Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Carewolf (581105) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @10:38AM (#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!

    • Enterprise (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Another one coming up the pipeline:

      http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/289919/news/world/white-house-petitioned-to-build-trek-starship-enterprise

      Pundits, get your pens ready...

    • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by davydagger (2566757) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:13AM (#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:4, Funny)

        by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:37AM (#42567899)

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

        The franchise is now owned by the Disney Corporation. Let them pay for it and build it. $850 quadrillion is chump change to Disney. This is just keeping in line with the new policy of letting private industry finance space endeavors.

        The US government would have been Forced to mint Triskelion Quatloo coins to finance this.

        • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

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

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

          • by westlake (615356)

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

            Disney Studio 90 years old.
            Disneyland 58 years old.
            Star Wars 36 years old.

            The geek is obsessed with the icons of America's mass media culture.

            He can see how they translate into an economic and political realities in states like New York, California and Florida --- and still wonder why the votes are never there to support his version of copyright reform.

        • Re:Nice (Score:5, Funny)

          by Dekker3D (989692) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:31PM (#42568275)

          Wasn't it like $9001 quadrillion they lose every month to piracy? Fight the pirates, get a death star!

        • The franchise is now owned by the Disney Corporation. Let them pay for it and build it. $850 quadrillion is chump change to Disney.

          They could buy a whole continent for that kind of money! Imagine the state of Mousetralia, with the capital of Disney. (All right, I'm taking the Mickey out of Disney, I know...)

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          $850 quadrillion is chump change to Disney.

          ($850 quadrillion) / (world GDP) [wolframalpha.com]

          Result:
          14257 years

        • Re:Nice (Score:4, Informative)

          by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @03:35PM (#42569585) Journal

          $850 quadrillion is chump change to Disney.

          Disney makes $9billion in profit annually. To put that in perspective, Oracle makes $8billion, Intel makes $12billion, Apple makes more than that in a quarter (in fact, Apple could buy Disney with the cash they could have in the bank). Phillip Morris made $8billion, and AIG made $17billion. FYI

    • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Latentius (2557506) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:27AM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:43AM (#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 The Dancing Panda (1321121) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @02:44PM (#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.
          • Re:Nice (Score:4, Insightful)

            by LordLucless (582312) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @04:12PM (#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".

      • Why not?

        There were serious petitions and they pretty much got ignored/whitewashed.

        Since the petitions are totally useless then people may as well have their fun instead.

    • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by findoutmoretoday (1475299) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:31AM (#42567863)

      Now please answer the serious petitions!

      This is a new petition, right?

    • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:00PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:49PM (#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.

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

        Honestly? That's the first smile I've had all day. Thankyou!

    • Of course they could just have replied "we are not going to build a death star because we are not on the dark side of the force."

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @10:39AM (#42567553)
    Why go through the expense of blowing up planets when you can kill civilians, citizens even, without any due process.
    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @10:49AM (#42567609)
      Because blowing up planets is cool. Did you see Alderaan? Robot Chicken had a simulation involving muffins.
    • It took years for any of the worst leaders in the last century to kill millions of people. Blowing up planets would give body counts in the billions with just a few hour's work - if there were any bodies to be found afterward.

      Efficiency is a good thing, is it not?

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Because killing civilians a few at a time is so much work. As Eddie Izzard put it:

      Someone's killed 100,000 people. We're almost going, "Well done! You killed 100,000 people? You must get up very early in the morning! I can't even get down the gym. Your diary must look odd: 'Get up in the morning, death, death, death, death, death, death, death – lunch – death, death, death – afternoon tea – death, death, death – quick shower ' "

  • snip (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @10:40AM (#42567559) Journal

    'The Administration does not support blowing up planets' that we are on.

    • l liked the third reason:

      Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

  • Well, now (Score:5, Funny)

    by arth1 (260657) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @10:41AM (#42567575) Homepage Journal

    "The Administration does not support blowing up planets"

    Unless, of course, said planet was populated with opponents of Israel and/or in a position to disrupt status quo in hydrocarbon trade and acquisition.
    Or tried to kill my daddy.

    • by rossdee (243626)

      Vaporizing the planet would also destroy Israel, not to mention the oilfields (both in the middle east, and in the USA and Canada)

      Having a Death Star really only makes sense if your enemies are on other planets, and so far we don't have knowledge of other planets that are inhabited

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @10:48AM (#42567605)

    ...blowing up planets, unless the MPAA, RIAA, or BSA tell us to.

  • by znanue (2782675) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @10:49AM (#42567613)

    FTA "Even though the United States doesn't have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs..."

    Parsec [wikipedia.org] is a unit of length!

    Z

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      /wooooooooooooooooosh

    • Although I find it unlikely that the US really has anything that could navigate the black holes of the Maw and cut the distance that much, their denial has to make you wonder. Why would they need to point that out?
  • by Marcion (876801) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @10:55AM (#42567641) Homepage Journal

    Funny how they want to engage with the public when it is free and does not upset the interests of any multinationals.

