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Government Star Wars Prequels United States Entertainment

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

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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  • by ThorGod ( 456163 ) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:05PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:08PM (#42567725)

    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.

  • Enterprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @12:10PM (#42567737)

    Another one coming up the pipeline:

    Pundits, get your pens ready...

  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:10PM (#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 xyourfacekillerx ( 939258 ) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:39PM (#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.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @04:41PM (#42569625)

    The current serious proposal being debated in Washington is to mint a trillion dollar platinum coin. You'd need a whole Senate of Christine O'Donnel's to come up with something crazier and dumber than that.

    The crazy/stupid thing is the combination of: 1. The appropriations Congress has passed mandating the executive branch to spend money, and 2. The taxes Congress has raised that are insufficient to pay for the appropriations Congress has passed , and 3. The debt limit Congress has imposed and refuses to lift which prohibits the executive branch from borrowing money to meet the spending mandate. The trillion dollar platinum coin is just the one mechanism that has been identified which Congress which resolves the conflicting mandates. As the President is bound to faithfully execute the laws, if it is the only legal mechanism to meet the spending mandate Congress has imposed without also violating the debt limit mandate Congress has imposed (presuming that the debt limit is itself Constitutional, which is a matter of some debate), then it is legally mandatory. Its not crazy or stupid to do it, its crazy and stupid to impose the requirements which would require doing it.

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @09:33PM (#42571473)

    It's like asking a girl you haven't even met yet to sleep with you is ridiculous

    ...except that the girl isn't your elected representative, paid ostensibly to represent your best interests. I also find it interesting how, apparently, it's feasible to create a government agency out of whole cloth, but dismantling it is apparently some epic task that must be composed of a thousand little steps.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.