Talking Points: 15 April

hillsborough320 years ago today, 96 football fans were crushed to death and hundreds more injured during a match at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, England.

Before that, 66 Scottish fans died in a crush at the Ibrox Stadium in 1971, and a stampede killed 39 mostly Italian supporters at the European Cup final in the Heysel Stadium in Brussels in 1985.

Only last month at least 19 people died and more than 130 were injured in a stampede entering a FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It was the ninth time in ten years that fans have died in a soccer stadium disaster in Africa, and the second during qualifications for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

During the 2010 World Cup, South Africa will host games in Johannesburg’s Ellis Park, where 43 people were killed after being crushed against barbed wire during a stampede.

Why do so many people die at football games? Should stadiums be made safer? Or is it a problem with the sport and its fans?

Is Obama reversing too much, too fast? He’s making massive changes to policy since President Bush, including the economy, Iran, Cuba, and the environment.

And now the US government is worried about a rise in white supremacist groups. A report says right-wing extremist groups are exploiting fears about the economy and the election of the country’s first black president to gain new recruits. So should Obama slow down? And give people time to get used to change?

How should the world handle North Korea? It’s told the UN to take it’s stuff and go, it’s not going to talk to anyone about nuclear disarmament anymore, and it’s stopping all co-operation with the UN nuclear agency.

As Auspicious comments on our blog: is it “a case of a spoilt child who demands something that is harmful. The world should not dance to the Korean tune but make this country understand the importance of submission.” So should the country be treated strictly and severely? And if so what should the punishment be? Or should we appease the wayward state?

6 Responses to “Talking Points: 15 April”

  1. 1 gary
    April 15, 2009 at 13:55

    The people who died and those whose numbers killed them were all the same, just ordinary people out to see a good match. The key to explaining these unfortunate events lies in the assumption that large, mobile group of people will act the same as small, mobile groups of people. That is, the scaling factor for comparative behaviors of crowds equals exactly one (1), which of course it does not. The solution is crowd control exercised from the very beginning ticket sales (on-site sales are just asking for the totally unexpected to happen) and extending right through to controlling pedestrian and motor traffic early and with great vigilance. Policing preparations for these events must proceed exactly as those for an impending and promised riot. Large (and remote) display monitors should be strategically sited for the unticketed and unruly (Fisticuffs are not usually fatal.)
    Sorry for the length.

    April 15, 2009 at 17:26

    OBAMA is definitely trying to do too much at once. While he is very bright and eloquent, wowing them at G20 and afterward in EU, his inexperience is showing through on domestic issues. If everything is a #1 priority, nothing gets done. He has done a terrible job filling cabinet appointments in a timely fashion and poor Geitner looks burned out already from trying to cover so much ground with no help. Obama stumbled badly on the stimulus package issue, letting legislators load it with all their pet projects. Yes, some of these will help but much time and money will be wasted on the wrong things. The Congress acted exactly like the bankers and automakers they were denigrating and he let them get away with it. There is no possible way for government to achieve the economic, healthcare, and education reforms while “going green” at the same time $$$. Yes, we are now suffering from years of too little financial regulation but I fear we will now swing too far in the other direction, expecting government to solve all our problems. But the scariest thing is that in his heart, Obama believes it can.

  3. 3 Barbara Davis
    April 15, 2009 at 18:28

    A Reply to “Adult Children Living with Parents”

    Despite the convenience and economic reasons why some children remain living with parents even after graduating from high school or college, I feel it is imperative to teach your children to be responsible for themselves– whether it’s getting a job, keeping a house, grocery shopping, etc. It forms them into more mature and responsible adults.

    My son left home after high school graduation, when he attended University. After graduation from UNC Chapel HIll, he then took a job offer in California. He did not know a soul where he moved across country, except for the man who hired him for the Start Up Company he would be Brand Manager for. This was a huge move: 1. An insecure job 2. A totally different area of the country, over 4,000 miles away from parents or family. 3. No people network prior to move, save for 1 individual.

    My son has since moved back to North Carolina, with the same company relocating in Raleigh, NC. This experience of risk, moving, being totally alone, has taught him many lessons in life about the details of moving, relocation, making new friends, seeking new opportunities, learning new cultures and places. This is the most valuable hands-on knowledge, best education any young person can have.

    If one chooses or does live at home for economic reasons, parents can still teach “tough love” by charing a small monthly amount as rent/ utilities, set up house rules, and housekeeping responsibilities for their adult “children” living at home.
    This teaches responsibility and respect. No one gets a free ride in life.


  4. April 15, 2009 at 19:27

    It’s the game. How many spectators have ever been killed in crowd stampedes in cricket matches in the past 100 years?

  5. 5 Dennis Junior
    April 16, 2009 at 06:20

    *OBAMA: Moving FAST to repair all of the damage of the Previous Adminstration….

    *FOOTBALL: I am sending my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the affected by this horrible incident 20 years ago…I think that there should be more improvements in the stadiums….

    *How should the world handle North Korea? Sanctions and punished them severely….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  6. 6 Jack Hughes
    April 16, 2009 at 09:25

    Here is a more important event from 15 April:

    The Bergen-Belsen (Belsen) concentration camp was liberated on April 15, 1945 by the British 11th Armoured Division.

    60,000 prisoners were found inside, most of them seriously ill, and another 13,000 corpses lay around the camp unburied.

    Get some perspective.

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