COULD USE SOME END-OF-THE-MONTH DONATIONS! THANKS!
Posted on: Feb 04, 2023
"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak."
The Russian Defense Ministry said its air defenses downed a series of Ukrainian drones targeting the Crimean Peninsula on Sunday. The same day, Ukraine reported intercepting dozens of Russian drones in the skies above Kyiv.
Voice of America – the US state media outlet – reported that Ukraine was targeted with over three dozen Russian drones on Sunday morning. It added the attack lasted two hours and caused debris to fall on the city.
Ukraine says it intercepted more than two dozen Russian drones. “Drones entered the capital in groups and from different directions. Air defense forces managed to destroy more than two dozen enemy UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles),” Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s military administration. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko stated one person was injured by the attack.
Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported eliminating eight Ukrainian drones targeting Crimea. The attack occurred while Russia held elections, including in Moscow-annexed Ukrainian regions. Moscow described the drone strikes as an attempt to sabotage the election.
Russian officials say one drone destroyed a polling center in the Zaporizhzhia region. The strike on the building occurred before the center opened and no one was in the voting center at the time.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has launched major war games taking place off the coasts of Latvia and Estonia. A Western official said the drills are intended to be a clear message to Russia.
The war games – dubbed Northern Coasts – began on Saturday and will run for two weeks. Germany is leading the drills and 13 other nations will participate, including the US and non-NATO member Sweden. Over 3,000 troops and 30 warships are involved in the exercises.
German Navy chief Vice Admiral Jan Christian Kaack told Reuters the war games are a show of force to Russia. “We are sending a clear message of vigilance to Russia: Not on our watch,” he said. “Credible deterrence must include the ability to attack.” Acting NATO Spokesperson Dylan White added, “Exercises like these send a clear message that NATO stands ready to defend every inch of Allied territory.”
China and the Philippines have engaged in another stand-off near the Second Thomas Shoal, a reef in the South China Sea’s disputed Spratly Islands. This comes as Washington is building up its military presence in the Philippines and elsewhere in the region, eyeing a future war with Beijing.
Last month, during a tense confrontation, Chinese Coast Guard ships fired a water cannon at Philippine boats attempting to re-supply a World War II era tank-landing ship. The BRP Sierra Madre, grounded on the reef in 1999, is used by Manilla as a base of operations and to assert its claims. In a more recent incident, the Chinese Coast Guard claimed it allowed the vessels to resupply the warship because a “temporary special arrangement” was made since no “illegal construction materials” were being delivered.
However, on Friday, China’s Coast Guard said in a statement that two Philippine supply ships and two coast guard vessels made an “unapproved entry” to the reef and were given a warning as Beijing holds “indisputable sovereignty” over the atoll.
Second Thomas Shoal is controlled by Manilla, but is also claimed by Beijing, Taipei, and Hanoi. “[China] firmly opposes the Philippines’ delivery of illegal building materials to warships illegally grounded on the beach,” the statement reads. The Philippines conversely denounced the “illegal” actions of the Chinese Coast Guard, citing “harassment, dangerous maneuvers, and aggressive conduct.”
After nine months of a Western-imposed price ceiling on Russian oil exports, the Kremlin has developed a slate of countries willing to import energy from Moscow. Initially, Moscow priced its oil at a heavy discount to draw in customers, but Russia has recently been able to sell its energy at near market value.
In December, the US and the Group of 7 (G7) announced that any firms or countries buying Russian oil for over $60 per barrel would face economic penalties. Last month, Russian oil sold on the market for an average of $74 per barrel, well above the price cap.
Callum Macpherson, head of commodities at Investec, explained Moscow’s first response to the price cap. “The sanctions have not led to a significant curtailment in Russian output as the market has been able to reorganize itself to reroute trade flows to keep Russian crude in the market,” he said. “Russia has had to accept a significant discount to achieve this.”
