This is why we can't have nice things
December 13, 2012 11:41 PM   Subscribe

Petition to 'Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016' garners over 25,000 signatures thus requiring an official White House response.

The petition 'Shut down White House petitions, since they never get a sincere response, few read them, & they are ultimately worthless' has received roughly 1,000 signatures to date, about 24,000 short of the response threshold.

From the White House site: "The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Throughout our history, Americans have used petitions to organize around issues they care about from ending slavery, to guaranteeing women's right to vote, to the civil rights movement."

[Previously]
posted by mazola (95 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
What do you think that top secret space drone is doing?
posted by paperzach at 11:43 PM on December 13, 2012


The answer to all the petitions I've seen there are either pointless backpatting fluff or "No, we know what's best for you, you don't and we're not changing our minds".
posted by dunkadunc at 11:47 PM on December 13, 2012 [16 favorites]


That petition page is the gift that keeps on giving.

Just don't start reading them late at night after a few drinks or you'll start signing.
posted by fshgrl at 11:48 PM on December 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Sorry, Newt, but you're still not being considered for Secretary of State now that Rice has rescinded the nomination. But now that Disney owns the Star Wars franchise, you might want to consider working for them."
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:53 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Petitions are pretty meaningless unless they're backed with torches and pitchforks of one kind or another.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:56 PM on December 13, 2012 [23 favorites]


'Shut down White House petitions, since they never get a sincere response, few read them, & they are ultimately worthless'

Fuck the haters, the petition system is pretty fucking neat. Its comedy gold, with both things like this and the whole people not understanding that the chief executive not only can't grant secession but has a constitutional duty to suppress it thing. Its interesting to see what large numbers of random people want our President to do, like the Japanese and Korean petitions over island geographical nomenclature. It has forced the White House to publicly talk about pot legalization as an administration, which nothing else had really been able to do, and it has honestly brought stuff to the administration's attention.

As a way of forcing the White House to do the things you want them to do, of course its fucking meaningless. Would you really want it to be otherwise? I mean fuck, that is a really stupid plan. As a way of forcing the White House to talk about the things you want them to talk about though its pretty fucking amazing.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:00 AM on December 14, 2012 [20 favorites]


Over 75k signatures got this really great response. So yes, it is a joke.
posted by melt away at 12:19 AM on December 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


What pisses me off about this Death Star is outer space is probably a right-to-work area, and the fact there will almost definitely be a "company store" there and we'll be paid in shitty galactic credits, etc. Who do we complain to about being told to double our efforts (what's that, a 32 hour day?), OSHA?
posted by crapmatic at 12:25 AM on December 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Dear Sir,
I strongly object to the letters on your programme. They are clearly not written by the General Public and are merely included for a cheap laugh.

Yours etc.
William Knickers
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 12:31 AM on December 14, 2012 [14 favorites]


I heard Obama wants to take way your TrooperCare!
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:31 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Over 75k signatures got this really great response. So yes, it is a joke."

Yeah, it got that really great response. Until that petition the administration had been waffling about its stance on pot for a while and doing its best to say as little as possible so as to keep pot heads who don't pay attention engaged with politics. The petition system, at worst, did what it was designed to do, as uncomfortable as that was for the White House, which was to keep them honest.

That is unless you were really hoping we would start deciding drug policy by unsecured and fundamentally anonymous internet polls, which would be an interesting direction for the country to go in to be sure, but maybe not the best one
posted by Blasdelb at 12:46 AM on December 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


When are we gonna learn Superweapons just don't work?

"What the Empire would have done was build a super-colossal Yuuzhan Vong–killing battle machine. They would have called it the Nova Colossus or the Galaxy Destructor or the Nostril of Palpatine or something equally grandiose. They would have spent billions of credits, employed thousands of contractors and subcontractors, and equipped it with the latest in death-dealing technology. And you know what would have happened? It wouldn't have worked. They'd forget to bolt down a metal plate over an access hatch leading to the main reactors, or some other mistake, and a hotshot enemy pilot would drop a bomb down there and blow the whole thing up. Now that's what the Empire would have done."
―Han Solo

posted by Drinky Die at 12:49 AM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Over 75k signatures got this really great response.

