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Oglesby: On Jacobs, GOP, occupiers

POSTED: December 6, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Since last we wrote, Gainesville giant John Jacobs Jr. died at 88, five days before his 89th birthday.

John brought me to Gainesville in September 1956. When Charlie Hardy’s offset daily failed, John did a WDUN radio editorial saying Gainesville needed competing papers and he would start one. He wanted someone with radio and newspaper experience to be WDUN’s news and sports director, learning the area and then becoming founding editor of The Gainesville Tribune.

Many remember me on WDUN’s "Morning Talk" for 19 years, 16 of which I was with The Times. A fixture on election night results, I called Hall County races after only four or five precincts had reported, missing a call only one time.

John’s WDUN, Wide Travel and I were longtime partners for years back when I was selling and escorting trips all over the world. His civic involvement is legendary with longtime leadership (chairman) roles at Riverside Military Academy, Brenau University, Northeast Georgia History Center and Kiwanis. His death is a deep personal loss but I’m comforted his soul and legacy lives.

Readers may remember my longtime advocacy of privatizing Social Security. On Oct. 31, I wrote my longtime friend and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich suggesting as part of a new "Contract with America" he put in his platform a Social Security overhaul something akin to my earlier columns about it.

On the very day my last column appeared, he announced his plan which basically was my letter but improved by adding a provision that if a privatized version failed to produce what normal Social Security benefits would be, Social Security would pay the difference. This guarantees a return equal to at least normal benefits with the likelihood of substantially greater that can be inherited.

Newt’s now drawing criticism for advocating what amounts of a pathway to legality, not citizenship, to illegal immigrant families who have been here holding steady jobs, fully assimilated into society. The heat comes from the diehard, anti-alien crowd and his nomination opponents.

Front-runners are top targets as it should be. I sent him my plan on that problem to see if he can improve it, too. We’d all be better off if so. I still think either Romney or Gingrich will be the GOP nominee and, trying to filter out personal preference in my analysis, still give Newt the edge.

The woman who said she had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain probably put the final nail in his campaign’s coffin. Unlike the four other accusers who presented a he said/she said situation, this one admitted she knew her transgression was wrong but she supported her up with records showing her cell phone had been called more than 60 times.

A reporter called the number and Cain himself answered. No denying that. Saturday, he decided to drop out of the race.

Reader Dr. Edward Kelley, a Flowery Branch dentist, tells me I’m wrong on the reference in my last column to a 3.5 percent tax on gross proceeds from the sale of homes and urged me to correct it.

I don’t remember my sources, but I do mention his exception and frankly hope he is correct because it’s a horrible idea in the first place.

The "occupy" groups across the country have a constitutional right to protest peaceably on public property. An "Oglesbyism" says one has a right to swing his fist, but that right stops at the other’s nose.

When the occupiers block public passageways, destroy property, commit crimes, endanger public health and yes, disobey police, their fist is at the public’s nose. One can protest income inequality all one wishes, but it won’t change so long as we are a free enterprise society where entrepreneurs risk their money to create new ideas and jobs.

Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion editor of The Times. His column appears biweekly on Tuesdays and at gainesvilletimes.com. You can contact him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503.



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