I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Reworking the Body Politic from the Bottom Up

I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Reworking the Body Politic from the Bottom Up

by Jesse Ventura

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When he left the navy SEALs to become a pro wrestler, the fans knew him as "Jesse, the Body."

When he hosted his hard-hitting KFAN radio talk show, he became "Jesse, the Mouth."

And now that this body-slamming, straight-talking, charismatic hero is masterminding Minnesota's gubernatorial decisions, you'd better start calling him "Jesse, the Mind."

In I Ain't Got Time to Bleed, Jesse Ventura reveals the secret of his landslide electoral success—with record voter turnout—and maps his innovative strategies for pioneering a new era in American government. In his own inimitable words, he takes on bloated government, career politicians, and apathetic voters, and tells the wildly colorful story of his days as a navy SEAL, his nights in the pro-wrestling ring, and his experiences on radio and in films like Predator and Batman and Robin .

I Ain't Got Time to Bleed is Rocky meets Mr. Smith Goes to Washington—a book that will challenge readers' ideas of traditional government as it introduces them to one of American politics' most ferocious new heroes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451200860
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/01/2000
Edition description: UPDATED
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 4.28(w) x 6.72(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Jesse Ventura the Governor of Minnesota, lives with his wife and their teenaged son and daughter in Saint Paul.

Read an Excerpt

The jewel in the crown of this year was my meeting with Muhammed Ali. He was one of my heroes when I was growing up, and it was a thrill and an honor to meet him. He's got this gorgeous multi-acre place bordered on three sides by rivers. It was once owned by Al Capone. Ali showed me the tunnel that leads from the house down to the river, which Capone had built in case he needed to make a quick getaway.

The day I went to meet Ali, I had my two security troopers with me, and we were joined by a trooper from Indiana and another from Michigan. The five of us were standing in Ali's kitchen with him and his assistant. The assistant said, "Mohammed, do you feel strong enough to levitate today?" Ali smiled, closed his eyes, and slowly raised himself two or three inches off the kitchen floor.

I was looking at the troopers to make sure they were seeing the same thing I was seeing. I truly don't know how he did it. If it's a trick, he does it well. But then again he did always say that he could "float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1The American Dream9
Chapter 2Sound Body, Sound Mind23
Chapter 3How It All Started68
Chapter 4Navy SEALs93
Chapter 5"The Body"133
Chapter 6"The Mouth"181
Chapter 7"The Mind"225
Chapter 8Accepting the Shackles287
Chapter 9Self-reliance314
Chapter 10Looking National325

What People are Saying About This

Jesse Ventura

"I have nothing to hide; I am who I am. I got elected governor just by being who I am, so I owe it to the people who voted for me to keep on being me. I come from working-class origins, and my values reflect that. I believe in simplicity, hard work, and independence. I love a challenge. I love living life to the fullest. I've worked hard for everything I've achieved. I've taken risks along the way, and I have very few regrets. The story of how I got there is bigger than me; it's bigger than any one person. If you want to understand where I'm coming from, read on." --Jesse Ventura


On Thursday, May 27th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Jesse Ventura to discuss I AIN'T GOT TIME TO BLEED.

Moderator: Welcome, Governor Ventura! Thank you for taking the time to join us online this evening to chat about your new book, I AIN'T GOT TIME TO BLEED. How are you doing tonight?

Jesse Ventura: I am doing fine, getting a little tired, but I had a terrific day today. It was a great honor to speak at the Nixon Library and the people were just great. I think we went through 1,200 books.

Tim Gruber from NYC: Why did you decide to write a book so early into your term as governor? Do you plan on ever writing a book later in your life, after you fulfill your term as governor?

Jesse Ventura: I wanted to write the autobiography and explain how I won; I felt that was an important story to be told. I guess we would now ask you if you want me to write another one -- I certainly would entertain that thought also.

Martha from Lexington, KY: You write about quite a few experiences in your life in this book. Do you have many regrets in life? More specifically, do you regret anything you write about in this book?

Jesse Ventura: No, because it doesn't do you any good to do that, you can't change what happens. There were decisions at 18 that I wouldn't make at 47, but I think that would apply to everyone.

Paul Leavitt from Northville, Michigan: How much wrestling do you watch today, if any, and who do you watch more?

Jesse Ventura: I very rarely watch, and if I do I watch the WWF because I find it new. I find WCW to be just WWF retreads.

Christopher, 10 years old, from Falls Church, Virginia: Dear Mr. Ventura: Why did you change your name to Jesse "the Mind" Ventura? Are you ever going to wrestle again? I want to be a wrestler also. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you.

Jesse Ventura: I changed my name to "the Mind" because as you get older you can't use your body like you did when you were young. Make sure at your age that if you want to be a wrestler, you study in school, because at one point you will need to retire from wrestling and at that point you need to rely on your mind.

