Dan Cross

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About Dan Cross

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  • Birthday 09/25/1987

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  • AIM mcgwiddles
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  • Gender Male
  • Location Springboro, OH
  • Interests Pro basketball and football, Formula 1 racing, reading, movies, and video games to name a few in no particular order.
  1. Pussy Riot - Putin/Russia's Breach Of Justice

    Their overall political views seem rather bad, from the little I gleaned from portions of their trial statements. But in the limited context of the act it was a political protest of the church's explicit endorsement of Putin and the desecularization of the Russian state (funding new churches, promoting anti-gay laws, etc.) as well as the suppression of dissent. It wasn't some juvenile attempt to interfere with or stop church service, but explicitly a political protest of serious political evils perpetrated by both the orthodox church and the Putin regime. I'm sure their semi-martyrdom will give them an annoying, mistaken voice on other issues. But, I do find their actions, in the narrow context of the protest, to be heroic and inspiring, as well as calling a great deal of international attention to how horrible Putin's Russia is. I also personally like the symbolism of asking Mary to drive Putin out while protesting Russian state-church collaboration, having gone to a catholic school and the overriding reverence for and belief in Mother Mary, queen of all intercessors.
  2. Robot Taught to Think for Itself

    Ha. Or at least they'll put some effort into placing some restrictions on that pesky nanotechnology taking all the poor robots rightful jobs.
  3. Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011)

    While I enjoyed the movie overall, it would certainly be a disappointment if you went in expecting it to be anything close to an ideal film adaptation of the novel. I was already aware from the rushed production that it was unlikely to be some sort of cinematic triumph. However, the plot of the first third of the book was for the most part well-preserved and most of the major themes and explications were included, albeit in a frenzied, sometimes simplistic manner. It did seem that someone unfamiliar with the story might struggle to keep up if not necessarily so, but it's hard to be sure about that on one viewing. The development of the relationship between Dagny and Hank was poorly done. This may have been due to time or resource limitations or lack of skill, I don't know, but it lacked nearly all the depth of feeling and logical progression that the novel contained. The actress who played Dagny was mediocre, in my opinion. Some scenes she had presence; in others she became unfittingly ancillary. I doubt there is a filmmaker alive who could have done the novel justice under the constraints with which the adaptation was made, although it certainly could have been better. Still, it maintained many of the aspects of the original to make it both an enjoyable and thought-provoking movie that triumphs reason and the individual. I think most here would find it extremely unlikely any film adaptation could ever surpass the novel Atlas Shrugged, but I do hope there will be another attempt at some point in my life by more capable and prepared hands. In conclusion, it was a decent attempt, given the circumstances.
  4. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

