Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Private Equity Winds Changing their Tack? Private Equity = Government Policy, so Pay Attention!

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Unless a lifetime of welfare, begging, or fighting in the courts sounds like fun, I suggest people learn to get a grip (understand), if not from me, from someone better equipped to relate this — about which way the winds are blowing, which is to say, which way the money (income-producing assets, aka “wealth”) is flowing.

We ought to have a post — or a page at a minimum — on the Carlyle Group (a very interesting history), at a minimum at least 150 years of recent history spanning two or three continents (like: United States, Europe (London, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. — and Africa). I got a start on another blog over at:



I figure there are different approaches:

Passive — let someone else deal with it, and think about it, and go back to work (thereby contributing to the problem — by contributing to the investment platform which, given a little attention, it’s pretty obvious workers are doing. Which sheds a different understanding on the whole concept of the income tax, the Social Security Act, (social services per se) and a lot more.

Active — jump in, and by doing also get the understanding, and at least improve your personal situation. This should also free up some time for more political activity, which is definitely needed.

ANYHOW — here’s a Pension and Investments on-line that as of 12/27/2010 is reporting on the largest FOUNDATIONS based on their pension holdings, for the year 2009.

What amazes me is that, having done so many lookups, so very many of them have been dumping money into the courts, and promoting marriage and fatherhood, not to mention adoption incentives. I don’t see that any of them are particularly feminist or concerned about violence towards mothers AFTER they separate from abusive fathers…. Here’s that list.

I’m going to talk about #17 in this post. I brought up #5 in a post yesterday (CDRC post) and FYI, Ford, Robert Wood Johnson, Kellog, John d and Catherine T. MacAthur, Lilly (of course0, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Charles Stewart Mott, Cargill (although I forget for what) and others HAVE come up when it comes to family court matters. As has The Tulsa Initiative.

My first indicator was learning that MDRC (formerly Manpower Development Research Corporation), on which Ron Haskins, Isabella Sawhill and some others sit as board members — was formed in 1974 as a cooperative effort between FEDERAL government and PRIVATE agencies. I started reporting on it (particularly its piechart page showing funding) and “outing’ the multiple fatherhood demonstration projects written up in glowing terms (Parents Fair Share) which – from other web sources — were rife with overbilling, and subjected to audits. These foundations are all over the map (geographically) and “like white on rice’ when it comes to matters of controlling individual families’ relationships with their own (or so they thought!) kids!

So, at least read the list, OK?
From:

Pensions&Investments

(Pionline.com article dated 12/27/2010. Merry Christmas)

Largest foundations
Ranked by total assets, in U.S. billions, as of Dec. 31, 2009, unless otherwise noted.

Rank Foundation  Assets ($Billions)
1 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation $33.91
2 Ford Foundation1 $10.37
3 J. Paul Getty Trust2 $9.34
4 The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation $8.49
5 The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation $6.87
6 W. K. Kellogg Foundation3 $6.81
7 The David and Lucile Packard Foundation $5.70
8 The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation $5.24
9 Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation $5.20
10 Lilly Endowment Inc. $5.15
11 The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation $5.05
12 Tulsa Community Foundation4 $3.80
13 The Rockefeller Foundation $3.32
14 The Kresge Foundation $3.13
15 The California Endowment5 $3.08
16 The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust6 $2.67
17 The Annie E. Casey Foundation $2.64
18 The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation4 $2.52
19 The Duke Endowment $2.48
20 Carnegie Corporation of New York1 $2.43
21 Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Inc. $2.40
22 Margaret A. Cargill Foundation4 $2.12
23 Charles Stewart Mott Foundation $2.08
24 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation $2.08
25 Conrad N. Hilton Foundation $1.98
26 Walton Family Foundation, Inc.4 $1.95
27 Open Society Institute4 $1.93
28 The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc.5 $1.77
29 Casey Family Programs4 $1.76
30 Silicon Valley Community Foundation $1.75
31 The New York Community Trust $1.74
32 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation $1.62
33 Kimbell Art Foundation4 $1.61
34 The Annenberg Foundation2 $1.60
35 The Cleveland Foundation4 $1.60
36 The McKnight Foundation4 $1.58
37 The Bloomberg Family Foundation, Inc.4 $1.57
38 Richard King Mellon Foundation4 $1.53
39 Doris Duke Charitable Foundation $1.53
40 The Chicago Community Trust1 $1.50
41 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation4 $1.49
42 The James Irvine Foundation $1.45
43 Houston Endowment Inc. $1.43
44 The Simons Foundation2 $1.41
45 The Heinz Endowments $1.37
46 Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation4 $1.35
47 The Wallace Foundation $1.28
48 The Starr Foundation4 $1.20
49 Daniels Fund $1.13
50 California Community Foundation7 $1.12

