Mason in the News

Posted: October 5, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason recently received.

Friday, Sept. 28, Toronto Star

Burmese Police Fire into Crowds

“Burma’s five-week protest against the ruling junta has escalated from marches and military warnings to a bloody confrontation that has left at least a dozen people dead, including a Japanese journalist. Yesterday, security forces signaled their determination to crush the pro-democracy movement by firing into crowds with automatic weapons and giving demonstrators 10 minutes to clear the streets or be shot. The crackdown began Wednesday when soldiers and police fired tear gas, clubbed protesters and arrested up to 200 monks in an attempt to quash the uprising, the largest since the rebellion by students and monks in 1988, in which more than 3,000 people were killed. ‘This isn’t just a protest, it’s a pro-democracy movement that has been gathering strength for 20 years,’ says sociologist John Dale of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in Virginia. ‘People have been conducting democratic education programs at the grassroots level, and they understand they are risking their lives. Now we have to find a window of opportunity for them.’”

Saturday, Sept. 29, Kansas City Star

Anthropologists Debate Ethics of Working on War Effort

“U.S. Army officers mired in the insurgencies of Iraq and Afghanistan yearn to know what makes Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Turkmen, Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras tick. Some anthropologists think wars could be less violent and more successful if Americans in uniform better understood whom they’re up against, and arguing that social scientists should team up with the military. That attitude horrifies some anthropologists, who recall past links to espionage and colonialism. They fret it will undermine the success and safety of colleagues in the study of humans. They ask: Who will talk to us once we’ve teamed up with soldiers in an unpopular war? ‘These anthropologists talk about it saving lives,’ said Hugh Gusterson at George Mason University. ‘But the military can use this knowledge to be more lethal. You start out with one thing that evolves into quite another.’ Gusterson, a professor of sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, is part of the ad hoc Network of Concerned Anthropologists circulating a pledge — part anti-war, part purity of the profession — promising not to work with the military on counterinsurgency.”

Saturday, Sept. 29, Washington Post

Others Replace Independence at Dulles

“This year is turning into a good one for Washington Dulles International Airport. Virgin America is its sixth low-fare carrier to date and the fifth new carrier this year. By the time Virgin America launches its second route to Los Angeles in October, Dulles will have almost 60 low-fare flights a day to 15 destinations. Other niche carriers, including Maxjet, which offers cheaper business-class seats than traditional airlines do, have also debuted at Dulles. Plans for new runways, parking garages, gates and a Metro line could prompt airlines — legacy, low-fare and international — to move into Dulles, said Stephen Fuller, director of the George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis. The airlines that come in now get the gates. ‘Everyone wants to be there,’ Fuller said. ‘They’re all fighting over available space.’”

Tuesday, Oct. 2, ABC News

Republican Vote under Threat from Angry Religious Right

“In the United States, conservative Christian leaders are beginning to show their discontent with the current crop of Republican presidential frontrunners. Voting for a new president begins in just three months, and the religious right in America has been unable to unite behind a Republican candidate. But they know who they don’t want: former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is the Republican Party’s current frontrunner. Jerry Mayer, a professor of politics at George Mason University in Washington, says the conservative Christians’ plan threatens to split the Republican vote. ‘You nominate a pro-choice Republican as liberal on gay issues, as liberal on sexuality as Giuliani is, I’m telling you some right-wing Republican maverick, like Alan Keyes or some other minor figure, will run as a third party candidate, will run as a pro-life candidate of the party of God, and that will hurt,’ he said. ‘Indeed, it will make it impossible for the Republicans to win.’”

Wednesday, Oct. 3, Inside Higher Ed

Who You Calling Heterodox?

“Political magazines and mainstream media outlets have recently unearthed a struggle for the very soul of economics. It’s playing out in scholarly journals and in the back corridors of economics departments as lone, embattled researchers resist the stifling free-market doctrine that dominates their field. That’s the picture painted in recent months by many liberal magazines. The general assumption in the profiles is that economics is a field dominated by people who cling, sometimes beyond evidence, to free-market dogma, disadvantaging those whose findings might contradict the dominant view; the rebels, in turn, are presented as embattled exceptions to the rule. But a group of economists at George Mason University, and other prominent researchers, say this notion of a free-market mainstream is oversimplified at best and inaccurate at worst. ‘There’s really not any data, and there’s a caricature, that economists are extremely free market,’ said Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason who is popular in free-market and libertarian circles. ‘I think the differences are overdrawn.’”

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