The one upside to being on a sinking ship is that it gets harder and harder to enforce those rules as more and more people understand that it’s every man for himself.

In some states, the “White Star Line” has made it easier to bend – and to break – certain rules. For example, in Virginia – home to this writer – certain rules regarding motor vehicles are no longer aggressively enforced. It used to be that if you drove around with a dead inspection sticker or tags – or had a brake light out – you were open to a Hut! Hut! Hutting! by an armed government worker.

The risk wasn’t worth the cost.

But that has changed, thanks to the very people who have steered the “Titanic” into the iceberg. You no longer have to worry (much) about those rules. Social Justice has put a stop to it. To enforcement of it. The screech of the perpetually aggrieved about “disparities” in traffic enforcement – non-whites were said to be and probably were Hut! Hut! Hutted! more (and harder) over these penny ante rule-violations – has seen to that. 

So take advantage of that.

If it’s good for the “oppressed” (and illegal aliens) then it’s good for us, too.

Or at least, it can be.

You can now safely cruise along in VA with an out-of-date or even no “safety” inspection sticker and it is much easier to “get away” with hanging set of Farm Use tags on your vehicle, even if your “farm” is an apartment with a tomato plant on the kitchen window sill.

This latter lets you evade not just the annually required “safety” inspection (which is actually an inspection of the contents of your wallet) but also the annual tithing styled “registration renewal,” which is in fact an annual tax you’re expected to pay in return for which you get a colored sticker that shows your “registration” is up to date (actually, that your payments are up to date). 

I stopped “registering” my truck back in 2019. I inspect it, myself – without opening my wallet. Unless the truck actually needs repairs, as opposed to paying some state-sanctioned lamprey a $20 for “inspecting” it.

I’ve already saved – let’s see – about $210 by not paying to have my truck (or wallet) “inspected” or my “registration” renewed for the past three years. It may sound like small potatoes – but it’s a start. And that $210  buys a couple of bags of groceries – which is no small thing these Let’s Go Brandon days.

It also gives me the small-scale satisfaction of “getting away with it.” Damned straight. The more of us, the merrier. 

The more of us, the stronger.  

Tyranny requires obedience. When enough of us stop being obedient, tyranny loses the ability to compel obedience. This is the key – to everything. Stop giving a damn. Stop giving in.

Stop playing according to their rules. It’s what they depend on.

The truckers in Canada understand this. They, too, have decided to stop obeying – realizing that they’ll only get more tyranny, if they continue to obey. Instead, they have decided to take advantage of what they always possessed but until this moment never put to use – their numbers.

And their mass disobedience.

People in the old Soviet Union understood the power of that, too. They pretend to pay us – and we pretend to work. Don’t feel bad about not paying “your fair share.” Feel good about preventing them from stealing as much of it as you can.

However you can.

If there is an upside to being on a sinking ship it is that am moment comes when the passengers understand they are unbound from the rules that would otherwise apply. In normal times, some of these rules are sensible and it would be wrong and even stupid to ignore them. Like smashing out a perfectly good door that doesn’t belong to you.

But these are not normal times – and to continue to obey nonsensical/arbitrary rules that are self-destructive is very stupid.

Jack knew the Titanic was doomed. He did what he had to do to try to survive its sinking.

And so should we.

. . .

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54 COMMENTS

  1. Jabs are killing people off in every age bracket, therefore, I don’t think that it will reduce the beneficiary to contributor ratio.

  2. Raw numbers of debt tell you nothing. What you should be looking at is debt as a percentage of GDP. But admittedly, those numbers are only slightly less discouraging. The last time we had ratio this high was during WWII.

  3. One of my kids had recently moved to a different state, and he had to get a S-A-A-A-F-T-E-E-E-E “inspection” in order to get his next tags and registration. A “no go” with a “licensed” inspection station, b/c, due to a bad “module” which is located on the driver’s side of the engine compartment, adjacent to the battery, it thinks the parking brake is always on. So, although he can certainly afford, even at recently hugely inflated prices, a replacement vehicle, why throw away an otherwise running vehicle? So, he found a “solution”, someone at the plant where he works who moonlights doing this sort of thing. I believe what was done was he rigged it so the brake light warning circuit is bypassed, and to this flaky computer, the parking brake is always “off”, so, no warning light, and the “buddy” was able to sign off for the “safety” inspection, and this vehicle is now “legal” and will render service, hopefully past the point where a degree of sanity returns to the automotive market.

