Saturday, April 11, 2009

Some Guy Calling Himself Centinel Is Paying Money For Posts Over At The Foothills Blog

OK, now this is getting way past the frontier of what most people would agree is acceptable internet behavior. Some guy calling himself  "Centinel," (we'll be referring to him from now on as Faux Centinel), is not only leaving posts on the Foothills Cities Blog under Todd Ruiz's old handle, but he's also offering to pay people for comments!

This is unheard of in the world of blogging my friends, and it is a precedent that is causing many in the field to shake their heads in despair. Can this mean that yet another once pristine bastion of free speech and unfettered dialog has now fallen prey to the accursed "pay to play" syndrome that so typifies the more corporate medias? Will the blogs of the San Gabriel Valley become just another venue for hack work?

Of course, there is always the possibility that Todd has been consuming a certain celebrated national product of Morocco over there in the sandy fez and hookah belt. Only to later return to his lonely tent and laptop to post the kinds of madly hallucinatory things that such consumption can lead to. But I'm not sure that is really the case here. 

No, I have come to believe this runs far deeper. It would appear that Faux Centinel, painfully aware that his talents fall far short of the person he is attempting to impersonate, is trying to make up for his lack of native ability by paying the old hands over there cash money to keep posting and not leave in disgust. Read this passage and tell me that I'm not on to something here.

"I talked to a couple of people who were interested in the blog's revival and were also willing to chip in some shekels so that I could renew hosting ... Everyone willing to hand over money said the thing they loved about the blog the most was the comments."

OK, so Faux Centinel not only managed to round up some suspect outside financing, he also put himself in the unfortunate position of having to guarantee a return to the level of commenting found there in the past. And God only knows what the consequences will be to him should he fail to deliver on big money's expectations. But you see, without the original Centinel there to drive the conversation into the heights it once soared, there will be little incentive for anyone to post. So out of desperation FC of the FC Blog is handing out bribes that consist of other peoples' money. Quite possibly dirty money.

"To encourage this I'm offering a bounty: you write the best summary of your city, and I'll give you money. Best summary of the whole FC area dating back to January, gets $100. Best summary of an individual city (Categories: Pasadena, Claremont, Pomona, Arcadia/Monrovia, Sierra Madre, and Everything Else) gets $30. So, there's potentially hundreds of dollars at stake here, as well as some cloak and dagger action when I try to find some way to deliver the cash without revealing that I'm Todd Ruiz."

Is your soul worth a mere $30? No, and neither is mine. Faux Centinel, you are not Todd Ruiz. As Virginia Hoge pointed out on her Pasadena New Progressive blog, Todd Ruiz would never stoop so low as to hand out bribes in exchange for posts. He might have lacked for some of the more basic forms of integrity, but at least he maintained that one scrap of pride.

I've been keeping something that I call the Dead Blogs List. It is a compendium of all those many blogs that flourished not that long ago, but have disappeared within the last year or so. I will be posting it soon along with commentary. And until the real Centinel returns from his self-imposed desert exile in North Africa, The Foothill Cities blog will stay on that list.


  1. A new low. I wasn't crazy about FC blog when it was real, but $100 bucks, ridiculous. And who's going to judge--the imposter, so forget about it.

  2. Whoever this fake Centinel is, I wouldn't want to be in his
    shoes when Ruiz gets back to the US. I mean, would you
    want your good name being used like this? I know I'd be
    pretty angry if it was me.

  3. I wonder if it's one of the dirts?

  4. That would be a typical dirt move. Take over a tired old blog and make believe it still means something. Kind of like what happened with the Mountain Views News.

  5. It would be interesting to find out who exactly is giving Faux Centinel cash so that he can buy posts. Does a Blog Stimulus Package actually exist? Something about that one doesn't quite pass the smell test.

  6. People that have their own blogs tend to need other peoples validation to feel some form of self worth. A certain club I belong to calls these folks "egomaniacs with an inferiority complex".
    .....Fifty bucks please.

  7. Why are you being so mean to Bill Coburn?

  8. I thought the FC blog was too uninvolved for those of us fighting the good fight in SM. More than once Centinel would write something along the lines of "You people are getting too worked up." This after we were pounding the pavement educating residents & working for signatures, fending off Dirt slanders right & left. He didn't seem to get the importance to us of what we were doing. Maybe it was because he lived in Pasadena where the battle for quality of life living space is pretty much lost?
    Speaking of Coburn, I went on there to check Lambdin's Viet Nam claims, couldn't find it, but I did notice - what's with the picture of the transvestite?

