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ZombieLaw studies zombies in law, politics and current events.

Zombie Corporate Criminal List

Dallas News: Shunned like a zombie: federal bill to create corporate-crime database by Miles Moffeit is about proposed legislation to create a list of people who have been connected to corporate crime:

zombie miles moffeit

… the “Corporate Crime Database Act” has seen little semblance of life. Since Conyers introduced the bill in 2010, it has occupied that zombie state common to so many unpopular bills. They straddle the line between legislative life and death, starved of attention through procedural action or inaction.

Understanding specifically why the measure is shunned can be tricky. Silence too often surrounds zombie bills.

Moffeit’s use of the word here refers to the way this political idea (attributed to Congressman John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, H.R.4452(113)) is a repeated proposal having not yet been made into law.

Another implication might be that since it is about making a list of people, who would presumably blacklisted as unfit for some types of employment, this “zombie bill” might also be said to create a list of zombies.

Philosophically, criminal law should criminalize acts not people. A bad act should be punishable, not bad people. So being found guilty of a crime should not label you a criminal, it should just make you guilty of that crime. The crime punished with the service of an appropriate sentence for that crime and then the person should return to a law-abiding life.

Instead we stigmatize people as criminals and impose long-term unpredictable collateral consequences that extend well beyond the terms of the sentence itself and then potentially hold back a person’s life, potentially forever. (zombies!)

We need to change the systemic incentives that inspire the malfeasance, but pity the individual zombie’s names.

class action zombie armies

Forbes: “General Mills Consumers Give Up Rights To What, Exactly?” by Daniel Fisher is a response to NYTimes article by Stephanie Strom about click-wrap agreements and “cereal class action”. Fisher claims that Strom:

conflates the individual right to sue with the right of lawyers to assemble huge groups of consumers, typically without their knowledge or participation, into zombie armies that can compel companies into settling on lucrative terms.

zombie daniel fisher forbes

Fisher explains that while it might be possible to get customers to click an online button and exempt themselves from class actions, this arbitration clause could potentially help an individual with a small claim that is not a class action.

However, if enough customers did that, then maybe it might be the end to class actions because there might not be enough money to make it worthwhile.

Megan Hathcher-Mays at Media Matters for America takes the position of defending the value of class actions, “Forbes Paints Rosy Picture Of Anti-Consumer Arbitration Provisions That Ban Class Actions“:

Fisher’s claim that the Times “conflates” an individual’s right to sue with class actions is a rather disingenuous distinction on his part. Far from representing “zombie armies” of consumers, class actions have become one of the most efficient ways to litigate group claims that represent a common injury. As Fisher himself explains in his column, “no lawyer would ever take a small case against General Mills” — which is exactly why class action lawsuits exist in the first place. Because individual claims are often of little value on their own, it’s unlikely that consumers would bring them at all unless they were combined with other similar claims.

National High School Mock Trial Championship: “zombie” fact-pattern

From Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: “State Bar tops funding goal for zombie-themed mock trial nationals in Madison” by Bruce Vielmetti:

three weeks to go before 1,000 visitors descend on Madison for the National High School Mock Trial Championship,

46 teams from 42 states plus Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and South Korea will compete.

more than 70 pages of case materials, issued April 1.

The Estate of George Romero v. Ash Williams contends that Williams poisoned Romero, his business partner, during a launch of their company’s new energy drink, Zombiepocalypse, because Williams feared Romero was about to leave the company and take its intellectual property.

In the stipulated glossary of terms, “zombie” is defined on page 21:

The body of a dead person given the semblance of life. In traditional fiction and religion, the zombie is created supernaturally. Modern zombie fiction often attributes the cause to a virus. Zombies typically cannot be killed except by beheading them or destroying their brains with bullets or blows to the head

The names of the characters (party names and witnesses) in this fictional case pattern are taken from famous zombie associations, and page 75 uses the Resident Evil Umbrella Corporation logo (the same logo involved in the court martial of Spc. Moyers). Also, the case is about chemical toxicity which is also related to zombies, see bath salts and caffeine.

Zombie Jesus Weed Christmas Hitler’s Birthday open doors for Elijah

Today’s cosmic alignment of Passover, Easter and the modern calendar 4/20 is a conceptual blend for zombie lovers to enjoy.

Adolf Hitler was supposedly born on April 20th, 1889. That makes today his 125th birthday. Zombies and Nazi‘s have a lot in common – we enjoy killing them in video games – acceptable to kill in First Person Shooter games – outsider Others by their definition.

These concepts emphasize the idea that there are others. That there are those we need to kill.

