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Government Star Wars Prequels United States Entertainment

This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For 191

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-find-your-lack-of-faith-disturbing dept.
New submitter fractalVisionz writes "The White House has officially responded to the petition to secure resources and funding to begin Death Star construction by 2016, as previously discussed on Slashdot. With costs estimated over $850,000,000,000,000,000 (that's $850 quadrillion), and a firm policy stating 'The Administration does not support blowing up planets,' the U.S. government will obviously decline. However, that is not to say we don't already have a Death Star of our own, floating approximately 120 miles above the earth's surface. The response ends with a call to those interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields of study: '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.'"
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This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For

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  • Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Carewolf (581105) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:38AM (#42567551) Homepage

    A surprisingly good response. Perhaps they decided to answer this question to at least give one good answer on a petition no one took serious.

    So: Thanks for the nice answer: Now please answer the serious petitions!

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:39AM (#42567553)
    Why go through the expense of blowing up planets when you can kill civilians, citizens even, without any due process.
  • by tomtermite (246492) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:04PM (#42567699) Homepage
    I, for one, applaud a little light-heared humor from the Machine that is the Government.
  • by sribe (304414) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:05PM (#42567703)

    Apparently some dumb fucking fantasy is way more important than stopping the rape of children.

    Is that what your petition is going to say "stop all the child rape"??? Perhaps you'd do more good in this world with less attitude and more plan...

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davydagger (2566757) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:13PM (#42567761)
    "Perhaps they decided to answer this question to at least give one good answer on a petition no one took serious."

    are you kidding me. the Administration got the best chance for some free PR to associate itself with one of the most popular movie franchises in history.

    at a time where fanboism is becoming socially acceptable.

    this was a change-up down the center, PR wise, and they rocked it out of the park.
  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Latentius (2557506) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:27PM (#42567843)

    Hey, don't blame the White House for the fact that only the joke petitions are getting enough signatures to require an answer.

    Want answers to serious questions? Get all your friends to sign those serious petitions.

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by findoutmoretoday (1475299) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:31PM (#42567863)

    Now please answer the serious petitions!

    This is a new petition, right?

  • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:42PM (#42567927)

    It's no worse than the President ending speeches with "God bless America", or opening sessions of Congress with group prayer, so it's unlikely to get spanked by the SC even if the author was serious.

    [Although I'd love to see a bunch of right-wing cable TV anger monkeys getting their back up over the establishment clause if a non-Christian fringe-religion President started dropping references to his own wacky New Age religion everywhere. May the Earth-mother praise him.]

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:43PM (#42567937)

    Hey, don't blame the White House for the fact that only the joke petitions are getting enough signatures to require an answer.

    Want answers to serious questions? Get all your friends to sign those serious petitions.

    There are serious petitions being signed. They are just not being taken seriously. Hey, they let the chief of the TSA answer the petition to dismantle the TSA [aero-news.net]. How much less seriously can you take the serious petitions?

    Sorry, I'm with GP on this one.

    Shachar

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:00PM (#42568059)

    I liked it at first but now I don't. I feel jaded.

    The White House has a history of ignoring or shooting down real petitions or going all statist/authoritarian in response on drug petitions (at least the last 3 presidents took drugs, where would any of them be if they got caught and penalized under our system?)

    So I'm going to take this for what is is, a cheap, easy and populist response. Obama's PR always had their finger on pop culture. Yeah, it gives me a smile. But where's the real leadership when it counts, not just on cheap and easy things?

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JWW (79176) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:24PM (#42568243)

    To be quite honest, if Disney opened up a Death Star theme park, I would HAVE to go there....

  • by sco08y (615665) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:31PM (#42568287)

    It's no worse than the President ending speeches with "God bless America", or opening sessions of Congress with group prayer, ...

    .. which the Democrats do because they can't win elections without paying lip service to Christianity. That's why, for example, Nancy Pelosi calls herself a "good Catholic girl" even though she supports legalizing late term abortion, and it's why liberals like Bill Maher know that Obama is probably a "secular humanist" despite his various protestations that he's Christian. (Of a church that he attended for 20 years without, apparently, hearing any sermons or discussing them, etc.)

    There is, for liberals, no higher principle than holding elected office. And their constituents are quite happy to be lied to and go along with the charade.

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:43PM (#42568375) Homepage

    "Mint a trillion dollar platinum coin." "That may sound crazy, but let's seriously consider this proposal."

