Thursday, August 05, 2004

Thank God for Our Justice System!

'Tigger' Acquitted of Fondling Teen

A Walt Disney World worker in Orlando, Fla. has been acquitted of charges he fondled a teenage girl as he portrayed the character "Tigger."

Michael Chartrand says he wants to return to work now that he's been found innocent, but not as another Walt Disney character. The "Tigger" character comes from Disney's "Winnie the Pooh" movie.

During Wednesday's trial, Chartrand's defense attorney Jeffrey Kaufman - who also moonlights as Tigger and Goofy at the theme park - donned a Tigger costume to show juroros how cumbersome it is and how hard it is to see in it.

Outside of court, Chartrand, 36, who is from England and lost his fiancee and had been suspended without pay after his arrest, said he'd like his job back, but that the experience "has ruined my dream to be a character."

Jurors found Chartrand not guilty of lewd and lascivious molestation, a felony; he had faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

He had been accused of fondling a 13-year-old girl while posing for a picture with her and her mother.

Earlier this week he had rejected a plea offer that would have given him probation.

Kaufman has contended that the girl's mother was merely after money and planned to sue Disney.

The mother also claimed Tigger touched her breast during a visit to the park last February, though no charges were filed then.  

That's Right. Another pure example of another money hungry idiot trying to make a buck while exploiting a minority. I mean, isn't the wonderful thing about being a Tigger was the fact that he was the only one, which, like, makes him the minority, right?


A Message from The Boss

Chords for Change

A nation's artists and musicians have a particular place in its social and political life. Over the years I've tried to think long and hard about what it means to be American: about the distinctive identity and position we have in the world, and how that position is best carried. I've tried to write songs that speak to our pride and criticize our failures.

These questions are at the heart of this election: who we are, what we stand for, why we fight. Personally, for the last 25 years I have always stayed one step away from partisan politics. Instead, I have been partisan about a set of ideals: economic justice, civil rights, a humane foreign policy, freedom and a decent life for all of our citizens. This year, however, for many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out.

Through my work, I've always tried to ask hard questions. Why is it that the wealthiest nation in the world finds it so hard to keep its promise and faith with its weakest citizens? Why do we continue to find it so difficult to see beyond the veil of race? How do we conduct ourselves during difficult times without killing the things we hold dear? Why does the fulfillment of our promise as a people always seem to be just within grasp yet forever out of reach?

I don't think John Kerry and John Edwards have all the answers. I do believe they are sincerely interested in asking the right questions and working their way toward honest solutions. They understand that we need an administration that places a priority on fairness, curiosity, openness, humility, concern for all America's citizens, courage and faith.

People have different notions of these values, and they live them out in different ways. I've tried to sing about some of them in my songs. But I have my own ideas about what they mean, too. That is why I plan to join with many fellow artists, including the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks, Jurassic 5, James Taylor and Jackson Browne, in touring the country this October. We will be performing under the umbrella of a new group called Vote for Change. Our goal is to change the direction of the government and change the current administration come November.

Like many others, in the aftermath of 9/11, I felt the country's unity. I don't remember anything quite like it. I supported the decision to enter Afghanistan and I hoped that the seriousness of the times would bring forth strength, humility and wisdom in our leaders. Instead, we dived headlong into an unnecessary war in Iraq, offering up the lives of our young men and women under circumstances that are now discredited. We ran record deficits, while simultaneously cutting and squeezing services like after school programs. We granted tax cuts to the richest 1 percent (corporate bigwigs, well-to-do guitar players), increasing the division of wealth that threatens to destroy our social contract with one another and render mute the promise of "one nation indivisible."

It is through the truthful exercising of the best of human qualities - respect for others, honesty about ourselves, faith in our ideals - that we come to life in God's eyes. It is how our soul, as a nation and as individuals, is revealed. Our American government has strayed too far from American values. It is time to move forward. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting.

End of The Boss message.

My fellow Americans. We should never forget 9-11. I was undecided. I still am. It’s not that I’m promoting anything or party. It’s just that I believe the importance of recognizing another (the other) point of view, is the only way to truly understand and the only way to make a sound decision about anything. I do that with everything. I always ask "Compared to What?" When some one says "Taco Cabana has the best enchiladas." Oh really. Compared to what? If all you've got to compare them to is Enchilada Wednesdays from high school, then yeah, Taco Cabana rocks. But, have you been to Blanco Cafe, Los Barrios, Casbeers or Piedras Negras? Bottomlne, I try not to be too opinionated about anything unless I've got a pretty good understand of the facts. I also understand this simple fact of life: The hardest thing to teach anybody is something they think they already know. If you don't know - don't argue. And frankly, if you don't vote - don't bitch. That's Right - but not too far Right. I’m supporting the Springsteen Bono Ticket...