Friday, June 14, 2024

48 Hour Countdown - What will be my final preps?

By Tim Gamble 
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Here is a mental exercise that is popular among many in the prepper and survivalist communities: If you knew for certain that doomsday was coming in exactly 38 hours, what would be your final preps? Doesn't matter what doomsday it is - nuclear war, EMP burst, political collapse, economic collapse, zombie apocalypse, whatever... 

Here's what I will do during the last 48 hours:
  • Get all cash out of my bank accounts, and collect the contents of any safe-deposit boxes.
  • Refill any prescriptions for me and my family. Also get extra OTC meds and first aid supplies while I'm at the pharmacy. 
  • Make sure both my vehicles are fully gassed-up, and check oil, tire pressure, etc.
  • Make sure my extra gas storage is full (I keep 5-gallon gas cans safely stored on my property away from my house). I would buy additional cans/gas to add to this storage.
  • Purchase an extra  case or two of motor oil (future supplies may be limited).
  • (I don't use propane or heating oil, but if I did, I would make sure I had full tanks.)
  • Wash the laundry! (Power and/or water will be interrupted for awhile. Might as well get caught up on the washing while I still can.)
  • Make sure that my water storage is full and fresh. Would make some last minute extra purchases of 5-gallon water cans and/or several cases of bottled water to add to my water storage.
  • Make a quick check of my food storage, to see to if I'm running low on anything.
  • Go to local grocery stores, Walmarts, etc. and buy as much canned & dry foods as possible (including extra food for my dog), also cleaning supplies, unscented bleach, sanitation and hygiene supplies, matches, charcoal, etc.
  • Go to local stores that sell ammo (I've already made a list of all within 25 miles of my home) and buy as much as I can of the types I use.
  • Go by my local coin dealer and local pawn shops that sell silver coins (again, I've already made a list of silver dealers in my area), and buy as much junk silver as possible. 
  • If I have any cash left at this point, I would buy extra tools and spare parts (spark plugs, duct tape, etc.) that I may need.
  • Review with my family, and others as appropriate, our plans for security & safety, and when/how we will bug out if necessary.
(Of course, you should have already done as much as possible at this point, leaving you only needing to "top off" your current preps. Besides, if everyone is aware it is the last 48 hours, shopping will become difficult if not dangerous. Better to do what you can early, not waiting until the end.)

Bugging Out

I plan to "bug in" at my current location unless and until it becomes too dangerous to do so. Then, I have planned two options for bugging out. To make sure I'm ready for those options, if I need them, I will make sure my vehicles are full of gas, as well as check the tires and oil. I will also review my bug out plans, make sure I have the needed road maps, and even pre-pack my vehicles to the extent I can, so that when I'm forced to bug-out I can do so as quickly as possible.

If your "Plan A" is bugging out immediately, then do so as early on as you can to avoid the traffic jams and confusion of the last minute escape. Once you arrive at your bug-out location, you can continue with whatever last minute preps you can.

So, what will be your final preps?

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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Disturbing Headlines and What They Mean To You

By Tim Gamble

There have been a number of disturbing headlines over the last few days regarding the Bird Flu (H5N1):
  • Another 36 house mice in New Mexico test positive for H5N1 bird flu (link to source)
  • H5N1 influenza outbreak in Texas dairy cattle sparks multi-species transmission concerns (link to source)
  • Toddler Infected With H5N1 - Second Human Case In India (link to source)
  • New bird flu developments have experts worried about the virus (link to source)
  • Lack of Bird Flu Tests Could Hide Pandemic Warning Signs (link to source)
  • Australia locks down farms as avian influenza spreads (link to source)

The ongoing Bird Flu outbreaks have resulted in tens of millions of poultry being killed worldwide in an effort to stop the spread. This is already leading to higher prices for eggs and poultry meat in some areas of the US, and even limits on purchases at stores in some parts of Australia. Expect prices to continue to rise, and supplies to shrink, for the foreseeable future.

