Saturday, April 17, 2010

An Open Letter To Patrick Simcock

I received the following note from a gentleman named Patrick Simcock. It seems quite typical of the kinds of things we've been hearing from those who did not understand the real issues in our recent campaign, nor recognize the dishonesty in the claims made by the Mosca slate. Either that or Mr. Simcock chose to believe that these things were not important. Rather he seems to lean exclusively on emotional appeals, while offering no proof of the claims being made. Which is typical of those who take that route.

Below is a portion of what Patrick had to say. I am responding here because Mr. Simcock cc'd the MVN and Coburn's site, declaring his letter to be an open one. I've also edited for brevity.

When you announced your candidacy on your blog and promoted Alcorn, Crawford and Watts, I began reading it to learn what you were about. Though I thought you made some good points, I couldn't believe how angry and off topic many of the comments were and that you encouraged them! Honestly, during the last few months, I told people to read it as a way to promote the candidates I was voting for - Moran, Mosca, and Walsh. That's how absurd it became! I think your blog is one of the reasons you and your slate lost. The personal attacks went so far that everyone HAD to defend themselves. A couple of stones can be tossed one way or another, but when someone is under a constant barrage, they will defend themselves. You cornered some good dogs, and now you seem confused as to why you were bitten.

The election is over. The new council will be together for two years. I hope everyone, including the media, starts to focus on the positive things that can be done to make Sierra Madre an even better place. But this has to be a two-way street. I'm not saying there won't be controversy, but let's keep the personal attacks to a minimum.

John, if you love Sierra Madre like I do, please put down the hatchet. Don't give up on what you believe in, just stop the personal attacks. Civility is what was preached in this campaign, and I'm extending my hand to start it ... Either way, don't continue down the path that will further divide the town that I have and probably always will call my home.

Here is my reply:

I am saddened that you feel that I have engaged in personal attacks on my blog. I have used this venue to discuss what I feel are important issues not only here in Sierra Madre, but throughout the State of California. Certainly you can recognize that there are serious problems that require some airing out. And yes, the viewpoints of public figures are fair game, and even if they don't always enjoy having their records criticized, it is important that such perspectives be made available. Perhaps you could provide some examples of things I've said that fit your uncharitable description? It is the mark of a serious person that when they make claims such as the ones you have here, they back it up with proof.

I am also troubled that you do not seem at all concerned by much of what has been said in the Sierra Madre Weekly or The Mountain Views News. The nasty and dishonest attacks on our current Mayor, MaryAnn MacGillivray (look for a piece on my blog that exposes some of the egregious claims being made in these papers shortly), have truly been over the top. I would be curious to hear your take on that matter. You know, because of that two-way street thing you mentioned.

One of the reasons my blog has achieved the level of readership is has is because it is truly the only venue in town that provides in-depth information of concern for both the preservationist slow growth perspective and the need for small California cities to maintain their independence from Sacramento control. These are things that receive no serious coverage in any of our local newspapers, including the sadly compromised Pasadena Star News. Please remember, I received over 1,000 votes in last Tuesday's election, so it isn't like there is no audience for this stuff. There are also over 12,000 comments on this site, an unprecedented number for a blog that discusses the affairs of so small a city.

Try and remember that this is a Democracy, Pat. And in a Democracy all points of view can be freely expressed. Even mine. Does it get rough on The Tattler comments board at times? It sure does. It also gets rough on a lot of other sites as well, including those run by The Washington Post and Pasadena Star News. Both of whom have written editorials lamenting that fact. It is the nature of the beast.

Let me leave you with a suggestion that I always offer to those who have written me expressing the kinds of sentiments you have here. If you don't like what is being written on the Sierra Madre Tattler, you are certainly free not to read it. Or better yet, start a news site of your own. I'd be curious to read what you have to offer. I personally find it to be a most enjoyable pastime, controversy and all.


  1. Good lord. Simcock is more full of it than a Christmas goose. What a crrock.

  2. John himself didn't indulge in personal attacks, they were directed at issues. I speak from personal experience, one of my blog posts got reamed up one side and down the other on one of his posts because it appeared to be anti-Measure V. I was just saying that it has flaws that make it vulnerable to deconstruction, which I think will happen pretty quickly.

  3. Simcock?

    Do you know the meaning of the term "the Luciferic Inversion".

    It means turning truth into falsehood and/or falshood into truth. You preach non-truth.

