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Proverbs 16:20 seems a little… unfocused:

20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
    and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

"We can't just say 'Pay attention in school, kids.' That's way too short for a proper proverb."

"Well, just stick some stuff at the end about trusting the Lord. Nobody could complain about that."

■ At NRO, Andrew Stuttaford has some observations on The Idea of ‘Fake News’ and Its Abuses. Which is fine, and good, but I really picked up my ears when he quoted the Pope:

An impeccable argument can indeed rest on undeniable facts, but if it is used to hurt another and to discredit that person in the eyes of others, however correct it may appear, it is not truthful.

Misquote? Mistranslation? Well here is the entire Papal message on the Vatican website.

I belive the Pope has developed his own theory of truthiness.

■ Stupid ideas continue to come not only from the Vatican, but also from the Trump Administration. Fortunately, says Scott Shackford at Reason, the FCC Chair Throws Water on Crazy Plan for Feds to Seize Control of Our 5G Networks. Quoting the chair:

I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network. The main lesson to draw from the wireless sector's development over the past three decades—including American leadership in 4G—is that the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment. What government can and should do is to push spectrum into the commercial marketplace and set rules that encourage the private sector to develop and deploy next-generation infrastructure. Any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future.

It's unclear how serious the Trump folks are taking this. Hopefully, it will be disowned quickly. Like before you read this.

■ Pun Salad is not the Official Blog of Super Bowl LII, no matter what you've heard. But Minneapolis-based James Lileks (unlike Trump or the Pope) has a good idea: Let's get a head start on criticizing Super Bowl ads. Example:

High-concept ad with no connection to the product.

Scene: The desert. A cowgirl on horseback appears out of the shimmering sun; a harmonica plays a mournful tune. She cracks a whip. From over the hill comes a herd of men dressed in suits. Vultures carry them away one by one. Camera shows the cowgirl transferring money on her phone app. A man in a suit falls from the sky in front of her horse. Voiceover: "Westhaven Investments knows that the traditional way of investing doesn't work for everyone."

Reaction: It was all fun and games watching football, but boy, now we're super-psyched about managing our nonexistent investments from a smartphone.

More at the link, and most sound completely plausible.

■ Finally, Mr. Ramirez on Trump's Trade War:

Trump Trade War and Tariffs

I encourage you to click through and enjoy the uncropped version. Ramirez is a master.

Last Modified 2018-12-28 4:45 AM EDT