Jorge León, vice president and head of oil analysis at the Rystad Energy consultancy, told EL PAÍS that the discount has significantly shrunk. “Historically, before the war, both mixtures were practically at parity.” He continued, “Last year, with the cap and the sanctions, the discount reached $40 per barrel. Today, we’re at around $15. That’s thanks to the cap [on Russian oil prices], although it has been less relevant than initially expected.”
Oilprice.com reports the discount on Russian oil has decreased to as little as $5 per barrel.
The Afghan Taliban criticised the closure of its main border crossing with Pakistan this week after clashes between security forces, saying the halt in trade would see heavy losses for businesses.
The busy Torkham border crossing closed on Wednesday after Pakistani and Afghan Taliban forces started firing at each other, according to local officials.
"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan deems the closure of Torkham gate and opening of fire on Afghan security forces by the Pakistani side contrary to good neighbourliness," Taliban administration's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement late on Saturday.
The statement said the incident had started after Pakistani security forces fired at Afghan Taliban forces fixing an old security outpost near the border. Pakistan's foreign office did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Hundreds of trucks laden with goods have been halted and traders have complained that trade is affected.
Lawmakers in Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway Armenian-populated region of Azerbaijan, voted to elect a new separatist president on Saturday in a move that was strongly condemned by the Azerbaijani authorities.
Samvel Shakhramanyan's election as the new president of Nagorno-Karabakh follows the resignation of Arayik Harutyunyan, who stepped down on Sept. 1 as president of the region — which the Armenians call Artsakh. It comes amid soaring tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry denounced the vote as a “gross violation” of the country's constitution and a “serious blow to the efforts of normalization in the region.” The ministry emphasized that “the only way to achieve peace and stability in the region is the unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces" from Nagorno-Karabakh and "the disbandment of the puppet regime.”
Since December, Azerbaijan has blockaded the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, severely restricting the delivery of food, medical supplies and other essentials to the region of about 120,000 people.
For Western officials and their news media conduits who have carefully crafted the myth that Ukraine is a vibrant democracy, the past few weeks have been extremely challenging. First came the revelation that members of the country’s draft boards had engaged in a pervasive degree of corruption. Prospective conscripts were paying $5,000 bribes to avoid military service. The political stench was so bad that an embarrassed President Volodymyr Zelensky felt compelled to fire the heads of all the draft boards.
On the heels of the bribery scandal, come news reports about the Ukrainian government’s use of assassination squads to eliminate political and ideological opponents. There were longstanding rumors, but reports of such abuses had rarely appeared in the establishment corporate press in the West. Information was largely confined to far less prominent alternative news outlets.
That de facto blackout has now lifted at least partially. A September 5, 2023, article in the Economist, described Kyiv’s systematic assassination program in some detail. Targets “have been shot, blown up, hanged and even, on occasion, poisoned with doctored brandy. Ukraine is tight-lipped about its involvement in assassinations. But few doubt the increasingly competent signature of its security services. The agencies themselves drop heavy hints.” Such behavior did not begin as a response to Russia’s February 2022 invasion. “Assassinations date back to at least 2015, when its domestic security service (SBU) created a new body after Russia had seized Crimea and the eastern Donbas region. The elite fifth counter-intelligence directorate started life as a saboteur force in response to the invasion. It later came to focus on what is euphemistically called ‘wet work’.”
CNN reports that Elon Musk personally instructed SpaceX employees to disable Starlink to prevent a Ukrainian attack on the Russian naval fleet in Crimea last year. SpaceX has spent millions of dollars of the company’s own money to help Kyiv’s military stay connected on the battlefield since the Russian invasion last year. However, the company draws a red line in participating in attacks with its technology.
CNN got the story from an advanced copy of Walter Isaacson’s forthcoming biography of Musk. In Isaacson’s interpretation of the incident, Kyiv made an “emergency request” to SpaceX for Starlink to expand the reach of communications to Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. The clear implication was that Ukraine intended to launch an attack on the Russian naval fleet.
