Monthly Archives: January 2012

First Lady did fine on the Tonight Show on Jan 31, 2012

Picture from the Heritage Foundation where a great article is linked here.

The First Lady started off her discussion with Jay Leno talking about her husband’s singing ability. She noted that he likes Al Green songs a lot. I grew up in Memphis and used to listen to Al Green when he first got hot in the early 1970’s.

Here is a rundown from CNN:

And here’s Michelle!

Posted by:

 We’re getting a glimpse into what life is like in the White House including mentally preparing for a presidential campaign and sleepovers for the first daughters from first lady Michelle Obama as she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Tuesday.

The first lady is in California raising money for her husband’s campaign at Democratic National Committee fundraisers and also advancing her Let’s Move initiative to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.

Appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Mrs. Obama confided her feelings on the upcoming campaign.

“There’s really no way to prepare for it.  You know, you just take each day as it comes.  I think, Barack and I, our motto is, you try to do the best job we can do every single day and the hope is that will speak for itself.  So, you know, we wake up everyday, we think about what this country needs.”

She told Leno two of the most important issues she has pressed for as first lady are her initiative to combat childhood obesity in this country and her work with military families.

On the subject of her own family, the first lady said her daughters Sasha and Malia are adjusting well to life in the White House.

“They’re doing really well and I think that’s been one of the most surprising things about living in the White House and probably one of the things I’ve worried most about was whether we could have a normal life,”  she told Leno in a video clip released by NBC.

“The people at the White House are amazing, the girls are good, they’re normal, we always check in, they have a regular life.  They’ve got friends and sleepovers, and to them its home.  It’s been truly a blessing for us,” she said.

The first lady came to the Leno show bearing gifts as she presented the host with an apple and some White House honey from her White House kitchen garden.  The comedian couldn’t let that pass without a double entendre joke saying, “That sounds bad…You know, with a different president, that could mean a whole different thing.”

And Mitt Romney’s musical skills also came up as Leno asked Mrs. Obama if she heard the GOP candidate’s slightly off key rendition of  “America the Beautiful” on the campaign trail Tuesday.  Mrs. Obama didn’t miss a beat saying she had seen the video in the NBC green room and as the audience laughed she hesitated only briefly diplomatically declaring the rendition “beautiful” and that, “It’s a song that’s to be sung by every American.”

Related posts:

An open letter to President Obama

  January 25, 2012 President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Also posted in Cato Institute | Edit | Comments (0)

A response to President’s comments

I want to give the president credit for the trade agreements that he has signed to allow more free trade but I condemn his efforts for trying to start more trade wars. Yes, we could learn from the army. Congress would accomplish a lot if they ran on orders. However, the  USA does not have […]

Did President Obama overreach?

An Abuse of Power: President Obama’s “Recess” Appointments Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Jan 7, 2012 President Obama’s stunning appointments of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and of three more bureaucrats to the National Labor Relations Board has been described by many observers as a serious blow to the Constitution and the separation […]

A serious blow to the Constitution

Amazing story from Heritage Foundation website:   President Obama’s stunning appointments of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and of three more bureaucrats to the National Labor Relations Board has been described by many observers as a serious blow to the Constitution and the separation of powers. In addition to the strong Constitutional […]

Brantley agrees with Obama that the rich should pay more

The Laffer Curve, Part I: Understanding the Theory Max Brantley is fond of accusing Republicans of coddling the rich and here comes Warren Buffett and validates both what President Obama and Brantley have been saying. However, will the increase in taxes have the desired result that they are wanting? Higher Tax Rates on Rich Won’t […]

Solution to the problem of loneliness among young people

Image Detail

Jim Morrison’s picture above. He died way too young and many of our young people turn to drugs and suicide because of  loneliness. It is sad that this is such a pressing problem. I think of songs that point this out: Adam’s Song, The Last Resort, etc.

There are two usual approaches to this problem that young people take.

First, you have the worm approach. They crawl into the ground because they don’t want to be close to anyone.

Second, the puppy approach. They do anything they can to get people to like them.

The better approach is to act like the child of God that you are. Feeling loved and accepted starts with your relationship with Christ who is the only one able to meet the deepest needs of your life. (Fast forward to the end of this post if you need a relationship with Christ.) Talking to Jesus and reading his Word- The Bible – are steps to strengthening your friendship with him. He laid down his life for you, so it is obvious that he regards you as a friend worth dying for (John 15:13) That is powerful comfort when you wonder if anyone cares.

Portions of the above post were taken from the excellent devotional book by Josh McDowell, and Ed Stewart “Youth Devotions 2,” published in 2003 by Tyndale. Back then my kids were 17, 14, 9 and 7 and we went through several of these devotions together. Just recently I got the book out of the garage and three of my kids have been meeting with me at 5:30 am every morning and we are going through some of these same devotions again. I thank God for kids who came to me and asked to start meeting with me every morning to spend 30 minutes studying Bible applications and praying together. To God be the glory.

Papa Roach – Last Resort (Censored Version)

This series of posts concerns the song “The Last Resort.”

Amy Winehouse died a few months ago and it was a tragic loss. That really troubled me that she did not seek spiritual help instead of turning to drugs and alcohol. This post today will give hope to those who feel like it is all hopeless.

The band’s place in the pop music landscape was established with the release of their breakout single, “Last Resort,” which was quickly picked up by MTV and nominated for a “Best New Artist Video” award at the 2000 Video Music Awards. The song is a gut-wrenching first-person chronicle of hopelessness that’s gone so deep the singer is seriously contemplating suicide.   But the band is adamant about the fact that the song is about fighting to survive by overcoming depression, rather than allowing it to lead to suicide. “It’s not saying I can’t go on living. It’s saying I can’t go on living this way,” says Dick (Spin, 10/00).

