60 thoughts on “Open Thread, 03/16/2023, Brown Pundits”

  1. The United States and its allies dropped more than 337,000 bombs and missiles on other countries between 2001 and 2020. That is an average of 46 per day, day in day out, for 20 years.

    But the US had already committed via prepositioning troops and weapons. It would be too costly to keep them in the area if they missed the spring invasion window to wait until the fall. So evidence be damned.

    Rather than paying attention to the impact of the conflict on Iraqis, the US press and pundits promoted jingoism, including an early use of cancel culture in calling for boycotts of French restaurants to punish the French for France having led a group in the UN Security Council to try to set parameters on using force. I was shocked to find that supposedly sophisticated and independent minded (and largely Democrat) New Yorkers fell in line, putting quite a few eateries out of business.

    March 19th marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. and British invasion of Iraq. This seminal event in the short history of the 21st century not only continues to plague Iraqi society to this day, but it also looms large over the current crisis in Ukraine, making it impossible for most of the Global South to see the war in Ukraine through the same prism as U.S. and Western politicians. (FYI Leigh Stenson).

    For the rest of the world, the peaceful economic rise of China and the Global South has created an alternative path for economic development that is replacing the U.S. neocolonial model. While the United States has squandered its unipolar moment on trillion-dollar military spending, illegal wars and militarism, other countries are quietly building a more peaceful, multipolar world.

    The Not-So-Winding Road from Iraq to Ukraine

  2. whats this, i talked of this couple months back, rajamouli. watch bahubali, second, lots of people think this is propaganda movie. That was not the intention. It was meant to be a kickass movie along the lines of inglorious bastards. Everyone knows this is not true history. one makes movies with x,y,z as baddies. In this case, it was the british. The director told the writer explicitly that not to write anything negative about british in this song. Celebrate one’s own instead. new yorker pretty much interrogated him , his caste, his view on hindutva etc.

    On a more important issue, gpt 04 has come to be. One wonders what gpt 20 is going to be like in 10 yrs

  3. Was going through Razib’s tweets today.


    “what iranians and arabs call them”-> more important than what anyone calls Pakistanis is what they themselves are. They aren’t separate from Indians in the extended South Asian distribution. Distinct but not separate. So they take a derogatory epithet referring to effectively their own group and then use it on those like them, it is a complete lack of self awareness. Even if not a single Arab/Iranian/anyone else used it on Pakistanis, it wouldn’t make a difference- they would still be hypocritical because they are a part of the group that they are maligning. This is a problem for them because the alternative is to malign specific subgroups they could single the random subgroup out, but they want to malign all of it.

    1. Their most specific hate is for Hindu Gujarati baniyas. Pak media keeps mentioning evil Hindu Baniyees and global Yahudi conspiracies. The country now basically is a mixed Jihadi and Muslim Punjabi feudal land owning military junta state. Imran Khan is being wrecked because he is trying to change it even a little bit.

      Their greatest disgust is with dalits, hence why even Christian convert one’s there are treated badly and manual scavenging jobs so “Christians only.” They are also sold most to China.

      1. And if the West’s primary goal in offering debt relief is to sideline Beijing, as it appeared in Zambia, then that will mean a drastic scaling back of infrastructure projects replaced by austerity.

        She wrote, “our research shows that Chinese banks are willing to restructure the terms of existing loans and have never actually seized an asset from any country.

        Zambia will also cut fuel and agriculture subsidies. So instead of infrastructure investment and social spending, the country gets austerity.

        The US effort to sideline China in Zambia comes at the same time that Washington is trying to tighten control over resources in the region.

        Imran Khan shifted the country’s foreign policy towards a closer alliance with Russia and deepened ties with China, prompting concern and anger in Washington. (And Victoria Nuland visited Pakistan and SL, With many carrots to Pakistan’s military, they overthrew Khan, In SL the Aragalaya protests started and ended with resignation of the Rajapakses)

        According to Reuters, total Sri Lankan debt to Chinese lenders totals roughly 20 percent of the country’s total debt. Fake claim by Reuters, its 13%

        (Sri Lanka) The structural consequences of over four decades of neoliberal policies have exploded into view with the receding welfare state, a ballooning import bill, and investment in infrastructure without returns, all of which relied on inflows of speculative capital.