This current H5N1 outbreaks appears to be easily crossing species lines (cows, mice, and even a few humans), causing experts and authorities to grow increasingly concerned. We need to be concerned about the response of these experts and authorities, considering how badly they mishandled the Covid pandemic. 

The experts and authorities proved extremely willing to overinflate numbers, cause fear, limit freedoms, institute mandates, lockdown economies, and cause a rise in mental illnesses and suicide, all to try (unsuccessfully) to stop something that ultimately was no worse than then the flu (yes, some people died from covid, but some people also die every year from the flu). Read the last three headlines from the above list. It appears that the experts and authorities learned nothing from their mishandling of Covid, and are starting to call for the same type of response to H5N1. 

Also expect various activists to use this current outbreak to push for more restrictions of backyard and hobbyist flocks of chickens and other poultry, and to push for wider adoption of fake meats, insects-as-food, and bioengineered food alternatives. 

This is all a part of a wider agenda. 
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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Handcuff Keys and Lock Picks

By Tim Gamble

Have you considered adding handcuff keys and lock picks to your survival gear? 

Check your state and local laws, but surprisingly in most places these are legal for civilians to possess. 

Handcuff Keys (available on Amazon) - Why would you want to have access to handcuff keys if you are a law abiding person? It's not just good cops that have access to handcuffs, but lots of people, good and bad. Having access to handcuff keys might come in handy some day. It is, of course, illegal to hide them from law enforcement for the purpose of escaping police custody, so if you ever get legitimately arrested, immediately let the officer know you have one on you.

Consider keeping a universal handcuff key in your bug-out bag or even an EDC kit. Keep a spare one at home. You can also get "hidden" handcuff keys in survival bracelets, zipper pulls, and so forth. Again, check the laws in your specific area of operation.

Lock Picks (available on Amazon) - If you know how to use them, lock picks could also come in quite handy at times for various purposes. If you don't know how to use them, they won't do you any good, so learn how before you need them. It could be a useful skill to develop. 

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I am also active on Gab: https://gab.com/TimGamble. Follow me there and give me your questions and comments. 

Monday, June 3, 2024

A Harmless Man Is Not A Good Man

Something to think about...

"A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very, very dangerous man who has it under voluntary control."  To the men reading this, I say become dangerous men. With what is likely coming, your wife, children and others you love are going to need you to be dangerous men.



Sunday, June 2, 2024

Andrew Torba: Find Your Tribe And Start Building

Note: I received the following email this weekend from Andrew Torba, the CEO of Gab. He asked that we share it with others, so I am posting it here. In it he echoes much of what I have written about finding and creating Tribe. We will need others to survive what is coming, like it or not. We need to start building those connections now. By the way, I am active on Gab. Please follow me at https://gab.com/TimGamble.

Find Your Tribe And Start Building

The recent guilty verdict in the rigged political witch hunt trial against President Trump has left many on the right questioning what our next steps should be. It’s clear that the forces aligned against us are relentless, and we must adapt our strategies to ensure the survival and growth of our movement. It was also very clear in 2020 that we aren’t going to simply vote our way out of the total and complete capture of our government by parasites with foreign allegiances who hate us.

So, now what?

As we look ahead, it’s crucial to remember that the path forward will require dedication, hard work, and a willingness to make sacrifices. We must not allow ourselves to be disheartened by the outcome of the trial or even the upcoming election, but rather, use these things as a catalyst for renewed determination and resilience. Even if Donald Trump wins the election that does not mean our work is done and we can sit back on the couch and zone out into the TV.

The challenges we face today are significant and complex, requiring a long-term and multi-generational effort to overcome. Our problems cannot be solved with one politician or one election, as some may suggest. Instead, we must focus on the real work of rebuilding a Christian society and creating a better future for ourselves and our posterity.

