Many problems beset our great nation. Is it possible to address them all? No. We can barely deal with one in ten thousand. Hence our leaders must prioritize. They must only take up the most pressing problems, and the ones they are best equipped to deal with.
Like, for instance, the government implanting microchips in you against your will.
Georgia's legislature recently held hearings on a bill that would steadfastly announce the position of the Great State of Georgia: nobody may be microchipped against their will. Are we not men, rather than transistor radios?
(b) No person shall be required to be implanted with a microchip.
(c) Any person who implants a microchip in violation of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(d) Any person required to have a microchip implanted in violation of this Code section may file a civil action for damages.
(e) The voluntary implantation of any microchip may only be performed by a physician and shall be regulated under the authority of the Georgia Composite Medical Board.
How, you might ask, did this problem find its way to the top of the pile, national-crisis-wise? Good question. The Georgia legislature took pains to call witnesses to explain why they should — nay, must — take action:
"Microchips are like little beepers," the woman told the committee. "Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum or genital area, the most sensitive area of your body. And your beeper numbers displayed on billboards throughout the city. All done without your permission."
"Ma'am, did you say you have a microchip?" state Rep. Tom Weldon (R) asked the woman.
"Yes, I do. This microchip was put in my vaginal-rectum area," she replied.
No one laughed. State Rep. Wendell Willard (R), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asked her who had implanted the chip.
"The Department of Defense," she said.
Willard thanked the woman for her input, and the committee later approved the bill.
That last sentence is the payoff.
The fact that this woman believes the Department of Defense implanted a chip in her taint is not funny. Her mental illness is probably a source of great suffering for her. What is funny — in a whistling past the graveyard sort of way — is that the Georgia legislature, in an effort to justify an anti-microchipping bill, called a patently mentally ill person as a witness.
Except that it turns out that isn't particularly funny, either. The poor woman, like the rest of the citizens of Georgia, is an instrument of the state legislators' ambitions. Why spend public time and money holding hearings on bills that would protect citizens form the government implanting microchips in them? Well, because it allows the legislators to suck up to those portions of their base who believe that President Obama's health care plan will result in them being branded with the Mark of the Beast and involuntarily implanted with electronics, as he was planning to do since his birth in Kenya. A bill against microchipping suggests that there is a clear and present danger that the government will seek to implant microchips in us, and earns the proponent of the bill the admiration of the crowd that takes queer comfort in believing exactly that. Look at this legislator throwing his defiance in the teeth of a government seeking to take away our liberties! (Never mind that the legislators in question will almost certainly never deign to investigate, or condemn, the actual abuses of individual liberty that happen every day at the hands of government agents — because those are the kinds of abuses they like.)
So legislators fiddle as Rome burns, and the libertarian cause of genuine concern about real government abuses continues to be marginalized by association.
This is not to say that there is no danger that the government will ever attempt to implant microchips in people without their consent. But it would be a nutty, marginal policy. How nutty? Well, you'd have to be a state legislator to be that nutty.
The commotion started at an event on Monday, where Bertroche appeared alongside other Republicans looking to take on Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA). During a discussion of illegal immigration, Bertroche said: "I think we should catch 'em, we should document 'em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going," according to a local news report. "I actually support microchipping them. I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I microchip an illegal?"
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- A Response To Marc: Institutions, Agendas, and the "Culture War" - January 13th, 2016
- Lawyering Is About Service, Not Self-Actualization - January 11th, 2016
- Lawsplainer: Was FAU Prof. James Tracy Fired in Violation of His First Amendment Rights? - January 7th, 2016
- Defy, Defy, Defy. - January 7th, 2016
- President Obama And The Rhetoric Of Rights - January 5th, 2016