Notes: 1: Data are as of Sept. 30, 2009. 2: Data are as of June 30, 2009. 3: Data are as of Aug. 31, 2009. 4: Data are as of Dec. 31, 2008. 5: Data are as of Feb. 28, 2009. 6: Data are as of March 31, 2009. 7: Data are as of June 30, 2010. Source: The Foundation Center


Through collective government investments from all individual governments across the United States, the government owns most of the major corporations in America, and beyond.

I’ll say it again, in a different way. Collectively, through investment, the United States government owns most major corporations and just about everything else in America.

It really boils down to economics, which are of course connected as well. So, like it or not, we ALL have to understand more than we do, and quit speaking into the air, without understanding what the walls of the room resonate to. As it turns out, a whole lot of private funding drives public policy that builds the rooms we are shouting about court corruption (etc.) in.

Look at a recent Wall Street Journal on how Private Equity Buyout Firms are now Building — Dams — instead:

Private Equity Firms Build Instead of Buy”

(the title is also a link to the article)
May 14, 2013, Wall Street Journal, in “Markets.” See photo:

The private-equity firm Blackstone, branching out from corporate takeovers, built a hydropower dam, above, on the White Nile in Uganda.

BUJAGALI, Uganda—A new dam at the headwaters of the White Nile, nearly 20 years in the making, generates almost half of this East African country’s electricity.

Its owner isn’t a state utility or an energy giant. It is Blackstone Group LP, best known for corporate takeovers.

The private-equity firm built the dam with partners and has a contract with energy-hungry Uganda to sell it power at rates that ensure profits for Blackstone for years to come.

The project, fraught with holdups that included a pirate hijacking and rituals to appease spirits before flooding an island, has little in common with the debt-fueled billion-dollar buyouts Blackstone helped popularize.

But the firm and its rivals increasingly are moving beyond the buyout playbook in search of other, sometimes unfamiliar sources of profit: drilling for oil in Oklahoma, building tract homes in North Dakota or shipping gasoline on the high seas.

What does private equity have to do with family courts, child protection, or anything else?
Well, guess where I heard about Blackstone (let alone Carlyle, another formerly Private Equity firm)?

Annie E. Casey Foundation. Here’s a fancy (visually clear, graphics, color, well-designed) January 2012 publication (just found) on an “AECF.org” (Annie E. Casey Foundation) website. It’s called “Skin In The Game” regarding Arizonans and put out by Children’s Advocacy Alliance (Board membership at the very back page).

Up front (about page 2) it quotes a billionaire founder of private equity Blackstone Group as saying Arizonans don’t have enough “skin in the game” — and this brochure is countering that, I gather in opposition to a movement for a flat tax to replace the graduated income tax. The general tone is Annie E. Casey is going to speak up for the poor people against this billionaire’s unfair mindset, from The Blackstone Group. Take a look: Page 3 is the Blackstone quote, look at a few other pages from this “Children’s Advocacy Alliance” of Arizona.

Annie E. Casey and its Foundation is all over the family court arena (especially when it comes to foster care and promoting responsible fatherhood). I have a topic over at Scranton Political Times on some of their involvements. They are a major philanthropy.

Look at how AECF makes ITS income: — here’s its 1999 tax return

:

http://207.153.189.83/EINS/521951681/521951681_1999_00006659.pdf
As you can see from the URL, for the record, EIN# 52-1951681.
Annie E. Casey Foundation, INC. is a Private Exempt Foundation based in Baltimore, and its “FMV” of all assets at the end of this year (cash basis, not accrual) shows as $3.6 billion: that’s $3,626,229,530. (that,s about 14 years ago…. Wonder what it is in 2013!).

“The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. It was established in 1948 by Jim Casey, one of the founders of UPS, and his siblings, who named the Foundation in honor of their mother.”

This doesn’t need major contributions, but got over $1 million in 1999; however the primary income seems to come from these categories:

$2,267,309 = Interest on Savings and Temporary Cash Investments:
$50,208,214 = Dividends and interest from SECURITIES.
$69,875,572 = Net gain (or loss) from sale of assets not on line 10 (which is, net income from sales)
Not too bad. Now, after all the income, the EXPENSES. Compensation of officers & directors — very moderate. Employees, about $5 million. Add in pension plan, legal fees, travel/conferences (guess on what? A lot of things involving foster care, or “models for change” demonstration projects, i.e., let’s practice on an entire STATE), printing and publication, professional fees, and “other” ($7+million), they also gave away (CONTRIBUTIONS/GRANTS) Over $103 million.

