Thursday, April 23, 2015

More chaos Sarah Palin's 9/11 copyight trial: In order to secure confidentiality for the settlement, Sarah Palin's lawyer even made an improper filing, was rebuked by the judge and then outmanoeuvered by the plaintiff - Sarah Palin wants "no hint of compromise to be associated with her name", but her huge waste of SarahPAC money is now out in the open


By Patrick

Sarah Palin's 9/11 copyright trial has already kept us busy with two long, detailed posts, which included lots of documentation on the September 14, 2013 and recently on March 25, 2015. In the last post, we reported that despite various assurances by Sarah Palin's lawyer that they really, really want a settlement, this did not happen due to almost comical circumstances: Good luck with trying to reach Sarah Palin! Let's just say that it is pretty difficult indeed.

In any case, her lawyers finally managed to talk to Sarah, and now we know where the problem lay: Sarah Palin, the woman who can never admit to having made a mistake, due to her legendary personality disorder, strikes again. Yes, she wants a settlement, because the dispute is a lost cause for her, as we also explained in our previous post, but she also does not want the world to know that she did in fact compromise.

Because Sarah Palin is "THE UNDEFEATED", and compromise simply is not an option for her! "Compromise" sounds a  ot like "defeat", doesn't it? Unless of course, the compromise can be kept secret. Then it is apparently perfectly fine.

That is what I call a predicament. We can almost visualize Sarah Palin shouting at her lawyer: Make it happen, you elitist New York bastard! No, she probably didn't say it like that, but in any case, she definitely wanted him to proceed with the settlement, as we learn from the recent court documents. But she also wanted the details to be kept confidential, because compromise is apparently just appropriate for liberal losers, and not for a strong frontier women who kills animals to fill her fridge.

So her New York lawyer, Ronald D. Coleman, tried to earn his money and submitted a "sealed" filing, a "motion under seal", only to be sharply rebuked by the trial judge immediately afterwards, explaining that the fact that the motion was only supported by attorney certification was "insufficient":



Screenshot from the docket, download it here.

Therefore Sarah Palin's lawyer wanted certain documents to be sealed, and the judge warns him that unless a "compliant motion" is filed, the "Court will issue a further order unsealing the documents."

In his (insufficient) certification which Ronald D. Coleman submitted together with his motion, he explains: "As set forth in the filings themselves, releasing this material from its current sealed status would result in harm and would severely undermine not only the motion being filed but the ability of the Court to achieve its goal to achieve a negotiated settlement among the parties."

Translation: "My client shouted at me to keep everything secret, because she does not want to make any embarrassing public compromises."


Screenshot:




Download the full document here.

As you can imagine, the plaintiff, North Jersey Media Group, was not pleased. They apparently thought: If Sarah Palin wants to play games, we can play games as well - only much better.

Because what documents could be so sensitive that Sarah Palin is desperate to keep them sealed? Maybe negotiations between the lawyers about the settlement?

BULLSEYE! So why don't the lawyers for North Jersey Media Group just make these negotiations public? Oh wait, they just did!

It's just wonderful: In return, or should I say retaliation, the plaintiff submitted the original email conversations, which leave no open questions any more (Brian Farkas is the colleague of Ronald D. Coleman):







So now we know that Sarah Palin is willing to settle for $ 15,000, but at the same time she does not want her minions to know that she wasted huge resources from SarahPAC for nothing. The legal bill for 1 1/2 years of proceedings will be massive, and the $ 15,000 for the settlement will just be a drop in the ocean compared to the legal expenses.

Sarah Palin could have just apologised for the unauthorised use of the photo for fundraising purposes, and could have easily avoided a trial. But for Sarah Palin, it's all, or nothing. She will never admit a mistake, even if there will be a huge bill in the end, which then has to be paid by her fans via their donations to SarahPAC. 

This is the character of the woman who the Republican Party wanted to be one heartbeat away from the US Presidency.

Even more embarrassingly, the lawyers for North Jersey Media Group revealed in their extensive new filing from April 20, 2015 (in which they also submitted the emails as exhibits)

2. On or about December 18, 2014, NJMG and defendants SarahPAC and Sarah Palin (collectively, “Palin”) tentatively agreed in principle upon Palin’s payment of an amount to settle this case. Attached as Exhibit A is a true and accurate copy of the email Mr. Brian Farkas, counsel for Palin, sent to me at 6:29 p.m. on December 18, 2014.

3. The parties, however, could not initially agree on whether there would be a confidentiality clause. Palin asserted that there must be a broad confidentiality clause. NJMG disagreed. Attached as Exhibit B are true and accurate copies of emails between Mr. Farkas and me on December 22, 2014.

4. Shortly thereafter, Palin’s counsel, Ronald Coleman, Esq., told me that Palin required a confidentiality clause because her political action committee did not want any hint of compromise associated with her name.

5. NJMG did not want to agree to a confidentiality provision because it is one of the largest news providers in New Jersey, and the lawsuit was a matter of public concern.

Screenshot:


"No hint of compromise associated with her name!"

This is truly epic. It's a real shame that the late Joe McGinniss could not see this any more.

Download:

Filing by North Jersey Media Group in opposition to "sealed" motion by Sarah Palin's lawyer

Email 1

Email 2

Email 3

So now we can say good-bye to the secret settlement!

In a rather comical twist, Sarah Palin's lawyer Ronald D. Coleman then quickly conceded on April 21, 2015 that due to the clever response by the plaintiff with the enclosure of the "incriminating" emails, the reason for "sealing" has disappeared:


Download the document here.

I guess that somebody should have warned Coleman that Sarah Palin is not your "everyday" client.

The lawyers for North Jersey Media Group also filed an additional extensive explanation, arguing that a settlement has not been concluded yet.

Download the document here.

So what will happen now?

The media reported that there will be "a decision on the dispute in the coming weeks", but the scope of this decision remains uncertain. After all, North Jersey Media Group asked the court in February and March to reactivate their pending motions, that were put on hold in December due to the impeding settlement.

Therefore it seems possible that the settlement could fall through entirely. Which would mean more wasted resources for SarahPAC, as they have no chance to win this case, just as Fox News lost an almost identical case in February 2015.

