Last Words of famous Personalities.

Last words of the people we have idolised have always fascinated us. These words give us a brief glimpses of their characters. Here’s a compilation of last words of famous personalities.

  • Bob Marley: Money can’t buy life.
  • Groucho Marc: This is no way to live. 
  •  Joe DiMaggio: I finally get to see Marilyn.
  • Napoleon Bornaparte: France, the army, the head of army Josephine.
  • Darwin: I am not the least afraid of dying.
  • Che Guevera: I low you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, cowards you’re only going to kill a man.
  • Hitchcock: One never knows the ending. One has to die to know exactly what happens after death, although Catholics have their hopes.
  • Nostradamus: You will not find me alive at the sunrise.
  • Thomas Edison: It is very beautiful out there.
  • John Adams: Thomas Jefferson survives. Actually Jefferson died some hours before John Adams on 4 July.
  • James Brown: I am going away tonight.
  • Vladimir Nobokov: A certain butterfly is already on the wing.
  • John Lemon: I’m shot.
  • Winston Churchill: I am bored with it all.
  • Ben Franklin: A dying man can do nothing easy.   
  • Karl Marx: Last words are for fools, who have not said enough.
  • Marie Antoinette: Pardon me, I didn’t do it on purpose.
  • Emily Dickinson: I must go in, for the fog is rising.
  • Issac Newton: I didn’t know what I may seem to the world, but as to myself I seem to have been online like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then in finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me.
  • Oscar Wilde: These curtains are killing me, one of us has got to go.
  • Ernest Hemingway: Goodnight, my kitten.
  • George Bernard Shaw: Dying is easy, comedy is hard.
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“Paradise Papers: everything you need to know” 

On 5th November 2017, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalism made hundreds of thousands of confidential files public. These files accused many world leaders, celebrities and ultra rich to be culprits of using unfair methods to avoid paying high taxes. These thousands of documents naming all these people are a part of a bigger investigation named Paradise Papers. Here’s a quick guide about what it is and why is it important.

What is Paradise Papers

Paradise papers is a set of 13.4 million confidential electronic documents which are related to offshore investments. These documents were first leaked to Süddeutsche Zeitung, who then shared it with International Consortium of Investigative Journalism and a network of more than 380 journalists. After more than a year’s investigation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism decided to release some of the documents into public domain. These documents show how politicians and other powerful and rich people used complex structures to save their cash from higher taxes.

According to BBC ( which was one of the nearly 100 media groups who worked on it) the name Paradise Papers was chosen because of the idyllic profiles of many of the offshore jurisdictions whose workings were unveiled, including Bermuda, the HeadQuarter of the main company involved, Appleby. It also dovetails nicely with the French term for a tax haven- Paradise Fiscal. 

There are more than 1.4 Terabytes of data, which contains more than 13.4 million documents. Half of which come from offshore legal Services provider Appleby and Corporate service provider Esters( the two actually worked together till 2016), the six million documents come from corporate registries in 19 jurisdictions. A smaller amount comes from Asiaciti trust. These documents cover decades.

Who are named

  • The most famous person named in it is Queen Elizabeth two. Millions of pounds from Queen’s private estate has been invested in a Cayman Islands fund and some of her money went to a retailer accused of exploiting poor families and vulnerable people. Her son Prince Charles has also been named.   
  • Us secretary of state, commerce William Ross has also been accused of tax avoidance.
  • Offshore dealings by many Trump’s cabinet members, advisers and  donors are also being scrutinized and guess with whom they were doing business with, Putin’s son in law.
  • Apple has also avoided high taxes by shifting key parts of it’s empire. Apple does pay taxes but it pays very low amount of tax. Though it has done nothing illegal, it still may promt awkward questions about Apple’s tax policy.
  • It also revealed that Facebook and Twitter are being funded by Russian s.

        Why is it important?

        These revelations have come at a time when the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. Less than 500 people are controlling half of the world’s total money. These numbers should be a matter of concern for everyone who believes in a free and equal society. 

        Money controls the world, if only a handful of people have half of world’s money, it would be natural for them to start controlling the world. That is where these reports help. They raise awareness among the masses about the prevailing financial inequality and how the rich are using unfair methods to increase their richness. In today’s post truth world where international leaders are calling one other by names like “little rocket man”, often using social media for this, only sensible and truthful journalism like this can show us the truth.

        Books I can suggest to everyone to read.

