Posts Tagged ‘Government’

With the economy the way it is..

With thousand upon thousand of people that have exhausted their unemployment benefits..

With prices of every day necessities sky rocketing..

With this country is so much economic trouble..

THIS is how all that stimulus money is being spent???

REALLY?

I want y’all to read this.. and see for yourself how many thousand upon thousand upon hundreds of thousands of dollars are being wasted while there are hard working Americans who find them selves in dire financial situations through no fault of their own.

I being one of them.

Where is my grant for working my ass off trying to keep our store open?

Where is my grant for saving every single penny I find in the washing machine.. couch.. under the car seats and then turning them in at the bank so that I can buy a kid a pair of school pants?

Where is YOUR grant to help you over whatever financial burdens you have?

Ohh… I get it..

I need to be listening to ants.. or giving cocaine to monkeys.. or creating video games for the elderly …

People.. I really, really, REALLY want you to not pay any attention to the fact that this document was put together, in part, by John McCain. I don’t like that bastard either but since I am currently unemployed .. and can’t find a job that will pay me more then I am receiving in UC benefits.. I had the time to check almost 75% of those listed and it’s on the up and up ..

In fact.. one locally I’ve known about for a while and it pissed me off just as much now as it did then..

This HAS to get your ass in an uproar…

Right now I’m clinching my teeth so freakin’ hard that I’m going to be making some dentist rich real quick .. I’m am also so outraged and so fucking torqued that I wish I had a video camera so I can just get out everything that’s in my head right now instead of having to type so damn fast and worry about spelling things wrong.

Because OH MY FUCKING HAIRY TOES people.. if you can’t SEE how racism is being used as a smoke screen then.. well.. omg.. I don’t know what to say.

Everybody knows that the best defense is a good offense.. and right now, with more and more American’s realizing that what is going on in this country is not right.. that our freedoms are slowly being removed.. that there are those in government who don’t think that you are incapable of running your own life without their help.. the people in power now are scrambling.

We are NOT sheep.. and now that they’re getting the idea :: Hello New Jersey.. Hello Utah.. Hello Northern Georgia.. Hello Nevada :: they’re doing their best to undermine an organization that’s sole purpose is to restore America to the great country that it was.

And their doing that by insisting that EVERYONE who does not agree with President Obama is a racist.

They’re insisting that EVERYONE who does agree with socialism and marxism and communism are racists.

They KNOW that waving the Racism Flag is going to incite. They KNOW it’s going to divide. And isn’t that another strategy of war?  Divide and conquer??

What’s the best way of negating a thought.. or an organization.. or ANYTHING that is going to undermine your grand master plan? Cry racism.

rac·ism [rey-siz-uhm]

–noun

1.a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

2.a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

So before some one cries foul that because I’m white :: actually, I’m Italian :: and don’t understand racism then think again.

Now.. let’s get to Shirley Sherrod.

Shirely Sherrod was a USDA Rural Director in Georgia. A video tape was released of her giving a speech at the NAACP 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. In this video, she says that she didn’t help a white farmer as much as she could of. In case you didn’t see the video, here it is..

So this video comes out and Shirley Sherrod is called by Cheryl Cook, the USDA’s under secretary and told that the White House wanted her to resign.. and then she was called back and told to submit her resignation via Blackberry.

So then what happens is that the NAACP .. who’s event she was speaking at.. calls out their spin doctors and release a statement saying SEE! SEE! WE don’t tolerate racism like those TEA PARTIERS do!!.

Actually this is what NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous said:

“According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race,” he said in a statement before Sherrod’s explanation.

“We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers.”
– New York Daily News Article

So now here’s the NAACP who has been doing everything they can to say that Tea Partiers are racist and that there was an incident where racial slurs where thrown at black politicians :: which, btw, has yet to be authentically proven even WITH a personal offer of $100,000.00 by Andrew Breigtbart for video OR audio :: and then this video surfaces and the powers that be scramble and push Shirley off the curb.

The thing is.. THAT isn’t the entire video.

