π Day

Posted in GSU photo archive, Holidays by chamblee54 on March 14, 2018



Today is 3-14. It is a tuesday, and 314 are the first three digits of pi (affectionately known as π ). It is a math thing, the number you multiply a diameter by to get the circumference. When your grammar school math teacher told you about π, she probably used 3.14, or 3 1/7. (PG went to school when Hewlett and Packard were still in the garage.)

You might also have heard the formula for the area of a circle, the racy π r squared . This means that you multiply π by the radius (half the diameter, a line from the border to the center point), and then multiply the whole contraption by the radius again. The formula has a funny sound to it. Pie are not square, cornbread is square, pie are round. Like Sly Stone says, all the squares go home.

According to wikipedia, π seems to have been known as early as 1900 b.c. The pyramids of Egypt have a π based feature. The Greek letter π is the first letter of the Greek word περίμετρος (perimeter) . This was determined OTP.

The pyramid- π function is fairly simple. The total length of the four sides, at the base, will be the same as the height of the pyramid, times two, times π. PG likes to make model pyramids. They are 6″ tall, and the base sides are 9 3/8″. The combination of these four sides is 37 1/2″. If you multiply 6x2x3.14, you get 37.68″ The .18″ is because of a measuring error.

A lady named Eve Astrid Andersson has a page of her website dedicated to π. The only trivia question that PG understood was the first one…1. What is the formal definition of pi? …the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter // 3.14159 // the radius of a unit circle // the surface area of a sphere of diameter 22/7 // a delicious dessert, especially if it contains cherries.

There is the football cheer from M.I.T. ” Cosine, secant, tangent, sine 3.14159 // Integral, radical, u dv, slipstick, slide rule, MIT!”

In 1998 a movie titled π was released. It caused brain damage in 3.14% of those who saw it. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that 1998 = 666 x 3.

π has been calculated to over five million digits. The second part of this feature are a few of those numbers. There are 82 characters in each line. This feature shows π extended to 10,165 digits. This is .02% of five million. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.







4419735685481613611573525521334757418494684385233239073941433345477624168625189835 6948556209921922218427255025425688767179049460165346680498862723279178608578438382







Jesus Gets A New Nickname

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music, Poem, Religion by chamblee54 on February 14, 2018







There is a video making the rounds now. The title involves Jesus, and a certain racial slur, delicately known as the N word. The video is embedded above. You can feel the magic for yourself.

Here is a story about the song, with the edgy language bleeped. “One pastor is trying to spread the word of God with an edgy rap song. The rapping pastor and his wife claim they have “Christian swag” while tossing around the n-word. … The video of the rapping pastor was recently uploaded to YouTube but it’s not clear when it was filmed. It was taken at a church in Iowa which closed in 2004.” Another helpful interneter has the lyrics.

In case you didn’t know, Pastor Jim Colerick, and Mrs Mary-Sue Colerick, are melanin deficient. They are, as Bette Midler once said about Karen Carpenter, so white they are invisible. It is not considered good manners for Caucasians to use this word, with or without salvation.

There is another angle to this equation. Many Jesus worshipers see not using cusswords as a sign of righteousness. As a result, many Jesus worshipers use the words G-d, and Jesus Christ, as tools of their anger. This violates the third commandment. Now, this use of a sacred name, as profanity, is being extended to using a sacred name as a racial slur. Someone is always ready to manipulate language to serve an agenda.

When you call a book “the word of G-d”, you give certain words too much power. When you designate the lazy way of saying black as a super duper naughty word, you give those six letters way too much power. Now, we see the convergence of these two taboos. Let the party begin.

This is a repost. Pictures of Pastor and Mrs. Colerick are taken from the video. The other images are from The Library of Congress. Jack Delano was the photographer in December 1942.







Mardi Gras

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays by chamblee54 on February 13, 2018










It is fat tuesday again. For someone who lived most of his life in Georgia, it is just another day.

In 1990, PG went to carnival. He rented sleeping bag space in a house on Marigny Street, just outside the quarter. It was like nothing he had ever seen.

This was 14 months after PG quit drinking. If he had life to do over, he would have gone to Mardi Gras first. He did feel good about going through that much drinking without being tempted to participate.

By the end of the Rex Parade, PG was getting tired of the whole shebang, Mob scenes of drunks, in costume, can get old. PG has not been back.

