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The Claptrap Propaganda About Guns in America

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In the 2008 five-to-four majority Heller decision defining what the Second Amendment means, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the Amendment’s “prefatory clause,” which stated the Amendment’s “purpose,” is irrelevant to understanding the Amendment, and must therefore be ignored when applying the Amendment to determine whether a given law has been passed which violates this Amendment. That Heller decision reversed 69 years of prior settled U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and it basically ignored the key part of the Second Amendment itself — the Amendment’s very purpose — in order, basically, to promote gun-sales. Heller was the most pro-gun-sales ruling ever by the U.S. Supreme Court, and it blatantly lied about the U.S. Constitution, in order to do that. Here’s how they did it:

The entirety of the Second Amendment is: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The Heller decision used the following absurd excuse as its ‘justification’ for ignoring the Amendment’s very purpose:

The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.

That prefatory clause (“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”) wasn’t actually “a purpose,” but the purpose; and to ignore a law’s stated  purpose is outrageous, and should never be tolerated by any judge — especially a law that’s part of the Constitution itself, and most especially when the nation’s Supreme Court is perpetrating this atrocity against the entire nation, the U.S. Constitution itself, which is an act of the most profound type of treachery to perpetrate. Such judges virtually spit upon the Constitution they are obligated to protect. Instead of the 2nd Amendment’s stated purpose, the Court-majority introduced its own, alleged, purpose, from the majority’s supposed investigation into the Amendment’s history — and they even lied about that. The Heller decision went on to assert that the Amendment’s purpose was a very different one from the stated purpose, and was a purpose which came from the “Antifederalists”: the Heller ruling said 

“The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia.” 

In their view, the Amendment was added so as to arm potential counter-revolutionaries against the newly established Union government: the U.S. federal Government. This supposed other ‘purpose’ — which the five who signed the majority-decision accepted and which was supposedly inferred by them from ‘history’ instead of from the Founders who wrote the Constitution and wrote the 2nd Amendment, with its stated purpose — reigned for them, as if it were the ‘actual’ purpose of that Amendment.

However, only  the Federalists had actually written the U.S. Constitution. They did it during 1787-1791. They were opposed — not supported — by the Antifederalists. The Antifederalists opposed the proposed U.S. Constitution. They were the minority, and so the Constitution became democratically passed as  America’s Constitution, the basic Law of the United States of America. Only after the U.S. Confederacy, of slave-states during the subsequent 1860s U.S. Civil War rebellion against the Federal Government, did the anti-federalist position, of states’ rights being supreme above the authority of the federal Government, become briefly re-established in those rebelling states, and so those rebelling states re-established, but only in these slave-states, much of the pre-American-Revolution system, against which the Founders had fought and won the Revolutionary War, though this time that system, of states’ rights above the federal government, was being applied without specific reliance upon the British monarchy and empire. For the Antifederalists, their rejection of the King’s rule meant transference of his powers directly onto the former colonies themselves — not  onto a new U.S. federal Government, the Union, the federal republic. That’s why they called themselves “antifederalists.” Yet the Heller 5 ruled for  the “Antifederalists,” against  the Federalists. That’s treachery.

Today’s U.S. Government is not the one that was established by America’s Founders, the authors of the U.S. Constitution. Today’s U.S. regime is, instead, mainly the nationwide restoration of the Southern Confederacy, which U.S. President Abraham Lincoln had temporarily defeated during the Civil War and thereby secured the progress of democracy in America, which has since tragically ended. The Southern Confederacy was a local and successful antifederalism, which became defeated by the Union, which restored the federalism that had been established by the Founders. But the Union’s — and the Founders’ — victory in the Civil War has increasingly become reversed, through treacherous actions, such as the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Heller case. The Heller case is the easiest-to-document case-example of this treachery, and this is the reason why it’s the one that is being discussed here. (I am not interested in guns, but am extremely interested in the U.S. Constitution — far more so than are the U.S. Supreme Court jurists who had won their seats by perjuring themselves in their oaths-of-office.)

