News stories, research reports and essays trigger a comment when they pertain to topics including the Constitution, Economy, Immigration, Mid-East, Multiculturalism, Natural Resources, and Politics. The threat of a North American Union [NAU a.k.a. the Security and Prosperity Partnership] is a recently added category.
With respect to the Constitution, we reflect that the Bill of Rights limited actions by the federal government, reserving all unenumerated powers "to the States respectively, or to the people" [Amendment X]. The Fourteenth Amendment, Section 5 [ratified 1868] began to swing power away from the States in favor of the federal government. But not until the twentieth century did the Supreme Court enunciate the "incorporation doctrine," giving the federal government a basis for wider action. The federal government has intervened in First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment issues that would be left to the States under the original language and interpretation of the Bill of Rights.
The Economy, Immigration and Natural Resources have ongoing relevance to the continued prosperity and sovereignty of the United States. It seems doubtful that these subects could lose their significance.
Immigration is linked both to Natural Resources -- because population growth drives higher demand for resources including energy and fresh water -- and Multiculturalism. Since 1965, immigration has shifted from a primarily-European flow to one that progressively introduces Third World values and history into the culture and body politic. In so far as the United States' commitment to rule of law, the scientific method, equal opportunity, and liberty spring from European-American traditions, the introduction of foreign elements cannot be assumed to be benign.
The MidEast occupies us because of ongoing conflicts between Israel and its neighbors. Ruinous military budgets and becoming a target of extremist attacks, as well as being handicapped in trade and investment opportunities, cannot be separated from foreign policy that seems untested against the criterion of the national interest.
Politics is irresistible. What would one do without the every-two year and especially the every-four year hoopla? Yet, the public's role may not be so great as one is encouraged to believe. Perhaps the people merely choose from a pre-selected roster over which they have had little say. "Dynamic silence" administered by the major media hinder the emergence of candidates who have deep support. Nevertheless, the demands of the national interest drive one's attention because incumbents in the White House do demonstrably change the course of history.
Attention to the "fertility opportunity hypothesis" reflects longtime academic interests. Occasionally, news stories support [or challenge] my prediction that perception of expanding economic opportunity encourages people to have larger families, whereas a sense that opportunity is contracting promotes a preference for few or no children.
Unsystematic though the approach may be -- an interdisciplinary frame of reference can hardly be otherwise -- our goal is to provide alternative perspectives while also collecting, sorting, and storing information . If we are mutually entertained, so much the better.