jueves, 26 de junio de 2014

Homenaje a ilustre "Negro" Agustin Gomez el viernes en el Teatro del Viejo Mercado de Buenos Aires

       El viernes 4 de Julio se realizará en el Teatro del Viejo Mercado, un espectáculo en homenaje al ilustre Negro” Agustín Gómez, quien fue y es un gran maestro argentino de la música y la canción, de quien no sólo abrevaron los nuevos músicos, cantores y creadores de la nueva generación, sino que su excepcional concepto musical produjo una virtuosa y singular innovación en la gestación de la nueva música folklórica.

      Fue integrante esencial de la mítica formación de Los Andariegos, junto a otros notables músicos y creadores, como Cacho Ritro, Raúl Mercado,  Miguel Delgado, Beto Sara, Néstor Basurto   y los nuevos “Andariegos”:  sus hijos, Raúl y Andrés Gómez, Jorge Giuliano, Juan C. Varela y muchos otros que se fueron sumando, ante la revelación de ese nuevo sentido de la canción.

     Estarán compartiendo el escenario Luis Salinas, La Bruja Salguero, Jorge Giuliano, Martín Abalos, Juan Varela, Roberto Calvo, Marcos Dubois, y Vocal Canto, quienes rendirán el merecido homenaje al querido maestro.
Presenta el poeta Horacio Peñalva.
Cierran el espectáculo LOS ANDARIEGOS.
                 Viernes 4 de Julio  -  21:00hs.
Lavalle 3177 – Abasto – CABA.  Tel: 20558500

martes, 24 de junio de 2014

Vulture funds or the art of making money out of money

The business of financial institutions is obviously to make money. But at one time in the not-so-distant past university professors and do-gooders spent hours and hours explaining how loans and other financial tools would help "underdeveloped" countries join the select group of "First World" nations enjoying economic prosperity, democracy and the benefits of the consumer society.
Yet you don’t have to have a Phd to understand that money lenders are out for economic as well as political gain.
Last Monday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Argentina must repay some $1.3 billion to a group of creditors bent on making money out of money—a decision which might well represent a severe blow to emerging economies dependent on international debt markets and establish once again the political clout of international finance.
To put the story in perspective it is convenient to remember what happened in the 1970’s when banks had accumulated enormous amounts of capital. Instead of putting that money into production, they handed out loans to poor countries, no doubt knowing that paying back those loans would be difficult or nearly impossible and therefore a handy tool for imposing economic rules favorable to multi-national business.
In Latin America during that decade conservative ant-communist dictatorships snatched power from one country to the next and almost in unison attempted to impose “free market” economic policies characterized by scandalous debt taking. In Latin America indebtedness from 1975 to 1982 increased four times according to Wilkipedia, from $75 billion to $315 billion, while interest payments jumped ahead by even greater ratios.
In Argentina the biggest debt takers were the members of the military dictatorship: the debt increased by 465% from1976 to 1983. Many critics say furthermore that many of the so-called loans never appeared in the form of social or economic infra-structure projects.
The democratically elected governments which followed the defeat of the dictatorship inherited an enormous economic headache, which led to an enormous economic collapse in 2001 and the non-payment of $81 billion in public debt. The government offered bondholders a haircut solution which 92.4 % of the creditors accepted and the debt payments were made punctually. Since 2003, according to Argentine government figures, debt service payments were made for over $190 billion dollars, although the country had no access to international financial markets.
The 7% bondholders who refused to go along with the deal, known as the vulture funds, bought up default bonds at incredibly low prices in order to resell them at extraordinary profit.
An example of this profitability is the case of Paul Singer’s NML fund: in 2008 it paid only 48.7 million US dollars for bonds in default. Monday’s ruling by Judge Thomas Griesa orders that it be paid 832 million, for a gain of 1608% over six years.
The ruling of the New York District Court orders payment of 1.5 billion dollars by June 30, although it is calculated that the value of the total bonds in default that did not enter the restructuring processes would take the figure to 15 billion, over 50% of the country’s foreign currency reserves.
That would appear to push the country into another default because if it does not pay the 1.5 billion it will have to pay 15 billion in the immediate future.
Curiously enough, if Argentina does not pay the vulture funds, the ruling forbids Argentina from making the payments to the 92.4% of the bondholders who did accept the restructuring. So, in the words of an advertisement of the Argentine presidency: “paying the vulture funds is a path leading to default, and if they are not paid, Judge Griesa’s order entails jeopardizing the right of the bondholders to collect their debt restructured in 2005 and 2010.”
What would appear to be clear is that giving out loans gives the financial institutions leverage to demand the kind of economic policies which are favorable to the interests of the prevailing financial and industrial interests. Thus, any attempt at alternative forms of development become either pipe dreams or attempts to subvert the financial world’s vision of reality.  

