Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Arguing With Idiots For Sport And Pleasure


Felicitations, Free Thinkers!

Although his career as a wrestling heel was just a shade before my time, I quickly became enamored with Jesse "The Body" Ventura as a color commentator with the WWF. Even at that impressionable young age I could tell that Ventura was smarter then the average bear. 

I anxiously followed Ventura's dalliances with Hollywood, as he starred in such classic sci-fi fare as Predator and The Running Man. I never did see Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe, but in case the spirit ever moves me some evening, I'll just leave this right hur.

Since so many actors have done the same, I wasn't surprised when Jesse moved out of the public light and entered politics. He first served as the Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, from 1991 to 1995 and then went on to become the very first politically-independent Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003.

In this day and age, this latter achievement is almost inconceivable. Despite running a bare-bones campaign on the cheap, Jesse appealed to the everyman by offering an alternative to the usual Republican / Democrat paradigm. While in office he refused to meet with lobbyists and made tremendous strides regarding public transit and tax reform. During this time he also became highly disillusioned with partisan politics and the ruinous nature of corporate-controlled media.

He parleyed these observations into a wildly-successful writing career, penning several notable books including I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Reworking the Body Politic from the Bottom Up,
Do I Stand Alone? Going to the Mat Against Political Pawns and Media Jackals and 
Jesse Ventura Tells it Like it Is: America's Most Outspoken Governor Speaks Out About Government. As you can probably gather from the titles, Jesse's dark take on the American political system is the direct result of his own experiences serving in office. 

Via Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! I began to learn more about this interesting and multifaceted dude. A former Underwater Demolition Team expert and Vietnam veteran, Jessa had a habit of reading voraciously while traveling across the country between matches with the WWF. While absorbing the works of political rebels such as Major General Smedley Butler and L. Fletcher Prouty Jesse developed a healthy skepticism about the motivations of a government puppeteered by big business.

Thanks to his many years as a wrestler, commentator and bureaucrat, Jesse developed quite a reputation for speaking his mind in a clear, direct and often humorous fashion. As such, when he moved into the realm of political commentary, Ventura certainly wasn't afraid to ask uncomfortable questions about the invasive nature of American foreign policy, the corporate influence on government and the blatant murder of the country's last autonomous President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

What I'm trying to say is that Jesse Ventura isn't your average retired wrestling meat-head.

But because he had the unmitigated gall to publicly criticize the false concept of American Exceptionalism, Jesse became the target of Chris Kyle, the self-professed "most lethal sniper in U.S. Military history". In an appearance meant to promote his book American Sniper on an episode of The O'Reilly Factor, Kyle claims to have cold-cocked Ventura for the sin of autonomous critical thought during a speaking engagement at a Navy S.E.A.L. bar: 

So, the other night I'm killing time on Google + and I come across a post in my news feed by the "Americans Against the Tea Party". It featured Ventura in a recent episode of his weekly on-line political screed Off the Grid

During this episode Jesse says:

“You are not gonna beat ISIS and somehow make everything right over there. You are still gonna be hated. None of this would have happened had we not gone over there and destabilized it. So here’s who we have to thank for all of this mess today: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Two guys who were too chicken to go to Vietnam. Too chicken to join the service and stand up and fight for their country, but they took us over there. If Barack Obama says, 'we need to get involved' and we end up with boots on the ground, I’ve said this before, the first two pairs of boots that oughta be on the ground over there are George Bush and Dick Cheney, leading from the front and not the rear.”

Now any reasonable human being who's even vaguely informed about America's compulsive history of meddling with affairs in the Middle East (dating back to Iran in 1953) would look at this quote and agree with it in principal, in spite of its lack of realism. But as I drilled down on the comments I could see that a bunch of crazed Tea Bagg...er Tea Partiers had responded with nothing but crude, mindless vitriol, verbal thuggery and Fox News-style regurgitations.

"Venturas (s.p.) a whiney (s.p.) little bitch. Sues (s.p.) wife of dead hero that slapped him down."

