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How a Confluence is not like a Delta

Hokay, the secret is out.  We have had some frontpagers who have taken their dishes and gone home.  To some, we were not sufficiently convinced that we are powerless before the almighty patriarchy.  To others, our concentration on feminist issues drowned out concerns of the gay community.  But the thing that really frosted their crockies is that we were not giving in to the emotional manipulation that accompanies just about every discussion we have ever had on the Israel/Palestinian conflict.  Nevermind that up until about three weeks ago, no one on this site had any idea we were co-habitating with virulent anti-semites and pro-apartheid jackbooted thugs.

It appears that some of us do not know the difference between a confluence and a delta.  A CONFLUENCE is a place where we all flow together.  It is a meeting place.  We don’t all come from the same geographical sources.  We don’t all have the same contents.  Some of us flow along lushly forrested landscapes fed by abundant rainfall. Some of us start from snowpack and pass through a barren, arid desert where we lose some of our volume.  Some of us spring up from the ground, fed by cavernous acquifers.  Ok, enough with the metaphor.  The bottom line is that we all have different backgrounds but what causes us to flow together is what we all have in common.  Some of those things were politics by principle, the struggle for social justice, fiscal responsibility, a sustainable environment, privacy and peace through forceful diplomacy.

Throughout the last year, we had minor disagreements but our site mostly hummed along harmoniously.  That is, until after the election.  That is when some of us started to prefer the delta.  It wasn’t enough that we favored and advocated for equality.  No, we had to abolish any trace of sexuality from the site.  It wasn’t enough that we are generally pro-Israeli.  We had to be zealously, militantly anti-Palestinian or we were descrating the memory of the Holocaust.  In the latter case, there are a significant number of anti-Palestinian screeds in the comments that make my blood run cold and it is very surprising that some of our former frontpagers did not see them. Inhumanity is inhumanity no matter who practices it.

But I digress.

My point is, The Confluence is not the place for identity politics.  This is not the place for purity police.  This is not a place for absolute points of view.  That way leads to a delta.  That leads to degeneracy.  That results in half a dozen sites that each focus on one issue to the exclusion of just about anything else.  It dilutes our power and our voice.  It leads to monotonous sites who box themselves into a corner and are unable to adapt to new information.  But now, if you want to talk about Israel, feminism or the LGBT commuinity on The Confluence, you may have to find it elsewhere.  Instead of mingling their waters and making us a more diverse and powerful community, our former friends have opted for purity and divergence.

I read a book once about friendship when I was a little girl.  The girl in the story had a hard time making friends because she was demanding and clingy.  Her grandmother told her to hold her friends like water, with an open hand.  Actually, when it comes to human beings, there isn’t much of an option.  If you clamp down on them, they just find a way to squeeze out between your clenched fingers.  You just have to let them flow through and cup them loosely.  Our friends have flowed away.  Some of them have made it pretty clear that they aren’t coming back.  That’s too bad.  We wish them well.  But we who remain will struggle mightily to stay a confluence, not a delta.  And I’m sure that if we stay true to our course, we will be joined by others again in time who will flow along with us.


Notes about I/P issues:  The I/P conflict isn’t really our cup of tea.  I’m sure we are intelligent enough to talk about it with some confidence but for some reason, we just don’t bring it up all that much.  That doesn’t mean we are afraid to take the issue on.  We aren’t.  If and when something I/P related comes up, we will discuss it.  Our sentiments are pro-Israel as well as humanitarian.  We will not spend our time defending ourselves against accusations of anti-Semitism.  And while we are sympathetic to and cognizant of the Holocaust, we don’t believe the Jewish people have cornered the market on suffering.   The Armenians, Kurds, Irish, Marsh Arabs, Native Americans, African-Americans, Cambodians and residents of Darfur have also suffered.  Therefore, if in the future we discuss the conflict in the Middle East that is taking place in *this* generation, we will carefully monitor the comments for mention of the Holocaust.  In short, we will not permit discussion of the Holocaust to be used as emotional manipulation to bludgeon into silence those of us who feel we have the right to criticise the government of the state of Israel.  If you don’t like these rules, please take your opinions on the subject to Shtuey who will be more than happy to accomodate you.  If you can’t discuss the current situation without mentioning the Holocaust, then you haven’t sufficiently thought through what it will take to achieve peace in the middle east.  Hint: it has nothing to do with the Holocaust.

Don’t blame the other admins and frontpagers.  This is my decision and I’m sticking with it.

I have just ended the flame wars regarding this issue from our side.  Move along now.  There’s nothing more to see.

And join me tonight at 10PM EST for Conflucians Say, where we can discuss anything *but* Israel/Palestine and the big schism.

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188 Responses

  1. Wow, that was threadful!

    • Is that good or bad?

      • hey, i’m tired of asking questions and being called stupid for not seeing things I don’t see! I just want folks to discuss things with civility!

        • and i’ll admit to being naive about some things, but all this calling folks names instead of discussing the issue at hand gives me a head ache.

        • You’re not stupid. You’re going where angels fear to tread.
          This is a war you didn’t know you were in and where the emotional deck is already stacked against you. You can’t win it because they fight dirty.
          Don’t take it personally.

          • Great post and beautiful–perfect–metaphor! (In an earlier post, I de-lurked long enough to thank you for refusing to be intimidated into suppressing discussion and varying opinion). I love coming here and reading your posts and Myiq2xu’s witticisms, and all the regulars’ worthy contributions and comments. It will always be a cut above the rest.

