The Obama Administration’s We the People website was created as a way to allow citizens with unaddressed issues to gain the attention of government officials. Through a petition system, individuals can create a statement or question on any topic and then submit it for the review of tens of thousands of other visitors to the website. If at least 25,000 people sign a petition, it will receive a response from the administration.
While the system has been used before to prompt responses on topics such as education, health care, and foreign affairs, none have really been important. Until now.
The petition to “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016,” created on November 14, 2012, has reached nearly 35,000 signatures. This weekend, the Obama administration responded.
Both awesome and unfortunate, Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, put a damper on the idea in a response titled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For”:
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
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?
The entire response is full of great references to the science fiction film series but also points out the real contributions and achievements made by government and private industries in recent years, including Mars rover missions, the International Space Station, and education initiatives to encourage children to pursue degrees in science and technology.
The message ends, however, with an important reminder:
Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
With Apple now the most valuable company in the world, perhaps if it finally does “crack” television, wearable computers, renewable energy, a cure for all disease, and a solution to world hunger, then maybe it will soon have enough money to bankroll its own iDeath Star.
After all, Sir Jonathan Ive would likely have a bit more luck designing a moon-sized weapon of unimaginable destructive power compared to an overworked and inefficient government agency. Maybe the construction of Apple's new headquarters is just a practice run?
Original images property of LucasFilm Ltd.
[via The Loop]