Susan Ives, Writer

Susan’s Express-News Columns

From 2003-2005 I wrote a weekly op-ed column for the San Antonio Express-News. Although the specific events that sparked most of my passion and ire are long past, I’m amazed at how often the same old topics crop up again and again.

peaceCENTERbooks has collected my columns in a book, “Squint.” From the introduction: “Those with blurry vision, those of us who squint and peer, who don’t always see clearly and know it, who doubt the evidence of our lying eyes: we too have a role. We are skeptics, the name taken by the disciples of the Greek philosopher Pyrrho from the word skeptesthai, meaning to reflect, to look, to view. Not to see clearly, but to keep looking: keep looking even when we think we have found the answer, keep looking even when we think we have seen the truth, keep looking because the one thing we know with absolute certainty is that our sight is imperfect and there is always more to be seen.

Read a few columns . . .

Seeking fair pay, women march on

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, February 27, 2005 by Susan Ives The dishwashing job was hers, I told Margie. Minimum wage, $1.75 an hour, but they throw in breakfast and lunch. Good food: I help cook it. The boss took some convincing. I filled in...

Shooting down Robertson’s suggestion

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News on August 28, 2005 by Susan Ives When I heard Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of Venezuela's president, Hugo Chávez, my first thought was that the evangelical Christian viewers of "The 700 Club" were...

The art of debate

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, October 3, 2004 by Susan Ives A room full of 15-year-olds were meeting the coach for the first time. "What is debate?" he asked. With his buzz cut and bulldog stance he looked like he was preparing us for the...

Globalization creating a hard reality for American graduates

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, May 30, 2004 by Susan Ives I asked Jaime, a young man who works at my corner copy shop, how school was going. He will graduate from UTSA next May (knock wood) with a degree in biology. "Have you heard that tuition...

Wall creating an unfair split

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, May 17 2003 by Susan Ives Build high, build wide your prison walls, That there be room enough for all Who hold you in contempt. Build wide, that all the bad be locked inside. The Israelis call it a security fence....

Flag etiquette creates a flap

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, June 12, 2005 by Susan Ives While boning up on flag etiquette for the Peace Center's annual flag washing ceremony, I had a startling insight: every day millions of people deface the U.S flag. You've probably done...

Installing public toilets downtown the humane way for city to go

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, April 10, 2005 by Susan Ives For the past few weeks I've been talking about nothing but toilets. All toilet, all the time. In February, the City Council passed an ordinance that made public urination and defecation...

Kristallnacht a reminder of the horrors we, sadly, do forget

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, November 7, 2004 by Susan Ives By 1938 the Nazis had been in power for five years and were steadily working on their vile vision of a Germany that was Judenfrei, free of Jews. On Oct. 28, 1938, the Gestapo rounded...

The airwaves belong to the people

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, October 10, 2004 by Susan Ives Repeat after me: The airwaves belong to the people. Say it again: The airwaves belong to the people. Hold that thought. The Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns 62 television stations...

No embryo left behind

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, June 5, 2005 by SUsan Ives On Tuesday, President Bush threatened to veto a House Bill which would overturn his 2001 policy that allows federal funding for research only on the 78 embryonic stem cell lines that...

Poll watchers to keep eye on election

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, August 15, 2004 by Susan Ives Being a poll watcher was the scariest thing I've ever done. Scarier than the Gulf War. Scarier than dangling from the open door of a helicopter snapping photos of a refugee camp....

Tossing Pebbles in the Jesus Pot

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, November 14, 2004 by Susan Ives My favorite election story doesn't involve paper trails, lines in Ohio or even the inequities of the Electoral College. It's an African tale, told by Barbara Kinsolver in her 1998...

Shine law’s light on shadowy contractors

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, May 9, 2004 by Susan Ives When I was a lieutenant in the 101st Airborne Division, I was the adjutant general-forward. In layman's terms, that's the personnel officer who wallows in the mud with the snakes and...

Draft is a bad idea — but so is the unfair burden of war

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, January 3, 2004 by Susan Ives My inbox has been buzzing with questions about the draft. A year ago, as it became clear that the Bush administration was headed for a war on Iraq, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., stumped...

Scholar bridges Islam and West

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, November 28, 2004 by Susan Ives In his 1973 book "The Best and the Brightest," David Halberstam described how firing most of the State Department's Far East experts during McCarthy-era witch hunts left a gap in...

On this day of forgiveness, an example to follow

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, March 27, 2005 by Susan Ives I've always thought that Easter morning must have been a mixed blessing for Jesus' 11 remaining disciples. They spent all day Saturday weeping and grieving and were at it again the next...

Reclaiming America over a cup of joe

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, October 31, 2004 by Susan Ives At the Wednesday evening drink-latte-and-fight-about-politics club, one of the regulars announced he had decided to vote for President Bush. We all laughed. You'd have to know this...

Time to show U.S. difference between might and right

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, April 10, 2004 by Susan Ives Last Tuesday was the 74th anniversary of the morning that Mohandas Gandhi hitched up his loincloth, leaned into the sea and scooped up a lump of salt. It seems a small thing, an old man...

Voters deserve right to dissent

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, August 22, 2004 by Susan Ives I'm not a very good member of the Democratic Party. I wouldn't be a good Republican either or a good Green or a good anything that has the word "party" tacked on after it. Well, maybe...

High court nominee’s interpretation skills

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, July 24, 2005 by Susan Ives If I were president (when pigs fly) and had the chance to nominate a Supreme Court justice (fat chance) my choice would not be D.C. Circuit Court Judge John Roberts. Let's face it: the...

We care about freedom, but not the lives in Iraq?

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News February 20, 2005 by Susan Ives There were hiking boots next to tennis shoes, fuzzy bedroom slippers alongside down-at-the-heel oxfords and at least one pair of those hideous dyed-to-match silk pumps that...

Ustinov’s humor lives on in S.A. story

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, April 3, 2004 by Susan Ives The most popular film that I show in the peaceCENTER's Alamo workshop is "Viva Max!" I run a five-minute clip, the bit where Gen. Maximilian Rodrigues de Santos, determined to recapture...

Fighting peacefully in a war-torn land

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, August 29, 2004 by Susan Ives JERUSALEM — The dateline may say Jerusalem, but already I've been to Abu Dis, Jericho, Ramallah, Qaquilya, Tulkarem and Jayyous. Today I am in Tel Aviv. I'm traveling this week with...

Humbly Remember Hungry Among Us

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, November 22, 2003 by Susan Ives In New England they place five kernels of dried corn atop a crisp scarlet maple leaf by every heaping thanksgiving plate. This reminds those partaking of the feast of the hunger...

MLK marchers in step with peacemakers

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, January 16, 2005 by Susan Ives I usually begin my workshops in peace and justice history by dealing everyone a card from a deck we call "the great peace march." Everyone lines up in chronological order. If you have...

peaceCENTERbooks

In 2007, An Helmke and I founded peaceCENTERbooks, a community publishing initiative. We publish selected books that we fervently hope will celebrate peace, teach peace and assist those who are working for peace and justice in our city and other communities across the planet. And , of course, my name appears on a few of the covers.

Books about the Death Penalty
These three books are compilations of classic texts.

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