"Hey Jesse, go suck one!"

 "Ex- wrestler, conspiriscy (s.p.) nut job, black copters are following me loon."

"Ventura is a douce (s.p.) bag. He needs to just put the aluminum foil back on his head and off himself."

"AATP is blathering stupidity and now Ventura is their mascot. "

"Jesse Ventura is an old psychotic, narcissist has been acting like a never will be. What a punk!"
Now, I want to make this crystal clear before I proceed: although I'm a huge fan of Jesse and I agree with a lot of what he says, we don't see eye-to-eye on everything, particularly on the subject of gun control. His now-defunct television show Conspiracy Theory was kind of alarmist, giving casual viewers an excuse to dismiss very real and very serious issues as tin-foil-hat histrionics. He often refers to himself in the third person, comes across as opinionated and defensive and likely harbors a justifiably-inflated sense of ego. 

But I also understand Jesse's motivations and know that, underneath all of the bluster and bravado, he's a very well-researched and intelligent guy who uses shock value in an effort to wake people up. He doesn't hate America, quite the opposite. I get the impression that he loves his country so much that he's deeply troubled by its free-fall and would like nothing better then to see the U.S. of A. regain some semblance of its former glory.

As a result, I felt compelled to weigh in on this little tête-à-tête, not so much to defend Jesse, but to see if I could lure these Tea Party wing-nuts into an actual debate.

Here's what happened.

Spoiler alert: what happened is exactly what you'd expect to happen. 

Matthew M: "This traitor! Jesse Ventura, who sued a dead American Navy Seal hero's widow! And now says America deserved 9/11 and to be bombed! Oughta be shot for treason!"
ME: @Matthew M "Chris Kyle blatantly LIED about Ventura in a mass-market publication, he deserved to get sued. And Ventura has never, ever said that America deserved to get bombed on 9/11. He's trying to educate people blinded by the myth of American exceptionalism that, like it or not, the United States has a very long and very checkered history of geo-politcal interference around the world, which gives radical forces plenty of motivation to attack us."

Alexandre A: @David Pretty "that's exactly what Jesse Ventura is saying!!! I never heard him say anything against America but true things !!! @MM "every president of the United states needs to be tried for treason at least the living presidents that are around specially Bush and Cheney who sold us the war!!! The people who want us to go neck to neck against each other have been doing this for years they know how to keep an open wound bleeding!!!! How many of you have taken sides about immigration,the survival of Israel, Isis , Ukraine, the deficit, 9/11 all those are topics to keep us from seen what really us going on !!!"

ME: @Alexandre A "You're absolutely right. I've done a lot of research on this and I truly do believe that the last U.S. President that wasn't a puppet of corporations and / or the military industrial complex was JFK."

Alexandre A: @David Pretty "don't forget Dwight Eisenhower warn us about the industrial military complex !!! I trusted Obama up until I saw him going along with war guru's!!!!!"

ME: http://emblogificationcapturedevice.blogspot.ca/2013/04/will-historys-real-greatest-monster.html

Elizabeth M: "I have heard many people quoting from actress and actors, politicians, ect (s.p.)...
These type of people in my opinion, don't have a mind of there on (s.p.), simply because they are to busy with this materialistic life and lazy to go out and gain their on (s.p.) knowledge.

I also think Jesse has an aggressive attitude but maybe is (s.p.) all the anger inside of him, as a former governor he fond (s.p.) out despicable things our government is doing against humanity and therefore expresses himself in a rude way to let all that anger out.

In my personal opinion, I think he is on point on most of what he says, but I do dislike when he speaks so aggressively, if he was to express himself in a more humble way, it would be better for him.

I to (s.p.) respect your opinion and I thank you for respecting mine. :)"

Color Commentary: Hey, look a dissenting comment that doesn't stoop to insults! Although her opinion isn't fact-based (I.E. Jesse is a helluva lot better informed then, say, Matt Damon) but at least her comment is civil and reasonably well-thought-out.

