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Forest song by Redilion

:iconredilion:'s Forest song encapsulates present-day Ukrainian realities through use of an image inspired by a dramatic folkloric play of the same...

Standing Bear's speech

Stories Worth Rereading > Standing Bear's Speech | Various
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Standing Bear’s Speech

from The Indian Journal

The first time an Indian was permitted to appear in court in this country and have his rights tried was in the year 1879. Previous to this every Indian in the United States was subject to the orders of the Secretary of the Interior. If he happened to be a man of a tyrannical nature, the Indians fared hard. One Secretary of the Interior had caused all the Poncas Indians to be driven, at the point of bayonet, from northern Nebraska down to Indian Territory, depriving them of lands to which they held government deeds. They were left in the new country for months without rations, and more than one third of them died. Among these was the son of Standing Bear. The old chief refused to have the boy buried in the strange country, and, gathering about thirty members of his tribe together, he started for their ancient hunting-grounds, intending to bury his boy where generations of the Poncas chiefs lay.

The Secretary of the Interior heard of the runaways, and through the War Department telegraphed to General Crook, of Omaha, to arrest the Indians, and return them to Indian Territory. So General Crook arrested Standing Bear and his followers, and took them all, with the old wagon that contained the body of the dead boy, down to Omaha.

Standing Bear told his story to the general, who was already familiar with many wrongs that had been committed against the Indians, and who was indignant at their treatment. He detained the Indians at Omaha until he consulted with a Mr. Tibbles, an editor of a newspaper. They agreed to espouse the cause of the Indians, securing to Standing Bear a trial in the United States court. It was the most notable trial ever brought in the West, and, in fact, the scope was as wide as any ever tried in this country; for upon its decision one hundred thousand persons were made citizens.

Mr. Tibbles, who attended every session of the court, describes what took place, in the following words:

The court room was crowded with fashionably dressed women; and the clergy, which had been greatly stirred by the incident, were there in force. Lawyers, every one in Nebraska, and many from the big Eastern cities; business men; General Crook and his staff in their dress uniforms (this was one of the few times in his life that Crook wore full dress in public); and the Indians themselves, in their gaudy colors. The court room was a galaxy of brilliancy.

On one side stood the army officers, the brilliantly dressed women, and the white people; on the other was standing Bear, in his official robes as chief of the Poncas, and with him were his leading men. Far back in the audience, shrinking from observation, was an Indian girl, who afterward became famous as a lecturer in England and America. She was later known on both continents by a translation of her Indian name, In-sta-the-am-ba, Bright Eyes.

Attorney Poppleton’s argument was carefully prepared, and consumed sixteen hours in the delivering, occupying the attention of the court for two days. On the third day Mr. Webster spoke for six hours. And during all the proceedings, the court room was packed with the beauty and culture of the city.

Toward the close of the trial, the situation became tense. As the wrongs inflicted on the Indians were described by the attorneys, indignation was often at white heat, and the judge made no attempt to suppress the applause which broke out from time to time. For the department, Mr. Lambertson made a short address, but was listened to in complete silence.

It was late in the afternoon when the trial drew to a close. The excitement had been increasing, but it reached a height not before attained when Judge Dundy announced that Chief Standing Bear would be allowed to make a speech in his own behalf. Not one in the audience besides the army officers and Mr. Tibbles had ever heard an oration by an Indian. All of them had read of the eloquence of Red Jacket and Logan, and they sat there wondering if the mild-looking old man, with the lines of suffering and sorrow on his brow and cheek, dressed in the full robes of an Indian chief, could make a speech at all. It happened that there was a good interpreter present—one who was used to “chief talk.”

Standing Bear arose. Half facing the audience, he held out his right hand, and stood motionless so long that the stillness of death which had settled down on the audience, became almost unbearable. At last, looking up at the judge, he said:

“That hand is not the color of yours, but if I prick it, the blood will flow, and I shall feel pain. The blood is of the same color as yours. God made me, and I am a man. I never committed any crime. If I had, I would not stand here to make a defense. I would suffer the punishment and make no complaint.”

Still standing half facing the audience, he looked past the judge, out of the window, as if gazing upon something far in the distance, and continued:

“I seem to be standing on a high bank of a great river, with my wife and little girl at my side. I cannot cross the river, and impassable cliffs arise behind me. I hear the noise of great waters; I look, and see a flood coming. The waters rise to our feet, and then to our knees. My little girl stretches her hands toward me and says, ‘Save me.’ I stand where no member of my race ever stood before. There is no tradition to guide me. The chiefs who preceded me knew nothing of the circumstances that surround me. I hear only my little girl say, ‘Save me.’ In despair I look toward the cliffs behind me, and I seem to see a dim trail that may lead to a way of life. But no Indian ever passed over that trail. It looks to be impassable. I make the attempt.

