The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson


Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).

Miscellaneous Items

The following are topics on which I felt the urge to pontificate, and some are extracts from my website "Observations on an Examined Life". I have deliberately kept these topics and extracts to short and pity comments that can be read in a few minutes. I have also targeted these items to a personal nature in that they deal with how to live your life and view pressing social concerns. I sincerely hope that you will take a few minutes to read and think about these topics. For your convenience I have added a icon to indicate those articles that have been recently added or modified.

Until the 2020 Elections are over I am highlighting one of my articles:
The Real Issues of the 2020 Election
as I believe that it is important for Americans to consider these issues before they cast their votes.

The Constitution and the Law ......

Human and Constitutional Rights

  • Human Rights  (Dec 2019) - Human rights are inviolate and reside within the individual. No government, society, institution, organization, or persons(s) may violate the human rights of an individual and be considered legitimate. These are my thoughts on Human Rights.
  • Hierarchy of Rights (Mar 2020) – An examination of the hierarchy of rights of a U.S. citizen, and the interrelationship of these rights.
  • Bill Of Rights  (Dec 2019) - The Bill of Rights was created to enshrine basic Human Rights into our Constitution. This article examines the Bill of Rights and its relationship to Human Rights.
  • Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Justice for All (May 2020) – An explanation of what I mean when I write or quote this subject.
  • The Abortion Question (Sep 2020) - An examination of Human Rights of the unborn child, and the issues and concerns regarding abortion.
  • The Analogy of Abortion and Slavery (Sep 2020) - An examination of how the current abortion debate is analogous to the debate on slavery that occurred prior to the Civil War.
  • The Four Freedoms (Dec 2019) - The Four Freedoms were goals articulated by the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941. In an address known as The Four Freedoms Speech (technically the 1941 State of the Union Address), he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people “Everywhere In The World” ought to enjoy. This article examines these Four Freedoms.
  • The Foundation of the Rights of the Common Man (Jan 2020) - Where did the ideals of Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Justice For All, as we now understand them, come from? What about the ideas of representative government, the rule of law, equal justice, property, and contracts? This article examines where these ideals and ideas came from.

The Meaning Of 

Constitutional Issues

Justice in America

  • A Just Government and a Just Society (Sep 2019) - The question of the role of government and society, and what constitutes a just government and society, has bedeviled mankind for millennia. This article examines what constitutes a Just Government and a Just Society.
  • Constitutional Protection of Rights and Just Laws (Mar 2020) - An examination of how our rights are protected in the U.S. Constitution.
  • Judges, Not Lords (Mar 2020) – An examination of the role of Judges in our Constitutional system.
  • Justice and The Rule of Law in America (Oct 2019). A longer than usual Article on my thoughts on this subject. However, it has five parts that are shorter and can be read independently from each other. These are my thoughts on this subject:
    • Just Process - Without Just Process, there can be no Justice. But a Just Process requires that several concepts and tenets be enforced for Justice to prosper.
    • Just Charging g - The process of Justice begins with a Just Charge, for without being charged justly, you cannot have Justice.
    • Just Trials s - A Just Trial is essential for Justice. The rights of the defendant must be preserved, but the interests of the victim and their families must also be served.
    • Just Sentencing  - We should also remember that laws are meaningless if there are no consequences or deterrence for violating them. This requires a Just Sentence.
    • Just Imprisonment and Parole - Finally, Imprisonments and Paroles must be justly applied. Not only for the inmates but for society and the victims as well.
  • Justice and The Rule of Law in Non-Judicial Proceedings (Oct 2019 update) - An examination of the concepts of The Rule of Law in political discourse and deliberations.
  • The Failures of the Supreme Court (May 2019) - An examination of the integrity of the courts and incorrect or improper decisions of the courts in the latter half of the 20th century and continuing in the 21st century.