The Drug Czar cannot advocate legalization of schedule one drugs, by law.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:04 AM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H.L. Mencken
posted by Skeptic at 1:05 AM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


First rule in government spending: why built one when you can build two at twice the price?
posted by phaedon at 1:19 AM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obviously someone has never seen the social science building at UC Davis.
posted by shinyshiny at 1:34 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a Republican congressman, I can say that this "Death Star" proposal seems very promising. It should bring many jobs to my district and I fully support it. The loss of life due to such a project bothered me at first, until it was explained to me that the Death Star will only kill homosexuals and illegal immigrants.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:59 AM on December 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


As a roofer, I can't condone this petition.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:02 AM on December 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


I actually wonder if it'd be possible to build a Death Star with the current amount of funding America puts into its military problem.

I'll submit the question to XKCD's "What If" blog and see if they pick it up.
posted by Conspire at 2:19 AM on December 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Do we even have the capacity to produce that much steel? It's the size of a Moon. I think you'd need at least a solar-system-sized empire, if not an interstellar one to do that.
posted by DU at 2:25 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Would it have to be dense all the way through? I mean, you could theoretically make it hollow, which could consume a lot less resources? (How gravity would affect that, I have no idea - I am not a physics major.)

Or what if you just hollowed out the moon and used that?
posted by Conspire at 2:27 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Competent engineering of the Death Star should begin with a series of smaller prototypes. There could be a Headache Star, then a Back-Pain Star, an Indigestion Star... all of this leading up to, once initial testing has been completed, a full-fledged fully-functional Death Star.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:32 AM on December 14, 2012 [26 favorites]


Petitions are pretty meaningless unless they're backed with torches and pitchforks of one kind or another.

Which explains why liberals are generally in favor of pitchfork and torch control laws: Direct democracy is a threat to big government. Just look at California where ballot petitions have taken away a great deal of power from the legislature.
posted by three blind mice at 2:34 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


But look at Switzerland, where they haven't. Though I genuinely don't know why the difference is there.
posted by Zarkonnen at 2:51 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


How Much Would It Cost To Build The Death Star? (Centives is an economics blog that focuses on the fun and quirky side of economics. It was originally started by students at Lehigh University although it has since expanded its scope)
-
We began by looking at how big the Death Star is. The first one is reported to be 140km in diameter and it sure looks like it's made of steel. But how much steel? We decided to model the Death Star as having a similar density in steel as a modern warship. After all, they're both essentially floating weapons platforms so that seems reasonable.

Scaling up to the Death Star, this is about 1.08x1015 tonnes of steel. 1 with fifteen zeros.

Which seems like a colossal mass but we've calculated that from the iron in the earth, you could make just over 2 million* Death Stars. You see the Earth's crust may have a limited amount of iron, but the core is mostly our favourite metal and is both very big and very dense, and it's from here that most of our death-star iron would come.

posted by Drinky Die at 2:54 AM on December 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, How Long Would It Take Darth Vader To Mop The Death Star?
posted by Drinky Die at 2:56 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think we could get the funding through Congress, but the name "Death Star" has to be changed. Let's try passing the 2013 "Solar Powered Life Cycle Acceleration Bill".
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:01 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Which seems like a colossal mass but we've calculated that from the iron in the earth, you could make just over 2 million* Death Stars.

Yes, but my question isn't about iron. It's about steel-producing capacity. At what rate do you have to turn iron ore into girders in order to produce a Death Star in, say, 20 years?
posted by DU at 3:02 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I'd like to know how many Death Stars you could produce using only iron found in the Earth's crust. The core hardly counts.
posted by DU at 3:03 AM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


And secondly, at today's rate of steel production (1.3 billion tonnes annually), it would take 833,315 years to produce enough steel to begin work. So once someone notices what you're up to, you have to fend them off for 800 millennia before you have a chance to fight back. In context, it takes under an hour to get the steel for HMS Illustrious.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:03 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, petitioners...That's no moon...
posted by Thorzdad at 3:09 AM on December 14, 2012


Yeah, the iron in the earth's core is really important to our survival, and I would like the iron to stay there.
posted by absalom at 3:20 AM on December 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Do we even have the capacity to produce that much steel?

