Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Curious Stance

Last night, when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited in the Council Chamber at City Hall, Alderman Robert "Doc" Donahue (Fifth Ward) didn't place his right hand on his heart, as is customary, but instead raised his right arm out in front of him, as the children in this picture are doing. If I remember correctly what I read in Peter Meyer's book on the history of the Pledge, this posture for saluting the flag while pledging allegiance was abandoned in favor of hand on heart in the late 1930s, about the time that Donahue, who is now 75, was born. It probably wouldn't have been what he learned in school. One wonders why he was moved to resurrect it last night.     


  1. The more anyone on the council can draw attention to this non-issue - one way or the other - the less attention there'll be on what they're actually doing up there.

    We saw the press lap up this nonsense last time, after which the Register Star got enough feedback to warrant further exploitation of this utterly sophomoric topic.

    So if you now salute it like you're back in the Third Reich, wonder of wonders it's back in the news again.

    Why am I even commenting on this?!

    We should boycott this non-issue and get back to the question why the public is being routinely excluded from deliberations before controversial legislation is passed.

  2. Alderman Donahue probably learned this salute from an older sibling or his parents given that he is 75 years old. Or, it could be that the custom died out more slowly in Hudson, which, for those of us who know Hudson well, could be the case given the city's perverse yesteryear atmosphere.

    It could be argued rather easily that such a salute evokes the terror of Nazi Germany; so, this was probably not Mr. Donahue's finest moment. Might such a salute be an attempt to particularly insult or seek retribution from an alderman of Jewish heritage who did not stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance at a Common Council meeting in the recent past? Might such a salute insult WWII vets in the 5th Ward, not to mention those in other wards? Good behavior and decent manners go along way, folks.

    Enough of this kindergarten (oops, a German word!) bickering: who didn't stand up, who did, who saluted and how--the Common Council needs to focus on the business of governing and representing the denizens of our city. And, dear aldermen and alderwomen, please mind your manners. Danke.

  3. Nuts to salutes!

    But if we are all to "focus on the business of governing," we must begin by asking why important resolutions are discussed only in closed, executive sessions before going straight to a council vote?

    What sort of self-government is it where the public only participates - and is only permitted a protest - AFTER a resolution is passed? (And even then there's hardly any protest!)

    (Hint: Hudson's example is an embarrassing failure of self-government, with little promise that any of the city's plentiful, self-described "Progressives" would care to reflect on the subject.)

  4. I wonder how many of Donahue's antics over the years have been captured on videotape? Maybe it would be possible to assemble a collection of his 'greatest hits' and combine them into a 90-minute presentation to be enjoyed by the whole community. I'm stocking up on popcorn and Junior Mints in anticipation....