The Elections of 2020

The 2020 elections may be a turning point in American History, as I have written in the section of “Turning Point – The Present” of my “United States History Perspective” Article. The American electorate needs to be cognizant of this turning point and vote wisely on the future course of America. As such, I have written a series of Chirps about the turning point issues that I believe that Americans need to consider before casting their votes. This is a list of these Chirps that deal with turning point issues:

The Impeachment of President Trump

    • Impeachable Offenses  (Oct 2019 update) - My thoughts on Impeachment, and how it relates to President Clinton and President Trump.
    • Impeachment Resolution (Oct 2019) - A companion piece to my Impeachable Offenses Article that examines the Resolution of the House of Representatives regarding the “impeachment” of President Trump.
    • Impeachment Hearings I (Nov 2019) - The real question for the Impeachment Hearings is if President Trump was “Upholding the Rule of Law” or “Violating the Rule of Law”, and if these are impeachable offenses as this article explains.
    • Impeachment Hearings II I (Nov 2019) - We have seen a parade of appointed officials and civil servants testify. But they seem to be testifying as to their opinions, presumptions, or inferences, while not much evidence is attested. This article examines the evidence, opinions, presumptions, and inferences regarding Impeachment.
    • Impeachment Hearings III (Dec 2019) - What constitutes “Treason, Bribery, and High crimes and misdemeanors” as the House Judiciary Committee's first hearing examines. This article examines my perspective on the answers to this question.
    • Impeachment Hearings IVDec 2019) - From Quid Quo Pro, to Bribery, to Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Justice, the Impeachment bandwagon rolls on. The current Articles of Impeachment that are being drafted reveal the House Democrats are examined in this article.
    • Impeachment Senate Trial I (Dec 2019) - Suggestions have been made, mostly by Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Lindsey Graham, that the Senate trial of the Impeachment of President Trump be an abbreviated effort until the Senators can determine the guilt or innocence of President Trump. I strongly disagree! This short article examines my disagreements.
    • Impeachment Senate Trial II (Jan 2020) - Whether to allow new witnesses to testify in the Senate Trial of President Trump’s Senate Impeachment trial is more than a question of evidence or fairness. It is also a Constitutional question as to the roles and responsibilities of the House and Senate in Impeachment. This article examines this question.
    • Impeachment Senate Trial III (Jan 2020) - President Trump’s legal team has responded to the House Articles of Impeachment presented to the Senate. These are my thoughts on this response.
    • Impeachment Senate Trial IV (Jan 2020) - The new battle cry at the Impeachment of President Trump is the call for new witnesses. This article is my thoughts on this topic.
    • Impeachment Senate Trial V (Jan 2020) - The Senate will shortly be voting for the resolution on the Impeachment of President Trump. This is the resolution that I would put forward and have the Senate pass.
    • The true meaning of the Senate vote on the Impeachment of President Trump  (Jan 2020) -My thoughts on the meaning and impacts of the Impeachment of President Trump.
    • Impeachment Consequences (Jan 2020) -My thoughts on the meaning and impacts of the Impeachment of President Trump (Feb 2020) - The foreseen and unforeseen future consequences of impeachment to our Republic. The consequences of which may be far-reaching and perverse to our Constitutional Republic.
    • Political Discourse (Dec 2019) -In light of the impeachment proceedings against President Trump, I have hyperlinked my Observation on Political Discourse, as it seems very apropos to these proceedings.

Where do we go from here? 

    • A New Declaration of Independence (Sep 2019) -My thoughts on a rewriting of the Declaration of Independence to meet the needs of the 21st Century.
    • A New U.S. Constitution (Sep 2019) - My thoughts on a rewriting of the United States Constitution to meet the needs of the 21st Century.

Political, Economic, and Other Related Issues ......

