May 15, 2015

"Wisconsin GOP Advances Bills Controlling How People On Welfare Eat And Pee."

Headline at The Huffington Post.

I know. I should punish The Huffington Post for distorting things to such an absurd degree, but it is so absurd that it's self-undermining — the "pee" part is just about requiring drug tests — and, besides, HuffPo also has this headline: "Florence Henderson Describes How Former NYC Mayor John Lindsay Gave Her Crabs."

Look how handsome John Lindsay was:



If you're going to get crabs from a New York City mayor, he's the one. There have been 109 NYC mayors, going all the way back to Thomas Willett in 1665. I can't say I know what they all looked like — and did they have crabs? — but here's DeWitt Clinton, who's not that cute, but I love the painting:



DeWitt Clinton (March 2, 1769 – February 11, 1828) was also a U.S. Senator and, most notably, a governor of New York. His great achievement was the Erie Canal:
Many thought the project was impracticable, and opponents mocked it as "DeWitt's Ditch." But in 1817, he got the legislature to appropriate $7,000,000 for construction.... The cost of freight between Buffalo and Albany fell from $100 to $10 per ton, and the state was able to quickly recoup the funds it spent on the project through tolls along the canal... [T]he New Hampshire Sentinel [wrote:] "His exertions in favor of the great Canal have identified his name with that noble enterprise, and he will be remembered while its benefits are experienced... Yield credit to Clinton, and hail him by name."
Hail, Clinton!

By the way, "crabs" are pubic lice, pthirus pubis. From Amy Stewart's "Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects":
Body lice evolved from head lice about 107,000 years ago, around the time humans started wearing clothing. Pubic lice, however, are more closely related to gorilla lice— and were transferred to humans through some sort of intimate physical contact with gorillas, the precise details of which remain a mystery....

Pubic lice... lock their claws around a strand of hair and almost never let go. Their habit of feeding in one place for most of their life means that their feces accumulate around them, making for a truly unpleasant situation. They inhabit all parts of the body covered in coarse hair, including eyebrows, chest hair, mustaches, armpits, and, of course, pubic hair.... Because pubic lice can only survive a few hours off the host... [s]exual contact is really the most efficient means of transmission, which is why the French call pubic lice papillons d’amour, or butterflies of love.
Now, here's Florence, singing about the butterfly of love:

45 comments:

Bobber Fleck said...

The liberal narrative on welfare does not include an explanation of where the "free government money" comes from, nor does that narrative pay appropriate respect to those who fund welfare.

The Democrats like to tell us that "we're all in this together". If so, fraudulent use of government assistance programs should be punished severely as it diminishes the ability of our socialist government to help the truly needy. Why spread the wealth if you are just going to waste the wealth?

As a taxpayer I'd prefer that the various forms of welfare assistance be provided with strings attached.

I don't find it unreasonable to require that welfare recipients be drug free before receiving what was once my money.

Neither do I find it unreasonable to restrict welfare recipients from using my tax money to buy foods I can't afford.

rhhardin said...

I watched Butterflies are Free (Goldie Hawn) a couple of days ago, a middle of the road romantic comedy.

Tiresome rule, if you're surveying the field: things are going nicely, the thing is wrapped up, you feel. If you check the play index, you're halfway through. Then this is a formula romantic comedy. A bad choice is substituted for an insight.

So far none have involved STDs. I attribute this to strong California condom rules.

Stepper said...

The thought progression from HuffPo headline to sideshow HuffPo topic to cute John Lindsay to not-so-cute-but-well-painted DeWitt Clinton to pubic lice to Florence Henderson singing about French pubic lice brought tears of laughter. Great way to start the day -- thanks, Ann!

MadisonMan said...

My favorite kind of althouse blog post, the (Butterflies are) free-association kind. Thank you!

I think the Legislators should also have to pee to get a salary.

Ann Althouse said...

The song title is actually "Elusive Butterfly." It was a hit song in 1965, originally recorded by Bob Lind.

I think it's the first appearance of the ludicrous hippie phrase "the canyons of your mind."

