I expected something entirely different when I recently called Tom Kocal, publisher of the Prairie Advocate, the weekly newspaper in Lanark in Carroll County.
Over the last few weeks, Kocal has been writing publisher notes questioning the validity of President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate.
“The Obama birth certificate released by the White House, on [its] website, proved to be a doctored fake, and we can prove it, like thousands of other graphic artists, computer experts, grade school children, etc.,” he wrote. “There is no opinion in this; it is fact.”
When I called Kocal, I half-expected him to accuse Obama of being a Kenyan socialist – or at least harshly denounce the president’s policies. He did neither. Instead, he spoke about what he saw as the technical problems with Obama’s long-form certificate.
Asked whether he believed Obama was born in the United States, he said he didn’t know. He called for an investigation.
The Republican Party – certainly no fan of the president – says Obama was born in the United States. Why would the party maintain this if it was fiction?
“I don’t have the answer to that,” Kocal said.
The media, even Fox News, also say the evidence is on the president’s side.
“All of the networks have pretty much given up discussing it,” Kocal said.
In my interview with Kocal, he never criticized Obama’s policies. He sounded reasonable.
Of course, reason is lacking in arguments that Obama may have been born on foreign soil. Two Hawaii newspapers published his 1961 local birth announcement – one of which listed that the information came from the Health Bureau. Was there a massive conspiracy from the beginning when no one had any idea he would become president?
Like any president, Obama has his share of enemies. They would have presented evidence of his foreign birth long ago – if they could. But they can’t. Why? Because the truth is hard to disprove.
Exotic bird survives the cold
Almost 2 years ago to the day, I wrote the earth-shaking story, “Bunny battle brewing.” It was about a rabbit invasion in the Pleasant Street neighborhood in Amboy. But it was not so pleasant for residents who complained that one of their neighbors was feeding the bunnies, thus keeping their numbers high.
In a story a month later, headlined “Amboy rabbit count begins to tail off,” I was glad to report that the problem was beginning to solve itself.
Now, I have a happier story to report from Amboy’s animal kingdom. Dennis Moore of 853 S. Josiah St. told me last week that he had seen a bird that he thinks is a cockatiel, which is native to Australia.
Cockatiels are found in arid or semi-arid climates – in other words, not Illinois.
“He survived last night,” said Moore, referring to a night in which temperatures plunged to near zero. “He doesn’t look all that bad, as a matter of fact. He won’t eat anything I give it – apples, corn, sunflower seeds. He’s been hiding in my evergreens.”
Moore figures the bird was a pet that escaped from someone’s house.
Male or female? Moore is not sure, but he suspects the bird is from the not-so-fair sex.
“The way he acts says he is male. He really gets upset whenever I walk out,” he said.
David Giuliani is a reporter for Sauk Valley Media. He can be reached at dgiuliani@saukvalley or at 800-798-4085, ext. 525.