Political Issues

  • Dialog & Debate (Feb 2020) - In today’s political environment, Dialog and Debate have degenerate into the employment of tactics, tactics that do not provide illumination but instead generate heat. This is done to generate political points for electioneering purposes rather than an examination of the issue to reach an understanding. I, therefore, have extracted my Observation on Dialog and Debate for your illumination of these tactics.
  • Modern American Fascism (May 2019) - An examination of what constitutes Fascism in modern America.
  • Modern Journalism (Feb 2020) - Media Bias is so widespread today that it is widely recognized by the general public, and even journalists comment upon their lack of support by the general public. This is supported by all public polling, and even though I am not a believer in public polling, I can see this in how the public does not respond to journalism reporting. This article examines the reasons for journalism decline.
  • Practicing What You Preach (Aug 2019) - Discourse on the hypocrisy of those that are claiming “No One is Above the Law”, and the dangers to the Rule of Law. When “No One is Above the Law” is unequally applied.
  • Red Flag, Yellow Flag, and No Flag (Aug 2019) - My thoughts on “Red Flag” laws that would prohibit the sale or possession of firearms to persons who have shown a propensity for violence or mental illness that they could be a danger to themselves or others.
  • Reparations (Apr 2019) - The morality of reparations is examined in this article.
  • Should the Civil Service be Abolished? (Jan 2020) - An examination of how the modern Civil Service has devolved into an unresponsive, indeed resistive entity, to the will of the people as expressed through elections.
  • Social Policy (Mar 2019) - i.e., the betterment of the people through governmental action, has many concerns when formulating and implementing the policy. This article explores the questions that need to be asked when formulating social policy.
  • The Problem is Systemic Liberalisms & Progressivisms – (Aug 2020) – An examination of how Liberalism and Progressivism have impacted American politics and society.
  • The Real Issues of the 2020 Election - (Aug 2020) - As we are now fully into the Presidential Election of 2020, I would implore all Americans to consider the most important issues facing America. There are only four big issues regarding the Presidential Election of 2020. They are; The Coronavirus Pandemic Response, The Economic Recovery, The Rule of Law, and The Role of Government. Another Issue is the Mental Fitness of Joe Biden to perform the duties and responsibilities of the office of the President. This article examines these real issues.
  • There is Nothing democratic About the Democrat Party (Feb 20) - All political organizations are Oligarchies, including the Democrat and Republican Parties. The difference is in the power structure of the leadership of the parties. Does the power structure rule from the top-down or lead from the bottom-up? This article examines this topic as it relates to the current Democrat and Republican Parties.

Economic Issues

  • Campaign Financing and Independent Expenditure(Jul 2020) – An examination of the issues and concerns regarding Campaign Financing and Independent Expenditures in electioneering.
  • Entitlements (Sep 2019) - Social Security, Healthcare (Medicare and Medicaid), Health Insurance, Food Stamps, Education, Public Housing, Aid to Dependent Children, Unemployment Benefits, etc., etc., etc.. All of this was done with the good intention of helping people in need, during a time in which they could not afford to help themselves. This article examines the issues and concerns with “Entitlements”.
  •  Indemnification (Jun 2020) – An examination of the issue of compensation of those who have been harmed because of rioting that has gripped America.
  • Other People’s Money (O.P.M.) (Jun 2020) - In today’s society, it has become very easy to spend Other People’s Money, especially in government funding, but also in commerce. This article examines this issue.
  • Tariffs - A Double Entry Ledger (Jun 2019) - The pro and cons of imposing tariffs.
  • Tax the Rich and Make Them Pay Their Fair Share (Jun 2020) - “Tax the Rich” and “Their Fair Share“ have complex meanings and implications. Those that utilize these phrases rarely understand these meanings, complications, and implications. This article examines these meanings, complications, and implications.
  • Who Pays for Large Lawsuit Settlements? (Aug 2020) – An examination of who actually pays for the settlement of large class-action lawsuits.