Shirley herself has said in numerous interviews that what didn’t get shown was the rest of her speech where she says :: I’ll paraphrase here :: that she was speaking on something that had happened like 20 years ago and that she had an epiphany and realized that it wasn’t about black or white.. it was about the “haves” and “have nots” and that what she was doing to the white farmer wasn’t right.

Even Glenn Beck said that what happened to her was unfair and that he would do everything he could to help her get her job back.

I’m sure that doesn’t mean much to those who despise Beck but you have to admit that that’s a semi big thing.

Anyway.. so what happens tonight?

The NAACP :: remember, they’re the ones who issued a statement that they supported her resignation and had a zero tolerance policy :: posts a THE FULL VIDEO on YouTube saying that the initial video was edited to cast her in a negative light.

Here’s the full video:

So let’s all be the intelligent people that I know we are and ask a simple question..

If Shirley Sherrod was speaking at an NAACP event .. then WHY would they be sooo quick to force her to resign without thinking “.. wait a minute? This is OUR event? Don’t WE have video of it? Let’s take a look first before we jump the shark.”

The simple answer to that question is that it was a knee jerk response to a rock being thrown at their glass house.

So now what’s their statement? They’re saying that they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Fox News and Andrew Breitbart.

Breitbart has said that he received the video from someone in Georgia back in April but did nothing with it until this mess started with Tea Party being hailed as racists. He said that he repeatedly appealed to the NAACP to knock it off and that their negative branding was going to divide the country and when they didn’t back off, he released the tape.

So I really don’t think there was any hood-winking.. but that’s just my opinion.

The other thing is.. and you know.. we’ll go back to those who don’t think I have a right to know what I’m talking about because I’m not black… if you don’t want to accept if from me. .then maybe.. JUST MAYBE.. you’ll accept it from Mary Frances Berry.

Dr. Mary Frances BerryIf you don’t know who Dr. Berry is, she is the former chair on the US Commission on Civil Rights (under Carter and Clinton.. so no GOP dame here).

She now teaches law and history at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Berry has authored both “My Face Is Black Is True” and “And Justice For All: The United States Commission on Civil Rights and The Continuing Struggle For Freedom In America”

I think she’s in a way better position to be heeded then I am..

She had this to say to Politico:

Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans.But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.

And she’s right.. it all goes back to smoke and mirrors. On both sides.

Ok.. so before I get into this post, let me bring y’all up to speed by saying that I no longer have health insurance because I was laid off in July. Even if I would consider it, I am NOT eligible for state aid because I receive unemployment. I AM eligibile for a private HMO but have to wait through a 7 month “grace” period.

So with that said …

This past Wednesday, The Good Doctor’s husband came into the shop for turkey. Chief explains that he doesn’t have the turkey that The Good Doctor’s husband likes because I’ve been sick as a dog and without me in the shop or doing the running around, everything is on a skeleton.

The Good Doctor’s husband asks what’s wrong.. Chief goes into my litany of symptoms… and the Good Doctor’s husband tells Chief to have me call ASAP and they’ll fit me in.

So Chief calls me and I am SO NOT A HAPPY CAMPER. I don’t like going to doctors. He knows this but OBVIOUSLY is more concerned about my well being then I am. But now I’m in a bind because it’s The Good Doctor. Who is not only a super sweet person but a really good customer and since Chief had to open his big fat mouth and they’ll willing to fit me in.. I have to call.

Fuck.

It was around lunch time so I figured I’d wait an hour before I call. I tell him this.. he seems satisfied and I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Until my cell phone rang.

Until my cell phone rand that The Good Doctor’s name came up on the caller id.

Fuck! He gave them my freakin’ number.

He knows me SO well!

Wind up is is that I couldn’t be seen until Thursday at 11:15am.

I immediately call Chief and chastised him on giving out my cell phone number. But he knew the deal and was just glad that I made the appointment.

He wanted to come with me but since my appointment was at the start of his lunch rush, I told him I could go at it alone. I figured I’d be feeling better by the next day anyway and also, I didn’t want him there when they weighed me.

Trivial girly stuff.. but it is what it is so what can I tell you.

