June 23rd, 2006 - Yesterday the cumulative total of nations that this website has reached totalled 40!
The date is a distraction, isn't it? (Like the fuss they made over entering the new millenium!)
The only reason that I use it here is that it happens to be the date that this web site reached 30 countries! In less than two months!
The count is cumulative and many countries are only represented by a single visitor, but nonetheless they came!
I cannot track individuals and I would not if I could...
This kind of activism is a dangerous pastime in many countries where officials are corrupt and criminals operate freely, without regard for the human consequences of what they do.
It's very gratifying to have touched so many places with my message in so short a time.
November 9th - approximately 80 countries now... I have not been getting hundreds of thousands of visitors like some of the most popular sites do, but I am surprised by the way this has reached around the world and across borders
This is Amira (Arabic for Princess...)
She is an odd eyed Turkish Angora
and I call her, "The Cat with the Golden Eye!"
9/12/2006 An interesting footnote to this;
Mohammed's Cat, Muezza, may have been
nearly identical to Amira... (a "ringer!")
I've known the story of Mohammed cutting
off the sleeve of his robe so as not to
disturb a sleeping cat, but this was the first
time that I've heard that cat called by name.
Another site (traditionalcats.com) describes
Mohammed's cat as having been a Turkish
Angora with "one blue eye and one gold eye".
This particular photo was digitally altered so as to resemble a watercolor painting, but the colors are true. Several unaltered photographs of her can be seen at my www.poeticat.com web site.
It's interesting to note that not only are her eyes different colors, but they reflect differently as well!
I know that what I write about has a dark fascination that crosses national, religious, racial and ethnic boundaries and ultimately affects us all, whichever side of the law holds our loyalties.
Honorable men anywhere are looked to by their wives, daughters, mothers, sisters and cousins for protection from those sinister forces that would take advantage of them and of social traditions that allow women to be treated as criminals and outcasts instead of as the victims that they have become.
East or West, North or South, being enslaved is one of the worst things that can happen to a woman. Not only is she physically mistreated, but she loses her honorable status within the community. As part of obtaining her cooperation, her family's well being is often threatened as well as her own and even though she does what she must to protect them, she is often abandoned by them as well as by the legal system.
July 9th, 2006 - On the day before yesterday, the total number of nations reached 51!
July 25th, 2006 - Yesterday I returned home from Las Vegas to find that the number is now 61!
August 7 - up to 65! Including a few from Lebanon, despite all the trouble that is swirling around the area! I was also able to confirm that I have had visitors from all 50 of the United States and the District of Columbia.
August 22nd - up to 68! It's very interesting to see what countries and territories have visited and even though my knowledge of geography is very good, there have been a couple that have motivated me to refer to my encyclopedia to learn a little bit about them as they're learning a little bit about me...
www.scaredsafe.org & POETICAT.COM
April 8 to August 22, 2006 - visitors by region - I put "(XX!)" with a number for any country that I have had more than twenty visitors from.
September 29 - I've switched to noting any countries or territories that have generated ten or more visitors... and those numbers continue to grow! I don't have a set schedule, but I try to update the list every week or so. I've noticed that people like to spend time on this page - I do, too! I have had visitors from a wonderful variety of extremely exotic locations and I appreciate having been able to touch their lives!
Update - 10/25/2006
Incidentally, I have noted that occasionally I have seen numbers decrease in what I consider to be a cumulative count. (?!?!) Generally, it has been my practice to let the former number stand until the total visitors from that area have surpassed the former count and then I pick up with the cumulative count where I left off. I don't have any explanation for the occasional discrepancies, but I intend to inquire about it. If anyone has noticed that my updates are for lesser numbers than their own visits might account for, then that is probably the answer to their question. Similarly, the counter on my www.poeticat.com site has been seeming to only register a fraction of the number of actual visitors. >^.Karl!
