Benedict is more a left-of-center Christian Democrat than a socialist. His radical critique of capitalism is also a conservative critique of permissive societies, and he emphasized that "rights presuppose duties, if they are not to become mere license." He made the case for a specifically "Christian humanism," arguing that only "a humanism open to the Absolute" could avoid "exposing us to the risk of becoming ensnared by the fashions of the moment."
No one will accuse Benedict of being fashionable, which is why his views run crosswise to important currents in both American conservatism and American liberalism.
Next, former U.S. ambassador Robert E. White on the coup in Honduras:
The crisis in Honduras should remind the Obama administration that it has inherited an inadequate policy toward Central America. While President Chavez supplies cheap oil to favored regional allies, the United States supplies funding for the war on drugs and military assistance. Civilian leaders are understandably skeptical of a drug war that only seems to have increased corruption and violence in their countries.
Finally,Eve Tushnet'sreview of a new exhibition ofmid-twentieth-century Czech photographyat the National Gallery of Art.Tushnet writes:
The Czech amateurs whose work is collected heresome of them art students, some just knockabouts who wanted to try the new art of photographyproduced work that is surprisingly apolitical. Although a wall caption notes that one photographer was violating the law just by having a camera on the street after the Nazis took over, very few of these pictures give any hint of their historical context. The exhibit includes a series of photos of the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, which served as a focus of Czech nationalism, and theres one photo of a poor family titled Poverty, in case you were wondering what a poor family looked like. For the most part, however, these photos dont record social facts. They withdraw, and focus on the observer and hisor, occasionally, herinner consciousness.