I know there are some curse words in the following song. I have eliminated both times the curse word is used. I really think that there needs to be a response to the young people who are saying things like the words in this song Here are some of the words:

Do you even care if I die pleading, Would it be wrong, would it be right, If I took my life tonight, Chances are that I might, and I’m contimplating suicide, ‘Cause I’m losing my sight, losing my mind, Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine, Nothing’s alright, nothing is fine, I’m running and I’m crying, I never realized I was spread too thin, Till it was too late andI was empty within, Hungry, feeding on my chaos and living in sin, Downward spiral, where do i begin, It all started when i lost my mother, No love for myself and no love for another,Searching to find a love upon a higher level, finding nothing but QUESTIONS AND DEVILS, I can’t go on living this way, Cut my life into pieces, This is my last resort.

My response to these words:”Do you even care if I die pleading, Would it be wrong, would it be right, If I took my life tonight, Chances are that I might, and I’m contimplating suicide” is that you should plead to someone who can do something about your situation and that is Christ!!!!

Below David Powlison asserts:

How do you get the living hope that God offers you in Jesus? By asking. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

Suicide operates in a world of death, despair, and aloneness. Jesus Christ creates a world of life, hope, and community. Ask God for help, and keep on asking. Don’t stop asking. You need Him to fill you every day with the hope of the resurrection.

Below is a portion of the article “Papa Roach—Infesting and reflecting youth culture by Walt Mueller. 

Papa Roach’s Music

In a day and age where the walls are crumbling between what had been a variety of distinctive popular music genres, Papa Roach is like many other chart-topping bands whose music combines sounds that were once distinct. Coby Dick’s raspy and throat-wrenching vocals join with music that incorporates sounds of rap, rock, thrash, funk and metal. Listeners familiar with popular music will hear the influence of Faith No More, the band Dick cites as one of his early favorites. Similar contemporary bands include Korn, Limp Bizkit, The Deftones and P.O.D.

Reviewer Tim Kennedy of Spin describes the resulting sound as “an amalgam of below-the-belt guitar riffage, punk-rock urgency, and half-sung, half-rapped vocals (10/00). Rolling Stone’s Anthony Bozza says listening to Papa Roach is “like standing on a precipice—sustained tension and the threat of a tumble” (8/31/00).

The sound combines with Dick’s lyrics in a powerful and emotional blend that addresses the reality of life for kids who have been burned over and over again. Tobin Esperance says, “We write about things that have happened to our singer, specifically, and friends around us. It’s real life stuff. We’re not writing about s___ that we don’t know about, like girls and cars and money … we only know real life bulls___ that happens” ( Coby Dick says of his autobiographical music, “I’m venting my emotions. It’s blunt” (Rolling Stone, 8/31/00). He says “Papa Roach, lyrically, is my counseling” (Billboard,6/10/00). 

Infest (2000)

Papa Roach released the album they now consider their first in April of 2000. The album quickly began to sell as a result of radio and MTV exposure, went gold after two months thanks to scoring with MTV’s Total Request Live audience, and had gone double platinum by September 2000.

Papa Roach offers an introduction to their music, mission, message and intentions on the album’s title cut. After introducing himself to his listeners, Coby Dick informs them his “God-given talent is to rock all the nations.” In this, the band’s “first manifesto,” the group lays out their plan to “infest” the world and young minds (“wrap you in my thoughts”) with an angry musical message of anarchy and rebellion against a messed-up world that’s let them down: “We’re going to infest/We’re getting in your head/What is wrong with the world today/The government, media or your family.” Institutions and people are not to be trusted. In fact, “First they shackle your feet/Then they stand you in a line/Then they beat you like meat/Then they grab you by your mind … people are the problem today.” Dick admits the struggle so many young people feel: “the game of life is crazy.” Alone in this sea of brokenness and hopelessness, Dick asks, “Would you cry if I died today/I think it be better if you did not say.”

The band’s place in the pop music landscape was established with the release of their breakout single, “Last Resort,” which was quickly picked up by MTV and nominated for a “Best New Artist Video” award at the 2000 Video Music Awards. The song is a gut-wrenching first-person chronicle of hopelessness that’s gone so deep the singer is seriously contemplating suicide. (See lyrics on page 7.) The fact that “Last Resort” is part of the mainstream pop music landscape indicates it is connecting with more and more kids who see it as an expression of their own inner struggles. For casual listeners, the song is very confusing. Listening to the song reveals the criticisms claiming the song promotes suicide could certainly be warranted. Kids who are riding the fence because of numerous other problems in their lives could interpret the song in a way that would give them permission to go over the edge, especially if they don’t know the story behind the song. But the band is adamant about the fact that the song is about fighting to survive by overcoming depression, rather than allowing it to lead to suicide. “It’s not saying I can’t go on living. It’s saying I can’t go on living this way,” says Dick (Spin, 10/00). He also says, “Last Resort” has “a positive edge to it, as far as like, ‘Don’t succumb to it. Keep yourself afloat.’ With these problems in your life, find a friend you can confide in” ( Based on the band’s resolve to survive like a roach, one would have to take them at their word. The song chronicles the suicide attempt of one of Coby Dick’s former roommates. After his “unsuccessful” attempt, the young man “turned to God” … Dick claims the attempt was what killed the rotting part of his roommate’s soul. The song has definitely connected. “We’ve gotten so many e-mails from people who tell us ‘Last Resort’ saved their lives,” says Dick. “It makes some people feel less alone” (Rolling Stone,8/31/00).

The album’s third cut is equally powerful. Released as a single and put in heavy rotation on MTV, “Broken Home” (See lyrics) is an overt lyrical, sonic and visual cry from the heart of one whose young life has been shattered by family breakdown. Written by Dick about his feelings after his parents’ divorce, the song offers listeners an emotional window into the reality of kids beaten up by our current culture of divorce. Every parent considering divorce should sit and watch this video. It is powerful.

