Benny's World

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Management Guru Peter Drucker Passes Away

Peter F. Drucker, 95, who was often called the world's most influential business guru and whose thinking transformed corporate management in the latter half of the 20th century, died Nov. 11 at his home in Claremont, Calif. No cause of death was reported, but he was under hospice care. His work influenced Winston Churchill, Bill Gates, Jack Welch and the Japanese business establishment. His more than three dozen books, written over 66 years and translated into 30 languages, also delivered his philosophy to newly promoted managers just out of the office cubicle.

Mr. Drucker pioneered the idea of privatization and the corporation as a social institution. He coined the terms "knowledge workers" and "management by objectives." His seminal study of General Motors in 1945 introduced the concept of decentralization as a principle of organization, in contrast to the practice of command and control in business.

"There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer," he said 45 years ago. Central to his philosophy was the belief that highly skilled people are an organization's most valuable resource and that a manager's job is to prepare and free people to perform.

LINK to rest of article (Washington Post, registration req'd)

I had wondered for some time what happened to Peter Drucker. I knew he was getting old and he had not been out in public for some time.

In 1995 when I still worked at Harvard Business School, I was acquainted with one of Professor Drucker's colleagues, Professor Chris Arygris, himself a well-known thinker on learning organizations. We were both walking to the parking lot after work one day, and I mentioned that I had reviewed Drucker's latest work. He said "oh, well that's a good thing. I'm certain it is a good book. But you know, I'm looking for someone to nominate for an award, and Peter [Drucker] refuses to be nominated anymore. He says he has more than enough plaques."

Drucker certainly influenced my thinking about management. Always I took to heart his expression, "the only way to know the future is to create it."

He will be missed, but his eternal rest is well-earned.

Angel of Felines

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. --This will probably be the first time a dog's memorial service is attended by 300 cats. A schnauzer-Siberian husky mix named Ginny will be eulogized Nov. 19 at the Westchester Cat Show, where she was named Cat of the Year in 1998 for her uncanny skill and bravery in finding and rescuing endangered tabbies.

"It'll be right during the show, with the judging going on and all the cats out there on the floor," said Leslie Masson, a spokeswoman for the Westchester Feline Club, which sponsors the show. "We'll call for quiet, and then a few people will get up on stage and talk about Ginny. Her owner will be there and talk, if he's able to, and some people from her fan club."

Ginny died in August at age 17, after a long career as a one-dog rescue party for cats on Long Island's South Shore. The club says she saved hundreds of cats who were abandoned, injured or in harm's way.

Her owner, Philip Gonzalez of Long Beach, has written two books about Ginny and the cats she found, several of whom moved in with him. Among the best-known rescues is the time Ginny threw herself against a vertical pipe at a construction site to topple it and reveal the kittens trapped inside. She once ignored the cuts on her paws as she dug through a box full of broken glass to find an injured cat inside.

To read the rest, click here.

Apparently the kitties miss Ginny too and keep looking for her. This pooch is an honorary immortality. Farewell, sweet angel.

Friday, November 11, 2005

You wore our uniform well, yet..

Bush gave the most insulting speech on Veteran's Day. The most biting point:
"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. "

Hello! Who is re-writing history here? Here's a link to what some pundits have to say about it.

Today I want to express my appreciation for anyone who is willing (even unexpected) to give their lives for us, even for educational grants. Salute--or saludos--my heroes and heroines, regardless of governmental truths or lies to do so, who have been fighting bravely. I admire them all.

LINK to List of Dead from W's wars (courtesy of

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gay-marriage ban coasts in Texas

From the Dallas Morning News:

Conservatives call vote victory for values; foes promise battle in court

07:04 AM CST on Wednesday, November 9, 2005

By ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – Texans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to bolster the state's ban on same-sex marriage by writing it into the state constitution, rejecting concerns that the broadly worded amendment could go much further than intended.

The measure swept most of the state's major urban counties, including Dallas and Tarrant. Overall, the amendment, Proposition 2 on the statewide ballot, prevailed by about a 3-to-1 ratio as voters decided nine amendments.


He said the Legislature's failure to specify that it was trying to prohibit alternatives to marriage for "unmarried individuals" means that "all marriages would be annulled, technically speaking." And Mr. Cole predicted challenges to gay couples' arrangements for property and end-of-life medical decisions.

"There's going to be some major-league issues on this thing, and I think it's going to have to be amended again at some point in time for some clarification purposes," he said.


Glen Maxey, a former House Democrat who was the first openly gay person elected to the Texas Legislature, said the defeat stings but won't deter gays from demanding equality. He pointed to two new political groups that will raise money to try to elect lawmakers more attuned to gay and lesbians' concerns next year.

"This battle for civil rights is not just an event, it's long term," he said. After the polls closed, he made a point of visiting the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, where, he said, students voted more than 4-to-1 against the amendment.

"I looked at that and I said, 'Well, that's the next generation,' " he said. "I look at it with a lot of silver linings tonight."

I agree with Mr. Maxey. Despite the older generation and some of my generation voting for the amendment, there have been plenty of college age students who were taught that love knows no gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Most of this was a get out the vote for Rick Perry and his ilk. His strategy worked, as we know from my last post. He energized the far right base. I find it disturbing that my former state is moving more and more towards a theocracy, but the citizens voted the way they felt.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Politics & Religion & IRS? Oh My!

Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning
All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena risks losing its tax-exempt status because of a former rector's remarks in 2004.

By Patricia Ward Biederman and Jason Felch
Times Staff Writers
Published November 7, 2005

The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election.

Rector J. Edwin Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena told many congregants during morning services Sunday that a guest sermon by the church's former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, on Oct. 31, 2004, had prompted a letter from the IRS.

In his sermon, Regas, who from the pulpit opposed both the Vietnam War and 1991's Gulf War, imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with then-candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. Regas said that "good people of profound faith" could vote for either man, and did not tell parishioners whom to support.

LINK to article (Chicago Tribune--subscription req'd)).
One reads how the IRS can infiltrate a church for a "liberal" sermon to take away their nonprofit status, yet thousands of churches for GWB and his ilk can do this if they want. I read reports last year of Baptist's causes and this year as well (who want it). And yet, they are not touched. I'm posting a SW Lubbock church's response to a state amendment....of W's state, and of my state (I was born there unlike W, lived and worked more years than W, hello..)

My mother, who supports the Prop 2 Amendment "Marriage is between a man and woman" etc, said that this church was trying to mix state and church, and even she didn't support that notion. Church and state should be separated because our country has been the best when the two concepts don't mesh.

While I couldn't convince my momma about the rights of gay marriages, she agreed that perhaps another amendment should be presented for civil rights between gay couples...the rights of dying, property, etc, that perhaps states ignore.

I love my momma. I disagree that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman, but I'm glad she recognizes that if two women or two men love one another (and love is the true answer) that perhaps we should examine more for legal rights for them.