Monday, June 29, 2015

Independence Day through the eyes of John Adams

By Howard Hyde

In July 2011 I hosted a lecture-screening of the 2nd episode of HBO’s series on the American Revolution, John Adams (this episode showing the events and debate leading to the Declaration of Independence), in Spanish, at La Iglesia en El Camino (Church on the Way) in Van Nuys, California. There were about 50 in attendance. During the same week I had been an in-studio guest on a radio program on Univision, guest-hosted by Pablo Kleinman (the regular host would have been Fernando Espuellas).
I chose HBO’s John Adams because it is one of the best Revolutionary War films ever made, presenting in intimate detail the struggle for the founding of our unique nation as seen through the eyes of a heroic couple and their family. I highly recommend it to anyone, immigrant or native, who wants to understand the origins of our nation (I don’t get paid to say this, but I should).
Below is the translation, back into English, of the lecture. Write to me if you are interested in the Spanish version.
I describe in [square brackets] a few of the visuals from the slide show that accompanied my talk.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Good morning and thank you for joining us today.
In anticipation of our great patriotic holiday, Independence Day, which is the Fourth of July, with its festivities and fireworks, we are going to get to know better the men and women who have given us the gift of this day, through the HBO film ‘John Adams’.

[One Dollar bill] You may know George Washington. Well, it was John Adams that nominated Washington to be commander-in-chief of the Continental (Revolutionary) army and years later became President Washington's Vice President.

[2 dollar bill] Perhaps you have heard of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. Well it was John Adams that nominated Jefferson to write this document, since Adams did not have time while conducting the verbal debate in the Continental Congress in favor of independence.

[$100 bill] perhaps you know Benjamin Franklin. Adams worked together with Franklin for independence and later in France to get the indispensable support of the French in the war against the British.
For all this I call Adams the greatest of the founders who never got his mug on a dollar bill, or, the greatest lesser-known founder.

[Circa 1770 map of British colonial America] 250 years ago in the 18th century there were on the east coast of North America 13 colonies ruled by King George the Third of Great Britain (or England). The colonies were not proper states, nor were they by any means united. There did not exist at that time any ‘united states’.

The subjects of the British crown lived in these colonies were already well-accustomed to governing themselves without interference. But the king and the British Parliament tried to force the colonies to comply with an increasingly intolerable regimen of taxes, prohibition of trade outside of the British Empire, the obligation to get official stamps and approvals for the most minor articles of commerce; to accept that British soldiers should be quartered in any American’s house that the British might order (soldiers whose numbers grew ever larger). All that without the colonies having a voice or rights or American representatives in the British Parliament. For that the cry "no taxation without representation" was heard with increasing frequency, and tensions between the colonies and Britain increased.

In 1770 John Adams lived in Boston, capital of the colony of Massachusetts. Humble lawyer, son of a farmer, man of principles, family man, Christian of confession and conviction, Adams became known when he defended in court a group of British soldiers accused of murder in what the colonists called the Boston Massacre, but what Adams judged to be a riot or mob disturbance in which the soldiers had acted in self-defense. His defense of the despised soldiers did not at all please the colonists, least of all his own cousin the political activist Samuel Adams.
Adams hoped that his demonstration of justice would be recognized and appreciated by the king and that the heavy hand of the empire would have been lightened. But George III decreed that any trial of British officers accused of capital crimes in America in the future could not take place in the colonies, but only in Great Britain, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
The disappointments and provocations continued, and the time the frequency of disturbances like the Boston tea party which tons of English tea were thrown into the waters of the port of Boston in protest against restricted trade with England.

You are going to share John Adams experience of all of these events. And also you work you will get to know John Adams family, his wife and his children. You will see Abigail advising her husband with wisdom, balancing his character defects such as his vanity, his stubbornness and his inability to keep his mouth shut when he should. By John Adams’ own admission, if not for Abigail, instead of becoming one of our most important leaders, he never would have amounted to anything.
In 1774 the good faith between the colonies and the king and Parliament had deteriorated to such a point that Adams, together with his cousin Samuel Adams and representatives of all the 13 colonies began to meet at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, capital of the colony of Pennsylvania, 400 miles from Boston (traveling days and weeks by horse, not hours by Continental airlines!) to discuss their common defense against British tyranny. Such a reunion was unprecedented in the prior 150 years of the colonies.

The citizens of the colonies and their delegates to the Continental Congress were by no means united on the question of how to respond to the tyranny of the king of England, and much less on the question of independence. Some advocated an armed rebellion for separation; others felt, as loyal subjects of the king of England, that they did not want to break with the mother country, or considered that a military confrontation against the most powerful empire in the world which was Great Britain at that time. was destined to fail catastrophically. And so the contentious debate dragged on for more than two years.