On Community, a fantasy episode in G.I. Joe cartoon world. When they kill Destro, they realize that Joes and Cobra are really on the same side. They are both Go JoeBra – or is that go Hasbro? The enemy of both Cobra and GI Joe is anyone against war-toys for children. Because war and killing are fun in virtual but not when it’s for real. Suppressive fire wins A-team but doesn’t end wars (perpetuates?). Must Superman kill Zod?

fourth wall community

And now we need to lock the school doors with security guards and metal detectors? Should we instead open the door and let Elijah come for wine. Do not fear the trojan Elijah. Mark the door with the blood of lambs. Let them come at us, our doors are open, we’ll share our wine, our weed, tonight we feast at what could be our Last Supper. Eat of human flesh, drink of human blood, know that it will be one of us who will betray us. Was Jesus an African Jewish Rabbi or a Magical Lich?

last supper zombies

Thomas Aquinas wrote about “The Punishment of Demons” in Question64 of Sumna Theologica. Alfred J. Freddoso, a scholar at Nortre Dame has made a modern translation of Question64:

The demons have fear with respect to what is future in the same way that they have sorrow over what is present. Now the cited verse, “He was made to fear no one,” is talking about the fear of God that keeps one from sinning. For in another place Scripture says that “the demons believe and tremble” (James 2:19)

Kierkegaard‘s fear and trembling. Hunter Thompson’s fear and loathing? (Bill Murray‘s version!)

buffalo roam hunter thompson

In question 46 of Freddoso’s Aquinas, an ontology:

the world existed before it began to exist —which is impossible.

And:

nothing of time exists except the now. time cannot come into existence except with respect to some now
… because time begins from that now.

See similarly a new Tumblr that conceptually blends the cartoon “Family Circus” with the HBO show “True Detective”: “Time is a Flat Circus”

Beware, the Lord who kills first born sons with video games and the magic of Hobbiton weed.

Jesus is real. This is a tautology. He is a word. He is a word and as a word has certain cognitive linguistic properties. Other words include: zombie, autism, electron. These are all notions for “unobservables” and yet, in context, we have some notions of “entity realism“.

The best evidence for the existence of unobservable reality is “manipulative success” which is to say (of electron-like particles) “if you can spray them, then they are real.”, or falsifiable by double blind controlled experiment can show reliable significant differences. Which is all well and good until we also accept that “repetition” is another word, and another literal impossibility because of the unique forward progression of time (unless it’s always now).

Some phenomenon are more repeatable than others. This relates to the transmission of scientific knowledge from the laboratory to the farm to the kitchen. What is the role of the Church, the media, the family dinner? What history will we talk with the children? Are some questions inherently wicked? Blunt his teeth or send him to a speech pathologist? Autism is a spectrum, so is zombie, so is Jesus. All concepts are spectral!

Let the concepts blur, all of them – Welcome to the melting pot of conceptual synesthesia . Welcome to American zombie in 2014: Resurrection of Hitler’s Weed, beware the words, they are their own beginning, know not what they do.

Court Martial for Resident Evil Patches

UNITED STATES, Appellee
v.
Specialist CHRISTOPHER L. MOYERS,
United States Army, Appellant

UNITED STATES ARMY COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS
ARMY 20110975
2014 CCA LEXIS 219

Decided March 31, 2014, before Judges KERN, ALDYKIEWICZ, and MARTIN, Appellate Military Judges. Judge ALDYKIEWICZ concurs. MARTIN, Judge, concurring in part, dissenting in part.

From the majority opinion by Judge Kern:

A military judge sitting as a general court -martial convicted appellant, contrary to his pleas, of violating a lawful general regulation; knowingly becoming a member of, or affiliating with, a group which encouraged the violent overthrow or destruction of the United States Government; and advising, counseling and urging disloyalty and mutiny by members of the Armed Forces, … The military judge sentenced appellant to a dishonorable discharge, four years confinement, and reduction to the grade of E-1. The convening authority approved the adjudged sentence.

Also from Judge Kern’s opinion:

At the time of the incidents that led to the court -martial, appellant was a military policeman with approximately three years of service. He was married, twenty-one years of age… By the time of the investigation, he owned a Springfield X.D.45 caliber pistol, an AK-47, a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun, and a Mossberg 30-06 rifle with a scope.

The incidents seem to be about this military kid’s alleged group or “militia” that supposedly intended to overthrow the government and “‘Dark Horse’ organization” . The majority opinion of the court here upholds the conviction and sentence.