But don't blame Sarah Palin. Did I already mention that she is the victim here? I mean, she is just a housewife from Wasilla, how could she possibly understand all these legal details. I mean, WASILLA! Have you ever been there? Well, I haven't, but I heard that the population there is not exactly famous for their legal expertise. So don't blame her! Blame these fancy New York lawyers! If they cannot keep secrets, they should ask their client for help, because Sarah Palin has not shortage of secrets, and most of the time she manages to keep them. Over and out! :-)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Open Thread - Let's Talk Food or Whatever

by Ennealogic

It's been some time since I posted, and as HIG noted, it takes a lot of time and effort to do so. What I can do is open up a new thread for comments, no need to keep on topic, until something stunning happens that inspires one of us to take that time and effort to create a post worthy of Politicalgates!

We all like to eat and many of us like to cook. And in the Eastern US where I live, it is springtime and garden time - so I offer here a video featuring Food Network star Justin Warner about building a kitchen (salad) garden.


I am about to get planting myself, after tending pots and planters of herbs over-winter in my bathroom under a grow-light.


Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Hard to go wrong with that mix!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Religious War in Indiana: The gay-haters started it, and they will lose it - UPDATE: Yes, they lost! Hallelujah! - The anti-gay activists who supported the original SB 101 Bill claim that due to the new "fix", the law is now "broken"


By Patrick

The USA, the good old bastion of freedom, already has no shortage of domestic problems, but now a particularly controversial issue rears its ugly head: "Religious freedom."

So what does this mean? Am I not free if I cannot "reject" people who are for example gay and want to marry? Am I not free if I cannot deny contraception to my female employees?

Or is it the other way around? Are the people "at the receiving end" not free if they cannot buy a cake for their gay wedding or receive contraception with their health insurance, as the law orders? Doesn't "religious freedom" also mean that they should be free from the consequences of the religious beliefs of other people?

Well, whatever the answer, it is more than obvious that the people who don't want to sell a cake for a gay wedding are making a lot of noise right now. But the backlash is also considerable. These days, many businesses embrace diversity, and now also embrace gay and lesbians as employees as well as customers. Times have changed. The "Christian conservatives" (as well as "conservatives" from other denominations) have lost the "gay marriage battles", and now it feels like they want to make a "last stand."

But the "conservatives" will lose this battle as well, badly. Big Business already decided that diversity is the preferable option, and big business rules the USA.

Here are some reactions to the current controversy which are worth watching, for different reasons:

Conan TOTALLY nailed it on his show - this will give you a REALLY good laugh:




Then, TYT made a very good report, as usual:




So Governor Mike Pence denies that the new law in Indiana allows discrimination. This is of course total nonsense, as the law clearly was crafted to allow discrimination, but Mike Pence is not known to be particularly bright, as far as I can tell.

However, in order to understand what this law is really all about, we need to listen to its biggest supporters - the Christian conservative extremists. Fortunately, "Right Wing Watch" did the job for us:


Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has been appearing all over the media in the last few days to insist, erroneously, that Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” is no different from other similarly-named laws in other states and will not effectively legalize discrimination.

According to reports, Pence and others may push for the legislature to clarify that the law does not sanction discriminatory practices.

However, Micah Clark of the American Family Association’s Indiana chapter, who stood right behind Pence, along with several other Religious Right leaders, when he signed the bill into law and has quite a record of anti-gay activism, said today that he opposes any such clarification.

He told AFA President Tim Wildmon today that conservatives should call Pence and other state officials and demand that they oppose any effort to clarify that the law does not legalize discrimination: “That could totally destroy this bill.”(In Georgia, supporters of a similar bill also opposed a push to ensure that the legislation will not permit discrimination in business.)

Wildmon agreed, adding that the Indiana law is necessary to protect anti-gay business owners from “persecution.” The law’s critics, Wildmon claimed, are waging “spiritual warfare” against state officials.

"Right Wing Watch" published this very revealing clip:




Don't you suppress me if my religion tells me to hate the gays!

Micah Clark, head of the "American Family Association of Indiana", has quite a track record.


Selection of his anti-gay quotes:

-- Used biblical passage about it being "better to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown in the sea" in reference to the Boy Scouts accepting gay youth: "What did Christ say about harming the least of these? He said it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown in the sea on the day of judgement than to cause a child to stumble into sin. And if we're going to support organizations telling kids that homosexuality is okay—which is treatable, changeable, you don't have to be homosexual, but if you are, you are at significiantly higher risks of mental harm, pshycial harm, emotional harmm and spiritual harm—we cant be a part of that. (Source; starts around 2:00 mark)

-- An advocate of so-called "ex-gay" therapy, claims "[t]here are scores of organizations across America that help people overcome same-sex attraction disorder and gender identity confusion; his organization promotes three different groups geared toward "changing" gay people

-- Compared a license plate benefitting an LGBT youth center to a plate promoting smoking; claimed the youth center "recruits" gays: "You have to question what the BMV was thinking when they approved a license plate for a group which recruits teens into the homosexual lifestyle. Since health risks do not seem to matter, what is to prevent a cigar club from now getting a license plate from the BMV?"

-- Claims that "homosexuality has no societal benefit...and its individually destructive and dangerous." (*specific quote found at comment labeled "February 07, 2009 at 09:32 AM;" general idea is repeated throughout thread)

-- Publicly raged against a lesbian student who felt more comfortable wearing a tuxedo to her high school prom, claiming her choice was both a "sexual statement" and "destructive"

-- Claimed a political party's support for marriage equality was really "calling for the unraveling of marriage " and was an attempt to "official undermine the family"

-- Chastised media for reporting on openly gay NBA player Jason Collins, putting Collins in the same category as "musicians who run afoul of the law or father multiple children out of wedlock": "It is a strange world we live in when we elevate athletes who deviate from natural norms, we heap fame on musicians who run afoul of the law or father multiple children out of wedlock and turn our backs on those of honorable behavior like Tim Teabow [sic]. We mock or even attack anyone who stands for traditional values. All the while, we continue to wonder why we have so many social problems."

-- In crude blog post subtitled "dude looks like a lady," says a transgender woman who competed in a beauty pageant has "surgically disfigured himself"

Micah Clark is very outspoken on his twitter, and he proudly published this photo, apparently from the signing of SB 101 (this info also according to "Think Progress"), on his twitter:


Yes, Mike Pence really loves the gay-haters.

