KUDOS for the great story "Class Conflict," on financing for the cause of school vouchers.

The money going to our "representatives" in Harrisburg really comes from Wal-Mart heirs, Amway owners and a bunch of very rich suburban hedge-fund operators. Could some of us perhaps be forgiven if we used the term "bottom feeders" of their respective trades?

A couple of years ago, we kept our great work of art "The Gross Clinic" from the clutches of the Walton bunch. We should do no less for our schools.

Lacking any real evidence that vouchers improve anything but the incomes of folks that already patronize private schools and the bottom lines of charter operators, some of us might find the term "scam" hard to repress.

Dave Kalkstein, Philadelphia

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Real taxi issue

The Philadelphia Parking Authority likes to skate around the real issues when it comes to its limo and taxi cab division. The problem isn't the price of gas; the problem is the nonmedallion cabs that illegally cruise and pick up customers.

PPA has done little to combat this problem. I don't think people should have to pay a extra $1 just because PPA chooses not to educate the public on what cab they should get in. County, Maxwell, Rosemont, Mainline and Germantown are noncitywide-medallion cab services.

Sean Clay, Philadelphia

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Arabs in Israel

Re Byko's column on Israel and the Palestinians:

Mr. Bykofsky is confusing a number of issues, and in so doing is, I fear, is missing the larger issue concerning the plight of Israel's Arab population.

To conflate their condition with what is going on in Gaza, for example, is to miss the fact that the Arabs living within Israel's borders are, unlike the Gaza Palestinians, citizens due all the same rights and privileges accorded to their Jewish neighbors. And yet, as a Jewish state designed and oriented towards the concerns and interests of its Jewish majority, this is not easily accomplished. Rather, my 20-plus years of research in this sector shows strong evidence of discrimination against Arabs in housing, employment, education, health care- the list goes on.

Moreover, to tell this fifth of the population that there are others worse off than they are in neighboring countries despite their second-class status is like telling your kids that there are kids starving in China, and therefore, they should eat their veggies. It is an insult and an affront to their intelligence. And in this case, it is also a violation of their human rights as citizens of the so-called "only democracy in the Middle East."

Steven C. Dinero

associate professor, human geography,

Philadelphia University

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Not on board with DROP

I'm with columnist Stu Bykofsky all the way on this DROP issue, especially for the city councilmaniacs trying to juice the city.

I'm a retired city cop and don't think DROP is good for the city. For city workers to collect it is debatable, but it was designed for them. For elected officials or mayoral appointees, I got a problem with that.

So I'm going to let Council members know my point of view.

Thanks for putting this message out.

Willie J. Eiland Jr., Philadelphia