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  #1    
Old January 11th, 2013, 10:28 PM
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For whatever reason, ‘Star Wars‘ fans petitioned the White House wanting the United States to make a Death Star. That the country our the government has no interest in making one is no surprise. But the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget Paul Shawcross responded to the petition in the nerdiest way possible.


Here is his response, in full:

THIS ISN’T THE PETITION RESPONSE YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Quote:
By Paul Shawcross

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?
However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo — and soon, crew — to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.

Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.

We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.

We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.

If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! 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.
No matter how you feel about our current government or administration, this is pretty cool. Also: NERDS!
Source: http://screencrush.com/star-wars-whi...th-star-plans/

So like, wut? I don't, I don't get how anyone rationalized this...
Regardless, what do you guys think? >_>
I've been laughing so hard endlessly since I saw this xD
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Last edited by Echidna; January 11th, 2013 at 10:43 PM.
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  #2    
Old January 11th, 2013, 10:35 PM
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I had two reactions:

1) Awesome response. XD

2) Not fond of the government having to respond to all petitions that meet the threshold, because... while I love Star Wars and found the response highly amusing, someone was just paid with tax dollars for being a Star Wars nerd basically.
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  #3    
Old January 11th, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
I had two reactions:

1) Awesome response. XD

2) Not fond of the government having to respond to all petitions that meet the threshold, because... while I love Star Wars and found the response highly amusing, someone was just paid with tax dollars for being a Star Wars nerd basically.
1) IKR! I laughed so hard at his response, lmao.
"If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! 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."
xD

2) And yes, that is true. Some people just forget to think before they speak ._.
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  #4    
Old January 12th, 2013, 07:31 AM
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Aww Jeez...I couldn't read the number... -.- stopped counting after billion
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  #5    
Old January 12th, 2013, 07:38 AM
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Explain to me how this can help America get out of debt.

@Charicific: It's 850 quadrillion.
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  #6    
Old January 12th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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This is why petitions will never work, and this is perhaps the worst of the bunch. Still, it's actually quite amusing from the Star Wars fanbase. XD
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  #7    
Old January 12th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
2) Not fond of the government having to respond to all petitions that meet the threshold, because... while I love Star Wars and found the response highly amusing, someone was just paid with tax dollars for being a Star Wars nerd basically.
Consider it a public relations expenditure. It's a small attempt to get people to remember that the government, through NASA and other organizations, is actually capable to doing things. That is happens to be nerdy is, I think, a bonus because it lets people connect and maybe that's all it would take to get someone thinking in a different direction.

It's also good because it shows that the White House will respond to us ordinary people. If we abuse that we certainly can't fault them for wasting money. The response didn't take that much time. Sure, someone had to write it out, but they probably didn't have to send a car or charter a plane, arrange a press conference and invite reporters, or all other number of things that would probably cost more money.
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  #8    
Old January 12th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarf View Post
Consider it a public relations expenditure. It's a small attempt to get people to remember that the government, through NASA and other organizations, is actually capable to doing things. That is happens to be nerdy is, I think, a bonus because it lets people connect and maybe that's all it would take to get someone thinking in a different direction.

It's also good because it shows that the White House will respond to us ordinary people. If we abuse that we certainly can't fault them for wasting money. The response didn't take that much time. Sure, someone had to write it out, but they probably didn't have to send a car or charter a plane, arrange a press conference and invite reporters, or all other number of things that would probably cost more money.
And if anything, this is included through his salary anyway. So, it isn't really a big deal, it's just... more the optics of it.
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  #9    
Old January 12th, 2013, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
And if anything, this is included through his salary anyway. So, it isn't really a big deal, it's just... more the optics of it.
Yeah, that's certainly true. Optics are a great way to make a mountain out of a molehill as they say. I've no doubt there is some anti-Obama blogger out there right now writing about wasteful spending because of this.
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  #10    
Old January 12th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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For some ridiculous reason I'm not aware of I was expecting the U.S. to have accepted the petition when I saw the title...I'm disappointed xD
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie-Dawn View Post
This is why petitions will never work, and this is perhaps the worst of the bunch. Still, it's actually quite amusing from the Star Wars fanbase. XD
I'm not sure exactly how this is an example of petitions never working. The request was obviously a joke, and I'm sure no one ever expected a reply.
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  #11    
Old January 14th, 2013, 12:23 AM
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This actually reminds me of the last time I went through the petition list and there was one to get a statue of Master Chief for the White House lawn. Also there's this gem.

