Trade In Grandma and Other Clunkers (Save Obama’s Healthcare)

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

 

Our “cash for clunkers” has proven to be so successful that we’ve decided to extend the program for cars – and for people. Of course there is no place to trade in your elderly, people, in other words, that have too much mileage on them. You cannot simply dump and deposit seniors in some lot, get cash for them, and then go home.

 

So as part of our new and improved healthcare bill, we’ve inaugurated a set-up where people over the age of 65 will be – speaking frankly – at the mercy of the government. Since we know best, we the government will decide who shall live and who shall die. If, for example, a person begins to stutter, or if, for example, a man or a woman has already served his or her purpose in life, well, it’s time to go.

 

Some people simply aren’t worth the bother.

Details

Who Will Be Our First Trillionaire?

By Jack Engelhard

 

Those who have read the book or seen the movie “Indecent Proposal” know what it’s about – what would you do for a million dollars? At the time that I wrote and published the novel back in the mid-1980s, a million dollars was real money. That’s how we defined RICH, by the millions.

 

Larry King (when I appeared on his radio show) asked me why I chose the figure a million dollars for a night of infidelity and before I could answer he agreed. He said, “That’s right. A million dollars is the magic word.” That was then and this is now, and how times have changed!

 

Suddenly, you are nothing if you are not a billionaire with a b. (I’m not changing a thing. A million dollars is still plenty in my book.)

 

Donald Trump is actually suing a man, a writer, who claims, in a book, that Trump is a mere millionaire. Trump says it’s ruining his image and his business.

 

Imagine that – we’ve arrived at a moment when being called a millionaire is an insult. (The rest of us should be so insulted.)

Details

Kremlin America

By Jack Engelhard

 

The news is never good, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, and I’m losing track of what’s going on so far as health care and a thousand other items that are spinning out of the control. Don’t know much about the economy either, except that this too is in the tank – reaching 10 percent unemployment.

 

So please don’t come asking me for details. That’s why we have experts who, by the way, are the ones who got us into this fine mess – but never mind.

 

What I do know is that we – Mr. and Mrs. America – well, we all got together and installed a government that speaks in one voice, along with a news media that whistles the same tune. What have we done? We have installed a system of government that has no checks and balances. Repeat, no checks and balances.

 

One party runs the whole shebang – the White House and the Congress, with, as I said, the news media tagging along.

 

Our Founding Fathers were hot on the Separation of Powers, which is why we have three branches of power, the Legislative, the Executive, the Judicial, and then a Fourth Power, the news media, sometimes known as the Fourth Estate. Dissent is expected and even encouraged to keep us safe from tyranny.

Details

Call Me Stimulus

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

Obama Never Wanted To Be President. He Just Wanted To Be Loved.

 

The Stimulus Bill weighs in at 1,588 pages – not exactly a page turner. The same lawmakers who wrote this heavyweight boondoggle, and voted for it, never read it, and that’s why there’s all this amazement about those bonuses for AIG. Nobody knows what’s in this package, except for $850 BILLION of our money that’s going, going, gone.

 

According to my calculations, that’s one thousand dollars per word, or maybe a million dollars per page. That’s a writer’s dream.

 

Mark Twain got a nickel a word and Ernest Hemingway maybe a dime or a quarter.

 

“Moby Dick” runs 464 pages. On those rates (if he were writing for Congress) Herman Melville would have died wealthy instead of poor, or started the novel with, “Call me Rich,” instead of Ishmael. “War and Peace” ends at page 1,296. Using the same math, Leo Tolstoy died poor for no reason except for the fact that he wrote novels instead of legislation.

 

(How do I get in on this?)

 

I actually heard three senators say that they never read the bill, that, indeed, nobody in Congress read the small print or even the BIG PRINT. Nada.

Details

Madoff: The Perfect Storm for anti-Semitism

By Jack Engelhard

 

They needed a picture, a poster boy, to be the face of our economic collapse and as if on cue, here came Bernard Madoff.

 

They got their man. He’s Jewish. How perfect. The mystery is solved. They know whom to blame. The Jews.

 

Right after Madoff was exposed, I overheard this conversation in a restaurant: “You heard about this guy Madoff?”

 

“Yup – here go those Jews again.”

Details

When Bad Things Happen to Good Computers

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

Well, it finally happened. My computer crashed. All my works in progress – gone! Fortunately, most of my novels are already published and listed on Amazon and elsewhere, so that’s good, and as for my journalism, well, that’s also preserved here and all over the Web.

 

I’ll bet I’m not alone in this. This has happened to everybody. We’re all at the mercy of technology and technology is not perfect. Stuff happens.

 

For some reason I equate all this with the economy, which also crashed, and I equate it even more with something almost cosmic, that our entire civilization rests upon the mercy and the good graces of a power higher up, beyond us mortals – in other words, we are all plugged in and, just like that, someone can pull the plug and plug us out.

 

Is this religion?

Details

Fiction Friction, News Blues

By Jack Engelhard

 

When I heard that an obscure French-born novelist had won the Nobel Prize, I thought it must be me and I began eyeing that red Cadillac. After all, I fit all three categories. I am obscure. I am French-born. I am a novelist. Who else could it be? A man named Jean-Marie Gustav Le Clezio, that’s who. Oh well, as we say in baseball (and the economy) – wait till next year.

 

I hope Le Clezio wins us over. This is not promising. There have been no long lines for preceding Nobel champs, big names like Orhan Pamuk and Elfriede Jelinek.

 

Hemingway got the jitters when he won it and in fact he wanted no part of it due to the jinx.

 

But I’m stalling. I’ve really come here to talk about THE DEATH OF THE NOVEL. The latest to have his crack at this is columnist Kyle Smith writing in today’s New York Post (Sunday, Oct. 12). He sums it all up, in my favorite newspaper, by saying (if not in those words) that, in this fast-paced age of technology, fiction does not speak for our times.

Details

Your Money is Safer at the Racetrack

By Jack Engelhard

 

Don’t know much about the economy. Then again, neither do the people who run these things.

 

With all these banking outfits going down the drain, virtually overnight, we skipped right past Recession and went directly to Depression. Thanks, guys! Now it’s all in the hands of our Congress to save us from insolvency, which is like inviting Michael Jackson into your bedroom to babysit.

 

Don’t know much about politics, either, which puts me in the same boat with politicians.

 

On Nancy Pelosi and the bickering in the House of Representatives, we quote the sage Casey Stengal: “Doesn’t anybody know how to play this game?”

 

[Wait a minute! This Congress is controlled by the Democrats. If this is a sample of the “change” we’ve got coming, we’re in big trouble, kemosabe.]

Details