Land of the Fee, Home of the Depraved
by David Sims
THE “swamp” is a euphemism that refers to the bureaucratic, unelected part of our federal government. It refers most particularly to the arrogant, legalistic part of the Executive Branch, but it has its minions in the Legislative and Judicial Branches of government also.
A bureaucracy may be necessary for governing a country as large as the United States, but bureaucratic organization is vulnerable to corrupt influences, to infiltration by power-mongers pretending to be civil servants, to barratry by lawyers pretending to have the public good uppermost in mind, and so on.
A swamp develops within a bureaucracy over time, as venal, arrogant evil-doers and their lackeys gradually become the dominant presence among the officials thereof.
I recently had a lesson in why you don’t want your country’s government offices to become a swamp.
I had it in mind to trademark the phrase “Solar System Empire,” so that I could put it on items of merchandise, such as tee-shirt and coffee mugs, and sell them for a bit more than they cost me to make, and in so doing earn a little money.
I didn’t know at the outset how much the process would cost. By the time I was made to understand that the $1175 in “filing fees” that I had already paid was just the beginning, that further fees would be forthcoming, I was very sorry that I’d lowered my dignity to the point of doing business with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
After I’d paid all that money (about a month’s worth of my income) for what was surely a very, very little work on the part of anyone in the Office, I was told, via an “Office Action” — mmm, how dynamic that sounds — that my trademark application was put on hold because of alleged imperfections in my paperwork.
Now, I am not a stupid man. But nobody gets a complicated course of government paperwork right on the first go, if he has never had any prior experience with that specific kind of government paperwork. For example, there are terms and numerical codes with which the novice is unfamiliar. Further, the USPTO didn’t specify the nature of those alleged imperfections. They merely told me that what I’d submitted wasn’t good enough.
It was clear that I was being pressured into hiring an attorney to represent me to the government. Apparently, a common citizen isn’t good enough to speak for himself, and there are penalties awaiting any citizen who tries to do so.
The swamp is mostly a collection of lawyers, who have perverted the offices of government in ways that benefit themselves and that hinder or burden others, especially when those others cannot easily afford to hire attorneys.
That’s why the swamp is bad. It is unjust by its very nature. Donald Trump was right to fight the swamp while he was President. The only flaw in his plan was that he wasn’t aggressive enough and he didn’t move quickly enough. [And, quite likely, assuming that he was sincere, he had close to zero allies, and plenty of enemies, even within his own party. — Ed.]
By the way, the USPTO ultimately rejected my application to trademark the phrase “Solar System Empire.”
I paid them money. They denied me service. A private company would not be permitted to do business in such a sleazy manner.
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