I find your lack of faith disturbing.
posted by Skeptic at 3:47 AM on December 14, 2012 [16 favorites]


A petition to start building a Death Star? I see Dick Cheney hasn't quite retired yet...
posted by Skeptic at 3:48 AM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


But look at Switzerland, where they haven't.

Yeah, but what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
posted by Skeptic at 3:51 AM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Over 75k signatures got this really great response.

The "great" response boiled down to this:"Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America." Which is what you'd expect a cop to say, but is demonstrably false.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:05 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mr. President, will the canteen serve penne alla arrabbiata?
posted by delicious-luncheon at 4:07 AM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Petitions are pretty meaningless unless they're backed with torches and pitchforks of one kind or another.

Brought to you by Acme Torch & Pitchfork, a division of United Tar & Feather.
posted by pracowity at 4:07 AM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


> As a roofer, I can't condone this petition.

CLERKS!

Reference Man awaaaaaay!
posted by davelog at 4:10 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The pretense of direct democracy and the whiff of Web 2.0 aside, the White House petition site is either an absurd joke or brilliant way to harvest lots of issue-identified email addresses.

Death Star, hmmmmph. Juvenile nonsense, like everything related to Star Wars.
posted by spitbull at 4:21 AM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


There could be a Headache Star, then a Back-Pain Star, an Indigestion Star...

Given the present state of the economy, about the best we could probably manage is the Acne Star.

"Take THAT, rebel!"
posted by Malor at 4:50 AM on December 14, 2012


So have any of these petitions achieve anything, apart from maybe mollifying some plebs? All I've ever heard of them is the absurdities. That South Carolina secession one was barely even coherent, iirc.
posted by pompomtom at 4:51 AM on December 14, 2012


There's a petition for Single-Payer Healthcare up there that's 21,000 signatures short of the recognition threshold yet how many comments do we have here about building a Death Star?

The deadline is tomorrow, folks! Metafilter has been distracted by the shiny objects, instead of seeking a meaningful response. Perhaps Romney was right about us, and our desire for 'gifts'...
posted by vhsiv at 5:01 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


"There's a petition for Single-Payer Healthcare up there that's 21,000 signatures short of the recognition threshold yet how many comments do we have here about building a Death Star?"

The Obama administration is already well aware of single payer health care and has pretty much zero chance of doing anything with it in the Republican controled House. What purpose could such a pettition possibly serve beyond continueing to beat the nearly dead horse?
posted by Blasdelb at 5:18 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why would we want to build a Death Star when obviously the Starship Enterprise could destroy it with a single phaser blast? I mean, it's equipped with turboLASERS for crying out loud. Lasers! Even the lowest-power deflector shields produced by barely Warp 1 capable races can withstand lasers.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:20 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Obama administration is already well aware of single payer health care and has pretty much zero chance of doing anything with it in the Republican controled House.

Yes, I was imagining Obama's reaction to that petition:
"I'll take the Death Star, thank you very much."
posted by Skeptic at 5:25 AM on December 14, 2012


I find your lack of faith disturbing.
posted by Skeptic at 5:47 AM on December 14

Eponyronic.
posted by orthicon halo at 5:30 AM on December 14, 2012


What purpose could such a pettition possibly serve beyond continueing to beat the nearly dead horse?

Because beating that dead horse is the only option we have? If memory serves, the Obama administration had the chance to do something about it (or even go forward with the already-passed-the-house-and-nearly-the-senate public option) and they didn't, and I'm still outraged about that.

We need to keep the pressure up, Republicans obstructionists be damned.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:30 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a way of forcing the White House to do the things you want them to do, of course its fucking meaningless.

