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Matthew McConaughey = Hollywood Idiot #1,367,189

So an actor named Matthew McConaughey has stepped into the freedom debate, advocating for stripping law-abiding citizens of our Constitutional rights because of what certainly appears to be a remarkably well funded and coordinated attack on the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.

None of what McConaughey advocates for would have stopped the attack, although “hardening” the school would have easily defeated the mysterious gunman. McConaughey did not advocate for hardening public schools. He wants American gun owners to be at the mercy of unaccountable bureaucrats and vindictive neighbors who disagree with private gun ownership, period.

Why the hell does any American in their right mind care what this actor guy says? McConaughey is a paid actor, someone who engages in silly dress-up and make-believe fairy tales for a living. This ain’t rocket science stuff, it is childish. McConaughey is just one more idiot from Hollywood, whose forte is definitely not public policy. And we all know that lawless, goofball, doped up, Marxist Hollywood has been at war with a Constitutional America for fifty years, in any case. So of course people from Hollywood will come up with all kinds of ridiculous policy ideas like McConaughey has.

I for one do not care about McConaughey’s opinions, nor do I care for his acting. Actors are a dime a dozen, generally unimpressive to seriously failed as individuals, and they depend upon the support of their audience to make the ridiculous millions of dollars they get for simply fooling around in front of a camera.

McConaughey has definitely lost a lot of his audience with his publicity stunt. But then again, he probably already has so much money in the bank from ticket-buying gun owners while he has play-acted being a violent gun owner in his movies that he doesn’t have to work for a living.

If only some Hollywood script writer would write this whole farce up into a movie…it would probably make a lot of money as a macabre comedy.

The real NFL stats

The other day a political website overflowing with the typical hatred for the current president published a supposedly carefully analyzed essay that boasted the NFL is doing just fine, despite the NFL’s politicization and the current president’s subsequent criticisms of that politicization.

Though supposed to be a careful numbers analysis, the essay was full of personal invective against the president. It is a hint that the numbers argument is not strong enough to stand on its own.

This essay stated that current NFL advertising payments demonstrate the NFL is in full financial health; that there is no measurable financial result from the NFL’s politicization or the public disputes and discourteous behavior many of its employees have shown toward average Americans and the US president.

In short, the NFL is doing fine with the American people and President Trump has no traction.

It was the kind of article that I had to read three times over to ensure that the writer really meant what he wrote. And in fact, he did mean it, and yet it is just another example of how just about everything has been politicized, and how anything that can be politicized to score a point will be  so used. Even if it is so obviously factually wrong.

Never mind that this week’s New Yorker magazine has a front cover showing a dead, bleeding Donald Trump at the bottom of an escalator. That is obvious bias and unhinged crazy (imagine if it had been the past president so portrayed). What is more intriguing is when someone reaches into a random numbers hat and tries to make a coherent argument, as the subject essay did, and pass it off as careful logic.

The problem with arguing that the NFL is doing great! fantastic! so there! based on current advertising payments is that those payments are not directly connected to actual league performance. Those ad numbers are heavily indexed and fixed long ago to past data and calculations of expected market performance. Long before Colin Kaepernick started his anti-America kneeling thing. Long before the NFL was politicized.

The cited NFL numbers are heavily lagged, meaning they reflect past, not present or even close to present performance. Also, these ad numbers are relative to other markers/ variables that are either unrelated to NFL performance or are fixed. This means they either cannot or likely will not change due to NFL performance for a long time. This means the market-driven financial fallout from the politicized NFL’s self-inflicted damage is yet to be tallied or measured by the sectors being cited by the essay (unless you are looking at short-term sales of NFL merchandise, which has been yo-yo-ing for the past two years, or half-empty NFL stadiums and unbelievably low game ticket sales, as one would expect as a result of the NFL’s politicization and purposeful alienation of at least half of America).

Using the advertising measures in that political essay in a logical way, an actual analysis in five years would be appropriate. That would catch the standard market-based reevaluation of the NFL’s actual performance. And that probably won’t be a happy situation; certainly nothing for political writers to crow about. I am willing to bet that the NFL will be in real trouble in five years, as a result of openly disrespecting their audience and market.

I conclude this by looking at the most telling, most relevant statistics: Low ticket sales, half-filled stadiums, NFL merchandise sales way down, measurable TV-broadcast NFL game viewership down.

But by then the essay in question will be long forgotten, because almost all such essays are done for their immediate effect. That is, they are trying to create an appearance, a narrative, with the simple goal of damaging and reducing the president’s current polling numbers among his supporters. Accuracy, facts, numbers do not matter. And no one else in the legacy media will call them out on their inaccuracy, anyhow.

Essays based on numbers written by politicos who are ignorant about numbers and markets are not really, truly, meant to persuade people that the numbers are meaningful. Rather, high-churn essays like this are simply meant to score temporary political points. Just like the vast majority of the US establishment legacy media. It is just another angle, that’s all.

Ken Matthews, local reporter extraordinaire

WHP580 AM radio has long been a source of news for those hungry for accurate reporting outside of the establishment media liberal agenda.

Bob Durgin was the lovable, garrulous, crotchety, cowboy hat wearing local man-on-the-street news guy from 3:00 to 6:00 daily, and his news items shaped a good deal of local, regional, and state politics.  Because Durgin worked in the state capital region, he was listened to by a population of political activists.  So when the PA state legislature midnight pay raise happened, Durgin was on the soap box, giving vent to his frustration.  He inspired an entire movement and generation of political activists; existing activists like Gene Stilp, Russ Diamond, and Eric Epstein were bolstered by having weekly access to his show as guests, and often sitting in for Durgin when he went on vacation.

After Durgin retired, Ken Matthews was hired by RJ Harris to run the 3-6 slot.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if Ken was going to make it during his first couple of months at the microphone.  His listeners missed Durgin’s style, and they missed Durgin’s local content.  It is a tough place to be, following three hours of Rush Limbaugh, and the natural inclination is to talk about national and international issues.  After all, these big issues best reflect the great principles and ideas that guide government, both good and bad.

So Ken’s callers were hostile towards him.  They didn’t like his style, his voice, or his views.  It was a rough transition, and it came through the radio like a sharp thumb in the eye.

But to Ken’s credit, he dove into the Central PA culture and took a crash course in our ways and our people.  There is a reason that this region is the most politically and culturally conservative area in America.  Our people here will always fight the good fight, and they want to be knowledgeable about politics.

Ken Matthews has now mastered the audience’s interests and passions, and he has really hit his stride.  Last week Ken reported on the frivolous but dangerous lawsuit against Perry County Sheriff Nace, by liberal county auditors seeking concealed carry permit holders’ information. Did the Patriot News report on it up front? No.  But, surprisingly, that liberal activist newspaper had an incredible interview with citizen activist Jim Lucas, after the fact.  So Ken is having an impact.

Ken’s reporting awakened a sleeping giant in otherwise pastoral, tranquil Perry County.  Ken is a hero.

Perry County’s tranquility is often seen as being simple and backwards by outsiders.  As a guy who grew up in very rural farm country, I can tell you that the outward tranquility masks a soul of steel and resolute commitment to American liberties.  City slickers do not understand that.  Here comes the political surprise, folks!  The hornet’s nest was knocked down with a broom handle, kicked, and then a swarm of angry hornets poured forth.  The implications for the 2016 state senate race in the 15th PA senate district are huge.  Perry County voters are now riled up.

Thank you to Ken Matthews, a friend of our Second Amendment rights, and a fantastic local reporter.  We are pleased to have you wearing Bob Durgin’s big cowboy boots.