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Dial H For Hero

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Member since: Mon Apr 20, 2020, 11:25 AM
Number of posts: 2,971

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Thailand Tourism Sector Has Its Sights Set on a July 1 Reopening


Thailand's tourism industry launched a campaign on Tuesday, hoping to persuade the country to welcome visitors back by July.

Launched Tuesday, the #OpenThailandSafely campaign hopes to welcome international tourists back to Thailand by July 1, campaign organizers shared with Travel + Leisure, a date which they believe provides enough time for vaccines to make their way around the world.

In addition leaving enough time for travelers to get vaccinated, organizers argued the July 1 date would give Thai medical authorities the opportunity to vaccinate front line staff and vulnerable citizens, and would give the tourism industry (like airlines and hotels) time to prepare to welcome visitors.

Organizers estimate it will take at least a year to return to pre-pandemic tourism numbers in Thailand.


Have my (refundable) flight booked for October!
Posted by Dial H For Hero | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:24 PM (1 replies)

Montana Becomes 18th Constitutional Carry State


Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte last week signed a bill recognizing that law-abiding Montana gun owners 18 or older may carry a concealed firearm without written authorization from the government.

The measure approved by the Republican governor, HB 102, was approved 68-30 by the state House and 29-21 by the state Senate, largely along party lines earlier this month. Gianforte signed the proposal last Thursday.

"Our Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms is part of Montana’s, and our nation’s, rich heritage," said Gianforte in a statement. "We have a responsibility to preserve it."

The new law strengthens the state's self-defense laws by removing a patchwork of “gun-free zones” such as in metropolitan areas, banks, and bars. Further, it limits how public universities and colleges can establish such zones. What it does not do is change who can legally possess a firearm, affect laws governing the misuse of a gun, modify the state's self-defense laws, or remove the ability for private property owners to prohibit firearms.


Updated graphic!

Posted by Dial H For Hero | Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:51 AM (3 replies)

Just booked my first international trip since early last year.

I'd like to go to Thailand, and I was looking for award availability on ANA from JFK to Tokyo in October and November. I would love to fly ANA's new first class ('The Suite') and business class ('The Room') products, and those are only on a single route to Japan out of the USA, from JFK to Tokyo. I looked at leaving in October, and there was award space for first class on a single day. Ok, I'm retired, I can make any day work....but what about coming back?

Again, there was award space on a single day in November, roughly a month later, business class this time. Perfect. I already had plenty of ANA points, so I booked both flights on the spot. I then checked for award space from Tokyo to Bangkok. There was tons, I knew that wouldn't be an issue. At this point I didn't have quite enough ANA points to complete the itinerary, so I sent 28,000 AmEx points to my ANA account, which took a couple of days to transfer. I then booked flights from Tokyo to Bangkok and back (premium economy there, business back).

This is all predicated on actually being able to go to Thailand in October, of course. There's a plan being floated to open up Phuket Island (my favorite place to stay in Thailand) to any international traveler who's received the COVID-19 vaccine (as I plan to do in a couple of weeks). If it doesn't work out, everything is fully refundable....but I would love to spend a month in Thailand. Here's hoping.....
Posted by Dial H For Hero | Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:56 PM (25 replies)

Bushmaster Announces a Comeback


One of the most recognizable names in the AR-15 game is on the way back to the American consumer firearms market, but it's now under new management.

The social media page for Bushmaster on Sunday announced the looming return of the company, saying simply "Bushmaster Firearms is proud to announce that we are back under new ownership! Stay tuned for more to come." Prior to this week's post, the last time the page was updated was August 2019. Likewise, the company's once-vanished website now reads "Under Construction. No Step on Snek!"

The metadata for the site reads:

Bushmaster Firearms International based in Carson City, Nevada, United States, is an American manufacturer and distributor of firearms. The company's product line revolves around semi-automatic pistol and rifle variants of the M4 / AR-15 design. Now made with 100% US materials and parts.

Posted by Dial H For Hero | Tue Feb 16, 2021, 03:34 PM (2 replies)

With the current climate, I couldn't resist buying this gun when I found it at a pre-panic price.

It's a CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S2 9mm Pistol Micro w/ Folding Brace. This particular variant sold for around $1200 when it came out in 2019, but the current gun market is considerably different from the way it was then. They're now going for$1500 to $1800, and you typically add a hundred bucks in sales tax to that if you buy it from your local shop, or $40 or so for shipping if you buy it online and have it sent to your local dealer for the transfer.

The only (very) slight downside is that unlike the one pictured above it's finished in battleship grey instead of black which is....meh? On the other hand, it has the original metal sights instead of the plastic flipups by Magpul. Granted, Magpul makes quality stuff, but I prefer metal over plastic in this instance.

I found it for $1284, with free shipping, no tax! This is just about the last "assault weapon" on my list that I was seriously considering buying, but I had written it off because of the price inflation. While I find it unlikely in the extreme that a law requiring that the government confiscate them will come to pass, A new AWB is a possibility. Such firearms would almost certainly be grandfathered, but the prices prior to such a law being enacted would be a sight to behold. Even in the absence of such a law being passed, the push for gun control now that the Democratic Party controls both Congress and the WH will ensure that prices continue to rise for years to come.

It's interesting to note that the other gun discussion group on DU seems to be in a tizzy about braces.....

Posted by Dial H For Hero | Mon Feb 8, 2021, 01:54 PM (8 replies)

H R 127 - It's far worse than it looks at first glance. Absurdly so, in fact.


Someone in another thread has already described this bill as an $800 poll tax.

It's almost indescribably more draconian than that.

Let's use as an example someone who wishes to own a single firearm, a .22 rifle. They buy it at age 25 and keep it for 40 years.

Our gun owner needs to get a General License. This entails passing a Brady background check. No federal fee, but almost all dealers charge for it. My local gun shop charges $45. We'll just round it to $50 because of increased demand. Next, a psychological evaluation. A quick bit of Googling states that the cost for this would be at least $600 (please correct me if that's wrong). I very much doubt anyone but the potential licensee will be on the hook for this. Next, 24 hours of training. This is speculative, but I'm going to say $20 an hour per person for large groups, so that's $480. Finally, you need a firearms insurance policy, specified to be $800.

Total cost of your gun license: $1,930.

But wait! There's more! The license has to be renewed every year for the first 5 years, and every 3 years after that. Our hypothetical gun owner will need to renew his license 15 times. So how much does a renewal cost? There's another Brady check ($50), another psych evaluation ($600), and 8 hours of training ($200). Each renewal will cost $850. Multiplied by 15, that's $12,750 over the course of the next 39 years.

Still more costs! The mandatory insurance policy is only good for one year, and has to be renewed annually for the same price ($800). 39 more annual policies will cost $31,200.

That means the total cost of owning a single firearm for one's lifetime, aside from the now trivial cost of the firearm itself, would under this bill be $45,880. And if the firearm in question is a "military-style" weapon, it will cost tens of thousands of dollars more over time due to increased training costs. Per gun.

Telling gun owners they're going to have to pay in the neighborhood of fifty grand just to own a bolt action .22 or a double barreled shotgun is not a recipe for increasing one's share of the vote.
Posted by Dial H For Hero | Thu Feb 4, 2021, 05:52 PM (32 replies)
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