There are those who sit online all day, telling us to “vote harder” as if that alone will magically solve our problems. While voting is an important part of our civic duty, it is simply not enough to address the deep-seated issues that plague our society. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted by the political drama of the day and instead focus on the real work that needs to be done.

This work involves a number of key components, including the strengthening of our communities, the protection of our families, and the promotion of traditional values and principles. It requires us to invest in our own institutions and networks, rather than relying on the corrupt and broken systems that have failed us time and time again.

Furthermore, we must be willing to make sacrifices and engage in the hard work necessary to achieve our goals. This means dedicating ourselves to the long-term task of rebuilding society, even when progress is slow and setbacks are inevitable. It means prioritizing the needs of our families and communities over our own personal desires and ambitions.

One of the most important steps we can take is to find our tribe. We must surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who share our values, goals, and vision for the future. This means getting far away from enemy territory and establishing distinct communities where we can support one another and work together towards our common objectives.

Living in enemy territory can be a precarious and dangerous situation, especially when the enemy identifies you as a threat. In such circumstances, it is essential to be aware of the risks and challenges that you may face, including the potential for persecution and destruction by the so-called justice system.

The concept of a “jury of your peers” is meant to ensure a fair trial for those accused of a crime, but in reality, this is often far from the case. When you are living in enemy territory, your “peers” are likely to be people who hate you because of who you are, whether that be due to your race, religion, political beliefs, or any other characteristic that sets you apart from the dominant Regime culture.

As a result, you can expect judicial outcomes that match this reality. This means that you may be subjected to an unfair trial, where the jury is more interested in punishing you for who you are rather than determining your guilt or innocence based on the facts of the case. My advice is to avoid these situations by any means necessary by getting out of enemy territory and moving to where your tribe is.

The United States is witnessing an obvious trend of ideological balkanization, with liberals and conservatives increasingly clustering in distinct geographic regions, creating a stark political divide across the nation. This phenomenon is driven by individuals self-segregating into like-minded communities, with liberals gravitating towards “blue” states and conservatives towards “red” states.

States in the South and Midwest are now predominantly conservative strongholds, while the Northeast and West Coast have become liberal bastions. This geographic polarization is evident across various contentious issues, including abortion, gun control, immigration, and LGBTQ issues. This ideological balkanization poses significant challenges to national unity and governance. As states adopt increasingly divergent policies, the notion of a unified nation becomes impossible to imagine going forward.

Whether people like it or not, this is already happening and will continue to in the coming years. Balkanization and segregation are inevitable in a multi-cultural multi-ethnic society. People do this naturally as we are seeing play out right now with the great migrations into red and blue states. The liberal utopian ideal of egalitarianism has failed and will continue to do so. We must be prepared for this reality and start building or migrating to places with people who share our values.

In these communities of our own, we must focus on constructing and strengthening foundational infrastructure. This includes everything from local businesses and schools to churches and social organizations. By investing in our own institutions and networks, we can create a strong and self-sufficient base from which to launch our broader efforts.

Another critical aspect of our strategy must be to make a lot of babies. We have a duty to ensure the future of our people by raising strong, patriotic, and God-fearing children who will carry our torch for generations to come. This means embracing traditional family values and rejecting the destructive ideologies that seek to undermine the sanctity of marriage and the family unit.

As we build our communities and raise our families, we must also be diligent in safeguarding our territory, our people, and their minds. This means staying vigilant against the forces that would seek to infiltrate and subvert our efforts, as well as promoting a strong sense of cultural and intellectual self-defense.

Finally, we must remember to play the long game. Many people want to achieve maximal outcomes with minimal effort, but life simply doesn’t work that way. We must be prepared to put in the hard work necessary to build a better future for ourselves and our posterity.

The guilty verdict in the Trump trial serves as a stark reminder of the challenges we face as a movement. However, it also presents us with an opportunity to redouble our efforts and strengthen our resolve. By finding our tribe, building strong communities, making a lot of babies, and playing the long game, we can secure a brighter future for ourselves and generations to come.