Unfortunately, Lincoln’s progressive and democratic victory is being successfully challenged and defeated by today’s American fascists, not only in the White House and Congress, but even on the U.S. Supreme Court itself.

The Heller decision reflects the fundamental position of the Southern Confederacy (a feudalist society) (1861-1865) (to which America is returning in the modernized version, fascism, or as Mussolini sometimes called it “corporationism”), the position rejecting the U.S. Constitution. These modern far-right people have gradually rewritten the U.S. Constitution, to comport more with the views that prevailed in the slaveholding South.

The Heller decision is one of an uncounted number of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court which have authorized the U.S. Government as imposing a dictatorship (such as America’s Founders had rebelled against and overthrown and replaced, by their instituting, through a Revolution, a limited democracy).

In fact, the Second Amendment makes very clear what its sole and exclusive purpose is: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.” It’s stated clearly, right there. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ‘interpretation’ is instead their insertion of a lie, which they claim to be based upon their own examination of ‘history’, from which they supposedly infer a different or another ‘purpose’ for the Amendment. Only a fool can respect such judges as they. As a matter of historical fact, the actual debate, when that Amendment was being considered for addition to the U.S. Constitution, was itself based upon the implicit understanding that everyone had, regarding what the then-clear meaning was, of “a well regulated militia.” That then-universally-recognized meaning was: all physically capable adult males who are organized under the laws of the individual states and operating under their state’s laws as a military reserve force to be called up only in an emergency for battle, in case the U.S. Congress, which is within the national (not in any state’s) Government, declares war, so as to defend the entire nation against a threatening aggressive foreign nation (such as, certainly, Britain then was, and still remained).

The meaning of “a well regulated militia” was, then, the exact opposite of what the fascist judge who wrote the Heller decision said: “to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms.” The 2nd Amendment had nothing to do with protecting the American people from an evil Congress. It was instituted instead to enable the entire federal Government to raise an army in a national emergency.

All existing state militias at that time were organized under the laws of the then-existing British colonies, which had just recently become states within the newly established U.S. federation. In no instance were the militia’s individuals organized only under their own personal authority. And now that the U.S. Constitution existed, those armed men were subordinate ultimately to the U.S. federal Government, and not only to their respective state governments (such as prior to the U.S. Constitution’s being passed into effect).

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller ruling represented a dramatic reversal of the Court’s previous interpretation of the Second Amendment. The Heller Court virtually, and entirely arbitrarily, defecated upon the tradition and principle of “stare decisis,” or of respect for settled Constitutional law as established via a prior definitive U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In the 1939 United States v. Miller case, the Court had stated, in a unanimous decision (which was arbitrarily being overturned by the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court’s 5 fascists in the Heller case), that the “obvious purpose” of the Second Amendment was to “assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of” the state militia, and that the Amendment “must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.” No other end, no other purpose, but only the stated one. This precedent wasn’t merely a bare majority of the Supreme Court speaking in the Miller case and to future American history; it was, instead, everyone on the Supreme Court, who were subsequently being reversed and nullified by the Heller decision’s bare majority in 2008. 

Here was the Miller decision’s key passage:

The Constitution as originally adopted granted to the Congress power: ‘To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.’ U.S.C.A.Const. art. 1, 8. With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces, the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.

The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they [307 U.S. 174, 179] were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies

[such as today’s U.S. Department of ‘Defense’ provides, unConstitutionally]

; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia: civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.

The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.

As is clear there, the purpose of the state militias was not only the “defense” against foreign invasions, but the state militias were organized also in order to put down “Insurrections,” such as the 2008 fascist U.S. Supreme Court majority, in the Heller case, sought actually to encourage and assist (“Insurrection”). The Miller decision said — to the exact contrary, and with documentation that the Heller judges simply ignored — that the Founders’ reason for the Second Amendment was to enable “calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” The Heller fascists, to the exact contrary of the Founders, wanted instead the encouragement of such far-right “Insurrections.” The Heller 5 were, actually, boldly raping the U.S. Constitution. They were raping America’s Founders. And, apparently, no one has noticed.

