George Mason in the News…

Posted: November 19, 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:

Friday, Nov. 12, The Washington Post

Concert Hall to Rise Near Manassas; GMU, Prince William To Share Funding

“Prince William County and George Mason University have agreed to help finance a $56 million performing arts center near Manassas styled after a famous European opera house, another sign that the county is positioning itself as a cultural and business center for Northern Virginia. A four-story, 1,100-seat performance hall will be the centerpiece of a larger cultural complex to be built at GMU’s Prince William campus and financed by the university, the county, the city of Manassas and private funds. Promoters compared the hall to the La Scala opera house in Milan.”

Friday, Nov. 12, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Proposal To Genetically Engineer Smallpox Sparks Debate

“It has been U.S. policy to refrain from genetically engineering smallpox, but that will undoubtedly change if the WHO endorses such research. ‘It’s absolutely the right decision,’ said Dr. Ken Alibek, a former top scientist in the Soviet biological weapons program who said the Soviets covertly developed smallpox as a weapon in the 1980s. Alibek, who defected to the United States in 1992 and now teaches at George Mason University, said it’s now possible to genetically engineer smallpox to render current vaccines useless. ‘The bad guys already know how to do it,'” Alibek said. ‘So why prohibit legitimate researchers to do research for protection?'”

Saturday, Nov. 13, The Toronto Star

U.S. Christians Await President’s Payback

“America remains a country deeply divided over moral issues, with a government that’s united on them, says Mark Rozell, professor of public policy at Virginia’s George Mason University, suggesting that Bush now has an almost unstoppable ability to move his agenda forward. The term ‘moral values’ has become a rallying cry for conservative Christians. Roughly translated, it means opposition to gay and abortion rights, to tolerance of non-Christian beliefs, and to international cooperation.”

Saturday, Nov. 13, Associated Press

State Prison Chief Urges Reform To Reduce Load on Jails

“Many are leery of rehabilitation programs. Alex Tabarrok, an economist at George Mason University and author of Changing the Guard: Private Prisons and the Control of Crime, said nothing reforms a criminal like time behind bars. ‘Rehabilitation programs do not appear to work well,’ he said. ‘Sometimes they look good in trial, but when applied in the real world, they rarely are effective.’ Tabarrok said it is beneficial to put murderers, rapists and burglars in jail, but pointed out some criminals like drug users probably don’t need jail time as much.”

Saturday, Nov. 13, Tampa Tribune

Voters Who Fill In Blanks Like Scooby Doo, Mickey Too

“Some even thought more-notorious characters could handle the sheriff’s duties, including the late bank robber Jesse James, convicted killer Scott Peterson, dictator Fidel Castro, cartoon character Yosemite Sam—and the be-all-and-end-all bad guy, Satan. Not to worry, Jesus racked up quite a few votes, too. Susan Tolchin, a George Mason University public policy professor who wrote The Angry American, a book that explored voter rage, sees more than one explanation for offbeat write-ins. For example, odd and absurd choices often occur when a voter arrives at the polls intent on voting in one race but apathetic about other spots on the ballot. ‘They may want someone for the Senate, and really be enthusiastic about voting for the Senate, but not care about anything else,’ Tolchin said. Although many voters rail about politics in general, she added, ‘When they vote for Mickey Mouse, that’s not angry; I think it’s just people being sarcastic and funny.'”

Sunday, Nov. 14, Associated Press

Companies Turn To Handwriting Experts To Help Vet New Workers

Richard Klimoski, dean of the school of management at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said he’s a skeptic, calling graphology an ‘untested approach’ to making hiring decisions. ‘The research record is not very supportive as I see it,’ he said. ‘It has no capacity to infer personality traits or the capacity to predict from handwriting samples work performance.'”

Sunday, Nov. 14, Boston Herald

Sheik Ok’d Osama’s Plan To Nuke U.S.

“Whether any religious authority gave bin Laden the go-ahead for future attacks, however, is of relatively little significance, said Payne and Neamat Nojumi, a scholar and former Afghan mujahideen. ‘He has presented himself as a supreme figure; he doesn’t need permission. He and his network have already committed so many atrocities,’ said Nojumi, author of The Rise of the Taliban and research associate at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. If the United States wants to prevent future attacks, it must repair its international image by building a coalition to resolve the chaos in Iraq, he said, and, ‘most importantly,’ play a ‘balanced, impartial’ role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Wednesday, Nov. 17, Christian Science Monitor

Cabinet Moves To Consolidate Control

“In this context, the current cabinet shuffle may reflect pent-up demand. A change of eight to 10 seats would be comparable to historical examples, according to political scientists. ‘It looks to me like turnover will be similar to other terms,’ says James Pfiffner, a professor of government at George Mason University in Virginia. At the very least, it appears Bush won’t follow the dubious example of Richard Nixon. Almost paranoid about what he perceived as a lack of loyalty among his cabinet and subcabinet appointees, he demanded they all submit letters of resignation following his reelection.”

Nov. 22 Edition, U.S. News and World Report

Iran and the Bomb

“At the same time, the presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has stoked Iran’s fears of encirclement. Inside Iran, some analysts portray a nuclear capability as a deterrent to U.S. intervention—and a reflection of Iran’s rightful great-power status in the region. ‘If you’re sitting in Tehran and hearing the administration and the neoconservatives and the Congress on regime change,’ says Shaul Bakhash, an Iran expert at George Mason University, ‘it is a real fear.'”

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