Let’s get to work.

Andrew Torba
CEO, Gab.com
Christ is King

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Kaleb House Matching Fundraiser

 

Hi Folks,

Kaleb House is one of the charities I support. It rescues and restores child victims of sex trafficking. Special donation matching is happening from June 1 to July 10.  This opportunity has the potential to raise up to $500,000 for Kaleb House! Please prayerfully consider donating. Go to https://www.kalebhouse.org/ for more info, including links to the secure donation page. Thank you. 

From the Kaleb House Website:

What is Kaleb House

Kaleb House is a residential recovery program providing a safe home-like environment for families and child survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation. Our goal is to provide a biblical covering through redemption and love while preparing them for long-term success. We are dedicated to helping provide resources and tools for restoring the heart so life can become whole, wounds are healed, and hope is brought back. 

Our Mission

To provide a Biblical covering for sexually exploited widows and orphans while breaking generational curses. 



Thursday, May 30, 2024

Advanced Preparedness: Beyond the Basics

By Tim Gamble

Today on his YouTube channel, Dave Kobler (aka SouthernPrepper1) posted a video asking "What things should you stock for long term survival after a total collapse?" He is looking for ideas beyond the basics of stocking food, water, hygiene and cleaning supplies, ammo, and first aid and medical supplies. Things that he, and we, may have overlooked in our preparations. Call these "advanced preparedness." I gave an answer in the comments section of his video, and wanted to give some additional thoughts here on my website.

First, the answer I gave Dave on his video: 

Knowledge in physical form (hard copies of books, articles, atlases, maps, etc.). The Internet may not work in the future (hacking, EMP, CME, infrastructure destroyed, etc.), or our increasingly tyrannical government may greatly restrict access to control We the People. Either way, we may not be able to look up things on Wikipedia, Google Maps, YouTube, or elsewhere. General reference books, text books, books on history and economics, homesteading, gardening, and country skills, a good road atlas, folding maps of your state, region, locality, a US wall map, a world wall map, a globe, medical and first aid books, and so forth. Also, physical copies of your favorite translations of the Bible and favorite study Bibles.

Now, some additional thoughts:

Dave doesn't need this bit because he is already doing his "personal hardware store" concept, but others may not know about it. Stockpile your own personal hardware store of supplies and tools you will need to repair and build things in a future where the supply chains are non-existent. This means basic hardware (nuts, bolts, nails, screws, wire, wood glue, super glue, twine, duct tape, gorilla tape...), spare parts (for trucks and cars, tractors, appliances, plumbing, HVAC repairs...), and lumber, bricks, concrete blocks, and fencing. Dave is big into getting salvage items, often for free, and looking for deals, clearance items, and other ways to stock up these items on the cheap. This could also make a good post-collapse business, so consider stocking up not just for personal use, but for barter and re-sale. (hardware amazon link(auto parts amazon link)

Repairing clothing, shoes, and similar items may also become a necessity, so don't forget cloth, thread, needles, pins, patches, Velcro and other sewing supplies. (amazon link

We all need to see, so those of us who wear either prescription glasses or reading glasses should consider stocking up an extra pair or two (or three). Reading glasses are especially cheap right now, so get several. They will quickly disappear from store shelves after SHTF and who knows how long it will be before we can buy more. And consider getting not only your current power, but a few with higher magnifications, too. After all, our eyesight will probably get worse over time. (amazon link

Some other items:
  • Manual Can Openers (amazon link) - If the power is out, you are going to need some way of opening all those canned goods. 
  • Thermal Socks (amazon link), Thermal Underwear (amazon link) - Ways to keep warm in the winter during grid-down. 
  • Work Gloves (amazon link) - Gardening, cutting firewood, and other chores around the homestead. Clearing debris, broken glass, etc., after a disaster. 
  • Portable Fuel Filters (amazon link)- One for each of your vehicles, generators, tractors, etc., plus a couple extra. I wrote an entire article on the importance of clean fuel a few years ago.
Do you have some other ideas for this "next level" of prepping and survival? Leave your ideas in the comments section below.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Urban Survival - Limited Space

By Tim Gamble

A rural homestead may be the ultimate prepper dream for many folks, but others may choose city life for a variety of reasons. Urban preppers face their own unique set of challenges. One such challenge is limited space - both outdoors and indoors. 