  4. Eric,

    While I agree with your assessment (i.e. the US is akin to the RMS Titanic these days), what do we do? How best to prepare? You could do a separate, devoted post to it.

    • Nobody can assess your circumstances better than you. And you have to decide what risks you’re willing to take. Eric told you some of the things he does. It comes down to protecting yourself from the politicians and their bureaucrats.

    • Step 1: Assess your needs (not wants & not comfort/convenience). Prioritize these needs.

      Step 2: Take steps to ensure that these needs can be met for a reasonable period of time, in the absence of normal services. If this involves gear of any kind, practice using the gear. An emergency is not the time to crack open the instructions and start reading. I recommend simple, multi-use items/tools but this is totally up to you. Lots of tradeoffs to be made here.

      Step 3: Consider making additional allowances for comfort or convenience, if space & budget allow.

      Step 4: Don’t tell anyone about your plans, or your supplies, unless you really, really trust them. And even then, maybe not.

  5. Generally good advice, whether it is bartering, buying at swap meets or other “off mainstream” outlets, or buying restricted items through legal private sales.

    Keeping prying eyes away and tax dollars in your pocket is smart practice.

  6. Very august analogy Eric. Of course we don’t know the true amount of the national debt. Its probably in the 100s of trillions by now, what with all the con-vid bail out $$$ spread about. No matter, it is as you correctly assert, ‘all going down.’

    As G W Hayduke, or Walt Whitman (I cant remember which) said. “Resit much, obey little.”

    • ‘we don’t know the true amount of the national debt. Its probably in the 100s of trillions by now’ — Norman Franklin

      The great invisible debtberg is not the acknowledged Treasury obligations (which reached $30 trillion this month), but the far larger unfunded promises of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and federal, state and local pensions.

      Years ago, Boston U. economics professor Lawrence Kotlikoff estimated the US fedgov’s total liabilities, including those unfunded promises, at $200 trillion. That’s more than eight years worth of GDP (currently $24 trillion annually).

      Obviously, this hopeless burden is never intended to be paid down. The question is when even servicing the interest payments becomes untenable.

      Evidently, our reckless rulers have chosen to inflate their way out of their self-induced predicament. Retired people still will get their benefits of a few thousand a month — but it’ll barely buy a week or two worth of groceries, after Jerome Cntl-P Powell makes paper dollars useful only for wallpaper.

      Not a joke: a restaurant in the San Telmo barrio of Buenos Aires actually has an entire wall papered with worthless pesos and australs of yesteryear.

      Got wheelbarrows?

      • Hi Jim,

        I remember being a high school kid in the ’80s and thinking – Social Security is not going to provide for me in my dotage. I wrote it off – back then, when I was 17. Planned my life on the assumption that I will be on my own and will just have to accept the loss of all that money taken over the course of my working life and make do without it. Anyone of my generation or younger who is relying on Social Security to provide them with an income sufficient to cover even their most basic expenses is in for a rude awakening, I suspect.

        As for me, if it turns out there is still money and they send some to me, I will send it back – to pay the various taxes the government forces me to pay. Ideally, it will be an even exchange!

        • I starting saying that social security wasn’t going to be there for me around the same age. People think I’m crazy for that. But it was mathematical reality then and still is today provided the jabs don’t kill off large numbers of people before they can collect. The math hasn’t gotten fixed, it’s worse.

          And yeah, if I collect anything I’ll be lucky if it pays property taxes annually.

      • Hi Eric, the worst part about the social security scam is what it does to self employed people. An extra tax on independence if you will, above and beyond what is required of wage slaves.

        I imagine you like many here pay double. I figure in the last thirty years of self employment, my “extra” contribution is well upwards of 100k. Enough money for a nice bag of gold coins, a second doom stead outside the country, or a small used Cessna and a pilots license. Wasted instead on the FSA.

