The Messiness of Life

by Marcia Blacklidge MS

We all want to create a past that benefits us and our fantasies of who we are and the families and family members we came from. But the truth is different than that.

The truth of us and who we are is buried in the messiness of youth, mistakes, ambitions, ego, love, sex and the biggest mess of all: relationships.

No matter how deeply buried that messiness is, truth has a way of niggling it’s way to the surface and confronting us.

We all like stories that elevate us. But to find the fullness of who we are, we must find the courage to process the messiness of that truth that is concealed behind the lovely stories we cling to.

There is an inconvenient truth that none of us can escape.  Life is messy. All lives are messy. All lives are filled with it. No one escapes. Most of us will glibly declare no one is perfect. Few of us are willing to do the work that will bring us to a place of freedom from that truth. Most of us hold our mistakes and the mistakes of others against ourselves and against them.

Sadly, that only makes things worse. At best we only have a partial picture of our lives and of the people that surround us

There is one more inconvenient truth. If one believes in an after life, some kind of life review is included in that belief system. That includes having to watch every step of the life we have just completed, and how we reacted to the messiness we were confronted with and how we dealt with our own messes.

The pain that comes from that review will not be rendered from some unforgiving God judging us. It will come from ourselves to ourselves as the fog of all that messiness is lifted. And it will come from the realization of how much power we had but failed to use it in a way that prospers all. The most pain will come as we are reduced to watching the moments of our lives unfold without the power to effect a positive change now removed. Those that have had near death experiences tell us that pain is beyond words, 

We will come to see a final inconvenient truth. The only thing that really matters in all that mess is the love we gave to ourselves and others and the forgiveness we always had an opportunity to render. That is the sum total of all that matters.

Starting today, I wish for each one of us to do the work of processing the messiness in our lives. I wish the fog of our lives to lift and we discover the love and forgiveness waiting to grace  the world.  

I wish for each of us to find the place where truth can free us. I wish for each of us to process the messiness of life with compassion and forgiveness. I wish for all trails messiness, hurt and pain to be diminished.

The Ole Tribune

Times change and life moves on. I spent over 20 years as part of the Kokomo Tribune family during the time it was one of the most recognized leaders of medium sized daily newspapers in the world. It was awarded recognition as “First In The Nation” penetration of its market for eight of a ten year period and only second in the remaining two years. It kept its position as one of the top medium papers in all of the 20 year period I was there.

The Tribune was owned by my great grandfather, John Arthur Kautz, from 1897 until his death in 1938; the year I was born. It was sold by his owner descendants in 1982 at a time when there were almost 30 part owners. This was at the height of the value of newspapers across the country. Consolidation into newspaper groups had begun a few years earlier. Newspapers were king when it came to keeping the public informed. There was at one time about 1,800 independently owned newspapers across this country. It was a time when newspapers were truly the “Fourth Estate” that kept government honest by keeping the public aware of what was going on inside and outside of government. It was the watchdog.

During the period from about 1960 to 1980, there was a revolution in newspaper technology. The old way from the 1800s to then was production by Mergenthaler Linotype machines and rotary letterpresses to print. The technological change was to photocomposition, use of computers, and offset printing. The Tribune was a leader in developing this technology even to the development of one of the very first computer typesetting systems, the Delco Justifier of which I did all of the programming. Key personnel like Dick Isham, Alan Harnish, Ron Frye, John Hoffman, Richard Pickering, and Dow Richardson and me led the revolution at the newspaper under the overall guidance and encouragement of our Publisher, my father. The entire Tribune family included about 185 employees and over 300 newspaper carriers. All played an important part in Tribune success.

The Publisher and CEO of the Tribune who followed J.A. Kautz , Richard H Blacklidge, became President of the American Newspaper Publisher Association. This position before had always been held by a Publisher of a large metropolitan newspaper; never from a medium sized paper. He went on to become Vice-President of FIEJ: the International Newspaper Association. While he was engaged in those national and international responsibilities, the Tribune family in Kokomo continued to lead in technology and news/editorial/feature content envied by all. The readers of the Tribune trusted the newspaper to tell all and to tell truth; things gone by the wayside in current major media.