Update: November 8, 2006 Today is worthy of note! As a US citizen, I am a registered voter and took part in yesterday's elections and I am elated with the results! I am not a member of any political party, however I have been concerned with what I have seen as the erosion or ineffectiveness of the checks and balances built into the US Government. Yesterday's elections have restored my faith in the system and I wait to see if the current administration will be called to task for its' excesses.
11/13/2006 - I realize that it is difficult to control Internet content, but none the less, I can't help but wonder if this site hasn't been banned in Saudi Arabia somehow... Since last September, evidently, since I had at least fifty visitors from there prior to September and none after September! Meanwhile, I have had visitors from Yemen, Qatar, Pakistan, the UAE, Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait and Iraq as well as other Muslim countries. (No, not Iran...) Most curious...
04/18/2007 - a few more since then - mostly from Mecca - otherwise, "unknowns"... interesting...
06/13/2007 - with over a hundred countries that have visited here now, it gets very tempting to hypothesize about my visitors! It would be easy to go with preconceptions about who my visitors might be... but it would be a mistake! I've had visitors from the northwest frontier of Pakistan, but that doesn't mean that I've had Osama Bin Laden visit my site... Then again visiting this site might be one thing that George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden have in common! <GRIN!>
Update: November 22, 2006...
The day before yesterday my attention was brought to an associated press release that was displayed on MSNBC.com - "Afghan women turn to suicide by fire" (as updated as of 4:04 pm ET Nov 18, 2006) I understand that living in an arranged marriage, tolerating abuse and deprivation can be enough to bring someone to suicide, but why by fire?
Just across the border in Pakistan as well as India, bride burning is well documented, even though the victims are so intimidated that the survivors seldom deny claims that the burnings were "accidental..."
The article claims that 93 women died by self inflicted burns last year! Of course, there are many survivors as well, miserable, disabled and disfigured!
I understand that guns and drugs are plentiful in Afghanistan, so if a woman wants to commit suicide to escape the misery of her existence, why would she choose a way that is likely to leave her even more miserable than she was in the first place?
Update: November 29, 2006...
I cannot let today pass without comment, even though I may depart from the overall theme of this web site.
Nine years ago today I lost Peggy, my much loved wife of 17 years - last year would have been our Silver Anniversary... We shared a disability - epilepsy - and together we found a rare understanding and mutual support that went far beyond what mere words could say.
Nine months was how long she lasted after the initial diagnosis of her breast cancer... We fought it all the way together and when the end was inescapable, I was by her bedside holding her hand as she passed away.
Never a day passes that I don't miss her smile, her laughter, her enthusiasm and the incredible love that she had for me. The world was a cold dark place for me once she was gone and it took me a long time to realize that she would not want me to live in pain and grief for the rest of my life. Even so, in some ways she has never left me and never will. I will finish out my remaining years secure in the knowledge that she will be there for me when the time comes for me to leave this world and when I go I will be able to do so without apology,
for I want her to be proud of me and what I accomplish.
Yes there are those persons who will not be comfortable with what I say and even some criminals and politicians who think that they should not have anyone to answer to for their dirty deeds. They might even silence me some day, but I've already created a legacy that will survive beyond my mortal years. This is my response to them;
Line me up on that pock marked wall,
Do it! I really don't care at all,
For when it's over and I have died,
Peggy's waiting on the other side
For anybody who wants to know more, they can go to my other site, www.poeticat.com or they can find several excerpts from my book, GOING WITHOUT PEGGY, at www.poemhunter.com/karl-stuart-kline .
December 7, 2006 - Pearl Harbor Day, here in the US, also known as "the day of infamy..." It's now part of our history... Now we are in another war, poorly conceived and poorly executed. I think that it's a poor demonstration of what Americans are or what they can do.
Sadly, misuse of power cannot always be predicted, whether it leads to Human Trafficking or global warfare. The cynics amongst us must always think the worst of everyone and everything about them. They must live in a small dark world! I choose another more optimistic path, better lit and promising a bright future for those who will work together to make it become a reality.
