For nearly 14 years I've attempted to be an information conduit between the U.S. Border Patrol and you my fellow Northwoods citizens. Without my years of involvement with the agency I would not have gathered the knowledge and confidence to write and speak on this important subject. Equally important, however, is my dedication to the agency by writing and speaking only factual and honest statements.
On June 23, 2017, John Kocovsky wrote a letter to the editor in which he cited a number of what he perceived as "errors" in a column I had written. Although I have neither known nor met Mr. Kocovsky he has continued this puerile activity for years. At one time he wrote he was going to "keep me honest" in my writings which struck us all as a departure from normality.
Several years ago he made similar attacks on a column so I challenged him three times over a period of weeks to debate me. Eventually he hinted he might accept a debate but required the use of a computer to "Google" in response to my challenges. That's when he became known as "Jonny Google."
His next attack came after I wrote a column about a time when I was called as an expert witness in a Military Court Martial involving a border incident. Just because Jonny Google couldn't find evidence of the Court Martial he wrote that it never occurred! Here are two of his quotations: "Gary has a penchant to embellish his stories and enhance his contributions and/or involvement." "Now I'm not saying Gary made this story up to showcase his self-professed expertise ... etc." I sent solid evidence to the editor which repudiated his claim and, of course, I never received an apology as one would normally expect.
Lastly, two other writers and I almost simultaneously found that one of Mr. Kocovsky's columns was 47 percent plagiarized. To us that is tantamount to thievery of another's thoughts. I adhere to the adage that "Google is not a synonym for research."
If I didn't have a strong background with the Border Patrol or have graduated from the Citizen's Border Patrol Academy I wouldn't be capable of doing what I sincerely enjoy! How would I have learned immigration law, its subtleties, nuances and flexibilities? How would I have learned the topography and weaknesses of the border or the Sonora Desert if I hadn't photographed it from the New Mexico state line to Yuma County? Each day I get a flood of emails from the head of our advisory board with up-to-date information. Mr. Kocovsky believes his "Googling" stands equal to 14 years of onsite practical experiences and daily information. Pure unadulterated nonsense!
I didn't write this letter to criticize Mr. Kocovsky as it may appear. You, the readers of The Lakeland Times, deserve to enjoy the comfort that what you read in my columns is accurate. Of course I make errors, but fortunately they are rare. Thus, if you have a question or concern I invite you to email me anytime. My email address is with my name in all columns.
Posted: Monday, July 17, 2017
Article comment by:
Bruce Van Hoozen
I had to laugh when a guy who always tries to act like a big shot by saying he was going to keep other people ďhonestĒ stooped to plagiarizing another personís work. To top it off, when caught plagiarizing other peopleís work, while trying to pass it off as his own, he defend himself by saying he didnít know it was illegal to copy another personís writings without mentioning them as a source of information. Thatís a lesson anyone with the equivalent of a sixth grade education knows. The troll from Hazelhurst isnít so much a big shot as he is a little mouse. I used to think the little mouse rarely mentioned his sources of information because they were so lame. I wasnít particularly surprised after researching his letters to discover that his sources of information were not only weak, but his letters were plagiarized. Gary writes that this is ďtantamount to thievery of anotherís thoughts,Ē but what else can one expect from someone who has never had an original thought in his life and believes left-wing talking points are facts. I can just see him trying to write a letter on his own without plagiarizing someone elseís work. He would probably criticize Trump for recklessly running up the national debt, spending too much time golfing, and for being so stupid he canít give a speech without reading it off a Teleprompter. Iím pretty sure he would write to oppose Trumpís health care plan because if you like your plan you wonít be able to keep your plan, and if you like your doctor you wonít be able to keep your doctor, and because your premiums will go up. Then thereís the situation at the border and the issue of illegal immigration. I would rather believe a person who lives near the border nine months out of the year, has graduated from the Citizenís Border Patrol Academy, has 14 years of experience working with the Border Patrol, and gets daily information sent to him from the head of the Advisory Board than a little mouse whoís experience consists of parroting left wing talking points, plagiarizing the writings of other equally academically challenged authors, and frequents a Taco Bell.