    You and the rest of the pro-development downtown dirt gang use this Luciferic Inversion on a daily basis.

    The Mosca, Moran, Walsh campaign was built on lies.

    To all reading who voted for the Mosca slate.
    Do you really think you won? What did you win?

    Sierra Madre is the loser to pro-development.
    Our loss is your loss Simcock. You'll know it soon enough.

  4. Pat Simcock is Josh Moran's best friend.

  5. That explains all the spacey feel good happy horse, um, poop.

  6. Are these people THAT afraid of The Tattler? One little blog
    takes a different viewpoint on things, and these silly people
    act like it is the end of the world.

  7. Lay with dogs get up with fleasApril 17, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Mr. Crawford,

    You do realize he called his friends "Dogs".
    Biting Cornered Dogs, at least he is right about that.

    They seem to think that we are not independant
    thinkers on our own. Must be because MadreKid is just that a kid.

    All roads seem to lead back to the Sierra Madre News, I found a picture of him and Jim Moran as
    well as a picture of the newly elected Josh Moran, obviously sloshed out of his mind, holding his brewery beer with semi closed eyes it is in the April 30, 2005 issue of the coburn group Sierra Madre

    Civil is as civil does MadreKid

  8. Lay with dogs,

    Sierra Madre News and SierraMadreNews.Net are 2 completely different things.


  9. Dear Mr. Crawford,

    I appreciate that you took the time to respond to my letter. As I previously stated, I think you have brought some interesting points into the political discussion in town. I think there is room for all points of view and that respectful disagreement should be encouraged in a democracy.

    I’m sorry if you misunderstood – I never said you yourself engaged in personal attacks. However, the negativity and attacks that have persisted in the Comments Sections of your blog have been well-documented in other local media and I don’t think that it would serve any purpose to rehash this here. Clearly we disagree about what constitutes personal attacks. I haven’t agreed with everything that was written in other media outlets, but my point, which you seem to have chosen to purposefully ignore, is to move past that to work together in a constructive way.

    I’m disappointed that you chose to edit out the portions of my letter where I said we should sit down and talk through some of the issues that the city is dealing with, and that I think that both sides of this campaign are not that far apart. I think it’s curious that you left out the parts where I shared that I love this town just the way it is, and that I think it is unfortunate that your blog hasn’t been a place for real discussion between people of differing views. If your readers would like to see my letter in its entirety they should go to the site where it has already been posted.

    And yes, I’m proud to say that Josh Moran and I have been friends for over thirty years.

    Patrick Simcock

  10. Even if you believe Patrick Simcock was woefully ill informed, the tone of his letter to John was not disrespectful. It was actually quite civilized.

    However, such comments that include rhetoric like: "...More full of it than a Christmas Goose." "...The liquid lobotomy," validate what he said.

    Takes a little courage and a great deal of lunacy to stand before this firing squad and use my name. I say it is not John that typically crosses the line but the hatespeech that shows up in these comments that done him in. Too bad because I'm convinced it cost John the election. (Here let me help: "Then again, I'm just a Richard Cranium who writes for the MVN."

    Now, proceed with the severe verbal thrashing. You will continue to validate those that think many of your comments skew to the malevolent.

    That's R-i-c-h J-o-h-n-s-o-n.

    Not that it matters other than wanting Pat Alcorn to know I voted for her, but I did support her candidacy to all my friends unequivocably.

  11. lay down with dogs get fleasApril 17, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    Detail oriented, Thank you, I seethe difference now, the picture of josh moran sloshed is on the but, now that I see Miller on the Sierra Madre News, I found a story about a bad review Mr. Miller did on Laura Schlessinger, he was apparently chided for it. Something about her and her patriotic pants he did not like.

  12. Pat - Now don't get all pouty on me. I did say I edited for brevity. Life is short, you know. Especially for all that "I love this town" goop. And if you really wanted to have a conversation about "some of the issues that the city is dealing with," you wouldn't have sent out an "open letter" cc'd to every publication in town. You simply would have e-mailed me and said let's talk.

  13. Rich - there are just so many sensitive souls in this town. But their sensitivity just seems to be very selective. Have you ever read the paper you write for per'chance? I can understand if you don't, but maybe you should take a look at it some time. It publishes things just as nasty as anything you'll find in the comments section of any blog in existence. Cover to cover.

    Besides, I anwered Pat's letter as nice as pie.

