Monday Open Thread | Sting Week


This week, we will get the music of Sting.

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, CBE (born 2 October 1951), better known by the stage name Sting is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist. He is best known as the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the pioneering new wave rock band The Police and for his influential subsequent solo career.

Sting has varied his musical style, incorporating distinct elements of rock, jazz, reggae, classical, New Age, and worldbeat into his music.[1] As a solo musician and member of The Police, Sting has received 16 Grammy Awards for his work, receiving his first Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1980, three Brit Awards – winning Best British Male in 1994, a Golden Globe, an Emmy Award, and several Oscar nominations for Best Original Song. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Police in 2003. In 2000, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for recording. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 2001.

Including his years with The Police, Sting has sold well over 100 million records worldwide. In the UK, he has been awarded seven Platinum album certifications, three Gold and a Silver, and in the US, nine Platinum and three Gold certifications. In 2006, Paste magazine ranked him 62nd on their list of the “100 Best Living Songwriters”.[2] He was ranked 63rd on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Rock”,[3] and 80th on Q magazine’s “100 Greatest Musical Stars of 20th Century”.[4] Sting has also collaborated with other musicians, including the duet “Rise & Fall” with Craig David and the number one hit “All for Love”, with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart.



The Police

the police-1

In January 1977, Sting moved from Newcastle upon Tyne to London, and soon thereafter he joined Stewart Copeland and Henry Padovani (who was soon replaced by Andy Summers) to form the New Wave band The Police. Between 1978 and 1983, they released five chart-topping albums, and won six Grammy Awards, and two Brit Awards; for Best British Group, and for Outstanding Contribution to Music.[14] Although their initial sound was punk inspired, the Police soon switched to reggae-tinged rock and minimalist pop. Their last album, Synchronicity, which included their most successful song, “Every Breath You Take”, was released in 1983. According to Sting, who appeared in the documentary Last Play at Shea, he decided to leave the Police while onstage during the 18 August 1983 concert at Shea Stadium because he felt that playing that venue was “Everest”.[15] While never formally breaking up, after Synchronicity the group agreed to concentrate on solo projects. As the years went by, the band members, particularly Sting, dismissed the possibility of reforming. In 2007, however, the band reformed and undertook a world tour.


the police-2

You know, there are those songs where you just like them, and then years later you REALLY listen to the lyrics and go ‘ HUH’? It was some years before I realized that this song was basically “The Stalker’s Anthem”.

This entry was posted in Music, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Sting Week

  1. President Obama: (Still) huge in Europe

    President Obama’s trip last week underscored one thing: He’s more popular abroad than he is at home.

    Crowds lined the streets of Brussels, The Hague and Rome to catch a glimpse of Obama’s motorcade. The crowd watching Obama’s speech at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels was described as “star-struck.”

    Obama is so popular in the Netherlands, where he began his trip, that there’s an Obama Club, PRI reports. Its members get together and discuss issues relevant to Obama’s presidency, including foreign policy and diversity.

    “These countries in Western Europe are really Obama countries,” historian Willem Post told the PRI radio show “The World.” “I think that has to do with the fact that this is a U.S. president who calls himself a global citizen [and urges] diplomacy first.”

    Even Obama’s comic turn with Zach Galifianakis on “Between Two Ferns,” where Obama plugged, was covered by a Dutch newspaper.

    Obama has long been viewed as a rock star of sorts in Europe. In 2008, nearly 200,000 people watched him give a speech in Berlin. Last year, during his speech at Brandenburg Gate, Obama shed his jacket during sweltering weather.

    “Thank you for this extraordinarily warm welcome. In fact, it’s so warm, and I feel so good that I’m actually going to take off my jacket,” he said. “We can be a little more informal among friends.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    Homeless mom who left kids in car to attend job interview out on bail pending trial
    by Kunbi Tinuoye
    March 31, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    A homeless single mom, who was thrown in jail for leaving her two young
    children in a car so she could attend a job interview, has been released
    on bail pending trial in the early hours Monday morning.