Two years later, the Grateful Dead was playing at the Omni, and the camp followers were in the parking lot. PG would go on his lunch hour and observe. A young lady walked by, and PG said Happy Mardi Gras. She gave him a string of beads.

Five years after that, PG had a boss from New Orleans. He looked like the Grinch who stole Christmas. He also hated Mardi Gras. PG did not know this, and greeted him Tuesday morning with a cheerful Happy Mardi Gras. If looks could kill, PG would have dropped dead. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.










Milo Gets Edited

Posted in Book Reports, Commodity Wisdom, GSU photo archive, Holidays, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on December 29, 2017





LBGlass - 043z






Milo Yiannopoulos is getting attention again. It seems as though the the editor’s notes for his book have been leaked to the press. Many of the comments are unkind. If you have ever wanted to see bad writing dissected and disembowled, this is the time. PuffHo, which knows a thing or two about recycling free product, has a helpful list of some of the zingers. “No need to drag the lesbians into this!” “Three unfunny jokes in a row. DELETE.” “This is definitely not the place for more of your narcissism.” “So much inappropriate humor is irritating.” “Can you really prove a causality between [Black Lives Matter] and crime rate?” “DELETE UGH.” “Too much ego.”

Two things should be noted. Milo did not actually write Dangerous. Miloproduct is produced by a crew of interns. One of these drones got in trouble: Milo Yiannopoulos Speaks Out About ‘Bonkers’ Former Intern Arrested for Murdering Dad. Nobody seems to know who gets the copyright credit, or blame, for Dangerous. It might be a good trivia question.

@DALIAMALEK “Simon & Schuster: We were ready to give Milo’s perfectly acceptable racism a voice, but it was poorly written & structured Twitter: Look at the witty editor that worked to normalize white supremacy slaaayyy” Some people think Milo’s book was cancelled for moral reasons, like being politically incorrect or badly written. Actually, the deal was trashed after Milo opened his mouth once too often, and became too controversial.

Simon & Schuster is not opposed to selling bad books to make money. In 1981, S&S published HOW TO STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS— AND WIN! This tome was written by Roy Cohn, who probably would have thought Milo was too old. The NYT review notes “Despite his reputation as a playboy bachelor, Mr. Cohn believes that a marriage should be ”kept intact” if there are children.”

Chamblee54 has written about whatshisname one two three four five six seven times. The pictures are usually better than the text. In one episode, Bill Maher said “Stop looking at the distractions and the clown show and look at what matters.” Then, without a trace of embarassment, Mr. Maher introduced Milo, who is both distraction and clown show.

The first time chamblee54 wrote about Milo had a prophetic quote. “This is the first time many have heard of Milo Yiannopoulos. Unfortunately, it probably will not be the last. He authored a piece at Breitbart, where he said “Trump’s critics have accused him of being over-the-top in his response. Surely, say his critics, insulting a rival’s wife for being too ugly is simply crass, classless, and rude. I agree. It’s all of those things. But that’s a good thing. … In the process, he’s certainly lowering the tone — but it badly needs to be lowered. Only by totally ignoring people’s feelings can we end the left’s culture of grievance, offense, and victimhood. …”

@FrankConniff “The editor’s comments on Milo Yiannopoulos’ manuscript were harsh, but if Milo had been willing to take constructive criticism, the result could have been a whimsically racist book that everybody loved.” Many of the naysayers are calling Milo, and his product, racist. This is a reflex action to many SJW, who seldom miss an opportunity to scream racism. The ironic thing is that Milo talks loudly, and often, about his fondness for black men. (Those who talk the most do the least.) On page 96, Milo says “”I love black people. Indeed, I love black people so much that my Grindr profile once said “No Whites.” I’d considered “Coloreds Only Served in Rear,” but that was a little too edgy, and Grindr once deleted my profile once for writing: “Don’t contact me if you’re under seven inches or you know who your dad is.”

Hopefully, Milo’s fifteen minutes will be over soon. There will always someone else to call racist. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.









Bowel Games

Posted in Georgia History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 27, 2017








The story below is a repost from 2013. The Dawgs® had a good year, and are in the final four. The pictures are from The Library of Congress .

The Georgia Bulldogs beat somebody’s Aggies in Shreveport, Louisiana last night. The affair is something called the Independence Bowl. The Fishwrapper has an ad for a casino-hotel-spa. The link no longer works. Athens can go back to creating a school the football team can be proud of.