I actually am NOT feeling any better at the time of my appointment. And as I’m sitting in The Good Doctor’s waiting room I am suddenly overcome by the feeling of passing out. I only ALMOST passed out once and it wasn’t a nice feeling. It was so bad that I couldn’t even hold the pen to fill out the paperwork.

So I get all girly and sniffly and call Chief and tell him that I need him. The shop is only a few blocks away and he was there in an instant. And of course, as soon as he got there I started to feel better and told him he could leave. Of course, he looked at me like I was insane but I knew his mind was on the store and missing the lunch rush money and I started to feel guilty that I had even called him in the first place. But he felt that his place was with me so he stayed.

When we finally got called into the exam room and The Good Doctor started to exam me, and based on what I was telling her she says that there is a very real possibility that I contracted the Pig Virus :: H1N1 to all you non-rednecks :: and that if I had come in sooner she could have given me something that would have made me better faster.

Wonderful. What the hell can I tell you.

She then asked if I smoked. If Chief wasn’t there I would have lied and said that I was able to quit xx months ago or get all giddy and excited by telling her I HAVE XX DAYS CLEAN! but I couldn’t because he was there and so when I told her that I did, OMG.. her reaction was SO FREAKIN’ OVER THE TOP.

I mean.. ok. I know smoking is bad for you. Worse then bad. I get it. I really, really do. I know I’m setting myself up for all kinds of horrible things. And I’m NOT justifying it. I swear, I’m not. But she laid into me SO hard and SO fierce that I really just wanted say LOOK BITCH, CAN WE FOCUS ON THE PIG VIRUS HERE?

Seriously.. I felt like I was in one of the Scared Straight movies that they show teenagers about prison life.

She pulls out this paper with information on the patch and the gum and the things you suck on that will help you quit smoking and wouldn’t get off the subject until I agreed to use one of the above to stop. I played along and went with the things you suck on because they had a coffee flavored one.

The worse part of it all… is that when she gave me the inhaler medicine and the nasal spray.. she proceeded to tell me how much they would cost if I had to go to a pharmacy and get them and that it’s just a waste to give them to me if I’m not going to stop smoking. Then she proceeds to tell me that:

  • I shouldn’t even be seeing you because you don’t have insurance and it’s a big liability
  • If the president’s healthcare goes through, you wouldn’t even get treatment if you had cancer because you smoke.

Now.. ok.. so since when is getting paid in cash for an office visit more of a liability then being paid for an office visit by an insurance company?

I’ve worked both sides of health care for the past 23 years :: until I got laid off :: so I know how everything works .. and trust me, it’s not the way it’s being presented to the masses.

But I’m not getting into that.. I’m too exhausted and spent to go into all that now. Maybe later.

Anyway.. so she gives me the 200.00 a month inhaler and the 150.00 nasal spray :: but come one, they were samples and didn’t cost her anything :: and then writes me a script for 7 antibiotic pills that cost me 108.00.

I know she didn’t mean to make me feel like I was a dredge of society. But she did.. she made me feel like a failure because I didn’t have health insurance. She made me feel like I was just someone who was coping free medicine. She made me feel like I wasn’t up to her standard and the only reason why she lowered herself to treat me is because her husband loves Chief’s turkey.

She literally had me in tears and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.

On the way home, I told Chief that I absolutely hated him for making me go through with appointment and it was the kind of hate that would never be forgiven.

He said that was fine, as long as I was around long enough to hate him he didn’t care.

Now here’s the thing.. if you want to discuss it or debate it or whatever you can go right ahead but I’m not going to partake. I’ll just leave my 2 cents here for y’all to mull over:

If healthcare is going to be re-vamped, then it needs to be REVAMPED. You can’t half step this one. It’s so bad.. and so corrupt that it literally has to be restructured as a whole.. not bits and pieces of it.

Health Insurance should only be for long term treatments, surgeries, pregnancies and stuff like that. Everything else should be fee for service. You go to the doctors, you pay the doctor visit. If one doctor charges 50.00 a visit, then go to the one that charges 35. The fact that doctor’s do NOT see uninsured people only puts more strain on emergency rooms. We, as a country, are used to having things FAST. And I think because of that, we’ve forgotten when we really need to see a doctor. I can’t tell you how many people sat in the ER complaining of a sore throat.. or an earache.. or something really, really minor. All that did was tie up the ER and waste resources.

