Daily Lesson

Jonathan Zasloff writes:

Early yesterday morning, the House Republicans passed a budget resolution severely cutting Medicaid, food stamps, and child care. Meanwhile, their allies in the Senate passed a resolution extending tax cuts for some of the wealthiest investors.

Class, the Daily Lesson comes from Amos, 8:1-8:

Thus the LORD showed me: Behold, a basket of summer fruit.

And He said, “Amos, what do you see?” So I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”

Then the LORD said to me:

“The end has come upon My people Israel;

I will not pass by them anymore.

And the songs of the temple shall be wailing in that day,”

Says the LORD God–

“Many dead bodies are everywhere;

they shall be thrown into silence”

Hear this, you who swallow up the needy,

and make the poor of the land fail,


“When will the New Moom be past that we may sell grain?

And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat?

Making the ephah small and the shekel large,

Falsifying the scales by deceit.

That we may buy the poor for silver,

and the needy for a pair of shoes–

Even sell the bad wheat?”

The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:

“Surely I will never forget any of their works.

Shall the land not tremble for this,

And everyone mourn who dwells in it?

All of it shall swell like the River,

heave and subside

like the River of Egypt.”

We might also read from Isaiah 10: 1-2

Woe to the legislators of infamous laws,

who refuse justice to the unfortunate

and cheat the poor among my people of their rights,

who make widows their prey, and rob the orphan.

Class, who would like to comment? Rev. Dobson? Rev. Robertson?


Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.