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 . . .

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...

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....

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...

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....

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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,...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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