Resulting in a net loss (which this foundation obviously could afford!) of – $3.09 million.
(In general — start reading some of these grants). Its 5 employees (President, VP, etc.) are VERY well paid, as well as contractors. They are active in the following states (in 1999):

Connecticut – Delaware – Maine – Maryland — Massachusetts – New Hampshire – New York – Pennsylvania — Rhode Island – Texas – Virginia – Washington – Washington, D.C.

What areas do we think they might be active in? (well, follow the grants) — here’s an indication:
(Search Results, first of several pages) Responsible Fatherhood/Healthy Marriage studies at AECF.

Statement 6 (of the tax return) lists the eight-five (85) (3 pages worth) of grantees (including “Bar Association of San Diego” and several others in a variety of states; a Center for Policy Studies (which one, TBA). This appears to be around $103 million total; it has influence!)

Many of these grants are to an organization which is a Fiscal Agent for a specific initiative. Therefore, this foundation is directly funding certain initiatives, which wouldn’t be known to the general public, unless they read those tax returns.

For example, grants about 75-79 (roughly speaking) were to the Tides Foundation (known as a LARGE progressive, umbrella funding source for other causes, and fiscal agent for plenty of groups — in San Francisco). For example, if you’ve heard of “Stop Family Violence” (Irene Weiser), some years back it was more active — that’s a Tides Project.

Grantee #78 — Tides Center (which is in San Francisco)
Fiscal agent for “Social Policy Action Network” (which is in DC)
Grant 98.166 — $20K and $100K (1998, 1999)
Provide Assistance to the Fathers and Families Initiative.

or, Grantee #74 — Tate George Dreamshot Foundation
99 Pratt Street #624, Hartford, CT
Grant 99.2044
Support for the “Dads Do Make a Difference” project — $10,000

So what difference is $10K going to make? Well, who knows, but here’s the testimony of the co-founder of the “Tate George Dreamshot Foundation” — a single mother — testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee on “Dads Do Make a Difference (r)” (please notice, it’s a trademark)! On the importance of fatherhood involvement. Suppose I looked up just this ONE grantee, the $10,000 donated from AECF, through which AECF gets to support “Dads Do Make A Difference” (notably, the Casey fortune was made in UPS from a family which lost its Dad)…

Statement of Lisa A. Nkonoki, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Tate George Dreamshot Foundation, Newington, Connecticut
Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Human Resources
of the House Committee on Ways and Means

Hearing on Fatherhood
April 27, 1999

Dads Do Make A Difference is a positive movement with a message. Working with Dads and kids is a transformative, and sometimes eye-opening experience. Most importantly, it?s an opportunity to capture or recapture something we all have in common…a father. One of the ?DDMAD? missions being, to increase the positive interactions of dads and other positive males and kids.

Many of us are blessed to share the experience with a dad, and still far to many of us share a common void, a lifetime scar from the lack of having that father involved in our lives for a variety of reasons. In many cases, nothing will replace or erase the pain, which often times is far too great for many of us to bear. Studies clearly show the positive impact that an involved father has on his children whether they live in the same household or not, when it comes to education and self esteem. However, when this is not an option, we also know through the DDMAD Project, being able to talk about it, and realizing that you are not alone, and sharing other like experiences can be healthy, and hopefully will help us to positively move forward, leaving any negative feelings, or embarrassment behind and finally being at peace with our place, and those who put us here on this planet.

Turns out Ms. Nkonoki is also a founding member of “Women in Fatherhood Inc.” (which took some HHS grants) also a heavily Annie E. Casey connected organization (nonprofit), and not your typical single mother, given media experience and Congressional connections:

Who is Lisa Nkonoki?
Lisa has an incredible resume! By the age of 18, she had worked in her grandfather’s fish market; produced and co-hosted a television show, What About Women; was a press intern on Capitol Hill for a Connecticut Congressman; worked in radio management as a media trainee; and ventured to Hollywood to work with legendary producer Norman Lear on his hit television shows behind the scenes.

Lisa is regarded as the first single mom in the country to start, advocate, and cheer on a positive program for dads.
Lisa’s testimony in front of a congressional committee back in April 1999, was a catalyst in the now thriving Fatherhood Movement across the country.

