Unerasable lines, Border lines, and other Word arcana;

Chaos Manor View, Thursday, April 21, 2016

“This is the most transparent administration in history.”

Barrack Obama

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

Under Capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under Socialism, the powerful become rich.

Under Socialism, government employees become powerful.



I think I have the full handle on the mysterious black line that sometimes appears in WORD documents and cannot be deleted. It’s not the feature called “Border lines” that I have never needed, but which can be erased by backspacing over them; this is far more persistent, and neither backspacing nor select/delete will get rid of them. Backspace literally does nothing; and you cannot select the line, and thus you can’t delete it. It looks like thus.

[Pasting into LiveWriter did in fact erase it; oh well.]

If I (in Word) backspace over that line, the result will be that text above the line is deleted; but the line remains. It can drive you mad, or at least had that effect on me.

It turns out to be a feature I will almost certainly never use, and there is a way to get rid of it. The feature is called “borders” (as opposed to border lines), and you can get such a line by:

1. Clicking anywhere in the paragraph above the lin. The line is a border to the paragraph above it.

2. Looking at the ribbon when “Home” is selected. At the bottom of the ribbon are some labels for boxed sections above them. The third section from the left is labeled “Paragraph”. The Paragraph box contains some icons. At to bottom right of those rows of icons is one that looks like a box with a cross in it. (At the bottom right of the whole box, to the right of the word Paragraph is a tiny icon all by itself. Ignore it for now.) At the right of the cross in box icon is a down arrow. Click on that.

3. This gets you another menu. The first four choices will get you a border for the paragraph you clicked before starting all this. The fifth choice is “No Border”. Click on that.

4. Close this menu and get back to the text you were writing; Lo! the ugly line is gone.

5. Note that by default this feature is set to “no borders”, but you can get it if you are a sloppy typist hitting multiple keys at once, which is how I got it; and no, I don’t know what keystroke sequence caused it. Yesterday I got it for perhaps my fourth time in decades of using Word, so it’s not a frequent problem

The “Border lines” Feature is similar to this paragraph border feature, but it is entirely different. By default it is on. When you type three or more consecutive = or – characters followed by Return, a line of them appears; this is not a paragraph border. It’s a standalone line, and it actually can be erased by backspacing over it. Indeed, when you first type Return creating that line, a small icon appears with it; clicking that icon offers a menu, one item of which is to erase that line. You can turn this feature off by the tedious process of File>Options>Proofing>AutoCorrect Options>AutoCorrect As You Type and then look for a box called “Border lines”; if the box is checked, you can make these Border lines with three or more ___ or — or === (and possibly other characters) followed by Return. I’m not sure you’ll ever want them, but if you do, that’s the way to get them.

My thanks to Eric Pobirs, Rick Hellewell, and Peter Glaskowsky, hard working Chaos Manor Advisors, who dug all this up for me. Thanks also to reader Kenneth Mitchell.


My typing is awful today, sloppier than usual, so I’ll hold off on writing more about Trump. Do note that I am not endorsing him neither am I condemning him. I am merely trying to assess him as fairly as I can. Unlike Andrew Jackson, our first populist pragmatist president, he is not a general with command experience, but he does have managerial experience of large projects.

As Newt Gingrich, whom I consider one of the most astute politicians I have ever known, says, Trump learns fast; when he began this campaign, it was well known that many Republicans rejected the Establishment (the rejecters included Newt), but no one except Trump had any faint notion that Trump would be the front runner in Republican delegates by April, 2016. If anyone had been sure of that, they could have cleaned up in Los Vegas. Yet Trump learned fast – faster than anyone Newt has ever known. It would be foolish to imagine that someone who can learn that quickly about electoral politics would not be able to do the job of President.

Pure management is not so difficult; having great vision is more important.

Which again is not an endorsement; it is an argument against rejecting him out of hand.


The final straw…

Considering the incident in Murfreesboro where grade school children as young as first graders were arrested and handcuffed for NOT trying to break up a fight, I suspect that was a “damned if you do damned if you don’t” situation. Had they tried to break up the fight, odds are they would have been arrested and handcuffed for fighting.

“…the kids were charged with “criminal responsibility for the conduct of another,” which according to Tennessee offense criminal code includes incidents when a “person fails to make a reasonable effort to prevent” an offense.”

That opens a can of worms!

Suppose an individual with a handgun carry permit is legally armed and sees someone running from the convenience store across the street with what appears to be a bag of money in one hand and a gun in the other. If the legally armed individual takes no action, that could be considered justification for a charge of “criminal responsibility”. If the legally armed individual does take action the result could range from a detained and ultimately arrested robber and a commendation for the armed individual to a wounded or dead robber with the armed individual arrested and in jail charged with murder. Or the armed robber could shoot and kill or seriously injure the legally armed individual and make an escape. Or in an exchange of gunfire innocent bystanders could be wounded or killed.

