Over the weekend the White House confirmed that it will not spend $852 quadrillion to begin construction on a Death Star (the most powerful weapon in the universe)… Disturbing, is this move by President Obama.
But actually. The Obama administration launched a website in 2011 called We the People with the goal of engaging citizens in policy discussions by pledging to respond to any petition with more then 25,000 signatures. On Nov. 14, a petition was launched to “Secure resources, funding and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” It reads:
By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.
In an emblematic move of Galactic diplomacy, nearly 35,000 US citizens signed the petition, prompting a response from Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the Office of Management and Budget. Unfortunately for starry-eyed Death Star hopefuls Shawcross retorted, “This isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For.”
Shawcross wasn’t as dismissive as you might think such a ridiculous request provokes, showing how the White House’s petition site is more then just a platform for cut and paste responses. In his official response, Shawcross noted the administration, “shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon.” He offered three main arguments against the idea of building a technological terror with the ability to destroy planets:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
Besides, “The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” Jokes aside, Shawcross furthers his response by discussing the administration’s stance on space innovation, citing the International Space Station, Mars Rover explorations, plans to send a probe to the Sun’s outer layers, and continued development of private-public partnerships through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO) as reasons for Star Wars and space enthusiasts to be excited.
If Obama did go through with the Death Star the secrecy of its construction plans would be paramount. We the People has also received 8 petitions requesting permission for states (La., Tx., Ga., Tn., Nc., Fl., Sc., Al.) to secede from the Union. If that happens and a rebel alliance between them formed, it’s possible they could obtain those plans and expose a weakness, say the ability for a one-man ship to bypass the most heavily armored space station in the universe and blow it to pieces with one forcefully lucky shot.
For now though, it looks like the President has other priorities: Shawcross’ response ends with a plea for readers to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or math-related fields (STEM) – a policy priority for the Obama Administration. As the President said:
Today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation. It’s time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and work to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology.
So there you have it; no Death Star and more STEM is the White House’ stance. That’s probably for the best, since there’s no telling how an $852 quadrillion proposal might affect the second round of fiscal Cliff negotiations and the debt-ceiling — which, as Washington Post Columnist Alexandra Petri put it, is the only “real dangerous and imaginary fiscal thing we have hanging over our heads.”
For now though, impossible to see, the future is. Click here to send feedback to the President on his decision not to proceed with the Death Star.
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- No Death Star for US Military (foxnews.com)
- White House Shoots Down Death Star Petition (newstalkcleveland.com)
- Of Course There’s an Official White House Petition That Wants the US to Build a Death Star By 2016 (gizmodo.com)