Kansas Birther Faces The Music!!! (Or, Nationally Emblematic???)

Oh, the Birther wrapped his tale around the flagpole,                                          What an A Hole, Now he’s gone!

Well, more correctly it looks like the Kansas Birther, also known as Joe the Birther, isn’t going to be facing the music anymore, at least not the music from the K-State Marching Band. Here is a brief excerpt from The Collegian:

The Collegian

Montgomery, communications coordinator for the College of Veterinary Medicine, withdrew his objection Friday after himself and his acquaintances were subject to what he called “animosity and intimidation,” according to the New York Daily News. Montgomery’s objection argued that Obama’s father was not a citizen at the time of his son’s birth, rendering Obama ineligible to be president.

Ralph C. Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Montgomery’s superior, stated that he had become aware of the objection last week, but declined further comment on the issue.

Montgomery was also the announcer for the K-State Marching Band, a position that he no longer holds.

“Everyone has their opinions, but sometimes you have to be careful with what you say,” said Frank Tracz, director of the band and professor of music. “There is a lot of negativity brought along by this situation, and we decided it was best if he no longer did our announcing.”

http://www.kstatecollegian.com/2012/09/18/obama-to-remain-on-ballot-after-board-drops-k-state-faculty-members-objection/

This situation is troubling.  Joe the Birther is clearly an idiot, and not someone that I am fond of.  He had various online personae, and he would travel around the Internet spreading idiocy and stupidly sophistic arguments like Johnny Appleseed on meth dropping pips.  He and I tangled up several times. I wrote at least four Internet Articles here about his stupidly argued theories.  So in one respect, watching him flounder around on the national stage in his brief Gong Show Moment was very enjoyable.

But, on the other hand, he is also a human being with a family, and a life outside of Birtherism.  Should he have been fired from his announcing position for exercising his First Amendment right to make an idiot out of himself??? I have to say “No!”  One can find a good excuse to let him go because the announcing position is more of an entertainment related job. The K State Marching Band is entitled to have a voice that doesn’t alienate half of the state or more.

Legally speaking, it is probably proper to can him from this job for the same reason you would fire him if he lost his voice and had to speak some through one of those little electric things you see on the “Cigarettes Did This To Me” commercials.  He can’t effectively do that job anymore.  One could only imagine the catcalls and jeers if he announced, “The Kansas State Marching Band will now perform The Horse”. with the mildest being, “And what are you, the Horse’s A$$???” The band does not deserve that.

But all that being said, would anyone support firing him, if Joe the Birther was a moon landing denier?  Or more to the point, a 9-11 Truther, who thought Bush planned the plane hijackings to justify a war in Iraq and publicly filed FOIA requests and put out youtube videos? This is a problem that Americans are going to have to face more often in the coming years because the Internet and social media can magnify our visibility so radically.

Recently, some clownish twit put out video of his idiotic self driving through a Chick Fil A restaurant lane and chewing out some kid working the window. His company fired him, and most of America thought he had it coming for being a smug, self-important jerk. But Joe the Birther works for a governmental related entity.  His job is tied in some way to Kansas State University, either directly or through some foundation or non-profit, I am not sure which. The above article states he was fired by the Band Director and professor, Frank Tracz.

I think the band, and the university would have been better served by enduring the boos for a few weeks and striking a blow for Freedom of Speech. Remember, what goes around, comes around.  Today’s Chick Fil A in Chicago, is tomorrow’s Ben and Jerry’s in Birmingham. And today’s Joe the Birther, is tomorrow’s:

_______________________
(Fill in the blank.)

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1. The National Emblem March. This is probably the best American march ever written. There are, however, some very rude lyrics floating around that have been sung for over a hundred years, concerning a certain Monkey who wrapped his tail around the flagpole, and from thence to various other locations. This is a most excellent and listenable version of the music:

Note 2. Emblematic:

em·blem·at·ic
adjective /ˌembləˈmatik/

Serving as a symbol of a particular quality or concept; symbolic
– this case is emblematic of a larger problem

Note 3:  The Horse. Every marching band in the Universe plays this song. It was an instrumental song, but here is a version with words. It starts about 3:20 into the video, in case you are not interested in the history of the song:

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About Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

Hi!!! I am a Girl Reporter on the Internet. I am 31. Plus I am a INTP. I have a Major in Human Kinetics, and a Minor in English. I have 2 cats, and a new kitten! I write poetry, and plus I am trying to learn how to play guitar. I think that is all??? Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter View all posts by Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

17 responses to “Kansas Birther Faces The Music!!! (Or, Nationally Emblematic???)

