Hi. I’m Jeff Rutherford. I am 55, and make my living as a technology manager in an electronics-related industry. My family and I live in ranching-oriented rural Colorado, within commuting distance of Denver.
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July 27, 2012
In January 2009, I learned a new word. “Blagosphere.” On every radio talk show I listened to, I kept hearing about this amazing “Blagosphere.” I guess I could have been hearing the word for awhile and not been aware. When I finally took notice of the word, I figured it surely referred to the flamboyant sculpted hairstyle of the scandal-plagued Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. I mean, be honest…at the time didn’t YOU think the same thing??? When all the bribes and kickbacks came to light, David Letterman even joked that “Rod Blagojevich was charged with corruption — and unlawful imprisonment of a badger.”
Anyway, once I figured out the proper meaning and spelling of “blogosphere,” my small brain saw only a narrow view: blogging seemed like an indulgence only for those web surfers and impulsive writers with too much time on their hands. All that prolific writing and voracious reading in the blogosphere seemed way too time consuming for my busy lifestyle.
Ironically over the next 3½ years, I gradually proceeded to spend more and more time each week reading articles on websites, and emailing links and comments to my friends, family, and coworkers. My browsing led to a growing library of books and podcast excerpts. My framework of ideas and analogies took on a richer and firmer structure. And my list of email contacts grew steadily, becoming as big as Blago’s hair-do. All very enjoyable.
But I have also come to recognize how artificially easy it is to share opinions only among my hand-picked clique of like-minded buddies. So safe…so insulated. Non-threatening. An airtight echo chamber that ensures I hear mostly what I already agree with. Comfy, but not very edgy. Long ago, if cavemen had it this easy, they would never have learned to hunt.
So I began to express my opinions with an edge to them, and an interesting angle (I hoped). I tend to stay away from “retail” politics — the superficial day-to-day punches and kicks that the 24-hour news channels hyperventilate about — in favor of exploring the principles of conservatism and where they come from. If these articles spark a reaction in you, good or bad, please share it so we can enlarge the discussion and learn from each other.