When I was waiting in the grocery check-out line, I noticed the way tabloid papers handled their head lines. Since I prefer politics to celebrity watching, I thought 'wouldn't it be great if real news stories were scrutinized the way movie stars' divorces are?

For instance, that day a possible tabloid headline could have read, "YOUNG MEN UNWILLING TO DIE, MILITARY LEADERS PERPLEXED."

My local newspaper doesn't cover the story adequately either. Its headline insisted that the news I needed to know was, 'EARLY TULIP BLOOM DOESN'T WILT FESTIVITIES' - a news item that thoroughly examined the importance of our annual local flower festival and the ensuing traffic tie-ups. I would have been much more interested in reading about the United States military recruitment troubles.

The tabloid story that wasn't written could have gone like this:

"The U.S. Military has again fallen short of its recruitment goals. In spite of promises of ever more lucrative signing bonuses and pretentious sounding job titles, young men and women are turning away from all branches of military service.

When asked why signing bonuses, shortened tour length and important-sounding, but meaningless job titles, weren't enough to entice him to enlist, local teenager Jebidiah Hargreaves of Kendall, Washington, replied, "I like the idea of being promised a bogus $6,000 signing bonus and a pilot's license for an 18 month enlistment, and I know my mother would love me to be a hero, but the downside is that I would be dead."

While the ongoing insurgency in Iraq chips away at the existing US troops, the military complains that it no longer has the capability to invade Iran, Korea, or other evil empires. Three star Army General Darth Christian Bushstooge is on record as saying that the current recruitment slogan 'Be an army of one' closely reflects reality.

With inability to wage war reaching a crisis stage, will the Republican controlled congress broach the subject of the draft before the 2006 elections?"

Nancy Sherer

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