  • Slartibartfast

    Squeeky,

    I have to disagree with you on this one. While birthers are free to make their fallacious, dishonest, and bigoted arguments all they want, their employers are free (in my opinion) to decide they don’t want the stink of birtherism and its implicit lack of integrity to attach to them. Personally I think that there should be a “Miranda”-type warning for birthers:

    You have the right to STFU—if you fail to STFU, anything you say can and will be held against you.

    You do not have the right to impersonate an attorney and file frivolous legislation—if you attempt to do so, you will be assessed costs and possibly additional sanctions as well.

    You have the obligation to follow the US Constitution—if you are unable or unwilling to meet this obligation, you have the right to leave this country and never return.

    • Monkey Boy

      I agree.

      You can speak your mind, but not on my time.
      %sp%spBilly Joel, My Life

    • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

      Hi Slarti!!!

      My, you are up early. I don’t have a problem with private employers hiring and firing who they please. Although I think some states have Public Policy laws that might prevent this.

      But with Joe the Birther, you have some degree of state involvement, although I am not sure how much. I have read that it was an unpaid position, and he hasn’t lost his main job, yet.

      It is the state involvement part that bothers me. You are opening a big can or worms when you let government start making employees tow a line on free speech.

      The military does it, and that probably makes sense. But marching bands are not that vital to national defense. I just see a slippery slope on this one. What K State did is probably legal, but I don’t think it was wise.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      • RoadScholar

        I think part of the rationale was that he was in a position where he is (or could be) seen to “speak” for the University. If he was an administrator or professor, or janitor for that matter, whose speech is not linked with the weal of the institution, I’d agree 100%.

      • Slartibartfast

        Squeeky,

        You should know that I’m never “up early” (at least not up early posting on blogs…). I was working on a short note to birther Mikhail Godkin that I’ll post shortly over at Doc C’s… 😉

        Anyone who can be considered a public face of an institution or company should be aware that their public actions reflect on said institution and act accordingly. Given what can reasonably be concluded regarding anyone overtly “birfing”—i.e. that they are a bigot who is either willfully ignorant, stupid, or dishonest (not to mention being unconcerned with the many racist fellow travelers in their midst), I don’t think that K State’s actions were at all unwarranted. I’m a big believer that birthers (and everyone else) should be held accountable for their words and actions—which is exactly what happened here. Free speech does not mean you are entitled to avoid any consequences of your speech and, lest we forget, any birther theory requires making baseless accusations against innocent people.

        • G

          “I’m a big believer that birthers (and everyone else) should be held accountable for their words and actions—which is exactly what happened here. Free speech does not mean you are entitled to avoid any consequences of your speech and, lest we forget, any birther theory requires making baseless accusations against innocent people.”

          Well said Slarti!!! Bravo! I also just read your very intense and detailed breakdown response to Mike Godkin over at Doc C’s. Kudos.

        • Monkey Boy

          By publicly making claims that are manifestly false and smears a victim, he is demonstrating moral turpitude. I doubt that he would be protected in any state.

        • Slartibartfast

          Thanks G! I do go on sometimes… 😉

          By the way, the e-mail I have for you is no good—can you send me a new address? (first name)@(last name).net is still good…

  • Mark

    While marching bands are not vital to national defense, the revenue from ticket sales at football games are vital to the University’s financial well-being. Any shortages in University funds are probably made up through tuition increases.

    If Joe the Birther also happened to be a member of the KKK, Aryan Nation, and other racist organizations and limited his activities to non-working hours, would the University have the right to strip him of his commentator job for the marching band if Joe’s off-duty activities (1) had a real cost to the bottom line, (2) had an effect on morale, or (3) caused the possibility of racial unrest and increased costs for security at games?