Oh god, I keep getting into hilarious fights with outraged SJ teens on tumblr over this. (whatevs, december is a slow month at work and after like 2pm everyone has beers.) Most of them really honestly believe that when the petition reaches the 25k mark, the subject of the petition will then, immediately and with no legislation, become LAW GRAVEN IN STONE BY THE HAND OF GOD, and any attempts at dissuading them from this ridiculous notion are met with screamy rage and accusations of every -ism known to mankind.

I am excited to link this petition now, basically.

posted by elizardbits at 5:40 AM on December 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Did the Empire have a single payer health care system or something more voucher oriented?

Vader's health expenses must have been costly, what with maintaining all those parts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:45 AM on December 14, 2012


"We need to keep the pressure up, Republicans obstructionists be damned."

Whatever the fuck for? At least in this context, the most you can hope to accomplish is associating single payer healthcare with crazy people who don't understand basic civics. Obama could no more wave a pen and give you single payer health care than he could wave a pen and strand millions of Texans in a dysfunctional foreign country. The reason we did so well in this last election is Clinton, in all his folksy glory, was able to stand up in front of the Democrratic Convention, declare to the nation the the biggest problem with the Republican platform was basic arithmatic and a fundamental detachment from reality, and everyone knew exactly what he meant. Lets not follow them down that path.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:45 AM on December 14, 2012


I really like to think of the petition site as opt-in prescreening for the NSA watch list. There's really no question that the successionists should be investigated to make sure aren't stockpiling weapons for civil war/domestic terrorism. Likewise, while the Death Star cadre may just have a sense of humor - there are probably a few paranoid delusional signatories in the mix. This is a much shorter way to weed a few of them out. The NSA: Your civil liberties being investigated liberally since 2001!

Realistically, if you are creating a petition for something you believe in and expecting an actual response from the government beyond that, you are part of the fringe - you know, the few who believe government actually does what its constituents want instead of what their large donors want.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:48 AM on December 14, 2012


Did the Empire have a single payer health care system or something more voucher oriented?

Vader's health expenses must have been costly, what with maintaining all those parts.


IIRC Vader's soldiers were all clones of Boba Fett. They were slaves and and therefore 'disposable'.

(My Star Wars lore may be weak, because I'm no longer 13 y.o. and the prequels sucked.)
posted by vhsiv at 6:06 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


They cashed in their health plans for a railing.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:09 AM on December 14, 2012


Whatever the fuck for?

Because universal healthcare is important, and single-payer healthcare, as demonstrated by other industrialized nations, works and is highly cost-effective.

At least in this context, the most you can hope to accomplish is associating single payer healthcare with crazy people who don't understand basic civics.

We already have presidential campaigns where candidates promise to do things in a manner that's inconsistent with basic civics. By now I think it's understood that asking the President to "do something" is synonymous with "fight for something" which is synonymous with "use the bully pulpit to compel congress to do something".

Besides, most of the point behind these petitions is to break the "silent majority" bubble that elected officials sometimes find themselves in. They're not about getting things done, they're about attracting attention and pointing out that non-insignificant numbers of people actually care about an issue.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:12 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


There could be a Headache Star, then a Back-Pain Star, an Indigestion Star... all of this leading up to, once initial testing has been completed, a full-fledged fully-functional Death Star.

I've gotten a glimpse of plans for the Myocardial Infarction Star, the Gangrene from Adult Onset Diabetes Star, and the Metastasized Cancer Star, and they're all pretty freakin' scary.
posted by aught at 6:17 AM on December 14, 2012


Over 75k signatures got this really great response. So yes, it is a joke.

Also, there's something off on the response trigger scale, if 25k is all you need for an official response, seeing that a lot of totally stupid crap posted to the web routinely gets hundreds of thousands of likes. (This was my first thought when I heard about secessionist jackasses in TX posting their anti-Obama idiocy -- these days it just doesn't take much to get tens of thousands of jerks to click their drooly approval for something.)
posted by aught at 6:24 AM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Vader's health expenses must have been costly, what with maintaining all those parts.

