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Urban voters are so removed from earthy common sense
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My wife being seriously sick and hospitalized for prolonged stays in San Francisco has meant that I've been spending quite some time there. At least twice a week I drive from the flat expanse of the Valley and over the Altamont, make a pit stop at Vasco Road eateries and then push alone on crowded freeways that skirt the eastern edge of the Bay Area. My car snakes through Oakland, a scenery quite different than rural Ceres and into the toll plaza and over the Bay Bridge. Once I enter the portal of the tunnel on Treasure Island, I enter a California much different from the one I left two hours prior.

Being in the City, I've gotten a perspective on the city that I didn't have before.

I love visiting San Francisco, but not sure I'd want to live there. I love the smells of the thousands of restaurants that waft into the open window with the cool and clean ocean air. The bustle, the architecture, the people cannot all be taken in during a lifetime. Traveling along Fell Street and up the hill, I cruise past mansions built by long ago wealthy barons and in short minutes I'm watching the homeless dodge traffic in Golden Gate Park's panhandle. In seconds I'm excited to see runners pounding the pavement in the park, beckoning me to put on my own running shoes. There seem to be far more runners there than at home, but then again this is a large city filled with people who seem to take healthy lifestyles more seriously than back in the Valley. But my admiration ends there.

It's no secret that urbanites tend to be more liberal but San Francisco is bastion of liberalism, I tell myself as I run through Golden Gate Park and find myself on Nancy Pelosi Drive. Where else in the country would city fathers believe Nancy Pelosi is on the same plain as JFK or Martin Luther King or even Lincoln, for whom streets are named? I get the feeling I'm not in Ceres anymore when I see two men openly wearing dresses like women in a cool-down walk near Kezar Stadium.

San Francisco's politics are so far out of kilter with the rest of the nation. Maybe because they are far removed from the agrarian roots of the country. The late Henry Voss, of Ceres, who was director of Food and Agriculture, started the Agriculture in the Classroom after he heard one Bay Area educator tell students that cotton came from sheep.

The politics of this city do not jive with our Valley but our U.S. senators come from either the jungle by the bay or the one 300 miles to the south so that makes San Francisco's politics my business as well. The sheltered urban voter ¬- which is so naïve about where food comes from - often rules California in supporting state propositions and candidates who are not farmer friendly. As a result of being removed from the day-to-day producers of what we eat, they make decisions as voters that border on ridiculous. I also believe that urbanites tend to be more distant to faith and hold up the "created" as their god, which is why animals are sacred and are given rights. Hunters are bad. Farmers are evil poisoners of our food. Hence, it's organic this and organic that in SF and they pay the price for it too.

Several years ago the state had a proposition to help thin out mountain lions who are increasingly attacking joggers, hikers and campers. In 1996 the urban voters voted thumbs down on Proposition 197, which would have made it easier for the state Legislature to remove lions as specially protected mammals. Urban voters decided on an emotional basis rather than science facts. They didn't want those poor little innocent kitty cats being gunned down so it went down in defeat in a 58 to 41 vote and I don't have to tell you how the rural counties voted. Mountain lions continue to attack people as a result of them being protected from hunters. Since 1890 there have been 17 confirmed mountain lion attacks in California, of which 14 occurred in the last 20 years.

The nonsensical environmentalists proposed in yesterday's SF election to dismantle the historic O'Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy and find their water elsewhere. Forget that the cost would be as high as $9 billion but where do they plan to find water for 2.4 million people so we can restore Hetch Hetchy to become a new meadow nobody will be allowed to walk on?

The always-ruling-with-emotions San Francisco voters were over the top in supporting Prop. 2 in 2008. Its passage requires that all breeding pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens be housed in enclosures large enough to allow the animals to stand up, turn around, and fully extend their limbs. Producers have until 2015 to comply with the law. Consider this: Rural Stanislaus County was one of 12 California counties to vote against Prop 2. Stanislaus County - where chickens actually lay eggs - was 55.5 percent against Prop. 2. An overwhelming 72.3 percent majority of San Francisco County voters approved the measure. In 2008 California was fifth out of 50 states for producing eggs. Prop. 2 is being challenged in court and could devastate the state's egg producers since hens are kept in industry standard battery cages that offer about 70 square inches of room per hen versus the estimated five square feet of space per hen needed under Prop. 2. An early projection stated that statewide retrofit of hen cages alone could cost more than $400 million over next three years. The result is that California egg producers will be unable to keep up with Mexican and Midwest egg farms. Bay Area voters, however, probably have no clue how stupid chickens and won't notice their new accommodations.

On a visit to a SF store, I had to buy a grocery bag for 10 cents since the city outlawed plastic bags and makes stores charge for paper bags. On that bag was printed an ad for Panorama organic 100 percent grass-fed meats. These words were printed: "This cooperative of family-owned ranches formed in 1976 and has remained intimately involved in every single stage of their animals' lives ever since. Their cattle are finished in spacious pastures on grain to give them more marbling than pure grass-fed beef. No feedlots ever." On the other side: "These ranchers raise their cattle humanely in low-stress environments and employ land-management practices that promote animal health and protect delicate rangeland ecosystems. Their cattle are raised organically, locally and are grass-fed and finished for their entire life. No feedlots ever."

Well if that isn't enough political correctness to gag a cow. Why this urban obsession for low stress and spaciousness for a cow? Are they aware that all beef cattle meet with a violent demise? Maybe it's a good thing that few Bay Area dwellers get out of the city to take a drive around our area. No doubt they would see our cows wading in manure pools in the winter, and we'd all be forced to vote on a state proposition regulating that out of existence.

It would be great fun if California voters were ruled by rural counties; then we could meddle with the affairs of San Francisco. But as a general rule, conservatives believe the best way to live is get government out of the way and let people determine their choices - whether it's the choice of plastic versus paper or a choice of a Happy Meal with fries.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know at