The Heller decision simply ignored the reason why state militias actually existed; the Heller decision said:

The adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.

It actually implied and meant a great deal more than that. The 5 Heller judges simply ignored the power and authority under which the state militias operated, and to which the militias answered. Insofar as those 5 judges were concerned, these militias were self-organized, and maybe fighting together against the Government — an “Insurrection,” which is one of the two things that the militias were intended to protect the Union against — and certainly not to facilitate.

Furthermore: the very idea that, as the Heller ruling said, a Constitutional provision’s “purpose … does not limit or expand the scope of … the operative clause,” is, itself, a blatant lie, which even people of low intelligence can easily recognize: its falseness is blatant enough so that the clearly fascist intent — of the 5 jurists who agreed there in asserting it — was flamingly obvious and outrageous. Nothing can be more obvious than the fact that a law’s purpose needs to be adhered-to by the entire legal system that is enforcing the law. (Otherwise, for what reason does the law even exist?) The law’s purpose is supposed to be the supreme guide to the law’s interpretation, application, and enforcement. But today’s U.S. Supreme Court is instead dominated by outright traitors, who baldly deny this obvious and blatant fact. They did it right there. They don’t want the actual intent of the Founders to rule in this country. Judges such as this are termites at the very foundations of the American republic. Toleration of such judges is unacceptable in any democracy. This has been tolerated far too long.

Only in a dictatorship can brazen lying, like that, from the nation’s highest court, be tolerated so much so that none of the national press were pointing out each one of that decision’s brazen falsehoods (as is now being done here). The United States has thus been descending into a fantasyland, in which only fascist myths are publishable and publicly accepted as being more than the lies they are, by the ‘news’ media, and by the ‘expert’ juridical commentators (such as this one), all of whom in 2008 and afterward should be laughing-stocks today, for accepting that ruling. Because, if they are not being ridiculed, then what hope is there that a Constitution will be adhered to, and honored, in anything like the sense that it was written for, and intended? Laughing-stocks, indeed! They either are that, or else there can’t even be a hope for democracy — not any, at all. How can there be hope for democracy if judges such as that are tolerated and their decisions thus come gradually to accumulate and so to eat away at the very fabric of a democracy, its very Constitution?

With blazing boldness, the U.S. Supreme Court in Heller overthrew the Founders, and reasserted the Southern Confederacy, more than a century after the South’s defeat in the Civil War. But that’s merely one of the many ways in which they’ve done this. And, apparently, nobody even cares.

PS: A reader of this at Washingtonsblog objected that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” means that the purpose is theirs and not that of any (not limited by any) “well regulated militia.” I responded that: “They lied that the stated purpose ‘does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause.’ That stated purpose very much did ‘limit’ the ‘operative clause’ to be referring ONLY to the use of those weapons either to repel a foreign invasion or to defeat an ‘insurrection.’ All existing militias at that time were operated by the government, for those two purposes. And all of those weapons were held by ‘the people.’ Furthermore, any unauthorized usage of those weapons, for any other than those two purposes, was not covered in this Amendment. Those were 100% government-purposes, and nothing else. But the purchase and ownership and maintenance of the guns were obligations by the individuals, as part of their citizenship. Of course, you’re not advocating that today there is an obligation for every adult American male to keep at least one gun at home? See this.”

Author’s note: first posted at strategic-culture.org

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

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Hardened US and Iranian positions question efficacy of parties’ negotiating tactics

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The United States and Iran seem to be hardening their positions in advance of a resumption of negotiations to revive a 2015 international nuclear agreement once Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi takes office in early August.

Concern among supporters of the agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program which former US President Donald J. Trump abandoned in 2018 may be premature but do raise questions about the efficacy of the negotiating tactics of both parties.

These tactics include the Biden administration’s framing of the negotiations exclusively in terms of the concerns of the West and its Middle Eastern allies rather than also as they relate to Iranian fears, a failure by both the United States and Iran to acknowledge that lifting sanctions is a complex process that needs to be taken into account in negotiations, and an Iranian refusal to clarify on what terms the Islamic republic may be willing to discuss non-nuclear issues once the nuclear agreement has been revived.