Other Issues

  • Common Sense – (Aug 2020) – Common Sense is not so common as you may think, nor not so sensible as you would hope. This article examines the issues of “Common Sense”.
  • The Classes of Society - (Sep 2020) - Throughout history, human societies have been structured into two classes; the ruling class and the bureaucrats who support them and a lower class that provides the labor to build the society. It is only in the last three centuries that a new class has arisen: The Middle-Class. This article examines the history of the Middle-Class and its impacts on society.
  • The Devil is in the Details (Jan 2020) - The Devil is in the Details is a truism that must always be remembered when considering an issue in our personal, work-related, or public lives. In this article, I consider four devils; The Bottom Line, The Debatable, The Verbal versus the Written, and The Philosophical versus the Practicable.
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences (Nov 2019) - The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people and especially of government always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended, in its outcomes of unexpected benefits, unexpected drawbacks, and perverse results.
  • To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders (Apr 2020) – An examination of the differences between rulership and leadership regarding our current politicians’ words and deeds.
  • Tyranny Disguised as Virtue and Compassion (Apr 2019) - How Virtue and Compassion can become Tyranny.
  • Voting in America (Aug 2020) – An examination of the current issues and problems with Voting in America.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

These articles examine the issues that I believe are misrepresented, misreported, and misunderstood in America. Solving these problems requires that we understand the true nature of these problems. Unfortunately, because of the misinformation on these problems, this is not possible. Politicians, Activists, and Journalists are more interested in scoring political points, along with other motivations, that interfere with our understanding. Let us all begin to understand the true nature of these problems so that we can work together on solving these problems.

  • A World of Words versus the World as It Is (Oct 2019) - An examination of the misuse of statistics, and the words misused to describe statistics, in today’s political environment. Lies and Beliefs (Sep 2018) - My thoughts on “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” and “Just because you believe something to be true does not make it true”.
  • Lies and Beliefs (Sep 2018) - My thoughts on “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” and “Just because you believe something to be true does not make it true”.
  • Math (and statistical mathematics) is More than Numbers (October 2019) On the surface, math may seem like it’s all about numbers and formulas. However, this versatile subject is about much more than just counting, adding, and subtracting. Discover why math is more than numbers and find out how it contributes to the development of valuable skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, language, and more. My new article on this subject explores this topic.
  • Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave (Nov 2018) - Knowing what is important, what is unimportant, and what is misleading when reviewing studies or statistics is crucial to discovering the truth.
  • The Biggest Falsehoods in America (September 2019) - This article examines the issues that I believe are misrepresented, misreported, and misunderstood in America.
    • Nazism and Fascism (Jan 2019) - An examination of the political and social basis of Nazism and Fascism.
    • Socialism is Acceptable - (Dec 2019) - The various way in which Socialism is Immoral and the vices and virtues of Socialism and Capitalism.
    • Slavery and Discrimination rooted in Party Politics - (Dec 2019) - The Civil War - Slavery vs. Freedom. North vs. South, Industrial vs. Agricultural, Union vs. Succession are the common reasons given for the Civil War. There is great truth in these reasons, but the commonality of these reasons is Democrat vs. Republican party politics. This article looks at the history of this subject.
    • The Debt of Slavery and Discriminations (Dec 2019) - Slavery and Involuntary Servitude has existed throughout human history in all parts of the world. Slavery and Involuntary Servitude were in existence from the very discovery of America by Western Civilizations. This article cannot possibly go into the history of slavery in America, but I wish to comment on some specifics that are germane to the discussion of the Debt of Slavery and Discrimination.

Social Issues ......