    Shanesha Taylor, 35, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was thrust into the
    media spotlight following reports she left her 6-month-old and
    2-year-old inside a Dodge Durango while seeking work at an insurance

    A passerby spotted the children and when Taylor returned some 45
    minutes later she was arrested on felony abuse charges. The distraught
    mom told officers she was homeless and didn’t have anyone to watch her

    According to reports, the vehicle was parked directly in the sun,
    with the engine off, the doors closed and each of the four windows were
    only slightly open. Taylor had hoped her kids would nap during her

    “She was upset,” said Scottsdale Police Sergeant Mark Clark in an
    interview with a local station, referring to Taylor’s arrest on March
    20. “This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless. She
    needed the job. Obviously not getting the job. So it’s just a sad

    “Unfortunately this individual was in a Catch-22 situation,” said Janet Gallinati of the international non-profit, Parents Without Partners,
    which supports single parents and their children. “She was homeless and
    trying to find a job. Yet she didn’t have the people to help her or
    connections to help her make better choices.”

    Despite the seriousness of Taylor’s alleged crime, the mom-of-two has
    received an outpouring of compassion on blogs, news sites and social
    media. Many have commented that she is a victim of circumstance.

    Amanda Bishop, 24, who has never met Taylor, was so moved by her story she launched an online fundraising drive on her behalf. So far around $66,000 has been raised.

  3. rikyrah says:

    There is no reason why this couldn’t and shouldn’t be happening in every urban area of this country.


    High School in Southern Georgia: What ‘Career Technical’ Education Looks Like
    A school that is famous for football is notable in an entirely different way.

    Earlier this month my wife and I spent about a week, in two visits, in the little town of St. Marys, Georgia, on the southernmost coast of Georgia just north of Florida and just east of the Okefenokee Swamp. It’s a beautiful and historic town, which is best known either as the jumping-off point for visits to adjoining Cumberland Island National Seashore or for the enormous Kings Bay naval base, which is the East Coast home of U.S. Navy’s nuclear-missile submarine fleet and which is the largest employer in the area.

    But it also highlights an aspect of American education which we’ve encountered repeatedly in our travels around the country and is well illustrated by the school shown above, Camden County High School, or CCHS from this point on.

    CCHS is the only high school in the county, drawing a total of some 2800 students from the cities of Kingsland (where it is located), St. Marys, and Woodbine plus unincorporated areas. Each year’s graduating class is around 600 students. Its size gives it one advantage well-recognized in the area: it is a perennial athletic powerhouse and has won the state football championship three times in the past 10 years. It also has another advantage that I recognized from my own time as a student in a single-high-school community: it creates an enforced region-wide communal experience, across class and race, rather than the separation-by-suburb of many public schools. This part of Georgia has relatively few private or religious schools.

    As a matter of statistics, the CCHS student body is more or less like the surrounding area: about one-quarter black, most of the rest white, and small numbers of other ethnic groups (including from Navy-related families). About 40% of the students qualify for reduced-price lunch, the main school proxy for income level, and about 60% go to post-high school training of any sort. Each year, a small number go away to out-of-state schools, including selective ones. In 2001, only 50.5% of the school’s students graduated from high school. Now that is up to 85%, a change that Rachel Baldwin, the CCHS Career Instructional specialist who showed us around, attributed mainly to the school’s application of programs from the Southern Regional Education Board. CCHS has the best AP record of high schools in its part of the state.

    That’s the background. Now what struck us, which was the very practical-minded and well-supported embrace of what used to be called “vocational education,” and now is called the “career technical” approach.

    In practice what this means is dividing a large, sprawling campus and student body into six “academies,” with different emphases. One of them is the Freshman Academy, to get the new students acclimated. (“I don’t know if you’ve seen ninth graders recently,” one person there told us. “But some of them look big and old enough to be parents of some others. It’s a big range, and it helps to have a special place for them.”)