Somebody on twitter helpfully explained further:


This graphic was created by twitter-user @seamonkey237

No, these crappy people won't win!

Good night, and good luck! :-)

+++

UPDATE:

Here are some really good cartoons on this controversy:




+++

UPDATE 2:

In a totally predictable development, called "an incredible reversal" by CNN, the gay-haters suffered total defeat in this battle.

Not only was the controversial bill fixed in record time, but now Indiana got the opposite of what the gay-haters like Micah Clark wanted: For the first time in Indiana history, the rights of gays received legal protection.

Hallelujah!




CNN reports:

Washington (CNN) Indiana's social conservatives wanted a law that insulated them from the gay rights movement. Instead, the state has now enacted protections based on sexual orientation for the first time in its history.

Top Indiana Republican lawmakers overhauled their week-old religious freedom law Thursday with a follow-up measure intended to ease concerns driven by businesses that it could lead to discrimination. Gov. Mike Pence then signed it into law.

The changes appear to have tamped down some of the criticism -- but in doing so Pence and lawmakers infuriated social conservative activists and set the stage for a bigger fight next year over expanding Indiana's anti-discrimination law to cover gays and lesbians.

Republican legislative leaders unveiled their series of changes Thursday morning to the law that triggered intense backlash from businesses, sports associations, pro-LGBT groups and even fiscally-focused conservatives when Pence signed it last week.

The GOP-dominated House and Senate approved a legislative fix, which was added into an unrelated bill, on Thursday, sending it to Pence's desk almost immediately.

Despite last-minute lobbying from conservative groups like Indiana Right to Life to get Pence to veto the fix, the governor signed it Thursday evening.

"In the midst of this furious debate, I have prayed earnestly for wisdom and compassion, and I have felt the prayers of people across this state and across this nation. For that I will be forever grateful," Pence said in a statement.

That's what I call a total victory for diversity!

Needless to say, the gay haters like Micah Clark are livid!

He tweeted:


More tweets from him:



Did you see the last tweet! Yes, Micah Clark thinks that the original law "would protect homosexuals with religious faith from Govt infringement"...!

Yes, haven't we all heard about the popular religion of "Gayism", where the gays are expecting to live in gay heaven forever! Finally they could have protected themselves from the dreaded heterosexuals, they just did not realize it, they poor gays!

Or maybe I just didn't understand what Micah Clark was talking about, LOL! Did anyone understand it? Could he himself even explain it?

Well, I guess we will never find out, because after enjoying his 15 minutes in the spotlight, the world will probably never hear of Micah Clark and his anti-gay friends again, as they have single-handedly caused one of the biggest defeats in Republican history!

These are our good news for Easter! Enjoy the happy days!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chaos in Sarah Palin's "forgotten" 9/11-copyright trial against the North Jersey Media Group: Palin's lawyers want a settlement - if they only could get hold of her!

Use a photo for free for your own fundraising: Sarah Palin-style!

+++

"I’m the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can’t."
Sarah Palin during her time as mayor of Wasilla, quoted by "Salon"

By Patrick

We have always enjoyed writing about topics which the mainstream has "forgotten" about or has simply overlooked. Today is such a day! You will all remember that quite some time ago, SarahPAC was sued by North Jersey Media Group for the use of an iconic 9/11-picture without permission - we published a long, detailed post about the lawsuit back then. 

When was that? Believe it or not, the proceedings already started in September 2013!

So, what has happened in the meantime? It's an open and shut case, right? SarahPAC took an iconic 9/11-picture without permission, slapped their SarahPAC logo on it, and Sarah Palin subsequently published it on her facebook (see the screenshot at the top of our post).

There is no room for "fair use"in this case. The photo was clearly used by SarahPAC and Sarah Palin for the purpose of fundraising. Not for extending the discussion about 9/11.

Well, about 1 1/2 years later, not too much has happened - it would seem. However, the examination of the latest exchanges of the parties in this trial reveals a hilarious development: Sarah Palin has managed to cause so much chaos that an exhausted lawyer has revealed a stunning and outright comical account of what happens if you want Sarah Palin to agree to a settlement. Let's just say: You could also try to talk to a stone and would have a better chance of getting a settlement from it...!

This really has to be seen in order to be believed!

On February 17, 2015, attorney William Dunnegan, acting for the plaintiff, the the North Jersey Media Group, wrote one of the most remarkable legal submissions of his career.

Quote (highlights in the text by the lawyer himself):

Dear Judge Cecchi: We represent plaintiff North Jersey Media Group in the above action, and are writing in response to the letter of Ronald Coleman, Esq. (Dkt. 37), attorney for defendants, to make two points.

First, the parties agree that defendants' motion to dismiss (Dkt. 29) should be reactivated and decided. (We believe that the analysis in the decision North Jersey Media Group v. Fox News, 13 Civ. 7153 (S.D.N.Y. February 10, 2015), should be dispositive. Defendants disagree.) Second, the suggestion of Mr. Coleman that "defendants did enter into a settlement with plaintiff" is incorrect. Defendants did not act as if they intended to complete a settlement. Rather, defendants acted as if they wanted to be in settlement negotiations indefinitely. Here is the chronology.

1. Before Christmas 2014, the parties had agreed in principle upon a settlement amount.

2. Since the time of the agreement upon a settlement amount, until at least February 10, 2015, the parties could not agree on the terms that would keep the amount of the settlement confidential. Defendants insisted on this term. Plaintiff owns the second largest newspaper in the State of New Jersey, and would prefer that the truth be told.

3. At a telephone conference with Magistrate Judge Falk on January 29, 2015, I stated that the areas of disagreement were narrow, but that if the parties could not complete the settlement within 10 days, the settlement could not be completed.

4. Between the end of that conference on January 29, 2015, and February 2, 2015, the parties exchanged no fewer than 5 e-mails, including a proposal that I sent to defendants' counsel on January 30, 2015, at 10:59 a.m.

5. On Monday, February 2, 2015, at 6:29 pm, I wrote to defendants' counsel, Mr. Coleman: "Ron, any word on this?"

6. At 6:34, Mr. Farkas, his associate, wrote back to me: "Hi Bill – We're expecting to be able to speak with our client tomorrow or Wednesday, and will get back to you ASAP afterwards."

