John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled "Doctor Zero: Year One." His work has also appeared at Human Events, the Daily Caller, Breitbart News, and the New York Post. His journey from prolific evening commenter in blog forums, to full-time professional writer, took just under two years. Prior to this mid-life career change, he had a long career in the computer software industry. John has an extensive background in technical writing, with an enduring interest in issues related to the Internet, technology, economics, and individual liberty.


    You win or you die

    HBO has been adapting a popular series of fantasy novels generally referred to as “A Game of Thrones,” although that’s technically only the title of the first volume; author George R.R. Martin names the entire series “A Song of Ice and Fire.”  The show has been an enormous hit for HBO, evidently drawing a large number of viewers who didn’t read the original books.  Last | Read More »

    The paranoid style of Obama politics

    Eyebrows have been raised by the announcement that US Attorney Bill Killian, in the company of FBI Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Moore, will soon address a Muslim council in Tennessee about “how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.” “This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of | Read More »

    The eternal system

    President Obama took a break from the scandals swirling around his Administration on Wednesday by jetting off to Chicago, where the sort of politics practiced by Obama’s IRS are standard procedure.  There he held a few fundraisers, including a posh reception with fat-cat donors where tickets ran from $10,000 to over $32,000 apiece. “We’ve got a politics that’s stuck right now,” this great Man of | Read More »

    The penumbra of power

    A few weeks ago, Apple executives were called on the Congressional carpet for… well, it’s not really clear, actually.  Congress was very angry at them for failing to haul international profits back to the United States so they could be taxed at confiscatory anti-growth American rates.  Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) countered by pointing out that everyone tries to legally minimize their tax liability.  Accountants who failed to | Read More »

    The social triangle

    Three great forces shape a society: culture, politics, and economics.  Each of them influences the other. The late Andrew Breitbart famously observed that politics are “downstream” of culture.  In other words, culture shapes political expectations.  People tend to vote in favor of issues and candidates that enjoy cultural approval.  Political commentators often refer to the “Overton window,” which covers the range of “acceptable” positions candidates | Read More »

    Welfare, opportunity, and assimilation

    Every participant in the immigration debate agrees on the importance of assimilation.  (In public, anyway.  Privately, I suspect some of the open-borders folks could not care less about it, or are actively hostile to it.  But everyone says they hope immigrants assimilate and become fully invested, patriotic American citizens.) What is the best way to encourage assimilation?  It’s not an individual process that can be applied to specific | Read More »

    Serfdom for dummies

    Serfdom is making a big comeback these days.  It never really went out of style, of course, but it’s remarkable how many people are now willing to submit to government authority without question, or without much in the way of expectations.  Shoddy performance, from fiscal insolvency to a moribund economy, is no cause for outrage among the modern serfs.  They accept the “New Normal” without | Read More »

    Arrogant government

    The proper attitude of government towards its citizens is humility.  The State kneels before the people who invest it with terrible authority.  The Declaration of Independence and Constitution are full of language that illustrates this relationship, but you don’t have to look back that far, because American politicians constantly cloak themselves in the language of humility.  They always talk about how honored they are to receive | Read More »

    The tax reform moment

    Rupert Murdoch took some heat for observing on Twitter, “Growing IRS scandal makes perfect case for flat tax and abolition all deductions.  Nothing could be fairer and abuse free.” Several responses took Murdoch to task because the abusive treatment of certain groups applying for tax-exempt status, based on their politics, doesn’t have any direct relationship with the progressive income tax system, or plans to replace it. | Read More »

    The legitimacy of elections

    The worst possible outcome of the IRS scandal would see it growing large enough to call the legitimacy of the 2012 election into question. Some people reading this might think it’s already reached that point.  Others would say it could never reach that point.  There is a case to be made that the American system would resist such an outcome, in a much broader sense than merely | Read More »

    Skynet on the Potomac

    Obama’s favorite henchman, David Axelrod, deployed the famed Incompetence Defense on behalf of the embattled President during an MSNBC appearance on Wednesday.  That’s the hot new line from Obama apologists: he’s so incredibly inept that he can’t be held responsible for anything his Administration does.  He golfs, he raises money, he takes a lot of vacations… there’s not much time left over for management.  He learns | Read More »

    Corruption in the sacred temple of socialism

    As we watch a string of scandals detonate across the Obama Administration, we should all be able to agree that the abuse of government power to punish political opposition is hideously wrong.  Sometimes we struggle to define the precise boundaries of “corruption,” as a growing government extends its power into the private sector, and the daily conduct of its business becomes inherently corrupt.  Special interests swarm around | Read More »

    Enter the non-President and his un-Administration

    So… what, exactly, does Barack Obama “preside” over?  He claims to have learned about the IRS scandal by watching the evening news last Friday.  He’s got no idea what those crazy rogue operatives in the State Department and intelligence community were doing when the Benghazi consulate was attacked, or during the crucial news cycles that followed.  He’s got nothing to do with the economy – | Read More »

    Sebelius and the ObamaCare shakedown

    In the small, cold hours of a dreary Washington night, the Washington Post finds a poor little waif named Kathleen Sebelius trotting from the door of one luxurious health-care mansion to the next, begging for a crust of bread or half-eaten apple to help her sickly little brother, Boondoggle O’care, make it through the night after his evil Republican stepfather left him to die: Health | Read More »

    Benghazi hearings in the Mirror Universe

    It’s amazing to watch the media bury yesterday’s explosive testimony on Benghazi.  Just imagine for a moment that today is the day after a veteran career diplomat – the top man on the ground in Libya after the murder of the ambassador – testified that a Republican administration told him not to cooperate with Democrat congressional investigators, shook him up with a menacing phone call from the top political | Read More »