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About: Joel Engel

If you’ve come this far to read a bit about me, I urge you to visit my own website, WWW.JOELENGEL.COM, where I also post, though usually items that are a bit off-center—you know, the P. 17 story that says quite a bit about our world and yet gets little or no attention. (Also follow me on Twitter @joelengel)
This is from my longer bio there:
I’ve authored or co-authored more than 15 books (including a New York Times bestseller)—narrative nonfiction, essays, sports, satire, pop culture, biography, and autobiography. As a journalist for the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among other papers and periodicals, I reported on everything from politics to hot-air ballooning, pregnancy to cancer research, pop culture to business. I’ve also sold several feature-film scripts to Hollywood and produced about 60 hours of (cable) television. Two professional experiences that I remember with inexplicable pleasure are writing an infomercial hosted by a celebrity who insisted on being introduced as “the beautiful and talented actress” when in fact she was not quite either, and getting fired from a documentary about Elvis fans for telling the network executive—who until months before had been a Russian interpreter—that her clunky suggestion for the show’s opening sequence was “not good television.”




Posts by Joel Engel  (Page 1)

Unlike real engineers, social engineers avoid math

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Posted by    Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 7:00am

Opponents of nuclear power plants were cheered by the results of a recent study suggesting that, with public health in mind, more of these marvels that turn out cheap, clean energy ought to be shut down.

Clos...

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America under Obama is a weak horse

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Posted by    Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:45am

Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise visit to Iraq to plead with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to stop granting Iran permission to Iraqi airspace and territory.  Iran, which has a vested interest in maintaining the Syrian regime, flies arms and other material support that aid Assad.

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Red lines and lies

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Posted by    Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 5:30pm

President Obama is in the Mideast, geographically not all that far from where Bashar Assad may be using chemical weapons against his own people.

Verification of that would be a “red line” for the administration to get involved militarily—something the president wants to avoid after the debacle in Libya.  (Apparently it’s tough...

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Ladies and gentlemen, Sarah Palin!!

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Posted by    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 7:00am

Watching Sarah Palin’s canny performance at CPAC the other day—and particularly the moment she held up that Big Gulp in a Statue of Liberty pose after a provocative double entendre about her “rack”—two words came to mind:

Lenny Bruce.

In a lot of ways, the philosophical parallels are striking.

Like Palin, Bruce enjoyed sticking...

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L.A. is Tammany Hall West

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Posted by    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 4:00pm

Everything that’s wrong with the corruptocracy known as Los Angeles is contained in this L.A. Times report about the departure of Tim Leiweke as head of Anschutz Entertainment Group—and there’s little doubt, given how the details were spaced out in the 1,000-word story, that reporters David Zahniser and Kate Linthicum didn’t...

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Liberals v Reality, take two

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Posted by    Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 2:57pm

The other day I was moved to reflect that the world liberals believe in—a Utopia where bad guys are just one tax hike on “the rich” away from being good guys—exists only on car bumpers.

Anodyne, nonsensical phrases seem to be the exclusive province of the left, which is no revelation given...

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The world that liberals believe in exists only on car bumpers

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Posted by    Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7:00am

Every time I see a car with a War is not the answer bumper sticker, I try to catch up and ask the driver, “What’s the question?”  Because if the question is, “How many feet in a mile?” then it’s true that the answer is not war.  But what if the...

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Hollywood steps in its own pile; hilarity ensues

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Posted by    Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 3:00pm

Hollywood is apparently unhappy with Seth MacFarlane’s hosting of the Oscars on Sunday night.  So says the New York Times</...

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The consequences of John Kerry

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Posted by    Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:50pm

Secretary of State John Kerry (go ahead, just try to type those words) is making his first overseas trip since confirmation as a member of the president’s cabinet—and as fourth, dear lord, in the line of succession.  Via Heritage:

Secretary of State John Kerry’s first overseas trip began by sending mixed signals...

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On economics, the LA Times is your go-to paper for claptrap and drivel

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Posted by    Monday, February 25, 2013 at 12:30pm

Mainstream reporters have  spent so many years square pegging round holes—crediting Bill Clinton alone for the boom of the late 90s, blaming Bush alone for the crash of the late 00s, praising Obama’s intelligence, etc.—that they may not even recognize their own nonsense.

Take Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times, who begins...

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It’s impossible to guess where The New York Times now finds racism

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Posted by    Friday, February 22, 2013 at 9:35am

Wow.  Just…wow:

For decades, hundreds of college players have gathered each year at the N.F.L.’s scouting combine, where their strength is tested, their speed is timed and, in a test to measure their intelligence, they are asked questions like “When a rope is selling 20 cents per 2 feet, how many feet...

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CalPERS divests gun manufacturers, shoots retirees in feet

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Posted by    Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 7:30am

California made a move yesterday that makes about as much sense as throwing away your telescope to get back at that meteor for hitting Russia.

And yet, in California, it’s strictly business as usual (via LA Times):

The nation’s biggest public pension fund is taking a stand against gun violence by voting to sell...

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Senate Republicans about to fold like card table on Hagel

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Posted by    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 7:00pm

The apparently principled opposition of Republicans in the Senate to Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense appears to be over.

Via Slate:

Sen. John McCain says that while he doesn’t believe former Sen. Chuck Hagel is the right man to lead the Pentagon, Republican senators will stop using tactics to delay the...

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“Liberal” cartoonist/columnist confuses rhetoric with reality

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Posted by    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 2:00pm

Behold “liberal” cartoonist/columnist David Horsey’s latest horsey—- in the Los Angeles Times.

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Bill Maher, white supremacists, and Ahmadinejad all agree on Israel

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Posted by    Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 5:00pm

It’s a good thing for anti-Semites that Israel exists.  If it weren’t for the Jewish state, they’d have no place to hide their “socialism of fools.”  What used to be considered déclassé—“Jews run the world,”etc.—can now be safely repackaged with little or no critic...

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Christopher Dorner, LAPD’s ghosts, and left-wing populism

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Posted by    Friday, February 15, 2013 at 7:00pm

Here’s a lesson in the wages of appeasement.

When the manhunt for Christopher Dorner got desperate, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck panicked and announced that he planned to reinvestigate Dorner’s firing which the former cop, according to his Facebook manifesto, blamed on racism.

Beck insisted that the new inquiry wasn’t intended to appease the...

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L.A.’s nanny mayor with Utopian intentions has made life hell

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Posted by    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 4:45pm

When Antonio Villaraigosa became mayor of Los Angeles in mid 2003, he promised to focus on quality-of-life issues the way Rudy Giuliani had so successfully in New York.  To Angelenos, the number one quality-of-life issue is transit.  Pretty much everything else pales in comparison (as long as you don’t live in...

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