Friday, January 18, 2013

No Death Star Proposal From White House This Year

Lost in all the news in the last week or two about gun control legislation, debt ceiling debates and budget hassles was one development at the White House that is sure to depress or anger some Americans:
To the disappointment of at least 34,000 people
the U.S. government will not build a death star like this one.

The Obama administration has turned down a petition to create a Death Star.

More than 34,400 people signed the petition for the death star, exceeding the threshhold of 25,000 signatures needed to force a response from the White House.  It's part of the administration's "We the People" program, where people can sign petitions on any issue they wish, and if a certain amount of people sign, the White House has to respond.

As you'd imagine, you do get some weird ones. Like when Hostess, the maker of Twinkies went bankrupt, a petition demanded the Obama administration nationalize Twinkies, to keep the supply going.

That effort failed.

But another petition met with success. The White House was persuaded to release the recipe for its homemade Honey Brown Ale.

In regards to the Death Star petition, Paul Shawcross, the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, gave an emphatic no.  

He noted construction of the device would cost a cool $850,000,000,000,000,000. "We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it," Shawcross wrote.

Actually, we could reduce the budget deficit if we shortened Shawcross's job title.

The Obama administration apparently opposed Death Stars from a policy prospective, too. "The Administration does not support blowing up planets," Shawcross wrote.

In my view, it should depends on which planet. The ones in our solar system are good enough, but what if we find a particularly nasty one somewhere else. Why would we want a grim, ugly planet messing up our beautiful galaxy?  I think the door should be left open to destroy planets, but that's just me.

Additionally, Shawcross questioned if a Death Star would be effective. "Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that cae be exploited by a one-man starship," he wrote, reflecting his knowledge of the Star Wars series.

So the chances of us getting a Death Star to rule the universe look slim. On the bright side, Congress keeps ordering equipment for the Defense Department that it doesn't want, so I suppose there's a glimmer of hope here.

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