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Thursday, February 27,2014

In case you missed it

BEATING PUSSY RIOT TO THE PUNCH

Everybody, gather round and revel in BW’s supreme moment of hipsterism, ’cause we wrote about Russian environmental activist Evgeny Vitishko before he was cool.

We remember it like it was two weeks ago, largely because that article was published two weeks ago, just as the Olympics in Sochi were ramping up.

But this week, as the games were winding down, the new music video from the world’s hippest political prisoners, Pussy Riot, hit the Web. And in addition to it featuring video of the baddest mothers in Mother Russia being beaten with whips by security forces at the Olympic village as they tried to perform, they name checked Vitishko in the lyrics.

“The constitution is in a noose, Vitishko is in jail, Putin will teach you to love the Motherland,” they sing.

Whatever, Pussy Riot. Vitishko is, like, so 14 days ago. You’re going to have to sing about the Longmont City Council and an oil/gas access road in this week’s issue if you want to keep up.

COLORADO IS BETTER THAN CALIFORNIA, BUT WORSE THAN CONGRESS

Recently published research used polling and voting data from 1996 to 2013 and found that out of 50 state legislatures, 26 of them are more polarized than Congress.

The most polarized state in the country shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: California.

But taking silver in the dysfunction Olympics is Colorado, with Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature rocking an average rate of 2 points ideological distance from the median.

Us? Really? But things are going so smoothly with TABOR and legal pot and gun control recalls and fracking and drone hunting licenses and … Who are we kidding? Look out California, we’re coming for you.

Read more about it here: http://wapo.st/1cLNYkZ

A SOLITARY MAN

Colorado prison chief Rick Raemisch penned a New York Times op-ed last week detailing his experience spending a night in solitary confinement.

“First thing you notice is that it’s anything but quiet. You’re immersed in a drone of garbled noise — other inmates’ blaring TVs, distant conversations, shouted arguments. I couldn’t make sense of any of it, and was left feeling twitchy and paranoid,” he wrote.

Yeah. That must be tough. Spending 20 hours in a cell as a research project while admitting that the average length of confinement for Colorado inmates sent to solitary is 23 months. And to have to do so knowing that in no way would any of the guards mistreat you or lengthen your stay if you snap. And that you’d get to write a widely read op-ed in the nation’s newspaper of record that would boost your professional profile to a national level afterwards. We’re crying for you, Argentina.

Raemisch said he left the experience more convinced that prisons need reform.

To which we here at BW say, “duh.” It’s just too bad Raemisch isn’t in a position of power that would allow him to reform prisons or end solitary confinement with the stroke of a pen since he’s so against it. Oh wait…

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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