Martha K. Huggins

Tulane Professor Emerita and scholar of Brazil, Huggins has researched police violations of human rights in Brazil for 40 years. Huggins is now transforming that work to the US, where she is studying municipal government and the insurance industries' direct complicity in promoting, covering up, and hence rewarding police violence.

May 052017
 
Standing Up to “ICE”

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Abba: “Money, Money, Money–M-O-N-E-Y”[i] “Money, money, money Must be funny In the rich man’s world” A private prison corporation, The GEO Group,[ii]  located in Boca Raton, Florida, was recently awarded a contract[iii] by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to develop and operate a $110 million dollar 1,000-bed Detention Facility.  The private prison facility, to be located in Conroe, Texas, is expected to generate “approximately $44 million” for the Geo Group “in annualized revenues and returns on investment.” [iv]

 May 5, 2017  Posted by at 1:05 am Martha Huggins No Responses »
Mar 172017
 
What Do Westport, Ct., Illegal Immigration & ‘3.5 Percenters’ Share in Common?  Read Below and Solve the Puzzle

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…… Westport, Connecticut.  My husband’s Democratic brother-in-law was the press secretary to New York City Republican Mayor John Lindsay (1966-1973).  When he, a White US citizen, moved his family to Westport, Connecticut, the first thing he did was to join the city’s “no-population growth” movement. Illegal Immigrants: A  February 2017 Fox News [i] headline read:  “WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. –  A southern Illinois community that solidly backed President Donald Trump has rallied behind a Mexican restaurant manager who doesn’t have legal permission to [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 1:02 am * Featured Story *, ~ Column ~, Martha Huggins 1 Response »
Mar 032017
 
Gay Bashing in Key West’s ‘One Human Family’: A United States Problem Likely to Increase

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…… I was deeply moved and angered by the violence against two gay men in Key West in the early hours of Wednesday, February 23, 2017. Biking home after dinner, an unknown man on a moped verbally threatened Key West’s Kevin Seymour and Kevin Paul Taylor and then physically assaulted Mr. Seymour by using his motor scooter as a lethal weapon.  The incident report taken at the scene by KWPD officer, Brett T. Dehanas,  at 12:58 am states that the offense perpetrated against [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:16 am * Featured Story * 21 Responses »
Feb 242017
 
Policing the Homeless:  Following and Ignoring “Threat Matrix” Guidelines

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Policing democracy is tough. Tasked to ‘protect and serve,’ police carry out their work within a political system that often makes them an instrument of competing political and economic interests. Far too commonly, police take the fall for the irregular, shifting, and highly political expectations of government officials.  Case in point  ‘management’ of  the homeless.  “Economic development,” which of course includes building and protecting tourism, has a very specific aesthetic:  There should be no visibly homeless people in Key West’s “One [continue reading…]

Jan 272017
 
Community Health Systems and Anti-Trust Law:  Some monopolies are more legal than others

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…… I grew up hearing my grandfather and his son, my maternal uncle, rail against  the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.[i]  I had no idea what they were talking about, but I knew I should believe that ‘Anti-Trust” actions by government were bad.  My grandfather, an independent prospector for metal ores, between 1886 and the early 1900s—broken only by his Spanish-American War (1898) service—increasingly sold his paltry take of gold, silver, or copper ingots to mining syndicate representatives, among them the Anaconda Copper Company. [continue reading…]

 January 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am * Featured Story *, ~ Column ~, Martha Huggins 6 Responses »
Jan 202017
 
Health Care in Key West:  Knowing the Unknowable

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. I never thought that I would quote former United States Secretary of Defense, Donald “Rummy” Rumsfeld.  But I have been driven to his epistemology of  “know-ability” by my frustrating search for the “Primary Care Clinic” funded to the tune of a half-million dollars annually by the Lower Florida Keys Hospital District (LFKHD).  Donald Rumsfeld, the master of using power to deliver ‘strategized confusion,’ explained on February 12, 2002, that US government’s knowledge about Iraq’s passing of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ [continue reading…]

 January 20, 2017  Posted by at 1:00 am * Featured Story *, Issue #202, Martha Huggins 4 Responses »
Dec 232016
 
In Search of the Hospital District Subsidized "Primary Care Clinic"

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. Be Compassionate and Giving; Welcome the Stranger.  The sacred texts of major world religions—Buddhism, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism—talk of the inherent goodness of the poor and extol followers to welcome the stranger and assist the needy.  Capitalism– in most of the modern world–elevated to that of a religion, considers poor people risky, a nuisance, and fiscally dangerous: Mere ‘things’ requiring “risk management.” Contracts are written and legal opinions delivered, to protect corporate wealth and its very well-paid executives [continue reading…]

 December 23, 2016  Posted by at 1:12 am * Featured Story *, Issue #198, Martha Huggins 45 Responses »
Oct 082016
 
Part II: Shady Management; Shady Dealings:  Who Runs the Lower Keys Hospital System --  Unpacking the Nesting Dolls

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. Like a set of increasingly small wooden Russian nesting dolls placed one inside the other, Key West’s hospital cannot be understood by unpacking it.  Reputed as community and tourist-unfriendly, our hospital system consists[i] of two for-profit hospitals—dePoo Hospital on Kennedy Drive [ii] — and Stock Island’s, Lower Keys Medical Center. These two privately nested hospitals are part of a corporate superstructure dubbed, ‘Key West HMA LLC.’ But the Alpha corporation within our hospital system’s nesting set is the Delaware/Tennessee for-profit corporation, [continue reading…]

