Stop calling Social Security and Medicare ‘entitlements’

These are “earned benefits” that all people who have drawn a paycheck have to pay their entire employed lives.

I paid for these earned benefits for 48 years and resent their label as entitlements as though I am “mooching” off the good graces of the federal government.


Ted Ricks

Lake Oswego

John Murray ‘did himself proud’

Another of Chuck’s Place all-time favorite patrons passed away last week.

When my wife told me that John Murray had died, I quickly slipped upstairs to the bedroom and had a good cry. It hurts when anyone you know dies, but John Murray’s death had a personal subplot that brought his departure all the closer to home.

Six months prior, John and wife, Elva, moved into assisted living and needed a home for their cat, Elfie. I’m not a big cat fan but I was a huge John and Elva fan, so Elfie became part of our family.

As I layed on the bed trying to come to terms with death, the door creaked open an d my 11-year-old son, Jackson, entered the room. “I’m sorry about your friend at the shop,” he said. “It stinks.”

“Thanks Jackson,” I managed to croak out through the tears. A s mall boy’s simple gesture had broken the spell and brought me back to reality.

So farewell, Johnny Murray, my pal. I’ll see you on the flipside and bring the strawberry shortcake.

You had a wonderful run at life and did yourself proud.

Still, it stinks.

Chuck Ryan

Chuck’s Place

Lake Oswego

Firearm deaths have outstripped population growth

In 1962, U.S. firearm deaths totaled 16,720; in 1994, 38,505; in 2009, 31,347 (according to the CDC and National Vital Statistics Report). The U.S. population was 187 million in 1962 and 305 million in 2009. The increase in firearm deaths over 50 years has outstripped population growth.

Discussions bog down in mental health and other issues.

An argument against limiting high-capacity weapons is: “The genie has left that bottle.”

Wayne LaPierre, executive director of NRA, says, “Sometimes it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.” When in the last 50 years has that happened? And it’s not just “mass shootings,” but also the ongoing shootings of all sorts everywhere.

In 1960, car fatalities per 100 million miles traveled were 5.0, and in 2010 the figure was 1.1 (NHTSA). Cars and road design became safer, drivers’ education and law enforcement increased, driving drunk became less acceptable — a multi-pronged approach.

A 1,000-mile journey begins with a single step. Take that first step, and just keep walking.

Alan Mela

Lake Oswego

Contract Publishing

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