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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2013 | James Rainey and Mark Z. Barabak
The vibe had to feel familiar to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Crowds flocked to his nationwide tour. A head of state staged a joint photo op, then sat for a little policy chitchat over breakfast. "Buff, bronzed and presidential" one news site declared of California's erstwhile governator, adding that he "has his sights set on the Oval Office. " There's no chance of that right now, owing to the constitutional ban on immigrants becoming president. Still, Schwarzenegger's recent environmental tour reanimated, in a small way, the elation of 2003, when he swept into the governor's office in an unprecedented recall election.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison, Abby Sewell and Angel Jennings
Pastor Jim Franklin was one of the leading voices supporting California's 2008 gay marriage ban. He spoke passionately about the importance of traditional marriage from the pulpit of Cornerstone Church in Fresno and led rallies against gay unions. Five years later, the epic battle appears to have ended when the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to decide the merits of the case on the grounds that the sponsors of Proposition 8 did not have the legal right to bring the appeal.
BUSINESS
June 15, 2013 | Jessica Guynn
Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. want people the world over to trust them with the most intimate details of their lives. Now both Silicon Valley companies are fighting to preserve that trust in the wake of damaging revelations that they turned over users' data to the National Security Agency's secret Internet surveillance program. Facebook and Google each vigorously deny they gave the U.S. government special access to their servers or complied with broad requests for users' information and communications.
OPINION
April 5, 2013
Re "Ambitious effort aims to map brain," April 3 Although I understand President Obama's humorous intent, I don't believe even the most exhaustive understanding of the workings of the brain could even come close to explaining "all kinds of things that go on in Washington. " And sadly, the lack of empathy, compassion, fairness and simple decency exhibited in Washington represents only an example, one small measure of our spiritual collapse. Although the effort to map the brain may result in treatments for Alzheimer's and autism and ways to reverse the effects of a stroke, I hold out little hope that being who we are, that despite the most brilliant and ambitious scientific explorations, we will ever approach a cure for the most pernicious disease of all: man's inhumanity to man. Ronald Rubin Topanga ALSO: Letters: Trashing our oceans Letters: Saving the Watts Towers Letters: Gun control and public opinion
OPINION
April 5, 2013
Re "Gun control, DOA," Opinion, April 3 Doyle McManus' summary of the moribund status of President Obama's gun control proposals reveals an inconvenient truth about the home of the brave and the land of the free: In this country, 20 school-age children could be slaughtered by guns and no meaningful legislation to prevent that would ever be passed. Why? Because the gun fanatics would sacrifice almost anything to stop an "infringement" of their 2nd Amendment rights. By taking this inflexible stance, radical gun owners have convinced those in power that electoral punishment is their fate should they favor any legislation that would lead to "infringement.
NEWS
April 4, 2013 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON - The last several years have seen huge shifts in polls on two intensely debated issues: marijuana legalization and same-sex marriage. On one, the change in opinion has prompted public officials to shift ground en masse; on the other, few have changed their stands. What accounts for the difference? The latest evidence of change in public opinion comes from a  survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, which shows a majority of adult Americans, 52% to 45%, now support legalizing marijuana . The finding marks the first time in more than four decades of Pew's polling that a majority has taken that position.
NEWS
March 31, 2013 | By Doyle McManus
In my Sunday column , I explored the possible consequence of the Supreme Court's impending rulings on gay marriage: a patchwork of different laws in different states, making life very complicated for gay couples who want to move from one part of the country to another. But the general trend of public opinion toward greater acceptance of same-sex couples is clear. And there's one subset of the population that's especially intriguing: people who say homosexuality violates their religious beliefs yet are nevertheless inclined to allow gay unions as a matter of civil law. Call them “libertarian traditionalists”: culturally conservative in their own lives, but upholding equal rights for those who don't share their values.
NEWS
March 26, 2013 | By Paul West and David Lauter
WASHINGTON -- In the nearly four and a half years since California voters approved Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriages in the state, public attitudes on the subject have gone through a remarkably rapid transformation. Nationally, 1 in 7 American adults said in a recent Pew Research Center survey that they had changed their minds about same-sex marriage. Nearly all had gone from opposing legal marriage for same-sex couples to supporting it. Having a friend or family member who is gay was the most common reason for having switched positions, the poll found.
OPINION
March 24, 2013 | By Michael Klarman
Court decisions sometimes spark dramatic political backlashes. Brown vs. Board of Education, which struck down school segregation laws in 1954, temporarily retarded progressive racial reform in the South and advanced the political careers of racial extremists. Furman vs. Georgia (1972), which strictly limited capital punishment, increased support for the death penalty, and Roe vs. Wade (1973) catalyzed a powerful right-to-life movement. The Massachusetts Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in favor of marriage equality led 25 states to enact constitutional amendments barring it. One possible outcome of the Hollingsworth vs. Perry litigation currently before the Supreme Court, which challenges California's Proposition 8, is a broad ruling in favor of marriage equality.
NEWS
March 20, 2013 | By Paul Thornton
To say that that the preponderance of letters we receive on assault weapons call for their ban wouldn't be an exaggeration. So when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Tuesday that the ban proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein wouldn't be brought to the floor for a vote, readers fumed. In the past, I've noted that readers angry about an issue tend to write more quickly and in greater numbers than those who aren't. Consequently, the mix of opinions sent to letters@latimes.com may tilt decisively in one direction and not necessarily reflect broader public opinion.
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