          • Great post. I haven’t commented much lately due to a hideous work schedule, but have been lurking through this whole unpleasantness. Thanks for keeping on keeping on.

  2. A CONFLUENCE is a place where we all flow together. It is a meeting place. We don’t all come from the same geographical sources. We don’t all have the same contents. Some of us flow along lushly forrested landscapes fed by abundant rainfall. Some of us start from snowpack and pass through a barren, arid desert where we lose some of our volume. Some of us spring up from the ground, fed by cavernous acquifers.

    I love this.

    And I’m really happy with the pairing of this post with myiq2xu’s post this morning.

    • Posting, instead of my usual habit of just being a reader: In order to express my agreement that this is a fantastic post.

      Many of us out here are conflicted in our views re the I/P situation. Instead of thinking we know all , we try to consider, learn more, weigh aspects, and realize that there is not truly a black and white answer available, because of the multudinous grey areas.

      I feel my (our) attitude is realistic and beneficial in trying to understand and comphrehend the dilemna. I am willing to listen to anyone, yet reserve the right to still weigh all, and form my own opinions.

      Yet extremists on each side, as RD has well-noted, have no tolerance for those of us who try to be rational and consider the variables. Sadly, it is all or nothing for them.

      Thanks again RD, for your very rational perspctive, your honorable, gutsy stance, and the superb job you (and your contributors) do, in general, with this exemplarry blog.

  3. Yikes!

    It’s almost time for the show!

  4. good stuff, RD. I’m glad you guys are still around as promised before the elections – the ‘vision’ that this site thrived on so well last year is very, very sound.

    May the power be with you and with The Confluence!

  5. Thanks, RD. I hate orthodoxy, in any form. I’m here because I agree with you guys on enough stuff that we flow. I like hearing other points of view than my own – it doesn’t mean I’m endorsing them to hear them out. I would really hate it if everyone on here agreed on everything.

    Also, I don’t think it’s fair to expect our leaders and our country and even other countries to compromise and allow for other views, and figure out how to get along, if we are miserable failures at it ourselves.

    Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family that loved deeply and argued about EVERYTHING. Debate and conflict just does not feel like a negative thing to me, it feels healthy and normal. I don’t get nervous and queasy in the absence of total agreement. Unless someone is just an insulting ass, I’m usually secure enough to say, “Eh, we disagree on that one. So? I guess one or the other of us will be proved right eventually.” If we disagree on too many things, I’m likely to not want their company, but I don’t have any single issue that is the be-all-end-all purity test for me.

    • Sometimes I play devil’s advocate and pose questions or raise points to stimulate discussion. I tend to jump all over factual inaccuracies, inconsistencies and logical fallacies regardless of whether I otherwise support that point of view.

      Healthy debate sharpens and strengthens any beliefs it doesn’t change.

  6. The only frontpager I can think of who left is madamab. Did Gary decide to not post here either? I haven’t seen commenter dyb either after the P/I post a few weeks ago. It’s unfortunate. To me the P/I conflict is irresolvable. I’m neither Jewish or Palestinian so I am not as emotionally involved with the situation and do not believe this should be the reason for people to leave this site. Maybe we should’ve just avoided the entire topic. There are many, many other issues both domestic and foreign we can discuss besides P/I. Hopefully these people who were offended will decide to come back someday. I always believed The Confluence has taken a fair and balanced view of the situation.

  7. The only issue I had with Walcot’s article on what’s wrong with washington was how he was quoting and kind of liking Josh Marshall from TPM. Apparently he has a bit of a tin ear to some issues.

  8. Great post RD. A tough issue. And a good call on the approach IMO.

  9. I have always appreciated the Conf — since it started. It’s had a place for all kinds of voices and to me they were Dems.

    It has some feminism, humor, strong political things and a great bunch of regulars. I haven’t always stuck around to read everything people said for comments so I guess I missed some stuff along the way — but I feel it is such a fair place? It has its own voice. From that it hasn’t wavered.

    It has been such an incredibly heavy year.

    I hope the Confluence people who have gone will come back?

    People have got to be able to voice their opinions about things?

    The Confluence has lasted because they can — in my opinion.

    I remember this movie RD posted ages ago during one of those Cocktail hours. It was this old 30’s film about “sticking together” — and leaning on each other. I watched that happen here — many times!


    Ya know, nothing like a bunch of fierce writers, Throw ’em all together and? Sparks! It never fails.

  10. Sometimes the toughest things that need to be said are the toughest things of all.

  11. The events of the day and the present time are so much bigger to me than evaluating the pc of some damn political cartoon. It’s out there; it’s news. It’s worth a few comments and dialogue. It’s not a ditch to die in.

    Doesn’t anyone want to talke about and analyze what happened in London? What happened in the markets?

    Maybe we could just have a chat about MeChelle’s pencil skirt, what was uploaded on the Queen’s I pod.

  12. I love the Confluence! I hope people will come back?
    ps: I made a big comment but it disappeared…


    oh dear. I love the CONF!

  13. Those two fools are much like the Beverly Hillbillies invited to dine with the Queen bringing gifts from the Dollar Store and grinning like Her Majesty must love them too!

