You couldn’t make this stuff up. Maybe.

July 7, 2015 • 3:15 pm

by Grania

Just in case you think rightwing homophobic nuttery is confined to a certain political party in a certain country south of Canada and north of Mexico, here’s heartening news. Or not.

Australia’s agricultural minister Barnaby Joyce is finally achieving global fame for claiming that legalising same-sex marriage could damage cattle exports.

The Independent reports him as saying:

“Where we live economically is south-east Asia, that’s where our cattle go” he argued.

“When we go there, there are judgments whether you like it or not that are made about us. They see us as decadent.”

He apparently previously opposed legislation allowing same-sex marriage on the basis that it would prevent his daughters from marrying men, so it is probably safe to say that he is not Australia’s finest example of a logical thinker.

So here’s a poll. Without knowing a thing about the man or his politics, which of the following statements do you believe to be most likely to be actual positions held by Joyce?

Because you are all psychic, you all correctly chose: (answers below the fold)

Yes, Yes and No.

47 thoughts on “You couldn’t make this stuff up. Maybe.

  1. lol.

    New Zealand exports to Asia have shot up dramatically since same-sex marriage was legalized.

  2. Since New Zealand, the neighbour of Australia legalized same-sex marriage, we have been doing much better economically than them. With the logic this chap seems to possess, he should accept that as an argument in favour of SSM.

    NZ is in negotiations for an FTA with Saudi Arabia. To the best of my knowledge, neither SSM nor the fact that prostitution is legal here have been mentioned.

    About a third of the marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in NZ are issued to Aussies who come here to marry. It’s kinda sad they’re unable to celebrate in their own country because of the warped minds of their current government.

    1. Yeah your even exporting yummy NZ cheese to Russia and the Russian government isn’t exactly pro gay!

    2. I think the question with that Saudi FTA should not be whether they are prepared to do a deal with us, but whether we are prepared to have a bar of them.

      cr

    3. The Sauds already think you’re kufirs set for Hell, so a bit of homosexuality doesn’t perturb them in the least.

    4. Happy Hump Day, the weekend is in sight – just.

      OK, I may be showing my economical naiveté here, but don’t members of a Free Trade Area normally have borders in common? Or at least, the countries in the FTA have a border with at least one other member of the FTA.
      Hmmm ,memory is popping up to tell me that singapore is in an FTA, but where with?

  3. Possibly Barnaby was kicked in the head by a cow at some time? Barnaby should go to southeast asia if he wants to see decadence.

  4. I think that you are psychic to be able to predict all of our yes yes no votes!

    Btw, is this the first click to ‘vote’ thingy ever done on WEIT?

  5. “Just in case you think rightwing homophobic nuttery is confined to a certain political party in a certain country south of Canada and north of Mexico, here’s heartening news.”

    For sure! Gets tiring being the only poster child.

    1. Agreed. At the same time, I hate that this BS is spread so far and wide. Can’t help but wonder whether it was spread by Americans, this go round, too.

  6. In his favour he made it pretty clear to that arrogant twerp Depp that quarantine laws also apply to so-called celebrities.

  7. I’m Australian, and I’m familiar with Barnaby Joyce. Still, I’m surprised that he’s in favour of mining in Antarctica, which not only would be extremely technically difficult but would also be in breach of international treaties Australia has signed.

    Although, in the early days of Antarctic exploration, the possibility of mining was offered as one of the reasons for doing it (I think Douglas Mawson used it as one of the justifications to get funding).

    1. How does any idiot become an elected politician? I won’t even attempt to count the ways.

    2. The government at the moment is a coalition of center right liberals (a misnomer) and right wing nationals.
      He is from a right wing state and has this position as part of a deal with the liberals.

      1. I assume, then, that AUS uses liberal in the way we do in western Europe, as meaning “laissez-faire market proponent”; more or less what has become ‘libertarian’ in the USA.

        1. Not really, though that may have been what Pig Iron Bob was going for in naming the party. From that time on, ‘liberal’ or ‘liberalism’ can only be used as a political description in Oz with the prefix ‘small-l’ (because the Libs have never been such).

  8. YesYesNo

    Well I still think the US is #1 when it comes to imbecilic leaders. We are so exceptional in that regard.

    1. Being psychic is not a prerequisite to cashing in on the gullible. I would venture that 100% of claimed psychics have no such abilities. I’m going to guess that it is your empathy and a functioning conscience that are going to keep you from scamming the gullible.

      Truly being psychic would be exhausting. Missing children, hikers and bodies would be competing with undetected diseases, tsunamis, earthquakes, mine disasters, etc. Of course, being psychic would mean knowing what the reaction of the world would be to learning of one’s powers.

      Many would be the paths to excessive wealth. Lost treasure, stock markets, gambling and more. I suppose it would be acceptable to set up a hotline so that people could always get usefully true information for their lives.

