Replacing babies (was Re: PROPOSAL: Alt.terriorism.american)

Michael Bauser (
Thu, 04 May 95 00:56:21 EDT

Note: I'm adding sci.anthropology to the "Newsgroups" header, because
all of a sudden, we're talking about sociobiology. Sociobiology AND
politics. Wonderful combination, isn't it?

(For those of you in sci.anthro, people are arguing about terrorism
and militias over in alt.config . Mike Chapman is a militia member who
apparently thinks the U.S. government was "asking for it" and all that,
is upset that other posters are blaming the militias (seriously, half
this fight is over a SIG QUOTE) for the bombing in Oklahoma City, and
is now reaching new levels of rhetorical silliness. And he's probably
going to accuse me of character assassination for saying all that.)

In article <3o5v9f$> (Mike Chapman) writes:

>Maybe you can help me clear this up - why is it *particularly* shocking
>that children are killed? Sure, they're quite innocent, but surely
>that's outweighed by their inherent low value and ease of
>replacement? The loss of a mate is far greater than the loss of
>a baby, as far as I can see.

Great. Now you're trying to add a little sociobiology into your normal
"survival of the fittest" / "might makes right" / "winner takes all" ?
Now I *have* to follow-up. You've crossed into my department.

1) In the strictist sociobiological sense, a woman would find a "mate"
easier to replace than an "baby". A baby involves nine months of
pregnancy and a hell of a lot of work. A "mate" is just some joker
with mobile sperm. Especially true in U.S. society, where women
can support themselves without a man in the house.

2) You can get a new mate at any time in your life (ask my grandfather).
You have to have all your kids before the reproductive system gives out.
Given the relatively late ages at which Americans have children, kids
lost to violence can be a lot harder to replace.

3) For (American) men, a "mate" and a "child" probably have about the
same "replacement cost", anyway. Really the most expensive relation to
replace is a sibling--your brother gets blown up, and there's not much
you can do about it. (Yes, I know you can't replace parents, either, but
that's different--you expect them to pass on someday.)

4) You did notice that many people in Oklahoma City lost a child *and*
a mate, didn't you?

5) Finally, this is the United States, not a colony of lab mice, you
gun-obsessed moron. Nobody in their right mind (according to cultural
standards, of course, which you're probably planning to overthrow
anyway), measures their grief in terms of replacement value. Real
people actually have feelings that aren't based on some bad
semi-Darwinian pseudoscience they found on the back page of the
Aryan Times. Now fuck off and stop trying to minimize other people's
tragedies. You're becoming tedious.

(Chapman's quoting someone else here:)
>>What IS the militia response to terrorism? Issuing truck bombs
>>to every American?

Chapman's answer:
>The response to terrorism is to find out why the terrorists are angry
>and see if any comrpomises can be made.

Again, no, that's not the traditional response in the United States.
Usually we pontificate about "no compromise", and than either try to
buy the terrorist off with guns, cash, or drugs (which we probably
won't do here, because it's not acceptable to actively subvert our
own culture the way we do everybody else's), or bomb then into tiny
little pieces (I think Decker, Michigan's an odd town, but I wouldn't
wish smart bombs on it). American groups who blow up buildings just
can't be dealt with the same way the government deals with foreign

(And I've seen you babble about the IRA and other militant groups, Mike.
You have never before suggested compromise. Mostly you've just called
them names. Hypocrite.)

Michael Bauser <>
"It's participant observation. Honest!"