    • “Ma and Pa Kettle Go to London”

      • who actually would put their own speeches and their inauguration on a gift IPOD to HRH? Unbelievable, this woman fixed Jeeps during WW2, watched her family go through the hell of that windsor mess, and he gives her an impod with his speeches and pictures of the inaugural?

        unfuggggggginnn believable

        • What he lacks in taste he makes up for in imagination!

        • Did they really do that? I thought, there were videos and pictures of the Queen’s visit to the U.S.

          • Yep. It had videos of her visit here, but also his Greatest Speech Evah at the 2004 convention, and his inaugural speech.

            What kind of fucking narcissist would think the Queen of England wants to watch his skinny ass pontificate from a teleprompter?

        • I’d love to be a fly on the wall after they left. He’s beyond belief. I’m sure he’s that guy who “gives” his family stuff that he wants and then takes it.

          • No, he is the kind of guy who gives gifts that came by collecting coupons or the old days when they issued Green Stamps for grocery purchases.

        • A pathological narcissist?

        • I think the return gift of the photo of the Royal couple in a silver frame was so appropriate. Why both to work up something special for them? Just remind them you’re Royal.

          Since B0 acts like he’s King of the USA.

      • hilarious!

  14. I keep hearing that The Confluence has a point of view. I’ve seen it said at several places that have widely divergent and sometimes mutually exclusive views.

    The statement is silly – The Confluence is a blog not a person. The bloggers and commenters here have points of view, none of which are identical with each other.

    We are also accused by some of being an echo-chamber, mostly by people who think we’re unfair for not letting them post insults and screeds against us. Some of them even call us fascists.

    Most but not all of us are natural-born American citizens with moderate-to-liberal beliefs. We also have naturalized citizens, foreign nationals living in the US, foreigners living abroad and even a few ex-pats. The people who blog and comment here are men, women, young, old, gay and straight. We have some conservative commenters too.

    As I see it anyone who is willing to engage in honest and civil debate is welcome. My experience is that those who drink Kool-aid are not interested in honest and civil debate which is why I am trigger-happy when it comes to supporters of one particular politician.

    • I have never regarded The Confluence as having a particular point of view with the exception of our collective dislike of the DNC hand picked candidate who was chosen to lead us.

      I love the voices hear as well of those who are no longer. The education that I have acquired along the way has been amazing as it comes from such an outpouring of “expertise” that I lack. In all honesty, I would miss it fiercely should it have ever gone away, or if I had been asked to leave or felt the need to do so. I may not always agree with the posters and commentators but I have been able to see both sides of the issue as long as it was presented without rancor.

      It is only my opinion that I offer and as I have noted, in the scheme of things it matters for very little beyond the moment. Statues will never be erected in my name, I don’t expect to change the world, nor do I hold the position that my statements will be quoted throughout the ages. I am just who I am, shaped by my own life experiences and the events that have made me what I am. You can only take and accept that for what it is worth. Enough said.

  15. I have really strong views on I/p but never really felt this was the place to discuss it. It just gets pointless, nobody listens to anybody else and nobody’s going to be persuaded to anything. And people will get offended. I’m fairly certain that one of the people who decided this would be a good thing to discuss and brought it up in the first place is one of the people who subsequently got offended and left, so that should probably tell us something about how unproductive it is.

    • I mean that in general, no one listens to each other on I/p, not here specifically.

      • I learned that at the Cheeto place. They actually had to ban I/P discussions for awhile–and that is a big blog. But the flame wars were just too hard to hande.

    • There are a lot of people that don’t have strong views on the subject and would like to watch or participate in a debate, but they don’t want any part of a flame war.

      It’s unfortunate, because zealous advocacy is often counter-productive.

      It was the zealous Obama supporters that first fueled my dislike of Obama. I didn’t know that much about him but I knew I didn’t like Obots.

      • The pushing of Obama at me at all times reminded me of my mother insisting I eat broccolli and telling me I would learn to love it by just giving it a chance. I never did and can honestly predict I never will. The same applies to Sir Lancelot.

        • I learned to like broccoli, but I will never learn to like beets. Obama is like beets to me.

  16. One thing I find annoying is hit-and-run commenting.

    That’s where a commenter drops in and posts a comment that alleges facts or raises questions that provoke thoughtful answers and/or responses, but the commenter leaves without engaging in any debate.

    H&R commenting borders on trolling.

    • It does, it drives me crazy! Like being in a room with people who decide mid sentence that they have found someone a lot more interesting to talk with while you stand there trying to look like you are not talking to yourself. Or having a “discussion” with a spouse who decides to play with the remote control while you are making a point. Maddening.

    • You’re 100% wrong. Got to go… 🙂

    • I hope I’m not guilty of this. I don’t want to take sides in the Great Nesting Debate of 2009, but I will say that although nesting has its advantages, one of the big disadvantages (and perhaps this is an indicator that I am lazy) is the need to keep scrolling up and down every time you refresh to see if your comment has been replied to … I think it is a little bit easier now to miss it when somebody responds to your comment.

    • I’m guilty of this sometimes. I do try to check back when I post something but I have been known from time to time to post something and wander off. I don’t do it to annoy though. I just end up having other stuff on the back burner that needed to be moved forward.

  17. Hear hear, We’ve never needed to put labels on each other, we are here together for the common good.
    One Love

  18. WOW, beautiful post, RD. I have worked in healthcare for many years and have run into the same kind of emotional manipulation over and over where the issue is hidden under layers of name calling, abuse and insanity. My hat goes off to you for having the guts, clarity and leadership to demand unmistakably that people address the issues with civility. It makes the confluence a real home for weary souls like me.