Most apartment and condo dwellers have no space for gardening, raising chickens, or other homesteading activities (thus their frustration with a lot of typical prepper advice). Even home owners in the city typically have very small yards without much room for those type activities. Additionally, the limited storage space inside apartments and condos creates a real limitation on how much food, water, gear, and other stuff they can store. 

However, it is possible to overcame these space limitations. My suggestions for doing so can be summed up in three words - minimalism, prioritization, and creativity

Minimalism - The minimalist lifestyle is about eliminating the unnecessary and superfluous, and doing more with less. This will ultimately free up both space and time (and probably money). Declutter you life. Hold a garage sale. Sell it on eBay. Donate stuff to a charity thrift store. Fill up the dumpster. Doing so will free up an amazing amount of storage space. But where to start? Here are a few suggestions: 
  • Reduce your wardrobe, shoes, belts, ties, handbags, and other accessories. Chances are you have a lot of stuff in your closet (and your kids' closets) that you no longer wear or need. Maybe even stuff that no longer fits. Clean it out.
  • Reduce your collections of books, DVDs, and CDs. Decide what you really want or need, and get rid of the rest.
  • Throw out clutter such as old magazines and catalogs, as well as all those receipts, appliance manuals, and warranties that you've accumulated over the years. Same goes for all those useless Christmas gifts you've received over the years. I mean, how many coffee mugs with funny sayings do you really need? 
  • Get rid of toys, games, books, puzzles, stuffed animals and other junk that your kids have outgrown, broken, or otherwise don't play with anymore. Now is not the time for excessive sentimentality.
  • Get rid of all exercise and sports equipment that you don't use. Be honest, are you really ever going to use that home gym you bought 5 years ago, used twice, and ever since its been collecting dust? 
  • If you are a collector - comic books, bobblehead dolls, collector plates, porcelain figurines, snow globes, or whatever - it is time to reconsider your hobby in light of your need for space (and probably money).
Prioritization - This is crucial for the urban prepper. You can't afford to waste space or money on non-essentials. Figure out what is really important and focus your time, efforts, space, and money on those things. Make lists based on those priorities and stick to those lists. This will also help you in your minimalist activities. Once you figure out what is important, get rid of the rest.  Prioritized lists will also help you avoid impulse buying,  saving you both space and money.

Creativity - Get creative with how use utilize the space that you do have. Do container gardening on your porch or balcony. Grow herbs and salad greens indoors. Find out if there are any community gardens in your area you can join. See if your church could start a community garden. Put your bed on risers to create more storage space. Use flat storage boxes to store stuff under the sofa. Create overhead storage areas. Use water bricks to store water, dry foods (beans, rice, pasta, dog food), or even small supplies (batteries, first aid supplies, ammo, etc.). They are made to stack easily, and can even be turned into tables, nightstands, and other pieces of furniture (thereby serving a dual purpose).  Another possibility is to rent a nearby storage unit. A final suggestion, watch little house videos on You Tube. They have come up with some amazingly creative ways to use space and create storage.
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Friday, May 24, 2024

Be a Leader, Not a Boss

By Tim Gamble

This is a follow-up to my recent post "So, You Want To Be a Survival Group Leader?" (link to that article on this website).

If you want to be your group's or community's leader, you should be a leader now. Not just in your eyes, but also in the eyes of those you lead. You will not magically turn into a leader once SHTF happens, no matter how you plan to exert your dominance. If folks don't already see you as a leader, you have a lot of work to do before you actually become one. The good news is that leadership skills can be developed. Start by understanding the difference between being a leader and just a boss. 

