Zen & the Art of Being a Federal

Dear Federals,

Greetings. I hope this message finds you well in these confusing times. Our honorable President* Joseph Biden recently referred to current attempts to expose election fraud as, “the greatest crisis to hit our country since the Civil War.” According to my sources, several weeks ago, in offices around the federal government, language began to be used such as has never been used in history. Language such as, “When we come back from Labor Day we are going to start going after Conservative groups” (not “extremists” or “White Nationalists”, but “Conservative groups”). Word also reaches me of discontent and “near civil war conditions” in some nooks and crannies of your esteemed offices. I write with the hope of pouring oil on troubled waters.

My political leanings are known. Like Milton Friedman, I define myself as a small “l” libertarian small “r” republican (and have no love for the Republicans). Given this, it might be assumed by some that I am antagonistic towards federal employees. Yes, there are individuals at certain commissions with whom I have had friction, but my mentor General Jack Vessey once told me, “Federal employees don’t go in every day wanting to do a bad job. It’s their leadership.” You folks would be shocked to know how I have over the years generally spoken of you so highly as a class, telling people how pleased and surprised I had been with the quality of people who have become federal employees whom I have met (even those many across deposition tables).  I sometimes sense an insecurity in lifelong federal employees, as though they wonder how they would fare in the private market. Be assured (and the public should know) that the popular conception is misguided, and that in federal employment one generally encounters a higher octane of individual than one comes across in corporate America, and with a significantly rarer incidence of duds. “About 1 in 20 are duds,” is how I have described it, “versus about 1 in 5 one meets in corporate America.” Truly: Respect.

Thus my following words do not come from a place of antagonism.  55% (and perhaps over 60%) of citizens will now tell a pollster that they believe fraud was “significant” or “very significant” in President* Biden’s victory. In a different and more softly worded poll, 60% agree that election fraud played a role in Biden’s victory and 90% agreed that the authorities have to do more to tighten up on election integrity for November 2022 (and I think this really means that 90% know in their hearts that Biden won because of election fraud but only 60% will say that to a pollster). Given this situation, there must be some among you who harbor doubts. Such people will be having sleepless nights, should they be reflective about their duties.

I would like to share (and arguably, overquote) a story from a classic of my early adolescence, Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. In the context of a father-son motorcycle trip this book wove together numerous lectures on topics diverse. Describing the efforts of a professor he calls “Phaedrus” (actually Pirsig’s name for himself before the onset of crippling mental illness), he refers to a time when his university had been threatened with loss of accreditation, and a student had asked if the police could not be posted to prevent it. Phaedrus gave the class a lecture on the real nature of the University, or what he called, “The Church of Reason”.


The real University, he said, has no specific location. It owns no property, pays no salaries and receives no material dues. The real University is a state of mind. It is that great heritage of rational thought that has been brought down to us through the centuries and which does not exist at any specific location. It’s a state of mind which is regenerated throughout the centuries by a body of people who traditionally carry the title of professor, but even that title is not part of the real University. The real University is nothing less than the continuing body of reason itself.

In addition to this state of mind, “reason,” there’s a legal entity which is unfortunately called by the same name but which is quite another thing. This is a nonprofit corporation, a branch of the state with a specific address. It owns property, is capable of paying salaries, of receiving money and of responding to legislative pressures in the process.

But this second university, the legal corporation, cannot teach, does not generate new knowledge or evaluate ideas. It is not the real University at all. It is just a church building, the setting, the location at which conditions have been made favorable for the real church to exist.

Confusion continually occurs in people who fail to see this difference, he said, and think that control of the church buildings implies control of the church. They see professors as employees of the second university who should abandon reason when told to and take orders with no backtalk, the same way employees do in other corporations.

They see the second university, but fail to see the first.

After these explanations he returned to the analogy of the religious church. The citizens who build such a church and pay for it probably have in mind that they’re doing this for the community. A good sermon can put the parishioners in a right frame of mind for the coming week. Sunday school will help the children grow up right. The minister who delivers the sermon and directs the Sunday school understands these goals and normally goes along with them, but he also knows that his primary goals are not to serve the community. His primary goal is always to serve God. Normally there’s no conflict but occasionally one creeps in when trustees oppose the minister’s sermons and threaten reduction of funds. That happens.