sábado, 21 de junio de 2014

A Spaghetti Western version of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew"

It's a balmy June evening in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Couples are stretching languidly and chatting on the green-green grassy knoll near the Swan Pond at Millersville University, as the sun plays hide and seek with the moon. Love is in the air--and in the voices of a pair of troubadours entertaining the spectators who are unhrriedly awaiting the opening lines of a "spaghetti western" version of William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" presented by the People's Shakespeare Project 2014.
        Sure, there are going to be complications. It is a Shakespearean "problematic comedy," a mix of characters and situations during which everything seems topsy-turvy. What's this abourt "taming" a woman? Isn't that a terrible case of "machismo?" Perhaps. But the action takes place before women's rights, when a lady had to defend herself with other weapons. And after the laughter dies out we inevitably begin to think about issues that concern men and women today.

       OK. Maybe you are a bit sour on the classics. But under the direction of Laura Korach Howell there Shakespeare's lines are said with an enchanting Texan accent and the characters from Padua are dressed in cowboy fashion! That in itself is good for a prolonged applause and a horse laugh, because the actors go from 1700th century English to modern day Texan drawl with astonishing facility.
         What's the story? Well Lucentio arrives accompanied by his servant, Tranio and falls head over heals in love with a mother's youngest daughter, Bianca--who due to her beauty and gentle ways already has two suitors and the possibility of receiving a generous dawry.  There's a catch. The mother, Baptista, will not allow Bianca to marry until Katherine, her oldest and a very bad humored daughter is married. That could give way to a dramatic situation. But Shakespeare skillfully treats it as a comedy.
        To break the stalemate, he introduces Petruchio, a young man bent on landing a wealthy wife. Why not take up the challenge of "taming" the shrew (Katherine) and collecting a very respectable dowry? There is strick logic to the script. Bianca's suitors are dying to help get the shrew married. So disguises abound as Hotensio and Lucentio pose as tutors to get close to Bianca. Tranio dresses as Lucentio and the Merchant as Vincentio, Lucentio's father.
To clench things, the real Vincentio appears on the scene amidst complete chaos. And out of chaos order, or a sort of evening out of loose ends. There is even what you might call a happy ending, but that depends on how you understand the series of confusing events.
         The People's Shakespeare Project deserves a round of applause for recreating Shakespeare's play with great fidelity to the text and the vision Shakespeare had of theatre, while at the same time updating the show with the introduction of the accent and a western setting.

            More information on the Project is available at http://www.peoplesshakespeareproject.org  Email: info@tpsproject.org.



jueves, 19 de junio de 2014

The Spanish American Civic Association of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

         Once a rich land known for its Amish and Mennonite farmers, Lancaster is today a cosmopolitan community embracing diverse ethnic groups. More than 40% of its population is of Hispanic origin. Many of the newcomers do not have a complete command of English and are in need of social, educational and medical attention. Around 1971 and to respond to that need, community leaders began to lay the ground for what evolved into the Spanish American Civic Association (SACA).
          Today the association operates a center for retired people--last year they provided 32,000 hot meals--and there are diverse services from medical clinics to workshops, education for drug and alcohol prevention and treatment, mental health treatment, courses for integration into Northamerican society.
         SACA has also had a radio station--wlch 91.3 fm--which has been in the air since 1987. It is one of the 33 radio stations in the country and offers a varied 24 hour program in Spanish and English. Recently Telecentro added a cable service for the community. 

          More information is available at:  http://www.sacapa.org/saca.html

martes, 17 de junio de 2014

"The Last Magazine," a comment on Michael Hastings' posthumous book

If you want to know how to make it big in the mass media, a good place to get some crucial starters is waiting for you at Blue Rider Press: “The Last Magazine.” Unfortunately, Michael Hastings’ fearless career was cut short at 33 years of age—by a tree—so he is not around to give you the updates. Michael figured that journalism wasn’t about rewriting press releases carefully edited in posh corporation or government offices, or being “embedded” with the troops. He thought you had to say things the way they were. That’s what “The Last Magazine” is about. His wife found it on his computer following his death and rightly thought it was a journalistic bomb.

