Sanity Trip

by wjw on October 9, 2020

IMG_5155I badly needed a sanity trip, so I drove to the Ski Valley and checked into a condo.  I’ll be alone up here for several days, self-isolating in nature.  I may meet some folks on the trails or whatever, but I’ve got a mask for that.

As for why I needed this trip, just look at the headlines for the last couple weeks.

Trump’s income taxes were excavated by the New York Times, and weren’t that much of a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention the last five years.  They also revealed that I pay more taxes than Trump!  And assuming you pay taxes at all, you almost certainly pay more taxes than our billionaire president of the United States.

I don’t know about you, but I know why my taxes are higher than Trump’s: I’m a much better businessman!

Yeah!  I pay more in taxes because my business is profitable!   With the exception of his core real estate enterprise, Trump’s businesses mostly lose colossal amounts of money, enough to more than offset his earnings elsewhere.  He’s got hundreds of billions of dollars in debt all coming due in the next few years, with no obvious way to pay it off.  (No legit bank is going to loan him the money, not with his history of declaring bankruptcy and leaving his creditors in the lurch.)

A corollary of this is that I have far more self-control than the President!

Why?  Because when I get some money, I’ll use it to pay down debt, or make some needed repair, or  invest the money, or save it for a rainy day.

When Trump gets some money, he’s like a five-year-old at Toys R Us.  Gimme that!  I want that other thing!  Whatever that orange thing is, I want that too!

He made hundreds of millions from his reality show, and he spent it acquiring businesses that lose money (mostly golf courses).

He also invents businesses that turn out not to exist, like Trump University, Trump Steaks, and the veterans charity that existed to funnel money to his 2016 campaign.  (Remember, veterans, you were “chumps!”  And chumps exist to be bilked.)

So if you’re impressed by Trump’s business acumen, don’t be.  You’re probably much better at business than he is.  After all, you earn enough to pay taxes!

The petulant five-year-old was fully on display in the debate, with his sneering, his belligerence, and his failure to actually answer any awkward questions.  “COVID?  Why, Joe Biden’s a senile liar!

And let’s not forget the supremely loathsome sight of the President of the United States giving orders to a white supremacist militia on national television.  What’s “stand back and stand by” actually mean?  Don’t start the killing until I give the order.

Then of course Trump got COVID, along with his wife and 20 or so staffers.   (Please tell me you were surprised, so I can laugh.)  Trump turned out to have had a mild case, and of course had the best medical care in the world, so now he’s boasting that no one has anything to fear from the virus that’s killed 220,000 Americans.  He’s returned to the White House and dumped his mask first thing, so now he’s shambling through the corridors of the West Wing drooling toxic spittle on everything and everybody.

Fortunately the West Wing is practically deserted.  Staffers have fled in droves and are working from home.

Even Mitch McConnell won’t go anywhere near Trump.

(Oh— another irony— both remdesivir and the monoclonal antibodies that were given to Trump in the hospital were developed using fetal tissue derived from abortions.  Trump now promises to give the antibody cure free to everybody, so it’s fetal tissue for all!)

Y’know what?  I don’t think my sanity trip is working.  I brought the madness with me.

I’m going to go back onto the balcony and look at the aspens for a while.

Sarah Stegall October 9, 2020 at 10:35 pm

Ah, how I miss the aspens this time of year. I was usually up the Red River Valley, not in Taos, but those golden aspens were the same. The sight of them against vivid blue sky, the kind you only get at high elevations, just cleanses the soul. Enjoy your crisp fall weather, with the trees throwing gold at your feet.

Derek October 9, 2020 at 11:56 pm

Trump outdoes the plutocrats of the Dread Empire in corruption, incompetence and ability to mesmerize the masses. To quote him from 2016, he “loves the poorly educated”.

Best wishes on your retreat–what will you be reading? Or writing?
Looking forward to Fleet Elements in December! Any preferences as to where we should preorder?

Stephen October 10, 2020 at 8:13 am

So you aren’t voting for Trump?

Jane Lindskold October 10, 2020 at 9:45 am

Wishing you peace of mind. And aspens.

Ralf T. Dog October 10, 2020 at 7:14 pm

Perhaps Trump needs the sanity trip. I doubt it would do any good. If he is looking for a travel destination, I would love to tell him where to go.

Mike Lesser October 11, 2020 at 2:02 am

Just discovered Implied Spaces on the Audible store and am enjoying it very much so far. I absolutely love AI, alternate universes, and super advanced tech mixed with some Phil K Dick consciousness stuff. So far this book seems to be ticking al of those boxes. Ian M Banks, Alastair Reynolds as well.

Anyway – could not agree with you more about the small-handed cheeto we have in the White House right now. He’s a complete clown and a petulant bully. I would rather have a tiny man formed out of cat turds with little toothpicks for arms and legs running the country, haha.

Hope you find a little peace that allows you to write more stories that take me away to a fantastic place – at least for the time I get to read/listen to them. Thanks for what I have read so far!

Mike Lesser
St. Louis, MO

John Appel October 11, 2020 at 9:20 am

We’re finally getting a chance to take one of these ourselves, departing for the beach next Saturday. Yeah, October’s not the best time to be in OCMD, but at least we’ll be looking at different walls, not be connected to our dayjobs, and have an ocean view.

Kessler October 11, 2020 at 1:49 pm

If you replace “Trump” with “Any Rich Person in USA” it all still applies. It is likely Trump will not be in office soon, but the system will still be rigged to provide the select few much easier access to medical, financial and political resources, compared to everybody else. I fear numb complacency post-election, so no questions would be asked, whether the rest of the millionaires and billionaires are paying their taxes.

wjw October 11, 2020 at 6:13 pm

Kessler, you’re right to be worried about post-election complacency, and of course the rich have rigged the tax system so that the deductions available to someone like Trump aren’t available to the rest of us. But you have to admit that Trump is a particularly egregious example of his class— he’s a con man, not a capitalist.

Shash October 14, 2020 at 4:48 pm

Breathe, just breathe and then go back and do what you can.

Already voted here in MN because I’m going to be working on election stuff and might be too busy. And hearing the determination that “Oath Keepers” are planning to “protect” polling places in MN (from what, I ask) just makes me say no. These are guys who want me barefoot and pregnant with no rights so I am avoiding them, too.

Hang in there.

Jerry October 15, 2020 at 3:32 am

The clear mountain surround should bring you some Happy Thoughts, let’s hope. And win lose, or cliche, Election Day is pretty close. I’ve already cast my ballot, but this is Cbicagoland (“Vote early, vote often!”), and I got A Guy who claims he can get me eight or ten more ballots for the right price. Still, Illinois is very much a “blue” state with winner-take-all Electoral College rules. C’mon, guys, I can’t do this all by myself!

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