        Chandra Joshua FYI


        1. The current economic crisis in countires like Pakistan and Sri Lanka are becuase of thier own mistakes. Pakistan has had 22 or 23 IMF bailouts since independence. It literally broke Argentina’s record for most IMF bailouts. The Pakistani elite seem to think that they are entitled to money from Western taxpayers or the oil rich Gulf states to fund their lavish lifestyles and large military budgets.
          Most of those Chinese infrastructure projects in Pakistan or Sri Lanka were never economically viable. Building a few railways or roads or power stations in Pakistan was never going to increase Pakistan’s exports enough to pay back the foreign debt. Those Sri Lankan ports were never going to be profitable.
          In China in the past you could build more infrastructure and expect the economic growth generated to more than pay back for the debt incurred. That may not be true in China now and it certainly isn’t true in most of the BRI coutries . The Chinese made the decision to invest in these projects and they have no one but themselves to blame if they lose their investment.

    1. @Saurav
      Even the collaborator and defeated ethnicities

      Would you think the Sinhalese are defeated ethnicity*. For sure the Jaffna Tamils played the game and lost around 15th century to the Portuguese. The Sinhalese kept playing one European against the other and survived in the Kandy/Hill Country. Then by inheritance thru the maternal line, the last three kings in Kandy were Telugu. The last of the lot, Kannasamy took on the name of Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe.

      The King ordered the children of Adigar Ehelepola and his wife Ehelepola Kumarihamy to be drowned and children beheaded. Even worse the childrens heads were put in a motar and pestle and pounded

      Ehelepola Adigar turned traitor and led the Brits in to the Kandyan kingdom

      *Are Sinhalese (or Sri Lankan Tamils) a separate ethnicity by DNA. No, they are more close to each other than any Indian. However, culturally the SL Tamils are more close to Tamil Nadu.

    2. Perhaps ‘ethnicity’ is the wrong word, and group is more accurate.

      Also Europeans defeated everyone in the Subcontinent, so no group really sees themselves as ‘defeated’ by them. Once Europeans came into picture each ‘Indian’ group sees victories of the Europeans against any other Indian group, as their own victories.

      Example would be Sikh victory over the N-Indians in 1857 war, The N-Indian victory over Afghans in 2nd Anglo-Afghan war. Or the N-Indian victory in destruction of Sikh power.

      I wouldn’t count either Nepalis or Sinhalese in any category, as throughout their history they only really fought among themselves , before they Europeans arrived. So the sample size of this group is really small.

  4. A little sad I did not make it for the Royal Thomian. This the 6th year since did not make it for the match since I came back to SL in 2010. Issues of money and not being able to spend without thinking.

    Recall when I was in pre O/L (grade 10) it was a two day match then (1974 I think). Age 15. I went asked my hero cousin Robin Barr-K for a donation. He gave a LKR 200 check. I gave it to my classmate Romesh Arunachalams mother. Romesh is Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalams grandson, not very Tamil though.

    So we get to the match, Romesh is drunk and vomited. We throw him under the Jeep and proceed to the grounds.

    After lunch at the match we get back, drag Romesh out from under the Jeep. Romesh’s mother had promised lunch. So we dusted down Romesh made him look presentable and went his home. Romesh’s mother took one look and said he had been drinking. We said he had only one beer and could not handle it.

    Anyway fast forward, my cousin Robin Barr-K’s check bounced. So I went looking for Robin. Tracked him down to Havelocks Sports Club. Robin said not to worry “I was anticipating profits”. Just present the check again.

    I get a few drinks at Havelocks on Robin (remember I am about 15). The I get on Robin’s bike a yellow 125cc Yamaha. Note: This was pre 1977 before liberalized imports.

    Robin just gets going, fast against the office traffic. Robin could have just onto the proper lane. Did not.

    Anyway Robin ended up in the UK in 84. Fought skinheads. Had head injuries and died at around 50.

    Love you my hero cousin Anton Rabindranath (Robin) Barr-Kumarakulasinghe

    ROYAL & THOMIAN big match papare

  5. India topped the medal table at the U17 wrestling championships.


    Some thoughts

    – India does well at free style sucks at Greco-Roman rules which makes sense given traditional wrestling in India is closer to freestyle (legs used)

    – Women did esp well, maybe thanks in part to Phogat sisters being a role model and Bollywood biopic made on them making it more popular for girls to get into the sport

    – I don’t see slant weight class related correlation.

    1. Almost every single one is a Jaat from Haryana. Other communities hopefully get inspired. I don’t buy idea that only that community from magical high steppe is the only one with potential. They are role models for rest of Indian youth in sports.

      What’s surprising is how classically “Indian looking” the male Haryana origin wrestlers are. Like Deepak Punia can pass in South India.

