68% of Registered Republicans, 49% of Registered Democrats Believe in Demonic Possession

Why wasn’t demonic possession addressed in the Presidential debates?! Demons are obviously as important an issue as low/no taxes, denying reproductive and LGBT rights, and keeping semi-automatic rifles in the hands of God (and demon) fearing Americans, since according to a  poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 68% of registered Republican voters believe in demonic possession. And it’s not just the GOP– 49% of Democratic voters also believe that demons can possess us.

Granted, one could argue that “demons” are negative impulses, psychological aberrations, mental illness etc., but in theology demons are disincarnate entities which occupy people and places and cause all kind of havoc. However, demons can be controlled and mastered, but this should only be done by individuals with proper training, not by anyone hanging out their shingle as an exorcist-or by depressed metal heads who have played Black Sabbath records backwards one too many times.

Nutbags are all too ready to blame anything and everything they dislike, fear or can’t explain on demons, witchcraft, voodoo, curses, and related supernatural concepts (which in all fairness, I believe in some of that stuff, too, though I use Occam’s Razor,  lex parsimoniae, first, before exploring other worldly causes, since resorting to “Curses! Witchcraft!” as the go-to for everything from lost keys and flickering light bulbs to a bad date is exhausting and silly. Usually there are simple, mundane explanations for stuff).

Some major questions that should be explored regarding demonic possession: How many politicians do believers feel are possessed? Is outsourcing of jobs caused by demonic possession? Can Wall Street be exorcised? And what strange malignant force, what ancient unnamed evil controls Dick Cheney?

Late Night FDL: LAPD Sends Out Cops over “Incendiary” Painting

Painting as crime? Seems freedom of expression in art is subject to police investigation if it makes “someone” uncomfortable.

Well, the LAPD got curious about plein-air painter Alex Schaefer’s work when he set up his easel outside a Chase Bank building in Van Nuys, the Valley portion of Los Angeles. Shaefer told me when I spoke with him this afternoon that over the hours as he painted away, passersby stopped and chatted with him, laughing, at times bemoaning their mortgage re-fi nightmares.

Then a pair of Los Angeles Police Department patrol officers rolled up on Schaefer, who teaches at Pasadena Art Center and has exhibited throughout the city, as he was putting the finishing touches on his work which showed the Chase building with its roof aflame. Seems “someone” had glimpsed the bearded artist at work and felt

threatened.

according to Schaefer’s account to the Los Angeles Times. Threatened? By a painting!? Wow.

Schaefer explained to the officers that his work was

intended to be a visual metaphor for the havoc that banking practices have caused to the economy.

As we were chatting, Schaefer told me that when he was starting out as a naive young artist he’d researched the New York art market and realized

The same players in the art market are manipulating Wall Street and the economy.

Schaefer, who does his banking at a small community bank, is working on a series of burning corporate bank building paintings which will be part of the Disaster Capitalism show at Inglewood’s Beacon Arts Building in February. Wanna bet there will be some undercover officers, possibly FBI in attendance, simply based on the show’s title? I’m gonna charge up my camera batteries for opening night now that the First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it’s legal to video tape law enforcement!

The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “a citizen’s right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the discharge of their duties in a public place is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.”

After jotting down Schaefer’s information–minus his social security number which he declined to give–the cops left him to his easel and palette. Case closed. Time to catch some real criminals.

Schaefer had told the officers that a terrorist wouldn’t stand for hours in plain view painting his target, but apparently the LAPD disagreed and two days later a pair of plainclothes detectives paid him a visit at his apartment while he was working on another piece of art, asking

Do you know why we’re here?

Shaefer replied

Is it about the painting?

Schaefer told the Times they also asked:

Do you hate banks? Do you plan to do that to the bank?

What’s next? Investigating some kid who’s playing a cover of “Los Angeles is Burning” on the piano?

Schaefer showed the detectives some of his work and discussed the meaning behind them. And then they left. Which is good news.

Even better news: Schaefer is capitalizing on the police visits and subsequent press by auctioning off the piece on eBay. The irony would be if his piece ended up in a corporate collection. Plus, an attorney who read about the artist’s travails has offered his services pro bono if he has any further trouble–like when he tries to get through airport security.

Chase Burning, Alex Schaefer 2011. Used by artist’s permission

Matt Damon is Just Like Us: Bummed by Obama


Tonight in a interview with Piers Morgan on CNN to promote is new films The Adjustment Bureau, which I can’t wait see, Matt Damon expressed his disappointment with Obama. While the actor didn’t go so far as to call POTUS

Obummer

that was pretty much Damon’s vibe when he expressed that he is

bummed out

by the way things have gone since the election. In his opinion Obama has

misinterpreted his mandate. He’s doubled down on a lot of things … In his State of the Union [address] he didn’t even say the word ‘poverty.’ You’ve got millions of people languishing in it.

Damon narrated the Academy Award-winning documentary Inside Job about the banking industry. He feels that a financial meltdown is

just going to happen again

because bankster firms

don’t make anything. They don’t build anything.

And the actor, who had strongly supported Obama during his 2008 run for president isn’t too happy about Afghanistan either:

I don’t think the mission there has been very well articulated.

Join the group, Matt.


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