But then, just a few short seconds later it was right back to The Attack of the Knuckle-Draggers:

Greg Hi-Z: "You can have Jesse on your side any time."

William F: "He was piled drived (s.p.) a bit to (s.p.) much by the Arabian sheik, and Bruno sanmartino (s.p.). They did not know the long term effects can make you an idiot and azzhole (s.p.) at same time."

Color Commentary: Who the f#ck is the "Arabian Sheik"?

ME: @ William F "Speaking of libel your statement is nothing but conjecture. Please provide some back up for that blatantly inflammatory statement." 

Matthew M: "Shutup. I don't wanna hear from more like him. You all disgust me! I woulda done more then knock him out if I was there! God bless America!"

Alexandre A: @Elizabeth M "he does speak aggressively but because his in the know how and can't wake up the vast majority of Americans !!! Jesse Ventura is a patriot navy seal remember!!!!"

ME: "Good strategy, +Matthew M. By sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling 'LA!!! LA!!! LA!!! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!' you're sure to avoid reality ad infinitum."  

Matthew M: @David Pretty "yeah liberal idiots know all about that!" 

ME: @Matthew M  "I wouldn't know. I'm not a 'liberal'."

Alexandre A: @Matthew M "I'm an American before any party affiliation left or right !!!! My eyes are wide open and see both points specially when their trying to push something down our throats!!!!"

Austin Stevens: Color Commentary: this guy's on-line handle was clearly inspired by former WWF superstar "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, replete with a profile pic of Austin. Right away, I'm thinking that this guy ain't exactly gonna be Noam Chomsky and two seconds later he proves it by stating:  "Ventura is an idiot a complete moron."
ME: @Austin Stevens "Cut and paste from above but it applies to you too: 'Speaking of libel your statement is nothing but conjecture. Please provide some back up for that blatantly inflammatory statement'."

Matthew M: "Ventura, the cowardly, deserter, traitor anti- American, big mouth moron who sues dead hero's (s.p.) widows, and his sheep, will get there's! (s.p.)"

ME:  @Matthew M. "* sigh * If I shot my mouth off and called a friend of yours 'a cowardly, deserter, traitor anti- American, big mouth moron' wouldn't you want me to produce proof of this claim? And if I couldn't, then exactly who is the 'big mouth moron?' Hello? Is this thing on? * taps microphone *"

Alexandre A: @Matthew M.  "Jesse Ventura served our country therefore he can say all he wants about anyone !!!!"

Peter B"ANYONE...can say what they want, Regardless of whether they served their country! I know plenty of Patriots, who never enlisted, and plenty of ENLISTED, who forgot their roots, and are world class DB's. Jesse Ventura falls in the latter category. World-Class-conspiracy-theory-Douche-Bag!!! Everyone can agree that the Iraq was handled poorly, after the battle was won. People forgot about the reasons for going into Iraq. WMD's were the least of the issues. Firing on US aircraft, and plots to assassinate Bush Sr, have long since been forgotten. The issue in front of us now, is do we need to leave a QRF force in Iraq, and robust Special Ops units, in order to at minimum, protect our friends(the Kurds and other secularists). Obama has screwed this(like everything else) up! Now it's coming back to haunt him. He's a World Class politician. Period. This is why most active duty soldiers despise Obama, (AND Ventura): because he doesn't listen to his Generals;  he listens to his latest polling!"

Color Commentary: Peter's comments are promising and I wish he'd stuck around as well. Yes, he's grossly informed about Ventura and stoops to cheap name-calling but he's reasonably articulate and included reasons if not hard evidence for his claims. Sure, his perspective is dead wrong, but at least he's trying. 

Alexandre A: @Peter B "Obama listens to those who have money ,to hell with the polling!!!"

ME: "Good Lord, I'm gonna get carpel tunnel syndrome typing this over and over again." @Peter B. '"Jesse Ventura (is a)...World-Class-conspiracy-theory-Douche-Bag!!!' This is nothing but baseless hyperbole. What are you basing this statement on?!?"

