The Body, The Mind, The Conspiracy Theorist
From now on call him Jesse "The Quote."
Former Gov. Jesse Ventura held a book signing Friday evening at the Apache Mall Barnes & Noble, speaking for more than an hour on a wide range of topics.
Ventura, 58, seemed to relish the opportunity, jabbing at politicians in one statement, while challenging those in attendance to question authority in another. While Ventura may have moved off the grid to Baja California, Mexico, several years ago, his flare for the spotlight and a listening ear didn't show any stage rust.
"Now, I can give you a little Jesse 'The Body' every now and then," he joked at one point. "I feel like George Carlin."
He talked about how Lee Harvey Oswald was the fall guy in a clandestine plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy. He joked, "Brett should come back," alluding to the Minnesota Vikings quarterback situation. He pushed those in attendance to take notice of the Mexican drug war and why he feels the legalization of marijuana would stop it. He stressed the need for health care in the U.S.
At other times, he roasted the Fox News Channel personalities, calling Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity the "Three Stooges."
Politicians should have term limits no longer than the president, as should Capitol reporters, he said, getting in a light-hearted stab at the group he commonly referred to as "jackals" during his term as governor.
Never one to shy away from a brash opinion or a chance to speak his mind, Ventura was in town to plug his new book, "American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies that the Government Tells Us." About 200 people turned out.
Ventura called the need for universal health care a "human rights issue." He blasted politicians for not being able to come to an agreement on health care reform.
"They'll vote to go to war and kill people, but they won't vote to allow everyone to go to the doctor?" Ventura said.
When a woman shouted out, "Who will pay for it?" he replied, "Me, you, all of us."
Ventura then talked about needing to get his blood drawn monthly, a process that costs $150 in the U.S. It costs him $15 in Mexico.
"Anyone see the need for health reform?" he said.
Ventura's book studies 14 of the biggest events in American history and how each might have been obfuscated.
In talking about the JFK assassination, he went over the three bullets and how it was improbable that Oswald acted alone. Ventura questioned the lone gunman theory, which seems to evolve in American assassinations. He said John Wilkes Booth was part of a massive Confederate conspiracy, too.
He also talked about 9/11, questioning why the American government invaded Iraq when none of the 19 hijackers was Iraqi.
"It's not just me making it up," he said about the book, pointing toward his footnotes and sources in the glossary.
Mexican drug war
Ventura opened the talk with a plea to those in attendance to take notice of the ongoing drug war in Mexico. A California bill would repeal the ban on marijuana, which Ventura said would end the carnage on the border.
Thousands have been killed in the ongoing drug war, as Mexican federales spar with heavily armed drug cartels.
"(Legalization) would stop the death and destruction," Ventura said. "It isn't even as bad as alcohol."
Ventura compared the situation to prohibition and said that marijuana should be legal.
"Marijuana is to rock and roll as beer is to baseball," Ventura said. "Tax it instead of paying to eradicate it."
Ventura's television program "Conspiracy Theory" has been picked up for another season, he said. The show is broadcast on cable network TruTV.
Ventura said he had planned on retiring once he moved to Mexico, but then said that he kept getting calls for TV shows and other work. He joked that the secret to working in Hollywood is to retire. Then they come calling, he said.
"Every day I wake up, I have nothing to do," Ventura said, "and when I go to bed, I'm half-done."