        • The Great Gatsby

        This Fitzgerald’s masterpiece was first published in 1925. The parties he attended in Long Island inspired him to write it. The story is set on the West Egg in the prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The novel shows the tragedy of Jay Gatsby, who despite having achieved everything, could not win the love of his life. It is actually a very short novel of around 200 pages. Despite it’s short length, it will have you captivated. It is a delight to read especially it’s masterfully crafted ending. It explores the themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change and social upheaval. It creates a vivid portrait of roaring twenties which has been described as a cautionary tale of American dream.

        Best quote: ” So we beat on boats against current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”.

        • The Kite Runner

        This novel, which was also the debut novel of Khaled Hosseini is considered by many to be one of the best novel of this century and that’s saying something. First published in 2003, it features Amir from Wazir Akbar district of Kabul narrating his  story. Set against the backdrop of tumultuous events which happened In Afghanistan, from the invasion of USSR to the rise of Taliban, does not shy away from showing the tension between ethnic groups of Afghanistan. Though, set in Afghanistan and USA, it’s themes of guilt and redemption makes it universal. Albeit of the fact that the lat part is a bit too much concentrated on redeeming Amir, it is still a devastating and unforgettable experience.

        Best qoute: ” For you a thousand times over”.

        • The Perks Of Being a Wallflower

        This epistolary novel from Stephen Chobosky is about a boy who regularly writes to someone( the name of the someone is not given) under the fake alias of Charlie, about his life when he starts going to high school. Through these letters we learn a great deal about him. The book details his unconventional style of thinking as he navigates from adolescence to adulthood and tries to ask poignant questions spurred by his interactions with his family and friends. This is one of those rare books which will remind you of your teen days or if you are a teenager just like me you will find it easy to relate to.

        It has a brilliant cinematic adaptation also, so just make sure you read the book before you watch the motion picture. Trust me, it will make you feel infinite.

        Best quote: ” I am both happy and sad and I am still trying to figure out how I can be both at the same time”.

        • The Alchemist

        First published in 1988, written by Paul Coelho (perhaps his most famous work). It is an allegorical novel. It follows a young shepherd named Santiago, who travels to the great pyramids of Egypt from Spain to achieve his dreams. It has a charmingly simple narrative and a simple but beautiful plot. ”When you want something the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it”, this line from the novel is core to its philosophy. It shows you that journey is more important than the destination. It is a very inspiring book. I hope that it will inspire you just like it inspired me.

        Best quote: ” It is the possibility of having a dream coming true that makes life interesting “.

        • The Catcher in the Ray


        J. D. Salinger’s masterpiece, it is a book I think every teenager should read. The book features Holden Caulfield narrating events that happened to him around one Christmas. The book’s narration is so honest that you can’t help feeling that you are not reading a book but are listening to a close friend. The novel’s protagonist is a teenager who is having problems adjusting to changes brought by adulthood. Despite being cynical, he is a reader’s delight. You can easily relate to him. This novel is a pure classic, so I guess most of you would have already read it. But if you have not read it, then you must read it, it won’t disappoint you.

        Best quote: ” People always clap for the wrong thing”.

        ‘A beginner’s guide to Catalonian independence movement’

        Finally after weeks of great political tension, Catalonian government has  declared independence and Spain of course has revoked article 155 for the first time in the history of Spain, which will dissolve Catalonia’s current government. Elections will happen in the next six months. Untill then Catalonia will remain under direct rule from Madrid. One has to accept that the future of Spain and Catalonia looks uncertain and gloomy. Though one thing is quite certain, that we should expect more protest and political mess in Catalonia. So why is it happening and what impact it can have on the world, here is a quick report on that.

        What is Catalonia?           

        Catalonia is a large Spanish province located on the eastern extremity of the Iberian peninsula. It consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. It is bordered by France and Pandora to the north and Mediterranean sea to the east and the autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. Its official languages are Spanish, Aranese dialect of Occitan and Catalan. It has a flag of its own known as the Estelada flag.  

        History of Catalonian independence movement.

        Catalonia’s bid for independence is a mixture of a complex history, diverse cultures and messy economic conditions(Especially since the 2008’s great recession). Albeit of this they have more in common than they’d like to admit. They share a complex history which dates back to more than a thousand years ago.

        It is not for the first time that Catalonia’s are demanding their independence. Its struggle for it has a history of it’s own. The first major protest of 20th century began in 1922, when Francesco Catalã (Catalan state) party, which then merged with others to form the Esquerra Republicans de Catalunya(republic left of the Catalonia). It later won the elections in 1931, the election which also forced Alfonso thirteenth to go into exile. Macia, then escalated his demand for the Catalan State of Federal Spanish Republic. But talks with the leader of second Spanish republic made him accept autonomy for Catalonia within the Spanish state.  

