President Barack Obama on Thursday addressed a crowd of NASA employees about to discover unemployment for the first times in their lives.
Some of these are actually second and third generation workers whose mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, were among those who pioneered so many of today's established systems and procedures.
One woman was almost in tears over what she described as an "out and out betrayal" of the nation's space agency. "He can call it anything he likes. He's the president and gets to keep his job. Well, at least until 2012."
Also attending were several bureaucratic speech interpreters, to translate the expected babblecrap into practical English...
What Obama said: "Nobody is more committed to manned spaceflight, to human exploration of space than I am".
What Obama meant: He has already fired, or threatened to fire any of his cabinet or advisory staff that openly supports NASA.
What Obama said: "By 2025, we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the Moon into deep space."
What Obama meant: By the time this date rolls around, you will have already forgotten what it was like to have a national space effort or that this promise was ever made.
What Obama said: "By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it."
What Obama meant: Yes, we could have done this very same thing already, several times over but, we always pushed the date back another15 or 20 years.
Obama expects to be alive when this happens again.
NASA plans to hold a yard sale in the near future to raise funds for former employees to be retrained in the fast food industry. At this event, various instrumentation and hardware should be found at discount prices. Items like space walking tools and suits, as well as the Space Shuttles themselves, will be sold at rock bottom prices.