Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Story Continues

The Times Union story about Hudson's most recent "Gang of Four," whom the article calls the "Recently Unemployed Four," is now online: "Fired for taking stand on a story about sitting." It should be noted that writer Chris Churchill's assertion that "Friedman has been declining to stand for many months" is something of an exaggeration. Gossips is present at all Common Council meetings, and this behavior on the part of Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) was noticed for the first time on November 8, when the start of the Pledge of Allegiance was interrupted by Alderman Robert "Doc" Donahue (Fifth Ward) wagging his finger and denouncing Friedman for not standing. After the meeting, Friedman admitted to Gossips that he had done it once before, because he "didn't feel like it." 

On the same topic, Victor Mendolia has announced that, in addition to airing the prerecorded interview with Tom Casey, Francesca Olsen, and Adam Shanks, this Wednesday's @Issue will feature a live interview with John Friedman, the alderman whose sin of omission is at the heart of the turmoil. @Issue can be heard at 10 a.m. on WGXC 90.7 FM or online at

The photograph by Lori Van Buren is from the Times Union.


  1. How I wish I had the money to invest in those four! The one condition: they'd have to launch their start-up here.


    Another bit of make-believe in the Times Union story (along with the claim that "Friedman has been declining to stand for many months"):

    "Hudson, a quirky little city with a live-and-let-live sensibility."

    Nice story-telling, but if that was the case there'd be at least one Libertarian within the city limits; we'd have dispensed with most of our ordinances starting with our historical and aesthetic appropriateness regulations; and we wouldn't be adding laws all the time, such as forbidding smoking in parks (Mr. Friedman who voted for that law is no Libertarian).

    Rather than any live-and-let-live sensibility, the question of the newsworthiness of standing for the Pledge of Allegiance is pretty much limited to that single issue /non-issue.

    People don't seem to feel very strongly that the pledge specifically ought to matter to their neighbors, as the leashing of dogs might be said to matter.

    I don't really believe that Coleman and Hyland think it ought to matter either; they're in the business of "content creation," to quote their distant cousin John B. Johnson.

    (For the record, please do not infer from the above that I'm a Libertarian or a smoker.)

    1. Mr. Unheimlich. FYI. I'm a 3rd ward resident who voted for Gary Johnson. Just saying.

    2. FYI: I'm not a registered Libertarian, but I did vote for Gary Johnson.

  2. I always hated pledging the flag when I was a kid in school. I remember my first punishment from authority came in Kindergarten--when the teachers back was turned during the pledge, I would jump up and see how many times I could spin around. I was caught of course and learned early on that there are some stupid and banal things you just tolerate and perform because there isn't much benefit from not doing them. Not performing the pledge, in school or in as a public official, isn't going to get you anything but trouble. What's the point anyway, it's like people who go to church and stand there mute while others recite the prayers. A public official refusing to pledge the flag isn't going to accomplish anything positive. All that has come out of it is four young reporters, in a bad economy, have lost their jobs.