Preserve Civil War monuments to the common soldier
To the editor:
Until the Charlottesville event I thought of the monuments in same way I think of garden gnomes unless I was in a particularly introspective mode. Seeing a group of zealots tearing down a statue of a Civil War soldier did get me to thinking about those that go to war. The ones whose names are seldom included in history books, like the 58,000 or so inscribed on the Vietnam memorial. Also, not included except in a PBS special, were the soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.
Except for a few officers, none owned slaves. They went to war based on which side they lived on. They fought bravely, often standing in the open, firing at the other side. A wound of any kind could be fatal. The red badge of courage. States’ rights and slavery were of less importance than the withering musket fire you were under orders to face.
To say that the Southern troops were traitors and criminals is a simple minded judgment of history. Like the troops sent to Vietnam, the blame did not lie with them and we learned that lesson well.
A statue dedicated to a brave soldier says something more universal and important than any bronze monstrosity of a general. That statue of a Civil War soldier should have been moved to a military cemetery and not vilified just as the statue of Saddam Hussein was.
Faulty calculations used on pension plan
To the editor:
What is not being discussed about KPERS (the Kansas pension plan) is that its numbers are based upon an unrealistic investment return of 7.75 percent. Warren Buffett calculates that the Dow Jones Industrial Average will return about 4 percent over the next 100 years. This is a much more reasonable assumption.
Of the $17.7 billion in assets the pension holds, 30.6 percent are invested into fixed income and cash, earning about 2 percent. That means the rest of the portfolio would have to earn about 10 percent in perpetuity, which is absurd. The stated assumption is that the pension is 67 percent funded. In reality, it’s about 50 percent funded.
Holmes Osborne, CFA