Thursday, December 17, 2009

Obama appoints Ari Ne'eman to National Council on disabilities

I see that President Obama has made nominations for some new administration positions these include a nomination for Ari Ne'eman's appointment to the National Council on disabilities. So, now we have someone who has stated the position that certain people think autism speaks is morally complicit with murder and seems to have given this statement credibility. We also have the appointment of a 21-year-old who has never been employed in any capacity who gives input on employment. Most stupefying of all is that Ne'eman is being appointed to a council on disabilities even though he himself does not believe that autism is a disability. Ne'eman has written:

We see the world in a different way than our neurotypical peers (neurotypical is a word in the autistic community meaning those of the majority neurology). This does not imply a defect, but merely a difference — one that we have just the same right to as those of a different race, nationality or religion.The belief was that anyone society labeled "disabled" could only go so far. Sadly, these misconceptions had the potential to become self-fulfilling prophecies. When the expectation is that people of a certain type can only reach so far, they are not provided with the same challenges and opportunities that educators give mainstreamed students....
In the last paragraph Ne'eman writes:

We should recognize what diversity of neurology has contributed to the human race and what it can bring to the future. Difference is not disability and someday, I hope, the world will recognize that those who think in different ways should be welcomed.

Of course if anyone wants to argue semantics, Ne'eman does say in that essay that disability comes from society's attitudes, so in essence he could be claiming the old Larry Arnold argument that he considers himself disabled from the social model rather than the medical model. However, still this shows to me that he has a different definition of disability than the mainstream, including what I suspect is the federal government's.

This appointment of an inexperienced 21-year-old who has these views that I regard as harmful is of concern to me. I am not sure if these nominations have to be confirmed by congress or not. I would consider writing my congressman though he never responded to my question of the legality of allowing Ne'eman and Katie Miller to testify before the IACC so seems pointless to write him again. I may write a letter to President Obama telling him how much this appointment concerns me.

Addendum: I decided to call my congressman's office. I was told that these appointments are confirmed by the senate and not by the house. I have written (by email) both senators Boxer and Feinstein, urging them to reject Ne'eman's confirmation to the council. I also left a phone message with Boxer's office. I got a message from Feinstein's office saying the lines were busy, but I guess the email may be enough. Of course, these appointments are probably routinely confirmed in most cases, so there is little chance enough people would complain and we could get the senate to reject Ne'eman's confirmation. But I urge anyone who feels as I do who is an American citizen to contact their senators and urge them not to confirm Ne'eman's appointment.
I have also contacted the white house and left a message for president Obama that I disapproved of this nomination and felt he should reconsider.

36 comments:

Roger Kulp said...

I see a lot that is disturbing things about this,on many different levels.

1)There is the effort to promote Ne'eman,whose "disability" is both mild and questionable as the "face of autism",and thereby push the more severely autistic,or those with serious medical issues related to their autism,further into the background.

Look at change.org.Didn't they have ties to Obama at one time?

2)There is Ne'eman's family,that has influential political connections all over the world.(Google his mother Rina.)

3)There is our government's ties to the pharmaceutical industry, that works so hard to promote antipsychotic drugs as the main "treatment" for autism.

I wonder if this would mean that NIH is going to discourage any research into environmental triggers,or medical problems in autism,and move more into the sort of junk science Laurent Mottron practices?

jonathan said...

Hi Roger, I am fairly certain that the National council and disabilities and the NIH are two very separate and distinct agencies and the policies of one does not likely influence the policies of the others. This is aside from the fact the government supports Mottron's partner in crime Morton Gernsbacher as well as other dubious scientific endeavors.

Jake Crosby said...

Your congressman, Henry Waxman, is nothing more than a big pharma tool and a big government bully who started this whole mess.

jonathan said...

Jake, what does Henry Waxman have to do with any of this?

Adrianna said...

