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.

“Let’s Get Honest” about Your Tax Dollars (USA)

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I openly admit that this blog has a point of view flavored by my life, research, associations, and of course opinions.

THIS page, however, is most likely where some of the hard (uncomfortably so) data can be found, or links to it, so we may take a closer look at WHAT is being STUDIED by WHOM for HOW MUCH and WHY.  

All of these data have histories.  You may be upset (I was), you may be curious (I am), and you will most certainly learn MUCH about the origins of many of the research institutes, paid for by government grants (a.k.a., you, or people you probably know, en masse).  Some of them are staffed by Harvard Psychiatrists, others were initiated by XY and Z.  What will most likely grab our attention, though, is the vast, vast extent of the dollars spent.  

 

Certain types of funding can be traced back, at least chronologically, to the year, 1995 (See blog roll and then-President Clinton’s directive to revamp all agencies to address the father issue).  For one example ONLY, I searched JUST the word “fathers’ and came up with 204 search results, the largest of which, naturally, I clicked on and looked into.  It was for over $9 million, and the principal investigator then apparently moved (or began working for) to a different organization.  That Organization, since 1995 (the famous year) has received over $118 million of HSS grant dollars alone (not including other ones) to study what it studies.  Hint:  It is based in Oregon.  

I just happen to think that we ought to pay attention to these things, inbetween court hearings, or, if you drive a car that allows it, when in a traffic jam en route to work, or to picking up your kid from another government-run institution, school (if yours is in one of these).  I only have the time and high motivation to do this presently is that government intervention in my life has produced total unemployment where it did NOT exist before.  Thats’ impressive, and if this is the plan, it is quite well, thank you.   I myself sought for a few years to find some grants of pro bono legal help to either enforce child support, or help me create a safety zone in which to work long enough, as a single parent, to no longer need such help.  I had the willingness, the job skills, the location and housing even (most times) and the connections.  And the degrees and training to do so.  I do not think one could be more highly both qualified and motivated to do than I was.  I was indeed doing it, look forward to documenting in more than one arena HOW the family court system, needlessly disassembled a family life, and enabled the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence ONE MORE GENERATION down the line.  It has spread backwards, sideways and downwards, principally as reflected in relationships and incomes and has occupied approximately one-third of my adult life in dealing with.

I think I deserve a few answers, as to others, and I do think that where this information is publically available, it should be posted, inbetween the discussions about whether April is Child Sexual Abuse Awareness month, or Parental Alienation Awareness month, or both.  Violence Against Women Awareness month (or whatever its proper term) occurs regularly in October, and as far as I can tell, lots of people are making their professions and professional reputations on studying  these things.  So, I choose to study back (and report back).  WHO KNOWS?  Maybe someday a grant will be allocated to reporting the results.

I have a tentative theory (based on overview of last few months) that the shift to studying human behavior as a science relates somewhat to World Wars I and II, which so radically shifted the work landscape for American (and other) families, created hosts of orphans and widows, and institutions housing them, which thereafter affected people’s lives, of course.  

Widows and orphans are still happening on an individual but cumulatively, TOO MUCH, as we speak.  I don’t know that this is going to be entirely eradicated, BUT, I do object to HHS_funded programs speeding the process, or doing nothing to slow it while we are, through the government, paying experts who are pleased to study it year after year after year on the government dole.  WHO is monitoring the cost to benefit ratio?  

Women (Rosie the Riveter, et al) went to work while men went to war.  The men, or the survivors, came back home and wanted their jobs back, naturally, and the women were told to go back home.  Norman Rockwell paintings helped ensconce this value (no, I don’t know his dates, I do know the pictures, and sensed in my marriage that I was somehow supposed to be either home and barefoot, but not too often pregnant (because of the expense) AND go out and bring home the bacon, and produce something resembling that painting.  In short, I think I was to compensate for a bodily present but mentally/emotionally absent family of origin for my ex.  

