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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Quote Page

Commentary or Blog Post

People say that suburban and exurban housing growth is offset by a move to the cities. Wendell Cox looks at empirical data to prove that this is not the case, and deduces that people still tend to move to suburbia when they relocate.

This is a list of ten things wrong with suburban sprawl and how it can be fought under smart growth. A useful article that is very concise for understanding the anti-sprawl position.

These two authors join to write an article that comes to the conclusion that by adding more government regulations to land use, it will add to the "push" factors that are already in place as one of the reasons to move from the city to the suburbs and exurbs. People want to protect their property rights, and they should be allowed that freedom.

This article looks at policies in place for growth regulation and compares them to effectiveness. The authors find that the growth regulations impose costs too high, which leads to minority displacement and high housing costs for buyers.

"[T]he way environment and transportation patterns were built caused many of America's public health problems. [The researchers started] with the premise that the best way to combat an obesity epidemic, diabetes, and their attendant health problems (and health spending) is to encourage walking and physical activity--New Urbanist principles would help accomplish...

"Michael Lewyn's article Sprawl in Europe and America attempts to demonstrate that suburbanization (pejoratively called 'sprawl') is not, as Robert Bruegmann suggests, a predictable result of increasing wealth. He further indicates that suburbanization occurs only to a 'limited extent' in Europe. Bruegmann's authoritative...

"This is our first stop in a thought leadership series that discusses the current state of transportation infrastructure and explores future funding solutions. In 'Falling Behind,' we examine how today's investments are not meeting the growing needs of the U.S. transportation system, creating a gap that will continue to grow if action isn't taken."

"It is well known that the largest percentage losses in house prices occurred early in the housing bubble in inland California, Sacramento and Riverside-San Bernardino, Las Vegas and Phoenix. These were the very southwestern areas that housing refugees fled to in search of less unaffordable housing in California's coastal metropolitan areas (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose...

Rick Harrison designed 'Prefurbia' as an alternative to smart growth planning that is an attempt to fix some of the errors that occur now with land use regulations.

An answer to the question "What is Smart Growth?" given by the NewUrbanism.org site. It is a good starting place for research on this topic from the New Urbanism perspective.

"VISION

The Congress for the New Urbanism will reinforce the relationship between the art of building, the making of community, and the conservation of the natural world. It will reform the practice of community building to restore existing urban centers and towns, create coherent metropolitan regions, reconfigure sprawling suburbs into...

This piece comments on the growing popularity of sustainability majors on college campuses. According to Annesty, students who pursue sustainability degrees are experienced in applying effective environmental practices to the...

Chris Fiscelli believes that the issue of sprawl is much more complicated than many people make it appear at first. He looks at sprawl under an economic lens, and believes that it is illogical to fight sprawl by building new public transit and other works that people do not use. He proposes a look at basic math concepts like orders of operations, like fixing the current problems of policy...

This article shows that people are not moving in large numbers to the city like planners wish because people prefer to live in single homes where they are affordable. He shows that around 80% of Americans would prefer to live in suburbia, and explores why this fact is.

"The collapse in the housing market and high gasoline prices are bad news for middle-class homeowners left to sift through the wreckage. But if there is consolation to be found amid the rubble, it may be that the inexorable spreading out that has characterized American life since World War II might finally be coming to an end. Given the connections between car-dependent suburban development...

"Decades of white flight transformed America's cities. That era is drawing to a close.

In Washington, a historically black church is trying to attract white members to survive. Atlanta's next mayoral race is expected to feature the first competitive white candidate since the 1980s. San Francisco has lost so many African-Americans that Mayor Gavin Newsom created an 'African-American Out-...

Samuel Staley looks at the issue of sprawl and deduces that it is not being dealt with in the correct manner.  He looks at the problems sprawl is said to begin and then shows how they are being presented in an incorrect manner.  He writes that, "an analysis of land-use trends at the national and state levels reveals:

  1. Suburbanization and sprawl are local issues....

"Back in 2008, I ran this updated chart of the Case Shiller Housing Price Index by BP reader Steve Barry. It was widely reproduced around the web....

I asked Steve to update Shiller’s NYT chart, now that much of the government intervention has run its course. There is still massive Federal Reserve subsidies in the form of record low rates. But the short term bounce caused by HAMP,...

"Numerous articles have been written in the Rockford Register Star about urbanization of the Rockford downtown with the creative class, construction of artist live-work lofts, a school of art, galleries and expanded music venues, etc.  One such group of downtown advocates, The Element, is pursuing their goals by seeking $75,000 in TIF district funding at...

"Despite these failures, governments continue to plan. Almost every city and county in the country has a planning department. More than a dozen states have passed laws requiring local governments to write comprehensive land-use plans that place strict limits on how people can use their property. Congress has passed numerous laws requiring federal agencies to plan, including the National...

Chart or Graph

The pace of home values would indicate a housing boom the size of which has not been seen in over 100 years.

"As figure 1.1(A) shows, average developed land per capita in the United States increased from 0.32 acres in 1982 to 0.38 acres in 2002...."

"Cropland used for crops—cropland harvested, cropland failure, and cultivated summer fallow—totaled 340 million acres, or 77 percent of total cropland acreage (table 1)."

