With the fiscal cliff looming in less than three weeks, the defense budget is on the chopping block. NASA's funding has already been slashed and its highest-profile program of the past several decades--the space shuttle--is gone.
But one enterprising American, John D. of Longmont, Colo., has proposed what he suggests could be the solution to the defense budget conundrum: the construction of a Death Star.
John D writes:
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.
We the people petitions have one month to a achieve a threshold of 25,000 signatures, and John's hit its goal with a day to spare.
As much as science fiction nerds of all stripes might love to see a Death Star come into reality, the likelihood that the government will build a superweapon the size of the moon is unfortunately nil.
So how might the White House reply?
A handful of similarly unlikely, bordering on absurd, petitions have made it past the 25,000 threshold.
A slew of state secession requests cropped up after President Obama won reelection, including one for Texas that garnered almost 120,000 signatures, and one that pressed for Obama's impeachment that pulled in more than 40,000 signatures.
Neither of those--nor one that suggested the U.S. deport anyone who signed the various petitions to secede--earned an official response.
In fact, the White House doesn't seem to have much humor about any of the petitions, no matter how ridiculous, but there are exceptions.
Citizens successfully convinced the administration to publish the recipe for the White House kitchen home-brewed beer after the president was spotted handing out bottles on the campaign trail.
Another pressed the White House to "formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race" and though it got an official response, no big ET reveal was forthcoming.
The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye.
However, that doesn't mean the subject of life outside our planet isn't being discussed or explored. In fact, there are a number of projects working toward the goal of understanding if life can or does exist off Earth...
A last point: Many scientists and mathematicians have looked with a statistical mindset at the question of whether life likely exists beyond Earth and have come to the conclusion that the odds are pretty high that somewhere among the trillions and trillions of stars in the universe there is a planet other than ours that is home to life.
Many have also noted, however, that the odds of us making contact with any of them—especially any intelligent ones—are extremely small, given the distances involved.
But that's all statistics and speculation. The fact is we have no credible evidence of extraterrestrial presence here on Earth.
They also sometimes just decline to comment.
Still, we can always hope they'll have something good to say about the potential construction of a superweapon (hopefully without a thermal exhaust port vulnerable to X-wing attack).