Jim Hightower: A Nation of Cattle?
Author: Jim Hightower
Published on Nov 10, 2004, 07:52

Have you been chipped, yet?

You could be soon, for the Food & Drug Administration has now cleared the way for a Florida corporation, Applied Digital Solutions, to market a tiny electronic device called VeriChip that is surgically implanted under the skin of your arm or hand.

Don't worry, says the corporation soothingly, being chipped doesn't hurt you, and it's really for your own good. For example, they say, if you have an accident, your implanted chip could contain vital medical information that could be accessed by an ambulance crew (assuming the crew has bought a hand-held, chip-reading scanner, which Applied Digital also happens to sell).

Besides, coo the corporate hawkers, being chipped is a matter of great personal convenience for you. No longer would you have to carry cumbersome ID cards to get into your workplace––you could have all the required ID stored on your chip, right inside your body. And think of the convenience of not having to fumble with credit cards! Instead, your credit numbers literally are implanted in you, so rather than running your cards through a scanner, a retailer can simply scan you. Talk about consumer progress, VeriChip turns your own body––your very own self––into a bar-coded payment system.

After all, says Applied Digital, our country has been implanting such devices in millions of cattle and pets, and it has worked beautifully, so why not humans? For you fussy libertarians who see Big Brother looming behind every scientific breakthrough like VeriChip, the company says that being implanted is voluntary, so where's the worry?

The worry, of course, is that being chipped will not stay voluntary. Corporations and government will soon insist that their employees, frequent travelers, protesters, and others be tagged for security reasons. To rebel against this effort to turn us into a nation of cattle, call the Electronic Privacy Information Center: 202-488-1140.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of "Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush". For more information, visit

Original article: Yubanet

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