“Dead Cell” has been called “a darkly sarcastic paean to Columbine kids the world over” (Alternative Press, 10/00). If that’s the case, the sarcasm is not easily heard. The dead cells are described as “born with no soul/lack of control/cut from the mold of the anti-social … sick in the head/living but dead.” Loud, angry and fast, the song could be interpreted by some who are young and angry as a call to arms: “I’m telling ya the kids are getting singled out/Let me hear the dead cells shout.”

“Between Angels and Insects” is an insightful rant against American greed and materialism. Dick says he wrote the song to remind himself that the things the band’s success will bring are not the things that make one happy. The lyrics are powerful and excerpts could serve to spark discussion with teens about the false promises of materialism: “Diamond rings get you nothing/But a life-long lesson/And your pocketbook stressin’/You’re a slave to the system/Working jobs that you hate/For s___ that you don’t need/It’s too bad the world is based on greed/Step back and stop thinking ‘bout yourself … ‘cause everything is nothing/And emptiness is in everything … Possessions they are never gonna fill the void … the things you own, own you.” When discussing the message of the song Buckner says, “all the worldly things that people equate with happiness—do they necessarily make you happy? You can have Rolexes and diamond rings and cars and houses … but really the things that make you happy are peace of mind and passion in your life” (Alternative Press, 10/00).

Relational selfishness and greed are the subject of “Blood Brothers,” a song offering powerful evidence of the depth of sin’s hold on humanity: “It’s our nature to destroy ourselves/It’s our nature to kill ourselves/It’s our nature to kill each other/It’s in our nature to kill, kill, kill.” The song speaks about allegiance in a world where you can’t trust anybody and you’ve got to watch your back. The lyrics leave one thinking the song could serve as an anthem for a street gang or other fringe subculture: “Blood brothers keep it real to the end.”

Themes of severe relational breakdown and the resulting pain continue in “Revenge,” a song about a girl who was “abused with forks, knives and razorblades” and who finally left the man who abused her in fits of rage. Listeners who have been abused will identify with the song’s mention of the ever-present and visible emotional scars they so often feel: “Chaos is what she saw in the mirror/Scared of herself/And the power that was in her/It took over and weighed heavily on her shoulders/Militant insanity is now what controlled her.” The song indicates that she exacts revenge on him, although the method and outcome is unclear.

Backstabbers are the subject of “Snakes,” an angry and threatening rant at those who betray friends. The song reflects the distrust so many kids feel because of the parade of letdowns they’ve experienced. The chorus asks, “Do you like how it feels to be bit in the neck by the snake that kills?/Do you know how it feels to be stabbed in the back then watch the blood spill?/I don’t like how it feels.”

Coby Dick chronicles his wrestling match with alcohol on “Binge,” a song that serves as a personal confession. “All I need is a bottle/And I don’t need no friends/Now wallow in my pain/I swallow as I pretend/To act like I’m happy when I drink till no end/I’m losing all my friends, I’m losing in the end … When I’m sober, life bores me/So I get drunk again.” The song is a heart cry about what drives the binge drinker, how he really feels inside and his desire to see it end. In the song’s final lines, Dick sings, “I wish things would change/Wish they’d rearrange.”

“Never Enough” is another cry for help from a confused and tortured young soul that is deeply longing for redemption. “Life’s been sucked out of me/And this routine’s killing me … somebody put me out of my misery,” Dick sings. The song will resonate with kids who are lost, purposeless and without peace. The song’s conclusion is a loud cry for help: “I feel as if I’m running/Life will knock me down.”

“Thrown Away” offers a view of life through the eyes of a kid struggling with ADD, something Coby Dick knows well as he watched his brother’s personal struggle with the disorder. “My heart is bleeding and the pain will not pass … I want to be thrown away … I am a mess, I’ve made a huge mess/I can’t control myself/I’m losing it, I’ve lost it/I’ve spilt all my marbles … sometimes I want to be thrown away.”

The album concludes with an unlisted hidden cut called “Tightrope.” The track is stylistically unlike any other cuts on the album as it is done in reggae style. The lyrics are a confusing mix of thoughts where Dick calls his words “weapons in which I murder you.” The song offers a confession regarding the ethical dilemmas faced by kids in these confusing times: “there is a thin line between what’s good and what is evil/I will tiptoe down that line/But I feel unstable/My life is a circus and I’m tripping down the tightrope/There’s nothing left to save me now so I will not look down.”

Help for the Suicidal

God offers you true, living hope–not a false hope based on your death.
By David Powlison


It’s easy to see the risk factors for suicide—depression, suffering, disillusioning experiences, failure—but there are also ways to get your life back on track by building protective factors into your life.

Ask for help

How do you get the living hope that God offers you in Jesus? By asking. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

Suicide operates in a world of death, despair, and aloneness. Jesus Christ creates a world of life, hope, and community. Ask God for help, and keep on asking. Don’t stop asking. You need Him to fill you every day with the hope of the resurrection.

At the same time you are asking God for help, tell other people about your struggle with hopelessness. God uses His people to bring life, light, and hope. Suicide, by definition, happens when someone is all alone. Getting in relationship with wise, caring people will protect you from despair and acting out of despair.

But what if you are bereaved and alone? If you know Jesus, you still have a family—His family is your family. Become part of a community of other Christians. Look for a church where Jesus is at the center of teaching and worship. Get in relationship with people who can help you, but don’t stop with getting help. Find people to love, serve, and give to. Even if your life has been stripped barren by lost relationships, God can and will fill your life with helpful and healing relationships.

Grow in godly life skills

Another protective factor is to grow in godly living. Many of the reasons for despair come from not living a godly, fruitful life. You need to learn the skills that make godly living possible. What are some of those skills?

