Author Archive

Is Bitcoin Sharia Compliant?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013   Submitted by Davi Barker

ShariaBitcoin

This is intended for a Muslim audience but I will endeavor to make it accessible to a general audience. It is really an appeal to Muslims for a little monetary sanity.

I am  in the uncomfortable position of being the only person I know even remotely qualified to answer this question. There’s no pride in that claim, but despair for the lack of interest in this subject in the Muslim community.

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Bitcoin Not Bombs

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012   Submitted by Davi Barker

A handful of articles have entered my head this week, and as we speak they are mixing together like volatile chemicals about to explode. I’ve been on the Bitcoin bandwagon for less than a year, but I am constantly blown away by the innovations made possible by what is fundamentally a very simple idea. In the beginning I pretty much only used it to buy baklava. Now I’m buying gold and silver bullion with Bitcoin, and accepting it as payment for the various things that I sell. So, I have a pretty good sense of how the system works and I’m just starting to really get the economic ramifications of a digital peer-to-peer currency. I theoretically understand the impact it could have politically, at least domestically, but I’m just starting to get the first inkling of what the international political ramifications of Bitcoin might be.

This rabbit hole begins with US sanctions against Iran.

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Marketing Voluntaryism

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012   Submitted by Davi Barker

I recently had some custom Voluntaryist lapel pins made. I designed a 1″ black and gold AnCap flag pin, and a 1.5″ Voluntaryist “V” pin, with the Daily Anarchist motto around the rim, “Building a Voluntary Society… Without Permission.” You can get the pins at www.ShinyBadges.com.

Last week I had my first opportunity to wear one to a formal dinner, pinned to the lapel of my coat, similar yet entirely different from the flag pins that the sociocrats wear. The pin generated a lot of questions and a lot of conversations at the dinner and I want to share my experience.

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The Greatest Jihad

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012   Submitted by Davi Barker

Earlier this month I returned home from Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. They say the sign of a successful pilgrimage is that your life changes. Well, I got that in spades, as I’ll explain. But the strangest thing about being back is when people ask me, “How was it?” Like I was returning from a Sunday matinee or a dentist appointment. I don’t think it’s possible to summarize in words pithy enough for casual conversation. The closest I’ve come is “It was not what I hoped, but everything I needed.”

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Seeking Liberation in Mecca

Sunday, October 14th, 2012   Submitted by Davi Barker

By this time tomorrow I will be on a flight to Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula. I am performing the Hajj pilgrimage to the Kaaba, which is for many a once in a life time opportunity. The Kaaba, which is also called Bayt al-Allah or House of God, is the direction of prayer for all Muslims around the world. Every year 3 million Muslims or more perform the pilgrimage there to circumambulate the cubic building. Some of the rites performed on the journey are reenactments of historical events, but others (and I’d argue the more important) are outward expressions of an inward journey taken by the heart.

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Leave the Fed Alone

Saturday, September 15th, 2012   Submitted by Davi Barker

For months now I’ve been experiencing some serious cognitive dissonance. I think it actually started over a year ago while I was staying at the Occupy San Francisco encampment set up in front of the Federal Reserve. I was invited, among others, to speak about the history and function of the Fed. In 2003 Edward Griffin’s book, “The Creature from Jekyll Island” set a brush fire in my mind, and I have largely used his arguments against the Fed, specifically that the Federal Reserve is not Federal, and not a reserve. Griffin adds that the Federal Reserve System is not a system, but that distinction really only carried weight at a time when calling it a “system” obfuscated the fact that it’s a central bank. These days most people don’t mind a central bank the way they did in 1913, but hearing for the first time that the Federal Reserve is not Federal can be jarring for people, and often it gets their attention long enough to explain that it’s actually a cartel of private banks issuing a debt based fiat currency. But at Occupy San Francisco I learned that there’s a whole different way that some people look at the problem.

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The Sikh Temple Shooting and the Siblinghood of all Humanity

Monday, August 13th, 2012   Submitted by Davi Barker

After all the feedback on my last article “Auditing Shooting Rampage Statistics” I said that I would record all the corrections in my data set and publish an updated statistic if there was another shooting and the subject became timely again. I did not expect that it would be the next day. So, rather than repeating the statistical analysis from last week, I want to talk about something a little bit different.

I want to personally thank everyone who commented on the article. Not being a gun enthusiast myself, I learned alot about firearms from you all. I’ll especially be careful about the incorrect use of the term “assault rifle” to describe semi-automatic weapons. Even those who were critical of my research provided valuable insights that I will incorporate into any future analysis of the data. The most difficult criticism to resolve is that we only have figures for successful civilian resistance. We don’t have figures for unsuccessful civilian resistance. Sadly, this is exactly the situation in this most recent rampage shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek Wisconsin.

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Auditing Shooting Rampage Statistics

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012   Submitted by Davi Barker

Firearm prohibitionists love to use tragedy to leverage their agenda. So, it’s important for gun rights advocates to stand their ground and fire back (proverbially) whenever this happens.

I posted a graphic on Facebook claiming the average number of people killed in mass shootings when stopped by police is 18.25, and the average number of people killed in a mass shooting when stopped by civilians is 2.2. I based it on 10 shootings I found listed on some timeline somewhere. I honestly don’t even remember where. I presented the case studies in a blog post on the Silver Circle blog and I did the math myself.

The graphic was met with great enthusiasm and much skepticism. Leave it to Facebook users to demand an audit on a meme. So, I started over, only much more meticulous this time. I compiled and analyzed 100 shootings, noting my methodology, and I am now prepared to present my findings, complete with links to the data. But here’s a spoiler… It’s not that different.

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Why Muslim Fundamentalists Should Embrace Voluntaryist Anarchy

Saturday, July 14th, 2012   Submitted by Davi Barker

I want to be clear from the outset what I mean by “fundamentalists.” I’m not talking about muslims engaged in suicide bombing, plane hijacking, church burning, cartoonist murdering or teddy bear rioting. Those people have departed from any semblance of what I can call islam. So, for the sake of distinction making let’s call them “extremists.” I’m talking about a rigorously literal and conservative interpretation of islam which includes movements to establish a new Caliphate and an emphasis on end times prophecies. These are the type of fundamentalists that join islamic political parties, or separatist movements. And despite what the fear mongers pretend, very few of these fundamentalists have any interest in imposing islamic law on America. They’re far more concerned with countries like Saudi Arabia, which they don’t view as legitimate in any sense. At most they’d like America to stop thwarting their efforts in their own lands.

Putting all that aside, to explain why muslim fundamentalists should embrace voluntaryist anarchy we’ve got to start with some basic review of these two areas of islamic scholarship, the Caliphate and end times prophecies. This argument is primarily written for the fundamentalists themselves, but I’ll try to explain it in terms accessible to a general audience.

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Financial Sustainability or Irrational Exuberance in Liberty Projects?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012   Submitted by Davi Barker

I’ve been thinking about this since Ofer Nave spoke in the Agorist Panel at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum this year. He drew a distinction between sustainable and unsustainable counter economic activity, but predicted a series of tipping points when more unsustainable activities become sustainable as the counter economy grows. He also made an economic point that in the current market it makes more sense to spend dollars than silver currency. Greshem’s Law suggests that when legal tender laws exist, if a merchant accepts silver and paper it’s in the customer’s best interest to spend paper and horde silver. But, agorists still spend silver against their economic self-interest out of what Ofer called “irrational exuberance,” or passion for liberty. I have a similar concept that I call the “entertainment premium” on activism.

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