         Despite of this, the Catalan enjoyed this hard earned autonomy for only seven years, as General Franco, the victor of Spanish civil war abolished their autonomy.in 1938. General Franco’s regime openly took repressive measures to curb any political dissent. Catalonia somehow endured his long, 37 years regime. After his death Spain became a democracy and Catalonia regained its autonomy. From 1975 Spain and Catalonia enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous era. Catalonia became one of the most economically important regions of Spain.  

        The protest for liberation erupted again in 2006, when a Spanish court ruled that some of the articles of statue of autonomy were unconstitutional. This judgement took Catalonia by storm. Starting with Arenys de munt over 550 municipalities held referendums on independence, most of which returned with a high yes with turnouts being around fifty percent. But the event which caught the world’s attention was a mass protest held in Barcelona on 10 July 2010.

        It was organized by the cultural organization Omnium Cultural to voice their concerns over high court’s order. A large number of people turned out for this demonstration. Some estimated that the turnout was around 1.1 million to 1.5 million. However the Madrid based newspaper El Pause thought it to be 425,000. It generated a wave of political consciousness among Catalonia’s youth. After this on 11 September 2012, there was another mass protest to ask the government to begin the process towards independence. As a result of increasing public pressure the then Catalonian president Artur Moss called a snap election. 

        In the 2013 election, the pro independence parties won a majority, a first in Catalonia’s long history. The new Parliament adopted the Catalan sovereignty decleration in 2013, asserting that Catalonian people have the right to decide their own future. The newly formed government then announced a referendum on independence. The Spanish government felt the referendum was illegal. The pressure from Madrid forced the Catalonian government to change the referendum from a binding one to a non binding one. Albeit of this a Spanish court banned it. The referendum still took place. Two questions were asked in that referendum. The first was if the voter wanted Catalonia to be a state. The second asked if yes, then should it be independent or not. The result showed that 81 percent voters voted yes-yes in a turnout of around 42 percent. 

        Well, you may think most Catalans are in favour of secession, but this is not the case. Most who wanted to stay didn’t turn up to vote. Moss then called a general election. The pro independence parties fell just short of majority. The newly formed Parliament passed a resolution declaring the start of independence process. As a part of this process president Puigdenmont organized a referendum on whether Catalans want independence or not. The Spanish government termed it illegal. The Spanish government used harsh measures to prevent the vote from happening.

         

        The government banned every material related to voting. The Spanish authorities regularly checked public places which could have become polling booth. Some videos showing Spanish police brutally beating peaceful voters have circulated all over the Internet(although the Spanish government believes them to be fake). 

        Is the situation really so bad?

        The main reason for which Catalans want independence is the difference between Spanish and Catalonian culture and language. Of course there is a history which no one can erase. Yet no can forget what they have gained together. Many still can’t think about  Spain without Catalonia. Yes, Catalans can say they were not treated properly in the past by Spain and are contributing muchore to Spanish economy than they are getting in return. Despite of all this try comparing this situation to the situation of Kurdistan or Palestine. The situation is actually a bit like Scotland and United Kingdom or like United Kingdom and European Union. Though the arrests of Catalonian leaders are alarming. Perhaps the Spanish government can handle the issue a bit more lightly to ease the tension between Spain and Catalonia.

        What’s next? 

        The chance of a secession looks very bleak in the near future. The most probable option is that the Spanish government would reinstate the statue of autonomy or will negotiate a better economic deal for Catalonia to calm down the tensions. Nevertheless, one thing will happen certainly. This movement will inspire many others to demand independence from one’s nation, particularly in Europe. Such protests have already started in parts of Italy. Though, it is highly unlikely that any such protest would be fruitful.

        ‘Are Google,Facebook and Amazon monopolies?’        

        It has been nearly four months since the European union imposed the £2.4 billion fine on Google. The search engine was found guilty of showing its own shopping comparison service at the top of search result. This judgement reignited the debate about modern tech monopolies.

        Google’s case was not an isolated one. Most of the internet giants have become or are becoming monopolies. Amazon and Facebook are buying rivals companies at their will to eliminate any competition left. As a result of it Amazon is conquering more and more lands, while Facebook has literally no rival left. The gravety of the situation can be measured by the fact that Google and Facebook are gobbling 85 percent of the internet advertising revenue, while Amazon is taking home74 percent of revenue from E Books.

        Google has been criticized before also for  persuading Android device makers to have Chrome as the default browser. You can also see that most android devices have Google created apps like Gmail and YouTube pre installed. This gives Google an unfair first mover advantage. Some estimates that Google gets 80 percent of its searches due to the first mover advantage.