    The other five academies each have a “career technical” emphasis. After freshman year, all students enroll in one of the five. While they still take the normal academic-core range of subjects, they also get extensive and seemingly very-well-equipped training in the realities of jobs they might hold.

    Read the entire article. They are doing some good stuff with ‘vocational’ education that, like I said above, should be spread to urban areas across the country.

  4. rikyrah says:

    The Hollywood Reporter Wonders If Lupita is Too Dark for Hollywood? (Yes, Seriously)

    Now that Hollywood’s award season has come to a close, perhaps it was inevitable that the fawning over media darling and Academy Award winner for best supporting actress Lupita Nyong’o would come to an end as well. The Hollywood Reporter put the official nail in the cliched coffin with its latest print issue, which asks on its cover, “What Happens to Lupita Now? How to Turn an ‘Exotic’ Actress A-List.”

    The question may sound odd to those of us who don’t consider Nyong’o “exotic.” She’s not some rare bird with colorful, fluffy feathers that no one’s ever seen outside the Amazon; she’s a dark-skinned black woman, who exist everywhere, even if there aren’t enough women who fit that description in Hollywood. That cover line is also eyebrow-raising because for months now, we’ve all watched Nyong’o grace red carpets, rack up awards big and small and collect magazine covers and feature stories that highlight her remarkable beauty, delightful personality and impeccable fashion. But, as the Hollywood Reporter points out, it takes more than great press (or clothes) to make a star.

    “But now that the ball is over and the applause is dying down, what can Nyong’o really expect from Hollywood? While the stage would appear to be set for her to ascend to the A-list—just as Jennifer Lawrence did after her best actress win for Silver Linings Playbook last year—it’s not that simple,” the magazine points out. “There’s never been a black actress who has become the equivalent of a Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie.”

    To be fair, several Academy Award-winning actresses have been cursed by their success. A 2012 story in Entertainment Weekly notes that the Oscar curse, which happens when an actress wins and then falls into oblivion, isn’t a trap reserved for black women. That article points out that actresses Renée Zellweger (1993, Cold Mountain) and Kim Basinger (1997, L.A. Confidential) never rose to the lofty expectations after their Oscar wins.

    But the Hollywood Reporter questions whether Nyong’o’s blackness and her dark complexion will further complicate her chances at reaching A-list status or even having a sustainable Hollywood career. It sounds harsh, but it’s a valid question. Despite being lauded as an “It Girl,”IMDb shows just one post-12 Years a Slave project on Nyong’o’s filmography, a minor role as a flight attendant in the Liam Neeson thriller Non-Stop.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Mississippi: Rennie Gibbs Faces Life in Prison for Stillborn Birth

    Editor’s Note: I wrote the following post about Rennie Gibbs of Mississippi back in June 2011. Back then I was disheartened that this was a very little reported story. Since then, Gibb’s story has gained very little traction until now. Last week, ProPublica ran an update to this story that is well worth reading. It details the case pending a decision by a judge as to whether the case will move forward. Since the ProPublica piece, a few news outlets have run her story. However, I’m still bothered by the fact that Gibb’s story has gained very little coverage by “Black Media” then, and especially now.

    So I’m hearing that upon release, Casey Anthony will be whisked away to a secret location and a new identity. Oh the lengths “certain people” will go to protect a baby killing white woman – yeah, sucks to be you O.J. Simpson. Speaking of baby killers, let’s meet a little known “baby killer” who just so happen to be Black. Her name is Rennie Gibbs, and she lives in Mississippi. And of course you know how it is when it comes to justice and Black folks in the state of Mississippi, right? If you don’t know you better ask somebody.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Mayor Kasim Reed (who honored LaLa Anthony recently at her “Playbook” signing) will be walking down the aisle soon.

