Democracy in Action

 

The White House has stated that it will respond to any and all online petitions that garner at least 25,000 signatures.

One such petition has not only met, but exceeded the threshold: A petition to have the United States build a Death Star.

I know that you think that this is crazy, but none other than Paul Krugman has advocated the following more than once in order to give a boost to the economy:

PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: This is hard to get people to do, much better, obviously, to build bridges and roads and healthcare clinics and schools. But my proposed, I actually have a serious proposal which is that we have to get a bunch of scientists to tell us that we’re facing a threatened alien invasion, and in order to be prepared for that alien invasion we have to do things like build high-speed rail. And the, once we’ve recovered, we can say, “Look, there were no aliens.”

But look, I mean, whatever it takes because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the U.S. government.

Now, here’s the thing: If we were to actually face an alien invasion, I highly doubt that the biggest agenda item on our to-do list would be to build high-speed rail. In fact, I daresay that a bigger and more pressing agenda item would be to build a Death Star. Not only could we equip ourselves to annihilate enemy spaceships once they have come close to Earth, we could get the Death Star to travel at light speed to enemy planets and obliterate them, no matter how peaceful those planets may turn out to be, and no matter how few weapons they might have.

So I do hope that the Obama administration will—like a bunch of good Keynesians—follow Krugman’s lead and announce that in anticipation of an alien threat, they will build a Death Star, if only to create jobs and stimulate the economy. I just hope that the Obamaesque Death Star won’t come with a thermal exhaust port that is at least two meters wide. I hear that if you practice gunning down womp rats in your T-16 back in Beggar’s Canyon, firing a couple of torpedoes that will destroy the exhaust port (and the Death Star with it) will be no problem whatsoever.

I mean, I would hate for the Obamaesque Death Star to become some kind of latter-day Solyndra. Wouldn’t you?

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Members have made 30 comments.

  1. Profile photo of profdlp Coolidge

    I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything.

    Until now.

    • #1
    • December 19, 2012 at 1:23 am
  2. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    I find your lack of faith disturbing.

    • #2
    • December 19, 2012 at 4:10 am
  3. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher
    Pejman Yousefzadeh:

    I just hope that the Obamaesque Death Star won’t come with a thermal exhaust port that is at least two meters wide. I hear that if you practice gunning down womp rats in your T-16 back in Beggar’s Canyon, firing a couple of torpedoes that will destroy the exhaust port (and the Death Star with it) will be no problem whatsoever.

    Oh, man…everybody thinks they are a designer.

    • #3
    • December 19, 2012 at 4:20 am
  4. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    Yes, but I want to be in the room when we try to get China’s permission. 

    • #4
    • December 19, 2012 at 4:24 am
  5. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor

    One little-known fact is that the attack on the Death Star in the original Star Wars movie is a deliberate homage to the climax of the greatest British World War II movie, The Dam Busters.

    • #5
    • December 19, 2012 at 4:36 am
  6. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    I’d hate to have to do the cost estimate for the Death Star. It’s hard enough to comply with the DFAR, let alone an intergalactic version.

    I’ll whip up an estimate in ProPricer over the weekend. Should bog the server down at work for 3 days. Does anyone have competitive quotes on that giant laser-blaster thing that’s at least powerful enough to obliterate, say, an Alderaan-class planet?

    • #6
    • December 19, 2012 at 4:56 am
  7. Profile photo of Instugator Thatcher
    Pejman Yousefzadeh:

    Now, here’s the thing: If we were to actually face an alien invasion, I highly doubt that the biggest agenda item on our to-do list would be to build high-speed rail. 

    Pej, this makes sense only when you realize that Democrats are incapable of desiring a new ‘gun’. So when they request “High Speed Rail” in conjunction with a National Security problem (another thing they have trouble recognizing) they mean, “High Speed Railgun”.

    I’m willing to pony up for that. 

    • #7
    • December 19, 2012 at 5:08 am
  8. Profile photo of C. U. Douglas Thatcher

    I love America. Only in the USA can we be so patently ridiculous and so over-the-top awesome all at the same time, and cheer ourselves on all the time.

