Saturday, April 04, 2009


In Sept. of 2006 I posted a blog entitled “Who is brave enough to “BELL THE CAT”? I had heard the expression used on the BBC when a man being interviewed was complaining about some of Tony Blair’s past decisions and then added, “but it’s too late to “Bell the Cat” now.”

I wasn’t sure what he meant so I researched the expression. I found that it is taken from the Aesop fable about a mouse who proposes to put a bell on the cat so that they can always know when he is other words, the cat wouldn’t be able to sneak up on the mouse unawares. This is a fine idea but, as it says in the fable,“who will be brave enough to ‘Bell the Cat‘?”

It occurred to me that this would be a wonderful tool to use on our politicians. In 2006 we had a government that gave lip service to free speech. This was a joke as a lot of us found out when we disagreed with them. If we spoke out against the war in Iraq we were accused of not supporting our troops or being un-American. If we wanted to separate church from state we were thought of as “non-Christian”, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

I thought then, and I still do, that if we were brave enough as a nation we could insist that our politicians wear a metaphorical bell. We would be able to check their motives and decisions before we were blindsided by them. We would listen for the tinkle of the bell and be forewarned.

I am much more optimistic than I was in 2006 but we still need to keep an eagle eye on our politicians. President Obama has promised us an administration of transparency. Let’s dare to “Bell those Washington Cats” (on both sides of the aisle) and maybe we’ll get what we voted for !


Blogger KGMom said...

Like you, I too am hopeful that we may have a president whose rhetoric is not lip service to the ideals of democracy.
Belling the cat--hhmmmm--methinks the cat who needed belling has left DC. Maybe you are right--they all need bells.

4:16 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

It's a great idea, Ginnie. How you gonna do it?

You remind me of when my son was small. He had a book titled "Belling the Cat" (Aesop's Fable, of course), and my brother-in-law, who lived with us for a while, was always asked to read that book. Years later, he came to visit and asked about the cat named Belling. We laughed and laughed!!

9:01 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's a great expression. I think it has always confused me because I first heard it used incorrectly. :)

6:24 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I like what he is saying and doing thus far. I find that he gives me a feeling that I can trust him. He doesn't seem evasive.

4:20 PM  

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