Perhaps the reader remembers having read an article back in 2010 published by “Rolling Stone” magazine which, to say the least, caught the then supreme commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan openly mocking his civilian commanders in the White House. That’s not politically correct and Michael’s caustic article led to the demise of the general. That led to the publication of a previous book, “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan.

Hastings got his first taste for how today’s news factories turn out products that seem to come off the assembly line, or from the publicity offices of corporate moguls and political big shots when he got broken in at News Week. Sure. You learn by doing. But also by watching. Talking. Listening. News Week sent him off to cover the Iraq war in 2007, where his fiancée and aide worker was killed in a Baghdad car bombing. That led to Hastings’ first book, “I lost my love in Baghdad: a modern war story.” The no-holds-barred journalist didn’t let that vamp his energy. He wrote for Rolling Stone on the drones, did an exclusive interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at his hideout in the English countryside, carried out an investigation into the Army's illicit use of "psychological operations" to influence sitting Senators and a profile of Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl, "America's Last Prisoner of War."

"Great reporters exude a certain kind of electricity," said adroitly Rolling Stone managing editor Will Dana, "the sense that there are stories burning inside them, and that there's no higher calling or greater way to live life than to be always relentlessly trying to find and tell those stories. I'm sad that I'll never get to publish all the great stories that he was going to write, and sad that he won't be stopping by my office for any more short visits which would stretch for two or three completely engrossing hours. He will be missed."

Opinionated and hard-charging, Hastings was always pushing on for more and refused to cozy up to power. It is therefore legitimate that clear minded journalists follow in his steps and—for example—investigate the causes of his death. True. He was under great stress and was taking medical marijuana, going back and forth between New York and Hollywood (where he sold rights to “The Operators” to Brad Pitt’s production company. He also mentioned, perhaps not very diplomatically to friends, that he was working on an article about the National Security Agency. According to BuzzFeed, his employer at the time, he complained that his friends were being interviewed by the F.B.I. and explained to the magazine that he needed to “go off the radar for a bit.”

Then at 4:20 a.m. June 18th he was killed when his Mercedes crashed into a tree while allegedly traveling at a very high speed in Los Angeles. But……..why did police cover the front part of the car with a sheet? Cars explode with amazing ease in Hollywood movies, but reality would seem to be a bit different. You might go 100 miles an hour on a super highway, although it is advisable neither for your health nor for your pocket book. If were Michael and you suspected someone was following you, wouldn’t you become a bit nervous? Maybe times have changed, but didn’t it used to be that the F.B.I. was in charge of investigating federal crimes in the country while the CIA was supposed to take care of the country’s secret interests abroad? Oh well, the times they are a-changin’. Maybe the speculations about some funny business associated with the death of Michael Hastings are all false hearsay. Maybe. But doesn’t this whole situation make you think of  George Orwell, the brave new world, 1984…And then you think of Wilkileaks, Snowden, so many other cases and you conclude sadly that Hastings’ death was a loss as well as a gain, a loss of a valuable life and a gain for the heritance he left for investigative journalism.

Ben Smith, editor of Buzzflash, knew Hastings well: “he was only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want to write,” yet “he knew that there are certain truths that nobody has an interest in speaking, ones that will make you both your subjects and their enemies uncomfortable. They are stories that don’t get told because nobody in power has much of an interest in telling them.”  Was it not Christ who said seek the truth and the truth will make you free? Unfortunately, often at a price.

domingo, 15 de junio de 2014

War is business, money, don't you understand?" (A fiction)

Wyeth was opposed to the war but his bosom friend Wayne was convinced his duty was to defend his country with his very life. They often argued. They disagreed. They got angry. And then they made up. After all they were friends. But who can deny that war is a nasty thing? Hadn’t the Defense Minister asked laconically whether people agreed that “War is a dirty business?” That was the phrase that ignited Wyeth’s sentiments one gloomy Sunday afternoon in a downtown bar where he and Wayne, his best friend, treated themselves to a pair of foamy imported beers. Wyeth claimed to be a pacifist. The argument blushed his pale cheeks: “War is business, money, don’t you understand?’ he wanted to know.  “There are no just wars.  Wars are fought for territory, to impose a way of life, to get the natural resources needed to feed factories, to open up markets, to evangelize and replace one religion with another, to win and guess who writes the history books? Besides, who dies in wars? Not the rich, not the politicians, not the lawyers…”

