Sunday, April 02, 2006

If Only Real CEO's Wrote Like This

Gerard Vanderleun defends Borders Corporation from its critics (who castigate it for not carrying an obscure magazine with the Mohammad cartoons on the cover).

The "open letter" starts like this:

An Open Letter from Gregory P Josefowicz CEO/Chairman of the Board/President/Director, Borders Books to Charles Johnson, Director, Pajamas Media, CEO Little Green Foosballs, Rock 'N' Roller in the Free World, Stealth Cyclist.

Dear Mr. Johnson (or may I call you "Charles"?),

The last time I read the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States it seemed pretty clear that the government of these states is ordained and established to "Provide for the common defense," not Borders Books.

Charles, I've got a book store to run and having you sic a bunch of bloggers on me and tell them to ride my ass because we're not shelving a pip-squeak magazine from those tools at the "Council for Secular Humanism" (Jesus wept!) is just not getting it done.

Don't get me wrong. In my 26 minutes of free time every day, I read and love Glenn, and Roger, and Allahpundit and The American Thinker and all the rest of you down to the roots of my remaining hair. I respect their courage and their dedication to principle. And then, finally, Charles, we come to you....

Now I like Little Green Footballs a lot, except for those Kos-o-vite trolls that keep spraying flecks of sputum all over your comments sections. But if you and your other blogomeisters think for one split nano-second that I'm going to stop being the CEO of Borders and take on the marching Muslim morons so that Western Civilization sleeps comfy in its free-speech security blanket, you've got one deflating green football on your hands. And I respectfully suggest you regroup.

Let me lay it out for you.

I run a bookstore. A book store. I run a big bookstore. I've got 34,000 people, real people, working for me every day in lots of places around the US and in other countries too. Those people owe Borders, every day, one good day's work. Borders owes the people who work for it a safe day's work. I've got stockholders too, but let's leave them aside for now, because as much as you may think so, this is not about money. (And yes I caught that business about the fact that we're trying to open stores in Arab and Muslim countries, but as you may have noticed every country these days contains an Arab and Muslim country.)

My bookstore is in a lot of places and it has, in employment and other matters, an open door policy. It advertises its address. It's not hard to find. You can Mapquest it. If you are lucky you can park your fully-loaded van or truck right next to it and set the timer. During business hours, all our employees are "home." Call me paranoid, but you don't get to be the CEO of a big corporation and not think about these things.

Like the United States itself, we're into "Open Borders." Like the United States, Borders lets anybody in. But we're not running some sort of NSA airport check-in deal at the door. You open our door and you walk in and somebody says "Welcome to Borders." You can come as you are and wear whatever you choose under that long and suspiciously large coat. We've no dress code when it comes to our customers. You can be locked and loaded in more ways than one because, hey, its a free country with a strong Second Amendment as well as a First.

Yes, we have security, but you may have noticed that they are not wearing body armor, carrying automatic weapons and patrolling the cookbook section in an up-armored Humvee. It's just not the Borders Way, bloggers. If you ever stopped filling up your cart with clicks at and visited a store, that's what you'd find...

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