Laurie from NJ: Hi, Jesse. I read that you drove your Porsche at 140 mph (or more?) once. What does your wife think of your need to defy death every now and then? What other death-defying feats have you done, and do you confess these things to her afterward, or does she somehow find out later? Also, it seems like you never take a break, you're always somewhere, doing something -- between the job, traveling, Timberwolves games, lectures, the kid's school activities, and so on. When you two do take a break, how do you spend your time? Best of luck!

Jesse Ventura: I drove at 145 mph (not 140) and I still had 1,200 rpms to go, but I did it in an area in Minnesota where nobody was and it was quite a safe place to do it in. In regards to my wife, she usually knows. Last year I repelled down from the ceiling of the Target Center before a Timberwolves game, probably a stunt similar to the same thing that killed Owen Hart, but I am more of a professional because I used to do it as a Navy SEAL where we learned proper repelling technique. She doesn't like it but she accepts it and lives with it.

Pam Buckleitner from Gaylord, Michigan: Are you feeling comfortable now that you have been in office a few months? What have you learned that surprised you the most?

Jesse Ventura: I would say that my comfort level has improved, but I am still not totally comfortable. I have learned that you have to be very careful to have a sense of humor as governor, because anything you say can and will be used against you.

Tina Erickson from Minnesota Iron Range: Mr. Ventura, I do not have an intelligent question for you, just a comment. I am very proud to be from Minnesota, have lived here all my life (40 years). You have made me more proud of this state than I ever have been before! God be with you, sir!

Jesse Ventura: God bless you. It is people like you who, no matter how tough the times get, keep me going, as well as the schoolkids.

Darren from Metaire, LA: Can you tell me a little bit more about this rebate you made available for the residents of Minnesota? Thanks! Jesse, you rule! We need you down here in Louisiana.

Jesse Ventura: New Orleans is my favorite city for vacationing in the continental U.S. The rebate was this: We had a surplus of money (about $1.3 billion) and we are giving it back as a sales-based rebate on a study of your income, and the average Minnesota native will be getting back 700-800 bucks tax-free. The Republicans wanted an income-tax rebate where, if you itemize, you have to pay taxes; but in a sales-tax rebate you can't deduct it so you can't tax it. I would rather give the money to Minnesota than the federal government -- it is our money anyway.

Rose Marie Plante from Greenville, N.H.: Governor Ventura, welcome to the net. What do you think is the reason that you won the election for governor? Do you think it might be because the people are sick and tired of the "politician" and just want more common sense to be used in government? I admire your guts to even run for office. Best of luck in your new career.

Jesse Ventura: Thank you very much, and I believe you are absolutely correct.

Steven Swihart from Denver, CO: I heard you criticized the other day for being too much of a populist. How do you answer such criticism?

Jesse Ventura: I guess I say, what is wrong with being popular? Better then being unpopular.

Paul Rudoff from East Rockaway, NY: On the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" last night, you said that you saw part of NBC's "Jesse Ventura" TV movie, but you turned it off after you saw how they portrayed your parents. What was wrong with the way your parents were portrayed in the movie?

Jesse Ventura: First of all, my father was a very fun-loving, happy man; this guy wasn't that at all. My mother was, before it was even popular in the women's lib movement, a career woman and Army lieutenant who was aggressive and career-oriented and taught me and my brother to be independent thinkers and doers. Neither of these people were anything close to what my parents were like.

Jen from Jersey City, NJ: Do you enjoy reading Richard Marcinko? How close to your own experience with the SEALs are his novels?

Jesse Ventura: Yes, I very much enjoy reading him -- in fact, I am reading THE REAL TEAM right now. I would say very, very close to what life in the SEALs is like.

Paul from Michigan: I find it interesting that Hulk Hogan tattletaled on you about forming a union for wrestlers. With all these terrible deaths with wrestling today, what do you think could solve this problem -- or is this too far gone?

Jesse Ventura: Can you do anything about it? Probably not, greed can be very powerful. In the case of Owen Hart, if Owen would not do it they would find somebody who could. I think wrestlers today are more stuntmen then wrestlers. A union could solve a lot of problems in wrestling today.

Andy from Hoboken, NJ: Did you get the title of this book from your line in "Predator"?

Jesse Ventura: Yes.

Terry Erickson from Chisholm, Minnesota: Solution to a problem: Build an open-air stadium in the shape of a battleship in Embarrass, Minnesota. Duluth Vikings would be happy, and talk about home-field advantage!

Jesse Ventura: It would be interesting.... [laughs]

Paul Leavitt from Northville, Michigan: Throughout your great career in professional wrestling, who would you say was your toughest opponent in the ring?