Isaacson says after Starlink denied Kyiv’s request, an explosive submarine “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly.” Isaacson notes that Musk was contacted by top officials in Washington after the incident, but CNN did not report the nature of those discussions.
On Thursday, Musk gave his account of the potential Ukrainian attack. “There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol. The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor,” he wrote on X. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”
Webmaster addition: Musk did not "disconnect" anything. Starlink has not been available in Crimea all along.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, it immediately became an easy decision for today’s interventionists. Their position was both simple and simplistic: Ukraine is a sovereign and independent country. Russia initiated a war against Ukraine by invading the country. Therefore, Russia is bad and should be condemned. Moreover, the U.S. government, as well as NATO, should come to Ukraine’s defense by furnishing weaponry, money, and training, and possibly even troops.
It’s worth pointing out that interventionists are not entirely consistent with respect to their opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These same interventionists were squarely in favor of the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq some 20 years ago, as well as the resulting long-term occupations. Moreover, these same interventionists castigated and condemned anyone who failed to support the U.S. invasions of those two countries, just as Russian interventionists are saying about Russians who oppose their country’s invasion of Ukraine.
What U.S. interventionists failed to recognize is that simply because Russia invaded Ukraine doesn’t automatically make Ukraine’s position an especially admirable one. Contrary to what U.S. interventionists claim, the war in Ukraine is not about defending the “freedom” of the Ukrainian people. Instead, the war is about the “right” of the Ukrainian government to join NATO. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, going to war in the hope of joining NATO is not same thing as going to war to protect the freedom of the Ukrainian people.
Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, has declassified information showing the extent to which Egyptian agent Ashraf Marwan had given Israel warnings relating to the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
The real identity of “the Angel”, the code name given to Marwan, was revealed decades ago, but debate continues as to whether he was one of Israel's most valuable assets or a double agent.
Now, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war, Israel has released a photo of a Mossad handler meeting Marwan, and detailed transcripts of warnings he had passed on to Israel.
Marwan, the son-in-law of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, told the then Mossad chief Zvi Zamir “there is a 99 percent chance that the war will start tomorrow… it will start simultaneously on both fronts, the Egyptian and the Syrian”.
Those warnings were largely dismissed by the Israeli defence establishment. But they proved accurate.
A month ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, the Israel State Archives on Thursday published a comprehensive collection of thousands of documents, photos, recordings and videos, providing an in-depth look into the way the war was handled and the major intelligence failure that preceded it.
While many protocols and documents relating to the decision-making before and during the 1973 war have been declassified over the years, the entire body of material has now been provided to the public, with the exception of a handful of files that remain sealed.
A specially designated website now displays — currently only in Hebrew — some 3,500 archive files containing hundreds of thousands of pages, 1,400 original paper documents, 1,000 photos, 750 recordings, 150 minutes of government deliberations, and eight video clips. Uploading the material took two and a half years of work.
Israeli occupation forces broke into the Bab Al-Rahma Prayer Hall, located within the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem, on Thursday night, causing extensive damage, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Eyewitnesses reported that Israeli occupation forces conducted searches in the prayer hall and vandalized parts of its contents while confiscating other items.
The 29-year-old man, Ibadah Jamjoum, was moderately wounded after an Israeli settler stabbed him while he was working in Jerusalem, local sources told The New Arab's Arabic sister service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. The reporting did not say where in the city the incident took place.
The sources said the woman, 65, was shot in the hand while in occupied East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam.
A mosque guard said the gunshot came from the western side of Al-Aqsa, where there are a group of illegal settlement outposts.
A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli occupation forces on Saturday evening in the Al-Arroub refugee camp, in the southern West Bank province of Al-Khalil (Hebron), the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
WAFA correspondent said Israeli occupation soldiers fired live ammunition and toxic tear gas canisters at residents during a raid into the camp, resulting in the critical injury of 16-year-old Milad Munther Al-Ra’i.