    The 59th mayor of Atlanta proposed to his fiancée/former beauty queen Sarah-Elizabeth Langford over the weekend as they vacationed in Nassau, Bahamas, according to
    reports. The former beauty queen was spotted with her rock at Dune
    restaurant at One & Only Resort’s Ocean Club on Paradise Island.

    The 44-year-old mayor dished on his recent engagement saying, “I
    could not feel more blessed that she agreed to marry me, and we look
    forward to building a family together in the greatest city in America. I
    am honored to have our friends and family share this special moment
    with us and I ask that our privacy is respected as we celebrate this
    personal occasion.”

    The happy couple is also welcoming a new addition to their family! A
    spokeswoman for the mayor’s office confirmed they are expecting.

    Congrats to the couple!

  7. rikyrah says:

    Voter outreach is hard; voter suppression is easy
    By Steve Benen

    Every few years, Republican officials will say they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities, women, and younger voters. In each instance, GOP leaders will give every indication that they’re serious and sincere about it, because they arguably have no choice – Republicans realize their base is much older and whiter than the Democratic base, which creates a long-term demographic nightmare.

    But in practice, GOP officials actually do have a choice. They could, in theory, adopt a more mainstream agenda and prioritize diversity, or they could manipulate voting laws, as they did in advance of the 2012 elections, making it easier for candidates to pick the voters they like, rather than allowing voters to pick they candidates they like.

    And as it turns out, voter suppression is vastly easier than voter outreach.

    Pivotal swing states under Republican control are embracing significant new electoral restrictions on registering and voting that go beyond the voter identification requirements that have caused fierce partisan brawls.

    The bills, laws and administrative rules – some of them tried before – shake up fundamental components of state election systems, including the days and times polls are open and the locations where people vote.

    The so-called “Republican war on voting” in 2011 and 2012 was unlike anything Americans have seen since the era of Jim Crow, but the results were not what the GOP had hoped for. The policies had some of the intended effects – voting lines in several battleground states were, as designed, ridiculously long – but it didn’t prevent Democrats from making electoral gains.

    But this apparently has only encouraged many state Republican policymakers to try harder, as we’ve seen of late in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere.

    In the bigger picture, North Carolina poses an especially interesting case.

    As we’ve discussed, the voting restrictions imposed by North Carolina Republicans are arguably the most egregious in the nation. Democratic critics have been quick to point out that the new voter-suppression measures, according to the state’s own numbers, disproportionately affect African-American voters.

    It’s led opponents of the policy to argue that the policies have nothing to do with addressing voter fraud – a problem that doesn’t actually exist in reality – and everything to do with identifying likely Democratic voters and putting new hurdles between them and their democracy.

    A few months ago, as part of a legal challenge to the new restrictions, voting-rights advocates turned up the heat. Zack Roth reported in January:

  8. rikyrah says:

    When Dems take the offensive on health care
    03/31/14 12:42 PM
    By Steve Benen

    It’s still March, and there are still 218 days remaining until the midterm elections, but by one estimate, the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity has already spent $30 million this cycle. Democrats and their allies, of course, already know they can’t match these kinds of expenditures.

    But they also know they can’t afford to stay on the sidelines, either. With this in mind, Senate Majority PAC, which exists to help elect Democratic Senate candidates, is airing ads in a variety of states, including this interesting spot in Michigan.

  9. rikyrah says:

    That Good News on Obamacare?
    Republicans Insist It’s Not Real

    BY JONATHAN COHN @citizencohn

    Americans are signing up for the Affordable Care Act. And they appear to be doing so in really big numbers. As of the latest official update, last week, more than 6 million people had selected a private insurance plan through one of Obamacare’s new state marketplaces. But that was before a weekend of huge traffic to and state-run websites, record call volume to telephone help centers, and queues outside outreach offices in California and even Texas. Charles Gaba, the Michigan-based analyst who runs the website, now projects that 6.72 million people will sign up for private insurance by the time open enrollment ends.

