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Lights out: House plan would protect nation's electricity from solar flare, nuclear bomb
Washington Examiner ^ | JUNE 17, 2013 | 6:45 PM | PAUL BEDARD

Posted on 06/19/2013 8:33:49 AM PDT by BenLurkin

Amid growing fears of a massive electromagnetic pulse hit from either a solar flare or a terrorist nuclear bomb, House Republicans on Tuesday will unveil a plan to save the nation's electric grid from an attack that could mean lights out for 300 million Americans.

Dubbed the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, the legislation would push the federal government to install grid-saving devices such as surge protectors to protect against an attack.

"It is critical that we protect our major transformers from cascading destruction. The Shield Act encourages industry to develop standards necessary to protect our electric infrastructure against both natural and man-made EMP events," said Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican who is offering up the bipartisan bill.

Electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, has come into focus because of fears the sun is pushing out unusually big solar flares that can disrupt the electric grid. Defense officials are also worried about a terrorist attack, possibly in the form of a small nuclear bomb exploded overhead.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Miscellaneous; Science
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Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage.

Sounds like something from a spoof spy movie.

1 posted on 06/19/2013 8:33:49 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin
Deregulate the power industry. As long as government calls the shots capital will wasted and the infrastructure will decline until it collapses.

Pass this bill and a few cronies will get richer and the electricity infrastructure will be worse off.

2 posted on 06/19/2013 8:38:03 AM PDT by DManA
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To: BenLurkin

The faster they get this done, the better. Much of the electrical grid needs to be modernized anyway.


3 posted on 06/19/2013 8:40:50 AM PDT by struggle
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To: BenLurkin

Plan involves 20 million Mexicans and a lot of candles...


4 posted on 06/19/2013 8:42:13 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: BenLurkin

To be bought and paid for by your “skyrocketing” utility bills.


5 posted on 06/19/2013 8:42:22 AM PDT by yobid (Catastrophic failure is the only pathway for improvement)
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To: struggle

So, the level of capital investment in the power generation industry should be set by politics, not the marketplace? Seriously?


6 posted on 06/19/2013 8:42:39 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: BenLurkin

do they think these don’t exist


7 posted on 06/19/2013 8:44:23 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: BenLurkin

8 posted on 06/19/2013 8:47:23 AM PDT by JoeProBono (Mille vocibus imago valet;-{)
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To: struggle
The faster they get this done, the better.
Yeah, like we need more GOVERNMENT solutions to our problems. Oy ...
9 posted on 06/19/2013 8:49:59 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: BenLurkin
such as surge protectors

Is there a single High Voltage Transmission line in the US that doesn't already have this equipment to protect against lightning strikes and switching surges?

This like creating a new law to require automobiles to have bumpers.

10 posted on 06/19/2013 8:51:37 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: BenLurkin
Since our nukes, particularly those on submarines, are well protected against EMP, perhaps the POTUS should announce that an EMP attack against the US would be regarded as no less than a nuclear attack against the US. The US response to such an attack would be that any nation that instigated the attack or in the case of terrorists aided and abetted those terrorists would be subject to a full nuclear response from the US. This is nothing different than the mutually assured destruction policy that kept the peace during the cold war.

However, Obama would give no credibility to that policy as he is seen as weak and vacillating.

11 posted on 06/19/2013 8:54:38 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: struggle

you don’t know anything at all about this do you.


12 posted on 06/19/2013 8:57:22 AM PDT by Rich21IE
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To: BenLurkin

what a friggin boondogle, porkulus pos this is. Somebody’s going to get rich and nothing will be made any better.


13 posted on 06/19/2013 8:58:42 AM PDT by Rich21IE
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To: The Great RJ

Hussein would welcome an EMP attack on America.


14 posted on 06/19/2013 8:59:33 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

It is nearly impossible to protect us from a solar flare. This is another expensive power grab.


15 posted on 06/19/2013 9:00:51 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: struggle

“The faster they get this done, the better.”

They, who? And what, exactly, needs to be done?


16 posted on 06/19/2013 9:01:43 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: BenLurkin
More payoffs to the BIG Utilities that donate and have fund-raisers for the Prolitereate, then siphon tax dollars to pay for their repairs/expansion/trading.

Follow the money, and it's easy to see the Millions spent on Lobbying, Campaign Donations, Fund-Raising sponsorships, with a Quid Pro Quo of favoable treatment AND BIG MONEY GRANTS of taxpayers' earnings to the same bunch, every time.

