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Scapegoating

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I’m always fascinated by what I’d call the executioner role in society. It’s the role of someone who is doing a job that the given society has decided must be done, but then we blame and hate the people who actually do it. It’s why executioners supposedly wore hoods—concealing their identity so they wouldn’t face the blowback from doing a job that society deemed necessary. Nowadays we hate on lawyers and politicians, even as we need them.

I mention this, because I read this article at Salon and found it to be an interesting snapshot of an unpleasant but necessary job—cleaning up houses that have been foreclosed. The author and her boyfriend are the repo men, basically, though it seems most houses are empty when they arrive. I thought it was interesting how she describes how quickly you move from being concerned about the people that you’re cleaning up after to being utterly unconcerned and incurious. To my mind, that seems to be a survival strategy, an attitude you have to adopt or the job will make you lose your mind.

But the commenters at Salon—already a vicious, mean-spirited bunch—absolutely went bananas with judgment. The author and her boyfriend were called vultures, bad people, and other names, and it was suggested that they kill themselves. The fact that they have to carry a gun to work was held out as evidence that they’re bad people doing something wrong. And I just don’t get that attitude. I guarantee that every single one of these people saying these things would be ecstatic to see the clean-up crew roll up if a house was foreclosed in their neighborhood. And thus, I can’t help but think the second you get on your high horse about people who actually do the job, you’re automatically a giant hypocrite.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this, except to say it’s interesting that it’s so easy for people to scapegoat the people who do the hard, necessary work, and don’t attack the system that makes the work necessary.

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‘This American dream’: Pain overwhelms family of drowned migrants

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"They had this American dream," sobbed Rosa Ramirez after images of her drowned son and granddaughter, discovered face-down on the banks of the Rio Grande between Mexico and the United States, shocked the world on Wednesday.

The poignant pictures of Oscar Alberto Martinez and his toddler daughter Valeria -- not yet two years old -- has sparked outrage back home in El Salvador, where around 200 migrants like them leave for the United States daily, preparing to take similar risks.

"The pain has been immense. I still can't believe that my boy and my little granddaughter are dead, they only wanted to get to the United States.... they had this American dream -- to achieve a better life," Oscar's mother told AFP.

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Venezuela government says thwarted attempted ‘coup’

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Venezuela's socialist government said Wednesday it had derailed an attempted coup, claiming the United States, Colombia and Chile colluded in a military plot to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro and install a general and former defense minister in his place.

Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said the plan involved active and retired army officers and was to have been executed between Sunday and Monday this past weekend.

"We were in all the meetings to plan the coup d'Etat. We were in all the conferences," Rodriguez said, suggesting that government informers had infiltrated the alleged plotters during planning meetings.

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Democrats believe Mueller testimony could be tipping point for impeachment: CNN

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On Wednesday, CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported that some House Democrats view special counsel Robert Mueller's upcoming public testimony to the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees in July as a potential tipping point that could sway both Democratic leaders and the American people in favor of opening an impeachment probe.

"Democrats who support opening up an impeachment inquiry believe this could bolster the calls to open up formal proceedings, perhaps shift public opinion, perhaps encourage the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move off of her opposition to opening up an impeachment probe because of what Bob Mueller will say," said Raju.

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