If the government is going to model health care on a foreign country, then they should model Italy’s. And I’m not just saying that because I’m Italian.. I’m saying that because I have relatives in Italy and we’ve had this discussion. No system is perfect. Not everybody’s “needs” will be met but we need to move away from what we think we are entitled to and get back to the way things were before we were indoctrinated with insurance is king.

Kids have all inclusive coverage from birth to age 16 .. the elderly are covered from 67 (I believe) on up.. again .. all inclusive. Or 70. I forget.

But doesn’t that make sense?

And how about this? If the government is SO amped on getting involved in this and instead of baiting and switching or money this or money that.. just open freakin’ clinics so that people who can’t afford private health care and who aren’t eligible for medicaid have a place to go to get care if they need it.

Oh.. and welfare? Yea.. make people work for it. Clean the streets.. scrub graffeti .. do what people who get community service have to do.. board up old houses for Christ sake.. something. Anything.

Benjamin Franklin said it best:

I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

Okay.. I think the meds are kicking in and I’m getting all scattered over here. My apologies.. I’ll end my rant now!

… so there’s been a pretty heated conversation going on between Jen512 and my buddy The Goober about healthcare. If you’re up for it, you can read it HERE.

I was going to post my episode recaps for Project Runway and Top Chef but I think this topic is a little more important.

NOTE: Just let me set the records straight before I go on my tirade. I am not a liberal.. conservative.. Democrat.. Republican.. a sheep.. or a lion. I am just someone who tries to live right.. tries to provide for my family and loves my country. I don’t trust politicians OR the judicial system for that matter so please don’t think that I have a hidden agenda or am just spewing what I hear from someone else. I keep an open mind about everything and am the first one to google something I don’t understand before I form an opinion about it.

With that said…

Before I met Chief, I had very little :: okay, NONE :: experience with my state’s welfare system. I grew up in I guess you could say a lower-middle class :: or high lower class :: neighborhood where no one really knew they didn’t have anything because we had what we needed :: food on the table, roof over our heads, etc. :: and everyone was basically in the same position that my family was.

We went to Catholic school, went to college and then went to work. We got married.. bought cars and houses and didn’t have any of the drama that you routinely hear about on the news on in the paper.

When I met Chief, he was a working as a chef for a ridiculously high end caterer :: they wouldn’t do a wedding unless the price tag was a minimum of 50 grand :: but was making half of what I was making an hour. In fact, he was making less then an entry level position for the company that I worked for.  He was trying to raise 3 kids without any type of child support because all the judges he and the crack whore went before fell for her sob stories.

According to assistance limits, he was making too much money to get on any type of program that would help with electricity bills or heating bills but was able to get about 180.00 a month in food stamps.

That’s basically 6 bucks a day.

Which the state immediately cut off when he went on unemployment.

NOTE: There is a “down” time in catering and generally you work 8 months and then are laid off for 4 months. Carpenters go through the same thing.

If you think it was hard financially when he was working, imagine how hard it was when he was on unemployment. It was that reason why he decided to open up the store. The way we figured it on paper, my paycheck would be able to handle all the household stuff while his unemployment would go towards opening the store.. and then the store would be able to pay for itself.

He was smart.. and it worked. It was hard.. it was :: and still is :: 20 hour days and a lot of  sacrificing and a lot of worry and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

I’m not complaining. It’s just how it is. We chose to open a store.. we knew it was going to take a lot of inner strength.. outer elbow grease.. and a lot of praying.

To say we work hard is an understatement. You can ask any one of customers and they will tell you that we do the very best that we can to give our customers things that they want that they can afford.

But what torques the hell out of my Chinese food suffering bowels is that while we are constantly pushing.. constantly striving.. constantly trying to make sure all our bases are covered, there are people that I wait on everyday who are just skating through life.. and think they are ENTITLED TO SKATE THROUGH LIFE.