Wayne was a gentle looking man with soft greenish eyes and coarse sandy colored hair.  He loved his wife, his children, his neighbors, he was a Sunday school teacher and well respected in his neighborhood. He didn’t seem to be a candidate for the war, but you never know.  For most of their school years Wayne and Wyeth had been bosom friends. But lately they had begun to drift apart. Things came to a breaking point when Wayne decided to enlist in the army and volunteer to join the military forces which had invaded Balkeslachistan , a country on the fringe accused of harboring insurgents fighting to defend archaic religious and social beliefs contrary to those of the invading army. Up to now Wayne had incessantly defended Wyeth, even under varied and trying circumstances. Yet now he was red with anger. His chest heaved and his voice sounded cracked with anger.

“Don’t you understand my dear friend? I love my country and I am prepared to die for it!” He shouted to emphasize his point, slamming his beer mug on the wooden table. All eyes in the dark basement bar whirled towards him and waiters stopped in their tracks. Time seemed to have come to a standstill. “How many countries have the freedom and democracy that we have? It isn’t because we want to destroy their country. But we have the God given duty to bring peace and prosperity to an oppressed nation. Our ethical obligation to God and our forefathers is to intervene for the good of humanity. What if they dare to attack us? God has given us the right to defend our way of life…and in doing so we are bring them enlightenment.” He paused for a long moment, staring straight at Wyeth. Seconds went by, or perhaps minutes. Who knows how long? At moments like these the whole concept of time seems nothing but a fantasy. Out on the street cars came and went, a dense cloud of smog blurred the sunset, people scurried here and there with worry etched on their faces, far off a police siren sounded, lovers entwined their hands seductively, a student was shot to death in his classroom by a lone assassin, and a jealous husband clouted his wife on her arrival from work, a 90 year old woman silently did her yoga exercises while her life mate played his Stradivarius violin and a twelve-year-old girl couldn’t find the words with which to end her love poem.

Wyeth stirred his coffee in pensive silence, convinced that he should not get caught up in his friend’s outburst, yet he felt caught up in the storm. His pacifist convictions, years of yoga classes, fascination with breath control and a daily routine of exercises aimed at warding off negative influences had taught him to attempt to find positive energy even in the blackest moments. Yet Wayne was his best friend and they were at loggerheads. It was Wyeth who broke the silence. He stood up abruptly, called the waiter, paid the bill and strutted out the door.

A year and a half later, the local newspaper carried a story on the fate of Wayne. He had been captured by the enemy forces in Balkeslachistan. “Sgt. Wayne Johnston, a soldier respected for his patriotism and fighting skills, was reported missing last Monday,” the paper claimed. “Military authorities have given only vague accounts concerning the disappearance of Wayne, but our war correspondent reports that some of the sergeant’s buddies alleged that he had deserted…”

Wyeth could not believe what he had just read. Tears swelled up in his eyes. He wadded the newspaper in his fist, threw it to the ground and stomped on it. “Oh God! God! God!” His best friend had gone to the war, had been captured, or perhaps surrendered to enemy forces. If history often plays tricks on its players, how often does life seem to contradict our most treasured plans? Wyeth didn’t think twice. He took the first plane to Balkeslachistan, going through all the customary frisking, questioning and ID checks travelers must endure to enter the country. After checking into the Grand Hotel, he searched the immediate area for a coffee shop and entered one with the air of a man of business. You couldn’t walk freely about town and you couldn’t go into any restaurant or coffee house without being caught in the military surveillance radar the invading forces had carefully set up in the city. But no surveillance is perfect.

“I’m sorry,” said Wyeth motioning to the waiter, “but this coffee is awfully strong.”

“You can help yourself to another cup if you go to that shelf near the kitchen door,” the waiter said pointing a finger with a long untrimmed nail towards the coffee pots. 

“Thanks so much!”

As he was pouring himself another cup of coffee, Wyeth noticed a man with a familiar figure on the other side of the sliding doors that separated the kitchen from the counter where the waiters took people’s orders. He bent over to get a better look. There was something about that man in the kitchen. He could barely see him, but there was something about him. Perhaps it was a wild shot. Perhaps not.

“Sorry,” Wyeth repeated again, calling the waiter. “What time does this place close?”

“Oh, we close in about an hour.”

Wyeth drank his black coffee and then went around to the back of the building to see if he could find the exit door for the employees. He waited there patiently. When the man appeared, dressed in colorful local attire, he pressed close and whispered into his ear.

“Backstairs, Grand hotel, 7:45pm.”