Reconciliation between the colonies and the king became less and less possible after military battles between the rebels and the British forces broke out in Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts in 1775, followed by the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston. In October of that year the king declared before Parliament that the colonies were in rebellion and that he was sending a military expedition sufficient to suppress the rebels (which is to say, massive; more than 400 ships).
At that time Adams’ family lived on his farm in the town of Braintree, south of Boston. During the battle of Bunker Hill and the siege, the thunder and flashes of the cannons could be seen from his property.

His wife Abigail managed the farm and cared for their 4 young children during the frequent absences of her husband in Philadelphia. The Adamses were not rich and life was not easy. Because of the blockade of Boston, outside trade was interrupted and the most necessary goods for daily life were in short supply. To make matters worse, infectious diseases were killing many citizens and soldiers, and threatening even Adams’ own family. So while John was debating independence in Philadelphia, Abigail was having herself and her children vaccinated against the Smallpox, which in those days signified risking death; suffering the disease itself during a few weeks.

When it became apparent that there were no doubts about the intentions of the king to impose his will without mercy or compromise over the colonies, Congress united over the question and elected Thomas Jefferson, a wealthy 33 year-old landowner and representative of Virginia, to write the Declaration of Independence.
The document that Jefferson delivered surpassed all expectations. The Declaration not only separated the American colonies from the king of England; it proclaimed universal ideals of human rights, principles that would threaten any despot or tyrannical regime in any country, in any time.
Lamentably, the institution of slavery survived the American revolution not only in the southern states but in the very estates of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and other prominent American revolutionaries. Even so, the Declaration in effect established a civilization irreconcilable with slavery. The full cost of this incompatibility would be paid in full, 87 (“four score and seven”) years later in the Civil War under President Abraham Lincoln.

The Declaration of Independence is more than 1000 words long. But there is one phrase that has become immortal that summarizes all of its meaning. It begins: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
What was so powerful in these simple words was the fact that no head of state in those days, no king, nor aristocrat, nor Emperor in any way considered such ideas to be self-evident.
It continued: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
This was, and continues to be, the creed of the United States, an imperfect country but among the most free, most prosperous, most just and most enduring that has ever existed in all the world and in all of human history.
[Screen Episode 2, Independence.]

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Howard Hyde Interviewed on Climate Change on the Larry Elder Radio Program

Here is the link to the interview with Larry Elder at the conclusion of the Heartland Institute's climate change conference:

Here is the full transcript:
Larry Elder: Howard Hyde is an ex-liberal, sociologist [sic], progressive Democrat from Berkeley. He edits a website called He’s also a columnist with FrontPageMag; also, he writes for and In fact, in American Thinker is where he published his article called, “Climate Change: Where is the Science?” And Howard lives in Southern California, out here, but for the past couple days he’s been attending the D.C. climate change conference sponsored by the Heartland Institute, the think tank that I told you about in Chicago. Howard, are you there?
Howard Hyde: I am there. Thanks, Larry. It’s great to be here.
LE: Howard, thank you very much for joining me and taking the time. This is the twelfth annual conference?
HH: It’s the tenth annual.
LE: And over those ten years, how’s the climate been? [laughs]
HH: [laughs] Well, it’s been pretty much flat, actually. It’s a pleasant, warm day. You know, nothing much to report.
LE: Howard, I got up yesterday morning and I was watching a woman give the weather report and she said, “We have a lot of weather today!” and I— [laughs]
HH: [laughs] Well, how much weather did you have yesterday?
LE: I have no idea! So, Howard, first of all, I’m sure you heard that exchange between Rick Santorum and Chris Wallace of Fox, where Santorum criticized the pope for the pope talking about climate change, and he said he hoped the pope would kind of stick in his lane. Turns out, the pope has a degree in chemistry; Rick Santorum does not. And so, that raises the question of whether or not somebody who’s not a scientist can talk about climate change. Obviously, you can, but what Santorum was basically saying is that the pope was a spiritual leader and ought not be talking about climate change when, in fact, he’s got a degree in chemistry. Question, Howard: what’s your background? Do you have a degree in sciences?
HH: I don’t. I have a degree in music and I work in information technology. But that’s kind of the point. As I wrote yesterday in, ordinary people like you and me, Larry, are easily intimidated from entering into debates with scientists.
LE: How dare you call me ordinary? [laughs] I’m sub-ordinary!
HH: [laughs] Well, you’re extraordinary, Larry—
LE: That’s right!
HH: But you don’t have a PhD, and you don’t speak in incomprehensible charts and graphs and equations and data—
LE: That’s true.
HH: —so you’ve got nothing whatsoever to say about climate.
LE: I got nothing, yeah.
HH: But the fact of the matter is that what’s going on in the climate change debate has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics and power. Scientists who want to investigate alternate theories of climate do not get the research grants.
LE: Howard, there’s a 90% consensus! Ninety percent of all climate change scientists say that man is trashing the planet! We’ve got to do something about it!
HH: And that’s why, out of 12,000 published papers, only forty-one of them actually said that human-induced, carbon dioxide producing, fossil fuel burning, is the cause of climate change. You know, there’s credible evidence that the actual number is 0.3% as it was presented by Lord Christopher Monckton this morning at the conference.
LE: Mmhmm.
HH: 0.3% versus 97%.
LE: All right, Howard, the question, of course, people are going to have is: how does somebody as smart as Obama, as smart as John Kerry, both argue that climate change is a bigger threat to us than even ISIS? They can’t be idiots!
HH: Yeah [laughs], well, I mean, first of all, of course, it’s grotesque for Obama to declare climate change worse than ISIS taking over the Iraq that he abandoned, worse than the economy that’s on life support while he’s strangling it, while the cities that are run by the Democrat’s welfare state have become kill zones and so on and on—I mean, there are so many other real problems that we have. But the fact is, Obama and Kerry and Al Gore and all the rest of them, they’re politicians; they’re not scientists. They’re not after a disinterested pursuit of the truth with open debate and falsification and all that; they’re after an agenda. And their agenda is control, power, the dismantling of capitalism, of fossil fuels, and frankly, the dismantling of our constitutional process of government.
LE: I’m talking to Howard Hyde, he is a[n] editor of the website called, also a columnist with Front Page Magazine, and he just attended the tenth annual conference on climate change, sponsored by the Heartland Institute. You know, Howard, did you see—I’m sure you saw an American, I mean, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
HH: [laughs] Actually, I missed that.
LE: [laughs]
HH: I think I was watching the latest Jurassic Park movie at the time.
LE: Anyway, as you know, he brags and brags and brags, does Al Gore, about the fact that he was inspired by a Harvard professor named Roger Revelle. Roger Revelle was the one who warned him about manmade activity, anthropogenic activity, and all the CO2 in the air. It turns out, Roger Revelle, in the waning years of his life—as you probably know, Howard—renounced Al Gore and said Al Gore was an alarmist, he didn’t believe any of the stuff that Al Gore was saying, and then Al Gore said that he was senile. Now, it seems to me if I’m a climate change guy and Al Gore is bragging about the influence of Roger Revelle and Roger Revelle trashes me, it would cause me to rethink my assumptions. But apparently Roger Revelle didn’t even exist!
HH: [laughs] Well, you know, this whole thing kind of makes for strange bedfellows because, you know, Michael Mann, the author of the infamous hockey stick graph, has been suing Mark Steyn for exercising his freedom of speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution for the last couple of years, and this lawsuit’s going on much longer than it ought to—I mean, it should’ve been laughed out of court on the first day.
LE: Mmhmm.
HH: But in spite of the fact that, you know, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times—I forget the exact list, but it’s a list of not-at-all right-wing organizations, including the ACLU, are on Mark Steyn’s side in this case because they recognize the threat to free speech and the First Amendment. It’s ludicrous.
LE: You know, Mark Steyn has spoken out against the science that allegedly supports climate change and as Howard pointed out, he is literally being sued. Literally being sued. And this is where we are, right here. I even read about a senator from Rhode Island who suggested that using the RICO statute to go after oil companies the way the RICO statute was used to go after tobacco companies because they’re engaged in a conspiracy to deceive the American people. My goodness! A sitting senator suggesting going after CEOs, oil companies, for lying about climate change and using the RICO statutes to do it?
HH: Yeah, I mean, it’s truly frightening what, you know, the descent into persecution that we’re having. You know, many years ago in the Soviet Union there was this agronomist, this scientist, named Lysenko, and he curried favor with Joseph Stalin and he had all the scientists who disagreed with him either sent off to Siberia or literally executed, killed, OK? So, for forty years or something like that, there was one theory of agronomy which was the politically correct theory and if you disagreed with it, you were in deep doo-doo. And the problem is that the theory, in fact, turned out not quite to agree with the laws of Nature and as a result, millions of Russians starved to death because the way they were planting their crops just didn’t work. And, you know, that’s the slippery slope that we’re heading down with this encroachment upon our civil liberties, the First Amendment and this insane rhetoric that you just described.
