Carrier deal was extortion

When you dig down into the story about Donald Trump saving jobs in Indiana ("Trump reaches deal to keep Carrier jobs in U.S.," Nov. 30), you discover yet another moment when reporters and mass media have fallen for fraud and accepted statements as true without digging into the details.

We now know that Carrier has not fundamentally changed the corporate plans announced a year ago in a video to employees. That deal promised that a skeleton crew would be kept while major production is shifted elsewhere (Mexico). The people of Indiana (small businesses, real estate owners, and individual working taxpayers are going to pay $7 million to seal the deal (a continuation of the disastrous and failed policies of Mike Pence as governor).

The promise of a future defense deal with Carrier's parent company means other producers of competitive products (small-scale and large-scale) will be disadvantaged in bids for federal contracts. This kind of extortion, which is a regular part of efforts to keep enterprises in Philadelphia, was a blueprint for creating burdens on small businesses as well as reducing municipal services and funding for schools.

I anticipate more of this as the Trump plan unfolds, public education is gutted, and crony capitalism accelerates the inequalities between different sectors of the market economy.

|David R. Applebaum, professor emeritus, Rowan University, Philadelphia

'Godfather' knew how to deal

The author of Trump: The Art of the Deal is taking great pride in saving a thousand jobs at Carrier. However, if Donald Trump were really such a great deal maker he wouldn't have needed Gov. Mike Pence, soon to be Vice President Pence, to offer more taxpayer-funded incentives for Carrier to remain in Indiana.

Instead the president-elect should have read The Godfather and then told the executives at United Technologies, Carrier's parent company and a major beneficiary of Pentagon contracts, that the United States needs all of Carrier's jobs to remain in Indiana, not just half, and that Indiana was not going to offer them any incentives to stay, otherwise the company would face the fact that it would not be receiving any new Pentagon contracts for the next four years. Don Corleone knew how to make a deal.

|Paul L. Newman, Merion Station

Close Berks detention center

It is my prayer that the Berks County Residential Center closes. The purpose of this facility is the detention of mothers and their children who fled from their Central American homes due to threats on their lives. The extended time they have been detained has troubled local residents and religious leaders alike, giving rise to vigils and actions aimed at raising awareness around the center.

While refugee detention exacerbates the trauma that these families have already experienced, it is particularly hard on the children. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has gone on record as saying that the DHS does not detain families for more than an average of 20 days. However, the mothers and children in the Berks County facility have been detained from six months to longer than a year.

As a Christian and clergy member, I can't help but think of Jesus and his family fleeing violence and traveling from Bethlehem to Egypt as I think about the mothers and children living in detention in the Berks County Residential Center. It is my hope that we stop treating them like criminals, and instead find some other arrangements.

|Bishop Peggy A. Johnson, Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, United Methodist Church, Philadelphia

Flag deserves more respect

Placing Kevin Riordan's column ("Teen protests Trump, sits during pledge," Dec. 1) on the Inquirer's front page was an insult to those who are proud to have served this country. Manuel Martinez needs to understand that the flag represents a country and a way of life that men and women have sacrificed their lives to preserve. And do not make the excuse that "men and women fought to give him the right to disrespect the flag." Men and women fought and died to keep this country free and to protect our way of life. To use their sacrifice as an excuse for disrespect of the flag trivializes their sacrifice. The flag, the national anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance are all symbols of the way of life that we enjoy. Martinez and his mother should realize that Donald Trump was elected under the laws of the country. Just because his mother and Riordan are not happy with the outcome of the election, they cannot change that reality. Martinez may have the right to protest and not pay respect to the American flag, but that does not make it acceptable.

|George Chinnici, West Chester