Yes, about the same as Cheney's bi-weekly transplant of fresh vat-grown cloned heart and major arteries.
posted by aught at 6:30 AM on December 14, 2012


I don't understand why people think the white house should actually ACT on a petition. Getting 25k people together is nothing. You can get 25k people to sign a petition to do anything. You're just getting some brief attention from the white house, that's all. Maybe if you get 40 million people to sign a petition it might mean something.
posted by empath at 6:42 AM on December 14, 2012


I find your lack of faith disturbing.<>

Faith? America's long on faith. What we'll need, to start, 2x10^15 tons of iron ore, 1x10^15 tons of coke, 5x10^14 tons of limestone, and 13x10^15 BTU of energy to make the steel.

On the other hand, with that much work for the steel mills, we will never have to hear Billy Joel play "Allentown" again.

Hmmmmmmmm.

posted by eriko at 6:45 AM on December 14, 2012


brilliant way to harvest lots of issue-identified email addresses

When I worked in a congressional office, this is absolutely what we used constituent emails for - creating lists for targeted mailings. Does the White House do this too?
posted by naoko at 6:56 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Death Star isn't made just of steel. It's made of the dedication of the heroes who serve on it.
posted by Egg Shen at 7:03 AM on December 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't understand why people think the white house should actually ACT on a petition.

That's nothing, I think the White House should act on my personal whims.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:10 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


List of Star Wars superweapons
posted by Egg Shen at 7:21 AM on December 14, 2012


Here's what I don't understand about Death Stars: Once you blow up a planet, how do you get the your Death Star to its next target? Does it have a gajillion thrusters? How much fuel would that take? You couldn't just sneak up on a planet. They'd see you coming literally years in advance, unless you were traveling at, you know, near light speed, which seems like it would take a lot of fuel.

Here's why this is relevant: If we build a Death Star, what? Are we going to blow up our own planet? Then what? The Moon? Then we'll be left with a huge useless Death Star floating helplessly in the cosmos with no purpose. And we already have one of those. We call it Earth.
posted by etc. at 7:47 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it would be possible to build a full size Death Star using only the Legos in our son's room. In fact, based on the current state of his room I think he's building one now.
posted by mosk at 7:47 AM on December 14, 2012


A Death Star isn't made just of steel. It's made of the dedication of the heroes who serve on it.

I'd sign a petition to let our heroes go home for Life Day.
posted by asperity at 7:47 AM on December 14, 2012


Centives is an economics blog that focuses on the fun and quirky side of economics.

They should have called it Insanetives.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:53 AM on December 14, 2012


Hmm. Based on the Centives link, it would cost about $852,000,000,000,000,000 just for raw materials. But let's put that in perspective. For a mere $852,000,000,000,000,000, we could guarantee that we are forever safe from the specter of rebellion or terrorism! Given our current TSA-spending-to-terrorism-thwarting ratio (ERROR DIVIDE BY ZERO), that's a pretty decent bargain.

This is also only the third or fourth-worst economic plan I have seen laid out in the last six months. At least this one is honest about destroying the world as collateral damage to padding the pockets of no-bid Republican subcontractors.
posted by Mayor West at 7:55 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd sign a petition to let our heroes go home for Life Day.

Hell, go create one! Here's the step-by-step guide. Get 150 signatures and it's publicly searchable from the website.
posted by mazola at 7:56 AM on December 14, 2012


...how do you get the your Death Star to its next target? Does it have a gajillion thrusters? How much fuel would that take? You couldn't just sneak up on a planet.
At the heart of each Death Star was a gigantic hypermatter reactor, which possessed an output equal to that of several main-sequence stars. Within this chamber burned a reaction of prodigious proportions, fed by stellar fuel bottles lining its periphery.
...
Facilitating the Death Star's realspace propulsion were a network of powerful ion engines that transformed reactor power into needed thrust. In order for the Death Star to be a deadly threat, it needed to be mobile. Using linked banks of 123 hyperdrive field generators tied into a single navigational matrix, the Death Star could travel across the Galaxy at superluminal velocities. The incredible energies harnessed by the station combined with its great mass gave the Death Star magnetic and artificial gravitational fields equal to those found on orbital bodies many times greater in size
Geeky fiction science source.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Update: he is building a Death Star; I've seen the plans.
posted by mosk at 8:08 AM on December 14, 2012


Did the Death Star have an "official" name? I mean, even the Nazis didn't give their superweapons evil names.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:12 AM on December 14, 2012


elizardbits: "Oh god, I keep getting into hilarious fights with outraged SJ teens on tumblr over this."