  14. Welcome back Rich Johnson. I won't say anything snarky because you voted for Pat Alcorn. She's a great woman. Dedicated to all that's good about Sierra Madre. She also ran a campaign without rancor or smears.

    You're okay in my book. And sometimes you're very funny. Too bad you write for the Mountain Views Distorted News.

  15. Rich was a throw in along with a paper to be renamed later.

  16. Mr. Simcock's extension of civility would have more meaning if he was in fact on the City Council. Since he is not, I'm wondering on who's behalf he actually speaks. I'm wondering if he is prepared to extend civility to Mayor Macgillivray who is currently under siege by the likes of SMW and the MtnViewsNews. Mr. Coburn seems to have given up his attack dog posture and I truly suppose it may have been unpleasant for him. Bill is normally a sanguine sort of guy interested in the goings on about town.

    The election is indeed over for this cycle; Sierra Madre is found to be once again guided by civility. But no one, no one but the Tattler has mentioned that Mosca, Walsh, and Moran failed to campaign on any issues except civility. Send some of that in with your UUT payments, or pave the streets with it. See out that works out for ya.

  17. There's one thing we should all remember about Sierra Madre--we're all still going to be here in the morning. So let's get on with it.

    As for the personalities thing, well, we could go on and on and on, but I find it just very very interesting that the people who promoted slow, careful growth did not win the election but the measures that protected the slow, careful growth theme did. So how does that not translate into a personality issue?

    When the election is dominated by personalities, the city will be governed by it--how could it be otherwise? Stay tuned to see how the personalities handle the business of this city.

    The attack on Mary Ann MacGillivray doesn't bode well for the future business of the city. Not because it was done, but because it was demonstrably false. So while some decry negativity, there are still many -- possibly the same people -- are all to eager to engage in false negativity.

    Let's just see where this takes us.

  18. The Mosca team was very hypocritical on this issue. The
    attacks on MaryAnn show where they really stand.

  19. Sir Eric John Crawford, as an out of towner, an ardent admirer of your capacity to oversee issues and activities important to the state of California, your writing and opinions mirror mine and many others outside of Sierra Madre. In fact, I don't think the locals know how the eyes of many important people outside of Sierra Madre have been focused on you for a long time before this election. You could have had a lot of outside help. Your integrity prevailed and face it you can walk, talk, outhink, and present your ideas faster than the other boys. It is obvious it is irritating them. Thank God you do not count your words.

  20. Lifelong CanyoniteApril 17, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    The town fishwraps do need to get under control. The editors did lose a bit of their journalistic integrity. Many of the recent articles gave been uncalled for and are way out of bounds.

    Terry Miller does owe an apology to John Crawford.

  21. I do not understand why the winning side persists in slandering MaryAnn and challenging Mr. Crawford. They don't seem to realize that they won.
    Blog comments can get unruly - it is, as Crawford put it, the nature of the beast. And I am very grateful for his careful moderating. But why are these critics combing through the comments, looking for the "bad" ones to lecture all of us about?
    Crawford has pointed out that there are 12,000 or so comments - perhaps one of the critics would like to go through them all and offer up a percentage - 10% mean (or as one of the critics had it, "pernicious" - wow) and 90% lucid and relevant? Or perhaps 2% mean and 98% lucid and relevant would be closer.
    This however would be a superficial waste of time. What these critics are really saying is "You're not nice," so it's their tired civility platform that has been so thoroughly corrupted and compromised. I'll be glad when they wander off to some other blog.

  22. "A man can smile, and smile, and still be a villain." (Shakespeare's Hamlet)

    As far as our little Hamlet, we have our share of villains and heroes, too. Guess it's up to each one of us to decide who is who. Before the election I read all the local blogs and papers I could find. I thought this blog did the best job of comparing the issues that I care about. Mainly slow, low-desnsity growth and local independence. I don't think it's absurd to want local control of our own hometown. Especially when we've lost faith in state government. "Taxation without representation" - those are still fighting words. I would have trusted this blog, and the other candidates endorsed by the Mayor, to represent me. But, Mr. Simcock, now I fear the lack of civility is the least of our worries.

  23. Lay down with dogs,

    Terry Miller works for the Sierra Madre Weekly, not the Sierra Madre News. Once again, 2 completely different things.


  24. Detail Oriented @ 1:11am
    They may be seperate entities, but they are very similar. They both work from the slander angle.

