I’m not opposed to tearing it all down

I’m home. I settle down to browse and relax, and discover that a South Dakotan elected representative has declared that Mt Rushmore is a demonic altar and that communism is synonymous with witchcraft.

South Dakota state Rep. Joe Donnell (R) said on a radio show that Mount Rushmore was a demonic portal spreading communism across the country.

Said Donnell: “Even Donald Trump’s landing in the Black Hills at Mount Rushmore on July 4, when the governor Kristi Noem put the message out that fireworks are returning to South Dakota, that was a prophetic word.”

He added: “And I kinda got the feeling that what we’re really dealing with in that portal was communism. That witchcraft altar and those things that are happening in the Black Hills; what we’re really dealing with is communism; it’s the ideology and all the demonic entities and spirits behind that.”

Yeah, I’m home. I could have been talking to interesting smart people about spiders, but instead I’m back in the rural red state part of the country, thanks to demonic thunderstorms.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    I think the thunderstorms and drought have something to do with CASE MIDNIGHT GREEN.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Wait, one of the faces on the mountain clearky started its career in a video by Iron Maiden. And we all know what heavy metal music leads to: Brexit!

  3. numerobis says

    Oddly I spent the day yesterday watching big angry storm clouds go by harmlessly, and heavy rain being indicated on the weather radar. And got … not a single drop of rain. Montreal airport was also largely spared though they did get some light rain. As opposed to possible tornadoes and certainly quite heavy rain all around us.

    Hopefully the lighting didn’t light any forest fires, and the rain tamps them down. I like breathing, and that’s been a bit tough lately.

  4. raven says

    South Dakota state Rep. Joe Donnell (R) said on a radio show that Mount Rushmore was a demonic portal spreading communism across the country.

    How many things did this kook get wrong in one sentence?

    Demons don’t exist and demonic portals don’t exist either.
    Communism doesn’t exist any more either.

    How backwards is South Dakota anyway?
    He really needs to update his imaginary demons list.
    Communism has been replaced by atheists, Trans people, Muslims, and Democrats.

  5. StevoR says

    @ ^ raven : Has communism ever really properly existed?

    Arguably, the closest we have might be some Indigenous communities and juuust maaaybe the first Christian communities ironically (?) enough here..

  6. larpar says

    Semi OT: “Kristi Noem put the message out that fireworks are returning to South Dakota.” – I not sure that was her call. I think the National Parks Service or the National Forest Service has jurisdiction.

  7. hemidactylus says

    First off Mt Rushmore was done by Gutzon Borglum who also did Stone Mountain. There are evil demons depicted on that one. It has possessed Southern bigots for decades.

    Teddy Roosevelt is on Rushmore. He was the Progressive Bull Moose so a natural target for retrospective conservative loon hate. I don’t like some of his acquaintances such as Madison Grant. TR was a mixed bag. I am reading about his horrific trek down the Brazilian River of Doubt. Pretty much shortened his life span. Candido Rondon comes across as an equally intriguing person as the Rough Rider.

  8. HidariMak says

    I couldn’t help noticing that the image which PZ included with the story has a fifth head on it, and was reminded of Trump’s delusion of having his own ugly head chiseled at one end of the row of heads.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Portals? Someone tell Joe Donnell the brown-skinned Go’uld that freaked him out is just an actor.
    And the post-scarcity future (with the gay asian) is a different film franchise/TV series.

  10. says

    Demonic portal spreading communism? That’s just silly.
    Clearly what happened here is some local shaman has imprisoned the souls of these four great presidents in the side of that mountain. Late at night, when the hustle and bustle dies down, you can hear their voices on the wind: “CALL THE POLEEEEEEEEEESE…..”

  11. birgerjohansson says

    HidariMak @ 8
    Having Trump’s face on that mountain would certainly scare away many demons.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    Actually, if you must have a demonic portal the best places to put it would be either Death Valley or the Dakotas.

  13. jenorafeuer says

    I’d say, yes, it has existed in many times and places… but never on the scale of anything larger than a farming village. Kibbutzes, Doukhobor villages… communes have been a regularly recurring social structure, but they don’t really work unless the gathering is small enough that everybody knows each other and everybody is willing to work together to get things done.

  14. xohjoh2n says


    If the US is so rich and powerful, how come you guys can only afford one drum?

  15. StevoR says

    Also everyone knows the Demonic portal or Hellmouth as its called is in Sunnydale and Buffy & her Scooby gang have saved us from it ..twice.

    Maybe thrice? More now?

  16. hemidactylus says

    I was wrong. Gutzon Borglum started on Stone Mountain, but stuff happened and some one else took over according to the wikipedia.