"There is an inverse relationship between two of the components of total cropland: as idled cropland increases, cropland used for crops decreases, and vice versa."

"The NRI indicates a net decline in cultivated and uncultivated cropland area of 8 million acres between 1997 and 2002 (table 3)."

Major land use by state showing each state's share of land-use.

"Land-use patterns vary greatly by region, reflecting differences in soils, climate, topography, and patterns of population settlement."

"The most consistent trends in major uses of land (1945-2002) have been an upward trend in special-use and urban areas and a downward trend in total grazing lands...."

"The United States has a land area of about 2.3 billion acres, which is allocated among a variety of uses (fig. 1)."

"Land classified as cropland totaled about 442 million acres in 2002 (fig. 1). This total represents all land in crop rotation, including cropland pasture (fig. 2)."

This article looks at the difference between median house price changes and compares the price change to the city's growth policy initiatives. She found all but 13 of the top 50 cities had smart growth initiatives tied to a falling median home price in the United States.

"Figure 1.2 illustrates how population and income growth have helped to drive up land consumption and reduce development densities."

"If the population were evenly distributed, the spatial Gini coefficient would be zero; if the population were concentrated in a single zone, it would be one."

This graph shows that the urban land area has stagnated over time, but the suburban land area has grown steadily.

"Land in farmsteads, farm roads, and farm lanes accounted for 11 million acres in 2002."

"However, land classed under rural housing lots could also be classed as forests or grassland pasture and range, particularly given the prevalence of large lots that could serve multiple uses (fig. 7)."

This graph shows that the urban population has stagnated over time, but the suburban population has grown steadily.

Analysis Report White Paper

An overview of many different types of land use regulation used by the different states. There are policies in place in all fifty states, so the question here is what the best type of regulation is, not if regulation is needed or not needed.

"This publication presents the results of the latest (2002) inventory of U.S. major land uses, drawing on data from the Census, public land management and conservation agencies, and other sources."

This piece is a case study example of sprawl in a city in Texas. The city was planned in the 90s and is a popular place to live now. The author, who is the director of operations for Plum Creek, believes the community is an example of the buyer's approval of New Urbanism.

An article that shows concern over Obama's remarks on urban sprawl and how he would like to see it fixed. The main concern is the inability for the government to have a true effect on growth management, as shown by past attempts in the United States to limit growth.

This article looks at the similarities and differences of suburban sprawl in Europe and the United States. The author looks at the Inevitable Theory, which states that affluent people in affluent nations want to live in suburbia and that sprawl is inevitable. He tries to disprove this theory in his paper.

"Proponents of compact development argue that rebuilding American urban areas to higher densities is vital for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

This article provides a quick overview of the history of urbanization. The paper begins by looking at the history of the city to the inception of large scale urbanization.

Randal O'Toole writes that New Urbanism is not helping with the problems it is supposed to, but rather is making for more expensive housing and creates economic problems and these regulations should be repealed.

As the title suggests, this piece traces the roots of the sustainability movement and details the various areas that the sustainability mindset especially affects.

An analysis that looks at the belief that urbanization is hurting America's farmland. Staley finds that there are other reasons that farmland is being lost, mainly inefficient public policy across the nation.

"Despite the widespread adoption of smart growth principles ..., there has been little systematic assessment of their effectiveness or consequences."

"Overall, it seems clear to us that Americans are better off than they were prior to the rise of sprawling cities, largely because urban sprawl has created opportunities for significantly higher levels of housing and land consumption for most households."

Video/Podcast/Media

"Robert Bruegmann talks about his path-breaking book Sprawl: A Compact History, lauded as the 'first major book to strip urban sprawl of its pejorative connotations.'  What in the world – or at least in the suburbs – possessed him?

'Virtually overnight,' he writes, 'the anti-sprawl reformers' new catchphrase "smart growth" seemed to be everywhere.  It appeared as...

This video was the winner of The Congress for New Urbanism CNU 17 video contest.

"This short film explores the connection between New Urbanism and environmental issues."

"Ellen Dunham-Jones takes you through retrofitted suburbia, transforming dead malls into buzzing downtown centers."

Bruegmann speaks about a variety of planning issues and how we need to rethink government's role in city design. While he doesn't advocate for a complete free market system, he does argue that government's role needs to be reduced and that other groups and individuals can fill the void left by government and, in fact, do a better job by improving aesthetics, building emotional buy-in,...

Primary Document

CNU members ratified the Charter of the New Urbanism at CNU's fourth annual Congress in 1996. Applying valuable lessons from the past to the modern world, it outlines principles for building better communities, from the scale of the region down to the block. View also the Canons of Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism...

One of the government agencies that is in charge of helping local governments begin smart growth initiatives is the United States' Environmental Protection Agency. The Agency believes that the, "EPA helps communities grow in ways that expand economic opportunity, protect public health and the environment, and create and enhance the places that people love. Through research, tools, partnerships...

"'Last year, Congress took major steps to reduce global warming pollution, passing sweeping legislation to increase vehicle fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2020 alone will be the equivalent of taking 28 million of today's cars and trucks off the road.

'But it is not enough to improve vehicle efficiency and...

Books

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