The unveiling of my Philadelphia Republican Party honors thesis Web site

I have been busy.

Because I didn’t have the grades to get into the honors school initially, in order to graduate with honors on May 22 – my day of commencement from Temple University – I have to complete an undergraduate thesis project.

I have been steadily working on my paper, due the first week of May, but, in addition to a public presentation and defense of my initial findings at a research forum held two weeks ago, I have nearly put all the final touches on the framework of a blog that chronicles my year-long research on Philadelphia’s Republican Party, the focus of my thesis.

Finally, a home for all of you dying to learn everything there was to know about partisan politics in Philadelphia.

The paper will eventually go up there too, all of my research and notes, as a means for giving the project a permanent, more visible home. For now, I am happy to have a place to organize all of my work, interviews and research.

Give it a look. I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

Stirring the Melting Pot

By Christopher Wink | Nov 13, 2006 | The ISRST Review [PDF]

The American population gurgled over 300 million some time in October of 2006, and it never paused. A solid 67 percent of that population considers itself non-Hispanic white in racial makeup, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, meaning nearly 100 million Americans are responsible for the blacks and browns and reds and golds in our ethnic color wheel.

This is, as we say in American flag-adorned speeches and mushy patriotic reports, what makes the United States a melting pot, as it was put by an English playwright nearly a century ago. Though most sociologists have long since discarded the phrase, its meaning is strong to all proud Americans. Yet, anyone who has ever ridden a bus passed the abandoned row houses in North Philadelphia or been lost in the faceless lines of tract housing in Union, Kentucky must know the pot needs to be stirred.

There is no equality in division, only disparity takes root. So, give us answers, we clamor. Leaders and legislators, you must tell us what the solutions for our continued racial misgivings are. The answers haven’t come. How could they? We haven’t yet established what the problem is.

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Does North Korea Matter?: An undergraduate research paper

By Christopher Wink | Nov 27, 2006 | TUJ Undergraduate Research

There are nearly 200 member-states in the United Nations; 191 since Switzerland and East Timor joined in 2002 (UN 2005). With such a robust international community, it is clear that some states might require less attention than others. Without enough adequate potable drinking water for its citizens and with an estimated gross domestic product barely in the top 100 among independent states, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, populated by just 23 million people, would seem to be an understandable candidate to slide from global political discourse (CIA 2006). Yet, as heads of state and political scientists from around the world would likely acknowledge, North Korea is anything but forgotten.

In January of 2002, during his first State of the Union address, President George W. Bush famously labeled North Korea as a member of an “axis of evil.” In September of that same year, an American National Security Strategy document released by the Bush administration referred to two “rogue states” that were considered to, “reject basic human values and hate the United States and everything for which it stands.” They were the DPRK and the since invaded and occupied Iraq (McCormack 1-2. 2004).

In recent months, there has been fervor over an alleged North Korean nuclear weapons program, causing a push to return to six-party talks about its termination. The group negotiations, led by the United States, include global powers and North Korean neighbors: China, Russia, and Japan, along with South Korea (Reuters 2006). There is no doubt that North Korea garners a great deal of consideration among politicians and pundits alike. The ready question, then, is if the attention it receives is merited. In short, does North Korea matter?

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