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 . . .

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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....

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

Religion and politics kept apart for a reason

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, June 20, 2004 by Susan Ives It started June 1, when the Pennsylvania arm of the Bush presidential campaign was asked to help identify 1,600 "friendly" houses of worship that might be willing to recruit volunteers...

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,...

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...

Wars change, but spending doesn’t

This was originally published in the San Antonio Express- news, August 23, 2003 by Susan Ives A friend forwarded an e-mail from a guy named Dave. Dave had been a marine: I could tell by the semper fi he typed at the end of his message. Dave wrote, "Friday, August 15,...

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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