A true minister, in such situations, must act as though he’d never heard the threats. His primary goal isn’t to serve the members of the community, but always god.

The primary goal of the Church of Reason, Phaedrus said, is always Socrates’ old goal of truth, in its ever-changing forms, as it’s revealed by the process of rationality. Everything else is subordinate to that. Normally this goal is in no conflict with the location goal of improving citizenry, but on occasion some conflict arises, as in the case of Socrates himself. It arises when trustees and legislators who’ve contributed large amounts of time and money to the location take points of view in opposition to the professors’ lectures of public statements. They can then lean on the administration by threatening to cut off funds if the professors don’t say what they want to hear. That happens too.

True churchmen in such situations must act as though they had never heard these threats. Their primary goal never is to serve the community ahead of everything else. Their primary goal is to serve, through reason, the goal of truth.

– Pirsig, Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1999, p. 150-151


To federal employees who read this, I respectfully ask, What god do you serve?

I humble and respectfully suggest that I know you have all kinds of private beliefs, as all citizens are entitled to have. We all have paradigms within which we live and seek to find meaning in life. Some of us are Catholics some Jews, some are economists some bowlers, some are athletes some are gamers, some are environmental activists some are social justice advocates, but no matter one’s personal commitment to such centers of meaning in life, there is one and only one god a federal employee qua federal employee may serve.

Meet god:

That is to say, the US Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Why is that? Because the citizens of this country (or our ancestors) made a deal with you (or your forerunners), and there is nothing in life worse than a welcher, right? The deal is the deal. And the nature of that deal is spelled out with great clarity near the beginning of the first of those documents:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed,…”

So we agreed that we the people start with rights and do so “self-evidently” (which is to say, we don’t have to prove that point to anyone, including you). Some of us may buy the story that a Creator made us and invested us with such rights or that we carry them because we are made in the image of that Creator. Some may locate them in imagining what people in a “state of nature” engaging in Lockean reasoning about non-interference in each other’s lives must look like for civil society to flourish. The question may be debated in one’s private conscience, but one’s individual answer is irrelevant at this moment. Because whatever your theory as to the origin of those rights, the deal was that we the people (and the states we created) traded in some of those rights (no matter their origin) so as to empower a federal government to do certain things we could not do as individuals or as states.

In these confusing times, it may help to review what those things are. A good list of them can be found in Article I Section 8. And a list of things the federal government can never do is found in the Bill of Rights.

So in sum: that’s the paradigm within which our political discourse occurs. It is within that paradigm, for example, that we the people surrendered the most fundamental right of all, the right of self-defense (known to philosophers as “self-help justice”). As John Locke noted, the right to defend oneself is something even an animal has. So much more, then, a rational being such as a person. Yet we surrender that right in all but the most urgent, dire cases, and agree to live under a rule of law wherein all matters will be adjudicated. That concession made by We the People is the most basic one we make: we have taken that most fundamental right of all animals and surrendered it to you, the government, in return for your commitment to abide by a paradigm established by a Declaration that says we have rights and that to protect them we traded in some of those rights so as to empower you in government; a Constitution defining the architecture of that government government and the processes by which it generates and enforces well-formed rules; and a Bill of Rights listing the things that this federal government can never do.

That’s it. That’s the deal. That’s our deal. It is the deal you took when we hired you and you swore us an oath. It is on the basis that you swore such an oath that we trusted you with the awesome powers of government, including trusting you enough to surrender our right to self-help justice.

There are other paradigms some may have, I know. Among them are paradigms that a proper life is spent abiding by the teachings of this or that religious figure, promoting art or literature, or pursuing goals as the environment, or maximizing some form of X-justice (e.g., “social justice” or “economic justice” etc.) Those may be worthy goals and I wish you the greatest of success in choosing your own ends and maximizing them with your lives. But I wish respectfully to remind you again: a deal is a deal, nothing is worse than a welcher, and the deal that we the people made with you the government is spelled out in those three documents. It is on your acceptance of those terms that we surrendered our rights and created your powers. You are free to pursue all your other ends in life as well in your own time and I sincerely wish you the greatest of blessings in your such pursuits, but when you became an officer of the federal government, that is the deal you made us.

