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.


    In search of liberal Browncoats

    A few days ago, I was chatting with a friend of liberal persuasion about the cult-classic TV series “Firefly” – which, particularly in its concluding theatrical film, is one of pop culture’s strongest parables about libertarianism and rebellion against authority.  If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it was a science-fiction program about a space-faring band of lovable rogues, some of whom fought in a losing | Read More »

    Barack Obama’s broken window economy

    It’s awfully strange to see a President simultaneously claim that his economy is (finally) on the mend… while simultaneously demanding yet another “emergency” unemployment extension.  Obamanomics is a perpetual unemployment emergency.  Five years on, the American economy still can’t rise from its sick bed and pull the IV tube out of its arm.  Heckuva job, Obama voters! Of course, they all think it’s George Bush’s | Read More »

    Puncturing our health care illusions

    Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been trying to play along with ObamaCare.  Alas, his son drew the “Go Directly to Medicaid Jail” card, inexplicably diverted into that mournful welfare program by the supposedly exceptional Kentucky exchange system.  Granted, “exceptional” status is a pretty low bar to clear when it comes to ObamaCare exchanges, but Kentucky was supposed to have one of the better ones… and | Read More »

    Incentives to work

    Michael Strain at National Affairs has a long article in which he proposes “A Jobs Agenda For the Right.”  Much of his effort is devoted to getting conservatives comfortable with smart, limited macroeconomic stimulus spending, rather than opposing all such spending on principle. For example, he puts in a good word for “infrastructure” spending, albeit not on the scale of jaw-dropping madcap spending President Obama is constantly | Read More »

    The independent year

    When I talk with anyone who professes to be a political “independent,” I always ask what they imagine they’re still “independent” from.  There is less and less room for genuine independence in our dwindling private sector. Of course, the independent voter is generally more interested in declaring his liberation from the two major political parties.  Maybe he doesn’t like either of them, or dislikes the | Read More »

    Freedom is the only sustainable promise

    Decades of a hugely expensive War on Poverty, years of a rapidly expanding welfare state, and it seems like poverty is worse than ever.  Donald Lambro relates some melancholy statistics: It doesn’t get very much, if any, attention on the network news programs, but national poverty rates have been rising under the Obama administration over the last four years at least. According to the U.S. | Read More »

    Power means privilege

    When the first big stories of ObamaCare “doc shock” began to circulate, and it dawned on Americans that they might not be able to keep their doctors under Barack Obama’s health care scheme – contrary to another of his absolutely unambiguous, often-repeated promises – Zeke Emanuel was sent out to conduct spin control.  He might not have been the best choice for the job, because | Read More »

    Tolerance, celebration, and disapproval

    Having spilled many pixels in defense of Phil Robertson, who got suspended from the hit TV show “Duck Dynasty” because of his religious faith, and having spilled even more pixels in defense of traditional marriage, I should make it clear that I don’t personally consider homosexuality sinful.  I always receive a number of emails with Biblical citations when I say that.  Thank you, everyone, but I know | Read More »

    Hyper-regulated lawlessness

    Josh Levin at Slate has a long, interesting article – more like a short online book – about the original “welfare queen,” a Chicago woman named Linda Taylor.  She did a lot more than just scam welfare benefits, but that’s what she became most infamous for, back in the 1980s.  Actually, I’d wager most modern readers don’t realize there was a specific person behind the | Read More »

    Deconstructing Santa

    The latest offensive in the War on Christmas – you know, the war we’re supposedly not having, according to the people fighting it most energetically – began as a blog post at Slate, which argued that the traditional white Santa Claus is frightening, alienating, and divisive to non-white children.  The solution proposed by the author was to replace Santa with not a Person of Color, but | Read More »

    How not to handle internal party divisions

    While others in these parts have teed off with admirable vigor on House Speaker John Boehner’s oddly shrill anti-conservative budget deal offensive, I’d like to offer a little something to study in contrast: Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) pulling the rip cord and trying to blast herself clear of the ObamaCare tailspin.  Here’s the Landrieu ad: This is all a bit much to swallow given the | Read More »

    The forgotten war

    On Wednesday, three of what the Wall Street Journal describes as “the Obama Administration’s top Afghanistan specialists” trudged into the House Foreign Affairs Committee chambers, where they were flummoxed by a question from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).  What super-complicated query from the Congressman stumped these highly trained and knowledgeable representatives of the most wise and wonky Administration in history – better able to run every industry than | Read More »

    The pathology of dissent

    A few weeks ago, I went to see “12 Years a Slave,” a movie retelling the harrowing experience of Solomon Northup, a free man from the North kidnapped and sold into slavery for the agonizing twelve years referenced in the title.  I found it a somewhat difficult film to review, in the same way that some very effective horror movies are tough to review: is | Read More »

    The War on Misfortune

    It’s always wise to assume the worst when you hear politicians declaring war on a vague notion, such as “inequality.”  Inequality is replacing “injustice” as the eternal socialist crusade of choice.  “Injustice” had too many connotations of actual law enforcement – something the Left generally dislikes.  They really hated it when their quest for cosmic, redistributive “social justice” was conflated with the mundane business of | Read More »

    Beware the menace of unity

    The House Judiciary Committee held hearings on Barack Obama’s abuse of power this week, leading to a good deal of dismissive commentary and general neglect from the media, because apparently it’s not even worth talking about the proper checks and balances of government power if you’re not ready to impeach the President as the grand finale.  It’s too bad more attention was not paid to | Read More »