The White House has set up a petition site for Internet commenters, which is weird, because it's usually in favor of democracy.* "We the People" lets random users make demands of the government. YouTube comments already provide more convincing arguments against democracy than Marx and Mao combined. After all, the person asking Yahoo Answers "How is babby formed?" doesn't just have the same number of votes as you -- they and their accidental offspring have at least five times as many.
*ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Guarantee insane political comments in the lead sentence.
Now that the government has given democracy itself a comment section, let's see what the Internet is doing with it, shall we?
#5. "Show Us the Aliens"
NOTE:Petitions are notoriously wordy because idiots think talking longer makes a stronger argument. Links to the full text are provided below each image.
It's obvious that there's life somewhere else in the universe (especially since every star has planets), and equally obvious that there's none on Earth. The government can't even hide their representatives' genitals from us, never mind spaceships.
"If I told you that you could ride it into space, would you look at the pictures of it?"
We're not saying E.T.-ophiles are bad at research, but they submitted two petitions on the exact same subject on the same day. They couldn't get through a single website without missing important evidence and wasting their time. The best part of their petition is "Opinion polls now indicate more than 50 percent of the American people believe there is an extraterrestrial presence and more than 80 percent believe the government is not telling the truth about this phenomenon." They directly equate this belief with existence, instead of proving an urgent need for educational reform. Or legislation against making up imaginary statistics. Though to be fair, "belief = proof" is the exact argument millions of other Americans use to justify beings in the sky.
This petition is supported by the "Paradigm Research Group," who make the Atlantean Time-Share Group look well thought out. And they've apparently been too busy watching the skies since 1998 to make a new website.
Yes, these are people on the cutting edge of information technology.
The petitions gained 17,000 signatures, so the government decided to respond and subtract 17,000 from every future vote on anything. The reply pointed out that there wasn't any evidence, at all, and listed all the awesome searches for off-world life currently being conducted by people who know how to work a brain. Faced with overwhelming evidence and the entirety of NASA, the Paradigm Research Group tried a second petition asking for the exact same things again. They just keep plugging away until they're satisfied, no matter how hilariously they embarrass themselves. If we thought the submitter had a girlfriend, we'd feel sorry for her.
#4. Energy "Catalizer"
The petition is written in the third person, but there hasn't been an unlikelier third person since Adam and Eve's wacky alien gardener, Zorblu. This isn't Rossi's first try at sock-puppeting: His blog features comments from documentary makers, international think-tank executives, global business clients and probably a few wizards begging to buy this amazing product. It's less convincing than a teenager renaming his right hand "girlfriend from Canada."
And while we can't say for sure that Andrea Rossi hasn't mastered the physics of an energy catalyzer, he can't even spell "catalyzer." His invention allegedly fuses hydrogen and nickel to produce copper and energy. We won't get into the impossibilities here, but it has more logical flaws than Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and is believed to actually exist by fewer people.
Even though every respectable scientist in the world says his machine is full of shit, he's skipping straight to the White House. Because it's not like the U.S. government has any history of knowing about nuclear devices.
These rubes don't know a thing about fusion.
Rossi insists that his invention, which looks like it was welded by a depressed plumber to express the bleakness of a lifetime spent with other people's U-bends, works by using a "secret mixture" of catalysts to fuse hydrogen and nickel into copper. You know you can trust a nuclear reactor that uses the same explanation as KFC.
"As long as it's not clogged with hair, it generates free energy."
Especially when they're talking about a reaction that is energetically impossible even in the heart of a large star. His work has been published in the "Journal of Nuclear Physics," but only because that's the name he gave his blog. It's like changing your first name to Doctor and trying to operate on people. The device is actually a reverse Schrodinger's cat, because if the reaction ever works it'll kill everyone attempting to observe it. The 2 inches of lead shielding around the core are to gamma rays what cling wrap is to an angry tiger.
Rossi reportedly has a history with fraudulent companies and alleged metals, and a preliminary patent review reported that his claims "offend against the generally accepted laws of physics." When a government body has to point out that you're insulting reality, your invention would be rejected by He-Man as an implausible source of energy.
I HAVE THE THERMODYNAMICS-VIOLATING POWER!
#3. Evil Corporate Cure Conspiracy
The idea that corporations are hiding a cure for cancer is popular with paranoid lunatics who don't understand science, medicine, patents or profit.
"What are you idiots saying now?"
It's a little-known effect that conspiracy theories always attract the exact opposite kind of lunatic: people who never leave their basement believe aliens have traveled all the way to Earth, people who can't spell think superscientists have cured all disease and assholes who are virgins think only assholes get women.
This petition is such a contradictory mixture of cynical and optimistic it shouldn't exist. Care Bears with ecstasy make more sense, because at least then you'd understand why they're so huggy all the time. The 591 petitioners believe that huge corporations would rather let people die than become the most successful brand of all time by curing a disease forever, but that the same EvilCorp will hand over the cure if there's a law saying so. The law is less enforceable than the three-second rule on the International Space Station.
Especially since their strategy is "There's a giant conspiracy that has suppressed evidence for decades, so we'll ask them online instead." If there were a secret government conspiracy to paralyze the masses and distract them with pointless bullshit, they would have invented the Internet. Internet petitions are a less effective form of protest than punching the pillow you're crying into.