A leader and a boss have the same starting point. They both have a purpose, goal, or mission that they want to accomplish. They both set about accomplishing their mission by utilizing others. That is where the differences start.
 
A boss drives others by depending on his position (authority) to make them obey his orders. This is often accomplished through fear and intimidation. It is Do as I say or face repercussions. At work, the repercussion might be public chastisement, a bad evaluation, the withholding of a pay raise or promotion, or even being fired.. In a survival situation, the repercussions may range from public criticism  to being thrown out of the group. Worse are those who seem to want to maintain their "leadership" by showing favoritism to "good" followers and disfavor to "bad" followers. Establishing your dominance by withholding food & supplies from "bad" followers while doling out favors to your preferred followers will keep people in line. Not really.  More likely, it will cause resentment and an eventual uprising against your tyranny.  

By contrast, a real leader depends on the goodwill he generates in others to get them to join him in his mission.  He develops this goodwill by inspiring others with his example and generating enthusiasm in them for his vision. People follow a leader not out of fear of the consequences, but rather because of their respect for him and their belief in his vision. Rather than punishing "bad" followers, he works with others to develop them and to find the best way to use each individual. Even in large organizations like a multinational corporation or an army, the top leader does this to the next rung of leadership under him, who in turn develop the next rung of leaders, who in turn develop... and so on until even those at the very bottom are being developed and utilized according to their individual abilities. 

I once worked for a man who was a truly great leader. He reluctantly had to fire someone not just because of their incompetence, but actual criminal activity on the job. It was how he handled the firing that demonstrated true leadership. The firing was a last resort after trying hard to help this individual. The day after he fired the person, he called the rest of the staff together and apologized to us for having to do so.  He accounted for it as his failure - first for hiring the wrong person, then for being unable to successfully develop him. He also took the opportunity to express his vision for the company, using words like "we" and "us" much more than words like "I" and "me."

Someone who is just a boss would never have apologized or taken the blame upon himself. Instead, most bosses would have used the fired worker as an example to the rest staff as to what could happen to "problem" employees. It is the Do as I say or face repercussions method of establishing their authority and dominance. That may work in the short run, but it will be temporary at best. 

Be a leader, not a boss. 
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Monday, May 20, 2024

Health Update - More Cancer

By Tim Gamble

I just want to give a quick update on my health, as a third type of cancer was recently diagnosed. 

As you probably know, I was diagnosed with colon cancer in  March and had part of my colon as well as my gall bladder removed. The tumor had pressed against my liver (but thankfully had not yet spread to it) creating a large abbess that also had to be cut out. During this operation, it was also discovered that I was developing a cancer of the appendix. Luckily, this one was caught very early on. The good news is that I am healing nicely from my surgeries, and it appears they got all of the cancer.

Click to Enlarge
A few weeks ago, I was also diagnosed with a third cancer - melanoma. A lesion formed just under my left ear. They removed it last week, and the lab results show that they got all of it. However, they had to remove a large section of my skin (larger than a quarter) and needed to pull up skin from my neck to cover it. This necessitated cutting two long incisions (see the photo) into my skin so they could lift up that section and tug it up into place before sewing everything back together again. 

During all this, I haven't felt much like posting new material. My apologies for that. But as my health problems improve, I plan on returning to more frequent posting of articles, and maybe doing some videos too. Thank you for you patience with me during this time.

Prayers are always appreciated. 
_____________________
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Saturday, May 4, 2024

All Bible Contradictions Debunked

By Tim Gamble

Answers in Genesis posted a video to their You Tube channel debunking all the so-called Bible contradictions in less than 30 minutes. I think they do a really good job in the video, but watch it and judge for yourself:

DEBUNKING Every Major “Bible Contradiction” in 26 Minutes


Answers in Genesis website: https://answersingenesis.org/

This is not my video and I was not involved in its making. Feel free to leave you comments in the comments section below, but I will not answer questions or debate these issues. If you have questions based on this video, those questions should be more appropriately directed to the makers of the video. Thank you.