This is the season of bowl games. A few years ago, any town with a stadium, and a chamber of commerce, could get a bowl game. Any school with .500 season could go to a bowl, many of whom now had grafted on corporate names. There was, literally, the poulon weedeater bowl holiday classic.

What follows is a story PG read in Sports Illustrated when he was a kid. There is no source, and there is a slight possibility that it is not true.

In the sixties, NBC had a new years day triple header of bowl games. The sugar bowl was followed by the rose bowl was followed by the orange bowl. Hangovers and national championships were fixed in one day. NBC made handsome profits.

An Olympic committee had a meeting one day, to determine who would telecast the upcoming games. The man from NBC went in, with charts, and promises of money for the amateur athletes. The presentation from NBC centered on the january first triple header, the sugar bowl, the rose bowl, and the orange bowl.

Another network won the bid to telecast the games. After the meeting, an Olympics official had a private conversation with the NBC man. The committee felt that their emphasis on the bowel games was in bad taste.








Mithras Is Born

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays by chamblee54 on December 22, 2017








Until 2009, PG had never heard of Mithras.

Mithras is a Persian deity, from the Zoroaster tradition.(That is pronounced Zor uh THRUS ta.) Not much is known about Mithras … did he really exist, or was he a legend? There was a cult of Mithras in the first century Roman empire.

There are supposed to be similarities between Mithras and Jesus. These include the virgin birth, the birth on December 25, and rising from the dead after three days. Some spoilsports say the early christians grafted Jesus onto the legend of Mithras.

One indication that this might be true is The Catholic Encyclopedia.
“Some apparent similarities exist; but … it is quite probable that Mithraism was the borrower from Christianity.” This repost has pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.









Judy Roasting On An Open Fire

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on December 12, 2017









SFFILK (Not his real name) passes along a story about Mel Tormé. It seems like Mr.Tormé was eating a leisurely breakfast at a food court in Los Angeles, and a quartet appeared singing Christmas songs. They wound up performing “The Christmas Song” for co- author Tormé … and the singers had no idea who he was. It is a good story, better told in the link. (The link no longer works.) This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

According to the inerrant Wikipedia, Mr. Tormé collaborated with Robert Wells, until they had a falling out. One afternoon, on the hottest day of July in 1945, Mr.Tormé went to visit Mr.Wells, and saw the first four lines of “The Christmas Song” (including “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose”). The lines were on a note pad, and the two agreed to beat the heat of summer by completing the song. Supposedly, Mr. Tormé did not like the song very much. After three divorces, he probably didn’t see many of the royalties.

Mel Tormé was the music director of the ill fated “Judy Garland Show” in the early sixties. He wrote a book about it… The Other Side of the Rainbow: With Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol . The story is that Miss Garland would get blasted, call Mr.Tormé in the middle of the night, and pour out her troubles. (This review is much less sympathetic towards Mr. Tormé.) While the show did not last longer, there are some great youtube clips left over.









Posted in Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on December 7, 2017

The story below is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. There is an appearance by Gerald Rudolph Ford, and his women. Betty was a merry soul.

Someone posted a bit of revisionism about a holiday classic. As he sees it, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is about racism.

In a bit of yuletime synchronicity, the urban mythbusters at Snopes posted a piece about Rudolph the same day. It seems as though the Rudolph story was originally written for the Montgomery Ward Stores. The idea was to print a Christmas booklet to give to customers. A staff writer named Robert L. May was picked for the job.

Originally, there were concerns about the red nose, and the connection to heavy drinking. At the time, the original meaning of “merry christmas” had been forgotten. Merry meant intoxicated, and a merry christmas was a drunken one. The booklet was released. It was a big hit with shoppers.

Mr. May had a brother in law named Johnny Marks, who was musically gifted. Mr. Marks wrote the song, and somehow or another Gene Autry came to sing it. A story (which PG heard once, but cannot find a source for) had Mr. Autry doing a recording session. The session went very smoothly, and the sides scheduled to be recorded were finished early. There was a half hour of studio time paid for. Someone produced copies of “Rudolph”, gave them to the musicians, and the recording was knocked out. It became a very big hit.

Gene Autry had a radio show, “Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch”. He created the “cowboy code”. Number five gets our attention today. Under this code, the cowboy must:

1. never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage. 2. never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him. 3. always tell the truth. 4. be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.
5. not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas. 6. help people in distress. 7. be a good worker. 8. keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits. 9. respect women, parents and his nation’s laws. 10. be a patriot.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” has become a beloved standard, without the troubling religious implications of many holiday songs. It is the second biggest selling record of all time. The only song to sell more is “White Christmas”.