Update - 12/27/2006
An earthquake has temporarily isolated Hong Kong, Taiwan and most of mainland China (over 90%, I hear!) from their Internet connections. I realize that some may fear that they are victim to capricious government policies... I hope that their connections are renewed soon and that their fears are laid to rest.
Note... (01/02/2007) Happy New Year! It looks like service has been restored! At least as of 12/30 - 31, I have had several new visitors from China and Hong Kong!
01/25/2007 Locally, I've been attending the Palm Beach Poetry Festival here in Delray Beach, Florida. I didn't sign up for the workshops, however, so I've been meeting the participants and their mentors at the readings and signings that are taking place otherwise. That's just as well, since my style, form and content varies wildly from the ideals that are expounded from the professorial pulpit.
I'm also gaining some new fans of my own from the attendees and as one said to me this week, the use of rhyme and meter is something that's "worth fighting for!"
The thing is that different forms lend themselves to different poems and I often don't consciously recognize the specific form that I'm using until the poem is already well formed and I feel that is perfectly appropriate, since the message or story that I have to impart takes priority over everything else. Poetry is my natural medium, but preconceptual formulization should never interfere with the message. The choices that I make in regard to form are almost organic, since they are secondary and are used best when they can only amplify the subject or the message that I wish to share.
Update - 02/14/2007 - Happy Valentine's Day to one and all! Even if it's not an official holiday, it's nice to have a day that is dedicated to peace and love and is celebrated internationally without any particular religion trying to hog the credit for it! (They can try... but the love that we share is ours to give - not theirs!)
02/26/2007 - Overdue for an update, I know, but I have been hospitalized by a Mysterious Malady for most of the past week. The doctors may not have been able to define it except in general terms, but intravenous antibiotics did bring it under control. Yesterday they finally took the needle out of my arm, switching me to oral antibiotics and I was sent home. (YAY!)
So now I'm catching up with what I've missed out on during my days in the doctor's care...
The most note worthy item of interest to catch my eye is the "Global March Against Child Labour" movement that has come together with the "Save the Childhood Movement" to organize a THREE WEEK march from Calcutta to Delhi to protest child trafficking!
The BBC report that reached me through truthout.org says that THOUSANDS of people have already gathered in Calcutta! THIS should be worth watching! More power to them!
Update - 02/28/2007 -
For those of us who appreciate the value and power of poetry in our lives, I've added two new pages - One each to www.poeticat.com and one to this site.
These pages highlight two essays excerpted from an old book of mine.
One is "What's the use of poetry?" by Henry Arthur Jones, who was a British playwright about 100 years ago - (click on the "What Use is Poetry" button at the top of the page...)!
The other is "A Defense of Poetry" by Percy Bysshe Shelley and you can find it on my poeticat.com site. One thing that these essays have in common other than their passion for poetry is the fact that I haven't been able to find any reference to either of them on the Internet. It's my very great pleasure to be able to introduce them to those of you who might never be able to enjoy them otherwise!
Update - 03/20/2007 -
My apologies to anyone who might have been looking for my updates over the last couple of weeks... I've been in and out of the hospital!
However, my health is much improved and I am now back to business as (un)usual!
Perhaps I should not use the word "business" because it could be misleading in this context - I run this as a .org site primarily because the .com website name had already been taken by a security company in California that actually has no connection with me.
The .org has potential, however, because I do operate this site with the Greater Good in mind! With what I do and the social problems that I address, I could doubtless qualify as a nonprofit organization and accept tax deductible donations from those individuals and corporations that might choose to support me. Right now, however, I operate this site entirely at my own expense and I receive no revenues from it.
Nobody tries to tell me how to do it either! Nor do I allow any popups or advertisers on this site, so my visitors can visit in relative safety, unworried about what might be invading their computers while they visit here. Neither can they upload any malicious software into my site, because I have no provision for a bulletin board or chatroom here.