    • Conflict resolution. Learn to problem-solve by entering into human difficulties and growing through them. (See Ask the Christian Counselor article, “Fighting the Right Way.”)
    • Seek and grant forgiveness. Hopeless thinking is often the result of guilt and bitterness.
    • Learn to give to others. Suicide is a selfish act. It’s a lie that others will be better off without you. Work to replace your faulty thinking with reaching out to others who are also struggling. Take what you have learned in this article and pass it on to at least one other person. Whatever hope God gives you, give to someone who is struggling with despair.

Live for God

When you live for God, you have genuine meaning in your life. This purpose is far bigger than your suffering, your failures, the death of your dreams, and the disillusionment of your hopes. Living by faith in God for His purposes will protect you from suicidal and despairing thoughts. God wants to use your personality, your skills, your life situation, and even your struggle with despair to bring hope to others.

He has already prepared good works for you to do. Paul says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). As you step into the good works God has prepared for you—you will find that meaning, purpose, and joy.

Related posts:

A Christian response to Papa Roach’s song “The Last Resort” (Part 2)

Papa Roach – Last Resort (Censored Version) This series of posts concerns the song “The Last Resort.” Amy Winehouse died today and it was a tragic loss. That really troubled me that she did not seek spiritual help instead of turning to drugs and alcohol. This post today will give hope to those we feel like […]

Heartbreaking story of Amy Winehouse

  I am in the middle of a series on the Papa Roach song “Last Resort” which deals with suicide and then today I hear this sad story about Amy Winehouse. Inside Amy Winehouse’s troubled life With the news that British R&B star and tabloid target Amy Winehouse has died from as yet undisclosed causes, […]

A Christian response to Papa Roach’s song “The Last Resort” (Part 1)

Papa Roach – Last Resort (Censored Version) Today I am starting a series of posts on this song  “The Last Resort” by Papa Roach. The band’s place in the pop music landscape was established with the release of their breakout single, “Last Resort,” which was quickly picked up by MTV and nominated for a “Best […]

Arkansas should get Dorial Green-Beckham

It is just common sense. Did you know that Fayetteville is closer to Dorial’s home town than Columbia is?

Compare the performance of the receivers at Arkansas to those at Missouri the last few years? Which team has a better chance for a national championship based on the performance the last few years? (Arkansas finished with only two losses this year and those were to the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the nation. The hogs finished ranked #5 in the final poll.)

Look at the ability of Arkansas to put players in the NFL the last few years. In fact, most players like Dorial Green-Beckham like to think about this issue more than any other. The cold hard facts are clear: Petrino may be the best coach in the country for offensive production and to ignore that would be silly.

Also the 12 teams of the SEC have produced the last 6 national championships. It is true that Missouri and Texas A&M have now seen the light and joined. What kind of welcome they get from the SEC remains to be seen. I would predict that the first few years may be very tough indeed. Judging from the Aggies performance against Arkansas the last three years it may be very tough.

The word from the Tulsa World yesterday is that Dorial Green-Beckham will sign with Missouri. We have to wait and see. I am betting on the hogs!!!! These facts mentioned in this post are just too hard to ignore.

Arkansas football committments are from everywhere

Remember the good ole days when Arkansas would sign half of their players from Texas. Well this class will have more players from Texas than anywhere else but it is not half the class.
25% or 6 from Texas
20% or 4 from Arkansas
15% or 3 from Oklahoma
10% or 2 from the states Tennessee and California
5% or 1 from the states Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, and Mississippi
Percentages are rough (it only adds up to 90%)

Richard Davenport of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette wrote this in today’s paper:
Arkansas 2012 signee and commitments
DE Austin Flynn 6-4/260 4.47 Wilmington (Calif.) LA Harbor CC
LB Vin Ascolese 6-2, 220 4.5 North Bergen, N.J. OL Cordale Boyd 6-3/298 5.3 Memphis Ridgeway CB Ray Buchanan Jr. 5-10 1/2/180 4.47 Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge CB Jared Collins 6-0/165 4.4 Tulsa Washington WR D’Arthur Cowan 6-3/170 4.56 Olive Branch, Miss. WR Courtney Gardner 6-3/215 4.37 Rocklin (Calif.) Sierra College WR Keon Hatcher 6-2/197 4.5 Owasso, Okla. WR Eric Hawkins 6-0/171 4.25 Longview, Texas CB Will Hines 6-1/180 4.47 Waco, Texas Ath. Nathan Holmes 6-1/175 4.43 Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial DE Taiwan Johnson Jr. 6-3/235 4.79 Manvel, Texas DE Brandon Lewis 6-5/225 4.9 Memphis Ridgeway ATH Defonta Lowe 6-3/190 4.5 Bearden RB Donovan Roberts 6-0 1/2/200 4.50 Norman, Okla. ATH Jeremy Sprinkle 6-6/220 4.6 White Hall LB A.J. Turner 6-2/204 4.6 East Poinsett County OL Jeremy Ward 6-4/280 5.03 Pottsville RB Jonathan Williams 5-11/205 4.45 Allen, Texas DE JaMichale Winston 6-6/230 4.50 Prichard (Ala.) Vigor DE Deatrich Wise Jr. 6-6/235 4.82 Carrollton (Texas) Hebron

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams runs back a punt for a touchdown against Tennessee at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011.  (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)<br /><br />
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<p>Photo by <a title=Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams runs back a punt for a touchdown against Tennessee at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams breaks tackles to return a punt for a touchdown against Tennessee at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. UT lost the game 49-7. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)<br /><br />
” width=”607″ /></p>
<p>Photo by <a title=Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams breaks tackles to return a punt for a touchdown against Tennessee at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. UT lost the game 49-7. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams breaks past Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph  to return a punt for a touchdown at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. UT lost the game 49-7. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)<br /><br />
” width=”607″ /></p>
<p>Photo by <a title=Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams breaks past Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph to return a punt for a touchdown at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. UT lost the game 49-7. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS

Newt goes to church


Newt makes his way to church on Sunday.