        1. That’s why I’m trying to cultivate my callousness and indifference to the plight of economically vulnerable people. I’ve joined the Conservatives!
          I’ve always liked the Woody Allen quote that he doesn’t want to gain immortality through his work – he wants to gain it through not dying…similarly, I don’t want to create something beautiful that’ll be appreciated for centuries to come – I want to create something incredibly expensive and sell it to stupid people.

      1. Along those lines, science fiction has often portrayed certain telepaths and precognitives as wracked with mental illness. (This was true even in _Minority Report_, for crying out loud.)

    1. Now that you mention it, this might be the main reason I frequent the blogs (and websites) of Atheists living in America. I can only apologise.

  9. All that you really need to know about the guy is that he is part of Tony Abbott’s cabinet. Given that Abbott has long had a reputation of being hard right & a bit of a religious loon, none of Joyce’s positions should be surprising.

  10. He’s not the only politician to say unbelievably stupid things of course; the current ruling party in Australia seems to be an expert on saying stupid things. Another minister insists that bestiality will be legalized next – I guess that’s wishful thinking on his part.

    1. Usually their argument goes to incest and polygamy before bestiality – they tend to argue that we’ll all be marrying multiple cousins by this time next week.

      It’s quite an effective tactic because there isn’t really any hard and fast reason why incest or polygamy should be illegal either but gay rights campaigners, just for reasons of not alienating a whole load of people who think with their gut but still support gay rights, have to react by categorically ruling out either incest or polygamy.

      Bestiality OTOH is a non-sequitur. It’s not comparable to homosexuality, or incest and polygamy.

  11. I live in South-east Asia and I don’t mind if my beef is gay or reared by gay farmers. Heck, I won’t be bothered if the farmers anal-rape their cattle. Just give me my sizzling Aussie porterhouse steak and I’m a happy camper. Yum!

  12. What we (Australians) try to do is export our nutters to the U.S. Take Ken Ham, for example – oh, you already have. Let us send you Barnaby Joyce as well. Please?

  13. Perhaps the minister has not acquainted himself with the lady-boys of Thailand, Indonesia, the POhilippines and Okinawa, or the work of the Edo-period Japanese writer Ihara Saikaku, or Francis Xavier’s alarm at the incidence of homosexuality in Buddhsist monasteries in Japan, or the numerous homosexual love-poems in older Chinese anthologies of poetry – not to mention the erotic depictions of homosexuality you find in India, China, Japan and elsewhere in the region. Lacking the boring and brutal certainties and anathemas of the Abrahamic religions, South-east Asia & East Asia have been far more tolerant than has, in particular, ignorant Anglo-Saxondom.

    1. If you read classic Chinese or Japanese literature it is plain that same-sex erotic relationships were not at all unusual (often involving actors, but still . . . )Then they imported Western morality and legal systems.
      China is particularly interesting because the ‘One Child’ policy has created an imbalance in the number of male children, currently 51.27% of the population is male a surplus of 9 million mostly in the under 45 age groups: who are they going to marry?
      There was a reaction to Justice Kennedy’s remark, “Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government” as here:
      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/07/03/commentary/world-commentary/confucius-say-gay-marriage/#.VZzdDPm240M

      1. In the past (Ch’ing period and earlier), there were, as I recall, in parts of southern China in particular, marriages celebrated between men.

      2. In the Elizabethan & Jacobean periods, by the way, when all actors were male and boys played female parts, it seems from the shrill complaints of certain Puritans about sodomitical patrons and their ‘ingles’ (catamites) that theatrical life – off-stage – in England and Japan was not so different, though doubtless in England people had to be very much more discreet than they had to be in Japan – or China for that matter.

  14. One thing about the current political discourse in Australia is that the people in charge are really poor salesmen of the line the government has decreed. It’s like they don’t even believe it themselves, but that they are toeing the line as a point of differentiation between them and the last government, which imploded under the weight of internal bickering and factions.

    What it means is you have politicians who built their reputation on financial competence touting voodoo economics in public statements, technologically competent ministers touting the virtues of backwards technology and internet censorship, and making as big a deal as possible out of the threat of terrorism despite it’s complete unreality to Australia. FFS, there was one example of the politicians demanding more power to stop all those Welfare Jihadis who were on Australian welfare while fighting for Isis. Turns out a total of 0 people were kicked off welfare once that power was given.

    Our political discourse sucks right now, and it’ll continue to suck until we get a decent opposition for once.

  15. Hmmm, I don’t support mining in Antarctica. But I have participated in (oil) industry discussions about where where to start exploration.
    Naturally, this has influence on exploration concepts in other deserts – NW Australia, and South Argentina.
    I wonder if the Antrarctic Treaty forbids private seismic sounding in Antarctica (this in not mining), or do we just have to negotiate with our governmental colleagues to get non-exclusive access to seismic acquired for “pure” research.

      1. Never heard of it.
        I’m thinking of basin-analysis presentatiions at conferences. No-one wanted to be seen picking up the hot potato from in front of the speaker’s podium, even when the carpet started to smoulder. But a lot of people were making notes. (I’d done my notes earlier in a coffee break, having recognised an opportunity when it presented itself.)

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