Italy 2022

Fruits and Votes

Italy votes in general elections today. The Brothers of Italy is expected to be the largest party, in a pre-electoral alliance with the League and Forza Italia that may end up with a substantial majority of seats in both houses.

The electoral system is similar to that used in 2018 in that it is mixed-member majoritarian despite having just over 60% of seats elected in the party-list proportional component of the system. In an important sense, however, this year’s version is even more majoritarian–the size of both chambers has been reduced substantially. Other things equal–as they are–a smaller assembly is less proportional (or “permissive” to small parties). And when you combine a relatively majoritarian system with a smaller assembly, you get a more majoritarian system overall. The new Chamber of Deputies, at 400 seats, is closer to the cube root law expectation for a country the size of…

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Must a caretaker government be a zombie government?

The Constitution Unit Blog

During the recently concluded Conservative leadership contest, the government appeared to be in a holding pattern, taking little or no action of substance until the election of Boris Johnson’s successor. But did the government, which had a substantial parliamentary majority and an electoral mandate, need to act as if it was merely a ‘caretaker’? Robert Hazell explains that the rules around a ‘lame duck’ PM remain fuzzy, and argues that steps must be taken to clarify the position as soon as possible.

Something very strange happened at Westminster over the summer: a government which enjoyed a comfortable working majority of 71 seats was declared to be a caretaker which could not take any major decisions. It was variously accused of being a ‘zombie government’ ‘asleep at the wheel’, and incapable of taking urgent decisions required by the energy crisis. In its defence the government might…

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Poverty and prosperity

Milton Friedman on Keynesian Economics

Don’t Follow The Leader: How To Avoid Britain’s Wind & Solar Energy Disaster (Just Stop Now)


Britain’s power consumers (or what’s left of them) are brewing for a full-scale revolt.

12 months ago, the average annual energy bill was £1,400 ($2,400). Energy industry analyst Cornwall Insight forecasts that the British price cap will skyrocket and the average annual bill will reach £3,582 ($6,177) next month. By January, it predicts it will be £5,000 (almost $10,000) a year. No wonder Brits are furious.

And a fair degree of that fury rests on the fact that they have been lied to for the best part of 20 years.

You know, the usual rubbish about our ‘inevitable’ transition to an all wind and sun powered future bringing cheap and abundant electricity to all. An apparently easy sell, driven by the meme about the wind being ‘free’ and that the ‘sun’ is cheaper still. And yet, for some strange reason, every single country that has attempted to run on sunshine…

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The Much-Needed Reincarnation of Thatchernomics

International Liberty

I strongly supportedBrexit in part because I wanted the United Kingdom to have both the leeway and the incentive to adopt pro-market policies.

Imagine my disappointment, then, when subsequent Conservative Prime Ministers did nothing (Theresa May) or expanded the burden of government (Boris Johnson).

Where was the reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher? Didn’t the Tory Party understand the need to restrain big government?

Perhaps my prayers have finally been answered. After jettisoning Boris Johnson (albeit for scandal rather than bad policy), the Tories elected Liz Truss to lead the nation.

And she appointed Kwasi Kwarteng to be Chancellor of the Exchequer (akin to U.S. Treasury Secretary). The two of them have just unveiled some major changes in U.K. fiscal policy.

Allister Heath’s editorial for the Telegraph has a celebratory tone.

…the best Budget I have ever heard a British Chancellor deliver, by a massive margin. The…

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Crunch Time: Demand For Power On Demand Means Wind & Solar Craze All But Over


Power-starved Brits and Germans will soon tell you how important having power on demand truly is. And they’ll also tell you what it’s like to receive a power bill that you’ve absolutely no hope of paying.

After years of telling us how cheap and easy our inevitable transition to an all-wind and sun-powered future would be, with examples like Germany and Britain, the story is beginning to fall flat.

Rather than some brightly lit Nirvana, our wind and solar-powered future is looking more miserable by the day.

As they say in politics, the mob soon works you out.

Well, the number who have identified the scale and scope of the great renewable energy fraud is growing, and they’re growing angrier by the day. Something has to give.

Michael Shellenberger isn’t alone in his view that the days of the West’s obsession with wind and solar are numbered.