Jesse Ventura: Maurice "Mad Dog" Vashon. You know those shirts that say "My Governor Can Beat Up Your Governor"? Well, he has a shirt that says "I Beat Up Your Governor."

Casey from Little Rock, Ark.: Now that you're a political figure, where will the proceeds from your book go?

Jesse Ventura: Me.

Alan from Shakur Heights, OH: Who would you list as your political influences?

Jesse Ventura: I really don't know if I have any. I think a lot of the things I am doing are breaking new ground, so that I think there isn't anybody that can influence me, I guess...

Paul from Michigan: I am in favor of prostitution like you are, but could you please discuss the advantages again for legalizing "the oldest profession in the world"?

Jesse Ventura: One, if you prohibit any business, that makes it likely to be run by criminals. So by bringing it aboveboard, it would not be led by criminals. Two, I also think you would have much better control of the disease factor, and three, we could tax them. That is the downside of everything prohibited: You can't tax it because it is not legal and therefore they get a free ride by not paying taxes. Prohibition does not mean something is going away.

Peter from LA: What is your position on the use of marijuana for medical purposes?

Jesse Ventura: I completely support it. I don't think government has any right to tell you what you can and cannot take if you are stricken with cancer, AIDS, or any life-threatening disease.

Larry Winger from Fridley, MN: Jesse, are you planning to do any talk-radio chats with listeners on AM 1500 or any other radio stations in the future?

Jesse Ventura: I will be starting a new radio show called "Lunch with the Governor" every Friday on WCCO in the Twin Cities from 11 to noon (that's 830 on the dial).

Moderator: Do you have any books you've been saving up to read this summer?

Jesse Ventura: No.

Mark Burfeind from Columbus,OH: Governor Ventura, what are your thoughts on the various communities in southern Minnesota that are making it difficult for the DM&E Railroad to go forward with their proposed train-handling capacity to move Powder River Coal across the state to Winona?

Jesse Ventura: I am not really up on it too strongly. I have heard about it, but before I comment I want to study this issue more. I am really not prepared to answer that now.

Melissa from San Francisco: I just heard you on with Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert on the radio in San Francisco. As you said to Ralph and Tom, you've learned that in the political arena, it doesn't seem like anyone can take a joke. In light of that, can you really continue to say exactly what you think?

Jesse Ventura: I hope so. I am not going to change who I am, and I am certainly not going to let them change me.

Scott from Easton, MD: Any thoughts of running for president in any future elections on the reform ticket?

Jesse Ventura: No. I promised that I would be governor for four years and I will fulfill that promise. I don't want to subject my family to a national campaign and the scrutiny it would bring.

Michael from Atlanta, GA: I thought you were great in "Running Man" and especially "Predator." Any plans for additional acting roles, possibly after politics?

Jesse Ventura: Certainly, if the right role were to come up, I would always love to pursue acting. It is fun and you make pretty good money at it.

Jay Philpott from Minneapolis: Good evening, Governor! You were unhappy with NBC's production of a TV movie about you, produced without your involvement (it was bad!). Have you been approached by any network or film company for the rights to produce your book as a film? If so, who would you suggest as the right actor to play you?

Jesse Ventura: There is a little nibbling going on, but nothing concrete as of this moment. What actor? Oh, that is a tough question that I have a tough time answering.

Tim Deorri from St. Louis, MO: What are your general thoughts on the direction we are heading as a country as we enter the millennium? Thanks!

Jesse Ventura: I think we need to be careful, because history shows us that all world powers eventually crumble and we should watch and learn history to attempt to avoid that.

Paul Rudoff from East Rockaway, NY: Three of the films you've been in have starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. Is it just a coincidence or are you two good friends?

Jesse Ventura: We are good friends -- in fact, we exchange Christmas gifts, our families do, and cigars.

Tim from Lincoln, Nebraska: Governor, with all the activities you're involved with...when do you sleep?!

Jesse Ventura: When I am dead -- like Warren Zevon said, "I'll sleep when I'm dead."

Judi Stansill from Minnesota: No question...I just want to tell Jesse to keep up the good work! We stand behind him all the way. In fact, we weren't going to vote...but, just to make sure and help him out...Jesse was the only one on the whole ballot I voted for! And I'm sure others did, too...so by that one check on the whole ballot...we were trying to make our statement! Again, we're behind you Jesse, no matter what, and you haven't disappointed us once!

Jesse Ventura: Thank you very much.

Tim Bodin from Minnetonka, MN: Hey Jesse, how's my step-cousin Wendy working out for you? Isn't she your chief of staff over there? Is she with you now?

Jesse Ventura: She is not my chief of staff but my head of government relations. She is working out very well. I couldn't be happier with my entire staff.