        7-8 years ago website could make a hefty income easily, but now with the percent of revenue these sites are taking, it is becoming increasingly hard. It’s not just websites, an artist earns about $900,000 for a million downloads on iTunes, but for a million views on YouTube she can earn only $900. 

        It is not just that they are earning money by unfair methods, but moreover they also have huge influence over us. Many of us have still not forgotten how Facebook and Twitter was used as a tool to influence the result of 2016 presidential election. Sites like these can be effectively used for propagation of information, but who knows the information being propagated is right or wrong. Recently they have also become a bastion for hatred and fake news. Such political influence and concentration of economic power is dangerous for the existence of a free market and world.

        Since 2000 Barry Lynn has warned us about the dangers of monopoly, most recently as a part of the Open Market Programme. Recently a prominent news website reported that New America had cut ties with the Open Market Programme. The site reported that the New America did so at the request of Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet. Alphabet was actually not happy to see Open Market cherishing its fine despite of Google being a major stockholder in New America. So if the report was true, Google was exercising its economic power to silence it’s critics. 

        Facebook, Amazon and Google, all are now one of the most valuable corporations in the world. Their sectors are also very dependant on them. Ten years ago most of the valuable corporations were either of manufacturing or banking or sometimes oil. But the heavy dependency of these sectors on those companies forced a decline in these sectors when  those corporations witnessed a decline. 

         Go on the internet, count how many search engine you can search on. Perhaps two or three. There were some more 8-9 years ago. But the lack of advertising revenue compelled many of them to shut down. Same is in the case of Facebook, it has no rival left in social networking sites and in case one will appear in the near future it will buy it like it bought Whatsapp. Why will these companies think about their service to consumers if their dominance is so well secured. 

        Finally coming back to the £2.4 billion fine, perhaps it would not matter much. A company like Google can pay it in a heartbeat, without much consideration, but the dent it will cause to their reputation perhaps may be irrepairable. But still imposing fines like this can not do much. The focus should be on regulation to curb the ultra dominance of such companies.

        The carnival begins

        Premier league has begun. City and united are looking like the favourites. Here my

         opinion on how the top six can fare this season

        Manchester city

        Were easily the best in the transfer market. Spent around $300 million in the transfer window, mainly on the defenders. After 4-5 games it is looking as they are gonna be the team to beat. Should defineately finish in top 2 and will make at least quarter finals in the champions league. De bruyne, Aguero,Gabriel jesus and Mendy would be important.

        Manchester united

        Brought three “potentially world class players” this year. Especially Lukaku and Matic. Lukaku has already become a fan favourite. Magic has also brought much more than just the liberation of Pogba. They may struggle a bit in the midfield till Pogba is injured. United fans should pray for his fast recovery. Even without him, they can be dangerous. Should finish in the top three of the premier league, but looking at Mourinho’s scintillating record in the second seasons all around the globe, it would not be foolish to call them favourites. Shall also make the quarter finals of Champions League. Pogba, De gea(if they can keep him for long) and lukaku would be extremely pivotol. 

        Chelsea fc

        Did not had as bad a summer as every one is saying. They brought many world class players this time, especially Morata, who will replace Costa. Have spent around $250 millions. So were not far behind City in this. Have a brilliant combination and a brilliant coach in Conte. Don’t know why they are not being referred as favourites. Will be in Champions League this season. Hazard, Kante, Morata and David Luiz will be important.

        Arsenal.

         It did not enjoy as good a summer as its rivals. But still they got brought world class players. Lackazatte and kolsniac will have to conjure something beautiful for Arsenal to make a serious challenge this time. Both have performed greatly in the first 5-6 matches. Their most risky aspect of transfer window lied in keeping both Sanchez and Ozil, both on their final year of contract.  They have to make sure that they do no not leave halfway through the season. Winning the Europa league is looking easier than winning the premier league. Can finish outside the top four for the second straight year. Ozil, Sanchez,Lackazette and Kolsniac are going to be important.

        Liverpool fc

        Had they got a better defence, Liverpool would have been the favourites. Had a brilliant summer, when it came to attacking players. But Liverpool was unable to address their defensive woes. Still , an exciting team they are. Klopp is gradually turning Liverpool into a team that can mount a serious challenge for the domestic title. Keeping Coutinho was a great decision. They can beat any team in the world on their day. They are perhaps this year’s dark horse. Coutinho, Mane and Salah will be instrumental.

        Tottenham hostspurs

        Made some nifty buys in the transfer market. Especially , Davinson Sanchez, who can become one the best defenders in the world in the coming years. Spurs have a better squad than Liverpool and Arsenal. They should pose a serious challenge for the premier league title this time. But may lack the sharpness of United and City. They need Kane to be at his very best. Alli and Sanchez will be important too.