STORY #1: God loves petitions
If the Obama administration’s “We the People” initiative, which allows people to petition the White House online and even get a response (assuming the petition gets 25,000 signatures or more within 30 days), is used for people to voice legitimate policy concerns, it’s worth keeping. Unfortunately, that hasn’t always been the case. (Example.) I wouldn’t call a petition to label the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group a “legitimate policy concern” on the level of anything else we’ve covered this week. But who would disagree with that plan?
According to the FBI, the central purpose of a hate group is “to promote animosity, hostility, and malice against persons belonging to a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin which differs from that of the members of the organization.” Well, that couldn’t describe Westboro any better. And in case any of you are wondering, these groups don’t have to commit a crime to be on the list, although they do have to commit a crime to be investigated. This would be a purely symbolic move. But it would make a lot of people very happy, and it would make Westboro’s reaction considerably funnier than any of their other reactions.
STORY #2: America’s got Piers
And that’s how the UK likes it, according to a British counter-petition against the one calling for CNN host Piers Morgan’s deportation. At the time of this writing, the original White House petition has 73,000 signatures, while the British one has 600. Of course, both numbers are approximately as meaningful as the popular vote in a Canadian election. The only numbers that matter to Morgan’s stint in the U.S. are the ratings for his show.
Whether “Kurt N.” of Austin likes it or not, you can’t deport a legal immigrant for expressing an (allegedly) unpopular opinion about American law. Nor can you, in all seriousness, call it an “attack on the Second Amendment” when someone calls for “a ban on high-powered assault rifles and high-capacity gun magazines.” Even Justice Antonin Scalia says the Second Amendment allows for that. Unfortunately for Kurt N., Scalia was born in New Jersey, so there’s no deporting him. But thanks for playing.
STORY #3: The Alan Parsons Project
Actually, going by the name of the originator of this petition, the appropriate name for the proposed U.S. Death Star is “the John D. Project.” Not that it matters, because the cost of a Death Star would be 13,000 times what the entire world economy could afford if it stopped paying for anything else. Also, I know of no planets that we desperately need to destroy. But John D. can always start up a battle droid factory. I hear those are cheaper and equally useful to national security.