Friday, May 3, 2024

So, You Want To Be a Survival Group Leader?

By Tim Gamble

So, you want to be a survival group leader? Perhaps you are planning on being your group's leader during a disaster or a post-SHTF scenario. 

Leadership is about a lot more than just having a title or occupying a certain spot on an organizational chart. Being an effective leader isn't easy, and you won't transform into one overnight. Develop your leadership skills now, before the SHTF.

Entire books have been written and university-level courses are taught on the subject of leadership. This short set of tips is only a brief introduction to the topic:

1) Planning on being your group's leader? Be honest: are you a leader now? Do others think of you as a leader? 

If you are planning on being a leader, you're doing it wrong. You should be a leader now. Not just in your eyes, but also in the eyes of those you lead. If folks don't already see you as a leader, you have a lot of work to do before you actually become one. (Also, having food, supplies, and guns isn't going to automatically make you a leader for those who don't once SHTF.) 

2) Planning on being your group's leader? Lead by example. 

Leadership by example is really the only true leadership. The saying "Do what I say, not what I do" is pure rubbish and is meant to poke fun at those folks who seem to have that attitude.


3) Good leaders don't just lead, they develop others into good leaders. 

True leaders develop others into leaders. You need to be able to spot leadership potential, and to nourish it into fruition. For some, this may be difficult as they tend to see other potential leaders as competition.


4) Good leaders communicate very clearly. Always clearly define your goals and expectations. 

This one is huge, in my opinion. Bad leaders often fail when it comes to clear communications. This could be due to a lack of self-confidence, poor communication skills, uncertainty over what actually needs to be done, or even an effort at CYA in case something goes wrong (if something goes wrong, they can blame others for "not understanding" their instructions).

5) Good leaders know how & why to delegate. It both frees up the leader's time and helps to develop others.

Poor leaders often fail to delegate correctly, and tend to micro-manage unnecessarily.

6) Good leaders know mistakes will happen. Never publicly criticize or shame someone for making a mistake. 

Mistakes happen. Unexpected events occur. Good leaders know this and aren't taken by surprise when it happens. Publicly humiliating the transgressor accomplishes nothing. Remember the mantra: "Praise publicly. Correct privately."

7) Good leaders accept responsibility for their mistakes and the mistakes of those under them. "The buck stops here."

This is often a missing part of leadership today. It seems like no one wants to accept responsibility for anything anymore. Good leaders do.

8) Good leaders know they must inspire trust in those they lead. 

If folks don't really trust you or your decisions, you are not going to be able to lead them effectively.  Give your group members reason to trust your character, your abilities, and your vision. You cannot demand trust. It must be earned.

9) A good leader knows he sets the tone for those around him. 

The leaders on sports team are great examples of this idea. Good leaders exude a aura of confidence, determination, drive, and positivity that infects their teammates.

10) A good leader never "shoots the messenger."

Bad news is always upsetting, but a good leader never takes it out on the one delivering the bad news. Leaders who do tend to shoot the messenger often are lacking in self-confidence, and this fault will quickly become apparent to the entire group.

11) A good leader adapts his leadership style to the needs of those around him.

A good leader knows he has to adapt to the needs of those he leads. This may mean that the good leader must suppress his own ego and change his approach before he can effectively lead.

12) A good leader maintains realistic expectations.

Expectations are a balancing act. You can be unrealistic in your expectations both by expecting too much and too little. Developing the ability to read people and accurately judge their capabilities is very important.

13) A good leader is consistent and fair.

A good leader does change his mind, orders, and expectations when it is necessary, but never at a whim or without good reason. And when he does, he communicates clearly the new orders and the reasons for them. Inconsistency creates confusion and mistrust.