  • A Civil Society (Oct 2018) - For thousands of years, western society has grappled with what constitutes a civil, legal, and just society. These are my thoughts on this subject.
  • Attack the Messenger (Oct 2019 update) - When the message is troubling, a common counterpoint is to attack the messenger. These are my thoughts on this subject.
  • Do the Ends Justify the Means? (Feb 2020) - When do the ends justify the means? This can be a very difficult question to answer, and it is often not black or white. Almost always, the answer is no, but is some cases; it can be yes. This article broadly addresses this question.
  • Divisiveness in America (Aug 2019) - An extermination of the causes and culprits for this divisiveness
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work (May 2019) - Equal pay for equal work is a noble ideal, but as always, the devil is in the details. Here are some of the details.
  • Feminism and the Devaluation of the Male (Aug 2020) – An examination of modern-day feminism and its consequences and repercussions.
  • Indoctrination versus Education (September 2019) - An examination of one of the biggest failures in our educational system.
  • O say can you see (Jul 2019) - A perspective on respecting the National Anthem.
  • Oppressive Patriarchal Hierarchy Society (May 2020) – An examination of hierarchical societies and their application in America.
  • Public Education (May 2019) - The issues and concerns regarding Public Education in America.
  • R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Oct 2019) - It is natural to respect someone who behaves in a Legal, Moral, and Ethical manner. But what of respect for those who falter, or for politicians? This article examines these issues.
  • Sexual Harassment (Oct 2018) - A perspective on this subject.
  • Slander & Libel on Social Media and Journalism (May 2019) - In the 21st century, we have entered into the era of social media and 24-hour news cycles. While this has provided many benefits to the consumer, there has been a downside to this era. This article examines these downsides and what we can do to correct this situation.
  • Social Media (May 2019) - Social media is ubiquitous in today’s society. Here are some of the personal issues and problems I see on social media.
  • Systemic Family, Education, and Faith Problem (Aug 2020) – An examination of the root causes for the current unrest that grips America.
  • The Three D’s (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate (May 2019) - How modern political debate has deteriorated into name-calling.
  • You Can Do and Say Whatever You Want (Nov 2109) - An examination of the propriety of what people do or say, and the role of truth, facts, and propriety in what people do or say.

Odds and Ends ......

  • A Philosophical Approach (Feb 2020) - My reasoning on why a philosophical approach is the best means to resolve the issues and concerns that beset modern America.
  • Analogizing and Conflating (Oct 2019) - To analogize or to conflate are proper techniques of debate if they are utilized properly. However, in today’s political debates, they are often used improperly, as they are not analogized or conflated properly. This article illuminates this topic.
  • Be the Better Person (Sep 2018) - What to do when “Shit Happens”.
  • Change and/or New (Sep 2018) - The call of changed rings throughout the land, and here is my cautionary opinion on this topic.
  • Cognitive Abilities and the Value of a Human Being (May 2019) - My thoughts on a looming social problem of the cognitive abilities needed for a mechanized and technological 21st-century workforce.
  • Cult of Youth (Jun 2019) - I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.
  • Dead White Men (Jan 2019) - Much has been said and written about the importance of dead white men regarding modern times. These are my succinct thoughts on this subject.
  • Decision Points in Life (Jun 2020) - How the probabilities of making better or poorer decisions effects your chances in the making for a better or poorer life.
  • Is It Time to Purchase Greenland? (August 2019) - An examination of the costs and benefits, for all parties, if the United States purchased Greenland.
  • Que Sera, Sera (Dec 2019) - A beautifully simple lyrics and music that has inspired many people. This article explains my interpretation of this song.
  • Reasoning (Feb 2020) - To properly reason, you need to understand Formal and Informal Logic, Logical Fallacies, Cognitive Biases, and Common Sense. These must always be ascertained and incorporated for a rational debate to occur. You must also be aware of how to utilize common sense appropriately. This article is an outline of Formal and Informal Logic, Logical Fallacies, Cognitive Biases, and Common Sense.
  • Sins of the Fathers and of Youth (Sep 2018) - Who bears the responsibility and recriminations for the words and deeds of relatives and youth.
  • Situational Ethics and Moral Dilemmas (Dec 2018) - As I have stated in other articles, I have tried to live my life in an ethical and moral manner. There are, however, situational ethics and moral dilemmas in which there are no easy answers. This article examines some of these particulars and their potential consequences.
  • The Fundamental Properties of Humanity (May 2019) -An examination of the fundamental properties of humans; human nature, economics, and energy.
  • The Morality of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings (Aug 2020) – An examination of the morality of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • The Troubles with T.E.D. Talks (update Oct 2019) - The issues and concerns about T.E.D. Talks.
  • Truth, Honesty, Character, and Courage Within Ourselves (Aug 2020) - Truth, Honesty, Character, and Courage are essential to becoming fully human. For without these items, you cannot be fully functional within yourselves and within society. These are my thoughts on this topic.
  • U.S. Holidays (Jul 2020) - A proposal for a refashioning of national holidays that would commemorate the ideals of America.
  • Vive La Difference (Mar 2019) - An examination of the differences between men and women.
  • Who are you to Judge? (Sep 2018) - To judge, or not to judge, that is the question?
  • Why is there so much poverty? (May 2019) - An examination of poverty and its causes and solution throughout history.

