Another “Diez y Seis de Septiembre”; another year without the Hispanic Cultural Center.

So what else is new?

Apparently nothing in the continuing saga of “the Hispanic cultural center that wasn’t”.

But we are not that surprised at the failure of the Fiestas Del Llano to complete this project which has been in play since at least 2003; in time to celebrate the “fiestas” this year.

It was supposed to be the center of Hispanic culture; something that the whole community could be proud of.

Instead it sits there like a sore thumb reminding us of the all too frequent failure of an organization to fulfill its commitment to the community.

According to the city’s Public Information Officer, Sheri Sanderson; all grant monies, which totaled $20,000 dollars at one time, were “terminated” by the city because the local organization was unable to meet a financial requirement attached to the grant money.

We have brought this subject up before. But it seems to have fallen on deaf ears; as organizers continue to dodge the responsibility and at least come clean with what has happened with this project.

We would remind Fiestas Del Llano, Inc. that one of their problems in the community is a credibility problem. People are willing to help with these things. They are willing to contribute and even work to make these types of dreams come alive.

But when they see that nothing has been done after all these years, an organization’s credibility with the community goes out the window. That’s when people stop believing and began to question.

People stop believing in their local organization’s ability to get things done; and rightly so. And to add to the problem, situations like these seem to tarnish other organization’s credibility. And soon, the perception that “we are sometimes our own worst enemy”; proves to be true.

Will yet another year pass before the Fiestas Del Llano Board makes their intentions about the forgotten building known?

Another year to add to the 4 in which the building has sat empty and unused.


The most disturbing part of President Bush’s speech last Thursday (September 13) night was the line where he all but handed the Iraq War off to whoever will succeed him in office after the 2008 elections.

As if the Petraeus report to Congress wasn’t discouraging enough, here was the President telling the American people that when he leaves office; he will leave the mess he created behind for someone else to clean up.

In a short period of time, Bush created a new “guiding principle”; read “new war slogan” to try and sell the same old bill of goods to the American people. He called it “return on success” which makes about as much sense as a military or policy strategy as “stay the course”.

Bush specifically went on to say that “success (in Iraq) will require U.S. political, economic and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency”.

And viola, Bush instantly has a way out of this quagmire which has cost us close to 4,000 American military lives, hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives, over one hundred journalists’ lives, and an untold number of private contractor lives. Add to that the 10 billion dollars a day which is being spent in this senseless war and the slogan “return on success” will take countless of lifetimes to achieve.

But as far as Bush is concerned, his strategy is to just leave it to his successor to take care of.

For the past 3 years at least, the situation in Iraq has proven to be no more than a misguided American foreign policy in an attempt to reap the economic rewards that a country like Iraq represents. But the hard truth is that the policy, if you can call it a policy, has failed.

Yet time after time, Bush has trotted out before the television cameras and spewed his ignorant slogans and false misrepresentations of what is really happening in Iraq.

Bush followed the above line with the following: “Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Iraqi government actions, including recent comments by Prime minister Malaki have told us otherwise.

Another “sleight of hand” used by Bush was his announcement that up to 30,000 troops would be returning home beginning sometime in December. Sounds good on the surface but the problem is that this number represents the exact number of troops involved in the latest surge. All Bush is doing is reducing the troop levels back to their original level before the surge took place last Spring. For now, it looks like 130,000 troops will remain in Iraq after December; at least until we inaugurate a new President.

Talk about being disingenuous. Talk about deceiving the American public.

The fact is that this President along with Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, and all the other Generals who haven’t spoken up until after they retire; or have been forced to retire; have been lying to us all along. And the sad part is that they continue to do so.

They continue to preach their message of fear; and we continue to be a country held hostage by a supposed enemy who doesn’t even have a country! How does that make any sense?

According to Bush, if we left: “Iraq could face a humanitarian nightmare. Democracy movements would be violently reversed. We would leave our children to face a far more dangerous world. And as we saw on September 11, 2001, those dangers can reach our cities and kill our people”.

Once again Bush makes sure to arouse people’s feelings about 9-11 even though Iraq had nothing to do with it. Iraq could face a humanitarian nightmare? So what does he call it now; millions have fled the country and hundreds of thousands have died.

Democracy movements? What movements; that sham of a vote staged a few years ago?

Unfortunately, it looks like it will be up to our next President to get us out of this mess Bush and his misguided disciples created.

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