“I take my child by the hand, and my wife follows after me. Our hands and our feet are torn by the sharp rocks, and our trail is marked by our blood. At last I see a rift in the rocks. A little way beyond there are green prairies. The swift-running water, the Niobrara, pours down between the green hills. There are the graves of my fathers. There again we will pitch our teepee and build our fires. I see the light of the world and of liberty just ahead.”

The old chief became silent again, and, after an appreciable pause, he turned toward the judge with such a look of pathos and suffering on his face that none who saw it will forget it, and said:

“But in the center of the path there stands a man. Behind him I see soldiers in number like the leaves of the trees. If that man gives me the permission, I may pass on to life and liberty. If he refuses, I must go back and sink beneath the flood.”

Then, in a lower tone, “You are that man.”

There was silence in the court as the old chief sat down. Tears ran down over the judge’s face. General Crook leaned forward and covered his face with his hands. Some of the ladies sobbed.

All at once that audience, by one common impulse, rose to its feet, and such a shout went up as was never heard in a Nebraska court room. No one heard Judge Dundy say, “Court is dismissed.” There was a rush for Standing Bear. The first to reach him was General Crook. I was second. The ladies flocked around him, and for an hour Standing Bear had a reception.

A few days afterward Judge Dundy handed down his famous decision, in which he announced that an Indian was a “person,” and was entitled to the protection of the law. Standing Bear and his followers were set free; and, with his old wagon and the body of the dead child, he went back to the hunting-grounds of his fathers, and buried the body with tribal honors.

Four events in 1969 I'll never forget

I said good-bye to the war....

Typical ambiance during the Second Indochina War

My tenure in the (late) Republic of Viet Nam during the Second Indochina War included part-time work in a civilian capacity for Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support, an organization operating under the protective political cover of the U.S. Agency for International Development. My full-time job involved enlistment in the U.S. Air Force Security Service, 6924th Security Squadron, near Da Nang Air Base. I was a Radio Intercept Analysis Specialist, RI20250-1. This identity card (fingerprints on the reverse) used to be medium green in color, but has faded over time. But then, I've faded as well.

Pan American Airways took me back to the States.

I moved to Portland, Oregon....

Mount Hood guards the eastern approaches to Portland.

The "counterculture" had established itself.

Those were the days of eight-column newspapers.

Humans went to the Moon....

S69-39526 (16 July 1969) --- The huge, 363-feet tall Apollo 11 (Spacecraft 107/Lunar Module 5/Saturn 506) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39 Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 9:32 a.m. (EDT), July 16, 1969. Onboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft were astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. Apollo 11 is the United States first lunar landing mission. Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin will descend in the Lunar Module (LM) "Eagle" to explore the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, while astronaut Collins remains with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) "Columbia" in lunar orbit.

The lunar module [LM] was a two-stage vehicle designed for space operations near and on the Moon. The spacecraft mass of 15,065 kg was the mass of the LM including astronauts, propellants and expendables. The dry mass of the ascent stage was 2180 kg and it held 2639 kg of propellant. The descent stage dry mass was 2034 kg and 8212 kg of propellant were onboard initially. The ascent and descent stages of the LM operated as a unit until staging, when the ascent stage functioned as a single spacecraft for rendezvous and docking with the command and service module (CSM). The descent stage comprised the lower part of the spacecraft and was an octagonal prism 4.2 meters across and 1.7 m thick. Four landing legs with round footpads were mounted on the sides of the descent stage and held the bottom of the stage 1.5 m above the surface. The distance between the ends of the footpads on opposite landing legs was 9.4 m. One of the legs had a small astronaut egress platform and ladder. A one meter long conical descent engine skirt protruded from the bottom of the stage. The descent stage contained the landing rocket, two tanks of aerozine 50 fuel, two tanks of nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer, water, oxygen and helium tanks and storage space for the lunar equipment and experiments. The descent stage served as a platform for launching the ascent stage and was left behind on the Moon.

The mission's Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) took place on 20 July 1969. Lunar Module Pilot Aldrin made this photograph with a Hasselblad 500 Electric Data Camera; Commander Armstrong is working at the Lunar Module's Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA). This is the only photograph of Armstrong made during the EVA.