Matthew M. @David Pretty "I don't have cowardly traitors for friends! Unlike you it seems? proof? Are you and idiot who can't read?"

Matthew M. @Alexandre A "I've (really) served our country! So I can say what I want about him! Like the truth! He has zero credibility now!"

Alexandre A. @Matthew M "a true patriotic American questions,and that's what Jesse Ventura is doing !!"

ME: @Matthew M. "Despite asking over and over again no-one in this thread has provided a single shred of evidence supporting their attacks on Ventura. Does the phrase 'innocent until proven guilty' mean anything to you?  How 'bout 'burden of proof'?"    

Richard s: @Alexandre A. "if he were a real patriot i think he should have dropped the ridiculous lawsuit against fellow seal and decorated hero after he was killed. Unless he's donating the settlement to a worthty (s.p.) charity he's a little bitch."

Alexandre A. @Richard s. "what lawsuit are you talking about Can you cite your source??!!!"

ME: @Richard s. "Cut and paste from above: "Chris Kyle blatantly LIED about Ventura in a mass-market publication, he deserved to get sued."


Color Commentary: Interesting turn of events here: the only thing I really knew about Chris Kyle was the creepy vibe that came off of him in waves during that slavishly pandering Bill O'Reilly interview. By doing a quick bit of research and providing the aforementioned link I discovered that Kyle had tendencies towards self-aggrandizement and playing fast and lose with the facts. This shows how important it is to avoid mixing "truth" up with "truthiness".

Richard s.: @David Pretty "disagree. Thought it was kind of a bitch move to sue a fellow seal in the first place over a claim that he got knocked down. Then to continue the case after mr.kyles death was without honor. That he won the case doesn't really mean the truth as been seen. ( oj. Casey anthoney, etc....) obama lied about keeping your dr. seems there should be a whole lot of folk suing him."

Matthew M: @Richard s "agreed it was a little bitch move! And the little bitch deserved to get knocked down for what he said! Can't believe people defend him. Your (s.p.) a good American."

Color Commentary: Actually I'm not an American, just someone who's more informed then the average American. Which, sadly, isn't saying much.

Richard s. @Matthew M. "i love how some people pick and choose what they believe by virtue of celebrity, because otherwise ventura sounds like a conspirousy (s.p.) nut bag most of the time. Still alot of us left . GBA."

Color Commentary: By the way, the "GBA" in that last post stands for "God Bless America". That right, folks, these people habitually cap off their vicious personal attacks by evoking the favor of an invisible sky man who supposedly teaches tolerance, understanding and peace. Oh irony, why you so ironic?

ME: @Richard s @Matthew M "Whether or not you guys think it's a 'bitch move' what Kyle did was defamation cut and dried. If you read the article I linked above you'll find out that Kyle has a history of self-aggrandizement and making stuff up.  Ventura defended his public honor using perfectly legal means and not by sucker-punching Kyle when his back was turned. "
ME: @Richard s. "'ventura sounds like a conspirousy (s.p.) nut bag most of the time. Still alot of us left . GBA.'  Richard, if you're trying to sway people to your POV, then you need to provide a little something called EVIDENCE otherwise this is just an opinion and not fact."

ME: @Matthew Madigan "John Lindsay once stated, 'Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.' For that reason alone I'll defend true patriots like Ventura to the bitter end."

Alexandre A: @David Pretty "well said !!!"

ME: @Alexandre A. "Thank you, sir."

Matthew M: @Richard s "yes your right well said. And I agree there's still lots of good Americans."

Richard s: @David Pretty "and i'll believe the one that left his blood on the battlefield. To each their own."

ME: @Matthew M "I'd like to agree with you on that but (A) Richard S.'s own form of Chris Kyle-style of libel is still only HIS OPINION and (B) he didn't even bother to spell 'conspiracy' properly."

Richard s: @David Pretty "what libel would that be."

Alexandre A: @David Pretty "this people are totally uneducated and it's obviously by their uneducated opinions!!!!"

