Category Archives: The Independent Party

The BALLOT.

Compartmentalization is a military concept.

It’s part of a design intended to keep the hierarchy in place, from top brass down to enlisted private. The lowest in rank reports to his/her next in rank, and ONLY to that officer; said officer in turn reports up the ladder, one rung at a time, until orders come down from the top and the whole process is reversed. Going above one’s immediate superior is considered “breaking rank” and anybody who breaks rank is either disciplined or expelled.

Now a retired public school educator, born female at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation, I was not privy to how, when, or why this concept for both establishing, securing, and maintaining control was adopted by other institutions; I only know that, in my adult lifetime, compartmentalized structure and its related thought processes have become ubiquitous.

Unfortunately, society as a whole and, more critical, its related interactive behaviors neither require nor operate successfully within such a structure. Reason? The right hand can never know what the left hand is doing. The “only told what you need to know” plan creates absolutely zero option for lateral movement, resulting in comprehension deficit, protracted delays in information relay, communication breakdown, and system failure.

The coronavirus pandemic has been a glaring example. When the top brass acted compartmentally, and those lateral in rank were not uniformly informed, the result was chaos. From dispensing accurate information about the virus’ nature and behavior to managing testing design and distribution, those at all subject levels – from Governors to Mayors to local public health authorities – were swimming in a sea of conflicting, contradicting data and panicked, reactive supposition, waving wildly to one another from across the moat. And, where did that leave the rest of us, still?

Oh; and, let’s not forget how closely related compartmentalization is to its cousin, social segregation. All action and reaction follows a hierarchy not only of power, but of importance; as such, those “at the top” call the shots, and those in middle management become glorified pawns of the system handed down therefrom. Even when minorities reach middle level authority, they are still subject to the mentality – with its subliminal, similarity bias and vested preferences – of the mind at the head of that table.

Now, we have a form of compartmentalization at play with regard to our upcoming Presidential election. Who decides whether we can vote by mail? Who determines whether mail in ballots will be properly distributed, received, or processed? I took a small social media poll this morning, of those I know personally, and the confused data poured in. Twenty one individuals responded; among these, seven households had received duplicate application forms, and the rest weren’t clear on how such ballots were obtained, several insisting that PA wouldn’t receive theirs until September 14th. Mail in ballot applications can be found online, yet many were unaware and one woman recounted the following, which I quote:

“I requested my mail in vote request on line for the primary, and never received it. I contacted the person who advised me; she [ confirmed that she ] received the application, and told me I could come down to the courthouse and get it?? Now I have received an email confirmation for a mail-in ballot. Will I really receive it? I guess I will have to wait and see. “

But, we can’t afford to sit around and wait. Compartmentalization may work for the military; but, among civilians in crisis, it is a recipe for confusion, riddled with blind spots, rife with the potential for panic and pandemonium. As we approach this critical election season, preserving individual access to the voting ballot had better set fire to that rigid, tyrannical system before democracy as we thought we knew it becomes a casualty of war.

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© 8/22/2020 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. Hyperbole? All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Thank you for respecting original material. Permission to reprint in part or whole granted upon written request. littlebarefeet@msn.com

littlebarefeetblog.com

YARD SIGNS.

For some reason, I had to make two road trips that weekend.
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The year was 2016, the season autumn, and I had to drive west toward Ohio and east toward New York in two days time. Four years later, I remember far less about the purpose of those excursions than the one thing I still cannot forget.
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All along our Great Lake Erie, it was what I saw posted along the roadside: Yard signs. Political yard signs. And, what disturbed me as deeply as the moment when the doctor opens his waiting room door and enters, carrying test results in his hand, was what I saw on those signs.
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Beyond a mere two or three, from New York across PA to Ohio and back again, they were nearly unanimously emblazoned with the two words which would change our world in ways none of us could have imagined:
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TRUMP.PENCE.
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For miles. That’s all I saw.
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Our city had been pretty determined to honor its long Democratic history by endorsing Hillary. I’d been a Bernie canvassing machine; his name appeared on MY yard sign, up until the election. But, what I saw stunned me with its foreboding. Clearly, everyone who lived on the lakefront – the monied – were a united flank and, that, all across the tri-state area. In fact, after the initial shock had waned, baffled national pundits and analysts would repeatedly point to Northwest PA as one of the pivotal forces which influenced the election results.
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I remember getting home on my final return trip, sitting down at the computer, and telling my friends on social media. “I think Trump is going to win.”
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Tonight, Michele Obama gave an unprecedented, heartfelt, bold, and pointed declaration to America. She withheld nothing. Our former First Lady told us to prepare to pack a brown bag and put on our old shoes, if that is what it would take to see to it that our vote would be placed, and counted.
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When she was finished, I thought about those yard signs. I realized that too many of us, myself included, had let the profuse presence of such signs affect our choices, in primaries past – so many offices, so many contenders, so much reading and listening required to make a truly informed decision. How many had always just depended on yard signs to teach name recognition, to register a subconscious vote already placed before due diligence had been paid.
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This November, forget about yard signs. If we see them, consider who put them there and ask whether those lawns were infiltrated by blind folly – or, worse.
Remember 2016. Everybody knows Joe Biden’s name. Keep your eyes on the sign in the sky, and make the only trip necessary. Just vote to save America’s soul.
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8/17/2020 Ruth Ann Scanzillo.

The Coronavirus Pandemonium.

Imagine.
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Students, teachers, and parents have n.o. i.d.e.a. how to decide what to do with their children as the first day of school approaches. Fact: One Covid-19 positive person, regardless of age, can infect 100, in just days (see the church choir case). Advice and authority on the subject is as widely diverse as opinions on the severity have been among Americans since March.
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I am only one person. But, my body absorbs this chaos nearly every minute, even when I am going about daily tasks or trying to have a relaxing evening. It isn’t the virus, or even the restrictions, which hurt me; it’s the appalling absence of coherent leadership.
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How can School Boards decide? Do they have any more trustworthy information than the rest of us can access?
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How can Mayors? Governors?
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This is why a national strategy should have been formulated, distributed to every Governor, and then implemented with regular accountability by local authorities from the end of February. Instead, we were led by the emotional mentality of a fourth grader, and this is the outcome. Vote for a.n.y.b.o.d.y. else but the current incompetent on November 3. Mail it in, or show up at your poll. Do it.
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Unimaginably, our lives are at stake.
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Ruth Ann Scanzillo 8/12/2020
littlebarefeetblog.com