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 . . .

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...

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...

Caring for poor is itself a blessing

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, December 26, 2004 by Susan Ives On my first Boxing Day, I plunked myself down in front of the telly, turned to my English hosts and announced, "Golly, in America most people watch football the day after Christmas....

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....

Activist slows down, but not much

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, February 7, 2004 by Susan Ives It started in the late 1950s, when New York was thinking about routing buses through Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. Grace Paley should have been basking in the glowing...

More is at stake than the filibuster

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, May 29, 2005 by Susan Ives I've enjoyed talking about the filibuster controversy, if for no other reason that the word itself is quite the silliest sounding I have ever heard. Filibuster, from the Dutch vrijbuiter,...

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...

Helping Liberia is a righteous mission for Americans

Originally July 19, 2003 by Susan Ives It's the rainy season in West Africa and the half million Liberians who fled their homes to escape the crossfire of the 14-year-long civil war are living in roofless shacks with muddy floors. "Imagine living in a pig pen," said...

Path of Israel’s wall, not its purpose, is the main argument

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, July 18, 2004 by Susan Ives Since the International Court of Justice issued its ruling July 9 against the wall Israel is building in the West Bank, my mailbox has been brimming with e-mail. I must be on someone's...

Proposed ban on gay foster parents bad idea

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, May 8, 2005 by Susan Ives On mothers day we honor mothers. All mothers. Soccer moms who haul their kids to a string activities every afternoon in SUVs and barely-making-it moms who carve out an hour once a week to...

Cure for bankruptcy injures the ailing

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-news, April 17, 2005 by Susan Ives My husband and I are unlikely to declare bankruptcy. We own our home, free and clear. Our 10-year-old cars are still running fine, thank you very much. The credit cards are used...

Formula for success at the ballots: voters who want to vote

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News May 11 2003 by Susan Ives This is a math moment. When I was in college we were taught "the calculus of voting." Professors recognize that the reason people major in political science is to avoid calculus — if we...

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...

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...

People’s power turns the wheel

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, June 8 2003 by Susan Ives I boarded the bus at the Claude Black Community Center; others hopped on in Harlandale. The energy of the passengers, many of them elderly African-American East Siders, was stoked by...

Reunion and candidacies, a posteriori

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, June 13, 2004 by Susan Ives MADISON, N.J. — The long banner stretched across the Erie-Lackawanna railroad tracks crossing Route 124 said, "Welcome Drew University Alumni/Alumnae." "What's this alumni/alumnae...

Bucking the tide of deadly poverty

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, January 30, 2005 by Susan Ives When I zapped off last week's column about the U.N. Millennium Development Report, I braced myself for the flood of hateful e-mail that always arrives after I write about poor people....

Only in the chaos of free speech do viewpoints gain clarity

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, October 10, 2004 by Susan Ives "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life," Oscar Wilde said. He must have been hanging around Trinity University last week. Let me back up a bit. A couple of weeks ago,...

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...

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...

March is March Month

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, March 13, 2005 by Susan Ives The calendar for March sounds like a comedy routine. The International Women's Day march was on March 5. We will march on March 19th to mark the start of the war in Iraq. The Cesar...

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...

Despite ruling, Redskin moniker out of bounds

This column was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, October 11, 2003 by Susan Ives Last week a Federal court judge ruled that the Washington Redskins can keep their name. The NFL football team was challenged by Native American activists, who argued...

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...

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...

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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