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‘February, 2009’

“Ruined” brings Mother Courage to Africa.

“Ruined” brings Mother Courage to Africa.

Lynn Nottage’s tense, intense thriller about the horrors of rape in the Congo is guaranteed to leave a knot in your stomach. If you’ve avoided reading the newspaper stories, you can catch up right here. The play aspires to be a modern version of Brecht’s “Mother Courage.” “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” The more things change, the more they stay the same.

“The Cripple of Inishmaan” seeks love under mean-spirited cruelty.

“The Cripple of Inishmaan” seeks love under mean-spirited cruelty.

Could there be love under so much mean-spiritedness and cruelty? Was there something about this corner of rural Ireland that left so many inhabitants so bereft of human kindness? In Martin McDonagh’s first rate dark comedy, “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” Aaron Monaghan gives a bravura performance as “Cripple” Billy, who desperately wants to be valued for himself and not by his infirmity.

But he must navigate the shoals of a town where most of those around him lack civility, much less compassion.

“The American Plan” is how people devour each other

“The American Plan” is how people devour each other

The mood is surreal in Richard Greenberg’s fast-paced, sharply acted, quirky drama of love twisted into domination. The setting is naturalistic enough – a wood dock back-dropped by cedars at a summer home across the lake from a Catskills hotel. But the witchy, controlling Eva Adler (a biting Mercedes Ruehl), who presides over the scene, could blot out the sun as she does the life of her daughter and her chances with young men who deign to wander over from the hotel. Ruehl as Mother Eva makes Mama Rose (“Gypsy”) look like a wimp.

Offshore tax cheating could become criminal money-laundering offense

Offshore tax cheating could become criminal money-laundering offense

Feb 11, 2009 –

The U.S. government might finally get a powerful tool against offshore tax evasion by mega-wealthy individuals and corporations. The worst most miscreants face now is negotiated pay-ups years after they are caught.

A bill introduced last week by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) would make tax evasion using international transfers a criminal money-laundering offense.

The law aims at cases in which money passes through tax havens. It targets not just the evaded taxes, but any money that is part of the scam.

Is NY Gov. Paterson protecting corporate tax evaders?

Is NY Gov. Paterson protecting corporate tax evaders?

Feb 8, 2009 –

At a time when New York State’s budget is reeling from Wall Street tax losses — Wall Street pays 20 to 30 percent of revenues — you’d think Governor David Paterson would want to recoup all the evaded taxes he could get. That doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to corporations that launder their profits offshore.

Paterson refused to deal with the issue and instead answered a question I hadn’t asked. I wonder why. Does that mean he won’t go after corporate tax evaders? Here is the exchange from the Council’s transcript of David Patterson meeting.

Exclusive: How One Fund’s Profits Ended Up in the Caymans

<em>Exclusive</em>: How One Fund’s Profits Ended Up in the Caymans

Inter Press Service (IPS), Feb 5, 2009 –

President Barack Obama said he would crack down on firms that use offshore centres to evade taxes. He could begin with a New York subsidiary of one of the world’s largest private banks, which used a Cayman Islands company to shift its profits.
Julius Baer logo
Why would a New York investment fund manager run operations through an office in the Caymans? “This type of structure is for optimising taxes,” explained Max Obrist, a Cayman Islands official of the global Julius Baer Group (Zurich).

He told IPS that “generating” the income where a company was actually based, “you would pay much more taxes”. Obrist was describing a company shifting claimed earnings to tax havens to evade home taxes. He allegedly helped Julius Baer Investment Management (JBIM) New York do just that.

“Garden of Earthly Delights” a sensual dance history of human failings

“Garden of Earthly Delights” a sensual dance history of human failings

A revival of this impressive dance-theater piece first presented in 1984, is a powerful, sensual, emotional evocation of man’s trajectory from heaven to hell, from the innocence of joy to repression and brutality. The eleven dancers of the company are notably talented, able to bend their bodies to gracefully walk doubled over as animals or pre-humans in the scene of origins, to move and twist with grace, to fly upside-down on wires, to present faces as expressive as their bodies as they show the pinched and frightened visages of people under repression. It’s a performance you will not forget.