Well, there’s good news and bad news from Canada. First, the good news is that Canada is generating news of any sort. Okay, Canada, we know you’re a shy country not given to flashy self-promotion like some North American nations (ahem!), but the rest of the world was thinking about checking your pulse. Everyone knows you’re America Lite, which isn’t such a bad thing, really.

Canada gets to unload all their pesky talented people that tend to draw a lot of attention to themselves on the USA, where that sort of thing isn’t frowned upon. Our second-tier entertainer and B-list celebrity rosters are teeming with Canadians, who we’re fairly certain would have enthralled and enlightened us with their unique artistic visions if Canadians were permitted to have such things.

The bad news from Canada? The Canadian telecommunications giant (now there’s a phrase you don’t hear everyday), RIM, the makers of the very expensive and popular (there’s one that you do) Blackberry phones, just surrendered to the censors in Saudi Arabia. How very Corporate American of them!

It seems that the Saudi Thought Police had already gotten the giant internet servers to aid and abet their interception of personal computer messages, but the advent of smart phones and their e-mailing capabilities made it harder for the minions of the royal family to eavesdrop on their subjects.

Now, Blackberries aren’t the only smart phone on the market, and the Saudi market is a lucrative one, so the head honchos at Blackberry surrendered the necessary codes to Saudi authorities rather than lose market share.

Blackberry’s American competitors have been adept at pretending to resist censorship while cutting back room deals with tyrants and kings, so the RIM Corporation cut right to the chase and just gave it up without any tedious hand-wringing or comment, Canada style, if utter lack of style can indeed be called a style.

So that’s it for news from Canada until this nation that is defined by Winter loses every event at the next Winter Olympics, even at the oddball quasi-sports like curling and ice hockey that they invented. Other than the cold fronts that blow down from there every December, you’re more likely to hear Botswana mentioned in the news than Canada before then.

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