This week we’ve been witness to two ideas – both as silly as the prominence given to them – however, one of them, the issue of the Trillion Dollar Coin was supported by popular economists in the country and the other, I am hard-pressed to believe even the people that petitioned the construction of a Death Star really thought this was going to work.
This news had me in splits the whole time, well not, but it was a fun read, especially the Government’s snarky response to the petition.
What is the Death Star petition, you ask?
It started with the creation of a petition on the website called We the People set up by the Obama administration where you can create your petition or add your signature to an existing one to support it. Any petition that reaches the threshold of 25,000 signatures within thirty days of posting will receive an official response from the White House.
Turns out, atleast 25,000 people in the country believe that the government should start construction of a Death Star akin to the Galactic Space station from Star Wars.
For the non-Star War enthusiasts,
The Death Star represents the absolute pinnacle of military engineering and technology. It is a space station the size of moon, requiring more than a million military personnel to run it, with a Super Laser capable of firing a beam of energy powerful enough to destroy a planet.
For the geeks that are interested to know more about its construction, here’s a link with exhaustive information on the Death Star.
Going back to the petition, here’s what it says:
Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.
Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.
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.
Garnering close to 35,000 votes at the latest count, it received a response from Paul Shawcross, the chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House titled, ‘This isn’t the petition response you are looking for’, with a few points that were truly hilarious! He writes that - The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Among the reasons cited are:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than 850,000,000,000,000,000(That's 850 quadrillion). 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 response goes on to highlight the existence of a large space station and the mission to the Moon pursued by private American companies .
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.
He ends the response with the comment - if you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us.
Good to know the White House has a sense of humor, isn't it? Go here for the complete response.
Which one do you think is the crazier idea – the petition to mint a Trillion dollar Coin or the one to construct a Death Star?