Nothing jerks my soda more than companies that rely on third-parties.

Insurance companies farm out claims approvals; cable companies like Comcast and American Express are using unskilled, foreign companies to fulfill critical customer-care functions; and mortgage companies delegate accelerated mortgage-payment schemes. And those are just the ones I can name off the top of my head.


Worst of all: our own government doles out critical security functions like candy at a carnival.

Jason Leopold, the nation’s most prolific FOIA reporter, just threw up an epic, exhaustive post that blows a very loud whistle on this out-of-control practice. You might remember the outsourcing dinguses who crafted our torture program (before President Obama nixed it):

One of the most notable of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service contracts is the sole-source contract to create and manage the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program. That contract was awarded to two retired Air Force psychologists who managed the program at a cost of $180 million over five years, according to a report by the Senate Intelligence Committee that probed the efficacy of the CIA’s program.

Jason also uncovered an all-too-cozy relationship between the CIA and Hollywood—which, on its face seems innocuous. But that meddling has led to some positive messaging where none is deserved.

Very little good comes from farming out critical roles. This is just another in a long line of them.



While the headline is pretty shocking, the truth is actually somewhere in the middle. Poland says it’s trying to protect wildlife from an invasive, destructive beetle; but activists say it’s just a ruse to allow expanded logging.

Even though the government says it’s going to compromise and preserve a third of the forest, the country’s plan is cutting off its nose to spite a very pretty face. Watch this space.




I decided to make a direct-to-camera video tribute for my pal Chris “Crusty” Haddle. If you feel so inclined, please make a donation to LifeLine Animal Project in memory of Christopher B. Haddle. Hope you enjoy.



As my beloved Star Trek franchise turns 50 this year, a fan-fiction movie has been slapped with a lawsuit by CBS/Paramount—causing similar projects’ crowdfunding to flag (Newsweek)… A guy mashed his willy against a window at KFC; the joint automatically got classier (Instinct Magazine)… MSNBC’s loss is The Atlantic‘s gain; congrats to Alex Wagner on new adventures (TVNewser)… Online comment sections are notoriously ugly, but a new #MoreThanMean campaign puts a human voice behind cutting, misogynistic insults (YouTube).



Mikki Willis posted an short-but epic video about how his son chose a Barbie Doll at the toy store. The video went viral and got lots of positive comments—even a report on HLN. I reached out to Mikki and will let you know if I hear back.

This is how parenting is done. ⬇️


That’s it from me this week Cranker Darlings… We’ll see you right back here next Thursday at 2 p.m. Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company.

Will Pollock is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist and author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.




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