7. Having heard nothing by Wednesday despite the promise of defendants' counsel, I wrote back on Thursday, February 5, 2015, at 1:52 pm, stating: "Have you made any progress?"

8. Four minutes later, Mr. Farkas wrote to me staying: "We'll be in touch shortly."

9. Having heard nothing, on Monday, February 9, 2015, at 8:15 am, I wrote to counsel for defendants: "Have you made any progress?"

10. Within minutes on February 9, 2015 at 8:38 am, Mr. Farkas wrote to me: "Working on it. Should have something for you this week."

11. Mystified that counsel for defendants were not even able to commit to get back to me by the end of the week, I wrote to them at 12:34 pm on February 9, 2015: "We told the Magistrate on 1/29 that if this settlement could not be finalized within 10 days, it cannot be finalized. We are no further along now than we were before Christmas. Moreover, since 1/29, we believe that our position has strengthened.

Accordingly, unless we have a signed agreement resolving this by the close of business tomorrow, we plan to write to the Judge and ask her to reactive the pending motions, and decide them."

12. Eleven minutes later at 12:45 pm, on February 9, 2015, "We suggest the following, which is essentially what you'd proposed before but with minor tweaks and the addition of a third clause:

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the parties further agree that: (1) news reporters for the plaintiff are free to report on the existence of the settlement, and about whatever facts they learn from sources other than NJMG; (2) the parties or their respective attorneys or agents may respond to questions about the litigation posed by any third party, except that statements about the case must be limited to confirming its settlement and directing the third party to the court file; and (3) this settlement specifically incorporates, and does not replace, the terms of the Confidentiality Agreement entered into by counsel on September 13, 2013. Let us know."

Because defendants' counsel had been unable to reach their clients 11 minutes before this e-mail, it seemed odd to me that this was a firm proposal, as opposed to another effort to waste time by keeping the confidentiality term up in the air. (The word "suggest" is vague.) I nevertheless assumed it to be a firm proposal, but wanted to keep our earlier deadline in place.

13. On February 9, 2015, at 5:22 pm, I wrote to counsel for defendants: "I think that we are in agreement as to the attached settlement agreement. I am also attaching to this e-mail the 9/13/13 agreement, so there is no confusion as to what this is.

Please return a signed copy of the settlement agreement to me in pdf by the close of business tomorrow."

14. We did not hear from defendants by the close of business the next day.

15. After the dilatory behavior defendants had exhibited during the prior six weeks, after defendants were given more than a reasonable opportunity to complete the settlement on the financial terms agreed upon before Christmas even though plaintiff had received a very favorable decision in NJMG v. Fox News, and after receiving no response from defendants within this time frame that we set for writing to the Court, we wrote to the Court on February 11, 2015 (Dkt. 36) and asked for the motions to be decided.

16. If defendants want to blame someone for not completing the settlement, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Screenshots (click to enlarge):







Download the PDF-document HERE.

Oh yes, getting "hold" of Sarah Palin surely is not easy, I can absolutely believe that...LOL! Especially when she does not want to be gotten a hold of.

Also, getting her to agree to a settlement, despite the fact that she surely is an INNOCENT VICTIM, because Sarah Palin always is an INNOCENT VICTIM, certainly is not easy as well...

Sarah Palin's hesitation to enter into a settlement is pure idiocy, as the plaintiff's lawyer also explained in a letter from February 11, 2015:


Yes, Fox News actually lost a "fair use" trial in a very similar case in February 2015, also against the New Jersey Media Group as a plaintiff. As a result, there can be absolutely no doubt that Sarah Palin will lose her trial as well, if a judgement will be delivered.

But maybe Sarah Palin would prefer a negative judgement, because after all, a settlement would be a certain admission of guilt. And Sarah Palin is NEVER GUILTY - EVER.

More new documents:

Letter from Sarah Palin's attorney Ronald D. Coleman from February 11, 2015

Order for settlement conference on March 13, 2015

Civil Docket of the case (printed on March 19, 2015)

Let's see what happens next. Maybe Sarah Palin's lawyer will get hold of her eventually? How long do you think it is going to take? Place your bets, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sarah Palin's eldest daughter Bristol Palin and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer are engaged - UPDATES

By Kathleen

Bristol Palin can't wait to marry Medal of Honor recipient, Dakota Meyer, so after what can only be described as a whirlwind relationship the two got engaged today in Vegas.

They have only dated for about two months, after Dakota Meyer met Bristol and Sarah Palin in Las Vegas (see his public Instagram, and Bristol Palin's public Instagram).

This was also the occasion where Dakota Meyer and Sarah Palin proudly posed with the controversial poster which read "FUC_ YOU Michael Moore". Bristol Palin took a photo of the moment and displayed it on her Instagram as well as at "her" blog (a blog which is ghost written by conservative author Nancy French).

Dakota Meyer also proudly posted the "FUC_ YOU" photo on his own facebook.

I'll spare you my remarks........

CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE:

Photo from Bristol Palin's public Instagram

Photo from Bristol Palin Public Instagram


Dakota Meyer with Sarah and Bristol Palin Vegas two months ago

Photo Dakota Meyer public Instagram


This was Dakota Meyer and Sarah Palin two months ago saying "FUC_ YOU" to Michael Moore, from Bristol Palin's Instagram:



+++

UPDATE: 

Kentucky TV-station LEX 18 News confirmed the engagement on their website, but provides no further details. Dakota Mayer lives in Kentucky

(h/t) BinWI

+++

Note by Patrick:

I really, really hoped that there would not be a reason to publish another post about the Palins anytime soon, but this new development was of course too important to give it a pass.

We wish Bristol and Dakota all the best, and lots of luck!

Hopefully there will be no reason to publish another post about them in the near future. We can only pray.

+++

UPDATE 2:

For the purpose of documentation, here is how Dakota Meyer, Bristol Palin and Sarah Palin announced the engagement.

