Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
March 31, 2017

Francine Hughes Wilson, abused Michigan wife who inspired 'The Burning Bed,' dies at 69

PERSONAL NOTE TO YOUNGER DU'ERS: Read this and you'll understand why the "gender card" is still so important to may women in America.

LANSING, Mich. — For more than 12 years, Francine Hughes endured physical abuse at the hands of James "Mickey" Hughes.

It was 40 years ago March 9 that Hughes walked into the Ingham County Jail in Mason and confessed that, fearing for her life, she had set fire to her home in Dansville, where her ex-husband was sleeping.

On March 22, Francine Wilson — she had remarried and taken the last name of her second husband Robert Wilson — died after a bout with pneumonia in Leighton, Ala. She was 69.

A jury of 10 women and two men found her not guilty by reason of insanity of Hughes' murder.

The case would became a turning point in the growing movement against domestic violence. It inspired the bestselling book The Burning Bed, the TV movie of the same name starring Farah Fawcett and Paul Lemat, a folk song and a hit for country star Martina McBride (Independence Day).

March 29, 2017

The new S-Town podcast, from the Serial team, is a real-life Southern gothic

So the podcast’s opening revelation that the “S-Town” title is a smokescreen for a something much blunter is a perfect setup for the various bluffs, double bluffs, and unexpected U-turns to come. Hosted by This American Life producer Brian Reed, S-Town is about the real life of one man whose attempt to make a difference in his small Alabama community has sweeping, unexpectedly far-reaching repercussions.

Reed spent several years investigating the story, which began with an email from a This American Life fan and evolved into a mystery within a mystery. The story ultimately takes many unique turns that are best left unspoiled, but in the opening act, a man named John convinces Reed to travel to Alabama to help him investigate a murder. From there, Reed gets caught up in the somewhat baffling idiosyncrasies of Shit Town and its residents — and above all, in the idiosyncrasies of John himself.

S-Town is the work of podcast royalty: The first podcast to launch under Serial’s spinoff production company Serial Productions, it is executive-produced by Serial co-creator Julie Snyder, and its editorial team includes longtime This American Life host Ira Glass, Serial host Sarah Koenig, and Starlee Kine, creator of the cult podcast hit Mystery Show.

However, despite its blatant positioning as the heir to the Serial throne, S-Town is not quite the true crime podcast you might be expecting. Instead, it’s an engrossing narrative about the complexities of human behavior. But there are definitely similarities to Serial and other podcasts that deal in real-life intrigue, like the recent controversial Missing Richard Simmons.

Perhaps inevitably, what seems to be a foray into one mystery abruptly veers into a much larger, more somber, and unexpected tale about how the personal is always political, and how change on an individual level can become change on a universal level.

But it really does include a treasure hunt.


March 28, 2017

Plan to dig up U.S. president's body deemed "mortifying" by family

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- President James K. Polk did big things for America, dramatically expanding its borders by annexing Texas and seizing California and the Southwest in a war with Mexico. Achieving undisturbed eternal rest has proved more difficult.

In a proposal that has riled some folks in Tennessee, including a very distant relative of the nation’s 11th president, some state lawmakers want to move Polk’s body to what would be its fourth resting place in the nearly 170 years since he died of cholera.

The plan is to exhume Polk’s remains and those of his wife, Sarah, from their white-columned tomb on the grounds of the state Capitol in Nashville and take them about 50 miles to his father’s home, now known as the James K. Polk Home and Museum, in Columbia. A vote on the resolution could come as early as Monday.

Teresa Elam, who says she is a seventh-generation great-niece of the childless Polk, called the whole idea “mortifying.”

“I got so upset about it because they’re going to take these bodies of these fine, wonderful people and bring them down to Columbia and put them on display to make money,” she said.

Backers of the resolution, including Sen. Joey Hensley, a Republican whose district includes the museum, have argued that Polk’s tomb is in an out-of-the-way spot on the Capitol grounds and that he deserves better.


March 27, 2017

Jared Kushners building is a filthy deathtrap: lawsuit

A Greenwich Village building owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is a sewage-spewing powder keg waiting to explode, according to a new lawsuit by a former commercial tenant.

Eran Wasjwol ran a franchise location of the upscale grilled cheese chain Meltkraft at 101 MacDougal St. from 2014 until this past summer, when he vacated the space after a series of sewage leaks and out of concerns over an illegal electrical connection, according to his lawsuit.

Kushner bought the five-story building in 2015 and was largely an absent landlord, Wasjwol says in court papers.

Wasjwol’s company, Valley Shepherd 442 LLC, is suing KC3 – 101 MacDougal Street, LLC, which owns the property.

The suit says that entity is controlled by Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner.


March 27, 2017

Report: Ryan pleaded on one knee to deny Americans health coverage.

The Washington Post detailed the House GOP’s fight over the ObamaCare repeal and replacement plan this week, rounding up the dramatic details of leadership’s fight to win support for the measure.

At one point, the paper said, House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) got down on one knee to plead with Rep. Don Young of Alaska – the longest-serving Republican in Congress -- to support the bill. (He was unsuccessful.)

The moments highlighted by the Post during the Republican conference negotiations show what a tough battle Ryan and his deputies faced in whipping the vote.

But they also show the fierce support some offered to leadership -- like freshman Rep. Brian Mast of Florida, who lost both legs in 2010 in Afghanistan and called on colleagues to unite behind the bill as he and his Army colleagues had done on the battlefield.

At another point, a Republican shouted, “Burn the ships” to Majority Whip Steve Scalise, invoking the command a 14th century Spanish conquistador gave his crew when they landed in Mexico.


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
Number of posts: 56,065

About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»RandySF's Journal