Thursday, May 14, 2009



Dear Rep. David Cullen,

I am writing you a letter of concern and expression about your public quote to the media publications on the issue of cochlear implant and societal functions of deaf people at large within the behalf of the Audism Free America.

Being a profoundly deaf person, I do find your quote - "This bill will help deaf children to function very well in the society at large, get the job and be part of the society at large" to be reprehensible and irresponsible and untruthful.

Since you are an elected statewide official. You have a responsibility of giving the balanced and accurate fact about the majority of deaf individuals as a productive members of the society, hold the job with paid salaries, pay taxes and participate in the public activities.

The recent passage of your legislation is much a reminder of the eugenics movement during the Progressive Era to cleanse and purify the so-called undesirables. Your legislation will leave very costly incentives saddled with long-term financial disaster for the state of Wisconsin and compromise the health insurance industry from delivering the real necessity of health needs.

For your information, every of us, human beings have our physical flaws. That makes our humanity real unique and vibrant for the real diversity of human race, instead of being the cookie cutter to correct the human imperfection.

If not for deaf people in existence, we would not have the finessed electric light bulb, movie camera, space travel, the Fifth Symphony, the birth of Internet, the creation of telephone/ telegram and other more amazing inventions all done by deaf people.

Thomas Alva Edison, the legendary American inventor, deaf himself. Edison often said that he was real proud to be deaf and blessed to be deaf. So Edison could focus on his countless inventions. He did cup his left ear for the portrait photography with big grin. Edison's works were much part of "conductive deafness" which led to the creation of the world's first phonograph machine.

Could you imagine that we would not have any cinematic experience on the silver screen or on our home entertainment player?

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the "Father of Theoretical Astronautics", deaf and self-taught himself. His theoretical works on physics matter and mathematics contributed to the possibility of space travel for the future generation. The Russian/USSR people had the monument to pay the endless respect for Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and thanked him for his great contribution to the humankind.

Could you imagine that the deaf individual paved the way for the possibility of space travel decades earlier?

Ludwig Beethoven, the composer of the "Fifth Symphony", latened deaf himself and composed most beautiful and soothing music. Beethoven doesn't let his physical flaw stopped him from doing his love of life and contributed to the cultural significance of our own humanity.

If not for Alexander Graham Bell and Samuel Morse' own deaf wives, we would not have the telephone or telegraph for greater modern communication devices. Both wives made great difference in their husbands' desires to bring humanity closer to the possibilities of communication over lands and seas.

The birth and creation of the Internet would be not possible without deaf individuals being involved in the infancy stage of the most revolutionized communication network ever. Vincent Cerf played the pivotal role in the creation of the Internet. The Gallaudet College students had been dispatched to the Department of Defense's research units in the late 1950s and 1960s which lend to the patchworks of communication development unit known later as the Internet in the late 1960s.

There are millions of deaf individuals' thankless contribution to the society at large. If not for the existence of sign language, the scuba divers would not have the underwater communication techniques with hands communication.

I could go further on more contributions made by deaf people to the humankind. We are more than being burdensome to the society at large and lift our human possibilities to the enrichment of daily human lives.

Please issue the public apology to the Deaf America for misrepresenting the facts about deaf people in general as soon as possible before June 1, 2009.

Thanks for your time and consideration reading this open letter to you and the state legislature of Wisconsin.

Respectfully yours,

Robert L. Mason


  1. RLM,

    This person's name is Representative Cullen. Not Representative Mullen.

    Can you edit this?

    Amy Cohen Efron

  2. Amy,

    Many thanks for the correction. My sincere apology for being careless in the first place.

    I was physically and mentally exhausted from lack of sleep lately after flying to DC and riding to NYC and return to South Florida.

    Thanks a zillion times!


  3. RLM, upon seeing AFA's latest vlog posting, it inspired me to send an email to Rep. Cullen. What bothered me the most was actually his quote that made it sound as if deaf people could not be productive members of society, go to school, or have jobs unless they had CIs and that was the area I primarily discussed in my email to his office.

    A few hours later, I received a response from one of his aides, Ritch Williams, who said that Rep. Cullen was misquoted on that and that the reporter left out a great deal of what he actually had to say.

    Now that is something that I totally believe, because of the fact that reporters do indeed leave out portions of the full quote.

    A great example would be where back in DPN when it went around that Spillman said that "Deaf people are unable to function in the hearing world" when in reality she said that "Deaf people are not unable to function in the hearing world" or something to this effect but a double negative was used which actually made it a positive.

    I have also had the personal experience of being misquoted by the media, and so has other members of my family, as well has friends. That being the case, I will not doubt what Ritch Williams had to say.

    Ritch also went on to say that Rep. Cullen has received many emails from many deaf people thinking that this bill would have required ALL babies be mandated to have CI's which is not the case, It was so bad that he even termed in as mass hysteria, which I also knew would have happened. The reality is that they only want the insurance to pay for it if the parent makes the decision to implant the child and cannot afford it, they have the option of having the insurance pay for it, thats all. It is not mandated that every deaf child should have the CI.

    That being the case, AFA should have actually emailed him first before doing these postings before they probably would have at least received a response from him. I would also dare say that you probably have also received a response as well, that is, if you actually emailed Rep. Cullen as opposed to an open letter like this.

    In other words, a witch hunt could have been avoided here.

    I was going to do a blog posting about this, but I just got home from a very long day at work and then a dinner meeting with a Board and lawyers. I still have to pack for a vacation trip thats starts tomorrow and lasts until Memorial day so I decided to just comment here instead, as the AFA website does not allow for comments.

  4. Vahilian,

    Oh I see! I am staunchly opposed to the CI surgery on any deaf child without hir own consent.

    How come didn't Rep. Cullen's media spokesperson send out the correction of Cullen's quotes in the first place?

    Keep hollering at Rep. Cullen to teach him and others the real lesson for not f**king with the Deaf America.

    I enjoy this kind of intimidation which the hearing audists done to all of us for years. I don't regret it at all.

    Thank you for leaving the comment. Have a safe trip and wish you all the pleasure within the trip.

    Let us take care of your stress and slap Rep. Cullen around for our own enjoyment.


  5. I have sent him a letter that his re-election is coming up soon. Having our vote of confidence would be based on his actions and voting records. If he does not announce his apology then we should vote him out. FYI I have reviewed his voting records and it indicates a poor rating. Really bad that I urge everyone to considering another candidate who has a broad knowledge of US Constitution and Individual Rights. Just two cents thought here....

  6. Michelle aka AGUABO,

    Great of you to send in the veiled threat for pushing him out of the office and teach him and make an example to other state legislators. :)

    I meant to talk with other political candidates in their district either of political parties to run against him which we will be more than happy to help out their campaign against Rep. Cullen.

    We need more like you, Michelle aka Aguabo. :) Enjoy your weekend. :)