By KEITH MORELLI | The Tampa Tribune
Published: January 29, 2012
Updated: January 29, 2012 – 3:03 PM
TAMPA –Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gringrich sat in an aisle seat near the front of Idlewild Baptist Church Sunday morning, listening to a sermon praising the sanctity of life and the misery of abortion.

The Rev. Russell Moore was preaching to the choir, as Gingrich’s staunch pro-life support underpins his campaign to capture the conservative right’s vote.

Gingrich was in town continuing his quest for the presidency and a win in the crucial Florida primary election Tuesday. He spent more than an hour listening to the sermon in Tampa’s largest church, whose worship center holds 5,500 people. Thousands attended the 9:30 a.m. service Gingrich attended, though plenty of balcony seats were empty.

Some came to church unaware Gingrich would be in attendance and steered clear of the media waiting outside. Others were eager to meet the former speaker of the House, shake his hand, pose for a photo and get an autograph.

Mark Fitzpatrick brought his two sons, 15-year-old Caleb and 13-year-old Jeremiah, to meet Gingrich and was hoping to get seats near the candidate.

“I want to get my boys excited about politics,” he said. His son, Caleb, dressed in a snappy suit and toting a bible, said he wants to be a politician someday.

“I am interested in politics,” he said. “Absolutely.”

Gingrich’s chartered bus arrived at Idlewild Baptist just before the service began. He was ushered in and took his seat with little fanfare, save for the media, which for the most part remained outside.

Inside, the Rev. Ken Whitten greeted the faithful and recognized Gingrich as a distinguished guest. With the candidate was Bill McCollum, the former U.S. representative from Florida and an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor in 2010.

Gingrich’s politics reflect the pro-life sermon delivered by Moore. Hundreds lined up outside the worship center after the sermon to stream past Gingrich, shake his hand and wish him well in the election.

He did not speak inside the worship center. Church officials have said politicians and celebrities are welcome to attend, but they are never allowed deliver speeches during Sunday services. That would leave the impression the church is making an endorsement.

“We endorse the process,” Whitten said to the congregation, “not the people.”

During the sermon, a man seated across the aisle from Gingrich became ill, and church workers and volunteers rushed to his side. The service stopped, and Whitten asked everyone to bow their heads and pray for the man. He eventually was placed in a wheelchair and taken out of the worship center.

After the service, Gingrich addressed the throng of reporters following him around the state during his campaign. He referred to his chief rival, Mitt Romney, as a “pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-tax increase Massachusetts liberal,” and said the Republican Party would never give the nomination to such a man.

“This campaign is about the future of American,” he said, “about the future of the Republican Party.”

He brushed aside polls that showed him trailing Romney.

“We will go all the way to the convention,” Gingrich said, amid speculation that if he lost in the Florida Republican primary on Tuesday, he would drop out. He said the campaign “will be a straight-out run” until the convention in Tampa in August.

“I genuinely want to change Washington,” he said. “Romney would just manage the decay.”

Idlewild Baptist has long been a magnet for conservative candidates making campaign stops. The Lutz church boasts a 13,000-strong congregation, and it’s where prominent Tampa businessmen and philanthropists go on Sunday mornings, along with candidates for public office and those in office.

The church is considered a hub of Republican activity and never has shied away from its role as a place for conservative politicians to meet like-minded constituents and garner support.

Michele Bachmann, former Republican presidential hopeful and Gingrich rival, attended a service there in August before she withdrew from the race.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush and former President George W. Bush have listened to sermons there. Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi made stops there while on the campaign trail.

A solution to the fairness question that President Obama and John Brummett want solved.

John Brummett in his article, “Still a taxing issue,” Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Jan 31, 2012, asserts that the Republcans are on the wrong side of the tax issue and the people support the view that President Obama holds concerning fairness. According to Brummett “…the issue is that the government enhances wealth artificially with tax inequity that consolidates riches while mistreating and eroding the vital middle class….” and he also noted that Rich people are getting off too easy and the secretaries of the world are paying way too much and the rich are paying way too little.

Let me offer a solution. How about lowering the tax rates for the rich so they no longer will seek these tax shelters and also we have much less cheating on taxes too.

Dan Mitchell lays a great case for lowering taxes:

New Academic Study Confirms Previous IMF Analysis, Shows that Lower Tax Rates Are the Best Way to Reduce Tax Evasion

Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

Leftists want higher tax rates and they want greater tax compliance. But they have a hard time understanding that those goals are inconsistent.

Simply stated, people respond to incentives. When tax rates are punitive, folks earn and report less taxable income, and vice-versa.

In a previous post, I quoted an article from the International Monetary Fund, which unambiguously concluded that high tax burdens are the main reason people don’t fully comply with tax regimes.

Macroeconomic and microeconomic modeling studies based on data for several countries suggest that the major driving forces behind the size and growth of the shadow economy are an increasing burden of tax and social security payments… The bigger the difference between the total cost of labor in the official economy and the after-tax earnings from work, the greater the incentive for employers and employees to avoid this difference and participate in the shadow economy. …Several studies have found strong evidence that the tax regime influences the shadow economy.

Indeed, it’s worth noting that international studies find that the jurisdictions with the highest rates of tax compliance are the ones with reasonable tax systems, such as Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Singapore.

Now there’s a new study confirming these findings. Authored by two economists, one from the University of Wisconsin and the other from Jacksonville University, the new research cites the impact of tax burdens as well as other key variables.

Here are some key findings from the study.

According to the results provided in Table 2, the coefficient on the average effective federal income tax variable (AET) is positive in all three estimates and statistically significant for the overall study periods (1960-2008) at beyond the five percent level and statistically significant at the one percent level for the two sub-periods (1970-2007 and 1980-2008). Thus, as expected, the higher the average effective federal income tax rate, the greater the expected benefits of tax evasion may be and hence the greater the extent of that income tax evasion. This finding is consistent with most previous studies of income tax evasion using official data… In all three estimates, [the audit variable] exhibits the expected negative sign; however, in all three estimates it fails to be statistically significant at the five percent level. Indeed, these three coefficients are statistically significant at barely the 10 percent level. Thus it appears the audit rate (AUDIT) variable, of an in itself, may not be viewed as a strong deterrent to federal personal income taxation [evasion].

