To play devil's advocate, when we find that our city streets are congested and fire trucks and ambulances are having trouble getting to their destinations, do we increase the width of the streets or do we implement a policy stating that normal traffic must give way to the emergency services? Admittedly, it's much harder to increase bandwidth in a city street scenario than in a network scenario, but our society has already established that traffic shaping is a good idea in at least one situation.
Running with that comparison, we don't allow Pizza Hut to pay a premium so that they can get red and blue spinners for their delivery fleet though.
the gun banners DON"T CARE about addressing the base cause of violent crime, they just want to ban guns. Period.
That's kind of statement makes you appear very well suited for politics. That isn't a compliment. Really, think about that statement for a moment: people who want to ban guns just want to ban guns. That's like saying that people who want to kill people just want to kill people, or people who want to steal things just want to steal things. There are certainly fringe cases where that is true, mentally ill people who are compulsively driven to commit some deed for its own sake. Most of the time, there's a little thing called "motive" involved in people's decisions.
I don't want to ban guns and think that most of the current "gun control" is useless, idiotic or both. That said, I also can't stand how polarized this discussion gets, with people creating a "them" to rail against, and making blanket statements about how "they" are irrational and failures as human beings.
Why do people want to ban guns? They want safety because they're afraid of the violent crimes that people commit with guns. It's really, really hard to address that human factor, to stop unstable individuals from deciding to commit acts of violence... so they target the other side of the equation and attempt to limit the damage that those individuals can do. This is not irrational, although it may be overreacting. And that's where differing opinions are vital - by finding a happy medium between the people who want to ban all guns and the people who want absolute freedom, perhaps we can find a way to successfully limit the damage that unstable people can do without unduly burdening the average citizen.
I'm sorry for your loss and, as a parent myself, I couldn't even begin to imagine what that must have been like for your family. That said, I disagree with some of your points. For one thing, they are contradictory. Your first point was about how, due to the fact that there are innocents on death row, you wouldn't want to inflict such a heinous punishment as death. You then go on to say that we should "make them wish they were dead" and discuss death as an easy out - if you want the punishment to be worse than death, then why are you no longer concerned about those before mentioned innocents?
That said, I really do like your idea about making convicted criminals perform work that benefits their victims/society. It would be a very fine line to walk though, as down that path lies slavery.
That's nice. So go right ahead and take up that manslaughter hobby you've always dreamed of! After all it was only what, 11 people killed? so $4.5 billion divided by 11: that means you can murder anybody you want for the low low price of only ~$409 million!. What are you waiting for!?
To be fair, they qualified for the bulk discount.
Parents with a good moral sense would not engineer their babies.
However, selfish and immoral parents would do it. Thus they could create a strong, intelligent, long-lived baby, who they would raise in an environment of selfishness and immorality.
Rinse and repeat. After a few generations, you have divided society in two classes: one upper, dominating class consisting of strong, intelligent, but selfish and immoral beings (who would no longer be even _humans_), and one lower class consisting of naturals.
I've quoted your original post that you linked here. Yours is a circular argument. Moral people would avoid eugenics, therefore immoral people would benefit from eugenics, therefore eugenics empowers the immoral people and is therefore an immoral technology. Let's walk through your causal process with a slightly different (and I think more reasonable) first assumption:
Parents with a Luddite sense would not engineer their babies.
However, progressive parents would do it. Thus they could create a strong, intelligent, long-lived baby, who they would raise in an environment of forward-thinking and problem solving.
Rinse and repeat. After a few generations, two of society's existing classes move further apart; those who fear change/technology continue to live on in isolated communities according to their old ways and those who embrace technology, which is mankind's greatest evolutionary advantage, live longer, healthier lives.
So when someone is able to succeed they should be punished by having a larger share taken away?
Give me a break; I call BS on the whole "punished for success via progressive taxation" meme. A punishment would be if they lost something, if their quality of life were somehow reduced by the tax. That's not the case at all; even with progressive taxation, when someone earns more money they take home more money. End of discussion. Progressive taxation does mean that as your income reaches further and further beyond the cost of living, you receive diminishing returns on that excessive money.
Want to see something amazing? Look at the discrepancy between a CEO's pay and an average worker's pay (Scroll down to Figure 8 at http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html). Historically, CEO's made a modest (in the Jonathon Swift sense of the word) 50-100x the pay of the average worker. Over the past 10 years, that number has soared between 350x and 500x the average. Does that CEO's family eat 350 to 500 times the food that an average worker eats? Does he need a house that is 350 to 500 times larger than an average family's house? Does that CEO put in 350 to 500 times the labor that the average worker puts in? Is he producing 350 to 500 times more than the people who are actually building his product or providing his services?
Progressive taxation enables average workers to take home a livable wage while still collecting taxes from people who can afford to pay them. They even have a twisted benefit for the CEO - since his minimum wage workers get to keep a larger portion of their income, the CEO can feel less guilty about giving out crap raises and maintaining a barely livable working wage for his employees.
Odds of dying in a car is 1 in 100.
What does that even mean? Does that mean that for every 100 people who get in their cars in the morning, one of them will die during their daily commute? Or will 1 in 100 drivers die after a year's driving? After a decade's? After a lifetime's? Where do these statistics come from and over what timeframes are they descriptive?
While that is the correct definition of evolution, it does not describe the leap from inorganic to organic cylons. As the show presented it, there was no transformation from inorganic to organic. Instead, a few members of a species of organic machines (the "final five") came across and subjugated the cylons. While it's true that this conquering species did take on the name of the conquered species and they did share their biological tech with the cylons in a limited capacity, there was no evolutionary link between a Cylon Raider and a Number 6. The cylons never evolved to a point where they looked human.
This solution of relying on sales tax only works if the rich spend a proportionate amount of their income within the country. All of those luxury cars/watches/shoes/yachts/villas are not putting money into the system. The top 1% could easily live outside the US while still making their money here.
I'd advocate the opposite; only have an income tax. If I make 100k per year, I have significantly more disposable income than my friend who makes 25k per year. Even if I'm paying 50% of my income as tax and they're only paying 10%, I get to live a 50k lifestyle vs. their 22.5k lifestyle. I think that we should have an aggressive income tax without exemptions/credits/loopholes and no other taxes. A person is taxed on the money that they make and, if they have been clever enough to be prosperous and earn a lot of money from our countrymen, they can afford to give some of it back to the country that offers services and support to those same people. The common argument against this of "why penalize me for making money" is a fallacy as there is no possible way that earning more money could result in less in your pocket.
Add to that a sliding scale like we currently use (where a basic cost of living would be taxed at 0% and scaling up from there) and we have a solution that ensures that the people may afford a basic lifestyle while still funding the government and rewarding those people who work hard to be successful.