        • Norman,

          Everyone pays double. Everyone.

          But if you are an employee, and you look at your check stub, you only see half of what is taken.

          As far as the company is concerned, the other half could just as easily go to Social Security, to you, or to Timbuktu…all the same to them, it goes into the “money we don’t get to keep” folder.

          If for some reason SS were to be repealed tomorrow, you could probably negotiate with your employer to get most if not all of that money. It’s part of the cost of hiring you.

          • Hey Publius, I’ve been self employed for over 30 years so I was talking about the self employment penalty.

            You’re probably correct insofar as ‘everyone paying double.’

            The 15% contribution withheld by large corporations is not the same. They have armies of accountants, political carveouts, and tax breaks up the whazoo. I’m sure they get that all back, and more. Not to mention bailouts any time they feel a little ‘stressed.’

            So my 30% feels like I’m paying an extra 15% penalty. Just my opinion.

  7. Going down the tube, one appointment at a time. Latest: Sam Brinton to the previous prestigious Dept. of energy office of Nuclear Energy.

    https://www.rt.com/news/549093-sam-brinton-woke-biden/

    Brinton, who is a proud drag queen and “pup handler” – in other words, someone who leads gay men dressed in fetish gear around as they pretend to be dogs, before having sex with them – has been appointed to a high-ranking position in the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy.

    They are making a laughing stock out of us….

    • Hi Ken,

      Yeah, remember how during the runup to the election, Diaper Joe’s tack was to “restore dignity to the presidency”? 🙄

      He’s doing about as good a job at that as his “I’ll work for all the people, even those who didn’t vote for me” horeshit. 😡😝

  8. Good to hear Eric, unfortunately in Taxachusetts the AGW’s are always on the lookout for expired inspection stickers, easy revenue for them. There was a proposal a few years back to end annual emission and saaaaaaaafety inspections since as the average age of cars on the road keep getting newer, the emissions are negligible and they’re “safer”. Well the Karens came out of the woodwork for that; somebody somewhere might not be saaaaaaafe! I imagine the service station lobby was involved also, since it’s $40 for ten minutes of work, and that gets split with the state so easy money all around. Like they said in “All the President’s Men”, follow the money. Needless to say that proposal went down in flames, never to be heard again.

    • There’s a movement in Alabama for Constitutional Carry of firearms. The sheriff’s are largely against it. They cite saaaafety but the reality is pistol permits are big business here. I pay $100 for a clerk to basically do nothing every few years. It’s all profit in the pockets of the fuzz. Follow the money…

      • Same in Georgia. They claim Constitutional Carry will make everyone less safe. The buffoons who make the claims have never paid attention to the states that already have Constitutional Carry.

        The Guvnuh has already said he’d sign it if it made it to his desk but that is only because he is looking to be reelected after the election debacle.

        • Hi Jump,

          Those opposed to Constutional Carry/concealed carry are the same who support “masks.” It’s all about their fears – never the facts. What’s aggravating to me is that I know a number of ardent 2A people who “masked up” … to “show respect for other people’s feelings.” I almost threw up on their shoes. Really? Would you also surrender that piece you’re carrying, for the sake of “other people’s feelings”?

        • Hey JumpR Kabel!

          I’m from the Peach State and you know what I say? “Permits!? We don’t need no stinking permits!” Been carrying for 35 years now, never bowed the knee to the tyrannts, never plan to, never needed to even draw it, but being 6’2″, 225, and all my sons over 6’4″ and 260, no one approaches us with trouble or even requests for spare change, funny that way! I’ll be glad if it passes but it won’t make a difference to me, when I dress every morning, one way or another!

          • I’m quite a bit smaller in stature. I carry because there are guys out there like you who can kick my hind end into next week. I do have a “license” only because I might have to pull it. Constitutional carry would make me happy so I didn’t have to keep looking at my license to remember when it needs to be renewed.

            The pistol gives me the confidence you must feel being a person of large stature and due to that confidence, I have not had to pull it when I have been put in positions to think I will have to if the situations got worse.