To the military class I send my special greetings and respect. I have no doubts that the enlisted members of the services will always remember their constitutional duties, but about some officers I have my doubts. Yet they have been trained in situational ethics, presumably for a moment such as we are reaching. Evidence is bubbling (and beginning to gush) to the surface about the criminal activities that accompanied last November’s election. The recent news from Arizona is just scratching the surface. You are going to be tested, because no one can take over this country through civil forces alone: police and sheriffs aren’t willing and the 2nd Amendment would stop them even if they were. A dictator may rule this country only if that dictator is able to get the military to do things which the military is forbidden to do and which no modern military wants to do. You are not Noriega’s goons, you are not the People’s Liberation Army driving tanks over dissidents in Tiananmen: you are the United States Military, and you don’t “start going after” your own population. Those who are preparing to order your involvement in political matters, whether they tell you to use bullets or other tools of national security, are violating our deal. I am no expert on the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but I’m pretty sure that the rule is if someone gives you an unconstitutional order such as that YOU SHOULD FIND A WAY TO PEACABLY RESIST THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL ORDER TO FIRE UPON AMERICANS OR OTHERWISE WEAPONISE THE NATIONAL SECURITY STATE AGAINST POLITICAL OPPONENTS XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (but consult your own attorneys and conscience on that one).*,**

In closing, to our great and many esteemed federal colleagues, I respectfully recommend that in moments of confusion, please think about the story above. Remember the minister, who had to remember for whom he really worked (not “to whom he reported” but for whom he worked). Remember the story of the Church of Reason and the role of a professor therein. Then ask yourself, what god do you serve?

No matter your private beliefs, you answered that question by oath the day you took the job.


_*_ It occurs to me that in these stressful times I should curtail my customary comedic panache. Obviously, under no circumstances should people on any side of this debate go violent in any way, including against their superiors in government. There is a point I have been making in speeches again and again: America is going to get a chance to show that is is indeed the exceptional country because we are going to defeat this, and we are going to do so without firing a shot. And perhaps, without anyone even having to go to jail (yes there’s an approach). So under no circumstances should any federal employees hang their chain-of-command from lampposts. They should refuse to perform Unconstitutional orders. And if orders ever come to fire on American citizens, I am confident they would disobey such orders.


** As a belt-and-suspenders measure, I would like to repeat what I have been saying repeatedly in interviews and talks: America is the exceptional country, and we are going to show it by not only getting through this, but by doing so peacably. Given that, it does not help for me to use comedic panache, not even once, about government officials such as I have in the past about Wall Street bankers. I removed the over-the-line quote, and remind myself of my duty going forward to find a peacable way forward. I feel I have done so continuously since I foresaw this mess on November 4, but I will say it again here: there are peaceful ways forward. It is time I devote another essay to the subject.

  1. You Kept Your Promise , Patriot …The Spirit of Many Surrounds You . Your Suffering was for These Moments , with all my heart
    Thank-You… Eternally

  2. As tears flow upon reading this wisdom so eloquently articulated, I do wonder if anyone with whom this message needs to reach will ever see it. How do we help get this to those people?

    1. How kind of you to ask. Perhaps… forward it to any military person you know who might be interested in/benefit from the philosophy? Or Sheriff’s or Police of your acquaintance? Or their associations?

      Welcome to the Digital Army.

  3. This current Government, has broken its oath to the Constitution with the banning and censorship of information.
    They serve no god or good, but its antithesis.
    As for the military, they are calling in the UN to get around the problem of shooting on their own. This way the UN can do it.
    I think it’s going to get ugly, before we’re done.
    Thank you for all you are doing to help save America. Patriots are with you. G-d Bless the USA.

  4. This makes me think of an article by the National center for constitutional studies which is the parallels between the Constitution and the Bible. Well worth a look at.

    1. Yes, there are parallels – the “Deal” is also covenant, which in the Bible is sacred and binding. This explains why they need our consent (though most times obtained covertly) to take our liberties away.

  5. This is rich coming from a man who tried to help Trump turn the military on civilian state offices after the election. You have totally lost it.