The differences in the negotiations between the United States and Iran are likely to be accentuated if and when the talks resume, particularly concerning the mechanics of lifting sanctions.

“The challenges facing the JCPOA negotiations are a really important example of how a failed experience of sanctions relief, as we had in Iran between the Obama and Trump admins, can cast a shadow over diplomacy for years to come, making it harder to secure US interests,” said Iran analyst Esfandyar Batmanghelidj referring to the nuclear accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, by its initials.

The Biden administration may be heeding Mr. Batmangheldij’s notion that crafting sanctions needs to take into account the fact that lifting them can be as difficult as imposing them as it considers more targeted additional punitive measures against Iran. Those measures would aim to hamper Iran’s evolving capabilities for precision strikes using drones and guided missiles by focusing on the providers of parts for those weapon systems, particularly engines and microelectronics.

To be sure, there is no discernable appetite in either Washington or Tehran to adjust negotiation tactics and amend their underlying assumptions. It would constitute a gargantuan, if not impossible challenge given the political environment in both capitals. That was reflected in recent days in Iranian and US statements.

Iranian Spiritual Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested that agreement on the revival of the nuclear accord was stumbling over a US demand that it goes beyond the terms of the original accord by linking it to an Iranian willingness to discuss its ballistic missiles program and support for Arab proxies.

In a speech to the cabinet of outgoing President Hassan Rouhani, he asserted that the West “will try to hit us everywhere they can and if they don’t hit us in some place, it’s because they can’t… On paper and in their promises, they say they’ll remove sanctions. But they haven’t lifted them and won’t lift them. They impose conditions…to say in future Iran violated the agreement and there is no agreement” if Iran refuses to discuss regional issues or ballistic missiles.

Iranian officials insist that nothing can be discussed at this stage but a return by both countries to the nuclear accord as is. Officials, distrustful of US intentions, have hinted that an unconditional and verified return to the status quo ante may help open the door to talks on missiles and proxies provided this would involve not only Iranian actions and programs but also those of America’s allies.

Mr. Khamenei’s remarks seemed to bolster suggestions that once in office Mr. Raisi would seek to turn the table on the Biden administration by insisting on stricter verification and US implementation of its part of a revived agreement.

To achieve this, Iran is expected to demand the lifting of all rather than some sanctions imposed or extended by the Trump administration; verification of the lifting;  guarantees that the lifting of sanctions is irreversible, possibly by making any future American withdrawal from the deal contingent on approval by the United Nations Security Council; and iron-clad provisions to ensure that obstacles to Iranian trade are removed, including the country’s unfettered access to the international financial system and the country’s overseas accounts.

Mr. Khamenei’s remarks and Mr. Raisi’s anticipated harder line was echoed in warnings by US officials that the ascendancy of the new president would not get Iran a better deal. The officials cautioned further that there could be a point soon at which it would no longer be worth returning to because Iran’s nuclear program would have advanced to the point where the limitations imposed by the agreement wouldn’t produce the intended minimum one year ‘breakout time’ to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb.

“We are committed to diplomacy, but this process cannot go on indefinitely. At some point, the gains achieved by the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) cannot be fully recovered by a return to the JCPOA if Iran continues the activities that it’s undertaken with regard to its nuclear program…The ball remains in Iran’s court, and we will see if they’re prepared to make the decisions necessary to come back into compliance,” US Secretary Antony Blinken said this week on a visit to Kuwait.

Another US official suggested that the United States and Iran could descend into a tug-of-war on who has the longer breath and who blinks first. It’s a war that so far has not produced expected results for the United States and in which Iran has paid a heavy price for standing its ground.

The official said that a breakdown in talks could “look a lot like the dual-track strategy of the past—sanctions pressure, other forms of pressure, and a persistent offer of negotiations. It will be a question of how long it takes the Iranians to come to the idea they will not wait us out.”