End Of Renewables…

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$5 World’s Greatest THAI STREET MASSAGE

Star Trek: Season 2, Episode Fifteen “The Trouble With Tribbles”

Great Books Guy

Stardate: 4523.3 (2268)
Original Air Date: December 29, 1967
Writer: David Gerrold
Director: Joseph Pevney

“Where they’ll be no tribble at all…”

At last we arrive at this classic fan-favorite, a campy light-hearted romp featuring everyone’s favorite tiny furry alien creatures. The Enterprise is approaching Deep Space Station K-7 (perhaps foreshadowing for DS9) which is located in a disputed quadrant near a planet known as “Sherman’s Planet” which has been claimed by both the Federation and the Klingons since the Battle of Donatu V which took place about 23 solar years ago. Spock notes the Enterprise is within one parsec of the nearest Klingon outpost so this will be a tricky mission. However the quadrant which includes Deep Space Station K-7 and the nearby Sherman’s Planet is actually protected by writ of neutrality under the Organian Peace Treaty (the treaty was established in the…

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‘Morning after’ reflections on the mini-Budget…

Plain-speaking Economics

It may well take some time for the dust to settle on Kwasi Kwarteng’s first Budget (yes, ‘Budget’: if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s fair to call it a duck).

The initial reaction from most economic commentators and in the financial markets has been a loud boo! There are some things I would have done differently. But the overall strategy is sound and sentiment should recover as the economic benefits become clearer.

There are two aspects I particularly liked. One is the emphasis on breaking the ‘doom loop’ of weak economic growth and rising taxes, both with tax cuts and – at least as importantly – structural reforms on the supply-side.

The second is the willingness to take decisions that are unpopular but still right for the economy, such as scrapping the cap on bankers bonuses and abolishing the…

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IPCC’s greenhouse narrative is becoming implausible, eminent climate scientist says


By Paul Homewood


London, 23 September – A prominent climate scientist has warned that the picture of climate change presented in the IPCC’s narrative is simplistic, ill-conceived, and undermined by observational evidence.
In a new
discussion paper, Professor Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) points out that the official picture, focusing narrowly on carbon dioxide as a warming agent, becomes implausible when applied to the details of the climate system.
According to Lindzen,
“If you are going to blame everything on carbon dioxide, you have to explain why, on all timescales, temperatures in the tropics are extremely stable while those in high latitudes are much more variable. The IPCC’s story is that small amounts of greenhouse warming near the equator are ‘amplified’ at high latitudes. But neither theory nor data support the idea of amplification.”
Instead, says Lindzen, this pattern – of stable tropical temperatures and…

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Spotlight On: Ken Burns

Funk's House of Geekery

When it comes to historical documentary series over the past 30 years the undisputed master has been Ken Burns. His blockbuster 9-part The Civil War broke new ground in the way documentaries were produced. After that game changer anytime a new Ken Burns doc was announced it became appointment viewing for history buffs and casual fans alike. He and his production company have since become synonymous with PBS with each work guaranteed to be a critical and commercial hit. Because I am a history geek I thought today would be a good day to shine the spotlight on Ken Burns.

The Civil War (1990): The 9 part series that transformed a humble documentarian into a household name. Over 30 million viewers were captivated by his telling of this dark period in American history. Creating a technique dubbed the “Ken Burns effect” he brought a new perspective to archived material allowing…

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The 4.4 mile shot

No Minister

There have been some incredible long-range sniper records set over the years in Afghanistan, often by Canadian teams. Distances of two or three miles are not unknown in the thin air and barren countryside that makes such shooting a little easier than in sea level rainforests.

But you don’t hear much about such things in the civilian world, so this news from the Cowboy State of Wyoming is interesting, At 4.4 Miles, Wyoming Team Sets New Rifle Shot World Record:

From the pull of the trigger, roughly 24 seconds elapsed before forward spotters heard the telltale plunk of a 422-grain copper bullet piercing the thin metal target.

The shooter was 4.4 miles away, a distance so great, the Earth’s rotation came into play.

It was a new world record for a rifle shot, set by the Jackson-based Nomad Rifleman team led by Schott Austin and Shepard Humphries. The shot was…

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The German Occupation of Lithuania – Unrest in Russia I THE GREAT WAR – Week 61

Polyglot Ranks Top 5 Most Difficult Languages in the World

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