To Laurence Tribe 7 8 96

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Karen Kline

Santa Fe, NM  87505



Laurence H. Tribe
Constitutional Scholar
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.  02138-1636


Dear Mr. Tribe,

I saw you on Charlie Rose discussing Victim’s Rights. I am, therefore, writing to you because you are a Constitutional Scholar and because you are involved in victim’s rights.

As a Constitutional Scholar, what is your view of the rise in militias, all of which seem to see the trampling of Americans’ constitutional rights by the government as the reason for their existence? And, what is your view of the IRS as it is presently allowed to trample the rights of Americans?

If I were to say to you that Americans don’t really have any rights, anymore, once those rights are tested against the IRS, how would you respond to me?



When I was attacked by IRS in 1994, I called — I still had a phone then — everyone who I thought could help me, or I wrote to them. I searched the internet for names of people and organizations to whom I could write.

I ran across, in doing this, an 800 number for victims to call in order to receive a first step kind of help. I called the number, saying that all of my money had been taken by IRS, leaving me none, and that IRS was not even using correct numbers. I was told that I wasn’t a victim since I was talking about IRS.Now, I don’t know whether I should be writing to a Constitutional Scholar or to a Linguistics Scholar, but the fact is that when all of someone’s money is taken, and the taking is not right, that is, the taking is in error, that person is a victim.

At this point I no longer think there is any justification, ever, for taking all of someone’s money: the very fact of taking all of someone’s money is wrong.

But, strange as it may seem, I seem to be alone in thinking this. Alone, once I mention IRS.

Let me tell you, I do not understand this. Why does the media not cover this story when the basis of this story is the basis from which the militias are growing?

I am enclosing for you a copy of my recent long letters, with their enclosures, to IRS. These letters needed to be as long as they are because the problem is not just IRS but the fact that legislators no longer seem to represent the people from the areas from which the legislators come.

It is my belief that if my legislators didn’t listen to me about the problems that exist with IRS, problems I know of because I am experiencing them, then few legislators are listening to anyone about these problems.

It may be that the problems with IRS are so complex and unfun that legislators don’t like to deal with them, I can certainly understand that. But, by failing to handle IRS problems, by denying these problems, legislators give the impression, it seems to me, that there is a conspiracy. Call it a conspiracy towards a New World Order, call it whatever you want, I can understand how people come to think that such a thing exists.

Let me give you an example: as a result of IRS taking all of my money in 1994 I no  longer have a phone; I am without the self-employed business that I worked hard to establish; my small provisions for my old age, two rentals, are about to be foreclosed, and one is vacant because I can’t rent it without a phone — it is amazing to me how many people require a phone to be used before they will agree to do business, to include providing dental care; my driving is limited because my license was revoked as a result of a change in municipal judges: the former judge called everyone who hadn’t paid their tickets in at Thanksgiving, where they were sentenced to pay so much money and so many turkeys for the poor, the new judge, who wants tickets to be more meaningful in the punishment sense of the word, is cracking down, revoking licenses.

Now, as soon as I was notified that my license was revoked, I wrote to the court, explaining that I had no phone and that I didn’t know for what I was supposed to have appeared in court: a parking ticket from the library? a warning I was given when my plates were expired? Weeks passed with no response. I wrote a more forceful letter. No response. I wrote a more forceful letter still and a response came that was dated as if the response had been written prior to the receipt of my third and quite angry letter. The postmark, however, showed that the letter went out after my third letter had to have been received, even if the postal carrier had walked the letter there. For the first week I didn’t drive. I felt I shouldn’t. The second week I drove once, perhaps twice when I had things come up which demanded attention.

I did not, however, feel that driving to a pay phone to call the court was appropriate. After all, I did not have a license. Interestingly, when the court finally wrote, they sent me their phone number, but no explanation of what it was for which I was supposed to have appeared in court. They also said how much I needed to pay them, again without saying what it was for which I “owed” them this money. Yes, failing to appear in court, but for what? So that I continue to live in a sort of house arrest, seldom driving anywhere, because I don’t feel right about it and because I wonder if my insurance would cover an accident if I were to have one. I find this is taking a toll on my spirits. I need seeds for my garden, which is a primary source of my food, yet I don’t feel right about driving to the nursery to get them. Perhaps if my maternal grandfather had not had a store he called the Square Grocery, because he was fair and square, I wouldn’t feel this way. But, I do feel this way. Which brings me to my point, I can see how someone in my position might think that the municipal court was in a conspiracy with IRS to make life so hard for that person that she or he is forced to give in to the system: giving the system what a is asking: half of all the money she or he has, just for a little peace of mind.