  6. We have endless examples of corruption,bribery,intimidation,censorship,surveillance and worse by politicians,government agents,big tech/media/pharma/finance etc.

    So what are We The People going to do about it?
    Does anyone have ideas for solutions that We The People can implement WITHOUT the help of politicians?

    Below is the best idea I can think of to make immediate change in a peaceful,productive manner.


    1. All political parties are easily co-opted & corrupted.
      Most politicians who claim to be public servants are really self servants/crony servants.

      Things won’t change much until enough people unite behind principles like truth/freedom/goodwill/integrity/humility/Non-Aggression Principle/Golden Rule/Voluntarily helping others.

      Most politicians won’t care about these principles until We The People show them We care about
      these principles.

      I don’t think the corrupt politicians of either party will pay attention to policy concerns of We The People until We The People unite behind basic principles and become an economic force.
      Money talks and it can be used to make positive change in contrast to all the bad things it is also used for.

      Therefore,We the People must unite behind principles and become an economic force to make real,positive change.

      1. It takes more than principles it takes the people learning to exercising their constitutions as the weapons they were written to be:
        “Please take notice that the Legislature of Florida was not granted the power to deny the
        Constitutional Authority of the people to alter, abolish or reform government in their general powers.
        Any attempt to trample the People’s rights after this notice will be considered a trespass with full
        knowledge and intent.
        This Affidavit is a contract in affidavit, and if you fail to respond to this Affidavit, by the terms, you
        agree to pay $1,000 per day if you fail to immediately make provisions for a full investigation and
        comprehensive review. If you, as a government official, believe that these claims are untrue, please
        respond within 15 days with Constitutional Provisions, sworn under the penalty of perjury, by
        affidavit, point by point, showing where you have Constitutional Authority to ignore these rights of
        the People. If you do not respond within 15 days, you agree, by acquiescence, that you are knowingly
        interfering with the rights of the People you swore to protect, and that this Affidavit shall stand as
        evidence that you are acting in maladministration and that no court shall have the power to again
        adjudicate these matters and that all Courts of Record shall accept this affidavit as truth and law. You
        also agree to be bound by all said herein and the Affiant is able to bring this contract before an
        arbitrator of Affiant’s choice at the sole expense of you, and you agree to be bound by any award. If
        you cannot prove that you are acting under constitutional authority please take further notice that any
        denial of protection and maintenance of the People’s individual rights is Maladministration, Treason
        and Insurrection. Failure to respond means that by acquiescence you agree that all claims are true.”

        These are the powers we have as the People, and the members of the PRIVATE membership association known as the Bar don’t teach you or our elected servants.

        What Robert Heinlein alluded to happening in the 70’s is happening 50 years later.

  7. Great writing. Love the word paradigm, it’s one of my favorite words. That one word explains so much about people and society in general. Cute asterisk between President and Biden.

  8. Pearls before swine. Paychecks trump principles every time. Or at least a vast enough majority of times that expecting anything else is unrealistic, even foolish.

    “Evil people always support each other; that is their chief strength.”
    –Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  9. This article is very serious business. They don’t want us to know anymore that oaths are law. The “We” in “We the People” is the Royal We, meaning The People together with God also. People taking oaths of office to support and defend our constitutions had better not be misusing the Lord’s name.

  10. Patrick I so enjoy reading your posts. My introduction to your writing/blog was the series on hw the election was stolen. I have checked back at least weekly since your aggregated post of those articles in February to check for new content. So enjoyed your two most recent posts.

  11. Patrick, please look into instances where the govt is hiring contractors to do their dirty work. When the funds are almost unlimited it is easy to make large shifts with a contractor force, then throw them under the bus when/if they are “caught”.

  12. As long as Patrick Byrne’s sense of humor is still active, things are apparently not truly desperate. And he writes in the footnote that he believes the Farce of the 2020 Election will be resolved without anyone firing bullets. I’d be really interested to know what Patrick is hearing from Patriots as he travels around the country. What are the “Preppers” (who have been gearing up for decades), and the recent refugees from cities in chaos saying? Do people believe that the USA has a future? Do Patriots accept Patrick’s exhortation to remain peaceful?

