Siberia, political overlays upon a wild land: Lenin’s head, Our heads and hearts, Trump and Putin, Views from the road

Note: These Mongolia/Siberia 2017 travel posts are archived here.

I continue to be perplexed by the level of animosity directed at Trump by my “liberal” friends, not to mention the consistently righteous attitude of being “better than” the one they judge, ridicule, lampoon . . .

Am consistently stunned by how they assume that I — or anyone in their right mind — must hold the same views they do.

Not that I’m “pro-Trump” — of course I notice — and frequently, wince — at his gigantic, outlandish personality, recognizing it as the natural expression of his out-of-the-box, wild card, pugnacious astrological birthchart. However, I also view that very personality as the wrecking ball needed to throw a wrench into the seemingly impenetrable deep state hegemony. Plus, am also deeply grateful to Trump for his strong instinct to dialogue with America’s supposed #No. 1 Enemy, Russia, and Vladimir Putin.

Usually, I hold my tongue — and turn away, or, if possible; turn the conversation in a different direction. But sometimes, I just can’t help myself. Like, for example, when our group in Siberia/Mongolia paraded on foot, on our first day in Siberia, on the side of heavy traffic to the downtown square of Ulan Ude —

with its comically gigantic head of Lenin — see it in the distance, sticking up next to the trees?

to settle in on the shady, western  side of that iconic head on an ultrahot morning —

— and hold a political discussion. Of course, the gigantism of the old Soviet regime’s view of Lenin reminded us of Trump, his gigantism in the U.S. now, and inspired the usual liberal ridicule.

This time I finally spoke up, said that we need to hold Trump in our hearts rather than judge him with our minds. That he’s human like all of us. And that, like all of us at the beginning of our lives, he was a beautiful baby. (See

I’m not sure what I said registered. But what did register was 81-year-old, white-haired (and blue-shirted) Elizabeth’s remark, following mine. She reminded all of us that it’s best to concentrate on what we want rather than focus on what we don’t want.

Only a few days later, during our trip, Donald Trump met with Vladimir Putin for their long-promised face-to-face meeting. Though I internally rejoiced at their success in overcoming enormous western propaganda obstacles to actually secure a room together in private for over two hours — 90 minutes longer than planned — I knew better than to mention this meeting to our very liberal group. (Meaning: I sensed that none of us were up for more political conversations! Rather, we were all drinking in experiences on this magical mystery tour.) So I just held my rejoicing in my heart as we continued to wind our way through the glorious, nearly pristine, land that Americans have been long mind-controlled  to associate with one word:  “gulag.”

A few views of that land from my side of the van, looking southwest, as we traveled to our first destination, from Ulan Ude to the southwestern shore of Lake Baikal, for our parts-of-three-day camping trip on its shore:

Of course, our ignorant views of Russia’s heartland have been drummed into us for decades, and still going strong. Whether or not Trump and Putin can begin to reverse the tide remains to be seen. Paul Craig Roberts doesn’t think so.

Paul Craig Roberts Rages agains the Reign of Propaganda


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1 Response to Siberia, political overlays upon a wild land: Lenin’s head, Our heads and hearts, Trump and Putin, Views from the road

  1. Janice Berndt says:

    Thank you for dis-associating the world “gulag” from Siberia. Thanks to your photos for giving me a different picture.

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