Emily’s questions are getting harder all the time. One of her favorites right now is, “Daddy, I want to ask you sumpthing, OK? – is [this or that person or thing] really real, I mean really?” Like the other day, I showed her an article about Steve Burns, Get a Clue!who used to be the host of the kid’s show Blue’s Clues, but left to record a rock album. So she says, “So he’s really real, huh?” and I say, “Yeah, he’s a real guy,” and she asks, tentatively with big eyes, “does that mean Blue’s real too?” and I have to say, “No, honey, Steve and Joe are real, but Blue’s just a cartoon.”

She’s very into a couple of Christmas books about the birth of the baby Jesus, and she asked me if Jesus was really a king when he grew up, and I said yes, but I think she’s going to be disappointed when she learns the ending to the story. Then there’s the whole Santa thing – hoo boy.

At least we haven’t kept her in the dark about where meat comes from.

I had an entertaining conversation with my 4-year old daughter and her 4-year old friend yesterday. It occurred to me that in order to have an engaging story with a strong plot, it helps if you have a bad guy.I'm bad. I'm bad. You know it. So, for several minutes, I would ask the two young’uns, “where would Cinderella be without…” and they would yell “the evil stepmother!” Where would The Little Mermaid&#153 be without Ursula the Sea Hag? Where would Little Red be without the big bad wolf? Well, you get the idea, but it’s a fun game, the girls enjoyed it, and you can go on as long as you like. Heck, you can even do voices like Darth Vader, if you’re into that sort of thing.

So… where would Dubbya be without Saddam? He tried to work his white-cowboy-hat hoo-doo using Osama bin Laden, but when he realized the improbability of successfully tracking him down, he had to shift the embodiment-of-evil a little ways down the axis to land on Mr. Hussein. Now, I’m not saying the guy isn’t evil. I’m not even saying he doesn’t deserve to die. I’m saying I don’t like our new big-stick foreign policy, and I don’t approve of the way the sons were handled – I find it hard to believe that there couldn’t have been a better opportunity to take them alive and take them to justice.

On a related note, here’s a good article from The Guardian U.K. called America Is a Religion.

On an unrelated and lighter note, here’s a fairly convincing argument that Paul really is dead.