Melilla Border Stampede

Another stampede at the Morocco/Spain border occurred on January 22, 2018.  Claiming one life, injuring thirteen others.  This one at the Melilla checkpoint.  I used the word “another” because just last week, a stampede at the nearby Ceuta border left two dead.  After a tragedy of this nature, people customarily ask, “How could this have happened?”  For reference purposes, I wrote an article which offers an “economic explanation.”

When I speak about the prospect for human stampedes, I often get this exasperated, condescending look.  It’s accompanied by a facial expression reflecting the notion that “things like that could never happen in the United States.”  Why?  Because Americans are a more refined people, a more civilized culture.  And we employ vastly superior standards with regard to public safety.

I’ll readily admit that stampedes are less common in the United States.  So it’s difficult to find a relevant comparison.  After all, you don’t hear much about stampedes at the U.S./Mexican border.  Perhaps that’s not a good example.

Still, the obvious question persists.  Why are these people getting trampled at the border?  Well, the explanation is a bit unsettling.  Like most things on the planet earth, it’s about money.  It’s about supply and demand.

So is there an American parallel?  I believe there is.  Think in terms of Black Friday shopping stampedes.  Here’s a popular youtube compilation.  I’m assuming these incidents actually happened.  That they aren’t “fake videos.”

As you can see, perhaps we are NOT the most civilized nation.  Hmm, I guess sometimes things just senselessly spiral out of control.  You’re probably thinking… but wait a minute, it’s merely a frenzy for great deals on merchandise.  People aren’t getting killed or anything like that.  It’s just a good ‘ol fashioned shopping scuffle.  Newsflash:  There’s a much finer line between order and chaos than most people realize.  And money can be a powerful motivator.

Here’s my concern.  If a unique set of circumstances unfolded, all of your preconceived notions and perceptions regarding societal norms… could be abruptly extinguished.  All of that clarity and those rational extincts could be instantly erased.  When large crowds are exposed to sudden, unanticipated variables, it could manifest itself as a shock to the system.

Consider the cellular equivalent of shouting “FIRE” in a crowded theater:

1.  Reports surface of a hijacked plane potentially targeting the Super Bowl.  All those concrete barricades and steel fences can’t stop wireless information.

2.  There was a fictitious, well-crafted, coordinated blitz of ballpark evacuation orders for Game 7 of the World Series.  Play ball!

3.  There’s an incoming missile alert for the Indy 500.  Yeah, I know.  Things like that can only happen in Hawaii.

4.  Fans start receiving cellular bomb threats during the Stanley Cup or NBA Finals.  Hey, no fair!  Bomb threats can only be phoned in directly to the venue’s main lobby.

5.  A superstar musician is throwing out $100 bills from his penthouse near the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade.  Oh, I wouldn’t sweat it.  These days, Manhattan is largely deserted.

See what I’m saying?  It’s not so much about the people.  Everywhere you go, people are people.  Stampedes are all about the variables, unless of course, your name is Ben, Bennett or Benjamin. Then it’s all about the Benjamins.

Take a moment and consider just how ridiculously generic this public safety information is:

Everyone has cell phones… but you’re not allowed to definitively be aware that certain instructions would NEVER be “actionably utilized” to deliver specific information.  I’ll repeat in layman’s terms — LEGITIMATE venue evac orders are NOT delivered via your personal cell phone.  At least not initially in the form of an officially sanctioned alert.  That’s just not how it works.  If a scenario like this was happening, it’s almost certainly part of a malicious hoax designed to create a panic and a stampede.  There really isn’t a credible alternative explanation.

You’re allowed to know this information.  You are permitted to be aware.  Take a long term event horizon and I think you’ll concur that it’s a fundamental human rights issue.

When it comes to certain things, the government and private industry will gladly tell you the truth.  For example, do not eat Tide Pods.  Considering the foul taste of detergent, you’d think that such a disclaimer wouldn’t even be required.  You’re allowed to know that cigarettes are harmful to your health.  That alcohol can impair your ability to operate heavy machinery.  But they can’t tell you the truth about emergency evacuation protocol?  But you’re NOT allowed to know the most fundamental, basic public safety information as it relates to stadiums, ballparks, motor speedways, arenas, amphitheaters, parades, convention centers, mass protests, mega churches, and so on?

Every instinct, ever fiber of my being, tells me that one day in the future, there will be a transformational change of course.  And you’ll instantly be allowed to know the truth.  Regrettably, this will only happen AFTER innocent people are killed.

So if you agree that maintaining the status quo is morally unsound, pick up that aforementioned cell phone and gimme a ring (304-312-1395).  I’ll gladly sell you on the truth.  After all, it’s free!

Oops, I almost forgot.  It’s all about plausible deniability and hypothetical litigation.

It’s ALL about the Benjamins.