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Talking turkey

Every one of us has the "presidential power" — to pardon a turkey on Thanksgiving. Here are some reasons to skip the turkey this Thanksgiving:

•  You are what you eat. Who wants to be a Butterball?

•  You won't spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died.

•  Your body will appreciate a holiday from saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones.

My family's Thanksgiving dinner will include a tofurkey, lentil roast, mashed potatoes, stuffed squash, candied yams and more. An Internet search on vegetarian Thanksgiving got us lots of recipes and other information. —Dexter Benning, Detroit


Double-take

I'd also like to relate a bit of schizophrenia I'm feeling right now after rereading the "Best Of" issue (Best of Detroit 2008, Oct. 15) and last week's restaurant review.

On the one hand I was very pleased to see the "Best Argument for Better Architectural Review" selection highlighting Greektown Casino's obnoxious blubber hanging over Lafayette. It underscores our city's need to hold architecture and development to a better, higher and especially more urban standard. My heart sinks every time I see the wonderful 19th century St. Mary's School building punctured with the Greektown Casino skywalk, which reminds me that the casino's priority is to keep people off the street at all costs.

On the other hand, I was confused and a bit saddened after reading about Corktown's newest addition, the Mercury Coffee Bar, in your restaurant review ("Neighborhood perk," Nov. 12). While I appreciated including Mercury Bar's vision, the owner's background, and rich food description as added layers of the story, I thought that Ms. Slaughter's observations missed the boat and set up an unreasonable standard for MCB, especially by racializing and stereotyping the makeup of the clientele and staff in such a manner. Detroit screams for a thousand more businesses like MCB in my humble opinion, regardless of the staff's color or who the patrons may appear to be. —Francis Grunow, Detroit


Saving Detroit

Regarding Jack Lessenberry's column on the auto bailout ("Crisis & corruption," Nov. 19): Like him, we suffered through the American automotive nightmare of the '70s and '80s. We endured constant breakdowns and expensive repairs. While the quality may be somewhat improved, American manufacturers focus on speed, horsepower, huge size, flashy styling and "prestige." All these qualities are irrelevant to those of us who want only dependable, long-lived and fuel-efficient transportation.

However, I still support some type of lifeline to the auto industry. Failure to do so would further decimate an already fragile economy, perhaps plunging us into a 1930s-style depression. The American auto industry is certainly no less deserving than the irresponsible and greedy banking industry, which has received far more than the auto companies are requesting. Thousands, perhaps millions of innocent people will suffer terribly if the auto companies fail.

The smug, self-righteous California congresspeople (especially pig-snout Waxman) need to remember that they live in an area extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and will need massive federal assistance when the inevitable fires and earthquakes destroy their state. How incredibly stupid to live on the San Andreas Fault! —Elizabeth Breneau, Ferndale

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