The Crack Whore can run an air conditioner in every damn window of her apartment 24/7 and doesn’t have to care about what her electric bill is because she doesn’t HAVE TO PAY her electric bill.

She’s on welfare… the state pays it.

And guess what? On Tuesday, MY electricity was turned off because I owed a 28.00 back balance.

You read that right…

FOR 28.00 FUCKING DOLLARS, THEY CUT MY ELECTRICITY OFF.

Or how about this one:

One of my regular customers came in on Monday asking if she could get a few things to hold her family over until her husband got paid on Wednesday. Knowing that she has kids to feed, I said “sure”. So she got something like 25.00 worth of stuff.

As I was slicing her lunch meat, she tells me that she will be having Gastric Bypass surgery in October.

Now, there’s no denying that she’s over-weight. But Gastric Bypass? There’s no way that I would have thought that she’d be a candidate for it. I know people personally that have had the surgery and they were OBESE. Like, can’t fit through the front door obese. This woman is no where near that size.

But guess what? She’s on welfare.. so guess who’s paying for the surgery?

At any rate.. it wasn’t even that pissed me off so much.. on Wednesday, she came in to pay her bill with her mother. While she was waiting for me to finish up with a few people in front of her, she started checking our our shelves saying that she had her first nutrition meeting and was looking for things that she would be able to eat after her surgery.

She then tells me that what she is going to do is join Nutri-Systems after her surgery so she doesn’t have to worry about counting calories or proteins or whatever the hell she has to check.

You know what the going rate is for a monthly subscription to Nutri-System?

299.95 A MONTH!

You can’t make your fucking money stretch so you have to ask for credit from me to feed your kids but you’re going to spend three hundred dollars a month for Nutri-Systems???

WHAT THE FUCK!

So.. as delicately as I can be.. I asked her how she was going to be able to swing it and you know what her answer was?

“… oh, the state is paying for it because I have to have the surgery for medical reasons”

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??

I had to swallow my tongue because you see.. years ago.. I was 12 sizes bigger then I am now. I’m not that big anymore because I just started to eat right and I exercised. A lot. And eventually, I got down to a size 12.

No surgery .. no state paid food delivery service.. nothing but determination and commitment.

Then there was the whole glasses fiasco.

I needed new glasses and Chief needed glasses period. My insurance basically covered the exam.. the frames.. and the lenses but not anything extra like transitions :: where the lens get dark automatically in sunlight :: or UV protection or that kind of stuff. Chief needed a bifocal so because that was out of pocket also, I had to give up the transitions so that he could have the bifocals.

Okay.. whatever.. his was more important then mine and we could have only afforded one so the bifocals it was.

Two weeks ago, Weed came into the store and I forget how the subject even came up but he pulled out his little welfare medical card and said, “… I LOVE this thing. Do you know that I got two pairs of glasses that turn into sunglasses.. and I didn’t even NEED them I just got them because I could.”

Remember that scene in Austin Powers when the mannequins head explode?

Yea. That was me.

Oh.. and did I also tell you that the state is paying for him to get his G.E.D and is giving him a laptop so that he could study and look for a job? All because HE WENT TO JAIL FOR BURGLARY AND DEALING?

Or how about the woman that comes in bitching that her 700.00 a month in food stamps isn’t enough?

Or the other woman who BUYS a food stamp card from some barfly for half the amount in cash?

Or the couple who come in saying that yes, they can afford to have a second baby because they’ll be getting more food stamps when the baby is born?

Is it me or is something wrong here?

Why can’t the widowed father of 5 kids get any type of help from the state because omg.. he actually has a JOB.. but a baby making factory can get free food, free housing and a monthly cash stipend and is doing NOTHING to make her life better? Because to HER .. her life is SWEET.

“… I ain’t gotsta do nuffin’. Dey gotsta give me my money” .. that being an actual conversation I had when I asked what she was going to do when the state finally goes bankrupt and her food stamp card becomes useless

Some would say that I have nothing to bitch about because I choose to accept the food stamp card in my store. But I couldn’t have a store unless I take food stamps. The majority of my customers are on it.. and instead of having a moral struggle with it, I just feel like I’m basically getting my own money back.. since as a working person, my taxes go to providing them their lifestyle.

