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Op-Ed

Horse Racism

October 12, 2020

Himself something of an equine aficionado, the writer takes umbrage at the president invoking horse breeding to praise his supporters.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

Now I’m mad. I’m not easily offended but President Donald Trump has gone too far this time.

In case you missed it, the president at a rally the other day said this: “You have good genes, you know that, right? You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don't you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.”

Really?

I don’t mind the Nazi aroma of this statement. It’s the sort of thing we expect out of our leader, so there’s no reason to be upset about it (although apparently some sensitive people are). But I am deeply offended on behalf of racehorses.

You’d think someone who has been wealthy (or at least pretend-wealthy) all his life would know something about racehorse breeding. Horseracing at the major league level is mostly for people who don’t care about wasting money and love to show off. It’s astonishing there isn’t a Trump stable.

Be that as it may, it’s preposterous to compare racehorses to Trump supporters. I know it’s insulting to lots of people to be compared to Trump supporters, but it’s particularly unfair to racehorses.

This is a topic I know something about. Racehorses are not only bigger and faster than Trump supporters, but they also thrive on diversity. And, as any legitimate horse breeder will tell you, the exact same pedigree can yield Democrats or Republicans, slow horses or fast horses. Think about siblings that you know.

Horses, by the way, are definitely not racist. I’ve seen them hanging out with goats.

Exhibit A

I don’t mean this rant to be an endorsement of any candidate — I have no idea what Joe Biden’s position on horses may be — but let’s keep our equine athletes out of this race.

Unless, of course, any of them want to take a pre-race knee.

Horror movie idea: A clearly evil scientist with a scary name like, say, Stephen Miller creates a mob of “perfect genes” people in his lab. They are given a mission: spread across the country and breathe on other people.

Maybe that’s too frightening.

Ghostwriter? I’m always on the lookout for exciting, original legal theories and I’ve found a good one for you. This was described last week in an order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit:

Shanahan — an attorney with the firm — argued that Mr. O’Donoghue’s case should be dismissed because Social Security records indicated that the person with Mr. O’Donoghue’s Social Security number was dead.”

I call this the “You Can’t Sue Me Because You’re Dead Even Though You’re Standing Right in Front Me and Breathing Defense.”

Don’t you hate it when people insist you’re dead?

This happened because the Social Security Administration decided that a guy named Wycliffe O’Donoghue was dead. Wycliff was born in Guyana and probably never thought he would be confused with anyone. Unfortunately, there happened to be a guy named Wycliffe O’Donoghue who was born in Guinea who did die. The live O’Donoghue showed up at several Social Security offices but couldn’t convince anyone he was still living. It may be that he didn’t complain loudly enough.

So nine years later, when he sued someone over a traffic accident, he was hit with the “You’re Dead to Me” defense.

I’m hoping someone advised Wycliff not to pay Social Security taxes while he was officially deceased.

Odd headline of the week. This is the headline of a press release issued last week: “Grandson of the Late Walt Disney, Bradford Lund, Alleges Conduct of Former Opposing Lawyer Was Like ‘Noxious Chemicals,’ in Arizona Litigation Filed Against Bryan Murphy.”

So someone farted?

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