It figures that Obama was nominate someone like Ne'eman for this position. Ne'eman is basically a younger version of himself. Neither has much in the way of knowledge and experience, and both are ridiculously overhyped and they have begun to believe in their own hype.

Political rant aside, what formal education does Ne'eman have on disabilities? Employment? Life experience? Notable experience with people with all types of disabilities, including all types of autism? Nada.

Just when I thought Obama couldn't do any worse. I hope he comes to his senses, and that Congress steps in and does its job.

lurker said...

Yet another disappointment I see from Obama. I think it's absurd how Ne'eman gets nominated to a position like this so fast, seemingly just by talking eloquently with rhetoric that is considered agreeable when thought of uncritically, and by putting himself out there through the organizations he's been involved in. I wonder what he's actually even accomplished.

I think the only chance there may be to get his appointment rejected is if the republicans in the senate go against it, seeing as they like to obstruct Obama on anything and everything. It's ridiculous that someone who doesn't fundamentally acknowledge that disability is within autism has been given such prominence.

Jake Crosby said...

Well, he is considered father of the Autism Epidemic for one thing:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/10/congressman-hen.html

jonathan said...

Jake this post is not about an autism epidemic, alleged or otherwise. It is about Ari Ne'eman's appointment to the national council on disabilities.

Jake Crosby said...

Given that Ari, who has an autism spectrum disorder, is being nominated to a high-ranking position on disability policy, it has everything to do with autism, including the epidemic, which is 97% likely to be real.

Foresam said...

Lurker, Ne'eman accomplished being born into the Zionist Illuminati. That's how he gets to meet Prime Ministers and Presidents whenever he wants.

Anonymous said...

Roger: While I am certainly no fan of Ari Ne'eman, I googled "Rina Ne'eman" and found that she runs a Hebrew language translation service. I don't see how running a Hebrew translation service can result in "influential political connections all over the world."

Foresam said...

Rina Ne'eman used to be the translator for the Prime Minister of Israel. You don't get that job unless you're part of the team before they hire you.

Jake Crosby said...

She was the translator of Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister.

JediKnight2 said...

Like a friend of mine told me this morning, "Perhaps I should put on my resume that I'm a high school drop-out." That way I'll likely get appointed or hired for a job compared to someone who holds a college degree since people will feel sorry for me, and I'll be given a second chance (a third chance is a charm).

Ender said...

Who do you propose should be the face of autism with the government. You certainly don't represent my beliefs at all. That is the problem here, any reasonable face is hated by 60% of the others.

jonathan said...

Ender: First of all, there does not have to be a "face of autism". Assuming they have these government appointees at all, another argument alltogether, they should get someone who is qualified to talk about work-related issues, the bane of persons with disabilities oftentimes. So someone who has either worked or attempted to work and been fired or someone with mixed success such as myself is certainly more qualified than Ne'eman who has never attempted to work. The person should also represent the mainstream, as the vast majority of persons involved with autism wish a cure. They don't have to be an autistic person. No autistic person really comes to mind. Now that the CAA has been passed curation and prevention are the position of the federal goverment and people appointed to positions within the government should have this mindset.

Secondly, your views of autism are irrelevant as we have established before numerous times, you don't have a legitimate ASD diagnosis of any sort and your true diagnosis is traumatic brain injury and you are nothing but a self diagnosed aspie wannabe who knows nothing about autism from an insider's perspective.

Foresam said...

Droopy should be the "face of autism", a true autistic person who is banned from conferences by Amanda Baggs and her cohorts.

Ender said...

Well we have deemed that there needs to be a face for disability in politics, and so far I believe its a deaf guy, we need something more then that I think. Now I would agree that Ari is probably a bit too young for this position, but would you have preferred say, John Elder Robinson or Temple Grandin to take it, probably not.