            I repair ATMs. I’m a natural target for someone who thinks they see an opportunity. I’ve never had any issues working at bank branches, but working on ATMs at the Stop and Robs have led to at least 3 encounters where I knew someone was thinking about robbing me. I’m pretty darn sure that the pistol in my pocket (which I would already be holding in my front pocket without their knowledge) gave me the confidence to show the potential robber/attacker that I wasn’t skeered. And in doing so, thwarted their plans. They were all looking for a weak victim, which they thought they saw, however, in one particular situation, I’d already had my shot planned out the moment that dude tried something. He was already invading my personal space and trying to intimidate me. While he was doing that, I surmised I would need to take one step left as I pulled the pistol and blew his brains out from under his chin to avoid hitting anyone in the store. I think that thought running across my brain made him reconsider. I wasn’t as weak as I looked. And that is why we need Constitutional Carry. I’m not the weakest thing going, we have women who need to carry and they don’t need to be caught up in the legal system for something every woman should have as a matter of principle.

      • Not to mention the cost of the initial conceal carry class. When conceal carry started the anti-gunners screamed it would be the wild west and blood would run in the streets. When stand your ground was passed in my state they screamed it would be the wild west and blood would run in the streets and claimed it was akin to making murder legal.
        All nonsense!

        • Where are you at that you have to go to class to exercise a Constitutional right? (You don’t have to answer but I suspect a Yankee state or on the Left Coast.) Imagine going to court and trying to exercise the Fifth Amendment and being told you can’t because you didn’t go to class for that.

          “Blood in the streets, wild wild west.” Always the BS shouted by the antis. Blood in the streets? Like Chicago, NYC? Wild Wild West, you mean like South Central L.A.?

          “Abilene is a town of an armed citizenry. This tends to make relations both peaceful and respectful.” – James Butler (“Wild Bill”) Hickok, while City Marshal of Abilene, in an interview with an eastern newspaper reporter. (Until Hickok’s reply, the reporter had thought Wild Bill himself was the reason.that Abilene was so peaceful for the locals)

          “Remember the ancient saying: ‘[Si] vis pacem – para bellum’ – if you want peace – be ready for the war. Within the whole history of our civilization, no one disproved it. So let the weapons be not the means of terror, but the way to defend peace, democracy and law. I wish you all health, success and fruitful work. With best wishes,” – Mikhail Kalashnikov

          • It’s not just Yankee or left coast states that require the class in order to get concealed carry. FL, also known as the gunshine state also requires it. Of course the class is bullshit, when I took it the instructor was a retired cop who told his war stories for half an hour, then we went to range and fired one round with a 22 revolver. If I remember right, the class was about $150, so as always,it’s about the money.

        • The gubbermint says I cannot carry a firearm in my belt without paying money for a special license, therefore I simply cannot carry a firearm in my belt to do bad things with it.

          The only way one can commit wanton murder is to have a license to do so.

          bUt i cAN oPeN CArRy!!!!

      • Hi Myles,

        This battle – between what has been styled Tories/Federalists/Yankees and Cavaliers/Republicans (old usage)/Southerners has been part of the history of this country since before it was founded. It is embodied in the struggle between Jefferson and Hamilton … down to our time. It tells us we’ve never truly been one country or people. We have always been two. This reality became consciously realized – and acted upon – in 1861. I believe it will be acted upon again – hopefully with a different result.

        • Good analogy with Jefferson/Hamilton and good article. You always seem to find small lines like this or something and apply it well to how these people act in today’s world.

          FJB and FA(be)L(incoln).

          • Saint Lincoln is always deified as the “savior” after he killed more Americans in one war than all of the other American wars up til today combined!

            I’ve noticed a lot of Lincoln programming on television lately. I suspect it is for the same reason Lincoln has been deified in the first place, if one believes Lincoln is great, so is the Federal Government as anything King Lincoln did was justified.

  9. One really has to know where one is when it comes to the enforcement or non-enforcerment of these petty rules. Some places may be slacking off; others may just be business-as-usual, while yet others may be even more persnickety as they are looking to generate extra revenue to make up for losses in other areas.