In dissent Judge Martin thinks there should instead be a sentencing rehearing because much of the evidence is not corroborated (much provided by a friend military wife – did she take a joke too seriously?). Judge Martin would like to see the original judge revisit his sentencing, also noting that sentencing guidelines might be considered differently. The evidence of the group itself is tenuous, and it really does seem like maybe it could have a been a joke, or a role-play-fun-group:

During cross examination, PFC JL further testified that one of the patches he saw at appellant’s apartment depicted the Resident Evil umbrella insignia. In fact, appellant often spoke of a zombie invasion and how they should protect themselves during a zombie invasion and the discussion of zombies was fairly prevalent. Finally, PFC JL testified that he did not take the group seriously and thought it was a joke.

Even if the “zombie” is not a joke, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has also spoken about the zombie invasion scenario, the military has training prepared for it, and even hired Max Brooks to speak to soldiers.

Judge Kern’s majority opinion, footnote 3 explains:

Resident Evil is a video game that inspired a science fiction film series. The plot involves a zombie apocalypse.

It also apparently inspired Specialist Moyers for a “paintball team” that somehow became this “militia”. Surely Moyers is not the first to be inspired by zombie insignia. The particular insignia in question doesn’t particularly look playful or even related to “zombie” at all. But, Moyers must not be the only one inspired by it because look, a patch is available right now on Ebay:

See also Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil wiki page. But what does a zombie symbol mean? (Does it look Nazi-like or video-game-like?) For this case, what did it mean for Spc Moyers?:

The intention of the organization was to support and defend the Constitution, and was designed to fight alongside the military if need be, if the government “goes corrupt,” and if they needed to respond. He likened it to making contingency plans.

At trial, the government did not call any members of the so-called “Dark Horse” militia to testify. Instead, the government relied on testimony from Mrs. KR, PFC JL, and law enforcement. The government also admitted, … Dark Horse documents from appellant’s computer, patches found in appellant’s home, weapons found in appellant’s home, photos of appellant posing with a weapon, and photos of other soldiers in appellant’s unit at the Outpost firing weapons and standing near the campfire.

So it’s clear from his texts and private writings that he was interested in thinking about breaking the chain of command to protect (with violence if “necissary”) his own view of the Constitution. That’s enough for the conviction right there. The really damning evidence is texts to friend military wife, Mrs. KR:

I am not bored and I can’t fully restore the U.S. back to the way our founding fathers made it but ill do my best and force is the only way we will win and take out our own countries tyrant / I know that it is a forceful combative organization. I know what I’m forming / Once the tyrant has been taken out restore order and the government how it was initially created Remove unconstitutional amendments. And then leave it up to the people to elect a new president

But was he being serious? Was he a threat or is he guilty of having an imagination? He admits:

While he admitted to sending the texts, he stated that while he was angry at the time of the communication, he did not have any current intent to overthrow the government. Appellant also stated that he was upset with his unit leadership at the time he sent the texts because they did not process his Basic Allowance for Housing request in a timely manner following his marriage.

Well, I guess now he’s got new housing for four years.

Algeria’s “zombie-esque President”

Al Jazeera America: “Algeria slouches toward its elections” by Hannah Armstrong:

Algeria is stuck in a rut. The country is embarrassed by being corralled into accepting a fourth term for a leader few think is fit to serve as head of state. … The aging politico-military elite, best embodied by the zombie-esque President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, must eventually give way to other forces…

algeria president

So the president is “zombie-esque” because he continued into a fourth term but note also in the conclusion:

The tragic interpretation of Algerian history — which, when taught in local schools, begins with the revolution — is that each new power repeats the mistakes of the old.

This kind of repetition, “doomed to repeat the mistakes of its past”, is also zombie-esque.

Boyes: “zombie Soviet Union”

TheTimes: “The rational Putin has to rein in the mad one” by Roger Boyes:

Russia has become a prime exporter of chaos. Its subversive use of the rent-a-mob in the townships of eastern Ukraine shows the Kremlin is now ready to manipulate national identity, contest international frontiers and upset the post-Cold War order — in the name of what? A new Greater Russia? Reviving the zombie Soviet Union?

zombie roger boyes

Mr. Boyes is British and has been The Times foreign correspondent for 35 years in Berlin giving him a close perspective on the Soviet Union. Maybe it also makes him a zombie?

See also other ZombieLaw on Russia, or Putin, or the Cold War.

Meanwhile, Tilda Swinton who plays a vampire hipster in Jim Jarmusch’s new movie, has recently called Putin a vampire, see Moviefone: “Tilda Swinton’s Dig at Russian President Vladimir Putin Is Worthy of Your Attention” by Jenni Miller. Putin’s wife also called him that – see MoscowTimes:”Lyudmila Putina Once Called Her Husband a Vampire“.

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