Saturday, June 30, 2012

History repeats itself, somewhat

One of my favorite Army stories is the time we went to our Captain (AG) and told him we had found an entire four drawer file cabinet filled with absolutely, totally, indisputably and utterly useless files which would never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever be needed by us or our posterity for any conceivable purpose on earth. Truly.

“Could we please throw them away, Sir?”

His classic answer has stayed with me ever since, and serves as a vivid reminder of why I harbor the feelings I do about big government.

After some pondering, agonizing, looking out the window and fiddling unhappily with the snowglobe on his pathetically cluttered desk, he replied, “Well, OK……but make copies of them first.”

So why is this conversation fresh in my mind this Saturday morning, some 48 years after this classic exchange? Well, if you came upon a folder filled with thirty or so car rental agreements, it would be simple to just throw them away, wouldn’t it?

Well, wouldn't it??

But ok, if they have credit card info on them, they would need to be shredded, fair enough. But but but -- if they were from Anchorage, or Oslo, or Puerto Rico or Honolulu, could you just throw them away? Could you? Could I?

Yup. Sure. But just---ack---make [digital] copies of them first. Ouch.