The late, great author Herman Wouk wrote in The Caine Mutiny, “The first thing you’ve got to learn about this ship is that she was designed by geniuses to be run by idiots.”
One of those idiots must have recently mustered out of the Navy and enlisted in the Army, because that is the only excuse I can think of for the Department of the Army filing a trademark complaint against the Vegas Golden Knights over the name Golden Knights.
You read that correctly. Some idiot at Fort Belvoir (or maybe the Pentagon) has decided that the name of the expansion National Hockey League team—which has performed beyond all expectations for an expansion team while creating professional sports history—has decided to use the power of the Federal Government and our hard earned tax dollars to get involved in the private sector.
Now, let me be clear; this is NOT about supporting the troops. It is NOT about patriotism. And it is certainly NOT about the Army’s great parachute team which is also called the Golden Knights. (If you’ve never seen them, it’s worth the trip to a show.)
It is about wasting tax dollars on the whim of one of those idiots and interfering with the operation of a private enterprise—the same kind of private enterprise which the Army exists to defend our right to create.
Here are the facts.
In a tweet, the Knights said, “We are not aware of a single complaint from anyone attending our games that they were expecting to see the parachute team and not a professional hockey game.”
That was the team’s response to the Army’s ridicules claim that the Hockey Team caused “confusion” with the parachute team.
In the immortal words of the late Stuart Scott, “BOOYAH!”
The Army complained about “dilution” which in the small world of trademark law is usually applied to suggest that the Vegas Golden Knights somehow tarnishes the Army Parachute team. Any sentient human being would have to ask a simple question. How can the most wildly successful expansion team in professional sports history possibly tarnish the name of the Army’s parachute team? On what planet could that possibly happen?
The Army also had the nerve to do to team owner Bill Foley what an idiotic Federal Judge did to President Trump. It took things Foley said about having graduated from West Point and was quoted in the news media to somehow make a point that the whole thing was some conspiracy to steal intellectual property from the Army the same way some idiot Judges used something Trump said during the campaign to try and make him out to be a racist and his whole immigration policy as being anti-Muslim.
The difference here is that these lawyers actually work the executive branch and ultimately, the President is the Commander in Chief. We doubt, however, that whichever idiot authorized this incursion into private enterprise bothered to ask the Commander in Chief’s permission.
If you are outraged about this wasteful use of tax dollars, you have the option as a taxpayer to ask the people you are paying to commit this abuse what their logic is.
The attorney of record at the United States Army Legal Services Agency is Shari L. Sheffield at Ford Belvoir, her direct phone number is 202-656-7004 and her email is Shari.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call or write her yourselves.
I would urge you to be polite, because she is probably just following orders, but if she gets enough—for lack of a better term—taxpayer input, it will probably get passed up the chain of command and the idiot who ordered this police action will learn what civilian command and control really means.
This is no win situation.
If, by some travesty of so-called justice, the Army ekes out a pyrrhic victory it will lose the respect of the very people who voted the current administration into office. If it loses, then the United States Army will not only suffer that loss of respect, it will look very foolish in doing so.
In either event, a very important government institution will look like a remake of Wouk’s Caine Mutiny with a little of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 thrown in.