Frequently Asked Questions

What is this blog about?

See my first post.

Your ideas sound like class warfare. Isn’t that un-American?

We only hear cries of “class warfare” when working-class people speak out about the problems we face every day. If you look at the actual death toll from wars, unsafe working conditions, police violence, and the health consequences of poverty, it’s all too clear which side is the aggressor in class war.

You’re a working-class, white American. Shouldn’t you be a right-winger?

No.

Are you sure about that?

Yes.

Why don’t you allow comments?

I guess I’m old fashioned. I think reading should be between a writer and a reader, not a writer, a reader, and a bunch of other random people, many of whom are crazed ranters with too much time on their hands. Anonymous comments on the internet are supposed to epitomize democratic discussion, but they don’t. Commenters tend to be people who own computers and have a lot of free time. I believe that social bias is reflected in the kinds of comments seen online. Had you tried to forecast the 2012 presidential election by looking at the comments on Yahoo! News articles, you would have expected Mitt Romney to receive 75% of the vote.

Exacerbating the problem is a concerted effort by rightists in corporate media to create a fake online consensus by blanketing the ’net with anonymous comments. In his book Murdoch’s World, David Folkenflik wrote that Fox News staffers popped up all over the internet, backing the company and party line—all while hiding their employment at Fox. Folkenflik wrote (as quoted by the Washington Post):

Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account.

We need to get away from the distorted worldview of corporate media. If you want that view, you can find it anywhere. Also, bloggers are often judged by the comments they allow and I don’t have the time or inclination to police comments on the blog. Likewise, I want to encourage working-class people who consider themselves conservative to come to this blog and read what I have to say. They may find, as I did, that the conservatism they learned at home is not for them. If people who are curious about the blog wind up having acrimonious comment wars with people who already agree with me, that doesn’t help.

If you would like to offer feedback, please e-mail me at classblog@zoho.com. Periodically, I’ll write posts specifically devoted to addressing comments or questions I receive via e-mail. When you write, let me know if it’s all right that I mention your name or the handle you use when you sign your e-mail.

How do you pronounce your last name?

With a short “e”: PEP-us, not PEEP-us.

Why is your last name pronounced that way? It looks as if it should be pronounced differently.

My paternal grandfather changed the name to Pepus in an effort to make it easier for English-speakers to pronounce. It had already been changed more than once since the family came to America from Greece. Maybe my grandfather should have spelled the name “Peppus” to make the pronunciation more evident. He was not a well-educated man: he had to drop out of school at an early age to make money for the family by working in a coal mine. The name doesn’t exactly follow the rules of English pronunciation, but that’s the spelling and pronunciation my grandfather chose. I like it the way it is.

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