Monday, April 14, 2014


I suppose I should be having a hearty chuckle over the "shoe truthers" -- Rush Limbaugh and others -- who believe the shoe-throwing incident at a Hillary Clinton speech last week was staged, but I'm just saddened by the whole incident. I missed the New York Daily News story about the alleged shoe-thrower when it first appeared, but it's clear from that story that the woman is not sane:
Before a wig-wearing nutjob threw a shoe at Hillary Clinton, the footwear flinger gave her heart to accused Colorado mass killer James Holmes.

Alison Ernst, 36, of Phoenix, was identified Friday as the sneaker-tossing kook who targeted the former First Lady one day earlier during a speech at a Las Vegas casino.

And Colorado officials confirmed she was the loopy lady escorted from the courtroom after a bizarre -- and bald-headed -- outburst during an August 2012 court hearing for Holmes....

In a bizarre lawsuit, Ernst said Holmes 'enters my head like Dennis Quaid in 'Innerspace' and he zooms to my heart and plays with it and forces me to care for him.' She said she wanted a restraining order to keep Holmes from invading her head.

Twenty months earlier, she arrived in a Colorado courtroom with her head shaved while wearing a red dress before declaring she held evidence "vital to the defense of James Holmes." Two deputies quickly escorted her outside....
Did she get help? Apparently not. Is she being treated now as someone who needs help? It sure doesn't seem that way:
Federal authorities have lodged two criminal charges against a Phoenix woman accused of throwing a shoe at Hillary Rodham Clinton while she gave a convention speech at a Las Vegas Strip resort....

She could face up to a year in federal prison on each charge if she's convicted....

Las Vegas police booked Ernst last week on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge and freed her with a June 24 court date. Charges haven't been filed in that case.

A disorderly conduct conviction could get Ernst up to six months in county jail....
Well, prisons basically are America's mental-health system, aren't they? Certainly that's true for those with violent tendencies. If you're mentally disturbed, you can gain admission by hurting someone, or trying to. That's how James Holmes got into the system. At least nobody had to die before the system discovered Alison Ernst. She won't get help, but at least somebody noticed her. That's ... something, isn't it?


Yastreblyansky said...

Definitely not just violent. Per this 2011 NPR story many are just "acting out" and it sounds like they're doing it as a desperate way to get treatment. Because the US prison system provides more treatment for mentally ill than the medical system does. I did not know that and it makes me sick.

Victor said...

On the plus side, this poor mentally deranged woman didn't win a US House seat.

To what Yas said, it's true that our prisons now offer better help for people with mental problems, than our medical system does.

And it has, since the 70's, when for budgetary reasons, we started closing down many of the institutions where people with mental problems could go and get help, and stay there until they were judged to no longer be a risk to themselves and/or others.

That system, of course, had it's own problems, as beautifully described in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
But not all facilities were like that.
Some were terrific - I know, I had cousins confined in one in NY City for short while, back in the late 60's and early 70's.