The Turtle

There is one more spirit animal to add: the Turtle. The turtle has been with me decades longer than both the Osprey and the Sturgeon. It has been with me as long as I can remember. Even when a newspaper executive and publisher at the Kokomo (IN) Tribune, the turtle was an image on my memo pads. It was on every note I sent to others. I have several framed photos of turtles close by on the wall in my bedroom still.

Some things to think about: My wife is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa (Anishinaabe) Indians. Her great grandmother was a shaman and healer; what I see in my wife as well. We travel this life together.

In the teachings of the Anishinaabee, there was a time long ago when the Creator saw that the Beings on Mother Earth were living in great turmoil and fighting amongst each other. Creator decided to send a great flood to wash away the evil and cleanse Mother Earth for a new beginning. After the flood, the surviving animals searched for many days for land to begin again. The legend goes the Muskrat swam to great depths under the water and brought up a handful of soil. The great Snapping Turtle offered its shell as the carrying place for the soil and Turtle Island was created. Then the Creator sent Anishinaabe ancestors from the stars to live in this new land on Turtle Island. Members of this clan tend to be determined, loyal, and goal oriented. And maybe most of all, they revere and honor their connection with the Earth, Water, and Stars.

Celtic mystics as well tell us that the Turtle stands guard over the entrance to the world of the Fey, a parallel Plane to ours. This creates an intimate connection with magic and other realms normally just beyond our awareness. The Celtic shamans used Turtle energy to help keep them grounded when traveling between the Planes. My ancestry includes that of the Celts.

For both the Anishinaabee and the Celts, it is a sacred duty to care for our animal brothers and sisters and take care of our environment, Mother Earth. Somewhere along the way, most of mankind has forgotten this.

Turtles tend to be slow, careful, and calculated in what they do. When danger confronts them, they have protection inside their shell until the danger passes.

So, the Turtle is the third Spirit Animal I hope will help guide my path forward. What could be better: Turtle, Osprey, and Sturgeon.

Why the Osprey….. & Sturgeon

When thinking about the possibility of beginning Substack writing in addition to continuing my WordPress Blog, almost immediately the Osprey came to mind. The art I have used as the logo was by an artist I knew named Don Gabbert from Minnesota. I have kept this art of the Osprey close for over 30 years. It is precious to me.

At the bottom of the Osprey is a saying written by Don. It says, “It’s Our Earth, Too!” That saying really says it all. We are only one of God’s marvelous creatures that call Earth home. Yet, we are the creature that seems to be destroying it.

The Osprey is a raptor: a hunter. Its primary source of food is fish that it catches by diving from air into the water below; something no other raptor can do. Its sight is phenomenal to be able to see fish in water from very high perches above. Its flight is precise. Its goal clear. Ospreys symbolize new beginnings, healing, and cooperation with nature.

And fish…. Almost all of my graduate work at Purdue involved water environments and fish. My doctorate focused on the evolution of Acipencers: the Sturgeon. The sturgeon are estimated to not have changed for millions of years. They are some of the oldest fish species on Earth. I see them as the “Wise Ones”. In Native American mythology, the sturgeon is often seen as a symbol of strength, resilience, and perseverance. In Celtic mythology, the sturgeon was associated with wisdom and knowledge.

So, together, it is my hope that the spirit of both the Osprey and the Sturgeon will guide my way forward.

Peoples Osprey

Times change and new opportunities emerge. Substack is new to me, but it sure seems to be a path for me to be able to write what I want when I want. In eons past, I was able to write articles and columns for the Kokomo (IN) Tribune at will. You see, I was part of the family that owned that newspaper. I was either in top management or the CEO/Publisher of this then a 34,000 daily newspaper having about 185 employees and over 300 newspaper carriers. All employees were considered family. Together, we were designated the top newspaper in the USA for penetration (subscribers) of its market for 9 of 10 years running; and second the one odd year. On top of that, we were leaders in new technology in the industry. Times have changed since then…. and not for the good. Many communities now are news deserts without a local newspaper.

