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.


    It’s our world, the CBO just lives in it

    The first thing to keep in mind about the Congressional Budget Office estimate of costs and benefits for the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill – or any other estimate the CBO prepares – is that Congress is very good at gaming CBO estimates.  There are lots of little tricks that can be used to hide costs and inflate benefits, once you understand how the CBO | Read More »

    The beauty queen view of modern America

    Who knew that a beauty pageant could be brimming with so much socio-political insight?  The Miss USA pageant on Sunday gave us not one, but two, remarkable observations on the state of the Union. First, here’s Miss Alabama, Mary Margaret McCord, offering her thoughts on the surveillance state: “I think the society that we live in today, it’s sad that if we go to the | Read More »

    The 2016 GOP platform: equality and the rule of law

    I agree with Erick’s point this morning that Senator Marco Rubio does not deserve tar and feathers for something one of his aides said.  The quote in question went as follows: “There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it… There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get | Read More »

    Rick Santorum and the Type A voters

    Speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington on Friday, Rick Santorum offered criticism of the campaign that bested him in the 2012 GOP primary, but wound up losing the general election: One after another, they talked about the business they had built. But not a single factory worker went out there.  Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that | Read More »

    Ruling-class concerns

    Congress is currently convulsed in a titanic struggle over immigration reform… a topic that rarely cracks the top-10 list of top concerns for the American people, and never gets into the top 5.  Border security polls far higher than anything else in the “comprehensive immigration reform” basket, particularly among those Americans who actually live along the border, but that’s the one thing the ruling class | Read More »

    The end-user license of liberty

    One of my favorite Dilbert cartoons showed the hero’s laconic office mate, Wally, discovers to his horror that agreeing to the Microsoft End User License Agreement meant he would have to spend several months of indentured servitude as a towel boy at Bill Gates’ pool.  I thought of it when hearing the sarcastic suggestion today that we might all have unknowingly agreed to the NSA’s | Read More »

    Non-accountability marches onward at the IRS

    How is the great crusade to bring accountability to the IRS coming along?  According to Eliana Johnson at National Review, the Director of Rulings and Agreements, Holly Paz, just became “the fifth Washington D.C.-based IRS official involved in the current scandal to leave her position.” According to the House Oversight Committee, Paz was involved in an internal IRS investigation that in May 2012 concluded that the agency had been | Read More »

    Adrift on the sea of power

    Government power is exercised only in the absence of liberty.  If you are legally compelled to do something, you are not free to refuse.  The government does spend a good deal of time making “suggestions” and offering optional “benefits” these days, but all of this activity is funded by the compulsory seizure of wealth. Power takes many forms.  Money is power.  Everything the government does | Read More »

    Human assets and liabilities

    Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform does not think much of the Heritage Foundation’s recent projection of the total cost of amnesty.  Heritage figured a taxpayer cost of about $6 trillion over the next 50 years. Norquist takes many issues with this figure, including some that aren’t really problems with the report itself – for example, he criticizes the way other people have presented its conclusions | Read More »

    Lawless aristocracy for a dominated people

    A few weeks ago, as the Senate Judiciary Committee was debating immigration reform, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) told everyone the story of Candida Gutierrez, a Houston schoolteacher whose identity was stolen by an illegal alien named Bentia Cardona-Gonzalez.  This was a big-time identity heist, as Cardona-Gonzalez opened bank accounts and secured credit cards, a drivers’ license, employment, a mortgage, and health care with her stolen | Read More »

    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 »