November 11

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 11, 2017

Veteran’s Day is a bad day for a cynic. On the one hand, I do appreciate living in The United States. With all its flaws, I have had a good life here. The role that Veterans have played is to be honored. On the other hand, those who profit from wars often exploit Veterans for political mojo. Many of these people did not serve.

Veterans are often not treated well after they are through with their service. It is estimated that a quarter of the homeless are veterans. The services offered to wounded veterans returning from War are often lacking. These wounds are both physical and mental.

When I typed the second sentence, I thought of my great grandfather. He served with the Georgia State Troops in the War Between the States. I do prefer the USA to the CSA (or whatever would have happened). Yet, the Union army had to prevail over the various Confederate Armies for this to happen. Do I dishonor my great grandfather by saying I am happy the other side won?

Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day. This was the day, 90 years ago, when the War to End All Wars ended. World War I was a ghastly bloodbath, in which millions died. It created many of the problems that plague us today. And I would be willing to bet that not one person in ten thousand today knows what it was about. And yet, the men who fought in that conflict (I don’t think they had women soldiers then) deserve the same gratitude as those who fought in any other conflict.

The soldier…many of whom were drafted…doesn’t get to choose which war to fight in. The sacrifice of the World War II soldier was just as great as the Vietnam fighter, but the appreciation given was much greater. I grew up during Vietnam, and saw the national mood go from patriotic fight to dismayed resistance. By the time I was old enough to get drafted, the Paris accords had been signed. For better or worse, there went my chance.

Veterans day was originally Armistice Day. On November 11, 1918, at 11 am (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) a cease fire went into effect for “The great war”. Officials of the major armies agreed to the ceasefire at 5 am (European time). There were an estimated 11,000 casualties in the last six hours of the war.

At 11:59 am, U.S. army private Henry Gunther became the last soldier to die in World War I.
“According to the Globe and Mail this is the story of the last soldier killed in WW1: On Nov.11, 1918, U.S. army private Henry Gunther stood up during a lull in the machine gun fire and charged the enemy. “The Germans stared in disbelief,” says the Daily Express. “They had been told that morning that the fighting was about to stop; in a few minutes they would stop firing and go home. So why was this American charging at them with his bayonet drawn? They shouted at him to stop and frantically tried to wave him back but… he hadn’t heard anything of the ceasefire.” A German gunner released a five-round burst and the soldier lay dead, at 10:59 a.m. In his recently published Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour, U.S. Military Historian Joseph Persico notes that Private Gunther had previously been a sergeant but was demoted after an Army censor read his letter to a friend back home, urging him to steer clear of the war at all costs. Gunther, who was in no-man’s land when the ceasefire news arrived, had been trying to prove himself worthy of his original rank.”
This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

Arlo Guthrie

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on November 7, 2017








This is a rerun post, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The original post was half about Arlo Guthrie, and half about Ralph Reed. Today, only the part about Arlo Guthrie will be shown. If you absolutely must read about Ralph Reed, you can follow the link above, or read Lisa Baron And Ralph Reed TMI.

The entertainment today is about Arlo Guthrie . Thanksgiving is intimately connected to Mr. Guthrie. Unlike the turkey, Mr. Guthrie has gone on to have a flourishing career. He probably will not come down with Huntington’s Disease, which killed his father Woody Guthrie.

The video that goes with this text was the first time PG saw Arlo Guthrie. This was broadcast January 21, 1970. PG was an unhip fifteen year old, who had not heard Alice’s Restaurant, seen the movie, or been to Woodstock. He did see the Johnny Cash show this night, or at least the part where Arlo Guthrie did the motorcycle song.

To quote the digital facility PG is borrowing from:
” Born Arlo Davy Guthrie on July 10, 1947, in New York, NY; son of Woody (a folksinger) and Marjorie Mazia (a dancer; maiden name, Greenblatt) Guthrie; married Jacklyn Hyde, October 9, 1969; children: Abraham, Cathyalicia, Annie Hays, Sarah Lee.” Abraham and Sarah Lee play in Arlo’s touring band.
The Alice’s Restaurant Masacree is a part of Americana now. There are two bits of knowledge, that are as true as anything told to a Persian king. When trying to dispose of some garbage, and finding the city dump closed, Arlo found some litter by the roadside, and made a value judgment…One big pile of garbage is better than two little piles.

