Could zombie Kerry Kennedy sue the Westchester County or the State of New York for malicious prosecution? She was recently acquitted by jury trial on misdemeanor charges of impaired driving. Recall last year ZombieLaw: Kerry Kennedy Ambien Zombie
As the story goes, she accidentally took a generic Ambien instead of the thyroid pill she intended to take. She did not realize this mistake until she was already involved in a car accident, left the scene and later found asleep at the wheel.
This story makes sense because who in their right mind would take an Ambien and get behind the wheel of a car? Unless she was trying to kill herself? Or if she only popped the Ambien after she left the scene of the accident? I don’t think the prosecution had any evidence of either of those theories. Still, the case went to trial.
New York Daily News reports the story with a great photo-opportunity of Kerry Kennedy wheeling her 85 year old mother, Ethel Kennedy, out of the courtroom. See “Kerry Kennedy claims she was accidental Ambien zombie — found not guilty of drugged driving by Westchester County jury” by Dareh Gregorian and Corky Siemaszko:
The zombie walked.
Ambien, a sleeping aid that an expert said can result in “zombiism” and “sleep driving.”
Her attorneys think the case shouldn’t have been brought, defense attorney Gerald Lefcourt is quoted:
“The prosecution was appalling,” he said. “This case should never have been brought.” His colleague, William Aronwald, said prosecutors admitted to him that they couldn’t drop the case because “it would give the impression of special treatment” for a Kennedy.
That’s the funny thing about special treatment for being a celebrity in court. The supposed claim of not wanting to give special treatment actually means that the celebrity was treated differently, in this case perhaps persecuted more severely than the average person might be.
Had Kerry Kennedy not been a Kennedy, she probably would have taken a plea to a violation, a traffic infraction, not a crime, and been done with this case without the expense of trial. Instead, because she is a Kennedy, she was treated differently. Then again, once at trial, she surely had more sympathy than other defendants might, mentioning “daddy” and evoking the spirit of ’68. And so the scales tip again because had Kerry Kennedy not been a Kennedy and the case still taken to trial, the prosecutors probably would have had a better chance.
But she’s the ex-wife of the governor, daughter of a national icon and part of the most political family in America. This case might not even represent any increase in Kennedy legal expenses. It might even be profitable for the long-term brand identity. And like I said before, nice photo-op for old Ethel, and for Kerry too. All and all, a nice little outing to court for a family that is accustomed to that sort of theater.
The zombies here are the people still paying attention to Kennedy’s as if it’s still Camelot. A form of magical realism. Then again it’s also about medications, and identity, and so that makes it a good zombie topic. The law claims to deal with individuals as if they were equal, but families differ and medications can make you act in ways you would not expect. Most people can’t afford expert witnesses or teams of defense attorneys. But then again, most people would take the non-criminal violation plea.
Maybe equal justice means leaning more heavily on the heavyweights. But something feels wrong about the government learning more heavily on different individuals. The alternative is surely just as bad. If everyone was forced to go to trial the current system would collapse. We would need a lot more courtrooms and judges and court staff… would that be so bad?
So Kerry Kennedy is treated differently. Sent to trial, which is what is the ideal of this country, but so unusual for the everyday criminal defendant. All because it can’t look like Governor Cuomo pulled any strings or that the Kennedy’s get special treatment? Ridiculous legal practices, gotta love it!.
@HuffingtonPost: Two political zombies:
First, “Zombie super PACs face termination” by Dave Levinthal begins:
A legion of zombie super PACs – they exist on paper but barely engage in politics, if at all — face “administrative termination” by federal regulators for failing to file mandatory financial disclosures,
Recall last year ZombieLaw: Zombie Super PACs
Next, “Just Say No To These 11 Outrageous Arguments Against Legalizing Marijuana” by Matt Ferner and Nick Wing, listing as #8:
8. “Legalization will cause mass zombification!”
While the threat of a zombie apocalypse is one of the Internet’s favorite fantasies, some anti-legalization opponents use it as a metaphor for their unsubstantiated fears of a lazy pothead nation developing in the wake of legal weed.
The authors bust this zombie “fact” by showing no link between decriminalization and increased consumption. If that’s true, it calls into question the entire premise of criminal law. Would murder rate increase if it were not criminal? Maybe not… Maybe all criminal law is merely ex post facto nonsense and has nothing whatsoever to do with protecting society from the future occurrence of crime. Perhaps it is merely a system designed to profit on the known occurrences while creating a fantasy illusion of security theater? Then connect racial data and we might consider that criminal law becomes a system of marginalizing minority behaviors, a means of stigmatizing and ostracizing minority culture. Not changing consumption, just stigmatizing social cultures. And so that’s the true zombie apocalypse, a fascist world where authority perceives itself as unified culture and criminalizes dissenting practices.
