In praise of Southern Oregon University; No place for profit in U.S. health care; Supreme Court justices guilty of a crime; Meeting this month on corporate personhood; Improve downtown with car-free days

In praise of Southern Oregon University

Palms and pines dwell side by side and though there is no ocean tide, this is a port of call for scholarly ships from all around the globe: a bustling market not for razors, blackberries and bathrobes, but for theories and facts, music, comraderie and art.

Southern Oregon University is a piece of America — not ignorant, decadent and in decline, but learned, ascendant and strangely innocent. It is modern and cosmopolitan yet long a scholar's mecca, a school where professors gave envious grace to the thousands of students who protested the first day of the second Iraq war, where classes are small and personal but vision and compassion are global.

It's a school not as prestigious as it is respected, not as blindly rigorous as it is methodical and innovative: a fortress of liberal learning open to both the banker's and the logger's child, steeped in tradition yet cutting-edge today. It's an educational port where those who come with talent, intelligence or passion usually sail away far better for their stay.

Sean Lawlor Nelson

Ashland

High Court justices are guilty of a crime

If corporations are allowed to fund elections while, at the same time, huge majorities of our population are jobless, and therefore, fundless, we become a nation of slaves. Please impeach the five offenders. They are not friends "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Mouna Wilson

Ashland

Ashland meeting on corporate influence

In 1886, a court reporter with a vested interest misrepresented the opinions and outcomes of the U.S. Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad.

The fact is that the court, in opening, stated that "it did not wish to hear argument on the question whether the 14th Amendment applies to such corporations as are parties in these suits." In the words of the Chief Justice, "We avoided meeting the constitutional question in the decision."

And yet, this court reporter claimed that, in the question of whether the provision in the 14th Amendment applies to the railroads, "We are all of the opinion that it does."

The case was incorrectly cited as upholding that the railroad corporations, as persons, are to be conferred the 14th Amendment right of "equal protection of the laws."

The result of this court reporter's puffery is that corporations have amassed enormous wealth and power and influenced the outcome of elections for local and national offices and of citizen ballot initiatives.

The Campaign to Legalize Democracy is a coalition dedicated to ending illegitimate legal doctrines that prevent the American people from governing ourselves. One project is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution depersonalizing corporations.

An informational community dialogue will be held at the Bellview Grange in Ashland on Feb. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Jill Iles

Talent