Azerbaijan, Barbados & Guam are three new additions to my visitors list here. I wish to repeat that I do not track individual visitors and only note what country and territory that they have visited from, although I do wonder from time to time who my visitors might be from such places as the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan... Then there are other visitors from the capitols of various countries and I wonder if they might be simply intelligent and concerned individuals who have taken an interest in what I write - or could they be highly placed governmental officials? Perhaps even some heads of State? Or some of the revolutionaries who follow their own vision and seek a better future for their people?
I'll never know unless they choose to communicate with me through the e-mail address that I provide on the home page of this site... Then, with their permission, I might start a new and doubtless fascinating page on this web site!
Update - 03/27/2007
Today I've added my link to the organization, Poets for Human Rights, so a special welcome is due to anyone who has found me through their site. I might call it "An Impossible Task", but I'm glad to know that there are other poets out there using their craft to the betterment of humankind!
Update - 04/04/2007
Hmmmmmm... past midnight! It's actually April 5th already!
I just forwarded something to Chris Hansen... I don't expect anything though, since it's a subject that he's already covered with Dateline NBC. Then again, maybe he can use it - by the time the programs are aired the investigations are over, so you never really know what their current project might be.
When I finish updating this page, I have another poem that I'll be adding to the site - it's called "WITNESS..." and you can also see it posted with sixty-odd other pieces of mine at www.poemhunter.com/karl-stuart-kline , so please pay a visit! (yes, the link works!)
Update - 04/11/2007
Update - 04/18/2007
I am filled with sadness...
Not just for the 33 people who died yesterday at Virginia Tech or the hundreds and thousands of needless deaths and mutilations that occur around the world every day, although they are all part of it...
I know intimately the pain of loss and live with it every day.
I have an advantage, perhaps, because I can express myself through my journals and my poetry. Those expressions have been able to carry me through some very tough times by being able to examine my feelings, analyze them and ultimately recognize that the rest of my life still lay ahead of me.
However, what has gone before will always be a part of me and even though I know that the angel on my shoulder would want me to carry on, neither will she ever leave me.
More than that, I am an empathic individual and I recognize that those same feelings exist in other people as well and that they have the same power over their lives, leaving them emotionally incapacitated if those feelings are not acknowledged and dealt with.
I think that same empathy empowers me when I take pen in hand, because not only can I feel and express what I have been through, I can recognize and express the feelings of others, especially when my own experiences have parallelled some of their own.
Not only that, as I get older I find that more and more of my experiences have been shared with individuals from around the world, each of whom has given me some insight into their own lives, whether it be through their pain and mourning, or through an especially joyful moment...
Oh, yes! We share smiles as well as sadness!
Update - 04/25/2007
Update - 05/02/07
And the war goes on! Four years after the photo op that claimed "Mission Accomplished!", we're further than ever from accomplishing the true goals of the American people that our "Commander in Chief" claims to represent!
How many people think that Bush's best chance at a peaceful resolution of the Iraq conflict would have been to reinstate Hussein, with apologies, after it was determined that the attack was based on a false premise? Sure, Hussein was an SOB and his sons were well on the way to becoming something even worse, but when you go by the precept that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," then George W. became Iran's best friend ever when he attacked Iraq and obliterated the balance of power that existed between them! He can never correct that, no matter how much of our money he throws at them!
That's money that could have supported the American economy against foreign based entrepreneurs, rebuilt New Orleans and reconciled the difficulties that we have with porous borders! Maybe not all of that and maybe other things that additional medical/industrial research and development might have yielded if the funds had been available to them. Instead, we pay tax dollars to support graft in Iraq!
Update - 05/09/2007
What can I say? I've always been proud to be an American - part Native American if the family story has it right... Supposedly it's been a family secret for so long that they can't tell me which tribe! My sister and I may resort to genetic testing to confirm that.