Her “Dads Do Make A Difference”  Program has provided direct service to more than 10,000 dads and families in CT and beyond, creating awareness as well as a national movement. She is also the founding member of  “Women in Fatherhood,” fighting for fairness for families in court, and has served as a consultant around key fatherhood issues for the Annie E Casey Foundation.

Tate George, turns out, had the confidence to take that 16-footer dreamshot in 1990, despite having been terribly burdened (raised by a single mother), somehow looks like he came out OK — although he’s separated from his wife:

Archive: Taking His Best Shot In The Business Arena Ex-UConn Hero Tate George Still Pursuing Dreams
September 28, 1999|By PATRICIA SEREMET, The Hartford Courant
Every blue and white-blooded UConn fan remembers the shot.

NCAA game, March 22, 1990, at The Meadowlands. One second left on the clock, UConn down by one.

Freshman Scott Burrell throws the ball full court to senior captain Tate George. He makes a 16-foot turnaround jumper from the right corner to give UConn a 71-70 win over Clemson and advance UConn to the final 8.

“It’s Late, It’s Tate, It’s Great,” read The Courant’s front-page headline the next day. UConn went on to lose to Duke that year, but the shot was immortalized — locally anyhow — as the dream shot.

In the huddle, George said, he wasn’t supposed to be the man to take it. But he felt confident enough, he said, that he whispered “give it to me” to Burrell, who was a freshman and obeyed. As he pursues life as an entrepreneur, where “nothing but net” means profits, not points, George still sees himself as the “go-to” guy.

It’s almost 10 years since that shot. Hardly a day goes by that somebody doesn’t make a comment to him about it, or tell where they were when it went in.

So what’s Tate’s fate since that famous date?

Weighing 230, George has packed only 10 pounds onto his 6-foot-5 frame since playing in the pros. He lives in Farmington, and plays ball regularly with “a bunch of lawyers, doctors, and frustrated athletes” at St. Joseph College, and at Storrs with the UConn team in practice. He lifts weights in repetition, alternating chest, back, arms, legs.



George isn’t crying. In fact, as he dined on salmon in a mango salsa sauce at The Savannah one recent afternoon, he looked pretty happy.

He also looked really happy the night that UConn beat Duke in the Final Four. He was a commentator for Channel 3, kissed sportscaster Joe Tessitore, lit up a cigar, and sang “Heaven Must Be Like This,” a song his mother used to play on the record player back in Jersey.

He enjoyed it. In fact, he’s been a basketball commentator for ESPN International with his English voice over games in 152 countries.

But he doesn’t see himself doing TV and radio commentary full time.

“I have so many other aspirations,” George said. “I don’t want to get pigeon-holed.”

He keeps up with the Tate George Dream Shot Foundation, which he started in 1992 with Lisa Nkonoki to encourage young people to pursue their dreams. One of its most notable programs is “Dads Do Make a Difference,” which encourages young men, particularly fathers, to be positive role models by sponsoring dads-and-kids events.

“I grew up in a single-parent home,” George said. “Kids need positive males in their life, even if they’re not their father. God bless women. But boys can’t be men unless they see one.”

Although he is separated from his wife of five years, George said he is devoted to his two daughters, Jasmine, 9, and Alexys, 4.

The tax return is over 700 -pages long, as it describes the grants individually….

Almost every “veteran” of the family and conciliation courts,* who has had to either pay, or attempt to collect (or both) child support, or file anything related to safety (of self or child), or defend against being filed against — is going to have something to say. We all have our experiences, and viewpoints on those experiences.

What I am looking for is not just the experiences (often they are bad), or the stories — but how these stories assemble into identifiable patterns, which can connect the dots without leaving out 75% of the picture.

*many who are also veterans of the US military, or children of veterans of wars.

This long overdue contact form is intended to start conversations; hopefully intelligent ones (seeking information and understanding is intelligent behavior; contributing to others understanding IF you have processed some of what you’re contributing is also intelligent behavior). Joining a cult because the cult has press coverage — probably is not.

Looking at tax returns is.

I am a system, conceptual thinker (sorry, goes with the territory) who also can and will want to look at details to see if the patterns of the details prove or disprove the larger concept I have of the system.


TIME is LIFE (LIFE consists of TIME which goes by). Going through certain kinds of hell (good description) and pain (very good description) does teach you some things, one of which is, the importance of judgment, another which is the importance of understanding the larger (political, governmental, judicial, cultural) etc. environment we are in. I was in an abusive marriage, and got out (sort of) — but was a complete novice towards the court system, other than the value judgment — screwed up, deaf dumb and blind to ongoing risk.

