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 New Poll on home page
Author: Raz 
Date:   2006-03-05 18:58:41

Folks, I'm having a tough time deciding which way to vote on the new poll regarding "Do you agree with Judge Burns's reducing Cunninghman's sentence based upon his military service"?

I was a Cub Scout, but never really achieved anything extraordinary there.
I was in the Navy SeaBee Reserve's but never got past E-3 Enlisted.
I was a member of a vounteer fire department, and never started any fires.
I served on the USS Constellation next door to Cunningham, as the FOX Division Officer responsible for anti-aircraft radar systems. I became disenchanted against the Viet Nam "conflict", and went against the war. As a junior officer due for promotion to the grade of Ltjg., I sent the following in a letter to the captain of the ship AND the CNO at the time (Zumwaldt):
"I refuse to accept promotion to the grade of Ltjg., based upon my political/moral beliefs, and the few dollars and false authority that promotion represents to me."
I haven't had a moving violation in almost 20 years.
I am registered "non-partisan" as a voter.

How in the heck should I vote in this poll. Thanks for any help.
Raz "sleepless in Aptos" MaTaz

 Re: New Poll on home page
Author: john 
Date:   2006-03-05 20:14:45

Obviously, Judge Burns was "impressed" with Cunningham's aerial feats in combat. No surprise there. I was impressed, too.

But was the judge beyond just being impressed; was he "influenced" in his decision?

In his sentencing, he admits that he was.

But reading between the lines, might there have been also a sense of guilt in the judge's decision? Did the judge many years ago protest that "unpopular" war, while Cunningham fought in it?

Did the maybe anti-war high school student of long ago somehow salve his own latent guilt by reducing prison time for the war-hero Cunningham? Or was he totally objective? (I don't know, but there are hints in the transcripts toward the former.)

I flew in combat in the same skies during the same period as Cunningham. (I even unfortunately, now mirror his multiple medical conditions agent orange?). But never would I expect to be held to a •lower standard• than any other average citizen, because of my combat service.

And if I were judge in this case, I would hold any defendant to an equal standard, regardless of what he did 34 years ago. While I might be impressed, I would not be influenced. I would concentrate on the crime, and sentence accordingly. (Remember, without the plea bargain, he could have gotten 30 years!)

So Raz, I guess you know how I voted in the poll.

 Re: New Poll on home page
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-05 21:10:21

Like john, I too flew the same war. I also flew in the same Navy and deployed from Miramar during Cunningham's time in the excellent F-8 and then the great F-4; different squadrons. I was no hero, I was a grunt in that air war for a couple cruises. I always admit it, was scared often during that time that I was in that freakin death trap.

Forget the MiGs. Cunningham went out there once or twice a day or night over the North flying to Pigpen and Bulleye and other equally useless targets putting his arse on the line . . . as we all did . . . for about 1-1/3 cruises. That is worth something even if he was/is a pig and a bore and an admitted felon.

The American people that at one time he so well defended, he betrayed. The uniform that give him his place in history, he trashed. But do I think that he should have been cut some slack for having done those daily route package flights, flack suppressor(absorber) flights, CAP flights in the day and worse at night (try a manual 60 degree bomb run at night in flack boys and girls so god damb scared that you suffer a lemur which is a cold shot of @!#$ to the heart or you are so puckered that you can sh!t in a beer bottle and not touch the edges) and then landing back at the boat in the monsoons and pitching decks . . . yes, I do believe that he should have been cut some slack and he was cut some slack.

Not to worry Romans, he still caught so much time that he will likely die behind bars. It does not matter if it is 8 years and 4 months or 30 years, he is not walking out of there.

 Re: New Poll on home page
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2006-03-06 10:27:46

Let's not forget that "The Puke" exhausted all other alternatives trying to fight the charges. He went on denying, again and again, that he had done anything wrong.

He asked for and got approval to spend campaign money on his legal defense to fight the "warrentless" charges. He accepted the hard earned (one hopes) money from his supporters to use for his defense.

Then, only after a through accounting of all the evidence that was going to be used against him, only then did he "do the right thing" and admit what he had done.

This is not honor. This is not courage. It's the act of a coward, pure and simple. He again took the easy way in order to get a better prison sentence. I would have had more respect for him had he stuck to his guns and went down in flames.

What a boob.

And to think I once admired the man. What a fool I was.

 Re: New Poll on home page
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-06 10:44:42

Again, not defending him or what he did, but no one is going to admit to a thing until their attorneys set the plea agreement.

Don't feel like a boob. If you do, you are not alone. There are a lot of people in that group.

 Re: New Poll on home page
Author: Scott aka RazMaTaz 
Date:   2006-03-06 18:11:08

The debate over whether Cunningham deserved a break from the judge for his military service brings up another spin. Cunningham already received every break in the book to get him where he was prior to the investigation, and he used every break to get him where he was. Had it not been for his military service, he wouldn't have had a snowballs chance in hell of becoming a Congressman in the first place. The same can be said for many events in his life. It is neither here nor there what the judge did at this point, but I still question giving a guy a break that has had so many more opportunities than most. I, for one, feel he has been compensated more than enough for his service.

 Re: New Poll on home page
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-06 18:20:22

Oh Raz, you are so mean . . . almost cruel, like in shoes!

Speaking of 'under-the-table' things . . . Raz, did you ever frequent the Cave Bar in Hong Kong? You dog you!

 Re: New Poll on home page
Author: Scott aka RazMaTaz 
Date:   2006-03-06 18:46:57

After 50+ days at Sea, I was lucky enough to spend 12 hours in Hong Kong. Twelve hundred bucks later, I can't remember where we went....but it was good though!

 Re: New Poll on home page
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-06 18:50:11

$1,200 in 12-hours . . . Raz, I keep saying that you missed your calling. You should have gone to flight training . . . taken a shot at the Saufley Field 'Cake Walk.'

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