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November 9, 2012

The Jackal is Still Around

Harry M. Covert

Money, money, money. A nice sound and it’s not filthy lucre unless, of course, it’s the undying love of legal tender, but who can tell?


The recently completed election cycle is proof positive that money is the motivating force in every moment of every day. The lack of such gold and silver forces people to do strange things – good, bad and for fun.


This has been the most expensive election on all levels in history. The campaigns beat the citizens to death and into submission about jobs, jobs and jobs. The public has been inundated about the economic crisis. Certainly many are hurting, but it’s difficult to understand.


The national campaigns spent billions. The most expensive race for a U. S. Senate seat occurred in Virginia – $30 million helped the economy in the Old Dominion. How nice!


The Old Line State’s economy didn’t suffer either with millions coming from inside and outside the friendly confines. How nice, too.


Is there any doubt today that money talks? None whatsoever. That was evident in the advertising coffers for gambling and other things heretofore referred to as vices. The latter word is about to be removed from proper English.


No one seems to be squawking about the excesses in the money department of elections. Do voters really care about the spending? Doesn’t seem so. These attitudes fall right into line.


Hurricane Sandy’s visit has taken no prisoners. I wince at the loss of lives, electricity, homes, cars and all services. The people are hurting and it’s going to take more than the federal, state and local governments to ease the cries and pains. Rhetoric won’t fix anything.


It’s wonderful to see the charities, churches and individuals jumping in to help the hurting. The great thing is that the revival of lives and locales is because the money is available. Don’t listen if anyone says there’s no money in the bank. Isn’t true. Just recall the election coffers.


When I think about the dollars to win the presidency, the senatorial and congressional races, and the causes for gambling enterprises, I think about all of the one-arm bandits who’ve lurked around the hustings.


When OAS commanders found an assassin to shoot French President Charles de Gaulle in the fictional 1972 classic “The Day of the Jackal,” they asked how much?


The Jackal: "Half a million."


Colonel Rodin: "What?"


The Jackal: "In cash. Half in advance and half on completion."


Colonel Rodin: "Half a million francs!"


The Jackal: "Dollars."


Colonel Rodin: "Are you mad?"


The Jackal: "Considering you expect to get France in return, I'd have thought it a reasonable price."


Let’s put all this in perspective here at home. Frederick Forsythe’s novel was based on fact. Can’t criticize candidates, their agents, advisors, broadcast consultants and advertising moneybags. They’re not mad.


Billions for the 2012 presidential race, multi-millions for the Senate and House of Representatives around the nation, and millions upon millions in other ways to coerce voters. Francs? Lord, no, Dollars. The Jackal’s half-million dollars is valued today at $3,621,043.05


Considering they all wanted to get the USA in return and all the ancillary perks, the state and local governments, the elected, donors, personal and professional have – and will – cash in.


Jobs, jobs and jobs? Well, they “got‘em.” The treasuries are open and their hands are in your pockets.


A physician I know emphasizes that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”


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