I wouldn't have thought there were that many teenaged Jesuits.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:13 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


We already have presidential campaigns where candidates promise to do things in a manner that's inconsistent with basic civics. By now I think it's understood that asking the President to "do something" is synonymous with "fight for something" which is synonymous with "use the bully pulpit to compel congress to do something".

Petitions and votes for them indicate that there's still the political will out there for something better. I've never heard any official arguments for Single-Parer parsed in terms of the economic advantages it allows private industries in those countries. (That, and globally we're competing with other NATIONS that are able to ignore those infrastructure costs.)

If not for a wealthy HMOs and healthcare providers in th US, I'm sure that many of the GOPers would prefer that the Federal Gov't underwrite the healthcare of their employees. It would save them billions of dollars, that they could then list on their quarterly reports.

Unfortunately, it would also tank 80-90% of the private health insurance companies.

Perhaps, the Fed needs to do a test case in some small state like Rhode Island or Delaware, to determine the overall benefits (and savings) to businesses both large and small?
posted by vhsiv at 8:21 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm shocked and disappointed by all the belligerence, especially from you, RonButNotStupid. Where's the petition to start the United Federation of Planets and plan for turning the galaxy into a long-form bureaucratic wet dream about the UN?
posted by gusandrews at 8:25 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


And Nanukthedog, you and the government might be surprised how poor the signal-to-noise ratio is on watching secessionist groups these days. On a lark I looked up every secessionist group I could find on Facebook one day. There's one for every state, some for regions like the Northeast, upstate/downstate petitions for NY and CA, and of course for some very blue-leaning cities. A surprising number of nonviolent American citizens may be (at least playfully) thinking about secession these days...
posted by gusandrews at 8:29 AM on December 14, 2012


"A surprising number of nonviolent American citizens may be (at least playfully) thinking about secession these days..."

LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC OF CASCADIA!!

(The last time a border agent asked me if I was a member of any separatist groups, he was very not amused when I self-identified as a Cascadian Nationalist.)
posted by Blasdelb at 8:45 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm shocked and disappointed by all the belligerence, especially from you, RonButNotStupid. Where's the petition to start the United Federation of Planets and plan for turning the galaxy into a long-form bureaucratic wet dream about the UN?

I would, but I'm too busy drafting a petition to request that we doggedly construct a series of space stations located in neutral territory that can serve as places of commerce and diplomacy for humans and aliens alike and function as metaphorical shining beacons in space, all alone in the night.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 8:58 AM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Did the Death Star have an "official" name? I mean, even the Nazis didn't give their superweapons evil names.

Project Hammertong was the name of the project to develop the super laser used by the Death Star.


A surprising number of nonviolent American citizens may be (at least playfully) thinking about secession these days...

Who. Run. Meta Town?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:03 AM on December 14, 2012


The government has a petition site in the UK. They promised to debate any petition that reached over x thousand signatures. It turned out like all their other promises - lies. Which was particularly galling as only some very serious things a lot of people cared about reached the number (200,000 i think). Why will we never have any democracy in this country?
posted by maiamaia at 9:14 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


There could be a Headache Star

If the weapons are indicative by name of the general character of the organization, given the Sith build stuff like the "Egregiously Evil Death Kill Murdersabre" etc. - given the respective tones, the U.S. would build a Melancholy Star with the Ennui Superweapon.

Zzzzzzzzz POOOOM!

