The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson


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

The following are miscellaneous items I have written:

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.

  • 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 (Jan 2019) - When the message is troubling a common counterpoint is to attack the messenger. These are my thoughts on this subject.
  • 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 in regards to modern times. Here is my succinct thoughts.
  • 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.
  • I Have a Big Mouth (Sep 2018) -A discussion on "Big" mouthing and "Small" mouthing.
  • 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".
  • Modern American Fascism (May 2019) - An examination of what constitutes Fascism in modern America.
  • Natural (Bill of) Rights (May 2019) - Our rights come from being born human and not from a government grant. This is an examination of the meaning of Natural Rights.
  • Nazism and Fascism (Jan 2019) - An examination of the political and social basis of Nazism and Fascism.
  • O say can you see (Jul 2019) - A perspective on respecting the National Anthem.
  • 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.
  • Reparations (Apr 2019) - What is the morality of reparations is examined in this article.
  • Sexual Harassment (Oct 2018) - A perspective on this subject.
  • Shame and Hypocrisy (Sep 2018) - A perspective on this subject.
  • 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.
  • 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 provide much benefits to the consumer there has been a downside to this era. This articles 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.
  • 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 a social policy.
  • Socialism and Capitalism - (Sep 2018) - The vices and virtues of Socialism and Capitalism.
  • Swearing (Sep 2018) - The consequences and repercussions of swearing.
  • Tariffs - A Double Entry Ledger (Jun 2019) - The pro and cons of imposing tariffs.
  • The Electoral College (Mar 2019) - An examination of the meaning and purpose of The Electoral College.
  • The Failures of the Supreme Court (May 2019) - An examination of the integrity of the courts and incorrect or improper decisions in the latter half of the 20th century and continuing in the 21st century.
  • The Fundamental Properties of Humanity (May 2019) -An examination of the fundamental properties of humans; human nature, economics, and energy.
  • The Rule of Law (Sep 2018) - Without the Rule of Law, there can be no Justice. But the Rule of Law requires that several concepts and tenets be enforced for Justice to prosper. These are my thoughts on this subject.
  • The Rule of Law in Non-Judicial Proceedings (Apr 2019) - An examination of the concepts of The Rule of Law in political discourse and deliberations.
  • The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate (May 2019) - How modern political debate has deteriorated into name calling.
  • The Troubles with TED Talks (Sep 2018) - The issues and concerns about TED Talks.
  • Tyranny Disguised as Virtue and Compassion (Apr 2019) - How Virtue and Compassion can become Tyranny.
  • 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.
  • Words of Wooden (Mar 2019) - College Basketball coach John Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players. Here are his most important words and wisdom.

Observations on an Examined Life

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 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).