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5,800 Ask White House for ‘Death Star’

Friday, December 7, 2012

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With the end of the world allegedly just two weeks away, it would seem much too late to begin hatching a whole new intergalactic weapon system.

But if Dec. 21 passes non-apocalyptically, thousands of Americans are standing ready to ensure a safer future.

A new petition on the White House’s “We the People” site demands that the U.S. “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.”

Death Star: Star Wars IV
Images: Lucasfilm via Wikipedia

The Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader oversee construction of the first Death Star, a moon-sized space station and superweapon. Did the Empire's taxpayers get their money's worth?

Yes, that kind of Death Star—the superbad space-station-cum-superweapon that is “capable of destroying a planet with a single destructive energy beam.”

Or at least, it could in Star Wars, where the concept originated two generations ago.

Superlaser and Jobs Program

The Galactic Empire’s “ultimate weapon” was a moon-sized superlaser that first appeared in completed form in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

The “unspeakably powerful and horrific” weapon was designed as “an instrument of terror, meant to force rebel worlds into surrender under the threat of destruction,” according to starwars.com.

So, as of 3 p.m. ET Thursday (Dec. 6), 5,796 Americans were asking President Obama to build one.

Death Star

It's not just an "unspeakably powerful and horrific weapon"; it's a jobs program, proponents say.

“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,” the petition says.

We the People

We the People” is an online initiative by the Obama Administration that allows citizens to petition the administration on important issues.

Like the White House’s secret beer recipe, which was recently released after a successful petition. Or a petition to make Christmas Eve a federal holiday (which already has more than 11,700 signatures). Or more pressing matters.

Petitions gaining 25,000 signatures in 30 days are promised a response from the White House.

As of Thursday, the Death Star petition—created by John D, of Longmont, CO—had more than 19,000 signatures to go by Dec. 14. The signatories included “Vader D,” who endorsed the idea several times.

Details, Details

The petition offers no particulars on the how, why, how much or other pesky details of a Death Star. However, a group of Lehigh University economics students in Pennsylvania put pencil to paper earlier this year on the cost issue.

Death Star schematic
Wookiepedia

Schematics already available could help defray the cost of the new system.

The students figured that it would take 833,315 years at current production rates to produce the requisite one quadrillion tons of warship-grade steel needed to build the Death Star.

The steel alone would cost about $852,000,000,000,000,000, or roughly 13,000 times the world's GDP, the students figured.

That sounds pretty steep in these hard times, the students concede in their blog "Centives."

“But then again,” they add, “you can just take out a loan from the entire planet and then default on them in the most awesome way possible.”

   

Tagged categories: Construction; Economic stimulus; Government; Government contracts; Jobs; Research

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