I do write a blog and have for many years: I will continue to post on it, but I have become rather erratic in posting. I know why. I no longer have and have not had the decision authority for decades about what goes into the Kokomo Tribune. Since my family sold the KT, this newspaper has passed through two group owners. It is now owned by a group (CNHI) that editorially is way too far left politically for me. The Managing Editor has published columns I have written from time to time, but I have given up that route. It felt constrained. In recent times, when the KT prints a column with which I disagree strongly, I typically will email the columnist directly. Again, constraint given no one else reads/knows my thoughts and writing directly has resulted in fewer blog posts. Not a good reason, but true.

On a national and state level, I write representatives directly. I intend to continue this but at the same time will post any letters to Substack and my blog. I have things to say even if no one else gives a damn about my opinions.

My interests are wide. I have indicated in Substack I would be particularly interested in politics, government, science, and the environment. These interests are not limited to local issues. They would include local, state, and national matters. And what credentials do I have to write about these areas: four degrees from Purdue University which are a BS Industrial Management, MS Conservation, MS Aquatic toxicology, and a Ph.D. in genetics. Those plus over 20 years in newspaper journalism.

In my opinion, honest and open communications between people is the glue that holds communities and countries together. The major media, print and electronic, in the USA have failed. They largely have become propaganda tools of the political left. It is up to us, individuals, to restore the integrity of news offered to the public. We must. I intend to do my part. The Peoples Osprey on Substack is open.

Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.
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The Value of Silence

“We Indians know about silence. We are not afraid of it. In fact, for us, silence is more powerful than words. Our elders were trained in the ways of silence, and they handed over this knowledge to us. Observe, listen, and then act, they would tell us. That was the manner of living.

With you, it is just the opposite. You learn by talking. You reward the children that talk the most at school. In your parties, you all try to talk at the same time. In your work, you are always having meetings in which everybody interrupts everybody and all talk five, ten or a hundred times. And you call that ‘solving a problem’.

When you are in a room and there is silence, you get nervous. You must fill the space with sounds. So you talk compulsorily, even before you know what you are going to say.

White people love to discuss. They don’t even allow the other person to finish a sentence. They always interrupt. For us Indians, this looks like bad manners or even stupidity. If you start talking, I’m not going to interrupt you. I will listen. Maybe I’ll stop listening if I don’t like what you are saying, but I won’t interrupt you.

When you finish speaking, I’ll make up my mind about what you said, but I will not tell you I don’t agree unless it is important. Otherwise, I’ll just keep quiet and I’ll go away. You have told me all I need to know. There is no more to be said. But this is not enough for the majority of white people.

People should regard their words as seeds. They should sow them, and then allow them to grow in silence. Our elders taught us that the earth is always talking to us, but we should keep silent in order to hear her.

There are many voices besides ours. Many voices…”

-Ella Deloria

Stay Healthy!

I have held on to this one for a long time. Ole Joe is telling us to stay healthy. In helping us to do so, he hired a new health secretary……. a man who believes he is a woman. He was Richard Lavine who was married and had two children (wait ’til you see them). He decided to become a woman with a new name: Rachael Lavine. In the process, old Joe fired a very qualified black secretary. Here you go…….

Lavine has a family. Thought you should see them as well……….

Does this make you a bit sick to your stomach??? Rachael is supposed to be telling us how to be healthy. He/She is obese as are his children. Don’t know about the dog in his/her arm. Give me a damn break. This is yet one more of ole Joe Biden’s marvelous decisions.

Joe and about all of the top of his administration really should be in jail. They are both crooked and incompetent or trying to make this country communist. They are taking the country down the tube. I am not sure the USA will survive until January 2025. That is in question. I just pray the military stays strong, reasonably independent, and ready to defend from foreign incursions. We already have millions and millions of military age males illegally in the country. What is the hell do you think they are doing. Working? Yep.