Friday, January 22, 2016



It was the 15th century in the end-of-the-world town of Timbuktu on the southern edge of the Sahara desert.  Salt here is so rare and precious that it trades ounce for ounce with gold because it must be transported by camel caravan from eastern Africa.

One day a man of the Republican mentality accidently discovered a vast underground mountain of salt just a mile outside town.  He immediately recognized the immense value of his find; conceals the entrance and ponders how best to profit from his discovery.

He becomes a salt dealer--pretending that he buys from the caravans and resells to the public, supplmenting caravan salt with that from his mine.  His prices are lower than the going rate, so he quickly gains a financial foothold.  He then secures possession of the salt area, establishing a home and pretend-farm. He continues to sell salt at a reduced price and also continues to buy from the caravaners but at a greatly reduced price because he has quietly and carefully satisfied the local demand.  He buys just enough to maintain the public belief  that his salt is being imported from across the desert.

Meanwhile his fellow citizens continue in the same drudgeous lifestyle to afford the salt that they so desperately need.

He quickly becomes wealthy and hires private security to protect his wealth. He hires people to build a new house and also buys a few new wives who live in town.  He funds a few community projects, donates generously to the local mosque and becomes well thought of.  He buys influence in the local power structure.

He buys a few slaves to work his mine, treats them generously but does not allow them off his "reservation" to jeopardize his secret source of salt.  He expands his salt empire by selling to nearby cities.

By carefully regulating the salt supply, he stays rich and powerful--and even popular.  For a lifetime, he manages to stay rich and powerful--protecting his secret mine and even manages to pass the enterprise on to his son who continues the dynasty for many generations.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I believe in my heart that Republicans think this way and are thusly motivated. This man has it within his power to lift his whole society a step or two upward--but prefers to gather personal wealth and status.  No Republican on earth can correctly answer this question:  Who is the rightful owner of that mountain of salt?


Imagine a high-minded guy finds a salt mine just outside Timbuktu.  He too knows that gold is trading ounce for ounce for salt.  He knows that salt in small amounts is necessary for life and that in larger amounts can preserve meat and fish.  He knows that if there were suddenly available all the salt anyone would need--much human work and drudgery would be saved. His entire nation would be lifted one notch upward to a new plateau.

He also knows that if this mine were to fall into Republican minded hands--that it would be exploited for greed and personal power and luxuries.

So he ponders how to avoid greedy exploitation and deliver this boon to all.  He wants a better world more than he wants personal riches or power.

He gains occupancy of the mine and once that is secure, goes into town, announces that he has discovered salt and that everyone may come and take all they want.  The lifestyle of Timbuktu folks
was permanently lifted.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  If this seems like a fairy tale to you--consider that  similar situations are currently happening all over the world.  Consider Benjamin Franklin's inventions--the lightening rod, bifocal glasses, the Franklin stove--discoveries and inventions given freely to the world and each lifted humanity to a higher plateau.  Imagine a Republican discovering the lightening rod.  He would patent it and make a fortune.

Consider that the city of Venice, Italy did in fact discover a vast source of salt and exploited it exactly like the Republican above--and became a powerful,highly stratified, luxury loving  trading empire. Later the "Republicans" of Venice discovered the secret of glassmaking. They hid and exploited it also.

Consider the DeBeers diamond company using every skuldugerous trick imaginable to curtail the supply of diamonds---when in fact the world has diamonds a plenty.  There is no real need for foolish men to spend a months salary to buy a "respectable" engagement ring.

Rest assured it was a Republican mentality that caused that jerk recently to raise the price of a life saving drug from $14 to more than $700. They believe that a fair price is what the customer is willing to pay. (a quote from the hall of free enterprise)

Imagine a Republican discovering how to start  fire--he would exploit it for all it's worth--insist on being chief and Shaman;  Make the local tribes bring goodies for  new fire after a rain.

Likewise imagine a Republican discovering the secret of making Pottery, or Bronze, or Iron. Think he would share it willingly to make a better world.

Obama said it well:  There are two competing philosophies at work in the world: WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and ITS EVERYONE FOR HIMSELF. Which is Republicanism?

The obvious truth to me is that as we progress technologically we can afford to freely share  the basics of life (NOT THE LUXURIES YOU UNDERSTAND--THEY REQUIRE WORK) salt, water, food, clothing, shelter, basic medical care.  Were it not for the Republican mentality we would already be beyond abject poverty. More than 50% of us would be free to do what I do--travel, enjoy life, write.