Dakota Meyer on Facebook (click to enlarge):


Bristol Palin (on her blog, ghostwritten by Nancy French):




Ghostwriter Nancy French shared the link to the post on facebook as well, naturally:


In the typical "low-key Sarah Palin fashion" (snark!), the disgraced former Governor wants the world to know via facebook that she is also very, very happy about the new addition to her family:


+++

UPDATE 3:

A review of media reports written about Dakota Meyer reveal that he was involved in a number of newsworthy incidents in the past.

I will let the reports speak for themselves. 

Where to start? Well, let's start with Fox News, they always write the truth, as we all know, so you better believe it...





So what happened? Fox News explains:

COLUMBIA, Ky. – Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer is recovering after allegedly being attacked by a teenager over the weekend in Kentucky, but details of the fight and what provoked it remain unclear.

Police said Thursday they arrested 18-year-old Kanissa'a Thompson and charged him with second-degree assault in the altercation, which occurred early Sunday at a facility called Red Barn Event Rental, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The facility near Colombia, Ky., is used to host various events, from wedding receptions to class reunions.

WYMT-TV reports Meyer was injured badly enough that he was treated at a local hospital and released. The severity of the charge indicates that the victim was seriously injured, a State Police spokesman told the Herald-Leader.

(...)

State police didn't release details of the incident in Kentucky, but the owner of Red Barn told the Herald-Leader that he had rented it to a woman who seemed to have been a student at a nearby college for a private event.

Fox News also broadcast a TV-report about this incident.

This report is still quite "sketchy", but can we find more details?

The Lexington Herald Leader reported that the accused teenager denied the allegations:

COLUMBIA — The 18-year-old farm worker charged with assaulting Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer claims he never touched the high-profile Marine veteran and puts the blame on an unidentified young woman.

Kanissa'ai Thompson is charged with second-degree assault for allegedly inflicting serious injury on Meyer, 24, during an early-morning fight Dec. 9, but Thompson said he never touched Meyer.

"I never got involved," he told the Lexington Herald-Leader in an interview Friday.

Meyer received medical treatment for the injuries he received at a party held in a Columbia business commonly called the Red Barn.

Alexis Tooley, a friend of Meyer who was at the party, told the Herald-Leader she later saw three staples closing a wound on Meyer's head. She said the party had gotten "crazy," and more than one fight had broken out.

Thompson said Meyer got involved in a scuffle between young women before he was injured.

The newspaper could not independently verify Thompson's account. Thompson said he would call others who could support his story and ask if they would contact the Herald-Leader, but none did.

Meyer said he did not want to discuss details of the incident, but said Thompson's story was false.

"This is definitely not what happened," Meyer said.

Meyer said the attack was the first time he'd feared for his life since returning from Afghanistan, where his actions in a deadly firefight earned him the Medal of Honor, and that it was unfortunate the incident happened in his hometown.

"I hope this is something we can all learn from and it's a stepping stone to making the community a better place," Meyer said in a statement.

A "crazy" party, and a big fight? Sounds somehow familiar. In any case, we still do not know what actually happened, who hit who, so to speak, and who is to blame.

According to the report, the situation was complicated:

Thompson said the party involved students from Lindsey Wilson College, a liberal arts college in Columbia affiliated with the Methodist Church. There were 100 people or more at the party, many of them drinking and dancing, Thompson said.

Thompson said he talked to Meyer at the party before the trouble started. Meyer was among those drinking, he said.

Tooley said she was walking away from the area of a confrontation when she was knocked down from behind and someone began hitting her in the head.

It was Meyer on her back, Tooley said.

However, Tooley said if Meyer did shove her, she does not think it was on purpose.

Tooley, who is not the woman Thompson claims injured Meyer, said she and Meyer have been friends since high school.

Tooley said she was face down and couldn't see who was hitting her. She has heard differing accounts of who hit her, but said she doesn't think it was Meyer. It's possible someone trying to hit Meyer hit her, she said.

When Meyer got off her or was pulled off her, she looked to the side and saw him on his hands and knees, with blood on his face, but no one was hitting him at that point, Tooley said.

Tooley said she left quickly.

Thompson said he believed Meyer had identified him as the assailant because of the potential embarrassment of being hit by a woman, but Meyer disputed that contention during a phone conversation he had with Thompson on Friday.

Meyer called Thompson while he was being interviewed by the Herald-Leader, and Thompson allowed a reporter to listen to the conversation.

Meyer said he did not identify Thompson as the person who kicked him while he was down. Other witnesses gave statements about who assaulted him, Meyer said during the call.

Thompson had called Meyer earlier in the week to talk about the incident, and Meyer called back Friday to see if Thompson was serious about wanting to join the military, which they had discussed earlier.

But we still do not know exactly what happened, just that several people were apparently involved. It is also not easy to understand why Dakota Meyer was "on the back" of female student Alexis Toole.

Also, it does not appear that we will ever find out what actually happened.

The last reports about this incident which can be found on the internet are a few reports which say that the accused man, Kanissa'ai Thompson (full name actually Kanissa'ai Ali Thompson, according to his facebook), entered a "not-guilty plea":


From then onwards, there was apparently "total silence" in the media. I could find no more reports about the trial, or the outcome. My impression is that the charges have most likely been dropped, but I do not know this for certain.

Then there is another incident regarding Dakota Meyer, which also received a lot of coverage in the media, and which was also mentioned in the report by Fox News which I quoted above:

Meyer also found himself in the center of a controversy last year, filing a lawsuit against a former employer over claims that he is mentally unstable and a problem drinker.

His lawsuit claims that defense contractor BAE Systems retaliated against him for objecting to the company's sale of high-tech sniper scopes to the Pakistani military. Meyer claims a manager at the British company said he was "mentally unstable" and had a "problem related to drinking in a social setting," according to the lawsuit.

AP reported more details about the case in November 2011:

According to the lawsuit filed Monday, BAE hired Meyer in March but the relationship quickly soured. Meyer said he became dismayed in April upon learning that BAE had pursued sales of weapons systems to Pakistan, and sent an email to his supervisor expressing his disapproval.

Meyer wrote that it was "disturbing" how U.S. troops were being issued outdated equipment when better, advanced thermal optic scopes were being offered to Pakistan.

"We are simply taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date and giving to guys that are known to stab us in the back," Meyer wrote in the email, according to the lawsuit.

Roehrkasse, the BAE spokesman, said it is the State Department and not BAE that makes the decision on which defense-related products can be exported.