LE: I’m talking to Howard Hyde, again, editor of, also is a columnist for a number of publications including Front Page Mag. Howard, I’ve been on the air now twenty years, you’re the first one who’s ever used the word “doo-doo” on my show.
HH: [laughs]
LE: I’m impressed.
HH: Well, yeah, OK, that slipped out.
LE: Howard, OK, take the next couple of minutes and tell us, what is the truth? What is the truth about the science? What is the truth about climate change?
HH: Well, the truth is, first of all, that you can’t take something as huge and as complex as the climate, particularly over the next hundred years, and simplify it down to just one variable that happens conveniently to be the thing that the Left is against, which is to say fossil fuels and capitalism and prosperity. Carbon dioxide, as we all learned in kindergarten, is plant food; it makes the plants turn green. As a matter of fact, plants that get more carbon dioxide need less water in order to thrive. Carbon dioxide is a good thing, it’s something we want more of, and there is not a correlation between the rise of carbon dioxide and the rise of heat, there’s just—in the geological record—there’s just as much evidence of the inverse, of carbon dioxide going up and the planet cooling. And, by the way, a cooling planet is a lot more to be feared than a warming planet. Mark Steyn pointed out that 90% of the population of Canada lives within 100 miles of the United States border, and the reason is, it’s so bloody cold up there!
LE: [laughs]
HH: OK? So it would be a good thing for Canada and Greenland, where, you know, Greenland used to be green, right? I mean, that’s how it got its name.
LE: That’s right.
HH: Now it’s kind of iced over. So, you know, carbon dioxide is not one element that controls it all, water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas, and water, to my knowledge, by itself is not a pollutant, OK? But neither is carbon dioxide a pollutant. These are not pollutants. So, it’s a lot more complex than that and there’s a great deal of doubt expressed by all the PhDs at this conference and the 9,000 PhDs who find the petition expressing a dissenting opinion that CO2 really has very little to do with it and human activity probably has a slim chance of affecting the climate the way the alarmists are describing.
LE: Mmhmm.
HH: And even if it were so, it would probably not even be such a bad thing. I mean, the Earth has been a lot warmer than it is today, and in the recent geologic past, like a thousand years ago, there was a medieval warming period where, you know, you could grow wine in Great Britain.
LE: Right.
HH: You know, that’s not a bad thing.
LE: I’m talking to Howard Hyde, he edits the website, just finished the tenth annual conference on climate change sponsored by the Heritage Foundation [sic; meant to say Heartland Institute]. Howard, here’s the difficulty that we have: there’s a man named Freeman Dyson, I’m sure you know who he is—
HH: Yes, I’ve been a fan for thirty-five years, actually.
LE: Freeman Dyson is arguably one of the smartest people on the planet. He is a physicist, he’s well liked, he voted for Obama twice, he’s not a right-winger the way Howard and I are, but he has gotten involved in the climate change issue and he says it’s B.S. And when I said this is where we are, Howard, so Freeman Dyson goes to see this movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” with his wife. His wife comes out and turns to him and says, “You’ve lied to me all this time. You’ve lied to me about this.” Now, if Freeman Dyson cannot convince his wife that climate change is crap, how can we?
HH: [laughs] Well, you know, Senator Inhofe was here, he opened the breakfast keynote yesterday, and he pointed out he’s got something like twenty children and grandchildren, and one of his granddaughters came up to him and said, “Grandpa, how come you don’t understand climate change?”
LE: [laughs]
HH: You know, Senator Inhofe is author of a book on climate change.
LE: Right.
HH: He’s the leader in the Senate, you know, opposing the climate taxes and carbon taxes and “Cap and Trade” and all the other schemes. You know, you’d think he, you know, if anything else, he at least knows something about it.
LE: Right.
HH: But his granddaughter, because she’s going to the schools and this is what they’re teaching, they’re not teaching them how to think, they’re teaching them—they’re telling them what to think and how to emote about it.
LE: Mmhmm.
HH: And that’s a scary thing. As you say, Freeman Dyson is not some right-wing, Tea Party nutcase like you and me, OK? [laughs]
LE: [laughs]
HH: My father was a PhD research scientist and he instilled in me the importance of intellectual honesty, of being open to debate, of weighing the evidence, of not publishing your conclusions before you’re certain and before they’ve been peer reviewed and all of that. And I just think, you know, he was a Democrat, he was a John Kennedy Democrat, but he was also a staunch supporter of nuclear power and I’m sure he would be appalled at the collapse of the true pursuit of science and the scientific method that we’re seeing going on today.
LE: Well, Howard, as you probably know, a John Kennedy Democrat could probably get you arrested in seven states nowadays.
HH: [laughs] John Kennedy could never win the nomination of the Democrat Party today.
LE: Not today, not somebody who runs on the campaign of cutting taxes, are you kidding me?
HH: Exactly.
LE: Howard, before you go, you used to be an ex—you used to be a liberal, sociologist [sic], progressive Democrat from Berkeley.
HH: Did I spell that incorrectly? It’s “socialist.”
LE: Socialist, yeah.
HH: Liberal, socialist, progressive Democrat from Berkeley.
LE: Right. And what the hell happened?
HH: [laughs] Well, I was all of that, I was immersed in that climate of Berkeley in the 60s and 70s, with all the radicalism and the Vietnam War protests and the marijuana and everything else, you know, but as I said, I did get something of—about the value of intellectual honesty. And so, I applied that. I wanted to understand these problems about poverty and wealth and pollution and the environment and everything else, and in the process of honestly evaluating alternate theories of how this all works, I came to radically different conclusions. Now, Milton Friedman was an influence with his “Free to Choose” series on PBS—
LE: Right.
HH: Julian Simon of the Cato Institute was a strong influence with his book, “The Ultimate Resource,” and by the way, this is very apropos because Julian Simon debunked 200 years of environmental scares. We’re running out of this, we’re running out of coal, we’re running out of that, we’re running out of oil, we’re running out of food, we’re running out of everything, we’re—you know, we’re all gonna die. But what actually happened was, all these commodities and resources got cheaper and people got wealthier and even though we had a higher population, the people were living better than ever before.
LE: Howard Hyde has been my guest. Website— My brother Kirk is up next. Howard, thank you very much for taking the time. I appreciate it.
HH: Thank you, Larry.

