then and now

When I was a small boy, somewhere between 12 and 15 years old, I remember a discussion with my granddad about his social security number. He had just received his social security check in the mail, and I asked him where he got the money was from and why he got it, and that sort of thing. He told me the money came from the government, that he was retired and this was what the government was doing for people who were old and couldn’t work anymore.

He told me very little about his social security number. He wouldn’t even show me the card, but told me it was a secret number and that nobody knew his number but himself.

That was my introduction to social security.

Things have changed a lot since my granddad received a “secret” social security number.

I got my social security number when I started to work. Money was withheld from my paycheck for federal income tax, state income tax, and FICA. I didn’t like money being withheld from my check but there was nothing I could do about it. It was the law of the land, so I grumbled about it, like everybody else, paid my taxes and went on my way.

Years later, while pastoring in the state of Louisiana, I took out a hospitalization policy, and the number of the policy was my social security number. That number wasn’t secret anymore, but was being used as a personal identification number. Later, I moved to Missouri, and my social security number became my drivers license number. I changed that because it is just too dangerous to have my social security number so readily available. In Missouri, the Department of Transportation made all my drivers license information available to the general public. People could easily steal my identification, get my drivers license number, my social security number, get credit cards in my name, and generally wreck my life.

When my grandchildren were born, the parents had to make application for a social security number before they left the hospital, or soon after. The IRS requires a person to have a social security number before they can be used as a dependant. Therefore, before my children could claim their children as dependents on their 1040, the children had to have a social security number.

Things have really changed since my granddad got his social security number.

Now I read the article C:\My Documents\Eschatology\Human ID Chip.doc in the Saint Louis Post Dispatch, Sunday, December 23, 2001, page A10.

Will this new computer embedded chip make a difference? Only to the manufacturer of the chip, who wants everybody to use the chip so he can save his failing business. Frankly, his business ought to fail. But people like technology, even if it is worthless, and potentially damaging.

I have questions about the whole idea of an implanted chip – What will prevent crooks from illegally getting information about me, embedding that information in a chip of their own, removing their embedded computer chip and then implanting the chip with my information on it, in their bodies? I am sure some doctor will accept payment for the procedure, even if it is illegal. Crooks still make counterfeit money, don’t they? Making counterfeit money is still illegal, isn’t it?

I know a computer chip similar to the “human” chip has been implanted in animals, but animals aren’t crooks. Animals aren’t trying to get something for nothing. There are no “crook” pets trying to steal the identity of another pet. There are no “crook” pets who can manufacture a false computer chip, implant it in themselves and therefore pass themselves off as a pet they are not.

By the way, isn’t it the owners of the animals that have had the computer chips implanted in their pets? When I am required to have an embedded computer chip, isn’t that saying that I am owned by somebody? Do I not live in America? Am I not free? Don’t I have the right to say I will not be “bugged”?

The supporters of embedded chips will declare, “Nobody is requiring anybody to have an embedded computer chip. There will only be voluntary compliance.”

Hmm... Let’s go back to my granddad’s social security number. It was a secret number when he got it, right? At least that is what he told me. Others did confirm his story. Now that “secret” number is required. A baby must have a social security number. Hmm… That secret number is no longer secret. It is displayed on many official documents as a personal identification number. Right? Do you have an insurance policy that is emblazoned with your “secret” social security number?

So the embedded computer chip that starts out voluntary will soon be compulsory. But why would the government require embedded computer chips?

Isn’t the intent of the owners of the animals to “protect” their pets? Isn’t that also the continued favored line of liberal government bureaucrats who know what we need better than we know what we need?

So here we go again. ad nauseum.

So what do we need?

Instead of requiring innocent people to do something to protect themselves, why not get the crooks? If government bureaucrats really wanted to protect their citizens, they would put more effort into identifying crooks instead of identifying the innocent. But bureaucrats think passing laws will fix every problem. These simplistic, one-dimensional bureaucrats don’t understand that crooks are crooks because they break laws. Passing another law won’t stop crooks. Enforcing the laws already on the books will stop crooks.