Announcing Ex Medius

Hi folks! As you can tell, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. As usual, that is not for lack of interest in writing or political discourse, but rather a reflection of a gap I perceive in the reach and potential that this site has vs. what I would like it to have. In short – I’ve been discouraged by my ability to reach people through this platform. Thinking about the site critically, I think it has a few constraints that have been challenging: Naming the site with my own name – both limits who can contribute, as …

How big a role should the government play in impacting how people live their lives?

Does the government have a say in your everyday life? This is the second of seven pieces addressing the core philosophical questions facing Americans today. An Overview: Defining the political spectrum Question 1: How sufficient ought our personal safety net be? Today though, the focus is on the role of the government in everyday life. This is broad, but it applies to a range of key topics from education to civil liberties to influencing or governing lifestyle choices. Put another way, it covers regulation beyond the safety net. Education provides a fairly clean dichotomy: that we provide free education up through high school …

An Opinionated Take on the Value of an Opinion

Are all opinions equally valuable? My claim is “no,” and here’s why. One thing that I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about over the past few months is assessing  different viewpoints, or opinions, and how we assign value or merit to them. Eschewing political correctness, the conclusion I’ve come to is this: there are inherently more valuable and less valuable opinions, and that value is roughly quantifiable. As you can imagine, dissecting this quickly gets sticky: what is a true opinion? How do we measure it’s value? To avoid diving into this too far, I’m going to present …

Brief Thoughts on Trump’s Actions on Immigration

I really do promise to keep this one brief: Let’s start where we can all agree: Trump’s executive order on immigrants from seven nations was horribly crafted and displays an arrogance and incompetence that is deeply troubling. Real lives were severely impact by this: families were separated, others are being kept from their jobs and lives that they’ve established here (green card holders as well as many on student and work visas who have setup a life here). This is where a lot of the anger comes from on this issue, and it should make you angry. Moving beyond that: …

How Sufficient Ought Our Personal “Safety Net” Be?

Last week I wrote about defining a political worldview based off seven fundamental questions. Today we’ll focus on the first of those questions: how sufficient ought our personal “safety net” be. First, a few words to help clarify the topic: The assertion here is that this is focused around a “safety net” that is guaranteed by the federal government. It does leave open interpretation that the delivery of that could be by different agents: e.g. delivered by states rather than the federal government (that is a separate philosophical question). Assessing this question is meant to focus on what a person …

Donald Trump, the Women’s March, and Flavors of Fact

A bit of a grab bag commentary on the start of Trump’s Presidency and related events Let’s start at the beginning: The Inauguration Instead of watching live, I opted for reading the transcript of Trump’s speech and associated fallout from it. If you try to find anything that resembles a center these days, George Will has been a reliable conservative for decades, yet called it “the most dreadful inauguration address in history.” Reading the transcript, I think that George’s decree may be hyperbole. Here’s a quick translation of what he’s doing: Trump is appealing to large swaths of his core …

Defining the Political Spectrum

A little while back (okay, four years ago) I wrote a two-part series entitled “defusing the political powder keg.” While I meant for it to be a longer series – that didn’t quite happen. Even so, the first two pieces hold up pretty well as a standalone that is still relevant today. Please take a look at Part I and Part II if you have time. Fast forward to today. We’ve combined hyper-partisanship with a fundamental divergence of information, data, and facts as I wrote about last week. No matter what side of any political debate you fall on, it …