"In recent years, the U.S. government has approved the export of defense-related goods from numerous defense companies to Pakistan as part of the United States' bilateral relationship with that country," Roehrkasse said.

Meyer claims his supervisor began berating and belittling him after sending the email, at one point allegedly taunting him about his Medal of Honor by calling it Meyer's "pending star status." That supervisor, Bobby McCreight, is also named in the lawsuit and is still employed by BAE. Roehrkasse said McCreight is a former decorated Marine sniper.

Meyer resigned from BAE in May. He then tried obtaining a job at a former employer, San Diego-based Ausgar Technologies, but the lawsuit claims the opportunity fell through after McCreight characterized Meyer as a poor employee during a conversation with a manager who had to approve new hires.

It was then reported in December 2011 that Dakota Meyer dropped the lawsuit against BAE, and that the case was settled. The contents of the settlement were not disclosed.

Finally, the most "sensational" report are the results of the extensive investigation conducted by news organization McClatchy into the claims of Dakota Meyer (and the Marine Corps) about what happened in 2009 during the battle in Afghanistan which earned Dakota Meyer the Medal of Honor. The last report from this investigation was published in October 2013.

The findings by McClatchy were quite devastating for Meyer, because it became obvious that his own account of the battle, as told in his 2013 book titled "Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War", was at least partially untrue.


I find it actually quite remarkable that a news organization conducted this investigation, as a "Medal of Honor" recipient should usually be beyond reproach. But the journalists apparently believed that they had good reasons for the investigation.

Excerpt from the article, which includes also a very detailed graphic presentation of the incident:

WASHINGTON — In his memoir of the 2009 battle in Afghanistan that brought him the Medal of Honor, Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer describes how he reflexively switched from his machine gun to his rifle and back to his machine gun as he mowed down a swarm of charging Taliban from the vehicle’s turret.

“My mind was completely blank. I fired so many thousands of rounds I didn’t think what I was doing,” Meyer, then a corporal, wrote in his 2012 book, “Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War.”

But videos shot by Army medevac helicopter crewmen show no Taliban in that vicinity or anywhere else on the floor of the Ganjgal Valley at the time and location of the “swarm.” The videos also conflict with the version of the incident in Marine Corps and White House accounts of how Meyer, now 25, of Columbia, Ky., came to be awarded the nation’s highest military decoration for gallantry.

The videos add to the findings of an ongoing McClatchy investigation that determined that crucial parts of Meyer’s memoir were untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated, as were the Marine Corps and White House accounts of how he helped extract casualties from the valley under fire. The White House and Marine Corps have defended the accuracy of their accounts of Meyer’s actions. The Marine Corps declined to comment on the videos.

Army National Guard Sgt. Kevin Duerst, the helicopter crew chief whose helmet camera recorded one of the videos, confirmed the absence of insurgents on the valley floor as the aircraft flew in on a first run to retrieve casualties.

“We totally flew over everything. . . . There was nothing going on down there,” Duerst said in a telephone interview Friday. “There was no serious gunfight going on.”

Former Army Capt. William Swenson, who’s to receive a Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on Tuesday for gallantry in the same battle, declined in an interview Sunday to directly address questions about the purported swarming of Meyer’s vehicle.

But, he said, the videos showed the reality of what happened in the Ganjgal Valley on Sept. 8, 2009.

“Those videos allowed me to relive the reality of that battlefield: what I saw, what other people saw, where people were, the valley, the terraces, the trees, the friendlies,” meaning Afghan and U.S. forces, said Swenson, 34, of Seattle. “It shows the truth of that battle, a truth I never expected to see again.”

In a telephone interview Friday, Meyer said, “I wrote my book to the best of my recollection of what happened. And if that’s not it, then that’s not it.”

After reviewing the videos, Meyer said his vehicle was charged after the helicopter had departed with Swenson’s wounded sergeant and an injured Afghan soldier. His book, however, puts the “swarm” before the aircraft landed for the pair.

Bing West, who co-authored the book, didn’t address the videos in an email, saying only that a McClatchy reporter who survived the ambush “has annually dredged up baseless innuendoes to attack the Medal of Honor process and to denigrate the valor of Meyer."

The videos aren’t the only new evidence that’s surfaced that disputes crucial events described in the official accounts and in Meyer’s book.

The Army narrative of how Swenson was nominated for the Medal of Honor and Swenson’s comments in the interview undermine the book’s claim that Meyer killed an insurgent with a rock after he’d joined the then-Army captain in an unarmored pickup to recover casualties.

It was Marine Capt. Ademola Fabayo, not Meyer, who rode in the truck with Swenson, according to Swenson and the account posted Thursday on an Army Web page devoted to Swenson’s Medal of Honor. Fabayo was a lieutenant at the time.

“Fabayo and I fought side by side for the entire battle,” Swenson said. “When Fabayo and I returned into that valley in that unarmored truck, he was shooting out of his passenger side window and I was on the radio, driving.”

It wasn’t until the pickup broke down and Fabayo and he switched to an armored Humvee for a final run that Meyer joined Marine Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, an Afghan translator and them, Swenson said.

The Army narrative and Swenson’s account are corroborated by sworn statements included in Meyer’s Medal of Honor file or given to military investigators after the battle by Rodriguez-Chavez, Fabayo and then-Maj. Kevin Williams, the Marine commander who nominated Meyer for his Medal of Honor.

The videos, Swenson’s comments and the Army account of Swenson’s actions add to the controversy that’s embroiled the battle from the minute it erupted. Tipped off in advance, scores of insurgents trapped Afghan forces and their American trainers in the U-shaped valley, firing storms of bullets and shells from a fortress-like village and the surrounding slopes.

A nearby U.S. base failed to provide air support or adequate artillery cover to the Afghan and U.S. forces for 90 minutes. Two Army officers later received career-ending reprimands, while Swenson – in an interview with military investigators – accused senior U.S. commanders of imposing politically driven rules of engagement that were getting U.S. troops killed.

The battle, which lasted six hours, cost the lives of five American servicemen, nine Afghan troops and an Afghan translator, and 17 others – including Swenson and Meyer – were wounded.