Ben: I felt a great disturbance in the Force... as if millions of voices suddenly cried out and suddenly became apathetic. I fear no one really cares about anything.
Luke: Well Jesus, Ben. What are we doing out here anyway? This "Force" shit... Flying around with these losers.
Solo *looks over* *sneers*: Pfft. Whatever.
Ben: You're just pissed off we're making a sincere effort at something and you can't.
Chewbacca: RAARRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrr zzzzzzzz
Solo: Boy, you said it Chewie.
Threepio: Sir, Martin Heidegger says that the absence of meaningful tasks, rather than the presence of stress, is....
Solo: *flips finger*
Threepio: I see sir.
Luke: You don't believe in the Force, do you?
Han: Sh-yeah, like it was a big help to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.
Luke: Hey!
Han: And where's Biggs and his big speech about nationalizing commerce in the central systems?
Luke: Ok, yeah, that would have dragged the story down like the prequels.
Leia: Christ, this is like a Beckett play.
Ben: *scoffs* Nice reference. Who's going to get that? Like three people?
Leia: Shut up Mr. "I'm more powerful when I'm dead."
Ben: Oh, right, like I'm a 'Princess' in a Democracy. Ooh.
Vader *targeting*: Arguing amongst yourselves! I have you now!
BOOM!
Vader: WHAT!?
The Iron Giant: Su-Per-Man!
Vader *spinning*: Tsk. At least this makes more sense than Attack of the Clones.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:18 AM on December 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's the size of a Moon.

It's the size of a SMALL moon.
posted by Mister_A at 9:31 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Things like this are why whenever people bring up "Zombie Apocalypse Survival Preparedness" like it's an actual thing, I start describing Street Fighter special moves and target/chain combos.

For example, I'm not going to need to worry about fortifying my apartment, because the day the zombies come, I'll tie on a red headband, use my bathrobe as a gi, and clear a path to my car with a combination of hadokens and beam supers, and dash/hurricane kick my way through the rest, etc.

I have to say it's always funny when such people get upset that I'm ruining their undead horde / zombie shotgun circlejerk by being "unrealistic".
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:38 AM on December 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, a small moon. Fine.

You guys can work on in my driveway, but I want to go for a spin in it before you go destroy stuff with it--and I want to go on the test run. Can we do the new Walmart superstore?--I'm talking about the one over on Hwy 62, of course, not the one downtown.
posted by mule98J at 9:40 AM on December 14, 2012


The Death Star's main weapon at full power would be fairly useless given the scarcity of occupied planets. However, running at about 1% it could resolve the Texas secession issue in a couple of milliseconds while giving us access to the iron in the Earth's core. It's a win-win really.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:43 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Canada remains old-school.

On one hand, there doesn't seem to be any interest in making public petitions any more convenient (i.e. online). On the other hand, petitioning is already pretty convenient as it requires only 25 signatures to be presented to the House and guarantees some sort of Ministerial response within 45 days. On the other, other hand thousands are entered every year and, besides a brief note in the House Journals I can't seem to find out anything about specific petitions, so they're not very public.

Now let's see if I can find 25 right-minded Canadians to support this Death Star bid in lieu of the failed F35 bid...
posted by mazola at 9:51 AM on December 14, 2012


Yay?
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:04 AM on December 14, 2012


However, running at about 1% it could resolve the Texas secession issue in a couple of milliseconds while giving us access to the iron in the Earth's core.
did you really just joke about murdering every living person in texas
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:21 AM on December 14, 2012


I know it's a joke, but in light of what's happened today, we don't need a Death Star, we need a Life Star. Living wages. Health Care. Respect for life, whether it's in California, Connecticut, or Pakistan. Assistance for older lives. Care for broken lives.

We have enough death. We don't need to build anything else that kills at the moment really.
posted by nickrussell at 12:10 PM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


did you really just joke about murdering every living person in texas

Yes, although I had not read the news yet this morning and would have skipped a mass murder joke if I had.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:09 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


so like it's cool to joke about murdering every living person in a state if it's a slow news day or what
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:40 PM on December 14, 2012


You may not like that sort of humor but it was clearly meant as joke, so what say you give it a rest.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 PM on December 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think this should be added as an amendment to our missile defense program.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:46 PM on December 14, 2012


It's the size of a SMALL moon.

I Photoshopped the Death Star into several photos, to get an idea of how it would look next to the Moon, from Earth and a couple of other ways.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2012


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