I just finished reading “In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors”. by Doug Stanton.

It made me angry. Very angry. It seems that the Bureaucracy of the US Navy is what killed so many sailors, by leaving them adrift for so long. The men of the USS Indianapolis thought that they were a part of a fighting force that would help them, and look for and rescue them. They thought that they were a part of a corps that would look out for them and take care of them, and care. There were so many chances for someone to notice AND THEY WERE EVEN ALERTED BY A MAYDAY RADIO MESSAGE. But no one really cared enough to check it out, or to bother to notice that they were overdue and bother to find out why. So men floated in the water for 4 DAYS and many went mad from exposure, or dehydration, and many were EATEN by sharks.

All because some folks who should have cared became too comfortable in their jobs and forgot that there was a war happening and that their jobs were to keep track of ships so that if they failed to arrive the search and rescue folks could begin looking for the crew. But nope, they couldn’t be bothered by such minutiae. And because of that nearly 500 men, who had survived the sinking, died. All because some bureaucrats failed to bother to do their job, even in wartime.

What makes any of us think that in a world increasingly dominated by computers, that these same bureaucrat types will not see us as even less important when it comes to our health care? It was easy for those folks to think of the ships and their crews as just objects. It’s easy enough for the folks who work for our insurance companies to think that way today. But if they get bad enough, they eventually get fired. Not so with a government employee. A civil service worker essentially has to come in drunk with a naked boy on his lap, with a dead hooker in the trunk just to be suspended. It’s not like there is any incentive to be compassionate, or productive, or in any way human in a civil service job (if you think otherwise, try to pay your taxes at a state office, or get your  drivers license renewed).

It would seem that bureaucrats have been around forever, and that they are just as incompetent today as they were then, if not more so.

How many will today’s bureaucrats kill? When they are in a government job where their performance doesn’t decide the fate of people , but they merely soak up time and resources, that is one thing. When they are in a job where their lack of performance can cause death, or injury, or the delays that they cause can result in worsening medical conditions, then it begins to matter.

Like the Indianapolis, our citizens deserve better.

What is to keep the system from failing us, as it did so long ago to the Indianapolis?