Jan 12, 2013 · 1 minute

Innovation stifled by bureaucracy, again

The White House has issued an official response to a petition that called for the US federal government to build a Death Star.

Citing concerns about spending more than $850,000,000,000,000,000 of taxpayer money on a project that can be exploited by a one-man starship, Paul Shawcross, chief of the science and space branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, shot down the hopes of the 34,435 people who had signed a petition calling on the federal government to "Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a death star by 2016."

However, Shawcross did take the opportunity to highlight some of the country's recent tech achievements, including the International Space Station, two robot science labs on Mars, and private companies that plan human missions to the Moon.

Said Shawcross:

"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."
Despite reports that the tech industry is boring and Silicon Valley innovation has stalled, the White House's Sith Lord insisted "We are living in the future! Enjoy it."

And then came a statement to warm the hearts of Silicon Valleyites and STEM advocates America-wide. "Or better yet," Shawcross said, "help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field."

Clearly, Shawcross had read Bryan Goldberg's recent post about the need for young people to buy some O'Reilly books and turn themselves into software engineers.

"If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field," Shawcross said, "the Force will be with us!"

The White House offered no comment on rumors of a cheap iPhone.