Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2008.03.06 : Letters to the Editor
Which I Have Recently Written, And Which Will Not (Otherwise) Be Published

To:       letters@thetimes.co.uk
Subject:  Free Range or No Range?
Date:     Sun, 02 Mar 2008 09:51:33 +0000

Sir, Martin Samuel adduces a variety of compelling reasons why
it would be impossible to free-range breed the 1.6 billion
chickens consumed in the UK every year (comment, Feb 29).
Here's an idea: how about just refraining from tormenting,
killing and eating the 1.6 billion sensitive birds altogether?
Mr Samuel seems entirely oblivious to the fact that nobody
needs meat. According the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine, vegetarians have drastically lower rates of cancer,
heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other ailments
- and some studies show vegetarians living up to six years
longer. Finally, judging by the variety of chins Mr Samuel is
attempting to cover up with his beard in the author photo,
the last thing he personally needs is another 'whole bird
casseroled with beer and onions'.

Yours faithfully,

To:       letters@guardian.co.uk
Subject:  Social Cohesion - for Muslims
Date:     Thu, 06 Mar 2008 08:25:07 +0000

Sir, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende frets that the
new short film "Fitna" by Geert Wilders will be a threat to
"social cohesion". [World News, 05 March 2008] This phrase,
including as used recently by the Archbishop Canterbury, can
generally be translated as "let's pre-emptively surrender free
speech and liberal society so radical Muslims won't hurt us."
If any dogma or system of thought has ever needed
Enlightenment-style critiquing (or Voltaire-style skewering),
it's Islam. And, even if it didn't, Wilders' right to do so in
a free society is absolute. Letting the threat of religious
violence abridge the right of free speech would represent a
catastrophe for liberalism and a return to the Dark Ages.

Yours faithfully,

  freedom     islam     veganism     animal rights  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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my latest book
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid by Michael Stephen Fuchs
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