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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 27, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Look out, Davey Jones One catch with aquatic trucks ick Anderson I By Jack Anderson WASHINGTON Waste has Its most alarming peak in lite armed forces. In tho name of defense the brass hats have built planes that w'on'l fly. torpedoes that miss their targets a space communications system that remains mute and automatic helicopters iliat fall automatically Into the ocean. Now tho army has ordered a staggering million worth of aquatic trucks that sink. The order called for rugged linltlcfleW-worlhy trucks with a "floating and swimming capability for crossing calm water barriers." But on tost runs, the drivers often found themselves In water above their ankles. Once the test observers stood by, mouths agape, as a hugo tanker unit "swamped and sank" In the Chesapeake Bay. Tlio swimming trucks, known in the Pentagon as "GOER were developed by and purchased from the Caterpillar Tractor Company. Each con- sists of a dicsel engine tractor which pulls cither an eight-ton cargo body, a tanker or a 10-ton wrecker. The first lest vehicles apparently per- formed reasonably well, according to army documents, even during "field" trials in Vietnam. But now that they arc being mass produced, they are falling apart. Internal reports prepared by Col. Lewington Ponder of the army's test and evaluation command stale that "the safety of water operations is Jeopardized by excessive steering angles; inadequacy of the bilge pumps; water leakage through the axle housing shields; and unbalance caused by Ihe power package (on the Therefore, counseled the colonel, "Ihe vehicle (should) be prohibited from swimming until deficiencies are corrected." If the army insists on taking the aquatic trucks into Hie water, he wrote, only "well-trained and experi- enced driver personnel" should be used. Presumably, he meant that the drivers should be able to swim. The fact that the swimming trucks can't swim Is but one of their many failures. The official report also lists ad- ditional "deficiencies" and "shortcom- legal, helpful Hot-lunch By Torn Riley State senator. Linn county THE GAZETTE editorialized Feb. 12 against subcommittee approval of financial' reimbursement for hot lunch programs in nonpublic schools in Iowa. The Gazette believes funding such programs in nonpublic schools would bo unconstitutional and erode church-stale separation. I respectfully disagree. The United Stales supreme court in the 1947 decision of Evcrson vs. Board of Education held that a stale could reimburse parents of parochial school studenls for money ex- pended by them for bus transportation' of their children to and from school. In dismissing the argument that furnishing bus transportation for private school was unconstitutional because it helped Ihe school, Justice Black said: "Similarly, parents might be reluctant lo permit their children to attend schools which Ihe stole had cut off from such general government services as ordinary police and fire protection, connections for sewage disposal, public highways and sidewalks. Of course, cutting off church schools from these services, so separate and so indispu- tably marked off from the religious function, would make it for more difficult for schools to operate. But such is obviously not the purpose of the First That amendment requires the state lo be niulral [n its relations with groups of religious believers and nonbelievers; it does not require the state to be their adversary." The court found bus transportation lo be a welfare benefit for the safety uf children that could lie constitutionally extended to church schools Justice Black concluded: The amendment commands that New Jersey cannot hampor its citizens in the free exercise oi their own religion. Consequently, it cannot exclude individual Catholics, Lutherans, incliidliiK unreliable brakes, and crane anil nondurable transmission, fuel tanks and tractor frame. Nevertheless, army spokesmen insist they are jilcased with Hie trucks. Their "extensive program." Ihcy said, liad produced "an impressive record of low maintenance, hlch reliability and long life." They described the documents we have quoted as an "interim which will bo used "to assure that required corrections are made as early hi (ho production process as possible." A spokesman for Caterpillar told us the extension defended Moslems, Baptists, Jews, Methodists, non- believers, Presbyterians or the members of any other faith, because of their faith or lack of it, from receiving the benefits of public welfare legislation." Clearly, hot lunch programs are public welfare legislation a guarantee that children in llicir critical growing years receive at least one well-balanced meal per day which, due to financial need or parental ignorance or indifference, they might not otherwise receive. As early as 1900, Holland authorized food and clothing to both needy public and private school children. Other nations followed suit, including our own when congress, in 194C, initiated the present federal