As Business Manager, Associate Publisher, and eventually Publisher when my father developed health issues and then retired, I am proud of our two decades of accomplishment. We led the industry that informed and protected the public.

Ironically, in retrospect I believe my father saw the handwriting on the wall. The consolidation of newspapers into newspaper ownership groups, then to major media groups was coming. Technology was coming fast. And many of the original owners of newspapers were dying off. The nation has suffered from the loss of honest, tough, and wise leaders in media; specifically in newspapers.

Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founding Fathers, said, “Where the press is free and every man (and woman) able to read, all is safe”. He said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Today, we have a captured press whether it be in print or electronic form. We particularly have a national media that lies, distorts, and covers up corruption. We do not have a free and honest press any longer. Whether we will make it now as a Constitutional Republic with a free people remains to be seen.


Episcopal Church and Pride

[Open letter to Bishop Curry]

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
The Episcopal Church
815 Second Avenue
New York NY 10017

Bishop Curry:

I just don’t get it. I cannot understand all of the hoopla over Pride Month and the celebration of LGBTQ+. It all seems pretty perverted to me.

Among other things, I am a scientist. I hold a doctorate in genetics. I know with certainty there are only two human genders: male and female. The male has an X and Y chromosome and the female has two X chromosomes. That’s it. These combinations of chromosomes are in every cell in the human body. Period. And yes, there are anomalies now and then, but those are considered abnormal.

So, what is LGBTQ+….. Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, and whatever else there may be under “+”.

Let’s deal with “transgender” first. Even the word is an oxymoron. There is no such thing as a transgender person. One cannot switch genders from male to female or the reverse. Biologically, that is impossible. One can do surgeries until the cows come home and administer hormone therapy by the gallon, but none of this changes basic biology: XY and XX.

What about LGBQ+? So, lesbians are women who have romantic attraction to other women. Gays are men who have romantic attraction to other men. Bisexuals are attracted to both and Queer and “+” …… I have no idea what attracts them. In all cases, however, no human reproduction is possible, so it all has to do with romance and sexual pleasuring of one another. Right.

That is all fine in private, but why is there the overwhelming need to make sexual and romantic preferences public. Heterosexual folks don’t feel the same need to parade around and even have a flag to celebrate their preferences.

Now we even have the President of the United States celebrating “Pride” on the Whitehouse lawn with the rainbow flag taking the central place of the Stars and Stripes – in total violation of US flag protocol. And celebrants baring their breasts and shaking their rear ends around publically. Sick.

I have been an Episcopalian for nearly 50 years. I left the local parish some years ago over what I concluded was insensitive racial issues. Now I am leaving the Episcopal Church totally over the conclusion you all have lost your way.

Supreme Court and EPA Rulings

[Written in response to an editorial in the Kokomo Tribune 6/16/2023]

It is interesting the editorial writer from the Anderson Herald Bulletin does not know basic US law under the Constitution. In the recent editorial in the Kokomo Tribune titled, “Court attacks EPA authority”, the writer clearly makes the assumption the Court has the authority to make law. It does not.

The writer in the first paragraph says, “The US Supreme Court seems to be implementing military tactics in its offensive against the natural environment, attacking first from the air and now from the water”. What? The Supreme Court’s job is to hold the government and us all to within the bounds of legislation passed by the Congress. Nothing more, nothing less.

If there are muddy issues with what current law covers, it is up to Congress to clarify or correct it as an expression of the people. The authority granted the EPA is mostly from the Clean Air and Clean Water acts passed under President Nixon and Republicans long ago.

As one who considers himself an environmentalist from Rachael Carson “Silent Spring” days, I am fully on board with regulations that result in clean air, clean water, and uncontaminated soil. And we have a long, long way to go for those.

The main complaint voiced in the editorial involves the definition of a wetland. Many believed the EPA had itself extended its authority to even mud puddles. The Court did not agree, but limited EPA authority to areas connected to federally protected waterways; an authority granted under law.

