One Hispanic American and the Star-Spangled Banner

September 28, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

Justice Robert Jackson’s opinion in one of the most famous Supreme Court decisions, 1943’s (West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette):

“To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous, instead of a compulsory routine, is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds.”

Fast forward to Sunday, September 24, 2017, one U.S. Army veteran, Hispanic American (former Capt. Of Army Rangers) 29-year-old Alejandro Villanueva became an instant hero to many Americans – football fans and otherwise.

Certainly, he has become a hero to the President of the United States as Villanueva is a living, breathing patriotic American not just because he served three tours in Afghanistan during the years he was required to serve in the Army after he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, but because he rejected the suggestion from his boss, Mike Tomlin, the Black coach of the NFL Pittsburg Steelers who “suggested all team members” present themselves as a team in Sunday’s league wide protest after being called “sons of bitches” by the U. S. President.

Is Villanueva the embodiment of a failed U.S. Army promotion of “An Army of One” that flunked the marketing test to the far better and brilliant U.S. Marine Corps marketing ads? Is he really an Army of One? He was on Sunday.

Aside: Never in its marketing history has the United States Marine Corps objected to a Navy or Army advertising campaign; on the other hand, the United States Army complained to the Department of Defense that the eye and ear catching “I didn’t promise you a rose garden” Marine television recruiting ads made the Army look bad. Thus, “an Army of one” was born.

Since television cameras caught Villanueva standing off the field at the tunnel entrance from which players come on to the field, he has apologized for “throwing his teammates under the bus” by embarrassing them with his solo attention to the Star Spangle Banner.

He shouldn’t apologize. He signed a $24 million-dollar contract offered to him because he has developed into a fine offensive tackle. Neither should his teammates be embarrassed either. The reacted to what they think is an insult by the President and they did so in a manner fitting, take a knee on national television’ they were insulted on national television so their pushback had to be on national television.

The fact that some of the team owners either spoke out against President Trump or participated in the actual demonstration of team pushback is interesting. Though some of the owners popped for millions of dollars to support Trump or his inauguration, we should not forget that none of them like Donald Trump enough to even allow him to bid for ownership of the NFL Buffalo Bills. Moreover, some of the owners were NFL defendants against Donald Trump’s anti-trust law suit against the NFL that he and his fellow Trump professional football league’s that they won but were only awarded One dollar trebled to one dollar plus three for damages. The United States Football League (USFL) died, many people blame Trump and his law suit for the league’s demise.

So, the President insulted black players that dominate the league’s rosters and gave owners a chance to pay him back for insulting them years ago. It seems like NFL owners and President Trump share one “quality” i.e. NFL owners have very long memories.

Now that almost every NFL player has manifested an imaginary middle index finger at the President, how long will they remember being called “sons of bitches” and that they be fired for being good Americans and protesting like good Americans, peacefully as prescribed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Good thing the owners are not firing the “sons of bitches” for “taking a knee” – for Alejandro Villanueva, the 29-year-old for Army combat soldier and son of a Spanish naval officer starting offensive tackle for play-off regular Pittsburg Steelers would have a hard time playing against a team by himself.

Six-foot ten inches tall, 300-pound Alejandro Villanueva would not be enough in a game with another team. Standing at the tunnel entrance on Sunday by himself at attention during the playing of the national anthem, however, is a different story. Standing with him, I believe, was every Hispanic American that has ever served in the American military, I least I did.

Contreras is the author of “The Armenian Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” (Berkeley Press, 2017) and “The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and a Trillion Dollars in Trade” (Floricanto Press, 2016); he formerly wrote for the New York Times’ New America News Service.


Wacky Band of Misfits in the White House

August 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

With the dumping of Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, Donald Trump has done what the lifelong Democrat set out to do with his run for the Presidency—Trump has divorced himself from the Republican Party; the “Republican President” has fired the semi-official Republican Party from the White House.

Preibus came to the White House after the longest service as Republican National Chairman who set fund raising records and handed over to the Trump campaign millions of dollars, a profoundly effective data/digital organization and experienced people, few of whom Trump had in his organization. He brought a number of GOP professionals with him. The Republican Party – apart from the Congressional GOP – was well represented in the new Trump Administration.

While Trump diehards detest the official Republican Party as do a band of conservatives in the House of Representatives, they all owe their very existence to the official GOP. Neither Trump or his daughter or son-in-law know enough people to fill thousands of appointive federal government jobs.

EDITORIAL CARTOON The Dream Team? Scaramucci lost more than just his cool. Unfortunately for him, he just lost his place on the dream team. By Khalil Bendib

The Dream Team? Scaramucci lost more than just his cool. Unfortunately for him, he just lost his place on the dream team. By Khalil Bendib

In other words, the GOP “Establishment” is what makes an administration work; thousands of local, state and federal office holders who govern everyday are the team the GOP has working 24/7. The GOP “Establishment” has been around since Abraham Lincoln was nominated for the Presidency in 1860 and his victory over two Democrats that did the country a favor by splitting Democrat pro-slavery votes.

As much as Trump and his base supporters hate the “Establishment” and its backbone, what Trump followers call “RINOS,” he cannot succeed as President without it. Throwing them out of the White House sets up the Administration for failure. Example: the healthcare disaster that has bogged down the entire government.

Trump base supporters pride themselves in hurling their pejorative “RINO” – Republican in Name Only – at any Establishment people whom they define as anyone who wasn’t tooting Trump’s horn and wears a baseball cap imprinted with “Make America Great Again.” If you weren’t for Trump running in and winning the Republican Primary from the very first day of the campaign, you were the enemy RINO.

The real RINOs aren’t the Reince Preibuses of the world, they are Donald Trump and his base supporters. Let us recall that Trump’s own children couldn’t vote in the New York primary for their father. They were not registered Republicans. Daughter Ivanka and her slumlord husband, both in the White House, couldn’t vote for Trump in the Republican Primary.

The same is true of many Trump voters in the states that elected him – Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio. Blue collar Democrats elected him by fewer than 79,000 votes. Trump lost my congressional district by thousands of votes and almost dragged my Republican congressman, Darrell Issa, down with him. That despite more Republicans voting for Issa than ever have in almost twenty years in the House.

What we see is the “Republican” Jimmy Carter in the White House, at least through the first 6 months. That is not the fault of Reince Preibus who as chief-of-staff did not have the power to run things as chiefs usually do. So he is gone. Here enters Lt. General John Kelly (USMC ret.) who has been secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

He has spent the past six months implementing Trump’s views on crime and immigration. Trump truly believes in an immigrant crime wave and stays awake at night sweating about immigrant “criminals,” “rapists,” and not “the best” of Mexicans Trump states the Mexican government is ordering to come to the U.S. FBI statistical data show crime has fallen over the past 20 years especially in areas heavy with immigrants from south of the Rio Grande.

Newly sworn-in Chief of Staff John Kelly is far better grounded in reality than President Trump; he is, perhaps, as described by the National Review’s Jim Geraghty — Kelly is the right man to save the sinking Trump Administration because he is the “hard-nosed military disciplinarian who’s brought in to coach a wacky band of White House misfits.”

Can Lt. General John F. Kelly (USMC ret.) save the Trump Administration from itself and the White House’s “wacky band of misfits” up to and including the President?  We’ll just have to see.


Contreras is the Author of “The Armenian Lobby & U.S. Foreign Policy” (Berkeley Press 2017) and “The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and a Trillion Dollars in Trade” (Floricanto Press 2016), and he formerly wrote for the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.





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