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  • Writer's pictureFred

5 WORST Beacon of Speech Articles this Decade

Usually websites pad their content between Christmas and New Year's with Best Of lists and Beacon of Speech is no different. But instead of tooting our own horn, we are making a list of articles that we'd like to have back.

About 2 years ago, I wrote about my late-friend Mark.

"Most of the time when I got fuel, the guy working the pumps was "Mark." He was your typical dumpy guy next door who liked to talk sports and drink beer.

After years and years of small talk, one day Mark was agitated, which he never was. He confided in me that he couldn't wait to retire. I laughed and told him that was 20 years away. Mark couldn't have been any older than 45.

Then he got all serious on me, "let me tell you Fred, I've been working at Penske since I was 19 years old. I've been working with the city since high school-"

"Wait a minute. You work two jobs?"

Mark: "Yeah, I work here from 6 am to 2:30, then I work for the city from 3 to 11."

"I had no idea."

Mark: "Well I'm sick of it. I got married in my 20's, but that girl was a bitch. Luckily we didn't have any kids. When I go divorced I swore to myself that that I'd work my ass off when I was young, but I'd be able to retire at 49."

Well good for you, everyone's got to have goals in life.

Mark: "But I'm almost there. Just a few more years."

What's your retirement plan?

Mark: "I'm going to buy a pontoon boat and fish away my retirement."


Mark looked hurt. "That's it. That's the plan. I don't need much. A pontoon boat. And fish. I'll be good."

Good luck with that.

Shortly thereafter I was terminated from Iron Mountain. My partner at Beacon of Speech, Ted, called me a few years later and, in the passage of conversation, blurted out, "did you hear Mark at Penske died?"

No, what happened?

"Massive heart attack. 47 years old."

I proceeded to tell Ted the pontoon boat story.

Every single week I think of Mark and the damn pontoon boat.




And I was so moved, I published the article.

Contributor Joe K. read my article and said, "didn't you hear what really happened?" Like an Evil Paul Harvey, Joe told me the rest of the story. According to Joe's Friend, Mark had a massive heart attack, that part was true. But the paramedics found him face down on his coffee table, a huge pile of blow under his head, like in Scarface. He was a hardcore Weekend Warrior.

Mark wasn't your friendly guy-next-door type either, apparently he had a prodigious appetite for drugs.

And violence.

And domestic abuse.


Yeah, I shouldn't have used the word fuck. I said it before and I'll say it again, my commentary has been better than the woke crap that's been winning.

When I said I was going to enter the Pulitzer Race again this year, my supportive wife said "people like you don't win Pulitzers."


I didn't ask her to elaborate.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre were a volatile bunch in their youth. I wrote a short blurb about how they're still making great music decades out and they had outgrown their youthful shenanigans. Less than a year later, Svengali Anton Newcombe would fire, then fight, guitarist Ryan Van Kriedt on stage. Newcombe is 56.

We stand by all our negative coverage of Meghan Markle.

She is terrible.

But after re-reading this article, I wish we had the self-discipline to just ignore her.

Then, less than a year later, Putin invaded Ukraine.

I was obviously wrong about Putin, but I want to defend my article. Right up until Covid, I am positive that Vladimir Putin was satisfied with being the richest man alive.

But I believe that Covid damaged his brain, like it damaged mine. I think that the Ghost of Stalin haunts Putin and made him invade Ukraine.

Seriously. Read Mark Lanegan's Devil in a Coma.


In life, I'm not the most confident guy, but I find myself with more confidence than ever within the blog. There's no blog entry that I've made that I was forced to unpublish.

The more I read, the more I see a media landscape that is just saturated with corporate tools and partisan hacks. I don't see any sense of regret when they're wrong, and in this red/blue hellscape, they are wrong half the time.

Let me give you an example:

Just before I was to hit the publish button, CNN asked their contributors for their predictions in 2024. It was pure unadulterated tripe. CNN's Crystal Ball.

But two Categories were particularly galling and I had to comment:

Who Will Win the Nobel Peace Prize?

SE Cupp: Qatari Negotiators in the Israeli Hostage Deal

That's a fair answer.

Jill Filipovic: A climate leader like Indigenous Leader Nemonte Nenquimo

Woke Garbage.

Frida Ghitis: Volodymyr Zelensky

I agree with the sentiment, but it won't happen.

Allison Hope: Israel's Opposition Leader Benny Gantz

Joey Jackson (CNN Legal Analyst): Joe Biden

I asked our legal analyst Ted and he said Donald Trump. Joey Jackson has the same street cred as Ted.

Roxanne Jones: TWO climate leaders, like Indigenous Leaders Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and Juan Carlos Jintiach.

More Woke Garbage

Don Lincoln: Alexei Navalny

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. The right answer is Navalny.

Dean Obeidallah: Taylor Swift

Obeidallah is an idiot. Can you imagine if I said one of my favorite musical artists should win the Nobel Peace Prize?

Yes, I picked that Nine Inch Nails song for a reason.

Megan Ranney: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

"President" of the UAE? No.

Kent Sepkowitz: Biden

Gene Seymour: Qatari Negotiators

Alice Stewart: Zelensky

Sara Stewart: Greta Thunberg

Do leftists just pick their heroes, then throw darts on a board to see who should win the Peace Prize?

Holly Thomas: Whoever negotiates a Israel-Hamas cease fire.

Name please.

Jeff Yang: Chef Jose Andres.

The more I read about Jose Andres, the more intrigued I was.

Again, Navalny was framed, jailed, poisoned, and then sent to Siberia simply for opposing Putin. No one has that resume. No one.

Who Will Be Elected President in the 2024 US election?

SE Cupp: Trump

Jill Filipovic: Biden

Frida Ghitis: Biden

Allison Hope: Biden

Joey Jackson: Nikki Haley

Ding, ding, ding, another winner. I think America is done with 80 year olds running the country.

Roxanne Jones: Biden

Don Lincoln: Biden

Dean Obeidallah: Biden

Megan Ranney: Biden

Kent Sepkowitz: Biden

Gene Seymour: Biden

Alice Stewart: Trump

Sara Stewart: Biden

Holly Thomas: Trump (Predicted in the spirit of packing an umbrella to ensure it doesn't rain.)

What? Both Obeidallah and Thomas are insufferable.

Jeff Yang: Biden

The election is a year away. If Haley can get traction against Trump in the first few primaries, she is in the best position to be the next face of America. I am telling you, Americans are sick of BOTH Biden and Trump.

You see all the reporters above? 15 of 15 will personally vote for Biden.

How does no one else see the problem with that?

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