    I thought this was an all around great movie and the best of any in 2010 that I have seen. It is skillfully paced, superbly acted, and a thoroughly immersive experience. Stylistically, the direction could be described as "realist" in some ways as there is some focus on the grimy and depraved elements of the story, however the story, main characters, and theme of the film are all triumphantly romantic and executed to near perfection. I highly recommend it and am curious to hear any others reactions to it.
  5. Betsy, could you please add The Secret in Their Eyes for rating? Thanks. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1305806/
  6. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    I agree completely. I'm all for monitoring mosques with undercover agents, wiretaps, etc. where there is probable cause, which I'd imagine is probably just about every mosque in America. But many here are arguing we must treat all Muslims as spies, criminals, saboteurs, etc. for their beliefs combined with their inaction in denouncing things rather than any sort of objective threat. It's the same sort of reasoning that says drugs should be prohibited because they increase the likelihood of crime, despite using drugs not actually violating anyone's rights. Being Muslim increases the hell out of the chance you'll be a terrorist trying to destroy the American government but it is not in and of itself a violation of others' rights. On a more general note, as Ray has said repeatedly it's clear what the intentions of many and likely most American Muslims in general is to replace the Constitution with Sharia law. I don't doubt this. What I do doubt is that this desire presents some sort of gun to the head of the republic that justifies essentially throwing out the first amendment and treating American citizens as guilty without due process because of a religious belief. The inherent political aspect of Islam is indisputable but religious people can reinterpret and pick and choose parts of a religion. If American Muslims really were the uniformly savage, suicidal death worshipers they are being portrayed as there would be murders and terrorists attacks practically everyday as in Gaza and the West Bank. Finally, although I hesitate to use this as an example as it has become less strong in recent years, there is Turkey which is almost 100% Muslim and is somewhat secular and respecting of other religions and atheists and the like from what I know, although obviously you probably aren't going to get away with drawing Muhammad there, I'm sure. People are individuals and should be judged as so is my most essential point.
  7. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    I don't know anything about a conspiracy against Muslims or what you mean by that. I am not disputing the ruthlessness or goals of war, I'm disputing whether or not there is some sort of violent Islamic rebellion or revolt going on that could possibly justify these lifeboat, gun to your head measures. Evidence of the peaceful Muslims are the millions of Muslims living in America with the vast, vast majority not attacking anyone or committing any crimes. I don't think we should discard history, nor do I think we should discard the Constitution and rule of law. I'm just not telepathic enough to know the intentions of millions of people as if they are some sort of hive mind. I can only go by the objective evidence of what they do, which for the majority, is nothing criminal that is apparent or I'd imagine they'd be getting arrested in droves.
  8. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    This is such a heavy handed, totalitarian approach you'd think there were Iranian ships landing troops on our shores right now. First, where in the Constitution does it permit stripping a citizen of their citizenship because of their religion. Second, can you not imagine the unfathomable crimes and abuses that would inevitably occur if this program were implemented? It's just absurd elevating the threat of American Muslims to this proportion and advocating giving the government such dangerous powers. I have no problem of having the government monitor muslims under suspicion of being enemy combatants but to deprive them of virtually any rights, suspend habeus corpus, and treat the US as an active war zone facing rebellion or revolt is completely wrong and bordering on delusional. The "war against Islam" must be won intellectually and also militarily in the Middle East, primarily.
  9. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    Wrong? What moral differences require war in the absence of action besides simply killing for the sake of killing? You and someone else disagree about morality irreversibly so you have to shoot them? American citizens have rights. Simply lumping all American Muslims into some vague criminal conspiracy for constructing buildings and congregating is not a legal argument, it's collectivizing guilt and ignoring the thousands of if not millions of law abiding muslims. The Constitution does not allow a declaration of war against its citizens to violate their constitutionally protected rights...one of which is the free exercise of religion. If a mosque is an inherently criminal facility because certainly some if not many muslims use it for terrorism, etc. then a Catholic church is a inherently criminal facility for the molestation of minors. Less of a threat, but a threat nonetheless. Additionally, certainly the government should take preemptive action if they have substantial evidence a person or people are planning to violate rights using force. There may be substantial evidence in the case of this mosque in NYC, and if so then I am fine with prohibiting it but we should also arrest the guy behind it then or at the very least deport him. But if you think there is substantial evidence that all muslims and all mosques are planning to use force I'd say nothing presented indicates so. And passages in the Koran commanding violence does not substantial evidence make.