LE: You got it.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Climate Change: Where is the Science?

[Over 300 comments]
Is it certain that anthropogenic carbon burning-induced warming is sweeping us to the apocalypse, with all other possibilities combined being less than one percent probable?
The only way to find out is through the most rigorous and critical application of the scientific method, from laboratory practice to public discourse. Anything less than that increases the risk that the 'solution' could be more catastrophic to humans than the results of climate change itself.
Unfortunately, what the IPCC and Al Gore are practicing does not qualify as science.
See the complete article by Howard Hyde at

See also The Heartland Institute's conference on Climate Change in Washington D.C., where Mr. Hyde is inattendance this Thursday and Friday:

[Completely random ;-) sample of comments:]

"This article should be an open letter to the climate science community and published in every major newspaper and magazine in the country."

"Best piece to appear here EVER!"

"Mr. Hyde, you have written a perfectly wonderful article. I wish you could publish it on the OpEd page of the New York Times. Would you consider trying to do so? Or on the back page of the Sunday Times' magazine section? It might actually cause some people to snap out of their acceptance of a faulty argument-from-authority myth and make them think for themselves."

"Excellent article Mr. Hyde. May God bless you and your family."

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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Howard Hyde on Larry Elder Show Friday June 12 @1:35 PM PT

Howard Hyde will be a guest on the Larry Elder radio program on Friday, June 12 at 1:35PM Pacific Time, discussing the topic of Climate Change generally. Log in to for listening options.

The interview comes at the conclusion of the Heartland Institute's conference on Climate Change in Washington D.C., where Mr. Hyde will be in attendance this Thursday and Friday.
For more information on the conference, see

Monday, June 08, 2015

First Amendment Under Assault in Climate Change Debate

The scientific debate about climate change is so un-scientific that freedom of speech itself has been put in doubt.
Michael Mann, the climate scientist most famous for the 'hockey stick' graph, sued Mark Steyn for criticizing his work. Even the ACLU and a dozen other not-at-all-right-wing-denier organizations have recognized the impropriety of such a lawsuit.

Read the complete article at

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Back to the Future and the Solution to Climate Change

The Global Warming alarmists are effectively claiming to have received the infallible Climate almanac for the next one hundred years. If that is so, then they don't need any help to solve the problem. Let them put up (their own money, not ours) or shut up.
Read the complete article by Howard Hyde at:

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Monday, June 01, 2015

Howard Hyde guest on Conservative Commandos Radio Show June 1, 2015 1:35 PM PT

Howard Hyde will be a guest on the Conservative Commandos radio program today June 1st at 1:35 PM Pacific Time. Tune in at