Translating from economic jargon, the study concludes that higher tax burdens lead to more evasion. Statists usually claim that this can be addressed by giving the IRS more power, but the researchers found that audit rates have a very weak effect.

The obvious conclusion, as I’ve noted before, is that lower tax rates and tax reform are the best way to improve tax compliance – not more power for the IRS.

Incidentally, this new study also finds that evasion increases when the unemployment rate increases. Given his proposals for higher tax rates and his poor track record on jobs, it almost makes one think Obama is trying to set a record for tax evasion.

The study also finds that dissatisfaction with government is correlated with tax evasion. And since Obama’s White House has been wasting money on corrupt green energy programs and a failed stimulus, that also suggests that the Administration wants more tax evasion.

Indeed, this last finding is consistent with some research from the Bank of Italy that I cited in 2010.

…the coefficient of public spending inefficiency remains negative and highly significant. …We find that tax morale is higher when the taxpayer perceives and observes that the government is efficient; that is, it provides a fair output with respect to the revenues.

And I imagine that “tax morale” in the United States is further undermined by an internal revenue code that has metastasized into a 72,000-page monstrosity of corruption and sleaze.

On the other hand, tax evasion apparently is correlated with real per-capita gross domestic product. And since the economy has suffered from anemic performance over the past three years, that blows a hole in the conspiratorial theory that Obama wants more evasion.

All joking aside, I’m sure the President wants more tax compliance and more prosperity. And since I’m a nice guy, I’m going to help him out. Mr. President, this video outlines a plan that would achieve both of those goals.

The Flat Tax: How it Works and Why it is Good for America

Uploaded by on Mar 29, 2010

This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video shows how the flat tax would benefit families and businesses, and also explains how this simple and fair system would boost economic growth and eliminate the special-interest corruption of the internal revenue code.


Given his class-warfare rhetoric, I’m not holding my breath in anticipation that he will follow my sage advice.

Republican Florida Debate Part 3

Mitt Romney (left) speaks while Newt Gingrich listens during a Republican presidential debate in Florida. | AP Photo

Romney tried to prevent Gingrich from having one of his signature ‘moments.’ | AP Photo

Here are some thoughts from Politico:

3) The crowd silence altered the chemistry in the room

It’s not exactly news that Newt Gingrich uses the debate hall crowd as a theatrical prop. But the effect has never been so clear as in last night’s debate — when the crowd wasn’t engaged.

NBC News moderator Brian Williams asked the crowd for quiet early on, and, unlike past debates, they complied. There was sporadic clapping here and there, but almost nothing for the first hour.

It gave the debate hall an eerie calm and a decidedly low-energy feel. The back and forth between Gingrich and Romney lost some energy because of it. The whole debate, for that matter, was sluggish, with very little electricity for almost an hour and 45 minutes.

Gingrich simply seemed not quite himself without the applause. At points when he approached anger, he simply seemed, well, angry. With the help of the debate hall crowds, in other debates that anger had seemed like passion.

Gingrich is still better at this than Romney, but this debate underscored an important fact: He is less a great debater than an extremely good stage actor. He’d better hope CNN doesn’t follow the same rules at the next debate Thursday night.

Related Posts:

Newt is a poor excuse for a candidate

I used to like Newt back in the 1990′s but a lot has changed since then. Take a look at this fine article from the Cato Institute: Gingrich Rise Is Triumph of Style over Substance by Gene Healy   Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult […]

Adrian Rogers’ sermon on Clinton in 98 applies to Newt in 2012

It pays to remember history. Today I am going to go through some of it and give an outline and quotes from the great Southern Baptist leader Adrian Rogers (1931-2005). Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times started this morning off with some comedy: From pro golfer John Daly’s Twitter account following last night’s Republican debate, […]

Newt and Clinton:Both were Southern Baptists living hypocritcal lives

EXCLUSIVE: Ron Paul Has A Secret Plan To Win America   I used to go to the Immanuel Baptist Church (Clinton was member there) Luncheon every week in Little Rock and in 1995 I visited the large Southern Baptist Church in the Atlanta where Newt was a member. Both men evidently shared some hypocritical habits […]

Romney must embrace some of Ron Paul’s ideas or take Rand as VP

There is no other way around this problem for Romney. If he wins the Republican Nomination for President then the must embrace some of Paul’s ideas (as suggested below by Senator Demint) or get Rand Paul to be the VP candidate. GOP Should Heed Ron Paul by Michael D. Tanner Michael Tanner is a senior […]

Should we still be making horse-drawn buggies today instead of cars?

The Arkansas Times jumped on this story as many other liberals outlets. Change in the marketplace is driven by the wants and needs of consumers. Are we to protect the jobs of those who work for companies that want to cling to the past? I posted about this before but I have decided to revisit […]

Republican delegate count and future primaries

Great website below tracks the delegates for the Republican nomination: The delegate race There are 2,286 delegates up for grabs. A candidate needs 1,144 to win the GOP presidential nomination. Total delegates won, by candidate Delegates needed: 1,144       Romney   20 Santorum   12 Paul   3 Huntsman   2 Perry   […]

Bain Capital record of Romney is excellent

Here is an excellent article: You can blame Mitt, but not for Bain By: Steven Rattner January 12, 2012 12:02 AM EST I’m all in favor of piling on Mitt Romney for any number of reasons: his come lately embrace of hard right conservatism, his periodic malapropisms (“I like being able to fire people”) and […]

Robert Jeffress interviewed by Bill Maher

Dr. Robert Jeffress a Featured Guest on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” (10/14/11) Uploaded by robertjeffress on Oct 15, 2011 Dr. Robert Jeffress was a featured guest on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” Friday night, October 14. The pastor talked with the controversial political satirist about the Protestant Reformation; being saved by faith, […]

Fellow admirer of Francis Schaeffer, Michele Bachmann quits presidential race

What Ever Happened to the Human Race? Bachmann was a student of the works of Francis Schaeffer like I am and I know she was pro-life because of it. (Observe video clip above and picture of Schaeffer.) I hated to see her go.  DES MOINES, Iowa — Last night, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann vowed to […]

Does human life begin at birth or conception?

