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As the eldest gel continues to navigate her way through her first semester of high school, I can’t help noticing that my paterfamilial dealings with her increasingly trigger memories of my own misspent yoot.  While I mostly have hazy, impressionistic recollections of my pre-teen years,  there are many more concrete entries of things said and done in high school apparently still filed away in the mental archives.

All I can say is lawd, what a cretin I was.

As unpleasant as suddenly confronting some long-lost episode from my past can be, I suppose it’s useful for purposes of keeping a sense of perspective.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo took advantage of the lovely Indian Summah weather on Veterans’ Day (observed) to go out and have another whack at the leaves piling up under the maples and oak in front of Port Swiller Manor.

As I raked and shoveled and hauled, I found myself pondering Armistice Day, the ending of hostilities in WWI that engendered our modern Veterans’ Day celebration.   Specifically, I found myself wondering what might have happened had that progressivist rat-bastard Woodrow Wilson and his over-reaching allied buddies not insisted on the utter annihilation of the Central Power governments and other extremely punitive terms, but instead had been content to reach some kind of negotiated peace (as urged as early as 1916 by the young Austro-Hungarian Emperor Blessed Charles I, for example).

Could the War perhaps have been shortened by a year or two and how many hundreds of thousands of casualties?  Would the Germans have refrained from sending Lenin back to Russia?  Could the Communist revolution there have been avoided?  And without the Soviet model would Mao have ever stood a chance?  Could a peace have been reached that did not leave Germany utterly ruined and humiliated and ripe for the machinations of the National Socialists?  No WWII?  No Korea? No Vietnam? No Cold War?

Is it, in fact,  possible that the whole wretched history of 20th Century totalitarianism and the countless millions of lives ruined, enslaved and lost from it might have been avoided?

Perhaps.  Perhaps not.

When you start musing about What Might Have Been on that scale, the leaf piles disappear really rayther quickly.


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November 2012