The man glanced at him. A slight smile opened up the edges of the lips momentarily.


It was Wayne. Friends have a special knack for recognizing themselves. They whispered in hushed tones for an hour on the footsteps of the hotel fire escape.

“What happened?”

“I got fed up. I can’t take it anymore. This isn’t defending our country’s values…”

“You mean you…?”

“It's not the right method. You've gotta do things the right way or not do 'em...Here, let’s exchange clothes.”

There was darkness enough to do so. Wayne put on Wyeth’s jeans and grey-black shirt and returned to room 707. The next day he took the first flight home. Wyeth stuck it out for a few days more at the restaurant, then turned himself in to the military authorities. When the commander of the Balkeslachistan mission discovered the trick the two friends had played on the invading forces he foamed and raged, very much as the reader might imagine. But there was nothing much he could do. True. Wyeth was an imposter, but that was a minor offense which was later settled in court with a light jail sentence. Wayne never returned to his home for fear of being picked up by the Army or the secret service. The two men met up two years later on a delightful sunlit beach resort in Bashfore, a small country which had been able to maintain a carefully negotiated neutrality in the war. The two men strode towards each other over the sifting sand and dropped into a long heart-felt embrace.

“I love you and what you stand for,” said Wayne. I detest those people's beliefs and traditions but worse yet is to destroy their entire culture in the name of progress and with nameless atomized weapons. 

“I love your courage and honesty,” declared Wyeth.

Wayne dug his feet into the sand. Wyeth smiled. A white seagull swooped down over the salty waves nearby. Further off you could hear the cries of children dancing on the waves. The TV featured a program on the war, with some experts saying it had to end, others that "we've got to finish what we started." Off somewhere in the distance there was a marriage ceremony.  A man said to his companion: “love is sharing all you have without asking anything in return.”


martes, 10 de junio de 2014

"Canciones para ojos cerrados," de Juan Ignacio Crespo en el teatro La Tertulio de Buenos Aires

Carmen y Elena, dos profesoras del pueblo Paso de los Santos durante la dictadura militar en Argentina en los años 70, tienen una conciencia muy limitada sobre lo que sucede a su alrededor. Elena, una celebridad del pueblo en su juventud, empieza a seducir a Bruno Galvez, un alumno de 5to año, tramando un plan para llevarlo a casa durante la ausencia de su esposo. Carmen, siempre a la sombra de Elena, decide seguirle los pasos y develarla públicamente, una acción que da lugar a abusos, violencia y los excesos del poder.

     Juan Ignacio Crespo, director y dramaturgo, explica:  En un reportaje de 1984, el novelista y teórico literario Ricardo Piglia respondía sobre el “complot de los relatos” durante la dictadura y aseguraba: … “[antes de Malvinas] cuando los militares querían inventar una guerra, con el trasfondo del terrorismo clandestino del Estado y los desaparecidos, la gente empezó a contar la historia de alguien que le había contado que alguien había visto pasar un tren que iba hacia el sur cargado de féretros vacíos. Los ataúdes eran para enterrar a los soldados que iban a morir en la guerra. Estaba todo ahí, los féretros anticipando los muertos que venían y narraban implícitamente lo que estaba pasando con los desaparecidos”. Esto llevó a preguntarme por las fantasías sociales de todas las épocas, pero sobretodo, notando que lo que se reprime en lo cotidiano retorna de algún modo y una de las formas más comunes son los relatos, las historias que todos sabemos pero de origen incierto y que tienen como función alertarnos.
Funciones: Viernes 22:30 horas, Teatro La terfulia, Gallo 826, CABA, Argentina
Dramaturgia y dirección: Juan Ignacio Crespo
Elenco:  Soledad Cicchilli, Julian Blutman, Ema Visini
Diseño de luces: Roman Tanoni

Producción: Lali Zosso Velez
Diseño gráfico:  Juan Eduardo Barvoza

martes, 3 de junio de 2014

A homeless view of economics

The guy with the blackberry stopped  in his tracks, observing the homeless man on the steps of a bank. "That's the man I've been looking for," he muttered to himself, "but I'll have to wake him up. If I give him a buck he'll certainly cooperate." So he touched the man on the shoulder.