    1. Good question.
      I wonder if they do.
      It is frustrating for me because I see the situation we are in and see a way out of it, without handing the country over to the ChiComms. But I doubt DC sees it….

      1. I believe there will be war but not over the election. I believe China will spark a conflict of some kind soon. China will not let all this hard work they have done for generation go to waste with out a real fight.

        The war has already started, we are attacked daily via computers, news, financial markets, our elections ect.. ect… In 2000 the vast majority of the world had the US as their #1 trading partner, in 2020 we were down to less than a dozen countries and China is the #1 trading partner with the vast majority of countries. More countries depend on China for their economy then the US…

        We are NOT the #1 superpower anymore by ANY measure….

      2. Patrick, if you have an opportunity when you cross paths with someone like Joe Oltmann, or anyone involved in a “boots on the ground” patriot group, please find out what the’re saying about their real plans (as much as they may be willing to share). I don’t know personally anyone in those kinds of patriot groups, but I’d bet there are a lot of people stockpiling 2A supplies, among other things. Your readers who affiliate with the Church of Reason would like to know what the Boots are thinking, feeling and planning.

  13. Patrick,
    Nice writing but it does not give us any remedy. We can not rely on the police, the courts, the government or the military. Only We the People can fix this now. But we have the 51 weapons we need to win. First I would like to point out who got the audit in AZ. David Jose and Josh Barnett are DIRECTLY responsible for the audit in AZ. They used the state constitution to force the legislature to do the People’s business.

    Here is a quick video about what they did: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpOW_wp65Hg&t=3s
    And here is one of the People using what David is teaching us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9zudHp6XLE

    We have 51 constitutions and the bill of rights in each of them applies to all citizens in a free republic. Our constitutions are weapons to use against maladministration of our elected servants.

    “That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the
    people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which
    is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured
    against the danger of maladministration; and, whenever any government shall be found inadequate or
    contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and
    indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to
    the public weal.”

    We can change our government at will! We only need the danger of maladministration.

    So how do we do this? There is a process of using notices and affidavits that works. When you send a PROPER affidavit to say your state senate, and they do not rebut the evidence presented in that affidavit with another sworn affidavit, it becomes prima facia evidence in a court of law. So when you send a notice and then follow it up with a affidavit like this one: https://github.com/GovInteg/Notices.Affidavits/blob/main/States/AZ/Draft.CPS.AZ.pdf Things like the return of over 90 kids back from CPS, or 110+ business opened during the lockdown or audits like what are happening all over the country now. All these audit are coming about because the People are being taught how to use our constitutions to take back our rights.

    Dave Jose should be on that stage at every rally. He is the one that is empowering the People and getting things done.

    You can find what people are working on here https://github.com/GovInteg/Notices.Affidavits and here https://populistrevolt.com/join/

    P.S. Sidney has spoken with David and Josh.

  14. Currently there appears to be a devote communist, Lloyd Austin quietly purging the military ranks of “ white supremacists ” and “ extremists” aka Trump “
    supporters and or any non leftists. Obama bin Laden began this purge at the officer level and continued it for eight years. Look how woke General Miley has become. I realize he’s the Joint Chief of staff ass kisser trying to save himself. The military is being transformed into another arm of the leftists like the DOJ and FBLie. There’s been more brains washed since Biden and crew took over than hands. I fear Lloyd Austins purge will continue until the entire military is nothing but leftists that won’t take issue with an order to fire on the “commoner extremists”. The longer the communists in DC stay in power, the more complete military transformation will become. The globalist cabal of criminals that orchestrated the presidential coup we witnessed on 11/3 are not going to give up their gains that easily. They will use any means at their disposal to prevent the truth from being exposed. Look at the court cases tossed out already. I doubt the supremes have the courage to intervene. Everybody has their eyes on 2022 and 24. What’s going to stop the same bunch of criminals from stealing those elections as well? As long as electronic voting exists, the threat remains regardless of state law changes to strengthen election integrity. The Dominion machines and others like them need to go. We need to return to paper ballots only. Until that happens we won’t have fair elections or a free country. Good always triumphs over evil. This is going to be a slugfest until we win. The only question is how long is it going to take an how much damage to the country will be done before we do?

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