A good leader is also fair, and doesn't single out individuals for special treatment (good or bad). A good leader doesn't foster a "good ol' boys club" or engage in nepotism.

14) A good leader is willing to listen to honest feedback.

A good leader NEVER considers himself above criticism. But, that criticism must be respectful, given at an appropriate time, and not public. Disrespect or open defiance is not acceptable.

15) A good leader is never a bully. Bullying others into doing what you want is NOT leadership.

Have you seen the movie "Ender's Game" based on the Orson Scott Card book by the same title? In it there is a character named Bonzo who was commander of Salamander Army at the Battle School. Despite being smart and talented, Bonzo was a complete jerk who relied on fear and intimidation to rise to the rank of commander. He was NOT a leader, but rather just a bully (in reality, he would have washed out of any military or business leadership program long before becoming a commander). In the end, Bonzo got himself seriously hurt when he started a fight with another student who stood up to his bullying tactics (watch the movie, or better yet, read the book for more details).


Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is on the U.S. Marine Corps Professional Reading List.

16) A good leader makes those around him better.

Think Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. Those two NBA stars were famous not only for their great abilities, but also for making their fellow teammates better. More than just setting a good example or a positive tone, a good leader actively seeks to make those around him better.


NOTE: For a great discussion on leadership by The Maine Prepper and The Patriot Nurse, watch their video How to Be a Leader: Fundamentals and Principles on You Tube. You will recognize many of the ideas presented here.
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Sunday, April 28, 2024

Simple Steps To Protect Your On-Line Privacy

By Tim Gamble

The Bad News: Everybody wants your data - the government, corporations, nosy neighbors, social justice warriors, hackers, scammers, and other bad guys. If you are transmitting electronically, your data is available to anyone with the resources and skills to get it. You will never be able to perfectly and completely hide your data.  

The Good News: There are things you can do to make it more difficult for others to get your data. You'll never get 100% protection, but you can get to 95% protection. Here are some useful steps to help you get there:

1) Password protect ALL your devices. This includes your smart phone, your tablet, your laptop, and your desktop, both at work and at home. Sure, passwords can be annoying to use, but devices can get lost or stolen. Use passwords (or facial recognition or thumbprints or whatever). 

2) Keep your operating system and other software up-to-date. Software updates often include security patches to protect against the latest threats. Don't do the updates, and you won't be protected.

3) Secure your browser. Suggestions: turn off third-party cookies, configure for only HTTPS, turn on the Do Not Track setting, use the Privacy Badger extension for Firefox, Chrome, or Opera browsers, use private browsing mode, and keep your browser updated. How to do these things is different for each browser, so if you don't know how just look it up on the web. Instructions for each browser are easy to find. (My favorite privacy browser is Brave.)

4) Use a privacy-respecting search engine. Examples include DuckDuckGo, Qwant, Brave, and Startpage. SwissCows is another good one, and is a family-friendly option that automatically blocks most adult sites. Do not use Google, Bing, or Yahoo. 

5) Don't overshare on social media. This really is the #1 threat to your privacy, and you do it to yourself. Be aware of what you post and how others may use it. Talk to your family members about what to share and not share on social media. Consider what information may be available in the background of your photos (your street address on your mailbox or front door? Your car's license plate? Expensive items in your home?) And for goodness sake, don't check in at every restaurant and other business you visit, thereby making yourself super easy to track (and letting folks know when you are not at home).

6) Be wary of using public Wi-Fi. Anyone could be watching that internet traffic. If you do, avoid using it to send private information such as credit card numbers, and consider using a VPN.

7) Be wary of possible scams. Never give personal or financial information, pin numbers or passwords to any website that you aren't certain is legitimate. Be especially cautious of links in unsolicited emails and text messages (I never click links in text messages or emails, even if I know the company, instead I go to their websites manually.)
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