Who dunnit?

A “Highlight in History” item in the Feb. 17 edition of The Post and Courier concerned the burning of Columbia, that occurred in 1865. It concludes, “It’s not clear which side set the blaze.”

“A City Laid Waste,” as compiled by William Gilmore Simms and edited by local author David Aiken, contains an eyewitness account.

It is clear that Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s minions were the perpetrators of this conflagration, and this book is replete with atrocities committed against local citizenry, both black and white.

Truth is error’s best antagonist.

Michael Hull

Hobcaw Drive

Mount Pleasant

Inspire saving

David Spade’s Feb. 10 column reported that many people in South Carolina lack savings. As long as interest rates stay low, middle- and-low-income people will find it difficult to have an emergency fund. Our financial institutions and government give us no incentive to save.

In 1977, I opened an IRA with the understanding that at 12.28 percent interest, if I contributed $1,000 each year I would have $1,485,060.12 at age 70.

What happened?

You’re lucky if you even get a half-percent interest from your savings and money market. Twenty thousand in either will only get you under 1 percent.

Where is the incentive? How are you to save for a down payment or pay taxes?

Gas and food prices continue to rise, but paychecks do not. Tax refund and unemployment recipients are made to use debit cards. Why? I guess you are to spend, spend, spend instead of save for your future. If interest rates would rise, people might be inspired to save.

Don’t CEOs, CFOs and board members get incentives to improve the company? Why can’t the public get incentives to improve their lives? A regular savings account will be at your fingertips when you need it with no penalties or taxes to pay.

Will the middle- and low-income people ever get a break again?

Marilyn Whiteman

Bama Road

Cottageville

Costly replacement

Pressley Baker, HVAC coordinator at Trident Technical College, stated a personal opinion in the Feb. 17 article “Ductwork dilemma.” He stated that if the duct work is “dirty enough to need cleaning, it needs to be replaced.”

The average cost of replacing the duct work in a 1,200- square-foot home with flexible duct work is $4,000 and $6,000 for metal duct work.

The average cost to clean the duct work in a 1,200-square- foot home is $600 to $700. Using his premise, when I get home from work today I should throw out my clothes and go buy new ones.

Bill Longman

Clark Hills Circle

Johns Island

Pope resigns

I was surprised when His Holiness Pope Benedict announced his resignation due to his health, but more so I felt sadness.

That he would leave behind power and prestige shows he’s a Catholic for Christ, not for man. He’s a fatherly leader and an inspiration for Catholics and hopefully for other Christians as well, unlike hypocrites who want others to see them as powerful, prestigious and holy.

He stood up for the teachings of the church, which is Christ, the heart and soul of God.

He never bowed to politicians or used politics to overshadow Christ, never used politics to condemn or kiss up to Catholics.

While accused of coverups and dealing with betrayal, His Holiness never ran to a lawyer; he turned to the Lord.

Traumatic circumstances can age a person, especially someone the age of the pope.

Hypocrisy among some Catholic priests and parishioners, the scandal of fallen priests but most of all the violation of children devastated him emotionally and took a toll on him physically.

His Holiness, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, will continue to stand in grace. God wants His Holiness to be remembered for his devotion, courage and unselfishness, truthfulness and love for the Roman Catholic Church.

Chandler S. Vincent

Westover Drive

Aiken

Mail stop

Look at the bright side. A Saturday without mail is a Saturday without a pile of new bills.

H.J. Beaujon, Ph.D.

Cessna Avenue

Charleston

Failed attempt A recent letter writer ended his diatribe against a local Republican congressional candidate as follows: “I hope you can feel the sarcasm dripping off that last statement.”

What I “feel” is this: If you must call attention to that which you consider to be sarcasm, you have failed in your attempt to write in the genre.

Enough said.

BILL WALKER

Marshall Boulevard

Sullivan’s Island

Gas prices

Do you know the best day to buy gas? Yesterday.

Tim Carswell

Ptarmigan Street

James Island