  19. This is totally and completely off topic but is the jury still out in the Phil Specter case? How difficult is this one to call? California juries are ridiculous!

  20. No!! For God’s sake another mistrial? He will be dead long before they ever finish. What is wrong with California juries?

    • I think the retrial is in progress still – not another mistrial. I posted the info wrong.

    • I think the problem with juries in celebrity cases is that they’re star struck. If celebs were judged by a jury of their peers, not necessarily people just as famous, but people intimate with the industry, many of those celebrities would be toast.

      • i know. i’m still trying to get over oj and baretta. these guys just killed women and walked away while a bunch of stary eyed jurors let them! i still can’t believe they let that baretta guy go, and both of them have kids that don’t have their moms now. Just ICE as joni mitchell once sang.

      • Often the difference with celebrity and wealthy defendants is they can outspend the prosecutors.

        O.J. hired the #1 forensic expert in the world and the guy who invented the primary kind of DNA test used by law enforcement.

        OJ was also helped by the fact that the media sat outside the crime seen and his home filming everything during the investigation. Their videos exposed the routine lies that cops and crime scene technician make and destroyed the credibility of prosecution witnesses.

        • Wouldn’t have prevailed if the DA wasn’t beholden to Johnnie Cochran and tried the trial he wanted to defend. If the prosecution had let Marcia Clark prosecute a domestic violence case instead of a referendum on racial profiling, it would have been a slam dunk. Johnnie Cochran won that trial, the defense was losing until he inserted himself.

          • Don’t you think once the venue was changed that OJ was going to get off? I didn’t know about the DA being beholden to Cochran. What was that about?

          • Black juries in downtown LA convict black defendants all the time.

          • Yes, but OJ was not an ordinary black defendant. What bothers me most is that he got custody of those poor kids. I hate to think of the psychological damage that has been done to them and the pain they are going to have to deal with for the rest of their lives.

  21. There are some people who are so emotionally invested in a particular issue that they can’t discuss it with turning the knobs to eleven. They inhibit discussion because they will argue and get angry at anyone who is even slightly nuanced in their opinion.

    It’s a problem for moderators because sometimes we have to try to get them to dial it down a few notches even if we agree with them, and then they get angry at us for trying to “silence” them.

  22. wmcb, on April 2nd, 2009 at 9:10 pm Said:

    Thanks, RD. I hate orthodoxy, in any form. I’m here because I agree with you guys on enough stuff that we flow. I like hearing other points of view than my own – it doesn’t mean I’m endorsing them to hear them out.


    I’m with wmcb on this.

  23. Thanks for this site. I appreciate all you do to present fresh content each day, several times a day. I cringe at people who manipulate others emotionally. Thanks for standing up to it.

  24. Hi everyone!

    I actually did something social tonight–went to a friend’s house for dinner. I’m sorry I missed the radio show. This a wonderful post riverdaughter. I love the metaphor. That’s exactly how I have always experienced The Confluence–as a place where it was OK to have your own thoughts and feelings and maybe disagree with other people, but still be supportive of each other because of what we have in common.

    I love this blog and I’ll always be grateful to you, RD, for starting it and making me feel so welcome here. I’ve never been the “take my ball and go home” type. I’m more of the “hang in there and give it a chance type” I believe in live and let live. I’m also very grateful to everyone on this thread and to all the wonderful people who have commented here over the past year. It’s been quite a ride.

    • I’ve always thought that if you hang in there long enough, the truth will will out.

      and i’m glad you’re here!

      • Thank you so much, Dakinikat! I’m so glad you’re here too. I have learned so much from all the other writers here and from the commenters as well. We have commenters here who are amazing. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it all.

  25. I’m still here RD, and not going anywhere. I am saddened by the friends that have left. It’s a strange phenomenon, this blogging life, because I really do feel like they are friends, though we have never met physically. I have laughed, raged, grieved, and explored with them, and I wasn’t even here for the recent conflict. I’ve been very busy this past month, and just got back from a 10 day trip, so I haven’t been around a lot. [I hope your comment about hit & run commenting was not directed at me MyIQ–if I find stuff I think will be interesting, and I don’t have time to hang out at the moment, I’ll pop by and leave it and come back later, but I don’t mean to offensively dump and dash.]

    Having said all that–what seems strange to me is that we all found each other because of the attacks and dogmatism we were subjected to on other sites during the past year. We came together out of a respect and tolerance for true liberal values and free expression without name-calling. Though I was not involved, it hurts me to hear that some of our regulars were using those same tactics against our own. I hope in time there will be forgiveness and understanding. I will dearly miss those who are not here, but I deeply value the intelligence and openness of this forum.

  26. Note to Admin: I think the timing is off on the comments section. My last post says 11:26 p.m and it’s actually 12:26 p.m.

  27. this is tedious

  28. Inhumanity is inhumanity no matter who practices it.

    Thank you

  29. BB, Cochran was a prosecutor who used to be Ito’s boss. The DA’s office was in awe of him and followed his every lead and second guessed their own prosecutor, Clark. They brought in Darden (biggest mistake, imo.) It was a dv case, then Cochran went to OJ in jail and convinced him to let him join the team. After that, Cochran muscled Shapiro out as lead, and Ito let him get away with murder. That trial should never have gone on for a year with a sequestered jury. After all that time, they would have acquitted Satan himself if they had seen him do it with their own eyes.