On the Arkansas Times blog in the comment section the person using username “Hackett” asserted:

Life begins when the fetus is viable outside the womb, prior to that it is parasitical and lives at the discretion of the host.

I responded with this post today:

It seems to me the real argument lies in the personhood of the unborn baby. (The best evidence pointing to unborn baby being human was given by my atheist friend Dr. Kevin Henke.) If it is just a piece of material that is lifeless then the pro-life crowd has no argument. However, if it is a person then the pro-choice crowd has no argument. (A great article on the Biblical passages against abortion are found in this link.)

My pro-life evidence lies in the lives of two of the most abortion supporters of the 1970’s. Why did they change to the pro-life view? Check out the links below for the answers.

“Jane Roe” or Roe v Wade is now a prolife Christian. She’s recently has done a commercial about it.


I have often wondered why we got to this point in our country’s life and we allow abortion. The answer is found in the words of Schaffer.
Philosopher and Theologian, Francis A. Schaeffer has argued, “If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute.” Francis Schaeffer, How Shall We Then Live? (Old Tappan NJ: Fleming H Revell Company, 1976), p. 224.

Below is a clip from the film series “How Then Shall We Live?”

The Hand of God-Selected Quotes from Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D.,

Reasoned Audacity

Bernard Nathanson, M.D.

Silent Scream, The Hand of God is “semi-autobiographical…for the study of…the…demise of one system of morality…and the painful acquisition of another more coherent, more reliable [morality]…[with] the backdrop …of abortion. p. 3.

“We live in an age of fulsome nihilism; an age of death; an age in which, as author Walker Percy (a fellow physician, a pathologist who specializes in autopsying Western civilization) argued, “compassion leads to the gas chamber,” or the abortion clinic, or the euthanist’s office.” p. 4.

“I worked hard to make abortion legal, affordable, and available on demand. In 1968, I was one of the three founders of the National Abortion Rights Action League. I ran the largest abortion clinic …and oversaw tens of thousands of abortions. I have performed thousands myself.” p. 5.

“The Hippocratic Oath states the following,

I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner, I will not give to a woman a pessary [a device inserted in the vagina, thought erroneously to initiate an abortion] to produce an abortion.

The oath is unambiguous on these matters.” p. 48.

“The World Medical Association meeting at Geneva, in 1948, in the aftermath of the revelations of the Nazi medical experiments, revised the oath marginally to include the pledge, “I will retain the utmost respect for Human Life from conception.”…in 1964 restated the theme : “The health of my patient will be my first consideration.” p.50. The unborn baby in an abortion procedure is not considered a patient.

A Ronald Reagan radio address from 1975 addresses the topics of abortion and adoption. This comes from a collection of audio commentaries titled “Reagan in His Own Voice.”

I just wanted to share with you one of the finest prolife papers I have ever read, and it is by President Ronald Wilson Reagan.

I have a son named Wilson Daniel Hatcher and he is named after two of the most respected men I have ever read about : Daniel from the Old Testament and Ronald Wilson Reagan. I have studied that book of Daniel for years and have come to respect that author who was a saint who worked in two pagan governments but he never compromised. My favorite record was the album “No Compromise” by Keith Green and on the cover was a picture from the Book of Daniel.

One of the thrills of my life was getting to hear President Reagan speak in the beginning of November of 1984 at the State House Convention Center in Little Rock.  Immediately after that program I was standing outside on Markham with my girlfriend Jill Sawyer (now wife of 25 years) and we were alone on a corner and President was driven by and he waved at us and we waved back.

My former pastor from Memphis, Adrian Rogers, got the opportunity to visit with President Ronald Reagan on several occasions.

Take time to read this below and comment below and let me know what you thought of his words.

June 10, 2004, 10:30 a.m.
Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation
Ronald Reagan’s pro-life tract.

EDITOR’S NOTE: While president, Ronald Reagan penned this article for The Human Life Review, unsolicited. It ran in the Review‘s Spring 1983, issue and is reprinted here with permission.

The 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. Our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy was neither voted for by our people nor enacted by our legislators — not a single state had such unrestricted abortion before the Supreme Court decreed it to be national policy in 1973 is a good time for us to pause and reflect. But the consequences of this judicial decision are now obvious: since 1973, more than 15 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions. That is over ten times the number of Americans lost in all our nation’s wars.

Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a “right” so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.

As an act of “raw judicial power” (to use Justice White’s biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority inRoe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court’s decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead,Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.

Abortion concerns not just the unborn child, it concerns every one of us. The English poet, John Donne, wrote: “. . . any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life — the unborn — without diminishing the value of all human life. We saw tragic proof of this truism last year when the Indiana courts allowed the starvation death of “Baby Doe” in Bloomington because the child had Down’s Syndrome.

Many of our fellow citizens grieve over the loss of life that has followed Roe v. Wade. Margaret Heckler, soon after being nominated to head the largest department of our government, Health and Human Services, told an audience that she believed abortion to be the greatest moral crisis facing our country today. And the revered Mother Teresa, who works in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy, has said that “the greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children.”

Over the first two years of my Administration I have closely followed and assisted efforts in Congress to reverse the tide of abortion — efforts of Congressmen, Senators and citizens responding to an urgent moral crisis. Regrettably, I have also seen the massive efforts of those who, under the banner of “freedom of choice,” have so far blocked every effort to reverse nationwide abortion-on-demand.

