January 2010

Summing a table in MS Word

by Limbic on January 28, 2010

Its obvious in retrospect, but for years I have always manually added up figures in columns I was working on in Microsoft Word (e.g. a payment schedule in a contract).

This week I was getting sick of recalculating figures every time I made a change, and googled the problem.

Word Tips has just what I needed: Summing a Table Column .

  1. Click the table cell you want the formula in
  2. Click the Layout tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click the Formula tab in the Data group. Word displays the Formula dialog box.
  4. Insert your formula , default is “=SUM(ABOVE)” which sums all the cells above.
  5. Click on OK.


Poor Haiti

by Limbic on January 13, 2010

I feel desperately sorry for Haitians today. They have been blighted by every sort of evil, from poverty and social collapse, and now this mega-quake.

The thought of those thousands of people painfully trapped under rubble is too terrible to bear. I hope the world acts quickly to help.

BBC News – Haiti earthquake: devastation emerges


Smartmobing for Big Brother

by Limbic on January 12, 2010

I ran into Relja from Beating Tolstoy at the weekend . He’s a super interesting young man. We talked about Evolutionary Fitness (Art De Vany), the Prisoners dilemma of Serbian politicians and  the idea  a trained ruling class (Plato’s Philosopher-Kings). I also told him about an idea I had about a 911/999 phone.

The idea came to me in the shower (where most ideas are born) whilst pondering the problem of bystanding and the Bystander Effect, .

If citizens witness an incident, say a mugging of a gang attack, instead of intervening and perhaps risking their own lives, they could simply dial 911 (0r 999 in the UK). Apart from putting them through to the emergency operator, their phone camera would automatically stream to the CCTV network where the feed could be used by the police to respond to the incident and recorded for evidence if charges are filed and/or the attacker steals the phone. Attackers would know that any phone being pointed at them was potentially the eye of the police recording their crime.

Relja argued the idea into the ground though. There is too much scope for abuse. The police could have an army of spies, who could stream their observations directly into a police video database with no oversight or restrictions. It could be abused or used in spite.

Maybe a better idea would be to have that panic button, but the feed streams to you own, private and secure repository. If your phone was taken, you could submit the footage to the police like any other. Or if you are dead, your repository could be accessed by investigating police.


Unban pathetic Islam4uk

by Limbic on January 12, 2010

Those Islam4UK (al-Muhajiroun) radicals are are more of joke than a threat. A detestable joke, to be sure, but a joke nonetheless. I am not sure that banning them was the right move. It is helpful to the cause of warning about Radical Islam to have people like Islam4UK parading around proving one’s point.

It would be far better, in my view, to have simply enforced the law at their gatherings and arrested participants for incitement. That way specific illegal practices would be rightly punished but free speech and the right to form political groups would not be infringed upon.

They are right about one thing though, the media’s tendency to create ghouls and them become frightened of their own inventions.

Here is a quote from Anjem Choudary before the banning (I hope I am not breaking som law now by quoting him?):

“You don’t want to believe everything you see and read in the media. One of the problems with the media is that they will fabricate something, and then they will start believing it. That quite dangerous really. You invent Frankenstein and Dracula and then you start to become afraid of it, forgetting that you invented it in the first place. ” – Anjem Choudary, Leader of banned Islamic Radical group Islam4UK (via VBS News).

See Also:


Freedom for the thought we hate



I found myself deeply irritated by an opinion piece from Roger Boyes published in The Times over the new year about the New Year’s Eve massacre in Espoo , Finland.

It is the usual liberal guilt trope: Finns are guilty for the murders because despite the fact it gave massive numbers Kosovans refuge and “accepted them generously, gave them benefits, schooling and roofs over their heads”, the Finns “ignored them” and did not do enough to help them with their war traumas so “a significant number are suffering from untreated mental problems”.

There is only one, massive problem with the hypothesis: The killer – Ibrahim Shkupolli – was not a traumatised war refugee. He left Kosovo long before the war started, way back in 1990. He was nothing more than common criminal, probably a psychopath, and his Balkan machismo could not handle being rejected by a mere woman.

