Rescue Mission in Morocco Enters 3rd Day After Quake - The Monday AM Quickie 9/11/23

Morocco is a second home to me; it’s where I met my wife and really where I came into adulthood in the second half of my twenties. So this tragedy hits deep. Luckily, none of my friends and family were hurt.

If you have the available funds, please consider donating to GlobalGiving’s Morocco Earthquake Relief Fund and/or the Red Crescent’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund. - Robert

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Strongest Moroccan Earthquake in A Century Claims Over 2,000 Lives; Government Mostly M.I.A. in Aftermath

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Atlas mountains late Friday night. At least 2,000 people were killed in the disaster and more than 2,400 have been injured. The  death toll is expected to rise as the rescue and recovery effort enters its third night tonight, according to the New York Times.

Over half the casualties were concentrated in the underserved al-Hoauz province in the High Atlas mountains, but buildings were damaged even in Marrakech, 44 miles away; the quake made Marrakech’s 12th century Koutoubia mosque sway and shed debris. Thankfully the world-heritage site mosque stayed standing, but the minaret of a lesser-known mosque at another corner of Jemaa al-Fna collapsed.

The Moroccan’s government’s response has been lethargic, to put it kindly. Though rescue helicopters and drones have been mobilized to help the rescue effort, most of the on-the-ground search has been conducted by citizen volunteers doing much of the rescue effort in the most heavily impacted location. Foreign volunteers waiting to join rescue efforts have said the government is “blocking” their efforts, , according to the Times:

Some teams of volunteer rescue workers have arrived in Morocco, but other associations have expressed frustration over a lack of access. Arnaud Fraisse, the founder of Secouristes Sans Frontières, said Morocco had not given his organization a green-light. “The Moroccan government is completely blocking rescue teams” except for one from Qatar which has already landed, he told France Inter Radio. “We do not understand.”

The first statement from Morocco’s Royal Palace was released 20 hours after the earthquake, and subsequent updates from the government have been few and far between. As of Sunday night, neither the king nor the prime minister of Morocco have made a public address.

If there’s any hope to rescue anyone left alive in the debris, teams need to act fast, the three day window when almost all successful rescues happen after an earthquake closes today at 6pm EST. Both survivors and the dead are in dire need of resources, communities have been forgoing Muslim burial rights due to lack of water.

New Mexico Governor Tries to Suspend Concealed Carry in Albuquerque

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is trying to suspend the right to carry firearms in Albuquerque for 30 days via a public health order, according to the Associated Press. Grisham says the move is needed to confront the high rate of gun violence in the city; in one recent incident, a driver in a fit of road rage recently shot and killed an 11-year-old boy. Surprisingly, Parkland survivor and March For Our Lives co-founder David Hogg was one of the first to come out against the order saying, “I support gun safety but there is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution.” The move has already drawn lawsuits from the National Association for Gun Rights, according to the Albuquerque Journal, and the Albuquerque police chief has said he’d refuse to enforce the order. It seems like this will easily be struck down by the courts anyway, maybe it’s just a political gambit to get some movement on the issue of gun violence?

5th Circuit Says President Can’t Flag Misinformation on Social Media

According to the ultra-conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Biden administration violated the First Amendment by flagging fake news about COVID. The judges had some interesting characterizations of the administrations’ actions, per the New York Times.

The judges wrote that the White House and the Office of the Surgeon General had “coerced the platforms to make their moderation decisions by way of intimidating messages and threats of adverse consequences” and “significantly encouraged the platforms’ decisions by commandeering their decision-making processes.”


“Given the record before us, we cannot say that the F.B.I.’s messages were plainly threatening in tone or manner,” the judges wrote. Nevertheless, “we do find the F.B.I.’s requests came with the backing of clear authority over the platforms.”

If they had clear authority, why were only 50 percent of the governments requests complied with?


  • G20 Leaders Don’t Call Out Russian Violence In New Dehli Summit Unsurprisingly, Russia and China took issue with blaming the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Russia. via the Financial Times.
  • Georgia Grand Jury Wanted to Indict Lindsay Graham The jury wanted to indict 39 people, 20 more than were ultimately indicted. via the Associated Press.
  • Musk’s Twitter Unfit for Banking Due to Coziness with Autocratic Saudi Arabian Government A letter written to regulators says that an incident involving a Saudi spy  infiltrating Twitter is evidence to show that the platform is unsafe  to use in banking.  via Ars Technica.
  • Boo Barrymore WGA will picket the studio of actress turned talk show host Drew Barrymore. via the Daily Beast.


6.5 percent

That’s how much the price of health insurance is expected to jump next year. via the Wall Street Journal.


9/11: Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with James Tabery, professor in Philosophy at the University of Utah, to discuss his recent book Tyranny of the Gene: Personalized Medicine and Its Threat to Public Health.


Trump Profiting Off His Greatest Shame

Tbh I might buy the T-shirt if he weren't selling it.

Why Saudi Sportswashing Is So Dangerous

A nation shouldn't be able to buy its way out of scrutiny for human rights abuses.


“Our next step is to create solidarity with Mexico and Mexican autoworkers, especially with unions that are independent and militant and fighting for workers’ rights.”

-- UAW Region 9A director Brandon Mancilla, on the importance of cross-national solidarity as a strategic guard against globalization’s race to the bottom. via the American Prospect by way of Unity Gains.

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