The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).
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.
The Constitution and the Law
- Human and Constitutional Rights
- A series of Articles that explores this issue:
- 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.
Of Rights (Dec 2019) - The Bill of Rights were
created to enshrine basic Human Rights into our
Constitution. This article examines the Bill of Rights and
its relationship to Human Rights.
- 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 examine 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.
- 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.
Protection of Rights and Just Laws (Mar 2020) - An
examination of how our rights are protected in the U.S.
- Freedoms, Liberties,
Equalities, and Justice for All (May 2020) An
explanation of what I mean when I write or quote this subject.
We Lost Our Way? (Feb 2020) - The ideals and
ideas of our founding principles as they relate to modern
American governance and society are examined in this article.
- Impeachment - A series of
articles in which I examine impeachment and the current
impeachment of President Trump. I would suggest that you
review them from top to bottom to get a fuller understanding
of my thoughts:
- 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 (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 Hearings III (Dec
2019) - What constitutes "Treason, Bribery, and High crimes
and misdemeanors" as the House Judiciary Committee first
hearing examines. This article examines my perspective on
the answers to this question.
Hearings IV (Dec 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 is examined in this article.
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.
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.
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
Senate Trial IV (Jan 2020) - The new battle cry
at the Impeachment of President Trump is the call for new
witnesses. This article are my thoughts on this topic.
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
- 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.
Consequences (Feb 2020) - The foreseen and
unforeseen future consequences of impeachment to our
Republic. Consequences that 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.
- Inspector General
Report on FISA Applications (Dec 2019) - My
comments and concerns in the IG Report as to the FISA Court
abuses into the investigation of Donald Trump during the
campaign, transition, and the start of his Presidency.
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
- Just Charging - The process of Justice
begins with a Just Charge, for without being charged justly
you cannot have Justice.
- Just Trials - 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
- 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.
and Enumerated Powers (Mar 2020) An
examination of the powers of the Federal Government and their
application in todays society.
- 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 Meaning Of - A series of articles in which I
explain different aspects of the Constitution of the United
do we go from here? - Given what we have learned since
our founding is it possible, or even necessary, to update
and/or Constitution. I have not made a determination if this
is required, but I have prepared (for amusement purposes
only) a revised Declaration of Independence and U.S
Constitution that addresses many of the concerns I have
expresses throughout my Observations and Articles.
New Declaration of Independence
(Sep 2019) -My thoughts on a rewriting of the
Declaration of Independence to meet the needs of the 21st
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 and Economic Issues
- 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.
& 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.
- 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 examine the issues and
concerns with "Entitlements".
- Lies, Damned Lies, and
Statistics - These articles examine the issues that I
believe are misrepresented, misreported, and misunderstood in
America. To solve 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.
- 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.
Biggest Falsehoods in America (September 2019)
- This article examines the issues that I believe
are misrepresented, misreported, and misunderstood in
- Nazism and
Fascism (Jan 2019) - An examination of the
political and social basis of Nazism and Fascism.
is Acceptable - (Dec 2019) - The various way
in which Socialism is Immoral, and the vices
and virtues of Socialism and Capitalism.
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.
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
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
- Reparations (Apr
2019) - What is the morality of reparations is examined in
- 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 a social policy.
- Tariffs - A
Double Entry Ledger (Jun 2019) - The pro and
cons of imposing tariffs.
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.
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.
- 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.
- To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders
(Apr 2020) An examination of the differences of rulership
and leadership regarding our current politicians' words and
- Tyranny Disguised as
Virtue and Compassion (Apr 2019) - How Virtue
and Compassion can become Tyranny.
- 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
- 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.
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.
versus Education (September 2019) - An examination
of one of the biggest failures in our educational system.
American Fascism (May 2019) - An examination of
what constitutes Fascism in modern America.
- 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.
Education (May 2019) - The issues and concerns
regarding Public Education in America.
(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
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 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.
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.
- 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
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.
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
- Change and/or New
(Sep 2018) - The call of changed rings throughout the land and
here is my cautionary opinion on this topic.
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
- 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.
- Is It Time to
Purchase Greenland? (August 2019) - An examination
of the costs and benefits, for all parties, if the United
States purchased Greenland.
- 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".
(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 "Math (and statistical mathematics) is More than
Numbers" explores this subject.
- 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.
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
- The Fundamental
Properties of Humanity (May 2019) -An examination
of the fundamental properties of humans; human nature,
economics, and energy.
- The Troubles
with TED Talks (update Oct 2019) - The issues
and concerns about TED Talks.
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.
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
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
& Prostitution (Mar 2019) - If prostitution
is the world's oldest profession, then pornography is the
world's oldest occupation. These are my thoughts.
Speaking (Sep 2018) - A guide to
overcoming your fear of public speaking from someone who has
accomplish this feat.
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.
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
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
- Critique - A serious examination and judgment of
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
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).