Swenson, who was training Afghan Border Police on his second tour of Afghanistan, and Meyer, who was training Afghan troops, were recommended separately for the Medal of Honor for repeatedly returning to the battlefield to retrieve casualties, including the bodies of three Marines and a Navy corpsman. Swenson also was recommended for his role in extracting U.S. troops from the ambush.

In addition to finding that key parts of Meyer’s memoir, as well as the Marine Corps and White House accounts of his actions, were embellished, untrue or unsubstantiated, McClatchy’s investigation raised questions about the military awards process, which some lawmakers, military officers and veterans groups say is subject to improper influence and manipulation.

McClatchy’s findings were based on dozens of military documents – including sworn statements by American participants in the battle – and on interviews last year with nine Afghan troops who survived the clash near the border with Pakistan.

The purported “swarm” of Meyer’s vehicle by charging insurgents is a major facet of the official narratives and his memoir.

In the book, Meyer and West wrote that Meyer, firing from his Humvee’s turret, killed up to five of some 10 insurgents who assaulted the vehicle as he and the driver, Rodriguez-Chavez, pushed into the ambush zone in a rock-strewn wash that leads up the Ganjgal Valley to the village of the same name.

Their telling describes Meyer’s purported thoughts and actions as he mows down Taliban with a .50-caliber machine gun and his rifle. Rodriguez-Chavez ran down an insurgent, they wrote.

Narrating the incident at Meyer’s Sept. 15, 2011, award ceremony, Obama related how the insurgents were “running right up to the Humvee, Dakota fighting them off.”

Meyer and West wrote that the “swarm” occurred just before an Army Black Hawk helicopter landed to retrieve Swenson’s sergeant, Kenneth Westbrook, who died a month later from complications from the treatment of bullet wounds. A map in the book titled “Meyer swarmed during MEDEVAC” pinpoints the location of the swarm at 300 meters – 328 yards – ahead of where the Black Hawk landed.

The videos, however, dispute the accounts of the “swarm” in the book, the Marine Corps accounts and the narrative Obama read.

This quoted report by McClatchy from 2013, reporting about the video evidence, was actually preceded by a first report by McClatchy from 2011, which originally started the controversy:



In this original report, McClatchy also noted that it was actually unnecessary to embellish the story, as Dakota Meyer undoubtedly performed "heroic deeds." But possibly not the actions which become part of the official narrative:

But there's a problem with this account: Crucial parts that the Marine Corps publicized and Obama described are untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated, according to dozens of military documents McClatchy examined.

Sworn statements by Meyer and others who participated in the battle indicate that he didn’t save the lives of 13 U.S. service members, leave his vehicle to scoop up 24 Afghans on his first two rescue runs or lead the final push to retrieve the four dead Americans. Moreover, it’s unclear from the documents whether Meyer disobeyed orders when he entered the Ganjgal Valley on Sept. 8, 2009.

The statements also offer no proof that the 23-year-old Kentucky native "personally killed at least eight Taliban insurgents," as the account on the Marine Corps website says. The driver of Meyer’s vehicle attested to seeing “a single enemy go down."

What's most striking is that all this probably was unnecessary. Meyer, the 296th Marine to earn the medal, by all accounts deserved his nomination. At least seven witnesses attested to him performing heroic deeds “in the face of almost certain death.”

Braving withering fire, he repeatedly returned to the ambush site with Army Capt. William Swenson and others to retrieve Afghan casualties and the dead Americans. He suffered a shrapnel wound in one arm and was sent home after the battle with combat-related stress. Meyer’s commander, Lt. Col. Kevin Williams, commended him for acts of “conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life … above and beyond the call of duty.”

But an exhaustive assessment by a McClatchy correspondent who was embedded with the unit and survived the ambush found that the Marines' official accounts of Meyer’s deeds — retold in a book, countless news reports and on U.S. military websites — were embellished. They're marred by errors and inconsistencies, ascribe actions to Meyer that are unverified or didn’t happen and create precise, almost novelistic detail out of the jumbled and contradictory recollections of the Marines, soldiers and pilots engaged in battle.

The approval of Meyer’s medal — in an unusually short time — came as lawmakers and serving and former officers pressed the military services and the Pentagon to award more Medals of Honor because of the relatively few conferred in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Only 10 of the decorations have been awarded since 2001, seven of them posthumously.

Meyer is the first living Marine since the Vietnam War to be awarded the honor. It was first bestowed in 1863.

So, whatever one might think of Dakota Meyer, he certainly is no stranger to controversy.

The "Daily Beast" conducted a longer interview with Dakota Meyer in May 2014.

There, he also briefly addressed the controversy regarding the circumstances of the battle for which he received the Medal of Honor:

BVR: So you would say the lack of Medals of Honor is due to the military vetting people more closely, getting more sworn statements—

DM: I think there is more technology available. And I think the standard, it’s almost an impossible standard to receive the medal.

BVR: You were the first living recipient—

DM: The first living Marine since Vietnam, yeah.

BVR: As far as the controversy, do you have anything you want to say to people who have publicly doubted the Marine Corps’ official account of the Battle of Gangjal?

DM: No. I mean there’s really nothing to say. The medal was given on all eyewitness accounts. The only statement that wasn’t used in that was my own.

BVR: So you would say that account was accurate and there were not exaggerations or inaccuracies?

DM: I don’t know. That’s the thing. You’re trying to ask me about something four years ago and I can’t sit and… well, it’s 2009, five years ago. The only thing people are doubting are the numbers of people saved and the numbers of people killed and to that I say, I don’t know what the numbers are. I wasn’t out there trying to click, trying to keep stats. I can say this. I didn’t kill enough and I didn’t save enough.
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The Houston Chronicle published a very interesting article about Dakota Meyer in December 2011:

Excerpt:

Meyer won't talk about the suit on the advice of his attorney. He conceded that he briefly drank too much, though it was before he worked for BAE. Then 22, he'd returned from Afghanistan and blew off steam with friends, drinking once or twice a week.

"I didn't come back and drink a lot because of the war," Meyer said. "Just imagine being away from your friends for four years and coming back home and being home. You're going to take a month to hang out and do stuff."

Quitting the bottle

Meyer said the heavy drinking stopped in June 2010 after he found a support network at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia. Meyer didn't go to work for BAE until the following March.

