Antics of Our Lawmakers No Longer Tolerable


Readers of Tom Philpott's Military Update Column Sound Off

With all attempts at bipartisanship long gone from our politicians, my question is: Why are we, the voting citizens of this country, still tolerating the antics, egos and arrogant self-interest?

These professional politicians seem to view their job as keeping the governmental process in a confusion-ridden-crisis mode, which they then believe justifies their existence.

"Only legislators with their level of experience could negotiate their way through this morass…."

Yeah, right.

Instead of real government for and by the people, we have dog and pony shows with petulant prima donnas pointing fingers and trying to outshout each other.  Never in the history of this nation has there been so much divisiveness and so little concern for our citizenry.

Deals are made in backrooms with zero input from the citizens who are profoundly affected by the shady doings.  We are lied to so often that when truth finally is spoken no one can recognize it.

Self-determination -- the freedom to choose -- has been taken from us bit by bit by lawmakers who don't consider us capable of understanding such high-level decision-making.  Enemies of the nation have infiltrated the highest level of our administration, bent on implementing divide-and-conquer strategies.  Why do we tolerate it?

Allowing this to persist devalues every sacrifice ever made by military veterans. Are we so stupid as to believe our politicians are conducting themselves with the best interests of constituents at heart?

Time to wake up, people.

ROBERT WILLIAMS Billings, Mont. Via email

Speaker of the House John Boehner should be charged with political terrorism.

As a member of the U.S. House of Representative his stand on Obamacare is in direct violationof the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states in part: 

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of Life, Liberty, or Property, without due process of the law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 

Boehner, who represents Ohio's 8th District, is opposed to poor Americans in his state, and in every other state, having the right to affordable health care insurance solely because it's known as "Obamacare."

ALONZO "LONNIE" LLEWELLYN Master Sergeant, USAF-Ret. Via email

Who pays for commissary inventory that was lost to spoilage during the government shutdown?

If the commissary system is liable for even part of it, I suggest Congress and the President pay for the loss from their own pockets.

We should not have to pay for the colossal messes our political system creates.

ED BRAUN Chief Master Sergeant, USAF-Ret. Via email


I am receiving disability benefits from VA for a service-connected condition at $1038 a month.

Am I eligible to purchase life insurance through the VA?

CYNTHIA M. Via email

Service members with Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance at time of separation from the military have about an eight-month window (240 days -- or 120 days if separated before Nov. 1, 2012) to convert SGLI to Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) without having to answer questions to confirm they are in good health, say VA officials.

If you did not apply for VGLI within 240 days, you still could apply for VGLI for up to one year and 120 days after their separation, but you would have to meet good health requirements.

Also, if an individual insured under SGLI while in service is totally disabled at time of separation, he or she is eligible for a free, two-year extension of SGLI coverage.  At the end of the two-year period, they automatically are converted to VGLI but have to begin paying VGLI premiums.

VGLI coverage is available in increments of $10,000 up to a maximum of $400,000.  But initial VGLI coverage cannot exceed SGLI coverage amounts in force at the time of separation.

VGLI policyholders under age 60 with less than $400,000 in coverage can purchase up to $25,000 of additional coverage on each five-year anniversary of your policy, up to the maximum $400,000. No medical underwriting is required for the additional coverage.

If an individual is granted a service-connected disability rating from VA at any time, they have two years to apply for up to $10,000 in Service–Disabled Veterans Insurance (SDVI).  The rating must be for a new disability -- not an increase in service-connected disability – but even a zero percent rating is qualifying.

If a severely disabled veteran receives a Specially-Adapted Housing grant from VA, they are eligible for up to $200,000 of Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) on their homes, if they have a mortgage.

You can learn more at:  – Tom Philpott

Letters may be edited for clarity or length.  Write to Military Forum, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA 20120-1111, send e-mail to or visit

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