Change Your Facebook Banner

We all know Facebook is awesome for keeping up with friends, sharing about your life, and even distributing ideas. One great new way to get people thinking is to take advantage of the new banner profile with the help of Intellectual Takeout. Here's what one of our banners looks like loaded up on a Facebook profile:

Facebook Banner

If you haven't changed your banner profile, than Facebook is likely auto-populating it with photos from your album(s) or from photos you've been tagged in. While those photos are sure nice, have you thought about changing it to promote freedom? If not, below are some ideas and instructions for you to consider.

Step 1 - Pick one of the images below:

Step 2 - Right click on the image you want and save it to your computer.

Step 3 - Go to Profile Banner on Facebook. Click here. You'll see a menu titled "Upload Your Own":

Facebook Profile Banner

Choose the image file you saved to your computer. Then you'll need to select "Scale, Crop & Rotate Image." After that, click "Upload." Once you click "Upload" you'll need to "Squash", "Scale", and maneuver the image to fit into the boxes. Once it looks good, click "Post" and then follow the directions after that. Enjoy! 

The Amagi

According to Liberty Fund, the Amagi (or Ama-gi) "is the earliest-known written appearance of the word 'freedom' (amagi), or 'liberty.' It is taken from a clay document written about 2300 B.C. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash." Learn more here.

Amagi Freedom Cuneiform

 

The Goal is Freedom

We do not seek to implement a rigid ideology, to create an empire, or force people to live a certain way. Rather, the goal is to live in a nation in which individual freedom, including economic freedom, is seen as a just end in and of itself. Indeed, what nation is greater than one that exists to protect and promote the individual liberties of its citizens?

Goal is Freedom

 

Read the Constitution

We all know there are a variety of ways of looking at the Constitution. Whatever your position, the thing to keep in mind is that it is the document binding the country together, our social contract if you will. It's something worth reminding your friends and family to read. 

Read the Constitution

 

Only Congress can Declare War

Thinking about Libya? Remember, only Congress can declare war. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution reads, "The Congress shall have Power  ... To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water." In other words, the President can't make war without the consent of Congress.

Only Congress can Declare War

 

The 10th Amendment

Tired of the federal government overstepping its bounds? Remind your friends and family that if the Constitution doesn't grant the United States government the power to do something, then that power is reserved for the states or the people. To learn more about the 10th Amendment, click here.

10th Amendment  

 

The 2nd Amendment

Do you cherish the right to defend yourself? If so, promote that Constitutional right with the banner below. To learn more about the 2nd Amendment, click here.

2nd Amendment

 

Dear TSA: Read the 4th Amendment

The 4th Amendment states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Does that sound like what's happening at the airports and train stations? Show how you feel about it with the banner below. To learn more about the TSA, click here.

TSA 4th Amendment

 

The 4th Amendment

These days the government is always looking for an excuse to search your stuff. Do we really want to live in a country where cops and government officials can search your person or your property willy-nilly? No. Make sure your friends know their Constitutional rights by using the banner below.

4th Amendment

 

Time to Balance the Budget

Worried about the federal government's runaway spending? We are, too. $14.3 trillion in debt is way too much. It's time to balance the budget and for the government to live within its means. To learn more about the national debt, click here.

balance the budget

 

Inflation

The rise in prices at the pump and grocery store isn't an act of God. The Federal Reserve, the folks in charge of our money, have made inflation a policy. Help your friends and family understand the root cause of what's going on with the banner below. To learn more about inflation, click here.

Inflation Monetary Policy Friedman

 

Fear the Boom and Bust

Are you thinking things with the economy just aren't right? You're not alone. The folks in charge believe that more credit and printing money will get things going again. While that might be true for a little while, history tells us the effort is unsustainable and ultimately ends in a bust. 

Hayek Fear the Boom and Bust

 

Depression and Credit Expansion

Ludwig von Mises, the notable economist, once stated that, "Depression is the aftermath of credit expansion." Now that most Americans have experienced the Housing Bubble, driven mainly by credit expansion (easy money), many of us have learned the lesson. Unfortunately, the worst may still be ahead as the federal government props up the economy by borrowing and spending roughly 10% of the economy. If you want to learn more about deflation, click here

Deflation

 

Who is John Galt?

If you're looking around, thinking things are falling apart, and that government seems to be working against you, you might be right. In Ayn Rand's famous tome, Atlas Shrugged, "Who is John Galt?" becomes the line that sums up that sentiment. If you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, it's a classic and controversial novel that's well worth a read. Get it here

Atlas Shrugged

 

Competition is Cooperation

Too often these days society seems intent on promoting the idea that competition is evil and that only by cooperating with each other can we build a just and prosperous future. The reality is that competition is a form of cooperation. Furthermore, competition has created tremendous prosperity, particularly compared to societies organized around forced cooperation. If you want to spread the message that competition is a good thing, then throw up the banner below. To learn more about competition, click here

Competition is Cooperation

 

Don't Tread on Me

A classic in the liberty movement. Widely recognized as a symbol of the liberty movement, the motto says it all, "Don't Tread on Me." In other words, let the individual be free to pursue his or her ambitions. You can learn more about the history of the Gadsden Flag here.

 Don't Tread on Me

Prices Communicate Information

Few individuals mind when prices go down. But when prices go up, depending on the good for sale, the public outcry can be enormous. More often than not, politicians will want to "fix" things with wage and price controls. History has repeatedly shown, even here in the U.S., that wage and price controls do not work. The ability to freely set prices is fundamental to a market economy. Prices communicate information and help individuals properly allocate scarce resources. To learn more about the role of prices, click here.