    • I followed the OJ case very closely – my take is that the LAPD tried to frame a guilty man.

      • I watched every day, too. But, even if you threw out every piece of tainted evidence, (most of which didn’t stand up to logical thought, who brings a spare Isotoner to a crime scene, just in case?) there was still 1,000 times more evidence against OJ than Scott Peterson.

        • Scott Peterson was local news for me.

        • I think Mark Furman moved a glove to try to nail OJ – that’s why the “frame-up” rumors started real early – OJ knew he didn’t drop a glove at home because he left them both at the crime scene.

          • He moved a bloody glove? With OJ, Nicole and Ron Goldman’s blood on it? The cops didn’t want to suspect OJ at first; they were star struck, plus he was one of those celebs who always courted them. They never took him in before, they weren’t predisposed to taking him in then. They were outside jawjacking instead of working the scene. I never believed Furhman moved anything. He was a prick, but it never made sense to me that he would stick a bloody glove in his socks. What if it HADN”T been OJ’s? Just doesn’t make sense to me.

          • OJ’s blood wasn’t found on either glove.

            If the cops didn’t want to suspect OJ then why did all four detectives leave two bodies cooling on the ground while they went to “inform” OJ that his ex-wife was dead and his children were in police custody?

            Whenever a woman is murdered the most likely killer is her husband, boyfriend, ex-husband or ex-boyfriend.

          • OJ’s blood was found on both gloves.

            “If the cops didn’t want to suspect OJ then why did all four detectives leave two bodies cooling on the ground while they went to “inform” OJ that his ex-wife was dead and his children were in police custody?”

            You answered your own question. If they wanted to nail him, they would have stayed and worked the scene.

          • I stand corrected.

            The link says OJ’s blood was found on one glove – IIRC every drop of OJ’s blood that was DNA tested showed traces of preservative which would not be present unless it came from the sample he gave the LAPD.

            Normally the prosecution depends on the attitude that the cops wouldn’t lie, but the Dream Team exposed numerous small lies the cops told. This destroyed their credibility (Barry Schenk’s cross of Dennis Fung was devastating)

            Normally the detectives wouldn’t leave a crime scene to tell someone they have their kids unless the alleged reason is a pretense. All four detectives left the scene because they considered OJ a prime suspect and wanted to talk to him ASAP to check him (and any alibis) out.

            The two junior detectives could have handled contacting OJ while the two senior detectives processed the crime scene.

          • Wikipedia says both, I just stopped looking for corroboration. The cops pretty much admitted they didn’t want OJ to be a suspect, in fact, it was Furhman jumping up and down yelling, “what the hell are you doing?” that made the senior officers, Van Atter and the other guy say, “okay, you go over the fence.” The lead detectives went to OJ’s house to clear him, not investigate him. They wanted his freakin’ autograph.

  30. Well — I’m glad that the Confluence is here.

    I’m traveling — but I try to read each article — and generally don’t have the time to comment (and stay around for the debate!)

    The I/P issue — unfortunately this isn’t a unique conflict — too much testosterone in my opinion (even the female Israeli leaders are trying to prove they have huge balls).

    I was raised like many of Confluencians in a Christians Fundamentalist church — who taught that Israel could do no wrong. But I’ve grown up and NO ONE is perfect — we all make mistakes — Israel and the Israeli leaders are no exception.

    Now I just refuse to debate — because for a lot of people there is no debate — their view is the only one that counts.

    Oh I’m also part Native American — and as RD mentioned a whole lot of wrong has been done to the Indians. We continually are reminded of d*mB a$$ Democrat Andrew Jackson (Indian killer supreme) on the $20 bill. Prez Andrew Jackson = Trail of Tears.

    The common ground we do have is that we were RIGHT about 0bama — we saw through him. He is a fraud/phony/ Narcissistic jerk.

    Thankfully dakinkat shows us everyday that 0bama has no clue about the Economy — and he is in this game to please the guys who bought him body and soul.

    • I wrote so many papers about why I hate andrew Jackson in school that my teacher promised to tell all future classes she hated him too just to get me to stop. 🙂

  31. Thanks for the info, Cinie. I knew that Shapiro was pushed out, but I never knew the rest. I did hear later on that Ito was really puffed up by the fame.

    • Ito was in awe of Cochran. He was big time, legendary for defending black clients against the police. He was doing commentary for one of the local stations when the trial started, and kept saying Shapiro was trying the case wrong. Finally he went to OJ and told him to play up the black angle; at first, OJ was not beloved by the black community. In fact, he never was, Cochran just played up the “us against them” thing. I’ve said before, Obama took a page out of Cochran’s book.

      • I have to admit that I still found Cochran interesting to listen to, even after the trial. He had a show on Court TV for awhile that I used to watch. Nancy Grace was on with him.

  32. Cochran was a prosecutor who used to be Ito’s boss

    Then shouldn’t have Ito recused himself when Cochran came on board? , or is that not possible once the trail under way?

    • It was discussed; but Clark lost that round in the press.

      • It very common, especially in small communities, for prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges to have history together.

        That isn’t enough to disqualify a judge.