Even if it were true that Shkupolli was a mentally disturbed war refugee, would Finnish society really hold some responsibility for his mass murder?

This article also completely ignores the responsibilities and duties of immigrant communities to help themselves and integrate peacefully into their host cultures.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

But behind the horrific crime of an apparently deranged individual there was the deep-rooted problem of social exclusion. The clue is in the name of the suspected gunman: Ibrahim Shkupolli.

Finnish sources say he was a Pristina-born Kosovo Albanian, one of the many who have settled in Finland. And therein lies a story.

The Finnish Government was quick to recognise Kosovo as an independent state and has been more ready to shelter Kosovo Albanians than many other states in Europe. Ordinary Finns are less enthusiastic about inviting in people who are largely perceived as economic refugees and the popular prejudice is that these foreigners lead a shadow existence.

One of the first, less charitable, responses to today’s killings was to lament a human tragedy but to point out that this time at least it was not a Finn who had pulled the trigger.

Yet there is some degree of social responsibility and the Finns will have to face up to it. A study of the mental health of mass evacuated Kosovo Albanians, conducted by Goeran Roth of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, revealed serious psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder and clinical depression, and a greater sense of displacement than other migrant communities. The study was conducted in Sweden but tallies with results from many societies that took in war-scarred Bosnians or Kosovars.

Finland accepted them generously, gave them benefits, schooling and roofs over their heads – and then ignored them. As a result the Balkan refugees often inhabit a parallel universe made up of internet cafes, betting syndicates, casual work.

It surprised few in Finland to hear that Shkupolli did not have a weapons licence for his handgun; rightly or wrongly, it has been assumed for years that the sale of illegal guns and a chunk of the drugs trade was in the control of Balkan gangs.

…Now Finland has to use a similar creativity in dealing with immigrants and refugees: a significant number are suffering from untreated mental problems.

Shkupolli had been on the police register since at least 2003, when he was first convicted of illegal gun possession; the restraining order on visiting his ex-girlfriend showed that the courts considered him unpredictable and violent. Why was action not taken? Why was he not referred for psychiatric treatment?

If you are going to have a Nordic nanny state then it has to work for everybody, not just the native-born Finns.

Comment: Ibrahim Shkupolli, the killer form Kosovo, was left in the cold – Times Online

One of the early commentators had it dead right:

“If I understand Mr Boyes correctly, Finland is to blame for this shooting, because: “Finland accepted [refugees] generously, gave them benefits, schooling and roofs over their heads – and then ignored them.”

This particular killer had arrived in Finland 19 years ago.

In Mr Boyes’ mind, Finland, and not the shooter, is to blame for the killings, because Finland expected refugees, at some point, to assume responsibility of their own lives.

It would be interesting to learn from Mr Boyd just how long Finland should continue granting its “generous support” for refugees, instead of expecting them to behave as adults like anyone else.

After the London Tube terrorist attacks, there was much analysis in the Finnish press about why those attacks had occurred. Most of this analysis squarely identified the problem as militant extremism, and it did not blame the government of the UK for the deeds of deluded few.”

Another writes:

We WESTERN Europeans have had to the suffer the social experimentation of the left wing mediocracy for thirty years. it has been an unmitigated social disaster and we have more than had enough of the 20 years of apologist nonsense. Condemned with your own words Mr Boyles-

“Finland accepted them generously, gave them benefits, schooling and roofs over their heads…”

This is not a trivial point you can qualify with the claim that we ignored them.


Invasion of America, 1942

by Limbic on January 8, 2010

Ptak have a brilliant post on Life magazine’s 1942 feature on possible Axis invasion routes into the US. Note how the 5th columnists always originate from the hinterland to strike the costal defences from behind. Red state, blue state, even then.

