May 18, 2022
Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities
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Wholesale gasoline for June delivery fell 22 cents to $3.72 a gallon. June heating oil fell 13 cents to $3.67 a gallon. June natural gas rose 7 cents to $8.37 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold for June delivery fell $3 to $1,815.90 an ounce. Silver for July delivery fell 21 cents to $21.54 an ounce and July copper fell 6 cents to $4.18 a pound.
The dollar fell to 128.11 Japanese yen from 129.42 yen. The euro fell to $1.0474 from $1.0543.
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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: If You Really Wanted to Destroy the United States, Then . . .
by Victor Davis Hanson
First, you would surrender our prior energy independence.
Reduce new gas and oil leases on federal lands to the lowest levels of any president in history. Cut back production at precisely the time the world is emerging from a two-year lockdown with pent-up consumer demand.
Make war on coal and nuclear power. Drain the strategic petroleum reserve to make the pain for consumers more bearable for midterm election advantage.
Cancel the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas field. Block pipelines like the Keystone oil pipeline and the Constitution natural gas line.
Overregulate and demonize frackers and horizontal drillers. Ensure there is less investment for their exploration and production.
Make use of internal combustion engines or fossil fuel power generation prohibitively expensive. Achieve a green oil-dependency along the lines of contemporary Europe.
Second, print trillions of dollars in new currency as the lockdowns end, demand rises, and consumers are already saturated with COVID-19 subsidies. Keep interest rates low, well below the rate of inflation, as you print more money. Ensure that passbook holders earn no interest at the very time prices skyrocket to the highest per annum level in 40 years.
“Spread the wealth” by sending money to those who already have enough, while making it less valuable for those deemed to have too much. Ensure runaway high prices to wean the middle class off its consumerism and supposedly to inspire them to buy less junk they don’t need. Damn the rich in the open and in the abstract, court them in the concrete and secret of darkness.
Third, end America’s physical boundaries. Render it an amorphous people and anywhere space. End any vestigial difference between a citizen and resident. Up the current nearly 50 million who were not born in the United States —27 percent of California’s population—to 100 million and more by allowing 3 million illegal aliens to enter per year.
Fourth, destroy the public trust in its elections. Render Election Day irrelevant. Make proper auditing of 110 million mail-in/early ballots impossible. Normalize ballot harvesting and curing.
Urge leftist billionaires to infuse their riches to “absorb” the work of state registrars in key precincts to ensure the correct “turn-out.”
Blast as “election denialists,” “insurrectionists,” and “democracy destroyers” anyone who objects to these radical ballot changes, neither passed by the U.S. Congress nor by state legislators. Weaponize the FBI, CIA, and Department of Justice.
Fifth, redefine crime as one rich man’s crime, another poor man’s necessity.
Let those who need “things” exercise their entitlement to them. Rewrite or ignore laws to exempt the oppressed who take, or do, what they want as atonement for past systemic racism and oppression.
Six, junk the ossified idea of a melting pot and multiracial society united by common American values and ideals. Instead, identify individuals by their superficial appearance. Seek to be a victim and monetize your claims against perceived victimizers. Call anyone a “racist” who resists.
Encourage each tribe, defined by common race, ethnic, gender, or sexual orientation affinities, to band together to oppose the monolithic “white privilege” majority. Encourage social and tribal tensions. Racially discriminate to end discrimination.
Greenlight statue toppling, name changing, boycotting, cancel culturing, ostracizing, and Trotskyizing. Erase the past, control the present, and create a new American person for the future.
Seven, render the United States just one of many nations abroad. Abandon Afghanistan in shame. Leave behind thousands of loyal Afghan allies, billions of dollars in equipment, a billion-dollar embassy, and the largest air base in central Asia. Appease the theocracy to reenter the Iran nuclear deal.
Beg enemies like Venezuela, Russia, and Iran to pump more oil when it is politically expedient for us to have abundant supplies—oil that we have in abundance but won’t produce. Discourage friends like Guinea from producing more energy and cancel allies’ energy projects like the EastMed pipeline.
Trash but then beg Saudi Arabia to pump more oil right before the midterms for domestic political advantage.
Eight, neuter the First Amendment. Enlist Silicon Valley monopolies to silence unwanted free speech while using Big Tech’s mega profits to warp elections. Declare free expression “hate speech.” Criminalize contrarian social media.
Nine, demonize half the country as semi-fascists, un-Americans, insurrectionists, and even potential domestic terrorists. Try to change inconvenient ancient rules: seek to pack the court, end the filibuster, junk the Electoral College, and bring in two more states.
Twice impeach a president who tried to stand in your way. Try him when he is an emeritus president and private citizen. Raid his home. Seek to indict a future rival to the current president.
Ten, never mention the origins of the COVID virus. Never blame China for the release of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Exempt investigations of U.S. health officials who subsidized Chinese gain-of-function research. Ignore the Bill of Rights to mandate vaccinations, mask wearing, and quarantines.
We have done all of the above. It would be hard to imagine any planned agenda to destroy America that would have been as injurious as what we already suffered the last two years.
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Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the newly released The Dying Citizen.
Photo “Joe Biden” by Joe Biden.
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