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 . . .

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

‘I was hungry and you arrested me’

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, February 13, 2005 by Susan Ives "I was hungry and you handcuffed me. I was thirsty and you fined me $500. I was a stranger and you threw me in jail." City Councilwoman Patti Radle paraphrased Jesus last weekend in...

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...

Formula for success at the polls: 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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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