The objective of this blog is present readers with some facts and information about politicians, legislation, issues and related subjects that they don’t always get from the newspapers or nightly news. I promise to accurately present information on these subjects and research what I present to the best of my ability. I will not take information from other blogs or Wikipedia unless I can independently verify it. And I promise to never, ever post fake news.
Why From the Center?
From the Center seems to fit where I am politically, although readers do not always agree with me on that. I am a fiscal conservative and a social moderate so my posts will no doubt reflect those views.
Thomas J. Watson became famous as the head of IBM. Sometime before 1914 he coined the “Think” motto when he was the sales manager at the National Cash Register Company. Watson believed that “thought” had been responsible for every advance since time began. He said “’I didn’t think‘ has cost the world millions of dollars.” For over forty years I have kept a small orange plaque near my desk that was given to me by an IBM salesman in 1970. On it in black letters is the single word, “Think,” which is an IBM trademark. Over the years I frequently told our children: “The secret to a successful life lies in a single word, ‘Think,’” after which they would throw something at me. For this blog I modified it a little.
My early years were spent on a small acreage in the rural Midwest. I attended grades K-3 in a two-room country school where toilets were outhouses and the only water source was a well on the playground.
Later the family moved to Florida where I graduated high school in 1957. My first real job was as an entry-level clerk with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C. Soon thereafter I enrolled in college classes at night. My objective was to earn a degree in accounting and become a special agent for the Bureau. But a life changing event occurred in 1960 when the Bureau trained me to be a computer programmer.
In 1965, after accumulating two years of college credits and marriage to my life partner, I took a job with a computer firm working on the Apollo program at Cape Kennedy, Florida and resumed my night school education. Two years later another life changing event occurred when a Fortune 50 international company hired me to work on their Apollo program contract. In 1968 I graduated college with a degree in mathematics.
Two weeks before Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, the company transferred me to a subsidiary company in Oklahoma and promoted me to manager of the computer department. There I was able to enroll in a night law school program in 1971. After graduating law school in 1975, the legal department at the company’s corporate headquarters hired me as an entry-level attorney.
After assignments to work in several legal fields, including environmental law, business law, corporate law and finance law, the company transferred me to Switzerland. There my assignment was responsibility for legal affairs in the 68 countries of the Middle East and Africa. One of the highlights of this position was preparing a successful claim against the Islamic Republic of Iran for the 1979 nationalization of the company’s manufacturing facility in Tehran and negotiating that claim with Iran’s representatives in Vienna, Austria.
In 1983 the company transferred me back to corporate headquarters as the manager of the company’s litigation department and later promoted me to Assistant General Counsel. In 1992 I was transferred to Hong Kong as General Counsel for the company’s Asian subsidiary covering Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, India, Indonesia and Australia. I retired in 1996 and relocated to North Carolina. During my career it was my great pleasure to work in or visit over 40 countries and experience the fascinating and diverse cultures of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
After retiring I held various positions in our property owners association, served nine years on the board of a charitable organization and served six years as a Village councilman, where I wrote or substantially revised all of the major ordinances. From 2014 through 2016 my monthly column appeared in the largest local newspaper.