This Week in the News…

Posted: April 16, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Saturday, April 10, Associated Press

How We Choose: The Myth and Reality of Declining Voter Turnout

“‘We are in the midst of the biggest progressive and generational decline in participation in our history,’ declares Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, a Washington voting advocacy group. Except that Michael P. McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University, doesn’t see it that way. Traditionally, turnout has been calculated simply as a ratio between the number of people who voted and the number of Americans of voting age. But that includes people who actually can’t vote–non-citizens and felons. Since 1972, the number of people in both groups has soared. Take them away, say McDonald and his colleague, Samuel L. Popkin, and voter turnout for the last eight elections has averaged about 56 percent, bobbing up and down with no real downward trend.”

Saturday, April 10, San Jose Mercury News

VeriSign Is Locked in Fight with Internet Address System Regulator ICANN

“The legal battle renews debate over the scope of ICANN’s authority and the way it operates. ICANN is often criticized for having an insular culture, and for not having a clear process in place for making decisions. ‘There are a lot of businesses that want to see ICANN flourish,’ said Bradford Brown, chairman of the National Center for Technology & Law, part of the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va. ‘But they just can’t follow how ICANN decides things because there’s not a process.’ In the future, he said, the United States must also address ICANN’s role as other nations attempt to have a greater say in how the Internet is governed, with some pushing for the United Nations to help oversee the Internet.”

Sunday, April 11, The Denver Post

Colorado Investment Scam Used Church Ties to Gain Victims’ Confidence

“Duped investors lose $2 billion to $3 billion annually on prime-bank scams, said James Byrne, a law professor and director of George Mason University’s Institute of International Banking Law and Finance. Such schemes inspire loyalty from investors once they accept the initial premise. ‘It goes to very, very deep chords within us that are psychological and sociological,’ Byrne said. ‘For example, it’s hard for a normal adult to make commitment to something. Once you do, you’re on board, you want it to happen.'”

Monday, April 12, The Guardian

The Righteous Go Astray

In Economy and Virtue, a collection of writings published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, economists and social scientists argue that supporters of free markets should be more ambitious. Instead of arguing that markets are a necessary evil, a superior way of engineering economic growth, capitalism’s supporters should stop being so apologetic. ‘The intellectual defense of the free market should focus on its moral superiority,’ says Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia.”

Tuesday, April 13, USA Today

New Town’s Challenge Is to Stick to Blueprint

“What Mountain House can expect, if the past is a guide, is a buildout over 15 years that strays from its carefully crafted plan. Reston largely followed Simon’s blueprint, but even he never anticipated today’s lively, high-rise downtown. Greenbelt, Md., has grown far beyond the tight community originally envisioned. ‘People’s preferences change, consumer preferences change and business preferences change,’ says John McClain, a senior fellow at the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. ‘That’s part of the adaptation.'”

Wednesday, April 14, Journal Gazette

Gun-rights Groups Oppose Bush on Privacy Issues

Nelson Lund, a law professor and Second Amendment expert at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said it’s not surprising gun-rights advocates are at odds with Bush on issues involving privacy and national security. ‘People who have a strong interest in gun rights tend to be libertarian in their thinking,’ Lund said. ‘They tend to be skeptical of the government.'”

Write to at