Color Commentary: I genuinely winced when I read this. Just watch as this cheap shot causes the quality of the discussion to degenerate almost immediately. 

ME"Oh, I dunno, how 'bout: 'ventura sounds like a conspirousy (s.p.) nut bag most of the time' or my own personal favorite from earlier in the thread: '(Ventura is a ) cowardly, deserter, traitor anti- American, big mouth moron'. This is SLANDER. If I said that kinda stuff about YOU behind your back you'd be pissed at me. And justifiably so." 

Richard s: @Alexandre A. "and your opinion matters because you think you have an education. Don't make me laugh. That's all you've given is opinion."

Alexandre A: @Richard s "you've only given a mouth full of sewer!"

Color Commentary: "A mouth full of sewer"? Really? What is this...Grade Four?

Richard s: @Alexandre A "now theres edumacation for y'all."

ME: "For the record, when he was challenged by Pierce Morgan about the lawsuit on CNN Jesse said: 'He never hit me. I don’t even know who he is. This never happened. [This lawsuit] has always been about clearing my name and getting back my reputation. I was accused by this gentleman of committing treason; that’s very serious. In fact, it’s a capital offense in the military. It’s not about money; it’s about my reputation.'

When Morgan pursued with 'Are you uncomfortable suing Kyle’s widow?' he replied:

'No, because an insurance company is paying for the whole thing, anyway. It’s the insurance company of the book publisher. I have to sue her just because she is now the estate, since [Chris Kyle] passed away'.”

ME: "Here's another fun fact: Chris Kyle made six million dollars from his book American Sniper.  Oh, and where did I find that out? A friggin' Tea Party website, no less."

ME: @Alexandre A "I don't give a crap about who's 'educated' and who isn't. I think we're starting to make some progress here, so let's try to keep things civil, shall we?"

Richard s: @David Pretty "it's been my understanding from what i had read that publishers insurance was't picking up the entire amount. Didn't know ventura's reputation was that important to him look at his past acting choices. Don' t know of witnesses accounts? never said coward,traitor or anything other than nutbag , pretty sure thats not libal (s.p.)."

ME: @Richard s. "Well, it only took a jury six freakin' days to determine that Chris Kyle made up the whole story. And, of course, Ventura's reputation is important to him: if he runs for President in 2016 he can't have allegations like this floating around out there uncontested."
ME: @Richard s. "And you're absolutely right, 'nutbag' isn't libel. It's just a nasty thing to say out of turn without any evidence to support it." 

Color Commentary: Faced with this, Richard s.'s incontrovertible stance seemed to sway just a little bit. But for most die-hard Tea Bag...er, Party people FACTS are the equivalent of flashing a red flag in front of a bull.

Matthew M "Guess all you Ventura ass kissers also deny the facts about the 'Muslim' attack on 9/11 too? (koo koo)And think America deserved it, and deserves to get bombed to hell? As per Jesse's ventures disgusting comments! hey, I hear ISIS is recruiting?"
Matthew M "These 'types' are, partly, why I worry America doesn't have the moral clarity anymore to deal with the great threats we face!" 

Steven O "I say Jesse is a gutless coward and should shut his big mouth the only thing he's good at is attacking men that are dead COWARD! !!!!!!"

Color Commentary: Opinion doesn't magically transform into fact with the liberal application of five exclamation points.  

Matthew M @Steven O "very true! G.B.A"

ME: @Matthew M. "What facts? I'd ask you to specify but I've asked before and I'm not holding my breath." @Steven O. "Again, your opinion. And unless you did a tour in Vietnam as a Navy S.E.A.L. and continuously stick your neck out in an effort to inform people about genuine societal ills then your words are pretty cheap to me in comparison. God, I'm tired. Honestly, it's like trying to have a conversation with a bunch of pre-recorded messages."

Sean I"everyone I`ve talked to says the following. He (Color Commentary: I assume he's talking about Ventura here) was straight forward. He wasnt a coward. He admitted his mistakes and didnt lie like the rest of the balless and heartless successful politicians America has seen."