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Wendy Sherman’s China visit takes a terrible for the US turn

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Photo: Miller Center/ flickr

US Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, had high hopes for the meeting in China. At first, the Chinese side did not agree to hold the meeting at all. The reaction had obvious reasons: Antony Blinken’s fiasco in Alaska left the Chinese disrespected and visibly irritated. This is not why they travelled all the way.

So then the State Department had the idea of sending Wendy Sherman instead. The US government actually needs China more than China needs the US. Sherman was in China to actually prepare the ground for Biden and a meeting between the two presidents, expecting a red carpet roll for Biden as if it’s still the 2000s — the time when it didn’t matter how the US behaved. Things did not go as expected.

Instead of red carpet talk, Sherman heard Dua Lipa’s “I got new rules”. 

That’s right — the Chinese side outlined three bottom lines warning the US to respect its system, development and sovereignty and territorial integrity. In other words, China wants to be left alone.

The bottom lines were not phrased as red lines. This was not a military conflict warning. This was China’s message that if any future dialogue was to take place, China needs to be left alone. China accused the US of creating an “imaginary enemy”. I have written about it before — the US is looking for a new Cold War but it doesn’t know how to start and the problem is that the other side actually holds all the cards

That’s why the US relies on good old militarism with an expansion into the Indo-Pacific, while aligning everyone against China but expecting the red carpet and wanting all else in the financial and economic domains to stay the same. The problem is that the US can no longer sell this because there are no buyers. Europeans also don’t want to play along.

The headlines on the meeting in the US press are less flattering than usual. If the US is serious about China policy it has to be prepared to listen to much more of that in the future. And perhaps to, yes, sit down and be humble.

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Why Jen Psaki is a well-masked Sean Spicer

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When Sarah Huckabee Sanders showed up on the scene as White House Press Secretary, the reaction was that of relief. Finally — someone civil, normal, friendly. Jen Psaki’s entry this year was something similar. People were ready for someone well-spoken, well-mannered, even friendly as a much welcome change from the string of liars, brutes or simply disoriented people that the Trump Administration seemed to be lining up the press and communications team with on a rolling basis. After all, if the face of the White House couldn’t keep it together for at least five minutes in public, what did that say about the overall state of the White House behind the scenes?

But Psaki’s style is not what the American media and public perceive it to be. Her style is almost undetectable to the general American public to the point that it could look friendly and honest to the untrained eye or ear. Diplomatic or international organization circles are perhaps better suited to catch what’s behind the general mannerism. Jen Psaki is a well-masked Sean Spicer, but a Sean Spicer nevertheless. I actually think she will do much better than him in Dancing With The Stars. No, in fact, she will be fabulous at Dancing With The Stars once she gets replaced as White House Press Secretary.

So let’s take a closer look. I think what remains undetected by the general American media is veiled aggression and can easily pass as friendliness. Psaki recently asked a reporter who was inquiring about the Covid statistics at the White House why the reporter needed that information because Psaki simply didn’t have that. Behind the brisk tone was another undertone: the White House can’t be questioned, we are off limits. But it is not and that’s the point. 

Earlier, right at the beginning in January, Psaki initially gave a pass to a member of her team when the Politico stunner reporter story broke out. The reporter was questioning conflict of interest matters, while the White House “stud” was convinced it was because he just didn’t chose her, cursing her and threatening her. Psaki sent him on holidays. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Psaki has a level of aggression that’s above average, yet she comes across as one of the most measured and reasonable White House Press Secretaries of the decade. And that’s under pressure. But being able to mask that level of deflection is actually not good for the media because the media wants answers. Style shouldn’t (excuse the pun) trump answers. And being able to get away smoothly with it doesn’t actually serve the public well. Like that time she just walked away like it’s not a big deal. It’s the style of “as long as I say thank you or excuse me politely anything goes”. But it doesn’t. And the American public will need answers to some questions very soon. Psaki won’t be able to deliver that and it would be a shame to give her a pass just because of style.

I think it’s time that we start seeing Psaki as a veiled Sean Spicer. And that Dancing with the Stars show — I hope that will still run despite Covid.

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