  33. OPPS — I’m in Moderation — I have NO IDEA what spammy didn’t like about my remarks.

  34. We are family and the Confluence is my home. The button on my jacket reads “We are all Palestinians”.

  35. Pat: Green stamps? LOL. Who did those green stamps—Kroger’s? Looking over the G-20 list of agreements, I think we got a book of green stamps and a book of those orange stamps.

    Don’t you think that the Two went to London to be adored. How demeaning that Michelle—attorney, Harvard grad and now infinitely evaluated on her fashion sense and gift selection. And the One—inexperienced, over his head, mistaking getting to yes at all costs for world leadership.

    • I’m surprised Obama doesn’t keep a closet full of boxes of See’s candy to give out.

      The ultimate “I don’t care about you” gift.

      • What is See’s candy? I’ve never heard of it.

        • One of those semi-fancy candy brands, similar to Whitman’s sampler.

          People buy them as impersonal gifts.

          • Oh come! See’s is way better than Whitman’s and you can personalize it with only your loved one’s favorite kinds.

        • It’s this really good candy from ca. You can buy boxes in mall kiosks around here, but on their website they list all their flavors so you can pick what kinds you want and how much of each.

          • Really good candy:

            Dark Chocolate M&Ms
            Thin Mints
            Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
            Reese’s PB Cups
            Kit Kat Bars
            Snickers Miniatures

          • Good book about candy–candy freak by Steve almond. Good flavors of see’s to eat with a side of starburst and milky way– lime, lemon, raspberry, scotchmallow, brown sugar.

    • Green stamps were given out at lots of grocery stores. My mom saved them and got some good stuff with them.

  36. Cops routinely do sloppy investigations – all those CSI programs are bullshit. A guy in Connecticut was freed today after 20 years in prison thanks to DNA evidence.

    Cops focus on a suspect and try to make the evidence fit – often throwing out anything that doesn’t.

    If you read about the Innocence Project and the people who have been freed by DNA you will be shocked at how they were convicted in the first place.

    BTW – the founders of the IP were part of the OJ Dream Team

  37. If you read about the Innocence Project and the people who have been freed by DNA you will be shocked at how they were convicted in the first place
    IIRC, 75% of the cases had misconduct by the prosecution and about the same percentage had faulty “eye” witness testimony.

    • Bogus lab test results, false confessions and alleged confessions to cellmates are also high on the list.

    • Thank goodness for DNA. That’s all I gotta say. It’s a crime how many innocent lives have been destroyed by a false conviction.

  38. myiq2xu, on April 3rd, 2009 at 12:37 am Said:

    Bogus lab test results…
    Known in the trade as “sink” tests.

    • There have been lots of scandals and reversed convictions because of crime lab scandals.

      How many more were never uncovered?

  39. RD & CONF & Co.!

    I hope I’m not an HR commenter…
    I think I don’t really know that much about blogging?
    The CONF is what taught me to go back to a blog over and over — and go to it every day? I had a blog before but it was an aside to a writers group I left a while ago. The CONF is like grand central station! I lve all the little arty squares people have. PS. RD — I tried calling that # above to say hi or? tonight but I think the time change out here might have not made it. I got a message that said nothing scheduled for 24 hours blogradio — anyway—

    Imagine this was a giant cocktail party — some people would be totally chatty and conversational?

    Some would hang out along the wall observing and more shy?
    And, anyway……

    I love you guys.

    I do.

    yeah “HOME” like PUMA SF of the fab eye said above.

    Home, RD look what you did! One of these days I’ll put my face or email it? hahaha!


    ps: I’d be really scared without you guys— it makes me feel like the Dem I am at heart.

    • I think by hit and run they’re talking about unknown people who post somewhat inflammatory comments and then run off and don’t respond to anything. I might be wrong about that, but regardless no one should take it personally–they’re not talking about you.

      • That’s another problem with blogging – I’ll make a statement that I intend to apply only to person or group X, but person Y and/or group Z think it is directed at them.

        Sometimes it’s my fault for being too vague, sometimes it’s the result or paranoia or insecurity, sometimes it’s a little of both.

  40. Interesting post Riverdaughter.

    I have seen blogs start off, really thrive as a community, and then some folks go off on another tangent. Much like friends in real life do on occasion.

    What perplexed me was your referring to some of the front-pagers as friends at one point and former-friends at another.

    Of the people who have left and started other blogs, (the ones I know of) I have not seen anyone air any “dirty-laundry” about their reasons for leaving nor have I seen anything untoward written about TC. I’m not saying that it hasn’t been done, but rather I haven’t seen anything of that nature.

    So, I hope you will be able to refer to those who have moved on in the blogging as friends and that any acrimony is in the past.

    • Fredster-go to the place that rhymes with phooey, and look up some of the old posts.

      • You can probably mention shtuey’s name; she did.

        I haven’t really gone to his site very often, but I will to see what’s what.

    • Some of those who left did so in such a way that it would be very hard for us to be friendly again. But they know that I don’t hold grudges. Some of them still have their accounts and can come back any time they want. No questions asked. Others have made it clear that they no longer wish to be contacted by us or have cherry picked email that they have shared with other people. A full transcript of our email exchanges would present a very different view of what actually happened but these emails are private. Nevertheless, the ones who have disassociated themselves formally and via mean spirited acts have lost their posting privileges. They can comment if they like but I can’t trust them anymore. In any case, they probably aren’t coming back and wouldn’t come if we begged, which we aren’t about to do.
      They are all talented writers. I’m sure they will find audiences. We will not worry about it too much.