  10. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    To those who are for preventing the mosque at Ground Zero, I must ask are you against only this mosque because of its location and/or who is behind it or against any mosques being built everywhere? I do not understand why the mosque is such a threat and issue but the millions of American Muslims who attend them are not? If they can't build mosques, as I would indicate, would be their constitutionally given right (unless a mosque is necessarily a threat of force as seems to be the argument, which is a gigantic stretch of logic which, if granted, would suggest all muslims are necessarily criminals). If these people cannot build mosques, can they not congregate and say their prayers or whatever is the muslim equivalent of a church service? It seems no one has yet addressed this issue that if all mosques are prohibited you might as well advocate imprisoning, deporting, and generally outlawing Muslims. The idea of the government declaring war on Islam is somewhat ridiculous. We may be at war with Islam in the abstract sense, but an actual declaration of war against an idea would essentially be a war on holding ideas. Wars must be fought against people for their actions. Most simply, the constitution clearly does not allow such an action. Additionally, does anyone here really thinking preventing mosques would have any sort of significant effect on prevention of terrorist attacks? Wouldn't they just meet in houses and makeshift mosques? L-C has advocated stopping muslims congregating which once again raises the question why not imprison, deport, kill all of them. None of the anti-mosque arguments have shown a logical consistency in fully stating the implications of the argument. If your simply against this mosque because the guy behind it is a terrorist or funded by terrorists, Saudi Arabia, etc. I don't really have a problem with that as it appears that may be the case (haven't looked into it much). If it is because of the symbolism of the location, I sympathize but don't think it's particularly relevant in a legal context.
  11. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    This is such a simplistic a reduction of the issue. You argument is muslim = murderer, therefore they have no rights. If followed logically to its conclusion this reasoning calls for a genocide of all muslims. To be a murderer you have to kill someone. No one here is proselytizing for the rights of murderers.
  12. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    Certainly if they are conspiring to overthrow the government by force this is a crime for which they should be charged, tried, and convicted. But if they are simply advocating imposing Sharia through the political process they are not much different than democrats or republics trying to violate individual rights through the political process, except certainly worse in degree. Concrete evidence of funding or aiding terrorists or advocating terrorist attacks against America is necessary to substantiate a claim of conspiracy. Similarly, if the man/people behind the mosque are conspiring to overthrow the government, why is allowing the mosque to built or not the issue? Shouldn't the issue be why aren't we arresting him/them?
  13. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    I've read through the salient parts of these sources and I still don't see any way for the government to combat the spread of Islam in America with objective law other than criminalizing Islam, which obviously conflicts with the First Amendment. If the government were to declare war on Saudi Arabia and then shut down or prevent mosques being funded by the Saudis I would have no problem with such an action. It's irrefutable that the people behind these mosques want to change America into a Islamic theocracy governed by sharia, but to restrict their rights requires substantive proof that they intend to do so using force (conspiracy to commit/aid terrorism, etc.). I don't think that has been established or else they would probably already be arrested. Of course, I'm all for the FBI closely monitoring the activities in these mosques and they should have the authority to do so. I don't see a clear standard for what activity a muslim takes that is illegal by virtue of being muslim such as building a mosque other than being muslim is criminal. Can they meet in their homes and worship? Can they write a book denouncing America? Pray in public? If the mosque should be illegal, the people attempting to build it, attend it, fund it, etc. should all be considered criminals. Reading Edward Cline's article on capmag.com, his reasoning seems to be our government no longer respects rights so at least we should use this to our advantage. If we want our government to prevent this guy's mosque because he's going to use it to attack us, shouldn't we just be more direct and advocate killing him if he is invariably a killer waiting in the tall grass? I don't think America's imams are peaceful in that they don't want peace but they are "rights respecting" in the legal sense until you prove they have violated someone's rights. Obviously, they don't intend to preserve our rights, but neither do democrats or republicans, the muslims just are more consistent ideologically. Ray, I think as per your post we can just agree to disagree on this as I do greatly respect your opinion, but I'm always willing to hear what you have to say.
  14. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    Sharia is certainly a despotic, freedom-hating political theocracy, etc. However, I do not see any logical consistency in advocating the prevention of mosques being built. Either individuals are using, threatening to use, or conspiring to use force to overthrow the government and/or attack others or they are attempting to use the political process like everyone else. If you are going to say Muslims should not be able to build mosques then you should also advocate imprisoning those who attempt to do so. Additionally, you should advocate those funding, attending, etc. mosques nationwide to be imprisoned if it is necessarily "providing aid and comfort to the enemy". If this is the position, I can at least evaluate a coherent argument. I think many Muslims, especially American Muslims, although the percentage of which I have no idea, are able to separate and compartmentalize the political and theological dictates (5 pillars and what not) of their religion and are part of any threat to a free society. Obviously, this is a much lower percentage than other religions but I do not think it is that low as to be inconsequential. The arguments against mosques from a legal perspective are overreaching and remove the burden of proof on the state to substantiate its claims of criminal activity. I'm not disputing anyone else is saying about the nature of Islam but I am disputing what you are arguing constitutes the use of force or the threat to do so. The government should have to prove a person or group is conspiring to use violence to overthrow the government to take action. No one not using force is in complete diametric opposition to the Constitution as it is capable of being amended to say anything through the political process. I'm not even arguing that is a good thing but as far legality is concerned I think the Constitution allowed for people to advocate any sort of political system, as today's Communist Party of America still does. Construing a mosque as a clear and present danger is a bridge too far in my opinion.
  15. Dr. Peikoff on The Mosque in Manhattan at Ground Zero

    I meant the Communist Party did use violent and illegal actions, not that they overthrew the government of course.