Healthcare Revolution That is Second to None By Netfa Freeman

22 September, 2009 — Black Agenda Report


The U.S. health care jungle fares badly when compared to health care systems in other wealthy, capitalist countries. However, even western Europe and Canada can learn a great deal from the examples of Cuba and Venezuela, where health care is a human and constitutional right and the wellbeing of the people is central to the national mission. Now, that’s real socialized medicine.

‘Instead of closing public hospitals, as is happening across the US, Cuba and Venezuela are building them.’

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Caster Semenya: An Unlikely Challenger of Sexual Binary and Beauty Images By Jamala Rogers

24 September, 2009 — The BlackCommentator

The South African runner made international headlines when she won the 800 meters in a record-breaking 1 minute 55.45 seconds. Caster Semenya’s victory was eclipsed by claims that she was really a male and therefore had an advantage over her female competitors. Accusations of jealousy quickly came from family and friends; charges of racism came from the South African government. Both camps were unified that had Caster lost the race, her sexuality would not have become an issue.

Sarcastic and contemptuous comments have been made by Semenya’s competitors about her looks. The Young Communist League of South Africa defended her African features and urged resistance of the stereotypical beauty image of women that is ‘perpetuated by backward Eurocentric definition of beauty.’

Semenya’s record win led to gender tests by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The medical report allegedly concluded that Semenya is a hermaphrodite meaning that she has both male and female organs. The male organs are producing the large amount of testosterone responsible for Semenya’s deep voice and muscular build. It came as no surprise that the test results were leaked before Caster could be given the news directly.

The young athlete who once extolled ‘I am who I am and I’m proud of myself’ has now been reported to be under a suicide watch. She is said to be receiving non-stop trauma counseling at the University of Pretoria.

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The Real News Network – Zelaya's return to Honduras met with force

23 September, 2009

Ousted president makes surprise return to the capital, coup government responds with vicious crackdown

Eighty-six days after he was summarily kidnapped and forced out of the country by the military, and on his third attempt to return, ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya appeared at the Brazilian embassy in the capital city of Tegucigalpa on Monday morning. Hondurans flooded into the streets to support his return, to which the coup regime responded by instituting a curfew. When thousands of Hondurans refused to adhere to return to their homes, the regime resorted to brute force. Produced by Jesse Freeston.

Óscar Estrada is a filmmaker and radio producer from the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. He works with the organization Arte Acción, and has written several screenplays for narrative films and documentaries. Oscar splits his time between Honduras and the U.S., where he is an associate producer for May I Speak Freely Media, a project that produces media on human rights issues in Honduras. You can find Óscar’s updates on the Honduran coup on Adrienne Pine’s website:
Sandra Cuffe is an independent journalist and photographer from Montréal, Canada. She contributes regularly to The Dominion magazine in Canada, and Latin American political newsletter, Upside Down World.You can find her photos from Honduras at:

YES MEN HONCHO SPRUNG FROM CLINK: "Balls Across America" direct-action campaign launched

24 September, 2009

NYPD abuse of authority big factor in arrest

Andy Bichlbaum, co-founder of activist group the Yes Men, emerged after 26 hours in New York City’s central lockup with all charges against him dismissed.[1]

“The judge just laughed,” said Bichlbaum. “The police had a less well-developed sense of humor – and, it turned out, much less regard for the law. But all in all, I’m ecstatic that they arrested me.”

At 10am Tuesday, Bichlbaum was arrested and charged with trespassing, after he and 21 “Survivaballs” [2] gathered on New York City’s East River and announced they were to going to “take the UN by storm” from the water, since all the land approaches were sealed. Once at the UN, they would supposedly use the Survivaballs to blockade the negotiations and refuse to let world leaders leave the room until they’d agreed on sweeping cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has demanded.[3]

The event was a “scenic and mediagenic way to call attention to what our leaders need to do in the run-up to Copenhagen,” said Bichlbaum. [4] It was also the official inauguration of the Yes Men’s “Balls Across America” series of civil disobedience actions, inspired by the call for direct action on climate change by website

Minutes after the balls began wading into the water, law enforcement swooped in on the protesters by land, sea, and air. In order not to harm their attackers, the balls admitted defeat and waddled out of the water and off the beach. Seven participants were given tickets for trespassing, and one – ringleader Bichlbaum – was whisked away to “the Tombs,” New York’s central processing facility at 100 Centre Street, due to an unpaid ticket for bicycle riding through Washington Square Park.

Bichlbaum’s arrest led to hilarious prime-time coverage on CNN.[5] Continue reading