17 posted on 06/19/2013 9:02:13 AM PDT by traditional1 (Amerika.....Providing public housing for the Mulatto Messiah)
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To: CodeToad

Something tells me it’ll involve a lot of expensive, privacy grabbing equipment that can only be procured from big campaign donor’s companies.

Call it a hunch.


18 posted on 06/19/2013 9:05:34 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: BenLurkin

the government will fix this like it fixes everything else.


19 posted on 06/19/2013 9:06:43 AM PDT by schm0e ("we are in the midst of a coup.")
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To: BenLurkin

Build hamster wheels for all Demonrats.

Lock them in.

Whip them into meaningful production.


20 posted on 06/19/2013 9:09:12 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Obama equals Osama))
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To: Black Agnes

Hunch? That’s a straight up conclusion, my FRiend. Someone has figured out how to capitalize on this EMP nonsense and has the ear of a congress critters.


21 posted on 06/19/2013 9:09:33 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: CodeToad

Fortunately, based on past performance we can conclude that this equipment will not only not work as designed, may in fact cause fires (Karmas burning in newark parking lot were spectacular addition to Sandy damage!) and other unforseen injuries and damages.

Joy. Bliss.

(Hide!)


22 posted on 06/19/2013 9:13:00 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: BenLurkin
More info on EMP:

Check this on Wikipedia.

Read this book: One Second After. Chilling.

This is a war that will be over, literally, in one second. And we'll be the losers.

23 posted on 06/19/2013 9:24:29 AM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: thackney

I dunno about you, but I have that pained, constipated look on my face as I mouth the words:

“Aw Jeez... not this *&^^ again!”

I’m starting to think of running for Congress, just so I can be the only engineer in the House.

When legislation like this would come up, I’d have a pre-planned minute speech to give:

“All of you with liberal arts degrees... shut the *&*&^ up. Sit down. You’re too stupid to do anything constructive about this issue, or even understand this issue. Please, in the name of all that does not suck, shut up.”

How do you think that would look on C-SPAN?


24 posted on 06/19/2013 9:34:57 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: BenLurkin

This is long overdue, and I hope it gets some legs and passes. But I’m afraid that too many legislators don’t take this issue seriously, just like they don’t take any security issue seriously until something horrible happens.


25 posted on 06/19/2013 9:37:40 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: yobid
"To be bought and paid for by your “skyrocketing” utility bills."

This is something worth paying for. Actually, my water and electric bills are very reasonable. The two combined are about half as much as my Comcast bill for my TV and computer.
26 posted on 06/19/2013 9:41:08 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: Steve_Seattle
This is long overdue, and I hope it gets some legs and passes.

This bill would help strengthen the grid in the same way Obamacare improved our health care.

Don't encourage politicians to make technology decision about which they don't understand. All it will do is cost money, make no improvements and likely cause more problems.

All significant High-Voltage Transmission Lines, High Voltage Transformers and associate Substation ALREADY have surge suppressors on them.

27 posted on 06/19/2013 9:41:51 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: CodeToad
"They, who? And what, exactly, needs to be done?"

This is a legitimate national security issue - the power grid needs to be protected. I don't know the details of the legislation, but I'm guessing it provides some federal funds to assist local governments in hardening the electric grid. This is a real governmental responsibility, not some unwarranted intrusion into our privacy or some nanny-state scheme. An EMP attack or powerful solar flare could send this country back to the 18th century for more than a decade, and very few are prepared for that. And those who think they are prepared probably aren't nearly as prepared as they think they are.
28 posted on 06/19/2013 9:48:23 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: upchuck
"This is a war that will be over, literally, in one second. And we'll be the losers."

I'm glad that at least someone on this thread is taking this seriously.
29 posted on 06/19/2013 9:49:43 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: BenLurkin

Can we please stop wasting $$$ on pointless efforts.
Only a high yield nuclear warhead detonated high in the atmosphere would generate a large enough EMP to do sizeable damage.

If that happened, we are in WWIII so we might as well save the 1T$ it would cost to upgrade.


30 posted on 06/19/2013 9:50:20 AM PDT by Zathras
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To: Steve_Seattle
I don't know the details of the legislation, but I'm guessing it provides some federal funds to assist local governments

Neither does the Federal or local governments know the details either. Why do you want them making the decisions?

31 posted on 06/19/2013 9:54:44 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Steve_Seattle

“assist local governments in hardening the electric grid. “

“. An EMP attack or powerful solar flare could send this country back to the 18th century for more than a decade,”

Didn’t know local government owned the electrical grid. Are you claiming we should turn communist and “nationalize” power distribution? Are you a communist?