Women were having identity issues, obviously, and feminism happened.  I have lived in the feminism back-lash arena, and it is fierce.  Hate talk and woman-dissing circulates still throughout the churches (at least where I was), in depressingly similar variety of forms, while in other forms, there are honor killings.  These views of the human nature, gender, and family, are sometimes virulent, as they always have been.

Where I have to say, “let’s Get Honest” though is in the usage of some of these federal dollars to shape human destinies at home.

This is just a start:

Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System (TAGGS) FY2008 Annual Report

http://www.hhs.gov/grantsnet/FundAbout.htm

Foreword

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the principal United States (U.S.) government agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services to those in need. As one of the largest federal departments, the nation’s largest health insurer, and the largest grant-making agency, HHS represents almost a quarter of all federal outlays and administers more grant dollars than all other federal agencies combined. HHS manages an array of grant programs in basic and applied science, public health, income support, child development, and {Last but not least, what its function says it does…} health and social services. Collectively these programs are the Department’s primary means to achieve its strategic goals and objectives, described in the FY 2007-2012 HHS Strategic Plan (see Appendix A). The top 50 programs by award amount are identified in Appendix B.

Two questions that come to my mind are, since when is it Federal Government’s mandate to develop children?  What are they, a hatcherie?  And who am I, a surrogate mother?  I myself took 9 months (each) incubating my own, and thereafter, we homeschooled, and the children were fed, housed, clothed (after a reasonable if not trendy or consumer-consumptive fashion) and are as far as I know, of this date, law abiding, almost grown, and non-substance abusing almost-adults.  Beyond that, I loved them, and their presence greatly enriched my understanding and appreciation of life, and as a teacher also, of learning.  they brought joy and a purpose and focus to this life and how I am spending it.  

At no point did I conceive of (sorry ’bout the pun, I’m female) either child being the substance of nationwide and international studies on what humanity IS, or should be doing.  That was not the purpose of having children.  The purpose of having children was not to provide a test ground for therapeutic drugs, or add to the populations on which random sampling of various policies might be made.  And I HAVE researched, and my state and area WAS among the random demonstration project areas for “new improved” processes.  

We have been subjected to these processes, resulting, as far as I can tell, in not one more iota of employment for the father, and the reduction of mine to zero.  This took years, because I fought back, and for legal/civil rights, on the behalf of those girls.  ANd for their educations, which appears to have been a problem for the arm of government declaring (to those who cannot afford to protest) that IT and ONLY It knows what’s best for my kids, and will provide them.  WHich I know ain’t true, because the bulk of my professional life has been supplementing what the government mandates took out of public school programs, and working for parents and nonprofits that understood the necessity of these.  As well as for parents who simply declined to enroll.    

Parallel to this, and in accord with what one would think is ALSO covered under the mandate of HHS, I also removed them from a violent household.  years later, they were replaced in the care of the same parent, in the process taking apart my livelihood (see “income support,” above) (Guess “for whom” was just not specified).  

Given how traumatic these many processes, and how little, at a local level, the local services actually DID so, when called upon, I have now become curious as to which programs and policies were responsible.  

To realize these goals HHS forms partnerships with other federal departments; state, local, and tribal governments; academic institutions; hospitals; the business community; nonprofit and volunteer organizations including faith-based and community-based organizations; and foreign countries and international organizations.

A few days and it’s April 15th, well known to Americans as  I suppose the Ides of March were in the time of Julius Caesar.  Do you think of this, when writing out a check, or attempting to get a rebate?

Do you sometimes think of whether the HHS purposes, being so grandiose, might be at cross-purposes with yours, or your family’s?  If so, who’s watching? A wonderful electronic system called TAGGS can help.  Some.  

My purpose, when it comes to my faith (and boy, does this ring home, after what I’ve seen at the hands of many, many institutions I have had to call upon in leaving domestic violence, and have regretted, to date, the involvement of ALMOST every damn one of them, for the time they promised (on the door, on the mandates, on the webites, etc.) to perform and didn’t.  (Narrative, another post).  Now that my Health and Humanity have suffered so long (as have others) by prolonged contact with not only my abuser, but prolonged escalation of the behaviors and the cumulative effects of them, I would like some answers as to WHY these policies were set to start with.  

