I agree completely. People who want to be all polite and beat around the bush instead of coming forth and communicating what they feel/think, are the reason every day millions of work hours are wasted and millions of mediocrities keep on living in their fantasy world thinking they are awesome at what they do.
Additionally, people whose opinion on this is that "he should be polite regardless of who he is and who he thinks he is", will never understand the argument "Cultural Differences, Bitch" [Pinkman TM] either.
The bottom line: Linus it not the average person. His work speaks for itself. The people who have a problem with his attitude, are those who demand of a genius that he also be modest/low-key/polite/gentle/subtle. But hey, guess what! If i'm a mediocrity, I don't get to demand things from superior people. And yes, sorry to break it to you. We're not all equal. I wouldn't mind it one bit if Feynman was a d*ck and if Einstein was a pr*ck.
Personally, I wish I had someone like Linus around my work place. I'd take his abuse any day of the week as long as I could benefit, even by mere osmosis, from his experience and ideas. Also don't forget: for every 1 person that bitches about his attitude, there are hundreds that benefit, enjoy, grow and flourish around him. And not just due to Stockholm syndrome.
Your way of thinking probably explains as well why the US is #1 in prisoners-per-capita.
Imprisonment removes your freedom. This should be punishment enough. Once you are in there, the idea is not to get you even more agitated or depressed. Rehabilitation comes with providing perhaps even things to which you didn't have access in the first place and led you to crime.
Of course in theory it's easy to generalize and philosofize. But still, trying to make a troubled individual's environment troubling, really has poor chances of solving the trouble.
Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.