The earlier complaint about air quality asked whether the EPA could place state-level caps on carbon emissions. The Court said no under current law. Again, the Court does not make law, it only sets the boundaries of authority under the law. If changes are needed, Congress is the body to make the changes; not the Supreme Court.

So, the editorial writer needs to freshen up on the Constitution before attacking the actions of the US Supreme Court.

Let me repeat… I am an environmentalist or conservationist of decades. I strongly believe in tight, effective laws that correct or prevent environmental degradation. At the same time, I believe such laws must come from the US Congress or State Legislatures and not from regulatory agency proclamation.

Biden Persecution of Trump

Yes, President Donald J Trump has been indicted on espionage charges in the handling of documents he took possession of when leaving the office of the Presidency. The bottom line is this indictment is a blatant case of political persecution.

As President, Donald Trump had the total and absolute authority to declassify any and all documents he wished. No one else in government had that authority. And he did not have to make some formal declaration about classification when possessing documents. By taking documents with him to Mar-a-Lago, all documents were automatically declassified by implication. And what did he do with those personal Presidential papers? He reportedly secured them in a locked area that was patrolled by assigned Secret Service agents.

The content of any documents the then departing President matters not. They were declassified and declared personal. The claim by President Trump is they were and are his.

There is disagreement about what are personal papers and what are not. This seems to be the lynch pin to any legal issues. One cannot question the authority to declassify. That is the President’s only. The claim is that President Trump violated the Presidential Records Act. That is in debate, but even if true there is no criminal penalty and Trump was communicating and working with the National Archives and Records Administration concerning what papers are personal and what should be possessed by the NARA. Then the raid on Mar-a-Lago by the FBI took place without notice. Even Trump’s on site lawyers were frozen out of the property while the FBI agents searched through the property even reportedly to the point of searching Melania Trump’s dresser drawers.

Now since there is no criminal action possible under the National Records Act, the Biden Administration has decided to charge Trump with espionage, a criminal charge. My prediction is this will eventually go nowhere even if it has to get to the Supreme Court before being thrown out.

Political pundits now say that what the Biden administration has done virtually assures that Donald J Trump will be the Republican nominee for President for the 2024 election. This is the opposite of what they hoped for. In truth, Democrats are scared to death that Trump will become President again in January 2025. If he does, the political bloodbath then will begin. The excising of the corrupt and criminal and deep state will be quick.

One has to say something about President Joe Biden. When Vice President and a Senator, Biden had no authority to declassify anything yet he took all sorts of official classified and government papers according to reports. Reports are many were stored openly in a car garage and many more in a library at the University of Pennsylvania. Has the Justice Department, the FBI, and the National Archives and Records Administration done a damned thing about Biden’s violations. Of course not. Or how about Sec. Hillary Clinton violations of classified materials. Nothing there either.

Americans see through all of this and more and more are angry about the injustice being perpetrated. The 2024 election cannot come soon enough.


I am reading in the Kokomo Tribune about all the attempts to increase apartment style dwelling units in Kokomo including a rash of low cost – subsidized housing. It is time to stop.

Take a look around Kokomo. There are apartment developments everywhere. It is time to stop all apartment development until a complete accounting to the public can be made. The accounting needs to include the name of all apartment complexes, old and new, and the occupancy rate of each. The accounting should indicate whether the apartments are rented at open market rates or are low-cost subsidized units. It sure appears to me there are plenty vacant units of both types in our town now. Let’s see. Let’s account to the public.

There have been claims the Housing Authority wants to significantly increase the number of subsidized low-cost apartments for no reason except to attract out-of-town people to come to Kokomo to occupy them. Not a good reason.

This community should want a reasonable availability of low-cost subsidized housing for local citizens of such need, but not be a beacon to attract more people from the outside. Our goal should be to create employment for citizens so they can live and pay for market rate dwelling whether it be apartments or a home.

So… to our local government officials: STOP! Do not approve any more apartment developments until the picture is crystal clear as to how many of what type have been approved, the occupancy rate of each, and the accounting to the public has been fully and very openly made. The citizens of Kokomo have the right to know. They have the right to determine the character of our town.