Are you an electrical engineer? Do you even have a clue what you are talking about? Do you get your information from other idiots on other web sites that simply repeat such nonsense often enough that you all know believe it? Do you also believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and global warming? How about that “ozone hole” everyone claimed we just had to ban fluorocarbons or else we were all going to die yet that ozone hole is still there even after banning “man-made ozone killers”?


32 posted on 06/19/2013 9:57:26 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: BenLurkin

I just want my lightbulbs back that were stolen from me by a republican president, senate and house!


33 posted on 06/19/2013 10:09:57 AM PDT by Patriot365
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To: CodeToad
Didn’t know local government owned the electrical grid. Are you claiming we should turn communist and “nationalize” power distribution? Are you a communist? "Are you an electrical engineer? Do you even have a clue what you are talking about? Do you get your information from other idiots on other web sites that simply repeat such nonsense often enough that you all know believe it? Do you also believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and global warming? How about that “ozone hole” everyone claimed we just had to ban fluorocarbons or else we were all going to die yet that ozone hole is still there even after banning “man-made ozone killers”?"

In Seattle, the electrical grid is maintained by a public utility. We have three dams which generate the electric power for the region, and these are owned by the city of Seattle. I assume similar arrangements prevail elsewhere around the country, and there are federal laws (FERC)applicable to electric utilities.

No, I am not an electrical engineer (are you?), but I have been following this topic for some time and it is a fact that those who ARE experts in the field are concerned about this issue and support doing something about it.

It is asinine to compare this issue to believing in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. This issue is based on hard science. Google "EMP attack" and it will lead you to the research.

And, no, I am not a communist. Believing in a national highway system and a coordinated electric grid does not make one a communist.
34 posted on 06/19/2013 10:20:47 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: thackney
"Neither does the Federal or local governments know the details either. Why do you want them making the decisions?"

The nation's electrical utilities are typically owned by local governments, so - yes - they do know the details - they are the ones running the systems. This is one thing that government actually does pretty well. Who else should be making the decisions - people like you who obviously don't know anything about it?
35 posted on 06/19/2013 10:25:36 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: Steve_Seattle

“are you? “

Yes, that’s why I am NOT concerned about the grid. I am also an expert in EMP effects and am not concerned there, either. I know you internet experts all believe what you tell each other but your knowledge of such things is laughable to point of being childish and believing in global warming or the Easter Bunny. In fact, the basis of belief in EMP is identical to the beliefs in global warming: Everyone says it so it must be true. “Experts” are quoted. “Facts” are passed around. And we are all going to die if we don’t address the “issue”.


36 posted on 06/19/2013 10:34:17 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: Steve_Seattle
The nation's electrical utilities are typically owned by local governments

While a few are this way, most are not.

so - yes - they do know the details - they are the ones running the systems.

No. Even in a municipal utility, the elected officials, the ones that would decide the content of the regulations and make them law, do NOT know the details.

Can you name a single elected official you have voted for in the past that does know this level of detail?

This is one thing that government actually does pretty well.

Can you give me an example where they have done this well in the past.

people like you who obviously don't know anything about it?

I'm an Electrical Engineer, specialized in power. I started my career working in electric utilities but was bored to death. I moved to design electrical power systems, mostly for the oil/gas/petrochem industry. I've helped specify, purchase, design, construct and start up electrical high voltage transmission lines, switchyards, transformers relays. I've designed Protective Device Coordination Systems, provided the PE stamped calculations and programmed in the set points. I'm currently involved in two major expansions of 138kV Substations. All of those past and current project already have Surge Suppressors.

I don't know your expertise and won't claim I do. But be sure to call you congressman and urge them to make these laws and spend our tax dollars, because you are sure it will help.

37 posted on 06/19/2013 10:35:37 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Steve_Seattle; thackney
You're gonna shortly have to apologize to thackney concerning how the US electric utility industry is owned.

I just wanted to give you a heads up.

38 posted on 06/19/2013 10:36:10 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: BenLurkin

The threat of EMP seems real enough to me. As I believe in a strong military and national defense, I agree that we should have federal standards that require hardening our infrastructure against EMP threats. We cannot rely on free markets to accomplish this automagically. No company wants to take on this cost when their competitors do not because it will put them at a competitive disadvantage because costs have to be passed on to the consumer. So there is no profit advantage for prepping the grid for doomsday. However, there is an interest in the future of our nation.


