A New Season

Something we’re getting into is buying up old cast iron cookware, and restoring it. We’re starting with my late grandmother’s old #8 skillet, which was in horrible shape when I got it. I only made it worse by using it to hold hot coals for my smoker, which stripped a lot of the seasoning off and opened it up for more rust. I also bought, for six dollars at a thrift shop, an antique #8 skillet from the turn of the century (the last century), which has a few rust spots on it, but otherwise looks to be in quite good shape. Over the holidays, Bitter’s mom gave us an old #10 skillet that needs to be restored.

As a kid growing up, my mother always had well-seasoned cast iron cookware, which I learned to cook on. After my mom died, and we all moved out of the old house (my dad remarried, and my sister got married), either my sister or my dad got my mom’s cast iron. None of the modern pans I’ve used since have been their equivalent, so I’m looking to make some of my own, and ditch the modern non-stick el-cheapo crap. I’ve been making more pan cooked dishes lately, and miss the old cast iron. If this all works, I might look at trying to score a cast iron wok.

Fiscal Cliff Deal

I’m just not as mad as some on the right are about this. The rich overwhelmingly voted to have their taxes go up by re-electing Obama. So be it. I also agree with Powerline blog that it will hardly make a difference in the deficit:

But what happens now that Obama has gotten his way? It will soon become apparent that the fiscal cliff deal, including precisely the tax increases that Obama has been demanding for four years, makes hardly a dent in the deficit. At best, it will reduce the deficit by five or six percent. We will continue to run up deficits of close to $1 trillion a year, and the national debt will continue to grow, as Obama has always intended. This fact can’t be hidden; it will be reported.

I’m not sure about it being reported, but the fact that this won’t close the deficit is truth. I certainly don’t want my taxes raised, but at some point people have to come to terms with the real cost of the big government they are voting for.

A lot of conservatives, and I do as well, favor a balanced budget amendment, except in the case of war or other extreme emergencies. If that were ever to become reality, paying for the government you’re voting for is pretty much built into that idea. As it is, anti-tax pledges are essentially a mechanism whereby we can continue voting for big government, buy paying for it through borrowing from future generations. Maybe it will take making people understand the cost of all this, by actually paying for it, before they will be willing to reassess whether big government is really what they want.

New Details on Illinois Gun Ban Bill

According to ISRA:

Based on what we know about Cullerton’s bill, firearms that would be banned include all semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns.  Pump action shotguns would be banned as well.  This would be a very comprehensive ban that would include not only so-called “assault weapons” but also such classics as M1 Garands and 1911-based pistols.  There would be no exemptions and no grandfathering.  You would have a very short window to turn in your guns to the State Police to avoid prosecution.

They seem to be taking the tactic of “go big or go home,” and it’s incumbent on each and every one of us to ensure the latter is the result. This is their end game. Anyone who says they aren’t coming for your guns is a liar. They most certainly are where they think they can get away with it.

UPDATE: John Richardson, “You have to wonder just how committed to democracy and representative government are those politicians who would push for gun bans.” You also have to wonder what it says about the strength of their position, that they feel they have to spring this on us the day after a holiday so that there’s no time for debate. They know we can be a force once mobilized, so they are hoping to ram something through before the alarm is heard and responded to.

Clayon on SSRIs

Interesting thoughts here. I think there are a few things we’ll look back on in 50 years with horror. One of them is drugging an entire generation of jittery boys with amphetamines instead of dealing with the problem through proper discipline, and the other is over-prescribing of anti-depressants. I think these drugs can help some people, but these days doctors I think are too keen on making problems go away with drugs than with taking the time to deal with the underlying problem a patient might be having. I don’t blame them, because family doctors aren’t therapists. But the idea that SSRIs don’t come with any downside I think is a fanciful. Clayton’s observation is interesting:

In addition, the warning information on SSRI antidepressants now includes the very real hazard that a person who is severely depressed, once taking the antidepressant, may now have enough energy to plan and carry out a suicide.

Could be. We don’t really know a whole lot about how the brain works, which is why I’m skeptical about tinkering with brain chemicals in new ways and expecting that every issue is going to come out in clinical trials. It’s a lot more complicated than treating other well-defined medical problems.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Earns its Moniker

By being dicks. We’ve had problems with Dick’s sporting goods in this area too enforcing New Jersey law in Pennsylvania, and generally being dishonest about fixing the problem. Obviously, I think our money is probably better spent with companies that support the Second Amendment. I will never set foot in Dick’s again. For anything.

UPDATE: National boycott forming? I hope so.

On Celebrity Hypocrisy

I think Ace pretty much sums up my feelings toward the demand a plan counterattack circulating:


I saw this video last week but wasn’t sure what to make of it. The short film here, ridiculing celebrities for pronouncing on gun control while romanticizing gun violence in movies, seemed to be making the same mistake the celebrities were.

That problem is precrime.

I think our society — any society — goes off the rails badly when it stops criminalizing criminal acts and instead dabbles in a precrime regime, seeking to criminalize non-blameworthy behavior on the theory that such behavior, while not harmful to others directly, is indirectly harmful, or is a “root cause” of the ultimately blameworthy behavior.

Read the whole thing.

Happy New Year!

As we look forward with optimism dread for the new year, let us hope for the best. It is time for resolutions, and my public resolution to do what I can to stop what’s coming.

The ultimate problem of the Internet is that all politics is local, so calls for action on the Internet are important, but when it comes to stopping what’s coming our local clubs, gun shops, shooting ranges, gun shows, and shooting matches. I tend to think young people (and when I say young people, I’m including GenX) these local entities and have treated gun culture more as a product to be consumed rather than a form of civil society. The more the civil society aspect of the gun culture weakens, the weaker we get even though our numbers might be growing. This is the root cause of my worry in this current showdown with the White House and the far left, is that we’re winning the culture war, but in places that don’t as easily translate into political action.

I look at this coverage of a lone protester outside of a Denver gun show, and wonder how effective it might be for one or two of us to patrol the line to get in with signs that ask “Have you written your lawmaker yet?” or “Are you registered to vote?” That’s the kind of thing we need right now. I’m also thinking of ideas that might help translate Internet action into local action. I not only want to beat the gun control groups and the White House, I want to come out of this stronger than we went in so we have a platform on which we can build victory after victory.