Sharon Tate and others were murdered....

Sharon Marie Tate (1943-1969). "I honestly don't understand the big fuss made over nudity and sex in films. It's silly. On TV, the children can watch people murdering each other, which is a very unnatural thing, but they can't watch two people in the very natural process of making love. Now, really, that doesn't make any sense, does it?"

Sharon was athletic, fluent in Italian, shy, well liked, well read, well traveled, witty. Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was her final read. Sharon loved animals, life, people, the universe ... and then she was gone.

The murders took place on 9 August 1969 at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles. In addition to Sharon and her unborn child—who would have been named Paul Richard Polanski—Abigail Anne Folger (1943-1969), Wojciech Frykowski (1936-1969), Thomas John Kummer a.k.a. Jay Sebring (1933-1969) and Steven Earl Parent (1951-1969) were murdered at the house on Cielo Drive.

I've no doubt those last two events will seem like quaint folklore to many of you, but they were electrifying at the time. I still become upset whenever I think of Sharon Tate and her friends who were murdered via a useless low-life shitbag's dementia.

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Photograph made by Maria Vladimirovna Alyokhina in police van at Sochi

Early this morning I read this (Pussy Riot members among group of activists arrested in Sochi | Music | and thought, "You've got to be kidding me!  Tell me you're kidding.  Say 'Joe, we are only kidding.'"  Alas!  Apparently, two years in a Russian labor camp isn't sufficient punishment in the collective mind of that nation's power elite.  The government's motto over there must be Et respuerent Mordemus (Chew them and spit them out).  Mind, I hate the absurd Cold War nostalgia which advocates maintenance of an image of Russia as an "evil empire"; but this whole Pussy Riot thing, as acted upon by the government of the Russian Federation, makes it harder to shoo away the anti-Russian chauvinism and xenophobia fostered by U.S. power elites.

During the early 1970s I was acquainted with local organizers in the anti-war and equal-rights movements, was active with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, took part in demonstrations and marches, was on the receiving end of pepper fog and tear gas, etc.—just like a million other people.  Yet government authorities neither clapped me in irons nor sent me to a labor camp:  That's because I wasn't a threat to corporate America, merely a miniscule nuisance; I wasn't a big-noise icon of anything, showing up in products of corporate mainstream media of communication; and, if something happened out of the limelight, a modicum of civil and human rights still tended to prevail in U.S. society for people exhibiting my demographic makeup a.k.a. my accidents of birth.

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Vietnam Veterans Against the War at Times Square in New York city, 1972

Things today are somewhat more sinister over here, authority-wise, than they were 40-plus years ago.  The (shall we say) Monitors are much more plentiful, subtle and vigilant; the labor movement is dead, "sweetheart" contracts to the contrary notwithstanding; civil and human rights are steadily eroded by ignorant rednecks (sorry for that redundancy) and reactionary "fake liberals" in government; corporations now enjoy the same rights as individuals, thanks to the Republican Party's U.S. Supreme Court.  But this low-frequency persistent drone of societal oppression in the U.S., promulgated by corporations and the politicians they own, is barely perceivable when compared to the blaring transgressions of justice transpiring in Russia.

Obviously the present government of the Russian Federation is altogether thick as a brick, striving to punish those whom it's already punished.  Maria Vladimirovna Alyokhina (b. 1988) and Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova (b. 1989) have become international icons of Russian-justice miscarriages.  That selfsame government has decided to burnish the two young women's images via further harassment and persecution.

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Mss. Alekhina and Tolokonnikova plus others leaving police station in Sochi

Mss. Alekhina and Tolokonnikova were suspected of—What?—taking hotel soap and towels, a theft which happens countless times every day in every nation of the world.  Police are rarely called and it's almost always merely written off as a cost of doing business.  (Note:  The charge was later changed to theft of a woman's handbag.)  For Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (b. 1952), however, any excuse—contrived or real—to play Господин Всемогущий (The Almighty) is sufficient in his endless quest to return Russia to what it was prior to Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (b. 1931) having arrived on the leadership scene in 1985.  Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (1931-2007) is probably turning in his grave for having backed Mr. Putin in the first place!  At least the two women along with several others arrested at the same time have been released, according to this (BBC News - Pussy Riot members are released in Sochi).

What to do?  Here's an idea:  Let's all send soap and towels to Mr. Putin at the Moscow Kremlin.  Tell him you wondered, "What would Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judaea from 26 to 36 of the Common Era, have done?"