So you’ll have to forgive me when I hear about how the current administration wants to give MORE of my hard earned income to somebody else.

I’m struggling but because I had a job.. and I own a store.. nobody cares. Nobody is giving my kids free school supplies.. or school clothes.. or lunches.

No one cares about how I’m going to make my next car payment or utility payment or the fact that I had to cut out a lot of things that we’ve become accustomed to in order to keep a roof over our heads.

As long as there are more people with their hand out then there are with their hands in their pocket.. we are going to be forced to dish it out. And that’s just plain wrong.

Give a man to fish and he’ll eat for one day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat everyday

… or something like that.

For more details on Food Stamps, read THIS post that I wrote back in April

<< end rant >>

DISCLAIMER: Healthcare, Hospital Revenue, Insurance Companies, et al is my field. I’ve been working in the industry :: on both sides :: for almost 20 years. Whether I worked on the insurance side or the hospital revenue side, my role was alot more then just punching keys or answering phones so I know of what I speak.

I’ve been hearing about National Healthcare since the days before Hilary had a make over

NOTE: Not to get off topic but did you see her recently? Maybe about a week or so ago when she was being questioned about something by some committee. Good Lord Woman, do you NOT have a mirror in your plastic surgeons office?

And then.. as it is now.. National Healthcare is NOT a good idea. At all.

The health system that I work for has an extremely high uninsured demographic. Most people that walk through our door are below the poverty level.. do not work.. and if they DO work.. they don’t have coverage through their job, can afford independent insurance and make just alittle too much to quality for state aid.

So they come through the ER with such minor ailments like stomach aches, ear ache or my personal favorite: I just don’t feel right :: that was a true statment made by a patient :: because they know that in the ER they have to be seen and treated. They have to be seen, treated and we are under state mandates that does not allow us to even MENTION anything financial until the patient is released. The yea.. Good luck running through the parking lot to catch up with them.

And even though my health system recognzies the fact that the majority of people walking through their doors don’t have the provervbial pot to release waste .. and even though they’ve gone through great pains to try and alleviate some of the challanges to receive payment from these types of patients, there is only so much they can do.

So I understand the need for everyone to be covered by insurance. And every body SHOULD have health benefits.

BUT NOT NATIONALIZED HEALTH COVERAGE.

I’m almost certain that every state has an indigent program available. I’m almost certain that every state has an low-income program and I know that in my state, every child CAN have coverage, all you have to do is apply for it. Every major insurance payer in my area has some sort of very low cost coverage for adults that is around 35.00 a month.

There is no reason, in this day and age, for a person NOT to be covered.

What people WANT though… is the best of the best and not pay for it.

They want the insurance that I pay over 200.00 a month for.. for free.

And that’s the point. You get what you pay for.

Do you really think that if the government implements nationalized health care you’re going to get the best of the best?

The thing about free enterprise, even in health care, is that it makes companies compete and that bodes well for the consumer.

Think about physicians. If there was no incentive :: not that physician’s are in the field just for the money :: that what would make them want to excel in their studies?

NOTE: Just to give you something to think about. My sister-in-law is a kidney specialist who was schooled who attended med school at Georgetown and did her residencies and interships at University of Pennsylvania. People assume :: and I did to :: that she was pulling in major bucks. In truth she was.. but a majority of her major bucks went to her student loans.. of which, almost 20 years later she is still paying back.

Anyway.. do you really want the government to dictate your health? To dictate what treatment you can, can’t or have to wait for? Do you REALLY want the government to tell you or a family member that they aren’t a “good” candidate for a procedure because they are too old or too sick and it would be a waste of resources to treat them?

You think I got that out of a sci-fi novel?

Nope. All true.

And if you don’t believe me.. the BEST place study nationalized healthcare is NOT Canada… is NOT England..

It’s your local VA hospital… a governement run institution

You REALLY want nationalized health care then go talk to the veterans at the VA Hospital and ask them how THEY feel about the treatment they are getting then come back and try to convince me that I’m off base.