As my colleague Jim Galloway reported, a House committee took testimony last week on a bill to make it a misdemeanor to forcibly implant microchips in human beings.
But things took a strange turn when a woman from DeKalb County stepped forward to testify:
“I’m also one of the people in Georgia who has a microchip,” the woman said. Slowly, she began to lead the assembled lawmakers down a path they didn’t want to take.
Microchips, the woman began, “infringe on issues that are fundamental to our very existence. Our rights to privacy, our rights to bodily integrity, the right to say no to foreign objects being put in our body.”
She spoke of the “right to work without being tortured by co-workers who are activating these microchips by using their cell phones and other electronic devices.”
She continued. “Microchips are like little beepers. 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,” she said.
It was not funny, and no one laughed.
“Ma’am, did you say you have a microchip?” asked state Rep. Tom Weldon (R-Ringgold).
“Yes, I do. This microchip was put in my vaginal-rectum area,” she replied. Setzler, the sponsoring lawmaker, sat next to the witness – his head bowed.
“You’re saying this was involuntary?” Weldon continued.
The woman said she had been pushing a court case through the system for the last eight years to have the device removed.
Wendell Willard (R-Atlanta), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, picked up the questioning.
“Who implanted this in you?” he asked.
“Researchers with the federal government,” she said.
“And who in the federal government implanted it?” Willard asked.
“The Department of Defense.”
“Thank you, ma’am.”
What I find fascinating is not the woman’s testimony but the reaction of our elected officials.
Clearly, legislators realized almost immediately that something was very much awry. They understood that anybody who would come before a legislative committee to claim that government forces had implanted a microchip against her will must by definition be delusional. No one believed for a second that such a thing could or would be done; no one believed that a sane person would make such a ridiculous claim.
Yet those same legislators then turned around and approved passage of a bill outlawing something that only a crazy person would believe takes place.
Apparently, there’s a thin, almost indiscernible line there. You have to be crazy to claim that someone has forcibly implanted microchips in your body. But it is not crazy at all — in fact it is good lawmaking — to outlaw the practice of forcibly implanting microchips in your body.
Such is the absurdist comedy known as the Georgia General Assembly.