Retail Cowardice

In the USA, Borders and their affiliate Waldenbooks has announced that they will not carry an issue of this magazine because it contains some of the Danish Cartoons that got the Islamists all wobbly headed worldwide.

I’m delivering a righteous skewering to Borders for this decision which is pure cowardice, no matter what fancy words they want to wrap it in for press releases.  They now join the Canadian bookselling cowards I skewered in this post for refusing to stock the issue of the Western Standard that printed the same images.

The man in charge of Borders is Gregory P. Josefowicz.  I spent a few minutes tooling around the Borders Group site and came across this little piece of information:

"BordersĀ® and Al Maya Group Sign Memorandum of Understanding for Borders Franchise in United Arab Emirates and other Gulf Cooperation Council Countries"

Hmmm.  Now you have to wonder if they are just stinking cowards or are they opportunistic corporate yellowbellies?  Doesn’t matter to me what brand they are – the decision to not stock a magazine for any reason (other than legal order) is pathetic.  Put their decision in the context of their Diversity Commitment, a page that declares their love of all men, women and alternate-gendered humanoid bipeds, solopeds and wheeliepeds (OK, I made the last bit up) regardless of race, creed, age etc etc (it’s a long list).

So where in there does it suggest that one ‘diverse’ group gets preferential treatment over another.  Oh, it doesn’t?  Maybe because the page is full of trite commitments to equality and other worthy yet non-controversial commitments.  BUT should you not actually wish to work for Borders, such ‘diverstity commitments’ are non-existent for their customers. 

Let’s say that you happen to be a Christian, you see them selling the Passion of the Christ and you complain that it offends you.  What might happen?  Not much I’m guessing.  How about you’re a Jew and the fact that Borders sells Mein Kampf offends you?  Same deal – not much happens.  But along comes a magazine that includes some of the images that fueled ignorant (likely non-reading demographic) mobs to burn flags, pastries and embassies and Borders instantly decides to not stock it.  They pre-empted any actual complaint because they are afraid of the Islamists. 

Borders cannot claim any high road, they acted from fear in the face of anticipated thuggery, not even actual violence.  They know that complaining Christians, Jews and most other groups would complain, maybe start a petition, perhaps take their business elsewhere for a while – and that’s it.  They also know that Islamists prefer molotovs to petitions and beheading to bake sales.  So they ran away like scalded cats.  Let me repeat – Border’s management are cowards and their decision is shameful.

Well they may have escaped the Islamist’s Scimitar for now, but they get a damn good bayonetting from me.

See also the Samizdata site for much more (and better) coverage.

UPDATE:  Ed Driscoll has another take on this issue – where are the civil rights groups?  Go read it.

le i-pod est mort?

I see that my least favourite Euros are at it again.  Unable to actually design/build/create anything the world wants, they decide to regulate a way to take aim at Apple’s world-beating i-pod design and i-tunes service and change it so that they get it cheaper than everyone else.  Merde!  If I were Apple, I’d want to withdraw from le market and tell them the IP is nano their bizness!

This from a nation so in love with leisure time that the latest car-burners du jour are protesting because the government is considering new legislation that would allow – gasp – employers the right to expect….. work!  Otherwise known as the end 35 hour week.  Pitiful.  I note with some amusement that in the linked article it states that "the changes would not affect the public sector, which employs nearly a quarter of all French workers." (bold is mine) – 25% of the workforce works for the government???  Now that’s worth a riot!

French unemployment is at 10% – firms are tied by huge amounts of red-tape for hiring, and firing workers is almost impossible.  So firms don’t hire, no jobs are created and the economy nose-dives.  What fun.

I am thinking that maybe they can listen to endless re-runs of Charles Aznovoice in an i-free Republic.  Vive la revolution!

UPDATE:  Here’s a response from Apple.

Canada’s Hypocrisy

This poll in the Globe and Mail suggests that almost half of Canadians (or G&M readers at least) do not believe that Canada should be helping the war on terror in Afghanistan.  Never mind that the country has been liberated from the Taliban’s stone age rule, that girls are back in school and that the country finally has a chance to succeed under its new President and government.

If Canadians don’t even support a fully UN (don’t get me started) mandated operation that can be seen to have benefits, how can we even pretend to have a meaningful voice in the world?  Any takers for a bet that the same cowardly 47% also don’t approve of George W Bush?  Thought not.

The most startling hypocrisy is closer to home that most Canadians even dare think about.  After years of neglecting the military, the Liberals have left the country effectively defenceless.  They calculated that if any uppity nation attacked Canada that the US would act in our defence since we have a long unprotected border.  So, a mostly defenceless nation depends on a stronger friend for help in a time of crisis.  But that’s just theory unless a bunch of drunken Minnesotan hunters up for a weekend of armed mayhem decide to shoot the Bare Naked Ladies instead of actual bears it’s an unlikely thought.

But in Afghanistan its real – they need the help of a more powerful friend.  It shows just how poor Afghanis are that they even consider Canada powerful.  And yet here we have the G&M readership ready to cut and run and bugger the consequences.  Imagine how those same poll trolls would react if the US decided to let Canada defend itself and do nothing…..