    I agree with the parent poster, minting a trillion dollar coin is a crazy/stupid idea; even if it is technically legal (which is debatable), actually doing it as a "solution" would make the USA look like they are playing silly lawyer-ball games rather than seriously dealing with their debt problem. First-world superpowers should be above such shenanigans.

    That said, the only reason such a stupid idea is being debated is as a last-ditch alternative to what would (arguably) be even worse -- having the US government default on its debts. It's one thing to cut spending, but it's quite another for the US Congress to decide it's simply going to refuse pay the bills for money it has already spent. If the Republicans succeed in making that happen, the consequences for the nation will be similar to the consequences for anyone else who decides to simply stop paying their bills: disruption of vital services, a precipitous drop in their credit rating, endless legal red tape, and higher interest rates for the foreseeable future. Even the threat of that happening last year was enough to drop the nation's credit rating. Holding the nation's full faith and credit hostage to promote a political agenda is unacceptable behavior, and any legislators who stoop to such tactics should be summarily tossed out by the voters ASAP.

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @02:49PM (#42568817)

    (at least the last 3 presidents took drugs, where would any of them be if they got caught and penalized under our system?)

    Two would've been president. The black man would be in prison.

  • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday January 12, 2013 @03:28PM (#42569127) Homepage Journal

    I would submit it's a fine precedent.

    I would submit that it's a fine circus, nice entertainment to distract from real issues while giving the administration an opportunity to look hip.

    How about we get a real, straightforward and non-weaseling answer on the petition to abolish the TSA? That would be a fine precedent.

    Establishing an online forum that produces irrelevant and evasive answers from the administration is the appearance of an improvement, but without any substance.

  • by Teancum (67324) <{ten.orezten} {ta} {gninroh_trebor}> on Saturday January 12, 2013 @03:30PM (#42569137) Homepage Journal

    The point of the debt limit is that there was supposed to be this thing called a budget.... where expenses met income with most years running a surplus that could be used to pay off past debt or even build up a "rainy day fund". Most American states even have such requirements explicitly in their state constitutions.

    It has been seen as standard practice now by the U.S. Congress to simply ignore the fact that a budget really should be "balanced" at the end of each year, and for the past several years they haven't even bothered with the fiction of even passing a budget in the first place (which by itself is a violation of the constitution). Frankly spending is so completely out of control now that it is laughably a joke that money needs to be spent for any program, where now trillions of dollars are being talked about as if it was petty cash. Just look at the trillion dollar coin debate if you think otherwise.

    If the debt limit is hit, the government can still keep "paying the bills" as it were, but the debt limit law does do a "government shut down" as services deemed "non-essential" are cut. The problem comes when cutting the "non-essential services" aren't enough to even temporarily balance the budget so tax revenue can no longer pay the bills. That gets on to doing things like cutting Social Security monthly allotments or cutting the pay to active duty members of the military.

    Ultimately the real problem is trying to balance the budget, which means that the spending spree has to end. What gets cut can be debated, but this debt is becoming so silly that eventually everything will need to be cut just to service the debt. Either that or the debt needs to be inflated away into meaninglessness... which seems to be more of what the Obama administration and congressional leaders seem to be pushing for (aka hyperinflation). Blaming the Republicats for the current problem is spot on... as long as you know who you are talking about.

    BTW, the "credit rating" is meaningless as far as credit bureaus are concerned. That is why rating agencies haven't bothered being honest that T-bills really are "junk" value anyway or at least should be considered as such. Then again, I think putting money into any U.S. Dollar denominated bonds of any kind is a silly thing to do right now.

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Dancing Panda (1321121) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @03:44PM (#42569255)
    Why would anyone take a petition seriously when it wants to completely dismantle a government agency?

    Seriously, guys. Everyone knows the old "First they arrested..." adage. It's saying that freedoms erode slowly and you have to be careful not to let them. But for some reason, everyone forgets that the opposite is also true. If you want your freedoms back, you have to take small steps to erode corruption. Make a petition to allow drinks past the security checkpoint. That might get a decent answer.
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @03:56PM (#42569367) Homepage Journal

    doing it as a "solution" would make the USA look like they are playing silly lawyer-ball games

    - what it would do is make it crystal clear to the world that USA cannot and will not pay its debts.

    be even worse -- having the US government default on its debts. It's one thing to cut spending, but it's quite another for the US Congress to decide it's simply going to refuse pay the bills for money it has already spent.

