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 . . .

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,...

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...

Seeking fair pay, women march on

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, February 27, 2005 by Susan Ives The dishwashing job was hers, I told Margie. Minimum wage, $1.75 an hour, but they throw in breakfast and lunch. Good food: I help cook it. The boss took some convincing. I filled in...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

No embryo left behind

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, June 5, 2005 by SUsan Ives On Tuesday, President Bush threatened to veto a House Bill which would overturn his 2001 policy that allows federal funding for research only on the 78 embryonic stem cell lines that...

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....

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...

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...

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...

Despite ruling, Redskin moniker out of bounds

This column was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, October 11, 2003 by Susan Ives Last week a Federal court judge ruled that the Washington Redskins can keep their name. The NFL football team was challenged by Native American activists, who argued...

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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