Sign the Petition: No Death Star!

by Gregory Koger on January 2, 2013 · 9 comments

in Blogs,Frivolity,International Security,IT and politics,Music and Other Popular Culture,Policy,Presidency,Science,War

Last May, this blog published my essay against building a Death Star. And, not to brag,  but at the time I thought we had saved trillions* of lives. With the help of re-posts by WonkblogGizmodo, and legions of social media warriors, the Monkey Cage squelched any thoughts of building a Death Star and saved the lives of countless planets.

Imagine my shock, then, to hear that a petition to the White House had received the 25,000 signatures it needed to force an official response from the White House. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

This cannot be ignored. I urge every Monkey Cage reader to sign this White House petition to:

ban the development or deployment of a Death Star, or any other moon-sized space station capable of destroying a planet.

Allow me to recapitulate the case against a Death Star:

1) Compared to more discrete alternatives, the Death Star is an inefficient strategy for subduing the population and elites of the galaxy.

2) The money and materials used to build the Death Star would be put to better use upgrading the conventional weapons of the Imperial army.


In the current budgetary environment, the second point is especially important. As we all know, the 2011 debt limit agreement included mandatory reductions in defense spending—the “sequester”—starting in fiscal year 2013. The Department of Defense budget is slated to decrease by $259.4 billion. And yet the advocates for a new Death Star plan to launch it in the midst of this austerity despite its$85.2 quintillion price tag.

Perhaps you are wondering, is an anti-Death Star petition really necessary? Surely the Obama administration will treat the pro-Death Star petition like it’s some sort of joke, even if it means enduring criticism that it is “soft on Alderaan.” Perhaps. But having destroyed the argument for the Death Star once, I was surprised to find that the pro-Death Star forces had moved to in another venue, displacing the local population and threatening the galaxy. I fear they will continue to keep trying until the federal government  sets a clear no-Death Star policy.

So please, sign the petition. The planet you save may be your own.

*My best guess, pending CBO scoring.

{ 9 comments }

Joe January 2, 2013 at 10:16 am

If Congress goes ahead and builds it anyway, won’t Disney own the rights to it?

Phil January 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Tony January 2, 2013 at 11:40 am

Terrible…You should be pressuring people to engage a Death Star project correctly, not abandon it. It’s abundantly clear that the Death Star wasn’t the problem — it was a combination of (1) execution in its construction and (2) Tarkin and the incompetent subordinates. I also have to imagine construction of the Death Star led to countless other technological advances.

Mark January 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I thought the price tag was actually OK until I realized a mere 10% overrun would cost another $8.52 quintillion. Sign me up for your petition!

On the other hand, might this be one of those investments that pays for itself from the plunder we can get from conquered worlds?

Peter Hovde January 2, 2013 at 2:24 pm

At least some of the funds saved should go to “Force Mastery Cultivation.” The Men Who Stare at Goats need some more goats.

RobC January 2, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Sure there are problems with the Death Star. But mend it, don’t end it.

My biggest concern, however, is that if the petition is successful, the Administration will score it as reducing the deficit by $852 quadrillion.

JeffNeocon January 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Chuck Hagel is opposed to the Death Star (as well as being anti-Semitic). Yet another reason to oppose his nomination as secretary of defense.

Kevin Hill January 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I think the $$$ would be vastly better-spent upgrading Imperial Stormtrooper armor! I mean, how much does that stuff cost for the minimal amount of protection it gives? The Ewoks could use logs and rope to defeat the armor. Also, I never saw the white armor do anything to defend against a hand blaster……

Also, I have to believe it’s pretty hot inside that white tin can.

Nils January 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Luckily, the White House seems to be regularly reading the Monkey Cage and was convinced by your argument. The petition to “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016″ was turned down in an official White House response ( https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/isnt-petition-response-youre-looking).

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