So how does this relate to Zombie Super PAC money? In this media economy, how is money-flow the same as speech? And how much anonymous will we allow in terms of supporting political speech? Supposedly #Anonymous might be a terrorist group (#YOUmightBEaTERRORIST)? But if we force all political speakers to name themselves, isn’t that a major chill on political speech when we know that criminal persecution (if not “forced disappearance”) is normal business practice of politics. But alternatively, if we don’t force them to name themselves and let them prop up and collapse zombie PACs, doesn’t that leave the system open to big manipulative foreign/corporate money? Or maybe I’ve just been watching too much “House of Cards”?
Reuters: “Silencing China’s zombie steel mills no solution for smog” by David Stanway:
dozens of so-called zombie mills in Tangshan, where authorities have been ordered by the provincial government to draw up a list of plants to close so output can be cut by 10.8 million tonnes this year.
With an awesome photo-series explanation of how he did it -
With toys! Made in zombie China? It’s important to investigate how things are made.
So what does China do with the displaced steel workers? How does the Chinese system for worker transition compare to ours? And what of the smog? Not the dragon, the global crisis in carbon pollution. Don’t forget, that it’s not just steel mills bringing us to the anthropocene; it’s also cow farts and global shipping, and general consumption of technology and toys.
@Nasdaq: “Shoppers Flee Zombie Retailers Leaving Stores Deserted” Presented by: The Aol On Network, suggesting that large retail chains are nearing bankruptcy and that this may be a boon for the land-owners. And surely that’s true in areas where the land value has gone up, but with these large chains, some of those stores may become deserted malls?
Meanwhile, in Forbes: “With Fannie and Freddie Debt Repaid to Taxpayers, Will Uncle Sam Turn Shareholders Into Zombie Investors?” by Jon Entine asking: “What’s the story behind the government’s apparent securities fraud?” and “Will potential homeowners become collateral damage in Fannie/Freddie wrangle?”
Meanwhile at CanadaFreePress: “Zombies, the Apocalypse, and the Decline of the Republic” by Dave Huntwork commenting on the recent Noam Chomsky ‘zombie’, and arguing that Chomsky’s answer was too Leftist, activist, anti-America;
that’s about the best the Left can do I guess in trying to fathom the country’s fascination with a Zombie Apocalypse. It’s all just collective, subconscious guilt.
Huntwork mentions social media (as I did also in response to Chomsky) but Huntwork points to it as a symptom of a larger problem of the lost “belief in a positive future.” He mentions 9-11, surveillance state, unpopular wars and “the most intellectually bankrupt, corrupt, radical, and left-wing President in American history”, concluding:
The New Rome begins to mimic the Old. And when the greatest empire of the ancient world did fall it ushered in an era of darkness that lasted nearly a thousand years. … If there’s a single theme at the heart of The Walking Dead and similar shows, it is the fragility of civilization.
In contrast, my argument has been that zombies are about the fragility of consciousness, the uncertain limits of free will faced with rapid technological change and neuroscience that paints the mind as epiphenomena of it’s box. It is not a great leap from there to question social consciousness and civilization generally. And arguably, social consciousness must always exist first and consciousness always a perception within social construction.
Still, I fear less about the collapse of the Holy American Empire and worry more that it has become all consuming, there are no alternative civilizations, everything must be equated to the dollar, including individual human minds. Individuality was always an illusion, and the terms of that illusion are being changed as technology (both computer and medical) alter then means of identity’s production. With such deep uncertainty about the value of the individual, there can be no agreement on the value of the aggregated numbers. You can call it “gross product” but there is no way to sum the productions of the mind, which will always be both greater and less than the sum of the material parts.
SmartCompany: “Is it mindless to ask potential employees what they would do in a zombie apocalypse?” by Aunty B, responds to a letter from Doug who wonders about spicing up his interview style:
I’ve been reading about companies like Dropbox which ask quirkier questions like: “If someone came in right now and announced that the zombie apocalypse had just started outside, what would you do in the next hour?”
Aunty B responds about these kinds of outside-the-box questions:
Ask yourself whether brain teaser questions like this really reveal anything about your new hire besides knowledge they may already have of zombies or fruits. Stick with what you’re doing, Doug
Ok, except actually they probably do. I mean if the interviewee suggests seeking food and shelter you probably have a different kind of person then someone who is going out ready to kill with guns ? Depending on how they answer it might tell you a lot about who they care about and where they go first, or it might tell you their reaction to absurd questions, how playful they are, etc… It’s not about the answer, it’s the reaction to the question.
Of course, be mindful that zombies do have racial, gender, class, age, and religious implications. So I would be mindful of applicable employment discrimination laws. Even if zombie is not inherently discriminatory to a protected class (and that’s questionable), be particularly mindful of unscripted follow-up questions. As usual, none of this is legal advice. Consult an attorney and the applicable laws of your jurisdiction.