  17. hemidactylus says

    @17- StevoR
    “At Stone Mountain he developed sympathetic connections with the reorganized Ku Klux Klan, who were major financial backers of the monument. Lee’s head was unveiled on Lee’s birthday January 19, 1924, to a large crowd, but soon thereafter Borglum was increasingly at odds with the officials of the organization. His domineering, perfectionist, authoritarian manner brought tensions to such a point that in March 1925 Borglum smashed his clay and plaster models. He left Georgia permanently, his tenure with the organization over. None of his work remains, as it was all blasted off the mountain’s face for the work of Borglum’s replacement Henry Augustus Lukeman. In his abortive attempt, however, Borglum had developed the necessary techniques for sculpting on a gigantic scale that made Mount Rushmore possible.”

    The relief on Stone Mountain should he blasted away again and replaced with William Tecumseh Sherman.

  18. Akira MacKenzie says

    Careful! Pointing out what primitive savages Donnell and most of the American people are for believing in Gawd, demons, spirits, etc. our contingent of the COEXIST bumper sticker crowd will give you a “Not-All-Theists” lecture.

  19. wzrd1 says

    What is sad is, he’ll find idiots who will believe that drivel.
    And in their minds, Karl Marx existed in the Old Testament and communism is magic.

  20. HidariMak says

    wzrd1 @ 20
    Some preachers are already claiming that Moses was one of the writers of the US constitution, and that Jesus spoke with George Washington on basing the new country on the religion that they escaped from in their old country.

  21. StevoR says

    @ wzrd1 : “And in their minds, Karl Marx existed in the Old Testament and communism is magic.”

    A Das Kapital / Harry Potter / Buffy-verse crossover? Where Karl Marx & Communism has magic powers? That could be interesting.. Karl Marx, Wizard? With HP powr levels but used for real good for everyone?

    @18. hemidactylus :Thanks. Yes, yes it should be. Or with Sherman and Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglass, MLK & Sojourner Truth.

  22. wzrd1 says

    HidariMak, I know, I’ve heard such Fractured Fairy Tales historians in person when I was at the shelter. Several times per week. It literally had me considering jumping out of the top floor window.

    StevoR, sounds promising. Can we make it a comedy, with Lenin and later Stalin portrayed ala The Producers?
    Karl and I can then have a brief return from the dead cameo team-up, tripping Trump with our magical canes whenever he tries to push through a group…
    Close it out with Trump in a diaper, sitting in a corner with a dunce cap, sucking his thumb while Republicans are bowing in worship of him.

  23. DanDare says

    Fark. In my lifetime here in Oz we have had maybe two folks in government that are that batshit crazy. And I’m 62.
    How is the US so different?

  24. hemidactylus says

    @22- StevoR
    I think the appropriate choice would be black history and civil rights icons Harriet Tubman included sure. But given disturbing interactions with Georgians, Sherman (of fiery march fame) alone would be like pouring a salty alcohol mixture on a still festering third degree burn. Still too soon. Maximal pain delivery.


  25. hemidactylus says

    Or same theme:

    But yes the black history and civil war icons would be much nicer and more wholesome and less based on my personal schadenfreude.

    I recall hearing about festivals with laser light shows at Stone Mountain. Maybe blast the confederate traitor relief off and replace with black history stuff, but beam the Sherman memes at night at the mountain during an annual festival to commemorate Sherman’s fiery march.

  26. hemidactylus says

    @30- hemidactylus
    Damn you Founders Porter 6.5%. I’m getting sloppy. My “ But yes the black history and civil war icons” should be “civil rights icons”.

  27. StevoR says

    @28. DanDare : “How is the US so different?”

    Not sure but they are much more religious, that Puritan foudning culture and extreme libertarian history as opposed to our convict British empire loyalist vs their breakaway revolutionary one, and culture; have a much larger population, have the Electoral College, have had a colonial empire – still do really – whereas we only kinda sorta had PNG*, we have mandatory and preferential voting whereas the USA has voluntary and first past post voting and gun culture and the NRA.. Key differences?

    .* Okay plus a few islands like Norfolk, Christmas island and Antarctican territorial claims..

  28. StevoR says

    @hemidactylus : @22- StevoR
    I think the appropriate choice would be black history and civil rights icons Harriet Tubman included sure.”

    Agreed. Yes. Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth and MLK and Sherman maybe? Maybe Rosa Parks too.

  29. hemidactylus says

    @33- StevoR
    I have a very rudimentary perception of Oz. Crocodile Dundee didn’t help or apocalyptic Mad Max and the Merkin born Gibson. Steve Irwin was super cool, but impressed on me everything there wants to kill you. Nicole Kidman was born in the US too? Despite the Tom Cruise oopsy she is cool, especially her portrayal of Gertrude Bell!

    Bulldog Huxley spent enough time there to meet his wife.