Mason in the News

Posted: May 22, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Friday, May 15, National Journal

Who’s Afraid of Somali Pirates?

“Very simply, last month’s dramatic rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips, in which Navy snipers took out his pirate captors, has given us an inflated view of what we can do to stop Somali pirates. The relative nonviolence of the Somali attacks — four mariners died in pirates’ hands out of 815 hostages taken in 2008 — has made living with piracy even more palatable to shipowners, explained Peter Leeson, author of The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates. ‘The idea of arming crews or hiring guards has failed the market test,’ said Leeson, an economics professor at George Mason University. ‘The fact that [shipowners] are not doing it means it’s not the cheapest thing to do.’”

Sunday, May 17, Washington Post

Students’ Final Lessons: Speakers’ Advice for the Class of ’09

“Gathered under sometimes drizzling skies and facing a dour economy, thousands of students received their college diplomas yesterday at ceremonies across the Washington region. Steve Case, chairman and chief executive of Revolution, AOL co-founder, spoke at George Mason University. An excerpt from his keynote address: ‘I think there’s an excellent chance that this challenging environment will turn out to be a good thing for you. Traditionally, people have locked into a career path when they’ve graduated and generally stayed on that track for most of their lives. While there’s nothing wrong with this, all too often folks wake up when they’re in their 40s or 50s and wonder if they should have taken a different path, perhaps a road less traveled. So while I recognize some of you may have anxiety about your futures, I am reasonably confident that this period could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you, as it may very well force you out of your comfort zone and lead you to consider challenges and opportunities in other fields, and perhaps in other countries. . .’”

Tuesday, May 19, Philadelphia Inquirer

Polls Show Pa. Resisting Tide Favoring Gay Marriage

“The amendment [to block any courts from approving same-sex marriage in the state of Pennsylvania], which requires approval from lawmakers, then a statewide ballot, has fallen short in the Legislature the last two sessions. Pennsylvania did enact a law in 2006 that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, but advocates want an amendment that would prevent a future judicial ruling to overturn that law and allow gay marriages. Jeremy Mayer, director of the master’s program in public policy at George Mason University in Virginia, said that political momentum doesn’t always go one way, noting that the Equal Rights Amendment for women seemed unstoppable in the 1970s until the measure faltered in conservative Southern and Midwestern states.”

Thursday, May 21, USA Today

Obama’s Anti-terrorism Policies Hit Walls

“Conservatives, led by former vice president Dick Cheney, are criticizing Obama’s decision to release Bush administration memos approving the interrogation techniques. Liberal groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union are fuming at his refusal to seek prosecutions, release photos and end military tribunals. ‘Whenever you start making decisions, you alienate somebody,’ says James Pfiffner, an expert on public policy and the presidency at George Mason University in Virginia. ‘Obama’s making some very tough decisions. I think he’s striking the right balance here.’”

Wednesday, May 20, MSNBC.com

Teens Scale Back on Cost as they Step Out for Prom

“Across the United States, tough economic times mean that money for prom attire — or any other extras — is sparse. Even teens whose families who aren’t feeling the pinch are aware of the country’s collective belt-tightening, says Amy Best, associate professor of sociology at George Mason University and author of ‘Prom Night: Youth, Schools and Popular Culture.’ ‘Many teens are opting out of conspicuous consumption, including in how they prepare for prom,’ she said.”

Write to at