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An avid genealogist, I have a knack for using the document trail to root out buried family secrets and often help adoptees and others trace their histories. And so it’s with great amusement that I have unpacked the family trees of anti-immigrant right-wing personalities from Rep. Steve “We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies” King (whose own grandmother arrived in the U.S. as a four-year-old with baby siblings in tow) to Tucker “Why does America benefit from having tons of people from failing countries come here?” Carlson (whose ancestor wrote about how the bleak prospects in his native Switzerland forced him to head for America) to Stephen “We favor immigrants who speak English” Miller (whose great-grandmother most definitely did not speak English, per the census.) It’s a project I have jokingly dubbed #resistancegenealogy.

I was curious how long it would take me to hit an immigrant if I dug into the tree of Tomi Lahren, the platinum blonde, snowflake-hating ultra-conservative firebrand recently hired by Fox News. The answer was “not long,” but I never expected to hit pay dirt quite like I did.

But first, let’s back up. I like to say that following a genealogical trail is a lot like Law and Order. (Stay with me.) You hear the dun dun!, listen for the clues, (“I think she was working in a laundromat on 4th street?”) and then, well, you go to the laundromat on 4th street, for God’s sake. So how do we find out who Tomi’s ancestors were? You follow the dun duns.

Multiple sources identify Tomi’s parents as Kevin and Trudy Lahren of Rapid City, SD, including this Dallas Morning News piece. (While we’re at it, here’s a local newspaper article about the high school work experience that must have helped make Tomi who she is today.)

But who are Tomi’s grandparents? Well, this 2011 obituary for South Dakotan Wayne A. Dietrich lists Trudy and Kevin Lahren as his daughter and son-in-law, and Tomi as his granddaughter. And just to seal it, here’s Tomi tweeting out a remembrance of her grandfather on the third anniversary of his death.

Wayne Dietrich’s obituary says that he was born on February 11, 1938, in McLaughlin, South Dakota, the son of Julius Dietrich and Edna Schlacht. Here’s his family in the 1940 census. Further searching shows that Julius Dietrich, Tomi’s great-grandfather, was born in North Dakota on May 23, 1915 to Constantin (sometimes spelled Konstantin) and Pauline Dietrich. Here’s the family living in Linton, South Dakota in the 1920 federal census. And here is Constantin’s obituary, giving his date of birth as December 12, 1887.

Which matches the DOB for Constantin Dietrich of Linton on this World War One draft registration.

But here’s where it gets interesting.

Searching ancestry.com for more on Constantin Dietrich brings up an index listing for an INS file labeled “Prosecutions,” that indicates Dietrich was charged with “forgery, in altering the date of his declaration.”

Wait, what?

That file apparently has not survived, but a quick search of the local papers shows that Constantin Dietrich did indeed go on trial for forgery in Bismarck in May of 1917.

I ordered the court file, which included Dietrich’s grand jury indictment, in all its 14-page glory. Tomi Lahren’s great-great-grandfather was indicted on two separate counts, for “willfully, unlawfully and knowingly” making a false affidavit in connection with a naturalization proceeding, and for forging a naturalization document, in violation of the Naturalization Act of June 29, 1906. The grand jurors accused him of swearing falsely to the date of his declaration, and of altering the original papers (“with a knife or steel eraser or other instrument unknown to the Grand Jurors”) to make it look like his declaration of intention to become a citizen had been executed in 1911 rather than 1909, apparently because he’d let too much time elapse before completing the naturalization process.

But – lucky for Tomi – despite the evidence, the trial jury apparently had sympathy for Mr. Dietrich and acquitted him of the charges. He went on to successfully become a citizen in 1926, ensuring that 90-odd years later, his great-great-grandaughter would be here to compare the Black Lives Matter movement to the KKK and to inadvertently admit that the right keeps hammering on Hillary’s emails to distract from the Russia investigation.

I bring this to light not to shame or embarrass Tomi Lahren. Poke any family tree and you’ll often find similar irregularities. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Constantin Dietrich was a bad person or a scorn-worthy “illegal” to be demonized. Perhaps it only means that like millions of others, his overweening desire to become a US citizen may have caused him to try to cut a corner or two. It means he may have been a good man who made a bad decision under pressure. It means you’d hope his great-great-granddaughter would have empathy for the plight of immigrants rather than try to pull up the ladder behind her.

It means it’s pretty damn ironic that she continues to claim the moral high ground on this one, throwing stone after stone at illegal immigrants, unaware that she’s been living in a proverbial glass house all along.

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OOH BOY HOWDY, The Federalist is on fire this week! Just this morning we told you about the hilarious Federalist column where one neo-Nazi's mom and dad are Democrats, ipso facto QED NEO-NAZIS ARE THE REAL LIBERALS, FUCKERS! Is America's dumbest woman whose name doesn't rhyme with Cara Snailin' over there being a total fuckin' Mollie Hemingway right now? Sadly, she blocked us on Twitter, so how could we possibly know? The answer is WE DON'T CARE.