    - it's the same exact thing.

    There is no difference between defaulting on the debts (and USA is a deadbeat debtor, don't act all surprised, USA does not pay debts) and printing an arbitrary bill with whatever number of zeros on it to "pay" the debts.

    Here [significancemagazine.org] - that's the equivalent. 100 Trillion Zimbabwe dollars. Do you think that by printing a bill like that you PAY your debts? :))))))

    Really? :)))))

    Then you have bought this nonsense idea hook line and sinker, you don't understand value of money, you don't understand money and that's exactly what the system wants you to be - somebody who doesn't understand value, somebody who doesn't understand money. That's why charlat..... "economists" like Krugman are touted by the system, while [youtube.com] people [youtube.com] who actually know [blogspot.de] what they are talking about [blogspot.de], predicted all of these issues for decades [youtube.com], made serious money by taking their own advice, those people are shunned [youtube.com] and laughed [youtube.com] at by the establishment whenever possible.

    disruption of vital services

    - the difference between pretending to pay with fake money (inflation) and defaulting honestly (paying cents on a dollar) is actually huge. If USA defaults honestly (and it won't), it will recover much faster than if it takes the low route and prints (mints bazillion dollar coins, whatever).

    Either of these is a default, printing money and paying with new cash is a default, but it's more insidious, it's worse than an honest bankruptcy and restructuring.

    precipitous drop in their credit rating - do you realise that printing fake money (and all US dollars created by gov't or the Fed are fake, counterfeit) is what causes real rating agencies to drop US credit rating [bloomberg.com] (and now SEC is suing that agency)? Do you realise that the 'fiscal cliff' was a deal by the gov't to try and balance the budget in the future in exchange for the S&P and Moody's not dropping the US rating back in 2012?

    endless legal red tape

    - yeah, restraining the gov't spending, that's 'terrible'.

    higher interest rates for the foreseeable future

    - imagine where USA interest rates will be once the country has its own 'Greek moment' (and there is no Germany big enough in the world to bail out USA).

    Even the threat of that happening last year was enough to drop the nation's credit rating.

    - USA credit rating was dropped not because of a possibility that USA will not borrow more to shift its debt from one credit card to another, the credit rating was dropped because USA is seen as high risk of default but it is also seen as high risk of attempting to print its troubles away.

    There is no difference how you default, I don't want to hold US debt (not even s

  • by jonbryce (703250) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @04:53PM (#42569701) Homepage

    I'm not that familiar with US federal law, but minting a $1tn probably is legal, and more importantly, it is no different from the quantitive easing that Ben Bernanke has been doing for the past 5 years or so.

    Sovereign defaults are actually pretty common. There are only 11 countries in the world that have never defaulted on their debt. They are Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland and England. Sovereign defaults aren't such bad news for a country, it marks the beginning of the end of the crisis, rather than the end of the beginning, and they generally recover quite quickly. Look at Iceland for example.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @05:01PM (#42569765)

    It has been seen as standard practice now by the U.S. Congress to simply ignore the fact that a budget really should be "balanced" at the end of each year

    That thing your calling a "fact", is not a fact, its a preference, and a fairly ludicrous one. There's probably a fairly decent argument to be made that there are economically-desirable consequence if the debt:GDP ratio is kept constant in years of average conditions, allowed to expand in years of relative need (resulting from disaster, recession, etc.), and contracted in years of relative plenty, but for the proposition you make there isn't even a decent argument.

    Frankly spending is so completely out of control now that it is laughably a joke that money needs to be spent for any program

    Federal spending as share of GDP is slightly higher than it was in 1983 (less than 1% higher), and down almost a full percent of GDP from its recent peak in 2009. Its much higher than it was at the peak of the dot-com boom at the end of the 1990s, but that's to be expected -- when the private economy is doing well, the need for government spending is at its nadir, while when the private economy is weak, that need is at its zenith.

    Ultimately the real problem is trying to balance the budget

    No, the real problem is trying to restore economic growth, which isn't just a matter of the level of spending (or taxation), but appropriately directing spending and taxes.

  • Re:Nice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @05:12PM (#42569843)

    So what you're saying is that the only petitions that can be taken seriously are on minor and inconsequential issues; that nothing involving wide-sweeping changes or something that's actually likely to make a difference should be submitted, because those are not "serious".

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan

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