It is sad that the Philippines gets extensive coverage in TIME only during periods of crisis [July 11]. True, the country has been plagued by political organizations, financed by politicians with personal agendas, that have fought every President. It has been said that for evil to triumph, it is enough that good men do nothing. Unfortunately, the Philippines has millions of good men doing nothing. When we survive this crisis, I hope that TIME will have something positive to tell the world.
Jaime W. Hermogenes
Makati City, the Philippines
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo won the 2004 election by a margin of 1 million votes. She must not give up the good fight. Arroyo is my President. I decline to believe the malicious claims of the opposition and noisy minorities. The only viable course for Arroyo is to hang on to the presidency. If she heeds the call to resign, she will have surrendered to the whims of a mob.
Brodrick H.H. Tabay
Talisay City, the Philippines
Pakistan: Boom or Bust?
"Going Up?" on Pakistan's booming economy [July 11] said remittance money sent home by Pakistanis living overseas has flowed into stocks and real estate, driving up the price of property in cities like Lahore and Karachi 300% or more, and triggering a sharp economic upturn. That news leaves me sad and confused. As your report made clear, economic success is a cruel joke to most of our country's 160 million people. The sole beneficiary of skyrocketing property prices is the group composed of the ruling élite and the wealthy. They made fortunes in a very short span. But most middle-class Pakistanis are left with only ruined hopes. In the wake of rising inflation, a lackluster job market and stagnant salaries, a salaried worker can never think of buying an apartment or a modest house in his lifetime. Millions will have to forgo that dream. The gap between rich and poor is reaching dangerous proportions. It is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. The government has simply not awakened to the plight of its people.
The Supreme Court Battle
Will President George W. Bush's choice of a Supreme Court Justice to replace Sandra Day O'Connor [July 11] serve to unify the country, or will it lead to a confrontational crisis? America's Founding Fathers gave Supreme Court Justices lifetime appointments, not foreseeing the deeply acrimonious partisanship that would exist in today's politics. The majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade, the court decision that legalized abortion, and we don't need Bush's circumventing the public's will through his selection of a Supreme Court Justice.
Nevada City, California, U.S.
The job of a judge is not to express a personal opinion but to read and apply the laws enacted by our elected representatives. A Justice is not authorized to change or ignore the law. How can we fairly enforce our laws if judges do not faithfully comply with them in every detail?
Jon Moseley, Executive Director
Legal Affairs Council
Ashburn, Virginia, U.S.
President Bush's choice of a successor to Justice O'Connor can go a long way toward fostering oneness in this country and bolstering his popularity. Democrats and Republicans alike, except for extremists on both sides, admired her flexibility in the court's contentious decisions. Justice O'Connor eschewed rigidity in favor of nuance in each controversial case, and the U.S. has been the better for it.
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
TIME's account of O'Connor's thoughtfulness toward her staff speaks volumes about the character of that remarkable woman. The world would be a far better place if we emulated her sensitivity to people whose lives are part of our daily sphere of influence. O'Connor's meticulousness and humility in dealing with others demonstrate that she is an American icon.
Robert R. Mittoo
In the color-coded graphic showing the Supreme Court Justices' "ideological palette," TIME did not identify any of them as "staunch liberal," while labeling three as "staunch conservative." A more helpful illustration would have been a list of a few recent rulings side by side with the names of the Justices who voted with the majority. Attaching a label to a Justice is too simplistic, especially when there is no common agreement on what the label means. The media should concentrate on the character and qualifications of a potential nominee rather than his or her political leanings.
Yorktown Heights, New York, U.S.
This may be a good time to do away with lifetime appointments for judges, including those at the federal level. Judges should be required to retire after they turn 70. We could extend that rule to all those employed by the Federal Government—including members of Congress and the President. We have too many old folks sending young folks to war.
Stanley A. Green
Stockton, California, U.S.
Sharing Journalists' Notes
I strongly disagree with the decision made by Norman Pearlstine, Time Inc.'s editor-in-chief, to comply with a federal grand jury's subpoena and surrender the notes and files of White House correspondent Matthew Cooper [July 11]. Pearlstine said the company had an obligation to follow the law. But throughout our country's history, it has been those who have stood up to the misuse of laws who have brought about the social changes needed to protect our constitutional rights. The American press has been justifiably criticized for being too easy on the Bush Administration and not practicing real investigative journalism. I fear that Pearlstine's decision reinforces those views and further weakens the power of the press.
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
TIME did the right thing. as a lawyer and a Democrat, I wish the Supreme Court had heard TIME's appeal and protected the confidentiality of its reporter's sources. Still, I applaud Pearlstine for making the principled decision to follow the rule of law, much as he believes the law should be different. We don't have to like laws, orders or rulings. But unless we are anarchists, we should follow them.
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
TIME's decision to turn over Cooper's reporting notes is akin to negotiating with terrorists. It only emboldens enemies of the First Amendment. The issue is not about TIME magazine. It is about the public trust that you hold. Or at least held.
Valarie S. Zeeck
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
As a college journalism student, I was disappointed by TIME's decision to turn over Cooper's notes to federal prosecutors—a decision that sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of us. Our profession is under fire enough as it is, in the U.S. and around the world. We don't need media outlets to act more like corporations answering to shareholders than like journalists answering to readers.
Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.
Where does journalism go from here? The answer is simple. On any story of this kind, a professional and trusted journalist, having properly researched and written the story, should destroy the notes or at least any part of them that identifies a confidential source. That way, the law is observed and the informant protected.
On behalf of the Kenya Union of Journalists, I wish to express solidarity with New York Times reporter Judith Miller for standing firm on the cardinal principle of ethical journalism: to protect sources even on pain of imprisonment. Journalism will be the better after this trying moment if we remain firm in the face of cajoling and intimidation by those who know they have been exposed.
Eric Orina, Secretary-General
Kenya Union of Journalists
How The Court Works
The resignation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor [July 11] focused attention on the U.S. judicial system and the key issues facing the court in upcoming sessions. In TIME's assessment of the court 26 years ago, we described how the Justices get down to business—a process that despite some changes to accommodate faxes and e-mails, remains basically the same [Nov. 5, 1979]:
"When the nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court meet to discuss and vote on cases on Friday mornings [and also sometimes on Wednesdays and Thursdays], they begin with the simple ritual of shaking hands. Then they sit down to decide on some of the nation's most sensitive, sometimes most divisive issues. No reporter, no lobbyist, no aide, not even a messenger is allowed in the paneled conference room. THE JUSTICES ARE LEFT ALONE TO ARGUE THE LAW, THEIR PRINCIPLES, THEIR CONSCIENCES. Theirs is not an abstract debate: comfortably hazy concepts like 'liberty' and 'equality' must be applied to urgent social and moral dilemmas—abortion, the death penalty, obscenity, busing, reverse discrimination. The conferences provide a relentless test of conviction and reason; shallowness and bluffing are not long concealed. 'It is like being naked in a steam bath,' Justice Felix Frankfurter once remarked. 'You are totally exposed.'"