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Can We Unlock the Golden Door?


Can We Unlock the Golden Door?

Robert C. Koehler

Around 9 a.m., a helicopter began circling overhead. Moments later, as Jonathan Blitzer wrote recently in the New Yorker, a fleet of cars pulled up outside the meat-processing plant in Bean Station, Tenn. . . .

And the SS guys stepped out.

Oh wait, I mean the ICE agents, who swarmed through the plant and wound up arresting 97 “illegals.”

“A Napa (California) family has been torn apart after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents swarmed their property and arrested the father,” according to an ABC News report. He was doing yard work, his wife said. “‘Probably like five-six cars just stopped and all of a sudden they just got out, armed and with their bullet proof vests.” He was 39 years old. He had been living in this country since he was 4.
gee, i jut had to put emphasis on that concluding sentence. we don't know from the media report from which country this man immigrated with his parents at age four. perhaps his parents came to work as itinerant farm workers? so, where does the system plan to send him or will he be held indefinitely in an immigration detention center? he has little or no memory of his birth nation. will he find relatives there? can he even relate to the customs? he and his entire family are going through such a traumatic experience. the cruelty and utter lack of compassion are mind-boggling!

another common dreams article tells the horror story of young woman seeking asylum from war torn honduras. she has been held “prisoner” in taylor texas while ice holds her 18 month old son in san antonio. cui bono? no one! that’s who?

This consciousness has to change. Right now, America is the global leader of a nationalism fixated entirely on “defending” its short-term interests and fetishes, in a world increasingly ravaged by war, poverty and environmental devastation.
yesterday i posted a similar sentiment, “we need a whole new philosophy of life!” we north americans live in nations led by sociopaths incapable of normal human emotions. i’m not saying this just to be mean. sociopaths love money and power. if we truly care about people over money, we must make every effort to boycott this system. organize? march with posters? no. that only serves as added flattery to the self-flattering. the compassion, the caring must come from us as individuals. from a recent post ‘il corvo’ wrote “we should stand together; alone.” i get what he’s saying.

“When systems fall, when things break down … people remain. Don’t be afraid of what comes next. Be ready.”—Ed Snowden


The word ‘fetish’ is most appropriately used by Mr. Kohler, in my opinion. Consider the contents of just one online etymological searchof the term:

fetish (n.)

“material object regarded with awe as having mysterious powers or being the representative of a deity that may be worshipped through it,” 1610s, fatisso, from Portuguese feitiço “charm, sorcery, allurement,” noun use of an adjective meaning “artificial.”

The Portuguese adjective is from Latin facticius “made by art, artificial,” from facere “to make, do, produce” (from PIE root *dhe- “to set, put;” compare French factice “artificial,” restored from Old French faitise, from Latin facticius). Via the French word, Middle English had fetis, fetice (adj.) “cleverly made, neat, elegant” (of things), “handsome, pretty, neat” (of persons). But in the Middle Ages the Romanic derivatives of the word took on magical senses; compare Portuguese feiticeria “sorcery, witchcraft,” feiticeiro “sorcerer, wizard.” Latin facticius in Spanish has become hechizo “artificial, imitated,” also “bewitchment, fascination.”

The specific Portuguese use of the word that brought it to English probably began among Portuguese sailors and traders who used the word as a name for charms and talismans worshipped by the inhabitants of the Guinea coast of Africa. It was picked up and popularized in anthropology by Charles de Brosses’ “Du culte des dieux fétiches” (1760), which influenced the word’s spelling in English (French fétiche also is borrowed 18c. from the Portuguese word).

Any material image of a religious idea is an idol; a material object in which force is supposed to be concentrated is a Fetish; a material object, or a class of material objects, plants, or animals, which is regarded by man with superstitious respect, and between whom and man there is supposed to exist an invisible but effective force, is a Totem. [J. Fitzgerald Lee, "The Greater Exodus," London, 1903]

Figurative sense of “something irrationally revered, object of blind devotion” appears to be an extension made by the New England Transcendentalists (1837). For sexual sense (1897), see fetishism.


yes, ‘oldgoat’, and “the love of money” fits, i’d say, as a fetish. those who worship money do so religiously. i remember a recent tv add showing a little boy, four or five years old, playing with a small wooden car. he wasn’t playing like most children, “vroom! vroom! vroom!” but just aimlessly turning the toy in the air while his concerned parents tried without success to get his attention. then the overvoice warned, “obsession with objects could be a sign of autism.”

so many people living in this capitalist/consumer paradigm seek happiness in the superficial “stuff.” the joy is only temporary and they must shop again. same with corporations who must continuously increase profits.


here are some snippets from today’s democracy now! broadcast the man who was grabbed from his front yard obviously has a wife and children who are u.s. citizens. by what logic does the government ignore the right of its own citizens to live in their country of birth with the man thy love? note that the man wanting to bring his daughter home from yemen is a u.s. citizen.

AMY GOODMAN:: I want to turn to the issue of that 10-year-old Yemeni girl with cerebral palsy, mentioned by Neal Katyal during the Supreme Court oral arguments. She is featured in a new Al Jazeera documentary called “Between War and the Ban: A Yemeni-American Story” which tells the story of Yemenis trying to come to the U.S., often to reunite with family members. In this clip, her father, a U.S. citizen named Najeeb Al-Omari talks to reporter Sharif Abdel Kouddous of Fault Lines, about his daughter’s deteriorating medical condition and the U.S. denial of visas for his daughter.
NAJEEB AL-OMARI: All of the problems after the war, there is no medical care. The medical system in the country have collapsed. Her condition is a consequence of the war.

NARRATOR: Najeeb’s eldest daughter, 11-year-old Shaima, was born with cerebral palsy, making it more urgent for her to get adequate medical care, something that has become increasingly difficult in Yemen.

NAJEEB AL-OMARI: Proper medicine isn’t available, only substitutes. But the substitutes are smuggled through the desert and the heat ruins them.

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: How did that affect her?

NAJEEB AL-OMARI: It really affected her. Look at her now. She wasn’t like this before.

LEE GELERNT: I have been doing this work for over 25 years. The family separation practice is as horrific as anything I’ve ever seen. They are separating asylum seeking mothers and fathers at the border from their little children. Children 18 months, two years, three years. And they actually don’t have any rationale that they can present in court. The true reason is they want to deter legitimate asylum-seekers from coming to this country, and so they’re using the most draconian measure possible, taking a little kid away.


Yes, I saw that program…sickened me even more than I was already. I don’t know how Amy has kept from going over the edge. (I watch DN every day and feel the edge getting closer.)

I’m writing and calling my eunuch congressional delegation almost every day to protest what they’re allowing the SS-ICE to do…for no valid reason.

I write the departments of DHS periodically.

I don’t have much disposable income, but when I can, I donate to immigrant legal aid centers.

What else to do?