death star, education, Force (Star Wars), humor, lesson plan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Paul Shawcross, petitions, postaday, Star Wars, We The People, White House
There are few things in the world that make me laugh so hard that tears roll down my face at the sheer happiness of it all.
But it happened.
This morning, technically, somewhere in the middle of the night. And I laughed so hard I feared the neighbors might hear.
And they aren’t all that close to this house.
For those of you uninformed folks who have never seen Star Wars … the original ones … the ones I loved back when … the title of this blog is a play on a quote in the first Star Wars movie from 1977 … in which Obi-Wan Kenobi uses The Force in response to the Stormtroopers.
Stormtrooper: Let me see your identification.
Obi-Wan: [with a small wave of his hand] You don’t need to see his identification.
Stormtrooper: We don’t need to see his identification.
Obi-Wan:These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
Stormtrooper:These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.
Obi-Wan: He can go about his business.
Stormtrooper: You can go about your business.
Obi-Wan: Move along.
Stormtrooper: Move along… move along.
It is also the title of a response from The Whitehouse. To a petition on petitions.whitehouse.gov … We The People … where everyday citizens like you and me … well, you … can start a petition to the government.
Someone did … and it went viral.
Here is the Petition.
we petition the obama administration to:
Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.
Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.
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.
If you get 25,000 signatures in a month … indicating that this is something worth looking at with a wide base of support … then the White House has to respond.
Actually Paul Shawcross did.
Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget … and obviously a fan of Star Wars.
Here is the response that had me laughing so hard.
Keep in mind that this is an official Government Response to a valid Government Petition. Bold Print is mine.
Official White House Response to Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.
This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For
By Paul Shawcross
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.
Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo — and soon, crew — to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.
Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.
We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.
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.
I immediately went out to the Facebook page where I had first seen this and reposted it with the following comment:
I just LOVE this administration!!!! Laughed till tears came out of my eyes. “This isn’t the petition response you’re looking for ..” Absolutely priceless. Should be sent to every school in the country.
It should be. Sent to every school. To encourage every student. With some kind of lesson plans attached.
With the wit, intelligence and creativity that was shown in this response to the Petition from the White House … well, it makes me wonder what could have been accomplished over the past four years if for the last two there had actually been a House of Representatives that had people doing their jobs instead of Just Saying No.
What if they actually proposed legislation that created jobs … instead of shooting down anything brought to them by the White House?
What’s that you say? … They are trying? …
Do or do not … there is no try.
Help Me Obama-Wan Kenobi. You’re our only Hope!