Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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September 28, 2012

Sullivan’s Salvos 10/2/12 In this edition: *Johnson County Democratic Party BBQ *Jesus Versus the Government? *Question Your Assumptions *Seven Myths of Government Bashing, Part 1 *Look For The Union Label! *Did You Know? *Johnson County Democratic Party BBQ The Johnson County Democratic Party is holding its annual Fall BBQ Sunday, October 14 from 1-4 pm at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Join your friends for food, fun, and political talk! Suggested donations are $15 per person, $30 per family. Sponsorships are still available. *Jesus Versus the Government? Religion and politics can be a dangerous mix. I have long been told that I am not a good Christian because of some liberal beliefs. That actually led me to switch denominations in the 1980s. So let’s take a look at one of the many contradictions presented by some of the folks who drove me away. Jesus commands us to: “go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." He also says that a rich man has the same chance of getting into heaven as a camel has getting through the eye of a needle. These are but a few of the gospel references to rich and poor. The words are unambiguous. Jesus is quite clear – having excess wealth is a sin. Failure to help the poor is a sin. Most of the same people who claim that a 4% increase in taxes on the richest 2% of Americans is “confiscatory” also claim to be devout Christians. So, is Jesus “confiscatory”? Is Jesus wrong? Should Jesus change his preaching to “pick yourself up by your bootstraps”? If you believe this, are you renouncing your Christianity? How can one subscribe to the teachings of both Ayn Rand and Jesus? Look, I am no preacher. But I get preached AT a great deal, typically by people who are anxious to explain to me why I ought to hate gays. Neither political party owns Christianity. We would all do well to question ourselves, and admit we do not know it all. And leave the religion out of politics. Otherwise, you may some day find yourself caught in a contradiction. *Question Your Assumptions Shelter House is hosting a thought-provoking program Wednesday, October 10 from 7:30-8:30 pm at the Englert Theatre. “Question Your Assumptions” is an evening of education, entertainment, and conversation about homelessness in our community. Admission is free; go to for more info. *Seven Myths of Government Bashing A friend recently sent me a great piece by Gail Cohen entitled “Seven Myths of Government Bashing”. I like this piece so much that I have decided to divide it into seven parts and run it in Salvos. Today, Part 1:CLAIM: Government exerts too much control over our lives. Every time private citizens allow “government” to enact a new law, or new regulation, we cede a little bit more power to it. We give up a little bit more of our privacy, a bit more control over our future, and enable this huge impersonal force called government to make more decisions for us. ANSWER: Ask yourself the following questions: What goes into our ears? Sounds provided by Clearchannel and an ever-shrinking number of privately owned radio conglomerates answerable to no one. What goes into our eyes? TV shows and movies and news broadcasts provided by a small group of ever more powerful private entities whose goal is to increase their bottom line. Who tells us what foods to eat and medicines to take? Privately owned companies like McDonalds and Coke and Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Who tells our children what constitutes “cool behavior” gives our kids daily examples of what is fair and moral? Does Obama get on TV and say that pre-marital sex and swearing are great ways to make friends? No, but private industries do. Who tells us what cars we need to drive in order to feel manly, what gadgets we need to buy for our children, and where to shop? Private industry does. Who tells our children that it’s much better to spend money on trinkets and fancy cars to impress girls, than it is to save for college? Who tells our kids to drink Budweiser and smoke cigarettes? Private industries do, industries that make billions of dollars from your children’s’ future addictions. Who collects data on the websites we visit, what we buy online and who we chat with? That would be Google, Microsoft and Facebook, not “government.” Who reports the identities of political dissidents to repressive governments like China, sells our personal data to the highest bidder, and spies on our internet activity? Obama and those wicked Democrats? No. Once again, that would be Yahoo, Facebook and Google, respectively. Does government make the school books our children learn from? No. Private industries do, companies like Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Reed Elsevier, and Houghton Mifflin. Check your child’s textbook. Did “government” make it? Nope. Mostly likely, it came from one of the companies I just named. Does government make the voting machines we vote on? No. Private industries do, companies like Diebold, Sequoia, and the Nebraska-based Election Systems, who are answerable to no one but their shareholders. And who has the largest financial stake in you ignoring the above paragraph, and wants you to please, please get back to business of complaining about government? Private industry does. *Look For The Union Label! I am extremely proud to be endorsed by both the Iowa City Federation of Labor and WIN (Working Iowa Neighbors). I have a long history with organized labor, and I am grateful to receive this honor. *DID YOU KNOW? The Iowa City Federation of Labor is one of 14 Central Labor bodies in Iowa. Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website- "Sullivan’s Salvos" is sent once per week to any interested party. It will give a brief update on issues of interest to Johnson County residents. These messages come solely from Rod Sullivan, and neither represents the viewpoints of the whole Board of Supervisors nor those of groups or individuals otherwise mentioned. If you do NOT want the weekly E-mail, simply reply to this message, and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line. If you know anyone else who might be interested, just forward this message. They can E-mail me at with "subscribe" in the subject line. As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you! ---Rod


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