While I am certain that IRS did not call the municipal court and ask them to harass me, I also am certain that once things become difficult for someone due to stresses beyond the ordinary, that the chances of there being a “catastrophe” increase. I find the loss of my license to be a catastrophe of sorts. Without my license, for instance, I cannot complete certain bits of research, via interviews, for a story, of almost four hundred pages, that I am writing.Years ago, having read about Chris Zeeman’s Catastrophe Theory, which says something to the effect that when x number of things go wrong, a strain is put on things that causes the structure of those things to collapse and/or shift so severely that the change can be called a “catastrophe.” Chris Zeeman was a prominent mathematician in England when I lived in London, and was working on the mathematics of waves breaking on a shore, which as I understand it, was an area of study that preceded Gell-Mann’s chaos theory.

(While I used to get in the ninety-eighth percentile, nationally, on SAT type exams testing language skills and comprehension, when it came to maths, I got on the twenty-second percentile. Which may or may not explain the series of mathematicians with whom I went, if opposites attract.)

Here’s my point, if there is any truth in Catastrophe Theory, and I believe there is, then when IRS takes all of someone’s money, IRS is putting that person in a situation where many more things will go wrong, or be done to them in a similar kind of action: first comes an IRS levy, then comes insufficient money to carry out some bit of business that turns out to have been essential, but which wasn’t recognized as such in time to make it a priority at the cost of something else, then comes bankruptcy, then comes foreclosure.

The link among these things is not there by conspiracy, but it is there.

Whereas conspiracy implies a knowing, the link, as I see it, is a result of ignorance: legislators failing to recognize the complexity of the needs of the people they are supposed to be representing; failing to understand that crime results from inequity as much as it is an inequity, results from injustice as much as it is an injustice; failing to understand that when deregulation takes place and Savings and Loans fail, at a substantial cost to taxpayers, and that when a CEO commands a hundred million dollars in pay, at a cost of tens of thousands of jobs, and that when Wall Street shudders at good news for workers, the average person doesn’t see the complexities involved, or the CEO, but does see immigrants.

When one considers that a federal building has been blown up and that a group has just been accused of planning to blow up other federal buildings, then I would say we have a catastrophe on our hands: our system is failing to stand up to the strains that are being put on it.

In terms of my experience, IRS has taken more than I can afford to give, and the structure of my life has collapsed as a result of that taking.

My belief is that many people are experiencing just the kind of catastrophe that I am experiencing, but, failing to understand catastrophe theory, even as little as I understand it, they think the problem is every money-oriented operation being in league to send their money somewhere else, be it Sweden or wherever I have ever heard mentioned, but somewhere other than their own community where they can see it progress from person to person, business to business, circulating economic well being.

Here’s my question, Mr. Tribe, (as an aside, do you know Joe Traub? I was listing agent on a home he purchased in Santa Fe),

are there, at bottom, any constitutional rights to actually protect Americans who are finding themselves in untenable positions as a result of IRS actions, or do militia members only imagine these constitutional rights to have existed? If there are constitutional rights, then how do these constitutional rights become activated so that they protect people who are being harmed in contradiction of them?

It seems to me that if our constitution is what it is supposed to be, that then this problem with IRS can be handled without resorting to revolution.

It also seems to me that the media’s failure to cover the facts of what IRS is doing to people, is a factor in the belief, among those who hold the belief, that there is a conspiracy against them.

There was a time when I ascribed the media’s failure to their own fear of IRS. At this point, I think that if fear is driving the media’s silence, they need to get their courage together, because their failure is contributing to deaths of innocent people, to include children, deaths they cover in droves, failing to say that in their subtle way they have helped create the tragedies of Ruby Ridge, Oklahoma City, and almost Phoenix.

Karen Kline
Karen Kline

Copies: Charlie Rose — if the library ever sends his address, NBC, ABC, CBS, Joe Traub, the library, and, if my stamps hold out, others.


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