To answer your second point, I forgot that you believe that nobody on the autism spectrum has ever had a brain injury. I will also assume that the fact that there was no such thing as an asperger's diagnosis in DSM-IV before my brain injury is irrelevant despite the fact that I was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, and hyperlexia when I was in Kindergarten the year before (all of which have known to be comorbid with asperger's in quite a few cases. Yea, that just never happens. BTW Johnyboy, have you ever had to worry about Sam walking out into traffic.

Oh and P.S. say I am not autistic and thats fine, but I have worked with maybe 100 aspies over the years (some of which were just like me when I was there age, some not so much, but hey thats what you get with a spectrum disorder)... I think I know something about them from an insiders perspective.

Stephanie Lynn Keil said...

Hopefully one day there will be no "face" of autism because autism will have been cured.

jonathan said...

Hopefully one day there will be no "face" of autism because autism will have been cured.

Amen Stephanie!

Foresam said...

Ender,
I've known lots of people who would be dx'd with Asperger's today. Forty or fifty years ago, they were just called weirdos. Being a little bit screwy does not mean you have Asperger's though. People who actually have Asperger's struggle mentally. They don't do well in school and their social ineptitude is a lot worse than what you queers are portraying it as.

You aren't old enough to know anything, so shut up.

Autism Reality NB said...

Apparently Ari Ne'eman is sending emails to Neurodiversity bloggers saying he is and has recognized autism as a disability contrary to what he wrote on the ASAN site article you quoted.

Ender said...

Johnyboy, I have worked with asperger's people something you have never done. You have no knowledge about asperger's syndrome other then yourself having it. Though I am still trying to figure out what behaviors a 6 year old with an autism spectrum disorder would display, I would be willing to bet that I would fit most of them. Psycatrists don't like second hand diagnosises though.

jonathan said...

Harold, that does not surprise me. If you look at the article now following my link, you will see Ari (or someone else from ASAN) edited it from the original and modified some of the language that was in the original article. However, there is no question that Ari has stated in the past that he does not believe autism is a disability. It is possible he has changed his perspective in a couple of years, but I doubt it. I wonder if his emails to the ND bloggers includes an explaination of how his views have changed and why. I would certainly like an explanation of how on one hand he could say autism is not a disability and now say it is.

Other than changing his mind, an alternative explanation is because so many organizations he has to work with to pursue his agenda have the word "disability" in it, including now the national council of disabilities which he wants to serve on, he had to claim he believes autism is a disability in spite of his writing on the subject.

This would seem typical of neurodiverse doublespeak that George Orwell wrote about.

The author said...

So if someone does mature and change there views you still dislike and dissaprove of them?

It seems in your philosophy there is no hope for redemption once you have given them the "evil eye"

For what it's worth, you accused me of seeking a confrontation with Temple Grandin for personal reasons, when my difference with her was over politics, your difference with Ari seems to run deeper than that.

Don't side with the hate mongers who post here they are just using and abusing you.

Some of what I read in them amounts to little more than anti semetism

jonathan said...

I see no evidence that ari has changed his views. He is still opposed to a cure, he is still claiming that autistic people are just fine they way they are and that it is a myth that autism is a tragedy.

My differences with Ari are political and no more.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, you allowing Anti-Semitic remarks about Ari is truly horrid.

"There is Ne'eman's family,that has influential political connections all over the world.(Google his mother Rina.)" --Roger Kulp over the fact Ari is a military brat of two soldiers and through his mother's work, has met some leaders.

"Ne'eman accomplished being born into the Zionist Illuminati." -John Best

This is disgusting, Ne'eman's politics aren't being discussed, he's being bashed for being Jewish and Israeli. For someone who claims to be Jewish, allowing antisemitism on the blog that is moderated really is horrible.


Now, perhaps Ari is wrong.

"So someone who has either worked or attempted to work and been fired or someone with mixed success such as myself is certainly more qualified than Ne'eman who has never attempted to work."

So, why aren't you being sought out for these positions? You should put yourself out there and work in politics to counter him? Instead of negatively taking away his positions, compete against him. Truth is the best disinfectant, so why don't you work to have Obama appoint you, since you believe you're more qualified?

jonathan said...