Otherwise, I'm a mix of German, Irish and English - My family name dates back to Palatine Germans who came to the English Colonies in search of religious freedom. Since then my family has had a part in much of US history and our roots have been on this continent for many generations.
Sadly, I'm not as proud as I used to be when we had a president who accepted responsibility for his actions and proudly told the world that "The Buck Stops Here!" Now I'm starting to wonder if "W" doesn't stand for "Weasel"!
Fortunately, this too shall pass and even though we have lost respect as a nation around the world as a result of the Iraq invasion, there will be future administrations more deserving of the respect that we have lost. It will take all of us working together to create a lasting peace... Unfortunately, it only takes one fool to start a war!
Update - 05/16/2007
What's in a word?
A Hell of a lot when the word is "INTEGRITY"!
To me, integrity is doing the right thing when nobody knows what you're doing.
It's not always easy, is it?
My experience includes many difficult times that nobody will ever know that I've done the right thing and that's the way I want it to stay, because I do have times in my past when I have been under pressure to do something other than the best thing for all concerned.
I have been subjected to peer pressure, temptation and seduction and though I might not have always done the best thing, I have learned from the experience and become a better person by virtue of what I've learned.
Sometimes experience is the only way that I had to learn what the best thing might be and sometimes that also means that I didn't make the best decision. Of course no one person is ever in total control of any given situation and those who think they are only deceive themselves. (Why do parents, politicians and preachers come to mind when I say that?)
Sometimes someone else may have been hurt and sometimes I was the one who was hurt.
What I do know is that no one ethnic group or religion has a monopoly on good people and that victims can come from all walks of life.
Update - 05/23/2007
It's not easy being me... That sounds a little too pat - anybody can say that and it'll be true to some degree. I can think of a heck of a lot of people who are going through a lot harder times than I am. Hell, I've been through a lot harder times, just getting to where I am now.
The easiest thing that I ever did was to fall in love with Peggy. The hardest thing was to go through nine long months of cancer with her, staying strong even when I didn't want anything so much as to be with her, even after she had passed on...
I think that one reason that I've been able to pick up the pieces and carry on since then is the fact that I realized that in a very real sense she has never left me. Until my time comes, I hope to live my life in such a way that she will always be proud of me.
Update - 05/30/2007
This is from the Poets Against Trafficking in Humans Over Seas (PATHOS) page/group that I started on www.facebook.com this past week:
Unfortunately, I've learned a lot about Human Trafficking - including that unfortunate aspect of human nature that allows so many people to take advantage of the weakness or ignorance of others, bending them to their will until they break and then tossing them aside like broken toys.
They're victims, living, dying or bearing prolonged suffering at the whim of an uncaring master, who only sees them as the means to an end, with no consideration for the lives that are ruined in the process.
One thing that I want to make clear is that I have no patience for the self righteous, holier than thou, self loving and self serving bull kaka that I have heard spouted from soap boxes and pulpits throughout my life. Nor do I wish to inflict that on anyone else.
I respect all faiths equally and I find that the measure of a man is not taken by what religion he follows, but by the good works that he has accomplished.
Having said that, I hope that it sets the tone for a lively multinational and multi-ethnic discussion of all aspects of Human Trafficking. My knowledge of this subject might be more than average, but the first thing that anyone with any aspirations to wisdom must acknowledge is the immensity of his own ignorance. I will share some of my thoughts and some of my work, but what I look forward to most of all is learning from the experiences of others.
Please join me in this and let our influence spread like ripples upon the surface of a pond - or like waves over the sea!
You see, in one sense or another.
We're all overseas from each other.
In accepting that which divides us,
It will become that which unites us!
Karl Stuart Kline
Update - 6/6/200
Update - 06/13/2007
Update - 06/20/2007
World Refugee Day...
Refugees are the most endangered of the world's peoples.