Despite the formidable obstacles before us, we must not lose heart. This is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of certain human lives. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was not overturned in a day, or a year, or even a decade. At first, only a minority of Americans recognized and deplored the moral crisis brought about by denying the full humanity of our black brothers and sisters; but that minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed. They did it by appealing to the hearts and minds of their countrymen, to the truth of human dignity under God. From their example, we know that respect for the sacred value of human life is too deeply engrained in the hearts of our people to remain forever suppressed. But the great majority of the American people have not yet made their voices heard, and we cannot expect them to — any more than the public voice arose against slavery — until the issue is clearly framed and presented.

What, then, is the real issue? I have often said that when we talk about abortion, we are talking about two lives — the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child. Why else do we call a pregnant woman a mother? I have also said that anyone who doesn’t feel sure whether we are talking about a second human life should clearly give life the benefit of the doubt. If you don’t know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it. I think this consideration itself should be enough for all of us to insist on protecting the unborn.


I remember when President Carter and candidate Reagan debated in 1980 and the subject of abortion came up. Reagan said that if you were on a dusty area and you found someone laying down would you bury him without knowing for sure if he is alive or not? It is the same with the case of abortion.

Related Posts:

Abortionist Bernard Nathanson turned pro-life activist (part 11)

ABORTION – THE SILENT SCREAM 1 / Extended, High-Resolution Version (with permission from APF). Republished with Permission from Roy Tidwell of American Portrait Films as long as the following credits are shown: VHS/DVDs Available American Portrait Films Call 1-800-736-4567 The Hand of God-Selected Quotes from Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., Unjust laws exist. Shall we […]

Abortionist Bernard Nathanson turned pro-life activist (part 10)

Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson, a leading pro-life advocate and convert to Catholicism, died at the age of 84 on Monday a week ago in his New York home, after a long struggle with cancer. The Hand of God-Selected Quotes from Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., Chapter 12 is titled To The Thanatoriums, an allusion the Walker […]

On eve of Shutdown Republicans cave on demand concerning eliminating Planned Parenthood Funding

The pro-life position is very important to a great many of the freshmen members of the House of Representatives. As you can see above in the clip from the film series Whatever Happened to the Human Race? by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, the unborn baby is a child, but we are treating many […]

Abortionist Bernard Nathanson turned pro-life activist (part 9)(Donald Trump changes to pro-life view)

When I think of the things that make me sad concerning this country, the first thing that pops into my mind is our treatment of unborn children. Donald Trump is probably going to run for president of the United States. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council recently had a conversation with him concerning the […]

Federal Spending Grew More Than Ten Times Faster Than Median Income

Federal Spending Grew More Than Ten Times Faster Than Median Income

Everyone wants to know more about the budget and here is some key information with a chart from the Heritage Foundation and a video from the Cato Institute.

When federal spending grows faster than Americans’ paychecks, the burden on taxpayers becomes greater. Over the past few decades, middle-income Americans’ earnings have risen only 27 percent, while spending has increased 299 percent.



Federal Spending Grew More Than Ten Times Faster Than Median Income

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and White House Office of Management and Budget.

Chart 3 of 42

In Depth

  • Technical Notes

    The charts in this book are based primarily on data available as of March 2011 from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The charts using OMB data display the historical growth of the federal government to 2010 while the charts using CBO data display both historical and projected growth from as early as 1940 to 2084. Projections based on OMB data are taken from the White House Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The charts provide data on an annual basis except… Read More

  • Authors

    Emily GoffResearch Assistant
    Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy StudiesKathryn NixPolicy Analyst
    Center for Health Policy StudiesJohn FlemingSenior Data Graphics Editor

“Tennis Tuesday” John McEnroe part 2

From Wikipedia:

John Patrick McEnroe, Jr. (born February 16, 1959) is a former world no. 1 professional tennis player from the United States. During his career, he won seven Grand Slam singles titles (three at Wimbledon and four at the US Open), nine Grand Slam men’s doubles titles, and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title. McEnroe also won a record eight season ending championships, comprising five WCT Finals titles and three Masters Grand Prix titles from twelve final appearances at these two events, a record he shares with Ivan Lendl. He posted the best single season win-loss record in the Open Era in 1984 at 96.47% (82/3). In addition he won 19 Championship Series top tier events of the Grand Prix Tour that were the precursors to the current Masters 1000.

He is best remembered for his shot-making artistry and superb volleying; for his famous rivalries with Björn Borg, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl; for his confrontational on-court behavior which frequently landed him in trouble with umpires and tennis authorities; and for the catchphrase “You cannot be serious!” directed toward an umpire during a match at Wimbledon in 1981. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999, and is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.[2]

McEnroe is the older brother of Patrick McEnroe, who is also a former professional tennis player and the former Captain of the United States Davis Cup team, a position in which John served previously. They also both are now often commentators for Grand Slam tennis television coverage in the United States, and John McEnroe is also a commentator on Wimbledon for the BBC.

McEnroe was born in Wiesbaden, West Germany, to Kay (née Tresham) and John Patrick McEnroe, Sr.[3] His father, who is of Irish descent, was at the time stationed with the United States Air Force.[3] In 1960, the family moved to the New York City area, where McEnroe’s father worked daytime as an advertising agent while attending Fordham Law School[4] by night. He has two younger brothers: Mark (born 1964), and former professional tennis player Patrick (born 1966).

McEnroe grew up in Douglaston, Queens. He started playing tennis when he was eight years old at the nearby Douglaston Club with his brothers. When he was nine, his parents enrolled him in the Eastern Lawn Tennis Association, and he soon started playing regional tournaments. He then began competing in national juniors tournaments, and at twelve—when he was ranked seven in his age group—he joined the Port Washington Tennis Academy, Long Island, New York.[5] McEnroe attended Trinity School and graduated in 1977.