Navy SEAL Pete Scobell discusses Junior Seau, the latest in string of ex-NFL suicides

This morning Glenn opened the radio show on a topic he rarely dwells into, sports. Glenn brought on Navy SEAL Pete Scobell to discuss the tragedy of the suicide of Junior Seau and the implications of concussions playing a role.

“Let me start an unusual place for me – a guy who doesn't know anything about sports. Junior Seau, we were talking about this in the meeting before the broadcast. I don't know anything at all about sports. I was listening to the conversation between Pat and Stu, and what struck me is he shot himself in the heart, and I've been talking to some military guys and Navy SEAL guys, and finding new technology about concussions and the way the brain works.

Junior Seau is an all-pro linebacker who played in the NFL for twenty years. He grew up in San Diego, played for USC in college, and played for the Chargers, the Dolphins, and the Patriots.

Pat explained that there is some speculation, because of the way Dave Duerson died last year, that there may be a connection to brain injury and concussions. Duerson also shot himself in the chest, but he left a note asked that he wanted his brain to be studied at Boston University because of all the concussions he got.

“So people are thinking, some are speculating, that this could be the same thing with Junior Seau, because nobody I’ve heard knew he was even depressed, nobody knew he was anything but incredibly happy and energetic like he was his whole life. He was only forty-three years old,” Pat said.

“Tragically sad story,” Glenn said, “but, I’m really saddened by the part of the story where he never shared his pain with anybody.”

“According to one of his close friends from the Chargers, he never showed any kind of weakness,” Pat said. “When he had an injury he would take it outside the locker room, and not go to the team's doctor. He would use his own personal physician, so he didn't show any weakness to his teammates, and he would deal with it that way. What his teammate and friend realized is that he was probably doing that in his personal life too, and not showing any of his pain to anybody.”

Navy SEAL Pete Scobell who has experience blast exposure and multiple concussions due to his line of high impact lifestyle from his career and sports, has had to deal with the complications and long term impact that this can have on your life. Pete joined the show this morning to talk to Glenn about this very issue and some ground breaking therapy that is being studied now that can help people deal with and recover from these brain injuries.

Pete explained that, “it doesn't have to be one event. It becomes – overtime things start happening, and you notice little things here and there. I'm having difficulty taking information out of an email; I'm having difficulty remembering articles that I needed for work. You know, if you leave for work six times, and you leave your keys and your wallet and your badge, you start wondering if this is a trend. You get frustrated to the point of the anger, and because of that you start questioning yourself, and what if you have everything all together.”

Pete explained that his wife, who he has known since they were children, started noticing a major difference in him, and eventually drew the line and made him get checked out. Pete came to Dallas to the Center for Brain Health, which was built to study brain disease, and has a system specially used to treat veterans for PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. Unlike most therapy centers, the Center for Brain Health takes a unique approach – they don’t start with the basics. Like other physical injuries in the body, from severe physical injuries to bumps and bruises, increased blood flow to the brain increases the amount of oxygen reaching the brain, speeding up the healing process.

To do this, instead of starting at the basics, they start at the highest level of thinking, increasing the blood flow and level of oxygen reaching your brain. They make you answer the question: Why? “You’re wired to reason for yourself,” Pete explained. “You’re wired to ask these questions, and build context from memory.”

Pete explained that it’s a system that makes you figure things out on your own. He compared it to how most people asked their teachers or at least wondered in school, ‘why are we doing that?’ or ‘Why do we need to know that?’ and were often told that we didn’t need to know why or we needed to know how, which put up a road block for our brain. This system pushes you to do the opposite. “It gave me confidence,” Pete said.

“I’ve been thinking that way my whole life, let’s keep going, let’s figure this out on my own. Once you have that information you can start using it – the directions for your brain. It’s a fantastic system.”

This system is still in the research phase and not available yet for the general public, but so far the results for Pete have been great.

“Every day is a little bit better, and that’s the thing with any kid of rehab,” Pete told Glenn. “For the longest time they thought you were born with the same brain you died with – that it is what it is and the brain can’t regenerate. But the plasticity of the brain continually astonishes these researchers. This is amazing. It can regenerate. It can overcome so much.”

Pete explained that once you start seeing an improvement in the types of problems he was experiencing, life starts getting better, and that he’s really looking forward to this system becoming more available to the public.

“With all of this stuff going on – and there’s been thousands of players that have been affected in the NFL – that something like this, just that element of hope, you’ve got to think that it is an ingredient that gets people past what happened,” Stu said.

Glenn added that the researches at the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas have found that a lot of the current techniques we are using to treat and diagnose brain injuries are some of the worst things you can do. He explained that they’re finding if you have someone who has just been knocked out or experienced brain trauma that putting them in an isolation chamber for sensory deprivation is one of the best ways to heal your brain. It isolates your brain from other activity, isolating blood flow to the injured part of your brain, and it heals much faster.

Below is a video from The Center for BrainHealth UT Dallas about this research:

“It’s an amazing thing, this this new technology,” Glenn said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with San Diego and Seau’s mom.”

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.