    • by ThorGod (456163) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:05AM (#42567709) Journal

      Funny how they want to engage with the public when it is free and does not upset the interests of any multinationals.

      How is that funny? I could have predicted it from day one.

      By far, this is much more than could be expected from a White House. An online forum that actually produces responses from the Admin. That's infinitely more than we got "online" from the last Admin or any other. I would submit it's a fine precedent.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        In other words, fine precedent, lousy president!

        (And in case anyone is curious, in my opinion Mitt Romney would have been even worse)

        • In other words, fine precedent, lousy president!

          (And in case anyone is curious, in my opinion Mitt Romney would have been even worse)

          You mean, he would have had worse parasites than louses? :-)

        • by ThorGod (456163)

          In other words, fine precedent, lousy president!

          Umm, no. Those are not my words or thoughts; you ought to reread what I said.

      • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday January 12, 2013 @02:28PM (#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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They're responding in kind. The petition was a joke, so they're responding with a joke. Funny how you want to be upset at the administration when it takes no effort to just troll on Slashdot.

      • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:10PM (#42568129) Homepage

        My thoughts exactly. The petition was obviously a joke, but they're required to respond, so they respond. There's no requirement that they acquiesce to the demands of a tiny percentage of the population, regardless of what silent majority is perceived.

        A good rule of thumb is that every issue is more complicated that everybody thinks:

        • Drone surveillance is obviously an invasion of privacy (unless its use is regulated, and it does provide an opportunity to improve police efficiency).
        • Syria obviously needs help (though it's not really clear which side should get the help, or how aid could be administered, or which side (if any) is less inclined to cause more bloodshed later).
        • America obviously should pull out of its Middle Eastern conflicts (miraculously without leaving any weapons, ammunition, vulnerable informants (or their families), or hard feelings, yet still leaving a peace-loving effective local government in place).
        • A major government labor project, such as building a Death Star, would create STEM-sector jobs for millions of unemployed (and disrupt international relations, start a new Cold War, and drive government debt even higher, with no source of funding).

        The multinationals that get so easily upset are the paychecks and resources for most Americans, directly or indirectly. If they're in trouble, that's a large swath of America that's facing a rough road ahead. Similarly, most Americans (including an overlapping group) want to support the higher profit margins of local enterprise. Still another group of most Americans (including overlap) want to end up with more money in their own pocket without doing any more work.

        It's wonderfully easy to blame the problems of the world on our political opponents, but the truth is that everything is everyone's fault. Everyone is subject to their biases, and everyone wants what's best for whatever cause they support, according to whatever theories they follow. Without perfect knowledge, there will continue to be disagreements, and the solutions are certainly not simple enough to fit in any petition response.

        A petition will not solve the nation's problems. Neither will Congress, or a different President, or even a million activists protesting unhappiness. Only time will fix today's problems, but it will also bring tomorrow's.

        • by Jeremi (14640)

          A good rule of thumb is that every issue is more complicated that everybody thinks [...]

          Excellent post. This (or something like it) should be required reading for anyone who is about to post a thoughtless "shoot from the hip" political reply.

    • Wow, look at all 96 of those memes....

      https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/responses [whitehouse.gov]

      how exactly did you want them to respond to a petition that by their own rules forces them to respond if given enough votes?
      • how exactly did you want them to respond to a petition that by their own rules forces them to respond if given enough votes?

        When their own 'rules' gives them an absolute out, forcing them to respond means little. See the Chris Dodd bribery petition.

        Terms of Participation from https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/how-why/terms-participation [whitehouse.gov]
        "To avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly w
    • +1 where are mod points when I need them
  • by tomtermite (246492) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:04AM (#42567699) Homepage
    I, for one, applaud a little light-heared humor from the Machine that is the Government.
    • by Virtucon (127420)

      That's not the machine, it's a staffer who replied after it was vetted by three layers of management. It's more accurate to call it what it is a bureaucracy.

      Honestly, do people think that these petitions will do anything? It may be more prudent to expect an answer on that letter to Santa for that new Red Rider BB gun.
      The whole petition thing that's been set up at whitehouse.gov is a lame attempt to direct social attention to items that the administration wants people to focus on. Those things that are on

      • by Vairon (17314)

        What law has Piers Morgan allegedly broken that stipulates deportation as a possible sentence?

        • by Virtucon (127420)

          The more important question would be what makes people think that by signing a petition that anything will actually happen? My point about Morgan was all of the people who signed it expecting him to be deported. To your point he hasn't broken any laws and much as anybody else in this nation he's allowed to have his say.

      • by Jeremi (14640)

        Don't believe me? Piers Morgan is still in the US isn't he?

