Chip’em, Danno

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Under the radar in this country there’s been a rising tide of fear on the right that the government is going to force people to be implanted with microchips. It was actually a B-list conspiracy theory tied to the Health Care Reform bill. But at least some conservatives seem to be warming to these oft-maligned little nuggets of silicon.

One of them is Dr. Pat Bertroche, who’s running to challenge Democrat Leonard Boswell in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional district. He believes we should microchip illegal immigrants to make sure we can keep track of them.Speaking today at a candidate forum in Tama County, Dr. Bertroche said: “I think we should catch ’em, we should document ’em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going. I actually support micro-chipping them. I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it. Why can’t I micro-chip an illegal?”

I mean, who can argue with that, right?

More seriously, I’m not completely sure this is even how the microchips we put in dogs and cats even works, is it? My dog Simon actually has one of these microchips implanted in the scruff behind his neck. But as far as I can remember the reason you put one of these in is so if your pet gets lost and someone finds him or her, they can be scanned and identified and brought back to you. I don’t think it’s like a dog LoJack or something. It’s not like a transponder that you can track someone with. But maybe there’s a vet out there who can set me straight on how all this works.

And if you think that’s chilling, try this one out for size. Dr. Bertroche ain’t no foot doctor. He’s a psychiatrist.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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