It is not possible to fix an mad squid by grasping the tip of a tentacle, eh?

The primary vehicle used in these partnerships is a grant. Grants are financial assistance awards that provide support or stimulation to accomplish a public purpose authorized by federal statute. The primary beneficiary under a grant or cooperative agreement is the public, as opposed to the government.

NOW, that is an oxymoron.  The government is funded by “the public,” as I understand it.  Taxes, right?  At what point 

It’s also debatable (that the primary beneficiary is the public).  I THINK that a closer look will show that the primary beneficiaries are more likely to be those executing the contracts funded by these grants, and that the public at large has become a subject of study.  

“Unique to the HHS Indian Health Service (IHS) are Public Law 93-638 Title V Compact and Title I Contract awards, which are self-determination funding agreements. Compacts are explained further in the IHS portfolio section of this report.

This report is the annual summary of grants HHS awarded during Fiscal Year 2008 (October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008). The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the Department’s grant programs, which are described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Web site at http://www.cfda.gov. The source of the grant data is the Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System (TAGGS), the Department’s central grant funding information database. Annual grants reports for fiscal years 1997 through 2007 are located at the TAGGS Web site Annual Reports page at http://taggs.hhs.gov/AnnualReports.cfm.

This report does not include technical assistance, which provides services instead of money; other assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, or insurance; direct payments of any kind to individuals; or contracts which are required to be entered into and administered under procurement laws and regulations.

By aggregating this grant information into this single report, we hope to provide a more complete and useful understanding of the Department’s grant awards. This report provides grant award information in four sections: Overview, Mandatory Grant Awards, Discretionary Grant Awards and Operating Division (OPDIV) Grant Programs.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Resources and Technology
Office of Grants

Now, many of these initials (and concepts) are still new to me, but I have the capacity and motivation to study.  I hope some of my readers also do.  We need to become familiar with both the grants, who is performing what work for them, and whose ideas they were to start with.  We need to become FLUENT in understanding and monitoring these things.  Ignorance is NOT bliss in these matters.

I think this topic is underreported in blogsville, and is possibly more important to the safety of men, women and children (let alone to their health overall) than the ongoing discussions about “domestic violence vs. family law” and “mother’s rights vs. father’s rights” (which is misleading, as the majority of contested custody cases do not respresent the majority of divorcing families).  

To get a picture of the dollar figures involved, for example, I think we should look at Appendix A and B.  

OR (see below):

http://taggs.hhs.gov/AnnualReport/FY2008/overview/grantawards.cfm  (2008 only)

 

Grant Awards By Operating Division

 

FY 2008 Total Dollars: $264,242,088,855
FY 2008 Total Awards: 75,709
FY 2008 Total Recipients: 11,989

In FY 2008, HHS awarded $264.5 billion in grants. This included $40.9 billion in discretionary awards and $223.6 billion in mandatory awards.

CMS, which administers the Medicaid Program, awarded 69% ($181 billion) of the total HHS grant funds, representing 1% of the total number of grants.

ACF awarded the second highest percentage (17.5%, $46.2 billion) of the total HHS grant funds, which represents 10% of the total number of grants.

NIH awarded 68% (52,057) of the total number of HHS grants, totaling $21 billion, in FY 2008. This represents 52% of the discretionary grant funds, but only 8% of the total HHS grants funds.

Pie Chart of number of FY 2008 Awards by OPDIV. Pie Chart of FY 2008 Awards in Dollars by OPDIV.

 QUESTION:  DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION YET?  Good.  I’ll be back…

in the matter of Family Court, the ACF is a crucial OpDiv, FYI (though not the only one).

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm

One Response

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  1. […] HHS Fatherhood Initiative grants help fund father’s organizations, which uses our taxpayer dollars, helps provide advocacy for fathers in court including issues of […]


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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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