Prices

 Wage and Price Controls Don't Work

Wage and Price Controls

 

We're on the Road to Serfdom

The famous economist F.A. Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom in which he explored the competing ideas of classical liberalism, fascism, and socialism as well as compared individualism and collectivism. His basic message is that as individuals trade life in a free society for security through economic planning that they will inevitably become more and more impoverished and enslaved to the state (i.e., serfdom). If you haven't read the book, it is a must-read. You can purchase it here. Where are we now? We're on the road to serfdom.

We're on the Road to Serfdom

 

Property Rights are a Cornerstone of Freedom

Who owns you? Do you own yourself or does the government own you? It's a fundamental philosophical question that reveals how central the concept of property rights is to individual freedom.

Property is a Cornerstone of Freedom

 

Learn more about the ideas of individual liberty at IntellectualTakeout.org:

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Commentary or Blog Post

"At least three companies linked by the Environmental Protection Agency to hazardous waste sites are being paid by the government to clean up their own sites, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity."

"In sum, Superfund is not an effective way to reduce health risks. It reduced the traditional protections that people and companies can expect from legal due process, and it hasn't clearly helped anybody, except lawyers, consultants, and the EPA. Much the same has been shown to be true of many other regulatory programs. ...

Is there another way? Yes. The traditional way of dealing with...

"When one thinks of a Superfund site, the image is of a large landfill, a former mining pit, or an industrial site like Love Canal; places where massive contamination has released into the air, ground, or water over many, many years and where it is not safe to live, animals and benthic organisms may not even exist, and where the full power of the federal government is often needed simply to...

Sapien looks into the 114 toxic waste sites that, according to the EPA, are "not under control" and pose dangers to human health.  However, as Sapien points out, the EPA has been extremely evasive when outsiders (including U.S. Senators) ask for location and specific status of these sites.

What impact does Superfund have on real people? Robert Cox retells the story of how Superfund destroyed his business, a business he worked to build for 20 years.

"'We are facing a wide range of environmental problems, including the severe threats to our well being posed by climate change and water and air pollution,' Greenstone said. 'The findings suggest that less ambitious clean-ups like the erection of fences, posting of warning signs around the sites, and simple containment of toxics would free up resources to address environmental problems that...

This article discusses the problems with Superfund in the wake of reform efforts.

Chart or Graph

"Sites on the NPL are also categorized by types of industrial facilities or activities associated with the contamination, such as manufacturing, waste management, and recycling."

"Eleven companies received the most money in cost-plus contracts from the Environmental Protection Agency from fiscal years 1998 to 2005."

"The Superfund process begins when a potentially hazardous site is reported to EPA, usually by a state environmental agency, but sometimes by local or Tribal governments, individuals, and community groups."

This chart shows the number of sites proposed, deleted, finalized, and completed each fiscal year on the National Priorities List.

This chart shows the amounts of Superfund expenditures on administrative and programmatic costs for fiscal years 1999 through 2003.

The Hazard Ranking System (HRS) [shown above] is a numerically based screening system that evaluates five categories of concerns at each site.

"Figure II-8, from GAO's 2002 report on the Superfund Program, illustrates EPA's Superfund Program expenditures in FY 2002 for everything except expenditures to ORD and OIG."

"The total annual appropriation (including congressional earmarks) to the Superfund Program from 1993 to 2004 is shown in Figure II-7...."

Analysis Report White Paper

Tresch provides an excellent overview of the history of federal environmental law since 1970, the role of Superfund, and an assessment of Superfund.

Through interviews and a survey, this study examines Wisconsin's efforts to reform Superfund. Its background section provides a good introduction to the unintended negative outcomes of Superfund.

"The Clean Water Act and CERCLA should be revised so that liability attaches only if a new site owner leaves the site in worse condition than before. Such a law would encourage additional mining and additional cleanup."

This detailed study of, "the local welfare impacts of Superfund clean-ups of hazardous waste sites", ultimately concludes, "Overall, the preferred estimates suggest that the local benefits of Superfund clean-ups are small and appear to be substantially lower than the $43 million mean cost of Superfund clean-ups."

This article offers a comprehensive assessment of the cost-effectiveness of a selection of Superfund cleanups. The results reveal that many EPA Superfund remediations fail a partial benefit-cost test.

This report provides a critical analysis of Superfund and discusses possible ways to reform it.

Video/Podcast/Media

Lois Gibbs founded The Center for Health, Environment and Justice, an environmental grassroots group. While the video is edited, it gives a fascinating account from a resident affected by the hazardous waste at Love Canal. From a property rights/free market perspective, it's interesting to note that various levels of government took little to no action to uphold the property rights of the...

Primary Document

This report provides a detailed summary of the law authorizing the Superfund program.

"The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) defines the organizational structure and procedures for preparing for and responding to discharges of oil and releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants in the United States. The NCP was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to the congressional enactment of The...

This very large report, prepared by the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), provides mountains of information regarding program expenditures, development of new sites for the National Priority List (NPL), history of the Superfund and NPL, progress, success and failure, cost effectiveness, and other deep analysis information. NACEPT is an independent...

In 1993, the EPA set out to reform Superfund and, in subsequent years, it has instituted 62 reforms. This GAO study assesses the effectiveness EPA reforms and concludes that the majority are not working, and that while progress may have been made, recent trends suggest progress may be eroding.

Books

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