The second is about the draft, and the business of choosing people to fight our wars. There is a regulation today that says that Gays and Lesbians are not supposed to be soldiers and sailors. In the tale of the thanksgiving dinner, it was litterbugs. (There was also a draft, and a different war. Lots of Americans were coming home in boxes.) The bottom line: Mr. Guthrie is confused about not being considered moral enough to kill people, because he was a litterbug.

A few years into his career, Arlo Guthrie had a hit record called “City of New Orleans”. It was about a train, and said “Good Morning America”. “City of New Orleans” was written by Steve Goodman, who is no longer with us. Mr. Goodman also wrote the perfect country and western song .

PG heard a story about Steve Goodman.
“The songwriter is Steve Goodman. He gave a show at the Last Resort in Athens GA, that a friend of PG attended. Mr. Goodman tells a story about performing on a train, during a series of concerts supporting Hubert Humphrey. It seems like Mr. Goodman had to use the restroom on the train. Now, in those days, the trains did not use holding tanks, but just ejected the matter by the tracks as they rode by. Mr. Goodman was told, do not flush the commode while the train is in the station. Mr. Goodman forgot the instructions. Mr. Humphrey said ”I am going to give the people of this country what they deserve”, Mr. Goodman flushed the commode, and sprayed the crowd. PG is not sure if he believes this, but it is a good story.” ( A biographer of Mr. Goodman said said that the candidate was Edmund Muskie. He also says that David Allen Coe had nothing to do with the last verse of the perfect country and western song.)
As previously noted, this is a repost from five years ago. In that time, the policy against gay people serving in the military has been dismantled. The Ralph Reeds of the world are more upset about the concept of gay marriage, than by gay people killing Muslims. Vietnam is a peaceful country, and is enjoying economic good times. The draft is something old fogies remember. The current fashion is to support war by demanding a tax cut.

Arlo Guthrie continues to make music. USA Today had a feature recently, Arlo Guthrie celebrates 50 years at ‘Alice’s Restaurant’. Arlo Davy Guthrie has a twitter account, @folkslinger, and a full head of white hair. His wife of 43 years, Jackie Guthrie, died Oct. 14, 2012. The Lenox Square theater was torn down to make way for a food court many years ago.












Posted in GSU photo archive, Holidays, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 31, 2017










@tcarmody “In the 90s, everyone was stabbing men, or chopping off their body parts. I understand now that this was wrong, but it explains the context”
@KateHarding “I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but it was the Bobbitt age.”
@MadCondiment “Listen, I grew up in a different time when this wasn’t as frowned on”
@Buffaloexpat Also, it’s our natural instinct to stab. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the workplace if they can’t handle a little good natured stabbing.

@vgreenswallow Obviously they shouldn’t be in closed-door meetings with me and my knife.
@Buffaloexpat It’s a witch hunt! Every lady in an office who stabs a man is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend herself. That’s not right either.
@melkaye29 The knife was rusty. He asked me to clean it before the stabbing but it’s sharper with a little rust. I gave him $40 for a tetanus shot tho.

@lauralake3 So why dod they get drunk, then? What did they think would happen????
@lauralake3 And wearing their Dockers so tight across the ass, ant their sleeves rolled up. Of COURSE i feel stabby
@ShantiPixie Can we not just tell them to drink more responsibly? I mean, they don’t need to get *that* drunk.. Surely they have some level of blame in the situation?
@ameseh You know, when I pointed a knife at my intern a few times and he didn’t quit, I just sort of assumed he was okay with being stabbed.

@ameseh Anyway, this one guy in my office got a promotion bc he was our CEO’s favorite person to stab. I think these men know what they’re doing.
@BloomUtopia if an infection is the result of a stabbing, look at it as a gift from god. Don’t punish an innocent infection for the crime of the stabbed
@smoricebrubaker Is stabbing the accepted term now? My stars, who can keep up anymore! In my day we called them “knifely duties” and y’know, men were happy!

@MonterioMA If you can’t take the stabbing stay out of knife drawer. It’s just that simple.
@Adjunctcrayon She’s a leader in our church too! But I never saw any knives or anything.
@metasynchronic That’s just what HR wants you to say. We know you like a little stabbing at work. Makes the day more fun.
@annanotherthng I’m checking myself in to stabbing-addiction therapy then I’ll be ready for forgiveness and the second chance we all deserve.

