28 July 2012


by Andy Weddington
Saturday, 28 July 2012

"Half the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for president. One hopes it is the same half." Gore Vidal

Aha! That's it! America has a judder.

To explain...

In yesterday's mail I received notice of a warranty extension on my car. The dual-sided one page cover letter, dated June 2012 and in five short paragraphs each with bold header, outlined the problem and owner action. The "signature" line was typewritten with the name of the corporation and automobile division. A person did not take responsibility, there was no John Hancock. So goes big business. Just like big government. Sigh. And, "Good grief."

Anyway, I read the side that was in English. Guess the language on the other side?

Surprisingly, the letter was clear and the required action simple.

The purpose of the warranty extension is to tend to a judder.

What's a judder?

The word is believed to be of British origin and not all that old--first known use was in the early 1930s. As goes the invention of new things, in this case motorized rolling stock, so goes the invention of new words. How marvelous we can make new things and make up new words for those things.

So, a judder is an intense vibration. But in today's high-tech rollers, it's nothing the installation of a transmission software update can't fix.

After reading the letter's last sentence, and I'll close with that, it dawned on me--America has a judder. We sure do. Absolutely.

No question, we've had a judder since before the end of Mr. Bush's presidency.

Mr. Obama has made the judder worse. And worse. And worse. He is no software engineer. He is no mechanic. Frankly, and sadly, he's no president. Mr. Obama has been a clunker--who has cost us trillions and trillions of cash. And more.

Though my car is running okay, even at high speed, it can and will run better, and be more comfortable, next week after the new software is installed. I hope. The letter suggested allowing half a day to complete the work. Per letter guidance, I called the local authorized dealer to arrange an appointment. The service manager, whom I've known for years, said "It'll probably take no more than an hour to hour and a half. Bring her on in." And there will be no cost to me (other than whatever fuel efficiency has already been lost to the judder).

On the other hand, our country is not running okay. We can't get to high speed. We haven't been anywhere close to approaching high speed for four years; better than four years.

Stuck in low speed, we're sputtering. We're vibrating. We're gasping for air. Ours is a complicated comprehensive judder--from domestic to international policy--that touches every physical and psychological aspect of America one can name.

Our judder is getting worse, still. Unfortunately, there's no local dealer nor service manager to call. And fixing our judder will require years not hours.

Alas, there is remedy but it's not under a warranty extension. And on top of what it has already cost, it's going to be expensive.

Like my car, a software update for our transmission is required. If you need the translation, that is, a new man sitting in the Oval Office. Simple, just like the letter.

Oh, that last sentence mentioned earlier...

"We apologize for any inconvenience this campaign may cause you."

I laughed!


"Le pedimos disculpas por cualquier inconveniente que esta campana pudiera causarle."

I cried!


The judder is the same.

Time to fix it--with some new software, with some leadership.

And like my car, comfort does not have to be sacrificed for speed.

Let's get America moving, again, at high speed.

Post Script  

Funny, the day before I received a 'Buy Back' notice from the manufacturer--for the same car.

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