    Even where enforcement has become lax, it may well be a trap; They’ll let it get to a certain point where ‘everyone’s doing it’, and then decide to have a field day, just stopping anyone, when they decide to look more closely again, figuring that it’s easy pickings.

    When breaking the odious rules, I always think it is wiser to do so with the ones that impact our liberties and or wallets the most, and the ones which are less obvious to be detected. I don’t want to give them an excuse to mess with me just to save $20- as it is worth much more than $20 to be left alone- especially if being ‘caught’ for that $20 savings may result in giving them to opportunity to discover much more.

    The mantra of wise criminals is valid here: “When doing something illegal, make sure you are only breaking one law at a time”. The jails are full of people who got caught only because they had an expired plate, or had a light out, or were speeding, and got pulled over, which prompted the discovery of the pound of cocaine or dead body in their trunk. This is one of the reasons the pigs LOVE traffic stops and roadblocks- and since us white males especially are now considered the enemy and easy pickings, they will select us for ‘enforcement’ and scrutinize us much more so than if we were a Jose or Tyrone, because no one is going to protest for us or help us.

    Let us pick our battles wisely, and not let down our guard because we think they’re not looking.

    Funny thing too: It’s like rolling a stop sign when no one’s around or in the country. After you become comfortable with doing so, it becomes habit, -routine. You get comfortable with it, and then start just doing it all the time and let your guard down…and that is when they get you. An even if you consciously make an effort not to do it, it becomes so ingrained as a matter of habit, you end up doing it routinely, even when you intend not to. I think they are counting on this.

    Never trust these bastards! If they let us think we are winning when we clearly are not…there is a reason for it. At a time when they are talking about nationwide speed enforcement cameras…we are certainly not winning; and they have no intention of relenting.

    • Nunzio,

      You offer WISE counsel, as always! Yes, the pigs love traffic stops, and they even look for, shall we say, more opportunities to ding you with this or that? If you read Dale Carson’s (a former cop and FBI agent turned criminal defense attorney) “Arrest Proof Yourself”, he tells the reader how cops have tally sheets. These are sheets listing various things they did during their shift, such as traffic stops, misdemeanor arrests, felony arrests, etc.; the bigger the charge, the more points. He said that they LOVED traffic stops, because they’d often find people drinking, people with arrest warrants, etc. The more points they got, the better their superiors liked them.

      • I’ve known many cops over the years and they have all said the same thing. They do not care one bit about your traffic violation. They are on a fishing expedition and they expect to find something else after they pull you over. I was told in a small town where I used to live that 80% of their arrests were the result of a traffic stop.

  10. I’ve long said that when the revolution happens, the jackasses with their thumping bass speakers will be the first ones up against the wall. After 2 years of cornonazis and demonazis, there’s a neck-to-neck competition for that spot.

  11. Well, “we are dressed in our best and prepared to go out as gentlemen… But we would like a brandy!”.

    I had a recent debacle with “registration”. My GF was in Flagstaff when some cop decided to run the plates on my S-10 for no reason. Turns out, the DMV had “registered” a vehicle I don’t even own when I went in to have them switch the address for that truck, so I wouldn’t have to deal with “emissions inspections” any longer.

    The DMV wouldn’t admit any fault, but I got it corrected and the ticket was dismissed, but some bullshit all around.

  12. I agree with all of this. I used to be a Reagan-era an ultra-conservative. Following the law seemed to make sense, because I believed that the law existed to benefit me. If I didn’t want anyone to steal from me, it made sense that I should not steal from anyone else… and so on.

    However in my disillusioned late middle age I now understand that “the law” is intended to benefit government workers and oligarch at my expense. “The law” is easily ignored or not enforced when favored political constituencies, like gays, blacks, or women are concerned. The site of the gay Stonewall riot against the cops is now a national landmark run by the National Parks Service and practically a shrine. The FBI actually denied that Antifa exists after an entire summer of coordinated rioting and vandalism in dozens of cities. Yet in contrast, the rioters of 1/6, like the “buffalo horn shaman” are being hunted down and thrown in a gulag without bail and charged with “crimes” that gould get them 25 years.