    Even accounting for the fact that some of these people won’t actually pay their premiums, these figures would seem to undermine—or at least weaken—the argument that Obamacare is a catastrophic failure. Republicans and many of their allies obviously think otherwise. They are doing what they almost always do when data confounds their previously held beliefs. They are challenging the statistics—primarily, by suggesting that most of the people getting insurance already had coverage. Some, like Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, say the administration is “cooking the books.” Others, like Senator Ted Cruz, say that the number of people without insurance is actually rising.

    Sorry, but that’s nonsense. Conservatives making these arguments typically cite the same evidence that Cruz did in his interview: Surveys by McKinsey and Company suggesting that most of the people buying insurance on their own already had coverage. In February, McKinsey said only 14 percent of people buying coverage had no insurance previously; in March, McKinsey said the proportion had increased, but only to 27 percent. That certainly sounds disappointing.

  10. rikyrah says:

    GOP struggles with Obamacare surge
    03/31/14 08:51 AM
    By Steve Benen

    As much of the country has probably heard, today marks the end of the open-enrollment period in the Affordable Care Act, and consumers who don’t get coverage are likely to face a tax penalty. ACA proponents have long predicted there’d be an 11th-hour surge in folks signing up, and right now, those predictions are holding up nicely.

    Indeed, the White House posted photos over the weekend of events in Nevada, Texas, and Florida, where Americans lined up at grassroots events to enroll in the system.

    We can’t yet say with any confidence exactly how many will sign up before the deadlines, but for those hoping to see the federal program succeed, nearly all of the news is heartening. Enrollment through exchanges will likely get close to the 7 million threshold, and that won’t include Americans who’ve gained coverage through Medicaid, through their parents’ plans, or through direct enrollment that bypassed the exchanges.

    All told, the L.A. Times reported this morning, “[A]t least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage” – a number that keeps growing – as the rate of uninsured continues to drop.

    Congressional Republicans, who are making no effort to hide the fact they’re rooting against the U.S. health care system, aren’t taking the news well.

  11. Deep Racism: The Forgotten History Of Human Zoos

    I feel the same way I did after watching 12 Years A Slave. Speechless!

  12. Ametia says:

    Karma, Part Two: ‘Redneck Rage’ Viral Video Gets Driver Arrested
    The Tampa, FL driver behind “Redneck Roadrage/Instant Karma,” a viral YouTube video in which an aggressive driver gets his sweet, sweet comeuppance, spoke to WTSP about the incident, and said the video had led to an arrest of the driver.
    Authorities were able to identify the driver from the video. He has been charged with reckless driving, leaving the scene, and, best of all, not wearing a seatbelt.
    “Honestly, looking back, I feel kind of bad for laughing,” said the driver, who declined to give her name. “But at the same time, it’s kind of funny.”
    “None of us are good drivers. We all have our problems. Maybe this is his opportunity for growth. Maybe he can use this as a learning tool and not go off the rails next time.”

  13. Florida Republicans Admit Voter Suppression Was the Goal of New Election Laws.

    Floridians endured election chaos and marathon voting lines this year, largely thanks to reduced early voting hours, voter purges, and voter registration restrictions pushed by Republican legislators. In an exclusive report by the Palm Beach Post, several prominent Florida Republicans are now admitting that these election law changes were geared toward suppressing minority and Democratic votes.

    Former governor Charlie Crist (R-FL) and former GOP chairman Jim Greer (R-FL), as well as several current GOP members, told the Post that Republican consultants pushed the new measures as a way to suppress Democratic voters. Crist expanded early voting hours in 2008 despite party pressure, but Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) targeted early voting almost immediately when he took office in 2011. Scott’s administration claimed the new laws were meant to curb in-person voter fraud, despite the fact that an individual in Florida is more likely to be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud.