  9. 9:35:
    Our Sir Eric is a volunteer for a large citizen's group in Sierra Madre. Sir Eric has been a volunteer for years, he has walked the pavement getting signatures for Measure V and other important issues. He has a wife, school age children and a full time career.
    He uses a pen name. He is not looking to be in the limelight, and is a very humble and a very nice man!
    He started a blog at the request of dozens of his Sierra Madre activist friends, because we had no other voice in town. We now have the Sierra Madre Weekly and The Sierra Madre Tattler. I am very grateful we do!
    Also, a big thanks to all the people who research and report important issues to Sir Eric. Some are professionals (who generously volunteer their time and expertise) others are just ordinary Sierra Madre residents, they all care about Sierra Madre!
    Thank you Sir Eric and staff for this blog!
    It's not only infomative, it's entertaining!

  10. The Glenn Lambdin bio quote is still up on the S& site. It reads as follows: "At age 17, he enlisted in the military and served 4 years active duty during the final years of the Vietnam conflict." Now this is actually a pretty vague quote. It could also be said that any of us did something "during the final 4 years of the Vietnam conflict." I personally was attending high school then, and not a single bomb struck the place because it was in California and not SE Asia. Then again, by linking "active duty" with "the final years of the Vietnam conflict" it does leave the impression that the connection is more than that both events occurred on the same planet. Of course, by the time our Glenny was old enough to fight in Vietnam the war was pretty much over. Our troops were completely out by 1973, the same year Glenn turned 17. The quote can be found at -

  11. Isn't it interesting Glenn Lambdin and Susan Henderson have so much in common?
    While their biographies differ, they have one striking similarity.

  12. You do need to be careful here. He just might be
    fibbing about his age and not his military service.
    Glenn is a very vain man, you know.

  13. In the United States military, active duty refers to military members who are currently serving full time in their military capacity.

  14. I think we should all SELL poor Centinel comments, since he/she seems to have some cash,

    sounds pretty desperate to me, he/she might just go for it!

    (so crazy!!)

  15. What if it's just a scam, to get our email addresses then sell them to spammers?

  16. Create a new email account on either hotmail, gmail, there are a myriad of ways you can trash someones blog, or in-box.

  17. Um...this really isn't that complicated. Our blog has basically been dead for several months (and it is only right to keep it in the dead pool for the time being). I am way behind on what's been happening in local politics, and I'd like to get caught up. If someone wants to write a summary of local political goings on for free, I'm happy to accept it. I was trying to encourage people to write because I assumed most people are like myself, which means you a) have a job, b) have a life, and c) do not have a lot of time.

    I just wanted to make it worth folks' time to do a decent writeup.

    Seriously, is that so hard?

  18. Oh, and I offered $100. It's not a fortune. Give me a brrrrrreak.

  19. Here ya go, local politics is just as FUBARed as it was several months ago.

    P.S. Mail that $100 check to the City of Hope.

  20. Centinel, you expect to get a "decent" write-up from Aaron Proctor?

    give me a break!

    And I just want to tell you how "grateful" we all are to you for inviting him back.

  21. no, actually Centinel, we're not grateful,

    at all.

    Are you freaking kidding me?? you have the Nerve to invite Aaron Proctor to comment on your blog?

    have you learning NOTHING from this past year??

    wow, you really are a new Centinel, new to AP and his history here, I'd guess!

  22. What I love the most about Virginia is that she answers her own blogs and her own posts. Everyone has moved on from Aaron Proctor and Todd Ruiz and all the other bloggers you hate. I understand that Eric respects you and that you respect Eric - but Sierra Madre has some very big - serious and potentially hazardous issues to deal with - so let's let Aaron and Todd go off silently in the night.

    Please use your own column for what you do best.

  23. Whats to move on from? This is current.

  24. When people who read your column tell you to move on and that it's in your best interest - then you should take the hint.

    However thanks for proving your point with your post - obviously you want to keep bringing it up - which continues to give them more attention.

    Sorry - but I want to get back to blogging about the important things that Eric keeps us abreast of.


  25. It sure is dead around the FC Blog, Sir Eric, I believe you have felled the dragon!!

  26. and to Anonymous, I never take hints, I follow my own heart.

  27. Good for you, Virginia.
    That posting seeking to corrrrect you was from someone I think of as "The Pontificator" - entries marked by the need to critique other people's comments.

  28. Well if he is paying for posts on the Foothill Cities blog he certainly isn't getting his moneys worth ....

  29. I confess to having been happily out of the loop, but felt a little amorous today and Googled myself. My reporter's gig made for 10-hour days, so I'm flattered folks should think I could balance that, my erstwhile World of Warcraft addiction (Seven months sober!), a girlfriend *and* find the time to run a middling opinion site. ;) Not sure who I'm alleged to have cussed out either - doesn't sound like my style. I'm more of the acerbic smirker. Okay, time to go ride my camel.

    All the best, - KTR

  30. sure, Todd, we believe you


    Your "name" is all over your old Centinel posts.

  31. see its the "charm" Todd, gives you away every time!

    (next to that dullard they replaced you with)

    Come on, fess up, tell us what your corporate masters put you through!