Tom O'Lincoln | 1 Dec 01:05 2003
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Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

>>Screw him - I hope he rots in jail.<<

Err, comrade, he hasn't been convicted yet. The only "evidence" we have is
what the media serve up. That someone on this list responds like this shows
just how pervasive, and dangerous, the whole trial-by-media business can
be.

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Zak McGregor | 1 Dec 01:18 2003
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Re: Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 11:05:26 +1100
"Tom O'Lincoln" <suarsos <at> alphalink.com.au> wrote:

> >>Screw him - I hope he rots in jail.<<
> 
> Err, comrade, he hasn't been convicted yet. The only "evidence" we have is
> what the media serve up. That someone on this list responds like this shows
> just how pervasive, and dangerous, the whole trial-by-media business can
> be.

Tom, as I made abundantly clear in previous postings, my belief in his guilt
stems from his previous out-of-court settlement on similar charges. Is there
something I'm missing about that? 

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Nestor Gorojovsky | 1 Dec 01:31 2003
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Re: Re: David Harvey

Respuesta a: [Marxism] Re: David Harvey
Remitido por: Carlos Eduardo Rebello
Fecha: Domingo 30 de Noviembre de 2003 
Hora: 18:54
*****

> David Harvey:
> 
> The danger is that anti-imperialist
> > movements may become purely and wholeheartedly anti-modernist movements
> > rather than seeking an alternative globalization and an alternative
> > modernity that makes full use of the potential that capitalism has
> spawned.
> 
> There are political errors in the Marxist field that have been proven as
> mistaken so many times and re-appear so many times that this persistence of
> error can only be possibly explained in Marxist terms, i.e., those mistakes
> serve a class interest.
> 
[...]
> 
> But then, much of Marxist politics consists in reapeating the same things
> over and over...
> 
> Carlos Rebello

Wholly in agreement (once again, it's getting boring). 

Probably this is one of the most uncomfortable consequences of the 
permanence of the ruling classes.
(Continue reading)

Gary Wilson | 1 Dec 01:38 2003

Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

Zak McGregor wrote:

>>>He is a grossly overpaid "entertainer". He has settled out of court for
>>>previous child molestation accusations - surely a silent admission of guilt?
>>>He spends ridiculous amounts of money on himsedlf - plastic surgery, exotic
>>>pets, lavish playthings. I have not heard any political messages coming
>>>through in any of his music. 
>>>
>>
>>In your book, trial by media wins. Guilty because of plastic surgery.
> 
> 
> No, guilty because he settled out of court previously. The point I made about
> his surgery is the absurd amounts of cash he throws around purely out of
> self-interest, yet now we must side with him? 

Let me clarify. The article I posted does not say that we must side with 
him, and I am not saying that. What it says is that there is a racist 
media campaign being whipped up, and that people should not get captured 
by this.

Your response certainly shows your prejudices. You place a lot of 
importance on his physical appearance, and put a value judgment on the 
amount of money he spends on this. People have done many things to 
change their appearance, and the amount of money they spend on it may be 
a large part of their income. What does that matter. What does 
self-interest or more accurately self-expression have to do with his guilt?

For that matter, your legalistic argument of guilt by association with 
previous charges made against him and settled out of court relies on 
(Continue reading)

LaSainte | 1 Dec 01:41 2003
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Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

From: "Zak McGregor" <zak <at> mighty.co.za>
To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
<marxism <at> lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 4:33 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

> On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 17:10:13 -0500
> Gary Wilson <gary <at> wwpublish.com> wrote:

> Michael jackson deserves whatever he gets.

***Oh, I see. You are more than eager to condemn Jackson based purely on
sensational tabloid and other and equally unreliable bourgeois coverage.***

 His being of African-American descent
> has _nothing_ to do with his innocence or guilt.

***But somehow you just know that Michael Jackson is guilty of child
molestation. You know this without any evidence presented. ***

 I don't recall him _ever_
> taking a stand for anything that didn't help himself in some or other way.
He
> co-wrote "We are the World". BFD.

***So, what does that have to do with the charges of child molestation? Or
are you saying that anyone who doesn't fit your standards of public displays
of altruism must be guilty of acts of pedophilia?***
>
> He is a grossly overpaid "entertainer".
(Continue reading)

Tom O'Lincoln | 1 Dec 01:48 2003
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Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

>>Tom, as I made abundantly clear in previous postings, my belief in his
guilt stems from his previous out-of-court settlement on similar charges.
Is there something I'm missing about that?<<

Yes there is.

Since when is settling out of court proof of guilt? He could have settled
last time simply to avoid trial by media. Men accused of molesting children
are always presumed guilty, and hounded -- which is exactly what's
happening here. Even if he's acquitted people will just say: "the bastard
got off".

The presumption of innocence is actually quite important to the left. We
should be a bit more cautious about undermining it.

