Be thankful that you live in a society that protects freedom of speech. In the Union of Myanmar(aka Burma), a military junta just sentenced a comedian there to 45 years in prison for his social activism (not for his onstage comedy). U Maung Thura, known onstage as Zarganar, had been held since June when he had organized private assistance efforts for victims of the cyclone that killed more than 130,000 there in May. Zarganar also had upset the government with his public statements and satire. The Mynamar government has cracked down on dissidents of all trades. (NYT, AP)