Oh, and another thing. You ask about gay rights? We have had spouse rights for at least 10 years and gay marriage for 5. So does the Netherlands and several other European countries.
And we have had a Charter of Rights since 1985 that guarantees protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation. And some guys down there want to BAN gay marriage in the constitution?!!
And of course, since 9/11, the paranoia down there is unreal. Pearl Harbour was far worse, anyway. And you fought two wars simultaneously and cleaned it up in 6 years. Bush has had the same and has only made the US more unpopular in the world. There is a LOT riding on this next election.
Having said all this, it is incredible that a place like California and Hollywood exists. They turn out the most incredible free thinkers and are a beacon for the world. And a vanguard. Not to mention many of your famous universities.
Where are all the protesters, as in the Vietnam war?
One of the reasons gays are not liked is we appear to be so hedonistic. This is partly true. Maybe its the generation, or maybe its that they are too shut out, at least if they are out. Whatever; I like that people are standing up for their rights.