    2. Some notable non Haryana Jaats

      “Suraj Vashisht became the first Indian Greco-Roman wrestler to clinch a gold medal at any World Championships after 30 years. The last time, an Indian won a gold medal at the World Championships in Greco-Roman wrestling was in 1992 through Pappu Yadav, who claimed top honours at the U20 level. ”

      Suraj sharma, vaibhav narayan patil l, and Kumar Lalit are some others.

  6. After the Oscars’ Controversial ‘Naatu Naatu’ Performance, South Asian Dancers Are Fighting for Representation

    Nearly a week after the Oscars, the hurt and disappointment of a missed opportunity still weighs heavily on the minds of some South Asian American dancers, who are setting out to ensure it never happens again.

    Many in the South Asian dance community were dismayed by the astonishing dearth of South Asian representation in the “Naatu Naatu” performance at Sunday’s Academy Awards. While singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava were on hand to perform their hit tune from Tollywood smash “RRR” — which made history for India that night by winning best original song — they were joined on stage by not a single dancer of South Asian heritage.


    1. In Sri Lanka Bhairava is considered an evil/dangerous god.

      So looked up the name Kaala Bhairava, which I assume means black bhairava

      Bhairava (Sanskrit: भैरव lit. ’frightful’) or Kala Bhairava is a Shaivite and Vajrayāna deity worshiped by Hindus and Buddhists. In Shaivism, he is a powerful manifestation, or avatar, of Shiva associated with annihilation.

      1. “So looked up the name Kaala Bhairava, which I assume means black bhairava”

        It is “Kaal” (काल) Bhairav so ‘death” or “end of a time cycle”.
        Not “Kaalaa” (काला) as in Black.

        Bhairiv and Bhairavi are Tantric deities.

        Tantric margs are heterodox to different degrees.

        At the extreme they take stuff that is considered taboo or shocking stuff (death, alcohol, sexual impropriety etc) and make it sacred as a means to break attachments.

        At a non-initiated, sort of superstitious layman Hindu level some Bhairav temples offer alcohol as Prasad, they believe Bhairav then fulfills wishes.

  7. I recently saw (most of) RRR with my Caucasian girlfriend, and the whole movie was awful. It was basically like watching a video game.

    Moreover, I’m quite embarrassed at how one story of the movie was about how a British woman has a crush on an Indian guy.

    I think that the whole Oscars are just using this movie as a tool to promote how woke they are.

    1. the whole movie was awful. It was basically like watching a video game.

      I agree. South Indian movies are horrible, lots of violence and not at all believable (like a video game). (I get forced to watch some movies on the buses that go toward the North).
      Even the Oscar winning dance was more movie tricks, than actual ability to dance.

      In a sense much like WWF, where all those watch/fans know its fake but are still avid fans. Or for that matter mindless violence movies like Texas Chain Saw Murders.

      I guess its what you grow up with.

    1. There will be an incoming mass conversion to Sikhism. This isn’t bad on face by any means. But it won’t be sincere. Canada already has enough trouble handling immigration from S Asia. A right to return situation would increase immigration exponentially. Everyone, by hook or crook, will show whatever documentation to get to the first world. It won’t be politically popular among Canadians. Wokeness has to be pushed extremely hard for it to be. And Jagmeet is already testing everyone’s patience. If they didn’t like Quebec go, they won’t let this happen.

      1. Actually the article is more modest. Only suggesting a right to return in the far future not right off the bat.

        Initially the Sikh community would be granted some level of autonomy within the Canadian on the parcel of land that is purchased. This would within the Canadian political framework, SSNA would be recognized as a nation within Canada similar to the Quebecois.

        But yes eventually as it gains full autonomy the immigration policy will be the SSNA’s prerogative not Canada.

        1. I think the ideal location for Sikh State North America (SSNA) would be Surrey district in British Colombia. It borders the USA and has access to the Ocean, so it will allow for maximum autonomy.

          It is already about 30% percent Sikh, but I project this will increase a lot as a result of the peaceful population exchange from places like Yuba City and Brampton.

          1. Sikhs could also mass-migrate to a temperate climate with great agriculture. Perhaps the plains of Mississippi fits this for many reasons:

            * It’s very river-rich in that area, just like the Land of 5 Rivers
            * Exceptionally rich soil
            * flat plains like Punjab
            * temperate climate

          2. Us migration policy won’t favor them, unless educated. Things are already moving towards more academic merit based. That’s why Canada is preferred for more open policies. Largely S Indians taking advantage of US migration. Also fake degrees are harder to get away with. Punjab has to transform its education system to compete for US immigration. Chain migration is there. Patels use it a lot. So there is that option for Sikhs.