Laura Turnquist from St. Cloud, MN: Why are in you California and not in your own state for your book signing?

Jesse Ventura: We did one last Saturday at the Mall of America and certainly there could be more in the works.

Pac87@aol.com from xx: You are such a positive role model for all people out there. You are an example of how determination pays off. Congrats to you for breaking the stiff stereotypical view of politicians. What advice do you have for people interested in one day entering politics?

Jesse Ventura: Punt. Ha-ha. I would tell them to stay true to themselves and never make a decision based on being reelected.

Denise from Washington, D.C.: Bill Walton kept on talking during the basketball games about how you are such an impressive bodybuilder and how you used to work out in Portland with him. Has your vast experience as a weight lifter helped you with being the governor of Minnesota?

Jesse Ventura: Yeah, I think it has in some manner. Being a weight lifter like that gives you the determination to be successful and this carries over to this job. You have to work hard every day to be successful at it.

Gary from Bradenton, Florida: Do you feel you have received fair credit for what you have done in office so far? I admire you and respect you. (I loved you as a wrestler.) Thank you.

Jesse Ventura: Sure. My job is not to make myself a winner but to make the state of Minnesota a winner, and in the short time since I have been governor, Minnesota has been a winner.

Kathy from Racine, Wisconsin: Jesse, after you have finished your stint in Minnesota, would you, with your common sense, consider coming over the line and running for governor here in Wisconsin? We need someone like you!

Jesse Ventura: No, they don't. Tommy Thompson does an outstanding job, and besides, how could a Viking ever become a "Cheesehead"?

Moderator: Thank you so much for joining us to chat this evening, Governor Ventura. Before you go, do you have any closing comments for your online audience?

Jesse Ventura: Thank you very much. It was my pleasure to participate. I encourage everyone to buy the book, because if you buy the book you won't read little excerpts out of context, you will see the points I am trying to make. You need to read the whole book, not just portions. Have a great Memorial Day weekend and don't forget that Monday is Memorial Day and remember why we celebrate that day. Thank you.

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I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Reworking the Body Politic from the Bottom Up 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Acres of amazing land can be found close to the barn, the occasional apple tree or pond can be found. Beautiful flocks of geese and ducks can be found acround the even more beautiful natural ponds. Creeks weave themselves in and out of the fenced in property, sometimes a deer jumps the fence. For the tamed horses.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book for the most part and some of his political ideas. However I did feel like I was with him when he was describing his trials through being a Navy SEAL, a pro-wrestler, an actor, so on and so forth. I would like to see Minnesota have the educational improvements in its system that Mr. Ventura had suggested. Mr. Ventura seems very blunt, honest, and opinionated and is what Minnesota needed at the time he was elected. Mr. Ventura would do a good job if he did decide to run and if he was elected into the White House. He doesn¿t let special interest groups or businesses own him. I would recommend this book to people who think that little people can make a big difference if they put their mind to what they want to accomplish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for a college course I took on elections and campaigns. I have never been so interested in a book in my life. This book was entertaining, inspirational and just absolutely wonderful. I do hope Mr. Ventura runs for President some day. I strongly believe he is exactly what we need in the White House
Guest More than 1 year ago
I used to think Jesse Ventura was obnoxious and had a big mouth. But after reading his biography, I found it a heart-warming story about a guy who had set many goals for himself and how he obtained them all. I'm a big wrestling fan (my days go back to watching Johnny Valentine, Dick The Bruiser, Pat O'Connor and Lou Thesz). I didn't realize about all the politics that went into the wrestling world. After reading this book, I felt I grew up with Mr Ventura and his family. He has come a long way in his life and he worked hard to get where he is today. I have a lot more respect for him now after reading this book, and I hope he carries his political career one step further - all the way to the President of the United States. He would definitely have my vote.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ventura's book is a surprisingly solid political statement as well as a nice little autobiography. I must admit that although I wasn't a particularly big fan of his in the beginning, the more I read about him the more I like him. Granted, he does occasionally go overboard, but even his most vocal detractors can't deny the fact he's honest with himself and consistent. Hopefully he's a harbinger in that respect, feather boa notwithstanding. The writing style does have a tendency to be a bit repetitive, but that's a minor issue and the fault of Ventura's editors more than anything else. Overall, this is a quick read and worth your while if you're interested in the current state of American poltiics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been the type of person to pick up a book and read it for a leisure activity. Hell, I have enough reading to do from my school studies. But once I picked up this book I could not put it down until I had read every word in it! If only Sports Medicine books were this interesting!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I will simply say that I loved it and have read it a second time... Im a member of the reform party and I truly hope Jessie runs for pres some day, we need someone like him involved to get ahold of the goverment once again instead of it holdin us by our throats and our wallets