    You can get away with practically anything if you are on the proper side of things, politically. “The right side of history” as the communist Obama used to say. But if I so much as spit on the sidewalk, they will practically bring in a SWAT team to kick my white male ass.

    I comply with the law only insofar as I am literally afraid of the violent consequences of openly defying it, but I have no moral obligation to give the government swine any respect or loyalty, and if I can rip off a piece of the action for myself without getting caught, you’re damn right I will.

    • I think many people’s eyes have been opened that the rules are there for control of those the politicians don’t like

      Jan 6 vs BLM riots
      Covid rules vs politicians’ behaviors
      FBI vs the truth

      And the cops are there to protect & serve the govt, not you.
      Along the way, they will fleece you where they can to remind you that they are in control.

      • Dan,

        If there’s been one blessing of Orange Man Bad and the COVID tyranny of the last two years, it’s that the veil’s been ripped off; the truth is there for all to see-especially WRT the latter about the cops. They’re there to serve their paymasters, i.e. the state, not you. Anyone who gave a damn about honoring their oath to the people and the COTUS have been purged, e.g. Officer Greg Anderson, FORMERLY of Seattle PD…

    • “I comply with the law only insofar as I am literally afraid of the violent consequences of openly defying it, but I have no moral obligation to give the government swine any respect or loyalty, and if I can rip off a piece of the action for myself without getting caught, you’re damn right I will.”

      X,

      As a fellow disillusioned, middle ager and recovering Reagan conservative, I FEEL YOU, Bro! I totally get it. Those of us who don’t enjoy membership in a protected class know the deal; I only comply as much as I have to to avoid AGWs putting their boots on my neck…

    • Here in Nova Scotia when one of their ops (rcmp)went off and gunned down over 20 people , nary a road block along the way no warning from the shithead stooges. Just in the days following we need more gun control. The provincial (state) police acted like most bullies act chicken shit cowards.

  13. ‘The more of us, the stronger. Tyranny requires obedience.’ — eric

    True to form, the Biden occupation government instinctively allies itself with tyranny:

    ‘The Biden administration urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government Thursday to use its federal powers to end the truck blockade by Canadians protesting the country’s COVID-19 restrictions.

    ‘The White House said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke with their Canadian counterparts and urged them to help resolve the standoff.’ — AP News

    Meanwhile, Rep Chip Roy (R-TX) has introduced a bill — H.R. 6649 — to reinstate troops fired for not complying with the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate (and effectively ending it, by making it unenforceable).

    What could be more patriotic than this? Already this morning I fired off emails, urging my Congressional reps to get on board and co-sponsor H.R. 6649.

    But the D-party ones won’t — not even the military veterans, I’ll guess — even as the icy green waters gush through the breached bulkheads in the listing USS Jackass Joe.

    FJB, and FJT. Lock them in the same tiger cage. Parade them through the streets so we can poke them with sharp sticks, shouting ‘Justice, mf-fers.

    • Jim H,

      It would be interesting to see if Chip Roy submits this if the GOP takes control of Congress. I don’t know if it’s sincere or just virtue signaling to the GOP voters; he has to know that, as long as Comrade Pelosivich is Speaker, his bill will never get to the floor. Is he sincere, or is this an Obamacare Repeal vote in minature?

  14. We do indeed approach a “great reset”, I’m just not at all sure it’s the one the WEF was hoping for. It’s a good idea to acquire, or keep as much as possible, as long as it isn’t US dollars. Any thing else will do. From toilet paper to Gold.
    They can only enforce the “laws” they can afford to enforce. Which is likely to rapidly decline.
    I was a working young man in the late 1980s, and remember well what it’s like to live with double digit inflation, interest rates, and unemployment. It wasn’t fun. And that was when you could actually get a reasonable interest rate on your savings.

    • Buy whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, etc too for those who want to numb their existence right as soon as they realize how bad it is. Oblige them and then trade for their clothes, food, books…. anything.

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