Ptak Science Books: Mapping the Invasion of America, 1942


Killing the chicken to frighten the monkey

by Limbic on January 7, 2010

Richard Fernandez (Belmont Club) has a great piece on the recent attempted murder of Danish “Muhammed cartoons” cartoonist Henryk M. Broder in his own home by an axe wielding Somali attempted murderer and the broader problem of the elite timidity in the face of radical Islam:

Henryk M. Broder, the editor Spiegel Online, argued that many European intellectuals have responded to an attack on Kurt Westergaard the author of the “Mohammed Cartoons”, by a Somali with links to al-Qaeda, by “de-escalating” their profile rather than denouncing the attack, in contrast to the somewhat vigorous defense of Salman Rushdie 20 years ago. Broder writes that “the West is choked with fear”. The attack on illustrator Kurt Westergaard wasn’t the first attempt to carry out a deadly fatwa. When Muslims tried to murder Salman Rushdie 20 years ago, the protests among intellectuals were loud. Today, though, Western writers and thinkers would rather take cover than defend basic rights.

The attack on Westergaard is a textbook application of terror. Even the weapons chosen — an axe for example — contributed to instilling fear. Although Westergaard himself escaped unharmed, every European writer knows that the next victim may not be so lucky. And that next writer may be himself. The Somali also demonstrated the second object lesson of terrorist pedagogy. They reminded the world that they never forget. Salman Rushdie is still on the run. Westergaard will have to be guarded until the day that he dies. There is no statute of limitations on al-Qaeda’s anger. Blasphemy is forever.

And it works. By slow degrees the intellectuals are being cowed into silence. John Brennan, the President’s counterterrorism adviser, thinks that closing Guantanamo prison is necessary to avoid giving al-Qaeda “a propaganda victory”, when from al-Qaeda’s point of view the closure itself is probably regarded as the victory. In denying al-Qaeda one sort of victory, Obama is giving them another and more valuable one: it is subconsciously indoctrinating into the public an almost subconscious fear of “giving offense” to Islam that is more powerful for the fact that it may eventually be instinctive. Which is the point.

…But the Westergaard attack and to an even more important degree, the Northwest Airlines incident hold another important lesson. Private initiative, exercised within the law has proved as important as official action. Westergaard hardened his premises against attack. He had a sanctuary room and an alarm system and it saved him. On the Northwest Airlines flight, the passengers were their own air marshals. Today many school administrators plan to respond to a Beslan style attack by locking kids down in the classrooms which may only gather the targets in one place. Maybe the students will have the sense to scatter in all directions instead of turning off the lights, locking the door and hiding the corners. Although Gordon Brown in the UK is unwilling to raise a squeak against a group of extremsts who are going to march through the funerary route of British dead returned from Afghanistan to brand them as baby killers and rapists, the population itself is raising a howl against it. That may give politicians the pretext they need in order to appear bold. A British police spokesman said: “If a march is believed to be likely to result in serious disorder, disruption or damage, then the police can impose conditions upon the organiser. In exceptional circumstances, police may apply to the local authority for an order prohibiting such a march.” It’s OK Gordon. The polls say you can do it.

Terrorism doesn’t care a fig for the denunciations of intellectuals. Intellectuals are easy to cow and terrify. What they fear most is the thousand suspicious glances; the parted curtain looking down from every window; the telephone call made just after they leave; the revolver in the drawer in the little old lady’s house. Then the terror goes the other way because every shadow, every sound, every look acquires pervasive menace. The blade often cuts both ways.

Just as the result of political correctness isn’t tolerance but debased public speech, the consequence of official timidity taken too far may eventually be a breakdown in civil society and a return to tribalism. Ultimately attempts to impose an artificial consciousness on the public lead instead to the development of a revolutionary consciousness. Appeasement to terrorism in the west can eventually become a challenge to the legitimacy of the elites themselves. Either the king provides the king’s justice or the crown slips off. The Chinese have a proverb. “Kill a chicken to frighten the monkey.” But there is another proverb, “monkey see, monkey do”.

What terrorism ultimately threatens is the fabric of civilization. Given the chance they will rip it up. The destruction of the Golden Mosque in Samarra was an act of terror against the Shi’a which ultimately recoiled not only on al-Qaeda but upon many innocents. Extremism often overplays its hand. It serves the cause of tolerance to ensure that they cannot. It is useful to remember that if you bend over backward too far eventually you fall over.

From: http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2010/01/04/killing-the-chicken-to-frighten-the-monkey/

{ 1 comment }

Francois Hardy

by Limbic on January 4, 2010