      • Well, any emails you all had concerning issues really should be kept off the record. Just my opinion on that.

        I’ll just take it that fledglings have grown wings and moved on.
        Sadly, it happens.

        Thanks for the response.

        • I agree about the emails. That is why it was so disappointing to see that some of them were circulating some of our emails out of context. The full transcript would be more honest but definitely unflattering to them. But we have kept them to ourselves.

  41. The cops pretty much admitted they didn’t want OJ to be a suspect

    The cops TESTIFIED that OJ wasn’t a suspect.

    But if they had admitted that he was really a suspect it would have affected the admissibility of evidence (because they didn’t have a warrant to enter his property or vehicle, and because of some of the statements he made prior to being Mirandized)

    The cops took OJ’s blood to the crime scene instead of booking it into evidence, then lied and said the gave it to Dennis Fung who was shown of video leaving the scene empty-handed.

    OJ was guilty as sin and the LAPD fucked up the investigation by trying to frame him like they do to lots of other defendants.

    I have a defense attorney’s biased view of cops.

    • My public defender ex-H (ugh) referred to what he would hear on the stand as “testi-lying.”

      • Lots of cops lie.

        Some lie to cover up mistakes or rights violations, others just make stuff up.

        If a defense attorney finds him/herself on the verge of proving conclusively that a cop lied, the DA will dismiss or make a deal to prevent it from happening.

    • I’m no fan of cops, but, the cops were star struck and tried to give OJ the benefit of the doubt. Their lousy reputation for framing people was exploited by a lawyer who made his living doing that. They were football fans, and made the mistake of treating Simpson like a football hero instead of a suspect. Van Atter and the blood vial was sloppy police work, not part of a frame, imo. But, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Remember, OJ was one of those celeb cop groupies who used to invite them over for beer and brats. Plus, they knew it was going to be a high-profile case, and their lives would have been a lot easier if OJ was a victim, not a perpetrator.

      • My opinion is that the cops correctly suspected OJ and that Fuhrman independently tried to frame him by planting the glove, then the others lied to conceal that fact.

        Fuhrman’s actions locked the LAPD into a course of action – otherwise they were screwed. The case ended up being screwed anyway.

        That doesn’t make OJ innocent – he’s guilty as hell

        • If they really thought he was guilty and knew it was high profile, wouldn’t 20 year vets know to go strictly “by the book?” Furhman was the eager pup who wanted to do it right, not the rogue renegade they made him out to be. They didn’t want OJ to be guilty, so they didn’t proceed as if he might be. That’s why they were so sloppy. 20 year vets should have been capable of a better frame than the one they were accused of, if they had put their minds to it. They were more Chris Matthews to OJ’s Obama than anything else. In their minds, he simply could do no wrong, and their minds wouldn’t even let them consider it until the evidence became overwhelming.

        • I suppose the only thing that gave me comfort of a sort with that trial is that old saying lawyers use: He wasn’t found innocent, he was found not guilty.

          Of course, small comfort to the families involved.

  42. Cops take shortcuts all the time. They do illegal searches and sometimes discover serious crimes. Then they have to lie to make the searches legal so the defendant doesn’t escape.

    Very few cops would lie to frame someone they know is innocent, but far too many would tamper with evidence to “prove” that a guilty man was guilty.

  43. Like I said, I know cops frame people, which makes it all too easy for those predisposed to believe that they do it in every case, to do so. But, to ignore the celebrity factor, and how it affected every aspect of the Simpson case, is to ensure that it happens again, in every celebrity case. The cops knew whose house they were going to, they drug their feet and pussy-footed around because it was “the Juice.” You’re thinking about him as just another perp, not the huge cultural icon he was when they got the call. Imagine a similar situation with the Obamas, or, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, and you might see things differently.

    • I think the cops were affected by celebrity, but in a different way.

      I think they wanted to “nail” a star.

      Fuhrman the racist sure did.

      • He was the least senior detective on the scene.

        • Yep, but that piece of shit had motive and opportunity – and he lied under oath.

          • They all lied under oath. If racist LA cop testimony was automatically dismissed, nobody would ever go to jail. Furhman was no more scummy in that regard than the rest of the Simi Valley dwelling (against regulations, I think) LA force. OJ had motive and opportunity, and a history of violence toward the victim. He did it, they proved it, even though the evidence gathering was sloppy. Like I said, throw all the tainted evidence out and he’s still guilty as sin.

    • My first reaction was that OJ probably did it. Then I was sure he did it.

      Then the trial started and I began to believe he was completely innocent.

      Now I think (as I have for several years) that he was guilty but framed.

  44. Didn’t the jurors come out and say that they couldn’t convict because of furhman? Even if the cops didn’t do anything, the dept keeping shady people like him on the payroll where he had access to the evidence created doubt in their minds.

    • There were a lot of excuses for the jury’s verdict.

      • Yeah, but even the civil jury people backed the crim jury and said they doubted they could have convicted him though they believed he did it.

        • The civil jury found him guilty. I never heard they sided with the criminal jury.

          • The civil jury found him liable based on a lower standard of proof (50% + 1 vs “beyond a reasonable doubt.”)