        1. Regardless, Canadians aren’t exactly going to give up terrority, at least I don’t think, for this type of thing. Quebec has a stronger case. I may he wrong though. Canadians aren’t Americans.

          “In the aftermath of the close result, the federal government, after unilaterally recognizing Quebec as a distinct society and amending the federal constitutional veto procedure, referred the issue to the Supreme Court of Canada, which stated that the unilateral secession contemplated in the referendum was illegal.”

          Even if passed, courts may have messed with it.

        2. It was a non-binding referendum which was later ruled illegal by the Canadian supreme court and there was some question of how what % constitutes a clear majority.

          The francophone districts did mostly vote yes, the Anglophone, Inuit, and recent immigrant communities voted to stay with Canada.

          1. There is definetely a non-zero chance of this happening. Canada is probably the country with the weakest national identity. The only thing holding it together is the maxim of being more liberal than the US. If Sikhs push it hard enough and with sufficient numbers, I can see something like this happening in two decades. Accuse Canadians of racism or something for not allowing an autonomous Sikh state and they will bend over backwards to appease you. Very easy to manipulate these people. But my God, SSNA is a terrible name. Call it Sikhistan lol.

          2. ppl assuming CA is very big and there won’t be any pushback to giving some uninhabited piece of land. Most of habitable/warm/populated CA cities are close to US border. If our Khalsa brother’s recent behavior is anything to go by they will ask for the choicest regions which will mean uprooting of other ethnicities. Its a pandora’s box probably meant to stir up more trouble in PB.

  8. All in all, I don’t think (and hope) this will ever happen. One possible scenario in my mind is something like Mormonism in Utah but I don’t see anyone benefiting from of a Sikh state in North America asides from India.

    1. I agree.

      Personally I think the best approach for a Khalistan is to consider the background of the first people initiated into the Khalsa (Panj Pyare ) by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

      I think somewhere along the way the Khalsa has failed to live up to the Guru’s vision which was clearly something more than just a Punjabi ethnoreligious thing.

      But just as a thought experiment, what seems like a better place to live between these two:

      1. A nation state in North America with the Pacific Ocean on one side and two developed countries and potential trade partners on the other sides

      2. A nation state in the Indian part of Punjab landlocked between 2 dirty, corrupt. third world poor countries.

      I understand Punjab has historical and sentimental importance. But leaving that aside I think a Surrey based state would be better for its inhabitants.

  9. Looking more into this, there are only 25 million Sikhs and their TFR is only 1.6(lower than Sweden). SSNA is toast but quite likely Punjab will become the New Bihar.

  10. After Mearsheimer’s piece a few months warning dems/administration not mess up relationship with Hindu RW in IN, Walter Mead weighs in. In his WSJ paywall piece, apparently he compares bjp/rss with Muslim Brotherhood, Likud, CCP. tbh not a good league to be put in. Some RW handles are going gaga over the “objective” assessment 🤦🏽‍♂️. This reeks of “marks” not figuring out the bad-cop/bad-cop routine of nyt+ liberal media & WSJ +RW pundits.

    1. shared on my FB page.
      Hilarious unless of course exposed to credit suisse.
      Did you know Credit Suisse used to be Swiss Bank.

  11. Kavadi Dance in the Tea estates. The tea estate community is recent (150 years) recent South Indian immigrant.
    In comparison with Kavadi (also for some Hindu God) in the deep South among the Sinhalese* is
    a) Almost all Sinhalese) males are barebodied
    b) no women in the processions (some have gay” females” eg Hikkaduwa Seenigama Devala Perahera)

    I think being bare bodied is possibly a sign of confidence. The Southern coast line has been exposed to
    a) European Invasions
    b) post independence European Tourism.

    Even in NYC after work hours and to local pub I used to wear a sarong. In summer hang out on the street in sarong and bare bodied.

    One time between consulting gigs a local Puerto Rican/Black guy who noticed I was not going to work, offered to get me a job at the local sausage factory. I was not offended in the least, considered to have “assimilated/blended” in to the neighborhood.