  25. The big winners of this election were Bart Doyle (Titan) BIA and the Realtors and the corrupt legislator in Sacramento.

    They ran a very clever campaign, having a spy in our midst who provided lists of all our names, making sure Mosca and pals didn't go to our doors and tip us off as to what was being lied about. Making the big lie stick....."MacGillivray, Crawford and Watts will do away with the volunteer fire dept and the police", ie: your protection is at stake.
    This resonated with the uniformed among us.
    Crawford's message, MacGillivray's message, Watts message was "SB375 and AB32 must be contested"
    It was simple as that. The intelligent people who got it, were out voted by the misinformed and the naive majority.

    Good luck with the new council. They don't work for you, and you'll find it out soon enough.

    The real enemy is SB375, AB32 and the taxation that is coming our way.

    I suggest Crawford and MacGillivray concentrate on the bigger fight. This city council is irrelevant for the time being.
    They will not be able to stop the large protests that will be coming our way, already are in progress in the State of California.

    This blogs out of town friends are currently are best friends. They get it. They have seen what corruption of over-development does to their cities and hillsides.

    Sierra Madre will get it too, just hope it's not too late.

  26. As Mosca takes our city in a decidedly more regionalist direction (i.e. aligning us with the disastrous policies of Sacramento), we too will have to take a different perspective. Look for some changes on this site soon.

  27. I have a suggestion for this blog.
    Don't give The Mountain Views News, The Weekly, or Coburn any publicity, good or not good.

    They are junk media, not even up to par with a cheap scandal sheet. They are controlled by the real estate industry and the building industry.

    I urge all of our smart readers to totally disregard these cheap rags. They aren't worth your time, and they shouldn't be worth the time of this blog.

    As poster at 8:36 commented, the real and present danger to every resident of California, especially those of us who pay taxes is Sacramento. They have some very disastrous plans for California. They need to be stopped.
    Even if it means a citizens massive protest and/or tax revolts.

  28. Yes, but Coburn is just so funny. I mean, can the guy whine enough? Now he's upset because somebody referred to Nancy Walsh as "whatsername?" I'm sorry, but you can't buy legitimacy with political correctness, Bill. If Nancy isn't the nonentity many suspect her of being, she'll just have to prove it through actual deeds. We're all waiting.

  29. John,

    I purposefully checked every opinion piece in the last several issues by Susan Henderson regarding you. Sure you are on opposite sides of the fence (ironic as you were both pro measure V.) However, I found nothing that comes close to the rancor exhibited in the comment section of this blog.

    Please point me in the direction of examples of these attacks on you. I ask that sincerely as I don't see it.

    By the way my position shifted on Measure V culminating in me voting for it. Originally I was against it but I got angry at the city council for marginalizing the constituency of voters who were pro V.

    One more thing. My original loyalty to the newspaper was to Katina. She was the one who stumbled across me at Fresco's and asked me to write for the paper. When the split occurred I asked Katina if she wanted me to continue writing (I was prepared to walk away as I hardly knew Susan.) Katina asked me to continue to write for the paper.

  30. Rich, what is your point? That you needed permission from Katina to remain working for a woman you knew to be a crook? And you still remain there even tho you know the controversy her paper causes? And, the fact that she owes the Dunn's money? And, continues to stir the pot against small growth...

    You do not have a problem writing a food column in a tiny town, for a woman who has created many problems, with all her twisting of facts and poured well-grounded fertilizer on top. That's a difficult one to swallow.

  31. Many Grateful CitizensApril 18, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.

    Indeed it's the only thing that ever has."
    Margaret Mead
    Thank you John, Pat, Don Kurt and Maryann

    For all you did during your years of service to Sierra Madre. People will know that it was YOU, even tho others tried to take the credit. You will be the ones blessed for the work that has been done. Thank you!!

  32. cpp, that's Elmer Dills who writes the food column, not Rich Johnson. Don't add to the fact twisting.

  33. Rich does discuss food from time to time. But Elmer eats in better restaurants.

  34. OH, thanks for clearing that up. I have read food columns from Rich....none the less, the point remains: Why would Rich need Katina's opinion/permission....etc.....

  35. Rich has always struck me as being a very lonely man. He is not without gifts, but I don't think he has ever found a meaningful or satisfactory way of sharing them. I don't we should make fun of him here.

  36. Lovely day outside today. No canvassing; no leafletting. Came indoors to find the opposition tap tap tapping in some sort of misguided effort to make the Tattlers own up to their uncivility.

