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​ Experts, Bureaucrats, Chickens and Ticks

By Roger Oliver
July 01, 2017

An article in the Friday, June 30, 2017 Wall Street Journal says that chickens are the popular solution in 2017 to control ticks. A couple of points in the article make for an interesting contrast between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of man.

God created us in his image and likeness with the ability to operate in his creation. He gifts each of us with special abilities to serve one another to work together in God’s kingdom to take dominion over the creation. This is the interdependent society of the one and the many where there is freedom. The kingdom of man asks you to surrender your freedom under God for the false security of a life controlled by an army of experts and bureaucrats. This is the kingdom of dependence and slavery. The results are often absurd, even hilarious.

In a clever turn of phrase, the byline of the WSJ article says, “With concerns about Lyme Disease soaring, Americans, backed by little science, are flocking to avian barnyard heroes.” Chickens eat ticks and other little critters. Folks who live in rural areas and keep chickens know this. Little children are pretty good curious scientists. They figure this stuff out on their own. Not hard to figure out, even for a city dweller. Just watch a bunch of chickens foraging for food for about 10 minutes.

So why the little phrase tucked in there, “backed by little science”? What is that supposed to mean? It means the author thinks the rest of us folks are superstitious and immature, unable to make sense of the world and manage our own affairs. You can’t trust a chicken to eat ticks unless you first invest several hundred thousand dollars, maybe millions, of taxpayer funds to do what children do naturally. Oh, and write a report about it.

The experts in charge of this stuff, according to the article, are the scientists at the Center for Disease Control. The CDC has all kinds of recommendations for controlling ticks, not including chickens. That is outside their area of expertise, they say. We’re paying for this?

There is good evidence that the free market could provide such information services more economically, more efficiently and more accurately than the CDC. There is also common-sense faith that God made us in his image and likeness equipped to take dominion over chickens and ticks without the CDC. A Maine chicken farmer quoted in the article says, “We don’t need a study if we know experientially it works.”

The article states that the village of Fayetteville, NY borders a park in upstate New York infested with ticks. The town council approved a proposal to allow residents to keep up to a dozen chickens in their backyards. As of the date of the WSJ report the village clerk said she had only received one application for a chicken permit. A chicken permit? In a rural town of 4,400? Why? Wonder how much it cost? Being regulated to death isn’t free. I guess upstate New Yorkers don’t have access to Google or Amazon.com or a local library to study up on the in’s and out’s of keeping chickens, including any related health risks.

I’ve heard that an expert is a person who studies more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing. A lawyer is a person who studies less and less about more and more until he knows nothing about everything. Our political problem, so they say, is that we elect lawyers to govern us and they hire experts to tell them what to do.

There are dozens of similar jokes about experts, politicians and bureaucrats. Humor is used universally to complain about tyranny in ways that are acceptable to the power elite. They are an

indicator that we know that, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5). That we keep voting for more and more government is an indicator that we are doing everything we can to pretend we don’t know what we know.

Got ticks? Go buy some chickens. They are tick experts and you can eat their eggs or turn them into a chicken dinner now and then. That’s more than you can say for the elite who charge for their unsolicited and often useless advice.


Topics: Culture , Government, Statism

Roger Oliver

Roger Oliver serves as a missionary in Puebla, Mexico. He and his wife, Marcy spend most of their time at the Pierre Viret Learning Center, a Christian academy, preschool through high school. Their local church meets in the Learning Center. They sponsor a web page www.visionamericalatina.com to promote Christian reconstruction in Latin America. Roger is a partner in a furniture manufacturing company. The business exists to provide employment to the families in the community, to help the community become independent, to generate capital for other family businesses and as a venue for vocational discipleship. He retired from the US Army in 1992. He earned his MBA at Syracuse University for the Army and completed a ThM in Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary.

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