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Something all authoritarians learn to do

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
President of the Russian Federation
23, Ilyinka Street,
Moscow, 103132, Russia


Владимир Владимирович Путин
Президент Российской Федерации
23, Ильинка ул,
Москва, 103132, Россия

You pick.  Let's face it:  He'll never see anything we send him, but it's the thought which counts.  Someone, somewhere inside the Moscow Kremlin, will see our thoughtful gifts!  Or not....

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Photograph of Moscow Kremlin made by Юля Минеева (Julie Mineeva)


In an effort to diminish my ever-growing mountain of incoming correspondence here, I've taken the liberty of cutting back (i.e., eliminating altogether) receipt of messages announcing Activities, Critiques, Forum Threads, Journals and Scraps.  I'm sorry, but desperate times require desperate measures.  I'm still reading—and replying to—Notes, nearly all of them anyway.


That's all for now, folks!
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: Bob James, Angela, 1978
  • Reading: Max Blumenthal, Goliath, 2013
  • Watching: Michael Apted, Gorky Park, 1983
  • Playing: The Lack-of-Energy game
  • Eating: Chinese food
  • Drinking: Water


LayaboutJoe's Profile Picture
Joseph A. Haran, Jr.
United States
I was born at New York city and have lived in various places both Occidental and Oriental. Subjectively-chosen highlights: U.S. Air Force Security Service, 1965-69; University of Oregon School of Journalism, B.Sc., 1973; Lane County Chapter, Vietnam Veterans Against the War; worked in positions of increasing responsibility within the journalistic media of magazines, newspapers, radio and television; retired.


DeviantART Stamps: Immediately below are "stamps"—made by artists who are members of this Web site—depicting a few of my favorite things. This collection will grow, in the fullness of time.



Please click on the image to view its full size.

Lissi was my feline hostess whilst I was at Reading in the U.K. during my "European Tour" of 2008. Lissi died in her sleep on Sunday, 17th March 2013. She was a wonderful person and I shall always miss her, even though our relationship was all too brief.


Apr 16, 2014
4:04 pm
Apr 16, 2014
2:13 pm
Apr 16, 2014
1:02 pm
Apr 16, 2014
12:26 pm
Apr 16, 2014
10:13 am

'YouTube' recording quality

You can see, via the audio-visual file below, what level of quality YouTube affords its customers who choose to record on YouTube's own Web site. Imagine you're screening a beat-up 16-millimeter sound film, projected on the wall by a noisy old projector; and further imagine the film's sprocket holes are all torn up, so the sprocket wheels can't engage properly and synchronization is continuously lost.

Ta da! See what I mean? Never mind that the subject matter isn't exactly riveting; but even such a tedious presentation as this deserves better technical treatment by YouTube. Nevertheless I'm leaving it just the way it is, since it reinforces my old-man image.




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DylanCGA 8 hours ago  New member Student Digital Artist
glad you enjoyed my owl carving sir! thanks for adding it to your favs =)
t h a n k s . Joe . =)
RuthNorbury 14 hours ago  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you for the favourite!

Thank you so much for the :+fav:s  Joseph : )
GlynEdmunds 16 hours ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Many thanks for the Llama
smutyo 19 hours ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for :+fav::)
Thankyou again :)
jolabrodnica 1 day ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the fav :+fav:
veeegeee 1 day ago  Professional Writer
Thank you so much for the favorites! I'm so glad that you like them. Yay! :) *HUG*
SrTw 1 day ago   General Artist

Thank you so much for the favourites Joe!!! (^‿^)

NyuuAi 1 day ago  Student Photographer
thank you for the faveEmoji13 
Nexu4 1 day ago  Hobbyist Photographer
:iconthanxforfavplz: on  white goose :icongiveflowerplz: and the other :+fav:s :huggle:
Thanks for the faves :la:
MCMXC2 1 day ago  Hobbyist Filmographer
Thank you for the fav:)
Thanks kindly, Joe :icondullvivid:
thewolfcreek 2 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the fav my friend...
BlueIvyViolet 2 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
thanks so much for all the recent faves my friend...sorry for the late reply!!
mrgotland 2 days ago  Professional
Thanks for the watch! XD
Hermetic-Wings 2 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much dear Joseph for your kind oan ongoing support, apreciated :D
zaranix 2 days ago  New member Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the fav!
SkyfireDragon 2 days ago   Artisan Crafter
Joe, Thank you for the Faves! :) (Smile)
Thanks kindly, Joe :icondullvivid: 
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