Mason in the News

Posted: June 27, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

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

Sunday, June 22, Atlanta Journal – Constitution

Catholics Turn Out in Droves for Eucharist

“‘A big challenge [facing the faiths in America] is the marriage and family crisis — not just because it’s internal, but it’s also external to the United States,’ said Helen Alvare, an associate professor at George Mason University School of Law. ‘It has what I call tentacles. Without a solid marriage and family culture, society really is in big trouble. And particularly among the poor and among immigrants, their marriage and family life is falling apart at a faster rate than people with more money. It’s not just a sex issue. It’s not a ‘This is where you follow Catholic doctrine’ issue. It’s more, are you going to be able to fulfill the meaning and purpose of your life, which is loving care for other persons who are given to you? And are we going to be able to build a strong society, not just for Catholics, but for the whole country?’”

Sunday, June 22, Washington Post

Higher Learning Adapts To a Greening Attitude; Students Lead Drive Reshaping Curricula

“The environmental fervor sweeping college campuses has reached beyond the push to recycle plastics and offer organic food and is transforming the curriculum, permeating classrooms, academic majors and expensive new research institutes. Students are also driving the academic push that is infusing curriculum and research with an environmental consciousness. ‘I think it’s getting a little out of proportion, the emphasis on the environment,’ said Donald J. Boudreaux, chairman of the economics department at George Mason University. He said people increasingly look at environmental issues almost as a religion, with unquestioning belief, rather than thinking critically about scientific evidence or economic issues.”

Monday, June 23, Washington Post

Regional Economy Has a Split Personality; Contract Jobs Grow, yet Energy Rates Inflict Pain

“The sagging national economy is widening the gap locally between people who work for the giant base of consulting and technology firms that rely on the government for revenue and lower- and middle-income people in jobs exposed to the downturn, such as retail and construction. ‘The Washington area is still generating new jobs every month. We’re not looking like the national economy there, which has lost jobs for the last five months,’ said Stephen Fuller, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis. ‘The strength of our economy seems to be holding, and the consequences of the slowdown in the housing and financial sector haven’t spread like it seems as they have in the national level.’ But Fuller added a caution. ‘People who are young, have children and a lot of debt, and jobs that pay below the average are feeling the full brunt of this increase in food prices and energy prices, and they have no cushion,’ he said.”

Tuesday, June 24, Denver Post

McCain’s Magic-Battery Idea is Low-Watt Economics

“This week, McCain unveiled a plan that would offer a $300 million reward for technological advancement on a new battery that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. ‘The gain from any kind of success on this front is so obvious and so huge that there is no need to have government performing parlor tricks with taxpayer dollars,’ Donald Boudreaux, chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University, tells me. ‘This just shows us how little McCain understands about economics. If anyone could invent something that would save consumers in this way, there is no reason the inventor wouldn’t earn multiples of $300 million.’”

Tuesday, June 24, Los Angeles Times

Fat Kids, Time’s National Shame

“It’s tempting to blame marketers who sit around dreaming up ads for SpongeBob SquarePants Wild Bubble Berry Pop-Tarts — and I fear the mind that developed that product — but kids probably absorb fewer food-related advertisements than they did before obesity was deemed an ‘epidemic.’ According to research by George Mason University law and economics scholar Todd Zywicki, kids’ exposure to such advertisements has either remained constant or declined over the last 15 years. Either Cookie Crisp commercials have become miraculously more effective over time, or kids are expanding for other reasons.”

Thursday, June 26, New York Times

Laptop Searches in Airports Draw Fire at Senate Hearing

“Advocacy groups and some legal experts told Congress on Wednesday that it was unreasonable for federal officials to search the laptops of United States citizens when they re-enter the country from traveling abroad. Civil rights groups have said certain ethnic groups have been selectively profiled in the searches by Border Patrol agents and customs officials who have the authority to inspect all luggage and cargo brought into the country without obtaining warrants or having probable cause. Nathan A. Sales, an assistant professor at the George Mason University School of Law, said in a statement: ‘The reason the home has enjoyed uniquely robust privacy protections in the Anglo-American legal tradition is because it is a sanctuary into which the owner can withdraw from the government’s watchful eye. Crossing an international border is in many ways the opposite of this kind of withdrawal.’”

Write to at