39 posted on 06/19/2013 10:43:20 AM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: Steve_Seattle
The nation's electrical utilities are typically owned by local governments

Not True.

EIA > Home > Energy Explained > Secondary Sources > Electricity > Electricity in the U.S.
http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=electricity_in_the_united_states#tab2

Who Sells Electricity?

Sales by each kind of provider in 2011 (latest data available) totaled:

Investor-owned utilities — 54%
Non-Utility & Power Marketers — 19%
Public Utilities — 15%
Cooperatives — 11%
Federal Power Marketing Authorities — 1%

40 posted on 06/19/2013 10:47:51 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Steve_Seattle
In Seattle, the electrical grid is maintained by a public utility. We have three dams which generate the electric power for the region, and these are owned by the city of Seattle.

By the way, those dams only provide about half your power. While Hydro does provide the large majority of your power, the city doesn't own enough to supply the demand.

Seattle City Light's hydroelectric projects on the Skagit and Pend Oreille Rivers provide about half of the power customers need. The remainder comes from a mix of power sources, including long-term contracts with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and others.

http://www.seattle.gov/light/FuelMix/

Bonneville Power Administration is a federal nonprofit agency.

41 posted on 06/19/2013 11:03:48 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Rich21IE
Somebody’s going to GE will get rich and nothing will be made any better.

Fixed it.

42 posted on 06/19/2013 11:07:33 AM PDT by 6ppc (It's torch and pitchfork time)
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To: BenLurkin

Don’t hold your breath. The grid will get hardened just about time the fence gets built. We are going to wait on that to happen as fast as we can get our own solar system installed. :-)


43 posted on 06/19/2013 11:40:25 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: BenLurkin
 photo d68ae6d7-10b1-44b7-ae08-bd48b66d40e7_zps8725f51b.jpg
44 posted on 06/19/2013 4:02:36 PM PDT by mykroar (China and Russia are playing chess while Obamas's playing 52 card pick-up.)
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To: CodeToad

In the military, in the 1980s, we had this argument with some foreign units, we Americans had to carry heavy EMP protected radios, while the Danes for example, got to carry a tiny little radio that the unit developed itself, but which was totally unprotected.

The argument was what would happen if some nukes went off, would they be left as useless in the field, unable to send back their intelligence.

Who was right?

Here is a 1993 Canadian report from their defence, Radiation Effects Section Electronics Division on EMP and the PRC-77, the radio we used in the 1980s.


45 posted on 06/19/2013 5:22:35 PM PDT by ansel12 (Social liberalism/libertarianism, empowers, creates and imports, and breeds, economic liberals.)
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To: CodeToad

Oops here is the report.

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a266481.pdf


46 posted on 06/19/2013 5:25:57 PM PDT by ansel12 (Social liberalism/libertarianism, empowers, creates and imports, and breeds, economic liberals.)
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To: Zathras

Ever heard of a “Cornonal Mass Ejection?” The Carrington Event in 1859 was caused by one. Telegraphs across Europe and the US failed, many of them delivering shocks to their operators.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrington_Event

The same thing today would probably wipe most electronic technology from the face of the planet.


47 posted on 06/19/2013 5:35:13 PM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it gettingthe so hot?)
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To: thackney

I stand corrected on the secondary issue of whether most electric utilities are public or privately owned. I incorrectly extrapolated from the local to the national situation. But that is not the main issue here, that is NOT the point of the discussion. The issue is whether the electrical grid is vulnerable to human-generated EMP or solar flare degradation, and I will stand behind my opinion on that issue, which has been researched by panels of well-informed experts and has been deemed a potential threat to national security.


48 posted on 06/19/2013 9:15:00 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: thackney

Ok, I was wrong on that point of utility ownership, which is really irrelevant to the main point of this topic, but the issue of whether EMPs are a threat to the electrical grid is the main issue, and I agree with those - including many experts in the field - who think it is an issue. I am getting sick of these moronic conservatives who seem to think that ALL government action is communistic. I think they are mentally challenged, quite simply, stupid.


49 posted on 06/19/2013 9:20:57 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: Little Ray
"Ever heard of a “Cornonal Mass Ejection?” The Carrington Event in 1859 was caused by one. Telegraphs across Europe and the US failed, many of them delivering shocks to their operators."

Don't expect the idiots on this thread to respond to facts. For them, the only issue is "government government government." These chimps couldn't think their way out of a paper bag.
50 posted on 06/19/2013 9:44:48 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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