hot lunch program, declaring its policy lo be one of national security, lo safeguard Hie health and well being of Hie nation's children The federal program pays the lion's share of the cost of hot lunches (8 cents compared to Iowa's one-third cent for all meals served plus an additional '10 cents compared lo Iowa's cents-for "free meals" It has never discriminated against children in non- public schools. It recognizes that (1) a growing child is in need of good nutri- tional standards regardless of whore lie ullonds school, and (2) it is in the na- Senator Riley lion's Interest that all children grow up to become healthy adults. Since reimbursement for bus rides lo school is constitutionally acceptable wel- fare for private school children, can anyone seriously contend that hot lunches in school are not? Turning lo the Gazelle view that ex- tending the hot lunch program to non- public schools will erode the separation of church and state, is this fear really justified by experience? Has there been an erosion in church-stale separation In those 37 slates which long ago did what our joint subcommittee recently proposed and which the Iowa senalc approved by a 40-3 vote last year? Has there been an erosion nationally as a result of the 28 years of funding both public and nnnpublic hot lunch programs by the federal government? No reasonable person really believes there is Hie slightest danger of the cs- lablishnient of a stale religion or the restriction of freedom of worship in America today. Providing hot lunches to school children hasn't yet and won't prejudice that situation. I'm convinced our founding fathers, in building a wall against a slato religion, could nol have meant to withhold benefits of a purely welfare nature from lluise who choose to exercise llioir own religious freedom. Half of (lie nonpublic schools in Iowa do not have hot lunch programs. Some of the children in attendance at those schools arc undoubtedly missing proper iiu- Iricnts during vital growing years. Isn't it in Hie interest lit our stale to ensure Iliiil all our school children eat at least tun' well-balanced meal a day'' Tho Iowa senate thinks so. Way vwfh words 'Self-destruct': By Theodore M, Bernstein NEW AND NEEDLESS. An editorial about New York City In Tho Now York Times bore tho lltlo of trucltng City" Why why not scll-doftroying? The word orlKllinlcd with the missile men as a back-formation from (Hint Is, a made-up word that a real word Is supposed lo derive from) and It may Imvo had it limited legitimate lino In tho llllssllo field to denote deliberate destruction rnlher limn des- truction by accident or by an enemy. Bill It's hard to sco wlmt purpose it serves iinlsldo Ihnl limited fli-ld "Dallas will debul a conception it will share with Hie New York City Opera." Why debul; why not introduce? Debul is listed as n verb in most new dictionaries, nut It is not established in standard fisagc; indeed, more than III) percent of liie usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary found it unacceptable as n verb. Iniomiodialo slop. There seems lo be relildancc lo use Hie semicolon, tlioimh it Is n useful'piece 'if piiiictualiou. One place where il Is definitely needful Is In wliul Is termed n run-on sentence: "The leacher Is responsible for classroom dis- cipline, If there Is to be learning Iliere must be Aunllinr newspaper nrtlcle wild, Tlio comma there does not produce a long enough stop and a period might cause ton long n slop Abraham Lincoln was aware of the value of the semlciiliin. This column Is Indebted Id Richard Hanscr of Mamaroiieck, N.Y for pass- Ing along a quotation from a letter Lin- coln wrote In Noah Brooks hi ISM: "With educated people, I suppose, punctuation is n matter of rule; with me il is a mailer of feeling. Bui I miisl say 1 have a great respect for I he semicolon, it's a useful little chap." Word Coming from Hie French, debul lllerally menus to make Hie [Irsl stroke In a game. Webster's New World Dictionary says Hie Krcncli means "la play first, lead Obviously Hie U'ohslcr etymologist Is a baseball tan. The Cedar Rapids Gazette- Wed.. Feb. 27, 1974 9A shortcomings revealed In tests weren't i tlie result of a deficient vehicle but the normal problems of mass production. The truck that sank, lie said, was the fault of the operator, not the vehicle. But meanwhile, the lest reports slum clearly that the swimming trucks, in Ilirir (ires-nt condition, can't swim safely. From military generals In carrier ad- mirals, llio brass hats have constantly clamored for pel weapons which have turned out lo bo Impractical or obsolete. In some Instances, their greatest value lias been to give some military chief an excuse to demand more money, more men, more gold braid. United Feature Syndicate Sale Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion for dry skin. 10 oz. bottle Sale Breck Shampoo in normal, dry or oily formulas. 15 oz. bottle. Sale Sure Anti-Perspirant to help keep you dry. We're Sure. 9 oz. can. ml O Sale Vicks Formula 44 Cough Mixture to, help relieve' coughs. 3 oz. bottle. 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