Seems to me as though the Murfreesboro police stepped in a pile of **** by their actions here.

FWIW I live about thirty miles south of Murfreesboro.

Charles Brumbelow

I agree; I certainly do not see how intrusion into a criminal act can be made a citizen responsibility under the threat of pains and penalties for inaction; at the same time, self-government requires some citizen responsibilities.

And of course in your example the running man could be the store owner fleeing from unarmed robber whom he declined to shoot and was subsequently attempting to escape brutality. I could come up with many other scenarios.


Murfreesborough school arrests and gun control

Dear Jerry –

The arrests in Murfreesborough would seem to have a remarkable unintended consequence – the Murfreesborough police are apparently claiming an affirmative obligation on bystanders to intervene when a crime is committed. From the article you linked: “The arrests at Hobgood Elementary School occurred after the students were accused of not stopping a fight”.

If so, this would seem to fly in the face of the advice of many big-city police forces and gun-control advocates, who say “Let the police handle it. They are trained and equipped to do the job.”

And if we, as citizens, are obligated to intervene, it’s hard to argue that we should be prohibited access to the tools needed – guns.

Of course, the article may have garbled the facts of the incident (which would not be a total surprise). It’s entirely possible that, given the age group, the kids essentially forced the combatants to fight – but that is not what is being reported. I’m sure you remember incidents from your grade school years when this sort of thing happened – I do. A ring of bystanders forms around an argument, and the two are goaded into a fight while the onlookers urge them on.

Interesting development.


Jim Martin

The principles involved deserve discussion. That is what legislatures are supposed to do.



Norway Violated Rights of Anders Behring Breivik, Mass Killer, Judge Rules – MSN News

He thinks his isolation in his three-room suite with a window and fresh air, a treadmill, refrigerator,  t.v., DVD player, and PlayStation is “torture” — his word, and that the government is “slowly killing him.”
He should watch MS-NBC and see how prisoners in isolation are treated in the United States and be BLOODY GRATEFUL that this is his prison sentence for murdering 77 people,  most of them teens, out of religious bigotry — the plan for which he had made on his computer in his bedroom in his mother’s house.
He is upset that they won’t let him use the Internet to communicate with other white supremacists in other countries.

What happens in American prisons is barbaric.  What is happening to him is a mercy beyond privilege, given his crime.

Norway Violated Rights of Anders Behring Breivik, Mass Killer, Judge Rules


The New York Times – The New York Times – ‎10‎:‎41‎ ‎AM

Mr. Breivik had argued that the conditions of his confinement, including restrictions on communication, were a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights.


If I had a complaint about the terms of his sentence, it would not be that it wax inhumanly unpleasant; were I a relative of one of his victims, I would have a great deal more to say.


New EmDrive Theory “ MIT Tech Review Subject : New EmDrive Theory “

I have been disappointed in the apparent ‘scientific’ response to the EmDrive. If we have tests that show it works, and ‘scientists’ respond by saying ‘It cannot work if I cannot explain how it works’, then we have returned to the times of the Inquisition, just short the burning stakes. Does anyone recall that steam engines were built before we had any good explanation for how they worked? Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics were inspired by the effort to understand the theoretical basis for the steam engine. Then, they were used to design better steam engines.
Reading the MIT article, I note that the theory put forth by McCulloch appears to require a variance in the speed of light at the different ends of the drive cone. Any such difference could be accounted for by differences in the medium the light is passing through. It’s a thought.


Peter Glaskowsky observes:

I’m unqualified to have an opinion about Unruh radiation or whether it might explain these observations, but I will note that there is considerably less experimental evidence for the EmDrive thruster than there is for cold fusion, and that turned out to be pathological science, so this might also be.

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I was once a fusion enthusiast (see Twenty Twenty Visions), but  practical fusion plant has been (according to enthusiasts) thirty years away for fifty years, and remains so now even for the most enthusiastic of its supporters. If we are to be saved by controlled fusion, it will be our great grandchildren who achieve it.



lying to federal investigators


I don’t know how we got into this mess, but I think the founders would be rolling in their graves about the idea of lying when not under oath in court being a federal crime. Apparently, lying to just about any federal investigator is now a federal crime.

Phil Tharp

I completely agree. Signing a false document under penalty of perjury or lying under oath is an obvious crime; but it is now best never to talk to Federal Officers, even to give your name or the time of day. Cooperating with them and later shown that you were wrong can get you charged with a felony. “Icht will gar nicht sagen,” is better.


Nice Trio


A little relief from the very silly season

The Comet, the Owl, and the Galaxy : <http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160421.html>

Regards, Charles Adams, Bellevue, NE



Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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