Ann Althouse said...

This is 3 years later: Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band - Canyons Of Your Mind (1968).

Michael K said...

It was not the lice that destroyed Napoleon's army but the Rickettsiae that were transmitted by them. Typhus is the disease caused by them and it killed about half his army. They invaded Russia through Poland and in the summer when there was a drought that did not allow washing. The Poles conducted guerrilla war and the French soldiers slept in Polish cottages which were infested with lice.

The Drill SGT said...

Given that both were married at the time gives it an interesting twist.

on the Food stamps and drug tests, why not?

Michelle O can mandate what kids eat in school, why can't the state mandate what its money is spent on? After all, this is a supplement. You want Lobster, spend the rest of your money on lobster...

Drug tests?

Have them in the Army.
Feds mandate them at work.
Drugs aren't healthy, so why not use the power of the purse to keep people off drugs. Liberals like that for most things...

Bob Boyd said...

Loin Lobsters
Groin Goblins
Trouser Ticks
Ball Weevils
A friend of mine had bull crabs in college. It sounded like he had an electric tooth brush in his pants.
They ate everything in there in less than a week. Then it just stopped.
After that, if you put your ear to his fly, you could hear the ocean.
Poor guy was so depressed he moved to Minnesota.

JCC said...

"Butterfly of love"

Most excellent.

"John Lindsay gave me crabs."

From the NYT obit, "Mr. Lindsay...known to millions of Americans as a glamorous celebrity-politician battling New York's iniquities..."
But the squalid reality...a serial gash hound who gave people the crabs. Apparently not a mountebank though...

Why is that such a familiar theme?

virgil xenophon said...

AA@7:22am/

Triva, I know but the BDDDB singing "Urban Spaceman" was the VERY FIRST thing I saw on B&W BBC TV when I arrived in the UK in Dec, 1968 for my USAF 3-yr tour. And they were ALL wearing those giant paper mache heads. "Far out!" I thought..

Laslo Spatula said...

"They inhabit all parts of the body covered in coarse hair, including eyebrows, chest hair, mustaches, armpits, and, of course, pubic hair.... "

Crabs in a woman's mustache are the worst. Except maybe for the ones by her vagina.

Close call, there.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

I dated a girl who turned out to have crabs. We were about to have sex when I realized her vagina sounded like a rain forest.

I suspect her room mate had them, too. Because she scratched her crotch. A lot.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

If I was about to have sex with a woman and actual butterflies flew out of her vagina I'm not sure what I would do. I would think it was probably some Sign From God, probably.

I am picturing Monarch butterflies in this scenario. I won't disclose out of whose vagina they flutter from.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

And -- of course -- I can't but be reminded of the Derek and Clive (dudley Moore and Peter Cook) skit:


CLIVE:
Er, I'll tell you the worst job I ever had.
DEREK:
What was that?
CLIVE:
The worst job I ever had was with Jayne Mansfield. You know, she was a fantastic bird, you know .....
DEREK:
Yeah, yeah.
CLIVE:
..... big tits, huge bum, and everything like that, but I had the terrible job of retrieving lobsters from her bum.
DEREK:
Really? Bloody hell, that must have been a task.
CLIVE:
Well, it was quite a task 'cause she had a big bum .....
DEREK:
Well, I remember.
CLIVE:
..... and they were big lobsters.
DEREK:
I remember she had a huge bum.
CLIVE:
Well, she had one and, er, you know, presumably in the afterlife .....
DEREK:
(belches) Oh dear.
CLIVE:
Shut up ..... she still has one. But I had to, used to go round, you know, of an evening .....
DEREK:
Yeah.
CLIVE:
..... when Jayne was sleeping or sort of comatose, like, .....
DEREK:
Yeah, yeah.
CLIVE:
..... you know, you know.
DEREK:
Yeah.
CLIVE:
You know, just lying there.
DEREK:
Comatose.
CLIVE:
And the ne-
DEREK:
'Coma-toes to her head' huh-huh-huh.
CLIVE:
'Coma-toes to her head' - shut up.
DEREK:
(coughs)
CLIVE:
And, er, I had to retrieve these lobsters from her arsehole.
DEREK:
Yeah, well, I remember she had a lot of trouble with-, with lobsters up her arsehole.
CLIVE:
Well, you see, the lobsters .....
DEREK:
Basically, she suffered from, er, what was known in-, in the medical trade as 'lobsters-up-the-arsehole'.
CLIVE:
Well, this is what it said scientifically, you know, .....
DEREK:
Yeah.
CLIVE:
..... 'lobsters-up-the-bum', you know .....
DEREK:
Mmm.
CLIVE:
..... this was the scientific, er, term for it but, you know, in general terms it was known as 'Lobsterisimus -um- Bummakisimus'.
DEREK:
Yeah, yeah.
CLIVE:
And it was my job every evening to go round to Jayne .....
DEREK:
Mmm.
CLIVE:
..... who was a sweet girl.
DEREK:
Yeah.
CLIVE:
Sweet, charming, shy, mysterious girl .....
DEREK:
Yeah.
CLIVE:
..... and get these fucking lobsters out of her arsehole.
DEREK:
Yeah.
CLIVE:
Which is so tricky because she was a very sensitive woman, you know.
DEREK:
Yeah, yeah.
CLIVE:
I used to go round there every evening and these lobsters, you know, she used to go out bathing in Malibu .....
DEREK:
Yeah.
CLIVE:
..... which is where she used to go out bathing.
DEREK:
Yeah, oh, Malibu, yeah.
CLIVE:
Malibu, yes. Malibu-de-bum-bum. And, erm, up went the lobsters - boing! - straight up her arsehole.
DEREK:
Well, I think, you know, I think she brought it on herself, really, didn't she?
CLIVE:
Not so much brought them on herself as so much encouraged them, you know, .....

I am Laslo.

Peter said...

If making it even slightly inconvenient to obtain welfare benefits results in significant drops in the number of recipients, that would seem to be a feature as it weeds out those who, although willing to take the free stuff when it's effortless to obtain, are presumably not so needy that they're willing to put up with any inconveniences in order to obtain it.

Stepper said...

Michael K said...

"It was not the lice that destroyed Napoleon's army but the Rickettsiae that were transmitted by them"

You are nitpicking.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

From James and the Giant Peach ( the movie, not the book ):

Aunt Spiker: [Swatting a butterfly] Ew, wouldn't want one of those nesting in your knickers.

Roger Sweeny said...

Douglass North (shared Economics Nobel, 1993) suggested that the success of the Erie Canal had an ultimately ironic outcome. The state of NY made so much money from it that canal plans started popping up everywhere. State legislatures were convinced to spend lots of public money and take on lots of debt. But most of the canals were busts. The states citizens had to pay a lot of money for the failures.

That led to legal restrictions on what states could do, and to a general feeling that governments were not wise directors of the economy. That feeling was still fairly strong at the beginning of the Great Depression.

One answer to the old question, "Why is there no Socialist Pary in the United States?"

machine said...

...but legislators can still eat lobster at our expense.

Huzzah for small government!

Wilbur said...

That picture of Lindsey (or Mayor Linseed as they called him on Batman) reminded me of the BOLO picture of Richard Speck.

garage mahal said...

Forcing people to piss in a cup is small government at its finest.

Ann Althouse said...

Small government would be no welfare at all.

Laslo Spatula said...

I started to write a long-winded joke about a male baker, Marie Antoinette and pubic lice, but it didn't turn out funny.

The punchline was "Let them eat crab-cake."

That part was okay. Just the rest.

I am Laslo.

From Inwood said...

Robert Moses on Lindsay:

Elect a matinée idol & you get a musical comedy administration.

CStanley said...

I'm kind of in awe of this post. Sometimes I find the stream of consciousness writing kind of tedious and strange, but the way this one wrapped back around with a reference to the obscure French colloquialism and then a reference to an equally obscure YouTube video of the crab victim singing a song by that title, was masterful. Brava!