    *The Sinhalese in South are considered the bastion against the defenders of the Nation. However, much of the coastline is of recent South Indian Immigration. Very obvious, they are taller and more muscular than the historic Sinhalese in the interior. Not denigrating the interior Sinhalese, they were more subtle and thinking people.,

    St Cooms Talawakela Thiruvila of Srilanka

  12. Found what I assume is a Sinhalese result (last name Amarasinghe). They seem to be like generic South Indians,
    Admix Results (sorted):
    # Population Percent
    1 S-Indian 56.89
    2 Baloch 34.12
    3 SE-Asian 2.56
    4 Caucasian 1.93
    5 Beringian 1.86
    6 SW-Asian 1.17
    7 Pygmy 0.67
    8 Siberian 0.33
    9 Papuan 0.24
    10 American 0.22
    Single Population Sharing:
    # Population (source) Distance
    1 sinhalese (harappa) 3.41
    2 velama (metspalu) 3.6
    3 tamil-nadu-scheduled-caste (metspalu) 3.76
    4 karnataka (harappa) 3.76
    5 tamil-vellalar (harappa) 3.81
    6 velama (reich) 4.14
    7 andhra-pradesh (harappa) 4.22
    8 tamil-nadar (harappa) 4.51
    9 dusadh (metspalu) 4.88
    10 ap-reddy (harappa) 4.88
    11 lodi (reich) 4.9
    12 kurumba (metspalu) 5.16
    13 tharu (metspalu) 5.28
    14 tamil (harappa) 5.75
    15 naidu (reich) 5.88
    16 up-scheduled-caste (metspalu) 5.95
    17 singapore-indian-a (sgvp) 6.3
    18 kanjar (metspalu) 6.5
    19 dharkar (metspalu) 6.65
    20 kol (metspalu) 6.69

    Might be of interest to Razib and sbarrkum

    1. Yes, Sinhalese and SL Tamils are quite generic South Indians closer to Dalits and Scheduled castes.
      Thats because there is a strong substrate of AASI.

      Like I often say, the only country of Dalits/Sudras and ruled by Dalits.

      Quite often Indian Tamils call Sinhalese, Dalits as a slur. No sweat Sinhalese are doing better,

      1. @sbarrkum
        >Quite often Indian Tamils call Sinhalese, Dalits as a slur. No sweat Sinhalese are doing better

        Really?? I’ve only ever heard anything remotely like this from Tambrams speaking about the Malaysian/Sing Tamil diaspora, never towards Sinhala ppl.
        I feel like you might overestimate how much Indian Tamils care about ethnic conflict in SL. It was a conflict that I had at one point a fair amount of curiosity about, having friends on all sides, and I’d rarely find TN people who even remotely cared. If anything the Jaffna diaspora look down on the Indian Tamils for being sellouts, and brainwashed by Indian nationalist narratives, and with an internalized inferiority complex.
        The street cadre of some poltical parties who’d occasionally show solidarity with the SL Tamils are fundamentally unserious, and have long moved on to some other issue.

        1. The big sample of 3-4 Indian Tamils who comment regularly on a Sri Lankan blog/online paper Colombo Telegraph.

          I think one was a Tamil Brahamin.

          Agreed my exposure Tamil Nadu opinion is extremely limited.

  13. We/I (uncles for most in this group) grew up in a era where interpretations of music of the world by the west was considered original. eg Rock and the Blues

    Now with the spread of open media, some of us realize that much music was historic and part original native music.

    A Baul musician.
    Bauls are considered the original Rock Musicians.
    to Quote
    “the Bauls reject possessions on religious grounds. They travel throughout India on foot carrying only their musical instrument. The Bauls create their songs spontaneously in front of their audience. They want to transport their public into another world.”
    Much similarity and related to Gypsy Music

    Sound like a Rock Musician

  14. RaGa conviction is wrong move and counter productive. Allows him to paint himself as victim + same “hate speech “ weapon can be turned against bjp .

  15. My take on “AASI” is that there wasn’t just one singular population but multiple South Asian hunter gatherers scattered all over the region, with varying builds frame and facial phenotypes. I think SAHG is just a general term for these people and not a hard-set ethnicity and I think it’s the same way in North, South and Central America where “indios” or Indigenous folks vary from the midget types to being very tall and robust like the Plains folks of America and here in Canada too. On a phenotype note, yeah Cree Anishinabe etc folks look very different from the Eskimos/Inuit tribes up north in Alaska and they look different from the Central American types who look different from the ones in Bolivia for example.

    The general similarity is there I mean and ofc that would exist with the SAHG populations(maybe not as big of a range due to constrained geography?idk) but I do think there were different groups of SAHG.

    1. Good points. Though one thing that is still non-intuitive to me a bit about genetics is lack of correlation between genetic diversity in a population and phenotype diversity.

      So for eg. Two random San people from different tribes are extremely diverse genetically but all look broadly similar.

      AASI are relatively diverse genetically as well compared to non-African populations but not sure if there is that much climate variety for selection pressure or enough natural obstacles to prevent interbreeding / allow for founder effects.

      In the present day there are a lot of sub populations and geographic differences, but not sure to what extent that stuff is just due to caste vs geographic barriers.

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