NATO is poised to hold early next year its largest military exercises since the Cold War era, the Financial Times reported on Monday. The drills will simulate a potential Russian invasion and is intended to increase the bloc’s readiness for such a scenario, according to the article.
Bearing the name Steadfast Defender, the exercises will involve around 41,000 troops, more than 50 ships, and between 500 and 700 combat air missions, according to the report. While the exercises are designed to simulate a clash with a fictional coalition named ‘Occasus,’ NATO officials told the FT that the maneuvers are “seen as a key part of demonstrating to Moscow that the alliance is prepared to fight.”
The exercises will take place in Germany, Poland, and the Baltic states in February and March 2024, and will involve not only the members of the US-led military bloc, but also Sweden, the report said. The Nordic nation applied to join NATO last year, but its application is still in limbo due to the reluctance of Türkiye and Hungary to ratify its bid owing to a number of grievances in bilateral relations.
Federal employees are set to receive the largest pay increase in four decades, courtesy of President Joe Biden.
In a letter sent to Congress last week, Biden called for a 5.2 percent overall pay increase for federal workers—the same increase that he'd included in his budget plan that was sent to Congress earlier this year. Biden said the huge pay increase was necessary so the federal government could "attract, recruit, and retain a skilled workforce with fair compensation in order to keep our government running, deliver services, and meet our nation's challenges today and tomorrow."
Technically, the pay increase will be divided into two separate categories. Federal workers would receive a 4.7 percent across-the-board pay raise, combined with a 0.5 percent bump in so-called locality pay. Because the amount of a federal employee's locality pay varies from place to place based on the cost of living, the actual pay increases might not be the same for all workers.
The Pakistani military regime played from the outset in the late 1970s, a key role in the US sponsored military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan. In the post-Cold war era, this central role of Pakistan in US intelligence operations was extended to the broader Central Asia-Middle East region. From the outset of the Soviet Afghan war in 1979, Pakistan under military rule actively supported the Islamic brigades. In close liaison with the CIA, Pakistan’s military intelligence, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), became a powerful organization, a parallel government, wielding tremendous power and influence.
America’s covert war in Afghanistan, using Pakistan as a launch pad, was initiated during the Carter administration prior to the Soviet “invasion.”
“According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.
It is inevitable in any war — even a proxy one — that identical actions by the “enemy” and by your own side will be portrayed as wicked in the first case, moral and justified in the second.
In much of the U.S. establishment and media however, belief in the innate righteousness of U.S. actions is so deeply-rooted that it can become a serious danger to the successful conduct of Washington policy. Why? Because it blinds American policymakers to the likely consequences of their own actions.
The latest example of this involves the scheduled meeting between President Vladimir Putin and North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un. Most Western analysis has focused — probably correctly — on the likelihood that this will lead North Korea to provide Russia with artillery shells, of which North Korea has enormous reserves and considerable production capacity.
The fighting in Ukraine seems to be moving towards a long-term war of attrition, and in such a war, levels of ammunition will play an absolutely central role. This is not an issue of the wickedness of the Russian invasion and the righteousness of support for Ukraine. It is a matter of hard military logistics.
The U.S. is poised to supply Ukraine with ATACMS missiles, according to an ABC News report on Saturday.
“They are coming,” an official said, adding that all plans concerning security assistance to Ukraine are subject to change. Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, are “on the table” for a future aid package, a second official told ABC. ATACMS missiles — which boast a range 190 miles or 300 km — could help Ukrainian forces strike targets in Crimea, regarded by top Ukrainian officials and many Western observers as the Ukraine War’s decisive terrain.
The planned ATACMS transfer has not been corroborated by any officials willing to speak on the record. "There's no decision on ATACMS right now," said White House spokesman John Kirby, according to ABC News. "As the president has said, they're not off the table… we continue to discuss the viability of ATACMS,” he added.