Roughcoat said...

The Poles conducted guerrilla war ...

Not bloody likely. The Poles were allies of the French and Polish units fought as part of the Grande Armee. The Poles hated Russia and the Russians. Still do.

Roughcoat said...

Also:

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the canyons of my miiiiiiiind.


Seals & Croft. Barf.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The Poles conducted guerrilla war...

Maybe that's how the guerrilla lice transferred to humans...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Pubic lice, however, are more closely related to gorilla lice— and were transferred to humans through some sort of intimate physical contact with gorillas, the precise details of which remain a mystery....

I think I remember that scene from Trading Places...

CStanley said...

Not bloody likely. The Poles were allies of the French and Polish units fought as part of the Grande Armee. The Poles hated Russia and the Russians. Still do.

The Poles fought alongside Napoleon because they were tricked into believing that he would restore their nation. They hated, and do hate, the Russians, for good reason. Their country was under occupation and the Russians were trying to wipe out their cultural identity.

William said...

Lindsay always looked squeaky clean and happily married. As did Florence Henderson.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Roughcoat.

I used that... but in the later post that's more focused on "canyons of your mind."

I really appreciate that blast from the past... breeze from past...

Hagar said...

Poland was split three ways between Russia, Prussia, and Austria and remained so until WWI. The idea at the time was more to stop the horrors of the French revolution from spreading to the empires, but of course they all tried to suppress Polish nationalism. That is what empires do.

Roughcoat said...

My pleasure.

Does a breeze "blow"? I thought breezes "waft". Winds blow. Right?

Thorley Winston said...

As appealing as the notion sounds at first, I can think of two reasons to be wary of requiring drug tests for people receiving public assistance: (1) the cost of administering the tests (which either means additional spending or spending diverted from something else) and (2) I don’t think the government has the intestinal fortitude to cut off recipients for testing positive especially when the usual suspects start throwing out accusations that we’re “punishing their children” who would lose out on the benefits as well. Most likely we’d end up with more spending and the benefits will continue pretty much as they do now.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Roughcoat said...

Does a breeze "blow"? I thought breezes "waft". Winds blow. Right?

The call me the breeze
I keep wafting down the road?

I don't think so.

traditionalguy said...

Crab-cakes must be the unmentioned actors in La Liaisons Dangereuses.

But the Mayor of New York seems to be the dangereuse one.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

William said...
Lindsay always looked squeaky clean and happily married. As did Florence Henderson.


Could this be why?

David said...

Garage, do you drug test the employees at your business?

n.n said...

Contrast that with captive children at public schools where they are directed what to eat and when to pee.

That said, the goal of social assistance is not welfare (i.e. out-of-sight and out-of-mind, high overhead, democratically exploitable redistributive change), but to rehabilitate individuals to become productive members of society.

Something else to consider is that not only is welfare policy an inefficient and incomplete means to aid people, but it also serves to hide or obfuscate and therefore perpetuate causes, including: economic stagnation, excessive immigration (including unmeasured or illegal immigration), liberal fiscal policies (e.g. devaluation of capital and labor), unfair trade agreements, dysfunctional social and cultural policies, and, of course, abortion of native human lives.

Not only are welfare policies, like other politically-oriented activities (e.g. environmentalism), inefficient, incompetent, and fraught with conflicts of interest, but they also sponsor corruption of both the redistributors, providers, recipients, and have progressive, cascading effects in the rest of society.

Social assistance should ideally be short-term and goal-oriented. Let's start with our own unplanned citizens, who in a multi-trillion dollar welfare economy are still indigent, homeless, and even unidentified... and that's after aborting around one million Americans annually.

Pat Perreca said...

George Will on Lindsey: He had an all encompassing plan for screwing up everything.

Paul Ciotti said...

Huffington Post Headline:
"Wisconsin GOP Advances Bills Controlling How People On Welfare Eat And Pee."

Another way to write that same headline: "Wisconsin GOP Advances Bills to Stop Welfare Recipients From Spending Their Subsidies on Luxury Food and Drugs."