RIP Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire media mogul and former Italian prime minister who transformed the nation’s politics with polarising policies and often alarmed his allies with his brazen remarks, died on Monday aged 86. Berlusconi, Italy’s longest-serving premier who counted Russian President Vladimir¬†Putin as a close friend and gained notoriety for his “bunga bunga” sex parties, had suffered from leukaemia and recently developed a lung infection. He served as¬†Prime Minister of Italy¬†in four governments from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006 and 2008 to 2011.

He was a member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1994 to 2013; a member of the Senate of the Republic from 2022 to 2023, and previously from March to November 2013; and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2019 to 2022, and previously from 1999 to 2001. With a net worth of US$6.9 billion as of June 2023, Berlusconi was the third-wealthiest person in Italy.  He was the controlling shareholder of Mediaset and owned the Italian football club A.C. Milan from 1986 to 2017. On 20 February 1986, Berlusconi (who owns Fininvest and Mediaset) acquired the club and saved it from bankruptcy after investing vast amounts of money, appointing rising manager Arrigo Sacchi at the helm of the Rossoneri and signing Dutch internationals Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard.

The Dutch trio added an attacking impetus to the team, and complemented the club’s Italian internationals Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Roberto Donadoni. Milan won its first Scudetto in nine years in the 1987‚Äď88 season. The following year, the club won its first European Cup in two decades, beating Romanian club Steaua Bucure?ti 4‚Äď0 in the final. Milan retained their title with a 1‚Äď0 win over Benfica a year later and was the last team to win back-to-back European Cups until Real Madrid’s win in 2017. The Milan team of 1988‚Äď1990, nicknamed the “Immortals” in the Italian media, has been voted the best club side of all time in a global poll of experts conducted by World Soccer magazine.

Berlusconi was Prime Minister for nine years in total, making him the longest serving post-war Prime Minister of Italy, and the third longest-serving since¬†Italian unification, after¬†Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Giolitti. He was the leader of the centre-right party¬†Forza Italia¬†from 1994 to 2009, and its successor party¬†The People of Freedom¬†from 2009 to 2013. He led the¬†revived Forza Italia¬†from 2013 to 2023.[11]¬†Berlusconi was the senior¬†G8¬†leader from 2009 until 2011, and he held the record for hosting G8¬†summits¬†(having hosted three summits in Italy). After serving nearly 19 years as a member of the Chamber of Deputies, the country’s¬†lower house, he became a member of the Senate following the¬†2013 Italian general election.

On 1 August 2013, Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud by the Supreme Court of Cassation. His four-year prison sentence was confirmed, and he was banned from holding public office for two years. Aged 76, he was exempted from direct imprisonment, and instead served his sentence by doing unpaid community service. After his ban ended, Berlusconi ran for and was elected as an MEP at the 2019 European Parliament election. Berlusconi is survived by his 33-year-old Fascina, whom he called his wife despite not marrying her, two ex-spouses, five children, more than a dozen grandchildren and one great grandson.

Manifestation : It Can’t Be, Can It?

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Do you believe in the power of manifestation? In popular psychology Manifestation refers to various self-help strategies that can purportedly make an individual’s wishes come true by mentally visualizing them. Manifestation techniques are based on the law of attraction. Now I don’t really believe in it but hear me out. For many years prior to 2020, I had wished that I could work from home.

Then then pandemic hit and we were all working from home. A whole lot of us. I, along with the majority of my colleagues, got these large 21 inch monitors and a CPU sent to my home and we worked from here. I had often wished that it was a laptop instead for ease of use. December of last year, we came back to the office (though there are a lot of people still working from home) and I have not really liked it but it is what it is. Then I thought, hey what if they gave us laptops again. And voila, last week we got our laptops assigned to us.

Oh and 1 more thing. I happen to love & admire Lenovo Thinkpads. I even wrote a post about it last year. I wanted to be able to work on this laptop so much. Does it make life easier for us? Yes it does. Do I wish it were the 15in variation of this same laptop? Yes. So what else can I manifest for myself? Another job that pays me a lot more and back to working from home? Yes please! A beautiful woman to come into my life and stay with me? Oh yes please! Bring it on.