Kurt Wallace: This is Kurt Wallace and our guest today on Rare is Minnesota former Governor Jesse Ventura, his show “Off the Grid” on Ora TV Governor Ventura thanks for being with us today.
Jesse Ventura: Thank you Kurt, always a pleasure.
Kurt Wallace: Governor, with your show, is there any topic you won’t cover?
Jesse Ventura: I don’t know, we haven’t found any yet. We’re still searching out there and we’re in hopes some day finding a subject I won’t comment on — no, there’s a few subjects they bring up that don’t interest me personally.
I can’t think of any off the top of my head but the great thing is I have total control of what I want to talk about. So, if they come up with a subject I don’t like, I naturally don’t have to discuss it if I don’t want to.
Kurt Wallace: Well, Politico reported that Eric Holder and his allies have argued that on the whistleblower case of Jeffrey Sterling “has helped secure journalists’ First Amendment rights with the maneuver”, allowing James Risen a pass when he exposed the whistleblower.
James Risen being the NY Times reporter, but the advocates for whistleblowers are worried that the now facing prison time ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling will silence federal employees. What do you think about this?
Jesse Ventura: I think certainly it will. We’ve got to get our moral compass back. It’s a bigger picture than that, Kurt. Right now in the United States of America, lying is deemed heroic. If you’re a liar you’re a hero. If you tell the truth — well, look at it, what’s the big insult now? The big insult is to be called a truther? If they call you a truther, that’s considered an insult now?
I can’t imagine how they could take the word “truth” and turn it to mean negative. How can the truth be a negative. And, yet that’s our moral compass today. Liars are heroes and truth tellers are criminals. And, until we get that righted, we’re in a world a trouble in my opinion because we need whistleblowers.
And, if they’re going to prosecute people and be harsh to whistleblowers which is what they’re doing, it’s because they need to cover up all the bad things that they’re doing. And, the only way to do that is to have harsh punishment so that no one will dare do it without facing some type of incrimination or being put in prison or what have you.
Kurt Wallace: Does this set a precedent for the press? Obviously, this is a First Amendment concern that the press now will turn watch dog for the government in terms of people exposing fallacies of the government.
Jesse Ventura: It doesn’t surprise me because our mainstream press today is not the mainstream press of 20-25 years ago. We saw the consolidation of the mainstream press to where you’re only getting it from what 3,4,5 corporations now control the main stream media completely? And, they’re in lock step with the government.
I can tell you as an example when I came out as governor, I signed a huge contract with MSNBC and the moment they found out that I opposed the Iraq War, I wasn’t allowed on the air. And they pulled Phil Donahue cause Phil Donahue just came back and he they yanked him. He was their highest rated show. Because Phil, likewise, we didn’t agree with the Iraq War.
Kurt Wallace: Fox News just reported that Obama is going to send Congress a resolution regarding use of military force against ISIS. This is a little be of a break away from what we saw in the Bush administration — the unilateral approach to going in to countries. Does this show a sea change in the attitude of the people or the government? Or is this just to save face?
Jesse Ventura: Well, this is the United States of America today. I don’t know how many people in that country know that Gallup did a poll. They polled 3000 international people throughout the world, no one from the United States. And the question that they asked them one of the questions was “If you go to war, who do you think it most likely will be against?”.
23% said the United States of America, 2nd was Pakistan with I think 8% and 3rd was China with 6%. So, you have literally one our of four people internationally throughout the world believes that if they end up in a war the United States will be the adversary.
As a veteran I hang my head in shame over that. Because people use to try to emulate the United States. Today, we’re ruling by fear. I got in trouble the other day, but I’ll say it again – we are behaving right now just like 1930’s Germany. Go back and read your history books. Take a look at it and you’ll see.
And, the point being is I never believed that my country (which we did in the Iraq War) would line up our military at another foreign nation’s border who hadn’t done anything. And, remember Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 — they had no ties to al-Qaeda, it was all proven. Yet, we invaded this country. We overthrew it’s government. We occupied them and then on top of it, we even tortured some of their citizens.
Now who, if I asked you a multiple choice question “What country does that remind you of?” A country that invades a country that hasn’t done anything, overturn it’s government, occupies it and tortures its people, would you think the Untied States would be on that list? They are though, aren’t they?
Yes, and it’s shameful and we have to come to grips with it. We have to come to grips that we made some bad decision. ISIS would not exist today had we left Iraq alone.
Kurt Wallace: Governor Ventura, you served in the military. You served your country in that respect. You served as a Governor. You we’re in entertainment .You did professional wrestling. You’ve experienced a lot of things in life. What drives you today and why?
Jesse Ventura: Well, what drives me today? I’m 63 years old now and if I’m fortunate enough to live till I’m 75-80 or what have you whenever that time comes, I don’t want to look back on my life and say woulda-coulda-shoulda. I believe this very strongly today, what drives me is to be a very vigilant citizen.
If you look at our country and you read what Jefferson and Washington and Adams all said that our experiment would not work unless the citizens played an active role and were vigilant. Well, part of vigilance is paying attention to what your government does with your tax dollars.
I can’t believe people don’t pay more attention when the government takes two out of every five of your working days pay. Wouldn’t that be enough? They take literally half of the money you make – you pay in taxes. Shouldn’t that be enough to pay attention and be a vigilant citizen when they take half of your wages? I would think so, that’s why I do it.
Kurt Wallace: It’s great having you on the show. I wonder sometimes with celebrities and people in public service, if they have regrets in their life. Do you have any?
Jesse Ventura: Certainly, I have a few regrets. We all do. I have the regret that I never took my son down at 6 years old and threw him into a swimming pool because the kid got hooked on basketball and he had the build of Michael Phelps. He was a phenomenal swimmer. His dad and his grandfather and his uncle were all swimmers.
So, I have the regret that I didn’t throw my son into a swimming program and a young enough age and he got hooked on basketball and he never did swim. Because I think he would have been a marvelous swimmer. And, I live with that everyday knowing that at the time I was wrestling and I didn’t pay enough mind to him at that time to get him started at swimming at 5 years old.
Kurt Wallace: What can viewers expect with season two of Off the Grid?
Jesse Ventura: Well, they can expect me to tell the truth as I see it. I’m one of those people that believes the truth is good. I haven’t morphed the truth into a bad connotation yet. I still think lying is bad.
And, I’ll make the statement, I don’t believe you can be a hero without honor. And, you can’t have honor if you’re a liar. There’s no liars with honor. So, bare in mind that liars can’t be heroes because they don’t have honor. So, I’ll continue to speak out as I see fit.
That’s the great thing about doing Off the Grid, nobody has told me what I can or can’t talk about. I have total control of the show. It’s wonderful, I talk about what I want to say and it’s the internet. So, because it’s the internet you can say certain words and you can say when BS is BS you can use the long version of it and I enjoy that.
Kurt Wallace: Well, Governor Jesse Ventura, thanks for spending some time with us today. Your show Off the Grid on Ora TV it’s good to have you with us on Rare.
Jesse Ventura: Right, and don’t forget to I do the We the People podcast. That airs every Thursday on iTunes and let me do my shameful exploitation and Podcastone.com and Off the Grid airs Tuesday through Friday on Ora.TV and you can get all you want of Jesse Ventura right there cause I love doing them.