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 . . .

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...
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Celebrating ‘We the People’

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-news, June 27, 2004 by Susan Ives PHILADELPHIA — The first time my car ever went through a security search on American soil was in a parking garage in Philadelphia. A polite young man in a blue blazer stopped our car....
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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...
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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...
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In the name of Ashcroft’s drug war, states’ rights take a hit

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, December 5, 2004 by SUsan Ives On Monday the Supreme Court heard arguments about the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The arguments, oddly enough, aren't about whether smoking pot is a legitimate and...
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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...
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Military recruiters go back to school

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, August 14, 2005 by Susan Ives I don't have children, but I go all mushy when it comes to the first day of school ritual. Kids with their new clothes, new shoes (a bit big in the toe -- they're growing), new...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Our people in the cross hairs of hate

Originally published in the Sn Antonio Express-News, April 17, 2004 by Susan Ives A man claiming to be a journalist called Sarwat Husain, she told me, and tried to give her a hard time about the string of recent arsons that targeted Muslim-run convenience stores. "I...
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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...
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Witnessing return of soldiers a nation’s duty

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, May 2, 2004 by Susan Ives There is no privacy in a combat zone. You eat together, sleep together, shower together. You wear your rank on your collar and your unit on your sleeve. You are never alone, even in death....
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Closing the polls not an option

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, July 25, 2004 by Susan Ives Earlier this month, Newsweek reported that the federal government is considering the possibility of postponing the presidential election if there is a terrorist attack or the threat of...
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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...
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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....
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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 the...
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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,...
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Kid from Kenya a lesson in risk

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, September 19, 2004 by Susan Ives The night Nick left Kenya, he shot a couple rolls of film. My brothers and sister, he says. The charcoal brazier next to the chair his brother Jacob sleeps on. That's Nick, a skinny...
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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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