The City State of Branson (International, State, Local)

Over the past several months we've been in the process of developing more sophisticated content delivery mechanisms. The goal is to align diverse subject related content.

For those interested in the history of Branson and Taney County I would highly recommend reading the "Land of Taney." The book elaborates and provides a guide to how our history has been preserved in addition to how future development of researching our history is being played out.

The author, Elmo Ingenthron, states understanding our local history helps us understand and provides context for state, national and international politics. In general, governments trickle down. Since immigration is a topic we've been covering in-depth, let's take a look at the dialogue.

Both Soviet and Continental politics (international) create the context for our discussion. Last year while traveling to a computer training center in Chihuahua Mexico I learned minimum wage in the state is less than a few dollars a day. A stones throw away from the Mexican state sits Texas where minimum wage is 10 x's the amount. The fall of the Soviet empire sets a similar stage for Eastern European on labor politics. In Europe the tension between lower income laborers marks a clash of cultures. The rhetoric heard in the United States between naturalized citizens and foreign immigrants mirrors Western Europeon nation-states.

Congress failed to pass an immigration passage and several thousand (est 5,000) bills were passed by states to address illegal immigration. While covering the Iowa Caucuses we recorded an interview with the leader of another city-state in Pennsylvania. The video of Pennsylvania Mayor Lou Barletta was posted on our Presidential Politics website. Another controversial figure, Jim Gilcrest, founder of the Minutemen was posted as well. At the state level we've posted several press releases from Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon and Governor Matt Blunt on the issue.
In Branson, two alderman have addressed immigration during planning sessions. Alderman Stephen Marshall has expressed concern over national immigration policy elaborating on the demand the business he manages, Chateau on the Lake. From Marshall's perspective, the federal government needs to ease regulations on temporary workers. Unlike smaller businesses in Branson that may get away with hiring illegal workers, Marshall has to answer to corporate leadership that demands thorough background data before hiring can occur. In a recent newspaper article, Marshall asserted that Americans don't want the type of labor he's offering.
Mirroring the landscape of temporary workers in Branson which include Eastern Europeon, Jamaican and Latin labor, an illegal human trafficking network was shut down after investigation by the FBI. The workers "smuggled" were of both Eastern European and Mexican descent. Alderman Jack Purvis has promoted tighter regulation of illegal immigration. While in Iowa, Cris Bohinc was asked what her stance on the topic was. Bohinc and Purvis are challenging each other for the alderman seat. Bohinc wanted to do familiarize herself with the issue before commenting.
The editor of Time Magazine was asked that the biggest threat to America was before he retired. His answer, "Beware of Tribalism." The question of identity permeates every aspect of our society and some believe presents a threat to civilization as we know it. In a fascinating interview with a female Arab activist and a Muslim cleric the issue of culture clash vs civilization clash was addressed. During the video, the newscaster cites Samuel P. Huntington as the author of the civilization clash model the Arab woman is referring to. The argument Huntington makes is that the future of world conflict isn't one of nation-states but of civilizations. He applies his theory to immigration .
Social theorists have addressed the issue with dangerous consequences. At the turn of the last century Adolf Hitler used Carl Marx's pamphlet "The problem of the Jew and the German State. Marx theorizes a Jewish man who lives in Germany views a Jew living in Russia as his brother before his neighbor German. Interestingly, the text is rarely discussed but available from Oxford. The politics of identity are profound and divided among behavioral preference, philosophical perspectives and birthright.
As I write the embassy in Serbia is burning. A clash of civilizations threatens the stability of an international community.
On Martin Luther King Day we posted a video of Barrack Obama speaking to a black church the Martin Luther King once led a congregation. Obama criticized the black community for not doing enough for the gay community. In Missouri, the editor of an activist gay publication in St. Louis called me to elaborate on a campaign to stop churches from teaching against homosexuality from the pulpit. Is this a clash of identity, culture, or civilizations?
Either way winter will end soon and Branson will need inexpensive international labor. Stay tuned to see how city hall will approach the issue.