@DavidOfromNJ “I now understand that stabbing may have caused pain. If anyone felt pain when I was plunging knives into them, I apologize.”
@ChristyLeeH You know what? If these men don’t want to be stabbed, they shouldn’t wear short sleeved shirts. I could practically SEE THEIR VEINS. Ripe AF
@DavidRickmann Women also need to stop sending unsolicited pictures of their knives.

@only_si_chuck Why didn’t they immediately report the ‘stabbing’ to our head of HR, Lizzie Borden?
@legallybae”Sometimes I just rub my hard erect knife on them without their consent that’s ok right? No? I’m truly sorry and in counseling”
@chamblee54 pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.










A Trillion Dollars

Posted in Holidays, Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes by chamblee54 on October 9, 2017

This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress. The full text of one section is available, and has amusing stories about Richard Nixon and Antonin Scalia. This feature is about the national debt. When BHO took office, the annual federal budget deficit was over a trillion dollars. According to this source, the annual deficit is now $439 billion. This is more than the total national debt that the late Everett Dirkson was losing sleep over in the sixties. Nonetheless, it is considerably less than the deficit when BHO took office. BHO, bless his drone firing heart, is given credit for reducing the deficit more than any POTUS in history.

… The last quote is from another POTUS who is no longer with us, Ronald Reagan.
“I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” Mr. Reagan was a professional actor, and he knew the value of a good script.
This slogan is another one that Mr. Obama may find handy. It should be noted that it was a big deal when the national debt (the grand total of the deficits) went over a trillion dollars. This was during the first term of Mr. Reagan. Today, under Mr. Obama, the annual deficit is over a trillion dollars. Sooner or later, you are talking about real money.

PG suffered brain damage trying to find out more about the quote from Mr. Reagan. He went through six pages of google. There must be 25 sites which have lists of quotes from Mr. Reagan, and all of them feature this quote. None have an actual source.

What was the context? When did he first say it? One site says it was “(during the latter years of his administration)”. Another site says it was “Said often during his presidency, 1981-1989”. Maybe this is an urban legend. As Mr. Reagan said, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

Those of a certain age remember Everett Dirksen. A Republican Senator from Illinois, he was blessed with an operatic voice, and cursed with a face that could stop a clock. He is credited (or blamed) for the quote ” A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” The Dirksen Congressional Center can neither confirm nor deny if he really said that. The discussion of this reputed quote does turn up a passage, that is germane to today’s conversation.
“One time in the House of Representatives [a colleague] told me a story about a proposition that a teacher put to a boy. He said, ‘Johnny, a cat fell in a well 100 feet deep. Suppose that cat climbed up 1 foot and then fell back 2 feet. How long would it take the cat to get out of the well?’
“Johnny worked assiduously with his slate and slate pencil for quite a while, and then when the teacher came down and said, ‘How are you getting along?’ Johnny said, ‘Teacher, if you give me another slate and a couple of slate pencils, I am pretty sure that in the next 30 minutes I can land that cat in hell. If some people get any cheer out of a $328 billion debt ceiling, I do not find much to cheer about concerning it.” [Congressional Record, June 16, 1965, p. 13884].

Senator Dirksen went to the fundraising dinner in the sky September 7, 1969. Twelve years later, the Reagan revolution was getting started. Taxes were cut, and spending increased. In a couple of years, the national debt went over a trillion dollars. (The annual budget deficit is now over a trillion dollars.) For those new to the game, a trillion is a billion, multiplied by a thousand. For all the numbers above, multiply by a thousand, to get a trillion.

In 1965, Senator Dirksen was losing sleep, over raising the national debt to $328 billion. The current national debt is estimated at $16,964,687,666,420. This is 5171% of 328 billion.

In 1965, the national debt was $328 billion, and we were losing 100 men every week in Vietnam. One of the more expensive things the government does is fight wars. Currently we are officially killing people in Afghanistan, and several more countries that no one knows about (nudge wink).
On September 11, 2001, The United States was attacked. Revenge was the order of the day. There are now indications that this was one of the goals of Al Queda. The Soviet Union imploded, in large part, because of the strain of fighting a war in Afghanistan. Now, the United States is waist deep in the same big muddy. Whoever is elected in 2016 will have to deal with this matter.

Afghanistan has a gross national product of $27 billion. The Congressional Research Service estimates the cost of American operations in Afghanistan for 2011 to be $119 billion. This is over four times the gross national product of Afghanistan. Pretty soon, you are talking about real money.