Observations from the Edge

One last observation: save the trees

(Editor’s note: Bob was a force to be reckoned with. Whether they agreed with him or not, people read “Observations from the Edge.” In the many years he wrote for The Coast News Group, no person or issue elicited more Letters to the Editor than Bob Nanninga. His passion was admirable, his energy infectious. Here […]

Words reveal where change will remain the same

Like most Americans, I gathered with others to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama. As a strong supporter of his candidacy, and a big fan of his highly educated sense of language and the power of words, there was no way I was going to miss his first address to the world as president. […]

Sand replenishment is ecological degradation

Arne Naess, the Norwegian philosopher and the founder of the Deep Ecology movement, died last week at the age of 96. I mention this because the world needs more deep ecologists not less. Here in Southern California, those of us with a clear understanding of man’s adversarial relationship with nature are voices in the disappearing […]

Kiss the Bush days goodbye

I first referenced George W. Bush in a column titled L is for Leadership in June 2000, when I wrote “George W. Bush isn’t leading, he is a mouthpiece for his father and his cronies.” Could I have been more right or more wrong? Controlled by a warmongering cabal of NeoCon warmongers under the insidious […]

Resolve to evolve: Resolutions for change

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, as they have taken on the same mythic quality as Santa and the Easter Bunny. This is not to say I haven’t made resolutions in the past. I have, and have broken every one of them. After awhile I abandoned this annual exercise in artifice deciding instead to […]

All bad things must come to an end

I figured for my last “Observations” column of 2008, I would begin with thanking the Kwanzaa elves for giving Muntandar al-Zaidi the courage to throw his shoes at George W. Bush while the international press rolled cameras. If that is not the perfect ending for what has turned out to be a difficult year, I […]

Letter to the Fat Man 2008

Dear Santa, It’s time again for my yearly ritual of writing a letter to cultural constructs and market-driven myths, asking for the impossible. I would have written sooner but I went on an uncharacteristic Jesus tangent. ‘Tis the season right? As a market-driven myth, I’m sure you understand the folly of addressing fictional beings. As […]

How would Jesus celebrate Christmas?

How would Jesus celebrate Christmas? When I asked this question last week, I did so with the knowledge that Jesus predates Christmas historically by a few hundred years and that Judaism didn’t, and doesn’t, venerate the birth of the Christ child. The question was rhetorical, but the inquiry itself sincere. If we accept the premise […]

‘Tis a teason to buy nothing

Regular readers of this column know I am not a Hallmark holiday sort of guy. Not really “anti-Christmas,” it’s more accurate to describe me as pro environment. Christmas has never occurred to me as being ecologically friendly. Christmas is a weird cultural construct that merges the Christian birth myth with pre-Christian paganism, and full-frontal consumerism. […]