TOM W. BELL: Thanks, Chris. Thanks, too, for being such an effective gadfly. I might well have blown off the whole exercise if you had not kept blogging about how you were awaiting my comment!

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&#8220-Gadfly&#8221- is a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempt to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.

The term &#8220-gadfly&#8221- (Gk. muopa) was used by Plato in the Apology to describe Socrates&#8216- relationship of uncomfortable goad to the Athenian political scene, which he compared to a slow and dimwitted horse. The Bible also references the gadfly in terms of political influence- The Book of Jeremiah (46:20, Darby Bible) states &#8220-Egypt is a very fair heifer- the gad-fly cometh, it cometh from the north.&#8221- The term has been used to describe many politicians and social commentators- in modern Hebrew, which knows many more idioms than those used by Jeremiah, gadfly is &#8220-mekhapes pagam&#8221- literally &#8220-fault finder&#8221-.

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato&#8217-s writings, pointed out that dissent, like the tiny (relative to the size of a horse) gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. &#8220-If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me,&#8221- because his role was that of a gadfly, &#8220-to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth.&#8221-

In modern and local politics, gadfly is a term used to describe someone who persistently challenges people in positions of power, the status quo or a popular position. The word may be uttered in a pejorative sense, while at the same time be accepted as a description of honorable work or civic duty.

I&#8216-m a modern-day Socrates&#8230- !!!&#8230- :-D

Previously: Let’s Tell the CFTC Where to Go. – by Tom W. Bell