The following happened in Romania quite recently : an elderly woman died in Oradea. A team of five surgeons was assembled in Bucharest and airlifted to Oradea, in order to pick up the liver, the kidneys and the corneas for transplants. There's a string of mountains between the flatlands where Bucharest lies and the hills where Oradea lies. The weather has been exceptionally foggy for this part of the world, and so the plane was being flown blind (ie, on instruments). It was probably not too well maintained, either, but in any case : it had engine trouble.
So what happened was that the pilot asked to go from 110 to 69, perhaps in an effort to get his second engine going again. After which he attempted a forced landing. On a hillside, thickly forrested, in thick fog.
The pilot of a bimotor Islander managed to land that thing to the degree that all seven people on board survived the landing. This was happening around three pm. The accident was announced to the emergency service, by cellphone, by the survivors. The airplane had the radio buoys and everything working. Romania, like all of Europe, is quite densely inhabited, you can't walk for a whole day at any place and in any direction without running into some sort of human settlement.
By four-something pm, the pilot succumbed to his injuries. He was good enough to land in impossible conditions, he was nevertheless not worthy of being airlifted within an hour, by the idiots he
lives lived among.
By six or so, the one nurse in the team, a twenty-something girl in her fifth year of schooling, succumbed to her injuries. Also not worthy of being airlifted within three hours by the idiots she
lives lived among.
By nine in the evening, ie enough time to play two games of baseball or four games of soccer, the locals actually found the wreckage. On foot. Forrest guards, equipped with the equivalent of 1800s top technology, which is to say boots, made it there before the GPS-directed helicopters that cost the taxpayer millions quite recently.
The political fallout of this event is banal, various bureaucrats being forced to relinquish their dearly beloved seats in the bureaucracyi, leaving beind notable observations such as that "what they regret is the event having occured during their term" and so on. I don't believe this to be exceptional, really : it's what bureaucrats are, and if you are ever in a situation where you have the opportunity to murder one, remember it'd be immoral to eschew it. The Internal Affairs minister presented some explanation or other to the Government, but seriously, who cares ?
Let's instead count the results of the want of a nail. So, because an airplane that should have been maintained wasn't properly maintained, Romania has lost a) a set of kidneys, liver and corneas which could have made the life of a few people easier ; b) the time and probably value of labour of five top specialist surgeons. Because a surgeon is much more than an athlete : nobody ultimately cares if Joe Q Schmuckson manages or doesn't manage to make the shot. Not a dollar of extra GNP results from his sportive "performance". Not so however in the case of a specialist with some sort of actual profession, such as a surgeon. Whether he makes the cut or doesn't make the cut matters, in that it may mean your ass.
If the athlete loses a leg, it's all the same : one extra guy with a limp and a bunch of beerbellies watching a different set of names on the screen. Bupkiss. If the surgeon loses an arm, it is not all the same : a number of beerbellies will die. Period & full stop, all over the world top surgeons are overworked to all hell, and if one dies that means a number of cases will have to wait. They will have to wait to die, let us be perfectly clear. In agony. Like people with no access to medical attention die. Painfully, abandoned, alone. Leaving behind the bitter taste of the plain knowledge that they could have easily lived. If, that is, if they hadn't been living among idiots.
Further : because the rescue services were manned by idiots in a country run by idiots, an exceptional pilot - not on the grounds of having whatever worthless certifications or assorted paperwork some bureaucracy issued him, but on the grounds of having actually accomplished the impossible, feats which make expert airplane pilots all over the world shake their head in disbelief - died. He is NOT replaceable. If each and every bureaucrat in Romania is put in a large cement room and washed in Zyklon-B, the total loss to Romania would be 0 (and this, incidentally, is true of any other place). They can be replaced within the week, by an arbitrarily large number of equally idiotic idiots, with an equally large pile of arbitrarily selected paper qualifications. If however one actual expert with an actual valuable skill dies, he is not replaceable. Ever. At all.
Sure other good pilots may in time appear. The problem is that there's an infinite need of good pilots, and absolutely no need of bureaucrats. As a consequence, even if we had an infinity of good pilots, the death of any single one of them is an irrecoverable tragedy. However, even if all - or the only one - bureaucrat dies, his death is of no import and no consequence whatsoever. We didn't need him in the first place, for any purpose, to any degree.
A girl also died. She was apparently pretty smart and hard working. You know, just like your girlfriend, if you love your girlfriend, except she was someone else's.
Had these people lived among sane other people, they'd have all been fine. Because they lived among idiots... welll... it didn't work out so well, for any of them : not for the pilot nor for his copilot nor for the nurse nor for the doctors nor for the people needing transplants and so on all around.
This, I will underscore, is by no means an isolated case. Romanian passenger trains run at 30-35 mph. That's right, there's no misprint, they go slower than what US trains did in the day of Lincoln. Some guy came to visit from Moldavia, a four hundred mile trip took him eighteen hours on the train.
The press all over the world covered the recent OpenBSD thing. Not just the English speaking press, by any means. Do a search, you'll find hits in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, the works. Absent ? Romanian.
MPOE-PR Interesting to see how/when this story is picked up huh.
MP Yea lol. Romaniantards avoided it like the plague. The equivalent being some guy from Boiseii winning the lottery, which is news everywhere EXCEPT in Boise. Because... what! a guy from our town ?! NO!
MP God forbid we run a "Finally! Definite proof we are all idiots and we suck! Sorry mom!"
MPOE-PR Or why not even a "Finally! Definite proof that it's not the fact that we were born in Romania that makes shit so hard! Look what is actually possible! Thanks mom!"
MP Even that.
The Romanian press was too busy discussing the comings and goings of a few ex-cons involved in the local soccer circus to notice that the actual Romanian billionaires are... well... other places. Like life itself. Sure, I'm rich and powerful and can single-handledly turn things around, I don't need nobody. I force submission and obedience and performance where none's naturally forthcoming, and hardly notice the extra effort required. But what if you're not me ? What if you do need help to be able to do the good things you do ?
And that brings us full circle : the disadvantage of living among idiots is that if you do anything where you depend on others, you'll go bust. Does your plane need fueliii and maintenance, things you can't do yourself, personally, with your own two hands ? You're fucked. Does your profession require you to move quickly over geographic distances, something you can't do by yourself ? You're fucked. Do you need health care ? Awww. Nice knowin' ya.
Sure, this sort of environment, the company of idiots, breeds self reliance. It breeds thin waifs, girls with nice legs on account of all the walking they do and wives that are happy with the old couch and thankful if they're not beaten to a pulp each day. It has a whole list of its own advantages. Conspicuously absent on that list, anything you'd ever actually want for yourself.———
- Recall the Adrian Severin incident ? Guy caught stealing, refusing to relinquish his EU Parliament seat, even in the boos of that institution in corpore. What, it's his seat, why should he give it up ?!?! [↩]
- Idaho. World famous... potatoes. Or was it mamaliga ? [↩]
- One time I saw death with my own two eyes of many such times : the military helicopter I was in caught a droplet of water and the engine died out. We fell ~three thousand meters out of the sky just like any old rock before the pilot miraculously managed to restart the engine. Why was there water in the aircraft fuel ? [↩]