Richard s: "U.d.t. at the time ventura was serving was not a part of the navy seals. And himself has never actually admitted seeing action in vietnam (s.p.). Although he may have done classified type stuff. How about 'may not have both oars in the water' is that better than nutjob? still think ventura should donate settlement if it ain't about the money."

Color Commentary: Above and beyond the thinly-veiled insult, I want to concede a point that Richard makes here. By all accounts, Ventura was a frogman with the Underwater Demolition Team in Vietnam and not a full-fledged Navy S.E.A.L., a title he sometimes lays claim to. Eight years after Ventura left the Navy, the U.D.T. was folded into the SEAL team, prompting Jesse to  observe: "Today we refer to all of us as S.E.A.L.s, that's all it is". Semantics? Maybe.

william r: "Let me know when this guy is relevant. I was going to add 'again', but, well, he never was."

Jammie K: @Richard s "and you actually believe that? I guess you personally know them, huh? Oh... you heard about it on Fox.. it must be true."

william r: @Jammie K "Ah, that dear old Fox thing! Gotta love it!  , are you gonna blame Bush next? Then what-call people racists? Substance-not vitriol. Like it or not- 2/3 of America watches Fox. And, also, like it or not, the majority of what they comment on is news. All that being said-if you watch cable TV, you aren't watching news, no matter WHAT channel you watch. You're watching news COMMENTATORS. So, yeah, keep through out that good ole 'Fox News' biscuit! It was tiresome in 2007. Its pedantic at this point."

Color Commentary: No, Billy-Boy, it's this.

Jammie K @william r. "Oh WOW! I guess I should have used one of the other media outlets. Didn't realize my point would be over shadowed by someone devotion and belief in Fox news. But you sir, are a complete idiot for not seeing through the lies and bullcrap the media uses to fuel debates that otherwise would never get attention. As far as blaming Bush and any other crap you can come up with, no, I dont blame Bush. I blame people just like you who are too damn stupid to see reality and choose to believe what they hear instead of what is right in front of their face. But no since in arguing about it... you obviously don't have the intelligence to form an opinion based on facts. Keep believing the media, they like fools like you. It keeps the ratings up. As you pointed out, 2/3 of this country watches Fox. SMH"

Color Commentary: in case you don't know, "SMH" stands for "Shaking My Head".

william r "And, you assume I watch Fox. Which, I don't. Havent had TV for 3 years now. So, again, you're making assumptions based on your personal feelings (we call that talking out your ass). So, once again, name calling and hateful comments-those very things we presume you associate Fox news for spreading-are your tools for communication? Pot, meet kettle."

Jammie K. "Who is making assumptions here?  Who attacked who first about comments, and who is talking out their ass?  For the record, I don't even watch TV.  Shows what you KNOW.   You sir, are the one that attempted to belittle my comments, which I might add had NOTHING to do with FOX or racism.  But you take it how ever you perceive it to be.   Pot, meet kettle."

Color Commentary: From here on in, things continued to degenerate, reminding me of Monty Python once again. Completely bored now, I decided to sit back and watch the fireworks.

william r: "You referenced Fox news, did you not? You called me names, did you not? You also stated I watched Fox news, did you not? Or, am I lying? And, yes, I threw the Bush and racist comments out there-because, lets face it-anyone who references Fox news is OBVIOUSLY a Bush supporter AND a racist. I mean, a simple Google search will prove that out. So, please, just go away. You're stealing valuable oxygen."

