Storm Bear

Campaigning Under Mountain Momma

Filed By Storm Bear | May 07, 2008 11:06 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: coal miners, gay cartoons and comics, humorous blog post, politics, united mine workers, webcomics, West Virginia


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I did part of my growing up in West Virginia where my father mined coal out of the hills - so did my uncles and my grandfather. It is where many of them died due to mining, sometimes by black lung and sometimes by accident. My uncle Dewey died when a kettle bottom fell on him and crushed him below the ribcage. During the autopsy, they also learned his lungs were filled with coal dust from long exposure to mining. My grandfather's lungs were also full of coal dust when he died and my father died of black lung and complications due to that condition.

I talked with my mom yesterday and we chatted about the upcoming election. She lives in Princeton and lives off of Social Security and the pension that has been well protected by the United Mine Workers. I asked who she was going to vote for and she said she didn't know. The commercials on television have not been helpful to her. Yes gas prices are high in West Virginia, but she is concerned with who is going to protect the unions and the pensions related to them.

Over the past 150 years, immense amounts of money has been drained out of West Virginia in the form of coal and none of it has been funneled back in terms of monetary wealth. Unlike Alaska, where the citizens get a yearly check from the oil companies for the oil that has been pumped out, West Virginia has been left to corporate wolves.

It is a pity, some of the most beautiful wilderness in America is blighted by crushing poverty caused by an uncaring federal government.

I think the people, at least my family that still lives in West Virginia, have one question on their minds.

"Which candidate will screw me the least?"


SPECIAL REQUEST FOR TCD FANS: The San Francisco Chronicle is pondering the addition of new cartoons for their paper - a process that seems to be initiated by Darren Bell, creator of Candorville (one of my daily reads - highly recommended). You can read the Chronicle article here and please add your thoughts to the comments if you wish. If anything, put in a good word for Darren and Candorville.

I am submitting Town Called Dobson to the paper for their consideration. They seem to have given great weight to receiving 200 messages considering Candorville. I am asking TCD fans to try to surpass that amount. (I get more than that many hate mails a day, surely fans can do better?)

This is not a race between Darren and I, it is a hope that more progressive strips can be represented in the printed press of America.

So if you read the San Francisco Chronicle or live in the Bay Area (Google Analytics tell me there are a lot of you), please send your kind comments (or naked, straining outrage) to David Wiegand at his published addresses below. If you are a subscriber, cut out your mailing label and staple it to a TCD strip and include it in your letter.

candorcomment@sfchronicle.com

or

David Wiegand
Executive Datebook Editor
The San Francisco Chronicle
901 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103


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My family is from West Virginia too. I also have several relatives that died of black lung.

I remember seeing my great grandfather cough up two shiny black pellets once. When he broke them open, they were full of pure coal dust. He died several years later of black lung.

The primary reason my parents moved to North Carolina at the beginning of high school was so I WOULD NOT go anywhere near a coal mine.

That's why my Grandfather moved the family too. You could tell the difference too - one side of the family worked the mines. None of the men lived past 60. The other side were mountain folk. All the men lived past 100.