    The SMW is like a popcorn popper belching forth great kernels of corn each more misshapen and grotesque than the last. Never in all the years that I can remember have there been so many articles dealing with the same story in one issue. On the front page no less.

    Why? Get over it Miller! The Tattler lost. You're done. You're a one trick pony.

    Coburn positively salivating at the prospect of bringing Crawford to Jesus; at least making him admit his sin of incivility before offering absolution.

    Bill, the Tattler lost. We admit it! Your side won.

    And poor dear Hail. Wrote his screed before the new era of civility was announced. One last slam to Crawford for being a better writer!

    Hail, John admits he lost! You're late to the party, again.

    You heard it here. The Tattler lost. The Tattler is officially not a candidate for City Council 2010!

    But never forget; the Tattler won't.

  37. So much rage from so many bad publications and terrible writers. Must be doing something right!

  38. Sauguine Silver HammerApril 18, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    As sure as the sun rises and sets if Mr. Crawford had run on his own ticket, he would have won by a landslide.

    Although he announced to the tatts, the blog was running the night the computer fan roared, he ran not for himself but for Sierra Madre, the people he writes for.

    His intent was true and not driven by personal profit or gain.

    Unlike them..

    So while I am absolutely sure Mr. Crawford can handle his detractors his own way. I am biting my tongue, I will put it this way can anybody spell, P U B L I C R E C O R D?

  39. I believe that should be, "...the people for whom he writes."

  40. Oyez oyez oyez.

    A resounding yeah to you, Mr. Silverhammer.

  41. Did Hail Hamilton experiment with consciousness altering substances back in the hippy days? He seems positively unhinged to me.

  42. I made the comments I did because John asked me if I read the articles in the paper which I have.

    Secondly, I didn't need Katina's permission to continue to write. She and Kevin were friends and if she was getting the shaft I wanted to know because I would stop writing. It's a thing friends do for friends. She encouraged me to continue writing.

    Thirdly, the controversy between Katina and Susan is not as black and white as is portrayed here. Funny how people can speak as if they know all the facts and nuances of this long ongoing lawsuit.

    The lonely thing...doesn't bear comment.

    I write here using my own name because I think John is a gifted writer and would like to see him expand beyond this blog. He should be writing in one of the local papers cause now he's just preaching to the choir.

    It would be nice if some of you would come from behind the cloak of anonymity and actually exhibit enough courage to tie your own name to your comments. But only if you believe in your comments.

    Lonely? LOL.

  43. It was something 9:01 saidApril 18, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    Speaking of old days did the 1974 remark about Nixon and the white house, walls and butterflies Coburn mentioned seem a bit odd to anyone else? It reminds me of Monarch programming, like the sudden torrent of civil and negativity as attack word weapons.
    Today on you tube, watching the new vids the the nazi socialist almost riot, yesterday in LA vids and one said the nationalist socialist party was formed in 1974. Spooky

  44. Here's a questionApril 19, 2010 at 5:11 AM

    Literally thousands of words have been written lately about this blog. The Sierra Madre Weekly, the Pasadena Star News, the Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre, all have weighed in heavily about this one little blog. So if The Tattler is only preaching to the choir as Rich suggests, therefore lacking in any real relevance, why all the attention?

  45. And why, WHY, would John Crawford want to write for any the local media, Rich? Why?

  46. Patrick Simcock is clearly trying to discredit the Tattler. The Tattler is the best independent media voice in the San Gabriel Valley. That threatens every single other media source, certainly the ones that are puppets for dubious agendas, as so many are.

    The Tattler has not been "swinging the hatchet". The Tattler has been putting the truth out, yes, the ugly truth too, calling our the wrong.

    Simcock is a joke and his agenda is so transparent. Thank goodness the Tattler could care less about him or his agenda, and will keep up its great work.

  47. Something Stinks like a SkunkApril 19, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    Man that, Rich Johnson writes a nasty column about the rattler and takes quotes out of context and then comes over here saying he didn't see anything in his paper, he doesn't read himself apparently. He opines that he wants John to write for better papers, what like that small minded small curriculum judgemental tripe producing paper he composes for. Pleeeeze.
    Hey Rich we walk among you. Now we walk away from you. Enjoy your career, remember the peter principle? You have reached own own level of inefficiency. You are like "because you are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm, I shall spit you out." Guys like you are a dime a dozen flintwalker.