On a serious note, the petition system has been a bit of a joke recently due to people using it to oversimplify complicated situations. At any given time there are multiple petitions telling the President to resign, at least one demanding that the US be broken up in some way (secession, dissolving, etc.), and even some that tell the members of Congress to vote in favor of something that would hurt them (taking big money out of politics, cutting their health benefits, cutting their pay, etc.). The petitions that are reasonable, which usually have to do with calling for presidential pardons, usually don't even get the required number of signatures because they aren't buzz word topics.
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  #12    
Old January 14th, 2013, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweets Witch View Post
Also there's this gem.
I just signed that gem right now. Sorry, I couldn't resist its epicness xD
We should like, have everyone on PokeCommunity sign that, like right now ._. We are one of the leading Pokemon fan forums out there, just imagine a State Pokemon for every State in America o.o

But yeah, some people just start petitions as a joke hoping people will have a good laugh and sign them afterwards u_u
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  #13    
Old January 14th, 2013, 07:07 AM
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I'd sign it but I'm not American :/

As for the original topic. The response was genius, we all agree on that. But more so the whole topic was hilarious and highlighted a serious flaw in the American petition system as well as gave the government a chance to show they respond to concerns from pretty much anyone. What a hilariously interesting situation.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 07:32 AM
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Damn, FOILED AGAIN!

Brilliant response and it's times like these when I'm proud to be a fully fledged Mathematician.
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  #15    
Old January 15th, 2013, 05:45 PM
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You can't honestly except a serious reaction to that xD It could never happen. Besides, death stars are lame.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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Transparency is always those "PR points + 1" for governments and are always appreciated by anyone. When it's a clear-cut black and white fashion of when will you give an official respond, people know what to expect, and no one can really blame the government unjustly (which politicians like to do "once in awhile.") The rules are clear: 25000+ signatures and we'll talk.

Also, sometimes things just need to take a chill-pill once in awhile to keep the atmosphere relaxed and positive XD; I don't think that it's a "waste" to answer these at all. If just ONE person is inspired to see an official government response like this to take science/math education just a bit more seriously, then it's already worth it.

Plus, nothing hurts in asking! This IS the country that considered blowing up the moon seriously in the cold war.
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  #17    
Old January 15th, 2013, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Consumer View Post
You can't honestly except a serious reaction to that xD It could never happen. Besides, death stars are lame.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Consumer View Post
You can't honestly except a serious reaction to that xD It could never happen. Besides, death stars are lame.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Consumer View Post
You can't honestly except a serious reaction to that xD It could never happen. Besides, death stars are lame.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Consumer View Post
You can't honestly except a serious reaction to that xD It could never happen. Besides, death stars are lame.
YOU DID NOT... @{
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostweaver View Post
Also, sometimes things just need to take a chill-pill once in awhile
LMAO I'm definitely gonna use this sometime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostweaver View Post
Plus, nothing hurts in asking! This IS the country that considered blowing up the moon seriously in the cold war.
Come again... o.O
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  #18    
Old January 15th, 2013, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Consumer View Post
You can't honestly except a serious reaction to that xD It could never happen. Besides, death stars are lame.
WAT.

Anyway, all I can say is that response was one of the funniest things I've ever read. But he's right...our taxpayer's dollars are best invested elsewhere...like developing lightsaber technology.

I'll find it pretty funny when one day people are petitioning the government for more Lightsaber Control.
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  #19    
Old January 17th, 2013, 08:52 AM
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They realize it's not April Fools Day yet, right?
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  #20    
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Oh hey they've increased the signature bar on the petitions now
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  #21    
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:37 AM
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"The Administration does not support blowing up planets."

This is always good to know.
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  #22    
Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:34 PM
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Still more practical than the secession petition, I'm afraid.
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