The reported decision to send ACAMS missiles to Ukraine, if confirmed, would follow a longstanding Western pattern of initially refusing to supply Kyiv with certain high-profile weapons only to reverse course as the war drags on. Senior U.S. officials asserted in the opening weeks of the 2022 Russian invasion that there are no plans to send Patriot missile batteries to Ukraine. They noted that these systems would need to be operated on Ukrainian territory by American troops, thus making the U.S. an active participant in the conflict.
Last week, State Farm posted a $13.2 billion underwriting loss for its 2022 property-casualty business, the largest underwriting loss in its 100-year history.
The loss relates primarily to State Farm's auto insurance companies, which—while reporting earned premium of $45.7 billion— incurred claims and loss adjustment expenses of $48.4 billion and other underwriting expenses of $10.8 billion resulted in the captive's highest-ever underwriting loss.
However, overall losses were expected. Speaking at the Property-Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum in December 2022, Michael Tipsord, CEO of State Farm, broke the news that the auto giant would record its highest-ever underwriting loss. “We missed severity badly. We did not anticipate the inflationary pressures," Tipsord said.
The underwriting results reflect significantly higher incurred claims for auto and higher homeowners non-catastrophe incurred claims, as well as another year of catastrophe activity across the country, according to a statement released last week.
Webmaster addition: We have auto insurance with State Farm. Being good drivers, we have not filed a claim since moving to Indiana. We were just notified that our premiums are going up. Now it isn't all that much, but for people on fixed incomes like us, this will cause problems.
The world needs international digital ID systems like coronavirus passports and Artificial Intelligence should be regulated by a global body similar to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday.
Speaking before the “One Future” session of the G20 Summit in India, the top Eurocrat declared that the “future will be digital” and therefore more globalist institutions will be needed to set boundaries and regulations.
The German politician, who before ascending to her unelected role as EU Commission President served as Berlin’s Defence Minister, said: “Today I want to focus on AI and digital infrastructure. As it has been described, AI has risks but also offers tremendous opportunities. The crucial question is how to harness a rapidly changing technology.”
“In the EU, in 2020, we presented the first-ever law on artificial intelligence. We want to facilitate innovation while building trust. But we need more. What the world does now will shape our future. I believe that Europe — and its partners — should develop a new global framework for AI risks,” von der Leyen continued.
She said that Europe and its allies should develop a “global framework for AI risks” but that there will also need to be standards set at the global level through the United Nations.
On September 7, the Russian Rybar channel on Telegram released never before seen footage of recent operations by the reconnaissance groups of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, commonly known by its previous abbreviation GRU, behind Ukrainian front lines.
The operations include a series of deadly ambushes against Kiev forces in the northeastern Ukrainian regions of Chernihiv and Sumy.
Video footage shows Russian reconnaissance groups targeting several military vehicles with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and explosive devices. The dead bodies of several Ukrainian troops who were killed in the ambushes can be seen in the footage.
According to Ryabr, the aim of these ambushes was to collect intelligence. Russian reconnaissance groups seized encoded communication devices, maps and other documents during each ambush.
In one operation, a reconnaissance group blew up a bridge regularly used by Kiev forces to move military equipment. The exact location of the bridge is not known yet.
Newly released surveillance video reportedly shows BLM martyr Ta'kiya Young looted liquor bottles from a Kroger in Columbus, Ohio while pregnant and drove into a police officer before she was shot.
"New surveillance video footage of Ta'kiya Young in the moments before her death in the Columbus, Ohio area has been released," Andy Ngo reports. "They show the pregnant woman (she has the long braided weave) stealing liquor before leaving with two female accomplices. The theft alarm goes off as they quickly reach the parking lot. Young gets into a black Lexus sedan parked in a disabled spot."
"Two responding officers instruct Young to get out of the car, which she refuses. After she drives into one of the officers in an apparent escape attempt, she is shot once, killing her. Her death has sparked #BLM protests and demands for prosecution against the unnamed officer. Leftists have been trying to dox him and his family address," Ngo said.