Jammie K: @william r "Did you even actually read the comment you so eagerly commented on?  I guess I should have added ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, BBC, etc.  Maybe then you wouldn't ASSUME all these other things you mentioned.   You attack me and then tell me to go away?  Who are you?  To me... the answer is... ABSOLUTELY NOBODY!  No arguing with a dumbass cop, you know everything and everyone else knows nothing.  You must be the pride of the department!   Typical!"

william r: "Ah, more personal attacks. Lovely. That the way you speak to people? Proud of the way you treat people? Making assumptions, calling names, personal attacks? Trying to justify your comment by name calling and mud slinging is pretty low brow. Stop being hateful. No one likes mean people."
Jammie K: @william r "I apologize...  I didn't realize this was a popularity contest.  But my point was made.  Just remember this... you called me out, not the other way around.  Like you said...  Pot, meet kettle!"
william r: @Jammie K "lets see, your first post was attacking someone else, and jumping to blaming Fox news-even though there was NO REFERENCE to that individual making any comments regarding Fox. In fact, he mentioned people he SPOKE TO. Yet, you took that opportunity to attack HIM and to throw the Fox reference out there. THAT WAS YOUR FIRST POST. I called you out. You attacked me, called me names, attacked my profession. Now, who, in their right mind, would agree with you-who, through your very posts here, is doing the exact same thing you claim to oppose? It certainly is not a popularity contest. I'm merely calling you out as a hypocrite. The only point you successfully made here was that the very thing you claim to stand against, you certainly have no issue doing to others. In America, we call that being a hypocrite."

Color Commentary: See how pointless, boring, pedantic and useless all of this hot air is? Unless you're brokering in cold hard facts in the form of citations, links and quotes then just engaging in the equivalent of "You're stoopid!" / "No, you're stoopid!" Unable to tolerate this anymore, I forced myself to venture once more back into the breach.    

ME: "So, here's what I've learned so far in my mercifully short exposure to Tea Party supporters:

(1) They're 100% convinced that they're right all the time.
(2) They're 100% convinced everyone else is wrong all the time.
(3) Facts and truth are irrelevant to them.
(4) They try to compensate for their willful ignorance with personal attacks and belligerence.
(5) If they're losing a debate (or what passes as for a "debate" in their minds) they'll write "G.B.A!" like its some kind of mystical ward against the truth and then either leave the discussion or Block you before their fantasy-based world starts to crumble.

Please, for the sake of everything holy, make some sort of effort to prove me wrong on these points, Tea Party people. Reality might be a bitter pill to swallow but it ain't that bad if we're all in it together."

william r: @David Pretty "not sure who you're addressing here? Or, are you jumping to conclusions and generalizing people too? I mean, the progressive movement is, after all, all about inclusion. Unless you don't fit their narrowly defined criteria. Then, your a tea party terrorist, support Zionism, hate the poor, etc. You know, progressives: love everyone exactly like you, and, if they don't think like you, blame Bush, then call them a racist. yawn. OF course, we can point to other progressive movements-climate change, lets say-and the 1.2 TONS of trash they left in NYC. Radical is radical. Name calling sure helps though :/"

ME: @william r "I'm referring to the people I've been trying (and failing) to have a civil discussion with here. Please take the time to read the entire thread; it clearly illustrates every single point I just made. For the record I used the term 'Tea Party people' for lack of a better term. I can only assume that they're 'Tea Party people' because they've chosen to come to a 'AATTP' thread and attack Ventura without so much as a single shred of evidence. "

And with that I was out. The thread went on for a little bit longer but no-one responded directly to my last post.

Want to know why Americans are so polarized right now? Why so many of them are convinced that they're right and everyone else is wrong? Why there's so much political paralysis? Why Congress can't get anything done and currently has the lowest approval rates in history? Well, I suspect that answer lies encoded within the shattered DNA of the pathetic little thread detailed above.

I'll tell you right now: unless Americans start coming together to hash out their differences using the proper etiquette of debate and remember how to make common sense decisions based upon well-established facts, then the entire country is going to mired in malaise and indecision forever.

EPIC RANT:  Tea Bag...er, Partiers hate Jesse Ventura because he dares to employ dirty pool (otherwise known as "facts") in an effort to show Americans the real face of their country, warts and all.  


ECHO CHAMBER FAIL: As the old adage goes, "the truth hurts". Don't get caught wearing the "I'm With Stupid" shirt: its not too late to get informed, get enlightened and get active.