"I have been with him in a number of social situations and it's just never been something that's ever crossed my mind," said Chris Schmidt, the college's dean of students.

Before Meyer went to war, he was a standout player on the school's varsity football squad, earning "Defensive Player of the Year" honors while also playing running back.

In theory, he shouldn't have been a running back. His father warned Meyer that he was too big. But once told it was impossible, Meyer worked to prove his dad wrong.

There was only one rule.

"I don't want a quitter," Michael Meyer told him, "because if you quit now, you'll quit in life."

Embracing challenges

Persistence had been a trademark from early childhood. The elder Meyer recalls a time when his son, then 8, took up snow skiing. He tumbled down the slope again and again, but doggedly trudged on to the next one when given the chance to call it a day.

His track coach, Will Hodges, said Meyer's work ethic was the difference-maker. "He'd do more than anybody else," he said.

To become a running back, Meyer spent part of his sophomore year as a cheerleader. That helped give him the strength and balance needed to run from the backfield.

Meyer also needed to increase his speed and stamina, so he joined Hodges' track squad at Green County High School. Meyer really stood out for his decision to tutor special-education kids.

He gave Ben Tucker, an autistic student, a football jersey and walked the halls with him. In class, he helped kids with disabilities on math and reading assignments. "It would not be the popular thing to do to hang out with someone with a disability, but he didn't treat them that way," said Tucker's mother, Diana.

Former football coach Mike Griffiths said Meyer's mother left the family when he was a baby.

"That's enough to do it to you," Griffiths said. "That protection that he didn't maybe receive, he felt like, 'Hey, I can do something about it because I know what it's like to be different.' "

On a new mission

Everything has changed since President Barack Obama placed the medal around Meyer's neck.

He travels constantly, recently flying to Rhode Island, Boston and New York. Meyer is spearheading a drive to raise $1 million for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and so far has helped net $325,000.

He goes to Los Angeles this week. There will be many other public appearances, but they aren't his way of trying to make right a day he believes went badly wrong.

"I'll never be able to make that up," he said.
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Just for the record, I would like to add this exchange from the comments below - responding to one of Sarah's and Bristol's fans:


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Oscar-nominated songwriter and composer Shawn Patterson currently writes a musical about Sarah Palin - Title: "It Came From Wasilla"


By Patrick

Sarah Palin, former Republican vice-presidential candidate and Governor, already inspired quite a number of artists during her reign of terror as America's most notorious right-wing political entertainer. The winking bi-polar bear from Alaska over the years triggered the creation of a number of artworks, for example paintings like this one:




A large collection of fascinating paintings and other graphics featuring Sarah Palin can be found here.

These days, Sarah Palin pretty much falls apart right in front of our eyes, mercilessly exposed especially by her bizarre speeches and her fruitcake interviews. It really has become a pitiful display, almost too embarrassing to watch.

However, she still manages to inspire artists. Shawn Patterson is the composer and songwriter of the song "Everything is Awesome", written for highly acclaimed "Lego Movie", for which he for example earned nominations for an Oscar and a Grammy.

In case you haven't heard the song yet - here it is, and there's a pretty good chance you might want to listen to it over and over again:





There is even an one-hour-version - and the version from the Oscar night.

Shawn Patterson

So, what has Shawn Patterson to do with Sarah Palin? Nothing, it seems - at first.

However, that is not true at all.

In a major recent interview with the "Daily Beast", Shawn Patterson explains that he has great and sincere plans in regards to Sarah Palin:

That musical. We must talk about it. It’s about, and correct me if I’m wrong, Jesus and Sarah Palin saving the world?

Yup. It’s called It Came From Wasilla. It’s really over the top. It’s very silly. I haven’t really discussed it much publicly. It’s a buddy picture [laughs]. Jesus arrives to the Promised Land of Alaska to retool and save the world with Sarah and make sure things are set right with the GOP. It’s a very wild telling. It’s not based on specific factual events in her life. I’ve seen a lot of parody done on her on YouTube and this and that. I haven’t been impressed with very much of it. This is more Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz meets Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure got hold of a crack pipe. I am confident that it’s going to upset some people.

Oh I’m sure she’s going to be thrilled.

[Laughs] You know, she may like it. There’s elements about it that, without giving too much it away, the goal is that the audience feels a lot of sympathy towards the character. And not in a “she’s pathetic” way. But, again, it’s not exactly Sarah Palin. I want to say it’s a character heavily inspired by her. There’s not a lot of specifics that take place from her life.

Oh boy, oh boy, I hope that Shawn Patterson knows what he is getting into...LOL!!

Jesus and Sarah Palin saving the world! Sounds promising. After all, if there is one thing that this world truly needs, than it's to be saved!

But seriously...while Shawn Patterson says that the audience might feel "a lot of sympathy towards the character", we should not forget that it is Sarah Palin, the Queen of hate and vindictiveness, who we are dealing with here.

Apart from being quoted verbatim, there are probably only two other things that Sarah Palin hates more: Being parodied, and watching other people trying to make money with "her name."

So even with tons of "sympathy", there is no way she is going to like such a musical one bit, and this also applies to her shrinking group of fanatic fans, who of course never like anyone apart from Sarah Palin anyway.

But do not get me wrong here: I am not suggesting that Shawn Patterson is writing such a musical for money. I get the impression that he really has fun with the subject matter. In fact, this appears to be a pretty risky project. Would for example somebody on Broadway really touch this material? Would people really want see a musical that features Sarah Palin?

Time will tell. In any case, I am very curious what the result will look like.

Sarah has always been an entertainer in the first place, therefore it would only be appropriate for her "character" to end up on Broadway one day. Also, "Sarah the politician" is more like a fictional character anyway. She was always just trying to play a role. In her whole life as a "politician", there is not one single political idea or thought that could be connected to Sarah Palin.

Apart from the statement that all the bad guys should be killed...

So, let's see if Jesus can bring her back on the right path. One can still hope!



+++

UPDATE:

Shawn Patterson retweeted us:


Here is his twitter.

He liked our post and would also like our readers to know that he is represented by Amos Newman at William Morris Endeavor.

Yes, he is serious about this project.

By the way, any ideas who should play the role of Queen Esther...oops, I meant Sarah?