Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is the winner of the 2017 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.

Recent Articles

DROP IN THE...

DROP IN THE BUCKET. More on the noblesse oblige theme. Did the president just applaud himself for getting AIDS drugs to 50,000 people on the continent of Africa? According to the U.N. , of the 900 million people on the continent, "an estimated 24.5 million people [in sub-Saharan Africa] were living with HIV at the end of 2005 and approximately 2.7 million new infections occurred during that year." Thank goodness that Africa's devastation at least gets some notice in a presidential address but, really, I think we could do a bit better at getting AIDS drugs to a continent deep in crisis. --Adele M. Stan

GOODNESS GRACIOUS. ...

GOODNESS GRACIOUS. Ah, the whir of helicopters overhead, the scent of freshly baked cookies wafting through the room in which I sit tonight, a mere three blocks from the chamber from which the president is delivering his sixth State of the Union address. The helicopters circle as a means of protection for the dignitaries there assembled; the cookies I've made as my own private celebration of the sight of the first woman Speaker of the House as she graces the big chair behind the presidential podium. They have a bittersweet character -- the cookies, that is -- appropriate to the moment. Here is where I suppose I should remark upon the gracious manner in which President George W. Bush greeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , but I daresay the president's fawning, whether feigned or merely finessed, rang in my ears with the soft bigotry of noblesse oblige . When the current President Bush ascended to the leadership of the free world, I don't believe he was introduced in his official capacity...

Untruth in Advertising

The leaves are falling, the daylight waning, and the air has that bracing snap to it; 'tis the season of deceptive political advertising. Weeks before congressional elections, this usually this takes the form of negative television ads placed by the supporters of one candidate or another. But, on the Web, at least one issue-oriented group is offering a clever and upbeat form of the classic deceptive ad: Feminists for Life, a group that seeks to outlaw all abortions, no exceptions. Now, perhaps, as the Feminists for Life literature says, it is possible to oppose all forms of legal abortion -- even those that would save the life of the pregnant woman -- and still be a feminist. But if one were to take such a stance and consider oneself a feminist, one would certainly believe that women should have access to contraception, right? Apparently not if one is a member of Feminists for Life, an organization that href="http://www.feministsforlife.org/FAQ/index.htm#contraception">refuses to...

Benedict the Bombthrower

When I heard of Pope Benedict XVI's unfortunate comments about Islam, uttered via the voice of an ancient Byzantine emperor, my initial supposition was that the pontiff had simply been a bit ham-fisted, making an ill-advised choice of source material to illustrate a point about the nature of God. Then I actually read the speech that has set the Islamic world aflame. At best, the address delivered by the pontiff to what the Vatican calls “representatives of science” at Germany's University of Regensburg is an act of mischief rooted in chauvinism. I cannot see how any Catholic of good will -- one who values peace over war, or favors compassion over condemnation -- can accept the pope's actions in delivering such remarks as in any way divinely inspired, especially if one applies to Benedict the very standard he sought to illustrate with his once-removed insult of Islam as evil, inhuman, and unoriginal. The point His Holiness was trying to make -- and I can't imagine how this was...

Culture Clash

Not long after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I sat at a Dupont Circle cafe with a friend who had lost her brother-in-law in the the World Trade Center. I was holding forth on my belief that American ignorance played no small role in creating the conditions for the attacks, when she became extremely agitated. "How can you say that?" she cried. "It's like you're blaming those people [in the towers] for their own deaths!" "That's not what I mean," I tried to explain, but was cut off. "They hate our way of life," she continued. "That's what this is about." In a certain sense, she was right. But five years later, I think it's clearer than ever what's missing from the "hate our way of life" explanation. Serious Muslims do in fact hate many of the values on which American life is based -- individualism arguably first among them. But that's not why the extremists who killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans that day enjoy the support of a great many Muslims. Things got this bad...

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