 October 8, 2016  Posted by at 4:23 am * Featured Story *, Martha Huggins 11 Responses »
Sep 302016
 
Part I: Shady Management; Shady Dealings—For-Profit Health Care in Key West

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. The Physicians’ Hippocratic Oath includes the sacred pledge to serve “according to my ability and judgment, prescribe a regimen for the health of the sick; …[and] utterly reject harm and mischief.”  Just in case such a pledge becomes unimportant with health care’s profitability,  “hospital districts” and their boards of directors sometimes become a community’s watch dog over healthcare operations.  For its part, the Board of the ‘Lower Keys Hospital District’ oversees “hospitals, medical facilities, and other health care related facilities and [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am * Featured Story *, Issue #186, Martha Huggins 7 Responses »
Jun 172016
 
The Orlando Slayings: Ask the Wrong Questions, Get the Wrong—Or Is It The “Right”?-- Answers?

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. For 21 years I have been an ‘expert witness’ for lawyers representing LGBT clients from Brazil petitioning for asylum in the United States.  Seeking to avoid violent persecution in Brazil, as my asylum reports clearly demonstrate, LGBT Brazilians seeking US asylum believe that they are safer in the US than in Brazil. But considering the widespread US homophobia I often wonder, ‘Are LGBT Brazilians really safer in the U.S.?’  Certainly, the Pulse Club slaying in Orlando, Florida calls the safety [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #171, Martha Huggins 23 Responses »
May 132016
 
The Sunshine Grill on White Street Has it All--for Me and I Hope You Too

by Martha K. Huggins……. Chris and Noelle Itrato met in an employee training class at Disney World–He was learning to be “Goofy” and she to be “Mickey Mouse.” Living in Orlando for many years, they came often to Key West because it “felt like home.” His wife, Noelle, a writer and artist, was especially interested in making a home in Key West. And having owned a restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama–“Moe’s Southwest Grill—Chris could easily imagine himself having an eatery in our little slice of Paradise. [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Dining, Issue #166, What To Do 1 Response »
May 062016
 
Peary Court Purchase Plan B and the Cornfeld Group

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Commissioner Jimmy Weekly has announced a “Plan B” for the City’s involvement in Peary Court: A “family business” is interested in purchasing Peary Court with Key West City government kicking in 12.5 million in Land Authority money to sweeten the deal. For its $12.5 million portion of the Peary Court purchase, Key West government would lock the Robert Cornfeld “family business’” into a deed-restriction requiring that existing Peary Court properties be dedicated in perpetuity to ‘affordable’ rentals—that is, “affordable” for [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #165 6 Responses »
Apr 292016
 
President Dilma Rousseff and Male Politicos’ Gender Crisis

by Martha K. Huggins, PhD……. As votes accumulated for President Dilma’s lower-house impeachment, “Good Bye, Dear” (Tchau Querida!) spread across the placards gripped by political opposition’s men and some women. Brazil’s Senate may soon try the country’s first woman president for “corruption” and if impeached Dilma Rousseff will be stripped of presidential powers for some of the alleged crimes committed by lower-house and senate legislators. The chutzpah of federal legislators should not surprise me, having done research in Brazil for 40 years on police, crime, and [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #164, Martha Huggins No Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Key West and Brazil: Democracy and Police Accountability

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……… Living and conducting research in Brazil over a number of years during its 21-year military dictatorship taught me the importance of police accountability. Sometimes when police showed up at a residence they were following government orders; sometimes they were acting alone. In either case their objective was to scare people into submission, by merely paying an unannounced visit, or by trashing a family’s possessions, or through violence against them. The victims of such police over-reach had absolutely no recourse: very [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Martha Huggins 12 Responses »
Mar 112016
 
Peary Court Purchase:  Speculators Win; Key West Loses

Commentary by Dr. Martha K. Huggins……. Key West, an island seven miles long with 7.4 square miles of land mass, is saddled with almost $107 million dollars of long-term debt.   City Commissioners have asked voters to approve yet another $55 million dollars in debt. Their appeal is couched in humanitarian concern for low-paid workers who need “affordable” housing, Ironically, such workers are often employees of the very City Commissioners who want KW government to subsidize housing for their exploited employees. Key West needs affordable housing, [continue reading…]

 March 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:39 am News 14 Responses »
Feb 122016
 
The Peary Court PAC:  Who Is "Housing First"?

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. I am about to tackle the most onerous task of all: Preparing my family’s income tax. But before I take this unwanted leave from Key West’s Blue Paper for a few weeks, I want to address, “Who is Key West’s ‘Housing First’?” The Needle In a Haystack. It took longer to get the answer that question than to earlier find out “Who is White St Partners?” It just should not be that difficult, I thought beginning research on the “Housing First [continue reading…]

 February 12, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #153, Martha Huggins 19 Responses »
Feb 052016
 
Who Owns Peary Court?

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. A burning question was finally asked on Wednesday (2/3/2016) in a Key West Citizen Editorial—“Who is White Street Partners?” Well, that’s the wrong question if you’re after Peary Court’s current owners. Peary Court Holdings, LP (a Delaware limited partnership)– registered in Florida as a “foreign partnership”– is Peary Court’s owner of record. However, in fact, the current partners with financial interests in Key West’s Peary Court–who together constitute its owners, include: Peary Court Holdings, LP; White St Partners; and the [continue reading…]

 February 5, 2016  Posted by at 1:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #152, Martha Huggins 49 Responses »