Sorry, but Death Star not planned

The Press - The Box - - FRONT PAGE - Washington Post

The Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion will not be build­ing a Death Star.

Re­spond­ing to a pe­ti­tion on the White House web­site, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy ad­viser Paul Shawcross tells dis­ap­pointed Star Wars fans, ‘‘This Isn’t the Pe­ti­tion Re­sponse You’re Look­ing For.’’

Shawcross ex­plained that at US$850 quadrillion, the cost was sim­ply too high in a time of tight bud­gets. More­over ‘‘the ad­min­is­tra­tion does not sup­port blow­ing up plan­ets’’. And any­way, ‘‘why would we spend count­less tax­payer dol­lars on a Death Star with a fun­da­men­tal flaw that can be ex­ploited by a one-man star­ship?’’

Shawcross went on to say var­i­ous space projects the White House has launched are at least as cool as a Death Star, which is de­bat­able.

Any­one can post a pe­ti­tion on the ‘‘We the Peo­ple’’ site. If a pe­ti­tion gets 25,000 sig­na­tures, the ad­min­is­tra­tion will re­spond. Of­fi­cials have an­swered de­mands that the government recog­nise ex­trater­res­trial life, al­low on­line poker, le­galise mar­i­juana, re­move ‘‘un­der God’’ from the Pledge of Al­le­giance and ban Rush Lim­baugh from Armed Forces Net­work ra­dio.

Many pe­ti­tion­ers com­plain that the ad­min­is­tra­tion has is­sued boil­er­plate re­sponses. In this case, at least, the White House clearly gave an im­por­tant mat­ter the time and at­ten­tion it de­served.

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