But now we have a gem of the Federalist genre, an article written by a whiny-ass gay quisling conservative, who would like to chew on his blankie and whine about how much harder it is out there for a conservative than it is for a gay person. This is a subject we happen to have some knowledge about, because we are super gay! And we know a lot about conservatives, both firsthand -- being subjected to them every single one of our almost four decades of life -- and also from covering extremist right-wing Christians for a very long time. Particularly the kind that tell young, impressionable, vulnerable gay kids that they need to pray away the gay if they want Jesus to exercise some self control and refrain from sending them to a fiery hell for all eternity.

We clicked on the article with high hopes. See if you can spot why:

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pic via Glamour Shots, we mean this dude's old website

The House Education and Workforce Committee was all set to have a hearing today all about the horrors that a higher minimum wage would wreak on the economy. Horrors like rich people being slightly less rich. Horrors like business owners claiming they will have to fire people and charge $15 for a McChicken if forced to pay workers a living wage, which they won't actually do because no one will buy a $15 McChicken and they would go out of business if they tried that, and they already don't hire more people than the bare minimum they can get away with. Horrors like poor people not being "motivated" to work harder and get better jobs that do not pay them an amount no human being could possibly live on.

Alas, as Politico reports, it was not to be, as committee members discovered their big witness for the hearing, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia (pictured above in a Glamour Shot from his archived website), was kind of a wacko.

Sabia, as it turns out, once had a blog called "No Shades Of Gray," in which he wrote many columns of an extremely homophobic and sexist persuasion. In one of these columns, in 2002, Sabia was very mad about one man's lawsuit against several fast food giants for contributing to his health and obesity problems by failing to disclose the nutritional information of the food they sold. In retrospect, I think most people are now on board with these chains being required to post calorie counts and other nutritional information, but in 2002, Sabia was convinced that requiring them to do this would be an assault on freedom for all Americans everywhere. His response to this was to try and attempt a Jonathan Swift posture and suggest taxing gay sex, which he claimed leads to "disastrous health consequences."

Because sure, that's the same thing, basically.


In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences. What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution - let's tax it.

"Come on, Sabia," you say, "how are you going to enforce these taxes? Are you going to send government officials to peep into everyone's bedroom?"

Eventually. But first we have to mount the assault on Big Gay (no, I am not talking about Rosie O'Donnell). We can tax gay nightclubs, websites, personal ads, sexual paraphernalia, and so forth. Talk about a sin tax!!! We can cripple gay-related industries and get them right where we want them. All gay clubs will have to feature huge, flashing warning signs like "CAUTION: Entering this nightclub may increase your chance of contracting STDs and dying."

Big Gay clearly lures people into trying their "product" without discussing the risks to mind, body, and soul. The average Joe on the street does not understand all of the possible bad outcomes. I can almost hear him now:

"They said '100 percent hotties.' I thought that meant it was fun. I thought gay sex was OK…Now I have all these diseases. Big Gay has wrecked my life."

In the immoral words of Warren G, "Regulators!! Mount up!"

EXTREME SHUDDER.

In another 2002 article, classily titled "College Girls: Unpaid Whores," Sabia laments that feminists have led college girls to stop trying to be like the Holy Virgin Mary and instead to aspire to be more like that hussy Ally McBeal.

No, really.

As women have strayed from the church, they have replaced what is holy with what is temporally pleasing. For Catholics, the model woman is Mary, the virgin Mother of God. She is beloved by the faithful for her unflappable devotion to and trust in God, her nurturing of the Son of Man, and her deep love for all humanity.

Today's college girl looks to Ally McBeal, the trollops of Sex in the City, and the floozies on Friends to set their moral compasses.

The sad truth is that college girls are so desperate to find love that they are willing to degrade themselves to get it. But true love can only be understood in the context of the Word of God. Any other notion of "love" is secular and, by definition, limited and finite.

Not only that, but instead of going to college to find a husband, they have boyfriends. Boyfriends they have S-E-X with. And sometimes, not even that. Sometimes they have sex with people just because they want to have sex with people, and not even in exchange for Valentine's Day cards or money!


Additionally, other sex-based relationships have become commonplace. In recent years, a new and disturbing arrangement known as "friends with benefits" has emerged. In this arrangement, men are not even forced to perform the normal duties of boyfriends, i.e. flowers, Valentine's Day cards, rides to the abortion clinic, etc. Instead, girls consider these guys "just friends" whom they happen to screw every now and again. No strings, no attachments, no dinners. Just sex when they feel like it.

This type of arrangement is the next logical step in the direction that young women have drifted in the last few decades. These women have become unpaid whores. At least prostitutes made a buck off of their trade. These women just give it away.

How cute! He was like the ur-incel, basically.

Anyway, following the discovery of the posts, the House Education and Workforce Committee's GOP communications director Kelley McNabb told Politico that "members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing." A more optimistic person might think this was a step forward, that maybe those committee members actually thought it was bad to suggest that being gay means being a disease-ridden monster or that college girls are whores, but it's probably more to avoid embarrassment than anything else. Guess they'll have to start from scratch and find a crappy economist who will tell them what they want to hear about the minimum wage but who doesn't have an embarrassing Geocities blog in their past. Good luck with that!

[Politico]

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