7 @ 9: For $20, I’ll get you $10

1. Dammit.

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2. Am I missing something with those H&R Block ads urging us to hire them to “get your $1 billion back America“? There are more than 300 million people in America. Discount children, the retired and anybody else who doesn’t file a return (the working poor may not owe taxes, but they still have to file) and there’s probably at least 100 million of us filing income tax returns. So that $1 billion H&R Block is harping about works out to about $10 apiece.

I’m guessing that H&R Block charges more than $10 to process our returns. I’m guessing they charge more than $20, too, but let’s just say $20 to make the arithmetic easier. Say we all go to H&R Block and they help us “get our $1 billion back.” We just collectively handed $2 billion to H&R Block. Individually we each spend $20 to get $10. So am I missing something, or is this a really dumb ad campaign based on the assumption that we’re all too dumb to know that we live in a really big country?

(Or maybe — since polls consistently show that people think cutting arts funding or foreign humanitarian aid or “welfare” will balance the budget — this is a really smart ad campaign smartly based on the assumption that we’re all too dumb to know that we live in a really big country.)

3. Yeah, but in Canada they have waiting lists to see a doctor. … “In cities, the average doctor wait-time is 18.5 days.”

4. Ben Myers’ “10 rules for preaching on the parables” is excellent advice for anyone who has to preach on the parables of Jesus.

It’s also excellent advice for anyone trying to read the parables of Jesus.

Rule No. 5 is, more generally, excellent advice for anyone reading any part of the Bible: “If it ends up having anything to do with going to heaven when we die, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

5. The Academy has rescinded the Oscar nomination for the original song “Alone, Yet Not Alone” due to allegations of improper politicking by the song’s Academy-connected composer.

Good. It’s a free country, so the folks behind that movie are free to raise money by fighting against international efforts to aid people with disabilities based on the flagrant lie that such efforts are part of a conspiracy of international Jewish bankers threatening American sovereignty and paving the way for the Antichrist’s one-world government. And they’re free to use the money raised from these hateful, destructive lies to fund legal battles ensuring that abusive parents will be free to continue to torment their children without legal interference.

And, because it’s a free country, I’m also free to say that, yes, this clearly does mean these folks are horrible, horrible human beings.

6. My main years of CCM listening were in the 1980s — Steve Taylor, Randy Stonehill, Keith Green, pre-Baby Baby-apostasy Amy Grant, etc. That means I’m too old to be fully familiar with the bands Mallory Ortberg discusses here in “Christian Hits of the ’90s and Their Closest Secular Analogues.” But it also means I’m old enough to remember going to Christian bookstores and seeing posters in the music section that earnestly attempted to do just what she does there. “If you like    Boston     , you’ll love    Petra   !

7.Ignorance is a choice” (NSFW). Indian actor Imran Khan answers questions about LGBT rights, India’s anti-gay laws, and whether or not one should put elaichi in biryani (via Gay Married Californian). The snark-o-meter on this goes up to 11:

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