Airline slugfest: Hmmm, is that

Airline slugfest
: Hmmm, is that an Irish name?

: See also the Happy Fun Pundit’s lesson in statistics and ethnicity.

The dreaded Afghan springtime
: Remember when we were told that winter in Afghanistan would be a killer, assuring us a quagmire?

Now we’re supposed to dread the melting snows of springtime.The Guardian:

American military and intelligence chiefs are bracing themselves for an upsurge in guerrilla-style attacks from al-Qaida and Taliban forces in Afghanistan when the snows melt in a few weeks time.

As concern continued to grow among British backbench MPs of a possible “mission creep” in Afghanistan, the CIA director, George Tenet, warned that al-Qaida terrorists were poised to step up their activities following the spring thaw.

We advance from guagmire to “mission-creep.”

I dread that Afghan summer.

A holy alliance
: This is how bad it is for the Catholic Church: Andrew Sullivan, Maureen Dowd, and Howard Stern all agree about what’s wrong with the institution. They all say that the fundamental fault in the church is that it excludes and mistreats women.

Here’s Dowd, going about 10 miles too far, trying to blame every sin in society on men (which, by the way, I do resent; she is guilty of mistersogeny):

A monsoon of sickening stories lately illustrates how twisted societies become when women are either never seen, dismissed as second-class citizens or occluded by testosterone: the church subsidizing pedophilia; the Afghan warlords’ resumption of pedophilia; the Taliban obliteration of women; the brotherhood of Al Qaeda and Mohamed Atta’s mysogynistic funeral instructions; the implosion of the macho Enron Ponzi scheme; the repression of women, even American servicewomen, by our allies the Saudis.

Here’s Sullivan:

…it seems to me that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is the root of the problem. None of this hideous abuse of children would have occurred in the same way if women were fully a part of the institution. Not only would they have blown the whistle on some of this evil, their very presence would have helped prevent it from happening. There is simply no profound theological reason for the exclusion of women from ecclesiastical power, nothing but the inheritance of a patriarchal anachronism that is suffocating the Church from its apex to its roots. No church can exclude half of humanity from its sacred offices without denying the fundamental dignity and equality of the human person.

And here, with characteristic brevity and bluntness and wisdom, is Stern:

The burqa is no different from the habit.

: I reserved my copy of Ken Layne’s novel, previously unavailable Up Over. Have you?

: Tim Blair capitalizes Up Over, so now I will, too.