    America: Hold my beer and watch this …

    • #8
    • December 19, 2012 at 5:14 am
  9. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher
    Pejman Yousefzadeh: I don’t know about the Watchmen. Krugman is an Asimov/Second Foundation fan. But I do see where you get that. · 6 hours ago
    Casey Way: So Krugman read The Watchmen… I’ve always been more partial to Rorschach than Ozymandias in my thought process. · 3 hours ago
    Edited 6 hours ago

    So….does this make Barry, well, The Mule?

    The parallels here are striking. No wonder Krugman is in love with it.

    mule-23788869151.gif

    • #9
    • December 19, 2012 at 5:27 am
  10. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    The power of a Death Star is nothing compared to the power of the Force.

    • #10
    • December 19, 2012 at 5:29 am
  11. Profile photo of Eeyore Member

    Given the inordinate review times involved, with a Death Star scale project, we will have been occupied/colonized/vaporized several times over before the Environmental Impact Statement is even completed.

    C. U. Douglas: Hold my beer and watch this … 

    You do realize those are the #1 last words of the American Southern male?

    • #11
    • December 19, 2012 at 5:30 am
  12. Profile photo of C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    Eeyore: Given the inordinate review times involved, with a Death Star scale project, we will have been occupied/colonized/vaporized several times over before the Environmental Impact Statement is even completed.
    C. U. Douglas: Hold my beer and watch this … 

    You do realize those are the #1 last words of the American Southern male? · 16 minutes ago

    Indeed I do!

    • #12
    • December 19, 2012 at 5:48 am
  13. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    Surely, the construction would come to a screeching halt the moment the EPA extended its protection to dust mites.

    • #13
    • December 19, 2012 at 5:52 am
  14. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher
    Pejman Yousefzadeh: What? I’m wrong?
    Percival
    Pejman Yousefzadeh:

    I just hope that the Obamaesque Death Star won’t come with a thermal exhaust port that is at least two meters wide. I hear that if you practice gunning down womp rats in your T-16 back in Beggar’s Canyon, firing a couple of torpedoes that will destroy the exhaust port (and the Death Star with it) will be no problem whatsoever.

    Oh, man…everybody thinks they are a designer. · 6 hours ago

    7 hours ago

    No, not wrong. We were just having a discussion at lunch yesterday about the early days of Reagan’s Star Wars initiative, when all the physicists were jumping up and down screaming “it’ll never work” and most of the engineers were thinking “yeah, we can do that.”

    If the exhaust port is thermal, here’s an idea…put a kink in it! Heat doesn’t know from going around corners.

    • #14
    • December 19, 2012 at 6:06 am
  15. Profile photo of Casey Way Member

    So Krugman read The Watchmen… I’ve always been more partial to Rorschach than Ozymandias in my thought process.

    • #15
    • December 19, 2012 at 6:25 am
  16. Profile photo of Garrett Petersen Inactive

    Only one Death Star? Don’t people understand Keynesian multipliers? We need 100 Death Stars!

    • #16
    • December 19, 2012 at 8:07 am
  17. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder

    They did come up with a Death Star.

    It’s called Obamacare.

    Oh, you mean one that flies around in space?

    • #17
    • December 19, 2012 at 8:28 am
  18. Profile photo of Here I Stand! Inactive

    What, pray tell, is the estimated return on investment?

    Cost/Benefit analysis? A great read if ever compiled.

    • #18
    • December 19, 2012 at 8:37 am
  19. Profile photo of Richard Fulmer Member

    So, will Death Star construction be subject to the Davis-Bacon Act?

    • #19
    • December 19, 2012 at 9:01 am
  20. Profile photo of John Murdoch Member

    Heh. Rubes.

    We’ve been building the Death Star in Arizona for seven years. That’s how Doug Kimball and I know each other: 

    We’re subs on the federal contract to build the Death Star’s light rail system.

    • #20
    • December 19, 2012 at 9:42 am
  21. Profile photo of Blue State Blues Member

    The alien invasion has already happened. We welcomed them with open arms, created sanctuary cities, and gave them free services and in-state tuition.

    Oh, you mean aliens from outer space. Why would we treat them any differently? (Do space aliens vote Democratic?)

    • #21
    • December 19, 2012 at 9:44 am
  22. Profile photo of Roberto Inactive

    LaHood said to Denham. “We’re not going to get $1 as long as there’s language in appropriations bills that says there’s no federal money that can be spent on California Death Stars. That doesn’t help us get any more (private) money to the project.”

