Murray Rubin

Thinking Outside the Dox

WHY A BLOG?

Imaginative ideas, energy, honesty and lack of patience describe me totally. I was chosen out of many applicants to sit on the community editorial board of the Toronto Star and I enjoyed putting my thoughts in print. You can only serve one year and then it is more difficult to get into the paper on the editorial or opinion page, and so a blog.

Comments of an intelligent nature are invited.

July 24 , 2016

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN -A DEMOCRATIC DICTATOR

The older I get and the more I see of human activity, I realize the flaws inherent in some people, some of the time, depending on circumstances. Erdogan, the Turkish politician, started off by lying about his interest in keeping Turkey as a secular state ,developed by Mustafa Kemal, better known as Ataturk, who became the leader of Turkey after the disaster suffered by the country by losing the First World War, on the side of Germany. As soon as he was elected, democratically, he began the process of turning the government of Turkey back to its roots of an Islamic state. Erdogan did it slowly in order not to irritate the army which wanted to retain the secular system set up by Ataturk. Turkey had qualified for membership in NATO by being democratic. Erdogan attacked the social media like “twitter, Facebook” etc and began the process of erasing  the democracy allowed by the army.

On the night of July 15th 2016 the army attempted a coup which failed miserably because the opposition parties, as much as they feared Erdogan wanted to retain democracy as flawed as it was. Erdogan used the social media, which he had criticized before, to bring out the people in defence of democracy. The coup failed and then Erdogan really went to work. Instead of supporting the democratic process he arrested without any notice about 6000 soldiers, many policemen , prosecutors and judges and fired many more. He did this by declaring a state of emergency which will last for 3 months. Many Turkish citizens died defending the democracy that , it appears, Erdogan wants to eradicate.

Turkey, has the second largest army in NATO, and was the forward bastion of the West against the Soviets but it appears Mr Erdogan values his power more than democracy

July 21 , 2016

GETTING AHEAD IS TOUGHER FOR BLACKS

I was never sure if the prison counts for blacks are real, but unfair. I am now. They are!  Of course there are more blacks in prison , out of proportion, to their numbers in both Canada and the U.S. Did you know that 1 in every 15 African Americans and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men in the U.S. go to jail in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men. Why? Is it because they commit so many more crimes, are arrested and go to jail. I think not. All people commit crimes, white ,black, Latino and Asian. There are no completely innocent races and colours, but the police in North America target people of colour more than whites. If  all people commit crimes, and the police target neighbourhoods  where people of colour live, you are going to get more people of colour in jail. But there is another problem. When people of colour, essentially blacks, commit a crime , and face judgement, they are put in prison, whereas whites get a lesser sentence. Why? It is plain and simple race discrimination. Do you think Canada is much better for blacks. Think again! A recent article in the Globe and mail pointed out that procedures in court, sentencing and imprisonment for similar drug related crimes, 55% of blacks went to prison compared to 36% of whites. Whites and Blacks both use illegal drugs, but in the U.S. in 2003, black men were almost 12 times as likely to go to jail.

There is another problem with blacks. Their divorce rate is similar to whites or even slightly more. But black people are more poor, and the wives left behind do not have the resources to look after their family. Children left on their own do get into trouble and face a biased justice system. They go to jail too often  for crimes that white children would have lesser sentences. You cannot compare the discrimination faced by people of colour now , with 100 years ago, but our North American society has a long way to go to achieve true equality.

Should what I have written give a license to blacks to shoot and kill police on the streets? Not by a long shot because you may be killing the very officers who do an excellent job. The world is a complicated place.

July 10 , 2016

WASTE NOT-WANT NOT “FOOD”

There is a major problem in our food distribution system. Food that does not look good, or is even a few days past the date that it should be sold, as set by the grocer ,is thrown out and finds its way into the dumps throughout the city. 40 % of the food each year goes uneaten. It tastes fine, but looks terrible and our society cannot see its way clear to use it. Most grocers do not sell such produce, which is safe and healthy for human consumption. The main culprit in Canada is Loblaws and in the U.S. Walmart. There is a reason why the grocers shy away from these sales. If too many are on their shelves they will get a reputation of selling low standard food, and if on the other hand they discount it, it will sell, but they would have lost the sale at the higher price. Why can people of less means drive smaller cars, live in less affluent neighbourhoods but cannot eat ugly fruits and vegetables .  The answer is they can. In the U.K. Walmart  owns a supermarket chain called” Asda” that does just that. The produce, sold in 5 Kilogram boxes packed with in-season foodstuffs, sells for about 30 percent of the regular price. It will not happen here unless the government makes it happen and it can. Pass a law that fruits and vegetables cannot be thrown out, but must be sold to charitable institutions or other food retailers that very quickly will spring up to fill the void. Many people cannot afford the higher priced produce, but will jump at the chance to eat the less attractive but perfectly healthy produce.

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About Me

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I was born in Toronto in 1931 to a wonderful mother who divorced shortly before my birth. I am Jewish but not at all religious, yet my culture plays an important part of my personality. I attended Harbord Collegiate and U. of T. Faculty of Pharmacy. A unique mail-order pharmacy was the first of my endeavours in the profession, followed by many stores throughout Ontario. I have a loving wife, 3 children and grand-children and I am now retired from pharmacy. But what do I write about? Everything! My topics are funny, serious, whimsical, timely, outrageous, inspiring, and inventive. I promise that if you take the time to read any one of these topics  – you will not be sorry.



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