          • The oj case is before my time, but I saw an interview i think one of those investigative shows with members of both juries, and the civil people said their standard of proof was lower and they didn’t think they could convict on the “reasonable doubt” standard. I mean, furhman took the 5th on whether he planted evidence, plus being a racist nutjob, I can’t blame them.

      • As I keep saying, “guilty but framed” is my position

  45. Watch Robert Kardashian’s reaction when the verdict is read. He’s OJ’s good buddy who took the suitcase with the bloody clothes away on camera, but was never prosecuted or even really questioned since he was a lawyer. (not practicing.) Even Cochran was surprised.

  46. Myiq, can you free me? I used a trigger word

  47. We can talk until we’re all blue in the face, and type until our fingers fall off, but you’ll never convince me that OJ Simpson isn’t wasn’t and won’t always be guilty as hell and should have been rotting in jail since 1995. I watched 95% of that trial and surfed the net, chatting on Prodigy and AOL throughout. He did it, they proved it. The exact same cult of personality manipulation tactics that gave the world Barack Obama got OJ off.

    • I think he’s guilty, but IMO the lapd is also responsible for creating an atmosphere that led to reasonable doubt in the jurors’ minds. I’m sure the cult of celebrity has a lot to do with it too, but it’s a big responsibility being a juror, and with this atmosphere, I mean, I can’t blame them for feeling like the entire case was tainted.

      • The case was not tainted, the prosecution was out-lawyered. Time and distance lessens emotion and tends to soften harsh edges and blur reality. Two people were brutally murdered and their killer walked away with one of the victim’s children because we don’t live in a perfect world. The DA does not have to try a perfect case, they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The LAPD is racist and corrupt, and OJ Simpson got away with killing two innocent people.

  48. Interesting that this is happening at the same time that “Capital Hill Forum” is closing it’s doors. I think it might be part of a natural evolution….

    The true PUMAs are being found. The single issue voters/writers are moving on.

    It’s all good.

  49. Thank you RD – I come to The Confluence daily for the ebb and flow it provides on issues that are important to me. I come here because I agree to be able to disagree and learn from those who have different views on these issues and in fact that is HOW I learn.

    I miss some of those front pagers dearly, while I can understand their hard line positions, their unwillingness to hear a diversity of opinions had started making me rethink coming here.

    I am back to my daily Confluence visits and have come to deeply appreciate the intellect and humanity of the group that gathers here. It feels safe and open – and yes, it is for me, a confluence of thought, a learning place and a place of support.

    I have never met any of you but have come to embrace you as virtual friends and people I’d like to meet – something I couldn’t have fathomed a year ago.

    It would be great if some of those who left do come back to the confluence but that is their choice.

  50. As an adult I recognize and respect the rights of others to disagree with my point of view. No matter how wrongheaded that makes them 😉

    There are times when I come here and there is a post with which I do not agree. Sometimes I disagree strongly. I usually just go away.

    Arguing with the people here, with whom I have far more points of agreement than disagreement would be an exercise in futility. I would not change their mind and they would not change mine. But we could engage in a mud-slinging rhetorical battle that benefits no one.

    So I go away. I’d recommend that for others that cannot discuss something like civilized adults. Myself included.

    • kM, I can’t see you engaging in a mud-slinging battle with anyone. Nevertheless, I’ve been surprised how often I find that I’m in agreement with one or more of the dissenters on a post. So I’m thankful that we have commenters who aren’t afraid to speak their minds.

      It’s also valuable to me to see other points of view. Not because I necessarily agree with them, but I don’t want to live in an echo chamber. I want to understand why people reach the conclusions they reach. If we can agree to disagree here then we’ve achieved far more than most communities in this world.

      • That’s cause you haven’t seen me arguing with an Obot. For them I have NO respect and so anything goes.

        I am going for the title of the oldest mud-slinging mud-wrestler in Wisconsin. (It’s not a title that attracts a lot of competition so I believe that I have a chance.)

  51. Riverdaughter,

    I obviously can’t speak for all of us, but this particular gay, jewish descendent of Holocaust victims and survivors thinks this blog is just fine. You’re doing important work.

  52. This post is exactly why I’ve been a fairly regular reader since waaay before the election.

    Thanks for the reinforcement that people with fair, common sense based views exist out there; keeps people like me from going insane.

  53. This may sound like odd advice, coming from me, but you may want to consider simply dropping the issue of Israel unless current events force discussion.

    • We’re way ahead of you

      • Does that mean it’s o.t.?

        • No, it’s not OT. But we will rigorously enforce our rules. Discussion of I/P has to be in the here and now, in the same chronological plane that the state of Israel and the Palestinians exist. How does one accomplish peace and coexist with your enemies given the raw materials you are working with? It’s time to put away the past and focus pragmatically because neither side will or can get everything they want.

          • I was also referring to the fact that the subject isn’t going to be part of any daily discussions unless new events warrant it.

            We’re not going to keep relitigating it over and over.

          • Oh, okay. And for you also myiq. coldn’t do a reply to you.

  54. I/P is an important issue but it is like criticizing O’Precious– you’re automatically a racist. I visit many blogs and if I really feel like I need a dose of I/P I know exactly where to go. The Confluence is a wonderful place for a generally feminist, but not shrill, take on the world, and I thank all of you for that. I could see The Confluence discussing how Israel might advocate for Palestinian women’s rights but as far as invoking the Holocaust– well that is the old call someone a Nazi argument, isn’t it.

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