    Lots of hypotheticals, but I get your point about free speech. Even the maker of that anti-Muslim film which resulted in many deaths across the Middle East has free speech rights which I am sure you would defend. But free speech rights, in the case of Joe the Birther, conflict with the University’s freedom of association rights. Which right is more important?

  • G

    Good article Squeeky! I applaud you for taking up this serious issue of examining where personal beliefs and work rights intersect.

    In this particular situation, what both RoadScholar and Mark have mentioned above makes a lot of sense and I support their positions.

    I think it simply comes down to whether a person’s known personal beliefs are going to, in and of themselves, cause a negative impact on their ability to peform their job effectively.

    So yeah, it this case, I can see where his current PR-based spokesperson position is something that will always be a type of job that requires one to not cause negative controversy for the employer.

    As has been noted, had his work role and responsibilities been much less brand-associative or public (an accountant, janitor, IT help desk, etc.), then I don’t see how his personal positions would negatively impact his ability to perform those duties.

    Further, as many other sites have started to point out, there is a serious issue of possible breach of conduct on Mr. Montgomery’s part. He was extremely prolific in his positing and more and more records are coming out, showing that he apparently did an awful lot of his online Birther ranting during work hours, from what is likely to be work computers.

    Most organizations have strong rules against using work equipment or work time for personal use and abusing those policies is a fairly common way for people to get fired. Some companies go a lot further than that – considering it not just a fireable offense, but even a prosecutable one.

    I have a strong feeling that his rather noticeable and excessive abuse of such workplace policies has gotten noticed by his employers as well.

    So again, I think this is a VERY important issue that you bring up and I commend you for that.

    However, in Mr. Montgomery’s particular case, it seems that both his at-work abuse of personal activities, as well as his particular job role and duties, lead to valid and common justifications for termination in this type of situation.

    • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

      To Mark, RoadScholar and G:

      Thank you for your input! So far, Joe the Birther has not been fired from his full time job, so it looks like K-State is being judicious in its actions.

      I have read about his prolific online life but I am staying away from that until and unless it becomes a lot more open. I don’t believe in “outing” people who have online names.

      But that will probably come out over the next few weeks, and if 1/10th of his postings were during business hours, he may be in hot water.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  • Dave B.

    Squeeky, what article about facing the music would be complete without Fred and Ginger?

    Start about 2:40– Fred’s about to blow his own brains out, Ginger’s about to jump off a balcony. Such desperation seems kind of appropriate.
    “Before the fiddlers have fled–
    before they ask us to pay the bill
    and while we still have the chance–
    let’s face the music and dance!
    Soon, we’ll be without the moon,
    humming a different tune, and then
    there may be teardrops to shed…”
    And many thanks to Irving Berlin!

  • Monkey Boy

    Coincidentally, the shortstop of my Toronto Bluejays 🙂 is now serving a three game suspension for some reprehensible behaviour. Does he have the right of free speech? Of course he does, the government–even in Canada–is not restricting him in any way.

    Now, one could argue that he did the deed while on duty and at work, but, the fact is that even had he been off duty in a discotheque on Yonge street, if he had be recognized as a member of the Toronto Blue jays, he would have been punished.

  • Monkey Boy

    Tee hee hee.

    Speaking of facing the music–this is from Orly’s asylum:

    SENT TO RYAN KRIEGSHOUSER, ATTORNEY FOR SEC OF STATE OF KS KRIS KOBACH AND ATHENA ANDAYA, COUNSEL FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF KS DERECK SCHMITS (WHO TOGETHER WITH THE LT. GOVERNOR WAS AFRAID TO SHOW HIS FACE AT THE HEARING

    Kobach is now reaping a whirlwind of tsouris for his flirtation with scoundrels and fools.

  • Monkey Boy

    Oh, where is the honorary fourteenth-amendment citizen, ex animal? It’s boring without him to ridicule.

    Perhaps, he is busy acquiring the medical records of his mother from the hospital of his birth. Way to go…this would end Obama’s presidency. I’m sweating bullets, David. Please don’t show that this can be done!

    Or, he may be busy working with decedent attorney, Orly-you-know-who, polishing complex legal theories for an umpteenth amended complaint.

    I’m sure he wouldn’t be stalking Judge Clay Land like a papparazzi, trying to bust him red-handed in some indiscretion.

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