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Biting the hand that feeds us: Bucking tradition and forging a new path in this week's blogs

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It's only mid-January and already the stresses of work, education, and family are piling up. But if you're worried about how you manage, fear not: as Nick Fillmore writes, there's only so much you can do in our current capitalist system. From decreased wages to increased overtime, workers across Canada are familiarizing themselves with the consequences of 1970s neoliberal policy. So next time you're feeling overwhelmed, don’t blame yourself. Blame capitalism.

Speaking of blame, the folks on the board of Athabasca University have some explaining to do. As David Climenhaga writes, they seem to be openly defying the Notley government. Facing insolvency, the university is in serious need of some leadership --but if the board isn't willing to co-operate, Notley may have to double down and make use of the powers bestowed to her government through the Post-Secondary Learning Act.

If you pity the board, there's another group that may demand your attention. White men have had it rough lately -- at least, that's what Ujjal Dosanjh, former premier of British Columbia, has been arguing. Thankfully, Azeezah Kanji has been setting the record straight, arguing that, no, white men aren't being "silenced by the scourge of political correctness." That's not to say we haven’t come a long way in our attitudes, though. Relative to early Canadian prime ministers, it's easy to see how free speech has evolved. (Hint: In 2016, it's now unacceptable to support eugenics).

If colonialism is your thing though, there’s still plenty to go around. As Yves Engler writes, there's a definite Canadian connection between the devastating terror attacks in Northern Nigeria that have happened this past year --but it's not one we’re keen to acknowledge. By destabilizing Libya, Canada has inadvertently aided Boko Haram and allowed parts of the country to fall under its control. It's not the only conflict that's seen Canada play the role of conqueror and destroyer -- and if something doesn’t change, it won’t be the last. At some point, we may come to deeply regret our international actions.

It doesn't take much effort to find another international incident with Canada's fingerprints all over it. Justin Trudeau is still endorsing the $15 billion Saudi Arms deal, arguing that the government is locked in a contract and that the deal will provide much-needed jobs for our economy. Scott Vrooman takes on Trudeau’s argument with sharp wit and barbed humour.  But is Trudeau really wrong? After all, "our hands are tied, much like those of a Saudi Arabian about to be beheaded for insulting the prophet." Never mind that the "jeeps" in question are marketed as "effective firepower to defeat soft targets," and may well be used on protesters.

It's all the more reason to organize, write to your MP, and take charge in areas where you'd like to see change. Until then, that's rabble for this week. Stay warm out there, and stay tuned for more insightful comment from our bloggers. Happy reading!

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