This is a crucial test being launched by the globalists to see if law-abiding Americans will hand over their Second Amendment rights by complying with an extra-constitutional edict based, not on American law, but on United Nations law.
New Mexico’s Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an “emergency” executive order on Friday suspending the right of law-abiding citizens to open carry and conceal carry any firearms in the crime-ridden Democrat-run city of Albuquerque.
The totally unconstitutional edict also applies to the surrounding county for a period at least 30 days, after Grisham declared a “public health emergency” in response to a spate of recent gun violence.
It is extraordinary how concern with child abuse has altered over the past 25-40 years. In culling my overgrown library, I came across documents and articles about the frame-up of the Amirault family in the Fells Acre day care case during the 1980s and the Wenatchee, Washington child abuse in the 1990s witch hunt that I played a role in exposing.
The creation of Child Protective Services at the insistent of “child advocates” created a new government bureaucracy with little to do. “Child advocates” fantasized that children were routinely raped by their parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, Sunday school teachers, and child care providers. With the new bureaucracy in place, perpetrators of child abuse had to be found in order to justify the agency and its budget.
In Wenatchee seeing opportunity a corrupt police detective, Robert Perez, pressured his 13-year old daughter to bring rape accusations. She later recanted, but not before many parents and the local pastor, Robert Roberson and his wife, were accused of organized rape of children. Children were taken from their homes and put into fraudulent “recovered memory therapy” used to convince them that they had been raped.
The corrupt Child Protection Services agency and prosecutor could not make the false charges stick against Pastor Robertson and his wife, but large numbers of parents who were poor were convicted, sent to prison and their children taken into custody.
The sprawling social experiment known as California faces an uphill battle on reparations, after a new poll from UC Berkeley and the LA Times reveals that voters overwhelmingly oppose the idea of cash payments for black descendants of slaves by a 2-to-1 margin.
The poll found that 59% of voters oppose cash payments vs. 28% who support the idea. Four out of 10 voters "strongly" opposed the idea.
Interestingly, just 19% of those opposed cited cost as an issue. The majority simply says it's unfair to today's taxpayers and wrong to single out one group for reparations.
In the Berkeley poll, when voters who oppose reparations were asked why, the two main reasons cited most often were that “it’s unfair to ask today’s taxpayers to pay for wrongs committed in the past,” picked by 60% of voters, and “it’s not fair to single out one group for reparations when other racial and religious groups have been wronged in the past,” chosen by 53%.
Only 19% said their reason was that the proposal would cost the state too much, suggesting that money alone is not the main objection.
Among Democrats, 43% favored and 41% opposed cash reparations. Republicans were strongly against the proposal at 90% with only 5% in favor. Independents were 65% opposed and 22% in favor.
Black California voters were more likely to support cash payments than any other demographic, with 76% in favor and 16% opposed, the survey found. Almost two-thirds of white voters were opposed as were 6 in 10 Latino and Asian voters. -LA Times
During the hysteria of the covid pandemic questions swirled around how the federal government would respond to the events under the declaration of a national health emergency. What kind of powers would they claim to have and which constitutional rights would they try to suppress? What many Americans did not consider, however, was the implementation of emergency powers under state governments rather than the White House.
Most of the covid mandates crushing the US economy during that period were not federal mandates, but state mandates, and there's a good reason why covid tyrants chose to focus on state level restrcitions.
There are a number of requirements and obstacles for any president seeking to enforce mandates at the federal level, along with more scrutiny and oversight than is commonly understood. Though a president can declare emergencies unilaterally, there are still some legal checks and balances (to be sure, these are quietly being eroded with each passing year).
On the other hand, state governors in 44 states have sweeping authorities under emergency conditions, with very little immediate legal recourse. As we have seen recently in places like Hawaii and now New Mexico, Democrat governors have been playing with fire (no pun intended) as they seek to push the envelope of emergency controls at the state level.