Anonymous: Other than John Best's "Zionist Illuminati" remarks which may or may not be antisemetic I don't believe that I have allowed anti-semetic comments in this thread. I am Jewish. Ne'eman's religion or ethnic background never entered my criticism of him.

His mother does run a hebrew translation service, apparently one of her clients was the prime minister of israel (at least one time) and stating this probably factual statement is not anti-semetic. It is relevant to the discussion as it shows possible nepotism in Ne'eman's appointments and media exposure rather than his own merit.

I don't see hate or bigotry from my side. Only from the ND's who support Ne'eman one who harasses me constantly and insults my mother because he does not have the wit to argue any of the facts from me (you may be this person for all I know) another who says autistics who don't agree with her agenda should be lined up against the wall and shot or turned into cat food. These people have donated money to ASAN and they have not refused them. Not to mention all the other bigotry and hatemongering that ND and the autism hub perpetuate which is beyond the scope of this post or response.

I don't have Ne'eman's connections to the whitehouse and other things, I don't have his exposure, so obviously even if I wanted the job I could not be appointed. I also have autism of a more severe magnitude than he does, so I don't have the ability to relate and be sociable that he does.

This is aside from the fact that I suspect the national council on disabilities does nothing to help handicapped people and is probably a waste of taxpayer money, i hope that answers your questions.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the person who insulted your mother, and I had no idea your mother was insulted. I don't even know who your mother is and i wish her nothing but wellness. I am just a fact checker for a paper who was asked to research this and was horrified by the posting of "Zionist Illuminati" which I'm sorry to say, is Anti-Semitic. I can refer you to the Southern Poverty Links which show that term to be a slur against Israeli Americans. But if this blog doesn't consider it Anti-Semitic, that's your business and I'll be happy to submit that to the journalist, though I don't think this blog is big enough to be mentioned in the article, especially given how few people comment, so don't worry, this is off the record. Was just a bit shocked at what you were allowing.

Thank you, you told me all I needed to know.

Foresam said...

The expression "Zionist Illuminati" is not the least bit anti-semetic.

Jewish people are nice people. I can't think of one who intentionally abuses disabled children the way Ne'eman does. I'm certain a vast majprity of Jewish people would condemn every word he says. Only someone connected to the Illuminati could be as highly trained and devoid of morals to be so cruel to these severely disabled children.

Zionism is pure evil and has nothing to do with decent, God fearing Jewish folks. I think the Jews would throw Ne'eman out if he stepped into a Synagohue.

Foresam said...

Ender,
I don't suffer from any diminished mental capacity like you do.

Jake Crosby said...

Although I think the words "Zionist Illuminati" are anti-Semitic, having Jewish roots and attending a Jewish-sponsored university myself, I do think Ari Ne'eman's mother's ties to the Israeli government are definitely indicative of nepotism.

Not only has she served as translator for the former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, but also his successor Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, as well as the current Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. No wonder Ari has all these connections to the White House!

Foresam said...

Zioist Illuminati may be anti Zionist but they are not anti-semetic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, just curious, what paper are you a fact checker for?

JediKnight2 said...

"If you look at the article now following my link, you will see Ari (or someone else from ASAN) edited it from the original and modified some of the language that was in the original article. However, there is no question that Ari has stated in the past that he does not believe autism is a disability."

Why, I'm not surprised! Either Ari's got some balls to admit the truth, or he's lying about how he sees autism so he won't get impeached.

How typical!

John Elder Robison said...

Jon, Roger and others, If I had any say in this I'd vote for someone from your end of the spectrum to compliment the ND end of things on any of those boards. But of course I have no say in that, any more than you do. Whatever else you may say about him Neeman does have the skills of a politician, or he has some politically savvy people in the background supplying the push. As many books as I've sold, I have essentially zero political clout. Your viewpoints seem so opposite much of the time, and you both have ideas that should be heard.