For those who can't get video at work, the clip has the woman talking about how she should have the right to work without being tortured by her coworkers activating the chip that she claims was installed in her "genital area", just by the use of electronic devices, such as cell phones.
Now, this woman claims that the Department of Defense implanted this chip, and that she is suing them in Federal Court. This is about what you would expect from one of the homeless, wearing an aluminum foil hat and ranting that the CIA is in his or her brain. It is not what you would expect a State Legislatures to be listening to with rapt attention.
You would also expect that after having been subjected to six minutes of world class crazy, that they would just move on with real business of the people of the State. Sadly that is where you would be wrong. After hearing this testimony the committee voted to move forward with a bill that would outlaw the force implantation of micro-chips in citizens of Georgia.
Why does the Georgia legislature and that of the Commonwealth of Virginia think this is a problem that needs to be addressed? It plays back to the hysteria about health care reform. One of the cost savings provisions of the law is to move towards electronic medical records. There is no doubt that by having medical records in a form that is accessible by the internet would not only reduce some of the administration costs, but lead to better outcomes as doctors can access all the work done on a patient in one place, even if there are multiple doctors involved.
There is also a company called VeriChip Corporation who has developed a radio frequency ID chip. It is similar to the chips used to identify pets. The chip responds to a radio plus by broadcasting a number. This number would be used to pull up a persons medical records.
This system has a few problems. It has not been widely accepted by hospitals and there is concern that implanted chips can lead to increased instances of a particular type of cancer, subcutaneous sarcomas.
It seems that the Religious Right is freaked out that the e-records portion of the Affordable Health Care Act will lead to required low-jacking of the population. This might be a valid privacy concern, if it were not for the fact that the Act says nothing about implanted chips. This leaves out the fact that if we really were going to use this kind of system it would have to be proven not to be harmful to the people who get the chips.
The sponsor of the Virginia legislation was also deeply concerned that these chips were a sign of the Anti-Christ. Here is a quote from Washington Post article about it in February:
Del. Mark L. Cole (R-Fredericksburg), the bill's sponsor, said that privacy issues are the chief concern behind his attempt to criminalize the involuntary implantation of microchips. But he also said he shared concerns that the devices could someday be used as the "mark of the beast" described in the Book of Revelation.
"My understanding -- I'm not a theologian -- but there's a prophecy in the Bible that says you'll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times," Cole said. "Some people think these computer chips might be that mark."
All of this goes to show what happens when a political party abandons reality and starts to build their own. RFID chips are do nothing but give you a string of numbers back when pinged. They don't' buzz or act like a beeper as the lady who testified in Georgia claimed. They are not widely used in humans nor really widely accepted as beneficial. Yet because one party wanted to stop any kind of health care reform and was willing to completely lie about the provisions of the bill, as well as the motivations of the people proposing it, we are at a place where more than one legislature is moving to address a problem that does not exist.
It is easy to right this kind of stuff off as silly season posturing, but I don't take it so lightly. We have a population where a significant number of people believe that government can't be trusted or expected to do positive things for the people. When we see legislatures using their limited time to take up issues like this, it just confirms that view. Even worse, it gives confirmation to the wacky folks in our society that their 45 degrees off of reality view are accurate.
There is enough disinformation in our society. Our understanding of science as a nation is shockingly bad. When we give credence to the ravings of some mildly or not so mildly disturbed folks, it takes us further away from reality, not closer to it. Now that Georgia has addressed forced micro-chip implantation, I have every confidence they will be moving on to enforcement of bans on extra-terrestrial crop circles.
What is really sad here is that we have not heard the last of this. The anti-science and anti-reality wing of the Republican Party knows a good wacky issue when they see one. So look for anti-microchip laws to be coming to a legislature near you soon.
The floor is yours.