    Denham was unconvinced, however, telling LaHood “the amendments are not meant to help you, we agree on that.

    “The amendments are meant to stop this project, until we see a plan,” Denham said…

    Other Republicans on the Death Stars Committee shared Denham’s skeptism, expressing doubt not just about the California Death Stars proposal, but the Obama administration’s entire Death Stars plan.

    “I have been one of the strongest proponents in Congress of Death Stars, but in these days of trillion-dollar deficits, we have a responsibility to ensure that the taxpayers’ money is wisely invested and that we move forward responsibly with any Death Stars improvements,” Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said. 

    Hmm, the transition is impressively seamless. 

    • #22
    • December 19, 2012 at 9:54 am
  23. Profile photo of Pejman Yousefzadeh Inactive
    Pejman Yousefzadeh Post author

    Alas, most people do.

    Aaron Miller: I find your lack of faith disturbing. · 6 hours ago
    • #23
    • December 19, 2012 at 10:21 am
  24. Profile photo of Pejman Yousefzadeh Inactive
    Pejman Yousefzadeh Post author

    What? I’m wrong?

    Percival
    Pejman Yousefzadeh:

    I just hope that the Obamaesque Death Star won’t come with a thermal exhaust port that is at least two meters wide. I hear that if you practice gunning down womp rats in your T-16 back in Beggar’s Canyon, firing a couple of torpedoes that will destroy the exhaust port (and the Death Star with it) will be no problem whatsoever.

    Oh, man…everybody thinks they are a designer. · 6 hours ago

    • #24
    • December 19, 2012 at 10:22 am
  25. Profile photo of Pejman Yousefzadeh Inactive
    Pejman Yousefzadeh Post author

    Yes, but since the Force is an energy field that surrounds us and gives us life, it is already in existence. We won’t generate the economy by creating what is already there.

    Valiuth: The power of a Death Star is nothing compared to the power of the Force. · 4 hours ago
    • #25
    • December 19, 2012 at 10:23 am
  26. Profile photo of Pejman Yousefzadeh Inactive
    Pejman Yousefzadeh Post author

    I don’t know about the Watchmen. Krugman is an Asimov/Second Foundation fan. But I do see where you get that.

    Casey Way: So Krugman read The Watchmen… I’ve always been more partial to Rorschach than Ozymandias in my thought process. · 3 hours ago
    • #26
    • December 19, 2012 at 10:25 am
  27. Profile photo of Pejman Yousefzadeh Inactive
    Pejman Yousefzadeh Post author

    Give it time.

    Garrett Petersen: Only one Death Star? Don’t people understand Keynesian multipliers? We need 100 Death Stars! · 2 hours ago
    • #27
    • December 19, 2012 at 10:26 am
  28. Profile photo of Pejman Yousefzadeh Inactive
    Pejman Yousefzadeh Post author

    That’s not fair. Unlike Obamacare, the Death Star actually did work.

    Rob Long: They did come up with a Death Star.

    It’s called Obamacare.

    Oh, you mean one that flies around in space? · 1 hour ago

    • #28
    • December 19, 2012 at 10:28 am
  29. Profile photo of Valiuth Member
    Pejman Yousefzadeh: Give it time. · 14 minutes ago
    Garrett Petersen: Only one Death Star? Don’t people understand Keynesian multipliers? We need 100 Death Stars! · 2 hours ago

    So then the Rebels where just trying to help out the economic recovery of Corosant when they blew up the first Death Star and the second. It all makes sense now. 

    • #29
    • December 19, 2012 at 11:13 am
  30. Profile photo of Ross C Member

    Oh no! There will be an exhaust port. There is just no other way.

    A true Keynesian believes that one group digging holes and another group filling them in is sufficient for stimulus. Krugman’s trains are a rather tepid Keynesian proposal. Where are your [explitives] Krugman!

    If I understand Keynesianism correctly (big if btw) it works when there is a recession or depression WHICH WE ARE NOT IN. What we see going on is that the government does not spend at the right times. Remember timely, targeted, and temporary. This goes for the Bush tax breaks also. They are meant to stimulate the economy in a recession but they are carried on after the recession is over.

    • #30
    • December 20, 2012 at 1:53 am