G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”
Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)
Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”
Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”
John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."
Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”
विलास सारंग: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Friday, February 27, 2009
“As many as 52,000 American customers hid UBS accounts from the authorities in violation of tax laws, a US government lawsuit against the Swiss bank alleged on Thursday.
The Department of Justice filed a suit seeking to force UBS to disclose the holders of accounts with about $14.8bn in assets.
… UBS reached a landmark settlement with the US government in which the Swiss bank admitted having enabled clients to evade taxes, agreed to pay $780m in fines and turn over about 250 client names to the US…”
PRAFUL BIDWAI wrote in Frontline Feb 13, 2009:
“…Indian businessmen have stashed away billions of dollars in bank accounts abroad. According to a recent report attributed to the Swiss Banking Association, the estimated amount is an astronomical $1,456 billion, higher than the deposits from all other countries put together…”
India may not get $1,456 billion but even the fine amount of $780m looks pretty good.
Timing couldn’t be better because the impending Loksabha elections will surely deplete $1,456 billion considerably.
But spare a thought for an unknown Swiss banker handling Indian accounts. He may lose part of his bonus.
(Since 2001, Mike Luckovich has drawn a few brilliant cartoons of Osama bin Laden and his partner. Here is the latest one.)
Artist: Mike Luckovich