"Hello there! I'd like to ask you a few questions."
"Oh...about what? Are you a policeman?"
"No, not really. Are you in love?"
"In love! I was, once. I'm waiting for another chance. It was great. We ate crackers and looked at the moon every night."
"What do you think about imperialism?
"What  do I think about what?
"What's that?"
"You mean to say you don't know?"
"Is it a brand of beer, dark perhaps?"
"Not exactly."
"Well, what is it?
"That's what I want to ask you.
"Got a piece of bread?"
"No...but here's some chewing gum. So. Out with it! What's imperialism?"
"I'm not sure. I remember once my friend used that word."
"How? In what way?"
"He said it was a couple of guys grabbing everything."
"He said that?"
"Yea. But to tell the truth I don't have the foggiest..."
"Your friend was wrong. We produce things so you can live better."
"Yea. See this? It's a blackberry. We've made it for you."
"For me? Woh!"
"We make lot's of things for you."
"Why do I have to have those things?"
"That's not the point!"
"Where do you get the stuff to make those things with?"
"Oh, here and there, especially in Latinamerica and Africa."
"Is that what imperialism is, an expedition for raw materials?"
"Sort of. But it brings progress. Imagine what the world would be like without computers, without space rockets, without pilotless airplanes, without..."
"You make all of those things?"
"Just a few of them. There are a lot of guys making things. They need money and banks and workers and many more things to make things you could never imagine. That's what imperialism does. It takes raw materials from poor countries and turns them into millions of useful objects."
"Where can I get one?"
"One what?"
"An imperialism."
"Hmm. Imperialism is a concept, a way of organizing society. It's not something you can buy and sell. Anyway...I think you'll have to wait a bit."
"How long?"
"That depends...Oh, I wonder if I could borrow your bycycle."
"I'm sorry. It's broken. Could you fix it for me?"
"I'd love to but I have to get to the Board of Directors meeting in five minutes. Thanks for the chat. See you!"

lunes, 2 de junio de 2014

China, U.S. and the Brave New World

Tit for tat. You hack me, I’ll hack you. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Washington is outraged at China for allegedly stealing trade secrets from U.S. businesses. Using a bit of everyday logic it is inferable that China is riled by the snooping of the NSA. And Germany, a good friend of Washington, and corporations, and your telephone, your emails, your…Snooping appears to be the order of the day in the post-Cold War world. In this espionage tug-of-war one thing is what you say and do publically, something quite different what happens under the hat.

Recently the mass media paraded the indignation of the Obama administration at five Chinese military sleuths who, according to an indictment of the Justice Department, attempted to pilfer confidential information from American companies.

Yet at least some of the victimized U.S. corporations—doing great business in China—would not like the indignation to go so far as to affect their flourishing commercial operations. Business interconnects in the “globalized” economy and for the “big players” competition for markets includes snooping. For example, according to the Associated Press, Westinghouse is building four nuclear reactors in China; the Allegheny Technologies steelmaker operates a joint venture in Shanghai; Alcoa, the biggest foreign investor in China would certainly not like to give up its business there.

At a time when the capitalist world is still in financial turmoil, U.S. investors in the world’s second-biggest economy are having a hay-day in China, a market that last year brought a nearly 50% take for U.S. firms. They no doubt are concerned that Chinese hackers might steal some of their trade secrets.

The exchange of goods between the U.S. and China reached a record $562 billion last year and U.S. companies earned nearly $10 billion, also a record according to the Associated Press. Direct U.S. investment in China is more than %50 billion. Significant also is the fact that General Motors sells more cars in China than in the U.S. And Chinese companies have become big investors in the U.S., where Chinese investment was estimated at $14 billion last year.Yet here is little information available in the press concerning the spying of the NSA in China. If the documents Snowden revealed show large-scale business spying in Germany, there must certainly be important operations also in China.

Big business in the U.S. is supposed to be private, although giant corporations often receive subsidies, tax reductions and in times of crisis they receive government bailouts. In China there is more scrutiny of the State, so there is a blur in terms of the roles of what is private and what is state in both countries.

One of the complaints of U.S. companies operating in China is that the Chinese firms are given an edge over foreign competitors. That charge supposes that in this globalized world foreign and local businesses should be given equal treatment. Nevertheless, most developed countries in their rise to wealth have imposed preferential tax treatment in favor of their own business interests.

Often fiction speaks more clearly than “reality.” The present world certainly bears strong resemblance to George Orwell’s “1984” in which he says: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable," and then you have the technological mind control present in A. Huxley’s “Brave New World.” Spying, long a secret aspect of political and economic struggles, has now obtained recognized status as the modus operanti of the tug-of-war for power in the post-Cold War world.