Excerpts ......

    The following items are excerpts from a book I have written "Observations on an Examined Life". They are self contained items and need not be read in context of my book. The other items above are somewhat self-contained but may need the additional context of the book.

    • Addiction (Sep 2018) - My personal experience and perspective on Addiction.
    • Depression & Anxiety (Sep 2018) - My personal experience and perspective on Depression & Anxiety.
    • Introverted (Sep 2018) - My personal experience and perspective on Introversion.
    • May Peace Be Upon You (Sep 2018) - The short and long eulogies that I have written.
    • Mental Illness (Sep 2018) - My personal experience and perspective on Mental Illness.
    • Pornography & Prostitution (Mar 2019) - If prostitution is the world's oldest profession, then pornography is the world's oldest occupation. These are my thoughts.
    • Public Speaking (Sep 2018) - A guide to overcoming your fear of public speaking from someone who has accomplish this feat.

A Personal Note ......

You may be wondering about my qualifications to pontificate on these subjects. I believe that I am qualified because I am a thinking human being. I utilize my knowledge and experience in life, as well as researching both the facts and opinions of others, including those with whom I may disagree. I then apply my reasoning and logical skills to reach an opinion. And it is just my opinion which I readily admit. I am also willing to admit that I may be wrong, and if I discover that I am wrong I am just as readily willing to change my opinion. Therefore, check-back every so often to determine if I have changed my opinion which can be determine by the date of the article.

The incandescent light bulb has often been described as a heat source that provides some light, given that a light bulb generates more heat than it does light. In today's public debates we often find the proponents of an issue providing a lot of heat and only a little light. These observations are meant to provide illumination (light) and not argumentation (heat).

Opponents in today's society often utilize the dialog and debate methodology of Demonize, Denigrate, and Disparage their opponent when discussing issues, policies, and personages. To demonize, denigrate, or disparage the messenger to avoid consideration of the message is not acceptable if the message has supporting evidence.

The only acceptable method of public discourse is disagreement - to be of different opinions. If you are in disagreement with someone you should be cognizant that people of good character can and often disagree with each other. The method of their disagreement is very important to achieve civil discourse. There are two ways you can disagree with someone; by criticizing their opinions or beliefs or critiquing their opinions or beliefs.

  • Criticism - Disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings.
  • Critique - A serious examination and judgment of something.

Most people, and most commentators have forgotten the difference between Criticism and Critique. This has led to the hyper-partisanship in today's society. In a civil society critiquing a viewpoint or policy position should be encouraged. This will often allow for a fuller consideration of the issues, and perhaps a better viewpoint or policy position without invoking hyper-partisanship. We can expect that partisanship will often occur, as people of good character can and often disagree with each other. Criticizing a viewpoint or policy position will often lead to hostility, rancor, and enmity, which results in the breakdown of civil discourse and hyper-partisanship. It is fine to criticize someone for their bad or destructive behavior, but it is best to critique them for their opinions or words. We would all do better if we remember to critique someone, rather than criticize someone.

I would ask anyone who disagrees with what I have written here to please keep this disagreement civil. I am open to critique and will sometimes take criticism. I will always ignore demonization, denigration, and disparagement, or point out the vacuous nature or the character flaws of those that wish to silence the messenger rather than deal with the message.

Please remember that if you disagree with the messenger it is not acceptable to kill the messenger. You may kill the messenger, but the message will remain. If you have any comments, concerns, critiques, or suggestions I can be reached at mwd@profitpages.com. I will review reasoned and intellectual correspondence, and it is possible that I can change my mind, or at least update the contents of these articles. This is why these articles are dated. Whenever I make a change to these articles they will be re-dated. So check back and see if any articles have been updated (or perhaps I shall add articles).