Dynamist Blog

There's No Fatwa Against Free Inquiry

Somehow I don't think appeasing Jihadists is official Borders policy. Note the bold-face print.


The photo is from my neighborhood store, where I've been using the comfy chairs a lot this week.

A reader who blogs as Wonderduck suggests where to find the real culprits:

Instead of looking at the various presidents, veeps, and the like, I'd look more towards the Merchandisers and/or Buyers. I used to work for the Borders group as a store manager, and they would be the people who told us what to put where, for what it's worth. It's still reprehensible, of course, but that'd be my guess.

If I didn't have so many deadlines this week, I'd make some phone calls to Borders HQ.

And reader Bob Basil provides some background on Free Inquiry. This sounds pretty familiar:

I was executive editor of FI for three years in the late eighties. I agree with you re newsstand sales: In my time they were never even sought. The goal was to get subscribers, who would then be solicited for additional money during biannual "fund drives." We even tried to get our older subscribers -- those village atheists often alienated from their families -- to leave the magazine in their wills. Many did. We also made money by putting on annual conferences. The magazine was a serious enterprise but in business terms it was a loss leader.

Paul Kurtz, who runs FI, is an excellent promoter. He has to be, as the material he publishes (he also founded Skeptical Inquirer, an antiparanormal magazine, and Prometheus Books Inc.) is usually a hard-sell.

UPDATE: Reader Jim Walsh writes: "Interesting story about Borders and Free Inquiry. It just so happens I picked up the latest FI the other day at my local Barnes & Noble. To be fair about it though, I don't imagine Bismarck, North Dakota is on the Islamofascists' short list of sexy targets..."

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