    Current party members and consultants confirmed the motive was not to stop voter fraud but to make it harder for Democrats and minorities to vote:

    Wayne Bertsch, who handles local and legislative races for Republicans, said he knew targeting Democrats was the goal. “In the races I was involved in in 2008, when we started seeing the increase of turnout and the turnout operations that the Democrats were doing in early voting, it certainly sent a chill down our spines. And in 2008, it didn’t have the impact that we were afraid of. It got close, but it wasn’t the impact that they had this election cycle,” Bertsch said, referring to the fact that Democrats picked up seven legislative seats in Florida in 2012 despite the early voting limitations.

    Another GOP consultant, who did not want to be named, also confirmed that influential consultants to the Republican Party of Florida were intent on beating back Democratic turnout in early voting after 2008.

    […]A GOP consultant who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution said black voters were a concern. “I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves,” he said.

    Though the state ultimately went to President Obama, the Republican effort to suppress votes was largely successful. A post-election report found that new voting restrictions led to a huge increase in provisional ballots, which are cast when there is some question of the voter’s eligibility.

    While crying voter fraud, the Florida GOP had to confront its own scandal when a voter registration firm they hired turned in hundreds of fraudulent registration forms in several Florida counties. The GOP hastily cut ties with the group when the state opened a criminal investigation into their operations.

  14. rikyrah says:

    ObamaCare is On Target
    by BooMan
    Mon Mar 31st, 2014 at 08:40:45 AM EST

    Jonathan Cohn notes that it now looks like about 6.7 million people will ultimately sign up for ObamaCare by the cutoff, which is officially tomorrow, but in reality April 15th

    Even accounting for the fact that some of these people won’t actually pay their premiums, these figures would seem to undermine—or at least weaken—the argument that Obamacare is a catastrophic failure. Republicans and many of their allies obviously think otherwise. They are doing what they almost always do when data confounds their previously held beliefs. They are challenging the statistics—in particular, by suggesting that most of the people getting insurance already had coverage. Some, like Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, say the administration is “cooking the books.” Others, like Senator Ted Cruz, say that the number of people without insurance is actually rising.

    Sorry, but that’s nonsense.

    Over the weekend, the White House press office proudly blasted out this blog post showing the long lines that had formed all over the country of people seeking ObamaCare. As an aside, the White House web site is brazenly sticking it to the Republicans by displaying a countdown clock that says that there are still 16 days to sign up.

    The best estimates are that the law is roughly where it was expected to be, both in terms of how many people signed up and in how much it has so far reduced the ranks of the uninsured (about a 23% reduction).

    Obviously, it would be over-performing if the website had functioned properly from the outset and, especially, if the Medicaid expansion hadn’t been undermined by the Supreme Court and ideologically-mad Republican governors and legislatures.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Private charity can’t replace government social programs

    To suggest that community or faith-based charities can effectively supplant government social programs is a fantasy that serves only as a talking point to cut those programs.

    By Michael Hiltzik
    March 30, 2014, 5:00 a.m.

    As often happens when the financial demands on government social programs rise, there’s been a lot of talk lately about the need to return to the traditional American system of community and faith-based help for the needy: charity, not government handouts.

    One hears this most often from fiscal conservatives such as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who spoke on the radio not long ago about how suburbanites shouldn’t drive past blighted neighborhoods and say, “I’m paying my taxes, government’s going to fix that.” Instead, he advised, “You need to get involved yourself, whether it’s through a mentor program or some religious charity … to make a difference.”

    It’s a common theme. Compared with government relief, private charity is supposed to be more responsive to individual need and less bureaucratic; more of a helping hand and less of an initiative-suppressing “hammock,” the term Ryan uses to deride the effects of government programs.,0,1556558.column#ixzz2xY1OifXT

  16. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  17. Ametia says:

    STING, YAY !!! Excuse me, where are my manners. Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

    I’m already in love with this week’s featured artist/group. The Police songs were full of contradictions. “Love Wrapped Around Your Finger.”

Leave a Reply