I used to rely on AdBlock Plus for my fix of ad-safety, but then I heard about RequestPolicy, so I've put that on. It's great, but it turns out that while I find it perfectly acceptable to turn off ABP on a site that I like, I am much less likely to create permission to direct me to a third party for content (usually ads). ABP doesn't protect me from my paranoia about the buttons, though, so I'm sticking with RequestPolicy, and maybe sites will start hosting their own ads if they really want me to see them.
I live in Lawrence, KS. During the election, one thing on the ballot was a library expansion to be paid for by an increase in property taxes. In Lawrence, a large portion of the population consists of college students (Lawrence is home to Haskell and Kansas University), who cannot afford or do not want to purchase a home in Lawrence. Lawrence is situated approximately halfway between Kansas City and Topeka, which means that it has some transients.
In case you aren't familiar with Kansas politics, it is a Republican state. Everyone with "Republican" under their name this election got their wish. The local paper's website (http://www2.ljworld.com/) is mostly cheering about how the Republicans are going to run the country, make Obama a one-term president, and things like that. The post count in most of those is somewhere around 50ish. The story about the library expansion is at 293 comments right now, mostly from people complaining about it.
I see complaints including "Homeless people use the library", "People use the library for non-educational purposes", "I don't want to pay more taxes", and "The library expansion costs too much".
1) Yes. Homeless people do use the library. They often lack the home internet connection to use the internet at home. Also they lack a computer. And a home. I know, many of them smell unpleasant. That may be because they lack shower access, or because they are mentally ill. Certainly, you can be as upset as you want to about people who smell bad. It does not mean that the library does not serve to allow your fellow Americans access to all human knowledge.
2) Yes. People often do use the library for non-educational purposes. Even discounting the assertions that no CD-ROMs, videos, or music can be educational, many people are checking out materials simply for recreational reading, listening, or viewing. Many people are not. I am reading a book on mathematics and a book on wireless technology and Linux. I consider them recreational reading, but I also consider learning to be a recreational activity. I'm sure many people go to the library simply to job search, or to do personal research projects such as determining what amounts one should pay for a house in what condition. Certainly, some are looking at pornography. They are often asked to leave. The purpose of the library is to allow access, not to restrict it.
3) I understand that you do not want to pay more taxes. Along with this complaint, I often see the complaint that people should not be able to vote to increase property taxes if they do not own property. Okay, then, how about if only fertile women can vote on abortion issues? Or if only non-US citizens can vote on immigration issues? To be so short-sighted as to think property taxes only affects the people who own property takes a lot of intentional ignorance. I rent, and my landlord pays property taxes. He passes that cost on to me and my three neighbors in my complex. To believe that he does not, and that every time the property taxes on the place go up he frets about how to cover them, is idiotic.
4) Maybe. I don't know. People often throw out the cost per square yard as the evidence that it is too expensive. It may be expensive compared to a home. It may be expensive compared to a small office building. I don't know what they're including in this, but I do know one thing: Whatever it is needs to last for a long time. Complaining that it is too expensive as if "too expensive" were some objective thing is silly. Either back up "too expensive" with how it could cost less, or find a better argument.
I have no idea what I'm doing with this.