Monday, July 02, 2007

Duuuude -- What if they're right side up and we're upside down?

In your Sun-Times, Abdon Pallasch reports that Judge Posner feels he was falsely portrayed as advocating "secret trials" and other "big brother" programs to fight terrorism.

Mr. Pallasch hints that he thinks the Aussie press doesn't know what it's talking about:
It describes the widely published Posner as "a supposedly liberal-leaning jurist regarded by many as a future U.S. Supreme Court candidate."

Actually, Posner is a Republican-appointed, free-market-oriented jurist with a libertarian streak, regarded as too conservative to be nominated to the Supreme Court by a Democrat, but not reliably conservative enough to be nominated by a Republican.
Actually, Posner is both a "liberal-leaning jurist" and a "free-market-oriented jurist with a libertarian streak".

In most of the English-speaking world -- including Australia -- "liberal" means "economic liberal", i.e. a "free-market libertarian". And, therefore, an Australian newspaper would correctly describe a "free-market-oriented jurist with a libertarian streak" like Posner as a "liberal-leaning jurist". But don't believe me, in 2005 the Aussie Liberal Party head, Prime Minister John Howard, said:
The Liberal Party is a broad church. *** Australian Liberals should revere the contribution of John Stuart Mill to political thought. We are also the custodians of the conservative tradition in our community. And if you look at the history of the Liberal Party it is at its best when it balances and blends those two traditions. Mill and (Edmund) Burke are interwoven into the history and the practice and the experience of our political party.
If they aren't teaching political history, political science or how to use the Google, just what are they teaching kids in journalism school these days?

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