What government they once relied upon is gone and sometimes even tribal leaders are separated from their people if they have survived whatever tragedy forced them away from their homelands to begin with.
What is already a bad situation becomes complicated with the loss of whatever public education was once available. Refugees may be permitted in some countries, but they are rarely welcomed and the best of government services are seldom available to them.
Those who do not have family to go to are generally sequestered into camps where diseases and criminals flourish unchecked. They face a future with no education, no representative government and open resentment from what may well be an openly xenophobic native population. This can be further exacerbated by predatory individuals from their own people who have come to the few positions of power that are available to them, taking advantage of their own people by creating gangs, recruiting child soldiers and selling the one resource that is plentiful to them - slave labor.
These people have lost their past, have no future and the present looks truly dismal.
This is close to a worst case scenario... There are individuals and NGOs that try to do what they can to help these people. The United Nations does what it can as well, but it's never enough to meet all the needs of millions of desperate people.
The good news this week comes from China - The bad news is that this is even possible, but police raids freed over 500 people from forced labor, including children and mentally handicapped individuals. The details are pretty graphic and it seems that there are government officials involved. There is a very good article at forbes.com that has a lot of background information and provides more detail. They've probably only scratched the surface of what may very well be a much larger problem...
Update - 06/27/2007
One more week, I think...
Next Wednesday (Happy Fourth of July!) will be my last update on this page... Three days later I'm planning to start a new page: 7-7-7! Hey, these are dates that only come around once a century!
It actually works out quite well in that it breaks up my weekly updates and comments into organized sections that allows easier reference for myself and others. The "Others" might be rather shy... One day this week I checked my stats to date for the week and I had 27 visitors from the District of Columbia - an unusually strong showing! After I came home from my day job the next day, I looked to see if I'd had any additional visitors from D.C. and they had vanished! I cannot say exactly what happened that wiped that particular record, but it does make me wonder!
Latest Update - 07/04/2007
Go to the 7-7-7 page for new weekly updates starting today!
This page will remain for reading, reference and as a record of what has gone before.
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (13)
NEW SOUTH WALES, (26)
RIO DE JANEIRO,
RIO GRANDE DO SUL,
BRITISH COLUMBIA, (801)
NEW BRUNSWICK, (19)
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR,
NOVA SCOTIA, (32)
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND,
CZECH REPUBLIC (10)
HLAVNI MESTO PRAHA
HONG KONG (SAR)
JAKARTA RAYA (DJAKARTA RAYA),
JAWA BARAT (DJAWA BARAT),
JAWA TIMUR (DJAWA TIMUR)
IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF
KOREA, REPUBLIC OF (33)
LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
DISTRITO FEDERAL (17)
MOLDOVA, REPUBLIC OF
NEW ZEALAND (37)
MORE OG ROMSDAL
RUSSIAN FEDERATION (23)
SAINT KITTS and NEVIS
ST. GEORGE BASSETERRE
ST. VINCENT and the GRENADINES
MAKKAH, (Mecca?) (21)
SERBIA & MONTENEGRO
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
SOUTH AFRICA (22)
CASTILLA Y LEON,
KRUNG THEP MAHANAKHON,
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES(19)
UNITED KINGDOM (283)
UNITED STATES(8,083) (All 50 states plus DC)
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, (85)
NEW HAMPSHIRE, (31)
NEW JERSEY, (174)
NEW MEXICO, (27)
NEW YORK, (241)
NORTH CAROLINA, (108)
RHODE ISLAND (18)
SOUTH CAROLINA, (38)
SOUTH DAKOTA (14)
WEST VIRGINIA, (16)
HO CHI MINH
VIRGIN ISLANDS, BRITISH
>^. KARL! ; ) for more of my work, visit www.poemhunter.com/karl-stuart-kline
Note; any numbers recorded on this page are updated as of July of 2007 at the very latest. I've had thousands of visitors since then, some of which are noted in general terms on the 7-7-7 page, but only through August of 2008.