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Louis Proyect | 1 Dec 01:52 2003
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Forwarded from Michael Lebowitz (Venezuela report)

My days as an international observer in Venezuela-- my 7th note (I think) 
from the front. (Some of these have been picked up on 
www.venezuelanalysis.com, an invaluable source of information about what is 
happening.)

After unofficially observing part of the first day's signature campaign to 
recall Hugo Chavez, on Saturday I joined about 50 others in a group of 
official observers. Our group (which includes Italian and Spanish 
politicians, European journalists, Latin American activists and 
legislators) is hustled into a bus and several vans, and we go off on a 
mystery trip to locations selected by the National Electoral Commission. 
After about an hour's ride, we were disgorged somewhere in the state of 
Vargas. As we approached the signature table (located in a barrio) , we 
were cheered and chanted at by about 20 Chavists (many redshirted) to the 
right of the tables. To the left of the tables, there were around 50 happy, 
singing people accompanied by loud music coming from a nearby bar. It was a 
bit like a party. Even though language-challenged,  it soon became clear to 
me from the 'yo no soy chavista' sung by this 2nd group that the 
positioning around the table was no accident. At the tables themselves, 
though, only two of the tables were occupied by someone who wanted to sign, 
and there was no queue. One of military men there to protect the process 
indicated that it was a bit busier there yesterday but not much more so. As 
we left, the crowd of anti-chavists dissipated.

At our second location in Vargas, we saw people come to the tables with a 
narrow strip of paper filled out on one side. After they signed the forms, 
the opposition person taking signatures signed the other side of the paper. 
This was a frequent pattern--- except that older people coming to the 
tables did not bring a slip. (One might speculate that this latter group 
did not need to bring proof to their employers that they had signed). There 
(Continue reading)

Zak McGregor | 1 Dec 02:17 2003
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Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 18:41:57 -0600
"LaSainte" <lasainte <at> earthlink.net> wrote:

> > On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 17:10:13 -0500
> > Gary Wilson <gary <at> wwpublish.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> > Michael jackson deserves whatever he gets.
> 
> ***Oh, I see. You are more than eager to condemn Jackson based purely on
> sensational tabloid and other and equally unreliable bourgeois coverage.***

Again, based on his previous legal dealings, which everyone is happy to gloss
over in this case, which is stupefying.

>  His being of African-American descent
> > has _nothing_ to do with his innocence or guilt.
> 
> ***But somehow you just know that Michael Jackson is guilty of child
> molestation. You know this without any evidence presented. ***

Once more, he has a previous track record on this score...

>  I don't recall him _ever_
> > taking a stand for anything that didn't help himself in some or other way.
> He
> > co-wrote "We are the World". BFD.
> 
> ***So, what does that have to do with the charges of child molestation? Or
> are you saying that anyone who doesn't fit your standards of public displays
(Continue reading)

Adam Levenstein | 1 Dec 02:31 2003
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Re: Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

*sigh* I'm going to get a reputation in Soli as "the guy who's always
defending Workers World." If I don't already. :P

Zak, you're dead wrong on this, and Leslie Feinberg (and WW) is
absolutely spot on. The fact is Jackson has been harrassed and made fun
of for a long, long time, and denying that race plays into it is
ridiculous.

Quite a bit of the denigration of Jackson has to do with his skin
complexion and questions of whether he's "trying to be white." I recall
an "In Living Color" skit some years back that was a parody of
Jackson's touchy-feely "Black or White" video entitled "Am I Black or
White?" It ended with the Jackson impersonator being hauled off to jail
for smashing a car, saying "Guess I'm Black after all."

Further, Leslie's hit upon a point that most of the left doesn't
touch--the fact that much of his harrassment is based on perceived
notions of gender; the fact that Jackson wears a lot of makeup, that he
somehow looks "feminine," to say nothing of his age-old crotch-grabbing
dance move.

None of this has the slightest thing to do with whether Jackson's
guilty or not. What it has to do with is the "convict, then try" method
of criminal "justice" that seems to apply to blacks and transgendered
people.

Maybe he's guilty, maybe he's not. I don't know. Neither do you, Zak.
Pay-off or not, rich or not. The fact is there are racist, sexist, and
homophobic forces at work here that need to be opposed.

(Continue reading)

Tom O'Lincoln | 1 Dec 02:33 2003
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Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

I'll try to avoid going over the same points, but just on this:

>>What I am saying is that I see no reason why we should give Jackson a
moment's consideration. He has not ever used his position of influence to
highlight important issues, to raise awareness of anything - surely another
reason to think twice before lending our support to his cause?<<

As far as I'm concerned it's not about Jackson personally. He may be a
jerk, or a "freak", or a lovely person; he might be guilty of appalling
child abuse or totally innocent. How would I know? - The issues are:

1. people are innocent until proven guilty
2. we should resist moral panics about "pedophilia" which we know have a
tendency to create a homophobic atmosphere
3. we should be vigilant about racism when black people are on trial.

If Jackson is a jerk, he would not be the first jerk we've defended -- on
political grounds. Saddam is a monster, but I hope he gives the Americans
in Iraq a bloody nose.

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