People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, June 02, 2006


I guess I should feel vulnerable all of a sudden:
S.W. Va. not likely to get much in security funds
There's no word yet how the Homeland Security grants will be divided among Virginia localities.
By Lindsey Nair, The Roanoke Times

Virginia will receive almost $17 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2006, compared with more than $23 million last year.

A nationwide reduction in Homeland Security grant awards of nearly 30 percent means Southwest Virginia will likely receive less money for projects this year. (
If we take time out to recall that the Homeland Security bureaucracy was created after 9/11 to combat terrorism, wise non-political types might have expected anti-terrorism funds to be invested in areas likely to experience terror threats. With the exception of the Roanoke airport, there aren't too many terror targets to protect in Southwest Virginia - unless your imagination takes you to the annual flea market in Hillsville where ...

Truth be known, much of the "anti-terror" money spent in the area went to such burning needs as a new fire truck here in Bland County (for which our indomitable and ever-vigilant-to-the-threat-of-terrorism Congressman Boucher took credit).

Besides, everyone around here is heavily armed. Better armed in most cases than the 101st Airborne Division. Even our young'uns are trained and equipped to drop an Islamist badass should the occurrence - for which most are hankering - arise.

So. No worries. Y'all concentrate on Lady Liberty. We'll be protecting ourselves, thank you.

This Is Astounding

If I may be allowed to oversimplify, one learns in Marketing 101 that if you hope to capture marketshare, you need to provide your customers either (a) the best quality product or (b) the best price - or (c) find yourself a niche market where you can sell your wares.

Toyota (with Lexus), Honda (Acura) , Nissan (Infiniti), Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, and Isuzu seem to have been able to accomplish both (a) and (b). As a result, they're on their way to owning the market:
Asian Cars Won 40% of Market Last Month
By Micheline Maynard and Nick Bunkley, The New York Times

DETROIT, June 1 — Sales figures reported Thursday showed that Toyota, Honda and other Asian manufacturers claimed a record 40 percent of the American market in May, when sales of fuel-efficient vehicles like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Hyundai Sonata all rose 20 percent or more compared with May 2005.

For Detroit companies, which have continued to aggressively market their costly new sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks despite the high gas prices, market share last month dropped to 52.9 percent — their second-lowest in history. (

Detroit had a good thing going when it pushed Americans to "buy American." Now that "American" cars are being manufactured - all or in part - in many foreign lands, that marketing ploy no longer works. GM, Ford, and Chrysler are going to have to get back in the real game. Or learn to rely on those niche Hummer and Corvette markets.

I wish them good luck.

She Doesn't Know The Meaning Of The Word

Katie Couric, after participating in what may go down in history as the most pretentious three hours in the annals of network television - a "Today" show cryfest that was built around her untimely death ... er, move to CBS - has announced that she is bringing to CBS Evening News an end to pretentiousness:
Couric Hopes to End "Pretentious Era" in News
By Reuters

LAS VEGAS (Hollywood Reporter) - Katie Couric hopes to bring a "humanistic, more accessible'' approach to her job when she takes over as anchor and managing editor at "CBS Evening News'' in September, she said Thursday.

Addressing the annual convention of CBS affiliates, Couric predicted that the "pretentious era'' of the evening-news anchor is going to be a thing of the past.

"The audience is more sophisticated than we give them credit for -- they don't want a mechanical Ted Baxter,'' said Couric, whose last day as co-anchor of NBC's "Today'' was Wednesday. "I'm a serious, caring, compassionate person. I hope that comes out. ... People want a multidimensional (news anchor) and not someone they can put in a box.'' (

Yeah. The Perky Katie Couric got her big break at NBC because of her renown for being serious, caring, and compassionate.

I can only guess - if she's serious - that little Katie decided to end pretentiousness in network television about twenty hours ago when she reviewed the tapes of that horrid show in which "stars" and other friends went out of their way to place her in the pantheon of human souls on a level just above those of Mother Teresa and St. Francis of Assisi.

If the audience is sophisticated, as she suggests, they'll run to the nearest exit.

... And While We're Talking About Pretentiousness

What's wrong with this picture?
Second Homes That Put Ecology First
By Sarah Tuff, The New York Times

WHEN Heidi and Sam Bailey stumbled on a waterfront lot at Shavehead Lake in Cassopolis, Mich., last July, they knew it would be a perfect spot for their second home. It was two hours from their primary residence in Chicago, where Mr. Bailey works as a commodities broker, and the kind of place that they could bring their two young daughters to relax in old blue jeans.

"I kept reading about environmental issues and seeing buildings go up and Dumpsters being filled with junk — and part of it might have been a little bit of guilt that we were building a second home," said Ms. Bailey, 36. "So I said, O.K., if we're going to do this, we have to do it right and make as little impact as possible." (
Some might suggest that A SECOND HOME BEING BUILT ON A PRISTINE LAKEFRONT IS IN ITSELF AN AFFRONT TO THE ECOLOGY. But that concept is lost on these champions of the environment. They make sure the empty Perriet bottles get in the recycle bin and they use paper rather than plastic so they are ecology-friendly.

Somebody kill me.