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 . . .

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....

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...

Celebrate with the pomp befitting a free people

by Susan Ives Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, July 4, 2004 Aunt Lydia would bring hot dogs. Aunt Alma marched through the kitchen carrying her big plastic bowl singing, “Stuck a feather in his hat and called it ...” and we’d all chime in,...

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...

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,...

Islamic fundamentalism not the cause of suicide bombings

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, June 19, 2005 by Susan Ives It was just a paragraph in U.S. News and World Report a few weeks ago. "The White House's new counterterrorism strategy, now being revamped at the National Security Council, will focus...

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....

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...

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...

Save the world — on the cheap

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, January 23, 2005 by Susan Ives I've always struggled over the passage in the Bible where Mary of Bethany is about to rub Jesus' feet with expensive oil. Judas kicks up a fuss. "We could feed a lot of poor folks if...

Remember yesterday’s nuclear fallout when making policy today

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, August 1, 2004 by Susan Ives This is what happens when you drop a 1-megaton nuclear bomb. Everyone within about six square miles of the blast will be vaporized — turned to dust — by the gamma rays coming from...

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...

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...

Open minds, and dialogues, make for a more peaceful world

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, September 26, 2004 by Susan Ives The first presidential election I remember is the one in 1960, when I was 8. I wore my Kennedy button proudly, spouting slogans such as "I'm for the Democrats because they stand up...

Burbank students learning more than the three R’s

Published in the Express-News, Express-News June 28 2003 by Susan Ives The first project of the fledgling Amnesty International chapter at Burbank High School was a letter writing party. To His Excellency, Mr. Thabo Mabeki: I am concerned about the spiraling human...

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...

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...

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...

Pouring oil on world’s troubled waters

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, September 12, 2004 by Susan Ives So a bunch of us are sitting at Starbucks when there's a lull in the conversation and I pick up a copy of Al-Madar that's lying open on the table. It's not like I can read Arabic,...

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...

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...

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...

Britain listening to Quaker lady

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, December 12, 2004 by Susan Ives Janet Southwood assumed the young man with the video camera was just an enthusiastic amateur, so she didn't give another thought to the brief interview she gave last year during an...

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...

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...

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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