I found that experiential and anecdotal learning wasn’t enough. I also learned that knowing the vocabulary of domestic violence (as helpful as that was a leverage to decide to get OUT) was not enough. The vocabulary and understanding I would’ve liked earlier — was the understanding of the Conciliation Courts (overall) and of the Welfare-Reform-Transformation which included among its clothing, the swishing robes and coat-tails of healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood funding. In other words, Liz Richards, Cindy Ross, and Marv Byer — who ALL wrote about some of this — were not enough.

I had to actually look at the HHS grants (through TAGGS.hhs.gov) and look up grantees (enough of them) to grasp the understanding. AFter enough of that to convince myself (and possibly show others) that the actual purpose of that welfare reform concept was to UP FRONT engineer system change — and enable unbelievable quantity of money-laundering through HHS, which (it turns out) also connects to HUD — to understand, we are in an entirely different ballpark (and ballgame) than meets the eye.

After realizing that the HHS lookups exceeded the limits of my personal:

time
technology
finances

I ran across and comprehended enough of the “CAFR” (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) material (there’s a drop-down link for it, above, and I have links on this blog) to see that these statements literally ORGANIZE the FINANCIAL INFORMATION of GOVERNMENT.

A hyperactive, geographical listing of governments and enterprise authorities within each state, probably does exist (somewhere in government possession) — but good luck for the public to find it, or produce one.

However, being aware that this situation exists lets us put the information constantly shoved in our face (on any given topic) in a different context.

Also, if you only read TWO of my posts (even parts of them) — I highly recommend “A Stunning Validation” (Feb. 2013 and a page) which puts Psychology (and “The Etiology of Hysteria” – Freud’s 1895 presentation) in its proper place (1970s version, Dr. Phyllis Chesler, “Women & Madness”). . . . and also, the “Look It Up (Impromptu) page which shows us to LOOK UP THOSE NONPROFITS.

The nonprofits are not the big guys. They are working for the “big guys” primarily foundations and/or government. There’s no question in my mind that the basic information available to the average citizen wanting information — is not available on the average Secretary of State website listing business entities (for example, look at California’s), or available on even the public access HHS grants page — is not available to this individual/citizen in a form really useful to them. It doesn’t go back far enough. It doesn’t sort on enough fields. For example, you can’t run a TAGGS.hhs.gov advanced search specifying grantee EIN# or DUNS# — it’s a several-step process. Our own government has the information (in a databse), but we don’t have access to it, even though our, and our (forebears’) own wages (taxed, income taxe) etc. provided an initiatl assets based (which produces income through investments and interest, etc.) for all this to be built up.

SO — I am running out the clock on investing much more in this blog. I have been at it for four years, and “blogging” is not the best format. However, blogging is what I have — and now is your time, sa a viewer, and intelligent individual with life experience, and viewpoints (ON this topic, I mean) — to speak up.

I ask, of course, that people who choose to respond are respectful enough to either respond truthfully, or just don’t respond. We shall see what happens. I do know it’s getting steadily (FYI), generally from 100 to 200 hits a day — very moderate, but still respectable. These days, some of that is spam.

I would never have put this time into a blog were it not also helping me learn — and did I not consider the information REALLY valuable. Now it’s your turn (not that my learning curve will stop meanwhile).



I previously studied the AEC investments (can’t find the link currently). However, it holds SECURITIES — which means debts — in other corporations with a view towards a good return on assets. An article states a new CIO officer was named for the foundation:

Stefan Strein was named vice president and chief investment officer of the $2.7 billion Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore.

Mr. Strein replaces Burton Sonenstein, who will retire in December.
Mr. Strein was managing director of investments at the foundation.

In an interview, Patrick McCarthy, foundation president and CEO, praised Mr. Sonenstein for diversifying the foundation’s portfolio and delivering “outstanding results” even in the most recent volatile markets.

We were heavily in traditional equity investments, and Burt and the investment team helped us take on broader and more diversified investments,” Mr. McCarthy said. Mr. Sonenstein also developed the foundation’s social investment program, which devotes 5% of the foundation’s assets to loans and venture equities related to the foundation’s mission of helping children in America.

Mr. Strein, who started in 2005 as manager of alternative investments, developed portfolios for private capital strategies and hedge funds that now comprise 40% of endowment assets.

The foundation is looking to reorganize its investment team to replace Mr. Strein and also consider changes to its investment asset allocation, Mr. McCarthy said. “We constantly revisit our overall allocation, but we don’t see any immediate need,” he said.

The investment portfolio earned a compound annualized 7% in the 10 years ended Dec. 31, 2011.

Written by Let's Get Honest

May 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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