        Are you seriously suggesting that the US government should extralegally deport people simply because their views are unpopular with certain self-righteous segments of society?

        • by Rogerborg (306625)

          Are you seriously suggesting that Piers Morgan is a person? The burden of proof lies with you.

          Please, please, don't send him back. I'm still hung-over from the bacchanal we threw when he left.

  • by bistromath007 (1253428) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:16AM (#42567775)
    Given the existence of the Jedi religion, the White House's statement that the Force is powerful is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. *folds arms*
    • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @11:42AM (#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.]

      • 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

        • .. which all politicians do because they can't win elections without paying lip service to Christianity. There's nothing particularly Christian about waging war, refusing to support a policy the poor or needy, or using any amount of force to collect taxes from anyone, really. Really, governance in general is all about world wants and needs, often through the use of force others to go along with it. Christianity is about spiritual enlightenment that compels one to do good works, but without forcing others

  • That the US will not consider building a Death Star is great. Imagine the cost overruns and time delays involved in a project that large when Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, etc. bid on this project.

    With all the red tape it's no surprise that such a large flaw as the thermal exhaust port was overlooked. No P-trap instead of a straight shot to the reactor core?

    Classic arrogance on the part of underestimating a small counter-force (insurgency) due to planning against a more conventional war.
    • by sulimma (796805)

      No P-trap instead of a straight shot to the reactor core? .

      You are talking about nuclear reactor design.
      They have a tradition of implementing 5m walls to protect against 20m Tsunamis.

  • by MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:16PM (#42568163) Homepage

    The USA can't afford $471?

    Forget Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, etc. I found it on Amazon!

    http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Star-Wars-Death-10188/dp/B002EEP3NO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358010617&sr=8-1&keywords=death+star [amazon.com]

  • Just fund it by minting a special "Death Star" platinum coin... Also what is so different between blowing up planets and dropping bombs on people with drones?
  • by xyourfacekillerx (939258) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:39PM (#42568351)

    The petition was insane, and so is the Administration's policy that it will respond to all petitions having a certain amount of signatures. It gives the U.S. citizen the illusion that this is a right (see the wording of the Constitution, fx, "to petition the government"); however, the right is easily exercised in other manners. More importantly, it deceives the citizen into believing that the White House is the primary and appropriate channel, and perhaps the very source of fiscal, policy and legislative matters. This deceit can be exploited against the citizen. Observe.

    tldr: It is a political tactic used to influence citizens to vote straight ticket and under erroneous beliefs about the function of the President. This is not anti-Obama or anti-DNC.

    (1) A President signs a bill into law, and assumes sole credit for its positive outcomes, because the people already assume the President was the source of power.

    The rammifications here are (a) Voters for a presidential candidate or party line are obtained by campaign promises from the candidate which really should only be achieved by legislative or judicial action. (b) The candidate can focus his campaign around those false promises (What he will do) and not around the realities: What he will sign into law, if Congress gets the bill to his desk. (c) It allows the candidate to neglect the more important function of the President which is what he will not sign into law.

    (2) It directs attention away from our legislative representatives. They are first and foremost responsible to the voters. They are the ones to be petitioned. They are the ones to introduce bills to Congress. All this petitioning the President distracts the citizen from the fact that ultimately a handful of committee members are determining the course of the country. This petition policy of the White House discourages people to spend their time and effort by calling upon their state or district reps. The White House prefers us to think the demands of 100,000 people from 50 different states is how decisions ought to be made, not 500 people from a single district (the way it has been done until now). I.e. it's majority rule, no state lines, no representative in the equation, except the President.

    (3) It encourages the President to blame Congress when he cannot mandate a petition the administration perhaps does accept. In other words, "Yes, we like your petition. Now balance Congress to my party line, voter, and it may or may not happen." (It doesn't mean the petition will ever enter consideration by the House, but that message can have a strong effect at the polls) It turns ordinary voters into single issue, straight ticket voters whether they realize it or not.

    (4) It is a waste of resources, man hours, and staff time. It's just bad business. But apparently it is amazing marketing, I mean politics. It's not like even 1% the voting population will realize what I've said above.

    • More importantly, it deceives the citizen into believing that the White House is the primary and appropriate channel, and perhaps the very source of fiscal, policy and legislative matters.

      I don't think there is any reason to believe that it does that at all, and plenty of reasons to believe that it does the opposite. It certainly redirects the existing and long-standing tendency of people to direct requests on matters of policy to the White House individually and in a mechanism that is not publicly visible

  • As crazy as it sounds, someone will file a lawsuit against the USA for separation of church and state because of the White House pushing the Jedi religion in their response.
  • ... a bigger [slashdot.org] death star.

  • So what? I bet they also don't support genocide, but they still have the nuclear weapon arsenal. Just in case. You never know when you might need to blow up a planet, to "liberate them".

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

Working...